The Anonymous Widower

Will Trains Run Bi-Directionally On The New Third-Track Through Tottenham Hale?

I ask this question, as a station-man at Tottenham Hale station,  said this is what will happen, when the third track is commissioned and there are four trains per hour (tph) between Stratford and Meridian Water stations.

As there is no passing loop between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water stations, only one train can run on the third track at any one time.

Currently timings on the route are as follows.

  • Lea Bridge to Angel Road – 10 minutes
  • Stratford to Angel Road – 16-18 minutes
  • Angel Road to Stratford – 16-18 minutes
  • Angel Road to Lea Bridge – 9 minutes

If I assume that it takes six minutes to change ends at Meridian Water and that journey times are a minute shorter due to the shorter distance, this means the following.

  • A train would take twenty-three minutes to do a round trip between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water.
  • A train would take thirty-eight minutes to do a round trip between Stratford and Meridian Water.

I am led to the following conclusions.

  • A twenty-three minute round trip from Lea Bridge means that four tph isn’t possible using the third track bi-directionally.
  • Thirty-eight minutes for the round trip from Stratford would probably mean only one extra trip in an hour is possible.

I am very certain that running a four tph service between Stratford and Meridian Water, using the third track in a bi-directional manner would be very difficult, if not impossible.

November 26, 2018 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , ,


  1. Hi there,

    You might like to have a look at the pdf link below. It concerns proposals by Enfield Council for increasing the tph at Meridian Water. Unfortunately, it seems to be very complex, at least that’s the way the presentation seems to me, but also it seems to be proposing a shuttle service on the 3rd track running between Tottenham Hale and Meridian Water stopping at Northumberland Park. Unfortunately for me this does not provide an increased frequency at Lea Bridge Station over and above the additional 2tph provided by the 3rd track. I live very close to Lea Bridge Station and use it frequently, even though currently it is basically a 30 min service.

    Click to access Appendix%20B%20DRAFT%20HIF%20Scope%20rail%20enhancement.pdf

    Comment by Colin Frith | November 27, 2018 | Reply

    • I’ve looked at the document and I think it’s as clear as mud. Especially, as there appears to be no follow-up news.

      One thing, I think it proves is that the High Meads Loop might be brought back into use, as turning four trains per hour all day and not interfering with the Liverpool Street traffic will be difficult.

      I still think, there’s a better plan in there somewhere.

      Comment by AnonW | November 27, 2018 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: