London Night Tube - get around London at night

The Night Tube is the name of the London underground  services available during the night time on Fridays and Saturdays.

Until a short time ago, London was failing to provide a response to an increased demand on transportation solutions during the busy weekend nights. Unlike it happens in many other European capitals, the city’s underground system, which is by far the most convenient way of getting around London, was closed between shortly after midnight and 5 am (varying from line to line).

After many delays, the first all-night tube services in London were launched on 19 August 2016, with Victoria and Central lines operating 24 hours a day.

One of the first passengers to travel on the Night Tube was the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Around 50 000 people travelled along on the night service on its inaugural night.

See footage from the launch of the first night tube service:

Night services were extended to the Jubilee line on 7 October and the Northern line on 18 November. On 16 December the night trains started running on the Piccadilly line.

The plans are to introduce the Night Tube also to the sections of the Metropolitan Circle, District and Hammersmith and City lines. This requires, however, modernisation works on the above mentioned lines and no dates are currently being discussed yet.

London underground for night commuters
The night service has been enthusiastically received by the public. It is expected to benefit a substantial part of London’s population; not only the tube users heading towards some of the countless night-life attractions of the capital (or returning home, for that matter), a large part of whom are tourists, but also the Londoners working night shifts and other types of night commuters.

The new service arrived during difficult times for the Piccadilly line which has seen many of its trains removed from circulation in late fall 2016 for repairs. The apparently longer than usual leaf-fall season caused damage to the wheels in a large part of the Piccadilly fleet. With insufficient number of trains running one of London’s busiest lines was struggling with less daily frequencies and delays of the services.

The disruptions of the normal functioning of the Piccadilly line are being gradually attenuated as the trains return to the fleet after the maintenance and necessary repairs.

In the opinion of many users of the London underground, the night tube has been actually working better than the over-crowded daily counterpart.

London Night Tube map – updated
The launching of the new service called for updating the map of London transportation. The TfL (Transport for London), responsible for transportation services in Greater London area, released an updated map of London Night Tube.

Additionally, information about taxi ranks along each line offering night service was included in the most recent map of London tube.

See Night Tube taxi rank map.

London Night Tube – frequencies and exclusions
The 24 hour tube services in London aim to reply to the necessities of the particular areas of the city and may, thus, vary in terms of the frequency of trains. Also, some of the sections may be excluded from the night services.

Below is the more detailed information about each line:

  • Central line – night trains run on average every 10 minutes between White City and Leytonstone and every 20 minutes between Ealing Broadway to White City ad Leytonstone to Loughton/Hainault. Between North Acton and West Ruislip, Loughton and Epping, Woodford and Hainault there is no service.
  • Victoria line – trains available every 10 minutes on  the entire line.
  • Jubilee line – train frequency: every 10 minutes; no exclusions.
  • Northern line – between Morden and Camden Town the trains frequency is every 8 minutes. Between Camden Town and High Barnet/Edgware the trains run every 15 minutes. Until July 2017 the night trains don’t stop at Charing Cross. No night trains on the Mill Hill and Bank branches.
  • Piccadilly line – trains run approximately every 10 minutes between Cockfosters and Heathrow Terminal 5. No service between Acton Town and Uxbridge and on the Terminal 4 loop.

The above information was retrieved from the TfL official website in early 2017.

Night tube to Heathrow
Extending of the overnight underground service to the Piccadilly line is a particularly good news to the Heathrow Airport users.

As of mid-December it is possible to transfer between London city centre and the major British airport has become easier and cheaper for traveller on late night or early morning flights, as well as for the thousands of people employed by the airport or the associated businesses. 

London Night Tube - get around London at night
Article: London Night Tube - get around London at night
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