The Anonymous Widower

Stratford Regulating Point Extension

London has a rail capacity problem, for both freight and passenger trains.

This report from Network Rail is entitled The London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

One of the secondary recommendations of the report is what Network Rail call the Stratford Regulating Point Extension.

The report explains it like this.

Capacity analysis for this study emphasised in its conclusions that the key to making the timetable work is the ability to hold trains in strategic locations in order to match capacity between the orbital lines and the radial routes in and out of London.

It therefore noted that holding capacity at Stratford for the longest freight trains (up to 775m) is essential, recommending that consideration is given to lengthening the Up Channelsea Loop at Lea Junction in particular.

The purpose of this scheme would be to provide a regulating point offering 775m standage for freight trains passing through Stratford towards the NLL, fully segregated from other traffic.

This would be achieved by extending the existing Up Channelsea Loop to the North-West, so that it can accommodate a 775m train clear of Stratford Central Junction.

This option offers combined capacity and train lengthening benefits, as the ability to regulate the longest trains at key interface points on the network increases the chances of finding them a compliant path through successive timetable structures as they pass from route to route.

Note.

  1. 775 metres is the longest train allowed on UK railways.
  2. Longer trains are an efficient way of moving freight and often mean less trains in total.
  3. It is extremely handy to have a place to park a train, to aid in keeping to the timetable.

This map from cartometro.com shows the Eastern end of the North London Line and the Up Channelsea Loop.

Note.

  1. The orange tracks are the North London Line and are used by the London Overground and freight trains.
  2. The Up Channelsea Loop to the South-West of the North London Line.
  3. The Up Channelsea Loop has connections to both directions of the Great Eastern Main Line at its South-Eastern end.
  4. Carpenters Road North junction would appear to connect Liverpool Street station to the High Meads curve, so that empty stock can be moved to and from the sidings at Orient Way.
  5. I would expect that any train waiting in the Up Channelsea Loop can’t overhang Carpenters Road North junction, as this would block the empty stock movements between Liverpool Street and Orient Way sidings.

This Google Map shows the South-Eastern end of the Up Channelsea Loop.

Note.

  1. The bridge over the tracks is the main access to the Olympic Park.
  2. I have arranged that the Up Channelsea Loop runs between the North-West and South-East corners of the map.
  3. The two tracks to access the Up Channelsea Loop join in the South-East corner of the map.
  4. The crossover to the North of the bridge is part of Carpenters Road North junction.

I would estimate that freight trains waiting in the Up Channelsea Loop can’t be closer than about thirty metres from the bridge.

This second Google Map shows what I suspect is the usable section of the Up Channelsea Loop.

Note.

  1. I have arranged the North-Western corner of the map over the buffer stops at the end of the Up Channelsea Loop.
  2. The South-Eastern corner is at the lower limit of the Up Channelsea Loop.
  3. I estimate that the usable length of the current Up Channelsea Loop is six hundred metres at most.

This third Google Map shows the Northern end of the Up Channelsea Loop.

Note.

  1. The crossover so trains can leave the Up Channelsea Loop in the South-East corner of the map.
  2. There is a red buffer stop on the end of the loop.

I feel they will certainly have to bridge the River Lea, if the Up Channelsea Loop is going to be lengthened to the North-West.

Perhaps this fourth Google Map, that shows a 3D view of the area from the West.

Note.

  1. Is there a tunnel under Marshgate Lane that can take three tracks.
  2. There could be space to extend the Up Channelsea Loop over the River Lea and alongside the long building, which is the Energy Centre for the site.
  3. There might even be a bit more space to create a fast exit from the Up Channelsea Loop.

If the Up Channelsea Loop is going to extend this far, then it looks like it has been planned for some time.

I took these pictures as I approached Stratford station.

Note.

  • The Up Channelsea Loop is the track furthest away to the right.
  • The red buffer stop can be picked out.
  • I started taking pictures alongside the Energy Centre.
  • I think that the short tunnel between the Energy Centre and the River Leacan handle three tracks.

It looks to me, that provision was made for lengthening the Up Channelsea Loop, when these tracks were laid.

Conclusion

I think it is going to be a tight fit to extend the Up Channelsea Loop by sufficient length to handle the longest freight trains.

But it should be possible.

Related Posts

These are related posts about the London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

Decarbonisation Of London’s Freight Routes

Doubling Harlesden Junction

East Coast Main Line South Bi-Directional Capability

Gauge Improvements Across London

Gospel Oak Speed Increases

Headway Reductions On The Gospel Oak To Barking, North London and West London Lines

Heavy Axle Weight Restrictions

Kensal Green Junction Improvement

Longhedge Junction Speed Increases

Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia

Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Shepherd’s Bush

Nunhead Junction Improvement

Will Camden Road Station Get A Third Platform?

Will Clapham Junction Station Get A Platform 0?

June 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 15 Comments

Doubling Harlesden Junction

London has a rail capacity problem, for both freight and passenger trains.

This report from Network Rail is entitled The London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

One of the secondary recommendations of the report is to double Harlesden Junction. It says this about the doubling.

At present, several Goods lines from the direction of Wembley Yard converge into a single lead through Harlesden Junction, the connection to the City lines, from which the North London Line is accessed. This represents a bottleneck where trains are unable to pass in each direction simultaneously. Conceptual design work for the LRFS has identified that the bridge span immediately above the junction, which the two West Coast Main Line Slow lines also pass under, formerly accommodated four tracks in total.

Because the City lines extend for a relatively short distance between Harlesden Junction and Kensal Green Junction, a speed increase at Harlesden Junction is necessary in order to align with the uplifted speeds proposed for Kensal Green Junction (see Core Interventions). Upgrading Harlesden Junction is therefore required in order to realise the benefits of the core intervention at Kensal Green Junction. Doubling the junction would further ease the flow of freight trains through this critical connection between the West Coast Main Line and the orbital routes.

This map from cartometro.com shows Harlesden Junction.

This Google map shows the area.

Note.

  1. The six tracks across the bottom of both maps are the West Coast Main Line.
  2. The double track rail line going North-South over the West Coast Main Line is the Dudding Hill Line.
  3. The Northernmost tracks, that go East-West under the Dudding Hill Lines are the combined Watford DC and Bakerloo Lines, which explains their colour in the first map.
  4. South of these tracks are the City Lines and Harlesden Junction, which connects it to the West Coast Main Line.

This 3D image shows the Harlesden Junction with the Dudding Hill Line over the top, looking from the South-East.

Note that Harlesden station can be seen in the North-East of the map.

There is certainly space in the area to improve the junction.

Conclusion

It strikes me that if you improve Kensal Green Junction, then doubling of Harlesden Junction is needed, to make the most of the investment at Kensal Green.

Related Posts

These are related posts about the London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

Decarbonisation Of London’s Freight Routes

East Coast Main Line South Bi-Directional Capability

Gauge Improvements Across London

Gospel Oak Speed Increases

Headway Reductions On The Gospel Oak To Barking, North London and West London Lines

Heavy Axle Weight Restrictions

Kensal Green Junction Improvement

Longhedge Junction Speed Increases

Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia

Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Shepherd’s Bush

Nunhead Junction Improvement

Stratford Regulating Point Extension

Will Camden Road Station Get A Third Platform?

Will Clapham Junction Station Get A Platform 0?

June 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 14 Comments

Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia

London has a rail capacity problem, for both freight and passenger trains.

This report from Network Rail is entitled The London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

One of the secondary recommendations of the report is to move the switchover between AC and DC power on the West London Line to Kensington Olympia station. It says this about the switchover.

Although moving the changeover to Shepherd’s Bush would eliminate the need for passenger trains to slow down or stop at North Pole Junction, electrically hauled freight trains will still need to switch power supply modes whilst moving, wherever the AC/DC interface is located.

Due to the substantial incline facing trains running northward on the WLL, which increases in severity towards the Willesden end of the route, it would be preferable for the changeover to be made as far south as possible. This would enable freight trains to slow down to switch traction before reaching the worst of the gradient, giving them a much better chance of regaining line speed once drawing power from the OLE.

Although Kensington Olympia is less than a mile to the south of Shepherd’s Bush, the intervening route section is almost entirely level, with the incline commencing just before Shepherd’s Bush station and continuing to rise sharply along the rest of the WLL. The capacity and performance benefits of relocating the changeover are therefore likely to be greater if the overhead wires are extended to Kensington Olympia, removing the risk to traffic flow that would remain if freight trains were forced to switch whilst running uphill.

This would prepare the West London Line for the transition to electric freight that will be necessary as part of the decarbonisation of the railway over the next thirty years.

Resolving the current traction changeover issues for freight as well as passenger trains would support this transition by encouraging freight operators to invest in electric locomotives to run on the orbital routes, in the confidence that this constraint has been addressed.

I covered this recommendation in Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Shepherd’s Bush, as so many arguments are the same about the two stations.

This was my conclusion in the related post.

I believe, as probably do Network Rail, that Kensington Olympia station should be the station, where the switchover occurs.

I did add a caveat, that it is probably all down to money.

Related Posts

These are related posts about the London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

Decarbonisation Of London’s Freight Routes

Doubling Harlesden Junction

East Coast Main Line South Bi-Directional Capability

Gauge Improvements Across London

Gospel Oak Speed Increases

Headway Reductions On The Gospel Oak To Barking, North London and West London Lines

Heavy Axle Weight Restrictions

Kensal Green Junction Improvement

Longhedge Junction Speed Increases

Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Shepherd’s Bush

Nunhead Junction Improvement

Stratford Regulating Point Extension

Will Camden Road Station Get A Third Platform?

Will Clapham Junction Station Get A Platform 0?

June 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 17 Comments

Headway Reductions On The Gospel Oak To Barking, North London and West London Lines

London has a rail capacity problem, for both freight and passenger trains.

This report from Network Rail is entitled The London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

One of the recommendations of the report is to reduce headway on the Gospel Oak To Barking, North London and West London Lines.It says this about the reducing the headway.

These are improvements on which this strategy is dependent, but are expected to be realised through wider
enhancement programmes, so are not being directly proposed by the LRFS.

Later in the report, this paragraph is expanded.

Signalling enhancements to facilitate consistent 3-minute headways on the three orbital lines where these are not currently feasible will be necessary, if growth akin to the timetable solution identified by the capacity analysis for this study is to be realised.

It is not the role of the LRFS to specify the nature of these upgrades, however it is expected that the required headway reductions are most likely to be achieved in a more manageable and cost-effective way through the deployment of European Train Control System (ETCS) digital signalling.

Currently, in the UK, this type of signalling is working successfully on Thameslink and is currently being rolled out on Crossrail and the Southern section of the East Coast Main Line.

Conclusion

Full digital signalling would appear to be the solution.

But then it is to many capacity problems around the UK rail network.

Related Posts

These are related posts about the London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

Decarbonisation Of London’s Freight Routes

Doubling Harlesden Junction

East Coast Main Line South Bi-Directional Capability

Gauge Improvements Across London

Gospel Oak Speed Increases

Heavy Axle Weight Restrictions

Kensal Green Junction Improvement

Longhedge Junction Speed Increases

Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia

Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Shepherd’s Bush

Nunhead Junction Improvement

Stratford Regulating Point Extension

Will Camden Road Station Get A Third Platform?

Will Clapham Junction Station Get A Platform 0?

June 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Velocys Technology Powers First Commercial Flight

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Biomass Magazine.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Velocys plc, the sustainable fuels technology company, is pleased to announce that sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) produced by the company’s proprietary technology using woody biomass residue feedstock has been used in a commercial flight by Japan Airlines.

Japan Airlines flight (JAL #515) from Tokyo to Sapporo was completed on June 17.

Note.

  1. From the picture, the aircraft appears to be an Airbus A350.
  2. Velocys is a sign-out from Oxford University.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel is definitely on its way.

June 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment