London, United Kingdom

London is the UK's capital and one of the worlds largest cities. To facilitate the movement of large crowds the city's transit network is comprised of the famous Underground (colloquially known as 'The Tube') together with a complex network of bus routes, mainline suburban rail services that operate from the numerous London terminus stations such as Victoria, Euston, Kings Cross, London Bridge and Paddington to name but a few. In the south of Greater London a network of light rail lines has replaced a number of disused branch railway lines from Croydon west to Wimbledon and east to Elmer's End and New Addington.

As many will know the period from 1979-1997 in the UK saw an emphasis on privatising state owned enterprises - transport being one of the more contentious areas. Prior to the 1980's London's passenger transport was provided by mainly 2 operations, the national railway - British Rail and London Transport; the board in charge of public passenger transport in Greater London since 1933. The privatisation policies endorsed and performed by the Thatcher-Major Conservative governments saw all public operated transport moved to a system where a number of large, mainly private bus companies took responsibility for parts of London's bus network. In the mid 1990's the breakup of British Rail saw all routes contracted out to a number of similar companies. Both British Rail and London Transport do not exists today. Two umberella brands exist in their place to bring together the services of all the companies and to sort out the many teething problems experienced, particularly since the privatisation of British Rail. National Rail provides the umberalla for the passenger rail services throughout the rest of Britain while Transport for London provides the umberella for all Tube, Surface Rail, Bus and Croydon Tram services throughout Greater London. While privatisation has brought some benefits in better quality of trains and customer service, it has still not been the success that was hoped particularly in light of increased fares, reduced services on some routes, overcrowding and a spate of significant accidents such as the Potter's Bar accident in 2002.

The jewel in the crown of London's Transport system is of course the Tube, operated by London Underground Limited. Comprising 4 sub-surface, 7 deep level tube lines and the Docklands Light Rail, the Tube was the worlds first underground railway. The Metropolitan Line being the first opened and operated by specially modified steam locomotives from 1863. When electrification became the standard source of power in the early 1900's, most of the low level tube lines in Central London were constructed at around that time. The Victoria and Jubilee lines are the only two completely new routes contstructed in the second half of the 20th century. Often crampt, crowded and in summer extremely stuffy, the tube makes getting around London simple and is the benchmark for which cities around the world attempt to imitate.

The collection of photographs below include shots of the famous Routemaster rear platform entry buses in their final weeks of operation. The famous red buses operated from the 1950's until December 8, 2005 on the final route 159 from Marble Arch to Streatham in South London.

A visit to the London Transport Museum at Covent Garden is highly recommended, however it is currently closed for rennovations until late 2007. In the interim, A visit to the Museum Depot at Acton Town is also very worthwhile.

Photo Gallery

Bus & TramStagecoach's Mercedez-Benz Citaro 2308 on Victoria Street near Westminster. 18/11/2005.
Due to construction Terminal 5, this Scania is operating a shuttle service between Hatton Cross and Heathrow Terminal 4. 25/10/2005.
Arriva's Volvo Olympian DLA254 at Tulse Hill. 25/10/2005.
Arriva's Volvo Olympian DLA296 at Tulse Hill. 25/10/2005.
Metroline's Dennis Dart DML45 at the famous Abbey Road crossing in St John's Wood. 25/10/2005.
Arriva's Dennis DW1 heads for South Croydon through Tulse Hill. 25/10/2005.
London General's Volvo B7TL EVL45 at Putney Bridge. 25/10/2005.
London General's Mercedez-Benz Citaro crossing Westminster Bridge. 25/10/2005.
Inside the lower deck of one of Arriva's Volvo's. 27/10/2005.
The interior of a Mercedez Citaro operating on Route 436 to Victoria Stn. 27/10/2005.
A pair of London Central's Deckers on Praed St outside Paddington Station. 27/10/2005.
A Metroline Decker passes Piccadilly Circus. 26/10/2005.
A number of Stagecoach's decker's seen negotiating the traffic at Oxford Circus. 26/10/2005.
London General's Volvo B7TL PVL139 turns left into Lambeth Palace Road. 25/10/2005.
Now a part of history, Arriva's Routemaster RM29 turns left into Gt George Street while operating route 159. 18/11/2005.
Arriva's RM2636 seen at the same location shortly after 29 passed by. 18/11/2005.
Arriva's Routemaster RML259 crossing Westminster Bridge. 25/10/2005.
Arriva's Routemaster RML2730 on St Georges Road, not far from Elephant & Castle. 25/10/2005.
Arriva's Routemaster RML895 on Regent St NW1 not far from Ladbroke Grove Station. 26/10/2005.
Travel London's Dennis Trident TA31 heading southbound on Norwood Rd Tulse Hill. 25/10/2005.
Travel London's Dennis Trident TA80 turning left onto Lambeth Palace Road. 25/10/2005.
Travel London's Dennis Trident TA110 stops on St Georges Road Lambeth. 25/10/2005.
First's TN32963 passing in front of St Pauls Cathederal in Central London. 28/10/2005.
First's TNA3383 stops on Ludgate Hill not far from St. Paul's Cathedral. 28/10/2005.
Tram 2539 departing Wimbledon for Elmer's End. 25/10/2005.
Tram 2540 at Elmer's End Station. 25/10/2005.
Tram 2541 shown also at Elmer's End Station. 25/10/2005.
London United's Volvo B7T VA306 stops on Victoria Street near Westminster. 18/11/2005.
A view of numerous buses awaiting further duties outside Victoria Station. 26/10/2005.
London United's Volvo B7T VL544 crossing Westminster Bridge. 25/10/2005.
London United's Volvo B7T VLE13 stopping on the contra-flow bus lane on Oxford Street near Oxford Circus. 25/10/2005.
Arriva's Volvo B7TL VLW178 stopping at Ludgate Hill near St Paul's. 26/10/2005.
Arriva's Volvo B7TL WVL138 on Victoria Street near Westminster. 18/11/2005.
UndergroundPiccadilly line 1973 Tube Stock car 132 stops beside a Cockfosters bound service at Acton Town. 28/10/2005
Piccadilly line 1973 Tube Stock car 134 at Hammersmith. 28/12/2005.
Piccadilly line 1973 Tube Stock car 142 passes Acton Town depot on a service from Rayners Lane. 28/10/2005.
Piccadilly line 1973 Tube Stock train awaits departure from Rayners Lane. 18/11/2005.
Piccadilly line 1973 Tube Stock train draws to a halt at South Harrow. 18/11/2005.
Interior view of Victoria Line 1967 Tube Stock. 26/10/2005.
View of Stockwell station's Victoria Line Platform used by trains for Walthamstow Central. 26/10/2005.
Metropolitan Line A Stock car 5083 shown at Euston Square. 27/10/2005.
Metropolitan Line A Stock stops at Farringdon while bound for Aldgate. 26/10/2005.
C Stock car 5518 stops on a Circle Line service at Westminster. 25/10/2005.
C Stock car 5521 departs Putney Bridge for Wimbledon on a District service from Edgeware Road. 25/10/2005.
C Stock car 5224 halts at Putney Bridge on a District service to Edgeware Road. 25/10/2005.
C Stock car 5529 on a Circle line train at Aldgate. 18/11/2005.
C Stock car 5537 on Hammersmith & City line service for Barking at Liverpool St. 26/10/2005.
C Stock car 5539 leads a Whitechapel bound service to a halt at Westbourne Park. 28/10/2005.
C Stock car 5557 arriving at Westbourne Park bound for Hammersmith. 26/10/2005.
C Stock car 5579 on a Circle Line service at Tower Hill. 26/10/2005.
C Stock car 5582 arriving at arriving at Ladbroke Grove. 25/10/2005.
C Stock car 5710 arriving at Notting Hill Gate. 25/10/2005.
C Stock car 5731 departing from Notting Hill Gate. 25/10/2005.
District Line D Stock train at Tower Hill. 26/10/2005.
District Line D Stock train at Westminster. 25/10/2005.
Another D Stock train halted at Westminster 25/10/2005.
District Line D Stock car 17093 at Tower Hill. 26/10/2005.
District Line D Stock car 7075 pulls away from Hammersmith. 28/10/2005.
District Line D Stock car 7128 arriving at Putney Bridge on a Wimbledon service. 25/10/2005.
District Line D Stock train at Tower Hill. 26/10/2005.
District Line D Stock train arriving at Westminster. 25/10/2005.
Battery Maintenence loco 47 passing through South Harrow with a Ballast train. 18/11/2005.
Battery Maintenence loco 46 at the rear of the above ballast train at South Harrow. 18/11/2005.
Main Line RailDMU 166-218 halts at Reading on an all-stops service to Paddington. 27/10/2005.
Half repainted Class 319-001 heads south from Tulse Hill on a Thameslink Service. 26/10/2005.
Recently repainted into Southern's new colours, 319-005 arrives at Tulse Hill. 26/10/2005.
South-eastern's 319-006 awaiting departure from Blackfriars. 26/10/2005.
Still in Thameslink colours, 319-366 stopping at Tulse Hill. 26/10/2005.
319-381 stops at Wimbledon on Thameslink service. 25/10/2005.
Electrostar EMU Class 377-440 stops on a Southern service at Tulse Hill. 26/10/2005.
455-813 on a service to London Bridge approaches Tulse Hill. 26/10/2005.
455-817 stops on a southbound service at Tulse Hill. 26/10/2005.
455-843 on a service to London Bridge approaches Tulse Hill. 27/10/2005.
A Class 455 EMU awaits its next service at London Bridge Platform 14. 26/10/2005.
456-009 is also waiting for its next trip stands at London Bridge. 26/10/2005.
465-015 departing from Blackfriars. 26/10/2005.
465-034 draws to a halt at Elmer's End. 25/10/2005.
455-904 on a South West Trains service calls at Wimbledon. 25/10/2005.
Page last updated 13/01/2007, © 2007 Anthony Leith