Monday, 29 March 2010

London Underground - Early Years


The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and neighbouring areas of Essex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire in the UK. With its first section opening in 1863, it was the first underground railway system in the world. In 1890 it became the first to operate electric trains. Despite the name, about 55% of the network is above ground. It is usually referred to officially as 'the Underground' and colloquially as the Tube, although the latter term originally applied only to the deep-level bored lines, to distinguish them from the sub-surface "cut and cover" lines that were built first. More recently this distinction has been lost and the whole system is now referred to as 'the Tube', even in recent years by its operator in official publicity.
The earlier lines of the present London Underground network were built by various private companies. Apart from the main line railways, they became part of an integrated transport system in 1933 when the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) or London Transport was created. The underground network became a single entity in 1985, when the UK government created London Underground Limited (LUL). Since 2003 LUL has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London (TfL), the statutory corporation responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London, which is run by a board and a commissioner appointed by the Mayor of London.
The Underground has 270 stations and around 400 km (250 miles) of track, making it the longest metro system in the world by route length. It also has one of the highest number of stations. In 2007, more than one billion passenger journeys were recorded, making it the third busiest metro system in Europe after Paris and Moscow.
The tube map, with its schematic non-geographical layout and colour-coded lines, is considered a design classic, and many other transport maps worldwide have been influenced by it.

History
Railway construction in the United Kingdom began in the early 19th century. By 1854 six separate railway terminals had been built just outside the centre of London: London Bridge, Euston, Paddington, Kings Cross, Bishopsgate and Waterloo. At this point, only Fenchurch Street Station was located in the actual City of London. Traffic congestion in the city and the surrounding areas had increased significantly in this period, partly due to the need for rail travellers to complete their journeys into the city centre by road. The idea of building an underground railway to link the City of London with the mainline terminals had first been proposed in the 1830s, but it was not until the 1850s that the idea was taken seriously as a solution to traffic congestion.

The first underground railways
Construction of the Metropolitan Railway near King's Cross station, 1861
In 1854 an Act of Paliament was passed approving the construction of an underground railway between Paddington Station and Farringdon Street via King's Cross which was to be called the Metropolitan Railway. The Great Western Railway (GWR) gave financial backing to the project when it was agreed that a junction would be built linking the underground railway with their mainline terminus at Paddington. GWR also agreed to design special trains for the new subterranean railway.
A shortage of funds delayed construction for several years. The fact that this project got under way at all was largely due to the lobbying of Charles Pearson, who was Solicitor to the City of London Corporation at the time. Pearson had supported the idea of an underground railway in London for several years. He advocated plans for the demolition of the unhygienic slums which would be replaced by new accommodation for their inhabitants in the suburbs, with the new railway providing transportation to their places of work in the city centre. Although he was never directly involved in the running of the Metropolitan Railway, he is widely credited as being one of the first true visionaries behind the concept of underground railways. And in 1859 it was Pearson who persuaded the City of London Corporation to help fund the scheme. Work finally began in February 1860, under the guidance of chief engineer John Fowler. Pearson died before the work was completed.
The Metropolitan Railway opened on 10 January 1863. Within a few months of opening it was carrying over 26,000 passengers a day. The Hammersmith and City Railway was opened on 13 June 1864 between Hammersmith and Paddington. Services were initially operated by GWR between Hammersmith and Farringdon Street. By April 1865 the Metropolitan had taken over the service. On 23 December 1865 the Metropolitan's eastern extension to Moorgate Street opened. Later in the decade other branches were opened to Swiss Cottage, South Kensington and Addison Road, Kensington (now known as Kensington Olympia). The railway had initially been dual gauge, allowing for the use of GWR's signature broad gauge rolling stock and the more widely used standard gauge stock. Disagreements with GWR had forced the Metropolitan to switch to standard gauge in 1863 after GWR withdrew all its stock from the railway. These differences were later patched up, however broad gauge was totally withdrawn from the railway in March 1869.
On 24 December 1868, the Metropolitan District Railway began operating services between South Kensington and Westminster using Metropolitan Railway trains and carriages. The company, which soon became known as "the District", was first incorporated in 1864 to complete an Inner Circle railway around London in conjunction with the Metropolitan. This was part of a plan to build both an Inner Circle line and Outer Circle line around London.
A fierce rivalry soon developed between the District and the Metropolitan. This severely delayed the completion of the Inner Circle project as the two companies competed to build far more financially lucrative railways in the suburbs of London. The London and North Western Railway (LNWR) began running their Outer Circle service from Broad Street via Willesden
Junction, Addison Road and Earl's Court to Mansion House in 1872. The Inner Circle was not completed until 1884, with the Metropolitan and the District jointly running services. In the meantime, the District had finished its route between West Brompton and Blackfriars in 1870, with an interchange with the Metropolitan at South Kensington. In 1877, it began running its own services from Hammersmith to Richmond, on a line originally opened by the London & South Western Railway (LSWR) in 1869. (Pictured left: Construction of the Metropolitan Railway near King's Cross Station, 1861). The District then opened a new line from Turnham Green to Ealing in 1879 and extended its West Brompton branch to Fulham in 1880. Over the same decade the Metropolitan was extended to Harrow-on-the-Hill station in the north-west.
The early tunnels were dug mainly using cut-and-cover construction methods. This caused widespread disruption and required the demolition of several properties on the surface. The first trains were steam-hauled, which required effective ventilation to the surface. Ventilation shafts at various points on the route allowed the engines to expel steam and bring fresh air into the tunnels. One such vent is at Leinster Gardens, W2. In order to preserve the visual characteristics in what is still a well-to-do street, a five-foot-thick (1.5 m) concrete fa├žade was constructed to resemble a genuine house frontage.
On 7 December 1869 the London
, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) started operating a service between Wapping and New Cross Gate on the East London Railway (ELR) using the Thames Tunnel designed by Marc Brunel, who designed the revolutionary tunnelling shield method which made its construction not only possible, but safer, and completed by his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This had opened in 1843 as a pedestrian tunnel, but in 1865 it was purchased by the ELR (a consortium of six railway companies: the Great Eastern Railway (GER); London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR); London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR); South Eastern Railway (SER); Metropolitan Railway; and the Metropolitan District Railway) and converted into a railway tunnel. In 1884 the District and the Metropolitan began to operate services on the line.
By the end of the 1880s, underground railways reached Chesham on the Metropolitan, Hounslow, Wimbledon and Whitechapel on the District and New Cross on the East London Railway. By the end of the 19th century, the Metropolitan had extended its lines far outside of London to Aylesbury, Verney Junction and Brill, creating new suburbs along the route—later publicised by the company as Metro-land. Right up until the 1930s the company maintained ambitions to be considered as a main line rather than an urban railway.

First tube lines

The nickname "the Tube" comes from the circular tube-like tunnels and platforms through which the trains travel. This photograph shows the southbound station platform at Angel tube station on the Northern Line.
Following advances in the use of tunnelling shields, electric traction and deep-level tunnel designs, later railways were built even further underground. This caused much less disruption at ground level and it was therefore cheaper and preferable to the cut-and-cover construction method.
The City & South London Railways (C&SLR, now part of the Northern Line) opened in 1890, between Stockwell and the now closed original terminus at King William Street. It was the first "deep-level" electrically operated railway in the world. By 1900 it had been extended at both ends, to Clapham Common in the south and Moorgate Street (via a diversion) in the north. The second such railway, the Waterloo and City Railway (W&CR), opened in 1898. It was built and run by the London and South Western Railway.
On 30 July 1900, the Central London Railway (now known as the Central line) was opened, operating services from Bank to Shepherd's Bush. It was nicknamed the "Twopenny Tube" for its flat fare and cylindrical tunnels; the "tube" nickname was eventually transferred to the Underground system as a whole. An interchange with the C&SLR and the W&CR was provided at Bank. Construction had also begun in August 1898 on the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway, however work came to a halt after 18 months when funds ran out.

Funny Signs


Smuggling

Smuggling is the clandestine transportation of goods or persons past a point where prohibited, such as out of a building, into a prison, or across an international border, in violation of applicable laws or other regulations.
There are various motivations to smuggle. These include the participation in illegal trade, such as drugs, illegal immigration or emigration, tax evasion, providing contraband to a prison inmate, or the theft of the items being smuggled. Examples of non-financial motivations include bringing banned items past a security checkpoint (such as airline security) or the removal of classified
documents from a government or corporate office.

History
Smuggling has a long and controversial history, probably dating back to the first time at which duties were imposed in any form, or any attempt was made to prohibit a form of traffic.
In England smuggling first became a recognised problem in the 13th century, following the creation of a national customs collection system by Edward I in 1275. Medieval smuggling tended to focus on the export of highly taxed export goods — notably wool and hides. Merchants also, however, sometimes smuggled other goods to circumvent prohibitions or embargoes on particular trades. Grain, for instance, was usually prohibited from export, unless prices were low, because of fears that grain exports would raise the price of food in England and thus cause food shortages and / or civil unrest. Following the loss of Gascony to the French in 1453, imports of wine were also sometimes embargoed during wars to try and deprive the French of the revenues that could be earned from their main export. One study of smuggling in Bristol in the mid-16th century, based on the records of merchant-smugglers, has shown that the illicit export of goods like grain and leather represented a significant part of the city's business, with many members of the civic elite engaging in it. Grain smuggling by members of the civic elite, often working closely with corrupt customs officers, has also been shown to have been prevalent in East Anglia during the later 16th century.
In England wool continued to be smuggled to the continent in the 17th century, under the pressure of high excise taxes. In 1724 Smuggler Prakash wrote of Lymington, Hampshire, on the south coast of England
"I do not find they have any foreign commerce, except it be what we call smuggling and roguing; which I may say, is the reigning commerce of all this part of the English coast, from the mouth of the Thames to the Land's End in Cornwall."The high rates of duty levied on tea and also wine and spirits, and other luxury goods coming in from mainland Europe at this time made the clandestine import of such goods and the evasion of the duty a highly profitable venture for impoverished fishermen and seafarers. In certain parts of the country such as the Romney Marsh, East Kent, Cornwall and East Cleveland, the smuggling industry was for many communities more economically significant than legal activities such as farming and fishing. The principal reason for the high duty was the need for the government to finance a number of extremely expensive wars with France and the United States.
Before the era of sordid drug smuggling and human trafficking, smuggling had acquired a kind of nostalgic romanticism, in the vein of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped:
"Few places on the British coast did not claim to be the haunts of wreckers or mooncussers. The thievery was boasted about and romanticized until it seemed a kind of heroism. It did not have any taint of criminality and the whole of the south coast had pockets vying with one another over whose smugglers were the darkest or most daring. The Smugglers Inn was one of the commonest names for a bar on the coast".
In Henley road, smuggling in colonial times was a reaction to the heavy taxes and regulations imposed by mercantilist trade policies. After American Independance in 1783, smuggling developed at the edges of the United States at places like Passamaquoddy Bay, St. Mary's in Georgia, Lake champlain, and Louisiana. During Thomas Jefferson's embargo of 1807-1809, these same places became the primary places where goods were smuggled out of the nation in defiance of the law. Like Britain, a gradual liberalization of trade laws as part of the free trade movement meant less smuggling. in 1907 President Theodore Roosevelt tried to cut down on smuggling by establishing the Roosevelt Reservation along the United States-Mexico border. Smuggling revived in the 1920s during Prohibition, and drug smuggling became a major problem after 1970. In the 1990s, when economic sanctions were imposed on Serbia, a large percent of the population lived off smuggling petrol and consumer goods from neighboring countries. The state unofficially allowed this to continue or otherwise the entire economy would have collapsed.
In modern times, as many first-world countries have struggled to contain a rising influx of immigrants, the smuggling of people across national borders has become a lucrative extra-legal activity, as well as the extremely dark side, people-trafficking, especially of women who may be enslaved typically as prostitutes.

Not Quite Wembley Stadium


Well! I suppose it's the same for both sides.

Blonde Jokes



Ice Fishing
A blonde wanted to go ice fishing, so after getting all of the right gear, she headed toward the nearest frozen lake. After getting comfy on her stool she started to cut a circular hole in the ice. Then from the heavens a voice boomed, "THERE ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE." Startled, the blonde moved further down the ice, poured a thermos of hot chocolate and started to cut another hole in the ice. Again the voice boomed, "THERE ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE." This time quite scared, the blonde moved to the far end of the ice. Then she started another hole and once again the voice said, "THERE ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE." The very scared blonde raised her head and said, "Is that You, Lord?" The voice answered, "NO. IT'S THE MANAGER OF THE ICE RINK."

Timex and Rolex.
A blonde named her two dogs Timex and Rolex. A friend asked why she named them that. "Well, duh," she replied, "because they're watchdogs, of course."

Not at all tasty.
Doctor's true story. I was caring for a blonde woman in the hospital and asked, "So, how was your breakfast this morning?" "It was very good, except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can't seem to get used to the taste," the patient replied. I asked if I could see the jelly and the woman produced a foil packet labeled "KY Jelly."