The Anonymous Widower

Puzzled Over Streatham Common Station

Transport for London’s proposal for the Bakerloo Line Extension comes with a very nice map of the various projects that will be carried out to improve rail services in South London.

Rail Improvements South Of The Thames

Rail Improvements South Of The Thames

It is all good stuff and most is easily explained.

The black boxes are about more general and larger projects, whereas the yellow boxes are comments about specific stations.

The projects; large and small, fit together like a jigsaw. And not a particularly difficult one to understand!

Of the larger projects, the simple extension of the Bakerloo Line to Lewisham station via two new stations and New Cross Gate station is a masterstroke.

  • It provides a thirty trains per hour rail link through the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area.
  • It gives all those living on the East London Line, as I do, a much needed connection to the Bakerloo Line.
  • Coupled with an upgraded Lewisham station, it gives South East London access to the Underground.
  • The project can be opened without an expensive set of new trains.
  • New Cross Gate and Lewisham stations have space for construction.
  • The extension can be built with minimal closure of the Bakerloo Line.
  • The project is almost a repeat of the Northern Line Extension.
  • No-one’s current train service will be discontinued.
  • There is no replacing heavy rail with smaller Underground trains.
  • If in the future, the line needs to be extended, this will be no problem, if Lewisham station is designed correctely.

The only negative, is that the plan doesn’t provide a much-needed rail link in Camberwell.

But Transport for London have done there research and have concluded that reopening the disused Camberwell station on Thameslink could be a worthwhile alternative.

The TfL report gives this concise summary.

A new station at Camberwell would be a significantly lower cost option to a Tube extension, whilst serving the same catchment area. Investigations show significant journey time improvements could accrue to Camberwell passengers and that operationally there may be scope to integrate re-opening of the station into the launch of the completed Thameslink programme.

We will therefore undertake further planning work with Network Rail and the London Borough of Southwark to assess the proposal. 

It is a second masterstroke.

Camberwell station will probably get a similar service to Loughborough Junction station. I’m not sure what it will be, but something like four eight-car trains an hour both ways. In around fifteen minutes, passengers could be at.

  • Balham for the Northern Line and Crossrail 2
  • Elephant and Castle for the Bakerloo and Northern Lines
  • Blackfriars for the Circle and District Lines
  • Farringdon for Crossrail and the Metropolitan Line.
  • Kings Cross St Pancras for main line services and the Victoria Line.

Camberwell station could easily be double-ended, with entrances on both sides of Camberwell New Road.

Camberwell would get at least a high-capacity four trains per hour service to virtually everywhere, with just a single change.

And this could be delivered by 2020, if they get the turbo-charged engineering skates out.

On the South London map, there are some other stations mentioned.

  •  Brockley – Potential new interchange hub
  • East Croydon – Extra platforms & grade separation
  • Lewisham – Upgraded major hub for SE London
  • Streatham Common – Potential new interchange hub
  • Wimbledon – Crossrail 2 upgrade

All of these station upgrades are understandable, with the exception of Streatham Common station.

I can only believe that Transport for London have a cunning plan for this station and the tangle of lines to its North.

Streatham Common Station And The Tangle Of Lines

Streatham Common Station And The Tangle Of Lines

So what would an interchange hub be like?

In the simplest design, two platforms would be built across the lines through Streatham Common station alongside the Sutton Loop Line. They would be connected to extended platforms from the existing station, by stairs and lifts.

I think there would be space to build some bay platforms into the station, so that Streatham Common station could be used as a terminus.

This schematic of the rail lines is from

Lines At Streatham

Lines At Streatham

Note how there are very few rail lines, south of Streatham towards Mitcham Eastfields station. Wikpedia says this about the station.

The station is located at Eastfields Road level crossing, in an area previously poorly served by public transport. The nearest station was Mitcham Junction, which along with Mitcham tram stop, was over 1 mile (1.6 km) from the district.

I wrote about the station in Mitcham Eastfields Station.

The lines that currently go or could go through the Dtreatham stations are set out in the following sections.

