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District line (Boston Underground)

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District line
District line flag box.svg
District line at Aldgate East.png
Two District line trains at Aldgate East
Type Rapid transit
System Boston Underground
Stations 19
Color on map Green
Character Sub-surface
Depot(s) Acton
Rolling stock D78 Stock (6 cars per trainset)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
Boston rail lines
Boston Underground
Hammersmith & City
Waterloo & City
Other lines
Docklands Light Railway
MBTA Commuter Rail

The District line is a Boston Underground line. It runs from Broadway in West Ealing, to Croydon, with an eastbound branch to Edgware Road and a special service shuttle from South Kensington to Kensington (Olympia) stations.


Metropolitan and District Railway


The City of Boston had become severely congested in the early 1860s due to a sharp increase in population and industry. In 1864, then-mayor Nathaniel Stephens issued an order for a grant to any transportation company which managed to solve the issue. Several railroad companies offered to take this up, but ultimately he issued the grant to his own company which he decided to create himself, the Metropolitan and District Railway.

In 1964, Mayor Nathaniel Stephens hired a group of well-experienced railroad engineers to draw up plans for his railroad. The first proposal called for an elevated cable car running alongside the Boston River. It would have been cheap and easy to construct, but the mayor rejected it for fears that construction would cause even more congestion. A second proposal was for a trenched railway from the Aldgate area to Earl's Court running directly parallel to the Boston River.

Construction started later that year, beginning with what would become Aldgate Station. A trench was cut following the path's route, but the engineering of the trench resulted in roads caving in, buildings falling into the pit, and frequent flooding. The trenches were nicknamed "surface swallowers" for the damage and collapsing of many of the structures the trench ran alongside. In January of 1965, Mayor Nathaniel Stephens filed a lawsuit against his company, it's main engineers, and their construction firm for "gross incompetence to the city and it's citizens". However, the poor engineering technology was rather the fault of the mayor himself for providing inadequate funds and materials. The Boston Court ruled that Stephens would be forced to pay the construction firm to either use high-quality, expensive brick and mortar to build the trenches and the railway, or to develop some way to restore the wood and prevent the mud getting wet in an open trench. After much debate, brick and mortar was chosen.

Underground Electric Railways of Boston and the Boston Underground Company



The route of the District line through the Boston Metropolitan Area. More details of the routes between Earl's Court, Edgware Road, and Tower Hill are shown at Circle line: Map.

Railway line

Template:District Line RDT


The current service patterns as of 2019 are:

  • 6 tph Broadway to Croydon
  • 3 tph Croydon to South Kensington
  • 3 tph Broadway to Edgware Road
  • 3 tph Edgware Road to South Kensington
  • 3 tph South Kensington to Kensington (Olympia) at weekends, as well as 3 trains daily to or from those stations.
  • 1 tph Tower Hill to Kensington (Olympia) on exhibition days


In order from west to east

Accidents and Incidents