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Transportation in London

London became the world's largest city from about 1831 to 1925. This growth was aided by London's first railways, which put countryside towns within easy reach of the city. The rail network expanded very rapidly, and caused these places to grow while London itself expanded into surrounding fields. Rising traffic on the city roads led to the creation of the world's first metro system—the London Underground—in 1863, driving further expansion and urbanisation. Because of this rapid growth, London became one of the first cities in human history to reach a population of one million, and was the first ever to surpass five million.

London Underground Railway

London Underground Railway
  • The London underground railway partially solved the housing crisis by carrying large masses of people to and from the city.
  • The very first section of the Underground in the world opened on 10 January 1863 between Paddington and Farrington Street in London.
  • Initially 10,000 passengers used this railway system
  • In 1880 the expanded train service carried 40 million passengers a year.
  • In the beginning people were afraid to travel by this underground railway system. They thought they would suffocate from lack of air.
  • Many objected to the Underground railway system as 900 houses had to be destroyed to build 2 miles of the railway.
  • Eventually all the fears were appeased and the underground became very popular.
  • By the twentieth century, most large metropolises had a well developed metro –railway system.

Benefits of this Mass Transport System

  • Population in the city became more dispersed.
  • Better-planned suburbs and a good railway network enabled large numbers to live outside central London and travel to work.
  • These new conveniences wore down social distinctions.

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