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Old maps

A visit to the LT Museum Acton Depot last weekend is always an enjoyable thing and never a waste of time. We always make sure we head for the mezzanine at somepoint which has all the tube maps and signs, and gawp as we go back in time to how the transport network used to be.  In particular this time, a pre-Beck map for 1926 had us comparing differences between what used to be, and how it is now…

1926 Map

1926 Map

Here’s where Clapham North was called “Clapham Road”, and what we know as Clapham South was almost called Nightingale Lane – but this never appeared in a printed tube map, just this poster.    Green Park was of course Dover Street, but on this map labelled as “Dover Street (St. James)” which we had never seen before.

Another bit of 1926

Another bit of 1926

in 1926 the Hounslow Barrack to South Acton service (and Acton Town to South Acton one-carriage shuttle) was in operation – look though also at the curve of track that goes just to the right of Turnham Green – an old non-tube railway that used to run. And the lovely curve of track (when the Central Line was blue) and Wood Lane was referred to as ‘Exhibition Station’ instead.

Last bit of 1926

Last bit of 1926

And out east .. when Limehouse was called Stepney East, and you can also see plenty of remnants of the railway that existed in the Docklands area before the DLR came to be, including a station at Connaught Road – now the site for a major tunnel for Crossrail.

19 Sep 14

Tube Map 2050

Brian Butterworth (follow him at @briantist) who likes to design tube maps in his spare time now and then, came up with a projected tube map of the future last week – what the network might look like in 2050, if all the future TfL plans and new lines actually come to fruition and are added to the map.

Click on the small image here to get a VERY large image (in SVG format) of the whole thing!

Briantist Map

Briantist Map

15 Sep 14

Electrical Diagram

The great story of the tube map is that Harry (Henry) Beck working as an electrical draughtsman based the design of the tube map on an electric circuit diagram.

Dig a little deeper into the history though, and this ‘fact’ is debunked, but something that certainly did happen is that Beck had a little fun by reversing this around, and drawing a Tube Map in an electrical-diagram style.

We stumbled across this yesterday on the marvellous Map : Graphical Approach website, which has got lots of hi-resolution diagrams of the tube map which are worth clicking on and having a look at, including this wiring-diagram one …

Electrical Tube Map

Electrical Tube Map

04 Sep 14

the metRopolitan line

Here’s something super geeky (and suited for a pub quiz perhaps?) that we only worked out the other day – which Tube Line has got 22 stations in a row that all contain the same letter?

It’s the Metropolitan Line, which if you follow from Amersham all the way down to Liverpool Street you’ll notice has got the letter R in all of the station names.

In fact, if you look at all 34 stations on the line, there are only five stations that don’t contain the letter ‘R‘ at all!

We can’t see any other occurrences on the tube map where this happens – unless you know different…

Click on the image to see the WHOLE of the Metropolitan Line, and all of the R’s highlighted.

Metropolitan R's

Metropolitan R’s


29 Aug 14

Upside down map

It’s been a while since we stumbled across this one, but we found it again lurking in a place where it shouldn’t have been in our archives last night and it felt like we’d better share it again.

Take the tube map – flip it upside down and then map out where the places on the tube would be if south London had the generous share of tube stops the north of London currently enjoys. (Click map for larger version)

Upside down map

Upside down map

14 Aug 14

London, 2031

As part of the London Infrastructure plan for 2050 that TfL released, Ian over at Randomly London highlighted the hotspots of the tube by 2031.

We see no mention of Crossrail or the Overground on TfL’s map though … ?

London 2031

London 2031



08 Aug 14

Artistic Tracking

Andy Drizen over at Tube Tracker posted a cool picture of the tube on twitter yesterday – using his software to plot real time position of trains, he then stripped everything else away just leaving us with ‘blobs’ showing you where the trains are. the results of which are …

Tube Tracker 'Blob' map

Tube Tracker ‘Blob’ map

02 Aug 14

Which Direction?

Max Roberts – best known for his many alternative tube maps that he often produces – has come up with a map that he asked us for some help with, as we had the data as to whether a station and its trains’ directions were signed as ‘Northbound’, ‘Southbound’, ‘Westbound’ or ‘Eastbound’.

So he made a map (of which only a small part is shown here, go to Max’s newsletter page for the full version and other previous maps) which indicates how it would look if the map properly adhered to the direction that the platform sign indicates.  e.g. it might say ‘Eastbound’ but on the map it’s running in a north/south direction!

Confusing? A little at first yes, but then take some time to study it and then realise for ever more so just how distorted the real tube map is!

Which direction?

Which direction?

16 Jul 14

Tube Strike Suspended

nostrikeThe Unions and TfL sat down again for talks this morning over the current modernisation plans, and by lunchtime they came to an agreement and the RMT have suspended their planned strike.  The TfL Press Release is here.

So no tube-strike map this week! And hopefully we won’t have to bring you another again in the near future …

05 May 14

Tube Strike Map

With another tube strike set to start at 9pm on the 28th April 2014, services will be hugely disrupted all day on Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th April.

TfL have produced a document listing which services they hope to run (between 7am and 11pm) but again it’s hard to decipher, which is why we’ve created something visual – the familiar tube map showing where (and how frequently) services should be running.

This time we’ve included TfL’s Overground and DLR services too, which aren’t affected by the strike action.

Click on the image here for a large sized JPG, or download a PDF of it here.

Tube Strike Map, April 2014

Tube Strike Map, April 2014

(Updated version, 28th April 2014 at 7.45pm. Updated District Line frequency and added in a couple of Overground station that had been missed out!)

27 Apr 14