Tube Trivia

For all of you who have travelled on London’s Tube system, or for those interested in railway trivia, here’s a list of fascinating (but fairly useless) facts.

  1. Chancery Lane has the shortest escalator on the system – 50 steps.
  2. The shortest distance between tube stations is Leicester Square and Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line – 0.16 miles.
  3. The most popular route for tourists is Leicester Square to Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line. It is quicker to walk this distance than travel on the tube.
  4. The phrase ‘Mind the Gap’ originated on the Northern line.
  5. The Jubilee Line was originally going to be called the Fleet line.
  6. Northfields station on the Piccadilly line was the first to use kestrels and hawks to kill pigeons and stop them setting up homes in stations.
  7. The Central line covers the longest route – from West Ruislip to Epping you will travel 34 miles without changing.
  8. The oldest tube line in the world is the Metropolitan line. It opened on the 10th January 1863.
  9. Out of the 287 stations, only 29 are south of the river Thames.
  10. Amersham is not only the most westerly station on the tube it is also the highest – 150 metres above sea level.
  11. Mosquitoes that live in the underground have evolved into a completely different species, one that appears separated from the above ground mozzie by over a thousand years.
  12. The air in the underground is on average 10°C hotter than the air on the surface.
  13. Green grapes cause more accidents on the London Underground than banana skins.
  14. The Cadbury’s Whole Nut chocolate bar is the biggest seller in the chocolate machines at tube stations.

This page published 3rd August 2007 © J S Rastall