The Anonymous Widower

Echoes Of The Past At South Kensington Tube Station

South Kensington Tube Station has been through many changes, since it opened in 1868.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the layout of the lines at the two stations.

skgr

Unusually for the Circle/District Lines, both these stations are island platforms. But note how there used to be platforms on the outside of the lines we see today.

These are some pictures I took today.

There certainly quite a bit of space and abandoned infrastructure in the station.

In the Wikipedia entry for the station, under Future Proposals, failed plans for developing above the station are detailed.

It’s certainly puzzling, why the space isn’t used better, as it is a site of 0.77 hectares.

It might also be a space large enough to put in an extra platform, if that were needed.

January 29, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Changing Between The Circle/District Lines And Victoria Line At Victoria Tube Station

This is not a change, I do regularly, as I have direct access to the Circle/District Lines at Whitechapel station, but it must be a change that some passengers need to do.

For example.

  • Sloane Square to Kings Cross St. Pancras
  • Temple to Kings Cross St. Pancras
  • Monument to Pimlico

In these journeys a good interchange at Victoria could speed up the journey.

One thing that helps is the upwards of thirty trains per hour on the Victoria Line, where you only have to wait under three minutes for a train on that line.

I did this the District/Victoria change this morning and took these pictures.

The new passages and escalators certainly speed up the change.

The position of the passages may be more obvious from this map from carto.metro.free.fr.

victorialines

Note that the escalators to the Cardinal Place entrance are the more Northerly of the three sets and I think it is reasonable, that they start between platforms 3 and 4 and rise to the surface in line with the platforms.

The divided passage connecting the two lines would appear to be underneath the Circle/District platforms and lines and after aligning Northwards it links up with the middle set of escalators between the two platforms of the Victoria Line.

In some ways it looks like the space underneath the Circle/District Lines has been dug in a similar manner to the traditional mining method of room and pillar. There certainly seems to be tunnels going everywhere, but I suspect the methods used were more sophisticated than the traditional mining ones. I suspect that there may even have been a fair bit of hand digging.

At the top of the escalators connecting the Cardinal Place entrance to the Victoria Line, there would appear to be another blocked off passageway leading off to the west.

Where Does This Passage Go?

Could behind the blue be future-proofing for another exit on the West side of Bressenden Place close to the Victoria Palace theatre?

I have found this visualisation on the Internet in this PDF document on the TfL web site.

The Passenger Link Between North And South Ticket Halls At Victoria Tube Station

The Passenger Link Between North And South Ticket Halls At Victoria Tube Station

So it would appear to be a passenger link, allowing passengers to enter the station at the Cardinal Place entrance walk underground to the South Ticket Hall and from there into the main line station.

Passengers entering the station at the Cardinal Place entrance, in the top right of the visualisation,would take the following route.

  • Go down the escalators after the ticket gates.
  • Take the cross passage, that also leads to the second set of escalators for the Victoria Line.
  • Go straight on into the connecting passage.
  • The passage turns left and goes over the Victoria Line platforms and under the Circle/District Line platforms.
  • After crossing the platforms, the passage turns right to run parallel with the Victoria Line platforms.
  • A set of new escalators, then brings passengers to and from the South Ticket Hall.

It’s a bit round the houses, but I suspect it was the best that can be done in the grand scheme of things.

  • The Terminal Place entrance, has its own routes to all four Underground platforms.
  • The Cardinal Place entrance, has direct access to the Victoria Line platforms and indirect access to the Circle/District Line platforms.
  • There is a short route between the Circle/District and Victoria Lines.
  • There is a walking route in the dry between the Cardinal Place entrance and the main line station.

I wonder when the scheme opens will there be other features to improve routes and accessibility.

 

 

January 17, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Start Of Change At Victoria Tube Station

On the early-evening BBC London News last night, the BBC showed preview pictures of the new entrance to Victoria tube station, which they indicated is on Brettenham Place.

The station certainly needs more capacity, as this extract from Wikipedia indicates.

Victoria is currently the fourth busiest station on the London Underground, after Waterloo, Oxford Circus and King’s Cross St. Pancras, with nearly 85 million using the station (not including interchanging passengers) in 2013, of which around 60 million (including interchanges) use the Victoria line platforms. The station was not built for this number of passengers, which results in severe overcrowding. To prevent any dangerous situations like crowds pushing people off the platforms onto the track, crowd control measures are in place at the busiest times. This effectively means closing all the entrances to the Underground platforms and operating as an exit-only station until the overcrowding is relieved. These measures can last anywhere between a couple of minutes (when minor delays are occurring) up to several hours (during major incidents).

As to the layout of lines through the station, Victoria tube station is fairly simple, as this map from carto.metro.free.fr shows.

victorialines

Note.

  • The Circle and District Lines have a typical Victorian layout, with two platforms on the outside of the tracks.
  • The 1960s designers of the Victoria Line at least left a lot of space between the two tracks.
  • The Victoria Line also incorporates two full sidings, numbered 22 and 23 between the tracks.

As nearly all trains throughout the day run run between Walthamstow Central and Brixton, the use of these sidings must only be for purposes like overnight stabling and parking failied trains.

According to Wikipedia, currently each set of lines have their own ticket offices on different levels and built over a hundred years apart.

Walking between the Circle/District Lines and the main line station is not for the faint-hearted or those with need for step-free access. The 1960s designers at least made walking between the Victoria Line and the main line station a bit easier, but there is still a flight of steps to be overcome.

If I go to Victoria station with a wheeled bag, which is not often, I take the easy route of a 38 or N38 bus from around the corner, direct from around the corner from my house.

So what is happening over this weekend?

This Google Map shows the area to the North of the station.

victoriastation

Note.

  • North of Victoria Street is a massive building site.
  • The rows of white-roofed red buses on the station forecourt..

Wikipedia says this about the current upgrade.

To provide a lasting solution to this problem preparatory building work has begun on major upgrade of the station. This will include a new northern exit/entrance on the north-west corner of Victoria Street which will be accessible via a new additional ticket office under Bressenden Place that will lead to both the Victoria line and the Circle and District line platforms.

I will go and do some more digging.

The Victoria Line Platforms

Currently, the Victoria Line platforms have two sets of escalators.

  • The original set of three, that so up into the Victoria Line ticket hall under the bus station.
  • A second set of three, that go from the platforms into a series of passages underneath the Circle and District Line platforms, to which they connect with short sets of stairs.

These pictures show the Victoria Line platforms, various passages and works.

It looks like there are two new sets of works.

One set could just be an extension of the current lobby at the bottom of the original escalators. This would increase the capacity between the Victoria Line and the main line station.

Judging by the sign saying Cardinal Place on the other works at the Northern End of the platforms, it would appear that these works are a new entrance from Cardinal Place.

The Cardinal Place Entrance

On the surface, the Cardinal Place Entrance is clearly visible, outside the Cardinal Place development.

According to a personable member of the station staff, The new entrance will open sometime after ten on Monday morning.

At Cardinal Place, the overall design would appear to be simple, where an escalator shaft has been dug between the Northern end of the Victoria Line platforms and a new entrance hall beneath Bressenden Place, which then has the simple pop-up entrance shown in my pictures

The constructure, appears to have been carried out, without massive closures of the Victoria Line platforms.

The surface building also looks very similar in concept to the new standalone glass and steel entrances at Kings Cross St. Pancras and Tottenham Court Road stations.

So I wonder how many new entrances can be created at existing stations, by using a similar design and building method.

Walthamstow Central Station

Walthamstow Central station suffers very bad overcrowding , with only two escalators and no lifts having to cope with the passengers from over 40 trains per hour.

This map from carto.metro.free,fr shows the layout of platforms at the station.

wcp

Note how there is a wide lobby at the Eastern end of the platforms underneath the Overground lines, which is used to accommodate the escalators and the waiting queues of passengers.

The crossover to the West of the station was installed in August 2015 and I suspect that this work didn’t compromise any of Transport for London’s thoughts  of improving capacity at Walthamstow Central.

It could be tight to dig a shaft for three escalators into this area, but at least the area on top is mainly grass, market stalls and not the best of buildings, with the exception of the Library.

If you look at the length of the current escalators at the station, they indicate that the Victoria Line is not deep. So that would help.

I suspect we could see a very innovative and simple solution to create a new Western entrance at Walthamstow Central station.

I would also be possible to build the entrance without any disruption to either existing train services or passengers in the existing station.

 

 

January 14, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Improving Services To Cannon Street And Charing Cross Stations

Platform Changes At London Bridge Station

The Thameslink Programme will change the platform layout at London Bridge station considerably.

In 2012, the platform layout at London Bridge was as follows.

