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Get information about a particular station:
Plan a journey between two different stations:
Or find the best route to a tourist attraction:
You can pick up train timetables and route maps from the Travel Information Centres located in the following stations: Euston, Heathrow Airport, King’s Cross St Pancras, Liverpool Street, Piccadilly Circus and Victoria. You can also try telephoning the London Travel Information service on 0843 222 1234 (24 hours), or visit them online at tfl.gov.uk.
Train timetables from London to the rest of the UK can be found at nationalrail.co.uk
Tourists will likely be unaware of the various rules and regulations, so here is a little list to get you by…
Always stand on the right-hand side of escalators. The left-hand side is reserved for people who want to walk up the escalator.
When entering or exiting the platform, you won’t be able to use every single ticket barrier… only the ones with green arrows on. If a lane has a red cross on it, then it won’t accept your ticket.
If you’re carrying bulky items and can’t fit through the barrier, look for an extra wide gate (there are usually one or two available). If there are none, then show your ticket to the member of staff standing by the barrier, who will let you through a side gate.
Always let people off the train before you get on. People don’t queue on the platforms, so it’s every man for themselves after that.
Don’t take too much luggage on the tube, and don’t assume that you will get a seat – it’s often very crowded on the tube. During rush hour you will most likely be standing cheek-to-cheek with total strangers (no joke!).
London has the oldest and largest tube train network of any major city, operating 12 lines through miles of underground tunnels. Its 500 trains cover 260 stations.
Trains typically operate from 5.30 AM Monday to Saturday, and 7 AM on Sundays. The last train typically leaves between 11.30 PM and 00.30 AM. (The times will differ depending on the date, and where you’re travelling from.)
How to read the tube map
Each underground line has its own special colour, which is shown in the chart.
Train stations which only serve one line are shown by a little stub protruding from the line. For example, Covent Garden below, which only serves the Piccadilly line (dark blue).
Stations which serve two or more lines are said to be
interchanges, and are shown by a large white circle. For example, Blackfriars, which serves the Circle (yellow) and District (dark green) lines.
Stations which also serve mainline (above-ground) trains are accompanied by a little red rail symbol. For example, Charing Cross and Cannon Street.
Most underground maps will also show which ‘fare zone’ each station is located in. London is split up into nine concentric fare zones, or rings, with the smallest ring (Zone 1) at the centre. The closer you get to the centre of the ring, the higher the fare.
Apart from when you fly in from places like Heathrow (Zone 6), most tourists will spend their entire holiday inside Zone 1, but may enter Zone 2 for places further afield like Camden, Greenwich and The O2.
London is split up into nine concentric fare zones, or rings, with the smallest ring (Zone 1) at the centre. The closer you get to the centre of the ring, the higher the fare.
The vast majority of tourists will spend their entire holiday inside Zone 1. That covers everything from Kensington and Paddington in the west, to the Tower of London in the east. It also stretches from Marylebone and King’s Cross in the north, to Waterloo and Lambeth in the south. If you plan to visit Greenwich or Canary Wharf, then that will take you into Zone 2.
If you plan to be making several journeys throughout the day, then you might be better off buying a travelcard rather than paying single fares. These can be bought at most newsagents (those with a blue Oyster Card symbol in the window), or from the ticket machines at the station. These days, most travelcards are places directly onto an Oyster Card, regardless of whether you actually have an Oyster account.
The main advantage in buying an Oyster card is because of the cheaper fares. Prices are always higher if you pay cash. You can see how much you will have to pay by looking at our London train fares page.
An Oyster Card is different from a normal train ticket in that it can be topped up with money. It also stays valid forever. You can therefore fill it up with money at the start of your holiday and use it wherever and whenever you like, topping it up as you go along. We heartily recommend that you invest in an Oyster Card, as not only does it work out cheaper, it’s also the quickest and most convenient way to travel.
Once you have the card, all you have to do is touch it against the big round yellow reader on top of the ticket barrier, and the gate should open to let you through to the other side. The fare will automatically be deducted from your card.
You must remember to touch the card down again when you leave the station at the other end – or you may be overcharged. The computer needs to work out what your journey was, and if you forget to touch down when you leave then it will charge you whatever the maximum journey was on that train.
Note: If you decide not to buy an Oyster card and purchase a paper ticket at the station, then all you have to do is insert it into the bottom slot, face-up. It will then be ejected from a slot at the top. Once you remove the ticket from the top slot, the gate will open. But if the ticket is no longer of any use (because the journey you paid for is over), the ticket will instead be retained by the machine, and the gate will open automatically.
If you lost an item on the tube, call 0845 330 9882, or visit the Lost Property Office at 200 Baker Street. For items lost on an overground train, call 0845 330 9882.
British Transport Police: Tel 0800 405 040, or visit btp.police.uk
Transport for London: Tel 0843 222 1234, or visit tfl.gov.uk
National Rail Enquiries: Tel 0845 748 4950, or visit nationalrail.co.uk (for journeys outside central London)
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