Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Abbey Wood

A look at Abbey Wood Crossrail station

Abbey Wood station from flyover is the focus to detriment of nearby streets

A not-exactly-exclusive look today at Abbey Wood’s new station days after half the world covered it.

The first thing that greets visitors upon getting off a train is a realisation that there’s still much to do and it’s clearly been a real rush to open on time. Hiccups remain such as no functioning lifts. Having said that, what is visible is very impressive and staff have done a great job.

The swooping roof over the main concourse with exposed curved beams is beautiful and covers an impressive and welcoming airy space.

More staff were in evidence as a result of TfL now running the station instead of Southeastern.

A new WH Smith and coffee shop is seeing fit out:

The plaza area outside the station facing onto Harrow Manorway flyover will be a pleasant spot. One of the biggest surprises of using the new station was the great views from this space over Abbey Wood.

The woods over the town towards the woods and trees in autumnal colours was an impressive site which photos do not really do justice. The recently installed trees on Wilton Road looked great.

A number of additional cycle stands have been installed:

There’s been some comments about congestion at the gateline. There’s actually one more gate than had previously existed but one gate (if not all) were usually left open at the old station and many got into the habit of not paying, as unless travelling to central London a free ride was easy given almost all stations on the line are open.

Indeed, when I travelled through later in the evening some people who had arrived on a train without tickets were trying to “negotiate” their way through.

There’s also the induced demand factor to consider when it comes to entrances and gatelines. New stations and services attract people onto public transport who may previously have driven or used other forms of public transport.

In positive news the entrance/exit staircase onto Felixstowe Road and Sainsburys has now opened:

A lower level entrance will also open onto Felixstowe Road in coming months which should help disperse crowds a bit better. This is possible as passenger can walk behind the buffers of terminating Crossrail trains to access. The lack of terminating trains prevents street entrance at Wilton Road.

How long both the current gateline onto the flyover and the low level to Felixstowe Road will be sufficient will be the question given many planned developments in near proximity.

Site of recently approved tower

Peabody’s 1,500 home plans are also nearby:

Seeing the western station footbridge in place offered a tantalising glimpse of how simple it would be to have another entrance by Mottisfont Road in future, using Greenwich Council’s garage site to provide space and funds to do so.

This would greatly improve access for many in Abbey Wood estate and lower Plumstead. 20 minutes walking time a day.

Sadly Crossrail have resisted before completion of the scheme, which is understandable given their tight schedule and budget, but hopefully Greenwich Council will push this is future. If they fund through land sales of the adjacent garage site it could well be possible.

Future improvements

After a pretty rubbish few years for passengers there’ll now be a succession of improvements. In coming weeks Crossrail train testing will begin. In January Southeastern trains will all stop once again at London Bridge as the new station opens. Six platforms will become nine offering a reduction in congestion on  approach.

Then in May 2018 Thameslink trains begin running on the line to stations such as Farringdon, St Pancras and up to Luton Airport. Southeastern services also improve once more.

Then finally in late 2018 full Crossrail services commence. Once that happens the number of services and destinations from Abbey Wood improves massively.




  1. Plumstead Resident

    Looks great. I’m looking forward to May next year, I only wish the service improvements could start from January.

  2. Chris Weka

    Fantastic news. Can it be confirmed that from May 2018, Thameslink will stop in Woolwich Arsenal station? Excited if I’ve read this correctly!

  3. Chris Nash

    The tatty old bus shelter sitting opposite the gleaming new station building really ruins the first impression of the area for passengers exiting. I do hope Greenwich or Bexley Council have plans to rebuild, or at least refurbish.

    • Tim Scott

      I was advised by Andrew Bashford, Head of Highway Services at Bexley Council, that “the bus shelter structure is to remain but be refurbished and converted to a large cycle parking area. New bus shops and shelters are to be provided in either side of the road. The refurbishment of the shelter will be carried out in the new year, and will need to take place when the rail line is closed. Therefore, this work will be timed with other reasons for track closures to reduce cost and overall disruption”.

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