London Underground: 15 Fascinating Tube Facts

1. The London Underground is the world’s oldest and largest subway system. The 250 miles of track consist of 287 different stations stretching between 11 different lines.

2. The world’s original underground rail line opened in 1863 and ran steam powered wooden carriages between Paddington and Farrington.

3. The London Underground was also the first to operate electric trains. The world’s first electric subway train ran the Uxbridge line in 1905.

4. There are many reports of the London Underground being haunted. The two most famous accounts are that of Anne Naylor’s screams at Farringdon Station and the case of Covent Garden’s man in evening clothes.

5. The average tube train travels a whopping 114,500 miles/184,269km every year.

6. Waterloo station is the busiest tube station in London servicing almost 100 million people annually.

7. Out of all the stations that connect the tube only two have names containing all the vowels, Mansion House and South Ealing.

8. Almost 30% of all tube passengers take longer routes because of misinterpretations of routes on the tube map.

9. Speaking of the tube map, its most famous iteration was designed by Harry Beck in 1931. He completed the map in his spare time, basing his design off of a circuit board diagram. It was not released to the public until 1933.

10. The Central line is London’s longest railway stretching on for 46 miles. It also holds the record for longest distance between two stations of the track with 39 miles.

11. Technically, the name of the London “Underground” doesn’t really make sense. This is due to about 60% of the track being located above ground.

12. Three years ago, the London Underground got its 150th birthday present in the form of a £2 commemorative coin! Unfortunately tube fares start around £5.

13. Over the last 153 years of its existence, only three babies have been born on a train in the underground. They were born in 1924, 2008, and 2009 .

14. When the Circle line is the most hated line in the whole system, with multiple publications calling it, “a form of mild torture,” for over a century.

15. There is a record for visiting all of the stations in the Underground in one trip. That record is currently held by Ronan McDonald and Clive Burgess, who completed the challenge in only 16v hours, 14 minutes and 10 seconds.