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 (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.
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,
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:
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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