Celebrating 160 years of the London Underground

Happy 160th birthday to the London Underground! 🎉 The Metropolitan Railway opened between Paddington and Farringdon Street to the public on January 10th 1863, and in the coming years it was carriages like these that were changing the world.

The influence of the system in London alone is huge, with all the rival companies that ended up jumping on board, eventually becoming unified and creating London Underground as we know it. It cannot be understated just how much the world’s first underground system expanded the capital. 🏡 Projects like “Metro-Land” saw the big smoke reach the suburbs and create a new way of living.

The line’s influence has also been felt globally, not just through inspiring cities like New York to build their own iconic Subway, but also with the term “Metro” reaching far and wide. 🚇 It’s become the generic term for similar transport systems throughout the world, being applied to the name of networks in cities like Paris, Sydney, Lisbon, Amsterdam and dozens more.

It’s the social history that fascinates me with the tube, and not so much the technical side. But the engineering that went into early “cut-and-over” projects, like the Met, was groundbreaking (pun intended… I think).

Thanks for building the city I love. ❤️

This article has been adapted from an Instragram post by the writer. If you would like to read more like this then follow him at @Scott_RebNoise.