Transport for London (TfL), the not-for-profit public body responsible for transport in the capital, will take responsibility for metropolitan services as rail franchises end over the next decade to simplify journeys and provide greater consistency.
The move brought unexpected joy to those who suffer regular delays on lines affected.
— Bradley Willis (@kimjongunchaind) January 21, 2016
However, some have been quick to point out the move paints a confusing picture in terms of the government's national policy, as London lines come under overall public control - although operated under its brand by private companies.
Suburban routes to be under TfL control; infrastructure not-for-profit. Acknowledgment privatisation hasn't delivered promised benefits?— SouthWestTrainsWatch (@swtrains_watch) January 21, 2016
Public control of the railways is a reckless socialist experiment, say the Tories. Unless you live in London. https://t.co/TOvMfnWiyc— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) January 21, 2016
I see the railways are being nationalised. But only in London.— Richard Gadsden (@po8crg) January 21, 2016
Public ownership of railways: good for London, bad for the rest of the country. When will Tory hypocrisy end? https://t.co/uv8PApvihF— Jonathan Abourbih (@jonzo1) January 21, 2016
Nonetheless, the move has gained the support of Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
He said: "We are committed to making journeys better across London and the South East, and this new partnership represents a huge opportunity to transform travel by putting passengers where they should be - at the heart of the rail network."
The first franchise to come under TfL control will be South West in 2017, followed by Southeastern in 2018, and certain Southern and Thameslink services from 2021.
Suburban trains running from London Bridge, Victoria, Charing Cross, Cannon Street and Moorgate would all be operated under the TfL banner under the scheme.
The TfL map will be entirely re-drawn to reflect the changes - with existing metropolitan lines coloured orange to reflect London Overground branding.
Though perhaps not quite like this:
TfL has just released this image of what the Tube Map will look like once it has taken over all of the franchises. pic.twitter.com/qE94NoOknN— James O'Malley (@Psythor) January 21, 2016
TfL boss Mike Brown told MayorWatch the lines would need to be re-named to aid journey planning, with a possible public consultation to decide what to call them held in the near future.
TfL is seeking feedback from the public on its proposals via its website.