The Anonymous Widower

An Improved Station For Brixton

In the June 2016 Edition of Modern Railways, there was an article entitled Turning South London Orange.

One of the proposals in the article is to create an improved station at Brixton, by reopening disused platforms on the Northernmost tracks at the station.

Brixton station was designed by Topsy.and could probably be summed up by my post; Changing Trains At Brixton.

This is a Google Map of the station.

Lines Through Brixton Station

Lines Through Brixton Station


  • The Northernmost lines don’t have platforms.
  • The Overground uses the Southernmost lines, which also don’t have platforms and soar high above everything else.

Centre for London’s proposal envisages platforms being added to the two Northern platforms and using them for the Overground.

This map from shows the lines between Wandsworth Road and Brixton stations.

WandsworthRoad, Clapham High Street And Brixton Stations

WandsworthRoad, Clapham High Street And Brixton Stations

This map shows all the junctions between the lines, which probably means that running Overground trains on the Northern pair of tracks is probably possible.

If the only platforms where trains stop are the low-level ones in Brixton station, surely, it would be be much easier to link them to the Victoria Line.

These are some pictures of the station.

If it was being sold by legendary Estate Agent Roy Brooks, he would describe it as a building with potential.

The four low-level platforms are on solid Victorian railway arches and I suspect that a 3-D rendition of the station, would show it was possible to tunnel from the arches into the Victoria Line platforms, to give an escalator and lift connection.

It wasn’t done in the 1960s, when the Victoria Line was built or when the Overground was created, as in both cases, money was short and no-one believed that the two lines would be as successful as they are now!

But the more I look at the pictures and the maps, Centre for London’s idea of running the Overground on the Northern pair of tracks looks more feasible.

The related proposal of creating a tunnel under Brixton to remove the fast trains between Victoria and Kent, also helps, as it removes the fast trains from passing through Brixton station.


May 27, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

An Improved South London Line Is Proposed

In the June 2016 Edition of Modern Railways in an article entitled Turning South London Orange.

One of the proposals is to create an improved South London Line from Victoria and Clapham Junction via Brixton and Denmark Hill to Peckham Rye.

This map from shows the lines from Battersea to Peckham.

An Improved South London Line

An Improved South London Line

You have to remember that when the current South London Line was created, there was criticism from various groups.

  • Some objected to the loss of a direct service to Victoria.
  • Some felt the line should call at Brixton.
  • Some felt there should be an interchange at Loughborough Junction station.

Hopefully, the proposal for an improved South London Line will address some of these issues.

Between Wandsworth Road and Peckham Rye stations, the line is effectively two pairs of tracks, with the Overground using the Southern pair.

The Northern pair of tracks that are currently used by the Southeastern lines into Victoria only have platforms at Denmark Hill and Peckham Rye.

The Centre for London is proposing a redesign of the South London Line that could include.

  • New Platforms at Wandsworth Road, Clapham High Street and Brixton.
  • I would assume that the new Battersea station is part of the proposal, as this would connect the line to the Northern Line.
  • Renaming of Clapham High Street to Clapham North to indicate its close relationship with the Underground station.
  • Perhaps even putting the Overground on the Northern pair of tracks, as this would simplify the rebuild of Brixton station.
  • An increase in frequency on both pairs of lines to six trains per hour.

I think as a start it is a good plan, but I do feel that something much better could emerge to improve the connectivity across South and South East London.

There are some questions that need to be answered.

  • Where would the trains go past Peckham Rye?
  • What would be the frequency of the Victoria to Orpington service?
  • Would the restoration of a shuttle between London Bridge and v’ictoria be a good idea?
  • Could Victoria be a terminus for the London Overground?
  • Should the South London Line be connected to Thameslink at Loughborough Junction?

I suspect a lot of the answers are in the passenger statistics.


May 26, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Changing Trains At Brixton

These pictures are a record of changing from Brixton tube station on the Victoria Line to Brixton station for a train to Herne Hill.

Note the following.

  • The Underground station is step-free, but the rail station definitely isn’t!
  • Platform 1 at Brixton station for Victoria is only accessible with difficulty.
  • Platform 2 is by internal staircase with artwork.
  • The platforms have two bronze figures on the platforms. I’d like to see more of the bronzes in store in our galleries exhibitied on stations. You certainly couldn’t nick them from Brixton station.

The Underground station is one of the best, but the rail station is best described as unusual.

This Google Map shows the two stations.

Brixton Station

Brixton Station

Simple it isn’t!

How complicated and expensive a new station would be depends on how many connections, you want passengers to have.

Building an Overground station in the sky would be expensive, as height always costs money.

But putting decent stairs and lifts into the existing Brixton station would be routine compared to linking to the Overground.

The only way to connect all three lines would be to rebuild the Argos building as a triple dcker station with lifts and escalators.

But it would be horrendously expensive, even if there were some shops and a lot of flats on the top of everything.

But the bulding would be well connected!

I think that the best that can be hoped for is lifts and decent stairs in the main line station.


November 23, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Could The Various Lines At Brixton Be Connected?

In their Transport Infrastructure Plan for 2050, Transport for London are proposing a Brixton High Level station.

As they have also proposed interchanges at also Brockley and Penge in the plan, I suspect they have found expertise and equipment to create multi-level stations, where lines cross, in an affordable manner.

The problem at Brixton is best explained in this Google Map.

Brixston Station

Brixston Station

The line across the middle of the map carries Overground services to and from the terminus at Clapham Junction, whereas the two merged lines go off roughly north-westerly towards Victoria. The southerly of the branches goes south towards Herne Hill, whilst the northernly branch going towards Loughborough Junction. This schematic from Wikipedia may explain it better.

Lines Through Brixton

Lines Through Brixton

The Overground, Thameslink and the Victoria Line are shown in orange, pink and blue respectively.

The only conclusion that is worth saying is that it’s all very complicated. The big advantage that they now have compared to a few years ago, is that much better 3D design software is available.

In TfL’s plan a rough estimate of £25million is given for each of these interchange stations. Some will cost less and some will cost more.

I think Brixton will not be one of the more affordable stations, although it could be one with a high return.

There are various options for connections at Brixton and TfL will probably limit the interchanges to the ones that are most used.

For instance, would there be much point in linking the Victoria Line to the services between Victoria and Orpington, as they both serve Victoria?

Also, as after this summer, the big constraint on frequency on the Victoria Line will be the reversing of trains at Brixton.  Under Future Projects for the Victoria Line, Wikipedia says this.

For many years there have been proposals to extend the line one stop southwards from Brixton to Herne Hill. Herne Hill station would be on a large reversing loop with one platform. This would remove a critical capacity restriction by eliminating the need for trains to reverse at Brixton. The Mayor of London’s 2020 Vision, published in 2013, proposed extending the Victoria line “out beyond Brixton” by 2030.

I would suspect this will be done in the near future, as it both increases Victoria Line capacity and it gives an alternative link between the Victoria Line and services between Victoria and Orpington.

Brixton Underground station has recently been refurbished and is pretty-much step-free from the street.

So it would appear that substantial improvement at Brixton could be achieved by creating a High Level station linking the various lines together and perhaps using an iconic lift tower to the ground.

Brixton needs an iconic creation to go with the vibrancy of the area, that doesn’t destroy everything. This could be the High Level station. Having seen the way that the walkway was threaded through at Hackney, I think there are at least one set of engineers and architects up to the challenge.

Brixton doesn’t need a boring station, but one that is exciting, bold and supremely practical for passengers and staff.




August 5, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 5 Comments