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Which Direction?

Max Roberts – best known for his many alternative tube maps that he often produces – has come up with a map that he asked us for some help with, as we had the data as to whether a station and its trains’ directions were signed as ‘Northbound’, ‘Southbound’, ‘Westbound’ or ‘Eastbound’.

So he made a map (of which only a small part is shown here, go to Max’s newsletter page for the full version and other previous maps) which indicates how it would look if the map properly adhered to the direction that the platform sign indicates.  e.g. it might say ‘Eastbound’ but on the map it’s running in a north/south direction!

Confusing? A little at first yes, but then take some time to study it and then realise for ever more so just how distorted the real tube map is!

Which direction?

Which direction?

16 Jul 14

Preferred bidder for Northern Line extension

A tweet doing the rounds last night pointed us in the direction of the Construction Enquirer website, which was running the story that a preferred bidder for the Northern Line extension had been announced.

The project is still awaiting approval from the government’s Transport Secretary, but assuming it gets the nod (as is expected) construction is due to start early next year.

Full story on their website here.

Northern Line Extension

Northern Line Extension


15 Jul 14

To Tram, or not to Tram?

Station Master found itself in Croydon at the weekend, taking a small ride on the Tramlink, and brought to mind the question again of whether it would be worth adding all the Tramlink data to the App.

The initial though is ‘No’, because all stations are almost always identical! They’re all in the open, they’re all accessible, the exits are almost always at the front or at the back – and the trams are only two carriages long anyway, you’re not saving yourself much time by standing in the right place.

There’s no real architecture, history or facilities to talk about – so it’s hard to find something to say about each one.

Then we got home to find someone asking why we hadn’t included the ‘Exit data’ for the Tramlink at Wimbledon station! And we had to politely point out that we hadn’t done Tramlink yet.   So … good idea or not?

It didn’t stop us knocking together a quick 3D Map of the Lloyd Park stop, just to see what it would be like – done in the correct ‘Tramlink Green’ colour, of course …

Lloyd Park Tramlink 3D Map

Lloyd Park Tramlink 3D Map

14 Jul 14

When travelling in town, recite bad rhymes

Oh boy, just when we thought we’d seen them everywhere on in-carriage posters and larger variants on the platform, TfL now seem to have created animated variants of the same advertising campaign with the bad rhymes that don’t scan properly.   They’re also now appearing as ‘trailer’ adverts before some YouTube videos (that most people immediately click past after 5 seconds).

I personally still think it’s better to press the emergency alarm button WHILST the train is travelling between stations so that you alert the driver sooner – rather than later – that someone is ill on board your train.

12 Jul 14

Error codes being displayed on gatelines?

So here we are, plugging away our new App – Oyster Errors – where you can look up what the mysterious numbers mean on barriers if it beeps at you with a problem, when we’ve had a report in from the field, that some gates are now starting to show the full error to explain what it means, and not just the number!

Error 21

Error 21

This from Jonathan Rothwell who sent in this picture from the gateline at Willesden Green, where error code 21 is indeed ‘Card used already’.  It’s the only place we’ve been made aware of it so far, but we’ll keep an eye out to see if it spreads to the rest of the network.


11 Jul 14

Overground Lengthened

Lots of publicity is currently appearing in all Overground stations, including a nice map showing you what work is taking place at Overground stations to extend the length of the platforms to accommodate five-car trains.

Overground extension map

Overground extension map

The new longer trains should be ready to roll out and be in operation from December of this year, and you can see work taking place all over the Overground network to lengthen platforms, as can be seen here at West Brompton.

West Brompton Extension

West Brompton Extension


10 Jul 14

The final, final C …

After two ‘Last trips’ of the C-Stock, it really was the final time for it to be on passenger rails, as the last unit today came out of Hammersmith depot, clockwise round the Circle, then up into Ealing where it reversed to go into Acton depot. So this really is the last moment that a C-Stock train touched passenger rails …

C-Stock at Ealing Common

C-Stock at Ealing Common

09 Jul 14

Contactless Card

contactlesscardSo it was almost TWO MONTHS ago now that we signed up for the Contactless Payment Pilot on tube trains, back on the 13th May.

At the time it said that the membership card would follow in the next few days, and that you should carry it with you (in case a revenue inspector asks you for a valid ticket) when you travel.   So ‘a few days’ it seems turned into 55 days for us, during which we’ve been using a regular Oyster card.

Contactless Membership Card

Contactless Membership Card

They do give you a chance to give your feedback though (which we will) by pointing out that a separate market research company will be in touch when I join the pilot (what this week, or two months ago?) and then three times during it to find out out views – we’re still waiting to hear.

In the blurb provided, it states that capping now does work and that “You’ll never pay more than the price of an equivalent Day Travelcard” – but bus journeys don’t count towards that cap.

Monday to Sunday capping

It then goes onto explain that a ‘Key difference from Oyster’ is that if you make a lot of journeys with your contactless payment card from Monday to Sunday, you will be capped at the same rate as an equivalent 7 day Travelcard.


08 Jul 14

Gloucester not on the map

Finally .. finally!  We’ve seen some carriage tube maps where Gloucester Road on the Piccadilly line isn’t marked.  It seems that Embankment on the Northern/Bakerloo was struck off the map before the work even started, but poor old Gloucester Road on the Piccadilly has been shut for a month now, and this is the first time we’ve seen in indicated so on a map properly.

Gloucester Road Picc not on the map

Gloucester Road Picc not on the map


06 Jul 14

Clapham Refresh

We continue to refresh the old style 3D maps in the App – and now that all the tube stations are complete, we’re now moving onto the remaining Overground stations and when they’re done, we’ll do the rest of the DLR stations!

Out of the 398 stations (Tube/Overground/DLR) in total in London, we’ve mapped out 313 of them – that’s 78% so far, and we will do them all …

Here’s Clapham Junction looking all new and shiny

Clapham 3D

Clapham 3D

05 Jul 14