ELL Clapham Link Opens

ELL2, the new 6.76 mile East London Line link from Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction, is now open.

Four trains an hour will stop at Queens Road Peckham, Peckham Rye, Denmark Hill, Clapham High Street, Wandsworth Road and Clapham Junction, carrying up to 12.3 million people a year and completing a circuit around inner London.

The former South London Line service between London Bridge and Victoria via Denmark Hill and Peckham Rye has been withdrawn due to Thameslink work.

The service is experiencing minor delays this morning, due to an overrun on the engineering work last night.

This link represents the last of the East London Line works, until we get longer trains and a more frequent service in 2015.


headhunter said...

4 trains per hour? Not exactly tube frequency is it?! Ah well...

BeingMe said...

Perhaps that's because it's not the Tube!
Furthermore other posts here indicate increased train numbers by 2015.... all good things come to those who wait. And sometimes waiting for the Tube can take take a while!

Anonymous said...

HH, it's a new service where there wasn't one before, 4 divided by 0 is an infinitely better service. You lost your argument sometime ago, please stop. Please.

Lou Baker said...

It is not a new service at all. It's an old service which has been revised, upgraded in parts, downgraded in other parts, turned orange and given the PR treatment.

So your 4 divided by 0 arguement is spurious and false. It's more like 4 divided 2 plus new trains minus trains which don't go to central London anymore.

I understand ELL lovers struggle to remove their heads from their own backsides but there has actually been a pretty significant campaign against this link in its current form. And rightly so. It is significantly flawed.

LouLOL said...

Lou and Nigel farrage, never see them in the same picture. Just saying.

I use the ELL every day, as do thousands. Either we're deranged or you are. I vote you.

LouLOL said...

And Lou, the bit just opened did not exist before unless you mean the railway that was there a generation ago which is a slightly desperate argument.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Lou, I used to travel from nunhead to clapham years ago, who wants to go to clapham anyway, it's crap

Lou Baker said...


The new bit that opened today was a few hundred yards of track near Peckham. The rest of the 6.7 mile route - or whatever it is Nick quotes - has been there for years.

Until yesterday a route call the South London Line used it. The change is that is no longer goes to Victoria on the western end and the eastern end gets taken away from London Bridge and goes to Surrey Quays instead. Yes, there are more trains. But they unquestionable go to less useful destinations.

LouLOL said...

1.6km is new

Thameslink has caused the loss of the LB service.

Keep trying though, it's funny watching you simmer.

Anonymous said...

oh, is that right? The LB to Victoria loop service via Crystal Palace, Forest Hill etc, (as sopposed to the Peckham Rye one Nick mentions) is finished?

That was actually quite useful but, no doubt, the new "orbital" will be more popular....

Lou Baker said...


The loop via Forest Hill & CP survives - for now. Expect it to go soon when they realise they need extra capacity on the Overground.


Actually it's 1.3km, well under a mile of new track. And, yes, the western end is for Thameslink. Thameslink which, incidentally, doesn't benefit our part of south east London at all. But there was no need to lose the eastern link to Victoria. And even of there was need to lose Victoria mitigation measures should have been
put in place - such as stopping South Eastern services at more stations or introducing the Victoria-Bellingham service. Instead some stations lose ALL their direct trains to central London as a result of this change. You'd be whining if a change like that was imposed on
Brockley. I stand with the oppressed people of Wandsworth Rd.

LouLOL said...

I moved here because of the ELL, nothing that has happened since has made me regret it. We're better connected because of it. The massively increased use of the station is proof that its of use. Trouble is you've invested so much time and effort into hating it that your fragile ego cannot admit that you were wrong. It's ok, I take the facts as proof enough. I'll be hopping on it Tomorow.

Lou Baker said...


Fragile ego. Lol indeed. Hardly.

The fact that people use the ELL doesn't make it a sensible scheme. The ELL will be full to capacity barely 8 years after it was opened. And, because it wasn't built very well, it can't be expanded. At least not without drastic action. And that drastic action will - inevitably - be the axing of all London Bridge trains from Brockley.

If TFL had been honest about this at the start then fair enough. But they weren't so you all think you've got something great. Sadly, all too soon, you'll have it taken away. And then I'll gloat.

Anonymous said...

"And that drastic action will - inevitably - be the axing of all London Bridge trains from Brockley"

Now you just sound nuts, the final dummy spit. We're getting longer southern trains and more, longer ELL. Reality Lou, it just doesn't fit your narrative.

"The fact tht people use it doesn't make it a sensible scheme"

Let's turn that around, not using it would make it sensible?

Every transport scheme from railways to busses to roads are a compromise in a dense city with limited budgets. Grow ups make those decisions so you don't have to.

BeingMe said...

let's not forget there is only three stops to the Jubilee line... what's not to like about that, or am I missing something here?!

Lou Baker said...

@anon 2207

Indeed they are lengthening Southern trains. But when they run out of capacity on the ELL - which they will in
3 years - how do they increase that capacity on that? Remember they can't lengthen the trains beyond 5 cars - which they're doing soon - because of the way the line was built in the first place.

So how do they get the extra capacity? They have to run extra trains. How do they run extra trains? They have to simplify the route. That'll mean axing the New Cross spur and removing conflicting London
Bridge trains from the Croydon and Crystal
Palace branches. That means the outer South London
loop will go too.

