London Overground to London Bridge on hold as Southern plan increased services

Plans to run London Overground services into London Bridge have been put on hold after a TfL feasibility study showed Southern are now looking to reintroduce cut services.

Reports of overcrowding have been heard for some time along the line through Brockley after Southern cut services due to government demands for cuts.

London Overground network map

In response Transport for London then begun looking at running their own services to mitigate crowding. In recent weeks they ran a test train into London Bridge.

A Lewisham Council meeting to be held next week gives the latest update from Transport for London, who raised Southern’s intention to bring back an extra two trains per hour from next year.

London Bridge station

TfL do state they will run services into London Bridge during engineering works. However should Southern fail to bring back services TfL state:

“During the course of our feasibility study, it emerged that Southern plan to reintroduce the services in 2025. We will monitor the re-introduction of the Southern services and if for any reason that does not progress, we will look at this again

46 former Southern Class 455 scrapped recently without replacement. Courtesy Hugh Llewelyn under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0). Additional Class 313s also scrapped

The proposal was for London Overground services in both the morning and evening peak heading from New Cross Gate into London Bridge.

Trains scrapped

As well as reducing services, Southern scrapped dozens of trains due cost reductions demanded by the Department for Transport and Treasury. These included 46 Class 455 trains which operated Metro services as well as a subsequent 20 Class 313 trains.

While both classes of stock were old, an old train is better than no train. Losing 66 trains with no replacement has seen existing stock squeezed further with shorter trains and services reduced.

The differing approaches from central government via the Department for Transport and Transport for London has been stark. TfL quickly restored many services to encourage growth and London Overground often now exceeds 2019 levels.

Abbey Wood now a main interchange between Southeastern, Thameslink and Elizabeth line

DfT-controlled rail companies such as Southern and Southeastern Metro within London cut services stating passenger numbers were down. A vicious spiral then ensues as reduced services hampers recovery and passenger growth seen on TfL modes.

This is apparent on services feeding into the Elizabeth line. In 2022, TfL restored services on the Beckton DLR branch back to every five minutes linking with Custom House station. In contrast, DfT-owned Southeastern cut two trains per hour linking Dartford to Abbey Wood station as well as removing Sidcup loop line services.

As for London Overground, services will next head into London Bridge on Easter Sunday at the end of March 2024.




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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.

2 thoughts on “London Overground to London Bridge on hold as Southern plan increased services

  • The question is: Would the DfT have restored sevices without it looking like TfL are about to take customers they don’t really want from them?

  • I think that Southern don’t want to lose the London Victoria-London Bridge service and to reinstate it with more extra trains operating on that route. And with Southern to inherit extra Class 387s as Great Northern are to replace some of the Class 387s with the Class 379 that are to come from storage (and were used on Greater Anglia that got replaced by Class 720 and Class 745/1 Stansted Express units).


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