Friday, March 03, 2006

The Impatient Commuter's Guide to Tube Optimisation (part two of an occasional series)

There are so many great opimisation techniques if your journey begins or ends at Tottenham Court Road tube station that it's hard to know where to begin.

For the sake of brevity, I will restrict myself to techniques that work on the Central Line and will offer only two techniques.

Technique One

Observe that the best platform exit when alighting from westbound trains is at the very end of the station - near the back of the train. Accordingly, one should travel in the last carriage.

Technique Two

When beginning a Central Line journey at Tottenham Court Road, regular passengers will have noticed the excessive distance one must walk. Moreover, you must sidestep a busker at the end of a particularly long corridor. There is a better way, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Specifically, when on the last long walk to the Central Line platforms, observe that your journey takes you through a circular chamber. Upon leaving this chamber, the path ahead is split into two: you will be encouraged to walk on the left, to leave space for those leaving a train to walk on the right.

Don't be fooled!

Observe the diagram below: if you follow the signs you will be forced to walk along a long corridor before passing the busker, and finally getting onto the platform halfway along.

You should, instead, ignore the signs, and follow the rightmost path. Provided you choose your timing correctly (fighting against the disembarking passengers would not be an enjoyable experience), you can get onto the platform at least twenty seconds quicker than everyone else. You win again!

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6 comments:

Andy Piper said...

But... that's against the rules! Does Gendal World take responsibility for those individuals who will be arrested as a result of this wanton lawbreaking? Or those that are trampled in the face of oncoming commuters?

I always had you pegged as far more straight-laced than this.

Richard Brown said...

(Does Gendal World take responsibility for those individuals who will be arrested as a result of this wanton lawbreaking? Or those that are trampled in the face of oncoming commuters?)i

I offer very reasonable rates on insurance produts.

(I always had you pegged as far more straight-laced than this.)i

I'm *so* misunderstood....

polly shaw said...

Richard,

I appeal to you in your role as consultant.

If one is at a DLR station beyond Canary Wharf and the next train is to Stratford and one wants to go to Bank, is there ever any point in getting on the Stratford train and changing at CW except for the glamour involved in getting off there and pretending one works there?

(Equivalent to 'Do trains ever start at CW?')

Richard Brown said...

Polly,

That is a deeper question than you will ever know.

You see... Trains from Bank do sometimes terminate at Canary Wharf. But that doesn't mean they ever start there. I assume they do (and, therefore, it would seem a good strategy to travel them at the first opportunity when further South) but I don't know for sure.

In any case, since Canary Wharf station is built into Cabot Place Shopping Centre, it is an ideal place to change trains as you can shelter in the warmth of the Tesco entrance.

polly shaw said...

OK, by appealing the widely applicable Law of Conservation of Matter, I will in future always get the first train.

Richard Brown said...

Oh Polly.

Your naïveté is so touching :-)