The Anonymous Widower

Is There Going To Be More Change At Ealing Broadway Station?

Ealing Broadway station is being upgraded for Crossrail.

In the November 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, there is a Capital Connection supplement, which discusses London’s railways.

On Page 7 in a section about the sub-surface lines, this is said.

One possibility being discussed is that the Piccadilly should take over the District’s Ealing Broadway service. This would free up space on the South side of the inner-London circle for more City trains off the Wimbledon branch, one of the sub-surface network’s most-crowded routes.

On Page 15 in a section about the Mayor’s plans, this is said.

It is suggested Piccadilly Line services run to Ealing Broadway instead of the District Line, enabling increased frequencies on the latter’s Richmond and Wimbledon branches.

As the plan is mentioned twice, certainly the proposal is being thought about.

The Lines At Ealing Broadway Station

This map from shows the lines at Ealing Broadway station.

Note how the Piccadilly and District Lines share tracks from Ealing Common station, which then split with District Line trains going to Ealing Broadway station and Piccadilly Line trains going to Rayners Lane and Uxbridge stations.

If the change happened and Ealing Broadway station was only served by the Piccadilly and Central Lines of the Underground, then there might be opportunities to improve the efficiency of the Underground side of the station.

Crossrail Effects On Access To Heathrow

Crossrail will change the way a lot of passengers go to and from Heathrow Airport.

Crossrail To Heathrow

From May 2018, the service will be.

  • 4 trains per hour (tph) between Paddington and Heathrow Central and Heathrow Terminal 4

After December 2019, the service will be.

  • 4 tph between Abbey Wood and Heathrow Central and Heathrow Terminal 4
  • 2 tph between Abbey Wood and Heathrow Central and Heathrow Terminal 5

In addition these services will serve all station including Canary Wharf, Liverpool Street, Bond Street,Paddington and Ealing Broadway.

Effect On Heathrow Express

It will be difficult to predict what will happen to Heathrow Express, but I suspect several groups of passengers will desert it.

  • Passengers wanting to go anywhere East of Paddington without changing trains.
  • Passengers wanting any Crossrail station.
  • Passengers, who don’t like the prices of Heathrow Express.
  • Passengers using Oyster or contactless cards.
  • Passengers who want to ride on London’s spectacular new Crossrail.

After Old Oak Common station is opened, the numbers will further decrease.

Will Heathrow Express survive?

Effect On Piccadilly Line

The current Piccadilly Line route to the Airport will not be closed, as for many it will still be a convenient route to the Airport

  • Passengers who live on the Piccadilly Line and don’t want to change trains. Think Southgate, Knightsbridge, Hammersmith and Osterley!
  • Passengers to the East of Acton Town station.
  • Passengers, workers and others needing to go to Hatton Cross station.

If Crossrail connected with the Piccadilly Line at say Holborn, it would be all so different.

Effect On District Line

When Crossrail opens, the District Line will become a loop from Crossrail, between  Ealing Broadway and Whitechapel running along the North Bank of the Thames via Earls Court, Victoria, Charing Cross and Monument.

The step-free interchange at Ealing Broadway could become busy with passengers travelling  to and from the Airport.

Effect On Piccadilly Line Overcrowding

Heathrow trains on the Piccadilly Line can get very overcrowded with so many passengers with heavy cases.

It must sometimes be very difficult to get on a Piccadilly Line train between Heathrow and South Kensington stations.

Crossrail should take the pressure from these trains, by allowing passengers to use the District Line with a change at Ealing Broadway.

Effect On My Personal Route

My personal route to the airport is to take a 141 bus to Manor House station and then get the Piccadilly Line. It takes 94 minutes.

After Crossrail fully opens, if I took the East London Line from Dalston Junction to Whitechapel and then used Crossrail, I’d take 57 minutes.


Crossrail will affect the way many get to Heathrow Airport.

But there are large areas of London, who still will need to change trains twice to get to the airport.

Piccadilly Line To Ealing Broadway Effects

Adding Ealing Broadway station as a fourth Western terminus to the Piccadilly Line will have effects, but not as important as the opening of Crossrail.

Some Improved Journey Times To Heathrow

Some Piccadilly Line stations will see improved journey times to Heathrow.

Hammersmith to Heathrow currently takes 37 minutes by the Piccadilly Line.

