A thread for mumsnet nerds to talk about the history of the London Underground (aka what's your favourite tube station)

(520 Posts)
GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 11:43:24

I spent a happy hour looking at this site www.abandonedstations.org.uk/

The history of the tube is fascinating, and I love travelling on it, it is so atmospheric (apart from when I am commuting within London and then I hate it with a vengeance like any normal person reserving special ire for the wanking Circle line).

Some stations feel really evocative - for instance Lambeth North looks as if it hasn't changed since the second world war.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 11:43:52

And look at this tube map carto.metro.free.fr/cartes/metro-london/ - it shows what the tube map would look like if it was geographically accurate.

passivehoovering Thu 26-Jul-12 11:45:29


What is the Ghost station called, between Kentish Town and Camden?

Will there ever be a tube to Collier Row in the East, last time I went to the London Transport Museum there was a map with it on. That was just before it shut down for it's refurb, so maybe 6 years ago?

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 11:48:03

South Kentish Town according to that site www.abandonedstations.org.uk/South_Kentish_Town_station.html

Olympia2012 Thu 26-Jul-12 11:50:24

I love urbexing! Less interested in stations though. Will re visit your link

whatkungfuthat Thu 26-Jul-12 11:51:12

I remember when Aldwych was open, it was just open rush hour at the end I think.

passivehoovering Thu 26-Jul-12 11:51:15

thanks. I should have looked myself ! I did wonder why I could never see the platform, when going past on the tube. I thought it was because we were going too fast, but reading that it seems the platform has been removed.

HarlotOTara Thu 26-Jul-12 11:51:59

I love that website and want to visit all the dis-used ones. Is it Aldwych on the Strand that has an old ticket office used in films? Also, which is the one with the rooms and stuff used by Churchill during the war (I don't mean the Cabinet War Rooms btw).

There is something on King WIlliam Street (I think that is the name) that is something to do with the original tube line but can't remember what - not being much help there blush

whatkungfuthat Thu 26-Jul-12 11:54:05

There are lots of old tunnels that were used by the GPO (BT) that were linked to tube stations, I've been in a few but that was years ago. One of them is called 'The Walk', old BT engineers get all misty eyed about it.

passivehoovering Thu 26-Jul-12 11:56:29

isn't there a tube line under the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, which was used by Royal Mail, or did I just make that up?

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 11:59:52

Wasdn't King William Street absorbed by Bank Station (why Bank station is so huge, it is three stations combined, the original Bank, King William St and another one).

whatkungfuthat Thu 26-Jul-12 12:02:01

Not sure, but it sounds likely. Years ago I did some temping at The National Audit Office in Victoria in the building that used to be the old BOAC building. There was a disused train line in the basement to Gatwick. In the 60's people could check in at the BOAC office, leave their luggage and hop on a train straight into the airport.

whatkungfuthat Thu 26-Jul-12 12:03:55

Also, my favourite tube station is Arnos Grove for the art deco design.

VeremyJyle Thu 26-Jul-12 12:04:08

There's another website about overground stations no longer in use, I can't link from my phone but will do from laptop later. There are a few branch lines in London that were closed post Dr Beeching, Northern Heights being one that had it not been for WWII would've become part of the tube network. Definitely worth a look, sometimes its more fascinating to look at somewhere you know so well and then imagine trains once running across it, especially when there's not the slightest hint or trace of a railway once being there.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:04:25

Oh god that sounds fantastic. That would be brilliant wouldn't it if you could do that now from central London.

I like the great big 1930s building which holds the London Underground authority at St james Park (a station I use all the time when working in Victoria St).

almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 12:04:40

I remember Aldwych. I live in Balham and there is a plaque commemorating the people who dies when the station was bombed during the Blitz. It gives me the shivers - reminds me of that scene in Atonement when the water pours in and Keira Knightley drowns lol.

HarlotOTara Thu 26-Jul-12 12:04:48

This site is good too: www.underground-history.co.uk

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:05:07

Oh god that sounds fantastic. That would be brilliant wouldn't it if you could do that now from central London.

I like the great big 1930s building which holds the London Underground authority at St james Park (a station I use all the time when working in Victoria St).

Pandemoniaa Thu 26-Jul-12 12:06:44

Ah, a thread that warms my nerdy heart! I still attempt to catch sight of South Kentish Town if on that line!

One of the least known lines is "The Drain" which runs a very limited service between Waterloo and Bank stations. When I was a child I remember it used the ancient 1940s stock and was really very weird.

My mother worked for the GPO both before and after the war and she had all sorts of tales about the tunnels and lines that were only used by the GPO.

VeremyJyle Thu 26-Jul-12 12:07:23

kungfu I'll pass on the compliment, I'm on my way there now, although I'll probably disappoint you and say I never did get the fascination with Charles Holden's work, I think those stations on the north of the Piccadilly line are quite ugly, maybe I just don't appreciate art deco smile

HarlotOTara Thu 26-Jul-12 12:07:51

alma the same thing happened at Bethnal Green station I think.

almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 12:08:13

Has anyone read Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman? It is set primarily on a fantasy version of the LU: an actual angel lives at Islington, for example. It's very good especially if you're a tube geek

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:08:55

Genuinely laughing at the lol when KK drowns. grin

Why did they close Aldwych? It says on that site because it is in close proximity to other stations, but seems a bit short sighted to close a station in such a central area.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:11:03

I remember once bored on a neverending central line journey from west to east looking at the tube map to find where the hell the Waterloo and City line was.

Then found out it was just between two stations - waterloo and bank. I was evidently particularly dim that day.

almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 12:11:04

Harlot - it's really sad, isn't it? Haven't been to Bethnal Green but will look for a marker if I do.

Pandemoniaa Thu 26-Jul-12 12:11:37

PS. The bombing of several tube stations was one reason why my mother refused to shelter in them during air raids. She assured me that some of the vi corpses of some of the victims were walled up at Bank Station following the bomb that fell in 1941 and of course, there was the awful events that followed the bombing of Bethnal Green. My dm reckoned that the tube stations were potential death traps although of course, many thousands of people slept down there and emerged unscathed.

bruffin Thu 26-Jul-12 12:12:31

Not a tubestation but used to live in Upper Norwood and got to go in The Crystal Palace subway tunnels at the railway station once They are lovely piece of victorian architecture.

almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 12:12:59

I think Aldwych was basically the same place as Tower Bridge, wasn't it?

Ephiny Thu 26-Jul-12 12:13:44

Bank station is amazing (not always in a good way), such a labyrinth of tunnels. I got lost a couple of times when I first moved to London and walked what felt like miles (probably in circles) trying to find the Waterloo&City line.

I think also the escalators were out of use (aren't they always though!) and you had to take all these convoluted diversions down spiral staircases etc.

almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 12:14:06

Pandemoniaa, what happened at Bethnal Green?!

PAssive, where did you read about the Royal London tube line? I used to live next to it, but not on the same side as the tube tracks, and I swear i would feel a tube going underneath the building sometimes at night. DH never believed me!

whatkungfuthat Thu 26-Jul-12 12:14:47

IIRC Aldwych was a funny little station, I don't think it could handle high volumes. Its possible that when it was built it was for the theatre crowd.

bruffin Thu 26-Jul-12 12:16:01
Olympia2012 Thu 26-Jul-12 12:16:44

Down st where Churchill was hiding! Very interesting read!

Pandemoniaa Thu 26-Jul-12 12:17:44

Here's what happened at Bethnal Green, alma


weblette Thu 26-Jul-12 12:19:13

Oh what a brilliant site! Thanks for that.
almapudden here you go. Tragic story sad

tethersend Thu 26-Jul-12 12:19:24

Best. Thread. Ever.

I live in bethnal green- over 170 people were killed rushing down the stairs for shelter; there were no bombs. They were crushed to death as they fell. The station had not yet opened and was being used as a shelter. It was hushed up as thought bad for morale.

My next door neighbour remembers it- she and her family went there every night apart from that one. Her dad heard about it and went AWOL to check they were alive.

The old post office station is now St. Paul's.

weblette Thu 26-Jul-12 12:19:31

Umpteen x-posts!

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:19:43

Oh god I had no idea re Bethnal Green - I knew that lots of people had died but assumed it was from a direct bomb, not just a panic and crush. How utterly awful.

almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 12:20:10

Thanks Bruffin.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:20:55

harlot I can't open that link, my antivirus flags it up as malware.

weblette Thu 26-Jul-12 12:21:42

We live at the very end of the Metropolitan line, Betjemin's Metroland is IMHO the best ever documentray about tube history. The Quainton Road station is now the Bucks Railway Centre.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:21:53

I would love to live in East London <sigh>

MooncupGoddess Thu 26-Jul-12 12:22:10

I am SO excited to see this thread.

Whenever I get the Central Line between Tottenham Court Road and Holborn I look out for the old British Museum station - you can still see it quite clearly in both directions though the platforms have been taken away.

Once I went to an art thingy in the Kingsway tram tunnel. Old posters on the walls and everything. Bliss.

Pandemoniaa Thu 26-Jul-12 12:22:57

Apparently, what triggered the panic was the firing of an anti-aircraft battery nearby. The sound was unfamiliar and people mistook it for enemy action. So it was even sadder that the disaster occurred given that it wasn't actually a bomb.

weblette Thu 26-Jul-12 12:23:29

We're doing the Central Line from West Ruislip to Stratford on Sunday en route to Olympic hockey so will keep my eyes peeled now.

bruffin Thu 26-Jul-12 12:25:09

There was a tv play made about it Its a Lovely Day Tomorrow which I remember watching in my teens

almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 12:25:33

Those links are fascinating, but so sad. I had no idea!

On a lighter note, there is always a chirpy, chick soup for the soul-style message on the whiteboard at Oval smile

tethersend Thu 26-Jul-12 12:26:38

They are building a memorial in bethnal green at the moment.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 26-Jul-12 12:27:40

Ooh is that true about tube under the Royal London?

Bethnal Green tube disaster sounds horrific sad They've got a campaign to raise money for a proper memorial on the corner where the steps are: www.stairwaytoheavenmemorial.org/

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:27:53

That is horrible - the woman who first tripped over at Bethnal Green (and caused the whole domino effect of people falling over her in the panic) - she survived but the child she was carrying didn't. So very sad.

MooncupGoddess Thu 26-Jul-12 12:28:58

Oh yes, I used to live near Oval and I loved the 'Thought for the Day'. I assumed it was the work of an enterprising member of staff and was gutted when someone told me there was a central list of thoughts to use sad

kiwijesta Thu 26-Jul-12 12:29:00

OMG you all have no idea how excited this thread makes me blush I'm such a tube anorak!

I could spend hours googling the tube, did you know near Gloucester Rd there are two fake house fronts built to hide the train tracks!

ariadneoliver Thu 26-Jul-12 12:29:52

There is quite a lot of fiction set in the inderground one way and another. I've been meaning to get this by Christopher Fowler for a while now.

Also there are very occasional tour of the disused stations: www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/in-the-know/london-cultural-attractions/9345037/london-underground-tours.html

bruffin Thu 26-Jul-12 12:30:23

I always was fascinated by the tiling on the Victoria Line which represented the station. There were 7 trees for Seven Sisters, a cameo of Queen Victoria for Victoria etc

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 26-Jul-12 12:31:18

Oval station has a twitter feed

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 26-Jul-12 12:32:05

My favourite tube station decoration is (I presume) the pictures depicting the building of the Eleanor Cross at Charing Cross.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:32:13
almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 12:34:13

Mooncup, nooooo, don't say that! I thought it was all the work of some jolly employee!

Those fake house fronts are great, there was an article about them in the Observer(?) a while back.

Brilliant thread GetOrf!

Once my knee gets fixed I may have to tap up a contact and see if I can get a tour of down street.

I always used to look out for north Kentish town on northern line journeys and I even went looking for it topside too! Turned out to be a cash converters sad

Olympia2012 Thu 26-Jul-12 12:41:04

Bethnal green tube disaster,so sad! Dd is now fascinated and gone off to read up on it, that's her week sorted. She is big on stuff like this, especially with war connection. She is now reading out all the names, ages and family connections of those deceased. Whole families gone just like that.

Yes, it was hushed up and not allowed to be discussed.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:41:34

I would love to go on a tour of old stations.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:42:35

I am so pleased I am not alone in finding the tube fascinating.

I moan like hell when I have to travel on it to get to work in the bloody heat and crowds, but I still love it.

My dream job would to be a tube driver.

almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 12:42:45

We should organise an MN tube tour, getorf. It could culminate in a Circle Line pub crawl [gin]

fossil97 Thu 26-Jul-12 12:43:02

Excellent thread.

"The Drain" is now the Waterloo and City Line, it was called that by LT because the tunnels are smaller diameter than the rest of the tube.

One of the perks of my job is getting to go round tube stations and down old tunnels from time to time. I love all that old memorabilia and the old stations with the names tiled on the platform walls. There are a few that get used as film sets.

Mornington Crescent is my favourite old station (because it's so beautifully refurbished) but my favourite new ones are the big open ones on the Jubilee line like Westminster and Southwark. I love the way the architects have left the functional bits like the concrete walls and tunnel lining segments on show.

There is a whole network of Post office tunnels as well; the old "Mail Rail".
It's funny how you can like railways but hate commuting on them!

I'll just get my (orange) anorak...

Is it edgware road station where the gnomes play cricket?

Ephiny Thu 26-Jul-12 12:45:19

I am unreasonably upset by the Circle line not being a circle any more. It just seems so wrong to me. How could they do this?

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:46:39

Oh I have always wanted to go on the circle line pub crawl.

People couldn't have gone all the way around, surely. That would be about 20 drinks wouldn't it? I would be plastered after the 3rd stop.

That is really interesting re the drain. I also really like Westminster - it is a beautifully designed station, and I like the functionality of it. It is just a sod to navigate in the morning rush hour as it is so big and busy.

I like mainline trains as well. I have a bugger of a commute from Gloucester to London when I go there, but the line from Gloucester to Swindon is beautiful, very high up with amazing views.

almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 12:46:40

I want fossil's job.

MooncupGoddess Thu 26-Jul-12 12:46:45

Fantastic blog about exploring Mail Rail:


The Holden fans should check out Southgate

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:47:52

When did the circle stop being a complete circle?

Did people used to fall asleep pissed on the train and go round and round?

fossil97 Thu 26-Jul-12 12:50:52

No you don't, it's 99% spreadsheets, honest!

Ephiny Thu 26-Jul-12 12:51:09

The Circle Line was changed a few years ago IIRC, wasn't there a big piss-up party on it the last night before it stopped being a circle?

Or was that the last night before they banned alcohol on the Tube?

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:51:12

What a great blog mooncup (I can see hours of my life wasted on there)

Pandemoniaa Thu 26-Jul-12 12:52:41

ds2 went to Middlesex Uni. He lived in a shared house just by Southgate tube but his campus was close to Oakwood. So I got to enjoy the Holden architecture as part of my visits to him and it was never a tiresome journey up to the wilder reaches of the Picadilly Line.

BeckyBlunt Thu 26-Jul-12 12:53:28

Don't forget the now-defunct Necropolis train from Waterloo down to the Brookwood cemetery in Surrey; a train line just for the dead...

MooncupGoddess Thu 26-Jul-12 12:55:12

Ah yes Becky - there's a good novel about that by Andrew Martin.

almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 12:55:27

I've seen maps on older trains which show it as a complete circle. Have you seen the YouTube video of the people who had a dinner party on a circle line train, complete with champagne and trestle tables (for what is a dinner party without a trestle table)?

Pandemoniaa Thu 26-Jul-12 12:56:11

Oh the Necropolis. What a wonderfully named line. Truly the last journey...

Pandemoniaa Thu 26-Jul-12 12:56:27

...and presumably no return tickets.

Here's my personal favourite station exterior at chalk farm

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 12:57:56

I really like the story of those fake house fronts. I just read Ben Aaronovitch's Whispers Underground, and because it's fiction assumed he made up all the stuff about the Met Line being built and fake house fronts. Clearly he did his research properly. Sorry Ben!

Yy, remember there definitely was a Necropolis Railway, thought to Kensall Green cemetary. It was something like half the height of a normal tube line, as corpses don't need to stand up hmm.

BeckyBlunt Thu 26-Jul-12 12:58:12

.....and no need for "quiet" carriages grin

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 12:59:26

My favourite station exterior St James Park looks splendidly Gotham City-esque

treadheavily Thu 26-Jul-12 12:59:34

I always loved Baron's Court because you could come in from Heathrow and stay on the same platform to change line.

info on the necropolis line. Love the badge!

tread barons court is a beauty from the outside too!

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 13:04:34

I loved St John's Wood station on the Jubilee Line as a child. Very atmospheric, they had wooden escalators and all the old brass fittings on them, including the brass lamps, and when you stand at the entrance to the station while a train is coming in or out of the station far below, you used to get a massive gust of wind in your face. Great fun as a child. My gran used to complain bitterly as it messed up her hair grin.

Haven't been there for years so I don't know if they've got rid of all the beautiful original features.

Pandemoniaa Thu 26-Jul-12 13:08:49

Loving that Necropolis Railway badge!

BelleDameSansMerci Thu 26-Jul-12 13:13:18

Love this thread. Used to live/work in London and have long been fascinated by history of the tube.

Didn't know Aldwych had closed! It was the station after High Holborn on the Piccadilly Line and basically ran from High Holborn to (surprise!) Aldwych (which sits at the City end of The Strand).

TigerFeet Thu 26-Jul-12 13:17:04

<pulls up chair, arms self with naice cuppa tea and a biscuit and sighs happily>

I love a good geek thread, and I've always had a thing about maps and the history of cartography. There was a fab programme on (?) BBC4 a while back about the history of the tube map. I think Nicholas Crane presented it. I was gripped.

Funnily enough the first thing I thought of when I saw the thread title was the ghost stations. I'd love to do a tour. DH was on about riding the full length of all the tube lines in 24 hours but apparently you can't do it any more. sad

Anyone for a game of Mornington Crescent? grin

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 13:18:17

St John's Wood.

That's hoe I remember it anyway. Beautiful smile

Must dig out my book on Underground London. I've clearly misremembered all the info in the Necropolis Railway, and it's a shame as it looks fascinating.

Lizcat Thu 26-Jul-12 13:19:22

Museum of London has old tube maps that chart rise and fall of tube stations.
For a period of my life I lived in rubbish flats in great locations across SW1 and SW7 and I used to walk to my job in a big department store in SW1 passing the abandoned brompton road and chelsea stations - beautiful Victorian stations.

HarlotOTara Thu 26-Jul-12 13:21:03

GetOrf sorry you can't open it, I can so hope my ps isn't full of crap now. Anyone have contacts to arrange a visit? I would love to go especially Down Street

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 13:21:12

I love the history of the tube map as well, ans Harry Beck's design.

It is quite strange to see the tube laid out geographically (it is in the link on the second post on this thread).

HarlotOTara Thu 26-Jul-12 13:24:46

Eric Gill created the typeface for the tube map I think - I was reading about it the other day

Olympia2012 Thu 26-Jul-12 13:26:26

Wow this thread is taking me everywhere today... Googling, streetview, wiki pages....

And looked at brookwood cemetery and fancy a visit now!

BelleDameSansMerci Thu 26-Jul-12 13:29:33

Anyone looked at this - London Transport Museum...

You will all like this webpage then


passivehoovering Thu 26-Jul-12 13:31:34


I was a local for many years, so it could just be urban legend. Still I think my brother who worked there told me too.

Yes, the Bethnal Green tube disaster was an awful waste of lives. Even more awful that the reasons behind it were kept quiet for so many years, until very recently in fact.

wriggletto Thu 26-Jul-12 13:34:36

Love this thread too - another Tube nerd! I get very misty-eyed about the way the Victorian technology is still just about functional, and I specially love going through high-ceilinged, wide stations like Baker Street and Gloucester Road, where you can almost imagine the first Tube passengers in their hats and crinolines. And then the way the architecture of London reflects the effect of the Tube as it spreads into the suburbs and beyond in the 30s - fascinating.

My favourite abandoned station is Down Street, on Piccadilly; you can still see the ghostly arches where the entrance was.

Fascinating thread smile

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 13:36:57

Oh God, this thread totally pleases the nerd in me. I shall revisit later if I get the girls napping (or occupied in the paddling pool)...

Aldywych apparently closed because of the enormous costs of replacing unsafe lifts, and it not being justified by the very low numbers using it. It was always an odd line configuration - something to do with the piecemeal way bits of various lines patched together to make the tub - and was rather overshadowed by the huge interchange at Charing Cross.

charl0tteBronteSaurus Thu 26-Jul-12 13:45:01

aw - i didn't know there were so many of us!
Dsis's nearest tube is Osterley, which is another Holden one. I also like that bit of the Piccadilly line because it's overground.
I used to work near Farringdon, which is the oldest, and loved it for that reason.

for any newer tube-fanciers, I can recommend some light reading. And if you are a more continental type

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 13:50:53

Whilst I have the ear of fellow tube obsessives, I know it is off-topic, but the comments about 'thought for the day' got me thinking. Has anyone else noticed the amazingly cheerful announcer at Southwark? Is he still there? I used to pass through most days, but don't now. He was sometimes on the platform too - skinny black guy. I always wanted to say thank you because he cheered me up every time he was on duty, and never did before I moved.

overthemill Thu 26-Jul-12 13:53:43

Mornington Crescent obviously...

but really Baker Street, Covent Garden (that staircase!)

and from Uni days very fond memories of Camden

overthemill Thu 26-Jul-12 13:57:30

btw, if you haven't yet visited, you MUST go to the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. One of the best of the capital's museums imho

Thumbwitch Thu 26-Jul-12 14:08:50

I love the "ghost" stations.
Years ago I used to get a comic called Misty - they had a story about a ghost station in that once, where the tube train stopped accidentally at one and the doors malfunctioned and opened, allowing a daydreaming schoolgirl out onto the platform, where she was mysteriously transported back in time to the Blitz.
Can't remember how it ended but it was quite cool.

I don't think I have a favourite tube station but Elephant & Castle has a special place in my memory - going down and up all those steps, because we couldn't be bothered to wait for the lifts at rush hour - I was fit back then!
I think E&C has a heart attack warning at the bottom of the steps - I know Covent Garden used to.

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 14:14:14

Which other stations still have lifts, except E&C and Covent Garden? (other than for disabled access, etc). I haven't used one for years that wasn't escalators.

charl0tteBronteSaurus Thu 26-Jul-12 14:16:24

Belsize Park has lifts IIRC
I have hazy memories of drunkenly falling down a lot of steps there...

Ephiny Thu 26-Jul-12 14:20:17

Goodge Street was lifts-only last time I was there.

I remember because I was running late for an interview at UCL and decided to run up the the stairs instead of wait for the lifts, despite the warnings not to. Turns out I wasn't as fit as I thought blush, was still red and wheezing when I got into the interview. That was a lot of steps.

passivehoovering Thu 26-Jul-12 14:22:26

Did you get the job/place though Ephiny?

tablefor4 Thu 26-Jul-12 14:24:36


Belsize Park
Chalk Farm
Bank - in places
Covent Garden
Russell Square
Goodge Street

Polishes tube badge proudly
ScrambledSmegs I can report that St John's Wood and Swiss Cottage remain proudly glamourous with their railings, tall lights etc. Apparently the designer wanted to make it feel a bit like a nightclub (1950s one of course). There are echoes of it at Leicester Square (in certain places) too.

Ephiny Thu 26-Jul-12 14:28:11

No, I didn't get it unfortunately, though much as I'd like to, I can't blame that entirely on Goodge Street station stairs smile

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 14:32:57

Gosh, more lifts than I expected. The only stations on those lists that I ever use are Bank and Covent Garden, which perhaps explains it.

overthemill - is the Transport Museum relatively interactive? Contemplating taking DD1 some time. She's 3 and really into buses and trains, but bores easily!

passivehoovering Thu 26-Jul-12 14:34:32

smile Ephiny

tablefor4 Thu 26-Jul-12 14:36:12


Most 3 year old of my acquantaince loooove the transport museum. V interactive, especially the ground floor. Expensive (ish) to get in, but then free for a year.

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 14:36:44

Tablefor4 -ooooh, thanks. One for when the weather gets yucky then!

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 14:37:40

I had no idea that St Johns Wood station was so glam, I will have to go.

Which is the one with the massive escalators - is it Angel?

I have stupidly never been to the London transport museum and will definitely go and visit.

I like the busier stations with the cheery despatchers - I hate waiting for a circle at Paddington in the morning - it is eerily silent.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 14:37:41

I had no idea that St Johns Wood station was so glam, I will have to go.

Which is the one with the massive escalators - is it Angel?

I have stupidly never been to the London transport museum and will definitely go and visit.

I like the busier stations with the cheery despatchers - I hate waiting for a circle at Paddington in the morning - it is eerily silent.

whatkungfuthat Thu 26-Jul-12 14:39:59

Oh god, those lifts at Bank are hotter than hell in the summer

tablefor4 Thu 26-Jul-12 14:40:27

GetOrf - St John's Wood tube is befitting of its meilliure wink

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 26-Jul-12 14:40:58

I think Westminster has lifts, but really stupid ones in that you have to go down (or up) halfway through the station in one, and then wander over to another one to go the rest of the way down/up. I want to like it but that station is just toooo big - getting from ground level to the Jubilee line takes forever!

What I do like about it is the "secret" door from the subway at Westminster into Parliament - only people with a special pass can get in. Are there other doors straight from tube stations/subways into buildings anywhere?

ashamed at discovering just how excited I am about tunnels

tablefor4 Thu 26-Jul-12 14:42:46

GetOrf oh yes, Angel escalators are the ones that taken about a week and a half to ascend.

whatkungfu Agreed. I stumbled upon by accident once and ended up desperately trying to find another way to go. But no. I imagine that's what Dante had in mind for the souls of the damned.

MoreBeta Thu 26-Jul-12 14:47:40

What a fab thread - I was even thinking about old tube stations the other day and wondering if there was a website... and there is!

I used to use Aldwych when I lived in London. I suggested to DW I would get off there the other day and was so shocked when DW told me it was closed.

Shows how out of touch I am. grin

tablefor4 Thu 26-Jul-12 14:54:50

MoreBeta especially since it closed in about 1995!

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 15:00:52

It's not that bad MoreBeta - I had to break it to some tourists about 18 months ago that it wasn't in operation anymore. They had read somewhere about it being used as a film set but hadn't put two and two together.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:02:59

grin at beta.

Yes I suppose St Johns Wood station has to be glam doesn't it. grin.

I had NO IDEA that there is a secret door from Westminster tube to Parliament, I will ask my colleagues where it is (if they know).

MoreBeta Thu 26-Jul-12 15:03:58

Feeling a bit mellow and rheumy eyed now!

<could be the Chablis though>

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:05:32

That is brilliant sillybeard, I love maps anyway, so maps of the tubes are really thrilling.

I used to have a map of Europe in my office which I thieved took from the Logistics department, it has all the postcodes (or their european equivalent) of everywhere in Western Europe.

I only like the tube - I am distinctly underwhelmed by the Paris Metro. I would love to go on the NY subway and Moscow underground though.

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 15:06:22

The New York subway is distinctly disappointing IME. All up and down and no across!

Paris metro is crap I agree. No atmosphere.

The idea of going on the Moscow metro creeps me out after reading Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky...

ihatethecold Thu 26-Jul-12 15:10:21

I remember having a hangover years ago and travelling up angels escalator.
It was the longest ride ever. I actually thought i must be still drunk as i never seems to get anywhere. hmm

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:11:02

I like the name of the stations.

Blackfriars, Chalk Farm, Angel, Royal Oak.

Better than West 67th Street (or whatever)

The Paris Metro trains make a funny noise <profound>

station names book

I have a copy myself smile

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:14:35

I like the names of prisons in this country as well.

There is no limit to my sadness.

But random names seemingly plucked from the middle ages make me laugh - Pucklechurch, Wormwood Scrubs, Strangeways, Belmarsh.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:15:21

I never knew there was a book! Thank you.

maillotjaune Thu 26-Jul-12 15:17:29

ihate I work in Angel and used to go down those escalators many a Friday. They are terrifying when you're swaying.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:20:27

I am tempted to take a trip to Angel just to look at these escalators.

I have no need to go anywhere near there so it would be mighty sad of me, I must admit. blush

MoreBeta Thu 26-Jul-12 15:20:30

I have a large map of every major power station and power transmssion line in Europe. Truely fascinating. Especially the info on East/West European transmission lines that existed before the Berlin Wall came down!

If you want one you can order it here. A bit pricey at 80 Euro but hours of fun with a magnifying glass.

Secret rail lines across the East/West border also existed.

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 15:22:09

Reeeallly not worth a special trip to Angel GetOrf- just think Canary Wharf, but longer and less daylight.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 15:22:50

Oh, yes Angel has a very long set of escalators, according to wikipedia they're the third longest in Europe. It's a pretty grim station though, I find it very depressing. Also odd in that the southbound platform is massive and the northbound platform tiny confused

I always thought the Canary Wharf escalators were longer, but I suppose that's an illusion due to the scale of the station. It's actually one of my favourite stations, I love the cavernous feel of it. I even have a beautiful photo of the glass canopy over the escalators in my living room blush

Oh yes, St Johns Wood is vair naice <appropriate usage>. Although money does not bring neighbourliness with it, apparently sad

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:25:07

Oh, well I have been to Canary Wharf so I can imagine (those escalators are huge, XP fell down the length of them pissed, the only harm was a small cut on his elbow, 2 weeks later he was in hospital with blood poisoning from it - there is a LESSON there).

That is fascinating about the european power lines maps. grin

BelleDameSansMerci Thu 26-Jul-12 15:25:33

Only four of those books left in stock now... Is it us buying them all?

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 15:26:46

Canary Wharf is way more impressive, even if it isn't technically as long. I love that bank of escalators rising up into the daylight. Angel is just two big long escalators in a corridor!

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:27:50

I can't believe that escalators used to be made of wood in living memory.

It sounds like something from the 1890s.

surreygirl Thu 26-Jul-12 15:28:35

Another tube anorak here smile My dearly departed old neighbour from years ago worked in the Central Line tunnels at Wanstead during WWII for Plessey building bomb and plane parts. The tube tunnels between Leytonstone and Gants Hill had been built but weren't operational so Plessey (who were based in Ilford) had a secret factory underground, mainly staffed by women....

My Nan (also no longer with us) was from the East End and would always cry when talking about Bethnal Green sad

LulaPalooza Thu 26-Jul-12 15:30:09

Although not technically part of LU any more, my favourite station is Rotherhithe because of the Thames Tunnel and the fact that it was the first under river tunnel in the world. I love Brunel

I also love Westminster. I go through it every day as I work in Westminster. I often find myself humming the music from the film Metropolis.

Totally aces thread. I am a proud tube geek.

I even had a birthday party at the LT Museum one year. There was a quiz night on, my team won and my prize was loads of LU branded stuff. Fab.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:30:29


I like this Ianvisits chap. <crush>

Do you reckon there is an online dating agency for geeks like me who are interested in maps, trains, aeroplanes through the ages and submarines?

I am going to die alone, aren't I. grin

MoreBeta Thu 26-Jul-12 15:31:23

You mean you arent old enough to have never travelled on wooden escalators? They were commonplace in the 1990s. shock

You young uns have never lived. Wooden escalators were an engineeriial and carpeteerial masterpiece.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:33:43

I didn't know that Brunel's dad was an engineering genius as well!

I love the holes in the wall and the uplighters in Westminster station. It is really impressive.

The new Blackfriars looks good as well - only from the train though as have not got off there.

tablefor4 Thu 26-Jul-12 15:33:52

GetOrf those wooden escalators probably were from the 1890s!

Very tragic ending to them though, as I'm sure you remember sad

As for Angel, the weird thing about them is that massive long corridor in the middle. So you come down one huge long escalator, then trek a mile and a half, then go down another long one. Bonkers. Should have a nice lift, like what we have at Belsize!

Saw a tourist taking a picture of an escalator at London Bridge not long ago. Was a bit hmm, but then realised that actually, it was a really long escalator and quite probably the longest he had ever been on and maybe worth a picture.

Thumbwitch Thu 26-Jul-12 15:33:58

I remember the wooden escalators. Can't remember which stations had them [geek fail] but I remember them.

I have also been on the Moscow underground - it is(was?) very glamorous, some of the stations have(had?) all white marble and chandeliers and so on! Beautiful. I was told that it was designed by British engineers, and they learnt from the mistakes of the London underground and did a better job in Moscow - but I don't know if that's actually true or not. It was certainly much more airy, less dingy, and a lot nicer than London Underground (I was there in 1992, so a lot could have happened in the intervening 20y!)

There's a map shop in a town near me and I'm not allowed to go in. I might buy lots of stuff I can't afford... sad

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 15:34:47

Actually while googling Angel I discovered City Road, which used to be between Old Street and Angel. I've gone past that building on my bike a few times and wondered what it was, because it's very thin and looks like it's been chopped in half. Wonder how you can go about seeing abandoned tube stations, LU would probably make a killing considering how many of us are fascinated by them! suspect the insurance costs would completely wipe out any profits though.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:34:53

I just assumed that they ripped all the wooden escalators out after Kings Cross.

I first went on the tube in 1995 (I know). First journey = Barking to Holborn grin

MoreBeta Thu 26-Jul-12 15:35:35

That would be "engineering and carpentry".

<I've not had that much wine honest> grin

AbsofAwesomeness Thu 26-Jul-12 15:35:54

My favourite is Stockwell, merely because the northern line and the victoria line platforms are next to each other, going in the same direction. So say you're changing from Northern line heading north onto Victoria heading north, you just walk across the platform not bleeding well traipse around for five hours (I'm looking at you, Bank, recently refurbished by morons Kings Cross and Green Park).

The Moscow metro stations are awesome - really really beautiful, with bronze sculptures, marble, chandeliers (in some, not all). Only problem is (when you're on the train) they only have the name of the station once, so if you miss it when arriving at the station, you're a bit screwed. NY subway stations are grim, but the trains are air conditioned (mostly) and incredible. And I like the whole local/express service thing. London should try that. Paris metro smells like pee

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:36:36

I think all these chaps break in the disused stations don't they?

My dd has a friend who is intrigued by old closed down industrial buildings - he has a portfolio of excellent photos, and he generally just clambers over walls.

tablefor4 Thu 26-Jul-12 15:36:45

MoreBeta - I'm afraid that your sense of time might have been mislaid again. I have a feeling that all the wooden escalators were taken out after the King's Cross fire and that was in 1989 or 1988, Certainly when I was at primary school.

The new Blackfriars is OK, but is nothing special really. Just quite clean. Could have been more interesting or more decorative.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:37:29

I did look askance at engineeriial and carpeteerial but I thought you were just being a bit avant garde. grin

Maryz Thu 26-Jul-12 15:38:37

One Hundred and Sixty Three Posts shock


I luffs it really

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:39:04

abs Mile End is just like Stockwell - the district and central lines are next to each other going the same way, so to change line you just get off the train, and walk 4 feet. It's brilliant. They should all be like that (would be impossible but still).

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:40:04

Paris metro trains have got wheels with tyres on. hmm

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 15:40:06

I love tube as well.

And I LOVE the DLR. It makes me happy, because it looks all futuristic and has nice names like Mudchute, Island Gardens and Pudding Mill Lane.

wriggletto Thu 26-Jul-12 15:40:26

lula the LT museum does birthday parties and quiz nights?! With prizes?!?! [books 40th birthday party]

on a different but similar note, I've always loved the discreet doors in big railway hotels that lead from the platform directly into the lobby of the hotel, so you could swish straight in, followed by a team of porters struggling under the weight of your hatboxes. There's still a door from the main concourse at Victoria station into the lounge area of whatever that Thistle (?) hotel next door is.

Something about architectural details leaving a trace of a more glamorous age give me a real geeky glow.

tablefor4 Thu 26-Jul-12 15:40:46

Abs and GetOrf Euston (Bank branch) is another; Victoria and Northern (Bank branch) side by usefully side.

onetiredmummy Thu 26-Jul-12 15:41:08

Sorry I haven't read the whole thread as I'm far too busy reading the boring convos one but I did watch something a while back that was bloody fascinating . It was about the haunted stations & I found the experiences people had while in the disused stations stations really chilling.

I may have to buy that book that was on the link as its captured my imagination.

Anyway, as you were smile

And on the dlr you can pretend to ne the driver!

[Total saddo face]

<waves at Maryz>

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 15:42:33

Thumb my partner went to Moscow recently and he said the underground was still v nice. I was jealous.

He said the best one was Dostoyevskaya, it has scenes from Dostoevsky in it like the murder from Crime and Punishment. Apparently lots of people complained cos it made them depressed.

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 15:42:37

I love the geekiness of knowing where to change lines. Like Jubliee to Bakerloo, always always at Baker Street. Never, ever at Waterloo.

The Jubilee line is silver on the map because it was originally to be called the Fleet line (it crossed the old Fleet riverbed at some point) and they did silver as in 'fleet of ships'. Fact.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 15:42:38

St Johns Wood tube still had wooden escalators in 2007 (last time I went there) so MoreBeta is right - the change to metal escalators happened quite gradually on the stations out of Zone 1, I think. Also I think certain stations are listed, St Johns Wood included, so probably very difficult to change escalators without jumping through administrative hoops, despite the danger.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:42:59

Yes I watched that haunted stations thing.

Lots of interviews with cheeky chappys about their spooky experiences. They said that in certain areas of the tube there is a low radio frequency (or something) and that causes people to feel a sense of menace, discomfort and unease.

Lots of lovely footage of spooky tunnels. It was beautifully filmed.

wriggletto Thu 26-Jul-12 15:43:22

and Oxford Circus has the northbound Bakerloo line platform right next to the northbound Victoria line, which makes the South London/Paddington journey a particularly satisfying one - change at Stockwell across the platform, then across the platform again at Oxford Circus.

MoreBeta Thu 26-Jul-12 15:43:55

tablefor4 - "... in 1989 or 1988, Certainly when I was at primary school.."

I'll have you know young lady that I had been working in London for several years before then!

<has no idea why teenagers come on MN>

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:44:32

I am going to visit St Johns Wood station. What is at St Johns Wood though, apart from ridiculously priced houses and (presumably) excrutiating cupcake shops.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 15:44:56

Beardy I used topretend I was the driver on the DLR too blush. I was in my 30's, I had no excuse.

LulaPalooza Thu 26-Jul-12 15:45:05

wriggletto a friend of mine was doing the quiz anyway, so we went along. I think you can hire out the cafe area in the evenings.

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 15:45:28

Maybe we should all go camping in this

Who's with me?

AbsofAwesomeness Thu 26-Jul-12 15:45:32

SJW doesn't have wooden escalators any more (sorry peeps). It's been tarted up for the Olympics with new escalators and wide gates

Also - if you're changing between Victoria and Bakerloo Oxford Circus has the easy change thing. You know you're a Proppa Lahndahner when you specifically go to stations where you can change easily, and know where to stand on platforms <dreads a month of people who don't even know to stand on the right>

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 15:45:43

If you are ever travelling to Stratford (timely advice) and are on a train which terminates at North Greenwich, do listen to the driver and change at Canary Wharf. Yes it is all one line, yes you can change at North Greenwich, but you will have to go up the escalators and over the concourse. As opposed to just staying on the same platform and waiting for a through train. Annoys me every time on the up escalator!

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:45:46

I would have loved to have worked in London in the 1980s.

I would have had massive hair and shoulder pads to satisfy my Bonfire of the Vanities fantasies.

LulaPalooza Thu 26-Jul-12 15:46:10

YY to changing at Baker Street (fnar)

scrambled I am in my 30s and I don't need an excuse! grin

Macchiato Thu 26-Jul-12 15:46:38

Brilliant thread! Had no idea about most of this!

DP is obsessed with the underground, so he'll love that site, thank you smile

BupcakesandCunting Thu 26-Jul-12 15:47:29

I LOVE THIS THREAD! <hugs self and jumps up and down>

My favourite station for pure scale/vastness is Westminster. I love all the metal, it's so Bladerunner-y! Then for prettiness is West Brompton.

Deffo up for the Circle Line pub crawl! wine

yellow count me in! Bagsie the driver's cab!

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 15:47:55

I had a long thread some weeks back when I was desperately trying to shave 5 minutes off my commute getting from Paddington to St James Park because I was sick to the high teeth of the circle line.

Lots of people with lovely tips. Someone did say to walk it (I will one day)

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 15:49:58

The Oxfam in St John's Wood is pretty good. Loads of designer stuff from what I remember. Abbey Road is nearby. Regents Park & London Zoo is also a short walk. Lords Cricket Ground.

Harry Morgan's is a nice (but overpriced) deli. Good salt beef sandwiches.

tablefor4 Thu 26-Jul-12 15:50:08

Wooden escalators - I stand corrected then!

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 15:50:19

I bought a lovely old tube map which was pretending to be wrapping paper from Foyles.

It's just lovely.

I just LOVE the tube map.

MoreBeta Thu 26-Jul-12 15:51:02

People used to try and visit every station on the whole Tube in a day back in the 1980s as a challenge. I guess its too big now.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 15:52:58

Aw Abs sad I used to love those escalators at St Johns Wood. They were almost strokeable


circle line pub crawl

Sounds messy!

CelticRepublican Thu 26-Jul-12 15:53:30

I love this thread.

If you need to change jubilee to metropolitan line or vice versa change at Finchley Road not Baker Street, that way you can just cross the platform.

I love knowing stuff about public transport. I used to know where to stand at every stage of my old commute for the emptiest bit of train. I also had an encyclopedic knowledge of bus routes. Must take DS to the Transport Museum...

BupcakesandCunting Thu 26-Jul-12 15:53:38

I'd actually quite like to live in a house that overlooks an overland Tube line. My friend lives right by one in Chiswick and when I stay at hers I sit in the window for ages watching the trains disappearing into the tunnel. I find it very therapeutic.

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 15:54:22

I live in London (though admittedly south east and rarely venture further west than Westminster) and until today I was unaware that the circle line is no longer a circle blush

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 15:54:35

Circle line is awful. I hate it with a passion. It's probably the main reason I bought a bike, and am still using it to get around at 23 weeks pregnant.

Someone must love it though?

surreygirl Thu 26-Jul-12 15:55:35

GetOrfMoiIand I started work in the West End in 1984 aged 16. It was fab. I certainly had the big hair but looked more scruffy 1980s like early Bananarama than anyone from Dynasty or Bonfire of the Vanities smile

AbsofAwesomeness Thu 26-Jul-12 15:55:36

I just hope that all this Olympics bollox won't mess with my meticulously researched standing on platforms for my commute. YEs, I do stand in exactly the same places every morning. And ALWAYS get a seat [smug]

A friend once managed to get an old tube map from the Northern line when they were changing them. Was well wicked

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 15:56:36

The circle line is a pain in the arse. When you are on it (which I rarely am) it is a disaster with that stupid Edgware Road nightmare. When not on it, it buggers up the district line by crossing over it at Aldgate. It holds up my train EVERY day.

LulaPalooza Thu 26-Jul-12 15:57:20

Is anyone old enough to remember smoking on the tube? I am.

Seems absolutely unbelievable, now.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 15:57:38

Hmm, is DD too young for the transport museum? She's 2.5yo. She loves the tube, does that annoying kid thing of kneeling on the seats to stare out of the windows at the dark, watching the different coloured pipes confused. Clearly gets it from her nerdy mother grin

LulaPalooza Thu 26-Jul-12 15:59:16

yellowraincoat I thought all District Line trains had priority at Aldgate? I used to get the Hammersmith & Shitty line from Whitechapel to Farringdon and my train always, without fail, got held up between Aldgate East/ Aldgate. I was told by someone on the train that it was due to District Line trains having priority

AbsofAwesomeness Thu 26-Jul-12 16:00:01

One thing which was freaking awesome that they have on one of the lines in Brooklyn in NY, is that someone has done a series of paintings in one of the tunnels which is like a movie - if you stare out the window there's a series of paintings which looks like a cartoon. So. Cool.

LulaPalooza Thu 26-Jul-12 16:00:05

NO, definitely not too young! There are old buses and tube carriages to explore. It is beyond brilliant.

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 16:00:12

Oh and has everyone noticed (I didn't til about a year ago) that the poles and handrails on the train are the same colour as the tube line? So on the circle line they're yellow and on the district they're green. There's a couple of ones that aren't (H+C aren't pink, northern is yellow with a black blob) which annoys me A LOT.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 16:00:46

I hate the circle line as well. 6 crappy district lines come and go before a circle come along.

And the signs know nowt.

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 16:01:16

Lula not at the moment they don't! Every day I've been sitting behind a circle line this week.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 16:06:27

That circle line pub crawl sounds exhausting. grin

LulaPalooza Thu 26-Jul-12 16:07:16

Oh man, that sucks!

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 16:07:23

Oh, that sounds great! DH will love it too, he's my partner in geekdom smile

Ephiny Thu 26-Jul-12 16:11:55

I have been known to position myself at exactly the right spot on the platform at Bank specifically to get the 'driver's' seat on the DLR blush

You want the one on the right, not the left, btw, otherwise there's a chance the actual driver will turn up and turf you out at some point along the way.

BupcakesandCunting Thu 26-Jul-12 16:12:48

It look like the TfL museum might do occasional tours according to this blog. What I would do to get my mitts on some of those posters envy

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 16:12:52

I had no idea you could sit at the front of the train on the DLR. envy

tablefor4 Thu 26-Jul-12 16:21:11

tablefor4 "... in 1989 or 1988, Certainly when I was at primary school.."

I'll have you know young lady that I had been working in London for several years before then!

<has no idea why teenagers come on MN>

I knew that when I posted it wink

If it's any consolation I was talking to some summer students last week. I pointed out that I did the equivalent summer internships to them in the twentieth century! In my defence, a) it was 1999 and b) I am only 34 (just)now. One couldn;t hide his shock though. Perhaps I am v young looking [wishing thinking]

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 16:25:10

You're the same age as me table.

Someone on MN the other day talked about reading Harry Potter when she was at primary school. That made me jump. I read those books when I was in my mid to late 20s. grin

Sorry to report that I haven't found any evidence of tours since last year sad

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 26-Jul-12 16:35:18

Green Park is a nightmare station though. What is the actual point of it? It looks like a nice friendly interchange on the tube map, but once inside you have to walk literally about 10 minutes through unending bloody pointless grey corridors to get from one line to another. WHYYYY?

tablefor4 Thu 26-Jul-12 16:37:11

GetOrf You should definitely go on the DLR and "drive". Still love to do that and I'm, well, as discussed, 34.

You remind me, I should take DD1, she'd love it. She is still recovering from discovering that underground trains sometimes go overground!

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 16:37:45

Bupcakes, if you like posters then apparently LTM does tours of its depot here. 7000 posters! Original artwork! Actually exciting myself here :-)

Although they won't have this one. I would love to know what the offence actually was, one man and four women?! hmm

tablefor4 Thu 26-Jul-12 16:38:41

Elephants Agree that Green Park is awful. There definitely ought to be some short cuts. The fact that the mosaics blend in and out showing whether you;re getting warmer or colder viz your line is no consolation prize.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 16:39:50

Security issues I expect, Beardy. Olympics, 7/7, all that sort of stuff.

Btw, what form of address do you prefer? Beardy? Silly? SBDM?

FYI There is absolutely no way I'll call you Daddy.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 16:41:59

Christ some poor bastard was sent to prison for a month for being pissed in an air shelter!

I want to look at those posters.

How come I have never been to that museum? I know. Bloody dd rules the roost when it comes to musesums, hence why we have been to the Natural History to look at dinosaurs hmm god knows how many times, the Imperial War to look at planes (OK), the British Museum to look at all the Egyptian stuff loads of times and only ONCE to the science museum (beam engines smile) and NEVER to the tranport one as she vetoed it as being 'sad'.

MoreBeta Thu 26-Jul-12 16:42:04

Erm.... from the point of view of one the more prostate challenged or pregnant members of MN a pub crawl on the Circle line sounds like a very bad idea indeed.

Am I the only one who nowadays tends to navigate the Tube by way of a mental map of the provision of lavatorial facilities?

There is a really handy pdf map of Tubes stations with toilets here

Bank and Piccadilly Circus have realy nice old tiled ones. Central line is a bit sparse so I tend to detrain at Oxford Circus and Bond St for a short walk to Selfridges or John Lewis.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 16:44:26

I am too scared to go in the public conveniences on the tube, I can only imagine they are revolting.

I resent paying that 20p at Paddington.

And re loos on normal mainline trains - when you flush it doesn't just go straight out onto the track, does it?

AbsofAwesomeness Thu 26-Jul-12 16:44:44

If anyone ever needs assistance, I can give ample guidance on which are the best Central Line tube stations to puke in. (a couple of memorable journeys home with a stomach bug)

poppyknot Thu 26-Jul-12 16:46:39

Getorf - just up my street (tube but that sounds WRONG somehow) Haven't time to read the whole thread atm but someone who hasn't lived in Londn for 10+ years I still yearn for some Tubery.

Did anyone post about the John Betjamin short story - if so sorry for the repeat, but I alwys think of it when I do get the chance to rattle through a tunnel...


GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 16:47:03

I read somewhere that the reason that there are very few tube lines south of the river (other than for the normal south of the river reasons) is that the ground in the south is all muddy/silty and doesn't lend itself to tunnelling, whereas the north is more rocky.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 26-Jul-12 16:47:25

I like the St Pancras toilets. They are all new and shiny and clean. smile

<can't believe I am having this conversation>

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 16:49:39

Yes I used the St Pancras loos as well. They were lovely.

<also can't quite believe what I am typing>

Ephiny Thu 26-Jul-12 16:50:12

Green Park is dreadful. Yes the endless tunnels, and for some reason it's always baking hot no matter what time of year, and then there's the hordes of tourists everywhere milling about and blocking the stairs with huge suitcases.

I never noticed the mosaic thing though, will look out for that!

weblette Thu 26-Jul-12 16:51:11

We lived in Moscow so I can testify to the wonder of its Metro stations. The really deep ones were to be used as atmoic shelters, the escalators take forever. Architecture in some of them is stunning too. It is (or was anyway) also amazingly cheap.

Nubbin Thu 26-Jul-12 16:53:32

My dd is 2.5 we live at the london transport museum on rainy days. Only charge for adults and it is an annual pass. She can get in the drivers cab of a red bus and they have a play area with taxis, buses, tubes with steering wheels and a screen so they can pretend to drive. Plus loads of buses/ train carriages to explore (dd is however bus mad so may not work for others).

Get there early - it fills up v quickly at the weekend.

AbsofAwesomeness Thu 26-Jul-12 16:55:41

My least favourite tube line is the Picadilly. It's the tourist line (Trafalgar Square, Kings Cross, Covent Garden, Picadilly Circus) so FILLED with amateurs who don't know that you need to let people off or move inside the carriage. An absolute nightmare on weekends.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 17:03:05

lol at amateurs the BASTARDS

aziraphale Thu 26-Jul-12 17:07:31

I so want to have a party at the LU Museum.

My other contribution to this thread is that if you're not careful on the Paris Metro, the doors'll take your arms off.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 17:08:23

Oh, I like the Picadilly. If you live outside of zone 1 then the stations are quite nice, and the staff seem to be the most helpful on it.

When I was pregnant with DD I fainted in the Arsenal ticket hall and came to in the staff area, where 3 worried employees were fanning me, waving burning paper under my nose (wtf?!) and holding a cup of ice water to give me when I came round. And then I was given an ice lolly from the newsagents nearby in order to 'see me home' grin

YoulllWinGoldOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 17:09:56

I found myself yelling at DD1 down packed escalator the other day (she is 3, but had somehow got ahead of us) "stand on the right, you aren't a tourist!".

notcitrus Thu 26-Jul-12 17:11:40

Thing with Aldwych is it was a piddly little branch line, so people from the West had to change to get there, and by the time it closed it was only serving about as many people as Mill Hill East.
Shame they never finished the loop between Edgware and Mill Hill.

I got a book of the Underground stations of Leslie Green for Christmas a couple years ago - the lovely faience tiled ones like Kentish Town and Barons Court. Though my favourite platforms are the Paolozzi mosaics at TCR.

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 17:13:22

notcitrus I think they're getting rid of those mosaics when they finish Crossrail (CROSSRAIL, SQUUUUEEEE, it's going to be AMAZING.)

Which is sad, as they're nice, especially the dog face in the little round bit as you come up from the central line.

tablefor4 Thu 26-Jul-12 17:16:57

I also refer to "Amateurs"; being tourists and provincials. FAOD I will be the person saying "Excuse me" in a breezy, but firm manner on the escalator should you be on the wrong side.

However, I will also be the nice person asking if you need any help if I overhear you discussing routes or peering hard at maps in carriages.

I also shift buggies (if not shifting my own).

PS - Piccadilly is dreadful. Heathrow/South Ken/West End/British MuseumBloomsburyKings Cross/Arsenal. Nightmare.

tablefor4 Thu 26-Jul-12 17:19:19

Yellow What?? What?? Getting rid of the Paolozzi mosaics!? That's actually criminal. Unless they are going to display them elsewhere.


Reminds me. Knew them all through my childhood. It wasn;t until they were cleaned about 10 years ago that I realised that they were actually really bright primary colours as opposed to the pastel dirty shades that I always saw!

notcitrus Thu 26-Jul-12 17:19:54

I did the Circle Line pub crawl during my gap year. Half a pint per pub. Bad move. Very bad. And I didn't get arrested unlike some of my companions...

Never again.

Anyone else remember the fug of the smoking carriages on the Tube? I hated when we got in them by mistake as I could hardly see my mum!

Adversecamber Thu 26-Jul-12 17:22:02

DH great Grandad was born in Mornington Crescent, the road just by the tube of the same name as the game.

LulaPalooza Thu 26-Jul-12 17:24:37

I mentioned smoking up there notcitrus

I thought I was well grown up 'avin a fag on the tube. Gross.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 17:28:59

A friend used to work in the Egyptian-themed art deco building opposite Mornington Crescent. Apparently* there used to be a tunnel in the basement linking it to the station, so that employees didn't have to brave the elements. Closed now obviously. Not sure whether it was for all staff or just senior employees though.

* Information not independently verified so could be total bollocks

OliviaLMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 26-Jul-12 17:34:16

Ooh I love this stuff.
(marking place as will move out of chat and read properly later)

whatkungfuthat Thu 26-Jul-12 17:38:12

Getorf regarding prison names, I tried to get the boys in my band to call it Pentonville, they refused the arses I worked in London in the 80's, the smell of Giorgio Bevlerly Hills and Poison didn't quite cover up the piss smell in the lifts grin

AbsofAwesomeness Thu 26-Jul-12 17:39:51

Where's it being moved to Olivia? sad losers' corner?

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 17:49:28

lol at Giorgio and the smell of piss.

I can just about remember fags on buses and aeroplanes.

OOh is there a sad losers' corner? (lifetime membership: me)

ShoeJunkie Thu 26-Jul-12 17:54:20

Weirdly DH and I were talking about abandoned tube stations last weekend (yes, we really are that sad smile)
Will share that website with him when he gets home.
I don't have any interesting tube facts to share but you will be relieved to hear that when we took DNiece to London for the first time earlier this year we tutored her in standing on the correct side on escalators and letting people off before we got on grin

almapudden Thu 26-Jul-12 17:57:27

My favourite train fact: the Russian for train station is Voxoll, because in the 19th century some Russians came to London to look at the marvels of British engineering. They were shown Vauxhall station (now pretty grotty but then, presumably, the pinnacle of train stations) and somehow, someone got confused as to what the word 'Vauxhall' referred to grin

There's a terrible, terrible book about a guy who visits every tube station in a day. He gets the girl and befriends a tramp. I don't recommend you read it.

msrisotto Thu 26-Jul-12 17:57:32

My people, hello grin.

I have nothing useful to contribute by the way, just thought i'd show me face.

I actually really like all tube stations, even the art deco ones, they're all lovely. I'm a sucker for industrial/functional buildings.

Oh and THANKYOU for the info about the fake house frontages!

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 18:04:22

alma I LOVE that fact!

Just so you know, tube geek brigade, there is a thread in Active where amateurs are asking London travel advice. Let us spread tube knowledge!

<does designated sign of the tube brigade, perhaps circling chest with finger then drawing a line through it>

AbyCat Thu 26-Jul-12 18:05:28

OOoo, finally I have found my spiritual home with fellow tube geeks!!
DH gets cross that I always have to sit on the left side of the Picadilly line going north from Hammersmith so I get to see bits of the deserted stations on that line (Down St & Brompton Road).
What's happened to the old Jubilee line station at Charing Cross these days? Do they use that for filming like Aldwych?

Yay for kindred spirits! I've spent hours on those sites at work when utterly bored.

FIL and I love this stuff - I am noting down the various book recommendations. I spotted the old York Road tube station across the road from a building site I was working on, and took loads of photos <geeeeeeeeeek>

I am known as the transport guru amongst my friends, but my colleague at work is the absolute champion - he knows everything. I realise now that we are those people being bashed on the "boring conversations" thread this morning, who compete to find the quickest/easiest route from A to B across London blush.

In fact, said colleague was involved in the design of the first new underground station following the fire at King's Cross.

Has anyone read about the old Kingsway Tram? I think it's sad that can't come back into use. I know the road tunnel under Aldwych is in the way now though. I'm sure there was a consultation about trams in central London a few years ago?

I can't wait until DS is old enough for the London Transport museum. If he's not into trains and stuff I think I will cry - me, both his grandfathers and his uncle are planning visits to model railway exhibitions and train sets on a massive scale!

MooncupGoddess Thu 26-Jul-12 18:18:14

Yes, they were going to have a tram line running south from Camden to Brixton/Peckham, but Boris cancelled it. I was obviously in favour but do wonder if it would have made sense or just caused massive congestion.

I had a boyfriend once who in his younger days had worked for London Transport and got to go down all the abandoned tube stations. He told me this on our very first date, and must have realised as he saw my pupils dilate with envy and excitement that I was his from that moment on. (Unfortunately that was probably the highlight of the relationship.)

BelleDameSansMerci Thu 26-Jul-12 18:42:12

Still loving this thread. <hugs self>

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 26-Jul-12 18:49:01

London Transport Museum is fab. They had a special exhibition of Springtime posters earlier this year. I love those old posters!

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 19:05:25

What's crossrail? <goes off to look>

notcitrus Thu 26-Jul-12 19:06:37

Yes Abycat, Charing Cross Jubilee bit is used for filming - its escalators used to be on Spooks a lot.

Ds loves the Transport Museum but scared me by running away the first time we went - he was 2.4, one moment next to the Boris bus prototype and by the time he was tracked down had gone up a ramp and two flights of stairs and along a train and was climbing down to the tracks. So I never really relax there. I want to go without ds sometime so I can read all the blurbs.

Did anyone watch The Tube series last year? Makes you despair of the general public.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 19:10:39

Blimey re Crossrail - that looks so exciting.

Paddington - Liverpool Street, 4 stops and 9 minutes. That's amazing!

MooncupGoddess Thu 26-Jul-12 19:13:26

I know, GetOrf - I can't wait!

There's also a proposed Chelsea-Hackney line, though I'm not sure if it will ever happen.


whatkungfuthat Thu 26-Jul-12 19:14:20

Has anyone mentioned Creep? <runs>

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 19:28:46

Ffs whatkungfu - did you have to? angry That film bloody terrified me, what with all the stuff based around Holborn. It was too sodding close for comfort!

Luckily once it got into all the abandoned station/ people trapped underground for a century/ cannibals bollocks it was all safely into the realms of bad fiction again. Still, didn't sleep very well that night.

OliviaLMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 26-Jul-12 19:28:58

Another piccadilly line factoid
The Mind the Gap voice is that of David Archer from the archers.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 19:29:59

I thought that Mind the Gap voice dated from the 1930s and was Trevor Howard or something grin

Pascha Thu 26-Jul-12 19:31:42

I have spent all day looking at links on here. I don't even particularly like trains! Please please please can this thread be moved out of chat so I can go looking again when I have more time?

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 19:32:13

I can't WAIT for Crossrail to be finished. Would be able to get from my house to work in 10 measly minutes on the train, total of about 20 minutes commute.

Currently averaging about 45 (and I do London walking ie sprinting) so it will be a bloody JOY.

Any transport geeks taken the emirates cable car yet? I am a teeny bit scared of it, especially since reading that it got stuck for 30 minutes this week.


FasterHigherBeardierDaddyman Thu 26-Jul-12 19:32:23

Thinking of voices... Does anyone else get really pissed off by the train-voice-lady who says "highgut" instead of Highgate?

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 19:33:00

Yes but where can it go - there isn't a geek topic grin

I think it is a good idea to move it though as it is such a lovely thread and it would be a shame for it to disappear, so I will report this post and hopefully Olivia can move it somewhere.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 19:33:05

Ever heard the recorded message asking for Inspector Sands to come to the operations room?

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 19:33:54

I read an interview with the lady who did all the "THIS is Embankment. Change here for the Bakerloo and Northern lines and riverboat services from Embankment Pier" announcements. She said that she doesn't even have a posh accent and is from the north, so she had to do a fake posh accent.

whatkungfuthat Thu 26-Jul-12 19:34:03

Scrambled the bit with all the cages was a bit rubbish but it still scared the bejesus out of me.

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 19:34:41

I am frequently freaked out atm also by Boris's tube announcements.

"Don't get caught up!" in his blubbery posh voice. They startle me.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 19:35:58

Oh gawd, I remember when Covent Garden got Lloyd Grossman to do the recorded elevator announcements. Nearly stabbed myself in the ears with my Oyster card...

Ephiny Thu 26-Jul-12 19:36:21

Did the cable car really get stuck? shock. I'd better not tell DH (doesn't like heights) or I'll never get him on there!

Not been on yet though I go 'under' it every day on the DLR, the cars are looking pretty empty a lot of the time tbh.

Looking forward to Crossrail here too.

Ephiny Thu 26-Jul-12 19:37:33

Yes the Boris announcements make me jump too!

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 19:37:34

There should be a geek topic. Then we could all blether on about trains and the tube and underground rivers of london and all manner of exciting topics wink

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 19:37:46

It did Ephiny. I'm scared of heights too, but I also love transport. I cried going up the furnicular (sp?) in Budapest. But I still begged to go on it in the first place, even though I knew I'd be scared.

I am a moron basically.

I haven't even seen the cable car yet, want to so badly.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 19:37:58

Just had a look to see how long it would take to get from Paddington to Liverpool St now - 25 mins and a change at bakers Street. You would be thrilled if you had to do that every day and the crossrail 9 min journey came in.

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 19:39:17

I also get annoyed by the announcement on King Edward Street on the 25/8. She doesn't say "King EDward Street" but "King Edward STREET".

It's just deeply irritating.

Olympia2012 Thu 26-Jul-12 19:39:45

There should be a dedicated 'urban exploration' topic Olivia

We have topics for everything else!

whatkungfuthat Thu 26-Jul-12 19:40:01

One of my friends got dropped down the 'gap' when he was a toddler by his mum, shock luckily another passenger grabbed him. On a lighter note, an ex-bf ran onto a tube as the doors were closing with a bag of shopping and the shopping didn't quite make it. He had the handles on the inside and the shopping on the outside of the doors, only the handles remained by the next stop.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 19:41:19

OOH furnicular railways.

I was thrilled to go on one in Switzerland - journey from Zurich to Engelberg with what seemed like a 1 in 4 gradient and all the clunking.

I kept on missing trains in Switzerland - I would stay in the bar turn up vaguely at the correct time and be bemused at all the trains leaving in the SNOW to the second.

And they have double decker trains in Europe <sigh>

And I love the massive great mile long trains in Canada with their mournful sounding horn.

Olympia2012 Thu 26-Jul-12 19:42:14

We could have threads about water towers, abandoned hospitals, old 'asylums' military bases, roc points and abandoned villages!

What's that abandoned village called on Salisbury plain? The army took it over I think, they occasionally do tours

localcrackpot Thu 26-Jul-12 19:42:34

I love this thread. I love it. I love reading about the tube and the arcane knowledge available regarding it. And I'm a claustrophobic mancunian.

MoreBeta Thu 26-Jul-12 19:43:25

I have heard lots of references to ghosts on the underground and the Paranormal database has some good ones. The story about Bethnal Green station is sad though and refers to the accident that HarlotOTara talked about way back up the thread.

"A station master working alone in the station office late at night heard the soft sounds of children crying. As time went by, the cries grew louder and were joined by the screams of women. He ran from the office. One hundred and seventy-three people died in the station in a single accident during World War 2, the vast majority being women and children."

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 19:43:49

Olympia, I LOVE the idea of Urbex. Love it. But I am too scared to do it because I have a stupid fear of authority figures.

And heights.

Yes, I am aware that I'm coming across as pathetic.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 19:45:06

I always think it is slighlty unnerving when you are waiting for a train, and then you look down the tunnel and see its lights glaring at you and it comes hurtling through the tunnel.

It's also a strange feeling when you are in a loo or something in a central london restaurant and you can hear the tubes go by through the walls.

I do love trains. I live near a main railway line (at the bottom of the opposite neighbour's garden iyswim) and I find the sounds of the trains going by really comforting.

maillotjaune Thu 26-Jul-12 19:46:43

Just catching up so I'm a bit behind but - smoking carriages. They were completely yellow, weren't they?

I think this is why I still get a tiny bit excited by the new Met line trains because they are so bright and white.

DS2 has been listening to the radio following today's torch route with an A to Z and a tube map <where can he get it from>

MoreBeta Thu 26-Jul-12 19:50:27

Olympia - there is an abandoned village called Tyneham on the Bovington tank firing range near Lulworth that has just been reopened to the public.

The village was comandeered during WWII and the villagers were promised they could come back after the war but it never happened.

Apparently, there are old school books with children's writing in the old school house just like they left yesterday.

The whole area is great to visit although not just now as the Olympic sailing is on at Weymouth and very expensive as a result.

MooncupGoddess Thu 26-Jul-12 19:50:39

Ah, underground rivers! I was talking recently to someone who worked on the new Kings Cross and he told me that the River Fleet (which Fleet Street is named after), now basically a sewage tunnel, runs underneath.

As a child I lived near a main railway line and well remember getting out of bed when I heard the train whistling to watch it go over the viaduct. Hmm, maybe that's where my train problem interest comes from.

FasterHigherBeardierDaddyman Thu 26-Jul-12 19:54:59

this company are trying to get some of the old stations opened up for tours! Worth keeping an eye on.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 26-Jul-12 19:59:12

There IS a geeky stuff topic. It's mostly about phones and iPads, though.

Olympia2012 Thu 26-Jul-12 19:59:28

morebeta that's interesting, not seen that one before ( I frequent 28dayslater)

Imber was the one I was thinking of. Village of Imber, quite sad really

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 26-Jul-12 20:00:17

YY to being freaked out by Boris. Stop exhorting me, okay?!?

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 20:02:23

Olympia, I LOVE LOVE LOVE 28dayslater. It makes me weep with joy. Have you seen the thread about this old abandoned house? With all the furniture still inside? It is beautiful.

I love all the old asylums too.

Just caught up with this thread. Don't want to give too much personal info, but DH and I both work for LU and DH was on the telly in The Tube series earlier this year. The Tube is a popular subject at my house.

There were a couple of reasons why they changed the Circle line. Partly to improve the service on the Hammersmith & City line with the Westfield Shopping Centre opening, and also to regulate the service on the Circle line. When it was just a continuous circle, if there was a delay, they'd sometimes have to cancel trains to regulate the service, whereas now, they can just wait less time at either end to regulate the timings.

My favourite stations are Baker Street, Barons Court, and Gloucester Road to name a few. I think they have the most character. grin

Pascha Thu 26-Jul-12 20:10:10

Actually there is a Geeky Stuff topic but its populated by mumsnetters near to tears because they've killed their laptop.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 20:12:29

rachel you are our honorary guest.

Tell us more stuff about the tube.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 20:13:03

Are you a tube driver? <awed>

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 20:14:23

Which is the deepest line btw? I always assumed it is the northern line but I might be making that up.

MooncupGoddess Thu 26-Jul-12 20:17:14

The deepest station is Hampstead (on the Northern Line), I think, partly presumably because it's on a hill.

Rachel envy

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 20:18:41

The northern line is the deepest. I found out here

My favourite station name might be the fabulous Theydon Bois.

BupcakesandCunting Thu 26-Jul-12 20:19:20

<dry humps Rachel>

I'm not a driver, I sell tickets.

Deepest tube line I think would be Northern, around the Highgate area.... I suppose it depends on whether you measure deepest from the top of the ground or from sea level.

I think there is still a wooden escalator at Greenford, but they are not the same grade as a deep station in central London so can get away with it. I think the last wooden escalators in central London were at Marylebone, and were just replaced about 5 years ago.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 20:22:52

My aunt lives near Theydon Bois - she took the piss when I prononuced it like I was Inspector Clousseau. How was I to know. grin

LulaPalooza Thu 26-Jul-12 20:26:26

Olympia2012 the abandoned village on Salisbury Plain is Imber.

MNHQ - pleeeeeeaaaaaassssssse can we have a Geek section?

I embarrassed myself with the pronunciation of Theydon Bois at work once, that was cringey!

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 20:27:33

Are we geeks, nerds or dweebs?

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 20:28:14

It sounds really smart if you say Theydon BOI with a frenchy flourish.

Theydon Boys is deeply disappointing.

LulaPalooza Thu 26-Jul-12 20:28:42

rachel can you please fix it for me to sit in the driver's cab one day?! grin

I bet everyone asks you and your DH that

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 20:29:42


Oooh, wanna go to abandoned village. And wanna be rachel's best friend.

LulaPalooza Thu 26-Jul-12 20:29:53

Ooh! Dweeb is good!

I always hear Theydon Boys in an Alison Steadman voice in my head.

I like the name Ladbroke Grove, but mainly just because of the way Jarvis Cocker sings "Your Ladbroke Grove looks turn me on, yeah!" Guess there are loads of song lyrics that mention tube stations!

Declutterbug Thu 26-Jul-12 20:32:34

Wooden escalators: get thee to Greenford smile.

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 20:33:17

I always sing that when I'm in the Ladbroke Grove area, rachel. Which is sadly, not often.

If you come to the outskirts, a lot of the drivers are nice really bored and will let you ride in the cab, especially if you have a train enthusiast child!

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 20:34:18

Where the bloody hell is Greenford then <consults map>

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 20:35:02

Seriously, rachel?! WAAAH! That's exciting!

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 20:35:18

Oh it's a trip out West.

Declutterbug Thu 26-Jul-12 20:35:28

Zone 4 somewhere shock

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 20:35:45

There is a really good Pulp song called Mile End as well.

Declutterbug Thu 26-Jul-12 20:38:06
GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 20:45:33

Look at this! www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2012/07/24/a-look-at-some-deep-crossrail-tunnel-shafts/ Big holes in the ground for the Crossrail boring (not that kind of boring) machines.

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 20:47:36

Oh I love Swiss Cottage station escalators. Looks like something out of Bioshock (fantastically geeky XBox game) all art deco lamps and big signs.

MooncupGoddess Thu 26-Jul-12 21:02:45

Oh I'll have to look up that Pulp song, GetOrf. I've just been listening to the Jam's Down in the Tube Station at Midnight which is rather freaky actually.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 21:03:31
BertieBotts Thu 26-Jul-12 21:05:00

This is the documentary mentioned earlier about haunted underground stations and tunnels. Really spine chilling!

Ghosts On The Underground

You can actually watch all of it on youtube, not great quality, but definitely watchable.

Pleeeeeeeease move this thread so it can be kept! I love stuff like this!

BertieBotts Thu 26-Jul-12 21:05:33

<off to read 4597 links I've opened in other tabs purely from this thread>

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 21:06:05

That Ianvisits blog is brilliant.

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 21:06:23

Ooh thanks for that Bertie, going to watch that now I reckon, instead of all the useful things I should be doing.

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 21:06:44

I'm so glad to have found you all! Fellow geeks!

<hugs thread>

I love those lamps at Swiss Cottage, too! I was so relieved that they stayed true to the character of the station when they refurbished it. .It seemed to take ages, but it's nice to see them taking care of a lot of these really interesting old features, and even just keeping plain tiling true to the original style of the station.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 21:08:13

Mooncup I thought the River Fleet was synonymous with sewage as it was basically a stream of effluent since medieval times? It's probably cleaner now it's underground than when it was above ground.

I love the fact that there are loads of rivers underneath London that we never see. I also really love the fact that Mount Pleasant in Clerkenwell was actually a rubbish dump, and the name was a joke grin

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 21:10:34

bert that link is in Italian confused grin

Ha, I didn't know that about Mount Pleasant! grin

BertieBotts Thu 26-Jul-12 21:11:20

Sorry - this is the correct link



BertieBotts Thu 26-Jul-12 21:11:54

(Should really click on things before just pasting them!)

MooncupGoddess Thu 26-Jul-12 21:12:43

Yes, the Fleet Ditch was famously horrible. Full of dead dogs and general waste and shit. Did you know that right until the early 18th century one could sail up the Fleet as far as Holborn?

The Tyburn is the other great one - it now flows out into the Thames via a very modest pipe just west of Vauxhall Bridge.

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 21:12:57

That is great about Mount Pleasant.

It is such a shame, that hanuted underground doc was on telly last week, I was going to watch it again. I have just searched sky plus and it is not repeated (amazingly, they normally repeat documentaries on a loop, seemingly)

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 21:13:01

Ooh, Swiss Cottage. I like the station itself (glam!), but could they make the access to it from Finchley Road a little less scary please?

East Finchley station, by the way, has a really cool art deco archer on the roof that you can only see outside the station if you stand quite a long way away.

Bertie, thank you that's my viewing for the evening sorted grin I love this thread!

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 21:13:30

It made me laugh, I was just waiting for it to kick in in English grin

BertieBotts Thu 26-Jul-12 21:14:27

Another thing which is a bit creepy, in the Horrible Histories book about the Victorians it talks about the underground, and apparently they dug through loads of pauper graves to make some of the tunnels shock

BertieBotts Thu 26-Jul-12 21:15:25

I will definitely watch it again at some point but not tonight - I know I won't sleep grin Enjoy!

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 21:19:57

Now this site is properly geeky. Someone has walked the course of the River Fleet and photographed it, with relevant information. I'm quite tempted to walk the route myself one day blush

I love that haunted Underground programme, that made me start listening for strange things... ooh, and isn't that the one where they see a ghost out the window on a train and think it's an old poster but it's clearly not!?

OliviaLMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 26-Jul-12 21:20:33

I am going to move this into the less nerdy trainspotteresque fabulously unspecific grin other subjects topic until such time as there are enough trainspotting nerd-like threads to warrant a whole topic.

Fact-ette for you: directly above the Aldwych tube station is the Classics Department of King's College, London, where I spent a fair amount of time snoozing in the mid 90s.

I will be back at some point to give you some more factoids; like I said, I love all this stuff.


MorrisZapp Thu 26-Jul-12 21:21:32

British Rail decommissioned the last steam train in the UK in.... 1968. I love that.

I love the underground with a passion, but living here in Edinburgh I don't have any tube facts to add. But for the transport history geeks, I can tell you that when I was a kid in the 1970s, the milk was delivered in Edinburgh via horse drawn cart. We used to queue up at school to clap the horse.

Sean Connery used to work in the stables at Bread Street when he was young.

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 21:23:10

Bertie, yes, I heard that when I was on a ghost tour (proper geek) of the City.

I really like when you're on the clipper and you can see the sign on the Tower of London that says "Entry to the Traitors' Gate".

Makes me blood run cold it does.

Was on a guided tour of the river (geek, yes) and the tour guide said "That's what we call "the bloody tower", unfortunately, as it's summer, you can't see the bloody tower for the bloody trees."


GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 21:24:48

Thanks Olivia.

LeeCoakley Thu 26-Jul-12 21:25:57

Just marking for later on. I am an abandoned tube station geek. Spooky glimpses of British Museum's old platforms. Delicious!

Off to read now.

MooncupGoddess Thu 26-Jul-12 21:29:58

Olivia - can you use all those amazing MN contacts to get us a tour of an abandoned underground station? You could call it a study day and make it part of the Mumsnet Academy thing <smiles winningly>

LeeCoakley Thu 26-Jul-12 21:33:56

YES YES to MN tour!

<starts orderly queue>

I'm going to have to go pay some attention to DH now, but I wanted to add from earlier in the thread that the Thought Of The Day at Oval station will be implemented by staff there at the station, there may be a few of them that organise it, but it won't be something like a central list that is given out company-wide. I think it's really great! grin

yellowraincoat Thu 26-Jul-12 21:34:46



Tour tour tour tour tour tour.

What do we want? TOUR. When do we want it? TOUR.

LulaPalooza Thu 26-Jul-12 21:35:04

You're shitting me, rachel ?!

Ok, am so definitely going to loiter at the end of the Met line or Central line (the countryside ends) with DSS. He's 12, but quite short and cute looking.

FasterHigherBeardierDaddyman Thu 26-Jul-12 21:36:35

Trainspotters?!?! You what? We're station/underground river/escalator/random building spotters thank you!

I'll also join the queue for the disused stations tour! Might do some shameless asking around at work this weekend, too!

MooncupGoddess Thu 26-Jul-12 21:37:48

Oh, thanks for the reassurance re Oval, Rachel! I've noticed that they do it at a couple of the Clapham stations too so maybe there's a little band of devotees.

MooncupGoddess Thu 26-Jul-12 21:38:49

Yes do ask, Rachel! If it comes off I will express my gratitude with cake.

Yeah Lula you should try it! Some of the drivers aren't overly friendly, but some of them are very nice!

GetOrfMoiIand Thu 26-Jul-12 21:40:29

Yay re the disused station tours. I would love it.

SardineQueen Thu 26-Jul-12 21:40:38

I used to get the tube to aldwych! It was a shuttle service from <forgets where> just the one stop and it was really old fashioned with old carriages and stuff. It was really brilliant.

This was in about 1991 smile

ScrambledSmegs Thu 26-Jul-12 21:41:18

Ooh, YES TOUR PLEASE! Very educashunomal grin

We tried to do the Thought of the Day at the station I work at, but it ended up just being one guy doing it, so it just died out when he was on holiday. Sad, really!

bluebump Thu 26-Jul-12 21:42:58

I love the tube. I thought that recent BBC2 documentary about it was really interesting.

LulaPalooza Thu 26-Jul-12 21:43:33

HA! I just told DH about my cunning plan to shamelessly use ensure DSS gets to ride with a driver of a train and he said
"You are very, very weird"

I do not care grin

YY to tour!

and GetOrfMoiIand thanks for the tunnel porn!

YoulllWinGoldOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 21:48:40

Rachelfruitloop - Oooh, ooh, you don't work at Southwark do you? If you do, please pass on my gratitude to the lovely cheery announcer man I mentioned upthread. I really wish I had broken down my Londoner-ness and said thank you before i stopped using that station!

bluebump my DH was in that BBC2 documentary! blush

YoulllWinGoldOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 21:49:28

I watched that - twas fascinating. God the public are hideous grin

You'llwin I don't work at Southwark, but you should email Customer Services, it's always good to get positive feedback, I'm sure they'll know exactly who you mean, he sounds very distinctive!

bluebump Thu 26-Jul-12 21:52:21

Oh an my nan was there the night of the Bethnal Green Tube disaster, I just dug out her "memoirs" (not sure of the best word!) and she wrote "We were getting ready to leave home and I went with my mum to Bethnal Green to get some bits and pieces when the siren sounded so we made our way to the underground for shelter but we couldn't get down the steps because we were told someone had fallen down with a pushchair and a baby so we went to the church. When we came out we were told that pickpockets were at work in the station and that they had caused an accident that had killed many many people."

LulaPalooza Thu 26-Jul-12 21:52:23

Agree that the public are generally hideous.

I like the tube drivers/ announcers with a sense of humour. I was at London Bridge a few years back and a load of Japanese tourists excitedly took photos (with flash) of a Northern Line train as it pulled into the station.

We all boarded the train and the driver (female) announced
"Ladies and gentlemen... may I please remind you that flash photography is not allowed anywhere on the London Underground system"

then she sucked her teeth and changed her accent to pure Jamaican
"is you lot tryin' to blind me or sumtin"?

FAOD she was black and not being racist.

Anyhoo, this site is quite funny. Don't know how much of it is genuine.

bluebump Thu 26-Jul-12 21:53:22

Ooh was he rachelfruitloop, was he someone memorable in it? grin I deal with the public in my job and think it's hard sometimes but no where near as hard as working on the Tube!!

Olympia2012 Thu 26-Jul-12 21:53:26

IF you go to 28dayslater website and type in london underground, all the previous 'splores come up. There is a good report and excellent photography from markR of disused Aldwych station.

I couldn't do DH's job, I like to avoid confrontation! That's why I'm rarely on AIBU! grin

YoulllWinGoldOneDay Thu 26-Jul-12 21:56:26

Should I really rachel? It was about 18 months ago I last used the station regularly and I always thought it was a bit odd to try and thank the 'skinny black guy who makes me smile with his announcements'.

bluebump DH is "brains" not "brawn" wink

you'llwin yeah, 18 months isn't that long ago really, most people stick around on the job for a while. It's nice praise for Southwark in general as well. Sometimes they give awards for lots of good customer feedback, too.