who's John Cabrera?

oh that's right… it's me.


Lost on the Subway


Okay, so hypothetically speaking… let’s say you were, oh I don’t know, hanging out in Ana Lucia’s Tiger Pit… and you suddenly remember you need to get to the Hydra for a breakfast meeting with Ben. Here’s a Lost Subway Map and the route I’d take:

I’d first, of course, hop on the Purple Line A Train westbound to the Tailies crash site, switch to the M Train southbound to The Staff. Then I’d switch to the Blue Line P Train northbound loop to the Drug Plane, where I’d switch to the Green Line south… any of those trains will get you there… except maybe the R… I think it only runs on weekends.

Okay, that might be throwing a lot at you. Especially on an island that’s already plenty confusing. So perhaps you’d be interested in this little map I put together.

As we begin our week long countdown, I hope this will serve some of you as a helpful refresher. Or at least allow you a leisurely tour around the Island. Maybe you know a better route than the one I chose.

(click image for larger version)
Lost Subway Map

Now keep in mind, there are plenty of things missing. Sure. And in several places, design won over perfect placement. But I assure you, I did my research on this one, and almost every “stop” is deliberate. The Island overhead is based on the maps Sayid found at Rousseau’s, and I rewatched a LOT of episodes this week.

So I am ready.

I’ll be publishing a post later this week that explains why I placed certain landmarks where I did and talks about some of the things I realized about the Island and the show as I struggled to get my bearings straight.

But in the meantime, I have to give two HUGE shout outs. The first is to Lostpedia. It was an extremely helpful fact checking resource. They also have a gallery of fan maps that I will not deny having studied.

The second shout is to Rae Hanson, guest blogger here this month and winner of my So You Think You Can Dance fantasy league. You heard that right. Fantasy Dance League. And I also just designed a subway map of the Lost island.

Anyway, Rae is also a TV blogger over at ramblingsofatvwhore.com, and an avid Lost fan, so I asked her to proof the map before it went live. She had a few great notes, including a big suggestion that I ended up incorporating. Can you guess what it is?

So, enjoy. Leave any questions in the comments, and I’ll try to answer them here or in the next post. You know how it goes… unless, of course, this is your first time here. If so, hi. My name’s John, nice to meet you, I blog about Lost. Oh and since Rae has control of all of my social media badges here this month, if you’re wondering how to find me outside of this blog, cabrera.me is a portal to my complete web media presence… sites like twitter, tumblr, facebook, vimeo, etc. You can add me to stay in the loop on all my Lost posts throughout the season… and other odd stuff.

The rest of you, definitely know how it goes. I mean, what?! It’s only been 9 months. We’re about to birth a beautiful baby Lost, guys. Rejoice.

Oh, and consider clicking one or more of the social links below and sharing this with your friends.


  1. The “Did that bird just say my name?” stop made me laugh out loud.

    Gotta admit, I love it. Kinda wish I had a print of it to hang on my wall. (Stop making fun of me people, we’ve established that I’m a big TV geek.)

  2. John. Wow. I am so impressed. WOW! There is no way I could even begin to understand that entire map- what with my Hurleyesque way of watching Lost- but that is crazy awesome.

  3. I really like your map. In Germany I never really had to do a lot with all those subway trains etc. because I only lived once in a city (Munich) for half a year. But now that I am in the US for a couple of weeks those subway maps surround me all the time. Perhaps because I am mostly in the cities (San Francisco, Los Angeles and now New York).

    I think I know why you invented this Dharma Rapid Transit and it really makes sense. On the one hand you would say that subways are a little bit to big for such an island but on the other hand a bus system wouldn’t work out because of all those different kind of surfaces, the mountains, the jungle etc. So this underground system seems to be the only way to get from A to B without walking (or using an old VW bus). 😉
    All those subway tunnels would also explain how the smoke monster moves so fast and we already saw some of those underground tunnels before (e.g. where Eloise and Richard and the others stored Jughead).

  4. This is crazy and completely wonderful at the same time. I’m bummed that I don’t have time to fully take it in right now, but I will DEFINITELY be coming back to this map a little bit later to spend some quality time looking it over and wrapping my brain around it. Nicely done, John! :)

  5. I understand the numbers are the seasons, but do the letters have significance? Or is that just one of the mysteries that won’t be answered?

  6. Thanks for the love you guys. Glad you guys are into it.

    Kyle, yep. They do.

