70. The escalators at Angel
They’re not quite the longest in western Europe; that honour goes to a station on the Stockholm metro.
They’re not even the longest in the UK, being just a single metre shorter than the wooden ones at the Tyne cyclist and pedestrian tunnel.
They are, however, the longest on the London Underground.
And they might have ended up even longer, were it not for the need to anticipate an interchange, at some point in the increasingly distant future, with the long-proposed Chelsea-Hackney line, hence the (for now) superfluous concourse that stops you being carried all the way down to the platforms in one go.
Nonetheless the escalators at Angel are still a feat to behold and a thrill on which to ascend…
The strip lighting that runs all the way along each side gives the place a touch of the-future-as-imagined-in-the-mid-1970s, despite being built in the early 1990s. This kind of sensation is always a good thing.
The length of the journey tends to promote good escalator etiquette. This is another boon. People seem to settle down when they realise they’re in for a longer-than-usual ride, and as a result there’s less jostling, prodding and (most heinous of all) STANDING ON THE LEFT.
Then there’s the angle of the escalators. They are so steep that you can’t see the top when you start from the bottom, and vice versa. While this can be exciting, I’m guessing it can also be a bit vertiginous. In which case I would suggest gazing off to the side, where a colourful supply of unchallenging reading matter shuffles by like an ailing rotoscope.
You could of course simply ski down it, not that anyone would condone this act of brilliance!
Amazing video, it feels like an extreme sports documentary. Had read about the incident but not seen it on video.