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25 things you (probably) didn't know about the London Underground

Get your fill of tasty tube facts

25 things you (probably) didn't know about the London Underground

1

If the fictional Eastenders station of Walford East was a real place it would be on the District Line. 


2

60 per cent of the London Underground can actually be found above ground. Talk about false advertising.


3

When the Circle Line was originally opened in 1884, The Times described it as ‘a form of mild torture.’ This is still incredibly accurate despite the fact that the review appears to have had no effect on overcrowding.


4

The phrase 'Mind The Gap' originated on the Northern Line in 1968.


5

Jerry (Jerry, Jerry, etc.) Springer was born at East Finchley Station during World War II. At the time, the station was being used as a bomb shelter during the Blitz.


6

The Victoria Line was originally supposed to be called the Viking Line. Which is awesome.


7

The overall distance travelled by the tube every 12 months is the equivalent of going half-way to the sun at 43 million miles. Which probably wouldn't be as hot as riding the tube.


8

The Northbound Northern Line platform at Embankment station still plays the original recording for the ‘Mind The Gap’ announcement. The station revived the recording in response to the announcer's widow writing to the TFL asking to hear his voice again.


9

Smoking is obviously banned on the tube but it doesn’t make much difference. According to studies, a single 40 minute journey is the equivalent of smoking two cigarettes due to the concentration of dust particles in the air.


10

Tube carriages originally had no windows. Commuters of today don't know they’re born.


11

The man that designed the tube map, Harry Beck was paid just 10 Guineas for his troubles. This is the equivalent of around £639 in today's money, taking into account inflation.


12

In 2001, tube bosses tried to make St. James Park, Euston and Piccadilly slightly more pleasant by introducing a fragrance called Madeleine. It was discontinued after only two days when travelers reported that it made them feel ill.


13

Make note pub quiz fans: there are only two tube station names that contain all 5 vowels – ‘Mansion House’ and ‘South Ealing’


14

Most of the signs that tell you how many steps there are on the tube lines are wrong. One noticeable difference being Belsize Park. The sign claims that there are 219, when there are actually 189.


15

The Metropolitan line is the oldest tube line in the world and opened on 10 January, 1863.


16

The largest amount of people killed by a single wartime bomb was 68, at Balham Station.


17

South Londoners have the worst tube access. Out of 287 stations, only 29 are south of the Thames.


18

Ridiculously, the London Underground has its own species of mosquitoes that inhabits it. Having evolved to survive underground, they’re completely different to any mosquitoes living above ground.


19

The deepest lift shaft on the underground can be found at Hampstead and is 55.2m deep.


20

In the midst of WW2 there was an aircraft factory housed on the Central Line between Newbury Park and Leytonstone.


21

Aldgate station is built above a mass plague burial site from 1665. Allegedly over 1,000 bodies lie beneath it. A fact best not recalled while venturing there at night.


22.

The British Museum has its own tube station that lies hidden between Tottenham Court Road and Holborn, although it’s not actually been used since 1932. We say bring it back.


23

11am is the time that the most suicides happen on the Underground.


24

There are only four stations on the entire Underground that have just one platform: Chesham, Heathrow 4, Olympia and Mill Hill East.


25

The busiest tube station during peak morning hours is Waterloo and sees around 57,000+ people running around like sweaty lunatics in a futile attempt to get to work on time.


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