When all of us are in London, we ride the TUBE. After a day or so, it becomes automatic and convenient. Let me give you some TRIVIA which will amuse you about this London transporation system. Really fun.
1. There is only one tube station name which does not have any letters of the word “mackerel” in it - St. John Wood
2. There are only two tube stations which have all five vowels in them – Mansion House and South Ealing
3. Considering there are 287 tube stations, things 1 and 2 are quite surprising.
4. Chancery Lane has the shortest escalator on the system – 50 steps
5. Traveling on the tube for 40 minutes is the equivalent of smoking two cigarettes — so save yourself a packet, all you smokers, and get on the tube more often
6. The shortest distance between tube stations is Leicester Square and Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line – .16 miles
7. The most popular route for tourists is Leicester Square and Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line - It is quicker to walk
8. The only tube station which shares the name of a well known pop group is ALL SAINTS
9. The phrase MIND THE GAP originated on the Northern line.
10. The Jubilee line was originally going to be called the FLEET LINE
11. Northfields station on the Piccadilly line was the first to use kestrels and hawks to kill pigeons and stop them setting up homes in the station.
12. The Central line covers the longest route – from West Ruisli to Eping you will travel 34 miles without changing.
13. The Waterloo and City line covers the shortest route – 2 kilometers, but considering it only covers two station – Waterloo and Bank, it doesn’t take Stephen Hawkins to work that out.
14. The oldest tube line in the world is the Metropolitan line. It opened on the 10th January 1863.
15. Tube carriages originally had no windows and buttoned upholstery and were nicknamed PADDED CELLS.
16. Julian Lloyd Webber was London Underground’s first official busker.
17. More of the London Underground is open than in a tunnel
18. Bank has more escalators than any other station on the tube.
19 Out of the 287 stations, only 29 are south of the river Thames
20. One of the female automated voice announcers is called Sonia - because her voice “gets on yer nerves.”
21. Fish and parcels is the slang name for the District Line. It should be Pony and Trap.
22. Edward Johnston designed the font for the London Underground in 1916
23. The peak hour for the tube suicides is 11 am.
24. The Jubilee Line Extension was the most expensive railway line ever built. It cost 330 million US per kilometer.
25. All 409 escalotors do the equivalent of two round the world trips every week.
26. Amersham is not only the most westerly station on the tube, but it is also the highest – 150 meters above sea level.
27. People were small when the carriages were built in the 1860′s
28. Harry Beck, designer of the tube map in 1933 was only paid five guineas for his original job. His design is still the basis of today’s tube map.
29. The first escalator was introduced at Earls Court in 1911.
30. Not only were the early escalators made of wood, but also the legs of the people who demonstrated them. Wooden legged bumper Harris was emloyed to travel up and down the tube’s first escalator to prove that it was safe.
31. Angel has WesternEurope’s longest escalator – 318 steps
32. Mosquitoes that live in the underground have evolved into a completely different species, one that appears separated from the above ground mozzic by over a thousand years.
33. Regent’s Park, Piccadilly Circus, Hyde Park Corner, and Bank are some of the few stations which do not have an above ground surface building
34. The air in the undeground is on average 10C hotter than the air on the surface.
35. People who commit suicide by throwing themselves under tubes are called “one-unders.” In New York they are known as “track pizza.” Choose your preference.
36. Pigeons regularly travel from West Ham in east London to central London on the tube in order to get more food.
37. The best places to spot mice running around the tracks of the underground are Waterloo Station and any platform at Oxford Circus.
38. Green grapes cause more accidents on the London Underground than banana skins.
39. Anthea Turner and her sister Wendy have written a series of children’s books about mice living on the London Underground. An estimated half a million mice live in the Underground system
40. Only one person was ever born in a tube carriage and her name is Thelma Ursula Beatrice Eleanor – check out her initials. She was born in 1924 on a Bakerloo line train at Elephant & Castle.
41. The Gappe is a little known bird/bat like creature, which only tube announcers can see
43. Victoria and King’s Cross record the highest number of tube suicides each year. This isn’t surprising as Victoria is the tube busiest station with 85 million passangers each year and King’s Cross has 70 million passengers each year.
44. Aldwych station is featured on level 12 in the Tomb Raider game with Lara Croft killing rats.
45. Christopher Lee and Donald Pleasance started in a 1970′s horror film called DEATH LINE where man eating troglodytes terrorized people on the London Underground.
46. The Cadbury’s Whole Nut chocolate bar is the biggest seller in the chocolate machines at tube stations.
47. A fragrance call MADELEINE was introduced at St. James Park, Euston, and Piccadilly stations in an effort to make the tube smell better on 23 March 2001 as it was making people feel sick.
49. The sexiest film scene featuring the London underground is THE WING OF THE DOVE. Helena Bonham Carter and Linus Roache travel in a 19th century carriage together, then get off and make love in a lift. Who said there is no romance on the tube?
Thomas Moore email: TMooreSr@me.com Telephone: 801.791.9918