If you live in south east London and used Eurostar over the past decade you may have considered using Northfleet station to connect with Ebbsfleet station rather than drag into central London.
It must be easier right? Northfleet and Ebbsfleet are only a couple of hundred metres apart. Three Dartford lines run beyond towards Medway through Northfleet – as does the new Thameslink service on the Woolwich line.
Well, if you’ve tried it you know its a big hassle. 400 metres as the crow flies turns into a meandering walk to and fro despite absolutely no buildings or development between the two stations. Years of talk have produced nothing as planning conflicts seem to have got in the way.
Well, that may finally change as Ebbsfleet Development Corporation have purchased land with the intention of making easier connections.
With Northfleet station just over 20 minutes from Sidcup, for example, and 30 from Woolwich it would attract some who currently head to St Pancras. Trains on the Eltham line from Victoria to Gravesend currently pass Northfleet without stopping which could change.
Though reaching St Pancras is easier now from places such as Woolwich due to direct Thameslink trains on the Greenwich line. For those on the Sidcup line it’s a quick interchange at rebuilt London Bridge for 20 trains per hour up to St Pancras. Though with luggage it still means lugging bags and London Bridge’s lifts aren’t the most reliable.
So advantages may be touch and go for some, but many others will prefer it. And domestic passengers will appreciate improved connections between local Southeastern stopper services and High Speed 1.
It’s not for all but better links always help. The only question now is how long it will take. With building finally happening across Ebbsfleet hopefully not too long as we’ve already been waiting over a decade.
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