The Central Line

Geographer Danny Dorling tells the stories of the people who live along The 32 Stops of the Central Line to illustrate the extent and impact of inequality in Britain today - part of a series of twelve books tied to the twelve lines of the London Underground, as TfL celebrates 150 years of the Tube.

Like the trace of a heartbeat on a cardiac monitor, the Central Line slowly falls south through west London, rises gently through the centre and then flicks up north through the east end of the capital. At the start of the journey life expectancy falls by two months a minute. Between the first four stations every second spent moving on the train is exactly a day off their lives in terms of how long people living beside the tracks can expect to live. By telling the personal stories of the very different people who live along the Central Line, the people who really make up The 32 Stops, geographer Danny Dorling explores the class and wealth divides that define our lives. His work shows the widening gap between rich and poor in the UK, and how where you live determines so much about your chances in life.

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Further Resources: Reading sample & multimedia material

To find out more about Danny and his work, please visit his website at

The 32 Stops - Lives on London’s Central Line

Published March 2013

by Penguin

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London is filled with stories: This book is part of the Penguin Underground Lines series celebrating 150 years of the Tube. In twelve books, twelve writers tell their tales of London life, each inspired by a different Underground line. Some are personal, some are polemical; every one is unique.