The Anonymous Widower

Does Harlow Need An Improved Train Service?

I ask this question, because I am increasingly seeing articles like this one on My London, which is entitled The Large Town Just Outside London Desperate For A London Underground Station.

The town is Harlow.

This Google Map shows the West Anglia Main Line, as it runs through the North of the town.

Note.

On the face of it the town seems well-served by the trains.

Harlow Town Station

This Google Map shows Harlow Town station to a larger scale.

Note.

  1. The station has four platforms.
  2. The station has full step-free access.
  3. The station has 697 parking spaces with 18 fully accessible spaces.

The station was built in the 1950s and is a Grade II Listed building.

Train services at the station are as follows.

  • Stratford and Bishops Stortford – 2 tph – via Lea Bridge, Tottenham Hale, Waltham Cross, Cheshunt, Broxbourne and Sawbridgeworth
  • London Liverpool Street and Cambridge North – 1 tph – via Tottenham Hale, Cheshunt, Broxbourne, Bishop’s Stortford, Audley End, Whittlesford Parkway and Cambridge
  • London Liverpool Street and Cambridge North – 1 tph – via Tottenham Hale, Cheshunt, Broxbourne, Roydon, Sawbridgeworth, Bishop’s Stortford, Stansted Mountfitchet, Elsenham, Newport, Audley End, Great Chesterford, Whittlesford Parkway, Shelford and Cambridge
  • London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport – 1 tph – via Tottenham Hale
  • London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport – 1 tph – via Tottenham Hale and Stansted Mountfitchet

Note.

  1. tph is trains per hour
  2. The Stansted services are fast services and take 29 minutes between London Liverpool Street and Harlow Town.
  3. The other services seem to take a few minutes longer.
  4. London Liverpool Street or Stratford and Tottenham Hale both get six tph.
  5. Bishop’s Stortford gets a four tph service from Harlow Town.
  6. The two Cambridge stations only get two tph.

Harlow Town station has a fairly good service, but it could probably be improved.

Harlow Mill Station

This Google Map shows Harlow Mill station to a larger scale.

Note.

  1. The station has two platforms.
  2. The station has step-free access to the London-bound platform only.
  3. The station has 29 parking spaces with 1 fully accessible space.

The station was built in the 1840s and gets about 13 % of the passengers compared to Harlow Town station.

Train services at the station are as follows.

  • Stratford and Bishops Stortford – 1 tph – via Lea Bridge, Tottenham Hale, Waltham Cross, Cheshunt, Broxbourne and Sawbridgeworth
  • London Liverpool Street and Cambridge North – 1 tph – via Tottenham Hale, Cheshunt, Broxbourne, Roydon, Sawbridgeworth, Bishop’s Stortford, Stansted Mountfitchet, Elsenham, Newport, Audley End, Great Chesterford, Whittlesford Parkway, Shelford and Cambridge

Note.

  1. tph is trains per hour
  2. London Liverpool Street or Stratford and Tottenham Hale both get only two tph.
  3. Bishop’s Stortford gets two tph service from Harlow Mill.
  4. The two Cambridge stations only get one tph.

Unless you lived or worked nearby, I doubt you would be likely to use Harlow Mill station.

Recent And Planned Improvements

These improvements are planned and it is very unlikely they won’t happen.

Class 710 Trains

London Overground now runs new four-car Class 710 trains between London Liverpool Street and Cheshunt.

  • Each has 189 seats and can accept 489 standing passengers.
  • Busy services to Cheshunt will probably are pair of trains.
  • There are four tph between Cheshunt and London.
  • Will the trains shave a few minutes from journey times?

This massive increase in capacity and train quality must attract some passengers to change to and from the London Overground at Cheshunt.

Class 720 Trains

Greater Anglia has 133 new five-car Class 720 trains on order.

  • Each has 540 seats and can accept 145 standing passengers.
  • They are 100 mph trains.
  • Busy services through Harlow will probably be a pair of these trains.

These new trains will be a massive increase in capacity and should attract more passengers to the route.

Class 745 Trains

Greater Anglia has recently introduced ten new twelve-car Class 745 trains on Stansted Express services.

  • Each has 767 seats.
  • They are 100 mph trains.
  • They run a two tph service between Harlow Town and London Liverpool Street station and Stansted Airport.

These new trains should attract more passengers to the route.

Crossrail

Services through Harlow will connect to Crossrail at both London Liverpool Street and Stratford.

Will this mean that some passengers will switch from the Victoria Line to Crossrail for their onward journeys?

  • Crossrail will have more capacity than the Victoria Line.
  • Bond Street, Canary Wharf, Heathrow, Paddington and West London will be easier by Crossrail.
  • Victoria and Waterloo will probably be easier by the Victoria Line.
  • London Liverpool Street station’s new connection to the Northern Line will give easier access to parts of South London.
  • London Liverpool Street station will have much improved step-free connections to all London Underground lines.

Crossrail will certainly change the way many people travel between Harlow and London.

Four Lines Modernisation

This page on the Transport for London web site explains the Four Lines Modernisation. This is the first paragraph.

We’re transforming the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. When the work is done we’ll be able to run trains more frequently and reliably to make journeys faster and more comfortable.

The project should increase Peak Hour capacity by 33 %.

This will benefit those who change trains at London Liverpool Street between the West Anglia Main Line and the Circle and Metropolitan Lines.

Possible Improvements

These are possible improvements that may happen.

Crossrail 2

It is unlikely, that a start will be made on Crossrail 2 in the near future.

Victoria Line Improvements

The Victoria Line will continue to do, what it has done reliability for over fifty years.

But there could be improvements.

I also suspect that engineers will find a way to increase the frequency to forty tph.

Four Tracks On The West Anglia Main Line

There are two reasons for four-tracking sections of the West Anglia Main Line.

  • To separate Crossrail 2 trains from fast expresses to Stansted and Cambridge.
  • To speed up services to and from Stansted Airport.

However four-tracking the route between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations would probably be very beneficial.

  • Stansted Airport and Cambridge services could be speeded up.
  • Extra services could be run on the West Anglia Main Line.
  • It could make it easier to extend the Overground from Cheshunt.

Four-tracking will be needed for Crossrail 2, so there is surely the possibility, that it could be done earlier to bring benefits to those living along the Lea Valley.

ERTMS Signalling On The West Anglia Main Line

ERTMS Signalling could speed up services and increase their number on the West Anglia Main Line.

It might also enable four-tracking, which would be very disruptive to both train services and road traffic to be delayed.

Station Improvements On The West Anglia Main Line

The stations between London Liverpool Street and Cambridge are a poor bunch with only Tottenham Hale, Northumberland Park, Meridian Water, Waltham Cross, Broxbourne, Harlow Town, Bishop’s Stortford and Audley End having full step-free access.

Some of the other stations need refurbishment and step-free access.

As step-free access will be needed for Crossrail 2, why not setup a rolling program of station improvements.

Level Crossings On The West Anglia Main Line

There are four level crossings on the route to the South of Broxbourne, including three at Cheshunt, Enfield Lock and Brimsdown stations.

They all need to be removed for safety reasons.

New Trains And Capacity

The new trains being rolled out by Greater Anglia and the London Overground will certainly have effects on the services on the West Anglia Main Line.

  • The better performance could speed up services by a few minutes.
  • The capacity increase on the new trains should be welcome.
  • The trains will be of better quality than those they replace.

I also wonder, if the better quality of the trains and their facilities will surely attract more passengers. I suspect the train companies hope so!

Extending The London Overground

This map from cartometro.com shows Cheshunt station and Cheshunt Junction just to the South.

Note.

  1. The two platforms on the West Anglia Main Line and the single bay platform for the London Overground.
  2. The level crossing to the North of Cheshunt station.
  3. The comprehensive Cheshunt Junction which trains to go between the Southbury Loop and the West Anglia Main Line.

Cheshunt Junction is occasionally used by Greater Anglia trains to access the Southbury Loop.

It certainly seems to me, that the Overground could connect to the West Anglia Main Line.

  • All trains from London going to the North of Cheshunt could use Platform 2.
  • All trains to London coming from the North of Cheshunt could use Platform 1.
  • The bay Platform 3 would still be available to turn local trains on the Southbury Loop.
  • An extra crossover could probably be inserted to allow trains from London on the West Anglia Main Line to use Platform 3.

London Overground trains could run to a terminal further North.

Trains Between Cheshunt And London

It is worth looking at the number of trains between Cheshunt and London.

  • Greater Anglia -2 tph – London Liverpool Street and Hertford East via West Anglia Main Line
  • Greater Anglia – 2 tph – Stratford and Bishop’s Stortford via West Anglia Main Line
  • Greater Anglia – 2 tph – London Liverpool Street and Cambridge North via West Anglia Main Line
  • Greater Anglia – 4 tph – London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport via West Anglia Main Line
  • London Overground – 4 tph – London Liverpool Street and Cheshunt via the Southbury Loop

This means that the West Anglia Main Line has 10 tph and the Southbury Loop has 4 tph.

This suggests possibilities.

  • Move some services from the West Anglia Main Line to the Southbury Loop.
  • Extend some or all of the London Overground trains to the North of Cheshunt.
  • Stations like Bishop’s Stortford, Broxbourne, Harlow, Hertford East and Ware could get extra services to London.
  • The new services would connect to extra stations without changing trains.

Very little new infrastructure would be required.

Bishop’s Stortford Station As A London Overground Destination

Bishop’s Stortford station has these trains to and from London.

  • Greater Anglia – 2 tph – Stratford and Bishop’s Stortford
  • Greater Anglia – 2 tph – London Liverpool Street and Cambridge North
  • Greater Anglia – 2 tph – London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport

Consider.

  • Bishop’s Stortford station could probably easily handle up to an extra two tph.
  • London Overground’s Class 710 trains only have an operating speed of only 75 mph.
  • The trains may need a speed upgrade to serve Bishop’s Stortford, as their speed could slow the Cambridge and Stansted Airport expresses.

If the London Overground services ran to Bishop’s Stortford station, all the smaller stations South of Bishop’s Stortford, could travel to and from Stansted Airport with a single change.

Bishop’s Stortford station may be a possibility, as a destination of two tph on the London Overground route to London.

Broxbourne Station As A London Overground Destination

Broxbourne station has these trains to and from London.

  • Greater Anglia -2 tph – London Liverpool Street and Hertford East
  • Greater Anglia – 2 tph – Stratford and Bishop’s Stortford
  • Greater Anglia – 2 tph – London Liverpool Street and Cambridge North

Consider.

  • Broxbourne station could probably easily handle up to an extra two tph.
  • As Broxbourne is only 3.2 miles and six minutes to the North of Cheshunt, the 75 mph speed of the London Overground’s Class 710 trains may not be a problem.

Broxbourne station may be a possibility, as a destination of up to two tph on the London Overground route to London.

Harlow Town Station As A London Overground Destination

Harlow Town station has these trains to and from London.

  • Greater Anglia – 2 tph – Stratford and Bishop’s Stortford
  • Greater Anglia – 2 tph – London Liverpool Street and Cambridge North
  • Greater Anglia – 2 tph – London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport

Consider.

  • Harlow Town station could probably easilyhandle up to an extra four tph.
  • If one is needed there would appear to be space for a turnback facility or an extra platform.
  • As Harlow Town is only 5.4 miles and eight minutes to the North of Cheshunt, the 75 mph speed of the London Overground’s Class 710 trains may not be a problem.

If the London Overground services ran to Harlow Town station, all the smaller stations South of Harlow Town, could travel to and from Stansted Airport with a single change.

Harlow Town station may be a possibility, as a destination of up to four tph on the London Overground route to London.

Hertford East Station As A London Overground Destination

Hertford East station has these trains to and from London.

  • Greater Anglia -2 tph – London Liverpool Street and Hertford East
  • There is an extra tph in the Peak.

Consider.

  • Hertford East station has platforms long enough for eight-car trains and may need modification to accommodate a pair of Greater Anglia’s Class 720 trains.
  • Ware station would need to be remodelled to increase frequency above three tph.
  • As the route from Broxbourne is on a branch line, the 75 mph speed of the London Overground’s Class 710 trains may not be a problem.

Hertford East station may be a possibility, as a destination of up to two tph on the London Overground route to London.

Conclusion

I think the best two destinations of the London Overground service to the North of Cheshunt would be Harlow and Hertford East.

  • Trains could terminate at Harlow Town station to connect with Stansted Express and Cambridge trains.
  • It appears that the slightly shorter Class 710 trains may have advantages when using the short platforms at Hertford East station.

Perhaps each destination should receive two tph.

  • Harlow Town would be connected to the Overground.
  • Passengers using stations between Hackney Downs and Cheshunt on the Southbury Loop would change at Harlow Town to and from Cambridge and Stansted Airport.
  • But the biggest benefit would be that two paths on the West Anglia Main Line would be released, as the two tph to Hertford East would be using the Southbury Loop.

I feel there are possibilities to increase the number of trains on the West Anglia Main Line without adding expensive extra tracks.

 

 

April 29, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

London Will Still Need Crossrail 2 To Deal With HS2 Influx, London Mayor Predicts

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

This is the first paragraph.

Sadiq Khan says he expects mothballed scheme will eventually get built.

I don’t disagree that it will eventually get built, but it will be long after both Sadiq Khan and myself have gone.

You might think, that as I live in Dalston, I would be very much in favour of Crossrail 2 being built as soon as possible.

But then, I’m a duck-and-diver and there will always be a quick route to get to Euston.

I currently use four routes regularly and coming home, if it’s late or I want to get home quickly to cook supper say, I can take a taxi for a reasonable price.

The easiest way is actually to walk about two hundred metres and get a 73 bus to directly outside Euston station.

I very much feel we need to improve access in London to High Speed Two and that this can be done by making sure several smaller projects are completed before High Speed Two opens.

Improved Underground Connections At Euston Station

This page on the High Speed Two web site, says this about the station layout and Underground connections at the rebuilt station.

HS2 will deliver eleven new 400m long platforms, a new concourse and improved connections to Euston and Euston Square Underground stations. Our design teams are also looking at the opportunity to create a new northerly entrance facing Camden Town as well as new east-west links across the whole station site.

I would suspect that connection to the Underground will have step-free options.

I wrote about Underground connections at Euston station in Ian Publishes Details Of Future Developments At Euston And Euston Square Underground Stations.

