The Metropolitan Reversible Line
When you read some of Network Rail’s published documents, you sometimes get snippets of information that point to their thinking.
This page on the Network Rail web site, allows you to download the Kent Route Study.
The study talks about the Metropolitan Reversible Line, which allows trains to access Cnnon Street station from the West.
Network Rail want to replace the line with a 12-car siding, to support operations at Peak times. This is what they say.
Replace the Metropolitan Reversible line with a single 12-car siding to serve
London Cannon Street.
The line currently allows empty coaching stock movements between
London Cannon Street and London Blackfriars, but will become redundant
following implementation of the revised Thameslink service in 2018. It is
therefore proposed that the Metropolitan Reversible line be modified into
a single 12-car siding to facilitate peak services into London Cannon Street station.
They even supply a nice map in the document.
Hopefully, they aim to get this work completed by 2024 at a cost of up to £10million.
This is a Google Map of the area.
I don’t know what the land around the Metropolitan Reversible Line is used for, but it does strike me that the location of the line could be a lucrative development site.
So perhaps a sympathetic developer could build a new housing or office complex and put the required siding in the basment as a sweetener for Network Rail.
Development of this simple siding, could be a win for a lot of stakeholders.
I took these pictures as I walked from the Market Porter public house to Southwark Street.
I don’t know what development is happening in this particular area, but it can certainly be improved.
If money was no object, which of course it never is, I would do the following.
- Replace the rather plain bridge over Park Street with something better.
- The arches must be filled in so they can have a valid commercial purpose or opened up, so they can be used for cafes or just walking through to Borough Market.
- The massive girder bridge over Southwark Street is not a beautiful object and it was built to carry a lot more weight than it will, when the Metropolitan Reversible Line is converted into a siding. So perhaps the bridge can be remodelled to improve its dreadful looks.
It is worth looking at this Google Map of the Southern part of the Metrolitan Reversible Line.
The Metrolitan Reversible Line starts at the top of the map, curves to the West and goes out the South-West corner.
Note, how only a small space on the viaduct and the bridges is used for track. The siding will use no more space than now!
The rest has the distinctive greenish tinge of grass.
I believe that this piece of free land in the sky, should be used for a positive purpose.
I said about putting the siding in the basement. But really, I meant putting the siding in a garage on the ground floor under the building, which if it was designed correctly, it wouldn’t interfere with the views of London’s disgrace; the Shard. You usually only get buildings as bad as that built with friends in the right places!
But seriously, if the design of the siding development was right and it was only a few storeys high, it would be hidden from view by the railway lines crossing all over the place.
The space could even become a spectacular cycling superhighway or walkway stretching along the side of the railway from Waterloo to the South Bank or even across Cannon Street railway bridge to the City.
Network Rail are converting the Metropolitan Reversible Line into a siding to increase the capacity of services into Cannon Street station.
I believe that if this creation of a siding is done with imagination, then other developments can be enabled, that would be to the benefit of all those living, working anf enjoying themselves in the area.