The Thameslink line is back on the tube map following a long-running campaign.
Historically, the tube map showed a section of the Thameslink route (from Kentish Town to Elephant and Castle) from July 1987, when the route was operated by Network South East and was removed from Tube map in 1999. The restoration to the map, which will appear in stations in the coming weeks, sees Thameslink services within Zones 1 to 6 (as well as Dartford and Swanley), shown on TfL’s maps.
There has been growing pressure to restore Thameslink to the tube map.
London Assembly’s Transport Committee had called for it earlier this year, while Caroline Pidgeon AM has been vocal in calling for the restoration. On 8th October, TfL’s Commissioner, Andy Byford confirmed that the line would be added in the December update to the tube map.
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Areas appearing on the tube map for the first time thanks to the addition of Thameslink services include Bromley, Catford and Charlton in south east London and New Southgate and Cricklewood in north London.
In total 48 additional stations have been added to the map.
The addition of Thameslink also means a future Elizabeth line station has appeared on the map earlier (or later if you prefer) than expected, with Abbey Wood appearing for the first time.
Blackfriars station has gained an entrance on the south side of the Thames, making it the first station on the “tube map” to straddle the river.
The addition of Thameslink also makes London south of the river look a lot busier with more mainline trains added to the tube map. It’s also considerably more Thameslink added to the map than they used to show back in the 1990s, when just a small section was shown.
It is however currently a temporary addition, primarily to improve transport during the current pandemic. TfL noted though that the addition will make it easier to find alternative routes when the Bank branch of the Northern line is closed to allow for the Bank station upgrade project. That is currently expected to take place between October 2021 – January 2022.
Julie Dixon, Head of Customer Information and Partnerships at TfL said: “In light of the continuing coronavirus pandemic, and next year’s Northern line closures required to complete the Bank Upgrade works, Thameslink services have been temporarily included on the Tube map to help customers move around the city. This has been a complicated addition to make to the map, but one that we feel will benefit Londoners as part of our work to promote safe, clean and reliable public transport use across the city.”
TfL says that Thameslink will appear on their map until at least December 2021, when they will assess feedback before deciding whether to keep the route on the map for a further period of time.