Post by Paul Wolff Post by Peter T. Daniels Post by Harrison Hill Post by LFS Post by Peter T. Daniels
1. When I take the train from Brighton to Victoria Station tomorrow, I will
need to take the Tube to Heathrow. The web site tells me it will cost £3.10,
and it goes on and on and on about the glories of the Oyster Card, without
telling me either how to get one, or what it costs, or whether I can get a
simple one-way ticket instead, and whether that might cost more; and
apparently the free Senior Fare applies only to residents of London.
If you have a contactless credit card you can use that, no need to get
an Oyster card.
If you are not going via Wimbledon, that might be
possible. Go anywhere near the tram-line, and they will mug
you. With lots of phone calls it might be possible to get the
money back (I couldn't be arsed). "Once mugged twice shy".
Madrigal's advice of a "through" ticket is good advice, but stay
on the Underground as you go through Padddington - unless you are
running late. It costs an extra £15 from Paddington on Heathrow Express.
That sentence carries no meaning for me. I am to take the District Line
at Victoria Station, and change (same platform) to the Paddington Line
I hope not. It's the Piccadilly Line that would take you from
Hammersmith to Heathrow.
Indeed. I was primed by the many, many occurrences of "Paddington" in
the preceding context.
As it happened, the journey was remarkably speedy. The next train out
when I got to the Brighton Station just happened to be the Gatwick
Express (11:48). 22 minutes to Gatwick; 2 minute stop; 33 minutes to
Victoria Station. Some interesting sights were seen from the train,
including the first tall buildings I saw in all of England: residential
towers just north of the South Croydon station. Since they were up
against the tracks, they are probably council flats.
But not much farther on, a lower but long building with entirely glass
walls that appeared from what I could see to be residences, but not one
of them had the drapes drawn (can it have been a hotel under construction
that is nearly completed?)
I was surprised to cross the Thames on a very wide railroad bridge,
rather than by tunnel.
The Underground's web site had lied to me: a one-way ticket to Heathrow
was not £3.10, but £6 (atrocious!). Fortunately there are many attendants
in the Tube complex there, and I learned that an Oyster Card would be
£5. The attendant at the turnstile ("barrier") for the District and
Circle Lines told me which District Line to take, and which Piccadilly
Line to take. In both cases, the right train was the first to come along.
The District Line cars are about the size of NYC's IRT trains (the
shorter, narrower of our two sizes), and the Piccadilly cars are tiny --
it must be one of the original lines made with the quite small bore
cylindrical tubes. The District Line is mostly open-cut; the Piccadilly
is mostly elevated at first and becomes a surface line before entering
the tunnel near the airport.
Don't ask about the airport. I shall never travel with BA again, and I
will avoid Heathrow as much as possible.
Post by Paul Wolff
There exists an Underground line which runs direct from Hammersmith to
Paddington, but it is absolutely what you do not want. If you sit on the
train for long enough past Paddington, it will carry you on to Victoria
and then through Paddington again, on a large loop below central London.
And I hope someone mentioned that the District Line has many branches,
not all of which pass through Hammersmith.