Welcome to london-railfan.info
Railfanning London‘s Railways

. . .

Visitors to London who are also transport enthusiasts (‘railfans’) sometimes ask for advice as to the ‘best’ things to see on London’s railway network. This page is part of a guide which aims to answer that question.

If this is the first time you have reached these pages then it is best to go to the Opening Page which sets the scene, explains the difference between the small and the large profile trains, offers advice on the best type of ticket to buy and photography tips.

Alternatively, it is possible to view everything on one page

London Overground
The Birth Of The Overground

The initial London Overground network comprised seven* urban railway routes which for reasons that included a lack of investment and lack of passenger awareness were (mostly) seen as transport backwaters. They were joined under one high-profile name and after much investment (and new trains) achieved a level of public awareness - and patronage - similar to that of the Underground system.
(* Although there were seven routes one of them was shortened and merged with another route, losing its separate identity at the same time).

Part of the Overground ethos has been to provide a turn up and go service so that passengers do not need to consult the timetable - they will know that (on most routes) the trains come at least every 15 minutes. Such has been the success of the Overground Network that to cope with passenger numbers most of the original routes needed to have their trains extended from four to five carriages in length.

In May 2015 some more routes were added to the London Overground network. Some of these are busy urban services whilst one is a short rural branch line.


twin tunnel symbol Information for people who are happy to travel on trains which are above ground but experience claustrophobia when in tunnels.

A few locations on the Overground Network have single track tunnels:

* Where trains use the historic Brunel tunnels to pass below the River Thames on the East London Line section between Wapping and Rotherhithe stations. Note that this route also includes many twin track tunnels.

* On the Euston - Watford service between Euston and South Hampstead stations plus between Kensal Green and Willesden Junction stations. On days when this service is diverted to Stratford (instead of Euston) then the trains pass through single track tunnels when travelling between South Hampstead and Camden Road stations.

Overground System Maps
London Overground 2013 Map; click image to see a larger version in a new window.
Map showing the London Overground network in 2013.
This map also shows open air and tunnelled sections of railway.
Original source & license: Cnbrb / Wikipedia encyclopædia CC BY-SA 3.0
. London Overground 2015 Map; click image to see a larger version in a new window.
Map showing the London Overground network after more routes were added in 2015 plus interchange stations and stations with pink Oyster Route Validators.       Original source & license:
sameboat / Wikipedia encyclopædia CC BY-SA 3.0

Click maps to see larger versions in new windows! .

The 2015 map includes information on the routes which joined the London Overground network in May 2015 and lists the services as route A - route G, as per the information below.

  • A: Euston - Watford Junction.
  • B: Richmond - Stratford (via the North London Line).
  • C: Clapham Junction - Willesden Junction (via the West London Line) - most of these services are extended to Stratford via the North London Line.
  • D: Gospel Oak - Barking (this route is nicknamed Goblin).
  • E: A group of four interworked services which travel via the East London Line and the historic Brunel Thames Tunnel. The core part of the route is: (Highbury & Islington - some trains only) - Dalston Junction - Surrey Quays. From here trains fan out to reach New Cross / West Croydon / Crystal Palace / Clapham Junction.
  • F: A group of three north London services which radiate from London's Liverpool Street station to Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters) / Enfield / Chingford (This group of lines is also known as West Anglia).
  • G: A short branch line shuttle service between Romford and Upminster at the eastern edge of London.
London Overground 710 135 Ilford Depot. . London Overground trains pass near Hackney Central / Hackney Downs.
A brand new train - London Overground 710 135 destined for the West Anglia and Romford - Upminster services (routes F and G) at Ilford depot before these trains were introduced into service. . Westbound North London Line route B Class 378 train departs from Hackney Wick station. On the bridge is a now withdrawn northbound route F Class 315 train approaching Hackney Downs stations.
Walkway between Hackney Central and Hackney Downs. . Walkway entrance Hackney Central.
Hackney Central and Hackney Downs stations are very close to each and to make life easier for interchanging passengers they are linked by a footbridge.
This walkway is fully accessible and also has some pink Oyster / Contactless card readers so that passengers paying train
fares using PAYG (or with Oyster Travelcard season tickets which do not include zone 1) can benefit from cheaper fares.

Outer Circle Line

Although not marketed as such the combination of several London Overground services forms a Circle line around London.

