Overground Network - Overground Network Ticketing - B

Overground Network - B

Overground Network Ticketing

The Overground Network pilot was a branding exercise and did not include any new ticketing policies. When London Overground was launched, it was fully integrated into TfL's ticketing network from its launch, including full acceptance of the Oyster card electronic smartcard system.

This ticketing policy was not extended to the former Overground Network, and for a number of years Oyster card pay-as-you-go tickets were not valid at stations bearing the "ON" brand, despite the similarity of the two network brand names. In January 2010, Oyster card was fully rolled out across National Rail services in London, and Oyster pay-as-you-go is now valid across the whole London rail network, including the former "ON" system.

Overground Network The ON Brand

Using the Overground Network brand, Transport for London introduced consistent information displays, station signage and maps on selected routes in South London, along with prominent "ON" branding on station exteriors. Railway stations selected for the Overground Network were those with a service frequency of 4 or more trains per hour to a London terminus.

The scheme sought to encourage metro-style usage of these services. A diagrammatic map of the Overground Network was published to support passenger information provision, showing high-frequency routes in colour, with Underground and Tramlink connections. The ON branding was not applied to trains, which retained the livery of the individual train operating companies.

The "ON" brand was conceived by the brand agency Fitch and featured a logo formed from orange-coloured, lower-case "ON" initials. The letter "N" was stylised to look like a rounded arrow pointing down, with an arrow cutout shape penetrating upwards.

Although this pilot was purely an exercise in branding, this was the first instance of TfL having a visible influence over National Rail services in London. The Overground Network pilot has since been withdrawn.

As of September 2006, the scheme had not been expanded. However, TfL has helped fund several similar station upgrade programmes including enhanced passenger information and line guides without applying the "on" branding, leaving the future of the scheme in doubt. The Overground Network website was shut down in February 2007, and now redirects to the TfL pages for London Rail.

Overground Network End of the Brand

According to a talk given by Innes Ferguson of TfL at the London Transport Museum on 24 September 2007, the Overground Network scheme is now "dead", the logo is no longer being used on train operating companies' (TOCs) publicity material nor is the network being promoted by TfL. He added that whilst TfL funded the installation of Overground Network "on" signage at appropriate National Rail stations, it is being left to individual TOCs to remove these at their own expense, hence the many that remain in situ in 2008, and even some are still left as of 2021.

In 2006, TfL launched London Overground, a similar but more comprehensive scheme in north London unrelated to Overground Network. Again, according to Innes Ferguson, TfL's medium-term aspiration is for the former to be expanded to cover other National Rail services in London and the South-East, either by direct TfL operation through a concession-holder (as with the ex-Silverlink routes) or by a TOC agreeing to operate under the London Overground "brand".

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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