This Fascinating Tube Map Predicts The Future Of Crossrail

Alex Landon Alex Landon - Editor

Crossrail tube map

A Crossrail tube map – it’s (possibly) the future, you know!

Giddy with train-geekery after the success of his 2040 tube map, tube-lovin’ Alastair Carr is back at it again. This time, the designer and founder of transport blog Not Quite Tangible has taken another peek into the future, aiming to show what upcoming rail projects would look like on a Crossrail tube map. Facing down the tempestuous beasts known as Thameslink, Crossrail, Crossrail 2, and the elusive Crossrail 3, Alastair has corralled them into a handy network, and it’s a rather fun look into our capital’s future.Crossrail tube map

(You can see a full-size map here)

First to go on the map is the much-maligned, twice-delayed black hole transport scheme known as Crossrail – or, to give it the proper honorific title, the Elizabeth Line. Possibly the easiest to chart, given that most of the stations are built and (small) parts of it are running, Carr has nonetheless taken a stab at some future extensions, based on mooted proposals.

Crossrail tube map
The western section of Crossrail, with the Reading-Heathrow and Old Oak Common-Tring proposed extensions.

The terminus at Abbey Wood (if you can actually call it a terminus, given that it’s not open yet) gets a Kentish extension, continuing on to Dartford and Gravesend. Meanwhile, the map also adds a tiny link to connect Reading and Heathrow directly, instead of forcing commuters to change at Hayes & Harlington and double back. Finally, there’s a tantalising route into Hertfordshire, as another branch follows the Overground route out to Watford Junction and on to Tring.

Crossrail tube map
The northern section of Crossrail 2, as currently mooted.


Trying to plot Crossrail 2 before Crossrail 1 has actually been finished is akin to running before you can walk, but the map gives it a go. A south-west to north-east route mapped in a fetching hot pink, Crossrail 2 links Alexandra Palace, Dalston, St Pancras, Victoria, and Wimbledon, amongst many others (it also turns Tottenham Court Road into the undisputed Crossrail Hub). A sprawling network in south London brings places like Hampton Court, Epsom, and New Malden onto the map, and there’s even room for a proposed eastward expansion to Hackney, Stratford, and out to Basildon. However, there’s not a penny of funding currently earmarked for this line, so don’t hold your breath waiting.

Crossrail tube map
A possible route for Crossrail 3.

By peering into the murky future and divining runes, Carr has brought Crossrail 3 kicking and screaming into the light, although he hedges his bets a little. The map itself shows a dotted green line linking Stratford and East Croydon, via Lewisham (and possibly the Bakerloo Line), but the blog discusses a second option. This one would extend the Northern City line (which links Moorgate to Finsbury Park) south, through Cannon Street, Waterloo, and Clapham Junction, but these remain mere whispers for now.

Overlaid on the map in a very dark grey is our old friend Thameslink, nicknamed ‘Crossrail Zero’ by Carr. It puts a little more meat on the diagram, whilst adding farflung places including Luton, Cambridge, Sevenoaks, Gatwick Airport, and even bloody Brighton to the map. Brighton and Kentish Town on the same tube map – did you ever think you’d see the day?

You can find the full map, along with an in-depth exploration, on Not Quite Tangible. All images courtesy of Alastair Carr.

Tags: maps, transport, tube
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