24-hour weekend services on London Underground’s Central and Victoria Lines began operating during the early hours of Saturday 20 August.
Transport for London says that 50,000 journeys were made during the first night of operation.
Plans for the all-night service at weekends were first announced in November 2013, with a start date of September 2015 later set. However, disputes with trade unions over changes to staff rosters and consequent industrial action caused LU to abandon this plan, and it later agreed to hire around 200 additional drivers to cover the new services. Later in the autumn Night Tube services will follow on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly Lines as drivers complete their training.
Services will operate throughout the night on Fridays and Saturdays on the entire Victoria and Jubilee Lines. On the Central Line trains will run between Ealing Broadway and Loughton/Hainault, on the Piccadilly Line they will operate between Cockfosters and Heathrow Terminal 5 while on the Northern Line they will serve the entire line with the exception of the Mill Hill East and Bank branches. A frequency of six trains per hour is planned through central London between 00.30 and 05.30, with eight trains per hour running on the Northern Line.
It is estimated that the overnight services will support around 2,000 permanent jobs and boost London’s economy by £77 million a year by 2029. Transport for London has also introduced eight new overnight bus services to go hand-in-hand with the start of the Night Tube, while more than 100 British Transport Police officers will patrol the full Night Tube network; all stations will be staffed at all times.
If successful, all-night services may also be introduced on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines once the modernisation programme including resignalling of these lines has been completed in the early 2020s. Ambitions for night time running on the Docklands Light Railway and London Overground have also previously been stated.