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Is there somewhere in London one can go to acquire a hardcopy of a rail system map such as TfL's London's Rail and Tube services map?

The PDF file looks like it's designed to be printed on large-format paper and folded. However, on my last trip I was unable to find a place where these maps were available either to take or buy. I tried poking around the ticket offices at some of the terminal stations, but most of them didn't even seem to have system diagrams for the TOC whose ticket office it was.

I've tried printing the map for myself, but with the formats an ordinary office printer can handle it either becomes illegibly small or an unmanagable collection of loose sheets.

(Tube maps are available everywhere, but I want something that also shows the National Rail commuter lines).

  • I don't think there is a map that shows both tube and overground rail on the same piece of paper in all details. Tube map usually shows some rail lines and rail map shows part of the tube network. The matter becomes even more complicated because the mainline trains are operated by several different companies, and each one of them will only produce maps of their own network. If such a map exists, your best bet would be to try passenger information on major London station, like Victoria, Waterloo, etc. – Aleks G Jul 30 '15 at 21:18
  • @Gayot: I'm willing to pay, but I want to be able to unfold the map/diagram on my hotel bed to see everything in context. – Henning Makholm Jul 30 '15 at 21:25
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    @AleksG A "London Connections" map should show both tube and national rail, but the tube lines look a bit odd on them. You certainly used to be able to get them from railway ticket offices, not sure about these days though – Gagravarr Jul 30 '15 at 21:49
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    The map you link to ("London Rail and Tube Services") used to be called "London Connections" and will generally be referred to as such. They're produced by TfL, so you'd be better off asking a TfL person (e.g. a ticket office at a Tube station) rather than a National Rail person. – Richard Gadsden Jul 31 '15 at 8:29
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    In particular, your best bet might be one of the new Visitor Information Centres – AakashM Jul 31 '15 at 10:43
6

The National Rail website has a page on transport maps. It states that foldable paper versions of the London Rails and Tube service map can be found in staffed National Rail stations in London. Quoting from the site (emphasis mine):

London's Rail & Tube services map by TfL/ATOC

London's Rail & Tube services map (which replaces the former London Connections map) shows all National Rail routes and stations within the Greater London area, together with London Underground, Docklands Light Railway and London Tramlink services and stations.

The map highlights principal interchange points and London Fares / Travelcard zones. It also shows the extent to which Oyster pay as you go is valid.

Leaflet copies of this map (with the London & South East map below on the reverse) are normally available from staffed National Rail stations in London and the South East.

Separate maps showing just the London Underground plus maps showing London bus routes are available from the Transport for London website.

In case you don't find any you can try contacting the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) using the following contact details and ask for information:

Contact ATOC

Switchboard: 020 7841 8000

Email: enquiry@atoc.org

Address:
ATOC Ltd
2nd Floor
200 Aldersgate Street
London
EC1A 4HD

Please enter the building via the South Reception next to the Giant Bike Shop and Pret-a-Manger.

  • 1
    Well noted! And I was even on that NR page to download all-of-Britain maps to print out and bring with me, without noticing that. I've left London by now -- I ended up printing the map myself in 4 sections and stitching it together with double-sided tape, which worked better than I'd feared -- but hopefully this answer can be of help to someone else. – Henning Makholm Aug 10 '15 at 1:34
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JoErNanO's answer should be seen as a canonical reference point for obtaining hard-copy rail/tube maps. With his permission I am submitting another answer that provides an alternative source for hard-copy maps that show National Rail connections.

Free Glossy Visitor Magazines

These are magazines that are given away for free at train stations, airports, kiosks, hotel lobbies, and so on. They have great rail/tube maps and surface maps in the back section.

In addition to transport maps and surface maps, these magazines will also usually provide...

  • The Santander Bicycle Hire locations for people who want to gad about on a bicycle
  • Tube stations with toilets (quite valuable sometimes)
  • An explanation of the zones in the Transport for London system
  • An explanation of how Oyster Cards work
  • Instructions on how to reach Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, and Stansted
  • Integration with National Rail services (see 'London Planner' below)

The tube map is always the iconic schematic map originally conceived by Harry Beck in 1933. The surface maps show the transport stations (including National Rail) along with prominent features of interest to a visitor.

I will give two examples of 'free glossy visitor magazines'...


Where London - available in hotel lobbies or by asking the concierge. The tube map is displayed on a single page along with tips and contact information. See the reduced image below for a view of how it is presented...

The surface maps show the physical site of each tube station. National Rail connections have a special symbol. Below is a highly cropped image showing some of the symbols and how transport stations are presented...


London Planner - available at train stations (including Eurostar stations on the continent), hotels, bus companies, tourist hotspots, and so on.

This magazine uses two pages to present the tube map.

They also provide a bus map and a river services map ('water buses' are part of the Transport for London system and you can travel on these with an Oyster Card. One such route very popular with tourists who know about it is the boat ride from Canary Wharf/Docklands to the Embankment)...

The surface maps combine every conceivable type of transport available to the public. This includes the transfer points for National Rail services presented as one integrated network. They also print a stand-alone 'Overground Map' which is devoted to National Rail and uses the same Harry Beck design.

The above map (reduced from actual size) shows THREE national rail stations: Marylebone, Paddington, and Shepherd's Bush.


And finally, Time Out Magazine is handed out on Tuesday mornings by individuals wearing orange jerkins. This is also free and contains the Harry Beck Tube Map along with several variants.

That gives you three samples of how to find rail and tube maps if you are not near a train station. As mentioned some of these are available on the continent and at Heathrow/Gatwick. There are lots more, but these three are most well known.

For your purposes, I would go with the 'London Planner' (because of the overground map); you can subscribe on their site or just pick up a copy for free. Since you are interested in the static part of the magazine and not buzzy part you will be able to use a back issue for a long time.


Note: images taken from the August issues (the physical real magazines and not the downloadable versions on the net) and reduced. Copyright Morris Visitor Publications and London Partners, fair use.

Note: I have no connection to the commercial enterprises listed in this article, economic, personal, or otherwise


Adding...

Per commentary I recognize that people may have difficulty recognizing a national rail station when it is depicted on a map. Consider this snap shot from 'London Planner'...

enter image description here

In this fragment, there are two national rail stations shown: Charing Cross and Waterloo. They can be distinguished by their medium blue colour and the national rail icon. In case you forget, you can always refer to the map legend, which contains the symbols...

enter image description here

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    All of those look like they show Underground lines only (except the Overground map, which shows nothing except the Overground lines) -- which was specifically not what this question was about. The tube-only map is widely available as leaflets from many LU stations. – Henning Makholm Aug 10 '15 at 1:28
  • @HenningMakholm, I have added some extra info to help you recognize national rail stations and perhaps understand that these are not tube only maps. As pointed out in the answer, they contain both, as specifically asked for in your question. In case there's any doubt, Charing Cross and Waterloo qualify as national rail stations. I hope you will avoid jumping to conclusions in the future. – Gayot Fow Aug 10 '15 at 1:55
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    The question contains a link to a PDF of the map the question is about (and has done so since it was posted). This map shows tube lines and NR lines. The usual tube map (which is available practically everywhere) does show which LU stations are also NR stations, but does not show the NR lines, nor does it show NR stations that are not also LU stations. That map IS NOT WHAT THE QUESTION IS ABOUT, and references to glossy magazines that reprint it do not constitute an answer to the question. – Henning Makholm Aug 10 '15 at 2:00
  • @HenningMakholm, I'm afraid the link you provided does point to a map that contains both services. That's probably why it's called "London’s Rail & Tube services" instead of "London's Rail", wouldn't you think? Or is your question 'unclear'? Please read travel.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask for some important information about clarifying what you're after. Jumping to conclusions and shouting are unlikely to be seen as productive activities by the community. – Gayot Fow Aug 10 '15 at 2:11
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    I don't think my question is unclear; if you had followed the link in it (or just read the title of the link, which is right there in the question), you would have known immediately exactly what the question is about -- namely a map that contains both kinds of service. The reason I explicitly called out that map in the question and linked to it is probably because that's the kind of map I'm asking about, wouldn't you think? Answering a different question than the clearly asked one, and pretending it's somehow the asker's fault, is unlikely to be seen as a productive activity by the community. – Henning Makholm Aug 10 '15 at 2:38
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Many london street atlases are also likely to contain such a map. I know the "big london A-Z" (edition 9, 2010) I have does. IIRC it's simplified compared to the web version (no index or fare zone information) but it has the key information on how the stations connect.

According to the A-Z website the current edition of the same atlas still has it https://www.az.co.uk/?nid=60&iid=10849#.Vmn5geCjvR0 (it refers to it as "the london connections rail services map")

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    Are you sure you're not talking about a tube-only map? – Henning Makholm Dec 10 '15 at 21:26
  • yes the tube only map is on the rear cover. The tube+rail map is on pages 316 and 317 – Peter Green Dec 10 '15 at 22:13

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