Tokyo Railway Map, v. 2.0

[Note: due to the map’s size, I’ve done something a little different with the embed this time. The pdf version is here, and the png version is here. A pdf download from Cloudup is available here. Thanks again to Richard Archambault for helping me sort this out!]

Here it is. After six long months, here it finally is. Thank God.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend like drawing this was a pleasurable experience. Around a quarter of the way through Inkscape started seriously groaning under the weight of what is quite possibly the biggest transit map I’ve ever made, and from that point on my only motivation for finishing this damn thing was the satisfaction of getting it out of my head once and for all. Not that I’m unhappy with how it turned out, of course, but if I ever say I’m doing another Tokyo map I want you to reach across the Internet and deck me.

There. Histrionics over. Now then:

This is a map of the massive railway network centering on Tokyo, but also with (hopefully) every project ever proposed for the area since about 2010. Some of them are actively being worked on (Sotetsu/JR through link), some are proposed (new subway line to Odaiba), some are dormant (Metro Seven/Eight Liner, which if built will use a different technology that won’t allow the through-running with the Tokyu Tamagawa Line here depicted), some are dead (Kawasaki Municipal Subway), some are ideas some planner randomly tossed out in a meeting at some point and never seriously proposed (passenger service along the Musashino South Line). I also included bus links to airports and Shinkansen stations that weren’t directly connected to the railway network. It didn’t matter to me what the status of each idea was, if it was floated, it went in, because the goal here was to be The Last Railway Map Tokyo Would Ever Need.

The thing is that when I draw a map like this, I want it to be good for 20+ years, which can be a bit difficult when your city has a boatload of projects in the pipeline (cf. the Seoul and Paris maps, which are already out of date), so for this one I just threw in everything and the kitchen sink and the plumbing attached to the kitchen sink, just to be sure. 

Thanks especially to David Edmondson, Richard Archambault, Cameron Booth, Bernie Ng, Luke Bonnet, Emily, and anyone else who I’ve interacted with about this project on social media or in real life. Next big project will probably be a crayon map of Los Angeles.

Posted in maps, tokyo, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Index Diversion 5: Tokyo Metro Strip Maps

tokyo subway line maps.png

Index is done. Now working on the legend. Current ETA is the end of this month, hopefully…

This was the original idea for how I’d do the legend for the Tokyo map, because the through-service patterns in this city are ridiculously complicated and I figured representing them graphically would make more sense…whereupon I discovered I didn’t have enough empty space in the map for it. (Or: after many months of cursing the map for being too big, I am now cursing the map for not being big enough.)

Still liked the idea, though, so I thought I’d do all the ones for the Tokyo subway (and Rinkai Line) and post them here, as a wee glimpse of what might have been. Ah well.

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Index Diversion 4: Retro Singapore MRT


Just like Mother used to make. Not really.

This came out of a request of a good friend of mine that, instead of drawing an old network so it looks new (e.g.), I should draw a new network so it looks old. It’s a map of the Singapore MRT, as it should look around 2024, drawn like a proper 1950s tube map.

It reached the point today where fiddling with it was a hindrance more than a help, so I guess that must be the good Lord telling me to post this thing and get it over with. Notes:

  • I’m not a fan of stuff drawn in the style of the modern tube map, I think it’s overdone and the tube map style overrated, but the tube maps that Harry Beck actually worked on are nothing short of spectacular. So if you’re gonna do something in a retro style, that’s what you pick.
  • I don’t believe Railway Sans is a particularly good open-source alternative to Johnston when creating a modern tube map, but it looks great when drawing an old tube map.
  • Having a straight North East Line was worth the weird bend where the Downtown Line loops back on itself. In addition, the north-south part of the Thomson Line is straight, as are the western ends of the East West Line and the Downtown Line. The eastern ends of both lines would have been straight as well had those LRT loops not been in the way.
  • The Circle Line is diamond-shaped and, for once, a complete loop. Stage 6 is shown as under construction because I have no idea what’ll happen with service patterns and those end-destination numbers once it opens.
  • Finding and playing with a good old paper texture so it looked just right was a real pain.
Posted in maps, singapore, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Index Diversion 3: Barcelona L9/L10 Strip Map

barcelona metro L9-L10 strip map.png

Thanks to all who voted in the poll.

Here’s a test run of the design language I have in mind for the Barcelona Metro map, once I finally get to it. Figured “Vignelli ripoff” was a better look for this system, considering the signage and the complicated service patterns on the FGC lines (L6/L7/L8/L12).

Rodalies service patterns are somewhat hypothetical, based off a pie-in-the-sky dream for an additional commuter rail tunnel under the city.

As for the index, I’m almost 2/3 of the way through. After that, the legend. Should be a bit less soul-sucking to work on, I think.

Posted in barcelona, maps, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Index Diversion 2: Eboracal Metropolitan, Mk. II.I


You could probably squeeze seven or eight of these in the Tokyo map.

Here’s a crayon map of the New York subway, finally finished after lying dormant for a year and a half. Stuff featured:

  • Most of the Second System, except the Second Avenue line, omitted because…
  • The Second, Third, and Ninth Avenue Els are still in use, as are some of the Brooklyn els.
  • New Jersey Rapid Transit network, including extensions of the 7 and L westward.
  • Through-running on commuter rail services, inspired by this NY regional rail plan.
  • A more expansive SIR network, including an extension of the North Shore branch to New Jersey.
  • Extension of the N to LaGuardia (so we won’t need an AirTrain to Citifield!)
  • JFK and LGA mainline airport expresses, because why not.
  • An overstuffed Queens Boulevard line. How one squeezes eight services onto four tracks is left as an exercise for the viewer. Perhaps there are more than four tracks there in this world.
  • Peak-hour peak-direction express services wherever they could fit.
  • PATH expansions to some of the farther-afield rail terminals.
  • Triboro RX, running as the 125 St line in Manhattan.
  • That questionable 1 extension to Red Hook, because as long as we’re dreaming…

Stuff not featured:

  • The BQX. Because we do have some standards.
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Index Diversion 1: Northern line strip map

northern line strip map.png

Second of a series, first of a different series.

A strip map of the Northern line, here split into two lines because that’s certainly something that should have been done a long time ago, Battersea extension or no. I realize that it’s just how it’s grown over its history but the Northern line has no business having two central branches. I decided to assign the Euston line the color orange because it’s what fit the most, as determined by a scientific study in the form of that London crayon map I started last year that I have no intention of finishing.

Also included are the London Suburban Metro and the series of abandoned extensions that gave the Northern line it’s name, because, hey, as long as we’re speculating we may as well go the whole hog, yeah?

Well, that was fun. Back to the index. New York map next week.

Posted in london, maps, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Tokyo Map Update 4 & Other Stuff

Thing One: Right now, the ETA for the Tokyo map is sometime in January. But something needs addressing, urgently. This, working on this right here:

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 5.50.53 PM.png

…is absolutely mind-numbing. The index will be around 2400 names long, and I’m currently 500 deep, and I can feel my brains leaking out my ears with every new entry. So once every 500 stations I’ll give my brain a stretch break and work on a small, uncomplicated map and/or polish up something I almost finished and then left to rot. On deck after 500 is a strip map of the Northern line (as chosen by the folx who voted in the Twitter poll), but since a nice one already exists, I figured I’d do something interesting with it. After 1,000 there’s a crayon map of the New York subway, an update of the one I did in 2014, that I never quite finished.

Haven’t decided what to do yet after 1,500 and 2,000. If I can’t figure something out I’ll post another Twitter poll or something.

Thing Two: Point is, expect an uncharacteristic spasm of activity here through the end of the year.

Thing Three: A to-do list for the New York map that will probably be up next week:

  • Extend the E to Queens Village.
  • Replace the font for the airport symbol, as my continuing computer troubles stole the original font from me.
  • Extend the 1 to Red Hook, and the complete reconfiguration of South Ferry and the 2/3/4/5 that necessarily implies. Wheeeeeeee. (Yes, that’s a developer’s fantasy and Red Hook will be underwater by the time any such extension would be completed. I…don’t really care.)

What could possibly go wrong?

Posted in london, maps, new york city, tokyo, Uncategorized | 2 Comments