LogoClive's UndergrounD Line Guides

"They're a ravenous horde -- and they all came on board
At Sloane Square and South Kensington Stations.
And bound on that journey you find your attorney
(Who started that morning from Devon)"

- The Nightmare Song, from Iolanthe
W.S. Gilbert

LogoDistrict Line

A Subsurface Line

[last modified 1999-11-28]


The Metropolitan District Railway was formed to construct the southern half of the Circle Line. It was initially intended to merge the company with the Metropolitan Railway (hence the similarity of names), but this never happened until nationalization (see the Circle Line for further details).

The first move of the MDR was to build the southwest part of the Circle, from Gloucester Road to Westminster, and to extend it over the next few years to Mansion House. At the same time, the line was extended west to West Brompton, as part of a plan to link to the West London Extension Railway (though this never took place), and to Kensington (Olympia), where a similar link did take place.

After the split with the Metropolitan, the District (as it soon became known) saw its main hope as a line to carry commuters from the rich suburbs of the southwest into the central area; subsequently this would be enhanced by extending into the countryside and encouraging new building.

However, the Hammersmith and City Railway (q.v.) and the LSWR also had their eyes on this area. The former was the first to arrive - in 1864 - at the significant traffic centre of Hammersmith, while the latter arrived there in 1869 via a new link from Kensington (Olympia) (on the West London Railway) to Richmond (already served by the LSWR Windsor line). Trains from Waterloo or the City ran northwards into Kensington (Olympia), then turned through a large curve under the Hammersmith and City into a station parallel to, and just west of, the latter's terminus. From there they curved back to the west to run through Chiswick, and south once again towards Richmond.

Unable to reach virgin territory of its own, the District chose to cooperate. A branch line reached Hammersmith in 1874, using a third station close to the other two, and a further extension in 1877 from there allowed District trains to run over the LSWR's tracks to Richmond. This service was an immediate success, and London's first "Garden Suburb" soon appeared at Turnham Green. As a result, in 1879 the District built another branch from the LSWR at Turnham Green to meet the GWR at Ealing Broadway, and for a short time from 1883 services ran all the way from Windsor to Central London (on GWR metals to Ealing Broadway, then District to Turnham Green, LSWR to Studland Road Junction west of Hammersmith, and finally District again from there).

Meantime the West Brompton branch had not been neglected, being extended to the river at Putney in 1880. The District then agreed with the LSWR to continue to Surbiton, but found itself unable to raise the money. Eventually the LSWR agreed to build a shorter extension to Wimbledon, in exchange for continued running rights to High Street Kensington - rights it never used. This extension remained owned by the LSWR and its successors until 1994, when it was finally transferred to LU.

Returning to the west, the next traffic centre to aim for was Hounslow. A branch was built from Acton to two points: Hounslow West, on the Bath Road, and Hounslow Town, the latter with the eventual aim of extending to the LSWR line at Twickenham. However, the South Western objected violently to this plan, especially as the trains stealing its traffic would run along LSWR track to Hammersmith, and the Hounslow Town branch remained a short stub. Within a few years it was closed, but much later it was reopened for a while; during early 1905 trains would split at Osterley, three coaches running to Hounslow Town and five to Hounslow West. On electrification a chord line was added to form a triangle and all trains reversed at Hounslow Town. However, to speed up the service the branch was closed and the station moved to the direct route to Hounslow West.

The final traffic centre targeted was Uxbridge. This was done through the medium of the Ealing & South Harrow - to South Harrow - and the Harrow & Uxbridge - the rest of the way. The latter company, realizing that the District could not afford to build the line, negotiated with the Metropolitan instead, and the latter eventually opened the route (with a connection to Harrow-on-the-Hill) in 1905; the District retained running powers. The Ealing & South Harrow eventually opened in 1903 (in two stages, because of an earthslip on the northern section), serving as the testbed for electrification.

One other minor branch was built in the west, from Acton Town to South Acton. Initially services ran from the latter to Hounslow, South Harrow, and sometimes Uxbridge, but from 1932-02-15 they were reduced to a shuttle between the two stations (known as the "There and back while the kettle boils" because of the short distance and quick turnaround at South Acton) and the branch is now closed.

In 1897 authority was obtained to build express tunnels under the existing line from Mansion House to Earl's Court. These were never built as such, but the powers were used in building the Piccadilly Line.

In the east, the battles with the Metropolitan ended in 1884, with the completion of the Circle and the extensions to Whitechapel and the East London Line. In attempt to recover the costs of construction, the District cast its eye eastwards, with the idea of connecting to the LTSR line (the London Tilbury & Southend Railway). The two companies thus constructed 2 miles of new underground line from Whitechapel to Bow, with service starting in 1902. Trains ran through to various points at different times - even as far as Shoeburyness - with Upminster being the current terminus.

By 1898 it was clear that the subsurface companies had to electrify to regain traffic being lost to buses and trams (and later also to the tubes). They therefore started experiments, with the first sample trains running in 1900 (using two outside power rails, one polarity on each side). The Metropolitan wanted to adopt the Ganz 3-phase AC system (using two overhead wires), but eventually the current LU system was adopted, the last steam trains running in 1905. In the east, the electrification originally reached East Ham, with services being terminated there, before extension to Barking in 1908.

The District was still close to bankruptcy, and in 1901 it was effectively taken over by the Yerkes group, and became the core of the Underground group (eventually to become London Transport).

The line from Hammersmith to Turnham Green was so successful, with the Metropolitan and GWR also running trains along the LSWR, that the latter had to add a second pair of (non-electrified) tracks, opening on 1911-12-03. But, even as this was done, the electrified District so out-competed the other routes that the non-electrified tracks were soon virtually abandoned, with the last passenger service using them on 1916-06-03. In 1926 the LSWR tracks from Studland Road Junction to Gunnersbury were leased to the Underground group in perpetuity; ownership was formally transferred on 1950-01-23.

The next major change came in the 1930s. With Government-assisted finance, the District took over the LSWR route to Richmond, effectively abandoned by its owner, and rebuilt it in its present layout, with fast Piccadilly Line trains running between the District Line tracks; the Piccadilly also took over the route to Uxbridge and some services to Hounslow. At the same time, the LTSR route east of Barking was quadrupled, and one pair electrified to allow the District to take over the local services.

One unusual service run by the District was the Southend excursions (extended to Shoeburyness from 1911). District trains, using coaching stock hauled by an electric locomotive, ran from central London to Barking, where an LTSR steam locomotive took over. The service varied over the years, but three return trains daily was typical. As far as can be determined, trains did not stop between Barking and Upminster. The excursions were withdrawn in 1939 (exact dates are given below).

The District regularly ran express trains, missing out various stations, right up until the 1960s. For example, many eastbound trains missed out Gloucester Road and South Kensington. Another more interesting situation was a service to Wimbledon not stopping at West Brompton: this would overtake the preceding train on the three-track stretch south (nominally west) of Earl's Court.

If the "Chelsea-Hackney Line" ever comes to fruition, it would use part of the Wimbledon branch. One option would cut the District line back to East Putney, with the new Chelsea-Hackney Line running from Wimbledon via Clapham Junction (using the presently unused platforms at East Putney). Another would have it sharing the line from Wimbledon to Parsons Green before heading for the central area.

Note: the station "Mark Lane" was known as "Tower Hill" at the time it was closed, but the older name is used to avoid confusion with the other station of the same name.


[Note that dates are not given for where the only MDR use of a section of track is for Circle Line services - these dates are in the Circle Line file.]

1838-06-04 Ealing Broadway to Slough [GWR service]
1838-12- + Ealing Broadway, Hanwell
+ West Ealing, Southall, Hayes & Harlington, Langley
1841-06-30 + West Drayton, Slough
1846-07-17 % Richmond (disputed; may be -27)
1849-10-08 Slough to Windsor & Eton Central [GWR service]
1854-06-13 % Barking (see note)
1858-03-31 Barking to Bromley-by-Bow [LTSR service]
1863-01-10 Edgware Road to Praed Street Junction [Metropolitan service]
1868-10-01 Praed Street Junction to Gloucester Road [Metropolitan service]
1868-12-24 Westminster to South Kensington
1868-12-24 South Kensington to Gloucester Road [Metropolitan service]
1869-01-01 Studland Road Junction to Richmond [LSWR service]
1869-04-12 Gloucester Road to West Brompton
1870-05-30 Blackfriars to Westminster
1870-08-01 South Kensington to Gloucester Road [District service]
1871-07-03 High Street Kensington to Earl's Court
1871-07-03 Mansion House to Blackfriars
1871-07-10 + South Kensington [District station]
1871-10-30 + Earl's Court
1872-02-01 Mansion House to Kensington (Olympia) [Outer Circle service]
1872-08-01 Mansion House to Kensington (Olympia) [Middle Circle service]
1873-04-01 + Ravenscourt Park
1874-09-09 Earl's Court to Hammersmith
1877- + Upton Park
1877-06-01 Hammersmith to Richmond [District service]
1878-02-01 = Earl's Court
1878-05-01 Earl's Court to Turnham Green [Midland Super Outer Circle service]
1879-07-01 Turnham Green to Ealing Broadway
1880-03-01 West Brompton to Putney Bridge
1880-09-30 Earl's Court to Turnham Green [Midland service] withdrawn
1883-03-01 Ealing Broadway to Windsor & Eton Central [District service]
1883-05-01 Acton Town to Hounslow Town
1884-07-21 Osterley to Hounslow West
1884-08-09 = West Drayton
1884-09-08 = Slough
1884-10-06 Whitechapel to Mansion House
1884-10-12 - Tower Hill
1884-10-13 + Mark Lane
1885-05-01 Upminster to Barking [LTSR service]
1885-05-01 + Dagenham East, Hornchurch, and Upminster
1885-09-30 Ealing Broadway to Windsor & Eton Central service withdrawn
1886-03-31 Osterley to Hounslow Town closed
1886-04-01 + Hounslow Central
1889-06-03 Putney Bridge to Wimbledon
1900-05-21 * High Street Kensington to Earl's Court [experimental train]
1900-11-06 High Street Kensington to Earl's Court [electric train] withdrawn
1900-06-30 Mansion House to Earl's Court [Middle Circle] withdrawn
1901-02-01 + West Ham
1902-02-01 Whitechapel to St.Mary's closed
1902-06-02 Upminster to St.Mary's
1902-06-11 + Bow Road
1902-06-23 + Stepney Green
1903-03-01 Osterley to Hounslow Town reopened
1903-06-23 Ealing Common to Park Royal *
1903-06-23 * Acton Town to Ealing Common
1903-06-28 Park Royal to South Harrow *
1905-01-31 Earl's Court to Kensington (Olympia) [Middle Circle] withdrawn
1905-06-12 Osterley to Hounslow Central via Hounslow East closed
1905-06-13 Hounslow Town to Hounslow Central *
1905-06-13 South Acton to Acton Town *
1905-06-13 * Acton Town to Hounslow West
1905-07-01 * Ealing Common to Ealing Broadway
1905-07-01 * Whitechapel to Acton Town
1905-07-23 * High Street Kensington to Putney Bridge
1905-08-01 * Turnham Green to Richmond
1905-08-20 * East Ham to Whitechapel
1905-08-27 * Putney Bridge to Wimbledon
1905-09-30 Upminster to East Ham service withdrawn
1905-10-09 + Barons Court
1908-04-01 Barking to East Ham service reinstated *
1908-04-16 + Northfields
1908-12-31 Mansion House to Earl's Court [Outer Circle] withdrawn
1909-05-01 Hounslow Town branches closed
1909-05-02 Osterley to Hounslow Central via Hounslow East reopened *
1909-05-02 + Hounslow East
1910-03-01 South Harrow to Uxbridge [District service] *
1910-06-01 Southend to Barking [District excursion service]
1911- Shoeburyness to Southend [District excursion service]
1912-01-01 LTSR absorbed by Midland Railway, later LMSR
1912-02-01 + Stamford Brook
1914-05-01 * Earl's Court to Kensington (Olympia)
1926-11-01 Edgware Road to High Street Kensington [District service *]
1931-07-06 = Park Royal
1932-05-19 = Northfields
1932-07-03 Ealing Common to South Harrow service withdrawn
1932-07-18 + Becontree
1932-09-12 Upminster to Barking service reinstated *
1932-09-12 + Becontree [District service], Dagenham Heathway, and Upney
1933-10-22 South Harrow to Uxbridge service withdrawn
1934-03-25 = Osterley
1934-12-17 + Upminster Bridge
1935-05-13 + Elm Park
1938-04-30 - St. Mary's
1938-10-31 = Aldgate East
1939-09-30 Shoeburyness to Upminster [District excursion service] withdrawn
1940-10-02 Earl's Court to Kensington (Olympia) closed
1946-12-20 Earl's Court to Kensington (Olympia) [ad hoc District service]
1959-02-28 South Acton to Acton Town closed
1964-10-09 Acton Town to Hounslow West service withdrawn
1967-02-04 - Mark Lane
1967-02-05 + Tower Hill
1968-10-19 Edgware Road service extended to Aldgate on Saturday afternoons
1972-02-05 Aldgate service withdrawn
1986-04-07 Earl's Court to Kensington (Olympia) [full District service]
1989-10-29 - Mansion House (renovation and entrance works)
1991-02-11 + Mansion House
1994-04-01 Putney Bridge to Wimbledon transferred to LU ownership
1996-01-22 - Bayswater (refurbishment and congestion relief)
1996-03-18 + Bayswater
1999-03-13 - West Ham (eastbound only)
1999-11-06 - West Ham (westbound only)
1999-11-07 + West Ham (eastbound only)
2000-04- ? High Street Kensington to Earl's Court closed (see note)
2000-06- ? High Street Kensington to Earl's Court reopened

Note: Barking initially served the LTSR route via Forest Gate and Tilbury which opened on 1854-04-13. About 500 metres of this route parallels the LU line.

The 2000 closure is for repairs to the covered way carrying the tracks.


From Bromley-by-Bow and Edgware Road, to west of Earl's Court on all three branches, is in cut-and-cover tunnel, though many stations and short sections are in open cuttings. Outside this part, the line is basically open-air.

From Upminster to Bromley-by-Bow the line runs along the north side of the Railtrack London Tilbury & Southend line (formerly the LTSR and then part of the LMSR); at Upminster it separates the latter from the Romford-Upminster branch. At Barking the eastbound and westbound tracks are each on the same island as the corresponding mainline track to allow cross-platform interchange; to do this, the westbound dives under both mainline tracks east of the station, and flies back over to the west.

At High Street Kensington there are four platforms. Two are for through trains on both the Circle and District Lines, while the other two are bays for District trains terminating from the west (these cannot be reached directly from Gloucester Road).

Earl's Court has four platforms, forming eastbound and westbound islands. To eliminate conflicts, a diveunder takes westbound trains from High Street Kensington under both tracks to Gloucester Road, and another takes westbound trains to West Kensington and to Kensington (Olympia) under the eastbound track from Wimbledon. On the Wimbledon branch there are two westbound tracks until the tunnel mouth just before West Brompton, while there are two eastbound tracks from West Kensington East Junction (where the Kensington (Olympia) branch diverges) to shortly before the station.

The Kensington (Olympia) branch is single for the last part into the station. Both this branch and the main route to West Kensington have connections into the maintenance centre at Lillie Bridge, and these form the only routes for engineering trains on to the system.

From Barons Court to Acton Town the Piccadilly Line tracks run between the District Line ones; a diveunder junction is used for the Richmond branch. From Acton Lane Junction the latter runs on Railtrack tracks.


The basic pattern of service, operated off-peak, is made up of five routes:

West terminus East terminus
Richmond Upminster
Ealing Broadway Upminster (Barking on Sundays)
Wimbledon Tower Hill
Wimbledon Edgware Road
Kensington (Olympia) High Street Kensington (Edgware Road before 09:00 on weekdays)

Each operates every 10 minutes except the last, which operates every 15; there are more trains during the weekday peak hours, of course. A few trains run between High Street Kensington and the western termini at the start and end of service.

During the closure from High Street Kensington to Earl's Court in 2000, the Edgware Road trains from Wimbledon will reportedly be replaced by a service that will run directly to Gloucester Road, reverse (using a temporary facility), make a full circuit clockwise around the Circle Line, and then continue back to Wimbledon; District Line trains will not run westbound from Edgware Road. Following the experiences of the 1999 closure of the Circle Line this may be changed.


      <= West                            1---P--D--2             East =>
                               3            H
                              /            / \
                  4       /--S      K     /   5            6 7
               B\  \     /  /        \   /     \          /   \
                       /  /  /         /                           \
    8--w--c--*-e-*-o--/  3  /         /                             9
              \ /       /  /         /
               *       G--/         W
               t      /

A = Aldgate East
B = Ealing Broadway
C = Acton Town
D = Edgware Road
E = Earl's Court
G = Gunnersbury
H = High Street Kensington
K = Kensington (Olympia)
L = Gloucester Road
M = Minories Junction
N = Windsor & Eton Central
P = Praed Street Junction
R = Richmond
S = South Acton
T = Turnham Green Junction
U = Upminster
W = Wimbledon
X = St.Mary's Junction
c = Hounslow Central
e = Hounslow East
o = Osterley
t = Hounslow Town
w = Hounslow West
1 = Hammersmith & City Line to Hammersmith
2 = Hammersmith & City Line and Circle Line via King's Cross St. Pancras
3 = North London Line (Railtrack) to North Woolwich
4 = Piccadilly Line to Uxbridge
5 = Circle Line
6 = Circle Line via Aldgate
7 = Hammersmith & City Line via King's Cross St. Pancras
8 = Piccadilly Line to Heathrow Airport
9 = Link to East London Line


572871 11.08 [east end of Upminster Depot]
561868 12.19 6 Upminster [=6^E5=4EW3=2ew1=1v]
549867 13.41 6 Upminster Bridge [CP]
538862 14.66 6 Hornchurch [=2EW1=0ew0=]
524857 16.17 6 Elm Park [CP]
502850 18.43 5 Dagenham East [T3=2EW1=0ew0=]
489847 19.84 5 Dagenham Heathway [CP]
475845 21.21 5 Becontree [=2EW1=0ew0=]
457842 23.08 4 Upney [CP]
443843 24.55 4 Barking [^1=2E^3=4ew5=6We7=8ww]
(southern bay is partial)
432848 [Barking Station Junction]
424842 26.74 3/4 East Ham [OP]
411837 28.15 3 Upton Park [=2EW1=0ew0=]
399832 29.39 3 Plaistow [T3=2EW1=0ew0=]
392829 30.19 3 West Ham [E2=1We8=7w]
379826 31.58 2/3 Bromley-by-Bow [=2EW1=0ew0=]
370827 32.50 [tunnel mouth]
371827 32.59 2 Bow Road [OP]
365825 33!07 2 Mile End [e=EW=w]
355821 34.17 2 Stepney Green [OP]
347818 35.17 2 Whitechapel [E1=2EW3=4WV]
343817 35.45 [St.Mary's Junction]
342816 35.6 (St.Mary's) [OP]
338813 36.00 1 Aldgate East [OP]
36.08 [Aldgate East Junction]
36.43 [Minories Junction]
335807 36.80 1 Tower Hill [=ET=W]
333807 36.97 (Mark Lane) [OP]
328808 37.47 1 Monument [OP]
325809 37.81 1 Cannon Street [OP]
323809 38.12 1 Mansion House [=ET=W]
316808 38.72 1 Blackfriars [OP]
310808 39.48 1 Temple [OP]
303803 40.18 1 Embankment [OP]
302796 40.87 1 Westminster [OP]
296794 41.63 1 St. James's Park [OP]
288791 42.35 1 Victoria [OP]
280786 43.39 1 Sloane Square [OP%]
269788 44.63 1 South Kensington [= E=W]
262788 45.35 1 Gloucester Road [=E=oW=]
255785 46.27 1/2 Earl's Court [E1=2EW3=4W]
46.80 [West Kensington East Junction and tunnel portal]
247783 47.18 2 West Kensington [OP]
241783 47.84 2 Barons Court [E=ew=W]
234785 48.51 2 Hammersmith [E=ew=W!]
48.57 [tunnel east portal]
[tunnel west portal]
231787 48.84 Studland Road Junction
225787 49.44 2 Ravenscourt Park [E=ew=W]
218788 50.18 2 Stamford Brook [=Eew=W]
213788 50.71 2/3 Turnham Green [E=ew=W]
212788 50.83 [Turnham Green Junction (westbound)]
207788 51.25 [Turnham Green Junction (eastbound)]
203787 51.72 3 Chiswick Park [=EewW=]
194795 52.91 3 Acton Town [E=ew=W]
189803 53.94 3 Ealing Common [OP]
188810 54.56 [Hanger Lane Junction]
180810 55.51 3 Ealing Broadway [=VV=V v=v =ew=ew=]
166807 56=92 3 {West Ealing} [=ew=ew]
154805 58=17 4 {Hanwell} [=ew=ew]
126797 60=94 4 {Southall} [=ew=ew=web]
097794 63=86 5 {Hayes & Harlington} [v=ew=ew=]
061801 67=60 6 {West Drayton} [e=ew=ew=]
037799 70=07 {Iver} [e=ew=ew=]
[Not open when this service ran]
013798 72=45 {Langley} [=ew=ew=]
978802 76=03 {Slough} [v=bw=eb=^]
967769 80=52 {Windsor & Eton Central} [v=]

255785 46.27 1/2 Earl's Court [E1=2EW3=4W]
46.80 [West Kensington East Junction]
243792 47.81 2 Kensington (Olympia) [=3snb2=1V]

201792 51=80 3 {South Acton} [=2EW1=]
194795 52.91 3 Acton Town [E=ew=W]

212788 50.83 [Turnham Green Junction (westbound)]
207788 51.25 [Turnham Green Junction (eastbound)]
203786 51.70 [Acton Lane Junction (LU/Railtrack boundary)]
198783 52.33 3 Gunnersbury [CP]
192767 54.05 3/4 Kew Gardens [OPX]
181751 56.16 4 Richmond [V=VV=VV=ew=]

272817 42=12 1 Edgware Road [o1=2EW3=4i]
269814 42=44 [Praed Street Junction]
266811 42=94 1 Paddington [OP]
258808 43=92 1 Bayswater [OP]
252804 44=71 1/2 Notting Hill Gate [OP]
255795 45.65 1 High Street Kensington [T4=|T3=2EW1=]
45.34 [District/Circle junction]
255785 46.27 1/2 Earl's Court [E1=2Ew3=4W]
254780 46.86 2 West Brompton [=4ns3=2EW1=]
254772 47.70 2 Fulham Broadway [OP]
250766 48.49 2 Parsons Green [OP]
245759 49.43 2 Putney Bridge [=1EV2=3W]
244748 50.58 2/3 East Putney [=1EW2=ew=]
50.72 [East Putney Junction]
243743 51.04 [East Putney Tunnel portal]
246740 51.32 [East Putney Tunnel portal]
247733 52.13 3 Southfields [CPX]
253721 53.59 3 Wimbledon Park [CPX]
248706 55.15 3 Wimbledon [V1=2VV3=4Ve5=6ew7=8wb9=10b]

194795 52.91 3 Acton Town [E=EW=W]
175793 55.11 3 {South Ealing} [e=EW=W]
171792 55.59 3 {Northfields} [e=EW=W]
163787 56.50 4 {Boston Manor} [OP]
58.63 (Osterley & Spring Grove) [OP]
145771 58.93 4 {Osterley} [OP]
144763 59.59 [Lampton Junction]
142762 59.90 4 {Hounslow East} [OP]
141761 [Kingsley Road Junction]
136759 60.64 4 {Hounslow Central} [CP]
122761 62.08 5 {Hounslow West} [CP]

145771 58.93 4 {Osterley} [OP]
144763 59.59 [Lampton Junction]
143760 [junction of two closed branches]
144759 60.09 (Hounslow Town) [=VV=]

144759 (Hounslow Town) [=TT=]
143760 [junction of two closed branches]
141761 [Kingsley Road Junction]
136759 60.64 4 {Hounslow Central} [CP]


The line is served by two main depots. Upminster Depot is east of Upminster station, while Ealing Common Depot is north of the line between Acton Town and Ealing Common stations; trains may enter from the west end, and may leave in either direction.

In addition, C stock trains used on the line are treated as part of the Hammersmith & City stock, and maintained at Hammersmith and Neasden Depots.


Hammersmith & City Line trains run on the line from Barking to Aldgate East, where there is a flat junction. There is also a connection to the East London Line at St.Mary's Junction.

Circle Line trains run on the line from Minories Junction to Gloucester Road (both flat junctions; see the Circle Line for more details). The section from Edgware Road to High Street Kensington is also shared with the Circle Line.

There is a connection to Railtrack at East Putney, allowing trains from Clapham Junction to run southwards on the line. At Wimbledon, there are connections to Wimbledon Park Depot (Railtrack); trains can enter from either end. In addition, at Wimbledon, eastbound trains can run from the up slow Railtrack line on to the eastbound District, and from the westbound District on to the down fast Railtrack line.

Piccadilly Line trains can run on the District Line tracks, and vice versa, between Hammersmith and Acton Town. Both lines share tracks from there to Hangar Lane Junction. At Acton Town, trains can also leave Acton Works (south of the line east of the station) into the westbound platform, and westbound trains (either Piccadilly, District, or trains having used the turnback sidings east of the station) can enter a shunting neck and then reverse into the works.

There is a connection to Railtrack at Gunnersbury, and trains may run from the southernmost platform at Richmond on to the eastbound Railtrack line to Clapham Junction. Finally, trains departing Ealing Broadway may run on to the eastbound Central Line.

Rolling Stock

Normal operation is for the Edgware Road and Wimbledon service to be operated by C stock, and the remainder of the route by D stock.

The Richmond and Wimbledon branches are shared with BR trains, and so are restricted to C and D stock only (6-car D stock will not fit into the bay platform at Putney Bridge). In addition, empty Tube stock may run between Earl's Court and Putney Bridge.

The rest of the District Line is open to all stock except A stock, which may only operate when empty, and only on certain sections:
- Upminster to Aldgate East (and thence Liverpool Street)
- Mansion House to Embankment (single 4-car units only)
- Embankment to Hangar Lane Junction
- Gloucester Road via High Street Kensington (reversing) to Earl's Court
- High Street Kensington to Edgware Road (single 4-car units only)

D stock consists of two 3-car units. Single units have only one cab and may only operate in depots. Because the stock has stiff suspension it may only run on tracks maintained appropriately (the District Line and parts of the Piccadilly Line). 6-car trains will not fit in the stations from Notting Hill Gate to Edgware Road and thus may not carry passengers north of High Street Kensington.

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