From the Sydenham Society enewsletter:
Sydenham and Victoria?
During the pandemic, all trains on the direct “loop line” between London Bridge and Victoria (operated by Southern) were cancelled.
At the time, passengers may have been forgiven for believing that this was a temporary measure, designed to get us over the pandemic.
The “loop line” has disappeared permanently. In its place, passengers are advised to get a Southern train and change at Norwood Junction or travel to Crystal Palace on the Overground and change there.
This means inconvenient, long-drawn-out journeys with platform changes at an intermediate station. And it’s much slower - a journey between Sydenham and Gipsy Hill for example, (two stops up the line), now takes 21 minutes. You could walk between these two stations more quickly!