The Anonymous Widower

Is Clapham Common Station Dangerous?

Clapham North and Clapham Common stations are the last two Northern Line platforms with an island platform in the tunnel and must be towards the top of any list. This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows their locations.

Note their closeness to Clapham High Street station, I am sure, that eventually a better solution to these two stations will come about because of property development in the area.

I passed through Clapham Common station this morning and took these pictures.

Well to be fair, the fourth picture is one I took earlier.

Using The Experience At Bank To Advantage

As I write this, there are underground construction workers starting the final push to rebuild Bank station. After dismantling a lot of the Northern Line through Bank station, I would expect that engineers and workers have ideas as to how they could sort Clapham Common station and its near neighbour to the North; Clapham North station.

There would appear to be two possible lines of thought.

One would be to apply the Bank solution of digging a new Northbound tunnel.

  • It would  by-pass the two current stations, by looping to the West.
  • The current Northbound track would be filled in at both stations and used to widen the platform, which would handle Southbound trains on the current track.
  • A new platform on the new Northbound track would be built outside the current tunnel and connected to the widened platform over the old Northbound track, by passageways through the tunnel wall.
  • It should be possible to slip a lift down to the wide island platform to give step-free access.

Hopefully the current access to the surface could still be used.

I also wonder if engineers know enough about Victorian tunnel construction to just strip the tunnel and widen it

  • The tracks would be moved further apart.
  • The island platform would be widened.
  • Step-free access might be difficult.

As with the other method, the current access to the surface could still be used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 6 Comments

17 Tube Stations That Face Chronic Overcrowding If Crossrail 2 Is Stopped

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in today’s Standard.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Hundreds of thousands more Londoners will suffer chronic overcrowding on the Tube if Crossrail 2 does not go ahead, it was claimed today.

Transport for London released a list of 17 Underground stations that could buckle under the strain of too many commuters within a few years.

It then lists the stations.

  • Euston
  • King’s Cross St. Pancras
  • Liverpool Street
  • London Bridge
  • Victoria
  • Waterloo
  • Finsbury Park
  • Stockwell
  • Stratford
  • Oxford Circus
  • Highbury & Islington
  • Clapham Common
  • Clapham North
  • Clapham South
  • Holborn
  • Warren Street
  • Leicester Square

It then quotes Caroline Pidgeon, who obtained the list, as follows.

Overcrowding on the Underground is already a daily battle, with many passengers facing regular delays to simply get through barriers at stations.

Unless Crossrail 2 is built these delays will increasingly build up until drastic measures are necessary at 17 key Tube stations, not to mention Clapham Junction railway station.

“Planning ahead for Crossrail 2 is not an optional extra for London’s transport network but of vital importance to keep London moving.

She has certainly highlighted a serious problem.

Call For Crossrail 2

Two years ago to the day, I wrote a post called Call For Crossrail 2 in response to a letter in The Times, from a wide cross section of business leaders calling for a start to be made on the line.

In the post, I talked about improving various stations, just by building Crossrail 2, so in the following notes on the list of crowded stations, I will refer to this post several times in the following.

Euston

Euston tube station is a particular problem in that in the next decade or so, the following will or could happen.

Hopefully, the rebuilding for whichever comes first of  HS2 or Crossrail 2, will make provision for even the most fanciful of expansions.

One Transport for London engineer told me that one of the main reasons for building HS2 and terminating it at Euston, is to be able to sort out the dreadful Euston tube station.

Kings Cross St. Pancras

Kings Cross St. Pancras tube station had a pretty good makeover around the time of the 2012 London Olympics, but it does suffer congestion and travellers have to walk long distances.

The Wikipedia entry for Kings Cross St. Pancras tube station has a section for Crossrail 2. This is said.

Since 1991, a route for a potential Crossrail 2 has been safeguarded, including a connection at King’s Cross St Pancras and Euston, forming the station Euston King’s Cross St Pancras. The proposed scheme would offer a second rail link between King’s Cross and Victoria in addition to the Victoria line. The locations for any new stations on the route will depend on the loading gauge of the final scheme. In the 2007 safeguarded route, the next stations would be Tottenham Court Road and Angel.

There is also a proposal to reopen the closed York Road tube station. In the Wikipedia entry for York Road station under Proposed Reopening, this is said.

One of London’s largest redevelopment projects, King’s Cross Central, began construction in 2008 across the road from the station. Islington council and Transport for London commissioned a study in 2005 to consider the possible reopening of the station. At the same time, however, it was recognised that other transport priorities reduced the likelihood of such a project moving forward in the near future. The site would need extensive overhauls to bring the station up to modern day standards, at a cost estimated at £21 million in 2005. Local political groups have been keen to see the station reopened in order to reduce passenger congestion at King’s Cross St. Pancras and to encourage development in the surrounding community. The Islington Liberal Democrats advocated the reopening of the station in their 2006 local election manifesto, and at least one candidate for the Islington Conservative Party similarly campaigned for the station to be reopened. However, to date, the reopening proposal has not been taken forward.

I wonder if York Road tube station will ever be reopened.

Liverpool Street

The Liverpool Street station complex will be even bigger and busier after Crossrail opens.

The main difference will be that the current Shenfield Metro will now disappear into the ground at Stratford and go under Central London to Heathrow and Reading.

Crossrail 2 will effectively channel the Lea Valley services, that current go into Liverpool Street station under London to emerge in the Wimbledon area.

Effectively, Crossrail and Crossrail 2 major effect on Liverpool Street station are to free up capacity in both tracks and platforms, thuis allowing more longer distance services to use the station.

London Bridge

London Bridge station is being rebuilt and expanded, but little seems to be planned for London Bridge tube station to cope with more passengers.

In Call For Crossrail 2, I said this about Crossrail 2 and the Northern Line.

Crossrail 2 will have interchanges with the Northern Line at Angel, Kings Cross St. Pancras, Euston, Tottenham Court Road, Tooting Broadway and possibly Clapham Junction. So it looks like that Crossrail 2 will certainly make journeys easier for users of the Northern Line.

This should mean that travellers on the Northern Line will be able to avoid a congested London Bridge tube station.

Victoria

Victoria tube station is being extended and rebuilt, which should result in sufficient capacity for more than a few years.

In Call For Crossrail 2, I said this about Crossrail 2 and the Victoria Line.

Crossrail 2 will effectively by-pass the central part of the Victoria Line as the two lines connect at Tottenham Hale, Seven Sisters, Kings Cross, Euston and Victoria.

This should take some of the pressure from Victoria tube station.

Waterloo

Waterloo tube station is a very busy tube station, as it has to cope with all the passengers using Waterloo station.

Crossrail 2 will allow passengers to bypass Waterloo, when travelling to and from Central London.

However, three major improvements will be delivered this year.

  • The old Eurostar platforms are being brought back into use.
  • Extra capacity is being added to the Underground station.
  • I also think that when they have completed the improvements at the Bank end of the Waterloo and City Line. 
  • Will improvements follow at the Waterloo end?

I think Waterloo shouldn’t be judged until the current round of work is completed.

Finsbury Park

Finsbury Park station is a station that suffered badly when the Victoria Line was tunnelled through in the 1960s.

Lifts are being installed, but extra services will be added.

  • Thameslink will call regularly at the station.
  • The services on the Northern City Line will become the Great Northern Metro with an increased frequency.

Crossrail 2 will provide relief for Finsbury Park, as it provides a by-pass for the Victoria Line.

But the station needs to have quite a bit of rebuilding.

Stockwell

Stockwell tube station is where the Victoria and Northern Lines meet South of Victoria.

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

I’m not sure how Crossrail 2 helps here, but I suspect Transport for London hope that the new line will divert passengers away from Stockwell.

Stratford

Stratford station is another station that will be partially bypassed by Crossrail 2.

I do think that after Crossrail opens, that changes will be made at Stratford station to perhaps move some Liverpool Street services to Stansted and Cambridge.

This would bring more services to some not very busy platforms.

In West Anglia Route Improvement – The High Meads Loop, I described how it might all work.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines in this area.

Trains from Cambridge and Stansted would arrive at Temple Mills East Junction and would go round the High Meads Loop dropping and picking up passengers in Platforms 11 and 12 bwfore returning North.

An extra platform could even be added to serve services in Stratford International station.

The tunnels under the platforms at Stratford station would probably need improvement, but who knows how Eastenders will duck and dive after Crossrail opens.

As an example, passengers from Shenfield to Canary Wharf will probably use the cross-platform change at Whitechapel station, rather than pick up the Jubilee Line or the DLR at Stratford.

Oxford Circus

Oxford Circus tube station has needed improvement for years.

