To avoid unnecessary confusion, I have stuck with similar colours for each line group on the current PTV map. However, I have slightly tweaked the groups themselves.
For a start, I have listed each line with the group in alphabetical order. This is a small edit but I think it makes the list easier to read.
I have also combined the Stony Point Line into the Frankston, Werribee & Williamstown Line colour. It’s a hangover from many decades of previous maps to show the Stony Point Line as a separate and special service. We have gradually been moving away from doing this, but I don’t believe that the current PTV map doesn’t go far enough. In sum, I can’t see any reason why it needs to be in its own special group. Fewer colours and groups makes the list simpler and easier to understand.
Another small difference is that the Flemington Racecourse Line is depicted in the yellow colour of the Sunbury, Craigieburn & Upfield Line instead of the grey colour on the PTV map. Given that some Racecourse Line trains do stop at stations between the CBD and Showgrounds, it’s worth showing it as part of that group.
On an older version of this map, I had renamed the groups to make them shorter and give them an identity. However, I changed this back as I feel that this warrants its own map and discussion. For simplicity, I’ve kept them more or less the same as they are currently shown on the PTV map.
The City Loop deserves special mention here because of its divergence from the PTV map.
Until the current official PTV map, the City Loop had always been depicted on official maps with a single line. They did not attempt to show the way that each line interacted with this core part of the network. You can see examples of some here.
I have chosen to return to this thinking, but in a limited way that I hope is a good compromise between the new PTV approach of individually showing every line and the old The Met design where lines that met were amalgamated into one.
As you can see, metropolitan lines are all shown individually on the map except where they form part of the same line group (defined by PTV, as outlined above) or when they enter the City Loop/Southern Cross Station. I do not think it is a good use of map space trying to unravel the incredibly complex stopping patterns, directions, etc. that different lines take at different parts of the day. No map should try to display all possible information – it is all about finding a balance between simplicity, ease of use and providing sufficient information.
Instead, I have indicated this central area with a single black line and a note referring potential users to the timetable. To my mind, for the purposes of this map, I think that this is a much better way of communicating this complicated and ever-changing information. Timetables are specifically designed for this purpose and are better suited to the task rather than a map like this.