I've always liked the tube, but had quite a bad weekend with them last weekend. Firstly, all the lines seemed hotter and more unpleasent than any other time I've been on them. That was fine though, until it came to getting back from the hotel to St Pancras on sunday. Got on a Bakerloo, with plans for a quick and easy cross platform change to the Victoria at Oxford Circus. This went fine, until after getting on the Victoria and arriving at Warren Street. This was the first time we realised that due to engineering works this was as far as we could get. We, along with plenty of others, then changed onto the Northern. My plan, knowing that the interchange to the Bank branch at Euston isn't easy, was to go to Camden Town and change there. On arriving at the Northern line northbound platform though it was very crowded, and there was no train showing up. Shortly after, the display changed to show the first train being 14mins away, great. We stood, in the ever increasing crowd and ever increasing temperature, as the following two trains registered on the system just a few minutes behind the first, which we decided to leave. During this time we were bombarded by regular annoucements about engineering work, including the Victoria closure, which would have been more useful had it been heard before. Also, why do they announce each closure seperatly, rarther than as a list, which would save time. Eventually, the first train arrived, but was packed, and very few got on. The second train was just behind, and we squashed onto this. It was a slow run, since we had to wait outside all the stations whilst the train infront left. Eventually, we got to Camden Town and changed to the southbound platform. The first train was shown as a via Bank, but when it came in, I noticed it was showing via Charing X on the front. Everyone packed on, then many got off as they realised it was the wrong train, causing a large dwell time, during which more people boarded who likely wanted the bank branch. This was followed by a further Charing X, and then a Bank. This too was busy, but on arriving at Euston, we then recieved all of those who had changed from the Victoria there, and the train was packed solid. Luckely, many were also leaving at KX-SP, so we didn't have too much trouble getting off. Then of cource the long trudge to St Pancras, arriving just in time for the last train calling at Loughborough for an hour and a half. Overall, not a good experiance, especially when lugging bags, and when travelling with not young (but don't tell them that) parents, and after a very long weekend. What makes it worse is that this came after a day on Paris Metro, which was much better, despite the fact that the system is nearly as old (in a lot of places) and many of the trains were getting on a bit too (as are a hell of a lot of french trains infact, although all seem well looked after).
It has to be the DLR for me...I mostly use the 'Tube nowadays, but LuL's rolling stock is crap in comparison to the DLR (Ok...I know the DLR trains are Bombardier jobs! ) because:
DLR: Can see several areas of East London.
LuL: Can see several types of iron tunnel lining.
Chance of "Front Row" rides:
DLR: Available to all even when being driven manually.
LuL: Available at very busy times to LuL staff only. (Unofficially)
Changes of velocity:
DLR: Nice and very rapid acceleration and deceleration, yet easy to stand up with.
LuL: Accelerates like a snail...Very slowly. Decelerates like a rollercoaster...Too quickly. I still have bad bruising from the Northern line two weeks ago! :eek:
Impressions of velocity:
DLR: Train appears to go like the clappers as speedo is marked in Km/h only.
LuL: Train appears to go as if the brake has been permanently jammed in the "Emergency" position.
DLR: Manages it in about four seconds unless leaving Limehouse for West India Quay up that 1:2 incline.
LuL: Couldn't achieve 60mph without a modified Class 91 on the front of it! :tongue3:
DLR: Plain clothed and uniformed Police officers fairly frequent. Train captains always present.
LuL: I once managed to take a leak out of the end-door of an LuL carriage whilst in transit and wasn't seen - 'Nuff said!
DLR: Lines pass thousands of jumpable wi-fi spots throughout network. Almost all stations covered by free wi-fi.
LuL: You'd be lucky to get AM radio reception down there!
DLR: Stable and walkable 4-foot. Tunnels have evacuation paths. Same for viaducts.
LuL: No evac path. 4-foot has pointless 2nd conductor rail in it (Why not use running rails for current return like NSE?). Have to pass through all stopped trains to evac to station.
OK...I know that my comparison is rather unfair considering that both systems were built about 100 years apart, but surely the Tube could have numerous improvements made to bring it up to the same standard as most other underground railways in Europe?
(I mean: Tunnels with safe evac paths in them, Platforms with enough space for everyone, and a loading gauge that can take NR rolling stock to allow for higher capacity and more comfortable services.)