The London Underground

Underground Map
Click on the image for an enlarged map

When the Metropolitan Railway opened in 1863 between Paddington and Farringdon Street in London, it became the first underground urban railway in the world. By the end of the 19th century, Paris had its underground railway, named le Métropolitain in tribute to its respected predecessor. The canny French soon shortened this to Métro and now cities throughout the world have their "Metro" - with the exception of London, where the system remains known by the name of "Underground".

The London Underground falls into two groups of lines:

The actual situation is more complicated than this, because Tube trains run along Subsurface lines in many places, and both Tube and Subsurface lines run above ground out into the suburban areas, in some instances along lines that were originally built for conventional railways.

The Underground is operated as a number of distinct "lines", shown in different colours on the familiar London Underground map.

Day to day operation of the Underground is the responsibility of Transport for London (LUL).

Provision and maintenance of trains and fixed infrastructure is dealt with by two separate companies:

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