Whitechapel and Bow Railway

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Whitechapel and Bow Railway
Whitechapel (St Mary's)
Stepney Green
Mile End
Bow Road

The Whitechapel and Bow Railway was an underground railway in east London, United Kingdom, now entirely integrated into the London Underground system.[1] It was a joint venture between the Metropolitan District Railway and the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway.


Railway Clearing House diagram of the Whitechapel area, 1906.

Joint owners[edit]

From 1902 to 1950 it was owned and operated as a joint venture. Initially the arrangement was between the Metropolitan District Railway (commonly called the District Railway) and the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway. Both companies went through a series of amalgamations; the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway was purchased by the Midland Railway in 1912. It was subsequently grouped into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923 and was nationalised in 1948 as part of British Railways; the District Railway was part of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London and was absorbed into the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933. This was nationalised as the London Transport Executive in 1948. Complete ownership of the Whitechapel and Bow Railway passed to the London Transport Executive in 1950.[2]


The two mile long line opened in 1902 and linked the Metropolitan District Railway at Whitechapel (St Mary's) with the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway at an above-ground junction at Bow, to the west of Bromley station; the line from Whitechapel to Bow, and on to East Ham, was electrified in 1905.[3] Regular services were provided by the District Railway with joint stock. A through Ealing Broadway to Southend service was also provided from 1910 to 1939, traction west of Barking being provided by District Railway's electric locomotives; the LMS extended electrified track east from Barking and electric District Railway trains reached Upminster in 1932.[3]

List of stations[edit]

Current operations[edit]

Today the short line forms part of the District line and Hammersmith & City line, between Whitechapel and Bow Road stations.[3]


  1. ^ Wolmar, C., Subterranean Railway, (2004)
  2. ^ "Transport Act, 1947" (PDF). The London Gazette. 27 January 1950. p. 480. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Bruce, J Graeme (1983). Steam to Silver. London Transport. pp. 46–47.