Tube 150th anniversary: Your stories

The London Underground is celebrating its 150th anniversary and is the oldest subterranean railway in the world.

Known as the Tube, passengers have been ferried to all corners of the capital and beyond.

The network now comprises 11 lines connecting all areas of the capital, its suburbs and parts of neighbouring counties.

BBC News website readers have been telling us their stories of their experiences travelling underground.

Tim McCready, north London

Tim McCready has been to every station on the Tube

I am from New Zealand and came to London to live in November 2011.

When I met my friend at the airport we travelled to London by Tube.

I asked him if he had visited all of the Tube stations, and he said no.

I thought that it would be an easy thing to do so I gave it a go.

With a friend, we started our journey in January 2012 which might have been a silly time as it was snowing and very cold.

But after we did about 30 stations, we thought that we might as well carry on.

We travelled during our spare time on the weekends, starting in the mornings and finishing late at night.

We took photos of each other at every stop and I turned the photos of me into a video.

We created a spreadsheet of every station in alphabetical order, and planned what we would be doing and wearing so that it looked like a continuous stream.

I didn't think it would take too long - but it took about seven days from January to May 2012.

We took a line at a time but kept changing to use the most economical route.

The costs were higher than I expected because there is a two-hour time limit that you can spend between zones and so we had to come out of stations to touch-in and go back in the underground.

At some far out stations the Tube doors were kept open long enough for us to get a photo and jump back on again.

But there were others where we had to wait about 20 minutes for the next train to arrive.

I'm glad I did it and it was a good way of getting to know London, but I wouldn't do it again!

Andy Shuttleworth, Liverpool

I remember my first trip to the Tube.

Andy Shuttleworth with a Klingon "I haven't had an experience on the Tube since that has been equalled by that one"

I was a seven-year-old from Wigan and I visited my uncle in London.

The day before our trip, he told me about the rules of the underground, for example, walking on the right-hand side of an escalator, and taking notice of the "Mind the Gap" announcements.

I remembered when we waited for the Tube train to arrive at the platform - I think it was Euston Square - it was empty. There was no-one else on the platform.

Then just before the train pulled in, I heard the clatter of lots of footsteps coming down some stairs.

It was a large group of Trekkies coming in my direction.

One of them was dressed as Mr Spock. He stopped in front of me with a prop and scanned me, and did the Vulcan salute and walked away.

I thought the whole experience was fantastic.

I haven't had an experience on the Tube since that has been equalled by that one but I am hoping it will happen!

I still go on the Tube from time to time and I think it is great.

I'm jealous that we don't have one in Liverpool or in Manchester.

The Tube gets you everywhere you want to go and I have no complaints.

Natalie Bowkett, central London

I have fond memories of working as an engineer for the Underground in the late 90s when I emigrated from Australia.

Natalie Bowkett "It's such an iconic piece of London's history - I was proud to be a part of it"

I used to do inspection works of the station structures at night.

The stations come alive at night in the shut down period - more people actually work in the five to six hour window than at any other time of the day.

It's a reason why the Tube can't run all night.

Employees work overnight to undertake track maintenance, inspect plant, stick posters and clean the place from top to bottom.

My job was to crawl under station platforms, down escalator shafts and into vent tunnels.

Sometimes a very tight squeeze on the hands and knees - not a glamorous job by any means, but an interesting one!

I know everyone likes to put down the Tube, but if you think that hundreds of thousands of people travel on it, it's pretty seamless.

The Tube network is such an iconic piece of London's history and I was proud to be a part of that, helping to keep London moving.

Chloe Douglass, south London

I think the Tube is fascinating and I wonder if those who first constructed it ever thought it would last so long.

Start Quote

The Tube is all encompassing - it's London's heartbeat, and it's an everyday part of a Londoner's life”

End Quote

I work from home but I think I appreciate it more because I don't use the Tube every day.

I am from London but I grew up in the countryside, and as a child I remember the Tube as an amazing thing.

Getting from South Wimbledon to Camden in 40 minutes is like travelling from Hereford to Worcester - it's brilliant.

I only wish that the Tube can run later at night during the weekends, but the poor staff would have to work longer hours.

The Tube is all encompassing - it's London's heartbeat, and it's an everyday part of a Londoner's life.

Where I live, I can hear the Tube rumbling underneath at night like a pulse.

Interviews by Andrée Massiah

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More UK stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • BBC CultureBest of 2014

    BBC Culture weighs in on the ten most important blockbusters of the year

Programmes

  • HoverboardClick Watch

    Testing the hoverboard's magnetic levitation - but will it ever replace the bicycle?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.