Welcome to london-railfan.info
Railfanning London‘s Railways

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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



Other Information

Train Directions

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 (National Rail) 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 engines, electric locomotives, early tube trains and much, much, more. In addition there is a large well stocked shop which sells books, magazines, DVD's, souvenirs, model railways and a coffee shop.

It is possible to enter some of the old trams, buses and trains!

Entry to the souvenir shop is free. Whilst the museum does charge an entry fee the tickets are valid for a year, so return visits are free, although a proof of identity is needed for return visits.

London Transport Museum, Covent Garden.
The London Transport Museum and retail shop is very easy
to find in the historic leisure-themed Covent Garden area.


Montage image information:
.1) A diagram inside a Metropolitan line train showing the stations served north of Harrow-On-The-Hill.
.2) London Tramways Company double deck horse tram, No. 284, built 1882 by Stephenson & Co, New York, USA
.3) Inside City & South London Railway 3rd Class trailer No.10. Built in 1890 these passenger coaches were hauled by electric locomotives,
Montage of views from inside the London Transport Museum.
A montage of views showing just some of the many attractions
at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden.

Clicking this link Digi2/LTMuseum-Multi-xl.jpg will open
a very large version of this image in a new window. .
one of which is also at the London Transport Museum. These trains were nicknamed Padded Cells, this was because they were designed to be used in tunnels where there is nothing to see and therefore only had very small windows.
.4) London Transport Leyland K2 type trolleybus, No. 1253, registration No. EXV 253, built 1939.
West Ham Corporation tramways No.102, a four-wheeled Edwardian era tramcar, built 1910
A model of a 1930s flare-sided subsurface Underground train (O / P / Q38 Stock) - this is a working exhibit that travels to and fro along a short section of track.
.5) Inside District Line G Stock Driving Motor No.4248, built in 1923 by the Gloucester Carriage & Wagon Co. - seen here after conversion (in 1938) to become part of the Q Stock (Q23) fleet.
.6) Three models showing the evolution of passenger doors on London Transport trains - open vestibule with lattice gates / hand operated inward opening door / powered sliding doors.

Online London Railways Maps

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:
http://cartometro.com/metro-tram-london/ .

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.

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/tocs_maps/tocs/ An interactive map showing where each TOC operates and includes links to further information about each of the TOCS. These latter pages include direct links to the TOC's own websites.

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/ The official Transport For London travel advice website. This also includes a journey planner which sometimes offers different travel options (and different fares!) than the NRE site.

http://tubephotos.dannycox.me.uk/stationsbyline.html This website has a page of information for just about every Underground and DLR station.

http://www.davros.org/rail/culg/ Clive's UndergrounD Line Guides also explores the London Underground, and includes much historical information as well.

http://underground-history.co.uk/front.php Disused Stations On London's Underground   Many pages of information and photographs about closed sections of for Underground railway, stations which have fully or partially closed (ie: Holborn which has two closed platforms), fictitious stations which only existed in films / on the television, the former tram tunnel and more.

http://www.abandonedstations.org.uk/ This web site is about closed railway routes and closed stations throughout London, including the Underground, the mainline railways and the DLR.

http://150greatthingsabouttheunderground.com/ Conceived in 2013, which was 150 years since the first section of the Metropolitan Line opened, this blog celebrates 150 great things about the London Underground.

http://mic-ro.com/metro/ The Metrobits website is a creative resource for the many urban Metro, Subway, MRT, Rapid Transit, U-Bahn, Metrorail etc., networks planetwide.

http://londonstransport.proboards.com/thread/454/general-transport-related-links A thread at the londonstransport.proboards discussion forum which contains many links to other websites of interest. Most of these are about railways in London.

http://londonstransport.proboards.com/thread/50/various-transport-related-links A thread at the londonstransport.proboards discussion forum which contains many links to blogs with a frequent London transport content, resources for train and bus operations, more...


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.

Railforums This chat / discussion forum looks at all of Britain's railways, and more...

District Dave This chat / discussion forum that was created by a District Line train driver and has become a true treasure trove of information about London's Underground.

londonstransport This chat / discussion forum only started in 2013 but is slowly building up a store of interesting information.

Bus Forum Although primarily about London's buses there are sections for London's many railways.




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This page last updated 30th October 2020
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