diamond geezer

 Saturday, December 31, 2016

Do you have a ticked-off tube map?

That's a tube map on which you tick off every tube station you visit. A tube map which shows all the stations you've either entered or exited. A tube map which shows the extent of your travels on the tube network.

Daniela has a ticked-off tube map.



She uses a biro to strike though every station she's been to. She crosses them out really thickly, because otherwise the marks can be really hard to see. As of two months ago, when she tweeted her map for us all to look at, she'd been to around ninety stations altogether. I wonder how many stations are crossed off on your ticked-off tube map.

I've got a ticked-off tube map. But mine doesn't show every tube station I've ever been to, it only shows those I've been to this year. Here's 2016's.



I use the tube map in the back of my diary, because that's a document I open every day. I start with a clean sheet every year and update it every night. At the beginning of the year, if I've been out and about, there are often two, three, four or more stations to tick off. Later in the year the ticking off gets less frequent, but over the course of three hundred and sixty-something days it all adds up.

The tube map in the back of my diary is out of date and black and white, which isn't ideal, but does make it easier to cross out the stations with consistency. I also highlight all the bits of track I've been along, which is why there's so much colour, but let's not worry about that for now. And I use a thick yellow pen, which works for me, but isn't great for you lot attempting to look at a small version.

So I've copied out my ticked-off tube map onto a proper December 2016 tube map, and used a red pen to cross out all the ticked-off stations. There, that's better. [click to enlarge]



That's quite impressive, isn't it? There are over 200 red crosses on my map, each of which marks a station I've walked into or walked out of over the last year. Interchanging doesn't count, and nor does simply travelling through, otherwise in my case they'd almost all be crossed.

My life as a serial London nomad helps to keep the map so full. I've been to Uxbridge, Barnet, Upminster and Brixton for the blog, and all sorts of stations inbetween. I believe in blogging the whole of London, not just the well-known bits in the middle, which means this map looks a heck of a lot healthier than it would otherwise be.

I've blogged about Greenford and Upney and Woolwich so they're all included. Last summer I wrote a long post about trams which is why almost all of the tram stops are covered. I've alighted at most of the stations on the DLR, a lot of the outer Metropolitan line and all the Heathrows. You probably haven't done these things because you lead a more normal life.

But I'm not out to tick off as much as possible deliberately. I haven't used Covent Garden this year even though I easily could, nor popped my head above ground at Marble Arch, nor even ticked off all the stations in Tower Hamlets. OK, if there's ever an equal choice between two stations I do tend to visit the station I haven't yet ticked off, just to move things along, but overall this is a pretty accurate picture of what a busy boy I've been.

One thing that helps to me tick off quite so many stations is my annual Travelcard. I've paid up front to travel anywhere in zones 1-3, so hopping onto a train anywhere across central London is essentially free. But this also means I haven't been to quite so many stations in zones 4, 5 and 6 because of the extra cost. I've been to Richmond several times this year, for example, but never exited the station because I always get out at Kew Gardens and do the last bit by bus.

I mentioned that on my 'proper' ticked-off tube map I also highlight all the lengths of track I've ridden on. This is an additional stage, not always easily accommodated, and only for the serial ticker-offer. But it does allow me to tot up how much of the TfL network I've ridden this year, and to compile the following list as a convenient track-bashing summary.
Bakerloo: all
Central: all
Circle: all
District: all, except Richmond
Hammersmith & City: all
Jubilee: all
Metropolitan: all, except the Chesham spur
Northern: all, except the three stations south of Tooting Broadway
Piccadilly: all
Victoria: all
Waterloo & City: all
DLR: all
Overground: all, except the three stations north of Walthamstow Central, the Enfield branch and the entire Goblin
Tramlink: all
TfL Rail: all, except the four stations east of Romford
Dangleway: none
It's not a competition. But if you got yourself a tube map and a biro, you could join in next year. Pick up a map on your first journey of the New Year, hang onto it, and mark off all the stations that you visit throughout 2017. You'll probably forget, but you might not, and then you'll have a record of where you've been and how much of the capital you've covered. You could even come back to this post this time next year and tell us how you got on.

» If you're the online type you could create an app which allows you to do your ticking off on the go, or use a spreadsheet.
» If you're really hardcore you could get hold of a London Rail and Tube services map and use that instead.
» If you have a really good memory, maybe you could try ticking off a map of all the stations you've ever used in your lifetime.
» If you don't use the tube much, ditto.
» But if you live abroad, maybe this one's not for you, sorry.


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