There are stations that Crossrail and the Central Line have in common.
Ealing Broadway station is one of the Western termini of the Central Line.
But is isn’t particularly well arranged to allow a fast interchange.
The change between an Eastbound Crossrail train and the Central Line is easy and is just a walk across of a few metres.
However, changing between a Westbound train and the Central Line involves a trip over a bridge.
Bond Street station links both lines to the Jubilee Line.
The change between Crossrail and the Jubilee Line looks to be easy, provided you are at the Western end of a Crossrail train.
The change between Crossrail and the Central Line, also has the Western end advice and also needs a lengththy walk underground.
A Look At Bond Street Station gives more details, of the various connections.
I do think that regular users of the new Bond Street station, with its three lines and multiple entrances spread over a wide area, will quickly learn that they will need to get off at the right end of a train and use the correct entrance.
This map from Westminster Council shows the station entrances.
The station entrances are as follows.
- A – Northern Underground entrance.
- B – Davies Street Crossrail entrance
- C – Hanover Square Crossrail entrance.
A few thoughts.
- As it looks like Hanover Square will be returned to its original state, it would appear that the Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station, will be an entrance with a garden.
- Fenwicks, Hamleys, John Lewis and Libertys, which are in a ring around Hanover Square will probably be best reached using the Hanover Square entrance.
- Walking between Oxford Street station and the Hanover Square entrance isn’t too taxing, but it could be improved by wider pavements and more pedestrianisation.
The biggest change at the Eastern end will occur, when and if TfL decide to make Oxford Street station step-free.
This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the various lines from Bond Street to Tottenham Court Road.
It would appear that the Bakerloo Line goes under Regent Street with the Central Line under Oxford Street.
- Could it be possible to dig a new entrance, with lifts and escalators down to the deep level lines from the South West corner of Oxford Circus?
- It it was feasible, it might even be possible to build the entrance, without disturbing the current station.
- The entrance would be a short walk to Hanover Square.
- Crossrail would gain the missing link to the Victoria Line.
The solution will depend heavily on the development in the area.
Tottenham Court Road
A lot of what is said for Bond Street, can also be said for Tottenham Court Road station..
- It is a double-ended station, with lots of entrances.
- It connects Crossrail and the Central Line to an important North-South line; the Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line.
- It will bring hoards of shoppers to a hopefully pedestrianised Oxford Street.
I said more in The Double-Ended Tottenham Court Road Crossrail Station.
I’m not sure how difficult the interchange will be between the Crossrail and the Central Line will be at Tottenham Court Road, but I suspect that the unknowledgeable traveller, at the wrong end of a Crossrail train, might have a long walk.
Certainly, travellers changing to the Northern Line at Tottenham Court Road, will probably find they need to be at the Eastern end of the Crossrail train.
When travelling on Crossrail and changing at this station, you’ll need the Western end of the train for.
- Moorgate Main Line Trains, which will become the Great Northern Metro.
- Northern Line
And the Eastern end for.
- Central Line
- Liverpool Street Main Line Trains
It would appear, that Circle, District and Metropolitan Lines will be easily accessible from both ends of the Crossrail train.
Get it wrong and you could have an unexpected two hundred metre walk.
This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the layout of lines at Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations.
So many journeys from the complex will now be a lot easier.
- Liverpool Street to Canary Wharf
- Liverpool Street to Heathrow
- Liverpool Street to North London and South Hertfordshire
- Liverpool Street to South and South-East ~London.
Liverpool Street is going to be a very busy Crossrail station.
Stratford station is a cross-plstform interchange of the highest quality between the Central Line and Crossrail.
I’m certain that passengers travelling from the East to stations like Holborn, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch and Shepherds Bush, will think about changing at Stratford from Crossrail, rather than at later stations.
The journey might be more convenient and you might get a seat.
But the factor that will decide, where a Crossrail passenger will get the Central Line or vice-versa will probably be decided by journey time.
Looking at a journeys, the following times are predicted by the various planning tools.
