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Transport / Mass transit

London's Night Tube is finally ready to begin, possibly

It’s happening. It’s finally bloody happening. A mere 49 weeks after we were told it would, London is launching its “night tube” service.

On 19 August, all night services will begin running every Friday and Saturday night on both the Central and Victoria lines. The Piccadilly, Jubilee and Northern line services will follow later in the autumn.

Or at least, that’s the plan. This last bit might still be a bit optimistic, for reasons we’ll come to below.

The night tube service was originally expected to start on 12 September last year. It was delayed because the unions which represent both drivers and station staff were a bit miffed about their members being expected to work all night without significant increases in pay. (Ungrateful curs.)  

Now an agreement has been reached, involving training up another 200 part time night drivers. Huzzah, etc.

Except, not everyone has agreed t this agreement: the RMT union has yet to agree a deal regarding the pay and conditions of its maintenance workers. RMT members work primarily on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines – on which, presumably not coincidentally, night tube services still don’t have a definite start date.

Anyway. All that’s still to come. From August, it seems certain – well, likely – well, possible – that all night weekend tube services might begin on the Central and Victoria lines. Let joy be unconfined.

Here, from a piece we ran when the service was first announced back in September 2014, are eight places you’ll be able to visit at 3am on a Saturday once the service on all five lines is running as planned.

Heathrow Airport

There actually aren’t any flights scheduled to take off or land from Heathrow between 23.30 and 04.30, and relatively few in the couple of hours following that. But both security restrictions and immigration queues mean the airport itself is a hive of activity all night, so an all-night Piccadilly line will genuinely be of some use. And if you aren’t planning to travel anywhere, why not visit anyway, for breakfast, or inappropriately early booze?

Wembley

Historically, events at Wembley Stadium, whether music or sports, have generally wound down not long after midnight. Now, thanks to the miracle of the night tube, it’ll be possible for the place to keep rocking well into the early hours. Imagine football matches, with seven hours of extra time! Or a Take That concert that goes on until 5am! Imagine what it’ll do for house prices!

Acton

By night, Acton will have no fewer than four tube stops. This is four more than the entire London Borough of Hackney does during the day. Everybody loves Acton.


Epping Forest

By day, a pastoral haven on the edge of London; by night, the set of The Blair Witch Project – and all just a short hop from Loughton tube. Why not experience the woods in the full wondering-if-they’ll-even-find-your-body creepiness that they were meant to be enjoyed in?

Hampstead Heath

Basically the same, but with a slightly higher chance of bumping into Ed Miliband. [Editor’s note: we’re assuming this joke was topical when we first published this in September 2014.]

Faces Night Club, Gants Hill

“Faces Lounge And Club Is The Most Famous & Talked About NightClub In Essex & London”, the venue’s website announces cheerily, which is an odd way of putting it, but okay. The late Jade Goody was purported to be a regular, and a visit to Faces still allows you to mingle with top celebs. Peter Andre! Joey Essex! Danielle Lloyd!

The website also gives sample taxi fares back to selected destinations, one of which is Chelsea (£45). Which seems a bit optimistic, to be honest.

Canary Wharf

“No, you can’t have a cab. It’s 3 in the morning – quit whining, and get the bloody tube. Oh, and be back by 6, or don’t come back at all.”

Cockfosters

There is literally no reason to go to Cockfosters. There is basically nothing there. But it does have a funny name, so. Might seem like a good idea in the early hours of Saturday morning.

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