His election manifesto includes a pledge to give each route its “own identity” as part of the wider aims of his diversity commission to move away from Victorian times – with Londoners invited to suggest names based on nearby landmarks or famous Londoners associated with key destinations.
Since its expansion in the last decade, the Overground has been dubbed the “Ginger line” due to its orange colour scheme and identifying colour on TfL’s map. The Gospel Oak to Barking branch line has long been known as the Goblin line by enthusiasts.
Mr Khan said the Overground network had grown to such an extent that each line needed its own identity.
“That’s why I will establish a naming programme for the six London Overground lines and give Londoners the opportunity to tell more of our city’s diverse story and put some of our forgotten people and places back on the map,” he said.
The Overground has a multitude of branches but the renaming will focus on the six main lines:
â Richmond and Clapham Junction to Stratford
â Watford Junction to Euston
â Gospel Oak to Barking
â Highbury & Islington to New Cross, Clapham Junction, Crystal Palace and West Croydon
â Liverpool Street to Enfield Town, Cheshunt and Chingford
â Romford to Upminster
Mr Khan’s diversity commission, set up in the wake of the Black Lives Matters protests last year that saw statues toppled or removed, aims to ensure that street names and monuments more accurately reflect London’s history.
Proposals for the Overground lines will be “rigorously assessed to ensure they only serve to enhance the passenger experience”.
The aim is to give each route its own identity “based on individuals, places or local landmarks who have made noteworthy, but potentially under-recognised, contributions to London life”.
Borough councils, London Travelwatch and the Mayor’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm, will be asked their views.
The London Overground has seen passenger numbers increase 33 million in 2008/09 to almost 190 million passengers in 2019.
The Barking Riverside extension of the Overground is due to complete next year.
Mr Khan said: “There are so many Londoners, historic locations and forgotten stories from our city that need re-telling.
“Naming the lines will not only help educate visitors about what our amazing city and incredible history but will also make it easier for people who live, work or visit London to more easily navigate the city”