The Anonymous Widower

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 | Travel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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 | Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Northumberland Park Station – June 12th 2018

The new Northumberland Park station is coming on and has allowed the temporary footbridge to go somewhere else!

The level crossing will not be reinstated and I was wondering how pedestrians and others will cross the railway. There is still an old bridge on the other side to the station, but it doesn’t look to be in the best condition.

I then saw the two staircases in the new station.

So will there be two separate routes across the railway in one bridge?

This image from Network Rail, shows the station from the Eastern side.

There appears to be the following.

  • Two bridge sections, with the one on the far side connected to the low station buildings.
  • Two sets of stairs and a lift giving access from the bridge to the current Platform 1 and new platform behind it, that will become an island platform.
  • Two tracks this side of the island platform.
  • With the two tracks on the other side of the island platform, this means the station will be ready for four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line.
  • A set of steps leading down from the near rend of the footbridge, this side of the extra tracks.

I have wondered for some time, when the West Anglia main Line is four-tracked and/or Crossrail 2 is built, which pair of tracks will be the fast lines.

In the interim it is obvious, that the third rack, which will run between  Meridian Water and Lea #bridge stations, will run on the near side of the island platform.

My only question is will it only handle trains towards Stratford or will the line be bi-directional?

But when the line is fully four-tracked, I think that the lines from West to East will be as follows.

  • Northbound Slow (Current Platform 2) – Local trains and Crossrail 2
  • Southbound Slow (Current Platform 1) – Local trains and Crossrail 2
  • Northbound Fast – Stansted and Cambridge services
  • Southbound Fast – Stansted and Cambridge services

I have put the slow lines on the West, as these are the platforms with the best access and few if any, fast services will stop in the station.

Crossrail 2 could of course change everything.

But I suspect that Northumberland Park station is being rebuilt, so that it will work with the most likely arrangement of tracks.

June 12, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Connection Between City Thameslink Station And The Docklands Light Railway

In the Wikipedia entry for the Docklands Light Railway, there is a section describing a proposed Euston/St. Pancras Extension.

This is said.

In 2011, strategy documents proposed a DLR extension to Euston and St Pancras. Transport for London have considered driving a line from City Thameslink via Holborn north to the rail termini. The main benefit of such an extension would be to broaden the available direct transport links to the Canary Wharf site. It would create a new artery in central London and help relieve the Northern and Circle lines and provide another metro line to serve the High Speed line into Euston.

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

With all the problems of the funding of Crossrail 2, that I wrote about in Crossrail 2 Review Prompts Fresh Delays, could this extension of the DLR, be a good idea?

Consider,

  • Victoria, Euston and St. Pancras are prosposed Crossrail 2 stations.
  • It would link Canary Wharf and the City of London to Eurostar, Northern and Scottish services and High Speed 2.
  • It would give all of the Docklands Light Railway network access to Thameslink.
  • A pair of well-designed termini at Euston and St. Panras would probably increase frequency and capacity on the Bank branch of the system.
  • The DLR is getting new higher capacity trains.
  • Bank station is being upgraded with forty percent more passenger capacity.
  • Holborn station is being upgraded and hopefully will be future-proofed for this extension.
  • One big advantage at City Thameslink, is that Thameslink and the proposed DLR extension will cross at right-angles, thus probably making designing a good step-free interchange easier.
  • The Bank Branch of the DLR currently handles 15 tph, but could probably handle more, if they went on to two terminal stations at St Pancras and Victoria..
  • Waterloo and City Line can run at twenty-four tph.

Cinderella she may be, but then she always delivers, when there is a desperate need, just as she did magnificently at the 2012 Olympics.

The only problem with this extension of the DLR, is that compared to the rest of the system, the views will be terrible.

For myself and all the others living along the East London Line, with a step-free change at Shadwell, we would get excellent access to Euston, Saint Pancras and Victoria

But could the line still be called the Docklands Light Railway, as it spreads its tentacles further?

 

March 12, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Is Crossrail Having An Affect On Train Purchases In The South East?

Crossrail and Crossrail 2 are designed to take-over suburban lines out of London.

Crossrail’s Trains

Crossrail has chosen to use Class 345 trains, which are Aventras built by Bombardier in Derby.

I would suspect that if Crossrail 2 is built, it will use the same trains, as a unified fleet must be easier and more affordable to manage.

Crossrail’s Suburban Routes

It is worth looking at the routes these services will take over and their future train fleets.

Great Eastern Main Line To Shenfield

The slow lines of the Great Eastern Main Line have been taken over by Crossrail to provide a service to their terminus at Shenfield.

Greater Anglia have chosen to replace their assorted suburban fleet with Class 720 trains, which are also Aventras.

This must be a sensible move, as there is likely to be a certain amount of platform sharing between Crossrail and Greater Anglia between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.

Wheelchair ramps would be the same, or would level access from platform to train be provided.

These pictures show Class 345 trains at Liverpool Street and Stratford stations.

The step is not bad, but it is less than some on the London Overground. However, a few well-placed Harrington Humps would probably make entry and exit a lot easier.

It also must help, if Crossrail extends its route past Shenfield to perhaps Beaulieu, Chelmsford or Southend Victoria. Platforms updated for Greater Anglia’s Class 720 trains, would surely fit Crossrail’s Class 345 trains.

I also don’t think there are any platform length issues, although my research says that ten-car Class 720 trains are longer than nine-car Class 345 trains.

Great Western Main Line To Heathrow and Reading

The slow lines of the Great Western Main Line have been taken over by Crossrail to provide a service to their termini at Heathrow and Reading.

Great Western Railway (GWR) were forced to use Class 387 trains, due to electrification delays on the Great Western Main Line and late deliveries of Class 700 trains for Thameslink.

This is all a bit of a dog’s breakfast and I think there’ll be a bit of a sort-out, with perhaps..

  • Electrification to Basingstoke, Newbury and Oxford.
  • Crossrail with an increased frequency, serving all stations between London and Reading.
  • Bedwyn and Oxford would be served by GWR’s five-car Class 800 trains, which would be at 125 mph between Eddington and Reading.

There could be some rather nice Class 387 trains going cheap?

But the result would be the slow lines would be Crossrail-only!

West Coast Main Line To Milton Keynes

This is a possible extension to Crossrail, from the mega hub at Old Oak Common station.

The current local operators on the West Coast Main Line are London Overground and West Midlands Trains.

Both operators have ordered new Aventras for these routes out of London.

London Overground is even replacing modern Class 378 trains with new Class 710 trains on the Watford DC Line.

Suburban Services Out Of Waterloo

If Crossrail 2 gets built, then some of these services will be taken over.

South Western Railway (SWR) have already ordered Class 701 trains for these routes.

This would appear to be a sensible move, as any improvements to platforms and stations made by SWR, will be compatible with Crossrail 2.

West Anglia Main Line To Broxbourne

If Crossrail 2 gets built, then some of these services along the West Anglia Main Line, will be taken over.

Greater Anglia have already ordered Class 720 trains for these routes.

This would appear to be another sensible move, as any improvements made by Greater Anglia, will be compatible with Crossrail 2.

Even after Crossrail 2 opens, Greater Anglia services will still be using the West Anglia Main Line, so there should be no compatibility problems.

North Kent Line To Abbey Wood, Ebbsfleet and Gravesend

The Mayor of London, several London Boroughs and other groups are pushing to extend Crossrail to Ebbsfleet.

Currently, there is a mixture of trains on the North Kent Line,

Consider.

  • .In a few years time, there will be a new franchise holder.
  • It is likely that a lot of trains will be replaced.
  • It is likely that Crossrail and existing North Kent services will share a two-track railway.

It strikes me that there is a high chance that these replacement trains will be Aventras, as this will create a more efficient railway.

How Compatible Are Class 700 Trains With Aventras?

This question has to be asked, as the two different classes of trains will share routes and platforms.

  • Along the North Kent Line if Crossrail is extended.
  • Around the Cambridge area, where Thameslink and Greater Anglia share platforms.

I would assume that they must be very compatible, as the railway press isn’t saying anything to the contrary.

Surely, in a sensible world, both Thameslink and Crossrail would have used the same class of train!

Conclusion

It looks like there are advantages to having a line run by one family of trains.

  • All trains will fit all platforms.
  • Platform procedures will be similar for passengers and staff.
  • Aventras can be fitted with the latest signalling and control systems.

Will these shared characteristics result in extra capacity?

March 5, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Here Are 31 Better Names For City Thameslink, The Worst Name For A Railway Station Ever Devised

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

I tend to agree, as the name doesn’t give too much information about the location, unless you’re a Londoner or someone, who knows about Thameslink.

Look at the passenger statistics for 2013-14 for the station and its neighbours.

They are in line with their neighbours, but nothing special.

So would a renaming help.

Of the thirty-one names proposed by CityMetric, one name stands out to me. This is St. Paul’s West.

These pictures show City Thameslink station.

Note.

  • It is a double-ended station.
  • The Northern entrance is on Holborn Viaduct.
  • The Southern entrance is on Ludgate Hill.
  • There are escalators and lifts at both ends.
  • The station name is given on the platform as City Thameslink for St. Paul’s Cathedral.

This is a Google Map of the area.

Note St. Paul’s cathedral and Southern entrance to City Thameslink station are connected by Ludgate Hill. As Ludgate Hill suggests, it is uphill to the cathedral.

So perhaps a name like Ludgate and St. Paul’s West, might be better.

There could always be a referendum or an on-line vote. But some wag would come up with an unsuitable name that would win.

City Thameslink station is a modern high-capacity station.

  • The station is fully accessible.
  • The platforms accept twelve-car Class 700 trains.
  • Thameslink will soon be running twenty-four trains per hour (tph) in both directions.
  • Northern destinations include Bedford, Cambridge, Luton Airport, Peterborough, Saint Pancras International and Stevenage.
  • Southern destinations include Brighton, Gatwick Airport, Littlehampton, London Bridge, Maidstone, Rainham and Sevenoaks.
  • There is commercial development over much of the station, some of which is better than others.

I have also read that the signalling of Thasmeslink could accept thirty tph through the Snow Hill Tunnel. So the station could see a twenty-five percent increase in train capacity.

What the station needs is better East-West connections to make better use of the station.

Crossrail

Crossrail connects to Thameslink, one station to the North at Farringdon station, which is not a long walk.

A Pedestrian Connection To St. Paul’s Tube Station

I believe this is possible and I wrote about it in A Pedestrian Connection Between City Thameslink Station And St. Paul’s Tube Station.

