Tag Archives: メトロポリタン鉄道

Happy 150th Anniversary, London Tube!!


Hello, again! I hope all had a wonderful holiday season. Now I am back. But I am rusty. I am not really in writing mood, so I need some time to get back on track, so bare with me for a while.

世界最古の公共鉄道ネットワークであるロンドン地下鉄(愛称Tube)は今年、1863年1月10日の開通から150年を迎えた。2013年は、記念切手や2ポンド硬貨2種の発行を含む、様々な記念イベントが予定されているが、その一環で、昨日12日、1898年製造の蒸気エンジンを搭載した蒸気機関車「Met Locomotive No 1.」が、当時のルート(現在ハマースミス&シティー線)を乗客を乗せて走行した。世界最古の地下鉄ネットワークであるメトロポリタン鉄道は、開通当時、パディントン駅ファリンドン駅間約6.5km足らずを運行。開通当日の乗客数4万人から150年を経た今、Tubeは、一日平均乗客数400万人を誇る、世界有数の巨大地下鉄ネットワークに成長した。


その他、将来予定されている計画は、年内のヴィクトリア線セントラル線の運行増、運行増とBatterseaまでの延長を含むノーザン線のアップグレード、Victoriaや Tottenham Court Roadなど主要駅の改装、クロスレールの新規開通が続く。また、バリアフリー駅を増やす事も急務だ。実際、エレベーターやエスカレーターのない駅も多く、大きなスーツケースやベビーカーなどを持って、悪戦苦闘しながら階段を上り下りする人もよく見かける。車椅子アクセスのある駅も、特にセントラル・ロンドンでは少ない(地下鉄マップ)。オリンピック時は、サッカー会場となったウェンブリー駅で、試合終了から随分経ってるにもかかわらず、一つしかないエレベーター車椅子の方達が列を作って忍耐強く待ちをしていたのが、悲しかった。


* 参照記事: Huffington Post

London Underground, known as Tube, marks 150 years this week. A series of special events are being held throughout this year, including issuing of a set of special stamps and two new two-pound coins. The Metropolitan Railway was the world’s first underground rail network opened on January 10, 1863, and stretched less than four miles between Paddington and Farringdon. Yesterday on 12th, a steam train with an 1898-built steam engine, known as Met Locomotive No 1., carried passengers along part of the original Metropolitan Line, now the Hammersmith & City Line. On its opening day, the Metropolitan Railway carried 40,000 people, but now the Tube has grown one of the biggest underground networks in the world, carrying 4 millions passengers everyday. 

Unfortunately the oldest underground network means they have a lot of repairs and improvements needed. And with the reason, Tube fares are quite expensive. London has made a big effort to to improve the networks in recent years, mainly for the London 2012 Olympics, and messes were all over the Tube stations. As a result, some lines such as the Jubilee and Victoria lines have achieved bigger capacity and faster journeys; a new station of Blackfriars has been rebuilt; a fleet of new air-conditioned trains has been introduced on the Metropolitan line, and over the next few years will be introduced to 40% of the Tube network – thank god, the air is stuffy and sometimes unbearably hot in the summer! 

Further improvements to come this year include higher frequency services on the Victoria and Central lines. Then completion of the Northern line upgrade with higher frequency services; rebuilding of key stations such as Victoria and Tottenham Court Road, an extension of the Northern line to Battersea; and delivery of Crossrail will come in near future. The expansion of step-free stations is another crucial improvement. Many stations have no step-free access and there are only handful stations have wheelchair access (Tube map), and I often see people struggling to go up/down with a huge suitcase or a baby car. During the Olympic, I also saw a queue of several wheel-chair users at Wembley Station, patiently waiting for an elevator which can carry only one wheelchair, even long after a football game was over and only few people in the station – it was really sad to see.

It’s not easy to fix old structure, but hope they can keep up.

* reference: Huffington Post