The London Underground is very much a part of the city we live in. It is synonymous with London.
There are many good reasons to take the tube when in London. It is cost-efficient when there are no union strikes or breakdowns. And it is the fastest way to go from point to point.The reason we don’t usually use it is because Mummy thinks there are too many tunnels, stairs, escalators and it sometimes freaks her out that we are several floors under the ground. And the speed and the roar of the train coming into the station can be frightening.
Most of the time we can usually find a seat.Sometimes more than one.“Darcy, I don’t think you should be sitting on the seat.““And kissing me doesn’t make it ok.”
So even when there are seats, Mummy prefers for me to sit on her lap. I don’t mind sitting on Mummy’s lap.Better than Mummy having to carry me when the tube is standing room onlyAnd it can get really,ReallyCrowded
but we still manage to get people’s attention! LOL!
But these days, there are two of us and one Mummy – so it proves to be difficult as dogs have to be carried on the escalators.There is the rare occasion when Mummy did take us both on the tube.With help!There was one time she forgot about the escalators and she had to carry us both! We made it. But we also made a lot of people laugh as Mummy carried us both in her arms. Hercules Mummy!
All that said, we do appreciate the many things about it. We dug into the very long history of the Underground.
- It opened for business on the 10 January 1863, with the first train running on the Metropolitan line between Paddington and Farringdon. All this while America was deep into its Civil War and the Football Association met for the first time in London that year. So on days when some of the lines are not working properly, let’s remember that it has the oldest section of underground railway in the world.
- It’s thought to be the third largest metro system in the world, in terms of miles, after the Beijing Subway and the Shanghai Metro.
- The total length of the London Underground network is 250 miles – that’s a lot of maintenance.
- There are a total of 270 stations served on the network.
- The London Underground is the third busiest metro system in Europe, after Moscow and Paris.
- The Tube carried one billion passengers in a year for the first time in 2007.
- It is officially known as the Underground, but since 1890, it has been known as the Tube due to the shape of the tunnels.
- The logo, a red circle crossed by a horizontal blue bar, is known as “the roundel”. The 100th anniversary of the roundel was celebrated in 2008.
- Edward Johnston designed the font for the London Underground in 1916. The font he came up with is still in use today.
- The phrase “Mind the gap” dates back to 1968. It originated on the Northern Line. The recording that is broadcast on stations was first done by Peter Lodge.
- The Underground was first used for air raid shelters in September 1940.
- The Underground helped over 200,000 children escape to the countryside during the Second World War.
- Every week, Underground escalators travel the equivalent distance of going twice around the world.
- The first escalator on the Underground was installed at Earl’s Court in 1911.
- According to Transport for London (TfL), London Underground trains travel a total of 1,735 times around the world (or 90 trips to the moon and back) each year.
- The Piccadilly line extended to serve Heathrow Terminal 4 in 1986.And of course eventually Terminal 5! Otherwise I wouldn’t be here.
- The TARDIS, (Dr Who’s transport) can be found outside Earl’s Court station. Or at least an old police call box can.
- A series of animal shapes have also been highlighted in the London Underground map, first discovered by Paul Middlewick in 1988. They’re created using the tube lines, stations and junctions of the London Underground map.
And not so nice to know – an estimate half a million mice live in the Underground!!!! EEK!
Happy Monday! Happy commute!
May’s comment: Love is not a word often associated with the Underground. Hate is too strong a word for it. It serves it’s purpose but I prefer taking the bus because it is above ground and I can see the world as we go along, except when in a need to get somewhere fast! The miles of winding tunnels and steps and escalators! Also, it is a requirement to carry dogs on the escalators for good reasons – their hair could get caught in the moving steps, they could trip a passerby who is running up or down the escalator and the dog gets in the way. For mine – they are both afraid of them. They both go into a four paw braking system at the sight of one. It is not usual for Darcy to be afraid of most things. So it’s a blessing I can still carry her. Of course George is an easy one to take with me. But it is very difficult to take them both my own. Have done it once in a moment of insanity!
I have never encountered any objections whenever I have been on them. On the contrary, I make conversations with people and often smiles of acknowledgement. We get photographed quite a bit. Those that do not like dogs just ignore us. It could be that the Underground is not such a clean place to begin with so they cannot complain having “dirty animals” around!
And whenever I am carrying especially Darcy, propped on my hip and her arms wrapped around my shoulders, nothing beats soliciting a smile from passers-by, breaking the hum-drum as they hurry from place to place.
Facts retrieved from the following articles –
- The Telegraph – 150 London Underground Facts
- Evening Standard – Facts to fascinate about the London Underground