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Hottest London Underground Stations to Avoid

Hottest London Underground Stations to Avoid 

It’s finally happened! Summer is here. After a damp April, rainy May, soggy June, and an insipid start to July, we’re now in the swing of things. (We won’t speak too soon though…) For now, it’s safe to say that it’s officially fan-in-bedroom season.  

Although people are increasingly walking, cycling and Uber-ing-it around the capital these days, we do still need to catch the Tube some of the time. And, let’s face it, the Tube isn’t always the most pleasant place to be in the summer. Because there’s British Summer Time – queue images of English meadows, picnics and sunny seascapes – and then there’s London Summer Time – which can be a hot sticky mess at the best of times. 

It’s always good to know which are the hottest underground lines so you can avoid them. According to Metro newspaper, “The crowded Central Line is often slammed as the hottest on the network but it’s actually the Bakerloo that could be the most sweltering. In 2019, thermal imaging company Flier predicted the Bakerloo could max out at 42°C, as it more than lives up to its name.” 

According to MyLondon, it’s only getting worse because the Tube’s clay tunnels absorb the heat they’ve taken in over the years. The clay temperature used to be around 10+ degrees, but it is now in the mid-20s and cannot take in as much heat. With that said, which Tube line is the worst, and which can offer a breath of fresh air (air-con, anyone)?  

Hawt, hawt, hawt Tube Lines 

The deep-tube lines, where the trains are smaller, older, and lack air-conditioning, are naturally on the hotlist. Please step forward the Central, Northern, Piccadilly, Victoria, Jubilee, Bakerloo, and Waterloo and City lines. 

Piccadilly Line 

Let’s start with our local. A BBC weather reporter took a thermometer on the Tube in 2018 to measure the temperature, and it was a whopping 39°C on the Piccadilly line. However, a new Piccadilly Line will be hitting London in 2025 with fancy new trains and its own air-conditioning. Bakerloo and Waterloo & City air-con renovations will follow a little while after. 

The Central Line  

In the past, reports have been made that London Tube lines have exceeded the maximum temperature for keeping cattle. Yep, the Central Line is hotter than natural body temperature on hot summer days – it exceeds 36°C. Sadly, Central Line won’t receive air-con until 2030! 

Jubilee Line 

The MyLondon team took thermometers on the Tube and discovered that the Jubilee Line is one of the hottest, with temperatures exceeding 33°C and on the hottest day that year 37°C. With no current plans to upgrade the Jubilee, Victoria or Northern lines you may wish to avoid these three. At least the Jubilee was the first to get 4G coverage, which might distract you from melting into a puddle. 

Victoria Line 

Despite having increased ventilation, it still gets very hot on the Victoria line.  

London Tube arriving

Cool as Ice Tube Lines (OK, not quite) 

Your best bet for keeping cool is to jump on the network’s Sub-Surface Lines (SSL) – please take a bow: District, Circle, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan lines. The only four Tube lines with air-conditioning, they’ll keep you cool from Uxbridge to Upminster. This is also because the lines are shallower and easier to install ventilation. 

London Overground trains are fully air-conditioned, as are the Trams and City Thameslink. TfL Rail from Heathrow to Paddington and Liverpool Street to Shenfield is fully air- conditioned. 

And, so, on our cool list: 

Circle 

Hammersmith & City District 

Metropolitan  

Newer Overground trains! 

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