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Oxford Colours

Oxford Circus Pillars

Oxford Circus Pillars

We only just noticed this the other day – we’ve known for a long time that the wall pattern tiles are Blue, Red and Brown to represents the three colours of the lines that pass through there – but we’ve only just realised too that the pillars in the ticket hall area also have the three colours to match the lines.

It’s subtle because the brown of the Bakerloo is at the bottom a bit dirty and goes unnoticed (a bit like the line itself), but it’s there, part of the three colours that make up the lines through Oxford Circus.

30 Apr 14

New Pudding Mill Lane Station Open

The new Docklands Light Railway Pudding Mill Lane station, which is now the largest on the DLR network, was open today to the public for the first time; so, of course, we went along there to have a look for ourselves.

New Pudding Mill Lane

New Pudding Mill Lane

The new concrete and glass station is in a slightly different location, as the previous station is being demolished to make way for the Crossrail tunnel portal at Pudding Mill Lane where it will join existing railway lines through North East London to Essex. DLR passengers will be able to interchange with Crossrail at Stratford station. The new station is also double-tracked and trains arrive there together regularly as clockwork, Crossrail say this will boost capacity and enable the railway to carry an extra 1,100 passengers per hour on the route between Stratford and Canary Wharf / Lewisham.

The New Platforms

The New Platforms

There were many other people there, taking photographs and generally having a look at the pristine new station on its opening day and a surprising number of staff (we counted at least 7 or 8), for what until 10 days ago was a tiny station, we’re not sure why or if they were suddenly expecting an influx of passengers now the station is bigger! However we noticed that the lifts aren’t presently working so it may have been they were there to assist with accessibility needs until the snagging work going on by the builders is completed.

Pudding Mill Lane - Old Station

Pudding Mill Lane – Old Station

It was also very noisy, as the work has already begun to demolish the old station.

Of the people there, we were lucky enough to be able to meet the architect of the new station, Dan Moore, who was taking photographs of his work and was justifiably proud of what had been achieved with a DLR station, compared to the old “Tin shed in the sky” as he put it.

He very kindly pointed out some interesting features of the station to us, that aren’t immediately obvious to the casual observer.

e.g. Presently, there are three staircases side-by-side up to each of the platforms. But, underneath the outside two staircases, they have already built escalator pits and space for machine-gear, so once the stations gets busier they can simply lift the staircases out and install escalators. Clever eh?!

Pudding Mill Lane Exterior

Pudding Mill Lane Exterior

Also, as you enter the station (currently behind hoardings) there is a large brick façade. This façade currently conceals 1000 square metres of retail space, so when it’s needed, it can be demolished and shops fitted out in its place. There’s even a yard area behind the station for deliveries and refuse etc, again all planned for future expansion as the surrounding area becomes more developed, and the station busier.

Pudding Mill Lane - Exit

Pudding Mill Lane – Exit

Outside the station there is still some Crossrail work and access required, so there is a hoarded off walkway to get you to Stratford High Street, and also a separate access route to take you onto the Greenway (which is well worth a walk on if you’ve never been there), the View Tube and on to the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park (but it wasn’t signposted as such).

Diamond Geezer was down there at 7am when it opened has now put a complete Flickr gallery of photos online.

And lastly, of course, no Station Master visit to a station would be complete without the obligatory noting of the best exits, counting the steps and facilities and a sketch map of the station so we can update that information for the next release of the App!

28 Apr 14

Tube Strike Map

With another tube strike set to start at 9pm on the 28th April 2014, services will be hugely disrupted all day on Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th April.

TfL have produced a document listing which services they hope to run (between 7am and 11pm) but again it’s hard to decipher, which is why we’ve created something visual – the familiar tube map showing where (and how frequently) services should be running.

This time we’ve included TfL’s Overground and DLR services too, which aren’t affected by the strike action.

Click on the image here for a large sized JPG, or download a PDF of it here.

Tube Strike Map, April 2014

Tube Strike Map, April 2014

(Updated version, 28th April 2014 at 7.45pm. Updated District Line frequency and added in a couple of Overground station that had been missed out!)

27 Apr 14

Non-stop Bond Street

So the Central Line is not stopping at Bond Street for a couple of months due to Crossrail works, but on our first pass through last night, we noticed that although the ‘Station Closed’ sign was of course up, it was just the usual ‘back of the tube map’ variant swung out, and wasn’t as nice the ‘Station Closed‘ signs where the WHOLE station had been decorated as such when Edgware Road on the Bakerloo was closed recently – although that was for a much longer period of time.

Which means this is the ‘pass thru’ photo that we snapped as we travelled slowly through …

Non-stop at Bond Street

Non-stop at Bond Street


27 Apr 14

Walk during the tube strike

By Sunday evening/Monday morning here at Station Master we’ll have an updated tube map (pretty similar, I suspect to last time) of what tube services are expected to be running during the strike.

Before that, the people over at Ary & Joe have come up with a Walk London Tube Map, where they show the walking times between two stations.

Now either I’m a fast walker, or they’ve been ridiculously conservative because I think it’s safe to knock about a third off the time of ALL the walking times that they show on this map, but it’s nice to see anyway. As usual – click on it for the larger version.



26 Apr 14

Updated WiFi Map

With TfL now proudly proclaiming that WiFi is available at 137 Underground stations courtesy of Virgin Media and 56 Overground stations supplied by The Cloud we thought it was about time that we updated our WiFi map, as we like the ‘spread’ look that it has as opposed to the official TfL version.

The four ‘black holes’ remain in Zone 1 of Edgware Road and the three Crossrail stations – Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and Moorgate, but it’s nice to see places like Monument, Baker Street and Southgate finally getting it.

West Ruislip is an oddity – no other stations out west on that branch have WiFi, no DLR station has it, but there are also reports of other stations (such as Brent Cross) having the tell-tale ‘BBConnect‘ named wireless network which is where the equipment is in place, but hasn’t been activated yet.

WiFi Map April 2014

WiFi Map April 2014

Click on map for full size (and now further updated/edited version that includes Surrey Quays).

Note: The blue coloured area at Heathrow 5 shows that there is full mobile coverage there from the major networks, despite the station being underground.


25 Apr 14

Tile Map

How many Underground stations have classic tiles on the walls, then? As far as we can recall, it’s just the Piccadilly, Northern and Bakerloo lines that have wall tile patterns, and we can’t find anywhere online that documents which stations have which tile patterns which is why we’ve now started work on this – a tube map which shows you the tile pattern for that station.  Your life isn’t going to be complete without it is it?


24 Apr 14


No .. not the desolate ice planet from Star Wars, but an amusing abbreviation for Harrow on the Hill of course!

We have just finished the 3D map of the station, which takes our total to 260 out of the 270 Underground stations drawn; that’s 96% done with just ten more to go! The end of our massive tube station mapping project really is in sight.




23 Apr 14

Old Street Timetables

Old Street Timetable

Old Street Timetable

With thanks to Bjoern Draegert for spotting these at Old Street.

Due to some redecoration work being done on some of the modern day information panels, they revealed beneath them some really old Northern Line timetables from 1977 that show what the pattern and frequencies of the trains were like back then.

We’re slightly confused by the the two separate columns for trains to High Barnet and trains to Mill Hill East. Did there used to be a time when the service to MHE was not a shuttle and trains just ran directly through all the time?

This was when the Bank branch of the Northern Line was running a regular service – it wasn’t too long ago before this that Northern Line services only ran 3-car trains during the off peak hours, because there wasn’t the demand for the service when people weren’t travelling to the city.

The map at the bottom is a neat thing to see too, showing the Northern Line as it was almost 40 years ago.

Northern Line Diagram

Northern Line Diagram


22 Apr 14

W&C train being refurbished

If you’ve ever visited the London Transport Museum Acton Depot, you’ll have no doubt seen the old Waterloo & City Line carriage that’s been kept – a class 487 train – that’s been salvaged, but is lying dormant with its paint peeling.

Being restored at the Museum Depot

Being restored at the Museum Depot

Well, peeling no more! We were down the depot last week, and got chatting to the lovely Paul here whose job it is over the next month (“One week per side” he reckons) to paint it and get it looking lovely in its original condition with full Network South East livery.

We even found a superb video online showing the trains still in action.

21 Apr 14