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Arts & Culture

Learn about the cultural history of Transport for London

Moquette Design 2

Transport for London (TfL) has a rich history that spans more than 160 years and transcends the borders of London and the UK, with globally recognised iconography such as our red buses, black cabs, Tube maps and famous roundel. After three years of close collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, we are delighted to be bringing our archives, histories and stories online for a global audience with this new exhibition.

United in our passion to preserve culture and art, we wanted to immerse users in our world of transport in a new, accessible way. With the digitisation of more than 2,000 documents and images from our Corporate Archive collections — including hundreds of historic maps — this online exhibition shares our history, current projects and cultural contributions, and details the stories and moments that led TfL to be who we are today.

  • An engineer works in the bomb-aimer's position of a new Handley Page "Halifax" bomber

    An engineer works in the bomb-aimer's position of a new Handley Page "Halifax" bomber

  • Green Coaches Route Map

    Green Coaches Route Map

  • Silver Jubilee Bus Carpet

    Silver Jubilee Bus Carpet

What can audiences look forward to? Never-seen-before content and stories. For example, did you know that in 1905, TfL owned over 17,000 horses? Or that TfL contributed to the World War II efforts by producing 710 Halifax Bombers in just three years? You can also investigate the innovative tunnelling and construction methods used to build the Victoria line.

  • The first bus star map

    The first bus star map

  • Map of London's Underground Railways, 1926

    Map of London's Underground Railways, 1926

  • Harry Beck's sketch for the Underground map, 1931

    Harry Beck's sketch for the Underground map, 1931

For the past three years, TfL's Corporate Archives team has sifted through thousands of historic and contemporary records spanning the year 1556 to the present, creatively collating the best content, so users can hear firsthand accounts from those who sheltered in the Tube during WWII, see imagery and documentation of TfL's involvement in the London 2012 Olympics and so much more. There are interactive sections too! A crossword inspired by the 1932 TfL staff magazine, vintage quizzes and recipes on how to fix tea discoloration can all be found on TfL’s new online exhibition, available at

Our collection has also been designed to have broad appeal — Londoners, academics and casual historians of all ages and backgrounds will all be able to find something of interest on our page.

City of Women map, London

City of Women map, London

Through sharing insights into the planning and delivery of transport for the capital, our collection on Google Arts & Culture also highlights how innovation and customer satisfaction has always been at the heart of what we do. We plan to keep adding more stories from our staff and customers to the platform, showcasing how TfL continues to shape the London that we know and love.

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