service: South London Line (SLL) Victoria-London Bridge via Peckham Rye

The South London Line (SLL) is a shuttle service on a U loop from Victoria to London Bridge via Battersea Park, Wandsworth Road, Clapham High St, Denmark Hill, Peckham Rye, Queen's Rd Peckham and South Bermondsey. It is a vital part of the rail infrastructure in Zone 2 in Inner South London. It complements the long distance commuter trains into London Bridge, Victoria and Blackfriars and makes additional links between some of the SLL stations and London Bridge and Victoria. The trains to these central London stations take only a short time and so within short times rail users can be on the Tube - one of 6 lines - Victoria, Circle, District, Northern, Bakerloo, and Jubilee. This acts for users therefore as if it is part of the Tube.

But the rail industry does not see this at all. DfT and Network Rail and the train operating companies are interested only in high revenues from long and longer distance commuter trains, and TfL are interested in only their own overground operated services, i.e. the East London Extension to come in 2012. At that point they all want to cut the SLL and reduce our direct services to central London and in the case of Wandsworth Rd, Clapham High St, Denmark Hill cut the direct link to London Bridge and in the case of South Bermondsey and Queens Rd cut the direct link to Victoria, and for Peckham Rye reduce the number of services to those central London stations. TfL will instead substitute 4tph to Clapham Junction and Canada Water on the new ELLX. SRUG joined with others to form the Save the South London Line Campaign. ----- see here for a comparison of TfL’s vision of the future with ours.

But the campaign was defeated and the SLL will end on 8th December 2012 after operation since 1866.

Save the South London Line - latest news

Message from Valerie Shawcross on behalf of the Save the South London Line Campaign

Dear South London Line Supporter 
Over the last few months thousands of people have signed a petition to Save the South London Line train service (SLL). I am writing to you now to bring you up to date on our progress and to ask you to help us keep up the pressure on Mayor Boris Johnson and Transport Minster Sadiq Khan MP to Save the South London Line by emailing or writing to them. 
I have attached a briefing on the current situation, but in summary at present Transport for London are considering 5 possible options for alternative services to compensate our area for the loss of the South London Line which they still insist is unavoidable.

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Report into Vital Rail Line - Southwark News

REPORT INTO 'VITAL' RAIL LINE Read: Southwark News  12 February 2010   Emma Alies

Campaigners battling to save the South London Line have published a report arguing that the line is vital if south London is ever to enjoy a train service which runs at tube-like frequency.
The report claims that scrapping the link would mean that King's College and Maudsley hospitals at Denmark Hill would lose all evening services to Victoria and lose their direct service to London Bridge.

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Southwark Council fights for South London Line at London Bridge

Southwark News 4th February 2010

Another battle which is being fought around the regeneration of the London Bridge Quarter is between Southwark Council and Network Rail.  No final decision had been made regarding platform arrangements at London Bridge, which currently threatens the South London Line.

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The vital rail link that should not be scrapped

The campaigners battling to save the South London Line have published a short report which argues that it is vital to retain the line if South London is ever to enjoy a train service which runs at a tube-like frequency 

The report shows that key stations in South London will suffer if the South London Line is withdrawn.

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Threatened rail line beats snow chaos

'Vital transport link proves its worth'  SLP report by Jenny Clover  12th Jan 2010

As many rail services were cancelled and disrupted during the cold weather, rail users reported that the one service that seemed to keep on going was the South London Line. Read the article.

inner south London Overground rail missing from Mayor's transport strategy

The Mayor's draft transport strategy does not mention at all the crucial role that Overground Rail plays in inner south London transport network system!  TfL's lack of interest and concern for this is probably why they believe it is OK to cut the South London Line from 2012 and reduce radial services into central London stations. There appears to be no joined up planning in the rail industry of these Overgound rail links as part of the local inner south London transport system. SRUG has submitted comments on the Mayor's draft strategy asking for this ommisson to be rectified. Read the comments here.

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useful map showing SLL, ELL and Victoria-Bellingham services

Here is a useful map showing the geographical relationships between the South London LineEast London Line as extended, and Victoria - Bellingham service as proposed

  • Under the original TfL plan all we would have in place of the current South London Line (the green line between Victoria and London Bridge) is the yellow line - East London Line.
  • TfL have conceded in principle that we should have a direct link into Victoria (the red line), but have said they can't pay for it. The Rail Minister (DfT) has offered to get it paid for under the train companies' new franchise from 2014 so TfL would just have to pay for under two years from 2012. They still have not conceded that. We continue to lobby the Mayor to agree this.
  • DfT and Network Rail current position is that they will not revive the London Bridge link with Victoria - the green line. The campaign to reverse that decision continues.
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Save Our Central London Rail Services

 Article from Nunhead Voice, the Nunhead Community Forum Newsletter Issue 20 Winter 2009 page 4

The campaign to Save the South London Line continues!

We have succeeded in getting the rail industry, Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport (DfT) in particular, to agree we need direct links to Victoria. The details of that are progressing, but we have a way to go to ensure that action is taken. However there is a big battle still to conclude on the links to London Bridge. It is Network Rail and DfT who have the keys to that. We now know that TfL puts a very high value on east-west orbital travel eg between Clapham Junction and Shoreditch (because it is their own over-ground rail service), and a very low value on our direct links to central London rail stations.

But Network Rail and DfT also seem not to care about our links to central London stations because they have fewer numbers and lower revenue than the long distance commuter trains. This rail industry alliance is really how the decision to cut the South London Line happened. This is what we have to get reversed for the sake of a sensible integrated transport strategy for our part (Zone 2) of inner South London.

Good news is that Southwark Council agreed (4th November) a cross party motion that fully and comprehensively supports the campaign. For details, visit and click on campaign information page, and click the link there under Campaign News/Southwark Council.To keep up to date with the campaign join the mailing list

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Rail campaigners mark a century of electrical line

South London Press 4th December 2009 by Jenny Clover  photo and read article

Transport campaigners dressed in Edwardian garb celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first London electrified train line this week. The Save the South London Line campaigners met at Denmark Hill station Tuesday morning for a champagne breakfast. It was 1st Decemeber 1909 that the first electric trains carrying passengers ran on the line ...

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