Did You Know?
Contrary to popular belief, only 45% of the London Underground is actually underground.
For years people have been commuting to work in London’s underground tube. One of the biggest and the oldest metro systems in the world has more than what meets the eye. The mysterious and seemingly endless London underground tunnels have become a point of fascination for common Londoners. There is a huge network of deserted tunnels right below London. Some of these secret tunnels have been sealed and locked away for over 100 years. These secret tunnels remain inaccessible to public but every now and then, the London Transport Museum offers a special tour where you can catch a glimpse of the hidden tunnels. WeKnow quite a few secrets about the mysterious and intriguing underground tunnels. So here we go:
Haunted tube stations: Legend says, or, well, rumor says that most of the underground tube stations are haunted. Many people believe to have witnessed ghost sightings. It doesn’t come as a surprise as many stations have been sites of various tragedies such as the 1943 stampede at Bethnal Green station. Many people have reported hearing loud piercing screams in the underground stations. We are not trying to scare you, but it’s true.
Aldwych film connection: Atonement and Sherlock are a few movies to name that were shot down at the Aldwych station. The station was closed in 1994 and has been used for shooting various movies, TV shows, music videos, etc. It is believed that the station has a special department dedicated to filming as many filmmakers have used the location for many famous scenes.
Churchill’s war bunker: Downstreet station on the Piccadilly line was once used by Winston Churchill and his war cabinet as a war bunker during the Second World War raids. The station was closed in 1932 due to lack of proximity and usage. The station is now being turned into an entertainment zone by TFL.
Not so underground: Many Londoners don’t know this, but only 45% of the metro network is actually underground. Most of the London metro network is actually above the ground. Hampstead on the Northern line is the deepest one that is 58.5 meters below the street.
The yellow lines: It’s actually not so secretive but the yellow lines on the platform are not just to keep you away from the edge. These yellow lines have small markers where you’ll be able to see where the doors of the tube would open. It’s a useful hack if you want to be the first one to board the train.
The Northbound loop: If you travel Southbound on the Charing Cross branch on the Northern line, you are forced to get off the train and change platforms to go further South. But if you stay on board you’ll end up getting on a different platform on the same branch that’ll take you back up North. Many people have actually tried this and succeeded.
Underground bars: It’s no secret that most of the abandoned stations in London’s metro network are haunted and many people have turned up from all corners of the UK in search of a haunted experience. Taking advantage of this, TFL has decided to turn many haunted stations in bars. As if London was lacking in that department.
The Underground Wildlife: From hawks to deer, rabbits and, woodpeckers, train drivers have seen a lot of wildlife on their travels. We hope David Attenborough does a special edition of Planet Earth featuring the wildlife in the secret tunnels.
So these were some of the secrets and little known things about the Underground World of our beloved city. Do tell us if we missed any.