Steam Train Along The Original Underground Route – Tube 150

Steam Train at Baker StreetSteam Train at Baker Street Station from reddit user garethashenden

See what the tube would have looked like 150 years by watching a steam train (Met Locomotive No 1) pass through each of the Underground’s original stations.

If you read this blog, you are no doubt aware that on January 13, 2013 steam returned to the Underground for the first time in almost 50 years as part of London Underground’s 150th Anniversary.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a ticket for the ride itself and didn’t really feel like making the trek down to one of the stations.

However, London being London and the Tube being the Tube, it seems there was little need for me to go. Below I’ve collected some Youtube videos of the steam train passing through the Underground’s original stations.

The journeys last weekend actually started at Kensington Olympia and ended at Moorgate, but since this is the 150th anniversary of the opening of the original section of the Underground I thought I’d focus on that. Enjoy:


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Bakerloo Line Underground Stations – Facts, Trivia And Impressions

This post is part of my Randomly London v. The Tube Challenge. Get the latest about challenge updates here. Donate to Bowel Cancer UK here.

Closed Assistance and tickets booth at South Kenton
Closed Assistance and ticket office at South Kenton. Miles away from Oxford Circus.

The Bakerloo line is the third London Underground line I’m tackling as part of my Randomly London V. The Tube Challenge. Heading from south of the Thames at Elephant & Castle to the suburban edges of north-west London up at Harrow & Wealdstone, the line – like almost all Underground lines – connects some very diverse parts of London together.

However, the line feels like the forgotten middle child of the London Underground. It doesn’t go the furthest north or south and it isn’t the newest or oldest, longest or shortest. In fact, it’s the third least used line it terms of total passenger volume, although if you look at passengers per mile of track, it’s actually the fourth most used.

The line even went into massive retreat between 1979 and 1982 when it lost the Stanmore branch to the Jubilee line and had services withdrawn so Stonebridge Park became the line’s northern terminus. Nevertheless, the forgotten middle child of lines has come back a bit since then and has some interesting stations.

Here’s a brief summary of my impressions of each of the 25 stations that currently make up the Bakerloo Line.

Elephant & Castle

Elephant & Castle Bakerloo Exit a classic Leslie Green station
Elephant & Castle Bakerloo line exit – classic Leslie Green.

Impressions: Elephant & Castle is one of those parts of London that will never look good, no matter what scheme the council, developers or mayor’s office devise. The roundabout is designed only for cars and pedestrians are left as an afterthought.

Once you accept these facts, then the area isn’t so bad. Murals in the subways brighten up what would otherwise be very drab concrete walls. The Strata building is interesting and impressive.

And, the Bakerloo platforms are best accessed through a classic Leslie Green red brick entrance. Thus, if you’re a glass half-full kind of person there are some good points to the area that go at least partly mitigate the glaring negatives.

Random Fact: In 1924, the first recorded birth on the London Underground occurred at Elephant & Castle. There has been only 1 other since then. Tweet This

Tube Nerd Fact: The furthest south of Leslie Green’s Tube stations. Tweet This

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52 Great London Blog Posts Plus One Book From The Past Month

Old Eurostar sign and building at Waterloo

This is the second of my irregular looks at great London blog posts from the past month. Overall, the past month has seen a huge output of great writing and content. Below are just a few of the highlights for me.

Special Mentions

London’s Lost Pneumatic Railways – Ian Mansfield (of IanVisits fame) has written a short Kindle ebook about a forgotten aspect of London’s transport heritage.

Bomb Sight – Maps every bomb dropped on London during the Blitz. See if your address was hit.

Transport for London Urban Design – Just discovered this gem of a website. Looks at all design aspects of TFL’s offerings. The undeniable highlight is the inventory of all listed buildings and structures owned or operated by TFL.

An Edwardian Advent Calendar – Ian from IanVisits looks at ads from 100 years ago. Some highlights so far include: Scrubb’s Ammonia, Foot’s Bath Cabinet, His Master’s Voice, A Motion Photograph of Yourself and my favourite Wolsey Wool Underwear. Fascinating to see the difference in what things are advertised and how it’s done compared to now.


Final Section Of Overground Network Opens In South London – London’s second ‘circle line’ opens for business.

London private rents up by a third in three years – Dave Hill has a look at the very worrying statistic.

Fares To Rise By More Than Inflation For Next Ten Years – As if rising rents weren’t bad enough…


This section should really just be titled ‘Diamond Geezer and the Tube’ since almost all the posts come from him. One of London’s best bloggers.

Out of station interchanges – Diamond Geezer looks at how long it takes to transfer between stations – that while close to each other – require exiting one and entering the other.

Tube Waiting Times – Mind The Gap – Diamond Geezer looks at how long you may have to wait for a train at some of the more far flung stations, plus the circle line.

No change – Diamond Geezer looks at places where lines cross but there is no interchange.

Chameleon stations – Diamond Geezer looks at which stations are busier at the weekends rather than weekdays.

Nice view – Diamond Geezer looks at some of the best views from the Tube.

The Circle line goes east – Diamond Geezer looks at a little know fact about the circle line.

Mark Lane – Diamond Geezer looks at Mark Lane, one of the lesser known ghost stations.

The platform tiles at Aldgate East – Number 66 of 150 Great Things About The Underground.

The old entrance to Highbury & Islington – Number 67 of 150 Great Things About The Underground.

The river over Sloane Square – Number 69 of 150 Great Things About The Underground.

The escalators at Angel – Number 70 of 150 Great Things About The Underground.

The interior of Westminster – Number 71 of 150 Great Things About The Underground.

How to take your appendix out on the Piccadilly Line – From the The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok found via The Great Wen.

Old Posters from “Ghost Station” Euston at new Exhibition – Annie Mole gives you the details.

The Overground Orbital Loop – Diamond Geezer claims the world record for going around it in 1 hour 40 minutes 40 seconds.

The End of an Era on the South London Line – London Reconnections says goodbye to the South London Line, which has been removed from service due to the Overground extension.

London Underground Stamps & £2 Coin – A preview of the new stamps and coin to commemorate 150 years of the Tube next year.

Walking Overground South – Diamond Geezer walks the new section of the Overground in South London in 4 parts. Read parts 2, 3, 4. This new service also removes the old parliamentary train that used to run between Kensington Olympia and Wandsworth Road.

Tube Map Circuit Board – Working Radio – Mapping London look at a very unique tube map.

Dangleway Data – Not the tube or rail, but it’s on the tube map – Diamond Geezer has a look at passenger numbers for the Emirates Air Line.


Roman Road Market – Diamond Geezer has a look around.

The Shops of Old London – Amazing photos – as always – from Spitalfields Life.

First In Store – Diamond Geezer looks at the original locations of many of today’s high-street stalwarts. Turns out I used to live down the road from the very first Sainsburys.

London Winter Markets For 2012 – The Londonist tells you all about them.

London Life

Shit London Awards 2012 – Looking at the very worst of London.

Eel Pie Island – thelondonphile looks around this unique artists community.

Ask A Black Cab Driver: The Swedish Cabbie – The Londonist looks at the only Swedish national to have ever passed the knowledge.

Eleanor Crow’s East End Cafes – Highlights illustrator Eleanor Crow’s work, focusing on East End Cafes.


The Streets of Old London – More amazing photos of London’s old streets from Spitalfields Life.

Kentish Town Road – Birthplace of the Laptop – Little known connection between Kentish Town and the laptop.

A Christmas Carol’ London Locations – A View From The Mirror looks at locations from the famous Dickens work.

A Walk Through Time In Spitalfields – blends together old and new photographs of the East End, from the always outstanding Spitalfields Life.


Tower Bridge to get a glass floor – Ian has a look at the plan.

London Tunnels – The Londonist includes photos of some of the various tunnels around London.

In Pictures: The Kings Cross Clock Tower – London Reconnections has a look at the clock tower that’s about to get a whole lot more visible.

Turkish Baths, Russell Square – Caroline’s Miscellany has a look a sign I’ve occasionally wondered about.

Wondering If Visiting Aldwych Station Is Worth £20? Watch This Video

One of the must see stops for London Underground buffs is the disused Aldwych Tube Station. All services to the station ceased in 1994, but TFL through the London Transport Museum still run periodic tours. However, they aren’t cheap. Full price tickets are £20 with concessions getting a massive £2 discount.

So is the tour worth £20? Well that depends on how much you like the tube. The video above comes from reddit user zzpza who visited on December 1, 2012. It gives you a good idea of what you can expert to see. zzpza adds that:

I took photos on the way down and video on the way up, so the video is only the way out from the second platform. The other platform had test tiling (test design) in a small part of it, some old advertising, an old tube map and a train from around the 90’s. I also didn’t record much from the entrance or ticket office. So there was more to look at. You were pretty free to wander as long as you stayed near the tour guides. We didn’t get to see any of the ‘non public’ parts of the station, but I have seen photos from other tours that have.

If Aldwych Tube Station is something you’d like to visit, make sure you head over to the London Transport Museum website to find out when the next set of tours are taking place.

Victoria Line Walk – From Walthamstow Central to Brixton

This post is part of my Randomly London v. The Tube Challenge. Get the latest about challenge updates here. Donate to Bowel Cancer UK here.

Buckingham Palace With FlowersBuckingham Palace, just one of the sights you can see along the Victoria line.

Amazingly enough the day of my Victoria line walk happens to be another sunny Saturday in September. I’ve decided walk the line in the reverse order from the station visitsWalthamstow Central to Brixton this time. Walking north to south is a deliberate decision; psychologically, it feels like you’re going downhill.

I set off out of the station at full speed along Selborne Road, passing an Asda and a passed out drunk, then walk parallel to Walthamstow High Street, where you can find Walthamstow Market – Europe’s longest daily outdoor market.

Walthastow Central Station
Walthamstow Central Station, the start of my walk

I decide against my normal better judgement to cut over to the High Street. Normally I avoid crowds whenever I can. I love living in big cities, except for having to deal with all the other people.

Global Markets & Reservoirs

Continue reading Victoria Line Walk – From Walthamstow Central to Brixton

Map Of Average Weekly Rent By Station Along The Victoria Line

Weekly rent by station along the Victoria line
Weekly rent by station along the Victoria line

This Victoria line map created by Rentonomy could not have come out at better time. It shows the average weekly rent at each station along the Victoria line. Prices reflect average 2-bed flats near to stations. The overall shape shouldn’t be too surprising for anyone who’s lived in London for more than a month.

The peak is at Green Park (£965 per week), just north of Buckingham Palace and the gateway to Mayfair. I am a little surprised to see that Oxford Circus and Victoria are almost the same price as you couldn’t pay me enough to live in the former. Also, I’m surprised Stockwell is more expensive than Brixton as I’d much rather live in the latter. At the far end of the line, Walthamstow (£193 per week) is by far the cheapest.

You can of course learn more about the Victoria line from my facts, trivia and impression page. Plus, stay tuned for more my post about my Victoria line walk coming soon.

Special thanks to Rentonomy for the use of their map.

TUBE TUBE Back2Work (4 of 7) – London Underground Short Film Series

Part 4 of TUBE TUBE’s Back2Work series. Seems the investigation is starting to unravel the truth. Very enjoyable acting, but I have to admit the plot isn’t really doing it for me. You can follow them on tiwtter @tubetubelondon, Like them on facebook and of course subscribe to their YouTube channel.