Visitors to London who are also transport enthusiasts (‘railfans’) sometimes ask for advice as to the ‘best’ things to see on London’s railway network. This page is part of a guide which aims to answer that question.
If this is the first time you have reached these pages then it is best to go to the Opening Page which sets the scene, explains the difference between the small and the large profile trains, offers advice on the best type of ticket to buy and photography tips.
Alternatively, it is possible to view everything on one page
On the London Underground the direction of the trains are generally described with reference to the cardinal point to which they are travelling, which means northbound / southbound / eastbound / westbound. By way of contrast, on the mainline railways trains travel 'up' towards London (the central London terminus station where they end their journeys) and 'down' (away from London).
Also worth visiting / information resources
The London Transport Museum which is right in the heart of Central London in the historic Covent Garden area and near the Underground station of the same name. Also within easy walking distance are Leicester Square and Charing Cross stations (it is advised to consult a streetmap for exact walking routes).
The London Transport Museum features a wide range of mostly historic transports including horse buses, trams, trolleybuses, motor / omnibuses, steam trains, electric locomotives, early tube trains and much, much, more. In addition there is a large well stock book shop which also sells DVD's, souvenirs and model railways and a coffee shop. Entry to the retail shop is free. Whilst the museum does charge an entry fee the tickets are valid for a year, so return visits are free, although some proof of identity is requested.
Another specialist book shop is the Ian Allan Shop which is just a few minutes walk from Waterloo station on a road called Lower Marsh. The best station exit is near to platform 1; turn right when leaving the station; walk along the footpath between the side of the station building and taxi road as far as the pedestrian traffic signals, cross the road; pass through the opening in the wall; turn left and descend the steps / ramp along Spur Road; Lower Marsh is on the right near the bottom of the incline and next to the Zebra Crossing - however because of the curved road layout it will not be seen until you are very close to it. As an aside, as you descend Spur Road you will pass the location where trains are craned in and out of the Waterloo & City Line.
Alternatively, Lower Marsh is also very near to Lambeth North Bakerloo Line station. Turn right immediately after leaving the station, cross Bayliss Road at the traffic lights and walk along Westminster Bridge Road; Lower Marsh is on the right, just before the railway bridge. Lower Marsh is an interesting street, with several specialist small shops and cafe's (including an organic cafe) which are well used by local people.
|The London Transport Museum is very easy to find
in the historic leisure-themed Covent Garden area.
|Ian Allan bookshop which is just a few minute's walk from
Waterloo mainline station (exit near platform 1).
Online London Railways Map
Transport enthusiasts may find this webpage which leads to some online maps that show most railways within the London area to be of interest.
Being geographic makes it easy to work out where different lines pass close to each other, although if intending to walk between suburban stations it is advised to also consult a normal streetmap (online or paper) to decide upon the best walking route. Underground lines are shown in their correct line colours. Also shown are non-passenger lines and even some closed lines.
This map is free and comes in two versions - a simple graphic file or a high quality portable document 'pdf' file. With the 'pdf' file it is possible to zoom-in and (in many instances) see the lines in great detail - including full track diagrams at junctions.
The link leads to the London page of a much larger website that looks at many urban transport systems:
Alternatively, there are other good quality maps that can be bought - many people find that paper documents are more convenient when 'out and about'.
Links Which May be Of Interest
These links all open in new windows
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ National Rail Enquiries (NRE) - an impartial website for planning rail travel. Note however that individual mainline railway train operating companies (TOC) sometimes have cheap
'special offer' tickets which are only promoted on their own websites.
The following discussion / chat forums may also be of interest; note that whilst anyone can read messages you must create an account if you wish to join in any of the discussions.
citytransportinfo is also here:
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