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London’s Bridges

We’re going to tread slightly off of our regular train path here – but keep it related, because a follower/friend of ours – Transport Hub – has made a great series of videos on YouTube about bridges in London, and we liked them so much that we thought we’d give them a plug.

Transport Hub are Matt and Mark, and at the time of writing this they’ve made videos on five London bridges: Hampton Court, Kingston, Kingston Rail, Teddington Lock and Richmond, and you can watch the first epsiode – click here below!

15 Oct 15

Platform Diagrams

Meanwhile, back on the Barcelona subway – here’s something else that we saw at almost every station and really liked. ¬†Station Master is all about giving you a visualisation of a station and telling you what is the best exit position to be in on the train, and here’s something simple which London Underground don’t do (but they could) which would aid just that.

They have street map diagrams at all stations, and on them they show where the platforms physically lie below street level, and they then mark on with a bright ‘M’ where the entrance/exit point is to the Metro. This acts as a great guide for helping you work out which end of a train you should be at to be at the nearest point to you above ground destination. Maybe it’s something we could try out in Station Master …

Street Map Diagrams

Street Map Diagrams

Our other Station Master notes that this will be something that will be very important to know in London when Crossrail opens in just under 5 years time (December 2018).

The platforms in the central tunnelled section are 250 metres long; so while at Bond Street Crossrail station for example, one entrance will be physically next to the current Bond Street Underground station the other entrance will be in Hanover Square (think behind the Apple Store at Regent Street). ¬†Likewise, at Liverpool Street Crossrail station, one entrance is over the road from Liverpool Street station itself (with a connection to the Underground there) while the other entrance is actually in Moorgate, again with a connection to the Underground – get the wrong end of the train at stations like these and you’re in for a long walk from one end of the platform to the other or perhaps even a longer one at the surface!

09 Mar 14

Light up the subway

This Station Master got to go overseas last week, and took several photos whilst he was there – the location? Barcelona in Spain, where the the TMB (Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona) rattles around the city. It too has 11 lines like London, but fewer stations – 163 in total.

Our two favourite things we spotted were the ‘Next train’ indicators on the platforms which counted down in minutes and seconds, how long before the next train would be in the platform available for boarding – and it was spot on, when it reached ‘zero’ was the moment that the train was opening its doors on the platforms.

The other thing we liked was inside the carriages on the trains – instead of just a simple map, it was lit up with lights showing you the progress of the train as it went along so you could see much more quickly where you were and what station was next.

Lit up Line Diagram

Lit up Line Diagram

We’d like to think that if TfL/LU do introduce driver-less trains at some point in the future, that they’ll also look at every other metro system in the world (including Barcelona which has three driver-less lines) and take on board some of the feature and ideas and incorporate them into London’s trains.


07 Mar 14