This week sees an very important birthday in London. It was the first of its kind in the world, it has inspired other cities to copy it and as a result created some of the most iconic city place in the world. I like millions of other ride it daily on my commute to work; it is of curse the London Underground.
It was opened on 9th January 1863 and then only consisted of metropolitan, Circle & Hammersmith and city lines. The original trains were steam driven which must have been very dirty and warm!
The network only became the London underground and one company in 1933 as before that the individual lines were privately owned. Currently there is 270 stops on the system and 11 different lines connecting London and keeping people on the move.
The underground became an important deep level shelter during the Blitz bombing in London in the Second world war.
The current Map was layed out in 1933 by Harry Beck. Its style has gone on to influence other networked maps around the world.
Her are some mad facts about the underground:
- The longest distance between station is on the Metropolitan line between Chalfont & Latimer and Chesham stations at 3.9miles
- The deepest station at 192 foot below ground is Hampstead
- Busiest station is apparently Waterloo however Kings Cross; Paddington; Bank and Victoria would also be high contenders for that post in my opinion.
One of the most highly decorated stations on the system is Tottenham court Road on the central and Northern lines and it is made up of abstract mosaic by the late artist Eduardo Paolozzi.
The Tube has influenced many Metro networks around the world including the metro in Paris with its icon art deco signs, the metro in Moscow with its communist artwork and the Subway in New York so much so they say you haven’t experienced New York unless you have ridden the subway.
So yes you are a bit tired, you are v old, you do need maintenance once in a while but London underground you do a staggering service Many Happy Returns!