The Anonymous Widower

The Dalston Eastern Curve

In several posts like Improving The East London Line, An Opportunity For Dalston, Platforms 11 And 12 At Stratford and Missing Links On The Overground, I mention the Dalston Eastern Curve. Currently, the land is occupied by a community garden called unsurprisingly the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden.

The Google Map shows the area.

Dalston Eastern Curve

Dalston Eastern Curve

The line of the Dalston Eastern Curve is clearly shown, as it leaves the North London Line that goes across the map, and curves its way down to Dalston Junction station on Dalston Lane. The garden occupies the Southernmost section and has an entrance on the Lane.

These pictures show the area of the Curve.

If it were to be reinstated the big losers would be the car park of the Shopping Centre and the Garden.

A new reinstated Dalston Eastern rail curve would probably be covered, as is much of the Western Curve. After all, railway lines in tunnels or covered over can be used as building land for houses, offices, shopping centres or gardens.

The rebuilding plans for Dalston Shopping Centre,shown many months ago, showed an open-aired concept, rather than the dated layout it has today. It also appears that the landlord of the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is the owner of the Shopping Centre.

So I suppose that what Transport for London and the Shopping Centre agree is needed, will be implemented.

Other trends and facts must also be taken into account.

  • The walking route between the two Dalston stations is terrible.
  • Car parking is increasingly non-profitable for Shopping Centres to provide.
  • More people will use bicycles and public transport to get to Dalston.
  • Four extra trains an hour, are already planned on the East London Line.
  • The East London Line has a capacity of twenty-four trains an hour. TfL has stated these could be six cars after some platform extensions.
  • The East London Line will be given better connectivity to South East London, possibly by extending from New Cross or creating interchanges at Brockley and Penge.
  • The North London Line could have more passenger trains. Especially, if freight trains on the line can be reduced.
  • Waltham Forest Council has ambitions to have trains from Walthamstow Central and Chingford to Stratford by a reinstated Hall Farm Curve.
  • Crossrail 2 or not, there will be massive developments up the Lea Valley, including housing and the Walthamstow Wetlands.
  • Crossrail will connect to the East London Line at Whitechapel. What effects will this have on Dalston?
  • Joining services back-to-back is always a good idea, as Thameslink showed years ago. It reduces the number of trains, staff and platforms needed to provide the service.

And then there is Crossrail 2, which once it is defined and started, will change everybody’s plans for Central Dalston.

I believe that the Dalston Eastern Curve will eventually be reinstated.

The main reason will be the need to have more Northern destinations for all of those trains going up and down the East London Line. A reinstated curve will allow services to go to and from Stratford and possibly if the Hall Farm curve was also to be reinstated as far as Walthamstow and Chingford.

So a series of short routes are converted into one long one, from Stratford or Chingford to say West Croydon, Orpington, Ebbsfleet or wherever!

It should be noted that at present Chingford/Walthamstow to South London is a difficult crowded journey on the Victoria Line to get a train going south from either St. Pancras or Victoria. A reinstated Hall Farm Curve would make things better by giving access at Stratford to the Jubilee Line and Crossrail in 2019.

Savvy passengers going from Stratford to South London destinations, change at Canonbury. But they would probably prefer a direct train via the Dalston Eastern Curve.

One thing that will happen, is that when the Shopping Centre is rebuilt, then space will be left to reinstate the Dalston Eastern Curve.

November 16, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

How Will Crossrail 2 Affect De Beauvoir Town?

The recent publication of the latest plans for Crossrail 2 and the launch of a consultation about the project has led me to ask me the question that is the title of this post.

A Few Truisms About Large Projects

I was involved with large projects and writing software to help them get built on time and on budget and hopefully in a more affordable and less disruptive manner for over thirty years.

This leads me to  a few truisms about large projects.

  • What gets built in the end after extensive consultation, is often very different from the original plans.
  • Successive similar projects get better and more affordable.
  • More time spent planning a project, often results in a better and more affordable project.
  • Political interference often results in a worse and more costly project.
  • Good design, engineering and architecture costs less than bad.

As the design and planning process for Crossrail 2 is being started fifteen years before the stated opening in 2030, hopefully London will get this one right!

The Consultation

The consultation has a page on the Transport for London web site.

There are masses of pages to read, but if you have better things to do, then at least give the three Crossrail 2 documents in the following sections, a quick butchers.

I’ve added a few notes in the next few sections.

A Typical Crossrail 2 Station

These are my thoughts on a typical Crossrail 2 stationa typical Crossrail 2 station

This diagram shows how a typical station will be laid out underground.

A Typical Crossrail 2 Station

A Typical Crossrail 2 Station

Note the two shafts at each end, which provide ventilation and access. In some places, but not Dalston, they are difficult to fit amongst the buildings.

One of the reasons Balham has been chosen rather than Tooting Broadway, is that shafts at Balham fit in a Waitrose car park and where a rather poor 1960s office block sits.

Crossrail 2 Shafts

These are my thoughts on Crossrail 2 shafts

These allow access from the surface to the tunnels and trains, for stations, emergency access and ventilation.

There will be two shafts proposed for Dalston; one by Dalston Kingsland station and one by Dalston Junction station to ventilate and provide emergency access to the platform tunnels up to thirty metres down.

Don’t think that the top of shafts will be eyesores like this one in Graham Road for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Graham Road Ventilation Shaft

If you want to get a look at this awful monument to bad urban design, look to your right, as you arrive at Hackney Central station on a westbound North London Line train.

We’ve come a long way since that one was built. This is a computer visualisation of what is being built in Mile End Park for Crossrail.

Mile End Park Vent Shaft

I think it’s also been designed to serve as a viewing mound for the pitches nearby.

You can get a good view of the site from the top of 277 bus going to Leamouth, as the bus runs alongside Mile End Park.

Ventilation shafts can even be incorporated into buildings.

