London Underground

London Underground

The London underground is a public transport system built under the streets of London that carries an incredible 5 million passengers per day. It is the most convenient way of getting to most of London’s attractions.

About London Underground

The Underground train network is the oldest subway system in the worlds and opened in 1863. It has long been nicknamed “The Tube” based on the way the tunnels were made. The city of London is well covered by a total of 11 different Tube Lines that cover an amazing 402 kilometres (249 mile) and the new Elizabeth Line, formally known as the Crossrail will add an additional 118 km. The fare system uses zones with the centre of London being classified under zone 1, while zones 6 to 9 provides services to the City’s outskirts. The fares increase as you move further out of the city.

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London Underground Map

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London Underground Fares and Tickets

For most visitors to London the undergrounds will be the quickest, cheapest and easiest way to get around town. Some stations are close to each other and can also be easily walked in some instances. The fares to use London underground are quite reasonable however there are multiple payment methods and it can get confusing for new visitors.

The fare structure depends on how far you travel, the time of day and the way you pay. As a visitor you can buy an Oyster Card or a Travelcard.

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Oyster Cards

Oyster Cards are electronic smart cards similar to those used in Australia that come fully charged with credit that can be used as you travel on the Tube, it can also be used on the bus network, Docklands Light Railway, London overground and the Thames river services. Oyster cards can be reused and never expire. If you run out of pay as you go credit, simply top up your credit at a Tube station ticket machine to use your card again. more information

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Visitor Oyster Cards

Visitor Oyster cards are strangely enough designed particularly for visitors to London. The fare structure is the sames regardless of which type of Oyster card you buy. The main difference between Visitor Oyster Cards and oyster cards is that you cannot load a travel card onto a Visitor Oyster. The visitor oyster does sometimes have special offers including theatre tickets available to visitors. If you are travelling for 7 days or more then the normal Oyster Card is better value, The Visitor Oyster Card is better for shorter stays. more information

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Contactless Payment

Contactless payment is effectively using your mobile or credit card to tap and pay similar to how its operates in Australia. The difference is the you can use it directly on the tube payment reader without needing to buy an oyster card. Only certain cards are compatible however in our experience most Australian cards are that include a chip. The fares are the same as using an oyster.

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Travel Cards

Travelcards are paper tickets that can be used for either 1 or 7 days on for Tube, Docklands Railway,  Buses, London Overground or National Rail Stations. They can be cheaper than oyster cards depending on the amount of travel you plan to do. What you can do is buy a travel card and then load up the fares onto an oyster (not Visitor Oyster) more information

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London Underground Lines

The London Underground consists of a total of 11 lines, Bakerloo, Central, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee, Metropolitan, Northern, Piccadilly, Victoria, Waterloo & City with the new Elizabeth lines scheduled to open late 2018. The lines run in all directions from North to South, East to West with some lines also diagonally crossing the city. Baker Street station has a total of 5 lines intersecting through it and 10 platforms.

Underground LineColorStationsDistanceOpened
Bakerloo Line Brown 25 23.2 km 1906
Central Line Red 49 74 km 1900
Circle Line Yellow 36 27 km 1863
District Line Green 60 64 km 1868
Hammersmith & City Line Pink 29 25.5 km 1863
Jubilee Line Grey 27 36.2 km 1979
Metropolitan Line Magenta 34 67 km 1863
Northern Line Black 50 58 km 1890
Piccadilly Line Blue 53 71 km 1906
Victoria Line Light BLue 16 21 km 1968
Waterloo & City Line Turquoise 2 2.37 1898
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London Underground Facts

  • Worlds oldest subway system opened in 1863
  • 11 Lines and 270 stations
  • 402 kilometres of tracks (Additional 118 km under construction)
  • 5 million passengers per day
  • Aldgate station was built over a plague pit from 1665.
  • Average speed on the Underground is 20.5 miles per hour
  • 543 Trains on the network at any one time.
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London Underground Stations

The following is a summary of the main London Underground (Tube) Stations that you might visit while touring London. The number of nearby attractions is shown in the brackets, click on the name to see a list of the nearby attractions, tours and accommodation. Tube stations can be easily identified, even from a distance, because they bear the London Underground logo, a circle with the word “Underground”.

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London Underground Status

London Guide Online