For many of us Londoners the tube is something which needs to be endured rather than enjoyed. Big improvements have been made to the Victoria line with new bigger and more comfortable trains with wider aisles and doors, and higher ceilings.
Victoria Line History
Funding for a deep-level “Route C” line, better known as the Victoria line, was approved back in 1955. The grand opening of the Victoria line, or “London’s Pride”, was on 7 March 1969. Queen Elizabeth II was the first reigning monarch to take the Tube, which was the inaugural ride on the Victoria line from Green Park.
The new trains have dedicated spaces for wheelchairs and security features like CCTV in every carriage with push-button emergency alarms connecting directly to the driver. Engineering minds may be interested to know that the new trains are equipped with regenerative braking technology, which means energy is returned to the rails to be used by other trains, rather than adding to heat in the tunnels.
We are all familiar with the “signal error” messages on the tube. A new state of the art signalling system has been installed for the Victoria line meaning new trains can run more quickly and closer together providing more capacity on the line. The Victoria line, as of Jan 2013, can run up to 33 trains an hour – so trains are less than two minutes apart at peak times. This is the highest ever frequency on any London Underground line.
The Victoria line can now carry about 10,000 more passengers an hour overall. The Victoria line can reach speeds of up to 50mph as the stations are further apart.
Hazel Baker is a qualified CIGA Tour Guide who delivers guided walks and private tours in London. View all of Hazel’s walking tours.