Developing the rail network

This would make it easier and quicker to travel, and support sustainable growth and new, affordable homes.

To do this we need to change how we plan and run the rail network. By viewing the transport network as a whole, rather than individual lines run by different companies, we have an opportunity to radically reshape the network around customers and communities, and at the same time run it more efficiently.

London's population will rise to 10 million by 2030 - and from 15 to 17 million in the surrounding regions. Improving the rail network is essential to creating extra housing and jobs, as well as enhancing people's quality of life.

Rather than building new lines from scratch, we could redesign the existing network to reduce bottlenecks, free up more space on trains, and run more frequent services.

Benefits of a single network

Transforming the suburban rail network within and just beyond the southern London boundary into a single, integrated network would bring:

  • Predictable services, including consistent stopping patterns and even intervals between trains
  • Better connections, with more frequent services and changing between trains made easier
  • More room on the network, created by longer trains and relieving bottlenecks
  • Shorter journey times, supported by trains that accelerate and decelerate faster and have wider doors so getting on and off trains is more efficient
  • More reliable services, with simplified service patterns that reduce conflicts at junctions
  • Better customer service, information and experience, similar to the benefits of transferring services to London Overground

Our strategic case

Our strategic case is an argument for change. We hope it will start conversations with representatives and partners in south and southeast London.

The case for 'Metroisation' sets out some of the action needed to address these challenges and support better journeys, new homes and access to jobs.

'Metroisation' is a longer term aspiration that would be done incrementally. While the transfer of rail services to TfL would make it much more likely and easier to achieve, it does not depend on this.