© David John - Flickr: DavenJohn


17 things that would improve the design of the new tube

Posted at 1:00 pm, October 10, 2014 in Transport
new tube for london

We all saw the swanky new designs released yesterday for the brand spanking new tubes due to hit the Piccadilly line in the next ten years. Yes, they sure look pretty shiny. They have walk-through carriages, wider doors, dynamic advertising/information displays, on-board wifi and even *gasp* air conditioning.

But we think TfL could have gone even further in designing their dream tube train. Here are a few suggestions that we reckon they should consider:

© Flickr: vagueonthehow

© Flickr: vagueonthehow

Cup holders

If they want us to be comfortable, why not give us a handy place to rest out coffee cups, juice beakers, cans of Coke, water bottles etc? We reckon it could save a fortune in cleaning up sticky floors…

© Flickr: vagueonthehow

© Flickr: vagueonthehow

A tea trolley

In fact, while we’ve got our beverage sitting comfortably, we’d love a refill! Okay, maybe not practical during rush hour but in quieter times, we think a British Rail style tea trolley dishing out hot drinks and biscuits would make commuters much perkier.

© Flickr: Phil Whitehouse

© Flickr: Phil Whitehouse

Vending machines

Fine, if tea trolleys are too much to ask, how about a humble in-carriage vending machine? They could champion independent London suppliers and rotate produce. C’mon, non-smelly affordable tube snacks for all! You know it makes sense.

© Flickr: Sludge G

© Flickr: Sludge G

Luggage racks

Surely there would be loads more room if we could put all our shopping, backpacks, suitcases, children up on a luggage rack above the seats? That’s wasted space, people!

© Flickr: devopstom

© Flickr: devopstom

Drunk tank

As the tube gears up to go 24 hours on weekends next year, we’d recommend a quarantine for people who look too peaky to sit near. We predict there’ll be a lot more late-night tube vomming so anything to avoid the wafting smell of bile is okay by us. 

© Flickr: eefeewahfah

© Flickr: eefeewahfah

Forward facing seats

A lot of people get queasy when they sit backwards on a train and try to read. Let’s help those poor chaps out by making a few forward facing seats. People could wear badges similar to the ‘baby on board’ ones to identify themselves as nauseous travellers so they’d always get a forward-facer.

© Flickr: BJ Carter

© Flickr: BJ Carter

Reclining seats

While we’re talking about seats, how about a few comfy options, eh? Although we don’t want to incite any leg-room induced psychotics…

© Flickr: Tom Page

© Flickr: Tom Page

Rails of varying heights

Not everyone is a giant or has go-go gadget arms! Us short-arses need things to hold on to too.

© Flickr:  Oliver Mallich

© Flickr: Oliver Mallich

The hangy things

You know, the spring ones from ye olden tubes. We’d like to see those make a comeback too, just for nostalgia’s sake.

Books On The Underground

Book swapping shelves

There’s already a clandestine tube book swapping movement but we think this should be turned into a legit encouraged activity. Done with your novel? Leave it on the book shelf for your neighbour to get stuck in to.

© Flickr:  Bas de Reuver

© Flickr: Bas de Reuver

Magazine racks

While we’re on reading material, it couldn’t hurt to have a few magazine racks on board full of fine publications such as ours to avoid that awkward reach over to rescue a copy abandoned on the vent.

© Flickr: Kai Hendry

© Flickr: Kai Hendry

Plug sockets

We don’t want to encourage mobile phone use on the Underground but we’re not too proud to admit that it would be really helpful to charge our dying iPhones for a few minutes while we travel. Cheers!

© Flickr:  James Qualtrough

© Flickr: James Qualtrough

Quiet zone

Let’s have a shouting-free zone please, especially if we’re going to be able to use our mobiles down there. Mmmmm peace and quiet…

Party carriage

However, if you’d rather your journey was filled with banging tunes and dancing, you’ll need to head to the club zone. Let’s get the guys who set up an impromptu one on the Northern line a few weeks ago to do a weekend residency.

Basement Galley - underground supper club, Victoria Line (c) Basement Galley

Supper clubs

And while we’re recreating things that happen above ground, why not have some pull-out tables for a weekly pop-up supper club held by these guys?

Dog on the tube

Pet zone

We all love seeing animals on the tube, right? Let’s allow our pets down there, but keep them slightly separate to spare those with allergies, phobias etc.

Concrete photo booth
Photo booths

To stop people taking surreptitious photos of other people eating, reading, breathing etc, let’s embrace selfie culture and allow people to document their journeys with a few comparative snaps. Perfect for tourists and Londoners alike.

You’re welcome, TfL!

And while we’re making journeys more pleasant, here are 20 tube etiquette rules we should all abide by.

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