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Annie Mole's, daily web log (blog) & “guide” to the London Underground
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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Star Tube

Hmmm. I'm not quite sure what to make of this, or how to describe it!

But just when you think you've seen every tube parody/variation, another pops along within a couple of minutes (unlike the trains themselves) to amuse you...

Perhaps you'd just better go and have a look at it, and try and make sense of it yourself!

Dr Who Tube - Update from Annie

Not exactly wild about the Star Trek tour. Looks like it was put together quickly unlike the hours that must have been spent on another sci-fi classic with a tube take. It's the Dr Who Gallifrey Underground Railway Map. It was used for a Dr Who convention in 2001. The convention's special guest was Bonnie Langford who once played The Dr's asssitant (now you can see why Billie Piper got the current role - the similarities are ....er......well, they're both women and they both used to er... "sing"). Sadly the quality of the enlargement isn't great - but some people clearly have a lot of time on their hands.

Dr Who Gallifrey Underground Map click to enlarge

The convention write up said: "One of the most popular things at Gallifrey 2001 was the Map, aka the Map of the Gallifrey Underground Railway. Based upon the Underground map of London, the Gallifrey Underground map featured eleven different 'lines' going places real and imaginary, from Gallifrey history to Doctor Who, from science fiction media to the eclectic and bizarre (Convent San Tanco, anyone?)"

The map below is a bit more readable when enlarged, unfortunately I don't know enough about Dr Who to comment much more on it. But I think the Whoies are way ahead of the Trekkies when it comes to tube parodies.

click to enlarge

; Posted by Anonymous Thursday, June 30, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

No Smoking - Reward �10

I was just leafing through the latest Private Eye and at the top of page 12, I spied the following:

No Smoking - not in the current climate

Annie originally blogged this on
Monday the 23rd of May - maybe she should have sent it in instead and won a tenner.

; Posted by Anonymous Wednesday, June 29, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Interesting idea

Another alternative London Underground Map in the making

Marcin Wichary sent me a link to this picture, which first of all I thought might make an interesting tattoo.

Impression of London Underground Map showing most used lines

But it's Rodcorp's "impression" of the tube map in terms of the most used lines and amounts of passenger traffic. As he says it's not based on any official sources but is "just a little sketch on the way to being something more accurate - a seed of an idea thinking about what it might like to become".

As it's the same Rodcorp who brought us the brill tube map with walk lines, it'll be interesting to see if he does work it up.

And speaking of tattoos - how chavvy is this? (originally sent to me by Ralf - The Cartoonist).

London Underground map tattoo

It can't possibly be real, can it?

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, June 29, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, June 27, 2005

Brunel's Wapping Shaft

Or Carry On Commuting

sign promoting the tourLittle did we realise when a group of us went along to the
Thames Tunnel Tour on Sunday how entertaining it was going to be. If you read this blog regularly you'll have seen that Ian Dolby alerted us to a tour of the oldest underground tunnels on the London Underground between Roterhithe and Wapping. The tunnels were "floodlit" for two weekends so that we could see Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel's tunneling work in all their glory.

I have a small brain and can't recall all of the historical facts we learnt, so you'll have probably have to go to Neil's blog if you want "the science bits". (Neil, Pixeldiva (Ann) and Helene, came along with me).

But I thought I'd give you a flavour of what went on and a few pictures of the day.

It was a pretty sunny day, so I was amazed at how many people turned up for our group. About seventy of us started in the ticket hall and we then had to go outside to collect our yellow stickers. The previous group was equally large and the following group was bigger than ours. It wasn't just the usual geeks (us), anoraks and trainspotters that you would expect. I spotted an old work colleague which was quite bizarre.

Our guide "Robert" appeared repslendant in a Brunel T Shirt and told us what we were letting ourselves in for. Not only were we about to see the "eighth wonder of the world", but the Tunnel of Lurve, the world's first underwater shopping arcade, the world's first tunnel under a river (making it an International Landmark Site), the world's first underwater party venue, the world's first underwater fairground.

Robert waxing lyrical

So we all trundled back down the escalator and onto the platform at Rotherithe, being warned not to do any flash photography "Even though our staff and underground drivers are all very good looking"

Robert gave us some more historical tidbits including an explanation as to why he called it the Tunnel of Love and it was nothing to do with the many references to shafting that followed. Basically, Marc Brunel (Isambard's dad) was born in France, but spent as lot of his life in the States. However, he came to England looking for the English girl (Sophie Kingdom) with whom he had fallen in love in France. He found her in London and they eventually settled in Rotherhithe where Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born and the rest is history.

Robert with Brunel T Shirt in full display

We were told to get onto the next train and try to all squeeze into the first carriage. When the train pulled into the station a woman behind me said "This isn't the train is it?", as clearly after this grand preamble she'd been expecting some Victorian carriage rather than the smelly East London Line stock, with a few shocked Sunday afternoon passengers thinking "WTF's going on?".

The Tunnel of Lurve

At Wapping we were able to see the twin tunnels which were the original Brunel designed ones. They weren't initially built for passenger trains but for cargo, however this didn't work very well as they couldn't get the horses down the narrow winding staircase. So there were loads of shops and arcades and fairgrounds as well with more pedestrians than cargo.

Group at the top of the shaftWe then walked along the platform at Wapping and got into the lift which would take us to the top of this narrow winding staircase. At the top were were greeted by some startled old ladies who went into a bit of a frenzy worrying about whether they'd make it back into the lift by the time we'd all got out. So there was much tooing and froing and shouts of "Come on Gladys" as Gladys "legged" or rather "speed shuffled" it into the lift.

Now thirty five minutes into the tour, and Robert was clearly into his stride. "We are now at the top of French Brunel's Wapping Shaft". Not a titter. "As you can see this is a shaft of enormous dimensions". We started to feel a little uncomfortble. "When erecting the shaft a cap was used to halt the flow...." That was too much and Helene could not control herself and through her hand let out a huge snorting guffaw, only amplified by the vastness of the shaft. This meant that me and Ann were in silent hysterics too. Sorry we're so juvenile as everyone else seemed to control themselves perfectly.

The Triumphant BoreThe rest of the tour was fairly innuendo free, as Robert seemed to have his fill of shafting by the time we headed back to Rotherhithe. We had a quick trip to the Museum just round the corner of the station, where we could buy Thames Tunnel memorabilia such as "double shafted pencil sharpeners", glittery rubbers, the natty Brunel T shirt and the story of the Thames Tunnel - "The Triumphant Bore" - every pun intended.

We headed back to Wapping and The Captain Kidd pub for a post mortem, and were then quizzed to death by Geoff who turned up later. The rest of the evening flowed by with the aid of lots of nuts, crisps and alcohol and discussions which would be more suited on Belle du Jour's blog. A very surprising day - read on for Ann and Helene's and now Neil's take on the event!

; Posted by annie mole Monday, June 27, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

How disrupted, exactly?

London Underground Disruptions Movie

Found an
excellent blog entry here, where the authour has taken multiple 'snapshots' of TFL's distruption map, and analysed them to see how often the whole network really is trouble free. There's a couple of other fun things that they've done with it too, but I won't repeat or spoil it here, just go and have a look at it for yourself.

; Posted by Anonymous Monday, June 27, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, June 24, 2005

Phew wot a scorcher

Well it had to happen - Hundreds trapped in sweltering tube

I bet the London Underground were hoping that they'd be able to get through the mini heatwave we've been having, without getting people stuck on a boiling hot train.

Just as the heatwave is about to end and just after hundreds of people were stuck for several hours on a
British Rail train last night (breaking windows to let in air) - this morning a westbound Central line train broke down between Bank and St Paul's station, leaving people in the carriages for over an hour. Amazingly The Standard weren't rubbing their hands in glee and we have a fairly subdued and restrained headline of "Commuters trapped on Tube".

Sadly I haven't seen any companies handing out fans or free water at stations this year as I think the heatwave as taken most people by surprise. But the tube map makes a handy fan and as air conditioning isn't on the cards, perhaps that and the usual advice of carrying bottles of water, is all the help we'll get.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, June 24, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Fax cannot be carried on the Docklands Light Railway

Errr what?

Well that's what I'm sure I heard last night on the DLR at Shadwell - "Fax cannot be carried on the DLR". I looked around for somebody carrying a fax machine - nothing.

The train didn't move. "I repeat fax cannot be carried on the DLR, please remove yourself", said the train door-opener. Me and the rest of the carriage looked around for the culprit and their hoard of office equipment.

Computers on the London Underground OK, but no faxes

Then the penny dropped as a disgruntled bloke with a bike got off the next carriage muttering "For fuck's sake" as he walked past our carriage. Ahh, "Bikes cannot be carried on the DLR". I wish some tube staff would annunciate more clearly.

But you learn something new everyday. I also found out when doing a bit of research for this post (research, yes, unbelievable I know, it's not all random mutterings) that
folding cycles are OK on the DLR but in the same cryptic sentence "Dogs may travel for free on Docklands Light Railway but they must remain on the floor." That's allright then, I'm pleased that flying or hovering dogs aren't allowed on the DLR.

Seriously though, if you pay for dogs, does that mean that they can have a seat?

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, June 23, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Two in a row ...

Unbelievable. I got nobbled again by the airline pilots this morning, who were all congregating at Notting Hill Gate this morning.

I think they expect people to use the narrow subway to change from the Circle/District down to the Central line, but me being me likes to walk up the steps (to the barrier area) and then back down the stairs/escalators instead towards the central line.

So I hop off the District train, up the steps and .. BAM! The White Shirt brigade are out in force again, except this time they've got lots of British Transport Police with them - LOTS of them (about 10 beefy guys looking menancing!) just standing around.

So I get asked again this morning, and I get my Oyster card out ... which he looks at within its plastic wallet .. and does nothing with it! Huh? What's the point of that? Why has he not got some gadget or device that enables him to swipe my Oyster to check to see if it's valid or not? (More on that later)

But first, I wander over - walk about 10 metres towards the 'down' escalators, AND GET STOPPED AGAIN! For fucks sake, this is getting pathetic.

And I say "But I've just been checked over there", but still he has to look at my Oyster card (but not do anything with it), before I am 'free' to go, and miss a Central Line train by a few seconds and have to wait 6 minutes for the next one. Nice one.

Penalty fares on the London Underground have increasedAnd the irony of it all? When I got to White City, I realised that I hadn't touched in at Wimbledon when I changed from train to tube that morning, something which they would have discovered if they'd of been able to check my card.

So why 'check' tickets (like Oyster cards) if they're not going to do anything with them. Why block corridors and slow people down instead of (say) doing it by patrolling trains instead where fare-evader can't run anywhere, and a legit passenger isn't going anywhere either and isn't slowed down, because they're sitting on the train as part of their journey anyway.

; Posted by Anonymous Wednesday, June 22, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Nice shirt - Where's your ID?

Grrr... I have to have a mini-rant to get this off of my chest. I'm sorry, but I do, and I know that some of you will be able to provide me with the answers to my questions too.

Ever since I got stopped by a "ticket inspector" at Clapham Junction (National Rail) last year - he had no uniform, and no badge - just a bad attitude, I've always disliked it when people demand to see your ticket if it's not clear that they are a ticket inspector.

So call me pedantic, but when I'm on the tube I expect to get my ticket checked either at the barrier by a ticket machine, at the gates by someone in their nice snazy uniform, or perhaps ON a train by ticket inspectors that show you ID.

Where I don't expect to get asked (or not-asked in this case) is on the bend on the corridor at Green Park station at 9am this morning, where about six guys in short white sleeve shirts were all loitering.

And here's my point: They didn't have the 'traditional' LU uniform on, but they weren't plain clothes in civvies either. They looked like airline pilots instead. I really wasn't sure they were ticket inspectors until I'd walked a good few metres right past them (because I'm not going to show my ticket to anyone unless I'm asked) and then one of them had to call me back saying "Excuse me sir! Can I see your ticket please?". And it was said with a tone of disbelief, and a look of disgust that I hadn't stopped and clogged up the narrow corridor some more.

Because of this, he then scrutinised my ticket for longer than you might expect, and looked me up and down a couple of times before seemingly looking disappointed that I had a valid ticket.

So off I went .. down to the Jubilee line .. travelled one stop and changed at Bond Street to the Central line .. up the escalators, turned right into the narrow corridor and - YOU GUESSED IT! About five chaps all standing round in white shirts - not LU uniforms - who turned out to be ticket inspectors, and I had to go through the whole bleeding rigmarole again.

So since when have LU decided to abandon uniforms, loiter in narrow corridors, and expect people to be psychic enough to realise that they're ticket inspectors because they don't say "Can I see your ticket please?". And how many gangs of ticket - sorry - revenue inspectors were out there in force this morning anyway?

Rant over ...

; Posted by Anonymous Tuesday, June 21, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Webby Awards - Online Oscars

Cue my Gwyneth Paltrow speech

Got home to find the following in the post, dated 25th May (obviously Air Mail isn't particularly timely right now!):

Dear Annie

Congratulations! On behalf of the
International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, it is our pleasure to officially notify you that London Underground Tube Blog is a Webby Worthy Award winner as part of the 9th Annual Webby Awards.

This is a tremendous honor, as less than 20% of the sites entered in the Webby Awards were deemed worthy of this distinction. With over 4,300 sites entered from all 50 states and over 40 countries, your work truly represents the best of the web. You should be extremely proud of your accomplishment..."

And it continued with details of a plaque I could order and how to maximise the PR impact of the achievement.

Webby Worthy Plaque

So thanks to co-contributers, Neil n Geoff obviously (no mean feat contributing when you're running daily blogs of your own, so thanks guys). I'd also like to thank the many of you who all actively comment each day, and to all of you who read the blog and don't comment, (commenting isn't everyone's thing and I still love looking at the stats) and thanks to all of you who link to the blog or add it to your blog roll.

I'd also like to thank Bill Gates for providing free webspace to host the pictures through MSN Groups, Blogspot for ignoring my many emails to try to fix the slow loading in IE, Firefox for providing a browser that makes the blog load in lightening speed, Haloscan for providing the commenting software and of course The London Underground for being so, err, well, er.... entertaining.

Thanks guys, we couldn't have done it without you. And I can add it to the growing list of almost wons (Bloggies 2004, Bloggies 2005, Guardian British Blog Awards 2003) this blog has almost won.

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, June 19, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, June 17, 2005

My version of THE London Underground Song

Same song - new lyrics - London Underground may strike over toilets

Some people might like to go to the loo,
Or have a nice place for a little brew.
Some drivers refuse to clock in at Earl's Court
With crap facilities if they get caught short

Cos hey, get on your bike Tube strike poster from Darren S's flickr set
Cos once again, a chance to strike

"Victorian" is what they say
The standard of the bogs today

It gives them all a chance to say

"London Underground
London Underground
The RMT are there for me
London Underground
London Underground
We need to go, oh where's Bob Crow?
London Underground
London Underground
We'll take our clocking in cards and shove em up Ken's arsehole."

Adam Kay, Suman Biswas, Paul Weller - eat your heart out!

; Posted by annie mole Friday, June 17, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Yet another variation

Yawn....! Are we getting bored of these yet? A nice man called Allan Williams got in touch with me to point out that the band
Saint Etienne have a tube map variation as a navigable aid on the home page of their website.

Surely there can't be many more of these that we haven't discovered... can there be?

Update from Annie - While we're on the subject of bands and tube imagery/maps etc a singer/songwriter from California called Elan emailed me to say that her second album - London Express has a website heavily influnced by the tube and is a virtual tour of London - Have a look at the flash version - it's quite cool.

; Posted by Anonymous Friday, June 17, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Happy Birthday Ken Livingstone

As we speaking of The Sheriff earlier

On this day in 1945 good old
Ken was born.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, June 17, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Tube's Tim O'Toole Tells us to Shower

Hygiene advice from Tube Bosses

Perhaps the London Underground should start selling shower curtains againI couldn't make this up. Managing Director of the London Underground has just told commuters to
take a shower before they get on the tube as an attempt to be more considerate during these "sweltering" summer months.

He told LBC's radio station earlier today: �I want to assure people that I only travel by the Tube and I always take a shower, but other than that I would certainly hope that during these summer months when it is very, very, warm and we are pressed very close together that to the extent people can practise personal hygiene it would help us.�

As part of LBC's Considerate Commuter campaign he also believed that Northern Line commuters would be likely to be the most inconsiderate as they clearly have the most to put up with. Loving this cracking soundbite: �Well, I don�t like to brand any of my commuters as inconsiderate but I think it would be fair to say those who are given the greatest challenge by the asset failures pose the greatest challenge to considerate behaviour and right now that would be the Northern line.�

Perhaps the London Underground would be better off giving showers to people when they leave the tube, rather than before they get on. Or better still why not give away anti perspirant or deodorant? Or why not provide some decent air conditioning instead?

Some london underground map tiles good for the shower

BTW on the Considerate Commuter site you can nominate your commuting heroes and villains, no prizes for guessing that currently the commuting villains list is loads longer than the commuting heroes. Villains include the usual suspects of people happily picking their noses oblivious to the rest of the carriage, people putting feet on seats, people putting bags on seats, tube nutters, tube preachers, tube vomiters etc, etc.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, June 14, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thames Tunnel Tour

Oldest section of oldest underground system

Ian Dolby's just sent me an email letting us know that there's a
guided tour round the oldest section of the Tube this weekend 18th/19th June and the following weekend 25th/26th June.

He says: "Not sure it's worth the fiver they're charging as you could just get on the train and look out of the window. I suppose it does include admission to the museum and a mini-guided tour of the stations."

The tours run every hour from 1pm up to 4pm from Rotherhithe tube. Great for all history buffs and you'll be able to descend into "the beautiful road to Hades" as a Victorian actress said. Full details on the tour here.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, June 14, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, June 13, 2005

What do you read on the tube?

Over shoulder readers

I was on the Waterloo and Shitty line this morning and in the next door but one seat to me a woman was reading a book with an intriguing title. It became more interesting when I realised it was a bit risque. Not because she or the person next to her was squirming around, but the book had a large sub-title on it saying "The Number 1 Erotic Bestseller" - it was
100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed if anyone's interested.

I must admit I always get kind of uneccessarily embarrassed if I'm at a raunchy point at any part of a book I might be reading, as I'm always highly aware of people reading over my shoulder (a big no, no as far as Tube etiquette is concerned), but something that I'm sure that everyone's done at some point.

Just after I jumped off the Waterloo and City and onto the DLR the guy opposite me was reading a book called The Art of Deception. So I felt like I was surrounded by wannabe hackers or wannabe well.... er you don't expect to people to be reading erotica on the Waterloo & City Line.

Reading Metro over shoulder

Anyone else reading anything on the tube that I might want to over shoulder read? And what is it about other people's reading material that's sometimes more compelling than your own? I curse the amount of times I craning to read some gossip in Heat or Now or OK or Whatever - or even some ridiculous headline in The Sun or The Mirror, when I've got perfectly good reading material of my own.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, June 13, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Shady activities

I'm still slightly paranoid that I'm going to post something here again which has previously been mentioned, and either I just didn't know about it, or plain forgot.

So here's a good option - blog something which I can guarantee has never been mentioned before, because I only just finished making it about 10 minutes ago!

Geoff's real underground mapI always wanted a true map of which bits of the Underground really were under the ground, and which parts were out in the open, but could never find one - so I've ended up making one of my own here.

It's part of my collection of alternative tube maps.

Before you all heckle me to death, I know that parts of the Circle line do 'break out' into the open, and some of the stations that I've marked in the shaded ares you can see daylight, but it would have got to fiddly to put all that information in.

Constructive comments welcome ...

; Posted by Anonymous Saturday, June 11, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, June 10, 2005

Anyone speak Croatian?

What's this all about then?

Sometimes I get referrals to this blog from the strangest places, now it looks like
T-Mobile's Croatian portal have chosen this blog in their "blig, blog" section. I think I'm flattered, if I knew what they were saying. Anyway, welcome, if you're from Croatia.

London Underground Blog hits Croatia

; Posted by annie mole Friday, June 10, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

This station holds your interest

Another poser

There's lots of tube quizzes doing the rounds, I always thought that the
London Underground quiz that I'd put on my site was fiendishly difficult, and get emails from people asking me to put them out of their misery and end their sleepless nights. Someone sent an email today asking for the answer to a clue from a different quiz - "This station holds your interest" - apparently two words, five letters each word. I spent about 10 minutes looking at the Tube map before thinking "this is a wind up, it's holding my interest as I'll never guess what it is".

But doing a trawl on t'internet and I found the quiz with this clue in it in a number of places (no answers obviously). So can anyone help?

If you want to see one of the pages where it's from - this one has the best layout. Happy Friday.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, June 10, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Name that tune

Ringtones that are not so annoying

Travelling into work yesterday (on the overground part of the District Line - all the kerfuffle about
mobiles on the tube is lost on me considering half of my regular line is above ground everyone uses their mobiles until they hit Gloucester Road), someone's mobile was going off with a really familiar tone. But it was driving me mad as I couldn't think of what it was. I kept humming it all the way into work, thinking what a brill tone it was - cheerful and uplifting. I'd narrowed it down to a TV programme, but it was only when I got to the office that it hit me.

Listen here and you'll probably know it in an instant.

But speaking of annoying ringtones - Thanks to bloggerheads and anticrazyfrog I now know who that bloody crazy frog reminds me of:

Cherie Blair Crazy Frog Lookalike

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, June 09, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Above the Underground

Circle Line Project

Some of you may have heard of Rob Gardiner's photographic project where he's going to follow the entire route of the Circle Line (all 14 miles of it) as closely as possible and take black and white pictures of what's above ground.

As Rob says: "The official map hides a fundamental lie: the Circle Line is not a circle. In reality it twists and turns, dives and rises, meanders around the London in anything but a neat oval. As one of the earliest built lines, it runs very shallow and in many parts is open to the air. So I will walk the real route, interested in seeing if I can tell where the line was made to follow the road, or where roads were made above the line. Of course I can not walk on the actual line, the goal is to take photographs no more than 50 yards from it."

Rob Gardiner's Walking the Circle Line Project

The pictures so far are fab and so far he's covered
Barbican to Moorgate, Moorgate to Tower Hill, Tower Hill to Blackfriars and my favourites so far, Blackfriars to Temple.

Looking forward to seeing the rest of them. When it's finished it'll be like an online version of that above the Underground poster of the Piccadilly Line that gazillions of people have been looking to get hold of (they're at the London Transport Museum shop, apparently). Wonder why the powers that be on the tube only ever commissioned one of them?

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, June 09, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Smile, you're on ... the tube

Ok, so everybody knew about Alexei and Anthea except for me.

Next you'll be telling me there's this amazing Underground train system in London with 275 stations, and that it's the oldest in the world. And the hottest. And it has nutters. And buskers.

And buskers who I normally just whizz straight pass and don't pay that much attention to, so I was rather suprised when the other day this chap at Notting Hill Gate (where I seem to spend half my life nowadays) playing music which just caught my attention for some reason.

I have no idea why on this day, this time, I felt compelled not to rush straight past, but I did .. and then ended up takeing a photo as I was rather amused by his sign as it did make me smile.

I gave him 50p (naturally). Is that enough though? Or too much? I just wondered how much other people gave ...

; Posted by Anonymous Wednesday, June 08, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, June 06, 2005

Alexei Sayle on The Tube

Geoffrey the Tube Train and the Fat ComedianNo, this is not a posting of a celeb-spot, but something I've been meaning to mention for the past couple of weeks since I've known about it.

Someone got in touch with me to tell me about the existence of a book called "Geoffrey the Tube Train and the Fat Comedian". Straight up!

It's a rather cheerful colourful childrens book, that 'stars' the comedian Alexei Sayle, and a tube train that is my namesake. Cool or what!

Now I say 'childrens book', because it's big, colourful and has cartoon based drawings and looks like it's going to be for young uns, until you open it up and read things like "Is that Alexei Sayle on that tube train? I think he's a right Wanker!" - you get the idea.

It also introduces us to yet another tube map variation, as Geoffrey the Tube Train runs along what's known as 'The Southern Line' in the book, with station names such as "Porkers Park", "New Stokington" and "Cripps Stafford". No, really!

I hunted for it on Amazon, and you can still buy it although they have no images, but the chap that told me about this was kind enough to scan in some of the stuff. (PS from Annie - it's in abe-books as well, plus see my comments)

I've opted to exclude the picture of a guy who gets his head stuck in Geoffrey's doors, who then deliberately speeds off, decapitating the chap in the process with a nice bloody 'splat' at the end of the platform. Nice! It's a little like 'Creep' (which is now out on DVD this week kids)

; Posted by Anonymous Monday, June 06, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

A Quick, Shameless Plug

Just a very quick post to say that the URL of my blog has changed from
www.tubechallenge.com/blog to www.purpletube.com.

Please update your links etc accordingly.

Right, carry on with the transport geekery!

(One day Annie, you WILL move this blog from Blogger ... just think of the speed increase in IE) :-)

; Posted by Anonymous Monday, June 06, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Those new District Line trains ...

... were running all last week on the Olympia service, and I eventually managed to remember to take a picture of one at Earls Court on my way home on Friday night. They do like quite nice, but I would now like to ride one in 'anger' for more than a couple of stops.

; Posted by Anonymous Saturday, June 04, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, June 03, 2005

Fare Dodger Pays Up after Emigrating to New Zealand

Is this related to Penalty Fares increasing?

I'm sure many of you know that from the 12th June - on the spot penalty fares for travelling without a ticket will increase from �10 to �20 (Actually many of you probably won't, as you're all law-abiding Pre Pay Oystercard owners or Annual or Monthly Travelcard owners).

But in what seems like a PR person's dream, someone decided to make a back payment of all the fares they had dodged just two days after Sheriff Ken had announced that
Penalty Fares were doubling. I'm sure LU's PR department thought it would be a good idea to publish this story two days afterwards to try to soften the blow and make any dodger think of the error of their ways rather than moan about the increase in the fine.

From an old London Underground Pay up or else campaign

The person anonymously forwarded used notes to London Underground and said, as a born again Christian, his years of persistant fare dodging in the London were wrong.

A. Christian (who hardly sounds like a hardened fare dodger to me) wrote: "Occasionally the train would be about to leave the station and there was no time to buy a ticket from the ticket machine, so I usually paid at the other end when asked for my ticket by ticket collectors.

"In some of these cases there was no-one collecting tickets at the other end so sometimes I would buy a ticket from the machine at the other end of my journey, then rip it up and put it in the bin. Other times I did not pay for the ride at all. (WHAT A CRMINAL - HE OUGHT TO BE SHOT)

"My life is radically different to what it was then. I can't stand the thought of stealing and therefore I enclose this money to cover my fare.."

So different he felt that he ought to cough up four hundred quid to make amends. How exactly he came to the figure of �400 I'm not sure. You'll be pleased to know that London Underground decided to give the money to Great Ormond Street Hospital, rather than put it towards "much-needed income which can be used to fund improvements to our trains and stations."

Read the full story here.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, June 03, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

New Uniforms in town too!

So what's with the
new uniforms people?

Yes.. the bright blue hats and coats of LU stuff, have now been replaced with, er.. dark blue hats and coats. Can any staff that read this tell us why it's been changed! And if they prefer it, or not? (PS from Annie - check out The Station Master's Blog for piccies like the one below of the old and new uniforms side by side)

From The Station Master's Blog

Also.. a classic moment at Parson Green this morning, when two giggling teenage girls got on. They were lost in their own world dithering about and had to jump onto the train at the last moment just as the doors were closing.

Against the odds, the 'flip flop' style shoe that one of them was wearing got caught on the bottom of the train as she got in, and it feel down between the train and the platform onto the track below!

Bizarrely, she decided NOT to go back and get it and wrote it off - even though I explained to them that it probably could be retrieved for them, but no. Instead they got off at High St. Ken where I think she decided that she just nip down to the shops there (in her one remaining shoe and sock) and buy a new pair instead.

So if you see a pink shoe on the tracks at Parsons Green today, that's why...

; Posted by Anonymous Friday, June 03, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, June 02, 2005

New District in Town

Just to say that the completely refurbished (and thus 'new') District Line trains were in operation between High Street Ken and Kensington Olympia on my way into work this morning.

I'll go via it on the way home, and get some photos...

; Posted by Anonymous Thursday, June 02, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Open Weekend at London Transport Museum Depot

A quick announcement from David Scard who took part in the
Zone 1 Challenge

If you're looking for something to do this weekend or are tired of basking in the wonderful weather we're having at the moment (has anyone told the powers that be that it's the 1st June today - I'm supposed to be casting clouts, not putting on more clothes), why not visit London Transport Museum's Acton Town Depot Open Weekend, on the 4th and 5th June?

From the London Transport Museum's website

David says: "Open 3 times a year (plus occasional tours), the depot houses the stuff they cant get into the gaff at Covent Garden. Including many LT artefacts, maps, signs, buses and old tube trains (yes, old tube trains!)

Doors open at 11am. It�s a few minutes very simple walk from Acton Town tube station.

There are many volunteer staff showing punters around (including me).

For more info visit www.ltmuseum.co.uk and follow the links for the open weekend

Thanks. David Scard. (6th, Zone 1 Race 05)

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, June 01, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE