View from the carriage: On board London's Night Tube

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Early on there were plenty of people enjoying the new 24-hour service

As London's Night Tube debuted after a delay of almost a year the mood in the carriages was predictably jovial, with many trains playing host to early hours singalongs.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan claims that running the network around the clock at the weekend will revolutionise the capital's nightlife but with only the Central and Victoria lines running initially, how much of a difference will it actually make?

BBC News spent the early hours riding the trains to find out.

Sadiq Khan on Tube Image copyright PA
Image caption Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was on one of the first Night Tube services...
Media in station
Image caption ... And there were many reporters around to capture the moment

As the clocks passed 00:30 BST there was none of the usual rush for the last Tube.

Instead the crowds were made up of reporters and camera crews, keen to see how London's Victorian Underground network would hold up during a 24-hour service.

Busker at Oxford Circus
Image caption A busker at Oxford Circus kept travellers entertained
Mind the gap tattoo
Image caption Some passengers were more enthusiastic than others

At King's Cross staff asked passengers to add to a Night Tube playlist and the musical theme continued on to the trains.

One carriage heading west on the Central line was filled with girls singing a rendition of Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline".

On another train, a group had changed the lyrics of "Night Fever" to "Night Tuber".

Tube sign
Image caption Passengers were asked to add to the Night Tube playlist
Sleeping man
Image caption Some found it hard to stay awake for their journeys
Image caption Floyd said the Night Tube should be expanded beyond central London

"It's weird being on a Tube at this time", one traveller called Floyd said.

He was making his way home to Hertfordshire and was pleased to now have a night time train service.

"But we need to have better links to commuter towns, not just in central London", he said.

Another traveller from Milan said it was "really cool to have the Night Tube".

Away from the centre the stations were less busy.

Places like Stratford were dotted with the occasional police officer but it did not feel like the crowds of 100,000 people who were expected to be using the service had turned out.

Carriages were relatively sedate, with a lot of people just trying to stay awake along their journey.

Tara Chahal and Carla Tax
Image caption Tara Chahal and Carla Tax were both impressed with the new Tube service

Tara Chahal, who had travelled to Brixton, said she was "really impressed with the service".

"There's been no arguments and no fighting. There's a regular service and it feels much safer than the night bus", she said

Her colleague Carla Tax, who is from the Netherlands and staying in London for the weekend, said she was surprised this was only the first time the Night Tube was running.

"Why is this new?" she said. "You would not expect anything else".

Another traveller named Rory said: "It's long overdue in my opinion. It makes life a lot easier."

Tube worker
Image caption Numerous cleaners were dotted around stations to clean up mess...
Empty bottle of beer
Image caption ...left behind during the night

By 02:45 the stations and trains were becoming quieter.

Highbury and Islington station was sparse except for two girls sitting on a bench whose voices echoed along the platform.

One Tube worker said it had been "really quiet".

"I was expecting it to be busier", he said.

Whether that remains the case as Londoners get used to having a 24-hour weekend Tube service and it is expanded to other lines remains to be seen.

Tube train
Image caption Many of the stations were quiet by 03.00 BST
Empty Tube carriage
Image caption Some Tube carriages were empty
man sleeping on platform
Image caption While some passengers decided to remain on the platform

BBC photographs by Kate Reading

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