Following roughly two decades of unsuccessful attempts at checkmating the problem of crowding on the noisy streets in London, the first underground railway system in the world became operational below the ground of this city on the 10th of January 1863. The operation started with a rail network, four miles long, which links Paddington as well as Farringdon stations. Soon afterward, it became the first ever mass transit system used by a large number of passengers every year. This was several years before New York, or Paris could achieve a similar feat. Presented below are some facts about the Underground railway of London, which you may not know. One thing is sure, you will have fun reading through this informative piece.
The world’s first Underground trains were powered by steam
Lately, research has shown that the quality of air in London beneath the ground is seventy times poorer than it’s on the ground. Also in these studies, it was discovered that a ride lasting for forty minutes using the railway could be likened to smoking two cigarettes, owing to poor ventilation and exhaust. While these findings could look outrageous in this day and age, the first passengers that used the system wouldn’t have been shocked.
Though locomotives that run on steam and supplied with coal had been prevalent in the country-side of Britain for several years, only some of them were adapted to the smoky environment of this Underground railway. For about three decades, the whole underground system ran on steam. While some trains that operated on steam were common until 1961, the first lines powered by electricity became operational in 1890. But this year, a range of trains that run on steam will traverse the whole parts of the railway once again, to mark the 150th anniversary of the London Underground system.
The city of London’s transit system is among the best in the world, partly due to the contribution of a financier from the US
The Underground, like other first systems for mass transit, launched as a litany of rail lines which were constructed by various developers and run by private companies. But the story changed when Charles Yerkes, a transport magnate, and financier, consolidated the system. He had made notable contributions in the development of the elevated railway of Chicago, commonly called the L. Then, he developed, in 1900, the Underground Electric Railways Company in London. He assumed ownership of a lot of available lines in this city, after winning a battle — to merge the mass transit of London — against J.P. Morgan, who is another business magnate from the United States.
The Underground railway possessed one of the first escalators globally
In I906, in the Holloway Road Station, the installation of the world’s first moving staircase was carried out. However, it wasn’t able to be worked to the extent that news about the installation was never made public. After five years, the first efficient escalator for the Underground railway system was installed.