The Anonymous Widower

Platform Height Issues On The Watford DC Line

At Queen’s Park station, the Bakerloo and Watford DC Lines join as they go towards Watford Junction station.

This map from shows the lines at Queen’s Park station.

Lines Through Queen's Park Station

Lines Through Queen’s Park Station

Note how there is a cross-platform interchange between the two pairs of lines.

Northwards from Queen’s Park station, the platform height is a compromise, with a step down into an Underground 1972 Stock train and a step up into Class 378 train.

  • It is not level access by any means and very difficult for wheel-chair users or those pushing buggies or heavy wheeled cases.
  • I suspect that at some point it could even be illegal under disability regulations.
  • With a more intense service, loading and unloading trains may become a seriouscause of delay.

It is not just a would-like, but a must-have.

Queens Park station though, is totally level.

The current five-car Class 378 trains are 100 metres long, which compares with the 113 metre length of the 1972 Stock train.

One way to solve the platform height issue, would be to have a dual height platform with one end of the platform level access for the 1972 Stock and the other for the Class 378 train.

This would probably need a platform of the order of 215 metres.

But London Overground have ordered a set of four-car Class 710 trains for the Watford DC Line. These trains will be perhaps 80 metres long, as the type will be shared with the shorter platforms of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

This shorter length train should make the design of a dual-height platform acceptable to all users a lot easier.

Currently Off Peak services through Willesden Junction are as follows.

  • 3 trains per hour (tph) from Euston to Watford Junction – London Overground
  • 9 tph on the Bakerloo Line.

Some sources mention that there are ambitions to run 27 tph on the Bakerloo Line. So even if all the trains went through to Watford Junction, that would only mean 30 tph stopping at stations on the line.

Currently, 2 tph on the Bakerloo Line turnback at Queen’s Park station, so it looks like with good deual-height platform design, the current schedule of three tph on the Overground, stopping at South Hampstead and Kilburn High Road can be continued and supplemented with perhaps 18-20 tph on the Bakerloo Line North of Queen’s Park station.

Platforms could be about 180-200 metres long, with a height to fit the Bakerloo Line trains. At one end they would have an 80 metre section of platform to suit the Class 710 trains.

The Class 710 trains would obviously be wheelchair friendly, like the current Class 378 trains, but they would be designed to fit a typical station on the Watford DC and Gospel Oak to Barking Lines.

If Class 378 trains were also providing services on the line, they would use their selective door opening to use the four-car raised section of the platform.

So, if the stations were to be given lifts to fit the new dual-height platforms, the service would have the following characteristics.

  • Totally step-free and level access at all stations for all trains.
  • South Hampstead and Kilburn High Road stations would keep their current service.
  • Most stations would have an increased service.
  • 27 tph through the central section of the Bakerloo Line would be enabled.

The biggest problem would be walking or pushing to the right end of the platform for your train, at stations served by both size of train.




December 12, 2016 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , ,


  1. […] have covered this in Platform Height Issues On The Watford DC Line and feel that dual-height platforms could be […]

    Pingback by The Future Of The Watford DC Line « The Anonymous Widower | December 12, 2016 | Reply

  2. […] have covered this in Platform Height Issues On The Watford DC Line and feel that dual-height platforms could be […]

    Pingback by How Will They Build The Bakerloo Line Extension? « The Anonymous Widower | December 12, 2016 | Reply

  3. […] In Platform Height Issues On The Watford DC Line I suggested that the shorter Class 710 trains, might fit better with the 1972 Stock of the Bakerloo Line, thus allowing the current stations on the line to be converted to very customer-friendlt step-free stations. […]

    Pingback by Is The Croxley Rail Link To Be Given Lower Priority? « The Anonymous Widower | December 15, 2016 | Reply

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