In Pictures: A Vision of the Underground’s Future


Back in July 2004 TfL released a “2016 Tube Map.” This was intended to give a potential vision of how both TfL and then Mayor Ken Livingstone felt the network may look by that time.

It’s now an interesting document – both for the elements it accurately portrays and those that it doesn’t. The DLR extension to Woolwich Arsenal now exists, for example, whilst that to Dagenham Dock is now unlikely to come to pass. The ELL and its extensions are generally well mapped, although the configuration around Shoreditch is in reality a bit simpler than is pictured here. Given its future key role in the Overground network, it is interesting to note that at this point the NLL did not even appear to feature in the planner’s minds (publicly at least) – it appears here as the “Silverlink Metro.”

Elsewhere both Surrey Canal Road station and the Croxley Rail Link feature, although both projects are now currently treading a fine line between completion and cancelation.

Crossrail features, although its route reflects the original suggestion (on which Pedantic has written before) that it would head towards Richmond and beyond. Several of the original transit schemes and the Cross River Tram (as a transit scheme) all feature, although the majority of these didn’t come to pass.

Apologies for the file size:

Many thanks to Tony for this spot. This author remembers seeing this map at the time but had lost his copy a while back. The map can be found in PDF form here. As can, interestingly, some other old LU maps (including a code map from a similar period). There is also a section on Oyster Barrier Codes but I have avoided featuring this in the “main content” of this post as I cannot confirm whether they are still valid or not. I will leave that for the more enlightened minds than mine to comment on.

Written by John Bull
John Bull is the Editor of London Reconnections. A transport journalist and historian, his writing often focuses on the political or strategic challenges facing London's transport network and beyond.