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London's 'lifeline' is 150 years old!

Last updated on: March 25, 2013 13:01 IST

London's 'lifeline' is 150 years old!

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The world's first and biggest underground metro railway started operations 150 years ago.

The London Underground's first journey took place between Paddington and Farringdon on 9 January 1863.

Today, the system serves 275 stations, has a track length of 408 kilometres, 45 per cent of which is underground.

The Tube, hailed as the lifeline of London, carries over 3 million passengers daily.

London Underground, in partnership with London Transport Museum is celebrating 150 years of service with a range of events and activities throughout 2013.

Queen Elizabeth II alongwith her granddaughter-in-law Kate Middleton also joined the year-long celebrations of 150 years of London's Tube. 

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Image: Britain's Queen Elizabeth speaks with Mike Brown, managing director of London Underground, as she inspects a tube train during her visit to Baker Street underground station in London.
Photographs: Chris Radburn/Reuters.
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The London Tube system serves a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex.

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Image: Britain's Queen Elizabeth speaks with a member of staff as she inspects a tube train during her visit to Baker Street underground station in London.
Photographs: Chris Radburn/Reuters.
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The Tube is one also of the world's deepest metro systems, it descends to 220 feet at Hampstead Heath in north London.

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It is the fourth largest metro system in the world in terms of route miles, after the Seoul Metropolitan Subway, Shanghai Metro and the Beijing Subway.

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Image: -Britain's Queen Elizabeth views a vintage carriage with Mike Brown, managing director of London Underground.
Photographs: Chris Radburn/Reuters.
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The Metropolitan Railway was granted permission to build railway line in 1854.

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Image: Britain's Queen Elizabeth speaks with Mike Brown, managing director of London Underground.
Photographs: Chris Radburn/Reuters.
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It started services between Paddington and Farringdon using gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives.

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Image: Britain's Queen Elizabeth is shown the drivers cabin of a tube train during a visit to Baker Street Underground Station in London.
Photographs: Chris Radburn/Reuters.
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It was hailed as a success, carrying 38,000 passengers on the opening day.

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Image: Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) inspects a tube train during her visit to Baker Street underground station.
Photographs: Chris Radburn/Reuters.
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The metro network also has one of the largest number of stations. The underground railway system is currently being upgraded to increase capacity.

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Image: Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge inspects a tube train during her visit to Baker Street underground station.
Photographs: Chris Radburn/Reuters.
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Fifty-five per cent of the system runs on the surface, and there is 20 miles (32 km) of cut and cover tunnel and 93 miles (150 km) of tube tunnel.

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Image: Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits Baker Street underground station in London.
Photographs: Chris Radburn/Reuters.
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London Underground trains come in two sizes, larger sub-surface trains and smaller deep-tube trains. Since the early 1960s all passenger trains have been electric multiple units with sliding doors.

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Image: Britain's Queen Elizabeth walks through a ticket barrier during her visit to Baker Street underground station in London.
Photographs: Chris Radburn/Reuters.
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The underground railway carries 1.1 billion people every year.

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Image: A woman waits for a tube train to depart at an underground station in London.
Photographs: Luke MacGregor/Reuters.
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The Underground does not run 24 hours a day except at New Year and during major public events such as the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics.

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Image: Passengers sit in an underground commuter train in London.
Photographs: Luke MacGregor/Reuters.
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The escalators in Underground stations include some of the longest in Europe and all are custom-built. The longest escalator is at Angel station, 60 m (197 ft) long, with a vertical rise of 27.5 m (90 ft).

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Image: A passenger uses the escalator to the platforms at St John's Wood Underground Station, in London.
Photographs: Andrew Winning/Reuters.
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Passengers use the escalator at Paddington Underground station, passing posters highlighting London Underground's 150th anniversary.

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Photographs: Andrew Winning/Reuters.
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A cleaner, known as a fluffer, works in Highbury and Islington station in London.

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Photographs: Dylan Martinez/Reuters.
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In January, a 1898-built steam engine known as Met Locomotive No 1, pulled carriages along part of the Hammersmith & City Line, as part of the celebrations to mark 150th anniversary of the world's oldest underground passenger railway.

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Image: A steam train passes a tube train as it enters Farringdon Station in London.
Photographs: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters.
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The passageways at the London Bridge Underground station are unusually empty during rush hour in London.

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Photographs: Luke MacGregor/Reuters.
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Commuters board a tube train at Holborn Underground Station in London.

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Photographs: Ki Price/Reuters.
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A cleaner, known as a fluffer, inspects the train tracks on the Victoria Line near Highbury and Islington station in London.

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Photographs: Dylan Martinez/Reuters.
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A London underground worker sweeps snow off the platform at Barons Court tube station in London.


Photographs: Reuters.
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