Tuesday, January 15, 2013

In celebration of 150th anniversary, London Underground finally eliminates famous gap

London--It took 150 years, but it finally happened. The famous gap between subway cars and the station platform that spurred the famous "Mind the Gap" warning to London Underground riders has been reduced to nothing. "It has long been the goal of the Underground to eliminate the gap, but the lack of technology prevented it from happening until now," said David Jensen, operating president of the massive London Underground. "We wanted it done in time for the 150th anniversary celebration, that was crucial." The transit agency won't say what that technology is, but it is clear, while riding one of the world's busiest subways, that, indeed, the gap is gone. "It is amazing," said Kathryn Winslet, 41, a resident of the Sonnington section of the city. "It looks like the train should become wedged as it enters the platform. But, somehow it works." Gap closure came at a hefty price, costing over fifty billion pounds to retrofit nearly all 270 stations. Due to the (sometimes violent) effort of historic preservationists, two stations--Shrewsberry Castle and Tussle-on-Sherry--were not modified. So, what will happen to the "Mind the Gap" signs and verbal announcements? "Currently, we are in intense negotiations with the GAP clothing company to turn the now meaningless phrase into advertisements. Perhaps: 'Mind the GAP,' it's right up the steps and two blocks down.' I don't know, something to that effect."   

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