The Tube

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

Don't get me wrong; I love the Tube. What an amazing transport infrastructure. What genius to come up with such a technological marvel. Born from an age of metal & brawn carving our future out of the earth.

The Tube was created between 1843 -1863. It was first underground railway in the world. "Today, London Underground is a major business with three million passenger journeys made a day, serving 275 stations over 408 km (253 miles) of railway.

In 2004-2005, London Underground trains ran a total of 69.4 million kilometres in passenger service."
Its disused areas are of continuous fascination to me. What hidden secrets does ithide? secret laboratories, hidden war time bunkers or control rooms, forgotten tube stations, communities of troglodytes?

In 1913 the roundel first appeared. The roundel is the famous circle and horizontal bar symbol that now represents the tube.

Often when I hear people. whining about the tube. I'll take step back. Its brilliant as unreliable as it is supposed to be I am still in awe of it.

However this morning I remembered why I'dont bother going into the office early. Again almost as with everytime I need to get into the office the Victoria line was down. At Waterloo I couldn't take the fast exit to the tube as it was so packed. Literally a throbbing mass of ppl making there way down the stairs. Sure this happens all the time and no one is injured. However my irrational fear of confined spaces and large crowds or as I like to call it my survival instinct would not allow me to walk into a small, dark, underground space with 10 rushing, irrational people to my left and right and a unstoppable river infront and behind me.

After a short detour I'm on the Northern Line. Packed - not "bumper to bumper" either more like an overcrowded Texas cattle car. Too many people in too small a space. People squeezing into what ever space they can find to get to places they need to be. I understand that a lot of people need to get to a lot of places in as quick time as possible. Surely this kind of travel crowding contravenes some human rights laws or at least health & safety.

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.