please empty your brain below

Perhaps they are keeping the old sign there for the future!, as I believe that by 2009 Hammersmith and City Line trains will terminate at Aldgate, and the Metropolitan line run through to Barking. This is to increase service frequency on the H&C line.

...and Surrey Docks has been called Surrey Quays since about 1989, too...

Anyone for the next train to Blake Hall? That station (which closed in...was it 1981 or 82?) was still shown on the Central line diagram at Bond Street until fairly recently...

But, as you say, hurrah for such unfit for purpose items


I fully agree with your sentiments - these station specific line diagrams are particular favourites of mine as they remind me of the Tube when I used to travel on it as child back in the 70s. I very much doubt that this sign (or indeed, any others of its like across the network) has been preserved as a heritage feature – it is more likely that TfL/LU’s station refurbishment team either haven’t looked at Barbican in detail yet or do not have the money available to turn it into something unpleasingly bland, as is happening at other locations across the network.

The entry for 15th October on Annie Mole’s Going Underground blog is inspired by another aspect of the tide of insipidness that is being forced upon the system – the removal of vending machines from platforms, as they are deemed to be ‘clutter’.

From a purely personal perspective, I find a platform that has acquired accessories in a random manner (almost organically, you could say) over its life far more aesthetically interesting than one that has been planned to an inch of its life, where everything is exactly where it should be in matching storage areas that are unnoticeable unless you are standing in front of them, where the poster frames are all the same, where the benches are identical and at the same height, the next train indicators blend into the background etc.

Yes, I’m describing your average Jubilee line extension station platform, but this isn’t a million miles away from how some of the recently refurbished older stations – especially ones that are subterranean - now ‘feel’. I give you St. John’s Wood or any of the Northern line stations south of the Claphams as an example.


Nah - blow that. Bring on the bladerunner futuristic feel.

What's the point of living in a technological age and having an ancient transport system in both look and use?

It depresses me to think that 99\\% of the transport experience in London is essentially the same as it was in the 70s.

And, with that, I'm off to catch the 88 ("Clapham Omnibus") and suffer my ridiculously cramped journey to Westminster.

Excellent article! Another very nice thing at Barbican station (along with its two excellent snackbars, one up one down) is the wonderful display of station history in a case on the wall, on the S side after you go through the barriers. Nice old photos and diagrams and text explanations. An ting. It's obviously a labour of love for someone who works there and I think it's just great, (a) that someone took the time and trouble to do all that work and (b) that it has not [yet] been lasered out of existence by some corporate-design wonk.

Even more of a giveaway to the sign's age : Rail connections are signed "British Rail", which again it hasn't been in a fair while...

Let's hope some jobsworth doesn't spot this blog!!

There, is, of course, a workaround:
Put up a sign declaring it a "heritage" feature, like what they've done at Chiswick.

It has to be said that some of the current station refurbishments, such as Oxford Circus and Regent's Park, involve the restoration/retention of heritage features.

Still feels a bit odd seeing very few adverts at RP though.

This reminds me of the disgraceful way in which London Transport (now *there's* a heritage name!) tries to protect 'copyright' of the tube map - even to the extent of threatening legal action against parodists.

I hope they don't make too much of a mess of Aldgate East, which used to be a lovely old fashioned station.

I don't see why an aesthetically pleasing heritage feel cannot be retained while introducing improvements and modern technology. A lot of mainline railway stations do this well for example. But that is New Labour for you.

Talking of 'Heritage' in connection with TfL, I heard something on R4 earlier saying there are still Routemasters running all the time as Heritage Routes on I think it was the Number 9 between thingy and watsit, and maybe another route as well.

I was only half listening as I was concentrating on avoiding an idiot motorist making a 3rd lane on a 2 lane road where there was solid traffic both ways at the time, so I wondered what you know about this?

dg writes: Heritage Routemasters have been running between thingy and watsit since they scrapped them on main bus routes.
As I reported 2 years ago
And they drive past my house every day too, on their way from/to the garage.

it all part of an evil plot to slow down and confuse London 2012 visitors... please DG, don't ruin the surprise!

Outside Temple station there is still a pre-Harry Beck tube map, with the appropriate warning that is is a heritage feature and a new map can be found inside.

If you look at the close-up, the Jubilee interchange at West Ham is there actually. It's been added by sticker.

What about the road network,dg?
Plenty of anachronisms here,apparently,albeit not misleading ones....

My personal favourite is a forlorn sign to Tilbury at the e.end of Alie St E1.

Marc said;
"..that is being forced upon the system – the removal of vending machines from platforms, as they are deemed to be ‘clutter’..."
I wondered why I'ne seen notices saying "this machine has been taken out of sevice" (or words to that effect)on some when I have gone to purchase a bar of chocolate while waiting for a train. I shall miss them.

I bet they're already working on a replacement. We had a similar museum piece on the footbridge at Bow Road which included a rectangular white blanking off piece between Aldgate East and Liverpool Street on the H&C Line (which was of course still Met Line maroon), suggesting that 'Aldgate' had been put there in error when new. Lonf gone thanks to Metronet and their 18-month "refurb" (sic).

There are a fair few 'error's still on display on LU station signs. Anyone know where "Putney Green" appears?

Sorry about the grocers' apostrophe (or is it singular being just one?).

I think "Putney Green" was on the District Line sign at Mile End, but as the station is being refurbished, not sure if its still there

Now you've gone and done it! I give it a month!

Hmmmm I'm going to be to be unpopular for this, but...

I think the primary reason for signage and maps has to be to correctly guide the users of the system. I'm all for preserving heritage and not wiping it away just for the sake of modernism and cost, but what about those unfamiliar users of the system who follow that nostalgic and yet wholly inaccurate map?

It is still there at Mile End...

And so was Upmin*i*ster Bridge (which at least matches the staffs' pronunciation...

The East London Line will vanish completely in December, so they're probably holding on until then - there'll be a lot of new maps needed after London Overground kicks in next month.

Some of the Victoria line stations in Zone 1 still seem to have line diagram posters on the platforms that date from opening - they use a circle with a dot in the centre to mark a British Rail interchange.

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