The Anonymous Widower

Will Walthamstow Central Station On The Victoria Line Be Expanded?

This post is prompted by this article on London Reconnections, which looks at Transport for London’s World Class Capacity Upgrades for the Victoria, Jubilee and Northern Lines.

After the upgrade of the crossing at Walthamstow  last summer, the Victoria Line now has a capacity of 33 trains per hour and most trains run all the way between Walthamstow Central and Brixton stations.

Sometime this year the limit will be further increased to 36 tph, which will be a very high limit considering the design of the line.

The London Reconnections article says this about future upgrades.

With the Victoria line pushing towards what must be the theoretical limit for a line with that amount of rolling stock and – more importantly – two-platform termini, there are no plans to further improve the service. Indeed the challenge of procuring more trains and finding the depot space for them would probably discourage any such plans on its own. This does not mean that the line will be forgotten, as both Oxford Circus and Walthamstow Central are on TfL’s top ten hit list of stations in need of a major capacity upgrade. Simply that the days of pushing more trains through the same stations more quickly have passed. In the case of Walthamstow Central it is highly likely that the next step will be making the station double-ended, with an entrance near or in the shopping centre.

Certainly with just two escalators, Walthamstow Central station can be busy with both working. At the moment it is on my list of stations to avoid, as one of the escalators is being replaced.

Is the idea of creating a double-ended station at Walthamstow Central worth pursuing?

Look at this map from, which shows the lines at the station.

Walthamstow Central Lines

Walthamstow Central Lines

So it would appear that the Victoria Line platforms could be somewhere under the bus station and the shopping centre.

It certainly isn’t an impossible dream to create a second entrance to the Victoria Line platforms.

Walthamstow Central station was one of London Transport’s economy stations. Wikipedia says this.

The underground station, like many stations on the Victoria line, was never completely finished. White ceiling panels were never fixed to the ceilings above the platforms; instead the steel tunnel segments were painted black and used to support the fixtures and fittings. This has had a detrimental effect on the lighting levels. There is a concrete stairway between the two escalators instead of a third escalator; this caused a hugely disruptive station closure for several weeks in 2004 when both escalators went out of service.

It would be hoped that any upgrade of the station finishes the 1960s era construction.

But surely creating a double-ended station is the way to go.

  • It would take the pressure off the passageways in the existing station.
  • The existing station is not step-free and there is no deep lift.
  • If the second entrance had two escalators and lifts, it would give a lot of redundancy in platform access.
  • There is plenty of space in the shopping centre for a new entrance.

Passengers interchanging with the Chgingford Brancxh Line and those interchanging with buses or going shopping, could possibly be persuaded by good design to use appropriate and different entrances.


It’s feasible.

But the biggest advantage is surely that by planning carefully, the second entrance can be built around the current station, without disrupting passenger entrance and exit.

Related Posts

Improving The Chingford Branch Line

Could Electrification Be Removed From The Chingford Branch Line?

Could Reversing Sidings Be Used On The Chingford Branch Line?

Could The Hall Farm Curve Be Built Without Electrification?

Crossrail 2 And The Chingford Branch Line

New Stations On The Chingford Branch Line

Rumours Of Curves In Walthamstow

Wikipedia – Chingford Branch Line

March 11, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , | 7 Comments

What Will The Northern Line Extension TBMs Be Called?

This article in Global Rail News is entitled Northern Line TBMs Complete.

So all that is needed now is to find two suitable female names for the machines.

As the extension goes to Battersea, surely they should be given the names of famous dogs.

How about?

  • Beauty – The world’s first rescue dog – Awarded the Dickin Medal in 1945.
  • Judy – A pointer, who helped keep morale high in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp – Awarded the Dickin Medal in 1946.
  • Sasha – A labrador, who died with her handler in Afghanistan – Awarded the Dickin Medal in 2014.
  • Susan – The queen’s first corgi.

There must be quite a few others.

March 11, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Reinventing Victorian Engineering

Just because something has been used for centuries, it doesn’t mean that modern engineers, technologists and designers can’t come up with something better.

Take the humble points or to the Americans, railroad switch, which are seen all over the world’s railways and tram systems.

According to Wikipedia, points were patented by Charles Fox in 1832.

So as the two-hundredth anniversary of the invention approaches, you’d think that points had reached their ultimate form.

But you could be wrong!

This article in Global Rail News is entitled Full-size prototype for innovative track switch and describes work at Loughborough University to create something better.

It would appear that the design could be more affordable to build and maintain, safer and much faster to operate.

I also feel, it could simplify trackwork and save a lot of space in places like terminal stations and depots, where there are a mass of points, so that trains can access the correct platform or siding.

You can read the full details on the Loughborough University web site. There’s also a video.

I also feel, it could simplify trackwork and save a lot of space in places like terminal stations and depots, where there are a mass of points, so that trains can access the correct platform or siding.

March 11, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Barking Riverside Development To Get A Boost

BBC London is talking about a large boost to the development of housing at Barking Riverside. This article in Building entitled L&Q buys out Bellway at Barking Riverside, gives a lot more detail. This is a visualisation of the development.

Barking Riverside Development

Barking Riverside Development

It looks to be a lot of much-needed housing, a proportion of which will be affordable.

According to TfL’s maps and drawings it looks like Barking Riverside station will be a couple of hundred metres or so directly inland from the T-shaped pier.

March 11, 2016 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Driver Only Operation Of Trains

There was a wonderful demonstration of the benefit of DOO or Driver Only Operation, when I got my train at Horwich Parkway station.

The four car Class 150 train pulled in and stopped and about thirty or forty souls stood by the train doors in the rain, for perhaps two minutes, whilst the conductor, whose duty it is to release the doors, got to a point to press the appropriate button. He was probably delayed as the train was crowded.

Surely, the driver, could have pressed an appropriate button, when he had ascertained the train was safely halted.

As it was, passengers got wet before they boarded a dry train and moaned about it all.

It’s so crazy that when the Class 319 trains were cascaded from Thameslink, where they work under DOO rules, extra buttons were fitted for the conductors.

DOO operation doesn’t have to mean a crew of one, as on some of the services I rode, the conductor was also issuing tickets.

I do wonder if in some ways it’s traditional. In the 1960s in London on buses, everyone could push the button to tell the driver to stop at a particular stop. When I arrived in Liverpool, I did this on a Liverpool bus and was told off in no uncertain terms by the conductor, that it was his job.

Welcome to the weird, wonderful and wet world of Northern Rail.

If this article from Rail Technology, entitled Liverpool council joins campaign opposing driver-only operation, is anything to go by this daft method of working is going to continue.

Staff shouldn’t be on trains with little to do but on platforms and in stations helped passengers. Transport for London’s policy is laid out in Help From Staff on their web site. This is said about assistance in rail stations.

On the Tube, TfL Rail and Overground, station staff will also accompany you to the train and help you on board and, if needed, can arrange for you to be met at your destination. Anyone can use this service, but it is particularly used by blind and visually impaired passengers and people using boarding ramps onto trains.

If you would like to use this service, ask a member of staff when you arrive at the station.

It seems to work very well and should be UK law and mandated on all station operators.

March 11, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Manchester’s Nineteenth Century Ticketing

On Wednesday from my hotel by the Reebok Stadium at Horwich Parkway I had to get three tickets to get to Manchester Piccadilly station.

Three Tickets To Ride

Three Tickets To Ride

The first took me from Horwich Parkway to Farnworth with a change at Bolton.

The second then took me from Farnworth to Manchester Victoria

The third was the tram ticket across the city.

As there were not even any ticket machines at Horwich Parkway and Farnworth, I had to use the Ticket Office.

It’s all so very nineteen-century!

At Farnworth, I got talking to a couple of fellow passengers, who were local and probably over ten years older than I am.

One had just visited his granddaughter in Bromley and said he’d been impressed with using his bank card as a ticket in London.

Mancunians seem to understand London’s simple ticketing concept, so why haven’t the transport authorities embraced contactless ticketing?

It might encourage a few more visitors and commercial activity, if all the great cities of the North allowed contactless ticketing with bank cards.

It will happen, if only because American Express, AndroidPay, ApplePay, Mastercard and Visa will insist it does for their own commercial interests.


March 11, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 3 Comments