London Reconnections

Recently I have been brave enough to make a couple of comments on London Reconnections, the website of choice for people interested in the inner workings of London transport. Their most recent post is about the sub-surface lines at Paddington; since I spent ten years commuting from Oxford to Stepney Green, I know very well how they used to be.

The main writers on the site all use noms de plume, and there are many anonymous comments; I think that not a few Transport for London employees read it, and many of the comments give the impression of coming from the horse’s mouth. The proprietors also get invited to tours of ongoing engineering work such as Crossrail and post some remarkable photos.

The site is also frequented by “crayonistas”: people who devise (usually impractical) new transport schemes by drawing coloured lines on maps, and then argue for or against them. I have to own up here; I used to think that it would be a good idea to connect the Finsbury Park to Moorgate line with the Waterloo and City line by a tunnel from Moorgate to Bank. It seems that this is impossible because there is too much existing plumbing in the way!

But definitely the best thing about Reconnections, something I very much like in a blog (and aspire to myself), is that some of its articles have a long shelf life. If you haven’t discovered them yet, you may be interested in this one on the origin of the distinctive Underground typeface Johnston Sans, and its updating by Eiichi Kono; or this one, on the 1952 Harrow and Wealdstone train crash, and how indirectly it contributed to developing responses to emergencies by the then-new National Health Service; or even this one, on the restoration of the old Wood Lane facade.

Happy reading!


About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
This entry was posted in geography, history, the Web and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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