Examples of skip stop/express services on the Tube (or DLR & LO too)

Taunton

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The DLR at West India Quay was rebuilt with a flying junction for Bank to Lewisham trains to avoid the flat junctions (in passing, the nearest thing you will find to a roller-coaster this side of Thorpe Park - sit at the front). This line is unable to call at West India Quay southbound. When first opened it was only used in daytime; at late evenings etc it continued to use the old way and stop there, but now the flyover is always used. As a by-product it meant the Stratford to Canary Wharf route, which needs very close control with its single-line sections, is thus wholly independent of the other DLR routes, and thus can run at its own frequency instead of having to be interleaved with the other lines, and/or importing its delays to them, which was really the flyover's greatest benefit.

The District Line peak hour nonstops of the 1950s-60s were when it was running at 40 trains per hour (beat that, modern computer signalling). After some track alterations, for westbound trains when the Circle Line turned off just east (then) of South Ken, the following Richmond non-stopped South Ken and Gloucester Road. Likewise when a District turned off for Wimbledon the following Ealing non-stopped West Ken and Barons Court, all to even out the intervals.

The minor stations, now closed, skipped by alternate Piccadilly Line trains, which platform porters indicated by shouting "Passing xxxx" station, seemed to fascinate the pre-war literature world; there was a West End play called "Passing Brompton Road", and then later no less than John Betjeman wrote a thriller radio play about South Kentish Town and getting trapped in there.

The peak hour "skip-stop" Subway trains described above existed in several US cities; Chicago also had several such lines. The very lengthy routes into suburbia and the frequent stops - you can commonly see the stations either side when waiting - means progress is slow and tedious to the line extremities, so it was a way of speeding things up as well. They have tended to be withdrawn as the suburban areas outside the centre served by such lines lose their population and have reduced frequencies.
 
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jumble

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Aside from the Met line fast and semi fast peak time services to Amersham/Chesham, the non stop run between Finchley Road and Wembley Park and the Piccadilly line non stop run between Hammersmith and Acton Town

What other skip stop/express services has the tube ran in the past? I know that the District line ran such services until 1960s
Does the Chiltern line that skips Moor Park fit your criteria as it goes on the same tracks ?
There are also a couple of trains a day that are HoTH to Amersham and VV non stop
 

NorthKent1989

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The DLR at West India Quay was rebuilt with a flying junction for Bank to Lewisham trains to avoid the flat junctions (in passing, the nearest thing you will find to a roller-coaster this side of Thorpe Park - sit at the front). This line is unable to call at West India Quay southbound. When first opened it was only used in daytime; at late evenings etc it continued to use the old way and stop there, but now the flyover is always used. As a by-product it meant the Stratford to Canary Wharf route, which needs very close control with its single-line sections, is thus wholly independent of the other DLR routes, and thus can run at its own frequency instead of having to be interleaved with the other lines, and/or importing its delays to them, which was really the flyover's greatest benefit.

The District Line peak hour nonstops of the 1950s-60s were when it was running at 40 trains per hour (beat that, modern computer signalling). After some track alterations, for westbound trains when the Circle Line turned off just east (then) of South Ken, the following Richmond non-stopped South Ken and Gloucester Road. Likewise when a District turned off for Wimbledon the following Ealing non-stopped West Ken and Barons Court, all to even out the intervals.

The minor stations, now closed, skipped by alternate Piccadilly Line trains, which platform porters indicated by shouting "Passing xxxx" station, seemed to fascinate the pre-war literature world; there was a West End play called "Passing Brompton Road", and then later no less than John Betjeman wrote a thriller radio play about South Kentish Town and getting trapped in there.

The peak hour "skip-stop" Subway trains described above existed in several US cities; Chicago also had several such lines. The very lengthy routes into suburbia and the frequent stops - you can commonly see the stations either side when waiting - means progress is slow and tedious to the line extremities, so it was a way of speeding things up as well. They have tended to be withdrawn as the suburban areas outside the centre served by such lines lose their population and have reduced frequencies.

Thank you for this information :)

Didn’t some Wimbledon District trains skip West Brompton? Were these from Edgware Road or from the main line?

Amazing to think that the old District line was able to fit in a skip stop service with 40tph!

Does the Chiltern line that skips Moor Park fit your criteria as it goes on the same tracks ?
There are also a couple of trains a day that are HoTH to Amersham and VV non stop

Yes it certainly does count :)
 

rebmcr

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Amazing to think that the old District line was able to fit in a skip stop service with 40tph!
To be fair, the stops skipped were not on the 40tph section, and indeed could only be fitted into the timetable on the sections immediately following a drop in tph.
 

Dstock7080

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Thank you for this information :)

Didn’t some Wimbledon District trains skip West Brompton? Were these from Edgware Road or from the main line?
some Ealing trains also non-stopped South Kensington, Gloucester Road
and Hounslow trains non-stopped Ravenscourt Park, Stamford Brook
 

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Mikey C

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I was on an express Overground "North London Line" service last Thursday!

As it was running late, and there was another train soon after it, it ran fast between Camden Road and Stratford, which was perfect for me :D

I've seen this happen on other occasions too, whereas I don't recall it happening on the Underground, where they prefer to turn trains around short if they are bunched up after a delay.
 

NorthKent1989

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I was on an express Overground "North London Line" service last Thursday!

As it was running late, and there was another train soon after it, it ran fast between Camden Road and Stratford, which was perfect for me :D

I've seen this happen on other occasions too, whereas I don't recall it happening on the Underground, where they prefer to turn trains around short if they are bunched up after a delay.

I recall a few years ago being on a delayed ELL train which ran fast from Forest Hill to Surrey Quays, to my knowledge it’s only happened once on that line, but I have heard this sort of thing happens regularly on the NLL
 

Dave W

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I vaguely recall in the last round of strikes the Victoria Line only stopping at maybe two or three stops between Victoria and Finsbury Park due to staff shortages and resultant overcrowding.

Made my journey home a lot quicker!!! But I think that's drifting too far from the subject.
 

mr_jrt

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The Northern line originally had passing loops on the Edgware extension from Golders Green. As I recall, when the trains were lengthened to 9 cars, the loops weren't long enough, especially when coupled with the platform extensions, so the loops were removed. The primary example was at Brent (now Brent Cross) tube station.

I've seen photos of them before, but can't seem to find any online. You can however see the loops very clearly on old OS maps:

The space where they were is also very obvious at the station today.
 

Mojo

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What stations does this skip? I’m not familiar with that line
On the Off-peak timetable; Acton (Main Line) is only served by the 2tph to the Airport, and West Ealing / Hanwell are not served by the Reading trains.

When the full Crossrail service and planned Off-peak timetable starts opening it gets a little more complex, for example Acton (Main Line) will be served by 4tph to Terminal 4 only, and Hanwell will get trains to all terminals, but not to Reading. Peak hours it becomes a little more complicated, as there will be a Semifast service run by the Crossrail Toc replacing the GWR Semifast train.
 

Acton1991

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When the full Crossrail service and planned Off-peak timetable starts opening it gets a little more complex, for example Acton (Main Line) will be served by 4tph to Terminal 4 only, and Hanwell will get trains to all terminals, but not to Reading. Peak hours it becomes a little more complicated, as there will be a Semifast service run by the Crossrail Toc replacing the GWR Semifast train.
Yes, unfortunately Acton Main Line seems to be the loser when the full timetable launches
 

Mojo

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Yes, unfortunately Acton Main Line seems to be the loser when the full timetable launches
Not really - it doesn’t lose anything but still gains significantly from 4tph all week long vs the previous 2tph Mon - Sat which stopped at about 20.30.
 

rogercov

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I can remember the District Line trains that ran non-stop through South Kensington and Gloucester Road in the 60s. Of course, that was when all 4 tracks were operational at those stations.

For a long time after that, the enamel indicator signs at Earls court still had the panels for this, with the writing painted over, but you could still make out the words "Not stopping at ...." under the paint.

Are any of these old style indicators still left at Earls Court, and do they still have this panel?
 

Taunton

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The layout at South Ken/Gloucester Road has changed several times over the years. Until the 1950s there was a flat junction to the east of South Ken, the Circle then used the northern pair of tracks, the District the southerns. This reflected the original separate ownerships of the Metropolitan and District railways. To minimise conflicts this was rearranged so the westbounds used the two south side tracks and (separate) platforms, the eastbound on the north side, which allowed a westbound Circle to be held at Gloucester Road to cross the eastbounds without holding up following services, and also the following District to be non-stopped and overtake. This was further rearranged in more recent times, so we have now just the central island platform in use at South Ken.
 

Dstock7080

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I can remember the District Line trains that ran non-stop through South Kensington and Gloucester Road in the 60s. Of course, that was when all 4 tracks were operational at those stations.

For a long time after that, the enamel indicator signs at Earls court still had the panels for this, with the writing painted over, but you could still make out the words "Not stopping at ...." under the paint.

Are any of these old style indicators still left at Earls Court, and do they still have this panel?
Only Gloucester Road WB (now unused) and Earl's Court retain the District Railway 1908 blue describers.
the plates have been changed over the years, most recently 2008 when 'new Johnston' font was sadly used.

I attached above an example of the not-stopping plates used at Earl's Court and Sloane Square - and indeed many other stations.
 

Taunton

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rogercov

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Thank you, Taunton and Dstock7080 for the replies. I guess the panels are all fairly new so there's no evidence of the non-stop trains.

I just remembered that I posted a 1960s picture of South Ken over 2 years ago here:
Not a non-stop train, but a good bit of nostalgia!
 

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