South London Lines

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South London Line

London Victoria
Battersea Park
Wandsworth Road
Clapham High Street
Denmark Hill
Peckham Rye
Queen's Road Peckham
South Bermondsey
London Bridge

Victoria-London Bridge via Crystal Palace

London Victoria
Battersea Park
Clapham Junction
Wandsworth Common
Streatham Hill
West Norwood
Gipsy Hill
Crystal Palace
Forest Hill
Honor Oak Park
New Cross Gate
London Bridge

The South London Line, operated by Southern (New Southern Railway Ltd), runs from Victoria to London Bridge via Peckham Rye.

It owes its existence to the South London Railway Act 1862, which allowed the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR) to take part in this project. The line already existed from Wandsworth Road to Brixton as part of the LCDR main line: the new line was quadrupled between these points and extended to London Bridge. The northern pair (now known as the Chatham lines), with no stations, was used by the LCDR; the southern (now known as the Atlantic lines) by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR). Several of the stations were shared by the two companies.

The following stations are, or have been, on the line:

The line is in Travelcard Zone 2, apart from the termini, which are in Zone 1,

The South Cross Route, one side of the London Motorway Box the innermost ring road of the unbuilt 1960s London Ringways plan, would have paralleled the South London Line between Wandsworth Road and Peckham Rye stations.


The main importance of this line is that it was a pioneering railway electrification scheme. The opening of the tramways in South London had led to huge passenger losses for the railways - 1.25 million in only six months - and the LBSCR electrified the South London line in an attempt to reverse the tide: it had obtained powers to do so in 1903. On 1 December 1909 the first electric trains began operating. For the first three years, steam trains alternated with the electrics: the latter operated a 15-minute interval service from 7.30am to midnight. In the first year of electric operation, passengers carried almost doubled, from 4 million to 7.5 million.

The electrification used the overhead system at 6700 V AC, supplied by the power station at Deptford. The line was converted to Southern Railway standard third-rail 660 V DC on 17 June 1928.

Future plans

From Surrey Quays tube station to Wandsworth Road (and thence to Clapham Junction) the South London Line is part of Phase 2 (not yet funded) of the proposed East London Line southern extensions that are planned to form part of the London Overground.

The Crystal Palace route

Another route between Victoria and London Bridge, also operated by Southern, follows the Brighton main lines. It has the following stations:

The Victoria - Brighton line continues southwards at this point; the connecting link runs to the London Bridge - Brighton line at Sydenham. That line from Wandsworth Common to Sydenham was opened on 1 December 1856 by the West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway in connection with the removal of the Crystal Palace from Hyde Park to Sydenham Hill. The stations on the remainder of this route are:

This line is in Zones Travelcard Zones 1 to 4.

Future plans

From New Cross Gate to Crystal Palace this route is part of Phase 1 of the proposed East London Line southern extensions.

Railway lines in London:
North London:  Dudding Hill Line   Hertford Loop Line   Gospel Oak-Barking Line   North London Line   Northern City Line   Lea Valley Lines  
 St Albans Branch Line   Thameslink   Watford DC Line
East London:  Romford-Upminster Line
South London:  Bexleyheath Line   Bromley North Line   Catford Loop Line   Greenwich Line   Dartford Loop Line
 Hayes Line   Hounslow Loop Line   South London Lines   Tattenham Corner Line   Thameslink
West London:  West London Line
Proposed network: London Overground

External links