Angels in Dirty Places

My travelling companion, Angel RoadIan, was worried. Our Northern Line train was not progressing at the speed it should have been. It paused at several stations, doors wide open, for no apparent reason. Between stops, it was content to trundle at a sedate pace rather than the roaring, bouncy rate that I’m more accustomed to. For one short but irritating moment, we came to a complete stop between stations.

It was Monday morning and we were travelling at the tail end of the rush hour. Our fellow passengers were commuters: stragglers, probably on flexi-time, for whom an arrival a few minutes after 9 o’clock would not be a major inconvenience. They shrugged and enveloped themselves in the safe bubbles offered by the Metro or iPod earbuds.

On the other hand, Ian and I had a definite need to proceed as quickly as possible. We needed to be at Tottenham Hale station by 0943 at the latest, in order to catch a Greater Anglia train northwards to yet another Station Master target. Miss that train, and there wouldn’t be another one along for six-and-a-half hours.

We could have got an earlier train, of course… but that would have meant getting up earlier, and I’m cranky if I don’t get my beauty sleep.

Door buttonsI put on a brave face, but as the driver announced again that we were being held at a red signal, I did start glancing at my watch anxiously. Fortunately, once we transferred to the Victoria Line, with its computer-controlled trains that go like a bat out of hell (technical term), we found ourselves whizzing along, and we reached Tottenham Hale with time to spare.

We transferred to the National Rail station to continue our journey to Angel Road, a small station in the London Borough of Enfield, which receives a sparse, peak-hours only service.

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Friends in Highgate Places

London’s Underground network teems with abandoned sections to tantalise the railway enthusiast. The Epping-Ongar line and the Aldwych branch are probably the two most well-known examples of routes which have closed after outliving their usefulness.

Even more interesting to me, however, are the lines which were planned but then abandoned. Most never even got off the drawing board, but some reached quite advanced stages, with construction work taking place before the eventual plans were dropped.

So, on a rainy Sunday morning, I was taking photographs of an abandoned station platform through a barbed wire fence.

Highgate High Level

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