The Anonymous Widower

Are Crossrail Developing A Philosophy For Linking With Other Lines?

I have now written some posts about rail lines that have strong connections to Crossrail.


All are different solutions, individually designed for the interchange.

Crossrail At Reading

If you look at the Reading station page on the Crossrail web site, nothing of substance is said, except the obvious.

Reading station requires relatively little work to prepare for the new Elizabeth line service.

But then you’d expect that as Reading station was only reopened after a complete rebuild in 2014. If the station hadn’t been designed to accept Crossrail efficiently, it would have been a design disaster of the highest order.

If say you are travelling from Bristol and want to go to say Bond Street you will have two possible routes.

  • Stay on the train to Paddington and change to Crossrail there.
  • Change to Crossrail at Reading.

I would appear that the change at Paddington is a short walk and an escalator down, but I have read nothing about how you will change trains at Reading.

Will it be a walk across a platform at Reading or an escalator up to the bridge and then another one down?

Judging by the London Bridge experience, I suspect it’ll be the escalator route.

As you have two options for the interchange, I doubt it will take long for passengers to work out what is their best route. They would also have the option to change their mind en route.

Some of the biggest winners will be passengers between say Bristol and stations between Reading and London, as they will probably have a relaxed change at Reading, rather one in a busy Paddington.

Crossrail At Shenfield

A lot of the reasoning at Reading for long-distance passengers applies at Shenfield, as you can change at Shenfield, Stratford and Liverpool Street for many services.

Crossrail At Abbey Wood

Passengers to and from North Kent only have one station to interchange with Crossrail,  unlike those from the East and West.

Some information says that it will be a cross platform interchange at Abbey Wood station, but it could be a double escalator transfer.

It should be clear next year, when Abbey Wood station, is more complete.

The High-Frequency Interchange

If you look at  stations  and the frequency of Crossrail trains  to and from Central London in trains per hour (tph) you get.

  • Abbey Wood – 12 tph in Peak, 8 tph in Off Peak
  • Shenfield – 24 tph in Peak, 16 tph in Off Peak
  • Paddington – 24 tph in Peak, 16 tph in Off Peak
  • Shenfield – 12 tph in Peak, 8 tph in Off Peak

So certainly going into Central London, you probably won’t have long to wait for a train.

Coming out, you might develop a philosophy if you need to catch a specific train out of Paddington or Liverpool Street.

The tube-like frequency of Crossrail will be a great help to passengers.

Interchange Between Crossrail And The Central Line At Stratford

This double cross-platform interchange is working at Stratford, where the Shenfield Metro and the Central Line have shared a platform, as long as I can remember. It actually dates from 1946.

At present there are 6 tph on the Shenfield Metro and 24 tph on the Central Line.

Crossrail will introduce other high-frequency interchanges like this.

Interchange Between Crossrail And The Great Northern Metro

At Moorgate, the frequencies of the two lines will be.

  • Crossrail – 24 tph in the Peak and 16 tph in the Off Peak
  • Great Northern Metro – 14 tph in the Peak and 10 tph in the Off Peak

The longest time you are likely to wait in the Peak is about four minutes, with six minutes in the Off Peak.

Obviously, you’ll still have to walk between the two platforms and the first train that comes might be going to the wrong destination.

I think Irene’s Law, that works so well for the Underground, could work equally well for Crossrail and lines linked to it, like the Great Northern Metro.

Interchange Between Crossrail And The Victoria And Piccadilly Lines

There is no direct interchange between Crossrail and the Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.

But there is cross-platform interchange between the Great Northern Metro and the \Victoria Line at Highbury and Islington station.

So will passengers going between Crossrail and the Nortern reaches of the Victoria Line do the double change at Moorgate and Highbury and Islington stations? I think East Londoners with their honorary degrees in ducking and diving will!

And then to get on the Piccadilly Line going North, it’s just another cross-platform interchange at Finsbury Park.

It won’t be a route on the tube map, but I’ve just calculated that if you’re going from Oakwood to Heathrow Central, it’ll be twenty minutes quicker than taking a direct run on the Piccadilly Line.

Interchange Between Crossrail And The Northern Line

Crossrail has interchanges with both branches of the Northern Line.

  • City Branch at Moorgate
  • Charing Cross Branch at Tottenham Court Road

As both branches are 20 yph now and will only increase, the longest wait to chanmge to the Northern Line will be little more than three minutes.

Interchange Between Crossrail And Thameslink

Both lines have a frequency of 24 tph, where they meet at Farringdon station.

If the interchange is an easy one, this one must work with the minimum of delay.

Interchange Between Crossrail And The East London Line

At Whitechapel, the frequencies of the two lines will be.

  • Crossrail – 24 tph in the Peak and 16 tph in the Off Peak
  • East London Line – 20 tph from 2019 all day.

The longest time you are likely to wait is about four minutes.

As the interchange will be a couple of escalators, it will be an easy one.


I said this earlier.

All are different solutions, individually designed for the interchange.

But until proven otherwise, they would appear to be easy and fast.

One factor that seems to fall out, is that if you have an interchange between two high-frequency lines, the interchange can be easy and fast.

Interestingly, train services at stations served by Crossrail are slated to be increased.

  • Abbey Wood is getting extra Thameslink services and possibly other services made possible by Thameslink’s unblocking of London Bridge.
  • Liverpool Street is getting more services because of new trains on the London Overground.
  • Liverpool Street, Shenfield and Stratford are getting more services because of the new Abellio franchise and a billion pound purchase of new trains.
  • Moorgate is getting more services because of the creation of the Great Northern Metro.
  • Paddington and Reading are getting more services, courtesy of the Great Western Electrification.

I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the positive affects of Crossrail.



September 30, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

Is Community Rail A Good Thing?

This article from the BBC is entitled TransWilts rail service made permanent by government.

It would certainly appear that the revived fifty kilometre service across Wiltshire has been a success.

The line may not be as spectacular as Settle-Carlisle, but like that famous line, Transwilts seems to show that Community Rail lines work.

September 30, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment