The Anonymous Widower

Was It A Mistake To Close The Palace Gates Line?

I must be one of the few people still alive, who regularly watched trains trundle up and down the Palace Gates Line between Palace Gates and Seven Sisters stations. I’ll admit that I didn’t see many trains, as I sat in my father’s office in Station Road Wood Green on a pile of ledgers in the early 1950s. Admittedly, most trains were just a single coach pushed or pulled by an ancient tank engine, but they kept this then five-year-old amused. Some psychologists might argue, it created my life-long fascination with trains.

But think what could be happening now to East Coast Main Line freight trains travelling to or from London Gateway or the Channel Tunnel, if the line hadn’t been closed and dismantled?  The Palace Gates Line was linked to the Hertford Loop, so would it be that the line was used to get freight trains through North East London?

If nothing, it shows how those in charge of the railways in the 1960s were very bad at predicting what the railways would be like fifty years on.

But now Alexandra Palace is being proposed as one of the northern terminii of Crossrail 2, with the line being in tunnel from there to Seven Sisters and then on to my local stations at Dalston Junction and the Angel.

It would not probably be  the most difficult of projects to add a junction at Seven Sisters, that allowed trains using the Crossrail 2 tunnel, to  have access to the Gospel Oak to Barking line.

Such access would allow freight trains to travel under North East London. But I doubt that Transport for London would want freight trains running through their tunnels. But with platform edge doors, at any intermediate stations, would this still be the problem it is now? I wonder if anybody has put a tunnel under a city big enough to take freight trains and shared the line with the city’s local passenger trains or metro? I can’t find one in Wikipedia.

But if freight can’t use the Crossrail 2 tunnels, what about a third tunnel on the same alignment?

This is probably very fanciful, but we do need some way of getting freight through East London to the railway lines to the North. One alternative would be to make the M25 five or six lanes each way!

Closing the Palace Gates Line just removed an option and closing it today if it still existed, would probably not be contemplated.

May 11, 2014 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] back Palace Gates Line, all is […]

    Pingback by Conclusions On The Dudding Hill Line « The Anonymous Widower | May 11, 2014 | Reply


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