Newest Review: ... line offers great connection opportunities, especially in Central London, with the Victoria Line linking with Circle, Hammersmith & Cit... more
The connecting line
Member Name: elliot
Date: 15/02/01, updated on 15/02/01 (235 review reads)
Advantages: Very frequent trains
The short description of the line - the first driverless service - would probably bring cries of derision from the train operators on the Victoria line, if they could read :).
In fact, I know they might technically not be drivers, this is all computer controlled or something, but they're still there, so as far as passengers are concerned, it's the same as any other tube line. It's not like the DLR where you can sit at the front and look out the front window. I think the only difference is that trains always stop at the right place on the platform. You know how on other lines you're on the platform, gauging where the train's going to stop so you can stand by the door, then it does a final little spurt? Victoria Line trains never do that.
The refurbishment that was done in the 80s means the trains are the same visually as the Bakerloo line, except they're done out in blue instead of brown. Much more aesthetically pleasing on a cold winter's morning.
Astute studiers of the map will spot that the line connects to National Rail or other underground lines at every station except one, and this is because when the line was planned, it was meant to be a connecting line, joining up places that were otherwise a pain to get between. Rarely has London Underground been so forward thinking.
Trains are extremely frequent, with gaps between trains at peak times usually meaning that as soon as one train has left the platform, the indicator (assuming it's working) will change to say next train approaching. It's almost worth living in a grotty area of London just so that you get to use the Victoria Line.
Unless there's an operational problem, all trains southbound terminate at brixton and northbound at either Seven Sisters or Walthamstow (home of popular beat combo East 17 and a very large open air market).
Because the line was built long after much of the rest of the underground, it has a num
ber of short interchanges between lines, another example of forward thinking by LU which has rarely been seen since.
In the following cases, the interchange is just through the passageway which would usually take you to the same line's opposit direction. But here, the opposite platform actually continues in the same direction on the different line. So, for example, from Victoria line northbound to Bakerloo northbound, walk across the platform at Oxford Circus. If you want to go from one line's northbound the other other's southbound, the walk's quite long.
Other good places to change at Euston for the Northern Line city branch, and Stockwell for the Northern Line southern section.
The line's also excellent for cutting journey times, especially when you would otherwise use the Picadilly Line. As every Picadilly Line commuter knows, the line has about a thousand stops and will take you at least 6 weeks to travel end to end.
For example, say you want to get between Green Park and Finsbury Park... the Picadilly Line would be 10 stops, while Victoria Line is 6 and tends to travel faster anyway.
Equaally, between Stockwell and Euston you can take either the Northern or Victoria lines, but the former has 11 stops, while the latter has 7. Beware, though, that Victoria Line northbound goes Euston first before King's X, while Northern Line nouthbound has King's X first. Don't ask why, it just does :).
About the platform indicators which tell you how long till the next train... they lie almost as much as the ones for the buses. Don't believe them. Especially if it says 14 mins. If it said that on the Northern Line, it would be right, but not on the Victoria Line. Just know that in the years I've used the Victoria Line, I've never had to wait more than five mins, even when there was a strike on.
It's gonna be with you soon, okay? Stop being impatient... go and buy yo
urself a creme egg from the vending machine.
Oh, and finally, in line with the rest of the London Underground, expect to wait at least 20 mins in the queue for a ticket at peak times. If you want a travelcard, you're better off buying from a newsagent nearby known as Pass Agents (nearby bus stops often have lists of local pass agents, but the tube staff probably won't know). Make sure you have the right change so you can use the ticket machine or have a card - the new-style machines accept credit cards for low value tickets, but you'll not be appreciated for using a card at the ticket office window.
If you want a travelcard, you can buy it in advance, and it's often worth buying it the day before travel - go in the evening on your way home. You can buy them from any station, it doesn't have to be your local station, and you can even get them from National Rail stations if you want.