Moor House

This Norman Foster- designed building is Moor House on Moorgate and it incorporates a Crossrail ventilation shaft for the massive Liverpool Street/Moorgate Crossrail station. Wikipedia says this about Moor House and its use by Crossrail.

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

I’m sure these days if you wanted to put a tunnel ventilation and access shaft by St. Paul’s Cathedral, one of our very good architects could find an acceptable solution.

Practically though, as Crossrail 2 is now being designed and probably won’t be finished until 2030, that gives us a long time to create the needed ventilation shafts in buildings that are developed on the sites where they will go.

Dalston Station

These are my thoughts on Crossrail 2’s Dalston Factsheet

This is their description of the station.

The Crossrail 2 station at Dalston would be a double-ended station, with an interchange at Dalston Junction at the southern end, and an interchange with Dalston Kingsland at the Northern end.

The Crossrail 2 station at Dalston would be underground and could include:

  • 2×250 metre long platforms. Station platform tunnels around 20 metres below ground level to the top of the tunnel
  • An enhanced station entrance and ticket hall onto Kingsland High Street, for interchange with Dalston Kingsland station
  • An enhanced station entrance and ticket hall onto Dalston Lane, for interchange with Dalston Junction station

This map from Crossrail 2’s document shows the layout of the new station.


Note how that most of the station is  underneath Kingsland High Road. I think it could be deeper than their proposed twenty metres, if it has to go under the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, which runs in a tunnel in-line with the North London Line.

The two black squarish icons are the two station shafts, as were shown in the picture of a typical station.

I estimate that the Northern shaft is opposite Dalston Kingsland station to the North of Ridley Road in a block that contains the NatWest bank and Kings Land Butchers.

The Northern Station Shaft Will Be Here


The Southern one is on the West side of Kingsland Road, just North of Tottenham Road.As A Coeliac I Won't Miss Subway

Will the buildings on these sites be missed?

Personally, I won’t miss the Subway, as I’m a coeliac and have to be gluten-free.

Railway Development In Dalston

Before looking at the effect of Crossrail 2 on Dalston and De Beauvior Town, I will look at other rail developments that could also have an effect.

  1. Twenty-four six-car trains per hour on the East London Line – This proposal is in some of Transport for London’s published documents and plans have already been published to increase the number of trains through Dalston Junction from sixteen to twenty trains per hour, by 2019.
  2. More trains on the North London Line – If the level of freight trains can be reduced, plans exist to increase the number of passenger services through Dalston Kingsland station.
  3. East London Line Trains to Willesden  – This was talked about in the original proposals for the Overground, but was dropped, probably to cut costs.
  4. HS2 at Old Oak Common – Transport for London are planning a big development at Old Oak Common, which will connect a lot of lines together including the North London Line and HS2. Certainly North London Line trains will go there, but there are innovative characters in TfL and they may terminate some East London Line trains at Old Oak Common, rather than Highbury and Islington.
  5. Crossrail – Who knows what effects this will have all over London? As Dalston Junction is just four stops from Whitechapel, it certainly solves the difficult problem of getting from this area to Paddington and Heathrow.
  6. Reopening the Hall Farm Curve – Reopening this curve north of Lea Bridge, will allow direct trains from Chingford and Walthamstow to Stratford and then possibly along the North London Line.
  7. Reopening the Dalston Eastern Curve – This could happen to connect Stratford and South London.
  8. Shoreditch High Street station on the Central Line – A connection between the East London Line and the Central Line at Shoreditch High Street station has been proposed, but not until after Crossrail is opened.
  9. Penge And Brockley Station Improvements – There are rumours that these stations will be improved to create better links to South East London. There are design challenges, but they are in TfL’s plans and Birmingham solved a similar problem at Smethwick Galton Bridge station.

None of these will be implemented until after Crossrail is fully opened, except some of the extra services on the East and North London Lines.

What actually happens will probably be more determined by passenger traffic statistics than anything else.

But all will have the effect of moving more trains and passengers through the two Dalston stations.

Whether Crossrail 2 is built on not, Dalston will become one of the most important interchanges on London’s transport network.

This will have three main effects on the area.

  • Property developers will see it as good place to do business.
  • The area will grow as a business and cultural hub.
  • House prices will continue to rise.

If and when Crossrail 2 is built, these effects will get bigger.

I do wonder when the area will get a Waitrose!

How Will Crossrail 2 Affect De Beauvoir Town?

In the end, after Crossrail 2 opens it will be better transport links for De Beauvoir Town and more development in property, business and cultural directions and ever increasing house prices.

Building Dalston Station And Crossrail 2 Through Dalston

But during the building of the line, it could have other effects.

The three main sites used to construct Dalston station, will have to be redeveloped.

  • Site A – The Tesco Express site on the West side of Kingsland Road opposite Dalston Junction station. This site will contain the Southern station shaft.
  • Site B – Dalston Kingsland station and the block to the North.
  • Site C – The block containing NatWest opposite Dalston Kingsland station. This site will contain the Northern station shaft.

I believe that just as Moor House was developed some years before Crossrail, I feel that these sites should be developed separately some years before Crossrail 2, perhaps with flats or offices above and shops at street level. The building of the blocks would incorporate the shafts and any other underground works for Crossrail 2, if it was thought appropriate.

I would also expect that development of each of these three sites, will each be a similar sized project to the creation of the two blocks of flats on the Dalston Western Curve, which are being built at the present time.

I’m pretty certain, that the digging of the southern shaft at Site A will be the only major part of the construction, that will affect De Beauvoir Town, as I suspect they’ll have to remove the spoil in a succession of trucks. I estimate there will be about 10,000 cubic metres of spoil to remove to create the hole for the shaft.

At the northern shaft at Site C . they could and should use the railway.

Question for Crossrail – Is it intended to build the two shafts at Dalston station inside other buildings and complete them early, in the manner of Moor House?

Question for Crossrail – How do you intend to remove the spoil from the shafts at Sites A and C in Dalston?

