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

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

I spent a happy hour looking at this site

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.

citybranch Fri 27-Jul-12 12:10:54

I've read a bit more now, waves at other LU workers, we can definitely sort out days in the train cab but it is best to get a covering letter from management first.

AbsofAwesomeness Fri 27-Jul-12 12:11:21

citybranch - I have some questions if you don't mind.

Do drivers always drive on the same lines? Do you all have to live at the end of tube lines so you can get to/from work easily when you're the first/last train of the day? How do you get to work?

maillotjaune Fri 27-Jul-12 12:13:00

Elephant have a look on the London Transport Museum website, they sell posters.

I have been thinking about buying cushions with tube fabric on for years - I now think I can get away with it as I cam blame it on DS2!

citybranch Fri 27-Jul-12 12:29:51

Hi Abs, yes you are based on one line, at one depot and you start there every day. People live all over the place, and if you do extreme shifts there is a staff taxi network but its not a door to door service and not always reliable. Some people drive to work but only if the depot has a car park.
It takes me 90 minutes to get to my depot, which is frustrating because there is a depot (on another line) which is 10 mins walk from my house! I have been on the waiting list for my closest depot for almost 5 years and I've probably got a couple more years to wait. They call some depots 'dead mans shoes' as no one ever gets in there unless someone dies/retires!

CelticOlympian Fri 27-Jul-12 13:18:01

Just spotted this on Amazon and thought of you lot. smile

GetOrfMoiIand Fri 27-Jul-12 13:18:02


<shrieks with joy>

GetOrfMoiIand Fri 27-Jul-12 13:20:13

Do you like your job city? It has always been one of my dream jobs - tube driver or mainline train driver.

OOH I have so many questions.

Do you have a favourite line, and a favourite station?

Do you go on holiday to Paris or New York and ride the metro/subway and say 'they do this all wrong, not like the tube, bloody shower' or something.

GetOrfMoiIand Fri 27-Jul-12 13:22:41

That is a real shame that you have a 90 minute commute, hopefully you get a job at your local depot soon.

I love all the stories of comedy/grumpy announcements - I have never heard anything other than the normal slightly exasperated cockney voice telling me to mind the doors or talking about signal failure.

I did however on a train from Paddington to Swindon get slightly consternated when the train announcer said, out of nowhere, with a degree of asperity 'PLEASE will you remember to NOT put your heads out the window when the train is in motion'

FasterHigherBeardierDaddyman Fri 27-Jul-12 13:23:10

Cheers Celtic! Just downloaded it smile

GetOrfMoiIand Fri 27-Jul-12 13:23:47

Oh that looks great celtic.

I need to buy a kindle really.

FasterHigherBeardierDaddyman Fri 27-Jul-12 13:24:15

GetOrf I've driven a steam train before...

AbsofAwesomeness Fri 27-Jul-12 13:27:01

<joins in GetOrf's excitement>

Thank you for answering my questions!

I have some questions for pilots, and was staying in a hotel STUFFED with AirFrance pilots last week, and didn't get around to asking. Gutted.

Ooh yes - what are your views on other city's public transport? My views are:
- Paris, smells like pee, but very good, prefer their big trains, stations are rubbish. Much cheaper
- New York - LOVE the express/local thing, though it confused the hell out of me, wish they would get around to installing the things announcing when trains would arrive, love that the trains have air conditioning, stations are really basic and not as awesome as Londons.

<lightbulb> if you are indeed a driver on the City Branch of the Northern Line, I may have been on your train. shock maybe you could make yourself known to MNers on the tube by randoming saying "fanjo" over the intercom every now and then. That would be AWESOME

GetOrfMoiIand Fri 27-Jul-12 13:29:02

Have you?

I had never even seen a steam train before I moved to Cheltenham (where they have a small little restored steam line).

The history of steam train drivers is fascinating - a read the biography of Harold Evans (former Sunday Times editor, it is a great read) whose dad was a steam train driver in the 1930s and onwards. It was a long apprenticeship - his dad started off boiler cleaning, did a long stint as a stoker, and then after 20 YEARS was judged as fit to be in control of an engine. It seemed a wonderful job. Probably got a bit of the rose tinted glasses on there, though.

FasterHigherBeardierDaddyman Fri 27-Jul-12 13:31:40

Haha! I just asked the driver if I could have A go! Was on a line in Loughborough and I got to drive it the length of the platform before they put it on a turning plate. So much fun!

FasterHigherBeardierDaddyman Fri 27-Jul-12 13:32:35

I was picking coal dust out of my hair for days afterwards though...

sPORTyVolleyballOnBLACKSAND Fri 27-Jul-12 13:34:13

I love Baker Street - all the arches and it's a bit crypt like. Great thread not read it all yet....

....they took the bodies to Kensal green on the canal too didn't they?

Has the steep dip (can't remember which line sorry) been mentioned where they had to change plan as it had to go under loads of plague bodies they found? Or is that a myth?

GetOrfMoiIand Fri 27-Jul-12 13:34:15

I think the Paris Metro is very efficient, but soulless, and smelly.

Switzerland is a revelation. The trains are out of this world. Double decker ones, and even daft little branch lines are ridiculously clean and everything is always on time. And the Swiss are not as stuffy as you would imagine, I remmeber a furnicular railway going to a mountain town called Hoch Ybrig with great big panoramic windows which you could pull down. I am glad they were open as all the Swiss trendies on the carriage were smoking joints and cackling madly. grin

Best place for public transport I have visited is (madly) Vilnius in Lithuania. Buses and trains which go from everywhere all the time and cost tuppence. Conductors who would peer at you suspiciously and when you tried to speak Lithuanian to them (badly) would wave their hands at you and let you travel for nowt.

sPORTyVolleyballOnBLACKSAND Fri 27-Jul-12 13:36:59

this is a great book - he goes into crypts and under structures etc.

AbsofAwesomeness Fri 27-Jul-12 13:37:13

Barcelona was a revelation - it counts down to the second when the train's going to turn up. And it turns up. I took pictures of it. People must have thought I was barking. Athens also has an amazing, very fancy transport system, which is probably why they're broke.

sPORTyVolleyballOnBLACKSAND Fri 27-Jul-12 13:38:38

<sigh> i love London - all those layers and you are just walking among so many ghosts even in the most modern parts....

sPORTyVolleyballOnBLACKSAND Fri 27-Jul-12 13:39:51

The whole of Prague underground is like being inside a giant Darlek...

BertieBotts Fri 27-Jul-12 13:40:15

Ooh, look what I found smile

sPORTyVolleyballOnBLACKSAND Fri 27-Jul-12 13:44:27

Bertie - Oh i have so got to get me one of those.....

sPORTyVolleyballOnBLACKSAND Fri 27-Jul-12 13:48:38

Rayners Lane used to be my local and has a certain charm about it....

CelticOlympian Fri 27-Jul-12 13:49:01

That is BRILLIANT Bertie. I love maps. I could fill my house with them.

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