Sunday, 11 November 2007

London Overground

Yesterday marked the final day of the Silverlink network. And good riddance to it. Out of all the services operating in London, Silverlink was probably the worst of the lot. You can pour all the statistics that you want, but frankly, it was crap. You can say a lot of good and bad about rail privatisation, but there was only bad when it came too Silverlink. No new trains, no increase in services, no staff on their platforms. Instead overcharging, overcrowding and over-the-top profits were the order of the franchise. End of story and good riddance to the lot of them.

So today, we are now in the glossy TfL era of London Overground. I must admit, I am not holding my breath for dramatic improvements. After all, this is the much loathed London Transport and we all know how crap the tube is. But for the first time, we are hearing phrases such as increased capacity, oyster fares (meaning lower prices for those with the smartcard) and staff to be hired at stations. In particular for the increase in capacity, it will take some time to deliver. But it does make a refreshing change to hear something new from a train company other than the sound of hogs at the trough. One thing that has come through since the GLA's formation has been a commitment to improving the transport network. It will take sometime, but anything is better than what we have been putting up with over the last 10 years.

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