With the opening of the London Overground Service from Clapham Junction to Dalston Junction it is time to say goodbye to the South London Line.

The line provided a direct link between the London Brighton and South Coast Railways City and West End termini. Prior to the introduction of electric trams in the 1890s up to eight million passengers a year travelled on this route. The trams bit hard into those numbers however, and by 1908 there were less than three million.

Electrification over the largely elevated route was the railway company’s competitive response. Initially electrified at 6700 Volts 25 Hertz (the power supplied by the London Electricity Supply Corporation’s power station at Deptford) the new faster, cleaner trains soon recouped all traffic losses and played a major role in convincing the management that wider electrification should be undertaken.

Following Southern Railway’s decision to adopt the London and South Western’s third rail system, the South London line, together with rest of the LB&SC network, was converted to DC. Most recently the line has been home to the distinctive class 456 EMUs – which probably formed the shortest trains now running into any central London termini – running on a half hourly basis.

So for one last time let us take a trip along the line…

With the crash deck in place, ready for the London Bridge reconstruction programme to begin, it was not possible to take non-flash images at the station and so we must join the train at Oueens Road Peckham just south of the new Overground Connection. At the time of photography, the station signage carried no suggestion of imminent change.

Signage at Queens Road

Signage at Queens Road

An Unforgettable EMU

An Unforgettable EMU

Crossing under the Catford Loop, the train runs on the Up Atlantic line to Denmark Hill where major works are underway to improve disabled access.

Work underway at Denmark Hill

Work underway at Denmark Hill

The bad news is that, with work still underway, the station’s stairs remain daunting for those of us less youthfully inclined.

Platform level at Denmark Hill

Platform level at Denmark Hill

The good news is that at the top of the stairs there is a pub inset into the former station building.

The Phoenix, Denmark Hill

The Phoenix, Denmark Hill

Leaving Denmark Hill the train passes over Brixton Station and on to Clapham High Street, which together with Wandsworth Road will become London Overground stations. Interspersed with the South London Line trains and the 775m long freight trains, the final crew training runs for the Overground are taking place.

Freight at Wandsworth Road

Freight at Wandsworth Road

A 378 At Wandsworth Road

A 378 At Wandsworth Road

A short running 456 pulls into Wandsworth Road. To regain lost time and to avoid knock on effects at Victoria, reversing at Battersea Park is a regular feature.

A 456 pulls into Wandsworth Road

A 456 pulls into Wandsworth Road

Outside the station, a soon to be redundant sign is observed by the driver – no more 2 car trains will run on this route.

A two-car 456

A two-car 456

A 378 emerges at Factory Junction bound for London Bridge…

A 378 emerges at Factory Junction bound for London Bridge

A 378 emerges

…To be quickly followed by a 378 crew trainer off to Clapham Junction

378 on crew training

378 on crew training

Reversed short at Battersea Park 456017 makes a quick turn round.

456017 at Battersea Park

456017 at Battersea Park

The closure of the route will probably see Battersea Park’s wooden floored platform taken out of service.

The wooden platform at Battersea Park

The wooden platform at Battersea Park

Finally, at Victoria the trains that do make it beyond Battersea Park are normally stabled at the country end, enabling a stabled train to occupy the platform. An abiding memory of those who used the service will probably be the compulsory jog from the barriers upon late announcement of the platform.

456017 at Victoria

456017 at Victoria

You can find more photos from our South London Line goodbye in the London Reconnections Photo Pool.

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There are 256 comments on this article
  1. Whiff says:

    Great set of photos but also one amusing typo above the first Wandsworth Road photo – rub not run. Now fixed ta PoP
    Also why were the line called the ‘Atlantic Lines’?

  2. Jeanpierre says:

    Just returned home after travelling on the last 16:11 Clapham High Street-Kensington Olympia parliamentary, which probably had more passengers, sorry, ‘customers’, on board than at any time in its history, which was good to see. I hope Southern put a couple of 4-car sets on for tomorrow’s last day of South London Line operation, as I think it could get busy………

    Looks like both Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road stations will be fully Overground-identified come Sunday 9 December.

  3. Greg Tingey says:

    Errr ….
    Both the pictures of the 378’s @ Factory Jn show westbound trains – note which track they are running on, and the red rear running/tail lights

  4. Greg Tingey says:

    oops, just remembered.
    If you really want a contrasting view try this one:
    Taken 27/02/1957 …
    Note the complete basence of encroaching vegetation.
    And the SMOKE!
    Yes, it really was like that in winter in London ….

  5. Steven Taylor says:

    @whiff. Re Atlantic Lines. I always assumed named thus because the line crosses Atlantic Road after crossing Brixton Station westbound.

    I was at Wandsworth Road station today watching all the work. I did notice one of the new Roundel signs had been placed on the wrong platform as the `way out` on the sign was pointing towards the opposite end to the actual exit. I told the Overground person who immediately phoned someone in head office.

  6. The other Paul says:

    Peckham Rye?

  7. Steven Taylor says:

    Re first sentence at top .. The Clapham Junction / Surrey Quays service will terminate at Highbury and Islington. It was originally given as Dalston Junction but there was a change of plan.

  8. David says:

    I read this article going home on the South London line tonight, for the last time after 5+ years of using Southern.

    I’d glad to see the service move from them. Too many cancellations and delays, giving the general impression that this route was an irritation and always the one to sacrifice if something went wrong elsewhere on the network. (Given the relatively small distances, that may objectively be justifiable, but it didn’t feel like it waiting on a cold evening at a station with little in the way of shelter, or sat in a bus being overtaken by snails between Camberwell and Oval).

    So I’m looking forward to the Overground taking over the service. It’s just a shame (for those affected, I’m not) that Boris didn’t back the replacement service through Denmark Hill to Victoria. But I know a number of colleagues who may well use the service — either joining at Canada Water (from the Jubilee line), or Denmark Hill (the increased frequency making interchange more practicable). How long before there’s pressure to increase the 15 minute frequency?

  9. Antje says:

    If you like, you can use this image to represent London Bridge:

    I just played with the exposure times to get a good one. And don’t forget the parliamentary trains that are going as well.

  10. timbeau says:

    I used the SLL at lunchtime today and was surprised at the number of fellow passengers – about 50 throughout, although there was significant churn at Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill and a lot of people left the train at Battersea Park, apparently to catch a connection towards Clapham Junction.

    Southern’s have some of the best seating on any inner suburban stock – regulars are in for a nasty surprise next week – fewer seats, (if indeed you can flatter those ledges with the name) despite the longer trains.

  11. Overground Commuter says:

    I’m surprised that people are actually looking forward to the launch of the new service. If you read the local press, such as the Southwark News, South London Press and local internet forums, alongside the Southwark Rail Users Group, an organisation which campaigned hard to save the existing Southern 2tph (and will so once the LB work is completed), it’s mainly doom and gloom with passengers not being able to get to Victoria as quick as it is now, with no mention of delays, cancellations and terminating at Battersea Park.

    The SLL has been neglected for too long, even Southern who have been one of the better TOC’s operating the service kept to the 2tph with the refurbished Class 456’s which haven’t always been in good condition on the past.

    At last, the SLL will once again be used to it’s full potential with the increase to 4tph and longer trains which increases the capacity more than ever before.

    There are issues such as filling the void lost at Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill with replacing the SLL’s 2tph with Southeastern services which should have been an issue before the service was scrapped, yet this is a major improvement which will benefit those stations the new service will serve.

  12. timbeau says:

    That route diagram at Queens Road puts even the wildest dreams of the Northern Heights system to shame!

  13. Graham Feakins says:

    Thanks for this item. I agree, in part, with Overground Commuter because, as a Southwark Rail Users Group member, there has indeed been a fight to retain something of the SLL. Whilst there is a measure of welcome for the ELLX2, there has been a behind the political scenes massive Passing of the Buck resulting in a failure to continue regular, all-day services between Peckham Rye, Denmark Hill, Wandsworth Road, Clapham High Street and Victoria. From Sunday, there will be no direct services to/from Victoria and the SLL after approx. 7 p.m. weekdays and nothing on Sundays. This compares with today’s Southern services that run 2 tph up to 23.15 all week out of London Bridge and Victoria. The plan to introduce a Victoria/Belligham/Bromley South service has so far come to naught.

    In future, anyone who wishes to get to Victoria are ‘advised’ to change at Clapham Junction. Well, those with the slightest knowledge of Clapham Junction will know that one will have to traverse the vast expanse of that station from Platform 2 to Platforms 13/14 and await a connection, adding what in time and inconvenience to the SLL service taking about 9 mins. to Denmark Hill for example at the moment? Just look at a geographical map of the area and wonder why you will have to travel away from Battersea Park and Victoria off the SLL to catch a train to Victoria and vice versa.

    Overall, there will be 2 tph fewer in any case to London Bridge (and Victoria when the Southeastern services do run).

    I was granted air time on BBC Radio London tonight, where I had to disagree with Tim Bellenger of LondonTravelwatch, where he recommended Victoria and West End passengers to travel to and change at Canada Water in future. Get a map out and think about it, then try the overcrowded interchange there for 1st-hand experience for added value.

  14. timbeau says:

    Not ideal, but surely a better way from SLL stations to the west end than either Clapham Junction or Canada Water (!) is to change at Clpaham High Street/Clapham North and the Northern Line – although another change might be needed at Stockwell or Kennington, at least these are cross-platform. Except for passengers whose ultimate destination is Victoria itself, rather than just the point at which they joined the Tube, this is at worst only one extra change.

  15. Rich says:

    Slightly off-topic from the SLL, but shortest trains in any London terminus now – I’m assuming the Greenford trains, and one or two other 2 car Thames Turbos that occasionally appear on solo workings.

    As a former reasonably frequent commuter from Clapham HSt to Victoria (i worked a few mins walk from Victoria), i’m happy that i don’t have to be making that journey anymore. But realistically, there would not be many people making such door-to-door journeys and most people would be changing onto tube bus at Victoria anyway. Conversely, when in CJ I used to get annoyed at the time/hassle it could often take to get to CJ whether by bus or train (to connect onwards), and that is suddenly much easier.

    As always with service changes, some people are inconvenienced, some people better off.

  16. Anonymous says:

    TfL are proposing to extend the trains to 5 cars, a frequency increase is only likely if that provides insufficient capacity.

  17. Steve says:

    I thought the service started on Sunday 9th? According to the National Rail JP it’s not possible that day to make direct journeys between CJ and Wandsworth Road onwards, yet there’s no mention of any engineering works. The JP only shows direct journeys from Monday 10th.

    So will it be running on the 9th or won’t it???

  18. Steven Taylor says:


    That’s really strange. I was at Clapham High Street yesterday, and `everyone` mentions the 9th as the day the first trains run.

    So I am turning up at 7.20.tomorrow at Clapham Junction – where I live, to get on the first train.

    I have also checked the timetable, and it says the ghost train still runs next week, leaving Clapham High Street 2 minutes earlier at 1609 hours. I don`t think so!!!

  19. Overground Commuter says:


    Do you know which show you were on BBC Radio London as I can listen back on iPlayer? I’d like to listen to your interview and comment back on here.

  20. Greg Tingey says:

    Caption to photo #8 (I think) reads: A 378 emerges at Factory Junction bound for London Bridge…
    NO it doesn’t.
    “A class 378 on a training run passes Factory Jn, en route to Clapham Jcn” would be a correct title!

    The new full timetable starts on Monday, 10th December.
    There may (or may not) be special trains over the S London loop tomorrow, but the first day of full normal new services is Monday.

  21. Anonymous says:

    TfL’s word is that it opens Sunday, 9th –

  22. Steve says:

    Anonymous @12:59

    Exactly – why would the service start a day late?

  23. Steve says:

    Further update.

    I’ve used the TfL JP and it shows a full service for the 9th, thus I must conclude that the NR JP is wrong, as I suspected.

  24. Jeanpierre says:

    I have in my hand the Overground timetable booklet for the Highbury & Islington to West Croydon/Clapham Junction service, 9 December 2012 to 18 May 2013.

    Just had a last day trip from Victoria to London Bridge and back, and Southern have indeed put 4-car units on. Also interesting to see that the Overground route learning train is running today, having seen it at Wandsworth Road (to Clapham Junction), Queens Road Peckham (to Canada Water) and entering Battersea Park.

  25. Disappointed Kitten says:

    Interesting detail: the signage at Queens Road is actually part of the short-lived defunct “Overground Network” (ON) brand which was introduced experimentally as a test run for TTL-sponsored rail.

    So good to see this happen at long last – I’ve been waiting for years to use this service. Such a pity it’s come 3 years too late for me as I have left the area, but that always seems to happen. I must say though, the fact that they couldn’t find the money to create an interchange with Thameslink at Loughborough Junction or with the Victoria line at Brixton is a serious oversight. To be sure, these would be engineering challenges, but nothing is truly impossible. The good folk of Brixton must be delighted to look up and watch the shiny new Overground whizz by over their heads as the world of progress is conveyed tantalisingly past on an inaccessible viaduct.

  26. Anonymous says:

    It a shame that no new platforms are being put in at Clapham High Street or Wandsworth Road so that those stations can now be served by the regular (every 15 mins) service between Orpington and Victoria. Plus, it would enable users of that line to easily change for Clapham Junction without having to travel into Victoria.

  27. Paul says:

    The NR JP is showing a regular direct Wandsworth Road – Highbury & Islington service for the 9th Dec, but nothing for between Wandsworth Road & Clapham Junction for tomorrow.

  28. Steven Taylor says:

    I feel very confident that when I arrive at Platform 2 tomorrow at Clapham Junction for the 7.20 Highbury & Islington, that the train will be in the platform. All the literature states full services start from 9th December. Also, I have spoken with London Overground staff at various stations today, and all confirm this. I even spoke to a driver as well on one of the training runs from Surrey Quays, and he affirms services start tomorrow.

    However, I must confess to seeing no notices at Clapham Junction to this effect. Strange.
    Perhaps Boris wants maximum publicity on Monday!!

    Although, quite why the website timetable states the opposite, and also still shows the retimed ghost train from next Monday beats me.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Hmmn, I am interested in the journey to Clapham Junction and wonder what time I should turn up at Surrey Quays tomorrow.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I saw on Twitter LO turned the London Eye orange tonight to celebrate the opening / completion of the orbital route. It will make the local news tomorrow but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Boris and fanfare on Monday.

  31. Matt says:

    What’s happening to the 456s between now and the 2014 when they go to South West Trains? Will Southern keep them active on other (lengthened) services, or will they be stored?

  32. Paul says:

    The WLL parliamentary is still running because DfT have only just completed their consultation last month, and ORR have seemingly not yet ratified the withdrawal of the service.

    The LO new service does not cover the whole of the old XC route so the new service starting is not really relevant to SN’s ‘parly’.

  33. Whiff says:

    The consultation responses are available on-line and make for mildly interesting reading.

  34. Paul says:

    Matt – the SLL 456s are only a very small subset of the overall 24 strong fleet. I expect they’ll just be used in the normal course on other metro area services until they start being replaced during 2014. The deadline for all to be in use with SWT is 2years away.

  35. timbeau says:

    Only two 456s were needed to run the SLL service – they could do the round trip in an hour.

    SWT and Southern have both updated their fleets since privatisation, but I udnerstand they have done so in different ways so they are no longer compatible. Consequently, the 456s will need to be modified to SWT spec before they can be used out of Waterloo (I understand SWT also intend to modify the seating to match those on SWT’s 455s – I think they’re afraid the quality of the 456’s accomodation will show up the rest of SWT’s inner suburban fleet.

  36. Graham Feakins says:

    Overground Commuter – the link to the BBC iPlayer full BBC Radio London Eddie Nestor programme (with hours of irrevelant bits) seems to have diappeared (or at least I can’t find it again at the moment). However, I did record the relevant bits and can send as 14MB ‘wav’ if somehow I can send direct to your e-mail address. If nobody can answer this, then I’ll put my e-mail address here for you and anyone else to contact me off-site.

    In answer to Timbeau, I was informed yesterday (Saturday) that TfL are not keen to advertise the Clapham High Street/Clapham North interchange because the Northern Line is “overloaded as it is at Clapham North”! It was Tim Bellenger of LondonTravelwatch who recommended on that BBC Radio London programme Canada Water seemingly as the saviour to compensate the loss of the direct SLL services. Most bizarre!

    Being on the campaign trail in the company of many other Southwark users on SLL trains yesterday, it was surprising (or even unsurprising to those of us in the know) that many SLL passengers who were handed leaflets have no idea that their direct services to London Bridge and Victoria are being withdrawn. It turns out that. e.g. one chap who works at Victoria and starts very early from Denmark Hill on the SLL will be unable in future to make it on time by diverting to Clapham Junction and catching a train from there to Victoria. OK, that’s just one but most of the remainder I came across were very grumpy indeed – they need that all-day direct service to Victoria.

    I felt an element of pity for those who wished catch their photos of the last day with 456’s as trains of two cars because they were replaced by 4-car 455 units. You might have to blame me for that because I reommended to Southern that a 4-car service would need to be provided on the final day because of the additional traffic.

  37. Simon A says:

    Morning peak SLL trains have been 377’s at least for the last 3 months of my using the line.

    Catching a 456 to Peckham Rye today and in rolls a 378 to platform 2 at Battersea Park with the destination as Battersea Park on the train and the open door button illuminated when it stopped. Not sure what would have happened if someone had hopped on!

  38. Josh says:

    Isn’t it really just Wandsworth Road that is affected by this? The other stations are also served by Southern, South Eastern or both or is Clapham High Street, where you’d be better off using the Northern line instead to get into town.

    If you’re at Peckham Rye, you can still get to either London Bridge or Victoria, but now also Clapham Junction.

    Of course, that’s me just looking at the map. I have no local knowledge.

  39. Steven Taylor says:

    Just been on the first Clapham Junction – Surrey Quays service. Mostly rail buffs, but a couple of LOROL suits as well.

    It was good to see Wandsworth Road and Clapham High Street stations looking much more cared for.

    Am informed that Boris will be at Clapham Junction tomorrow Monday at 10 AM.

  40. Mrs Redboots says:

    I wondered where Boris was at 07:20 this morning! I was on the Very First Train and am very pleased that I was. Highlight was a group of revellers who got on at Peckham Rye to go home to Haggerston with no idea that this was the first-ever time they could do this – they weren’t sure whether to be delighted, or embarrassed at “spoiling” the party for the rest of us.

    I believe a full service is being run today.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Josh, that’s mainly correct, although Queens Road Peckham and South Bermondsey no longer have a direct service to Victoria and Clapham High Street and Denmark Hill to London Bridge in addition to Wandsworth Road.

    There’s also no longer a direct evening or Sunday service to Victoria from all stations as of today.

    Battersea Park continues to have a direct service to London Bridge via the Outer SLL on Mon/Sat.

    If I was commuting on the new SLL to Victoria, I’d more more likely to use the Northern and Victoria at Stockwell via Clapham High St/North than use Clapham Junction, which is a good 2-3 min walk from the Overground platforms to the Southern platforms.

    However as the London Overground is based on connections rather than transporting passengers to London terminals, it has more of them than the Southern SLL ever did.

    There is a small price which has been paid for this service, from January, point to point seasons between SLL stations and Clapham Junction have been axed which means they’ll either have to purchase a season from South Bermondsey or buy more expensive tickets. This doesn’t affect season tickets to London Terminals.

  42. Whiff says:

    The always excellent Diamond Geezer produced a good summary of how the SLL stations will be affected a couple of days ago. He also made the point that Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road currently have shockingly low numbers of people using them so in reality the number of people affected is relatively small.

    Lemmo makes the point in his HLOS post that the all this could change again in a couple of years when the timetable changes because of the work at London Bridge and then again when the work is completed. I would expect that by the end of the decade a lot of stations will have services to different termini than they do now.

    And Steven Taylor – thanks for the explanation of the Atlantic Lines though that does lead on to the question of why there is an Atlantic Road in Brixton!

  43. Mrs Redboots says:

    There always have been low numbers at Clapham High Street – when we first came to live in the area in 1979, only about one train a day stopped at it, and I well remember an article in the Evening Standard saying what a dreadful station it was, with no trains, and rats and rubbish in the waiting-rooms, and why wasn’t it closed?

    I don’t know if it was because of this article, or what, but Network Rail or its predecessors got their act together, sold off the station buildings and put up bus-shelter type waiting rooms instead, and then introduced an all-day service, which had great banners attached to the bridge across the eponymous High Street to advertise it. That was when I started using the service; must have been about 25 years ago. And I don’t think passenger numbers have ever been all that high! All the same, I shall miss the link to and from Victoria, although I have plenty of other ways to get there!

  44. James Bunting says:

    I find it interesting that Southern only mention that the London Bridge – Victoria service is withdrawn, under their list of timetable changes for 09 Dec, with no mention that another operator will provide a service over at least part of the line. It is just like when a bus operator loses a contract but doesn’t like to tell you who did win.

  45. Jeanpierre says:

    Just travelled from Clapham Junction to Surrey Quays and back, and was amazed at the number of people obviously not rail buffs (ordinary passengers) already using the service between CJ and SLL destinations, and between SLL stations and the ELL, and vice versa. Obviously most of those travelling north from or south to Surrey Quays probably neither know nor care where their train originated from or is going to!

  46. Anonymous says:

    I can remember when the South London line had a flat fare of £1,or 65p with my Young Person’s Railcard… Great to see it so busy today, I hope it can cope with the future demand!

  47. Anonymous says:

    I seem to remember either Connex or Network SouthCentral promoting the SLL as an alternative to the tube between Victoria and London Bridge in the nineties. I can’t remember if the flat fare programme was around that time or before?

    Of the SLL stations to benefit, it has to be Clapham High Street. It’ll benefit from passengers who’ll transfer to and from the tube/Overground for cheaper connections to Canary Wharf changing at Canada Water and from those who’ll use the Northern for connections in Zone 1.

    From being a 2tph service at Clapham High Street to 4tph with more connections that before, the station becomes a lot more attractive to passengers.

  48. HowardGWR says:

    On Clapham HS, would it not benefit from better signage from the said HS? On my Street View, it’s a bit ‘hidden away, up the incline’. Only accessible from one side I note to boot. perhaps that has been improved.

  49. Anonymous says:

    What we need now is a shiny new combined station at Brixton for Overground and Victoria services, with a better interchange to the Victoria Underground line. Perhaps M&S will build one on their roof.

  50. Graham says:

    Went on it today. Amazingly busy considering it’s a Sunday and brand new. Nothing like the emptiness I’ve experienced on the first days of other new services.

    Also, if one journey over the new section isn’t enough for you, the timetable is perfect for doing laps from SQ to QRP and back again in just under 15 minutes.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I took a train to Clapham Junction from Canada Water this morning at about 09:30. The train wasn’t busy at all and consistented for the most part of us ‘trainspotters’. Notwithstanding the proposed Surrey Canal station, the gap between Surrey Quays and Queen’s Road, Peckham is very long and poor old Brixton has been bypassed. A station here makes more sense than the one at Wandsworth.

  52. Anonymous says:

    @ Graham – agreed about the “instant demand” aspect. I had a couple of trips today and while it was obvious who the train buffs were plenty of people were clearly just trying out the new line while others were making local jnys they’d have done previously on the old SLL. I certainly saw a fair number of people making the connection on to WLL services – easy connection to Westfield at Shepherds Bush for Christmas Shopping. I certainly saw a fair number of people at Clapham High Street boarding and alighting which bodes well.

    The other surprise, to me anyway, were the high numbers of people using the core ELL section. Plenty of people using all the stations – even places like Rotherhithe and Shadwell. Nice to see the route doing so well.

  53. ChrisMitch says:

    This just demonstrates again the power of the tube map!
    Services which are included on the tube map automatically become ‘connected’ to all the existing services.

  54. Steven Taylor says:


    Thanks for your `thank you`. re Atlantic Lines.
    You raise an interesting point – why the name Atlantic Road in Brixton?
    It is nowhere near the Ocean.

    Re comments about the business of the new line so soon.

    I am sure that all the interchange possibilities at Clapham Junction will attract a lot of passengers to the line. Also, from Whitechapel to Clapham junction is all Zone 2, so some people can more easily reduce the cost of travel – with 4 clean air-conditioned trains every hour. LOROL have managed to keep the trains looking spanking new, including the shoe gear etc.

  55. Simon A says:

    Today I was charged £2.00 for Bow Road – Clapham Jcn which is all in Zone 2, surely this should be £1.40 or am I mistaken?

  56. Anonymous says:

    Simon A,

    Other forums have also noticed bugs in the Oyster PAYG system which haven’t been updated. Passengers using the Northern line and changing at Clapham North for High Street have been charged via Zone 1 fares for journeys on the ELL in Zone 2 such as Rotherhithe. There’s also been a WLL trip to Rotherhithe from Olympia via Clapham Jn which has the same problem.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Did you touch the pink oyster reader at Whitechapel?

  58. Carl says:

    As much as I welcome the new Overground service on the SLL, I would of thought the interchange between Clapham High Street and Clapham North would of been improved. However, the most annoying thing for me is the missed interchanges at Brixton and Loughborough Junction. I understand that all these things would be too costly for various reasons but having good interchanges with the Northern and Victoria lines and the Thameslink route connected to the Overground would be very helpful.

  59. Whiff says:

    Another fun video to add to the collection.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Ah yes, there is an alternative fare programmed in from Bow Road to Clapham Junction via Whitechapel touching the pink reader there using Fare Finder.

  61. Anonymous says:

    @ Simon A / Anonymous 2239 – the fares situation is bizarre. There was a recent FOI request to TfL about the ELLX Ph2 changes. I’ve worked my way through the response and some of the assumed “default” routes are odd and in some cases inconsistent. Some locations get default routes avoiding Zone 1 while others do not. Stations in the two categories can just be one stop apart on the same line. Despite the many claims about “cheaper fares” this is not a consistent story even in South London. The existence of an orbital railway should mean there are routes available as an option that allow use of the orbital lines avoiding Zone 1 even if the trip time is slow. Regrettably TfL have not adopted this universally. As Oyster has tied together the route and price logic for PAYG with Travelcard zonal availability it means holders of non Z1 t/cards can get charged for Zone 1 travel even if they do not actually go through Zone 1. If there is no route validator on their route they cannot “prove” which way they went. It takes detailed study to make sure you don’t fall foul of the charging and routing logic.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Its a real shame that TfL placed Shoreditch High Street in Zone 1 – clearly with the full intent of milking passengers who get off at that station either to work in the city – or to go for the nightlife in the evening. The rest of the Orbital route is in Zone Two – except for just one station – Shoreditch High Street. I wonder how much extra money TfL make from this?

    Also its not strictly an orbital route is it? To be an orbital route strictly speaking it would have to a service that operates in a continuous circle around London. This doesn’t – you have to catch two trains to go around London (just like the “Circle” line is no longer a “circular” service. Wasn’t it originally planned that to be a fully functional orbital railway it would go via Crystal Palace and onto to Balham and Clapham Junction? Now that would be an Orbital railway.

  63. Pedantic of Purley says:

    TfL were obliged to agree to Shoreditch High Street being in Zone 1 as a condition of DfT agreeing to fund ELLX to go to Clapham Junction. No, I don’t really understand why either. I live in hope that one day this anomaly will be removed.

  64. RicP says:

    Interesting little trip at 07.20 off CJ. Sunday 9th. Beeb TV LSE News at 22.15 had a soundbite on it.
    There will be undoubted benefits from the ELLX2 service into CJ, but the SLL was a bit like the old GO-B line, the best kept secret in NE London, and the best kept secret in S London. The factthat so many services are only half hourly you cannot walk up and wait for a train. Denmark Hill is a timetabling disaster with all three London-Bound trains departing within about 10 minutes,then a 20 minute gap.
    LO and Southern could do more to co-ordinate timetables on the routes south from New Cross Gate, particularly after 22.00 to ensure 4 tph at reasonably spaced intervals to West Croydon and Crystal Palace.
    On the North London, chivvying has ensured that evening frequencies are now mainly 15 – 20 minutes,so it becomes a viable interconnector between services.
    TFL needs to remember the CJ interchange is not convenient, with long walks either by the subway or bridge. Also if a service were to be restored to Battersea Park, this still misses the crucial link to Victoria.
    @Mrs Redboots, I saw the same group of partygoers, the girl with the green / silver spangled make up was asleep for the last leg to H&I. TfL’s Howard Smith turned out,as I recall he did for the opening of Shepherds Bush on a Sunday morning.

  65. MikeP says:

    To Anonymous surprised at the high numbers at Shadwell – IMHO that’s the connection with the DLR. Given the few trains from DFD that stop at NWX, and the fewer Overground trains there, the quickest route for me to Shoreditch High Street for Brick Lane Curries seems to be DFD – WWA then DLR to Shadwell to get the Overground. YMMV. Though I was shocked to discover the quickest route there from Barbican was a brisk walk.

  66. Greg Tingey says:

    Building a new station @ Brixton would be expensive, but possible.
    Ditto for Loughboro’ Jn would be a lot harder, because the existing platforms @ Loughboro’ are on the Northern (ex-LCDR) lines not the Southern, (ex-LBSCR) ones.
    To make the whole service easier to use requires new pointwork, & therefore new signalling, at both ends of Grosvenor Bridge, as partially discussed earlier.
    Crossing-over between the two sets of separate, parallel tracks is tricky – I suggest readers study a copy of the appropriate “Quail” before making too many glib remarks?

  67. Slugabed says:

    Three things
    I,too,was pleasantly surprised by how many “real passengers” were using the service yesterday.
    On my train (12:20 ex H&I) the on-board PA announced “Surrey Canal Road” twice until corrected by the driver.
    The layout of the new footbridge at Clapham Junction leads one to suspect that there are “no plans” to re-instate the old Platform 1….at least in the foreseeable future….(unless,perhaps,as a short bay)

  68. THC says:

    @MikeP, 0635

    Too many abbreviations rendered parts of your post impenetrable to me, I’m sorry to say. You’re not the only one that uses them hereabouts, so this is not just aimed at you but other posters who resort to txtspk, Internet memes and National Rail’s 3-letter station codes when making what are no doubt interesting points. While some of them are fairly obvious, more still are not. (YMMV? Thank you Urban Dictionary!) A call to all: any chance of sticking to Plain English in future posts? Thanks for your consideration.


  69. HowardGWR says:

    @THC 1041

    What is THC then?! I assume ‘GWR’ is perhaps too well known? Actually ‘plus 1’ as the internet people say, I could not be bothered to fight my way through it all..

    I was fascinated to hear on the videos of the new service that employees refer to ‘The Mayor’ as though they really believed the current one had all this stuff at his fingertips. Is that the case, or was it something of a concept that grew up during Livingstone’s time?

  70. THC says:

    @Howard, 1113

    My initials, since you ask! I assume GW and R are not a part of yours… 😉


  71. Timmy! says:

    @ HowardGWR, 1113

    I had presumed TfL referred to the ‘The Mayor’ cheekily, rather than Boris or Ken! I’d also make a plea for plain English on this site (although I’m about to write some abbreviations!).

    RicP makes a good point about the late night train times. The Overground was advertised by TfL as having Tube style timings – the ELL services south of New Cross Gate after 11.00 aren’t the greatest.

    Finally, my biggest grumble is about the new Tube map which isn’t supposed to change until 2016 (… Why doesn’t Blackfriars station stretch across the Thames? There doesn’t seem to be any indication you can access it from the south of the Thames. Anyway, good to see a new rail link open!

  72. HowardGWR says:

    Sorry THC, I was a bit TIC then (or tongue in cheek as we oldies say) but going back to my original post, I wondered if Clapham High Street has good signage to Clapham North and vice versa but since then, I learn from other correspondents that the PTB (powers that be) don’t want people to change there anyway. If so, it would seem to defeat the object of the new line, as the radial nature of the line is surely less important than the opportunities for connections it provides. I shall be interested to learn of what folk going to airports with luggage find, especially Gatwick.

  73. Littlejohn says:

    I’m sure there must be an obvious answer, but if the early/late services to Battersea Park are in the timetable, why isn’t Battersea Park on the tube map? The services are at least daily, unlike the Olympia District ones.

  74. Jeanpierre says:

    Everybody happy with ‘Londoners’ new railway’? You’ll never please all of the people all of the time, but I think it’s great, and travelled from Denmark Hill to Willesden Junction via Clapham Junction and back earlier in order to catch sight of a ‘real’ train: newbuild A1 60163 Tornado resplendent in early BR lined blue experimental livery hauling the 13-coach Catherdrals Express from Peterborough to Winchester – now that’s a ‘new link’!

    On a serious note, I have emailed London Overground to point out that the existing on-train announcement for Clapham High Street is wrong, i.e.: ‘Change here for National Rail services, etc.’. Apart from the early morning Southeastern Victoria-Bromley South departure and early evening Sevenoaks-Victoria, both Mondays-Fridays, there are no National Rail services anymore.

  75. timbeau says:

    mrs Redboots-

    As far as I am aware Clapham High Street (formerly plain “Clapham”) has had far more than one train a day throughout its history – the South London Line service was never less than 2 trains per hour.

  76. Alan Griffiths says:

    HowardGWR03:05PM, 10th December 2012

    ” I wondered if Clapham High Street has good signage to Clapham North and vice versa”

    No. And you can’t see one from the other.

  77. swirlythingy says:

    @Littlejohn – the Parliamentary District service to Olympia is also daily. But unlike the Battersea Park train, it runs throughout the day on weekends.

  78. swirlythingy says:

    I was expecting this to have been covered in the thread already, but I can’t find any reference to it.

    People hoping for the reinstatement of the old London Bridge—-Victoria South London Line service after the LB refurbishment is complete, prepare for disappointment. The junction at Battersea Park is set to be lifted entirely, with buffer stops installed at the Victoria end of the island platform, and the track through the ‘wooden platform’ torn up.

  79. Swirlythingy,

    Funny you should say that. There is a further article due discussing what, if anything, will replace the old London Bridge – Victoria service. I was trying to make the exact same point but I to couldn’t find any reference to it. In fact all the evidence was starting to suggest the opposite – namely that the physical tracks between Victoria and the rest of the South London Line are going to remain in place for a long time to come. Stay tuned!

  80. HowardGWR says:

    @Alan Griffiths 1719 today

    So, the planning for this new system seems to have been ‘pas de point’ unless, e.g.., Graham Feakins can give us inside knowledge about why the pressure groups didn’t (press) sufficiently.

    How on earth was it explained that Brixton did not need a station as part of the scheme?

    I am an outsider (see non-de-plume) but it does rather shout at one.

  81. timbeau says:

    I’m sure that it is accepted by all concerned that it is far from ideal that the SLL sails over Brixton without stopping – although it always has done, the situation has been made worse over time by the closure of East Brixton in 1976, and the LCDR platforms at Brixton on the Denmark Hill route during the period when all Catford Loop local services went to Blackfriars.

    Cost is usually cited as the problem, presumably the viaduct can’t take the weight – maybe the answer is to build the platforms as part of the building underneath, which are spanned by, but do not appear to support, the viaduct – not sure whether that would be workable – how much does the viaduct flex?

  82. Jon Lane says:

    I’m having a hard time trying to find good maps or diagrams showing exactly where all the junctions are between in the immediate vicinity of Clapham Jn. (Pouparts, Longhedge, Factory etc.)

    Please does anyone here know where I can easily find this info? I have considered looking out of train windows for the long white signs that I imagine are there. Happy to try that anyway, next time I go through.

  83. Pedantic of Purley says:

    This any good?

  84. Anonymous says:

    re “there are no National Rail services anymore”.

    London Overground is a service that operates on the National rail network – so this statement doesn’t make sense.

  85. Anonymous says:

    @ HowardGWR – I am not sure much more pressure could have been applied. GLA members have asked the Mayor about the SLL service just about every month for almost 2 years. It is clear from the weekend news stories that the pressure groups were in direct touch with GLA members and MPs. The sorry story is that relationships between the Mayor / TfL and the DfT seem to have been spectacularly awful in respect of the SLL and ELLX Phase 2. Various letters have been published over the months with each party accusing the other of scuppering plans, refusing to provide funding and arguing about who is responsible for taking the final decision. I am pretty sure this site has covered the history in gruesome detail. Even at the weekend the DfT were (apparently) falsely saying that TfL have fully devolved responsibility in respect of new NR services that would fill in the gaps into Victoria. Quite clearly they do not have such responsibility because it was the DfT that refused to agree to a simple, cheap proposal to add some stops to longer distance Kent services into Victoria. Quite clearly DfT are the final aribiter and it is disingenuous of them to say otherwise.

    The DfT contributed 80% of the ELLX Phase 2 funding but imposed various conditions as part of the deal. If TfL had not agreed the scheme would not have gone ahead. TfL cannot have had much leverage in any negotiations because they were the minority funding party.

    In the context of Brixton we need to understand that TfL could not find £5-7m for Surrey Canal Road station. Quite how they could find £50m or so for Brixton I don’t know. I am not sure if the business case ratio has been published for ELLX2 but I somehow doubt it could carry another £50m of capex and some degree of opex. I recognise there could be substantial benefits but if the piggy bank is empty no amount of future benefit is going to fill it up today. I am not a betting man but I’ll give it six months before GLA members and MPs are barracking the Mayor to build platforms at Brixton station – especially if TfL gain control of South Eastern’s inner suburban services under the devolution proposals.

  86. Whiff says:

    The problem is that it’s not just Brixton; there is a long and familiar litany of missed interchanges across the Overground network. Why should money be spent in Brixton and not Acton or Junction Road or anywhere else? TFL have been very quiet about building new interchanges but maybe once the capacity increases have kicked in we might see some developments.

  87. Jon Lane says:

    @PoP Yes, thanks very much. That is a far finer map than I was hoping to find!

  88. Lemmo says:

    swirlythingy, can you point us towards more info on the Battersea Park works, online or otherwise? cheers 🙂

  89. Greg Tingey says:

    Pedantic @ 19.18
    Yes but WHICH Victoria & which pair of tracks on the S London loop?
    Although there has been a lot of pointwork put in since 1922, & the wall dividing Victoria into two separate stations is long-gone, the relics of their original separation are still there, especially, as has been noted, in terms of getting to the platforms @ Wandsworth Road from the “Chatham” side.
    A re-arrangement, with better interchangeability woiuld be a very good idea.
    Now, how long has Clapham Jn Panel got, before it needs replacement?

    The only reason quoted for no platforms @ Brixton on the LBSC is cost, as always, coupled with “difficulty”. They could be constructed, but would have to be separately supported from the viaduct, & access from below (with proper disabled, these days) from well below. What one hopes for is that the buildings underneath will need refurb/rebuild, & do it then, whenever that is.
    Remember, everyone, even though money is now being spent on rail, it still isn’t a lot, & there are still lots of people who resent every penny that is spent.
    The ghost of the totally mad Alfred Sherman is still around.

    John Lane & Pedantic
    Didn’t you know that a set of copies of the classic “Railway Junction Diagrams” are available on Wikimedia Commons?
    Try HERE:

    Anon @ 22.56
    “The sorry story is that relationships between the Mayor / TfL and the DfT seem to have been spectacularly awful in respect of the SLL and ELLX Phase 2.”
    NOT just there, either. Whenever London rail comes up, DafT seem determined to shaft the subject – see the saga over @ GOBLIN. WHy DafT are like this I don’t know.
    My source there says that some of them really haven’t got a clue – he cites the desperate internal attempt to “Stop IEP”, & the failure of that attempt, landing us all with a train no-one wants @ a cost double what we should have as a classic example. There’s plenty more crocks of shit where that came from, I’m afraid!

  90. Jeanpierre says:

    Anonymous @ 10:54pm, 10 December:

    Apart from the Southeastern anomalies mentioned, plus the late afternoon Southern parliamentary to Kensington Olympia, still running and which I forgot to mention, you can only travel directly to destinations on the Overground Highbury & Islington – Clapham Junction service from Clapham High Street.

    There is no such announcement at Wandsworth Road, the on-train announcement simply stating, ‘The next station is Wandsworth Road’.

  91. Paul says:

    There is still one train a day (M-F) to Victoria, departing Clapham High Street 1904 and Wandsworth Road 1905, but not stopping at Battersea Park, so I’m guessing this SouthEastern service (from Bromley South) travels via Stuarts Lane Junction instead. In the other direction it leaves Victoria as 05:30.

  92. Jeanpierre says:

    Anonymous @ 10:54, 10 December:

    PS: “London Overground is a service that operates on the National rail network”, except for the extended East London Line between Highbury & Islington (platforms 1 and 2) and New Cross, the Network Rail boundaries south of New Cross Gate (southbound), north of New Cross Gate (northbound), and the Network Rail boundary at Old Kent Road Junction, which is managed by/on behalf of TfL.

  93. C says:

    I’m not sure they will be clamouring for a Brixton station. It makes sense, but I think the trains will need to be extended first – as they will at capacity very soon I imagine. But at that point, it’d be a great thing to have. Then it really will be the hipster express!

    It’s true that compared to East London/DLR, the Overground has been neghlected in terms of creating new interchanges. This could be a new project. Junction Road seems an obvious one.

    Acton might be harder because of OOC plans. Moving North Acton tube east would mean it’d have only two platforms which isn’t as useful.

  94. Garrande says:

    Er if they were going to construct Brixton station it would cost around 200 million do you know how high that station would have been. If station like Hoxton and Haggerstion cost around 30-40 million to build how much more Brixton. Besides How would you build brixton station anyway, there is very little clearance to many curves and very steep gradients.

  95. timbeau says:

    The SLL viaduct is about 20 feet above the High Street – only four feet more than the existing LCDR station, and the curvature is less than that of the existing station. On GSV,-0.115013&spn=0.001463,0.00283&safe=active&hnear=Brixton,+Greater+London,+United+Kingdom&gl=uk&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=51.462892,-0.115013&panoid=iy9TMPYBEg6RoYxbcxQLog&cbp=12,103.19,,0,-22.5 the upper storeys of the buildings either side of the track appear to be disused, and building a platform on top of them (or on whatever replaces them when the site is next redeveloped) would appear to be a straightforward task – certainly no more difficult than Hoxton and Haggerston. Note that this building already has a ticket hall, as the Victoria Line station is part of the same block.

    On the other side of the road the viaduct seems to sit on the building fronting the road (Costa Coffee), and depending on the internal arrangments it might be possible to put a station there instead – slightly less convenient as it is across the road from the other two stations.

    Loughborough Junction is less of a priority, as interchange is already available between LO and Thameslink towards London at Denmark Hill, and Brixton would provide the connections towards Herne Hill (or Peckham Rye for connections to Tulse Hill and beyond).

  96. Slugabed says:

    Timbeau…that is not the Brixton I recognise (I was there yesterday,and visit very frequently).
    The SLL passes OVER the existing LC&DR station which is,itself,on a viaduct approx 20ft above the High Road.
    I think it might be possible to cantilever platforms out from the SLL viaduct,or support them from columns,but this might have to be to the East of where the SLL crosses the LC&DR station.,,where there is more space on either side of the line.Remember,The Railway is a listed building…
    It is a very tricky site,and certainly will not be cheap to resolve….but I think they will have to bite the bullet sooner or later.

  97. Alex Macfie says:

    Jeanpierre 08:53AM, 11th December 2012
    Network Rail != National Rail.
    London Overground is a National Rail service, as its ticketing and timetabling are fully integrated into the National Rail framework. It doesn’t matter who manages the track it runs over. There are probably other examples of National Rail services running over tracks managed by someone other than Network Rail, especially in Greater London. Converserly, Heathrow Express is not part of National Rail, even though it runs mostly on track managed by Network Rail.

  98. Steven Taylor says:


    re `redboots`comment about only 1 train at Clapham High Street in 1979.

    Whilst not true, from 1984 to 1991, the service was a Monday to Fridays rush-hour only service, so there were not many trains, probably from memory only 4 in the morning and evening.

  99. garrande says:

    @timbeau unfortunately the cant build platforms besides ferndale road beacuase of the curvature all new stations have to be straight or have very little curvature at the last 100m for example all stations on the ELL extension are straight, Imperial Wharf is also straight until the far end of the platform.

    The second point can be disregarded too; as you cant cantilever the platform over the bridge over brixton road you need new abutments for that besides how are they going to clear brixton southeastern remember blackfriars or even better look what is going to happen to whitechapel station in years to come.

  100. Anonymous says:

    OK, I’m the only one who would like to know,…

    What is the pictured freight train service, from and to?

  101. Jeanpierre says:

    Alex Macfie:

    Beats me why the on-train announcement for Clapham High Street says, “Change here for National Rail services” though – where to? The next few stations along the route the train is following? The last few stations it has recently stopped at? There is no interchange with true National Rail services, such as at Denmark Hill or Peckham Rye, and as stated previously, there is no such announcement at Wandsworth Road.

  102. 1956 says:

    The station indicators at Canonbury do not show the new Clapham Junction trains via Peckham, just the Crystal Palace trains. This gives potential passengers the impression there is a 16 minute gap between trains on the ELL. Also, when a ELL Clapham Junction train approaches, the indicators say “Stand Back – this train is not scheduled to stop at this station”! However the train does stop. This is confusing many people and deterring potential passengers. The station indicators seem correct at stations from Dalston Junction and all points South. I have emailed London Overground pointing out this error, and I know others have tweeted but no reply from LOROL yet. Interestingly, whenever there is engineering work on the ELL, the station indicators at canonbury are always incorrect, not showing the re-routed trains to New Cross only those trains to New Cross Gate. I guess due to the same root cause error.

  103. timbeau says:


    I wasn’t suggesting building new platformsalongside Ferndsale Road, nor where the SLL crosses the LCDR platforms, nor cantilevering them out over the A23, but incorporating them into the buildings fronting on to the east side of the A23. The curvature is quite gentle there.

    I don’t know the exact height of the viaduct above the A23 – the LCD viaduct has a 16 foot clearance sign on it, and the SSL one is obviously higher, but insufficient for a two storey building to fit underneath (look at GSV – Carphone warehouse is a single storey building – albeit quite a lofty one). Using the people on GSV as a yardstick I reckon it’s about 30 feet. In any case the height is immaterial if the station is to be built on top of a building that already reaches the underside of the viaduct.

  104. Lemmo says:

    To be fair that’s a pretty accurate description of our “editorial meetings.” I think last time Lemmo and I went out drinking we “fixed” franchising… Only took about five pints of Ghost Ship.

    …and it’ll take another five pints to remember our breathtakingly bold yet elegant solution. With the rest of the team along at the famed LR Christmas party, goodness knows what we’ll be able to resolve 🙂

  105. Greg Tingey says:

    “The Southampton Arms”?
    Or one of the other pubs that do decent beer close to stations?
    { I have a little list! }
    Tapping the Admiral / Cock Hackney / Pembury Tavern / Dove, HAckney / Royal Oak, Borough / Priory Arms, Stockwell / Pineapple, Kentish Town / Green Dragon, Croydon / Dog & bell / Lamb, Surbiton / Union_or_Mentime/Cask/Magpie&Crown/Mitre/Hope, Carshalton/Grape&Grain/Rose&Crown, Southwark, etc ….

  106. John Bull says:

    On that particular occasion we were in the Euston Tap.

    Pembury Tavern was a regular haunt of mine until they kept ramping the beer prices up to the point of ridiculousness. These days I stick to the Sovereign in Clapton, or head further out to the Rose & Crown in Walthamstow.

    You’re going to like one of the questions in this year’s quiz Greg.

  107. Pedantic of Purley says:

    And there may be another one that you may not.

  108. Pedantic of Purley says:

    When you say “I have a little list”, did you mean “I’ve got a little list” ?

  109. Kevin Lynch says:

    Now that the Overground loop is finally complete, is it not time to review the decision that Shorditch High Street Station is classified as being in Zone 1? When the ELL reopened after its refurbishment as a London Overground service, myself and my family took advantage of the direct service to Crystal Palace to enjoy some summer afternoons in the park there. Even though we were travelling from Walthamstow, the journey time of around 40 minutes was rather attractive to us. However, I found it ridiculous that a journey from Blackhorse Road to Crystal Palace by Overground took us through Zone 1, ramping up the fare accordingly. It’s even more laughable that you can now do an entire circuit of inner London with the entire journey being contained within fare Zone 2, with the exception of this ONE station!! Wasn’t the original Shorditch station in Zone 2? There would even be a case, I think, for the station to be reclassified as being in zones 1 & 2, like Hoxton just up the line.

    Furthermore, why does our incumbent Mayor insist on referring to the completion of this circular rail project as “…the M25 of rail?”. I’m sorry, but it’s more like an Inner Ring Road of rail; give us a line that circumnavigates London around the Zone 5 area and THEN you can use that phrase!!

  110. Jeanpierre says:

    Re: High-level platforms at Brixton/Interchange between Southeastern and London Overground at Brixton.

    While I agree that there is a serious case for such provision, as a (retired) building surveyor, you cannot simply go and stick a railway station on top of existing buildings, whose ages may be anything between 50 and 100-plus years old; their foundations and structures were not designed with such alterations and additions in mind.

    I would not think that any of the buildings immediately adjacent to either the former LCDR or SLR structures are in any way part of those structures, although I am sure they experience the full range of vibrations from passing trains.

    I suspect that some form of interchange will be created at some time in the future, and would indeed welcome it, but it will not be achieved without significant redevelopment of the surrounding buildings and complete co-operation between the London Borough of Lambeth, the Greater London Authority, Transport for London and Network Rail.

  111. timbeau says:

    My suggestion was to incorporate a station when the site is next redeveloped, not to plonk a platform on top of the existing buildings. Incidentally, the buildings on the east side of the A23 appear to be contemporary with the Victoria Line station – so only about 40 years old – but at least one of them was boarded up when the GSV car came by.

  112. Lemmo says:

    @ Jeanpierre, I agree, although I’ve not seen any proposals from LB Lambeth, TfL or others for such a redevelopment. Who would take a lead on this?

    Although eyes have been drawn to new ELL platforms over the existing platforms, and potentially rebuilding platforms on the Peckham Rye lines, it may be easier to build a new station on the other side of Brixton Rd. There is more space here, curvature is less severe, and at the same time you could remove the 2-track bottleneck of Brixton Jn and so improve capacity on the Kent mainline The alignment already widens to 5-track just west of Ferndale Rd.

  113. 1956 says:

    ELL Station indicators at Canonbury now working correctly showing “Clapham Junction via Canada Water” trains, along with Crystal Palace services. The NLL indicators show “Clapham Junction via Willesden Junction” along with Richmond services. Another good pub near a station to add is the Snooty Fox – exit Canonbury and cross road, turn left and you are there (2 mins walk).

  114. Greg Tingey says:

    Did you ever read my article in “London Drinker” on the Rose & Crown?
    If not – e-mail me & I’ll send you a copy!
    As for little lists, I am a member of a small group of (mostly ex-raliwaymen) real ale drinkers, who meet most Wednesdays in suitable alehouses. My list was a sub-set of said list.
    What astonishes me is the number of pubs that have disappeared from said list – and – the new arrivals.
    I suppose the two greatest losses were the “Crockers Folly” (Still standing, but empty) & the “Paviours Arms”, close to Lambeth Bridge – part of a 30’s block, & demolished with the block – a wonderful example of Art Deco + really good Fullers + Thai food. Burp.

  115. Flare says:

    What’s the crowding been like on the new extension in peak hours?

  116. Anonymous says:

    When the building works at London Bridge are complete the service between that station and Victoria should be reinstated – if not, then its withdrawal has been done using said building works as an excuse.

    And isn’t it time now to consider reopening the curve at Dalston Junction – so that services can run through to Stratford and onto Tottenham Hale – say 2 ph from Clapham Junction and 2 ph from Wes Croydon? Now that would be handy for people getting to Stratford or Stansted Airport.

    Dalston Junction should have been rebuilt with its original 6 platforms – it would take a brave Transport Minister in the future to reinstate what should have been done in the first place so that services to Stratford can be restored. Maybe demolition of some the property development built above the station would need to be removed – just like with the Waverly line in Scotland or with any other reopening.

  117. C says:

    I agree that the Dalston to Stratford and beyond (Tottenham? Brimsdown? Chingford?) – curve would make a lot of sense.

    There is no need to terminate at Dalston. Those 8tph could be intensifying the service through Hackney too.

    But I think any curve would need to be single track now, with only one platform at DJ accessible, so it would create conflicts.

  118. Anonymous says:

    @ K Lynch – while I completely share your annoyance about the SHS Zone 1 issue I don’t think there is an easy fix. I don’t think “fiddling” with fares zones is something the current Mayor is remotely bothered about. He wants the maximum amount of money from fares and has done little to offer value for money for regular travellers. The problem is that SHS moving to Zone 2 could cause a shift of people from South Eastern and Southern services, that run into London Bridge / Cannon Street, to LOROL services to a Z2 located Shoreditch High St. This would reduce the TOCs’ income as people trade down and therefore the bill would be sent to the DfT who would then pass it to the Mayor. The impossibility in all of this is how on earth do you predict the scale of passenger transfer and then the revenue loss which would form part of any “compensation” agreement. Unfortunately this is how things are structured. Ken Livingstone managed to shift Hampstead Heath and Willesden Junction back into Zone 2 because the only services at those locations were under TfL control with no demonstrable revenue impact on other TOCs. We also have the fact that the SHS zone location was part and parcel of the ELLX Phase 2 funding agreement. While the line is now open I rather suspect there are ongoing commitments in said agreement that would tie the Mayor’s hands if he was minded to change the fare zones.

    The other aspect with fares is that TfL seem very averse to anything that would cut their income. While that is understandable in straitened financial times it does put them at loggerheads with many Assembly members and some MPs who are deeply concerned about affordability for those on lower incomes. I’ve lost count of the number of times that the Commissioner has explained the “compounding” impact on TfL’s income of fares cuts or even a fares freeze. They clearly want above inflation fare rises to continue forever so as to sustain investment spending.

    @ Timbeau – having spent too long looking at Google Street View I agree that new platforms at Brixton are most likely to be achieveable to the east (or possibly west) of the existing station. There appears to be more space to do something if you evict tenants from the railway arches and can secure some adjacent land. An easterly location could provide reasonable access to the southern end of the existing platforms. However something serious would have to be done about the entrances, facilities and accessibility to Brixton station. It certainly could not cope with vast amounts of extra passengers so maybe a new south / eastern entrance on or near Popes Rd would be needed? While locals would probably welcome a better station at Brixton I suspect the tenants of the arches in Atlantic Road would fight very hard against their businesses being shut in order to build a better station. Brixton has something of a track record in protecting its market and small traders so this could be a real challenge.

  119. C says:

    Why can’t Shoreditch be zone 1 to disembark, but zone 2/exempt to travel through?

  120. Anonymous says:

    Flare – not been on it in rush hour yet but the Southern service to and from London Bridge seems to have gotten worse. Last night at LB people unable to board the Wimbledon train as it is still 4 cars and Peckhamites like me had to use it instead of the 2 car SLL. This morning the 9.26 from QRP was also 4 cars (used to be 6) filled up leaving people behind there and South Bermondsey who had to wait 10 mins for the next one (prevously a 3 mins wait untill the SLL 4 car service). Not sure what has happened to those carriages!

  121. David C says:

    Re “C” @ 02:43pm, that setup at Shoreditch would work. It has been mentioned on here before, but it isn’t a situation that exists anywhere else (yet). It would however allow them to comply with planning while also having all of the Overground stations in Zone 2 (pass-through only at SHS).

    There are currently other issues with zoning on the Overground… My local station Rotherhithe is obviously in Zone-2, according to the TFL single-fare-finder a trip from there to visit family in Bushey (Zone-8) is charged as passing through Zone-1 even though I don’t…. Rotherhithe-Clapham Junction is charged as all Zone-2, Clapham Junction-Willesden Junction is charged as all Zone-2, BUT Rotherhithe-Willesden Junction is charged as Zone-1+2. Obviously not helped by the lack of a pink Oyster reader at Clapham Junction.
    I’ll be making that trip to Bushey via Clapham on Sunday, so will see how much I’m actually charged.

  122. timbeau says:

    @Anon 1329 – I don’t think SLL platforms to the east of the flyover of the existing station would be very convenient for access to Brixton – certainly not for the Tube. Platforms between the A23 and the flyover would allow integration with the Vic Line station which is in the same block of buildings, or at least have an entrance on the main road. This would make a sitution similar to that at West Hampstead, except that all three station entrances would be on the same side of the road!

    @ David C – lack of ANY reader at Clapham Junction – it is very frustrating to have to queue up to go out the barrier at the station entrance and back in again to let Oyster know I’ve started or finished their leg of my journey when the rest of it is on a paper season ticket. Especiually so when the connection is actually across the platform (12 to 11). All because SWT would rather put the honest traveller to any inconvenience rather than let the odd freeloader get away with it (or have adequate spot checks to catch them).
    Many freeloaders would not travel unless they can do so for free, so you will never get any revenue from them either way.

    Still – one bit of progress I noticed at Clapham Junction this evening – they are finally repairing the gap in the roofing between the subway exit and the platform canopy on Platforms 9 and 10. This gap has required hundreds of thousands of commuters to run for cover from the rain since it was breached – by enemy action in 1943! Is this a record for the length of time taken to repair damaged infrastructure?

  123. Simon A says:

    John, are you panning a piece on the ELLX2 opening, with some pics?

  124. Anonymous says:

    While waiting at Clapham High Street last night for the 22:22 to Dalston Junction, the indicator board was showing the final destination as “Dalston [EAST LONDON LINE]”. Wondering why it didn’t show “Dalston Junction”?

  125. Anonymous says:

    @ Simon A – I have stuck a pile of photos on the Flickr group pool from the opening day with more emphasis on the Clapham Junction changes. Some older shots showed the test train at Silwood Junction and Peckham and photos at Surrey Canal Road and of the new alignment. Link is via “photo pool” at the top of the page.

  126. philsolo says:

    Anonymous @ 01:29pm 12:12:12 writes:-

    “The problem is that SHS moving to Zone 2 could cause a shift of people from South Eastern and Southern services, that run into London Bridge / Cannon Street, to LOROL services to a Z2 located Shoreditch High St. This would reduce the TOCs’ income as people trade down”

    My recollection is that this (‘revenue abstraction’) is precisely the reason why Shoreditch High Street station found itself being marooned in Zone 1 in the first place rather than any specific ELLX2 funding issues, for which I always understood the “quid pro quo” to be the withdrawal of the plans to mitigate the loss of the Inner SLL by establishing a Victoria to Bellingham shuttle on SouthEastern as DaFT refused to pay for both.

  127. Steven Taylor says:


    Re your comment re announcement at Clapham High Street `Change here for National Rail`.
    I can only assume it may be for `legal reasons`, although it is completely unhelpful to passengers and could mislead.
    There is still the Southern `ghost train` at 16.11, and there is a very early morning South Eastern service from Victoria – and return at around 19.00-ish. These are the National Rail services I would surmise.

  128. Pedantic of Purley says:

    I suspect there are loads of anomalies where you get announcements to change where it makes no sense.

    Yesterday I was on a northbound Chiltern Railways train approaching Amersham. “Change at Amersham for London Underground services”. What services would they be? The southbound services that call that same stations that our train had called at!

  129. Anonymous says:

    The LOROL trains are really unhelpful for anyone who doesn’t know their way around London. Firstly its really sectarian the way the maps on the trains just publicise just the LOROL routes – not even a general National Rail map is provided onboard.

    Secondly, I also notice that when a LOROL train pulls into say Denmark Hill on this route – it says simply “Change here for National Rail services” – not “Change here for services to London Victoria, London Blackfrairs, London St. Pancras International” etc. Yet, when it pulls into stations such as Surrey Quays the announcements say “Change here for New Cross, West Croydon and services to Crystal Palace”.

  130. timbeau says:

    Other pointless “change here for” announcements are heard on trains from Waterloo approaching Clapham Junction – “change here for services to Richmond, Windsor, Reading etc etc…….” all destinations you could get to direct from either of the stations the train has served so far.

  131. Twopenny Tube says:

    And while we are on the subject of announcements, why, “We will shortly be arriving into …”
    You can arrive in or at something or somewhere, but surely ‘into’ is not the correct usage. At a pinch, in a slightly different context, the preposition can be left out, as in, “… arriving York at 1615…”. Though probably incorrect, at least it flows, and is a useful shorthand.

    And why does a train have a ‘final destination’? What else can a destination be, other than final? If there were such things as intermediate destinations, then the word would lose its distinctive meaning. As a traveller, my destination may not be the same as the trains, I may be finishing my journey before the train’s, or continuing somewhere else (‘onward’ as they like to say), after the train has reached its own one and only destination.

  132. Ian Sergeant says:

    This train is now arriving into London Paddington, our last and final stop…

  133. HowardGWR says:

    One arrives ‘at’ surely? One could ‘arrive in haste, on time, late (no preposition) ‘ . Ed Miliband is worried about English speaking – is it possible that these announcements are devised by those so challenged? I do not think such people have to be immigrants, judging by the performance of my own son, a university graduate. 🙁

  134. Fandroid says:

    Rather than getting excited about oddities of English usage (I suspect the railways have been mangling the language for a very long time!), I think we should back Anonymous 11.40pm and put some pressure on LOROL to ensure that announcements such as those at Denmark Hill are actually useful to passengers. This one may just be due to the usual cockup rather than a conspiracy, but I fear that TOCs are prone to automatically go into ‘competitive’ mode before engaging brain and realising that a more joined-up network would actually deliver more passengers to them.

  135. Whiff says:

    The way that the tube map has become something of a TFL corporate map rather than something that is of maximum possible use to passengers does suggest Anonymous 11:40pm is right that they do have a ‘sectarian’ approach and that the difference between the announcements at Denmark Hill and Surrey Quays is deliberate. Of course, neither are they are alone in taking this approach or is this something new.

  136. Steven Taylor says:

    2 quick points.

    I have just noticed that the main departure board at Clapham Junction St John`s hill entrance is not yet showing the new Overground service to Highbury & Islington from Platform 2. I wonder when this will be programmed in. It took months for the fact that Southern trains stopped at Imperial Wharf to be shown. In this case, the p.a. did not mention the fact the train stopped here for about a year!!

    Also, on South West Trains, when approaching Clapham Junction, instead on announcing change for London Overground services, the on train p.a. says `change for Kensington Olympia and Willesden Junction`. which whilst not wrong, should really have been updated over the years.

    I guess with all the train operating companies, we will never have perfection (assuming this can be defined!)

  137. Greg Tingey says:

    The TOC’s (unless they are acting as part of ATOC) will NEVER admit the esixtence of “other” companies, unless they have to. Maps in carriages are especially bad.
    Some are worse than others, with SWT being one of the worst.
    As for announcements, it’s a race to the bottom, with everyone trying for the most inane, repetitive, boring & at the same time bulyying/hectoring announcements they can make, as often as possible.
    Why they bother, I don’t know since LUL are, & will remain hands-down winners of this “race”.

  138. Anon in NZ says:

    @Steven Taylor

    “change for Kensington Olympia and Willesden Junction” sounds perfectly good to me – why clutter the announcement up with the operator’s name, or with “services”?

  139. Jeanpierre says:

    Steven Taylor @ 08:40, 14 December

    You could be right, but that still doesn’t explain why there is no such ‘National Rail sevices’ announcement one stop along the line at Wandsworth Road.

    Travelled on the 10:02 Southern ‘ghost train’ from Kensington Olympia to Wandsworth Road on Friday and, although it was up on the platform display panel, as it arrived the announcement instructed us to stand away from the edge of the platform as the next train was not for public use, plus the destination panels were blank.

    If that was the case, I’ve no idea how I alighted at Wandsworth Road 11 minutes later………

  140. Moogal says:

    While it might be a nice idea to have direct trains running up the ELL towards Stratford, I’d have thought if there’s any spare capacity on the Stratford end it’d be better used getting more trains between Stratford and Highbury – the overcrowding on that section is unbelievable, and pretty much 80% of people on the train get off at Highbury to change for the Victoria/FCC services (and pretty much none of them for the ELL), similarly the same in the evening rush.

  141. mr_jrt says:

    Random not-serious musings…

    Re: Brixton
    Interesting ideas about removing the bottleneck at Brixton Junction. Perhaps something a bit…grander could be conceived though? Along with widening the Chatham Lines viaduct as proposed, how about moving the Atlantic Lines alongside the Chatham Lines as part of a wider redevelopment of the area around the Brixton “hub”? There’s no coal depot needed between them any more, so the deviation seems fairly pointless. The old Atlantic Lines viaducts could then be demolished and the area’s buildings redeveloped to take advantage of not having a whopping great railway running through them. Modern viaducts leave a LOT more space available underneath them for other uses than traditional railway arches do. This would also enable the interchanges to be more practical. If listed, you could keep the bridge over the road as a walkway between the upper levels of the replacement buildings.

    Re: Dalston East curve
    I really don’t think that was ever going to be practical, even if they’d done the right thing and rebuilt the station with six 8-car platforms as they should have, without a grade-separated junctions on both ends it would destroy capacity. You’re also somewhat unlikely to be able to thread an additional pair of lines from Dalston to Stratford, in which case you’re limited to the same capacity as you are west of Dalston. I think the (old?) Chelney plans would have served this axis far better via interchanges at Dalston and Hackney (not to mention the obvious one at Canonbury), and left the full ELL core capacity to run west.

  142. timbeau says:

    “Change here for National Rail services” is a particularly unhelpful announcement, or indication on an in-car map. Which services? Watford Junction is not a good place to change to get a train for Norwich for example, nor Stratford for Manchester.

    Similarly, I would imagine anyone obeying the “change at Wimbledon for the London Underground” on SWT might be a bit cheesed off when they discover that, unless their destination is in Putney or Fulham (or possibly Paddington), they would probably have done much better to stay on the train.

  143. 1956 says:

    Moogal (11.19 hrs 16 Dec) – wouldn’t any NLL passengers coming from the Stratford direction change at Canonbury if they wanted to change to the ELL (rather than Highbury & Islington)? Agree that the NLL is very overcrowded between Dalston Kngsland and Highbury & islington in the peaks.

  144. Tom Burnham says:

    As I understand it, Kent County Council has been lobbying the DfT against having further stops on Maidstone-London trains on the grounds that this would tend to increase both journey times and overcrowding. From the point of view of a Kent resident this makes sense (with the possible exception of people who work at King’s College Hospital).

  145. Moogal says:

    1956: They might if it was publicised anwhere near as well as the H&I interchange – but from my observation very few people alight at Canonbury, at least during the peaks. I’d say the service was worse than just from Dalston – I’ve often seen people left behind at Hackney Central, let alone Dalston.

  146. Greg Tingey says:

    Jeanpierre @ 10.45
    Was the announcement pre-recorded, or was it live?
    If the latter, find the person (ir)responsible, & point out the error!
    If the former, write in the strongest possible terms to the TOC & to the passenger watchdog, sonce this is a publicly advertised, timetabled train, & this sort of thing is a disgrace.

    Text modified to tone down inflammatory comment [PoP]

  147. Steven Taylor says:

    @Anon in NZ

    As I said, it is not wrong (change at Clapham Junction for Kensington …….). But this is the annoucement SWT made 14 years ago, when there was no `Overground`. and these were the only stations on the line.
    A lot (most) of people want Shepherds Bush for Westfield shopping center, so why not mention this station.
    I guess I was really making a generic point on announcements. I do think there could be some set standards.
    For example, at Clapham Junction, there are so many possible destinations, I would have felt in sensible just to name the operators viz. on SWT, say chnage for Southern and London Overground Services.

    But, I conceed, as I said in my post, I do not know how you would define a perfect announcement.

  148. Steven Taylor says:

    @Jeanpierre 1045 16th December

    I`m afraid I cannot answer for no mention of `National Rail` at Wandsworth Road. I suggest this could be a question for the Xmas quiz!!

    Seriously, as an avid traveller on trains (especially since I now have my free Over 60 Oyster card, the announcements in general often seem as if there were written on a back of a fag packet.

    I could give lots of examples of strange or pointless – in my opinion – announcements.

    But I will stop adding comments on this lest people may think I am an bitter old man – angry of Tonbridge springs to mind!!

  149. DW says:

    Re: the announcements on the new Overground service, is there a turf war going on between LOROL/Network Rail and Southern? Peckham Rye is my local station, there is absolutely no evidence of the Overground running here except for the trains. No branding, no orange roundels, and the pre-recorded platform announcements have been abruptly curtailed to omit ‘London Overground Service’ and just give the stations served and end destinations, e.g. ” Platform two for the to Highbury and Islington calling at…”. There are brand new enamelled signs showing the choice of routes, with the line forking after Queens Road, but bizarrely both Queens Road and South Bermondsey are not shown as being National Rail stations, whereas Surrey Quays and Canonbury Road are. The result is confused passengers, made worse by the demolition of the old staff building on the platform. and hence no platform staff on hand to help.

  150. Kit Green says:

    Normally the only announcements needed on a train are:
    The next station is…..
    We are now arriving at…..
    This train is for xxxxxx calling at a, b, c……..

    Everything else is superfluous. How many passengers get on a train without knowing where they are going?

  151. Jeanpierre says:

    DW @ 1.36pm

    No Overground branding at Queens Road Peckam or Peckham Rye as those stations continue to be managed by Southern, whose trains provide the majority of services that call there. Similarly no Overground branding at Denmark Hill, which is managed by Southeastern for the same reason.

    Doesn’t excuse the misleading, some might say ill-thought out, route ‘maps’, though. I suppose there’s bound to be the odd hiccup, inexcusable though that may be in this day and age, and I suspect things will settle down in due course.

  152. Simon A says:

    I’ve emailed Southern about their extremely curtailed announcements at Peckham Rye. Towards Clapham Junction it goes like this: ‘the train at platform 1 is the Clapham Junction’. It sounds completely ridiculous. Southern take weeks to reply to emails so watch this space!

  153. Malcolm says:

    Kit Green is right in theory, all you need to know is where you are.

    Except that personally I do find some of the “change here for…” items are quite reassuring. I typically know where I planned to change, but for a new journey, it does feel good to have it confirmed. And for that purpose, it doesn’t matter too much if it’s a bit vague, or a bit incomplete. Just so long as it’s not completely gumbulated (like telling us the next station is the one we left 5 minutes ago – which I have heard just recently).

  154. MikeP says:

    @Malcolm – If hearing completely “gumbulated” messages is rare for you, you clearly don’t travel very often on the Networkers down the North Kent routes.

    On the rare occasions the drivers can be bothered to correct them, and the message is audible (even rarer), it’s always preceded by a sigh, it’s so frequent.

    While I’m on about on-train announcements, it’s time the drivers were provided with a Twitter feed so that they know what’s going on when the signalling centre can’t be arsed to tell them. I can only think that the broadcast facility on the Cab Secure Radio has been broken for ages.

    Look, mum, no abbreviations 🙂

  155. Mum says:

    Well done Michael

  156. Greg Tingey says:

    Does it really matter whether the “messages” bieng transmitted are deliberately false, or false due to gross incompetence, when the (un-informed) travelling public are being misled?
    Particularly, as somewhere, someone will know the true answer, but that is not being promulgated.
    Leaving aside the entire extremely messy can of worms that constittutes overkill of un-necessary announcements (like EVERY single station the train is calling at, grrr – the main points or junctions/interchanges should be sufficient), misleading or wrong announcements are not acceptable, especially now. [ “The information Age” you know ].

    So, in the case of the parliamentary/ghost train, it was one in advertised public service. Telling the puiblic that it was not for public use was, whether due to incompetence or deliberate malice, was simply not true.
    Not good enough.
    Or, from a previous example, telling a passenger that train “can’t” got to Walthamstow from 7 Sisters’ middle platform, when said passenger has already done this3 or 4 times is patently not true.
    Why should anyone put up with this nonsense? At all?

    And that is, equally, not getting into the tiny minority of railway employees who are petty-minded jobsworths, & delight in making passengers ( & sometimes fellow-railway workers for other companies) lives miserable & difficult.

  157. Steven Taylor says:

    I joined a London Overground train at Queens Road Peckham to go to Clapham Junction yesterday at around 1630.
    Owing to a signal failure at Clapham Junction, we were advised at Wandsworth Road that we would divert to Battersea Park, where you cross the platform for Clapham Junction.
    This shows how lucky London Overground is still able to use the Battersea Park `link` is, as the delay to my arrival at Clapham Junction was only about 3 minutes.
    I was additionally surprised to see the train was then correctly indicated on Platform 2 at Battersea Park to be going to Highbury and Islington.

  158. Anonymous says:

    Well that didn’t take long to show how useful that diversionary route is, good stuff. What happened to WLL trains during those problems?

  159. Steven Taylor says:


    As we approached Platform 15 at Clapham Junction, I did notice that there was a Overground train waiting at Platform 1, so the WLL was running.

    I therefore assume that the signal failure may have been at Longhedge Junction or somewhere on the down Ludgate Line, before Clapham Junction Station.

  160. Fandroid says:

    What are the loadings on the South London Line looking like after a week and a bit of Overground operation?

  161. Anonymous says:

    WLL can always turn in Platform 17 if necessary

  162. Steven Taylor says:


    That has happened from time to time where Overground services from the WLL at Platform 17. I actually live overlooking Clapham Junction, and have seen this from my first floor window.

    Re my earlier post. I should have perhaps added that whilst I saw a train in Platform 1, it may have just been stabled whilst the signalling problem was fixed.


    Re loadings on the South London Line Overground……

    I use this to go to work. Whilst nowhere near as crowded as the West London Line CJ – Willesden etc.. most of the trains have most seats taken, although one mid-week mid-day train only had 30% of seats occupied.

    From Surrey Quays, about 15 to 20 passengers get off at Peckham, and Clapham High Street seems busier. Wandsworth Road is still fairly quiet. Sticking my neck out, bearing in mind the Southern Service was 2 two coach trains an hour (aggregate 4 cars) and LOROL is 4 four coach trains an hour (aggregate 16 coaches), I would have felt passengers must have gone up over 100%. BUT, whilst I have travelled about 15 times since the 9th September, I mostly travel at 0700 and return at 1630 from queens Road Peckahm to Clapham Junction.

    I noticed that a LOROL poster advertising the new service has been positioned on the local bus stop for Clapham Peckham buses.

  163. Metrication says:

    So why is it that the platforms for the Peckhams and Denmark Hill aren’t covered in London Overground branding like all their brothers and sisters elsewhere on the network?

  164. Steven Taylor says:


    LOROL will be responsible for Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road station, hence the `Overground` branding.

    Peckham Rye is also served by Southern and Southeastern, Denmark Hill by Southeastern and QueensRoad Peckham by Southern, hence they remain with the existing operators.

    Hence, New Cross does not have `Overground` branding. Between New Cross Gate and Sydenham, there are 8 `Overground` trains per hour, and 4 between Penge West and West Croydon. Hence the rebranding A good question is why Norwood Junction and West Croydon has `Overground` branding when only 4 trains an hour service these stations, and there are more Southern trains. I seem to have read that LOROL promised investment in these 2 stations, so they were rebranded despite Southern offering more trains.

    I have to say, in my opinion, LOROL have done an excellent job in improving their stations. They have a `cared-for` look.

    I did observe that Southern have improved their platform at Peckham Rye, demolishing some basically unused buildings, and adding seats. Queens Road is also getting a lift, NOT funded by Southern, but with an additional old entrace reopened.

  165. DW says:

    @Steven Taylor. Some of Southern’s work at Peckham Rye are indeed improvements – the new seats look very nice and should be hard-wearing, and the platform surfaces are in a much better condition, but the “unused buildings” included a staff shelter and heated passenger waiting room, which could accommodate twenty at a push. Furthermore the roof still leaks, and the ancient CRT-style monitor is impossible to read on any sunny day because of on-screen glare. A new monitor, and even a second monitor at the western end the platform 1 would be very welcome.

  166. Steven Taylor says:


    Oops!! I confess I was only looking from the train, and the buildings did not appear used.
    I`m sure the heated waiting room is being missed, especially as the platforms are on an exposed viaduct.
    It appears, that unlike the Overground refurbs. , the Southern results are a bit mixed to say the least.

  167. Steven Taylor says:

    Battersea Park – Wandsworth Road – Highbury. There is a one off Overground train this Sunday at 7.50 AM by Overground.

  168. Pete says:

    ‘Outside the station, a soon to be redundant sign is observed by the driver – no more 2 car trains will run on this route.’

    What’s this referring to?

  169. timbeau says:


    I’m not sure – the picture shows a sign with a number “2” on it, but that is a platform number (and the train is on the other platform anyway). there are “2 car stop” flags at some stations on the route, indicating to drivers where they should stop (also 4/6/8 car stops) but this isn’t one of them

  170. Pedantic of Purley says:

    The picture shows a two car train stopping short in a platform that is obviously suitable for at least 4 car trains. Therefore there will be a “2 car stop” sign on the platform to indicate to the driver precisely where to stop. This sign cannot be seen in the picture (the text merely stated it is observed by the driver) but clearly by inference it must be there. It is like a Higg’s or any other sub-atomic particle. You can’t see it but you know it must exist because the observations made lead you to that inescapable conclusion.

  171. Mwmbwls says:

    Pete at 09.04

    Apologies – Sub- editorial fumble on my part
    The caption refers to a picture we did not print
    The end of the SLL meant the end of the use of 2 car class 456 rolling stock. LOL now operate four and probably one day five car 378 trains whilst the remaining South Eastern services are normally 4 car Networker sets. The sign is therefore rendundant – it will be interesting to see how long it stays in place.

  172. Pete says:

    Thanks Mwmbwls, I wondered if it might be something to do with stop marks but I couldn’t see any in that picture, only linespeed signs which won’t change just because train length has.

    I used to drive South Londons for Southern. That 2 car mark at Wandsworth Road always seemed a bit pointless given that it was only a few feet from the 4 car mark – but stopping at the 4 car mark with a 455 made seeing the signal (especially the route indicator) quite difficult, particularly on sunny days.

    The last time I drove one must have been a few weeks before the end of the service. But, being unaware that it was my last time, I never got to mark the occasion.

  173. Paul says:

    There’s a puzzling comment attributed to London Travelwatch’s new top man (a David Leibling) in the latest Modern Railways; concerning the withdrawal of the WLL ‘parliamentary’.

    He seems to be suggesting that running empty SN services on the route to keep driver knowledge up will confuse passengers?

    Given that empty trains run all over the rail network anyway, either just prior to entering service, or just after finishing service, and they don’t necessarily stick to normal routes, does he therefore think they all confuse passengers as well?

  174. MikeP says:

    @Paul – I can tell him what is confusing. Trains sailing through (or often at Hither Green, stopping at) stations with the on-platform indicator saying “this train is not in public service” when it quite clearly is as it’s full of passengers. Sorry, customers.

    Whoever dreamt up that message, and whoever approved it, needs sacking.

  175. Paul says:

    That’s the flip side of using the phrase “the next train is not scheduled to stop at this station” when it is clearly approaching a set of buffers.

    I expect the two programming errors are somehow related…

  176. Anonymous says:

    How are people at Denmark Hill and Peckham Rye managing with no direct evening or Sunday service to Victoria? Are the Blackfrairs trains any busier?

  177. Steven Taylor says:

    I cannot answer your question but on a similar note I was on a Clapham Junction – Highbury train and was approached by a lady enquiring whether she was on the correct train to Denmark Hill. She was going Battersea Park to Denmark Hill, which had a direct SLL train until 8th December.
    She seemed chatty and was not happy at having to go to Clapham Junction now – especially with the long walk from Platform 15 to Platform 2 for the interchange.

    I did make the suggestion that it may be better to start the journey at Queenstown Road Battersea – which is only a 4 minute walk from Battersea Park – as the train will then arrive in Platform 5 at CJ , which is much nearer.

    A general observation of mine is that whilst railway enthusiasts generally know of alternative routes, the general public are not always aware. I have seen people complain about how the demise of the South London Line will massively impact their journey to work, when I am aware of an alternative route.

  178. Graham Feakins says:

    @ Steven Taylor
    I am sure that many know of alternative routes (they will by now sadly have had to discover them) but that is not the point because none of them is more convenient than the direct link that the SLL provided to/from Victoria and indeed London Bridge when the services ran every day until the close of service late at night.

    Anonymous above your reply poses a most pertinent question because Blackfriars is the centre of nothing in particular, dividing as it does the City from the West End, whilst the bus services from e.g. Denmark Hill, whilst quite frequent, are no adequate substitute for a steadily reliable and swifter train service as was to Victoria.

    Nobody in their right mind is going to try more than once the interchange at Clapahm Junction if attempting the journey between Denmark Hill and Victoria, not only because of the inconvenient interchange but also because of the greatly increased journey time.

    Some say with some justification that Victoria will not be the start or end destination but that suggestion omits the significant originating traffic in the Victoria Street area, let alone those who need Green Park, Kensington (remote from the District Line) and Oxford Circus, all of which is far easier to reach from Victoria than Blackfriars.

    The removal of Victoria services from the central stations on the SLL (Denmark Hill-Peckham Rye) after about 7pm and all day on Sundays is frankly appalling and needs to be reversed ASAP. Even better if the Victoria services were restored to Wandsworth Road & Clapham High Street as well.

    I, too, reiterate the question posed by Anonymous. We need to gather experiences and thus data.

  179. Anonymous says:

    Once they have finished rebuilding London Bridge station, what are the chances of London Overground services terminating here?

    Some of the services from Crystal Palace.
    A reinstated Inner SLL run by LO.
    Taking over the Southern service from LBG to Beckenham Junction.
    or To Wimbledon and also taking over the Sutton Loop.

  180. Steven Taylor says:

    @Graham Feakins

    I was being a little succinct re my comment on alternative routes. But I often help people on trains – I am a friendly 60 year old- and many people do not always know an alternative route. I concede that these are usually slower than an existing direct SLL service, but not always the case. To give an example, (I used to use the SLL every day in the evening from London Bridge to Battersea Park), I spoke with a passenger about 5 weeks ago who spoke to me. He was really complaining about the demise of the SLL, and how he was going to cope as he did the same journey I was making.
    He was really surprised when I suggested going London Bridge to Waterloo on Southeastern, and then getting a train to South West Trains service to Queenstown Road Battersea, He had not thought about this route. OK – it is a bit of a hassle changing at Waterloo, but I have done this when a SLL train was cancelled and it takes about the same time if you are a reasonable walker.

    On your second point re lack of evening trains fast to Victoria from Peckham Rye/Denmark Hill – why has this been done?
    It seems a complete lack of coordination.

  181. Anonymous says:

    The easiest option would be to add an evening service and a Sunday service to the Victoria-Peckham Rye-Lewisham-Barnehurst service. No extra rolling stock required as would be resourced from existing fleet. I can’t understand why Southeastern does not run this service in the evenings and on Sundays especially now the SLL service has been withdrawn, the demand must be sufficient to cover operating costs.

  182. Paul says:

    Anon 0626

    Chances are probably just about zero. The removal of the service is basically one of a number of changes to allow for a permanent removal of three terminating platforms.

  183. Graham Feakins says:

    @ Steven Taylor

    Your points taken about Battersea Park/Queenstown Road, especially at any attempt now London Bridge to Battersea Park using the SLL would require two changes of train – at Peckham Rye and Clapham Junction. Highly unsatisfactory.

    It was basically a sell-out that removal of the SLL would ‘pay for’ the LO extension to Clapham Junction and nobody (important) realised at the time that this would result in the absence of the evening and Sunday services to Victoria on the Dartford route and TfL were unwilling to support the SLL services or divert 2 tph to Victoria instead of Clapham Junction.

    As Anonymous subsequently says, the easiest solution would be to add those evening and Sunday services to the existing Dartford services via Lewisham. It is understood that Southeastern is considering this but in my experience, the act of consideration by such folk takes time and normally results in little accomplished. There should have been a direct enhancement of the Southeastern service at this last timetable change. “Lack of co-ordination” is the mildest I have heard the fisaco described.

    @ Paul and Anon

    It is unlikely that the full SLL service will be reintroduced but Southern do plan to reintroduce an extra 2 tph between London Bridge and Tulse Hill (and somewhere beyond) via Peckham Rye (it used to be most recently the London Bridge – East Croydon route via Tulse Hill), thus providing 6 tph off-peak between Peckham Rye and London Bridge. This might not occur until the ‘Central Division’ platforms at London Bridge have been reconstructed.

    To my mind, the biggest, blinkered aspect of the London Bridge reconstruction is that the terminating platforms and approach tracks will for evermore be restricted in their capacity – and then I remember the 12 tph that used to run into London Bridge off the SLL via Peckham Rye! Tragic indeed.

  184. Anonymous says:

    What did the 12tph consist of and when did that last run?

  185. Steven Taylor says:

    @Graham Feakins

    My understanding was that the money for the `replacement ‘service for the SLL, namely Victoria – Bellingham – although not serving Battersea Park – was used to pay for the ELL Phase 2 works. Although, at the time, the fact this was happening was kept quiet. The withdrawal of the evening service Denmark Hill – Vic

  186. Steve Taylor says:

    @Graham Feakins

    Oops.. hit a wrong key. Here is my complete post

    My understanding was that the money for the `replacement ‘service for the SLL, namely Victoria – Bellingham – although not serving Battersea Park – was used to pay for the ELL Phase 2 works. Although, at the time, the fact this was happening was kept quiet. The withdrawal of the evening and Sunday service Denmark Hill – Victoria was a real surprise to me. I am still not sure why this had to be withdrawn.

    I read a detailed report about passenger flows between Victoria – Peckham Rye and intermediate stations, and the report was adamant a replacement service should be instigated to replace the SLL. It also stated that, albeit from a low base, that passengers from Wandsworth Road and Clapham High Street had increased 300 to 400% in the last 5 years – to 2010. I have ridden the new Overground service many times recently – and whilst Wandsworth Road is still fairly quiet, passengers at Clapham High street have increased, especially outside of rush hour.

    If a new direct service to Victoria was instigated again, surely even more passengers would use the service, especially with the increased interchange possibilities, and the fact the stations are staffed and looked cared for.

    I use to use Clapham station as it was then known in the 1970s and 80s often at 2100. It could be a scary place.

    Your point about 12 tph into London Bridge in times past is most interesting. The same thing has happened out of Waterloo. ie a reduction in capacity. In times past, local trains to Wimbledon etc in the rush hour used to depart platforms 1 to 4 at 1702, 1704, 1706, 1708, 1712, 17.14 etc. I used to use these services. It is hard to believe this was possible. I wonder if it is down to approach speeds. Riding the old `sub` units could be exciting, with standing passengers being flung around entering Waterloo.

  187. Greg Tingey says:

    L-B pplatforms on the LBSC side
    Yes, really stupid, especially, since two Pfs were removed when the current panel-box was put in.
    Now, that box isn’t going to last, as for a start it is literally, starting to fall down & over into St Thomas’ Street!
    So, it is entirely possible to remove the grot-buildings inside the existing (& being demolished) structure & put the two Pfs’ back.
    But “they” chose not to – same as they chose not to go for an overall roof, whilst right next to the Shard – I don’t believe this level of stupidity & lack of forward planning, but there you go!

  188. Pedantic of Purley says:

    As usual Greg, your comments have the basis of the truth but your statement about ” this level of stupidity & lack of forward planning” is not entirely correct. You are far too quick to condemn people or organisations. It’s all covered in an article that has been written and will eventually get published.

  189. stimarco says:

    @Greg Tingey:

    Overall roofs look very nice – when done properly – but they’re a royal bugger to maintain and offer little real benefit. over a normal set of platform canopies. The latter also don’t require expensive equipment to keep clean either.

    London Bridge is primarily a commuter station. 99% of its users don’t give a damn about what the station looks like as they have no intention of standing around gawking at it like a tourist while they wait the few minutes for their train to arrive.

    LB is just a very, very big, very old, urban metro interchange station with some terminating platforms. The only difference between London Bridge and, say, Moorgate station on the Underground network, is that LB has 15 platforms instead of Moorgate’s 10 (with 8 in use), and the latter was built in a cutting and has since been rafted over.

  190. Anonymous says:

    Rich: “Slightly off-topic from the SLL, but shortest trains in any London terminus now – I’m assuming the Greenford trains, and one or two other 2 car Thames Turbos that occasionally appear on solo workings.

    It is not unusual to see two-car trains on the London Bridge to West Croydon via Streatham services. It is also not unusual to see six-car trains with first class (“available to standard class ticket-holders”) either. Nor any other combination of two- three- and four-car trains of seemingly any type. I would assume, though it is just a guess, the same applies to the London Bridge to Beckenham Junction line too.

    Timmy!: “Finally, my biggest grumble is about the new Tube map … Why doesn’t Blackfriars station stretch across the Thames? There doesn’t seem to be any indication you can access it from the south of the Thames. Anyway, good to see a new rail link open!

    Because you cannot, only the National Rail station spans the river with entrances on both banks. The tube station, which is the only one shown on the tube map, is still only accessible on the north bank.

    Even if the National Rail barriers let you touch in on the south bank, walk down the platforms, then touch out on the north bank without additional charge (which itself seems unlikely), this sort of convolution does not make the station any more accessible than simply walking over Blackfriars Bridge as has always been possible.

    It is a fair complaint about the London’s Rail & Tube map, but as this is now the TfL tube map with other rail services hideously contorted to fit around it to the extent of forming an usable monstrosity, expecting anything from it relating to geography is unrealistic.

    (successor to the London Connections map), but as this is

  191. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Even if the National Rail barriers let you touch in on the south bank, walk down the platforms, then touch out on the north bank without additional charge (which itself seems unlikely)

    But believe it or not this is exactly what does happen and there are (or at least were) posters at Blackfriars informing you of this. What I am pretty certain happens is that you get the maximum Oystercard fare in force at the time deducted as you enter the South Bank entrance. This is absolutely standard. As you exit the north entrance your Oyster card is credited with the fare paid less the cost of a Zone 1 journey. As you enter the underground you are debited once more with the maximum Oystercard fare. When you complete your journey the correct amount is recredited taking into account that you used a recognised station interchange at Blackfriars.

    However if you get free travel on TfL but not National Rail (except Overground) you will get charged. I presume that this would apply to use of a Freedom Pass before 09.30 a.m.

  192. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for setting me straight. Surprisingly sensible, well almost as touching in to the tube gates with a freedom pass etc. should be able to wipe out the minimum far, but then I guess the system is not set up to account for such things whereas for a normal PAYG card it is treated like an out-of-station interchange.

  193. Graham Feakins says:

    @ Steven Taylor & Anon

    Yes, I know about the Bellingham replacement service but didn’t mention it as it hasn’t happened but you are right in saying that the money was diverted to ELLX2 construction, so whichever way you think about it, no money was allocated to keep the SLL service or start the Bellingham one. I agree with all that you say.

    That 12 tph peak service off the SLL to/from London Bridge is on one of three lovely little maps in Moody’s book “Southern Electric” showing the traffic flows – this one on the Central Division from the mid-1960’s.

    In the peaks, there were 3 tph off the SSL itself (Victoria-London Bridge) and 9 tph via Tulse Hill & Peckham Rye. Of those, there was 1 tph to/from Streatham Hill, 3 tph via West Norwood and 5 tph via Streatham. Joining the Vic. & London Bridge services together, there were 9 tph between West Norwood and Crystal Palace.

    THEN add to that 12 tph also on the local (slow) lines via Forest Hill and New Cross Gate coming into London Bridge! To complete the London Bridge side, the through (fast) lines via New Cross gate carried 12 tph in the a.m. peaks and no fewer than 17 down on the fast through p.m.!

    So, the London Bridge terminating platforms were accepting at least 36 tph arrivals in the peaks.

    By comparison, on the Victoria route, there were 20 tph up a.m. and 18 tph p.m. down on the local (slow) lines running between Wandsworth Common & Balham.

  194. Anonymous says:

    Graham, fascinating, thanks. I am now intrigued as to where the 20tph into Victoria came from! I will have to buy the book!

  195. Anonymous says:

    Graham, there are several editions of Moody’s history, which year does yours date from?

  196. Graham Feakins says:

    Anonymous – My edition of Moody is the Fourth Edition of 1968. I made pdf’s of the maps concerned (South Western, Central and Eastern) but don’t know if there’s a way to add any of them here.

    Perhaps fair to say that London Bridge (Central Division) then had 14 terminating platforms (some short) serving the SLL and the four tracks through New Cross Gate – but that only emphasises just how short-changed we will be in the suburban area when LB is rebuilt and the approach tracks are reduced even further.

    20 tph into Victoria – made up of 6 tph from the Streatham Hill/West Norwood route, 4 tph from Sutton/Wimbledon via Streatham Junction and 10 tph from Streatham Common/Selhurst. The latter may have come from East Croydon/Coulsdon North, West Croydon and possibly also from Norwood Junction in the days when Selhurst – Norwood Junction had a passeneger service.

  197. Jeanpierre says:

    Graham Feakins @ 02:30, 2 January

    “TfL were unwilling to ……… divert 2 tph to Victoria instead of Clapham Junction.”

    I emailed TfL several months ago enquiring whether or not that had been thought of, reasoning that 2 tph to/from Clapham Junction would be better than the existing arrangement, i.e., no tph.

    TfL’s reply stated that NOT running into Victoria was a condition of the Overground service between Old Kent Road Junction and Factory Junction/Clapham Junction being sanctioned.

    Travelled on the weekday evening Southeastern service between Bromley South and Victoria via Denmark Hill, Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road last night, quite well patronised despite the destination panels being blank. The route information was working on board until Clapham High Street, which was announced by the electronic lady, then the display vanished along with the voice, while the overhead information panel on the platform was showing the next Overground to Clapham Junction. On to Wandsworth Road, with no information about the next station, but the platform panel indicated that we did in fact exist!

    I love these anomalies, frustrating though they may be to Joe Public and purists alike!

  198. Steven Taylor says:

    Re number of peak hour trains….

    Regarding my earlier post about the number of peak hour trains on the down local line to Wimbledon – basically every 2 minutes with the odd 4 minute gap, I know from direct experience that some local lines had a substantially better service in the 1950s-1960s. Quite a few trains were taken out from the 1958 Timetable, and this process of attrition continued often into the 1980s. I am talking inner London lines here. The line from London Bridge to Tulse Hill used to have a better service. Some rush hour trains were fast to Tulse Hill. And apart from breakdowns, you seldom saw a short formation train in the peak hours – most were 8 cars. Even the South London Line was 4 cars in the `rush`.
    I remember when there were no Sunday trains between London Bridge and Tulse Hill!! And the South London Line in the late 1980s was only hourly in the `rush hours`.

  199. Steven Taylor says:

    I was at Clapham High Street at 1600 hours yesterday to go on the 1609 `Ghost train` to Kensington. I had a good chat with the friendly Overground chappy. He calls these trains – the Ghost train to Kensington and the Southeastern service to Victoria as the `confusion` trains. For good reason I guess.

    The 1609 `Ghost` train was 2 minutes early, but when it arrived in the platform, the display, which had been correct reverted to the next train to Clapham Junction, causing some confusion. I overheard one girl on the phone talking very loudly, expressing surprise that she could get a direct train to West Brompton, and that she was told it would only take 15 minutes. So the train had one `proper` passenger at least.

    Usual confusion at Imperial Wharf, where the display showed a Overground train to Stratford. A couple of people asked the guard where the train was going, and she initially said Shepherds Bush, then corrected herself.

  200. Steven Taylor says:

    Is this a record? This thread now has 202 posts. (I`m too lazy to check it out!!)

  201. Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous at 0618

    The six car class 377 formations with first class areas and toilets are wasted on these metro routes which need rolling stock with a higher seating capacity to increase the capacity into London Bridge in the peaks.

  202. John Bull says:

    Is this a record? This thread now has 202 posts. (I`m too lazy to check it out!!)

    Not sure. It’s probably up there. I can tell you that we’re currently just shy of our 28,000th non-spam/troll comment.

    I will say that there’s also a follow up to this post that’ll appear next week, after Tanners Hill coverage.

  203. Graham Feakins says:

    I have sent the maps to John Bull to add.

    The comments of Steven Taylor & Anon remind me to amplify further that the tph I have quoted do not include empty stock workings and that there were 9 platforms on the Brighton side at Victoria, with six of those capable of taking 2 x 8-car trains, thus providing effectively 15 platforms. You will see this on the maps, which show the services in 1967. London Bridge had platforms numbered up to 22, including the Southeastern lines.

    I would go further than Steven T and say that ALL rush hour suburbans were 8-car – and formed of high-capacity SUB units. I used to pass streams of them approaching Victoria when I was on fast East Croydon – Vic. services.

    On the through (fast) lines Balham-Wandsworth Common, there were 19 up and 18 down trains in the rush hours, so the intensity of service wasn’t limited to the purely suburban routes.

    All peformed without ATO, I might add.*

    Jeanpierre said “TfL’s reply stated that NOT running into Victoria was a condition of the Overground service between Old Kent Road Junction and Factory Junction/Clapham Junction being sanctioned.” A variant on that which I was told was that TfL required 4 tph on each route and thus could not split ELLX2 with 2 tph to Clapham Junction & Vic., respectively.

    * Not the right place here but I have great concerns about ATO for the Thameslink core, (a) because the service intensity can be maintained without it and (b) it condemns presently-capable stock from ever running through the core. Put it this way, London Transport Underground Railways managed a service intensity in 1963 between Sloane Square & Gloucester Road with 40 tph over South Kensington Junction in each direction!! What will it be on the new, improved Thameslink core, using classic “Underground tunnels”? Just 24 tph?

    Permit me to add this quote from the book “Reconstructing London’s Underground” (1963): “ Elephant
    & Castle on the Bakerloo Line, a full trunk service of over 30 trains per hour has to be reversed on only two
    tracks, by ‘stepping back’ the train crews.”

    And: “The working at Minories Junction, which lies between Tower Hill and Aldgate stations, and is the eastern point of junction of the District and Circle services, will serve as an illustration. The total peak
    service at this point amounts to 32 trains per hour in each direction; Minories Junction splits the eastbound
    service into 24 trains on to the District Line and 8 trains on to the Circle, while at the same time combining
    an equivalent number of westbound District and Circle trains.”

    All this increased frequency on the Tube that TfL boasts about is thus a load of eyewash, to my mind.

  204. Graham Feakins says:

    P.S. For any wondering about the difference between 40 tph over South Kensington Junction and 32 tph over Minories Junction, remember that some eastbound District Line services were reversed at Mansion House, thereby adding to the conflicting movements – but they still managed it. The maximum frequency LT obtained was 42 tph but 40 tph “was more practicable and reliable”. As I said, without the need for ATO and without dangerous operation.

    It’s high time that somebody questioned the need for ATO on the Thameslink core. The book I quoted was published in 1974.

  205. Ian J says:

    Graham – what were the reliability statistics like then? It is easy to timetable huge numbers of trains, harder to actually run them in practice.

  206. Simon A says:

    Regarding LO trains into Victoria, there’s a report on the options on the TfL website

    There is a fairly big cost implication as TfL would need to pay revenue compensation to the DfT as they would be taking Southeastern’s revenue.

    Anyone know how to create a hyperlink on here?

  207. Simon A says:

    Ah, I see it’s automatic

  208. peezedtee says:

    (re Blackfriars) “However if you get free travel on TfL but not National Rail (except Overground) you will get charged. I presume that this would apply to use of a Freedom Pass before 09.30 a.m.”

    No, because Thameslink between Elephant/London Bridge and West Hampstead is one of the routes on which Freedom Pass will work at any time, not just after 9.30am.

  209. Anonymous says:

    On the use of Blackfriars station to cross the river for a zone 1 single, remember not to run as you get a full fare fine if you take less than 2 minutes, as I found out at Purley a couple of months ago. Stupid mistake – I only used Oyster to avoid bothering the station staff with my useless Season Ticket as I had already got to my daily cap.

  210. timbeau says:

    Holders of “London Teminals” season tickets can use them to cross the river for nothing. Useful when it’s raining. If only I could do the same at Southwark – Waterloo East station most of the walk from Holborn Viaduct to Waterloo could be done under cover!

    that Freedom Pass map shows once again how TfL does residentys south of the river few favours – most of the lines are red. (In the same way zonal fares are charged at a higher rate on the “red” lines than the blue ones, mainly so that mr Souter can make a few more millions.

  211. Graham Feakins says:

    @ Ian J

    From what I read from “How the Underground Works” (LT-1963), I guess the reliablity statistics were good but operational delays could of course occur through sudden crowds, door failures (where the train would be taken out of service and run empty to depot rather than accumulating delays along the line) and similar. Adequate staffing levels at stations were deemed essential. Recovery time was written into the timetables where possible to achieve the standard 1½ – 2 minute headways in the central area. Good, well-maintained, solid rolling stock and signalling was the key to reliability. Timekeeping was paramount. Train drivers were confronted at key locations with illuminated signs “WAIT” (running early), “ON TIME” and “½”, “1”, “1½”, “2” “MINS LATE”. It seems highly unlikely that the trains themselves actually ‘fell over’ in normal circumstances and thus could return to depot with minor faults.

    When I first started work, the Northern Line alone put out 99 – 103 trains in the peaks. That’s not bad by any standard.

    Apologies for diverting somewhat from the SLL but it is important to remember the loss of capacity at London Bridge and to remind oneself of train frequencies achieved in the past.

  212. Anyone know how to create a hyperlink on here?

    Yes you need to code <a href=”full name of link including http goes here”>put your hyperlink here</a>

    By the way, users of http will appreciate that line was quite difficult to put in a comment as < and > cannot be put into the comment box as text!

    If you use your browser to view source (it is one of the options but often hard to find) you can see some real live examples.

  213. Greg Tingey says:

    Your eighth (?) ninth (?) picture STILL Has a wrong title – the 378 is not emerging – it’s going towards CJ!

    Talking of ticket-validities, what happens if you have both a “freedom pass” & an oyster & want to go to (say) Chesham?
    Can yo just get off @ Chesham & ask for the fare backwards, so to speak?
    Somehow, I don’t think that will work.

  214. peezedtee says:

    @Greg Tingey
    Why would you need to do that? The Freedom Pass is valid to Chesham at all times.

  215. Greg Tingey says:

    Ah, either I was deluded, or it has changed.
    I’m fairly sure it didn’t used to be valid out there ……
    Thanks for that.

  216. Anonymous says:

    Are the maps sent to John Bull available or will they feature in a future article?

  217. Steven Taylor says:

    One million passengers…
    Looking at BBC teletext earlier today. Stated that the new Overground Surrey Quays-Clapham Junction extension had its 1 millionth passenger at 1400 hours on 10th January. Not bad considering the quieter period between Christmas and New Year.
    I am now a regular evening user, picking it up at Canada Water or Queens Road station. It has gotten a lot busier last few days. On Thursday I initially could not get a seat.

  218. Snowy says:

    I saw that article as well. Did make me wonder what ridership was like prior to LO operation & what the difference in numbers was. That would be a sign of its success

  219. Steven Taylor says:

    A `quick and dirty` estimate would be 4 times. There used to be a half hourly 2 car service (4 cars per hour).
    There is now a 15 minute 4 car service (16 cars per hour). The cars seem equally crowded to me – and more crowded at say 1300 hours (although I only travelled once post 9th December at this time).

    The SLL usage is probably on the Web somewhere, but I have not looked yet.

  220. Steven Taylor says:

    To my amazement, I cannot locate any recent SLL usage figures.
    Upon reflection, my rough estimate of 4 times may be too high.
    But I would have felt at least double would be reasonable.
    I feel confident someone will post the actual SLL annual patronage.

  221. Greg Tingey says:

    That’ll be millionth estimated passenger, actually.
    Those units have weighing equipment in them, which has been previously calibrated by physical counts …..
    The other factor, the one that Loo-Roll are using as their not-so-secret weapon is: RELIABILITY.
    They are doing their very best to ensure that their service runs as advertised, which, certainly neither the GOBLIN nor SLL lines did before, under previous, erm, “ownership” isn’t the right word is it – will “mis-management” do?
    Not only reliable, but 1/4-hourly. Makes a huge difference to the average joe public, those two do.

  222. Anonymous says:

    The late evening service on the Clapham Junction – Surrey Quay section is not as good as it should be. After 2214 the eastbound service from Clapham Junction reduces to half hourly, two extra services would at least provide a train every 15mins until 2300.

  223. Steven Taylor says:

    You probably know this, but one of the 15 minute gaps after 2214 is due to the inbound service being diverted to Battersea Park, and although I am not 100% sure, I think another inbound service is put in the siding at Clapham Junction to work the 0659 to Surrey Quays etc next morning.
    But I concur absolutely with your point. 2214 is not that late, and I would expect a 15 minute service to 2300 at least. One of the Overground`s selling point is at least a train every 15 minutes, excluding Euston-Watford Junction.

  224. Anonymous says:

    The Battersea Park bound train arrives at Wandsworth Road at 2257 and the two eastbound gaps to be filled depart Clapham Junction at 2229 and 2259. I suspect that the Battersea Park train could still operate as it would not arrive in time at CJ to operate the 2259 departure.

  225. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday’s last train to Clapham Junction was pretty full from Shoreditch High Street onwards, shame it’s so early… I’m sure evening services will increase soon, from my experience use of the Overground has already increased over the old SLL service, that includes me!

  226. Steven Taylor says:

    re your post 03:19PM.
    Yes – I concur with your thoughts. My observation re the Battersea Park service is a red-herring.
    Perhaps it was a deliberate decision to `thin` the timetable after all. My home overlooks Clapham Junction, so if I am bored tonight I will look out my window to see what happens to the 2 arrivals at 2222 and 2237, with seemingly only one outbound service. Perhaps one of these is kept in the siding overnight or is an empty stock working.

  227. Graham Feakins says:

    You won’t find anything at all next Sunday (20th Jan) as the whole stretch Surrey Quays – Clapham Junction, as well as everything Tulse Hill – London Bridge via Peckham Rye is ‘off’ for the day! Great.

  228. 1956 says:

    I too have noticed the H&I to Clapham Junction via Canada Water service being very popular – and increasingly so. Interesting to notice the usage of Clapham High Street station seems to have increased significantly, while Wandsworth Road still appears to be sparsely used whenever I pass through it. So as well as a more frequent, more reliable service – a station has to serve somewhere where people want to go to. Lots of bars, restaurants and a tube connection at Clapham High Street.
    Question: Any reasons for alightling at Wandsworth Road unless you live near there?
    Debating Point: If, in the future, it did become possible to build an Overground station at Brixton yet it was found that this had a negative impact on scheduling (particularly if Surrey Canal Road gets built/opened) – then should closure of Wandsworth Road be looked at?
    Happy to be contradicated if talking rubbish – as Wandsworth Road usage not based on proper statistical analysis – just personal observation at differing times/days.

  229. Steven Taylor says:

    I was on the 1553 Denmark Hill service yesterday, and have been looking at how many people get off/on. We arrived Wandsworth Road at 1559, and I was surprised that 8 people alighted and 4 people boarded. So, although hardly scientific, patronage is on-the-up. My observation would be that Wandsworth Road is unlikely to close, especially if traffic is increasing. I have a friend near here, and whilst I use to walk or get a bus to CJ, I now use the station.
    On your point about who would alight, it was be local residents mainly. No clubs around as far as I am aware.

  230. Steven Taylor says:

    The 1642 arrival at Wandsworth Road today on an inbound Clapham Junction service only had 3 people leave and 1 join. So usage variable and quieter than Clapham High Street.

  231. Steve Taylor says:

    re discussion about usage of the new Surrey Quays – Clapham Junction link. It would appear my original rough estimate of 4 times more passengers was OK. Today`s Metro newspaper, on Page 36, the TFL sourced Metro Travel news states that passenger numbers have quadrupled since TFL took over management of the line.

  232. Greg Tingey says:

    Usual question …
    TfL’s trains will have the auto-weighing equipment previously mentioned …
    How did they know how many people were using the SLL under “Southern”, then?
    ORR figures? [falls about laughing]

  233. Steven Taylor says:

    I lol when you said they weigh the train, but I remember reading this somewhere. I hope they make allowance for my figure – I am a 1.6 person due to too much real ale.
    I am laughing somewhat as well..
    Especially Wandsworth Road figures in SLL days .. A quarter of a million passengers a year!! I make that 11 per train on average. Which seems too much.
    However, the TFL announcement may help funding for the extra 5th carriage on the 378s.

  234. Anonymous says:

    This new entrance at Queens Road can’t open soon enough.
    During the evening rush and from the last southbound train of the day, I would say around a quarter to a third of the trains passengers alight here.
    they spread out down the stairs, get to the bottom then realise they have to touch an oyster reader so it’s chaos down there with people, instead of lining up orderly like I have seen at East Dulwich, just trying to go around and over each other to touch out. blocking the exit/entrance which is already narrowed by smokers blocking the way.

    Does anyone know the opening date?

  235. Anonymous says:

    New entrance will probably open after the lift is installed. There are procurement issues for the new lift apparently…

  236. Steven Taylor says:

    Lack of joined-up railway….

    As happened last Sunday, Overground services Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction are diverted to Battersea Park. No problem – I will do what Overground suggested last week – travel Clapham Junction to Battersea Park on Southern to connect. The notice said all valid LOROL tickets can be used Clapham Junction – Battersea Park on Southern. Slight problem. Southern local lines are closed and up fast lines to Victoria have no platform at Battersea Park so one must circulate via Victoria. I guess the ticket inspectors at Victoria will have enough common sense to accept valid LOROL tickets to travel back to Battersea Park.

    However, being `in-the-know`, I surmised no problem – I will travel to Queenstown Road Battersea station – only 5 minute walk to Batttersea Park. Oh dear!! No South West Trains to Queenstown Road today!! Engineering works.

    Whilst I appreciate scheduled engineering works are planned many months in advance, it does seem a shame this is making connecting to Battersea Park difficult.

    I did hear one LOROL official on the overbridge at Clapham telling a group of people wanting Canada Water – no problem – SWT to Waterloo then Jubilee Line!!

  237. Anonymous says:

    I spent yesterday morning at Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road. I’m an infrequent visitor to London and wanted to see some of the freights on this line as well as the new Overground service, which I travelled on from at Whitechapel.

    I know there was strong resistance to the withdrawal of the old SLL and many travellers thought that the new LO service would be additional to, not instead of, the SLL. These two stations now have no service to central London, but I noted some South-Eastern services routed through the platform lines. Is this a regular practice and, if so, could some of them not stop at one or both stations? For Clapham High Street there is the alternative of Clapham North but i was amazed at how narrow the platform is here. I wouldn’t want to use it at peak times.

  238. Steve Taylor says:


    South Eastern trains are regularly routed through Clapham High Street station, as these trains from Peckham Rye use the Atlantic Lines. However, they are not normally routed through Wandsworth Road station, as they would then have to use the low level Stewarts Lane route into Victoria for no good reason – unless they stopped at CHS and WR.

    My understanding regarding why there is no regular service to Victoria (apart from 1 train a day) is the fact that in the rush trains are 8 coaches long and cannot be accommodated at Clapham High Street or Wandsworth Road (this is the usual given reason). Although, who would pay for this. Also, it would delay the trains for long distance passengers, as there would be 2 additional stops plus usage of the speed restricted low-level route from Wandsworth Road to Battersea Pier Junction – probably adding 5 to 6 minutes to the journey.

  239. ngh says:

    Re Steve Taylor 10:44AM, 16th April 2013

    NR have been doing various bits of work on increasing the line speed on the route through Stewart’s Lane, some work still to be done this year but it is now a lot quicker than it used to be (as I discovered during the Sunday engineering work 10 days ago).

    Victoria – Bellingham Service (muxh talked about TfL service to increase SLL capacity)
    Rumours circulating that TfL are looking to get 9x 3car Class 508 units refurbished before the December timetable change.
    There is however no sensible comment on where they might be used (some suggestion to cover for some 378 units during lengthening to 5 car but 9 units would be over the top given the previous 378 lenghtening) so my reasoning would be to introduce a Victoria – Bellingham (or Bromley South off -peak) service as the Journey time (assuming no Wandsworth Road or Clapham High Street stops would be 22mins Bellingham or (31mins BMS) so assuming 2tph and 6 car services, 6 units would be needed or 9 units for 9 car services (trains run as short if a unit is out of action).
    Finding 9 units worth refurbishing could also be a challenge.

  240. answer=42 says:

    What is so bad about the 508s? They are similar to the 313s, slightly newer and are simpler, as they do not have pantographs / AC power. I appreciate that they have been all over the country and may not have had the TLC that their elder siblings have had.

  241. ngh says:

    re answer=42 01:55PM, 16th April 2013

    Complete lack of TLC. The available ones (all ex silverlink and Connex Southeastern) haven’t been looked after and have been left outside to decay for years or been raided to provide spare parts for others. Thus they will need an awful lot spending on them (especially given TfL high standards).

  242. Anonymous says:

    If TfL take on the 508s I suggest they paint them in a plain livery so to limit damage to the Overground brand.

  243. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t the news about TfL taking 508s appear around 1st April?

  244. Anonymous says:

    Sorry about the “anonymous”. Thanks for comments. I didn’t know about the 508s and thought maybe Merseyrail were going to have some more! Trains lengths are obviously a consideration.


  245. DW down under says:

    Maybe the 508s could be prototypes for refitting all the PEP based units with up-to-date traction electronics, regen braking and more powerful AC motors. And don’t forget to save some trailers for the GOBLIN!! 🙂

  246. Steven Taylor says:

    @Anonymous 01:45

    I was interested to hear your comments that Network Rail are increasing the speed through Stewarts Lane. I wonder if you have any information on increasing speeds on the route London Overground use between Clapham Junction and Wandsworth Road. For example, around 1993 all trains on the South London Line were diverted into Clapham Junction for about 2 weeks – and I remember that trains going westwards from Longhedge Junction to the underbridge where the Ludgate and Kensington lines separate used to do about 40 MPH. The speed limit on the `Overground` route seems to be only 25 mph now apropos 40 mph on the parallel Kensington line.

    Also, I was wondering why the speed limit out of Clapham Junction on both `Overground` lines is so low, namely 10 mph. For example, is 15 mph into Waterloo!

  247. ngh says:

    Re DW down under 08:18AM, 17th April 2013

    There is some sense in doing this but probably only for the OHLE or dual OHLE /3rd rail PEP classes as these probably have longer term future than the 3rd rail only 507 or 508s (Merseyrail are looking to replace theirs in 2017). If there was larger fleet of 508s with a long term future then maybe, otherwise there is may be a market of a unit as prototype that could be used for spot hire afterwards. TfL probably doesn’t want to spend that much.

    There is probably very little market for less reliable 3car 3rd rail only units without SDO unless they can be used on quieter more rural parts of the network (that don’t make it to London) to release SDO capable stock to busier parts of the network (like southern’s use of 313 on the coastway services).
    Future electrification (baring small infill) will be OHLE so the market is dual voltage capable.

    Of the 4 main possible customers:
    SWT: are apparently looking at some new 5car Siemens units based on the Thameslink stock spec. (Dual voltage to run the section converted from 3rd rail to OHLE?)

    Southern: have more 377s coming and would probably like to retain as many 377/5 ex-Thameslink if/when the new Siemens stock arrives (so they can then presumably ditch the 313 and 442s).

    Southeastern: ??? Will probably have to do something after the new franchise given it looks like fewer than expected TL services heading in their direction.

    TfL: Only the Watford DC lines or new services south of the river, but they have more 378 and extra 378 carriages on order so the latter appears to be the realistic market.

  248. DW down under says:


    I tend to think of the PEP based units as a whole. Any repowering creates the opportunity to reconfigure. Any improvement in performance would require a higher throughput transformer.

    Putting these together: I’d expect a lot of cab de-commissioning, and formation of 5-car units or fixed formation trains. On AC lines, 5- or 6- car units would have traction current bus bars along the unit, with one transformer trailer and 3 -5 motor cars. On DC lines, for tunnel operation such as GN&C, there could be restrictions on through wiring. For longer trains, 2 transformer trailers would be provided, and I’d expect the trains to be made up of two sub-units that can be separated at depots for maintenance or repair purposes. I’d expect all motor cars to have 3rd rail pickup wiring and shoebeam mounts. Fitting of shoebeams and shoes would be dependent on route allocations.

    I’d expect all of the 313, 314 and 315 transformer cars to be upgraded; and maybe some other trailers to get transformers.

    I’d expect all cars to get upgraded interiors, new external rubber components, refurbished door mechanisms, significantly uprated ventilation plant. I’d expect ex DMs with cabs decommissoned, to have the former cab area and driver’s doors to be remodelled into a disabled-friendly area. I’d expect all units to be open gangwayed within the unit. I’d expect remaining DM units to get couplers that are at least mechanically compatible with their TOC’s other fleet(s). These couplers would be changed if necessary at any re-allocation.

    I’d expect SOME to get air conditioning.

    I’d expect some to get suspension upgrades allowing running at 90/100/110 mph – whatever their cabs would be rated for.

    And I’d expect 20-25 years of valuable further service.

    Why – well, how do these units differ from the latest stuff, that won’t be addressed in the upgrade I described? Cabs might not have the crashworthiness level; doors might not be as wide as the widest around – but are comparable with many. Or are they so corroded and the bodies so weak that they can’t go on much longer?

  249. Anonymous says:

    They are very unlikely to have corrosion problems – they are made of aluminium

  250. DW down under says:

    @Anon 1304 18/4 … Ah yes but AIUI, with steel underframes and steel bogies etc. One of the major reasons for considering the PEP family for major life extension, is that body corrosion is not the problem it is with other rolling stock.

  251. Anonymous says:

    Lift is close to completion at Queens Road Peckham.

  252. Anonymous says:

    7 x 508 3car units were scrapped in 2013, leaving 8 units left, not sure where they are or if any are serviceable.
    Maybe Southern or Southeastern could take the Merseyside ones for branch line and Coastway diagrams when they replaced with new stock! Would release more modern stock to boost the capacity of some London services!

  253. timbeau says:

    Maybe they could, but merseyrail isn’t planning to replace them on a whim – they are nearly 40 years old: the only older electric passenger stock is the class 313 – which is basically a 507 with a coathanger on the roof.

  254. Anonymous says:

    Interesting comment in Modern Railways this month suggesting new franchise will have replacement 6 car trains for the class 313s running into Moorgate, so they could be spare too!

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