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Fun facts about the London Underground
Published: 05/08/2016

It is almost impossible to spend few days in London and not use the subway. Besides being the easiest way to go around, there are stations everywhere around the city, making the life of the tourists a lot easier.

We did a tour (to book click here) that tells a little of the history of the stations and about the trains and we ended up discovering interesting things about the London Underground.

Epidemic ankle
Between the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, women wore clothes that covered almost their entire bodies. When the trains began to circulate beneath the earth, the wind of the air vented up lifting the dresses, leaving the ankle in sight. Once this was something very unusual at the time, the men stood near these places pretending to read the newspaper only to see the dresses going up. Until the police began to monitor and to chase away everyone that stood there.

Colors for illiterates
When the lines started to grow and the number of stations increased, it became difficult for the workers to get located. The solution was to name and flag all lines through colors, because many workers were illiterate and could not read the names. The colors are used until today, including the iron bars inside the wagons. So if you are on the blue line, the bars will have the same color.

Colors for drunks
Another color function is to facilitate the lives of those who drank too much - which is very common in England. As more people wear black clothes and gray, administrators found that often the drunk mistook the bars with clothes, they avoided to hold on and ended up falling, so they thought it is best to use vibrant colors at the northern and jubilee lines.

Passages between stations were tunnels for trains
As the railway network has grown over the years, many stations have been disabled and others built. Anyone who has been to London knows that to make a transfer between lines sometimes you need to walk about 10 minutes inside huge tunnels. Previously, these tunnels were used for the compositions.

Single screw
If you have the opportunity to visit London and use the subway, pay attention to the structures where there are screws. The model with two holes, resembling a pig nose, was developed exclusively for the system.

Five beers to draw the map
Even those ones  who have never visited London must have seen the system map somewhere. It was designed by Harry Beck, whose payment had been five pints (about 500ml per pint) of Guinness, the famous Irish beer. The scheme was eventually patented by the city and is still protected by copyright. All cities in the world who draw their maps with color to differentiate the lines are required to pay for the use of the scheme.

Money mine
If you think that the income from carrying more than one billion people annually is the biggest income of the tube , you are completely wrong. They earn much more money with licensed products than with ticket sales. In souvenir shops you can find everything with the Metro theme, either with the famous logo or based on the design of the lines.

Mosquito
The subway is so important, but not so healthy that scientists have discovered a new species of mosquito that only lives there, and named it the London Underground mosquito.


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