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CENTRAL LINE

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  CENTRAL LONDON RAILWAY
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The Central London Railway, authorized in 1892 and opened in 1900, linked Shepherd's Bush with the Bank (5.75 miles), traversing London's busy quarters on the west-east axis along the line of Oxford Street. Once it had replaced its original electric locomotives with multiple-unit trains in 1903, it was recognizably the prototype of the modern tube. Originally there was a flat fare of 2d., giving rise to the nickname of 'The Twopenny Tube'; this lasted until 1907. The line was extended by a loop to Wood Lane, close to the White City exhibition site, in 1908, and to Liverpool Street in 1912. Extension to the west was begun over Great Western tracks to Ealing Broadway in 1920. The Central Line (as London Transport named it from 1937) was radically changed under the 1935-40 New Works Programme, in the course of which the third-rail current collection was replaced by the standard Underground fourth-rail system. The line was extended beyond Liverpool Street to Leyton and thence over London and North Eastern Railway tracks to Hainault and Epping in 1947-9, with its rural prolongation to Ongar electrified in 1957 but closed in 1994. At the western end new tracks beside the GWR line took Central trains to West Ruslip in 1948. The Central Line's 74km (46 miles) make it the Underground's longest line serving 49 stations and requiring 72 trains to operate the peak period service.

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