Video: London Bridge was falling down (again) 40 years ago

commuters London BridgeCommuters who travel to work via London Bridge, who have had to endure chaos on their daily journeys over the past week or more – and all in return for higher fares – may be interested to view a public information film from 1975, the previous occasion that the railway lines into London’s oldest terminus had to be reconfigured and the station re-built.

Yes. Just 40 years ago.

We are indebted to another hyperlocal blog, 853, for unearthing this gem of its time, as they lament the ending of the direct train service from Greenwich to London Bridge, the very journey for which the original station was built in 1836.


As 836 remarks: “Cities aren’t fixed in stone – they’re always evolving. The last train from Charing Cross to Greenwich will be a little symbol of how our capital city is changing before our eyes.

“Forty years ago, London Bridge station went through similar convulsions as the old station was torn down and the tracks relaid. Would the fag-puffing, hi-viz avoiding engineers in the Operation London Bridge video have known their work would be ripped up just four decades later?”

Meanwhile, Steve O’Connell, who is supposedly the London Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton, remains schtum on the commuter chaos and the TfL fares hike.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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4 Responses to Video: London Bridge was falling down (again) 40 years ago

  1. sed30 says:

    Reblogged this on sed30's Blog and commented:
    London Bridge has always been a thorn in the side operation wise it seems that they have not learned the lessons from the 70’s.

  2. Rod Davies says:

    I travelled back and forth from East Croydon and London Bridge every day to work during this period. Yes it was crowded, but I didn’t encounter the chaos that seems to be described. The most notable thing I saw was the confusion caused by Network Rail moving the barriers, so that the sleepy commuters had to wake up and think about where they were.

    The problems that I saw seemed to be related to services to places south of Croydon due to sporadic cancellations (broken down train, drivers off sick etc). I don’t have a lot of sympathy frankly. These people up from Hassocks, Brighton and so on, are the same people that get a seat every day. Despite paying their fares, just how often does someone boarding a train from East Croydon get a seat on any of these commuter trains?

    I did wonder whether the solution should be to halt the developments adjacent to East Croydon station; massively expand the station to 12 platforms and have very frequent hi-speed shuttle trains to London Bridge and Victoria, with passengers getting off at East Croydon and getting trains to the south. As many of these trains appear rather empty once Norwood Junction and East Croydon passengers alight, would this provide an improvement in efficiency.

    • Nick Davies says:

      You can’t run any more trains between East Croydon and London Bridge/Victoria. Both termini run at capacity as it is, they are limited by the frequency at which you can turn the trains round, crossing in front of each other as they enter and exit the stations. Which leads us the real point of Thameslink. It’s to relieve pressure on London Bridge, King’s Cross and St Pancras, allowing trains to run through and turn at places like Caterham and Cambridge rather than snarl up the termini. The ability to travel between those places without having to change is a secondary benefit.

      When Thameslink is finished there will be a lot more trains between East Croydon and London Bridge but there not much that can be done about Victoria without huge expenditure on another cross-London tunnel. They missed a trick in the 60s when they built the Victoria Line, which should have been a full sized tunnel linking into the national network at both ends

  3. Andy Carter says:

    Reblogged this on Calling All Stations and commented:
    Here’s a short film from the last time London Bridge Station was remodelled. I wonder if the delays suffered are as bad as the ones today?

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