the Victoria Line

London Underground

A Central London Tube Line

The Victoria line is a deep-level London Underground route running from Brixton in the south in Zone 2 to Walthamstow Central in the north-east in Zone 3 of London. It is coloured light blue on the Tube map. Unlike most other lines on the Underground, it runs entirely below ground. Constructed in the 1960s, it was the first entirely new tube line in London for fifty years, and was designed to relieve congestion on other lines, in particular the Piccadilly line and the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line. The line has always been operated using automatic train operation, but all trains carry drivers.

The Victoria line is used by 200 million passengers each year, making it the sixth most heavily used line on the network in absolute figures, but in terms of the average number of journeys per mile it is by far the most intensively used line.

The Platforms

Every Victoria line station apart from Pimlico and Blackhorse Road was built as an interchange station, and several existing stations were rearranged to allow for cross-platform interchange with the new line. In some cases this was achieved by placing the Victoria line platforms on either side of the existing station; in others, the Victoria line uses one of the older platforms and the existing line was diverted into a new platform. At many points across the network interchanges with other tube lines are provided, which facilitate a wide variety of north/south journeys across central London.

Each platform constructed specifically for the Victoria line from new is 132.6 metres (435 ft) long. The line has hump-backed stations to allow trains to store gravitational potential energy as they slow down and release it when they leave a station, providing an energy saving of 5% and making the trains run 9% faster to a speed of 87.2 km/h.

Line Service

Trains run every two minutes during peak periods. In normal service all trains run from Brixton to Seven Sisters, with roughly three out of five continuing to Walthamstow Central.

The line is equipped with an Automatic Train Operation system (ATO); the train operator closes the train doors and presses a pair of "start" buttons, and if the way ahead is clear, the ATO drives the train at a safe speed to the next station. This system has operated since the line opened in 1968, making the Victoria line the world's first full-scale automatic railway.

The original signalling has now been replaced with a more modern ATO system from Westinghouse Rail Systems. LUL claims that this is the world's first ATO-on-ATO upgrade. The new system allowed a revised timetable to be introduced from February 2013, allowing up to 33 trains per hour instead of 27. This in combination with the new, faster trains will increase the line's capacity overall by 21%, equivalent to an extra 10,000 passengers per hour.

Starting 12 September 2015, a 24-hour Night Tube service now runs on Friday and Saturday nights on the entire Victoria line.