The London Underground, known simply by its nickname the Tube, is a public rapid transport system serving especially London. This year it celebrates its 155th birthday. In 1863, Queen Victoria opened the first underground line to the general public. It was constructed by two famous engineers: Sir Marc Brunel and his son Isambard. The system’s first tunnels were built just below the surface, using the cut-and-cover method. Gas-lit wooden carriages were hauled by steam locomotives.
Originally access to the deep-tube platforms was by a lift. The first escalator on the London Underground was installed in 1911. On 18 Dec. 1890, the City and South London Underground opens the world’s first deep-level electric railway. It runs under the River Thames.
The new system proved to be an instant success. In the first year it carried 9,500,00 passengers and a year later 12,000,000.
At present there are 13 underground lines which connect the entire area of London. The system has 270 stations and 250 miles (402 km) in length, making it the third longest metro system in the world. The Tube collectively handles approximately 4.8 million passengers a day as its main function is to carry the maximum number of passengers during peak hours in the most efficient manner.
Written by: Anna Pędziwiatr