London Underground - Piccadilly Line: West of Leicester Square
Created | Updated Apr 12, 2007
East London Line | Metropolitan Line: East of Harrow | Northern Line: High Barnet and Bank Branches | Northern Line: Morden Branch | Northern Line: Edgware and Charing Cross Branches | Piccadilly Line: North of Leicester Square | Piccadilly Line: West of Leicester Square | Victoria Line | Waterloo & City Line
After running more or less north to south from Cockfosters to Holborn, the Piccadilly line turns westwards, passing through Leicester Square on its journey towards Acton Town. Just before it reaches Acton Town, the line splits into two branches. The first of these heads south-west towards Heathrow, where the lines runs in a loop past Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4, with a short branch heading towards Terminal 5. Meanwhile, the second branch turns northwards, heading up to meet the Metropolitan line at Rayners Lane before running parallel with it to a terminus at Uxbridge. For details of the history of the Piccadilly line, see the Piccadilly Line: North of Leicester Square section of this guide.
See the Northern Line: Edgware and Charing Cross Branches section of this guide.
This station serves the Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines and sits beneath the Piccadilly Circus road junction, with exits at all four corners. The station opened in 1906, with a booking hall designed by Leslie Green. However, the original surface building that had been sandwiched between Piccadilly Circus and Haymarket was closed in 1929 when the new ticket hall opened beneath the road junction, with the old entrance being demolished during the 1980s. Two sets of escalators or a spiral staircase can be used to access the concourse above the Bakerloo line, with two separate staircases leading from the concourse to each platform. A similar set-up allows access to the Piccadilly line, and the two lines are linked by stairs leading up from the Piccadilly line to the Bakerloo line. Access to the platforms is therefore via steps and escalators. The station is only a short way west of Leicester Square and the rest of the West End, and lies close to the Trocadero and the Royal Academy of Arts, though the latter is also a short walk from Green Park station.
See the Victoria line section of this guide.
This station is now closed - see Abandoned Lines and Stations.
Hyde Park Corner
This station is situated beneath Hyde Park Corner junction, and although the station is now accessed via subways running underneath the junction, it originally featured a Leslie Green surface building, which was situated on the south side of the junction and became disused during the 1930s. This was due to the lifts being replaced by escalators, causing the entrance to be moved, with the lift shafts and old surface building now serving as ventilation shafts. Access to the platform is therefore via steps and escalators. The station sits between Green Park and Hyde Park, and is close to both the Wellington Arch and Museum and Buckingham Palace, though the latter is more pleasantly reached by alighting at Green Park station and walking south towards the palace.
This station is located on the south side of Brompton Road, having originally had its Leslie Green surface building a little way west of the junction between Brompton Road, Knightsbridge and Sloane Street, along with a rear exit on nearby Basil Street. However, in the 1930s the station's lifts were replaced with escalators, leading to a great deal of rebuilding work underground and the construction of a new ticket office directly underneath the Sloane Street junction. The old station entrances were closed and later demolished, with subway entrances appearing on each side of the junction and an entrance added to the building on the corner of Brompton Road and Sloane Street. Additionally, an extra entrance and exit were added near Harrods, leading from the west end of the platforms. The opening of this second entrance lead to the closure of the nearby Brompton Road station. The second entrance was expanded in 2004 to improve passenger flow even more. Access to the platforms is via escalators and steps.
The station's continuous problems with overcrowding over the years are due to the presence of nearby 'emporiums' such as Harrods and Harvey Nichols. The station is also one of the closest to the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park, although Hyde Park Corner and Lancaster Gate stations offer more pleasant solutions.
This station is now closed - see Abandoned Lines and Stations.
South Kensington to Turnham Green
The line then runs from South Kensington to Turnham Green with the stations in between also being served by the District line. For information about these stations1 see the District Line: West of South Kensington section of this guide2. The line runs in a separate tube until just east of Barons Court, then surfaces to run between the District line tracks until Acton Town, passing through the stations after Hammersmith without calling. However, the District line station at Turnham Green is served by Piccadilly line trains early mornings and late evenings.
This station is situated next to Gunnersbury Lane (A4000). The station lies on a complex junction where the two pairs of tracks belonging to the District and Piccadilly lines give rise to one pair of shared tracks heading off towards Ealing Common, while the four tracks from Turnham Green continue off towards South Ealing. This is due to the way in which the Piccadilly line was built alongside the District line between Barons Court and Northfields, leading to superfluous platforms at South Ealing and Northfields while providing only one pair of platforms at Ealing Common. The station also used to act as one terminus of a shuttle line to South Acton station, which is now disused - see Abandoned Lines and Stations.
The station is a short way north-east of Gunnersbury Park and is actually closer to the park than Gunnersbury station. The station is also close to Acton Hospital, and generally lies near a mix of industrial and residential areas. The Acton Depot lies just north of the station, and is used to house many reserve museum pieces, which are available for viewing at certain times of the year. The station has toilet facilities and access to the platforms is via steps, although interchange between lines in the same direction is step-free.
Situated on South Ealing Road, this station lies northwest of Gunnersbury Park and sits in the middle of a generally residential area. Due to the way in which the Piccadilly line was extended alongside the District line from Hammersmith to Northfields, this station has four platforms of which only the inner two are needed. Its District line legacy also means that this station was originally opened in 1883, although its surface building shows signs of being rebuilt in the 1932 when the Piccadilly line was extended. It had been thought at the time that the station would be moved eastwards away from the nearby Northfields station, but this never happened and it took until 1988 for the temporary wooden booking hall to be replaced by the current building. This station is one of only two to contain all five vowels, the other being Mansion House. Access to the platform is via steps.
This station on Northfield Avenue was still just a small halt on the Metropolitan District Railway line when the line was electrified in 1907, but a permanent station was built in 1911. In 1932, this building was moved to the east side of Northfield avenue to allow room for a depot and railway sidings, and the current station building was built. This station has four platforms due to the District line service that used to call there, with the outer two platforms now being used only as a terminus due to the presence of the train depot just to the west. Although this causes much grief for those bound for Heathrow who have to haul their luggage over to the middle platform, it reduces the distance to the exit for those who wanted to finish their journey here anyway.
The Art Deco station building was designed by Charles Holden and is a listed building, and was recently refurbished complete with 1930s underground signs, though the modern ticket barriers tend to ruin the atmosphere. The station is, however, still waiting for indicator boards which display more information than the helpful Please keep luggage with you at all times and 1. Eastbound train. Due to its history, the station is relatively large, with a spacious concourse where a flower stall can be found on most days. This station was the first to use kestrels to kill the subterranean pigeons there. The station has toilet facilities, and access to the platforms is via steps, though step-free interchange is usually available between terminating and continuing westbound trains.
Originally opened in 1883 as Boston Road (after the A3002), this station is similar to Northfields in that it is Art Deco and is a listed building, having been rebuilt in the 1930s. However, since the Piccadilly line runs along the original District line tracks from Boston Manor to Hounslow West, the stations are all smaller in size than Northfields, and the interior of Boston Manor station is decidedly cramped, especially with the ticket barriers. The station has been refurbished recently, with the addition of waiting rooms on the platform as though both platforms have roofs covering about a third of length with only two benches along the entire length. Unfortunately, it would seem that the historical architecture of the building has been forgotten, as the waiting rooms look like a pair plastic boxes with roofs sloping in opposite direction to the platform roofs. The station has toilet facilities, and access to the platforms is via steps.
After calling regularly at the previous stops, the line passes under the M4, over the Grand Union Canal and then runs through the middle of a golf course to reach Osterley. This 1934 station replaced the 1883 Osterley & Spring Grove station just to the north only a year after the Piccadilly line service began, and the platforms and signal box of the original station can still be seen from the trains between Boston Manor and Osterley. The station has a trademark Charles Holden brick tower topped with an obelisk. The station lies just north of the A4 and so access from the south is via a pedestrian subway and a footbridge over the line. The station has toilet facilities, and access to the platforms is via steps.
This station sits next to Stirling Grove on a viaduct above road level, and so access to the platforms is via stairs or wheelchair-friendly lifts. Until a few years ago the westbound platform at this station had no building or shelter at all and was accessible from the adjacent road. There is now a surface building on both sides of the station, and the two sides are linked by tunnel, allowing access to the eastbound platforms from the entrance on the westbound side. Though reasonably pleasant, the new buildings look out of place when compared with the surrounding buildings, and the shelter on the eastbound side which is about third of length of platform doesn't match either.
Originally, the line would split just before reaching Hounslow East's location, with tracks heading towards the now-disused Hounslow Town3 terminus while the others continued towards Hounslow Central. Hounslow East opened as Hounslow Town when the original Hounslow Town closed in 1909, with the new station changing its name to 'Hounslow East' in 1925.
This station opened as Heston & Hounslow in 1886, two years after the line reached Hounslow West, and is the only station on this part of the line to still occupy its originally-intended position. The station buildings were replaced in 1912, and the station was given its current name in 1925, at the same time as its neighbours were renamed Hounslow East and West. The station has toilet facilities, and is unusual in that it has an island platform which is reached by walking under the line and up a set of steps in between the tracks.
This station originally opened in 1884 as 'Hounslow Barracks', being renamed in 1925 and having new surface buildings added around 1931. The station originally opened as the line's terminus, replacing Hounslow Town, although its predecessor reopened for a short while during the 1900s. The platforms were later re-sited in 1975 onto the subsurface extension to Hatton Cross which surfaces only to cross over the River Crane, with the new set of platforms lying just after the entrance to the tunnel. Meanwhile, the old 1931 station building sits on the Bath Road a little way south of the line. The station has a car park, and access to the platforms is step-free.
This station opened in 1975 and was a terminus until Heathrow Central station opened two years later. Unlike most of the underground parts of the Piccadilly line, the section around Hatton Cross was built using the cut-and-cover method used to build the Metropolitan and other subsurface lines. The station lies on the Great South West Road (A30), with the single storey glass and concrete block incorporating the local bus station. The station has a car park, and access to the platforms is via steps.
The first station to open at Heathrow Airport was Heathrow Central in 1977, which acted as a terminal until the line was made into a single track loop to incorporate a new station near Terminal 4. Heathrow Central then became Heathrow Terminals 1, 2, 3, with trains calling at Terminal 4 and then Terminals 1, 2, 3. During the construction of the loop, a widened section was built in anticipation of a fifth terminal at Heathrow, but unfortunately the terminal has since been constructed away from the Piccadilly line loop. However, the line to the original station at Terminals 1, 2, 3 was extended in 2006 to reach Terminal 5, with a new station opening near the new terminal. Alternate trains now either follow the single track loop past Terminal 4 or terminate at Terminal 5:
- Hatton Cross - T4 - T123 - Hatton Cross
- Hatton Cross - T123 - T5 - T123 - Hatton Cross
The Heathrow Express overground service from Paddington runs non-stop to Heathrow Central and then terminates at Terminal 4, while the Heathrow Connect stopping service currently terminates at Heathrow Central. However, it is anticipated that these roles will be swapped, with the Express stopping only at Heathrow Central. The tube stations each have lifts available for disabled use, with Terminals 1, 2, 3 having subways and travelators to the terminal buildings.
Ealing Common lies on the Uxbridge Road (A3040) and is the first station on the branch off towards Uxbridge, and is shared by the Piccadilly and District lines from Acton Town which split just to the north of the station. This means that each of the two platforms serves both lines, with the platform height coming in between that of the two types of trains calling at the station. This means that interchange between trains in the same direction is step-free, although there is a drop between District line trains and the platform. The station opened in 1879 on the District line extension from Turnham Green to Ealing Broadway, with a line to Park Royal opening in 1903, which was eventually extended to meet the line from Uxbridge at South Harrow. The station building was replaced with a Charles Holden one in 1931. The following year, the Piccadilly line took over the line towards South Harrow and Uxbridge, with the District line keeping its terminus at Ealing Broadway.
After crossing over the Central line, the Piccadilly line splits off from the District line, which heads west to terminate at Ealing Broadway. The Piccadilly line's next stop is at North Ealing station, which lies 500 metres west along Queens Drive from West Acton on the Central line. The station opened in 1903 on the District line extension towards Park Royal, with North Ealing being a quiet rural area until the tube arrived. The station has a car park and toilet facilities, and access to the platforms is via steps.
This station was opened in 1931 on the extension to South Harrow, and replaced the earlier 1903 station at Park Royal & Twyford Abbey a little way to the north. The current station sits just south of Western Avenue (A40), and can be accessed from the north via a footbridge over the Central line and a subway under the A40. The first station building was a temporary wooden ticket hall, which was replaced by the current Charles Holden building in 1936. The station has a toilet, and access to the platforms is via steps. There are plans for a station to open on the Central line to the east of the point where the Piccadilly and Central lines cross, with this station being separate from the existing Piccadilly line stop.
Having opened in 1903, this station lies on the Ealing Road (A4039) between Alperton and Perivale. For this reason, the station was known as Perivale Alperton until 1906, as it serves both industrial/residential areas. The station sits just to the north of the Grand Union Canal from Paddington, and is surrounded by a bus garage and the local secondary school. The wooden station building was replaced with a concrete and glass block designed by Charles Holden. The station has toilet facilities, and access to the platforms is via steps.
This station lies on Station Approach just off Bridgewater Road (A4005) in a generally residential area, and features another Charles Holden concrete and glass box, which replaced the original in 1931. Sudbury Town tube lies only a few hundred metres south Sudbury & Harrow overground station, which is served by the Chiltern Railways line from Birmingham, which calls at Wembley Stadium before terminating at Marylebone. The station has a car park, and access to the platforms is step-free.
This station lies next to Greenford Road, and has the same Charles Holden style surface buidling as the previous stations on this section of the line. The tube stop is only a short distance from Sudbury Hill Harrow overground station on the Chiltern London to Birmingham line, with the next stop towards Birmingham being South Ruislip. The tube station has toilet facilities, and access to the platforms is via steps.
This station opened in 1903 as the northern terminus of the District line, with a further extension being opened, via a viaduct over Roxeth Marsh, to meet the Metropolitam line at Rayners lane in 1910. Although the Piccadilly line took over the service from Ealing to South Harrow in 1932, a short District line service between South Harrow and Uxbridge ran for another year before the Piccadilly line took over. The station was relocated southwards to its current position on Northolt Road (A312) in 1935, with the new building being designed by Charles Holden. The station has toilet facilities and a car park, and access to the platforms is via steps.
Rayners Lane to Uxbridge
The line then runs on the same tracks as Metropolitan line towards the terminus at Uxbridge, with half of the northbound trains terminating at Rayners Lane. For information about the stations between Rayners Lane and Uxbridge4, see the Metropolitan Line: West of Harrow section of this guide5.