Subway trivia: the first subway in North America?

The world’s first subway was the Metropolitan Subway in London, England. It was built in 1863 and has…

The world’s first subway was the Metropolitan Subway in London, England. It was built in 1863 and has a trunk length of about 6.5km. It is powered by a steam locomotive.


Construction background

In the mid-19th century, London developed faster than any city in the past. At the heart of this vast empire, when thousands of new homes, shops, office buildings and factories were built for the expanding labor force, it almost exploded. These people need to have better transportation than the narrow streets.

Subway trivia: the first subway in North America?
Subway trivia: the first subway in North America?

In 1843, the British Pearson designed the world’s first urban subway system for the city of London. For various reasons, 10 years later, the British Parliament approved the construction of a subway less than 6 kilometers between Farrington and Bishop’s Road. After nearly ten years of construction, the subway has begun to take shape. In January 1863, the Metropolitan Railway was officially opened.

The development and status quo of the subway

The Metropolitan Subway became the first operational electric train in 1890 and became part of the integrated transportation system in 1933. In 1985 the London Underground network became a single entity. It has a full length of 6 kilometers, and the Metropolitan Subway has been going through more than 100 years. The subway has been extended to 88.5 kilometers and 61 stations. It is the longest underground railway in the world.

Other cities soon followed the example of London. The subway in Budapest opened in 1896; Boston in 1897, the subway to Paris in the suburbs in 1900, and New York in 1904 also opened the subway. By 1915, the London subway began to become a big network. The first subway line was built using the “dig-and-cover” process, which involves digging a deep trench and then covering it. The real “tubular” railway built in 1890 was built with a hydraulic punch propelled steel hoop drilled through the mud.

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