Harrods

London’s Most Famous Department Store: Harrods

London has been known for its historical museums, world-famous architecture, amazing gardens and landscape, posh restaurants, bars that offer all-night parties and of course, the majestic palace. Moreover, London also offers an ultimate shopping experience. For this, Harrods is probably the most popular shopping destination for anyone who has set foot on London.

Established by a grocery wholesaler named Charles Harrod, the shopping center’s origins can be traced from the year 1800. Its success paved the way for 100 employees.

In 1800’s, a major fire incident happened around Harrods’ vicinity. Still, it managed to remain strong and operational. People were astounded at how it was able to bounce back after the major fire and still was able to make deliveries for Christmas. They managed to supply fresh fish to Albert Hitchcock as requested and met other customers’ requests without hassles and excuses.

Harrods also has a beautifully designed architecture with terra cotta design and intricate décor. Baroque dome and nouveau windows highlight the store and create an impressive and majestic yet comfortable feel among the shoppers – very typical of London.

In 1980’s, Harrods stepped into yet another milestone when London’s famed family bought it for more than 1 billion dollars. They have the ownership for it since then. Millions were spent for its renovation and expansion of its operations.

Now here is the trivia, famous Hollywood star Pierce Brosnan or more commonly known as the “James Bond” worked in the store’s pharmacy department. There were several other Hollywood names that were once part of this store’s operations. Harrods can be considered as a shopping event in itself. Part of its daily operations is entertainment wherein musicians, singers and choirs perform in the store.

Harrods can also satisfy your vanity. Pamper yourself in the store’s salon or indulge in optimum relaxation at their spa. Anyone would also love the perfumery and cosmetics department which usually draws attention and never fail to keep people young and old alike.

If you came to shop, brace yourself to visit its seven floors. You might want to bring your trainers. Expect the ultimate shopping spree of your life and discover fine brands and items. Feast your eyes while strolling along the store from end to end, from the first floor all the way to the seventh. Here is another trivia; Harrods had the very first escalator in history. Clearly, it will do everything to keep its shoppers comfortable. It might also be of interest for you to know that it has 10,000 light bulbs to guide your way through shopping.

Get a taste of 200 cheese varieties at Harrods or experience a unique coffee or tea experience. If you are on the lookout for unique and expensive gifts, you have come to right place. Here you will find a $10,000 worth of golden bunny and many other specialty products.

Who could possibly miss the crystal chandeliers that adorn the store’s ceilings? These chandeliers are fit to be in the queen’s majestic palace. They are embellished with jewelries and are absolutely expensive.

People from London can give you directions on how to get to Harrods. You may also take the tube or the subway system to Knightsbridge Station. Once you’re there, never miss the chance to experience the most delightful shopping spree imaginable!

Westminster Abbey

London’s Architectural Masterpiece: Westminster Abbey

Formerly known as The Collegiate Church of St. Peter, the Westminster Abbey was specifically designed as a church and at the same time a cemetery with numerous memorials. It can be traced way back in the 15th century in which it had been build. To date, it is known as an architectural masterpiece and its history is being studied. It is a usual venue for royal gatherings and coronations and is being supervised by the crown instead of the diocese. This is a situation that is very uncommon for a church.

Tombs of historic people can be found at Westminster Abbey some of which are the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and other royalties. Geoffrey Chaucer is just one of famous poets whose tomb can be found here. You can find the Winston Churchill, Poets Corner and Lady Chapel here as well. Only famous and historic people are buried here such as generals, aristocrats, scientists and royalties. These people are the ones worthy of honor.

Upon entering the main door, the tomb of the Unknown Soldier from way back World War I can be found. Of all the gravestones, this is the only one being honored and people are not allowed to set foot on it.

The church’s design is described as Gothic comparable to the cathedral’s designs. Royalties of England such as the former Kings and Queens had been buried in this church.

Mystery is hidden behind the church’s walls which is significant to history. Edward the Confessor’s vault had been discovered here in the year 2005. Other vaults which can be traced way back in the 13th century had also been discovered.

The church’s architectural design is impressive in itself. Its support arch is enclosed within the roof and has been kept hidden. Its enormous ceilings which are vaulted and historically majestic design make it a home of art.

Historical and famous artworks are also kept here such as the portrait of Richard the II from the year 1300. The rose window known for its unique medieval structure is visible from the south view. Arts that feature a three dimensional design were considered a form of sin during this period.

Father Massey contributed a lot of paintings in the pillars and other areas of the Abbey. He is a resident artist.

Famous dignitaries and historic figures are buried here such as Charles Dickens, Sir Isaac Newton, John Dryden, Henry Wadsworth, Charles Darwin, Robert Browning, Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Hardy among many others.

The Abbey consisted of 60 monks and 200 people assisting in the Benedictine Monastery in the 12th century. It had been named as one of the richest churches in the whole of England.

In the 14th century, the cloister area which the monks used for exercise, prayer and meditation had been built.

Around the 1500’s, Henry VII chapel which has a huge and magnificently stained glass window and breathtaking vault had been built.

The legacy of Westminster Abbey with its beautiful interior and exterior, have been recognized in various works of arts. In one glance you can see a thousand years of history.

 

Buckingham Palace

A trip to London will not be complete without seeing the famous Buckingham Palace, home of the Queen and noble monarchy since the early 1800’s. It is considered one of the finest and worthwhile tourist attractions.

Originally, the Buckingham Palace was built for the Duke of Buckingham. This was during the early 1700’s. With three wings and designed in a courtyard, the house had undergone an expansion when George the III bought it.

A majestic ballroom, new guest rooms and other rooms were constructed in the early 1900’s paving the way for major modifications.

Visitors are welcome to see a major portion of the palace everyday. Roughly 40,000 guests and invitees enter the palace every year which is composed of a residential area and offices.

All year round, different areas and rooms of the palace are allowed to be viewed by the public. The palace’s state rooms can also be viewed during the fall season and latter part of summer. As expected of a palace, it contains pieces of luxurious embellishments everywhere and impressive furniture.

Pieces of admirable artworks can be viewed at the Queen’s gallery and Royal Mews. Some of which were originally done by great artists such as Vermeer and Rubens. The artworks displayed at the Royal Mews are constantly being changed. Art lovers will find this part of the palace spectacular.

Another attraction at the Royal Mews which is worth seeing is a 3-ton coach driven by 6 to 8 horses which is meant for royal events and balls.

For a relaxing and soothing feel of nature, a walk at the Royal Garden is a royal treat in itself. It roughly consists of a vast 30 acres of land. Here you will find beautiful flowers and an impressive view of the lake.

Since the 1600’s, the palace had already been protected by guards. The changing of the guards is an event in itself, one that is meticulously rehearsed much to the amazement of the crowd who are gathered to watch. People from all parts of the world come to see this ceremony. It is referred to as the Guard Mount and they are tasked to provide protection to the palace. This event takes place at around the same time each day.

There is a band that performs during the changing of the guards. Four other guards are positioned in the building’s façade. There are only two guards in this post if the Queen is not present.

These guards are strictly trained not be distracted by people. Their attention is focused on their job and although efforts are usually made by people to distract them, they remain undisturbed. Their uniform is a red tunic and animal skin. Guarding the Queen is an honor which is the reason why anybody assigned to this post take pride in his responsibility.

The guard changing ceremony starts at around 11:15 a.m. and usually lasts for about 30 to 45 minutes. It is one of the major highlights and a must-see event for anybody who is visiting London.

London Eye

London’s New Millenium Landmark: London Eye

The London Eye is a recently popular attraction for tourists who come and visit London. London Eye refers to a giant observation wheel situated in the Jubilee Gardens on the South Bank. This 135 meter giant structure was constructed as a highlight of the millennium celebration in London. Currently, it is considered as one of the major highlights of the city and had gained worldwide popularity.

Named as the New Millennium Landmark of London, the London Eye was designed by the husband-wife architectural team of David Marks and Julia Barfield. Their idea of a large observation wheel had been submitted as an entry to the competition to design a new millennium landmark for London. No winner had been declared among the entrants of the competition. However, the couple tried to press on and in the process gained the support of British Airways who then supported their project.

The London Eye has 32 passenger capsules which are sealed and air conditioned. It has a capacity of 800 people and each capsule can hold up to 25 passengers.

The observation wheel’s turning is slow allowing people to embark while it goes on moving. One complete turn takes around thirty minutes. The well-constructed glass capsules on the rim’s outer side allow its passengers to have a breathtaking and wonderful 360-degree view over London.

A clear day allows a good view that can extend as far as 40 km or 25 miles. There are several world famous landmarks that are can be viewed from the wheel some of which are St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.

This giant observation wheel had been regarded as an extraordinary landmark for London. If Paris has an Eiffel Tower, London has a London Eye. Known as the world’s largest observation wheel, it allows people to have a spectacular view of over 55 of London’s famous landmarks through a 30-minute ride.

For tourists, it is surely one unique experience they will never forget. It has captured the people’s imagination and has contributed significantly in the area’s regeneration.

For those who want to experience this popular attraction, it is best to get tickets for the London Eye in advance. Lines for tickets and embarking are both very long. It is significantly less crowded at night. However, tourists can also expect a spectacular view of London during the night time.

At night, the London Eye itself offers a spectacular view from a distance. It is a well-lit giant structure and serves its purpose as a modern landmark of the city.

Big Ben

In Westminster, London at the end of the Houses of Parliament, the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster (or ‘Big Ben’ as it is colloquially named) is one of the most recognizable structures in the world.

Operational by 1859, the history of the Clock Tower’s construction, specifically the “Big Ben” bell that many around the world use as the tower’s namesake, has become one of the UK’s most famous landmarks.

After the original Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire in 1834, British architect Charles Barry was commissioned to redesign a new palace. He collaborated with Augustus Pugin on the design of the actual clock tower, and this particular Clock Tower ended up being Pugin’s final design shortly before his descent into madness and eventual death. Using the Gothic Revival style that Pugin made famous with similar designs, the first 61 meters of structure is stone, leaving the remaining 35 meters of the tower a framed cat iron spire. The four clock faces sit at 55 meters above ground, and the Tower has a total interior volume of 4,650 cubic meters.

clock mechanism is famously reliable, thanks to designer, and amateur horologist Edmund Beckett Denison (aka Lord Grimthorpe). Denison worked together with clockmaker Edward John Dent on the main clock mechanism, and completed work in 1854 before the actual tower had been finished. Using the extra time, Denison invented a new type of 3-legged gravity escapement for the pendulum and clock, providing superior separation and unrivaled accuracy in time-keeping. The clock Denison built has historically kept the time even in the face of attacks such as the Blitz by Nazi Germany in 1940-41 that saw daily bombings in London.

The Great Bell, also known as the ‘Big Ben’ bell, is the largest bell in the Clock Tower and often mistaken for the name of the Tower itself. Originally a 16-ton hour bell, the first Great Bell was mounted in New Palace Yard to allow time for the Clock Tower’s construction. During this time, the original bell cracked while using the striking hammer, and had to be recast. This new bell was cast in 1858, now a 14-ton bell that chimed in A (the musical note), and would ultimately become the ‘Big Ben’ bell. However in 1859, Big Ben also cracked after two months of use in hourly chimes. After deliberation by officials, Big Ben was affixed with a smaller hammer and rotated to avoid hitting the crack.

Holes were also drilled strategically to avoid the crack spreading to other areas, which resulted in a slightly off-key, distinctive chime. Along with Big Ben’s hourly chime, the belfry has four quarter-hour bells that play ‘Westminster Quarters’ (the recognizable chimes typically heard every quarter hour from any grandfather clock), and have helped make the Clock Tower one of the most easily identified landmarks not only by sight, but also by sound.

 

Tower Of London

Standing at twenty towers high, the Tower of London is one of the most well-known prisons in the world aside from New York’s Sing Sing Prison. Its history can be traced all the way back to 800 years ago and is known for its historical and cultural value and the riches stored in there.

The structure had been completed in 1000 A.D. Its original structure had been used as a fort by William the Conqueror. It is more than 100 feet high and has walls measuring 16 feet thick. It was built to be strong and withstand the test of time. It was regarded as the tallest building in London when its structure had been completed. During the 12th century, a king decided to have it painted in white. Thus it was given the name White Tower.

From that time up until now, it is used as a prison. Expensive and timeless collections of crown jewels are also kept in here. Past kings had kept their valuable collections in this tower.

Throughout the years, the Tower of London had been used as a facility to keep important documents, records, the beginning of the Zoo, the Royal Mint and the observatory which was built in the 1600’s.

Wardens which are called the Beefeaters guard the tower since the 1400’s and are wearing bright red uniforms. To date, the military are the ones guarding it.

The tower has a distinctive spiral staircase running through it. The oldest museum of London which is the National Museum of Arms is also housed here which keeps more than 30,000 armor pieces.

At some point in time during the 1800’s, a moat had been drained. Over the years, other buildings had been constructed forming a complex which consists of a gate, Middle Tower, Garden Tower and Byward Tower.

