Plans drawn up to alter Southeastern rail services in December 2022 have been cancelled.
It’s not great surprise that the ideas – drawn up in 2017 – are now on the back burner.
While a new franchise never appeared as expected in 2018 as the process was cancelled, only recently has the plans seen a red line added in Network Rail documents:
The pandemic has also scuppered much in the way of future planning.
The document stated “Extent and timing of timetable changes not currently known though some ideas were stated in reports.”
Plans for December 2022 now apparently scrapped included:
“Victoria and Lewisham will double in frequency to four trains per hour, increasing capacity into London and accessibility to the hospitals at Denmark Hill.
Sidcup Line passengers will benefit from additional capacity, and a new half-hourly all-day service between Crayford and Victoria which will serve the hospitals at Denmark Hill, and provide interchange opportunities at locations such as Peckham Rye to access the London Overground and routes to Clapham Common”
These changes did require some lines to lose access to certain London terminals – though on a reduced basis from previous plans which saw a complete severance.
For example, some services to Cannon Street would have diverted to Charing Cross, though platform interchanges for Charing Cross services every few minutes would have been available.
London Bridge of course has seen a large rebuild enabling step-free interchange, though other concerns were raised about changing at the cramped and overcrowded Lewisham station which is in the midst of mass housing development.
A £5.5 million study on improvements to Lewisham was announced in March 2020. Nothing has since been revealed.
The new tower seen above on the left includes provision for a new trance to Lewisham station beside Platform 1. The tower has been opened but no fund form Network Rail and Southeastern appear to have been made available for fit out and staffing.
Platform 4’s entrance and exit remains locked.
Another tower is being built metres from there:
Other ideas in 2017 included extending trains from the Abbey Wood line to Maidstone for improved connections to Crossrail.