South Kensington Station, Metropolitan and District Railways. Photograph 2003 by George P. Landow. Here the classical columns preserve something of the effect of the original Doric arch at Euston by Philip Hardwick. [This mage may be freely used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.]

I do like the Underground. There's something surreal about plunging into the bowels of the earth to catch a train. It's a little world of its own down there, with its own strange winds and weather systems, its own eerie noises and oily smells. Even when you've descended so far into the earth that you've lost your bearings utterly and wouldn't be in the least surprised to pass a troop of blackened miners coming off shift, there's always the rumble and tremble of a train passing somewhere on an unknown line even farther below. And it all happens in such orderly quiet: all these thousands of people passing on stairs and escalators, stepping on and off crowded trains, sliding off into the darkness with wobbling heads, and never speaking, like characters from Night of the Living Dead. — Bill Bryson.


Bryson, Bill. Notes from a Small Island. NY: Avon, 1995. P. 40.

Wolman, Christian. The Subterranean Railway: How the London Underground was built and how it changed the city forever. Rev. ed. London: Atlantic Books, 2005.

Last modified 3 January 2006