London’s incredible Underground rail network

London Trains

London is renowned for its many historic landmarks and iconic attractions. It is one of the biggest metropolises in the world and is known as the financial hub of Europe. London has a rich and illustrious history that dates back to Roman times more than two thousand years old. It has been aptly described as the city that has something for everyone.

And in sheer variety of places to visit and things to do London is certainly unrivalled. All of these features make it one of the most popular tourist destinations on the globe. It has more than 16 million visitors every year who come to explore this marvellous city and its numerous attractions. As it is a tourist hub there are a number of top notch 5 star city hotels in London.

One such fine boutique hotel is the Montcalm Hotel London that is popular with visitors owing to its central location and affordable price. While in London visitors are bound to have to use its famous underground rail network that is popularly known as the Tube. The London Underground has been around more than a century and a half and is one of the oldest and most widely used public transportation networks in the world. It is one of the most convenient and cost-effective ways to travel to all parts of the city. Although it is not too pleasant to travel on in the summer months owing to the lack of air-conditioning, the fact is it has made travel much more convenient and a lot quicker. London is a massive city and commuting to its far flung suburbs would otherwise have been a challenge, if it were not for the Tube rail network.

Before the advent of the Underground, London was a collection of scattered towns and villages. The Tube has managed to efficiently connect all parts of the city and for the past 150 years, proved to be a reliable source of travel for the city’s residents. There are some incredible facts that a lot many people are not aware of about the history of the Underground.  Some of these include....

  • It opened in 1863, and has the distinction of being the oldest operating underground railway network on the planet. It is so old that at the time it opened to the public locals used to board the Tube to travel to town to view public executions!
  • While it is called the Underground, the fact is that only 45% of it is actually subterranean with the remaining majority section of it being above ground.
  • The Tube covers more than 43 million miles every year! To put things in perspective that is equal to 90 trips to and back from the moon.
  • The station of Waterloo is the last place to travel from during rush-hour! During the morning rush hour it has approximately 57,000 visitors that pass through just within three hours in the morning. It is also known to be the city’s busiest tube station with about 82 million visitors annually.
  • An interesting bit of trivia is that only two tube station names have all the vowels. Fetch a guess! Well the answer is South Ealing and Mansion House.
  • While it is well known as being the oldest section of underground railway not many know that it was the first in the world to operate electric trains? The use of electric lines dates back to 1905, when the Uxbridge line was electrified.
  • An amazing fact is that close to thirty percent of passengers unwittingly take longer routes courtesy of the misrepresentations to be found on the tube map. That does not just include visitors but the locals as well!
  • One of the more prominent inaugural passengers was the American writer Mark Twain who boarded it Central Line in 1900, when it made its first trip across the city. It is known as the red bullet and is the Tube’s longest line.
  • The Underground launched a commemorative souvenir to celebrate its 150th anniversary.
  • While it transports more than three million passengers on a daily basis, till date just three babies are known for a fact to have been born on the Tube. The last baby to be born was in 2009.
  • At the time of its opening in 1884, the Circle line received some very harsh and critical comments. In fact the Times newspaper went as far as to state “a form of mild torture which no person would undergo if he could conveniently help it”. While that may still ring true in a way, the fact is that it is the best option to get from one part to another part of the city in minimum time and at an affordable cost.