However, this operates in several segments, so for some journeys passengers will need to change trains at Clapham Junction [in south London] or Canonbury / Highbury & Islington plus any station between Dalston Junction and Surrey Quays [in north and east London].

Passengers paying fares using electronic smart card ticketing in PAYG (pay as you go) mode (Oyster, contactless, etc.,) are advised NOT to try and travel around the entire circle in one journey. The PAYG system is not designed for such journeys and passengers who try to do this will find themselves being charged an expensive maximum fare. NB: this advice also applies to passengers who have reached the fares cap for that day and passengers with Oyster Travelcard Season Tickets which do not include both Zones 1 and 2.

However passengers with paper One Day Travelcards which are valid in zones 1 and 2, All Line Rover, BritRail and Eurail passes (etc.,) can make such journeys without ticketing complications.

Train Types - Class 378

London Overground Class 378 Capitalstar trains are used on routes A, B, C and E. These trains are air-conditioned.

Class 378 trains in new and old liveries. . Class 378 train named Jeff Langston.
Class 378 trains at Clapham Junction.
On the left is 378 147 in the newer livery, it is on a South & East London lines service to Dalston Junction via Whitechapel.
On the right is 378 204 in the older / original livery about to start a West & North London lines service to Stratford via Willesden Junction.
. Some Class 378 trains have been named - 378 232 has been
named after the late Jeff Langston, who used to work at TfL.
It is using the bay platform at Willesden Junction.
This train is in the newer livery which is designed to be similar
to the livery of the Class 710 trains.

These are powerful trains which were designed for 75mph (121 km/h) operation, although because much of the Overground network has a top speed of just 45mph (72 km/h) they rarely demonstrate their true capabilities. Indeed, it is a characteristic of the Overground that its trains travel calmly and sedately, with slow station approaches and gentle braking of the type which makes for very smooth journeys - and longer overall journey times.

Class 378 train older seat fabric palette. . Class 378 train newer seat fabric palette.
Internally Class 378 trains have two different seating fabric palette colours - old on the left and new on the right.
Class 378 train - pantograph - 3rd rail pick-up shoe. . Class 378 train empty pantograph well.
378 2xx trains are twin system trains - they have power supply collection equipment for both 25Kv AC overhead wire and 750v DC third rail power supply systems. . 378 1xx trains can only be used on routes powered by the
750v DC third rail system, but are designed for easy conversion
to twin system.

projector icon
A short film showing Overground and other trains taken a New Cross Gate in May 2013 can be seen on 'youtube' at this link: http://youtu.be/9EpfgK8Z34g .

Train Types - Class 710

London Overground Class 710 Aventra trains in four carriage format are used on routes A, D, F and G. These trains are air-conditioned.

In the future there will also be some five carriage Class 710 trains, these will be used on routes B and C.

London Overground Class 710 train. . Inside London Overground Class 710 train.
710 269 (above left) is arriving at Leytonstone High Road station on a Gospel Oak - Barking (route D) service to Barking, and passing the sealed off unused section of station platform. This is one of several stations on this route where only part of a much longer platform is used.
real time information inside London Overground Class 710 train. . electronic information display inside London Overground Class 710 train.
Class 710 trains have two electronic passenger information displays...
The full-width display on the left provides real-time travel information, including about the next station, interchange possibilities (albeit only with trains - not buses) and a partial route map showing the next few stations plus the destination station. . This display offers information that could just as easily (and usefully) be displayed on paper posters - perhaps in the future it will be used for 'infotainment' - such as live news, weather forecasts, future date travel alerts, commercial advertising etc.,
Class 710 train USB sockets.
These trains include a few USB power sockets .... but they are only located at the cariage ends (as seen above) and next to the wheelchair spaces! .

Some Route Information
  • The Euston - Watford Junction (all stations) service (route A).is powered at 750V dc via a third rail.
    The tracks between Queens Park and Harrow & Wealdstone are shared with Bakerloo Line Underground trains.

    Very occasionally the Euston - Watford trains are diverted away from Euston station and instead travel to Stratford via the former (ie: now closed) Primrose Hill station.
London Overground Classes 710 and 378 trains Kensal Green tunnel mouths. . Class 710 train third rail power pick up shoe.
Classes 710 and 378 trains at Kensal Green station, which is just to the north of some short tunnels.
Both train types are used on this route.
. Third rail power supply pickup shoe - only Class 710 2xx trains are equipped for the 3rd rail 750V dc power supply system.
London Overground Class 710 train South Kenton station. . London Overground Class 710 train Euston station.
710 269 at South Kenton, behind it are four tracks of the
West Coast Main Line which is used by Inter-City trains to Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Carlisle and Glasgow.
. 710 268 at London Euston station.

North London Line
  • The North London Line (route B) links Stratford in the east of London with Richmond in south-west London.
    Between Stratford and Acton Central the trains are powered at 25kV AC from overhead wires, whilst between Acton Central and Richmond they are powered at 750V DC via an electrified third rail.
    The tracks between Gunnersbury and Richmond are shared with District Line Underground trains.
    Note that for 'end to end' journeys between east and west London it might be quicker to travel via Central London.

    The North London Line is also a very busy freight route, especially the sections between Stratford and Camden Road plus Gospel Oak and Willesden Junction.
Bollo Lane level crossings. . Freight train passing through Highbury & Islington.
The twin level crossings at Bollo Lane. The crossing nearer to me is used by North London Line (NLL) trains. The nearest stations to here are South Acton (NLL) and Acton Town (District & Piccadilly lines).
There is also a level crossing next to Acton Central NLL station, this being the station where the trains swap between 25Kv AC overhead wire and 750v DC third rail.
. The North London Line is also a busy freight corridor. This eastbound electrically hauled container train is travelling through platform 8 at Highbury & Islington station.

The North London Line is almost entirely above ground and represents a good way for those who do not feel adventurous to see suburban parts of London without wandering the streets and risking becoming lost. At Stratford there are good views of the Olympic Park where the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games were held. In the Hackney area the line is on a brick arch viaduct which offers many views of East London. Dating from the 1980's, when passenger services through east London were reintroduced after WW2, the stations Hackney Wick - Dalston Kingsland are all simple and low cost in design (except Hackney Central, which was rebuilt in 2018.) This is an area which some people may prefer to avoid, although it should be perfectly safe to view from passing trains. The Dalston - Camden Road section is mostly multi-tracked with part of the route shared with East London Line trains and part where there are extra tracks for freight trains. Between Camden Road and Kentish Town West the line passes near to the famous Camden Market. Near to Gospel Oak look out for the childrens' play ground and the allotments (an area of urban ground split up into small patches so that people who do not have gardens attached to their houses can grow fresh vegetables and flowers). There is a twin track tunnel near to Hampstead Heath station. The line crosses the River Thames on a bridge between Gunnersbury and Kew Gardens stations.

Highbury & Islington station. . Crowded platform at Highbury & Islington.
Highbury and Islington London Overground platforms
as seen from the B515 Liverpool Road.#
On the left are North London Line platforms №s 8 and 7 (route A).
On the right are East London Line platforms №s 2 and 1 (route E).
Whilst the track from platform 2 connects with the North London Line, the signalling system has been designed to not allow through trains!
. Its not yet the rush hour but already platform №8 (eastbound,
North London Line) at Highbury & Islington is very busy.
Many passengers change trains here, catching the Victoria Line to Central London.
Camden Road station building.
Camden Road station is one of the few North London Line stations
to still retain their original North London Railway station buildings.

The railway company and (original) station names
can be seen at the top of the building.
. Heritage plaque at Camden Road station.
Camden Town Northern Line station is 7 - 10 minutes walk from here. Passengers paying fares using PAYG are allowed to walk between these stations and then continue their journey at no extra cost. (Touch-out when leaving the station and touch-in when arriving at the other station). There is a generous time limit in which this journey must be completed, so people who walk slowly should not worry.

West London Line
  • The West London Line (route C) links Clapham Junction with Willesden Junction, changing between 25kV AC overhead wires and 750V DC third rail part way between Shepherds Bush and Willesden Junction stations.
    Most trains travel all the way from Clapham Junction to Stratford, enhancing the North London Line service frequency.
Class 378 Overground train at Shepherds Bush West London Line station. . Class 377 Southern train at Shepherds Bush West London Line station.
Shepherds Bush station on the West London Line is next to the very large Westfield indoor shopping centre. The Central Line Underground station of the same name is also nearby. . The West London Line is also served by an hourly Southern train which travels between Milton Keynes and East Croydon.
These trains do NOT stop at Willesden Junction.
West Brompton platform with wire mesh fence.
At West Brompton the West London Line (route C)
platforms are alongside the District Line's platforms.
. Passengers interchanging between southbound Overground and northbound Underground trains benefit from same-level cross-platform interchange via some gaps in the fence.

However passengers interchanging between northbound Overground and southbound Underground trains must use the steps / lifts - up and then down.

Most passengers paying fares using electronic smart cards (Oyster, contactless, etc.,) in PAYG mode will find their journey is cheaper if they remember to use the pink card readers.
Passengers with Travelcard season tickets which do NOT include Zone 1 also need to use the pink card readers - as otherwise they risk being charged an extra fare.
S Stock and Class 378 trains at Kensington Olympia station. . On footbridge over the tracks at Kensington Olympia station.
Kensington Olympia station as seen looking north from a road bridge. For many years this was known as Addison Road station. . The footbridge is split into two sections - one side is for passengers inside the 'fares paid' area and the other side allows local people who are not passengers to cross the tracks.
At most times Kensington Olympia is only served by trains operated by London Overground and Southern. District line Underground trains usually only come here at weekends, during busy events at the nearby exhibition halls or when there is disruption to the (District Line) service.
In addition many goods (freight) trains travel through here.

East And South London Lines
  • The East London Line (route E) is a group of four services. They are all powered at 750V DC via a third rail. Note that one of the intermediate stations (Shoreditch High Street) is in Zone 1, which makes journeys through this station more expensive to travel on (higher fares).
    Highbury & Islington - West Croydon
    Dalston Junction - New Cross
    Highbury & Islington - Crystal Palace
    Dalston Junction - Clapham Junction via the part of the route of the former South London Line (SLL).

    Extending London Overground trains from Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction resulted in the closure of the former SLL service between London Bridge and Victoria mainline stations. This ending of through SLL trains caused severe inconvenience to some former SLL passengers who must now travel longer, slower routes and change trains (at least once) and / or catch buses to complete journeys which could previously be accomplished on just the one train. To maintain the legal status (as still being a functioning railway) of the part of the SLL route which is not used by any other trains a few London Overground trains travel to Battersea Park instead of Clapham Junction - but at times of day when few passengers wish to travel!
Shadwell station. . Overground train at Whitechapel station.
An Overground train passes below a ventilation portal as it arrives at Shadwell station. Very close by is the DLR station of the same name. . Since the building of a new roof at Whitechapel station it is no longer possible to see that East London Line Overground trains pass below District and Hammersmith & City Lines Underground trains.

The section of East London Line between Highbury & Islington and 'near to' Shoreditch High Street was originally part of the North London Line, but for many years it had been closed. Between Dalston Junction and near to Whitechapel this line is on a viaduct which gives interesting views of the local buildings and the stations are all brand new.

The present-day Shoreditch High Street station is also new; it replaces the older Shoreditch station which was closed to allow for the extension of the route.

The section of East London Line between the old Shoreditch station and New Cross / New Cross Gate was operated by Metropolitan Railway / Line trains for over 100 years! This route includes the first tunnel ever to be built under the River Thames. The text below is copied from one of the Nostalgia, Heritage & Leisure pages on the citytransport.info website ..

35ft [11m] wide, 20ft [6m] high and 1,300ft (¼ mile / 396m) long, this tunnel runs between Rotherhithe and Wapping at a depth of 75ft [23m] below London's River Thames. It was built between 1825 and 1843 using Marc Isambard Brunel's newly invented tunnelling shield technology, by him and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This long time period included a seven year abandonment which was caused by financial problems. Originally the intention was that the tunnel should be used by horse-drawn carriages but ongoing financial problems meant that the access ramps could not be afforded and it remained for pedestrians only. In 1865 the tunnel was purchased by the East London Railway Company, this being a consortium of six railway companies who wanted to use the tunnel to provide a rail link for goods and passengers between Wapping (and later, Liverpool Street) and the South London Line. The tunnel opened for trains in 1869 and in 1884 the disused entrance shafts in Wapping and Rotherhithe were converted into Wapping and Rotherhithe stations respectively.

The six railway companies which owned the East London Railway Company included the Metropolitan Railway and the Metropolitan District Railway which eventually became part of London Transport and the Metropolitan Line / District Line. The other four railway companies eventually became part of British Railways. The Metropolitan Railway electrified the line in 1913 and ended up providing the 'local' passenger services - which included many through trains over the northern part of the Circle line to destinations such as Uxbridge and Hammersmith (both via Baker Street). The steam railways operated longer distance services (eg: to the south coast) and freight trains. Nowadays only Overground trains use this line, especially as the new link past the former Shoreditch station which joins the subterranean and elevated sections of line is quite steep and restricts access to only trains which are powerful enough to negotiate this incline.

Platform murals at Wapping station. . Platform murals at Wapping station.
Platform murals at Wapping station depicting how it would have been shortly after opening and what would have been a typical early 1960's scene when it was used by London Transport electric passenger trains as well as British Railways steam (later diesel) powered freight trains.

Rotherhithe Station - Railway Avenue. . Plaque at Rotherhithe Station. . Brunel Museum.
Left: Rotherhithe station and Railway Avenue.
Centre: A plaque on the brickwork above the stairs to the platforms at Rotherhithe station ..
Right: The Brunel Museum, as seen from Railway Avenue.

A short walk along Railway Avenue from Rotherhithe station is the Brunel Museum. This includes the Brunel Engine House which was designed by Sir Marc Isambard Brunel as part of the infrastructure of the Thames Tunnel. The museum has a website at this link:
http://www.brunel-museum.org.uk/ ..

To the south of Surrey Quays trains travelling to / from Clapham Junction travel on a section of railway which had been closed for many years but was re-opened for this service. At some stage in the future a new station will be built here.

Queens Road Peckham - Wandsworth Road is part of the former South London Line. Much of this route is elevated on brick arch viaducts.

The view from the train window between Denmark Hill and Clapham High Street will interest people who wish to see 'real' London away from the tourist areas but at the same time feel safer not walking the streets. Especially not with cameras visible for everyone to see.

Local people will perhaps disagree, but Peckham and Wandsworth are two more of the 'inner city South London' areas which some people may prefer to avoid.

London Overground train at Crystal Palace station. . Surrey Quays station.
London Overground train at Crystal Palace station.
This much-loved Victorian-era station building requires at least four photographs to properly show it. Nowadays only platforms 1-6 are used, with part of the station closed to passengers.
. Surrey Quays station. Very close to here is the Surrey Quays shopping centre which has about 40 shops, restaurants, free toilets and a large Tesco superstore. This is very much a neighbourhood shopping centre that is used by local people, but of course visitors to London would be welcome as well. For more information visit this website http://www.surreyquaysshoppingcentre.co.uk/ ..

At New Cross Gate trains travelling to / from West Croydon and Crystal Palace merge with an existing four track section of railway which extends all the way to Norwood Junction.

This part of south London is also served by many trains from terminus stations such as London Bridge and Victoria; passengers paying their fares in PAYG mode should note that these other trains charge higher fares.

Overground and Southern trains at Brockley station. . Overground and Southern trains at Honor Oak Park station.
London Overground and Southern trains on the four track section of railway between New Cross Gate and Norwood Junction. These stations are Brockley left and Honor Oak Park right.
The London Overground [and Southern trains which call at intermediate stations] use the outer two tracks whilst the centre pair of tracks are used by fast Southern and Thameslink trains.
British Rail double arrow symbol - ticket gates - West Croydon. . Pictogram of person on stairway landing West Croydon.
Two scenes from West Croydon station - British Rail double arrow symbol on the ticket hall floor and
a pictogram of a fallen person on a stairway intermediate landing - this is to discourage passengers from running whilst descending the stairs.
trains at Denmark Hill station. . London Overground trains at Clapham Junction station.
London Overground route E Class 378 and Class 319 trains at Denmark Hill station. This much-loved Victorian station was rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1980. Nowadays most of the station building is a pub called The Phoenix. Happily, there is a counter specially dedicated to railway passengers who can buy refreshments without leaving the fares paid area. . London Overground Class 378 trains at Clapham Junction.

The train near to me will be travelling via Canada Water
[ie: south and east London - route E].
The train in the distance will be travelling via Willesden Junction
[ie: west and north London - route C].
Gospel Oak - Barking 'Goblin' Service
  • The Gospel Oak - Barking 'Goblin' Service (route D) links the busy Barking station in east London with Gospel Oak station in north London.

For many years this was a neglected branch line which had an infrequent train service but since the formation of the London Overground network it has been completely transformed. Nowadays it is served by Class 710 electric trains on a 15 minute / quarter hourly frequency. Although the line is electrified using the 25Kv AC overhead wire system it uses twin-system trains which can also operate via a 750v DC third rail. This is because the same fleet of trains is also used by the Euston - Watford Junction service (route A) which is powered via electric rails.

The Goblin Line is also a very busy freight route

GOBLIN and North London Line trains at Gospel Oak. . Class 710 GOBLIN train at Gospel Oak station London.
At Gospel Oak route D Goblin passengers benefit from cross - platform interchange with eastbound North London Line (route B) trains travelling to Stratford.
However passengers interchanging between Goblin and westbound North London Line trains must use the stairs or lifts.

Platform view showing train and waiting room at Upper Holloway station London. . Inside Upper Holloway station waiting room. . Fully enclosed railway station waiting room doorway.
Passengers waiting for trains at Upper Holloway station can use fully enclosed and heated waiting rooms.
Leytonstone High Road station ticket sales area. . Platform view at Barking station London.
The entrance to Leytonstone High Road station - automated ticket gates and self-service ticket vending machines; whilst there is not a staffed ticket office there is usually a member of staff on duty here who can offer assistance, if required. . Looking out the open doors of a Goblin Class 710 train at Barking station.
The next track is used by eastbound District line trains to Upminster (these trains open their doors on both sides).
Beyond that are the eastbound and westbound C2C service (London Fenchurch Street - Shoeburyness), the westbound C2C trains also benefit from cross-platform interchange with westbound District line trains - one of which is seen in the distance.
New Extension

There is a plan to extend this line from Barking to a new residential area near to the River Thames.

At Barking station the trains will use different platforms (probably Nos. 7 & 8) and the existing platform will be closed.

The new terminus station will be a station named Barking Riverside.

West Anglia Services
  • The West Anglia (route F) services comprise a group of three services. They are all powered at 25kV AC via overhead wires. All services are operated by brand new Class 710 trains.
    Liverpool Street station - Enfield Town
    Liverpool Street station - Chingford
    Liverpool Street station - Cheshunt via Seven Sisters (NOT the service via Tottenham Hale)

The desire is that all services from Liverpool Street will operate at least every 15 minutes but because these are busy routes which are also used by other trains and there is not always enough track capacity so sometimes trains are less frequent.

The core section of the West Anglia services is between London Liverpool Street and Hackney Downs stations, and in addition to trains operated by London Overground this route is also used by trains operated by Abellio Greater Anglia. The types of train typically seen here includes Classes 317 and 745 - the latter on the Stansted Express airport service.

Platform garden at Highams Park London Overground station. . Highams Park level crossing.
A small but very pleasant garden on the platform used by trains to London Liverpool Street at Highams Park station. . Class 710 train starts to cross the Highams Park level crossing,
also seen here are the former signal box (left) and clock tower.
London Fields station platform passenger. . London Overground 315 807 Hackney Downs station.
London Overground Class 315 train arrives at London Fields station. . London Overground 315 807 arrives at Hackney Downs station.
Two Class 710 train ends coupled to form one longer train. . Class 710 1xx route maps.
At certain times two London Overground route F Class 710 train units will operate together as 8 carriage trains. This 'middle of train' view was taken at Hackney Downs. . London Overground Class 710 1xx trains have three paper route maps over the doors - West Anglia, Goblin and Romford - Upminster.
Route G
  • The Romford - Upminster via Emerson Park service (route G) is a single track quiet country branch line which uses just one train that provides a 30 minute service. There is no service in the evening after 8pm (20:00) or on Sundays.

This service uses a Class 710 train.

Class 710 train single track branch line. . Inside train Upminster station.
Approaching Emerson Park station on a journey
from Romford to Upminster.
. Inside a London Overground Class 710 train at Upminster station with a London Underground S7 District line train alongside.

Overground To Expand Throughout London?

In January 2016 it was announced that when the franchises for all other mainline railway routes in London are renewed control of the urban / suburban services will be transferred to Transport For London, (TfL) who it is expected will add them to the London Overground network.

It remains to be seen of this comes to pass, as not all passengers will welcome this - especially as experience with the London Underground Metropolitan Line suggests that TfL will change service patterns in ways which disadvantage passengers travelling from outside of London's political boundaries. (ie: make the trains call at more stations so that journeys from outside of London become slower and take longer). The issue is that many of these services are integrated into the mainline / national railway network whilst TfL's primary interest is serving people who live inside its political boundaries. In many areas there are towns which whilst just outside of London's political boundaries are still part of its socio-economic zone.

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This page last updated 26th January 2022
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