Saturday, 13 March 2010

"London Underground" Revisited...

Hi all. Today, myself and my girlfriend were in London on a weekend away and, rather than trawl above ground on the tightly-packed Buses or over-charging Taxi's, we took the best option; London Underground! I have long been a fan of the Underground system...in opinion theres no better way to get around London...shame its so far down! Anyway, today, after checking earlier, I knew of alot of closures due to Engineering Works on various Tube lines. In particular, a very dissapointing closure was the complete lack of services on the Circle Line, the best for City Centre travel in my opinion so, at the last minute, I had to find an alternative route. After our coach dropped us off at Marble Arch, we descended the steps into the Underground station of the same name, and purchased our Day Rider tickets (Zone 1 only). Marble Arch, only served by the Central Line, was relatively quiet and we soon descended into the depths. The heat in the Underground platform sections is sometimes overwhelming, meaning that, on the arrival of every train, the created-draft is very welcome! Boarding a service, we quickly headed down through the darkness to Tottenham Court Road; 2 stops along the tracks. Here, the Northern Line is also accessible and, as it was still running, we changed trains. However, the first train that arrived was so full that we had to catch the next but, "No Worry", theres only a 1-minute time gap!...
Although the ride is sometimes bumpy and starting & stopping is rather sharp, the Underground is quite a nice way to travel. Theres nothing to see of course, due to the surrounding gloom, but windows are still provided in the stock...in this case, 1995-built. The 'Charring Cross Branch' of the Northern Line took us a further 3 stops through the darkness, at which point we reached our desired destination; Embankment. Here, we departed the Underground and the feel of the cool air on our faces again was one that was greatly appreciated! (Too much warm air in the tunnels!). After walking around Westminster, St.James Park and up to Buckingham Palace, we headed back down the Mall towards Charring Cross. There, we boarded the Tube again, this time on the well-known Bakeloo Line (now re-opened following more Engineering Work), for the run up to what is seemingly the busiest street in London; Oxford Street (served by Oxford Circus tube station). We'd now finished our journeys on the Tube for this visit to London...walking back up to Marble Arch along the hugely-lengthy Oxford Street...passing countless shops and thousands upon thousands of people along the way!
With it's first section opening in 1863, the London Underground has provided the UK Capital with fantastic service throughout its existence. The system now totals 11 different lines and serves 270 different stations, throughout the City. In total, there is 250 miles of track...how fantastic! It must have been an absolutely astonishing feat of engineering to produce this system...London would not be the same without it! So, next time you're heading to an attraction or even just heading home via The Tube, give it a little though...it really is a remarkable system and, without it, your journey would be much more congested and time-consuming. Well, at 6:30pm our Coach picked us up and our seats aided our aching feet and burning muscles! (Its amazing how far you walk in London!). Now its off to the Europa Gatwick hotel for an overnight stay...thats all for now! Thanks For Reading All, Goodnight...

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