Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
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150 Years Of Riding In A Hole In The Ground


"A subterranean railway under London was awfully suggestive of dank, noisome tunnels buried many fathoms deep beyond the reach of light or life; passages inhabited by rats, soaked with sewer drippings, and poisoned by the escape of gas mains. It seemed an insult to common sense to suppose that people who could travel as cheaply on the outside of a Paddington bus would prefer, as a merely quicker medium, to be driven amid palpable darkness through the foul subsoil of London."
The first stretch of London's Metropolitan Line opened on January 9th, 1863. That's 150 years ago today, which, if you've been on an A train here in New York recently, seems more or less contemporary. It's the oldest underground public transportation system in the world. The editorial board at the Times of London didn't like the idea at the time. (Subscription required.)

3 Comments / Post A Comment

The first-class carriage on the number 1 train smelled funny today.

LondonLee (#922)

When I lived there it sometimes felt like it took me 150 years to get home.

Thanks for The Jam. Changed my life that record did.

Max Clarke (#3,635)

Did not realize the 1 train had a first-class car! I do know that the F train has a dining car, however. I seem to end up on it most mornings, judging by all the people eating their breakfasts around me.

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