Circle Line Extension Launches on December 13

"Lasso line" means more trains from Hammersmith

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The Circle line extension will launch in December, creating what has been dubbed a "lasso line" doubling the number of trains running on the Hammersmith & City Line.

Circle line trains will start in Hammersmith and run along the current Hammersmith & City line to Edgware Road from Sunday December 13.

From there, trains will complete a clockwise lap of the Circle line before terminating at Edgware Road. Trains will then reverse along the same route - doing an anti-clockwise loop - and finish their journey at Hammersmith.

The current seven trains an hour on the Hammersmith & City line, will be boosted to one every four minutes. There will also be more trains to Victoria and City on the Wimbledon branch of the District line.

The extra capacity will help the 36% of H&F workers who travel by tube - the highest proportion in London. Shoppers will also benefit as the number of trains going through Wood Lane station, next to Westfield is set to double.

Underground engineers say the changes will also benefit the whole Tube network by reducing the number of Circle line trains stuck in tunnels. The 14 mile line opened in 1884 and carries 75 million passengers a year, but its shape means residents often complain about crippling delays when a train breaks down.

Delays are worse on the Circle line as, although the tube map shows it as a single route, it shares track with the District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. Any disruption on these lines also causes delays to the Circle.

Howard Collins, Chief Operating Officer of London Underground, said: "The new service on the Circle line will improve the reliability of the line, enabling services to recover more quickly if there is a disruption. The added benefit will be the improved service on the Hammersmith & City line from Edgware Road round to Hammersmith, significantly increasing frequency on that route."

The plans have also been designed to accommodate new faster and longer trains which come on stream next year. The first of the new air conditioned, walk-through trains will start serving the Metropolitan line from 2010, the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines from 2011 and the District from 2013.

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: "It is good to know that the Circle line won't just go round and round anymore. The new section from Edgware Road to Hammersmith is a positive move in the right direction.

"Historically the Circle line has been one of London's most unreliable routes but these sensible changes should make life much better for commuters coming into Hammersmith."

November 17, 2009