Friday, January 11, 2013

Overground obambulation...

...Underground magic. “It seemed an insult to common sense to suppose that people who could travel as cheaply on the outside of a Paddington bus would prefer, as a merely quicker medium, to be driven amid palpable darkness through the foul subsoil of London.” So said an editorial in The Times two years prior to the eventual opening of the Metropolitan Railway in 1863; it was the first passenger-carrying underground railway in the world, when, on 10 January 1863 - 150 years ago this week - the Metropolitan Railway opened a line between between Paddington (Bishop’s Road) and Farringdon Street (now part of the Circle line). In fact the first trip was on January 9 but exclusive (by invitation only). It was soon extended both ways and northwards via a branch from Baker Street, reaching further afield " but the most important route became the line north into the Middlesex countryside, where it stimulated the development of new suburbs"...Metroland, Owsland. Today, the tracks and stations of the former Metropolitan Railway are parts of the Metropolitan, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, Piccadilly and Jubilee lines (and Chiltern Railways). Today, for the first time in a long time I once again travelled "below the level of graveyards". Still great.

Paul (One Page in a library of Millions) says "it's fascinating to look at the map of railways into London pre-Underground and see that all the main termini, with the exception of Fenchurch Street, were situated outside of the City of London"; I agree and too am fascinated by maps (here are just a few) and spending a large part of my youth on the Tube became equally fascinated by its development.


Paul said...

Thanks for the link. Funnily enough I only discovered HA5 just before Christmas.

Span Ows said...

Meaning my blog or the actual place? It's been there a while you know ;-)

Yesterday I was in my old haunts again and noticed that (well really I noticed the last time I was there) that my local pub (where Elton John played in public for the first time...the year I was born so I wasn't quite a local yet- see pictures in album Captain Fantastic) is now an Indian Restaurant called the Namaste Lounge (food was great!)