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Crossrail Map

We had a nice man by the name of Simon get in touch with us from Germany, who has designed his own Crossrail map.  He’s taken the individual service pattern that is going to be running, and create his own map with each service shown by its own line. This is quite common he says in Germany for u-Bahn maps to be like this, and individually numbered, unlike on the TfL map where separate services aren’t shown like this.  Thanks Simon.

Click on the map below for the large full size version!

Crossrail Service Map

10 Jan 17

Crossrail Explained

New video by Station Master Geoff, which explains everything you need to know about Crossrail in 2 minutes. There’s also an interactive poll embedded within the video where you can say whether you like the name ‘Elizabeth Line’, or not …

10 Mar 16

Crossrail is not a Tube line

Crossrail not Elizabeth

Crossrail not Elizabeth

Worryingly, it’s already started. By trying to name Crossrail ‘The Elizabeth Line’ it sets a precedence that it can now be referred to as ‘an Underground Line’, because the Tube is referred to as the Victoria Line, and the Northern Line, and the Bakerloo Line, as so on…

But Crossrail is not a ‘tube’ railway. I repeat – Crossrail is not a tube railway.  The trains are larger, the tunnels are bigger, the trains go waaaay beyond central London running on National Rail tracks.  It is a National Rail service that then also goes underground – but that does not make it the Tube – no, it is its own new category of railway which we shall call ‘Crossrail’.

Two people have fallen foul already, we’ll add more here as we spot them:

  • The (now online only) Independent have written an extremely lazy article where they call it ‘a new Tube line’ (is isn’t) and to add insult, they tag on the world’s easiest ‘quiz’ where you have to match the colours to the Tube lines. And they include Crossrail in that – which still isn’t a tube line.

Besides which, we’re still trying to work out how travelling on the Underground just three times in your entire life means that you have “A long association with UK transport”. We’re fairly sure that there are thousands of people that have worked on Crossrail, and railways, and even thousands more that have travelled on trains everyday of their working life, that therefore have a stronger case for having a long association with transport.

26 Feb 16

No one is going to call Crossrail the Elizabeth Line

Oh my. What a terrible name. No one has thought this through, have they? No one is going to call Crossrail ‘The Elizabeth Line’. How often do you refer to the cable car as ‘The Emirates Airline’ – never, how often do you call Boris Bikes ‘Santander Cycles’ – also never.

And here’s the main reason why: It’s got too many syllables!

It’s a long name, which makes it sound clunkly, and wordy, and too long to say – and in London, we’re in a rush and we need something shorter. Or – imagine you’re down the pub after a few drinks, “I’m gonna get the tube home” you’d say. And not “Underground”, because tube is a one-syllable word.  We like to say things that are quick and easy, and ‘Elizabeth’ is word that you have to annunciate properly, otherwise don’t bother saying it at all.

El-iz-a-beth – That’s four syllables and it does not trip off the tongue in the same way that ‘District’ or ‘Northern’ does (both two syllables). In fact, let’s break it down:

Two Syllables – District, Northern, Circle, Central

Three Syllables – Jubilee, Bakerloo

Four Syllables – Victoria, Piccadilly

Five Syllables – Metropolitan

Stupidly long – Hammersmith & City, Waterloo & City


Six out of the 11 lines – more than half – are three syllables or less.  ‘Metropolitan’ gets easily shortened down to ‘Met’ all the time, some shorten the Piccadilly to ‘Picc’ and then everyone says ‘H&C’. The Waterloo & City is the least used line and sometimes even we forget that it’s on the tube. (Supposedly it’s nicknamed ‘The Drain’ but we haven’t heard anyone use that name for it for years either!).

The one other odd one – strangely is also the name of a Queen is Victoria, which is four syllables, but it’s also a shorter word, but also if you say it quickly enough you can say it two part ‘Vic’ and ‘Trria’ and people know what you mean.

The problem with Elizabeth, is that you can’t shorten it to ‘Eli’ – the first few characters like you do with the Met and the Picc (and even the ‘Vic’ for Victoria) meaning that you’re going to have to shorten it to ‘Liz’ or ‘Lizzy’ instead which just sounds stupid.

‘Cross-Rail’ itself is also a simple two syllable word, and – more importantly – is what everyone has been calling it already for the past five years.

So no one … no one is going to call it ‘The Elizabeth Line’. People are going to call it what it’s already be branded for ages. If you wanted us to call it ‘Elizabeth’ than it should have been called that from the start of construction – it’s too late now.

Here’s another thought too – It’s not an Underground service, so why call it … Line? Only tube lines have the word ‘line’ on the end. The other TfL services being ‘London Overground’, ‘DLR’, ‘TfL Rail’, none of which have the word ‘line’ in them, so by calling in ‘Elizabeth Line’ to us suggests that it’s now part of the tube – which it’s not. It’s Crossrail. It deserves and needs its own identity. Don’t stick the word ‘Line‘ on the end!

The other complication comes of course when Crossrail 2 is built in a few years time. So – that’s going to need a name too! That offers up the worrying prospect of it being called ‘The Charles Line’, or ‘The William Line’, which sounds even more silly than ‘Elizabeth’.

No, for us – we should be taken a lead from what the French do here, with their RER lines in Paris. The  RER (the Réseau Express Régional) is identical to what London is building with Crossrail – trains that run far outside the capital but then go underground like a metro style service when it gets to the centre.  The French name their Crossrail style services ‘RER-A’, ‘RER-B’ and so on up to ‘RER-E’.

So we do the same here and have ‘Crossrail A’  or even better we think, number than and abbreviate down Crossrail to ‘CR’, so that you’ll have ‘CR1’ and ‘CR2’ on the map.  This has the advantage of taken up less space on the map as well, which is already cramped and space is at a premium.

The other slight insult about all this is again how we’re stuck with multiple orange-coloured Overground lines, but they’re all the same name – Overground.  If ever there were some lines on the tube map that were in desperate need of re-naming, it’s the Overground. Not Crossrail which – oh, did I mention? – we’ve already been calling it that for several years now. It’s in the public lexicon. So now is the time to rename the different Overground lines to ‘OG-1’ or ‘OG-A’ to differentiate between those different services too, thus make ‘CR-1’ or ‘CR-A’ even more sense.

So anyway – that’s what we’d like Crossrail to be called please, TfL.  ‘CR1’. We’ve even done a graphic for you. Are we too late? Any chance of a re-think?  Thanks.

Alternative Names

Alternative Names


23 Feb 16

New Whitechapel

Farewell old Whitechapel, HELLO to the new! The new temporary entrance opened yesterday, with it being at the western end of the sub-surface platforms.  Getting to and from the the Overground platforms now take a little bit longer!  We’re in the process of drawing up a new 3D map, and will have it in the next update of the App.

New Whitechapel Ticket Hall

New Whitechapel Ticket Hall

19 Jan 16

Whitechapel Closure

So from Monday 18th January ‘Until late 2018(says the blurb) the ticket hall at Whitechapel is moving whilst preparation work for Crossrail take in place – including building a new step-free access, larger, ticket hall.

But, it actually closed Friday night and has been closed all this weekend, and it means that that’s the last chance you’ve had to see the up-and-down stairs and corridors that Whitechapel has, and when it opens again in over two year time it’s going to look a lot different to this…

Whitechapel Corridors

Whitechapel Corridors

In the meantime, the new entrance is further west, turn up Court Street, and it’s on Durward Street. Interestingly, we think this makes the walking time connection between Whitechapel and Bethnal Green on the Central line shorter than between Shoreditch High Street and Liverpool Street.  We’ve quite often changed trains between the Overground and Central line using this latter method, but now it looks like changing at Whitechapel will be quicker…

16 Jan 16

New Moorgate Map

We’ve got a new update of Station Master coming next month, with lots of updated data, and maps – some of which have just been polished to look better, others where things are new and have significantly changed on the network,

It includes the sub-surface platforms at Moorgate, which (due to Crossrail works) have changed quite significantly with a new access corridor and steps down to the platforms completely changing what was there before.

Obviously we’ve been along to map it out and draw the 3D map as to how it now looks!

New Moorgate Map

New Moorgate Map

17 Oct 15

Go and see a Crossrail Station

Want to see what a Crossrail station is going to look like in 2019?  Unlikely as it may sound, the place to see one is in Leighton Buzzard.

At a construction test centre, a life sized mock-up has been constructed below ground at a specialist test centre.

“Londoners were given a glimpse of the future today when images were released of a full size mock-up of a below ground Crossrail platform. The mock-up has been built to help Crossrail understand how the designs for the new platforms will look and feel in real life and to decide whether any design modifications need to be made before main construction of the stations begins later this year.”

Mock up Crossrail station

Mock up Crossrail station

05 Oct 15

New Moorgate

The blue hoardings that have been up on the platforms at Moorgate station for ages finally came down this week to reveal new staircases, and a new entrance to Moorgate station. The old ticket hall entrance on Moorfields with its gateline disappeared ages ago, but now as part of the Crossrail works, it’s completely gone and been replaced with something temporary as a new enlarged ticket hall for Crossrail and the Metropolitan Line platforms is built here.

Here’s a shot of the temporary steps that take you down, and lead down to the eastbound sub-surface platforms, there’s another temporary staircase across a footbridge down to the westbound platforms.   There’s also a new entrance/exit out onto Fore Street – something that suspect shall be retained when the new Crossrail ticket hall opens.  We’ll have an updated 3D map shortly …

New Moorgate

New Moorgate

11 Jun 15

Crossrail Kink

With the new kink in the Central line on the May 2015 TfL Map causing the most raised eyebrows, we couldn’t find anywhere online where Crossrail was also shown to represent why they’ve done it to enable them to fit it in in a few years time.

So here in (what we think will be the correct) Crossrail purple is how it will fit into the map, helped by the new Central line kink – it means it’s a ‘standard’ 45 degree angle in-between Bond Street and Paddington.

Kinky Crossrail

Kinky Crossrail

We’ve also continued to study the new May 2015 TfL Map (formerly the Tube Map) and noticed a couple of other small – but interesting things.

The horrid triangle of blobs that used to be the connector blobs at West Ham has been replaced – still with three blobs – but this time in a straight line, no longer forming a triangular shape, and we think it looks better. Up above that though, look how the Jubilee Line now bends to the right (it used to be straight – in fact it used to bend to the left many years ago) but to incorporate the new MTR TfL Rail / Crossrail line it now bends to the right.  The branch to Stratford International is now no longer a straight line.
















But back to the kink .. the Central line link, and how this has affected the central area. You can see here in the comparison that the depth of the Circle line has now increased to allow the kink and future Crossrail to be added in and look what it’s done to the District line at the point of the Aldgate triangle – it used to elegantly curve away at the junction before, now it hugs the Circle line round the bend for a bit, before peeling away to go up to Aldgate East, and we think this looks messier.












23 May 15