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All hail the 150-year-old London Underground

Simon Westlake

From the first of its kind to its use as a bomb shelter, we take a look at the London underground.

London Underground...Where would we be without ? ...At home probably. By: Andre Zehetbauer

ON the 10th January 2013 proud Brits will celebrate 150 years of the London underground or as you and I know it the ‘tube’. Named the tube because of its tube-like shape (go figure) it’s the second largest underground system after Shanghai and the third busiest in Europe. The tube really is an incredible engineering achievement and makes getting to work or lectures a lot easier for those who live in the capital.

Here are five amazing facts about the tube and what it has done for the city of London.

  1. When it all began, the first line was only four miles (just more than six kilometres) long and was opened on the 10th January 1863. That line is now known as the Metropolitan, or Met. It ran from Paddington to Farringdon street.
  2. In World War two the tube was used as an air raid shelter at night, where citizens could hide from falling Nazi bombs. Lines between Holborn to Aldwych where closed to store British museum treasures to save from the Blitz bombings. 
  3. In 1977 The Queen opened the Piccadilly line to Heathrow airport, connecting London directly to the rest of the world.
  4. No more free rides. In 1994 Penalty fares were introduced for the first time.
  5. In 2003 the Oyster card was introduced which is a travel card system that allows you to top up credit on a card that you easily swipe to travel. Where would you be without it?

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