Earl's Court (London Underground)

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Station concourse with the directional platforms of the District Line

Earl's Court is a London Underground station in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea . It is located in the Earls Court district on the border of tariff zones 1 and 2. In 2014, 22.01 million passengers used the station.


Entrance on Earls Court Road

The two directional platforms and four tracks of the District Line are just below the surface of the earth and are spanned by an imposing glass roof from the Victorian era. The east-west and north-south main routes of the District Line cross in this station concourse, and the short branch line to Kensington (Olympia) begins here . Below the northern District Line platform, connected by stairs and elevators , are the tube platforms of the Piccadilly Line . The station, designed by John Wolfe-Barry , has been a listed building ( Grade II ) since 1984 .

Although it would theoretically be possible for the District Line trains to run from all neighboring stations via Earl's Court to all other stations, operation is simplified with four connections as follows: Kensington (Olympia) to High Street Kensington, West Brompton to High Street Kensington, West Brompton to Gloucester Road and West Kensington to Gloucester Road.


Before 1900

The Metropolitan District Railway (MDR), the predecessor of the District Line, opened the line from Gloucester Road to West Brompton on April 12, 1869 , where there was a connection to the West London Extension Joint Railway (today's West London Line ). There were no intermediate stops, the area around Earl's Court went through without stopping. On July 3, 1871, the MDR took a link to the Inner Circle (today's Circle Line ) to High Street Kensington in operation. Shortly thereafter, on October 30, 1871, she opened Earl's Court Station.

The various circle lines in Victorian times

The original station was east of Earls Court Road (instead of west of the road as it is today). The MDR built another branch line to Addison Road (now Kensington (Olympia) ) and put it into operation on February 1, 1872. Over the now existing Outer Circle the operational North London Railway suburban trains on the North London Line to the station Broad Street in the City of London .

From August 1, 1872, the MDR operated together with the Hammersmith & City Railway (H&CR) the so-called Middle Circle . The trains ran from Moorgate over the tracks of the Metropolitan Railway (MR) in the northern part of the Inner Circle to Paddington , then over the tracks of the H&CR to Latimer Road , over a now demolished connection to Addison Road on the West London Line and finally over MDR tracks via Earl's Court to Mansion House .

Another line opened on September 9, 1874, on which MDR trains ran from Earl's Court west to Hammersmith . Earl's Court could now be approached from five different directions. However, the station was quite close to a triangular track , which meant that traffic jams were frequent. A fire on November 30, 1875 damaged the station. This was then rebuilt further west at its current location and opened on February 1, 1878. At the same time, the eastern approach routes were given a larger radius, which meant that this bottleneck could be eliminated.

On May 5, 1878, the Midland Railway introduced a longer train route called the Super Outer Circle . The route ran from St Pancras via Cricklewood and South Acton to Earl's Court. The trains ran on a now disused connection between the North London Railway and the Richmond branch of the London and South Western Railway (now part of the District Line). However, the offer was unsuccessful and ended on September 30, 1880.

After 1900

Tube platform of the Piccadilly Line

At the beginning of the 20th century, competition from buses and electric trams put pressure on the subway. In order to increase competitiveness, the MDR pushed ahead with the electrification of its route network. In 1900 there was a test run between Earl's Court and High Street Kensington from May 21 to November 6. After lengthy negotiations with MR on the question of the power system, the first electrified section of the MDR was put into operation in 1903. The electric trains first reached Earl's Court on July 1, 1905.

The Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway , the predecessor of the Piccadilly Line , began operations on December 15, 1906 on the Hammersmith - Finsbury Park route . The platforms came to lie directly below those of the District Line, access was via elevators and stairs.

On October 4, 1911, the first escalators on the London Underground network were put into operation in Earl's Court . The passengers were still very skeptical about the new technology. Because of this, the company decided to hire a man named Bumper Harris . This one had a wooden leg and went up and down continuously for the first week. This made it possible to convince the passengers that escalators are completely harmless. As a result, the new technology prevailed throughout the underground network. In 1915 a new entrance building was built on Earls Court Road, and also in 1936/1937 on Warwick Road.

From November 21, 1997 to April 6, 1998, the platforms of the Piccadilly Line were closed for renovation work. The listed glass roof of the station concourse was restored from spring 2007. For this purpose, the hall was completely scaffolded inside.

Web links

Commons : Earl's Court  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. COUNTS - 2014 - annual entries & exits. (PDF, 44 kB) (No longer available online.) Transport for London, 2015, archived from the original on February 21, 2016 ; accessed on December 29, 2017 (English). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / content.tfl.gov.uk
  2. Earl's Court station. In: National heritage list of England. National Heritage, accessed January 21, 2013 .
  3. a b c d e f District Line. Clive's Underground Line Guides, accessed January 21, 2013 .
  4. ^ John R. Day, John Reed: The Story of London's Underground . Capital Transport, London 2001, ISBN 978-1-85414-245-0 , pp. 62 .
  5. a b Piccadilly Line. Clive's Underground Line Guides, accessed January 21, 2013 .
  6. 100th Anniversary of the Escalator on London Underground. IanVisits, October 3, 2011, accessed January 21, 2013 .
Previous station Transport for London Next station
West Kensington ,
West Brompton or
Kensington (Olympia)
District line flag box.svg Gloucester Road or
High Street Kensington
Barons Court Piccadilly line flag box.svg Gloucester Road

Coordinates: 51 ° 29 '30 "  N , 0 ° 11' 37.9"  W.