London Transport Museum

Today I visited the London Transport Museum to get a better understanding of the London Underground, as I have a particular interest in the process of creating such a huge part of London Life and why many are un used.

The first underground was built by 2,000 Navvies, by hand. There were no accurate plans to show the engineers what might lie underneath the ground. The work was risky, but despite many construction problems it was built to a very high standard. The first underground railway was designed to transport passengers arriving at London’s main station, into the city. An underground  line was built below the main road to the city would avoid most property demolition in comparison to building a railway at ground level. The metropolitan railway company was formed in 1854 to carry through the ground breaking project.

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The railway reflected the class structure of Victorian society. On the main lines, metropolitan and district railways, passengers could choose from first class, second class or third class. This varied the level of comfort within each compartment.

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IN 1913 the undergrounds publicity manager, Frank Pick, commissioned a typographer to design the company typeface. By 1917 the proportion of the roundel had been reworked to suit the new lettering. The solid red disk became a circle, and the new symbol was registered as a trademark. This is a drawing looking at the proportions.

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This was one of the pieces of art work relating to the underground I saw, I thought it was really interesting and fun.

After looking around the whole museum, I was quite disappointed at how much information they had in regards to the unused tube stations. However, I did find many books with information regarding the unused tube stations and am planning a tour of Aldwych, which I have previously looked into. This unused tube station is in-between Holborn and Covent Garden. The branch opened in 1907, but due to low numbers of passengers the the station eventually closed in 1994. I hope to soon go on a tour of this unused station.

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