The Secrets of the Underground: the Bakerloo Line
Exploring Many Secrets Across the Network of the Bakerloo Line
The Bakerloo line is a line that connects Elephant and Castle to Harrow & Wealdstone, from one side of London to the North. It passes through a few major stations such as: Waterloo, Paddington, Baker Street, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Marylebone, and Willesden Junction. The line travels through Zone 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, and has 25 different stops along the whole line. But there are many secrets about the line that little know.
The first secret is that the Bakerloo line is the slowest on the London Underground network, and I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise to many of whom travel on it. One of the main reasons is that it’s not automated like many of the other lines. This is because drivers often go slow to avoid hitting the tube that is likely not far in front of them while some lines don’t have this, but only the driver takes over when there’s problems.
The drivers on the tube are in complete darkness. This is due to them only having light from the little control pad in the cabin, therefore the lightest they see is when they pull into a station underground or are outside in the daylight. However, the Bakerloo sees the least light, as it’s mostly all underground. This applies to all London Underground lines. However, most of them come above ground, therefore exposing the driver to a lot more light than just the light that is seen among arrival to a station.
Stanmore is currently the end of the Jubilee Line. However, it was once the terminus of the Bakerloo Line for roughly 40 years, however, the current end is Harrow & Wealdstone, but the line hasn’t always gone as far as that, as it previously ended at Stonebridge Park. However, at one point, Watford Junction was the terminus too.
Marylebone was planning to be called "Great Central" and this can still be seen to this day, as there are still tiles that have that written on the wall of the Bakerloo Line platforms. However, plans changed and it's known as Marylebone.
The Bakerloo line also is a terminating stop in the Zone 1 area, which is very rare on the London Underground. However, plans to expand from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham could change this in the future.
Regents Park is one of the only tube stations across the whole line that doesn’t have a station building, but instead just a hole in the floor which leads down to the stations, but also the announcer says to alight "for local buses to ZSL, London Zoo." However, this isn’t the closest station to London Zoo, instead, Camden Town is. Regents Park is roughly a twenty-minute walk from London Zoo. Regents Park is also one of nine stations without a ticket office along the Bakerloo Line.
Previously, there were two different stations that weren’t linked at Elephant and Castle, run by two competing companies. However, now TFL own the whole network and they are connected by an underground tunnel, but there are two different lines that run between them. One station operates the now Bakerloo Line, and the other is the Northern Line.
The final secret of the Bakerloo Line is that the first baby was born along the line in 1924 at the current terminus of Elephant and Castle.
There are many secrets along the whole of the London Underground network, and we have explored the Bakerloo Line ones here. However, this will be a series of articles which will look at all the lines along the network, and there are still plenty more secrets to explore.