10 Things You Didn’t Know About The London Underground

The world's most famous underground railway has its fair share of secrets.

London Underground Ghost
City of London

The London Underground - known locally as "The Tube" - is one of the greatest public transport networks in the world.

With 272 different stations, 250m of track, and a workforce of 19,000, The Tube is an absolute feat of civil engineer, helping millions of people get around the city every day. And most of them are even on time.

Considering that it's been around in one form or another since the Victorian era, it's unsurprising that The Tube has accumulated more than its fair share of facts, figures, titbits, and legends.

Some of them are quite well known, like the fact that less than half of the Underground is actually under the ground. But there are plenty of lesser-known pieces of trivia about Transport for London's crown jewel.

That's what we're here to expose today, as we take our own trip underground to dig up some of the best hidden facts about The Tube. Some are intriguing, some are horrifying, and some are just plain weird.

So be careful of the gap and make sure you've gotten on the right line, because we're about to take a trip on the most famous metro in the world.

10. One Of Its Biggest Champions Never Saw It Open

London Underground Ghost
City of London

The first underground railroad in London opened in January 1863 and was called the Metropolitan Railway. This is not to be confused with the Metropolitan line on the modern day Tube, but that's a story for another time.

The original Met was the end result of years of campaigning for a subterranean train network in the city. One of the men at the forefront of that campaign was Charles Pearson, a solicitor and one-time MP in London.

He began handing out pamphlets in 1846 promoting his idea of a train system powered by compressed air. Thankfully, people realised this was a mad idea, and the idea transformed into that of a steam-powered railway instead.

Pearson oversaw the project for the better part of a decade, helping to raise money to fund it with yet more pamphlets. Unfortunately, all that writing got to Charles in the end and he died in September 1862.

His beloved Metropolitan Railway was opened mere months after Pearson's passing, meaning that he never saw his grand plan come to fruition. However, few legacies are larger than being the man who gave London its Underground.


Jacob Simmons has a great many passions, including rock music, giving acclaimed films three-and-a-half stars, watching random clips from The Simpsons on YouTube at 3am, and writing about himself in the third person.