Although the Bakerloo line extension project is on hold at the moment, TfL is still carrying out some work on protecting the alignment and has awarded a contract to carry out feasibility studies for five packages of tunnelling works.

The contract was awarded to the engineering consultancies, Dr. Sauer & Partners and Arup to prepare feasibility studies for five packages of tunnelling works on the proposed Bakerloo Line extension at four specific locations on the extension.

Bakerloo line extension map (c) TfL

The engineering studies are for works that would be needed at Lambeth North, Elephant & Castle, Lewisham station and Lewisham Way shaft, and for one further package looking at the route-wide construction of cross-passages between the two running tunnels.

The Bakerloo line extension, when eventually built, will see the Bakerloo line diverted from its current terminus at Elephant and Castle to a new station to be built next to the new Northern line platforms at Elephant and Castle. From there it will run under the Old Kent Road, with two new stations along the line, to a new station at New Cross Gate for an interchange with the London Overground and Southern rail, and then to Lewisham for the DLR and Southeastern services.

Although the project was put on hold during the pandemic, it’s not officially cancelled, just delayed.

A TfL spokesperson said: “Last year, directions were issued by the Transport Secretary to safeguard the route of the Bakerloo line extension from Lambeth North to Lewisham. These directions will prevent premature development on sites required for this vital project.

“Extending the Bakerloo line and upgrading the existing line would connect an historically underserved part of London to the Tube network, while unlocking thousands of new homes that London needs and supporting new jobs.

“We remain committed to delivering the scheme when the time is right but are dependent on securing additional Government funding to do this. We recently awarded a contract to Dr Sauer & Partners to confirm elements of the tunnel design, which will enable us to further develop the proposed scheme and to have constructive discussions with potential developers along the route.”

The route was given those safeguarding protections in March 2021 so that councils are required to take the tube line into consideration when awarding planning permissions. That prevents a tall building from being approved if its foundations could affect the tunnels or a surface building from being built on a proposed building site.

Building the Bakerloo line extension will likely be dependent on a mix of local developer funding, council funding as used for the Northern line extension, TfL being able to increase its borrowing against future revenues, and some level of government support for capital projects.


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  1. Uche Mick Chinonso says:

    Preparing ahead of funding availability is the best way to ensure no more time is wasted. After all, if the Labour government inject at least £3bn into this extension project, with a Labour mayor overseeing this, we can safely say that the wait was worth it. (The Tories had their chances for 12+ years but chose to forgo it.) Besides, the population is growing and buses have done enough.

  2. MilesT says:

    I wonder how much cheaper it would be to extend DLR from Lewisham to Elephant & Castle, or at least up the OKR to cover the regeneration zone. Maybe allowing single seat travel from elsewhere on DLR, or maybe as a disconnected line with transfers, using common equipment and management, and having a low capacity at grade link near Lewisham to allow vehicles to be taken to central depot for maintenance and maybe off peak through running. (Yes there are cheaper disconnected options for shorter runs on elevated pylons like cableways, Luton DART airport link is similar scale.)

    Grade separated from the roads by running above ground on an thin concrete viaduct down the OKR median (common solution used in other Metro systems), and privacy screens. Maybe part single tracked.

    Would this be good enough to trigger regeneration? Obviously a tunnelled heavy rail has a higher utility, but would it be more than is actually needed?

    • Alan (28481k) says:

      The real utility of this Bakerloo extension isn’t just going to Lewisham, it’s to take over one of the Southeastern lines to Dartford.

    • ChrisC says:

      Google maps says it’s 5 miles from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham.

      No one in their right mind would ever build an above grade DLR (or indeed any other new railway) for that distance these days on an already congested urban environment.

      Just think of the disruption it would cause.

      And single tracking is a big no no as well as you then place a limit on how many trains an hour you can operate.

    • Brian Butterworth says:

      A DLR extension would require full-side tunnels and an extra station at Elephant & Castle (as well as the necessary interconnections with the ground-level station, and two tube lines) – whereas the Bakerloo extension can use “grandfather” rights and leverage the existing Bakerloo station as well as the tunnel overruns.

    • Martin Cooney says:

      Thanks to the Overground in general South London has had positive, supportive connectivity for public transportation.. However its plainly evident that more affordable infrastructure is desperately needed..
      Car usage is still at an all time high accross London.. So sad because roads are still so, congested despite ULEZ and C charge..
      I would hope Croydon trams would be integrated more northwards to connect with Overground services, plus the Thameslink 2 idea would be a step in the right direction also as East London, South East, and North East London in general are still not served well despite this part of Londons population growing exponentially.

    • Nick Long says:

      The Barkerloo ext. will take the Hayes line and force thousands of SE Londoners onto a more expensive route into work. Trains to London Bridge, Waterloo and Charing X will end. I travel on the Piccadilly and the trains were built in 1973! The Wearside depot in Lewisham will be lost putting at risk local Council services. Hundreds of retail jobs will lost. Disability access to the Tube is terrible. Lets upgrade the existing Tube lines,and flush the Bakerloo ext. down the loo.

  3. Brian Beckett says:

    When a schoolboy in 1950 and living in South London I was excited by the announcement that the Bakerloo Line was going to be being extended to Camberwell. I still have the underground map for that year showing the proposed station. Further extensions were rumored to be in the direction of Peckham and Nunhead and I remember one newspaper suggesting it could then take over the line to Crystal Palace High Level station.

    • K.Meredith says:

      Exactly! The extension of the Bakerloo Line to areas with no rail links has been mooted for decades,in fact at least since ,1920’s,a century ago :it really is about time it was done
      Could there not be one branch to Old Kent Road and another to Camberwell Green?

  4. James Miller says:

    I feel a lot of improvements can be made to South London first by improving the Overground, which of course connects at Whitechapel to Lizzie.

    I also think extending the Bakerloo Line is of a lesser priority than the West London Orbital, which is a much simpler project.

    But as we have seen with this South London Mayor, South London must have priority. With his proposed bus cuts, they were much heavier in the North. Hopefully, they won’t happen.

    The sooner we have a Mayor who treats all of London the same, the better.

    • ChrisC says:

      Before ranting about the current Mayor it’s best to do some research.

      You’ll find that the current iteration of the Bakerloo Extenstion started under the previous mayor in 2010 in his transport strategy.

    • Long Term says:

      As long as the large imbalance between the number of tube stations north of the river and south of the river has not been corrected (at least partially) by building more tube stations in the south, the poorer parts of London (on average) are subsidising the richer parts (on average).

      I’d vote for any mayoral candidate who proposes cheaper tube fares for South London residents and more expensive fares for North London residents. It will never happen since a mayor needs both the North and the South to get elected and won’t want to upset one part but it would be fair. The price difference can fall away when the imbalance has been at least partially resolved.

    • ianVisits says:

      Counter ballancing that is that the south of London has better national rail connections, and much better east-west connections than north of the river.

  5. David Hawkins says:

    I hope the consultants will look at economies to the project. I question if it is necessary to have a tunnel between New Cross and Lewisham when a surface alignment already exists. Expensive Tunneling from New Cross to Lewisham also excludes St John’s which seems undesirable. Secondly I hope extending the Bakerloo line to Hays won’t involve the installation of s forth rail. I have never understood the need for a forth rail on surface lines since it is technically possible for tube trains to run on third rail track.

    • ChrisC says:

      The existing railway tracks you mean?

      The one that is already at near enough maximum capacity.

      For every Bakerloo train you run on that section you have one less train able to run on the rail network. That’s not going to increase capacity.

  6. David Hawkins says:

    I didn’t necessarily mean the existing tracks. Around St John’s there is room for extra tracks and there is also a pathway that bypasses Lewisham and goes directly to Ladywell on the Hays Line. The line from New Cross to Lewisham is heavily used but I doubt if it is at full capacity. Even using the surface track from St John’s to Lewisham or Ladywell would save a huge amount of money compared with tunneling all the way to Lewisham.

    • Chris says:

      The bakerloo line will arrive in Lewisham in a tunnel underneath where the bus station is… Is it where to be extended further it woukd gave to surface at a place where the rail lines would not be blocked into Lewisham… The only place I can think of for that to happen would be next to ladywell Station

  7. Anil says:

    This is great news & hopefully gets accepted sooner rather than later. We’ve always needed tube extensions in southeast London. I’ve lived this side of London all my life.
    I hope this line extends to Blackheath & Kidbrooke stations where I live as there have really been major disruptions to the Southeastern national rail lines to Dartford.

  8. Geoffrey says:

    A better idea for the extension beyond Lewisham would be to rise along the Blackheath line serve that station solely and then through the Blackheath tunnel exclusively to a new joint 2 level station at Westcombe Park and continue northwards towards at ground level terminus at North Greenwich. This would simplify the South Eastern,by and therefore improve running and punctuality and give access from South East London to Canary Wharf etc with another cross river route

  9. C says:

    This extension makes the most sense.

    Yes a short spur to Camberwell and Peckham Rye (or Denmark Hill and maybe East Dulwich) would also be wildly successful. But splitting the frequencies wouldn’t do demand justice. This will be as busy as the other inner London lines with interchanges, such as at Highbury, Finsbury Park or Brixton. No branching sadly!

    This does still give Hayes line people services to Waterloo, Charing Cross (and Embankment) and of course, single seat to Piccadilly and Oxford Circus. Baker St and Paddington too. Will keep many off the tube and open up direct routes to many job locations and transport hubs.

    Journey time from Lewisham to Charing Cross is comparable. Frequency gives tube the edge on average.

    And this releases 4tph which used to go to Hayes which can immediately add new services to the Southeastern network. Maybe something to replace Rainham TL. Or support Abbey Wood more / add frequency to the high TOD locations beyond. They should likely run via Lewisham so more feed for the Bakerloo.

    But probably given to fast Sevenoaks services as is the way of this country.

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