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Up the tube

Londoners regard the underground as a hellhole-dirty, smelly, with over-crowded carriages that inexplicably stop between stations. But they ought to be grateful for the tube, with its magic doors and staircases, and listed suburban stations

By Roy Kerridge   June 1997

I had been invited up to Birmingham for a wedding. Over the telephone, my Brummie friend told me that she had only been to London once. “I was with a party from the hospital where I work. It was wonderful! We went on the tube, and just shot from here to there in no time! There’s nothing like it in Birmingham.”

Instead of complaining about the Northern Line, we Londoners ought to feel grateful for the tube, the envy of other cities. Liverpool and Newcastle have local lines of faintly tube-like appearance but they go underground for very short distances,…

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