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Topic: Bit of Underground trivia for you

  1. #1
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    Default Bit of Underground trivia for you

    Feel free to pass these facts onto your friends but please please PLEASE quote www.going-underground.net if you're going to send these by email or put on your website.
    Sit back and get ready to bore your friends in pubs, win at Trivial Pursuit games and generally be a trainspotting smart Alec.

    50 things you never knew about the London Underground:


    There is only one tube station name which does not have any letters of the word "mackerel" in it - St John's Wood.

    There are only two tube stations which have all five vowels in them - Mansion House and South Ealing.

    Considering there are 287 tube stations, things 1 and 2 are quite surprising.

    Chancery Lane has the shortest escalator on the system - 50 steps.

    Travelling on the tube for 40 minutes is the equivalent of smoking two cigarettes - so save yourself a packet, all you smokers and get on the tube more often.

    The shortest distance between tube stations is Leicester Square and Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line - 0.16 miles.

    The most popular route for tourists is Leicester Square to Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line. It is quicker to walk this distance than travel on the tube.

    The only tube station which shares the name of a well known pop group is All Saints (yeah I know it's on the Docklands Light Railway - but it's still on the tube map).

    The phrase "Mind the Gap" originated on the Northern line.

    The Jubilee line was originally going to be called the Fleet line.

    Northfields station on the Piccadilly line was the first to use kestrels and hawks to kill pigeons and stop them setting up homes in stations.

    The Central line covers the longest route - from West Ruislip to Epping you will travel 34 miles without changing.

    The Waterloo and City line covers the shortest route - 2 kilometres, but considering it only covers two stations - Waterloo and Bank, it doesn't take Stephen Hawkins to work that one out.

    The oldest tube line in the world is the Metropolitan line. It opened on the 10th January 1863.

    Tube carriages originally had no windows and buttoned upholstery and were nicknamed "padded cells". No change there then.

    Men have to sit with their legs apart when travelling on the tube. This is due to special magnetic fibres on the upholstery of the seats which interacts with testosterone to provide an antimagnetic outward force.

    Julian Lloyd Webber was London Underground's first official busker - I didn't know he needed the money that badly.

    More of the London Underground is open than in a tunnel. Tell yourself this fact if you suffer from claustrophobia.

    Bank has more escalators than any other station on the tube - 15 plus two moving walkways - count em!

    Out of the 287 stations, only 29 are south of the river Thames.

    One of the female automated voice announcers is called Sonia - because her voice "gets on yer nerves".

    Fish and Parcels is the slang name for the District Line. It should be Pony and Trap.

    Edward Johnston designed the font for the London Underground in 1916.

    The peak hour for tube suicides is 11am.

    The Jubilee Line Extension was the most expensive railway line ever built. It cost USD 330 million per kilometre. Shame they didn't make the platforms and the trains bigger though.

    All 409 escalators do the equivalent of two round the world trips every week.

    Amersham is not only the most westerly station on the tube it is also the highest - 150 metres above sea level.

    People were smaller when the carriages were built in the 1860's - which is one of the reasons why you'll find your journey so uncomfortable today.

    Harry Beck, designer of the tube map in 1933, was only paid five guineas for his original job. His design is still the basis of today's tube map.

    The first escalator was introduced at Earls Court in 1911.

    Gladstone and Dr Barnado were the only people to ever have their coffins transported by tube.

    Not only were the early escalators made of wood, but also the legs of the people who demonstrated them. Wooden legged Bumper Harris was employed to travel up and down the tube's first escalator to prove that it was safe.

    Angel has Western Europe's longest escalator - 318 steps.

    Mosquitoes that live in the underground have evolved into a completely different species, one that appears separated from the above ground mozzie by over a thousand years.

    Regent's Park, Piccadilly Circus, Hyde Park Corner and Bank are some of the few stations which do not have an above ground surface building.

    The air in the underground is on average 10C hotter than the air on the surface.

    People who commit suicide by throwing themselves under tube are called "one-unders". In New York they are known as "track pizza". Choose your preference.

    Pigeons regularly travel from West Ham in east London to central London on the tube in order to get more food.

    The best places to spot mice running around the tracks of the underground are Waterloo station (northbound on the Bakerloo line) and any platform at Oxford Circus.

    Green grapes cause more accidents on the London Underground than banana skins.

    Anthea Turner and her sister Wendy have written a series of children's books about mice living on the London Underground. An estimated half a million mice live in the Underground system so that should keep them both busy for a while.

    Only one person was ever born in a tube carriage and her name is Thelma Ursula Beatrice Eleanor - check out her initials. She was born in 1924 on a Bakerloo line train at Elephant & Castle.

    The Gappe is a little known bird/bat like creature, which only tube announcers can see and we are often told to mind them.

    Victoria and King's Cross record the highest number of tube suicides each year. This isn't surprising as Victoria is the tube's busiest station with 85 million passengers each year and King's Cross has 70 million passengers each year.

    Aldwych station (now closed) is featured on level 12 in the Tomb Raider game with Lara Croft killing rats.

    Christopher Lee and Donald Pleasance starred in a 1970s horror film called Death Line (a.k.a Raw Meat), where man eating troglodytes terrorised people on the London Underground.

    The Cadbury's Whole Nut chocolate bar is the biggest seller in the chocolate machines at tube stations.

    A fragrance called "Madeleine" was introduced at St James Park, Euston and Piccadilly station in an effort to make the tube smell better on 23rd March 2001. It was taken out of action on 24th March 2001 as it was making people feel sick.

    The ***iest film scene featuring the London Underground is The Wings of the Dove. Helena Bonham Carter and Linus Roache travel in a 19th century carriage together, then get off and make love in a lift. Who said there's no romance on the tube?

    Speaking of doves, buskers cannot sing.
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  2. #2
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    I'm both horrified and fascinated by The Tube. It's freakish, hellish, and totally alien, yet, somehow, you can't help being intrigued by its sub-culture.

    Still...what's Fish and Parcels? Can't find that in any Cockney Rhyming Slang dictionary (though I do get Pony and Trap )
    Midlife: when the Universe grabs your shoulders and tells you Im not messing around, use the gifts you were given.

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    Well as someone who used to travel regularly on the Tube these facts are fascinating.
    Green grapes cause more accidents than banana skins? I guess it's because they are harder to spot on the floor....:eek:
    I can't fathom out Fish and Parcels either? As a Cockney born and bred I should know!

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    After our experience on Friday found this enlighting...& funny..thanks!!

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    I don't get 'fish and parcels' either - maybe it's an 'in' joke with the compilers of the website! *shrugs*

    I agree about the grapes - people don't actually drop banana skins, and even if they did, it's a bit of a fallacy that you can slip on them. Grapes are a lot more hazardous, simply because the skin slips on itself so easily.

    There's a book all about Trivia on the Tube whcih I want to buy OH for Christmas, but I couldn't find it on Google lunch time. Luckily I kept the paper. ... Here we go "The Little Book of the London Underground" by David Long. Now I have the title, maybe I can actually find it to buy it!

    Some of the snippets printed include "An estimated half a million mice live in the Underground system". Yes, I've seen them - they're really small, almost like field mice.
    Nov 2003 for 14 days
    Feb 2005 for 10 days
    Aug 2006 for 10 days
    Apr 2008 for 10 days
    Feb 2011 for 14 days for the Big 5-0
    Feb 2012 for 10 days for Emma's 18th
    Feb 2013 for 10 days just because!
    Feb 2014 for 7 days on site girlie trip
    Mar 2015 for 14 days for Emma's 21st




  6. #6
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    You have seen half a million mice?...... Sorry couldn't resist....

    I remember seeing them scurrying myself while waiting for a train.....:eek::eek::eek:

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    Is Fish and Parcels anything to do with the terminal stations?
    91/92/95HI MGE;97NYC/Cali/Ariz/Chicago;98St.Petes Bch/Hyatt K'mee;00C'water Bch/Dixie Landings;02South'n Dunes;05Ft.Myers/Keys/Ft Lauderdale/BW LBV;06Indian Ridge;07Ind. Ridge;08Sanibel/Ind. Ridge;09Sarasota/Ind. Ridge;10Sanibel/Ind. Ridge;11Ind. Ridge;12Sanibel/West Haven;13West Haven;14Sanibel/West Haven;15Sanibel/West Haven;15West Haven;16Panhandle tour/Ashley Manor;16Loma Linda;17Sanibel/Loma Vista;18Gulf Coast/St Ag/West Haven;19Sanibel/Venice Beach/West Haven

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    Fish & Parcels - Old slang name for the District Line, since it runs over main line routes and was regularly alleged to be subject to delays from other railways. In the days when it shared the two tracks between Bow Road and Upminster with the London, Tilbury and Southend route, District trains were regularly delayed by freight trains.

    Thanks to the Underground Glossary people.

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    Ohhhh right....thanks Ret...

  10. #10
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    I'm still none the wiser. Is Fish and Parcels Cockney rhyming slang, or just 'regular' slang? If it's rhyming slang, what's the 'rhyme'?
    Midlife: when the Universe grabs your shoulders and tells you Im not messing around, use the gifts you were given.

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