Should the Inner South London line stations to Victoria service have been saved?

Status
Not open for further replies.

bicbasher

Established Member
Joined
14 May 2010
Messages
1,557
Location
London
There has been heated debate from members of my local forum about the axing of the Southern Inner SLL service from December which serves Victoria and London Bridge via Peckham Rye.

It's polarised passengers who use Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill stations who some are looking forward to the ELL London Overground extension to Clapham Junction and borderline troll like behaviour to anyone who doesn't agree with the changes.

Advantages to the ELL extension are a more regular service and capacity, 4tph compared to Southern's 2tph. The trains will be the standard LOROL 378 4 car longitude compared to Southern's 2 car 456's, TfL fares for local journeys, more connections with Tube, DLR and other LO/NR services and staffing at Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road, which to be fair have been maintained to the minimum currently.

The much publicised disadvantages include a lack of direct Victoria services from Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill which include no Sunday service and no London Bridge service at all from stations west of Peckham Rye and a reduction of direct LB services from Peckham Rye and Queens Road Peckham from 6tph to 4tph.

I believe the connections that the ELL will give outweigh the disadvantages, especially to the smaller stations on the line and with Thameslink serving Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill once the upgrade is complete, this will lessen the need for the Inner SLL as if one local rail user group is planning to campaign for it's reinstatement from 2019. There's also the chance that TfL will gain Southeastern's metro routes which would lead to additional late and Sunday services on the Dartford to Victoria line which will add more capacity to Victoria.

When the ELL was extended to the Sydenham line, it was broadly welcomed by rail user and community groups, yet in Southwark, they want Southern or nothing.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

The Ham

Established Member
Joined
6 Jul 2012
Messages
7,948
Whenever there is a change to timetables which results in service patterns changing there will always be those that object to the proposals (in fact often any form of change, not just in relation to trains, will result in objections). Often those that object tend to have a louder voice than those who support it (who is going to campain hard for something that they like which appears to be going ahead).

With trains (and most other things) it boils down to numbers, how many people use the trains from place A which is gaining compared to place B which is lossing out. If place A has 1500 passengers a day (with very few going to B) whilst B only has 200 a day then even if 500 complain (made up by a fair few who like the idea of retaining the service even though they only use it a few times a year if at all) and only 50 write to say that they support it then the changes are likely to happen because the numbers involved makes it cost effective.

I would suggest that the best solution that you could possibly expect from Southern is if they retained a single peak hour service in each direction morning and evening until the Thameslink service was in place or TfL take over the metro services, as this would limit the number of objections. However this is unlikely given that Southern will want the free slots/rolling stock, that removing these services provides, to strengthen other more popular routes espicially if it enables then to run a near full train with 4+ coaches over a longer journey length (i.e. much more profitable).
 

bicbasher

Established Member
Joined
14 May 2010
Messages
1,557
Location
London
I would suggest that the best solution that you could possibly expect from Southern is if they retained a single peak hour service in each direction morning and evening until the Thameslink service was in place or TfL take over the metro services, as this would limit the number of objections. However this is unlikely given that Southern will want the free slots/rolling stock, that removing these services provides, to strengthen other more popular routes espicially if it enables then to run a near full train with 4+ coaches over a longer journey length (i.e. much more profitable).

Exactly, this service was the least used and didn't make as much money as a long distance service. Southern could have easily removed paths from the Sydenham line even further when some of the terminating London Bridge platforms close in December, but chose to close the SLL instead.

I've discussed with the locals about campaigning for those Southeastern Victoria services to finish later which is a more viable solution, particularly if TfL gain their metro (non Thameslink) services from the 2015 franchise.

However, it's easier to spin negativity behind a keyboard than actually embrace change. Personally, I think pax will just get on with the changes and adjust their travel pattern accordingly.
 

SF-02

Member
Joined
26 Oct 2008
Messages
477
The rubbish Dartford to Victoria line really needs an upgrade. When I used it it was always 4 car for the first train after 5pm when all the NHS staff were heading to Denmark Hill and it was packed. Only 2 and hour throughout the day and stops at 7pm, and none Sunday. I could understand if it was empty, but the rush hour train was busier than any I used from London terminals in rush hour.
 

John55

Member
Joined
24 Jun 2011
Messages
800
Location
South East
There has been heated debate from members of my local forum about the axing of the Southern Inner SLL service from December which serves Victoria and London Bridge via Peckham Rye.

It's polarised passengers who use Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill stations who some are looking forward to the ELL London Overground extension to Clapham Junction and borderline troll like behaviour to anyone who doesn't agree with the changes.

Advantages to the ELL extension are a more regular service and capacity, 4tph compared to Southern's 2tph. The trains will be the standard LOROL 378 4 car longitude compared to Southern's 2 car 456's, TfL fares for local journeys, more connections with Tube, DLR and other LO/NR services and staffing at Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road, which to be fair have been maintained to the minimum currently.

The much publicised disadvantages include a lack of direct Victoria services from Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill which include no Sunday service and no London Bridge service at all from stations west of Peckham Rye and a reduction of direct LB services from Peckham Rye and Queens Road Peckham from 6tph to 4tph.

I believe the connections that the ELL will give outweigh the disadvantages, especially to the smaller stations on the line and with Thameslink serving Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill once the upgrade is complete, this will lessen the need for the Inner SLL as if one local rail user group is planning to campaign for it's reinstatement from 2019. There's also the chance that TfL will gain Southeastern's metro routes which would lead to additional late and Sunday services on the Dartford to Victoria line which will add more capacity to Victoria.

When the ELL was extended to the Sydenham line, it was broadly welcomed by rail user and community groups, yet in Southwark, they want Southern or nothing.


After Dec 2012 Peckham Rye and Denmark hill retain the same level of service to Victoria as now. As the trains to DH & PR leave Victoris at 2 and 28 minute intervals and in the reverse direction at 5 and 25 minute intervals there is only effectively a half hourly service now.

Thameslink serves Denmark Hill and Peckham Rye today albeit at half hourly frequency.

One can sympathise with anyone who doesn't want to travel on 378s but otherwise it doesn't seem much of a degradation to me. A campaign to have the Darford to Victoria trains running for longer in the evening and on Sundays might be a better option. Running 2 car trains out of Victoria and London bridge is hard to believe as the best use of precious train paths in busy times.
 

David10

Member
Joined
25 May 2012
Messages
391
Location
Manchester
One can sympathise with anyone who doesn't want to travel on 378s but otherwise it doesn't seem much of a degradation to me.
Its not the rolling stock that is the issue it is that from Clapham High St and Wandsworth Rd passengers will have to go to Clapham Jn and change turning a 10 minute journey into 25-30. But peak hour aside, there isn't a huge amount of patronage at these stations.
 

Class377/5

Established Member
Joined
19 Jun 2010
Messages
5,594
Exactly, this service was the least used and didn't make as much money as a long distance service. Southern could have easily removed paths from the Sydenham line even further when some of the terminating London Bridge platforms close in December, but chose to close the SLL instead.

I've discussed with the locals about campaigning for those Southeastern Victoria services to finish later which is a more viable solution, particularly if TfL gain their metro (non Thameslink) services from the 2015 franchise.

However, it's easier to spin negativity behind a keyboard than actually embrace change. Personally, I think pax will just get on with the changes and adjust their travel pattern accordingly.

Southern had nothing to decide in regards to closing the SLL. It was decided to be done well in advance of the new franchise being awarded. It's got more to do with the Thameslink Programme which sees a drop in the train paths into London Bridge during the rebuild. Simple fact is the inner SLL service had the fewer numbers travelling so was going to get cut back along with other services for a few years anyway. In the end the LO extension is quite helpful as it lessens the need for alternate service.
 

TheJRB

Established Member
Joined
14 Feb 2011
Messages
1,165
Location
Ashford, Kent
This page shows the study TfL have done on the closure of the existing Inner SLL. They want to see some longer distance Southeastern services call at Denmark Hill and Peckham Rye. However due to the length (lack of SDO on 465/6s?) of some of those services they won't be able to call at Wandsworth Road or Clapham High Street. It's interesting to see that they wanted to add an off-peak Bromley South to Victoria via Catford service which would call all stations (including Wandsworth Road and Clapham High Street) although it looks like it won't happen due to "funding constraints".
 

34D

Established Member
Joined
9 Feb 2011
Messages
6,033
Location
Yorkshire
Will there actually be a formal closure to passenger services (section 28 ish of the Railways Act) or will there be a parliamentary service across the couple of bits that would be left with no service?

Or with the fast services passing Wandsworth Road, will this not be necessary?
 

David10

Member
Joined
25 May 2012
Messages
391
Location
Manchester
I guess there will have to be a parliamentry service between Battersea Park and Wandsworth Rd pending a formal closure procedure. Could have been added to the closure process currently taking place for the Wandsworth Rd - Imperial Wharf and Shepherds Bush - Ealing Broadway lines but probably a bit too hot politically.
 

John55

Member
Joined
24 Jun 2011
Messages
800
Location
South East
Its not the rolling stock that is the issue it is that from Clapham High St and Wandsworth Rd passengers will have to go to Clapham Jn and change turning a 10 minute journey into 25-30. But peak hour aside, there isn't a huge amount of patronage at these stations.

You didn't mention this in your first post which only talked about the Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill trains.

Presumable the Dartford trains don't stop at Clapham High St and Wandsworth Road anymore as no one used them, I certainly never noticed much if any traffic.

If there is a real demand for the train service to be retained then the platforms should be lengthened and the Darford trains could stop. If it isn't worth doing that then in the context that most other stations in London are having platforms lengthened to 10 or 12 coaches don't bother and let people find another way as has happened at other inner London stations..
 

Mojo

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
7 Aug 2005
Messages
18,409
Location
0035
Will it be that inconvenient for customers from these two stations trying to reach central London? Clapham High Street is next to Clapham North LUL and from Wandsworth Road it's not that far to Queenstown Road BR or Stockwell LUL. I am also sure that providing staff at these two stations, both of which are unstaffed (according to National Rail) will improve security and customer satisfaction.
 

bicbasher

Established Member
Joined
14 May 2010
Messages
1,557
Location
London
Will it be that inconvenient for customers from these two stations trying to reach central London? Clapham High Street is next to Clapham North LUL and from Wandsworth Road it's not that far to Queenstown Road BR or Stockwell LUL. I am also sure that providing staff at these two stations, both of which are unstaffed (according to National Rail) will improve security and customer satisfaction.

One reason given by the Clapham Rail Users Group is the overcrowding on the Northern Line during the peaks.

Here's Southwark Rail Users Group's campaign for extra Victoria services.

http://www.bellenden.net/victoria

And SRUG's ELL comments:

Clapham Junction – Canada Water/Jubilee Line via Peckham Rye (East London Line, ELL)
This new service will start in Dec 2012, providing 4tph, every 15 mins, 7 days a week, at Queens Road Peckham, Peckham Rye, Denmark Hill, Clapham High Street, Wandsworth Road. TfL say that more people want to travel east-west in inner south London than to London Bridge & Victoria. The Campaign to save the SLL welcomed the extra service east-west but disagreed that it should be provided by reducing services to central London.

TfL promoted the ELL, as a substitute for the SLL, as bringing the Tube to inner south London and especially Queens Road, Peckham Rye, and Denmark Hill. But the ELL is not the Tube. It is a suburban orbital Overground rail service run by TfL, linking with the North London Line. It is the rail equivalent of the road North and South Circulars, and not about getting people in and out of central London. If you want to get to east London or south west London the ELLX will be a boon. But if you want to get to central London via London Bridge or Victoria it will make the journey worse because it is replacing some of those services. This is why in addition to the ELL we need in SE London a return to 4 tph to Victoria and 6 tph to London Bridge at regular intervals.

The current ELL already carries pax on the Sydenham line into Central London by enabling them to change at Canada Water, Shadwell and Whitechapel without adding pressure on London Bridge and Shoreditch High Street is close to Liverpool Street.

