With coverage of the 150th birthday of the London Underground now beginning to blossom, Google have joined the action by featuring a London Underground themed masthead on their main search page. For posterity, we’ve mirrored the large version of the image below.

The London Underground Google Masthead

The London Underground Google Masthead

jump to the end
There are 31 comments on this article
  1. Anonymous says:

    nice – you’d almost think that the tube map did spell Google. Just a couple of tweaks here and there

  2. John Bull says:

    They’ve certainly put some effort into it, which is nice to see.

  3. Josh says:

    Not seeing much coverage. BBC and Sky News have buried it. The Telegraph has a nice 150 facts page on their travel page.

  4. IanVisits says:

    “Not seeing much coverage. BBC and Sky News have buried it. ”

    I’m not sure about Sky, but BBC London News has loads of coverage about it and has been running stories for the past week or more.

    I’ve seen quite a bit of commentary in the various newspapers as well.

  5. Greg Tingey says:

    And when can we look forward to the extra lines shewn in this diagram I wonder?

  6. Peter Parkes says:

    I feel sorry for the people who have to use that loop over the Thames on the backup Victoria line.

  7. Anonymike says:

    And there was me thinking the Victoria Line extension was a good way of regenerating the East-End.

    And the solution to the Amersham and Chesham problem is so draconian, that LUL’s solution looks really good 😉

  8. JamesC says:

    Lets see how long its going to be before some tourist turns up with that map after doing a google image search for the tube map….

  9. Greg Tingey says:

    James C
    I give it about a week!

  10. Carl says:

    I know the “logo” isn’t supposed to be 100% accurate but looking at it, on the Central Line it has a Bank AND Monument station and there’s a station between Oxford Circus and Bond Street.

  11. Leytonstoner says:

    Talking of Google and maps I’ve only just come across this real-time tube service mashup, which marries TfL data with Google Maps, which is kinda cool:

  12. Stu says:

    @ Leytonstoner

    Yes, it is fairly clever to say the least. If only it could work off a better tube map (did you see the Bank/Monument area ?), it could be even better … !

  13. answer=42 says:

    The Guardian (The Grauniad to Greg) has a nice photo gallery of Underground history, although some of the pictures are well-known:
    Photo 14 is from about 1940 but check out the bands playing at the Astoria. Perhaps Jack is older than he lets on.

    The Financial Times’ Lex column has a story on the Underground – and gets just about every fact wrong! For those of you with a subscription or registration:

  14. Greg Tingey says:

    Oh dear, don’t you know why it’s called the “Grauniad” ???
    Private Eye always calls it that (some people call it the Groan) … no, one day, the main masthead appeaed like that (!)

    If the FT’s Lex is that bad, someone needs to point out just how bad it is – but …….

  15. Stu says:

    @ Greg
    “one day, the main masthead appeaed like that ”

    Are you sure ? I thought that was just a joke given the huge number of typos they once suffered with. Not sure they are worse than the others now – my electronic Telegraph includes a shed-load every day

  16. James GB says:

    There has been quite a bit of coverage on the BBC. There was a long piece on the World Tonight yesterday , including a bit which made the mayor of Amersham look a right twit by contrasting how the town grew up thanks to the Met with his current opposition to HS2. There have been several pieces on the website, links to other pieces are at the foot of the page I’ll link to here:

  17. Ian Sergeant says:

    Urban myth apparently

    Language log

    Shame it’s not true – it’s a lovely story…

  18. timbeau says:

    One of the papaers (I thoght it was the Evening Standard but I can’t find it oin the website now) included a good quiz on the underground, but at least one of the answers was wrong:

    the deepest statoin below sea level is not Hampstead (I think it’s the Jubilee platforms at Waterloo). Hampstead’s distinction is to be the deepest below the ground

  19. mdb says:

    We have news24 on a screen here at work all day. Judging by the amount of tube related images I’m seeing, either its a slower news day than yesterday or they are taking the Real start date of 10th January. This despite the erroneous 9th Jan date that seemed to be doing the rounds everywhere one cared to look

  20. Greg Tingey says:

    Yes, it was the “Standard” & yes, I noted that one, as well …..

    Any hope of getting a transcript or pirated copy of Lex’s piece in the FT, so that we can all have fun?

  21. answer=42 says:


    I think that you can register for free with the FT to see a limited number of articles. Someone (not me) has now pointed out a few of the errors.

    And yes I know the origins of the Grauniad’s nickname.

  22. Greg Tingey says:

    Not for the “Lex” column, apparently – I got a message saying this was “premium rate”.
    Or that’s the message that my computer got, anyway ….

  23. Greg ingey says:

    AFAIK the only error I can find (someone sent me a scanned copy) in the very short “Lex” column is:
    “The Tube, as London’s is known was not nationalised until 1948”
    No, because LPTB founded in 1933, became part of LT in 1948 – not quite the same thing, since LPTB was already a “Public” body.
    I might disagree with his conclusions/opinions, but we are discussing matters of fact here.

  24. answer=42 says:

    Yes, that’s one of them. The article made comparable mistakes about the financing and, to an extent, the building of the New York Subway and Paris Métro. These are pretty big errors, given the article’s conclusion that:

    ‘Private entrepreneurs proved good at financing and building underground systems, but operationally they need single ownership, which is the best model for what is in essence a utility.’

    What’s also interesting is the livid set of responses to the article, along the lines of ‘what do you know, Underground is a shambles, Asian metros are much better yadda, yadda..’

  25. Fandroid says:

    I thought the consensus about the original building of the deep tubes was that the network only grew so fast because Yerkes was able to fool US investors into believing that they would be profitable. He was able to create a relatively united network (rather than loads of competing lines) only as a result of his generally piratical behaviour. However, I wouldn’t argue with the FT conclusion about single ownership and the utility nature of public transport.

    As the for yadda, yadda, brigade, I too could point out lots of apparently ‘efficient’ metros in Europe, but I’m sure that the level of operational subsidies would make the yadda brigade weep.

  26. Anonymous says:

    If its a London Underground map it should not include the rail services operated by LOROL – these are not tube lines . . . despite attempts by TfL to present it as such.

    Tfl have done a good job “rebranding” their new lines haven’t they? Writing (presumably) to Google to tell them to “rebrand” its National Rail services with the orange London Transport symbol on its map. So now some stations have the NR symbol and the orange LT symbol (New Cross)

    And some don’t – for example, Brockley just has the orange LT symbol – despite it being served by “Southern” trains as well.

    If i was a tourist l would be confused.

    Imagine if Southern had also written to TfL and said – can you use OUR symbol on your maps? What would google have said to that?

    My fear here is that TfL are leading the way in the possible further break up of a national rail network – once the NR symbol is dropped stage by stage its really the end of a unified rail system in this country.

    And other bits of madness from TfL:
    On their Journey Planner on its website they have divided train services into “rail” and overground”. Er? I thought overground was rail? apparently not. So looked to see what would happen if l wanted to travel by “rail” from Lewisham to Dalston Junction. It came up with a 2h 13 mins journey via London Bridge, change, St. Pancras International, walk to Kings Cross, get a train to Finsbury Park, change, train to Moorgate, walk to Liverpool street station, then get a train to Hackney Downs and walk to Dalston Junction. Crazy! And sent on this wild diversion just because l wanted to travel by “rail” in London.

    So l then selected the same journey – and chose to travel only by “London Overground”.
    I could not believe my eyes: It advised me to walk from Lewisham to Brockley station and catch an “Overground” train from there. A 35 min walk followed by a 24 min rail – sorry “Overground” journey. A total of 59 mins.

    To finish, I went to a more reliable source: the National Rail website. It doesn’t divide train services into “rail” and “overground” – it just shows you how to train by “rail” around the capital (I know, its an old-fashioned, BR concept). And the answer for this journey? Just catch a “train” from Lewisham to New Cross, change and then another “train” (admittedly an “overground”) to Dalston Junction – journey time 38 mins.

    So – three travel options for a simple journey in London. I would never advise anyone to use the TfL website for planning rail journeys in London. How have TfL been allowed to get this so wrong?

    I’m a Londoner – imagine any tourists or visitors from outside London who’ve never heard of the “London Overground” “brand” and don’t know that TfL are have in effect divided London’s rail services into these two categories – and will NOT allow you to find out a simple, quick journey if you try and it by National Rail?

  27. Anonymous says:

    The tfl planner is terrible. I often ask for a plan from Purley Station to somewhere and it will put me on the 466 bus to East Croydon first, or even once told me bet the 127 to Tescos (1 minute walk) then the 407 to South Croydon and then the 466 or 312. This was the point i gave up and used knowledge instead.

  28. Greg Tingey says:

    Waht is this “National Rail Network of which you speak?
    Anyway TfL operate a CONCESSION, NOT A FRANCHISE, & the difference is important.
    Under our insane rules though, Notwonk Fail are still responsible for the track & signalling on Loo-Roll lines.

    Journey Planner has some really wierd quirks in it – but it always did have.
    If you are trying for a really early train from the E to Padders, it will always tell you to change @ Edgware Rd, even if the train youi are on is going to Bishops’ (Bridge) Road platforms!
    And other peculiarities.

    TfL have been “allowed” to get it wrong for two reasons:
    1 – No one else is doing the job,
    & 2. THEY NEVER EVER LISTEN TO ADVICE – they know best. The repeated & conflicting lies told about the utter necessity for their repeated loud & often contradictory “announcements” are the guide to that.
    Furthermore, you don’t have to follow the division – you just tick all the boxes that allow both “tube”, “overground” & “national rail” &/or DLR, as appropriate.
    It is actually useful, because you can exclude modes you don’t want to use.
    Admittedly, you do have to know which is which, & a visitor may/will not know about said division of powers & responsibilities. But you have to remember what I said aboove .. LUL/TfL know best, & you, the mere travelling public, can’t tell us anything.
    [ Best example: The way they had to re-invent, for themselves the ideas to “cool the tube”, rather than listening to, & acting on what they were told by educated people, as far back as 2003 ….. ]

  29. Whiff says:

    The first anonymous is right that, for all their good work developing the Overground, TFL are not very good at telling people about other rail services in London. Given they are a public body this is disappointing but I don’t think they are any better or worse in this regard than any of the other rail operators.

  30. timbeau says:

    A pedant writes

    The Paddington – Farringdon section may claim to be the world’s first underground railway, but most of the stations were open to the air, and it certainly wasn’t the first railway in a tunnel – some of the earliest known railways were in mines! Parts of the Underground are much older – for example Leyton to Loughton, opened by the Eastern Counties railway in 1856, or Ealing Broadway station and the section from Paddington to Westbourne Park (part of the original GWR opened in 1838).

    The Thames Tunnel between Wapping and Rotherhithe (now part of the Overground) was completed in 1843, (it took eighteen years to build – slow by Victorian standards but a greyhound compared to Thameslink 2000-and-counting) but was not converted to rail use until 1865). But I read recently that the DC lines through Harrow & Wealdstone are on the line of the original WCML fast tracks, making that station and the line through it, opened with the London & Birmingham Railway in 1837, the oldest on the Underground.

    But part of the DLR is even older – Greenwich station was opened in December 1836, making it London’s third oldest surviving station (after Deptford and London Bridge), and it is still very much in original condition.

  31. timbeau says:

    ….and I forget the grand-daddy of them all – Tramlink: between Mitcham and Reeves Corner it follows the route of the Surrey Iron Railway, opened in 1803

Leave a Comment

In order to make LR a pleasant place for discussion, please try to keep comments polite and, importantly, on topic! Comments that we feel do not meet these criteria, or that contain language that could cause some people trouble at work, may be moderated or deleted.

acceptable tags

* (This won't be shown, but you can link it to an avatar if you like)

Recent Articles

Friday Reading List – 24 March


As anyone looking to properly understand London’s transport needs and network knows, context, background and best-practice are important. As readers might imagine, behind the scenes here at LR Towers we thus spend a lot of time sharing links and reading

Read more ›

Friday Reading List – 17 March


As anyone looking to properly understand London’s transport needs and network knows, context, background and best-practice are important. As readers might imagine, behind the scenes here at LR Towers we thus spend a lot of time sharing links and reading

Read more ›

LR Magazine Issue Five: Overgrounded


With print copies now being prepped for dispatch to subscribers at LR Towers, London Reconnections Magazine Issue 5: Overgrounded is now available to purchase in our online store. Transport is politics, politics is transport You don’t get transport without politics.

Read more ›