The Anonymous Widower

Gauge Improvements Across London

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 improve the gauge across London.

The report explains it like this.

The portfolio of options developed from this strategy needs to include a cross-London programme of gauge clearance, to address existing gaps and open up new market opportunities for rail freight in the long-term future.

Priorities in this area include:

  • Formal publication of W10 clearance on the North London Line from Kensal Green Junction to Acton Wells Junction. This section is currently only published as W9 but has been used for diversions of W10 traffic in the recent past.
  • Further work to understand what would be required to achieve W12 clearance on the North London Line and Gospel Oak-Barking Line.

This stands to enable rail freight to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the short-sea market from the Essex Thameside ports
and is a priority for stakeholders.

Continued development work towards gauge enhancement of the Channel Tunnel classic routes, which run through south and west London to Wembley.

The ultimate aim is to progress a programme of clearance works to achieve full W12, but opportunities to deliver incremental improvements by clearing for wagon and box combinations above what is possible today, but short of W12, are also being actively considered.

It appears to me, that a series of well-designed and well-defined projects is needed to update all those places, where loading gauge is insufficient.

In the Felixstowe And Nuneaton Freight Capacity Scheme, Phase 1 included increasing the loading gauge between Peterborough and Nuneaton to a loading gauge of W10.

This scheme involved the replacement of fourteen bridge and eleven tracking lowering/slewing schemes.

Conclusion

Gauge enhancement on a difficult railway has been performed successfully in several places in the UK and the bullet must be bitten to enhance the loading gauge appropriately, through London.

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

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 26, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , | 14 Comments

Longhedge Junction Speed Increases

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 increase speed through Longhedge junction.

The report explains it like this.

There is an opportunity to enhance Longhedge Junction, a key location for freight passing through the Battersea area, to enable higher speeds and provide faster transit between the South London Line and West London Line or Clapham Junction (for the Brighton Main Line or Windsor lines).

This would benefit the numerous freight flows through this important part of the network, where two orbital routes connect to each other and to radial routes in and out of London to the south and south-west.

London Overground SLL services running to and from Clapham Junction would also benefit from an increase to the existing 25mph line speed through Longhedge Junction.

This map from cartometro shows the location of Longhedge junction.

Note.

  1. The orange and black tracks are London Overground routes.
  2. The Overground route going East is the Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction service that goes via the South London Line (SLL).
  3. The Overground route going West is the Stratford and Clapham Junction service that goes via the West London Line (WLL).
  4. The two Overground routes combine to run into the Overground platforms at Clapham Junction.
  5. There is a double-track route, that links Latchmere 1 junction on the West London Line with Longhedge junction on the South London Line.
  6. Longhedge junction is in the East of the map.

It is an area congested with train tracks and junctions.

Traffic Through Longhedge Junction

Longhedge junction is busy, with the following trains in a typical hour.

  • Four tph between Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction stations.
  • Up to six assorted  freight tph.

Note that services run in both directions.

But this Google Map of the are gives hope.

Longhedge junction is to the West of the West of the tracks running North South and it looks like there could be plenty of space to realign the tracks and improve the junction.

As with Nunhead Junction, which I wrote about in Nunhead Junction Improvement, it could be that the use of electric haulage on freight trains through the junction with their more nimble acceleration might help.

Conclusion

This appears to be a serious problem.

What it needs now is a well-designed scheme to speed freight and passenger trains through the junction.

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

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 26, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 16 Comments

Ickenham Station Has Gone Step-Free

I wrote West London Stations To Be Made Step-Free in January 2018.

One of the stations on the list; Ickenham station, is now step-free.

These pictures showed the station, when I visited the station in early 2018.

And these show it, after the addition of step-free access.

It is a practical rather than architectural lift installation incorporating new walkways connecting the two lifts and the main entrance to the station.

  • Unlike many Underground stations, Ickenham station, does not appear to be Listed.
  • The cladding for the installation, appears to be in a slate-grey steel.
  • The stairs are still there for the agile.

As the pictures show the walkways are open to the elements, but there is enough headroom to use an umbrella.

June 26, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment