What do you call a network of tunnels that’s 249 miles long with trains flying at the speed of 60 miles per hour? The subway? The underground?
Only one way can fit a beast as powerful as London’s intricate commuting system. That name is the Tube. Contact us to learn more about london property to rent
The name originated in the early twentieth century thanks to just one Central Line. People called it the Twopenny Tube for obvious reasons. For starters, it was long, duh.
Reason number two: the fair was – you’ve guessed it – two pennies. Sure, the “Twopenny” feature dropped after a couple of years, but the name has permanently glued itself into the minds of Londoners until this day.
Why is this important, you ask? Well, you will never sound like a true Londoner if you call the tube a subway. And even then this brief history course and the fact that trains are taking you to the point of destination are not enough to prepare you for what’s yet to come.
So here, I present to you my list of 10 amazing facts about the Tube you’d wish you knew sooner.
Yes, I am quite aware that in every city of every country people say that their public transportation system is overfilled but hear me out for a moment: 57000 people enter Waterloo station in just three hours every morning. Not every month, not every day even, but every – and I can’t stress this enough – every morning.
More on that note, London’s underground is composed of a whopping 270 stations. 221 of them have hundreds of thousands of people entering and exiting daily. The record, by the way, is 4,735,000 people using the Tube in one day.
At least not the entirety of it. 55% of the tube is located above the ground. How awesome is that? You will get to see half of London in just one trip!
Alas, the Tube is not your best choice for sightseeing. First of all, you will be going really fast and secondly, you won’t be able to stop at a particular spot that interests you among the blurs you’ll see from the window.
Humans are not the only beings that can’t live without the tube. London’s underground is home to half a million mice. And, while the little squeakers are somewhat cutie, the Tube is also a nest for something darker, more vicious, and bloodthirsty – mosquitoes. Those bastards are an entirely different breed from their above-the-ground counterparts and are well-known for their appetite.
Oh, and there are also reports of ghosts inhabiting the tube but we all know that it’s bonkers. Or do we?..
Did you know that the tube was among the pioneers of branding? Their red and blue emblem is the oldest corporate logo ever designed. Well, you know what they say. If you wish to live long, you have to look dashing, and the Tube gets it. Not only that, but it could read a lecture on stylish brand identity.
What do a harpoon, three dead bats, and a jar of bull semen have in common? No, this is not a trick question. The correct answer is – all three were forgotten in a train and are now humoring the entire crew from the Tube’s Lost and Found department.
This is not where the crazy stops. Among many other things, the workers of the underground have also found:
It only takes ten months for the tube to travel a whopping 43 million miles. The distance from the Earth to the Sun is twice as long so, in theory, we don’t need Tesla or Nasa. The good old cheek-to-cheek ride along with some of the most cheerful people in the world – Londoners and a bit of patience is all it takes.
Do you know what the Russians call their train stations? They use the word «вокзал,» that is pronounced like Vokzal. Very similar to Vauxhall, don’t you think?
There is a reason for that. When a Russian delegation visited London in the 19th century, they were fairly impressed with what our newly-built train station had to offer. Fast forward time for a few years, and boom – they are selling matreshkas in kiosks all over Russian Vokzals.
WW2 was a cruel, vicious time when the air hid many dangers. Luckily, Londoners had the Tube, and although it was forbidden to hide there, the underground gave shelter to 177,500 people and helped get 200,000 kids from London to safety. Why don’t I hear any cheers yet?
Do you know how much it costs to design the map of London’s underground? A couple of thousand pounds? A couple million? Nope. The price is ten guineas in total. This is what Harry Beck, the man who personally tailored all the twists and corners of the Tube, was paid for his work.
Mark Twain was one of the first passengers of the Central Lane in 1990. Kate Middleton visited the Baker Street station on the Tube’s 150 anniversary. Rihanna, Harry Styles, Eddie Redmayne, Justin Timberland and Jay-Z are among the many celebrities who have chosen the best way to travel in London. Even Queen Elizabeth II took a ride through Victoria Lane in 1969. Today, you sit, stand, and ride where they have sat, stood, and rode.