Forest Hill To Victoria Train

Hi, does anyone know what happened to the train that used to run from London Bridge to Victoria via Forest Hill and Crystal Palace? It was a very slow train but used to be half hourly and I commuted on it every day. It seems to have disappeared since COVID. Is it coming back?

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Yes it hasn’t been running for months now since Covid. Have to go to Crystal Palace and change there for another train.

If ever there’s an easy route to be cancelled to save money/time for Southern it’s always that line! It’s about time they brought the service back now because public transport levels are up to just below pre-Covid levels based on my commute into London the past few months.

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Also the orbital routes are exactly where connections are so poor - you mostly have to go in and out of town to get across town. Or most people will drive. The South Circular is a joke. I loved that Victoria train - so useful, even if it was slow.

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Yes it was a great train - long slow commute but nice and spacious. I now go via Croydon which is nowhere near as convenient. Is there any official word on this from Southern or TFL?

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Yes it would definitely be good if TfL introduced some buses that go from SE to SW. I know there’s the 185 but that goes up through town, would be good to be able to get across to Streatham/Wandsworth/Clapham/Victoria especially if they keep insisting on stopping this route. Unless there’s one I don’t know of?

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I hadn’t worked out this had stopped. I also used it for my commute. I really hope this isn’t a permanent fixture partly because I need to go to Victoria and partly because it means half the trains for London Bridge. When I first moved here there was an evening train direct from Charing Cross but since then. The service got worse and this would be a really bad development. That train was normally standing room only from gipsy hill In the mornings so it wasn’t an unused service in rush hour!

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Even pre-COVID, if I wasn’t on my bike, I found it quicker to go to Denmark Hill/Peckham Rye by bus and get a train to Victoria or Overground to Clapham Junction. Admittedly, I’m just the other side of the Horniman so 15 minutes walk down to the station which factored in. Or I cut through Dulwich Woods to Sydenham Hill and take the train to Victoria from there.

Outside term time, the P4 and swap to a 35/345 on route for Clapham. But traffic can be horrendous.

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If the service is not reinstated the change of train from the Overground to the Southern service to Victoria and vice versa could be made much easier.
At the moment the Overground terminates in platform 5 which made sense when the through service was still running: both services towards Forest Hill left from adjacent platforms and there were no conflicting movements of the trains.
Both those benefits are now longer there so platform 3 could be used to terminate the Overground service.
The benefit to passengers would be changing on level coming from Victoria and a lot less steps accessing platform 1 when going to Victoria.
Crystal Palace must have a record beating footbridge for height.

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I don’t know if it’s coming back but I really hope it will - I took this train almost every day to work just because it was quiet enough to get a seat and read/write on my way in.

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I think the Overground terminates on platform 5 so that passengers can sit on the train until it departs. It is the same at West Croydon. The Overground train uses the terminus platform and passengers can get on and wait instead of the stampede that used to occur before!

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I am also missing the Victoria service too as I’ve always used it when making a regular journey to Hampshire as I find changing onto South Western Railways at Clapham Junction so much easier when I’ve got luggage than changing at Canada Water and Waterloo. And as others have mentioned I always get a seat. I know there are lifts at Crystal Palace but it’s still a hassle changing there and due to mobility issues I can’t risk getting there to find one of the lifts is out of action as with arthritis in both knees trying to manage all the steps with luggage is difficult and painful.

Southern are bringing in a new timetable from Monday 7th September so I was hopeful that this would include the reinstatement of the Victoria service but alas that isn’t the case. It’s not even mentioned as one of the services that still isn’t running! However there’s been quite a few people asking when the service will be reinstated on Southern’s twitter feed and from the responses it looks unlikely it will be reinstated before the December 15th timetable change if even then! :angry:

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Sherwood. An overground train would terminate in platform 3 just like it does at the moment in platform 5. It would wait there before it departs.
You could sit on it before it departs as you do now.

I have also just tweeted after I did a national rail search for that journey for next Tuesday which is when I next need to go to the office in Victoria. And as you say, no direct train. I don’t understand how they can just take a route off without any consultation, if this is to be a permanent change. But it does mean it will be southeastern who are getting my fare from now on (just as they did when you couldn’t change over at London Bridge a few years ago) in days when its not practical to cycle. Very disappointed about how much degradation of the southern service there has been. Sigh.

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Victoria is a lovely cycle… Dulwich Park, past the Velodrome, Herne Hill then Railton Road is closed to traffic all the way up to Brixton. Head on to Stockell (bus lanes), Vauxhall, the Bridge has a segregated bike lane then up to Victoria. Quite an easy fun ride.

Absolutely :blush:. Been doing it since I moved out here in 2008 - bought a Brompton to take on the train and then realised it was easy just to do the whole journey by bike and cut out the ‘middle train’! It’s my main plan for return to the office but won’t be possible every time I go in so still need the train!

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I’d be surprised if it’s permanent as all the railway companies are still operating a reduced service. The Southern East Croydon - Milton Keynes service hasn’t been restored yet either.

My guess is that they cancel the trains where the political representation is the least effective.

I started volunteering at the Blue Cross Animal Hospital in Victoria a few weeks ago and felt like a complete tool waiting for the Victoria to FH train. The station staff member I asked about this service looked at me as if I was a loon, letting me know it was not running and had not been for a while. LOVED this service, is a nice relaxing long train home to decompress from the day. Fingers crossed it comes back, I loved watching doggos at Battersea playing in the yard as you roll by on the train

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I hope it is temporary too. I commute via Clapham Junction, so 2 trains will now be 3…

This is what I got back from southern twitter service:

Good afternoon, we’re working on restoring these set of services as soon as we can. It depends on the impact of coronavirus, but we are planning towards reintroduction in the next timetable change; Monday 15th December

So hopefully it will be back…

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