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A section of the East London line is the oldest part of the London Underground. Sir Marc Brunel's twin tunnels, under the Thames, predate the world's first Underground railway, between Paddington and Farringdon Street, by 20 years.
Sir Marc Brunel's historic twin tunnels opened for pedestrians in 1843, but were later laid with rail tracks linking Wapping to the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway at New Cross Gate in 1869.
The line was linked at Shoreditch to the Great Eastern Railway into Liverpool Street in 1876, and four years later the southern branch to New Cross was opened. When the line was electrified in 1913, the link into Liverpool Street was closed.
A section of the East London line is the oldest part of the London Underground
The East London line closed in 1995 for the refurbishment of the Grade II* listed Thames Tunnel between Wapping and Rotherhithe and the construction of a new station at Canada Water, built to interchange with the extended Jubilee Line.
The line reopened between Whitechapel and New Cross/New Cross Gate in March 1998, with the final section between Whitechapel and Shoreditch reopening in September 1998. The new Canada Water station opened in August 1999.
If you would like to discover more about the twin tunnels, The Brunel Engine House Museum (behind Rotherhithe tube station) tells the story of the engineering feat. The museum is open six days a week (closed Mondays) from 1pm to 5pm. Visit The Brunel Engine House Museum website or phone 020 7231 3840.
As part of Transport for London's £10bn Investment Programme, the East London Line is being extended. The new extended line will open in 2010 as the East London Railway.
Shoreditch station was closed permanently in June 2006 to allow construction work for the extension to take place.
The remainder of the line continued to operate between Whitechapel and New Cross/ New Cross Gate until 22 December 2007. The line was then closed to allow it to be converted in preparation for the new train service.
East London line extension and closure
As part of TfL's £10bn Investment Programme, the East London Line is being extended. The new extended line will open in 2010 as the East London Railway
If you wish to comment on the East London line services, or would like to know more about the line, please contact London Underground.
If you would like to know more about the East London line and replacement bus services, see the first and last East London line train and replacement bus times