The Anonymous Widower

Whitechapel Station – 29th December 2020

I took these pictures as I passed through Whitechapel station.

Note.

  1. The platforms for the Metropolitan and District Lines seem to be almost complete.
  2. New lighting and seating has been installed.

The stairs down to the platforms from the street, can be seen behind one of the hoardings.

January 19, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

DLR Extension To Thamesmead Gets Preliminary Funding

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

This is the opening paragraphs.

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

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

Ian also gives this map.

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

Note.

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

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

North Of The Thames

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

Note.

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

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

This Google Map shows Gallions Roundabout and Gallions Reach station.

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

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

Note.

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

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

South Of The Thames

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

Note.

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

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

Bridge Or Tunnel?

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

Consider.

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

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

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

A Few Thoughts

These are a few thoughts.

A Frequency Of 15 tph

In his article, Ian says this about the frequency.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This map shows the route.

Note.

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Ilford Station – 18th November 2020

I took these pictures at Ilford station this morning.

Note.

  1. The steelwork for the station building has now been erected.
  2. The new side entrance to the station is operational, but not fully complete.
  3. There were also guys working on stylish new shelters and possible retail units in the station.

Ilford station is being seriously transformed, as this visualisation of the new station building shows.

The people in the visualisation are rather badly-drawn

November 18, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

TfL Reveals Project Cost Spikes And Delays

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Transport for London (TfL) has revealed how the coronavirus pandemic has increased costs and delayed the completion of some of its biggest projects.

Points from the article include.

  • TfL still aim to complete the Northern Line Extension by Autumn 2021, but there has been a 64-day delay caused by the covids.
  • The cost of the Bank station upgrade has risen by £88 million after a nine-week covids delay.
  • The Barking Riverside Extension of the Overground is in serious trouble.

On top of that there are all the problems with Crossrail.

 

October 27, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail’s Late-Running Bond Street Project Ready For Key Testing This Month

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

This is the opening paragraph.

Bond Street station should be ready for the crucial next stage of testing by the end of the month.

At last the end of the tunnel seems to be in sight.

October 22, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Crossrail: Late 2021 Target For Central London

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

Crossrail trains could begin operating through central London by the end of next year – if trial running begins before the end of the first quarter of 2021.

Crossrail Ltd Chief Executive Mark Wild told RAIL on October 12 that a six-week blockade carried out in the summer enabled tunnel work to be completed and the company to catch up on work delayed because of Covid-19.

It definitely seems to be a project, where the project management wasn’t to the same standard as the design.

I put my thughts in detail in Thoughts On The Lateness Of Crossrail.

 

 

October 20, 2020 Posted by | Design, Transport | , | Leave a comment

How Covids-Unfriendly Is A Class 345 Train?

These pictures show Crossrail’s Class 345 trains.

Note.

  1. This example was a nine-car train going to Heathrow.
  2. It is 205 metres long and can carry 1500 passengers.
  3. As with most London Underground trains, most of the passengers sit longitudinally.
  4. Having watched people on these trains several times in the last few weeks and feel that the design encourages social-distancing

But there are other big advantages, when it comes to suppressing the virus.

  1. Each car has three sets of sliding doors on each side, which is more than most trains. As the lobbies on the train are spacious, does this help the maintaining of social-distancing, when entering and leaving the train.
  2. The trains are walk-through, so if you end up with a car, that is full of mask deniers, it is easy to move.
  3. The trains have full air-conditioning, which should reduce the amount of virus in the air.

I hope Transport for London are watching the statistics for the covids, to see if they go up or down, as more new trains are introduced on Crossrail routes.

October 15, 2020 Posted by | Design, Health, Transport | , , | 5 Comments

How Would Opening Crossrail Affect The Covids In London?

There seems to be very little on the Internet about this, that I can find, Partly because if you search for Crossrail and Covid-19 you get lots of articles about how the virus is delaying construction.

These are a few of my thoughts.

The Class 345 Trains

Crossrail’s Class 345 trains are 205 metres long and can hold 1500 passengers.

  • The passenger density is 7.3 passengers per metre, but the trains have three doors per car, as opposed to others like the Class 700 trains, which have a similar passenger density and only two doors.
  • Would the space and the wide doors, make social-distancing easier at all times?
  • I’ve ridden these trains several times during the pandemic and their full air-conditioning for the tunnels, would surely be ideal to help keep the trains free of the virus, by changing the air regularly.
  • The trains are walk-through, which means you can walk-away from someone who looks dodgy.

There will probably be some better trains to reduce the spreading of the virus, but I doubt there will be that many.

The Stations

I’ve only been in two Crossrail stations.

These are pictures taken in the Woolwich station box.

October 15, 2020 Posted by | Design, Health, Transport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ealing Broadway Station – 12th October 2020

I took these pictures, as I passed through Ealing Broadway station yesterday.

Note.

  1. It looks to be a large posh shelter on the platform.
  2. Ealing Broadway seems to be joining the group of Crossrail stations, with means to cross the tracks at both ends of the trains.

I took the pictures from a train with a full nine car Class 345 train! They have a capacity of 1,500 passengers and are 200 metres long.

October 13, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

West Ealing Station – 12th October 2020

These pictures show the current state of West Ealing station.

A few of my thoughts.

The Size Of The Station

It is not small!

Will The Current Entrance Be Retained?

From the outside the original entrance looks to be in good condition.

Will it be retained?

I think it won’t be as the stairs are a bit of an accident waiting to happen.

Electrification Of The Greenford Branch

If the Greenford Branch is going to be electrified, the last picture shows that gantries and headspan wires are in place over the Western end of Platform 5.

The electrification could be fixed to the new station building, if it were to be electrified.

Power would not be a problem, as a main sub-station for Crossrail and the Great Western Main Line is nearby.

In Could Class 165 HyDrive Trains Be The Solution To The Greenford Branch?, I showed that a train with better acceleration could provide four trains per hour (tph) on the Greenford Branch.

I feel that a pair of powerful two-car battery electric trains could  provide four tph on the branch.

  • They would charge using a short length of 25 KVAC overhead electrification in Platform 5 at West Ealing station.
  • The route is only 2.5 miles.
  • Recharging time wouldn’t be very long, as the battery wouldn’t be enormous.

In Special Train Offers A Strong Case For Reopening Fawley Line, the Managing Director of South Western Railway; Mark Hopwood is quoted as saying, that their Class 456 trains could be converted to two-car battery trains. Converting Class 456 Trains Into Two-Car Battery Electric Trains discusses this conversion in detail.

A two-car Class 456 train equipped with batteries and the ability to use 25 KVAC overhead electrification, would be ideal for the branch and could probably provide four tph.

Conclusion

This station is starting to look like a quality station for Crossrail.

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 6 Comments