District 150

1998 57307 - Q38 stock at Earls Court in 1939

On Christmas Eve 1868, the Metropolitan District Railway first opened to passengers travelling between Westminster and South Kensington. 150 years later, the District line as we know it today continues to keep London moving.

Join London Transport Museum and Transport for London to celebrate the past, present and future of this important Underground line.

Volunteers working to restore Q Stock cars

Restoring the Q stock

Help us preserve a rare piece of District line heritage, the last three 1930s Q stock Underground carriages.

Donate

 district history

The history of the District Line

The Metropolitan District Railway first opened to passengers travelling between Westminster and South Kensington on 24 December 1868. Find out more about the history on our Google Arts & Culture story

Read more

District products

Shop our District Line products

We sell a range of District Line-themed products in our shop online and in Covent Garden. Take a piece of Underground history home with a vintage poster, themed mug or made-to-order accessories for your home.

Shop now

 district steam run

Steam Train run

On Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June, London Transport Museum & TfL marked 150 years of the District line with a special heritage event that saw a steam train travelling through tunnels into central London on the Underground for the last time.

Find out more

1998 88571 Q38 stock on eastbound district line at Charing Cross now Embankment 1956 - (C) London Transport Museum collection

Our Q stock story

Q stock trains first entered service on the District line eighty years ago in 1938. Find out what makes these trains distinctive with vehicle restoration expert Katariina Mauranen.

Read the blog


Celebrating 150 years of the District line

Poster parade: 28 June - 26 September 

The District line opened as the Metropolitan District Railway in December 1868, operating steam trains on a short section of track between Sloane Square and Westminster. Over the next 30 years ‘the District’ expanded into the western suburbs of London, but it was struggling financially.

The American financier Charles Tyson Yerkes bought the District in 1901 and converted it to electric traction in 1905. London Transport took it over in 1933 and today it forms part of Transport for London. This Poster Parade celebrates the District’s 150th anniversary.

district 20. 2013 10115 Posterkeeping london moving since 1863 trains and colours copy

Keeping London Moving since 1863

Transport for London, 2012

district 1983 4 118 Poster District Railway Opening Of Widened Lines unknown 1911 copy

District Railway

Unknown, 1911

district 1983 4 1458 Poster Crocus Time At Kew Gardens by Ugo Mochi 1923 copy

Crocus time at Kew Gardens

Ugo Mochi, 1923

district 1983 4 1353 Poster To Sudbury Town Or South Harrow by Harold Sandys Williamson see Florian 1922 copy

How long since you saw a sunset in the country?

Harold Sandys Williamson, 1922

district 1983 4 1472 Poster Winters Eclipse Springtime by Albert E Fruin 1922 copy

Winter's eclipse; springtime

Albert E Fruin, 1922

district 1994 1313 Poster District line 125th anniversary by Sebastian Budner 1993 copy

Transport for generations District line 125th anniversary

Sebastian Budner, 1993

district 1999 30189 Poster Right into the Heart of the Country unknown circa 1910 copy

Right into the Heart of the Country

Unknown, circa 1910

district 2001 3615 Poster The District line by Partners 2000

The District Line

Partners, 2000

district 1983 4 1831 Poster Southend on sea by Frank Newbould 1925 copy

Southend-on-sea

Walter E Spradbery, 1928

A row of red and green moquette covered tube seats

Shop

Moquette by the metre

Take home an iconic piece of the Underground! You can now buy moquette by the metre from our shop. Available in 18 different designs!

Shop now

An illustration of a crowd of people at Piccadilly Circus

What's On

Friday Late

Explore the Museum after hours at our next Friday late. Step back in time and enjoy London's rich nightlife throughout the ages, from Victorian music halls to influential subcultures.

Lates

A cherub gesturing to a banner which reads Courtesy aids

Collections

Object of the month

When promoting leisure travel, the Underground often used romance as a theme, On a few occasions, London Transport even issued special Valentine's posters like this one featuring cute cherubs.

Discover more