Text_3A LONDON'S UNDERGROUND
1. Bands were playing and the gentlemen in hats were preparing to make speeches about their great achievement. They made the first underground railway travel in the world - a distance of almost four miles.
It was the year 1863 and on that first historic day 30,000 Londoners used this new and strange way of travel. Now more than a hundred years later the London Underground carries more than a million passengers every day. The total number of passengers carried by the London Underground each year is enormous, and it is constantly growing.
2. In the early days the trains were driven by steam locomotives which burnt coal.
It is said that the train staff and porters' asked permission to grow beards and moustaches - as an early form of smog mask.
Now the atmosphere "underground" is considered even better than that outside as germs cannot grow in the dry air - and the trains, of course, are electric.
3. The deep tunnelling came later, in 1890. Tunnelling a tube through miles of clay, and sometimes sand and gravel is no easy task, and it was James Henry Greathead who developed the method which was to make most of London's tube tunnels possible.
London transport's experience with tunnels brought them another record. One of the longest continuous railway tunnels in the world is the 17 1/2 mile tunnel on the Northern line.
4. There are numerous escalators which help to keep the traffic moving. The first was installed in 1911. One of them at Leicester Square is over 80 feet in length. On long escalators the speed is changeable. Hie "up" escalator runs at full speed when carrying passengers, but when empty it runs at half speed. Many of thenew escalators have automatic control making a more frequent service throughout the possible.
5. Safety was always one of the main concerns of London transport. In spite of the feet that trains oftenfollow each other within seconds, it is said that the London Underground is the safest form of transport in die world.
Automatic signalling is operated by the trains themselves. A programme machine controls routes: if changes are necessary, they are made automatically and with lightning speed. No accidents can happen through human weakness.
New automatic driving systems are now being used The air in the Underground is changed every quarter of an hour, and the temperature all year round is maintained at 69-79 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Though the quality of service is high there is still significant overcrowding on certain lines atpeakperiods. This problem is being discussed and additional improvement of service is planned for the future.
A number of station modernization schemes are being completed. The aim is to provide a more attractive environment for the passengers. The usage of modern materials makes maintenance easier. This modernization is coordinated with the renewal of lifts and escalators and the introduction of new ticketing machines. The Fare in the Underground depends on the distance, but the lowest is 50 pence
The Underground is becoming much cleaner and brighter and therefore' more pleasant to use, carrying more passengers than at any time in its long
Crime levels in London are generally reflected by crime levels on London's transport. According to 1he statistics the crime level in the Underground is father high. To ensure safety of passengers and the staff the transport authorities added more police officers to the Underground System to guarantee as much protection as possible.