[Map] Overground, Crossrail and Thameslink as an S-Bahn system

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by U-Bahnfreund, 26 Dec 2017.

  1. U-Bahnfreund

    U-Bahnfreund Member

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    Not sure if this is the right forum for my topic, moderators do feel free to move this thread.

    On Christmas Eve I created a diagram covering all Overground, Crossrail and Thameslink routes as of December 2019, in a style loosely based on Berlin’s S-Bahn and U-Bahn map.

    I know, there are far more routes that have an ‘S-Bahn’ style service (I’m thinking of Maxwell J Roberts’ map of South London lines), but I chose to focus on these three, as they are not too many routes and they make a nice representation with a circle and two orthogonal axis, similar to Berlin’s Ringbahn (S41-42-45-46-47), Stadtbahn (S3-5-7-9) and Nord-Süd-Bahn (S1-2-25) lines. Initially I also used the Berlin map’s font, but it is copyrighted so I had to replace it by Signika.

    I used all the information I could find online and also gave line numbers to the distinct services, which is uncommon in Britain (except for bus and tram routes), but very common in Germany:
    The line numbers include a letter, standing for Overground, Crossrail and Thameslink, respectively, and a one or two-digit number. The first number is the ‘main’ number and the second one, which is always a 5, is used for branch or ‘sister’ services. A similar system is used in Berlin, see for example the S7 from Potsdam to Ahrensfelde, and the S75 from Ostkreuz to Wartenberg. Of course, one could also introduce other numbers.

    For example, on the East London Line of the Overground, you would have services O1 and O2 and their branches O15 and O25 (O15 is considered part of the O1, because it also starts/terminates at Dalston Junction). The Overground shuttle from Romford to Upminster does not carry a number, because one can hardly confuse it with any other Overground service. If one wanted, one could also call it O8.
    On Crossrail, as an example, the C1, which runs more often, goes to Heathrow Terminal 4, while the less often running O15 goes to Terminal 5.
    On Wikipedia, the Thameslink were even further divided, which is reflected in that T1 to T4 are the ‘mainline’ services and T6 to T9 the ‘metro’ services. I left the T5 out intentionally, so that a new Thameslink service in the future can fit in this system as either ‘mainline’ or ‘metro’.
    • O1 Dalston Junction – Clapham Junction
    • O15 Dalston Junction – New Cross
    • O2 Highbury & Islington – West Croydon
    • O25 Highbury & Islington – Crystal Palace
    • O3 Clapham Junction – Stratford
    • O35 Clapham Junction – Willesden Junction
    • O4 Richmond – Stratford
    • O45 Gospel Oak – Barking
    • O5 Euston – Watford Junction
    • O6 Liverpool Street – Enfield Town
    • O65 Liverpool Street – Cheshunt
    • O7 Liverpool Street – Chingford
    • O Romford – Upminster
    • C1 Heathrow Terminal 4 – Abbey Wood
    • C15 Heathrow Terminal 5 – Abbey Wood
    • C2 Reading – Abbey Wood
    • C25 Maidenhead – Abbey Wood
    • C3 Paddington – Shenfield
    • C35 (Liverpool Street – Gidea Park)
    • T1 Bedford – Brighton
    • T15 Bedford – Gatwick Airport
    • T2 Peterborough – Horsham
    • T3 (Bedford – Littlehampton)
    • T35 (Bedford – East Grinstead)
    • T4 Cambridge – Bedford
    • T45 Cambridge – Maidstone East (– Ashford International)
    • T5 (left out)
    • T6 Luton – Rainham
    • T7 Sutton Loop – St Albans City
    • T8 (Luton –) Kentish Town – Orpington
    • T9 (Welwyn Garden City –) Blackfriars – Sevenoaks

    I would gladly hear your opinion on this. Do you think (a more professionally created version of) this map could be used in real life (including the line numbers)? Would you plan your journey with this map? Also feel free to point out any mistakes (like typos or incorrect routings).

    Before anyone asks; I tried to squeeze in the Underground and other National Rail services, but that was no good and would have turned out very confusing. This is though, why there are so many National Rail and Underground logos, as the ‘S-Bahn’ systems obviously have many interchange stations with them.

    Thanks for any comment, greetings from Germany and merry Christmas
    -- Simon (U-Bahnfreund)

    (Click image for a version with a higher resolution)
    [​IMG]
    P.S.: In an earlier version of the map, the route of the river Thames was incorrectly shown; I have now updated this now, but it might take a while until the most recent version of the graphic appears.
     
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  3. SPADTrap

    SPADTrap Established Member

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    That is really very nice! Very professional work. I could imagine it being used! Looking forward to seeing the forums opinions. Fascinating.
     
  4. mrmartin

    mrmartin Member

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    I think this is a really great map and would be really helpful. The current overground maps are a mess.
     
  5. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    As a design, I like it - very neat (though to be picky, the key/Legende should be in English). I like the line numbering, though C should be E for Elizabeth.
    The problem is that, while it's clear, it's not ever so much use! It leaves out so much of the system - the three networks are a slightly random selection of London's railways - and it covers such a vast area.
    In Berlin terms, Thameslink is more like the VBB RE-Netz that goes out to Wismar, Stralsund, Cottbus and so on, with a few shorter distance RBs. Overground is the nearest to a proper S-Bahn, but it only represents about a third of the inner network.

    I wonder what it would be like if you depicted only a central area (say to Croydon in the south, Heathrow in the West, etc.) and just referenced the "country" bits? A bit like the Roberts map you referenced.

    And a happy Second Day of Christmas (or St Stephen, or Boxing Day, as you like) to you.
     
  6. NSE

    NSE Established Member

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    The residents of Arsley probably won’t be too happy ;)

    Nice, and a very professional looking job, however I think by changing it now it would confuse a lot of people who would go ‘I just want to get the Thameslink from Bedford to Luton, what’s all the ‘T’s for’.

    Although I do like the idea of lumping all journeys on rail into one map. I find lots of people are very much like ‘if I start my journey on national rail I can’t use the tube unless it goes between London Terminii’. Maybe it’s just me but I find people are very unwilling to change the ‘type’ of public transport they commence their journey on. I often explain shortcuts to people with Oysters such as crossing London on the DLR to go from, say, Plumstead to Romford via Stratford rather than going into via London Bridge and Liverpool Street, who didn’t know they could do Oyster on DLR or people who don’t know it’s valid on National Rail (I’ve met people who use to take the Circle line from Blackfriars to Kings Cross, thinking Thameslink was a paper ticket no oyster zone. So a map that shows that I’d be behind.
     
  7. DenmarkRail

    DenmarkRail Member

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    I really like this.
     
  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Love the use of Pilning for a station with occasional service :)

    I think something like this would work really well, with the line numberings in the German style (and Tube lines getting numbers as well as names), to show what is now quite a complex network.
     
  9. Wirewiper

    Wirewiper Member

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    I am not convinced of the need to number Crossrail or London Overground services (let alone Underground and DLR services), although I can see some benefit in trying to identify the different Thameslink groups of routes. In particular, I don't see the benefit of short workings which duplicate a longer route in their entirety having separate route numbers.

    Ironically one rail-based system in the London area is about to give up using route numbers - Tramlink.
     
  10. greatkingrat

    greatkingrat Established Member

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    I don't believe any Thameslink trains will be stopping at Harringay, only the Great Northern services into Moorgate.
     
  11. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    I like it, and I agree it doesn't need to try to show the Tube as well. A symbol at the interchange stations is enough; people changing to the Tube can easily refer to s second map for that purpose.
     
  12. U-Bahnfreund

    U-Bahnfreund Member

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    Thanks for all your compliments :)

    Yes, of course a real version would not have a German key, it was just a reference to the Berlin style.

    Yes, it did feel weird drawing lines to Cambridge, Brighton or Reading but leaving out most of Central London. London just has such a complicated system ;)

    That would be an idea, but then I would add more of the other rail lines that are in the central area as well.

    Dir (euch) auch einen frohen 2. Weihnachtstag :)

    Why?

    You have point, but doing it properly, with maps or displays where you'd see which trains go where, you can easily remember something like "If I wanna go to Luton, I'll take the T1, T15, T3, T35, but for Granny in Leagrave I can't use the T35".

    Do you know TfL's map of London's rail and tube services? https://tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/london-rail-and-tube-services-map.pdf There you have a rail services in one, although I could be done more nicely.

    I don't see why one should not use numbers, I - as someone who grew up with them - I found complicated systems like the Northern Line or the DLR without line numbers a tad confusing. Where do you know from that Tramlink wants to eliminate their route numbers?

    Yes, I just checked the 2019 timetable and it does not have any TL trains at Harringay. I'll change that. Thanks.

    That was my idea.
     
  13. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    I think having the route numbers on the front (and sides) of trains would be very useful and reassuring, as indeed I found when waiting for a train to Schoenefeld airport at Ostkreuz in Berlin, whenever different trains stop at the same platform, such as also is the case at core stations on Thameslink, for instance.

    Looks a winner to me. On language, and this should happen in all capital cities of the EU, everything in German, English and French. All EU countries will normally teach their children at least one of those at school.
     
  14. superalbs

    superalbs Established Member

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    Arsley residents won't be happy because it's spelt: Arlesey.
    :P

    Really nifty looking map though, are there any other UK rail systems you'd consider doing like this, maybe Cardiff Valleys, or Glasgow/Edinburgh Commuter services. It's interesting to see. Or maybe even Berlin in LU style?
     
  15. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Love it!
     
  16. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    The initial map plan is just a variation on Frank Pick's underground map. Why do we always have to assume someone else gets it better when the idea for a simplified plan of lines originated here in the first place. As for S-bahn - why the hell do you want to adopt a foreign language name for a London rail network ? Overground, Underground, Thameslink, South-East Rail... anything in the vernacular will do thanks but S-bahns belong in their country of origin.
     
  17. U-Bahnfreund

    U-Bahnfreund Member

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    Whoops, gonna fix that as soon as possible. Thanks!

    As a matter of fact, I actually created diagrams of the Cardiff Valley Lines system and the Scotrail trains around Glasgow a while back. They are not in the exact same style (on the Glasgow map the lines themselves only have one colour), but both have line numbers ;) I'm pretty sure though I've made some mistakes, especially in the Welsh texts on the Cardiff map (mae'n ddrwg gen i!)
     

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  18. U-Bahnfreund

    U-Bahnfreund Member

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    I didn't say I wanted to have the London rail network renamed "S-Bahn", it was just a small joke because the design and the idea (i.e. the individual line numbers) behind the map, were from the Berlin map linked in post #1. Also, it is true that Britain 'invented' these schematic diagrams, but I think it's never a good idea not to inspire oneselve by things other regions or countries do and see whether one can improve the way one does things.
     
  19. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    I'm amazed you thought that was what the OP was suggesting. Could you not see that he was just using an example to make a suggestion? Incidentally I think the old SR had such a system in operation at one point.
     
  20. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    These German style maps are great - if only we could adopt that numbering system as well. And while we are at it day tickets (Tageskarte) like they have in Germany that are valid on all transport operators in a particular city.
     
  21. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    The Paris Metro numbers it's lines and comes across as far more confusing than the underground. Thameslink do actually use an alpha numeric system for their timetabling which means nothing to it's users (route B1 is ?) in spite of using it for a decade. You are forgetting that we are a local country for local people.
     
  22. alistairlees

    alistairlees Member

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    Great map, great idea. What software do you use?
     
  23. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    I believe this to be happening in a couple of weeks time when the services are re-arranged. To be fair, I don't think the general public use the numbers much, they just say 'catch the Addington tram' or whatever. The reason for number elimination may be to achieve greater operational flexibility e.g. if a Beckenham tram is running late they may wish to terminate it via the Croydon loop rather than, in the new pattern, sending it to Wimbledon.

    I love the map by the way, and I speak as someone who's just spent £35 on a book on the history of London Transport maps to add to my collection of books on the subject.
     
  24. Agent_Squash

    Agent_Squash Member

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    Loving it! Ideally these sort of railways should be moved to a map like this instead of the Tube map.
     
  25. NSE

    NSE Established Member

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    Yes, I know that whole map off by heart. But I’m not talking about me. I’m saying I’m surprised by how many people I come into contact with (family, friends or colleagues) who are unaware that when they go from Orpington to Romford they can change at Lewisham for DLR and go via Stratford. They don’t realise that because National Rail and LO/DLR all look and sound different that Oyster isn’t valid or is off peak and blah blah blah.

    With that in mind, I like your map. I think it gets across the point you can hop off the Thameslink and onto LO. I would like to see a map that also gets across how intergrated the tube and National Rail and Tram all are. However, that also makes it very cluttered and people don’t do well with change. So it’s tricky.
     
  26. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    Sehr gut, ich liebe es!
     
    Last edited: 27 Dec 2017
  27. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    As a German speaker, that looks absolutely fantastic, and it’s certainly helping me understand Thameslink 2018 a lot better than anything else I’ve seen.

     
  28. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    Regarding the correction - sorry! I’m fluent but sometimes I do make a few tiny mistakes. :oops:
     
  29. RJ21

    RJ21 Member

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    Excellent work there, I like the German system maps.
     
  30. DanNCL

    DanNCL Member

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    I much prefer this to the "official" tube map, great work!

    I think a map of the rail services in the North East would look good in this style, Metro and Northern
     
  31. Bromley boy

    Bromley boy Established Member

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    Please delete.
     
    Last edited: 27 Dec 2017

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