Some basic London Underground station statistics

and some issues that this raises

Introduction

As with the main line network, statistics surrounding London Underground station numbers are not straightforward to compile. What constitutes a station is a matter contaminated by issues around ownership, name, management and when stations were combined.

The following list is compiled from the most accurate source of opening and closure dates available. In order to inject consistency into an area where many have operated on a subjective basis, it is taken that irrespective of ownership by individual London Underground predecessors a station only counts as a single entry if it were possible to pass from one to another via a single property boundary. Thus Oxford Circus (which had two station buildings on opposite sides of the road, one for each railway) counts as one station as there was always low level interchange available between lines. Contrariwise,  Notting Hill Gate is counted as two stations until 1959 as (though they were nearby) there was no connection between them until 1959 when an interchange subway was built. Hammersmith counts as two stations, still. It is hoped that this approach seems reasonable and will accord with what passengers experience. Without some kind of reasonable and coherent rule, the compilation of any kind of statistical record becomes chaotic.

There are inevitably borderline cases. For example, Kings Cross is counted as two stations until 1978 because the Pentonville Road station (that only served main line trains) was not hitherto connected with the main Underground station. It is true that there existed a very long, tortuous subway for some years before the Second World War that connected the tube and former Metropolitan Line stations but this was effectively a public subway and could not credibly create anything resembling a single station. Paddington (suburban) and the Circle and Bakerloo station is still counted as two. Bank-Monument is counted as one after the escalator link was put in, in September 1933. Stations owned or managed jointly with a main line company are included as owned or managed by LU alone (I do have separate figures but they are not shown in here as it would make the table unduly complicated).

For the reasons described there may occasionally be slight discrepancies with officially produced statistics, not themselves consistent. For example LU currently claims to serve 270 stations with stations owned/managed 260 (a difference of ten). My numbers are 269 and 262, a difference of seven. The basis upon which the LU numbers are arrived at are not explained (I conjecture a reason in note at the end).

I give as an example the year 1939 where my table shows drop of two 'owned' and drop of one 'worked through' compared with 1938.  This is accounted for by St Johns Wood (Bakerloo) opening but Lords, Marlborough Road and St Mary's closed, a net reduction of two. On the other hand East Finchley was also freshly 'served' (it was then an LNER station) so reduction of stations 'served' is only one. 1939 was an easy year, disentangling some other locations was much more fun, especially where LU statistics were wrong.

There are some areas for debate, for example the treatment of the East London Railway. The approach taken here observes that the East London Railway was purchased by the Southern Railway in 1925 and so LU is not strictly its successor in title. The opening dates therefore reflect the coming into being of the joint committee that operated the line from 1884 when Met and District Railways obtained an interest (which interests endured to be passed to LT). I have adopted a similar approach with regard to the Brill Tramway (never owned by the Metropolitan) but NOT, for example, with the Aylesbury & Buckingham Railway which the Metropolitan absorbed absolutely in 1892 and where it therefore seems reasonable to include its stations as though they were any other London Transport consituent.



Basic London Underground Passenger Station Numbers Data

The table on the right shows the following, in column order:
(1) Year, being position on last day of calendar year indicated (or estimated in the case of current year);
(2) Number of passenger stations owned by, managed by or leased to LU, whether or not actually served by LU trains, where LU means London Underground or its predecessors in title.
(3) Number of stations managed by or served by LU trains, being all the stations in column 2 plus stations served by LU trains that are not managed by LU (whether owned or not). LU means London Underground or its predecessors in title.

General Notes:

(a) the term 'Stations owned or managed' means stations 'owned' whether wholly, partly or jointly and includes stations 'owned' even if not served by LU trains. It also includes stations where some services are provided by other operators and stations which are leased to or managed by LU even where another party may be the freeholder. It does not include the unusual circumstance where stations may have been vested in LU but were for some years staffed and managed by another operator.

(b) the term 'Stations served' means all of the above, plus any other stations actually served by LU trains.

Explanation for discrepancy between my numbers and those of LU:

It will be noted that on this website it is suggested LU has 262 stations owned or managed, and 269 stations served (so there are just seven more stations served that LU does not own or manage). The equivalent LU numbers given on their website and in official statistics is 260 stations owned or managed, and 270 served (suggesting ten stations that are served but neither owned or managed). How can this be?

LU has supplied me with their basic station data which also totals 262 stations owned or managed, but then add that TWO stations are omitted as they are treated as single stations for ‘management’ purposes. However, their 262 includes both Bank and Monument but omits Ealing Broadway while this site includes Ealing Broadway but counts Bank/Monument as a single station; thus (by accident) we agree the managed station total is 262, though the list is slightly different. The two stations counted singly by LU for ‘management’ purposes are Bank/Monument and Paddington H&C with Paddington District, Circle & Bakerloo. So that is the explanation for their publishing their station total as 260.

LU have then supplied me with their list of additional stations that are served, but not owned or managed, and there are EIGHT of them. I can share with you that these are: Barking, Ealing Broadway, Heathrow T5, Kensington (Olympia), Richmond, Upminster, Willesden Junction, Wimbledon. It is fairly obvious that either the grand total should be the sum of the stated managed stations (260) plus the above eight, making it 268, or that if the grand total is going to be 270 then the stated number of managed stations has to be the 262 number. Quoting 260/270 cannot be correct. LU noted in their message to me that ‘there is a slight discrepancy between the number managed / served (262 / 8) in the attached and those published on our website’.

Having said that, LU includes Ealing Broadway in their list of stations served (but not owned), whereas I regard that station as partly owned and include it in the list of managed or owned stations (and have already said LU omits it). This explains why my total of stations served is 269, rather than LU's 270. My reasoning for this treatment is that there are over seventy stations that are not wholly LU freehold so I treat any of them where part of it is freehold as though it was fully owned, or statistical analysis would rapidly become intolerable. The District Line platforms at Ealing Broadway are definitely LU freehold and always have been, but LU has evidently taken the view that the fact that tickets are sold from the main line ticket office is the deciding factor (I think the Central platforms were technically owned by the Western Region until the 1980s, but that position was later altered). Of course, if LU excluded the station from their additional eight then they would have to add it it to their managed list, making it 263 (or 261, if double counting Bank/Monument and Paddington are excluded). Their email made no promise to rectify the mistake, but at least you now know what is going on.

It should also be noted that 11 of the LU managed stations are actually owned by and leased from Network Rail and also appear in the list of main line station numbers, creating a degree of double counting in the total number of GB railway stations. The next task is to get to the bottom of all that, as those numbers invite considerable suspicion.

Note: Some pre 1933 totals reworked recently in light of better information.

(1)
Year
(2)
Total stations owned or managed
(3)
Total stations served by LU trains
2012 262 269
2011 262 269
2010 262 269
2009 262 269
2008 261 268
2007 250 267
2006 254 273
2005 255 274
2004 255 274
2003 255 274
2002 255 274
2001 255 274
2000 255 274
1999 255 274
1998 248 268
1997 248 268
1996 248 268
1995 248 268
1994 248 268
1993 248 271
1992 248 271
1991 248 271
1990 248 271
1989 248 271
1988 248 271
1987 248 271
1986 248 271
1985 247 270
1984 247 270
1983 247 270
1982 247 270
1981 247 276
1980 248 277
1979 248 277
1978 249 278
1977 249 278
1976 248 277
1975 248 277
1974 249 278
1973 249 278
1972 250 279
1971 249 278
1970 247 276
1969 244 276
1968 232 276
1967 228 272
1966 224 273
1965 224 273
1964 224 273
1963 224 273
1962 224 273
1961 224 273
1960 227 277
1959 227 277
1958 230 280
1957 230 280
1956 230 280
1955 230 280
1954 230 280
1953 230 280
1952 230 280
1951 230 280
1950 230 280
1949 231 281
1948 225 275
1947 202 264
1946 197 252
1945 196 249
1944 196 249
1943 196 249
1942 196 249
1941 196 249
1940 195 247
1939 195 244
1938 197 245
1937 197 245
1936 198 246
1935 200 249
1934 205 253
1933 206 253
1932 204 249
1931 198 237
1930 198 237
1929 198 237
1928 198 237
1927 198 237
1926 198 237
1925 191 230
1924 189 228
1923 187 226
1922 183 220
1921 184 221
1920 184 221
1919 184 219
1918 184 218
1917 184 218
1916 184 207
1915 184 206
1914 180 200
1913 179 199
1912 178 196
1911 174 194
1910 174 194
1909 173 193
1908 172 192
1907 168 187
1906 149 168
1905 130 150
1904 127 152
1903 122 147
1902 115 140
1901 112 128
1900 109 125
1899 93 109
1898 88 104
1897 88 104
1896 87 103
1895 87 103
1894 87 103
1893 87 103
1892 87 103
1891 82 98
1890 81 97
1889 75 91
1888 72 84
1887 72 84
1886 70 82
1885 71 82
1884 69 89
1883 56 75
1882 53 63
1881 52 62
1880 52 62
1879 47 57
1878 39 49
1877 39 49
1876 39 44
1875 38 43
1874 37 42
1873 35 40
1872 35 40
1871 35 40
1870 33 37
1869 30 34
1868 29 32
1867 12 14
1866 12 14
1865 12 13
1864 10 11
1863 7 7
1862 0 0