I understand you're incredulous. You deny it will happen because they're lengthening platforms. You'll deny it because you don't read it in any press release or document. But it will happen because it is the only
way to get the capacity needed on the route. And that's because the Overground was short sighted in the first place. When I'm proved right - which I ultimately will be - I'll accept your apology.

Anonymous said...

What evidence does this Lou have for their assertions? Why is s/he assuming that "running out" of capacity will lead to anything? Loads of lines are over capacity. It just means we have to wait for the next train.

mb said...

Lou doesnt have any evidence, he has a cast iron belief in his own expertise.

Most of the network is 'over capacity'. If people can't get on trains they will have to find an alternative way to get to work. Happens all the time, Victoria and Bank are regularly closed due to over crowding.

Maximising capacity through clever signaling can squeeze more trains on but at some point you're full. You COULD axe the LB service, you COULD axe the ELL. Either IS possible, Lou doesn't know, he's inventing a scenario to support his argument that the ELL is a waste of time. He has to do that because it's obvious sucess undermines his earlier assertion that it goes nowhere useful. It does, that's why people use it.

It's his family I feel sorry for said...

Are you not keen on the ELL then Lou? You really should have said.

Lou Baker said...


You're being disingenuous. Yes there is always a maximum number of trains/carriages but the key thing is the number of those.

Take the Victoria line. Due to clever work by some people who eat fewer hobnobs than you, they can now squeeze 32 trains per hour on the line. 32 x 8 car trains. A great achievement but that's about the most they'll ever get. Hence the need soon for Crossrail 2.

Even mainline service get capacity relief - for example lengthening South West Train services around Richmond. They can't squeeze more trains on so they make longer ones. In this case a third longer.

But with the ELL those options are non existent. Due to poor choices when it was built you can't have trains longer than 5 cars. That means the trains are already almost as long as they can be. And due to the complexity of the route - and the number of services it shares with - there is very limited capacity to increase the number of trains either. You also have no new interchanges so you are cramming massive more numbers into the same sized holes.

If you were honest MB you'd admit there are major issues that need addressing but you prefer to try to score points instead.

@its his family
I welcome investment in public transport. I advocate far more money being spent on our railways. The ELL sufferers from a lack of ambition and from the willingness of residents to believe the PR spin without question.

mb said...

yes, they did (33tph next year). They could have made the ELL longer, they didn't have the money. They could have introduced Air-Con and Platform edge doors on he Vic, they didn't. Too expensive. You balance benefit with cost. The ELL could have been better, as could almost every other upgrade. Until you find a bottomless pit of money you'll get compromise. Crossrail is also a compromise.

It does not mean that the ELL is of little benefit, People use it. We're better off now than we were 5 years ago.

Anonymous said...

"I advocate far more money being spent on our railways."
What money? You're always telling us that the country is broke and we all need to tighten our belts.
You can't have it both ways.

Lou Baker said...

@anon 1133

Sure you can. It's not just what you spend, it's what you spend it on. Transport, schools, international development - that's good spending. Defence, welfare, hospitals, criminal justice - that's bad spending. More of the former, less of the latter please.


The great thing about Crossrail is that it's upgradable. This is how sensible transport projects work. You build what you can but don't do anything that'll stop future expansion/enhancement. ELL doesn't do that. It has a weeny life span and that makes it a bad project.

They could have done it properly, or they could have spent the same and just done bits of it. Instead we get this mess.

Anonymous said...

@Lou. Interesting. So we CAN afford to keep the hospitals and playschools open. You just don't want to.

Mb said...

ELL didn't cost £15bn and didn't take over 10yrs. There's a lesson here, I'll leave you to make the leap. The ELL is only bad if it didn't meet its objectives. It did.

Anonymous said...

So how much did the East London line cost, then?

Brockley Nick said...

First bit was a billion. The BBC claims the Clapham link cost a further £75m. Not sure whether that includes the extra trains - prob not.

Anonymous said...

If they're going to axe direct London trains from Brockley, why would they have lengthened the platforms at Brockley an Honor Oak Park to 10 carriages?

Brockley Nick said...

A very good question.

We might also ask why, if the problem is a lack of capacity on the ELL, which cannot be further expanded, anyone would axe these extra long trains to London Bridge, in order to replace them with the same number of much smaller trains.

I think the answer in both cases is that they wouldn't and Lou is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the

Overground cost is about £1 Billion (much of it funded by a loan from the European Bank)

Crossrail £16 Billion

HS2 to Birmingham will cost £32 Billion

The Overground looks like small change in comparison. A modest price to pay to help funnel workers into the financial ant-hills of the City and Canary Wharf.

Lou Baker said...


Are you sure? Really sure? They need more space at London Bridge. Sharing track between lines is inefficient and bad. Brockley has an alternative that you all rave about. You think the rail planners won't be considering it? I bet you they are.

I give it 5 years, perhaps 10. But then, you all like changing at Canada Water anyway - so you won't mind.

Anonymous said...

Crossrail will share track, it's standard practice. Your like a tinpot dictator hanging onto power when the plebs have all abandoned you. What's the view like, holed up in your bunker?

Anonymous said...

The rush hour morning trains must be way over capacity, next winter will be horrible..

BeingMe said...

Now in Paris they have double decker style trains..... Just a thought perhaps to help with capacity and such matters.

Anonymous said...

Sad to say double deckers will not fit into the tunnels on the UK rail network without an expensive rebore.

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