diamond geezer

 Friday, October 27, 2006

Tube geek (20) Busiest lines
According to the latest TfL statistics, London's busiest tube line is the Northern line with just over 200 million passenger journeys each year. And the least busy? That's the Waterloo & City line with just under 10 million passenger journeys each year. Or so the headline figures say. I'd like to disagree. Share out each line's passengers equally, station by station, and the tiny Waterloo & City line (with just 2 stations) works out much busier than the Northern (with 50). OK, this may be a fairly meaningless statistic, but it does at least seem to give a fairly sensible rank ordering of busy-ness...

 Annual journeys
  Number of
per station
Victoria1611610.1 million
W & City1024.8 million
Jubilee128274.7 million
Northern207504.1 million
Bakerloo96253.8 million
Central184493.7 million
Piccadilly176523.4 million
District173602.9 million
Circle68272.5 million
H & City46281.6 million
Metropolitan  54341.6 million
East London1081.3 million

The Victoria line rightly comes out as the busiest, with barely a backwater station anywhere along its length, while the "you can always get a seat" East London ends up the quietest. And look, the list splits surprisingly neatly in two, with the deep-level tubes at the top and the cut-and-cover lines at the bottom. Which means that the busiest lines have the narrowest tunnels and the squashedest passengers, while the quietest lines have the broadest tunnels and the most spacious carriages. Typical, eh?

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