la delgada linea roja

the underground
the underground

The Central line runs from east to west across London. It is 47 miles long and is the longest Underground line.

There are 49 stations, 20 of which are underground.

I have been travelling on the Central Line on an almost daily basis for the past 19 years. I am not sure if that is an acheivement or admission of defeat! There were days when I could recite the names of the stations in ‘chronological’ order from zone 4 east London to zone 3 west London. Thankfully, I now have more pressing things to occupy my mind…

Do I have a favorite station on the central Line? I guess that depends on what one means by that? A favourite destination or actual favourite station that inspires feelings of well-being? I am not sure. I do know that I have stations that I do not like being in at certain times of the day or in certain weathers. Anyone who has to travel on the Epping Branch knows that a some point in time, one will be required to change to reach the correct destination and the last point at which this can happen is Leytonstone. In the summer and in the daylight – standing at Leytonstone station is not such a bad thing.  However in the winter, rain, dark or cold or a combination of all four – this is extremely unpleasant. Why don’t I just get off earlier at an underground underground station? Perhaps because I am lazy and do not want to give up the seat I have worked so hard to acquire. Mile End is an alternative but it is quite draughty! The best place is Liverpool Street – it’s warm, it’s bright and many people empty the carriage to catch the mainline overground trains. Of course the most sensible option would be to catch the Epping/Loughton/Deben branch train in the first place! However, sometimes in the evenings the service can be so unreliable that, one’s best bet is to catch the first train that arrives and get a far East as possible.

Still haven’t answered the question of the favourite station. I did have a plan one summer to take pictures of every station on the central Line but somehow found other things to do. I think perhaps that I cannot think of a particularly inspiring station. I like heading out to Lancaster Gate because Hyde Park lies in wait. That is about it! It seems I use the underground to get from A to B, rather than admire the architecture.

The other thought that invades my mind while I snooze on the Tube? How many people can fit on a carriage and how many people on a whole train.  In reality I think about this more when I met with a sea of people at the end of the Central Line. So logically – in the seated section there are I think six seats under the window.  Six seats opposite. There are three seated areas on each carriage. Therefore technically 36 seated people. In the seated areas perhaps six people (when not squashed like sardines in a can) could stand, making a further total of 54 people. In the larger open areas by the double doors I am doing to guess – perhaps 15 people could stand there…? At the single doors perhaps 6 people and include the 2 who can sit on ‘window seats’. Now making 100 people on a packed tube carriage.  I think there are eight carriages per train therefore making 800 people in total. Now I have looked on the TfL website ( and they say 892, so I was not far off!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. linyangchen says:

    My favourite is probably Bank or Holborn, Bank for its legendary curved platforms and hauntings, and Holborn for its legendary interchange with my favourite Piccadilly Line. The Central Line trains have a very distinctive hum when they slow down and start up, and I enjoy the music every time I get on that line, which is not very often!

  2. That’s interesting…
    I cannot remember music Central Line – I will listen again next time!
    I will also listen out for the slowing down and start up noise – I guess when one has been travelling so long, all the noises get blocked out.
    What I have noticed is pressure dials under the seat – they are interesting to watch when the carriage is near empty.

    I guess I should look at Bank station in a new light! I was always afraid of falling between the gap between the train and the platform.

    I like your pictures by the way – especially the swans.

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