The Anonymous Widower

The Development of Liverpool Street And Paddington Stations

This article in The Telegraph is entitled Row Over ‘Grotesque’ £1.5bn Liverpool Street Revamp.

There is no doubt that Liverpool Street and Paddington stations will need a higher number of trains per hour and this will probably mean more platforms. But there is no space in either station.

Suppose a long-distance version of the current nine-car Alstom/Bombardier trains were to be built with toilets, a 110 mph top speed, but dimensionally identical to the existing Class 345 trains.

The Central Tunnel of the Elizabeth Line could probably handle more trains, than it currently does, given that Dear Old Vicky handles 36 trains per hour.

So services like Southend and Oxford or Beaulieu and Newbury could be run through the Central Tunnel, replacing the current Greater Anglia and GWR services.

This would relieve platform space in the current terminals and the high-speed Elizabeth Line trains, would just be more trains going through the Central Tunnel at 80 mph.

The important Oxford and Cambridge route would be one change at either Farringdon or Liverpool Street, Or with some track modifications, it might be possible to run direct via the Central Tunnel, Stratford and the West Anglia Main Line.

Sorting out the trains, would ease the development of Liverpool Street and Paddington stations.

October 7, 2022 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , ,


  1. A large part of the problem is how long it takes to turn around trains in a terminal station. I have just looked at services at Manchester Airport, and even trains that just call there en route (e.g. Liverpool Lime Street to Crewe) can dwell ten minutes.

    At Manchester Piccadilly even short haul services that return to whence they came can take up to twenty minutes to turn around.

    Comment by R. Mark Clayton | October 7, 2022 | Reply

    • I was talking to a driver, who was coming on shift, that I met on a South London train. He said there are commuter routes around London, where if you used faster trains you can run the route with a lesser number of trains, if you have a fast turnback at each end of the route. As an automation engineer, I said how about a driver-only train driven from say the cab at the London end. He then said, the fastest would be to put two drivers on the train, one in each cab. He thought, it could have been a BR idea and would be very safe. I feel that although you’d be employing two drivers, this would be balanced by being able to use bog-standard trains with a simple signalling system to organise, who was in control. I seem to remember that the spec for HS2 incorporates a high speed reverse, so that if they want to run Euston and Manchester Piccadilly via Birmingham Curzon Street, it’s almost as quick as going direct.

      Comment by AnonW | October 7, 2022 | Reply

  2. Both stations will be losing there Elizabeth line services in a few weeks which frees up two platforms. Have to say when ive been at Liv St it doesn’t seem to have platform pressure and many units sit there with 25-30m turnaorunds on the outer suburbans whereas the Lizzie line Shenfield services are in/out in 10mins.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | October 7, 2022 | Reply

    • If you go to Leipzig, I think they run expresses through their Crossrail, so I don’t see why eventually there will be Southend/Beaulieu and Oxford/Newbury services.

      I also feel that if Dear Old Vicky can handle 36 trains per hour, then her great-great-granddaughter’s namesake can do the same.

      I sometimes think that the politicians haven’t got the faith in the Lizzie Line, that the engineers have.

      Comment by AnonW | October 7, 2022 | Reply

      • Problem is more destinations create more conflicts outside of the core and the ability to import delays. Thameslink is excellent but when the service perturbated it rapidly falls apart especially when disruption is on ECML. In the case of the Horsham to Peterborough service it gets curtailed to Redhill to Horsham shuttle if it can’t operate north of Finsbury Pk.

        Comment by Nicholas Lewis | October 7, 2022

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