Tube Directions

Underground transport systems in the world have different systems for indicating which way a train is going, and which platform to use. The New York Subway uses uptown and downtown, qualified by fast or slow. The Paris Metro uses the concept of "diréction X".

The London Underground uses a combination of compass directions (northbound, southbound, eastbound, westbound), destination and via.

  • Circle Line takes its direction from whichever other cut and cover line it is sharing tracks with. On this website, we have indicated "clockwise" or "anticlockwise", but this term is not used in the stations themselves. All train directions are announced as "via".
  • District Line runs west to east throughout, even though the branches to Richmond and [Wimbledon]? turn south.
  • Victoria Line runs northeast to south. All indications are northbound or southbound.
  • Northern Line runs north south with two routes through central London and two branches in north London. So, to be unambiguous, announcements quote both "to" and "via", e.g. a Barnet train via Charing Cross, or an [Edgware]? train via Bank. Note that trains to both destinations can go via both routes.
  • Bakerloo Line runs northwest to southeast, but is indicated as northbound or southbound.
  • Central Line runs east west. There is no ambiguity until the fork at Leytonstone, where the trains on the Hainault loop go via [Newbury Park]?. There are also some trains that go the other way round the loop, i.e. to [Hainault]? via [Woodford]?.
Last edited 2006-01-19 22:13:52 (version 3; diff). List all versions.