The Anonymous Widower

Crossrail 2 October 2015 – Dalston Station

Are us plebs in humble Dalston going to get one of the best and busiest stations on Crossrail 2?

I wrote that opening statement in jest, but think about the proposed combined Dalston station’s position in London’s rail network.

  • It is the most Northerly station before the two branches to New Southgate and Broxbourne link under Stamford Hill.
  • Dalston Junction (Or is it Dalston South?) gives an escalator connection between Crossrail 2 and an up to twenty-four trains an hour to South-East London on the East London Line.
  • Dalston Kingsland (Or is it Dalston North?) gives an escalator connection between Crossrail 2 and all those trains on the North London Line.

So Dalston will become the important interchange for a large number of cross-London journeys. Raynes Park to New Southgate may well be direct, but so many journeys like Norwood Junction to Brimsdown will just be a single change at Dalston.

Crossrail 2 will put Dalston in one of the most important places on the map of London’s rail network.

Crossrail 2’s proposal for Dalston Station

This Crossrail document is entitled Dalston Station.

The proposal in the document starts like this.

The Crossrail 2 station at Dalston would be a double-ended station, with an interchange at Dalston Junction at the southern end, and an interchange with Dalston Kingsland at the Northern end.

So we get three stations in one, which also means that at last there will be a true dry interchange between Dalston Kingsland station on the North London Line and Dalston Junction station on the East London Line.

This map from the document shows the layout of the two existing stations and their connection by means of two two-hundred and fifty metre long underground Crossrail 2 platforms.

Crossrail 2 Dalston Station

Crossrail 2 Dalston Station

It would appear that two shafts will be sunk to the Crossrail 2 tunnels.

  • The Southern one would be in the Tesco Express or the bar next door,
  • The Northern one would be just to the north of Ridley Road in the block containing the NatWest Bank.

Note how much of the route of the Crossrail 2 tunnels, runs on the East side of Kingsland High Street, under the Shopping Centre and the new flats. The tunnels will be at least twenty metres down just to get past High Speed One, which runs under the North London Line and Dalston Kingsland station, so any older buildings will be well above any Crossrail 2 construction.

I would also suspect that High Speed One also makes designing and construction of  the Kingsland end of the station challenging.

The Work Sites

The Crossrail 2 proposal for Dalston station is nothing but ambitious and to build it there will be no less than five work sites.

  • Site A – Would be used as the main site for construction of the station tunnels and southern station shaft
  • Site B – Would be used for construction of a new Crossrail 2 station entrance and ticket hall. The site includes properties on the southern side of Bradbury Street.
  • Site C – Would be used for construction of the northern station shaft and escalator connection to the Crossrail 2 platforms
  • Site D – Would be used for construction of a new bridge providing access from the new ticket hall to the westbound platform at Dalston Kingsland
  • Site E – Would be used for construction of a station entrance and ticket hall, for interchange with Dalston Junction station.

But I would be very surprised if the work wasn’t phased so that the work-load in Dalston was spread and work is performed in a logical order.

Dalston Kingsland station is a dump compared to Dalston Junction station, with all the charm, access problems and convenience of a Victorian tube station.

In a reasonable world, it would be replaced now, whether Crossrail 2 is built soon or postponed to the Twenty-Second Century.

The need for a Site D indicates that a new bridge will be built across the station to give access. As Site D is currently in the construction site for new flats called Fifty Seven East and Dalston Kingland station desperately needs step-free access, then surely this bridge should be built now!

To further assess the work-sites, I walked along Tottenham Road to Site A, then crossed to Site E, before walking up Kingsland High Street to look at Sites B, C and D.

There is certainly, a lot going on and if everybody gets it right, it can become one of London’s more important High Streets.

What Is Already Happening In Kingsland High Street?

Before I come to my conclusions, I’ll say a little about what is already happening.

  • Plans may have been published to rebuild Dalston Kingsland station.
  • There are more projects to build  flats in the area. London needs housing and as these will be designed so they don’t affect Crossrail 2, they will go ahead.
  • The Dalston Kingsland Shopping Centre is supposed to be being rebuilt.
  • There are also plans to improve the pedestrian flows on what is a very congested road for walkers.
  • There will be other changes due to the Cycle Superhighway passing about fifty metres to the west of Kingsland High Street.

So in say four or five years time, we should have a better High Street and Kingsland station, whether Crossrail 2 is coming or not!


So what are my initial conclusions?

  • Because of the station design, there will need to be some demolition at both current stations.
  • Site A needs a full rebuild, as it has very little property of merit and I certainly wouldn’t miss the Subway, Tesco and the bar on the end. The shaft to access the new platforms, will probably be in the middle of the current Tesco.
  • Site  B is in a bad state with much of the property locked up. Some of the properties on Bradbury Street will need to be demolished to rebuild Dalston Kingsland station, let alone build the Crossrail 2 station. Will anybody mourn?
  • Site C is where the Northern shaft will be. There will be some demolishion.
  • Site D is a curious one in that it is inside a site that is being developed.
  • Site E is where the new entrance to |Dalston Junction and the Crossrail 2 station is going to be built. I’d have hoped that the Crossrail 2 passages would have been laid out in the redesign of the Overground station. What’s been published gives me doubts!
  • How much of the demolition will be of properties worth keeping? Those that I photographed didn’t shout save me!

There are three sites on the High Street, which will be very much affected by the rebuilding of Dalston Kingsland station and building of Crossrail 2.

  • Site A, where the Southern shaft for the station is located.
  • Site B, where the Northern entrance to the new station is proposed, is substantially closed at present.
  • Site C, opposite Dalston Kingsland station that will contain the Northern shaft for the station and escalator connection to the Crossrail 2 platforms.

All could be developed with new residential or commercial properties on top.

I believe that the proposed plan for the new Crossrail 2 station should be treated as what it is, just a proposal.

Or at least as far as the above ground presence is concerned.

All three sites could be developed as welcoming portals to enhance the public transport system as it serves the area around Dalston.

I would apply the principle, that access to the Crossrail 2 station, should be available from both sides of Kingsland High Street at both the Northern and Southern ends.

I will now look at each site in detail.

Site A

This is a Google Map showing Dalston Junction station and Site A.

Dalston Junction Station And Site A

Dalston Junction Station And Site A

Note the station and its towers above in the East and Bentley Road Car Park in the West. You should be able to pick out the Tesco Express on the Kingsland Road.

I walk to Dalston Junction station most days to get the Overground. But it is not a good walking route.

  • The pavements along the Balls Pond Road and Kingsland Road are very narrow and you are squashed between traffic and large numbers of walkers.
  • It is easier to walk up Tottenham Road, but as with the other route crossing Kingsland Road can be difficult.
  • If you live to the South West of Dalston Junction station, it is probably easier to walk to Haggerston station, as I do sometimes.
  • It is particularly difficult to cross at the cross roads where the Balls Pond Road meets the Kingsland Road.

As the frontage of Site A on the Kingsland Road will have to be substantially demolished, in an ideal world, provision would be made to access the escalator and lift connection to the Crossrail 2 station from the West side of Kingsland Road.

Perhaps when the frontage of Site A on Kingsland Road is rebuilt after Crossrail 2 works have finished, it should provide a subway under the road to the station and the sort of shops and cafes, that passengers like in their stations.

It would welcome those, who live to the South West of Dalston Junction station to the area, just as Dalston Square on the other side of the station welcomes those from the South East.

Site B

This is a Google Map showing Dalston Kingsland station and Sites B and C.

Dalston Kingsland Station And Sites B And C

Dalston Kingsland Station And Sites B And C

Site B is to the North of Dalston Kingsland station, on the West side of Kingsland High Street.

Note that this map was made before the construction of Fifty Seven East started, as Peacocks is still on the West side of Kingsland High Street.

I feel that if they rebuild Dalston Kingsland properly, then then are possibilities to not only build residential or commercial development on top of Site B, but over the railway and the station as well.

Land is expensive and the station occupies almost as much space as Fifty Seven East, so surely a similar sized development over the station would be a welcome addition to London’s housing stock.

I would also hope that the design of the station includes the following.

  • A step-free subway under Kingsland High Street to Ridley Road Market. This is probably a given, as the escalators to Crossrail 2 go down from Site C.
  • As the station is close to the Cycling Superhighway, I suspect that it will be heavily used by cyclists, who would need lots of secure bike parking.
  • Personally, I would like easy walking access along Bradbury Street as I regularly walk to Dalston Kingsland station along that route.

There are certainly lots of possibilities to make the existing Dalston Kingsland station a welcoming North West gateway to Crossrail 2 and Kingsland High Street.

Site C

This is a Google Map showing Dalston Kingsland station and Sites B and C.

Dalston Kingsland Station And Sites B And C

Dalston Kingsland Station And Sites B And C

Site C is to the North of Dalston Kingsland station, on the East side of Kingsland High Street. The NatWest bank, which is at the Northend of Site C is indicated.

Any development on this site must enhance the Ridley Road Market and provide that gateway for those travelling to and from the North East of the station.

It is essential that there is an entrance to the station on the East side of Kingsland High street, to give good connections to the market and the Shopping Centre.


My Ultimate Test Of The New Station

My ultimate test of the new Dalton station would be on a cold and wet day, to have the ability to arrive at Dalston Kingsland station on the North London Line, go down an escalator to Crossrail 2, where I can walk along to the Southern End, go up the escalator and exit the station on the West side through a rebuilt Site A.

And do it pushing my yet-to-be-born great-grandchild in a buggy! The spirit of my grandmother, who was born opposite Dalston Junction station would be very pleased!






October 29, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Crossrail 2 October 2015 – Tunnels, Shafts And Head-Houses

Crossrail 2’s underground structures will be very similar to those of Crossrail.


The tunnels will be built in the same way to those of Crossrail, using tunnel boring machines or TBMs.

But I believe there will be slight differences.

  • The tunnels of High Speed One, which Crossrail 2 has to cross at Dalston, are at a depth of 34 to 50 metres, so will we see Crossrail 2 bored across London below all the other foundations and infrastructure?
  • Crossrail 2 will be built some years after Crossrail and tunnelling technology is improving by leaps and bounds.
  • Because Crossrail 2 tunnels will be going through similar terrain to Crossrail, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a much faster process, simply because everything is easier, the second time around.
  • Tunnel spoil will probably be taken away by rail, as only the Tottenham Hale site has access to water.

These tunnels under London are getting very much a routine task.


There is a Crossrail 2 document entitled Crossrail 2 Shafts.

This is said about the need for shafts.

Shafts would connect the underground Crossrail 2 tunnels with the surface. During everyday operations, the motion of trains would push air out of the tunnels and pull air into them from the atmosphere. As the air pushed out is usually warmer than the air pulled in, the shafts would help to provide a more comfortable temperature for passengers and staff. During periods of disturbed service, when trains could be held in Crossrail 2’s tunnels for an extended period of time, the shaft’s ventilation system would deliver cooler air from the atmosphere to the tunnels and to stationary trains. In the unlikely event of a fire, the shafts would control smoke, provide access for the fire and rescue services and provide a safe evacuation route for passengers.

The document also describes what a shaft might look like.

Most of the shaft would be underground with an aboveground structure known as a ‘head-house’. This would provide access to the shaft itself, the equipment within it and the tunnels below. A head-house is ideally located directly above the shaft and tunnels, except in some cases where they can be located separately and connected by a short underground passage. A street-level entrance would provide access for the fire and rescue services, for the safe evacuation of passengers in an emergency as well as for maintenance. Direct access to the head-house is required for emergency and maintenance vehicles.

A typical head-house is also described.

At stations the head-house would typically be integrated with the overall station structure. At locations between stations the head-house would be separate. At this early stage of Crossrail 2 design, we expect a typical headhouse to occupy an area of around 25 metres by 25 metres and to be at least two storeys high – although the size of each head-house would be influenced by local factors including the depth of the tunnels and the height of surrounding buildings at each site. Further design work would be required to determine our requirements at each individual location.

As the Crossrail 2 scheme develops further, we would engage with the relevant local authority, interested stakeholders and local communities to inform the designs for each head-house.

But although the head-houses for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link were all very similar, it is true to say that there is nothing like a standard shaft and head house.

The Ventilation Shafts For Crossrail And The Channel Tunnel Rail Link

It is worthwhile looking at the shafts and head-house designs for Crossrail, which I described in The Ventilation Shafts For Crossrail.

Every one seems different, although I suspect that there lots of similarities in the equipment used.

But compare those with those of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

The only certainty about the shafts and head-houses of Crossrail 2, is that they will be smaller, more elegant and better designed.


October 29, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Crossrail 2 October 2015 – New Southgate Station

This post looks at the works around New Southgate station.

I’ve known this area for over sixty years, as when my father used to take me to his printing works in Wood Green, he would drive past New Southgate and Alexandra Palace stations. Some parts have hardly changed in that time.

In my mind Alexandra Palace station will always be Wood Green station, whereas the Piccadilly Line one will always be Wood Green Tube station.

This Google Map show the area.

Crossrail 2 In New Southgate

Crossrail 2 In New Southgate

New Southgate station is in the top left (North East) and Alexandra Park is at the bottom.

Note the following.

  • The Hertford Loop Line branches off North of Alexandra Palace station to the North East.
  • The station on this line is Bowes Park.
  • To the right (East) of this junction is Bounds Green Depot, where the long distance expresses to the North are stabled and serviced.Bounds Green Depot is due to be upgraded for the new Hitachi trains that will run the services in the next few years.
  • There is a tunnel between New Southgate and Alexandra Palace stations

In this document on the TfL website entitled New Southgate Station, details are given of how Crossrail 2 will be fitted into the area and connected to the East Coast Main Line. This Google Map shows the area North and South of New Southgate station.

Crossrail 2 Sites At New Southgate

Crossrail 2 Sites At New Southgate

There are three main areas of work-sites, all of which are to the East of the railway. Because of the amount of concrete and industrial roofs, they show up white on the map.

  • The top site alongside Oakleigh Road South (A109) is shown on old maps as being railway sidings, is a proposed site for the train depot and stabling, Crossrail 2 and tnnelling support.
  • The second site squeezed between the railway and North of the A406, will be the station site, where new Crossrail 2 platforms will be built.
  • The third site to the South of the A406, which is now part of the Bounds Green Industrial Estate, will be the actual tunnel portal.

One by-product of all this work could be that the North Circular Road (A406) at this point could be opened out. This Google Map shows the area, where the Crossrail 2 station will go, the bridge over the A406 and the area around the proposed Crossrail 2 tunnel portal.

Crossrail 2 Over The A406

Crossrail 2 Over The A406

Note the following.

  1. The map shows most of the two southern work sites for Crossrail 2.
  2. Looking at this it would appear that the Crossrail 2 tunnel portals will be on that green space alongside the portals of the existing tunnels.
  3. The white almost boot-shaped building will be replaced with Crossrail 2 platforms.
  4. The bridge appears to extend far enough to take the extra Crossrail 2 tracks over the A406. It looks like it is used for truck parking at the moment.
  5. Could the condition and size of the bridge, mean that there would be little disruption to traffic durin construction?
  6. There doesn’t appear to be an demolition of residential property.

I just wonder if a top class architect could give New Southgate a spectacular station above the A406.

I’ve driven under that bridge so many times and can see some form of sculptured steel, brick and glass building with a giant Crossrail roundel advertising its presence.

These pictures were taken as I walked down past New Southgate station and crossed the A406.

The Builder Depot is the boot-shaped building and it looks as if it was built on an old railway embankment.

The North Circular Road was certainly very busy.

October 29, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Crossrail 2 October 2015 – Managing Excavated Materials

How Crossrail 2 gets rid of all the excavated materials from the tunnels is important to London, its residents and visitors.

I think it is true to say, we don’t want to see herds of trucks moving tunnel spoil to landfill.

Crossrail took most of the spoil to Wallasea Island to create a nature reserve, moving most of the spoil there by rail and water.

In this document on the TfL website entitled Building Crossrail 2 – our approach to minimising construction impacts, this is said about managing excavated materials.

From Tottenham Hale and New Southgate in the north to Wimbledon in the south, tunnels will be bored over approximately three years by large machines known as Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs). These machines would be similar to the ones used to build the Crossrail 1 tunnels, excavating earth and building a tunnel around them as they go.

Current proposals are that two TBMs would be deployed to each of the following ‘drives’:

  • New Southgate to Stamford Hill junction, where the machines would be dismantled at the proposed Stamford Hill shaft
  • Tottenham Hale to Victoria and Wimbledon to Victoria, where the machines would be dismantled at the proposed Victoria Coach Station shaft

The excavated materials would be removed along the tunnels, rather than taking material out on the surface through station worksites and using vehicles to remove it. The construction of Crossrail 2 is being planned to minimise lorry movements where possible. By connecting the tunnels first we would provide an underground route to remove excavated soil from our sites. As a result a typical Crossrail 2 station would need roughly half the number of waste lorry movements compared with similar projects in the past, which would minimise the risks to public safety, congestion and pollution.

We are already planning ways of finding productive uses for excavated material. Crossrail 1 has used almost all of its excavated material in land reclamation projects across London and the South East, including creation of the bird reserve at Wallasea Island.

Obviously, it needs to be filled out a bit, but it is a good starting framework.

So it would appear that tunnelling would start from three sites.

  • New Southgate
  • Tottenham Hale
  • Wimbledon

These three sites are all on major rail lines, with a brief look saying there is quite a bit of space at each. So at least there is space for a couple of sidings, where trains can be filled up with tunnel spoil for moving away from London.

In these posts I take a more detailed look at the three sites.

New Southgate


October 29, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment