An aesthetic alternative to EMR’s network map

EMR train

Architect and mapmaker Jug Cerovic has presented a stunning alternative to a British rail operator’s network map.

NS-owned East Midlands Railway took over the East Midlands franchise from long-term incumbent Stagecoach back in August 2019. At the time, we reported on the operator’s new aubergine-based livery and brand, which replaced the much-loved ‘swoops’ identity of the former operator East Midlands Trains. The new operator of the East Midlands franchise introduced three brands for their newly-minted network: EMR Intercity, for fast trains to London; EMR Regional, for slower trains connecting towns and cities across the Midlands; and EMR Electrics, for their new electric services between London, Luton and Corby.

Since EMR launched, Jug Cerovic has recreated their original, rather minimalist network map, reimagining EMR’s network by placing less of a focus on geographical locations, and more emphasis on legibility – and beauty.

Gone is the wad of white space and spaghetti-like mass of confusing, criss-crossing lines present on EMR’s actual network map, to be replaced with a uniform set of lines where contrasting shades of aubergine and white denote the fast Intercity and Regional services. As per the original, other operator’s routes are still represented, but with much less emphasis – the focus here is on representing EMR’s network and connections, rather than trying to place the operator’s services within their own wider geographical network.

Centred on Nottingham, the heart of the EMR network, Cerovic’s map also follows a uniform set of angles, which work particularly well given the geography of the network. EMR’s ‘actual’ map is far more concerned with the cartography of its network, attempting to place its services in context around their local areas. Few stations are mentioned outside of the EMR network, with only principal stations picked out to aid recognition. Cerovic’s map does away with these almost entirely – presenting almost exclusively only the stations which the operator actually serves.


Over to you

What do you think about the two sets of cartography? Are you on board with Jug Cerovic’s redesign, or do you prefer the original from EMR? Let us know in the comments below.

You can find out more about Jug Cerovic’s work, and more about his INAT wayfinding and mapping consultancy here. Or plan your next journey with East Midlands Railway here.


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