My project management knowledge suggests to me that we don’t have much to fear from the building of Crossrail 2 in Dalston and De Beauvoir, if everything goes to plan.

The reason I add the caveat, is that several rail projects have found bad ground conditions, that have made things difficult. But the railways and property developers have done so much digging in the Dalston area in recent years, I would hope they’ve found all the problems.

Rebuilding Dalston Kingsland Station

The rebuilding of Dalston Kingsland station is desperately needed, as it is a cramped station, that is totally inadequate for most of its users and all of those, who are in wheelchairs, pushing buggies or carrying the average suitcase.

I can’t find anything substantial on the Internet except for odd drawings and images.

There is this construction map of the Crossrail 2 work-sites at the station in Crossrail 2’s document.

Dalston Kingsland Station Work-Sites

Dalston Kingsland Station Work-Sites

Note, there is a small Site D on the station side of the site currently being developed as Fifty Seven East. The Crossrail 2 document says this about Site D.

Would be used for construction of a new bridge providing access from the new ticket hall to the westbound platform at Dalston Kingsland.

So we know that at least there is going to be a new pedestrian bridge between the two platforms. As opposite Site D is Site B, about which Crossrail 2 says this.

Would be used for construction of a new Crossrail 2 station entrance and ticket hall. The site includes properties on the southern side of Bradbury Street.

Much of Site B bordering the station seems to be closed.

One sensible plan for Dalston Kingland station, would involve putting the new fully-accessible bridge in first and then building a temporary station on the site of the closed pub on the north side of the current station. This would enable passengers to still use the North London Line, whilst the current station building was rebuilt.

Note that most temporary stations that I’ve seen, are better than the current Dalston Kingsland.


I suspect that Transport for London has a complete plan, but I do feel that it will involve the fully-accessible bridge that will intrude into Fifty Seven East, being built.

Dalston Station Entrances

The station platforms lie almost under the Kingsland High Road, with entrances into Dalston Kingland at the North and Dalston Junction at the South.

As far as I can tell from the drawings. entrances into the station are as follows.

  • One new and one existing entrance at Dalston Kingsland on the West side of Kingsland High Road
  • One new and one existing entrance at Dalston Junction on the east side of Kingsland Road

So we have entrances in the North-West and South-East, but I can’t see any in the North-East and South-West.

The purpose of Site C in the North East is described like this by Crossrail.

Would be used for construction of the northern station shaft and escalator connection to the Crossrail 2 platforms

Given that this corner is by the iconic Ridley Road Market, surely there needs to be an entrance here, with perhaps a subway under the road to the Ticket Office.

Question for Crossrail – Is there going to be an entrance to the station close to the Ridley Road Market?

The purpose of Site A in the South West is described like this by Crossrail.

Would be used as the main site for construction of the station tunnels and southern station shaft

No mention of any entrance or escalators.

Question for Crossrail – Is there going to be an entrance to the station in the South West corner?

Question for Crossrail – Are there going to be escalators at both ends of the Crossrail 2 station?

Note that if there isn’t escalators at both ends, this means that a passenger changing from Dalston Junction to Crossrail 2 would have to virtually walk to Dalston Kingsland first.

Dalston Station and De Beauvoir Town

De Beauvoir Town is a grid of wide roads and pavements and we all have our favourite ways of crossing the area! Often we make use on our travels of the diagonal roads across the area, like Ardleigh and Stamford Roads.

As it happens Site A is just at the junction of one of these diagnonal roads; Stamford Road and the Kingsland Road. So I believe that every man, woman and fox, who lives in De Beauvoir would vote for an entrance into the station at this point. A subway would probably be welcome, as waiting for the lights on the Kingsland Road can get boring.

Incidentally, I walked this mornin from St. Peter’s to Site A and it took me ten minutes.

Question for Crossrail – What will be the pedestrian arrangements for those going between the station and De Beauvoir Town?

What Bribes Do We Want?

This is very much in jest, but Crossrail has shown itself to be a good neighbour at some of the sites it’s used.

It also ran a high-profile archaeology program that many in London, including myself, enjoyed.

One thing that disappoints me is the number of large bronze and other metal artworks, that are in store, because to display them in their intended outdoor setting, could mean they would get stolen! Surely, some could be displayed inside the new stations. It wouldn’t be easy to remove a tonne of bronze up an escalator.

Art should be accessible to everyone!


I am waiting for the 25th of November with excitement and trepidation. Will Osborne say go in his Autumn Statement?

Remember that there’s a small matter of an important election in May 2016! I have counted and there are thirty-three proposed Crossrail 2 stations in Conservative-held parliamentry consituencies and only fifteen in Labour ones!







November 4, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Platforms 11 and 12 At Stratford

In December this year, an service hourly service called STAR will be started between Stratford and Angel Road along the Temple Mills Branch of the Lea Valley Lines via Lea Bridge, Tottenham Hale and Northumberland Park stations. Wikipedia says this about services to and from the Angel Road station.

Angel Road is only served by a number of trains every weekday to and from Stratford. No services operate at the station on weekends or public holidays. However, from December 2015 Angel Road will receive an hourly service to Stratford that will start here and vice versa, the service will be known as (STAR).

STAR services will obviously call at the new Lea Bridge station, when it opens next year.

I shall probably use the service occasionally, when I need to get home from Stratford, as Lea Bridge station is on the 56 bus route that passes by my house.

At Stratford, there are two platforms that have been positioned to give easy access to the Temple Mills Branch through Lea Bridge and Tottenham Hale and onwards to Stansted Airport. I took these pictures of the platforms.

They sit at the end of the two London Overground platforms, which are the Eastern terminus of the North London Line. You can see two Class 378 trains peeking out from underneath the rusty bridge. (Not my name, but an East London nickname, I’ve heard from locals and station staff!) This Google Map shows the layout of the platforms.

Stratford Platforms 11 And 12

Stratford Platforms 11 And 12

In the map, platforms 11 and 12 curve away to the North from underneath the rusty bridge, which connects Eastfield to Stratford town centre.

