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New Overground Carriage Maps

With the addition of the new Overground stations in London, it was only a matter of time before the carriage maps got updated, and they look like this …

Overground Carriage Map

Overground Carriage Map

Which is quite frankly a bit of a mess, because now the whole orangey-network of Overground lines have been squeezed into a shape that is not suitable for them. But most importantly, the topological layout has been completely distorted, and there’s no way that you would use this as any sort of journey planner for the Overground.

Why not just put Tube maps (which should be called the TfL map anyway, because that’s what it really is) up in Overground trains, which would help people plan much better journeys.  By having Overground lines up in carriages shown only on those trains, it might make you take a journey purely by Overground that would be much quicker if you used instead used a tube line!

It’s a right old mess … so much so that you should read Diamond Geezer where he calls it “TfL’s worst map”, which is hard to disagree with.

30 Aug 15

London vs New York

This is rather brilliant .. we’ve always wanted to compare the difference accurately between the two metro systems, and someone’s finally gone and done it!

London Underground versus the New York Subway

So good, they named it

So good, they named it

28 Aug 15

The Underground train now arriving in the north of England

As the D-Stock trains disappear from the District Line and get replaced with the S7 units, they’re not going to the railway rusting ground to die, or be cut up – no, they’re being refurbished and turned into the ‘D Trains’ on VivaRail instead.

D-Stock now Vivarail

D-Stock now Vivarail

The full story is on their blog here, although when you read that:

“This is a train that has been stripped back to the bones: the bogies have been overhauled; new engine modules, a fuel tank and electronic power controller have been fitted; all the wiring removed; and an entirely new cab fitted. Seats, floors and doors still need plenty of work – but perhaps we can be forgiven for concentrating on the other bits first! Certainly our guests seem to have appreciated what has been achieved and we are extremely grateful for their open minds and perceptive questions”

Then you almost start to question with that much work being done, why didn’t they just build a new train from scratch?

Anyway – District Line trains, now in the north of England.

26 Aug 15

1960’s Map

Here’s a superb old railway map that we’d never seen before that we discovered this morning, whilst looking at the Project Mapping website.  A 1960’s map of the railway network in Lomdon, showing lots of old parts of the railway system that now no longer exist!  It’s really rather good.

Click on the image here for the full size version.

1960's Map

1960’s Map

20 Aug 15

London Reconnections Magazine

This looks good – very good. Those nice people over at London Reconnections  an essential website for considered opinion on the world have railways have today announced that they’re launching a magazine.

That’s right! A physical paper/printed presence (not just online) that looks gorgeous, so you have articles to read and keep forever in that format.

They say that “Buying a subscription to LR magazine will not only help us build up a financial framework that’ll keep this site going from strength to strength, but you will also get an absolutely gorgeous, perfect bound magazine in return.”

Have a read over on their website for full details

London Reconnections

London Reconnections


17 Aug 15

Commonest words on the Tube map

And then, to finish off our Tube-quiz-map series of posts, there’s this one – Can you name the most commonly occurring words on the London Tube map? And it’s brilliant, and is Station Master’s favourite quiz – because it really stretches our brain to the point where we’ve never actually been able to complete it within the time limit allowed!

There’s no blank Tube map to help/guide you either, out top score is 48 out of 50, and then we always have the most of “OH OF COURSE!” when we see the last few that we couldn’t get … Have a play of it, it’s really rather good.


Commonest words on the tube map

Commonest words on the tube map

15 Aug 15

Now you have fifteen minutes …

If you think only having five minutes on the previous quiz was a little hard, and not enough time – then about about this, a fifteen minute variant over at

It’s NOT got the latest 2015 map update with the new Overground stations, but you do have more time to get as many stations as you possibly can. What’s nice about this too is that you get bonuses for getting (say) all the stations in outer-extremity zones, or a whole complete line. You get a total score at the end – separate from the number of stations you might have actually got.

This station master scored 2230 points, with 251 out of 368 stations found. Can you do better?

I know the tube

I know the tube

13 Aug 15

You have five minutes …

Following on from our previous post – the Buzzfeed quiz – those fiendish people then came up with another one – simply being How many stations can you type in, in under five minutes. And this Station Master’s high score is 113, can you beat that?

Going for ‘Bank‘ and ‘Oval‘ (rather than ‘Totteridge & Whetstone‘) obviously helps, and you’ll be delayed by your own mis-typing too, there’s no leniency for almost getting a station name right – you have to get it perfect.  You have 5 mins! GO!!

Five minute quiz

Five minute quiz

11 Aug 15

How well do you actually know the Tube map?

It feels like there have been a lot of Tube map quizzes doing the rounds on the Internet recently. Disappointingly, no one has been sending around the link to what is possibly our most favourite ever Tube map quiz, so we thought we’d feature a few that we’ve stumbled upon recently, and finish with what we think is the most fiendish Tube map quiz ever.

First up, is Buzzfeed’s ‘How well do you know the Tube map‘, which incorrectly states that there are 401 stations on the network (there are 408) but it least it does cover the new Overground extension – which makes it tricky because do you honestly know where ‘Clapton’ is for example, when looking at a blank Tube map?

That’s what you have to do – you get presented with a blank Tube map, and a station name will pop up, can you correctly click on the blank map where that station is?

Buzzfeed Quiz

Buzzfeed Quiz


09 Aug 15

Northern Line train at Covent Garden

So it’s not everyday that you see … this!


It’s a Northern line 1995 stock train running west through Covent Garden on its way to Northfields depot. It was being transferred along the Piccadilly line for brake testing on the test track at South Ealing, several units have passed through here recently – they get there as there’s a curve of track (called the Kings Cross Loop), that runs between the northbound part of the Northern line to the east of Euston, that curves round and joins the northbound of the Piccadilly line just south of Kings Cross. There’s then a crossover which allows the train to go over to the southbound.

Photo taken (and used with kind permission) of Jack Gordon – there’s more on his Flickr page here.


07 Aug 15