A Connection To The Docklands Light Railway

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

I wrote about this extension in detail in A Connection Between City Thameslink Station And The Docklands Light Railway.

Conclusion

City Thameslink station could grow significantly in importance.

As to the name, if it grows in importance, perhaps it deserves a more important name?

The French would name it after an important politician, artist, philosopher or soldier!

We don’t do that!

If City Thameslink station ends up with a good pedestrian connection to St. Paul’s station and the cathedral, perhaps the whole station complex should just be called St. Paul’s.

 

 

 

 

February 8, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 4 Comments

Crossrail 2 Review Prompts Fresh Delays

This title of this post is the same as this article on Construction News.

This is the opening paragraph.

Crossrail 2 is set for further delays after London’s transport boss admitted a fresh funding review would push back consultations on the scheme until the end of 2018.

It would now look increasingly unlikely that the hybrid bill to enable Crossrasil 2, will get through Parliament before the next General Election in 2022.

These dates should be noted for Crossrail.

  • Approved – 2007
  • Construction started – 2009
  • Services started – 2015
  • Partial opening – 2018
  • Full opening – 2019

So, if Crossrail 2 is approved in 2022, we could be looking at an opening date of 2032 to 2034.

If it is needed earlier for political reasons, then we must do some serious thinking.

Crossrail 2 As A Series Of Related Projects

I’ve always believed that Crossrail 2, should be considered to be a series of related projects. followed by the boring of the Central Tunnel.

  1. Increasing Capacity On The Waterloo Suburban Lines to four trains per hour (tph)
  2. Station Improvements On The Waterloo Suburban Lines
  3. Increasing Capacity in Tooting And Wimbledon
  4. Providing better access to Clapham Junction station
  5. Making it easier for passengers transferring between trains and Underground at Waterloo.
  6. Improving public transport access to Chelsea.
  7. Creating better access to  Euston, St. Pancras and Kings Cross stations.
  8. Improving transport in Dalston and Hackney.
  9. Four-tracking the West Anglia Main Line between Coppermill Junction and Broxbourne.
  10. Allowing An Increased Number  Of West Anglia Services to Terminate At Stratford
  11. Creating a high-capacity commuter route up the Lea Valley.
  12. Creating a high-capacity commuter route to Wood Green and New Southgate.
  13. Taking Pressure Off the Victoria Line

These projects would incorporate all the holes, through which to thread the Central Tunnel, that will run between Wimbledon and Tottenham Hale.

So would it be better to build Crossrail 2 as a series of smaller projects?

Increasing Capacity On The Waterloo Suburban Lines To 4 Tph

In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I showed that it would be possible to run a service with Crossrail 2’s characteristics terminating in Waterloo station.

I said the following would be needed.

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

Much of the infrastructure works have been completed in Summer 2017, as I reported in It’s All Over Now, Waterloo!.

All it needs to introduce a much improved Waterloo Suburban service,  is for Bombardier to build the new 100 mph Class 701 trains for South Western Railway.

Note that, these improvements will be needed, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Station Improvements On The Waterloo Suburban Lines

Many of the stations on the Waterloo Suburban Lines need substantial improvement.

  • Some station buildings need sympathetic improvement.
  • Some stations need step-free access.
  • Some stations could be redeveloped to create much-needed housing on top of a new station.
  • Some stations might need extra platforms and/or capacity improvements.
  • There are level crossings that need to be closed.

Note.

  1. These improvements will be needed, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!
  2. As Crossrail 2 and South Western Railway will both be using Aventra trains, improvements will be the same if Crossrail 2 is built or not!

There could be quite a few small projects.

Increasing Capacity In Tooting And Wimbledon

Crossrail 2 will increase the capacity at Wimbledon and Tooting Bradway stations, with up to thirty tph passing through.

Wimbledon will benefit from the following, whether or not Crossrail 2 is built.

  • More trains on the Suburban Lines to Waterloo or Central London via Crossrail 2..
  • Increased frequency on the District Line, where the new signalling is being installed under the Four Lines Modernisation program.
  • Increased frequency and capacity on the Northern Line.
  • Increased frequency and capacity on Tramlink.
  • A new Tramlink route to Sutton.
  • After all the work at London Bridge, would it be possible to increase the frequency of trains on the Sutton Loop Line, which currently handles a measly two tph for most of the day?

The area will probably benefit from the splitting of the Northern Line into two separate lines.

Transport for London (TfL) have talked about creating a major interchange, by increasing capacity at Streatham Common station.

Services going through the station and the major junction a short distance to the North include.

  • Thameslink services on the Sutton Loop Line, between Sutton and St. Albans via Wimbledon, Elephant & Castle and St. Pancras.
  • Brighton Main Line services between Victoria and East Croydon.
  • The Milton Keynes to East Croydon service calls.
  • London Bridge to West Croydon services.
  • There is a six tph service to and from Balham station.

It has also been suggested that the station could be a terminus for London Overground’s East London Line services and a Tramlink extension.

I can certainly understand why TfL are thinking of an improved interchange at Streatham Common station.

The original plan for Crossrail 2 showed a preference for the route to go through Balham station rather than Tooting Broadway station.

Surely, if Balham is not to be on Crossrail 2, that station may well be upgraded.

  • The disused platforms could be reinstated.
  • Full step-free access could be added.
  • A better connection between National Rail and the improved Northern Line could be created.

It could become a true Gateway To The South!

Providing Better Access To Clapham Junction Station

Provision has been made in the design of the Northern Line Extension, so that it could be extended from Battersea Power Station station  to Clapham Junction station.

If the connection at Clapham Junction is designed to the high-standard of Crossrail, then the Northern Line Extension could provide an important route for commuters.

The trains on the Northern Line Extension will connect to the Morden branch at Kennington station. The Wikipedia entry for Kennington station says this.

TfL has assessed that the Battersea extension will not have a significant impact on the number of passengers entering and exiting the station, but, to accommodate additional interchanges between the branches, additional cross-platform passageways will be constructed between each pair of plaforms. When the extension opens, all services from the Charing Cross branch will run to Battersea Power Station. Trains to and from Morden will run via the Bank branch.

So it looks like Clapham Junction station will gain a free-flowing connection to both branches of the Northern Line.

Note that, if the Northern Line Extension is extended to Clapham Junction, it will probably be built to allow easy connection to a future Crossrail 2.

Making It Easier For Passengers Transferring Between Trains And Underground At Waterloo

The on-going upgrade to Waterloo station will improve the transfer and also provide better walking routes.

In addition, the recent upgrade across the South Bank netween Waterloo East and London Bridge stations, could be useful to a proportion of passengers.

But more needs to be done!

These other projects might help.

  • To increase capacity on Southeastern services out of Charing Cross station, it has been proposed to rebuild the station, so it reaches across the Thames.
  • Waterloo East station could be a prime site for redevelopment.
  • The Bakerloo Line is going to be upgraded with new trains and more capacity.
  • The Bakerloo Line will have a good connection to Crossrail at Paddington station.
  • The Waterloo and City Line will be getting new trains, which could increase capacity by twenty-five percent.
  • The |Waterloo and City Line could get improved access at Waterloo to match the improved access currently being created  at Bank station.

Surely done in the right order, these projects could increase capacity for passengers at Waterloo, who are connecting to other parts of London.

Improving Public Transport Access To Chelsea

Kings Road, Chelsea station was cancelled in March 2017.

Perhaps, the posh people of Chelsea don’t want the plebs visiting? How will their maids and dogsbodies get to work?

Creating Better Access To  Euston, St. Pancras and Kings Cross Stations

One of the main objectives for Crossrail 2, is to provide better access to the three major stations of Euston, St. Pancras and Kings Cross.

The chosen solution is to build a ‘mega-station’ called Euston St. Pancras station. The connections of the station are described like this in Wikipedia.

The station will be firmly integrated into Euston and St. Pancras mainline stations, as well as Euston Underground station. Access to King’s Cross station, and King’s Cross St Pancras Underground station will be via a short walk through St. Pancras station. There may also be a link to Euston Square station on the Underground, created as part of Euston station’s reconstruction for High Speed 2.

In order to illustrate, the lines in the area and the relationship of Euston St. Pancras station to the current stations, look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr.

Crossrail 2 will pass through Angel station, before roughly following the line of the Northern Line through Kings Cross St. Pancras station to Euston station, where it will turn South towards the next station, which is Tottenham Court Road station, where it will have an interchange with Crossrail.

Like, its earlier sister, Crossrail 2 will have to go deep to avoid the tunnels of the Underground and London’s sewers.

However, London’s famous clay, that was instrumental to the creation of London’s deep-level Tube lines, will probably enable a successful tunnel to be created.

High Speed 2 is scheduled to open in 2026 and it appears to me, that there is no way, that given the slippage of the project, that Crossrail 2 can open before High Speed 2.

So how will the extra passengers using High Speed 2 be handled at Euston station?

The only alternative plan, that I can see is to fall back on the existing lines.

Affecting all the connections between High Speed 2 and the Underground, would hopefully be a complete rebuilding of Euston station incorporating the following.

  • A connection to the sub-surface lines.
  • Full step-free access to all Underground lines.

The Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines, are undergoing an Upgrade Program, which is known as the Four Lines Modernisation by TfL and is described like this in Wikipedia.

Together with the introduction of S Stock trains, the track, electrical supply and signalling systems are being upgraded in a programme planned to increase peak-hour capacity on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines by 65 per cent by the end of 2018. A single control room for the sub-surface railway is to be established in Hammersmith and an automatic train control (ATC) system will replace signalling equipment installed from the 1940s. The cross-London Crossrail line, planned to open in 2018, is expected to reduce crowding between Paddington and Whitechapel.

Note the reference to Crossrail, with its connections to the sub-surface lines at Paddington, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel stations. Passengers will Duck-and-Dive around the busy sections, using Crossrail and its five helper lines, that loop along it to the North and South.

  • Central Line
  • Circle Line
  • District Line
  • Hammersmith & City Line
  • Jubilee Line
  • Metropolitan Line

Predicting how the capacity will split between the various lines across London, will be a statistical nightmare.

But there will be a substantial increase in capacity on the sub-surface lines through Kings Cross St. Pancras and Euston.

The Northern Line could be a totally different line, when High Speed 2 opens in 2026.

  • Bank station will open in 2021 with 40% more capacity.
  • Camden Town station will be rebuilt by 2024/25.
  • The Northern Line Extension to Battersea Power Station station is scheduled to open in 2020.

All this work, may well allow a Northern Line Split, which would bring increased train frequencies and more capacity.

