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Osterley … Park? and Spring Grove

31st October 2014
 

Head on over to the Wikipedia article for Osterley Station and you’ll find a reference to the former station that was a little way up the line ‘Osterley & Spring Grove‘.

We’ve had this heated discussion (no, really!) with people before about whether the station was actually called Osterley Park & Spring Grove, as it seems that some people don’t think the word ‘Park’ was in there.   Looking at the historical timeline diagram that the wikipedia article offers up, it’s certainly not mentioned in there.

Yet head on over to the excellent Abandoned Stations website where it talks about and they certainly do have the work ‘Park’ in the title.

We’re now going to have to fall on the ‘park’ side (and no doubt get embroiled in an edit-war on Wikipedia) after a visit to the old station this morning – now a bookshiop, where the lovely owner took time out to show us old historical photos of the former station building, clearly showing the full name as Osterley Park & Spring Grove.

Osterley Park & Spring Grove

Osterley Park & Spring Grove

Station Master Geoff was down there this morning, filming a sequence for the forthcoming ‘Abandoned Stations on the Underground‘ video for Londonist, which will be released on DVD before the end of the year – sneak preview here though!


Stop meddling with the WiFi

30th October 2014
 

When TfL introduced WiFi to the tube all those months back, it was rather tedious to use at first because – like most people – if we’re on a journey through several stations underground it’s fun to connect to the WiFi at the station that you’re passing through and check Twitter, your email, etc.. as you travel.  Even message people to tell them what station you’re at and how far away you are!

WiFi advert

WiFi advert

But to begin with, the service was really tedious and it had caveats.  If you wanted to load a webpage, or see a picture on Twitter (but, interestingly not the tweets themselves) you had to always load up a browser, choose a bookmark and instantly be presented with an advert page (which you had to skip), which would then take you to a menu page, and you’d be properly connected, and THEN you had to select your bookmark for your webpage again to finally read it.

WiFi Menu

WiFi Menu

A few months into the service though – it changed! Someone must have finally got through to them on how annoying it was, and you only had to tell it to connect ONCE at any ‘Virgin Media WiFi‘ SSID, and then for the rest of your journey it would just auto-connect.

Well … not anymore, last week it had switched back, meaning that you have to do through the tedious advert and menu screen every time you want to access the internet fully, which is rather annoying to say the least.

 


District S7

28th October 2014
 

We’ve seen pictures of them running, even witnessed one or two running in service – but not actually been on one yet ourselves, so when we rocked up to Ealing Common last week it was a pleasant surprise to find a new S7 train running an Ealing Broadway to Plaistow service.

S7 Unit at Ealing Common

S7 Unit at Ealing Common

Interestingly, its set number was 753 which according to the Working Timetable is a Lillie Bridge Depot to Plaistow staff trainer, but in this case looks like it was replacing 050 from Ealing Broadway, heading east.

S7 unit at Barons Court

S7 unit at Barons Court

We did – of course – make a note of all the the slightly changed door exit positions at every stop to update the Station Master exit data for a future update!

 


Too many blobs

26th October 2014
 
Too many blobs

Too many blobs

It’s always interesting to see where old links on the Internet take you.  Whilst clicking around, we discovered an old BBC article that spoke about the launch of the London Overground back in 2006, and the new proposed tube map. It seems that at the time the designers planned on having interchange ‘blobs’ all along the whole stretch where Overground trains stopped at the same stations as Bakerloo Line trains.

This had never been considered on parts of the map where two lines ran on the same tracks (e.g. the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines out to Uxbridge) but it seems that it was considered here. Considered, not finalised because obviously they recognised that it was ugly, and didn’t go with it for the final version.


Treasure Hunt

24th October 2014
 

Now this just looks fabulous! It’s the London Underground Treasure Hunt. It’s an offer on lastminute.com with the blurb saying:

“Challenge yourself and a friend to the exciting London Underground Treasure Hunt for Two. Beneath the bustling city of London you can try out your detective skills with this fun and challenging experience.  You will work together to crack the puzzles and find the hidden treasure within 2 hours to be victorious.”

An evening on the tube, going round participating in a treasure hunt, which is clearly London Underground themed … we’ve booked tickets for next month, and will report back on our experience!

Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt


Exposed Underground

22nd October 2014
 

So on our Twitter feed a lot recently, we’ve been playing the ‘WHERE AM I?’ game, with a piece of cut and cover track exposed in the open in a cutting, and we’ve been asking you to try and name where it is.  Some are harder than others, and amazingly some people have got some really hard ones.

So we’ve been putting a map together – a map of all the places where you can see the Underground (mainly at cut & cover level) where it breaks out into the open for a moment before disappearing back into a tunnel.  It looks something like the image below.  Would you be interested in seeing the finished variant?

Exposed Underground

Exposed Underground


Paddington photos

21st October 2014
 

We were in the Paddington area yesterday doing some Station Master research and saw something which we think is new – on the approach to the H&C station is a small gallery of old black and white photos, showing the construction of this – the original tube line in London when it was built in 1863.

We’d not seen it before – worth stopping to take a look next time you’re wandering past.

Paddington Gallery

Paddington Gallery


Bus trails

20th October 2014
 

Remember the elephants that came to London a while ago?  Small sculptures placed around key locations in the Capital, part of an art project – well TfL have got on board with the fun, by doing the same with some miniature London Buses.

The press release reads: “Presented in partnership with Wild in Art, the Year of the Bus Sculpture Trails have brought businesses and artists together to create a series of free and accessible public art sculpture trails across London’s streets, parks and public spaces.”

There are three trail installations going live today (Monday 20th October) around London, one in Westminster, one along the Thames, and one in the Olympic Park. A fourth will be added in the new year.

Bus-spotting it may be, but in a nice, artistic, non-anoraky kind of way …

Bus sculpture

Bus sculpture


Olympia – HSK Shuttle

17th October 2014
 

Something we’ve only just noticed on carriage maps of District Line trains is the way that the shuttle service is shown between Olympia and High Street Ken.

Obviously trains to/from Olympia are very infrequent and are thus shown as a dotted line, but why then does the in carriage map show the ‘shuttle’ service as being a solid line to High Street Ken?

Yes, there are regular Wimbledon to Edgware Road services (as well as the Circle) which makes this a non-restricted service, but following the logic of the carriage map here, it’s clearly showing a shuttle service between Olympia and HSK, in which case shouldn’t the green line between Earl’s Court and HSK also be a dotted line instead of a solid one?

Solid line to HSK

Solid line to HSK

 


Just visiting

17th October 2014
 

For the first time ever this week, we saw something that we’d only heard about before, but never seen. There is a variant of the Oyster Card called the Visitor Oyster Card.

Typically, you’d get one of you live outside of London, and you can order one online from the TfL website to have one sent to you, pre-loaded with PAYG money to spend for when you visit London.

The difference is though, is that the £3 deposit you pay to get is NOT refundable (unlike a regular blue coloured Oyster card), and you can only load Pay-as-you-Go credit onto it, you can’t load Travelcard/Seasons onto it – just PAYG.

Aside from all that they’re quite pretty too and a much more colourful than your regular blue-coloured Oyster! And here’s what they look like …

Visitor Oyster Card

Visitor Oyster Card