Royal Oak tube station

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Royal Oak London Underground
Lord Hills Bridge, W2 - - 363201.jpg
Royal Oak is located in Central London
Royal Oak
Royal Oak
Location of Royal Oak in Central London
Location Westbourne Green
Local authority City of Westminster
Managed by London Underground
Number of platforms 2
Fare zone 2
London Underground annual entry and exit
2011 Increase 2.05 million[1]
2012 Increase 2.22 million[1]
2013 Increase 2.43 million[1]
2014 Increase 2.70 million[1]
Key dates
1871 Opened (GWR & H&C)
1934 Ended (GWR)
1970 Transferred to London Transport
2009 Started (Circle line)
Other information
Lists of stations
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Royal Oak is a station of the London Underground, on the Hammersmith & City and Circle lines, between Westbourne Park and Paddington stations.[2] The station is on Lord Hill's Bridge and is in Travelcard Zone 2 for the London Underground. Although not heavily used at other times, the station is extremely busy during the annual Notting Hill Carnival. There is no wheelchair access to the platform. It is classed as a "local station" in Transport for London's "Fit for the Future" development outline.[3]

The station opened on 30 October 1871,[4] although the Metropolitan Railway extension to Hammersmith had opened in 1864. It is close to the elevated Westway section of the A40 road. The station is named after a nearby public house, "The Royal Oak"[5] (later "The Railway Tap" and now "The Porchester").

The station was closed for repairs from 11 April 2015 to 10 May 2015.[6] The reopened station has no ticket office.


A 1911 Railway Clearing House map, showing the GWR main line from Paddington to Acton (yellow), the Hammersmith & City Railway (yellow and blue), and other railways in the vicinity of Royal Oak (right of upper centre)

The station

When the Great Western Railway (GWR) main line was first opened in June 1838, the first stop out of Paddington was at West Drayton,[7] 13 miles 18 chains (21.28 km) from Paddington.[8] Intermediate stations were opened over the years, and the first stop became progressively closer to Paddington: a station at Ealing Broadway (5 miles 58 chains (9.21 km) from Paddington)[9] was opened in December 1838,[10] and one at Acton Main Line (4 miles 19 chains (6.82 km) from Paddington)[11] in 1868.[10] In the meantime, the Hammersmith and City Railway had opened from Green Lane Junction (near the present Westbourne Park tube station) to Hammersmith on 13 June 1864, with the first stop on that route originally at Ladbroke Grove,[12] 1 mile 61 chains (2.84 km) out,[13] although one opened at Westbourne Park (1 mile 22 chains (2.05 km) out)[14] in 1866.[15][16]

An agreement between the GWR and the Metropolitan Railway (who had co-owned the Hammersmith & City with the GWR since 1867)[17] came into force on 1 July 1868, although it did not become legal until the following year. Under the agreement, various improvements were to be made; these included the provision of a station at Royal Oak, and the reconstruction of Westbourne Park.[18] On 30 October 1871 the station at Royal Oak opened,[4][16][19] 53 chains (1.07 km) out;[13] it was situated between Ranelagh Bridge and Lord Hills Bridge, and access was from the latter.[20] As originally built, it had three platform faces; one for down trains and two, each side of an island, for up trains.[20] It was served by both main line and Hammersmith & City trains, and, for over sixty years, this was the first stop out of Paddington for main line trains; it remains the first stop for Hammersmith & City services.

During the quadrupling of the Great Western Main Line (GWML) in 1878, a dive-under, known as Subway Tunnel, was constructed between Royal Oak and Westbourne Park. This was for Hammersmith & City services, allowing them to cross the main line without interfering with the flow of traffic; it was brought into use on 12 May 1878.[16] To accommodate the additional track of the main line, it was necessary to reduce Royal Oak station to two platform faces; the former down platform was removed (its track becoming the up main), and the southern of the two former up platforms became the down platform.[21]

Trains along the GWML ceased to call at Royal Oak from 1 October 1934,[22] but the Hammersmith & City service remained.[23] Ownership of the station was not transferred to London Transport until 1 January 1970.[24] The first GWML stop out of Paddington is now Acton Main Line.

Ranelagh Bridge depot

There had been a locomotive depot at Westbourne Park since 1855, which was replaced by the Old Oak Common depot in 1906.[25] To avoid the need for locomotives to make the 6-mile (9.7 km) round trip from Paddington just to be turned, coaled and watered, a small maintenance facility for locomotives was constructed on the southern side of the line, directly opposite Royal Oak station, which occupied part of the site of Westbourne Lodge and its grounds. It was known as Ranelagh Bridge depot, and opened in 1907.[26] There was a turntable, a water tower, a coaling stage and sidings where about 15 locomotives could be held awaiting their next trip west.[27] The turntable was removed in April 1964, and the depot facilities were altered to suit Diesel locomotives; the depot closed in 1980.[28]

Royal Oak Portal

Currently under construction to the North of the Hammersmith & City line, immediately West of Royal Oak Underground Station, Royal Oak Portal is the Western tunnel entrance for the Crossrail scheme to link East and West London by main-line railway. The station itself is not part of the Crossrail scheme.

In popular culture

  • The station appears in the 2006 film Kidulthood.
  • Lord Hills Bridge is mentioned in the song "Nature Springs" on the album The Good, The Bad & The Queen.
  • Royal Oak is mentioned in Peter Ackroyd's 1987 novel Chatterton (Part I, Chapter 4)


London Buses routes 18 and 36 and night bus route N18 serve the station.


Notes and references


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. April 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Baker 2007, p. 21, section B1
  3. "Fit for the Future: Future Stations". Transport for London. Retrieved 13 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Butt 1995, p. 200
  5. Harris 2006, p. 60
  6. "Station Closures Six Months Look Ahead" (PDF). Transport for London. Retrieved 21 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. MacDermot 1927, p. 55
  8. Peacock 1970, p. 105
  9. Peacock 1970, p. 101
  10. 10.0 10.1 MacDermot 1927, p. 57
  11. Peacock 1970, p. 100
  12. MacDermot 1931, pp. 7,628
  13. 13.0 13.1 Peacock 1970, p. 103
  14. Peacock 1970, p. 104
  15. Mitchell & Smith 2000, Figure 63
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Croome 2003, p. 17
  17. MacDermot 1931, p. 7
  18. Peacock 1970, p. 38
  19. Mitchell & Smith 2000, Figure 48
  20. 20.0 20.1 Mitchell & Smith 2002, Figure IX
  21. Peacock 1970, p. 67
  22. Mitchell & Smith 2000, Figure 52
  23. Peacock 1970, p. 15
  24. Mitchell & Smith 2000, Figure 56
  25. Lyons 1974, p. 56
  26. Mitchell & Smith 2000, Figure 45
  27. Mitchell & Smith 2000, Figure 46
  28. Mitchell & Smith 2000, Figure 47


  • Baker, S.K. (April 2007) [1977]. Rail Atlas Great Britain & Ireland (11th ed.). Hersham: Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0-86093-602-2. 0704/K.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Croome, Desmond F. (2003). The Circle Line: An Illustrated History. Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. ISBN 1-85414-267-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Harris, Cyril M. (2006) [1977]. What's in a name? (4th ed.). Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. ISBN 1-85414-241-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Lyons, E.T. (1974) [1972]. An Historical Survey of Great Western Engine Sheds 1947. Headington: Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 0-902888-16-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • MacDermot, E.T. (1927). History of the Great Western Railway, vol. I: 1833-1863. Paddington: Great Western Railway.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • MacDermot, E.T. (1931). History of the Great Western Railway, vol. II: 1863-1921. Paddington: Great Western Railway.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (January 2000). Paddington to Ealing. Western Main Lines. Midhurst: Middleton Press. ISBN 1-901706-37-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (April 2002). Paddington to Princes Risborough. Western Main Lines. Midhurst: Middleton Press. ISBN 1-901706-81-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Peacock, Thomas B. (1970) [1968]. Great Western London Suburban Services. Locomotion Papers (2nd ed.). Oakwood Press. LP48.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
towards Hammersmith
Circle line
towards Edgware Road (via Aldgate)
Hammersmith & City line
towards Barking