DLR releases possible route to Ladywell, Catford and Forest Hill


The DLR website has posted a new map of possible future line extensions, which shows a possible route to Ladywell, Medusa, Catford and Forest Hill.


An extension south from Lewisham would require the abandonment of the current station and major work in the Lewisham area. As such, this route is still in the concept stage, rather than fully-developed, but it would add significant capacity to the public transport options in Catford, which suffers from relatively poor connections, and help to integrate it more effectively with the rest of the borough.

Despite the major challenges involved, the DLR has an impressive track record of delivering on its vision, so this map is more than just a pipe dream.

EDIT: Trainspotter found a reference in a document from 2005, which clarifies that an extension south of Lewisham would involve constructing new track, running in parallel to existing overland services:

South of Lewisham the proposed alignment is alongside and east of the Mid-Kent Railway
line. Some complex bridge works are necessary and there are tight alignment constraints at
Doggett Road, to the North of Ladywell Road, and on the approach to Catford Bridge Station.
Whilst some of these issues – together with the necessary modifications to Ladywell Station
and Catford Bridge Station – are significant; they are less critical than the interface near
Lewisham Station.

49 comments:

max said...

Very interesting indeed.
Are they thinking to run alongside the railway?
The Medusa road station option is very interesting, that's be just by the running track, and there is indeed the space for a station. That'd be also very handy for the Hospital.

trainspotter said...

The line to Catford has potential, maybe with the possible bakerloo line extension taking over the remainder of the Hayes line that it would replace. Can't see how they would get to forest hill without a very expensive tunnel. the bakerloo line proposed between catford and honor oak park would serve the same purpose.

Will said...

I'll have to read up on the Bakerloo issue - didn't know about that.

I can't picture how it would get to Forest Hill, although a link would be incredibly useful. Getting to Greenwich the other day involved a slow bus into Lewisham before switching to the DLR.

I also can't see how it would go around Charing Cross, Green Park and Victoria. All underground?

monkeyboy said...

For all your train geekery, try....

http://londonreconnections.blogspot.com/

Always a good source of information.

Anonymous said...

This would make a huge difference to the area and be one of the most effective transformation projects south east London has seen in modern times! Fingers crossed.

Lou Baker said...

It'd be great if it happens - but I can't see it.

The DLR will be extended to Catford but from there going
on to Forest Hill makes little sense - it's a huge cost for a negligible benefit.

If it's going to have to go in a hugely expensive tunnel Crystal Palace is a far more useful place to end up than Forest Hill.

The crucial factor is what will happen to the Bakerloo
Line. I still think it'll end up going Camberwell, Peckham, Nunhead, Brockley, Lewisham and then on to Hayes - which is the easiest option with very little tunnelling required and plenty of opportunity to make better use of existing railway alignments.

So I think within the next 15 years we'll see the Bakerloo extended to Hayes, the DLR to Catford - but probably no further - and the Overground New Cross branch extended to Lewisham. All good news for our area.

darryl said...

Medusa Road would be London's best station name, by a long chalk. Would be interested to see how they'd get it over the A20...

As for the Overground to Lewisham - I posted on it a while back <a href="http://853blog.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/new-cross-the-cinderella-of-london-overground/>pondering why New Cross got a raw deal</a> and the consensus was that it'd be a nightmare to build. Although if the DLR takes over part of the Hayes line, that could give some room...

Inspector Sands said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Is it in addition to the Railway or an either or?

If it's in addition fine if not then they can stick it where the sun don't shine.

Anonymous said...

I do hope it's not a plan divert all big trains on the Hayes line to Deadmans Creek (Cannon St).

Ladywell to London Bridge by Train = 9 - 14 mins

Via DLR/Tube 30 mins

Brockley Nick said...

It would be additional, no doubt. Swapping fully-grown trains for DLR would be an unacceptable loss of capacity when the aim is to increase capacity to Catford in particular, to facilitate more development.

Anonymous said...

Nice ideas Lou but realistically there is no money in the pot for these projects at the moment. It's not as though many private businesses in Lewisham or Catford will put their hands in their pockets to fund the works in the same way they have with Crossrail at Canary Wharf. Also, 15 years is a pretty short timeframe.

I'd love to see it all happen but a lot of it is wishful thinking. The only bit we may see any time soon is London Overground extended to Lewisham and from there onto Hayes.

Brockley Nick said...

Bakerloo line won't happen in 15 years, but I could see the DLR extension happening in the next 5-10, although I agree, the Forest Hill extension seems highly unlikely.

Monkeyboy said...

Th link to Catford would be a boon, Forrest Hill though? That would be masivly disruptive and expensive, can't see them making a strong case for that.

As for the Bakerloo, this is interesting. Read with caution though, it was commisioned by Lewisham. Not read it in detail but don't think Brockley was mentioned anywhere as a potential stop? Lots of words so couldn't be arsed to read all of it. There is some vauge guff in the Mayors Transport Strategy about looking at the feasability of the Bakerloo extension but that's been floated before, looks like a bit of electioneering.

http://londonreconnections.blogspot.com/search/label/bakerloo%20line

The only extensions that seem to have any weight behind them is the Northern Line link to Battersea and the Croxley Rail Link that would tweak the Met line connection to Watford.

The Bakerloo is way off the radar, TfL will struggle to funds it's current commitments.

Headhunter said...

"I do hope it's not a plan divert all big trains on the Hayes line to Deadmans Creek (Cannon St)."

"It would be additional, no doubt. Swapping fully-grown trains for DLR would be an unacceptable loss of capacity"

Just like the ELL was supposed to be additional to trains to central London from Brockley? Is that the sort of "additional" we're expecting?

Brockley Nick said...

Oh don't be daft HH.

Firstly, this is entirely different, since DLR trains run on entirely different type of track, there is no capacity conflict.

Secondly, the ELL delivered a huge boost to capacity along its route and the changes to the timetable were nowt to do with the ELL.

Thirdly, why would they spend hundreds of millions of pounds to give one of the key development areas of London a much worse service?

Face, Palm...! said...

No HH, the ELL was never supposed to provide additional trains to central London. The fact that the current trains to central London are less crowded indicates that people are happy to use the ELL as an alternative (via Canada Water) or to travel to destinations on the ELL. Thanks to the ELL you have more room on the existing trains during the morning peak.

Headhunter said...

Actually the ELL was intended to supplement existing services. There's an article on this VERY site with a quote from the authorities only about 6 months before the ELL opened, telling one and all that there would be no affect on central London services... 6 months later they axed the Charing X service and decreased off peak trains to London Bridge. That's what happend when "additional" services are promised...

dude said...

Oh Jesus, not the ELL debate again.

Brockley Nick said...

@HH - and you know full well that the two things were not connected. But regardless, would you concede that the reason to spend hundreds of millions to give Catford a far worse service than they already have would be because the people in charge of London transport were evil psychopaths.

Brockley Nick said...

@Dude - haha, precisely.

Monkeyboy said...

HH, why are people choosing to to use the ELL to travel in to central london, changing at Canada Water? could it be that the TfL trafic planners were correct when they predicted that people would migrate on to that route? Would you prefer the old service pattern?

trainspotter said...

"Thirdly, why would they spend hundreds of millions of pounds to give one of the key development areas of London a much worse service?"

Because:
a)it free's capacity at London Bridge which is a greater priority
b)DLR every 4mins is more capacity than a train every 30mins.

Can't see how they'd run DLR alongside existing tracks unless they built it on a viaduct above. Therefore they will tell you to change trains at Lewisham for central london. Bad luck on the Hayes line.

Brockley Nick said...

@Trainspotter. I concede that's possible, but it would be so unpopular, they'd never do that.

It might deliver a bit more capacity I suppose, but journey times would be much longer and you'd have terrible problems at Lewisham - in other words, a much worse solution.

Assume the worst if you will, but that seems like paranoia to me.

Also, I don't agree that freeing capacity at London Bridge (which will be significantly expanded by that point anyway) would be a greater priority than trying to regenerate a swathe of South East London. A greater priority for the train companies perhaps, but not for TfL or London's government.

trainspotter said...

You were right I was being pessimistic, just read the DLR 2020 report which states alongside nor replace is the option identified:

"South of Lewisham the proposed alignment is alongside and east of the Mid-Kent Railway
line. Some complex bridge works are necessary and there are tight alignment constraints at
Doggett Road, to the North of Ladywell Road, and on the approach to Catford Bridge Station."

Brockley Nick said...

@Trainspotter, thanks for doing that research. Very helpful.

Doubt it will silence HH though...

Danja said...

You'll need an orange and some gaffa tape for that, Nick.

darryl said...

I do hope it's not a plan divert all big trains on the Hayes line to Deadmans Creek (Cannon St).

Not likely IMHO - Greenwich line trains are being focused on Cannon Street to reduce the risk of delays from crossing the tracks, so by that token I suspect Hayes-Charing X is safe.

All the lines through London Bridge will be rebuilt by 2018, remember.

Brockley Nick said...

I know a local interest group that has a ready supply of both...

Cllr Mike Harris said...

I've always considered an extension from Lewisham to Catford a cost-effective way of linking Thameslink with other local services. If instead of 2 tracks they proceeded with a single track with passing points an extension would be affordable. Fingers crossed that the government ends its obsession with High Speed Rail (a massive subsidy for business travel) and puts the money into smaller urban schemes that will actually reduce car journeys far more...

Brockley Nick said...

Wasn't HSR a Labour policy before it was a Conservative one. Lord Adonis and all that...

And isn't one of its primary appeals that it will help to spread economic activity to the north of England?

It's not about one or the other, it's about both. We under invest in transport infrastructure.

Lou Baker said...

Cllr Harris is wrong on high speed rail.

We don't have enough capacity on our network and a new route frees up space on the existing line for local services.

Plus, of course, spending money on transport infrastructure is an investment in our economic future.

An anathema to Labour which prefers to fritter taxpayers cash away on extra benefits to scroungers and the workshy.

The key problem in our area is Lewisham station - which needs sorting out. Doing so won't be cheap or easy but it needs doing and it'll soon be easier and cheaper than the alternative (which is basically a brand new line). Sorting Lewisham out would make it easy to extend the Overground and DLR and could get the Bakerloo Line extension done at the same time.

Anonymous said...

To extend the DLR couldn't they take the track back to Eleverson Road and instead of going down it rises to be parrallel with the Hayes line at Lewisham Station?

If the extension is East of the railway line won't that eat into Ladywell Fields?

Headhunter said...

At the risk of starting the debate again...

1. Nick - I still don't believe that the 2 things were not connected. Other than the rail authorities telling us they are not connected there is no proof. Until about 6 months before the reopening of the ELL, the very same rail authorities told us that there would be no reduction in direct central London trains. The reason ultimately cited for a reduction in central London trains from Brockley was the high speed link from Kent, which has since been cut back due to lack of demand, yet Brockley has not seen a reinstatement of central London trains.

2. MB - People probably choose to take the ELL and change at Can Water becuase given the reduction in direct central London trains and the elimination of the Ch X service, they have little choice unless they want to wait 10-15 mins. I doubt they would prefer to change trains to get to Charing Cross or London Bridge.

3. Nick - as Trainspotter mentions, rail authorities seem keen to "free up" lines through London Bridge still, this is why it's certainly possible that withe the DLR coming to Catford, they may lose central London trains. Of course I have no idea if it's likely, but it happened in Brockley...

"@Trainspotter. I concede that's possible, but it would be so unpopular, they'd never do that."

It was "unpopular" in Brockley but it still happened!

Brockley Nick said...

@HH - the issue has already been answered by Trainspotter and in the article. Suggest you read what the 2020 plan says.

Making all trains (rather than the vast majority) terminate in London Bridge rather than Charing X is nothing compared to actually cancelling a service.

Anonymous said...

Currently on the Hayes line many change onto the DLR at Lewisham.

If instead that happens at Catford then it should be easier to get on commuters trains at Catford & Ladywell?

PS Will it mean Ladywell & Catford will be 'on the map'?

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Forest Hill and the most painful part of the journey into work was having to change at London Bridge, the bulk of the passengers got off and moved over to platform 6, a sloow process.

Mb said...

HH, I watch trains pull into Brockley in the morning with seats. How often did that happen before the ELL? No one is stopping people from using them. They presumably either stay at home, get the bus, have lost their jobs, have been abducted by aliens or decide to jump on an ELL train.

By research is leaning toward aliens or the Overground.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Lets hope it's Klaatu and not Gort...............

max said...

Just been for a walk along the proposed extension between Ladywell and Catford, had a laugh with the man at the Cafe in Ladywell Field about him standing in the way of progress.

Crofton Park Gooner said...

Surely they would not go directly through the park especially considering the fantastic redevelopment they have done. Could the line be elevated? We could have our own monorail!

max said...

It surely wouldn't go through the middle of the park but I guess that it would use a narrow strip alongside the existing track.
As I walked I tried to guestimate how much it would take and it think it would sttart to eat into the park from the cafe basically taking over the path.
One advice to DLR, if you're serious about this buy now the site of the old Adhesive Specialities building.

Anonymous said...

Would it mean a level crossing so the DLR could cross Loampit Vale?

Kevin Milburn said...

Anonymous said...

"If the extension is East of the railway line won't that eat into Ladywell Fields?"

Anon, It shouldn't affect the middle and lower fields of Ladywell Fields (where the existing track is to the east of the park), but the plans might affect the athletics stadium and some of the park in the upper field.

Rent Vancouver said...

Nice idea of extension.If this happen I will definitely like to watch it.

Chris Haynes said...

this wis very unlikely as the river would be in the way of any tunnel

MoonMan said...

Boris has announced 'it will be tunnelled'.

So Ladywell Fields is gonna be OK.

From the DLR extension map it looks like the new line will only come to the surface (and with a station) on the industrial estate at about where the Halfords shed is located - just south of the south circular road.

Real Scot said...

If they extend the Bakerloo line, lets hope they grasp the nettle and enlarge the existing tunnels to at least the same loading gauge as Crossrail, if for no better reason than passenger capacity.

Monkeyboy said...

if you were to increase the bore you may as well build a new line. costs would be comparable, possible less if you take in to account the disruption. Accademic as its not on the agenda except as a mayoral soundbite.

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