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Old map revealed at Embankment

1st September 2014

lcmap2With the escalator works taking place at Embankment station at the moment, during the installation of what looks like a new electrical box, workmen stumbled across an old map, hidden behind the white panelling that makes up the walls.

It’s on the eastbound platform of the District/Circle Line and is partially obscured by a mesh that covers it, but you can still clearly see a map from, well, what year?

Old Map at Embankmet

Old Map at Embankmet

“Get to know your London Connections!” says the map, with all the tube lines in their normal colours and every other railway in Overground orange!

But this is before the Overground, that’s not there; and the DLR is not there either so it must be pre-1987!

lcmap4lcmap5Look closer for more clues, and you’ll see that Broad Street is marked on the map – right next to Liverpool Street – which dates it to before 1986 when that closed.  Then, we spotted Stepney East railway station! That is what we now know as Limehouse Station and was called that up until 1987.

The ‘escalator link’ between Bank and Monument is shown, and the North London line too carries on past Stratford down to Woolwich … all great memories of what London used to look like.

lcmap3The biggest giveaway clue that we could find that was that Heathrow Terminal 4 on the map was shown as being ‘Under Construction’. It opened in April 1986, and that’s the earliest difference we could find, so it’s likely that the map is from 1985 – almost 30 years old.

And it makes you wonder … all those station with modern white undecorated fascias, what other tiles and old maps linger behind them, untouched for many many years … ?

the metRopolitan line

29th August 2014

Here’s something super geeky (and suited for a pub quiz perhaps?) that we only worked out the other day – which Tube Line has got 22 stations in a row that all contain the same letter?

It’s the Metropolitan Line, which if you follow from Amersham all the way down to Liverpool Street you’ll notice has got the letter R in all of the station names.

In fact, if you look at all 34 stations on the line, there are only five stations that don’t contain the letter ‘R‘ at all!

We can’t see any other occurrences on the tube map where this happens – unless you know different…

Click on the image to see the WHOLE of the Metropolitan Line, and all of the R’s highlighted.

Metropolitan R's

Metropolitan R’s


Live Times at National Rail stations

27th August 2014

A bit cheeky/sneaky of us to put this one in here – as it doesn’t pertain to the Underground but to National Rail services instead, but it’s the first time we’ve seen it and is kinda cool, so we couldn’t not mention it.

It now appears that for all National Rail stations you can text the full name of the station to 84950 and within a few seconds it will text you back with the next departures from that station.

For stations with more than one word in their name, just type it in without the spaces as one long word. Try it!

Live times

Live times

A trip on the Underground

26th August 2014

Way before Sherlock had a ‘tube montage’ in one of its episodes – there was this. A Trip on the Underground.

Created by Alex Thompson years before an episode of Sherlock featured something very similar, he describes it as ‘A trip on the underground that gets weirder and weirder, focusing on the graphics, design and movement often missed on the Tube. It’s seamlessly cut in rhythm with the music for compelling viewing you’ll want to see again and again. See the underground like never before.’

Thames Clippers Tickets go mobile!

22nd August 2014

With contactless payments going live on Transport for London just around the corner in September, it seems the London River Buses don’t want to be left out of the party and have introduced a new mobile ticketing App rather than integrating into the new TfL systems.

The new App uses the JustRide platform by mobile ticketing gurus Masabi and allows you to book tickets wherever you are.  Your phone becomes both your ticket and departure board.  Once you’ve signed up you can buy and store multiple tickets, including season tickets which you activate as you board. Note, however, it doesn’t yet let you apply the discount that you get with your travel card or PAYG Oyster discounts so it may not be suitable for everyone.

The Thames Clippers Tickets App is available now for both iOS devices and Android devices.

If you’ve never used the River Bus service, you can find all about it here in Station Master Geoff’s excellent short film:


Unofficial Crossrail Map

19th August 2014

Ian over at RandomlyLondon has found a Reddit user that’s created an unofficial tube map of London, including what it will look like once Crossrail is in place.

Click on the map for a link to the full sized version.

Central London Crossrail

Central London Crossrail

Step free access from Bank DLR to Monument

16th August 2014
Avoiding the steps at Monument

Avoiding the steps at Monument

Here’s something that we’ve been confused about for a while now, so much so that we emailed TfL, but they’ve so far not got back to us.

On the ‘Avoiding Steps‘ map that they have on their website, it is labelled that Monument station can be accessed without steps on the westbound platform only.  For a moment I thought this might have been a mistake – and it had been labelled so instead of Cannon Street which has a lift, but to the westbound platform only.

But a quick twitter chat with @tflaccess and it all became clear – it IS possible to access the westbound platforms at Monument by using escalators (and thus avoiding steps) if you go via Bank Station DLR.

Bank Lift on King William Street

Bank Lift on King William Street

A little known thing is that there IS lift access to Bank station – but only to the DLR part of the station. The entrance is ‘secret’ and is on King William Street – not part of the main entrance, where a vaguely scary sign suggests that is is for those who want step-free access to the DLR at Bank only.

But because of the layout of the escalators at Bank DLR it’s possible to come up into Monument station on an escalator on the westbound side and thus access it step free.

But we’d like to know (and this is what we keep on emailing TfL and they never reply to us)

Is the lift at Bank for DLR customers only, or if you have heavy luggage or a child in a pushchair, can you use it to legitimately access the westbound platforms at Monument as their ‘Avoiding Steps’ guide suggests?

Who wants to go and try it and find out?


Upside down map

14th August 2014

It’s been a while since we stumbled across this one, but we found it again lurking in a place where it shouldn’t have been in our archives last night and it felt like we’d better share it again.

Take the tube map – flip it upside down and then map out where the places on the tube would be if south London had the generous share of tube stops the north of London currently enjoys. (Click map for larger version)

Upside down map

Upside down map

Secrets of the DLR

12th August 2014

Station Master Geoff made a new production for Londonist, this time out on the DLR.

Update: We can’t believe no one’s noticed this yet, so we’re going to mention it. Look closely at the captions. Take the FIRST letter of every caption – write them down, and see what it spells out!

London, 2031

8th August 2014

As part of the London Infrastructure plan for 2050 that TfL released, Ian over at Randomly London highlighted the hotspots of the tube by 2031.

We see no mention of Crossrail or the Overground on TfL’s map though … ?

London 2031

London 2031