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  • 2013-05-16T21:00:00+01:00 on BBC Two
  • 60 mins
  • 1 hour, 0 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest

Underground: The Tube goes behind the scenes of the world's oldest, biggest and busiest underground train network, during the biggest overhaul in its 150 year history. Filmed with unique access to all areas of the Tube, this series takes us to places we've always wanted to see - behind hoardings to reveal massive new engineering works; inside the command centre to find out what running the world's most complex train set is really like; and into the hidden world of the Underground at night. The series follows key members of the Tube's 19,000 staff - from the chief operating officer down to the litter pickers who walk miles of track every night collecting rubbish. Drivers, station staff and emergency response workers all reveal their unique perspective on the passengers. From tourists to suburban commuters to drunks getting the last train home, we capture the life of the Tube in all its guises. And with ten billion pounds currently being spent on the biggest upgrade of any rail network ever, we show how the process of dragging a Victorian infrastructure kicking and screaming into the 21st century doesn't always run on rails.

1 episode

Special 1 An Underground History

  • 2013-05-16T21:00:00+01:00 — 60 mins

In 2013 London Underground is 150 years old. The world's first underground railway is spending its anniversary year celebrating its own history. They're sending a steam train back underground, and there's a Royal visit to prepare for. On the tube, history is everywhere - it's down every tunnel, in every tunnel, in every sign and design, and in the lives of the unsung people who built it and run it today. Following on from BBC2's The Tube series, this programme tells the story of the underground through the eyes of the people who work for it. Farringdon station supervisor Iain MacPherson reveals why his station - the original terminus - was constructed in the 1860s, and recalls the dark days of Kings Cross in the 1980s. Piccadilly line driver Dylan Glenister explains why every Edwardian station on his line has its own unique tiling pattern and how, in the 1930s, the construction of new stations expanded the borders of London. And there's Head of Design and Heritage, Mike Ashworth, whose predecessor pioneered the art of branding in the 1920s and Customer Service Assistant Steve Parkinson, who was part of a wave of new recruits from the Caribbean from the 50s. With privileged access to disused stations and rare archive footage, this is the tube's hidden history, revealing why it was first built and how it has shaped London ever since.

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