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This is the way to do blobs

25th November 2015

Accessibility blobs! Do you love ’em, or hate ’em? It’s essential to know of course these days which stations have step-free accessibility and which don’t, but some argue that the main Tube map has been disrupted by too much information pollution (not just with accessibility blobs, but with all information on the Tube map) and that there should be once ‘simple’ standard Tube map for the majority of users, and then specialised versions for others.

The main issues that people have always had with ‘wheelchair blobs’ (as they’ve become known) is that on a standard Tube map, there are ‘ticks’ and then circular ‘connector blobs’ to represent stations which are and aren’t interchange points.

When a station then gets a ‘wheelchair blob’ it becomes circular in shape, and then there’s no way of knowing if its meant to represent an interchange station or not – therefore rendering the regular connector blob pointless.

Which is why we were intrigued to see this at Covent Garden station the other day, on a map on the wall, where the wheelchair blobs have been stuck to the side of of the regular tick/connector blobs of stations.  A really nice touch, the first time we’ve seen it, and something that we wish was more prevalent.

Covent Garden Blobs

Covent Garden Blobs


This way to the platforms

22nd November 2015

London Bridge is undergoing all sorts of construction work at the moment, leading to it very easy to get confused about which way to go to get to your platform and get the train. But it doesn’t help when platforms 1-3 are through this impossibly small gap – must be a squeeze to fit everyone through there at the height of the rush-hour.

This way!

This way!

Original Overground Complete

20th November 2015

When we set out to draw 3D maps of all Tube stations we soon realised that we’d have to do all the Overground and DLR too – and that meant a lot more work!  So long in fact, that during that time MORE stations got added to the Overground, all the services out of Liverpool Street, but we haven’t added those onto Station Master (yet?) so there’s currently no plans to draw 3D maps for them.

But we have (finally!) finished ALL THE OTHER Overground stations when we took a trip to Watford this week, so that we could sketch out Watford Junction and turn it into a 3D map, it’ll be in the next update of the App – of course.

Watford Junction 3D Map

Are they building the Croxley Link yet?

19th November 2015

Yes.. yes they are!  We found ourselves up in Watford recently  (as Watford Junction is the last original Overground station that we had not drawn a 3D map for yet, so we went to get it done!) and whilst we were in the area, it seemed rude not to have a look and see what work was going on with the Croxley Link.

This is the view from the bridge looking east down to the old Watford Stadium Halt – there has been loads of work going on here to clear the vegetation where nature had overgrown everything, and we love the old red coloured Network South East lamps that are still here.

Watford Stadium Halt

The new Watford Vicarage Road station will not open in the same spot – that will be to the west side of the bridge instead. When we looked there was a team of people in bright orange Hi-Vis taking photos and making notes of what they could see.  So it would seem that work is being done … don’t expect it to be finished until 2020 though.


The Boundary of Zone 2 and 3

13th November 2015

With the announcement of the new fares for 2016 by TfL, they also confirmed something that has been planned for while – Stratford station is being changed from being Zone 3 only, to be a boundary Zone 2 & 3 station.

But here’s the bit that we didn’t know about – several other stations in the area are also becoming boundary 2 & 3, that were previously just zone 3 – basically following the DLR line south, those being – Stratford International, Stratford High Street, Abbey Road, West Ham, Star Lane and Canning Town and all changing too.

But the really interesting thing, is that the stations that are currently boundary Zone2/3 in the area don’t appear to be changing.  Hang on, what! Yes – they will ALSO be boundary Zone 2 and 3.

And that got us thinking.  If you look at the boundary zone between 2 and 3 in a geographical way it’s currently a nice smooth curve, but when the changes happen, it will change to look like, well … this!

The Boundary of Zones 2 and 3 in the east

The Boundary of Zones 2 and 3 in the east


Official Walking Map

10th November 2015

Tucked away on the TfL website since last week is a new Tube map … with walking times. Looking extremely similar to something that was produced independently during the last round of Tube strikes, this is the first time that TfL have ever produced their own official walking times map.

Note that it only shows walking times between stations that you can get a train between, and doesn’t show handy walking connections – e.g. between Aldgate and Aldgate East. Nevertheless it’s an interesting new map to come out, and might make you realise that a journey could be quicker if you walked it rather than enter a station and wait for a train…

Walking times

Walking times

Finsbury Park Gateline

5th November 2015

Whilst the BBC speculates that Night Tube may not happen altogether, we can bring you more exciting news – Finsbury Park station is finally getting a gateline!

It will therefore lose its tag of ‘busiest station on the network without ticket barriers’, but we bet it makes a difference to revenue figures.  The main entrance (pictured below) as well as the Wells Terrace and Seven Sisters Road entrance are all getting ticket barriers. They’ve been installed, but not switched on yet – but expect it to be during November.

Finsbury Park Gateline

Finsbury Park Gateline

New Tram platform at Wimbledon

3rd November 2015

After three months of work, during which Trams had been terminating at Dundonald Road and not going Wimbledon, the station reopened yesterday on Monday (OK, actually it was open late on Sunday) for trams to stop there again, and there’s a brand new platform.

Platforms 10a and 10b

The work that has been done is a ‘runaround’ the same as how Overground trains stop at Clapham Junction in that the second platform is now behind the first one at Wimbledon station, and they’re now called platforms 10a and 10b.

Double track

Double track

This means that come the new year, there will be an extra four trams per hour running to the Wimbledon branch – twelve instead of the current eight which is a nice bonus to the capacity on this part of the line.

It goes quite a way ...

It goes quite a way …

We’ve updated out Station Master 3D map of Wimbledon to reflect this, and we just might be working on something that’s Tram specific too! Watch this space …

Dagenham East, heading West

28th October 2015

2015-10-27 15.43.00We found ourselves out the eastern of the District line yesterday for a non-Station Master task, but whilst we’re passing through stations we always find ourselves continually on the look out for anything that’s new or changed, or that perhaps we didn’t spot the first time round!

We found this poster therefore, in the ticket hall at Dagenham East – where our travel tip recommends that some trains can start here and leave from Platform 3, and not Platform 1 which is where most westbound services start – except now there’s a poster up giving the exact times which is dead handy to know.

0723, 0729, 0800, 0822, 0842, 0859 and 0920 are the times of scheduled services that start here and head west into central London – which is also handy to know if you’re a commuter from Dagenham Heathway, Becontree or Barking heading into town because by getting the train that starts from here it’ll be quieter, and much more likely that you’ll get a seat … always good to know.

How Many Step Free Stations Are There?

26th October 2015
Step free

Step free

When the Greenford Inclinator (sorry, Incline lift) opened on the Underground network last week, the official line from the press release was that there are now 67 Underground stations now have step free access.

As accessiblity is something we’re quite keen on getting right in Station Master, we thought we’d have a quick count and check, because it felt like it might be slightly more.

Here’s what we found when looking at the official TfL Step Free Tube Map.

The Underground has 69 fully step free stations. They are:

Acton Town, Barking, Bermondsey, Blackfriars, Brixton, Canning Town, Caledonian Road, Chalfont & Latimer, Canada Water, Canary Wharf, Chesham, Chorleywood, Dagenham Heathway, Earl’s Court, East Ham, Edgware, Epping, Elm Park, Farringdon, Finchley Central, Fulham Broadway, Golders Green, Green Park, Greenford, Hainault, Hammersmith D&P, Hammersmith C&H, Harrow & Wealdstone, Hillingdon, Heathrow 123, Heathrow 4, Heathrow 5, Hounslow West, Hendon, High Barnet, Hounslow East, Kensington (Olympia), Kingsbury, Kings Cross, Kilburn, Kew Gardens, London Bridge, Morden, North Greenwich, Oakwood, Paddington, Pinner, Richmond, Roding Valley, Stanmore, Stratford, Sudbury Town, Southfields, Southwark, Tottenham Hale, Upney, Uxbridge, Waterloo (Jubilee), Upminster, Wembley Park, Wembley Central, West Finchley, Westminster, West Ham (Jubilee), Willesden Junction, Wimbledon, Woodford, Wood Lane, Woodside Park,

So that’s two more than the official TfL count of 67 – why the difference? Well, that could be because they might Hammersmith as being one station, where as we would argue that it’s two separate stations. Or consider that Waterloo is only fully step-free accessible to the Jubilee Line … hang on, there’s a strange anomalie in that due to the Jubilee Line lifts you can get to the southbound platforms step free at Waterloo Bakerloo, but all the would let you do is make a cross-platform interchange at Lambeth North, and head north up the Bakerloo and you could go to Baker Street and change to the northbound Jubilee Line, but the earliest a wheelchair users could get off the Bakerloo Line would be at Willesden Junction.

One Direction (Not the band)

One Direction (Not the band)

But that brings to our attention other stations that are like this – where you can get access to an Underground train, but admittedly (due to the configuration of a station) only in one direction. Which is the following stations:

Amersham, Barkingside, Borough, Cannon Street, Debden, Elephant & Castle, Euston Square, Liverpool Street, Rickmansworth, Ruislip, South Woodford, Theydon Bois, Waterloo (Bakerloo) West Brompton.

That’s 14 more stations, except Waterloo is a repeat of the Jubilee Line, so it adds 13 more to the total – meaning that there are 82 stations out of 270 on the Underground that have step free access, that’s 30.3%, just under a third.

Want to make things a bit more tricky to get your head around? Of course you do… The Tube Map should no longer really be called that as the real count of numbers of stations on the map is now at 408, a third of which are no longer Underground services, it has Overground, DLR and TfL Rail too. The DLR is of course totally step free from it’s construction but how is the Overground holding up?

We’ve counted 45 Overground stations that are fully accessible step-free in both directions, they are:

Anerley, Acton Central, Brockley, Bush Hill Park, Caledonian Road and Barnsbury, Camden Road, Canonbury, Cheshunt, Chingford, Clapham Junction, Carpenders Park, Crystal Palace, Dalston Junction, Denmark HIll, Edmonton Green, Euston, Emerson Park, Enfield Town, Forest Hill, Gospel Oak, Hampstead Heath, Highams Park, Highbury and Islington, Honor Oak Park, Harringay Green Lanes, Hackney Wick, Homerton, Hackney Central, Haggerston, Hoxton, Imperial Wharf, New Cross Gate, New Cross, Romford, Queens Road Peckham, Shepherds Bush, Shoreditch High Street, South Acton, Sydenham, Upper Holloway, Watford Jcn, Walthamstow Queens Road, Walthamstow Central, West Croydon.

Kew, Richmond, Olympia, West Brompton are also step free, but are shared with Underground stations, so have already been counted.



The Overground also has six stations where step-free access is available in one direction only, namely:

Kensal Rise, Headstone Lane, Hatch End, Penge West, Norwood Junction, Hackney Downs

And as it’s on the TfL services map with its 408 stations we can’t ignore the step-free TfL Rail services too, which are: Romford (also Overground), Chadwell Heath, Brentwood, Shenfield

So, in summary…

There are 69 (not 67) step-free station on the Underground. 82 if you include the the ones which have it in one direction only. Plus the Overground brings 51 more to that total, Tfl Rail adds three more, and of course don’t forget the 45 stations on the DLR, that brings our grand total up to … 99 stations out of the 408 on the map (which is 24%, call it a quarter) that have step-free access.

We’ll update this post as more get added to the network, Tower Hill and Vauxhall should be getting their lifts next …