Vintage: London Underground (1950s)

Vintage: London Underground (1950s)


On 1 January 1948, under the provisions of the Transport Act 1947, the London Passenger Transport Board was nationalised and renamed the London Transport Executive, becoming a subsidiary organisation of the British Transport Commission, which was formed on the same day. Under the same act, the country’s main line railways were also nationalised, and their reconstruction was given priority over the maintenance of the Underground and most of the unfinished plans of the pre-war New Works Programme were shelved or postponed.

However, the District line needed new trains and an unpainted aluminium train entered service in 1953, this becoming the standard for new trains. In the early 1960s the Metropolitan line was electrified as far as Amersham, British Rail providing services for the former Metropolitan line stations between Amersham and Aylesbury. In 1962, the British Transport Commission was abolished, and the London Transport Executive was renamed the London Transport Board, reporting directly to the Minister of Transport. Also during the 1960s, the Victoria line was dug under central London and, unlike the earlier tubes, the tunnels did not follow the roads above. The line opened in 1968–71 with the trains being driven automatically and magnetically encoded tickets collected by automatic gates gave access to the platforms.

London Underground rat-catchers with their net and ferrets, ca. 1950.

London Underground rat-catchers with their net and ferrets, ca. 1950.

All-night dancing, 1955.

All-night dancing, 1955.

Downtown Soho, 1956.

Downtown Soho, 1956.

Piccadilly Circus, 1956.

Piccadilly Circus, 1956.

Rush hour, 1956.

Rush hour, 1956.

Rush hour, London Bridge, 1956.

Rush hour, London Bridge, 1956.

Silver trains, 1957.

Silver trains, 1957.

Bus strike, 1958.

Bus strike, 1958.

Oxford Circus, 1958.

Oxford Circus, 1958.

Oxford Circus, 1958.

Oxford Circus, 1958.

A group of women cleaning one of London’s underground tunnels, 1952.

A group of women cleaning one of London’s underground tunnels, 1952.

London Bridge, 1958.

London Bridge, 1958.

Advertisements being pasted up, 1952.

Advertisements being pasted up, 1952.

Tube cleaner, 1952.

Tube cleaner, 1952.

Tube train at Picadilly Circus, 1952.

Tube train at Picadilly Circus, 1952.

Liverpool Street, 1952.

Liverpool Street, 1952.

Kingsway Tram, 1952.

Kingsway Tram, 1952.

Underground fluffers, 1954.

Underground fluffers, 1954.

Underground life, 1955.

Underground life, 1955.


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