Tube geek (1)Shortest and longest gaps
What are the shortest and longest gaps between tube stations?
Not in terms of distance, but with regard to opening dates.
The shortest gap between station openings is one day!
It's happened twice.
Finchley Road and West Hampstead opened on 30th June 1879.
Chiswick Park, Acton Town, Ealing Common and Ealing Broadway opened on 1st July 1879.
Queensbury opened on 16th December 1934.
Upminster Bridge opened on 17th December 1934.
Completely different lines, one day apart.
n.b. If you want to be super-pedantic, umpteen stations opened minutes apart because it took the inaugural train a finite time to travel from one to the other, but let's not go there.
And the longest gap is 19 years!
This austerity-crippled hiatus occured between September 1949 and September 1968.
Debden, Theydon Bois and Epping opened on 25th September 1949.
Highbury & Islington to Walthamstow Central opened on 1st September 1968.
Altogether that's a massive 6916 days.
Here's the full Top 5 Longest Gaps, all of which have occurred since 1948.
1) 6916 days Epping etc (25 Sep 1949) → Walthamstow Central etc (1 Sep 1968) 2) 4780 days Heathrow T4 (12 Apr 1986) → Canning Town/North Greenwich (14 May 1999) 3) 4726 days Wood Lane (12 Oct 2008) → Battersea Power Station/Nine Elms (20 Sep 2021) 4) 3107 days Southwark (24 Sep 1999) → Heathrow T5 (27 Mar 2008) 5) 3039 days Heathrow T123 (16 Dec 1977) → Heathrow T4 (12 Apr 1986)
With nothing waiting in TfL's station-building pipeline, it's lucky they reset the clock last year.
All they have to do to avoid creating the longest gap ever is open something new before 2040.