On 9 January 1863, the first trains ran on the Metropolitan railway – passengers were admitted the next day. The service operated between Paddington and Farringdon initially – but the modern underground still follows the same route as that followed by trains 150 years ago today.
Of course as the Underground expanded it has given us everything from nicknames (‘Tube’, the Drain (Waterloo and City Line)) as well as the world famous decal, a universal symbol used to identify London.
Transport for London are undertaking a number of events to mark this special anniversary. Details are available here. The London Transport Museum is selling a series of special items to mark the 150 years
For those interested in the cultural impact of the Tube, the Evening Standard is running a series looking at the impact of the service on the lives of 150 Londoners.
TfL has restored an Metropolitan Railway carriage from the garden shed to its original glory – watch?v=6nbAUqii6wM&feature=player_embedded
If you travel on the Tube today, remember that despite delays, engineering works, and ticket price increase it has not only served the city well, but gave birth to number systems workwide, from Cairo to Sydney and from New York to Delhi.
Here’s to the next 150 years!