Facts and Figures

Interesting Tube Facts

The London Underground is the oldest underground train network in the world and as such has had over to 150 years to gain some interesting facts and figures, plus some downright weird ones.

  • 3.7 Million workers commute into central London everyday.
  • It took 14 years (1828-1842) and cost 10 lives to build the first tunnel under the Thames.
  • The second tunnel only took 10 months.
  • 10 January 1863 Worlds first underground railway opened.
  • In 1890 the worlds first deep level electric railway opened.
  • 1908: The Adoption of “Underground” name on stations.
  • Electric ticket-issuing machine introduced in 1908.
  • In 1911 the first escalators came into service at Earl’s Court Station.
  • 1929: Manually operated doors on trains completely replaced by mechanical doors.
  • The distictive diagrammatic London Tube map was introduced. Designed by Harry Beck.
  • The end of steam trains on the Underground to carry passengers occured in 1961.
  • Last steam shunting and freight locomotive withdrawn from service in 1971.
  • Penalty fares were introduced in 1994.
  • The longest continuous tunnel is 17.33 miles (27.8km) on the Northern line between East Finchley and Morden.
  • Approximately 500 trains serve 275 stations on approximately 250 miles (402km) of track.
  • At the busiest time, OXford Circus station can have upto 22,500 people passing though each hour.
  • The longest escalator in Western Europe is 197 feet (60m) long. Found at Angel station on the Northern line.
  • The London Underground requires enough electricity daily to light a city the size of York.

Other facts about the London Underground


Highest and Lowest on the Tube

The highest point on the London Underground is Amersham on the Metropolitan line at about 500 feet (152m) above sea level. However the highest point above ground is reached on the Dollis Brook Viaduct on the Northern line which is 60 feet (18m) above the road below.

The lowest point on the London Underground is is just south of Waterloo on the Northern line, where the tracks are 70 feet (21m) below sea level. The deepest part of the system though is also on the Northern line, but below Hampstead heath where the rails are over 220 feet (67m) below the ground.

The deepest station on the London Underground network is Hampstead station at 192 feet (58.5m). The platforms here are reached by the deepest lifts on the Underground which descent 181 feet (55m).