Surviving the Heat: Tips for Commuting on the London Underground Without Air Conditioning

…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media. Dealing with the Heat on London’s Underground


As temperatures rise, commuting on the London Underground can be particularly challenging due to the lack of air conditioning on many lines.

Although Transport for London has not yet issued a travel warning like last year, passengers may want to consider taking alternate routes or measures to keep cool during their journeys.

It is advisable to carry a bottle of water when traveling to stay hydrated.

Tube Lines with Air Conditioning

Fortunately, some Tube lines do have air conditioning.

The Circle, Hammersmith & City, District, and Metropolitan lines are equipped with air-conditioned trains.


Additionally, other transport services such as the Overground, Northern City, Thameslink, Trams, and the future Elizabeth Line also provide air-conditioned environments for passengers.

Tube Lines Without Air Conditioning

Londoners should be aware that certain Tube lines do not have air conditioning.

It is advisable to avoid the Central, Bakerloo, Jubilee, Victoria, Piccadilly, Waterloo & City, and Northern lines during hot weather, as these lines can become uncomfortably warm for commuters.

The Challenges of Retrofitting Air Conditioning

The absence of air conditioning on certain Tube lines can be attributed to various factors.

One reason is the age of the Underground system, with some tunnels dating back to the Victorian era.

The narrow size of these tunnels makes it difficult to retrofit air-conditioning equipment onto the trains.


Moreover, the introduction of air conditioning could lead to excessive heat buildup in the tunnels, potentially posing risks to passengers on the platforms.

Potential Improvements in the Future

Despite the current discomfort, there is hope for a more comfortable Underground experience.

New train designs offer the possibility of installing air conditioning on the Piccadilly Line by 2025.

Additionally, upgrade plans are in place for the Central, Bakerloo, and Waterloo & City lines in the near future, which may include improved ventilation and cooling systems.

These upgrades aim to enhance the overall commuting experience and alleviate the challenges faced during hot weather.


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