The London Tube opened 150 years ago today — here’s its first complaint letter
London’s iconic public transit system, the Tube, opened on this day in 1863. And it must have run comparatively well, because it took over a month for the London Times to get its first letter complaining about the service.
Times archivist Rose Wild (can that really be her name??) tweeted the miffed-but-polite letter today as a tongue-in-cheek anniversary present to the Tube. In it, rail passenger Irving Courtenay very politely complains that the trains don’t stop for long enough to let people on and off, and that he and his fellow first-class passengers — and even some second- and third-class riders! — were left stranded at the station because they didn’t have enough time to board. I haven’t been to London lately, but if it’s anything like D.C. and New York, this problem persists to this day, except of course for the fact that we’re all third-class passengers now.
Get Grist in your inbox