Newest Review: ... (well, in comparison with the District Line anyway). So what's the problem? Its popularity. The Piccadilly runs through several popu... more
I won't miss it.
Member Name: beckstrous
Date: 01/07/02, updated on 01/07/02 (123 review reads)
Advantages: covers all the popular stops
Disadvantages: see above! It can't take the strain.
After two years living in South Ealing and Northfields, I'm bidding a grateful and not particularly fond farewell to the Piccadilly Line. I've also used the Central, Waterloo & City, and District and Circle lines over the past three years and none of them give me quite the same mix of frustration and resentment as the Piccadilly (no, not even the District!).
I'm not a fan of the Tube in general but the Picadilly is the most difficult line I've used for my daily commute, even though it's fairly reliable and the trains are reasonably new (well, in comparison with the District Line anyway). So what's the problem?
Its popularity. The Piccadilly runs through several popular tourist spots, including Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden and Leicester Square. And one branch starts at Heathrow, which means that trains were almost always packed by the time they reach Northfields or South Ealing - even early in the morning.
If you're about to embark on a similar commute (West London to the City), then maybe some tips I've picked up would help you:
- If you get on the Heathrow branch before Acton Town and the train is packed, get off there. You often find trains coming in from the Rayners Lane/Uxbridge branch are a lot less crowded, so you can swap.
- Change at South Kensington for the Circle Line if you're not in a hurry. District Line trains are usually packed (and quite smelly) by the time they get here, but the Circle Line trains are often quite empty, though they don't come quite as often.
- Always stand in the aisle, even if there aren't that many people standing. The trains will get more and more crowded, especially around the doors. When you're in the aisle you can watch people and after a while, you develop a knack of working out when they're about to get off.
All in all, I think the Picadilly Line is overcrowded, over-used an
d under strain. I don't really have to use it now - I'm swapping it for the Waterloo and City line and South West Trains - and even that's got to be better than the daily slog from Northfields ... I won't miss that feeling of resignation when the train turns up packed, steaming and humming at the start of my journey!
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