We've made a new tube map
As you shuffled head down, bleary-eyed towards your local station to get to work this morning, you may have walked right past the new tube map, which is officially in stations as of today. (Although we gave you a first look at it last week.)
In our opinion though, there can never be enough tube maps, and inspired by the old geographical map, we've created an up-to-date version. Drawn from scratch, our map shows the entire London Overground, including all its new sections and the TfL rail in the east.
As we expected, the geographical map enlightens us on some interesting points that the standard map hides. For instance, Enfield is as far north as High Barnet and Cockfosters are, but Cheshunt is MUCH further north — on a par with Chesham. Shenfield, meanwhile, is much further east than Upminster, and is just as far to the right of the map as Amersham is to the left.
Here's the full-sized PDF version of our map.
Cheaper fares for some
These new TfL lines herald something you might not have expected — cheaper fares for some people using stations on these lines. Why's that? Fees for services on these lines were previously set by National Rail, and typically the TfL PAYG fares are cheaper than those of National Rail operators.
For example, a peak zone 1-6 PAYG fare from Romford to Oxford Circus is now £5.10 instead of £7.60 (30% less) with the off-peak fare falling from £5.20 to £3.10 (that's 40% cheaper!).
And a peak zones 1-6 PAYG from Cheshunt to zone 1 has fallen from £8.20 to £6.90 (15% cheaper), with the off-peak fare dropping from £6.20 to £4.00 (35% cheaper).
If you live in Brentwood, note that the station has now moved into the zonal system — Zone 9 — and thus fares will now be cheaper there too: A 7-day zone 1 travelcard from Brentwood has dropped from £87.40 to £83.40, bringing it in line with current TfL fares. PAYG go fares from Brentwood to zone 1 London Underground stations have also gone down.
Residents of Shenfield be wary though: you'll note on the new tube map Shenfield is now a 'special fares apply' zone (just like Watford Junction is, which is also just outside zone 9). The reason for this is that if you're getting a train from Liverpool Street to Shenfield, there is a faster non-stopping service that you can take, and thus a higher fare is charged.
And if you're wondering which parts of the tube map might be turning orange next, we spoke to the commissioner of Transport for London, Peter Hendy earlier today, who told us:
The next part of London's network to be re-franchised is South Eastern in 2018. We're not interested in the wide National Rail network, what we are interested in is making London work properly, and all of these lines and all of these stations will play their part in doing it.
New tube cover artwork
In case you were wondering about the cover art for the new tube map, it's by London-based artist Pablo Bronstein, and is entitled Design for a magnificent London Underground Grand Pendulum in gilt bronze. It depicts a Baroque-inspired 18th Century clock, sat on top of what it clearly a portal to a tube tunnel, the pendulum in the distance being the light at the end of the tunnel. What's it all about? The artist explains:
A clock is an extremely complicated object that has a wealth of accumulated scientific knowledge. So for this commission I began to think of the tube network as a similarly complicated machine in which the different parts need to be working as a whole. The clock I have drawn is rather theatrical, and I wanted it to contrast with the practical modern design frequently used on the underground.
One final but hugely interesting thing about that new tube map: if you compare the pocket maps to the poster map that you'll see up at stations (or online on the TfL website), the new kink in the Central line to the west of Bond Street (which we think has been put in to enable Crossrail to fit in later) appears on the poster map, but NOT the pocket sized map.
This is most likely to do with the constraints in size of the physical map; the 'kinky' version will not fit into the space which the pocket map allows. Which is why we think that, come September when Night Tube services start, there's going to be ANOTHER brand new pocket map, which will be a different size altogether.