Posts Tagged ‘circle line’

London — By Andrea Kirkby on December 15, 2009 at 5:23 am
Filed under: circle line, featuredarticle, London Underground, public transport, tube

Round and round and round and round, for the last time

I promised myself I would take a trip all the way round the Circle Line before it stopped being a Circle. And I’ve done it.

Twice!

circle-line

I got on at Victoria, and went round. And round again.

It was quite an interesting trip. First of all, I was impressed by the timings. First time round; 61 minutes. Second time round; 58 minutes. That’s pretty smooth running considering the number of stations (27) and the length of the route (14 miles).

Secondly, I was intrigued by the differences in the stations. Westminster is the newest – a completely remodelled station that looks all stainless steel and glass, a bit like a cavernous restaurant kitchen. (I couldn’t help wishing it was better lit, though; it’s horrifically gloomy.) Other stations, like Edgware Road, have delightful Victorian cast iron canopies. Tower Hill is all stark white tile, while Farringdon is warm yellow stock brick (probably my personal favourite of all the stations, particularly on a sunny day, as this is one of the stations in an open cut, rather than a tunnel, and it’s double width to accommodate overground trains as well as the Tube).

I did also find out when I finally got out that I’d been charged £8. Fortunately I found a very helpful chap in the ticket office who scanned my Oyster card on his machine and said ‘Oh, I think you must have fallen asleep…’ He promptly made me a big refund on all the extra charges, so I only paid the regular amount. Bless him, I think he enjoyed the laugh.

I wasn’t aware that Oyster cards have a time limit on them – if you go past the limit, it assumes you’ve left the system without checking out and charges you the maximum. Then it charges you the maximum again when you do actually leave! Something to watch out for if you end up missing a connection – the time limit is 70 minutes plus 10 minutes for each zone. I went way over! (There’s a great page on Oysters that has all kinds of interesting information, including the time limits and even photos of the gates and ticket machines.)

Apparently the new system is causing a certain amount of consternation, particularly at Edgware Road [map] where the Circle Line now begins and ends (so if you’re headed from Paddington to King’s Cross, for instance, you’ll need to change at Edgware Road – unless you take the long way round).

Photo by Fabio Venni on flickr

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