Heading out toward Heathrow on the Piccadilly line recently, we found ourselves wondering: why does Hounslow have three Tube stations named after it? Such pondering naturally led on to a consideration of which part of London has the dubious honour of having the most stations named for it. After some careful poring over the Tube map, the above infographic was born. Click and hover on the numbers to see which is which.
To keep things simple we set a few ground rules. Firstly, the stations had to appear on the standard Tube map, which includes the nine lines plus the DLR and London Overground, but doesn't include the National Rail lines, Croydon Tramlink or the river bus. Secondly, we took the map at its word, so stations that were physically separate but were represented only once (Shadwell's DLR and Overground stations for example) would only count once.
The surprise winner is Acton, which has its name emblazoned at no fewer than six stations. It is also the only part of London that has stations with all cardinal points represented. Close behind are Harrow and Ruislip, both with five, followed by Ealing, Hampstead, Clapham and Kensington, all with four. Among other globs of "useful" information we found were the number of times the cardinal points are used in Tube station names. The clear winner here is 'West' with 14, followed by 'South' (12), 'East' (7) and finally 'North' (7).
So what has this largely pointless exercise told us? Nothing at all really, though its interesting to note that most of the stations at the top of the list are in west London. Acton and Ruislip are two of the capitals less celebrated neighbourhoods, so its a rare pleasure for them to be spoken about in such glowing terms. One other thing we noticed is the inconsistency with which cardinal points are used in the naming conventions. Why is there East Acton and North Ealing (with the direction preceding the name) but also Hounslow West and Clapham South, with the order reversed?
Just the type of question to prompt a furious debate next time you're down the pub. Don't blame us if you lose a few friends along the way, mind.