The Anonymous Widower

Connecting North Kent And The Medway Towns To Ebbsfleet International Station

The only connection between Crossrail or Thameslink and Continental services is at St. Pancras, where Thameslink has a better connection to these services, than it does to any other of the several lines at that station.

  • Ebbsfleet International station almost looks to me, that it was designed so that everybody catching a train there would have to drive to the station.
  • The only stations connected to Ebbsfleet International by domestic services are those stations served by the Highspeed services into St. Pancras.
  • So you might as well go into St. Pancras first! But then you’re faced with a very bad connection to Continental services.
  • I have to assume, that the architect of St. Psncras station was not a serious user of trains with a heavy bag.
  • At present all stations between Gravesend and Faversham have a two trains per hour (tph) service into Ebbsfleet International.
  • I feel that in the future Ebbsfleet International may become more important for Continental services, as there must be a time when St. Pancras runs out of platform space.

This may be adequate if you live in the Medway Towns within walking distance of a station, but as a design for a passenger-friendly railway, it’s total crap.

As an example, I met someone a few weeks ago, whose daughter lives in Swanley and as she doesn’t drive, she has to take a mini-cab to Ebbsfleet.

I suspect that some of Network Rail’s finest have a solution using existing infrastructure that improves the link.

This is a Google Map that shows both Northfleet station and platforms 5 an 6 at Ebbsfleet International station.

Lines Between Ebbsfleet International And Northfleet Stations

Lines Between Ebbsfleet International And Northfleet Stations

Consider these points about the map.

  • Northfleet station is at the top, with the North Kent Line running through it.
  • Gravesend station is the next station in a South-East direction on the North Kent Line.
  • There are a couple of freight lines or sidings running parallel and to the West of the North Kent Line.
  • Freight lines curve away to the East and the river.
  • Crossrail tunnel spoil was taken away from Northfleet.
  • Platforms 5 and 6 at Ebbsfleet International station, are on the diagonal rail line going across to the North of the lake and the main station..

Consider these general points.

  • Gravesend to Ebbsfleet International is scheduled to take four minutes.
  • The East Kent Resignalling Project has recently been completed.
  • Crossrail’s spoil trains probably don’t go to Northfleet any more.

Consider these about Gravesend station.

  • There is a twelve-car bay platform facing towards London and Ebbsfleet International.
  • The London-bound platform 1 at Gravesend has bi-directional signalling. Why?
  • The station has a new step-free bridge.
  • Crossrail may be extended to the station with a sophisticated, spacious reversing facility/depot at Hoo Junction, perhaps five minutes to the East.

And consider these about platforms 5 and 6 at Ebbsfleet Internal station, which are the platforms that serve Gravesend.

  • There are very comprehensive crossovers at the Eastern end of the platforms, which can be seen on the map.
  • The platforms appear to have both overhead and third-rail electrification.
  • The platforms would probably be long enough to reverse a six-car train.

So are all the pieces of a jigsaw in place for an innovative solution?

There could possibly be shuttle train between Ebbsfleet International and Gravsend or the Medway Towns.

  • The shuttle train would run in the thirty minute gaps between the current services between Gravesend and Ebbsfleet international.
  • A shuttle train would probably take about 12-15 to do the round trip.
  • Instead of Gravesend, it could run from Hoo Junction if Crossrail is extended or any station to the East, if it’s not.
  • Any four-car Electrostar with the correct signalling could probably run the shuttle.
  • No new infrastructure would be required.

The 2 tph Charing Cross to Gravesend service could also be extended to Ebbsfleet International.

  • It would need a reverse at Gravesend.
  • Platform 0 could obviously be used for the reverse, but as platform 1 has bi-directional signalling, I suspect this platform could be used as well.
  • As there would be two reverses in about a dozen minutes, this might explain why platform 1 was made bi-directional.
  • No new infrastructure would be required.

Both solutions would give at least four tph service between Gravesend and Ebbsfleet International.

If the shuttle were to run between Rainham and Ebbsfleet International it would add two extra trains to the service through the Medway Towns, raising that level to more than six tph.

Conclusion

I don’t know if either solution is possible, but I suspect there’s a man or woman who does know and they have their mind on a better solution!

I’ll admit, that I do like the shuttle or a 4 tph link between Gravesend and Ebbsfleet International.

When all the services like Thameslink and Crossrail are serving North Kent from all over London and the South East, it would mean that if there was a four tph service between Gravesend and Ebbsfleet International, getting to the isolated station would be a lot easier.

But the great thing about going up Ebbsfleet’s backside from Gravesend, is that no new infrastructure would be required.

Related Posts

A Design Crime – Ebbsfleet International Station

A Trip To Sheppey

A Twelve-Car Ready Railway

Along The North Kent Line

Between Abbey Wood And Belvedere Stations

Extending Crossrail To Gravesend

Rainham (Kent) Station

Thameslink To Rainham

Through The Medway Towns

What Do You Do With A Problem Like Sheppey?

 

September 20, 2016 - Posted by | Travel | , ,

7 Comments »

  1. […] Connecting North Kent And The Medway Towns To Ebbsfleet International Station […]

    Pingback by Rainham (Kent) Station « The Anonymous Widower | September 20, 2016 | Reply

  2. […] Connecting North Kent And The Medway Towns To Ebbsfleet International Station […]

    Pingback by A Design Crime – Ebbsfleet International Station « The Anonymous Widower | September 22, 2016 | Reply

  3. […] Connecting North Kent And The Medway Towns To Ebbsfleet International Station […]

    Pingback by Extending Crossrail To Gravesend « The Anonymous Widower | September 22, 2016 | Reply

  4. […] Connecting North Kent And The Medway Towns To Ebbsfleet International Station […]

    Pingback by A Trip To Sheppey « The Anonymous Widower | September 22, 2016 | Reply

  5. […] Connecting North Kent And The Medway Towns To Ebbsfleet International Station […]

    Pingback by A Twelve-Car Ready Railway « The Anonymous Widower | September 22, 2016 | Reply

  6. […] Connecting North Kent And The Medway Towns To Ebbsfleet International Station […]

    Pingback by Through The Medway Towns « The Anonymous Widower | May 13, 2017 | Reply

  7. […] Connecting North Kent And The Medway Towns To Ebbsfleet International Station […]

    Pingback by Along The North Kent Line « The Anonymous Widower | May 13, 2017 | Reply


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