Fun Facts About London’s Underground System

Transport for London, in short TFL, offers a pricey way to get around town in a network of old tunnels. Inside the tube, as the subway is called in the UK, you can experience a commuter’s nightmare- where without exception you will find yourself squashed between others. Yet equally it is a fascinating public infrastructure full of smooth rides (except at rush hour !) and plenty of curious facts :

Half a Million mice are believed to live in the underground system.
Wildlife sighted in and outside the tube lines include counting of bats, grass snakes, woodpeckers and deers !

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Smoking inside the tube carriages was permitted until as recent as 1983 – with designated areas to choose from – whether a smoker or passionate non-smoking commuter.

It is recorded that the first baby born on the Underground arrived at the station Elephant and Castle, Bakerloo line in 1924. Also transmitted is the fact that the mum of the American comedian Jerry Springer gave birth to him at East Finchley station, when it was used as a shelter during World War II.

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Live music on the underground, or more precisely at the pedestrian intersections, has been licensed in 2003 bringing an end to unregulated appearances of stars in disguise. Paul McCartney and Sting are rumoured to have secretly busked in public !

Seven Elm trees from 1830 are said to have inspired the name of the station Seven Sisters. Or was it seven daughters ?

Waterloo with its 23 escalators features the largest choice of assistance on the entire underground network of stations.

Experience a smooth descend on the longest escalator on the entire underground network at Angel ! With a vertical rise of 27.5 cm the tube station is attributed with 60 meters real-time zooming perspective into the depths.

Bank station in Central London lies at 41,4 meters underground. Since 1890 the network is referred to as the Tube, highlighting that it is operating in tunnels. It does so at its lowest point at 58,5 meters below ground (!) at Hampstead station, on the Northern Line.

london-underground-platform-beautifulIn 1960 the Tube switched over from steam powered and electrical haulage systems. But, in 2012 an original steam locomotive was restored from Victorian times and presented at the 150th anniversary of the tube. It followed a journey with contemporary Londoners and tourists on board from Earl’s Court to Moorgate.

Fans of the national Arsenal team are spilling out from the formerly known station Gillespie Road on the Piccadilly Line, it has since been renamed in the football club’s honour. Situated close to the Arsenal Stadium you’ ll find the Arsenal station officially pointed out on any tube map since 1932.

Local tongues of the East end refer to the Tube as Oxo, a soup brand from the UK. In cockney-rhyming phonetically similar words are juxtaposed. Oxo soup comes in a cube this rhymes with tube. Now refer that to public transport and you’ve encountered one of the many shades of British slang.

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