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London Overground: New names for its six lines revealed

The new names of London’s six Overground lines have been revealed, significantly changing the look of the famous Tube map.

Last August, Transport for London (TfL) announced it wanted to give the routes distinct identities to make it easier for passengers to navigate the network.

The services will become known as the Lioness line; the Mildmay line; the Windrush line; the Weaver line; the Suffragette line; and the Liberty line.

Each will also have its own colour.

TfL said it had worked with customers, stakeholders, historians, industry experts and local communities, with the names representing the areas the lines travel through, while marking London’s history and cultural diversity.

London Overground: New names for its six lines revealed

The six lines on the Overground – which is currently only marked with one colour, and is fondly nicknamed by some as the Ginger line – are to be given the following names and colours:

Explaining the changes, London transport commissioner Andy Lord said on route maps the Overground “is currently shown as a complicated network of orange”, which could be “confusing for customers less familiar with the network”.

“These new names and line colours will simplify the maps and routes for our customers, and it is hoped it will encourage more people to make the most of our services.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the new names were “honouring and celebrating different parts of London’s unique local history and culture”.

TfL previously said the changes were expected to cost about £6.3m to complete.

Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall called the rebranding “stuff of nonsense”, adding that Mr Khan has “so many serious issues he needs to get to grip with”.

“The Central line is falling apart,” she said. “I’m surprised he didn’t call one of them the ‘Sadiq line’.

“People want to know they can get their trains, people want to feel safe. They don’t want to know he is spending goodness knows how much on PR people deciding what to rename things.”

Work to rebrand the lines will start immediately, with the main rollout of the new names and colours planned to take place across a week in the autumn. TfL said it hoped to complete the rebrand by the end of the year.

London Overground: New names for its six lines revealed

By Tom Edwards, BBC London transport correspondent

Since being created by Harry Beck in 1933, the Tube map has become a London and global icon. Simple, easy to use and beautifully crisp and clear – but be warned, you mess about with it at your peril.

Already critics say it is getting too busy – the Thameslink route and the Elizabeth line now appear on there – so what will the reaction be to the rebrand of the Overground?

Certainly the orange suburban spaghetti line that orbited London was not the easiest to work out. Historically, these were different lines like the North London line or the Gospel Oak to Barking line (aka the Goblin line) but they were all put under the Overground brand when arguably they are very separate.

These services may have an untapped potential which could take crowds away from what can be the busy Underground.

Of course there will be those who don’t like any additions to Harry Beck’s masterpiece and many will think it was working fine as it was.

But the department of world-class designers in Transport for London who do this stuff take their job very seriously, and one question will have been their priority: does this make the travelling experience easier?

London Overground: New names for its six lines revealed

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