Station to station, platform to platform. The Northern Line, Jubilee Line, District, and Bakerloo Lines on the London Underground condensed into sixty seconds in this fast-paced video…
What’s interesting are the deliberate lines within the designs of each station that lead commuters in the right direction. Left, right, forward, don’t cross the line and mind the gap. Stand on the left unless you’re at Holborn, never jump the queue except when rushing the train before passengers alight. Herd-like sheep during rush hour, then stand nose to nose, eye to eye as the train burrows itself to the next platform. Only six more stops to go. A mad dash through a labyrinth of tunnels to escalator maintenance. The London Underground is an engineering marvel with organised madness.
Engineering works, signal failures, strikes because no one can agree who opens the doors. We release a huge sigh of relief departing a station only to return for a repeat the very next day. We love to hate it. We hate to love it. Ultimately, the London Underground takes us where we want to go.
Many Underground stations are also a work of art. The patterned and coloured tiles create interesting designs down below. Baker Street features Sherlock Holmes. Tottenham Court Road featured wild mosaics until a recent refurbishment. One of my favourite stations is Hampstead where the design is simple, yet the large swirls and lines make you feel as if you’re on a roller coaster. Piccadilly Circus reminds me of – well, a circus and Green Park has a great tunnel if you love vanishing points.
For many years I thought about going station to station and getting off the subway train at every stop. My initial thought was to exit the station to see what was above ground. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see various London neighbourhoods from one end of an Underground line to another? I have never ticked this idea off of my things to do in London list, though one day I shall. What I did do, and is very evident in the London Underground video, I departed the train at each station. I would then explore the platforms, the ways to exit the stations and the stations themselves.
The project took weeks to complete. I avoided rush hour by riding the train during the week and mostly at night. Often times I was the only one in a station so there were no issues being in the way of commuters. The Underground staff didn’t bother me for the most part, though you know I was captured via CCTV everywhere I went. Security was probably thinking – “there’s that guy again!” It was only in larger stations, such as Waterloo, where the station manager hunted me down and called the police. Thank goodness when I calmly volunteered to leave the station, nothing came of the drama. Do be aware if you decide to take photos of any London Underground Station as you may run into a grumpy station manager like I did.
Is the London Underground an easy way to travel London? The answer is yes. London’s subway system is easy to navigate even for a beginner. If you really want to learn London, however, I suggest walking and getting lost on the streets.
It’s not easy to be a gentleman on the London Underground during rush hour. A true test for a well-mannered gentleman.
The video runs rather fast, so included below are a few of my favourite London Underground photos ::