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Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy Birthday London Underground

10th January 1863 - Passengers travelled on the Tube for the first time!

Blimey, they didn't know what they were letting themselves in for. The world's first underground railway opened to the public on a Saturday at 6am from Paddington to Farringdon, making it the world's first Tube line - the Metropolitan Line. The Metropolitan Line had trains running every 10 minutes and carried 40,000 passengers between Paddington and Farringdon that day.

But even then the London Underground's line didn't launch when planned:

Shareholders and VIPs during an inspection of the Metropolitan Railway - London Transport Museum

According to The Times on January 2nd 1863:

"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. " From this excellent page on the Tube's opening.

On the actual day of opening The Daily Telegraph reported:

"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. "

Any gas that I experience being introduced while I'm in a tunnel is calculated to make me hold my nose and change carriages at the next stop.

; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, January 10, 2011 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon