London’s Underground is one of the most iconic underground railway networks in the world, allowing passengers to travel all over the capital at a simple touch of a card. London’s Underground is not only seen as the capital’s main transport system, it is a staple of London’s culture and one of the many reasons tourists visit. As many commuters will tell you, they know the underground inside out, however, here are some facts we guarantee you didn’t know about the tube:
- The deepest station is Hampstead on the Northern line, which runs down to 58.5 metres.
- The average speed of the Underground is 20.5 miles per hour including station stops.
- Every week, Underground escalators travel the equivalent distance of going twice around the world
- The London Underground is thought to be the third largest metro system in the world, in terms of miles, after the Beijing Subway and the Shanghai Metro.
In 1863, the Metropolitan Railway opened between Paddington and Farringdon. It was the first railway to operate underground and formed the start of London’s icon Underground which has been copied by countries all over the world. The first line that is recognisable today, the Circle Line, opened in 1884 the followed by the Central Line in 1900. Since then, the underground has aimed the city in more than just transport:
- Many tube stations were used as air-raid shelters during the Second World War, but the Central Line was even converted into a fighter aircraft factory that stretched for over two miles, with its own railway system.
- During the Second World War, part of the Piccadilly line (Holborn - Aldwych branch), was closed and British Museum treasures were stored in the empty spaces.
As London grows and evolves, so does the Underground. Recently the tube has seen some pretty big changes in how travellers use it. The Oyster card was introduced in 2003, the same year they legalised busking at stations in certain areas. Oyster cards are coming overtaken with contactless payments and electric payment (Apple Pay) meaning fewer ticket points need to be open. The Night Tube has recently been introduced on particular lines, helping promote London as a 24-hour city.
As more changes are certain to come, be sure to have a look at your nearest tube station, our area contains many wonderful stations such as South Kensington, Knightsbridge and Notting Hill. With many wonderful properties in our area, you will never be too far away from London transport links.