MYSTIC VALLEY RAILWAY SOCIETY

 

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by James Scannell

 

Premier of Season 7 Game of Thrones
On July 17th, to mark the premiere of Season 7 of the Game of Thrones TV series, London Underground customers experienced a little bit of winter as the series visited four central London tube stations and traveled along the Jubilee line. The Northern line ticket hall at King’s Cross St. Pancras tube station was temporarily transformed to accommodate The Iron Throne, where customers could have their picture taken. The station also hosted a band busking the theme song and 1,000 lucky customers received a free Game of Thrones travel wallet. Images from the new series were on walls, columns and floor vinyls, as well as digital screens and escalator panels at King’s Cross St. Pancras tube station. Public service announcements were made in a familiar Northern voice. Throughout the day, chaperoned White Walkers, Henchmen, and the Night King could be spotted at Waterloo, Paddington, Liverpool Street and King’s Cross St. Pancras tube stations. The Transport for London (TfL) Film Office accommodated a film crew capturing a White Walker travelling on the Jubilee line. This activity was part of an experiential Sky Atlantic advertising campaign on the Tube booked through Hello London, the media partnership between TfL and Exterion Media.

Improvements to TfL’s Oyster Card
From July 19th getting around London became even more convenient after a range of improvements to London’s Oyster ticketing system were introduced. Passengers who top up their pay as you go credit or buy Travelcards using Oyster online can now collect their purchase from any Tube or rail station, tram stop, or River Bus pier when they touch in, rather than having to nominate a station when they make the purchase. The upgrade has also significantly reduced the time it takes for the product to be ready to collect - from up to 24 hours to just 30 minutes. By the end of the fall, these improvements will also be expanded to allow products to be collected directly on all 9,000 London buses.
The improvements to Oyster will be followed by further upgrades to the system in the coming year. Later this year the new TfL app will launch, allowing customers to top up their Oyster card with pay-as-you-go credit and buy Travelcards wherever they are. The new app, which will be available to download for free via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, will allow customers to use their smart cellphone to quickly add pay-asyou- go credit to their Oyster card. It will also allow customers to check how much credit they have on their Oyster card and also provide, for the first time, a ‘Low balance’ alert direct on their cellphone to help customers ensure they have enough pay-as-you-go credit before they travel.
Throughout 2017 and 2018, further improvements to the Oyster system will also be introduced, including:
• Expanding the Mayor’s ‘Hopper fare’ to allow unlimited journeys on buses and trams within an hour
• Making Bus & Tram Pass season tickets available to purchase online and via the app
• Introducing Weekly Capping on Oyster to bring it in line with Contactless
The technological advances form a key part of TfL’s action plan to address concerns raised in the London Travel- Watch report into the closure of ticket offices at London Underground stations, published last year.

Manchester, U.K. Metrolink marks 25th year with musical performances
July marked 25 years since Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the Metrolink network during a special ceremony at St Peter’s Square, Manchester. To mark this significant anniversary, pop-up musical performances appeared across the tram network on July 17th to entertain passengers. In celebration of Metrolink’s silver jubilee year, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) joined forces with The Bridgewater Hall – which celebrates a 21st birthday later this year – to deliver an innovating and engaging musical project, Tram Tracks. The project, which culminated in two gala concerts, sought to truly reflect the diverse communities across Greater Manchester and how those communities’ lives have been changed by the tram since its inception.

 

 

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Revised: Sept 2017