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Way Out

With the Northern Line escalators currently out of action at King’s Cross and passengers being diverted the long way round, there are lots of posters up on the platforms to say ‘This way..’ and take you to where you want to go.

Except that here, the arrow pointing to the right is odd, because visible to the left is the staircase that takes you up to the Piccadilly Line.  If you follow the sign, it will take you at least five minutes to get to the Piccadilly platforms, however, if you take the stairs that you can see in the background of this photo, it will take you 30 seconds!

Not this way

Not this way

05 Dec 14

Paddington photos

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

21 Oct 14

Red Wine (And ten other colours)

I see what you did there, London Wine Week in having the eleven colours of the tube lines …

Eleven Bottle of Wine

Eleven Bottles of Wine

23 May 14

Central Stickers

There are now some nice big bright stickers on Central Line carriages, in bold red pointing out the fact that trains aren’t currently stopping at Bond Street, by removing its connection blob.

No connection

No connection

What we can’t work out though is why they felt the sticker needed to cover up Notting Hill Gate, Queensway, Lancaster Gate and Marble Arch as well when absolutely nothing map-wise has changed about these stations.

With connection

With connection


22 May 14

150 book

Send in your 150 old memories

Send in your 150 old memories

We saw this sign up at Latimer Road during the week as we passed through, and several things occurred to us.

We didn’t realise that the H&C line was having a ‘150 book’ all to itself – surely when the whole of the Underground is celebrating being 150 years old, surely it’s the Metropolitan Line that should be doing it.  Ok yes, this branch of the H&C used to be served by Met trains, but then why the H&C coloured branding?

I’m not sure that anyone alive today, will have old photos/stories from 150 years ago… mainly because they’re not alive.

Oh, and it’s March .. and the poster is still up despite asking people to send in things by the end of December 2013.

Methinks that not a lot of people sent anything in …


06 Mar 14

Spacious Trains

Spacious Trains

Spacious Trains

This is first (and only, so far!) time we’ve seen this new poster up around the network. A sleek S-Stock bursting out of the roundel announcing yet another way that TfL are ‘reinvesting their income to improve the services’.

We saw this on the Victoria Line, and interestingly it does mention the new ’09 trains as being part of this reinvestment, alongside the Metropolitan, Circle and H&C lines which do have the new ‘S’ Stock.

So, just the District Line to go then …


21 Feb 14

Wait before you save someone’s life

PEA1 We’re rather confused about this current poster campaign on the Tube.   Cute little rhyming posters asking you to do things a certain way.   Ok, now disposing of newspapers is one thing (even though I and many others like getting on a train and having something to read in the form of a discarded newspaper), but asking people to wait until you try and help someone who’s ill is .. odd, as far as we can see.

This Station Master had cause to use the PEA last year (Passenger Emergency Alarm), when shortly after pulling out of East Acton station heading into London, another passenger collapsed on the floor in front of us.   We immediately pulled the alarm, spoke to the driver – who, with a whole 2 minutes ahead of him until White City was able to speak to the Line Controller, who in turn made sure that there was somebody already on the platform by the time our train pulled in.   This meant that help was brought to that person far more quickly than if we’d have waited UNTIL the train was in the platform, and then pulled the alarm.

Also, it meant that the Line Controller was able to route the eastbound train immediately behind us (and others) through the middle platform at White City, and not have it delayed behind us.

So – serious question TfL – why are you advising people to wait until the next station until the alarm is pulled?  The few minutes that it takes to get to the next station can be used to arrange help – perhaps life saving help, rather than waiting until the train gets there. Wouldn’t you want to get help to someone more quickly, rather than slowly?



27 Jan 14

Follow … who?

Tweet PosterAfter Chris Hewitt tweeted about this last week here, “Only TFL would run a poster campaign announcing they’re on Twitter… and leave off their Twitter handle.”, we wondered if we could help out as it was something that we’d noticed too.

It’s fair to say that a poster advertising Twitter services, has got to give you their Twitter name – it’s a no brainer.

So we spent literally half an hour this morning putting this together which – look! Actually includes the Twitter name that would be useful to follow, along with a link that takes you to a page telling you about others, too.

We’ve left off the official roundel for obvious copyright reasons. Everything else is of our own design.

A Twitter poster that actually includes the twitter name to follow

A Twitter poster that actually includes the Twitter name to follow

20 Jan 14

A short storey about steps

Covent Garden StepsAn intriguing audio announcement at Covent Garden came over the PA system when we were there the other day. Far from being told to mind the gap, report anything suspicious, always touch out, or any of the other mantra that’s continually spouted at you, we were told that ‘Entering the lifts from the wrong side is contravening a by-law’, and from the sounds of it could get you in trouble.

Covent Garden is of course hugely busy, and I suspect there’s a plan being mooted within TfL towers to make it exit only – a bit like Camden Town already is at the weekends.  And indeed, the fastest way out of the station is to walk up the ‘entrance’ staircase, against the flow of people, and nip into the empty lift, moments before the queues of people who have been waiting on the proper side enter it and give you filthy looks for jumping the queue.

The other alternative of course is to walk up the 193 steps, which (as another of their famed audio announcements informs you) is the equivalent to a fifteen storey building.   And their advice isn’t to be taken lightly – we once saw a man halfway up sat down, looking very red, out of breath, and a member of station staff and paramedic coming the other way down the stairs to assist him.

Hampstead StepsSo if 193 steps is a fifteen storey building, that’s … (digs out calculator) 12.8 steps per storey. Right?

So we were rather surprised the other day when visiting Hampstead station – the deepest on the whole of the network, with the highest number of steps on its emergency staircase, in this case there are 320 of them (There are exactly 320 of them – 298 on the spiral, 22 flat – so why the sign says ‘over 320’ is another thing that is wrong), which by TfL’s maths at 12.8 steps per storey must mean it’s the equivalent to a twenty-five storey building .. right? RIGHT!

Oh. No. Wait …

It seems that ’15 storeys’ is the generic sign. Either that or TfL have a magic calculator that always gives the number ’15’ no matter what you type into it?

Expect to see a sign at Chalk Farm shortly informing you of it’s 54 steps being the equivalent to a 15 storey building …

14 Jan 14

Bakerloo & Northern not stopping at Embankment

Embankment changes

Embankment changes

This is something that’s been planned for a while, but today we saw the first poster publicity for it when we spied this on the Bakerloo Line at Oxford Circus.

As part of massive escalator repair works taking place for most of 2014, only District and Circle Line trains will be stopping at Embankment station from Wednesday 8th January next year, until the repair work is finished. This is likely to affect a lot of people’s regular commutes so you’ll have to find a different way to your destination if this is something that you usually do.

17 Nov 13