The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On The Bakerloo Line Extension

It is being proposed that the Bakerloo Line be extended to South East London.

  • There will be two new stations on the Old Kent Road.
  • There will be a connection to the existing New Cross Gate station.
  • The extension will terminate at Lewisham station.
  • The extension will be totally underground.
  • Provision will be made to extend the line further.

Almost nothing has been said about the frequency of trains on the line, stabling arrangements for the trains or what happens in the North.

The Train Frequency

Wikipedia gives the current off-peak services on Bakerloo line as.

  • 6 tph (trains per hour) from Harrow & Wealdstone to Elephant & Castle
  • 3 tph from Stonebridge Park to Elephant & Castle
  • 11 tph from Queen’s Park to Elephant & Castle

This forms a 20 tph service (or a train every 3 minutes) between Queen’s Park and Elephant & Castle.

New Trains And Signalling On The Bakerloo Line

As there will be new modern signalling and new trains on the Bakerloo Line in the future, are Transport for London relying on these to increase the frequency of trains.

Currently, there are thirty-three trains in service and according to the November 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, these will be replaced with forty new trains, which will give a twenty-five percent capacity increase.

As the Northern and Jubilee Lines run at 27 tph, with modern signalling and newer rolling stock, I suspect that at least this train frequency could be achievable.

Depots And Sidings

The Bakerloo Line has three depots.

London Road

London Road depot is located between Lambeth North and Elephant and Castle stations.

This Google Map shows the location of the depot.

It is the V-shaped site, just below the roundabout, at the top of the map, where London Road, Westminster Bridge Road and Borough Road meet.

However good this depot is for servicing trains, it strikes me that it is in a location, where land is very expensive.

I think one of two things will happen.

  1. The depot will be closed and the land given over to development.
  2. The depot will be rebuilt and there will be housing or commercial development on top.

If the latter happens, it is probably an affordable way to get a modern depot. White City depot on the Central Line is already under property development.

Stonebridge Park

Stonebridge Park Depot is relatively modern and is located to the North of Stonebridge Park station.

This Google Map shows the location of the depot.

Because of its young age and size, the only thing likely to happen at Stonebridge Park would be some modernisation for the new trains and a possible appropriate increase in capacity.

Queen’s Park

Queens Park Depot is not large and is effectively two sheds either side of Queens Park station.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the track layout at Queens Park station.

Note.

  1. The North and South Sheds.
  2. The cross-platform interchange between the Watford DC Line and the Bakerloo Line.
  3. The platforms on the main lines are not operational at present, but may be so in the future.

Compared to the other two depots, Queens Park would appear to be less important.

I suspect though, that Transport for London have plans to improve operations at Queens Park.

Conclusion

The following should be noted.

  • The new trains will probably, be the same length as current trains.
  • But as there are going to be 40 instead of 33, more space will be needed.
  • A rebuilt London Road depot with housing and/or commercial development on top, could raise a substantial sum.
  • There is space for extra sidings at Stonebridge Park depot.
  • There will be turnround sidings on the extension to Lewisham in the overrun tunnels, which is standard London Underground practice.
  • The new trains should need less maintenance than the current nearly fifty-year-old 1972 Stock trains.

I think by some clever design, that the extra seven extra new trains will be incorporated in the two major depots of Stonebridge Park and London Road, with some help from Lewisham and Queens Park.

North Of Queens Park

These are various points and issues.

Queens Park Station

Queens Park station is a six platform station.

  • Two platforms for the Watford DC Line
  • Two platforms for the Bakerloo Line
  • Two unused platforms for the slow lines into Euston station.

There is an excellent cross-platform interchange between the Wstford DC and Bakerloo Lines, which is level between train and platform.

Wikipedia also says this about the station.

Queen’s Park is planned to become a step-free station and the project will be completed in 2019.

I visited the station this morning and saw no work in progress.

This picture shows the station’s rudimentary nature.

Opposite the station is a typical new block of housing, with a Marks and Spencer Simply Food store underneath.

So perhaps a developer will build some much needed housing.

  • Underneath would be a much-improved station, with full step-free access.
  • There could be some retail units.
  • They might even rebuild the sheds of the depot, that I mentioned earlier to improve the operation of the trains.
  • The two disused platforms could be refurbished.

These pictures show the platforms.

This project could be carried out independently of the Bakerloo Line Extension.

The Bakerloo And Watford DC Lines Share Tracks

Between Queens Park and Harrow and Wealdstone stations, the two lines share tracks, with trains calling at eight intermediate stations.

Current Bakerloo Line frequencies are.

  • 9 tph between Stonebridge Park and Harrow and Wealdstone
  • 12 tph between Queens Park and Stonebridge Park.

In addition, there are three tph on the London Overground between Queens Park and Watford Junction.

This arrangement means that passengers between Queens Park and Watford Junction stations have a flexible route to and from London, with a choice of Euston or Central London termini.

The Watford DC Line Fleet Is Being Changed

London Overground are replacing the current five-car Class 378 trains on the Watford DC Line with four-car  Class 710 trains.

This might seem to be a reduction in capacity, but it is part of a cunning plan.

  • The Class 378 trains will go to the East London Line, to enhance services.
  • It means that London Overground can maintain all the dual-voltage Class 710 trains at Willesden TMD.
  • Class 710 trains can’t work the East London Line, as they have no end doors for tunnels.

To compensate for the shorter trains, the frequency on the Watford DC Line will be raised from three to four tph.

The Watford DC Line will actually get a small capacity increase from fifteen carriages per hour to sixteen, with a much more passenger-friendly frequency of a new train, which may be slightly faster, every fifteen minutes.

But there is also a nugget in the tail.

The Watford DC Line currently handles five-car Class 387 trains. So if in a few years there is a need for more capacity, the Class 710 trains could be lengthened by adding a fifth carriage.

Given too, that there could be a lot of resignalling on this line, in conjunction with the Bakerloo Line extension and the new Bakerloo Line trains, I would not be surprised if train frequency and/or length on the Watford DC Line were to be increased again.

The Platform Height Problem On The Shared Platforms

These pictures show some of the platform height problems  on the platforms shared by Bakerloo and Watford DC Line trains.

The interchange at Queens Park station is level between both trains and the platform.

Both the Class 710 trains and the new Bakerloo Line trains will be walk-through, which will ease the design of an acceptable dual-height platform, when both new trains are in service. Passengers will be able to walk up and down to find a seat or a convenient place to exit.

One solution to the height proble, would be to lower the platform, so that it is level with the height of the new Bakerloo Line trains.

A hump similar to a Harrington Hump could be added at a convenient point.

This picture shows two well-designed humps at Canonbury station.

The humps on the Watford DC Line, would be sized as follows.

  • Height would allow level access to a Class 710 train.
  • Width would be determined by safety.
  • Length would probably be sized to fit two cars, which would be 40 metres.

The humps would be placed at an appropriate point on the platforms, which are long enough to take the current 113 metre long 72 Stock trains.

  • Drivers of Class 710 trains, would stop, so that, cars 2 and 3 were aligned with the hump.
  • Drivers of Bakerloo Line trains would stop, so they had the hump in the middle of the train.

Doors would then only open, where the access from train to platform was level.

All this would probably be handled automatically, with the driver monitoring everything.

It’s almost as if the trains had their own built-in platform-edge doors, which would ensure that safety was at least as good as it is now.

Will The New Class 710 Trains Reduce Timings On The Watford DC Line?

Conclusion

Everything published about the proposed Bakerloo Line Extension, does not mention the following.

  • Trains and their frequency
  • Depots
  • What happens North of Queens Park station.

Until proven otherwise, there seems to be few difficult problems, that effect the building of the Bakerloo Line Extension.

Modernising the line and building the extension would appear to be a series of separate projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 19, 2018 - Posted by | Travel | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. One might not need quite so many trains if they run faster and don’t dwell as long in the stations.

    Comment by Mark Clayton | March 19, 2018 | Reply


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