London Underground celebrations to mark 150 years


The 150th anniversary of the London Underground will be in 2013

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Next January it will be 150 years since the first ever London Underground railway operated on the Metropolitan Railway between Paddington and Farringdon.

To commemorate the anniversary a special service will run on Sunday 13 January, which will include a steam locomotive and one of the first electric engines.

Details on how to get tickets for that are yet to be released.

The interest in the Tube does go way beyond rail enthusiasts.

Londoners do seem to have a close connection with the Underground - but most of the time they take it for granted.

Everyone's conversation

Bear in mind it carries more passengers in one day than the whole of the UK's rail system.

For all its problems and expense, the millions who use it daily is a testament to its convenience and (on a good day) its speed.

It is perhaps why commuters react with such fury, when it goes wrong.

And when it fails it is the subject of everyone's conversation - much like the weather in other parts of the country.


Is that why many commuters have a genuine interest in its history and heritage?

What's also staggering is the vision the original pioneers had in 1863.

Without the Tube, London would certainly not be as large or the successful mega-city it is today.

Here's London Underground's list of the other celebrations being planned for next year:

  • The first Tube passenger journey will be recreated on Sunday 13 January 2013, with a series of specially restored trains including the Metropolitan Steam Locomotive No. 1 and the Metropolitan Railway Jubilee Carriage No 353 - the oldest operational underground carriage in existence - which is being restored with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund
  • A series of heritage rail trips, including the use of steam trains
  • The publication of 12 short stories by well-known authors, published by Penguin Books. The stories, one about each Tube line, look at the meaning of the Underground and the place it holds in the imagination of all those who live and visit the city
  • Two new two-pound coins issued by the Royal Mint which will go into circulation in 2013 to mark the 150th anniversary of the London Underground
  • Poster Art 150: London's greatest Designs - an exhibition at London Transport Museum focusing on the iconic poster art that has been a feature of London Underground for much of its history
  • Train wraps of Metropolitan line trains for customers to enjoy
  • A commemorative Oyster card which will serve as a sought-after memento for passengers
  • A series of Poems on the Underground will celebrate 150 years of the Tube
  • A series of theatrical events at the disused Aldwych station
  • In 2013 Art on the Underground will present a programme that will include: a major commission by an acclaimed, high profile British artist bringing artworks into every station on the Tube network; a set of posters and limited edition prints by 15 leading contemporary artists; screenings of London Underground themed films at a Tube station from the BFI archive
  • Behind the Scenes events and Open Weekends at the Museum's store at Acton
Tom Edwards Article written by Tom Edwards Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

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