The Anonymous Widower

Rochester Station

Rochester station is one of the stations, that could be important to a proposed South London Outer Orbital .

The proposal says that two trains per hour (tph) could go to the Medway Towns. As Rochester has a new station with a bay platform 3, which is capable of taking twelve-car trains, it must be a possible terminus.

These are pictures I took of the station, as I passed through.

The Huguenot Museum above the Tourist Office opposite the station is worth a visit. There is a proper cafe downstairs, where you can eat in the garden.

It does need a light-controlled crossing to aid people in crossing the road.

Crossrail has a safeguarded route to Gravesend. Wikipedia says this.

The route to Gravesend has been safeguarded by the Department for Transport, although it was made clear that as at February 2008 there was no plan to extend Crossrail beyond the then-current scheme. The following stations are on the protected route extension to Gravesend: Belvedere, Erith, Slade Green, Dartford, Stone Crossing, Greenhithe for Bluewater, Swanscombe, Northfleet, and Gravesend.

There two major major problems with this.

  • The Crossrail proposal doesn’t call at Ebbsfleet International station.
  • Gravesend station is very cramped and it would need major rebuilding to accommodate Crossrail.

As I showed in Crossrail Extension To Gravesend, connecting services on the North Kent Line to Ebbsfleet International station wouldn’t be the most difficult of jobs and could involve a some new track or a rebuilt Northfleet station and perhaps a travelator connection.

This Google Map shows the lines in the Ebbsfleet International area.

Lines Around Ebbsfleet

Lines Around Ebbsfleet

The North Kent Line starts in the top left at Swanscombe station, crosses over the lines into Ebbsfleet International. It then goes through Northfleet station, before going off in a South-Easterly direction to Gravesend.

These pictures were taken from a train going towards London on the North Kent Line.

I’m certain, that an acceptable and affordable solution can be made to connect Crossrail to Continental services.

If  Crossrail were to terminate in Platform 3 at Rochester station, it would only need the intermediate stations to be capable of taking twelve-car Class 345 trains. These have already been designed for running on third-rail lines.

When it comes to linking to the South London Orbital, which will probably mean that there are 4 tph between Rochester and Swanley stations, it would probably mean that Crossrail would need to run with a similar frequency to Abbey Wood.

At present Rochester has services to and from Charing Cross, which go via Abbey Wood and Woolwich Arsenal. The question has to be asked if as Crossrail serves the same stations and then goes across Central London, if this service should be configured differently. As the service goes between Gillingham and Charing Cross stopping at all stations, it might even be possible to cut out the service completely, if Crossrail stopped at all stations to Abbey Wood and fast services stopped at all stations in the Medway Towns, as they seem to do now!

But then the commuters would object and try to keep the existing unnecessary service. Gillingham for example would have.

  • 2 tph to St. Pancras
  • 3 tph to Victoria
  • 2 tph to Swanley and Woking

Crossrail could even be extended to Gillingham.

There are an awful lot of ways to organise the train services.

By the way, can anybody tell me what is the point of Charing Cross station?


June 9, 2016 - Posted by | Transport | , ,

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