London’s Tube, world’s first subway, marks 150 b-day





LONDON — Busy, congested, stressful. This is how the world’s first subway system was depicted by London newspapers in 1863. It’s a situation that would be familiar to nail-biting passengers of the present as the Tube turned 150 years old Wednesday.

“The constant cry, as the trains arrived, of ‘no room,’ appeared to have a very depressing effect upon those assembled,” The Guardian newspaper reported on the public opening of London’s Metropolitan Line on Jan. 10, 1863. The first stretch of rail had opened the day before, on Jan. 9.

The line — the first part of what is now an extensive London transport network that has shaped the British capital and its suburbs — ran 120 trains each way during the day, carrying up to 40,000 excited passengers. Extra steam locomotives and cars were called in to handle the crowds....



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