INTRODUCTION

This post came about because I was given a horse brass that relates to this establishment. I will explain in the course of the post my justification for including it on a site devoted to London Underground. 

THE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE RAILWAY CENTRE

It was only natural that I should check further for details of the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. I discovered that it is based in Aylesbury and that it looks like an excellent museum. Click on the picture below to visit their website:

JUSTIFYING THIS INCLUSION

So what is this attraction doing on this site? There are two linked justifications for its inclusion. In my post about the Metropolitan line I have referred to the fact that that line once extended a lot further than it now does. Even after the sections beyond Aylesbury were closed, Metropolitan line trains continued to serve Aylesbury until the 1960s. In my post about the Central line I went in to detail about my vision of a London Orbital Railway. 

 

The Metropolitan line in its glory days.

 

In my vision the Metropolitan line would be pared back to the Uxbridge branch and the Chesham branch, the latter extended to Tring, with the Watford branch being wholly incorporated into the Orbital Railway, and the Amersham branch forming the start of a northwestern spur from the Orbital Railway which would extend to the old terminus at Brill, and thence to Oxford to link up with mainline railways there. There would possibly also be scope for reviving the old Verney Junction branch and extending to Milton Keynes, although with the Watford link this is very much an additional option rather than a central part of the vision.

As part of the Oxford spur there could be a station specifically for the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, with tickets to that station including admission to the railway centre – after all how better to arrive at a railway centre than by train arriving at a station that is structurally part of the centre? 

Here is a second picture of that horse brass:

The beautifully adaptable map by Harry Beck of the London Underground has been used all over the world, and inspired several ‘alternatives’. One such is this excellent map from Route Plan Roll, which in 2016 created this map of London’s cycle routes. Cycling in the capital, despite the busy roads, has been on the increase.

Source: This London cycle map is simply brilliant

INTRODUCTION

I spotted this book in King’s Lynn library and of course had to take it out. Here is the front cover:

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OVERALL IMPRESSION

The book is crammed with interesting information,  and covers every line in detail as well as going over the history and some of pre-history of London Underground. I am very glad that I did borrow it, and have enjoyed dipping into it on a regular basis while it is in my possession. However, I have some…

QUIBBLES

I am going to start with the coverage of the East London line (which was still part of London Underground when the book was published although it is not now). In covering this line Mr Halliday states tat the Brunel tunnel under the Thames is the oldest object on the system having opened as a pedestrian tunnel in 1843. I have no quibble with his dating of the tunnel, but the stations that now form the northern end of the High Barnet branch of the Northern line opened as main-line railway in 1842, one year earlier than the pedestrian tunnel.

When covering the Central line Mr Halliday fails to mention that original eastern extension of that line beyond Liverpool Street did not end as it does today at Epping, but continued to Ongar (this is another former main line railway incorporated into London Underground, and opened in that guise in 1856). This leads me to another minor area of disappointment:

OVER-ORTHODOXY

In talking about the early history of the Metropolitan Mr Halliday mentions the Brill branch and the envisaged extension of this branch to Oxford but does not seem to consider that by opening up connections at both ends this could actually have boosted the use of the line. Similarly, when mentioning the former Aldwych branch of the Piccadilly line he does not consider the possible use of this under-used branch as a starting point for an extension into southeast London and west Kent. As mentioned above I regard the failure to even mention the stations beyind Epping on the Central line as inexcusable, and this too could be a discussion point – in my own post on the Central line I have advocated an extension to Chelmsford and another connection to mainline railways. Nevertheless, for all these issues I conclude this post (apart from some more pictures) by restating that this is a very useful and interesting little book.

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INTRODUCTION

This Saturday I was in London for the day (see here for more details), and I have posted several times on this site in connection with this (here, here and here), and I am concluding my activity on this front by showing all the London Transport related photos from that day in one post.

PHOTOGRAPHS

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INTRODUCTION

I used this station on my way back from an event I attended at Student Central, Malet Street, London this Saturday (click here for more details).

PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

Tottenham Court Road station opened as part of the Central London Railway, now the Central line, in 1900. In 1907 the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway, now the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line, opened a station called Oxford Street, which was renamed Tottenham Court Road to match the CLR station in 1908. The site has been the subject of extensive building works as part of the creation of what will now be called the Elizabeth line, but which was originally known as East-West Crossrail in its planning stages and then as Crossrail.

This will be a link route, approaching London from the direction of Reading, with a tunnel section through central London and then taking over the existing TFL route to Shenfield, from where trains will be able to run to various destinations in further flung parts of the East of England (and mutatis mutandis for the Reading end of the plan and Western England and Wales).

A scheme that started life three decades ago as a plan for new tube line between Hackney and Chelsea will in due time become a second cross-rail scheme linking the southwestern main line railways with those to the northeast of the capital.

As part of all these goings on Tottenham Court Road now has two smart and futuristic new surface buildings.

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To finish this post here are a couple of map sections…

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INTRODUCTION

On Saturday I had cause to be in London for the day (click here for more details). Engineering works interfered with my journey, and finding myself on a stopping train I alighted at Finsbury Park to change to the Piccadilly line.

A NEW POSTER THAT STIRRED A MEMORY

The first southbound train that arrived was doing so after a significant break, and was therefore packed. Following my own advice tendered in a comment posted on Charlotte Hoather’s blog I therefore waited for the next train, which was following hard upon the heels of the packed one and duly got a seat. Just inside the train I noticed this poster…

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Which reminded me more than a little of this one in my posession…

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My replica of an old poster is larger and more detailed but covers a smaller area, stopping short at Hammersmith rather than featuring Heathrow. The basic idea, of showing people what is available directly above the line on which they are travelling is common to both posters. I feel that for all the comparatively small size of the modern poster only showing the Science Museum for South Kensington is reprehensible – both the other museums should certainly be shown and possibly the Royal College of Music as well. That said, there should be more such posters – every line should feature one. Here to finish is a juxtaposition picture…

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INTRODUCTION

In this post I will talking about a well known London attraction and giving some information about its transport connections.

THE MUSEUM

This museum contains artefacts from the whole of London’s history and has some stuff from longer ago than that. I visited this museum many times when I lived in London. I will mention three highlights, a window that looks out on to a section of the Roman walls, a cross section of a street from the surface downwards, showing where stuff of various ages is to be found and the Lord Mayor of London’s carriage, which is on display there except when it is out on parade. This latter gives me on opportunity to advertise publicly a London Transport themed poster which is lot 737 in James and Sons’ October auction (Wednesday 26th, The Maids Head Hotel, Norwich – starts at 10AM, so this item will go under the hammer at about 3PM, if you would like to bid online click here).

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT CONNECTIONS
FOR THE MUSEUM OF LONON

This post will finish with a map showing where the museum is located. It is effectively in the centre of a triangle formed by Barbican (Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Circle), Moorgate (Northern, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Circle, mainline railways) and St Paul’s (Central). For those visiting from outside London, according to where you arrive my suggestions would be as follows:

  • Euston – choose between heading for the Northern line, Bank branch and travelling to Moorgate or crossing Euston Road to Euston Square station and getting an eastbound train to Barbican.
  • Marylebone – take the short walk to Baker Street and get and eastbound train to Barbican
  • Paddington – head for the Hammersmith and City line platforms, which are structurally part of the main station and get an eastbound train to Barbican (do not be tempted by the District and Circle line platforms, which are so far distant that they should not be classed as part of the same station).
  • If you arrive by coach: some inbound coaches to London call at Marble Arch, in which case you can take an eastbound Central line train to St Pauls, otherwise you will arrive at Victoria Coach Station, in which case…
  • Victoria – while you could travel round the Circle line it would be quicker to take the Victoria line to King’s Cross and change, either to get a Hammersmith & City/ Circle/ Metropolitan train to Barbican or a Northern line train to Moorgate.
  • Waterloo/Waterloo East/ Charing Cross: another two way choice – the Jubilee line to Baker Street and change to an eastbound train to Barbican or take the Waterloo & City to Bank and change to the Northern or Central lines for the journey to St Pauls or Moorgate respectively. Please note that given that the station there is on the wrong branch of the Northern and the Bakerloo lines you are indubitably better off walking across the Thames to Waterloo to begin your underground journey (although north along to the northern to Tottenham Court Road and changing to the Central line is a possibility).
  • London Bridge: Northern to Moorgate (a mere two stops, definitely not worth changing to the Central at Bank, especially given the labyrinthine layout of that station).
  • Fenchurch Street: get a Circle line train round to Moorgate (you do not save enough walking time for the extra stop to Barbican to be worth it).
  • Liverpool Street: you could simply walk from here, but a westbound Circle/Metropolitan/ Hammersmith & City line train to Moorgate is also a possible (the descent to the Central line is not worthwhile IMO).
  • Moorgate: you are already there, but there is a point of interest – the section of line from Finsbury Park to Moorgate has twice been part of London Underground, once administered as part of the Metropolitan line and once as part of the Northern line.

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INTRODUCTION

This map has been available since January, but I have only just obtained a copy of it.

THE NEW MAP

The biggest change in the formatting of the new map is that Gatwick now features on the London side of the map (this is a two sided production, London Connections on one side and London and the South East on the other). Here are some pictures…

Map and stations list.

Map and stations list.

Map only

Map only

Focus on Gatwick.

Focus on Gatwick.

And just for the sake of completeness here is the other side…

London & South East

London & South East

INTRODUCTION

In my post about the Metropolitan line I mentioned the original plan to extend onwards from Chesham to Tring and that I believed the idea had merit. This post gives some extra detail.

ISOLATION

Chesham Station, which opened for business in 1889 is 3.89 miles from its neighbour Chalfont & Latimer (the longest distance between any two adjacent stations anywhere on London Underground), and most of the time the service runs as a shuttle travelling to and fro between these two stops, necessitating a change at Chalfont & Latimer for any journey of more than one stop which further increases the isolation. Thus my idea for this branch involves two elements – both bringing the through connection that already exists at Chalfont & Latimer into regular service, abandoning the one-stop shuttle run, and also extending at least to Tring and a connection to mainline railways at that end. Here is an extract from a 1920s map of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire showing this area:

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FURTHER SPECULATIONS

My idea of a London Orbital Railway would take over the Amersham and Watford branches of the Metropolitan line, reducing four current northern termini to two. Additionally, the Metropolitan being of the older ‘subsurface’ vintage of London Underground lines it is built to the same specifications as mainline railways. Thus I have two ideas for further extension beyond Tring: extend north from Tring to Milton Keynes and/ or extend north as far as Bletchley and thereafter take over the branch line that currently runs from Bletchley to Bedford. Note that neither of my proposals for extension beyond Tring entails any new track, merely changing the usage of existing tracks.

INTRODUCTION

On Saturday I had occasion to visit NAS HQ in London for a training session (for a full account click here) and had the opportunity to take some London Underground themed shots after I had finished.

SERENDIPITY

Although I travelled to the event with someone else (who had specifically asked that we travel together as I knew my way to the venue and he was uncertain) he had things to do after the event, which left me free to go my own way at that point. We walked from King’s Cross to the venue, as I did not consider it worth the long descent to the Northern line at King’s Cross and then the ascent via the longest escalator in London at the other end for so short a journey. For the journey back, with only myself to consider I decided to use the underground, but not for a one-stop journey. In the end I went south on the Northern to Moorgate and changed there to the Met/ Circle/ Hammersmith & City lines to arrive at King’s Cross having only a short change to make.

ROUNDELS

As the good folks at Londonist have pointed out here, there is a lot of variation between roundels. While I did not see any really special examples, there were some quite nice ones which I captured…

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A roundel near the surface at King's Cross

A roundel near the surface at King’s Cross

This one is at ground-level, directly above a flight of stairs heading downwards.

This one is at ground-level, directly above a flight of stairs heading downwards.

SOME OTHER LONDON
UNDERGROUND THEMED PICTURES

In the course of this little journey I also got a few other pictures…

The southbound platform at Angel - exceptionally wide because in this space there used to be both sets of trracks either side of an island platform before the station was done up (Euston, Bank branch exhibits the same quirk for the same reason)

The southbound platform at Angel – exceptionally wide because in this space there used to be both sets of trracks either side of an island platform before the station was done up (Euston, Bank branch exhibits the same quirk for the same reason)

Circle/ Hammersmtih & City/ Metropolitan route map on enamel, Moorgate

Circle/ Hammersmtih & City/ Metropolitan route map on enamel, Moorgate

Metropolitan timetable

Metropolitan timetable

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A Circle/ Hammersmith & City/ District line train at Moorgate

A Circle/ Hammersmith & City/ District line train at Moorgate

Where the 'city-widened lines' began in the dim and distant past.

Where the ‘city-widened lines’ began in the dim and distant past.

Another legacy of the past near King's Cross - the original King's Cross platforms, just east of the current ones.

Another legacy of the past near King’s Cross – the original King’s Cross platforms, just east of the current ones.

Map, King's Cross

Map, King’s Cross

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