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.
- Chancery Lane has the shortest escalator on the system – 50 steps.
- The shortest distance between tube stations is Leicester Square and Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line – 0.16 miles.
- 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.
- The phrase ‘Mind the Gap’ originated on the Northern line.
- The Jubilee Line was originally going to be called the Fleet line.
- 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.
- The Central line covers the longest route – from West Ruislip to Epping you will travel 34 miles without changing.
- The oldest tube line in the world is the Metropolitan line. It opened on the 10th January 1863.
- Out of the 287 stations, only 29 are south of the river Thames.
- Amersham is not only the most westerly station on the tube it is also the highest – 150 metres above sea level.
- 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.
- The air in the underground is on average 10°C hotter than the air on the surface.
- Green grapes cause more accidents on the London Underground than banana skins.
- 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