The Anonymous Widower

The Natives Are Getting Restless In Crofton Park

One of my Google Alerts picked up this article on Brockley Central, which is entitled You Shall Go To Blackfriars – Join The Campaign For Crofton Park Trains Every Fifteen Minutes.

This is said.

Local action groups aren’t supposed to be this successful. The Cinderella Line is a campaign to improve the frequency and quality of services that run through Crofton Park Station.

The group has had a recent success, in that there are now four more trains stopping at the station in the peak.

So I thought I’d go and have a look, getting my paper and some bits of shopping I need on the way.

I had started out, just before 0900, with the aim of getting the 0930 Thameslink train to Crofton Park station. Hopefully, it would have been running a bit late, so I could use my Freedom Pass.

But it was worse than that, as the train had been cancelled, so in the end, I had to take a train to Catford station and then come back a station to get to Crofton Park. As I couldn’t afford to wait, I had to pay for the ticket myself.

Not that I’m bothered!

But did Thameslink cancel the first train after 0930, to force people to catch an earlier train at full price, if they wanted to get to work on time?

Am I being cynical?

These pictures tell the story of my journey to Crofton Park and back via Peckham Rye station to Haggerston station, from where I walked home.

A few points.

Overcrowding

I took three Thameslink trains and one London Overground train this morning.

  • St. Pancras to Catford – 8-cars and overcrowded until Farringdon.
  • Catford to Crofton Park – 4-cars and crowded.
  • Crofton Park to Peckham Rye – 4-cars and overcrowded
  • Peckham Rye to Haggerston – 5-cars and plenty of space, with seats for those who wanted them.

Considering, that all these journeys were in the Off Peak, except for the last Overground train, it is just not good enough.

Crofton Park Station

Crofton Park station, is typical of many stations, that are South of the Thames.

  • It is certainly scruffy.
  • The main entrance is not step-free and the stairs are steep.
  • The platforms are ready for twelve-car trains.
  • There was a bad gap to mind, between train and platform.
  • Staff were only noticeable by their absence.
  • A fellow passenger said that announcements were unreliable.
  • The information displays were not of the best.
  • Typical Off peak services are 2 trains per hour (tph)

But it was certainly a station, that with the spending of some money to add lifts, could be a station of high quality and a modicum of quality.

The New Class 700 Trains

Hopefully, the new eight-car Class 700 trains will improve matters at Crofton Park, as they are better designed than the overcrowded four-car Class 319 trains, that I had to endure this morning.

This report on Brockley Central, says this about the new trains.

“We have also been pushing Thameslink to introduce new Class 700 trains, with 30% more capacity than the trains we currently have. The first of these will appear from the end of November and then replace our current trains at the rate of one per week.

So that is good news.

Extra Services To Victoria And Blackfriars

The report on Brockley Central, says this about the new services.

“From December 12th, four new trains will stop at Crofton Park between 7-9am . Three will go on to Denmark Hill and Victoria and one to Elephant & Castle and Blackfriars.

“The Victoria services currently pass through Crofton Park but don’t stop there, so they will now make the additional stop at Crofton Park.

So that is good news as well.

The interesting thing about these new train services, is that no new services are actually being introduced, but the extra service at Crofton Park is being created by getting a train that normally goes straight through to stop at Crofton Park.

The latest generation of trains, are designed to execute a stop and start in a minimum time, so I think we’ll see extra stops added on more than a few services.

This quick stop feature is achieved by several things.

  • Powerful braking and acceleration.
  • Wide doors.
  • Level step between train and platform.
  • Good information, so passengers getting on can find space.
  • Good coordination between the driver and staff on the platform.

Increasingly, for some operators, a fast dwell time will be an important factor in choosing the trains to procure and providing a better service.

Here at Crofton Park station, it is being used to get extra trains to stop at the station.

Increasing Thsmeslink Frequency From 2 tph To 4 tph At Crofton Park Station

This is an aspiration for Crofton Park, but I suspect that this cannot be done at present, as there are not enough paths through the core Thameslink tunnel.

So until Thameslink is fully open in 2018, Crofton Park will probably get 2 tph.

Thameslink  is consulting on the service when the full service opens.

This document on the Thameslink web site, shows two different services calling at Crofton Park.

  • TL8 from Blackfriars (Welwyn Garden City in the Peaks) to Sevenoaks
  • TL9 from Kentish Town (Luton in the Peaks) to Orpington.

Both have a frequency of 2 tph at all times,so this gives 4 tph through Crofton Park.

Thameslink put it like this in their proposal.

Thameslink Metro Routes TL8 and TL9 combine to provide four trains per hour (daily) between Central London, Catford, Bromley South and Bickley. During peak times these services may be supplemented by Southeastern Metro services providing six trains per hour.

That’s a well-thought out service, by any standards.

The Catford Metro

I always like calling lines like this a Metro.

As Govia Thameslink Railway have just given the name of the Great Northern Metro to the services out of Moorgate, why not call this line the Catford Metro?

It would call at the following stations.

  • London Blackfriars
  • Elephant & Castle
  • Camberwell (if added)
  • Denmark Hill
  • Peckham Rye
  • Nunhead
  • Crofton Park
  • Catford
  • Bellingham
  • Beckenham Hill
  • Ravensbourne
  • Shortlands
  • Bromley South

So it looks like Crofton Park could be in the middle of a  Catford Metro.

  • It would have a frequency of at least 4 tph.
  • It would be running new eight-car Class 700 trains.
  • 2 tph would go North to each of Welwyn Garden City and Luton in the Peak
  • 2 tph would go North to each of Blackfriars and Kentish Town in the Off Peak
  • 2 tph would go South to each of Orpington and Sevenoaks.
  • It would have a good connection to the 4 tph South London Line at Denmark Hill and Peckham Rye.

It’s a lot better than Crofton Park has at the present time!

Conclusion

Crofton Park has a big future.

November 23, 2016 - Posted by | Travel | , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. […] via The Natives Are Getting Restless In Crofton Park — The Anonymous Widower […]

    Pingback by The Natives Are Getting Restless In Crofton Park — The Anonymous Widower | gramirezblog | November 23, 2016 | Reply

  2. […] The passengers moan about it as I wrote in The Natives Are Getting Restless In Crofton Park. […]

    Pingback by Could Third-Rail Tram-Trains Be Used To Increase Services In South London? « The Anonymous Widower | April 16, 2017 | Reply


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