091/270: #Borough – The Lifts

According to TfL there are 184 passenger lifts across the network. Many of these survive from the very first tube lines built in the first decade of the 20th century, namely the Northern, Piccadilly and Bakerloo.

The first escalator wasn’t installed on the Underground until 1911 at Earl’s Court so every deep level station built prior to this would have had lifts.

As anyone frequenting Covent Garden will tell you (a station whose lifts have to move up to 80,000 people a day), lifts are incredibility inefficient at coping with large passenger flows and therefore most of those early tube stations in busy Central London locations have now had escalators installed in their place.*

Look out for the cylinder aloft Borough station with its accompanying concrete roundel, this now houses the lift equipment, replacing the original dome-like structure similar to that at Kennington (049).

Image copyright A Carter – CallingAllStations.co.uk

Station IndexEdit

090/270: #PiccadillyCircus – The Illuminations

As I’ve probably said before, there are a collection of stations where I already have the perfect cover picture in my mind. London Bridge (026) is was a great example, I knew exactly how I’d frame the shot, the roundel giving way to The Shard in the background.

At Piccadilly Circus I had a similar idea. Another roundel shot (there are no surface buildings so this is the only option) looking up at the main focus point of the Arrows of Eros,* which would sit prominently in the centre of the image. Behind the vision is illuminated by Piccadilly’s famous giant advertising boards, and I’ve framed it all just so to cut out most of the unruly hubbub of people bustling about.

Unfortunately none of what I just said happened.

None of the subway entrances sit in the right position to make Eros* look like anything other than an insignificant spec on the horizon. The billboards had been (I’d forgotten) turned off for renovation works and replaced by naff static banners on scaffolding, making the whole scene look like any other building site in London. The final kicker is the nasty city sightseeing ticket shed which photobombs any hope of salvaging a decent shot.

Still this project isn’t about capturing the idylls of London I have in my mind but more the reality. And the reality is that in mid April 2017, a crowded and illuminated Piccadilly was a bit disappointing.

*It’s not actually Eros, the Greek god of love and attraction, but Anteros the god of requitted love and avenger of unrequited love – which is naturally much more ‘London,’ but you all knew that right?…

Image copyright A Carter – CallingAllStations.co.uk

Station Index

089/270: #GreatPortlandStreet – The Nandos

Mark Mason, in his book Walk The Lines which I have recently be acquainting myself with, introduces a concept that every Londoner has a ‘personal tube line.’ That’s not just the line you live or work on, but more a fictitious line that would run through all the stations that have some personal meaning to you. It wouldn’t be geographically very useful, or even logical, but it would connect up all the points in London that you find significant or have influenced your life in someway.

I suppose my ‘personal tube line’ at the end of this challenge would by virtue mean it includes every station, but that just seems greedy, so for the sake of this thought experiment let’s ignore it.

Now I know after all of this you’re expecting Great Portland Street, visited all the way back in April, to have some grand emotional significance to me, but I must admit you’re probably going to be disappointing with the punchline. Hopefully however it will go someway to explain what Mark meant – some stations just start to get associated with common events, feelings, or activities.

Sitting in the middle of a traffic island at the top of it’s namesake at the junction with Euston Road, Great Portland Street is not the busiest of Central London stations. Below ground the platforms are lit with warm and inviting yellow lights which complement the soot stained girders and brickwork making you feel like you’re in a trendy whisky bar somewhere in Manhattan. This should be my ‘backup station’ (we all have one…), it being the 2nd closest stop to where I work. However it doesn’t really start to feature in feasible backup routes until both the Central and Victoria lines are broken, which *touches wood* happens infrequently. No, Great Portland Street holds significance to me for being a few doors up from the branch of Nandos I often (…OK, very often…) visit after work. Once laden with much chicken and spice, I’m too lazy to walk back to Oxford Circus (002) (even though this is probably a quicker route home), opting instead to take an S-Stock round to Liverpool Street (076)*. This has rather wonderfully meant that I associate Great Portland Street with chicken. I told you it wasn’t a great punch line.

*Or if I’m feeling particularly lazy and full of chicken I’ll wait for a H&C to cross platform interchange at Mile End…

Image copyright A Carter – CallingAllStations.co.uk

Station Index

‘Deeper Underground’ by In Return

I was just sent this link on Twitter of Deeper Underground by In Return and was completely mesmerised by it! Stop what you’re doing and watch…

We have a thing with tunnels. The underground of London is one of the most impressive infrastructures of the world. It’s a network that transports millions of people every day. Some call it hell. We see beauty.

The infinite tunnels pull us in with their symmetry. The ceiling lights guide our eyes to the horizon. The tiles and posters form patterns that please the eye. The echoes of rushing crowds, a flickering light, a train zooming by.

We’ve spent days in the underground looking for the most eye-catching tunnels and made this supercut, capturing the beautiful symmetry underneath the city surface.

Mastered by ALEX WHARTON from Abbey Road Studios.
Produced by LAUREN OSHEA


Original Source: In Return (Vimeo) >>