Watford Junction railway station
Watford Junction is a railway station that serves Watford, Hertfordshire. The station is on the West Coast Main Line, 17 miles 34 chains from London Euston and the Abbey Line, a branch line to St Albans. Journeys to London take between 16 and 52 minutes depending on the service used: shorter times on fast non-stop trains and slower on the stopping Watford DC line services. Trains run to Clapham Junction and East Croydon via the West London Line; the station is a major hub for local bus services and the connecting station for buses to the Harry Potter studio tour. The station is located north of a viaduct over the Colne valley and south of Watford Tunnel; the first railway station to open in Watford was situated on the north side of St Albans Road 200 metres further up the line from the present-day station. This small, single-storey red-brick building was built 1836-7 when the first section of the London and Birmingham Railway was opened between London and Boxmoor; the station provided first and second-class waiting rooms, a departure yard, a carriage shed and engine house.
The platforms were situated in a deep cutting, accessed via a staircase. In its 21 years of operation it served as a station for royalty; the old station closed when it was replaced by a new, larger station, which opened on 5 May 1858. The new Watford Junction station was located south of St Albans Road in order to accommodate the newly constructed branch line to St Albans; the junction station was rebuilt in 1909, was extensively redeveloped in the 1980s. The Grade-II-listed Old Station House still stands at 147A St Albans Road, a rare surviving example of architecture from the beginning of the railway age, today the building is occupied by a second-hand car dealership. In 1862, the Watford and Rickmansworth Railway opened a route from Watford to Rickmansworth. Now closed, this route began by running south and west to a more central station on Watford's High Street, which remains in use. From 1846, the L&BR was absorbed into the London and North Western Railway and Watford Junction was now run by this large, ambitious company.
Seeking to compete with local buses and trams, the LNWR built an additional suburban line from Euston to Watford in the early years of the 20th century, now known as the Watford DC Line. This veered away from the main line at Bushey to loop around Watford to pass through the High Street station. A second suburban branch line was built from High Street west towards Croxley Green to serve new housing developments in that area. Both branches were electrified as part of this improvement plan, on the same DC three-rail system; the Rickmansworth branch was connected to the Main Line via two through platforms with a junction to the north. At one time tube-style trains were used on the branches to counter the low voltage caused by the lack of a sub-station near Rickmansworth; the Bakerloo line was extended to Watford Junction in 1917, giving a shared service north of Willesden Junction with the main line electric trains which served Euston and Broad Street stations. However, since 1982 the line north of Harrow & Wealdstone has only been served by what is now the London Overground service from Euston station.
Oyster Card capability was extended to this station on 11 November 2007 on both the London Overground and Southern. It was extended to London Midland services on 18 November 2007. However, the station is outside London fare zones special fares apply. With the electrification of the entire West London Line in the 1990s, it became practical to run services from Watford Junction to Clapham Junction, allowing passengers to cross London without changing trains. Southern rail now operate an hourly service from Milton Keynes through Watford to East Croydon with connections to Brighton and Gatwick; the LNWR built a locomotive depot at the station in 1856, replaced by a larger building in 1872, further enlarged in 1890. It was closed by British Railways in March 1965. In 1984 the Victorian station buildings were demolished and the station was rebuilt in a modern architectural style with a travel centre and a large office block above the station, occupied by the lorry and bus manufacturing company Iveco.
Some 19th-century waiting rooms survived, but were demolished in 1987. To enlarge the car park and provide more space, the St. Albans branch line was realigned northwards, with the original St. Albans platforms becoming a single terminating bay now used by Southern services; the station forecourt was extensively remodelled in 2013. Due to problems with the road layout, buses were unable to gain access to the bus station, there were problems with access to the relocated car park. London Northwestern Railway are considering revising the design. Further redevelopment of the station and its surroundings is planned for the next 10 years, they may be delayed because the redevelopment of Watford Junction has been placed within the Pre-Qualification pool of proposed schemes by the Department for Transport. On 3 February
World Geodetic System
The World Geodetic System is a standard for use in cartography and satellite navigation including GPS. This standard includes the definition of the coordinate system's fundamental and derived constants, the ellipsoidal Earth Gravitational Model, a description of the associated World Magnetic Model, a current list of local datum transformations; the latest revision is WGS 84, established in 1984 and last revised in 2004. Earlier schemes included WGS 72, WGS 66, WGS 60. WGS 84 is the reference coordinate system used by the Global Positioning System; the coordinate origin of WGS 84 is meant to be located at the Earth's center of mass. The WGS 84 meridian of zero longitude is the IERS Reference Meridian, 5.3 arc seconds or 102 metres east of the Greenwich meridian at the latitude of the Royal Observatory. The WGS 84 datum surface is an oblate spheroid with equatorial radius a = 6378137 m at the equator and flattening f = 1/298.257223563. The polar semi-minor axis b equals a × = 6356752.3142 m. WGS 84 uses the Earth Gravitational Model 2008.
This geoid defines the nominal sea level surface by means of a spherical harmonics series of degree 360. The deviations of the EGM96 geoid from the WGS 84 reference ellipsoid range from about −105 m to about +85 m. EGM96 differs from the original WGS 84 geoid, referred to as EGM84. WGS 84 uses the World Magnetic Model 2015v2; the new version of WMM 2015 became necessary due to extraordinarily large and erratic movements of the north magnetic pole. The next regular update will occur in late 2019. Efforts to supplement the various national surveying systems began in the 19th century with F. R. Helmert's famous book Mathematische und Physikalische Theorien der Physikalischen Geodäsie. Austria and Germany founded the Zentralbüro für die Internationale Erdmessung, a series of global ellipsoids of the Earth were derived. A unified geodetic system for the whole world became essential in the 1950s for several reasons: International space science and the beginning of astronautics; the lack of inter-continental geodetic information.
The inability of the large geodetic systems, such as European Datum, North American Datum, Tokyo Datum, to provide a worldwide geo-data basis Need for global maps for navigation and geography. Western Cold War preparedness necessitated a standardised, NATO-wide geospatial reference system, in accordance with the NATO Standardisation AgreementIn the late 1950s, the United States Department of Defense, together with scientists of other institutions and countries, began to develop the needed world system to which geodetic data could be referred and compatibility established between the coordinates of separated sites of interest. Efforts of the U. S. Army and Air Force were combined leading to the DoD World Geodetic System 1960; the term datum as used here refers to a smooth surface somewhat arbitrarily defined as zero elevation, consistent with a set of surveyor's measures of distances between various stations, differences in elevation, all reduced to a grid of latitudes and elevations. Heritage surveying methods found elevation differences from a local horizontal determined by the spirit level, plumb line, or an equivalent device that depends on the local gravity field.
As a result, the elevations in the data are referenced to the geoid, a surface, not found using satellite geodesy. The latter observational method is more suitable for global mapping. Therefore, a motivation, a substantial problem in the WGS and similar work is to patch together data that were not only made separately, for different regions, but to re-reference the elevations to an ellipsoid model rather than to the geoid. In accomplishing WGS 60, a combination of available surface gravity data, astro-geodetic data and results from HIRAN and Canadian SHORAN surveys were used to define a best-fitting ellipsoid and an earth-centered orientation for each of selected datum; the sole contribution of satellite data to the development of WGS 60 was a value for the ellipsoid flattening, obtained from the nodal motion of a satellite. Prior to WGS 60, the U. S. Army and U. S. Air Force had each developed a world system by using different approaches to the gravimetric datum orientation method. To determine their gravimetric orientation parameters, the Air Force used the mean of the differences between the gravimetric and astro-geodetic deflections and geoid heights at selected stations in the areas of the major datums.
The Army performed an adjustment to minimize the difference between astro-geodetic and gravimetric geoids. By matching the relative astro-geodetic geoids of the selected datums with an earth-centered gravimetric geoid, the selected datums were reduced to an earth-centered orientation. Since the Army and Air Force systems agreed remarkably well for the NAD, ED and TD areas, they were consolidated and became WGS 60. Improvements to the global system included the Astrogeoid of Irene Fischer and the astronautic Mercury datum. In January 1966, a World Geodetic System Committee composed of representatives from the United States Army and Air Force was charged with developing an improved WGS, needed to satisfy mapping and geodetic requirements. Additional surface gravity observa
North Weald railway station
North Weald railway station is on the Epping Ongar Railway, a private heritage railway, located in North Weald, Essex. The station was opened in 1865, it was latterly a Central line station on the London Underground between Epping and Blake Hall stations. The section beyond Epping to Ongar closed in 1994. North Weald station was opened by the Great Eastern Railway on 1 April 1865, serving principally as a goods yard, taking agricultural produce from the nearby farms into London. During World War II it was used by airmen travelling to and from the nearby North Weald Airfield. Steam locomotives operated by British Rail for the London Underground ran a shuttle service from Epping to Ongar from 1949 to 1957, when the track was electrified and taken over by the Central line. While the Epping to Ongar branch was operated as an isolated section of the Central line, for two days every year trains were run from London to terminate at North Weald: these trains served the North Weald airshow on the Saturday and Sunday of its opening at the aerodrome adjacent to the station.
The normal Epping to Ongar shuttle dovetailed with this service passing the terminating train on the adjacent line during its southbound journey. The line from Epping to Ongar is a single-track railway apart from at North Weald, which functioned as the only available passing loop for trains travelling in opposite directions. In 1888, the eastern end of the loop was severed and it was used only as a siding; the loop was restored in 1949 after transfer to London Transport, a second platform was built at this time, both platforms were used from 1949 until 1976, the westbound track being lifted in 1978. Until this time, access to the two platforms was controlled from the original Eastern Counties Railway signal box still sited on the southbound platform to this day; until this occurred, North Weald was the last section of the Underground network to be signalled using mechanical semaphore signals. Although disused, the illuminated track diagram in the signal box continued to show the progress of trains until its closure.
The Epping to Ongar branch was not used and became unprofitable. The service was further undermined when the Greater London Council removed the running subsidy for the line because it was not within the boundary of Greater London, no comparable subsidy was forthcoming from the local government agencies in Essex, which meant that fare levels were much higher than on the rest of the Underground network; the Sunday service was dropped, the Saturday service. Subsequently, the service was restricted to a peak-only service of seven trains in each direction per day. London Transport had made repeated representations to the government to close the line, but each was refused as there was no alternative mode of transport between Epping and Ongar. A final request was made in 1994 with a proviso that the line was to be sold to a private organisation which would continue to run the services. With the promise of continued services, the government agreed to London Underground closing the line; the line, including North Weald station, was closed on 30 September 1994.
Because of the intention to continue services, the line was left intact, although the two conductor rails were lifted. However, the promised service did not materialise, it was not until 2004 that a volunteer force restored a partial service as a heritage railway; because London Underground would not provide platform space at Epping, North Weald is the westernmost terminus of the line. A shuttle does run further west as far as Coopersale, it is intended to run to a separate station facility near Epping station in the future. North Weald station, as with the rest of the 6.5-mile branch reaching to the outskirts of Epping station, is undergoing significant improvement and infrastructure works in connection with its use as a heritage railway. These works are designed with the long-term future of the branch and to enable the use of locomotive-hauled trains; the station itself has been extensively restored, with all the rooms being restored to their original uses, restoring the station to British Rail colours.
The original GER signalbox dating from 1888 is being restored, complete with its original lever frame, as part of the works to signal the passing loop, reinstated through the station. The westbound platform has been restored, with a new accessible ramp installed, an original GER latticework footbridge is in the process of being installed to replace the British Rail concrete structure; the branch once again runs locomotive-hauled trains between Ongar and North Weald, with a diesel shuttle towards Coopersale and connecting heritage buses to Epping. Local bus routes 62, 380, 381, 396, 501, SB06 and Vintage Route 339 serve the station. List of former and unopened London Underground stations Epping Ongar Railway's Official Website London's Abandoned Tube Stations - North Weald
Morden tube station
Morden is a London Underground station in Morden in the London Borough of Merton. The station is the southern terminus for the Northern line and is the most southerly station on the Underground network; the next station north is South Wimbledon. The station is located on London Road, is in Travelcard Zone 4. Nearby are Morden Hall Park, the Baitul Futuh Mosque and Morden Park; the station was one of the first modernist designs produced for the London Underground by Charles Holden. Its opening in 1926 contributed to the rapid development of new suburbs in what was a rural part of Surrey with the population of the parish increasing nine-fold in the decade 1921–1931. In the period following the end of First World War, the Underground Electric Railways Company of London began reviving a series of prewar plans for line extensions and improvements, postponed during the hostilities. Finance for the works was made possible by the government's Trade Facilities Act 1921, which, as a means of alleviating unemployment, provided for the Treasury to underwrite the value of loans raised by companies for public works.
One of the projects, postponed was the Wimbledon and Sutton Railway, a plan for a new surface line from Wimbledon to Sutton over which the UERL's District Railway had control. The UERL wished to maximise its use of the government's time-limited financial backing, and, in November 1922, presented bills to parliament to construct the W&SR in conjunction with an extension of the UERL's City and South London Railway south from Clapham Common through Balham and Merton; the C&SLR would connect to the W&SR route south of Morden station and run trains to Sutton and the District Railway would run trains between Wimbledon and Sutton. Under these proposals, the station on the C&SLR extension would have been named "North Morden" and the station on the W&SR route would have been called "South Morden"; the proposals included a depot at Morden for use by both District Railway and C&SLR trains. The Southern Railway objected to this encroachment into its area of operation and the anticipated loss of its passenger traffic to the C&SLR's more direct route to central London.
The UERL and SR reached an agreement in July 1923 that enabled the C&SLR to extend as far as Morden in exchange for the UERL giving up its rights over the W&SR route. Construction of the C&SLR extension was carried out and Morden station was opened on 13 September 1926. Once the station was opened, the UERL established Morden station, the southernmost on the system, as the hub for numerous bus routes heading further into suburban south London and northern Surrey; these routes had a significant impact on the Southern Railway's main line operations in the area, with the SR estimating in 1928 that it had lost four million passengers per year. The UERL though was able to demonstrate that its passenger numbers on its buses to Sutton station were more than double those for Morden. Across the road from the station, the UERL opened its own petrol station and garage where commuters with cars could leave their vehicles during the day; the opening of the C&SLR and the Wimbledon to Sutton line led to rapid construction of suburban housing throughout the area.
The population of the parish of Morden the most rural of the areas through which the lines passed, increased from 1,355 in 1921 to 12,618 in 1931 and 35,417 in 1951. A post-war review of rail transport in the London area produced a report in 1946 that proposed many new lines and identified the Morden branch as being the most overcrowded section of the London Underground, needing additional capacity. To relieve the congestion and to provide a new service south of Morden, the report recommended construction of a second pair of tunnels beneath the northern line's tunnels from Tooting Broadway to Kennington and an extension from Morden to North Cheam. Trains using the existing tunnels would start and end at Tooting Broadway with the service in the new tunnels joining the existing tunnels to Morden; the extension to North Cheam would run in tunnel. Designated as routes 10 and 11, these proposals were not developed by the London Passenger Transport Board or its successor organisations. Morden in 1926 was a rural area and the station was built on open farmland, giving its architect, Charles Holden, more space than had been available for the majority of the stations on the new extension which were located in built-up areas.
The stations on the Morden extension were Holden's first major project for the Underground. He was selected by Frank Pick, general manager of the UERL, to design the stations after he was dissatisfied with designs produced by the UERL's own architect, Stanley Heaps. In a letter to his friend Harry Peach, a fellow member of the Design and Industries Association, Pick explained his choice of Holden: "I may say that we are going to build our stations upon the Morden extension railway to the most modern pattern. We are going to discard all ornament. We are going to build in reinforced concrete; the station will be a hole in the wall, everything being sacrificed to the doorway and some notice above to tell you to what the doorway leads. We are going to represent the DIA gone mad, in order that I may go mad in good company I have got Holden to see that we do it properly."Built with a range of shops to both sides, the modernist design of the entrance vestibule takes the form of a double-height box clad in white Portland stone with a three-part glazed screen on the front façade divided by columns of which the capitals are three-dimensional versions of the Underground roundel.
The central panel of the screen contains a large version of the roundel. The ticket hall beyond is octagonal w
Edgware, Highgate and London Railway
The Edgware and London Railway was a railway in north London. The railway was a precursor of parts of London Underground's Northern line and was, in the 1930s the core of an ambitious expansion plan for that line, thwarted by the Second World War. Parts of the line have since been removed; the company was established by a private act of parliament passed on 3 June 1862. The route, measuring 8.75 miles, ran through parts of rural Middlesex from Finsbury Park through Stroud Green, Crouch End, Highgate and Mill Hill to Edgware. Additional acts in 1864 and 1866 granted powers to construct branch lines from Highgate to Muswell Hill and from Finchley to High Barnet respectively; the railway was sponsored by the larger Great Northern Railway, whose main line from King's Cross ran through Finsbury Park on its way to Potters Bar and the north. Before the line to Edgware was opened, it was purchased in July 1867 by the GNR and was opened as a single track line on 22 August 1867. At first, services ran from Edgware to Finsbury Park, King's Cross and, via Snow Hill tunnel, to Ludgate Hill and Loughborough Road on the south of the Thames.
After 1869, trains terminated at Moorgate. Services could run from Finsbury Park via the North London Railway to Broad Street after the Canonbury-Finsbury Park link opened in 1875. 21 trains a day ran to Finchley in 24 minutes from Kings Cross, 14 continued to Edgware. In 1870 the track between Finsbury Park and Finchley & Hendon was doubled in preparation for the opening of the High Barnet branch and Muswell Hill branch; because of the rapid rise and fall of the terrain in the area traversed by the railway, the line made extensive use of cuttings and viaducts. Notable were the cutting in Highgate Hill in which Highgate station was constructed with tunnels on either side, the viaducts over the Dollis Brook and at Muswell Hill; the High Barnet branch opened on 1 April 1872 with two intermediate stations at Woodside Park and Totteridge & Whetstone. The line to Barnet stopped short at Underhill, south of the main village located at the top of the hill; as Barnet was a larger village than Edgware and new residential development at Finchley grew at a faster pace than on the original line, the branch line became the dominant route.
Direct services from London ran to High Barnet and a shuttle service was operated between Finchley and Edgware for most passenger journeys on that section, which remained a single track. The Muswell Hill branch from Highgate to Alexandra Palace was constructed by a separate company, the Muswell Hill Railway Company and opened on 24 May 1873 along with the Palace. However, when the Palace burned down only two weeks after opening, the service was reduced and closed for two years whilst the Palace was rebuilt, it reopened in May 1875. Another separate company, the Watford and Edgware Railway, was established in the 1860s and had various plans to build a link from the EH&LR near Edgware to Watford in Hertfordshire; the W&ER was unable to attract sufficient funds for the project and the company and the right of way that it had obtained passed through the ownership of a number of other railway companies until plans were made in the 1930s to make use of its route. By the 1900s the whole line was under pressure from overcrowding.
The populations of areas along the line at Hornsey, Muswell Hill, Finchley, had increased with the rapid Victorian expansion of London, but the GNR service had not been expanded to cope. The line was congested with goods traffic coal and building materials. By 1903 the morning trains from Barnet were full by the time; as the doors of the compartments in the carriages were in those days locked with aid of a simple square key, some passengers took to purchasing these keys from local ironmongers, locking the doors from the inside. It was not unknown for harsh words and on odd occasions, for blows to be exchanged. New stations were opened at Mill Hill. In 1905 tram services were established in both Hendon and Finchley, extended shortly after to Barnet; this combined with motor transport alleviated some of the problem. This relief was competition, the GNR introduced new engines, specially designed to manage the steep inclines on the routes which slowed up the services. Further competition came from the opening of the new underground Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway to Archway and Golders Green in June 1907 a move that stimulated large scale house building to the south of the Edgware branch spreading out from Golders Green.
The GNR took over the Muswell Hill Railway in September 1911 and merged it with the rest of the line. Further developments were halted by the First World War. In 1923 as a consequence of the railway grouping instigated by the 1921 Railways Act, the GNR became part of the London and North Eastern Railway. In January 1924 the newly enlarged company announced that the line would be electrified, although little was done. Meanwhile, the CCE&HR, now part of the London Electric Railway, was using plans dating back to 1901 for the Edgware and Hampstead Railway to construct an extension of its line from Golders Green through Hendon to a new station at Edgware where it would be in direct competition with the LNER line; the Underground Group had bought up the rights of the W&ER and published proposals to further extend the l
Central line (London Underground)
The Central line is a London Underground line that runs through central London, from Epping, Essex, in the north-east to Ealing Broadway and West Ruislip in the west. Coloured red on the Tube map, the line serves 49 stations over 46 miles, it is one of only two lines on the Underground network to cross the Greater London boundary, the other being the Metropolitan line. One of London's deep-level railways, Central line trains are smaller than those on British main lines; the line was opened as the Central London Railway in 1900, crossing central London on an east–west axis, as the third deep-level Tube line to be built after electric trains made them possible. It was extended to the western suburb of Ealing. After the Second World War, the line was expanded into the constructed suburbs, taking over steam-hauled outer-suburban routes to the borders of London and beyond to the east; this realised plans, delayed by the war, when construction stopped and the unused tunnels were used as air-raid shelters and factories.
However, suburban growth proved to be less than expected, of the planned expansions one was cut short due to its location in the Metropolitan Green Belt and another closed in 1994 due to low patronage. The Central line has been operated by automatic train operation since a major refurbishment in the 1990s, although all trains still carry drivers. Many of its stations are of historic interest, from turn-of-the-century Central London Railway buildings in west London to post-war modernist designs on the West Ruislip and Hainault branches, as well as Victorian-era Eastern Counties Railway and Great Eastern Railway buildings east of Stratford, from when the line to Epping was a rural branch line. In terms of total passengers, the Central line is the busiest on the Underground. In 2011/12 over 260 million passenger journeys were recorded on the line, it operates the second-most frequent service on the network, with 34 trains per hour operating for half-an-hour in the westbound direction during the morning peak, between 27 and 30 tph during the rest of the peak.
This makes the Central line the busiest and most intensively-used railway line in the United Kingdom: it is the only Tube line running east–west through the central core of London, running under Oxford Street and the financial centre of the City of London. Crossrail, due to begin most of its core operation in autumn 2019 with full service by the end of 2019, will provide interchange with the Central line at Stratford, Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Ealing Broadway, relieving overcrowding in these areas; the Central London Railway was given permission in 1891 for a tube line between Shepherd's Bush and a station at Cornhill, the following year an extension to Liverpool Street was authorised, with a station at Bank instead of at Cornhill. The line was built following the streets above rather than running underneath buildings, because purchase of wayleave under private properties would have been expensive, as a result one line runs above another in places, with platforms at different levels at St Paul's, Chancery Lane and Notting Hill Gate stations.
The tunnels were bored with the nominal diameter of 11 feet 8 1⁄4 inches, increased on curves, reduced to 11 feet 6 inches near to stations. The tunnels rise approaching a station, to aid braking, fall when leaving, to aid acceleration; the Central London Railway was the first underground railway to have the station platforms illuminated electrically. All the platforms were lit by Crompton automatic electric arc lamps, other station areas by incandescent lamps. Both the City and South London Railway and the Waterloo and City Railway were lit by gas lamps because the power stations for these lines were designed with no spare capacity to power electric lighting. With the white glazed tiling, all underground Central London Railway platforms were brightly lit; the use of electric lighting was further made possible because the Central London was the first tube railway to use AC electrical distribution and the substation transformers were able to provide convenient voltages to run the lighting. Earlier tube lines generated DC power at the voltage required to run the trains.
The line between Shepherd's Bush and Bank was formally opened on 30 June 1900, public services beginning on 30 July. With a uniform fare of 2d the railway became known as the "Twopenny Tube", it was operated by electric locomotives hauling carriages, but the locomotive's considerable unsprung weight caused much vibration in the buildings above the line, the railway rebuilt the locomotives to incorporate geared drives. This allowed higher-speed and lighter motors to be used, which reduced the overall weight of the locomotive as well as the unsprung weight; the railway tried an alternative approach: it converted four coaches to accommodate motors and control gear. Two of these experimental motor coaches were used in a 6-coach train, the control gear being operated by the system used on the Waterloo and City Railway; the modified locomotives were a considerable improvement, but the motor coaches of an lower weight were much better still. The CLR ordered 64 new motor cars designed to use Sprague's developed traction control system.
The CLR was using the resulting electric multiple units by 1903. In July 1907, the fare was increased to 3d for eight stations; the line was extended westwards with a loop serving a single platform at Wood Lane for the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition. A reduced fare of 1d, for a journey of three or few
Underground Electric Railways Company of London
The Underground Electric Railways Company of London Limited, known operationally as the Underground for much of its existence, was established in 1902. It was the holding company for the three deep-level "tube" underground railway lines opened in London during 1906 and 1907: the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway, the Charing Cross and Hampstead Railway and the Great Northern and Brompton Railway, it was the parent company from 1902 of the District Railway, which it electrified between 1903 and 1905. The UERL is a precursor of today's London Underground; the UERL struggled financially in the first years after the opening of its lines and narrowly avoided bankruptcy in 1908 by restructuring its debt. A policy of expansion by acquisition was followed before World War I, so that the company came to operate the majority of the underground railway lines in and around London, it controlled large bus and tram fleets, the profits from which subsidised the financially weaker railways. After the war, railway extensions took the UERL's services out into suburban areas to stimulate additional passenger numbers, so that, by the early 1930s, the company's lines stretched beyond the County of London and served destinations in Middlesex, Essex and Surrey.
In the 1920s, competition from small unregulated bus operators reduced the profitability of the road transport operations, leading the UERL's directors to seek government regulation. This led to the establishment of the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933, which absorbed the UERL and all of the independent and municipally operated railway and tram services in the London area; the first deep-level tube railway, the City & South London Railway, opened in 1890. Its early success resulted in a rush of proposals to Parliament for other deep-level routes under the capital, but by 1901 only two more lines had opened: the Waterloo & City Railway in 1898 and the Central London Railway in 1900. Construction had started on one other line and stopped following a financial crisis; the rest of the companies were struggling to raise funding. The District Railway was a sub-surface underground railway which had opened in 1868, its steam-hauled services operated around the Inner Circle and on branches to Hounslow, Richmond, Ealing and New Cross.
By 1901, the DR was struggling to compete with emerging motor bus and electric tram companies and the CLR which were eroding its passenger traffic. To become more competitive, the DR was contemplating a programme of electrification, although it was not financially strong enough to raise the capital to carry out the work on its own, it had parliamentary approval for a congestion-relieving deep-level line, to run beneath its existing route between Gloucester Road and Mansion House. By 1898, American financier Charles Tyson Yerkes had made a large fortune developing the electric tramway and elevated railway systems in Chicago, but his questionable business methods, which included bribery and blackmail, had drawn the disapproving attention of the public. Yerkes had unsuccessfully attempted to bribe the city council and Illinois state legislature into granting him a 100-year franchise for the tramway system. Following a public backlash, he sold his Chicago investments and turned his attention to opportunities in London.
Yerkes' first acquisition in London was the Charing Cross and Hampstead Railway. The company had parliamentary permission to build a deep-level tube railway from Charing Cross to Hampstead and Highgate, but had been unable to raise the finance, selling only a tiny fraction of the shares available. Robert Perks, a solicitor for a number of railway companies and Member of Parliament for Louth, had suggested the CCE&HR to Yerkes and the American's consortium bought the company for £100,000 on 28 September 1900. Perks was a large shareholder in Yerkes' next target, the Metropolitan District Railway known as the District Railway or DR. By March 1901, the syndicate had acquired a controlling interest in the DR and made a proposal for its electrification. Yerkes established the Metropolitan District Electric Traction Company on 15 July 1901 with himself as managing director; the company raised £1 million to carry out the electrification works including the construction of the generating station and supplying the new electric rolling stock.
In September 1901, Perks became the DR's chairman. The Brompton and Piccadilly Circus Railway was a tube railway company, purchased by the DR in 1898, but had remained a separate financial entity, it had permission to construct a line from South Kensington to Piccadilly Circus, but had not raised the capital to do so. At South Kensington it was to connect to the deep level line planned by the DR. On 12 September 1901, the DR-controlled board of the B&PCR sold the company to the MDETC. In the same month, the B&PCR took over the Great Northern and Strand Railway, a tube railway with permission to build a line from Strand to Finsbury Park; the routes of the B&PCR and GN&SR were subsequently linked and combined with part of the DR's tube route to create the Great Northern and Brompton Railway. Yerkes' final purchase was the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway in March 1902 for £360,000; the BS&WR had permission to construct a line from Paddington to Elephant & Castle and, unlike his other tube railway purchases, construction work had started in 1898.
Substantial progress had been made before it was stopped following the collapse of the BS&WR's parent company, the London & Globe Finance Corporat