The Anonymous Widower

Bank Station Upgrade – 1st July 2022

I walked past the new Southern entrance to Bank station today and took these pictures.

Note.

  1. You can see the station name inscribed in the lintel over the station entrance.
  2. Electricians seemed to be busy in the station entrance.
  3. There doesn’t appear to be a start on oversite development yet.

But at least progress seems to be consistent with a delivery in the next few months.

July 1, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On London City Airport And The Elizabeth Line

One of the reasons for going to Woolwich today, which I wrote about in A Walk Around Woolwich – 15th June 2022, was to get a feel on what is the best way to go between London City and Heathrow airports.

There are three routes, where only a single change is needed.

  • DLR – Change at Stratford – Elizabeth Line – Will be available later in 2022.
  • DLR – Change at Woolwich Arsenal – Elizabeth Line
  • DLR – Change at Poplar/Canary Wharf – Elizabeth Line – Will be improved.

Note.

  1. All are easy step-free interchanges, with the change at Stratford probably the easiest.
  2. The change at Woolwich is probably the longest walk.

All trains from London City Airport station, have a single change for Heathrow.

  • Bank – Change at Poplar/Canary Wharf
  • Stratford – Change at Stratford
  • Woolwich Arsenal – Change at Woolwich Arsenal

It would appear that those not afraid of a moderate walk, should take the first train from London City Airport, if they want to go to Heathrow.

This table shows routes to common destinations from London City Airport.

  • Bank – DLR
  • Battersea Power Station – DLR – Change at Bank – Northern Line
  • Canary Wharf – DLR – Change at Poplar – DLR
  • Clapham Junction – DLR – Change at Shadwell – East London Line
  • Croydon – DLR – Change at Shadwell – East London Line
  • Crystal Palace – DLR – Change at Shadwell – East London Line
  • Euston – DLR – Change at Bank – Northern Line
  • Heathrow – DLR – Change at Custom House – Elizabeth Line
  • King’s Cross – DLR – Change at Bank – Northern Line
  • Liverpool Street – DLR – Change at Bank – Central Line
  • London Bridge – DLR – Change at Bank – Northern Line
  • Moorgate – DLR – Change at Bank – Northern Line
  • Paddington – DLR – Change at Custom House – Elizabeth Line
  • St. Pancras – DLR – Change at Bank – Northern Line
  • Victoria – DLR – Change at Bank – District/Circle Line
  • Waterloo – DLR – Change at Bank – Waterloo and City Line

Note.

  1. The interchange improvements at Bank station, will open up new routes to and from London City Airport.
  2. If the walking route from Poplar and Canary Wharf station is improved, this will be a valuable upgrade.
  3. The Elizabeth Line will run at frequencies of at least twelve trains per hour (tph) on all sections, so you won’t have to wait more than five minutes for a train.

With these upgrades London City Airport will be a more accessible airport.

 

 

June 16, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Changing Trains At Canary Wharf Station – 13th June 2022

I took these pictures around the new Canary Wharf station on the Elizabeth Line.

Note.

  1. The station appears to follow, a very similar design to some of stations on the Jubilee Line.
  2. Changing to various lines at Canary Wharf would appear to be a bit of a walk, that is very much in line with say a connection between the Jubilee Line and the Docklands Light Railway.
  3. The connection to the Jubilee Line appears to be a tunnel under the offices.
  4. For West India Quay DLR station, you walk along the dock.

These are some of the routes that you would use from Canary Wharf.

  • Bank – DLR
  • Battersea Power Station – DLR – Change at Bank – Northern Line
  • Clapham Junction – Elizabeth Line – Change at Whitechapel – East London Line
  • Croydon – Elizabeth Line – Change at Whitechapel – East London Line
  • Crystal Palace – Elizabeth Line – Change at Whitechapel – East London Line
  • Enfield – Elizabeth Line – Change at Liverpool Street – Enfield Town or Cheshunt Line
  • Euston – DLR – Change at Bank – Northern Line
  • Heathrow Airport – Elizabeth Line
  • King’s Cross – DLR – Change at Bank – Northern Line
  • Liverpool Street – Elizabeth Line
  • London Bridge – Jubilee Line
  • London City Airport – Jubilee Line – Change at Canning Town – DLR
  • Marylebone – Elizabeth Line – Change at Paddington – Bakerloo Line
  • Moorgate – Elizabeth Line
  • Paddington – Elizabeth Line
  • St. Pancras – DLR – Change at Bank – Northern Line
  • Victoria – DLR – Change at Bank – District/Circle Line
  • Walthamstow – Elizabeth Line – Change at Liverpool Street – Chingford Line
  • Waterloo – Jubilee Line

Note.

  1. The new escalator connection between the DLR and the Northern Line at Bank station will enable easier journeys to Euston, King’s Cross, St. Pancras and many other Northern Line stations.
  2. The excellent connection between the Elizabeth Line and the East London Line at Whitechapel station, will get a lot of use.
  3. The DLR features in several routes, including the important one to London City Airport.

In A Short Cruise At Greenwich, I said this about the DLR.

The Docklands Light Railway is often thought by Londoners, commuters and visitors as a bit of a Cinderella.

However, like Cinderella she works hard all day and provides reliable and efficient transport, where the only alternatives are buses, bicycles, taxis and Shank’s pony.

Just after the 2012 Olympics, I met a big cheese in Transport for London on a DLR train. He felt that the DLR had been the star in getting everybody to the games.

It must be one of the most successful light railways in the world!

And yet, no-one has ever thought to build another running on the same principles.

So why does it work so well?

This article on Intelligent Transport is entitled Celebrating 30 years Of The DLR, where this is said, under a heading of Customer Satisfaction.

One of the biggest successes of the DLR over the last 30 years has been its high levels of reliability, with over 99% of its trains departing on time.

The DLR has also had consistently good feedback and engagement with its customers, with high satisfaction ratings averaging at 89 out of 100.

Do these numbers mean that people trust Cinderella  and will trust her to get through even in the most difficult of circumstances?

Conclusion

Canary Wharf station could develop into a very important interchange.

June 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bank Station – 16th May 2022

The new Northern Line platforms at Bank station are now open and I went this morning to have a quick look.

These are my thoughts.

The New Southbound Platform Is Wide

The new Southbound platform is wide and compares well with the wide platform at Angel station, that I wrote about in All Platforms Should Be Wide Like This.

This picture shows the Southbound platform at Angel., which dates from 1992.

And this the new Southbound platform at Bank.

Two similar designs, but thirty years apart.

Simple Decor

The two pictures also illustrate the simple decor used in the rebuilt station.

The New Southbound Platform Is A Sprayed Concrete Tunnel

These pictures show the far wall of the new Southbound platform.

It looks from my untrained eye to be lined with sprayed concrete. I learned more about the use of sprayed concrete in tunnels, when I visited TUCA in Ilford, during Open House in 2012, which I wrote about in Open House – TUCA.

The Existing Northbound Platform Is Narrow

The Northbound platform is effectively as before, but with large and small holes in the wall to access a wide parallel pedestrian tunnel behind the wall.

There is a lot of circulation space.

The Parallel Pedestrian Tunnel

The old Southbound platform has been turned into a parallel pedestrian tunnel separated from the Northbound platform, by a wall that has four small and eight larger pedestrian-sized holes through it.

These pictures show a selections of the holes in the wall.

In addition.

  • The tunnel has escalators at the Southern end connecting to Monument station.
  • The tunnel has stairs at the Northern end to the Central Line.
  • Further connections will be added.
  • It also has seats along its length. These will be mainly for Northbound passengers, waiting for trains, who can see the trains through the large holes.

It is an unusual layout and I’ve never seen anything like it before anywhere in London, the UK, Europe or the world.

Wot No More Marble?

The Northbound Northern Line used to have a platform with marble facings.

Some of marble is still there as these pictures show.

Note that the old rat-run to the DLR is still there between the platforms.

The Wide Cross Tunnels

The wide cross tunnels link the two sides of the station together and to the escalators and moving walkways in the middle of the station.

This visualisation shows the station.


Note.

  1. The only more-or-less completed bits are the two Northern Line tunnels and platforms and parallel pedestrian tunnel.
  2. The four cross tunnels can be picked out towards the far end of the station.
  3. Three of the cross tunnels can now be used by passengers.
  4. The moving walkway can be accessed from the two cross tunnels nearest to the Central Line.
  5. The escalators from the yet-to-open Cannon Street entrance appear to lead directly into a cross tunnel and a parallel tunnel to the moving walkway.

This station has definitely been designed for rabbits.

Level Access To The Trains

This picture shows the level access on the new Southbound platform.

And this shows the step-up into the train on the old Northbound platform.

I wonder, if the platform can be raised to make the Northbound as good as the Southbound.

There Is Still A Lot To Do

At present the only sections of the project that are completed and visible to passengers are the following.

  • The new wide Southbound platform.
  • The refurbished Northbound platform, which is a similar width to before.
  • The wide passenger tunnel behind the Northbound platform, that was converted from the old Southbound tunnel.
  • The four new cross tunnels between the two platforms. Some still need finishing and there are spaces, where escalators will slot in.

It would appear that at least the following need to be done.

  • Open up the new Cannon Street entrance
  • Add the escalators and lifts.
  • Put in the moving walkways between the Northern and Central Lines.

But it looks that everything left to do is small compared to the tunnel work that needed the closure from January.

This page on the TfL web site gives these dates.

  • 16 May 2022: New southbound platform and concourse open
  • Autumn 2022: DLR escalator and Central line link open
  • Late 2022: Bank station capacity upgrade works due to be completed. New station with step-free access opens on Cannon Street.

It looks to me, that the project management has been done well and after hitting the first milestone, they appear to be on track.

 

 

 

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

London Underground’s Northern Line Bank Branch To Reopen Next Monday

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Ian Visits.

These are the first two paragraphs.

The closed bank branch of the Northern line will reopen to passengers from Monday 16th May, TfL has confirmed.

The line has been closed since earlier this year to allow a new tunnel and platform at Bank tube station to be connected to the existing Northern line tunnels, work that could only be done by closing the tunnel to trains. When the line reopens, the new and much wider southbound Northern line platform and spacious new customer concourse at Bank station will open at the same time.

When, I found out, I was on a 21 bus to my home and I showed the other passengers Ian’s article.

All seemed pleased and I did get the impression, that one or two passengers were fed up with the closure.

I also think, that as Transport for London promised mid-May for the reopening, then they can’t get any closer than the 16th.

Note.

  1. The picture was taken just before closure on the 9th of January, which was a Sunday.
  2. TfL predict mid-May and then promise the 16th of May.
  3. I suspect that the public would even accept a few days late, as most reasonable people accept that odd things go wrong in complex projects.
  4. It’s also eight days before Crossrail opens, so hopefully, the Bank station Upgrade will be out of the way before Crossrail is opened.

Now that’s what I call good project management.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

The New Track Layout At Bank And Moorgate Stations

This map from cartometro.com shows the new track layout through Bank And Moorgate.

Note.

  1. Crossrail is shown in purple.
  2. The Central Line is shown in red.
  3. The Circle, Hammersmith and City and the Metropolitan lines are shown in yellow and mauve.
  4. The Circle, District lines are shown in yellow and green stripes.
  5. The Northern Line is shown in black.
  6. The Northern City Line, that terminates at Moorgate is also shown in black.

The routes of the Northern Line are now clear from the map.

The Northbound Route Of The Northern Line

The Northbound trains pass through the following platforms.

  1. The Easternmost platform, which is numbered 4 at Bank station.
  2. The Western Northern Line platform, which is numbered 7 at Moorgate station.

This route of the Northbound tunnel will be identical before and after the works.

The Original Southbound Route Of The Northern Line

Until January this year, the Southbound trains passed through the following platforms.

  1. The Eastern Northern Line platform, which is numbered 8 at Moorgate station.
  2. The original Western Northern Line platform, which was numbered 3 at Bank station.

Note how the Northbound and Southbound tracks cross between the two stations.

The New Southbound Route Of The Northern Line

The new Southbound route is shown dotted on the map.

  • The new Southbound platform is also shown dotted.
  • The Northbound and Southbound tracks still cross between the two stations.

The tracks don’t return to standard left-hand running until South of Borough station.

After the line fully-reopens, some time in May this year, the Southbound trains will pass through the following platforms.

  1. The Eastern Northern Line platform, which is numbered 8 at Moorgate station.
  2. The new Western Northern Line platform at Bank station.

Effectively, the Southbound tunnel has been moved to the West to create more space in Bank station.

Conclusion

The design of the new tunnel appears simple, but I don’t think it was that easy to construct.

 

 

April 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moorgate Station – 26th April 2022

In July 2021, I wrote Down Into The Depths At Moorgate Station and I included this picture of the lift that connects the Northern and Elizabeth Lines.

For much of the last few months, this lift lobby has been full of builders junk piled along the right hand side.

But today, everything looked finished.

The yellow bars are the barrier to stop passengers taking a closer look.

When Will Crossrail Open?

Between Angel and London Bridge stations, there are four projects underway on the Northern Line.

The Rebuilding Of Old Street Station

This page on the Transport for London web site, describes the rebuilding of the station.

This is an extract.

In summer 2022 we will:

  • Create an interim exit route through the main station entrance stairs while works continue on the above-ground part of the new entrance
  • Complete final changes to the traffic layout and close Subway 3 over the weekend of 10, 11 and 12 June 2022.

Transport for London’s journey planner also indicates that up to the end of June, there will be no closures of Old Street station or the Northern Line through the station.

It would appear that this project is totally independent of the trains and access to the platforms.

The Bank Station Upgrade

As far as Angel, Old Street, Moorgate and London Bridge stations are concerned, these stations are generally not affected by the work at Bank, as one line between Moorgate and London Bridge stations is being replaced by another.

  • The signalling will have to be thoroughly checked.
  • Drivers will have to be trained.
  • Station staff will have to be trained in the procedures in the new platform at Bank.

I have checked the closed sections of the Northern Line on Transport for London’s journey planner and found this.

  • May 1st to May 19th – Northern Line closed between Moorgate and Kennington. As now!
  • May 20th – Northern Line fully open
  • May 21st to May 22nd – Northern Line closed between Archway and High Barnet
  • May 23rd to May 31st – Northern Line fully open

Note.

  1. I haven’t checked June yet!
  2. Archway has a turnback siding to allow the High Barnet branch to be closed.
  3. All dates are 2022.

It does look that the new Southbound tunnel through Bank station could open on May 20th, which is a Friday.

Crossrail Opening

Transport for London’s journey planner provides some interesting information about TfL Rail services.

  • May 1st – Slightly reduced service
  • May 2nd to May 6th – Normal service
  • May 7th to 8th – Slightly reduced service
  • May 9th to May 19th – Normal service
  • May 21st to 22nd – Slightly reduced service
  • May 23rd to May 31st – Normal service

Note.

  1. The slightly reduced service has a few less early morning services and a possible reduced frequency. It only applies at weekends.
  2. Normal service is just that, although trains might not be stopping at all stations.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find, that Crossrail can open on any day, where normal service is running.

With the new Southbound tunnel of the Northern Line possibly opening on the 20th May, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Crossrail opening a few days before, so as to give the very busy part of the London Underground in the City of London, a good test.

The Crossrail Pedestrian Route Between Liverpool Street And Moorgate

I described this pedestrian route in London’s First Underground Roller Coaster and as it is part of the Crossrail pedestrian routes, I suspect it will open with Crossrail.

This picture shows a cross-section of the massive Liverpool Street Crossrail station, which will connect Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations when it opens in December 2018.

Note.

  1. Moorgate station is on the left.
  2. Liverpool Street station is on the right.
  3. In the middle looking like a giant juicer is the ventilation shaft in Finsbury Circus.
  4. The Crossrail tunnels, which consist of two running tunnels and a pedestrian walkway between them are at the deepest level.
  5. There are escalators and lifts all over the place.

The route will become an ideal walking route between Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations in heavy rain, for those who don’t want to get wet.

But it could open earlier, as it would test the pedestrian tunnels.

April 26, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

London Underground Tests Trains In New Northern Line Tunnel

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the International Railway Journal.

This is the first paragraph.

Testing of new tunnels at Bank on the London Underground (LU) system reached a major milestone on April 16 when two trains travelled through the new structures.

It looks like the project is going to plan.

From the picture, it looks like the interior decorators haven’t finished.

April 22, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

London’s Other New Underground Line

In the middle of next month, Phase One of London’s other new Underground line will open.

The Bank station upgrade may only be a short section of new Southbound tunnel and track for the Northern Line and a much expanded station, but it promises to do proportionally for the City of London, what Crossrail will do for the whole of London.

The lucky Ian of IanVisits has been allowed to descend into the depths of the new section of the station with his camera and has posted this report on his web site, which is entitled Behind The Scenes At Bank Tube Station’s Huge Upgrade Project. The report contains twenty-four revealing photographs.

If ever there was a must-read, then Ian’s article must be it.

 

March 30, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Final Tunnelling Gets Underway On Bank Station Blockade

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Ground Engineering.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Four weeks into the closure of Bank Station for its capacity upgrade, main contractor Dragados is making good progress on all key activities, including final tunnelling works.

This has been traditional tunneling, that would have been familiar to those like the Victorians, where a lot of the digging has been done by hand, with the addition of smaller diggers and power tools.

The project seems to be on schedule for a mid-May opening.

March 2, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment