Monday, October 01, 2007

Set in stone

Finally time for another little picture. I travelled into central London on the tube at the weekend. Except for rush hour, it's a fairly rapid and pleasant way to cross the city. We pass a station where one line to the west splits into two lines to the east. I used to live there. There are three platforms at the station.

When travelling west to east you need to be sure that you get the right route. People on the platform don't know quickly which branch the train will take. We all know on-platform monitors are sometimes inoperative, then you need to read the little note on the front of the train to work out where it's going or hope for an intelligible station announcement.

And going east to west, it's a crazy random game. There can be two trains about to head in exactly the same direction, down the same track, but whichever one you settle in, you "know" the other one is going to depart first.

The whole line was closed for months recently. They should have rebuilt the station. I'm not presuming more space. You would still have three platforms. You would still have exactly the same lines going in and exactly the same lines going out. But issues above all sorted. Easy.


Anonymous said...

I am equally confused by both of them... :)

v!sh said...

You are a wasted genius...

RNB said...

Yes anon - the directions should have been more clear.

Basically: one platform for two lines going east, two platforms for one line going west, how dumb is that?

Faisal said...

What about different names for the same line to distinguish between the directions they are traveling in? Then you couldn't ever get on a train going the wrong way because you didn't eastbound vs. westbound or because you didn't check where it was terminating.

Tube seems to be one of the worst subway systems out there now.

Anonymous said...

Good idea
the trains on each line have distinctive colours and interior layouts - possibly different exterior dimensions too. And the same trains need to go in both directions. I fear it might have its own confusions.
There are some cases where your idea would be very useful ... circle line anyone?