  7. I really love what you have done here with your train system! It’s awesome and creative and just the best in geeky cool. But, of course you have to know mine would probably look a bit different if I went with how I see the island and it’s hot spots spatially in my head. And yeah… Hi, it’s me again… always the dissenter in the ranks. Just call me Sawyer… or Kate… or Locke… well, you know what I mean.

    It’s like how when you read a book and then see a movie based on the book and it isn’t how it looked in your head? This map is the opposite for me. In my head, the cockpit is over to the upper right above the fuselage and where Jack was tossed is where the cockpit is on this map. But that is how I’d arranged the Lost furniture in my brain.
    I find this map super interesting in that way. As a person who writes, it reminds me that no matter how I describe something, people are going to envision it differently in their mind’s eye.
    Super excited to be reading your blog again this season… was one of the highlights of last season because the people who congregate here have well thought out theories and are fun to brainstorm with.

    Nice first blog of the season! Can’t wait for moremoremore!

  8. This is fantastic. I also *really* like the NY subway theme. A+

  9. Black Stallion returns hehe! That map would be rad as a poster, maybe even more so if the text and lines were lighter so the island shape of a animal would pop up more. Anyways, great job with the map and only one week to go!

  10. Oh, we don’t disagree at all on placement of the cockpit, P. The cockpit certainly should be closer to the fuselage. And yeah, Jack does emerge from the left (although not as far as where I’ve placed the cockpit. Remember, this is an island with landmarks days apart from one another). On this map, Jack’s bamboo forest would probably just be just a millimeter or so to the left of the Fuselage wreckage. The cockpit however… that’s been purposefully misplaced. Again, as are several things. The cockpit needed to be crossed by both 1st and 4th season, and as I said, sometimes design won out on exact placement.

    But also, one of the things I learned while designing this is that people’s mental image of where things are on the Island will differ at times, since the directional continuity is often all over the place. It’s hard to say whether the cockpit is to the left or right based simply on which way we remember them initially running into the Jungle. Camera placement on television serves the given circumstances of the production day (weather, time, and location of the shoot) just as much as it does the mythology of the story.

    But I ultimately felt the cockpit was close enough to the Fuselage for a subway map. 😉

  11. Oh… and I agree about Jack’s landing spot. After I wrote my comment I looked at the map more.

    There are several other things that I percieve to be in different places but I know that is just me… like where the Tailies camp would have been, especially in relation to the toe statue. I think what does that is the fact that it is a round island making the directional aspect of being on the ground confusing for me. Water on all sides messes with me. Having grown up on the coast I have a very strong water sense so when I spent time on the east coast I was completely lost the each trip. I even got lost on the peninsula in SF because there was water on both sides of me. Ug!

    Anyway… it’s great to have you back… even if it is chatting about a subway map of the island… You’re my favorite person to discuss this show with. :)

  12. Wow, just wow – you are made of awesome!

    So, I came here today to read about Lost and found a Buffy banner at the top of the page. My fandoms are colliding. There is too much wonderful on this blog right now :)

  13. I love this, John. When I saw it I couldn’t even form words. Now, hours later, this is all I can manage- I love this!

  14. Well done sir. Well done. This map is so epic. Me and my friend just prepared for next week by watching all five seasons in exactly 30 days, this map was so cool to see after that experience. All I really have to say is..


  15. I just stumbled onto this video on youtube- it is a song about all the questions that will have to be answered this season. Wow, I hope they can answer them all!

  16. This is awesome. When will it be available in tshirt form? And how can one get in on this fantasy dance show league? So many questions!

  17. Well, I haven’t thought much about it in T-Shirt form, but I may do some limited edition posters.

    And Fantasy Dance League is easy, just keep an eye on my blog in the weeks leading up to the show. Next year I’ll only be accepting 40 players. It gets a little too crazy if it exceeds that. Oh, and around these parts, we call that League “The Lark”.

  18. Mega Impressive, John! I can’t wait for next week!

  19. If it was me, I think it would have been shorter to take the A east to Tally’s Beach, then catch the V south to Sun’s Garden, then hop over to the blue line T train to the ferry.
    (It looks like both the blue T and E come out of the Camp terminus.)

  20. Whoa, 2oonhed! You’re so right. Why have I never taken that route before?!

  21. Not too sure about this but I will acknowledge you spent a lot of time on it! My problem is that you have squished everything on one end of the island and that is unrealistic. It took Sayid and Kate something like 3 days to get to the Flame yet you have it placed closer to the Beach camp than the Staff which took Sun and Juliet an overnight walk. Juliet and Ben walked to the Flame from the barracks and you have placed it too far away for that. I used to assume that the barracks was on the north side of the island but from the finale we saw it was within sight of Hydra island so I am going to have to rethink my whole map in my head because obviously it is now wrong.

    I sure hope we get a map when the show is over! It is like a nightmare jigsaw puzzle.

  22. This is pretty amazing! how you have time to do it, I do not know. But wow, it’s so awesome I want to print it.

    Also yay Lost posts are back!

  23. Hey Maeve thanks for the acknowledgment.

    Yes, you’re right about the exact location of certain things being off. But as I mentioned, much of this was a compromise between design and what we know about the Island. For me, a big blob of lines spread evenly across the whole island just didn’t look nice as something more off balance. It also allows for the Temple to be placed far enough from the Barracks that the Others’ big trek there at the end of Season 3 seemed right. And I guess for me, gives all that empty space a mysterious feel.

    I used pretty much every map they’ve shown us on the show, tried to calculate distances, direction of movement… but at the end of the day, so many things contradict one another that I had to focus more on making a map that just looked fun. I tried to adhere to at least one rule we’ve been shown. For example: The blast door map puts the Flame south west of the Pearl and puts the Staff north west. Both the Staff and the Pearl, which by that map should be further north than the Flame, are certainly within a moderate distance to the Swan, which is within a moderate distance to the beach. In fact, the Staff is supposedly about a half a day from the beach.

    So is it that the terrain to get to the Flame makes it a slower trek? Is Radzinski wrong on his placement? Did he totally go crazy and can’t remember. OR… does the show sometimes have to change things up in order to fit the given circumstances of a particular episode (plot, a shoot location, weather, etc).

    If I were you, I wouldn’t throw away the map you have in your head. I’ll be getting into this in an upcoming post, but if an official map is ever released, it will likely have big inconsistencies with what we’ve seen. Things like people walking in the wrong direction towards things, distances, terrain, etc.

  24. John, I love it!. Thanks for make me laugh.

  25. Great map, John. I agree with a lot of it. The only major problem I see is the placement of the Hydra Island. I say that for 2 reasons:

    1. In season 1 and 3, the castaways make treks down the beach from the camp to the Looking Glass wire in the water. Wouldn’t they see the island off shore from that based on where you have the wire placed?

    2. In season 5, notLocke and Ben leave from the Hydra Island and head directly across the water to the Dharma Dock where the sub used to be and where the Barracks are.

    That’s my take. Good work

  26. so, in regards to someone’s previous query on if the letters have significance, you simply told them that they do. part of me feels like they are abbreviations for character names, but i’m unsure of some of them. so my question is, what is the significance of the letters? and thanks, this is awesome.

  27. Interesting idea, John – but there is one VERY big mistake, one that just doesn’t want to die, it seems: Rousseau’s map was drawn as her team approached from the NORTH (likely the sole direction that can allow for access of the Island – remember, Eko’s stick urged Locke to “lift your eyes and look North”); the Crater reference bears this out more than anything else (crater being where Dharmaville is located)….Michael’s raft floated in an artificial circular current in a northerly direction, and it’s my belief that the reason they were confronted by Tom and company in “Exodus” was their imminent discovery of a cloaked Hydra Island – considering where they arrived at once the raft was blown up (not far from the Arrow Station) this adds further weight.

    So, with this in mind, it becomes obvious that the Pala Ferry dock exists also for return trips from The Hydra not even 3 miles away…..

    It DOESN’T help that the producers have played fast and loose with regard to topography throughout the show’s previous 5 seasons; even in “The Incident”, Flocke is leading his party away from the original beach camp with the ocean on their LEFT side which, if we the audience remember the Statue was established as being on the Island’s western coast in “The Glass Ballerina”, must be impossible…..

    Admirable (though still further question as to locational accuracy) execution otherwise…..

  28. OOH! Loving the long explanation of the thinking that went into this J! Gives me a whole new appreciation for your map and the effort put forth into making it. ALSO makes me feel a little less spatially challenged and map simple!

  29. Tu es le meilleur…

  30. Hey James, thanks for your comment. I read it a few times, but I can’t quite see what the VERY big mistake. If you’re saying that I have the Island upside down, I have considered that. If you’re saying, like Drew, that the Hydra is is on the wrong end of the Island, I also considered that. If you’re saying that the Otherton / Dharmaville / The Barracks are incorrectly placed… also considered. And while all the points you make are strong ones. There are several points I can make that would keep them from totally working. The directional discontinuity, the strange inconsistent mapping, and loose, fast topography that you mention are all reasons why it’s hard for anyone to to be totally correct with their placement of things.

    I hope you’ll come back for my next post. I’m in the process of writing it now, so it’ll be up sometime tomorrow. It actually mentions a few of the theories you made on placement, why I chose not to put them there, as well as other possibilities for what the Island could look like.

  31. And Matt, you got it. There’s only one doubling of letters. That doubling can either be interpreted as the same character (one who has a sort of duality on the show) or two characters with the same letter starting their name. The trick is to use the seasons as a guide. For example. The A train on the 2 is… the Ana Lucia. Can you guys figure out the rest?

  32. Your map is REALLY COOL!!!!

  33. I must reduce the clutter around here. I saw this make the rounds a number of times and marked it as rad, but totally missed the freakin’ boat about it being your handiwork. Kudos John. And lemme know if you help finding a printmaker, they’re a dime a dozen here in Richmond.

  34. Thanks Johnny. I may take you up on that at some point.

  35. Ahhh, the Ana Lucia hint helps a lot. I guessed they were character names as well but then I couldn’t seem to make it work. I was limiting myself and not thinking about the locations along the routes.

  36. Wow this is really impressive! Nice job.

  37. Can you tell me where’s the North on the Map??

  38. Always me.. The map I saw on episode 4×08 is so different from the one you draw.

    From what we can see in that episode, we can deduce 3 things, here explained:

    1. From A to B, better, from “Barracks” to the Temple there’s a straight and HORIZONTAL line

    2. The Temple is in the middle of those mountais which stand along the Ovest coast’s island.

    3. Going Norht, from the Temple, beyond those mountains, there’s a big lake

    Have you seen the map I’m speaking about?
    Did you consider it when draw your map?

  39. exs4ever, hey. Thanks for stopping by. I didn’t use just one map for this. I used almost every map. What I realized is that so many of the maps on the show conflict with each other… as well as with the topography we’ve seen on the show, that it was pointless for me to obsess over getting things exact.

    This map’s shape was based on the map that Rousseau drew in season 1… the one that Sayid brought back with him to camp. But I used maps like Ben’s Temple map, Faraday’s island map, Ben’s radio tower map, and most importantly the Blast Door Map (because it is such an imaginative depiction of the Island) to give me hints to the general vicinity of things. Then I nudged things around a bit in order to work with the look of a subway map… and to create something that I thought looked nice.

    The question of which way is north is a difficult one to answer on this show. We know that compasses behave strangely on the Island. Rousseau’s map has north pointing up as it would relate to this map. And we know from season 1 that the survivors are on the south part of the island. Ben’s radio tower map, however, puts the camp to the north and the radio tower to the east. Rousseau puts the radio tower to the west. Ben’s Temple map puts the Temple to the north west of the Barrack… which would seem to conflict with his Radio tower map because it would mean the beach camp was relatively close to the Temple. The distance that the others are traveling in season 3 is a several day trek… so the idea that the Temple is closer to the beach camp than the barracks just doesn’t work for me.

    So I have to assume that both direction (N,S,E,W) as well as scale on these maps is all over the place. Couple that with the show’s inconsistent depiction of travel and topography and… well I’m sure you get what I mean.

    And that lake you see in the Temple map could easily be a bay. We don’t know because it’s chopped off… but if it is, then it puts the temple close to the north of the Island.

    The point I’m making is that to use any map on this show as a definitive guide to the map of the island is probably useless. My follow up post to this one, goes into a bit more detail about how I came up with the map.

  40. Pingback: LOST Landkarte! @

  41. I love these maps! I totally printed out your subway map two pages squared and hung it up in my cube today.

  42. Hi,

    I love what you have done here. I want to print this out and hang it on my wall. I’m talking like 6×4 feet print. But I’m afraid if I up res this it will lose it’s crispness and become pixelated.

    I know it is a lot to ask, but is there anyway you can link me to your AI files (I’m guessing you used a vector based program) so I can blow it up myself?

    Keep up the awesome!

  43. Hey Bill,

    When I get the chance, I’m planning to do a revised version of the map to include season 6. This one was made for the premiere of season 6 so it only included 1-5. So when I do, I’ll likely distribute a higher rez or vector version.

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