Excel: a lovely venue for a Symbian Smartphone show. Pity about the location!

by Sniffer | posted on 16 October 2007

The move of the Symbian smartphone show to Earls Court next year is at least a year too late. Your Hunkymouse reporter has always found the journey from London to Docklands daunting, but this morning, the transport system in London managed to make it seem easier to get to the RAI centre in Amsterdam.


I've got nothing against the exhibition centre itself. It's really nice, actually. Getting there, however...

The thing is, there used to be a neat way of travelling East. You took yourself onto the old North London Line, and it trundled through to Custom House - which is the station where the exhibition centre lies.

Last year, about this time, the company which "operates" that line, Silverlink, decided to stop running services any further than Stratford. It's only a couple of stops from Stratford to Custom House, but these days, you have two changes of train from there.

  • First, you have to find a Jubilee train  to Canning Town
  • Then you have to catch the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) to Custom House
  • So my advice to NewsWireless readers in the past was "Take the first available Tube from central London to Highbury and Islington, using the Victoria Line. Then take the Silverlink to Excel" - and it worked!

    Today, I have to say that even if you start from Highbury, you don't want to try the Silverlink line.

    For a start, the train may not even arrive; cancellations are frequent; and the train after a cancellation is obliged to sweep up all the extra people who were abandoned by the missing coaches. So naturally, Silverlink ensures that the extra load has to be squeezed into three coaches, instead of six or eight. This morning, ours was an extra 11 minutes late. Probably the People's Republic of Silverlink citizen deputed to drive the train was waiting for his tea to cool down to Health And Safety Approved temperatures.

    Then the Jubilee line train... that, too, isn't famous for its frequent service at the far end of the line at Stratford. This morning, we waited for 15 minutes on the "next train" only to be told that it was going to be delayed another half hour, and that there were "delays" at the next two stations.

    Heaven knows what will happen when a million enthusiastic sports-lovers descend on London in 2012 to watch the Olympics, but if you're hoping to go, I recommend buying a tent and pitching it in Epping Forest.

    And then, walk...

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