Alliteration aside, it’s not all bad news on the tube. Whilst the East London Line is having to go cap-in-hand to beg for funding to complete its extension, it looks like long-suffering Victoria Line passengers are set to enjoy a resumption of ‘normal’ services from today.
Indeed, the Monday-to-Thursday ‘early closures’ that have inconvenienced Viccy Line regulars since the middle of last year have now ‘officially’ ended, according to TFL. Despite earlier rumours that the disruptions would be extended (again) into 2009, TFL’s own documentation indicates no planned weeknight closures in the next six months, although occasional closures at weekends do seem to be scheduled from mid-January.
To cautiously celebrate this hopeful return to ‘normality’, here are some of the things that we know about the Victoria Line:
The line was officially opened by the Queen on 7th March 1969, at a ceremony at Victoria Station. However, it had already been operating in a limited capacity (from Walthamstow Central to Highbury & Islington) since 1st September 1968.
It was designed to be a fast, congestion-relieving alternative to other lines (such as the Piccadilly Line).
Almost every station on the line provides an interchange with another tube or mainline rail service (Pimlico is the odd station out in this respect). It was designed to make extensive use of ‘cross-platform interchanges’ to help passengers change line quickly.
It is the only tube line whose passenger sections operate entirely underground. (OK, so the Drain also qualifies for this, but as a relatively short two-stop ‘shuttle’ service we think this is much less impressive.)
It was the first automatic passenger railway in the world (it essentially ‘drives itself’ between stations).
During the line’s construction, a tunnel-boring machine inadvertently ploughed straight into a long-forgotten plague pit near Green Park, to the probable distress of the workmen involved.
Picture taken from currybet’s Flickr photostream under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike licence.
Last Updated 21 November 2008