The Anonymous Widower

An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2

I have decided to cut this out of my original post of A Hard Look At Crossrail 2.

The Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2

These suburban termini and their routes are proposed  to be connected to Crossrail 2.

The times are for a typical one-way journey from Waterloo, which usually has a frequency of two trains per hour (tph).

An Upgraded Waterloo Station

An upgraded Waterloo station will probably handle the suburban services better than it does today.

  • There will be extra platforms, with the reopening of the five platforms in Waterloo International.
  • There will be longer platforms, which will all be able to take ten-car trains.
  • There will be an improved track layout, both in Waterloo and on the approach.
  • There will be related improvements to improve access to the Underground and the Waterloo and City Line at Waterloo station.

All this should mean Waterloo station, will be capable of handling a substantial increase in trains and passengers, with an improvement in efficiency and comfort.

Improvements On The Branches

Each branch has its own problems, but the following would help in various places.

  • More step-free access.
  • Some level crossings on the branches can probably be removed..
  • Improved access to onward services like buses, cycling and walking at some stations.
  • Some trackwork to allow Crossrail 2’s proposed frequency of 4 tph.

These improvements will generally be needed, whether the services terminate in Waterloo or are a part of Crossrail 2.

New Trains

Currently, suburban services out of Waterloo are run by a large mixed fleet of generally excellent trains.

The Class 707 trains could offer serious performance improvements, as they are probably designed to be able to have as short as possible time, for a stop at a station.

In an ideal world, all trains running these branches would be identical and all platforms would be designed to fit them perfectly, just as many Overground platforms, fit the Class 378 trains.

Crossrail 2 would do this, with possibly the same Class 345 trains, that have been developed for Crossrail.

But why shouldn’t the routes be worked by a homogeneous fleet, serving platforms and stations designed for the trains?

I believe that Crossrail 2 could make no extra difference to the passenger going between these branches and Central London, except for the route from Wimbledon, which will be in tunnel.

The new trains will have one very big effect.

I have seen train manufacturers claim, that high performance, well-designed trains with a considyent train-platform interface will save as much as three minutes a station.

  • Trains will stop from line speed faster.
  • Trains will accelerate back to line speed faster.
  • Bigger lobbies, will enable passengers to load and unload faster.
  • Wheelchair passengers and buggy pushers would roll across on the flat.

Until we get actual figures, even one minute a stop, would reduce times on the branches as follows.

Note that three services are now under half-an-hour, without making any allowance that the timings will be for a train with better performance, than the Class 455 trains, which work some of the routes, so probably feature in the timetable compilation.

Is Four Trains Per Hour Possible?

If the round trip to Waterloo can be done in an hour, that means that just two ten-car trains can provide a 2 tph service, as opposed to the four trains now needed.

I suspect that South West Trains will be experimenting to see if they can get a Shepperton round trip in under the hour.

It may seem difficult, but there are certain factors in their favour.

  • The Shepperton Branch Line is self-contained after it leaves the Kingston Loop Line.
  • It is double-track, so there is no passing loop problems.
  • There are no level crossings.
  • The stations on the branch are fairly evenly-spaced at just over a mile apart.

If a total out-and-back time from Waterloo could be under an hour for each branch, this would mean that a 4 tph service on a branch, would need just four trains.

So for each branch to have 4 tph would need 16 ten-car trains or 32 five-car trains, with similar performance and characteristics to Class 707 trains.

Taking the example of the East London Line, where four tph shuttle between dedicated platforms at Highbury and Islington and Dalston Junction stations in the North of London to various destinations in the South.

Could we be seeing something similar at Waterloo, where trains to Chessington South, Epsom, Hampton Court and Shepperton stations, each have their own dedicated platforms?

The four platforms would probably be adjacent, so if you want Wimbledon or a station common to more than one branch, displays would lead you to the first train.

Put simply to provide 4 tph for all branches would need 32 modern five-car trains and four dedicated platforms at Waterloo.

Crossrail 2’s Proposals For Services On The Branches

Wikipedia says this about Crossrail 2 services to these suburban branches, after surfacing from the tunnel South of Wimbledon station.

  • 20 tph at Raynes Park National Rail
  • 8-10 tph at Motspur Park National Rail
  • Exclusive use of the Chessington Branch Line to Chessington South (4 tph)
  • Mixed use of the Raynes Park – Epsom line to Epsom National Rail (Sutton and Mole Valley Lines) (4-6 tph)
  • 10-12 trains per hour at New Malden National Rail
  • Exclusive use of the Hampton Court Branch Line to Hampton Court (4 tph) with interchange at Surbiton National Rail
  • Shared use of the Shepperton Branch Line with 6-8 tph to Teddington National Rail and 4 trains per hour to Shepperton National Rail

I think that Wimbledon will have to handle perhaps another 8 tph from other places on the fast lines. But they do that now!

Between Wimbledon And Waterloo

South West Trains have not disclosed their hand yet, but I suspect that they are doing the maths.

I think that it will be possible for a 4 tph Crossrail 2 service and all the other slow services between Wimbledon and Waterloo to use a single pair of tracks carrying 20 tph.

As Crossrail and Thameslink can both handle 24 tph under Automatic Train Operation (ATO) in a tunnel, surely the slow lines can handle 20 tph on the surface under ATO.

There would even be capacity for some extra services.

Clapham Junction Station

If all these trains can be accommodated on just two tracks between Waterloo and Wimbledon, then these services could call at two dedicated platforms at Clapham Junction station.

  • All trains would stop.
  • Staff and passengers would see a succession of identical trains stopping every couple of minutes.
  • Passengers would have a maximum wait for fiftten minutes for their train.
  • All trains to stations on the branches would use the same platform, making it easy for passengers.
  • As on the East London Line, trains for any station on the branches would be to a clockface pattern.

The two platforms could be opposite faces of an island platform, with a waiting room, cafe and toilets in the middle.

Vauxhall Station

If it can be done at Clapham Junction station, why not have a dedicated pair of platforms at Vauxhall station, giving access to the Victoria Line?

I use the link at Vauxhall, between the Victoria Line and Waterloo suburban services occasionally and every time I do, it seems to have been improved.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at Vauxhall station.

Lines At Vauxhall

Lines At Vauxhall

I think it is true to say, that if the Victoria Line had been built in the last decade or so, the Victoria Line station could have been placed underneath the main line station.

But even so, I suspect Network Rail and Transport for London have ideas to improve the interchange.

Conclusion

Crossrail 2’s proposals for the suburban branch lines from Waterloo to the four destinations of Chessington South, Epsom, Hampton Court and Shepperton stations, can be fulfilled using the following.

  • Modern high-performance 100 mph trains like Class 707 trains.
  • Some improvements to track and signals between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.
  • Wimbledon station would only need minor modifications.
  • A measure of ATO between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.

What effect will this have on the design of Crossrail 2?

 

January 2, 2017 - Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. […] have written An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, which investigates the issues in […]

    Pingback by A Hard Look At Crossrail 2 « The Anonymous Widower | January 2, 2017 | Reply

  2. […] In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I looked at services into Waterloo , that could be going to Crossrail 2. […]

    Pingback by How Will Crossrail 2 Affect Kingston? « The Anonymous Widower | January 3, 2017 | Reply

  3. […] I said in An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not, four tph could run on the Shepperton Branch to Waterloo in […]

    Pingback by Kempton Park Racecourse Could Close For Housing « The Anonymous Widower | January 10, 2017 | Reply

  4. […] I wrote about the suburban services in An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2. […]

    Pingback by Increasing Capacity On Waterloo Suburban Services « The Anonymous Widower | March 29, 2017 | Reply


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