diamond geezer

 Monday, October 26, 2015

Ever counted how many minutes it takes to get from the ticket hall to the platform at your local tube station? TfL have, obviously, and have compiled a big spreadsheet with all the figures. A Freedom of information request has liberated it from the archives, and I've had a dig within. It covers every station on the tube map, but it's not especially up-to-date, seemingly timestamped 2012. The times are how long it takes to get from the ticket gate to the farthest platform, which is not necessarily the same as how long it takes from the station entrance. Where a station has more than one ticket gate, the longest distance is used.

These are also the times used in TfL's Journey Planner, and they're very much on the conservative side. I can get to the Overground platforms at Highbury and Islington in well under four minutes, for example, but the data assumes I'm a slowcoach or less mobile (or it's extraordinarily busy). Most of the longest times are for are central stations with lifts or tortuous passageways and escalators. But the most common time in the database is two minutes, with well over half of stations requiring no more than two minutes to reach the platform. Here's a list of all the stations where it takes four or more.

Maximum time between ticket gate and platform

4 minutes: Baker Street (subsurface), Bond Street, Caledonian Road, Camden Town, Carpenders Park, Chalfont & Latimer, Chancery Lane, Covent Garden, Edgware Road (Bakerloo), Euston (Victoria), Forest Hill, Highbury & Islington (Overground), Holborn (Central), Holland Park, Homerton, Kennington, Lambeth North, Lancaster Gate, Liverpool Street (subsurface), Marble Arch, Marylebone, Moorgate (subsurface), Mornington Crescent, Oxford Circus, St Paul's, South Kensington (Piccadilly), Stratford (Overground), Tottenham Court Road, Upper Holloway, Upton Park, Wapping, Warren Street (Victoria), Watford Junction, Woodgrange Park, Woolwich Arsenal
4½ minutes: Bank (DLR)
5 minutes: Belsize Park, Earl's Court (Piccadilly), Elephant & Castle (Bakerloo), Embankment (Bakerloo, Northern), Euston (Northern), Gloucester Road (Piccadilly), Goodge Street, Green Park (Jubilee), Hampstead, Moorgate (Northern), Paddington (Bakerloo, H&C), Piccadilly Circus, Queensway, Southwark, Tottenham Hale
5½ minutes: Bank (Northern), Greenwich (DLR), King's Cross St Pancras (Northern)
6 minutes: Clapham Junction, Holborn (Piccadilly), Notting Hill Gate (Central), Russell Square, Warren Street (Northern), Waterloo, Westminster (Jubilee), Willesden Junction (Overground)
7 minutes: Baker Street (Jubilee, Bakerloo), Charing Cross, Elephant & Castle (Northern), London Bridge (Northern)

The spreadsheet also contains data on how long it takes to interchange between different lines. These are interchanges within one station, so for example Bow Road to Bow Church doesn't appear, and neither does crossing from one half of Hammersmith station to the other. Again the timings are quite pessimistic, in some cases wildly so, and could easily be bettered in real life. But most interchanges are scheduled for five minutes or less (even the nightmare passages at Green Park). This list shows all the interchanges that take six minutes or more.

Maximum interchange times between lines

6 minutes: Bank (W&CDLR), Blackhorse Road (VictoriaOverground), Highbury & Islington (VictoriaOverground), Holborn (CentralPiccadilly), Liverpool Street (Centralsubsurface), London Bridge (Jubilee → Northern), Stratford (DLROverground), Warren Street (Northern → Victoria), Waterloo (Jubilee → Bakerloo/Northern), Westminster (Circle/DistrictJubilee)
7 minutes: Bank (CentralCircle/District, W&C → Northern), Charing Cross (Bakerloo → Northern), Gloucester Road (Circle/DistrictPiccadilly), Moorgate (Northern → subsurface), Paddington (BakerlooCircle/District)
7½ minutes: King's Cross St Pancras (Northern → subsurface)
8 minutes: Baker Street (subsurfacetube), Shepherd's Bush (CentralOverground)
9 minutes: Euston (VictoriaOverground)
10 minutes: Bank (W&CCircle/District), Euston (Northern → Overground)
13 minutes: Paddington (H&CCircle/District)
15 minutes: Paddington (H&CBakerloo)

And finally, what if you're leaving the tube to catch a National Rail train at a major London terminus? The database also includes maximum interchange values for these timings, and what follows is the full list. Here Paddington comes out quite well, while King's Cross St Pancras is rightly a stinker. I disagree with several of these values - I managed Platform 19 at Waterloo to the Jubilee line in six minutes yesterday, not eleven. But this is the background data behind the Journey Planner and most of the apps you use, so better it overestimates than you arrive late and miss your train.

Maximum interchange times between Tube and National Rail at London Terminals

5 minutes: Paddington (H&C)
6 minutes: Liverpool Street (Central), Moorgate, Paddington (Circle/District)
7 minutes: Cannon Street, Charing Cross (Northern), London Bridge (Jubilee)
8 minutes: Liverpool Street (subsurface), Paddington (Bakerloo)
9 minutes: Euston (Victoria), Marylebone
10 minutes: Charing Cross (Bakerloo), Euston (Northern), King's Cross St Pancras (Northern, Piccadilly), London Bridge (Northern), Victoria, Waterloo (Bakerloo, Northern)
11 minutes: Waterloo (Jubilee)
12 minutes: King's Cross St Pancras (subsurface), King's Cross St Pancras (Victoria)

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