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Dagenham East, heading West

2015-10-27 15.43.00We found ourselves out the eastern of the District line yesterday for a non-Station Master task, but whilst we’re passing through stations we always find ourselves continually on the look out for anything that’s new or changed, or that perhaps we didn’t spot the first time round!

We found this poster therefore, in the ticket hall at Dagenham East – where our travel tip recommends that some trains can start here and leave from Platform 3, and not Platform 1 which is where most westbound services start – except now there’s a poster up giving the exact times which is dead handy to know.

0723, 0729, 0800, 0822, 0842, 0859 and 0920 are the times of scheduled services that start here and head west into central London – which is also handy to know if you’re a commuter from Dagenham Heathway, Becontree or Barking heading into town because by getting the train that starts from here it’ll be quieter, and much more likely that you’ll get a seat … always good to know.

28 Oct 15

Tube hacks here, there, and everywhere

Without wishing to sound like we’re having a dig … well, we’re going to have a little bit of a dig.

On Wednesday of last week, the Time Out blog posted a list of Tube Hacks smart ways around the system. It included the ones that we know about at Euston, Earl’s Court, Holborn, King’s Cross, Green Park, Bank/Monument, Embankment and Leicester Square.

(Actually, the favourite thing about the Green Park one – using the escalators instead of the corridors is something that Station Master once made up to see if we would make this ‘myth’ become ‘fact’ and we find it amusing that it is being spread round with no actual evidence to back it up).

Time Out Hacks

Time Out Hacks

And then, just yesterday … a few days after this Time Out article, we were surprised see online an article on the Daily Mail website, entitled Tired of life on the Tube? Hardened commuters share the secret Underground shortcuts that only Londoners know.

In which it lists a whole bunch of shortcuts at station such as at Euston, Earl’s Court, Holborn, King’s Cross, Green Park, Bank/Monument, Embankment and Leicester Square – yes it’s the same list of things just rewritten a little different with some photos added in. Umm, well done Daily Mail.

Updated 25/09/15

Incredibly, as if to prove this moreso the same article has since popped up in two more publications.   The Evening Standard ran it as a list of hacks, and then it appeared on Yahoo UK news as well – the same list of ‘hacks’.


23 Sep 15

Northern Line train at Covent Garden

So it’s not everyday that you see … this!


It’s a Northern line 1995 stock train running west through Covent Garden on its way to Northfields depot. It was being transferred along the Piccadilly line for brake testing on the test track at South Ealing, several units have passed through here recently – they get there as there’s a curve of track (called the Kings Cross Loop), that runs between the northbound part of the Northern line to the east of Euston, that curves round and joins the northbound of the Piccadilly line just south of Kings Cross. There’s then a crossover which allows the train to go over to the southbound.

Photo taken (and used with kind permission) of Jack Gordon – there’s more on his Flickr page here.


07 Aug 15

Inside Charing Cross and Clapham South

The London Transport Museum today announced that they are, for the first time ever, selling tickets for tours of the old abandoned Charing Cross station that was on the Jubilee Line, and to the tunnels at Clapham South – one of eight deep level tunnels that were built to be turned into a second ‘express’ Northern Line, which then never happened.

It runs on various dates throughout the summer – June and July (Charing Cross) and October (Clapham South) and tickets are quite pricey at £25 and £30, but we can easily see them being snapped up and rapidly selling out!

Charing Cross is here on the website, and Clapham South is here. But tickets don’t go on sale until this Friday – the 17th of April.

Charing Cross

Charing Cross


14 Apr 15


Earl’s Court, yesterday and in all the years that we’ve been commuting through Earl’s Court station it’s common that eastbound trains to the city can go to either Platform 1 or 2.  However, ‘Wimbleware’ services, those that have come up from Wimbledon, and are heading to Edgware Road, always always always come in on Platform 2.  In over twenty years, we don’t think we’ve ever seen one at Platform 1 before, but … we have now!

Wimbleware on One

Wimbleware on One


29 Mar 15

Exhibition Passage at Earl’s Court

Old passageway

Old passageway

Tucked away at the back, and below the eastbound District Line platform at Earl’s Court are some doors – which are normally closed – that lead to an old unused passageway.

The passageway used to be open up until the 1990’s when it was closed – and it took people under the outside street to the Earl’s Court exhibition entrance.  There are some old doors in there too – also blocked up, with – get this – two old escalators that are no longer used.

(Click on either of these two thumbnail images to see the larger version)

Old passageway

Old passageway

Normally you can only look at the closed doors, but at the moment there are some works going on (cabling, by the looks of it), and if you pop down to Earl’s Court, you can have a look down the old passageway, and see where you used to be able to walk through as you could many many years ago.

Earl's Court work

Earl’s Court work

We don’t know how long the works are going to go on for, so get down there quick!

Whilst there, see if you can spot the delightful old sign where the sticker on this Piccadilly diagram is peeling away, revealing the ‘Aldwych’ branch …



20 Mar 15

Exposed Underground

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

22 Oct 14

Union Street

From today’s Guardian. One “tube” station you’ve never heard of before!

Union Street

Union Street

28 Sep 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

Not Just Leinster Gardens

It’s becoming less of a secret now about the false façade at Leinster Garden – all because the underground dug its way through leaving the anomaly in its wake.

But here’s another architectural structure of note – all due to a tube line down below.   Get out at South Kensington and walk two minutes around the corner to Thurloe Square, and you’ll find this – a house on the South Terrace that narrows to just a few feet in width.

Thurloe Gardens

Thurloe Gardens

thurlow2It’s a real house, someone lives inside – and there are rooms which are wider at one end and much narrower at the other. And if we move to the right of the bins and peer over the wall we can see why – the cut and cover District and Circle lines are behind the house down below to the east of South Kensington station.

We believe they were in place before the house on the South Terrace was built – and it was simply squeezed in, the builders preferring to have a narrower house rather than a space with no structure altogether.

thurlow3There are a few places like this on the Underground, and so we’ve started putting a map together of them all showing you where they all are …



17 Mar 14