diamond geezer

 Friday, November 10, 2017

Orangewatch (5) Night Overground
It's coming in just one month's time - the orange version of the Night Tube!

They're going to call it the Night Overground, because technically it isn't the Night Tube because the Overground isn't part of the tube network. But the pocket map you'll be able to pick up will still call everything the Night Tube, because there isn't room for a long title. However the extra-large map displayed in frames on station platforms will be titled the Night Tube and London Overground map, because that has loads of room across the top, so the pedants were allowed to win that argument.

Back in July when the start date for the Night Overground was announced, all that anybody official would say was "December". The start has to coincide with the annual National Rail timetable change on the second Sunday of December, which this year is Sunday 10th December. But that won't be the day the Night Overground starts because the switch takes place in the early hours of the morning, not at midnight. Instead the Night Overground is timetabled begin on the night of Friday 15th December, specifically the early hours of Saturday 16th, when the 0019 train departs New Cross Gate. Trains will be running every 15 minutes.

Not all of the Overground will be running throughout Friday and Saturday nights, only a tiny part of it. That tiny part is from Dalston Junction down to New Cross Gate, but that's great because it goes under the Thames so will be a dead useful link between east and southeast London. The plan is for the Night Overground to be extended up to Highbury & Islington in January 2018, which'll be even better. But there are no immediate plans to extend the Night Overground to any of the other 99 stations on the network, sorry.

When it launches, the Night Overground will only interchange with the Night Tube (Jubilee line) at Canada Water. In January it'll also interchange with the Night Tube (Victoria line) at Highbury & Islington. But trains won't be stopping at Whitechapel until next December, because there's too much overnight Crossrail work still to complete over the coming year.

It'll be interesting to see how the Night Overground affects Citymapper's first regular bus service, the CM2. This independent minibus runs every Friday and Saturday night between Highbury & Islington and Aldgate East stations, via Dalston, Hoxton and Shoreditch... pretty much the same route as the Overground will be taking. The bus is cheaper and starts earlier in the evening, but is also slower, and only accepts contactless. Citymapper moved in because their data analysts identified this East London corridor as lacking in overnight connections... will the introduction of the Night Overground fill the gap?

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