Taking a Piccadilly Line train to Ealing Broadway and then using Crossrail could save a dozen minutes.

The District Line Connection To Crossrail At Ealing Broadway Is Lost

Passengers along the District Line from Monument to Hammersmith will lose their direct access to Crossrail at Ealing Broadway.

Cross-platform access to the Piccadilly Line at Hammersmith and Turnham Green will probably be provided or improved, but it will be a second change.

Note that until the Piccafilly Line gets upgraded and new trains arrive around 2023, the District Line with new trains and the soon to be installed new signalling may well be a better passenger experience.

More Trains To Richmond

This will certainly be possible, if some Ealing Broadway trains are diverted to Richmond.

But Crossrail has another delight in its cupboard for Richmond.

Old Oak Common station is scheduled to open in 2026 and will offer an interchange between Crossrail and the North London Line.

Richmond will certainly be getting a better train service to Central and East London.

More Trains To Wimbledon

This will certainly be possible, if some Ealing Broadway trains are diverted to Wimbledon.

The Ealing Common Problem

At Ealing Common station, the Piccadilly and District Line share the same tracks and platforms.

Some commentators have suggested that the new trains on the Piccadilly Line will be designed to work with platform-edge doors for improved safety and dwell times.

So if platform-edge doors were to be fitted to all stations on the Piccadilly Line as has been suggested, there would be no way the doors would fit the new S7 Stock of the District Line.

Swapping Ealing Broadway from the District to Piccadilly Lines would solve this problem and give more flexibility, but it might give London Underground other problems with regard to access for District Line trains to Ealing Common depot.

These pictures show Ealing Common station.

Note the difference of levels between the Piccadilly and District Line trains.

There would be no way to provide level access for both types of train using a Harrington Hump.

So is making a station that serves both deep-level and sub-surface lines, step-free, a problem that is still to be cracked?

This Google Map shows Ealing Common station.

It doesn’t look that it is a station, where two extra platforms could be squeezed in, so both lines could have their own platforms.

Could Ealing Common station be one of the main reasons to serve Ealing Broadway station with the Piccadilly Line?

Acton Town Station

On a brief pass-through of Acton Town station, it would appear that the Ealing Common problem exists.

So making Acton Town station, a Piccadilly Line-only station, would ease making the station step-free, as it would only be served by one type of train.

Chiswick Park Station

Chiswick Park station only has platforms on the District Line and would need to be remodelled, if Ealing Broadway became the terminus of the Piccadilly Line.

One suggestion I found was to add two new District Line platforms to the Richmond branch.

This Google Map shows the station.

Note the Richmond branch passing South of the station.

Chiswick Park station is Grade II Listed and I’m sure that a good architect can find a more than acceptable solution.


It appears to me, there are two opposite forces on either side of a possible proposal to serve Ealing Broadway station with the Piccadilly Line, rather than the District Line.

  1. The District Line will form a loop South of Crossrail between Ealing Broadway and Whitechapel stations.
  2. Making a station step-free that handles both deep-level and sub-surface lines, is not an easy undertaking.

Running the Piccadilly Line to Ealing Broadway means that a change is required at Turnham Green, Hammersith or Barons Court stations to use the loop described in point 1.

But this change would enable the step-free access to be created in all stations in the area.

I think that the change of terminus will go ahead, with the following additions.

  • Improved access to Ealing Common depot.
  • Improved cross-platform access at Turnham Green, Hammersith or Barons Court stations.
  • Two extra platform on the District Line at Chiswick Park station.

What started out as a simple change could end up as a substantial project.

But overall, because it sorts out step-free access in the area, I think it is a good proposal.


October 30, 2017 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , , ,


  1. […] In Is There Going To Be More Change At Ealing Broadway Station?, I wrote about rumours of a possible plan to create a new terminus for the Piccadilly Line at Ealing Broadway station, using the route currently used by District Line trains from Ealing Common station. […]

    Pingback by Can Between Rayners Lane And Uxbridge Stations Be Step-Free? « The Anonymous Widower | October 31, 2017 | Reply

  2. […] I discussed this in some detail in Is There Going To Be More Change At Ealing Broadway Station? […]

    Pingback by Are Transport for London Planning For The Future In The West? « The Anonymous Widower | January 31, 2018 | Reply

