Category Tube

The London Underground

The Underground, commonly known as the Tube, is the way a vast number of people get around, whether visitors or residents of London. It's unfortunately expensive, crowded at rush hour (and closing time), and patchy in its coverage; it's also probably the best value method out there. Sometimes it doesn't work; see the status page at London Transport.

Bits of it are getting on for 150 years old, and it also contains some of the oldest deep tubes in the world. The Tube map and Tube roundel are design classics known the world over.

Lines can be split into two main groups: Subsurface lines were built by 'cut and cover', even in the centre of London. These are the oldest lines on the network. Tube lines are the ones that go deep underground, with the vast majority of the central London sections dug in the 'tube boom' between 1900 and 1915. The London Underground page on Wikipedia has an interesting [table of the lines' names, colours, years of opening and type, as well as a detailed history of the system.

Tube things on OGL

The Tube on the Web

Tube Frequently Asked Questions

1 I heard the "Inspector Sands" announcement at Bank station. Having read the blurb on the Guardian "Any Answers" page (see link above), my first thought was "Yikes!" My second thought was "Double Yikes!" owing to the fact that there was a Firemen's strike on. Then, the doors closed on the tube train I was on and it departed the platform. -- IvorW

As someone comments on that Guardian page, "I often hear it at Notting Hill Gate". I can verify this; I have to admit that it's quite worrying. At least they've finally got rid of the wooden escalators now, though. -- Earle

I've heard calls for "Inspector Sands" a few times at Stratford Station. Often they seem to want him to go to the control room. --mstevens

Last edited 2006-05-25 19:53:20 (version 35; diff). List all versions.