- Ealing Broadway to Stratford – Central Line – 46 minutes – Crossrail – 26 minutes
- Bond Street to Stratford – Central Line – 20 minutes – Crossrail – 15 minutes
- Ealing Broadway to Bond Street – Central Line – 23 minutes – Crossrail – 11 minutes
So it looks like Crossrail will be significantly quicker.
I think that Londoners will do what always do and duck and dive across London, finding the best route for their particular journey.
The ones who will have problems will be the irregular passengers, who don’t know the station layouts.
For this reason, TfL need to get the information on Crossrail to a much higher standard than today.
One thing on their side will be that Crossrail trains will be wi-fi and 4G enabled.
Bond Street station is double-ended.
This visualisation shows the knitting that connects it to the current Bond Street station.
- The station has two entrances; Davies Street and Hanover Square.
- The length of the Crossrail platforms.
- It looks like the Western interchange between Crossrail and Jubilee Line is easy.
- It could be quite a walk between Crossrail and the Central Line at Davies Street.
- If you’re a strong walker, some will use the H?anover Square entrance to access the Central and Victoria Lines.
On this quick look, I have a feeling that at Bond Street station, it will pay to know your entrances and make sure you’re at the right place on the train.
Tottenham Court Road station is being expanded for Crossrail.
I took these pictures as I walked along Oxford Street from Centrepoint to the new station entrance at Dean Street.
- The two new triangular glass entrances in front of Centrepoint.
- The new entrance on the corner of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, that I wrote about inThe Shape Of Things To Come.
- The Dean Street entrance to Tottenham Court Road station surrounded by pink hoardings.
This visualisation shows the layout of the station.
It is shown from the South, with Centrepoint on the right.
I’ll only know when the station opens, but I do get the impression, that a lot of the walking routes between lines are step-free, unlike Oxford Circus station.
Where the Central and Northern Lines are shown, they are in appropriate colours and the thicker sections are the stations.
This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the arrangement of the lines between Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road stations.
I Hope it makes everything clearer.
This is the title of a small article in the Business section of today’s Sunday Times
Heathrow is annoyed that the Office of Rail and Road rejected their plan to charge every train that uses the line to the Airport, £597, with a maintenance charge of £138,
So they are going for a judicial review.
This is the last sentence of the article.
It (Heathrow) argues that it is unfair to make air passengers – who may never use Crossrail – subsidise the new line.
- If passengers use Crossrail, this will mean they won’t have to pay the high prices on the expensive Heathrow Express, which only takes you to the inaccessible-for-many Paddington.
- Crossrail will be the route of choice of many passengers to and from Heathrow. As an example, three out of four of my closest stations will be a single change via Crossrail to Heathrow.
- When Crossrail opens, I suspect only unknowing and the rich will use Heathrow Express.
- Did Crossrail pay for the new Stockley Viaduct, which will increase capacity on the route to Heathrow?
- Many passengers, who have Freedom Passes (As I do!), won’t put Heathrow on their list of London Airports, unless they get free travel to the Airport on Crossrail. Boris promised it!
- Will passengers be able to use contactless ticketing to Heathrow Airport, as they can to Gatwick?
With the decision on the next South East runway to be made this week, Heathrow seems to be reinforcing the view that many hold of the Airport – It operates in a selfish culture, that is more about profits, than passengers, the Airport’s many neighbours and the environment.
As the station now has a new entrance on York Road, I went for a walk around the station.
I walked up the stairs at the London end of the station, through the new entrance and then circled to the front entrance, where I reentered the station.
This Google Map shows the station.
If the standard of the York Road entrance to the station is anything to go by, I think that Ilford will have a last laugh in all those Essex jokes.
I wonder how much the footfall in the Exchange Shopping Centre will increase when Crossrail opens.
On Sunday in An Excursion To Shoeburyness, I indicated how instead of coming back the way I came via West Ham, I got off at Stratford and did some shopping at Eastfield.
But would c2c like to serve Stratford and Liverpool Street more?
The Current Weekend Service From Shoeburyness To Stratford And Liverpool Street
Currently two trains per hour (tph) run from Shoeburyness to Stratford and Liverpool Street at weekends, when there is no conflicting engineering work.
Incidentally, with my excursion, I think that I had to come back by c2c as the Great Eastern Main Line was closed for Crossrail work.
If nothing this engineering disruption shows the value of Southend being served by two independent rail lines.
The Stratford Effect
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Shopping Centre at Stratford will have a porofound effect on the operation of c2c’s trains.
This page on the c2c web site is entitled Christmas shoppers get direct c2c trains to Stratford.
This is said.
c2c will run two trains an hour on both Saturdays and Sundays that divert to Liverpool Street instead of Fenchurch Street. These will provide direct access to the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre plus easy access to London’s West End. This is in addition to the two trains an hour that run to Chafford Hundred, for the Lakeside shopping centre, as part of c2c’s existing service.
I think the news item dates from 2014, but it does show a level of intent.
There is also this article in the Southend Echo, which is entitled Extra trains planned as West Ham’s stadium move puts added pressure on c2c network.
This is said.
TRAIN operator c2c are running extra and longer trains for fans travelling to West Ham matches at the club’s new stadium in Stratford.
This won’t be a problem for weekend matches, but what about matches on weekday evenings?
c2c’s spokesman went into more detail.
When asked about direct trains running from Southend to Stratford to make the journey as quick and simple as possible for fans, c2c said they already run direct trains to Stratford from Southend and Basildon,but not Grays, and there will be two trains per hour direct to Stratford most weekends – and two more trains per hour to West Ham.
From Grays, all four trains an hour go to West Ham.
For weeknight games and during weekend engineering work, all trains run to West Ham.
At present, the weekend trains between Shoeburyness and Stratford, satisfy the weekend sopping and football, but what about other events at the Olympic Park? The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is only going to get busier.
So are the current services really what c2c and its customers want and need?
Car parking is fairly comprehensive at the outer stations according to this page on the c2c web site.
It wasn’t very busy on the Sunday I took this picture at West Horndon station, but for encouraging weekend leisure trips, the availability of car parking must be an asset.
I would imagine that c2c are pushing the authorities for permission to run evening services into Liverpool Street via Stratford.
The Crossrail Effect
When you talk about any of London’s railways, this herd of elephants, with its 1,500 passenger capacity Class 345 trains, always bursts into the room.
For c2c trains to get to Stratford, they need to take the Gospel Oak to Barking Line (GOBlin) between Barking and Woodgrange Park, where they join the slow lines into London.
This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines around Woodgrange Park station.
As the GOBlin is currently being electrified and improved, I suspect that there will be no operational problems on the short stretch of shared line.
Will there be problems though, after Crossrail opens and there are increased frequencies of trains to and from London?
In the Peak, Crossrail will be running 16 tph to and from Shenfield, so as they are only running 8 tph in the Off Peak, I suspect that at weekends, there will be capacity for c2c’s 2 tph to Stratford.
It is interesting to look at Crossrail’s proposed Peak service on the Shenfield branch.
- 8 tph between Shenfield and Paddington
- 2 tph between Shenfield and Reading
- 2 tph between Shenfield and Maidenhead
- 4 tph between Gidea Park and Liverpool Street
This says to me, that there are probably paths in the timetable to squeeze 4 tph in the Off Peak into Liverpool Street, as the Gidea Park service is Peak-only.
Access To Liverpool Street
Liverppool Street station has two problems.
- There are not enough platforms – This is a difficult one to solve, although Crossrail might only need a single platform to handle the limited number of services not going through the core tunnel. London Overground regularly turns 4 tph in a single platform.
- The platforms are too short – This will be remedied once Crossrail trains are using the core tunnel.
I’m certain, that in a few years Liverpool Street in the Off Peak, will be able to handle 2 tph with a length of 12-cars for c2c.
It is interesting to note, that my train on Sunday was only eight-cars. Was this because of limitations at Liverpool Street?
Should c2c Stop At Woodgrange Park?
Currently, they don’t, but after the GOBlin is reopened would it be a good idea to create a step-free change to get to and from a lot of stations across North London.
The change at Barking between the two lines is not easy and the alternative is to improve it.
c2c Needs Access To Crossrail
c2c’s current route structure has no connection to Crossrail.
As an example to go from West Horndon to Heathrow Airport, you’d need to change twice.
- At West Ham onto the Jubilee Line.
- At Stratford onto Crossrail.
Neither change is a short walk, but both are step-free in busy stations.
If however, it’s a Saturday or Sunday, you could take a train to Stratford and I suspect when Crossrail opens, just wait on the same platform until a Heathrow train arrives.
It should be remembered, that c2c runs an all-Electrostar fleet and I suspect that these are Crossrail compatible with respect to platform height, so the change at Stratford would be easy with heavy cases, buggy or even a week-chair.
What Will The Future Hold?
From what I have written, it would certainly be possible for there to be two 12-car trains every hour in the Off Peak between Shoeburyness and Liverpool Street calling at Basildon, Upminster and Stratford.
But this would have limitations and possible problems.
- Passengers from stations like Grays would want the Crossrail connection too!
- If it is needed in the Off Peak, is it needed in the Peak?
- Would passengers changing at Stratford cause congestion?
There would also be the mother of all battles between the train companies involved, to make sure they kept market share.
My ideal world scenario would be something like.
- 4 tph all day go into Liverpool Street.
- 2 tph on both c2c routes through Basildon and Grays go into Liverpool Street.
- Chafford Hundred is served from Liverpool Street
- Ticketing is such, that Stratford to Southend can use either route and either Southend station.
- c2c trains to and from Liverpool Street, call at Woodgrange Park for the GOBlin.
My wish list may not be possible, but there is certainly tremendous scope for improvement.
We could even see, a station like Grays, Pitsea or Southend becoming a Crossrail terminus.
Who knows? I don’t!
I took these pictures at West Ealing station.
It looks like the new bay platform 5 is ready, but little progress seems to have made on the new station building.
There’s still no information, as to when the service on the Greenford Branch, becomes a four trains per hour (tph) shuttle.
What we do know is that this page on the Crossrail web site has some nice images of the station, that will rise behind the hoardings.
Wikpedia says that initial services on Crossrail will be.
- 4tph Abbey Wood to Heathrow Terminal 4
- 2tph Shenfield to Reading
- 2tph Shenfield to Maidenhead
There will also be another 2 tph running between Abbey Wood and West Drayton in the Peak.
All this in addition to other Great Western Railway services running to and from Paddington.
Services On The Greenford Branch
Passengers on the Greenford Branch will have to change to get to and from Paddington and I suspect some will moan.
But for many passengers from Greenford to the West End, the City or Canary Wharf, they will have an easier journey with just one change at West Ealing.
- The Greenford Branch shuttle frequency of 4 tph fits well with the Crossrail and Paddington services.
- I suspect that every shuttle arriving from Greenford will arrive so that passengers for London can just walk across the platform and get a train to Central London.
- The maximum wait for a Crossrail train to Liverpool Street will be seven and a half minutes all day.
- If passengers need to cross between the shuttle platform and the Westbound Crossrail platform there will be a bridge with stairs and a lift.
These are the timings before and after Crossrail opens between Greenford and Liverpool Street.
- Currently, using the Metropolitan Line across Central London – 66 minutes
- Crossrail and the shuttle – 31 minutes plus how long it takes to change trains at West Ealing.
Greenford to Canary Wharf gives these timings.
- Currently, changing to the Underground at Paddington – 75 minutes
- Crossrail and the shuttle – 37 minutes plus how long it takes to change trains at West Ealing.
And these timings apply between Greenford and Heathrow Terminal 4.
- Currently, changing at Ealing Broadway – 54 minutes
- Crossrail and the shuttle – 28 minutes plus how long it takes to change trains at West Ealing.
I suspect that each 4 tph shuttle will be timed to arrive at West Ealing, so that someone with a child in a buggy and a heavy case has time to cross the line using the bridge and the lifts.
Trains On The Greenford Branch
The Greenford Branch is not electrified and there seem to be no plans to electify the whole line.
But if you look at the pictures, that I took yesterday, you’ll see the foundations for the gantries are there to electrify the bay platform 5 .
Initially, the shuttle will have to be run by something like the current Class 165 trains.
Simple mathematics says that to provide a four tph shuttle two trains will be needed.
There would be no major infrastructure changes, as the line is mainly double-track, so the trains could probably pass easily. But there might need to be an additional crossover to allow trains to run on the correct line.
But these trains have their problems, which were illustrated yesterday, when a fit young lady with a toddler in a buggy didn’t board the train as fast as she would have done at a typical Overground station with a modern Class 378 train.
As Crossrail will be run to a tight schedule, I doubt that TfL want serious loading delays with wheelchairs, buggies and heavy luggage.
So this means that modern trains must be provided on the Greenford Branch.
There has been a lot of speculation on the Internet, that the Greenford Branch, like the Romford to Upminster Line in the East of the capital, should become part of the London Overground.
This might be a sensible idea, especially as London Overground from 2018 will have some spare modern weheelchair-friendly Class 172 trains,, once the Gospel Oak to Barking Line is fully electrified and running new electric Class 710 trains.
On the other hand, the fleet of eight Class 172 trains, will probably be very much in demand by other train operating companies, as with a change of seats, they’d be ideal for many routes outside of London.
As Baldrick would say, there is a cunning plan, that could be enabled.
The platforms at West Ealing station are all being made step-free for the two types of trains that will use them; Crossrail’s 345s and GWR’s 387s.
This applies to all of the Western Crossrail stations and looking at the bay platform 5 at West Ealing, that has been built to the standard height.
So this would mean that GWR’s 387s would be able to use the platform, once it is electrified, which looks like is happening.
But these trains wouldn’t be able to use the branch, unless it was electrified.
However, London Overground’s new Class 710 trains, would also fit the bay platform.
The Class 710 train, like Crossrail’s 345 are members of Bombardier’s new Aventra family of trains.
As Bombardier demonstrated battery trains in public service nearly two years ago, there has been speculation that Aventras will have a battery capability to do journeys away from the overhead wires.
This is the best information so far!
This article in Global Rail News from 2011, which is entitled Bombardier’s AVENTRA – A new era in train performance, gives some details of the Aventra’s electrical systems. This is said.
AVENTRA can run on both 25kV AC and 750V DC power – the high-efficiency transformers being another area where a heavier component was chosen because, in the long term, it’s cheaper to run. Pairs of cars will run off a common power bus with a converter on one car powering both. The other car can be fitted with power storage devices such as super-capacitors or Lithium-Iron batteries if required.
Bombardier have confirmed the wiring for onboard power storage to me.
Consider use of Class 710 .
- The length of the Greenford Branch is just 4.3 km., so out and back from West Ealing should be within the typical 50 km. range quoted for battery trains.
- The batteries could be used to handle regenerative braking at the various stops to save electricity.
- There would be no need to put up any overhead wires on the branch.
- The Class 710 trains are four-car trains, so would be sufficient capacity for the medium future.
- The Class 710 trains are optimised to call at stations in the shortest time possible. So could we see a faster service on the branch?
- The Class 710 trains are friendly to wheelchairs, buggies and heavy luggage.
- The Class 710 train would just look like a mini-Crossrail train.
- Bombardier would love to have a live demonstration of their battery technology on a line close to Heathrow Airport.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see London Overground taking over the Greenford Branch and using Class 710 trains running on batteries on the route.
The hoardings have been partially removed from the Crossrail Mile End Park Ventilation Shaft.
The top line of pictures were taken from the top of a 277 bus, whilst the others were taken a day later from the ground.
It’s certainly starting to look like the visualisation.
This humble ventilation and evacuation shaft could be one of the most-copied features of Crossrail.
I took a route through Finsbury Circus, and was thus able to look at the various Crossrail works in the area.
These are some comments about the area, often based on this page on the Crossrail web site, which details the urban realm around Crossrail stations in the City of London.
Moorgate station will be much changed from the current station.
Reading the Crossrail web site, gives the impression that the majority of passengers will generally walk to the station from perhaps their office, a bus or a taxi. This is said.
- Reducing carriageway width in Moorgate and increasing footway space.
- Introduction of a central pedestrian median in Moorgate to improve crossing at a key pedestrian crossing point and improve accessibility for all users.
- A new pedestrianised public space will be created on Moorfields between New Union Street and London Wall, with access limited to emergency and service vehicles only.
- Moorfields south of Moor Place will act as a ‘secure zone’ outside the new station entrance in which vehicles access will be controlled via station controlled retractable bollards.
- Away from the raised carriageway areas regular kerb heights are retained in close proximity to the station entrance in Moorfields, Moorgate and Fore Street which allow for comfortable boarding of taxis via wheel chair ramps. The closest regular height kerbs to the station are located approximately 30m from the station entrance on Moorfields and Moorgate.
All is part of a wider plan in the City of London, which will probably result in a more pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly city.
Buses On Moorgate
Nothing is said about buses on Moorgate, which are important to me, as they stop at the end of my road, with Northbound and Southbound stops within a hundred metres of my house.
I have two main bus routes, that will take me to and from Moorgate; the 21 and the 141.
I can remember as a child the London trolleybuses, one of which was the 641, which was replaced by the 141 bus.
This link shows where the Balls Pond Road and Mildmay Park cross about sixty years ago and the present day, perhaps seventy metres from my house.
I find it very convenient.
Moorgate is served by four main bus routes; the 21, 43, 76 and 141, all of which except the 76 go between Bank and Old Street stations.
I don’t know how the buses will be reorganised after Crossrail, but I suspect that the current stops will be used initially and only changed, when a new pattern of use emerges.
Crossrail and the Moorgate rebuild could effect the buses in several ways.
- Many new passengers will get a bus to and from Moorgate.
- I would suspect that Crossrail could cut the number of private cars in the centre of London.
- The better walking route to Liverpool Street station in the dry, might mean more bus passengers.
- The improved Great Northern Metro might increase or reduce passengers using the buses at Moorgate.
- Moorgate’s taxi-friendly design, may mean the station get choked by back-cabs and Uber.
\the rebuilding of Bank and London Bridge stations will also have an effect.
I suspect Transport for London, suspect what is going to happen, but the reality will only be found, when all the new lines, stations and walking routes are open.
Finsbury Circus is an oasis in the City and Crossrail will hand it back after completion, with a hopefully-tasteful ventilation shaft in the middle.
Black Redstarts are quite a rare bird in the UK, but it appears that London has a population.
A notice in Finsbury Circus Gardens gave more details.
The Central Line
The Central Line isn’t built deep under buildings in central London, but it goes under the roads. At Liverpool Street station, I get the impression that it ran between the station and the next door Broad Street station (now Broadgate), before going South under Old Broad Street and then curving to the West under Throgmorton Street to go to Bank station.
You can get an impression of the depth of the Central Line from the length of the escalators at Liverpool Street station.
This extract taken from the Wikipedia entry for the Central London Railway, which was the predecessor of the Central Line, describes the construction of the tunnels.
To minimise the risk of subsidence, the routing of the tunnels followed the roads on the surface and avoided passing under buildings. Usually the tunnels were bored side by side 60–110 feet (18–34 m) below the surface, but where a road was too narrow to allow this, the tunnels were aligned one above the other, so that a number of stations have platforms at different levels. To assist with the deceleration of trains arriving at stations and the acceleration of trains leaving, station tunnels were located at the tops of slight inclines.
So you have a stack of lines and tunnels at Liverpool Street station.
- Close to the surface is the Metropolitan and Circle Lines going across the front of the station, roughly East-West
- 18-34 metres down the Central Line runs perpendicularly to the sub-surface lines.
- Crossrail is the deepest line in an East-West direction.
Crossrail is also building a pedestrian walkway in an East-West direction, that goes under the Central Line and above the level of the Crossrail running tunnels.