  3. You should add Chiswick Park Station to the Piccadilly line,then make the platforms step free add new points so eastbound Piccadilly line trains from Ealing Broadway and Uxbridge will serve platform 4 like the District line would when coming from Ealing Broadway, which would be on the same lane that the eastbound platform at Chiswick Park would be on. Also build a crossover points from platform 3 to platform 4 for Heathrow trains at Acton Town. For westbound Chiswick Park westbound platform would be the same lane as westbound platform 1 at Acton Town for Ealing Broadway and Uxbridge trains for Heathrow trains would have a crossover to platform 2 for trains to Heathrow but for platform 1 would be for trains to Ealing Broadway and Uxbridge , which would stay on the same lane that the westbound Chiswick Park platform would be on when trains leave Chiswick Park westbound platform for Ealing Broadway and Uxbridge they will be on the same lane that westbound platform 1at Acton Town for services to Ealing Broadway and Uxbridge would be on but for trains to Heathrow Airport they would crossover to platform 2 after they have departed Chiswick Park westbound and before arriving at Acton Town .

    Comment by A Kaur | August 17, 2018 | Reply

  4. There shall be departure boards at each different platform numbers as it show on the departure boards at different platform numbers : Ealing Broadway Station on the top,Piccadilly line, Platform numbers,Terminates Here and destination on bottom as it shall as :

    At platform 7 departure board :

    Ealing Broadway Station
    Piccadilly line
    Platform 7
    Terminates Here

    At platform 8 departure board:

    Ealing Broadway Station
    Piccadilly line
    Platform 8
    Terminates Here

    At platform 9 departure board:

    Ealing Broadway Station
    Piccadilly line
    Platform 9
    Terminates Here

    Comment by A Kaur | December 17, 2018 | Reply

  5. Tfl should leave it the way it is.You talk of
    The Ealing Broadway Branch of the District line will be transferred to the Piccadilly line for the District line more trains to Richmond and Wimbledon Branches which are busier. I will not go along with the idea of the Piccadilly line replacing the District line to
    Ealing Broadway Station. You could build an island platforms eastbound and westbound for the Piccadilly line like at Acton Town Station. The Piccadilly line trains will use the centre platforms while the District line will use the out platforms.

    You can easily give the District line
    12 tph. This is how you would see the new District line service patterns:
    .12 tph between Upminster and
    Ealing Broadway.
    .12 tph between Upminster and
    .12 tph between Upminster and
    .12 tph between Edgware Road and
    .12 tph between Olympia and
    High Street Kensington.
    This equals to 60 tph in total.

    You can also easily give the Piccadilly line
    12 tph. This is how you would see the new Piccadilly line service patterns:
    .12 tph between Cockfosters and Heathrow Terminal 4.
    .12 tph between Cockfosters and
    Heathrow Terminal 5.
    .12 tph between Cockfosters and Northfields.
    .12 tph between Cockfosters and South Harrow.
    This equals to 48 tph in core section between Cockfosters and Acton Town in total.

    Comment by Aronjit | May 9, 2019 | Reply

  6. Tfl should leave it the way it is.Tfl should keep Ealing Broadway Station as the District line Western Terminus as the District line has already lost Uxbridge Station and Hounslow West Station as its Western Terminus to the Piccadilly line.

    Comment by Aronjit | June 23, 2019 | Reply

    • I have reread my original post and feel the change is even better now, as it will open up a connection between Crossrail and an upgraded Piccadilly Line.

      Comment by AnonW | June 23, 2019 | Reply

  7. I heard that tfl is going to close the
    Ealing Broadway Branch of the District line and the Ealing Broadway Branch will become a Piccadilly line Branch instead to allow District line more trains to Richmond and Wimbledon Branches.Why not divert some or all Circle line trains to Wimbledon Station from Gloucester Road Station as the Circle line will share tracks with the District line between Wimbledon Station and Gloucester Road Station via Earls Court Station.

    Comment by A Kaur | June 23, 2019 | Reply

    • Looking at the track layout, it is not currently possible and it would cost a lot to implement. I also suspect it could introduce a freaded flat junction, which would slow the trains. They are building a new platform at South Kensington and is that to turn trains in the rebuilt station, which will have more capacity

      Comment by AnonW | June 23, 2019 | Reply

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