London Overground Lines Get New Names And Colours

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By M@
London Overground Lines Get New Names And Colours

The Mayor of London has announced the names and colours for the new-look Overground.

Long anticipated, Mayor Sadiq Khan has now set out his plans to split the orange tangle that engirdles the tube map into six separate lines. Each will have its own name and colour, as follows:

London Overground map with new names and colours for lines
Click/tap for larger version

The Lioness line (Euston to Watford Junction): Named after the Euro-winning/World Cup finalist England women's football team. The line passes through Wembley and will be shown by yellow parallel lines.

The Mildmay line (Stratford to Richmond/Clapham Junction): Named after "the small charitable hospital in Shoreditch that has cared for Londoners over many years, notably its pivotal role in the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s". It will be shown with blue parallel lines.

The Windrush line (Highbury & Islington to Clapham Junction/New Cross/Crystal Palace/West Croydon): Fairly obviously, named for the famous ship and the generation who came to Britain on it in 1948. This line "runs through areas with strong ties to Caribbean communities today, such as Dalston Junction, Peckham Rye and West Croydon". It will be given red parallel lines on the map.

A train and a key of the new lines
The six new lines you'll need to learn. Image: Matt Brown/Londonist/TfL

The Weaver line (Liverpool Street to Cheshunt/Enfield Town/Chingford): Runs through areas such as Liverpool Street, Spitalfields, Bethnal Green and Hackney noted for their history of textile production. (And passes alongside Weavers Fields.) This line will be maroon parallel lines on the map.

The Suffragette line (Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside): What was formerly nicknamed the Goblin will henceforth be named after those who struggled for women's votes. We're told that it celebrates the working class population of the East End who fought in the movement, and it includes Barking, "home of the longest surviving Suffragette Annie Huggett, who died at 103". This line will have green parallel lines.

The Liberty line (Romford to Upminster): The tiny stump of Overground on the upper-right of the tube map is perhaps the most vague name choice. We're told that freedom is a "defining feature of London and references the historical independence of the people of Havering, through which it runs.. We predict that this one will come in for the most mockery. It will be shown with grey parallel lines.

Breaking up the Overground into separate lines, it's hoped, will help with navigation. Currently, passengers have to decipher a web of orange, which includes 112 stations. This scheme breaks it down into manageable chunks.

The downside: the tube map itself now looks like a riot of colour.

A tube map with new look Overground lines
How the lines will look on the tube map. Click or tap for larger version. Image: TfL

Interestingly, none of the lines are orange now, presumably because TfL will retain that colour for overarching Overground branding such as roundels and station furniture. After all, when combined, these lines still form the Overground. They are the rings to the Overground's Captain Planet:

The new names were chosen with the input of "stakeholders, customers, historians, industry experts and communities". The choices will, of course, divide Londoners. Some will call them "woke", some will deem them tenuous, others will say "they already had perfectly sensible names to begin with", and a few might even applaud the decisions. Eventually, though, we'll all settle down and the names will become an established part of the texture of London, just like the Bakerloo, Victoria, Circle and Elizabeth lines.

The changes to the tube map and signage will be 'live' from August 2024.

Last Updated 19 February 2024

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