diamond geezer

 Saturday, January 12, 2013

That's probably enough about the Underground for the time being.

I know I write about the Underground too much, but in this anniversary month I think that's justified. Indeed in this anniversary year I think I might write about it rather more.

Normally I run a tube week in the autumn, rammed with visits, facts, quizzes, moans and geekery. This year, as a 150th treat, I thought I'd run a tube year instead.

My walk from Paddington to Farringdon will do for January. That leaves eleven months of 2013 to go, and there are eleven Underground lines altogether. So my plan is to cover one line a month, from February onwards, until I've written about them all by the end of the year.

I haven't decided the order in which I'll run through the lines. It won't be alphabetical order, nor chronological, and it won't be entirely random either. I'd like the flexibility to do the District in a month when I have more spare time, and the Waterloo & City when life is busier. The Metropolitan might be best enjoyed in the summer, and the Victoria when daylight hours are at their shortest.

What I'm not planning to do is to walk along each line from beginning to end, that's been done. And I'm not going to blog an in-depth history of the line, its stations and its rolling stock. Instead it'll be more a pot pourri - several visits, a few facts and some quirky special things, scattered throughout the month to give a flavour of the line.

One slight problem, which is what happens when you've been blogging for ten years already, is that I've already written about a lot of the tube already. A walk along the Bakerloo line - done it. An exploration of Betjeman's Metro-land - done it. A trip to every Jubilee line station - done it. All the Next Train Indicators round the Circle line - done it. The disused station at Tower Hill and the never-built station beyond Edgware - done them both. A ride to Ongar, the Mill Hill viaduct, the Battersea extension, the clocks at Gants Hill - done them all.

But surely there's plenty of the underground left, especially if I pick and choose. It ought to be easy to find enough loveliness on each line to fill half a dozen posts throughout a month, or maybe more if the line deserves. All I need to help me along are a few overarching themes, some common templates for things I can blog about on each line. Here are a few possibilities I've come up with so far. Maybe you can think of some more.

  • To The End Of The Line (a visit to a station at the end of the line, obviously)
  • Tube Line Facts (a bit of history, the busiest stations, proper geekery, that sort of thing)
  • Out and About (where I go for a wander around the environs of a more obscure station)
  • On Line (passenger watching on a complete run down the line)
  • Random Station (I might have a jamjar somewhere for that)
  • A Fine Line (spotting examples of superior architecture)
  • Between the Lines (locations where there ought to be a station, but isn't)
  • Hard Line (grumpy moans about the line's less good features)
  • Plans For The Future (where might the line go next, if it's allowed?)
  • Star Line (photos of celebrities seen on the tube, preferably asleep, ideally with kittens)

    I won't do all of those, obviously. And I might mix and match according to which line I'm spotlighting. But it should be fun, and it should be interesting, and I promise not to overdo it.

    So anyway, if you have any other ideas for 'regular features', do let me know. And I wonder which line I should start with next month...

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