Reading on the tube map

ijmad

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A new tube map is coming to reflect the extension of TfL rail out to Reading. The section in question looks like this:



I have to say I think it's a bit of a stretch to include it. Particularly in this style. Also considering the GWML crosses the Thames between Taplow and Maidenhead...

Plus, I appreciate it's a non-geographical map, but Reading seems to be closer to Northolt than Greenford!

What do folks think?
 
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TRAX

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Well that’s usually how it’s done on this type of schematic map, it’s pretty well done for what it’s supposed to show: stations. Which is what is done.
 

Ianno87

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Trying to show the Thames crossing would just make the whole thing look a total mess (and not really add any value to the map so far out). The way it's been done is probably the most reasonable compromise.
 

pdeaves

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If you want to include out to Reading, bending the line up into otherwise-empty space is more efficient than keeping the line straight and making the diagram wider or more compact.
 

AlbertBeale

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TfL's fetish for producing maps based on who's responsible for the service, rather than normal people's perception, is getting more and more unhelpful.

A map of the Underground, plus perhaps the Overground (though why those "proper" rail lines and not some other suburban ones?), and - since they're part of the in-London system for many purposes - Thameslink and [if it ever happens] Crossrail within Greater London makes some sense as a useful tool for travellers. Putting other rail lines miles outside London - "TfL Rail" / Crossrail / whatever - makes no sense on the tube map. It's bad enough that, for many years now, the Tube-plus-Overground map ignores the Thameslink route.

It seems obvious (to me at least!) that what's needed is:
(A) a simple map that covers frequent-service lines going though inner London (ie the Underground system plus DLR plus Greater London bits of Thameslink/Crossrail is reasonable).
Also (B), an enhanced version of that could include local inside-Greater-London "proper" rail lines that supplement the Underground-etc (ie the Overground with a capital "O" and other suburban services - the distinction, based on who controls the route, is totally silly).
The rationale for these two different maps being that the lines added in the latter are ones which only serve more outer areas, and also are generally less frequent services than the ones on the "tube map"; also, the traditional tube map is easier to understand, especially for visitors for whom the Underground services are mostly what they need.
[Both of these might include Croydon trams.]

But it makes no sense for either the basic "tube map", or the "Greater-London-all-local-railways" map, to include the through connections that happen to be made by services that also operate within the Greater London conurbation. If Reading is on either of these maps [and it's especially crazy if it's on the tube map, and not just on an all-London-railways one], then Littlehampton and Cambridge should be...

For south-east regional connections, including showing services coming into/through London, there's already a south-east rail map, which obviously includes Reading etc.

It's bad enough that some rail maps and timetables on mainline trains show information selectively according to which company happens to be running the train, rather than just giving integrated service information [who cares which company it is if they just want to get from A to B on a train?!]; but for a public authority like TfL to go down that same passenger-unhelpful route [ie including irrelevant info and excluding useful info] is a scandal.
 

packermac

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A new tube map is coming to reflect the extension of TfL rail out to Reading. The section in question looks like this:



I have to say I think it's a bit of a stretch to include it. Particularly in this style. Also considering the GWML crosses the Thames between Taplow and Maidenhead...

Plus, I appreciate it's a non-geographical map, but Reading seems to be closer to Northolt than Greenford!

What do folks think?
As someone who used to live close to Northolt and Greenford, perhaps Reading is closer to Northolt (but not in the way you were meaning)
 

Adsy125

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Why are they not using zones 7-9 for some of the stations between Reading and West Drayton? It would allow for more stations to use Oyster, and make pricing simpler.
 

Mikey C

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TfL's fetish for producing maps based on who's responsible for the service, rather than normal people's perception, is getting more and more unhelpful.

A map of the Underground, plus perhaps the Overground (though why those "proper" rail lines and not some other suburban ones?), and - since they're part of the in-London system for many purposes - Thameslink and [if it ever happens] Crossrail within Greater London makes some sense as a useful tool for travellers. Putting other rail lines miles outside London - "TfL Rail" / Crossrail / whatever - makes no sense on the tube map. It's bad enough that, for many years now, the Tube-plus-Overground map ignores the Thameslink route.

It seems obvious (to me at least!) that what's needed is:
(A) a simple map that covers frequent-service lines going though inner London (ie the Underground system plus DLR plus Greater London bits of Thameslink/Crossrail is reasonable).
Also (B), an enhanced version of that could include local inside-Greater-London "proper" rail lines that supplement the Underground-etc (ie the Overground with a capital "O" and other suburban services - the distinction, based on who controls the route, is totally silly).
The rationale for these two different maps being that the lines added in the latter are ones which only serve more outer areas, and also are generally less frequent services than the ones on the "tube map"; also, the traditional tube map is easier to understand, especially for visitors for whom the Underground services are mostly what they need.
[Both of these might include Croydon trams.]

But it makes no sense for either the basic "tube map", or the "Greater-London-all-local-railways" map, to include the through connections that happen to be made by services that also operate within the Greater London conurbation. If Reading is on either of these maps [and it's especially crazy if it's on the tube map, and not just on an all-London-railways one], then Littlehampton and Cambridge should be...

For south-east regional connections, including showing services coming into/through London, there's already a south-east rail map, which obviously includes Reading etc.

It's bad enough that some rail maps and timetables on mainline trains show information selectively according to which company happens to be running the train, rather than just giving integrated service information [who cares which company it is if they just want to get from A to B on a train?!]; but for a public authority like TfL to go down that same passenger-unhelpful route [ie including irrelevant info and excluding useful info] is a scandal.
Agreed, it's making the tube map a travesty when it includes Reading, Cheshunt and Shenfield, but not the Thameslink core or indeed the Moorgate to Finsbury Park line, both of which have previously appeared on tube maps and are far more useful to the sort of casual traveller who relies on the tube map
 

ijmad

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If the government devolved the Thameslink Metro services to TfL Rail, and Moorgate to Stevenage via Hereford North became an Overground line, you can bet they'd appear! I think both these ideas could be sensible myself.
 
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goldenarrow

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Why are they not using zones 7-9 for some of the stations between Reading and West Drayton? It would allow for more stations to use Oyster, and make pricing simpler.
If some stations could have been incorporated into the existing fare charts loaded on the Oyster card without undermining GWR fares as per the operating agreement, then I'm sure they would have. It's likely the iterations of having some shared stations interspersed with TfL only ones would have needed multiple additional fare charts for the Oyster card which currently houses 14 out of a maximum of 15 fare charts. Contactless as a bolt-on system was always going to be the least painful option.
 

Belperpete

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The London Tube and Rail Map shows all the tube and rail connections, including Thameslink. But it is quite a large and complex map, and I can understand why they want to produce something simpler for the inner area. Unfortunately the Tube Map is become a bit of a bad compromise, showing the Overground, trams and now TfL rail services right out to Reading and Shenfield, as well as the tube, but not Thameslink or Moorgate services, for example. It would be better if they limited the tube map to the area covered by the tube, including relevant rail services within that area (Overground, TfL Rail, Thameslink, etc) with arrows to places like Reading and Shenfield outside that "tube area". After all, you can look at the Tube and Rail Map if you want detail of services outside that "tube area".
 

AlbertBeale

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Agreed, it's making the tube map a travesty when it includes Reading, Cheshunt and Shenfield, but not the Thameslink core or indeed the Moorgate to Finsbury Park line, both of which have previously appeared on tube maps and are far more useful to the sort of casual traveller who relies on the tube map
Yes of course - I should have added the Moorgate line to my mention of Thameslink in my rant...
 

AlbertBeale

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The London Tube and Rail Map shows all the tube and rail connections, including Thameslink. But it is quite a large and complex map, and I can understand why they want to produce something simpler for the inner area. Unfortunately the Tube Map is become a bit of a bad compromise, showing the Overground, trams and now TfL rail services right out to Reading and Shenfield, as well as the tube, but not Thameslink or Moorgate services, for example. It would be better if they limited the tube map to the area covered by the tube, including relevant rail services within that area (Overground, TfL Rail, Thameslink, etc) with arrows to places like Reading and Shenfield outside that "tube area". After all, you can look at the Tube and Rail Map if you want detail of services outside that "tube area".
Yes - something like the existing London Tube and Rail map is what I meant by my (B) above. Except perhaps it shouldn't confuse people by duplicating lines if there's more than one company running on that section. And it probably ought not to include any lines which don't stop anywhere [except for the terminus] in Greater London - these appear on the south-east region map and that's sufficient.

In terms of a slimmed-down tube map [my (A) above] - which, as you say, is currently a bad compromise - I'd limit the extras (ie beyond the underground lines) as much as possible. So DLR and perhaps trams, yes. Trunk (within-Greater-London) sections of Thameslink and Crossrail [when the latter finally is running through the centre], yes, because they're a kind of RER-equivalent (going though the city; high-frequency; and can usefully be used in the way you use the tubes). Beyond that, as little as possible, since it decreases rather than increases usefulness. I admit there are difficult judgements to be made - where I'd draw the line [sic] is including only frequent services which might, had history been different, have been "underground" lines, which have underground-style service levels, which are primarily inside-London services, and which integrate well with the underground. So maybe the Moorgate line, perhaps the original "outer circle" Overground.

