Public transportation

London's Subway to Shift to 24-Hour Service

Starting in 2015


The London Underground is facing one of the most dramatic overhauls in its 150-year history: Starting in 2015, its trains will start running throughout the night, and most of its ticket offices will be replaced by upgraded machines or turnstiles that accept bank cards as part of a plan meant to bring the world's oldest subway system "into the 21st century."

The announcement Thursday brought mixed reactions. In a capital that prides itself on its theater scene and night life, the prospect of 24-hour train service has been one of the most popular campaign pledges of Mayor Boris Johnson.

But at a time of sluggish economic growth, declining real wages and austerity policies, the planned closure of ticket offices, which will cost about 750 Underground workers their jobs, has angered transport unions. Some warned that it could prompt the first major strikes in four years.