The East London Line - we count the ways

We had our first go on the East London Line yesterday. God it was good.

The trains are so wide! The lack of doors between carriages! It's like riding in the belly of a Hercules, with windows.

The carriages feel tubey, but better. It wasn't hot or crowded enough to judge the aircon, but we could hear it whirring, reassuringly. Even when the trains are "underground" there is barely a moment when we couldn't get a signal on our phone, which is great for anyone who likes to use the internet on their way to work.

Like the DLR or the rail service, you're up high for much of the journey, which we love compared to the claustrophobic underground. But unlike the train, there were no irritating pauses outside stations as the train sits idly for some reason or another.

And the new stations! Hoxton and Shoreditch are so easy to access from the street. If you have a buggy, as we did, the lift access is a joy. The way the train doors draw exactly level with the platform is a miracle.

When you draw up to Canada Water, it's satisfying to see the entrance to the Jubilee Line platform right in front of you, rather than a long walk from platform 15 at London Bridge.

The signage wasn't working at any of the stations, but nothing beats the feeling of turning up at a platform happy in the knowledge that a train will be along in it in a minute (rather than racing around to the big screens at London Bridge to see what platform the next train is leaving from, praying that it's not just about depart as you scan the information feverishly). And lo, a train did appear within a couple of minutes of us arriving at the platform.

Truly, the East London Line is the king of tubes.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was worth the wait.

Monkeyboy said...

Mmmm... Train porn. If you can link it with house prices and gastropubs you'll have created the holy trinity of SE4 obsessions.

Brockley Nick said...

Well Monkeyboy, house prices have already risen as a result and it's doubtful we'd have places like the Orchard, the Talbot and maybe even the Amersham Arms in its current form without it, so enjoy yourself...

Mb said...

....oh stop it! I'm at work

Headhunter said...

I wonder if we'll see house price rises once the line is fully open. I think rises have already been mostly factored in over the past few years anyway in anticipation.

Brockley Nick said...

@HH - agreed.

However, I think the secondary rise will occur as a result of the changes to the area that the ELL will bring - a bigger choice of shops, bars and eateries.

Please note, I am not saying that this is an unalloyed good, just that I think it will happen...

Anonymous said...

Never thought train porn could get me going, but this is pretty exciting!!

Brockley Nick said...

I resisted the chance to reference the train's great girth. Perhaps I shouldn't have.

Anonymous said...

Price rises certainly have been factored in previously. However, I don't think that would stop estate agents from having another crack at it.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for it to extend down from NX. It has been so long and we are nearly there!

I look forward to seeing if there will be greater business opportunities at Brockers, honor oak, FH & crystal palace

Anonymous said...

I agree with the feeling of just turning up and knowing a train will arrive soon. I hate that feeling you get at London Bridge where you're not sure whether you should be sprinting to the timetable only to find out that you've either got to wait 15 minutes or instantly calculate whether you can make the train in 45 seconds.
I think even if the ELL adds a little time to your journey (assuming everything is going for you at London Bridge)- the fact that it's seamless is worth far more.

Paul

Monkeyboy said...

A bit of lobbying to get to run half an hour later would be great. That may be more doable than restoring the missing LB trains. Only have to convince TfL rather than a million companies and organisations.

First job for the new MP

Danja said...

Tut, Nick - shouldn't troll your own readership.

Minor quibble from this morning: people with lousy headphones and their rubbish music up too loud now 'entertain' most of a train, rather than just a carriage.

So, obviously we were better off without it after all. I'm defecting to the Lou/HH/Tamsin axis.

Anonymous said...

I wouldnt suggest getting your hopes up too high - its relatively easy to provide a seamless, punctual service when the line is self contained but come June it will fall down on a much more regular basis!

Anonymous said...

house prices rise on the news and on the implentation. Many people have yet to learn about the latter and to understand its implications for the City. When they do, prices wil rise again.

And then you have Nick's "derivative" rise, owing to more restaurants etc.

Anonymous said...

on the news? link?

Tamsin said...

@ Danja - that's quite amusing - I was getting quite taken by people's enthusiasm and being converted. Will be using it myself tomorrow for the first time.

Anonymous said...

Is there nothing we can do about these a**eholes who play loud music on trains?

I sometimes wonder if everyone who was annoyed by loud music just LOOKED at the person playing it, perhaps with a look of amusement rather than murderous rage, it might embarrass them into turning it down. Kids find being laughed at 1000 times more difficult to deal with than being shouted at.

drakefell debaser said...

Have you tried asking the person to turn it down? I find it works quite well.

Anonymous said...

Yes I have - several times, always politely, and with mixed results. No actual violence but one guy on Virgin train shouted at me that I should go in the Quiet Coach if I didn't want to hear his music! Other people have ignored me, others have turned it down.

Anonymous said...

It'll eat my hat if its on time when it shares the line with Southern!

Anonymous said...

For Christ's sake calm down, its only a train.

Monkeyboy said...

No it's shooting star to which we hitch our dreams and aspirations...... Except after midnight when we'll have to hitch them to a cab 'cos it stops at eleven sodding fortyfive

Anonymous said...

Oh my - get a room!

Anonymous said...

I wonder what time the first train back to Brockley will be from Hoxton. Is it feasible to hang around in bars. Some must stay open until 5am or so....

Tamsin said...

Even in the pre-licensing act days it used to be possible to booze all night if you knew where to go - just following the trade from Fleet Street putting the daily papers to bed in the old hot-lead days to Smithfield delivering London's meet in the cold just before dawn. (Not that I ever did, of course, it was just rather nice to know that by right of archaic usage it was possible. Now you just go into an all night supermarket and drink yourself silly on loss leader lager.)

Anonymous said...

Just a thought, but perhaps the last train time from Shoreditch/Hoxton will change to a later time once the Highbury and Islington extension has been complete next spring?

Sevenoakser said...

Wouldn't get your hopes up - no Overground service in London runs anywhere close to as late as tubes.

Anonymous said...

And - unlike the tubes - they have the ability to work far longer hours :(

Anonymous said...

@Sevenoakser

South West Trains run out of Waterloo until after 1am which is later than virtually all the tubes.

Anonymous said...

You can also get a late train out of London Bridge to Lewisham. £6 taxi to Brockley and you're home.

Headhunter said...

The last train to New Cross (which is only about 10-15 mins walk from where I live) leaves at close to 1am, defintely later than a lot of Tubes. I think the last train from London Bridge to Brockley is at almost 12.30am.

Ed said...

Was disappointed to see the old green signs at Brockley when I returned from Edinburgh late last night only to see the new orange ones going up this morning! Is there a facebook group called 'The new ELL has turned me into a train-spotter'?

Anonymous said...

awesome - some photos someone please!

Monkeyboy said...

Sitting here with a pillow on my lap...

Anonymous said...

can we take bikes on the ELL outside commuter hours?

headhunter said...

i should think bikes are ok. It's ok to take bikes on tubes as long as they're not deep level lines

Anonymous said...

Bikes are definitely ok outside peak hours - posters are up about this. At peak hours only folding bikes can be taken on board.

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