But if extra is to be added to the tube map, the services should be either extensions/branches of underground lines [eg if the Bakerloo gets to Catford Bridge and Hayes, then that branch line obviously becomes part of the underground); or the relevant routes should be branded as part of the Underground, given an underground name and colour, and conceptually integrated. So, eg, the first sections of what is confusingly called the Overground [confusing because it messes with Londoners' parlance of "the overground" - meaning any "proper trains", as distinct from "the underground"] might become the Outer Circle line or the Ring line [or whatever]. It would be better and easier to add one or two new "underground lines" to the tube map like this, in cases where existing railways "make sense" as part of the system in terms of the purposes they serve, rather than a creeping rebranding of rail lines as "the Overground", just because TfL has control, and adding them one after another to the basic tube map.

In this connection, the idea of calling the future Crossrail service the Elizabeth Line, as though it were a tube line, is another manifestation of TfL's absurd way of doing things based on who runs them rather than on the purpose they serve. Crossrail obviously makes no more sense being branded as though it were part of the underground than Thameslink does - they both benefit from a more generic name like Thameslink and Crossrail. As long-distance inter-regional railways, running well outside London - that also, usefully, run through the middle of London - treat their Greater London sections as RER-style services and put them on the tube map, but don't pretend they are underground lines.
 

MikeWh

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In this connection, the idea of calling the future Crossrail service the Elizabeth Line, as though it were a tube line, is another manifestation of TfL's absurd way of doing things
Sorry, I have to call this out. TfL had nothing to do with the name Elizabeth line. It was forced on them by the then Mayor.
 

transmanche

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Sorry, I have to call this out. TfL had nothing to do with the name Elizabeth line. It was forced on them by the then Mayor.
Indeed. One of Johnson's final acts as Mayor of London. A bit like farting as you leave a lift...
 

ijmad

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In terms of a slimmed-down tube map [my (A) above] - which, as you say, is currently a bad compromise - I'd limit the extras (ie beyond the underground lines) as much as possible. So DLR and perhaps trams, yes. Trunk (within-Greater-London) sections of Thameslink and Crossrail [when the latter finally is running through the centre], yes, because they're a kind of RER-equivalent (going though the city; high-frequency; and can usefully be used in the way you use the tubes). Beyond that, as little as possible, since it decreases rather than increases usefulness. I admit there are difficult judgements to be made - where I'd draw the line [sic] is including only frequent services which might, had history been different, have been "underground" lines, which have underground-style service levels, which are primarily inside-London services, and which integrate well with the underground. So maybe the Moorgate line, perhaps the original "outer circle" Overground.
History is completely irrelevant to 99.999% of people trying to get from A to B as tourists or commuters.
 

AlbertBeale

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Indeed. One of Johnson's final acts as Mayor of London. A bit like farting as you leave a lift...
Apologies - I tend to think of the London Mayor and TfL as one entity, though clearly they're not always of one mind! (Even if TfL have to grin and bear it and pretend they are?)
 

ess

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Western access to Heathrow - Langley to Heathrow will look odd with the Reading branch in this format
 

Taunton

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I believe the Freedom Pass is contractually valid wherever Oyster is. Making the Reading extension available to Contactless but not Oyster also prevents Freedom Pass free journeys all the way out to Reading.

It's notable that the Freedom Pass documentation states that for journeys beyond the boundary a ticket must be bought in advance. Fair enough, one can be bought at Paddington (though not at a connecting tube station once the full Crossrail opens) valid from West Drayton, bot nothing about touching out the Freedom Pass; I assume this is not an issue.
 

Mojo

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I believe the Freedom Pass is contractually valid wherever Oyster is. Making the Reading extension available to Contactless but not Oyster also prevents Freedom Pass free journeys all the way out to Reading.
It’s nothing to do with the validity of Oyster. I’m not quote sure what you’re saying however, as Freedom Passes will be valid to Reading, on TfL Rail services.
 

ijmad

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Would that be a TfL service?
HeX are apparently interested in bidding, but you might imagine TfL might too. Running the Elizabeth Line trains on from T5 to Reading would protect their revenue stream on the faster Paddington to Reading skip stop services which HeX could be competitive with if they price it right.
 

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