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Underground in general
Description: Usually referred to as the tube
I live in Tyne and Wear which means that I use the Metro rather than having to suffer the London Underground. I usually go to London for a weekend of 2 in the summer and every time that I do, I come back thankful that I don't have to get the tube every day.
In case you don't know, it is Britain's largest and oldest underground rail network. It also feels like the hottest. The amount of people using it is increasing all the time and rush hour can be unbearable. Even at non rush hour times, the tourist industry means that you are likely to be jammed in.
As I have only used it in summer, I can only comment on that but it has been unbearably hot. This basically means that even if you are only on it for 5 or 10 minutes, you inevitably get off looking sweaty and disheveled. It also unfortunately means that there are a lot of people who smell quite bad, who you are likely to be pressed up against. Because I am tiny, I invariably end up jammed in people's armpits for the duration of my journey, which makes it even more unpleasant.
There is no etiquette on the tube either, manners seem to go out of the window as soon as people get on, making it okay to rudely shove, elbow and even grope those around you.
Each time I have used it, there have been cancellations due to "service improvements" or similar so it is probably not as reliable as it could be, having said that, there is a huge range of services so you are likely to still be able to get to your destination, even if it takes a little longer.
If you don't know where you are going, the lines are Bakerloo, Central, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee, Metropolitan, Northern, Piccadilly, Victoria and Waterloo & City. There are usually staff around to offer advice, though in my experience, these are not always polite and keen to help. Luckily though, I have never experienced anything as horrendous as the below where a worker was filmed yelling at an elderly gentleman;
I don't think that I would be able to rely on the tube to get to work every day simply because I would be so stressed after each journey. I have nothing but admiration for those who manage it! It is a useful way to travel but makes me feel a bit panicky being so jammed in and it would be better if this were regulated to ensure that only certain amounts of people could travel on each train.
With roots dating back over 150 years, London Underground has a long and fascinating ... more
history and is ever changing. Starting at Paddington (ends at Westminster station), learn all about how this extensive underground network was hand built over a century ago, catch a rare glimpse of a secret disused ghost station which was abandoned over 50 years ago and much more. Bring your Oyster card and whether you wish to discover more about design and engineering or architecture aspects, this tour offers something for everyone. Then a tasty two-course lunch at a Classic Inn Pub in Mayfair (choose a starter and main course, or go for main meal followed by dessert) with a glass of beer, wine or soft drink. A winning combination!