It’s hard to believe that the world’s first underground train line, the Metropolitan Railway opened in 1863, operating from Paddington to Farringdon Street. In terms of innovation, this was an enormous leap forward for London, revolutionising travel and becoming a world example for city infrastructure. The underground has since grown into a complex network with 270 stations and over 250 miles worth of track, carrying more than one billion passengers every year – us notwithstanding!
On this momentous day for all things underground at the time of London Underground’s 150th birthday, we are wondering – what’s your favourite tube station? From the never-ending, exhausting stairs of Covent Garden (that is, if you choose not to wait for the lift, I made that mistake once, never again) to the futuristic and fabulous Westminster Tube Station, lovingly likened to the ‘Industrial’ zone of the Crystal Maze theme show, everyone has a favourite!
If, like me, you are a Sherlock Holmes fan, then none other than Baker Street Underground Station should be your favourite and it is on the oldest tube route – the Metropolitan. Catch a glimpse of this enigmatic sleuth at this world famous tube station marked with, of course, his statue in front of the station.
Heading underground, there are tiles and portraits of the great detective all over the station – so many in fact, that they can become a bit of a blur!
With the Victorian wood panelling still a prominent feature, you can even at times imagine what it must once have looked like.
As summarised perfectly by Nigel Richardson in The Telegraph – ‘the artists, architects and sculptors who embellished the Underground – producing beautiful station designs, tile patterns, sculptures, light fittings, benches and poster art – were handing down a rich legacy.’ Certainly a legacy which will be enjoyed today and many years down the line (excuse the pun).
Contributor & photographer: Sue Lowry / Ali Bedford
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- What we love about the London Underground (telegraph.co.uk)
- In praise of … the London underground | Editorial (guardian.co.uk)