Clapham High Street users will benefit from cheaper fares/travelcards to Canary Wharf which doesn't require the Northern line to London Bridge and Zone 1.
 
Last edited:

Class377/5

Established Member
Joined
19 Jun 2010
Messages
5,594
This page shows the study TfL have done on the closure of the existing Inner SLL. They want to see some longer distance Southeastern services call at Denmark Hill and Peckham Rye. However due to the length (lack of SDO on 465/6s?) of some of those services they won't be able to call at Wandsworth Road or Clapham High Street. It's interesting to see that they wanted to add an off-peak Bromley South to Victoria via Catford service which would call all stations (including Wandsworth Road and Clapham High Street) although it looks like it won't happen due to "funding constraints".

Which is why when a Thameslink to Catford service was proposed it came as a surprise as it would kill off any Victoria - Bromley South services it would eat the remaining paths up.

However there will be nothing to stop the new Thameslink franchise having a Bromley South to Victoria via Catford service come 2015.

Back when Eurostar was on the 3rd rail the Faversham - Victoria service always seemed to go through Wandsworth Road and Clapham High Street to let the E* past. Could this not be applied again to some services allowing a direct connection that used to be timetabled but didn't open it's doors? Or is that the proposed Dartford calls are to do?
 
Last edited:

Skoodle

Member
Joined
26 Apr 2010
Messages
332
London Overground will be running a parliamentary train to Battersea Park.
 

hluraven

Member
Joined
4 Apr 2012
Messages
131
There will be a SX route learning service from ELL to Battersea Park, one in the morning and one the other way in the evening. The route knowledge needs to be maintained for diversionary purposes.

This mitigates the need for a closure process.
 

bicbasher

Established Member
Joined
14 May 2010
Messages
1,557
Location
London
So that will keep the SLL platforms open, although they'll have to become bay ones once the platforms on the Brighton line are extended.
 

swt_passenger

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Apr 2010
Messages
24,852
Amazing how these local objectors always go into full swing a few months before the change happens - whereas this has been on the cards for about 5 or 6 years and there has already been the normal TfL driven consultation overload.

It won't change now, that's for sure.
 

bicbasher

Established Member
Joined
14 May 2010
Messages
1,557
Location
London
Amazing how these local objectors always go into full swing a few months before the change happens - whereas this has been on the cards for about 5 or 6 years and there has already been the normal TfL driven consultation overload.

It won't change now, that's for sure.

There was a strong Save the SLL campaign which petered out once the decision was made to remove the service because of the shortage of capacity at London Bridge.

The supposed local objectors who as you say come out of the woodwork (and happen to share similar views to the Southwark Rail Users Group) then use classic troll methods online to ensure that any positives are then suddenly a negative such as a pax who is looking forward to changing at Clapham Junction for Chiswick instead of two changes via Battersea Park or to personally call a pro change person such as myself as "lacking in understanding" of how transport works.

While I understand that Victoria services are being dropped from Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill and at least should have at least 4tph after December, both of these areas also benefit from very regular bus services and are close enough to central London to be viable to change from rail to bus and LB pax can still change at Peckham Rye or use the Jubilee line from Canada Water or the Northern from Clapham High Street/North.
 
Last edited:

Another-Level

Member
Joined
8 Aug 2012
Messages
19
I just joined this forum to counteract the actions of BicBash and correct some of the misinformation here. Although there is a heated debate on another forum, he is a bit of a lone ranger in his thinking that the ELL is an adequate replacement for the SLL. Most online members, including two local government politicians and myself, thinks otherwise. We value the SLL as it offers direct links to central London including access to the District, Circle, Jubilee, Northern and Victoria tubes throughout the day, seven days a week.

Firstly, the historic SLL has been running since 1867 and was the first ever line to be electrified in 1909. Several stations along the route have been grade 2 listed and a fabulous project is currently taking place to restore the old waiting room in Peckham Rye station and a square outside the station.

The campaign to save the SLL has ran for more than a few years and involved South London Press newspaper, two major hospitals near Denmark Hill, Clapham Transport Users group and Southwark Rail Users group. There have been a house of commons debate on this topic where several MPs have added their support to the campaign.
 

The Ham

Established Member
Joined
6 Jul 2012
Messages
7,948
We value the SLL as it offers direct links to central London including access to the District, Circle, Jubilee, Northern and Victoria tubes throughout the day, seven days a week.

On the serface a fair point, however under the ELL (ignoring services on Thameslink and to Victoria which there will be some as I understand it) you stil have direct access to the District Line (Whitechapel rather than Victoria), Jubilee (Canada Wharf rather than London Bridge), Northern (still Clapham High Street. although no future connection at London Bridge). This means that the only two lines which are no longer directly accessable are the Victoria and Circle lines, but there would be access to the Hammersmith and City line (from Whitechapel - which, with the District line, covers nearly all the staions on the Circle line). it also makes connection to the DLR.

Although this may mean a longer jouney time, much of this could be negated by more frequent services.

Firstly, the historic SLL has been running since 1867 and was the first ever line to be electrified in 1909. Several stations along the route have been grade 2 listed and a fabulous project is currently taking place to restore the old waiting room in Peckham Rye station and a square outside the station.

I wan't aware that with the loss of the SLL that the existing stations would also be being removed. (sarcasum aside) although history is important, there is likely to come a time when a service that has been running for a long time has to adapt because of external changes. It is one of the risks of using public transport, when not enough of the public are doing something (or more public travel from elsewhere) services are likely to be altered. Personally I would like a line that meat my needs, but then not enough people would use it.
 

bicbasher

Established Member
Joined
14 May 2010
Messages
1,557
Location
London
I don't think the SLL has always had a constant direct link between London Bridge and Victoria, as mentioned previously on this thread, there were peak services that ran between LB and Battersea Park as paths weren't available to Victoria, also I remember when it was advertised in the early 90s as an alternative to the tube when the Inner SLL was fully reinstated.

Also if you look at the stations which fully rely on the Inner SLL in 2008/09, the passenger numbers for Clapham High Street were only 224,000 and Wandsworth Road 166,326, while I'm sure those numbers have rose since then, passenger levels will rise further once the ELL replaces the SLL as seen in the rise of pax at Penge West and Anerley which only had a 2tph Southern service pre 2010.

As I've said to Another-Level on the local forum, passengers will change their travelling patterns accordingly (as seen when the ELL was extended to the Sydenham line) and adapt to change, something which him and a minority of campaigners don't seem to understand.
 

tbtc

Veteran Member
Joined
16 Dec 2008
Messages
16,598
Location
Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire
passengers will change their travelling patterns accordingly (as seen when the ELL was extended to the Sydenham line) and adapt to change, something which him and a minority of campaigners don't seem to understand

That's an important point - passengers (at most stations) on the Sydenham line lost their London Bridge service but passenger numbers are up AIUI.

To be blunt, given the pressure for paths in and out of both London Bridge and Victoria, and the vast number of alternative public transport in South London, it seems a waste to use two paths an hour at both terminus for this short service. There are much bigger services that could use those platforms.
 

87015

Established Member
Joined
3 Mar 2006
Messages
4,538
Location
GEML/WCML/SR
That's an important point - passengers (at most stations) on the Sydenham line lost their London Bridge service but passenger numbers are up AIUI.

To be blunt, given the pressure for paths in and out of both London Bridge and Victoria, and the vast number of alternative public transport in South London, it seems a waste to use two paths an hour at both terminus for this short service. There are much bigger services that could use those platforms.

No where lost any services to London Bridge and everywhere is still served by Southern aswell as LO. Victoria might be tighter but the South London side of London Bridge has lots of short trains they need to lengthen before using any 'lack of capacity' excuse - even the high peak most are 4 cars with a few 6 car circuits and a solitary 8 car (which is on the emptiest train of the lot!)

The very poor bit is that there seems to be no plans to add extra capacity immediately to Peckham Rye - L.Bridge when the SLL is cut, thats where the issues will be. Adding the ex-SLL 456s to existing 455/456 won't do as they will have to work further afield so won't be able to spend as much time between the two as they currently do on SLL diagrams.
 

Another-Level

Member
Joined
8 Aug 2012
Messages
19
That's an important point - passengers (at most stations) on the Sydenham line lost their London Bridge service but passenger numbers are up AIUI.

To be blunt, given the pressure for paths in and out of both London Bridge and Victoria, and the vast number of alternative public transport in South London, it seems a waste to use two paths an hour at both terminus for this short service. There are much bigger services that could use those platforms.

The platform at London Bridge can easily be extended to accommodate the SLL trains but Network Rail refuses to do so.

Also, platforms 17 to 23 were removed from London Bridge station during their last redevelopment in the mid 70s. Again, they could easily reinstate them as they're currently used as a car park.
 

hluraven

Member
Joined
4 Apr 2012
Messages
131
The platform at London Bridge can easily be extended to accommodate the SLL trains but Network Rail refuses to do so.

Also, platforms 17 to 23 were removed from London Bridge station during their last redevelopment in the mid 70s. Again, they could easily reinstate them as they're currently used as a car park.

There is a massive signalling centre in the way of the tracks that would serve those platforms, not just a car park.

The issue of platform extension is also not as easy as you make out, but the main reason it wouldn't be practical is that the SLL train would have to block in another train every time, which is a ridiculous idea somewhere as congested and where performance is so critical as at London Bridge.
 

A-driver

Established Member
Joined
9 May 2011
Messages
4,482
All rumours I heard from southern drivers are that the SLL will run again from London bridge to bay platforms at Battersea once thameslink is finished as that will see an end to a lot of current London bridge terminating services. The SLL was to be stopped anyway regardless of LOROL to allow platforms to be freed up whilst London bridge was re-built.

Also, as for freeing up 456s-they are off to SWT soon.

And with the east London line the wallington line stations to Sutton lost a direct London bridge link. It's part of the reason LOROL don't use the west Croydon bay-so the forest hill line and wallington line have a same platform interchange.
 

Another-Level

Member
Joined
8 Aug 2012
Messages
19
The signalling centre is at the other end of the car park. As LB is being redeveloped, a new signalling structure could be constructed where trains can pass underneath. Simple really.

The SLL uses only five minutes of platform time for each journey from London Bridge.
 

bicbasher

Established Member
Joined
14 May 2010
Messages
1,557
Location
London
All rumours I heard from southern drivers are that the SLL will run again from London bridge to bay platforms at Battersea once thameslink is finished as that will see an end to a lot of current London bridge terminating services. The SLL was to be stopped anyway regardless of LOROL to allow platforms to be freed up whilst London bridge was re-built.

That would be good news for increasing the tph back up to 6 to LBG from Peckham Rye, although I suspect they'd still be complaints that pax would still have to change at Battersea Park for Vic. Although by then I suspect the passenger levels will be higher between Denmark Hill and London Bridge for hospital users of Kings/Mausdley and Guys while the ELL takes the strain of the regular pax.

That's an important point - passengers (at most stations) on the Sydenham line lost their London Bridge service but passenger numbers are up AIUI.

To be blunt, given the pressure for paths in and out of both London Bridge and Victoria, and the vast number of alternative public transport in South London, it seems a waste to use two paths an hour at both terminus for this short service. There are much bigger services that could use those platforms.

Some pre and post ELL passenger levels on the Sydenham line.

Forest Hill: 2009/10 2.9m, 2011/12 3.6m. (highest since 2007/08)
Penge West: 2009/10 226k. 2010/11 361k
Anerley: 2009/10 308k, 2010/11 509k.
 

swt_passenger

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Apr 2010
Messages
24,852
All rumours I heard from southern drivers are that the SLL will run again from London bridge to bay platforms at Battersea once thameslink is finished as that will see an end to a lot of current London bridge terminating services. The SLL was to be stopped anyway regardless of LOROL to allow platforms to be freed up whilst London bridge was re-built.

Having just had a search through them, none of the published route strategies seem to mention re-instating the present SLL service following the London Bridge rebuild. There has to be a long term 33% cut in terminating services at London Bridge to reflect the reduced number of platforms anyway...
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top