10 fun facts about subway systems of the world

Fun facts


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What is a museum train and which is the only metro to have made it to Unesco’s Heritage list?

Subway, metro, underground, the Tube, U-Bahn… There are many names across different cultures and languages but they all refer to the same thing and we’re here to explore some fun facts about this modern mode of transportation. Here they come!

#1 New York City’s metro has the greatest number of stations

New York City’s subway has 424 stations and station complexesNew York City’s subway has 424 stations and station complexes — Shutterstock

Perhaps not by being the oldest or the busiest, but New York City subway can still make it to the metro hall of fame. The local system has 424 stations and station complexes, far exceeding the number of stations elsewhere. 

#2 The world’s northernmost and southernmost metro systems

You can find the world’s most northerly metro in Helsinki, Finland. Its Mellunmäki metro station is the northernmost station and terminus and it was opened in 1989. 

On the other hand, Buenos Aires, Argentina is home to the southernmost subway station — Plaza de los Virreyes – Eva Perón, opened in 1986.

#3 Moscow’s metro runs a museum train


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Moscow’s underground has a reputation for being among the prettiest in the world and it might not come as a surprise that it runs a special museum train.

The Aquarelle Train operates a regular route like any other train in the city but it’s easily recognizable from the rest. Its exterior has been decorated in floral patterns and the inside turned into a fake museum, transforming the whole commuting experience to another level.  

#4 London has the oldest underground in the world

The world’s first underground opened in 1863 in London. Initially, it comprised mere seven stations, connecting Paddington and Farringdon Street in Central London. Now, in more than 150 years of existence, it has grown into a network of 270 stations with 250 miles (400 km) of track.

The first tracks were built using a cut-and-cover method, digging out a trench just below the surface and covering it with a roof strong enough to hold the life on top of it. The widely spread name “The Tube” comes from a method used later for construction, creating circular tunnels deeper in the ground. 

#5 The deepest located station is in Kyiv

Arsenalna is the deepest located station in the worldArsenalna is the deepest located station in the world — Shutterstock

At a depth of 105.5 meters (346 ft) beneath the city of Kyiv lies the deepest station in the world — Arsenalna. Reaching the station can take up to five minutes of going down several escalators and platforms.

#6 There are about 180 metro systems globally

There are about 180 subway systems hosted in 178 cities and 56 countries in the world. Asian countries belong to the frontrunners in building new metro systems in the last decades, with countries like China and India in the lead.

#7 Tokyo has the busiest metro system

Tokyo is the busiest metro system in the worldTokyo is the busiest metro system in the world — Shutterstock

With almost 3.5 billion journeys in 2017, Tokyo tops the world statistics on the busiest subways.

#8 Fastest time to travel to all London metro stations

In 2015, Andy James and Steve Wilson set a world record for the fastest time needed to travel to all London stations. It took them exactly 15 hours, 45 minutes, and 38 seconds to visit them all.

#9 Budapest’s metro is the only one in Unesco

Since 2002, Budapest’s M1 line is the only metro system in the world to have been listed in Unesco World Heritage.

Budapest’s metro system is among the prettiest and oldest. It was built back in 1896 as the oldest one in continental Europe and second oldest in the world, predated only by the London Underground.

#10  France’s Châtelet-Les Halles is the most complex station

Châtelet-Les Halles is among the largest and most complex underground stations in the world. It connects three train lines and five metro lines and platforms separated by up to 800 meters (0.49 miles). For its complexity, it’s split into three sectors — Forum, Rivoli, Seine — hosting over 750,000 travelers every weekday.

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