diamond geezer

 Saturday, June 02, 2012

You'll find this decorated carriage on the Jubilee line. Two special commemorative trains have been running up and down for a few weeks (or occasionally breaking down in an embarrassingly prolonged way). It's still a bit of a surprise to stumble upon one, either rattling into a station, or sat out in the open air at a terminus. But on the Jubilee line, this Diamond Jubilee, what else would you expect?

The Jubilee line wasn't always going to be so named, you know. It should have been the Fleet line, until the GLC decided to rename it in honour of the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977. Thirty-five years later there are witterings in Parliament from a small group of MPs who'd like to rename the line again. "This House expresses its profound gratitude to Her Majesty The Queen for her dedication to public service," they fawn, "and, in celebration of Her Majesty becoming only the second Monarch to reign for an exceptional 60 years, calls for the Jubilee Line to be renamed the Elizabeth Jubilee Line." Even the most ardent monarchist would surely find that lickspittle mouthful excessively sugary.

Meanwhile, inside certain other trains on the Jubilee line, this has happened...

It's a new Olympic line map, part of a rollout to guide visitors to the Games this summer. Venue names have appeared above the relevant stations, in a bright Olympic magenta (conveniently not the same colour as any tube line). Thanks for this Darren!

» Stratford for the Olympic Park: End of the line, and a walk through the subway to Westfield will get you to the Park entrance sharpish.
» West Ham not for the Olympic Park: There is a special walkway from West Ham to the Park, but it goes from the District line platform, so Jubilee line passengers are being encouraged to go all the way to Stratford instead.
» Canning Town for ExCel: That's for ExCel If you don't mind a long walk, or (more likely) a change to the DLR.
» North Greenwich for North Greenwich Arena: I love this. The map used to say "North Greenwich for the O2", but O2 aren't the official Mobile Network Provider of the Games so their brand name has to be completely wiped. For three glorious months. I bet they're livid.

But not all naming rights have been quashed. Look, there's the ArabFly Dangleway appearing on an actual map in its actual colours for the actual first time. Officially the Dangleway has no confirmed opening date, but the map here says "opening summer 2012" (the smart money's on sometime this month). It's interesting that the Dangleway's not being promoted here as the quickest way to ExCel, instead best to stay on the train and change at Canning Town. And, sigh, as the mobile phone company disappears from the map, so an airline most people can't afford lands instead. After the Games, expect North Greenwich to be the tube map's first double-branded station.

Further along the line, courtesy of Darren's hastily snapped photos, are the following...
» Westminster for Horseguards Parade: for the Beach Volleyball (I hope the weather isn't like this)
» Green Park for Horseguards Parade and Hyde Park: for two venues? It's going to be busy here.
» Bond Street for Hyde Park: for interchange with the Central line, the other mega-busy Olympic service, so this'll be worth avoiding.
» St John's Wood for Lord's: for archery... it's not cricket.
» Wembley Park for Wembley: for both Stadium and Arena.

There really are a heck of a lot of Olympic stations on the Jubilee line. This is purely by coincidence, you understand, but makes this the best connected Underground line by far, venue-wise. That's one of the reasons why the Jubilee line is likely to be stuffed during the Games, and why you should avoid it this summer if you can. If Britain were a republic, TfL might well have felt the urge to permanently rename this the Olympic line. But instead, be it Silver, Golden or Diamond, the Jubilee line it will remain.

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