Friday, November 2, 2007

Preview of new Tube map

Via London Underground blog, a preview of the new Tube map by Transport for London has been making its way around the web. At first glance it is clear that the new map is definitely more busy and far more complex than the previous map. The most relevant inclusion is obviously the new Heathrow Terminal 5 station, signalling the end to the Heathrow loop.

The most significant addition to the new map however are the new London Overland service specifically Watford Junction to Euston, Richmond to North Woolwich, Gospel Oak to Barking and Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction. This former Silverlink metro services (bye bye, London won't miss ya!) will be managed by TfL and MTR Laing from 11 November when Oystercards will become valid on these lines. Joining the service in 2010 will be the East London line. Future plans includes reintegrating the Watford DC service back into the Bakerloo Line with six or seven car trains.

Personally I find the (current) new map to be overcomplicated. The integration between London Underground and Overground is almost none-existent with minimal interchanges that I believe the old London National Rail maps should be sufficient enough. Also I find the disability access signs as detrimental to the aesthetic quality of the map. I believe that such informations would be better served on alternative specialised maps. It seems to me that TfL is reversing all the things we loved about the Tube Map that Harry Beck has given us. But it is still the best metro map in the world.

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