The Tube Strike: A Guide to This Week's London Transport Chaos

By Gerald Lynch on at

Just when you thought it was safe to buy a season ticket, tube strike hell strikes again. The RMT union will hold a mass walkout across the London Underground service from 9pm tonight (Monday April 28th). Services wont return to normal until Thursday May 1st. Here's all the info you need to survive the disruption.

Following February's industrial action, members of the RMT union feel their demands have yet to be met by transport bosses, who plan to close 260 tube ticket offices putting 960 jobs at risk.

As a result, a severely limited service will be in action across most London Underground lines throughout the three days of industrial action, with trains running from 7.00am until 11pm. However, TFL warns that those later trains may depart central London significantly earlier than usual, at around 9.30pm.

While a number of stations will be closed, TFL will be running extra bus and river bus services in an attempt to plug the gap left by the tube. DLR, London Overground, tram and rail services will run as usual.

In separate industrial action, the Heathrow Express will also be running a reduced service between Tuesday 29th of April and Wednesday 30th of April. Two trains an hour will run between Heathrow and Paddington.

As you'd expect, TFL is urging would-be passengers to walk where possible, and at the very least to leave significantly earlier for journeys than usual.

Read on for a line-by-line breakdown of the expected disruptions.


The Tube Strike Disruptions

Central line
Or the "Not-So-Central" line this week, as most major central London destination stops will be out of action thanks to the strike. Trains will be running between Epping and Leytonstone every 10 minutes, and TFL hope to push this service as far as Holborn if possible. This has yet to be confirmed, so check your route before leaving. Trains will also run between West Ruislip and White City every to to 15 minutes, hopefully to be extended to Ealing Broadway. All destinations outside of the above routes will be closed, alongside Redbridge, Gants Hill and Wanstead. Lengthy wait times will lead to a severe crush on this service, so avoid the Central Line if possible.

Jubilee line
Trains will run between Wembley Park and Stratford on the Queen's own line, in both directions. However, trains will not run outside those stations, while Bermondsey, Canada Water, St. Johns Wood and Swiss Cottage stations will also be closed.

Northern line
While trains will be running from one end of the line to the other, many stations inbetween will be closed entirely. Trains will not stop at Angel, Borough, Chalk Farm, Charing Cross, Clapham North, Clapham South, Colliers Wood, Embankment, Goodge Street, Hampstead, Leicester Square, Mill Hill East, Mornington Crescent, Old Street, Oval, South Wimbledon, Tooting Bec and Warren Street. If that somehow still makes your Northern Line journey possible, expect busy trains every five minutes.

Bakerloo line
Trains between Queen’s Park and Elephant & Castle will run every six minutes, but trains will not be stopping at Edgware Road, Embankment, Kilburn Park, Lambeth North, Maida Vale, Piccadilly Circus or Regent’s Park. A trip on the Northern Line to Camden Town and short walk through Regent's Park should serve tourists looking to reach London Zoo or Madame Tussaud's.

District line
Though rains will run between Wimbledon and Barking every 12 minutes, extending to Upminster if possible. Trains will also run between Ealing Broadway and Tower Hill every 12 minutes too. However, these trains will not stop at Aldgate East, Blackfriars, Gloucester Road, Sloane Square, Stepney Green or Temple stations. Not quite as bad as the February strike then, which totally crippled the District Line.

Circle line
TFL hasn't listed specific Circle line destinations set to be disrupted. But with the line's stations served by the District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, any disruptions there will be mirrored on the Circle line.

Hammersmith & City line
Trains will run between Hammersmith and Aldgate every ten minutes in both directions, not stopping at Barbican, Euston Square and Great Portland Street. Though the big stations are knocked out, you should be able to get about here if needed.

Metropolitan line
TFL will run trains between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Aldgate roughly every ten minutes in both directions. Trains will not stop at Barbican, Euston Square or Great Portland Street. Again, it's a slight improvement over the service that ran during the last strike.

Piccadilly line
Don't bother with the Picadilly line -- it's trashed for the next few days. The central London portion of the line will be completely shut for starters. TFL does however intend to run services between Acton Town and Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3 every 20 minutes, and between Arnos Grove and Cockfosters every 12 minutes. No trains will stop at Heathrow Terminal 4 or Terminal 5, nor Hounslow West or Southgate stations. Note also the aforementioned industrial action set to hit the Heathrow Express during the strike. If you're heading to the airport, set aside some holiday spending money for a cab.

Victoria line
Trains should run between Seven Sisters and Victoria every five minutes, but will not be stopping at Warren Street, Vauxhall or Pimlico. TFL hopes to have Brixton station up and running, but this hasn't been confirmed yet.

Waterloo & City line
No service on the one-stop line.

Normal service for London's best and (ironically) driverless line.

Extra buses will be provided during the strike, as well as the standard fleet. Another opportunity during the year of the bus for the iconic red motor to prove its worth.

London Overground
Normal service all the way, right through trendy Shoreditch. Vegan cafe owners and premium coffee merchants rejoice.

Normal service out into the suburbs.

Emirates Air Line
Normal service -- an excuse to use the failing line for once.

River services
TfL promises extra riverboat services will be on offer. Avoid the Duck Tours though unless you've brought a wet suit along.

Image Credit: Big Ben and London Underground Sign from