More on Southeastern & Crossrail

New build above Woolwich Crossrail
New build above Woolwich Crossrail

Another transport related post today. Firstly a bit on southeastern and then at the end Crossrail. Here’s a few more snippets regarding changes to southeastern services –

The last train will leave Charing Cross at the same time as now but will not head straight to London Bridge after Waterloo East. Instead it will head to Cannon Street after Waterloo East, then on to London Bridge. After its detour to Cannon Street the last train leaves London Bridge at 00:36 instead of 00:26. Good news if drinking around Cannon Street or London Bridge – an extra 10 minutes drinking time. From 2015, people having a late drink can use the 24 hour tube on weekends to go North Greenwich.

Later trains from Cannon Street should perk up the pubs, bars and clubs in the City. The area already has quite a bit more late night entertainment than it used to, and this will only increase when people easily can stay late. Places like the ‘one new change’ shopping centre nearby, with its late bars and restaurants, are another sign of the City changing from a late night ghost town, which the addition of later trains will encourage further.

As I covered last week the Greenwich line sees the biggest cuts in the number of trains but capacity is maintained through longer trains. The forthcoming changes to trains on the Greenwich line sees 16 evening peak trains cut to 13 – a 19% reduction. Assuming each train averages 8 cars, then those 13 services need to see 24 extra carriages added to maintain current levels.

I said this in the last post but worth repeating it again – it is well worth reading this through post to see why SE London has not had the longer trains it should have had for years. First work was done in early ’90s. Millions spent and then scrapped due to recession, then impending privatisation. After a long delay hopes were for a mid-2012 introduction. Constant overruns since. The latest news was that now January 2015 would see maximum length trains to coincide with cuts in frequency. However at the end of the article there are recent comments from ‘SEDriver’ who states –

“12 car testing did take place and our health and safety reps at the depots were unhappy with the sighting on some platforms, they went to southeastern with their issues and basically my employer haven’t been exactly rushing to sort the problem out (contractors need to move cameras etc etc) so far nothing has been rectified and no more 12 car tests have taken place to my knowledge.”

He also added –

“We don’t have the stock as the networkers are getting on years, the metcams especially are falling apart (never should have been built they are so much more complicated than brels) also I think they missed a trick, they should have kept the class 365s as they were compatible with 465s and 466s. Would have had more stock to play with.”

Another person wrote –

“A pal (living in Hayes as it happens) sent this to me a couple of weeks ago: “It looks as though 12-car Networker workings have been suspended: in the latest CWN, what were 12′s from January are now listed simply as 10-car 465 and 466 XXX instead of showing unit diagram numbers; this may be because of sight lines on curved platforms, which the drivers were unhappy about; or maybe they can’t keep enough 465s in running order.”

Assuming these are true then delays to introduction could persist yet further into the time of service cuts. What impact will that have? Have Southeastern, Network Rail or the DfT carried out forecast modelling of crowding with the intention of 12 car trains, and if so what happens if they do not run? Two 10 car trains with a longer gap between may not be enough. And what’s the plan in two years time when many new housing developments are complete if stock levels are only maintained and yet reliability declines.

Viewed from ‘dial arch’ square.

As for Crossrail, the flats above the station in Woolwich are now visible with the tarpaulin removed. In common with much of the Arsenal development Berkeley seem to have done a good job on the architectural front. The buildings are handsome additions, with a solid framed frontage and recessed balconies. The red sections within the grid are not terracota panels but red brick, and look all the better for it. Thankfully the frames and penthouse are a classier black and not drab grey as seen so often.

IMG_20140708_140519These aren’t going to set the world on fire, but given some of the dross around and what Woolwich has suffered from then this does fine. The detailing is good, windows a decent size and the brickwork varied on the tower to the right in the pic above. Retail will be on the ground floor. This is a rare case of the finished article looking better than the render –

Woolwich crossrail phase 4


With the removal of some of the Arsenal boundary fence (seen on the left in the render above) and further improvements along the dual carriageway, to remove clutter and mess beyond the improved section, this should help connect the two sides of the road. The dangerous building, that was fenced off on the other side of the road to this development, has finally been demolished. That whole parade is a bit of a mess and could do with rebuilding to provide high density housing with retail at street level.

Also regarding Crossrail there is a public information meeting being held from 3:00-7:00pm on Wednesday 16 July at Abbey Wood Community Centre, 4 Knee Hill.

Work continues with line closures over the past three weekends on the southeastern line. The temporary station at Abbey Wood doesn’t seem to be making much progress despite an opening date of ‘summer 2014’. This needs to be complete before the current station is demolished.




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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

4 thoughts on “More on Southeastern & Crossrail

  • Out of interest, how is the Cross Quarter development doing in Abbey Wood? Do you know?

    • They have set up a worksite with quite a few portacabins and a car park, and the heavy machinery has moved on site to begin preparation work. The first stage is due to open in 12 months (maybe less) so things should move quickly.

  • The temporary station seems to have made an appearance with the erection of new steel staircase.


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