Happy Birthday to the London Underground which first opened to public passenger service 150 years ago today on Saturday 10th January 1863. It is the world’s most iconic transport system and here is a selection, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous of Tube videos.
The complete story of London's iron and concrete arteries that carry one billion commuters a year. "The History of the London Underground" is the definitive story of 'the tube', the world's first underground railway system, an extraordinary and vast network that serves nearly a billion people each year. From its humble beginnings in 1863 when a steam engine made the first run of a new era as the very first subway train to commute beneath London's streets to one of the most extensive subway systems in the world, this fascinating documentary tells the complete story of the 243 mile lone subterranean network that keeps London moving. With classic archive footage and interviews with 'London Underground' historians who trace the developments that transformed the first subway line into the modern marvel that we know today. "The History of the London Underground" is a must have for all Londoners and railway enthusiasts alike.
Follow Richard Ambrose and Jonny Phillips on an underground journey as they explore the London Tube and learn how to drive a tube train. Mind the gap!
A short documentary on the 100 + year history of the Northern Line Tube. Featuring Mike Ashworth, London Underground’s Heritage Manager.
Kim Wilde singing on The Tube, the 1980s Channel 4 music show fronted by Jools Holland, might not have raised too many eyebrows. However, Kim Wilde singing on the Tube, the underground transport network after a Christmas party, certainly did with over a million views in weeks.
Think only trainspotters would find a Tube journey a thriller? Well, this video certainly tries its best to change your mind as dancers perform the iconic Michael Jackson Thriller routine for commuters. However, it seems even faultless dance numbers aren't enough to raise a smile on the District Line, by the looks of the stony faces in the carriage.
If you were smurfing the internet last May, you may have seen these Hartlepool United fans dressed as the comic strip characters. Hundreds of Pools supporters – in white overalls, blue tops, white beards, blue faces and white hats – travelled down from the North East for their side’s final match of the season. Arriving at Kings Cross, they made their way across London on the Underground for the away game at Charlton.
What to do when you’re stuck on a hot and sticky Tube train? Cool off by the window between carriages, of course. However, this passenger seems to enjoy the feel of the wind whistling through his straggly white hair a little a bit more than most of us.
Next time you’re on the train and hear that automated voice telling you to mind the closing doors, think of this chap who got his head stuck. Concerned commuters on the platform rally round (except the one who films it as a warning to us all) to help keep the door from closing on his neck. It's like an alternative version of Sliding Doors but without Gwyneth Paltrow.
More than one million people have watched this sleepy commuter snuggling up to the arm of stranger Rakesh Nair on the Jubilee Line this summer. However, Rakesh's wife didn't see the funny side - when she saw the video, she thought at first he was having an affair with the sleepyhead.
This archive footage shows a variety of scenes from the Tube's 150 year history, from trains travelling through stations in the early years of the 20th century to Londoners sheltering from bombing during the Blitz. Passengers made their first journey on the London Underground on 9 January 1863 on the Metropolitan Railway. The line ran between Paddington (Bishop's Road) and Farringdon Street (now part of the Circle line). The service was steam operated. The line was a huge success with 26,000 passengers using the railway each day in the first six months.
Fast forward a century and a half, and a record 1.171 billion passenger journeys were made in 2011/12.
Sam Mullins, Director of London’s Transport Museum, explains how London was full of horse-drawn carts, pedestrians and animals 150 years ago, and a better solution was needed to get things moving. "The Metropolitan Railway was a conventional steam-powered railway that was just built underground. "Essentially, we're looking at a railway to join up the termini of the main line railways which had all arrived in London in the 1830s and 40s, and were for the most part around the edge of the city. Initially the idea was to build a railway that joined up Paddington and Euston and King's Cross."
For the history of the world’s first Metro and most iconic transport system see;