16:43:13 on 05 September 2015. As the District line train rolled into Richmond station, that was it for me — I had just travelled the entire length of all publicly advertised lines on the London Underground. Quite coincidentally, I had also finished all of the lines on the DLR and Tramlink networks.
The obvious next question, then, would be what my favourite stations would be. I’ve a few: Pinner, Finchley Road, and Mile End. (Two of these are cross-platform interchange stations; for me, the likes of Xizhimen in Beijing was just way too much.) Stratford was nice, but too massive; there is only “so much life” at Baker Street; and King’s Cross St Pancras reminds me of Beijing’s xth wonder — Xizhimen (again).
I do have to say, however, that much as I like the idea of making all entrances to Hanger Lane station underground, that if there’s not enough signage, most will try to gain access from street level (which won’t work). And whilst we’re at that: it’s high time a proper interchange link was made between that station and Park Royal on the Piccadilly line.
The one thing that made me a little worried about the Tube network was how narrow the platforms were (Clapham North and Clapham Common, I’m looking at you two!). Then again, the network is 150+ years old, so… miracles can’t really happen overnight. (I’ve been spoilt rotten by the Beijing system — anyone who’s claustrophobic on the platform should take a look at the massive platforms at Beijing’s Fengtai station, which is simply colossal.
The only bit of the rail networks I’ve still to do are all Overground routes, as well as all stations on National Rail. I’ll probably get these done before my upgrade to Beijing as early as mid-2016. The Overground does, however, leave me in awe — at just how it managed to pass through the oldest tunnel in London (for sure) — the Rotherhithe tunnel. It’s also a less for Beijing — don’t go around tearing everything up simply because it’s not the latest-and-greatest! ■ ■ ■