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All About the London Tube and London Tube Maps and Tickets

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Getting and Using Tube Tickets
Waterloo Station, London Tube picture

Waterloo Station

© Kathleen Crislip
When you hit your first London tube station (used to be Waterloo, above, and is now St. Pancras if you're coming in on the Eurostar train from France or Belgium), you'll see signs everywhere -- overhead and on the walls -- telling you what to do and where to buy London tube tickets. Tube workers are hanging around at ticket windows, ready to sell you passes and explain what you need -- they're also manning turnstiles leading to tube tunnels, through which you can't pass until you've got a tube ticket.

One ticket equals one tube ride, which is great if you're going one place (and you know how to get there). Otherwise, buy a one or several day London tube passes or a credit card-sized Oyster card, which gives you a set amount of rides for at least a week, works on central London buses and segments of National Rail trains, and is hard to lose. My one-week Oyster pass was about 22 pounds in March 2006.

Small LED signs on station turnstiles are green if you can go through and red if you can't; tube workers stand patiently by and point that out, and they'll help if you can't get through.

When you do pass through the turnstiles, you'll first feed your ticket into a slot or pass your Oyster card across a pad; the ticket pops back out -- hang on to it because you'll need to perform the procedure in reverse to get out of the train station at your destination.

Please go on to the next page to learn about finding tube tunnel directions.

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