Something in the air…or some London Southern Railway infrastructure from a helicopter…

And now for something slightly different… Last weekend I was lucky enough to have taken a helicopter ride over parts of London. This post concentrates on some of the photographs that I was able to take that are relevant to Southern Railway infrastructure that I thought might be of interest to readers of this blog. The pictures were taken through the side window of the helicopter so please excuse some slight reflections in places.

First up a couple of views of the ex London and South Western Railway terminus Waterloo. first located on this site in  1848. The rebuilding and expansion of this station to 21 platforms was finally finished in 1921 and the later change to add the Eurostar platforms and train shed over the old platforms 20 and 21 occurred  in 1994 (Eurostar services then relocated to St. Pancras International in November 2007).

Waterloo_1  Waterloo_2


Next up is London Bridge station and the iconic 95 story Shard building (almost translucent from the air as the glass reflects the buildings around it and it is not seen against the skyline).  London bridge station originally opened as part of the London and Greenwich Railway in 1836 and subsequently became a combination of stations with the London and Croydon Railway, the London, Brighton Railway and the South Eastern Railway between 1843 and 1920. It is currently being extensively rebuilt to accommodate longer trains and more frequent services, also increasing the number of through platforms for trains to Cannon Street, Charing Cross, or to Blackfriars and onwards via the Thameslink route. Work started in 2013 and is due for completion in 2018.

LB Shard1 LB Shard2

Between London Bridge station and Cannon Street, Charing Cross and Blackfriars is the notorious bottleneck triangular Borough Market Junction. Since the early 1920s this has been one of the busiest junctions anywhere on the railway network with multiple conflicting movements a minute during the peak hours. A new viaduct, just visible in both the picture above and below, is currently being built along side Borough Market Street that will, when finished in 2016, double the number of lines west from London Bridge.


And finally… some more modern infrastructure in the form of the Eurostar’s Temple Mills International depot at Stratford, not strictly Southern Railway related but the trains do pass through Southern territory… And being most up to date even one of Eurostar’s very latest E320 trains, due in service next year, is visible to the left of the depot building whilst a current E300 (BR class 373) train can be seen to the right hand side.


8 thoughts on “Something in the air…or some London Southern Railway infrastructure from a helicopter…

  1. I’m sure you meant St. Pancras.

    Roger Marler 318 21 Avenue SW, suite #2 Calgary AB Canada T2S 0G8

    Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 11:40:35 +0000 To:

    1. I corrected the post just seconds after it went live, and had noticed it had changed the word due to auto correct, so the live version is correct but the email text would still be wrong…

  2. The reflections from the Shard are quite unnerving, it’s probably not as bad if you’re moving but it seems to have stealth-like properties!

    1. On sunny days the relections from the Shard cause problems for drivers approaching London Bridge (around Spa Road) in the morning peak.

      If blinded by these reflections the instruction is for drivers to immediately stop and telephone the signalman to be called forward at slow speed.

  3. I look forward to similar studies on Victoria Station and to the Brighton side I hasten to add. I too am a Southern Railway fan but get peeved (apologies but…) at the attention Waterloo never ceases to get and when it’s Victoria all the photo shots are of the Eastern Section, Golden Arrow and all that! Was there something about taking photos on the Brighton side that made it difficult or impossible to photograph steam arrivais and départures, of the Newhaven boat trains with Brighton Atlantics, or Baltic and Pacific and I3 express tank engines of the inter war period? Sorry for the rant but….cheers anyway.

  4. Thanks Graham. Nice pictures. Temple Mills was my manor when I was a youngster. I still remember going there to watch trains in the marshalling yard – must be a good 35 years ago now! I still drive along the road (Orient Way) by Temple Mills every week.

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