The Anonymous Widower

Latest On The Class 717 Trains For The Great Northern

This is another tweet from the South East Rail Group.

Because of centre door of the cab some start signals can’t be sighted by the driver. Thus SDO will be used and trains stopped short. Once ERTMS is installed (the trains already have the in-cab signalling displays to go with it) then fixed signals and triphandles will be removed.

They also say that squiadron service is could be on March 11th.

Effect Of ERTMS

The tweet also confirms that ERTMS will be available on this line, after the first stage of installation of ERTMS on the East Coast Main Line.

Currently, the service to Moorgate station is twelve trains per hour (tph) in the Off Peak, with extra services in the Peak.

As Thameslink and Crossrail will be running twenty-four tph in a couple of years, so when ERTMS is working on the Southern part of the East Coast Main Line and on the Northern City Line into Moorgate station, how many trains per hour will be possible to Moorgate?

The current twelve tph means that turning the trains at Moorgate must be done in five minutes, which having watched the process is fairly relaxed.

Fifteen tph and a four minute turnround is certainly possible, as that is sometimes achieved in the Peak with the ancient Class 313 trains.

With a fleet of twenty-five trains, and a frequency of twenty-four tph possible under ERTMS, I suspect that twenty tph and a three minute turnround at Moorgate could be achieved all day.

Highbury & Islington Interchange With The Victoria Line

With Dear Old Vicky gamely plugging on at thirty-six tph, the typical maximum wait in a cross-platform interchange will be as follows.

  • Victoria to Northern City – three minutes
  • Northern City to Victoria – one minute and forty seconds.

How many passengers will use this route to the City rather than use the London Overground?

Interchange With Crossrail At Moorgate

The Northern City will be my link to Crossrail, as I can walk or get a bus to Essex Road station.

The interchange between Crossrail and the Northern City Lines will be high capacity, feature a lot of escalators and be fully step-free.


London’s forgotten underground line with its tragic history of the Moorgate Tube Crash, will become a new star in the broad firmament of London’s railways.

It just needs some improvements to some of the stations.

March 5, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,


  1. squiadron service .?

    As for Step Free Access at Moorgate we’ll go to TFL Northern Line platform and you can see the future lift then go up escalator to Northern City Line directly above and no sign of work to install a lift ! It seems this lift will pass by Northern City Line platforms as funding by previous Mayor Boris Johnson was not agreed for a hole in the wall for lift to stop !

    Anyway until the Northern City Line appears on Standard tube maps most people won’t know it exists but TFL won’t add it to tube map as it’s not one of their services!

    Comment by Melvyn | March 5, 2019 | Reply

    • I was with a friend yesterday and we went from Charing Cross to London Bridge on South Eastern. That’s another one for the Tube Map. My son is a lawyer. I’ll ask if we could get a judicial review or something similar to get that one on the tube map!

      Comment by AnonW | March 5, 2019 | Reply

    • If you look at some of the visualisation for Moorgate station, there are other routes, which join the Northern Line and Great Northern platforms from the West

      I think, we shouldn’t judge the step-free links until the station opens fully!

      Comment by AnonW | March 5, 2019 | Reply

  2. So is it true that Great Northern will start using the Class 717 fully in service on 11th March to other destinations it will be operated on including Hertford North, Stevenage, Letchworth Garden City and Welwyn Garden City and to replace the Class 313s. Fingers crossed.

    Comment by Andrew Gwilt | March 5, 2019 | Reply

    • Apparently, Great Northern are giving everybody a free inflatable cushion in compensation for the ironing board seats.

      Comment by AnonW | March 5, 2019 | Reply

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