Go on then, let’s hear your suggestions.
I’m still salty about the fact that TfL didn’t pick up on my ‘OverNight Tube’ suggestions when they opened the Overground Night Tubes services back in 2017, but at last a chance for redemption has emerged. In launching his re-election manifesto, incumbent Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged to name the individual Overground lines, and put an end to the confusion that arises from having nine routes and 112 stations under one name.
Currently, if a TfL announcement tells you there are delays on the Overground whilst you mosey from Kentish Town West to Hackney Wick, you cross your fingers and hope those delays are somewhere down around New Cross Gate. Naming the lines will hopefully put an end to all that, although it does provide ample opportunity for transport nerds to squabble over the proper names. You can be sure there’ll be hell to pay if the Gospel Oak to Barking route doesn’t get the Goblin Line treatment it has long been promised. (Gospel Oak to Barking Line, just in case that one’s lost on you.)
There’s also a decent chance to see the return of the East London Line, which was its own line on the Tube map until 2006, when it was made part of the wider Overground network. As to the rest of them, your guess is as good as mine. Maybe there’s a chance for the Euston to Watford Junction line to be named after the Harry Potter Studio Tour, which lies at the end of it?
Khan’s manifesto promises to “launch a programme to name individual routes, giving each its own identity”, so we’ll likely wind up with names inspired by the areas they serve and the heritage of the line. I am, however, fully in support of this idea:
Whichever overground line Diane Abbott had a mojito on in 2019 should be named after her
— Emma Yeomans (@Effy_Yeomans) April 6, 2021
Early polling indicates that Sadiq Khan is pretty much cruising towards a second term as Mayor, so this actually has a pretty decent chance of becoming reality. It’s not the only plan getting attention from the manifesto launch, however. Khan has also pledged to launch a review that will look into the possibility of making cannabis legal in London, so we’ve potentially got that to look forward to as well. Don’t bother trying to work that into the Overground names though, because we’ve already got a High Line coming…
Speaking of Tube maps, here’s one which shows the meaning behind every station name.
Also published on Medium.