The Anonymous Widower

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

An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2

I wrote this post in January 2017, when I decided to cut this out of my original post of A Hard Look At Crossrail 2.

Nearly two years later, I decided to update the post after the new platforms have reopened at Waterloo station.

I wrote Is This One Of The Best Platform Access Routes In Europe?, after the access to the new platforms was substantially completed in May 2019.

This has meant a further upgrade has been incorporated.

The Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2

These suburban termini and their routes into Waterloo station are proposed  to be connected to Crossrail 2.

  1. Chessington South – 34 minutes – 9 stops
  2. Epsom – 37 minutes – 9 stops
  3. Hampton Court – 36 minutes – 9 stops
  4. Shepperton – 51 minutes – 14 stops

The times are for a typical one-way journey from Waterloo, which usually has a frequency of two trains per hour (tph).

I suspect that the timings are designed, so that they can be achieved by a 75 mph Class 455 train.

An Upgraded Waterloo Station

Waterloo station is getting a massive upgrade in August 2017, which I describe in detail in What Is Happening At Waterloo In August?.

That upgrade has now opened and is now substantiallycomplete in May 2019.

After the upgrade, Waterloo station will handle the suburban services better than it does today.

  • There will be five extra platforms, with the reopening of the platforms 20 to 24 in Waterloo International.
  • Together these platforms should be able to handle another twenty tph.
  • There will be longer platforms, which will all be able to take twelve-car trains.
  • There will be an improved track layout, both in Waterloo and on the approach.
  • There will be related improvements to improve access to the Underground and the Waterloo and City Line at Waterloo station.

All this should mean Waterloo station, will be capable of handling a substantial increase in trains and passengers, with an improvement in efficiency and comfort.

As I said in Rail Engineer On New Platforms At London Waterloo, the number of passengers handled in a year will increase by twenty-five percent.

Improvements On The Branches

Each branch has its own problems, but the following would help in various places.

  • More step-free access.
  • Some level crossings on the branches can probably be removed..
  • Improved access to onward services like buses, cycling and walking at some stations.
  • Some trackwork to allow Crossrail 2’s proposed frequency of 4 tph.

These improvements will generally be needed, whether the services terminate in Waterloo or are a part of Crossrail 2.

New Trains

Currently, suburban services out of Waterloo are run by a large mixed fleet of generally excellent trains.

This gives 264 four-car trains and 60 five-car trains with a total of 1137 carriages.

South Western Railway are purchasing 30 five-car and sixty ten-car new Aventras with a total of 750 carriages.

The Class 707 trains and the Aventras could offer serious performance improvements, as they are probably designed to be able to have a short as possible time, for a stop at a station.

In an ideal world, all trains running these branches would be identical and all platforms would be designed to fit them perfectly, just as many Overground platforms, fit the Class 378 trains.

Crossrail 2 would do this, with possibly the same Class 345 trains, that have been developed for Crossrail.

But why shouldn’t the routes be worked by a homogeneous fleet, serving platforms and stations designed for the trains?

I believe that Crossrail 2 could make no extra difference to the passenger going between these branches and Central London, except for the route from Wimbledon, which will be in tunnel.

But the new Aventra trains will have three very big effects.

  • They will be walk-through ten-car trains.
  • They will have much better capacity for bags, cases and all the other paraphernalia passengers bring.

But most importantly, if they live up to the claims of train manufacturers, the high performance, well-designed trains with a consistent train-platform interface will save as much as three minutes a station.

  • Trains will stop from line speed faster.
  • Trains will accelerate back to line speed faster.
  • Bigger lobbies, will enable passengers to load and unload faster.
  • Wheelchair passengers and buggy pushers would roll across on the flat.
  • Regenerative braking and light weight will save the train operating company in electricity and train access costs.

Until we get actual figures, even one minute a stop, would reduce times on the branches as follows. Figures in brackets are for two minutes a station.

  1. Chessington South – 25 minutes (16)
  2. Epsom -28 minutes (19)
  3. Hampton Court – 27 minutes (18)
  4. Shepperton -37 minutes (23)

Note that the first three services are now under half-an-hour, without making any allowance that the timings will be for a 100 mph train with better performance, than the 75 mph Class 455 trains.

Is Four Trains Per Hour Possible?

If the round trip from Waterloo can be done in an hour, that means that just two ten-car trains can provide a 2 tph service, as opposed to the four trains now needed.

I suspect that South Western Railway will be experimenting to see if they can get a Shepperton round trip in under the hour.

It may seem difficult, but there are certain factors in their favour.

  • The Shepperton Branch Line is self-contained after it leaves the Kingston Loop Line.
  • It is double-track, so there is no passing loop problems.
  • There are no level crossings.
  • The stations on the branch are fairly evenly-spaced at just over a mile apart.

If a total out-and-back time from Waterloo could be under an hour for each branch, this would mean that a 4 tph service on a branch, would need just four trains.

So for each branch to have 4 tph would need just 16 ten-car trains, with similar performance and characteristics to Class 707 trains or the Aventras.

Currently, to provide a 2 tph service, needs sixteen trains, because it takes over an hour to do a complete round trip.

Would it be possible for trains to shuttle up and down these branches?

Look at the example of the East London Line, where four tph shuttle between dedicated platforms at Highbury and Islington and Dalston Junction stations in the North of London to various destinations in the South.

In Increased Frequencies On The East London Line, I reported on Transport for London’s plans to up the frequency on this line to 20 tph.

So could we be seeing something similar at Waterloo, where trains to Chessington South, Epsom, Hampton Court and Shepperton stations, each have their own dedicated platforms?

The four platforms could even be adjacent, so if you want Wimbledon or a station common to more than one branch, displays would lead you to the first train.

Put simply to provide 4 tph for all branches would need 16 modern ten-car trains and four dedicated platforms at Waterloo. How efficient is that for passengers and train operating companies?

Crossrail 2’s Proposals For Services On The Branches

Wikipedia says this about Crossrail 2 services to these suburban branches, after surfacing from the tunnel South of Wimbledon station.

I think that Wimbledon will have to handle perhaps another 8 tph from other places on the fast lines. But they do that now!

Between Wimbledon And Waterloo

South Western Railway have not disclosed their hand yet, but I suspect that they are doing the maths.

I think that it will be possible for a 4 tph Crossrail 2 service and all the other slow services between Wimbledon and Waterloo to use a single pair of tracks carrying 20 tph.

Surely, if 20 tph can be handled on the East London Line with ten year old signalling technology and Class 378 trains, then this frequency can be handled with modern signalling and new Aventras.

It should be noted that Crossrail and Thameslink can both handle 24 tph under Automatic Train Operation (ATO) in a tunnel, so surely the slow lines can handle 20 tph on the surface under ATO or just using plain good driving.

There could even be capacity for some extra services.

Wimbledon Station

Wimbledon station would only need two platforms for these services, but I do feel that work would need to be done to accommodate the passengers.

But the station would probably not need the massive modifications until it was decided to build the Crossrail 2 tunnel.

Clapham Junction Station

If all these trains can be accommodated on just two tracks between Waterloo and Wimbledon, then these services could call at two dedicated platforms at Clapham Junction station.

  • All trains would stop.
  • Staff and passengers would see a succession of identical trains stopping every three minutes.
  • Passengers would have a maximum wait for fifteen minutes for a direct train, to their specific destination.
  • All trains to stations on the branches would use the same platform, making it easy for passengers.
  • As on the East London Line, trains for any station on the branches would be to a clock-face pattern.

The two platforms could be opposite faces of an island platform, with a waiting room, cafe and toilets in the middle.

Vauxhall Station

If it can be done at Clapham Junction station, why not have a dedicated pair of platforms at Vauxhall station, giving access to the Victoria Line?

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

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

Lines At Vauxhall

Lines At Vauxhall

I think it is true to say, that if the Victoria Line had been built in the last decade or so, the Victoria Line station could have been placed underneath the main line station.

But even so, I suspect Network Rail and Transport for London have ideas to improve the interchange.

Only Sixteen Ten-Car Aventras Will Be Needed

My calculations show that modern 100 mph trains, like the Aventras that South Western Railway have ordered could provide 4 tph on the Crossrail 2 routes with just sixteen ten-car trains.

All the calculations I’ve done show that replacing trains with faster modern ones, increases the frequency and results in more efficient use of trains.

South Western Railway have bought sixty of these trains.

So they must have some impressive plans!

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.

  • 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 ATO between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.

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

 

December 12, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Latest On The New London Overground Class 710 Trains

The August 2018 Edition of Modern Railways has a two-page article on the latest on the new Class 710 trains for the London Overground.

Seating Arrangement

Wikipedia says this about the seating.under Background And Specifications.

The units will be delivered in two sub-classes; an AC-only version with longitudinal and transverse seating (very similar to the S8 units on the Metropolitan line of the London Underground) for use on the West Anglia and Romford-Upminster services, and a dual-voltage version with longitudinal seating for the Watford DC and GOBLIN services.

But it now appears that all the seats on the trains will be longitudinal ones.

I use the current trains a lot to go to Walthamstow and I also use the Class 378 trains, which have longitudinal seats, frequently on the North and East London Lines of the Overground.

I probably aren’t bothered too much about longitudinal seats, but I suspect there will be others who will complain.

This discussion of RailForums is entitled Annoying Things About The Class 378. Search for “seat” and you don’t find many complaints about the longitudinal seating, which is also used on much of the Underground.

On the other hand, if all the trains have identical interiors, this must save on construction and maintenance costs.

If the interiors are basically similar to the Class 378 trains, it must also save on staff training costs.

I actually think, that the biggest complaint will not be about the new trains, but why don’t the older Class 378 trains have wi-fi and USB charging points!

Eight-Car Trains On West Anglia Routes

The article also states that services on West Anglia routes to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town stations will work as eight-car trains or a pair of four-car trains.

If they are always working in pairs, why not build them as eight-car trains in the first place?

In A Detailed Layout Drawing For A Class 345 Train, I said that the formation of a Class 345 train for Crossrail is as follows.

DMS+PMS+MS1+MS3+TS(W)+MS3+MS2+PMS+DMS

Note.that the train is composed of two identical half-trains, which are separated by the TS(W) car.

As the Modern Railways article says that these trains are to be the last to be delivered, would it not be sensible to fully understand the four-car units and then decide if instead of pairs of four-car units, they were built as eight-cars.

Consider.

  • Trains would be formed of identical four-car half-trains.
  • An eight-car Class 710 train would be nearly fifty metres shorter than a nine-car Class 345 train.
  • Passengers would be able to walk through the whole train.
  • Passengers can position themselves for their best exit at their destination station.
  • Would passenger security be better on a train, where passengers could walk all the way through?
  • I have seen drivers on Class 345 trains change ends inside the train
  • Aventras and other modern trains are fitted with intelligent control systems, that determine the number and type of the intermediate cars in the train.
  •  Two Driving Motor Standard Cars (DMS) would be replaced with simpler Trailer Standard (TS) or Motor Standard (MS) cars.
  • The choice of a TS or MS car would depend partly on performance issues, which could be tested with the earlier four-car trains.
  • Building and maintenance cost savings by reducing the number of driving cars, must be possible.
  • Capacity could be increased by adding cars in the middle, if platforms were long enough!
  • Would providing overnight stabling for fifteen eight-car trains be easier than for thirty four-car trains?

It should also be noted, Cheshunt station has a very long platform without a roof. Passengers could walk to the front of the train inside a warm dry train. This already happens with the Class 378 trains at Highbury & Islington station.

Romford-Upminster Shuttle

The Modern Railways article says this about the service on the Romford-Upminster Line.

TfL is still considering whether to utilise a ‘710’ on the Romford to Upminster shuttle or to retain an older unit for the line.

I wrote about this in A Heritage Class 315 Train For The Romford-Upminster Line, after this article in London Reconnections, which is entitled More Trains for London Overground: A Bargain Never to be Repeated,   said that it is possible that this line could be served by a Class 315 train, held back from the scrapyard.

I came to this conclusion.

If it is decided that a Class 315 train is to be used on the Romford to Upminster Line, I believe that the service could be marketed as a quirky heritage unit, that in conjunction with its main purpose of providing a public service, could also be used for other education, training, marketing, innovation and research purposes.

Eversholt Rail Group might even shift a few redundant Class 315 trains!

Why not?

Chingford Upgrades

The Modern Railways article says this.

A £7million investment has seen the stabling facility at Chingford upgraded, including the addition of an AVIS-scanner here as well.

These pictures show the investment.

With the Automatic Vehicle Inspection System (AVIS), Chingford is becoming more than a stabling facility.

Note the large maintenance structure, so that trains can be worked on in the dry.

A Few Questions Of My Own

I have a few of my own questions.

If The Thirty Four-Car Trains For West Anglia Routes Are Converted To Eight-Cars, What Happens To The Spare Driving Motor Cars?

If the thirty four-car trains are converted to fifteen eight-car trains, it appears to me that Bombardier could  have at best many of the long-lead components for thirty Driving Motor Standard (DMS) cars. At worst, they would have thirty DMS cars for Class 710 trains.

But London Overground will have need for a few more trains in a few years.

In Increased Frequencies On The East London Line, I showed this London Overground table of improvements.

LO Improvements

Note that two extra tph are proposed on the Liverpool Street to Enfield Town service. I calculate, that this would need another two Class 710 Trains.

Similarly, to add two tph to the Liverpool Street to Cheshunt service, would appear to need another three trains.

The Mayor is also looking favourably at creating the West London Orbital Railway.

I estimate that the two proposed routes would need around four trains each to provide a four tph service, if they could be run using dual-voltage Class 710 trains with a range of perhaps ten miles on battery power.

What Is Happening About The Hall Farm Curve?

I heard from someone, who should know, that the Hall Farm Curve and the Coppermill Curve will be reinstated.

These curves would allow the following.

  •  A direct service between Chingford/Walthamstow and Stratford.
  • Better access to the upgraded stabling at Chingford.

But I think these curves would be invaluable in maintaining services, during the construction of Crossrail 2.

Will A Bay Platform Be Developed At Lea Bridge Station?

I also wonder if a bay platform will be developed at Lea Bridge station, which would enable a four tph service to be run between Lea Bridge and Chingford stations, if Chingford Branch trains couldn’t get into Liverpool Street station, because of construction works.

I certainly feel that the curves connecting the lines at Coppermill Junction will have a major part to play in the development of East London’s railways.

 

 

 

July 29, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Meridian Water Station – 14th June 2018

Since my last post on Meridian Water station, that was called The Site Of The New Meridian Water Station – 25th April 2018, things have moved on at a good speed.

Note.

  1. It will be a four-platform station.
  2. It will have fullstep-free access, with five lifts.
  3. It will be ready for Crossrail 2, if that line ever arrives.
  4. It will also be a step-free bridge over the railway., for those not using the trains.
  5. It will be very handy for Tesco and IKEA.

It also looks like it could be ready for use in May 2019, which is the planned opening date.

June 14, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment