The Anonymous Widower

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 »

  1. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by Headway Reductions On The Gospel Oak To Barking, North London and West London Lines « The Anonymous Widower | June 22, 2021 | Reply

  2. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by Will Camden Road Station Get A Third Platform? « The Anonymous Widower | June 22, 2021 | Reply

  3. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by Will Clapham Junction Station Get A Platform 0? « The Anonymous Widower | June 22, 2021 | Reply

  4. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by Kensal Green Junction Improvement « The Anonymous Widower | June 22, 2021 | Reply

  5. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Shepherd’s Bush « The Anonymous Widower | June 22, 2021 | Reply

  6. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by Doubling Harlesden Junction « The Anonymous Widower | June 22, 2021 | Reply

  7. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by Stratford Regulating Point Extension « The Anonymous Widower | June 22, 2021 | Reply

  8. Shepherd’s Bush would be better. So that both London Overground and Southern trains can switch power at Shepherd’s Bush instead of switching power at Kensington Olympia.

    Comment by Andrew Gwilt | June 24, 2021 | Reply

    • Both services call at both stations, so they could swap at either.

      The only problem would be if the 25 KVAC overhead electrification couldn’t be extended to Kensington Olympia.

      Comment by AnonW | June 24, 2021 | Reply

  9. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by Nunhead Junction Improvement « The Anonymous Widower | June 24, 2021 | Reply

  10. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by My Arrival In Platform 11 At Stratford Station Has Got Me Thinking! « The Anonymous Widower | June 25, 2021 | Reply

  11. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by Longhedge Junction Speed Increases « The Anonymous Widower | June 26, 2021 | Reply

  12. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by Gauge Improvements Across London « The Anonymous Widower | June 26, 2021 | Reply

  13. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by Gospel Oak Speed Increases « The Anonymous Widower | June 27, 2021 | Reply

  14. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by East Coast Main Line South Bi-Directional Capability « The Anonymous Widower | June 27, 2021 | Reply

  15. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by Heavy Axle Weight Restrictions « The Anonymous Widower | June 27, 2021 | Reply

  16. […] Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia […]

    Pingback by Decarbonisation Of London’s Freight Routes « The Anonymous Widower | June 28, 2021 | Reply


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