The song was released in 1979 in the UK as a double A-side single with "Confusion". It peaked at number 8 in the UK Singles Chart. However, in the US the two songs charted separately, with "Confusion" in late 1979 followed by "Last Train to London" in early 1980. It peaked at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100. In Spain the single was released with the Spanish title "Último tren a Londres".
There was a certain period when it seemed we spent years on trains going back and forth from Birmingham to the various TV and radio stations in London.
In 1982 Taiwanese singer Frankie Kao (高凌風) had a cover version of this song renamed as 夏天的浪花 ("The wave of summer").
In 2002 British girl group Atomic Kitten sampled the hook of the song in their single "Be with You". The song was released as a double A-side with the song "The Last Goodbye". The single peaked at #2 in the UK.
In 2002 South Korean hip-hop group People Crew sampled the melody of the hook part of this song in their single "Saemaul Movement (새마을운동)".
In 2008 Alex Barattini released an extended remix of the original recording for Gardenia Records.
In 2014 Eve St. Jones released a jazz cover on her Jazz, Coffee & Memories album.