Southeastern to cut Charing Cross trains on Woolwich line

Southeastern have finalised and uploaded timetable changes which will see major changes across south east London.

In recent weeks I looked at how most trains on the Bexleyheath and Eltham line would no longer head to Charing Cross.

The Woolwich line will also see reductions in Charing Cross services which includes the peak. All services are cut except the very last of the evening.

Two trains per hour will still run along the Woolwich line from Charlton to Lewisham but will instead terminate at Cannon Street. They will also now stop at New Cross and St Johns.

Trains will still head to a rapidly growing and changing Lewisham

Passengers for Charing Cross will need to change at London Bridge.

One reason given is fewer conflicting junction moves.

The New Cross stop allows easy interchange with the London Overground alongside nightlife in the area.

Thameslink will also still operate two trains via Greenwich alongside two Southeastern services. However the spacing of all services ensures some sizable service gaps even in peak periods.

Charing Cross

For example, trains from London Bridge to Greenwich see a gap between 17:37 and 17:57. That is common throughout the day at both peak and off peak.

Service levels will be a downgrade from 2019 levels before the pandemic.

London Bridge

The Woolwich line used to see up to eight trains per hour even off peak.

Elizabeth line

The Elizabeth line is expected to take much of the pressure and passenger demand along parts of the line, though is of less use in areas closer towards central London.

Another odd thing with the timetable is 25 minutes gaps in the peak morning timetable from Medway heading to Abbey Wood for connection to the Elizabeth line.

Given one major aspiration for Crossrail has apparently long been to help those in areas beyond Dartford, low frequency services for interchange seems odd.

Presumably keeping those high fares on Southeastern High Speed services is the priority.

Lewisham DLR station.

For those that live near DLR services, TfL have substantially boosted timetables from this week in contrast to cuts from Southeastern. However, they do not link directly into the West End.

Click here to view timetables.


Adverts are far from enough to cover site costs and my rent.

You can support me via Paypal here

Another option is via Patreon by clicking here

You can also buy me a beer/coffee at Ko-fi here

There's also a Facebook page for the site here

Many thanks

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.

9 thoughts on “Southeastern to cut Charing Cross trains on Woolwich line

  • This is a complete pain. The Charing cross service is so useful.

  • I cannot believe we are seeing another cut to services to the very useful Charing Cross services from local stations . These services are used by a lot of residents and tourists to Greenwich. Most people need to take a bus journey to reach the Elizabeth Line at Woolwich or Abbey Wood which is not ideal.

    We need to get bus route ,53 extended back to Charing Cross .or Oxford Circus and abolish the planned cut to route 53 to terminate at Elephant & Castle. The bus is the cheapest options for many people on low incomes including hospitality staff, NHS staff ,retail staff cleaners etc who rely on the bus to get to and from work often in the early morning and late at night.

  • It’s interesting to look back at your piece about pre-Covid passenger growth on the Greenwich line. Southeastern has always treated this line as a poor relation. Thameslink are as bad, it’s the first bit to get cancelled when there are problems elsewhere.

    This is an ineptly constructed timetable. Trains close together then nothing for ages. The trade off for the Greenwich line when we lost Charing X services was a frequent, turn-up-and-go service. That has been lost.

  • Quite possibly the worst timetable I’ve ever seen.

    Crossrail does nothing for those West of Abbey Wood, Woolwich still gets a bit of the benefits but the areas near Woolwich Dockyard and Charlton and Blackheath rely on Charing Cross still, I use this line regularly and it’s busy constantly.

  • I did find the direct train to Charing Cross very handy. I find going down and up those escalators at London Bridge a chore.

    I do welcome having a direct train to St Johns which I occasionally visit, but I suspect I’m in a tiny minority who would find that a useful connection.

    I still think it’s an outrage that there are only four trains an hour through Greenwich – a major tourist destination!

    • Southeastern have given up on inner London it seems. No attempt to gain custom with this timetable, yet many have no choice. It’s easy for those miles away to thin the DLR and Elizabeth line but those who know areas along the lines are aware that is far from the case in some areas.

  • Yup. Heard of the term “quiet quitting”? It’s where a worker does the bear minimum without getting fired. That’s what Southeaster are doing. It’s levelling down aided and abetted by the DfT – not in some far flung place but in Zone 2 in London!

  • Eltham is far away from Elisabeth line and DLR, to my huge dismay the Bexleyheath line got all trains to Charing Cross removed. how people from this are are now going to get into central London?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.