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East London Line Extension - News

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Joined 28-01-2004
Posted on Friday, 13 October, 2006 - 01:09 am:   

The construction press is reporting that the £600M main works contract has been awarded to a Balfour Beatty/Carillion joint venture. Both rail heavyweights. Carillion is currently engaged on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Ebbsfleet to St Pancras.

The bidders were advised on Monday, and contract is due to be signed on 20 Oct.

Work is due to start on site in November following completion of enabling works.

The article reports the New Cross Gate flyover will be a steel truss bridge.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Monday, 23 October, 2006 - 01:40 pm:   

The Telegraph:
Transport for London has awarded Carillion and Balfour Beatty the £363m contract to build the East London rail line in preparation for the Olympics in 2012. The partnership beat E-link, a consortium comprising Laing O'Rourke, Amec Spie and Vinci, in bidding for the deal. Construction on the project will start early next year and the first phase, linking Dalston Junction in the north with Crystal Palace and West Croydon in the south, is due to finish in late 2010. The second phase will extend the line further west to Clapham Junction and link up with the North London line stations at Canonbury and Highbury and Islington.

Proposals to build the new line were part of London's successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. The contract includes the construction of two large bridges, new stations and a new depot at New Cross Gate.
Joined 08-05-2005
Posted on Monday, 23 October, 2006 - 02:43 pm:   

The construction press were spot on. Transport for London today announced the Phase 1 “ main works” contract awarded to the Balfour Beatty/Carillion consortium. In addition to the New Cross Gate flyover already mentioned above, a train maintenance depot is to be built at New Cross Gate and the contract price quoted has risen to £363 million. To read the TfL press release in full, go to ses/press-releases-content.asp?prID=922
Joined 08-10-2006
Posted on Monday, 23 October, 2006 - 10:20 pm:   

Answers to the Forest Hill Society's questions seem to confirm the fear that the ELL extension will result in a poorer service through to London Bridge (4 rather that 6 trains per hour). Should this be publicised more widely so that representations can be made?
Joined 18-04-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 24 October, 2006 - 07:45 am:   

Hi Sandy
Probably we will have to accept this reduction through LB, their is a limit to how many trains can be run on the system , however feel that we should push for all remaining trains to be at least 8 coaches
Joined 27-09-2006
Posted on Tuesday, 24 October, 2006 - 08:45 am:   

The reduction of 4 to 6 is due to constraints at London Bridge Station. In effect LB is at full capacity and the powers that be have considered that 2 trains can be reduced on the FH service and given to some other service.
The 8 car decision has already been made by the Mayor when he opted to keep Wapping and Rotherhithe open. If the railway is a success it could be expanded in the future but the Main Works Contract has now been let so there is little that can be changed in terms of scope of works. The option of non stopping trains is also not possible now since Canada Water is also only long enough for 4 trains and I doubt they would run a service that was non stopping at Canada Water (even though one could contemplate trains not stopping at Rotherhithe and Wapping.)
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 24 October, 2006 - 11:22 am:   

Platforms only long enough for 4 carriages!
What capacity have they calculated for this "new improved service"?

I am not happy to lose 2 trains an hour to London Bridge.
But can anyone tell me how many trains an hour go to London Bridge/Charing Cross from New Cross Gate?
Joined 29-10-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 24 October, 2006 - 12:31 pm:   

Checking the Network Rail journey planner at this time of day 6 trains a day go from New Cross Gate to London Bridge all via Forest Hill. Maybe entered the wrong data, should there be alternative trains?

Meanwhile the mayor says... LondonRailway.htm
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 24 October, 2006 - 03:19 pm:   


I think you are right.
There seem to be only 6 trains an hour from New Cross Gate to London Bridge - the trains from Forest Hill. Whenever I use New Cross Gate station the only trains that stop there come back to Forest Hill.

So there will be no advantage in taking the new ELL to New Cross Gate. We will just wait for the same train (reduced service) that will come through Forest Hill.

Since we can already take the mainline train from Forest Hill to New Cross Gate and change there for the ELL, I cannot see any advantage for Forest Hill.

I can only see the disadvantage of losing 2 mainline trains an hour.

Can anyone else see any advantage?
Joined 01-04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, 24 October, 2006 - 04:29 pm:   

People might not spot that, move in and our house prices will go up anyway!
Joined 04-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 24 October, 2006 - 05:22 pm:   

Rather than changing at New Cross Gate, you could stay on the ELL train for one stop and then switch to the Jubilee (which goes just as quickly to London Bridge and Waterloo) where there are much more frequent services.

Having said this, it is my opinion that it would be possible to have more than the 12 trains an hour currently planned - it is managed on other underground lines and the idea is that 'overground' provides a similar service to underground - this should include frequency. Given that they are not planning to build more trains the best solution is to keep running the longer trains to London Bridge through Forest Hill.

It has also been suggested that a few extra fast trains each hour stop at New Cross Gate rather than rushing straight through. This makes sense for commuters from beyond Croydon who wish to use ELL but also for Londoners who want to change at New Cross Gate to go to London Bridge.

More detailed surveys of passenger flow needs to be conducted before any Southern Railway services are removed, but at present I do not think these are planned, and they have decided what is 'best' for us.

The Forest Hill Society will be working with other societies along the line and Lewisham Council to present the views of local people to all the transport agencies. Whilst it is great to get ELL extended to FH, it is important that this is introduced in a sensible way that does not make journeys longer, trains more crowded, less seats available, and more changing than at present. I think there is a clear view on this forum and at the FH Society AGM that many of these issues have not been given due consideration - or if they have then they have not considered the travelling public.
Joined 27-09-2006
Posted on Wednesday, 25 October, 2006 - 11:09 am:   

Sherwood, the simple answer to what it does for Forest Hill is that there will be a more frequent service leaving Forest Hill to London, either direct to London Bridge or change at Canada Water, Whitechapel (12 trains per hour instead of 6) so there will be a reduction in waiting times as a train will be leaving every 5 minutes. I agree that there are disadvantages as we have pointed out on this page but just to provide the other side.
The other advantage I see is that Forest Hill is on the Tube Map which will help to attract people and businesses to the area.
Joined 03-06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 25 October, 2006 - 11:17 am:   

Michael - I'm sure that there will be universal support for the FH Society taking up this issue to the transport agencies and local politicians in conjunction with other local societies along this line.

But could I ask you just to clarify the statement you make at the start of your submission above. It looks as if you are claiming that you can travel to London Bridge just as fast on the ELL (via Canada Water and the Jubilee Line) as you can by taking a direct train.

It currently takes 6 minutes by direct train from New Cross Gate to London Bridge (check out National Rail Enquiries). If you chose the alternative ELL route it would mean travelling through Surrey Quays, changing to the Jubilee Line at Canada Water and then travelling through Bermondsey and making your long way to the surface when your arrive at London Bridge.

Surely the direct line is very much quicker and infinitely less hassle? It would also be touch and go in my view as to whether as you claim you could reach Waterloo just as quick via the ELL as the current system.

But could I also point out that it is often impossible at peak hours to access Jubilee trains at Canada Water. For example, try getting on a Canary Wharf bound train at CW at 8.30am in the morning. When the "killer applications" of the new ELL line don't work now what are they going to be like in four years time when thousands more commuters are going to be dropped at CW via the ELL.

The ELL opens up many possibilities but to say to someone who works at say Guys Hospital "you'll be just as quick taking an ELL train from FH" is just incorrect. Unless you like queueing for and changing trains the ELL simply isn't an alternative for many (most?) of the journeys currently made into town from FH. If it were, why are we protesting?
Joined 04-03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 25 October, 2006 - 12:15 pm:   

You are right about the train times. I was thinking of another comparison that I did considering a journey using the new service from Forest Hill to either Waterloo or Westminster (and not for people who actually work at London Bridge or take the Northern Line). If the journey takes an extra five minutes to go from NXG to London Bridge on the Jubilee line then you have to take acocunt of the more frequent service (every five minutes rather than every 10 minutes), so for 2 out of 3 journeys it might make sense to change trains rather than wait (but not if London Bridge is your final destination since it would add an extra change that is a hassle).

I think access to Waterloo mainline or Waterloo underground will be quicker with the ELL because the service between London Bridge and Waterloo EAST is slow and requires lots of walking between platforms.

What is increasingly clear to me is that the ELL service will hardly compensate for a reduced service to London Bridge. Some reduction in demand for journeys to London Bridge would be achieved but there will be plenty of demand for this service for customers using the Northern Line and other connections, especially when we consider how few seats will be on the ELL trains. One of the nice things about the Southern services is the new trains with plenty of seats (although never enough during peak times).
Joined 09-04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 25 October, 2006 - 12:19 pm:   

Nasaroc, I agree about the Jubilee line. See my earlier post where I explained the delay in trying to get on a Jubilee train in the rush hour. The Jubilee services need to improve before I'd consider this a viable alternative.
Joined 03-06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 25 October, 2006 - 02:09 pm:   

Michael - I don't want to labour the point but if we are going to talk to outside bodies and politicians we should be absolutely clear about the extra time it will take to get from FH to London Bridge via the ELL in comparison to the existing direct service. It isn't going to "take an extra five minutes to get from NXG to London Bridge" via the ELL as you claim. Changing trains at Canada Water could take 5 minutes or more and the journey out of the depths of the underground to surface level at LB will take broadly the same, particularly in a crowd. Add that to the extra travelling time and the difference ain't five minutes.

(Of course, you could be incredibly lucky to change at CW just when a Jubilee train arrives; on the other hand I've often experienced waits of 8-9 minutes. But taking an "average" I don't think five minutes is an unreasonable change time to use in this calculation).
Joined 21-12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 25 October, 2006 - 02:29 pm:   

What we need are some volunteers to use the existing ELL to get to/from work for a couple of days and then report back on journey times, ease of interchange, etc.

Anyone up for it?
Joined 09-04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, 25 October, 2006 - 04:27 pm:   

I do that journey when not cycling to work. Forest Hill to New Cross Gate, change for the ELL and then up to Shadwell/ Whitechapel & walk into the city.

Journey times are:

8.42 departs Forest Hill
8.50 arrives NCG

change & connect ELL

9.01 departs NCG
9.12 arrives Shadwell

The worst part of this is the 10 minute connection "wait" as basically I'm just stood around. If the ELL extension reduces this it would be a good thing.
Joined 03-06-2005
Posted on Thursday, 26 October, 2006 - 09:29 am:   

I was puzzled by Mr D'Souza's written answer to the question about why the new line is going to be branded 'Overground'. He says:"..... the name ‘London Overground’ together with an Orange Roundel have been adopted to reassure customers that they can expect similar levels of service experienced on the London Underground network."

So what levels of service is that then?

It can't be on the trains since the number of carriages are half the length of any other LU service. It can't be the train accommodation since the carriages are designed to make a higher proportion of passengers stand than on existing tube trains. Nor can it be on the stations which will remain in exactly the same decrepit state they are now. Nor in the number of trains per hour which is well below those currently experienced on other comparable "underground" lines. Nor in station staffing or safety?

So what levels of service exactly is Mr D'Souza referring to? Am I missing something?
Joined 27-09-2006
Posted on Thursday, 26 October, 2006 - 09:55 am:   

I will try to scour the web pages of TfL to see if there is info on the actual transport benefit analysis conducted in connection with ELL for the southern section (if not an FOI question from FH Soc).
But to add to the debate.
The assessment of the benfits of the ELL, which would be used to justify the decision to proceed and fund the project, are taken at a macro level based on the aggregate of Passenger Journey Benefits. There will be an examination of all current and potential future passengers on the service and the benefits and disbenefits of their overall journey would be assessed.
So for passengers whose destination is Guys, they would incur a disbenefit to the journey time since they would either take longer to make their journey at present (by going via Canada Water and the longer Walk up from the tube) or would wait an extra 5 minutes at Forest Hill for a direct London Bridge Train (current service 6 tph, train every 10 minutes, new service 4 tph, train every 15 minutes.)
For passengers going on to the Jubilee line west the new ELL will show passenger benefit since I suspect that the time of the journey form Forest Hill to Jubilee Platform at London Bridge would be the same (taking into account the long walk at LB compared to the interchange at Canada Water) but of course there would be a train every 5 minutes (12 tph) compared to the current train every 10 minutes (6 tph).
And so on and so on for all the different destinations people would want to go from Forest Hill. Overall there will be an improvement for people living in Forest Hill even though some people will be disadvantaged.
But the devil will be in the detail of the Passenger Benefit Analysis which we need to get hold of.
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 26 October, 2006 - 05:06 pm:   

Len Duvall is in the November issue of Lewisham Life.
According to the article on page 8, "oyster ticketing will be available at the newly linked stations which will be fully staffed at all times while trains are running."
Joined 21-12-2005
Posted on Thursday, 26 October, 2006 - 05:52 pm:   

Further to Mch’s post about transport benefit analysis etc I did some digging online and this is the best I could find. It’s not what we’re after in terms of passenger data etc, but it gives a different slant on what TfL think the benefits will be.

It’s a summary produced for a TfL Board meeting on 18 May 2005 (it’s Agenda Item 9 on pages 79-87 of the pdf): board-meetings/Agenda-18may2005.pdf

Extracts from the summary:

Objectives of the ELLX project: provide additional rail capacity without running into the operational constraints at London Bridge; consequently reduce congestion on existing rail network, especially on journeys to LB and the Northern line, and to Waterloo, Victoria and Thameslink stations; reduce journey times from South London to Docklands, the City and other parts of inner London. Relieve congestion on roads in and around central London, South Circular, Rotherhithe Tunnel.

To meet these objectives certain criteria must be met, ie 12 trains per hour on the central section (of which 4 per hour each to Crystal Palace and West Croydon).

Business case review: prior to TfL taking over the project a Demand Analysis and Business Case Report was produced – showed a benefit cost ratio of 1.59:1 compared with the LUL only reduced option of 0.44:1 [no, I don’t know what that means]. The business case was calculated using demand data from the Railplan model – estimated ELLX would carry 35.4m passengers in 2011 compared with 11.6m on existing ELL. Time saving, reduced crowding, road decongestion and accident savings benefits were calculated.

Examples of time saving: gives 3 examples of journey times pre- and post-ELLX. Crystal Palace to Canary Wharf is cited as 55 mins pre-ELLX (train to New Cross Gate, ELL to Canada Water, Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf) and 36 mins post-ELLX. [Strange figures, given that TfL’s online journey planner shows the current journey time as 33/36 mins changing at NCG, and 42 mins if changing at LB for Jubilee Line, so I don’t know how they calculated 55 mins. Their post-ELLX journey time also appears too high.]

Other benefits: areas without rail services between Shoreditch and Dalston will have greatest time savings [ie compared with using buses]; Project is seeking ways to provide regeneration benefits in the Dalston area; extension from Shoreditch to Dalston serves some of the most deprived areas in London – the regeneration benefit potential becomes clear – key out of London employment areas such as Croydon would be linked directly to deprived areas of East London.
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 26 October, 2006 - 10:10 pm:   


So this scheme has been devised for the benefit of East London.
There is no benefit for Forest Hill as we can already use the east London Line by changing at New Cross Gate.
But we will lose two trains an hour to London Bridge.
Joined 29-10-2005
Posted on Thursday, 26 October, 2006 - 11:56 pm:   

Bit off track but as someone who's been accused of fare evasion a number of times....if I were to buy a single ticket to say New Cross Gate would I be able to use either Southern or the ELLX with just the one ticket?

Or will it be like the Heathrow Express and Connect services?
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 27 October, 2006 - 09:26 am:   

There are no ticket barriers at New Cross Gate. So you would normally be able to board the ELL train without a ticket. how or where you could get off without a ticket I do not know.
I have seen ticket inspectors at New Cross Gate once.
Joined 21-12-2005
Posted on Friday, 27 October, 2006 - 11:36 am:   

Loneranger: one of the questions that arose at the FH Society AGM and to which Brian D'Souza (TfL) later replied was:

Will tickets be valid across all the different forms of transport (e.g. Oyster Card cannot be used on Network Rail trains at present)?

His reply was: Yes. It is currently proposed that Ticketing will be valid on the usual raft of TfL transport modes.

I interpret that to mean that ELLX and national rail services won't have separate tickets, ie it won't matter which service you travel on. Could be wrong though!

What I'm wondering is, when we have Oyster and ELLX, will an annual travelcard purchased at the station still be valid as a Network Rail Card, or will it just be a normal Oyster travel card?
Joined 18-07-2005
Posted on Friday, 27 October, 2006 - 12:47 pm:   

Sherwood: I travel into Shoreditch every day so the ELL will be definite benefit for me!
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 27 October, 2006 - 12:50 pm:   

There will probably be some winners and some losers.
Joined 27-09-2006
Posted on Friday, 27 October, 2006 - 01:22 pm:   

On the ticketing front, it is interesting to see what has happened on the recent re-tendering of the South West Franchise. The Department for Transport required bidders to accept Oyster, both season tickets and pre pay. I therefore epxect a similar arrangment in place come southern's re-tendering for 2010.
Although TfL are still trying to get Oyster available on all of London's Rail network but that depends on negotiations with individual TOC's. So might come sooner.
Joined 04-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 27 October, 2006 - 01:45 pm:   

Len Duvall did say (see London Overground thread) "My understanding is that even without TfL owning the stations there will be more staff, Oyster ticketing and new underground style trains."

There was a TfL article in the Metro that said pricing will be standardized from next year so that travel from a zone to another zone will cost the same. Of course I may have misunderstood these things before and they may not be counting London Underground / Overground as a 'train operating company', and there is always the possibility that this will lead to higher rail prices until we do get Oyster pre-pay. If you can make more sense of it than I can, the article is at le.asp?id=1301
Joined 19-05-2004
Posted on Wednesday, 22 November, 2006 - 02:38 pm:   

The overground thread is getting too serious for me to mock the underground so I will use this one instead.

for some disaffected views of underground users, unfortunately not as witty as I hoped
Joined 09-02-2007
Posted on Friday, 22 June, 2007 - 12:49 pm:   

In the papers yesterday: