36 Facts About London Underground


London Underground is a rapid transit system serving Greater London and some parts of the adjacent counties of Buckinghamshire, Essex and Hertfordshire in England.

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London Underground has its origins in the Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground passenger railway.

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The current operator, London Underground Limited, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London (TfL), the statutory corporation responsible for the transport network in London.

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At the time, the term London Underground was selected from three other proposed names; 'Tube' and 'Electric' were both officially rejected.

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Under the control of the GLC, London Transport introduced a system of fare zones for buses and underground trains that cut the average fare in 1981.

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In 1984 control of London Buses and the London Underground passed back to central government with the creation of London Regional Transport, which reported directly to the Secretary of State for Transport, still retaining the London Transport brand.

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London Underground were strongly criticised in the aftermath for their attitude to fires underground, and publication of the report into the fire led to the resignation of senior management of both London Underground and London Regional Transport.

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In 2000, Transport for London Underground was created as an integrated body responsible for London Underground's transport system.

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The transfer of responsibility was staged, with transfer of control of London Underground delayed until July 2003, when London Underground Limited became an indirect subsidiary of TfL.

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In 2013, the London Underground celebrated its 150th anniversary, with celebratory events such as steam trains and installation of a unique Labyrinth artwork at each station.

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London Underground uses several railways and alignments that were built by main-line railway companies.

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London Underground trains come in two sizes, larger sub-surface trains and smaller deep-tube trains.

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Some stations were closed because of low passenger numbers rendering them uneconomical; some became redundant after lines were re-routed or replacements were constructed; and others are no longer served by the London Underground but remain open to National Rail main line services.

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The first escalator on the London Underground was installed in 1911 between the District and Piccadilly platforms at Earl's Court and from the following year new deep-level stations were provided with escalators instead of lifts.

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In 2006, Ken Livingstone, the then Mayor of London Underground, announced that within twenty years Camberwell would have a tube station.

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London Underground is therefore extending their operational life by making major repairs to many of the trains to maintain reliability.

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Bombardier won the contract in June 2011 but was released by agreement in December 2013, and London Underground has now issued another signalling contract, with Thales.

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In mid-2014 Transport for London Underground issued a tender for up to 18 trains for the Jubilee line and up to 50 trains for the Northern line.

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The London Underground first started accepting contactless debit and credit cards in September 2014.

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Tube closes overnight during the week, but since 2016, the Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly, and Victoria lines, as well as a short section of the London Underground Overground have operated all night on Friday and Saturday nights.

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On 19 August 2016, London Underground launched a 24-hour service on the Victoria and Central lines with plans in place to extend this to the Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee lines starting on Friday morning and continuing right through until Sunday evening.

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London Underground is authorised to operate trains by the Office of Rail Regulation.

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Tube Challenge is the competition for the fastest time to travel to all London Underground stations, tracked by Guinness World Records since 1960.

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London Underground presented his original draft in 1931, and after initial rejection it was first printed in 1933.

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The words "London Underground Transport" were added inside the ring, above and below the bar.

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London Underground's design was displayed at Southwark Station in collaboration with Art on the Underground to mark the opening weekend of the new Tate Modern gallery situated near the station.

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The Central London Underground Railway appointed Harry Bell Measures as architect, who designed its pinkish-brown steel-framed buildings with larger entrances.

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Holden's design for the London Underground's headquarters building at 55 Broadway included avant-garde sculptures by Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill and Henry Moore.

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The Central London Railway used colour illustrations in their 1905 poster, and from 1908 the Underground Group, under Pick's direction, used images of country scenes, shopping and major events on posters to encourage use of the tube.

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Similarly since 1986, Poems on the London Underground has commissioned poetry that is displayed in trains.

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The London Underground has featured in music such as The Jam's "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight" and in literature such as the graphic novel V for Vendetta.

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The London Underground map serves as a playing field for the conceptual game of Mornington Crescent and the board game The London Game.

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London Underground provides busking permits for up to 39 pitches across 25 central London stations.

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London Underground is frequently studied by academics because it is one of the largest, oldest, and most widely used systems of public transit in the world.

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Routes on the London Underground can be optimized using a global network optimization approach, akin to routing algorithms for Internet applications.

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Analysis of the Underground as a network may be helpful for setting safety priorities, since the stations targeted in the 2005 London bombings were amongst the most effective for disrupting the transportation system.

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