The Anonymous Widower

Improving Lewisham Station

In the June 2016 Edition of Modern Railways, there was an article entitled Turning South London Orange.

One of the proposals is to try to sort out Lewisham station.

My mother used to tell me never to go South of the Thames as you’ll get lost. Perhaps she had Lewisham in mind, as just look at this Google Map of the lines through the station.

Lines Through Lewisham

Lines Through Lewisham

The rail lines in the Lewisham area are.

  • The lines to the West of the map is the South Eastern Main Line from Charing Cross to Dover and Folkestone.
  • The line curving down from the station to the South Eastern Main Line is the Hayes Line, which meets it in a complicated junction.
  • Going off to the East from the station is the North Kent Line.

Was the designer of the lines in this area having a laugh, as it must make running trains through Lewisham in an efficient manner extremely difficult.

I also assume that anybody going to and from Dover, can’t change trains at Lewisham, unless they an force a window and jump out.

In order to try to improve matters, the Centre for London report is proposing Lewisham South interchange platforms on the South Eastern Main Line, which are connected to the main station using a travelator running alongside the Hayes Line.

The thinking behind all this is detailed in this document from JRC consultants.

Some major points and recommendation from the document include.

  • There are too many flat junctions and other track problems.
  • The service levels from the area into London is erratic and nowhere near TfL’s oreferred level of four trains per hour.
  • Getting to and from anywhere other than the City or Central London in the peak can be difficult.
  • Connectivity to Lewisham to get the DLR to Canary Wharf could be improved.
  • Southeastern’s commuter services should be taken over by TfL.
  • Extending the East London Line to Lewisham wll be difficult and expensive, if not impossible.

The document also includes a map of the proposed travelator on Page 14.

It shows the travelator curving along the Eastern side of the Hayes Line to an island platform on the South Eastern Main Lines.

It also says this.

However a southern location closer to Lewisham High Street, placed over the Hayes branch line, in low value or empty land on the slow lines alongside Parks Bridge Junction and north of the Courthill loop, would permit a 12-car island platform connected into the Lewisham Interchange and making that much more of a hub station. A direct entrance to the southern part of Lewisham High Street could also be opened up. A travelator alongside the Hayes line, in several segments, would link to the interchange in 540 metres and also provide fast access to Lewisham shopping centre at an intermediate point.

This Google Map shows the area from the current Lewisham Interchange to the proposed Lewisham South.


Note the blue roofs of the DLR station at the top of the map and the crossing by the South Eastern Main Line of the Hayes Line at the bottom, where it is surrounded by green space.

To get a better feel for the area. I took these pictures ass I walked from where the South Eastern Main Line crosses the High Street back to the station.

After this walk along the dual-carriageway from the Western end of Lewisham High Street to the station, I certainly think that a better walk could be created.

Let’s hope that when the current construction and road works are complete, that the current walking route between the station, the Shopping Centre and Lewisham High Street is improved.

What disappointed me was that surely better use of the Ravensbourne River, which I called a Hidden Waterway in the pictures. This Google Map shows how it twists and turns through the area.

The Ravensbourne River Through Lewisham

The Ravensbourne River Through Lewisham

I certainly think something better can be done.

For those who think a travelator is a bit naff, the JRC report also suggests that the DLR could be extended.


  • If it’s worth extending the DLR  to Lewisham South, perhaps it should go further.
  • One of the themes of the JRC report is prudence and affordability, which I think pushes the author to the travelator solution.
  • The travelator route may make it easier to serve the Shopping Centre.
  • A travelator might make it easier to catch the buses on the other side of the Shopping Centre, which every time I go to Lewsiham, I seem to have to do.

I also think that to extend the DLR would probably involve some impressive engineering to get over the roads by the station, whereas a walking route/travelator might even start from or beside the Hayes Line platform (2) on the bridge over the road. The latter option would mean that at the station end, all of the lifts are there for step free access to the other platforms.

I also think that not many passengers would want to transfer between Platform 1 at Lewisham station and the Lewisham South platforms, so starting the walkway from Platform 2, which has a level connection to Platform 3 and good connections to the DLR, would not be a bad idea.

Overall, I don’t think we make enough use of travelators and outside escalators.

But I do like the idea of the new platforms at Lewisham South and a travelator.

Something will have to be done at Lewisham, before the Bakerloo Line is extended to the area.

May 27, 2016 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,

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