For many Londoners and visitors, the Tube is an integral part of London and a source of much interest and speculation.
This has led to a number of books about the subject and a wide range of merchandise related to it. The Tube often reflects Londoners sense of humour with spoof signs and urban legends about what you can find in the depths.
However it is the facts about the Tube that can be the most surprising like why do many Londoners and visitors use the tube journey between Leicester Square and Covent Garden on the Piccadilly Line which is only 260 metres long takes only about 20 seconds, but costs £4.30, when it has been proven that it is quicker and cheaper to walk ?
Here are some other interesting facts :
1. During the morning peak period, the busiest Tube station is Waterloo, with around 57,000 people entering.
2. On the Metropolitan line, trains can reach over 60mph.
3. The shortest distance between two adjacent stations on the underground network is only 260 metres. The tube journey between Leicester Square and Covent Garden on the Piccadilly Line takes only about 20 seconds, but costs £4.30.
4. Angel has the Underground’s longest escalator at 60m/197ft, with a vertical rise of 27.5m.
5. Only 45 per cent of the Underground is actually in tunnels.
6. The longest distance between stations is on the Metropolitan line from Chesham to Chalfont & Latimer: a total of only 3.89 miles.
7. The longest continuous tunnel is on the Northern line and runs from East Finchley to Morden (via Bank), a total of 17.3 miles.
8. Aldgate Station, is built on a massive plague pit.
9. The longest journey without change is on the Central line from West Ruislip to Epping, and is a total of 34.1 miles.
10. The deepest station is Hampstead on the Northern line, which runs down to 58.5 metres.
11. Over 47 million litres water are pumped from the Tube each day
12. The London Underground trains were originally steam powered.
13. The station with the most platforms is Baker Street with 10
14. The District Line has the most stations: 60.
15. London Underground has been known as the Tube since 1890
16.The Tube’s logo is known as “the roundel”
17. The total length of the London Underground network is 249 miles.
18. The eastern extension of the Jubilee line is the only Underground line to feature glass screens to deter suicides.
19.The inaugural journey of the first Central line train in 1900 had the Prince of Wales and Mark Twain on board.
20.The first escalator on the Underground was installed at Earl’s Court in 1911.
21. The first crash on the Tube occurred in 1938 when two trains collided between Waterloo and Charing Cross, injuring 12 passengers.
22. Busking has been licensed on the Tube since 2003.
23. The phrase “Mind the gap” dates back to 1968.
24. The Jubilee Line is the only one to connect with all the other Underground Lines.
25. Approximately 50 passengers a year kill themselves on the Underground.
26. Fewer than 10 per cent of Tube stations lie south of the Thames.
27. In the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Hogwarts headmaster Dumbledore has a scar that resembles a map of the London Underground on his knee.
28. Edward Johnston designed the font for the London Underground in 1916. The font he came up with is still in use today.
29. The Underground has the oldest section of underground railway in the world, which opened in 1863.
30.The Underground was first used for air raid shelters in September 1940.
31. The tube carried one billion passengers in a year for the first time in 2007.
32.The last manually operated doors on Tube trains (replaced by air-operated doors) were phased out in 1929.
33. According to TFL, London Underground trains travel a total of 1,735 times around the world (or 90 trips to the moon and back).
34. The Oyster card was introduced in 2003.
35. There are 14 journeys between stations that take less than a minute on average
36. The total number of stations served on the network is 270.
37. On August 3 2012, during the Olympic Games, the London Underground had its most busiest day , carrying 4.4 million passengers.
38. The most common location for filming is Aldwych.
39. Poems on the Underground was launched in 1986, the idea of American writer Judith Chernaik.
40. Alcohol was banned on the Tube – and all London Transport – from June 2008.