I was in London last Saturday for a conference at the National Autistic Society’s HQ and made use of London Underground after the conference, travelling on Northern and Metropolitan line trains. The rest of this post will largely be pictures showing this.
THE NORTHERN LINE
Catching a Northern line train at Angel means using the longest escalator in London (bear in mind that when I took the photo below I was already a few steps down):
Aboard the train at Angel I took this picture of the on-train route map of the Northern line…
Changing trains at Moorgate I got this enamel map of the relevant parts of the Northern Line…
At Moorgate (and elsewhere between Liverpool Street and Great Portland Street) the Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith and City lines share a set of tracks, hence this enamelled route map:
The Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines all now have new rolling stock which is articulated rather than comprising old style carriages. The difference between the two types of stock is that the stock used on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines has a lot of doors and comparatively little seating space owing to the fact that it is mainly used for short journeys within central London, while the Metropolitan line stock, to be suitable for longer journeys over less densely used track has much more seating and fewer doors.
Here is the internal route map from this same train:
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.
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.
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.
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…
SOME OTHER LONDON
UNDERGROUND THEMED PICTURES
In the course of this little journey I also got a few other pictures…
Disabled people and better transport on one side, rich NIMBYs on the other – one guess whose side I’m on! I am categorising this as a ‘stations’ post because i is about a potential future station.
A London disabled people’s organisation has backed plans to build a new accessible train station in the heart of fashionable Chelsea, despite opposition from a string of celebrity residents. Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea (ADKC) today (7 April) announced its support for a station to be built on King’s Road as part of the Crossrail 2 rail project that is set to connect rail networks in Surrey and Hertfordshire, with new track, tunnels and stations to be built through the heart of the capital. ADKC says a new Crossrail 2 station would “significantly improve” access for disabled people to King’s Road and nearby services – including some of the capital’s most important tourist destinations – as the nearest step-free tube station is more than two miles away. They say a new station would support the borough’s 1,900 wheelchair-users, and an estimated 7,100 people with walking difficulties, as well as disabled visitors who visit local attractions such as the Victoria and Albert
This post is setting the scene for what will be a series of posts featuring attractions located close to stations which are fully accessible for disabled people.
INSPIRATION FROM A BLOG POST
I spotted a link on my twitter feed this morning to a post by Disabled Go entitled “Top 10 Accessible London Attractions”, which was the genesis of the idea for this series. The post gives outline details of the attraction and a link to details on accessibility. After due thought on how to share that information on this site (whether to do so was not even an issue) I came up with:
Create a specific page called Attractions and category called “Accessible Attractions” (check)
Create this introductory post (check)
Create posts about each attraction, mentioning the closest stations and linking to other relevant posts on this site (will do in due course)
Thus, in due time a further ten posts will definitely be appearing, with more possible.
This post is about a minor station which is local to very different places of interest for me.
Like the rest of the Northern line beyond Highgate on the High Barnet branch, Totteridge & Whetstone is a comparative late comer, having been first served in 1940. However, its origins, on a branch of the London and North Eastern Railway make it one of the older stations to feature on the network, as it opened for business in that guise as long ago as 1872. Incidentally, the expansion at the northern end of the Northern line at this time was nearly even more dramatic, as the third of the three map pictures with which i conclude this section shows…
Walsingham Support is an organisation that supports people with disabilities. I came across them because someone from there put an excellent contribution to #autismawareness on twitter, which, combined with their address was responsible for the genesis of this post. Here is a map showing their relevance to a post focussing on Totteridge & Whetstone:
For the full map and written instructions about the route click here.
DOLLIS VALLEY GREENWALK
It is no secret that I am an ardent advocate of walking, so when I spotted the proximity of the Dollis Valley Greenwalk to the station I was covering it was natural to do some digging, and I first located the Barnet Council web pageon the subject, which led me to a guide which is downloadable as a PDF – I urge you to do this and read it in full.
This post looks at one of the more distinctive stations on the system. I have some good illustrations for you.
The original station was opened in 19o2 serving the District line, as that line expanded east. In 1936 services on what was then the Hammersmith & City section of the Metropolitan line started calling there as that route was extended along the line of the District to Barking. Finally, in 1946, as part of an extension to enable Central line trains to run over former Great Eastern Railway tracks to Ongar, that line came to Mile End in 1946. This history creates a…
Mile End is the only place you can make a cross-platform underground interchange between a ‘tube’ railway (the Central) and a ‘subsurface’ railway (District or Hammersmith & City). All other situations where this is possible (e.g District & Piccadilly at BaronsCourt are surface level stations).
STEP-FREE ACCESS: A PETITION
Although much progress has been made in recent years, London Underground is still a long way from being fully accessible to disabled people (and that is an understatement – see here), and one station that at present falls short is Mile End, which is the subject of this petition, which I have previously shared here.