diamond geezer

 Monday, June 29, 2009

Circle lineThe extended Circle line (anti-clockwise)
Edgware Road → Hammersmith (via Liverpool Street)

Edgware Road (platform 2) round to Tower Hill: All absolutely normal. The train said CIRCLE LINE on the front. Given that nobody this far out would be travelling beyond Paddington, nobody could possibly be confused.
'next train' indicator at AldgateAldgate: Somewhere round the bend from Tower Hill, the destination on the front of the train changed. It no longer said CIRCLE LINE, it said HAMMERSMITH (via Shepherd's Bush). The 'Next train' indicator, however, still read 'Circle Line via King's Cross'.
Liverpool Street to Baker Street: The front of the train said HAMMERSMITH (via Shepherd's Bush), and the 'next train' indicators on the platforms also said 'Hammersmith'. There were absolutely no trains labelled CIRCLE LINE. I wonder how many passengers over the weekend waited patiently for a Circle Line service that never ever arrived.
Baker Street: An A3 poster had been slapped over the line map on this platform, advising passengers of the "Restricted service this weekend, no Circle line service from this platform". I suspect that most people never read it. (Oh, and btw, same again next weekend!)
Edgware Road (platform 4): The train driver did sterling work reading out all the important options for those changing lines. Going to Hammersmith? Stay on. Going to Paddington? Stay on. Going to Wimbledon? Get off and cross (easily) to platform 3. Going to High Street Kensington? Erm, well, maybe the next train's from platform 3, or maybe it's up and over the steps to platform 2, I'm not sure, listen for announcements. This is likely to become a much-despised connection in the future, trying desperately to work out which train's leaving next from one of two non-adjacent platforms.
Paddington (H&C): In the past, most passengers trying to get from King's Cross to Paddington would have arrived at Paddington (District & Circle) station. It's well positioned for the Mainline concourse, and connects easily with Bakerloo line services. In future, after the Circle line splits, everybody's going to end up at Paddington (H&C) station instead. This is a nasty small station with inadequate exits, located a long way away from most of the mainline services, and requiring considerable unpleasant yomping of heavy luggage. Expect a higher number of missed connections in the future.
Royal Oak to Hammersmith: Fantastic. The split-Circle arrangement brings twice as many trains to Hammersmith, so West London residents are the true winners here. For the rest of us, alas, this change means all change. Prepare to hate it.

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