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Author Topic: 50 Things you never knew about the London Underground
RealityChuck/Boston Charlie
The First USA Noel


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It's not a political movement.
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Geoff.
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Mosquitoes that live in the underground have evolved into a completely different species, one that appears separated from the above ground mozzie by over a thousand years.
Well the mosquitoes in the tunnels are a diffrent species then the ones above ground. The main diffrence being the above ground bugs are seasonal breeders and the ones in the tunnels breed year round. It was listed in one of my old science texts for college. No idea if they are seperated by over a thousand years from their above ground relatives tho.

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Andrew of Ware, England
A-Ware in a Manger


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quote:
separated from the above ground mozzie by over a thousand years
This puzzled me when I first read it, and perhaps you can help here Geoff as you have studied the subject. If the London Underground has only been running for 130 years or so, how can they be separated by over 1,000 years?

Were there already underground mosquitoes, maybe living in sewers or other underground places, which were developing separately and they took advantage of some lovely new tunnels to continue their development?

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Andrew, Ware, England

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Keeper of the Mad Bunnies
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quote:
Originally posted by Andrew of Ware, Elfland:
quote:
separated from the above ground mozzie by over a thousand years
This puzzled me when I first read it, and perhaps you can help here Geoff as you have studied the subject. If the London Underground has only been running for 130 years or so, how can they be separated by over 1,000 years?

Were there already underground mosquitoes, maybe living in sewers or other underground places, which were developing separately and they took advantage of some lovely new tunnels to continue their development?

I think they are off by a factor of ten. The colonization is suspected to have occurred during the building of part of the Underground 100 years ago!

Original paper:

Byrne, K. and Nichols, R.A. (1999), "Culex pipiens in London Underground tunnels: differentiation between surface and subterranean populations." Heredity 82: 7-15

Hmm. Seems to have been printed in Nature as well, and available online.

James Powell

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Mycroft
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I have walked from Leicester Square to Covent Garden and although the street sign says ¼ mile, the tube station is on the other side of Covent Garden and therefore much further away. If you want to get from Leicester Square to Covent Garden itself it is much quicker to walk, and the opposite journey is impossible at peak times as Covent Garden station closes to outward traffic.

To be absolutely pedantic Lonod Underground has two sorts of trains, designated Tube and Surface; surface trains being larger; but to confuse people some Tube lines are above ground in parts and some Surface lines are partially below ground. When the first parts of the Metropolitan Line was opened there were no electric trains available, instead modified steam trains were used which retained the smoke and released it in frequent open sections. Some of these are disguised behind false house fronts.
Many early station in the central area (including Museum) were closed in the 1930s to increase average speed and at arounfd the same time amalgamation of the various lines into one company resulted in some stations being redundant or combined.
There was a major project in the late 1930s to further improve transit times in the central area by building a new system below the existing network but using some of the existing surface stations. Development of this Deep Tube was curtailed by the war but some sections were used by the military as secure accomodation, including a telephone exchange and an underground electronics factory. Although many of the ordinary stations were used as unofficial air raid station there were problems as the stations remained open and there were no special medical or santitary provision. Later some of the Deep stations were used as official shelters, including all facilities and after the war at least one of these were used as transit barracks for soldiers passing through or visiting London.
With the Jubilee line extension and extension of the DLR south of the Thames several stations were closed although they were fairly modern.

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AndrewR
I Saw Three Shipments


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One of my personal favourite tube factoids is about Kings Cross and Euston, perhaps because of how it's worded in Wikipedia:
quote:

You can spend all day travelling backwards and forwards between King's Cross St Pancras and Euston, but only going north. The northbound Northern Line runs from King's Cross to Euston and the northbound Victoria Line runs from Euston to King's Cross. Of course, if you wish, you can always go south when you get bored.


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Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by AndrewR:
One of my personal favourite tube factoids is about Kings Cross and Euston, perhaps because of how it's worded in Wikipedia:
quote:

You can spend all day travelling backwards and forwards between King's Cross St Pancras and Euston, but only going north. The northbound Northern Line runs from King's Cross to Euston and the northbound Victoria Line runs from Euston to King's Cross. Of course, if you wish, you can always go south when you get bored.


oooh! I just have to try this one! And I will if I need to kill time after arriving way too early for a meeting.

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Messybeast Cat Resource Archive
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Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Andrew of Ware, Elfland:
The Epping to Ongar section of the Central Line which was closed in 1994 (or about then) may soon re-open as a preserved line. I keep hearing about things in the local press about it. I often pass through the area and Epping has a huge foreign steam locomotive on its tracks along with some rolling stock. I hope it does re-open as there are no preserved lines within striking distance of where I live.

Isn't that part now in private ownership and run by enthusiasts?

I had a flick through one of the books in the LT Museum at Covent Garden and it included uses for defunct tube carriages. The idea of an old carriage as a summer house or greenhouse rather appealed. Mind you, the idea of a whole train at the bottom of the garden, rather like the loco in "Love on a Branch Line" also appealed. I'd need a much bigger garden though.

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Llewtrah's Soapbox

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charlie23
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Men have to sit with their legs apart when travelling on the tube. This is due to special magnetic fibres on the upholstery of the seats which interacts with testosterone to provide an antimagnetic outward force.
huh?
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