The Anonymous Widower

The Steps At Dalston Junction Station

Dalston Junction is a four-platform station and these are the only stairs at the station.

I think the design is excellent.

  • They serve all four platforms, so you can’t go the wrong way!
  • They are very wide, so have a high capacity.
  • There are effectively four handrails for those like me, who want or need to hold on.
  • Fit travellers who can lift their case, can use the stairs.
  • There is a landing half-way up.
  • The stairs are well-lit.
  • in 2017-2018, the stairs handled nearly six million passengers.
  • The small number of interchange passengers don’t need to use the stairs and walk between platforms on the level.
  • The steps are Transport for London’s typical low-slip design.
  • At the bottom of the staircase, there is a wide landing area with two train information displays and a 20-30 metre walks to the four platforms.
  • At the top of the staircase there is a wide lobby, with the wide gate-line in front of passengers coming up the stairs.
  • There is usually, a member of the station staff watching the passenger flows and answering any questions.

But above all there is a single lift about ten-twenty metres from the stairs, so avoiding the stairs is easy and obvious.

I have seen few stairs in stations as well-designed as these.

A few more general observations.

Wide Stairs With A Double Rail In the Middle

This design of stairs is being increasingly seen in London and around Europe.

In Stairs And A Lift At Cannon Street Station, I show a similar installation.

But there are loads like this monstrosity at Bethnal Green station in Before Overground – Stairs Not Fit For Purpose.

How many stations could be improved by widening the staircase?

Probably quite a few, but many staircases are constrained within solid walls.

Handrails

Transport for London generally use round and easy-to-grip handrails.

These are the best I’ve seen, which are on the Amsterdam Metro.

Some on British Rail-era stations are big and square and must be difficult for those with small or frail hands.

An Obvious Lift

At Dalston Junction, the lift is obvious as you approach the stairs.

But in some stations, the lifts are at the other end of the platform.

The Greenford Solution

These pictures show the solution at Greenford station.

Note.

  1. There is an up-escalator.
  2. A staircase,which is as wide as possible.
  3. There are three handrails with a low rail for those who prefer it.
  4. There is an inclined lift, which saves space.

I think we’ll see more step-free installations of this style.

Safety

I won’t comment on safety, as I don’t want to bring bad luck to the installations.

Conclusion

All those designing staircases and lift systems for stations, should be made to visit Dalston Junction and Greenford stations in the Peak.

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beggars On The London Overground

Beggars on the London Overground are becoming a nuisance.

Today, as I returned home, I saw this notice at Dalston Junction station.

So I made a small donation to the Whitechapel Mission.

Let’s hope it helps.

February 12, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 4 Comments

Dalston To Gatwick And Back For £6.15

This could be one of the best travel bargains for those like me, who have the privilege of a Freedom Pass.

I can use my pass, as far as East Croydon or West Croydon stations, but I must buy a ticket or use contactless to get to Gatwick Airport.

So I use the following route.

  1. London Overground to West Croydon station using my Freedom Pass.
  2. London Tramlink to East Croydon station using my Freedom Pass.
  3. Thameslink or Southern to Gatwick using a contactless credit card.

I paid £3.10 for the last leg.

These pictures show my journey to Gatwick.

Note that as my flight on Friday was early, I was staying the the Premier Inn, where I watched the World Cup 2018, before taking an early bath and an early bed.

The only problem was finding how to get from the shuttle to the Premier Inn at the Gatwick North Terminal.

Coming back, was just a two-legged journey.

  1. Thameslink to London Bridge station using the ticket I bought on the way out and my Freedom Pass.
  2. A 141 bus to just outside my house from the forecourt of London Bridge to just outside my house using my Freedom Pass.

I paid £3.05 for the ticket between Gatwick and East Croydon.

The Journey Could Be Improved

I do this journey a lot of times, especially as it is an easy way to the South Coast.

  • Getting to Victoria will continue to be difficult, until there is a comprehensive rebuild of Highbury and Islington station.
  • I could go to St. Pancras and get Thameslink, but there are time restrictions on using a Freedom Pass early in the morning.
  • I could get a 141 bus to London Bridge, but going South seems a lot longer than coming North due to traffic, road works and bus frequency.

So what would I do to improve things?

The Overground Should Go To East Croydon Not West Croydon Station

Often, when I do the journey to West Croydon, the train is almost empty from perhaps Penge West station.

So do passengers from the East London Line wanting to go to Croydon choose a train to East Croydon?

  • East Croydon has a cornucopia of services going all over the South.
  • West Croydon has only a few services and no long distance ones.
  • There are no intermediate stations between either station and Norwood Junction station.
  • East Croydon is the hub station of London Tramlink.
  • There is only a tram service going East at West Croydon.
  • To get a tram to Wimbledon at West Croydon, it is a long walk, which is badly signposted.

What is needed is a dedicated Overground platform at East Croydon station.

  • One platform could handle six trains per hour (tph)
  • It would create a simple one-change link between Gatwick Airport, Brighton and other South Coast destinations to East London and especially Whitechapel station, for the Eastern branches of Crossrail.

I know space is difficult, but I suspect that there is a solution somewhere.

Refurbish The Class 700 Trains

The Class 700 trains have only been in service for about two years, but when you travel on one after using another train, you realise their inadequacies.

  • The seats are worse than most and certainly not up to the standard of those on Electrostars, like the Class 377 train, I took to Gatwick.
  • There is no wi-fi.
  • There are no power sockets to charge a mobile phone or laptop.
  • Tables don’t exist in most of Standard Class.
  • There’s nowhere to put a drink.
  • Some drivers, who worked for East Midlands Trains told me, that they are not fast enough for the Midland Main Line.

They are crap design of the highest class. They certainly don’t say “Welcome to the UK”, to arriving passengers at Gatwick.

But I do believe the trains can be sorted, as the Class 707 trains are better.

Extend The Freedom Pass Area

A Freedom Pass works to any station in Fare Zone 6, with a few extensions like Shenfield station using TfL Rail and Watford Junction station using the Overground.

I don’t think that the area, where the Freedom Pass can be used for free, should be extended, but the technology must exist to link a Freedom Pass with a credit or debit card, so that all journeys within the Oyster contactless area are charged appropriately.

I’m surprised that this or something like it hasn’t been implemented yet, as surely it could be an encouragement for Freedom Pass holders to vote for a Mayoral candidate.

Conclusion

Travelling to Gatwick will get easier and more comfortable.

 

 

 

 

June 14, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Four Trains Per Hour Between Dalston Junction And Battersea Park Stations

Normally, there is only one train per day in both directions between Dalston Junction and Battersea Park stations.

Wikipedia says this about the service.

Until December 2012, Southern operated a twice-hourly service from London Victoria to London Bridge via Denmark Hill. This ceased when London Overground’s Clapham Junction to Dalston Junction service commenced at that time. However, since December 2012, a skeleton London Overground service has run to/from Battersea Park (instead of Clapham Junction) at the extreme ends of the day to retain a “parliamentary service” between Battersea Park and Clapham High Street.

But today, London Overground were running four trains per hour between Dalston Junction and Battersea Park stations, as there was a track fault, which meant trains couldn’t get between Wandsworth Road and Clapham Junction stations.

I took these pictures on my journey.

It certainly looked, like London Overground weren’t having much trouble, in running four trains per hour between Dalston Junction and Battersea Park stations.

November 6, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Do We Sometimes Misjudge The Consequence Of New Railways And Roads?

I ask this question after reading this article in the Hawick News, which is entitled Calls for extension of Borders Railway to Hawick building up fresh head of steam.

It was this phrase that worried me.

“Hawick businesses are feeling the impact of a one-way ticket that is seeing local shoppers travel from Tweedbank to all points north without any reciprocal arrangements.

It looks like building the Borders Railway has hurt businesses in Hawick. And what about other places in the area like Selkirk?

I think we’ve seen this before in other places.

Where I live near Dalston Junction station, has seen a massive uplift, since the creation of the East London Line. It was in some ways predictable, but I don’t think Transport for London expected the uplift that happened.

Our predictions, were never good in the past, but they don’t seem to be improving.

I wonder how far out predictions will be for Crossrail/Thameslink?

Consider.

  • Crossrail and Thameslink working together will make a lot more journeys single change.
  • Crossrail has good connections with the East London Line.
  • Crossrail gives much improved access to the Bakerloo and Northern City Lines.
  • Crossrail/Thameslink gives much improved access to Canary Wharf, the City of London, Gatwick Airport, Heathrow Airport, Luton Airport and Oxford Street in the centre of the cap[ital.

One consequence I see, is that those with Freedom Passes like me, will use the new free railways to advantage.

Roll on 2018 and 2019!

 

 

 

 

November 14, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

My Links To Thameslink

Thameslink is a railway, I don’t use much these days, as getting to stations is not that easy, since London Bridge was taken off the route, by the rebuilding.

St. Pancras is an absolute pain of a station to use, as the station was designed by a sadist with long tunnels from the deep-level Underground lines.

Farringdon is a better interchange going South, as it is step-free from the Westbound Metropolitan Line, which I take from Whitechapel after using the East London Line from Dalston Junction. But going North coming home from Farringdon is not easy.

City Thameslink is a bit of a walk from the 56 bus, which stops by my house.

Blackfriars is not the easiest station to get to from my area.

These are my thoughts about using Thameslink after about 2018, when the Great Northern Metro is open with its new Class 717 trains.

My Link To Thameslink Going North

Living where I do approximately midway between Highbury and Islington, Dalston Junction and Essex Road stations, getting to some major rail termini can be difficult and if I was taking a case with me, I would have to use a bus or taxi.

I tend to avoid Highbury and Islington station going out, as the station and its environs is in desperate need of a rebuild and to get say to the Victoria Line for Kings Cross is a long and difficult walk from the bus stop and through the maze of roads and tunnels to the platform.

But with Essex Road station having a frequent bus service from the stop nearest my house and a 10 tph connection to Finsbury Park, that will be my route to get to Thameslink going North to Cambridge or Peterborough.

I don’t think I’ll be alone, in using the Great Northern Metro to get access to Thameslink to go North.

My Link To Thameslink Going South

I have a choice of routes to go South on Thameslink.

  • I could take the same route as for going North, but the interchange at Finsbury Park is a dreaded down and upper.
  • I can take a 141 or 21 bus to London Bridge station. I regularly use this route coming home, but going South is dreadfully slow through Bank.
  • I can take a 38/56 bus to the Angel and get the Northern Line to London Bridge.
  • I can take a 56 bus to St. Bartholomews Hospital and walk downhill to Farringdon station.
  • I can take a train from Dalston Junction to Canada Water and then use the Jubilee Line.
  • Don’t suggest the Victoria Line to St. Pancras as the walk in the depressing tunnel at Kings Cross is to be avoided at all costs.
  • Don’t suggest a 30 bus to St. Pancras, as it requires a long walk through the busy Shopping Centre at St. Pancras because Thameslink doesn’t have a much needed Southern entrance.
  • I could always go via Essex Road and Finsbury Park.

I actually would like to take a train from Dalston Junction to say New Cross Gate for East Croydon and get Thameslink or the myriad Southbound services from there.

But the new proposed timetable for 2018, would seem to make that an more difficult dream, unless I wanted to wait for a long time on say Norwood Junction station.

Conclusion

Going North is easy, but as they don’t serve the \greater East London, GTR treat us with contempt and make it difficult for us to use Thameslink easily, if we’re going South.

September 22, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

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 | , , , | 1 Comment

Crossrail 2 October 2015 – Dalston Station

Are us plebs in humble Dalston going to get one of the best and busiest stations on Crossrail 2?

I wrote that opening statement in jest, but think about the proposed combined Dalston station’s position in London’s rail network.

  • It is the most Northerly station before the two branches to New Southgate and Broxbourne link under Stamford Hill.
  • Dalston Junction (Or is it Dalston South?) gives an escalator connection between Crossrail 2 and an up to twenty-four trains an hour to South-East London on the East London Line.
  • Dalston Kingsland (Or is it Dalston North?) gives an escalator connection between Crossrail 2 and all those trains on the North London Line.

So Dalston will become the important interchange for a large number of cross-London journeys. Raynes Park to New Southgate may well be direct, but so many journeys like Norwood Junction to Brimsdown will just be a single change at Dalston.

Crossrail 2 will put Dalston in one of the most important places on the map of London’s rail network.

Crossrail 2’s proposal for Dalston Station

This Crossrail document is entitled Dalston Station.

The proposal in the document starts like this.

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.

So we get three stations in one, which also means that at last there will be a true dry interchange between Dalston Kingsland station on the North London Line and Dalston Junction station on the East London Line.

This map from the document shows the layout of the two existing stations and their connection by means of two two-hundred and fifty metre long underground Crossrail 2 platforms.

Crossrail 2 Dalston Station

Crossrail 2 Dalston Station

It would appear that two shafts will be sunk to the Crossrail 2 tunnels.

  • The Southern one would be in the Tesco Express or the bar next door,
  • The Northern one would be just to the north of Ridley Road in the block containing the NatWest Bank.

Note how much of the route of the Crossrail 2 tunnels, runs on the East side of Kingsland High Street, under the Shopping Centre and the new flats. The tunnels will be at least twenty metres down just to get past High Speed One, which runs under the North London Line and Dalston Kingsland station, so any older buildings will be well above any Crossrail 2 construction.

I would also suspect that High Speed One also makes designing and construction of  the Kingsland end of the station challenging.

The Work Sites

The Crossrail 2 proposal for Dalston station is nothing but ambitious and to build it there will be no less than five work sites.

  • Site A – Would be used as the main site for construction of the station tunnels and southern station shaft
  • Site B – 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.
  • Site C – Would be used for construction of the northern station shaft and escalator connection to the Crossrail 2 platforms
  • 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
  • Site E – Would be used for construction of a station entrance and ticket hall, for interchange with Dalston Junction station.

But I would be very surprised if the work wasn’t phased so that the work-load in Dalston was spread and work is performed in a logical order.

Dalston Kingsland station is a dump compared to Dalston Junction station, with all the charm, access problems and convenience of a Victorian tube station.

In a reasonable world, it would be replaced now, whether Crossrail 2 is built soon or postponed to the Twenty-Second Century.

The need for a Site D indicates that a new bridge will be built across the station to give access. As Site D is currently in the construction site for new flats called Fifty Seven East and Dalston Kingland station desperately needs step-free access, then surely this bridge should be built now!

To further assess the work-sites, I walked along Tottenham Road to Site A, then crossed to Site E, before walking up Kingsland High Street to look at Sites B, C and D.

There is certainly, a lot going on and if everybody gets it right, it can become one of London’s more important High Streets.

What Is Already Happening In Kingsland High Street?

Before I come to my conclusions, I’ll say a little about what is already happening.

  • Plans may have been published to rebuild Dalston Kingsland station.
  • There are more projects to build  flats in the area. London needs housing and as these will be designed so they don’t affect Crossrail 2, they will go ahead.
  • The Dalston Kingsland Shopping Centre is supposed to be being rebuilt.
  • There are also plans to improve the pedestrian flows on what is a very congested road for walkers.
  • There will be other changes due to the Cycle Superhighway passing about fifty metres to the west of Kingsland High Street.

So in say four or five years time, we should have a better High Street and Kingsland station, whether Crossrail 2 is coming or not!

Conclusions

So what are my initial conclusions?

  • Because of the station design, there will need to be some demolition at both current stations.
  • Site A needs a full rebuild, as it has very little property of merit and I certainly wouldn’t miss the Subway, Tesco and the bar on the end. The shaft to access the new platforms, will probably be in the middle of the current Tesco.
  • Site  B is in a bad state with much of the property locked up. Some of the properties on Bradbury Street will need to be demolished to rebuild Dalston Kingsland station, let alone build the Crossrail 2 station. Will anybody mourn?
  • Site C is where the Northern shaft will be. There will be some demolishion.
  • Site D is a curious one in that it is inside a site that is being developed.
  • Site E is where the new entrance to |Dalston Junction and the Crossrail 2 station is going to be built. I’d have hoped that the Crossrail 2 passages would have been laid out in the redesign of the Overground station. What’s been published gives me doubts!
  • How much of the demolition will be of properties worth keeping? Those that I photographed didn’t shout save me!

There are three sites on the High Street, which will be very much affected by the rebuilding of Dalston Kingsland station and building of Crossrail 2.

  • Site A, where the Southern shaft for the station is located.
  • Site B, where the Northern entrance to the new station is proposed, is substantially closed at present.
  • Site C, opposite Dalston Kingsland station that will contain the Northern shaft for the station and escalator connection to the Crossrail 2 platforms.

All could be developed with new residential or commercial properties on top.

I believe that the proposed plan for the new Crossrail 2 station should be treated as what it is, just a proposal.

Or at least as far as the above ground presence is concerned.

All three sites could be developed as welcoming portals to enhance the public transport system as it serves the area around Dalston.

I would apply the principle, that access to the Crossrail 2 station, should be available from both sides of Kingsland High Street at both the Northern and Southern ends.

I will now look at each site in detail.

Site A

This is a Google Map showing Dalston Junction station and Site A.

Dalston Junction Station And Site A

Dalston Junction Station And Site A

Note the station and its towers above in the East and Bentley Road Car Park in the West. You should be able to pick out the Tesco Express on the Kingsland Road.

I walk to Dalston Junction station most days to get the Overground. But it is not a good walking route.

  • The pavements along the Balls Pond Road and Kingsland Road are very narrow and you are squashed between traffic and large numbers of walkers.
  • It is easier to walk up Tottenham Road, but as with the other route crossing Kingsland Road can be difficult.
  • If you live to the South West of Dalston Junction station, it is probably easier to walk to Haggerston station, as I do sometimes.
  • It is particularly difficult to cross at the cross roads where the Balls Pond Road meets the Kingsland Road.

As the frontage of Site A on the Kingsland Road will have to be substantially demolished, in an ideal world, provision would be made to access the escalator and lift connection to the Crossrail 2 station from the West side of Kingsland Road.

Perhaps when the frontage of Site A on Kingsland Road is rebuilt after Crossrail 2 works have finished, it should provide a subway under the road to the station and the sort of shops and cafes, that passengers like in their stations.

It would welcome those, who live to the South West of Dalston Junction station to the area, just as Dalston Square on the other side of the station welcomes those from the South East.

Site B

This is a Google Map showing Dalston Kingsland station and Sites B and C.

Dalston Kingsland Station And Sites B And C

Dalston Kingsland Station And Sites B And C

Site B is to the North of Dalston Kingsland station, on the West side of Kingsland High Street.

Note that this map was made before the construction of Fifty Seven East started, as Peacocks is still on the West side of Kingsland High Street.

I feel that if they rebuild Dalston Kingsland properly, then then are possibilities to not only build residential or commercial development on top of Site B, but over the railway and the station as well.

Land is expensive and the station occupies almost as much space as Fifty Seven East, so surely a similar sized development over the station would be a welcome addition to London’s housing stock.

I would also hope that the design of the station includes the following.

  • A step-free subway under Kingsland High Street to Ridley Road Market. This is probably a given, as the escalators to Crossrail 2 go down from Site C.
  • As the station is close to the Cycling Superhighway, I suspect that it will be heavily used by cyclists, who would need lots of secure bike parking.
  • Personally, I would like easy walking access along Bradbury Street as I regularly walk to Dalston Kingsland station along that route.

There are certainly lots of possibilities to make the existing Dalston Kingsland station a welcoming North West gateway to Crossrail 2 and Kingsland High Street.

Site C

This is a Google Map showing Dalston Kingsland station and Sites B and C.

Dalston Kingsland Station And Sites B And C

Dalston Kingsland Station And Sites B And C

Site C is to the North of Dalston Kingsland station, on the East side of Kingsland High Street. The NatWest bank, which is at the Northend of Site C is indicated.

Any development on this site must enhance the Ridley Road Market and provide that gateway for those travelling to and from the North East of the station.

It is essential that there is an entrance to the station on the East side of Kingsland High street, to give good connections to the market and the Shopping Centre.

 

My Ultimate Test Of The New Station

My ultimate test of the new Dalton station would be on a cold and wet day, to have the ability to arrive at Dalston Kingsland station on the North London Line, go down an escalator to Crossrail 2, where I can walk along to the Southern End, go up the escalator and exit the station on the West side through a rebuilt Site A.

And do it pushing my yet-to-be-born great-grandchild in a buggy! The spirit of my grandmother, who was born opposite Dalston Junction station would be very pleased!

 

 

 

 

 

October 29, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Increased Frequencies On The East London Line

This article from the South London Press is entitled More Trains For The London Overground. The article says  Transport for London (TfL) wants to make two service improvements are on the East London Line.

  • From 2018, there will be an extra two trains per hour (tph) between Dalston Junction and Crystal Palace.
  • From 2019, there will be four additional trains between Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction, making the frequency 8 tph.

I found the source of the report on TfL’s web site. This is a handy summary from the Appendix.

LO Improvements

LO Improvements

It looks like the pattern of extra trains is as follows.

  • From 2018, there will be an extra two trains per hour (tph) between Dalston Junction and Crystal Palace.
  • From 2019, there will be an extra 2 tph between Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction, making the frequency 6 tph.

Currently both these services go to Highbury and Islington.

It’s interesting that these increased services are starting in 2018-2019! This times them to start just as Crossrail and Thameslink are opening, which probably means that TfL are expecting that a lot of Crossrail passengers will change to and from the East London Line at Whitechapel. As I will, no doubt!

Buried in TfL’s Transport Plan for 2050 says are possible plans on improving the service on the East London Line.

  • Better late night and overnight services on the Overground.
  • Automatic Train Operation on the core of the line from Dalston Junction to Surrey Quays to increase service frequency from 16 tph to possibly as high as 24 tph.
  • Six car trains on the Overground.

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.

The announced service improvements will mean that 20 tph will be passing Whitechapel and Canada Water.

So will we see other services started to bring the line up to the 24 tph capacity?

This would give London three almost-new 24 tph lines crossing the city; Crossrail, Thameslink and the East London Line, in an H-shape.

TfL don’t sem to be planning it yet!

The increase in frequency from Dalston Junction to Clapham Junction station is very welcome to me, as I often take a train to Clapham Junction to go south to Brighton, Gatwick or other places.

Increasing the frequency to Clapham Junction may also be needed, as extra stations and other changes are added to this branch of the East London Line.

  • New Bermondsey station will be opened to take advantage of the six services per hour between Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction.
  • Clapham Junction might be served by the Northern Line Extension some time in the early 2020s.
  • Clapham Junction may well be served with other services to take the pressure off Victoria and Waterloo. It always strikes me as a station, that since its latest improvements could handle more services.
  • Camberwell station, which has been promised for some time, could finally be under way, to connect the East London Line to Thameslink at Loughborough Junction station. A design based on the split-level principles of Smethwick Galton Bridge station may solve the connection problem.

The only difficulty of this frequency could be that there might need to be upgrades at Clapham Junction to turnback more trains.

Increasing the frequency to Crystal Palace station will be of less use to me, as I’ve rarely used that service.

If it linked to Tramlink, I  might use it more, but that extension to Tramlink was dropped by Boris and there seems to be no enthusiasm on anybody’s part to build it.

I do wonder if Transport for London have other plans for Crystal Palace in their mind.

Look at this Google Map showing Crystal Palace, Penge West and Penge East stations.

Crystal Palace And Penge

Crystal Palace And Penge

Crystal Palace is a fully modernised and accessible station with lifts, a cafe and lots of platforms, so it makes an ideal terminus for trains on the East London Line.

Penge West is not the best appointed of stations and I suspect if a much better alternative was provided nearby, no-one would miss the station.

Penge East is on the Victoria to Orpington Line and needs upgrading for step-free access. But it has the problem of a Listed footbridge, that should be burnt. I wrote about it in An Exploration At Penge.

Buried in TfL’s Plan for 2050, is the one-word; Penge, as a possible new station. The line through Penge East passes under both the Brighton Main Line and the branch to Crystal Palace, in an area of railway land.

After looking at Smethwick Galton Bridge station or as I called it,  Birmingham’s Four-Poster station, I do feel that a good architect could design a station, that solved the challenging problem of the difference in height and created a fully-accessible interchange. This station could have a lot going for it, as services passing through the station would include.

  • 4 tph between Victoria and Orpington on the Victoria to Orpington Line
  • 6 tph between Dalston Junction and Crystal Palace and 4 tph between Dalston Junction and West Croydon on the East London Line.
  • A selection of the East London Line services would go to Highbury and Islington.
  • 2 tph between London Bridge and Caterham on the Brighton Main Line.
  • Services between Bedford/St. Albans/St. Pancras and Beckenham Junction on the Victoria to Orpington Line

It would increase connectivity greatly all over East London, both North and South of the river.

I suspect too, that the station would open up the brownfield land around the railway for property development.

I think there is a strong case to watch that area of Penge!

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 13 Comments

An Opportunity For Dalston?

Look at this map of the rail and Underground lines in East London going north around Dalston Junction.

Map 1. Rail Lines Around Dalston

Map 1. Rail Lines Around Dalston

 

The light blue,dark blue, black and orange lines are the Victoria, Northern and Piccadilly lines and Overground respectively. Stations to note are.

1. Dalston Junction which is marked by the red arrow.

2. Tottenham Hale at the top right and is shown in more detail on this larger scale map.

Map 2. Tottenham, Seven Sisters Area

Map 2. Tottenham, Seven Sisters Area

3. Seven Sisters is the next station as you come south-westerly from Tottenham Hale and is marked by both tube and national rail symbols on the second map.

4. Below and slightly to the right of Seven Sisters is South Tottenham on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

5. On the original map, Angel is towards the left at bottom, approximately south west from Dalston Junction. This is a larger scale map of the area.

Map 3. Angel To Dalston Junction

Map 3. Angel To Dalston Junction

In this map, Angel is close to the bottom left. Note how you can see Highbury and IslingtonEssex Road and Canonbury stations north of the Angel and Haggerston and Hoxton  stations south from Dalston Junction on the East London Line.

Roads, like Essex Road, Balls Pond Road and New North Road are visible, as is the Regent’s Canal.

From the limited information that has been published about Crossrail 2, I believe that the New Southgate branch will pass under Seven Sisters and very close to South Tottenham before meeting the other branch from Tottenham Hale somewhere near Walthamstow Marshes shown on Map 2 and in detail below.

Walthamstow Marshes

Walthamstow Marshes

The map shows how Walthamstow Marshes could also make an ideal site from where to build the tunnels.

1. It is a spacious site with good road access, where the running tunnels to New Southgate, Tottenham Hale and Central London may all meet.So if a big deep shaft could be dug here, as Crossrail 1 did on the Limmo Peninsular, it could be used to launch and retrieve the tunnel boring machines (TBM). Looking at how far the TBMs went from Limmo to Farringdon on Crossrail 1, which is a distance of 8.3 km, I suspect that their successors on Crossrail 2 could go a long way under London and given the right ground conditions, perhaps even all the way to Wimbledon.

2. The site is close to the West Anglia Main Line and surely this could be used to bring in heavy equipment and materials.

3. Around the west of the Marshes, the map shows the River Lea, which could be another transport artery into the site.

4. As there are several reservoirs there is plenty of raw material for the drink that builds the railways; tea.

5. The one problem is that the Marshes are a Site of Special Scientific Interest. But having seen how Crossrail 1 handled the potentially tricky situation at Stepney City Farm, I suspect that if they follow similar rules, then an amicable solution can be found.

From the junction near Walthamstow Marshes, Crossrail 2 has said that the line will go to the next two stations; Dalston Junction and the Angel.

This would mean that the line would run roughly north east to south west from the junction of the two branches of the line to the Angel. Whether it is aligned under a road, a railway or even the Regent’s Canal, would obviously be a matter for the engineers.

On this map, I have drawn the possible route in pink.

Map 4. Possible Crossrail 2 Route At Dalston

Map 4. Possible Crossrail 2 Route At Dalston

Not shown on Map 4 is the line of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, which runs in a tunnel underneath the North London Line.

I believe that it might be possible to dig the tunnel so that it passes underneath both Dalston stations, despite the presence of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. In this respect, I have great faith in the ability of London’s finest hole diggers to navigate correctly and not connect New Southgate and Tottenham Hale to France.

One of my Google Alerts today, picked up this article from the Hackney Gazette, entitled Crossrail 2 threatens another Georgian terrace in Dalston.

As someone who lives close to Dalston Junction and whose roots are very much in the area, I want what is best for the local area. I also have my own list of buildings that should be saved.

So I went down to Dalston Junction and took pictures of the area between and around the two stations, starting just south of Dalston Junction and then walking north, picking up some shopping in Sainsburys and having a coffee in fed on the way.

Quite frankly, I think that for most of the buildings, only some of the frontages and some interiors like that of the former eel and pie shop, are worth saving.

But as my pictures show the two main problems in the area are the movement of large volumes of both vehicular traffic and pedestrians.

As I don’t drive, I have no personal interest in the former, if the buses still get through.

But I regularly walk up and down the Kingsland Road to Sainsburys, Boots and the Market. The pavements are a nightmare, as they are narrow and very busy.

The new Dalston Junction part of the solution to the walking problem has been built, with a draughty but rain-free passage between the two station entrances.

So wouldn’t it be nice, if this passage could extend up to at least Dalston Kingsland station? If it did it might be a traffic generator for the underused bus station, which could do with more routes. A passage would of course make the interchange between the two stations easier.

At least the Kingsland Shopping Centre is proposed to be redeveloped to a more modern layout. Pictures in the link, give hope that there could be a traffic-free route from at least Kingsland station to Dalston Lane, which somehow has to be crossed. The current arrangements of a light-controlled crossing works, but could be improved upon.

The walking link between the two stations will hopefully be improved when the new Dalston Kingsland station is rebuilt, as someone from London Overground indicated to me it will be, a few months ago.

Could something bigger be rolling through Dalston?

Something is and it’s called Crossrail 2.

In one of the pictures it shows a sign at Dalston Junction station, showing that it is 250 metres between the two stations.

I will make an assumption here, that Crossrail 2 will use the same Class 345 trains and platforms matched to their size as Crossrail 1. I think it would be a reasonable assumption to make, as this would mean a common fleet and a lot of repeated platform design.

And how long are the platforms on Crossrail 1?

They are 260 metres long.

So would it be possible to fit a double-ended station for Dalston, that avoided the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and was connected to the platforms at the two Dalston stations at each end?

I don’t know as I haven’t got the detailed dimensions, but the last time London Overground threaded a rail line under Kingsland High Street, they managed it without mishap. If the station followed the traditional hump-backed design, then it would rise up to the platforms, which would be deep under the area and could be connected to the two stations by escalators and lifts. If the Crossrail 2 station had a wide centre platform between the tracks, then it could also be used by passengers transferring between the two stations. The platforms would have platform edge doors, so there would be no safety or draught issues. It might even be possible to make the central Crossrail 2 platform wide enough for a cafe, kiosks and an information office.

The design would have advantages for passengers.

1. It would give full interchange between the North London Line, East London Line and Crossrail 2, which would make so many more journeys possible, like for example Turnpike Lane to Homerton or Shoreditch High Street to Ware,  with just a single step-free change.

2. Dalston Junction is the first station on Crossrail 2, after the two northern branches have joined, so just as at Whitechapel on Crossrail, you could come down one branch walk across the platform, perhaps picking up a coffee on the way, and get on a train up the other branch.

3. In the case of an interchange between either the North or East London lines and Crossrail 2 it would be up or down on an escalator or in a lift, but between the East and North London Lines, you would have a nearly 250 metre walk as well. But the walk would be easier and more pleasant than the current one on the surface.

4. Would the ability to transfer at Dalston between the North London Line and Crossrail 2 serve Hackney sufficiently well, so that the need for the possible Hackney branch of Crossrail 2 could be delayed?

There could possibly be some advantages to Dalston

1. As the interchange between the East and North London Lines is now a safe walk out of the weather and traffic, would this be a good enough connection to make it unnecessary to reopen the Dalston Eastern Curve, thus releasing this land for something better in perpetuity.

2. But the great advantage of this plan to Dalston, is that it doesn’t require any demolition of buildings on the surface, except for the unloved Dalston Kingsland station.

3. Dalston Junction station already has a building that is big enough, but could you do away completely with buildings at Dalston Kingsland station? You might just have escalators ending level with the street and a simple glass front like the new Tottenham Court Road tube station. The money saved on the building could be used to add extra escalators and lifts. Perhaps on both sides of Kingsland High Street.

I probably have all this totally wrong, but I believe that Crossrail 2 could be a bigger opportunity for Dalston, if a double-ended station is built to serve both Junction and Kingsland.

It is only possible because the Victorians had the foresight to build the two Dalston stations the same distance apart as the length of a Crossrail station.

 

January 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments