Tfl : the strategic case for metroisation


Sadiq Kahn just made a play for South London trains to be taken over by TFL:

There was a pdf here => but it seems like it’s been taken down.

However there is a cache here =>

Some interesting ideas in there that sound revolutionary.


Among the proposals:

If they can deliver this I’d be all for it. I’m skeptical though. TfL is heavily indebted (and currently running at a £1bn deficit), and has shown itself to be very weak vs the unions (tube driver salaries are clear evidence of that). I don’t see how TfL would have any special power to improve well-run lines like the East London Line?


Tube-level service on the East London and Sydenham lines with trains every seven to eight minutes from London Bridge to Tulse Hill, and every 15 minutes to the Crystal Palace and Hackbridge lines


They already do run the east London line ?


It’s branded by TfL but as far as I know it’s run by Arriva.


I see they are proposing building a new interchange between the Overground and South-Eastern lines at Brockley - this would be amazing.


Yeah that would !


Think it’s actually Abellio. There were some market researchers on the East London bit of the Overground about a month ago asking questions about where passengers were going to and from. As some passengers were sceptical about why they were being asked they were at pains to explain they weren’t employed by TFL but Abellio who in fact run the line and were researching usage of the service.


It is Arriva that run the Overground. Until 2024 at least.

Abellio run the rail replacement bus service and some of the local bus routes - although non that run directly through Forest Hill as far as I can tell.


Does anyone understand what they mean when they talk about the improvement by “Metroisation” of the overground?


Not sure how that would work but that would be amazing.


To clarify some questions here.

London Overground is operated by their concessionary partner Arriva Rail London under a contract that runs until May 2024 with the option to extend until May 2026.

Arriva’s responsibility is to manage the trains, stations on behalf of TfL who stipulate what services should be operated, down to the branding. It’s TfL’s responsibility to acquire trains and pay Arriva to run the service. There are similar concessions for TfL Rail and the DLR.

TfL’s plans for the Southern side include reverting back to six trains per hour into London Bridge off-peak (currently 4). I believe the extra two trains will go to Sutton southbound as pre 2010. while an extra two trains per hour would run between Dalston Junction and West Croydon and Crystal Palace. These combined services will provide a real tube style turn up and go service. They would also acquire new trains to replace the over 30 year old Class 455 trains which are used on Coulsdon Town services.

The extra trains into West Croydon won’t happen until the extensive resignalling and track works between Selhurst/Norwood Junction and East Croydon are finished.

The replacement bus services are contracted to Southern, rather than London Overground. As Southern is part of GTR, which is part of the Go-Ahead Group, they largely use buses from parent company Go-Ahead London.


Thanks for that explaination ! Very useful.

Can you elaborate what you mean by “a real tube style turn up and go service”.


Basically a very short wait at our stations for the next train as you’ll get on the Underground, although there’s normally around a 4-7 min wait for a train between Sydenham and New Cross Gate.

With Southern trains going on the TfL fare scale if they replace Southern, it should shoulder some of the passenger traffic from the overcrowded existing Overground trains.