The Anonymous Widower

The Proposed Ordsall Chord

The Ordsall Chord is going to allow trains to call at both Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria stations as they pass through the city. This map from Network Rail shows the layout of rail lines in Manchester and the position of the proposed Ordsall Chord.

Rail Lines Around The Ordsall Chord

Rail Lines Around The Ordsall Chord

There is also this image from Google Earth.

The Area Of The Ordsall Chord

The Area Of The Ordsall Chord

The two lines that will be connected meet at the left or West of this image. The Ordsall Chord will make a triangle with the existing lines and will connect the line going to the top of the picture towards Victoria, with the one going to the bottom towards Piccadilly.

The project is not without controversy. A lot of the arguments are laid out in this article in the Manchester Evening News. This is said.

Ministers have been asked to step in over fears a new £85m bridge will sever the world’s oldest train station from the rail network. Bosses at Network Rail are consulting on plans to build the new bridge over the River Irwell in Castlefield to link Victoria and Piccadilly stations for the first time.

I’m all for looking after historic sites, but in some cases economic necessity will mean, that things have to be done that can’t please everybody.

It would appear that the chord has not been approved yet.

So does this mean that the completion of the Northern Hub is going to be delayed?

December 14, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

An Idea For A New Station At Shoreditch High Street

I read today in The Sunday Times, that Network Rail are looking to create some new terminal platforms for Liverpool Street.

One of the ideas was the obvious one to add some extra platforms at Liverpool Street. but I know the station well and can’t think where they would be fitted in, unless they were do away with the taxi ramp or put the platforms in tunnels underneath the current ones.

Another idea mentioned in the Sunday Times, is to build a station at Shoreditch High Street on a site owned by Network Rail, next to the current Overground station. The idea is described in the Architect’s Journal.

Terry Farrell’s contentious proposals for Bishopsgate Goodsyard could be sent back to the drawing board after plans emerged for a major new station on the east London site

A report by Network Rail outlining options for rail upgrades on the Anglian Route suggests the City fringe plot could house the first new rail terminus in the capital since the completion of Marylebone in 1899.

The currently uncosted option – part of a document prepared by Network Rail for its future railway investment period CP6 – explores the ‘creation of an additional terminus to the north of London Liverpool Street’ on Network Rail-owned land next to Shoreditch High Street station.

It strikes me that this could be a good idea. Although, it won’t be plain sailing, as there was so much aggravation, when they wanted to demolish the Braithwaite Arches to build the East London Line through the area. This article from Spitalfields Life gives some of the history of the area.

I think if a station gets built alongside or under Shoreditch High Street station, it will be nothing like any ideas, thatr might get talked about in the media now. One of the Foster/Farrell/Rogers fraternity could probably do something extraordinary here.

This map shows the site.

Shoreditch High Street Station

Shoreditch High Street Station

The orange line defines the route of the East London Line and the red line is where the Central line goes underneath. The site itself is the green area between these lines. It would appear that there is quite a bit of space to put in a decent sized station with perhaps four main line platforms, which would be linked to the East London and Central lines.

But it would be a lot of work and money for a station, that would only have limited connection to the Underground/Overground compared to Liverpool Street.

However, look at this wider map of the area.

Old Street To Shoreditch

Old Street To Shoreditch

The first thing to notice is the size of the site, when compared to Liverpool Street station, which lies to the West of Spitalfields Market.

Also note the black line going North-South, which is the Northern line, fom Moorgate to Old Street. The latter is highlighted. Somewhere in the same direction from Moorgate northwards is that relic of previous expansion plans for the Underground; the Northern City line.

I think that if a main line station is built at Shoreditch High Street, it might also connect some of the lines into Liverpool Street to the Moorgate suburban services.


1. Railways hate terminal platforms with all their restrictions and much prefer two lines linked end-to-end as Thameslink links Brighton and Bedford via St. Pancras.

2. So could say some of the Lea Valley services be diverted from Liverpool Street to the new station and then onto the Moorgate suburban lines? Not only would it link Silicon Fen with Silicon Roundabout, but also it could be used for the Stansted Express. At the new station, there could be cross-platform interchange between the through lines and the Central line.

3. Original plans showed Crossrail 2 stopping at Essex Road station, which is on Northern City line.

I have only listed three of any number of possibilities, but a new main line station at Shoreditch High Street providing extra capacity for Liverpool Street might be feasible.

On the other hand, it might annoy a lot of the passengers, by giving them inferior onward connections. Remember that many who commute into Liverppol Street, just walk to their place of work.

Something will happen, as Liverpool Street doesn’t have enough capacity, but in my view the first thing to do would be to see how Crossrail affects traffic.

To take one example in a frivolous manner, think of all those Essex boys going to their desks in Canary Wharf, How much will all the other routes possible after Crossrail opens, take the pressure off Liverpool Street?

I think the most likely scenario will be a mixture of all current ideas and proposals together with some no-one has thought of yet.

At a minimum, the addition of two platforms in the cab rank at Liverpool Street .will happen.

I also wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple of platforms on the Lea Valley lines at Shoreditch High Street giving an easy and quick interchange to the East London and Central lines. If nothing else it would link the curremt Overground to the Lea Valley lines and give it a much-needed connection to the Central line.

December 14, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 5 Comments

Our New Police Patrol

I heard the unmistakable clip-clop and by the time I’d got my camera, they were walking sedately into the distance.

Our New Police Patrol

Our New Police Patrol

I’ve not seen them patrolling here before, but an ex-policeman I used to know years ago, said that horses are not a bad way to show yourself and have a look into residential areas. I know myself, that the view from a horse as you walk around, is times better than the one you get from a car.

I suspect though today, as it was a Sunday morning, it was more about giving the horses a stretch and some exercise.

As I didn’t take a good look, I got to wondering where the horses came from. I found this article from Spitalfields Life, describing the stables of the City of London Police at Wood Street, just South of the Barbican. I would suspect, that they could have come from there, as the distance would be a very suitable walk for a working horse.

December 14, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Chaos At The Angel

I went to the Angel this morning to get some shopping and the jams were so bad, I actually got off the bus and walked.

I sometimes think that not driving a car any more sometimes is an advantage.

The cause of all the problems was roadworks.

But luckily it didn’t affect my journey home as my 38 bus was able to sneak through.

December 14, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment