Friday, October 8

Westminster Underground, 9:15AM

With my trusty blackberry camera, I photograph the underground where I may find sufficient light. The station one of 270 on 11 lines which transport 3.4 million passengers on any given work day, any time of year. The daily ridership record set in 2007 when over 1 billion passenger journeys were recorded, making it the third busiest metro after Paris and Moscow. The network is about 250 miles long and opened for business in 1863 - the first underground railway system in the world. Despite its name, 55% of the tracks are above ground. The escalators alone are special: they are some of the longest in Europe, each custom-built. The longest is at Angel station, 197 ft long, with a vertical rise of 90 ft. They run 20 hours a day, 364 days a year, with 95% of them operational at any one time, and can cope with 13,000 passengers per hour. (All data from Transport For London)

The Jubilee Line, where my picture taken, is the youngest line having begun operations in 1979. The tracks cover 22 miles from Stanmore to Straford. The Jubilee is considered a "deep level" tube bored using a tunnelling shield, run about 65 feet below the surface, with each track in a separate tunnel. The JL saw 127,584 thousand journeys last year. The stations structures support Portcullis House above us.

Whenever I am on the tube I think of the people who took shelter from the German bombers. That and people could smoke on the trains until '84.