Round two of interesting and/or quirky facts includes how the Oyster Card got its name and interesting statistics about London’s most important mode of transportation.

This is only part two of four, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more interesting facts!


<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Image Credit to Mark Hillary on Flickr</figcaption></figure>

  1. Each week, Underground escalators travel the equivalent distance of going twice around the world.

  2. Every year, Underground trains travel a total of 1,735 times around the world (or 90 trips to the moon and back).

  3. Last year (2012), the most complained about line was the Jubilee Line.

  4. The Underground helped over 200,000 children escape to the countryside during the Second World War.

  5. The Underground only runs 24 hours a day on New Years Eve and on special events (e.g. the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics).

  6. According to a 2002 study, the air quality on the Underground was 73 times worse than at street level, with 20 minutes on the Northern Line having “the same effect as smoking a cigarette”.

  7. The Oyster card was introduced in 2003. The card name was chosen because of its connection to the Thames and the well-known idiom “the world is your oyster”.

  8. Only 14 journeys take less than a minute on average.

  9. The London Underground transferred from the control of the Government to Transport for London (TfL) on July 15, 2003.

  10. Filming on location in the Underground costs £500 per hour (plus VAT) unless you have a crew of less than five.

  11. The London Underground Film Office handles over 200 requests a month.

  12. You can no longer go around the Circle Line in a full circle. Since 2009, the Circle Line has terminated at Edgware Road

  13. The Monopoly board features three real tube stations: Liverpool Street Station, King’s Cross and Marylebone.

  14. The first tube station to be demolished was Westbourne Park on the Metropolitan Line. It was re-sited east of the original station in 1871.

  15. The record for visiting all the stations on the London Underground network – known as the Tube Challenge – is currently held by Andi James and Steve Wilson of the United Kingdom, who completed the challenge in 16 hours, 29 minutes and 13 seconds on May 27 2011.

  16. The first ever air-conditioned, walk-through Underground train ran on the Metropolitan line in 2010.

  17. Alcohol was banned on the Tube – and all London Transport – in June 2008.

  18. There is a ghost station between Tottenham Court Road and Holborn. It’s called British Museum and hasn’t been used since 1932.

  19. Another ghost station – Down Street – was used as a bunker by Winston Churchill during WW2 until the Cabinet War rooms were built.

  20. There’s yet another ghost station between Hampstead and Golders Green on the Northern Line. It was due to be called North End, but never opened.



Part three coming soon!