LU know-how: 20 fantastic facts about London’s Tube network


Used by millions of locals, commuters and visitors, the London Underground (or ‘the Tube’) is an indispensable part of the London experience. To not throw yourself into a Tube a journey – however long or short – is to miss out on one of the things that makes London, well, London; just like missing out on a Montcalm hotel afternoon tea!

So, if you’re rushing out for the evening after taking advantage of a fabulous Montcalm hotel afternoon tea offer, the London Underground (LU) is bound to be your friend. And during your journey, here are some top facts to muse on…


  1. In total, there are 270 stations on the London Underground network
  1. The Tube served as many as 40,000 passengers on its very first day
  1. In their entirety, the Tube’s tunnels run a full 249 miles long
  1. Hampstead, near the top of the Northern line, is the network’s deepest station at 58.5m
  1. On average, a Tube train travels at 20.5mph, while at top speed (on the Metropolitan line) it can accelerate to more than 60mph
  1. There are just 260m between the network’s two nearest adjacent stations (Leicester Square and Covent Garden) and 6.3km between its two farthest apart adjacent stations (Chesham and Chalfont & Latimer)
  1. The network’s busiest station is Waterloo (beneath the behemoth mainline train station); approximately 57,000 people use it during the weekday morning rush-hour
  1. The total distance travelled by all of the Tube’s escalators in just one week is the equivalent of travelling around the globe – twice
  1. The only line that connects with every other on the network is the Jubilee line
  1. The longest single journey you can take on the Tube (between two terminuses) is between West Ruislip and Epping on the Central line – at a distance of 34 miles
  1. London Underground gained its ‘Tube’ nickname early in the 20th Century thanks to the Central line being affectionately referred to as the ‘Twopenny Tube’, owing to the fact all its journeys, at that time, cost just tuppence
  1. Designed by Harry Beck, the absolutely iconic Tube map was inspired by the look of an electrical circuit diagram; it was first rolled out in 1933
  1. Although closed in 1934, Brompton Road station was used during the Second World War as an anti-aircraft operations room
  1. 22,000 makeshift beds were in place throughout the Tube network by the end of WWII in 1945
  1. The first female train driver on the Tube started work in 1978
  1. Much to the chagrin of those who live south of the river (Thames), fewer than 10 percent of Tube stations are located in South London
  1. Consumption and carriage of alcohol has been forbidden on the Tube for the past 10 years
  1. It’s believed that the remains of more than 1,000 bodies lie beneath Aldgate station, owing to it having been built over a plague pit that dates back to 1665 (the year before the Great Fire of London)
  1. LU’s red circular logo with a horizontal blue bar running across it is believed to be one of the world’s oldest – and certainly one of its most identifiable – corporate brands in use today
  1. And, finally, more than half (about 55 percent) of the Tube network… runs above ground.