Week 35: FMP-The fact and data of London Underground

by wangtianchen

My main research area of FMP is London Underground and the passengers.

I am also one of the passengers in London Underground, as my travel experience in the underground, it was crowd and noise. Specially, some main stations, I felt tired to walk thought the plenty of passengers in passageway and disappointed of the frustrating environment.

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Passengers in London Underground – photos by Tina

Passengers in London Underground – video by Tina

As some secondary research from internet. In 2009, a survey on London’s subway train system has found over 80 per cent of passengers are stressed. The report is called ‘Too close for comfort: Passengers‘ experiences of the London Underground’. It was made by a London transport committee, who questioned more than 700 commuters. The findings paint an ugly picture of the famous railway system. The situation is so bad that the majority of travellers had to “psyche” themselves up before getting on a Tube train. People had to prepare mentally for their rail journey. Overcrowding was the biggest cause of discomfort. Over half of those questioned said they couldn’t get on the first train to arrive at a station because it was too full. Others said they hated being squashed against strangers. [1]

Personalty, it is impossible to reduce the passengers due to London is a public rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London, Office Workers, Tourists, Visitors are using London Underground frequently. However, if a effective interaction design can be used to assist the frustrating environment of passengers in the London underground? Specially, majority of office workers are going to work by London tube, they suffering more influence than others.

The Tube has been an integral part of London’s history for 150 years. There are some facts and data of London Underground that collected until 2013.

Facts & figures

Date opened 1863
Annual passenger numbers 1.265 billion
Length of network 402km
Busiest station Waterloo – 89.4 million passengers per year
Annual train km travelled 76.2 million km
Average train speed 33kph
Proportion of network in tunnels 45%
Longest continuous tunnel East Finchley to Morden (via Bank) – 27.8km
Total number of escalators 430
Station with most escalators Waterloo – 23
Longest escalator Angel – 60 metres
Shortest escalator Stratford – 4.1 metres
Total number of lifts on the network 167
Number of moving walkways Four, two each at Waterloo and Bank
Deepest lift shaft Hampstead – 55.2 metres
Shortest lift shaft King’s Cross St. Pancras – 2.3 metres
Step-free stations 66
Station with most platforms Baker Street – 10
Highest station above mean sea level Amersham (Metropolitan line) – 147 metres
Deepest station below street level Hampstead (Northern line) – 58.5 metres
Furthest station from central London Chesham (Metropolitan line) – 47km to Aldgate
Longest distance between stations Chesham to Chalfont & Latimer (Metropolitan line) – 6.3km
Shortest distance between stations Leicester Square to Covent Garden (Piccadilly line) – 0.3km
Longest direct journey Epping to West Ruislip (Central line) – 54.9km


[1] Banville, S. (2009). London Subway Passengers Stressed Out. Retrieved May 29, 2015 from http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/0912/091203-london_underground.html

[2] TFL. (2013). Facts & figures. Retrieved May 29, 2015 from https://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/what-we-do/london-underground/facts-and-figures