Love and Loathe – two words that come to mind when I think of Victoria Station. Rush hour, I loathe. I’m also not fond of the construction mess around the station. Everything is torn up and it seems the construction is a perpetual project weaving the old with the new.
I do love everything else including rush hour when I’m perched high above the fray inside the train station. There is an elevated area where I’ll retreat to and just watch. It’s amazing to watch the commuters zig, then zag, on the station floor. How does no one run into the other, I wonder? Victoria is also what you could call my home station as it is a hop, skip and a jump from home. The station is convenient.
Victoria Station has a great history. For me, it’s like stepping off the wild streets of London and into another world. The ticket windows and shops are modern, but when I look up, I’m taken back a hundred years.
Once you walk toward the Circle/District part of the Underground station, the feeling of being in a time warp amplifies. The ceilings are low; the lighting is dimmer and space is far too small to accommodate the myriad of commuters using the station. Strangely, I love the scruffy ambience despite not having an affinity for crowds. Once you’re down below on the Victoria Station platform, the conditions don’t improve. The platform is not nearly large enough. My best suggestion is to “move along the platform” to the far end where few people go. I do have to admit avoiding rush hour, so the experience isn’t so bad.
Unlike other Londoners, the District/Circle Line is my favourite. Apparently, these underground lines are slow and unreliable. Why do I love this particular line the most? Timeliness is far from the reason to be passionate about this Underground line. I’m never in a rush to go anywhere, so I’m perfectly fine if a train runs late. I don’t wear a watch. How would I ever know if a train runs behind schedule? The nostalgia of days gone by is the reason the District/Circle Line receives top billing from me. Each station along the line is an eclectic mix of nostalgic London with a few attempts to cosmetically mask the flaws. The stations tend to be older and have more London character. This ambience of “Old London” is what keeps me in love with her.
During winter, and when it snows, you can see the snowflakes descend on the track from the opening up above. For some reason this fascinates me, tho’ it is safe to say I’m easily entertained. In the video, you’ll see a train approaching on the District/Circle Line at Victoria Station in London. If you look close enough, you can see the snowfall. I especially love the brick arch above the train tunnel.