The Mayor of London has called for Transport for London to become the rail infrastructure manager for devolved suburban rail services, paving the way for a metro-style service in south and south east London.
TfL has also published a document setting out the strategic case for ‘metroisation’, outlining plans to deliver frequency increases enabled by up to £1.7 billion of infrastructure improvements. A flagship route between Balham and Victoria would operate at up to 18 trains per hour (tph), enabled by digital signalling delivering Automatic Train Operation. The East London line would also adopt digital signalling to enable a 24tph service with 10-minute intervals to each branch, along with an 18tph service between New Cross Gate and Sydenham. Other routes across south London would move to more regular interval services, with new interchanges created at Brockley and Streatham Common. Infrastructure inventions required to achieve this would include additional turnback facilities, grade separation of junctions, some junction remodelling and additional tracks.
TfL says benefits of metroisation will spread across the wider south east, with a 25% increase in peak frequencies from Kent to Charing Cross and a 43% increase from Kent to Victoria. It suggests longer-distance services would not be slowed down and that freight requirements have also been considered.