What is the Northern line?

The Northern line is a deep-level tube line on the London Underground, coloured black on the Tube map.
It carries more passengers per year than any other Underground line.

Despite its name, the Northern line does not serve the northernmost stations on the Underground network although, ironically, it does serve the southernmost station and serves 16 of the Underground system’s 29 stations south of the River Thames: a proportion higher than any other line. Of the 50 stations on the Northern line, 36 are underground.

Northern line history

The London Northern line has a complicated history and the current complex arrangement of two northern branches, two central branches and the southern branch reflects its genesis as three separate railway companies that were brought together and combined in the 1920s and 1930s.

An extension in the 1920s used a route originally planned by a fourth company and abandoned plans to extend the line southwards in the 1920s and northwards in the 1930s would have incorporated parts of the routes of a two further companies. Each platform is 110 metres long

Northern line extensions

The core of the Northern line evolved from two railway companies – the City & South London Railway (C&SLR) and the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (CCE&HR). In conjunction with the works to integrate the two lines, two major extensions were undertaken; northwards to Edgware in Middlesex and southwards to Morden in Surrey.

Edgware extension

The Edgware extension utilised unused plans dating back to 1901 for the Edgware and Hampstead Railway (E&HR) which the UERL had taken over in 1912. It extended the CCE&HR line from its terminus at Golders Green to Edgware in two stages – to Hendon Central in 1923 and to Edgware in 1924. The line crossed undeveloped open countryside and, apart from a short tunnel north of Hendon Central, was on the surface.

Mornington Crescent

Mornington Crescent is a station on the Nortern line and is also a game that featured in the BBC Radio 4 comedy panel game I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. The game satirises complicated strategy games, particularly the abstruse jargon involve. The game consists of each player in turn announcing a landmark or street such as Euston or Park Lane, most often a tube station on the London Underground system. The winner is the first player to announce “Mornington Crescent.