Tag Archives: video

Race The Tube: Can A Person Run Faster Than A London Underground Train?

If you haven't already watched the video above, do it now! It solves the age old question: "Can someone actually run faster than a tube train?" Want to find if they can?

Then watch as James Heptonstall races a circle line train between Mansion House and Cannon Street while his friend Noel Carroll stays on-board and films the dramatic conclusion.

Update: For an even more impressive feat watch as the same duo complete the even more ambitious run from Moorgate to St. James's Park to beat the train. Not to take anything away from achievement, but it should be noted they don't follow the circle route directly, but instead take the most direct route. Still pretty incredible it can be done.

Secrets of the DLR By Geoff Marshall

Not content to focus on just the tube, Geoff Marshall continues the wonderful secrets series with Secrets of the DLR. I especially like this video, not only because it focuses on the seldom discussed DLR, but also because I got to see it being filmed! (Any help I may have offered was minimal at best)

The video may only be 5 minutes long, but took over 5 hours to film. I don't want to ruin any of the magic but a lot of thought and effort goes into the editing process and several good bits had to be dropped to allow the whole thing to flow so well.

I won't spoil anything that's in the video, just watch it! However, as an added bonus here 5 photos I took on the day.

DLR-Ticket-Machine-Reboot

DLR Ticket Machine rebooting, seems it runs on Windows

DLR-Ticket-Machine-XP

Make that Windows XP

Tower-At-Tower-Gateway

Cool tower Spotted at that back entrance of Tower Gateway

Wrong-Abbey-Road

The very punny Abbery Road sign

Secret-Lift-Bank

The Secret DLR Lift at Bank

For all the other videos in the series visit:

Why Is It So Expensive To Build In London?

Ever wonder why it costs so much more to build in London compared any other city in the world? The video above from The Economist explains why.

A few of the reasons why London is the most expensive include:

  • Tunnels: London has more tunnels, including sewers, the Tube and Mail Rail, compared to other cities.
  • Bombs: There are still a worryingly large number of unexploded World War 2 bombs scattered all over London.
  • Archaeology: The Roman City of Londinium was founded almost 2,000 years ago and has been inhabited off and on ever since. Most major projects in the City require an archaeological dig as part of the building process.
  • Streets: Narrow streets make it difficult to access building sites and also build buildings with standard 90 degree angles.
  • The Planning System: To preserve London's historical character, different levels of government have all sorts of planning rules. These can include anything from conservation areas that specify what colour your front door has to be, to protected views of London's major sights such as St. Paul's and The Tower of London. Each restriction adds just that little bit more to the cost.

Despite the high costs I think they're worth the price of living in London. Given that there doesn't seem to be any shortage of new buildings going up, I'd say those doing the building agree.

You can read the full analysis on The Economist website here.

Why Is London’s Traffic So Bad? Jay Foreman Explains In Unfinished London

In episode 2 of Unfinished London, Jay Foreman tackles the history of the unbuilt 'Ringways' that would have surrounded London with not one but four! - M25 style motorways. Fortunately, this idea seemed as insane to Londoners back then as it does to us today.

In his usual comedic style Jay looks at:

  • How London was not designed for the car.
  • How he can run faster than London traffic.
  • The Abercrombie (aka Greater London) plan.
  • Where the Ringways would have gone.
  • Why we only ended up with the M25.
  • The evidence you can see today for the unbilt sections of motorway.
  • Why north London is better than south London.
  • What would have to happen to make the South circular happen today.
  • Why the Westway was built and how its construction helped halt further building.
  • And finally how all this affects our roads and traffic planning today.

So why is London's traffic so bad? Well to put it simply, Londoners would prefer to have walkable streets and use public transit than drive on large motorways. This may be a pain if you're a car owner, but it is a far better alternative than the proposed 'Ringways' of the 60s and 70s.

For more Unfinished London watch episode 1, episode 3 part 1 and episode 3 part 2.

Every Tube Station Song By Jay Foreman

I think the video above is the perfect silly Sunday video. What better way to cure your hangover than listening to Jay Foreman sing the names of all 270 tube stations?

Yesterday, I featured the first of Jay Foreman's amazing Unfinished London videos. However, Jay is actually better known as a musical comedian and you can find out more about him from his website.

You can also watch some of his other videos:

Unfinished London episode 1: Answering the question 'Why does Mill Hill East exist?'

Unfinished London episode 3 (part 1): Answering the question 'Why does London have so many airports?'

Unfinished London episode 3 (part 2): Which doesn't really answer the any questions about the future of London's airports.

Now, you may have noticed I don't have a link to Unfinished London episode 2; that's because it's a video better suited to a Monday morning.

Why Does Mill Hill East Exist? Jay Foreman Explains in Unfinished London

Ever wonder why Mill Hill East station exists? Well in the first episode of the Unfinished London video series, Jay Foreman takes a look at the Northern Heights plan. While the video was originally published over 4 years ago, I'm hoping you may not have seen it. But even if you have, it's worth a second viewing.

Far from being a boring history lesson, Jay instead looks at the more humorous aspects of London's quixotic approach to planning. Just a few of the gems you'll see in the video:

  • Evidence of a former railway you can see on Google Earth.
  • Revealing footage of Dr. Beeching.
  • A bunch of bridges over nothing.
  • Clues as to where the new line would have gone.
  • Why a certain useless bus stop exists on the A41.
  • The Green Belt's role in all this.
  • How a poster destroyed the very area it was designed to promote.
  • Why all houses in suburbia look the same.
  • What Bushey Heath station might have looked like.
  • Why any attempt to complete the Northern Heights plan today, would mean Jay's grandmother would be forced from her home.
  • Finally see Jay run down the middle of the M1.

You can also watch some of Jay's more recent videos answering the questions of Why Does London Have So Many Airports? and What is the future of London's airports?

Secrets of the Waterloo and City Line By Geoff Marshall

Today is the final Secrets of the Underground video in the series. In this video Geoff Marshall looks at the Waterloo and City Line, the Tube's shortest. Now you'd think there wouldn't be too many secrets on such a short line, but Geoff's been very sneaky and manages to uncover the following:

It's too bad there aren't more tube lines to include in this series, but like me perhaps Geoff can now focus on the Overground and the DLR for his next videos.

You can read my account of the Waterloo and City line here: Waterloo & City Line – Walk And Tube Station Visits

You can also watch all the other Secrets of the Underground videos in the series here:

Secrets of the Metropolitan Line By Geoff Marshall

In this video Geoff Marshall looks at secrets of the Metropolitan Line, the oldest on the network. Some of these include:

  • The furthest station from London.
  • The station that will soon be removed from the Underground map.
  • The secret exit that leads to a forest.
  • The point where steam trains used to run on the underground.
  • The original features you can spot at Uxbridge station.

For other wonderful videos in this series please visit:

Secrets of the Circle Line By Geoff Marshall

In this video Geoff Marshall decides to take a trip around the Circle line, only to end back where he started. Along the way he uncovers some trivia and secrets such as:

  • The Bermuda triangle of tube stations.
  • The station who's tiles revel former train services.
  • Where you can find a memorial plaque to a deceased station cat.
  • The drain cover that reveals when London Underground HQ was built.
  • The narrow house that blocks the railway.
  • The station with not 1 but 2 hidden platforms.

Circle line not enough for you? Well you can also watch the other videos in this series: