The Anonymous Widower

Bedwyn Station

I had to go to a meeting in Marlborough, so I took a train to Bedyn station for the first time in my life.

I took these pictures.

This Google Map shows the layout of the station.

bedwyn

I have commuted from a couple of stations like this in Suffolk over the years and Bedwyn doesn’t impress me.

It is not a question of what the station has, but what it hasn’t.

  • No local catchment area as Great Bedwyn only has a population of 1353 according to the 2011 Census.
  • No car parking.
  • No good road access.
  • No step-free access.
  • No welcoming facilities.
  • No pub within walking distance.
  • No mobile phone signal.
  • No possibility of electrifying past Bedwyn, because of the need to demolish the bridge at the station.

I am surprised that GWR have kept it going so long!

Near where I lived in Suffolk was a station called Dullingham, which is just as welcoming as Bedwyn, but at least it had enough car parking for someone, who wanted to pop up to London and not drive.

There are only a few  reasons, why GWR keep this station going.

  • Historically, as they’ve always done it this way.
  • Bedwyn is the best station to turn trains and has a convenient reversing siding.
  • The guy, who decides the route lives in Bedwyn.

But I think they use Bedwyn to turn trains for one of the best reasons; to cut costs.

If you look at train timings from London, they are as follows.

Newbury – 52 minutes

Hungerford – 63 minutes

Bedwyn – 73 minutes

As they want to run an hourly service, turning the train at Bedwyn might mean that they can use a train less than doing it at say Pewsey, as timings work out well.

I think that as they need time to turn a train and give the driver a rest, that a journey time of 73 minutes means that a round trip to Bedwyn takes three hours with an allowance for a small delay.

After all it can’t be unprofitable as this article in the Marlborough News is entitled Back on track: Bedwyn to keep direct London trains after 2018.

This is said.

Great Western Railway announced today (February 24) that investment has been agreed with the Department for Transport that will, from 2018, bring brand new hybrid trains  capable of switching between diesel and electric power to replace the diesel turbo fleet now serving Bedwyn travellers.

 

I think that the only reason they wouldn’t turn the trains at Bedwyn, is that there was a better alternative down the line., like perhaps at  Westbury.

Incidentally, as the new trains could be faster, it might be that the turnback point could be further out

But both these scenarios would mean that Bedwyn will still get at least the same service it does now.

A Station For Marlborough

I wrote a post called A Station For Marlborough, a couple of weeks ago and this might be a possibility for a new terminus.

  • It is a town of nearly 10,000 people.
  • A lot of people in the town commute to Reading or London.
  • The town has identified a place for a new station, which is on the old railway alignment from Bedwyn.
  • If the train terminated at Marlborough, the timetable from Bedwyn could be the same.
  • The train would need to be self-powered, as is Great Wstern Railway’s bi-mode trains.

It might even be better value-for-money to create the rail link to Marlborough, than rebuild Bedwyn station for electrification and with a car park and step-free access.

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 26, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – Cheshunt Station – 26th February 2017

I took these pictures at Cheshunt station.

This Google Map shows the layout of the station.

Cheshunt Station

Cheshunt Station

The station is very much a gateway to the Lea Valley Country Park and it could be difficult to find a by-pass for the level crossing.

I think putting two extra tracks through the station could be difficult.

  • ,The space is a bit narrow.
  • The level crossing will probably have to stay.
  • A lot of express trains stop, so that passengers can change to the London Overground.

Perhaps the solution is to do something like the following.

  • Extend the London Overground service to Broxbourne station, where there is space for extra platforms.
  • Stop fast services calling at Cheshunt station.
  • Move the two slow tracks Westward a bit, to create space for the two new lines on the Eastern side.

I also think, that extending the Overground to Broxbourne would make Broxbourne station an even better interchange.

 

 

February 26, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – Timings Between Tottenham Hale And Broxbourne Stations

How long do various trains take between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations?

The Line

The distance between the two stations is 11.2 miles or 18 kilometres and there are the following stations.

The stations marked with an asterisk (*) have level crossings.

The line has an operating speed of 100 mph in places, but a lot of places are much slower.

Slow Services

The slowest service takes twenty minutes  stopping at all stations except for Northumberland Park and Angel Road stations.

Fast Services

The fastest service takes thirteen minutes with just a stop at Cheshunt, which gives an average speed of about 52 mph.

Fast Services Using A Dedicated Line

If a dedicated line between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne were to be built where trains perhaps only stopped at Broxbourne, averaging 80 mph would mean a time of 8.4 minutes.

So there is potential if the dedicated fast line were to be built as a 100 mph line and trains ran non-stop to make savings of several minutes.

Slow Services Stopping At All Stations With Modern Trains

Crossrail is replacing elderly Class 315 trains with new Class 345 trains and it might be worth looking at these times for between Goodmayes and Brentwood stations, where there are four stops.

  • Class 315 train – 21 minutes
  • Class 345 train – 15 minutes

Greater Anglia are swapping elderly Class 317 trains with new Aventras, which are designed for quick stops, as are Crossrail’s Class 345 trains.

So I suspect that if a minute is saved for each stop, that would mean with the same stopping pattern, a time of 15 minutes could be possible.

I just wonder, if with a few tweaks, that trains can could match the current fastest time of thirteen minutes stopping at everywhere except for Northumberland Park and Angel Road stations.

Consider.

  • All stations will be made step-free, so once passengers learn the ropes, loading and unloading delays will be minimised.
  • Platforms will be aligned to the trains for fast loading and unloading.
  • STAR will handle Angel Road and Northumberland Park stations.
  • Four level crossings will be closed, which must help.
  • Both types of trains on the route would have similar performance and they would just run slower for slow services.
  • Fast trains will have their own line.
  • Help from the signalling and Driver Assistance Systems.

In addition, we mustn’t underestimate the contribution driver skill will make.

An Ideal World

In an ideal world the following could happen.

  • Every fast train to London, would be met at Broxbourne station by a paired slow train and passengers would take a train according to their needs, by just walking across the platform.
  • The next stop for the fast train would be Liverpool Street or Stratford, after running down the new fast line at a speed approaching 100 mph.
  • The slow train would stop everywhere, but arrive at Tottenham Hale in a time, that fast trains achieve today.

Coming out from London, the process would reverse.

No journeys would take longer than now, but some would be several minutes quicker.

All changes would be cross-platform at Broxbourne.

The Design Of The Fast Lines

If the fastest route between A and B, where there is no direct train, is to change at Broxbourne, there would never be a need to change anywhere else, so the only station with platforms on the fast and slow lines is Broxbourne.

Conclusion

I’m probably not exactly right here, but if the Crossrail actual and proposed timings are correct, there is a substantial time saving to be made.

The fast lines can also be very simple without platforms, which means that at stations like Tottenham Hale, Enfield Lock and Waltham Cross, it might be possible to squeeze the lines in.

 

February 26, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – How Many Slow Services Will Go Through Tottenham Hale Station?

Currently there are the several slow trains on the West Anglia Main Line, running a rather complicated service to give most stations four tph.

The major services are.

  • 1 tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge.
  • 2 tph between Liverpool Street or Stratford and Hertford East.
  • 2 tph between Liverpool Street or |Stratford and Bishops Stortford.

Obviously in the Peak there is more, but four-five slow trains per hour through Tottenham Hale station to Broxbourne wouldn’t be far away from the overall frequency, if the fast trains are ignored.

Greater Anglia probably have plans to increase the frequencies.

February 26, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – How Many Fast Services Will Go Through Tottenham Hale Station?

Currently, there are the following fast trains.

  • 1 tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge.
  • 4 tph between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.

There is also 1 tph stopping train from Cambridge, which I found a pain, as like most people, I just wanted to get to and from London quickly.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this number increased to something like.

  • 4 tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge.
  • 4 tph between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.
  • 2 or 4 tph between Stratford and Stansted Airport.

This is only one train in every five or six minutes.

As Tottenham Hale to Broxbourne is about eleven miles, one of Stadler’s new trains going non-stop on a clear line would probably do the trip in around 8 minutes compared to the current fastest of about 19 minutes.

February 26, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

West Anglia Route Improvement

I have decided to bring all of my posts on the following subjects together under a tag of West Anglia Route Improvement.

  • STAR – The local Stratford-Tottenham-Angel Road service connecting the Meridian Water development to Tttenham Hale and Stratford stations.
  • Crossrail 2 along the Lea Valley.
  • Four tracking of the West Anglia Main Line between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.
  • Station Improvements between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.

I also suspect other subjects connected with the improvement of the West Anglia Main Line and other related rail routes will also be added.

 

February 26, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – A Look At Lea Bridge Station

Lea Bridge station opened in May 2016, so as I was investigating the new STAR service, which will call at the station, I took some pictures.

These are my thoughts on the station and its design.

No-Frills Station

In some ways the station could be considered a no-frills station, with two simple platforms on either side of double-track line with a bridge at one end.

There is none of the following.

  • Car parking.
  • Station buildings.
  • Staff
  • Anything to stop people walking in.

But there is the following.

  • Secure bicycle parking and clearly marked bicycle routes.
  • Several bus routes stopping outside.
  • A step-free bridge.
  • Shelter from the worst of the weather.
  • Enough driver screens for Driver Only Operation to satisfy reasonable union officials.
  • Lots of CCTV cameras.
  • Clear sound system for announcements.

In some ways the station is unusual for one in an inner city area of London.

You can imagine a station like this in a rural county like Suffolk or Wiltshire, perhaps with a bit more shelter.

No Graffiti

I use this station fairly regularly and I’ve never seen any graffiti.

Could the lack of graffiti be bacause.

There are lots of CCTV cameras.

Despite not many trains, there always seems to be passengers around.

Anmy graffiti os quickly cleaned away.

Stephen Bayley has said that good design discourages graffiti.

Whatever the reason is, it seems to work.

The Curious Secure Walkway

When I saw it, I wondered why there was a secure walkway inside security fencing at the station.

I think it must be so that workers can get from the portable offices a couple of hundred metres South of the station to the various worksites for the STAR project, some of which are North of the station.

I wonder when STAR is complete, if the walkway will be converted into a cycle path alongside the railway.

The Cable Duct

A lot of the work at present for the STAR project seems to be moving the cables out of the way and installing a new cable duct.

The pictures show the new cable duct coming from the Tottenham Hale direction along the East side of the railway.

At the North end of the platforms, the duct disappears and looks like it heads under the railway to continue on the other side.

Could this be a deterrent for cable thieves, who now would have to dig up the railway to find them?

The Possible Platform 0

To the Eastern side of the station behind Platform 1, a space would appear to have been left for a possible bay platform.

I have not seen any plans that might need another platform at Lea Bridge station, but if it was absolutely necessary to create one, it wouldn’t be too difficult.

Network Rail score high for future p[roofing here, but it would be good, if it was now standard practice, when a new station is built.

 

 

 

 

 

February 25, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – What Is STAR?

STAR stands for Stratford-Tottenham-Angel Road and is a proposed four trains per hour (tph) service between Stratford and Angel Road stations, calling at the following stations.

The main purpose is to provide a service to the new £3.5billion housing and commercial development project at Meridian Water, the developers of which will be rebuilding Angel Road station and renaming it to Meridian Water.

Brief details of the project are given in the March 2017 Edition of Modern Railways.

  • STAR will involve laying a third track between Stratford and Angel Road, alongside the West Anglia Main Line and the Temple Mills Branch to Stratford.
  • STAR will be completed at the end of 2018.
  • STAR will run at a frequency of four trans per hour (tph)
  • STAR  will help in the four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line.

More will certainly emerge in the next few months.

But I have a few questions about STAR.

What Type Of Train Will Be Used?

I think the route STAR will take, has a headroom problem at Tottenham Hale.

Ferry Lane Bridge At Tottenham Hale Station

Ferry Lane Bridge At Tottenham Hale Station

When I first saw this bridge and saw the height of the overhead electrification on the existing West Anglia Main Line under the far span, I immediately questioned if they could fit the electrification under either of the blue steel bridges, where STAR might pass, in a manner that would meet all the Health and Safety regulations.

So will this mean that STAR will be built without wires?

Diesel trains would work, but wouldn’t fit the profile of Meridian Water as an ecologically-sound development.

I think we could see IPEMUs or electric multiple units with onboard energy storage working the route.

Will STAR Share Platforms With The West Anglia Up Line?

The space for putting the third track for STAR is narrow as this picture at Tottenham Hale shows.

 

Not Much Space For Two Tracks

STAR Will Go Through Here At Tottenham Hale Station

If STAR goes through in the space conveniently marked by green grass, the easiest way to create a platform would be to add a second face on the existing Platform 1.

  • A step-free bridge is being built linking Hale Village to a new station building with step-free access to the existing Platforms 1 and 2.
  • If STAR used the other face of Platform 1, it would share step-free access.
  • STAR would have cross-platform access to Liverpool Street services.
  • Passengers coming from say Stansted needing to get to Meridian Water would just wait on the shared Platform for the first Northbound STAR service.
  • There would be step-free access between STAR and the Victoria Line.

It could be a very simple and affordable way of creating a new platform and interchange with full step-free access.

The technique could also be used at Northumberland Park station.

What Will Happen To STAR When The Great Anglia Main Line Is Four-Tracked?

STAR will only affect the West Anglia Main Line between Coppermill Junction and Angel Eoad, as this is the only section, where the STAR and the new lines will co-exist.

In How Many Fast Services Will Go Through Tottenham Hale Station?, I concluded that there will be between ten and twelve fast trains per hour in both directions between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.

I also think, that these trains will go non-stop along the new lines only stopping at Broxbourne, as the timings of the new slow trains could be the same as the current fast ones. See Timings Between Tottenham Hale And Broxbourne Stations for full details.

As the four-tracking will not take place for a few years, I think it is likely that Stadler and Bombardier will be able to fit onboard storage to their trains, so could we see the two new lines squeezed into the small space between STAR and the development at Tottenham Hale without electrification?

Signalling technology would also probably allow such a line to be bi-directional, with trains running alternatively in both directions.

It would certainly save space to have a bi-directional line without electrification handling the fast trains through Tottenham Hale!

The fast line would revert to a normal double track at Coppermill Junction and Angel Road.

As closing a rail route is often a difficult process, even after Crossrail 2 is providing a high frquency service between Tottenham Hale and Angel Road, STAR will continue into the future.

Conclusion

STAR is putting down some interesting markers for the future.

 

 

February 25, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

West Anglia Route Improvement – Modern Railways March 2017

The March 2017 Edition of Modern Railways sheds some more light on what is happening at the between Angel Road and Tottenham Hale stations.

They state  the following about the current works.

  • The Stratford area and its station is growing in importance.
  • The line is slated for improvement under the Stratford-Tottenham-Angel Road (STAR) project.
  • STAR will involve laying a third track between Stratford and Angel Road, alongside the West Anglia Main Line and the Temple Mills Branch to Stratford.
  • STAR will be completed at the end of 2018.
  • STAR will run at a frequency of four trans per hour (tph)

A picture in the magazine taken from a footbridge shows very much what my pictures show.

They also state this about Crossrail 2

  • Crossrail 2 would be overlaid on the existing network serving both Liverpool Street and Stratford stations.
  • Coppermill junction could be converted to a grade-separated rather than a flat junction.
  • Crossrail 2 would emerge from the tunnel South of Tottenham Hale.
  • The project would quadruple the West Anglia Main Line from the tunnel portal to Broxbourne.
  • STAR would be built to facilitate this.
  • A turnback platform is being considered at Tottenham Hale
  • A turnback platform is being considered at Enfield Lock
  • Turnback platforms and stabling sidings are considered at Broxbourne.

So how does all this fit with my observations?

STAR

I very much feel that STAR is only a stop-gap development until Crossrail 2 arrives. In What Is STAR?, I give a few basic details.

After all will it still be needed to run just four tph between Angel Road and Stratford, when there could be upwards of 10-15 tph on Crossrail 2 and other services between Tottenham Hale and Stratford?

Something is needed immediately to serve Angel Road station and the massive Meridian Water development, which result in the renaming of Angel Road station to Meridian Water,

The timings from Tottenham Hale are currently as follows.

  • Stratford – 14 minutes
  • Lea Bridge – 4 minutes
  • Northumberland Park – 2 ,minutes
  • |Angel Road – 4 minutes

Modern Railways states STAR will use a third track between Stratford and Angel Road. So if it was designed to be straight and flat and if it is running new Aventra trains from either London Overground or Greater Anglia with a fast stop capability, I wonder if timings could be achieved, which would enable just two trains could run the service.

I suspect that STAR would provide a valuable service to link Meridian Water to Tottenham Hale and Stratford stations.

STAR At Tottenham Hale

This picture shows the available space at Tottenham Hale station, which doesn’t appear to be enough for two lines.

Not Much Space For Two Tracks

Note the newly-installed cable ducts.

Modern Railways states STAR will use a third track between Stratford and Angel Road. A single track would certainly fit through here.

Suppose the current platform 1 on the left, was made an island platform for the existing London-bound line and the track for STAR going along the route that now almost looks like freshly-mowed grass.

  • The new platform could be Platform 0
  • STAR would be worked in a bi-directional  manner, always calling at Platform 0
  • When Tottenham Hale station is re-built in the near future, Platform 0 will have full step-free access to the Victoria Line, courtesy of Platform 1.
  • It would have cross-platform access to Liverpool Street services on Platform 1.
  • Moving some Stansted or Cambridge service from Liverpool Street to Stratford might be operationally worthwhile after Crossrail opens.

Platform usage at Tottenham Hale would be as follows.

  • 0 – All STAR services.
  • 1 – Services to Liverpool Street
  • 2 – Northbound services except STAR.

That would be very logical for passengers and not the most complicated of construction projects.

STAR At Angel Road

If the third track continued to Angel Road station as seems to be proposed, then a  single bay platform could handle the four tph.

Space would have to be left for the two future new lines that will be installed, when the full West Anglia four-tracking takes place.

The STAR track could be close to the current West Anglia Up Line, as it will be at Tottenham Hale with the two new lines on the Eastern side of the station.

If the STAR track was on the outside, there would have to be a flat junction, where the STAR track crossed the two extra lines.

Until Crossrail 2 is built, I also suspect that STAR could be only service calling at Angel Road.

So there will be a lot of flexibility on how the station is built.

STAR At Northumberland Park

This picture shows the current works at Northumberland Park station.

Northumberland Park Station

This picture was taken from the footbridge in the station.

Could the current platform 1 at the station be converted into an island platform between the current West Anglia Up Line and a STAR track between the West Anglia Main Line and the Northumberland Park Depot for the Victoria Line?

I suspect the answer is in the affirmative.

There might even be space for more lines through the area, when the West Anglia Main Line is four-tracked.

STAR At Lea Bridge Station

Lea Bridge station is a recently-opened station on the Temple Mills Branch between Tottenham Hale and Stratford and I doubt  there is sufficient space for a separate track for STAR with its own platform through the station.

This picture is from A Look At Lea Bridge Station, which shows the station in detail.

 

Alongside Lea Bridge Station

 

The STAR track would have to go through here and would probably mean substantial rebuilding of a brand-new station.

So all services to Stratford will call at Platform 1 and all services from Stratford will call at Platform 2.

This will mean a junction North of Lea Bridge station, so that services can get themselves to the right lines for Tottenham Hale or in future the Chingford Branch along a rebuilt Hall Farm Curve.

  • Southbound STAR, Chingford Branch Line and other services to Stratford will merge before Lea Bridge station to pass through Platform 1.
  • Northbound STAR and Chingford Branch Line services will pass through Platform 2 and then cross over the Temple Mills Branch Up Line to the bi-directional STAR track alongside the main lines to Tottenham Hale.
  • Northbound Chingford Branch Line services will take the Hall Farm Curve to get to St. James station and the Chingford Branch Line.
  • Other Northbound services from Stratford will stay on the Temple Mills Branch Down Line and go straight to Platform 2 at Tottenham Hale.

Traffic crossing from the Temple Mills Branch Down Line over the Up Line to get to the STAR track would include.

  • STAR services of four tph.
  • Services from Stratford to Walthamstow and Chingford, which could be between two and four tph.

Due to restrictions on capacity caused by the level crossing at Highams Park station on the Chingford Branch Line, I suspect this could initially be just 2 tph, until a solution for the restriction is found.

STAR at Stratford

One possible problem is the capacity at Stratford station, which only has two possible terminal platforms 11 and 12.

Platform 11 is used for the current two tph that go up and down the West Anglia Main Line, but Platform 12 is currently just giving out messages saying “I’m Free!”

Platforms like these can generally handle four tph, as they do at stations like Highbury and Islington or Dalston Junction. But is a capacity of eight tph enough if some Stansted and Cambridge services are added to the mix.

But there may be other possibilities!

Look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr  of the lines to the North-West of Platform 11 and 12 at Stratford station and how they curve round the Eastfield Shopping Centre and Stratford International station.

highmeads

The main route is called the High Meads Loop and this picture taken from a Docklands Light Railway train to Stratford Internation station, shows the twin-track loop.

dscn9935

Southbound trains from Tottenham Hale could do the following.

  • Get on the Temple Mills Branch Up Line, between Coppermill Junction and Lea Bridge station.
  • Call at  Platform 1 in Lea Bridge station.
  • call in Plastform 11 at Stratford station.
  • Go round the High Meads Loop and past the Stratford International DLR station.
  • Rejoin the Temple Mills Branch on the Down Line at Temple Mills East Junction.
  • Call at  Platform 2 in Lea Bridge station.
  • Proceed back to Platform 2 at Tottenham Hale station.

The train has been turned round using the High Meads Loop, after a stop at Stratford station.

There could even be a new station in the region of the Stratford International DLR station, which would increase connectivity to the High Speed services, which is currently truly dreadful.

The track doesn’t limit services on the High Meads Loop to go via Platform 11, but they could also go round the double-track loop the other way and call at the unused Platform 12.

Using the High Meads Loop as a terminal loop at Stratford station could give the Temple Mills Branch between Tottenham Hale and Stratford station a very useful capacity.

Services could also use the existing tracks to call at Platform 11 at Stratford and then take the North London Line to Hackney Wick station and beyond. Returning trains could call in Platform 12 at Stratford or use the High Meads Loop for Tottenham Hale.

I suspect that London Overground and/or Greater Anglia have a cunning plan to collect all of these services and platforms together in an optimal manner for the benefit of all stakeholders.

STAR And Electrification

This picture shows where the single STAR track will pass under the Ferry Lane Bridge at Tottenham Hale station

Ferry Lane Bridge At Tottenham Hale Station

When I first looked at this bridge and saw the height of the overhead electrification on the existing West Anglia Main Line under the far span, I immediately questioned if they could fit the electrification under either of the blue steel bridges, where STAR might pass, in a manner that would meet all the Health and Safety regulations.

The only way to electrify and be certain of the safety would be to replace the bridge with a modern structure. But this would take a couple of years and can it be built without closing an important route to and from London for a couple of months?

So I come to the conclusion that the STAR line will not be electrified and the line will use electric trains with onboard energy storage or IPEMUs.

  • I have been told by the manufacturer that all Aventra trains are wired for onboard energy storage.
  • Both possible operators of the star service; Greater Anglia and London Overground are obtaining sizeable fleets of suitable Aventra trains,
  • Greater Anglia’s Aventras are five-car trains.
  • London Overground’s Class 710 trains are four-car trains.
  • Delivery of London Overground’s trains is scheduled to start in 2018.
  • The route between Lea Bridge and Stratford is fully electrified, so trains could charge the batteries South of Lea Bridge station.
  • Diesel trains would be an alternative, but probably not appropriate in the Lea Valley.

For added safety, the well-proven method of slab track will be used under the bridge to ensure the train stays stable.

The outcome will be the ecologically sustainable development of Meridian Water gets appropriate electric trains to shuttle residents to Crossrail and the Eastfield Shopping Centre at Stratford.

Crossrail 2

I shall make a few comments about what the article says about Crossrail 2.

Crossrail 2 Would Be Overlaid On The Existing Network

How else is there to do it without building a whole new line on a different route up the Lea Valley?

Incidentally, plans used to exist for extending the Chingford Branch Line to Stansted Airport through Epping Forest. I doubt that will ever happen, especially as Queen Victoria is supposed to have said no!

Coppermill Junction Could Be Converted To A Grade-Separated Rather Than A Flat Junction

These pictures were taken from a train, that was going from Lea Bridge to Tottenham Hale, through the area of Coppermill Junction.

At present the following happens at Coppermill Junction.

  • Trains between Liverpool Street and Chingford pass straight over the junction.
  • Trains from Liverpool Street to Tottenham Hale curve left from the Chingford Branch Line to join the West Anglia Main Line.
  • Trains from Tottenham Hale to Liverpool Street cross in a flat junction over the West Anglia Down Line and the Chingford Branch Down Line to get on track for Liverpool Street.

When the West Anglia Main Line has been four-tracked and the STAR track has been inserted alongside the current tracks, the fast tracks will probably be the two most Easterly tracks through Tottenham Hale.

This will mean that the West Anglia Up Fast will have to cross the following lines to get on the Chingford Up Line.

  • The bi-directional STAR line.
  • The double-track of the Temple Mills Branch to Stratford.
  • The Chingford Down Line.

In the opposite direction, the following tracks will have to be crossed.

  • The double-track of the Temple Mills Branch to Stratford.
  • The bi-directional STAR line.

These movements will need a very complicated Coppermill Junction.

As four-tracking is all about faster services between Liverpool Street and Cambridge and Stansted, it would be detrimental to not have an efficient Coppermill Junction, with some grade separation.

I think we probably need flyovers or dive-unders on the following routes.

  • West Anglia Up Fast to Chingford Branch Up.
  • Chingford Branch Down to West Anglia Down Fast.

Routes would probably need to be provided so that the trains could go between the West Anglia Slow Lines and the Chingford Branch towards London.

In addition, I’ve heard rumours that trains will be able to go both ways between Tottenham Hale and Walthamstow.

There is certainly lots of space to build a complicated junction, as the pictures show.

Crossrail 2 Would Emerge From The Tunnel South of Tottenham Hale

I think that has been known for some time and the possible site is full of London’s demolition rubble.

However, the junction with the West Anglia Slow Lines would probably need to be grade separated and integrated with the spaghetti that Coppermill Junction will probably have become.

The Project Would Quadruple The West Anglia Main Line From The Tunnel Portal To Broxbourne

If fast services to Cambridge and Stansted are to be retained, surely this must be done.

Just imagine 10-15 Crossrail 2 trains and ten fast trains, every hour sharing a pair of lines up the Lea Valley.

In my view the fast lines would be the two most Easterly lines and they probably wouldn’t stop very often, if at all between Liverpool Street or Stratford and Broxbourne.

,

STAR Would Be Built To Facilitate Four-Tracking

Everything I’ve seen leads me to think, that the single STAR track will be next to the West Anglia and Temple Mills Branch Up Line, with the two new lines outside to the East.

I also feel that these new lines will be the fast ones and possibly will have few if any platforms between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.

STAR could be an independent line, well out of the way operationally of other lines.

  • STAR will be bi-directional North of Lea Bridge station.
  • STAR could share island platforms with the West Anglia Up Line at Angel Road, Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale stations.
  • There could be no points on the route once it separates North of Lea Bridge station.
  • The fast lines between Liverpool Street and Tottenham Hale could cross the Temple Mills Branch and the STAR line at Coppermill Junction using a flyover.

The last point probably explains the grade-separated junction, I mentioned earlier.

I said earlier that it could be difficult to put extra tracks through Tottenham Hale station. These pictures show the area, where the STAR line and the two new lines will go and also what lies on the other side in the new housing development of Hale Village.

There is more space than I thought earlier. As some of the concrete decking will probably be demolished or modified to build the new entrance and pedestrian bridge for the station, I suspect that the space between the current station and Hale Village can be made wide enough for at least the new lines needed to four-track the West Anglia Main Line.

But I suspect that a way will be found to get the STAR line and the two other lines in what space can be created.

This would mean.

  • The STAR service can continue, as long as it’s needed.
  • There certainly wouldn’t be space for platforms on the two other lines between the current station and Hale Village.
  • So as the slow lines will need platforms, the two new lines will be the fast lines.

North from Tottenham Hale, there is slightly more space, as my picture at Northumberland Park station showed.

As the STAR line is currently planned to terminate at Angel Road station, North from there, the requirement is only the easier one of two tracks and not three.

But if the requirement for three tracks should prove too difficult, as the four-tracking will see Crossrail 2 implemented, I’m sure that the STAR line can be sacrificed to make space. But that would create difficulty in maintaining an adequate service between Angel Road and Stratford whilst the four-tracjing is being carried out.

In some ways STAR has the feel of one of those temporary diversions you get in road works to keep the traffic moving.

  • Tottenham Hale station is going to be rebuilt.
  • Transport is needed urgently for Meridian Water.
  • STAR connects Angel Road to Stratford with all its connections and Crossrail from 2018.
  • When Crossrail 2 is opened, Angel Road, Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale stations will have a frequent high capacity service.
  • Greater Anglia might move some Cambridge and Stansted services from Liverpool Street to Stratford.

I wouldn’t be sure that STAR  would still exist after Crossrail 2 opens.

  • There will be well upwards of ten tph Crossrail 2 trains in both directions calling at Angel Road station.
  • STAR connects Meridian Water with Stratford.
  • STAR gives a four tph connection between Crossrail 2 at Tottenham Hale and Crossrail at Stratford.

Passenger numbers and patterns will decide.

A Turnback Platform Is Being Considered At Tottenham Hale

Tottenham Hale station is being rebuilt and I suspect that if a turnback platform is being considered the station will have provision for the extra platform to be built.

This picture shows the Southern end of Platform 2 at the station with the Ferry Lane Bridge behind.

dscn0039

It certainly couldn’t be described as good engineering.

Connecting the two current platforms is a 1960s bridge, which has steps at both end and a single escalator to bring passengers arriving from the North onto the bridge to walk to the Victoria Line.

Plans for the station envisage a lot of work being done before the end of next year. Future in the Wikipedia entry for the station includes these plans.

  • creating a new landmark entrance to the Station;
  • increasing the capacity of the Station concourse, by doubling the size of the current ticket hall;
  • improving interchange by relocating the Greater Anglia and London Underground gatelines;
  • providing new access to platforms via the new Access for All (AfA) bridge being delivered separately by Network Rail;
  • removing the existing subway which links the south side of Ferry Lane with the Station;
  • extending the existing bridge to form a new Station entrance from Hale Village, providing improved access from the east to Tottenham Hale transport interchange;
  • re-routing the London Underground escape route and relocating the vent shaft;
  • providing a new, upgraded Station control facility; and
  • retail units.

Nothing is said about a turnback platform.

But I think if the Ferry Lane Bridge was to be rebuilt and the new station was modified appropriately, the turnback platform could be positioned behind and alongside the current platform 2.

  • It would share step-free access with that provided for platform 2.
  • There would be cross-platform for passengers arriving in the turnback platform, with services going further down the line.
  • The current waiting room would be demolished.
  • There would be space for the platform.

Current works at the station are moving the taxi rank, which would help the provision of a turnback platform and other features.

A Turnback Platform Is Being Considered At Enfield Lock

When I looked at Enfield Lock station, I showed this Google Map of Enfield Lock station.

enfieldlock2

Given that there will be two extra lines through the area, will there be any space for a turnback platform?

In Level Crossing Issues, I said this.

The Southernmost three of these crossings; Enfield Lock, Brimsdown and Northumberland Park, are close to the A1055 which is variously called Meridian Way or Mollison Avenue, which was built to serve the various industrial and residential sites between Tottenham Hale and Waltham Cross.

This road should obviously be improved, but look at this Google Map of the Northern End of the road.

Note the West Anglia Main Line crossing the map, in a North-South direction. Waltham Cross station is on the other side of the M25.

Surely this could be a site for a new Park-and-Ride station for Crossrail 2!

Could this be where the turnback platform at Enfield Lock will be located in a new station?

Turnback Platforms And Stabling Sidings Are Considered At Broxbourne

Broxborne station has everything needed to be turned into a superb Northern terminus for Crossrail 2.

  • The station has four platforms; two fast and two slow, with cross-platform change.
  • The station is step-free.
  • There is space to add extra through and turnback platforms.
  • There is space for stabling sidings.
  • There is space for masses amounts of parking.
  • The station has a large water feature including the River Lea and the New River.

The station is even Grade II Listed.

I said more in this post called Broxbourne Station. The final paragraph is.

It would not need a massive amount of money to be spent at Broxbourne to make the station a superb Northern terminus for Crossrail 2. It makes Shenfield and Abbey Wood look decidedly second-class now.

It is not often that the terminus of a new rail line is so easy to develop.

Other Questions And Issues

As I have written this post, several questions and issues have suggested themselves.

  • What will be done about the noise of 100 mph plus trains every few minutes on some parts of the route, like through Enfield Lock and Waltham Cross?
  • Could the two new fast lines be placed in a cut-and-cover tunnel through Tottenham Hale?
  • Do any plans exist for the replacement of the Ferry Lane Bridge at Tottenham Hale?
  • Could the High Meads Loop be used to turn trains at Stratford?
  • Will a station be built on the High Meads Loop to serve Stratford International station?

Like Coppermill Junction, it will all get very complicated.

Conclusion

STAR, Crossrail 2 and four-tracking the West Anglia Main Line will probably bring a lot of benefits, but it is not a simple project.

 

 

February 25, 2017 Posted by | Travel, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shooting The Messenger

This article on the BBC is entitled White House bans certain news media from briefing. This is said.

The White House has barred several major broadcasters and newspapers from attending an informal press briefing.

The BBC, CNN, the New York Times and others were excluded from an audience with Press Secretary Sean Spicer, with no reason given.

If you don’t like the messenger, perhaps they’ve not the problem, but what the message might be.

Recent stories on the BBC web site include.

  • Mexico Warns US Over Border Wall Funding
  • India Shocked Over US Bar Shooting
  • Trump Aid Pressed FBI On Russia Reports
  • Caithlyn Jenner To Donald Trump “Call Me!”

But those who voted for Trump think he’s right.

Supporters thought that about Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Saddam Hussein, Qaddafi and Hitler.

Politicians should be wary of being selective with the messages they will accept.

Especially, when you consider that many English speakers throughout the world, get their American world news as it effects them from the BBC  or CNN and not from Trump TV!

February 25, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment