Everything you Need to Know about the London Tube

The London Tube is a subway train system which provides its services to the suburbs and city of London. Making use of the tube is arguably the safest, cheapest, and smartest way to travel across the place. Most decent London guided tours include at least one tube ride. There are a total of 275 tube stations inside the city, of which 63 are located in central London; that means you could see a tube stop close to almost anywhere you are in the city. London tube was made accessible to the public by 1890, and is also the oldest underground railway system in the world.

London Tube Maps

There are about 12 tube lines in London, and trains running frequently from 5:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Monday to Saturday, and from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 a.m. during Sundays. It is very easy to find the right tube stop and tube station even without a map, but having one along could prove handy when it comes navigating the city. You could find tube maps for free from any of the underground station offices. It is also possible to check for tube maps online if required. In addition to that, the station walls too have tube maps posted on them.

Train Tunnel Direction

It is the compass point which would explain to you about the platforms and trains in London, based on the direction of the tube line – whether it is northbound, eastbound, southbound or westbound. The tube station tunnels too are imprinted with the compass direction as well as the train line names for each stop.

The final station of the train could be determined from the readerboard, which can could be seen at the front of the train and by the signs found at the tube stop platforms. You can find the line by finding out the final stop of the train. This would also help you in calculating whether your stop is on a specific line. A different color is given to each of the train lines; you have red, brown, and others. This could really come handy when it comes to locating a given route on the map.

What you would have to do here is get a tube map of London and then find the directions you would have to follow. Then, look for the signs in the tube tunnel at each train station. If you take the right tunnel it will get you to the right station and then to the right subsequent train.

Getting Tube Tickets

After you reach the first tube station on your route, you would clearly be able to see a lot of signs on walls as well as overhead, instructing you on what to do, and from where to buy your tube tickets. You could also see several tube workers lingering around ticket windows to sell passes, and for explaining about what you need to do. Besides that, the place has turnstiles which lead directly to the tube tunnels. It is not possible for you to pass one of these without scanning a tube ticket.

You get one tube ride for each ticket. An Oyster card or London tube passes can last you several days. The Oyster card gives you a good number of rides for about a week, and works fine on sections of National Rail trains and central London buses. In the station turnstiles, you would find small LED signs which turn green when you pass by, and red if you are not allowed through. There would be tube workers who would help you with feeding your ticket into the slot, or move the Oyster card through the pad for entering the station.

Reading Tube Signs

Each tube station in London has at least one sign which looks for all the world like a temperature graph, set on one of the walls of the platform. These graphs would assure you that you are at the correct stop. On one, you would see a station where ‘you are’ is marked; this actually translates to “You are here”. You could also get familiar with the names of the stations which you would be reaching next, and it may also require you to change trains for reaching your destination. It would be a good idea to take a look at the closest intersections you could see on the tube map, prior to getting on the train.

However your navigation via tube pans out, just remember there is no need to panic if you miss a stop, because it is easy and simple to head back to where you should have gotten off in the first place.