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Canary Wharf tube station
The Jubilee Line Extension is the extension of the London Underground Jubilee line from Green Parkmarker to Stratfordmarker through south and east London. An eastward extension of the Jubilee line was first proposed in the 1970s and a modified route was constructed during the 1990s. It opened just before Christmas 1999.

Stations on the Jubilee line extension

The extension begins just south of Green Parkmarker, eastward to:

Station London borough Infrastructure
Westminstermarker Westminster new ticket hall and two additional deep-level platforms
Waterloomarker Lambeth two additional deep-level platforms
Southwarkmarker Southwark new station with two deep-level platforms
London Bridgemarker Southwark two additional deep-level platforms
Bermondseymarker Southwark new station with two deep-level platforms
Canada Watermarker Southwark new station with two deep-level platforms and two new sub-surface platforms on East London Line
Canary Wharfmarker Tower Hamlets new station with two deep-level platforms
North Greenwichmarker Greenwich new station with three deep-level platforms
Canning Townmarker Newham new station building with two surface platforms and two new elevated platforms on DLR
West Hammarker Newham two additional surface platforms
Stratfordmarker Newham new station building and plaza as well as three additional surface platforms

Before the extension was built, the Jubilee line terminated at Charing Crossmarker. The section of Jubilee line between Charing Cross and Green Park is now unused for passenger services but is still maintained for emergency use (and at least one misdirected passenger train has ended up there) . The abandoned platforms are occasionally rented out by TfL for use as a film set. This section may be re-used in the future as part of an extension of the Docklands Light Railway from Bankmarker station.

Reasons for the Jubilee line extension

Original 1970s plans

The construction of the Jubilee line between Baker Streetmarker and Charing Crossmarker had always been intended to be the first phase of the Fleet Line (as the Jubilee line was originally called). In the first version of the Fleet Line Extension plan, the line would run from Charing Cross via Aldwychmarker and Ludgate Circusmarker to Fenchurch Street stationmarker, then via the Thames Tunnelmarker to New Crossmarker and Lewishammarker.

This plan was modified shortly before the Jubilee line was opened in 1979. Under the new plan (and a new name, the River Line), it would instead run via the Isle of Dogsmarker and Royal Docksmarker to the "new town" at Thamesmeadmarker. (This route is not dissimilar to the proposed Crossrail route, which would go through the Docklandsmarker in a broadly similar direction.) A short extension was built eastwards from Charing Cross—the Jubilee line tracks actually extend almost as far as Aldwychmarker, but work soon ground to a halt, and was abandoned.


Plans to extend the Jubilee line were revived in the late 1980s, prompted by the creation of the Canary Wharf development, which massively increased the predicted numbers of jobs in the Isle of Dogs and required a transport network with much greater capacity than could be provided by the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). Initially, Olympia and York, the developers of Canary Wharf, proposed building a new line, the Waterloo and Greenwich Railway. This would run from Waterloo through London Bridge to Canary Wharf and then to Westcombe Parkmarker in Greenwich, and would cost £400 million. However London Transport resisted this idea, preferring to wait for the results of studies into new railways construction in London. One of these, the East London Railway Study, recommended an extension of the Jubilee line from Green Park to Westminster, then following the route of the Waterloo and Greenwich Railway, before carrying on to Stratford via Canning Town, alongside what was then the North London Line. It was this option that was ultimately adopted, with an estimated cost of £2.1 billion to which Olympia and York would make a £400 million contribution, a figure based on the original cost estimate of the Waterloo and Greenwich Railway (Mitchell 2003). In the end the scheme cost £3.5bn, partly because of huge cost overruns during its construction. Where initially the developers were to pay for a large part of the scheme, their final contribution was less than 5%. [47343]

The extension was authorised in 1990. A station was originally planned at Blackwallmarker, but this option was rejected in favour of taking the line between Canary Wharf and Stratford underneath the Thames again, to serve the Greenwich peninsulamarker with North Greenwich tube stationmarker. Plans for the Millennium Domemarker did not yet exist, and this diversion was made to provide for a planned housing development on the site of disused gasworks. British Gas contributed £25 million to the scheme.[47344] The stations at Southwark and Bermondsey were not initially certain. Main works were authorised by the London Underground Act 1992. [47345], with additional works allowed by the London Underground (Jubilee) Act 1993.[47346].

Construction officially started in December 1993. Construction was originally expected to take 53 months. Tunnelling was delayed after a collapse during the Heathrow Express project in October 1994, which used the same NATM tunnelling method. By November 1997 a September 1998 date was planned. By June 1998, opening was planned in Spring 1999. By November 1998, a phased opening, previously rejected, was being considered, with the section from Stratford to North Greenwich planned for spring 1999, the section from North Greenwich to Waterloo for summer 1999, and the final section and link into the existing Jubilee line (Waterloo-Green Park) planned for autum 1999. This phasing with followed, with the first phase opening on May 14, 1999, followed by the second phase on September 24, and the third phase on November 20. The opening of the platforms of Westminster, which was technically complicated due to the interface with the subsurface platforms, which remained in operation, opened on December 22, 1999, shortly before the Millennium Domemarker deadline.

The JLE was originally supposed to have moving block signalling, designed by Westinghouse, in order to reach 36 trains per hour at peak times. As design of this over-ran, causing delays into 1999, this was abandoned in favour of more traditional signalling.

It has proved extremely successful both in terms of relieving congestion on the DLR and in opening up access to parts of east London with formerly poor transport links. However, its considerable costs have delayed alternative Underground expansions, such as the long-proposed schemes of Crossrail and the Chelsea-Hackney Line.

Design aspects of the extension

The physical design of the extension is radically different from anything previously attempted on the London Underground. Stations are characterised by cavernous, stark interiors lined with polished metal panels and moulded concrete walls and columns. Some of the stations are truly enormous—Canary Wharfmarker has been compared to a cathedral, with it being said that the neighbouring Canary Wharf Tower, if laid on its side could fit in the station with room to spare, while Westminstermarker has a dramatic vertical void nearly 40 m (130 ft) deep.

The size of the stations was a response to safety concerns—overcrowding and a lack of exits had been significant factors in the 1987 King's Cross disastermarker—as well as an attempt to "future-proof" stations by designing from the start for a high volume of use. One consequence of this is that most of the extension's platforms and halls are full only in a busy rush hour.

A number of leading architects were employed to design the stations, with the lead being given by Roland Paoletti. It was decided from the outset that although each station would be designed as an individual entity, they would be linked to the others by a common design philosophy and functional elements. Spaciousness was the most noticeable, along with the shared theme of grey and silver polished metal and concrete interiors. More subtly, many of the stations were designed to admit as much natural light as possible. At Bermondseymarker and to a lesser extent at Canada Watermarker and Southwarkmarker, rotundas and shafts allow daylight to reach, or nearly reach, the platforms.

The platforms saw another innovation: platform edge doors, to improve airflow in stations. They also prevent passengers from jumping or falling onto the line, but this was a secondary benefit, and not the reason for their installation. The platform doors occasionally malfunction and stay closed when trains arrive, leaving passengers unable to board or disembark at a particular station until the problem has been fixed.

Ground settlement

State-of-the-art satellite data processing (Interferometric synthetic aperture radar) has the unique ability of revealing historical ground motion trends over urban areas. The image over Central London shows historical ground and structure motion over a thirteen-year period (1992 – 2005). A linear pattern of settlement associated with the construction of the Jubilee line extension has been revealed. The image to the right can be viewed as an overlay within Google Earth by following this link.


  1. Wolmar, C., The Subterranean Railway, (2004)
Mitchell, Bob (2003), Jubilee line extension: from concept to completion

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