A world of words
This week London celebrates the 150 anniversary of the world’s first underground railway, which became a gateway to the countryside by transforming the capital and the way people lived.
Its construction, which began when the world’s largest city desperately needed a solution to its traffic congestion, represented a feat of engineering for its time. (What was a tube journey like 150 years ago?)
Today the Tube serves 270 stations on 11 lines making 1.71 billion passenger journeys a year.
Its red, white and blue signs, its famous “mind the gap” warnings to passengers, and its iconic map, one of the best British designs of the 20th century, have become internationally recognised and a lucrative part of the city’s tourist industry.
To mark this anniversary you can collect the stamps especially issued by the Royal Mail, attend different conferences at the London Transport Museum, visit a poster exhibition, make a special journey on a steam train or read one of the 12 short stories written by well-known authors and published by Penguin Books, among other many events.
But don’t forget to take the tube and have a look at the human landscape which makes London so special.
What about you? What’s your favourite means of transport? How often do you use public transport? What are the advantages and disadvantages?