The Anonymous Widower

Could A Reversing Siding Be Built At Alexandra Palace?

I have recently suggested two new or uprated services.

Both of these services could benefit with the ability to turn trains before the Hertford Loop Line splits from the East Coast Main Line.

A Reversing Siding At Alexandra Palace

One possibility is to create a reversing siding at Alexandra Palace station, which would allow the station to be used as a terminus from services from the South.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at the station.

Alexandra Palace Station

Alexandra Palace Station

Note.

  • The fast lines of the East Coast Main Line run through the middle of the station, with the main slow lines on either side.
  • The two widely separated tracks going North are the Hertford Loop Line.
  • Ignore the blue line, which is the Piccadilly Line.
  • The platforms are numbered from East to West and there are four usable faces.
  • The most Westerly  face is numbered 4 and serves trains going to the Hertford Loop Line.
  • Sharing the island with platform 4, is platform 3, which handles direct stopping trains to Welwyn Garden City and the North.
  • The layout of platforms 3 an 4 means that there is a step-across interchangebetween trains going on the different routes.
  • Platforms 1 and 2 are on the Eastern side of the station and most of the trains from both go to Moorgate.
  • Thameslink services will probably use platform 3 going North and one of platform 1 or 2 going South.
  • There are a large number of crossovers South of the station to sort the trains between various combinations of routes and platforms.

It is an simple and efficient layout, which keeps local services away from the fast lines in the middle.

But look at this Google Map, which shows Wood Green North Junction, where the East Coast Main Line and the Hertford Loop Line split.

Word Green North Junction

Word Green North Junction

After the down line of the Hertford Loop Line crosses over the East Coast Main Line on a viaduct, it runs through an area of green, with the up line on the other side. Surely, it would be possible to shoe-horn one or even two reversing sidings into this plot, that could at least take six-car trains.

These are some pictures of the area

Probably only the resident wildlife find it attractive.

So a train reversing at Alexandra Palace station would go through the following procedure.

  • The train would arrive in the down Hertford Loop Line platform 4 at Alexandra Palace.
  • Any passengers still left, would leave the station or catch another train.
  • The train would then proceed to the reversing siding between the two lines of the Hertford Loop Line.
  • The train would then start its return journey in the up Hertford Loop Line platform 1 or 2 at Alexandra Palace.

Note.

  • The train would have been able to reverse without affecting traffic on the fast lines.
  • As a maximum of perhaps six trains per hour will be using the Hertford Loop line, there is plenty of spare capacity for extra trains.
  • Reversing sidings are always useful when there are problems like failed trains or blockades.
  • If it could take an eight-car Class 700 train, it might have uses for Thameslink.

It is one of those small lengths of railway, that if it were properly designed could have a lot more uses than is obvious.

I am also very surprised that as the space is there between the tracks of the Hertford Loop Line, that it hasn’t been used for something productive before.

The Existing Reversing Siding At Bowes Park Station

Bowes Park station is the first station on the Hertford Loop Line. This is said in the Wikipedia entry for the station.

To the north of the station is a single siding in between the two running tracks which is occasionally used to turn around East Coast InterCity 225 and 125 trains heading for Bounds Green Depot just north of Alexandra Palace..

There is a good image on the Railway Herald web site, of an InterCity 125 using the Bowes Park Reversing Siding from August 2016.

Looking at the picture, I wonder if there is space for more than one reversing siding.

The Future Of Bowes Park Station

Bowes Park station is a long wide island platform with rather rudimentary buildings in the middle and stairs up to a bridge over the line.

It must be due a rebuilding to at least add step-free access to the station.

But as it is a valid out-of-station interchange to the Piccadilly Line at Bounds Green station and it has a reversing platform to the North, could this station be in for something more substantial?

Conclusion

I would suspect that Network Rail and the various train operators, are looking at a comprehensive  solution in this area that is to everyone’s satisfaction.

At least they  start from a good base.

  • Alexandra Palace station has a good layout of platforms.
  • Interchange between all down services at Alexandra Palace station, uses a single island platform with two faces.
  • Up services have two platforms. connected by a bridge.
  • There is already a long reversing siding at Bowes Park.
  • Trains for the Hertford Loop from the South cross the East Coast Main Line on a flyover.

But above all there is no shortage of space

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September 16, 2016 - Posted by | Travel | , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. […] Could A Reversing Siding Be Built At Alexandra Palace? […]

    Pingback by A North London Metro « The Anonymous Widower | September 16, 2016 | Reply

  2. […] Could A Reversing Siding Be Built At Alexandra Palace? […]

    Pingback by A Numerical Analysis Of Great Northern’s New Class 717 Trains « The Anonymous Widower | September 16, 2016 | Reply

  3. […] Could A Reversing Siding Be Built At Alexandra Palace? […]

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  4. […] Could A Reversing Siding Be Built At Alexandra Palace? […]

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  5. I feel compelled to acknowledge some epic musings of late! Well done, sir,… I grew up in Bounds Green and my first train spotting sessions were sitting at the bridge of Ally Pally station waiting for the rumble of the Deltics…

    Comment by boypathos | September 17, 2016 | Reply


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