Tuesday, January 15, 2013

London Underground: 150 Years

The London Underground or The Tube recently celebrated 150 years of existence as an underground metropolitan transportion system.

The sight of a chuffing steam locomotive engine emerging from the underground tunnel led to cheers and rapid snapping of photographs recently as people rode the passenger carriages and spectators watched history in action. The journey from Kensington Olympia station in west London of Met Locomotive No. 1 commemorated the 1898 historic trip, according to the BBC. Original look-alike burgundy and gold tickets were issued to a few lucky passengers.

"Chugging along at a speed of 25mph—modern day Tube trains can reach 50mph—it headed through central London via the Circle line; taking in stations including Edgware Road, Baker Street, King's Cross and the Barbican before arriving into Moorgate."

The person who had the daunting task of ensuring there was enough steam to drive the train was Oliver Furnell from the Forest of Dean.

The fireman, who ordinarily drives trains through heritage lines in the countryside, said there was no real difference in how to drive it, but the "environment that it's happening in, that's the unusual bit".

Fireman Oliver Furnell from the Forest of Dean was tasked with making sure there was adequate steam to make it around the journey and especially up Notting Hill. "It's quite surreal to be rolling through a modern Tube station and people seem to be pleased that you're there," he said wryly.