13 Things We Already Miss About The Tube

13 Things We Already Miss About The Tube

It's been a few days since we've been told to avoid the tube except for essential travel, and we already miss it badly. Here's what we can't wait to get back to, when happier times return.

1. Funny tube driver announcements

Photo by version3point1, in the Londonist Flickr pool.

One of the tests for speculative tube drivers is their ability to churn out droll one-liners over a PA system. You know, like: "Would the guy with the piano accordion please put your trousers back on." or "My apologies for the delay to the service. We forgot to stop at Kentish Town and must now reverse." Right now, we'd settle for a chiding from an irate driver for leaning on the doors. Simpler times.

2. Moquette

We love it so much we made our own

Assuming you're working from home, you might be lounging on a sofa, or even sprawled on your bed. But admit it, you're already missing the rough, bouncy surface of tube moquette against your backside, indented with the the buttocks of 11 million other Londoners before you. We hope that you have a pair of moquette socks or even a moquette cushion to keep you going through these otherwise moquette-less times.

3. Knowing the exact spot to wait on the platform for the doors to open

Image: TfL

While all the other commuters are scrabbling around you — like a goalkeeper trying to position themselves in the right spot for a penalty kick — it feels good to stand on your exact mark on the platform then stride, unfazed, straight onto the train. Skillz.

4. Getting lost inside Bank station

Image: Shutterstock

Forget Hampton Court — THIS is London's premier maze. If you're finding it hard to get lost on your current commute from bedroom to living room, why not create a rough simulation of Bank station at 8.30am by blindfolding yourself, spinning round 200 times then getting your housemates to smash into you as you edge your way along the hallway. Ahh memories.

5. The weird sci-fi sound the Jubilee line makes

You know the sound. Image: Shutterstock

There's a scientific reason for that Tardis-esque noise, but for anyone who uses the Jubilee line regularly, it's the homey sound of getting from A to B. For now, you can listen to it on YouTube.

6. Minding the gap

Mind the Gap.

When we're finally allowed back on the tube, we are going to mind the f**k out of that gap.

7. Social distancing... in close proximity

Image: Shutterstock

When you think about it, Londoners always bossed the whole social distancing thing — emotionally at least — and particularly on the tube, where we managed to have our own little lives going on all to ourselves, despite being half a centimetre away from the next person. Speaking of which...

8. Moaning about how hot it is

The air conditioned tube map

We're not far off the season where the tube gets so hot, it's unfit for transporting livestock — something that every Londoner loves to moan about while passively aggressively flapping their pocket tube map in front of their face. Except that, given there's been an 80% drop in passengers over Covid-19, it's probably going to be nice and temperate down there this spring and summer.

9. The tube map

Image: TfL

Harry Beck's design to beat all designs basically maps out our lives, and it seems strange not using it on a daily basis. Fortunately for now, we can still enjoy it online in its many many forms.

10. Getting the last seat...

Image: TfL

That smug feeling you get when you score the last available slab of moquette.

11. ... then giving up your seat

Image: TfL

That smug feeling you get when, two seconds later, you give up your seat for someone who needs it more than you — and feel like a genuine tube hero.

12. Not reading the Metro

Actually, maybe we should have taken more heed of that headline. Image: Shutterstock

We already really miss not picking up our copy of the Metro and not reading all the latest Lewis Capaldi/Rita Ora goss.

13. Roundels

We miss the tube so much, we turned the coronavirus into a roundel. Image: Londonist

Those wonderful beacons that make us feel safe and warm wherever we go. Can't wait to have them back in our lives.

Keep up to date on all the latest London coronavirus news here.

Last Updated 26 March 2020