August 31, 2018

One more full day in London, before riding the Eurostar train to Brussels.

I stayed in a hotel near the Earls Court Underground station. Many Underground stations have a certain character to them.

The best place to ride a London bus is on the upper level in front. Unlike the old Routemaster buses, these modern buses include digital "next stop" signs.

From Victoria Station, I rode the "Chatham" line to Orpington. The Southeastern Railway commuter train had 3 and 2 seating, similar to many commuter trains in the northeastern US. The railways in Britain have some of the tightest clearance standards in the world, presumably why double decker trains do not exist there.

Orpington actually is on the old "South Eastern" line out of London's Charing Cross station. Between Chislehurst and Petts Wood, north of Orpington, is an elaborate system of flyovers and connecting tracks between the South Eastern line and the Chatham line. I rode from Orpington to Charing Cross on this longer distance train, with 2 and 2 seating and tables.

I eventually made it to Stratford, east of London and the main location of the 2012 Olympics. A large indoor mall is there. But unlike most malls in the US, this mall is conveniently served by rail transportation. The Underground, main line trains, a light rail line, and the "Overground" which basically is Underground type service over main line railways. The Westfield mall management company also applies its name to malls in the US.

I rode an Overground train from Stratford to Hackney Central. Where a transfer connection is available to the pictured Hackney Downs station, where I would ride a train into Liverpool Street station. The Overground trains, like the Underground trains, had sideways seats.

At the Elephant & Castle station, a short distance south of the Thames River. This is near the old Elephant & Castle roundabout (traffic circle), which has since been modified into a two way street proceeding 3/4 the way around. London is full of roundabouts, and winding streets converging into the roundabouts. Driving in London is not advised for tourists. Especially if they are not used to driving on the left side, at roundabouts one drives clockwise around them.