|R338||50 Years Since The London Undergrounds Victoria Line Opened Carried Cover||£10.95||Buy Now|
Issue Date: 07/03/2019
Issue Name: 50 Years Since The London Underground's Victoria Line Opened
Producer: Buckingham Covers
On 7th March 1969, Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the underground’s new Victoria Line. The Queen arrived at Green Park Underground Station at 11am and travelled to Victoria. On this day, Her Majesty became the first British Monarch to have travelled on the underground. At Victoria, the Queen unveiled a plaque to officially open the line. The line was then opened to the general public by 3pm.
Our lovely cover features a £1 definitive stamp along with a £5 Queen Victoria label and has a Victoria, London SW1E postmark and will be carried on the Victoria line.
The Victoria Line
Initially, the proposal was put forward for an underground line in the area on the County of London Plan in 1943 but was not proposed fully until 1948 by the British Transport Commission. The line was proposed so that it might relieve congestion in the central area which had been a problem throughout the 1930s and to link the railway stations of Victoria, Euston, King’s Cross and St Pancras to improve connections between north east London and the rest of the city. The line was originally going to extend as far as Edmonton but, in 1961, a decision was made to cut the line back to Walthamstow instead. The name ‘Victoria Line’ was decided on in 1955, though there had been a possibility that it would be named the Viking Line (Victoria - King’s Cross) or Walvic (Walthamstow - Victoria) but it was decided that The Victoria Line was the better choice.
In January 1960 two test tunnels from Tottenham to Manor House were started. An experimental ‘drum digger’ rotary shield was used which was powered by hydraulic rams, cutting over 60 feet per day. 20 August 1962 saw the line gain official Government building approval and construction began fully the following month. Work began on adapting the Oxford Circus station and other stations in order to fit the new line. The stock to be used on the line would be fitted with ATO (Automatic Train Operation) which would allow self driving on the train using automatic signals on the track. New stations were construced at Walthamstow Central, Blackhorse Road, Tottenham Hale and Seven Sisters. Part of the line from Walthamstow Cental to Highbury & Islington was opened on 1 September 1968 which proved to be extremely popular. The next section which extended to Warren Street opened 1 December 1968. It was not until 7 March 1969 that the official opening was performed. Each station along the route was originally tiled in blue and grey with different motifs in the seating recesses. These were usually puns of the station; for examples Brixton had a ton of bricks as its motif!
The Victoria Line remains one of the busiest lines and fastest lines on the underground with 200 million passengers a year.
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