London Underground, world’s first metro, turns 150

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    By Sarju Kaul  www.deccanchronicle.com

    London: London Underground, better known as the Tube, on Wednesday celebrated its 150th anniversary marking the first underground rail journey between Paddington and Farringdon on the Metropolitan Railway.

    The London Underground had taken on a new look with Transport for London's Olympic Legends Map during the recent Olympics - AP
    The London Underground had taken on a new look with Transport for London's Olympic Legends Map during the recent Olympics - AP

    The first ever London Underground railway operated on the Metropolitan Railway between Paddington and Farringdon in 1863 and the first steam train Tube journey on the London Underground will be recreated on Sunday and on January 20. Metropolitan Steam Locomotive Number 1, which dates from 1892, will be used to pull a restored original Victorian first-class carriage during these trips.

    The world’s oldest underground transportation network covers 402 kilometres of track, serves 270 stations, runs across 11 lines, and carries 1.2 billion passengers per year. Tube trains, which now run on 11 lines, have been estimated to travel a distance of approximately 43,000,000 miles in a period of just 12 months, the equivalent distance of 1,735 times around the world or 90 trips to the moon and back. The total length of track is over 250 miles long making it the second longest metro system in the world after Shanghai.

    London Underground has been known as the Tube since 1890 due to the shape of the tunnels and its got its name, London Underground, only in 1908.

    The anniversary celebrations also include a series of heritage steam train trips, issue of new books, poetry, art commissions by contemporary artists, and an exhibition of London Underground posters. Two new two-pound coins highlighting the London Underground will also be issued. The Royal Mail on Wednesday launched a set of 10 special stamps to mark the anniversary. More info