Ever wondered just how many people can fit into a London Underground tube train? Nope? Bet you are now!

It’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer, especially if you ponder how many people can stand, and just how close they stand to each other.

But more interesting is the ratio of standing to sitting. Which line offers you a greater chance of a seat?

How do the new Elizabeth line trains, which were recently shown off to many comments about the lack of seating compare to the rest of the tube network?

LineStockCarriagesTotal CapacitySeatingStanding
Victoria2009898625273474%
Bakerloo1972784726458369%
Piccadilly1973679822857071%
Central199281,04727277574%
Waterloo & City1992450613637073%
Northern1995680024855269%
Jubilee1996796423473076%
DistrictD Stock696528068571%
S Stock71,03425677875%
Circle / H&CS Stock71,03425677875%
MetropolitanS Stock81,15930685374%
ElizabethClass 34591,5004501,05070%

Note, for standing capacity, I have erred towards the lower of the three available figures to allow for luggage, elbows, inconsiderate sods not moving down the carriage, etc.

  • Maximum observed standing capacity (5 customers per m2) <– used
  • Maximum full load standing capacity (6 customers per m2)
  • Theoretical crush standing capacity (7 customers per m2)

Sources:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/journey_demand_and_service_suppl

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/cy/request/307547/response/749619/attach/html/3/Rolling%20Stock%20Data%20Sheet%20for%202009%20Victoria%20Line%20Stock.pdf.html

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6 comments on “London tube train capacities
  1. 100andthirty says:

    Please note, Bakerloo trains are 7 car, and Piccadilly line are 6 car. Neither are 8 car as on your chart.

    2009 tube stock have 36 fixed and tip up seats per car, making 288 seats per train. 252 seats excludes the tip up seats.

    • Ian Visits says:

      Corrected – slight confusion on the TfL documents between car formations and numbers of trains.

  2. Colin Brown says:

    Crossrail isn’t a tube line!

    • Ian Visits says:

      Neither technically is the Met/Circle/H&C, but people use the term “tube” to describe the underground trains in central London — so in that sense, the Elizabeth Line will be part of the tube.

    • Lararizzle says:

      I believe it is part of TfL Rail system with the central parts running like a tube line. I guess it’s closest to being the Met Line, but will be run by MTR Rail (Crossrail) Ltd. In that case you should also include Overground trains in your table as they are also included on the tube map. – I’d be keen to see that data comparison too.

  3. dan brotzel says:

    What’s the proper term for the area of the carriage between the doors and at end of aisles where people stand? Is it really vestibule??

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