The Pain of London Overground

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Deepgreen

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Yesterday I had no option but to use LOROL from Clapham Junction to Imperial Wharf and back and it reminded me of just how painful it is! Apart from being absolutely packed (I can take this for a short journey) it reminded me just how excruciatingly slow it is over most of the network. Right from the start of the journey, the mysterious and ludicrously long PSR out of Clapham Junction means that trains crawl in and out (on both routes), and then similarly crawl round the curve to join the other line before crossing the Thames. Approaches to, and departures from all stations on the LOROL network are far slower than on other operators' lines, and station dwell times are leisurely to say the least. It's both baffling and frustrating how slow the whole operation is.
 
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Urban Gateline

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Yesterday I had no option but to use LOROL from Clapham Junction to Imperial Wharf and back and it reminded me of just how painful it is! Apart from being absolutely packed (I can take this for a short journey) it reminded me just how excruciatingly slow it is over most of the network. Right from the start of the journey, the mysterious and ludicrously long PSR out of Clapham Junction means that trains crawl in and out (on both routes), and then similarly crawl round the curve to join the other line before crossing the Thames. Approaches to, and departures from all stations on the LOROL network are far slower than on other operators' lines, and station dwell times are leisurely to say the least. It's both baffling and frustrating how slow the whole operation is.
If you think that short Journey is painful, I used to commute between Watford Junction and Richmond via Willesden Junction, now that is painful!
 

NSEFAN

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The routes used by LO have traditionally been slow. They could probably go faster but would require more work from NR to provide infrastructure that's up to the job. Also, unlike LUL, they are a TOC and so are penalised for every minute of delay. I wouldn't be surprised if the timetable has a lot of padding to ensure reliability.
 

JauntyAlan

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The routes used by LO have traditionally been slow. They could probably go faster but would require more work from NR to provide infrastructure that's up to the job. Also, unlike LUL, they are a TOC and so are penalised for every minute of delay. I wouldn't be surprised if the timetable has a lot of padding to ensure reliability.
I think they have reduced the padding somewhat; it used to be quite hefty, but that meant that there was an awful lot of wasted time for passengers changing from the H&I section to the Willesden Junction one.

There still is far too much, to be honest, but that's minor compared to the godawful trundling. I sit and watch my speedometer on my phone and it struggles to bother 20mph at times.

Most annoying is when the Southern trains on the same routes are much more spritely (in particular on the approach to Clapham Junction)
 

Dr_Paul

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What really annoys me is that all the seats face inwards, making it very difficult to look out of the windows.
 

telstarbox

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Longitudinal seating works well. I wish Southeastern would use it for some of their 465 coaches, or even remove all the seats between the doors on one coach per unit to make a 'standing coach'. At the moment passengers can't or won't move down to stand between the 3+2 seats and it effectively reduces capacity.
 

blotred

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Longitudinal seating works well. I wish Southeastern would use it for some of their 465 coaches, or even remove all the seats between the doors on one coach per unit to make a 'standing coach'. At the moment passengers can't or won't move down to stand between the 3+2 seats and it effectively reduces capacity.
Yeah agreed.
I must be the only commuter in the world who wants less seats lol...

On a serious note, I used to take the Overground every day as a commuter, and whilst the train was slow, its punctuality was pretty good (presumably because it had lots of slack in the timetable). It was nice to know I could depend on getting my connection.
 

Minstral25

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Longitudinal seating works well. I wish Southeastern would use it for some of their 465 coaches, or even remove all the seats between the doors on one coach per unit to make a 'standing coach'. At the moment passengers can't or won't move down to stand between the 3+2 seats and it effectively reduces capacity.
Honestly no! They are rubbish. However it is irrelevant as I use these trains daily (WBJ-CLJ) and they are far too crowded. It's one thing for it to be a bit tight but when folks have to force their way on to the trains it is ridiculous. Even more so when TfL thought 5 coaches would fix it! No way!

LO was once a jewel in the crown but now it is a hopeless mess - PPM is good due to padding but customer experience isn't by a long way
 

Harlan Cage

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The LO from Clapham Jct. is really the old Other Circle that that was never completed in years gone by albeit you have to change trains on route to complete a full circle! I agree it is slow however a lot of passengers are only travelling a few stops in true metro style! The LO has been made up by linking up existing lines rather than building totally new infrastructure although there are new lines, bridges, stations etc.

All trains will be 5 car 378's on the original Overground soon, having started off as 3 car units which proves how successful the line is.

In an ideal World maybe a new Light Rail System might have been a better solution, however with space in London at a premium this would almost certainly prove to be too expensive!

Travelling on the NLL a long gone Class 501's in the 1960's -1980's was certainly fun but nowhere as efficient and clean as the service is now.

HC
 

Kristofferson

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Wait, you actually use it to get from A to B?? :lol:

I was under the impression it was built as a place for the teens of inner city London to hang out, play loud music, take selfies and talk about their "fam". <D
 

AM9

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Not only that, but the design results in fewer seats. Standing for the hour it takes to crawl from SRA to RMD isn't amusing.
On a busy metro line, total passenger capacity is more important than numbers of seats. The average journey time per passenger on LO must be less than 30 minutes.
 

Mutant Lemming

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Travelling on the NLL a long gone Class 501's in the 1960's -1980's was certainly fun but nowhere as efficient and clean as the service is now.

HC
They were much more comfortable trains and the line was sparsely used back then so you would usually get a seat but the service started later and finished earlier, was less frequent and was prone to last minute cancellations up to and including the last train on some occasions. The stations weren't pleasant places to be at night either.
 

michael74

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Was once forced to go from Watford Junct to Euston on LO after the LM service was cancelled due to overhead problems.... I was quite ready to have myself sectioned by the time I got to Euston.
 

Harlan Cage

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They were much more comfortable trains and the line was sparsely used back then so you would usually get a seat but the service started later and finished earlier, was less frequent and was prone to last minute cancellations up to and including the last train on some occasions. The stations weren't pleasant places to be at night either.
I quite a soft spot for the NLL and the Class 501's you might find this Facebook Page interesting https://www.facebook.com/groups/1444798942404267/

HC
 

RichmondCommu

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Was once forced to go from Watford Junct to Euston on LO after the LM service was cancelled due to overhead problems.... I was quite ready to have myself sectioned by the time I got to Euston.
In normal circumstances no one would choose LO over LM on the journey from Watford Junction to Euston, due to the number of stops more than anything else. However, faced with the prospect of the LM service being cancelled surely taking the LO was better than say taking the bus?
 

Tetchytyke

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When TfL took over it was operated by knackered old 313s, and between Willesden and Clapham Junctions it was 2tph. Overground has been an enormous success, as shown by how busy it now is.

I can only assume that those who complain about Overground were not there in the dark Silverlink days.

As for getting to Watford on Overground, it depends which part of Watford you're off to. It's probably no slower to the town centre on Overground than walking from Junction.
 
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michael74

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In normal circumstances no one would choose LO over LM on the journey from Watford Junction to Euston, due to the number of stops more than anything else. However, faced with the prospect of the LM service being cancelled surely taking the LO was better than say taking the bus?
Don't get me wrong it was certainly better than a bus, but I have been on faster tractors (I do live in Devon)
 

Philip C

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On a busy metro line, total passenger capacity is more important than numbers of seats. The average journey time per passenger on LO must be less than 30 minutes.
The average journey time is of no interest to real passengers - the issue is your own journey time and whether the facilities are suitable for the actual journey being undertaken. I regard extended standing travel and sideways seated travel as a clear indication that civilization has taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way!

Southern advanced similar average journey time arguments in support of use of toilet-less Class 313s between Brighton and Portsmouth. Telling someone who wishes to travel between those two points that toilets are unimportant because most journeys made on the service are short ones misses an important point.
 
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The point of most LO routes is that they avoid Zone 1 and the associated changes to get from A to B. The train might not be going at 60mph but how else would you get from Clapham Junction to Shepherd's Bush in 12 mins?

There are many more examples of why many LO routes are the faster option than other routes or buses. The exponential increase in passenger numbers on the NLL/WLL/ELL and SLL show how these lines have a massively improved service on their predecessors.
 

Harlan Cage

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The point of most LO routes is that they avoid Zone 1 and the associated changes to get from A to B. The train might not be going at 60mph but how else would you get from Clapham Junction to Shepherd's Bush in 12 mins?

There are many more examples of why many LO routes are the faster option than other routes or buses. The exponential increase in passenger numbers on the NLL/WLL/ELL and SLL show how these lines have a massively improved service on their predecessors.
Agree as the speed of the train is only one component of the journey:D

HC
 

physics34

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Longitudinal seating works well. I wish Southeastern would use it for some of their 465 coaches, or even remove all the seats between the doors on one coach per unit to make a 'standing coach'. At the moment passengers can't or won't move down to stand between the 3+2 seats and it effectively reduces capacity.
its awful. you are forced to look at the person opposite!
 

RichmondCommu

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Honestly no! They are rubbish. However it is irrelevant as I use these trains daily (WBJ-CLJ) and they are far too crowded. It's one thing for it to be a bit tight but when folks have to force their way on to the trains it is ridiculous. Even more so when TfL thought 5 coaches would fix it! No way!

LO was once a jewel in the crown but now it is a hopeless mess - PPM is good due to padding but customer experience isn't by a long way
However in all honesty what other options do TfL have? In terms of people forcing their way on to trains have you ever used Bank tube during the Peak? As a Londoner I have come to accept this as a way of life, as have in my opinion the vast majority of other TfL users.

I would be interested to know what solution you have in mind for TfL and LO in terms of over crowding as its hard to see how they could fit more trains on to the current LO network.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
What really annoys me is that all the seats face inwards, making it very difficult to look out of the windows.
What are you expecting to see, its hardly the West Highland or the Settle and Carlisle. With one or two exceptions you are essentially traveling past the back yard (or if you can afford it) the back garden of Greater London.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
On a busy metro line, total passenger capacity is more important than numbers of seats. The average journey time per passenger on LO must be less than 30 minutes.
Well exactly.
 

transmanche

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Not only that, but the design results in fewer seats. Standing for the hour it takes to crawl from SRA to RMD isn't amusing.
But how many people actually make that journey? More likely that most people would take the faster route via Waterloo. Yes some people might choose to take the slower and cheaper LO route, but there is such a regular turnover of short-distance passengers en route that (other than in extreme conditions, such as a tube strike) I really cannot imagine anyone having to stand for the whole journey.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
They were much more comfortable trains and the line was sparsely used back then so you would usually get a seat but the service started later and finished earlier, was less frequent and was prone to last minute cancellations up to and including the last train on some occasions. The stations weren't pleasant places to be at night either.
Many of the stations were fairly unpleasant during the day!

As an aside: in less than 30 years, the central part of the NLL has gone from haveing 2-EPBs every 20 mins to 5-car Capitalstars every 7-8 mins - or from 6 cars per hour to 40 cars per hour. Each 5-car train has a passenger capacity of approx 850, so that's almost 7,000 passengers per hour. I think that's pretty impressive by any standards.
 

moogal

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But how many people actually make that journey? More likely that most people would take the faster route via Waterloo. Yes some people might choose to take the slower and cheaper LO route, but there is such a regular turnover of short-distance passengers en route that (other than in extreme conditions, such as a tube strike) I really cannot imagine anyone having to stand for the whole journey.
Quite - unless you're one of those who persists in standing in the doorway it's usually quite possible to get seats at various points (when the train starts at Stratford, at the mass exodus for interchange stations such as Highbury & Islington or West Hampstead...) - if you're standing all the way through then you're either exceptionally unlucky or really not trying.

Much as some complain about the longitudinal seating they really wouldn't work any other way. Peak loadings (and even off peak on the NLL/WLL) are such that every bit of standing space is at a premium - there's much more in common with a tube line than a suburban commuter railway.
 
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