Central line disruption

There is ongoing disruption on the Central line.

While recent changes we have made have led to some improvements, you may still have to wait longer than usual for a train, and services may be busier than usual.

Cause of the disruption

Central line trains are experiencing higher than normal rates of motor failure after more than 30 years in operation, which means we have fewer trains available for service each day.  

Separately, due to issues with track monitoring equipment, there are temporary speed restrictions in some locations which mean trains may run slower than normal.

What we are doing

We are working hard to identify solutions and get trains safely back into service. 

We have introduced some changes which has helped deliver a more even and certain service for you. However we know there is more to do and you may still experience some disruption to your journey.

We have increased the rate at which we can repair and replace defective motors. We are also working to reduce the number of trains out of service for other age-related reasons.

The majority of speed restrictions on the Epping and Hainault branches have now been lifted. Some speed restrictions still remain in place for safety reasons because of issues with track monitoring equipment. We are carrying out diagnostic and preventative work so we can remove the remaining restrictions and improve the service as soon as we can safely do so. 

In the long term we are also investing in the fleet via the Central Line Improvement Programme.

New timetable

We have now introduced a new timetable. This enables us to minimise the unpredictable long gaps between trains. You may still have to wait longer for a train than before the disruption, but the new timetable should provide more consistency.

  • Central London - Trains are scheduled to run approximately every three minutes at peak times
  • East - Trains are scheduled to run every 5-8 minutes, with the Hainault - Woodford shuttle every 20 minutes
  • West - Trains are scheduled to run White City to North Acton/West Ruislip every3.5-7 minutes and North Acton to Ealing Broadway every 9-11 minutes

Travel advice

Plan ahead, use alternative routes or modes of transport and leave more time for your journey.

If your journey has been delayed by 15 minutes or more, you may be entitled to a refund. Visit our refunds page for more details.

Alternative routes

The Central line through zones 1 and 2 between White City and Stratford is well served by alternative Tube lines and other modes of public transport.

Where possible, use other routes and modes of transport instead of the Central line to reach your destination.

Check timetables for our services.

Woodford/Hainault Tube shuttle

Shuttle services are running between Woodford and Hainault approximately every 20 minutes for most of the day. For journeys to/from central London take the first train and change at Woodford or Hainault. 


Use our travel tools

Check before you travel and plan ahead using our travel tools. Keep up to date with the latest service information.

Plan your journey ahead of time and check before you travel.

  • Our TfL Go app has interactive maps, live arrival times, route finding, accessible journeys and other travel information
  • Journey Planner helps you plan your route by public transport, cycling or walking
  • Check the latest status updates for Tube, rail and trams

  • Check the latest status updates for buses and traffic

  • Nearby uses your current location or a postcode or address of your choice and places you on a map, showing you Tube, bus, river, rail and Santander Cycles locations around you
  • Subscribe to our email updates for travel news