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PICCADILLY LINE

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  GREAT NORTHERN PICCADILLY AND BROMPTON RAILWAY
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The Piccadilly - formally the Great Northern Piccadilly and Brompton Railway - was the longest of the London tubes when it opened in 1906 from Finsbury Park to Hammersmith, 8.5 miles (7.75 miles under ground). It was a fusion of three separate projects: a deep-level scheme of the Metropolitan District, the Brompton and Piccadilly Circus, and the Great Northern and Strand Railways, merged in 1902. The resulting line ran roughly east from Hammersmith through Kensington and the West End to Holborn, where it turned north to King's Cross and Finsbury Park on the Great Northern Railway, with a short branch from Holborn to Aldwych, closed in 1994. The GNPB company was renamed the London Electric Railway in 1910, when it absorbed the Bakerloo and Hampstead railways. The line was constructed and equipped to the same standards as the other Underground tubes. The first railway escalator was brought into use between the District and the Piccadilly platforms at Earl's Court in 1911. The line was extended beyond both terminals in 1932-3; to the west over former District tracks to Houlslow and South Harrow and over the Metropolitan branch to Uxbridge; to the north in new tube, with surface sections, to Southgate and Cockfosters, 7.75 miles. The end-to-end Piccadilly run from Uxbridge to Cockfosters, 32 miles, was then the longest on LT electric tracks. New station buildings, by or inspired by Charles Holden, were a striking feature. The Hounslow branch was projected to Heathrow airport in 1977, giving London the first underground railway connection to its international airport of any capital city in the world, a further loop to serve Terminal 4 was added in 1986.

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