No more trains to Charing Cross?

Our friends at the Forest Hill Society recently published a reply they received from Southern Railways to their letter criticising Southern's plans to stop off-peak direct services on the Sydenham line to Charing Cross.

This would affect services at evenings and weekends to Charing Cross, after December this year. A good outline can be found in the Forest Hill Society’s original letter to Southern.

The summary of Southern's response is that given analysis of the proposed Southeastern timetable for 2010, it just isn't possible to continue running Southern services through London Bridge to Charing Cross. So, you can almost certainly say bye-bye to an easy train ride home after an evening in the West End.

The good news is that that they do not plan to reduce train length as a result of them terminating at London Bridge.

84 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought LB was congested. As many people take the underground from LB transporting people to CX , surely makes sense. Time and time again , it appears that SE London does not matter to those in authority.

boxy said...

Equality legislation should take into transport. The effect of poor transport links on health; stress levels and the attendant illnesses.

Brockley Nick said...

@boxy why? And what do you mean? All areas, rural, urban, suburban should have the same public transport infrastructure? If not, then what are you saying?

boxy said...

@Brockley Nick Why not? Doesn't equality legislation mean acknowledging and accounting for the inequality of disadvantages and advantages rather than making things the same for everyone everywhere?
An example where this happens which predates the political use of the term 'equality' is where the financial disadvantage faced by public servants working in London, is acknowledged and accounted by the provision of 'London weighting'.

This idea applied to public transport in London would be interesting and could end with S.E. London public transport users receiving ticket discounts accounting for the comparative disadvantages in our transport provision. But it's all subject to statistical analysis.

Brockley Nick said...

We already have such a discount in the form of lower rents / house prices?

853blog said...

Actually, south-east London suffers because of trains from deepest Kent demanding their right to get to central London. Don't believe me? The Saturday service on some lines, when you don't get trains coming into Charing Cross from the arse end of Margate, is better than the rush hour service.

Is this a Thameslink Programme thing? The whole timetable's being rewritten because the lines will be rebuilt early next decade - the four Greenwich line stations will lose their Charing Cross trains, for example, as the connection will be severed (but they'll get a more frequent service to compensate, apparently).

There has been a consultation (search online for "South London RUS") but the last people to be consulted are the passengers.

patrick1971 said...

As 853blog says, where are these extra Southeastern services coming from? The Greenwich line ones are being cut. I've seen no signs of an increase in Hayes services, and some passengers should be taken off the Ashford services once high-speed starts running in December.

In peak hours a train goes between London Bridge and Charing Cross every 3-4 minutes, so this is the capacity that line can deal with. In the evenings it's nowhere near that even now.

Anonymous said...

"So, you can almost certainly say bye-bye to an easy train ride home after an evening in the West End."

Can you? There is also a service to/from Ladywell...

Panic over.

ladywell pedant said...

Is that a Ladywell-centric comment anon 09:25?

Please be informed that including Ladywell, which includes Hilly Fields, in Brockley-based conversations, is frowned upon.

by some

nightrider said...

I wouldn't want to get off at ladywell though.

Too many dodgy types lurking around the station.

Headhunter said...

I live on Manor Ave. Ladywell station is of little use to me, it's a good 20+ minute walk away. Not insurmountable but not ideal after an alcohol soaked evening and a late return home.

ladywell bodybuilder said...

Would your alcoholic return include going over Hilly Fields?

say no more

we're waiting for you brother

patrick1971 said...

New Cross would be very easy for you, headhunter. About a 10 minute walk up to Manor Avenue, and as a Southeastern station it'll still have direct Charing Cross services in the evenings.

I'm still intrigued to know where these extra services are coming that are going to take away the paths.

Anonymous said...

Typical Brockley - surrounded by station options, a whinge when one of the services stops.

Anonymous said...

St Johns, Lewisham, New Cross, Bus...

Brockley Jon said...

Yes, true, St. Johns, New Cross and Ladywell are all still options - and we at BC fully consider Ladywell as part of the wider Brockley (though let's not get into that debate again!).

But it's still a bit of a pain for people in the Brockley Road / Honor Oak corridor.

Anonymous said...

Most late nights I get the train to Lewisham and pay about a fiver to get home in a taxi from there. The way I see it, it's a lot cheaper than a taxi all the way and I gladly oblige. Lewisham is a perfectly viable destination station for residents of East (!) Brockley and indeed Brockley in general.

Tamsin said...

Even more so for Telegraph Hill - why overshoot to Lewisham and double back - and we are half and hour plus walk from Ladywell or St Johns. And London Bridge is not necessarily a nice place to change trains late at night.
Some trains from New Cross Gate and Brockley used to go through to Charing Cross even through the day - if I remember rightly. It was when the different services were carved up and franchised out that we lost that journey option.

ladywell bodybuilder said...

"at BC fully consider Ladywell as part of the wider Brockley (though let's not get into that debate again!)."


Jon, do you want a slap?

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Doesn't the East London Line more than make up for this?

You'll be able get the Jubilee line from the West End to Surrey Quays, hop on the ELL and you're home in no time.

Aren't you?

M said...

Plus, Shoreditch is the new West End as any fule kno...

John ex-moonbow said...

Living half way means distance is not the issue it is price. Ladywell is significantly more expensive to travel from, £4.10 to £3.50 off-peak compared to Brockley. This renders my Brockley ticket invalid for the return journey to Ladywell. I must admit in my experience though the trains always appear on time at Ladywell

fred vest said...

if price (an additional 60 pence) is the issue then surely you wouldn't be having evenings out in the west end that much anyway so the theoretical inconvenience is never actualised

and there's no ticket barriers at ladywell anyway so if you really are that tight as to not want to pay an extra 60 pence (after an evening out in the west end) then you don't need to

Anonymous said...

tut tut Fred. Are you really advocating the illegal travel on a train without a valid ticket?

Brockley Jon said...

It makes a big difference if we're talking season tickets - zone 2 compared to zone 3, about £25 quid a month extra I think. Plus a longer journey to Ladywell too - though better trains!

Anonymous said...

No one ever checks tickets at Ladywell or Lewisham anyway :)

Fair dodger said...

Same as the free (bendy) bus then.

Anonymous said...

Exactly!

Whether you get off at Brockley or Ladywell, you've paid for a ticket.

fred vest said...

"It makes a big difference if we're talking season tickets"

true, but i thought the point was the inconvenience of not being able to get an easy train ride home after an evening in the West End

monthly rail pass from catford to london stations (of which london bridge, charing cross, waterloo east, cannon street, victoria, st pancras, city thameslink, farringdon are all directly accessible)is £73 a month, is one from brockley really as cheap as £48?

Fizzy said...

Have I lost the plot or does this thread need to get joined up? Wasn't there concern that ELL would take paths from LB/CX services ... and then this news?

TM said...

I suspect Thameslink is the villain of the piece......

Brockley Jon said...

Fizzy, the topic has been discussed a bit but this is a new thread surrounding the response from Southern. I don't think it's particularly the ELL that has caused the stop of services, as TM says, it's probably the long term works at London Bridge, and increased services from Kent way.

Fred, season ticket from Brockers is £55 so okay, only £18 difference.

Anonymous said...

The tube is much, much more expensive.

fred vest said...

"season ticket from Brockers is £5"

fair enough, that's a lot cheaper than what i thought it would be, almost worth moving there for that (setting aside the crap transport links)

know of any decent boozers nearby?

fred vest said...

oops chopped off the other 5 by mistake in the quote, should be £55

Anonymous said...

Fred, there is a lovely boozer opening up soon called The Talbot, but your sort isn't welcome!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant to say 'EVERYONE' is welcome

BrockleyBiker said...

£18 is a fair bit of difference. No wonder so many non local cars park round here.

Maradoll said...

Why didn't I read this earlier?

Honestly had no idea that Ladywell was in zone 3 and got a £20 fine today.

I'm a train felon now.

Hugh said...

Don't have time to read this although it looks tedious. What's the main point?

Anonymous said...

...that yr an arse, Hugh

sicarts@msn.com said...

I have never relied on public transport and if I can help it, never will. I find it much easier to drive to my office. If I have a late drink, I get a cab home. On the odd occasion when I've been out on the town with a tight fisted pal from Brockley who won't share the cab fare, I have used a train to Lewisham and jumped in a cab there-easy.

patrick1971 said...

Last time I checked, cabs counted as "public transport".

Pete said...

Cabs might technically count as public transport but I have to say I don't consider them public transport. They cost a fortune and are out of reach of most people.

I personally don't believe that they should be allowed to use bus lanes, but then I'm a cyclist so I'm biased :-)

TM said...

Public Transport debate

Cabs maybe no, Train to Lewisham YES

Headhunter said...

I agree Pete, most cabs troll around central London empty. They're basically expensive chauffeur driven rental cars. I don't see why they should be able to use lanes meant for efficient modes of mass transit or zero emmissions vehicles like bikes. But then I don't see why motorbikes would be in bus lanes either

Anonymous said...

As long as it's powered by mung, it's OK?

Headhunter said...

Actually, talking of powered by mung, I'm sure I heard that for very little cost, it's possible to convert a car to run on old deep fat fryer oil, like that used at fried chicken joints. Is this true?

I think I read that it is way more environmentally friendly than petrol, causes no drop in performance and obviously costs nothing in fuel as long as you can persuad one of Brockley's chav feeding points to give you their dirty oil....

Anonymous said...

'But then I don't see why motorbikes would be in bus lanes either.'

because it cuts the number of deaths.

Anonymous said...

If it's an older diesel car it'll take used chip oil as a straight replacement for diesel (smells a bit chippy mind).

Newer cars need to be converted slightly.

Speak to Shop on the Hill Headhunter, they may be able to give you some Mung Extract to power your tandem with.

drakefell debaser said...

Not sure about the little cost HH. I think you have to pay to have your car converted to accept the new fuel and then pay for the contraption that distils the oil to make the fuel. The distillery is expensive initially but you recover that from the saving in fuel. I suppose if you work as a team you can share the cost of the distillery and hassle of collecting the oil and reap the rewards that way.

Putting old chip oil directly into the tank might work on a diesel powered vehicle that you have little regard for but you are likely to offend everyone with the fumes of old burning chip oil as you drive around. You are unlikely to get a good performance out of it either.

patrick1971 said...

And, headhunter, I think there is probably already a large market in used fat for just this purpose. Remember when Homer Simpson tried to steal Lunchlady Doris's cooking oil, and was foiled by a combination of Groundskeeper Willy and Fat Tony? If it's on The Simpsons, it must be true!

Headhunter said...

Oh I see. It's not that easy then. I'm sure I saw somewhere that you could literally tip oil, bits of burned chicken and batter n all into the car and it would drive on it! Wishful thinking I suppose. Anyway, not that I've got a car

Anon - I don't need "mung extract", whatever that is, to power my "tandem" (not that I've got a tandem), I eat and digest mung beans quite happily with the need for anything to be extracted...

Bobblekin said...

This has seriously p*ssed me off. The transport into Brockley using Brockley and St Johns stations is brilliant especially being able to go straight from CHX back home on weekends and evenings.

Transport has gone backwards over the 8 years I've lived here and the ELL is just a meandering diversion unless you want to go to Shoreditch in particular.

Lou Baker said...

@Bobblekin: well said.

The two big projects that are causing all this mess are the Thameslink upgrade and the East London Line extension.

Neither does anything much at all for this part of London - though they're great news if you live in Sussex or Hackney.

drakefell debaser said...

Neither does anything much at all for this part of London - though they're great news if you live in Sussex or Hackney.

Sussex?

The benefits of the ELL etc get discussed on here time and time again but, the only time you post here Lou Baker is to slag off the ELL.

You will need to change the needle soon.

Bobblekin said...

If the ELL went from Brockley up to London and on to St Pancras - linking transport wastelands like peckham on the way I'd be impressed. Instead it goes mainly to a place already on the Jubliee line, then to a river, and then onto a place where 16 year olds drink in impossibley skinny jeans and then onto another place that is already on the northern line.

Hubs and spokes - no one would design the tube today the way it is now. ELL is purely happening because a tunnel (built by navies in the victorian era) already exists. ELL is the rim of a wheel.

Dont get me wrong - its a good thing. But nowhere near as good as people make out.

Anonymous said...

if the ELL went from my house to my office door and all night it would be great.......your point is? it links to the jubilee (not a bad old line) which will shortly be upgraded and have a higher frequency. No, it's not perfect but it is actually good value precisely BECAUSE it uses an existing route. New trains, new signalling and the existing LB service largely untouched. Brockley will be better connected, it's a cold hard fact. Is your point 'who wants to go to east London?' well I'm sure north Londoners would say 'where's brockley?' new services open up areas and bring in new money. We could just build more lines from already popular areas into central London but that's hardly thinking strategically.

Anonymous said...

....oh by the way, bear in mind that the Jubilee Line Extension cost around £4bn 10 years ago. The ELL is a bargain, stop your carping.

Mung of wisdom said...

You can already get to St Pancras directly from a Brockley station

4x4 said...

We should all get back into our cars and drive. Say what you like about Mrs Thatcher, she encouraged us to drive cars. Otherwise follow Boris and David's example and cycle. Public transport is a pain in the arse. Just cutting the service into ChX is typical. As far as I know there hasn't been any public consultation regarding this decision.

Headhunter said...

How, pray tell, can you get to St Pancras direct from Brockley? By "directly" I assumed you mean without changes? As far as I'm aware there is no line that runs straight to St Pancras without at least a change at London Br...

Brockley Nick said...

Ah, hh - you walked in to that one. "A brockley station" refers to crofton park, which has direct trains to st pancras.

fred vest said...

glad your safe & well nick, i noticed you hadn't twittered for a while and was beginning to fear the worst

Danja said...

if the ELL went from my house to my office door and all night it would be great.

It was built for me, I swear. 5 mins walk to NXG, then a 5 min walk from Shoreditch to the office. And it goes to Highbury. Thank you TfL, I'm very happy with it.

Headhunter said...

Ah Crofton Park, I did think about that but I didn't notice the indefinite article! I would love to use Crofton Park to get across London to St Pancras and beyond but the service never operates over weekends when I need it so it's no help.

Lou Baker said...

The Crofton Park to St Pancras trains will, in theory, be reintroduced at weekends once the Blackfriars upgrade is finished.

But don't think these are new or extra trains for us. They're the same Sevenoaks to Blackfriars trains that have always run - they're just continuing on for 3 or 4 extra stop to Kentish Town instead.

Thameslink is being done almost entirely for the benefit of passengers in Sussex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. And it's being done at our expense because it means fewer trains from SE London to central London and the axing of our Charing Cross trains. Sigh.

Headhunter said...

I'll believe it when I see it re the service across London on Thameslink. I've lived in London since 1999 and most of that time I've been in SE London and getting across London to St Pancras and beyond has almost always meant changing to the Tube at London Br, the service across London at weekends has always been sketchy and unreliable at best, often cancelled on random weekends.

Seems to be the same with the Jubilee Line these days, that never ever seems to operate beyond London Br these days at weekends.

Anonymous said...

i'm exhausted reading all this

Deptford dame said...

@ brockley jon: don't rely on using New Cross or St Johns, neither of those will have direct trains to or from Charing Cross either. Lewisham will have some, but less than currently.

Headhunter said...

Seriously? I was less bothered that Brockley wasn't going to have direct links to Ch X because I thought that I could just use New X or St Johns but now neither of them will have that either?!

Michael said...

There is an indication that after 2015, when the Thameslink upgrade is completed, that there will be Thameslink trains on the Brockley line that will continue to St Pancras.
See details in the South London RUS page 7 and 109-110.

But this hardly compensates for the loss of direct evening services from Charing Cross from this December.

Deptford dame said...

Seriously. Just go to the Southeastern railways website and use the 'future services' search button on the top left. And don't think about walking to Deptford either...

Fair Dodger said...

So where will late night trains to New Cross/St Johns start?

Is South Eastern going to use London Bridge as a Terminus like Southern does or is Cannon Street going to stay open later?

Answers on a postcard when the post office goes back to work.

Which leads me to the question "Is the closure of Brockley sorting office a done deal?

Deptford dame said...

London Bridge and Cannon Street. Both very handy for the West End...

I must say you Brockleyites are way behind the times. Down in Deptford and Greenwich we've been moaning about this since January!

Headhunter said...

Canon St?! That's completely useless at the weekend! Who needs to go to the City over the weekend? It's completely dead.

New Cross and Gate have definitely been downgraded over the years. When I lived in Catford between 00 and 02 literally every train out of ChX and London Bridge stopped at New X and at Lewisham. There seemed to be a train out of Ch X to either of those every 5 mins, even late into the evenings. These days they fly right through both given half the chance and on to destinations in Kent. This seems like the final nail in the coffin, SE London's direct link to the West End seems to be dead.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

As a St Johns user who works in the West End, I am already quite used to changing at London Bridge at peak times.

To do so late at night as well is hardly going to make any difference to me.

So long as I don't have to use that unsightly half finished station at Brockley, I don't mind.

Tee Hee

fred vest said...

"Seriously. Just go to the Southeastern railways website and use the 'future services' search button on the top left"

they're still running to charing cross from ladywell and catford bridge, so presume they'll be direct/fast from ladywell to london bridge and then onto charing cross

ade said...

I sense us all standing in the rain at New X, Brockley stations as the none too packed trains from 'Kent'to Ch.X whiz by whilst we fail to cram onto the innevitably delayed LB services.
re: The ELL - I can't understand the excitement either. It's good for regeneration and jobs yes - but as a transport link... Hell, when the ELL was up and running and tubes *started* from New X, there was so much congestion at Canada Water (the only connecting station into the West End), it was sometimes scary, having to let tube after tube go by before you could get a train into town (packed the other way too!). God knows how much worse this will be when you have all the people from the SEast trying to change at Canada Water for their connection to the West End.
I thinke the ELL will be a good 'weekend' line for days out, but for commuting - forget it. Oh - and getting on a tube doubles your annual travelcard. Hmm..

Anonymous said...

...by the way Brockley and New Cross will get extended to accept 10 car trains by I think 2013....

http://londonreconnections.blogspot.com/2009/08/train-lengthening-on-national-rail.html

Also Jubilee Line getting a capacity increase. It's all linked you know, also I'm not convinced that the ELL stops are the wastelands people seem to think. I worked near Aldgate, spitting distance from the city and liverpool street and close to the ELL extension.

Brockley Nick said...

Good points anon. Capacity increases will (eventually) more than offset the loss of the odd charing x direct train (although I do feel like I've been given a treat, every time I catch one). Users of some southeastern services, on the other hand, are faced with frequency reductions.
The earlier complaint about regular jubilee line closures is linked to the fact that they're upgrading its capacity, meaning a better interchange in surrey quays for us.

Monkeyboy said...

Nick, you sound like your representing the shady 'Big Train' consortium. Wasn't that the name of a not very good sketch show? whateva....

Anyone else going to strip the shelves of the old Dandelion Blue? stock clearance sale on today.

Headhunter said...

I'm not really convinced that catching the Tube from Bond St or Westminster is going to replace direct trains to Ch X, but still, I barely ever use the trains anyway, I cycle just about everywhere....

Catford_Jack said...

Too many benders in Brockley for my liking.

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