London Underground

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The London Underground {or the "tube" as the locals call it} is the world's oldest underground railway. And it amazes me. First of all, the stations are immaculate - which is pretty incredible considering the number of people who go through them every day. But even more astonishing is its complexity. The Underground's 11 lines serve all of Greater London, as well as a few outlying areas. There are 270 stations and the tracks total 253 miles, making it the second largest metro system in the world, after Shanghai's.

The first time I road the tube, I felt like I was about to go on a ride at Disney World. You know how you're waiting in line and you keep telling yourself that the end will be just around the corner? But then it just keeps going and going and going? That's how this feels. To actually get to the tracks, you have to go down escalators, run down stairs and navigate through a series of mazes. There's also a very amusement park feeling to the intercom announcements that remind passengers to "mind the gap" and "stay behind the yellow line."

If you'd like to go on a virtual tube ride, check out the video I made from a short trip between Holborn Station and Piccadilly Circus Station. It reminds me of one of those cheesy travel shows you'd find on PBS, and it was super fun to make. I especially enjoyed watching back the footage and seeing all of the odd looks I got!

A word of caution - if you suffer from motion sickness, this may not be for you.


Transport for London (n.d.) London underground. Retrieved from

Time out London (2007) London underground's history. Retrieved from

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