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Lee asked in TravelUnited KingdomLondon · 1 decade ago

why are there so few tube stations in south london?

I've noticed from the tube maps that there are way fewer stations south of the Thames and I was curious as to why this might be. My colleague says that it's because the ground is to rocky but that sounds too flimsy for me, so does anyone have a real answer?

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Much of south London is below the level of the River Thames - this is especially noticeable if you walk across London Bridge from the City end towards the Southwark end. You are actually walkin down hill at the bottom end and by the time you get to the Borough Market area, you are standing on land which back in the days of Charles Dickens was flooded most of the time.

    It's amazing to discover that the London Tube is far far older than most of us think it is. It got started from the very beginnings of railway history here in UK - from the 1840s on in fact. See link below.


    More Tube info you never needed to know




    and there are endless numbers of websites given over to this or that Tube info and history and etc including ghost stations, lost trains full of dead people and heaven alone knows what.

    To say us Londoners dislike or hate the Tube is a bit fast. Yeah we sometimes are totally frustrated with it, like the hundreds of people left stranded a few days ago on trains stuck in the tunnels. Apparently no one at the nearby control centre even knew there was a train stuck. Blimeeeey!

    Otherwise it's over crowded, smelly, people eat noisey food, lose their property and luggage, get on before we've got off - no order and no discipline - but then the Choob as we call it , always was a total mess anyway.

    Thankfully I'm now the holder of ye olde Londonshire FREEDOM PASS and no longer have to pay. Bout bleedin' time too.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Two reasons. Partly, the geology of the area made tunneling difficult. Partly, because between the wars the then Southern Railway electrified the whole of its suburban system, making tubes unnecessary to some extent. Look at the railway network south of the river, compared with that north. However, there are a few underground lines south of the river:- the Northern Line to Morden and the District to Richmond and Wimbledon. South of the river has joined the Transport for London network with the extension of the 'Overground' system to Crystal Palace and West Croydon, with further lines due to open next year from Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction.

  • 1 decade ago

    The river caused some problems, the rock another and the fact that there were many overground stations so they were not so needed. There was also a desire to not become London suburbs and even today, people will call the London Boroughs in these areas, Kent or Surrey, like The London Boroughs of Bromley, and Kingston.

  • 1 decade ago

    Most of the answers given are correct however, one fact that has been overlooked is that there are many more underground rivers and streams on the southern side of the Thames. This would add to the expense of other problems already stated.

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  • 1 decade ago

    your colleague is correct, one of the reasons is the soil compisition of the area south of the thames. the earth on the north side was a lot easier to tunnel through making it a lot more expensive. when the underground was being developed 100 years ago the bulk of the population lived north and east of the thames, it maybe more balanced now.

  • 1 decade ago

    Its because the South London area is so densely covered with suburban railway lines, more densely covered than the Underground in north London. These days the frequencies on most suburban lines is almost as good as the Underground, and they move much faster than tube trains

  • 1 decade ago

    2 Reasons:-

    1. The soil south of the Thames is less amenable to tunelling.

    2. In the late C19, most people living in S.London were too poor to travel much, so why invest money in public transport?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Because it already had an extensive network of rail links by the time the underground was being developed.

    These (overground links) were more difficult to build, north of the river, because of the greater concentration of buildings already in existence.

  • 1 decade ago

    I heard that it was something to do with the rock type that made it difficult to construct tunnels in...

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