Significant Improvements of the Transportation System in London
Alfred Lee


During mid May of 2013, I was able to travel to London from Brussels, and I experienced some significant improvements of the transportation system, prompting me to share my pleasant experiences with you all. From Brussels I caught a Eurostar train to reach London via Calais, overlapping only two hours (but only one clock hour, due to time zone change).

Upon disembarking at the Eurostar station St. Pancreas, I walked about 500 yards and arrived at the subway station King’s Cross (the Tube) and took the subway blue line Victoria, getting off at Victoria Station (4 stops later). I then walked about 500 yards and reached my hotel Double Tree by Hilton. Since Victoria Station is the transportation hub of London, one can catch trains, subways, surface buses to various parts of London. Four days later when I left London early in the morning, I was thankful for my grand-niece for driving me to Heathrow airport. If I did not have to leave London so early in the morning, I would have taken a new subway train instead.

In 2011 I arrived at London Heathrow Airport from the US, and the flights utilized Terminal 3, which was really exceptionally crowded. Due to summer Olympic Games in 2012, the airport has gone through significant improvements since then. This time when I took a flight from United Airline, I was directed to Terminal 1, which was parallel to Terminal 3. In actuality the gate 63 was part of Terminal 2, and by now I realized that there would be a newly designed Terminal 2 (very high tech and would be completed in a few months by early 2014). This terminal is parallel to and in between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. Furthermore, when tourists arrive at Heathrow Airport, they will first gather their luggage. Then they will catch a subway train which is totally free of charge, arriving at Paddington Train Station, at the end of the train line. From Paddington Station people then can catch various subway lines to reach other parts of London. This is superior to catching a bus, or a taxi¸ since the surface traffic is quite heavy.

London subway stations do have drawbacks. The subway system (the Tube) has been in existence for almost 100 years, fairly antiquated but still reasonably convenient, though there are many inconveniences in many of the old stations. In particular, one will have to carry their luggage up and down stairways of about 20-30 steps, since only a few new subway stations are modern and have escalators.

Overlooking from Double Tree by Hilton Hotel towards Victoria Station



Inside Victoria Station



Noon parade at Whitehall, facing St. James Park in London.