Because no one needs three Canary Wharf Stations
January 14, 2016 9:20 AM   Subscribe

Crossrail needs to rename its stations. Crossrail is a big new railway right through the middle of London. Whilst a nice new railway affords a lot of opportunities for improvement apparently naming stations is not one of those areas.
posted by Just this guy, y'know (40 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
... there's a whole complex of skyscrapers in the way, and just wandering aimlessly around the underground shopping malls in a daze until they're thrown out by security guards because the whole area is actually a private estate.
To be fair, this does describe the experience of being in the general vicinity of Canary Wharf rather accurately.
posted by Sonny Jim at 10:16 AM on January 14, 2016 [11 favorites]


In other news, Battersea has been renamed Battersea Power Station Station.
posted by verstegan at 10:25 AM on January 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


Canary Wharf excepted, this article seems to be “these stations should be renamed because I find the existing station names irritating for reasons that matter to me alone.” Also a few of these are “here’s an excuse to gripe about a thing that isn’t at all Crossrail-related…”

When a Crossrail station shares a name with an adjacent Tube stop, not only does that conveniently signal that the stations are connected, but it also allows the map to signify both stations with a single text label. I wager the author’s self-professed OCD would seriously flare up if he looked at an official Tube map that somehow had to fit in all these brand new station names.
posted by savetheclocktower at 10:31 AM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


In other news, Battersea has been renamed Battersea Power Station Station.

Do they have their own emergency generator?

it would be the Battersea Power Station Station Power Station.
posted by GuyZero at 10:39 AM on January 14, 2016 [57 favorites]


There are a number of problems here. One is that naming stations after streets annoys me, for reasons I'll come to below.
Sheesh, don't let this guy ever come to New York City. Almost every station here is named after a street. His head may explode.
posted by Ampersand692 at 10:39 AM on January 14, 2016


GuyZero: it would be the Battersea Power Station Station Power Station.

If Robert Palmers supergroup shows up to play, that would just be ridiculous .
posted by dr_dank at 11:16 AM on January 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


it would be the Battersea Power Station Station Power Station

And documents specific to said emergency generator could be printed on official Battersea Power Station Station Power Station stationery.

Crumple up those documents, and they'd be printed on battered Battersea Power Station Station Power Station stationery.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 11:18 AM on January 14, 2016 [15 favorites]


And if the documents weren't moving, they'd be printed on stationary battered Battersea Power Station Station Power Station stationery.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 11:21 AM on January 14, 2016 [24 favorites]


And don't forget a security guard to make sure no one steals it. They would be stationed at the stationary battered Battersea Power Station Station Power Station stationery.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:33 AM on January 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


But, thinking about it, if the stationery were the sanctioned stationery for the Battersea Power Station announcement sanctioning the station name, then perhaps it would be the stationary battered Sanctioned Battery Power Station Power Station sanctioned stationery right?
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:44 AM on January 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm sure the generator would have some flashlights, and those need batteries. You know, the Battersea Power Station Station Power Station C Batteries.
posted by jedicus at 11:49 AM on January 14, 2016 [12 favorites]


Now I have a powerful urge for sea-battered chicken for dinner. I would also like it to be stationary.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:50 AM on January 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


This thread is beautiful.
posted by kmz at 11:53 AM on January 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


If Robert Palmers supergroup shows up to play, that would just be ridiculous .

I had thought of that but didn't want to gild the lily.
posted by GuyZero at 11:56 AM on January 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


You guys should be charged with Assault and Battersea for this.
posted by eriko at 11:57 AM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Of course, if you make a paper mobile with the stuff and hang it in a bus, it would now be the mobile battered Battersea Power Station Station Power Station stationery mobile.
posted by eriko at 12:00 PM on January 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


because I find the existing station names irritating for reasons that matter to me alone

Ooh, I can relate to this one! Living in Buenos Aires for 5 years I would rarely look at the Subway map without feeling a rising sense of anger sweep over me for two reasons.

Firstly, there are basically 6 lines on the system and where lines intersect the stations on each line would have different names despite being the same physical station.

So if you arrived at the 9 de Julio station on the D Line, and changed to the B line (an operation that is done without leaving the station at all, simply follow the interchange signs), you would find yourself leaving from a station called Carlos Pelligrini.

This in itself was infuriating enough but then they would give entirely separate stations, as in hundreds of metres apart, on different lines, the same names, because they were on the same street.

So lines B & D both have stations called Pueyrredón and Callao, both completely separate entities. I lived next to the D line Pueyrredón and would regularly get calls from people coming to visit me who had got off at the wrong Pueyrredón and found themselves 15 blocks from my flat.

Rant over. Thank you for listening.
posted by jontyjago at 12:18 PM on January 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


They have fixed these things in the past. There used to be two "Shepherd's Bush" tube stations nowhere near each other, which was very confusing, but eventually one was renamed "Shepherd's Bush Market". Of course then they opened a new overground railway station and called that "Shepherd's Bush" as well, but at least it's next to Shepherd's Bush tube.
posted by w0mbat at 12:42 PM on January 14, 2016


I rtfa first and wondered how there could be 19 comments on such a dry subject. Silly me.
posted by yhbc at 12:54 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


As an American, I don't care what London does with its station names as long as it doesn't touch Cockfosters. The 14 year old in me chuckles every time I'm on a train that terminates there and the automated voice announces it *at every station*.
posted by A dead Quaker at 1:13 PM on January 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Honestly, yhbc, the only reason no one commented on the stupid position of Tottenham Court Road is that it's so crowded no one goes there any more. (I hate Oxford Street with an asthmatic's passion).

Also, last time I changed trains at Tottenham Court Road, I'd been reading Connie Willis's Blackout series, which has many scenes in WWII tube station bomb shelters, and I came to the bottom of the stairs and lo, there was a massively overcrowded platform, tiles, grimy sooty ambience and an absence of information displays or (from that one angle) printed ads, and I was semi-comfortably discombulated in time.

Crossrail will never be like that. But it will be great. I'm looking forward to having my 100 mile journey to London be the most time consuming part of a day out with friends.
posted by ambrosen at 1:18 PM on January 14, 2016


Cannon St was going to be called St Paul's, until they realised that would confuse the rail station with the tube station of the same name.
posted by mippy at 1:38 PM on January 14, 2016


At least it's not Canary Wharf-African American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo (to mock the most ridiculously-named Metro station that I know of)
posted by schmod at 2:06 PM on January 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


We could use an extra Mornington Crescent. The game has gotten a lot harder to play since the IMCS issued the updated rulebook in 2007.
posted by uosuaq at 2:08 PM on January 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


At least it's not Canary Wharf-African American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo

I had to check whether they really use that name. Sure enough. (streetview)
posted by kiltedtaco at 2:22 PM on January 14, 2016


This in itself was infuriating enough but then they would give entirely separate stations, as in hundreds of metres apart, on different lines, the same names, because they were on the same street.

I know it's been said but don't go to New York (five completely different "23 St" stations, three "86 St" stations, the list could go on) or Chicago (three "Addison" or five "Western" stations, two of which are actually on the same line)!

Toronto has aggressively adopted the opposite solution: there's a St Clair station and a St Clair West station, an Eglinton and Eglinton West pair, and a Lawrence and Lawrence West pair.

Personally, I find the Toronto solution a bit inelegant, but I will concede it probably reduces visitor confusion and is suited given the narrow U shape of the Yonge-University line.
posted by andrewesque at 2:24 PM on January 14, 2016


jontyjago: "Ooh, I can relate to this one! Living in Buenos Aires for 5 years I would rarely look at the Subway map without feeling a rising sense of anger sweep over me for two reasons. "

Holy crap. That is one spectacular mess of a map.

Apart from my general question of how that layout actually leads to a usable transit system (why doesn't the H Line go all the way through!?), the entire thing is one huge bucket of WTF.

There are two separate lines with the same color for no apparent reason.

There is no legend to speak of, apart from a very confusing description of two commuter rail lines(?) with very similar icons, and an icon for a bus terminal that isn't used anywhere on the map.

As far as I can tell, almost none of the stations have a name that actually provides a useful description of their location (unless Uruguay Station is in Uruguay).

What do the different icons for each station mean?

Why is there no F or G line?

D-. Would not map again.
posted by schmod at 2:25 PM on January 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


As an American, I don't care what London does with its station names as long as it doesn't touch Cockfosters. The 14 year old in me chuckles every time I'm on a train that terminates there and the automated voice announces it *at every station*.

Mrs. Example and I are the exact same way every time we're on the DLR and pass Mudchute.

hee hee hee Mudchute
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:25 PM on January 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


[Fixed it's/its issue, carry on.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:33 PM on January 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


As far as I can tell, almost none of the stations have a name that actually provides a useful description of their location (unless Uruguay Station is in Uruguay).

I'm not at all familiar with Buenos Aires, but a quick look at Google Maps indicates that station naming on the metro is, to the contrary, actually pretty useful, and at the very least is no less illogical than a combination of "NYC-style" and "London-style" naming:

A random perusal of the "A" line indicates that most stations (San Pedrito, Carabobo, Acoyte, Castro Barros, Loria, Pasco, Lima, Av de Mayo, Piedras, Perú) are named after a cross street, which is logical (the "NYC-" or "Chicago-style" of naming after cross streets, if you will) and useful for locals.

Other stations (San José de Flores, Plaza Misere, Alberti, Congreso, Plaza de Mayo) are named after neighboring landmarks: Calesita San José de Flores, the actual Plaza Miseres, the Argentinian National Congress, etc. This seems to be no different than "London-" or "DC-style" naming -- aka, naming after neighborhoods or landmarks.

That just leaves a couple of remaining stations (Puán, Primera Junta, Río de Janeiro, Sáenz Peña) which I would assume are named after the local neighborhood or other landmarks that I can't quickly ID off of Google Maps.

All in all, it seems to be a pretty logically-named system, especially the ones named after cross-streets.
posted by andrewesque at 2:38 PM on January 14, 2016


Do they have their own emergency generator?

it would be the Battersea Power Station Station Power Station.


And if they wanted to throw in a Bowie tribute it could be Battersea Power Station Station Power Station to Station
posted by thivaia at 2:47 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


As an American, I don't care what London does with its station names as long as it doesn't touch Cockfosters. The 14 year old in me chuckles every time I'm on a train that terminates there and the automated voice announces it *at every station*.

Were you, by any chance, the little American boy on the Piccadilly line from Heathrow about ten years ago who loudly asked his father, “Daddy, what's a cockfoster?”, to the amusement of all in earshot?
posted by acb at 3:16 PM on January 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Holy crap. That is one spectacular mess of a map.

Apart from my general question of how that layout actually leads to a usable transit system (why doesn't the H Line go all the way through!?), the entire thing is one huge bucket of WTF.


I believe they call that sort of thing “magic realism” over there.
posted by acb at 3:18 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Pre-MBTA Boston liked to give different names to different platforms. This mostly happened on the Orange Line for which the downtown tunnel is carefully threaded under narrow Washington Street. Because of space constraints, some platforms are so offset from one another that they were considered separate stations. The northbound platform at Haymarket used to be "Union" (named for nearby Union Street) and the southbound platform was "Friend". Today's Chinatown used to "Essex" going north and "Boylston" going south (to add to the confusion it's a few blocks down Boylston Street from the completely separate stop on what became the Green Line.

This was compounded at transfer stations which were sometimes given completely different names for each connecting line. On top of northbound "State" and southbound "Milk" were the East Boston Tunnel (today's Blue Line) platforms which were both named "Devonshire". Ditto Downtown Crossing where northbound "Summer" and southbound "Winter" were both intersected by "Washington" on the lower Red Line.

Park Street is usually cited for ending this crazy trend. When the lower Red Line platforms opened, they decided to stop the madness and simply name them "Park Street Under". It was later joined by South Station Under and "Scollay Under" (today's Government Center).
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:42 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


At least it's not Canary Wharf-African American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo

When I saw the headline, I really hoped that somehow Crossrail had done something as insane as proposing to name four stations in a row some variant on "Tysons" ...but once again the DC Metro is untouchable in this, its particular desire to confuse people.
posted by psoas at 5:08 PM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Station names that make sense? Fuck it, why not just tear every fucking thing in the city down and put it on a grid system? North/south streets named after dead monarchs, east/west ones numbered! Boom, you've just "upgraded" yourself to the standard of the average American Midwest tank town.

FFS, Britain. You've got one job, and that's to say, "It's been that way since time immemorial, now piss off."
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:47 PM on January 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


As an American, I don't care what London does with its station names as long as it doesn't touch Cockfosters.

Please name a station "Spotted Dick," please name a station "Spotted Dick," please name a station "Spotted Dick..."
posted by RakDaddy at 9:22 PM on January 14, 2016


Andrewesque - Puán, Primera Junta, Río de Janeiro, Sáenz Peña are all cross streets as well, but you've basically got it - and I begrudgingly admit the system has its logic.

Now I've learnt that NY and others also have multiple stations with the same name I suppose that this must be a consequence of a grid / block system which is why we don't see it so much on European systems.

Schmod - this is a (not very clear) map of the planned Subte system, due to be finished God Knows When. You'll note Lines F, G and even I.

The H line is slowly being built / extended but it took them 5 years to open 3 stations when I was there so don't hold your breath.
posted by jontyjago at 10:00 PM on January 14, 2016


The station was named "Cockfosters" after the area, which was known to have chicken farms in the past.

Australians find the name funnier, because of their general low opinion of Fosters beer (Rememer kids: the stuff a country exports is the stuff that will keep, not the best stuff. The US has fantastic beer and cheese and chocolate and they keep it themselves.)

But all that aside, The Cockfosters Penis Acclimatisation Society meets weekly, in a room above the local pub.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 1:38 AM on January 16, 2016


jontyjago, a grid system isn't necessary to have confusing station names. London underground has Edgware and the Edgware Road Bakerloo station and Edgware Road Hammersmith and City Line station.

There's the Abbey Road station that is nowhere near Abbey Road Studios, the Arsenal station named after the football club and Woolwich Arsenal station named after an actual arsenal.

Hammersmith has two stations, across a busy gyratory from one another. There used to be two Shepherd's Bush stations until they renamed the H&C one "Shepherd's Bush Market" just in time for the street market to be scoured by greedy developers.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 1:44 AM on January 16, 2016


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