4 Things About The Tube We'll Never Understand

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 26 months ago
4 Things About The Tube We'll Never Understand
As far as we know no one ever explained this. Photo by Stockcar Pete in the Londonist Flickr pool

Here Comes The Sun (again)

It's OK, we get buskers. But why is the only Beatles song that tube buskers ever seem play Here Comes The Sun, even though it's CLEARLY one of the worst Beatles songs? Did George Harrison make some kind of covert exclusivity deal with the GLC back in the day? More Revolution 9 on the banjolele, please.

Strange announcements

We love and admire the voices that chide and caveat us across the tube network. They've saved us from a fate with numerous gaps. But sometimes they do some weird things.

For instance, why does the voice on northbound Jubilee line trains announce 'Willesden Green' in such a fearful way? What happened in Willesden Green? Should we all stay away from Willesden Green? Was the women who says 'Willesden Green' being produced by a Phil Spectoresque gun-wielding maniac?

And why does the voice on the Northern line announce that the next station is 'High-git'? Is it especially posh for the benefit of the posh people who live there?

And why do trains at North Greenwich announcing the O2 go up at the end of the sentence as if there's more to come?

And why does something similar happen on terminating Bakerloo trains, when warning you to take your belongings with you?

What was going on in those recording booths? We just don't know and we probably never will.

Seriously though, what happened at Willesden Green? Photo by Simon in the Londonist Flickr pool

The steps lie

As is well documented by our resident sage of the tube, Geoff Marshall, commuters are often given completely false information on how many steps a tube station has. For instance, at Belsize Park there's a sign claiming there are 219 steps when there are in fact just 189. Does TfL have a step counter who can't count? Do they want to put people off using the stairs? If Geoff doesn't know, no one does.

I mean, how do we know you're not just lying TfL, HOW? Photo by Jack Gordon in the Londonist Flickr pool

Rogue signs

And it's not just the step signs that are inconsistent; despite the fact TfL has in-depth style guides, some of their signage brazenly flouts it:

And don't get us started on some of their dodgy spellings.

What mystifies you about the tube? Let us know in the comments.

Last Updated 11 October 2016