Today’s transport news and comment

The news round-up is BACK!east coast

– East Coast Main Line to be re-privatised (Standard)
– Strikes scheduled for 2 April and 2 May (London Loves Business)
– Crossrail calls for canvas submissions to cover developments (Artlyst)
– Extension to Northern Line poses significant funding issues (New Statesman)
– Behind the scenes of London Transport Musuem’s depot (Time Out)
– Should Britain let go of London? (BBC)

(Photo: Ingy The Wingy)

Liveblog: Episode 4 of The Tube

After last week’s slightly depressing episode, I almost hope that episode 4, which is all about upgrade works, is entirely uneventful. In fact I’d be perfectly happy if it was just our favourite train driver Dylan Glenister talking about how much he loves the Piccadilly line and doing impressions of all the other lines. In fact I think that should happen. It could be a five-minute show on Radio Four, just before the shipping forecast, and they could call it “He Do the Underground in Different Voices”. Geddit?!

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Royal Baby (and co) On Board

Aside

Commuters got a royal treat today when they found themselves sharing the tracks with Kate Middleton, the Queen and Prince Phillip.

The big three were visiting Baker Street Station as part of the tube’s 150th anniversary celebrations. They were led down to Platform 1, the northbound Metropolitan line, where they were shown a new S7 train – named, so fittingly, Queen Elizabeth II. As well as its royal moniker, the cutting-edge train has other impressive attributes, including high-tech air-conditioning and walk-through carriages.

Later, the Royal Party were shown a restored ‘Jubilee’ coach, dating back to 1892. And to end it all, London Underground’s chief operating officer Howard Collins presented the Duchess with a ‘Baby on Board!’ badge, given to pregnant women to encourage the rest of us out of our seats – and to save us the embarrassment of offering up a chair to a slightly overfed woman.

So tell us, did you spy these eager commuters? And did the Queen have enough credit on her Oyster?

Kate being presented with her 'Baby on Board' badge

Kate being presented with her ‘Baby on Board’ badge

(Photo: Daily Mail/PA)

Liveblog: Episode 3 of The Tube

It’s that time of the week again, gang! I know, it comes round so quickly, doesn’t it? Shockingly, we’re halfway through the series. Don’t be sad – that means there’s three more episodes to go! THREE WHOLE HOURS! There, I bet you feel better now, don’t you? Right. This episode is all about emergencies. If there isn’t at least one dramatic tunnel rescue I’ll be bitterly disappointed.

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The ten best station pubs (non-London)

The Sheffield Tap. Image: sheffieldtap.com

The Sheffield Tap. Image: sheffieldtap.com

Confession time: I think the north is awesome. The people are friendlier, the views are better and the trains are amazingly cheap (I have no idea how Northern Rail stays in business). And now it seems they have the best array of pubs within spitting distance of your train.

As this is meant to be a list of pubs that you can pop in while waiting on the platform, I have included pubs at major stations; mainly because I haven’t yet reached that stage of life where I feel the need to travel to a railway station for a booze-up. Enjoy.

Click on a placemark to see descriptions and details.

Live in London? Check out our best station pubs in London.