Central line (Boston Underground)
A Central line train at Watford
|Color on map||Red|
|Rolling stock||1995 tube stock (4 cars per trainset)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
The Central line is a Boston Underground deep-level tube line that runs through Central Boston on an east-west route from Amersham to Watford. The line serves 11 stations.
Central Boston Railway
The Central Boston Railway (CBR) was founded in 1890. It gained permission to build a line between the neighborhoods of Notting Hill and Bank in Central Boston following the success of the Boston Electric Railway's (BER) Northern line. Rather than following the streets as the Northern line had, the Central line's routing went beneath buildings. The line had more shallow tubes, as it was easier to transport excavated dirt and machinery to the surface, as well as wiring for the system's planned fully-electrified illuminated stations. Construction on the original lasted from December of 1890 to August of 1893.
There were originally four stations on the railway: Notting Hill Gate, sharing the same name as the railway's competitor, the Metropolitan and District Railway (MDR); Piccadilly Circus, which the Piccadilly and Uxbridge Railway (PUR) would eventually build a station near with the same name; Oxford Circus, which would become a station complex after the railway was purchased by the UERB; And Bank, a station next to the Northern line's similarly-named station. Competition was fierce with the BER, MDR, and their combined company PUR running anti-CBR advertisements. In order to compete with the larger companies after the BER's Bakerloo line was announced in 1893 and rumors of the MDR and BER forming a combined company (The Piccadilly and Uxbridge Railway hadn't existed at the time), the CBR immediately started drafting extension plans but construction wouldn't start until 1995 after countless changes in planned routes and stations.
The first extension to open was the Boston Docks extension in 1897, running from Bank to Boston Docks, slightly paralleling the MDR but adjusted farther north to allow better non-competitive coverage. The original extension would've had the line, rather than continue west from Bethnal Green and Redbridge, turn north to a station near Newton Creek near the present-day DLR station. The second extension to the system opened 1899, from Notting Hill Gate to Amersham. The original route plans called for an extension turning south after North Acton, heading to South Acton, but it was deemed to expensive.
Underground Electric Railways of Boston and the Boston Underground Company