The Anonymous Widower

Further Investigations Around Camden Town

As there was nothing else to do, and I’d watched Match of the Day last night, I went to Camden Town to investigate the area and see if I could get any pictures of the disused lines that looped round Camden Road station.

I walked up Camden High Street and then turned into Hartland Road, where in 1970 we nearly bought a newly-refurbished house for six grand. I wrote It Always Rains On Sunday, about a film shot in the road. The house we tried to buy could have been the one in the film or one of its neighbours.

I then went in a circle following The North London Line before I ended up on Royal College Street, from where I entered the station to get a train home to Canonbury.

As I did in Camden Town Station Capacity Upgrade, I can add a few conclusions and questions.

  1. What is happening between Hawley Road and the Regent’s Canal? This Planning Framework from Camden Council gives some history and some rules.
  2. The loop around the station ends in a stub end above Camden Gardens.
  3. The arches underneath the loop seem to be in good condition.
  4. The arches under the railway in Camden Gardens have no obvious current use.
  5. There would appear to be enough space to create any platform extensions needed at Camden Road to accommodate the planned six car trains.
  6. The extended platforms could probably reach to Camden Gardens.
  7. Could escalators and/or lifts to connect Camden Road and Camden Town stations be built into the empty railway arches in Camden Gardens?

As I said previously, there is a lot of scope to do something really good in this area. Further digging has led me to this article in the Evening Strandard, which has this picture of what is now called Camden Lock Village.

Camden Lock Village

Camden Lock Village

Note how the rail lines thread their way through the development.

This is said by the Standard about the development.

The plan for the project will feature 170 new homes, of which 156 are private and the rest affordable housing. There will also be new shops and market pitches and 100,000 square feet of offices.

Building firm McLaughlin & Harvey has also been hired to build a primary school and nursery.

If you add in the number of visitors already going to the area, I can’t believe that serious thought has not been given to how the development will effect the new Camden Town station and its relationship to Camden Road station.

We could be seeing some interesting plans, when TfL show them in full on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

If as I suspect TfL decide to go to for a full Camden Interchange, where the following lines meet.

  • North London Line
  • Edgware – Charing Cross – Battersea – Clapham Junction Section of the Northern Line
  • High Barnet – Bank – Morden Section of the Northern Line

Then I feel that they will throw other services into the Interchange.

TfL have talked for years about reopening Primrose Hill station on the line between Camden Road and Queen’s Park on the Watford DC Line. Who knows if it will happen?

Something that will happen is an increase in frequency and capacity on both the North and East London Lines. This will mean a full Camden Interchange is more likely.

What is often the biggest constraint on frequency is turning the trains at the end of the line. I do wonder if the former loop at Camden Road station could be used as a turnback platform for trains from the East. It’s certainly a possibility.

I can remember when the current London Overground was designed, that there was talk of some East London Line trains terminating at Willesden Junction. So perhaps in the future we might see a service from Crystal Palace to Willesden or Camden Road via Highbury and Islington.

One of the rules of scheduling is to match your available resources to the needed demand. So as TfL have all the details about complete passenger journeys including any changes, they know the pattern of services that will result in the most efficient loading of the trains.

Passengers on the whole are intelligent, so when a new service is provided, they will check it out to see if it gives them a better journey. If it does they will continue to use it. This phenomena explains why both new roads and rail lines generally attract more traffic than was originally forecast.


October 18, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | , ,

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