Sightseeing on the Northern Line

This post was prompted by an official TFL post on this topic (here) which was missing large amounts of stuff, including basically the whole Charing Cross branch. Having linked to the bits they did cover I will now go through some of what they missed.


  • South Wimbledon: this station is only a few minutes walk from the main Wimbledon station, and Wimbledon Common, which starts not very beyond that station is well worth a visit. I used to pick blackberries there many years ago, and there is plenty to see.
  • Tooting Bec: if you exit via the building which sits between Tooting Bec and Stapleton Roads the beginning of Tooting Bec Common is only a few minutes away, and next to a bridge over a railway you will find Tooting Bec Lido. On the other side of Tooting Bec Road is Tooting Graveney Common, which also has an athletics track.
  • Oval: the station that serves one of the most famous cricket grounds in the world.
  • Kennington: The Imperial War Museum is here.


  • Waterloo: home of the South Bank Centre and the London Eye, possible starting point for a walk along the Thames.
  • Embankment: Cleopatra’s Needle is here.
  • Charing Cross: Serves Trafalgar Square, which is flanked by the National Gallery.
  • Tottenham Court Road: One of several stations within easy walking distance of the British Museum.
  • Warren Street: home of the BT Tower, a very famous building.
  • Camden Town: The local station for London Zoo.


  • London Bridge: local station for The London Dungeon and HMS Belfast.
  • Moorgate: There is an entrance to the Barbican Centre directly opposite this station, and within a few minutes walk is The Museum of London.
  • King’s Cross St Pancras: King’s Cross railway station features the sign for Platform 9 3/4, of Hogwarts Express fame.


Only one really significant location was missed on the Edgware branch – Colindale, home of the RAF Museum. Archway on the High Barnet branch was mentioned, but not the presence there of the alleged point at which Dick Whittington turned back towards London.


If you have looked at the TFL post I linked to in the introduction you will see that they missed rather more than they found (putting it politely). That is what led me to create this post, which I conclude with a map showing the entirety of the Northern line:

The Eastern End of the Central Line

It is a long while since I lasted created anything new for this site, so I hope you all enjoy this. This post is going to look specifically at the section of the Central line beyond Stratford, where according to usual maps there are no interchanges…


In an earlier post here I looked at Loughton and Chingford, which is the first point at which even on my definition one is within walking distance of a station on another line. The shortest walking route between the two stations is two and a half miles, and as we will see there is an alternative further along which is better in two different ways.

Snaresbrook is 1.4 miles from Wood Street, two stops south of Chingford and one north of Walthamstow Central (Victoria line). As well as being less of a walk than the Loughton – Chingford connection this route has another advantage for those thinking of using the Victoria Line – if facing a long wait for train at Wood Street one could walk on to Walthamstow Central (I reckon that I would personally opt for this if the wait was due to me 20 minutes or more). The satellite view below shows Snaresbrook, Wood Street and Walthamstow Central:

Both of the next two stops after Snaresbrook as we head into London offer the opportunity to walk to stations that are on the Barking – Gospel Oak line, although other than Barking itself the only station on that line that might be useful for further onward travel is Blackhorse Road, which like Walthamstow is on the Victoria line. Leytonstone to Leytonstone High Road is a distance of approximately half a mile, while Leyton to Leyton Midland Road is about double that. Below is a satellite view showing the longer walk and also the locations of Leytonstone High Road and Leytonstone:


There are two stations on this loop that offer genuinely walkable but unrecognized interchanges, both to stations on the line that runs from Liverpool Street to Essex and East Anglia, and one at least of which will be on Crossrail, aka the Elizabeth Line, when that line eventually opens. Gants Hill is about a mile and half from Ilford, while Newbury Park is just over a mile from Seven Kings. The latter is definitely a short walk, but more trains stop at Ilford. Here is another satellite view showing these connections:

Of course in central London there are many examples, some well known and some not so well known of stations that are close enough to one another for walking between them to be a good possibility – just one example here: If I was on the Victoria line and needed to get on to the Metropolitan or Hammersmith and City line I would probably opt to get off at Warren Street and walk round the corner to Euston Square rather than tackle Kings Cross St Pancras. Here, from the diagrammatic history of London Underground is the eastern section of the central line:

Decor For The Envisaged Piccadilly Line Terminus At Welwyn Garden City


When I created my post about the Piccadilly Line one of my envisaged extensions was north from Cockfosters to Welwyn Garden City. Apart from the value of establishing an extra connection in that part of the world, there was also an extra reason for this, which I cover in more detail in my post on the Central line.


I recently acquired a Butterfly themed first day cover, which on closer inspection showed a connection with Welwyn Garden City as well. Here are the pictures:


Several ideas occurred to me about using these on the Piccailly line platforms that I envisage at Welwyn Garden City:

  1. Tiling patterns on the platforms (a regular feature at London Underground stations these days). These would all look fine in a tiling display.
  2. Stained glass windows such as those on display at Uxbridge at the other end of the line.

3. A small butterfly exhibition (you can see examples of this sort of thing dotted about the Tunnelbana, Stockholm’s equivalent of London Underground)

4. Possibly a special ‘Red Admiral’ roundel somewhere.

Between King’s Cross and Uxbridge on the Metropolitan Line


I made this journey a week ago en route to the Anna Kennedy Autism Expo at Brunel University. The journey divides naturally into several segments…


For this section of the route the Metropolitan line shares tracks with the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, although on the day I travelled it those latter two lines were closed west of Baker Street, one reason why I did not have to wait long for a train to Uxbridge.


For this section of the route the Metropolitan is directly above the Jubilee line (the Jubilee rises to the surface just beforc Finchley Road, and it and the Metropolitan run together for a time thereafter).


This is the section where the Metropolitan and Jubilee lines run side by side, tjhe Jubilee stopping at intermediate stations while the Metropolitan runs non-stop between Finchley Road and Wembley Park (with some ‘fast’ services running non-stop all the way to Harrow-on-the-Hill).


This is the section that is Metropolitan line only (with a connection to Chiltern Railways at Harrow-on-the-Hill).


This branch is shared by the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines (the Piccadilly having taken over the running of Uxbridge services from the District line in the 1930s). 

The Archaeology of the Elizabeth Line (nee Crossrail) – Video


The good folk at the Museum of London, easily walkable from St Pauls (Central line) and Moorgate (Northern, Circle, Hammersmith and City, Metropolitan and mainline railways) are running an exhibition on the the archaeology of the Elizabeth line, which is built on an East-West axis through London and because of its depth also cuts vertically through millennia of fascinating history. As an introduction to this new exhibition they have produced a spectacular…




For more about this fascinating new exhibition and about tunnel archaeology please visit the appropriate page on the Museum of London’s website by clicking here.

Speculation – Chesham to Tring and Beyond


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.


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:



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.