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  #21  
Old 10-29-2011, 02:37 AM
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Now THIS I could understand getting lost in.
And then there are the subway maps for Tokyo, New York City, London, and Paris.
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  #22  
Old 10-29-2011, 05:20 PM
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And then there are the subway maps for Tokyo, New York City, London, and Paris.
Only thing I ever found hard about the London underground was when I had to try to transpose the tube map over a regular map to figure out what station I needed for a specific place. Luckily, most museums, theatres, etc listed the nearest tube station in their ads, but when they didn't, that could be fun (this was before widespread cell phone use). We lived about an hour outside London, so I never used the system on a daily basis, just for daytrips - we always parked at a station at the outer edges with cheap all day parking, and hopped onto the line from there. I MISS the UK I'm homesick.
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  #23  
Old 10-30-2011, 06:10 AM
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Has the London underground added lines or something since the 80's? When I was there in 1982 I had no trouble with it. Every evening I'd decide what I wanted to see the next day, sit down with my tube map and my guidebook, and figure out how to get there. It never seemed complicated to me. And I'm not much use with regular maps.
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  #24  
Old 10-30-2011, 02:41 PM
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Yup, the London Underground has expanded since the 80's, and is still expanding.
:-)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timelin...on_Underground

  #25  
Old 11-01-2011, 09:23 AM
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To be fair, i picked Seoul purely because it would seem less familiar than the classic Harry Beck style Tube map. To locals, it is probably just as familiar - and since the design is clearly Harry Beck inspired, it's a fairly good map. Since Seoul is about 12 mllion citizens, a complex rail network is actually justified - given that London is only 8 million.

By contrast, the Greater Helsinki area is only 2 million. The rail and tram network *combined* is therefore considerably less complex than some other cities' rail networks, and is mostly centred on a single area rather than densely covering a relatively wide area.

The London Underground map is indeed not very geographically consistent. This is deliberate to improve readability of the network. If you need to work out how to get to a particular place on the surface, use a large-scale surface map (such as an A to Z) to locate the nearest stations, then a Tube map to work out how to get to those stations.

Railway lines which split at one or both ends are actually very common. As a trivial example, the Helsinki Metro is in a Y shape, so the service frequency on the trunk is usually 5 minutes, while the frequency on each arm is 10 minutes - alternate trains take each branch. Each train has it's destination on a large display on the front, additional displays on the side of each carriage, and it is usually announced on platform displays as well.

You can find many examples on other railway and metro systems worldwide. On the London Underground, routing is further complicated by trains not always running to physical termini, but to stations with turnback facilities - so the service frequency is higher in the centre of the network. Therefore, paying attention to the destination of individual trains is very important.

Some of the tram lines also split, but this is handled by simply using variant route numbers - so the 4 goes to the end of Katajanokka peninsula, while the 4T does to Katajanokka Ferry Terminal instead. Up to that point, the two routes are shown by a single line and both forks are the same colour on the map.

Here's an extreme example of route splitting - three coloured lines, but about a dozen distinct destinations: Merseyrail. Note also that Central is, for the Northern Line, also a turnback station for Ormskirk and Kirkby services - only Southport trains run through to Hunts Cross.

Having trains physically divide and rejoin in mid-journey is relatively uncommon, though. I know of some cases where it still happens, but none of these are in metro or commuter service. People tend to get confused about whch part of the train they need to be in.

Last edited by Chromatix; 11-01-2011 at 09:41 AM.

  #26  
Old 11-01-2011, 01:49 PM
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Having trains physically divide and rejoin in mid-journey is relatively uncommon, though. I know of some cases where it still happens, but none of these are in metro or commuter service. People tend to get confused about whch part of the train they need to be in.
The one I saw that made me suggest it was "featured" on an episode of Top Gear where the guys were racing accross Japan, one in a car, the others on public transportation. The two on the public rail line got seperated when one went looking for a vending machine in a different part of the train, and it split at the station.
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  #27  
Old 11-02-2011, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Quoth Chromatix View Post
Having trains physically divide and rejoin in mid-journey is relatively uncommon, though. I know of some cases where it still happens, but none of these are in metro or commuter service. People tend to get confused about whch part of the train they need to be in.
Luckily my local commuter railway, the South Shore line only has one line (that pink line on the left of the map is where the train shares tracks and stations with another commuter railway company, only letting passengers off going north and only letting passengers on going south at the stations it stops at). However, there are a few stations where all or part of the train will stop and be left behind. In the cases where the train splits, its pretty obvious and there are announcements before it happens. Since the train cars being left behind are just going to get parked and shut off, the conductors walk through and direct people ahead to the cars that are moving on.

Even in the nearest major city, their rail system is pretty straightforward. Lines are designated by color, and color and ending destination are both on the side of the train and included in the train's announcements. The only two curve-balls are that the Purple line only runs downtown at rush periods (any other time a transfer to the Red line is necessary) and that again at rush periods, some trains switch directions in the middle of their lines, but again, this is designated by the "express" light flashing inside the train, the train's signage being white and showing the turnaround station as the destination, and the recorded announcements reflecting necessary information as well.

If only their bus system (shown on the same map link) was as straightforward...
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  #28  
Old 11-02-2011, 09:59 AM
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Just to ease the strain on the brain, go here and click "show all" on the streetcar lines. Can't get too much simpler than that
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  #29  
Old 11-02-2011, 04:09 PM
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A train crossing a substantial fraction of Japan doesn't really strike me as commuter service. Most likely the split was only announced in Japanese though, thus explaining why our intrepid presenters (whose only knowledge of Japanese is motorcycle brands) didn't know about it.

The two splitter trains that I'm sure are still in use are: the Scottish sleeper trains, which split (and combine on the return journey) at Carstairs and Edinburgh; and some Pendolino services from Helsinki which split at Tampere to save traffic slots on the busiest part of the network - but they usually don't join on the return journey, because the couplers are not totally reliable, especially in bad weather. Both of these are very thoroughly intercity services.

Re-forming a train at the terminus is pretty common though. Sometimes a commuter train will arrive at Helsinki, but won't even open the doors until it has coupled to the train already in the platform (which is plainly obvious to the passengers inside due to the bump as the couplers connect). This means that the outgoing train will be longer than the incoming one, and thus able to carry more passengers for the peak hours. Meanwhile, the gap in the timetable will have been filled by a spare train - also lengthened - from a nearby siding.

Of course, re-forming a train without auto-couplers is a bit more involved than that, generally because a man wearing neon opposite-of-camo has to get down on the track and swear at some infeasibly large and greasy pieces of metal. That's workable for a sleeper, but not much else these days, at least while in mid-journey.

  #30  
Old 11-02-2011, 04:40 PM
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A train crossing a substantial fraction of Japan doesn't really strike me as commuter service. Most likely the split was only announced in Japanese though, thus explaining why our intrepid presenters (whose only knowledge of Japanese is motorcycle brands) didn't know about it.
They were off the high-speed line by the time of the train split, and on the commuter lines.

Ah well, it was good fun for the watching, at least.
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