On Telly: The Tube

Without a doubt one of the best BBC docs I’ve watched in the last couple of years is a new series called “The Tube.” As if you couldn’t guess it’s a show that takes viewers behind the scenes of the daily workings of the London Underground.

I’m a big fan of mass transit and I’ve done a lot of travelling and even with all its problems I’ve never ridden a better subway system than The Underground. It really is an amazing piece of infrastructure and the lifeblood of London. Without it, London couldn’t function as it does today.

I thought I knew quite a bit about The Underground but I still learned a lot from this program. Here’s some quick facts about the Tube that you may not have been aware of:

  • London’s Underground carries approximately 3 million passengers per day.
  • 60,000 trips each day are made by fare evaders or passengers failing to pay.
  • Approximately 40 accidents involving trains occur each year, including people falling on the tracks and getting struck by a train. Tube workers call this incident a “one under.”
  • People actually do successfully re-claim left items on the trains like smartphones, iPads and cameras. The Lost Property Office currently catalogs some 200,000 items. Some of the items left behind are, well, interesting.
  • There are 270 stations and the busiest  is Victoria Station.
  • The last of the trains from the 1967 stock has just been retired.
  • 191 new air conditioned trains are on the way; the first one began service on the Metropolitan line back in 2010. (Yay!)
“The Tube” is currently airing on BBC Two but you can catch up on the series below.

Series 1 Episode 1


Series 1 Episode 2, part 1

Series 1 Episode 3


Series 1 Episode 4


(Home page photo credit)


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