Skip to main content

Lego Tube maps mark 150th anniversary

By Simon Busch, CNN
updated 12:39 PM EDT, Fri June 14, 2013
To celebrate its 150th anniversary, London Underground has created a series of Tube maps made entirely from Lego. To celebrate its 150th anniversary, London Underground has created a series of Tube maps made entirely from Lego.
HIDE CAPTION
Tube takes a trip back in time
Tube of the future
Lego labor
Steam power
Forgotten platforms
Rail futures
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lego designs depict historic Underground maps and how network may look in future
  • Each map took four days to build
  • Tube is world's oldest underground railway

(CNN) -- Every day seems to bring a new use for Lego, from getting stuck in your boot heel to providing a chew toy for your dog to actually teaching kids how to make things.

Now there's another one: to mark its 150th anniversary, London Underground has created a series of maps of the Tube made entirely from Lego.

Why Lego?

You might have to ask the Underground's sponsorship department that, but what we do know is that the maps depict the Tube network at various points in its history.

Each map is made up of more than a thousand Lego bricks and took more than four days to build.

Building profits with Legos

The first map shows how the Tube appeared in 1927.

Another depicts it in 1933, when copies of Harry Beck's renowned diagram of the Underground was first distributed to the public. A version of Beck's design is still used today.

A further map predicts how the Underground might look in 2020.

The Tube is the world's oldest underground railway. When it opened in 1863, steam-powered, gas-lit wooden carriages chugged through the tunnels.

During World Wars I and II, many stations were used as air-raid shelters.

There are also some disused -- ghost -- stations, some retaining original platform furniture and advertising. Some have been used for film shoots and others left to decay gently.

Exactly 150 years after its founding, the Underground now has 402 kilometers (249 miles) of track stretching between 270 stations.

"We hope the maps will inspire the young engineers of the future," said a London Underground spokesman.

The maps will be displayed at Tube stations throughout the summer, if you want to wander along and see one.

We still don't know why they're made out of Lego, though.

World's Largest LEGO, A Star Wars X-Wing, Lands In Times Square

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:17 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Scrap all those other bucket lists you've been compiling and start saving -- these memorable-for-a-lifetime trips don't come cheap, or easy.
updated 9:40 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
A squabble over a device that limits how far a seat can recline has brought inflight etiquette into the spotlight again.
updated 6:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Thirst for victory competes with thirst for booze in event where competitors raise their glasses long before they cross the finish line.
updated 5:57 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
At these fun Los Angeles bars, the the drinks come with a chaser of kitsch.
updated 4:41 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
From dining next to massive predators to drinking atop a rock in the middle of the ocean, Africa boasts some of the most interesting places to eat.
updated 1:12 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Just weeks after Bill HIllman, known as a veteran, expert bull runner, was badly gored in Pamplona, he's back at other smaller bull runnings in Spain, but walking with a cane.
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Why not create your own, as many people have done. We uncover the parallel world of "micronationalism."
updated 9:41 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
LUSAIL CITY, QATAR: In this handout illustration provided by Qatar 2022, the Qatar 2022 Bid Committee today unveiled detailed plans for the iconic Lusail Stadium. With a capacity in excess of 86,000 and surrounded by water, the stadium would host the World Cup Opening Match and Final if Qatar wins the rights to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup. If Qatar is awarded the honour of staging the 2022 FIFA World Cup, construction of the Lusail Stadium will start in 2015 and be completed in 2019. It will retain its full capacity after 2022.
Grab a glimpse of the near future. Plans for the desert city of Lusail include man-made islands and a host arena for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
updated 9:24 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
A CNN producer experiences China's poor on-time flight record firsthand as his plane takes off eight hours late.
updated 2:00 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
New Yorker Kerrin Rousset's exploration of Swiss city aims to lure cocoa fans over to the dark side.
updated 4:39 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Some things are just better after dark. These experiences around the world prove it.
updated 11:59 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Lebanon's winemakers are adopting new tactics to get their products noticed.
updated 2:26 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
the Teufelsberg or
Spooks have left their mark on a once-divided city still thought to be an espionage hotbed.
updated 6:06 PM EDT, Sun August 24, 2014
nanjing, handicrafts
With more than 6,000 years of history, Nanjing is one of the few cities in China still practicing the country's endangered traditional crafts.
ADVERTISEMENT