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The London Underground
The London Underground, also known as the tube or simply the underground is a subterranean rapid transit system that covers a large part of The Grater London and part of some Home Counties around London. The system has 270 stations and 402 kilometers of track, 52% of the track is actually above the ground and it is still part of what is know as the London Underground.
The network is the oldest rapid transit system, the world’s first underground railway and also the first line to operate electric traction trains.
It all began in the 19th century with the construction of the Metropolitan Railway, finished in 1863 and 20 years later expanded with the District Railway to complete the London Circle. It was the world’s first underground railway, and it consisted in gas-lit wooden carriages pulled by steam locomotives. The first deep-level line opened in 1890 and electric trains were introduced in the same year. The Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) was founded in 1902 and by 1907 all the underground sections of the District and Metropolitan Railways were already electrified.
The World War I delayed the expansion of the tracks, actually during this period the Bakerloo Railways, Central London Railways and other tubes were used as shelters during the air raids in 1915.The same occurred during The World War II in 1939.
The London Passenger Transport Board fused all the organizations related to the railways in London and it was nationalized in 1948. Far along in the early years of the 21st century, London Underground was restructured in a Public-Private Partnership where private corporations elevated the quality and maintained the infrastructure. In 2003 Transport for London (TfL) got in charged. Nowadays there is a planned upgrade to increase capacity on several Underground lines.