  • Platform 1 – From Cannon Street
  • Platform 2 – To/From Cannon Street
  • Platform 3 – To Cannon Street
  • Platform 4 – From Charing Cross
  • Platform 5 – From Charing Cross and Bedford
  • Platform 6 -To Charing Cross and Bedford
  • There was also a through line to Charing Cross without a platform.

I can’t remember much about those days, except that the platforms were very crowded.

When London Bridge station and the Thameslink Programme is completed, the new platform layout will give opportunities to create new services through London Bridge to both; Cannon Street and Charing Cross stations.

The platform layout at London Bridge station will be as follows.

  • Platform 1 – From Cannon Street
  • Platform 2 – To/From Cannon Street
  • Platform 3 – To Cannon Street
  • Platform 4 – From Thameslink
  • Platform 5 – To Thameslink
  • Platform 6 – From Charing Cross
  • Platform 7 – From Charing Cross
  • Platform 8 – To Charing Cross
  • Platform 9 – To Charing Cross

So, six through platforms and seven lines have been replaced by nine through platforms. This is a 50% increase in platforms and a 28% increase in tracks. The Borough Market Viaduct was the major engineering in creating the extra two tracks across the South Bank.

Other factors help capacity in the area include.

  • The Bermondsey dive-under sorts out all the lines South of London Bridge station and will present trains to the right platforms at London Bridge. |Spaghetti Junction is so 1960s!
  • Effectively, there are now three parallel and probably separate railway systems virtually from Bermondsey through London Bridge station, that split after the station; a pair of lines for Cannon Street, another pair for Thameslink and two pairs for Charing Cross.
  • There has been a lot of work on track and signalling.
  • The Tanners Hill Fly-Down has been built to improve capacity between London Bridge and Lewisham, which must help Cannon Street and Charing Cross services.
  • The design of London Bridge station with its wide through platforms and more escalators than a science-fiction fantasy, could mean that passengers are there in time for their trains.
  • The electrification changeover for Thameslink has been streamlined.
  • The Class 700 trains must be better at changing voltages in the Thameslink tunnel.

All of these factoras must have positive affects on the capacity of the system.

I also think that one of the major benefits  of the new layout, is what happens if something goes wrong.

If say a train breaks down on Thameslink at Blackfriars, because it is a separate railway, this doesn’t affect Cannon Street and Charing Cross services in the way it did before the new layout. There would still be the problems of fixing the train and what to do with those following behind, but the new design of London Bridge station means that passengers can be handled safely in all the space.

I’d love to see Network Rail’s thinking for handling all problems, but the design of London Bridge and its tracks could be one of those designs, that in a hundred years, engineers will look at and copy.

I can’t believe that the new layout won’t allow more trains to go to and from Cannon Street and Charing Cross, just as it allows more trains to go through the core Thameslink tunnels.

Thameslink is going from  something like fifteen trains per hour (tph) to 24 tph or an increase of 60%. So what sort of increase will we see into Charing Cross and Cannon Street?

Services To Charing Cross

In 2012, Charing Cross to London Bridge was handled on three tracks between the two stations and three platforms at London Bridge. Two of the platforms were shared with Thameslink running 15 tph through them.

These three tracks and platforms have been replaced with four tracks, each with its own platform at London Bridge and possibly Waterloo East stations.

The tracks must have been fitted with a higher-capacity signalling system and an efficient track layout.

I am surprised that the four lines to and from Charing Cross share a platform at London Bridge with the other line going the same way.

Surely, it could be better if the Thameslink and Charing Cross services shared an island platform, when they were going in the same direction.

This would give a same-platform interchange between Thameslink and Charing Cross services, which the 2012 layout had.

I suspect that sharing is not possible, as it would mean that services would have to cross other lines to get there and the track doesn’t and can’t allow it.

But if the current service level of fourteen tph to and from Charing Cross station, can be achieved with just two platforms at London Bridge station as they are in the half-completed station, then there must be potential to increase the number of services to and from Waterloo East and Charing Cross, by a worthwhile margin.

Compared to some places in the UK, Charing Cross station already has an intense level of services to stations in South East London and beyond.

These are some example of trains out of Charing Cross between eleven and twelve in the morning.

  • Abbey Wood – 2 trains
  • Ashford International – 2 trains
  • Dartford – 6 trains
  • Gravesend – 4 trains
  • Greenhithe – 4 trains
  • Hayes – 4 trains
  • Lewisham – 7 trains
  • Orpington – 6 trains
  • Rochester – 2 trains
  • Sevenoaks – 8 trains
  • Tonbridge – 6 trains
  • Woolwich Arsenal – 2 trains

If this is increased, I can’t see any complaints from passengers, especially as most trains appear to have ten-cars or more.

I do think though that there will be a need to improve capacity, onward connections and walking routes at Waterloo East and Charing Cross stations.

I say more about these two stations in A Look At Charing Cross Station and Around Waterloo East Station.

It’s just that all these passengers will need somewhere to go.

Services To Cannon Street

Cannon Street station will be getting the same number of lines in 2018, as it did in 2012.

So I doubt, that the service will be any less intense, than it was in 2012.

Currently, in the Off Peak, there is a sixteen tph service, to and from Cannon Street station, which compares well with the current fourteen to and from Charing Cross station.

There is also going to be improvement at Cannon Street station with respect to onward connections and walking routes.

  • Bank tube station is getting two new entrances, which are closer to Cannon Street.
  • The connection between Cannon Street station and the Central Line will be improved with a travelator running North-South between the two Northern Line tracks at Bank station.
  • The connection between Cannon Street station and the Northern Line will be improved with triple escalators directly down from Cannon Street, perhaps a hundred metres from Cannon Street station.
  • The link to the District and Circle Lines is already excellent and those lines will be improved and get higher frequencies in the next few years.
  • The City of London has ambitions to pedestrianise a lot of the area around Bank station.

Cannon Street station will certainly become one of London’s better-connected terminal stations.

There are more observations in Improvements At Bank Station.

Interchange At London Bridge Station

Effectively, London Bridge station has four sets of services.

  • Those that terminate in the station.
  • Through services on Thameslink
  • Through service to and from Charing Cross station.
  • Through service to and from Cannon Street station.

I’ll leave out the Underground, as the entrance to that hasn’t been fully opened yet!

All the current sets of services have their own set of platforms.

Interchange between the various services is a matter of taking an escalator down from the platform on which you arrive and then take another escalator up to your departure platform.

At present, they seem to be using the rebuilt through platforms flexibly as follows.

  • Platform 7 – From Charing Cross
  • Platform 8 – To/From Charing Cross
  • Platform 9 – To Charing Cross

As trains out from Charing Cross seem to pass through London Bridge on either platform 7 and 8, there does seem to be a degree of flexibility in the track. But then there are no Thameslink services needing to be accommodated.

I do wonder if at some time in the future, they will arrange the lines at London Bridge, so that there is some cross platform interchanges. But I suspect that given the complex layout of the tracks, changes will only be limited.

So passengers will continue to go down and up the escalators. But they don’t seem to be complaining!

The Southeastern Metro

This map shows Southeastern Metro services, which are close to the London termini and fall within the Oystercard area.

Southeastern Metro

Southeastern Metro

If nothing else the map shows why Transport for London want to get control of Southeastern Metro  services  and paint them orange, as it is a ready made network that compliments the current Underground and Overground services.

The network has five Central London termini and stations; Cannon Street, Charing Cross, London Bridge, Victoria and Waterloo East.

It also connects to the following other lines.

  • Several Underground Lines including the Bakerloo, both branches of the Northern Line, the District Line and and the Circle Line.
  • The Overground at Denmark Hill, New Cross and Peckham Rye
  • The  Docklands Light Railway at Greenwich, Lewisham and Woolwich Arsenal.
  • Tramlink at Elmers End.
  • Crossrail at Abbey Wood.
  • Thameslink at Dartford, Greenwich, London Bridge and Orpington.

In addition, many of the stations have step-free access..

These are the services from a selection of stations close to London.

  • Dartford has six tph to Charing Cross and two tph to Cannon Street and Victoria.
  • Greenwich has six tph to Cannon Street.
  • Hayes has two tph to Charing Cross and Cannon Street.
  • Lewisham has eight tph to Cannon Street, 4 tph to Charing Cross and 2 tph to \Victoria.
  • Orpington has four tph to each of Cannon Street, Charing Cross and Victoria
  • Woolwich Arsenal has six tph to Cannon Street and 2 tph to Charing Cross.

So in some ways it’s an all-places-to-all-terminals Metro.

Transport for London must look at the Southeastern Metro and have all sorts of ideas about how they could use the network to the benefit of London.

These are some Off Peak service levels.

  • Sixteen tph between London Bridge and Cannon Street.
  • Fourteen tph between London Bridge and Charing Cross.
  • Ten tph between New Cross and Cannon Street.
  • Eight tph between Orpington and London Bridge.
  • Eight tph between Dartford and London Bridge
  • Twelve tph between Lewisham and London Bridge.

Also consider.

  • Would more services be possible after Thameslink is completed between London Bridge and Charing Cross.
  • Could more use be made of an interchange at New Cross to get passengers to Canada Water for Canary Wharf and Witechapel for Crossrail?
  • Could better use be made of Orpington station?
  • Could Lewisham be improved?
  • Will Brockley Lane station be rebuilt and a connection to the East London Line created?
  • How would the area be affected by an extended Crossrail to Gravesend?
  • How would New Cross cope with more than four tph on the East London Line?

I think that TfL could have lots of fun!

For instance, with a bit of reorganisation of services, it might be possible to create a ten tph or upwards set of lines  across South London.

As an example Lewisham to Charing Cross via New Cross, London Bridge, Waterloo East could easily be ten tph.

No new trains, track or signalling would be needed, but the bottleneck of London Bridge must probably be removed before it is possible. And the Thameslink Programme is doing that!

Effects On The Jubilee Line

I don’t have any figures on passengers, but the section of Jubilee Line from London Bridge, will get a high-capacity by-pass on the surface.

But if we assume the current 14 tph on the rail line and 2019 frequency of 36 tph on the Jubilee Line, these are the numbers of carriages going between London Bridge and Charing Cross/Waterloo.

Heavy rail – 14 tph x 12 cars = 168

Jubilee Line – 36 tph x 7 cars = 252

Incidentally, the seats per hour figures are 10206 for Class 377 trains and 8424 for the S Stock on the Jubilee Line.

So will passengers choose to travel on the surface, thus freeing up capacity on the Jubilee Line?

Consider.

  • Changing from say Thameslink after travelling up from Brighton to a Charing Cross service at London Bridge will be down and up two escalators and fully step-free.
  • How many passengers will walk or take a bus to and from London Bridge to complete their journey?
  • Some connections to the Underground at London Bridge require lots of walking.
  • Going between London Bridge and Waterloo by a train rather than the Jubilee Line may well be a more pleasing experience.
  • There are people like me, who prefer not to use a deep-level Underground Line, if there is an alternative.

Remember though that the the Charing Cross platforms at London Bridge are paired with 6/7 handling trains from Charing Cross and 8/9 trains the other way. Both pairs will share an island platform, escalators and a lift. So it may be quicker if you’re going to say Waterloo station, Trafalgar Square  or Covent Garden to take a train.

Every so often, various plans are put forward as to what to do with the closed Jubilee Line platforms at Charing Cross. This is said about the platforms in Wikipedia.

As the Jubilee line platforms and track are still maintained by TfL for operation reasons, they can can also be used by film and television makers requiring a modern Underground station location. While still open they were used in the 1987 film The Fourth Protocol, and after closure in numerous productions, including different episodes of the television series Spooks.

I can envisage someone coming up with a plan, whereby these platforms are used as a second Southern terminus for the Jubilee Line. By 2019, it is intended that 36 tph will be running from North Greenwich to West Hampstead.

But there could be a problem, in that depending on what you read, there may not be enough trains for this increase in service.

But if, the uprated service between London Bridge and Charing Cross takes passengers from the Jubilee Line between London Bridge and Waterloo could the service be split into two?

  • Most Jubilee Line trains would run as now and provide sufficient service between North Greenwich to West Hampstead.
  • A small proportion of trains, perhaps 10 tph, would divert into the closed platforms at Charing Cross station.

It would give some advantages.

  • There would be improved Underground connections at Charing Cross station.
  • Trafalgar Square would gain another Underground Line.
  • Charing Cross would have a two-stop link to Crossrail and the Central Line at Bond Street station.

Unlike most new station and interchange projects, the infrastructure is already there and maintained.

Consequences For Southern Crossrail

If everything works out with the Thameslink Programme and the rebuilding of London Bridge station, I can see no point to Southern Crossrail.

However, there idea of rebuilding Waterloo East station, is probably a good idea, to improve connectivity to the Underground and Waterloo station.

Waterloo East station could be handled a lot more passengers in the near future.

Conclusion

It looks to me, that Thameslink has been well-thought out and if the trains, track and signalling performs from London Bridge along the South Bank, as everybody hopes it should, we will see a world class Metro service across South-East London.

But I do feel that if the service along the South Bank is a quality one, then it will take passengers from the Jubilee Line and this line could be open for development.

 

 

 

September 27, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Connection Between Northern And Circle/District Lines At Bank Station

I’ve done this interchange at Bank station a few times but not that I remember it. These pictures show my route as I walked from a southbound Northern Line train to the Circle/District Lines, where I went one stop to Cannon Street station.

The Northern Line is unusual in Bank station, in that the southbound track is on the right hand side of the two lines, whereas normally in the UK, they follow the same rules as the roads.

I walked down the platform, took the exit at the far end and then used the escalators to get to the passageway leading to the Circle/District Line platforms.

When the station is upgraded with a new Cannon Street entrance, a new southbound tunnel will be bored several metres to the west and the space between the two tunnels will become a generous circulation space, with four cross tunnels linking the two Northern Line platforms, which hopefully will be wider than the current narrow ones.

Connections to and from the circulation space will be as follows.

  • A set of three escalators will ascend to the new entrance. They are actually two sets vertically, with a landing to turn everthing the right way.
  • Two travalators will connect to the Central Line platforms to the North.
  • Another set of three escalators will descend to the DLR platforms some ten metres below.
  • Two lifts will connect to the new entrance above and the DLR platforms below.
  • The two escalators and their connection to the Circle/District Lines will be opened out and upgraded.

I’m not sure how this space connects to the Waterloo and City Line, but I’m sure that the architects have a solution.

But I do think, it’s rather a neat solution to convecting all the lines together, as the amount of walking that passengers will do compared to the current station will be greatly reduced.

I also think, it’s going to be a straightforward station to build, in that you can leave the current platforms to handle the trains until you’ve dug most of the station tunnel for the new southbound line, completing as much of the entrance as you want above the working Northern Line and DLR. Once the Northern Line is closed, the circulation space with all its lifts, escalators and travalators is put together.

I think a lot of the work will be done from the top in a big hole, lifting everything in, by the use of large cranes.

Will much of the mechanical infrastructure be put together in a nice, warm, dry factory?

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

Edgware Road Station Revisited

I had to go round to High Street Kensington today, so I went by the Circle line from Kings Cross St. Pancras station to Edgware Road station, where I changed across between Platform 4 to Platform 3 to the District line for Kensington High Street station.  Coming back, I got a Circle line train back to Edgware Road, from where I got another Circle line train to Moorgate, by walking from Platform 2 to Platform 1. So they were two very easy step free changes. Here’s some pictures, which compliment those I took yesterday.

The station sign was is at Kensington High Street station. It advises you to get a Circle line train, if you are going onwards to the east at Edgware Road station.

Notice that at the eastbound end of the platforms at Edgware Road station, there is quite a bit of space. It is just a pity, that they have to allow for trains to run through between the two pairs of platforms, as if they didn’t then perhaps the two central platforms, 2 and 3, could be used as traditional terminal platforms, with the ability of passengers to walk across directly between the two pairs of platforms.

Perhaps something like Thomas Hetherwick’s rolling bridge could be used.

A set of rules should probably be used.

Going from east to south, you should get the first District line train on the opposite platform, changing to the Circle line if that is the one you want by getting off at either Paddington, Bayswater or Notting Hill Gate and taking the first Circle line train that stops. It’ll probably be the first train anywhere.

Going from west to south, is similar, except you get a Circle line train and change as before if you need to.

Going from south to east, you can either climb over the stairs or make sure you’re on a Circle line train, when you get to Edgware Road station.

Going from south to west, is similar, except you make sure you’re on a District line train. It looks like the trains on both District and Circle lines run at a frequency of six trains per hour.

It sounds complicated, but I suspect most of the regular users know the rules. There perhaps is a need for a bit more information to get the passengers going the right way!

I suppose too, that it’s all step free.

One point to note is that the new S-Stock trains are walk-through, and passengers will probably walk to their most convenient exit a lot of the time, just as they already do on the Class 378 of the London Overground. So this will probably make the turn-rounds at Edgware Road quicker.

February 5, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Operation Of Edgware Road Station

Edgware Road station has been changed dramatically over the last few years, by becoming the balance station in the Circle line. The platforms are organised this way according to Wikipedia.

The usual service pattern is: platform 1 for outer rail services to Kings Cross, Liverpool Street and beyond, platform 2 for circle line to High Street Kensington and Victoria, platform 3 for district line trains to Earls Court and Wimbledon, and platform 4 (inner rail) for Shepherds Bush Market and Hammersmith. This may vary in times of disruption – trains can go east from any of platforms 1 2 and 3 and to any of the westbound destinations from platforms 2 3 or 4.

As I came back from Paddington station, I got out of the station to get a newspaper and I also watched Circle line trains reverse on Platform 2. There actually waiting for a few minutes and cleaners were cleaning the trains before they returned back through Victoria. It was all very efficient.

It would appear that most of the transfers at the station, just involve a simple cross platform transfer, although not always.

But by adding lifts and sorting out the access between Platforms 1 and 2,  and 3 and 4, would improve those travelling through the station, especially for those who need step free access or are travelling with heavy cases.

As an example, if you are coming north through Notting Hill Gate station on the District or Circle line and want to go west at Edgware Road station, you are best to get a District line train, but if you’re going east, a Circle line train is better.

February 4, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 6 Comments

Should London Improve The Sub Surface Tubes?

London’s three sub-surface lines; Metropolitan, District and Circle, are getting new S-Stock trains, but you do wonder if investment in the stations along their core route would improve things no end and perhaps even add more capacity to the lines. It should be said incidentally that the new trains will add more capacity and when they are running at full speed, they should give a further increase in passengers carried.

The part I know best is the Hammersmith and City and Circle lines from Whitechapel to Paddington.

Kings Cross St. Pancras station has already been rebuilt and has good access from the two main line stations and to the three deep lines that meet at the station.  It will be even better in a few months, when the buses have been reorganised around the new square opening outside. We tend to forget about buses, but they are often an invaluable way to get to your required train line.

Whitechapel, Liverpool Street, Moorgate, Barbican, Farringdon and Paddington stations are all on Crossrail and will probably go through a lot of changes to improve access over the next few years. The stations from Liverpool Street to Farringdon, will effectively be connected to two giant double-ended stations on Crossrail, so interchanges to the Central and Northern lines and Thameslink will be greatly improved. In fact, when you look at journeys made in the eastern part of Central London, you can see how Crossrail will transform them. Even a journey as mundane as Liverpool Street to London Bridge will be a lot easier, as you’ll just dive into the Crossrail station to walk to the Northern line at Moorgate. I’ll probably use that route to get to my 141 or 21 bus from Liverpool Street to get home.

The next station is Euston Square, which is one of those stations on the London Underground, that was built in the wrong place. They didn’t even rectify the problem, when the current Euston station was built in the 1960s, by moving it in front of the station, like the corresponding station at Kings Cross St. Pancras. Probably all that could be done is to put lifts into the North entrance to the station and improve the walking route from the main line station. When the main line station is rebuilt, Euston Square station will probably be part of the rebuilding.

Great Portland Street station is typical of many of the Central London, sub-surface stations. Short double staircases lead down to two platforms on either side of the tracks. Lifts or escalators could probably be installed, but I suspect a clever engineer or architect could do better.

Baker Street station is one of the architectural gems of the Underground and doing anything to improve it will be difficult.  The junction to the east of the station also makes things difficult operationally.

Edgware Road station, is one that needs significant improvement, although as with many of the sub-surface stations, space is limited. Since the Circle line, stopped being a circle in 2009, the station has become a nightmare, as many visitors can’t understand that you have to change trains to continue round.

Paddington station, when it is fully rebuilt and Crossrail has been opened, may help with the problems of the sub-surface lines. If I come into Paddington from say Bristol or Cardiff, I will take the bridge at the back of the train and walk to the Metropolitan line, from where I get a train to Moorgate for a bus home. But when Crossrail is running from Reading to Moorgate, I might take that route instead, by changing trains at Reading. I suspect that many commuters from Reading, will go direct to Central London stations on Crossrail. After all, that was one of the reasons for which the line is being built.

So it would seem that on the Northern part of the lines, only Edgware Road and Euston Square stations need substantial improvement.

February 3, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments

The Neapolitan Line

The travel bunny on BBC Breakfast for London referred to the combined Metropolitan, District and Circle lines as the Neapolitan line today.  It’s actually quite obvious as they are shown as a multi-coloured line, but why have I never heard it before?

July 21, 2011 Posted by | News, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment