The Anonymous Widower

Burnt Oak Station To Be Made Step Free

These pictures show Burnt Oak station.

I’d never been to Burnt Oak station before.

Because of the layout of the station with an island platform, that has a double staircase with space in between, I suspect this could be one of the easier stations to be made step-free.

What Are Transport for London’s Plans?

Transport for London have stated that their aim is to eventually have all Underground stations with full step-free access.

Searching the Internet, I found there is this page on the Brent Council web site, which gives details of the Burnt Oak and Colindale Regeneration Programme.

As 12,500 houses will be built under this programme, it is not surprising that Transport for London are improving Burnt Oak station.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Does Crossrail Give London An Advantage In Doing Other Projects?

Under the Wikipedia entry for Shoreditch High Street station, it says that the station will never be connected to the Central Line until Crossrail opens.

How many other projects will be nade a lot easier, once Crossrail opens?

  • Oxford Circus station needs extra passenger capacity, especially on the Central and Victoria Lines. During the rebuilding, Crossrail will provide alternative stations within walking distance.
  • Holborn station is getting a second entrance and this would surely be made easier, if the Central Line trains weren’t stopping at the station.
  • The massive upgrade at Bank station will surely be helped, if after Crossrail opens, the Central Line trains weren’t stopping at the station.

U wonder if TfL are getting other orijects shovel-ready in places that will be eased by the opening of Xrossrail.

But it won’t ve just transport projects!

Property developers will surely take advantage.

There will also be completely new projects. Some currently busy, but very tired starions will as Crossrail settles in lose a lot of their passengers. So will we see projects to redevelop these stations? Funding will come from developers, who will build much-needed housing or offices over the sration.

One station that initially comes to mind is Barbican. It has hardly changed since C and nyself lived nearby in the early 1970s.

Bethnal Green and Mile End could be others!

January 20, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Expanding Charing Cross Station

Network Rail have published the Kent Route Study, which says the following about Charing Cross station.

Charing Cross and Cannon Street stations are effectively full.

Only Platform 1-3 can take the longest trains at Charing Cross station.

The study suggests this as a solution at Charing Cross.

Charing Cross has just six 12-car platforms and Platforms 4, 5
and 6 are very narrow, leading to operational restrictions. Class 465
units cannot operate in 12-car into these platforms and selective
door operation is used on Class 375 units. A major rebuild of the
station could allow it to be extended south over the river, like
Blackfriars, providing compliant platforms and greater passenger
circulation. At concept level, a new link to Waterloo from a southern
entrance to Charing Cross may supersede Waterloo East allowing
the station area to be used for additional track capacity, but there
are likely to be many issues with a project on this scale.

This Google Map shows the station and the Northern |end of the Hungerford Railway Bridge.

Note.

  1. Platforms are numbered 1 to 6 from top to bottom.
  2. The two Golden Jubilee footbridges on either side of the Hungerford bridge.
  3. There appear to be four or five tracks on the bridge.
  4. The bridge appears to tracks on either side of a central truss.

I went to Charing Cross station on the train and then walked across the downstream Golden Jubilee Bridge, which is the top one in the Google Map.

The Hungerford Bridge is certainly a good example of Victorian engineering, which appears to be two separate sections separated by a big truss, with trains running o either side.

A Cross River Charing Cross Station

Network Rail obviously feel that it will be possible to create a cross-River station, as they have published the idea in the Kent Route Study.

I shall outline some thoughts.

Will The Hungerford Bridge Have To Be Replaced?

Consider.

  • Replacing the bridge and all the associated steel-work, would be an extensive and expendive project.
  • The state of the bridge, which was refurbished about three decades ago, will be very important.
  • Modern structural engineering can probably give the bridge sufficient integrity and possibly more space.
  • The Golden Jubilee Footbridges, which are some of the busiest pedestrian crossings of the Thjames would obviously stay.

I feel that unless the bridge was in a really poor condition, that the current bridge won’t be replaced, but it will probably be substantially rebuilt.

Will Waterloo East Station Be Closed?

The Kent Route Study said this about Waterloo East station.

At concept level, a new link to Waterloo from a southern
entrance to Charing Cross may supersede Waterloo East allowing
the station area to be used for additional track capacity, but there
are likely to be many issues with a project on this scale.

The issues could include.

  • A double-ended Charing Cross station would give benefits similar to those at Blackfriars.
  • A Southern entrance to Charing Cross station would possibly be better than Waterloo East station for entertainment on the South Bank.
  • Passengers transferring between Charing Cross and Waterloo services might have further to walk.
  • Underground connections.
  • Cutting out the stop at Waterloo East would save time. It would probably make it easier to stick to the timetabe.
  • Some of the Waterloo East site could be released for development.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Waterloo East station closed.

How Many Trains Could Use Charing Cross Station?

Currently, the six platforms at Charing Cross handle sixteen trains per hour (tph) in the Off Peak.

A well-run platform can turnback four tph, so it could be that the capacity of a well-laid out Charing Cross station could be 24 tph.

Other factors could increase the capacity of the station.

  • The platforms could be long enough to handle two full length trains.
  • Entrances on both sides of the river would ease passenger flows.
  • The next generation of trains will hold more people in a train of a given length.
  • Automatic Train Operation could be employed on trains out of Charing Cross.

Obviously, the engineers and architects will have to get the design right, but I believe this frequency could be possible.

Conclusion

I think expanding Charing Cross station across the river is a good plan and not impossible.

But the design could be tricky!

It also looks like the passenger capacity at Charing Cross could be substantially increased.

 

 

 

 

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

A Good Summary Of What’s Happening In Creating New And Updating Old Stations

This article on Rail Engineer is entitled Stations: what happened in CP5 and what’s happening in CP6?

It is an article to read. Especially, if you’re thinking of moving house to a new area!

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

A Walk Down The Finchley Road

Aleks2cv made this comment on my long post about the West London Orbital Railway, which was entitled New Railway Line For West London Proposed.

West London’s version of Goblin, an available resource with potential. All urban London so suitable for Overground 4 car metro service.
I would add extensions to your outline.

There is space at the former Midland Finchley Road station for a single terminating platform with existing street facade. Interchange with North London, Metropolitan, and Jubilee and coaches on Finchley Road such as Stansted AirLink.

It got me thinking.

This is only part of the comment and I’ll deal with the rest after Christmas, if I renmember.

This is a Google Map of the area along the Finchley Road, between Finchley Road and Frognal station in the North and Finchley Road station in the South.

It is one of those interchanges, you might do in a North to South direction, as you have gravity assistance.

This second map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the various rail lines.

Note, the following lines can be seen in both maps.

  1. The Midland Main Line through West Hampstead Thameslink station, which crosses Finchley Road between Finchley Road and Frognal and Finchley Road stations.
  2. The Metropolitan and Jubilee Lines going through West Hampstead and Finchley Road stations.
  3. The North London Line going through West Hampstead and Finchley Road and Frognal stations.

I took these pictures as I walked down Finchley Road.

My thoughts on various parts of the area.

Finchley Road And Frognal Station

The station is a very poor example.

  • There is no step-free access.
  • Station buildings are minimal.
  • There is a ruin next door.
  • There is a need for perhaps a light-controlled crossing outside the station, as the road is very busy.

Improvement wouldn’t be helped, by the fact that the station is at the end of Hampstead Heath tunnel.

This Google Map shows a close-up of the station.

The only solution is probably a full rebuilding with perhaps a block of housing or offices on the top of a modern station.

 

The Midland Main Line

This Google Map shows the Midland Main Line as it passes under Finchley Road, to the North of the O2 Centre.

Note.

  1. There is not much space between the railway and the service road for the O2 Centre.
  2. The large surface-level car park of the O2 Centre is visible.
  3. The two slow lines are the Northern pair of lines, with the two fast lines to the South.

At least there is space in the middle of the lines.

A Terminus For The West London Orbital Railway

Aleks2cv in his comment,  felt that the West London Orbital Railway can be extended to Finchley Road.

I think this could be very difficult, as the West London Orbital Railway will probably be a single track railway sneaking up the South side of the Midland Main Line.

  1. There is very little space.
  2. Passengers would still have to walk about a hundred metres to connect to the Underground.
  3. Connecting to the Overground would require a stiff walk up the hill.

This Google Map shows the limit of the freight line, that could possibly be turned into the West London Orbital Railway.

Note.

  1. The railway going East-West is the Midland Main Line.
  2. The diagonal railway is the North London Line through West Hampstead station.

In the shadows on the South side of the Midland Main Line, you can just see tyhe freight line, which connects to the Down Fast of the Midland Main Line to the East of the bridge.

It looks to me, that years ago, the land now occupied by the O2 Centre was some form of railway yard or factory premises.

Finchley Road Underground Station

Finchley Road Underground station is a station in need of a degree of refurbishment.

  • It is not step-free.
  • Pedestrian access to the O2 Centre is not good.

But it is a cross-platform interchange between the Jubilee and Metropolitan Lines.

This Google Map shows the station.

Note.

  1. The two Chiltern tracks to the South of the station.
  2. The closeness of the Western end of the station to the Car Park of the O2 Centre.
  3. There is space to the South of the Chiltern tracks.

I feel very much that this station could be developed sympathetically to be a very good station, that could be paid for by housing on the top.

The O2 Centre

I think the O2 Centre could be the key to Aleks2cv’s idea for the West London Orbital Railway.

  • The O2 Centre appears tired.
  • Public transport can take people easily to the shopping at Oxford Street or Brent Cross.
  • Surface car parking is so Twentieth Century.

As the O2 Centre is owned by British Land, who are one of the UK’s biggest property companies, I think that it is likely the site could be redeveloped.

Suppose the site was developed as follows.

  • It extended over and connected to the Western ends of the platforms at Finchley Road Underground station.
  • A two-platform terminal station for the West London Orbital Railway could probably be fitted in reasonably close to the Underground station.
  • A small bus station.

Over the top would be shops, offices, housing or whatever was desired.

Conclusion

I believe that something will be done to redevelop this site.

Whether it has the terminal for the West London Orbital Railway underneath, will only be made clear, when planning permissio is given.

 

 

 

 

 

December 20, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Massive Bank Station Upgrade Is Running Behind Schedule And Over Budget

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in City AM.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The hefty upgrade work on Bank station is set to be completed later than planned, and over budget, according to new papers from Transport for London (TfL).

TfL said in its recent investment programme report that final costs for the revamp at Bank are set to be £642m, £19m higher than the £623m originally forecast. That covers a capacity boost and systems integration upgrade at the station.

Other facts can be gleaned from the article.

  • Overall works will now finish in 2022 instead of the original date of late 2021.
  • £322m has been spent so far.
  • Opening of the new entrance to the Waterloo and City Line has been put back from January to March next year because of problems of obtaining fire doors with the correct specifications.
  • Problems have been found with digging the 00 metres of new tunnels.;

At least though, the contractors seem to be keeping all the lines open, as they carry out this most complex of projects in the heart of the City of London.

Once the station is completed, it will be interesting to see how many billions of pounds worth of office space are built on top of the new Underground complex.

 

December 8, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Development Of Knightsbridge Station

Knightsbridge station is an important station on the Piccadilly Line.

It is unusual in that it is one of the few double-ended tube station, with one entrance at Sloane Street by Harvey Nicholls and the other along the Brompton Road at Harrods.

I took these pictures on a Sunday morning as I walked around the station.

The existing building over the Sloane Street entrance is being redeveloped. Wikipedia gives these details.

The residential development of One Hyde Park opposite the station features an entrance to the station which is the diverted closed off exit. It re-opened in December 2010.

In 2017, a developer will refurbish the block above the station and close exits 3 and 4 that lead to Brompton Road and Sloane Street. When this work is complete, there will be a new entrance in Brompton Road, the two exits having been blocked permanently. The station will also feature Step Free Access available from a new entrance in Hooper’s Court, where the original station first opened, with lifts in the original lift shaft that will led to the Piccadilly platforms.

This page on the TfL web site gives more details. This is said.

Knightsbridge Tube station will have step-free access in 2020, reached by a new entrance at Hooper’s Court.

Two new lifts will serve the Piccadilly line platforms, making the station step-free from street level to the trains.

A second new entrance will open at 15 Brompton Road in 2019, replacing the former entrance on the corner of Sloane Street and Brompton Road. The pavement on Brompton Road and Sloane Street will be widened, making more room for pedestrians.

Note that the new entrance at 15 Brompton Road will be about halfway between the corner and the LK Bennett store, which is at 39-41.

Conclusion

It looks as if Knightsbridge tube station will be very much improved.

But!

  • Cutting the traffic through the area would help.
  • I can’t say that I’m impressed with the new entrance to the station on the North side of Knightsbridge.

At least the entrance by Harrods, is much more in keeping with the area.

November 27, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boosting The Cross-Border Economy

The title of this post, is the same as this article on the BBC. It starts like this.

If they wanted a name-check in the budget, then they got it.

But there was little more detail – for the time being at least – about the growth deal for the Borderlands.

The chancellor announced the UK government would “begin negotiations” on it and work with local partners and the Scottish government.

I feel very strongly, that boosting this Borderlands could be of real value to both countries and obviously this is behind the Government’s thinking.

The article attempts to answer the questions it poses and proposes various transport upgrades.

I would do the following to the railways.

  • Complete the Borders Railway to Carlisle.
  • Create a rail link from Carlisle to Belfast with a bridge between Stanraer and Larne.
  • Improve the Carlisle to Newcastle rail line.
  • Electrify the Glasgow to Carlisle rail line via Dumfries.
  • Improve operating speeds on both the West and East Coast Main Lines.

The BBC also suggests some roads for improvement.

This is an area to watch.

 

 

 

November 27, 2017 Posted by | Travel, World | , | Leave a comment

A Walk Between Burnley Barracks And Burnley Manchester Road Stations

Burnley Barracks and Burnley Manchester Road stations are not that far apart.

This Google Map shows Burnley’s three stations in relation to the Town Centre and Turf Moor.

The various locations are as follows.

  • Turf Moor is indicated by the red arrow in the East.
  • Burnley Barracks station is in the North-West corner.
  • Bunley Central is at the North.
  • Burnley Manchester Road is at the South.
  • The Leeds and Liverpool canal weaves its way through the town passing close to Burnley Barracks station.

What the map doesn’t show is the terrain. The main station at Manchester Road is on one stretch of high ground and Central station and Turf Moor are on another.

So I walked between Barracks and Manchester Road  stations along the canal.

It was a pleasant walk, but I still had a stiff climb up to Manchester Road station.

The East Lancashire Line

The East Lancashire Line is the line that runs through Burnley Barracks station.

The route needs to be improved and I wrote about this in Improving The Train Service Between Rose Grove And Colne Stations.

I suggested that Class 769 bi-mode trains would be ideal for the route.

Burnley Barracks Station

There would appear to be a lot of development planned along the canal.

Surely, this development will generate passenger traffic, as many will prefer to walk along the level canal tow-path, rather than climb the hill to Burnley Manchester Road station.

Burnley Barracks station needs improvement.

  • Better shelter.
  • Ticket machine.
  • Better means of requesting the train to stop.
  • Ideally, there would be a lift to street level.

But at least Network Rail are replacing the bridge over the canal and the platform can already accommodate a four-car train.

 

Conclusion

If refurbisheed four-car Class 769 trains replace the current two-car scrapyard specials on the East Lancashire Line, the following will happen.

  • Capacity on the route will be doubled.
  • The service will be faster, due to the increased speed and power.
  • No expensive platform lengthening will be required.
  • An hourly service between Blackpool South and Colne will have no problems operating seven days a week.
  • Some stations, like Burnley Barracks, will need improvements to handle the extra passengers.

Two trains per hour will need track work to add a passing loop and modern signalling, and a few more trains.

 

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Walking Along Oxford Street

I took these pictures this morning, as I walked along Oxford Street from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road.

Note.

  1. I was surprised at the number of trees.
  2. The large number of buses.
  3. The rather small numberr of private cars.
  4. The large amount of new development to the East of Oxford Circus.

I might have got a different set of pictures later in the day.

November 7, 2017 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment