Metropolitan Services, Tracks, Trains and Indicators

Trains on eleven out of twelve London Underground lines stop at every station through which they pass.
However the Metropolitan Line is more complicated than its representation on the Tube Map.


  Stopping trains stop at every Metropolitan station on their route. They run between
  • Uxbridge and Baker Street or Aldgate
  • Watford and Baker Street or Aldgate
Semi-fast trains do not stop between Finchley Road and Harrow-on-the-Hill. They run between
  • Watford and Aldgate
  • Amersham and Baker Street or Aldgate
Fast trains do not stop between Finchley Road and Moor Park except at Harrow-on-the-Hill. They run between
  • Amersham and Aldgate
The Chesham Shuttle contains four carriages (all other Met trains contain eight). It runs between
  • Chesham and Chalfont & Latimer
All four types of Met trains run in both directions all day, every day. Slow Mets are often scheduled to pull up beside fasts or semis at Harrow-on-the-Hill, and many passengers cross the platform between different speed trains here.
Peak hour only services:
  • Semi-fast Uxbridge and Aldgate - in the direction of the peak only
  • Fast between Chesham and Aldgate - in both directions in both peaks
Early morning and late night services (not shown on the Tube Map)
  • A few trains run between Amersham and Watford, travelling directly between Rickmansworth and Croxley.
  • A few Metropolitan trains stop additionally at all Jubilee stations between Finchley Road and Wembley Park.
Special services:
  • Before and after events at Wembley Stadium, stopping, semi-fast and fast trains all stop at Wembley Park


  Four Metropolitan tracks exist from just south of Wembley Park to north of Moor Park, and crossovers either side of Harrow-on-the-Hill allow semi-fast trains to switch between the fast and slow tracks. Therefore slow trains can be overtaken by the other two speeds south of Harrow-on-the-Hill, and fast trains can overtake the other two speeds north of Harrow-on-the-Hill. The timetables are devised such that trains never overtake trains to or from the same northern terminus. The late night and early morning services which stop at the Jubilee stations cross to and from the Jubilee tracks at Finchley Road and Wembley Park. Direct tracks exist between Rickmansworth and Croxley which are used in passenger service in the early morning and late night.


  The Metropolitan line trains are designed to maximise seating and minimise standing because the average journey on the Metropolitan is longer than on other London Underground lines (from Amersham to Aldgate is 47 km). They are known as the "A" stock - the "A" stands for Amersham - and are also used on the East London Line. They are the widest passenger trains ever used on standard gauge track in Britain, and they have recently been refurbished. Metropolitan trains spend most nights at Neasden Depot, but each night a few will be at Wembley Park Shed, Rickmansworth Sidings and Uxbridge Sidings.



New two-line LED indicators are used at many stations - on the Victoria Line you may see
1. SEVEN SISTERS           1 min
3. WALTHAMSTOW             5 min
(the second line flips between the second and third trains.)

At some Met stations you may see -
1. AMERSHAM (fast)
Calling at Moor Park, Rickmansworth,Chorleywood,
(the second line flips to list more stations.)
These two-line displays show only one train on the Metropolitan Line. On other lines they show up to three.


Some stations have older signs - these consist of a blackened glass box with word-shaped holes in the blackness. Each line of text is illuminated by light bulbs behind it. On most lines, only two lines are illuminated at a time - the "Next Train" line and one station name. At some Metropolitan stations, the lower half of the sign displays the words "Not Stopping At" along with the names of seven stations. The semi-fasts don't stop at three stations - and the fasts don't stop at those three as well as another four. The three are listed beneath each other on the left, and the four are on the right, so even at a distance without glasses a regular traveller can instantly tell from the general distribution of light whether the train is a fast, semi, or slow. So the old signs are better than the new ones on the Metropolitan Line - the new signs are better on the other lines, because they give details of three trains. The animation below represents Saturday service in the summer of 1998, sped up sixty times.

Animation of northbound Metropolitan Train Indicator at Finchley Road on Saturday, sped up 60 times



Some stations near the Aldgate end of the line have the old style sign telling you the destination only without the stopping pattern. There is also a static metal sign warning you that some trains don't stop at the seven stations in question. This makes more sense than you might think, because people with the timetable will know the stopping pattern, and other people will get the first train to Baker Street because so many northbound Met trains start there. (The Met is the only Underground line for which a full timetable is published.) On reaching Baker Street, you can then find out whether you are on the right train.


At Moor Park there are no electronic indicators. Fast trains pull in on one island platform, and slows and semi-fasts pull in on the other. This is not useful, because if you want to know the platform for the Amersham train, you have to know whether it has been fast or semi on its way from London to Moor Park (all of the seven skippable stations are between London and Moor Park). The passengers do not cope with this very well - lots of them stand on one platform, peer at the front of the arriving trains on the other platform and then run down the stairs and up to the other platform. Lots of them just stand on one platform while their train pulls in on the other, and then a few minutes later start wondering why their train hasn't come.


At Baker Street there are computer monitors which list every train on every platform, including all stations served.


  Copyright (c) 1998