The Sutton Loop Line Of Thameslink

Streatham station is the last station on Thameslink before the Sutton Loop starts and finishes. Stations on the Sutton Loop include.

The fourteen stations have the following service.

  • Currently, there are two trains per hour in each direction on the loop.
  • Only Mitchan Junction and Wimbledon have connecions to Tramlink.
  • I think Streatham to Streatham takes about forty-five minutes of travelling time.
  • These trains eventually terminate and come back at St. Albans or Luton in the Peak.
  • When the ongoing Thameslink Programme is finished, there will be two eight-car Class 700 trains in each direction every hour.

When the Thameslink Programme was planned, Network Rail intended to terminate these services at Blackfriars.

Residents and their politicians objected! Wikipedia says this.

Network Rail had planned to terminate Sutton Loop Thameslink trains at Blackfriars station, rather than have them continue through central London as at present. This upset many residents in South London and their local politicians, who saw it as a reduction in services rather than an improvement. In response to pressure, government has ordered Network Rail to reverse the decision.

I think this illustrates a certain sensitivity about train services in the area. Do they think that other places like Balham, Croydon and Wimbledon, get all the goodies?

So we have four trains an hour through the core section of Thameslink going on the Sutton Loop.

Although, this shouldn’t affect the services on the loop, could this cause problems for passengers on the trains through Wimbledon and Sutton, as long-distance trains are being used for short local journeys.

For example, you might have mothers with buggies taking babies and children to nurseries and schools, mixed up with commuters, who want to go north of the Thames.

A simple solution would be to have more trains going round the loop, so that instead of just two trains per hour each way, there were perhaps four or even more.

But where would they come from?

They could come a long way from somewhere like Orpington or Cannon Street, which would mean finding paths all over South East London and perhaps beyond.

Or perhaps they could just do the loop and start and finish at either Streatham or an expanded Streatham Common.

As Streatham is just a two platform station, with little space to expand, a bay platform in Streatham Common might be one solution.

Possible Reason for an expanded Streatham Common station – The station could be the terminus of a two train per hour local service around the Sutton Loop.

The Brighton Main Line

The Brighton Main Line goes from Victoria to East Croydon with fast trains generally only stopping at Clapham Junction station en route. However services pass through several important stations like Balham and Streatham Common without stopping.

Could there be advantages in stopping some of these services at an upgraded Streatham Common?

I don’t know under normal circumstances, but there may be good operational reasons for services to be able to call at Streatham Common station.

Possible Reason for an expanded Streatham Common station – The station could be a valuable interchange between Brighton Main Line and other services.


Although Tramlink doesn’t go anywhere near Streatham at present, it does have a main route, south of the area.

There is also a distinct lack of rail services in the area between Streatham and Mitcham, which led to the building of Micham Eastfields station.

In Wikipedia, it says that extensions to the Tramlink have been proposed North and South of Croydon. This is said about North of Croydon.

To the north of Croydon, it is proposed to use a highway alignment based on London Road. To the south of Thornton Heath Pond, the use of a shared carriageway is a possibility. North of this point the road becomes the A23 again, but there are likely to be some opportunities for trambaan type segregation to Norbury and between Norbury and Streatham, although Norbury is a pinch point. The proposal is to terminate the line at Streatham railway station, providing an interchange to the extended East London Line

Possible Reason for an expanded Streatham Common station – The station could be a destination for Tramlink.


In areas of Germany, where there are both trains and trams, the Germans are getting very enthusiastic about tram-trains which can run on both networks.

If tram-trains, were to be used on a possible Tramlink Extension to Streatham, they could join the railway at a convenient station, like Norbury or Streatham Common and become trains to go round the Sutton Loop.

Possible Reason for an expanded Streatham Common station – Tram-trains on Tramlink.

The East London Line

I use the East London Line a lot and it has the problem of success.

Trains have grown from three to five cars and some recent trips from Denmark Hill to Dalston Junction have shown, that at times standing is common.

Increased frequencies in 2018/2019, will ease the problems, but would another terminus in South London be a good idea for the East London Line?

The capacity of the core section of the East London Line is twenty-four trains per hour, so even from 2018/2019, there are four more paths available.

So could we see some services going to Streatham Common station perhaps via Peckham Rye, Tulse Hill and Streatham?

A factor that might apply here, is can Platform 1 at Clapham Junction cope with enough trains from Dalston Junction?

Possible Reason for an expanded Streatham Common station – A terminus for a branch of the East London Line.

The West London Line

Southern’s hourly service between South Croydon and Milton Keynes calls at Streatham Common station.

London Overground has a service of around four trains per hour on the West London Line between Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction, which Southern’s service augments for part of the route.

But there are problems with the West London Line.

  • There are some extended service intervals at times.
  • The Southern service doesn’t call at Willesden Junction.
  • West London Line services call at different platforms at Clapham Junction.
  • As with the East London Line, could platform space at Clapham Junction be a problem for the West London Line of the Overground

Unlike the East London Line, the West London Line is not a turn-up-and-go service.

So could there be advantages to use Streatham Common station, as a southern terminus for services through the West London Line?

Possible Reason for an expanded Streatham Common station – A terminus for the West London Line.


When HS2 opens in 2026, getting to Euston station will not be easy, as it is unlikely that Crossrail 2 will have been started, let alone up and running.

Passengers will need to get to a Northern or Victoria Line station and have a deep and possibly tedious journey across Central London.

Thameslink will be of use to some, but there will be a walk or a short-but-difficult tube journey between St. Pancras and Euston.

But HS2 will stop at Old Oak Common station on the North London Line. If the West London and East London Lines were to be extended to Streatham Common station, either could be a good alternative route to HS2 and the West Coast Main Line.

I estimate that Streatham Common to Old Oak Common will take thirty three minutes, compared to Morden to Euston on the Northern Line, which can take forty-one minutes.

Possible Reason for an expanded Streatham Common station – The station could be an important hub, collecting passengers for HS2 and the West Coast Main Line

Crossrail 2

Crossrail 2 is not planned to call at Streatham Common station, although it might go underneath in its route from Balham to Wimbledon.

Even so, I suspect that an expanded Streatham Common station will be to the advantage of Crossrail 2.

As I said earlier the station can help improve services on the Sutton Loop, which would have effects.

  • Bring more passengers to Wimbledon for Crossrail 2.
  • If extra stations were added to the Sutton Loop, these could help solve the Tooting Broadway/Balham wars.
  • Could a new station be built at St. George’s Hospital, between Tooting and Haydons Road stations?

But the biggest benefit would be that Streatham Common station, would be an alternative hub, for those wanting to avoid Wimbledon during the building of Crossrail 2.

Possible Reason for an expanded Streatham Common station – Crossrail 2

East Croydon

When East Croydon station is being extended or the grade separation at Windmill Bridge Junction is being built, surely a well-connected interchange at Streatham Common, could be an asset towards helping to maintain a service.

Even under normal circumstances with a decent tram and train connection to Croydon, Streatham Common station may take the pressure off public transport in Croydon.

Possible Reason for an expanded Streatham Common station – Alternative routes for Croydon


Build a Streatham Common interchange hub!

It is just a pity that Crossrail 2 can’t have a station at Streatham Common.

Is the Streatham Common interchange hub, a third masterstroke?










December 19, 2015 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , ,


  1. […] London thinking hard about a new interchange hub at Streatham Common station, that I wrote about in Puzzled Over Streatham Common Station, I think we’ll see some more […]

    Pingback by Exploring The Sutton Loop Line « The Anonymous Widower | December 20, 2015 | Reply

  2. […] Transport for London has recently proposed a interchange hub at Streatham Common, which I wrote about in Puzzled Over Streatham Common Station. […]

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  3. […] Transport for London have plans for a Streatham Common hub. I wrote about that in Puzzled Over Streatham Common Station […]

    Pingback by Should Crossrail 2 Be Extended? « The Anonymous Widower | January 11, 2016 | Reply

  4. […] for London’s plans for a major hub station at Streatham Common. I wrote about this in Puzzled Over Streatham Common Station and came to the conclusion a Streatham Common hub could be a masterstroke of an idea, for the […]

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