please empty your brain below

I'll kick off with my verdict on Central line trains.

The seats aren't bad, the upholstery is well designed and the cushioned seating right at the end of each carriage is almost comfortable. But the ceiling's rather low, the standing area is cramped and narrow, and it's a right squash during the rush hour.


Met - 9/10 - Rather elegant for a tube.
Dis - 3/10 - Horrible, clattering rattling thing.
Bak - 5/10 - A bit noisy and old.

Are there really only 4 single doors on one side of a Met Line train? That seems too low. Anyway - I would also give the Met Line 9/10 - it's always realy cosy and warm in the winter (they don't make heaters like they used to) and the seating design is really comfortable - and they ends of some carriages have those flip-down seats too. Also - the carriages are tall - and not claustrophobic - even when the train is packed.

I'd rate the Met 9/10 as well. You bounce around a bit, but I enjoy that.

I'll be kind and give the Northern 7/10. The seats are comfy and the interior is pleasant, but the fold-down seats don't do what they intended (no-one gives them up for people with luggage or when the train is packed past crush capacity) and the Northern is the second-stuffiest line after the Victoria. Not the train's fault, admittedly.

Also, the name of the stock isn't necessarily the introduction date. Someone once told me that the 1996 stock was in service well before the 1995 stock.

There's some nice, shiny new stock on the District Line, these days.

Piccadilly line is unpleasent for standing in the aisles on trains, as they seem dramatically narrower than other similiar lines (bakerloo/victoria
orthen. As such, I always end up stepping on the toes of the girl wearing sandals.

Im surprised the stock is from '93 though. Thought it was just refurbed, as the foot-plates are still from 1967. Good recycling practice, perhaps?

In terms of the lines I use most:

Victoria Line - 6-7/10 off peak if you get the 4-seat arrangement to spread all your junk around on
Longitudinal seats are a bad idea when the trains get to high speeds on the faster bits - I have been physically deposited from my seat on a couple of occasions now as it bounces along.

Met/East London - 9/10. Big, roomy, rarely crowded and tolerable even when it is. Comfy high-backed seats which are good for dozing off in on freezing winter evening rush hour journeys back 'out'.

Circle/H&C: 2/10. Not enough seats, normally have to stand. Hot. Long periods stuck in tunnels going nowhere. It's easier to stand about if the train is moving. Jerky when in motion. Seats are too small and not terribly comfortable, and even if you do get a seat you tend to end up with standees and luggage hovering around you.

Waterloo & City: 6/10. Totally the wrong design for the line's usage pattern. They should take out the seats altogether and just have standing, with perhaps a few flip-down seats. Watching people walk towards the doorways with force into the walls of people crushed onto the train already - reminds me of lemmings. Sometimes they just "bounce" back out onto the platform again!

When I lived in London, one of the features of the lines' carriages that struck me was the grafitti-laden windows. I overheard two tube employees talking one day on a trip between Greenwich and London Bridge: they were remarking how frequently windows had to be replaced because of the grafitti, and how costly the replacements were. I wonder if this problem becomes invisible to people who use the tube everyday. Or perhaps I most often used lines on which grafitti was endemic.

Also...what do people think of the concept of public art installations in tube stations? Reference:

Cheryl, the scratch graf becomes invisible after a while. It's also all over the top deck of most buses too (on my route anyway).

I think the platform for art concept is great. What better a way to get art to people than the platforms we go to every day.

On the buses and trams at least they now apply a plastic film to the windows. The yobs etch that, the film is replaced, ta-da the etchings are GONE! Repeat cycle infinitely. It has done the trick in South East london - occasionally I would pass Catford garage on a bus, it would come into line with several buses parked next to each other inside the garage and I'd not be able to see out of the other side of the line of buses because of the etching. I notice this isn't the case anymore, so it must be working.

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