The Anonymous Widower

Extending The Elizabeth Line – A Branch To The Isle Of Grain

In Elizabeth Line To Ebbsfleet Extension Could Cost £3.2 Billion, I talked about extending the Elizabeth Line to Ebbsfleet International and Gravesend stations.

In Gibb Report – Hoo Junction Depot, I talked about how Chris Gibb proposed using the former Hoo branch to create a depot for Thameslink trains.

I am a great believer in the idea, that modern railways are a great way of levelling up an area.

I have watched as Dalston and Hackney have risen as the London Overground has developed more and more frequent services through the area.

So when I wrote about the Ebbsfleet Extension to the Elizabeth Line, I asked this question.

Could The Elizabeth Line Be Extended To The Proposed Hoo Station?

The Hundred of Hoo Railway, leaves the North Kent Line about three miles to the East of Gravesend and runs across the Isle of Grain.

I wrote about the proposed reopening of the Hundred of Hoo Railway or the Hoo Branch as it is commonly known in Effort To Contain Costs For Hoo Reopening.

I then put various proposals and facts together.

It is proposed that the Elizabeth Line runs a four trains per hour (tph) service to Gravesend station.

  • Gravesend station is a not very suitable station to turn nine-car Class 345 trains, that are over two hundred metres long, as it is on a cramped site.
  • Government money has been pledged to build a station on the Isle of Grain to support the new housing on the island.
  • According to Chris Gibb, there is space to build a depot.

So why not build a terminal station for the Elizabeth Line on the Isle of Grain?

I had these thoughts on the proposed Hoo station.

  • It would be  under ten kilometres from Hoo Junction, where the North Kent Line is electrified.
  • A single platform could handle 4 tph, but provision for two platforms would be prudent.
  • A couple of sidings could provide stabling.
  • Services would join the North Kent Line at Hoo Junction.
  • Services would use battery power between Hoo Junction and Hoo station.
  • If charging were needed at Hoo station a short length of 25 KVAC overhead electrification would be needed.
  • There is plenty of power available locally to power any electrification.

The only problem is that there would be a need for battery-electric Class 345 trains, but as Aventra trains were designed and built with battery operation in mind, this shouldn’t be too challenging.

I have a few other thoughts.

Housing By An Elizabeth Line Station

Woolwich station was built to serve a housing development and the developers even built the station box, which I wrote about in Exploring The Woolwich Station Box.

So I don’t think the developers of the housing on the Isle of Grain will be against the Elizabeth Line station.

What Would Be The Frequency To Hoo Station?

As I said, the proposed Hoo branch, could easily have a capacity of four tph.

But services to Heathrow Terminal 4, Heathrow Terminal 5, Maidenhead and Reading are all two tph. Only Abbey Wood, Paddington and Shenfield have a higher frequency.

I suspect that two tph maximises the number of passengers, as they are prepared to wait thirty minutes.


I can see the branch to Hoo station on the Isle of Grain, being one of these options.

  • A branch to turn trains running to Gravesend.
  • A short branch to level-up the Isle of Grain.
  • A short branch to provide transport for new housing.

Or perhaps a mixture of some or all options.

Could we see other branches like Hoo?

February 26, 2023 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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