Night Tube

Night Tube
Locale Greater London
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 5
Operator(s) London Underground
Night Tube map

The Night Tube is a service pattern on the London Underground system which provides nighttime services to travellers on Friday and Saturday nights. It commenced on the Central and Victoria lines on 19 August 2016, the Jubilee line on 7 October 2016, the Northern line on 18 November 2016 and is planned to commence on the Piccadilly line on 16 December 2016.[1] It was due to start in September 2015 but was delayed due to strike action.


First Night Tube train pulling into Pimlico.
The first Victoria line Night Tube service pulling into Pimlico tube station. London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Managing Director of London Underground Mike Brown were on board.

Since the London Underground's inception, the idea of running night-time Tube services has been difficult, mainly due to night-time noise factors, and the ongoing maintenance works that usually occur during the night. General mass upgrades to the overall London Underground network from the late-1990s onwards, along with large infrastructure improvements to stations and signalling, plus the building of Crossrail (with the future probability of Crossrail 2) which will have sections going underground to connect with the main London Underground system, have made the feasibility of introducing a limited night-time Tube services a reality.

The Bakerloo, Waterloo & City and sub-surface lines have yet to be upgraded and re-signalled, but it is expected that when the signal upgrades on these lines are complete, these lines will also have 24-hour services.[2] Part of the London Overground (Highbury and Islington to New Cross) should begin Night Tube service by 2017, while the sub-surface lines and Docklands Light Railway are planned to begin Night Tube services in 2021.[3]


TfL announced in mid-2014 the introduction of the Night Tube. The initial plans were for a Friday and Saturday night service on a limited number of lines, with, on average, a train every 10 minutes or less, continuing from around midnight to 06:00 and into the usual morning service.[4][5][6][7]

Beginning with the whole of the Jubilee and Victoria lines, and parts of the Central, Northern and Piccadilly lines, the service was planned to launch on 11/12 September 2015,[8][9][10] with the prospect of expansion across further lines in subsequent years. However, due to strike action, the start of the Night Tube was postponed.[4][5][6][7]

There has been acceptance among unions over the new terms outlined by TFL. The Central and Victoria line services started on 19 August 2016. The Jubilee line services started on the 7 October 2016 with the Northern Line to follow on 18 November 2016.[11][12] The Piccadilly Line will follow on 16 December 2016.[13] Northern Line's Charing Cross is not called at by Night Tube Services and will commence night tube in July 2017.[14]

Services summary

Summary of the Night Tube service:[5]

Predicted benefits

Map of the Night Tube including service frequencies in minutes

TfL estimated that the Night Tube would lead to the creation of 1,965 permanent jobs, the net additional output produced as a result equating to an additional £360m over 30 years (i.e. £12m per year). These include:[5]

In addition to the above quantifiable benefits, other benefits TfL believe the service is likely to help create include:[5]

Strike action

Members of several unions decided to take strike action in relation to the terms and conditions being offered by London Underground, largely regarding agreements specifically over the pay deal and hours worked by new Night Tube service personnel. Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA), and Unite officially started the first 24-hour strike at 18:30 BST on 8 July 2015, and the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) drivers starting their 24-hour action from 21:30 BST on 8 July 2015, with disruption occurring several hours either side of the start and finish times. London Underground warned there could be no services on Thursday as a result of the walk-out. The strike affected all Tube lines and finished at 21:30 BST on 9 July 2015.[16]

A second 24-hour strike action by London Underground trade unions took place from 18:30 BST on 5 August 2015 until 05:00 BST on 7 August 2015, and there was no service at all on 6 August 2015.[17]

Three unions also threatened to strike on 25 and 27 August as of 12 August 2015, with talks being held to try to prevent this.[18] ASLEF decided not to participate in the planned strikes.[3]

On 27 August 2015 it was announced that the start date for the Night Tube had been pushed back due to ongoing talks about contract terms between trade unions and London Underground.[19]


  1. Matters, Transport for London | Every Journey. "The Night Tube". Transport for London. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  3. 1 2 "Tube strikes: London Underground drivers' union decides not to take part". The Guardian. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  4. 1 2 "The future of the Tube – Transport for London – Night Tube". Transport for London. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "TfL 90993 – Impact of the Night Tube on London's Night-Time Economy – Transport for London" (PDF). Transport for London. September 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  6. 1 2 "Night Tube map – Transport for London". Transport for London. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  7. 1 2 "'Historic' new Night Tube service – Transport for London". Transport for London. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  8. "'Night Tube' weekend service to launch in September 2015". BBC News. BBC. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  9. "'Night Tube' gets September 2015 launch date". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  10. Hargreaves, Ruth (24 September 2014). "London 'Night Tube' Start Date Announced". Londonist. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  11. "Night Tube services to start in August". BBC. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  12. Topham, Gwyn (1 March 2016). "Night tube moves a step closer after staff agree pay deal". The Guardian.
  13. "The Night Tube". Transport for London. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  15. "Tube strike: London Underground delays as strikes begin". BBC News. BBC. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  16. "Tube strike to bring London Underground to standstill from Wednesday - how will it affect me?". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  17. "All-night Tube service may be delayed". BBC News. BBC. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  18. "Night Tube start date postponed as talks continue". Sky News. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
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