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The Waterloo & City Line is a very small line of the London Underground, infact its the smallest of lines with just 2 stations. The line is actually really old and a very busy line, even if it just goes from A to B and back again, it opened back in 1898.
The line is intended mainly for commuters travelling between the two business areas or connecting onto other lines, at the Waterloo end of the line you can change onto the Bakerloo, Jubilee & Northern lines, ferries & National Rail services, and then at the other end of the line at Bank Station you can jump onto the Central, Circle, District or Northern lines plus the DLR. So the Waterloo & City line is very well connected to catch other lines or services. If your coming from South West London and want a quicker commute the Waterloo & City lines can do that, its a great way to make your journey quicker, with an average journey time of just 4 minutes, without this line the journey can be approx 14 minutes as you would need to catch a slow stopping train on other lines & change trains, no other direct route goes between Bank & Waterloo. So it's great for a quick direct route.
However I think this is the only benefit of this line, it looks as though it might be pointless but the amount of commuters on this route makes it a great idea with thousands of passengers in morning & evening rush hour.
Personally I thought the line would be a total waste of time until I used it for the first time and it really does make a LOT of difference. Would highly recommend for commuters or just people in a hurry.
I don't use this line but have noted on too many occasions that it is closed for all sorts of 'technical 'reasons. As a result I wouldn't want to rely on it for anything . There seems to be something wrong with it but people must be very used to this as most reviews are very positive .
The Waterloo & City line offers a very quick link between Waterloo and Bank stations, which is of great use to the banking community and as Fenchurch street is only a 10 minute walk from Bank station it also provides a useful link from waterloo to the C2C services.
The line consists of 5 trains serviced by Central line staff,and driven by Leytonstone based drivers.
The trains themselves are fast and mostly reliable,only taking 4 minutes for the journey.
The trains are 1992 stock which are almost identical to the Central line stock,the only main difference being that the W&C trains are driven manually 100% of the time as they are not equipped with automatic train protection.
The condition of the track is not that good, making for a noisy ride, but this will be sorted by 2007 with a track replacement which will follow a closure of the line for 6 months in April 2007.
On the whole the line makes a welcome change from travelling on other lines and if you are travelling out of peak hours or in the a.m peak you are going from Bank to Waterloo or the reverse journey for the evening peak,you will always get a seat as the crowds will be travelling in the opposite direction.
I've used the "Waterloo and S***y" line for three years, on and off - and it's not as bad as it looks. When you step off the platform at Waterloo and see the crowds of people on the sloping platform and steps leading to the tunnels it can be quite soul-destroying, and the massed ranks of bored commuters flicking listlessly through the Metro is quite a sight. The queues aren't as bad as they look and move quite quickly - if the trains are running okay, that is. Otherwise, you can be there for forty minutes or more... As the quickest and most convenient link from, er, Waterloo to the City, the line is massively busy during the rush hour. When it fails, everything seems to grind to a halt - but if you know what time to arrive and how to use it it's a piece of cake. Getting there around 8am makes so much difference to arriving half an hour later. Within a couple of minutes you'll be on a train, so get in earlier if you can - arriving at 8:30am could see you standing on the slope for a while. Going back to Waterloo is easier because there are two platforms at Bank, and if you really want a seat you can wait for the later train. The journey lasts about five minutes, and the trains - which go under the river - are fast: if you've not got a seat, then hold on! The trains and platforms don't seem to smell nearly as much as on the other Tube lines, and even in summer they're not as hot. In summary - it's not that bad. If you arrive at the right time, it's reasonably stress-free. And even if you don't get a seat the journey is so quick that it doesn't really matter. It takes a bit of getting used to and you'll hate it when it fails, but I've travelled on worse lines than this.
For those of you who have never had the experiance of using the Waterloo and City line then I feel its my duty to warn you of what you might expect. As the name of the line suggests the line operates between Waterloo station and Bank station. Where this line differs from most of the other lines is that because it exists purely for the business community, there is no weekend service, and the last weekday service is at 9:30pm. Trains are frequent and when everything is running smoothly you should expect a train to turn up evry 2-5 minutes. Waterloo has only a huge ramp and a wide set of stairs as access to the platform fo this line. This can be really off putting in peak times when you see thousands of people queing just to get on the platform, but dont despair, because of the frequency of trains the queue is fast moving. Once you finally do get on the train, this is one of those occasions in life where the smaller you are the greater advantage you have. Everyone will try to cram in to every last nook and cranny there is available. If you are tall like myself (6ft 4) then make sure that if you cant get a seat that you stand in the middle of the aisle, if you dont you are likely to find yourself doing the whole journey folded into the curve of the train. As for the journey itself this is where the real fear is, the train is probably one of the fastest travelling on the underground network, except that the condition of the track doesnt really lend tself to travelling at those speeds. If you are standing make sure that you get a good tight grip of either the railings or a very trusted friend next to you, if not the consequence could be disatorous. On many occasions I have seen many a Waterloo&City virgin trying to do the journey without holding on, only to see them get thrown round the carriage like a rag doll, and usualy to the displeasure of many streesed and irate passengers. On arrival at Bank, just foll
ow everyone else dont event attempt to stop mid flow, in fact I think this is impossible anyway, the crowd will just sweep you in the direction that you want to go. For the more active the stairs offer a a faster escape route than the at present one trav-o-lator, this wiil be remedy some time in the new year when the 2nd one is opened. During the summer when the temperurs start to soar, life on the line can become very unpleasent as the temperature soars to unbearable levels. Outside of peak ours you would hardly recognise this line as it rarely gets busy so that you cant get a seat. Reliability is mainly in the whole good, but when it does go wrong ity usual goes wrong in style, leading to usually huge delays and often complete closure of the line. There was a story not so long ago about one of the trains got stuck in the tunnel under the Thames, the train behind it tried to push it out, but this too got stuck,in the end all passengers had to get out and walk a few miles in the pitch black sweltering tunnell. So all I can say is that if you do have to use the line, try to do it off peak, and if it must be peak time, well get prepared to be trampled!
Possibly the bumpiest and noisiest line on the network, the waterloo and city line is completely empty during off-peak, and packed full at peak time. beware, unseasoned travellers, for commuters are unforgiving of hesitation. when you get on, go straight to a suitable standing point or dive for the seat. if you stand, for god's sake move right down in side the carriage, making use of all available space. you'll be eaten alive if you don't. when you get off, let youself be carried by the rest of the crowd if you don't know which direction to go - hesitation will definitely result in injury. the line only has two stops, and is usually used by commuters working in the city who tend to get national rail into town, then the five minute, 1.5 mile, journey into bank and back. because of the number of people getting on at waterloo, there is usually a delay getting onto the platform, and you'll often find yourself in a massive queue - push yourself as politely but forcefully as you can without actually shoving people out of the way. this can be a tricky manoeuvre, and involves looking straight in the direction you're moving, and not making eye contact with anyone. ease yourself in front of people, and slowly but surely you'll find yourself moving forward. once you're actually on the slope that takes you to the platform you'll be fine, and the crowd will push you along if you don't move yurself. you may find it helpful to have a briefcase. just like mothers at zebra crossings with pushchairs, you can use the briefcase to assist with the procedure. at bank you'll find the underground system's one and only travelator, anong which you can read the latest news from Reuters which pops up on screens along the route. the trains are among the system's newest, and were introduced in 1993... they're the same as the northern and jubilee lines' trains. i
t used to be owned and operated by British Rail, but since its breakup, has been managed by the District Line, hence the kinda green colouring of the trains. (In anticipation of the sell off of LU, each line is managed separately, and has its own budgets and maintenance agreement with LU Engineering.) there are no ticket barriers at either end, but there are usually inspectors, so don't bunk your fare. they won't let you off for any reason. they're nice like that. good luck.