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Croxley Link go-ahead given

27th March 2015

A TfL Press Release today announced some major news, that the Croxley Rail Link had been given final approval, and work will start later this year – 2015, but won’t open now until 2019.

Actually we thought approval had already been given, but the press release confirmed that:

  • An agreement had been reached between the DfT and HCC over funding of the scheme
  • Work due to commence by the end of this year
  • The extension will see Metropolitan line trains serving Watford Junction and Watford High Street stations, as well as two new stations on the route
  • The new rail link will provide Metropolitan line customers access to West Coast mainline National Rail services from Watford Junction station
Map of new extension

Map of new extension

Construction work to re-route and extend the Metropolitan line to Watford Junction is planned to start later this year.  The plan, which is part of a major investment designed to support the growth and regeneration in the area, includes creating new links to Watford General Hospital, Croxley Business Park and Cardiff Road Industrial Estate – increasing employment opportunities.

Two new stations will be created at Cassiobridge and Watford Vicarage Road, served by new walk-through air-conditioned trains every ten minutes to and from central London during peak hours. The existing Watford station will close following the opening of the new stations, and the first trains are expected to run on the extended line by 2019.

Double the Circle

25th March 2015

TfL announced yesterday that in the future, after signalling upgrades on the SSR (sub-surface railways) that there would be ‘Twice as many Circle Line trains’ running.

At the moment, they’re once every 10 minutes (6 tph) with District Line services filling in, in-between. And we couldn’t but help think that there’s just not going to be enough space/pathing time to fit in those extra trains.

Mixed Signals

Mixed Signals

Our friends over at London Reconnections had exactly the same thought, and wrote this rather excellent piece all about it …


Exhibition Passage at Earl’s Court

20th March 2015
Old passageway

Old passageway

Tucked away at the back, and below the eastbound District Line platform at Earl’s Court are some doors – which are normally closed – that lead to an old unused passageway.

The passageway used to be open up until the 1990’s when it was closed – and it took people under the outside street to the Earl’s Court exhibition entrance.  There are some old doors in there too – also blocked up, with – get this – two old escalators that are no longer used.

(Click on either of these two thumbnail images to see the larger version)

Old passageway

Old passageway

Normally you can only look at the closed doors, but at the moment there are some works going on (cabling, by the looks of it), and if you pop down to Earl’s Court, you can have a look down the old passageway, and see where you used to be able to walk through as you could many many years ago.

Earl's Court work

Earl’s Court work

We don’t know how long the works are going to go on for, so get down there quick!

Whilst there, see if you can spot the delightful old sign where the sticker on this Piccadilly diagram is peeling away, revealing the ‘Aldwych’ branch …



A Day on the Underground

19th March 2015

This is doing the rounds today, and it’s superb:

A day on the London Underground from Will Gallia on Vimeo.

Will Gallia has created an animation of Tube journeys extracted from TfL Oyster data and turned it into an animation showing journeys over the course of a day.

“This project was started in 2012, but wasn’t finished until 2015. The idea was to visualise real London Underground data on the Tube map was we know it. I wanted to write all of the movement in a shader. Initially I thought I would have each journey (or person) as one pixel in the final animation, using a GLSL pixel shader to move the pixel.”

London Underworld

17th March 2015

Ben Langham, who we’ve previously mentioned as part of his Tunnel Sounds project, has teamed up with video maker Huw Penson to make this rather nice new video using imagery from the Underground, and all sounds that go with it recorded by Ben.

“A creative project to remind us of the strange surroundings most of us walk through everyday. Filmed on many parts of the London Underground with permission from TfL.”

Victoria Line Books

14th March 2015

A book shop that only sells book about the London Underground? We could get on board with that!  But how about this…? one that sells books mathing the correct colour of the line?  And, where the titles match the station names!

Here’s the Victoria line…

Victoria Line Bookshelf

Victoria Line Bookshelf


12th March 2015

Still our favourite all time ‘alternative’ sticker on the Tube is this one which dates back to 2001 – fourteen years old now!

Aliens on the Northern Line

Aliens on the Northern Line

More reported in this BBC article here.


Don’t prevent people getting on the train

6th March 2015

In the wake of the footage showing Chelsea fans in Paris not letting a man on a train, a warning appeared on the Internet to never do the same with aliens from another world …

Silent Witness, Falling Angels, Part Two

4th March 2015

Continuing with Part Two of January’s two part “Silent Witness” story “Falling Angels”…

Warning this article contains SPOILERS.

Part Two starts with a police press conference outside Archway with the station entrance…


…and a telling off over the road with The Lion pub visible.


More in-service action on the Central line at St Paul’s and then the train is very quickly outside.


Male character again in the open at what we think might be Harrow & Wealdstone station.  The direction of the train (towards the camera) and the platform suggests it’s one that’s terminated and reversed there (though the film could be run in reverse, but we’ve not seen any evidence of that so far in this production).  The stock suggests Bakerloo or Piccadilly line, but as we’ve also seen scenes of Harrow & Wealdstone before we know they have been filming on the Bakerloo line.silentwitness1

He gets on a Bakerloo line 1973 Stock train, which……travels northbound on the Bakerloo line between South Kenton and Kenton – there is a green footbridge over the railway.

You can see it from satellite imagery – it’s next to Northwick Park.  So we think we can safely say Bakerloo line!

Screenshot 2015-02-02 16.19.36

Over to Kentish Town with East Midlands Trains  “I’m heading to Mornington Crescent, I’ll meet you there…”


Exterior of Mornington Crescent…


Inside Mornington Crescent as she takes the stairs not the lifts and onto the southbound Northern line platform, followed by the northbound with her colleague. They travel on the Northern line on unrefurbished 1995 stock going northbound from Mornington Crescent following the previous route from Highgate to Archway so this makes sense.

Silent Witness

Silent Witness

The characters meet up at Willesden Junction on the high level platforms for the Overground. (He’d obviously come back down the Bakerloo to meet her!)


The police are closing in! Leaping the barriers at the real Kentish Town station!


Two escalators at Kentish Town mutate into…


Three working escalators at Charing Cross disused.


And they are back on to Charing Cross Jubilee platforms for the climax of the story.  This time it’s masquerading as “Kentish Town” (With another quick flashback to Finsbury Park.)


And with an approaching 1996 stock, we reach the…


…shocking conclusion!



We’ll have the full video of all the Tube scenes in this Silent Witness in the next post…

Silent Witness, Falling Angels, Part One

3rd March 2015

Last year’s Tube based “Sherlock” story which, although it made extensive use of location filming on the Tube, for the major Tube location spotters had inaccuracies galore (see “The Case of the Bad Continuity”) that detracted from the fact that those locations were in use in the first place!  Sub-surface stock innards in 1972 Tube stock, Sub-surface stock in Tube tunnels etc etc.

So when we settled down to watch January’s two part “Silent Witness” story “Falling Angels”, it was with more than a little trepidation as we’d heard it was extensively Tube based and that some scenes had been “guerrilla” filmed in live stations with normal traffic.  How would it fare…

We’re going to show you in this three part post and we’ll have the full 19 minutes of Tube-based scenes for you in the final one!  You’ll want to watch this as there is even more detail and scenery than conveyed by the screenshots here!

Warning this article contains SPOILERS.

…let’s just say we were pleasantly surprised and with around 19 minutes of Tube-based scenes in the 2 hours there is quite a bit for the location aficionados amongst you.

The story opens on what are clearly the disused Jubilee line platforms at Charing Cross station, however, there is a black and white frieze and roundels with “Archway” on them on the platform.


Archway, Northern line, got it!  There’s moving 1996 stock and action at track level too.


Our first character now leaves “Archway” station along a corridor that has a Piccadilly line map on the wall (you can see the Hounslows and loop for Heathrow 4 quite clearly)


and exits out of Finsbury Park station!


This is somewhat odd, considering what happens later on…  I think I can state here that this is the only real continuity “crime” in the whole programme!

A woman on an unrefurbished Northern line train.  She clearly gets off at the unmistakable East Finchley Station.


Next, scenes on a Central line train in service and what appears the first of the “in-service” filming.


The character involved departs the train and exits West Acton station into the alleyway next door to meet his unfortunate fate…


A character walks over a passenger footbridge over Tube tracks – it’s not completely clear where…


…but our money is on Harrow & Wealdstone if that’s a sunset in the West (and there are too many tracks for it to be Rayners Lane, which would have been our first guess.)

Screenshot 2015-02-02 16.24.08

He arrives on the platform of the in-service Northern line with refurbished 1995 Stock at what can only be Highgate station because of the length of the platform.


More in-service filming on a refurbished Northern line train, complete with a Tissue Beggar…


…which suddenly mutates into 1996 Stock back at Charing Cross masquerading as Archway.


Now we get to see the tiles of the real Archway exit/entrance…


…gate line


and control room as the police run down onto Charing Cross again masquerading as Archway.


Our suspect escapes via the driver’s cab into the tunnels and ventilation tunnels at Charing Cross at the climax of Part One.


More action from Part Two in the next post…