History states that some of its tenants were Henry the VIII’s second wife, Little Princess. Some of the former kings’ victims were also kept in this tower. The torture devices that are displayed and tools had confirmed such speculation. Blood stains along the stones further strengthened this belief.

Ann Boleyn, wife of King Henry was said to have been executed here upon his order due to accusations concerning inappropriate actions. History states that she was ordered to be executed because she gave birth to a daughter instead of a son. Ann Boleyn’s daughter eventually became England’s future Queen. The ghost of Ann Boleyn had been rumored to be wandering through the tower.

One of the main attractions of the tower is the Crown Jewels. Stunning jewels, rings, necklaces and other precious pieces of gems can be found in the tower’s Jewel House.

Famous Queens such as Queen Victoria keep some of their precious jewelries here. The 2,000-carat Star of Africa, which is a large diamond found in an African mine during the 20th century, is also safely housed in this tower.

Madame Tussauds

For anyone who wants to get a closer look at famous Hollywood stars, authors, star athletes, artists, politicians and other prominent figures, visit Madame Tussaud’s museum. Here you will find life size wax sculptures of various personalities that look amazingly real.

Madame Tussaud’s wax museum is well-known for its ancient beginnings. It connected to the modern world through the wax figures of personalities that people of all ages across different nationalities know very well. Its world-renowned success paved its way for expansions in Hong Kong, New York City, Amsterdam and Las Vegas.

Madame Tussaud learned her craft of wax sculpting from a physician named Dr. Curtius for whom she worked as a housekeeper. Dr. Curtius was also the one who taught her how to model wax. Madame Tussaud practiced and mastered her craft by sculpting masks of people who were killed in France during the 19th century. The works of Dr. Curtius were left under the care of Marie after his death. In the year 1835, she held an exhibit of these works in London.

The Chamber of Horrors is one of the well-known grisly attractions. This display is not meant to scare people although it mainly consists of wax figures of the French Revolution victims, criminals, warlords and murderers.

Several pieces of her original works still exist. In fact, she did a wax figure of herself which is displayed at the museum’s entrance.

Madame Tussauds’ wax museum is probably one of the most popular tourist attractions in London. Millions of people visit the museum every year and have their pictures taken beside the life size wax figures of famous personalities. There is a good chance of you finding your favorite Hollywood movie actor or actress and sports star in this wax museum.

Some of the famous people whose wax sculptures are displayed at Madame Tussaud’s include artists like Beyonce Knowles, Madonna, Tina Turner, Luciano Pavarotti, Judy Garland, Elvis Presley, George Clooney, Nicholas Cage, Robin Williams, Ozzy Osborne and Johnny Mathis; star athletes like Tiger Woods, Andre Agassi and Micheal Jordan; well-known personalities such as Princess Diana, George Bush, Oprah Winfrey and Adolph Hitler.

The wax sculptors worked on the wax figures meticulously taking in every small and minute detail to make them look alive and almost real. You would be surprised at how they can create such effect.

In the same building is the London Planetarium which can be found at the west wing which is now being referred to as the auditorium. Regular shows are scheduled everyday. Inquiries can be made via telephone call in order to get the exact time for the shows.

The ideal time to visit these famous London attractions is early morning or late in the afternoon. This is to avoid having to wait for too long in the lines. Madame Tussaud’s is not only famous among visitors and tourists. It had also become a common attraction among the people living there due to the constant and latest additions in their displays.

Trafalgar Square

The Trafalgar Square which is situated in central London, is a famous historic spot in commemoration of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 which marks the British Naval victory of Napoleonic wars. George Ledwell Taylor was the one who suggested the name Trafalgar Square. However, originally, it was supposed to be called King William the Fourth’s Square. It was completed around the middle of 1840’s.

Trafalgar Square is referred to as one of the most popular squares in the world. It has the Nelsons Column, the National Gallery and much to the tourists’ delight, lots of pigeons to watch and marvel at. The column is about 170 feet in height. There are four bronze lions surrounding the column on granite plinths. The unveiling took place in 1868 and was sculpted by Sir Edwin Landseer. The cast was by Marocchetti.

Located in the north side of the square is the National Gallery which houses artwork masterpieces of Leonardo Da Vinci. Alongside the National Gallery is the famous National Portrait Gallery.

The Canada House is situated on the west side and the Church of St. Martins in the northeast corner.

The Strand and the boundary that leads to the London’s Theatre Land can be found on the other side of the Trafalgar Square.

The Café in the square is the best place to enjoy some drinks and snacks. It offers a wide range of freshly made locally sourced foods. It offers hot and cold drinks and is open everyday.

The north side of the Trafalgar Square had undergone redevelopment in 2003. The front area of the National Gallery had been renovated making it passable for people and a flight of stairs leading to the museum was constructed for all visitors and tourists who are visiting this famous London spot. This is considered a great improvement because prior to its construction, the people had to pass through and cross the busy road in order to get to the museum.

The Fourth Plinth is located in the northwest side of the Trafalgar Square. It was built in 1841 and was originally constructed for an equestrian statue. However, it had been empty for so many years. Currently, it houses several specially commissioned works of art.

The Trafalgar Square is included in the Film London’s Top 20 locations following a bumper period of filming in this famous square.

Kensington Palace

The history of the gardens can be traced from way back 1600’s. It was during this time that King William purchased the Nottingham House. Remodeling of the house transformed it into a palace. Through the Hyde Park, the garden was expanded from its original land area of 12 acres to 100 acres.

Since early 1800’s, the Kensington Palace served as a home among the royalties. Although it is still regarded to as the royal residence, some areas had been opened as tourist spots. It was in 1899 that the palace had been opened for public viewing.

It was during the reign of Queen Anne, George I and George II that the palace had undergone remodeling and significant improvements. During the latter part of the year 1890, the house started to get worn out and news came about that it will be demolished. However, Queen Victoria decided to restore the building and during the late 1800’s, the restoration was finally completed.

The first floor holds a room named the Red Saloon where council meetings are usually conducted. Restoration of some parts of the palace had been done.

Display of a wide collection of dresses worn by royalties as well as hats and bags can be found in here. This display can be traced back during the time of Queen Elizabeth II.

Within the vicinity are the Kings and Queens apartments. Original artworks, portraits of families and other exhibits can be found in these apartments. These displays can be traced back all the way during the time of Queen Mary II.

Open for public viewing are the Victorian rooms which show an actual display of furniture and other personal things originally owned by Queen Victoria and her husband named Albert.

The palace’s exterior is considered a legacy of architectural designs surrounded by a breathtakingly landscaped garden.

The garden of the palace blends perfectly well with the Hyde Park. Queen Caroline, wife of George II, was the one who took initiative on this project and had been hands-on in ensuring that the project will turn out well. There are more than 600 acres of beautifully landscaped garden in between the Hyde Park and palace.

Surrounding the palace is a lake extending to about a mile which is referred to as Serpentine. This lake is a famous among nature lovers who love to go boating. Several ponds can also be found around the vicinity surrounding the palace where children can enjoy feeding ducks.

The beautifully landscaped garden contains sculptures some of which are Peter Pan, Elf and a statue of Queen Victoria which was done by her daughter.

There are also fountains, peaceful walk ways and ornaments along the garden. The place in itself is a wonderful place for flying kites, hiking, rollers skating and biking.

A memorial to Princess Diana had been recently added in the park as an attraction which is a large sculpture made up of black granite surrounded with beautiful flowers.

Another memorial which can be found is that of Albert Hall which had been present there for the Queen since the 1870’s. It is a magnificently designed hall with a dome glass for a roof and serves as a theatre for plays and concerts.

To sum it all up, London is a city that offers beautiful and historic scenic spots. A short trip in this city is not enough to be able to visit all the wonderful places that await you.

The Metropolitan Railway – The World’s First Urban Underground Railway

The Metropolitan Railway first opened to the public with a 3 mile long stretch between Paddington and Farringdon Street in 1863, costing roughly £1.3 million. It was the world’s first urban underground railway and was developed by Sir John Fowler using the cut-and-cover method.

Before the railway was built the City of London was suffering increased congestion from horse-drawn carriages. Charles Pearson (1793-1862), a solicitor for the City of London and campaigner of penal reform and the abolition of capital punishment, saw this rise in congestion and was a supporter of producing an underground railway system as early as 1845.

Through the 40’s and 50’s Pearson lobbied for various new railways and stations to be constructed as a method of countering the rise of congestion entering from the city’s suburbs, all of which were rejected. Finally, on the 7th August 1854 a proposal for a railway between Paddington and Farringdon Street was accepted. Although Pearson didn’t hold shares in the new railway company he continued to promote the line and eventually convinced the City of London to fund a major proportion of the project. When the line was operational the once skeptical city sold the shares for a profit.

Charles Pearson died 4 months before the public opening of the Metropolitan Railway. Although he had turned down money from the company (offered as a thank you for his push to open the railway, as well as assistance in gaining funding) his wife was provided a yearly £250 (roughly £28,000 when adjusted for inflation).

Constructing the Metropolitan Railway

The Metropolitan Railway was constructed using the cut-and-cover method, a process in which an area of ground is dug into from the surface producing a large trench. While the trench is open all works are able to be completed with relative ease and space. For the Metropolitan Railway the walls were built up using brick while the roof was produced with a combination of iron girders and elliptical brick archways. Once all work was completed the trench was back-filled with earth and compacted. Today, cut-and-cover is most commonly used on service pipe replacements and maintenance such as; water, gas and electricity cables.

Thames Tunnel Shield

The cut-and-cover method was the main shallow subway production technique in the 1800’s, it was fairly quick and much easier than boring a tunnel through by hand. An example of early tunnel boring techniques can be seen in the Thames Tunnel constructed by Marc & Isambard Brunel. Utilising the tunnel shield, patented by Marc Isambard Bruel & Thomas Cochrane, It was able to progress only 3-4 metres per week. The main problem with cut-and-cover however is the large amount of disruption that can be caused on the surface compared to deep tunnel boring techniques.

Another positive of using the cut-and-cover method was the proximity to the surface; this made smoke and steam ventilation systems easier to install. Despite using condenser type trains (trains which trap and condense the steam produced so it can be re-used) these ventilation systems were greatly necessary in the Metropolitan Railway before the electrification of the central parts of the line, which took place in the early 20th Century. Line extensions further out of the city were not electrified until the 1960’s.

The condenser trains utilised were produced by Beyer, Peacock and Company. After the initial 18 locomotives were so successful a further 120 were ordered and used on the Metropolitan, District and other cut-and-cover lines. In the end 148 of these condenser locomotives were produced and run until the electrification of parts of the line in 1905.

Metropolitan Railway Steam Condenser Locomotive

During the construction phase of the railway there was skepticism among local and national newspapers, some referring to it as ‘the drain’. This skepticism wasn’t helped by several problems encountered during construction, including; burst sewerage pipes flooding the tunnel and collapsing excavations damaging nearby buildings. However, on the first day of opening on the 10th January 1863 the railway carried 38,000 passengers with extra trains needed to supply the demand. In the first 12 months an estimated 9.5 million passengers were carried with a further 12 million in the following 12 months.

The Metropolitan Railway extended several times from its central London routes. These expansions to the suburbs provided an opportunity for the company to retain any surplus land that ran alongside its tracks and develop housing, providing its own mortgage and finance schemes. These homes were mainly purchased by city workers due to their proximity to stations and the ease of commuting into London. In 1915 these areas were dubbed Metro-Land. As part of the Metro-Land experience the company would put on special catering cars on their peak trains both in the morning and the evening. The idea was for city workers to have their breakfast while on their way to work and have their dinner when returning in the evenings.

At the beginning of the 20th Century other companies were opening up deep-level electric tracks, these became much more popular with transport users due to the lack of pollution. This popularity of electric trains forced both the Metropolitan Railway and the Metropolitan District Railway to electrify their own trains. After a successful 6 month trial on the railway it was decided that electric was the way forward and they began electrifying the central routes and in 1905 the first electric trains were running on Metropolitan Railway tracks.

Electricity not only significantly reduced pollution but also sped up services too. The circle line’s electrification reduced travel time from 70 minutes for a full circle to just 50 minutes proving electric traction was the way forward. Despite this clear advantage of electricity it wasn’t until the early 60’s that the entire Metropolitan Railway (later called the Metropolitan Line) was fully running on electricity.

In 1933 the Metropolitan Railway merged with other underground railways and bus companies to form the London Passenger Transport Board, which soon traded under the name London Transport. From then on it became known as the Metropolitan Line and is still known as that today.

Further Reading:
– TFL – Time Line & History of London Underground Events
– Memories of the Metropolitan Railway

Sources
– Ejge Geotechnical Engineers- Cut-and-Cover Information
– Amersham History – Metro-Land Information
– History today – General Overview of the Met Railway

Image Sources
– Cover Image – London transport Museum -Metropolitan Railway Roundel
– Illustration of cut-and-cover trench close to Kings Cross, London – The Illustrated London News, 2nd February 1861, Page 99, Author: P Justyne
– Thames Tunnel Illustration
– Steam Condenser locomotive – Loz Pycock, 2009 on Flickr