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Greenwich Park branch line

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The Lewisham line[1][2] is a short section of railway line in south east London which links the Catford Loop line to the South Eastern main line. It provides a link for freight trains travelling from north London to the south east, as well as a route for passenger trains from London Victoria station to destinations in Kent.

Lewisham line
TypeCommuter rail, Suburban rail
SystemNational Rail
LocaleGreater London
TerminiLondon Victoria
London Blackfriars (rarely)
OwnerNetwork Rail
Rolling stockBritish Rail Class 465
British Rail Class 466
Number of tracks2
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification750 V DC third rail
Greenwich Park
branch line
to Victoria
or Blackfriars
Brighton main line
to Victoria or Blackfriars
Brockley Lane
Lewisham Road
Tanners Hill flydown
Hayes Line and
South Eastern main line
Blackheath Hill
Greenwich Park



The line was originally built as the Greenwich Park branch line by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway from Nunhead to a terminus at Greenwich Park. It ran from a junction at Nunhead in a generally north-east direction to a terminus on the Greenwich High Road, close to the north-west corner of Greenwich Park, approximately 3 miles (4.8 km). A short tunnel took the branch under the A2 at Blackheath Hill. The entrance to Brockley Lane station is still visible at Brockley Cross.

There were four stations:

All closed on 1 January 1917, and the branch beyond Lewisham Road was abandoned on 1 January 1926 by the Southern Railway.

Creating the linkEdit

On 7 July 1929, the branch was reopened as far as Lewisham Road station, with a new connection to the South Eastern Railway lines at Lewisham. The Southern Railway had absorbed the London, Chatham and Dover and the South Eastern Railways and sought to link the two networks to enable cross-London freight. In September 1935 the line was electrified,[3] enabling passenger trains from Dartford to access Victoria from 30 September 1935 (see Bexleyheath Line).

Since December 2014, it has acted as a diversionary route for trains routed to London Bridge for any engineering works in the New Cross area. Trains divert to other London terminals (stations) using this line.

Possible revival of Brockley Lane stationEdit

A report released by the Department for Transport and Transport for London in 2016 covering future improvements to rail services in London and the South East mentions a new interchange at Brockley as a potential, long-term future improvement for South East London, opening the possibility of Brockley Lane station being reopened, although there is no further information beyond this.[4]

Current trafficEdit

Passenger services are provided by Southeastern. Currently the off-peak service is 2tph between London Victoria and Gravesend via Bexleyheath (terminating at Dartford late at night).

Freightliner Intermodal[5] operates regular container trains to Thamesport on the Isle of Grain.

DB Cargo UK runs engineering trains to Hoo Junction.


  1. ^ "Kent Sussex & Wessex Sectional Appendix; LOR SO260 Seq 003" (pdf). Network Rail. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  2. ^ Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith (2017-07-20). Holborn Viaduct to Lewisham. p. panel 97. ISBN 0-906520-81-9.
  3. ^ "Electric Railways". Stendec Systems. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-02-25.
  4. ^ "A new approach to rail passenger services in London and the South East" (PDF). Department for Transport, Transport for London. January 2016.
  5. ^ "Intermodal". Freightliner.