The London Tube
The London Tube or Underground
The London Underground or as it is more commonly called, ‘the London Tube’ or just ‘the Tube’ is most often the quickest and easiest way of getting around London. If at all possible, try to plan your tube journey so that you will avoid the the rush hours.
You can easily plan your prospective routes with this Transport for London TfL Journey Planner. For any other forms of travel i.e buses, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), Or trams go to the Transport for London Website where you can get further information.
The Transport for London website will also furnish you with information on local London overground trains and stations, more in depth information on tubes, tube stations, (DLR), trams and buses.
The London Underground, is the oldest and also probably the busiest network in the world. Presently served by 12 Underground Tube lines and the Docklands Light Railway (the DLR). It is interconnected with the local London overhead train network. (More information on London Underground, history etc.)
The time of trains depends on both the line you plan to travel on and the stations they pass through, although the trains generally begin running at at 5 am and continue through until midnight, with a reduced service on Sundays.
Live travel news for the Tube, updated every minute.
It is always worth your while to check on The Transport for London Website or check the Live travel news for the Tube shown in the table above, which is updated every minute, before you start your journey, as any major Engineering works normally take place at weekends, with the associated stations being closed down.
There are however, essential works taking place every night in various places across the whole network and although it is very rare that any of these engineering works overun their allotted time spans, it does occasionally happen. So do check their Service Update at: Live Travel News or the Live travel news in the table above for the Tube, which is updated every minute.
An ingenius design which altered the way the London Tube was imprinted forever on our minds, was the London Underground Map, designed by Harry Beck in 1933.
The London Tube had been until then, a very, very complicated London Underground Railway Network system which had kept the London Tube bosses (and the general public), busily scratching their heads for decades.
Their problem had been how to simplify this maze of underground railway routes so that their customers could easily identify the best and quickest ways to get from point A to point B. This task was given to Harry Beck.
What he produced is now a classic map, (one of the most recognizable in the world) which turned this hitherto most complicated of networks, into a very simple one to navigate by the public and Harry’s London Tube Map is now deservedly treated as a classic map.
It turned the meandering routes of the London tube rail network, into a very simple, easy to use, transport system.
It was now a transport system with all the general directions of the routes simplified. They were clearly designated in their correct North, South, East and West orientations, but everything was now enclosed in a box design, with all the interchanges, clearly indicated on it.
This London Transport map is divided into six concentric zones, radiating out from the centre. Zones 1 and 2 are in Central London while zones 3 to 6 cover the rest of London with zone 6 being the outer edge of Greater London.
There are a further 3 zones, making up zones 1 to 9. These additional 3 zones cover the farthest North West corner of London, but for most people these are not considered to be part of the main London commuter routes.
Please Note: buses and trams do not use the zonal system and they do charge a flat fare for travelers, traveling accross any part of London.
Save Yourself Time and Trouble with an Oyster Card and a London Travel Card
Oyster cards are valid on all Tube Trains, buses, trams, Overground Rail and Dockland Light Rail Services, many of the River Bus Services and practically all of the National Rail Services falling within the London zonal areas of 1 to 9.
The Oyster card is a payment system, by using Radio Frequency Identification, meaning you just pass it close to an electronic reader when accessing the station prior to your journey and similarly as you exit the station at your destination point.
Therefore by logging you in and out, it calculates the fare for your journey and automatically debits your card with the appropriate amount.
It is also a type of payment and when you pay with an oyster card, you get cheaper fares than if you pay with cash.
It can easily be loaded with your travel card and used exactly as though you were paying with that travel card. Oyster pre pay is for use on the tube, bus, DLR, tram, many of the River Bus services and most national rail services within the London fare zonal areas of 1-9.
London Tube – Accessibility
As always it is advisable to avoid using the London Underground at peak travel times, especially if you have mobility problems, because the system does become extremely crowded during those times.
All deep level London Underground stations have either escalators or lifts down to the platforms, but practically all of them have steps between the street level and ticket hall and/or escalator or lift. Therefore special care needs to be taken at All times.
It should also be remembered that practically all trains have a step of anything up to 20cm (8 in) either up or down between the platform and the train. For further information on accessibility visit the Transport for London: Transport Accessibility Web Page