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aus+uk / / The best and the worst LU lines

o The best and the worst LU linesRecliner

The best and the worst LU lines


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The best and worst London Underground lines (according to science)

Are you a partial to the Piccadilly or a District devotee? We crunch the
data to decipher which is the best Tube line of them all

Greg Dickinson,
15 January 2024 • 6:00am

London lures in tourists with promises of world-class museums, royal
palaces and manicured parks. But the only way to understand London, proper
London, is to seek out one of its 272 Underground stations, tap your bank
card, descend the escalator, and submit yourself to the warm, windy
underbelly of the city.

There is much to dislike about the Underground network (the Tube, to
Londoners). Find a bending stretch of track, like between Liverpool Street
and Bethnal Green, and you will have your hands covering your ears to
protect them from the deafening screech. Board at rush hour and you are
destined to experience a journey in the armpits of another adult. The
smells, the sounds, the delays, the despondency. The Tube is, in some
senses, a damning snapshot of modern urban life.

But there is much to love, too. From the retro designs of the seats, to the
intricate platform tile-work, to the station architecture, to the
announcers injecting humour into the mornings of commuters, to the raucous
wild west of the night tube, to the “ghost stations” glimpsed through the
windows of the train. And indeed, there is the unrivalled genius of the
Underground map itself: arguably a more intricate work of engineering than
any bridge or building in the city.

Some five million passengers board the Tube each day, across 270 miles of
track, making it by far the best way of travelling longer distances across
the city. If you have ever visited London, you probably have an opinion on
the Underground. Londoners certainly do, and the biases are potent.
Brixtoners will celebrate the speed and frequency of the Victoria Line;
Bermondseyites will boast about the sleekness of the Jubilee line.

But which is the best line, according to raw numbers, away from century-old
reputations? To find out, we gathered data across 37 categories, covering
everything from air quality to crime, frequency to speed, air-con to wi-fi,
and how useful each line is for tourists to reach major attractions,
airports and railway hubs.

When we hit “crunch”, we were unsurprised that one line – historic,
dignified, expansive – came out top. It is, without a doubt, the best of
the best. Have an opinion? Join the conversation at the bottom of the
article to let us know if you agree or disagree with the scores throughout
the article.

aus+uk / / The best and the worst LU lines


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