What should we call Crossrail?

Sunday’s Telegraph contained an article by the Mayor of London claiming credit for Crossrail (if I remember correctly, funding was secured in 2007, before his term of office began) and suggesting that the new line is named after the Queen. Nice sucking up, Mr Mayor. Johnson said, ‘Who better to give her name…than someone who has served her country so unfailingly’…etc. Now I have nothing in particular against Brenda, except to observe that she already has the Jubilee line named after her reign. Will she give it back?

Now some observers have suggested that Johnson has an ego the size of the city with which he is associated. Could it be that his idea was timed to cancel out a story in today’s Standard? The Conservative group on the GLA have published a report that suggests that Transport for London should be flogging off naming rights to stations and new lines. Johnson, of course, has previous in this regard, giving Londoners the Barclays Bikes and the Emirates Air Line. Crossrail is the biggest of them all.

Go to Paris, Berlin, New York, Washington DC and you’ll find the metro lines given numbers or named after colours. London is one of only a few cities that names its metro lines. The names are part of London folklore but I’m not sure we’re very good at it. I’m sure that creatively we can do better than the Queen Elizabeth Line (sorry Ma’am). Personally I’d like to see a London Transport hero honoured. If it didn’t sound too much like the Piccadilly line, I would propose the Frank Pick line. Or the Harry Beck line. Or should there be some kind of homage paid to the Pet Shop Boys who predicted the meeting of East End boys and West End girls? Any ideas?


  1. Definitely with you on your naming approach RF. Along the same lines I’d throw the following into the mix:
    (1) the Holden Line
    (2) the [Leslie] Green Line (although perhaps that’s too close to the standard colour based nomenclature)
    (3) the New [and definitely not Boris] Johnston Line

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