No trains to London Bridge – the weekend mega-closures Southeastern hasn’t warned you about

Victoria station: Don't be surprised to end up here by rail next weekend...
Victoria station: Don’t be surprised to end up here by rail next weekend…

You may well be hazily aware of the Thameslink Programme, the massive rebuilding job at London Bridge which will see the station completely redesigned from 2018.

Passengers at Charlton station get off relatively lightly, but passengers at Westcombe Park and Woolwich Dockyard will lose all their Charing Cross services after this Friday, a consequence of the link between the Greenwich line and the Charing Cross tracks being severed to accommodate new services to North London. Instead, all stopping trains through Greenwich will run to Cannon Street, seven days per week. It’ll be tough at first, but when the new London Bridge station opens in three years, switching between trains there will be much easier than it is now.

One big consequence is that no Charing Cross trains will call at London Bridge for at least a year and a half. Commuters will probably quickly adapt, but expect occasional travellers to be completely stumped by the temporary arrangements.

What Southeastern’s inept communications about the closures haven’t warned us about, though, is a huge weekend closure this Saturday and Sunday (and again on Sunday 18th) which will see no trains at all to either London Bridge, Cannon Street or Charing Cross. Instead, you’ll get the novelty of being able to go to Blackfriars or Victoria, unless you’re at Westcombe Park, Maze Hill, Greenwich or Deptford, in which case you’ll have a replacement bus to Lewisham that’s probably not worth bothering with.

Neither the rail company nor Network Rail has made much of an effort to properly explain what’s going on to passengers, so in the absence of a proper timetable, the Charlton Champion has played with Realtime Trains to figure out what’s going on for journeys starting at Charlton.

Essentially, stopping trains from Dartford will run to Blackfriars, while the services from Gillingham will go to Victoria.

Trains from Charlton on Saturday 10th January
Trains to Blackheath, Lewisham and Blackfriars at 01* and 31* past the hour from 0601 to 2331.
Trains to Blackheath, Lewisham and Victoria at 0554*, 0619, 0650 and at 20 and 50 past the hour until to 2320.
There are no extra trains planned to serve people heading to/from Charlton v Brighton, so expect severe overcrowding between 5pm and 6pm.

Trains from Charlton on Sunday 11th January
Trains to Blackheath, Lewisham and Blackfriars at 55* and 25* past the hour from 0655 to 2255.
Trains to Blackheath, Lewisham and Victoria at 50 and 20 past the hour from 0750 to 2320.
(* Three minutes earlier from Woolwich Dockyard.)

To double-check your own journey, and to get return times, select a simple search and have a play with Realtime Trains.

If you’re travelling elsewhere in SE London, then services via Bexleyheath and Hayes trains will run to and from Victoria twice an hour, along with Sunday trains from Sidcup. There’ll also be a New Cross to Tonbridge service twice an hour that’ll run via Grove Park and Orpington, and services that run via Sidcup will also terminate at New Cross on Saturday. (Here’s a quick guide from SE13URE to what’ll happen at Lewisham – useful if you’re heading to Charlton.)

One piece of good news – the Jubilee Line is running as normal from North Greenwich.

3 thoughts on “No trains to London Bridge – the weekend mega-closures Southeastern hasn’t warned you about

  1. Megan January 4, 2015 / 22:58

    Thank you for this; easier to understand than the posters at London Bridge Station!

  2. Woody February 22, 2015 / 15:37

    This is happening again!! This weekend and next (apparently – difficult to find out). I just sent a non local friend who had to be in London off to Westcombe Park….no trains, no signs, no staff, no replacement bus information. Nothing. Just some other bewildered passengers waiting for a train which isn’t coming. Not only that but because of the burst watermain, no buses down Westcombe Hill at all. He’s now on a 177 in traffic trying to get to Greenwich and will be late for his urgent appointment. I only found out about it by tunneling into the SERail website – the information is completely buried. Outrageous.

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