The Anonymous Widower

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 | , ,


  1. […] have been travelling around London recently tracing the Goblin Extension, so every day I have had to buy a Zone 1-6 Travelcard at £8.90 or because I have a Senior Railcard […]

    Pingback by I Lost My Freedom Pass « The Anonymous Widower | August 8, 2014 | Reply

  2. […] I found on my trips Tracing the Goblin Extension, most of the infrastructure is already there and in many places, all it needs is innovating […]

    Pingback by Improving The Overground « The Anonymous Widower | August 8, 2014 | Reply

  3. […] outside the station or the car park opposite. One small point is that when I traced TfL possible GOBlin extension, it needed to reverse at Wimbledon. One or more bay platforms could be tucked in on the […]

    Pingback by Crossrail 2 At Wimbledon « The Anonymous Widower | May 2, 2015 | Reply

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