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Old November 22nd, 2005, 07:21 PM   #1
Tubeman
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Ask the Tubeman

To my knowledge I'm the only forumer in the Railway Industry

Anyone got any burning questions they've always wanted answered about London Underground?

In case you hadn't guessed from my username, I work for them... As a Manager of Train Drivers at Earl's Court, having formerly been a Driver and Guard myself.

*EDIT* BY POPULAR DEMAND, FIND BELOW FAQs LINKING TO POSTS WITHIN THIS THREAD (Work in progress!)

Why is the Northern Line so complicated?

How do I become a train driver?

Why do trains have to slow down for closed platforms? (Q2)

Why is there much less Underground presence south of The Thames? (Q3)

Will the Tube ever have driverless trains?

Why are trains so slow in the Aldgate / Algate East area?

Why is abolishing the Circle Line a good idea? Q2

Principle of 'first come first served' at junctions

Why are the Earl's Court destination boards blank until the last minute?

Where are the cross-platform interchanges on the Tube?

How the Circle Line came about

History of Heathrow branch

Guards cutting out the last set of doors

Origin of 'subway'

Advent of 2009 & S Stocks

Why can't the DLR at Bank be extended over the Waterloo & City Line?

Why don't the 95 & 96 stocks have big windows like the 92 stock?

The interesting history & operations of the Wimbledon Branch

What is a Signal failure, why is it so disruptive, and what is 'Regulating'?

How many carriages does each line run?

The re-opening of the Broad Street viaduct

'Short' and 'Long' car lengths explanation

Did you ever have any defects or malfunctions as a driver?

Why doesn't the Tube run Christmas Day?

Why did the Waterloo & City used to be shown as British Rail and why was Finsbury park to Moorgate shown on the Tube map?

Overhead vs 3rd / 4th rail electrification: pros & cons

Shortest and longest distance between stations

The defunct role of 'Guard' (photos not working)

Brief explanation of PPP

Early history of the Piccadilly Line

Why is the District Line depicted differently in C and D Stocks?

Best v Worst lines (2006)

Wimbledon Branch signalling & Dot matrix problems

For posterity, the first copy of the first edition of my book

Why Tube trains are not aerodynamic

Why the Central Line tracks swap over between Shepherd's Bush and East Acton (thanks to CharlieP)

Where do different lines share the same tracks?

Why are Subsurface lines slower than Tube lines?

Why the Central Line is so fast

Are drivers restricted to a single line, and what are the grey sphere shapes at the end of A Stock cars?

Driving parameters and boring runs

Deepest station / Longest escalators

History / constraints of the Waterloo & City Line, connections between the other lines

Connections between LU and NR

Why unstaffed trains aren't going to happen on the existing Tube lines

Did the Business Design Centre in Angel used to be railway station?

More than one station sharing the same name

How many lines are there in London? ...How long is a piece of string?! (thanks to Justme)

Why are the two Paddingtons shown separately on the Tube map?

Will the new Tube stocks have Air con?

Wheelchair accessibility

What happens if a driver doesn't show up? Do LU and NR pay each other for using each others tracks? Are there any underground sidings?

S Stock images

History & images of The Thames Tunnel

Greenwich & Woolwich foot tunnels

Origin of 'Waterloo' and 'Bakerloo'

Any 'ghost' Tube stations still visible?

Why did the 'ghost' stations close?

Doors closed proving, train announcements, and in-car dot matrix displays

How the Subsurface lines are drained & subterranean rivers (Q1), Was Lambeth North originally named Kennington Road? (Q2), The 19th Century DLR! (Q3), How do drivers handle 'one unders'? (Q4)

If the trains can't have air con, what about the stations?

Why do trains suddenly divert / terminate with little warning?

Why does LU even need a timetable?

Which is better? A simple straight line or a line with branches?

Why aren't the Northern and Jubilee Line grabrails line colour-coordinated like the other lines?

How were Tube tunnels constructed?

The origins of the line names

Tunnel dust / air quality, and where the dust comes from

Running vs Current rails, signalling track circuits, tripcocks & trainstops, and signal failures

ATO / ATP & Moving block

Are there any ghost stories from the Underground?

Why aren't all interchanges shown on the line maps inside cars?

Benefits of 'Connect' radio

History of 'Northern Heights'

Types of reversing points, and the Charing Cross and Wood Lane loops

Can a Tube train be the 'the wrong way around'?

Why the Olympia shuttle reverses at High St Ken, not Earl's Court

How / why are late-running SWT services instructed to run non-stop to Waterloo

My best / worst experiences as a driver
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Last edited by Tubeman; January 25th, 2009 at 02:25 PM.
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 07:31 PM   #2
Alargule
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Why is the Northern line so complicated?
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 07:38 PM   #3
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lol hmmmm are the d stock EVER going to get more than like 3 refurbished?
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 07:50 PM   #4
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wtf is the tube?
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 08:21 PM   #5
Bitxofo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubeman
To my knowledge I'm the only forumer in the Railway Industry

Anyone got any burning questions they've always wanted answered about London Underground?

In case you hadn't guessed from my username, I work for them... As a Manager of Train Drivers at Earl's Court, having formerly been a Driver and Guard myself.
There is a Spanish forumer from Barcelona that is a light metro conductor. And some other Spanish forumers working for Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia metros.
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Εγώ είμαι ο Νταβόρ!!
David (DavoR for my friends)
川添 Kawazoe (riverside) 海斗 Kaito (big dipper of the ocean), in Japanese.
Yo si la ciudad no tiene metro, como que no es gran ciudad y entonces ya paso de vivir allí. Norreport+12000
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 08:56 PM   #6
JDRS
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Yes I have a question. When will the metropolitan line trains get replaced and what with?
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 09:02 PM   #7
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How do I become a Train Driver?


I was speaking to someone about my future...he said I should look at train driving...because it's easy, and you get paid alot.
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 09:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDRS
Yes I have a question. When will the metropolitan line trains get replaced and what with?
They are supposedly going to have a common subsurface stock replacement for the A C and D stock and they need it (well the C stock is doing ok especially with the relatiely recent refurbihsment) No clue about other details though. I refer all other questions to mr tubeman
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 12:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alargule
Why is the Northern line so complicated?
Its formed from 2 separate lines, hence the two Central London branches

Part of it is the World's first Electric Underground railway; The City & South London railway opened in 1890 between Stockwell and King William Street (now closed). The Northern Line between Stockwell and Borough was part of this original line. Through extensions North and South the City & South London eventually ran from Euston in the North (via King's X, Angel, Moorgate etc) to Clapham Common in the South.

The other part of the Northern Line was originally the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (better known as "The Hampstead Tube"), which opened in 1907 from Charing Cross to Camden and then with two northern branches to Golders Green and Highgate (= Archway).

It was decided to unify the lines and build the "missing links" as well as extend the line significantly... From Golders Green the line was extended to Edgware, from Clapham Common it was extended to Morden and the link from Euston (Bank Branch) to Camden and from Charing Cross to Kennington. The entire line, which now ran from Morden via bank or Charing Cross to Edgware or Highgate, was inaugrated in 1926 but originally named the "Edgware - Highgate" Line; the "Northern" title was not assumed for another 10 years or so.

The other main development was the 1940 extension beyond Highgate (now Archway) to High Barnet and Mill Hill East (1941), both taking over existing Main Line suburban routes.

If you think its complex now, bear in mind the Great Northern & City Line (between Finsbury Park and Moorgate, now owned & operated by the Main Line) was also once part of the Northern Line, and the works that extended the line to Barnet and Mill Hill were intended to eventually provide additional services to Alexandra Palace, Edgware via Mill Hill east, beyone Edgwaye to Bushey Heath and also between east Finchley and Finsbury Park.

Here's a good link

I'll draw a diagram on "paint" in a sec to show how crazy the Northern Line would have ended up.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 12:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_storms
lol hmmmm are the d stock EVER going to get more than like 3 refurbished?
Yes, we're up to 4

We should start receiving a steady stream of 1 per fortnight now, so with 90 trains to replace we're looking at perhaps 2 another years
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 12:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Accura_Preston
wtf is the tube?
Iron dragons that run by magick on rails of steel under the ground

No go outside accy, I think your horse needs feeding
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 12:53 AM   #12
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Thanks for the offer Tubeman.

1) What is happening to the ON network? Will they ever treat this more than a publicity stint? Maybe one day incorporate it into the Underground Map (Afterall, they were claiming metro like frequencies, or near)

2) Why does it take London Underground (and National Rail for that matter) so long to build extensions, when Madrid pulls them off cheaper and faster?

3) Why can't I find Walford on the London Underground map. I see them at the station in Eastenders?
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 01:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDRS
Yes I have a question. When will the metropolitan line trains get replaced and what with?
By "S Stock", a universal stock common to all of the "Sub-Surface" Lines (Metropolitan, District, Circle, Hammersmith & City).

I believe the timetable is as follows:

2007 - Metropolitan Line A Stock replaced by 8-car sets of S Stock
2010 - Circle and H&C Line C Stocks replaced by 6-car sets of S Stock
2012 - District Line D Stocks replaced by 7-car sets of S Stock

I've seen a rendering and they look basically like the new Southern Electrostars:



Presumably with more / wider doorways
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 01:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddyk
How do I become a Train Driver?


I was speaking to someone about my future...he said I should look at train driving...because it's easy, and you get paid alot.
Yes it is easy and yes you do get paid a lot. £40k is pretty standard on the Main Line.

On the Tube we pay £36k but with better conditions (free travel in London, 75% discount on a Mainline season ticket of your choice, 8 weeks Annual Leave).

On the Tube we no longer directly recruit Drivers, only platform staff (i.e. all Drivers appointed now were platform staff first), so you'd have to apply for 'CSA' (Customer Service Assistant) and suffer £21k (with 10 weeks A/L!) whilst you wait for Driver to come up.

Main Line companies only seem to be interested in poaching ready-made Drivers off each other, but I think the only hope of entry is via Guard on routes which still have them.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 01:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme
Thanks for the offer Tubeman.

1) What is happening to the ON network? Will they ever treat this more than a publicity stint? Maybe one day incorporate it into the Underground Map (Afterall, they were claiming metro like frequencies, or near)

2) Why does it take London Underground (and National Rail for that matter) so long to build extensions, when Madrid pulls them off cheaper and faster?

3) Why can't I find Walford on the London Underground map. I see them at the station in Eastenders?
1) Nish. Its a PR stunt. Perhaps if Red Ken is given control over London's suburban network we'd then see some developments

2) That's the $64,000 question. Frustrating, aint it? Perhaps its because the EU takes our money in Northern Europe and chucks it at our Southern European cousins?

3) If you squint at "Watford" it becomes "Walford"
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 01:19 AM   #16
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When will the stations get better ventilation?
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 02:01 AM   #17
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Why do the stations outside of zone 6 still exist? Shouldnt they be handed over to mainline companies? (I mean, Chiltern already follows the met towards the outside part of its journey and noone really uses the outer central stations and the loop which is only open some times of the day)

Last edited by mr_storms; November 23rd, 2005 at 02:06 AM.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 02:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_storms
Why do the stations outside of zone 6 still exist? Shouldnt they be handed over to mainline companies? (I mean, Chiltern already follows the met towards the outside part of its journey and noone really uses the outer central stations and the loop which is only open some times of the day)
I think that eventually Chesham, Amersham etc will lose their London Underground service and Chiltern will take over. Its just a bizarre vestige from the former Metropolitan Railway and the fact that the route is owned by London Underground but has main Line services running on it.

A likely outcome would be that Watford will become the furthest outpost of the Metropolitan Line and the 'fast' tracks between Harrow and Moor Park would become Network Rail property.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 08:40 AM   #19
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have you ever had anyone attempt (or succeed) in suiciding in front of a train you were driving?
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 11:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
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have you ever had anyone attempt (or succeed) in suiciding in front of a train you were driving?
No, I was lucky. Nasty business
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