FILE – On 9th January 2013, the London Underground will celebrate 150 years since the first journey was made on the Metropolitan line, between Paddington and Farringdon stations. The London underground tube network now comprises of eleven lines connecting all areas of the capital and its surrounding suburbs, across six fare zones. Recent technological improvements include the 2003 introduction of a contactless payment system, the oyster card, whilst the summer of 2012 saw wifi connectivity available in stations for the first time, to coincide with the London Olympic Games. UNITED KINGDOM – JANUARY 13: Photograph of contractorøs officials posed in a cutting in a street with demolished houses, with a stationary steam engine powering machinery in the background. The Metropolitan Railway opened the worldøs first underground railway on 10 January 1863, it was built to link Londonøs three main railway stations, Paddington, Euston and Kingøs Cross. Construction caused great disruption in Londonøs streets and was built using the øCut and Coverø method. Houses were demolished and the track was laid in huge cuttings lined with brickwork. They were then roofed over and the streets rebuilt. The photograph is one of a series commissioned by the engineer who designed the railway, Sir John Fowler. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)


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