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The London Underground.
~History~ The LU was the first ever underground railway in the world. Its Metropolitan line was the first ever and it was constructed in 1868 and ran between Paddington and Farringdon on steam hauled trains. Since then the network has had an extra 12 lines constructed and all run off electric rails.
~Lines~ The Lines in alphabetical order are: ·Bakerloo -Harrow and Wealdstone - Elephant And Castle ·Central -West Ruilsip - Ongar ·Circle -It's a big circle! But its depot is Hammersmith ·District -Wimbledon / Paddington - Upminster ·East London -Shoreditch - New Cross / New Cross Gate ·Hammersmith & City -Hammersmith - Barking ·Jubilee -Stanmore- Stratford ·Metropolitan Watford / Amersham / Chesham - Aldgate ·Northern - High Barnet / Mill Hill East / Edware - Morden ·Piccadilly Cockfosters - Heathrow Terminal 1,2,3 ·Victoria - Walthamstow Central - Brixton ·Waterloo & City Short Connection From Waterloo - Bank. Non Stop.
~LU Facts~ Only 45% Of the Network is actually underground. The Northern line requires 97 trains to operate the peak hour while the Waterloo and City needs only 4. The busiest station is Victoria with 35,000 people using it every
3 hours. 12,366 are currently employed by the Underground. The Jubilee line was the worlds most expensive railway extension ever costing £11billion.
~Trains~ Trains run every 2 minutes on most lines although it can be around 5 on the Jubilee. The trains ages range from 1973 to 1996 stock. Trains are not very comfortable because when they were built people were smaller so that's why the space is so uncomfortable. Normally the trains are packed so you will end up standing down the gangway or crushed against a door. Trains run at an average speed of 20.5mph. They are not very smooth but you wouldn't expect them to be considering the age of the network..
~Network~ The network is very extensive (London wise) connecting Central London with Greater London and Heathrow Airport. There are 12 lines in total.
~Tickets~ A ticket is a whopping £5.40 for a travelcard to get you any where on the network. Tickets can be purchased from every station and they are also accepted on the Docklands Light Railway.
~Tourism~ Tourists are probably one of the main reasons why the trains are packed. Most of them usually are lost - (over hear them say we should be in Aldgate not Watford) I have heard that before! The tube is generally a London attraction in itself.
~Locating the Tube~ This is obviously very difficult as it's underground but the stations are very easy to find. You can spot them by the round circle and blue bar logo. It doesn't matter what station you are at because connections to the line you want are usually a maximum of 7 minutes away from your location. Take the Jubilee line - that is the only line with connections to every line. And also take the Northern Line - between Euston and Waterloo there are 5 stops. Every one with an interchange to another line. Some tube stations are very close to each other (Leicester Square and Covent Garden - it's actually quicker to walk than get the tube)
~Tube Etiquette~ These are simple things and traditions on the tube that may be helpful for tourists. Stand on the right side of the escalator so people in a hurry to catch the train that isn't there yet can get past. Let passengers off the train first. So its easier to get on and there is more space when you get on. Mind the Gap - the phrase every one hates! It's simple though, last watch out for it, more than half of the injuries on the Tube are caused by people tripping up the gap causing a delay to the train and the 400 people on it. The biggest gap on the whole network is nearly ¾ of a foot.
~Speed Of Transport~ On the tube you can get to your destination very quickly. There is no congestion and it can run at 20mph without another idiot train driver pulling out in front of you. There is also no congestion charge even though you are paying £5.40 so its only a 40p difference.
~Safety~ The tubes are very safe indeed. There have only been two serious crashes since it opened in the 1860's. One at Moorgate when a driver had an accident and the train didn't brake and crashed into the buffers on the end of the line. The other was when a 1992 Central Line train derailed in the tunnel between Chancery Lane and St. Pauls.
~Disbility Catering~ There is only space for wheelchairs on the Jubilee line but its impossible to get a wheelchair down an escalator so don't even bother with the disability tubes. The district line is the best for disabled people because it has loads of room on the train and the line is mearly 10m underground so are easy to access.
~Pros~ Gets you places quickly, great tourist opportunity. Not many more unfortunatly.
~Cons~ It smells, litter, its dirty, poor customer service, lots of delays, no consideration for disabled tubers.
i am fascinated by the underground lol. or 55% overground :P)
Deru 27.11.2005 06:32
Oh and apparently, people still fall onto the tracks. Jubilee Line stations seem safer with the see-through barriers with doors that open only when there's a train.
Deru 27.11.2005 06:31
Shouldn't the price be a 'Con' at the bottom too? It's less packed during certain hours. I don't know why you have 'Oyster Card' in your title yet you don't mention it in your review. Price can vary if you just get a single ticket to travel within a single zone. Slightly cheaper with an Oyster Card (£2.30 within Zone1?). Still a rip-off if you ask me but I think it should be mentioned as not all journeys cost £5.40. (I pay £5.20 for a zones 1-4 Day Travel card).
The seminal and pioneering London Underground is more than a mass transportation network - ... more
it is a style icon, its history involving some of the most important architects and artists of their time. From Frank Pick's vision to Metroland and Holden's innovative designs, David Long expertly weaves the story of the Underground - its abundance of characters (some good, some not so good), design firsts and brand identity - with Jane Magarigal's atmospheric photography. From suburban expansion to Blitz bombings and Soviet adulation, this book celebrates what remains a magnificent engineering and aesthetic achievement while providing an affectionate if slightly elegiac portrait of a London which is now gone for good.