Essential track maintenance on Circle and District lines next week

27 July 2021
"It is not a decision we have taken lightly, but this carrying out this vital and safety-critical work in one closure will mean we are able to reduce overall disruption"
  • Extensive alternatives are available, including numerous high-frequency bus routes in the area and easily accessible walking and cycling options

Transport for London (TfL) has today issued a reminder to Circle and District line customers that the lines will be closed next week for nine days. Starting next Wednesday, 4 August, there will be no service between Edgware Road and Aldgate via Victoria on the Circle line and from Earl's Court to Aldgate East on the District line. On the weekend of 7 and 8 August, the planned closure on the District line will also be extended from Earl's Court to Hammersmith, Kensington Olympia, Wimbledon and Edgware Road. Service will resume on Friday 13 August. 

Ahead of the work, TfL has been working and engaging with affected businesses, local attractions and boroughs including the Exhibition Road Cultural Group to ensure they and their customers have information in time to plan journeys around the closure. 

Esther Sharples, Director of Asset Performance and Capital Delivery at TfL, said:

'We are sorry for the disruption that this vital work will cause to our Circle and District line customers. It is not a decision we have taken lightly, but this carrying out this vital and safety-critical work in one closure will mean we are able to reduce overall disruption. We will also be carrying out other maintenance and improvement work to make sure we do all we can to minimise future disruption. Customers should check the TfL website before they travel, where they will be able to find alternative options to complete journeys.'

Wherever possible, customers are asked to walk or cycle all or part of their journeys. Much of Zone 1 is easily walkable and TfL is working with boroughs to create more space for people to safely walk, cycle, or scoot. There are also Santander Cycles docking stations located near all of the affected stations. Hiring a Santander Cycle costs just £2 for unlimited journeys up to 30 minutes within a 24-hour period and cycling could reduce your journey time by 5 to 15 minutes.

In addition, there are a wide range of bus services available, and TfL will deploy additional staff across the transport network to help ensure that any disruption for customers is minimised. Travel advice for the period will be found on the TfL Go, or on TfL's website. A dedicated travel advice page for this closure is available here:

Over the nine-day closure, TfL will undertake engineering works around Embankment station. This includes completely removing the outdated long timber track at the station and replacing it with concrete slab track, which involves pumping over 100 tonnes of concrete from the road level. This will provide better journeys with greater reliability. Further work, including replacing and packing ballast underneath the track, will help facilitate faster train speeds and reduced journey times.

During the pandemic, TfL introduced a wide range of additional measures to ensure that the network is cleaner than ever, including an enhanced cleaning regime using hospital-grade substances. More than 1,000 hand sanitiser points and more than 200 UV light devices on escalators handrails that continually kill bacteria and viruses are also keeping customers safe across the network.

Notes to editors

  • Travel advice for the affected period can be found here:
  • Find your nearest Santander Cycles docking point here: 
  • TfL's West End walking map, Walking Times between stations map and cycling map can help customers plan their walking or cycling journey around central London, while the City of London walking map will help those who wish to travel to the City:
  • South Kensington, Sloane Square, St James's Park, Embankment, Temple, Mansion House and Tower Hill Tube stations will have no train service for nine days, the duration of the works
  • Customers visiting central London attractions are advised to walk and cycle where possible. Much of central London is walkable and Santander Cycle hire docking stations are available throughout Zone 1.  Customers travelling to the Natural History, Science or Victoria & Royal Albert museums are encouraged to walk or cycle from the following stations: 
    • Knightsbridge station (approx. 16-minute walk)
    • Highstreet Kensington (approx. 24-minute walk)
    • Earl's Court station (step-free access, approx. 25-minute walk)
    • Lancaster Gate station (approx. 25-minute walk via Hyde Park)
  • There is a lead time of up to a year to plan for significant renewals works like these, which includes designing and manufacturing the new track layout, securing specialist staff and equipment and avoiding existing planned work, so it was unfortunately not possible to immediately react to the coronavirus pandemic and carry out the work during lockdowns
  • Travel advice for the South Kensington escalator works is available here: