Riding the last ever fully circular circle line train

On Sunday morning, the Circle Line uncurled slightly into a spiral, and to commemorate the death of the circle, a small group decided to take the very last ever train to run right round the whole circle line on the prior Saturday night.

Starting at Tower Hill and looping round the network back to Tower Hill about an hour later.

Although I had consulted widely to confirm that the timetable was correct, I popped into Tower Hill earlier that evening to double-check with the staff. I needn’t have bothered as the woman behind the counter seemed completely incapable of understanding the simple question I was asking and kept replying with the same incorrect information about the very last train to leave the station.

Fortunately, the barrier staff understood instantly what I wanted and although not sure of the exact details, agreed that my presumption sounded about right.

A few beers later with friends and over to the station, where we met up with the small contingent of fellow tube geeks who had decided to honour the dying moments of the circle line.

Although the timetable suggested 23:37 was the train to catch, the train indicator was showing delays, so when a train at roughly the right time arrived, we weren’t actually sure if it was the Very Last Train. No announcements or indications that it was The Train.

Taking a risk, we took that train and as we arrived and waited at Aldgate, the station announcer confirmed that this was indeed the Very Last Train. Much excitement!

Slowly round the line we went until we arrived at Baker Street, and took the last circle line train that would ever travel round the track from the East towards Kensington High Street.

Apart from that it was really just a trip on the circle line round to Tower Hill, although I stuck my head out at almost each station to take a photo of the platforms.There was also some amused looks from some of the fellow passengers at our (gasp!) photo snapping antics on the train.

Sadly, considering that it was the last ever trip – apart from the station announcer at Aldgate – not a single mention was made on the train or at any other stations.

Eventually arriving at Tower Hill, as we departed for the last time, a crowd got on to catch the train on its partial loop round to Liverpool St Station – oblivious to the unmarked grave of the circle line they were embarking.

Those of us who turned up were largely there due to messages on Twitter – so a live commentary was provided though the trip.

I managed to take a “souvenir” photo of most of the stations we pasted though – photos at Flickr as usual.

Thanks to everyone who came along as well – it was fun.

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4 Comments

  1. Helen Duffett

    Thanks for being our ‘host with the most’ !

  2. Richard G Brown

    Ditto – thanks for organising it, Ian.

  3. Being a train and tram nut from Oz I can empathise and simply wish I’d been there. Shame it wasn’t publicised more but that seems common in both hemispheres :(

  4. Great stuff, I love uber-geekery like this.

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