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Jubilee reopens at Bond Street

24th November 2014
 

Flagged as being back open by ‘mid-December’, it was a pleasant surprise to find Jubilee line trains stopping again today at Bond Street station as the works finished early.  However, due to the nature of the works you’re not able to enter or exit at the station, you’re only able to change between the two lines at the station if that’s what you want to do!

The station entrance/exit should re-open by mid-December, as planned though.

Bond Street open again

Bond Street open again


Secrets of the Underground DVD

22nd November 2014
 

Geoff’s popular series of videos for Londonist featuring all the lines of the Tube is being released on DVD just in time for Christmas! It features re-edited versions of all the videos, 20 minutes of out-takes and extras and an all new ‘Abandoned Stations‘ video.

You can order your copy here from the Londonist website.

Secrets of the Underground

Secrets of the Underground


Abandoned Update

20th November 2014
 

We’ve updated our Abandoned Stations map again, tweaking a couple of things and adding in some new surface buildings at Knightsbridge and Chancery Lane.

As always, click on the image here to get a larger version!

Abandoned Stations (Version 6)

Abandoned Stations (Version 6)


Labyrinth Book

18th November 2014
 

The Labyrinth book is finally out! Available on the Art/Books publishing website, the blurb that goes with it, states:

Designed by the award-winning studio Rose, Labyrinth: A Journey Through London’s Underground by Mark Wallinger is a compelling record of this extraordinary project. But more than that, it is also a vivid celebration of the London Underground and of London itself. Striking photographs of all the labyrinths in situ reveal the diverse face and fabric of the network and its users, while fascinating ‘I-never-knew-that’ facts about each station and their surrounds bring surprising perspectives to the daily commute.

Link to the website is here


TfL Rail

16th November 2014
 

Great new piece over on the London Reconnection website, explaining how the pre-Crossrail that will be Crossrail service between Shenfield and Liverpool Street will be branded as ‘TFL Rail’.  We couldn’t resist…

TfL Rail

TfL Rail


Battersea goes ahead

14th November 2014
 

A TfL press release this week confirmed that the Northern Line extension to Battersea is definitely going ahead.

Battersea extension

Battersea extension

They’re already calling it the ‘NLE‘, the Northern Line Extension, even though it’s just for two stations! We would expect them to be as large, and architecturally as brilliant as the new Jubilee (JLE) stations were back in 1999.

And they’re optimistically saying that they could be be finished as soon as 2020.

So what will be first to open? The new Metropolitan Line extension, Crossrail, or the NLE?


New fares for 2015

11th November 2014
 

TfL have today announced their new fares for 2015, and there’s something very interesting that we weren’t expecting.

The peak all-day cap for Oyster or contactless payments is actually being reduced – so much so that there’s now no ‘peak’ and ‘off peak’ cap – there is just one capped price, and it’s cheaper than it used to be – approximately one fifth of the price of the equivalent 7 Day Travel Card to Zone 1.

So if you’re someone that only travels a few days a week e.g. a flexible or a part-time worker who never buys a 7 Day Travelcard this could mean that you will be saving a fair bit of money on your journey.

New Fares for 2015

New Fares for 2015

And with the new all-day caps being so much lower than the old peak caps you can travel before 9:30am without being penalised for it as you used to. e.g. travelling in zones 1 to 3 at peak now will cost you £10.60 (vs £7.70 after 9:30am).  In 2015 this will reduce to £7.50 even if you travel before 9:30am. The TfL press release states that it estimates that ‘Over 600,000 passengers’ will benefit from paying lower fares.

There’ll also be a 5p increase on the single fare for buses – up from £1.45 to £1.50, with the daily bus cap however remaining at £4.40 – but a One Day Bus & Tram Pass (last available in 2009 when it was discontinued) will be re-introduced – it costs £5 a day and is for those who wish to travel but aren’t in possession of an Oyster card or contactless card. Tfl says the pass will be “a lightweight single use Oyster card that will not require a deposit” – we’re not quite sure if “single use Oyster card” means “use the card for one day and throw it away” (seems wasteful) or “will only be for a bus pass” though (would be more sensible).

There are though, some losers amongst the winners and those are people who travel into London off-peak from the zones further out. Download the full PDF from the website here to look at the new fares, which start on Monday 5th January 2015.

Update:


Covent Garden Re-opens

8th November 2014
 

We were lucky enough in the last few days to get a ride in one of the two new shiny lifts at Covent Garden.  The station has been exit only since February of this year whilst two of the lifts have been replaced, and we can now report on the new lifts!

New Covent Garden Lift

New Covent Garden Lift

We timed it, and on average the lift is about 8 seconds faster than the old ones.  Their capacity is also 56 people – six more than the 50 of the old lifts.  All this will help get more people moving.  But perhaps the smartest thing is that the doors now have intelligent software installed, meaning that they can sense if no one is getting in or out at a certain leve, and rather than lingering around for wasted time, it’ll shut the doors and whizz back up or down to collect people who may be waiting at the other level.

All in all – people should be shunted up and down more quickly than before!

The respite is only for a couple of months over the Christmas period though – come February of 2015, Covent Garden will become exit only again whilst the other two lifts are replaced, and you’ll have to wait until November of next year for the station to be fully open again.

 


Embankment Re-opens

7th November 2014
 
New Embankment Escalator

New Embankment Escalator

Embankment station re-opened last week on the Northern and Bakerloo lines and so we popped down to have a look at the new escalators.   We noted that it’s only some of the escalators that have been replaced, others are still the same old ones.

Amusingly, the down escalator to the southbound Northern Line was already broken when we paid a visit, with many men from OTIS standing round in their bright orange jackets wondering how they were going to make it work again.

New tiling

New tiling

Many of the passageways have also had a complete facelift, with nice new shiny cream tiles along many of the corridors and the stairwells, so it looks all clean and new, although other parts of the station could still do with a scrub – the northbound Bakerloo line platform here looks rather dull and uninspiring,

 

But the best bit the very best bit – is some of the new signage that they’ve installed, and a blatant error that appears!

Willesden Green is now on the Bakerloo Line!

Willesden Green is now on the Bakerloo Line!

Wrong!

Wrong!

On the Bakerloo Line maps they’ve put ‘Willesden Green’ instead of Willesden Junction, which is hilarious … Willesden Green of course is on the Jubilee Line.

So someone has had some ‘JCTN’ stickers made up (not even the full word!) to cover them up, but they’ve missed one and we found where it was …


Five Car Overground

6th November 2014
 
Five Car Unit

Five Car Unit

The first of the new five-car (carriage) trains rolled out today onto the London Overground, as it went into service on the Highbury – New Cross branch (East London Line) of the network.

Over the next year, all London Overground trains will receive an additional carriage, and we’ve just realised (with a resigned ‘sigh‘) that it means we’ll have to go and get the exact carriage and door exit positions all over again for Overground trains now that they have this extra carriage!