On Sunday morning, a London Overground train paid a visit to London Bridge station — a station that the Overground doesn’t usually visit.

Overground at Bridge (c) ianVisits

It was here for a test run ahead of a special service that will run on Easter Sunday, and the test was needed to ensure that what worked on paper also worked in practice.

The reason for the Easter Sunday special is weekend engineering works elsewhere which would mean no Southern trains between Victoria and London Bridge, while at the same time, the London Overground south of the river can’t go north.

Therefore, Transport for London (TfL) is laying on a one-day special, with trains running between West Croydon and London Bridge stations so that people in the “Sydenham corridor” can still get into central London.

Edited TfL Overground map showing the affected area

Ahead of that, a test to make sure everything will work as planned, so Sunday morning saw the unusual sight of a London Overground train arriving at London Bridge and rather more than the usual number of hi-vis staff checking that there aren’t any unexpected problems.

Not only did they check that the train can get to London Bridge without any unexpected problems, but validated that the gap between the platform and each of the train doors was within limits, and more but very necessary tests to make sure the accessibility ramps used at London Bridge fit the Overground train correctly.

Checking the platform to train gap is compliant (c) ianVisits

Testing accessibility ramps (c) ianVisits

Although very much a serious test to ensure everything was done correctly and people were diligently testing things, there was quite a jovial atmosphere. Lots of Overground staff posed for photos for mementoes, and the driver’s partner had turned up to watch.

About half an hour after it arrived, the tests were declared a success and the Overground train departed London Bridge.

You can catch the Overground train from a station that’s not on the Overground map on Easter Sunday, with two trains an hour between London Bridge and West Croydon from about 9:30am to about 11pm.

(c) ianVisits

(c) ianVisits

(c) ianVisits


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  1. ChrisC says:

    Just goes to show a bit of painted wood on a stick can still be better than a complicated electronic measuring device!

  2. Simon says:

    A regular service would be great although I’m unsure if the trains would be long enough. Would also be good to see 2 tph to Battersea Park.

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