Hayes Line

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Hayes Line
Unit 465173 at Hayes (Kent).JPG
A Southeastern class 465 at Hayes
Type Suburban rail, Commuter rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Greater London
Termini Lewisham
Stations 9 (Ladywell-Hayes)
Services 2
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Southeastern
Rolling stock Class 376 "Electrostar"
Class 465 "Networker"
Class 466 "Networker"
No. of tracks 2
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 750 V Direct Current third rail
Operating speed 60 mph (97 km/h) maximum
Hayes Line
South Eastern Main Line
to London Cannon Street via New Cross London Overground
Nunhead to Lewisham Link
to London Victoria
Proposed Bakerloo Line Extension London Underground
via Camberwell to Elephant & Castle
Lewisham Docklands Light Railway
North Kent Line
to Gillingham via Woolwich Arsenal and Bexleyheath
South Eastern Main Line
to London Charing Cross
South Eastern Main Line
to Orpington and Dartford via Hither Green
Catford Loop Line
to Thameslink via Blackfriars
Catford & Catford Bridge
South Circular Road (A205)
Catford Loop Line
to Sevenoaks via Bromley South
Lower Sydenham
New Beckenham(1866-Current)
New Beckenham(1864-1866)
Chatham Main Line
to London Victoria via Herne Hill
Crystal Palace Line
to London Bridge via Peckham Rye
Beckenham Junction Tramlink(Limited Service)
Chatham Main Line
via Bromley South
Clock House
Elmers End Tramlink
Ex-W&SC Lines
to Sanderstead
Addiscombe (1864-1997)
Carriage Depot closed 1993
Eden Park
West Wickham

A 1908 Railway Clearing House map of part of the Hayes Line, between Lower Sydenham and Elmers End, showing the now closed Addiscombe Line and W&SCR branches off the Hayes Line

The Hayes Line is the railway service in south east London, United Kingdom operated by Southeastern between Charing Cross or Cannon Street and Hayes in the London Borough of Bromley. Part of its route follows the Mid-Kent Railway.


The line was electrified with other SECR urban routes in 1926 by Southern Railway.

During the planning of the Fleet line, now the Jubilee line it was intended that the line would continue on from Charing Cross and then travel through Central London with stations at Aldwych, Ludgate Circus #City Thameslink#, Cannon Street and Fenchurch Street then taking over the East London line continuing to Lewisham; a further extension envisaged from Lewisham to Hayes and Addiscombe was planned by taking over the Hayes line from the National Rail network. However, after many changes, the Fleet line was renamed the current Jubilee line and eventually took a completely new alignment from Green Park.

During the consultation for the December 2009 timetable, the Strategic Rail Authority had proposed replacing the 2tph to Charing Cross services with Cannon Street services, therefore making it solely 4tph to Cannon St. However, following pressure from local groups this change in service was cancelled[citation needed].

Description of the route[edit]

  • Services commence at either Charing Cross via Waterloo East, or Cannon Street.
  • London Bridge - North Kent Junction, Bermondsey: The pioneer London and Greenwich Railway opened its line on 8 February 1836. This section is built on a brick viaduct
  • North Kent Junction - Lewisham: opened 30 July 1849 as the North Kent Railway, now called the North Kent line. Most of the railway here is in cutting with the four tracks passing through St Johns railway station, the two northernmost leading into Lewisham station.
  • Lewisham - New Beckenham: opened 1 January 1857 as the Mid-Kent line. This opening created a junction at Lewisham.
  • New Beckenham - Elmers End: opened on 1 April 1864 as part of an extension of the Mid-Kent line to Addiscombe
  • Elmers End - Hayes: this section was built by the West Wickham & Hayes Railway, but was sold to the South Eastern Railway on opening day, 29 May 1882

Service patterns[edit]

Off-peak & Saturday[edit]

  • 2tph between London Charing Cross and Hayes #non stop between London Bridge and Ladywell#
  • 2tph between London Cannon Street calling at New Cross, St Johns, Lewisham to Ladywell then all stations to Hayes
  • 1tpd between London Charing Cross and Beckenham Junction #non stop between London Bridge and Ladywell. Additionally, no service on Saturday#

Peak hour frequencies vary.


From December 2014[edit]

Due to the Thameslink Programme removing Spa Road Junction, all evening and Sunday services are likely to have the London Charing Cross services replaced with London Cannon Street services.[1] Therefore, passengers will have to change at London Bridge.

Future plans[edit]

It has been proposed that the Bakerloo line will be extended from its current terminus at Elephant & Castle to Hayes via Camberwell and Lewisham or Honor Oak.[2][3] More so, recently Network Rail's Kent Route Utilisation Strategy, published in 2010 envisages the ultimate incorporation of the Hayes Line into an extended Bakerloo line[citation needed]. Furthermore, if this were to happen, services on the Hayes line would be replaced by London Underground services and a most-likely withdrawal of National Rail services. Also, the Beckenham Junction branch will also be incorporated into the new extended line potentially meaning an all-day service. The driving force for this change is that Network Rail would like the train paths freed up for services mainly from the South Eastern Main Line[citation needed]. Transport for London prefer this route due to its largely self-contained after Lewisham[citation needed].

An alternative plan has also been put forward by the Brighton Main Line 2 #BML2) pressure group to use the line as part of an alternative route from Sussex to London. This would involve re-opening the old link from Sanderstead to Elmers End and avoid the railway bottleneck at East Croydon.


  1. ^ "Southeastern consults on changes to timetable in December 2014". 2013-12-17. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  2. ^ John Bull (24 August 2009). "Extending the Bakerloo: Investigations and Options". London Reconnections. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Lewisham Council (n.d.). "Catford plan - frequently asked questions". Retrieved 18 March 2014.