Skip to main content

Lego Tube maps mark 150th anniversary

By Simon Busch, CNN
June 14, 2013 -- Updated 1639 GMT (0039 HKT)
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
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0207 GMT (1007 HKT)
Where to pay homage to the cutest local celebrities you'll ever stalk.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
For air travelers who like to gripe about being cramped in economy, here comes another warning that they've never had it so good.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Cream cakes from the Ruszwurm bakery in Budapest, Hungary
Proving they're what's really important, the world's best pastry shops have survived survived sieges, revolutions and World War II.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Lois Pryce ignored naysayers and traveled 3,000 miles via motorcycle to discover the real Iran.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 0320 GMT (1120 HKT)
Built at a cost of $442.2 million, Universal Studios Japan hopes its new Potter attraction will bring in $55 billion over 10 years.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1440 GMT (2240 HKT)
A scene in Marrakech
The gateway to Morocco's Atlas Mountains is becoming a photographer's paradise -- but capturing it on camera isn't easy.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 2136 GMT (0536 HKT)
Cathay Pacific was pronounced the world's best airliner of the year at the industry's leading awards ceremony in Farnborough on Tuesday.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 2044 GMT (0444 HKT)
Britain has stolen a march in the space race with plans for the world's first spaceport outside the U.S.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
In the hunt for the world's best amusement park, the people have spoken -- and it seems the people like mixing with creatures who eat a lot of fish.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 0611 GMT (1411 HKT)
An Hellenic Seaplanes aircraft
Seaplane network set to open up far-flung destinations to affordable jet-setting tours.
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 2052 GMT (0452 HKT)
A man who took a dangerous selfie during the running of the bulls in Pamplona, with the half-ton beasts right behind him, is still on the run -- but this time from the police.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 0207 GMT (1007 HKT)
Its cramped rooms and retro lobby are dated, but its charm and devotion to customers are worth preserving.
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 0553 GMT (1353 HKT)
A young girl sits on a bench decorated with an image of Paddington Bear.
As part of a scheme to encourage reading, 50 benches designed in the style of popular novels or kids' stories have been scattered around London.
July 12, 2014 -- Updated 0101 GMT (0901 HKT)
To all the locals who have been hoarding the following beaches, please forgive us.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
Jason Hullinger, a computer security architect in Los Angeles, went to Joshua Tree National Park in December to catch the Geminid meteor shower.
CNN iReporters from across the globe share their incredible images of the skies above us.
ADVERTISEMENT