Transportation Nation

Photos and Videos: Eye Candy Celebrating the London's Underground's 150 Anniversary

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

On January 9, 2013, the world's first underground journey took place in London.

A lithograph of Baker Street Station on Metropolitan Railway (Image courtesy of London Transport Museum)

According to the London Transport Museum:

The original Underground line was built and financed by the Metropolitan Railway, a private company which had been formed in 1854 to undertake the project to link the mainline stations at Paddington, Euston and King’s Cross with the City centre business district to the east.

Travelling on the new railway was a novelty that thousands of Londoners were eager to experience and on the first day of public service – long queues formed at every station. The line was a huge success with 26,000 passengers using the railway each day in the first six months.

A view of the platform at the Victoria station (Image courtesy of London Transport Museum)


In 1969, Queen Elizabeth opened a section of the Victoria Line and actually took the controls. According to press reports, it was her second time riding the Tube.

(Image courtesy of London Transport Museum)


But she didn't just ride. The queen apparently also took the controls.


Carriage 353 was a  four-wheeled first class carriage built in 1892.  Amazingly, it had been "relegated to use as a garden shed." Check out a video of its history -- and restoration process -- below.

Metropolitan Carriage 353, pausing between test runs at Quorn Station (image courtesy of London Transport Museum)


Here's what the interior of a 1938 car looked like:

 (Image courtesy of London's Transport Museum)



To celebrate the 150th anniversary, Google UK blessed its site with an Underground-themed Doodle.

Google Doodle


Today, Transport for London estimates around 3.5 million journeys are made on the network each day, across 11 lines serving 270 stations.


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Transportation Nation

London Olympics: Pink Means Go (SLIDESHOW)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

London's transportation network has survived the first workday of the Olympic Games -- and, according to one transit user, is well organized. And colorful.

WNYC's Kathleen Ehrlich is in London this week, so we've tasked her to be TN's official Olympic transport correspondent. (Vacation time be damned!) She shared with us her impressions of the first weekday of the Games. "The system is crowded, but holding up," she says.

View a slideshow of photos from the London Olympics (all photos by Steven Z. Ehrlich)

Kathleen says the flow of foot traffic on the rail system is being carefully controlled. "Many routes were adjusted so that at certain busy stations you can only get on or get off at certain parts of the day," she says, "or you can only enter or exit through certain entrances." And there's a lot of help for transit riders. "Tube stations/train stations are staffed with large numbers of volunteers as well as extra workers," she says. "The people helping out have been cheerful and knowledgeable. The system is spotlessly clean. Workers are giving people free rides on the tube if people are having issues with their Oysters and getting them on their way is taking priority over making sure everyone is paying."

If there are issues, it's easy to ID help. The four official colors of the 2012 Olympics are pink, blue, green and orange -- colors that, according to the official website, "were carefully chosen to communicate the spirit of the London 2012 Games: energetic, spirited, bright and youthful."

Not to mention unmissable.

(photo by Steven Z. Ehrlich)

"It stands out," says Kathleen. "Nothing else is fuchsia. So as soon as you see it, you know it's about the Olympics and likely about travel."

So far, the transit system seems to be keeping people off the roads. Boris Johnson, London's mayor, told ITV that "we've been able to turn off a lot of the Games lanes because so many people are going by public transport."


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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Copenhagen To Open Bike Superhighways, and the Return of the Roosevelt Island Tram

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More on the FTA demanding repayment of $271 million in ARC Tunnel money from New Jersey Transit in the Wall Street Journal.

Construction company Schiavone, which has worked on the subway stations at Times Square and South Ferry, admitted that it defrauded government programs and evaded federal minority hiring requirements. (New York Times)

Copenhagen to open bike "superhighways," which will hopefully alleviate the "two-wheeler traffic jams (which) are especially regular on the main Noerrebrogade thoroughfare used by around 36,000 cyclists a day." (Grist)

Lufthansa says it will begin using biofuel on a daily flight beginning next year. (Alt Transport)

RadioBoston looks at a new interactive map that shows all of Boston's reported bike crashes.

London Underground employees take part in another 24-hour strike--and say that walkouts could escalate in 2011. (BBC)

In Pakistan, trucks aren't just vehicles--they're art. (World Vision via WBEZ)

Some cities are testing a new network-based approach to parking. "Streetline...mounts low-cost sensors in parking spaces, retrofits existing meters and ties them into a mesh wireless network to draw a real-time picture of the spaces available, the cars needing tickets and how much to charge for parking." (Wired)  One of those places is Roosevelt Island, which may also begin its own bike share program. (DNA Info)

Speaking of all things R.I., the Roosevelt Island tram returns to service today. Just to be on the safe side, pack some lunch and forego drinking liquids 12 hours before boarding.

The Nissan Leaf wins the 2011 European Car of the Year designation. Take that, Chevy Volt! (USA Today)

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