The Anonymous Widower

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Serving South-East London

The Inadequacies Of Abbey Wood Station

Abbey Wood station is the Elizabeth Line’s main terminus in South-East London.

The architecture is impressive, as the pictures taken before the station was finished show.

But other things are less than impressive.

  • There is no station parking.
  • Central London rail terminals served by Elizbeth Line services are only Liverpool Street/Moorgate and Paddington.
  • Central London rail terminals served by National Rail services are Cannon Street, London Bridge, King’s Cross and St. Pancras.

In my view, Abbey Wood is a lost cause, as a commuter station, unless substantial parking is built at the station.

Parking At Stations In West Kent

This list shows the number of car parking spaces at stations in West Kent and South East London.

  • Barnehurst – 162 *
  • Belvedere – None *
  • Bexleyheath – 83 *
  • Chatham – 276 *
  • Dartford – 186 *
  • Ebbsfleet International – 4945 #
  • Erith – None *
  • Eynsford – 15
  • Farningham Road – None
  • Gillingham – 152 *
  • Gravesend – 94 *
  • Greenhithe – 8 *
  • Longfield – 88
  • Meopham – 167
  • Northfleet – None *
  • Plumstead – None *
  • Rochester – None *
  • St. Mary Cray – 31
  • Slade Green – 25
  • Sole Street – 61
  • Stone Crossing – None *
  • Strood – 112 *
  • Swanley – 106
  • Swanscombe – None *
  • Welling – 117


  1. An asterisk (*) indicates direct trains to and from Abbey Wood station for the Elizabeth Line.
  2. An hash(#) indicates direct trains to and from Stratford International for the Elizabeth Line.

These figures are according to the National Rail web site.

It looks like unless you can walk to your nearest station and that has an easy connection to Abbey Wood, you’re probably better off going to Ebbsfleet and parking there.

Travelling Between Ebbsfleet International And The Elizabeth Line At Stratford International


  • Southeastern’s Highspeed service between Ebbsfleet International and Stratford International has a frequency of three trains per hour (tph)
  • It takes less than twelve minutes between the two stations.
  • It takes ten minutes to walk between Stratford International and Stratford Station for the Elizabeth Line and Greater Anglia services.
  • There are eight Elizabeth Line tph to Paddington, calling at all stations. For Heathrow change at Whitechapel station.


  1. From these points, it should be possible to estimate the time you should park at Ebbsfleet to get to an event in London or East Anglia, if you live in Kent and are parking at Ebbsfleet International.
  2. I think four tph between Ebbsfleet International and Stratford International would make the route more attractive.
  3. If you’re going to Norwich or Ipswich be careful, as only one of the two tph stop at Stratford.

I catch the 12:30 from Liverpool Street for matches at Ipswich on Saturdays. This is the 12:38 from Stratford, so I suspect if you parked at parked at Ebbsfleet before 12:00, you’d make it.

Who’d have thought, that when they built the massive car parks at Ebbsfleet international, that they would be a Park-and-Ride for football at Ipswich. And Norwich too!

Changing Trains At Stratford

This map from Cartometro shows the two Stratford stations.


  1. The Elizabeth Line is shown in purple.
  2. The Central Line is shown in red.
  3. The Jubilee Line is shown in silver.
  4. The Overground is shown in orange.
  5. Lifts and escalators take passengers to and from the surface from between platforms 2 and 3 at Stratford International station.

Two pedestrian tunnels connect all the platforms in Stratford station.

  • Elizabeth Line trains use platforms 5 and 8.
  • Central Line trains use platforms 3, 3a and 6.
  • Great Eastern Main Line trains use platforms 9, 9a and 10.
  • Overground trains use platforms 1 and 2.

All platforms have lifts.

I suspect, that when you get to know the Stratford complex well, it’s easier than it looks.

But it does need better signage.

Full Step-Free Route Between Ebbsfleet And Heathrow Central

I have just used Transport for London’s Journey Planner, as if I was in a wheelchair and need full step-free access to go from Ebbsfleet to Heathrow Central.

This was the route.

  • Southeastern to Stratford International station – 10 mins
  • Walk to Stratford station – 21 mins
  • Jubilee Line to Bond Street – 24 mins
  • Bond Street to Heathrow Central – 32 mins


  1. The times are slower than say myself.
  2. I think it is possible to pick up the Elizabeth Line at Stratford.

But the route is certainly possible in a wheel-chair.

The Penge Interchange

This map from Cartometro shows where the East London Line of the London Overground and the Chatham Main Line between Victoria and Chatham cross in Penge.


  1. The East London Line runs North-South through Sydenham and Penge West stations.
  2. The Chatham Main Line runs through Penge East station.

There is a plan by Transport for London to create a Penge Interchange station on railway land, where the two lines cross.

  • The station could replace Penge West and Penge East stations.
  • It would be fully step-free.
  • Interchange would be allowed between the East London Line and the Chatham Main Line.

This would increase connectivity for those travelling to and from South-East London and West Kent.

I brlieve that this one interchange could help level-up a large area of South-East London.


January 29, 2023 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Linking To The Chatham Main Line


I believe that everybody in the South East of England needs the best access possible to the Elizabeth Line, by train from where they live.

