Overground Network - A

Overground Network - A

Overground Network (abbreviated on or ON) was a branding initiative launched in 2003 by the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) and Transport for London (TfL), the public transport authority in London, England. Its aim was to encourage use of National Rail services in South London.

The project was a partnership between the SRA, TfL, three train operating companies (Connex South Eastern, South Central Trains and South West Trains), the South and West London Transport Conference (SWELTRAC) and the South East London Transport Strategy (SELTRANS). The scheme is no longer being promoted and the Overground Network project has since been abandoned.

Note that in common parlance within London, the term "overground" may be used in reference to any National Rail line, in order to distinguish it from the Underground.

Overground Network Background

Suburban rail services in London, as in the rest of Great Britain, are run on a system of rail franchises and operated by a number of private train operating companies, managed by National Rail.

South London is poorly served by the London Underground network, but does have a large number of suburban rail lines. Transport studies had suggested that the public perceived the South London rail network as confusing, with multiple operators and a lack of consistent information design, in contrast to the clarity of London Underground's Tube map.

A pilot scheme was launched on 30 September 2003 to bring National Rail services operated by multiple companies at 41 stations under one branding umbrella within London.

Overground Network Control of Rail Services

Unlike the today's London Overground, TfL exercised no operational or regulatory control over rail services on the Overground Network, but funded station improvements such as standardised information presentation, branded signage, CCTV and lighting. Operational powers remained with the individual train operators.

In 2004 TfL put forward proposals for a "London Regional Rail Authority" to be established, which would give TfL regulatory powers over rail services in and around Greater London. The Department for Transport considered that granting operational control of rail services to the London mayor would result in fragmentation of the National Rail system.

Out of these proposals evolved a new mechanism for giving the London mayor more control over rail services within London, and London Overground was established as a National Rail franchise managed by TfL in 2007. This new system, mostly in North London, was the successor to the Overground Network pilot. ON was quietly forgotten and TfL now promotes LO as its rail service.

Overground Network Overview

Overground Network Owner: Strategic Rail Authority
Transport for London

Overground Network Locale: Greater London
Overground Network Transit Type:
Pilot umbrella brand for multiple commuter rail services

Overground Network Began Operation: 2003
Overground Network Ended Operation: 2006 (approximate)
Overground Network Operator(s):
Connex South Eastern
South Central Trains
South West Trains


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