Going down in the Tube station at midnight, as the Jam once sang, won't be so stressful when this new London Underground map comes into operation. The Night Tube will run all night during weekends from September, and this new version of the iconic map shows you how.
The UK capital's transit authority Transport for London announced a 24-hour Tube last year. From 12 September 2015, the Jubilee, Victoria, Piccadilly, Central and Northern Lines will remain open throughout the night on Friday and Saturday.
The various lines of the London Underground network, commonly known as the Tube, currently shut down shortly after midnight. Between roughly 1am and 5am, when the network reopens, late-night revellers and night-shift workers must use night buses or taxis to get around.
The new Night Tube map details the stops that will be served. The entire Jubilee and Victoria line will run through Friday and Saturday night, with selected stations open late on the other lines. Brixton, Clapham and Camden are among the nightspots that should see less pressure on the night bus; you'll be able to reach Heathrow airport for flights at all hours; and you'll no longer face a desperate race for the last train out of London's desolate docklands after a concert at the O2.
For more details of the Night Tube visit TFL.gov.uk. Bear in mind too that the proposed service could lead to industrial action -- train drivers' union ASLEF is planning a 24-hour strike on 8 July and could be joined by fellow transport unions the RMT and TSSA.
"It's easy enough to produce a map," says Finn Brennan, ASLEF's District Organiser for the Tube, "but if London Underground management want to have an all night service in September, then they need to sit down and negotiate a fair deal for the staff they expect to provide it."
The new nocturnal map is the latest official version of the famous map designed by engineering draftsman Harry Beck in 1933. Beck realised the fast-growing underground system -- the oldest in the world -- was becoming too complicated to chart in realistic, geographic terms, so he came up with the idea of ignoring physical distances between stops and instead plotting the stations in a topological grid of straight lines. Beck worked with the London Underground for 20 years and although he eventually left under something of a cloud, his map became one of the most recognisable, most used and most influential pieces of design of the 20th century.
The Tube became the world's first underground railway when a steam locomotive set out on the Metropolitan Line in 1863. Originally built using the cut-and-cover method -- digging a trench at ground level, then covering it over to form a tunnel -- the underground system as we know it became possible with the development of tunnelling shields that allowed deep tunnels to be dug with no disruption at street level.
In 1900, the Central Line was nicknamed the "Twopenny Tube" for its fare and round tunnels, and the moniker stuck. Today the Tube serves 270 stations on 11 lines, making 1.71 billion passenger journeys a year. Ironically, more of the London Underground network is above ground than below.