Charlton and Woolwich Arsenal set to lose Charing Cross trains from 2022

Southeastern train at Charlton
The new Southeastern franchise begins in April 2019

Charlton and Woolwich Arsenal stations will lose direct trains to Charing Cross from December 2022, according to the Department for Transport’s plans for the new Southeastern franchise, which have been published today.

The invitation to tender sets out what the Government expects of the firm which wins the new franchise, which due to begin in April 2019. It sets out the basic service the winning operator is expected to provide.

Currently, six trains per hour run from Charlton to Cannon Street via Greenwich, with two running to Charing Cross via Lewisham.

From next year, this will become four trains via Greenwich to Cannon Street, two to Charing Cross via Lewisham, plus two new Greenwich line trains that will run via Blackfriars to Luton on the Thameslink route.

But from 2022, those Charing Cross services would be rerouted to Cannon Street, calling additionally at New Cross and St John’s. Passengers who want Waterloo East and Charing Cross will have to change at London Bridge.

Southeastern invitation to tender
Part of the specification being given to bidders for the new franchise. Thameslink trains not shown.

Looking in the other direction, there is also an option given for bidders to extend one set of Greenwich line trains to Maidstone West, while Belvedere and Erith may see a cut in services, with bidders asked to provide only a minimum of four trains per hour. The planned Thameslink trains are not set to call at those stops.

There are also changes planned for elsewhere on the network, with more trains to Victoria from Lewisham, although these will no longer run through Blackheath.

Last year, transport secretary Chris Grayling refused permission for Transport for London to take on Southeastern’s metro services. The new franchise is due to last until 2027.