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Thursday, 13 May 2010

Sights of London: Transport

Note 1: High resolution images of some of the following photos are available. These photos are marked with [HiRes] tags in their captions. Click on the photos to view their higher resolution images.

Note 2: Various facts obtained from Wikipedia. All external text-links lead to the related Wikipedia articles.

I have previously posted photos on my trip to London before. Two and a half months after my second London post, here's the third one.

London is a huge city, with over 8 million residents in the Greater London Urban Area. This calls for a more-than-just-good transport system.

I went to London Heathrow Airport before, the third busiest airport in the world.

London Heathrow, Terminal 3.

Besides the airport, London is famous for its red post boxes and red telephone booths.

And red double-deckers.

[HiRes] A classic Routemaster in front of a more modern double-decker.

The double-decker on the left is a famous Routemaster. Built in the 1950s and 60s, they have become icons of London. Much like how yellow cabs form the heart and soul of New York.

Routemasters are unique in a way that the entrances are located at the back of the bus, including the stairs to the upper deck.

Rear of Routemaster
[HiRes] Rear of a Routemaster bus.

The front part is also asymmetric.

The Bus Driver
[HiRes] The Bus Driver. I know the bus' registration plate kinda looks like a Malaysian price tag.

But I'm not that much of a big fan of buses. Trains, however, I love. Especially super-long distance, ultra-high speed trains and sparkling-new metros.

London Victoria Station
[HiRes] London Victoria Station, a central railway station. Captured using Sony Ericsson Xperia X1.

London served me well for this reason -- London's metro system, the London Underground, or "the Tube", is notable for many achievements. It was the first underground railway system in the world, the first to operate electric trains, second longest metro system with about 400km of tracks, and third busiest metro system in Europe, after Paris and Moscow.

London Underground
[HiRes] The London Underground's "Roundel" logo. All tube stations have their names displayed in the roundel, replacing the "Underground" word.

The London Underground started serving in 1863. Yes, that's almost 150 years ago. In comparison, the first metro system in South East Asia, Manila's LRT System, opened in 1984, less than 30 years ago; Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit in 1987; and the Malaysian KTM Komuter started crawling in 1995.

Out of the Door
[HiRes] Captured using Sony Ericsson Xperia X1.

While Malaysian Kelana Jaya Line receives a daily ridership of about 200 000, the London Underground gets about 3 million rides per day. That's right, million, not thousand.

Underground Station
[HiRes] Sunday morning at Earl's Court, Tube station. Captured using Sony Ericsson Xperia X1.

Of course, the trains were changed periodically, but the tracks have to be well maintained. And I tell you, rides on the 150-year-old tracks are smoother than the 15-year-old KTM Komuter's bumpy knots of rusted iron.

In the Train
[HiRes] The inside of a London Underground train. Captured using Sony Ericsson Xperia X1.

So you think Kuala Lumpur is a big city? Think again.


  1. You took all photos using Xperia? They came out in good shape :) I wonder how you captured the 1st photo in night scene

  2. JP:

    lol no. only the photos that say "captured with xperia" are captured with xperia. the first T3 photo was captured using my Coolpix, which is optically a lot better but not that good for night shots either. the other london photos taken using D70s, borrowed it from my uni's photo society.

    actually, i even had to underexpose the T3 photo to avoid motion blur XD

  3. yeah, i can see that the night shot demands a better exposure time with stable feet haha.

    you should probably write down info like the exposure time, ISO, etc as well. :)

    The underexpose feature was done in photoshop? they still looked great though and undoubtedly won the overall best shot. awwww, i wish i could hold a D70 as well XD

  4. JP:

    yeah i considered writing down the info as well, but that's quite a bit of work XD. maybe i'll put them up at the flickr description

    um, i just tune my camera to shoot at, say, -1.3EV, so the shutter speed is slightly faster. yeah that shot took me quite a few tries. love the purplish colour of T3's entrance.

  5. Do you want to make another trip to London before you leave for Malaysia???

  6. Edmund:

    yeah i think i do. that trip was way short and um, i was kinda distracted...


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