District & Circle line closure in August for essential track renewals

16 June 2021

Transport for London (TfL) has today issued travel advice for Circle and District line customers ahead of complex track renewal work in August.

  • From 4 – 12 August, there will be closures on the lines for essential track replacement work
  • Complex work at Embankment will deliver better journeys and greater reliability on the lines as part of the Four Lines Modernisation programme
  • Extensive alternatives are available, including numerous high-frequency bus routes in the area and easily accessible walking and cycling options.

Between Wednesday 4 and Thursday 12 August 2021, there will be no service between Edgware Road and Aldgate via Victoria on the Circle line and from Earl’s Court to Aldgate East on the District line. On the weekend of 7 and 8 August, the planned closure on the District line will also be extended from Earl’s Court to Hammersmith, Kensington Olympia, Wimbledon and Edgware Road.

Customers on these lines are advised to check before they travel and to travel at quieter times, which are currently between 08:15 and 16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays, and before 12:00 and after 18:00 on weekends. Stations that have no service during this period all have alternative nearby stations within a 15-minute walk.

Wherever possible, customers are asked to walk or cycle all or part of their journeys. Much of Zone 1 is easily walkable and TfL is working with boroughs to create more space for people to safely walk, cycle, or scoot. There are also Santander Cycles docking stations located near all of the affected stations. Hiring a Santander Cycle costs just £2 for unlimited journeys up to 30 minutes within a 24-hour period and cycling could reduce your journey time by 5 to 15 minutes.

In addition, there are a wide range of bus services available, and TfL will deploy additional staff across the transport network to help ensure that any disruption for customers is minimised. Travel advice for the period will be found on the TfL website.

Esther Sharples, Director of Asset Performance and Capital Delivery at TfL, said: 

“We apologise for the disruption that this vital engineering work will cause and ask our customers on the Circle and District lines to check before they travel. Closing a section of the Circle and District line is not a decision we have taken lightly, but this is safety-critical work that needs to happen and by carrying it out in one closure we can reduce overall disruption. During this closure, we will be carrying out other maintenance and improvement work at stations to minimise future disruption.”

Over the nine-day closure, TfL will work between Embankment and Earl’s Court. This includes completely removing the outdated long timber track at Embankment station and replacing it with concrete slab track, which involves pumping over 100 tonnes of concrete from the road level. This will provide better journeys with greater reliability. Further work, including replacing and packing ballast underneath the track, will help facilitate faster train speeds and reduced journey times.

TfL has been working and engaging with affected businesses, local attractions and boroughs including the Exhibition Road Cultural Group to ensure they and their customers have information in time to plan journeys around the work.

With many customers already returning to the transport network since restrictions began to ease, TfL’s enhanced cleaning regime continues to ensure the network is cleaner than ever. Trains, trams, buses and stations are cleaned with hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact and provide ongoing protection. Independent testing by Imperial College London has been carried out monthly since September, taking swabs of touch points in stations, on buses and of air samples in ticket halls and has found no traces of coronavirus on the transport network.