Trains cancelled from Forest Hill



No trains running again.

Does anyone know the reason they are cancelled at weekends so often?

I’ve only lived in the area 6 months so was wondering if it’s always been like this?


We get periods where there are a lot of ‘no trains’ weekends, then long periods when it’s fine.

There are lots of issues that contribute to this. One has been Crossrail works, as this affects trains going through Whitechapel and other parts of our line. Another issue is the fact our tracks are owned by Network Rail and they often do track maintenance at the weekend. There have been several sink holes under the tracks at Forest Hill and I believe that has made Network Rail bring forward some upgrade works for the area. (I can’t remember the source of this information and if other regulars can point us to some references, that would be appreciated!).

In the long term I believe we should see much less weekend disruption once all of these various upgrades have been completed. But in the meantime it can be hugely frustrating.


That’s really helpful to know. Thanks :slight_smile:


Track closures for London Overground for up to 6 months ahead can be found here:
Usually if London Overground aren’t operating south of New Cross Gate then our Southern services aren’t either,


Southern trains were scheduled to run to London Bridge today (only) so not sure why they changed this at the last minute. Ruined my travel plans a treat.


I am working in the westend all weekend.
I checked in advance and saw southern were running trains.
Only to arrive at the station at 8.45am to see no trains.
If my other half didn’t have a car to drive me to Brixton for the Victoria line it would have taken at least 90mins to get into work.
Its a joke Dont they realise some of us actually WORK in central london at the weekends.
Its the only thing I loathe about living here.
Overcrowded and unreliable trains And no bus from Forest Hill to Oxford Circus


Unfortunately, the only way thats going to improve is by maintaining and improving the infrastructure. Given the nature of the work, and for safety, this necessitates track closure.

If you look at the size and complexity of the works going on (an almost complete rebuild of London Bridge, spanning a whole new platform over the ELL platform at Whitechapel), quite frankly I’m amazed they manage to keep weekday services running, let alone as much of the weekend as they do. When I first moved to Forest Hill I was reliant on the ELL to get to work, they then closed it for 2 solid years while they upgraded it - after that, the odd week and a good handful of weekends of disruption seems barley worth noting.

I’m sure they do, but I’m afraid your up against the numbers game here. There are simply less commuters effected by a weekend closure (but a long distance). I’m sure Network Rail and the likes would love to only do works during the day on weekdays. I imagine it would be much cheaper and much easier for them to organise without the addition of weekend and night time hours to factor in to the mix

Now that bit is inexcusable! With all the planning that goes on for closures, I can’t believe that Southern didn’t know that they weren’t running trains. After all, they have to roster drivers, make sure that there are people at stations to dispatch trains, have people in the control rooms to manage the traffic, etc… I can’t image they all got to work on Sat to suddenly find they weren’t needed for the day.


Can’t help but think TfL and Southern have had miscommunications here. The Overground was never going to be running South of New Cross Gate. Was surprised Southern were running. Stinks of someone making an error. What time did the rail replacement start?


Thanks Joey. Useful insight and nice to know I was right in my thinking!!! TfL emails are invaluable (especially for my job) but sadly they don’t include National Rail who choose to ‘advertise’ their engineering works a little differently (or not at all in this case)


If I see that the Overground is off for the weekend, I always assume that Southern is too.

On the rare occasion that Southern isn’t running but the Overground is you have a viable route to LB anyway.


I had exactly the same problem last weekend. Checked my Saturday journey and a different Sunday one and the trains were running. Was in Sussex and realised there weren’t any trains. When I got to east Croydon, the southern guys there said it was an emergency closure not a planned one, which is why they hadnt had time to set up a proper rail replacement either.