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Annie Mole's, daily web log (blog) & “guide” to the London Underground
If you like this you'll LURVE One Stop Short of Barking, the fun and informative book about travelling
on the London Underground.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wi-Fi Tests at "Secret" Tube Station

The BBC were doing some tests of  Wi-Fi on the London Underground today at a secret location.  It seems to be "pretty fast" right now, but Rory Cellan-Jones said "let's see how it goes when thousands are using it".  He also had the privilege of sending
the first tweet, saying, "Historic first tweet from deep under London using @TFLofficial @virginmedia new tube wifi service - testing, testing."

Guesses on the "secret location" appear to be favouring Warren Street.  So if you're travelling through the station today on the Victoria Line look out for the sensors on the tunnel roof.

Wi-Fi has been promised at 80 stations. The Virgin Media contract is only for ticket offices, escalators and platforms because it would have required major construction work to have added connectivity to the network's tunnels. But if you are on the Tube in an area within the stations covered, there may be enough range to pick up a connection on a train itself. 120 stations will be fitted out by the end of the year.

Laptop & Brompton on the Tube

After the period of free access to all during the Olympics, Virgin Media's broadband & mobile customers will get continued access as part of their subscriptions. Other non-paying users will be limited to a site showing online travel information.

Thanks to Lloyd Davis for alerting me to this.

Related posts
London Overground Stations to get WiFi in time for Olympics
Virgin Media win London Underground wi-fi contract
TfL say on track for Tube Wi-Fi to be enabled for Olympics
WiFi Tests on London Underground  

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, May 31, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Re-naming Jubilee Line & Signs of the Diamond Jubilee on the Tube

Did you know that a group of  Labour MPs have signed a Parliamentary motion urging that the London Underground Jubilee line - should be re-named the Elizabeth Jubilee Line to mark the Diamond Jubilee?

Here's what they said "this House expresses its profound gratitude to Her Majesty The Queen for her dedication to public service; welcomes the opportunities over the coming months that the nation will have to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, a landmark that only Her Majesty and Queen Victoria have reached out of the 41 monarchs who have reigned in England and the UK since William the Conqueror; notes that the Jubilee tube line is so named in celebration of Her Majesty's Silver Jubilee in 1977; and, in celebration of Her Majesty becoming only the second Monarch to reign for an exceptional 60 years, calls for the Jubilee Line to be renamed the Elizabeth Jubilee Line, to commemorate the great occasion of this Diamond Jubilee year."

It has been signed by six MPs. Ermmm, I can't really see them having much luck with that. What do you think?

On the subject of Jubilees, even though the Queen's Golden Jubilee was only 10 years ago, I have very little recollection of it. It was the year before I started blogging, I wasn't exactly cataloguing my thoughts and sights on the Tube in the same way I do now. I'm struggling to remember if there were any posters on the London Underground relating to the event. I'm guessing there must have been. This got me thinking about the Diamond Jubilee and TfL's efforts to "publicise" it.

Diamond Jubilee Tube Ad by Annie Mole

I'd blogged before about the posters around the system advising us to check TfL's website for any special travel arrangements over the Jubilee weekend
My favourite is one with a pair of corgis looking into a laptop. You'll also see the Queen peering into her laptop and one of her Maj's guardsmen in a bearskin checking out the travel plans too. So far so Jubilee.

TfL Jubilee Poster 

Slightly more puzzling is TfL's attempt to cash in on Jubilee parties.

TfL Jubilee Party

They're selling a host of "party packs" - cake decorations and tea stands with no relation to transport at all. However, some Jubilee travelcard cushions, cups and tea towels are also added to the poster, for those who think that TfL actually ought to sell transporty things.

However, TfL aren't the worst people trying to cash in on the Jubilee. I've seen a number of posters on the Tube with crowns, Union Flags and the words "Right Royal" randomly added to them. My favourite of these "Let's try to Jubilee Up our products" is this poster for that well known British Food - the Mexican wrap.

Burrito Diamond Jubilee Tube Ad

Obviously your first choice of grub when throwing a Jubilee party.

Related Posts
Jubilee Wrapped Tube Trains launched for Diamond Jubilee
Limited edition Jubilee & London 2012 Olympics Oyster cards
Jubilee Line Pictures to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, May 31, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tube Workers in Two Summer Strike Ballots

London Underground workers are to be balloted for strikes in two separate disputes over jobs, pay and conditions.  The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said scores of control centre and maintenance staff will be encouraged to back industrial action.

Bob Crow on the Bakerloo Line by Mags Halliday
Bob Crow on  Bakerloo train photo by Mags Halliday

There will be two ballots, one among service control centre staff employed by London Underground and another with ticket maintenance workers belonging to private contractor Cubic Transportation Services.  Apparently Cubic have rejected a claim for an Olympic bonus payment.  They have "point blank refused to discuss RMT’s pay claim and an Olympic bonus. The company have instead said that they are not prepared to give an Olympic bonus, have offered a paltry 2.5 % pay rise and have total rejected totally RMT claims for a shorter working week"

Bob Crow of the RMT
said: "Both of these disputes are about protecting our members' jobs, working conditions and standards of living in the face of aggressive and bullying management tactics that leave us no choice but to ballot for action.

"RMT remains available for talks but no-one should under-estimate the level of anger amongst both of these groups of workers."

The ballot result will be announced in June with the RMT expecting members to back the strike call.

Update 30th May 2012 -  RMT & London Underground have agreed an Olympic pay deal. The RMT union said drivers could receive up to £1,000, with other members of staff in line for up to £850 for the 'massive additional pressures' they will face during the period around the Games.

However, the union says it is still balloting control staff and maintenance members over the possibility of strike action on over other pay and condition issues.  Also the RMT are to ballot “Boris Bike’s” operational staff for action over an Olympics reward and working conditions

Howard Collins, London Underground chief operating officer, said: “I am pleased that we have now got agreement from all four unions on our proposals for how we can fairly reward staff over the London 2012 Games".

Related posts
London Underground will "burn midnight oil" to agree union Olympic Pay Deal
Tube Union RMT reject Olympics Pay Offer as Mayor Launches Get Ahead of the Games Campaign

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, May 29, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bank Station Upgrade Exhibition - Have Your Say

London Underground have unveiled more proposals to relieve the congestion around  Bank station. They are on public dispay from Monday 28 May 2012 and will run until Friday 1 June inclusive from 8am - 6pm.

Bank Tube Station Proposals

Bank and Monument, is the fourth busiest interchange on the Tube network and this proposed scheme, with a range of suggestions to ease overcrowding includes the following:
  • A new Northern line concourse with additional interchange passageways and escalators to the DLR and Central line
  • A new southbound Northern line running tunnel that will create extra space to reduce crowding on the platforms
  • Lifts to a new ticket hall in King William Street to provide step-free access between street level, the Northern line and DLR
TfL received more than 200 responses to a consultation, and these have been used in the project now on display.  They're investigating two options for acquiring land to build the project and three options to locate a new station entrance.

Bank Monument Improvements

David Waboso, London Underground's Director of Capital Programmes, said: "Bank is one of the busiest stations on the network and we've been working closely with the City of London Corporation on plans to create more capacity at this important interchange.

"Most of the work will be below the ground and we'll keep disruption to a minimum during construction, but it's important that the public have the chance to comment on what we're proposing to improve their Tube network."

3D cutaway illustration of Bank and Monument stations found via skyscrapercity

Members of the project team will be available to answer any questions about the proposals at an exhibition at the Guildhall Ambulatory, corner of Aldermanbury and Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HH.

To find more information about the project and contact the project team, visit the project website.

Update - London Insomniac went along to the exhibition and took some photos of the 3D model & wrote a blog post of his thoughts -

He said "I really hope that people will vote for the 3rd option (large building with escalators) - I can't imagine anything else being suitable for the future. The project will be completed in 9 years - who knows how much more people will be in London by then!"

Related posts
Bank Monument interchange in photos
3D Tube Maps & 3D Cutaway Tube Station Diagrams  

; Posted by annie mole Monday, May 28, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, May 25, 2012

Epping Ongar Steam Railway Service on Tube from 25th May 2012

Don't forget that the
Epping Ongar Railway will be resuming steam and heritage diesel hauled passenger trains on the former end of the London Underground Central Line from today Friday 25th May 2012 and over this weekend .  For the first time in 55 years you'll have the chance to travel on a steam train on the Epping Ongar branch of this Tube Line.  Volunteers have been working towards restoring on the track, signals, buildings and rolling stock.  They'll also be running this service, throughout the summer on every weekend and Bank Holidays (including the Jubilee bank holidays) and also daily during the Olympics at nearby Stratford.

The main locomotive
The main locomotive by IanVisits

They were indeed running today
Photo by IanVisits

The railway will operate steam hauled passenger services between Ongar and North Weald, a diesel shuttle from North Weald into Epping Forest, and a heritage bus service connecting to Epping LUL Station and High Street.
London Transport - Central line extension leaflet - 21 November 1948

The photo above shows a leaflet issued by London Transport for when the Underground was originally extended on the Central line - west to West Ruislip and eastwards to Loughton on the way to Epping & Ongar.

The last Epping-Ongar service ran in 1994.  At the time the line was only carrying a mere 80 passengers a day. However, the train that ran the final London Underground service on the line, a three-car unit of 1960 stock, has been preserved by Cravens Heritage Trains.  After a variety of special opening days, at the end of 2007, the railway was sold to a new private owner who was committed to bring steam back to the line. 
You can book your tickets from this website and the full timetable & fares are here.  Follow @eorailway on Twitter to keep up to date. Advanced booking for the first weekend is strongly recommended. Many thanks to Shell for initially telling me about this.

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Steam Train on the London Underground - Video - Test Run for 150th Birthday Celebrations
Tube Station Cinema at Snaresbrook London Underground - Is this first Tube Cinema?

; Posted by annie mole Friday, May 25, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tube staff direct commuters to new Banksy at Turnpike Lane

Looking for Banksy? Helpful London Underground staff are pointing out the way to Banksy's new "artwork" on the side of Poundland in Turnpike Lane.  Possibly tired of being constantly asked where the Banksy is, station staff are using the whiteboard to act as an "art guide".

Photo by Seanbastard1

The street art believed to be a genuine Banksy will not be removed from Turnpike Lane. The image popped up on the side of a Poundland store in Whymark Avenue last week.

It shows a young boy using a sewing machine, and has been covered with a sheet of clear plastic to protect the work from damage. The Olympic Torch Relay will travel past the picture as it travels through Haringey on July 25.

You might also like
Tracey Emin designs Tube Map Cover for Olympic Games period
Station Whiteboard Message Wars
Artists working for London Underground stage second exhibition
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; Posted by annie mole Friday, May 25, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This Station will be exceptionally busy during the Games - Guess Where Tube 19

Time for another Guess Where Tube. For visitors unfamiliar with the "Guess Where Tube" game it's where I ask you to guess from exactly where on the London Underground, certain pictures from the
London Tube Flickr group were taken from. Worryingly, I've seen posters like this on a number of the stations that I use on a daily basis. So me and all the passengers using 88 of the "hotspot" stations aren't going to have an easy time during the 2012 Games.

Guess Where Tube

Obviously it's one of the 88 stations we've been advised to avoid and I'm guessing all regular London commuters are going to be seeing these posters popping up on all of those stations.

There's no prize for getting it right (mainly because I think it's pretty easy), just the satisfaction of knowing you were right.

You might also like
TfL Publish Tube & Train Stations to avoid during Olympic Games
Guess Where Tube 18
Guess Where Tube 17
Guess Where Tube 16   
Guess Where Tube 15
Guess Where Tube 14
Guess Where Tube 13
Guess Where Tube 12
Guess Where Tube 11
Guess Where Tube 10
Guess Where Tube 9
Guess Where Tube 8
Guess Where Tube 7
Guess Where Tube 6
Guess Where Tube 5
Guess Where Tube 4
Guess Where Tube 3
Guess Where Tube 2
Guess Where Tube 1
Guess Where Tube Quiz
Guess Where Tube Quiz Round Two

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, May 23, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Paul McCartney's Ewe Tube Map

Tube Map "mash ups" are so popular that even people like Paul McCartney are getting in on the act. To celebrate the release of the re-issue of Paul and Linda McCartney's 1971 album 'RAM', Paul McCartney has renamed a number of London Underground stations. He's given a number of Tube stations some sheep-tastic names including Baaabican, Eweston and my favourite Rammersmith.

Paul McCartney Ewe Tube 

Paul McCartney tweeted a 'Ewe Tube' map pointing out the stations that were going to be rammed!

Tottenram Court Road and Sheepherd's Bush Tube stations are also highlighted.

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London Underground Tube Map of Music
Madness Tube Map
Photos from Mind the Map Exhibition at London Transport Museum

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, May 22, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, May 21, 2012

Alexandra Burke on the Tube

Remember when Alexandra Burke got thrown off the London Underground for not having a licence to film the video for her new single there.  A source had told
The Sun (so it must be true) : “The Tube manager kept making announcements over the Tannoy that the filming had to stop.

“When he was ignored he came downstairs and shouted that Alexandra didn’t have the right permit to film. At first Alex thought he was joking. But when he said she’d be arrested, she realised things were more serious and hurried out.” 

Alexandra Burke on The Tube

Well it looks like her record company must have gone to some expense hiring a Tube carriage somewhere as thanks to IanVisits spot, she appears to be encouraging a mass party on the system .

Did TfL give in? Did she eventually get the right pass? Did the record company find someone happy to lend them a Victoria line carriage for an evening? Was the whole initial story made up by The Sun or "the source" in an attempt to gain early publicity for Ms Burke? Who knows?

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Tardis or Tube? Alex Kingston spotted on the London Underground
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; Posted by annie mole Monday, May 21, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, May 18, 2012

Photos from Mind the Map Exhibition at London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum opens its new exhibition -
Mind the Map to the public today - 18th May 2012 which is running until 28th October. I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch party last night and took a number of pictures while I was there.

Put River Back on Tube Map - Mind the Map

The Museum describe the exhibition as follows "Mind the Map: inspiring art, design and cartography will draw on the Museum’s outstanding map collection to explore the themes of journeys, identity and publicity. The exhibition will be the largest of its kind and will include previously unseen historic material and exciting new artworks by leading artists including Simon Patterson, Stephen Walter, Susan Stockwell, Jeremy Wood, Claire Brewster, and Agnes Poitevin-Navarre."

I really enjoyed it (admittedly not as much as Sense in The City - which I think was the best exhibition London Transport Museum had ever put on) and there are some very interesting posters, scupltures, artwork and even interactive displays.

The picture above is a cartoon from 2009 where you may remember the River Thames was left off the Tube map for the first time causing some uproar and Boris Johnson, demanding it be put back

Simon Patterson revisited his famous "The Great Bear" first designed 20 years ago with a new piece called Saptarishi - another constellation within The Great Bear

Detail of Saptarishi - Simon Patterson 2012

I've grown quite fond of The Great Bear now and it's led to a number of Tube Map "mash ups" where station names have been replaced by a whole host of things - anagrams, film titles, song titles, fonts, Dr Who characters - you name it. However I found Saptarishi quite puzzling. As did many others viewing it. But I suppose that's the point of it. You'll be saying "Why has he dedicated a line to The Murdochs?", "What's their connection to the spies line?" "Why aren't Jedward on the Musicians Line?"

Detail of Saptarishi - Simon Patterson 2012

The more historical maps and map covers are equally fascinating

Jubilee Map of District Railway 1887 - Mind the Map

I loved the Jubilee Line edition of the District Railway map for 1887 and the maps promoting travel to the British Empire Exhbition by Underground

Detail of British Empire Exhibition Map - Mind the Map

These are amazing posters that you could get lost in for hours

  Visit the Empire by London's Underground - Mind the Map

Look out for a new poster display on the other side of the main exhibition space at London Transport Museum. You'll see a playful poster from when Night Buses were extended to outer London to "Boldly go where no Night Bus has gone before"

To Boldly Go - Night Bus Poster - Mind the Map

TfL were keen to promote that the buses extended to outer limits - even "to the furthest reaches of the Known Universe: Dagenham"

Night Buses even go to Dagenham - Mind the Map

A map made out of transport tickets - Momemento by Susan Stockwell was one of my favourites of the modern pieces.

 Momento - Mind the Map 

I was also fascinated to see the video of Tracey Emin explaining her thought processes behind The Central Line - her new artwork for the June 2012 Tube Map cover (see my earlier blog post on this)

Tracey Emin on Central Line choice

This sculpture also gave an alternative look at the Tube Map that was quite hypnotic

Tube Map Artwork - Mind the Map

You can see the rest of my photographs from Mind The Map in this Flickr set. I will definitely make another trip to the exhibition if only to look the wonderful MacDonald Gill pieces from the 1940's and ponder more on the connections between people on Simon Patterson's map.

You might also like
Tracey Emin designs Tube Map Cover for Olympic Games period
Sense and the City: Dan Dare on the Tube
Roundels on the River: Serco Prize For Illustration
River returning to the Tube Map

; Posted by annie mole Friday, May 18, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tracey Emin designs Tube Map Cover for Olympic Games period

Tracey Emin's design of a bird on a "branch" of the Northern Line intersecting with the Central Line, will be the Tube Map cover we'll be seeing over the London Olympic period this year.  She's the latest artist whose work will now be seen by millions picking up a London Underground pocket map.  Around 18 million in fact, one of the largest print runs the pocket map has seen.  It will be available from stations from June 2012.

Tracey Emin Tube Map Cover - June 2012

Those who might have been expecting something more ... err... Olympic themed will be disappointed. But it's certainly a bit of a coup for TfL to get one of the most talked about British artists to produce the map cover. The design is in a video at London Transport Museum's new Mind the Map exhibition which opens to the public on 18th May 2012.  I was invited to the launch of the exhibition tonight, where there is a video of Tracey talking about her inspiration for the design and what she wanted to achieve.

Tracey Emin's Tube Map Cover Design

For some reason in the video she is holding the design the wrong way around and says that the Central Line is a Tube Line she uses a lot "The Central Line has big landmark stations, so I used that, so that people would have an idea of going from West to East."  She's cottoned on to the fact that tourists can find the Tube map confusing and felt a bird would help to make it feel "friendlier".
Tracey Emin explains Tube Map Cover 
She said “I don't want them to think "Oh, I'm in this massive big city and I'm lost and I don't know where to go.  When people look at the Tube map I want them to smile and feel reassured.”

The Map cover's title is 'The Central line', but the only stations marked on the line are Liverpool Street, Oxford Circus and, I imagine with some artistic licence, Shoreditch High Street.  It shows Tracey's personal use of the line to taking her from her home in the East End home to the West End.  

Tracey is used to people paying to see her art and found the concept of producing something that will end up in bins or on the floor quite daunting.

Tracey Emin on where Tube Map Cover will end up 

TfL have praised Emin’s artwork for adapting “the iconography of the original map to reflect her personal experience of the network and her ideas and experience of place.” Tamsin Dillon, head of Art on the Underground said the design is “a moving and unique interpretation of the Capital” .

That's certainly one way to describe it.  Like much of Tracey's work it will be talked about. Whether the maps end up becoming collectors items or as Tracey herself says "in bins or on the floor", this is one Tube Map cover that many people will have firm opinions about.

What do you think of it?  Particularly as a choice for a map that will be used over the London Olympics.

Related posts
Photos from Mind the Map Exhibition at London Transport Museum
Olympic Tube Map Renames Stations with names of Sporting Celebrities
Olympics Tube Map Cover we'd like to see
Rejected Tube Map Cover Designs 

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, May 17, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Jubilee Wrapped Tube Trains launched for Diamond Jubilee

Look out for the first of two new Jubilee line London Underground trains, which are wrapped in "decorative Jubilee livery" to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, going into service this week.

Jubilee decorated train

The trains will run along the Jubilee line up to and during the Diamond Jubilee weekend.  The first wrapped train went into service on Monday 14 May 2012 and the second will be from 21st May.

TfL have pointed out that the decorative wraps have been funded by Tube Lines "at no cost to the tax payer". 

Diamond Jubilee Tube Ad by Annie Mole

You've probably also spotted a number of posters around the system advising us to check TfL's website for any special travel arrangements over the Jubilee weekend. My favourite is one with a pair of corgis looking into a laptop. There's also images where only a guardsman's bearskin and the Queen's crown can be seen over the top of the "royal" laptop.

You might also like
Limited edition Jubilee & London 2012 Olympics Oyster cards
Jubilee Line Pictures to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, May 16, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Spotted at South Kensington Tube

Looks like staff at South Kensington Tube have found a novel way of trying to get people to walk on the left at the underpass on the way to the museums. Great spot by
@SebWhite of a sign attached to the walls aimed at parents taking their kids on an educational visit

Meanwhile at South Kensington by Seb White

Has the perfect London Underground passive aggressive tone but with a bit of middle classed humour thrown in. Let's hope all the mums and dads with Little Hugo's follow the note and keep to the left.  School parties with "walking buses" (bonkers phrase!) are hopefully well trained enough to do this already.

Hat tip to @AboutLondon who alerted this to me on Twitter.

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Watch out for children on the Tube
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; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, May 15, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

TUBE TUBE new short films set on the London Underground

Came across what looks like is going to be an excellent set of short films based on the London Underground. In TUBE TUBE can listen in on Londoners travelling by Tube as they discuss love, work and life in London.

To kick things off they're releasing the first five episodes of TUBE TUBE during week commencing Monday 14th May, one a day. Afterwards they aim to release a new film every two weeks. As the series continues, the characters and storylines will return and intersect.

Here's a taster with the first film "Bonsai", was released on Monday 14th May. "It stars Nadine Lewington (Holby City) and Ian Smith (Popatron) at the tail end of an online date gone wrong. This episode was a
finalist at the inaugural Sundance London Short Film Competition."

TUBE TUBE was created, is co-written and directed by Ben Williams, and co-written and produced by Omar Kenawi. The majority of episodes are based on true stories and they're always on the hunt for new ones. You can send yours into the team at tubetubelondon@gmail.com

To find out more, you can keep track of them in any of these three ways:

1. Subscribe to YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/tubetubelondon
2. Like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tubetubelondon
3. Follow them on Twitter @tubetubelondon

You might also like
Subway Stories - Tales from the Underground
Kontroll - film about underground ticket inspectors
Love on the Northern Line Song by Schmoof
Speed dating on trains

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, May 15, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gordon Ramsay Opens Tube Themed Las Vegas Restaurant

If you're holidaying in Las Vegas, fancy a steak and want to be reminded of the Tube (don't we all) pop into Gordon Ramsay's new steak house.

Gordon Ramsay Tube place in Las Vegas

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has opened up a new restaurant with a London Underground shaped bar at its centre in a casino hotel in Las Vegas. It's his first establishment in the US gambling hub.

Ramsay, who holds a number of Michelin stars already has restaurants in New York and Los Angeles, and now has "brought his unique style and culinary flair to Las Vegas with the opening of Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas," said a statement issued on Friday.  The Las Vegas venue is described as a modern steakhouse serving huge cuts of beef and lamb, but "British Ale Onion Soup", Shepherd's Pie, Scotch Eggs, Fish and Chips and Sticky Toffee Pudding will also be on the menu to satisfy those on a break from gambling with some good old British stodge.

John Curtas from the food blog "Eating Las Vegas" said "The Tube-like entrance (and the bar inside it) symbolizes the London Underground, and immediately makes an architectural statement about the big, brash Brit whose aura alone is enough to ensure the success of the place."  

It's certainly an architectural statement. However if he wanted to complete the ambience of late night eating and drinking in a Tube carriage, I'd suggest he throws in a few accordian playing buskers, a rambling nutter in the corner, some drunken office City boys & sprays around some Eau de KFC or Fragrance of Chicken Cottage for good measure.

Hat tip @TheSkintFoodie who originally tweeted about this over the weekend.

You might also like
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; Posted by annie mole Monday, May 14, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Stations of the King's Cross - auction of Circle Line Paper Cut Illustrations

Remember the intriguing paper cut illustrations depicting the
14 Stations of the Cross (showing Christ carrying the cross to his cruxifiction), arranged so they sit alongside London Underground stations on the Circle line. Well now the original paper-cuts Stations of the King's Cross  are now up for sale to raise money for 3 charities: Mary’s MealsThe SVP, and The Bard School.

Bids can be placed for a (professionally framed) paper-cut via the website, or alternatively you can go along to  an exhibition to view the originals:

Paper Cutting - Stations of the King's Cross

The exhibition is on Saturday 26th May, at St Mary's Church, Somers Town (map)  the eve of Pentecost, beginning with an ecumenical evening prayer at 7pm, followed by refreshments, live piano music, poetry performances by Sarah de Nordwall, and an opportunity to view and bid for the stations artworks.

The exhibition and auction will close at the end on Monday 4th June 2012.

Related posts
Circle Line Paper Cut Illustrations - Stations of the King's Cross
Rob Ryan & Sandwiches on the Train
Tube Ads are good 
Commuting Meditation 

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, May 13, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Olympic payouts divide Tube & bus staff

As we near the Olympics some of the staff that will be helping us get around London are still in disagreement over bonuses they have have been offered. Londond Underground engineers who belong to Unite have this week agreed an £850 sweetener.  However bus drivers feel that London's mayor, Boris Johnson, has "turned his back on" them and are preparing to ballot for strike action.
Certain Journeys will be affected during the Games - Tube Poster

When speaking of the Tube engineers, Unite regional secretary Peter Kavanagh said: "London Underground did the right thing by recognising the extra work our members will be expected to do during the Olympics. There were disagreements but we worked them out through negotiation.”

However  when referring to staff work on London's buses he said:  “
Unfortunately Boris Johnson has turned his back on over 20,000 bus workers who will be on the frontline during the Olympics. They are the only transport workers in London who will not receive an award for their major contribution to keeping London moving during the Olympics.

"London's bus operators' failure to even talk to Unite about an Olympic award - and Boris Johnson's refusal to intervene - means there is a very real prospect of a capital-wide bus strike

Just in case you think this mean we are in for a Tube strike free Olympics, think again.  Nothing has  been agreed with the RMT yet.  LBC report the that talks that started on Tuesday 8th May over the £850 one off payment at conciliation service ACAS between London Underground and the RMT have ended without agreement. "The Union claim a deal was agreed and close but was reneged on by transport bosses who've concluded a similiar deal with the Tube drivers union ASLEF. Now they're promising a ballot for industrial action "very soon" short of a strike during the Games."

Related Posts
TfL Publish Tube & Train Stations to avoid during Olympic Games
Tube Union RMT reject Olympics Pay Offer as Mayor Launches Get Ahead of the Games Campaign
Certain Tube Journeys Affected by Games - Another "Get Ahead of The Games" Tube Poster
New "Get Ahead of The Games" Tube Cartoon
London Olympics Usain Bolt VISA Ad - The Tube doesn't feature
Can the Tube cope with the Olympics?
£2.5 million to show Tube Staff Olympic Park 
30 minute wait for Tube trains during 2012 Olympics
Olympics chiefs say avoid Tube

; Posted by annie mole Saturday, May 12, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, May 11, 2012

Haggerston London "Underground" Station - Disused Tube Stations on TV

Those of you that use the London Overground will be thinking there's an error in the title to this post. You'll be correct as Haggerston is one of the newest stations on the London Overground opening in April 2010.  In fact there's never been a Tube station called Haggerston as even the older station was part of the North London Line.  But eagle eyed Jon Justice noticed that abandoned "Haggerston Tube" made an appearance on TV.

The New Statesman 1 screen grab by Jon Justice 

If you're a fan of The New Statesman you might just about make out the shadowy figure making his way down the steps of the Tube station. It's Rik Mayall or rather Alan B'Stard

The New Statesman 2 screen grab by Jon Justice

Jon said "In one episode he has a secret meeting in an abandoned Tube station.

Rather than setting it in an existing station, the show invented the fictional station of Haggerston and built a set. There's quite a surprising level of attention to detail."

The New Statesman 3 screen grab by Jon Justice

Jon's right, there is a good level of attention to detail. They've put up some old London Underground posters on the walls - I can just about make out one by Fougasse from the 1930's on the far right.  In fact the whole look of the "abandoned Tube" definitely has a feel of the London Underground stations of the 1930s designed by Charles Holden.

I went to the fount of all knowledge on London Underground stations in film and TV - Nick Cooper's website and discovered that the episode was originally aired in  October 1987 and is called "Waste Not, Want Not".  

The Borrowers BBC 2011 Live in Abandoned Tube Station
The Borrowers (BBC 2011) live in an Abandoned Tube Station

Disused Tube stations are popular settings for TV and films, and usually film makers have found it easier to build a set rather than film at actual abandoned London Underground stations.  This may change in the future if Ajit Chambers of Old London Underground's plans to re-open a number of "ghost" Tube stations come to fruition.  There's currently a £25 million finance deal on offer to buy Brompton Road station for tours and I know that Ajit has been approached by a number of film & music video companies when they heard of his plans to re-open more stations.

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; Posted by annie mole Friday, May 11, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Re:route App Rewards Walking or Cycling rather than taking Tube

In another attempt to keep us off the London Underground during the London Olympics, TfL have partnered with Recyclebank to produce an iPhone app where walkers & cyclists earn points.  A number of you may be familiar with
Chromaroma a points based game where you can climb a leader board for spending more time on the Tube, well this is the exact opposite.

Walking May be Quicker Tube Poster

With Re:route, you to input the start and end points of your journey, and are then  recommended a number  of travel options, including cycling, walking and public transport. When you arrive at your destination (the app will have been tracking your  with GPS), you're given five Recyclebank points, can see many calories you've burned and how much carbon dioxide you've "saved" if you opt for a cleaner mode of transport.

Points here translate into discounts & offers.  Recyclebank have teamed up with Marks & Spencer, Planet Organic, and health club Champneys. You can find the full list on Recyclebank's website.
TfL's director of planning, Ben Plowden, said to Click Green: "TfL is supporting Re:route because it supports our wider efforts to encourage more people to consider cycling and walking as quick and convenient ways of getting around the city. More people cycling and walking will help to reduce congestion on our roads and on our busy public transport network. An initiative like Re:route is a great way to help TfL achieve these goals.

"We’re particularly excited about the potential for this app to motivate people to cycle and walk during the London 2012 Games, when London’s roads and public transport network will be at their busiest.”

Jonathan Hsu, CEO of Recyclebank added: "We’ve worked hard to make re:route an easy-to-use app so that people can easily travel around London on foot or on bike, and get rewarded for it. Although this app will be hugely useful during the Games to make it easier for people to seek alternative methods to get across London, we believe that Re:route will become part of a Londoner’s daily routine as it gives them a fantastic experience, with desirable rewards at all times."

Currently only available from the App Store, there's an Android version, on the way in the "coming months".

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; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, May 08, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, May 06, 2012

London Underground will "burn midnight oil" to agree union Olympic Pay Deal

London Underground have said they will work day and night to strike an Olympic pay deal with transport unions.  Currently both the RMT and Unite have
rejected the offer from London Underground of £850 for each member of staff for working during the 2012 Games.

Set off at a Different Time Olympic ad 

"We do have a deal with the most important people, the Tube drivers, that was done last September. This last part, is really trying to sort out the last semantics" said Howard Collins, chief operating officer for London Underground, to LBC.  This Tuesday, 8th May 2012, he will be at ACAS with the RMT "trying to iron out the last few words that need sorting. We're confident and I know Bob Crow the leader of the RMT, doesn't want to disrupt the Olympics, we've got to work together on this, and find a solution. If that means burning the midnight oil all next week to sort it, lets get focused on London and the Olympics. We're all positive about it and just want to get this last piece out of the way."

Apparently some of the "few words that need sorting" are that the RMT are unhappy about are the requirement for 'unlimited flexibility'.  Knowing the flexibility of union leaders this shouldn't come as a surprise.  An ‘expression of interest’ document is currently circulating London Underground depots asking all drivers to state what shifts they are prepared to work during the Olympics and Paralympics. RMT's London Regional Council said "Until such time as the union reaches agreement with London Underground all members are advised not to fill in or return these forms to management."

Howard Collins said "We've been talking to the other unions too, we know Unite have asked their members what they wish to do and that information is coming in, we're pretty positive. The dialogue we've had with ASLEF has been very positive. But it's really about the issue with the RMT and we really want to get them into the party to make sure that deal is done."

DLR B07 "Olympic Batch" Stock at Canning Town (Low Level) by bowroaduk
DLR B07 "Olympic Batch" Stock at Canning Town (Low Level) by bowroaduk

Transport Tests toook place on 5th May 2012 - 'Super Saturday' as 80,000 people visited the Olympic Park in Stratford for the first time. Collins said "Transport for London is working hard with our Olympic and Paralympic partners to ensure that we can deliver a fantastic 2012 Games this summer. We know that the Games are a huge logistical challenge, however our detailed planning and testing, along with our experience of dealing with large-scale events, means we are confident that we can keep London moving during the Games."

Update - 10th May 2012 - LBC report the that talks over the £850 one off payment at conciliation service ACAS between LU and the RMT have ended without agreement. "The Union claim a deal was agreed and close but was reneged on by transport bosses who've concluded a similiar deal with the Tube drivers union ASLEF. Now they're promising a ballot for industrial action "very soon" short of a strike during the Games."

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; Posted by annie mole Sunday, May 06, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, May 04, 2012

Barcodes on Tube Platforms - Anyone know what they are?

Does anyone have any idea what these things that look like barcodes are?  I spotted them for the first time a couple of days ago at Liverpool Street London Underground station, and am pretty positive I've not seen them anywhere else.

Bar Codes on Platform

They might not even be bar codes but certainly look like they could be measuring something or would possibly activate a sensor when a train passed. I really have no idea, but am certainly curious to find out if anyone knows.

Bar Codes on the Tube Platform

Here's one closer up which may help with identification. Thanks.

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; Posted by annie mole Friday, May 04, 2012 Permalink COMMENT HERE