The London tube map could start showing the north-south Thameslink line again according to a written answer from the Mayor of London.

In a question, Labour London Assembly member Navin Shah AM reminded the Mayor of London, who is also the Chairman of TfL, that the London Assembly’s Transport Committee had called for TfL to incorporate Thameslink services on the Tube Map by August 2020.

This has not happened yet, and he asked the Mayor to confirm if TfL is planning to produce a co-ordinated map or not?

The Mayor’s office responded, noting that while TfL already produces a co-ordinated map that shows all TfL services and other train operating companies, it is looking into how the Thameslink service could be included on the Tube map.

Based on the October 1997 tube map

As has been previously reported, there could be some useful benefits given the pandemic and current social distancing requirements. Also, with the exception of Elephant and Castle, all the Zone 1 stations have step-free access.

Caroline Pidgeon AM told SE1: “I very much welcome what looks like the Mayor and TfL backing down on this issue.”

TfL has long held a position that the tube map, which is more than just London Underground anyway should only display TfL operated services. While that makes the map clearer, especially around the edges of London, it does omit the very useful north-south Thamelink service in the centre of London.

Caroline Pidgeon AM has also argued previously that the map includes little-used services, such as the Emirates Air Line, but not the much more heavily used Thameslink service. The current TfL services only map is therefore not as useful as it could be for people less familiar with London’s transport options.


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  1. Colin Newman says:

    “TfL has long held a position that the tube map…should only display TfL operated services. While that makes the map clearer, especially around the edges of London, it does omit the very useful north-south Thame[s]link service in the centre of London.”

    Yes – and the “very useful” c2c service and the “very useful” NR lines south of the river, where the ‘tube map’ is clear as in empty.

    So the “tube map” stops becoming a map of TfL’s services – deponent, but at least easy to explain and becomes what? A map of TfL service plus part of one other line that Caroline Pidgeon deems useful?

    The Emirates Airline argument is a red herring. It’s just two stops and it’s not a railway. Nobody cares.

    • Colin Newman: You might want to add on selected services are useful to know, especially when there’s disruption.

      I would add on the main tube map as they are all existing connections to existing tube stations.

      c2c- Fenchuch Street, Limehouse, West Ham, Barking, Upminster

      Anglia – Liverpool Street, Tottenham Hale arrow to Stanstead Airport

      southeasten – hs1 St Pancras to Stratford, arrow to Ebbsfleet

      Chiltern – Marylebone, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Rickmansworth, Chorleywood, Chalfont & Latimer, Amersham arrow to Aylesbury Vale Parkway

      Great Northern- Moorgate, Old Street, Essex Road, Drayton Park, Finsbury Park then dotted line.

    • Also, these places are charged at TfL rates, even if you use the train! Without different gate lines, these services are charged the same on the single-fare-finder.

      So if you C2c from Barking to Upminster, it’s still £1.50 off peak as they gates don’t know where you’ve been.

      Except hs1.

  2. Si says:

    “TfL already produces a co-ordinated map that shows all TfL services and other train operating companies”

    And that map is what is prominent on their website (over and above the TfL map), is on all the platforms (IIRC, there’s some that don’t have the TfL map after they ditched the vinyl ones to save cash), etc. The only thing missing is fold up versions in the racks, and possibly those Central London ones in carriages (it’s been too long since I’ve been on the tube).

    And Colin raises an important point – why is Thameslink important enough to appear on the TfL Map, but not, say, the more frequent Charing Cross – London Bridge? Or those routes that Brian suggests? If the TOCs still got profit from increased ticket sales, then I would expect some attempt at lobbying to appear on the map from one of them.

  3. Melvyn says:

    Thameslink used to be shown on tube maps as a white line linking central stations back in the 1980s it was only after London gained a Mayor that it was dropped from the map . The Waterloo and City Line was also on tube maps when British Rail operated it !

    Thameslink has With the exception of Kentish Town and Elephant and Castle fully accessible stations which also provide level access with the new class 700 trains and thus opens up many journeys for disabled users with the benefits of shallow stations .

    It’s also worth remembering that when Crossrail/ Elizabeth Line opens Farringdon Station will provide a fully accessible interchange between Elizabeth Line and Thameslink opening up hundreds of stations via a single interchange!

    It’s worth noting progress is being made to transfer Great Northern services from Moorgate to TFL and these services fully link with Thameslink at Finsbury Park .

  4. MiaM says:

    Hot take: If it isn’t possible to include more or less all rail services within greater london on a map, then maybe don’t produce that map at all?

    As Si writes above, the only thing missing is a foldable version of the all services map.

    The TFL services only map is imho misleading.

    • Melvyn says:

      A foldable version of the all lines map is available but only from mainline stations and not TFL stations .

  5. Mothiur Rahman says:

    No social media sharing links or at least let you email it forward?

    • ianvisits says:

      You can copy/paste the link into your preferred social media platform to share it – no need for share buttons that track your every online movement.

  6. Bob Welfare says:

    TFL are losing passengers Off the tube to cross London Thameslink train services for a while now. I expect they will resist to put the TL Route on the tube map until they are really forced to.

  7. Geoffrey says:

    MOst people especially tourists and British visitors to London
    have no interest in the Romford tp Upminster line or even Reading line which are on the Tube Map just because they are operated by TfL. To ignore Thameslink (Central) and Southern and other BR lines into central London is stupid. The best solution is to have two sizes of the Existing London and South East Rail Services Map. One – Central London Tube and Rail Map covering just Zone 1 and 2 and the existing larger map. Posters always to be displayed be displayed alongside each other. Pocket folder to refer to lager map.

    • Colin Newman says:

      Yes. TfL is supposed to be Transport for London, and not just like a ToC that is only prepared to advertise its own services.

      I agree that tourists will want a more manageable printed unit than the existing all lines map – but as you say that can be achieved by limiting the geographical area of coverage.

      When the Barking & Gospel Oak line was taken over by TfL and added to the ‘tube map’ there were people who thought it was a new line!

  8. Colin Newman says:

    @Brian Butterworth – I was just giving examples.

    A map of accessible stations/trains makes sense, a does a map of high frequency services (though you have to pick a number).

    A map of all TfL services makes sense, but is not terribly useful.

    A map of TfL services plus an extract of one other line included for reasons that are not easy to summarise is just bizarre

  9. Colin Newman says:

    Look – ‘Rail and tube services in inner London’ already exists –

  10. Rob says:

    The link at West Hampstead should also be shown.

  11. I am giddy. This inclusion of Thameslink on the Tube Map is especially important for passengers needing accessibility access.

  12. Albert says:

    Although the London Connections map shows all TOCs and tubes, if they wanted to add some TOC routes to the tube map, then also St Pancras to Finsbury Park could be shown as a continuation of the line from London Bridge via Blackfriars and Farringdon. This would then have two northern start points (Kentish Tn and Finsbury Pk) and two southern at Elephant & Castle and London Bdg.

  13. Andrew Gwilt says:

    Will it include what Thameslink usually operates on including to Rainham, Brighton, Gatwick Airport, Horsham, Peterborough, Bedford, Luton Airport Parkway and other stations that might be included on the tube map. Or will it just include the central part of Thameslink with arrows pointing to the direction of where Thameslink trains goes to.

  14. David Winter says:

    The GN&C, aka Northern City, and Moorgate Branch is another that needs restoring to the Tube map.

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