Busy Train Station Data Shows Overground's Popularity Rise

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 61 months ago
Busy Train Station Data Shows Overground's Popularity Rise

Data about UK train station use has been updated for 2011-12, and what's immediately obvious is how much usage of the Overground has jumped since the previous year.

On the old East London line and its extension, which opened May 2010, Dalston Kingsland saw a 78% increase in entries and exits, Whitechapel a 76% increase, Canada Water 75%, Hackney Central 73%. Kensington Olympia saw a 157% jump in usage, which is odd; anything to do with the change in service on the District Line? But Canonbury passengers increased by a whopping 172%; maybe it is just the magic of the Overground. Camden Road shot up 68%, West Hampstead 52%... No wonder they need more carriages. Shoreditch High Street, however, saw numbers drop by 15% – a result of it being moved into zone 1?

Waterloo remains the country's busiest station with 94,045,510 entries and exits, followed by Victoria, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Charing Cross, Euston and Paddington, but Birmingham New Street has leapfrogged King's Cross to take eighth place. 21,918,116 passengers started or ended journeys at Clapham Junction (almost as many as Stratford), but Clapham Junction has 21,609,997 interchanges over a year, keeping its crown as the busiest/most annoying place to change trains.

Not all stations are getting busier. Cannon Street saw passenger numbers decline 2%, in Finsbury Park they were down 12%, Old Street dropped by 7% and in Elephant and Castle – apparently a station Londoners hate – 3% of passengers have voted with their feet and gone elsewhere.

Photo by Martin Deutsch from the Londonist Flickr pool

Last Updated 25 April 2013


"Shoreditch High Street, however, saw numbers drop by 15% – a result of it being moved into zone 1?"

No, because it's been in zone 1 ever since it opened in May 2010.

Nigel White

If you read the actual report on ORR's site it makes it clear that there have been methodological changes since the previous year (as many of the flows within urban areas are only estimates based on Travelcard data). The report states (para 3.1): "Consistency with past datasets is important to enable comparisons to be made over
time. However, stakeholders have indicated that they are keen to see
improvements, even where this reduces consistency with historic data, provided any changes are clearly explained."
So, I think some of these year-on-year changes must be taken with a large pinch of salt.

John Galliver

To be pedantic - Dalston Kingsland is not on the "old east london line and its extension" - it's on the Stratford line. Dalston Junction is, however.


Good news. Hope this is kept in mind, and that Thameslink will be included in future tube maps. It's clear there's a hungry market for more metro-like services.

Paul Corfield

I think you need to be very careful in drawing too many conclusions from the ORR data. There are serious issues about quite how accurate it is. I do not consider it credible that Shoreditch High St saw 15% fewer passengers given it has been in Z1 since it opened and all the other stations on the East London line saw considerable increases in patronage. I also find the data for Finsbury Park surprising given there is no obvious reason why it would see a sharp decline.