Thursday, 10 May 2007

The station as a destination

I like stations.

York station - a great curve of vaults above the track. Antwerp - a neoclassical nightmare out of Piranesi's prints. Milan - the monstrosity of modern machines created for a Fascist railway. Or even  some that don't exist - Adlestrop, the station of Edward Thomas's poem where no trains stop now, or SAP Walldorf, which shows up as a station on the Deutsche Bahn web site but is (as far as I can find out) actually a bus stop.

Now I've discovered there are other people who think stations are a destination, too. There's a Zone One Tube Race in London on the 18th of May. Every single station in Zone One has to be visited (though as long as the train stops and the doors open, you don't have to get out).  There's an even bigger version visiting every Tube station in all the zones... Zone One on its own takes about 3 1/2 hours if you're leisurely.

Never mind the race. But I think I might take a whole weekend and visit all the London tube stations - and see what I find. I might decide to take a little walk outside the Tube at some of them, to see what I find. That would be a lovely way to take a slice of London. Or perhaps leave a bit of it up to chance; get off at every fifth station, let's say.  Or throw a dice and get off whenever I throw a six.

But... does the Docklands Light Railway count? Or shall I be a purist?

If any readers fancy a trip - let me know. Some time late August might be fun.

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