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Overground seats
Rob Greig

TfL is taking over suburban train services in south London

Written by
David Clack

Transport nerds were agog today when news emerged that Transport for London is planning to assume control of domestic rail services in the south of the city.

The proposed deal would see parts of the transport network currently operated by South Eastern, Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and South West Trains join the London Overground network.

The aim of the deal is to increase the frequency and reliability of services in and out of Waterloo, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Moorgate, London Bridge and Victoria, the shoddiness of which are routinely lambasted by commuters. Just this week it was revealed that rush hour trains run by Southern, South Eastern and South West are late more often than they are on time, prompting one particularly disgruntled traveller to set up a petition to strip South Eastern of its rail franchise.

Their wish could soon be granted; South Eastern is first on TfL's takeover plan, and could assume the orange and blue branding of the London Overground as soon as 2018. Here's what Boris Johnson had to say:

'By working closely together and taking on these new services, we're going to emulate the success of the London Overground and give the entire capital and surrounding areas the services they truly deserve.'

So, people of Eltham, Purley and Chessington, hang in there – you ought to be cruising to work in the air-conditioned, walk-through comfort of London Overground trains before the decade's out. 

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