11 Things I need to tell tourists about the London Underground

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1.You don’t need to press the buttons on the tube trains to open the doors this will do nothing AT ALL and make you look like a tit. HOWEVER you will need to press the buttons on DLR trains and if you don’t this will make you look like a tit.

2. Tottenham Court Road station exits: Far left back on yourself of escalators is top of Oxford Street, almost straight ahead is other side of road top of Oxford Street, next to that one is right outside theatre with Freddie Mercury Statue, further to the right and a bit of a walk is underneath Centre Point use this one to walk around the corner to Charing Cross Road.

3. There’s no point getting the Tube from Leicester Square to Tottenham Court Road, it’s a short walk. Also it’s a quick walk from Leicester Square to Covent Garden. Also Charing Cross and Embankment were at one time considered the same train station, so there are RIGHT NEXT TO each other. The walk from Moorgate to Liverpool Street really isn’t far either (they’re being linked together as a part of Crossrail)

4. If you need to get the right exit from Old Street or Bank I cannot help you, they are mad, labyrinthine stations. Bank is a huge complex of tunnels and I still don’t understand it despite the fact I go there every weekday. Old Street is a roundabout so you’re fucked if you end up on the wrong side of where you need to be.

5. The Waterloo And City line only has two stops and yet each carriage still has a map linking those two stops with a nice straight blue line.

6. Tourists will ALWAYS crowd on the platform and you can almost always get a seat (or a reasonable place to stand) even at a quite busy time if you can be bothered to walk down to the opposite side where there are fewer people waiting.

7. Green Park station has free (I think they’re free) toilets, which is a rarity.

8. It’s practically always quicker to change once or twice than to sit on a Circle line train. It’s possibly quicker to walk than to sit on a Circle line train. Plus it’s no longer a circle any more and be careful about getting it from Paddington because you could end up being thrown off at Edgware Road and waiting forever for another one. Bloody Circle Line.

9. The Victoria line is fast as FUCK. Use it if you can. Also it tells you what side the platform will be so you don’t end up embarrassingly waiting by the doors which don’t open. Londoners will silently laugh at you if you do this because I have both done this and laughed at people who do this.

10. Sometimes doors won’t open in the front carriage or the back carriage at all because the trains are too long to fit on the platforms, they will announce this just as you’re coming into the station. Don’t look like a tit and try to make them open and then violently push past everyone in your way because you weren’t paying attention. I once watched this happen to a huge number of drunken kilt-wearing Scottish men and they were NOT HAPPY. The platform at Highgate Station, rather wonderfully, is too long for the trains so don’t walk to the end of that platform as the train will run out before it stops in front of you (causing more silent laughter from surrounding Londoners).

11. The DLR is awesome and doesn’t have drivers and you can sit in the driver’s seat and pretend to drive. It has people on board who endlessly make announcements and who can drive if there’s something wrong with the computer system but for the most part the trains just totter along like a weird overgrown theme park monorail system. There’s even an exciting almost rollercoastery bit coming into Canary Wharf where it climbs up hill then rushes down the hill and round a sharp corner. Also the middle bits of the carriages are bendy which is fun if you have to stand up in them. If you need to change from DLR to the Jubilee line at Canary Wharf change at Heron Quays not Canary Wharf DLR as there is a bewildering Shopping Mall in the way. Heron Quays drops you off in the square outside the Canary Wharf Underground Station.

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