How Busy ? London Bridge to FH rush hour trains

It’s Covid cautious here: how busy are the Southern trains from London Bridge to Forest Hill around 5.30 to 6.30 in the evening please ?.

I came back from Bedford twice with my husband about that time last month it was lovely not busy. But that was the only time of our experience for nearly a year!!

Compared with pre Covid times? Utterly empty.

Compared with earlier in the year? A little busier but you can still have a double set of seats to yourself.

If it helps I have been using trains to go in to the office twice a week since October and have managed not to get Covid. The trains are well run, fairly empty and people in the whole behave themselves.


That’s reassuring. When I had to go for an urgent hospital appointment in January I was one of 6 people on the platform at FH at 8.15 on a weekday morning. I shared a whole carriage with only one other and the number of extra passengers doubled to two by the time we got to LB.

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Sadly due to the cuts in service of the London Bridge train the timings dont work for me-I either arrive in Work 30mins early or 15 mins late-so annoying because its my preferred service The Overground gets pretty busy now when I use it around 8am-and Canada water is almost like it was pre-pandemic.

That must be very annoying. I am lucky that my office job allows me to start pretty much when I please.

Now things are open more hopefully Southern will reinstate some services.

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I got the 5.40 train back from London Bridge on Tuesday and it was the busiest I had seen in a while but nothing compared to pre pandemic times. I was on a bank of 4 seats and there was someone opposite me, and then 3 people on the bank of 6. So probably half the seats taken in the carriage.

My partner is back at work. The Overground is pretty crowded - the London Bridge trains are only two an hour so that’s quite annoying and involves a lot of waiting at LB. Some parts of the trains are busier than others, but they are generally quieter than prepandemic - so far he’s got a whole seating set to himself, but he has had to wander down the train to find quieter bits. There was a 6pm ish one a few weeks ago that was really busy - he ended up standing in a doorway.

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Middle of the day about 6 people per carriage, maybe 50 on the train. The LB stairs were busy though - no chance to distance. I decided, on balance, not to travel back by train but to walk. Obviously I came across quite literally hundreds of people on the pavements. Was it the right decision ? I don’t know. I had plenty of time and the weather was lovely. I’m a bit fitter now and walked off maybe a couple of doughnuts worth of calories.

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It’s easier and quieter if you enter and exit LB from the Shard side. No good if you are changing on to the Charing X train though.

Hoping they restore the FH to Clapham Junction service. Makes a big difference to connectivity without it.


Today was lovely…I was at work and on Sundays they have the old 4 LB trains an hour.
It put me in such a good mood both going to work and coming home knowing I wouldn’t be facing the dreaded Canada Water!

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Ooh I hope that means we are back to four an hour in the week too - although I can mooch in shops now if i miss my train at London Bridge


I went to Oxford Street on Tuesday last week, & Sloane Square on the Wednesday (both for John Lewis). I left home about 9.30, & was pleasantly surprised. Its the first time I have been up the West End since Xmas 2019!
Although the Jubilee Line was busy, I managed to get a seat & it wasn’t as I was dreading absolutely rammed where we were all in each other’s faces.
Whether this will change in time we will see I suppose.

I did write to Vicky Foxcroft and she raised the service with Govia. They claim that services will increase from 17th May and “the two trains per hour London Bridge to London Victoria via Crystal Palace route will be introduced at peak times to provide additional space and journey options”… it will be interesting to see what their definition of “peak times” is…


I went on a variety of trains last week and can confirm:

  • the southern trains seem to be the quietest Busiest is coming back usual rush hour time.
  • overground is the busiest. But everyone seemed to be wearing masks.
  • jubilee line was quiet. I did only go on it outside of rush hour times but I was surprised. There is a one way system at Canada Water so no bundle for the down escalator.
  • the train to oxford was empty!
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Oh Fingers crossed their definition of ‘peak times’ coincides with my journey to and from work :laughing:

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Southern Railways have announced today what changes are being made when the “Summer Timetable” comes in on May 16th and they do show the London Victoria-London Bridge service via Crystal Palace resuming as " Two trains as hour will run at certain times of the day" but haven’t provided the actual timetables yet. However I’ve just checked the National Rail website and they’re showing the following additional services running weekdays from May 17th as follows:

Forest Hill - Victoria
12 and 42 minutes past each hour from 0642 to 0842 and from 1742 to 1842 and 2312
Victoria - Forest Hill
20 and 50 minutes past each hour from 0650 to 0820 and from 1620 to 1850

Forest Hill - London Bridge
28 and 58 minutes past each hour from 0728 to 0858 and from 1658 to 1928
London Bridge - Forest Hill
28 and 58 minutes past each hour from 0628 to 0828 and from 1728 to 1828 and 2258

With major engineering work closing Victoria Station for all Southern services every weekend and bank holiday in May there won’t be a Saturday Victoria service till at least June 5th. Currently National Rail is showing a full Saturday service from June 5th but with a note that is is not yet confirmed if these services will be affected by engineering works!