Official Map: Zentralbahn, Switzerland
Here’s another unusual transit map - this one for the narrow-gauge, rack-assisted Zentralbahn railway in central Switzerland, serving the cities of Lucerne, Interlaken, Engelberg and points inbetween. Before a tunnel was built in 2010, the grade between Grafenort and Engelberg reached a staggering 25 percent — hard work even for a rack-assisted engine!
Totally appropriately for a system that serves an alpine area, the map looks as if it would be completely at home in a Swiss ski resort, with a detailed painting of the majestic Alps that’s reminiscent of the the famed James Niehues. Over this, the route lines are simply overlaid in red. Stations are labelled in blue boxes, while other destinations — many accessible through other alpine cog railways — are labelled in white ones.
The map has been rotated to show the best view of the valleys that the trains travel along, but the icon in the bottom right corner shows the true relation of the lines, with north properly towards the top of the page.
Our rating: Unusual, but appropriate and highly effective design that definitely evokes as sense of place. Four stars.
(Source: Official Zentralbahn website)
Official Map: City of Zurich Night S-Bahn and Bus Network, Switzerland
One type of map we haven’t covered yet here at Transit Maps is the night services map, often considered a very poor relation to the main map. However, there are some excellent examples out there, especially this black and yellow beauty from the city of Zurich in Switzerland.
Have we been there? No.
What we like: Graphically very striking with its black and yellow colour scheme. Good differentiation between bus and train services accomplished by use of thick and thin route lines, and some subtle work at stations: train stations are white, major bus interchanges are a light tint of yellow, and minor bus stations are a darker tint of yellow. Fits seamlessly into the next map up in the series, showing night services in the Canton of Zurich (PDF).
What we don’t like: The way the S-Bahn tracks disappear between the Hauptbahnhof and Bellevue (re-emerging only to cross the river on a bridge) may be logical - the tracks are in a tunnel - but it breaks the flow of the route badly.
Our rating: A great example of the night services map genre. 4 stars!
(Source: Official ZVV website)