Murky Depths

News in London and beyond


Fire blocking Southeastern trains between Blackheath and Charlton

It could be a tricky commute homes home for some tonight as the track and tunnel between Blackheath and Charlton has closed due to fire.

Much like during disruption last night people are again stating they cannot hear the driver due to problems with the intercom.

This is a consistent issue and could be critical in an evacuation. When passengers were trapped for three hours in snowy weather there were multiple reports that the intercom did not function. Passengers eventually jumped off trains onto tracks.

It’s a long-standing issue across the fleet, and is it me, or are 25+ year old Networkers trains deteriorating even quicker now? Some have been in very shoddy state recently.

With the franchise supposed to have ended by now has maintenance been cut back? It wouldn’t be the first time that the franchise systems leads to cutbacks as terms approach their end. But with Southeastern they keep getting extended since 2014.


  1. Dan

    This has resulted in a rare occourance – direct trains from Charing Cross to Greenwich.

    • Chris Nash

      I thought this was no longer possible due to the rebuilding of London Bridge?

      • Joshua Hayward

        How does the rebuild effect the track between charlton and blackheath? Where there is one route with one line either way?

        • Chris Nash

          I didn’t say anything about the line from Charlton to Blackheath.

          It seems I’m not up to date. So in 2015, as part of the Thameslink Programme (the years-long upgrade to London Bridge and the surrounding area), it became impossible for trains from Charing Cross to call at Deptford, Greenwich, Westcombe Park and Maze Hill, and vice-versa. They had to go through Lewisham and Blackheath and rejoin the North Kent Line at Charlton.

          But thanks to 853 ( I’ve since learned that a new link was put in last year to enable trains from Charing Cross to run along the whole North Kent Line again… albeit only in rare circumstances as in normal operation the timetable doesn’t permit it. So, the more you know!

      • Stan

        Perhaps it’s just an issue with the time-tabling. If they’re not running from London Bridge to Blackheath then there’ll be free slots for them to go to Deptford instead.

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