A plan to run London Overground trains into London Bridge as a regular service is unlikely to happen because Southern is expected to restore their service through the Sydenham Corridor to four trains an hour in 2025.

Overground train at London Bridge on a recent test (c) ianVisits

At the moment, Southern provides two trains an hour, having reduced the service during the pandemic. Although the line is shared with the London Overground along most of its route, people usually have to change trains along the route if they want to get to London Bridge.

Transport for London (TfL) had been considering whether it could take over the two unused slots each hour at London Bridge but has now ruled that out — at least for now.

In a written answer to Robert McIntosh of the Forest Hill Society, TfL said “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.”

However, the TfL response added that “London Overground remains committed to establishing a service to London Bridge during engineering closures where there is no Southern service through the Sydenham corridor to improve customer options.”

An example of that special service will be this coming Easter Sunday when the London Overground will provide two trains an hour between London Bridge and West Croydon.

The service will run from about 9:30am to 11pm on Sunday 31st March — so a rare chance to catch an Overground train from London Bridge. And with a regular service ruled out for the future, the Easter Sunday special will remain an exceptionally rare event.

Overground train at London Bridge on a recent test (c) ianVisits


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  1. Neil says:

    Perhaps the Overground should run from Queens Road Peckham, then run in a tunnel after South Bermondsey, then serving London Bridge and then go north under the Thames (station under the Thames? aka Hay’s Lane) and northwards, Eastcheap, Liverpool Street station, joining the Overground before Bethnal Green station, and going onwards, on the current Overground line, which uses the surface line’s at Liverpool Street station.

  2. Danielle says:

    It’s good to hear the Southern service through the Sydenham is going to increase to 4 train an hour next year, but does anyone know if will it go back to stopping at Anerley and Penge West as it did before the pandemic?
    These are the only two stations on the line that are being snubbed by Southern, making the journeys towards London Bridge or Gatwick airport quite logistically cumbersome.

    • O says:

      Good shout – this needs to be the full stopping service to East Croydon, to unlock journeys down to the south coast.

  3. James Miller says:

    TfL used to have a plan, that would have increased services between Dalston Junction and both Crystal Palace and Clapham Junction from four trains per hour to six.

    This would need improved signalling, but it would have created a three minute interval service through Whitechapel and the Thames Tunnel.

    I also read somewhere that this would need some 378s to be transferred to services through the tunnel, as 710s aren’t allowed to work through the tunnels.

    Was this plan linked to the connection of the East London Line to the Central Line at Shoreditch High Street?

    So have both plans been quietly dropped?

  4. Tom says:

    If we want an overground line going into London Bridge from the Sydenham corridor, why doesn’t TfL take over the Victoria > London Bridge line?

    It’s begging to be Overgrounded and would do a lot for the substantial but quite overlooked areas on the line. It’s also often packed.

    • Pete T says:

      TfL under both Boris and Sadiq have wanted to takeover many london routes from network rail, The DfT would need to play ball and they have no interest in helping a Labour London mayor. A cnage of government may unlock this?

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