Increasing Capacity On Waterloo Suburban Services
A new franchise is taking over the services out of Waterloo station to the South West.
There is an informative article in Rail Technology Magazine, which is entitled First MTR joint venture awarded South Western franchise.
I wrote about the suburban services in An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2.
The Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2
These suburban termini and their routes are proposed to be connected to Crossrail 2.
- Chessington South – 34 minutes – 9 stops
- Epsom – 37 minutes – 9 stops
- Hampton Court – 36 minutes – 9 stops
- Shepperton – 51 minutes – 14 stops
The times are for a typical one-way journey from Waterloo, which usually has a frequency of two trains per hour (tph).
- The routes are probably timed for 75 mph Class 455 trains.
- The latest Class 707 trains are 100 mph trains and probably execute a station stop much quicker.
I would think it is highly likely that a Class 707 train could do a round trip to Chessington South, Epsom and Hampton Court stations, within an hour. For the purpose of this calculation, I’ll assume that trains to Shepperton take two hours for the round trip.
So this would mean that to execute the current 2 tph, would need the following number of five-car trains, which would work as a ten-car unit.
- Chessington South – 2×2 = 4 trains
- Epsom – 2×2 = 4 trains
- Hampton Court – 2×2 = 4 trains
- Shepperton – 4×2 = 8 trains
So a total of 20 new five-car Class 707 trains would be needed to run these four services at a frequency of 2 tph, stopping as they do now!
As they can’t do the round trip in an hour with the current stock, they need to use more trains. And drivers and depot space!
Services to Windsor and Eton Riverside
Services between Waterloo and Windsor and Eton Riverside stations currently take 54 minutes.
I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect that a Class 707 train could do the round trip in two hours.
So that means that just eight trains are needed to run the ten-car 2 tph service to Windsor.
Services On The Hounslow And Kingston Loop Lines
These seem to be timed as follows.
- Hounslow Loop – 85 minutes – 20 stops.
- Kingston Loop – 79 minutes – 22 stops
- The services are probably timed for 75 mph trains.
- 100 mph Class 707 trains with a faster station-stop performance could save a minute at each stop.
- All the platforms on the loop have only recently been updated for ten-car trains.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Class 707 trains, run round the Hounslow and Kingston Loop Lines in under an hour.
This would enable clockface services, simplify train scheduling and please passengers, signallers and the train operating company.
There are other services that would benefit from Class 707 trains.
These are two examples of services out of Waterloo
- Weybridge via Hounslow and Virginia – 75 minutes – 20 stops.
- Guildford via Epsom – 71 minutes – 17 stops
Would a Class 707 train, bring these journeys under the magic hour including a turnback?
When the former International platforms at Waterloo station has been upgraded in the Summer, it will have five new Platforms 20-24.
To gain efficient access to the new Platforms, Network Rail are replacing the Eurostar tracks, with lines that enable trains to take a sneaky quick route in and out of Platforms 20-24.
These pictures show the lines going from Platforms 1 and 2 at Vauxhall station to the former Eurostar Platforms.
It looks like when it’s finished Platform 1 at Vauxhall will be the up platform towards Waterloo and Platform 2 will be the down platform.
Currently Platform 2 at Vauchall seems to handle services that come through Putney and Clapham Junction stations, with services going the other way using Platform 3.
- 10 tph to London Waterloo
- 2 tph to Weybridge, calling at all stations via Hounslow.
- 2 tph fast to Windsor & Eton Riverside, calling at Richmond, Twickenham, Whitton, Feltham and all other stations.
- 2 tph taking the Kingston Loop Line via Richmond to return circuitously to Waterloo
- 2 tph in each direction round the Hounslow Loop Line to return circuitously to Waterloo
- 2 tph between Waterloo and Reading, which go through without stopping, but they stop on Sundays.
This means that there are 12 tph in both directions from Putney to Waterloo via Clapham Junction and Vauxhall.
It does look that after all the work is finished, these services will go into the rebuilt Platforms 20-24.
Will the various services be given their own platforms in Waterloo?
It would be a way of increasing passenger throughput in the station at busy times, as commuters would know that their trains always used the same platform. Simple and efficient!
It could be done with all services and I think this is done to a certain extent now.
South West Trains new fleet of thirty Class 707 trains is sized to run the services to Chessington South, Epsom, Hampton Court, Shepperton and Windsor and still leave a couple of spares for breakdowns and maintenance.
This calculation shows that you can sometimes replace a large number of 75 mph trains with a significantly smaller number of 100 mph units and still attain the same service frequency.
As they have just lost the franchise, I feel a little bit sorry for Stagecoach. But not that sorry!