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Revellers wave near bottles of alcohol lined up inside a Tube train before the ban on drinking alcohol came into force. ((Dominic Lipinski/Associated Press))

Police were kept busy as people using London's Tube took advantage of the last night that drinking alcohol was allowed in the underground train network.

Revellers held rowdy parties inside train carriages late Saturday in a city that has gained a reputation for reckless binge drinking — and now the new mayor's attempts to curb public rowdiness.

Police responded to reports of vandalism by closing six stations and arresting 17 people. Six assaults were reported on staff members and police said intoxicated revellers damaged several trains.

Many partygoers wore elaborate costumes, including some men who dressed up as beer bottles to enjoy a final drink before the ban went into effect at midnight on all of London's public transit systems.

At Monument station, a group of men wore platinum-blond wigs and business suits as they dressed up as Mayor Boris Johnson, who vowed during his election campaign to tackle anti-social behaviour.