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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Excel at the tube

I should probably start with a sort of 'disclaimer' I suppose. Some of you reading this now may have only found it in the past few days because of the incident in London on Thursday, so you should know that this blog does tend to normally have a light-hearted look at all things tube related.

You may not be ready to switch back to 'trivial' mode yet, and I'm not saying that I am either, but I felt that we needed a post that (almost) wasn't related to last weeks tragic events.

I found myself in town on Friday (the day after) because I wanted to see and get a feel as to what London was like.

But when I'd had enough I went down on the DLR to the ExCeL centre at Custom House, where SkillCity - a job fair for school kids and students was taking place.

My main aim of going was to visit my colleagues on the BBC News On Tour stand, but after I'd done that I decided to go for a wander around the rest of the place.

Imagine my face light up then, when I discover ... [drumroll] ... The largest tube map you have EVER seen!


It was on the floor! You could walk on it! It was many square metres big, and it was being used as the 'floor' to the stand of the LU exhibit that was at the fair.

LU were giving out career advice and options for people wanting to join then, and they had a tube 'cab' with a simulation running inside it which was fantastically realistic.

So I'm sorry Neil, but I've beaten you to it - I've driven a tube train - and I now know what it's like to ride a Jubilee line train through Finchley with Met line trains rattling alongside me.


If it's any consolation though, I did pick up a 'goodie bag' containg some fun LU paraphanelia which you can have if you like okay?

They were also giving out free chilled water (seemed rude not to take one), but it also seemed ruder not to take a photo of them when I saw that they were all branded 'The Water Line'.

Anyway ... back to the giant floor map. Who made it? Where does it come from?

And can I have one to put down in my own house insted of carpet please?


I realised as well that it was Uncle Ken's complete 'vision' of transport of about 2012, with all the local tram lines put in place as well - including one here which caught my eye - rather chillingly, Tavistock Square.

I took lots of photos, then took ones with people in from a distance to get some perspective - otherwise you might just think that I used my macro lense to zoom into a pocket sized map.


It was fun to be able to 'walk' round it.

If the bus hadn't of been parked in the way, I was going to start at Amersham and see how fast I could do the entire map ... :-)


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