The Anonymous Widower

Proposal To Reopen Camberwell Railway Station

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

It is an excellent article on the pros and cons of the station, with a good picture and a map from TfL.

Ian says, that there are worries, that the station would slow trains for commuters further out.

July 8, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Beeching Reversal – Re-Opening of Camberwell Station

This is one of the Beeching Reversal projects that the Government and Network Rail are proposing to reverse some of the Beeching cuts.

Some of Lord Beeching’s relatives and friends, may consider it a bit of a cheek to add this project to a list of Beeching Reversals, as the station closed in 1916.

This station re-opening project has been around for donkeys years and endless studies have analyse, whether Camberwell station should be re-opened.

Under Possible Re-opening, Wikipedia says this about a possible Thameslink service and costs.

Steer Davies Gleave produced a TfL-commissioned report discussing the possibility of the station’s re-opening in 2026 in three future land use densities across three levels of operational use (four 8-car trains per hour, six 8-car trains per hour and six 12-car trains per hour) to give a total of nine scenarios. It estimated the capital cost of an 8-car station at £36.74m and a 12-car station at £38.50m.

It also says this about the business case.

In September 2018, TfL published a strategic business case to explore the station’s reinstatement. It acknowledged the area’s poor transport connectivity and that the reopening of the National Rail station was the best of eight option examined. While it concluded the local area would benefit from the station’s re-opening, its conclusions were similar to Steer Davies Gleave’s 2017 report.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the various lines in the area of Camberwell station.

Note.

  1. The station had four platforms, which if they followed the pattern of Elephant & Castle station to the North would be numbered from the West.
  2. Trains would appear to use all four lines at Elephant & Castle, but only stop in Platforms 1, 2 and 4.
  3. Thameslink services go through Platforms 1 & 2 at Loughborough Junction station and Platforms 3 & 4 at Denmark Hill station.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. The railway cuts across the North-West corner of the map.
  2. There is a bridge over the busy A202 road.
  3. The original station appears to have been close to where the railway and the A202 road cross.
  4. The area is well served by buses and even has a bus garage close to where the station will probably be built.

It would appear that it is a good location for a new station.

Redevelopment Of Elephant & Castle Station

Two big projects and a smaller one may affect Elephant & Castle station in the next few years.

  • The whole area is to be redeveloped, with probably better connections between the three different Elephant & Castle stations.
  • The Bakerloo Line may be extended from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham.
  • Elephant & Castle station will get step-free access.

Would a functioning Camberwell station help, if Elephant & Castle station needed to be closed at times during all the construction work?

Thameslink And Elephant & Castle And Camberwell Stations

Thameslink run four services through Elephant & Castle station and the site of the proposed Camberwell station.

  • St. Albans City and Sutton via Loughborough Junction and Mitcham Junction
  • St. Albans City and Sutton via Loughborough Junction and Wimbledon
  • Luton or Catford and Orpington via Denmark Hill and Catford
  • Welwyn Garden City or Blackfriars and Sevenoaks via Denmark Hill and Catford

Note.

  1. All services are run by eight-car trains.
  2. All services have a frequency of two trains per house (tph)

This means that Camberwell station would only need to be able to handle eight-car trains. I would suspect that it would be built, so that platforms could be extended in the future, but certainly only short platforms would be needed with the present Thameslink service.

Could costs be saved, by ensuring that all services went through Camberwell station in the pair of Eastern platforms; 3 and 4? I suspect from looking at the pattern of trains, that both Elephant & Castle and Camberwell stations could work as two-platform stations.

Both stations would be built, so that access to the other lines could be added in the future, if needed.

There is certainly scope for cutting the cost of building the station, through good design.

The Current State Of The Station Site

These pictures show the current state of the station site.

It’s not very tidy, but it did appear to be in a similar state, than when I last saw it.

It almost looks to me, to be in a state of partial demolition.

  • All these railway arches have been taken over in a massive £1.5 billion deal from Network Rail by Blackstone and Telereal Trillium.
  • On looking at these properties, did they take a look and see them as development potential.
  • In fact, the whole area could do with a makeover and there are two bus garages nearby, which might also be rebuilt with towers on top.

So is there a plan from Blackstone behind this reopening of the station?

These viaducts are often very sound and can scrub up well, as these [pictures show.

I wonder if a good architect could squeeze in, a quality modern step-free station and half-a-dozen business units, that would enhance the area.

Conclusion

I very much feel, that money for this project to sort out the various design, building and project management issues would be money well spent.

I wonder if this is a project promoted by Sir Peter Hendy, of which he has experience of his time in London.

As I said, Blackstone and their partners might want to turn an underperforming asset into something that all stakeholders would be proud of.

Could it be one of those projects, where the sums don’t add up, but Sir Peter and others with a nose for these projects, feel that if the station is re-opened, the passengers will use it in droves?

 

July 3, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 8 Comments

Crossrail 2 Review Prompts Fresh Delays

Note that this document was written in January 2018 and I gave it a serious rewrite in November 2022, to reflect the scrapping of all further work on Crossrail 2, which I wrote about in Crossrail 2 Falls Victim To £1.8bn TfL Bailout.

This title of this post is the same as this article on Construction News.

This is the opening paragraph.

Crossrail 2 is set for further delays after London’s transport boss admitted a fresh funding review would push back consultations on the scheme until the end of 2018.

It would now look increasingly unlikely that the hybrid bill to enable Crossrail 2, will get through Parliament before the next General Election in 2022.

These dates should be noted for Crossrail.

  • Approved – 2007
  • Construction started – 2009
  • Services started – 2015
  • Partial opening – 2018 – Now delayed until 2021
  • Full opening – 2019 – Now delayed until 2022

So, if Crossrail 2 is approved in 2022, we could be looking at an opening date of 2034 to 2037.

If it is needed earlier for political reasons, then we must do some serious thinking.

Crossrail 2 As A Series Of Related Projects

I’ve always believed that Crossrail 2, should be considered to be a series of related projects. followed by the boring of the Central Tunnel.

  1. Increasing Capacity On The Waterloo Suburban Lines to four trains per hour (tph)
  2. Station Improvements On The Waterloo Suburban Lines
  3. Increasing Capacity in Tooting And Wimbledon
  4. Providing better access to Clapham Junction station
  5. Making it easier for passengers transferring between trains and Underground at Waterloo.
  6. Improving public transport access to Chelsea.
  7. Creating better access to  Euston, St. Pancras and Kings Cross stations.
  8. Improving transport in Dalston and Hackney.
  9. Four-tracking the West Anglia Main Line between Coppermill Junction and Broxbourne.
  10. Allowing An Increased Number  Of West Anglia Services to Terminate At Stratford
  11. Creating a high-capacity commuter route up the Lea Valley.
  12. Creating a high-capacity commuter route to Wood Green and New Southgate.
  13. Taking Pressure Off the Victoria Line

These projects would incorporate all the holes, through which to thread the Central Tunnel, that will run between Wimbledon and Tottenham Hale.

So would it be better to build Crossrail 2 as a series of smaller projects?

Increasing Capacity On The Waterloo Suburban Lines To 4 Tph

In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I showed that it would be possible to run a service with Crossrail 2’s characteristics terminating in Waterloo station.

I said the following would be needed.

  • More platform capacity in Waterloo station.
  • Modern high-performance 100 mph trains like Class 707 trains or Aventras.
  • Wimbledon station would only need minor modifications.
  • Some improvements to track and signalling between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.
  • A measure of ATO between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.

Much of the infrastructure works have been completed in Summer 2017, as I reported in It’s All Over Now, Waterloo!.

All it needs to introduce a much improved Waterloo Suburban service,  is for Bombardier to build the new 100 mph Class 701 trains for South Western Railway.

Note that, these improvements will be needed, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Station Improvements On The Waterloo Suburban Lines

Many of the stations on the Waterloo Suburban Lines need substantial improvement.

  • Some station buildings need sympathetic improvement.
  • Some stations need step-free access.
  • Some stations could be redeveloped to create much-needed housing on top of a new station.
  • Some stations might need extra platforms and/or capacity improvements.
  • There are level crossings that need to be closed.

Note.

  1. These improvements will be needed, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!
  2. As Crossrail 2 and South Western Railway will both be using Aventra trains, improvements will be the same if Crossrail 2 is built or not!

There could be quite a large number of small projects.

Increasing Capacity In Tooting And Wimbledon

Crossrail 2 will increase the capacity at Wimbledon and Tooting Bradway stations, with up to thirty tph passing through.

Wimbledon will benefit from the following, whether or not Crossrail 2 is built.

  • More trains on the Suburban Lines to Waterloo or Central London via Crossrail 2..
  • Increased frequency on the District Line, where the new signalling is being installed under the Four Lines Modernisation program.
  • Increased frequency and capacity on the Northern Line.
  • Increased frequency and capacity on Tramlink.
  • A new Tramlink route to Sutton.
  • After all the work at London Bridge, would it be possible to increase the frequency of trains on the Sutton Loop Line, which currently handles a measly two tph for most of the day?

The area will probably benefit from the splitting of the Northern Line into two separate lines.

Transport for London (TfL) have talked about creating a major interchange, by increasing capacity at Streatham Common station.

Services going through the station and the major junction a short distance to the North include.

  • Thameslink services on the Sutton Loop Line, between Sutton and St. Albans via Wimbledon, Elephant & Castle and St. Pancras.
  • Brighton Main Line services between Victoria and East Croydon.
  • The Milton Keynes to East Croydon service calls.
  • London Bridge to West Croydon services.
  • There is a six tph service to and from Balham station.

It has also been suggested that the station could be a terminus for London Overground’s East London Line services and a Tramlink extension.

I can certainly understand why TfL are thinking of an improved interchange at Streatham Common station.

The original plan for Crossrail 2 showed a preference for the route to go through Balham station rather than Tooting Broadway station.

Surely, if Balham is not to be on Crossrail 2, that station may well be upgraded.

  • The disused platforms could be reinstated.
  • Full step-free access could be added.
  • A better connection between National Rail and the improved Northern Line could be created.

It could become a true Gateway To The South!

Providing Better Access To Clapham Junction Station

Provision has been made in the design of the Northern Line Extension, so that it could be extended from Battersea Power Station station  to Clapham Junction station.

If the connection at Clapham Junction is designed to the high-standard of Crossrail, then the Northern Line Extension could provide an important route for commuters.

The trains on the Northern Line Extension will connect to the Morden branch at Kennington station.

The Wikipedia entry for Kennington station says this.

TfL has assessed that the Battersea extension will not have a significant impact on the number of passengers entering and exiting the station, but, to accommodate additional interchanges between the branches, additional cross-platform passageways will be constructed between each pair of plaforms. When the extension opens, all services from the Charing Cross branch will run to Battersea Power Station. Trains to and from Morden will run via the Bank branch.

So it looks like Clapham Junction station will gain a free-flowing connection to both branches of the Northern Line.

Note that, if the Northern Line Extension is extended to Clapham Junction, it will probably be built to allow easy connection to a future Crossrail 2.

Making It Easier For Passengers Transferring Between Trains And Underground At Waterloo

The on-going upgrade to Waterloo station will improve the transfer and also provide better walking routes.

In addition, the recent upgrade across the South Bank between Waterloo East and London Bridge stations, could be useful to a proportion of passengers.

But more needs to be done!

These other projects might help.

  • To increase capacity on Southeastern services out of Charing Cross station, it has been proposed to rebuild the station, so it reaches across the Thames.
  • Waterloo East station could be a prime site for redevelopment.
  • The Bakerloo Line is going to be upgraded with new trains and more capacity.
  • The Bakerloo Line will have a good connection to Crossrail at Paddington station.
  • The Waterloo and City Line will be getting new trains, which could increase capacity by twenty-five percent.
  • The |Waterloo and City Line could get improved access at Waterloo to match the improved access currently being created  at Bank station.

Surely done in the right order, these projects could increase capacity for passengers at Waterloo, who are connecting to other parts of London.

Improving Public Transport Access To Chelsea

Kings Road, Chelsea station was cancelled in March 2017.

Perhaps, the posh people of Chelsea don’t want the plebs visiting? How will their maids and dogsbodies get to work?

Creating Better Access To  Euston, St. Pancras and Kings Cross Stations

One of the main objectives for Crossrail 2, is to provide better access to the three major stations of Euston, St. Pancras and Kings Cross.

The chosen solution is to build a ‘mega-station’ called Euston St. Pancras station. The connections of the station are described like this in Wikipedia.

The station will be firmly integrated into Euston and St. Pancras mainline stations, as well as Euston Underground station. Access to King’s Cross station, and King’s Cross St Pancras Underground station will be via a short walk through St. Pancras station. There may also be a link to Euston Square station on the Underground, created as part of Euston station’s reconstruction for High Speed 2.

In order to illustrate, the lines in the area and the relationship of Euston St. Pancras station to the current stations, look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr.

Crossrail 2 will pass through Angel station, before roughly following the line of the Northern Line through Kings Cross St. Pancras station to Euston station, where it will turn South towards the next station, which is Tottenham Court Road station, where it will have an interchange with Crossrail.

Like, its earlier sister, Crossrail 2 will have to go deep to avoid the tunnels of the Underground and London’s sewers.

However, London’s famous clay, that was instrumental to the creation of London’s deep-level Tube lines, will probably enable a successful tunnel to be created.

High Speed 2 is scheduled to open in 2026 and it appears to me, that there is no way, that given the slippage of the project, that Crossrail 2 can open before High Speed 2.

So how will the extra passengers using High Speed 2 be handled at Euston station?

The only alternative plan, that I can see is to fall back on the existing lines.

Affecting all the connections between High Speed 2 and the Underground, would hopefully be a complete rebuilding of Euston station incorporating the following.

  • A connection to the sub-surface lines.
  • Full step-free access to all Underground lines.

The Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines, are undergoing an Upgrade Program, which is known as the Four Lines Modernisation by TfL and is described like this in Wikipedia.

Together with the introduction of S Stock trains, the track, electrical supply and signalling systems are being upgraded in a programme planned to increase peak-hour capacity on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines by 65 per cent by the end of 2018. A single control room for the sub-surface railway is to be established in Hammersmith and an automatic train control (ATC) system will replace signalling equipment installed from the 1940s. The cross-London Crossrail line, planned to open in 2018, is expected to reduce crowding between Paddington and Whitechapel.

Note the reference to Crossrail, with its connections to the sub-surface lines at Paddington, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel stations. Passengers will Duck-and-Dive around the busy sections, using Crossrail and its five helper lines, that loop along it to the North and South.

  • Central Line
  • Circle Line
  • District Line
  • Hammersmith & City Line
  • Jubilee Line
  • Metropolitan Line

Predicting how the capacity will split between the various lines across London, will be a statistical nightmare.

But there will be a substantial increase in capacity on the sub-surface lines through Kings Cross St. Pancras and Euston.

The Northern Line could be a totally different line, when High Speed 2 opens in 2026.

  • Bank station will open in 2021 with 40% more capacity.
  • Camden Town station will be rebuilt by 2024/25.
  • The Northern Line Extension to Battersea Power Station station is scheduled to open in 2020.

All this work, may well allow a Northern Line Split, which would bring increased train frequencies and more capacity.

The Victoria Line  is probably at maximum capacity at the present time, but history has shown that she never knows when to stop calling for more!

  • Capacity at Highbury & Islington, Oxford Circus and Walthamstow Central stations is probably a limiting factor.
  • Access at Euston and Kings Cross St. Pancras stations could certainly be improved.

The Piccadilly Line could be a big contributor to extra capacity through the area.

Can the line be upgraded with new trains in time to make a meaningful contribution?

Lastly, we mustn’t forget the new station complex at Old Oak Common, which connects High Speed 2, Crossrail and the North London Line.

Note that, these improvements will be implemented, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Improving Transport In Dalston And Hackney

As a resident of Dalston since 2010, I can honestly say, that public transport has improved a lot in recent years.

  • The North London Line has two frequent five-car train services from Stratford in the East to Clapham Junction and Richmond in the West.
  • The East London Line has four frequent train services from Highbury and Islington and Dalston Junction in the North to Clapham Junction, New Cross, New Cross Gate and West Croydon in the South.
  • The Victoria Line has thirty-six tph between Brixton and Walthamstow Central.
  • Lea Bridge station has reopened.
  • Liverpool Street to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield are now Overground routes.
  • There are numerous bus routes with new buses going hither and thither.

The icing on the cake, is that extra services and new trains will be provided  in the next couple of years.

  • Dalston Junction and Whitechapel for Crossrail will have at least 20 tph.
  • Hackney Wick and Highbury & Islington will have at least 10 tph.
  • New trains will appear on Liverpool Street to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield and Gospel Oak to Barking Line services.

Crossrail 2 would be an improvement for Dalstonistas and Hackneysians, as we could get to Central London faster.

But from December 2019, Crossrail with perhaps a single change will give us numerous ways to get to all the stations on the proposed line, quicker than you could do the trip in a Hackney cab, driven by the likes of Lewis Hamilton.

Hackney has survived on the crumbs of London’s transport system since the trams and trolley buses were scrapped.

Like all those with Cockney in their genes, nurture or environment, we’ll keep smiling through!

Note that, the improvement in Hackney will be implemented, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Four-Tracking The West Anglia Main Line Between Coppermill Junction And Broxbourne

This needs to be done to create extra capacity on the West Anglia Main Line for the following services.

  • Express services to Stansted Airport, Cambridge and possibly Norwich.
  • Extra express services terminating at Stratford for Crossrail.
  • Local services from Liverpool Street and Stratford to Broxbourne, Hertford East and Bishops Stortford.
  • 100 mph running for Express services on the fast lines.

Four-tracking would certainly be necessary to accommodate the proposed 10-15 tph service for Crossrail 2.

Note that, this four-tracking will be needed, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Allowing An Increased Number  Of West Anglia Services to Terminate At Stratford

Greater Anglia have said, that they will run extra Stansted Airport services into Stratford station from 2019.

  • Previously, these Stratford-Stansted Airport services used the High Meads Loop under the Eastfield Shopping Centre, in much the same way as Merseyrail’s Wirral Line trains run under Liverpool.
  • Services would all call at either Platform 11 or 12 at Stratford, depending on the way the loop is travelled.
  • The loop is double-track, which opens the possibility of local services using one platform and Stansted services using the other.
  • If local services used Platform 12, North London Line services would be perhaps fifty metres away.
  • It would be a walk of about a hundred metres to Crossrail and the Central Line and not much further to the Jubilee Line and the Docklands Light Railway.
  • Using a loop is a technique that saves time, as the train goes straight on, without the driver changing ends and Merseyrail handle something like twelve tph on the Wirral Line.
  • With a measure of Automatic Train Control (ATC), I suspect that a frequency of fifteen  or even twenty tph could be possible through the High Meads Loop.

Could paths be found to incorporate perhaps two tph between Stratford and Chingford via a reinstated Hall Farm Curve?

It seems to me that Network Rail’s track design at Stratford station incorporated a lot of future-proofing!

Creating A High-Capacity Commuter Route up the Lea Valley

Crossrail 2 intends to implement a 10-15 tph service between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.

After the four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line, the only other works needed to create a high-capacity commuter route up the Lea Valley will be.

  • Remodelling of Coppermill Junction, so trains can access Crossrail 2’s Central Tunnel.
  • Rebuilding of Tottenham Hale station to accommodate the extra services, to and from the Crossrail 2 tunnel, Liverpool Street and Stratford.
  • Rebuilding stations to serve the new tracks.

The rebuilding of Tottenham Hale station is already underway.

There is the interesting possibility pf running at least a ten tph service up the Lea Valley from Stratford to Broxbourne and Hertford East.

If the High Meads Loop, were to be fully developed at Stratford, as the terminus of both Stansted Express and local Lea Valley services, using Crossrail from Stratford to cross London would probably be an acceptable alternative route until the Crossrail 2 tunnel is built.

It would have other advantages.

  • Capacity would be released at Liverpool Street station.
  • Capacity would be released through Clapton and Hackney Downs stations on the direct route to Liverpool Street.
  • Services could be connected to Stratford International station with the addition of another platform.
  • Heathrow to Stansted Airport would be a single change at Stratford with just a short walk.

The major undertaking of the Crossrail 2 central tunnel could also be delayed to smooth cash-flow.

Creating A High-Capacity Commuter Route To Wood Green And New Southgate

This section will be nearly all in tunnel and will call at the following stations.

New Southgate – For Great Northern and Thameslink

The area is one I know well and it probably needs improved services.

But some are already planned.

  • Thameslink will add at least two tph to Alexandra Palace and New Southgate.
  • New trains will add capacity and frequency to the Piccadilly Line.
  • New trains will add capacity and frequency to Great Northern services into Moorgate on the Northern City Line.
  • New trains will add capacity and frequency to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

Hopefully, enough capacity can be incorporated to serve North London.

Taking Pressure Off The Victoria Line

Dear Old Vicky can’t give much more and what really would relieve it is Crossrail 2.

The two lines connect at the following stations.

  • Tottenham Hale
  • Seven Sisters
  • Euston St. Pancras
  • Victoria

But the following will help.

  • The rebuilding of Walthamstow Central, Highbury & Islington and Oxford Circus stations.
  • The upgraded Piccadilly Line with connections at Finsbury Park, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Green Park
  • The upgraded Northern Line with connections at Kings Cross St. Pancras, Euston, Warren Street and Stockwell.
  • The cross-platform interchange with the Northern City Line at Highbury & Islington connects to Crossrail.
  • The upgraded Overground routes into Liverpool Street from Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town.
  • A reinstated Hall Farm Curve would give Walthamstow and Chingford easier access to Crossrail at Stratford.

Other new connections and stations might take off extra pressure.

The Central Tunnel

The Central Tunnel, that will run between Wimbledon and Tottenham Hale stations, will be a major undertaking.

  • It is about twice as long as Crossrail’s Central Tunnel from Stratford to Paddington.
  • There will also be the branch tunnel to Wood Green.
  • There will be some large and complicated stations, like Dalston and Euston St. Pancras.
  • Some of the tunnelling South of the Thames could be challenging.

Remember that, boring the tunnels on Crossrail  took around five years, with another two years to lay the track.

On the other hand, the following will apply on Crossrail 2.

  • The contractors will have all the knowledge and experience gained on Crossrail.
  • The tunnel portal sites at Tottenham Hale and Wimbledon look to have plenty of space.
  • Some of the stations, will be ready to accept the tunnel boring machines.

Overall, it will be a very doable project, but I suspect it could take ten years or more.

Other Projects Will Help

In my review of the smaller projects that should be done before the Central Tunnel of Crossrail is bored, Other projects get multiple mentions.

Digital Signalling And ETCS

Crossrail, Thameslink, Crossrail 2 and several Underground Lines will all be lines that have the most modern of signalling, which will also allow a degree of Automatic Train Control.

New passenger trains will be able to take advantage of this technology, but what about lines, where freight trains also run.

Ths article on Global Railway Review is entitled The Digital Railway Begins With Landmark Siemens ETCS Contract.

This is the opening two paragraphs.

Network Rail has awarded Siemens Rail Automation the contract to supply, install and support its European Train Control System (ETCS) on freight locomotives across Great Britain.

Network Rail’s multi-million pound contract grants Siemens to supply, install and support ETCS in-cab signalling equipment on the 745-strong fleet of freight locomotives which operates across Great Britain. ETCS is expected to make Britain’s freight locomotives safer and greener whilst unlocking capacity.

The installation of ETCS will surely be invaluable on lines around London, where freight trains and passenger services mix.

  • Crossrail branch to Shenfield
  • Crossrail branch to Reading
  • Sections of Thameslink
  • North London Line
  • West London Line.
  • The Gospel Oak to Barking Line

Some of these lines and their passenger services are not ready for digital signalling, but the two Crossrail branches and Thameslink will probably be already equipped or will be in the near future.

Digital signalling should unlock more capacity everywhere it is installed.

The Creation Of More Transport Hubs

London has had major transport hubs, where rail lines and other transport modes connect, as long as it has had trains, trams and horse buses.

More transport hubs have been added in recent years and others will be created in the next few years.

  • Brent Cross
  • Dalston
  • Finsbury Park
  • Hackney
  • New Cross/New Cross Gate
  • Shenfield
  • Stratford
  • Streatham Common
  • Tottenham Hale
  • Walthamstow Central
  • West Hampstead

Have all been discussed or planned and some have been started.

But these are small projects compared to the massive transport hub planned at Old Oak Common.

  • It will serve the developments at Park Royal and Old Oak Common.
  • High Speed 2 services will stop between Euston and Birmingham.
  • ,Crossrail, Great Western,West Coast Main Line, North London Line and West London Line services will call.
  • The Central Line may call.
  • Plans exist for a West London Orbital Railway linking North-West and South-West London to Old Oak Common.

It would be a transport mega-hub.

Could others be developed?

Crossrail

Crossrail will inject a massive amount of East-West capacity into London’s transport system.

Some journeys that would be easy on Crossrail 2, will be possible using Crossrail and another line.

Take, where I live in Dalston.

When I moved to the area in 2010, for residents of a large area of Islington and Hackney, the only way to get to the City, Canary Wharf, the West End or major stations was to get a bus to Highbury & Islington, Liverpool Street or Moorgate stations and use the Underground.

Then along came Big Orange in the shape of the London Overground.

After Crossrail opens, for many journeys, I will hop on the Overground to Whitechapel station, from where I’ll take Crossrail to my destination.

The capacity, speed and novelty of Crossrail wil help make up for a delayed Crossrail 2.

Thameslink

Used properly by the rail companies, I believe Thameslink could create a lot more North-South capacity across London.

Some of this could help provide capacity at stations, that will be served by Crossrail 2..

Especially as, Crossrail 2 and Thameslink will share stations at Alexandra Palace, St. Pancras and Wimbledon.

The long-talked about improved stations at Peckham Rye and Loughborough Junction and a possible new one at Camberwell, would help create better connectivity across South London.

What Thameslink needs is a good connection to Clapham Junction, but this would appear to be difficult.

But don’t underestimate London’s troubled North-South Link!

For a start it should be on the Tube Map!

High Speed 2

High Speed 2 will affect Crossrail 2 in two opposite ways, when it opens in 2026.

  • The planned rebuilding of Euston station for the line will incorporate better connections to the Underground and any sane rebuilding would surely bring Euston Square station into the complex.
  • The new line will have a station at Old Oak Common, where there will be an interchange with Crossrail and the London Overground.

The first will increase passenger numbers at Euston, whilst the second should reduce them.

Four Lines Modernisation

Transport for London describe the Four Lines Modernisation with this paragraph.

We are transforming the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. When the work is completed in 2023, increased capacity and boosted reliability will make journeys faster and more comfortable.

TfL say these will be the benefits of the modernisation.

  • A new fleet of air-conditioned trains, with brighter more spacious interiors, low floors and dedicated spaces for wheelchair users, CCTV and other improved features
  • Space for more customers
  • Faster journeys and reduced waiting times
  • Fewer delays as safe but obsolete equipment – dating back to the 1920s in some places – is replaced with modern, computerised signalling and control systems
  • Better live customer information on platforms and to smart devices.

Note.

  1. The trains have arrived and no-one seems to have complained.
  2. TfL’s documents claim the new signalling can handle up to thirty tph.
  3. The new trains and signalling could do for the four sub-surface lines, what they did for the Victoria Line and increase frequencies by a substantial amount.
  4. It is highly likely that the rebuilt Euston station will have easy access to Euston Square station.
  5. Paddington, Euston, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Liverpool Street will see a high-frequency service across the capital, that connects at both ends to Crossrail.
  6. Crossrail will be faster between Whitechapel and Paddington.

The benefits of the Four Lines Modernisation and the rebuilding of Euston station would effectively create two new high capacity lines across Central London, with up to thirty tph carrying around nine hundred people each.

  • A loop North of Crossrail, between Whitechapel and Paddington, serving Euston, St. Pancras, Kings Cross and Liverpool Street
  • A loop South of Crossrail, between Whitechapel and Paddington, serving Victoria, Charing Cross, Blackfriars, Cannon Street and Fenchurch Street.

The Four Lines Modernisation will give Crossrail a very serious competitor, that was originally opened by the Victorians in the 1860s.

  • Crossrail can handle 24 tph , which each contain 1500 passengers. 36,000 passengers per hour
  • The North and South loops of the sub-surface lines could be able to handle 30 tph, which each contain 900 passengers. 27,000 passengers per hour
  • Crossrail 2’s Central Tunnel is being designed to handle 30 tph, which might each contain 1500 passengers. 45,000 passengers per hour

These are truly massive numbers.

But perhaps more importantly, the Four Lines Modernisation should be able to go a long way to solving the problems of handling the large numbers of extra passengers using Euston for High Speed 2, when the first phase opens in 2026.

With all this extra capacity through Euston and Kings Cross coming on stream around 2023, I think that sensible planning would say that the Central Tunnel of Crossrail 2 through the area can be delayed by several years.

Upgrading The Piccadilly Line

I used the Piccadilly Line between Oakwood and Southgate stations between 1958 and 1965 to get to school. The current 1973 Stock trains on the line date from 1974 or only nine years after I left.

Wikipedia says this about new trains for the Piccadilly Line.

London Underground has invited Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens to develop a new concept of lightweight, low-energy, semi-articulated train for the deep-level lines, provisionally called “Evo” (for ‘evolution’). So far only Siemens has publicised an outline design, which would feature air-conditioning and would also have battery power enabling the train to run on to the next station if third and fourth rail power were lost. It would have a lower floor and 11% higher passenger capacity than the present tube stock. There would be a weight saving of 30 tonnes, and the trains would be 17% more energy-efficient with air-conditioning included, or 30% more energy-efficient without it.

Given the new trains seen in recent years, coupled with new signalling, I believe that there could be an increase in frequency from the current twenty-four tph to a Victoria Line frequency of over thirty tph.

  • Current capacity of the line is 24 tph, each of which can carry 684 passengers. This is 16416 passengers per hour.
  • Future capacity of the line could be 33 tph, each of which can carry 760 passengers. This is 25080 passengers per hour.

Like the Victoria Line, I think the capacity of the Piccadilly Line will be more limited by platform and station design, than the trains and the signalling.

But that won’t stop the Piccadilly Line from helping to hold the fort until the Central tunnel for Crossrail 2 is built.

London Underground’s New Deep Level Trains

After the Piccadilly Line trains have been delivered, it s highly likely that more trains will be built for the following lines.

  • Forty for the Bakerloo Line giving a 25% capacity increase.
  • Hundred for the Central Line giving a 25% capacity increase.
  • Ten for the Waterloo and City Line giving a 25% capacity increase.

These figures come from an article entitled Deep Tube Upgrade in the November 2017 Edition of Modern Railways.

Bakerloo Line Upgrade And Extension To Lewisham

It could be argued that South East London needs extra capacity just as much as South West London.

The Deep Tube Upgrade article in Modern Railways says that this about an extended Bakerloo Line.

The 1972 stock trains are now the oldest on the system and are set to reach nearly 60 years in service before they are replaced. The Bskerloo fleet also is undergoing refurbishment, wgich is both addressing structural issues and improving the passenger environment.

Associated with this is the plan to extend the Bakerloo Line beyond Elephant & Castle to Lewisham via the Old Kent Road. Transport for London is undertaking a series of consultations into this plan, which have exhibited consistent support for the proposals, and the aim is for the extension to open around 2030, concurrent with the line’s modernisation.

Current Bakerloo Line stations, where work could happen or already has happened include.

  • Elephant & Castle will be upgraded.
  • Lambeth North has recently had a facelift.
  • Waterloo is being updated to give better connection to National Rail services.
  • Oxford Circus is going to be upgraded to add more capacity to the Victoria Line platforms.
  • Baker Street has been planned to have step-free access, but due to budgetary restraints, this has not happened.
  • Paddington is being updated to provide direct access to |Crossrail.
  • Queen’s Park is planned to become step-free in 2019.

Most of the stations need improvement and a large proportion need step-free access.

Oxford Circus Station

Oxford Circus station was rebuilt in the 1960s for the Victoria Line.

  • That rebuild was sized to handle around twenty tph on the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Lines.
  • The Central and Victoria Lines are now handling well over thirty tph.
  • The Bakerloo and Central Line will be getting new Deep Level trains, which will further increase passengers.
  • I would never bet against engineers squeezing another four tph out of Dear Old Vicky to run a forty tph frequency.

Oxford Circus station won’t be able to take the extra passengers and it will need a rebuild.

Judging by the solutions at Bank, Bond Street, Camden Town, Holborn, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Knightsbridge, I suspect it could take the form of a new entrance, which connected to the ends of platforms.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines through the station.

The lines are as follows.

  • Red – Central
  • Silver – Jubilee
  • Brown – Bakerloo
  • Turquoise – Victoria
  • Purple – Crossrail

Consider.

  • The Central Line runs at a not very deep level under Oxford Street.
  • Oxford Street is going to be pedestrianised.
  • The cross-platform interchange between the Bakerloo and Victoria Lines.

Could a simple new entrance be built at the Eastern end of the Central Line platforms?

These pictures were taken between Marks & Spencer at the Pantheon and Oxford Circus station.

I could imagine an island entrance to the |Central Line in the middle of a fully pedestrianised Oxford Street.

  • Escalators could lead to a spacious mezzanine floor, a few metres under Oxford Street.
  • The mezzanine could contain ticket machines and perhaps kiosks and even toilets.
  • From the mezzanine a gate-line would control access to escalators leading to the Eastern end of the Central Line platforms.
  • Lifts could be added as required.

On the surface the entrance could be covered with a fosterito or some other similar structure.

I believe that the opening of Crossrail and the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street could allow this entrance to be constructed without stopping the Central Line trains running through Oxford Circus station, although passengers would not be able or allowed to use the Central Line at the station.

It wouldn’t be a first for the UK.

The picture shows Buchanan Street station on the Glasgow subway. Wikipedia says this about the canopies.

Other than St Enoch it is the only station with an underground ticket hall, and surface buildings are restricted to new mid-street entrance canopy which was rebuilt in 1999 as part of the repaving of Buchanan Street. This canopy is constructed entirely of structural glass: all beams and columns, the walls and roof are glass.

Note that Buchanan Street could be considered to be Glasgow’s Oxford Street.

Oxford Circus station could be redeveloped into an even more important interchange.

Many have said, that it needs a good connection to Crossrail.

Consider.

  • Crossrail’s platforms at Bond Street station are long and stretch to Hanover Square, where there is an entrance to the station.
  • The Hanover Square entrance  to Bond Street station is approximately half-way between the Oxford Street entrances of Bond Street and Oxford Circus stations.
  • The Crossrail platforms are deeper than the other lines. One picture shows them twenty-six metes below ground level.

I can’t see why, if it was decided to connect the two stations, that a pedestrian tunnel connection couldn’t be squeezed in.

This visualisation from Crossrail shows the Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station.

It looks to me that the design expects transferring passengers will walk on the surface.

Consider.

Let’s hope that Hanover Square gets fully pedestrianised and traffic-free.

A tunnel would have a great advantage over a surface route in that it would only be used by people transferring between the two stations.

Perhaps an entrance to the rebuilt Oxford Circus station, should be in the North-Eastern corner of Hanover Square.

Or could there be a fosterito or a new entrance in a traffic-free Princes Street?

These pictures show Princes Street.

There are possibilities, which all depend on whether it is possible to dig a pedestrian tunnel from Oxford Circus.

There are more difficult stations, where the building of other entrances will be much more difficult.

An Improved Central Line

Crossrail and the Central Line have connections at Stratford, ,Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Ealing Broadway stations.

These connections will make it easier for stations and parts of the Central Line to be closed for major works, as passengers have a ready alternative.

I believe that this could cut time and costs when updating the line for the new Deep Level Trains and improving stations.

As the new trains will bring a twenty-five percent increase in capacity, it will all help take pressure from other lines.

An Improved Waterloo & City Line

New trains and perhaps an improved station at Waterloo will improve this route.

But the big improvement will happen early this year, when the new entrance at Bank station opens.

Underground And Overground Station Upgrades

This page on the TfL website gives details of station improvement. The page starts with this.

We’re modernising some of our busiest stations to increase capacity, make journeys faster and add step-free access. We’re also integrating them with other modes of transport, like buses, National Rail and cycling.

At present plans are underway or are being developed for the following key stations, which will be on or near the route of Crossrail 2.

  • Alexandra Palace
  • Bank and Monument
  • Camden Town
  • Elephant & Castle
  • Finsbury Park
  • Hackney Central
  • Holborn
  • Knightsbridge
  • Oxford Circus
  • Palmers Green
  • Peckham Rye
  • Seven Sisters
  • Tottenham Hale
  • Victoria
  • Walthamstow Central
  • Waterloo
  • White Hart Lane

Others will probably join this list.

Splitting The Northern Line

Once the improvements at Camden Town and Bank stations have been completed and the Northern Line Extension to Battersea has been completed, TfL have ambitions to split the Northern Line.

  • A Charing  Cross Line would run from between Edgware and Battersea Power Station via Charing Cross
  • A Bank Branch would run between High Barnet and Morden via Bank.

The two lines would have interchanges at Camden Town, Euston and Kennington.

Wikipedia has a section on  the splitting of the Northern Line, which says this.

Running trains between all combinations of branches and the two central sections, as at present, means only 30 trains an hour can run through each of the central sections at peak times, because merging trains have to wait for each other at the junctions at Camden Town and Kennington. Completely segregating the routes could allow 36 trains an hour on all parts of the line.

Plans also exist for the following.

  • Further extension of the from Battersea Power station to Clapham Junction station.
  • New high-capacity modern trains, similar to those being specified for the Piccadilly Line.

I estimate, that the high-capacity trains for the Piccadilly Line will be able to carry 720 passengers in air-conditioned comfort. Currently, the 1995 Stock trains on the line can accommodate 662 passengers.

This gives the following current and future capacities of the two lines.

  • Current capacity of the line is 30 tph, each of which can carry 662 passengers. This is 19860 passengers per hour.
  • Future capacity of the line is 36 tph, each of which can carry 720 passengers. This is 25920 passengers per hour.

This gives around  a thirty percent increase in capacity.

As with the Four Lines Modernisation, the application of high quality engineering from the Twenty-First Century to Victorian and Edwardian tracks and tunnels can give a surprisingly-high increase in capacity.

 

 

London Overground’s New Class 710 Trains

London Overground serves North and East London and will have interchanges with Crossrail 2 at Cheshunt, Dalston, Euston and Seven Sisters stations.

Their Lea Valley services to Cheshunt, Chingford andEnfield Town are getting new Class 710 trains.

Information on these new trains is scant, but I suspect that their performance would be superior to the current Class 315 and Class 317 trains, which have maximum speeds of 75 and 100 mph respectively.

Most Aventras seem to be 100 mph trains, with the exception of Crossrail’s Class 345 trains, which are 90 mph trains.

Your guess is as good ass mine, as to what the operating speed of the Class 710 trains will be. Unless of course, you have  a data sheet!

Because of their modern design, I think we can assume that the new trains will also save a minute or two at each stop, when compared to the existing trains.

They will also have a larger passenger capacity, which I estimate at somewhere near 700 for a four-car train.

The East London Line

Never underestimate the contribution, that London’s newest cross-River line can make.

The East London Line (ELL) shows what you can do, when you take an old well-built tunnel and apply the following.

  • New trains.
  • Well-designed stations.
  • Modern signalling.
  • A passenger-friendly timetable.

I always wonder what Marc and Isambard Brunel, would think of the way the Thames Tunnel has morphed into a sixteen tph electric railway from their tunnel for foot passengers and horse-drawn vehicles.

But Transport for London haven’t finished their development of the East London Line.

Projects in the pipeline include.

  • The ELL will connect to Crossrail at Whitechapel in December 2018.
  • The trains have been ordered for two extra tph to both Crystal Palace and Clapham Junction stations.
  • An interchange at Brockley station with the line between Nunhead and Lewisham stations.
  • An interchange at Penge with the Chatham Main Line.
  • An interchange at Loughborough Junction station with Thameslink.
  • A full step-free interchange could be built at Brixton.
  • Peckham Rye station could be an important interchange.
  • Increasing the maximum frequency along the line to 24 tph.
  • A possible new destination at a rebuilt Streatham Common station.
  • New Cross and New Cross Gate stations could be rebuilt to interchange with the Bakerloo Line Extension.

Because of the planned mega-station at Dalston on Crossrail 2, the East London Line will play an important role as a feeder line for Crossrail 2.

Just as the Waterloo Suburban and the West Anglia Main Lines, will serve South-West and North-East London respectively, development of the ELL could bring benefits to some very neglected parts of South East and South London.

I believe that updating the stations could be the key.

  • Brockley will have ten tph on the ELL and two tph between Victoria and Lewisham.
  • Lounghborough Junction will have six tph on the ELL and eight tph on Thameslink.
  • Peckham Rye station will have six typh on the ELL, two tph on Thameslink , 4 tph to London Bridge and several other services.
  • Penge station will have ten tph on the ELL and four tph between Victoria and Orpington.

The density of services across South London would be seriously increased.

The North London Line

The North London Line may not have the same number of destinations as the East London Line, as it only offers two services.

  • Four tph run between Stratford and Richmond
  • Four tph run between Stratford and Clapham Junction

Both services run seven days a week.

As with the East London Line, Transport for London have plans for the North London Line.

In Musical Trains On The Overground, I quote from an article on London Reconnections, which says that Transport for London would like to increase the frequency of these two services to six tph, which would give twelve tph between Willesden Junction and Stratford.

But that is not all!

  • Two new stations at Hythe Road and Old Oak Common Lane will be built to serve the new developments at Park Royal and Old Oak Common.
  • These new stations will also interchange with Crossrail, High Speed 2, West Coast Main Line, Great Western and Chiltern services.
  • West Hampstead station is being rebuilt.
  • Highbury & Islington station will probably be rebuilt to improve interchange between the London Overground, Victoria Line and the Northern City Line.
  • Transport for London have suggested that Camden Road station could have a quality step-free interchange with the Northern Line at Camden Town station.
  • ETCS will probably be applied to the North London Line, to increase the capacity of freight and passenger services.

The North London Line would also benefit, if improved West Anglia Main Line services ran to Stratford, as the simple step-free interchange is ready and waiting.

The West London Line

The West London Line is London’s most underutilised rail route.

Consider.

  • If its cousin in the East can handle twenty tph, surely a redesigned West London Line could operate at least sixteen tph.
  • It connects to the new super-hub station of Old Oak Common in the North for HS2, West Coast Main Line and Crossrail.
  • It connects to the Victorian super-hub station of Clapham Junction in the South.
  • The London Overground already connects North-East London to South-West London using the West London Line, with a frequency of four tph.
  • Southern’s Milton Keynes to East Croydon service needs a higher frequency and could be another valuable North-South route across London.

Transport for London should take control of this line and give it the service that West London needs.

  • An increase to six tph for the Stratford to Clapham Junction service is already planned.
  • TfL should take over the Milton Keynes to East Croydon service as recommended by Chris Gibb.
  • A new station is being built at Hythe Road.

I also feel that a new station should have been built to serve the new housing development at Earl’s Court.

The Gospel Oak To Barking Line

The Gospel Oak To Barking Line is the joker in the pack.

  • It is currently going through a shambolic electrification.
  • New four-car electric  Class 710 trains are rumoured to be arriving in Spring 2018, which will double capacity.
  • It will provide a second electrified freight route across North London.
  • The line is being extended to a new station at Barking Riverside.
  • ETCS will probably be applied to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, to increase the capacity of freight and passenger services.

The current frequency of four tph will probably be retained for some time with the new trains.

Currently, it appears that the Class 172 trains take ninety minutes to do the round trip along the line, with ten intermediate stops. This means that six trains are needed for a four tph service.

If the new trains can do the round trip in an hour, because of their better performance, this would reduce the number of trains required to four for a four tph service.

Whether two trains less are needed will depend on the performance of the trains, which has not been disclosed.

But I do feel that the line will suffer a severe case of London Overground Syndrome and actual passenger traffic will exceed forecasts by a large margin.

Without the freight trains on the line, I suspect that with enough trains, the frequency on this line could be increased to six tph.

But I wouldn’t rule it out happening some time in the future, when the following has been done.

  • The Barking Riverside Extension has been completed.
  • The xtra trains for Barking Riverside have been delivered.
  • All trains using the line work under ETCS.

I think it should be noted that after completion of the Barking Riverside Extension, Platform 1 at Barking station will probably be available for turning trains, at times of service disruption.

From what I’ve seen of station works on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, it might already be possible to add one or two coaches to the trains, if they are needed.

So there could be scope to massively increase the capacity of the line.

An Improved Chingford Branch Line

The London Overground service on the Chingford Branch Line has a frequency of four tph between Liverpool Street and Chingford, with trains taking twenty-seven minutes for the trip with seven stops.

Improvements proposed for the line include.

  • An increased frequency of trains.
  • Better connection between Chingford/Walthamstow and Stratford, via a reinstated Hall Farm Curve.
  • New stations at Forest Road and Chingford Hatch.

The problem is the restriction caused by the level crossing at Highams Park station, which probably limits the line to its current frequency.

However, the higher performance Class 710 trains, digital signalling and some innovative timetabling could see an improved service that satisfies all stakeholders.

An Improved Service To Enfield Town

Enfield Town station has a service to Liverpool Street with the following characteristics.

  • A two tph service in the Off Peak
  • , A four tph service in the Peak
  • Trains take thirty-four minuses with twelve or thirteen intermediate stops.
  • Some intermediate stations are step-free like Edmonton Green, but others need a lot of improvement.

There is also the massive new development of Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium at White Hart Lane station, which will be built fully-step-free.

It looks like London Overground have prepared for the stadium development, in that two extra tph are planned for the route from 2019 along with new Class 710 trains.

The question also has to be asked if, the new |Class 710 trains  can do the trip fast enough to bring the round trip time to under an hour.

If they can, it appears, that the same number of trains will be able to add two tph to the timetable.

An Improved Service To Cheshunt

Cheshunt station has a service to Liverpool Street withe the following characteristics.

  • A two tph London Overground service in the Off Peak taking astound 39 minutes with fifteen stops.
  • A four tph Greater Anglia service in the Off Peak taking astound 23-29 minutes with 1-5 stops.

It looks to me, that the higher performance of the new trains will improve the service to Cheshunt.

White Hart Lane

White Hart Lane station is being rebuilt with full step-free access to cope with sixty-thousand crowds at Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium.

The Off Peak London Overground services will be at least as follows, after 2019.

  • Four tph to Enfield Town
  • Two tph to Cheshunt
  • Six tph to Liverpool Street
  • There will also be extra trains on match-days.

Wikipedia says this about Tottenham Hotspur matches.

On days that see football matches at Tottenham Hotspur’s ground nearby the station sees increased usage. A special timetable operates on match days, with trains arriving and departing every few minutes before and after the game. There is an increase in the number of trains to and from the line’s termini at Cheshunt and Enfield Town, as well as starting and terminating White Hart Lane trains and services to and from Edmonton Green and Liverpool Street. Abellio Greater Anglia occasionally serve the station on match days only, similarly to Northumberland Park Station.

Historically, additional match-day services also connected to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line and to Stratford from Cheshunt.

The historical route from Stratford to Cheshunt via White Hart Lane is still intact and it’s fully electrified.

Dalston Interchange

Crossrail 2 envisages a mega-station at Dalston.

  • It will connect to the current two stations of Dalston Junction and Dalston Kingsland.
  • It will make it easier for passengers to connect between the North and East London Lines.
  • The connection to the East London Line will connect Crossrail 2 to a large number of stations in East and South-East London.
  • The connection to the North London Line will connect Crossrail 2 to a large number of stations in North London.
  • The station could become a major bus interchange.

A mega-station will surely help in the development of much needed housing in the area.

The current lack of direct connectivity between the North and East London Lines at Dalston is a big weakness. Walking between the two stations is an obstacle course on crowded narrow pavements, alongside the busy Kingsland High Street.

The problems are worse, as Dalston Kingsland station, is a busy station without step-free access.

The Crossrail 2 mega-station at Dalston will hopefully solve this connectivity problem, as there could be a step-free tunnel underneath Kingsland High Street.

But Dalston needs a solution now!

A chance was lost, with three new developments along Kingsland High Street between the two stations, which were built without improving the quality of pedestrian routes.

This Google Map shows the two stations.

Note the Kingsland Shopping Centre, which is single storey with a lot of surface-level parking.

The owners have submitted plans for redevelopment, but nothing seems to have happened.

I’m sure, that an imaginative developer could create something worthwhile.

  • Some quality shops for Dalston’s residents.
  • New land could be created over the top of the North London Line.
  • More efficient parking.
  • Some green space.
  • Housing on top of the shopping centre.
  • A pleasant walking route with perhaps cafes and small shops between the two stations.

There could be a new step-free entrance to Dalston Kingsland station on the East side of Kingsland High Street, to serve the Shopping Centre and Ridley Road Market.

It seems to me that a good plan for Dalston could be developed, that would work with or without the building of Crossrail 2.

There is a precedent for building on the surface first, in that Moor House was built on the site of the future Crossrail station and incorporated the ventilation shaft for the railway line.

Perhaps, Foster and Partners should do their best for Dalston!

Hackney Interchange

Hackney Central and Hackney Downs stations are now linked by a walkway and will increasingly become an important interchange between the North London and Lea Valley Lines.

Proposals are being developed to improve both stations.

The combined station might even get another Eastern branch of Crossrail 2.

STAR

STAR is a new service being added to the rail network in East London.

  • STAR stands for Stratford-Tottenham-Angel Road.
  • Meridian Water is a new station that will serve a massive £3.5 billion development and replace Angel Road station.
  • A third track is being added between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water stations.
  • The service will have a frequency of at least four tph.

This page on the Network Rail web site, which is entitled Lee Valley Rail Programme,  gives more details.

  • 5,500 metres of new track will be installed.
  • ,This would appear to be about the distance of a single track from Meridian Water to just short of Lea Bridge station.
  • Tottenham Hale station is being made Crossrail 2-ready and developed into a major step-free transport hub, linking West Anglia Main  Line, Victoria Line and numerous bus routes.
  • Northumberland Park station is being replaced with a new step-free station.
  • The new track and the extra platforms at Tottenham Hale and Northumberland Park could be bidirectional.

The engineering seems to be progressing, but I have questions about the passenger service.

I think the extra track could be used in one in three ways.

  1. The new line would be used by all trains going South from the West Anglia Main Line to Stratford.
  2. Trains between Stratford and North of Meridian Water, that needed to call at all stations, would use the line as a loop.
  3. A dedicated service would run between Stratford and Meridian Water.

Currently trains between Angel Road and Lea Bridge take twelve minutes. If four tph were to run between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water in both directions, that would take eighty-four minutes.

I suspect even with Greater Anglia’s new Class 720 trains, that are modern 100 mph trains designed for fast stops at stations, that running four tph in both directions along the new third track is difficult, if not impossible.

So it would appear that using the third track for Southbound services to Stratford is the only viable option.

  • Greater Anglia also want to run direct services between Stratford and Stansted, which would perhaps add two tph to the route.
  • The track layout would be very simple with no flat junctions.
  • At Meridian Water, Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale, island platforms would mean passenger-friendly separate platform faces for Liverpool Street and Stratford services.
  • Northbound services from Liverpool Street and Stratford would merge between Coppermill Junction and Tottenham Hale.

Note.

  1. Digital signalling could be needed, to ensure safe and efficient operation of the trains.
  2. If the third tack was designed for fast running, there could be time savings on Stansted Express running to and from Stratford for Crossrail and all the other connections.
  3. The third track could probable handle at least ten tph

 

At the Stratford end, four tph could be accommodated in Platform 11 as the two tph West Anglia service are ow!

But the extra trains for Stansted Express would probably need another method.

Could we see all services using the High Meads Loop and calling in Platform 12?

  • Stansted Expresses used to do this, some years ago.
  • Loops like this have a capacity of upwards of ten tph.
  • Platform 12 at Stratford is not used at present.
  • Crossing of other tracks on flat junctions in the Stratford area could be minimised.
  • Time would be saved on turning trains, as the driver would not have to change ends.
  • Platform 11 at Stratford could still be used as a bay platform for trains from the West Anglia Main Line.

There are a lot of possibilities, but the following will happen.

  • There will be at least a four tph stopping service between Stratford and Meridian Water.
  • This stopping service could continue to Hertford East or Bishops Stortford, as the current Stratford services do now!
  • Stansted Expresses will run to Stratford.
  • There will be excellent stations at Meridian Water, Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale.
  • Further capacity will be created.

It could also  be the first instalment of a clever plan to four-track the West Anglia Main Line, as far as Broxbourne.

I could envisage the extra tracks being squeezed in a section at a time, whilst the current services continue on the West Anglia Main Line.

The Northern City Line

The Northern City Line is North London’s forgotten commuter railway, that runs from Moorgate to North London and into Hertfordshire.

  • The Class 313 trains are some of the oldest scrapyard specials on the UK network.
  • Most stations need refurbishment and the addition of step-free access.
  • Many of the stations need a good cleaning and a lick of paint.
  • Some of the operating procedures haven’t changed since the Victorian era.
  • Six tph work in the Off-Peak, with up to fifteen tph in the Peak.
  • Weekend service is patchy.
  • The line has cross-platform interchange with the Victoria Line at Highbury and Islington station.

The good news is coming thick and fast for this line.

  • Crossrail will have a step-free connection to the Northern City Line at Moorgate station in December 2018.
  • Highbury and Islington station is planned to be redeveloped with a second entrance and step-free access.
  • Finsbury Park station is being redeveloped with more capacity and step-free access.
  • Alexandra Palace station will get step-free access.
  • Extra track capacity has been installed between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace.
  • Work will be done to improve Gordon Hill and Stevenage stations.

The big change will be the new Class 717 trains, which could increase train frequency to twelve tph.

When the stations have been updated and the new trains are running, this line will become a much more valuable part of London’s rail infrastructure.

  • It connects to Crossrail at the Southern end.
  • It connects to Thameslink and the East Coast Main Line at the Northern end.
  • It connects to the Victoria and North London Lines at Highbury and Islington station.
  • The new trains will offer increased capacity, comfort and frequency and reduced journey times.
  • In the future it will connect with Crossrail 2 at New Southgate, Alexandra Park and Moorgate

Before Crossrail 2 is opened, the Northern City Line can be developed into a very valuable alternative route in East London.

The Docklands Light Railway Extensions To Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria

If there’s a capacity problem anywhere to the East of Bank station, you can always expect Cinderella to keep people moving. If they gave medals for transport at Olympic Games, then the 2012 Gold would have gone to the Docklands Light Railway.

Despite being built down to a cost, it seems to have been designed to a quality, that

  • Provides a reliable service in Docklands and to and from Canary Wharf
  • Inspires affection in its passengers.
  • Encourages residents and visitors to use the system.
  • Allows easy extension of the system.

Now that the line will be getting new trains, which will probably offer.

  • Increased capacity.
  • More comfort.
  • Better passenger facilities.
  • Increased frequencies.

Perhaps it is time to give travellers between Bank station and the East, a new route to Central London.

This map shows the proposed extension of the Docklands Light Railway to the West.

Note that this is a well-connected extension.

  • Charing Cross, Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria are major rail interchanges.
  • There are several interchanges with the Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.
  • Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria will be on Crossrail 2.
  • City Thameslink and St. Pancras are interchanges with Thameslink.

In addition, Bank, Charing Cross, Euston and Holborn are or will be upgraded.

The only thing missing is an easy interchange with Crossrail to the West of Bank.

Conclusion

I’m certain that someone must have added up the capacity, that all of the smaller projects will bring across London.

I haven’t but some of the current in-progress projects in the pipeline will add a lot of capacity to the South-West to North-East corridor across London.

  • The new trains and signalling for the Piccadilly Line.
  • The new Class 710 trains for the London Overground in North-East London.
  • Extra capacity across North London on the North London and Gospel Oak to Barking Lines.
  • Extra capacity between North and South London on Thameslink, the East London Line and a split Northern Line.
  • Extra capacity between East and West London on Crossrail and the Circle, District and Metropolitan Lines.
  • Develop the West London Line to its full potential.
  • The capacity upgrade at Waterloo station.
  • Four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line has started with the addition of a third track for STAR.

Could everything in London be organised, so that the only thing needed to complete Crossrail 2, is to build the Central Tunnel?

I believe this could be so!

So perhaps in 2035 or even later, the Central Tunnel would be built to link everything together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 22, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Hard Look At Crossrail 2

We’re nearly into 2017 and in the last year or so various projects have been suggested and events have happened, that could affect the need, design and use for Crossrail 2.

In alphabetical order, here they are.

Bakerloo Line Extension

It now looks like the Mayor is keen to get the Bakerloo Line Extension started, so it can be completed earlier in 2029.

This will be a tube-size extension and if it goes as quietly as the Northern Line Extension, I can’t see its construction causing much disruption.

Note these points about the Bakerloo Line with its Extension.

  • It will be a feeder line into Waterloo station,
  • The line has no connection to Crossrail 2
  • The line will have interchange with Thameslink at Elephant and Castle station, which is scheduled for upgrading.
  • The line will have a useful cross-platform interchange with the Victoria Line at Oxford Circus station.
  • The line will have an interchange with the East London Line at New Cross Gate station.
  • The line connects to four main line termini; Charing Cross, Marylebone, Paddington and Waterloo.

Because it connects to so many other lines and doesn’t connect to Crossrail 2, I feel that this project should be done before Crossrail 2.

Battersea Power Station Station

To be expanded!

Brexit

Who knows what effect this will have on Crossrail 2?

Cannon Street, Charing Cross, London Bridge and Waterloo East Stations

London Bridge station  will become effectively four stations after rebuilding is finished.

  • Platforms 1 to 3 will be a three-platform through station for trains to and from Cannon Street station.
  • Platforms 4 and 5 will be an island platform through station for Thameslink.
  • Platforms 6 to 9 will be a four-platform through station for trains to and from Charing Cross station.
  • Platforms 10 to 15 will become a six-platform terminal station.

Note.

  1. Exchange between any two sets of services is step-free and by escalator or lift.
  2. Platforms 4-5 are the only island platform on Thameslink’s central core.
  3. London Bridge will become London’s most usable large station and expose St. Pancras for the fraud that it is.

London Bridge is already changing my travel patterns.

  • When coming back from South of London, I always use the station and get a 141 bus from the forecourt.
  • When returning from Waterloo, I often walk to Waterloo East station and get a train across to London Bridge..
  • Charing Cross station is difficult to access from North and East London, so I now can easily access Charing Cross services from London Bridge.

The proof of the pudding is true for me with London Bridge.

Once  the Thameslink Programme and the rebuilding of London Bridge station is finished, I believe that the improvements across the South Bank will be impressive and very convenient for passengers.

There is one project left to be defined and started.

The upgrading of the rather poor Waterloo East station should meet the following objectives.

  • Better information as to which platform to get the next train.
  • Better access from street level.
  • Faster access with perhaps a travelator from Waterloo station.
  • Better connections to the Underground.

Given the location of the station, it could be one that was redeveloped to provide commercial or residential properties with a new station underneath.

If it were updated to a modern standard, it would become a true Charing Cross South station.

Central Line Improvements

The Central Line could be considered to be Crossrail Zero and various plans exist to improve it.

The Central Line is in some ways the joker in the pack, so don’t be surprised at some of the projects that take place on this line.

Its biggest effect on Crossrail 2, is that because of it’s connections in North-East London, an improved Central Line, Liverpool Street station and Four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line could absorb more traffic from North East to Central  and West London.

Chiltern Metro Creation

Wikipedia says this about a Chiltern Metro.

New Chiltern Metro Service that would operate 4+tph for Wembley Stadium, Sudbury & Harrow Road, Sudbury Hill Harrow, Northolt Park, South Ruislip and West Ruislip. This would require a reversing facility at West Ruislip, passing loops at Sudbury Hill Harrow, and a passing loop at Wembley Stadium (part of the old down fast line is in use as a central reversing siding, for stock movements and additionally for 8-car football shuttles to convey passengers to the stadium for events).[73] This ‘Chiltern Metro’ service was not programmed into the last round of franchising agreements.

When I wrote Could A Chiltern Metro Be Created? and came to the conclusion, that it might be possible, I got several positive responses.

With Chiltern getting access to Old Oak Common station in the future, this is the sort of project that Chiltern could develop themselves, if capacity was available.

This project wouldn’t connect to Crossrail 2, so I doubt its creation will have much affect on Crossrail 2.

It would certainly be a good fit wit the Bakerloo Line at Marylebone.

Clapham Junction Station

Clapham Junction station is a station that doesn’t make use of its full potential and I suspect that it will see considerable improvement before the late-2020s.

  • The Northern Line will be extended to Clapham Junction from Battersea Power station.
  • Crossrail 2 could be built to call at the station.
  • Reorganisation of the suburban services from Waterloo through Wimbledon could see a high-frequency 20 tph service calling at the station.
  • Could a similar reorgnaisation of services from Waterloo through Richmond create a high-frequency service on that route.
  • The Overground will be providing 6 tph from Dalston Junction from 2018.

I have not talked about the other main line services into Victoria.

  • It looks like suburban services into Waterloo can be grouped into high-frequency Waterloo-Richmond and Waterloo-Wimbledon Metros.
  • Could the services out of Victoria be grouped into a similar set of high-frequency Metros?

It does appear that suburban services between Victoria and Balham call at  Clapham Junction station as follows.

  • Platform 14 – Towards Victoria
  • Platform 15 – Towards Balham

As there would appear to be around 12 tph in both directions, could the capacity between Balham and Victoria be increased using ATO.

All this could result in a much more efficient station at Clapham Junction, with high-frequency suburban services and room for more  long-distance services.

Continental Connections At Ebbsfleet And Stratford positive comments

Millions of pounds were poured into creating the inadequate station at St. Pancras International.

  • There are not enough platforms for future Continental and Midland Main Line services.
  • Connection to the Underground and Thameslink are terrible.
  • St. Pancras is not on Crossrail, which was a truly awful design crime.
  • Passenger connections between the various lines at St. Pancras were designed by someone, who never used a train.

As the Heritage Taliban would forbid the demolishing of the station, we must find ways of making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Developing Ebbsfleet International and Stratford International, as flexible interchanges for the Continent might be a workable project, to squeeze a quart into the pint bottle that is St. Pancras.

  • Some Continental trains would all go to St. Pancras and stop selectively at Stratford and Ebbsfleet.
  • Low-cost Continental services would terminate at Ebbsfleet.
  • Train stabling could be simplified by creating more at Ebbsfleet.
  • Stratford Internation and Stratford stations need a high capacity link, that means you don’t have to walk through Eastfield.
  • Ebbsfleet and Stratford would have easy access to Crossrail.
  • Tottenham Court Road station would be about 25-30 minutes from Ebbsfleet, Gatwick and Heathrow.

Sorting out Continental services by avoiding St. Pancras could lower the need to improve services to St. Pancras by building Crossrail 2.

Crossrail Collateral Improvements

Crossrail will not only go East-West across London, but it will enable other improvements.

  • Undergroud Lines at Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations have already got better access.
  • Whitechapel station will be a major interchange.
  • The Bakerloo Line will get step-free access at Paddington station.
  • Access to the Nortern City Line at Moorgate station will be improved.
  • The Jubilee Line will become a loop of Crossrail between Straford and Bond Street via Canary Wharf, London Bridge and Waterloo.

The last two points will dramatically increase access to Waterloo station for its revamped suburban services, which are planned to become part of Crossrail 2.

Four-Tracking Of The West Anglia Main Line

If you travel to Cambridge or Stansted Airport in the Evening Peak, it is a nightmare.

Consider.

  • The West Anglia Main Line is a double-track main line.
  • It has a 100 mph maximum speed.
  • The signalling and electrification is generally good.
  • It has several busy level-crossings.
  • Most of the stations are not step-free and inadequate.
  • It has a decent Park-and-Ride station at Whittlesford Parkway, but needs more, including one with access to the Northern part of the M25.
  • An increasing amount of freight from London Gateway could need to use the line.
  • It has two London termini at Liverpool Street and Stratford, both of which will connect to Crossrail.
  • There is space to develop comprehensive interchange stations at Broxbourne, Bishops Stortford and Cambridge South (Addenbrooke’s)
  • In the next decade it will get improved connectivity to branches and East-West routes, like the Chingford, Stanstedand Hertford East branches, the East West Rail Link and improved and possible new lines from Cambridge.

All versions of Crossrail 2 and the improvement of Cambridge and Stansted Airport services, need the West Anglia Main Line to be of the following standard.

  • Four tracks.
  • At least 110 mph running between London and Bishops Stortford.
  • Elimination of level crossings.
  • New strategic stations.
  • Creation of the space for a Northern portal to Crossrail 2.

Project management also says, that this should be done before Crossrail 2, as otherwise the disruption to the West Anglia Main Line will be so high as to be a total nightmare.

Liverpool Street Station

The new Greater Anglia franchise has ordered £1.4billion on new trains.

Will Liverpool Street station be able to cope with all the increased services?

In An Idea For A New Station At Shoreditch High Street, I wrote about plans to create extra platforms North of the station in the area of Shoreditch High Street station.

It’s an idea, but also consider the following.

  • Crossrail will remove some local trains from the station.
  • Platforms at Liverpool Street station will be lengthened.
  • Overground services from the station will be getting new Class 710 trains.
  • The new trains should be able to turn round faster in the station.
  • Other Services might terminate at Stratford.

After Crossrail, the Overground and Greater Anglia have settled down, there will probably be some reorganisation at Liverpool Street station.

Perhaps extra platforms at Shoreditch High Street for Overground services from Liverpool Street station might be a good idea.

  • This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines around Shoreditch High Street station.
Lines Around Shoreditch High Street Station

Lines Around Shoreditch High Street Station

Consider.

  • The new platforms would be in the right place for the lines approaching from Bethnal Green and Hackney.
  • The new platforms could have extension development on top.
  • There would be good connection to the East London Line.
  • Up to four platforms could be released in Liverpool Street station.
  • What would connect all the knitting would be high-quality fast pedestrian links between the new platforms at Shoreditch, the main Liverpool Street station and Crossrail and the various Underground Lines.
  • As the Central Line is not deep underground, could it be opened up so all the terminal platforms at Shoreditch had their own escalators and lifts to the line?
  • Lea Valley services would gain their own well-connected dedicated terminal.
  • Cambridge and Stansted Airports could have the prime positions in the main Liverpool Street station.

Improving services up the Lea Valley, would fulfil some of the objectives of the North East leg of Crossrail 2.

Northern City Line Improvements

Use a station like Essex Road on the Northern City Line  and it’s like going back to the first few years of the Twentieth Century.

But the following improvements are scheduled.

  • New six-car Class 717 trains.
  • 12 tph all day with more in the Peak.
  • Some station improvements would also be welcome.
  • A well-designed interchange to Crossrail, the Underground and main line services out of Liverpool Street, enabled by a massive double-ended station  at Moorgate.
  • Will the operating procedures be modernised?

The line will also be renamed the Great Northern Metro.

It probably doesn’t affect Crossrail 2, but it will provide increased capacity from Hertfordshire into the City and Canary Wharf.

Northern Line Improvements

I may complain about some of the crap 1960s design on the Victoria Line, but many stations on the Northern Line have really been bodged together.

Would improving the line to the standard of the best of the other deep-level tube lines be a cost-effective way of creating a pair of modern North-South routes across London?

Once Camden Town station is rebuilt, Transport for London’s long term objective of splitting the Northern Line into two can be achieved.

  • Edgware to Battersea Power Station via Charing Cross and Waterloo
  • High Barnet to Morden via Bank

Probably the most difficult part, would be choosing understandable names.

The only effect on Crossrail 2, would be that once the Northern Line is split, it will become another feeder route for Waterloo.

Old Oak Common Station

If Old Oak Common station ever gets designed and built, it will enable interchange between a lot of lines.

  • Bakerloo Line
  • Central Line
  • Chiltern Line
  • Crossrail
  • HS2
  • North London Line
  • West Coast Main Line
  • West London Line

The station won’t directly affect Crossrail 2, but it could enable a lot of journeys to be done without it.

I also feel that Old Oak Common station should be built before Crossrail 2 because of its usefullness in avoiding Crossrail 2 territory.

Penge Stations

Various reportsincluding one from TfL have proposed an interchange between Penge East station on the Chatham Main Line with Penge West station on the East London Line.

This could create more capacity between Orpington and Highbury and Islington stations, without going through Victoria.

Piccadilly Line Improvements

I lived on the northern reaches of the Piccadilly Line for the first eighteen years of my life. Quite frankly the stations have changed little since the arrival of the unpainted aluminium 1956 Stock in  the late 1950s.

  • There are a lot of dingy stations.
  • There are very few step-free stations.
  • Some of the Central London stations have very narrow platforms.
  • Interchange with other lines often involves a lot of walking.
  • Compared to other lines, the trains seem slow.
  • The trains are still overcrowded.

Perhaps the biggest change to the line from that period, was the building of the  cross-platform interchange at Finsbury Park station with the Victoria Line, which improves access to Centra London.

But changes are happening.

  • The New Tube for London could be in service on the line by the mid-2020s.
  • The trains will run under ATO.
  • Train frequency will be improved from the current level of around 24 tph most of the week.
  • Crossrail could mean that less passengers use the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow.
  • Holborn station is scheduled for a rebuild.

Hopefully, the new trains will give the line a whole new persona.

Look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr of the lines through Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square stations.

Piccadilly Circus And Leicester Square Stations

Piccadilly Circus And Leicester Square Stations

Note.

  1. These two stations desperately need better and step-free access.
  2. Piccadilly Circus was originally to be a Crossrail 2 station, but this has been dropped.
  3. Both stations have a large Art Deco ticket hall underneath major road junctions.
  4. Neither station has any surface buildings of architectural merit.

Could adding extra passageways, escalators and lifts to these two stations do the following?

  • Make both stations step-free.
  • Give step-free and fast easy access between the Bakerloo and Piccadilly Lines at Piccadilly Circus station.
  • Give step-free and fast easy access between the Northern and Piccadilly Lines at Leicester Square station.

This would give Piccadilly Line passengers easier access to the soon-to-be-extended Northern and Bakerloo Lines.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a radical solution in this area linking the important visitor destinations.

  • Covent Garden.
  • Leicester Square
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Soho
  • Trafalgar Square

It might start with pedestrianising the entire area.

A Piccadilly Line with more capacity, a good interchange at Piccadilly Circus and a better ambience could be an alternative  route to Crossrail 2 for many of those it is designed to serve.

Thameslink Collateral Improvements

Very little has been said about the benefits of an improved Thameslink in Central London.

The features and improvements that could have far reaching affects are.

  • Finsbury Park and Elephant and Castle stations will be rebuilt or upgraded.
  • Will Camberwell station be built?
  • The link to the Piccadilly, Victoria and Northern City Lines at Finsbury Park station could get heavy use to avoid the long walks at St. Pancras.
  • Gatwick Airport has lots of ambitions for a new station to serve most of the South.
  • Thameslink will run initially at 24 tph, but will this limit be increased?

A lot of the plans aren’t finalised yet and it will be interesting to see what develops.

Vauxhall Station Improvements

I use the link at Vauxhall station, between the Victoria Line and Waterloo suburban services occasionally and every time I do, it seems to have been improved.

I suspect Network Rail and Transport for London have ideas to improve the interchange further.

Victoria Line Improvements

Dear Old Vicky – The Silver Queen of them all, who keeps on giving.

There is not much left to do with this line, but more capacity can be handled by doing the following.

  • Create a reversing loop at Brixton via a single platform station under Herne Hill station, which would improve frequency.
  • Create a double-ended station at Walthamstow Central to improve safe capacity and add lifts.
  • Further improve the interchange to services to and from Waterloo at Vauxhall station.
  • Improve stations like Tottenham Hale, Highbury and Islington and Oxford Circus.

As with the Central Line improvements, an improved Victoria Line could provide extra North-East to Central London capacity, prior to the building of Crossrail 2.

Victoria Station Improvements

Victoria station will be getting an upgraded Underground station in 2018.

Victoria is effectively two stations.

  • One for Southeastern services going down the Chatham Main Line.
  • One for Southern services going down the Brighton Main Line.

It is a crazy situation, with London’s most Westerly Southern terminal being the main terminal for the most Easterly services.

The Southern services via Clapham Junction, Balham and East Croydon are not too much of a problem, but the Southeastern services are designed more by the accident of history, than the needs of a modern railway and its passengers.

The typical 2015 off-peak service run by Southeastern is:

  • 4tph to Orpington via Herne Hill and Bromley South
  • 2tph to Dartford via Lewisham and Bexleyheath
  • 2tph to Dover Priory via Bromley South and Chatham
  • 1tph to Ashford International via Bromley South and Maidstone East
  • 1tph to Canterbury West via Bromley South and Maidstone East
  • 1tph to Ramsgate via Bromley South

All of these services have to be timetabled across South London and often cause bottlenecks and troubles at places like Herne Hill.

It has led to a suggestion of a tunnel from Battersea to Bromley under Brixton, that I wrote about in A Tunnel Under Brixton.

Waterloo And City Line Improvements

The Waterloo and City Line is not even a Cinderella Line, but one of her poor rats.

A new high-capacity step-free entrance in Walbrook Square at the Bank station end is opening in 2017.

This will mean that capacity is unbalanced. So could we see the following?

  • Larger capacity and step-free  entrance at the Waterloo end of the line.
  • Higher frequency and larger and more trains working the line.
  • Trains running automatically without drivers.
  • 24/7 operation.
  • The Night Drain, so that bankers can drink and gamble all night!

The upgrading of Bank and Waterloo stations for other services must have their own positive effects.

I believe that the Drain will be a very different animal in 2025.

It will act as a link line to all those suburban services going out of Waterloo. Perhaps an escalator connection between the suburban platforms at Waterloo and the Drain should be provided.

Waterloo Station Improvements

There are various improvements happening at Waterloo station.

  • The Eurostar platforms are being brought into use for suburban services.
  • This extra platform capacity will allow other platforms at Waterloo to be lengthened.
  • South West Trains are currently commissioning a fleet of 30 new Class 707 trains.
  • Improved services are being provided by Southeastern between Charing Cross and London Bridge stations via Waterloo East station, which are made possible by the Thameslink Program.

Whilst Waterloo is not a Crossrail 2 station, a fair proportion of its services via Wimbledon are planned to be transferred to the new line.

How will all the Waterloo developments affect this? I’ve no idea, but TfL could know after the end of 2017 and certainly will by the end of 2018.

Waterloo Station Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2

These suburban termini and their routes are due to be connected to Crossrail 2.

I have written An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, which investigates the issues in detail.

I came to the following conclusion.

Crossrail 2’s proposals for the suburban branch lines from Waterloo to the four destinations of Chessington South, Epsom, Hampton Court and Shepperton stations, can be fulfilled using the following.

  • Modern high-performance 100 mph trains like Class 707 trains.
  • Some improvements to track and signals between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.
  • Wimbledon station would only need minor modifications.
  • A measure of ATO between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.

What effect will this have on the design of Crossrail 2?

Waterloo Station Links To The North,South and East

Waterloo station is well connected to the North,South and East, in the opposite directions to the lines to Vauxhall, Clapham Junction stations and all points South-West.

  • Bakerloo Line between Queen’s Park and Elephant and Castle stations
  • Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line between Camden Town and Kennington stations
  • Jubilee Line between Baker Street and Stratford.stations.
  • Passengers using the Victoria Line to get to and from Waterloo, will use the cross-platform change at Oxford Circus.
  • Waterloo and City Line, to Bank station.

But it will be even better connected by 2029.

  • The Bakerloo Line will go between Queen’s Park and Lewisham stations.
  • The Northern Line could be split into two, with the branch through Waterloo, going between Edgeware and Battersea Power Station stations.
  • The Waterloo and City line will have new entrance in Walbrook Square.
  • Waterloo East station will have frequent connections between Charing Cross and London Bridge stations.
  • Possible improvements at stations like Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus could create excellent links to the Victoria and Piccadilly Lines.

Waterloo station will have superb connections.

I can’t see any reason why, two routes to the South-West branches of Crossrail 2 couldn’t be provided; one through the central tunnel and the other from Waterloo station.

Wimbledon Station

The current plan requires Wimbledon station to be seriously rebuilt and this is causing problems with the natives, which I can understand.

In the plan, twenty tph will come together at Raynes Park or Wimbledon stations and take the tunnel to the North.

But why do all trains have to go through the tunnel?

Some could start at Clapham Junction or Wimbedon stations.

I’m sure that a better plan for Wimbledon will arrive.

An Initial Conclusion

The more I write about rail projects in Central London, the more I’m convinced that a lot of the objectives of Crossrail 2 can be met in other ways.

As an example of my thinking, I believe that new faster Class 707 trains or something similar could double the frequency from 2 tph to the Crossrail 2 frequency of 4 tph on the suburban services out of Waterloo via Wimbledon.

This would mean.

  • Wimbledon station would not need substantial rebuilding.
  • 20 tph would use the slow lines between Waterloo and Wimbledon,
  • Trains would stop as required at Clapham Junction, Earlsfield and Vauxhall.
  • Waterloo to Wimbledon would probably need ATO like Crossrail or Thameslink, but handling 20 tph is not exceptional.

But surely, the biggest factor is that Waterloo to Wimbledon local services would have at least double the capacity.

A Conclusion About Automatic Train Operation

You could argue, that as a Control Engineer, I’m biased, but it seems to me, that if ATO were installed on the lines through Clapham Junction to Waterloo and Victoria capacity could be increased on the following suburban routes.

  • Waterloo to Wimbledon
  • Waterloo to Richmond
  • Victoria to Balham

Whether the Unions would agree to its introduction is another matter.

But then the automation would only need to be to Victoria line standard with driver monitoring.

A Virtual Crossrail 2

I am drawn to thinking that we could have a high-capacity link along generally the route of Crossrail 2, that could be upgraded in the future as circumstances dictate that more capacity is needed.

The existing West Anglia Main Line is congested and it needs to be four-tracked from Coppermill Junction to Broxbourne for several reasons.

  • To accomodate Crossrail 2
  • To handle more trains to Stansted Airport and Cambridge.
  • To handle more freight trains.
  • To increase line speed.

This project would be backed by Greater Anglia, Stanstad Airport, Cambridge and Transport for London.

If the lines out of Waterloo were upgraded, as I mentioned in the previously, there would then be the problem of creating the middle section of a Virtual Crossrail 2.

If an extension to Liverpool Street station were to be built as I indicated earlier to the North of the main line station beside Shoreditch High Street station, there could be at least three routes.

  • Crossrail to Bond Street and then the Jubilee Line.
  • East London Line to Canada Water and then the Jubilee Line.
  • Walk to the Waterloo and City Line.

Good design of the extra platforms might m,ake this work well!

Conversion From Virtual To Real Crossrail 2

The big problem is that those living close to the intermediate stations (Like me!), would not get a brand new railway.

This would need a tunnel to be bored from Tottenham Hale to Wimbledon, which could be delayed until it is really needed and the money can be raised.

There would be ways to cut the cost.

  • The line could be tunnel only and would not connect to surface railways.
  • There would be no station in Chelsea
  • An alternative Southern terminus for Crossrail 2 could be Clapham Junction, Balham or Tooting Broadway stations, but that would mean that Balham and/or Tooting didn’t get their station.
  • It could be created as a small-bore tube between Tottenham Hale and Wimbledon.

Consider the services to the possible Southern termini, if lines through Clapham Junction were to be upgraded with ATO.

  • Wimbledon could be getting 20 tph from Waterloo and 2 tph from Thameslink
  • Balham currently gets 12 tph from Victoria and a few other services.
  • Tooting Broadway will just get the Northern Line.

So it is Tooting Broadway that is in the greatest need of extra services.

If extra services are needed at Wimbledon or Balham, the capacity could be on the existing lines signalled under ATO, which could certainly handle 24 tph.

So would it be logical to not pass through Tooting Broadway station, but use it as the Southern terminal?

Or could a loop tunnel from Clapham Junction go through the following stations?

  • Wandsworth Common
  • Balham
  • Streatham Common
  • Tooting
  • Tooting Broadway and/or St. George’s Hospital
  • Earlsfield

The tunnel is probably too long to be single-track with single-platform stations, like the Loop under Liverpool on the Wirral Line.

But fast trains and good design of track and stations, might just make an affordable Crossrail 2 serving both Balham and Tooting Broadway.

Who knows?

I don’t!

But I have seen some crazy ideas work on my travels around the railways of Europe and we must not put limits on what we think is possible.

Conclusion

I shall be surprised if Crossrail 2 is built before 2040, as various projects and ATO will create enough capacity to push the line futher into the future.

December 28, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Will We Be Seeing More Railway Stations?

I didn’t put any qualification like UK or London in the title of this post, as it is a question that applies to all railways.

The post was prompted by an article in the January 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, which is entitled Funding Buds For New South Wales Stations.

The article talks of two possible stations.

  • A Cardiff Parkway station near St. Mellions.
  • A Magor Walkway station between Newport and Severn Tunnel Junction stations.

Cardiff Parkway station seems the more conventional of the two and is proposed to support a proposed new business park, with car parking and a bus station,

This article on Wales Online is entitled Plans revealed for huge new development and train station in Cardiff that could create 15,000 jobs, gives more details.

On the other hand, according to The Magor And Undy Walkway Station Website, the second station at Magor Walkway appears to be less conventional.

But the two stations do illustrate two common reasons for developing new stations.

A New Station To Support Development

Cardiff Parkway station falls into this category and there are several for this reason in the pipeline.

We will see a lot more, as having a station at a new development, has many positive effects on the project.

A New Station To Provide Better Transport Opportunities

Magor Walkway station falls into this category and others include.

There are also schemes for airport links to Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds and Luton.

Why New Stations Don’t Get Built

Obviously, some stations don’t get built for reasons of practicality and cost.

The traffic may be there, but the proposed site is difficult, so a new station might be impossible to fit the space available.

When a re-opened station like Lea Bridge is reported to cost £11million, without car parking, new stations don’t come cheap.

So new stations need a good financial case to get built.

Another factor that is often ignored by campaigners for new stations, is the knock-on effects they will have on services through the station.

Stopping trains at a station on a single or double-track line will effectively block the line, thus slowing other traffic in the area.

But Innovation Is Making It Easier To Build New Stations

In the following sections, I shall detail some of the ideas and innovations that will make the building of stations easier.

The Rise Of The Single-Platform Station

Single-platform stations are not that common in the UK, and the first new one of this type I saw was James Cook station, which I wrote about in James Cook Station – The Reinvention Of The Halt .

Other recently built stations in this category include.

Note there is a parkway station on the list and Galashiels is a major train-bus interchange.

A good proportion of the list are also on newly opened lines.

Consider the advantages of a single-platform station.

  • There is no need for an expensive footbridge., that is part of the station.
  • Only one set of shelters, ticket machines and information displays are needed.
  • Single platform stations can be easily made long enough for the largest trains that will call.
  • Interchange to cars, buses and taxis is quick and easy.
  • Modern signalling makes bi-directional operation safe.

There may also be advantages in fitting a station into a restricted space, like shopping centres, airports, sports grounds or an historic town centre.

I think we’ll see a lot more single platform stations in the future.

The Express Stop Train

Next time, you’re on a train, notice how long it takes to perform a stop at a typical station.

It is often not a quick process.

  • Passengers have to lift children, buggies, bicycles and heavy cases over the step up or down between train and platform.
  • Passengers coming on get in the way of passengers getting off.
  • On a crowded train, that is not working under driver-only-operation (DOO) rules, the guard often has to struggle to get in position to open the doors.
  • Older trains without information systems, often mean that passengers aren’t ready to get off, so cause delays at the stop.

But look at the new trains for Merseyrail, I wrote about in Thoughts On Merseyrail’s New Trains.

  • They are designed to eliminate the gap between station and train and for passengers to step or roll across quickly.
  • They will have wide doors and probably ample lobbies, to ease entry and exit.
  • They will be information-rich trains, as are all modern trains.
  • They will be DOO, which avoids guard delays on crowded trains.
  • They will have high performance with respect to braking and acceleration.

I also wonder if braking and acceleration will be automated, so that they are fast, smooth and very safe in all weather and track conditions.

On Merseyrail, this will result in faster trains and a saving of nine minutes between Southport and Hunts Cross is quoted.

New trains on Greater Anglia, will also give substantial help in enabling a headline-grabbing Norwich in 90 and Ipswich in 60 service for all trains.

I suspect that as new trains improve their stop times, it will make it easier for a new station to be fitted into an intense schedule on a main line with extensive services.

Stations Without Electrification

Often electriofying stations is an expensive business, in planning, execution and in operation.

With the development of bi-mode and battery trains and especially ones that can switch mode automatically, I think we’ll see a lot more stations left without electrification, thus eliminating health and safety and heritage issues, whilst reducing costs.

The Station On A Train

Merseyrail’s new trains will be DOO and from the reports, it appears that all the CCTV needed for safe operation will be on the train, rather than the station.

So will this allow Merseyrail to simplify their stations, with the only CCTV needed on stations being only that for passenger and station security.

I wonder if the driver will have access to a station’s CCTV as he approaches. Being able to assess crowd density in a station on approach must be to the driver’s advantage.

Ticket Machines On A Train

Operators might even put a card-only ticket machine on the train, so the number of machines in stations can be cut to save costs.

I have seen this is in several places in Europe, but never in the UK.

Tram Style Operation Of Local Trains

There are two basic types of through platforms  in the UK, served by local or regional passenger trains.

  • Platforms where some freight and passenger trains pass through without stopping.
  • Platforms where all trains stop.

Merseyrail’s Northern Line and some of the branches of the Wirral Line would be examples of the second.

What would be the implications for station design, if say a branch line worked exclusively by one type of train ran to say a tram speed limit and the visual rules a tram driver would obey in the centre of Birmingham, Manchester or Nottingham.

Could we see new two platform stations built like say this station on the Croydon Tramlink?

Gentle Ramps To the Platforms

Passengers would just walk across the tracks to get to the other side.

I believe that Merseyrail’s new trains could work in this way.

Consider.

  • Stadler have enormous experience of trams and tram-trains.
  • Merseyrail’s new trains can be fitted with batteries, so for perhaps fifty metres either side of the station, the third rail can be removed.
  • The new trains look like trams, although they are trains.
  • There will always be a driver in the front of the train with a big horn, as the train enters the station.
  • Trains would be restricted to tram speeds in the station area.

Imagine a station on a network like Merseyrail or perhaps a branch line like the Walton-on-the-Naze Branch of the Sunshine Coast Line.

A train stopping at the station would go through the following procedure.

  • A safe distance from the station, after ascertaining, that the line in the station is clear, the driver initiates the automatic stop procedure or halts the train.
  • The train slows automatically from line speed to the tram speed perhaps fifty metres from the station.
  • The train proceeds automatically to the station at tram speed using onboard stored energy, as there is no electrification.
  • The driver would open the doors, so that passengers and their belongings can be unloaded and loaded.
  • Once everything is ready, the driver closes the doors and initiates the automatic leave sequence.
  • The train leaves the station at tram speed.
  • Once electrification starts and the train is connected, the train automatically accelerates back to line speed.

Note.

  1. The train is not at line speed anywhere near the station.
  2. The driver can take control at any time.
  3. The procedure is not very far removed from that used on the Victoria Line since 1967!

Effectively the operation of the train through the station is train-tram-train.

I wonder if Merseyrail have been thinking this way to create a tram-train link to Liverpool Airport.

Conclusion

Various innovations will mean that stations will cost less.

  • Simpler design.
  • Step-free without footbridges.
  • Less expensive features.
  • Equipment moved from station to train.

In addition, trains will find it easier to fit stops into busy timetables.

This will mean that the available station budget will go further and more stations will be built.

 

December 25, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Overground Station For Camberwell?

In Transport for London’s Transport Plan for 2050, there is this paragraph.

Some examples of the type of scheme to help address these issues are an upgrade to the London Overground network to provide 6 car trains and new stations on existing lines, e.g. at Camberwell, that can plug connectivity gaps and act as development nodes.

By Camberwell, I suspect they mean at Loughborough Junction, where the London Overground passes over Thameslink. A couple of years ago, I visited the site and created a post with some pictures.

I said this about creating a Camberwell Beauty out of Loughborough Junction.

It is one of these problems that needs imagination. A good architect might be able to produce an elegant connection between the two lines and then link it to the ground on the other side of Coldharbour Lane to the current station entrance. Looking at the local bus map, shows that the area is well served by bus routes, so perhaps we could make Loughborough Junction a true interchange in the east of Brixton.

I shall go again to see if a development node can be used to bridge a significant connectivity gap in London’s train system.

On a personal note, it would really improve the ease of my getting onto Thameslink routes to the South.

August 9, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 3 Comments