December 16th, 2012

# On a danglepod with my fondleslab, on the way to Hoxton #

1. Didcot to Paddington
2. Paddington to Queen's Park (because the first Bakerloo train I got terminated at Queen's Park, another one turned up before an Overground train)
3. Queen's Park to Willesden Junction
4. Willesden Junction to Clapham Junction
5. Clapham Junction to Canada Water (final, for now, part of the Overground)
6. Canada Water to North Greenwich (for Hellmouth)
7. Dangleway South to Dangleway North
8. Royal Victoria to Shadwell
9. Shadwell to Highbury and Islington
10. Highbury and Islington to Moorgate
11. Moorgate to Bank
12. Bank to Waterloo
13. Waterloo to Paddington
14. Paddington to Didcot

I was vaguely intending to get the 'parliamentary train' from Paddington to Ruislip, but decided it was too cold a day to be out and about for that long, so set off to London a bit before lunch. The train at Didcot was a bit late and the platform had quite a few people on it as the previous train to London had been taken out of service at Didcot due to one of the crew falling ill. I think everyone got a seat anyway.
On the Overground train from Willesden Junction to Clapham Junction there was a strange noise as the doors opened and closed. On closer examination this proved to be someone blowing into a didgeridoo. Someone with a skateboard. And it wasn't even a train going to Hoxton.
The decision to have the Overground train seats all facing inwards seems a little bizarre to me, but what do I know?
The Overground map is an odd thing - it would give someone not in the know an even more skewed view of the geography of London than the Underground map.
Fortunately I never go anywhere without an amulet in the shape of the Dread Sigil Odegra so was able to pass from North Greenwich (for Hellmouth) to Dangleway South without being sucked into the Hellmouth. I do not envy the TfL clerics their job of stopping the souls of the damned from making their way north of the river.
The dangleway is a curious thing, somewhere between a piece of public transport and a tourist attraction. Apart from the souls of the damned problem, it does go quite high (maybe to shake off the souls of the damned?). On the way out I was approached by someone surveying people who have travelled on the dangleway on behalf of TfL. e.g. 'Are you carrying a talisman of the Dread Sigil Odegra? If you are not, begone foul shade'.
Near the dangleway is The Crystal. A 'sustainability' exhibition. With lots of screens etc. lit up despite me being about the only person there. It would probably annoy other people more than it annoyed me, I can imagine the more 'green' members of 'the gang' being irked. But it did strike me as being quite tedious and glossing over any hard questions.
On the DLR train there were some young people pronouncing Shadwell with a Welsh accent - see - I got the distinct impression they didn't know why it was supposed to be pronounced with a Welsh accent but had picked it up from someone who remembered Naked Video. I could be wrong.
The Highbury and Islington to Moorgate line is rather unlovely compared to everything that has had money poured into it e.g. the Overground, the dangleway - the stations are underground and still have Network SouthEast colours, and the First Capital Connect trains could do with a wash.
Apart from the trip round the fine travel system of London, the purpose of the trip was to meet up with some friends in a restaurant near Waterloo.

So, with the Overground open, that is the last extension of the railways in London, I think, until parts of Watford are triumphantly linked to other parts of Watford in 2016.