The Barbi-Ken Line? The Ickeypoo Line? What If All Tubes Were Named Like Bakerloo?

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The Barbi-Ken Line? The Ickeypoo Line? What If All Tubes Were Named Like Bakerloo?
A roundel giving a tube station name as Hammercock Line.

What if every tube line was named after its stations, like the Bakerloo?

Even in the polite and overly-formal Edwardian era, nobody was going to say "I shall take the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway". Too many words. A nickname was needed for the prolix line, and the obvious choice was to smash together Baker Street and Waterloo to make Bakerloo. The word first appears in print five days before the line's opening on 10 March 1906. It quickly gained currency and was adopted as the official name just four months later.

It's not the only example. We almost got the Viking Line, an early proposal for the Victoria line, which would have combined Victoria and King's Cross. We should also note the "Goblin line" — the part of the Overground that runs from Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside. The portmanteau of Goblin has a kind of semi-official status, and is reasonably well known. Arguably, there's also the BedPan line connecting Bedford and St Pancras (better known as Thameslink), but that was only ever a nickname and is not a Transport for London service.

So what if all the remaining TfL lines were redubbed in a similar way to the Bakerloo? We could imagine some fairly convincing, half-sensible constructions, like the Wimbleminster line for the District, or the Stratmore line for the Jubilee. But it's much more fun to try and find the silliest possibilities. Here, then are our suggestions for all the main TfL routes:

List of alternative tube names if composed like Bakerloo

The Overground offers further possibilities. The unwieldy network, all currently orange on the map and united under the single name of Overground, is likely to be carved up into separate lines in the near future. New names will be needed for each one. So how about these?

A selection of alternative names for the overground

The possibilities are near-infinite. So if you've got better suggestions for any of the lines mentioned above — or even want to stray out onto the non-TfL network — then feel free to jump into the comments below.

Last Updated 14 November 2023

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