The Anonymous Widower

I’m Voting For Balham

There is a controversy as to whether Crossrail 2 should call at Balham or Tooting Broadway stations on the Northern Line. There is even a website called Crossrail 2: Balham Or Tooting? This is said.

Our local station had been planned at Tooting Broadway, but Transport for London (TfL) has discovered difficult ground conditions under Tooting and is thinking of moving the station to Balham.

Tooting was originally chosen as it is more in need of the economic boost and better rail connectivity that Crossrail 2 will bring. However, by moving the station to Balham the cost of Crossrail 2 will be less and surface disruption during construction will be reduced.

I went to Balham station today, as I needed to get a train to Victoria after my walk in Kennington. That may seem strange, but the Victoria Line wasn’t running.

Balham Station

Balham Station

So why am I voting for Balham?

  • I have talked to one of TfL’s engineers and he convinced me about the ground conditions at Tooting.
  • Tooting would give good connections South on the Northern Line, which I already have from Angel.
  • Balham could be developed into a larger four-platform station with multiple connections.

In my mind though, Balham will always be the Gateway to the South.

But we all know that the objections to Balham, are because it would shut the Waitrose.


November 13, 2016 Posted by | News | , | 2 Comments

From Balham To West Croydon

This series of pictures show the first part of a journey I took to get to Leatherhead station from Balham station.


This map from shows the route from Balham to Norwood Junction (Just off map!) via Streatham Hill, West Norwood, Gypsy Hill and Crystal Palace.

Balham To Norwood Junction

Balham To Norwood Junction

Note how the Brighton Main Line goes South from Balham via Streatham Common and Norbury.

There certainly seems to be a lot of space for more development of the railway and/or housing.


June 7, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail 2 October 2015 – Tooting Broadway Or Balham

In Crossrail 2 Changes its Mind under Tooting Broadway Or Balham, I wrote this.

Both Tooting Broadway and Balham stations are on the Northern Line, but I think Balham is being preferred as it is also a busy main line station.

As some of the main line services through Balham, are duplicated by Crossrail 2, the new line now offers opportunities to release the pressure off the lines through Balham.

If you look at a map of the railway lines in the area, it may be that Crossrail 2 will send the new tunnels in a wide circle from Balham to Wimbledon under Tooting and Haydons Road stations, so that the tunnels are dug totally under existing railway land.

Using Balham rather than Tooting Broadway seems a good idea.

I don’t live in |South London, or even know it too well, so I’ll accept that what I said could have been a comment in haste.

This report from This is South London is entitled Sadiq Khan demands answers as Balham is proposed instead of Tooting Broadway in Crossrail and says this.

It comes after ground faults near Tooting were discovered, meaning work there would take two years longer than originally estimated and cost more.

The news was met with frustration as many said Tooting needed the station more than Balham.

I know he’s the local MP, so he will stick up for his constituents.

Let’s look at the two stations.

This Crossrail 2 document is entitled Wimbledon To Clapham Junction and I’ve used it for information.

Tooting Broadway

These pictures show the area around Tooting Broadway station.

Tooting Broadway station is a typical Underground station on a busy surburban shopping street, that appears to be ruined by heavy traffic. I certainly wouldn’t go there to shop.

Tooting Broadway station is in the London Borough of Wandsworth

It is on the Northern Line

The Crossrail 2 document says this about a station at Tooting Broadway.

To relieve crowding on the Northern line, we had proposed a station at Tooting Broadway. Land for this was safeguarded earlier this year and further work on the station design has been completed to inform this consultation. Recent assessments have identified that ground conditions in the Tooting area would make it significantly more difficult to build a station at Tooting Broadway than originally thought. As a result of these challenges, we are looking at an alternative station location at Balham.

Work to date has suggested that a station at Balham could be built with significantly less disruption and would still provide many of the same transport benefits as a station at Tooting Broadway.

A station at Tooting Broadway would take up to two years longer to build, would require much larger worksites and thousands more lorry movements. This is because a station there would have to be built from the surface with more material removed by road. This would mean it would be more disruptive and cost nearly twice as much to build than a station at Balham.

I also think that even the world’s greatest architect, would have problems creating a decent station for the area.

If I lived in Tooting, I’d think that all those lorry movements would say that Balham can have the station and I’ll go there for shopping and entertainment.

Perhaps the only reason to build a station at Tooting Broadway, would be that it would make it easy to get away from the place.


These pictures show both the Tube and main line station at Balham.

I have a feeling that Balham is a very rare design for a Tube station in that it has two buildings on either side of the road and I can imagine that Crossrail 2 could serve Balham with a double-ended station with entrances on both sides of the High Road.

A good architect could create a world-class station here, that could act as a magnet for visitors and businesses to the area.

Balham station is in the London Borough of Wandsworth

It is on the Northern Line and also a busy station, through which the Brighton Main Line passes.

There are three trains an hour from Victoria to Epsom via Balham, which is a route duplicated by Crossrail 2. Could there be scope for cutting a few services?

This Google Map shows Balham station.



The Northern Line crosses the main line at virtually a right angle following Balham High Road. The Crossrail 2 line will be built on the Western side of and parallel to the Northern Line.

The two lines would be linked by dedicated passenger tunnels, effectively creating a four platform underground station.

This link means that Crossrail 2 will go some way to meeting a secondary objective of relieving capacity on the Northern line.

It also enables anybody coming from or going to stations south of Balham, like Tooting Broadway for instance, will have a faster route to Central London.

Two work-sites would be used to sink shafts to the new line and Crossrail 2 station.

  • Site B – A Northern one on the site of Balham Waitrose.
  • Site A – A Southern one just south of where the Northern Line crosses the main rail lines.

It is worthwhile looking at the main lines through Balham on this Google Map.

Lines Through Balham Station

Lines Through Balham Station

Note how the lines split to the East of Balham station, with the Brighton Main Line going south.

If you’re building a new Crossrail 2 station at Balham, you should probably rebuild and extend Balham station if that is required to improve services on the Brighton Main Line.

You’ve certainly got a lot of space!

Balham and its new Crossrail 2 station looks an excellent solution, especially as the link between the Northern Line and Crossrail 2 could be made so simple and totally step-free.

Making The Decision

So on a quick look, it would appear that Balham offers the better connectivity and Tooting has ground faults and would be much more difficult, expensive and disruptive to build.

Let’s face it, Tooting does not have any of the charm and space of Balham and save for complete demolition, Tooting Broadway is probably beyond redemption.

In some ways, it gives Sadiq Khan a difficult problem if he is elected Mayor next year. Should he insist as Mayors possibly can, that Crossrail 2 call at Tooting Broadway in his current constituency?

On what I have written here, I think it would be a seriously wrong decision to chose Tooting Broadway.



November 2, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments