The Anonymous Widower

How Will They Build The Bakerloo Line Extension?

I ask this question, as my trip yesterday to Redbridge station, got me thinking.

Wanstead, Redbridge and Gants Hill stations share several characteristics.

  • They are built under a main road.
  • They are architecturally significant, with two being designed by Charles Holden.

During the Second World War, they were part of an underground factory for Plessey.

It strikes me that as the route of the Bakerloo Line Extension, will for some way, lie under the Old Kent Road, with two stations currently called; Old Kent Road 1 and Old Kent Road 2, that the section of line could be similar in nature to the Redbridge stretch of the Central Line.

This map shows a route.

Bakerloo Line Extension Map

Bakerloo Line Extension Map

I’m sure, that they’ll come up with better names, on their initial route to Lewisham, via New Cross Gate.

This Google Map, shows the route of the Old Kent Road from Bricklayers Arms to New Cross Gate station.

Bricklayers Arms To New Cross Gate

Bricklayers Arms To New Cross Gate

Bricklayers Arms is at the North-West corner of the map and New Cross Gate station is the South-East.

To my naive mind, the route would be one that an experienced Tunnelling Engineer would find attractive.

  • Elephant and Castle station is not far to the West of Bricklayers Arms.
  • The current Bakerloo Line station at Elephant and Castle points vaguely East, so could probably be connected to under Bricklayers Arms.
  • The tunnels could go under the Old Kent Road between Bricklayers Arms and New Cross Gate.
  • The tunnels could go under the railway between New Cross Gate and Lewisham stations.
  • The Extension could terminate in two deep-level platforms under the current Lewisham station.
  • The Old Kent Road is lined with supermarkets and large out-of-town stores like Asda, B & Q, Sainsburys and Toys R  Us.

But possibly above all, the extension could probably be built without causing too much disruption to existing infrastructure.

I’ll look at a few issues in a bit more detail.

Cut And Cover Or Bored Construction

Some European nations would build the extension using cut and cover methods, but then we’re the tunnel kings!

As there has also been improvement in the tunnel boring machines over the last twenty years, I would expect that a big hole will be dug somewhere and then the main tunnels will be bored out, as is being done on the Northern Line Extension.

The choice of the main tunneling site will depend on several factors.

  • Sufficient space.
  • Good road or rail access to get heavy equipment to the site.
  • Away from sensitive areas for noise.

Probably the most difficult problem, is getting the tunnel spoil out.

Although there are plenty of large sites along the Old Kent Road, look at this Google Map of New Cross Gate station.

New Cross Gate Station

New Cross Gate Station

Note that next to the station is a large Sainsburys. The supermarket group has form in co-operating with large rail infrastructure projects, in that their Whitechapel superstore was virtually rebuilt to make space and access for Crossrail.

So could we see the same co-operation here?

New Cross Gate Station

New Cross Gate station is the middle interchange on the Bakerloo Line Extension.

If as I speculated above, Sainsburys co-operate, I think we could see a rebuilt superstore growing into a more important shopping centre with good rail and tube access.

Consider.

  • Trains between London Bridge and Surrey call.
  • East London Line trains call.
  • Thameslink trains will soon be passing through at speed.
  • Around a dozen bus routes pass the station.
  • There would probably be space for housing above the development.

So could we see New Cross Gate station growing into a major transport interchange?

Yes! Especially, if Thameslink called at the station!

Lewisham Station

Lewisham station has been proposed as the terminus of the Extension.

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

Lines Through Lewisham

Lines Through Lewisham

Lewisham station has one of those layouts designed by Topsy.

Perhaps for now, the best solution would be to just add a couple of deep-level platforms to create a new terminus for the Bakerloo Line.

Consider.

  • Transport for London are planning at least 36 trains per hour (tph) between two underground two platform terminals on the Victoria Line.
  • Battersea Power Station station is being built like this.
  • I doubt the extension will need a depot South of Elephant and Castle station.

Lewisham station would be rebuilt to provide a high capacity interchange between all services at the station.

The Bakerloo Line Train Frequency

Wikipedia says this in the Current And Future Infrastructure section of the Bakerloo Line.

Transport for London proposes to upgrade the line eventually, but not until other deep-level lines have been dealt with. This will include new signalling and new trains, enabling a maximum frequency of 27 trains per hour. TfL currently expects these to be in place by 2033.

So when the Extension is built, it would seem logical that the line could be rebuilt for 27 tph.

The Northern Section Of The Bakerloo Line

If the Bakerloo Line is extended to the South, then it would seem logical that the Northern end should be improved to take the increased number of trains, which share a lot of the line to Watford Junction with London Overground.

Platform Height Issues

At some station on the Northern section to get in to and out of the Bakerloo  Line 1972 Stock trains, is quite a step and it would be difficult in a wheel-chair.

I have covered this in Platform Height Issues On The Watford DC Line and feel that dual-height platforms could be used.

Onward From Lewisham

Most proposals for the extension of the Bakerloo Line, envisage the line taking over one or both of the terminals on the Hayes Line.

Wikipedia has a section on the current proposal.

This is said.

In December 2015, Transport for London announced that the Old Kent Road option was indeed its preferred route, and proposed taking the line as far as Lewisham, which it said could be running by 2030. Proposals for a further extension beyond Lewisham, such as to Hayes and Beckenham or Bromley, would now be considered in a separate phase in the more distant future.

But I do wonder, if extensions to Hayes and Beckenham Junction could be less necessary than they were a few years ago.

  • The construction of a Camberwell station on Thameslink is being considered.
  • Good design at New Cross Gate and Lewisham could improve connections for passengers on the Hayes Line.
  • The extra capacity across the South Bank and through London Bridge, must benefit passengers from the Hayes Line.
  • Elmers End station is getting an improved Tramlink service.

Bear in mind too, that Transport for London now have much better statistics from which to plan new connections and lines.

How would the following smaller projects on various wish-lists affect services South from Lewisham?

  • Better links connecting to Abbey Wood station in addition to Crossrail.
  • A decent connection between Catford and Catford Bridge stations.
  • Interchanges at Brockley and Penge on the East London Line.

Could they even kick extension of the Bakerloo Line in the Hayes direction into at least the 2040s?

The Issue Of Bakerloo And National Rail Trains Sharing Tracks

If the Bakerloo Line is to be extended past Lewisham on the Hayes Line to Hayes and Beckenham Junction, you have the problem of two types of train with different characteristics.

  • First Class is not available on the Underground.
  • Platform height can be matched to the train, to give level access.

Restricting the Bakerloo Line Extension to deep-level platforms at New Cross Gate and Lewisham, avoids the sharing issues, by keeping the two sizes of train separate.

  • Bakerloo Line trains terminate at Lewisham.
  • Good interchange must be provided between the Bakerloo Line and National Rail trains.

Obviously, by the correct design of the deep-level platforms at Lewisham, extension of the Bakerloo Line to somewhere suitable in the future is not ruled out.

 

The Northern And Bakerloo Line Extensions Are Similar

The similarity between the two extensions is very strong.

  • The Northern Extension adds two stations and the Bakerloo adds only four.
  • Both extensions are reasonably short.
  • Both extensions start at an existing station.
  • Both extensions could end in similar underground two-platform terminals.
  • Both extensions might be extended further.

So could the Bakerloo Line Extension be an ideal follow on project for the Northern Line Extension?

And after that, there are other follow-on projects, where provision for extension has been left.

  • Extending the Northern Line Extension from Battersea Power Station to Clapham Junction.
  • Extending the Bakerloo Line Extension to wherever is needed.
  • Extending the Jubilee Line from North Greenwich and Charing Cross.
  • Extending the DLR from Bank
  • Extending the Victoria Line to Herne Hill.

Could the relative success in getting such a good start on the Northern Line Extension, with hardly any controversy or disruption have influenced Transport for London to bring forward the Bakerloo Line Extension.

Perhaps with even the same team!

Conclusion

I feel that the Bakerloo Line extension will be built in a very similar way to the Northern Line Extension.

The more I dig, the more I like the plan for the extension and think it is right for project management reasons to bring it forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 11, 2016 - Posted by | Travel | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] my musings on dual-height platforms for the Bakerloo Line Extension, in How Will They Build The Bakerloo Line Extension?, I think that a modified version could handle the problems at stations on the Northern reaches of […]

    Pingback by How To Build A Step-Free Access Ramp For A Train « The Anonymous Widower | December 12, 2016 | Reply


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