London Underground trivia

From TrainSpottingWorld, for Rail fans everywhere

This article about the London Underground railway contains information which is wholly for amusement.


  • The longest distance between two stations is 6.26 km (3.89 miles), between Chalfont & Latimer and Chesham on the Metropolitan line. The longest distance between two underground stations is between Caledonian Road and Kings Cross St Pancras on the Piccadilly line.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the shortest distance between two stations is not the 250 metres (0.16 miles), between Leicester Square and Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line. Some say that with all the time spent going up and down the escalators and lifts, it's faster to walk between the two. Travel between these stations paid for by a cash ticket costs £25 per mile (£4 ticket) in 2007. The shortest distance is between Charing Cross and Embankment, a distance of 100m, which is stated on many tube maps.
  • Hampstead is the deepest station under the surface at 58.5 metres (192 feet). However, it is not the deepest below sea level as the line is climbing towards the north and the station's surface building is near the top of a hill.
  • The actual deepest platforms below sea level are the Jubilee Line platforms at Westminster which are -32 metres (-104 feet).
  • Using the traditional Charing Cross as the marker, Chesham is the furthest station from Central London, an honour which it has held since 1994, prior to which Ongar held the title (before it was closed).
  • The furthest station from Central London ever regularly served by a London Underground service was Verney Junction at the (then) far end of what is now the Metropolitan Line. In a tiny hamlet in rural Buckinghamshire it is over 40 miles from Charing Cross.
  • Waterloo station has the most escalators, currently at 25.

Passengers and other inhabitants

  • An estimated half a million mice live on the Underground system, and can often be seen running around the tracks, about which, TV personality Anthea Turner has written a series of books. London Underground mice. They appear black because their brown fur is covered with dirt, mainly brake-dust from the trains.
  • Only two people are known to have had their coffins transported on the Underground: William Gladstone and Dr Barnardo.
  • On 13 May 1924 Daisy Hammond gave birth on a Bakerloo Line train at Elephant & Castle. Press reports that the baby had been named Thelma Ursula Beatrice Eleanor were widely reprinted, and not debunked until 2000 when she was traced for a TV interview. In fact she was named Mary Ashfield Eleanor; the chairman of the Underground Group, Lord Ashfield, was her godfather.



  • St John's Wood is the only station which contains none of the letters of the word 'mackerel' (as the word Saint is not spelt out). Pimlico is the only station which contains none of the letters of the word 'badger', at least until the proposed 2010 opening of Hoxton, which will then be the only station containing none of the letters of either word. Wapping is the only station with no letters in common with 'lobster'. And Redbridge is the only station without 'Walnut'!
  • There are only two Underground stations that have all five vowels in them—South Ealing and Mansion House. Heathrow Terminal 4 also contains all five vowels, if 4 is spelled out as four.
  • Bank is the only station whose name contains only one syllable. Bank and Oval are the only stations whose name contains only four letters.
  • Knightsbridge is the only station whose name contains six consecutive consonants.
  • There are six alliterative Underground stations - those with two or more words in their names which all begin with the same sound. These are Clapham Common, King's Cross, Sloane Square, Seven Sisters, Golders Green and Bromley-by-Bow. Charing Cross is a visual but not a true alliteration.
  • There are four Underground stations whose name contains the colour of the line they are on (as depicted on the tube map) - they are Parsons Green, Redbridge, Stepney Green and Turnham Green.
  • There is only one letter 'Z' in the list of tube stations (Belsize Park); two letter 'J's (St James's Park and St John's Wood) and five letter 'X's (Brixton, Croxley, Oxford Circus, Uxbridge and Vauxhall). Next least frequent letter is 'V' of which there are 13 (18 with DLR stations) - Arnos Grove, Covent Garden, Devons Road (DLR), Elverson Road (DLR), King George V (DLR), Ladbroke Grove, Liverpool Street, Maida Vale, Oval, Perivale, Ravenscourt Park, Roding Valley, Royal Victoria (DLR), Seven Sisters, Vauxhall, Victoria, Warwick Avenue and West Silvertown (DLR).
  • Temple is the only station name common to the Underground and the Paris Metro, though both refer to historic assocations of the local area with the Templars



There are reports of the London Underground to be haunted.

Some of the most famous ghost stories include Anne Naylor, who was murdered in 1758 and is said to haunt Farringdon Station. Her screams are said to be heard, by passengers, as the last train leaves.

Actor William Terriss who was stabbed to death in 1897, is said to haunt Covent Garden tube station, although the last reported sighting was 1972.[1]

Tube drivers report that the Kennington Loop on the Northern Line is haunted.


See also

External links