Would Jubilee’ve it! Tube line is 30 today
THE Jubilee line, London’s youngest Underground route, celebrates its 30th anniversary from midnight. It opened to the public on May 1, 1979, the year Abba, Rod Stewart and Blondie topped the charts, when Star Trek and Moonraker were smash box-office hits in cinemas
THE Jubilee line, London’s youngest Underground route, celebrates its 30th anniversary from midnight.
It opened to the public on May 1, 1979, the year Abba, Rod Stewart and Blondie topped the charts, when Star Trek and Moonraker were smash box-office hits in cinemas.
The new route snaked its way through twin tunnels deep under the West End between Charing Cross, Bond Street and Baker Street, where it then took over the Bakerloo Line branch out to Stanmore.
The Charing Cross terminal faced east, ready to be extended under The Strand and Fleet Street towards East London.
The new service was even going to be called the Fleet’ Line—until planners changed their mind and renamed it Jubilee’ before its opening, after the Queen’s Silver Jubilee two years before.
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The east-facing terminal was closed 20 years later and replaced, instead, by a new 10-mile extension in 1999 to East London from Green Park using a different route than Fleet Street.
It looped south through Westminster and under the Thames before turning eastward to London Bridge and the new Canary Wharf, then onto Stratford. Poor Fleet Street lost out.
Today, the 22-and-a-half-mile line carries 186 million passengers a year through 27 stations, with Canary Wharf its most radical design.
The combined distance traveled by passengers over the years is more than five-and-a-half billion miles. That’s like whizzing to the planet Neptune and back!
Station staff are now holding charity days to mark the 30th anniversary and the 10th since the Stratford extension. The first is on May 12 on the Wembley Park section. The Stratford’ section including West Ham, Canning Town and North Greenwich stations holds its charity day on May 14, followed three days later by the Canary Wharf’ section including Canada Water on May 17.
The oldest line on the massive London network is the Metropolitan opened in 1863, the world’s first underground urban railway, followed by the District in 1868 and the East London Line in 1871 which passes through Brunel’s world-heritage tunnel under the Thames at Wapping.