Portal:London Transport

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London Transport
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg

The London Transport system is one of the oldest and largest public transport systems in the world. Many components of its transport system, such as the double-decker bus, the Hackney Carriage black taxi and the London Underground, are internationally recognised symbols of London.

Most transport services in London are controlled by Transport for London (TfL), an executive agency of the Greater London Authority. TfL-controlled services include the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, the London Overground, Buses and Trams, most of which accept payment by the Oyster card. TfL also administers the congestion charge zone and the low emission zone.

London has a comprehensive rail network with several major railway stations linking to the rest of the country. International travel is possible from two international railway stations at St Pancras International and Stratford International, which connect to mainland Europe through the Eurostar service, or from one of six international airports, including Heathrow or Gatwick.

London is the starting point for a number of motorway routes. The M25 is an orbital motorway which enables vehicles to avoid travelling through central London and is one of the busiest motorways in Europe.

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Routemaster RM758.jpg Hackney carriage.jpg Westminster.tube.station.jubilee.arp.jpg Unit 378013 at Imperial Wharf.JPG DLR unit 109 at Heron Quays.JPG Tramlink-Beckenham Jn.jpg Eurostar at St Pancras Jan 2008.jpg Savoy Pier.jpg BA Planes T4 2004.jpg
Buses Taxis Underground Overground DLR Tramlink National Rail River Services Heathrow Airport
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Tower Subway 1870.jpg
Tower Subway is a tunnel that runs under the River Thames that was first used as one of the first underground railways in London. The tunnel is located between Tower Hill on the north bank and Vine Street, off Tooley Street on the South Bank. The line was operated over a short distance using a stationary car and single carriage, and a cable system. The whole system gained parliamentary approval in 1868 but at first no contractor was willing to build it due the difficulties experienced during the construction of the Thames Tunnel. This was overcome when James Henry Greathead tendered for construction and the tunnel was built by Peter W. Barlow between 1869–1870 using a cylindrical tunnelling shield they designed.

The Tower Subway was eventually superseded by Tower Bridge which was built a few hundred yards downriver in 1894. In 1898, the Subway was closed and was then used by the London Hydraulic Power Company for hydraulic tubes and water mains. It survived a World War II bomb blast which resulted in at point of impact the radius reduced to 1.2m and was found to still be in excellent condition. Nowadays the tunnel is used for mains and telecommunication cables.


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Charles Tyson Yerkes (25 June 1837 – 29 December 1905) was an American financier. He played a major part in developing mass-transit systems in Chicago and London. Yerkes was born in the Northern Liberties, a district of Philadelphia, the son of a banker. At 17 he became a clerk in a grain brokerage and at 22 set up his own firm and joined the Philadelphia stock exchange. By 1865 he had moved into banking and specialized in selling municipal, state, and government bonds. A large speculative trade with Philadelphia public money ended disastrously, and he was left insolvent and narrowly avoided being jailed. Having moved to Chicago in 1881, Yerkes became involved in public transportation when his consortium began taking over street railway companies. His aim was to achieve a monopoly of public transport in the city and he used bribery and blackmail in order to further his ambition. Following an unsuccessful attempt to bribe the city council and state legislature into granting him a 100-year franchise for the tramway system, Yerkes sold his transport stocks in 1899 and moved to New York.

In September 1900, he became involved in underground railways in London, buying the unbuilt Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway. In 1902, he established the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) which bought a number tube railway companies which had not been able to find finance. Money was quickly raised using complex financial instruments and the UERL built and opened four tube lines by 1907. Yerkes died in December 1905 shortly before the first of these, the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway, opened in March 1906. Through subsequent acquisition and expansion, the UERL became the core of the London Underground and London's main bus operator.

In addition to his railway's in London and Chicago, Yerkes is remembered through the Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin and the Yerkes crater on the Moon.


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Victoria line 2009 Stock train at Euston.

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  • ...that at 44 tons, the locomotives of the Central London Railway's first underground trains were so heavy that they shook buildings as they passed 60 feet below and were scrapped after three years?

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Geographic London Underground maps
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Recognised content

Featured article Featured articles (29)

1910 London to Manchester air raceAlbert Bridge, LondonAldwych tube stationAlbert Stanley, 1st Baron AshfieldBaker Street and Waterloo RailwayBattersea BridgeBrill TramwayBrill railway stationCentral London RailwayCharing Cross, Euston and Hampstead RailwayChelsea BridgeCity and South London RailwayGreat Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton RailwayHerne Hill railway stationCharles HoldenLondon Necropolis CompanyMetropolitan RailwayRAF NortholtFrank PickQuainton Road railway stationRichmond Bridge, LondonEdgar SpeyerUnderground Electric Railways Company of LondonVauxhall BridgeWaddesdon Road railway stationWandsworth BridgeWestcott railway stationWood Siding railway stationWotton (Metropolitan Railway) railway station

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List of former and unopened London Underground stationsList of London Underground stationsList of works by Charles HoldenTimeline of the London Underground

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Brill TramwayUnderground Electric Railways Company of London

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A1 in LondonA215 roadActon Town tube stationAngel tube stationArnos Grove tube stationWilliam Henry BarlowBlackwall TunnelBOAC Flight 712Bow Back RiversInfrastructure of the Brill TramwayBritish AirwaysChesham branchChiswick BridgeDartford CrossingDenmark StreetDistrict RailwayDown Street tube stationEmbankment tube stationEurostarEuston tube stationSir John Fowler, 1st BaronetGloucester Road tube stationHammersmith & City lineHammerton's FerryHigh Speed 1Highgate tube stationHistory of British AirwaysHolborn tube stationLondon Country North EastLondon Necropolis RailwayLondon Necropolis railway stationLondon Underground departmental stockM11 link road protestMorden tube stationOld Kent RoadPark LaneCharles PearsonPiccadillySouth Kensington tube stationTillingbourne Bus CompanyUpminster Bridge tube stationWestminster tube stationWimbledon and Sutton RailwayWoolwich Ferry

Transport in London
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