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Tour of the London underground

“Ladies and gentlemen,” announces the driver of the train, standing at one of the stations of the Central line, ” sorry for the delay, but in front of us has accumulated a queue of trains, and I thought: why don’t we all wait at the station instead of steaming and then expire in the tunnel.” All for a few minutes it becomes easier. But then again piled stuffiness and again increases grumpy swearing passengers, however, in this situation, do not lose the famous English sense of humor.
There is, of course, something to complain about, but could your subway and praise. After all, the British underground was exactly one hundred and forty years old in 2003! Anniversary is not round, therefore it is not widely celebrated. And the problems at metro enough. But fact is fact. The first train went on the famous “pipe” – as the Londoners call their subway – January 10, 1863.

However, the word “subway” to call the then the subway was possible only with the big stretch. Rather, it was an underground railway. And all the lines almost completely coincided with all the main streets of London. They were dug to a depth of ten meters, laid rails, built stone arches, covered with brick, and then re-paved the pavement. Trains – one or two cars – pulled locomotives. To passengers are not choked by burning and not boiled alive in a couple of Windows had no glass. At stops the doors of cars were firmly closed. Londoners for this even dubbed them “prison cells with plush upholstery.” Every hundred meters, ventilation wells were cut through the tunnel. Imagine what was happening on the surface, when these wells, especially in the dank British winter, with the noise of flying clouds of steam and smoke. Hell, nothing more. But the trumpet in Victorian London, which already knew what transport problems were, immediately became incredibly popular. The first metro line was “Line of Metropolis”, marching from the railway station “Paddington” in the center. By the way, this line is the oldest operating subway station – Baker street. Yes,Yes, the Baker street where Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson lived. If you’re in London, be sure to stop by. In fact, although Londoners call their metro “the subway”, only a little more than forty percent of all lines are actually laid underground. The same “metropolis Line” with a length of 66.7 kilometers runs underground for only nine kilometers. It was only at the beginning of the 20th century that the British began to really dig into the ground and dig deep tunnels in the clay soil of London (the whole city is on a cushion of clay). The lowest point of the London underground is located at a depth of 66 meters. And our “Poklonnaya Gora” has now become the deepest station in the world – 100 meters. However, we opened it only in 2001.

Well, in the rest of the London “pipe”, really, no equal. This is the longest metro system. The length of all its existing highways is 2AE kilometers, but together with auxiliary tunnels it is almost twice as long. Passengers are served by a fleet of five hundred and eleven trains that carry all this multimillion-dollar Horde on two hundred and fifty-three stations. And work in “pipe” 16 300 drivers, electricians, inspectors, dispatchers, paramedics and cleaners.

If you look at the scheme of the London underground, you will find that it is, as it were better to say, not very balanced. Of the two hundred and fifty-three stations mentioned above, there are only twenty-nine on the South Bank of the Thames. And all because digging tunnels under the Thames has always been too expensive and difficult. And there was the whole system of “pipe” with a bias on the Northern banks of the main British river. The London underground in a straight line. And we must remember that from the same station trains can go in different directions8 before landing, be sure to check with the scoreboard, where the final point of the train, and then you can get instead of the North to the West. If you are in London, be sure to ride on the “pipe”. While it is fun, according to our Ukrainian standards, not too cheap. The entire subway is divided into six price zones. A journey through the first – Central – zone will heat an adult by £ 1.5 one way and £ 3 back and forth. If you cross the zone, the prices increase by thirty percent. If you want to ride from one end to the other, which is more than eighty kilometers, then you already have to pay 3.6 pounds one way or 7.2 pounds back and forth. For children under 15 years tickets are twice as expensive. Kids under 5 ride for free. You can, of course, save money and buy a one-day ticket, but only for the first zone for 11,50, and then ride the subway for at least a whole day, although it is clear that few people need it. There are also special tickets for the weekend. They are twice cheaper for both children and adults. For example, a ticket for all six zones will cost 7.3 pounds. But you will “walk” in all zones back and forth on all Sundays as you like. There are monthly tickets for 80 pounds. They, among other things, give the right to free travel by bus. System of passage in principle similar to ours. Having received in the machine or at the box office ticket receipt, insert it into the hole of the auto controller, go through the opened turnstile and take with you a receipt that passed through the womb of the auto controller. But God forbid you forget to drive to another area without paying the required amount. At the exit you have to repeat the same operation as at the entrance. And, if you underpaid, the turnstile will not just not open, but you will be forced to pay the missing money, and even fined 10 pounds. And no reference to distraction will help.

In the near future, the British government, by the way, plans to make the entire London underground private and establish some kind of education under the tricky name of Public Private Partnership, something like “Public-private partnership” And. All lines will be corporatized and given to companies with equity capital. It is expected that these companies will more effectively manage the metro. Londoners, however, strongly doubt it. But this, as they say, is another story. Another tip – do not go to explore the London underground during peak hours: from 8.00 to 9.30 am or from 17.00 to 18.00 PM. At this time, like all subways of all big cities, London is Packed to the eyeballs. You can easily and sides namyat and rude. And the employees themselves can be rude: during peak hours, we are not talking about any true British politeness. I myself have seen this kind of scene several times, and both in the evening. The heroes of one – the cashier at the Central station “Holborn” and an elderly lady. The guy in the glass booth was so wrapped up in the influx of irritated passengers that the uniform cap had slid to one side, and his face was dripping with sweat.

– Well, as you can dig in your purse! Can’t you hurry it up? he snapped at the lady in front of me in line.
“I have never seen such rudeness before,” cried the lady.
“You should leave the house more often,” was the answer.

Employees can understand, though not justify, of course. After all, they often have to deal with such boors, which even in our subway is not found. It is only in novels and movies the British look restrained and Prim. In life they from this Oh, as are far.

In General, anything can happen in the “pipe”. People get stuck on escalators, get stuck in elevators. Many old stations still have elevators that can hold up to thirty people, stuck in the door, trying to break through the turnstiles at the station or from the stations, losing bags, bags, litter, stain the seats, drink, shout, fight and do everything that only can afford people annoyed or tipsy. As, for example, you will like such announcement of the person on duty on Handsfree communication (all stations are equipped with cameras of tracking the events on platforms) on one of the London stations:
“Will the gentleman at the end of platform four, after he has finished what he is doing, take a MOP from the janitor and wipe the puddle?” The passengers on the train can see what the gentleman is doing if they look to the left.

Gentleman after these words blows off the platform like the wind. Of all the ads on duty London underground could make a surprisingly entertaining reading. Here’s just a small fraction of this “encyclopedia of the subway”, which scrupulously place the voluntary chroniclers of the London underground on their websites on the Internet.

“Will the gentleman in the grey coat, tearing through the door of the second car, explain what part of the ‘Get away from the door’ ad he doesn’t understand?” there is a speakerphone on the station “Piccadilly”.

“I would like to remind the ladies and gentlemen who persist in storming the doors of the third carriage that there are twenty-two doors on each side of our train, and they are all open.

– Passengers on platform three, a Intermittent beep means that the doors are closing. It is not a signal to rush into doors or throw your belongings and suitcases at them.

“Lady on the second escalator, will you close your umbrella?” We never have rain down here. No less masterly communicate with passengers and drivers of London trains. Sometimes the trains are held at stations or tracks on It), D) or even) minutes. Passengers, of course, nervous and irritated. And then very often it save drivers.

“I have two news for you: good news and bad news,” the driver announces at Whitechapel station. – The good news is that last Friday was my birthday and I had a great time celebrating it. By the way, I take you to and from work every day, but no one even sent me a postcard. The bad news is, the shooter’s broken up ahead. I’m going to pull back now and everyone will have to get out of the cars.

To the passengers of the train, who are ready to get off at Baker street station, the driver says the following:
“You see the Baker street passing us.” Baker street is closed for a reason I don’t know. It would be nice if the dispatchers warned me about this, and I would have warned you. But they, of course, do not care about such trifles.

But this Maxim will conquer anyone:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I want to remind you to take all your garbage with you when you leave the train. Despite the fact that you are inside a kind of metal, round, dirty and bad-smelling things – it’s a train, and not a garbage can on wheels.

I can’t not to remember, taught to ride in the “pipe” is our wonderful Secretary and “bodyguard-the mother” of all of our then tassovskimi office Katie McKay. As a true Scottish woman, she claimed that she did not particularly like London, although she lived in it all her life. Then I realized that this “dislike” is part of special attachment to the city, in the manner that the school makes to pull the braids the most favorite Schoolgirls.

“Compared to what happened here before and after the war,” she told me, ” this city just became a collection of unbridled, boorish provincials and hooligans. I didn’t think so, but I didn’t mind Cathy, and she, despite her “dislike” for London, took me to all the main subway stations, took me on buses – the good thing that cars in those years neither I nor she had.

It was Cathy who told me a lot of interesting details about the subway. For example, the fact that the entire London underground exactly four hundred and nine escalators and if you ride them without interruption for a week, you will pass a distance equal to two round-the-world travel.

Or that the shortest line on the London underground is the Waterloo and city Line. Its length is only two kilometers. There are only two stations on this line – Waterloo and Bank – in the centre of the city of London.

The first escalator Londoners put in the subway, it is terrible to think, already in 1911 at the station “Earls court”. It wasn’t the longest, but it wasn’t the shortest either. The shortest is only fifty steps. They equipped the station “Chancery lane”, opened in the XIX century. And the longest – three hundred and eighteen steps – was built at the station “angel”.

Surprisingly, there were times when the London “pipe” even carried the dead. That was before the First world war. But this “pleasure” soon banned. Too didn’t like the passengers that in sooty tunnels they go and still with the dead. And here is was born in London subway only one person. In 1914, on the Bakerloo line (nothing to do with Waterloo) at elephant and castle station, Thelma Ursula Beatrice Eleanor was born. No one can still say with certainty whether the name given to her was an accident or a deliberate desire of her parents: the first English letters of the girl’s name are added to the English word tube, which means “pipe”.

And here is the most favorite station suicides in subway – and their is happening in year 11-13 – this “kings cross” and “Victoria.” These stations are the busiest in the London underground.

The last branch of the London underground were built in the late 199Ч year and is open to 4O-year anniversary of his accession to the throne of Queen Elizabeth II. It is called – “anniversary line”. Today on this line are the most luxurious London underground station. Every kilometer of the subway system took off the subway “a pretty penny.”

But that’s not all expenses. After the corporatization of the London underground, the British government intends to attract £ 10 billion for the modernization of the subway. Metro this very need. After all, now it runs trains that were designed and put on the line in the 90-ies of the last century. They are, of course, regularly repaired and checked, but accidents on the lines occur every year. And the hands break even more often. Although they are repaired every week.

But in General, the old woman-“pipe”, despite all its shortcomings, works fine. Without her, life in London would have stopped overnight. So, no matter how abused they have their subway, it has served them well. And continues to do so. Unless sometimes coughs and stumbles “when walking”. But what can you do, because the lady “pipe” is already over a hundred and forty years. With what we congratulate her.

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