Maps: Underground Railway Systems

Known as The Subway in America, The Tube in London, most other countries call their underground rail transit systems The Metro. Unless you have spent your life there, and even if you have, such maps can often be very confusing, usually bearing little relation to the geography above ground. Here are some examples I found this morning.






New York City.




52 thoughts on “Maps: Underground Railway Systems

  1. Underground is handy, and usually easy to navigate, but I agree that if the traffic isn’t too bad and you have the time, buses can be quite pleasant. Thanks for sharing those, Pete (I have a few to explore yet)!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve ridden on all the undergrounds you’ve pictured except Tokyo. One day! I’m usually quite good at reading the maps and figuring out where I am in relation to the landscape above.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting maps. I only used Paris, LA, Tokyo & London. You can’t beat London, especially as it links in with British Rail overground. Sounds like I was lucky not have been misled as I found the locals so helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You would enjoy LA’s…it all begins at one place – downtown LA – and spreads out in all directions, never coming together again – like everyone is running away from each other…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Back in the 1990’s, I knew the Paris Métro like the back of my hand. We don’t have a subway here in Las Vegas. However, Elon Musk wants to bore tunnels from Downtown to the southern end of the Strip, and over to the international airport. We have a bus system here which I’ve used on a few occasions, but it takes forever to get anywhere, and it’s subject to occasional delays and breakdowns.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the maps and have a few of those shown in hard copy. Wonder if the brilliant little pocket sized book “Over the Underground” is still in print? Essential in London.
    Wish it existed for Paris and Tokyo. Paris Metro and Tokyo are cake, but any kind of mass transport anywhere in China? Nightmare.
    Hate New York (except the food) with a passion. . . As a rule, the population takes pride in being assholes to visitors and I wouldn’t even consider the subway system there. The cab ride to Newark to get the hell out is rather pleasant though 😉

    Been to most of the cities with large underground transportation mentioned (though never been to Russia or any of the old Soviet Block countries).
    If you live in a place, (London, SF for me) or visit enough (Paris, Tokyo and Madrid) then you get in the local transportation groove pretty quickly. I find that in most places the locals are quite happy to help out but you must have a skeletal command of the local language. Today I know you can use a translater app on a phone, but speaking to the locals makes a personal connection.

    Oh, Italy: Must, must, must Speak “Some” Italian. . . They get properly annoyed if you don’t. . . And “Properly” here is a kind, descriptive phase 🙄.




    1. Found you in Spam, as you suspected.
      I can’t find the book you mention on Amazon.
      When I got lost on the Moscow, I only knew about 8 words in Russian, and at that time, people were shy of talking to westerners. I didn’t even try in Beijing, because of the Chinese characters, and I also only knew how to say 3 words in my awful accent. In Rome, I knew better than to ask directions, as I spoke so little Italian. I used a very good guide book, finding my own way around. Friends who have visited NYC tell me people are helpful to British tourists because they like our accents. But I have never been to America.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  7. I’ve always liked going around London by Underground. The maps were ever so helpful and I never got lost – except for the one time I relied on a native Londoner. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most Londoners use the Tube just for commuting, not for pleasure. I used to go everywhere by bus when I could, Pit. You have to be careful asking directions from a real Londoner. It is something of a ‘game’ to send tourists on a wild goose chase! 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve always used the bus when I wanted to see something of London, and the Underground when I wanted to get from one place to the other fast.
        That one time of getting lost I referred to was when I was staying with a family there in 1961 and my landlord too me with him.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I could probably cope with Amsterdam, maybe even Moscow. I always found my way in London but I was terrified of New York. These days, though, I wouldn’t go near any of them. Crowds overwhelm me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I walked along it a few times. We were staying at the nearby Palast Hotel whilst in the city. Probably under Stasi surveillance, as it was a ‘foreigners-only’ hotel. 🙂 The Palast was later demolished, and a new hotel opened there in 2003. Here’s a photo of it.

      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I went to ‘both sides’ in Berlin using the trains during the DDR days. Friedrichstrasse served as a border station. Moscow was the most impressive, though I did get lost. But I gave up in Beijing because of the Chinese characters naming the stations. I knew it would be hopeless to even try to use it. In Barcelona and Paris, I preferred to use the buses.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

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