The developments certainly look comprehensive and include a new entrance in Gordon Street on the South side of Euston Road.

Note.

  1. The view is looking North.
  2. A tunnel from this entrance will lead to the Eastern ends of the platforms at Euston Square station, where it appears there will be at least escalator access.
  3. The tunnel will also lead into Euston station.
  4. It is a simple improvement, that shouldn’t be too challenging.

This diagram shows the layout of the tunnel.

It looks to me to be a neat design, that could be installed between Gordon Street and Euston Square stations without disturbing the traffic on the busy Euston Road.

Once the subway and the Gordon Street entrance were built, there would have these benefits.

  • There would be a step-free route between Euston and Euston Square stations.
  • It would be a shorter walk  in an air-conditioned tunnel, rather than currently along the very polluted Euston Road.
  • It would be the fastest way to transfer between Euston and Kings Cross or St. Pancras stations.
  • It would give excellent access to the other London terminal stations of Liverpool Street, Moorgate and Paddington.
  • It would give step-free access to Crossrail at Farrington, Liverpool Street, Moorgate, Paddington and Whitechapel
  • With a change at Farringdon or Liverpool Street to Crossrail, it would offer the fastest route to Canary Wharf.
  • The Gordon Street entrance would improve walking routes between Euston station and University College London and other buildings on the South side of Euston Road.

I also suspect that as this project is part of the rebuilding of Euston station for High Speed Two, that it will be completed before Euston station opens for High Speed Two.

If possible, it should be built much sooner to improve access between Euston station and the sub-surface lines.

Once open, even without other improvements at Euston station, this subway would improve access to Euston station by a very substantial amount.

Camden Town Station Upgrade

In 2015, I went to see an exhibition about the proposed expansion of Camden Town station and wrote The Camden Town Station Upgrade Exhibition.

I believe this upgrade should be delivered before High Speed Two opens around the end of this decade.

But due to the financial problems of Transport for London, this project has now been kicked into the long grass.

The Wikipedia entry for Camden Town station, states that upgrading the station will take four years.

Northern Line Split

The completion of the Camden Town Station Upgrade will enable the splitting of the Northern Line into two separate lines, after the completion of the Northern Line Extension to Battersea and the Bank Station Upgrade.

  • Northern Line West – Edgware to Battersea Power Station via Camden Town, Euston, Charing Cross and Waterloo.
  • Northern Line East – High Barnet to Morden via Camden Town, Euston, Kings Cross, Moorgate, Bank and London Bridge.

Each branch will be running at least 24 trains per hour (tph) and will significantly increase capacity between High Speed Two and other terminal stations and the City of London.

The Northern Line should be split into two lines by the time High Speed Two opens, but with no start date in sight for the Camden Town Station Upgrade, this might not be possible.

Victoria Line Improvements

The Victoria Line or Dear Old Vicky probably won’t be able to help much, but I do think it would be feasible to improve the three most inadequate stations on the line.

I doubt the money can be found to carry out these improvement projects, that are essential, but very much smaller than the Camden Town Station Upgrade.

Sub-Surface Lines Improvements

The big project on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines is the Four Lines Modernisation (4LM) project.

  • It is an upgrade of the trains, track, electrical supply, and signalling systems.
  • This will add 27 % more capacity in the Peak.
  • As anybody will know, who has been to a major event at Wembley Stadium, the new S8 Stock trains, that have been running for a few years now, have an almost infinite capacity.
  • Incidentally, the S8 Stock trains hold 1350 passengers, which is not far short of the 1500 that each Crossrail Class 345 train can hold.
  • Euston Square station will have a step-free connection from the rebuilt Euston station complex.

Most of the Modernisation will be completed by 2023.

I believe that the sub-surface lines will become the main method to get to and from the upgraded Euston station, until Crossrail 2 is built.

  • There will be direct trains to around seventy stations from Euston Square station.
  • With a change at Paddington to Crossrail, there is a route to Heathrow Airport and Reading.
  • With a change at Farringdon or Liverpool Street to Crossrail, there is a route to East London, Canary Wharf and South East London.
  • With a change at Farringdon to Thameslink, there are routes to over a hundred stations.
  • With a change at Whitechapel to the East London Line, there are routes to North, East and South London.

When you consider that the Metropolitan Line opened in 1863 and was the first passenger-carrying underground railway in the world, hasn’t it done well?

When the Euston Square station upgrade is complete, I will probably use that route to get home from Euston, changing on to a bus at Moorgate, which stops close to my house.

Old Oak Common Station

High Speed Two’s Old Oak Common station is introduced like this on this page on the High Speed Two web site.

Old Oak Common is a new super hub set to be the best connected rail station in the UK.

This map from Transport for London shows the various lines at the station.

Note.

  1. The bright blue line is High Speed Two.
  2. The purple line is the Great Western Main Line and Crossrail.
  3. I suspect that the interchange between these three lines will be a good one.
  4. Will all Great Western services stop at Old Oak Common station?
  5. The orange lines are London Overground services, with two new stations; Old Oak Common Lane and Hythe Road close to the main Old Oak Common station.
  6. The green line is the Southern service between Milton Keynes and South Croydon.
  7. The red line is the Central Line and it could be joined to the main station.
  8. There are plans for a West London Orbital Railway, from Brent Cross and West Hampstead in the North to Hounslow and Kew Bridge in the West, that would call at the main Old Oak Common station.

Old Oak Common station could be well connected to most of London, through its Crossrail. London Overground and West London Orbital connections.

It is my view that these three smaller projects must be completed before the opening of High Speed Two.

  • Hythe Road station
  • Old Oak Common Lane station
  • West London Orbital Railway.

None of these three projects would be very challenging.

Chiltern Railways And High Speed Two

Chiltern Railways already have a London Marylebone and Birmingham Moor Street service

Birmingham Moor Street station will be close to High Speed Two’s Birmingham Curzon Street station.

Plans exist for a second London terminus for Chiltern Railways close to the main Old Oak Common station.

  • Could Chiltern Railways become a partner for High Speed Two on routes like between Leeds and Banbury?
  • They could certainly bring passengers to Old Oak Common from Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire.
  • One of my principles on High Speed Two, is that it should be a One-Nation railway.

Old Oak Common would be a very different station to Marylebone with its very useful Crossrail. London Overground and West London Orbital connections.

The terminal for Chiltern Railways at Old Oak Common is another project that should be completed before the opening of High Speed Two.

The Duality Of Euston and Old Oak Common Stations

Euston and Old Oak Common stations could almost be considered to be one station.

  • All High Speed Two trains terminating or starting at Euston also call at Old Oak Common station.
  • They will be just five minutes apart.
  • Both stations have comprehensive networks of connections.
  • Taken together the connections from both stations cover most of London and the South East.

There could be advantages for both operators and passengers.

  • Would a ticket to and from London Terminals be usable at both stations?
  • For some London destinations, passengers might prefer to use one terminal or the other.
  • By changing at Old Oak Common to Crossrail will probably be the fastest way to Heathrow, the West End, the City, Canary Wharf and other places.
  • Passengers could make the decision about the London terminal to use en route.
  • Operators sometimes put the cleaning crew on the train at the last station before the terminal to save time in the turnround. The closeness of the two stations would enable this.

I think the London end of High Speed Two has been designed to make it easy for the operator and passengers.

The Losers If Crossrail 2 Isn’t Built

Crossrail 2 will provide better access to High Speed Two and the London terminals of Euston, Kings Cross, St. Pancras and Victoria for parts of London and the South East.

Victoria Line Passengers

The Victoria Line will have interchanges with Crossrail 2 at the following stations.

  • Tottenham Hale
  • Euston and Kings Cross St. Pancras on the Victoria Line and Euston St. Pancras on Crossrail 2
  • Victoria

Note.

  1. Crossrail 2 will relieve capacity on the Victoria Line between Tottenham Hale and Victoria
  2. There will be a very comprehensive interchange at Euston St. Pancras to serve High Speed Two, Eurostar and classic lines out of Euston, Kings Cross and St. Pancras.

From what has been disclosed about the connrection between Euston and Euston Square stations transfer between Euston and Kings Cross and St. Pancras will be a lot easier than it is now.

This reworking of the poor connection to Euston Square station might take some pressure off the Victoria Line.

It might also might be possible to squeeze more trains down Dear Old Vicky.

Passengers On The Suburban Lines Into Waterloo

The suburban lines into Waterloo will go into tunnel at Wimbledon and connect directly to Victoria, Euston, St. Pancras and Kings Cross.

This will be superb access for South West London to four major London terminals.

Without Crossrail 2, passengers  will have to use one of these routes to get to and from Euston.

  • Change at Waterloo to the Northern Line.
  • Change at Waterloo to the Bakerloo Line and then at Oxford Circus to the Victoria Line.
  • Change at Vauxhall to the Victoria Line.

Could it be, that the Northern Line Extension should be extended to Clapham Junction station, as it is an aspiration over a safeguarded route under Battersea Park?

In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I showed it was possible to run a Crossrail 2 schedule of four tph into Waterloo station, if the following were done.

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

This would not be a large project

Passengers In Balham And/Or Tooting

Crossrail 2 is planned to run between Wimbledon and Victoria via the following stations.

Note.

  1. Crossrail 2 should take pressure off the Northern Line.
  2. Public Opinion is against King’s Road Chelsea station. How will their cleaners, cooks and nannies get to work? Especially, as the roads in the area are already jammed by Chelsea tractors.
  3. The original route favoured Balham to give an interchange with National Rail. Tooting Broadway also has geological problems for the tunneling.
  4. On the other hand, Sadiq Khan supports the route through Tooting Broadway, which better serves his former constituency.

This Map from cartometro.com shows the rail lines in the area.

Note.

  1. Balham station in the North is an interchange station between the Northern Line and National Rail, with a possible four National Rail platforms.
  2. Tooting Broadway is a simple through station on the Northern Line.
  3. The next station after Wandsworth Common towards London is Clapham Junction.
  4. Transport for London have been advocating a new Streatham Common station, that would be an interchange between the lines through Streatham Common and those through Streatham.
  5. Streatham and Tooting stations are on the Wimbledon Loop Line, which only carries two tph in both directions.

Since I have been writing this blog, there have been several ideas to make better use of the National Rail lines in this area.

There was even a plan that I wrote about in 2016 called The Streatham Virtual Tube.

  • Trains would run through Streatham Common, Streatham, Streatham, Hill, Balham, Wandsworth Common, Clapham Junction and into Victoria.
  • Trains could also go North from Clapham Junction to Old Oak Common for High Speed Two.
  • The Streatham Common Interchange would be built. This would give a useful interchange to the Wimbledon Loop Line.
  • There would be four tracks through Streatham.
  • A tunnel would be build to allow trains to go through both Streatham and Streatham Hill stations.
  • It would have an interchange at Balham with the Northern Line.
  • It could have an interchange at Clapham Junction with an extended Battersea Branch of the Northern Line.
  • Suppose it had a frequency of perhaps six or even ten tph.

I think it might work, but it shows what can be done, with a bit of out-of-the-box thinking.

Passengers In Dalston And Hackney

One of the entrances to the proposed massive double-ended Crossrail 2 station at Dalston will be at the end of my road and very close to where my mother used to work and where her mother was actually born.

East London had not had major rail improvements since the 1950s and 1960s, when most of the lines into Liverpool Street were electrified and the Southbury Loop was reopened.

But since the creation of the Overground in 2007 from the remains of the ill-performing Silverlink, with the addition of new trains and ticketing and a good clean, there has been a series of smaller projects that have been completed, in and around East and North London.

Note.

  1. There have also numerous smaller upgrades like the addition of lifts to several stations.
  2. Stations between Stratford and Shenfield have been upgraded for Crossrail.
  3. There has also been considerable upgrades to the electrification, which in some places was not in the best of condition.
  4. Most lines have a frequency of four tph or more.

Some may feel that East London has done well with rail improvements in the last few years.

I would agree in some ways, but would counter by saying that before the Overground was created, East London’s were in a terrible state and their state today is a excellent example of what can be achieved by good design, planning and execution, without spending vast sums.

East London and the boroughs of Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Newham and Waltham Forest in particular, now have a good rail network, that is going to get a lot better with the addition of Crossrail.

  • The North London Line is about half a mile to the North of where I live and can walk to two stations or get a bus to another three.
  • Crossrail will be a couple of miles to the South with station entrances at Moorgate, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and Stratford.
  • There are four electrified railway lines with new trains, which run North-South with connections to the two East-West lines.
  • Although my quickest way to Crossrail will be a bus from close to my house to outside Moorgate station.
  • I suspect that everybody in the Borough of Hackney and the Eastern part of Islington will be able to get to a Crossrail station in well under thirty minutes.
  • In addition, from where I live the Gospel Oak to Barking Line runs a couple of miles North of the North London Line.

I believe that Dalston’s success over the last decade has been a collateral benefit of its comprehensive rail system, supported by lots of shiny new buses.

Does Dalston want Crossrail 2? Probably, Yes!

Does Dalston need Crossrail 2? Possibly, No!

Do other areas of large cities need Dalstonisation of their railway and bus systems? Absolutely!

I certainly don’t regret moving to Dalston!

Note that one of the reasons I’m so keen on the West London Orbital Railway is that it could do the same for North West London, as the Overground and the Lea Valley Lines have done for North East London.

Passengers Along The Lea Valley

Crossrail 2 will connect the Lea Valley Lines to Dalston and on to Central London.

It will involve the following changes to the West Anglia Main Line.

  • Four-tracking of the route at least as far as Broxbourne.
  • A junction South of Tottenham Hale station will connect the route to a tunnel to Dalston.
  • Level crossings at Brimsdown, Enfield Lock and Cheshunt will be removed.
  • Like Crossrail, stations would be substantially step-free.
  • The signalling will be upgraded to full in-cab digital ERTMS signalling, that is used by Crossrail and Thameslink under London.

This would enable 10-15 tph running between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.

With all the development going on around Cambridge and possible expansion of Stansted Airport, I believe that even if Crossrail 2 is not build, then there will be pressure to four-track the West Anglia Main Line, remove the level crossings and improve the stations and signalling.

If this were to be done, then there is an interim plan that could be implemented that I wrote about, four years ago in Could A Lea Valley Metro Be Created?

I envisaged the following.

  • Updating the West Anglia Main Line to four-tracks and a standard suitable for Crossrail 2.
  • Using the double-track loop at Stratford  as the Southern terminal, for some of the trains.
  • Updating the Victoria Line stations. The major interchange at Tottenham Hale station has already been improved substantially.
  • Providing an appropriate service between Stratford and Broxbourne stations.
  • Terminating some Stansted and Cambridge services in the Stratford Loop, as Stratford has better connections to South London and Kent than Liverpool Street.
  • Integrating Lea Valley Metro, London Overground and Greater Anglia services to Bishops Stortford, Cambridge and Hertford North stations.

Note.

  1. All services connect to Crossrail and the Central Line at the Southern end.
  2. Services to Liverpool Street connect to National Rail services, the Lea Valley Lines of the London Overground and the Circle, District and Metropolitan Lines.
  3. Services to Stratford connect to National Rail services, the North London Line of the London Overground and the Jubilee Line.
  4. Could alternate trains serve Liverpool Street and Stratford?
  5. Could splitting services between Liverpool Street and Stratford mean that the largest proportion of routes have just a single change?

As Transport for London and the train operating companies know where passengers want to go and actually go, I’m sure that a service pattern, that is acceptable to all could be created.

Conclusion

Crossrail 2 is quoted as being a £33 billion project.

I believe that with a good review lots of money could be saved and other smaller projects could be planned and executed to handle the expected increase in the number of passengers.

I would do the following.

  • Camden Town station – Upgrade
  • Chiltern Railways – Build their connection to Old Oak Common station
  • Euston Station – Improve connections to Euston and Euston Square Underground stations.
  • Northern Line – Extend the Battersea branch to Clapham Junction
  • Northern Line – Split Into Two Lines
  • Overground – Build Old Oak Common Lane and Hythe Road stations
  • Southern – Build the new Streatham Common station and implement The Streatham Virtual Tube.
  • South Western Railway – Run four tph on all proposed Crossrail 2 routes into Waterloo station
  • Victoria Line – Upgrade Highbury & Islington, Oxford Circus and Walthamstow Central stations and increase the frequency if possible
  • West Anglia Main Line – Upgrade ready for Crossrail 2 and develop the Lea Valley Metro

All of these projects would have their own benefits, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Only when the needs of all passengers have been assessed in a few years, should we make a decision about Crossrail 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 27, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

DLR Extension To Thamesmead Gets Preliminary Funding

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

This is the opening paragraphs.

TfL has secured funding to carry out more work on plans to extend the DLR from Beckton to Thamesmead.

The current proposals are for a new station be built in Beckton, with a bridge over (or tunnel under) the Thames to a new station in Thamesmead. Both sites are subject to lots of new housing being built, or planned, and the DLR extension was included in TfL’s latest financial plans.

Ian also gives this map.

This Google Map shows the area, where the extension will be built.

Note.

  1. The Eastern end of the runway at London City Airport in the South-Western corner of the map.
  2. The proposed location of Thamesmead station is by the roundabout in the South-Eastern corner of the map.

I estimate that the River Thames is around 500-600 metres wide at this point.

North Of The Thames

This Google Map shows more detail around the ring road of Armada Way on the North side of the Thames.

Note.

  1. The ring road of Armada Way in the centre of the map.
  2. Beckton Depot of the DLR takes up the Southern part of the land enclosed by Armada Way.
  3. The Northern part of the enclosed land is what is left of Beckton Gas Works.
  4. Gallions Reach station by Gallions roundabout, aligned North-South along the road.
  5. Note how the DLR goes under the road to read Beckton station in the North West corner of the map.
  6. To the North of the Armada Way ring, there is Gallions Reach Retail Park.
  7. Surrounding everything to North and East is the massive Becton Sewage Treatment Works.

I am not sure how the extension will connect to the existing Beckton branch of the DLR, but it does look that it could sneak around the inside of Armada Way and strike out directly across the Thames, from a junction to the North of Gallions Reach station.

This Google Map shows Gallions Roundabout and Gallions Reach station.

The connection to Beckton Depot to the North of the station can be picked out. It appears trains can enter and leave the depot in both directions.

This further Google Map shows Armada Way as it goes across the Northern side of the Beckton Gas Works site and along the Southern side of Gallions Reach Retain Park.

Note.

  1. The current route to Beckton station can be seen entering a short tunnel to go under the road.
  2. Could the route go inside Armada Way?

A station appears to be planned in this area called Beckton Riverside.

South Of The Thames

This Google Map shows the area which will be served by the extension South of the river.

Note.

  1. From the first map in this post it would appear that the route from the North makes landfall just to the East of the blue dot on South bank of the River.
  2. Thamesmead station would appear to be by the middle of the three roundabouts shown on the road crossing the map.

Much of the land between, the current buildings and the river could be developed.

Bridge Or Tunnel?

The major piece of construction will be the bridge or tunnel to connect the two halves of the extension.

Consider.

  • The frequency of the extension could be fifteen trains per hour (tph)
  • A bridge may stop large ships like HMS Ocean and MS Deutschland coming upriver to Greenwich or the Pool of London.
  • London has tried to develop a cruise ship terminal at Enderby’s Wharf near Greenwich.
  • Bringing cruise ships into London creates employment.
  • The Docklands Light Railway already has two tunnels under the river.
  • A tunnel would probably be less than a kilometre.

For these reasons, I think, a tunnel will be the more likely option.

Although, I always like railway bridges across a river, as they can become tourist attractions.

A Few Thoughts

These are a few thoughts.

A Frequency Of 15 tph

In his article, Ian says this about the frequency.

If the DLR extension is built, then it’s provisionally expected to be able to offer 15 trains per hour – roughly one every four minutes.

Currently, the frequency between Tower Gateway and Beckton is only 7.5 tph in the Peak and six tph in the Off-Peak.

  • If the Beckton service were to be extended to Thamesmead, to run a frequency of 15 tph, would still need more trains for the service.
  • But where would the extra trains terminate in the West?
  • Could this be handled with the new trains and better signalling?

I’m not sure, but it seems that the Docklands Light Railway is being setup with another 15 tph capacity in the East.

Could it be that the Thamesmead extension will be run back-to back with another extension in the West.

In A Connection Between City Thameslink Station And The Docklands Light Railway, I described a possible Westward extension of the Docklands Light Railway to Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria stations.

This map shows the route.

Note.

  1. Could St. Pancras and Victoria both take half of the 15 tph from Thamesmead?
  2. Bank currently , turns 22.5 tph in the Peak and 18 in the Off Peak.
  3. The new trains may be able to work with shorter headways.
  4. Currently, Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria have no direct connection to Canary Wharf.

I think the DLR could end up with a Peak service something like this service.

  • 7.5 tph – St. Pancras and Lewisham via Canary Wharf
  • 7.5 tph – St. Pancras and Woolwich Arsenal
  • 7.5 tph – Victoria and Lewisham via Canary Wharf
  • 7.5 tph – Victoria and Thamesmead

Except at Custom House and with a walk at Canary Walk, the connection to Crossrail is poor.

Conclusion

The extension of the Docklands Light Railway to Thamesmead, looks to be a sensible project to serve much-needed housing at Beckton and Thamesmead.

But I feel it needs to be built alongside a Western Extension of the Docklands Light Railway to Charing Cross, Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria.

  • This would enable a train frequency of at least 7.5 tph to Thamesmead.
  • Or 15 tph if the existing Tower Gateway service were to be extended from Becton to Thamesmead.
  • This extension would also provide a direct link between Euston, Kings Cross and St. Pancras stations and Canary Wharf and perhaps take some pressure from the Bank branch of the Northern Line.

But the extension’s primary function would be to balance the Docklands Light Railway and allow capacity through Bank to the East to be increased.

It could be an affordable fill-in, while we wait for better times, in which to build Crossrail 2.

 

December 25, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail 2 Falls Victim To £1.8bn TfL Bailout

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Construction Enquirer.

It appears that one of the conditions of the bailout of Transport for London, is that ongoing consultancy on Crossrail 2, will be scrapped.

As someone, who lives in an area, that will benefit enormously from Crossrail 2, I still feel that this is a good idea, as for the last few years, the transport system in East London has coped well and other improvements already in the pipeline, will keep things going until the economy recovers from the covids and a rathional decision can be made about Crossrail 2.

November 2, 2020 Posted by | Finance, Transport | , | 9 Comments

Walking Along Moorgate – 30th September 2020

I took these pictures as I walked from North to South along Moorgate today from the bus stop by Finsbury Square.

 

Note.

  1. I did cross the road three times.
  2. The building site behind the blue hoardings in some of the first pictures, looks like it could be another tall building.
  3. The tower looming in the background of several of the pictures is Citypoint, which was originally built in 1967 and refurbished in 2000.
  4. The new looking building, with the Barclays branch at street level, is not new but another refurbished building, that has been finished in the last few months.
  5. The older red and white building is Moorgate station. There is nothing to indicate that this building will be rebuilt.
  6. The odd shaped building to the South of the station is Moor House.
  7. A large new entrance to the station, with an office block on top is being built between the original station entrance and Moor House.
  8. Between the new station entrance and Moorgate, 101 Moorgate is being built.

There is certainly, a lot of all types of property development going on at Moorgate station, which after Crossrail opens will become the Western entrance to the Crossrail station at Liverpool Street station.

This 3D Google Map shows Moorgate.

101 Moorgate is marked with a red arrow.

A Crossrail Video Of Liverpool Street Station

This video shows the design of Crossrail’s Liverpool Street station.

This screen-capture from the video shows a possible future Moorgate.

Note the new buildings at 101 Moorgate and the current Moorgate station.

These are related posts on the design of the Crossrail station at Moorgate and Liverpool Street.

The station could become the major one for the City of London.

Extending the Northern City Line To The South

This was intended by the builders of the Northern City Line and they intended to take the route to just North of Bank station at Lothbury.

In the Wikipedia entry for Moor House, this is said.

Completed in 2004, it was the first building to be designed for the forthcoming Crossrail, with a ventilation shaft to the station underneath the building. When built, it had the deepest foundations in London, which reach down 57 metres (187 ft) and are specifically designed to withstand further tunneling below it in the future.

I suspect that could mean that Moor House won’t get in the way of any further railway development.

In the Wikipedia entry for the Northern City Line, this is said about possible developments planned after World War 2.

After the war there were proposals to extend the Northern City Line north and south. The London Plan Working Party Report of 1949 proposed several new lines and suburban electrification schemes for London, lettered from A to M. The lower-priority routes J and K would have seen the Northern City Line extended to Woolwich (Route J) and Crystal Palace (Route K), retaining the “Northern Heights” extensions to Edgware and Alexandra Palace. The lines would have run in small-diameter tube tunnels south from Moorgate to Bank and London Bridge. The “K” branch would have run under Peckham to Peckham Rye, joining the old Crystal Palace (High Level) branch (which was still open in 1949) near Lordship Lane. Nothing came of these proposals, and the Edgware, Alexandra Palace and Crystal Palace (High Level) branches were all closed to passengers in 1954. As a result, the Northern City Line remained isolated from the rest of the network.

Note.

  • The proposed J branch to Woolwich has been covered by Crossrail calling at both Moorgate and Woolwich.
  • The proposed K branch to Peckham Rye and Crystal Palace has been covered by Crossrail and the London Overground with a change at Whitechapel.

So why bother to open up the possibility by designing Moor House for more tunnels to be bored?

As the London Plan Working Party Report of 1949 indicated several more lines and electrification were proposed.

Also during the war several deep-level shelters were built under Underground stations. Wikipedia says this about the background to the shelters.

Each shelter consists of a pair of parallel tunnels 16 feet 6 inches (5.03 m) in diameter and 1,200 feet (370 m) long. Each tunnel is subdivided into two decks, and each shelter was designed to hold up to 8,000 people. It was planned that after the war the shelters would be used as part of new express tube lines paralleling parts of the existing Northern and Central lines. Existing tube lines typically had 11-foot-8.25-inch (3.56 m) diameter running tunnels and about 21 feet (6.4 m) at stations; thus the shelter tunnels would not have been suitable as platform tunnels and were constructed at stations the new lines would have bypassed. However, they would have been suitable as running tunnels for main-line size trains. (One existing tube, the Northern City Line opened in 1904, used a similar size of tunnel for this reason, although in fact main-line trains did not use it until 1976.)

Shelters were planned on the Northern Line at Belsize ParkCamden TownGoodge StreetStockwellClapham NorthClapham Common, and Clapham South on the Northern Line. Did London Transport do a full survey of the Northern Line before the war and leave documents saying where an express Northern Line could be easily built.

My mother told me about these plans and as her best friend worked in Personnel at London Transport, she probably knew more than the average suburban housewife, who worked part-time for my father as a book-keeper.

After Crossrail opens and Moorgate station and the Bank station Upgrade are completed will it be possible to bore two new full-size tunnels underneath the Northern Line and Moor House and other buildings on the route to create a Northern Line Express service?

Consider.

  • The tunnels would be very deep and suitable for full-size trains.
  • Moorgate, Bank and London Bridge stations will have all been rebuilt in the last twenty years, so hopefully, they have been built to allow tunnels for a Northern Line Express service to pass through.
  • The Northern Line Express would take the pressure off the City Branch of the Northern Line?
  • Initially, the line might terminate under London Bridge station in perhaps a two platform station.
  • Modern digital signalling would allow up to 24 trains per hour (tph) on the section between London Bridge and Alexandra Palace station and 12 tph on the Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage branches

It would be a lot easier to build than Crossrail 2 and would give some of the benefits.

An Extension To North Cheam?

The Wikipedia entry for Morden station has this paragraph.

A post-war review of rail transport in the London area produced a report in 1946 that proposed many new lines and identified the Morden branch as being the most overcrowded section of the London Underground, needing additional capacity. To relieve the congestion and to provide a new service south of Morden, the report recommended construction of a second pair of tunnels beneath the northern line’s tunnels from Tooting Broadway to Kennington and an extension from Morden to North Cheam. Trains using the existing tunnels would start and end at Tooting Broadway with the service in the new tunnels joining the existing tunnels to Morden. The extension to North Cheam would run in tunnel. Designated as routes 10 and 11, these proposals were not developed by the London Passenger Transport Board or its successor organisations.

Perhaps, the solution would be to bore two new deep full-size tunnels from Moorgate to Tooting Broadway.

  • The Northern Line Express trains couldn’t continue to Morden, as they would be too big for the existing tunnels.
  • So they would have to turn back at Tooting Broadway station.
  • The stations between Kennington and Morden, that are in need of improvement could be updated.
  • I would design the interchange between Northern Line Express and Northern Line trains at Tooting Broadway station as a step-free cross-platform interchange.

The Wikipedia entry for North Cheam station, describes the extension to the station.

  • It would have been in tunnel from Morden.
  • There would be an intermediate station at Morden South station.
  • It didn’t think much of the economics.
  • I would suspect that the tunnel would run under the A 24.
  • The tunnel would be just under three miles long.

I wonder, if the extra distance, made operation of the line easier.

I estimate that a train could go from Morden to North Cheam stations and back in under ten minutes.

  • This would allow 6 tph with a single tunnel and track between the two stations.
  • The two new stations; North Cheam and Morden South could be single platform.
  • The signalling could be simplified.

The extension could be more affordable.

 

 

September 30, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Walk Along Shaftesbury Avenue

These are some pictures I took as I walked up Shaftesbury Avenue at around lunchtime.

This is a summary of what I saw and my views.

  • I only saw one electric vehicle; a black taxi.
  • It was a horrendous collection of diesel trucks and vans. And an ambulance!
  • As someone, who suffers in polluted air, I say two words – Stop It!
  • All deliveries should be done at night!
  • No vehicle should be allowed through unless it is zero carbon.

Note the lack of private cars and I only saw a couple of buses, both of which were New Routemasters.

Conclusion

Shaftesbury Avenue is the heart of London’s Theatreland. And a downright disgrace!

I am lucky, in that if I want to go, I walk round the corner from my house and get a 38 bus direct to the Avenue.

But look at any map and you’ll see there is no Underground station in the area and you have to walk from Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus or Tottenham Court Road stations.

Crossrail 2 has a plan to build a station in the area, but as it would involve demolishing the Curzon Cinema, all the usual suspects are against that plan. They were also against the demolition of a theatre at the site of the expanded Tottenham Court Road station. Crossrail are doing the obvious and building a new bigger one!

Surely, the same thing would work for Crossrail 2!

December 10, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail And Ealing Broadway Station

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the track layout at Ealing Broadway station.

These are lines from North to South through the station.

  • The lines shown in green are the District Line, which terminates in platforms 9, 8 and 7.
  • The lines shown in red are the Central Line, which terminates in platforms 6 and 5.
  • The lines shown in dark blue are the slow lines through platforms 4 and 3, which carry Crossrail and other slow services. Platform 4 is the London-bound platform.
  • The lines shown in black are the fast lines through platforms 2 and 1, which carry all fast services. Platform 2 is the London-bound platform.

These are my thoughts on the layout.

Eastbound Crossrail Trains

Passengers travelling East on Crossrail, will be able to walk across from Platform 4 to any of the terminal platforms numbered 5 to 9, for the Central and District Lines.

This picture taken from a London-bound train in Platform 4 shows a Central Line train in Platform 5.

They are only a short walk apart and passengers who are changing trains will probably position themselves in the rear of the Crossrail train.

Passengers entering the station will just walk across to Platform 4 to use Crossrail to Central London and beyond.

I doubt there will be many passengers arriving on the Central and District Lines, who will want to go back on themselves to Central London. If say they lived near a station between West Acton and Marble Arch, and wanted to go East on Crossrail, they’d probably change between the Central Line and Crossrail at Bond Street station.

Westbound Crossrail Trains

Passengers needing to access the Westbound Crossrail trains in Platform 3, will have to use the bridge over the slow lines carrying Crossrail.

Because of the multiple interchanges between the Central Line and Crossrail, depending on where you join the Central Line, you will probably change to Westbound Crossrail trains at different points.

  • Start a journey between West Acton and Marble Arch and you’ll probably change to the Westbound Crossrail at Ealing Broadway.
  • Start a journey at Oxford Circus and you’ll probably change to the Westbound Crossrail at Bond Street.
  • Start a journey between Bank and Holborn and you’ll probably change to the Westbound Crossrail at Tottenham Court Road.
  • East of Bank, there are two interchanges at Liverpool Street and Stratford.

It is very much a ducker and diver’s paradise.

Escalators And Lifts Could Be Needed At Ealing Broadway Station

There could be quite a number of passengers needing to cross to and from Platform 3, who will mainly be in two categories.

  • Westbound passengers leaving the station.
  • Westbound passengers arriving on the Central and District Lines wanting to continue West on Crossrail.

In addition, there will be a large number of passengers entering the station, wanting to catch trains to Central London.

To cater for these passenger flows, there must be a full set of up-and-down escalators and lifts for the following.

  • Platforms 4 to 9 in the main station.
  • Platform 3 on the Westbound slow line for Crossrail and other slow services.

Wikipedia says four lifts will be added.

It should be noted, that Dlston Junction station handles similar numbers of passengers to Ealing Broadway with one lift and one wide double staircase.

Escalators would future proof the station for more services.

Will District Line Services Be Replaced By Piccadilly Line Services?

There are rumours, that the District Line services at Ealing Broadway station will be replaced by Piccadilly Line services.

Reportedly, this will do the following.

  • Allow frequency increases on the District Line to Richmond and Wimbledon.
  • Allow a frequency increase on the core section of the Piccadilly Line.

Consider

  • Whatever service uses Ealing Broadway will have little effect on the operation of the station.
  • Acton Town, Hammersmith, Barons Court, Earl’s Court, Gloucester Road and South Kensington stations are all served by both the District and Piccadilly Lines.
  • The Piccadilly Line could be an alternative to Crossrail 2 between Green Park and Kings Cross.
  • The Piccadilly Line will have new high-capacity trains in a few years.

Will the change, which means the Piccadilly Line has a capacity increase, allow Crossrail 2 to be delayed by a couple of years?

  • This would ease, Transport for London’s cash flow.
  • It might also allow a better plan for building Crossrail 2

It will be interesting to see the full details of the swapping of lines.

December 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Tottenham Court Road Western Entrance – 2nd December 2019

These pictures show the new Western entrance to Tottenham Court Road station.

This Google Map shows the location of the massive double-ended station.

Note.

  1. Soho Square is the green space in the middle of the map.
  2. The Eastern entrance to the station is by Centre Point in the North East corner of the map.
  3. The new Western entrance is to the West of the red arrow.

The size of the station is such, that passengers will have to make sure they get out at the right end of the train.

  • For Marks and Spencer at the Pantheon, get out at the Western entrance to the station.
  • For Primark and the other shops clustered around the current station entrance, get out at the Eastern entrance to the station.
  • For Tottenham Court Road, Charing Cross Road, the Dominion Theatre and Centre Point, get out at the Eastern entrance to the station.

A few years ago, a young Crossrail engineer told me, that the stations are very long underground.

Perhaps they should have a directory of all shops, theatres, hotels, attractions and other sites on the platforms, to ensure that passengers use the best entrabce for their destination.

This image shows a visualisation of the station.

Note.

  1. The Westerm entrance is the one on the left.
  2. Centre Point at the Eastern end of the complex, by the Eastern entrance.

The visualisation also shows lots of detail.

The Connecting Tunnel Between The Two Entrances

There appears to be a connecting tunnel between the two entrances.

This pictures show the inside of the Eastern end of the tunnel which has already been built.

Note.

  1. The relatively cramped Central Line platform.
  2. The tunnel has good connections to the Central Line.
  3. It looks like the Western end of the connecting tunnel will be extended towards the Western Entrance.
  4. Obviously, breaking through between the connecting tunnel and its extension, will be one of the last jobs to do.

The completed tunnel will allow the following.

  • Passengers entering the station at either entrance to be able to access the Central Line.
  • Passengers needing to access the Northern Line to be able to enter at the Western Entrance and use the connecting tunnel.

Will this tunnel be a good walking route, when it’s raining cats, dogs and hippopotami on the surface?

Access To Crossrail

Both entrances will have their own step-free access to the Crossrail platforms.

Because Crossrail is at a different level to the Central and Northern Lines, it appears that passengers needing to change to and from Crossrail will probably come to the surface by lift or escalator and then go back down again using a second set.

This may seem to make walking distances longer, but I suspect the following.

  • It makes the station easier to construct.
  • Access to existing lines can be maintained during construction.
  • It allows for the installation of multiple escalators for high capacity.

There are also older stations in London, where there are up and down changes of lines. So perhaps it’s an affordable way of building the connection.

Changes Between Crossrail and The Central Line

Crossrail and the Central Line have several interchanges.

  • Stratford, where the interchange is cross-platform.
  • Liverpool Street
  • Tottenham Court Road
  • Bond Street
  • Ealing Broadway, where the interchange is on the surface. See Crossrail And Ealing Broadway Station for my thoughts on the interchange.

I suspect that there will be a certain amount of ducking and diving by passengers, as they go on their easiest way. Many will probably change at Stratford, as it is a walk across the platform.

Will Tottenham Court Road station see a lot of passengers changing between Crossrail and the Central Line?

I have no idea. But I suspect that Transport for London will be able to make an accurate prediction, based on information from London’s contactless ticketing.

It does look though from the visualisation, that the following can be ascertained.

  • There will be an escalator and a walk to change between Crossrail and the Central Line at Tottenham Court Road station.
  • The change may be easier at the Western end of the Crossrail station.
  • The design of the Central Line with two tunnels close together and not much space for stairs and lifts between them, makes a high-capacity link to the large connecting tunnel difficult to built.
  • There appears to be no provision to extend the connecting tunnel to the West. The original plan was to pedestrianise Oxford Street, but that has been abandoned, due to pressure from residents and Westminster Council.

It is an illustration of the difficulty of connecting to London’s older Underground lines.

Changes Between Crossrail and The Northern Line

Crossrail and the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line only have the single interchange at Tottenham Court Road station.

  • Does this mean it is expected to be busy, as the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line serves Euston, Waterloo and will serve the new Battersea extension?
  • From the visualisation, there appear to be lots of connections between Crossrail and the Northern Line at the Eastern entrance.

These pictures show some of the tunnels leading to both Crossrail and the Northern Line at the Eastern entrance.

It looks like Transport for London are expecting a party. But you’ll probably need to be in the Eastern end of the Crossrail trains, to do a fast interchange.

If you get out at the Western end of the train, you’ll have to walk back along the connecting tunnel.

Crossrail 2

Crossrail 2 will complicate and improve things further at Tottenham Court Road station, as it sits between the proposed Crossrail 2 stations of Victoria and the mega-station Euston-St. Pancras-Kings Cross.

Will Cinderella Come To The Rescue?

The Docklands Light Railway (aka Cinderella) was the star of the 2012 Olympics transport system and she now has ambitions to expand to the West, as I wrote about in A Connection Between City Thameslink Station And The Docklands Light Railway.

This map from Transport for London, shows the possible Western extension of the DLR.

With all the problems of the funding of Crossrail 2, this extension could create a lot of important connections across the City.

It already connects or will soon connect.

  • Canary Wharf and Bank
  • City Airport and Bank
  • Crossrail’s South Eastern Branch and Bank, with a change at Custom House station.

The upgrade at Bank, which should complete in a couple of years will help, with better connections to the Central, Circle, District and Northern Lines.

If the extension to the DLR is built, it would connect Canary Wharf, City Airport and Crossrail’s South Eastern Branch in the East, with Charing Cross, Euston, Kings Cross, St. Pancras, Thameslink and Victoria in the West.

It would also take the pressure off of some of Central London’s most crowded lines.

So get your coal shovel out Cindy and start digging!

 

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments

Ewell West Station Has A New Step-Free Footbridge

Ewell West station has a new step-free footbridge.

As the pictures show it is a high-quality structure.

There are some pictures of the station in Before Crossrail 2 – Ewell West, which is dated as 23rd July, 2015.

I finished that post, with this statement.

It is not a station, that needs much work for Crossrail 2 except for a modern enclosed footbridge with lifts and a refurbishment.

I don’t think the station building has been refurbished yet, but the platforms and their accessories are high quality and a new posh bike facility has been built.

Is Ewell West station now ready for Crossrail 2?

Conclusion

Should the first phase of Crossrail 2 or any other rail project for that matter, be to refurbish all existing stations and track, that will be used in the project?

  • Existing passengers get some benefit early and are perhaps more amenable to the disruption caused by some later phases of the new project.
  • If the main project gets delayed, at least something has been delivered.
  • The cash flow of the project is spread over a more manageable time-scale.
  • Ridership might be increased.

If other Crossrail 2 stations or suburban stations in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester or Sheffield are refurbished to this standard, I’m sure that few will complain.

 

October 28, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Could A Fourth Track Be Squeezed In At Tottenham Hale Station?

Eventually, when Crossrail 2 is built, there will be four tracks through Tottenham Hale station. It has been anticipated by Network Rail as they have numbered the platforms at the station 2, 3 and 4.

These pictures were taken from the island platform 2/3.

It does appear that another track could be squeezed in, on the other side of the electrification gantries.

Crossrail 2 Four-Tracking

In Crossrail 2 Question Time, I describe a meeting with two Crossrail 2 engineers.

I was told that four tracks on the West Anglia Main Line would be tricky and that the slow Crossrail 2 tracks would be on the East side, with the fast tracks on the West.

In the post, I state that I think, it could be easier to have the Crossrail 2 tracks on the West side, with the Fast tracks on the East.

  • If the Crossrail 2 tracks are on the East side, then, this means that a platform will be needed on the fourth track at Tottenham Hale station.
  • On the other hand, if the fourth track was a fast line, it might be possible to build it without a platform, which would save space.

Each layout has its benefits and disadvantages.

If nothing else, this illustrates some of the engineering problems of Crossrail.

The Ferry Lane Bridge

One of my pictures, shows the Ferry Lane bridge in the distance. This is the bridge in its glory in close-up.

I feel it will need to be replaced before a fourth track is built.

  • Rebuilding the bridge will cause massive disruption to the area.
  • It will have a very large cost.

Does this explain why the STAR project to increase capacity on the West Anglia Main Line was only a three-track solution?

At some point in the next few years, after all the current transport improvements are completed and before the construction of Crossrail 2 is started, this bridge will be replaced.

Hopefully, someone will come up with a way of replacing the bridge, that doesn’t cause too much disruption.

Conclusion

As the Crossrail 2 engineer said, four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line will be tricky.

 

 

 

 

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment