The Anonymous Widower

Could Old Oak Common Be London’s Super Hub Station?

Old Oak Common station is going to be a very important rail hub in the future, with all the services that various companies and organisations would like to see serving the proposed station.

This map shows some of the existing and proposed rail lines in the area.


Rail Lines At Old Oak Common

Rail Lines At Old Oak Common

Current Plans

I’ll now list the lines shown in the map or that go through the area. and are listed in Wikipedia, as having connections at the proposed Old Oak Common station.

1. Bakerloo Line

The Bakerloo Line will call

2. Central Line

The Central Line will call.

The Central Line acts as a loop from Crossrail through Central London, serving stations not on the direct route, in Central London between Stratford and Bond Street.

I wrote about the relationship between Crossrail and the Central Line in Ducking And Diving Between Crossrail And The Central Line.

3. Crossrail

Crossrail goes through the area and development of a station has been proposed.

4. Great Western Main Line

The Great Western Main Line goes through the area and local and other services may call.

5. HS2

HS2 will be building a station at Old Oak Common.

6. North London Line

The North London Line is consulting on a new station as I wrote about in Should An Overground Station Be Built At Hythe Road?

The North London Line acts as another East-West line across London and will probably have a frequency of upwards of the current  4 trains per hour (tph) between Richmond and its Eastern connection to Crossrail at Stratford.

7. West Coast Main Line

The West Coast Main Line  goes through the area and local and other services may call.

8. West London Line

The West London Line will call and this line gives an easy route to Balham, Clapham Junction and East Croydon stations, which by-passes Central London.

I suspect that the frequency of trains on this route will be increased.

Eight lines is an large amount of connectivity.

Other Possibilities

If that isn’t enough connectivity, there are also these extra possibilities.

1. Chiltern Railways

Chiltern Railways have ambitions to use Old Oak Common station as another London terminus, with perhaps 2 tph.

I wrote about it in Linking Chiltern To Crossrail.

2. Dudding Hill Line

The Dudding Hill Line, runs to the West of Old Oak Common station. It could be electrified and have a station that is connected to Old Oak Common station.

For various reasons, both the Brent and Cricklewood \curves would be electrified, thus giving fully electrified access to and from North and South on the Midland Main Line.

3. Gospel Oak To Barking Line

Transport for London have published ideas to extend the Gospel Oak to Barking Line along an electrified Dudding Hill Line.

Suggestions have talked about 4 tph between Hounslow and Gospel Oak stations.

4. Heathrow Express

Heathrow Express uses the Crossrail route, so it could call.

5. Midland Main Line

If Chiltern can justify using Old Oak Common station, I suspect that services on the Midland Main Line can make the same arguments for using Old Oak Common station as a terminal.


It would give passengers from the East Midlands much better access to London and the South East.

6. Thameslink

There are no plans to link Thameslink to Old Oak Common station, but why not?

I proposed this in Will The Third Runway At Heathrow Be Actually Built In The Near Future?

Under Integration With Both HS1 And HS2, I said this.

It would be possible to do the following.

  •  Arrange for Heathrow Express and/or Crossrail to call at Old Oak Common for HS2.
  • Terminate some Thameslink services at Old Oak Common, thus linking HS1 and HS2.
  • Build an easy entrance at St. Pancras to Thameslink close to Eurostar.
  • It goes without saying, that Old Oak |Common will make interchange easy between the umpteen lines meeting there.

The Dudding Hill Line would be electrified.

This proposal and the related electrification of the Dudding Hill Line would do the following.

  • Give Chiltern, Crossrail, GWR and Heathrow Express a  connection to HS1.
  • Give Thameslink a better connection to HS2 and the West Coast Main Line
  • Create a fast ink between HS1 and HS2.

What could a Thameslink service to Old Oak Common station look like?

  • I would terminate 4 tph trains at Old Oak Common to give an  adequate level of service.
  • It might be advantageous to use eight-car Class 700 trains on this route, so that all trains North of Cricklewood could be twelve-car trains.
  • Could the trains going to Old Oak Common be the Wimbledon Loop trains?
  • There could be advantages in having 2 tph between Old Oak Common and London Bridge.

Obviously, passenger statistics would determine the services required.

Old Oak Common As An Airport Hub

If all or some of these plans come to pass, Old Oak Common station will be well-connected to the following airports.

  • Birmingham – Under 50 minutes by HS2.
  • City – Under 20 minutes by Crossrail
  • Gatwick – Under 50 minutes by Thameslink
  • Heathrow – Around 20 minutes by Crossrail and around 15 minutes by Heathrow Express
  • Luton – Under 30 minutes by Midland Main Line.
  • Manchester – Around an hour by HS2.
  • Southend – Around 80 minutes by Crossrail and Greater Anglia.
  • Stansted – Around 55 minutes by Crossrail and Stansted Express.

The figures are very much my best estimates, as the Thameslink and HS2 web sites don’t have simple journey time calculators as does the Crossrail web site.

But these timings do show some interesting facts, that will effect the developments of airports in Southern England.

  • Birmingham Airport is a practical alternative for those living with easy access to the HS2 stations at Euston or Old Oak Common.
  • Gatwick access needs to be faster to compete with Heathrow and Luton.
  • When HS2 reaches Manchester Aiorport, it will be a practical alternative for Middle England.
  • Southend Airport will be good for those East of London, but the journey time needs to be cut, by running faster trains to London.
  • Stansted Airport needs a faster connection to London and they will push for the four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line.

There will be a massive battle for passengers and Network Rail will be under tremendous pressure to perform.

Rail Companies, Lines And Terminals, Without A Direct Connection To Old Oak Common Station

There is quite a few, even if you cut out train operators like Arriva Trains Wales, Scotrail, Northern and TransPennine, that don’t serve London.

1. Caledonian Sleeper

With all its connectivity, would Old Oak Common be the logical destination for the Caledonian Sleeper?

Could Old Oak Common, be London’s hub for all sleeper trains?


2. Circle, District And Metropolitan Lines

There are various ways to get on the Circle, District and Metropolitan Lines depending on where you want to go.

Just as the Central Line acts as a loop from Crossrail, the Sub-Surface Lines have various loops running parallel to Crossrail through Central London.

  • Circle and Metropolitan Lines, running North of Crossrail,  from Paddington to Whitechapel.
  • Circle and District Lines, running South of Crossrail,  from Paddington to Whitechapel.
  • District Line, running, South of Crossrail,  from Ealing Broadway to Whitechapel.

My prediction in Is Whitechapel Station Going To Be A Jewel In The East?, seems to becoming true.

3. c2c

As I said in Will c2c Push For Access To Stratford And Liverpool Street?, c2c needs a connection to a station on Crossrail.

With some reorganisation of services, I believe that it might possible to have a 4 tph service to Stratford and Liverpool Street stations, which would give passengers in the c2c area, access to Crossrail

4. East Coast Main Line

These are routes between Old Oak Common and Kings Cross station for the East Coast Main Line.

  • Crossrail to Farringdon and then the Metropolitan Line
  • North London Line to Highbury and Islington and then the Victoria Line.
  • Bakerloo Line to Oxford Circus and then the Victoria Line.
  • Crossrail to Tottenham Court Road and then a 10, 73 or 390 bus.
  • Narrow boat on the canals.
  • If Thameslink should in the future serve Old Oak Common, that can be taken to St. Pancras Thameslink, followed by a walk.

None of the routes are of the best.

If you had plenty of time, Tottenham Court Road station and then a bus would be a good route, as the bus drops you in the front of Kings Cross station, with totally flat access to the trains. If you’re early and it’s sunny, you can sit in the best Waiting Room at a London station.

For local services on the East Coast Main Line, there are two slower alternatives.

  • Crossrail to Moorgate and then use the Great Northern Metro.
  • Thameslink to St. Pancras Thameslink, cross to the other platform and take Thameslink to Cambridge or Peterborough.

The second route, would be much easier, if St. Psncras had an island platform for Thameslink. At least it’s only escalators and lifts.

There is one development, that might happen, that could improve journeys to and from Kings Cross station. That is the reopening of Maiden Lane station.

5. Jubilee Line

The Jubilee Line has interchanges with Crossrail at Bond Street, Canary Wharf and Stratford stations, with an interchange with Thameslink at London Bridge station.

It also has a step-free interchange with the Bakerloo Line at Baker Street station.

The Jubilee Line also acts as a loop from Crossrail serving stations away from the main route through Central London between Stratford and Bond Street.

6. London Bridge, Cannon Street And Charing Cross

I have grouped all these three stations together as the rebuilding of London Bridge station and the Thameslink Programme have connected these three stations in a way that will change passenger patterns dramatically for users of these three stations.

For myself, it will mean that to access any trains from Cannon Street and Charing Cross or on Thameslink going South, I will probably use a bus to the superb London Bridge station with all its escalators and lifts, rather than fight my way through Central London.

Others will also choose to go direct to London Bridge, possibly by using the Jubilee or Northern Linse. It will be interesting to see how passenger usage changes at Cannon Street and Charing Cross stations.

London Bridge shows what could have been done, if they’d spent the money wisely at the dreadful St. Pancras.

There are four main routes between London Bridge and Old Oak Common stations.

  • Bakerloo Line to Waterloo and then the Jubilee Line.
  • Crossrail to Bond Street and then the loop of the Jubilee Line.
  • Crossrail to Farringdon and then Thmeslink
  • If Thameslink serves Old Oak Common, there could even be a direct train.

I suspect there are other routes and it will all be down to personal preference and where you catch your next train in London Bridge.

Cannon Street station could almost be considered a London Bridge North station.

  • It has seven terminal platforms. Try fitting more into London Bridge.
  • It is within easy walking distance of much of the City of London.
  • On a nice day, many might even walk from Cannon Street to Moorgate for Crossrail, as this route could be pedestrianised.
  • It has access to the Circle and District Lines, which with a change at Paddington give access to Crossrail and Old Oak Common station.
  • In a few years time, it will have good access to the Northern and Central Lines at Bank station.

Cannon Street station will become more important, as Network Rail and the various operators learn how to use the new infrstructure.

Sometimes, I struggle to see the point of Charing Cross station, but as it’s a very busy station others certainly see the station’s purpose.

It’s on the Bakerloo, Circle, District and Northern Lines, so getting to Old Oak Common won’t be a problem.

Transport for London are looking to take over South London inner suburban routes, so I think we’ll see changes in the management of Cannon Street and Charing Cross stations if this happens.

7. Northern Line

Both branches of the Northern Line are directly connected to Crossrail.

  • Tottenham Court Road station connects to the Charing Cross Branch.
  • Moorgate station connects to the Bank Branch.

Connections to the Northern Line might improve, if two separate lines are created

8. Piccadilly And Victoria Lines

The Piccadilly and Victoria Lines share three interchanges, but unfortunately they have no interfaces with Crossrail and only one poor one with Thameslink.

The best bet is to get on the Bakerloo Line and change at either Oxford or Picadilly Circus.

9. Victoria

Victoria station is another tricky station from which to get to and from Old Oak Common.

  • Bakerloo Line to Oxford Circus and then Victoria Line.
  • Crossrail to Paddington and then Circle or District Line.

As some services out of Victoria stop at stations served by the West London Line, it is possible to use that line to by-pass Central London.

10. Waterloo

Like London Bridge, Waterloo station is very well connected to Crossrail and the Old Oak Common hub.

  • Bakerloo Line direct.
  • Crossrail to Bond Street and then the loop of the Jubilee Line.
  • Crossrail to Tottenham Court Road and then the Northern Line.

As some services out of Waterloo stop at stations served by the West London Line, it is possible to use that line to by-pass Central London.


I have come to the following conclusions.

Everybody will want to be connected to Old Oak Common station.

Groups of lines across London are emerging.

  • East to West – Crossrail, Central, District, Metropolitan, North London, Gospel Oak To Barking, Dudding Hill.
  • North to South – Thameslink, West London,East London, Northern.
  • North-East to South-West – Crossrail 2, Piccadilly, Victoria.
  • North-West to South-East – Bakerloo, Jubilee

A very strong grid with good interchanges is probably the main objective.

Looking at these groups, makes me think, that actions are suggested, that would strengthen the network.

  • Build Crossrail 2
  • Increase the capacity on the Bakerloo Line
  • Split the Northern Line into Charing Cross and Bank branches.

London will quickly fill the extra capacity.




October 29, 2016 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Why build a new line? Why not just reinstate the previous alignment to the south of Wormwood Scrubs Park? Very little seems to have been built on the alignment apart from what looks like a scrap yard and most of the bridges are still there with adequate room next to the Central line.,-0.2378778,1492m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x487611d007eb2df1:0x4df0332ecd39e876!8m2!3d51.5246861!4d-0.246971?hl=en-GB

    Comment by Mark Clayton | October 30, 2016 | Reply

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