Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Underground, Overground, Wherever We Be? - 2

Back in 2015, it was a revised Underground (plus Overground and Docklands) map that excited the Independent ...
... but which passed fbb by completely. In various blogs, fbb has expressed the view that the "traditional" Tube map (effectively now a TfL map of their set of things on rails) was beginning to lose its value.

Although the London rail scene is two separate networks grudgingly glued together - it really should be properly merged into a single unified service.

Unlike yesterdays Connections map which showed the underground plus all "national rail routes", this remains a TfL only offering with one odd exception.
Great Western Railway's branch between West Ealing and Greenford is included. It is not one of TfL's toys! It comes complete with a four car "Turbo" DMU to carry the crowds.
In the same area we see an attempt to highlight the ludicrous anomaly of premium fares on two routes to Heathrow ...
... although the Elizabeth Line (with an opening date similar in reliability to the oft-promised arrival of Billy Bunter's postal order!) will have a different sort of premium from Heathrow Express which will remain a huge and painful rip off for folk who don't know any better.

For the record, here are HEx prices ...
... whilst the much slower Piccadilly line is £6 cash, £5.10 peak with Oyster, £3.10 off peak ditto. The Elizabeth Line is to be £12.10 peak (presumably with Oyster) which looks like the £5.10 Piccadilly fare plus £6 "premium".

But at least this new map warns you clearly!

So who is "Sameboat"?

All that is known about Sameboat is the sketchy information that can be gleaned from their Wikipedia profile page. The page says that Sameboat is a 32-year-old Chinese who was born in Hong Kong and speaks Cantonese, English and Mandarin.

One of Mr Boat's (or Mr Same) "good things" is that hhe has tackled the quality of interchanges with more sense than the recent TfL production. There are conventional "blobs" for supposedly "official" interchanges ...
... but he retains the British Rail (National Rail) double arrow for TfL's Overground. The service is NOT part of National Rail but Notwork Rail still runs the tracks. Note also that Shepherds Bush is shown as a "normal" interchange but the stations are not joined in any way.

You leave the Underground ...
... cross a busy road to the right of the above picture ...
... and join the Overground. Unofficial "connections" are shown, not as a blob, but as a single line, as here at Wood Lane/White City.
Here the interchange is similar to that at Shepherds Bush!

Some of the links are "challenging". The map offers West Ruislip to Ickenham.
Perhaps not? You leave West Ruislip station ...
... trek down the High Road ...
... trek some more down the High Road ...
... until you come to what might be the "centre" of Ickenham.
High Road becomes Long Lane (very appropriate!) and still you trek on.
Gasping for breath you maybe ;lucky to espy a left hand turn ...
... down Glebe Avenue
And there, at last, you will find Ickenham Station.
It is getting on for a mile's walk!

fbb's perennial complain, Elephant and Castle, is a horrible interchange, especially when the shopping "mall" is closed, yet still appears as an "easy" link.
The Bakerloo's initial extension to Lewisham is shown, but after yesterday's very painful financial news about Crossrail, this project seems increasingly "aspirational".
Note the "walk" line between New Cross and New Cross Gate. It is hard to see who would want to make the connection unless they had boarded the wrong Overground train.
... as trains run to/from the same set of destinations from both stations.

Despite these niggles, it is good to see a better attempt as interchange quality than that offered by TfL. More work needs to be done, but there is much potential in the Sameboat ideas.

But there are other changes from the "normal" diagram - which we will explore tomorrow.

Festive Tunnel!
Regular blog readers will remember the huge success of the Bude Tunnel.
Linking the shop entrance to the car park "round the back" it is reputed to be the longest pedestrian tunnel in Cornwall, possibly in the West of England.

Well now, Sainsbury's have taken the opportunity of this "trending" visitor attraction to add a few festive lights.
But not just any old Christmas lights. These change colour ...
... with swirling patterns scrolling along the arched walkway.
Magnificent. But hurry! The lights will only remain until 13thDecember (Why so short?). As the headline writers would say, they are Bude-iful!


 the planned Christmas Market blog will now appear on Friday 
The last writer to be included in the "official" Old Testament was (probably) the prophet Malachi. He penned his passages in about 442BC. This huge gap in Biblical History is filled with more bleak times for God's people with a successful revolt against invaders by a guy called Judas Maccabaeus.

In the end his revolt failed and the Holy Land was occupied by (amongst others) the Seleucids (Greeks) and then the Romans.

Various groups struggled to keep the Jewish faith alive but it was generally a dark and depressing time.

But throughout these grim times the hope of a saving Messiah remained in the consciousness of God's people.

But nothing happened.

Then, about 5 BC by modern reckoning something weir happened in a small community called Nazareth ...
... just to the west of the Sea of Galilee (or Lake Tiberias, as the Romans would prefer).

A girl, possibly as young as 14, but certainly no older than 16, met and Angel.
He (it??) didn't have wings - angels never do when they appear on earth - and there is no evidence that he wore white of glowed as if irradiated by some nuclear accident. He may have appeared as an ordinary "bloke" like Clarence Odbody in the heart-warming film "Its a Wonderful Life".
Clarence is on the right.

Most accounts in recent years of people who claim to have met Angels will tell you they were ordinary "blokes" but with a special "something" that made them feel "out of this world".

God sent the angel Gabriel to a town in Galilee named Nazareth. He had a message for a young woman promised in marriage to a man named Joseph, who was a descendant of King David. Her name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, “Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!”


Mary was deeply troubled by the angel's message, and she wondered what his words meant. The angel said to her, “Don't be afraid, Mary; God has been gracious to you."

Then followed the bombshell!
The story of CHRISTmas has begun.
 Next cartographic blog : Thursday 13th December 


  1. "... but he retains the British Rail (National Rail) double arrow for TfL's Overground. The service is NOT part of National Rail but Notwork Rail still runs the tracks."

    Much as TfL would like you to think otherwise their Overground services ARE very much part of the National Rail network, both in terms of fares and ticketing and the fact that Network Rail are responsible for the track (except for a section of the old East London Line under the river as this was formerly part of the Underground). TfL, however, would like you to think of it as, effectively, part of the Underground and have removed the double arrow symbol from any stations that are not also served by other rail companies to persuade you.

  2. To reinforce Daddysgadgets comments - in which fbb has neatly fallen into TfL's bear trap - London Travelwatch (a statutory 'consumer interest' body) has been known to protest at TfL's pretence that Overground is not part of National Rail. And it does bring responsibilities in terms of ticket retailing that TfL seem to be reluctant to embrace.
    Oh, and another fact correction: the Greenford trains are two car class 165s. The truncation of the line at West Ealing has seen a catastrophic loss of passengers, according to the station use figures published this week.

  3. Thanks both for your corrections and comments.

  4. Rumour has it that the Greenford line might be taken over by Chiltern.

  5. The DfT's report on consultation for the Great Western franchise poured cold water on the earlier suggestion of transferring the Greenford branch to Chiltern. They concluded that the unit could be operated just as easily from GWR's Reading depot as from Chiltern's Wembley depot.