The Anonymous Widower

An Express Service On The Overground

On Thursday, last week, I was travelling between Highbury & Islington and Willesden Junction stations on the North London Line of the London Overground. From Willesden Junction I intended to get the Bakerloo Line to Paddington for my trip to Okehampton.

There had been a problem and the train was rather full.

The surprise was that after Camden Road station it went non-stop to Willesden Junction.

It got me thinking.

  • The Class 378 train sped along, as does the occasional Class 800 train, that is going to and from Hitachi’s North Pole Depot.
  • It has been proposed to turn back some trains at Camden Road to increase frequencies through East London, which I wrote about in Will Camden Road Station Get A Third Platform?.
  • There is a spare rarely-used bay platform at Willesden Junction station with short-distance step-free access to the two platforms that serve the Watford DC and Bakerloo Lines.
  • I seem to remember that original plans for the North London Line including extending some services to Willesden Junction.

Could an express service be run between Stratford and Willesden Junction stations?

  • It would stop at all stations to the East of Camden Road.
  • It would terminate bay platform at Willesden Junction.
  • It would improve the interchange at Willesden Junction station for many travellers.

I suspect though, it would need improved signalling, which is probably the reason it has never been implemented.



November 25, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , ,


  1. signalling more than adequate to support a fast service but mixing a fast service amongst stoppers eats up capacity unless its just a forced pathway that doesn’t stop at all stations for passenger comfort

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | November 27, 2021 | Reply

  2. My understanding is that trains run fast to try to maintain the timetable in times of disruption. Sometimes, the communication of these changes is not good and inconveniences passengers greatly. However, there are also occasions where passengers have either ‘switched off’ because of the repetitive nature of most announcements or were wearing headphones. There are multiple points on most lines where trains are turned round short to maintain frequency.

    Comment by Andrew Bruton | November 27, 2021 | Reply

    • In some ways, I was being slightly ironic with this post, as everybody seemed fairly pleased, as they all got to their destination, as the driver’s announcements were precise and clear.

      Comment by AnonW | November 28, 2021 | Reply

  3. This happened to me too a couple of weeks back on a Friday. Started my journey at West Hampstead heading to Stratford, stuck behind a freight service, train failed shortly after, joined following train which then ran fast to Stratford (which is where I wanted to go).

    I was heading for Colchester then Norwich (ultimately to Sheringham). Looking on Realtimetrains, my journey followed the same freight service for quite a long way on the whole journey (its a service that starts in the morning up North and trundles across the UK for 12+hours).

    Comment by MilesT | November 28, 2021 | Reply

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