London Underground trains run completely outside London every day

Despite its name, not every single train runs on the London Underground in London. Both the Metropolitan and Central lines run across the Greater London border and into the Home Counties of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex.

That means there are a handful of tube driver depots and sidings located outside London’s 32 boroughs. At the beginning and end of each day, when trains and drivers are going to the terminus of the lines, some of the trains run in passenger traffic.

In an example on the Metropolitan line, the trains use a secret track called the Croxley North Curve, to get them from Rickmansworth to / from Watford, where the trains start / end their normal journeys to / from Baker Street. As the track is only used by a small number of Tube trains at the end of the day, it does not appear on the Tube map.

READ MORE: London Underground: Why the really noisy trains on the Jubilee Line sound like a spaceship



Late at night, trains run from Epping, returning to siding in Loughton. These trips take place exclusively in Essex

Metropolitan line to / from Chesham / Amersham

Monday to Saturday morning there are departures from Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire (Zone 7) to Chesham / Amersham in Buckinghamshire (Zone 9) at 5.20, 5.30, 5.40, 5.50, 6.00 and 6.48, which completely avoids London.

There are also 12.23 and 12.52 trains from Chesham to Rickmansworth, which stop before entering London, as well as the 12.40 time from Amersham to Rickmansworth.

On Sundays, the trains run at 7.18 and 7.44 from Rickmansworth to Amersham.

There are currently no London Underground services running completely off the M25, although before 2010 all metropolitan trains to Chesham started from Chalfont & Latimer, meaning there were underground links running all the way across London’s orbital motorway, all the way to Buckinghamshire .



The line from Watford North Junction to Watford East Junction is not shown on the Tube map – it is used by the trains below

Metropolitan line: to / from Watford

All of these trains use the ‘secret’ Croxley North Curve. The only other time subway trains run along this part of the track is when engineering work or disturbance is blocking the line between Moor Park and Harrow.

The trains are:

  • 5.16 weekdays Chesham to Watford calls at all stations to Rickmansworth, then Croxley and Watford
  • 06.08 on weekdays Rickmansworth to Watford, which only calls at Croxley and Watford
  • 12.19 Mondays from Watford to Rickmansworth, which only calls at Croxley and Rickmansworth
  • 12.49 Tuesday to Saturday from Watford to Rickmansworth, which only calls at Croxley and Rickmansworth


The central line’s current terminus, the rather charming Epping station

Central line: to / from Epping

On the Central Line, all journeys are completely outside London between Loughton and Epping in Essex. Trains start empty from or continue empty to sidings south of Loughton station, which are visible from passing trains.

Northbound trains leave Loughton at 4.56, 5.11, 5.16, 5.22, 5.32, 5.39 and 6.31 on weekdays, 4.56, 5.13 and 6.42 on Saturdays and 6.36, 6.56, 7.20 and 07.00 on Sundays.

Southbound trains depart from Epping at 10.53, 11.13, 11.37, 23.50, 12.47, 12.57, 1.07, 1.20 on weekdays, 11.03, 11.23, 11.37, 11.207, kl. 11,207, 11,207. and 10.48, 11.04, 11.23, 11.33, 11.43, 23.53, 12.03, 12.13 and 12.26 Sunday evening / Monday morning.

Have you ever traveled on one of these non-London London Underground trains? Tell us in the comments below.

You can read all of MyLondon’s Tube-related news, features and trivia pieces on our dedicated page here.

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