Inside The Tube: Going Underground

Inside The Tube: Going Underground

The World's First Deep Tube Line
Episode 1  |  The History Channel  |  October 4, 2017

Rob Bell uncovers the pioneering history of the London Underground - with special access to its hidden workings, and meeting the staff who know and love it. He explores the construction of the world's first deep Tube line - known today as the Northern Line. The Northern Line runs for 60km through London, connecting north and south across the Thames and 700,000 passengers rely on it every day. But to build it, its Victorian engineers had to overcome unbelievable obstacles. One man, James Greathead, pioneered a new kind of tunnelling machine, that allowed deep tunnels to be built faster and more safely than ever before. But the new Tube line needed newfangled electric trains, lifts and escalators to make it work too. Rob discovers the remains of the first-ever station on the Northern Line, King William Street, just before it is sealed up forever. He gets down on the tracks with the maintenance team at Camden Junction, who toil on this Spaghetti Junction of the Tube every night to keep it working, and opens the sealed tunnels of an abandoned extension of the line in north London. And he meets the station manager at Balham to hear the story of how one of the worst tragedies on the Tube unfolded during the Blitz. Finally he's allowed into the latest tunnelling work, as the Northern Line is extended to Battersea Power Station - where the oldest deep Tube in the world is becoming the newest.

Rob Bell uncovers the pioneering history of the London Underground - with special access to its hidden workings, and meeting the staff who know and love it. He explores the construction of the world's first deep Tube line - known today as the Northern Line. The Northern Line runs for 60km through London, connecting north and south across the Thames and 700,000 passengers rely on it every day. But to build it, its Victorian engineers had to overcome unbelievable obstacles. One man, James Greathead, pioneered a new kind of tunnelling machine, that allowed deep tunnels to be built faster and more safely than ever before. But the new Tube line needed newfangled electric trains, lifts and escalators to make it work too. Rob discovers the remains of the first-ever station on the Northern Line, King William Street, just before it is sealed up forever. He gets down on the tracks with the maintenance team at Camden Junction, who toil on this Spaghetti Junction of the Tube every night to keep it working, and opens the sealed tunnels of an abandoned extension of the line in north London. And he meets the station manager at Balham to hear the story of how one of the worst tragedies on the Tube unfolded during the Blitz. Finally he's allowed into the latest tunnelling work, as the Northern Line is extended to Battersea Power Station - where the oldest deep Tube in the world is becoming the newest.

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