The Anonymous Widower

Tracing The Goblin Extension – The Alternative Route From Wimbledon To Peckham Rye

This is what I called the Alternative Route in the post, where I laid out possible routes.

It goes a slightly shorter way and avoids changing direction at Wimbledon.

Incidentally, I found out today that Platform 9 at Wimbledon has trains that stop there running in both directions.

The train I got from there today, actually waited for a few minutes, so it might be a place, where a train could wait if necessary.

The only problem on the route was that I had a Peckham Rye style change at Tulse Hill.  I doubt that a couple with a baby in a buggy could negotiate the two staircases easily. Something of course that won’t be necessary with the Goblin Extension, as the trains will just circulate continuously.

August 6, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 2 Comments

The Borders Are Getting A Top Class Railway

The Borders Railway is starting to take shape and according to this article on Global Rail News, the first track has now been laid. This is the first couple of paragraphs.

The first section of track of the new 30-mile Borders Railway has been laid in Bowshank tunnel.

Although the Borders line is a single track railway, the 200-metre tunnel has double track which is part of a 6.4-kilometre dynamic passing loop. In the tunnel clearances are tight due to the requirement for passive provision for electrification. Hence the tunnel has slab track.

The interesting point is that the railway is being built so it can be electrified in the future.

August 6, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Summary And Conclusions On The Goblin Extension

I’ve now traced all the new sections of the Goblin Extension from Upper Holloway, all the way round to Abbey Wood.

Tracing The Route

I’ll start by listing the sections of the line, where most of the infrastructure is already built.

Upper Holloway To Hounslow

Hounslow To Wimbledon

Wimbledon To Norwood Junction

A Detour To Brockley

Norwood Junction To Peckham Rye

Peckham Rye To Bexleyheath And Abbey Wood

The Alternative Route From Wimbledon To Peckham Rye

The Barking To Abbey Wood Tunnel

I’ve said very little about this, except muse about its use.

Infrastructure Needed

There is only one major piece of infrastructure that needs to be built and that is the Barking to Abbey Wood Tunnel.

One other thing that will to be done is to electrify the only part of the route that has not been so equipped; the main  Gospel Oak to Barking section of the line.

There will I suspect be some track and signalling work, but probably nothing in addition to what will be done anyway.

Remember that signals will be under the remit of ERTMS and in the cabs, which might help in some places.

Trains Needed

Trains for the Gospel Oak to Barking Line will be ordered soon and will probably be Class 378 trains or something very similar.

The only modification needed will be that they must be dual voltage to work all of the line, which of course they are on the North London Line.

Reports say four trains will be needed to work the current Gospel Oak to Barking Line, so as the new line is probably four times as long, something like twenty trains would probably be needed.

How Many Trains Per Hour?

What surprised me on my trip round the Goblin Extension, was how few trains per hour run on some parts of the route.

In many places, there are just two trains an hour, which definitely isn’t good enough for a turn up and go service.

So it shouldn’t be too difficult to accommodate at least another two trains an hour, all the way round the route.

Did The Goblin Extension Start As A South London Project?

Across North London, the current Goblin probably needs bigger trains and electrification, more than it needs more stations and more trains per hour. Although the latter would be nice.

But having travelled across South London a lot during the day, there often seems to be gaps between services and even short journeys need a change of train. I don’t know what it is like in the peak periods, but then extra services are always welcomed.

Connectivity from East to West and all points in between would definitely be improved, especially as from 2018, this line has good links to Crossrail and Thameslink.

Remember too, that driving in South London is much more difficult than in the North and the Underground is not as extensive as it is in the North.

The old South London Circular route from London Bridge to Victoria used to partly fulfil this East-West need and when it was discontinued to allow the East London Line to reach Clapham Junction, there was a lot of complaints that passengers in South London had lost their link to Victoria.

The only people, who know the traffic on the trains are Transport for London, who probably have access to all the statistics of where people enter and leave the network.

So did Transport for London invent the Hounslow to Abbey Wood service in response to a perceived need shown by the traffic statistics. Especially, as they knew there were plenty of train paths across South London and only small infrastructure changes would be required.

But they hit a snag, in that Abbey Wood and Hounslow are not stations, where you can turn a train around. Trains would have to come into the station and then go out the way they came in. I know nothing of operating trains, but surely you don’t want one of your two platforms blocked several times an hour. Especially, where you have high-frequency services wanting to use your platforms.

So someone looked at the places where these services could terminate. At Hounslow, they came up with the plan to go up the North London Line and the Dudding Hill Line to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line. At Abbey Wood, they came up with a plan to build a tunnel to the other end of the line at Barking Riverside, thus completing the circle.

Circular lines are always good for politicians, as they can understand them and sell their perceived benefits to the public.

August 6, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 3 Comments

Tracing The Goblin Extension – Peckham Rye To Bexleyheath And Abbey Wood

This is the last leg, although I skipped the last bit from Bexleyheath to Abbey Wood, as it’s just a turn round the corner towards the station, that will be one of the termini of Crossrail.

Peckham Rye is not one of London’s best stations. It always reminds me of being two separate  stations  or two separate lines that happen to be chose enough together, to be able to be connected by a maze of dingy passages and steep staircases to a rather nice building.

It is one of the worse eyesores on the UK rail network.

I had arrived from Tulse Hill and to get to Bexleyheath I needed to get a Dartford train. This was not an easy walk down and then up two of the worst public staircases I know.

It also meant, I had to wait twenty minutes or so, in a station, where the only toilet was locked.

If the Goblin Extension happens, there will of course be no change of train, if for instance you wanted to go from Tulse Hill to Bexleyheath. And like I found, you won’t have to waste twenty minutes.

I took these pictures on the journey.

One point to note, is that on the whole journey, the stations are two platform ones and there would appear to be few places to have a turn back facility. The latter would probably mean that you’d have difficult finding somewhere to turn an interim service, until Crossrail is opened.

If you look at the details of the Crossrail station at Abbey Wood, you might wonder how everything will fit together there. But I’m not really worried, as I doubt TfL would mention the Goblin Extension in their 2050 Transport Plan, if it wasn’t possible.

August 6, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

London’s Plans For Trams

In TfL’s Transport Plan for 2050, trams don’t get much of a mention.

The document talks in vague terms about increasing frequency and capacity on the existing Tramlink and about extending it to Sutton.

So does this mean that effectively any new tram routes are off the agenda as TfLbelieves like I do after seeing the operation of bus route 38 in recent months, that new Routemaster buses are a more flexible and affordable option.

August 6, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Tracing The Goblin Extension – Norwood Junction To Peckham Rye

As Brockley was an error on my part, I got the A to Z out and looked for another route to get on the Nunhead to Lewisham Link. The less direct route with a change of trains at Crystal Palace seemed to be a way to go.

This was another section, where I got two or more trains.

Norwood Junction to Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace to Peckham Rye

It was trouble free and passed through many stations that I’d never heard of before.

The only problem was that I had to wait twenty minutes for both trains. Is this a problem on this route, when perhaps you need to get from Gypsy Hill to North Dulwich, which might be solved by a four trains per hour Goblin Extension service?

I took these pictures along the route.

Note that you can also interchange with Thasmeslink at Tulse Hill and the East London Line at Crystal Palace and Peckham Rye. There are also good connections to Victoria and London Bridge at various stations in this section.

August 6, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Should You Adjust Your Overdraft Limit To Your Peer-To-Peer Account?

I am going through a high spending period of the year at the moment. I’ve had a lot of expenses and my roof is being fixed. It’s also around my birthday, when I give money to various charities.

I like to keep my current account in credit or at least I don’t let it go over my agreed overdraft limit.

I also use the interest and repayments on my Zopa loans to balance my accounts, by taking amounts out from Zopa towards the end of the month and then reinvesting it around the middle of the next month.

On top of that I have a small agreed overdraft limit, so that if say, I need something urgently and don’t want to use a credit card for the purpose, I can facilitate the purchase on my terms.

Hence the question in the title of this post.

As I get about three percent of my invested sum available for withdrawal every month on Zopa, I have just adjusted my overdraft limit to that figure, to give myself headroom so that I manage my money to my advantage.

August 6, 2014 Posted by | Finance | , , | 2 Comments