The world's first subway
Many cities around the world everyday are connected by a subway, underground or metropolitan railway. The worlds first was a victorian solution to a problem, an overcrowded London was expanding getting about was getting harder and harder.
Image: © London Transport Museum
The solution, a new railway. Building it above ground was out of the question. The option was to build under London. The result was a metropolitan railway which ran through an undeground tunnel. This earned the London Underground its unofficial name The Tube.
Since it opened 150 years ago, there have been many changes and, it has expanded from its original metropolitan line. It has changed from a noisy steam driven operation to a electricified, quieter eerie experience. It has now become a trademark of London along with black cabs and the red bus. With its labrynth of tunnels, it in itself a part of London's history. If you look closely you might even see one of the many abandoned tube stations along the way. This railway paved the way for many subways in major cities around the world from New York to Rio De Janeiro.
Now the pioneering London Underground has reached a milestone. It is now 150 years since the first service ran. And how did London commemorate this occasion? The special steam driven service under London.
Image: © Wikipedia Commons
The commemorative journey concludes with a ride on the world's oldest serving electric locomotive. This is perhaps surreal event, after seeing a steam locomotive in a modern Tube station. It is somehow ironic how something that is and taken for granted by millions of commuters can, for one day at least turn into an event of historic leisure.