In December TfL announced their plans for the next few years for improving transport in the capital. One of the major successes of the last decade has been the Overground service, particularly on the East London Line (ELL). Already trains are very crowded especially at peak times, and forecasts show that more people will be using this service in the coming years.
So TfL has taken the sensible decision to increase capacity on the East London Line and have two plans that will together increase capacity by over 50%. The first plan is to increase train lengths on all ELL services from four carriages to five carriages. This will involve selective door opening at a few stations close to the Thames but will give all the trains an extra 25% capacity.
The second plan is to run two additional services on our line, probably from Crystal Palace. This will increase the number of ELL trains through Forest Hill and Honor Oak Park from 8 trains per hour up to 10 trains per hour. Once again this increases capacity by another 25%, taking the overall increase to 56%. There are slots available in the timetable so it should be possible to run these additional services without impacting the existing Southern service to London Bridge. We have also received assurances from Southern Railway that there are no plans to reduce services due to the Thameslink works at London Bridge.
The timetable for the increase in capacity is not completely clear yet but it looks like they will be delivering the additional services in 2014/2015, at the same time as the connection between London Bridge and Charing Cross is temporarily suspended to allow for the Thameslink work to go ahead. This is likely to lead to a temporary jump in demand for ELL services connecting to the Jubliee line. So services are likely to be extremely busy on the ELL for the next few years but it is worth recognising that TfL are planning the right enhancements to increase the capacity on these services.