Tube (Underground, Subway, Metro)., London

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  • planxty's Profile Photo

    Never on a Sunday

    by planxty Updated May 10, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    After recently enocuntering yet more visitors obviously in complete confusion, I thought I would post this tip.

    Update May 2011

    I like to keep my tips up to date when possible, so here is an update to a tip I wrote in 2005 shortly after joining VT. I regret to inform readers that in the intervening six years since this tip was originally posted thing have not improved at all. If anything, they have got worse. There is still massive disruption on the Tube at the weekend, and this is scheduled to go on until at least 2012. sorry to be the bearer of bad news but that is the way it is.

    Original tip.

    It refers to weekend travel on the Tube (Underground / Metro, call it what you will).

    Firstly, be aware that the trains all start later on a Saturday than during the week, and later again on a Sunday, so don't assume that the early train you caught on Friday will go the same time at the weekend.

    Also, the operators use the weekend to carry out engineering works. This is not just at night as during the week, but ALL weekend. For example, yesterday (23/04/2005), the Circle Line was closed, the Hammersmith and City and District lines were seriously affected, and the Jubilee line affected to a lesser degree.

    There are usually replacement bus services, but they invariably take much longer. The website shown should assist you with all the disruptions.

    Underground sign, London
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  • planxty's Profile Photo

    When is a Tube not a Tube?

    by planxty Written Apr 23, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This may well be one of the most confusing tips I have ever had to write on VT and I offer it to try to clarify some things about the London transportation system which, i understand, is very difficult for the visitor. Please bear with me.

    Most people will know about the London Underground, generally known as the Tube (especially by locals) and you may understand as a Metro or Subway depending on where you come from. however, just when you thought you had that sorted, there is a new kid in town, the Overground (upper case deliberately used). Firstly, don't panic. If you have your Oyster Card or Travelcard for the relevant zones, you are OK and can use this system. Allow me to explain.

    If you are using an oldish Tube map (pre-2008) you will see the East London Line as an underground line connecting Shoreditch and New Cross / New Cross Gate. It is the small yellowish line running up and down towards the right hand side of your map. After about three years of terrible inconvenience and undoubtedly a huge amount of money, this line has been integrated into a much larger system allowing travel between places as far apart as West Croydon in the South and Watford Junction in the North.

    The concepts of Underground and Overground are slightly misleading (as is most of the transport here) as the majority of the Underground actually is above ground and the Overground goes between Wapping and Rotherhite in a tunnel which was the first built underneath a tidal river and built by the great engineer Brunel. Confused, you will be. Again, I must tell you, don't panic! It is easy.

    The rolling stock looks more like rail stock than Underground trains but is all brand new and actually quite comfortable. The signage bears more resemblance to Tube than National Rail. Just consider the Overground as a rather large and useful tube line and you will be OK. The website attached is the absolute oracle on all matters transport related in London. Of course, the caveat is that, even though it is brand new, like most "rail" transport in London, it closes down to a considerable degree every weekend. Why it needs upgrading already after all the previous disruption, I don't know. I am told this will continue until at least mid 2012. Welcome to my world!

    Overground train, London, UK. Overground sign, London, UK. Overground train, London, UK.
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  • London Underground Closures

    by dwh2011 Written Apr 14, 2011

    Yes, December can be very cold but there are lots of things to see and do during the Christmas season. I was there last December. My flight going was re-scheduled bec. Heathrow shut down due to unprecedented snowfall. Thought my trip was ruined but no, it was a wonderful experience once there.

    If you intend to use public transport (the most practical and economical way to go) around the city, check London station closures at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/livetravelnews/realtime/tube/default.html before you venture out. They are updating and renovating several stations and there are scheduled closures. They do have alternative routes and replacement buses.

    Again, don't shy away because Dec. is cold. Just bring layers and a good coat. And good walking shoes/boots.

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  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Escalator etiquette!

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Apr 12, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As most foreigners will know, Londoners spend a good amount of their time queueing and get very shirty if people are perceived to be queue jumping!

    One place that London commuters spend a lot of time queuing is on the escalators linking the Tube to surface. Just in case you are worried about the etiquette, never fear, it's the same as driving: Brits queue on the left hand side (adjacent to the posters on the wall) and pass on the right!

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  • planxty's Profile Photo

    When is a circle not a circle?

    by planxty Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I fully understand how complicated the London Tube (Underground, subway, Metro) can be to people not familiar with it, and they are just about to make it moreso. One of the things you could bank on (no pun intended, as one station is called Bank) was that the Circle line, well, went round in a circle. Be aware that as of 13th December, 2009, it won't.

    As the attached webpage shows, the so-called Circle Line will now start (clockwise) at Hammersmith, complete a full circle and terminate at Edgware Road. Anti-clockwise will be an exact reciprocal of that.

    If you want to check your standard Tube map, the Circle Line is the yellow one. I submit this tip to hopefully assist travellers as I see enough poor souls wandering lost on the Underground system as it is.

    Underground sign, london, UK.
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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    tube travel in London

    by angiebabe Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Travel around London in sterling compared to other currencies is pretty expensive - we hated it when we were here as tourists converting to Aussie and Kiwi money - and unfortunately prices went up heaps last year and horridly again this year!

    Now i have quite excitedly found out that the new Oyster card system enables much cheaper tube travel. Usually i use saver ticket bus tickets to get from home into the city - £6 for 6 tickets(dont know if their price has just changed again as single tickets have dropped from £1 to 90p) - or if travelling a bit in one day i used to splash out and get a one day travel card - or even better a weekend travel card which inclides the faster overground train routes - but now they are even more expensive.

    carnets are now no longer available (used to get 10 tickets for £11.50)

    now i have found out that by getting a £3 oyster card then adding value of whatever amount you decide, you then can use it to get one zone travel for £1.50 each and buses for 90p a ride. This saves from the enormous price increase of a one zone tube ride from £1.50 to £3 for those not using an oyster card!

    Also handy I find is having a zone 2 and 3 travel pass for the week which covers all the underground and overground except zone 1 and includes all buses everywhere - then use the single swipe for any zone 1 tube trips plus there are so many bus routes in the city centre that I only use the tube if in a hurry. Tube stations such as Vauxhall - which connects with the overground - and Earls Court are handily both Zone 1 and Zone 2 stations.

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  • SaraM19762001's Profile Photo

    The Tube

    by SaraM19762001 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    I would reccommend when coming to London to definately use the tube as your means of getting around. I found that black cabs were extremely expensive. The tube is cheap and very easy to figure out. it's also a good way to mix with the locals, though I wouldn't recommend starting a conversation with them. Peope just seem to be in their own world on the tube and that's ok. I did come across a minor delay once and I'm sure it happens often, but the delay was only 5 minutes and there are other lines to get you where you need to go if one line is closed or delayed. Also check if you can before planning your day.
    The only complaint about the tube is that some- not all-can be dirty.

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  • SaraM19762001's Profile Photo

    The Tube

    by SaraM19762001 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    I would reccommend when coming to London to definately use the tube as your means of getting around. I found that black cabs were extremely expensive. The tube is cheap and very easy to figure out. it's also a good way to mix with the locals, though I wouldn't recommend starting a conversation with them. Peope just seem to be in their own world on the tube and that's ok. I did come across a minor delay once and I'm sure it happens often, but the delay was only 5 minutes and there are other lines to get you where you need to go if one line is closed or delayed. Also check if you can before planning your day.
    The only complaint about the tube is that some- not all-can be dirty.

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  • rwlittle's Profile Photo

    A great way to get around

    by rwlittle Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We primarily got around London through the use of the Tube, or the Underground as some might call it. From our home base in Kensington, we were able to jump right onto the Tube and get to all of the sights pretty quickly. We bought books of ten tickets...saved a little money, yet left us the flexibility to travel when we wanted without wondering/worrying "did we get out money's worth?" which goes with day passes.

    We were always amused by the automated "mind the gap" audio and visual warnings, intended to warn passengers of the gap between the platform and the trains.

    Mind the gap!

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  • The Tube!

    by ElaineCatherine Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Tube is an excellent way to get around in London. The price is reasonable, it is pretty much clean and the service is reliable.

    We also enjoyed the buskers (although the many no busking signs) they were singing and playing their guitars. And they seemed to be enjoying entertaining us as well, til they found out we were Americans, then they started singing nasty songs about Americans. LOL!

    My sister and I were warned to stay together when we went into the toilet. Apparantly theives commonly steal belongings in toilets.

    Just be sure to take your time and try to get familiar with the tube map before you set out so you dont get turned around. My sister is an excellent map reader and navigator, so I was lucky to not get lost!

    Look for these signs!

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  • AngelAmanda5546's Profile Photo

    Tube

    by AngelAmanda5546 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    The tube is a great way to get around anywhere in London. But a few words of wisdom when traveling on the tube.

    1)Mind the Gap between the train and the platform

    2)Use priority in seating(ask an elderly person or a person with children if they want your seat)

    3) NEVER RIDE THE TUBE AT NIGHT

    why do I say never ride the tube at night. well even if you want to go somewhere thats only open at night or you want to take a picture of big ben lit up dont go on the tube at night. It can be dangerous if traveling alone. There have been a few murders that occur at night on the tube. For a safe trip, I suggest to stick to the busses at night.

    (note: I did not take the picture inside the undergound because pictures inside the undergroud are prohibited)

    Undergound Sign
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  • joits's Profile Photo

    Its really not that difficult!

    by joits Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I've read quite a few reviews on the London Underground saying that its quite complicated when its really not. Why should you believe me? Well, I was about 10 when I first started using the tube and I had no problems whatsoever. I was new to London, spending my holidays from boarding school there, yet I found the Underground easy to use. I stayed in Plaistow on the District Line and I had no problems getting around London. I had no problems finding the correct route or changing stations. Sure the first time might seem intimidating but you'll get adjusted to it within a day. I mean c'mon... if a 10 year old can get it.... anyone can.

    The best thing to do is before you go out, try and visit the London Underground's website and use their router planner which will tell you what line to take, where to transfer or where to get off. Very useful...

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  • backpackerbaby's Profile Photo

    The cheapest way of travelling around..

    by backpackerbaby Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    London is divided into 6 zones in the tube (underground)/bus maps.

    Since most tourist attractions are within Zones 1 and 2, it's advisable to buy a 'day travelcard for Zones 1 and 2' to start your day.

    An off-peak (after 0930) card costs 4.10 pounds and you can use it for tubes/buses as many times as you like.

    That's why it's called Tube!

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  • bzh's Profile Photo

    Real time tube map

    by bzh Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Transport for London, being realisitc about the performance of the tube, offers a real time tube map detailing what lines suffer from delays or cancellations. The use of the map is extremely simple. If a line or station is coloured, it has a problem. You can then click on it to get more information on the problem.

    A bad day for the tube

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Underground - tube

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We used the tube only a little bit. For one thing, the day we got there the tube folks were on strike. For another, you can't see anything stuck down in there. And for a third thing it's often very crowded. But it is quick and efficient if all you want to do is get quickly from one place to another.

    We came back from the theatre on Friday night on the tube, and we left London to go out to the suburbs to have our daughter pick us up by tube. This ticket - one trip all the way out to West Ruislep was about £3.50 but it meant that our daughter didn't have to come all the way into the city to get us. She didn't want to drive in the city, and it was much quicker for us to ride out to meet here. I understand there is now an extra fee for driving into London.

    Goodge Street Station
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