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Round and round we go

"In the 1960s and 1970s London Transport had a flourishing international consultancy arm which made money by advising other cities on on how to go about setting up and running a metro service with a particular emphasis on advising far eastern countries how to plan their fledging metros. Rumour has it their first bit of advice was always: Never, ever run your trains in a circle!" -- So why did it take almost a century and a half for the London Underground to get rid of the Circle Line? Let Pedantic of Purley at London Reconnections explain the history of the Circle Line and why having a circle route is bad news as well as how the Circle Line was uncircled and recreated as a teacup.
posted by MartinWisse on Oct 21, 2013 - 30 comments

Other lines just aren’t interested in it. But why is it so different?

You might think that Waterloo & City Line couldn’t even have a Myers-Briggs Type, being a tunnel in London with some trains in it, but you’d be wrong. Whilst the normal way to establish a Myers-Briggs Type is get someone to fill in a questionnaire, it’s apparently possible to use a sample of text to analyse the personality of the author. And while the Waterloo & City Line didn’t have much to say for most of its 115 year history, for the last couple of years, it, and all the other London Underground lines, have been tweeting. So I use samples of tweets to discover what kinds of personalities they have.
posted by v21 on Sep 5, 2013 - 7 comments

This webpage will be held to regulate the service

London transport in real time
posted by mippy on Apr 10, 2013 - 16 comments

What we talk about when we talk about the Tube

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.
posted by Sonny Jim on Mar 6, 2013 - 37 comments

The London Circuit

Artist Yuri Suzuki has made a map of the London Underground as a functional radio circuit board. [more inside]
posted by barnacles on Sep 10, 2012 - 15 comments

London by the Numbers

Infographics that give a little insight into the history of public transport(ation) in the UK.
posted by Eideteker on Dec 28, 2011 - 7 comments

253, an early Internet novel

253 is a novel written for the Internet. Originally published in 1996, it is composed of 253 stories of 253 words about each of the 253 passengers on a London Underground train, headed for a crash.
posted by yellowbinder on Jul 27, 2011 - 29 comments

The Dead Keep It

The division of post-WWII Berlin reached everywhere in the city, even underground, sealing stations throughout the long decades of the Cold War. They were the first “ghost stations”, which can now be found everywhere: the Paris Metro (previously), Los Angeles, the London Underground, New York City, and the aforementioned Berlin, remaining as entombed time capsules that are passed by millions every day.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Dec 29, 2010 - 10 comments

Commuting: Now in technicolor

Chromaroma launched its public beta today. The site takes Oyster and Cycle Hire data and turns it into a city-wide game, with teams capturing stations, accepting missions and having good, old fashioned, public transport based fun. Commuting has never been this enjoyable. [more inside]
posted by muthecow on Nov 30, 2010 - 17 comments

From coupler-flange to spindle-guide I see Thy Hand O God.

Why does it take so long to mend an escalator?
posted by lapsangsouchong on Oct 7, 2010 - 52 comments

Tube map . . . of science

500 Years of Science, Reason & Critical Thinking via the medium of gross over simplification, dodgy demarcation, glaring omission and a very tiny font.
posted by IvoShandor on Aug 31, 2010 - 11 comments

Mind the gap

Minor Delays - a short story for every station on the London Underground. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Aug 13, 2010 - 5 comments

Training Day

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.
posted by grouse on Jun 21, 2010 - 32 comments

Too Many Crooks

Recent work in London's Notting Hill station uncovered original advertising posters untouched since the late 1950's (via).
posted by jontyjago on Jun 20, 2010 - 17 comments

London Underground's Northern Heights

An excellent short film about a branch of the London Underground that was never built.
posted by cillit bang on Dec 23, 2009 - 31 comments

But this is no ordinary house...

Mole Man to pay £300,000 for burrowing under home. A retired engineer nicknamed “Mole Man”, because of his fondness for burrowing tunnels under his home (video), has been ordered to pay almost £300,000 to the local council (he lives in London) after his hobby nearly caused his house to collapse (article with a few photos). William Lyttle, 77, spent 40 years excavating a maze of tunnels beneath his 20-room Victorian property in Hackney, East London, before the council intervened. "I often used to joke that I expect him to come tunnelling up through the kitchen floor," said Marc Beishon, who lives a few yards from William Lyttle's house, in 2006, when the Mole Man was first ordered to stop. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Apr 18, 2008 - 31 comments

The Voice of the Underground is silenced

Emma Clarke the voice of the London Underground has just been fired for recording and posting some spoofs on her own website. "Mind the gap" no more. (To spare Emma's server and in case she is forced to remove the files for some reason: External linkage to streaming mp3's of these spoofs are below) [more inside]
posted by Webbster on Nov 26, 2007 - 91 comments

MIND THE GAP

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]
posted by normy on Dec 5, 2005 - 17 comments

Hidden Underground

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.
posted by Orange Goblin on Dec 9, 2002 - 22 comments

Tube drivers strike and the queue system falls apart!

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?
posted by Foaf on Feb 5, 2001 - 13 comments

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