Our good old Tube is 150 years old. At least this is what the new series of special stamps, issued by Royal Mail say. Stamps celebrating the 150th anniversary go on sale today. To add to the festive spirit, the Royal Mint will release a new £2.00 coin featuring the Anniversary. Being on the spot as usual (I love clicking on these doodles) Google also marks the occasion with a London Underground map google-doodle.
Wow! What did it look like in them days, I wonder? In Victorian London, underground trains running on schedule and carrying passengers across the capital must have looked light years ahead through the eyes of a visitor.
The first ever journey took place on the 9th of January, 1863, between the stations Paddington and Farringdon on the Metropolitan Railway. It was a test journey. The first passengers travelled on the next day. Since then, billions of people have used the London Tube to get about this wonderful city.
On Sunday, 13/01/2013, a special journey, recreating the first passenger Metropolitan Railway trip, will take place. Magnificently restored, Metropolitan Steam Locomotive No.1 and the Metropolitan Railway Jubilee Carriage No.353 will be part of the attractions. The Jubilee Carriage is the oldest operational carriage in the world.
The first electrically operated deep-level line opened in 1890 – The City and South London Railway. It connected Stockwell and King William Street. Within a few years it was already extended to cover Clapham Common and Moorgate Street. This is now part of the Northern Line.
Victorian Londoners needed a map and here it is as it was back in 1928. The first maps were not very accurate and often were normal city maps with the underground lines superimposed. The contemporary design we know was the world first and best so far attempt to visualise the tube lines. Although not geographically correct, the map gives the right position of stations and lines. All other world cities (the New York Subway system for example) that use underground trains have adopted this very same map design. Another pioneered thing Britain has given to the world.
Celebrations Throughout 2013
The whole year will be marked with events celebrating the anniversary of the oldest Underground system in the world. Many old trains will be back on duty on historic routes, puffing steam and blowing their whistles. Modern London will re-live these magnificent and ground breaking Victorian times when a smart new way of travel was introduced to the capital city’s crowded transport system.
Many books and other literature, marking the milestone, will be published by the London Transport Museum.
Long live London Tube!