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DISTRICT LINE

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  WIMBLEDON AND PUTNEY RAILWAY
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The first section of what is now the District Line, but known when it opened as the Metropolitan and District Line, started operation on 24th December 1868 between South Kensington and Westminster. The confusing similarity of names between the Metropolitan Railway and the Metropolitan District Railway arose because the MDR was separately promoted for financial reasons as a move towards the completion of a circular railway for London; the two companies were to be merged on completion. But that did not happen; their interests diverged; and the Inner Circle, completed in 1884, was the scene of incessant conflicts between the two partners. In 1869 the District started operating a line between Gloucester Road and West Brompton and the following year installed its own pair of tracks between Gloucester Road and South Kensington parallel to those of the Metropolitan Railway. The District also put in connections from Earl's Court to both High Street Kensington and Kensington Olympia. The railway reached Hammersmith in 1874, Richmond in 1877 and Ealing Broadway two years later. In 1883 a short-lived extension was introduced to Windsor from Ealing Broadway over the tracks of the Great Western Railway. This service was withdrawn in 1855. From West Brompton the service was extended to Putney Bridge in 1880 and to Wimbledon in 1889. In 1902 the Whitechapel and Bow Railway opened, allowing through operation to Upminster. Further District extensions to Hounslow (1884) and Uxbridge (1910) were transferred to the Piccadilly Line in 1964 and 1933 respectively.

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