Just for a change I thought I’d write about some general rail news. This week saw the opening of the missing link in the London Orbital Railway. Note, this isn’t the one that TfL will want you to know about because this one isn’t entirely coloured orange. We’ll have to wait until the end of next year for that version. However, in the meantime you no longer need to walk between Dalston Junction and Dalston Kingsland because the East London line has been extended to Highbury & Islington. So, starting at Crystal Palace you can take a train to Highbury & Islington, change onto another for Willesden Junction, then on to the final orange (London Overground) leg to Clapham Junction, and finally a Southern train back to Crystal Palace.
The whole route is in zone 2 apart from two sections: Whitechapel to Hoxton is in zone 1 while Clapham Junction to Brockley is in zone 3. The latter section will be replaced by the new Overground South London line between Clapham Junction and Surrey Quays via Peckham Rye. That will only leave the Shoreditch problem, but there is no way that TfL can shift that into zone 2 because it is just too close to Liverpool Street and the City. The best that we can possibly hope for is a special deal where zone 1 fares would only be levied on passengers joining or allighting at Shoreditch High Street. That is currently the case on the old East London line section, but it would be nice to see it extended round the whole line and to any connecting services too.