Essentially, the London Underground is the electric railway system that runs in the city of London. It connects Greater London to the nearby areas of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, and Essex in the UK. Another name for is the ‘Tube.’ The Tube has 270 stations in its entirety.
The easiest way to navigate the trains is by using the map. The Tube map is freely available. The Underground itself has a website dedicated to it with all its information neatly organised. The map is also available there.
The Tube has only two tracks, a coming and a going one. And so, it is not possible to run the services 24/7. It functions 24 hours only on special days like the New Year.
Tickets for the Tube can be brought from the station. There are both counters manned by officials and automatic machines, with electronic tickets. They accept both credit and debit cards. There are some cards that you can use to travel, like plastic tickets. You don’t have to keep buying tickets every time you travel. You can just swipe these. They are valid for many rides. Some of these are Travel Cards; Oyster etc. there are discounts for different age groups and students.
Note down the areas you are planning to visit. Spread out the map and check the stations that come in between these places. The most important thing here to remember is that the Tube has many subway lines. To get from one train to another, you must change lines. These lines are not on the same level. In fact, some of them are several stories high. You will spend considerable time moving from one line to another, though there are escalators. So, plan well and try and take as few trains as possible.
But the benefit of this great distance between the lines is that several stores have been opened here. You can check these out while you are waiting for your train.
The trick is to always stick to your left side. Everything goes from here. Stand at the right and expect to be ambushed, whether on the escalator or while boarding the train. Also, it is easy to get confused between directions. Keep consulting your map and ensure the directions you are supposed to go in. the trains are often referred to as northbound, southbound and so on. Even if you get puzzled about the route you are once you’re underground, listen out for the conductor calling out the name and direction of the train.
You will hear an announcement being repeated over and over at the station asking you to mind the gap. There a fair distance between the platform and the train so be careful while getting in, especially with children.
A thing to remember, there are some stations referred to as ghost stations. Passengers have neither boarded nor alighted on these stations in several decades. See if you can get some of the colourful stories behind this from other passengers. It will pass your journey quickly and make it more interesting.