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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy Birthday London Underground

Many Happy Returns to the Tube. On the 10th January 1863 the world's first ever public underground line opened. The Metropolitan Line had trains running every 10 minutes and carried 40,000 passengers between Paddington and Farringdon that day.

You won't be surprised to hear that even at that early stage things didn't go exactly to plan and it's arrival wasn't having the Victorians singing and dancing in the streets:

"It appears that arrangements have been made for opening this line on the 10th [of January] for public traffic, but as the 1st of October, the 1st of November, the middle of December have been announced from time to time as the probable date of opening, it is presumed that no one will feel disappointed if a further postponement should take place." The Times sceptically reported.

But the actual day of opening The Daily Telegraph wrote:

"Of the general comfort in travelling on the line there can be no question, and the novel introduction of gas into the carriages is calculated to dispel any unpleasant feeling which passengers, especially ladies, might entertain against riding for so long a distance through a tunnel."

Mmm, gas in carriages? I don't look forward to people letting off gas in Tube carriages, but glad that the London Underground were conscious of us gentle ladies travelling around.

; Posted by Annie Mole Thursday, January 10, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon