July 5, 2015

Google Doodle marks iconic Tube (London Underground)'s 150th Anniversary, 74 Interesting Facts

The London Underground has completed 150 years and to mark the occasion Google has replaced it’s logo to an inscribed text ‘google’ to the Famous Underground Map.

150 Years ago the Metropolitan Railway came into operation which opened on 9th January 1863 to public was world first Underground railways.

London Underground will recreate the historic first journey on Sunday, with a steam locomotive pulling a restored 1893 carriage along the line.


There are 270 stations served (260 owned) on the Underground network currently with more station are being made on Various Lines.

The Metropolitan Railway was joined in less than six years by the Metropolitan District Railway between Westminster and South Kensington, run by a rival company. The two were connected in 1884 by the Inner Circle.

The first genuine deep “tube” line, the City and South railway, now part of the Northern Line between Stockwell and a defunct terminus at King William Street, did not open until 1890. It boasted advances including electric trains, which also took over on the earlier London Underground lines in 1905.

The Central Line, the Piccadilly Line, the Bakerloo Line and the Northern Line were all opened over the next few years.

In 1933, the Government formed London Transport, which began nationalising and integrating the various competing London Underground operators. The same year draughtsman Harry Beck’s famous diagrammatic map was published to help passengers navigate the increasingly complicated network.

Other events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground include an exhibition of poster art at the London Transport Museum and a series of theatre events at the disused Aldwych station.Special stamps have been produced, as well as two new two pound coins. – The Telegraph

The Logo is made up of today’s London Underground map with letters Google inscribed in such a way that they look like one of the lines each.

  • G – Piccadilly
  • 2 Os – Circle, separated by all other lines
  • G – Victoria
  • L – Overground
  • E – Central Line


Here are some Interesting Facts about London Underground

  1. An average of 2.7 million tube journeys are made on the tube each and every day.
  2. With a statistic like that, you’d think many people might have inadvertently given birth while travelling on the tube. Yet only three babies have ever been born in the London Underground. The first (a girl) was in 1924, the second (also a girl) on the 19th of December 2008 and the third, the first boy to be born in the Underground, in May 2009.
  3. The busiest station is Victoria, with 76.5 million passengers a year.
  4. During the three-hour morning peak however, Waterloo is busiest, with around 50 000 people entering.
  5. Around 19 000 people work at the London Underground.
  6. Early in 1987 smoking in the stations and trains was banned for a six-month trial period and then permanently after a discarded match started the King’s Cross fire in November 1987, killing 31 people.
  7. Even though smoking is banned, a 40-minute tube ride is said to be the equivalent of smoking two cigarettes anyway!
  8. There are 64 lifts in the Underground system.
  9. The deepest lift shaft is at Hampstead and 55.2m deep.
  10. The largest Tube car park is at Epping and has 599 parking spots.
  11. The average scheduled train speed (including stops) is 33 km/h.
  12. The Animals of the Underground is an art project started by Paul Middlewick in 1988 after he spotted an elephant shape while staring at the tube map during his daily journey home from work. Created using the tube lines, stations and junctions of the London Underground map, the animal collection grows all the time and includes whales, birds and bats.
  13. 14. The longest single journey on one train is the 54.5 kilometre trip between West Ruislip and Epping, on the Central Line.
  14. On 11 July 2000, a driver fell asleep at the controls and the Northern Line train – with more than 100 passengers onboard – rolled backwards in the tunnel for almost a kilometre through Chalk Farm station.  Luckily, the train went through a signal at red and an automatic device on the track turned the train’s brakes on.
  15. Filming takes place in many places in the Underground system, but the most common locations are Aldwych, a disused tube station which was formerly on the Piccadilly Line, as well as at the non-operational Jubilee Line complex in Charing Cross.
  16. One of the levels in Tomb Raider 3 is set in the disused Aldwych tube station and sees Lara Croft killing rats!
  17. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Headmaster at Hogwarts has a scar shaped just like the London Underground map on his knee.
  18. There are many reports of the London Underground being haunted. One of the most famous haunting stories is the story of Anne Naylor, murdered in 1758 and said to haunt Farringdon Station. Passengers have often reported hearing blood curdling screams as the last train leaves.
  19. Covent Garden station on the Piccadilly Line is said to be haunted by a man dressed in evening wear who disappears very suddenly.  Some staff members have refused to work at the station because of him.
  20. There are only two tube station names that contain all 5 vowels – ‘Mansion House’ and ‘South Ealing’.
  21. The oldest tube line in the world is the Metropolitan line, which opened on the 10th of January in 1863.
  22. The first escalator was introduced at Earls Court in 1911.
  23. Baker Street is the station with the most platforms – 10.
  24. The shortest escalator on the tube system, with only 50 steps, is at Chancery Lane.
  25. Julian Lloyd Webber is rumoured to have been the London Underground’s first official busker.
  26. Almost 60% of the London Underground is actually above the ground and not underground.
  27. Out of the 287 stations, only 29 are south of the river Thames.
  28. One of the female automated voice announcers is called Sonia – rumour has it it’s because her voice “gets on yer nerves.”
  29. Edward Johnston designed the font for the London Underground in 1916 and it is still in use today!
  30. Each of the 400+ escalators do the equivalent of two round-the-world trips in kilometres every week.
  31. Amersham is not only the most westerly station on the tube, but it is also the highest at 150 meters above sea level.
  32. Harry Beck designed the tube map in 1933 and was paid only five guineas for the job.  His design still forms the basis of today’s tube map.
  33. The mosquitoes in the underground have been said to have evolved into a completely different species to any that lives above the ground.
  34. Few stations don’t have buildings above the ground – these include Regent’s Park, Piccadilly Circus, Hyde Park Corner, and Bank.
  35. The air in the undeground is on average 10 degrees celcius hotter than the air on the surface.
  36. People who commit suicide by throwing themselves under tubes are nicknamed “one-unders” by London Underground staff.
  37. It is estimated that around 100 tube suicides occur each year, the majority of these at Victoria and King’s Cross.
  38. The most popular tube suicide time is 11 am.
  39. The best places to spot the legendary underground mice running around the tracks are Waterloo Station and any platform at Oxford Circus.
  40. Anthea and Wendy Turner have written a series of children’s books about mice living on the London Underground – called ‘Underneath the Underground’.
  41. Christopher Lee and Donald Pleasance starred in a 1970?s horror called DEATH LINE, which tells the story of a cave-in while a station is being built at Russell Square in the 1890s. Several labourers are presumed dead and the bodies are left there when the construction company goes bankrupt. Of course these people are not really dead – instead they survive and reproduce… Years later, they start to find their food supply from the platform at Russell Square.
  42. A fragrance call Madeleine was introduced at St. James Park, Euston, and Piccadilly stations in 2001 as an idea to make the tube more pleasant.  It was supposedly a fresh, floral scent, but it was discontinued within two days after numerous complaints from people saying they felt ill.
  43. In January 2005, the London Underground announced that it would play classical music at stations that had problems with loitering youths. A trial showed a 33% drop in abuse against tube staff. Wonder if it’s still happening?
  44. The Jubilee Line was named in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, but did not open until 1979.
  45. Aldgate station is built on a massive plague pit, where more than 1000 bodies were buried in 1665.
  46. The District Line serves sixty different stations; Piccadilly Line serves fifty-two; and the Northern and Central Lines serve fifty-one and forty-nine stations respectively.
  47. In 2004 it was found that rubber mountings on carriages were collapsing on Piccadilly Line carriages due to excessive passenger weight! The estimated cost of replacing these defective mountings is in excess of twenty million pounds.
  48. This could be related to the fact that the Cadbury’s Whole Nut chocolate bar is by far the biggest seller in the dispensing machines at tube stations.
  49. The nickname “tube” originally applied to the Central London Railway which was nicknamed theTwopenny Tube – because of the twopenny fare as well as its cylindrical tunnels. The “tube” part of the nickname eventually transferred to the entire London Underground system.
  50. The phrase MIND THE GAP originated on the Northern line in 1968. It was voiced by Peter Lodge, who owned a recording company in Bayswater. While Lodge’s recording is still in use, some lines use recordings by Manchester voice artist Emma Clarke, while commuters on the Piccadilly line hear the voice of Tim Bentinck, who plays David Archer in The Archers, the BBC Radio soap opera.
  51. The London Underground has 402 km (249 miles) of track, making it the second largest metro system in the world in terms of route length, after the Shanghai Metro.
  52. Steam-hauled trains still run on the Metropolitan line at special annual events.
  53. The Underground name on stations and the Tube’s world-famous logo, ‘the roundel‘ (a red circle crossed by a horizontal blue bar), first appeared in 1908.
  54. Total number of passengers carried each year on the Underground network: about 1,107,000,000.
  55. The average train speed is 33km per hour/20.5mph including station stops. On the Metropolitan line, trains can reach over 60mph.
  56. The walking distance between two underground stops in central London is never more than 10 minutes, sometimes a lot less.
  57. The Jubilee line, which was named in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee,  is the Underground’s newest line (opened in 1979), but serves stations which originally opened over 100 years ago.
  58. The Piccadilly line was the first of the deep-level tube lines to be converted to one person operation (August 1987), where the operator drives the train and controls the operation of the doors.
  59. The London Underground employs approximately 19000 people.
  60. Aldgate station is built on a massive plague pit in which more than 1000 bodies were buried during the plague of 1665.
  61. The Circle line, which was opened in 1884, was described in The Times as “a form of mild torture which no person would undergo if he could conveniently help it”.
  62. The London Tube runs 24 hours a day only at New Year and major events such as the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics.
  63. The longest distance between two adjacent stations by rail is the 6.26 km (3.89 miles) between Chesham and Chalfont & Latimer on the Metropolitan line. 
  64. The shortest distance between two adjacent stations on the Underground network is the 260 meters (0,161 miles) between Leicester Square and Covent Garden on the Piccadilly Line. The tube journey between these two stations takes only about 20 seconds, but costs £4.30.
  65. The first Underground escalator was installed at Earl’s Court station in 1911. A one-legged man, “Bumper” Harris, was employed to ride on it and demonstrate its safety.
  66. An estimated half a million mice live in the Underground system.
  67. The inaugural journey of the first Central line train in 1900 had the Prince of Wales and Mark Twain on board.
  68. The longest journey one can make on the London Tube without changing trains is the 54.9 km (34.1 miles) trip between West Ruislip and Epping on the Central Line, taking 1 hour 28.5 minutes.
  69. Busking has been licensed on the London Tube since 2003, but before that Sting and Paul McCartney both allegedly plied their trade on the Underground, in disguise.
  70. Green grapes cause more accidents on the London Underground than banana skins.
  71. The tunnel between East Finchley and Morden (via Bank) is the Underground’s longest and the 2nd longest rail tunnel in the world, 27.8km (17.25 miles).
  72. Angel station has the third longest escalators in Western Europe, with a vertical rise of 27.5 m (90 ft) and a length of 60 m (197 ft), and which take 80 seconds to carry passengers up or down.
  73. Waterloo is the UK’s busiest train station (in terms of passenger throughput), with some 88 million people travelling through every year.
  74. The mosquitoes inhabiting the tunnels of the London Tube have evolved into a completely different species to any that lives above the ground. Unlike their upstairs brethren, which bite only birds, the London Underground mosquitoes bite rats, mice and show a distinct affinity for human blood. Biologists named these voracious biters Culex pipiens molestus.

via: Angloberry and 1stcontactenews

The DNetWorks Team

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