10 interesting stories and facts connected to the subways of the world

Subway (which is also called ‘Metro’ in some countries) is one of the most convenient, cheapest, and fastest city transportation means (on par with air travels, the subway is also one of the safest). Today, we’re sharing with you some exciting information and stories about this type of transport.

  1. London Underground is the oldest metro system in the world, counting 157 years (‘twas opened in 1863). The first trains worked on coal and, therefore, gave a lot of smell and soot. Nevertheless, the subway became immediately popular with citizens, which had to use it for the entire 30 years until it was electrified in 1890. Today, in London’s metro, 40 stations are out of operation (15% of all are non-functional, which is the biggest % of non-functional stations of one country’s line in the world).London Tube - The Oldest Subway in the World - Explore the World with Simon Sulyma
  2. Subway of New York City, the USA, has most stations, 472, and has 36 lines. But it also has a lot of closed stations: 9 are closed permanently, 24 have one or more platforms closed, 7 stations are unfinished, 5 stations are demolished because of being defunct, and 8 more are under reconstruction or renovation as of late December 2020 (11% of all are partially or fully non-functional).
  3. The longest metro route length in one country is currently in China – 429.1 miles.
  4. Most people of Earth never rode the subway.Shanghai Metro Line 2: Beyond Songhong Road… | by David Feng | Ticket Gate 19 | Medium
  5. The deepest subway station in the world is Arsenal’na in Kyiv, Ukraine, located 105.5 meters (346 feet 1.5 inches) below the ground level.
  6. Although it is easier technically and cheaper economically to make above-the-ground subway stations, a lot of stations and lines are done under the ground to avoid the noise of wagons running here and there every day. Due to that, subway builders had to exploit various technologies of working underground and under rivers, which include freezing of the surrounding terrain with low-temp substances (like liquid nitrogen) to stabilize grounds until the tunnel is deployed. Subways that cross rivers would have tunnels laid on the river bottom as concrete circles or drilled below the water level – if not bridges were built to support the metro way.
  7. The name “Metro” applied to rapid train urban transit line derives from French when the Paris Metro under the full name Chemin de Fer Métropolitain The name was a direct translation into French of London’s Metropolitan Railway from English, which was then shortened simply to ‘Metro’. Over time, the name has become popular mostly in non-English speaking countries to be applied instead of ‘Subway’.
  8. Some stations were built but have never become popular. So they were closed and trains today do not stop on these stations. Even shortcut tunnels were sometimes laid to avoid such stations at all. Some of them have simply become ghost stations (sometimes, becoming a living place for homeless people), whilst some have turned into war bunkers. One of the latter was the Down Street Station in London, which closed in 1932 and reopened in 1939 as the office and bomb shelter for governmental workers and operations. It was used by Winston Churchill during WWII, who liked to call it ‘The Barn’.
  9. The first subway station in continental Europe was in Budapest, Hungary (1896).
  10. Only 61 countries in the world have any sort of subway system, and China has the biggest number of cities with it: 39.

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