How the World’s First Subway Remains Relevant in the Age of Skytrain Extensions

(via) I was reading about the Broadway extension of the Skytrain this morning and got to thinking about how far technologies, construction methods and really just engineering overall have come since the first underground trains rolled, and how urban populations went from viewing subways with a great degree of skepticism to relying on them for transportation every day.

The 1863 launch of the London Underground changed so much: simplifying commutes, growing communities with new housing developments and attracting all sorts of speculative commerce to station hubs. And the system improved as it expanded over time, graduating from disruptive ‘cut and cover’ construction to boring tunnels much deeper underground.

Though there has been an amazing evolution of the mode, if you watch Christian Wolmar’s TedEd short (above) on how London’s subway system first came to be and how it permanently changed so much about city life, you will be struck by the similarities between it and the launch/expansion of the Skytrain over a 150 years later.

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