Crossrail will give some relief, as there will be new additional entrances to Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations closer to Oxford Circus.

I did look at what might happen in What Will The Elizabeth Line Do For Oxford Street?.

I came to this conclusion about Crossrail 2 and Oxford Street.

Crossrail 2 has just one interchange in the Oxford Street area at Tottenham Court Road station.

I would be very surprised in that in the massive rebuilding of the current station for Crossrail, that provision hasn’t been made to connect to Crossrail 2.

There have been surface issues around the station concerned with Crossrail 2, but given good planning of the project, I feel that the building of Crossrail 2 would only effect the area in a similar way to the replacement of a major block on Oxford Street.

Crossrail 2 will have two major effects.

  • It will bring large numbers of visitors to the Oxford Street area.
  • Just as Crossrail and the Central Line will work as a high-capacity pair, it will work closely with the Victoria Line to relieve that line.

This leads me to the conclusion, that the wider Oxford Street area needs to be and will be pedestrianised.

In some ways preparation for the pedestrianisation has already started by reorganising the buses.

Oxford Circus tube station is also high on Transport for London’s improvement list.

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

I suspect that if developers were interested in rebuilding any of the buildings on the South side of Oxford Street or perhaps even around the BBC to the North, that there could be arm-twisting and deal-making to sneak new entrances into Oxford Circus tube station.

Highbury & Islington

Highbury & Islington station, is one of my local ones and it is getting some much-needed improvement.

  • The Northern City Line will be getting frequent new Class 717 trains to create the Great Northern Metro.
  • Highbury Corner will be remodelled to improve pedestrian access to the station.
  • Bus and taxi access is being improved..

But nothing has been announced about improving the chronic access to the two deep-level lines at the station.

Speaking to staff at the station, they feel that a solution is possible, using the second entrance on the other side of the road.

In some ways the Great Northern Metro with its cross-platform interchange with the Victoria Line could be the saviour of this station, as it gives direct access to the City and to Crossrail at Moorgate station.

One of London’s forgotten lines could be riding to the rescue.

Clapham Common

Clapham Common tube station is one of my least favourite. This picture shows why.

It’s downright dangerous now, so when the Northern Line frequency is increased will the station cope?

Clapham North

Clapham North tube station is another dangerous island platform.

But at least the station has escalators.

In A Journey Round The Clapham Stations, a post I wrote in December 2015, I said this.

Having seen Clapham North and Clapham Common stations today, I do wonder if a diversion could be dug as at Angel, Bank and London Bridge, to create safe new stations. This new tunnel could surely be part of the works to add step-free access to one or both stations and connect the tunnels to Clapham High Street station.

What with the Northern Line Extension to Battersea, the rebuilding of Bank and Camden Town stations and all the resignalling of the past few years, the Northern Line could at last be fulfilling its potential.

This could go a long way to  sorting the problem of the Clapham stations.

Clapham South

Clapham South tube station is not as bad as the other two Clapham stations discussed earlier.

Crossrail 2 may reduce the level of overcrowding on the Northern Line trains through the three Clapham stations, as passengers could change at Balham or Tooting Broadway stations to and from the new high-capacity line.

However, nothing short of some serious building work will solve the island platform problems at Clapham Common and Clapham North stations.

Holborn

Holborn tube station is very busy, but is one that could benefit from Crossrail, due to that line’s relationship with the Cerntral Line.

Crossrail 2 will certainly benefit the station, as it will relieve the pressure on the Piccadilly Line.

But Transport for London have published plans to add a second entrance and full step-free access. This is a 3-Dview of the plans.

Note the second entrance will be in Procter Street.

The only problem is that it could be 2021 before a decision is made.

However as a Piccadilly Line station, Holborn will benefit from the New Tube For London, before the upgrade.

Warren Street

Warren Street tube station is another Central London station on the Victoria Line, that could benefit from Crossrail 2’s duplication of the Victoria Line.

Leicester Square

Leicester Square tube station is just one stop on the Northern Line from the major new interchange of Tottenham Court Road station, which will be served by both Crossrail and Crossrail 2.

The station has needed more capacity since I first used it in the 1950s.

It needs step-free access.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines around Leicester Square station.

There is quite a tight knot of stations, of which only Tottenham Court Road has both escalators and lifts, although Goodge Street and Covent Garden have lifts only.

Leicester Square is an unusual station in that both the Northern and Piccadilly Lines are accessed by short passages and a short staircase from a fair-sized lobby at the bottom of a long set of escalators.

Clapham Junction

Clapham Junction station is the only non-Underground station in the seventeen stations named, where overcrowding could become chronic if Crossrail 2 is not built.

It is the busiest station by number of trains in Europe, so it must be difficult to keep on top of increasing numbers of passengers.

In the Wikipedia entry for the station under Future Proposals, this is said.

In 2007 the alignment of one of the two variants of Crossrail 2, that via the station rather than Putney and Wimbledon, was safeguarded. The Department for Transport and Transport for London continue to discuss proposal for a Clapham Junction Northern Line extension and its London Underground alignment has been legally reserved through Battersea Park, and would connect Clapham Junction to the London Underground for the first time.

Government and Network Rail funding for in the early 2010s of £50 million of improvements was granted. This comprised an upgrade to the main interchange: new entrances and more retail.

Surely something needs to be done, if Crossrail 2 is not built.

My proposals would include.

  • Developing the West London Line services.
  • Extending the Northern Line from Battersea Power Station station.
  • Improving the frequency of trains into Waterloo.
  • Make the station subway step-free.

There may be a need for more platforms, but the London Overground found this difficult.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the platforms in the station.

Simple it isn’t!

Conclusions

It surprised me how many of these stations will need substantial building work to cure the overcrowding.

Note.

  1. Every Victoria Line station between Oxford Circus and Finsbury Park is on the list.
  2. Four Northern Line stations between Stockwell to Clapham South is on the list.
  3. I think this shows how the designers of the Northern and Victoria Lines didn’t expect the traffic the lines now handle.

But overall, I think it shows how when you design a station, you don’t cut corners.

I also think to blame all these problems on the uncertainty about Crossrail 2, is probably a bit strong.

Consider.

  • Liverpool Street will probably have enough capacity when Crossrail opens, especially as the station will incorporate Moorgate and be substantially step-free.
  • The new London Bridge effectively adds high-frequency rail lines to Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Charing Cross and St. Pancras and when Thameslink and Southeastern are fully developed, the station will cope.
  • Victoria shouldn’t be judged until the current upgrade is complete.
  • Waterloo shouldn’t be judged until the current upgrade is complete.
  • Finsbury Park shouldn’t be judged until the current upgrade is complete.
  • Stratford will probably have enough capacity when Crossrail  opens, especially as the station is substantially step-free.
  • Oxford Circus should see improvement when Crossrail opens, especially as there’ll be new step-free entrances to Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street, that will be closer to Oxford Circus, than the current stations.
  • Highbury & Islington should see marginal improvement, when the Northern City Line is updated.

However, nothing short of substantial construction will sort Euston, Clapham Common, Clapham North, Holborn, Leicester Square and Clapham Junction.

 

 

 

 

July 18, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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/Travel | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Cats At Clapham Common Station

Clapham Common station has replaced some of the adverts with pictures of cats.

This article on the BBC gives more details.

Perhaps the station should be renamed as Catham Uncommon.

September 15, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Need More Angels?

Before my reader, thinks I’ve gone all religious, I’m talking about the Angel tube station.

The station was substantially rebuilt in the early 1990s and this is said in Wikipedia in a section about the rebuilding.

For years since its opening, the station regularly suffered from overcrowding and had a very narrow island platform (barely 12 feet (3.7 m) in width), which constituted a major safety issue and caused justified fear among passengers. Consequently, the station was comprehensively rebuilt in the early 1990s. A new section of tunnel was excavated for a new northbound platform, and the southbound platform was rebuilt to completely occupy the original 30-foot tunnel, leaving it wider than most deep-level platforms on the system. The lifts and the ground-level building were closed and a new station entrance was opened on 10 August 1992 around the corner in Islington High Street together with the northbound platform while the southbound platform opened on 17 September 1992. Because of the distance between the new entrance and the platforms, and their depth, two flights of escalators were required, aligned approximately at a right angle.

So that explains why the station is unusual and safe. Rather than unusual and scary!

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the layout of the tunnels through Angel station.

Note.

  1. The dotted lines of the original tracks.
  2. The track to the North (top) was the original Northbound track.
  3. The Southbound track still has the same layout.
  4. The original twelve-foot island wide platform has now been widened to create the platform labelled 2.
  5. The platform labelled 1 and the track labelled 1992 is new work.
  6. The other dotted line was a siding.

I suppose the only complaint, is that the new station is not step-free, but then the work pre-dated the time from when disabled-access became commonplace.

London Bridge station went through a similar process in the late 1990s.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the track layout of the Northern and Jubilee Lines at the station.

London Bridge Tube Station

London Bridge Tube Station

The work that will be carried out at Bank station follows some of the things that were done over twenty years ago at Angel.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the current layout at the station.

bank Tube Station

bank Tube Station

Note the following about the current layout and future developments.

  • Platforms 3 and 4 are the current Southbound and Northbound platforms respectively, with non-traditional on the right running.
  • A new single-track Southbound tunnel is being built to the West of the current one, to create a space between the lines.
  • The current platform 3 will become part of the passenger space as it has at Angel.
  • Platforms are being widened.
  • Better  step-free access is being created.
  • There will be escalators direct to the Central Line.
  • Oversite development is being added on the top of the new station entrance on Cannon Street.
  • In some ways too at Bank station, the precedents set by the new Walbrook Square entrance are also being followed.

This visualisation, shows what the new Bank station will look like.

I think more stations can be rebuilt along using similar techniques.

Clapham North and Clapham Common stations are the last two Northern Line platforms with an island platform in the tunnel and must be towards the top of any list. This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows their locations.

Note their closeness to Clapham High Street station, I am sure, that eventually a better solution to these two stations will come about because of property development in the area.

  • Euston station must be added, but this will probably be sorted with HS2 and the rebuilding above.
  • Camden Town station is planned for a major upgrade with property development on top.
  • Finsbury Park station is being improved, but given the station’s future importance, is what is planned enough?

And then there is always Highbury and Islington station, which is probably the worst station on the Victoria Line for platform access.

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

Note the following about Highbury and Islington station.

  1. The Overground has been sorted with step-free access.
  2. The bridge outside the station, which was decidedly dodgy will be fixed soon.
  3. Islington Council have ambitious plans for Highbury Corner.
  4. The Northern City Line is being upgraded to a high frequency with new Class 717 trains.
  5. The frequency on the North London Line is going to be increased a notch or so.
  6. There will be more trains to the South on the East London Line.
  7. The Victoria Line is going to get closer to forty trains per hour.

All of this adds up to a desperate need to rebuild the station with more escalators and lifts, probably on both sides of the Holloway Road.

There is a further unlikely possibility at Highbury and Islington station.

Note the Canonbury Curve in the map, which lies on a single-track electrified line that links the North London Line to Finsbury Park on the East Coast Main Line, Thameslink and the Northern City Line.

If, as I suspect, that in a few years the Northern City Line is upgraded to a higher frequency, once the new Class 717 trains, there will be an even bigger need to sort out this station.

 

September 10, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Journey Round The Clapham Stations

This morning, I took a train to Clapham High Street station, before visiting the three Clapham stations on the Northern Line.

I then took the Northern Line back to Central London.

These are some of the pictures I took on the way.

One of main reasons for going was to look at the deep level shelter at Clapham South station that is mentioned in this article in the Wandsworth Guardian entitled Clapham’s Second World War shelter to become cafe and exhibition, You can’t miss it, as it is right before you as you come out of Clapham South station.

In my view it is an ideal place for a cafe. If it had been built, when C and myself lived in the Barbican, I can envisage us taking the three boys to have lunch in a cafe like that! The elder two had to walk and George got a ride in one of the first McClaren buggies. The massive push chairs used today, wouldn’t have gone on a Routemaster of that era.

I also wanted to see the two dangerous island platforms at Clapham North and Clapham Common, which are the last two left on the Northern Line. I can remember the island platform at Angel station, which was removed, when the station was rebuilt in the early 1990s. Today, in an article on Global Rail News, which is entitled Green light for Bank station upgrade, the details are given of the plans to widen the cramped and dangerous platforms at Bank station.

Having seen Clapham North and Clapham Common stations today, I do wonder if a diversion could be dug as at Angel, Bank and London Bridge, to create safe new stations. This new tunnel could surely be part of the works to add step-free access to one or both stations and connect the tunnels to Clapham High Street station.

What with the Northern Line Extension to Battersea, the rebuilding of Bank and Camden Town stations and all the resignalling of the past few years, the Northern Line could at last be fulfilling its potential.

December 23, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment