London’s longest ‘interchange’ walk!

London’s longest ‘interchange’ walk!

Have you seen teen the videos involving a 15/20 minute walk through the Paris metro subways? While these are amazing given the number of connections needing to be used through Châtelet-les-Halles, in my own view London does BETTER! That involves walking past SEVEN different underground lines! Some will recognise the Elizabeth line (the main section) but there’s far more involved & many wont recognise the unusual route taken which doesn’t cross any previous paths that were done nor does it involve any backtracking. The total length of the video is almost 23 minutes (although it took 21 mins in terms of walking without a camera).

The Paris metro film claims that walk took 15 mins so that’s an extra eight minutes – 23 mins total – for London! I wasn’t walking slowly but fairly fast in fact. The whole length of the video is just under is 23 minutes. First of all I timed the route without filming & it took just over 21 minutes. With filming had to be more careful as people everywhere, didn’t want to bump into anyone!

It may have been stretching things a bit to say this was an ‘interchange’ of sorts but then an interchange isn’t limited in concept or form – and what’s more (to the chagrin of some) I didn’t even interchange between lines or anything (but that’s as much the same as what they did in Paris too). What I did was to show was London had the same as Paris – a mad, long, route which seemed almost endless (well longer in fact than Paris!) I did exactly the same as they did in Paris which is that of entering and exiting a system via a long walk through a series of tunnels, subways and station platforms.

The hi-speed version of the video!

Luckily I knew the stations involved well & the existence of a sinuous route through Moorgate station involving no backtracking or crossing an already walked route which enabled a walk of 23 minutes to be taken from the first TfL station entrance (Liverpool Street main line concourse) to the exiting TfL station portal at Moorgate (Moorfields).The Paris long metro underground walk is the Les Halles – Chatelet complex. Don’t seem to be able to find the videos that were on Twitter (sorry ‘X’) but here’s one on YouTube – and its evident London is nearly twice the length!

Its the use of the Great Northern platforms at Moorgate that makes this very long walk possible!

The walk starts here at Liverpool Street main line concourse where there is one of two entrances to the Central Line ticket hall. It emerges at Moorgate”s new Moorfields (Elizabeth Line and tube) ticket hall (the images of these locations as currently depicted on Google Streets are a bit dated however!)

Some might think this is no proper interchange. They could be right! Just as much as that in Paris seems a pointless exercise, well this one in London is too! The video isn’t meant to denote a proper interchange but rather to illustrate London has an underground walking route that’s far longer than anyone had thought.

Hence its one which London could beat Paris in terms of time and length. I’m sure few knew of the route through Moorgate anyway which allows one to go through the station three times *and past the Northern line twice) without crossing paths or backtracking!

More than half of the route between Liverpool Street and Moorgate is a busy interchange route, so there’s a considerable amount of the walk that is covered my many. As for the rest of it – well those were the special add on extras – and some of it will no doubt have been a surprise to many!

The corridor that runs behind the Moorgate ticket hall is also useful because it enables one to go down to the Northern line platforms in order to use the direct subway/escalator from there to the ticket hall.

One of the insights to be ‘learned’ from this walk is the longest direct interchange in London happens to be the whole segment (that is slightly further than the Northern line) as far as the Great Northern Line, which will take around 13-14 minutes. This is the longest not just in London but the whole of the UK!

The full video – a near 23 minute presentation of the passenger subways around Liverpool Street and Moorgate tube and Elizabeth line stations!

Some have criticised me on both social media and Youtube for this video saying it isn’t comparable with the Paris Metro. I didnt say it was. All I did was to do a video that purports to be longer than the walking ones seen on the Paris Metro. London doesn’t exactly have any interchanges that could do what Châtelet-les-Halles does. But at least it has something that can be considered to be a very lengthy underground walk. As I pointed out most of the video is in fact of a legitimate interchange between the Elizabeth line and the Northern line, and what’s more, I did some tests to find out which was quicker – walking that long corridor to Moorgate or going via the escalators up to the Moorfields ticket hall and then back down again. And guess what? Both routes were equally comparable, the latter taking just a few mere seconds less. In fact LUL recommend the escalator up to Moorfields ticket Hall and back down as the better route because there’s less walking involved.

One commenter on social media said why do any of these when one can easily get the sub surface lines from Liverpool Street to Moorgate and then down to the Northern Line etc. Several say I was cheating and I even backtracked through the Northern line platforms when I did no such thing because the bits I used were at the station’s furthest extremities and on different platforms so at no point was the previously used route sighted.

One might even advocate walking through the streets instead because that would be quicker! Of course! I’ve done that too, walked Liverpool Street to Moorgate rather than get the tube. It just depends. You see, everyone has their preferences – and some have clearly stated their opposition to my doing videos trying to show long convoluted underground walking routes that purported to be longer than any found in Paris – and they have tried to make that extremely clear. But that is in effect telling me they are determining what I can and can’t do – and as a disabled person I take that as an affront. I mean, many Youtubers do crazy things about the railways – the longest way round from one station to the next, the most number of stations covered in a day, or even which is better – tube, bus, train or walk? And so on. And they don’t get criticised for doing those zany things. WHY should it be different for disabled people?

Anyhow in terms of filming a concern of mine was was whether I would be able to hold my mobile phone for more than 20 minutes! I knew how long it would be taking because I had earlier walked the route and timed it. I was seriously considering filming it in two, maybe three, segments in order to give my limbs and hands a rest. In the event I persisted and managed to do the entire walk in one go. The only downside was as soon as I exited the barriers at Moorfields I had to stop filming rapidly in order to give my fingers which were now aching, an urgent respite from filming! It explains why the end of the video very suddenly ceases, and its something I’m not entirely happy with as I really should have continued and turned round to show the entrance in full. Quite a few moments later I did however take some pictures of the Moorfields entrance and one of those is shown above.

Ultimately this wasn’t the longest ‘interchange’ walk I must admit! Why is that? What it is is currently the northernmost escalators at Liverpool St tube station are being replaced and they have not been available for sometime – so that route wasn’t possible. When these are in use these take one further north along the Central line platforms and therefore there’s a longer walk southward to the escalator that goes up to the Elizabeth line/sub-surface lines interchange area. When these escalators do come back into service it’ll mean another two minutes or so of this mad, endless walk to be got! 😂