London Underground: Londoners divided on how much of a nightmare the District line is

Londoners across the capital will be all too familiar with the District line. Colored green on the map, it runs from Upminster in the east to Earl’s Court in West London, where it splits into five different branches, including Edgware Road, Kensington (Olympia), Wimbledon, Richmond and Ealing Broadway.

The line crosses 60 stations – the most of any underground line – all the way from zone one to six. According to UK Transport Wiki, it is the third busiest line on the Underground network with an estimated 200 million passengers annually.

Despite its apparent importance, some have found the line to be unpredictable. One Londoner decided to determine once and for all how reliable the service is by starting a Reddit thread titled: “Just how unreliable really is the District line? Thinking of moving to Southfields.”

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The District Line stops at 60 stations

The user wrote: “I currently live around Clapham Junction but I’m getting kicked out in a couple months (Landlord selling) and rental prices are mental compared to the deal I got on my current place. Looking more and more likely I’m going to have to leave the Clapham area and venture further out.

“I’m seeing some potential in some places near Southfields station, and it would mean getting the District line everywhere. The transport links are good of course, but I’ve heard very bad things about District line reliability and train frequency. I’m looking for some anecdotal reviews for people who live in the area or have had experience living in the area and using the District line for a decent length of time.”

The post sparked a debate with some users condemning the District lines and others coming to its defence. One person wrote: “I lived in Southfields for 18 months. It’s a nice and pleasant area, if a bit dull and suburban. Transport is pretty crap though and was the main reason I left. The area definitely feels a bit cut off from the rest of South West London due to the poor transport links.



The District Line opened in 1868

“I worked in the City and I can attest to the fact that the District line isn’t great; there were major delays at least once a week. Plus having to wait for ages at Earls Court, I’ve had to wait more than 15 minutes for a Wimbledon branch train before. That branch of the District line seemed to be down regularly at the weekend too, meaning you had to rely on buses.

“Honestly, if you’re youngish and don’t have a because I’d give Southfields a miss. It’s cheap to rent small flats and rooms around there because it’s a very family oriented area with poor transport links.”

Others, however, disagreed. One Londoner defended the service saying: “People here complain that occasional 10 minute train gaps mean that a train service is unusable despite it probably still being in the top one per cent in the UK in terms of frequency. Anyway, these issues should get sorted once the new signaling system is completed.”

Another added: “I work in Embankment so I usually just hop on the District line. I haven’t had an issue yet since moving last year. It’s slower than commuting from Clapham Junction but it’s not the worst thing I’ve encountered.”

A third said: “It’s fine. Sure, there are 10 minute gaps off-peak but that’s still plenty fast. The main issue is just how rammed it is during rush hour or when Chelsea is playing…”

Others, however, remained unconvinced: “It is a joke. Don’t do it.”

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