"Tube sign & station hunting (overground)" Underground, Tubes & Trains Tip by Trekki

Underground, Tubes & Trains, London: 37 reviews and 93 photos

  Westminster Tube Sign, direction Whitehall
by Trekki
  • Westminster Tube Sign, direction Whitehall - London
      Westminster Tube Sign, direction Whitehall
    by Trekki
  • South Kensington Station - London
      South Kensington Station
    by Trekki
  • South Kensington Station - London
      South Kensington Station
    by Trekki
  • Russell Square Station (next to R.S. Hotel) - London
      Russell Square Station (next to R.S. Hotel)
    by Trekki
  • Turnham Green Station, look at these cute roofs - London
      Turnham Green Station, look at these cute roofs
    by Trekki

London?s world famous tube alone is worth many tips which don?t deal at all with its main purpose, the transport. One of them certainly is some of the tube signs which lead us down under the ground of London. The tube is the oldest underground railway in the world with its first train (steam locomotive) operating January 10, 1863 between Paddington and Farringdon as Metropolitan Railway. The network was subsequently expanded, first by several private and independent companies and only 1933 all merged to form ?London Transport?. Many of the old stations are still in use and many of the old signs are still there and blend perfectly into London?s magnificent mix of architecture.
The main architects (amongst others) of the old days? stations were Leslie Green and Charles Holden. Leslie Green was famous for the dark red glossy tilework and the bowlike windows of his stations? façades, like Russell Square (photo 4, opened in 1906). Wikipedia has a whole list of the stations which were designed by him. London Transport Museum?s shop also sells a book about him and his stations. The other one, however lesser noticed architect was Charles Holden, but maybe as he has designed also other than tube station buildings.

It is fascination to tour through London and look for these old stations (even if I realised only at the end of my 2 weeks trip that I should have devoted more time for exploration). The one I found most fascinating was South Kensington Station, exit Old Brompton Road (photo 3) with its wrought iron design. It still has the old sign for Metropolitan & District Lines (photo 2), which was the second line to operate in London in 1868. And I also loved my ?home base? station Turnham Green (opened 1877), west of London (District and Piccadilly Line stop here), as it still has the old wood carved roofs at the platform (photo 5). The ones at Turnham Green are painted white and blue, as they are at the next one to the east, Stamford Brook. Ravenscourt Park?s roofs, the station further to the east, is painted white and orange. I sat at the platform quite often and imagined how it would have been at the early days of tube operation. The scenery would have been similar, only replace us modern dressed passengers with the old style ones :-)
I also loved the sign leading underground next to Houses of Parliament (main photo). It looks so cute with the spire on top. This, by the way, is the entrance to Westminster Station which is closest to the very much stylish loos (tip yet to be written under local customs).

If you are interested in the development of London?t underground, I can highly recommend to visit Doug Rose?s website, a fascinating and detailed one with emphasis on the Leslie green?s tilework inside the platforms. If you scroll down in the left side navigation, there is a menu ?Journey through time?, which has animated maps with the tube lines for each year starting 1863.

Address: (all over in London)
Directions: Located Throughout the City.
Website: https://tfl.gov.uk/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 13, 2008
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Comments (1)

  • King_Golo's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2015 at 6:14 AM

    Sounds like an interesting pastime! I'll be on the lookout for tube signs and designs the next time I visit this great city.

    • Trekki's Profile Photo
      Jul 26, 2015 at 8:05 AM

      Oh yes, please do so. If you are on the famous FB we shall connect because Sarah constantly posts funny tube things on my wall :-)

    • King_Golo's Profile Photo
      Jul 26, 2015 at 11:47 PM

      I am, just look out for me under my real name (which, to make it a little cryptic, is a combination of the second half of my VT name and the last name of Angie's pre-pre-predecessor.)


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