Tube thought

The Piccadilly line between King’s Cross and Russell Square isn’t going to be in use for some time. Neighbouring stations are likely to also be somewhat screwed by dust and smoke, so keeping them closed for now seems entirely reasonable.

However, it seems slightly strange to start the east-of-KX service as far east as Hyde Park Corner, and the north-of-KX Piccadilly service as far north as Arnos Grove. Running one stop further west into Green Park would allow people to actually change onto and off the Piccadilly from the Jubilee and Victoria lines, making life far easier for all concerned. Similarly, running a few stops further south to Finsbury Park would allow cross-platform Victoria line interchange, meaning that the Victoria line duplicated the missing Piccadilly section – and that journeys were therefore not significantly disrupted.

Anyone got any ideas why this isn’t happening? According to this plan, Arnos Grove has an extra reversing track which Finsbury Park doesn’t, which probably explains the northern decision. But Green Park and Hyde Park Corner stations have the same track layout as each other (making it equally easy or hard to reverse/terminate trains there). Why not capitalise on this?

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27 thoughts on “Tube thought

  1. I would guess because running the Tube into GP would massively increase the number of people wanting to get on it, which would likely lead to platform overcrowding since there is no way that you could run anything approaching a normal service if you’re reversing trains to turn them round in a station not designed for that.

  2. At last a subject dsquared is qualified to discuss.

    What he doesn’t know about train systems, isn’t worth knowing.

    Anyone got the time for the next train to Hanoi?

  3. Eric, am I hallucinating of exhaustion and beer, or did you just yell "trainspotter!" at someone’s on-topic response?

  4. It is actually possible to travel by train from King’s Cross to Hanoi. You get the Northern Line to Waterloo, Eurostar to Paris Gare du Nord, metro to Gare d’Austerlitz. Austerlitz->Berlin->Moscow->Beijing->Hanoi. So the answer is that there ought to be one along in a couple of minutes, Eric; I do hope you catch it.

  5. On similar theme, the longest railway journey it is possible to take goes from Seville to Saigon; I have pitched it to Michael Palin but so far no interest.

  6. I’m currently reading Christian Wolmar’s book on the London Underground, so give me a week and we’ll be able to have all manner of fascinating discussions about the iron roads on SBBS.

    "Eric; I do hope you catch it"

    Only a hunch, but I suspect the DL don’t take trains, seeing them in the ‘other’ camp of fellow-travellors, fascists and anti-globalisers.

  7. I was thinking of using the John Cooper Clark line "your bus leaves in five minutes; make sure you’re under it" but thought it would sound unfriendly.

  8. As a signal failure can affect a large chunk of a line I assume different sections of the line are controlled from their own "signal boxes".
    If the section containing kings cross ran from Arnos grove to HPC then that would explain why this stretch of track was out.

  9. Damn, chris beat me to it – I was going to say something about power supplies or signalling blocks.

    Larry, I think we need more trainspotting posts here, they have a certain innocence to them.

    Although it could all descend into bickering about which Train Operating Company is most facist – which given that Hitler used trains to transport people to the camps, as did Stalin and therefore trains are clearly therefore inherently facistic – would be all of them.

  10. The most likely reason they don’t run the trains east of HPK is because there is no link between the two tracks, so they can’t get the train from the eastbound track to the westbound at the terminal station.

  11. I was thinking on similar lines to Tim, but was going to suggest that the longest journey would be from Malaga rather than Seville, especially if you add in a trip on the electric line along the Costa Del Sol. Fuengirola to Saigon – and there’d probably be a mock-Irish bar at every potential stop along the way.

  12. I think the local trains from Cadiz and Malaga get into Cordoba train station whereas you would need to leave on the main-line to Madrid from Santa Justa station, which would require a journey by bus or taxi across Seville. I am not 100% on this though as I have never done this bit of the journey; my train expertise is at the other end.

  13. The Malaga train uses Sta Justa, or at least some of them do. Can’t speak for Cadiz. I love threads that deal with the burning issues.

  14. I’ve heard that you could start from Braganca in Portugal, down to Lisbon and then onto the Saigon line.

    Not quite as long, but I’m off to the Highlands next week in a sleeper. I’ll sip a malt for y’all

  15. The reason I shouted "trainspotter" at the pompous Dsquared, who let’s be honest doesn’t hold back from placing his inane musings on others blogs, is this superb example of his "expert" knowledge that turns out to be bullshit.

    However, I know quite a bit about guerilla wars, because 1) I was the research assistant for a book about Vietnam and was present at a large number of face-to-face interviews with senior commanders on both sides, and 2) I spent the period 1976-1998 as a civilian target for the IRA’s mainland bombing campaign.</em
    Posted by dsquared · August 29th, 2004 at 3:40 pm

    To be honest it was only a guidebook to the country’s railways, but the section on the history of the country got completely out of hand.
    Posted by dsquared · August 29th, 2004 at 9:33 pm

    From Crooked Timber.


  16. The overnight express from Madrid to Paris used to be fun. It stopped at Irun on the Basque coast to change the gauge of the wheels under the carriages.

    You used to be able to go 150 miles by train from Lagos on the Algarve up to Lisbon, then across.

  17. The railways of Vietnam were, of course, strategically extremely important during both WW2, the revolution against the French and what the Vietnamese call the American War.

    I don’t know anything about the Iraqi rail network; do they have any?

  18. They do, and the good folk of 275 Railway Squadron (V) Royal Engineers TA spent some time putting the line from Umm Qasr to Basra and then North towards Baghdad back in order. Lots of Chinese engines.

  19. Yes the Vietnamese have those too; I’ve got some wonderful photographs taken in the main repair garages. On the other hand, Vietnam Airlines has now got rid of all its horrendous Tupulovs and replaced them with brand new 777s so you can’t say that capitalism isn’t good for something.

  20. Eric, your relationship with dsquared increasingly seems to be like that of ‘Stan’ with Eminem, in the latter’s song of that name. It all ends in tears so be careful. Perhaps John could play the role of Dido.

  21. Since I am the arch apologist for all things unpleasant I will take this opportunity to say that I am pretty sure that Stan’s point of view was grossly misrepresented and that if Eminem had just bothered to constructively engage with him and understand the root causes of his behaviour then things would have gone much better. I obviously wholeheartedly condemn drunk-driving and murder but society was responsible and Eminem does bear some of the responsibility.

  22. the pompous Dsquared, who let’s be honest doesn’t hold back from placing his inane musings on others blogs

    Wow, does he, Eric? In comment boxes open to the online public?

    In comment boxes on "others blogs"… SHOCKING! TERRIBLE! OUTRAGEOUS! ETC….

  23. I’ve just realised that I made a terrible error above; King’s Cross is on the City Branch of the Northern Line and Waterloo is on the Charing Cross branch so you would have to change at Bank and take the drain (or go two stops North to Camden Town and change branches) if you wanted to go from KX to Hanoi. I hope nobody got lost.

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