Platform 11 is the Easternmost platform and is used as the terminus of the Stratford to Bishops Stortford service, which has been rumoured many would like extended to Stansted.

Platforms 1 and 2 for the North London Line are connected to the unused Platform 12, by a simple walkway, so in the future if Platform 12 is used for the STAR services, passengers going from anywhere on the North London Line to Tottenham Hale or Angel Road would just have an easy interchange.

As the STAR service will initially be an hourly service and the Bishops Stortford service is half-hourly and they run from platforms connected by a subway, I can’t help feeling that this will be an arrangement that won’t last long, before it is improved.

Suppose you arrive at Stratford wanting to get home to your house near Lea Bridge station and just miss the hourly train. Do you wait an hour for another train or catch the Bishops Stortford train, that will probably stop at Lea Bridge, after the new station opens?

It would be so much easier, if the two local services started from an shared island platform or at lest two platforms with a level walk between them.

This is going to get very complicated, if some of the plans for Stratford services up the Lea Valley are implemented.

  • I’ve read several times, that reinstatement of the link to Stansted Airport is an aspiration of many, especially as Stratford is close to the Olympic Park and it is an important rail interchange and a terminus for two branches of the DLR and the Jubilee and North London Lines.
  • There are also aspirations to start a direct service between the Chingford branch and Stratford using the reinstated Hall Farm Curve.
  • With all of the housing, business and leisure developments along the lower Lea Valley, it will not be long before an hourly STAR service is inadequate.
  • If the Hall Farm Curve is reinstated, would there be a need to run services between the Chingford branch and the North London Line?
  • There is also the Crossrail effect, which in the Lea Valley’s case could not be just Crossrail, but Crossrail 2 if that ever gets built.
  • Perhaps unlikely now, but I feel that at some point the Dalston Eastern Curve will be reopened, so enabling services between say Walthamstow to South London.
  • Is there a need to better connect Stratford International station to the main regional complex?

I can’t help feeling that the layout of Platforms 11 and 12 will at some time not be able to handle all the Lea Valley services.

I suspect though there may be an innovative solution.

Look at the Google Map and you see that the Temple Mills Branch passes over the deep hole of the International station. I wrote Is This The Most Unwelcoming Station In The UK? about that dreadful station.

So could two or three bay platforms to serve the Lea Valley and Stansted Airport, be built alongside the Temple Mills Branch, as it passes over the International station?

This Google Map shows Stratford International station.

Stratford International Station

Stratford International Station

The building at the bottom right is also shown on the previous map that shows Platforms 11 and 12.

If the extra platforms were built over the Eastern end of the International station, it would enable the following.

  • A new Eastern entrance to the International station could be created to give better connections between International and High Speed services from Stratford International and all the other services at Stratford Regional station.
  • Crossrail would have a step-free interchange to Eurostar and other International services, if those services stopped at the International station.
  • Interchange between Lea Valley and North London Line services, would be via a double Clapham Kiss, where passengers would just walk on the level to the other set of platforms.
  • There might be opportunities to extend or improve the connectivity of the DLR. The current DLR station is at the top left of the map.
  • Any direct services between the Temple Mills Branch and the North London Line would use the existing Platforms 11 and 12.

To get the connection right, the pedestrian links would have to be well-designed, but surely there is space to put a travelator effectively between the Regional and International stations.

Stratford International station would end up as what it should be, the International section of Stratford station.





September 21, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Improving The East London Line

I make no apologies for returning to this subject, but I use the East London Line of the Overground virtually every day and it is very much part of my daily life.

What also prompted me to think about this topic, was coming back from Birmingham into Marylebone and thinking how I would get home in the aftermath of a Friday rush-hour. At the time I was passing Dollis Hill station, where the Chiltern Line runs alongside the Jubilee And Metropolitan Lines.

Dollis Hill Station From A Marylebone-Bound Train

Dollis Hill Station From A Marylebone-Bound Train

It reminded me of the plan to create a proper Interchange between all of lines at West Hampstead. But I can’t expect all trains into Marylebone to stop there, so that I can get easily to Dalston on the North London Line.

So in the end, when I got to Marylebone, I took one stop to Baker Street to get the Metropolitan line to Whitechapel for the East London Line. But usually the Metropolitan was a disaster with no trains and no information, so in the end I took the Jubilee Line to London Bridge from where I got a bus home.

To put it mildly, I’d hit the usual problem. – Getting to and from the Bakerloo Line from East London. It just doesn’t interchange with anything useful within a couple of stops from say Whitechapel or Dalston Junction.

There are two major developments that will happen in the next few years to the East London Line. As the Eastern end of the North London Line from Highbury & Islington to Stratford is closely tied to the East London Line, related improvements to that line will also be covered.

1. Six-car trains 

As I indicated in this earlier post on improving the Overground, the East London Line could be easily upgraded to take twenty-four six-car trains in each direction. I said this in that post.

At the moment the East London Line has 16 four-car trains an hour in the core route, so 24 six-car trains will mean an increase of capacity of 2.25.

But the East London Line already has five-car trains, so the improvement in capacity will be just a factor of 1.8.

The history of the Overground and their Class 378 trains has been one of continuously adding new carriages, ever since they were introduced. I feel that by the end of this decade plans will be in place for a sixth carriage on the East London Line.

There are documents from Network Rail and Transport for London, that also show that six-car trains and higher frequencies will be operating on the North London Line.

I don’t know the economics of building trains, but I suspect that Bombardier would like all new trains to be Aventras, so that they only have one type in production. After all the next order from London Overground is for Aventras for the Lea Valley Lines.

So we might see an early order for sixth carriages or London Overground may go for a fleet that was 100% Aventras. The latter wouldn’t be a waste of a fleet of Class 378 trains, as Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds and Liverpool, would probably like to acquire a fleet of trains less than a decade old.

2. Crossrail

Crossrail will also interface to the East London Line at Whitechapel station and who can predict accurately how much the new line will increase passengers on the East London Line? I suspect that Transport for London’s forecasts will be wrong, just because you are dealing with East Londoners, who have all the flexibility and cunning in their transport plans of little furry animals, who want to enter your property. I think this is due to the legacy of East London having pretty terrible Underground and rail lines  until the last few years.

All of these extra passengers travelling on the East London Line will generate a series of actions that will need to be taken, which fall vaguely into two groups.

1. Extra Terminal Platforms At Both The North And South Ends

For operational reasons, it is probably better to have the same number of North and South terminal platforms at both end of the line.

At present the East London Line operates four separate services with one train every fifteen minutes in both directions.

  • Dalston Junction to West Croydon
  • Dalston Junction to New Cross
  • Highbury & Islington to Crystal Palace
  • Highbury & Islington to Clapham Junction

Which gives the current sixteen trains per hour, so if they keep to the current balancing rule and a four trains per hour, they’ll need two extra terminal platforms in both North and South.

I think it is probably right to assume that the terminus shouldn’t be too far away from Whitechapel. Currently, West Croydon and Clapham Junction take about 40 minutes, so much longer than this is probably not possible.

I suspect that the planners of Transport for London have some surprising ideas, when they have a few drinks on a Friday night.

2. New Stations And Interchanges

The Overground and the East London Line in particular always seems to have someone pushing for a new station or better interchange with other lines.

Current interfaces beween Overground and Underground lines are as follows.

Bakerloo Line – Harrow & Wealdstone, Queen’s Park, Wembley Central and Willesden Junction

Central Line – Shepherds Bush and Stratford

District Line – Gunnersbury, Kew, Richmond, West Brompton and Whitechapel

Hammersmith And City – Whitechapel

Jubilee Line – Canada Water, Stratford And West Hampstead


Northern Line – Camden Road-Camden Town

Piccadilly Line – None

Victoria Line – Highbury & Islington

I think, that there is scope for a lot more connections.

So what has been suggested and what would I like to see?

In alphabetical order we have.

Bakerloo Line Extension

The route of the Bakerloo Line Extension has not been decided yet, although TfL have received overwhelming support for the extension.

The three options for the extension all interchange with the East London Line.

Option 1 via Burgess Park, east to Peckham Rye and Catford Bridge,with the option of taking over the Hayes Line to terminate at Hayes, interchanges at Peckham Rye and Honor Oak Park.

Option 2 south to Camberwell Green, and then on to Herne Hill and Streatham Hill, with a branch at Tulse Hill which would take over the National Rail line to Beckenham Junction, interchanges at Crystal Palace and Norwood Junction

Option 3 a similar route to option 1, but after Burgess Park running via the Old Kent Road and New Cross before joining the Hayes line at Lewisham and terminating at Hayes, interchanges at New Cross.

So whatever option is chosen will effectively create a circular route round Central London with this route.

  • Highbury & Islington
  • Whitechapel
  • Surrey Quays
  • Crystal Palace, Honor Oak Park, Lewisham, New Cross, Norwood Junction or Peckham Rye
  • Elephant & Castle
  • Waterloo
  • Charing Cross
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Oxford Circus
  • Baker Street
  • Marylebone
  • Paddington
  • Queen’s Park
  • Willesden Junction
  • Harrow & Wealdstone

The line could follow its old route and end up in Watford.

It would appear that this route is more useful than the current truncated one to Elephant & Castle.

Hopefully, it would go some way to making it easier to get from East London to Marylebone and other awkward to access places in North West London.

Beckenham Junction As A New Southern Terminal

Beckenham Junction station has a lot going for it as a southern terminal. It has rail and tram services and it even has a bay platform, which is clearly shown in this Google Map.

Beckenham Junction Station

Beckenham Junction Station

As Beckenham Junction is probably less than forty minutes from Whitechapel, it may be a possibility, provided passenger statistics show it can generate enough revenue.

If as seems a possibility, the Hayes Line gets to become part of the Bakerloo Line, how will this effect Beckenham Junction.

It’s all very complicated as to how the Bakerloo Line Extension will fit in with the East London Line.

Brixton High Level Station

In their Transport Infrastructure Plan for 2050, Transport for London are proposing a Brixton  High Level station.

The connection of a Brixton High Level station to the existing Brixton station and the Victoria Line will be difficult. Before the Overground opened to Brixton, I visited and wrote Could the London Overground Call at Brixton? This is a picture from that article from May 2012.

The Overground Flies Over Brixton Station

The Overground Flies Over Brixton Station

Either a high climb or a big set of lifts or escalators.

I said this in the article.

I tend to think that the only solution would be to spend millions to create a proper interchange station, that connects all of the three lines; Victoria, East London and main line together.  But in the present financial climate that is impossible.

Perhaps with the current upgrading of the Victoria Line to allow 36 trains per hour on the full line and London’s growing population, the economic rules have changed Or a big property developer needs to get a Planning Application through?

I wonder if when they are upgrade the Victoria Line at Brixton, they will also extend the southern end of the line to Herne Hill, as is described here in Wikipedia.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.[48] The Mayor of London’s 2020 Vision, published in 2013, proposed extending the Victoria line “out beyond Brixton” by 2030.

There’s an interesting article from London Reconnections, which describes the problems at Herne Hill.

If they got their contracts and project management right, they might even be able to use one of the tunnel boring machines bought for the Northern Line Extension.

Brockley High Level Station

In their Transport Infrastructure Plan for 2050, Transport for London are proposing a Brockley High Level station.

Brockley station sits underneath and is crossed by the Bexleyheath Line as this Google Map shows.

Brockley Station

Brockley Station

There was a station called Brockley Lane on the Bexleyheath Line, but it closed in 1917.

After the complicated nature of the problem at Hackney, I wouldn’t think creating a Brockley High Level station would be that difficult.

TfL would just have to make sure it was worth doing.

Camden Road Station Connection To The Northern Line

In their Transport Infrastructure Plan for 2050, Transport for London are proposing a link between Camden Road and Camden Town stations.

Having walked between the two stations several times, I wouldn’t have thought they were close enough. However this railway map of the two stations, shows that they are closer than they appear on the surface and it might be possible to create perhaps an escalator connection. This Google Map shows the area.

Camden Town And Camden Road Stations

Camden Town And Camden Road Stations

Camden Town station is going to be rebuilt to relieve the chronic overcrowding. It is a project that will take several years and I suspect Transport for London will want to get as many other issues, like the interchange to the North London Line out of the way for ever.


Chingford As A New Northern Terminal

Chingford station is a possible new northern terminal if the Dalston Eastern Curve is reinstated. Trains would go via the High Meads Loop at Stratford, the new Lea Bridge station and the Hall Farm Curve. This would mean that a new station could be created within easy walking distance of Stratford International station, which would also serve the Northern part of the Olympic Park. This Google Map shows how the High Meads Loop curves between Stratford International station and the Olympic Park.

Olympic Park And Stratford International Station

Olympic Park And Stratford International Station

An East London Line station at Stratford International would certainly ease problems getting to events at the Velopark.

Lea Bridge station could also connect to services up the Lea Valley, Bishops Stortford, Cambridge and Stansted Airport.

Chingford is a well-appointed station, linked to a bus station, that could probably be reached in forty minutes from Whitechapel.

Using Chingford as a terminal would also directly link much of the boroughs of Waltham Forest and Hackney on a single line and then link the stations directly to South London.

But Chingford has big advantages in that it is already run by London Overground and it has three platforms and some sidings to park trains. This Google Map shows the station.

Chingford Station

Chingford Station

Note the bus station to the North-East of the station and the extensive sidings on the approach to the station.

Using Chingford as a new northern terminal, would also intertwine the two sections of the Overground together, with direct same platform interchange at Hackney Central, Homerton, Hackney Wick and all stations after St. James Street on the Chingford branch.

Dalston Eastern Curve

In my view the Dalston Eastern Curve could be important, as it would enable direct services between the Eastern terminal of the North London Line at Stratford and any of the South London destinations.

Also, if the Hall Farm Curve were to be rebuilt to give the Chingford Branch a direct connection to Stratford, services could run between Chingford and Walthamstow Central, and South London, by using the High Meads Loop.

There will be opposition to rebuilding the curve, but the number of passengers, will decide the issue.

I have a feeling that because the Kingsland Shopping Centre is going to be upgraded and the owners of that have rights over the land, that we might see a decision one way or the other on this fairly soon. Although on the contrary, this article in the Hackney Citizen seems to be all about various delays and problems, with redevelopment of the Shopping Centre.

I would also think that a lot of the arguments in the Hackney Citizen article about development and car parking, are getting to be more and more irrelevant, as Eastfield is probably taking a lot of the business of the Dalston Kingsland Shopping Centre. In my mind, the sort of people moving into the flats being developed around Dalston Kingsland are probably not the sort of people, who would shop in the Centre. Unless of course, it was substantially upgraded! Could this be, why the proposed development incorporates quite a few residential properties?

The other thing that could kickstart work in this area, would be a decision to proceed with either Dalston Kingsland station or Crossrail 2.

An interesting point, is that if Transport for London believed that rebuilding the Dalston Eastern Curve is essential to handle the traffic on the East London Line, they would probably get their way and the Shopping Centre would have to be redeveloped.

I think there is a lot of horse trading going on in dark corners of various offices of Hackney Council, Transport for London, the developers; Criterion Capital and hopefully a decent architect.

Whatever happens, when and if Crossrail 2 is given the go aged, Criterion Capital won’t be taking a loss.

What the outcome will be, is anybody’s guess!

I know nothing that hasn’t been published on the Internet, but I have this feeling that the Dalston Eastern Curve will be reinstated. Or at least it won’t be compromised! No Project Manager worth his salt would do the latter!

Dalston Station For Crossrail 2

In this article called Crossrail 2 Through East London, I said this when I was discussing the Dalston stations.

I have heard from Michele Dix of Crossrail 2, that they are looking at a double-ended station to serve both Dalston Kingsland and Junction stations. This was said.

We have been working closely with the London borough of Hackney on the early development of the proposals for how Crossrail 2 could ultimately serve Dalston. The work to date has been based around delivering a double-ended station, with one end being at Dalston Junction, and the other at Dalston Kingsland, thereby allowing the Crossrail 2 station to link to both existing stations. As Mr. Miller rightly points out, the distance between the existing stations is well suited to the 250m long platforms that will be required for the Crossrail 2 station, and the greater interchange opportunities to London Overground services also deliver significant benefits.

I believe that there is an opportunity to create a world class station that subtly brings together all the good elements of the area. The only necessary demolition would be the unloved Dalston Kingsland station. TfL have told me off the record, that Kingsland station will be replaced fairly soon.

Hayes As A New Southern Terminal

The Hayes Line and its terminal at Hayes, would seem to be a line that Network Rail doesn’t want, but TfL do, if you read this section in Wikipedia. Here’s a short extract.

The driving force for this change is that Network Rail would like the train paths freed up for services mainly from the South Eastern Main Line. Transport for London prefer this route due to its largely self-contained after Lewisham.

You also have the passenger reaction to being told they are going on smaller Underground trains to a different part of Central London.

Hayes though is just over forty minutes from Whitechapel and there are two terminal platforms at the station, so it could be used as a southern terminal.

But on balance, I think it is unlikely that Hayes will be chosen as a southern terminal.

Herne Hill Congestion

Herne Hill station may well be Grade II Listed, but read the Future section in its Wikipedia entry.

It has problems, as it would appear a gallon is being squeezed into a gill pot! If you read this article in London Reconnections, you’ll see that it is not just a serious problem, but an almost impossible one. Take this paragraph, which is one of many in a similar vein.

There are also specific local issues arising from land ownership and planning. Aside from being in a Conservation Area, where buildings and trees are protected, the Dulwich Estate retains significant planning powers and is probably the freeholder of the rail lines alongside the estate. Network Rail will be cognisant of the potential level of opposition from local residents in this affluent part of south London, as well as the likely difficulties in negotiating with the Estate, including any legal wrangling which may necessitate revisiting the 1870 Act of Parliament curtailing the Estate’s powers. This probably explains why the default position is to keep this project firmly in the pending tray ― something needs to be done, but not right now.

The report was written in 2012, so let’s hope that some of the problems have gone away.

I’ve never scheduled trains, but I’ve scheduled things that are just as difficult and the solution to the congestion at Herne Hill station needs either more capacity or less passengers wanting to use the line. Taking this direct from Wikipedia illustrates the problem.

Network Rail, in its July 2011 London & South East route utilisation strategy, recommended that all services from Herne Hill towards Blackfriars should terminate in the bay platforms at Blackfriars after London Bridge’s redevelopment is completed in 2018 and the diverted Thameslink trains return there. Passengers from Herne Hill would then have had to change at Blackfriars to travel further north. Network Rail made this recommendation because more services will be using the route between St Pancras and London Bridge from 2018; sending trains from Herne Hill to the terminating platforms on the western side of Blackfriars (instead of the through tracks on the eastern side of the station) would have removed the need for them to cross in front of trains to/from Denmark Hill and trains to/from London Bridge at junctions south of Blackfriars.

In January 2013, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that trains serving the Sutton Loop Line (also known as the Wimbledon Loop) will continue to travel across London after 2018. The number of trains calling at Herne Hill on the route will remain unchanged, with four trains per hour. The DfT has also decided the Sutton/Wimbledon Loop will remain part of the Thameslink franchise until at least late 2020; as such, the route will eventually be served by the new Thameslink trains.

Network Rail have a solution and then the politicians kill it.

So is there anything that the Overground and the East London Lines in particular can do to help?

Probably not!

But longer trains on the Clapham Junction branch may persuade passengers to take a different route. On the other hand, commuters are very conservative.

Hopefully, three other developments will help.

1. The opening of Crossrail, which might mean that some commuters travel via Abbey Wood. Crossrail’s opening will also improve the East London Line’s access to Central London, with a single change at Whitechapel.

2. If Crossrail were to be extended to Ebbsfleet International, as has been safeguarded, then this could help.

3. The completion of Thameslink with the new Class 700 trains, may increase capacity and persuade passengers to go via a reopened London Bridge station, rather than Victoria.

But it very much looks like Transport for London is pedalling hard to stand still.


Highbury & Islington Needs Rebuilding

Highbury & Islington station has needed rebuilding ever since British Rail’s cheapskate design produced the inadequate Underground station, that came with the Victoria Line.

When the East and North London Lines get more and bigger services through Highbury & Islington, this can only result in more and more passengers using the inadequate escalators and tunnels to access the Victoria and Northern City Lines. The station won’t be able to cope, just as it can’t now when Arsenal play at home.

The first stage of the rebuilding has started, as contractors are replacing the ageing bridge that carries the road over the Overground lines. No firm plans have been published yet for the station, but it needs a large increase in both capacity and accessibility.

I have a feeling though, that this station has a lot of potential possibilities, that could be used to create a top-notch station. For instance, there is a second building and entrance on the other side of the road, which has been used for signalling equipment for the Victoria Line.

Lewisham As A New Southern Terminal

Lewisham station is a possible choice for an extra southern terminal, as it has lots of rail and bus connections. This a Google Map of the station.

Lewisham Station

Lewisham Station

It shows a possible problem, in that there appears to be no easy place for a terminal platform. As it’s also only four or five minutes away from the existing terminus at New Cross, I think that Lewisham can be discarded as a terminal.

Maiden Lane Station

Maiden Lane station is an aspiration for Camden Council to serve the Kings Cross Central developments.

I discussed Maiden Lane station in this article in January and came to the conclusion, that the station might only be built as part of one the large developments in the area.

Using the station as a way of getting to Kings Cross and St. Pancras stations is probably not a possibility due to the distances involved.

Meridian Water As A New Northern Terminal

Angel Road station which will be renamed to serve the Meridian Water development, would be the most unlikely choice for a new northern terminal if the Dalston Eastern Curve is reinstated. Trains would go via the High Meads Loop at Stratford, the new Lea Bridge station and could possibly interface with a future Crossrail 2 at Tottenham Hale, Northumberland Park and Meridian Water itself.

New Entrances And Stations

Over the last few years, London has been going through a quiet ticketing revolution.

People are rarely using cash in a station to buy tickets and if rumours are right, the proportion of those using contactless bank cards for tickets is increasing rapidly. Over the last week or two, signs are up everywhere on the Underground, saying that ApplePay is now accepted.

I’ve not really seen an article anywhere discussing the effects of this cashless and booking office free ticketing.

I recently used the new entrance at Shepherds Bush station and it was just a gate line with a shelter over the top and a refuge for staff. Obviously, as that entrance has been built to serve the Westfield Shopping Centre,  There is also a similar entrance at Harold Wood station, serving the car park.

I think we’ll be seeing more of these short-cut entrance/exits at several stations. I proposed this for Highbury & Islington in this article in March 2013 and personally, I’d like one at Hackney Central on the Westbound platform, to give access to the buses on Graham Road.

The technology could also mean that complete stations could be built much more easily and quickly.

It will be interesting to see how architects use their imagination in the freer environment created by the new ticketing technology, to design exciting, practical and very passenger and staff friendly.

New Interchanges

The new ticketing technology may also open up opportunities to create new interchanges between lines.

Obviously, this will probably be more to do with interchanges between two surface railways, as anything where digging is involved will be very expensive and probably rules out most linking with the Underground.

With the recent building of the walkway between Hackney Downs and Hackney Central stations, Transport for London have shown that they won’t rule out connecting lines by any affordble and sensible method.

So are there any possibilities for new interchanges, made possible by the new technology linked to some imaginative thinking?

I think there are stations that could be improved in this way and they are in the text in their alphabetical position.

North Acton Station Connection To The Central Line

Development at North Acton station on the Central Line has for a long time talked about linking to the North London Line.

Just a few years ago, it would have needed a lot of expensive construction, but with the development of new ideas in ticketing, station architecture and the successful introduction of the walkway at Hackney, the cost will have been considerably reduced. This Google Map shows the area around North Acton station.

North Acton Station

North Acton Station

The North London Line is at the right of the image and at the top is the junction where the Dudding Hill Line branches off.

Whether it is now a station and interchange worth building is up to Transport for London, but modern techniques have opened up possibilities.

Old Oak Common As A New Northern Terminal

The yet to be developed, Old Oak Common station is a possible new northern terminal. As a completely new station, hopefully you’d get a perfect solution.

But I don’t think you’d want to have both Old Oak Common and Willesden Junction stations as terminals, but a lot of the reasoning, that applies to Willesden also applies to Old Oak Common.

There is not much point in predicting what will happen at Old Oak Common, but I suspect whatever is proposed will be worth waiting for.

Orpington As A New Southern Terminal

Orpington station is a possible choice for an extra southern terminal, as it has lots of rail and bus connections.

This a Google Map of the station.

Orpington Station

Orpington Station

Orpington would be reached by way of New Cross, Lewisham and Beckhenham Junction is around 35 minutes, so it is actually closer than West Croydon and only just five ,minutes longer than Crystal Palace. It also has several terminal platforms, that could easily accommodate the six-car trains.

An extension to Orpington would appear to connect a lot of places in South East London to Crossrail at Whitechapel and the Jubilee Line at Canada Water.



In their Transport Infrastructure Plan for 2050, Transport for London mention a new interchange at Penge. This is a Google Map showing both stations.

Penge West And East Stations

Penge East station has services between Victoria and Orpington and on Thameslink.

Penge West Station has services on the East London Line and the Brighton Main Line.

This small mention in the TfL report is the only thing I can find about an interchange at Penge.

But could it be a dastardly plot to overcome the Great Anomaly in South London’s suburban services, where many services to Kent and the South East tend to terminate at Victoria?

Look at this enlarged Google Map, where the line through Penge West cross over the line through Penge East.

A Place For Penge Station?

A Place For Penge Station?

Note the isolated line a short distance to the East of the main lines to London Bridge. This is the line that carries East London Line services to Crystal Palace

TfL must think there is a need for an interchange between East London Line and London Bridge services and those Victoria and Thameslink services.

Shoreditch High Street Station Connection To The Central Line

Shoreditch High Street station sits on top of the Central Line and Wikipedia in a section on plans for the station, says this about creating a connection between the two lines.

There have also been discussions of creating an interchange with the Central line between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green which runs almost underneath the station. However, this would not be able to happen until after the Crossrail 1 project is complete, due to extreme crowding on the Central line during peak times.

It would appear from this detailed map of the London Underground and around Liverpool Street in particular, that trains can be turned back at both Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green stations, so as there are depots at both ends of the Central Line, once Crossrail was providing a bypass, construction might be possible, if the link was actually needed.

The Shoreditch area has also been talked about for some more platforms for Liverpool Street station. I found this article in the Architect’s Journal.

I put forward my idea in this article called An Idea For A New Station At Shoreditch High Street.

My idea is probably total crap, but who’d have thought the rickety North London Line and the orphaned branch of the Metropolitan Line, through the Thames Tunnel would have morphed from forgotten, crumbling and dirty assets into one of the best urban railways in Europe?

One thing I said in the previous post, when talking about a new station to handle traffic for Liverpool Street was this.

I think if a station gets built alongside or under Shoreditch High Street station, it will be nothing like any ideas, that might get talked about in the media now. One of the Foster/Farrell/Rogers fraternity could probably do something extraordinary here.

I think we’ll see something spectacular at Shoreditch High Street, with the Overground and possibly the Central Line in the thick of it.

Stratford As A New Northern Terminal

Stratford station is a possible new northern terminal if the Dalston Eastern Curve is reinstated.

It is a well-appointed station, linked to Crossrail and long distance services, buses and the shops at Eastfield, that could probably be reached in thirty minutes from Whitechapel.

I think that a platform could be found to terminate services, but using Stratford offers nothing that isn’t also solved by the opening of Crossrail. Also it doesn’t solve one of the main problems of the Stratford stations, which is the difficulty of getting to Stratford International. On the other hand, using Chingford as a terminal gives the possibility of a connection to the high speed station.

Willesden Junction As A New Northern Terminal

Willesden Junction station is a possible new northern terminal.

When the original plans for the East London Line were published a few years ago, I’m sure Willesden Junction was mentioned as a possible terminal.

It is a well-appointed station, linked to the Bakerloo and Watford DC Lines, that could be reached from Whitechapel in under forty minutes.

It already has a bay platform, which lies between the two North and South platforms, that could be used as a terminal, as it has been recently lengthened and upgraded. There is also another disused bay platform that might be reinstated. This Google Map show the station.

Willesden Junction Station

If Willesden Junction is made a terminal, this has other advantages, especially if it gets the standard service of four trains per hour.

As now there are effectively three Northern branches going to Highbury & Islington instead of two, there will be a fifty percent increase in services between Highbury & Islington and Whitechapel and South London, with an extra destination served directly.

The four trains an hour  to Willesden Junction, would increase the service frequency on the section of the North London Line between Dalston and Willesden. Various pronouncements from Transport for London have said that the frequency of trains on the North London Line should be increased.

If the Dalston Eastern Curve were to be reopened and four trains per hour went to either Chingford, Meridian Water or Stratford, this would effectively put an extra four trains per hour between Stratford and Willesden Junction.







August 1, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments