The first District line train out of Upminster in the morning is the first train anywhere on the underground network. It leaves the depot at 4.53, the only train anywhere in the system to set out from its base before 5am ... if you catch that train, you might be tempted to say ta-dah!—except you probably wouldn't, because nobody is thinking ta-dah! at seven minutes to five in the morning; certainly nobody on this train. People look barely awake, barely even alive. They feel the same way they look; I know because, this morning, I'm one of them.John Lanchester on the experience, at once aversive and hypnotic, of catching the London Underground. Lanchester's article is an extract from his forthcoming entry in the new Penguin Lines series of tube-reading-friendly books released to commemorate the Underground's 150th anniversary. Meanwhile, the Guardian have compiled a collaborative Spotify playlist of songs that mention Tube stations, for those so inclined.
Infographics that give a little insight into the history of public transport(ation) in the UK.
Live Google map of trains running on the London Underground, created using the Transport for London API. From the makers of the highly-useful accessible, bookmarkable UK train timetables.
Recent work in London's Notting Hill station uncovered original advertising posters untouched since the late 1950's (via).
An excellent short film about a branch of the London Underground that was never built.
Harry Beck's famous map [current 287K .gif version] of the London Underground has a long history and is often praised as a definitive example of excellent information design. Many consider it unimprovable, but that doesn't stop many others trying. The latest variant is a project by Oskar Karlin, redesigning the map to illustrate journey time [warning: large, slow loading .pdf]. [partly via]
Disused Stations on the London Underground - they're there, but we don't see them. This site gives a list of places to spot glimpses of these mysterious stations, as well as details of stations that were almost built. Fascinating for a Londoner, and perhaps something to look out for if you plan on visiting the city.
Tube drivers strike and the queue system falls apart! Getting to work was bad enough thanks to strking tube drivers and crack smoking officials at Hammersmith Bus station, now how the hell do I get home?