Tube trivia and facts

Tube engineer at Ealing Common Depot

The Tube has been at the heart of London’s history for over 150 years. But do you know which is the deepest station? ๐Ÿค“ Or the shortest journey? ๐Ÿ˜

Find key facts and interesting figures here.

Tube trivia

Date opened ๐Ÿฃ 1863
Annual passenger numbers 1.35 billion
Length of network 402km
Busiest station Waterloo – 100.3 million passengers per year
Annual train km travelled 83.6 million km
Average train speed 33kph
Proportion of network in tunnels ๐Ÿš‡ 45%
Longest continuous tunnel East Finchley to Morden (via Bank) – 27.8km
Station with most escalators Waterloo – 23
Longest escalator Angel – 60 metres
Shortest escalator Stratford – 4.1 metres
Total number of passenger lifts โ˜๏ธ 202
Total number of escalators ๐Ÿ‘‡ 451
Number of moving walkways Four, two each at Waterloo and Bank
Deepest lift shaft Hampstead – 55.2 metres
Shortest lift shaft King’s Cross St. Pancras – 2.3 metres
Station with most platforms Baker Street – 10
Highest station above mean sea level ๐ŸŒŠ Amersham (Metropolitan line) – 147 metres
Furthest station from central London Chesham (Metropolitan line) – 47km to Aldgate
Longest distance between stations Chesham to Chalfont & Latimer (Metropolitan line) – 6.3km
Shortest distance between stations Leicester Square to Covent Garden (Piccadilly line) – 0.3km
Longest direct journey Epping to West Ruislip (Central line) – 54.9km


We categorise our stations in one these four types.


These smaller stations, in outer London or beyond, have lower customer numbers and serve mainly regular customers, familiar with the Tube network. An example of a local station would be Rickmansworth.


These stations serve predominantly inner London communities with many regular users. An example of a metro station would be Clapham South.


These stations are the main visitor entry points to London, with high volumes of customers and a high proportion of people unfamiliar with the Tube network. At these stations, new Visitor Information Centres will be in place. An example of a Gateway station would be King’s Cross St. Pancras or Heathrow 1,2,3.


These busy stations in Central London have high volumes of customers and include commuter rail termini and tourist destinations. An example of a destination station would be Embankment.

Rolling stock (trains)

We use a variety of rolling stock because Tube lines have differing platform lengths, signalling systems and tunnel sizes.

Most units of rolling stock last around 40 years. Major refurbishment can prolong life by another 10-15 years and is much cheaper than buying a new train.

Trains currently in service include:

‘S’ stock

  • S8 runs on the Metropolitan line
  • S7 runs on the Circle, Hammersmith & City, and District lines
  • The first walk-through gangway train on the Tube – the inside of the train is one continuous length, providing improved capacity, security and passenger flow
  • Fully air conditioned
  • S7 has 7 carriages, 256 seats per train
  • S8 has 8 carriages, 306 seats per train

2009 stock

  • Runs on the Victoria line
  • Introduced in 2011
  • Doors electronically detect objects and prevent the doors closing
  • Faster journey times thanks to automatic train protection and operation
  • 324 seats per train
  • Total passenger capacity per train – 864

1996 stock

  • Runs on the Jubilee line
  • Introduced in 1996 as part of the Jubilee line extension project
  • 234 seats per train
  • Total passenger capacity per train – 817

1995 stock

  • Runs on the Northern line
  • Introduced in 1995
  • Usually operated by one person, so their introduction saw the withdrawal of guards on the Northern line
  • 268 seats per train
  • Total passenger capacity per train – 665

1992 stock

  • Runs on the Central and Waterloo & City lines
  • Introduced in 1992
  • The twin sliding doors, plus one single door at each end of each car, are wider than any used previously on the Tube
  • 272 seats per train
  • Total passenger capacity per train – 892

1973 stock

  • Runs on the Piccadilly line
  • Introduced in 1975
  • Built to cater for airline passengers travelling with luggage between central London and Heathrow. Extra floor space provided by longer carriages and larger vestibules than its predecessor
  • 272 seats per train
  • Total passenger capacity per train – 684

1972 stock

  • Runs on the Bakerloo line
  • Introduced in 1972
  • 264 seats per train
  • Total passenger capacity per train – 730


Do you know more interesting trivia? Share in the comments below! ๐Ÿ‘‡


  1. Highgate station on the Northern Line has the longest platforms on the tube (I think) because they were expecting longer trains at the time

    1. The station at Picadilly Circus was named Picawilly Circus until 1860 when Prince Albert suggested it be renamed “because that’s where it is”.

  2. Greenford station on the Central line was the last station to have wooden-tread escalators, with them being eventually replaced by an incline lift in 2015 – which also made the station step-free!

  3. Station with most platforms – Bank/Monument Complex also has ten platforms :-
    District & Circle Lines Platforms 1 & 2
    Northern Line – Platforms 3 & 4
    Central Lines – Platforms 5 & 6
    Waterloo & City Lines – Platforms 7 & 8
    Docklands Light Railway – Platforms 9 & 10

  4. There is only one station on the Underground whose name contains no letter from the word โ€˜mackerel โ€˜.

    Part of this name is an abbreviation; if written in full even this station fails the mackerel test!

    Which station?

      1. Cannot be St. John’s Wood because, if written in full, “Saint John’s Wood” fails the”mackerel” test
        (But it was my first guess).

    1. There is only one station on the Underground whose name contains no letter from the word ‘amoeba’. There is no abbreviated version of the one-word station name so it passes every time.

    2. St Johns Wood is the correct answer. It does not have any letters from the word: mackerel.

  5. Whitechapel is the only station where its Overground platforms are underground and its Underground platforms are overground.

  6. On the Piccadilly Line you can travel from Cockfosters to Arnos Grove all above ground (it only goes under Southgate) and this stretch has some interesting buildings as stations, Southgate is known as Southgate Circus as it is round. My Mum once took my youngest onto the platform at Cockfosters to show him the trains, as the doors started closing he jumped on so my Mum had to get on with him…(honest) … they got off at Arnos Grove and came back to Cockfosters. That stretch passes over both Arnos and Oakwood parks, so he was able to wave to the children in the parks. The Station Master kindly did not charge them other than for a platform ticket. Thanks London Transport (now Transport for London) (this was in 1994)

    1. South Ealing contains all five vowels only once.

      Mansion House also contains all five vowels, but some are repeated.

      Heathrow Terminal 4 may or may not contain all five vowels, depending on whether you count the word “four” as being part of its name.

  7. Including the DLR, shortest distance between stations is the Canary Wharf – West India Quay, approx 200m.

  8. 1938 ex London Underground trains just now being replaced after serving on the Isle of Wight. Any estimation of the annual mileage of an underground train?

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