Olympic Javelin causes south east London train reshuffle - delivering St Johns timetable boost

Hank Scorpio: By the way, Homer, what's your least favorite country: Italy or France?
Homer: France.
Hank Scorpio: [chuckles] Nobody ever says Italy.

- The Simpsons

We're just back from France, where the trains are fast, the main streets are treated with respect by the council but not the dog owners and you can order any meal you like, so long as it's duck. We'd like to offer one quick addition to a story kindly provided by Brockley Jon in our absence last week.

The re-organisation of the Brockley timetable, which could see us lose the direct service to Charing Cross (with trains terminating instead at London Bridge) from December, was prompted by the introduction of the new high speed trains that will serve Kent and eventually the 2012 Olympic Park.

As the BBC reported in May:

Some rail services are to be axed when new high-speed trains are introduced in parts of south-east England. The launch of "javelin" trains on commuter routes in December will force the withdrawal of a small number of services, train firm Southeastern said. They include Maidstone East via London Bridge to Cannon Street and Charing Cross. Other timetables will change.

St Johns is among the stations directly affected, with an overall increase in peak-time services likely. Currently, 30 trains run to central London between 07.00 and 10.00. This looks set to rise to 36 trains, although this increase comes at the price of the direct service to Charing Cross.

This reorganisation will force knock-on changes to the Southern timetable, including that for Brockley and Honor Oak, as Jon reported. Though the loss of Charing Cross services is certainly annoying, spare a thought for those using stations like Blackheath, where services may be reduced during the peak period of 8am-9am, as a result of the changes. The theory is that Blackheath commuters will benefit from greater capacity further up the line, as people in Kent re-route to the Javelin services. Personally, BC would sooner have a higher frequency service than the possibility that fewer trains might be less crowded.

As the Standard reported, although there are significant net benefits for South East London commuters as a result of the new service, many stations in South East London will suffer reductions. You can review the draft Southeastern service levels here.