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The London Underground
Mind the gap!

The London Underground

The London Underground is the oldest and longest underground railway system of any capital.

The Tube has very much played a part in the development of the city in many ways. It heralded and necessitated many remarkable developments in engineering as well as carving a niche for itself in the world of design. Popular culture has featured it in countless and varied forms over its history and it has been the inspiration for many films, songs, poems and stories.

The statistics make compulsive reading with surprising information on length, depths and speed as well as unusual facts regarding everything from babies born on the trains to the very oddest lost property you could think of.

The London Underground celebrated a big anniversary of its inauguration in 2013. How many years were they celebrating?
The first journey took place on January 9th, 1863
How is Bumper Harris associated with the Underground?
He designed the Tube map
He was the first baby to be born on it
He was the first train driver on the Underground
He was a one-legged man who was paid to go up and down its first escalator to demonstrate how safe it was
The first escalator was installed at Earl’s Court in 1911
Which of these is correct?
The first Tube line was built and financed by a private company
The first Tube line was the Circle Line
The first Tube line went from Westminster to St Paul’s
The first Tube line was abandoned after 4 days
The Metropolitan Railway was the name of the company that built the first Tube line and it ran between Paddington (then called Bishop’s Road) and Farringdon Street
Who was the first reigning monarch to travel on the Underground?
Queen Victoria
George VI
Queen Elizabeth II
Prince Charles
Elizabeth II was aboard the inaugural journey on the Victoria Line from Green Park
On 6th June 1915 Maida Vale station first opened. It was ...?
unsuccessful initially with only 15 journeys taken to or from it in the first 3 months
directly hit by a bomb within 24hrs and thus closed again for 4 years
entirely staffed by women
called Maiden Lane
With most of the country’s men away fighting in the war, women ran the show at Maida Vale
Which line is sometimes called ‘London’s Pride?’
The Metropolitan Line
The Victoria Line
The Bakerloo Line
The Northern Line
The Victoria Line was opened on the 7th of March in 1969
Which of these is correct?
The number of stations on the north versus the south bank of the Thames is roughly equal
There are no stations on the north side of the Thames
Three quarters of the stations are on the north side of the river
Only around 10% of the stations are on the south side of the Thames
There is even a strong north-south divide in London transport it seems!
The London Underground is also colloquially called the Tube. This comes from having been nicknamed the ‘Twopenny Tube”. Where did this term first originate?
The Daily Mail
London bus drivers who feared the Underground would threaten their livelihoods
Lord Palmerston, the Prime Minister
The Cockneys of London
The network was thus dubbed by The Daily Mail just five days after the Tube opened
The tunnels on the Central Line are noticeably crooked and curving. Why is this?
They follow the medieval street plan
They had to avoid tunnelling under Marble Arch and St Paul’s
The tunnelling machine had a technical fault
The engineering team that built them liked to take long, boozy lunches
They follow the medieval street plans as do many of today’s roads in London
During World War II, the Underground’s deep-level stations were also used as what?
Dance halls
Mushroom sheds
Postal storerooms
Bomb shelters
It is estimated that around 180,000 people took shelter in the stations each night


Author:  Augusta Harris

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