Turning South London Orange: Reforming Suburban Rail to Support London’s Next Phase of Growth

We set out an ambitious reform agenda to transform south London’s railway network into a trusted, high-frequency, urban rail network.

London is experiencing growing pains. The need to transport an ever-larger workforce has seen overcrowding on the rail network in London and the South East double over the last twenty years.

By 2031, the Tube network will have reached capacity. Crossrail will be running at capacity from the first day it opens in 2018. Meanwhile, demand for rail services in south London will increase 100 per cent by 2050.

The solution? Upgrade south London’s rail network into the Overground, and devolve rail services to Transport for London.

Key findings

In this report we argue that upgrading south London’s rail network into Overground would:

  • Potentially deliver the full 100 per cent increase in capacity required by 2050.
  • Cost an estimated £10-15 billion to deliver over 25 years.
  • Support the development of 16,000 new homes in south central London alone.
  • Support employment growth: between 2025 and 2035, 34,000 new jobs will be created within 1km of potential Overground stations.

Turning South London Orange outlines an ambitious package of upgrades. It concludes that to deliver the Overground in south London, the Department for Transport should devolve suburban rail services to Transport for London as the current franchises expire.

Supporting documents