There will be fewer trains terminating at North Greenwich from later this month when a new timetable is introduced on the Jubilee line. At the moment, a number of trains heading eastwards terminate at North Greenwich, which has the advantage of having a near empty train to Canary Wharf.

However, journey patterns are changing, and in the rush hours, increasing numbers of people are now heading towards Stratford and its post Olympics surge in blocks of flats, so having trains stop at North Greenwich meant an inferior service for those people.

According to the Jubilee line’s latest Working Timetable, from 23rd March, “all trains will operate to/from Stratford, improving the frequency between North Greenwich and Stratford to 30 trains per hour.”

According to the notice, “North Greenwich reversing has generally been withdrawn during peak periods”, although as your correspondent has to head one stop past there, he can attest that it still happens.

The change will also mean that there will be less overcrowding on the trains, as people often wait on the platform for the next train if they want to go past North Greenwich, resulting in a half-empty train followed by a packed train.

The other change which will speed up the train frequency is that stepping back of Train Operators at Stratford has been increased to 4 trains in peak periods – that’s when a train pulls into the platform and there’s a replacement driver waiting at the “back” to take it straight back out again.



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  1. Living in the East Village, I’m really happy to have more Jubilee line trains at platforms 14 and 15! The odd time where trains terminate at North Greenwich means having to compete to get on the next train at Canary Wharf when heading home.

    Also, whatever time of day it is the Jubilee is always packed. Not sure terminating a line in Zone 2 was that great an idea, the line should have been taken all the way to Tottenham Hale via Lea Bridge to make a loop with the Victoria.

    • H says:

      Back when the JLE was built, Stratford was firmly in zone 3, none of the Olympic Park and the new builds existed, and much of that side of Stratford was warehouses or brownfield. I assume at the time, Stratford was much more “outer city” than it now feels.

  2. Alex says:

    This is bad. For users ar Canada Water and Bermondsay stations, at peak hours of the morning, our only hope is to catch a train which had departed from North Greenwich, if not is almost impossible to hop on a train. This will only increase congestion at Canada Water, which sometimes causes closures of the barriers or even the whole station.

    • ianvisits says:

      I travel though those stations every morning/evening, and while certainly busy, I can’t say I’ve ever seen people unable to get on the trains, let alone being told the stations are closed due to overcrowding.

  3. Alex says:

    Ian, I take the Jubilee westbound at Canada Water every day, so I can guarantee that between 8 and 9am you can’t get into the first (or second or third) train when you get to the platform.
    Some days they just leave 1 or 2 barriers open, and stop/block the escalators, so there’s a lot of congestion just to access the platforms.
    Sometimes they close all station accesses but one (the main one in the bus station).
    And it has happened at least once in this year that the completely close the station (for entering only).
    The thing is if you’re just passing by on a train might not notice it, but this is the situation we suffer with the Jubilee line almost every day.
    If there are no delays or disruption on other lines, the situation is just tolerable, but with the slightest disruption, everything goes bonkers, people accumulates on the platforms, and there’s very little clearing of the platforms because the trains arrive packed already. This is where the occasional North Greenwich train saves the day, because it comes mostly empty and most people in the platform can enter.

    • Charles Littlewood says:

      This is true. At the moment the trains that start at North Greenwich really help the situation at Canada Water as they are pretty empty by the time they arrive.

      Without trains starting at North Greenwich, all trains will likely be full by the time they get to Canary Wharf which means that Canada Water will only be able to load same number of people that leave at Canary Wharf. Now, quite a few people do leave at Canary Wharf but I still foresee some problems at Canada Water since there will not be that every 5th train which is fairly empty to help alleviate the crowding.

  4. Martin Phillp says:

    Opening of the Elizabeth line may relieve some of the capacity issues at Canada Water by dividing passengers who use the ELL via Whitechapel instead.

    There are probably some who go the longer way via the DLR at Shadwell as well.

    • Alex says:

      Absolutely. But the problem is we’re around 18 months away from that, and in the meantime, this will make the situation worse at Canada Water and Bermondsay.

  5. Rob says:

    Terrible idea for those who board between between Stratford and North Greenwich. North Greenwich is a massive station hub with huge numbers using the Jubilee line. The trains that start at NG are life saving and take the slack off the other trains. There is going to be complete carnage now on all trains at peak hours. No consideration for these passengers who will seriously struggle to get on tubes with most already full leaving Stratford. Trains leaving North Greenwich was an essential mop up service for this oversubscribed line.

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