The Bakerloo line will partly close for six consecutive days next month

One of London’s oldest tube lines is getting some upgrades

Emily Moss
Written by
Emily Moss
An image of people stepping on board a Bakerloo line carriage.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Did you know that London’s Bakerloo line has the oldest passenger trains in daily service in the UK? If you’ve ever travelled on the brown tube line, that might not come as such a surprise. And if you’re a regular user of those trains, watch out: the Bakerloo will partially close for six days next month. 

From August 3-8, the Bakerloo will shut between Queen’s Park and Harrow & Wealdstone. Although the improvements won’t involve replacing the 50-plus-year-old trains (yet), they will include renewing the power system supplying signalling equipment and upgrading 3km of conductor rail, which provides power to the trains via a steel rail

The high voltage power system that powers the trains through the conductor rails will also be revamped, while track switches and crossings, which improve train guidance and allow trains to cross paths, will also be upgraded. It’s all part of a £2 million overhaul. 

Although the improvements all sound rather technical, it’s hoped that they’ll improve the quality of the service and help reduce disruption. 

Over the same period the London Overground between Euston and Watford Junction will also be closed, as it shares railway tracks with the Bakerloo. During the closure, TfL customers affected by the upgrades are instead being encouraged to complete their journey by using alternative rail and bus routes. 

Gary Walsh, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: ‘We know there’s never an ideal time to close the railway, but working on consecutive days means that we can keep the railway open as much as possible throughout the rest of the year. 

‘I’d like to thank passengers for their understanding and patience in advance while we carry out these significant improvements to the Bakerloo line and London Overground.’ 

Alex Williams, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer at TfL, said: ‘We’re sorry for the disruption that Network Rail’s essential infrastructure upgrade work will cause to our customers’ journeys and are working closely with them to minimise the impact. 

‘Closures of this type enable work to be carried out which will make customer journeys more reliable in future and are scheduled to take place, where possible, in school holidays when demand on our network is significantly reduced.’

Time Out and the Bakerloo line

Sure, it’s a rickety, loud old line, but the Bakerloo has a special place in our hearts here at Time Out – and we follow news about it closely. Did you see, for instance, that an extension of the line just got a step closer to being built? And that a ‘Bakerloop’ bus network might run until that extension actually opens?

Did you see that  these super-futuristic ‘tram- buses’ are coming to London in just a few weeks

Plus: you’ll soon be able to pay for London’s Santander Cycles by mobile.

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