The Victoria Line  is probably at maximum capacity at the present time, but history has shown that she never knows when to stop calling for more!

  • Capacity at Highbury & Islington, Oxford Circus and Walthamstow Central stations is probably a limiting factor.
  • Access at Euston and Kings Cross St. Pancras stations could certainly be improved.

The Piccadilly Line could be a big contributor to extra capacity through the area.

Can the line be upgraded with new trains in time to make a meaningful contribution?

Lastly, we mustn’t forget the new station complex at Old Oak Common, which connects High Speed 2, Crossrail and the North London Line.

Note that, these improvements will be implemented, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Improving Transport In Dalston And Hackney

As a resident of Dalston since 2010, I can honestly say, that public transport has improved a lot in recent years.

  • The North London Line has two frequent five-car train services from Stratford in the East to Clapham Junction and Richmond in the West.
  • The East London Line has four frequent train services from Highbury and Islington and Dalston Junction in the North to Clapham Junction, New Cross, New Cross Gate and West Croydon in the South.
  • The Victoria Line has thirty-six tph from Brixton to Walthamstow Central.
  • Lea Bridge station has reopened.
  • Liverpool Street to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield are now Overground routes.
  • There are numerous bus routes with new buses going hither and thither.

The icing on the cake, is that extra services and new trains will be provided  in the next couple of years.

  • Dalston Junction to Whitechapel for Crossrail will have at least 20 tph.
  • Hackney Wick to Highbury & Islington will have at least 10 tph.
  • New trains will appear on Liverpool Street to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield and Gospel Oak to Barking Line services.

Crossrail 2 would be an improvement for Dalstonistas and Hackneysians, as we could get to Central London faster.

But from December 2019, Crossrail with perhaps a single change will give us numerous ways to get to all the stations on the proposed line, quicker than you could do the trip in a Hackney cab, driven by the likes of Lewis Hamilton.

Hackney has survived on the crumbs of London’s transport system since the trams and trolley buses were scrapped.

Like all those with Cockney in their genes, nurture or environment, we’ll keep smiling through!

Note that, the improvement in Hackney will be implemented, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Four-Tracking The West Anglia Main Line Between Coppermill Junction And Broxbourne

This needs to be done to create extra capacity on the West Anglia Main Line for the following services.

  • Express services to Stansted Airport, Cambridge and possibly Norwich.
  • Extra express services terminating at Stratford for Crossrail.
  • Local services from Liverpool Street and Stratford to Broxbourne, Hertford East and Bishops Stortford.
  • 100 mph running for Express services on the fast lines.

Four-tracking would certainly be necessary to accommodate the proposed 10-15 tph service for Crossrail 2.

Note that, this four-tracking will be needed, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Allowing An Increased Number  Of West Anglia Services to Terminate At Stratford

Greater Anglia have said, that they will run extra Stansted Airport services into Stratford station from 2019.

  • Previously, these Stratford-Stansted Airport services used the High Meads Loop under the Eastfield Shopping Centre, in much the same way as Merseyrail’s Wirral Line trains run under Liverpool.
  • Services would all call at either Platform 11 or 12 at Stratford, depending on the way the loop is travelled.
  • The loop is double-track, which opens the possibility of local services using one platform and Stansted services using the other.
  • If local services used Platform 12, North London Line services would be perhaps fifty metres away.
  • It would be a walk of about a hundred metres to Crossrail and the Central Line and not much further to the Jubilee Line and the Docklands Light Railway.
  • Using a loop is a technique that saves time, as the train goes straight on, without the driver changing ends and Merseyrail handle something like twelve tph on the Wirral Line.
  • With a measure of Automatic Train Control (ATC), I suspect that a frequency of fifteen  or even twenty tph could be possible through the High Meads Loop.

Could paths be found to incorporate perhaps two tph between Stratford and Chingford via a reinstated Hall Farm Curve?

It seems to me that Network Rail’s track design at Stratford station incorporated a lot of future-proofing!

Creating A High-Capacity Commuter Route up the Lea Valley

Crossrail 2 intends to implement a 10-15 tph service between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.

After the four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line, the only other works needed to create a high-capacity commuter route up the Lea Valley will be.

  • Remodelling of Coppermill Junction, so trains can access Crossrail 2’s Central Tunnel.
  • Rebuilding of Tottenham Hale station to accommodate the extra services, to and from the Crossrail 2 tunnel, Liverpool Street and Stratford.
  • Rebuilding stations to serve the new tracks.

The rebuilding of Tottenham Hale station is already underway.

There is the interesting possibility pf running at least a ten tph service up the Lea Valley from Stratford to Boxbourne and Hertford East.

If the High Meads Loop, were to be fully developed at Stratford, as the terminus of both Stansted Express and local Lea Valley services, using Crossrail from Stratford to cross London would probably be an acceptable alternative route until the Crossrail 2 tunnel is built.

It would have other advantages.

  • Capacity would be released at Liverpool Street station.
  • Capacity would be released through Clapton and Hackney Downs stations on the direct route to Liverpool Street.
  • Services could be connected to Stratford International station with the addition of another platform.
  • Heathrow to Stansted Airport would be a single change at Stratford with just a short walk.

The major undertaking of the Crossrail 2 central tunnel could also be delayed to smooth cash-flow.

Creating A High-Capacity Commuter Route To Wood Green And New Southgate

This section will be nearly all in tunnel and will call at the following stations.

New Southgate – For Great Northern and Thameslink

The area is one I know well and it probably needs improved services.

But some are already planned.

  • Thameslink will add at least two tph to Alexandra Palace and New Southgate.
  • New trains will add capacity and frequency to the Piccadilly Line.
  • New trains will add capacity and frequency to Great Northern services into Moorgate on the Northern City Line.
  • New trains will add capacity and frequency to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

Hopefully, enough capacity can be incorporated to serve North London.

Taking Pressure Off The Victoria Line

Dear Old Vicky can’t give much more and what really would relieve it is Crossrail 2.

The two lines connect at the following stations.

  • Tottenham Hale
  • Seven Sisters
  • Euston St. Pancras
  • Victoria

But the following will help.

  • The rebuilding of Walthamstow Central, Highbury & Islington and Oxford Circus stations.
  • The upgraded Piccadilly Line with connections at Finsbury Park, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Green Park
  • The upgraded Northern Line with connections at Kings Cross St. Pancras, Euston, Warren Street and Stockwell.
  • The cross-platform interchange with the Northern City Line at Highbury & Islington connects to Crossrail.
  • The upgraded Overground routes into Liverpool Street from Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town.
  • A reinstated Hall Farm Curve would give Walthamstow and Chingford easier access to Crossrail at Stratford.

Other new connections and stations might take off extra pressure.

The Central Tunnel

The Central Tunnel, that will run between Wimbledon and Tottenham Hale stations, will be a major undertaking.

  • It is about twice as long as Crossrail’s Central Tunnel from Stratford to Paddington.
  • There will also be the branch tunnel to Wood Green.
  • There will be some large and complicated stations, like Dalston and Euston St. Pancras.
  • Some of the tunnelling South of the Thames could be challenging.

Remember that, boring the tunnels on Crossrail  took around five years, with another two years to lay the track.

On the other hand, the following will apply on Crossrail 2.

  • The contractors will have all the knowledge and experience gained on Crossrail.
  • The tunnel portal sites at Tottenham Hale and Wimbledon look to have plenty of space.
  • Some of the stations, will be ready to accept the tunnel boring machines.

Overall, it will be a very doable project, but I suspect it could take ten years or more.

Other Projects Will Help

In my review of the smaller projects that should be done before the Central Tunnel of Crossrail is bored, Other projects get multiple mentions.

Digital Signalling And ETCS

Crossrail, Thameslink, Crossrail 2 and several Underground Lines will all be lines that have the most modern of signalling, which will also allow a degree of Automatic Train Control.

New passenger trains will be able to take advantage of this technology, but what about lines, where freight trains also run.

Ths article on Global Railway Review is entitled The Digital Railway Begins With Landmark Siemens ETCS Contract.

This is the opening two paragraphs.

Network Rail has awarded Siemens Rail Automation the contract to supply, install and support its European Train Control System (ETCS) on freight locomotives across Great Britain.

Network Rail’s multi-million pound contract grants Siemens to supply, install and support ETCS in-cab signalling equipment on the 745-strong fleet of freight locomotives which operates across Great Britain. ETCS is expected to make Britain’s freight locomotives safer and greener whilst unlocking capacity.

The installation of ETCS will surely be invaluable on lines around London, where freight trains and passenger services mix.

  • Crossrail branch to Shenfield
  • Crossrail branch to Reading
  • Sections of Thameslink
  • North London Line
  • West London Line.
  • The Gospel Oak to Barking Line

Some of these lines and their passenger services are not ready for digital signalling, but the two Crossrail branches and Thameslink will probably be already equipped or will be in the near future.

Digital signalling should unlock more capacity everywhere it is installed.

The Creation Of More Transport Hubs

London has had major transport hubs, where rail lines and other transport modes connect, as long as it has had trains, trams and horse buses.

More transport hubs have been added in recent years and others will be created in the next few years.

  • Brent Cross
  • Dalston
  • Finsbury Park
  • Hackney
  • New Cross/New Cross Gate
  • Shenfield
  • Stratford
  • Streatham Common
  • Tottenham Hale
  • Walthamstow Central
  • West Hampstead

Have all been discussed or planned and some have been started.

But these are small projects compared to the massive transport hub planned at Old Oak Common.

  • It will serve the developments at Park Royal and Old Oak Common.
  • High Speed 2 services will stop between Euston and Birmingham.
  • ,Crossrail, Great Western,West Coast Main Line, North London Line and West London Line services will call.
  • The Central Line may call.
  • Plans exist for a West London Orbital Railway linking North-West and South-West London to Old Oak Common.

It would be a transport mega-hub.

Could others be developed?

Crossrail

Crossrail will inject a massive amount of East-West capacity into London’s transport system.

Some journeys that would be easy on Crossrail 2, will be possible using Crossrail and another line.

Take, where I live in Dalston.

When I moved to the area in 2010, for residents of a large area of Islington and Hackney, the only way to get to the City, Canary Wharf, the West End or major stations was to get a bus to Highbury & Islington, Liverpool Street or Moorgate stations and use the Underground.

Then along came Big Orange in the shape of the London Overground.

After Crossrail opens, for many journeys, I will hop on the Overground to Whitechapel station, from where I’ll take Crossrail to my destination.

The capacity, speed and novelty of Crossrail wil help make up for a delayed Crossrail 2.

Thameslink

Used properly by the rail companies, I believe Thameslink could create a lot more North-South capacity across London.

Some of this could help provide capacity at stations, that will be served by Crossrail 2..

Especially as, Crossrail 2 and Thameslink will share stations at Alexandra Palace, St. Pancras and Wimbledon.

The long-talked about improved stations at Peckham Rye and Loughborough Junction and a possible new one at Camberwell, would help create better connectivity across South London.

What Thameslink needs is a good connection to Clapham Junction, but this would appear to be difficult.

But don’t underestimate London’s troubled North-South Link!

For a start it should be on the Tube Map!

High Speed 2

High Speed 2 will affect Crossrail 2 in two opposite ways, when it opens in 2026.

  • The planned rebuilding of Euston station for the line will incorporate better connections to the Underground and any sane rebuilding would surely bring Euston Square station into the complex.
  • The new line will have a station at Old Oak Common, where there will be an interchange with Crossrail and the London Overground.

The first will increase passenger numbers at Euston, whilst the second should reduce them.

Four Lines Modernisation

Transport for London describe the Four Lines Modernisation with this paragraph.

We are transforming the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. When the work is completed in 2023, increased capacity and boosted reliability will make journeys faster and more comfortable.

TfL say these will be the benefits of the modernisation.

  • A new fleet of air-conditioned trains, with brighter more spacious interiors, low floors and dedicated spaces for wheelchair users, CCTV and other improved features
  • Space for more customers
  • Faster journeys and reduced waiting times
  • Fewer delays as safe but obsolete equipment – dating back to the 1920s in some places – is replaced with modern, computerised signalling and control systems
  • Better live customer information on platforms and to smart devices.

Note.

  1. The trains have arrived and no-one seems to have complained.
  2. TfL’s documents claim the new signalling can handle up to thirty tph.
  3. The new trains and signalling could do for the four sub-surface lines, what they did for the Victoria Line and increase frequencies by a substantial amount.
  4. It is highly likely that the rebuilt Euston station will have easy access to Euston Square station.
  5. Paddington, Euston, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Liverpool Street will see a high-frequency service across the capital, that connects at both ends to Crossrail.
  6. Crossrail will be faster between Whitechapel and Paddington.

The benefits of the Four Lines Modernisation and the rebuilding of Euston station would effectively create two new high capacity lines across Central London, with up to thirty tph carrying around nine hundred people each.

  • A loop North of Crossrail, between Whitechapel and Paddington, serving Euston, St. Pancras, Kings Cross and Liverpool Street
  • A loop South of Crossrail, between Whitechapel and Paddington, serving Victoria, Charing Cross, Blackfriars, Cannon Street and Fenchurch Street.

The Four Lines Modernisation will give Crossrail a very serious competitor, that was originally opened by the Victorians in the 1860s.

  • Crossrail can handle 24 tph , which each contain 1500 passengers. 36,000 passengers per hour
  • The North and South loops of the sub-surface lines could be able to handle 30 tph, which each contain 900 passengers. 27,000 passengers per hour
  • Crossrail 2’s Central Tunnel is being designed to handle 30 tph, which might each contain 1500 passengers. 45,000 passengers per hour

These are truly massive numbers.

But perhaps more importantly, the Four Lines Modernisation should be able to go a long way to solving the problems of handling the large numbers of extra passengers using Euston for High Speed 2, when the first phase opens in 2026.

With all this extra capacity through Euston and Kings Cross coming on stream around 2023, I think that sensible planning would say that the Central Tunnel of Crossrail 2 through the area can be delayed by several years.

Upgrading The Piccadilly Line

I used the Piccadilly Line between Oakwood and Southgate stations between 1958 and 1965 to get to school. The current 1973 Stock trains on the line date from 1974 or only nine years after I left.

Wikipedia says this about new trains for the Piccadilly Line.

London Underground has invited Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens to develop a new concept of lightweight, low-energy, semi-articulated train for the deep-level lines, provisionally called “Evo” (for ‘evolution’). So far only Siemens has publicised an outline design, which would feature air-conditioning and would also have battery power enabling the train to run on to the next station if third and fourth rail power were lost. It would have a lower floor and 11% higher passenger capacity than the present tube stock. There would be a weight saving of 30 tonnes, and the trains would be 17% more energy-efficient with air-conditioning included, or 30% more energy-efficient without it.

Given the new trains seen in recent years, coupled with new signalling, I believe that there could be an increase in frequency from the current twenty-four tph to a Victoria Line frequency of over thirty tph.

  • Current capacity of the line is 24 tph, each of which can carry 684 passengers. This is 16416 passengers per hour.
  • Future capacity of the line could be 33 tph, each of which can carry 760 passengers. This is 25080 passengers per hour.

Like the Victoria Line, I think the capacity of the Piccadilly Line will be more limited by platform and station design, than the trains and the signalling.

But that won’t stop the Piccadilly Line from helping to hold the fort until the Central tunnel for Crossrail 2 is built.

London Underground’s New Deep Level Trains

After the Piccadilly Line trains have been delivered, it s highly likely that more trains will be built for the following lines.

  • Forty for the Bakerloo Line giving a 25% capacity increase.
  • Hundred for the Central Line giving a 25% capacity increase.
  • Ten for the Waterloo and City Line giving a 25% capacity increase.

These figures come from an article entitled Deep Tube Upgrade in the November 2017 Edition of Modern Railways.

Bakerloo Line Upgrade And Extension To Lewisham

It could be argued that South East London needs extra capacity just as much as South West London.

The Deep Tube Upgrade article in Modern Railways says that this about an extended Bakerloo Line.

The 1972 stock trains are now the oldest on the system and are set to reach nearly 60 years in service before they are replaced. The Bskerloo fleet also is undergoing refurbishment, wgich is both addressing structural issues and improving the passenger environment.

Associated with this is the plan to extend the Bakerloo Line beyond Elephant & Castle to Lewisham via the Old Kent Road. Transport for London is undertaking a series of consultations into this plan, which have exhibited consistent support for the proposals, and the aim is for the extension to open around 2030, concurrent with the line’s modernisation.

Current Bakerloo Line stations, where work could happen or already has happened include.

  • Elephant & Castle will be upgraded.
  • Lambeth North has recently had a facelift.
  • Waterloo is being updated to give better connection to National Rail services.
  • Oxford Circus is going to be upgraded to add more capacity to the Victoria Line platforms.
  • Baker Street has been planned to have step-free access, but due to budgetary restraints, this has not happened.
  • Paddington is being updated to provide direct access to |Crossrail.
  • Queen’s Park is planned to become step-free in 2019.

Most of the stations need improvement and a large proportion need step-free access.

Oxford Circus Station

Oxford Circus station was rebuilt in the 1960s for the Victoria Line.

  • That rebuild was sized to handle around twenty tph on the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Lines.
  • The Central and Victoria Lines are now handling well over thirty tph.
  • The Bakerloo and Central Line will be getting new Deep Level trains, which will further increase passengers.
  • I would never bet against engineers squeezing another four tph out of Dear Old Vicky to run a forty tph frequency.

Oxford Circus station won’t be able to take the extra passengers and it will need a rebuild.

Judging by the solutions at Bank, Bond Street, Camden Town, Holborn, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Knightsbridge, I suspect it could take the form of a new entrance, which connected to the ends of platforms.

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

The lines are as follows.

  • Red – Central
  • Silver – Jubilee
  • Brown – Bakerloo
  • Turquoise – Victoria
  • Purple – Crossrail

Consider.

  • The Central Line runs at a not very deep level under Oxford Street.
  • Oxford Street is going to be pedestrianised.
  • The cross-platform interchange between the Bakerloo and Victoria Lines.

Could a simple new entrance be built at the Eastern end of the Central Line platforms?

These pictures were taken between Marks & Spencer at the Pantheon and Oxford Circus station.

I could imagine an island entrance to the |Central Line in the middle of a fully pedestrianised Oxford Street.

  • Escalators could lead to a spacious mezzanine floor, a few metres under Oxford Street.
  • The mezzanine could contain ticket machines and perhaps kiosks and even toilets.
  • From the mezzanine a gate-line would control access to escalators leading to the Eastern end of the Central Line platforms.
  • Lifts could be added as required.

On the surface the entrance could be covered with a fosterito or some other similar structure.

I believe that the opening of Crossrail and the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street could allow this entrance to be constructed without stopping the Central Line trains running through Oxford Circus station, although passengers would not be able or allowed to use the Central Line at the station.

It wouldn’t be a first for the UK.

The picture shows Buchanan Street station on the Glasgow subway. Wikipedia says this about the canopies.

Other than St Enoch it is the only station with an underground ticket hall, and surface buildings are restricted to new mid-street entrance canopy which was rebuilt in 1999 as part of the repaving of Buchanan Street. This canopy is constructed entirely of structural glass: all beams and columns, the walls and roof are glass.

Note that Buchanan Street could be considered to be Glasgow’s Oxford Street.

Oxford Circus station could be redeveloped into an even more important interchange.

Many have said, that it needs a good connection to Crossrail.

Consider.

  • Crossrail’s platforms at Bond Street station are long and stretch to Hanover Square, where there is an entrance to the station.
  • The Hanover Square entrance  to Bond Street station is approximately half-way between the Oxford Street entrances of Bond Street and Oxford Circus stations.
  • The Crossrail platforms are deeper than the other lines. One picture shows them twenty-six metes below ground level.

I can’t see why, if it was decided to connect the two stations, that a pedestrian tunnel connection couldn’t be squeezed in.

This visualisation from Crossrail shows the Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station.

It looks to me that the design expects transferring passengers will walk on the surface.

Consider.

Let’s hope that Hanover Square gets fully pedestrianised and traffic-free.

A tunnel would have a great advantage over a surface route in that it would only be used by people transferring between the two stations.

Perhaps an entrance to the rebuilt Oxford Circus station, should be in the North-Eastern corner of Hanover Square.

Or could there be a fosterito or a new entrance in a traffic-free Princes Street?

These pictures show Princes Street.

There are possibilities, which all depend on whether it is possible to dig a pedestrian tunnel from Oxford Circus.

There are more difficult stations, where the building of other entrances will be much more difficult.

An Improved Central Line

Crossrail and the Central Line have connections at Stratford, ,Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Ealing Broadway stations.

These connections will make it easier for stations and parts of the Central Line to be closed for major works, as passengers have a ready alternative.

I believe that this could cut time and costs when updating the line for the new Deep Level Trains and improving stations.

As the new trains will bring a twenty-five percent increase in capacity, it will all help take pressure from other lines.

An Improved Waterloo & City Line

New trains and perhaps an improved station at Waterloo will improve this route.

But the big improvement will happen early this year, when the new entrance at Bank station opens.

Underground And Overground Station Upgrades

This page on the TfL website gives details of station improvement. The page starts with this.

We’re modernising some of our busiest stations to increase capacity, make journeys faster and add step-free access. We’re also integrating them with other modes of transport, like buses, National Rail and cycling.

At present plans are underway or are being developed for the following key stations, which will be on or near the route of Crossrail 2.

  • Alexandra Palace
  • Bank and Monument
  • Camden Town
  • Elephant & Castle
  • Finsbury Park
  • Hackney Central
  • Holborn
  • Knightsbridge
  • Oxford Circus
  • Palmers Green
  • Peckham Rye
  • Seven Sisters
  • Tottenham Hale
  • Victoria
  • Walthamstow Central
  • Waterloo
  • White Hart Lane

Others will probably join this list.

Splitting The Northern Line

Once the improvements at Camden Town and Bank stations have been completed and the Northern Line Extension to Battersea has been completed, TfL have ambitions to split the Northern Line.

  • A Charing  Cross Line would run from between Edgware and Battersea Power Station via Charing Cross
  • A Bank Branch would run between High Barnet and Morden via Bank.

The two lines would have interchanges at Camden Town, Euston and Kennington.

Wikipedia has a section on  the splitting of the Northern Line, which says this.

Running trains between all combinations of branches and the two central sections, as at present, means only 30 trains an hour can run through each of the central sections at peak times, because merging trains have to wait for each other at the junctions at Camden Town and Kennington. Completely segregating the routes could allow 36 trains an hour on all parts of the line.

Plans also exist for the following.

  • Further extension of the from Battersea Power station to Clapham Junction station.
  • New high-capacity modern trains, similar to those being specified for the Piccadilly Line.

I estimate, that the high-capacity trains for the Piccadilly Line will be able to carry 720 passengers in air-conditioned comfort. Currently, the 1995 Stock trains on the line can accommodate 662 passengers.

This gives the following current and future capacities of the two lines.

  • Current capacity of the line is 30 tph, each of which can carry 662 passengers. This is 19860 passengers per hour.
  • Future capacity of the line is 36 tph, each of which can carry 720 passengers. This is 25920 passengers per hour.

This gives around  a thirty percent increase in capacity.

As with the Four Lines Modernisation, the application of high quality engineering from the Twenty-First Century to Victorian and Edwardian tracks and tunnels can give a surprisingly-high increase in capacity.

 

 

London Overground’s New Class 710 Trains

London Overground serves North and East London and will have interchanges with Crossrail 2 at Cheshunt, Dalston, Euston and Seven Sisters stations.

Their Lea Valley services to Cheshunt, Chingford andEnfield Town are getting new Class 710 trains.

Information on these new trains is scant, but I suspect that their performance would be superior to the current Class 315 and Class 317 trains, which have maximum speeds of 75 and 100 mph respectively.

Most Aventras seem to be 100 mph trains, with the exception of Crossrail’s Class 345 trains, which are 90 mph trains.

Your guess is as good ass mine, as to what the operating speed of the Class 710 trains will be. Unless of course, you have  a data sheet!

Because of their modern design, I think we can assume that the new trains will also save a minute or two at each stop, when compared to the existing trains.

They will also have a larger passenger capacity, which I estimate at somewhere near 700 for a four-car train.

The East London Line

Never underestimate the contribution, that London’s newest cross-River line can make.

The East London Line (ELL) shows what you can do, when you take an old well-built tunnel and apply the following.

  • New trains.
  • Well-designed stations.
  • Modern signalling.
  • A passenger-friendly timetable.

I always wonder what Marc and Isambard Brunel, would think of the way the Thames Tunnel has morphed into a sixteen tph electric railway from their tunnel for foot passengers and horse-drawn vehicles.

But Transport for London haven’t finished their development of the East London Line.

Projects in the pipeline include.

  • The ELL will connect to Crossrail at Whitechapel in December 2018.
  • The trains have been ordered for two extra tph to both Crystal Palace and Clapham Junction stations.
  • An interchange at Brockley station with the line between Nunhead and Lewisham stations.
  • An interchange at Penge with the Chatham Main Line.
  • An interchange at Loughborough Junction station with Thameslink.
  • A full step-free interchange could be built at Brixton.
  • Peckham Rye station could be an important interchange.
  • Increasing the maximum frequency along the line to 24 tph.
  • A possible new destination at a rebuilt Streatham Common station.
  • New Cross and New Cross Gate stations could be rebuilt to interchange with the Bakerloo Line Extension.

Because of the planned mega-station at Dalston on Crossrail 2, the East London Line will play an important role as a feeder line for Crossrail 2.

Just as the Waterloo Suburban and the West Anglia Main Lines, will serve South-West and North-East London respectively, development of the ELL could bring benefits to some very neglected parts of South East and South London.

I believe that updating the stations could be the key.

  • Brockley will have ten tph on the ELL and two tph between Victoria and Lewisham.
  • Lounghborough Junction will have six tph on the ELL and eight tph on Thameslink.
  • Peckham Rye station will have six typh on the ELL, two tph on Thameslink , 4 tph to London Bridge and several other services.
  • Penge station will have ten tph on the ELL and four tph between Victoria and Orpington.

The density of services across South London would be seriously increased.

The North London Line

The North London Line may not have the same number of destinations as the East London Line, as it only offers two services.

  • Four tph run between Stratford and Richmond
  • Four tph run between Stratford and Clapham Junction

Both services run seven days a week.

As with the East London Line, Transport for London have plans for the North London Line.

In Musical Trains On The Overground, I quote from an article on London Reconnections, which says that Transport for London would like to increase the frequency of these two services to six tph, which would give twelve tph between Willesden Junction and Stratford.

But that is not all!

  • Two new stations at Hythe Road and Old Oak Common Lane will be built to serve the new developments at Park Royal and Old Oak Common.
  • These new stations will also interchange with Crossrail, High Speed 2, West Coast Main Line, Great Western and Chiltern services.
  • West Hampstead station is being rebuilt.
  • Highbury & Islington station will probably be rebuilt to improve interchange between the London Overground, Victoria Line and the Northern City Line.
  • Transport for London have suggested that Camden Road station could have a quality step-free interchange with the Northern Line at Camden Town station.
  • ETCS will probably be applied to the North London Line, to increase the capacity of freight and passenger services.

The North London Line would also benefit, if improved West Anglia Main Line services ran to Stratford, as the simple step-free interchange is ready and waiting.

The West London Line

The West London Line is London’s most underutilised rail route.

Consider.

  • If its cousin in the East can handle twenty tph, surely a redesigned West London Line could operate at least sixteen tph.
  • It connects to the new super-hub station of Old Oak Common in the North for HS2, West Coast Main Line and Crossrail.
  • It connects to the Victorian super-hub station of Clapham Junction in the South.
  • The London Overground already connects North-East London to South-West London using the West London Line, with a frequency of four tph.
  • Southern’s Milton Keynes to East Croydon service needs a higher frequency and could be another valuable North-South route across London.

Transport for London should take control of this line and give it the service that West London needs.

  • An increase to six tph for the Stratford to Clapham Junction service is already planned.
  • TfL should take over the Milton Keynes to East Croydon service as recommended by Chris Gibb.
  • A new station is being built at Hythe Road.

I also feel that a new station should have been built to serve the new housing development at Earl’s Court.

The Gospel Oak To Barking Line

The Gospel Oak To Barking Line is the joker in the pack.

  • It is currently going through a shambolic electrification.
  • New four-car electric  Class 710 trains are rumoured to be arriving in Spring 2018, which will double capacity.
  • It will provide a second electrified freight route across North London.
  • The line is being extended to a new station at Barking Riverside.
  • ETCS will probably be applied to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, to increase the capacity of freight and passenger services.

The current frequency of four tph will probably be retained for some time with the new trains.

Currently, it appears that the Class 172 trains take ninety minutes to do the round trip along the line, with ten intermediate stops. This means that six trains are needed for a four tph service.

If the new trains can do the round trip in an hour, because of their better performance, this would reduce the number of trains required to four for a four tph service.

Whether two trains less are needed will depend on the performance of the trains, which has not been disclosed.

But I do feel that the line will suffer a severe case of London Overground Syndrome and actual passenger traffic will exceed forecasts by a large margin.

Without the freight trains on the line, I suspect that with enough trains, the frequency on this line could be increased to six tph.

But I wouldn’t rule it out happening some time in the future, when the following has been done.

  • The Barking Riverside Extension has been completed.
  • The xtra trains for Barking Riverside have been delivered.
  • All trains using the line work under ETCS.

I think it should be noted that after completion of the Barking Riverside Extension, Platform 1 at Barking station will probably be available for turning trains, at times of service disruption.

From what I’ve seen of station works on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, it might already be possible to add one or two coaches to the trains, if they are needed.

So there could be scope to massively increase the capacity of the line.

An Improved Chingford Branch Line

The London Overground service on the Chingford Branch Line has a frequency of four tph between Liverpool Street and Chingford, with trains taking twenty-seven minutes for the trip with seven stops.

Improvements proposed for the line include.

  • An increased frequency of trains.
  • Better connection between Chingford/Walthamstow and Stratford, via a reinstated Hall Farm Curve.
  • New stations at Forest Road and Chingford Hatch.

The problem is the restriction caused by the level crossing at Highams Park station, which probably limits the line to its current frequency.

However, the higher performance Class 710 trains, digital signalling and some innovative timetabling could see an improved service that satisfies all stakeholders.

An Improved Service To Enfield Town

Enfield Town station has a service to Liverpool Street with the following characteristics.

  • A two tph service in the Off Peak
  • , A four tph service in the Peak
  • Trains take thirty-four minuses with twelve or thirteen intermediate stops.
  • Some intermediate stations are step-free like Edmonton Green, but others need a lot of improvement.

There is also the massive new development of Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium at White Hart Lane station, which will be built fully-step-free.

It looks like London Overground have prepared for the stadium development, in that two extra tph are planned for the route from 2019 along with new Class 710 trains.

The question also has to be asked if, the new |Class 710 trains  can do the trip fast enough to bring the round trip time to under an hour.

If they can, it appears, that the same number of trains will be able to add two tph to the timetable.

An Improved Service To Cheshunt

Cheshunt station has a service to Liverpool Street withe the following characteristics.

  • A two tph London Overground service in the Off Peak taking astound 39 minutes with fifteen stops.
  • A four tph Greater Anglia service in the Off Peak taking astound 23-29 minutes with 1-5 stops.

It looks to me, that the higher performance of the new trains will improve the service to Cheshunt.

White Hart Lane

White Hart Lane station is being rebuilt with full step-free access to cope with sixty-thousand crowds at Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium.

The Off Peak London Overground services will be at least as follows, after 2019.

  • Four tph to Enfield Town
  • Two tph to Cheshunt
  • Six tph to Liverpool Street
  • There will also be extra trains on match-days.

Wikipedia says this about Tottenham Hotspur matches.

On days that see football matches at Tottenham Hotspur’s ground nearby the station sees increased usage. A special timetable operates on match days, with trains arriving and departing every few minutes before and after the game. There is an increase in the number of trains to and from the line’s termini at Cheshunt and Enfield Town, as well as starting and terminating White Hart Lane trains and services to and from Edmonton Green and Liverpool Street. Abellio Greater Anglia occasionally serve the station on match days only, similarly to Northumberland Park Station.

Historically, additional match-day services also connected to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line and to Stratford from Cheshunt.

The historical route from Stratford to Cheshunt via White Hart Lane is still intact and it’s fully electrified.

Dalston Interchange

Crossrail 2 envisages a mega-station at Dalston.

  • It will connect to the current two stations of Dalston Junction and Dalston Kingsland.
  • It will make it easier for passengers to connect between the North and East London Lines.
  • The connection to the East London Line will connect Crossrail 2 to a large number of stations in East and South-East London.
  • The connection to the North London Line will connect Crossrail 2 to a large number of stations in North London.
  • The station could become a major bus interchange.

A mega-station will surely help in the development of much needed housing in the area.

The current lack of direct connectivity between the North and East London Lines at Dalston is a big weakness. Walking between the two stations is an obstacle course on crowded narrow pavements, alongside the busy Kingsland High Street.

The problems are worse, as Dalston Kingsland station, is a busy station without step-free access.

The Crossrail 2 mega-station at Dalston will hopefully solve this connectivity problem, as there could be a step-free tunnel underneath Kingsland High Street.

But Dalston needs a solution now!

A chance was lost, with three new developments along Kingsland High Street between the two stations, which were built without improving the quality of pedestrian routes.

This Google Map shows the two stations.

Note the Kingsland Shopping Centre, which is single storey with a lot of surface-level parking.

The owners have submitted plans for redevelopment, but nothing seems to have happened.

I’m sure, that an imaginative developer could create something worthwhile.

  • Some quality shops for Dalston’s residents.
  • New land could be created over the top of the North London Line.
  • More efficient parking.
  • Some green space.
  • Housing on top of the shopping centre.
  • A pleasant walking route with perhaps cafes and small shops between the two stations.

There could be a new step-free entrance to Dalston Kingsland station on the East side of Kingsland High Street, to serve the Shopping Centre and Ridley Road Market.

It seems to me that a good plan for Dalston could be developed, that would work with or without the building of Crossrail 2.

There is a precedent for building on the surface first, in that Moor House was built on the site of the future Crossrail station and incorporated the ventilation shaft for the railway line.

Perhaps, Foster and Partners should do their best for Dalston!

Hackney Interchange

Hackney Central and Hackney Downs stations are now linked by a walkway and will increasingly become an important interchange between the North London and Lea Valley Lines.

Proposals are being developed to improve both stations.

The combined station might even get another Eastern branch of Crossrail 2.

STAR

STAR is a new service being added to the rail network in East London.

  • STAR stands for Stratford-Tottenham-Angel Road.
  • Meridian Water is a new station that will serve a massive £3.5 billion development and replace Angel Road station.
  • A third track is being added between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water stations.
  • The service will have a frequency of at least four tph.

This page on the Network Rail web site, which is entitled Lee Valley Rail Programme,  gives more details.

  • 5,500 metres of new track will be installed.
  • ,This would appear to be about the distance of a single track from Meridian Water to just short of Lea Bridge station.
  • Tottenham Hale station is being made Crossrail 2-ready and developed into a major step-free transport hub, linking West Anglia Main  Line, Victoria Line and numerous bus routes.
  • Northumberland Park station is being replaced with a new step-free station.
  • The new track and the extra platforms at Tottenham Hale and Northumberland Park could be bidirectional.

The engineering seems to be progressing, but I have questions about the passenger service.

I think the extra track could be used in one in three ways.

  1. The new line would be used by all trains going South from the West Anglia Main Line to Stratford.
  2. Trains between Stratford and North of Meridian Water, that needed to call at all stations, would use the line as a loop.
  3. A dedicated service would run between Stratford and Meridian Water.

Currently trains between Angel Road and Lea Bridge take twelve minutes. If four tph were to run between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water in both directions, that would take eighty-four minutes.

I suspect even with Greater Anglia’s new Class 720 trains, that are modern 100 mph trains designed for fast stops at stations, that running four tph in both directions along the new third track is difficult, if not impossible.

So it would appear that using the third track for Southbound services to Stratford is the only viable option.

  • Greater Anglia also want to run direct services between Stratford and Stansted, which would perhaps add two tph to the route.
  • The track layout would be very simple with no flat junctions.
  • At Meridian Water, Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale, island platforms would mean passenger-friendly separate platform faces for Liverpool Street and Stratford services.
  • Northbound services from Liverpool Street and Stratford would merge between Coppermill Junction and Tottenham Hale.

Note.

  1. Digital signalling could be needed, to ensure safe and efficient operation of the trains.
  2. If the third tack was designed for fast running, there could be time savings on Stansted Express running to and from Stratford for Crossrail and all the other connections.
  3. The third track could probable handle at least ten tph

 

At the Stratford end, four tph could be accommodated in Platform 11 as the two tph West Anglia service are ow!

But the extra trains for Stansted Express would probably need another method.

Could we see all services using the High Meads Loop and calling in Platform 12?

  • Stansted Expresses used to do this, some years ago.
  • Loops like this have a capacity of upwards of ten tph.
  • Platform 12 at Stratford is not used at present.
  • Crossing of other tracks on flat junctions in the Stratford area could be minimised.
  • Time would be saved on turning trains, as the driver would not have to change ends.
  • Platform 11 at Stratford could still be used as a bay platform for trains from the West Anglia Main Line.

There are a lot of possibilities, but the following will happen.

  • There will be at least a four tph stopping service between Stratford and Meridian Water.
  • This stopping service could continue to Hertford East or Bishops Stortford, as the current Stratford services do now!
  • Stansted Expresses will run to Stratford.
  • There will be excellent stations at Meridian Water, Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale.
  • Further capacity will be created.

It could also  be the first instalment of a clever plan to four-track the West Anglia Main Line, as far as Broxbourne.

I could envisage the extra tracks being squeezed in a section at a time, whilst the current services continue on the West Anglia Main Line.

The Northern City Line

The Northern City Line is North London’s forgotten commuter railway, that runs from Moorgate to North London and into Hertfordshire.

  • The Class 313 trains are some of the oldest scrapyard specials on the UK network.
  • Most stations need refurbishment and the addition of step-free access.
  • Many of the stations need a good cleaning and a lick of paint.
  • Some of the operating procedures haven’t changed since the Victorian era.
  • Six tph work in the Off-Peak, with up to fifteen tph in the Peak.
  • Weekend service is patchy.
  • The line has cross-platform interchange with the Victoria Line at Highbury and Islington station.

The good news is coming thick and fast for this line.

  • Crossrail will have a step-free connection to the Northern City Line at Moorgate station in December 2018.
  • Highbury and Islington station is planned to be redeveloped with a second entrance and step-free access.
  • Finsbury Park station is being redeveloped with more capacity and step-free access.
  • Alexandra Palace station will get step-free access.
  • Extra track capacity has been installed between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace.
  • Work will be done to improve Gordon Hill and Stevenage stations.

The big change will be the new Class 717 trains, which could increase train frequency to twelve tph.

When the stations have been updated and the new trains are running, this line will become a much more valuable part of London’s rail infrastructure.

  • It connects to Crossrail at the Southern end.
  • It connects to Thameslink and the East Coast Main Line at the Northern end.
  • It connects to the Victoria and North London Lines at Highbury and Islington station.
  • The new trains will offer increased capacity, comfort and frequency and reduced journey times.
  • In the future it will connect with Crossrail 2 at New Southgate, Alexandra Park and Moorgate

Before Crossrail 2 is opened, the Northern City Line can be developed into a very valuable alternative route in East London.

The Docklands Light Railway Extensions To Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria

If there’s a capacity problem anywhere to the East of Bank station, you can always expect Cinderella to keep people moving. If they gave medals for transport at Olympic Games, then the 2012 Gold would have gone to the Docklands Light Railway.

Despite being built down to a cost, it seems to have been designed to a quality, that

  • Provides a reliable service in Docklands and to and from Canary Wharf
  • Inspires affection in its passengers.
  • Encourages residents and visitors to use the system.
  • Allows easy extension of the system.

Now that the line will be getting new trains, which will probably offer.

  • Increased capacity.
  • More comfort.
  • Better passenger facilities.
  • Increased frequencies.

Perhaps it is time to give travellers between Bank station and the East, a new route to Central London.

This map shows the proposed extension of the Docklands Light Railway to the West.

Note that this is a well-connected extension.

  • Charing Cross, Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria are major rail interchanges.
  • There are several interchanges with the Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.
  • Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria will be on Crossrail 2.
  • City Thameslink and St. Pancras are interchanges with Thameslink.

In addition, Bank, Charing Cross, Euston and Holborn are or will be upgraded.

The only thing missing is an easy interchange with Crossrail to the West of Bank.

Conclusion

I’m certain that someone must have added up the capacity, that all of the smaller projects will bring across London.

I haven’t but some of the current in-progress projects in the pipeline will add a lot of capacity to the South-West to North-East corridor across London.

  • The new trains and signalling for the Piccadilly Line.
  • The new Class 710 trains for the London Overground in North-East London.
  • Extra capacity across North London on the North London and Gospel Oak to Barking Lines.
  • Extra capacity between North and South London on Thameslink, the East London Line and a split Northern Line.
  • Extra capacity between East and West London on Crossrail and the Circle, District and Metropolitan Lines.
  • Develop the West London Line to its full potential.
  • The capacity upgrade at Waterloo station.
  • Four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line has started with the addition of a third track for STAR.

Could everything in London be organised, so that the only thing needed to complete Crossrail 2, is to build the Central Tunnel?

I believe this could be so!

So perhaps in 2035 or even later, the Central Tunnel would be built to link everything together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 22, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Transport for London Warns Crossrail 2 Could Be Delayed By Decade

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in the Financial Times.

It’s all about funding and probably the Government not wanting to finance all of the large rail projects.

  • HS2
  • Crossrail 2
  • Northern Powerhouse Rail
  • East West Rail

HS2 is funded and underway and the last two projects are being sorted, but the cost of Crossrail 2 is too much to digest.

I have believed for some time, that Crossrail 2 is a number of separate projects.

  • Increasing capacity on the Waterloo suburban lines
  • Increasing capacity on the Lea Valley Lines
  • Creation of the mega-station at Euston-St. Pancras
  • New trains
  • The high capacity central tunnel

I will now look at each in detail.

Increasing Capacity On The Waterloo Suburban Lines

In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I showed that it would be possible to run a service with Crossrail 2’s characteristics terminating in Waterloo.

I said the following were needed.

  • 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.

Much of the infrastructure works have been completed as I reported in It’s All Over Now, Waterloo!.

All it needs is Bombardier to build the new Class 701 trains for South Western Railway.

Increasing Capacity On The Lea Valley Lines

In Could A Lea Valley Metro Be Created?, I looked at the possibility of creating a Lea Valley Metro with the following characteristics.

  • Four-tracks between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.
  • Step-free stations.
  • Termination in the unused loop at Stratford.
  • 10-15 trains per hour.
  • Links to Crossrail, the Underground and Southeastern Highspeed services at Stratford.

I came to the conclusion it was very much possible.

Creation Of The Mega-Station At Euston-St. Pancras

In Should A Mega-Station Be Created At Kings Cross-St. Pancras-Euston?, I looked at this mega station project for Crossrail 2.

I came to these conclusions.

  • If Crossrail 2 is built, there will obviously be a mega station at Euston St. Pancras.
  • But I believe that all the other improvements that will happen before HS2 opens may well be enough to cope with the extra capacity needed.
  • Obviously though, any improvements must not compromise the building of Crossrail’s mega-station.

In Should A Mega-Station Be Created At Kings Cross-St. Pancras-Euston?, I proposed a four-level mega-station.

  • Surface level – National Rail and HS2
  • Sub-surface level – Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan Lines
  • Deep level – Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.
  • Very deep level – Crossrail 2

Lines would be connected by escalators, travelators and lifts going all over the place.

It would not be that different to the double-ended Crossrail station at Moorgate-Liverpool Street station, which I described in London’s First Underground Roller Coaster, except that it connects three stations instead of two.

This would enable Crossrail 2 to be bored through at a deeper level after Euston station had been rebuilt for HS2.

In terms of Crossrail 2, the creation of the mega station at Euston St. Pancras could be the last project to be completed.

New Trains

This should be the easy bit, as surely using the same Class 345 trains on Crossrail and Crossrail 2, would be an objective, if it were possible.

The High Capacity Central Tunnel

I’ve never built a tunnel, although my software; Artemis helped to build the Channel Tunnel, but I would suspect that building the central tunnel for Crossrail 2 will be easier than building that for Crossrail.

So many things like riding a bike or sex are a lot easier the second time.

There must be so many lessons from Crossrail that can be applied to Crossrail 2.

If all of the central stations on the tunnel, from Dalston to Wimbledon, where there is interchange with Crossrail 2 can be made tunnel-ready, then I don’t see why boring the central tunnel can’t be one of the last jobs to be started.

The tunnel boring machines would then just pass through the stations to link them all together.

It’s probably not as simple as that, but it is going to be a lot easier job than Crossrail.

The Importance Of The Victoria Line

I’ve never seen this said before, but one of the keys to building Crossrail 2 is the Victoria Line or Dear Old Vicky.

I believe the Victoria Line should be updated as follows to be as near the standard of Crossrail as possible, by using the existing trains, track and signalling  and by updating the stations.

  • Addition of the missing escalators and other features left out to save money in the 1960s..
  • Full step-free access at all stations.
  • Addition of new  entrances at Oxford Circus, Highbury and Islington and Walthamstow Central.
  • Better interchange with the Overground at Blackhorse Road and Walthamstow Central.
  • Better interchange with National Rail at Brixton, Vauxhall, Finsbury Park, Seven Sisters and Tottengham Hale.
  • Forty tph between Brixton and Walthamstow Central.

Forty tph may need a reversing loop at Brixton and an extra one-platform station at Herne Hill.

I believe that an update of this type and scale could be applied to the Victoria Line without causing too much grief for passengers. The work on the stations is necessary to cope with the current and increased passenger numbers and could be carried out in much the same way as the upgrade at Victoria station has been done in the last few years.

The Victoria Line would then offer a high capacity link between Tottenham Hale and Vauxhall prior to the building of Crossrail 2’s central tunnel.

Passengers from say Broxbourne to Hampton Court would take the following route.

  • Lea Valley Line from Broxbourne to Tottenham Hale – (10 tph)
  • Victoria Line from Tottenham Hale to Vauxhall – (>30 tph)
  • South Western Railway from Vauxhall to Hampton Court – (4 tph)

Two changes (both hopefully step-free) would be needed, but with improvement to the National Rail routes at both ends, it would be faster than now.

The Importance Of The Bakerloo Line

Ask TfL’s Journey Planner, which is the quickest way from Tottenham Hale to Waterloo and it gives the following route.

  • Victoria Line from Tottenham Hale to Oxford Circus
  • Bakerloo Line from Oxford Circus to Waterloo

There is a simple cross-platform interchange at Oxford Circus, with the two legs taking 16 and 8 minutes respectively.

Currently, the Bakerloo Line has a frequency of twenty-two tph and plans have been mooted, that will see this going to twenty-seven tph by 2033.

It looks like when combining an updated Victoria Line with the current Bakerloo Line, you get a excellent connection that can stand-in for the Crossrail 2 central tunnel between Tottenham Hale and Waterloo.

But the Bakerloo Line might be extended to Lewisham, so will this extension make the combined Victoria/Bakerloo route more important.

The extended Bakerloo Line is not planned to have a connection with Crossrail 2, so using the Victoria Line across Central London will probably be the fastest way from say Lewisham to Enfield Lock.

It looks to me, that the cross-platform interchange at Oxford Circus between the Bakerloo and Victoria Lines is more important than anybody thinks and will continue to be so.

The Splitting Of The Northern Line

TfL would like to split the Northern Line into two branches, but this can’t be done until Camden Town station is rebuilt around 2024.

The only effect this split will have on Crossrail 2, is it will give extra routes to Euston station, which may probably make it less important that Crossrail 2 is completed before HS2.

A Possible Timetable

This is very much speculation on my part.

  • 2020 – Improved Overground services to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town using new Class 710 trains.
  • 2021 – Increased Greater Anglia services on the Lea Valley Lines using new Class 720 trains.
  • 2021 – Waterloo suburban branches running at four tph using new Class 701 trains.
  • 2024 – Extended Camden Town station opens.
  • 2024 – Splitting of the Northern Line
  • 2024 – More capacity on the Victoria Line
  • 2025  – Increased services on the Lea Valley Line after four-tracking.
  • 2025 – Upgraded Euston station opens with better connection to the Underground.
  • 2026 – Old Oak Common statio opens
  • 2026 – HS2 opens to Birmingham

The Crossrail 2 central tunnel could be built, when traffic levels are predicted to be too much for the Victoria Line.

Conclusion

This analysis says to me that Crossrail 2 could be planned as a series of much smaller projects, that would give passengers benefits from the early-2020s and also ease the funding problems for the line.

But the analysis also says that if the central tunnel is not built before the 2040s, then the Victoria Line must be upgraded to create a high capacity link between Tottenham Hale and Vauxhall or Waterloo using the Bakerloo Line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 3, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Should A Mega-Station Be Created At Kings Cross-St. Pancras-Euston?

The three important stations of Kings Cross, St. Pancras and Euston sit like three isolated islands on Euston Road.

Kings Cross Station

Kings Cross station was extended and refurbished in 2012 and is the most modern of the three, with a well-designed square in front of the station.

Kings Cross serves as a terminus for East Coast Main Line and some Cambridge services.

Underground

Kings Cross has connections to the following Underground lines at Kings Cross St. Pancras tube station.

  • Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan.
  • Northern
  • Piccadilly
  • Victoria

On the whole, the connections to the Underground are generally good, but crowded.

Buses

If you want to go East connectivity is good, but when taking a bus to the West or South, finding the stop can be difficult.

Taxis

The taxi rank at Kings Cross generally works well, as it was reconfigured when the station was updated.

Summing Up Kings Cross Station

Kings Cross has a lot of space both inside and outside and using the station can be an easy process compared to many.

St. Pancras Station

St. Pancras station was rebuilt and extended for Eurostar and Southeastern Highspeed services in 2007.

I always describe St, Pancras as a Fur-Coat-And-No-Knickers station.

It may look spectacular, but it wasn’t designed for passengers or staff, due to the dreadful connectivity between the various services at the station.

  • Continental
  • Midland Main Line
  • Southeastern Highspeed
  • Thameslink

With all these services set to expand, I have a feeling that St. Pancras faces a capacity problem.

Underground

To further complicate matters, it’s a often a long walk to the Underground line you need, as these were designed to serve Kings Cross.

  • Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan.
  • Northern
  • Piccadilly
  • Victoria

There is a ticket hall at the front of the station, but it’s often very crowded with large numbers of Eurostar passengers queuing for tickets.

Buses

It’s a walk to Kings Cross in most cases unless you can find a way across the busy Euston Road.

Taxis

I always walk to Kings Cross, as like most passenger facilities at St. Pnncras, the taxi rank wasn’t well-designed.

Summing Up St. Pancras

St. Pancras doesn’t have the space inside or outside that Kings Cross has and often feels cramped with every seat taken.

With the increase in all services expected in the next few years, passengers should think hard about how they can avoid the station,

Euston Station

Euston station is going to be rebuilt in the next few years for HS2.

Currently, it serves as a terminus for West Coast Main Line and a few suburban services.

Underground

The Underground at Euston is a mess with Euston tube station handling the following lines.

  • Both branches of the Northern
  • Victoria

Round the corner is the cramped Euston Square station which handles the Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan Lines.

Neither station is fully step-free and the Underground connection will need expansion for HS2.

Buses

Euston has a good bus station if you’re going East, but going West means crossing the busy Euston Road.

Taxis

Euston has an underground taxi rank, that seems to work well.

Summing Up Euston Station

Space is at a premium in Euston station and the Underground connections need urgent improvement.

Crossrail 2

Crossrail 2 is being put forward  as the project that will sort out the problems of the three stations on the Euston Road.

A mega station is to be built called Euston St. Pancras, which will serve all three stations.

But Euston and St. Pancras need extra capacity in connecting services now, not in the early 2030s!

Existing Lines

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the current Underground Lines at the three stations.

Can these lines be improved to help solve the capacity problems?

Victoria Line

If you want an example of the quality of the engineers working on the London Underground, you only have to look at the Victoria Line.

Fifty years old next year, the line was built on the cheap, but with superb automatic systems and some clever station layouts and now every year, more trains seem to be squeezed down its pair of tunnels. Currently, the frequency of trains is thirty-six trains per hour (tph) along its whole length.

As the Victoria Line calls at all three stations, any improvements to Dear Old Vicky, like step-free access at Euston, will help.

Northern Line

The Northern Line has three major projects underway.

  • The extension to Battersea
  • The upgrading of Camden Town station.
  • The upgrading of Bank station

When these are complete around 2024, it will be possible to split the line into two separate lines each handling 36 tph.

But more trains will be needed.

Piccadilly Line

The major upgrade for the Piccadilly Line will be new trains, which should arrive from 2022, which will bring a double-digit increase in capacity.

It should also be noted that the frequency in the core is only twenty-one tph, so upwards of thorty tph must be an objectve.

Unlike the Northern And Victoria Lines, the Piccadilly Line doesn’t call at Euston station.

Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan Lines

The Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan Lines are being upgraded. This is said on Wikipedia.

Together with the introduction of S Stock trains, the track, electrical supply and signalling systems are being upgraded in a programme planned to increase peak-hour capacity on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines by 65 per cent by the end of 2018. A single control room for the sub-surface railway is to be established in Hammersmith and an automatic train control (ATC) system will replace signalling equipment installed from the 1940s. The cross-London Crossrail line, planned to open in 2018, is expected to reduce crowding between Paddington and Whitechapel.

This should result in a large increase in capacity between Baker Street and Liverpool Street.

 

Crossrail

Although Crossrail doesn’t fully open until December 2019, and doesn’t even call at Kings Cross, St.Pancras and Euston stations, the new line will have an effect on passengers travelling to the three stations.

  • In my quote  from Wikipedia, it says that Crossrail is expected to reduce crowding between Paddington and Whitechapel.
  • Crossrail is expected to have a link with HS2 at Old Oak Common station.
  • Crossrail may be extended up the West Coast Main Line.

The latter two points would allow passengers to bypass Euston.

Thameslink

Thameslink when it is running fully at the design frequency of 24 tph will certainly have effects on passenger traffic.

But it is difficult to say what they will be.

Difficult Interchanges

If you look at the interchanges between the various lines, in my opinion, the following are the more difficult interchanges.

  • Euston Square tube station to Euston station.
  • Euston station to St. Pancras station.
  • Victoria Line to Thameslink at St. Pancras station.
  • Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan Lines ro Thameslink at St. Pancras station.
  • Euston Square tube station to Northern Line at Euston station.

In addition Euston Square and Euston stations are not step-free.

Transport for London probably know the improvements that would offer the most benefit.

Euston Square Station And Euston Station

The poor connectivity between Euston Square tube station and Euston station, is a major problem.

Sort this bad connectivity, when Euston station is rebuilt for HS2 and world’s oldest underground railway, dating from 1863, will be providing a high-frequency service to the UK’s premier high-speed railway.

Euston Road

Euston Road, which can be very busy, is a major problem for passengers needing to cross to perhaps use buses going to the West.

The experience of using the stations could be improved for a proportion of travellers, if crossing the road was easier.

Should A Mega-Station Be Created At Kings Cross-St. Pancras-Euston?

I’ll return to the original question I asked.

  • If Crossrail 2 is built, there will obviously be a mega station at Euston St. Pancras.
  • But I believe that all the other improvements that will happen before HS2 opens may well be enough to cope with the extra capacity needed for a few years.

Obviously though, any improvements must not compromise the building of Crossrail 2’s mega-station.

Conclusion

I believe it is possible to improve connectivity to the three major stations of King Cross, St. Pancras and Euston, by doing the following.

  • Improving the frequency and capacity on the various Underground lines serving the three stations.
  • Splitting the Northern Line into two separate lines.
  • Improving the links between the existing Nation Rail and Underground Lines.
  • Integrating Euston Square station into Euston station, when Euston is rebuilt for HS2.
  • Improving the crossing of Euston Road on foot.

In some ways the last-but-one point is the most important, as it cures the worst interchange.

 

 

 

 

 

September 29, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Could A Lea Valley Metro Be Created?

Crossrail 2 envisages these developments and level of service North along the Lea Valley.

Crossrail 2 also envisages that at Tottenham Hale station, the line will enter a tunnel for Central and South West London.

But there is an unused alternative terminal, that could handle perhaps 16 tph with modern signalling.

Look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr of the lines at Stratford.

Note the double-track  loop that encircles Stratford International station and goes through Platforms 11 and 12 at Stratford station.

Consider.

  • Loops like this can easily handle 12 tph, as they do in Liverpool with the Wirral Line.
  • Stratford is well-connected to the Central, Great Eastern Main, Jubilee and North London Lines, Crossrail and the Docklands Light Railway.
  • The Loop could be connected to Stratford International station for Southeastern Highspeed services.
  • There’s probably enough capacity to allow a couple of Stansted services to terminate in the loop.
  • There is a massive development going on at Meridian Water, where a new station is being built.
  • Liverpool Street station lacks capacity.

I can’t believe that a viable 12 tph service is not possible.

The major works would be as follows.

  • Four-tracking the West Anglia Main Line into two fast and two slow lines.
  • Making all stations step-free.
  • Removing the level crossings.
  • Creating a flyover at Coppermill Junction to connect the fast lines to Liverpool Street and prepare for Crossrail 2.

If Crossrail 2 is built in the future, the Metro service would be diverted into the central tunnel at Tottenham Hale station.

Integration With The London Overground

The Chingford, Cheshunt and Enfield Town services of the London Overground will not only offer alternative routes during the four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line, but they could be better connected to a Lea Valley Metro.

  • Tne Class 710 trains could enable four tph on each branch.
  • The Class 710 trains will enable faster services on each branch.
  • A reinstated Hall Farm Curve would connect Chingford and Walthamstow to Stratford.
  • Creation of a step-free Cheshunt station would ease transfer between the London Overground and the Lea Valley Metro.

The new trains will be key and may open up more possibilities.

Note too, that moving services to Stratford from Liverpool Street will release capacity at Liverpool Street, that will be well-used by Greater Anglia and London Overground.

Dear Old Vicky

She’s always there when you need her and engineers keep coming up with ways to keep the Victoria Line giving more.

Currently, the frequency of trains between Walthamstow Central and Brixton is 36 tph.

I can’t believe that the engineers working on the line, don’t want to squeeze another four tph out of her, to achieve the fabulous forty.

This might be possible with the trains, tracks and signalling, but the problem is the capacity of some of the 1960s-built stations.

  • Many stations have an empty space, where a third escalator could be.
  • Lifts are few and far between.
  • Some stations don’t have ceilings in the platform tunnels.

These stations could be improved.

Walthamstow Central Station

Walthamstow Central station gets desperate in the Peak, but it could be given a third escalator, a second entrance at the other end of the platforms and a much better step-free connection to the Chingford Branch of the Overground.

Blackhorse Road Station

Blackhorse Road station could be finished and given a third escalator to cope with the extra passengers that will transfer to and from an electrified Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

Tottenham Hale Station

Tottenham Hale station is being rebuilt to increase capacity. Will it get the missing third escalator and ceilings?

Seven Sisters Station

Seven Sisters station will be a Crossrail 2 station and will need updating to cope with an expected eight tph on the Overground.  Expect a major project here.

Finsbury Park Station

Finsbury Park station is one of London’s stations designed by Topsy. Improvements are underway to cope with the extra passengers from Thameslink and an upgraded Northern City Line.

Highbury and Islington Station

Highbury and Islington station suffered worst at the hands of the Nazis and 1960s cost cutting, when the Victoria Line was built. This made it one of London’s worst stations.

However help is at hand.

  • Plans are being prepared for a second entrance to the station on the other side of the Holloway Road.
  • The frequency on the Northern City Line is being upgraded to twelve tph with new larger capacity Class 717 trains.
  • There is space for a third escalator to be added to connect the Overgriound with the deep-level Victoria and Northern City Lines.

It should be born in mind, that Highbury and Islington station is busier than either Manchester Piccadilly or Edinburgh Waverley stations.

But with an upgrade, because it has cross-platform interchange between the Victoria and Northern City Lines, it could be an upgrade that increases the passenger capacity of the Victoria Line.

Euston Station

Euston station will be upgrqaded for HS2.

Oxford Circus Station

Oxford Circus station is desperately in need of more capacity, especially as there will be an upgrade to the Bakerloo Line in the future.

The opportunity at Oxford Circus is that some of the buildings around the junction are tired and some probably need to be replaced.

So will we see a development like Bloomberg Place, that will create a new entrance to Bank station, at Oxford Circus?

Could it also have an subterranean connection to Crossrail’s Hanover Square entrance for Bond Street station?

Victoria Station

Victoria station is in the process of being upgraded.

It certainly appears to be a case of so far so good!

South Of The River

Vauxhall and Brixton stations have rather undeveloped interchanges with the National Rail lines and these could surely be improved.

Under Possible Future Projects in the Wikipedia entry for the Victoria Line, this is said.

For many years there have been proposals to extend the line one stop southwards from Brixton to Herne Hill. Herne Hill station would be on a large reversing loop with one platform. This would remove a critical capacity restriction by eliminating the need for trains to reverse at Brixton. The Mayor of London’s 2020 Vision, published in 2013, proposed extending the Victoria line “out beyond Brixton” by 2030.

This would surely be the last upgrade to squeeze even more out of Dear Old Vicky.

Conclusion

A Lea Valley Metro can be created and eventually, it can be the Northern leg of Crossrail 2.

Before Crossrail 2 is completed, it will have great help in the following ways.

  • In North East London from the London Overground.
  • Across London from the Victoria Line.

Don’t underestimate how Crossrail and an updated Northern City Line will contribute.

 

 

 

 

September 29, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments