The tube map is almost certainly London’s most widely produced and collected map, with many millions of the pocket version being issued for free every year by TfL from London’s 270+ tube stations.
But how about having one that’s made of steel? Well, now you can thanks to Suck UK, who have produced an officially licensed, photographically etched version of the famous tube map for central London, on a credit card-sized sheet of highly polished stainless steel. The product is very thin – about half the width of a credit card, but, being steel, is of course very strong. It fits very nicely in your wallet, and as a bonus acts as a signal barrier, stopping your contactless cards from accidentally being used or suffering “card clash” at barriers. In order for this to work, they need to be lined up with it, and right beside it. One additional “extra” is that the reverse side is completely blank and, being highly polished, acts as a good mirror.
The map itself is a variant of the TfL Version M black and white map. The normal line colours are replaced with patterns of dots and dashes. The map includes a small key at the bottom left.
Purists will spot that the map doesn’t quite perfectly match the current one – it doesn’t show the extended Circle line going out west to Paddington, or the Overground lines (except for around Canonbury) – but then, they aren’t really tube lines anyway. It also does only show Zone 1 – essentially, the complicated section within central London for which such a map is actually very useful.
Buy it for £6.50 including P&P from Suck UK on Amazon. It’s also available from the Transport Museum shop in Covent Garden.
Thanks to Suck UK for a review copy of the map.