I’ve seen this… This dream has been in the news?
That’s right. You have seen this because the money needed to invest in this upgrade has been put forward as part of “election promises” – even though the £3bn might not actually need a Central Government Loan.
Oh right. So it is a dream then?
It’s certainly a great idea. And you will find that Transport for London have been consulting on it in the past year. And this section of the line is the “obvious but”. We’ve already seen the other end.
It’s not obvious to me.
The Bakerloo line, for various reasons, is the only one that has any spare capacity: specifically at the Elephant and Castle end.
Is this because the line is old, show and has rattling trains?
That’s true, and part of the plan to upgrade the trains and signalling on the line should see faster, smoother rides for passengers. By this is a separate issue, the southern end of the line is actually quiet!
In relative terms?
Yes. So rather than have a loop at Elephant and castle, the Bakerloo line will be cut into a new tunnel to Lewisham via New Cross Gate, and then take over the “branch line” to Hayes.
What’s been consulted on?
In this section, there are two options. The one shown takes in Camberwell and Overground interchange at Peckham Rye. The other option is to take an route via two stations on the Old Kent Road, which is famously bereft of stations and also a Regeneration Zone.
Tough choice. How about both?
Not an option, they won’t spilt an line like that. Whichever route is taken it will provide much-needed relief to that wonderful Victorian viaduct between London Bridge and Lewisham (as well as some well-used junctions), which will free up paths for fast trains there. And, of course, provide a great turn-up-and-go service for some of much-forgotten South London.
Tell me more.