  • The Elizabeth Line serves the important places like Brick Lane, Canary Wharf, the City of London, Heathrow Airport, Liverpool Street station, the Olympic Park, Oxford Street and Paddington station directly.
  • Because of its connection to Thameslink, the Elizabeth Line also serves important places like Bedford, Brighton, Cambridge, Gatwick Airport, Luton Airport and Tate Modern with a single change at Farringdon station.
  • Using the Elizabeth Line, Thameslink and perhaps a bus, it is possible to get to most important places in Central London.
  • The more passengers that use the Elizabeth Line and Thameslink, the more London’s businesses will thrive creating employment and tax revenues.
  • It should also be remembered, that using a train to visit central London, probably cuts your carbon footprint.
  • The Elizabeth Line also cost a fortune, so perhaps by using it, you will be getting some of your portion of what it cost you back.

This post is one of several, where I discuss how to bring more passengers into the Elizabeth Line network.

The Chatham Main Line

This is the introduction to the Wikipedia entry for the Chatham Main Line.

The Chatham Main Line is a railway line in England that links London Victoria and Dover Priory / Ramsgate, travelling via Medway (of which the town of Chatham is part, hence the name).

Services to Cannon Street follow the route as far as St Mary Cray Junction where they diverge onto the South Eastern Main Line near Chislehurst.

Thameslink services to Luton run in parallel from Rainham to Rochester, diverging once across the River Medway at Rochester Bridge Junction onto the North Kent Line via Gravesend and Dartford.

A shuttle service operates on the Sheerness Line which starts at Sittingbourne.


  1. The main London terminals for trains to London on the Chatham Main Line are Cannon Street (Peak only), St. Pancras and Victoria.
  2. Services stop at Rainham station, so passengers can change to the two trains per hour (tph) Thameslink service to Luton.
  3. St. Pancras has one tph from Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, Rainham, Sittingbourne and Faversham stations.
  4. Victoria has two tph from Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, Rainham, Sittingbourne and Faversham stations.
  5. Rochester, Gillingham, Rainham and Faversham can turnback trains to London.

The only connections to the Elizabeth Line are.

  • The HighSpeed service to St. Pancras calls at Stratford International, where the connection is tortuous.
  • The Thameslink service calls at Farringdon, where the connection is easy.

As an example say you were going from Chatham to Heathrow Terminal 4.

The National Rail timetable suggests this route.

  • Southeastern HighSpeed – Chatham to St. Pancras
  • Thameslink – St. Pancras to Farringdon
  • Elizabeth Line – Farringdon to Heathrow

Note that the change at St. Pancras is not the easiest.

Extending The Elizabeth Line To The Chatham Main Line

In Elizabeth Line To Ebbsfleet Extension Could Cost £3.2 Billion, I talk about this proposal as described in this article on Ian Visits.

One of the key features of Crossrail To Ebbsfleet (C2E) project is that instead of all trains terminating at Abbey Wood, trains will terminate as follows.

  • Abbey Wood – 4 tph
  • Northfleet – 4 tph
  • Gravesend – 4 tph

This will mean that 8 tph would pass through Abbey Wood station.

Gravesend is not the best place to turn trains, so why not turn two tph at somewhere like Rochester, Gillingham, Rainham or Faversham?

If two tph to Rainham is good enough for Thameslink, surely two tph to Faversham could be good enough?

Extending The Elizabeth Line To A New Hoo Station

In Effort To Contain Costs For Hoo Reopening, I discussed opening the new Hoo station.


  • Hoo junction to Hoo station is no more than five or six miles.
  • Aventras have been designed to run on battery power, so I suspect Lizzie’s Class 345 trains could be so fitted.
  • Range would be sufficient for one return trip from Hoo junction to Hoo station
  • Two tph at Hoo station could be handled by a single platform.

It looks to me, that of the four tph to Gravesend if C2E is built, two tph could go to both of Hoo and Faversham.

This assumes of course that digital signalling can fit all the trains on the North Kent Line between Abbey Wood and Faversham.

Chatham And London Main Line Stations

In these routes, I am assuming that there are two tph on the Lizzie Line between Faversham and Heathrow.

  • Chatham and Cannon Street – Lizzie Line to Whitechapel and then District Line
  • Chatham and Charing Cross – Lizzie Line to Whitechapel and then District Line
  • Chatham and Euston – Lizzie Line to Whitechapel and then Hammersmith & City Line
  • Chatham and Farringdon – Lizzie Line direct – Thameslink direct
  • Chatham and Fenchurch Street – Lizzie Line to Whitechapel and then District Line
  • Chatham and Liverpool Street – Lizzie Line direct
  • Chatham and Marylebone – Lizzie Line to Paddington and then Bakerloo Line
  • Chatham and Paddington – Lizzie Line direct
  • Chatham and Kings Cross – Thameslink direct – Lizzie Line to Whitechapel and then Hammersmith & City Line
  • Chatham and St. Pancras – Thameslink direct – Southeastern HighSpeed direct
  • Chatham and Victoria – Southeastern direct – Lizzie Line to Whitechapel and then District Line
  • Chatham and Waterloo – Lizzie Line to Paddington and then Bakerloo Line

Note how Whitechapel is an important interchange, as I said in Whitechapel Station Is The Preferred Interchange.


I do believe that the Elizabeth Line could be successfully extended to Kent.



December 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment