The Anonymous Widower

Rail Lines In The City Of London Will Be Transformed

This map from shows the various rail lines in the City of London.

Lines In The City

Lines In The City

Londoners and those who know the City well, will be able to pick out the lines in the map, but to help those who don’t, here’s a brief guide.

Note the North-South routes.

And the East-West routes.

There are also two lines that provide links out of the area.

The biggest transport development London in recent years, is about to create a high-capacity link through the area.

Most people think of Crossrail, as just an east-west line across London.

Crossrail will connect Heathrow, Reading, Paddington and Bond Street in the West with Essex and Kent passing through Farringdon, Moorgate/Liverpool Street and Whitechapel.

But Crossrail will do a lot more for the City of London.


This map from shows the lines around Bank station.

Lines Around Bank

Lines Around Bank

Bank station is in desperate need of an upgrade.

In this press release on the TfL website entitled MAJOR UPGRADE OF BANK TUBE STATION GETS THE GREEN LIGHT FOR WORK TO BEGIN, this is said.

The £563m upgrade will increase the busy station’s capacity by 40 per cent, improving accessibility and reducing interchange times when it is completed in 2021. Now approved, the station becomes the latest in a series of major upgrades taking place across the Capital.

Bank is the third busiest station on the Tube network and is used by over 52 million passengers per year, with demand having risen by 50 per cent over the last 10 years. Improving the station is critical to keep London working and growing and is a key step in TfL’s future plan to increase frequency on the Northern line.

The plans for Bank station show the following.

  • A new entrance to Bank station with lifts and escalators on Cannon Street at the junction of Nicholas Lane.
  • This entrance will be about a hundred metres from Cannon Street station on the other side of the road.
  • A new southbound running tunnel for the Northern Line, which will be to the west of the current platforms.
  • Lots of cross passages and tunnels to link it all together.

The Liverpool Street/Moorgate Crossrail station, could take the pressure off Bank station during the expansion.

  • As the Crossrail station, when it opens, should have good access to the Northern and Central Lines, will many walk the short distance?
  • Many will use Crossrail/Thameslink to get to the Bank area, rather than a crowded Underground.
  • Crossrail could be quicker to Canary Wharf from Bank than the DLR.

If the City of London took a bold step and pedestrianised much of the City, this would help make the Bank/Farringdon/Liverpool Street/Moorgate area a giant concourse for the rail lines underneath.

This Google Map shows the area from Moorgate and Liverpool Street in the North to Cannon Street and Bank in the South.

Bank To Liverpool Street

Bank To Liverpool Street

I reckon that from the Crossrail station to Bank will be about seven hundred metres of walking on the flat, as it took me less than ten minutes with plantar fasciitis.


Camberwell station is not in the City, but I’m including it here, as it looks like being the first positive consequence of Crossrail/Thameslink.

This press release on the Transport for London web site is entitled BAKERLOO LINE EXTENSION TO IMPROVE TRANSPORT LINKS IN SOUTH LONDON BY 2030. It says this about a new station at Camberwell.

The Mayor and TfL will be working closely with Network Rail and Southwark Council on plans for a new Thameslink station at Camberwell. This new station would reduce journey times into central London by up to 20 minutes, and by providing connections to the Underground and Crossrail, will improve access from Camberwell to locations across London.

It’s not definitely decided yet, but it looks hopeful.

I wonder if we’ll hear more before May.

This map from shows the lines south from Elephant and Castle.

Camberwell Station

Camberwell Station

Will the new Camberwell Station be where Camberwell Road station is shown?

Cannon Street

Cannon Street station is a modern well-appointed station, but it isn’t connected directly to Crossrail or Thameslink, but all the work will benefit this station.

  • The new entrance at Bank station will mean that Cannon Street will be better connected into the lines serving Bank station.
  • There is also the new Walbrook Entrance To Bank Station, which opens in 2017 and will give more routes into Bank station.
  • Improvements to the District and Circle Lines will mean that Cannnon Stret has better East-West connections.
  • Due to the improved layout at London Bridge station, passengers will have greater flexibility in their choice of terminus.

I think that the number of passengers using Cannon Street will increase.


This map from shows the lines from Farringdon to Liverpool Street.

Farringdon To Liverpool Street

Farringdon To Liverpool Street

The Crossrail station at Farringdon is an immense double-ended one connecting to both Farringdon and Barbican stations.

I always think, that Crossrail and Thameslink should be treated together.

Once passengers learn how to navigate around Farringdon station, they will increasingly consider Crossrail and Thameslink as one system.

For myself, in Dalston, I suspect that my route to places South of the Thames could start at Farringdon.  I could either get a 56 bus to near the station or use the East London Line and a five-minute hop on Crossrail,

Liverpool Street and Moorgate

Look closely at Liverpool Street and Moorgate on the Farringdon To Liverpool Street map and you can see the Crossrail station platforms lying between the two current stations. Several questions will be answered, when the station Crossrail station is fully revealed.

  • Will connection be possible between the Northern and Central lines and easier than at the labyrinth at Bank?
  • Will entrances from the Crossrail station be arranged to give direct access to the many buses?
  • Will the Crossrail station create good access to Liverpool Street station from the Northern Line?
  • Will access to the Northern City Line be better?

If they get the design right at the Liverpool Street/Moorgate Crossrail station, it could really take the pressure off Bank station, whilst it is extended.

London Bridge

London Bridge is a station that is being rebuilt at the moment.

It is part of this analysis, as the redesign of the station will make it easy for passengers to change easily between Thameslink and the various routes going to all over the South.

Hopefully, the new station will also make it easy to change between trains and the buses and Underground.

I sometimes think for selfish reasons, that a high-capacity surface link using a bus or tram is needed between London Bridge and Old Street, via Bank and Moorgate. I regularly use the 141 bus on this route, but it doesn’t have the required frequency or capacity.

It will be interesting to see how many passengers transfer to Thameslink, at or before London Bridge and then use Crossrail from Farringdon.

Shoreditch High Street

This map from shows the Central Line as it goes East from Liverpool Street to Stratford.

Central Line In East London

Central Line In East London

The Central Line is in red, with Liverpool Street station, just off the map at the left and Stratford station at the top right.

Look at the map and you’ll see that Shoreditch High Street on the East London Line is directly above one of the longer stretches of the Central Line without a station.

With all the development going on in the Shoreditch area, it could be a good idea to link the two lines here with a new Central Line station. Construction of the station would require breaking the Central Line into two halves for a couple of years, so it would be a great inconvenience.

But Crossrail connects the gap, as it serves Stratford and Liverpool Street, so it is a possibility this link will be created once Crossrail has opened.

As the London Overground stations at Bethnal Green and Cambridge Heath are very much not the best and are certainly not step-free, rebuilding them and connecting one of them to Bethnal Green tube station might be something at which to look.

This Google Map shows the rail lines between Shoreditch High Street and the two Bethnal Green stations.

Shoreditch High Street And The Two Bethnal Green Stations

Shoreditch High Street And The Two Bethnal Green Stations

As Network Rail are thinking about some more terminal platforms in the area to ease overcrowding at Liverpool Street, we could see something innovative in this area.

Whitechapel Station

Look at Whitechapel on a tube map showing Crossrail and it appears to be just a handy interchange between Crossrail and the East London Line,  and the District and Metropolitan Lines.

But it is much more than that!

  • Whitechapel will be the station, where passengers going west from an Eastern branch,  will walk across the platform to go back down the other branch. This will create a simple route between say Ilford and Abbey Wood stations, that avoids going further into the centre of London.
  • The East London Line has a capacity of 24 trains per hour, but only runs sixteen at the moment. Once Crossrail is fully established, I believe the number of destinations on the East London Line, both North and South of the Thames, will increase.
  • Whitechapel may well be the station, where travellers change to the south-east branch of Crossrail for Canary Wharf. I’ll probably do that by changing from the East London Line.
  • The two platforms for the District and Metropolitan Lines will be combined into a single island platform, so on journeys like Barbican to Mansion House, passengers might take to going on a first train to Whitechapel and walking across the platform to get a district Line train, instead of waiting for a Circle Line train.

But you can’t predict how passengers will use a new station! As it’s the East End, where ducking and diving is the most popular sport, getting predictions right is even more difficult!

I shall certainly use Whitechapel station a lot, as it’s just a few stops down from Dalston Junction.


You ain’t seen nothing yet!





January 2, 2016 - Posted by | Travel | , ,


  1. I’m sure they could find a way to build a new station on the central line at Shoreditch without having to divide it, they built new underground tunnels for the Piccadilly line in 1968 at Finsbury park without any severe disruption and technology is far advanced from those days, its a very good point, keep up the good work, I hope this is good therapy for you, I love reading your blogs about north london railways, I’m an old wood green/ stoke newington boy myself, all the best…

    Comment by Simon | December 7, 2016 | Reply

  2. I’ll agree that there are lots of examples where new platforms have been built without too much disruption.

    I suspect too, that somewhere ion the fag packets and engineering envelops of the designer of Shoreditch High Street station, there are plans to connect to the Central Line It might even have been proposed and deleted to save money.

    On the other hand because of the superb track and platform design at Stratford, they decided that we could all do the double change.

    Comment by AnonW | December 7, 2016 | Reply

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