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London Underground
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London Underground

London Underground refers to a pioneer public rapid-transit system in the United Kingdom, and one that is now serving London for the second century. The rapid-transit system began its operations on 10 January 1863, and uniquely, was designed and funded by private business organizations up until the 1930 decade. The Metropolitan Railway is credited with majority of the financing. Today, the system has over 270 stations, and mainly serves London, although also offering reliable and regular transit between London and adjacent counties mainly Essex, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

Since the 1863 launch however, the system has witnessed numerous developments and expansions to reach its modern standards. The cross-rail development stands as Europe’s most expensive and extensive construction project to date. By 1884, London Underground had over 800 trains running simultaneously every day, and the public could take the Northern Line (then called the City and South London Railway) and travel from Stockwell to Central London in under 18 minutes. The resultant success inspired the design and construction of the Glasgow District Subway in 1896. Further, the UK parliament authorised and commissioned an addition of five underground railways in London, between 1891 and 1993.

In 1907, a spiral escalator was installed at Holloway Road. However, in 1911, the pioneer escalator was constructed at the Earl’s Court using a diagonal stairway finish, and that would soon become the norm across the system. The success would inspire Queen Elizabeth II to be the first ever reigning monarch to use the underground system witnessing the Victoria line’s inaugural ride from the Green Park as part of the London’s Pride celebrations on 7th March 1969. The Victoria line was a deep-level Route C line approved by parliament in 1955.

Casually nicknamed to as the Tube, the underground system was the first underground train system in the world. The underground system within Central London alone (Inner Circle Tube lines) took over 21 years to construct, between 1963 and 1884. Today, the underground rail system has expanded its scope to facilitate 11 independent lines, collectively serving over 4.8 million passengers every single working day. Between 2015 and 2016, the Tube transported over 1.34 billion passengers, ranking it as the 11th busiest metro system in the world. The degree of safety, convenience, speed and cost-effectiveness, the London Underground remains the most preferred public transport system in London today, for both the locals and the tourist.

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