The Anonymous Widower

Is There Going To Be More Change At Ealing Broadway Station?

Ealing Broadway station is being upgraded for Crossrail.

In the November 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, there is a Capital Connection supplement, which discusses London’s railways.

On Page 7 in a section about the sub-surface lines, this is said.

One possibility being discussed is that the Piccadilly should take over the District’s Ealing Broadway service. This would free up space on the South side of the inner-London circle for more City trains off the Wimbledon branch, one of the sub-surface network’s most-crowded routes.

On Page 15 in a section about the Mayor’s plans, this is said.

It is suggested Piccadilly Line services run to Ealing Broadway instead of the District Line, enabling increased frequencies on the latter’s Richmond and Wimbledon branches.

As the plan is mentioned twice, certainly the proposal is being thought about.

The Lines At Ealing Broadway Station

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at Ealing Broadway station.

Note how the Piccadilly and District Lines share tracks from Ealing Common station, which then split with District Line trains going to Ealing Broadway station and Piccadilly Line trains going to Rayners Lane and Uxbridge stations.

If the change happened and Ealing Broadway station was only served by the Piccadilly and Central Lines of the Underground, then there might be opportunities to improve the efficiency of the Underground side of the station.

Crossrail Effects On Access To Heathrow

Crossrail will change the way a lot of passengers go to and from Heathrow Airport.

Crossrail To Heathrow

From May 2018, the service will be.

  • 4 trains per hour (tph) between Paddington and Heathrow Central and Heathrow Terminal 4

After December 2019, the service will be.

  • 4 tph between Abbey Wood and Heathrow Central and Heathrow Terminal 4
  • 2 tph between Abbey Wood and Heathrow Central and Heathrow Terminal 5

In addition these services will serve all station including Canary Wharf, Liverpool Street, Bond Street,Paddington and Ealing Broadway.

Effect On Heathrow Express

It will be difficult to predict what will happen to Heathrow Express, but I suspect several groups of passengers will desert it.

  • Passengers wanting to go anywhere East of Paddington without changing trains.
  • Passengers wanting any Crossrail station.
  • Passengers, who don’t like the prices of Heathrow Express.
  • Passengers using Oyster or contactless cards.
  • Passengers who want to ride on London’s spectacular new Crossrail.

After Old Oak Common station is opened, the numbers will further decrease.

Will Heathrow Express survive?

Effect On Piccadilly Line

The current Piccadilly Line route to the Airport will not be closed, as for many it will still be a convenient route to the Airport

  • Passengers who live on the Piccadilly Line and don’t want to change trains. Think Southgate, Knightsbridge, Hammersmith and Osterley!
  • Passengers to the East of Acton Town station.
  • Passengers, workers and others needing to go to Hatton Cross station.

If Crossrail connected with the Piccadilly Line at say Holborn, it would be all so different.

Effect On District Line

When Crossrail opens, the District Line will become a loop from Crossrail, between  Ealing Broadway and Whitechapel running along the North Bank of the Thames via Earls Court, Victoria, Charing Cross and Monument.

The step-free interchange at Ealing Broadway could become busy with passengers travelling  to and from the Airport.

Effect On Piccadilly Line Overcrowding

Heathrow trains on the Piccadilly Line can get very overcrowded with so many passengers with heavy cases.

It must sometimes be very difficult to get on a Piccadilly Line train between Heathrow and South Kensington stations.

Crossrail should take the pressure from these trains, by allowing passengers to use the District Line with a change at Ealing Broadway.

Effect On My Personal Route

My personal route to the airport is to take a 141 bus to Manor House station and then get the Piccadilly Line. It takes 94 minutes.

After Crossrail fully opens, if I took the East London Line from Dalston Junction to Whitechapel and then used Crossrail, I’d take 57 minutes.

Conclusion

Crossrail will affect the way many get to Heathrow Airport.

But there are large areas of London, who still will need to change trains twice to get to the airport.

Piccadilly Line To Ealing Broadway Effects

Adding Ealing Broadway station as a fourth Western terminus to the Piccadilly Line will have effects, but not as important as the opening of Crossrail.

Some Improved Journey Times To Heathrow

Some Piccadilly Line stations will see improved journey times to Heathrow.

Hammersmith to Heathrow currently takes 37 minutes by the Piccadilly Line.

Taking a Piccadilly Line train to Ealing Broadway and then using Crossrail could save a dozen minutes.

The District Line Connection To Crossrail At Ealing Broadway Is Lost

Passengers along the District Line from Monument to Hammersmith will lose their direct access to Crossrail at Ealing Broadway.

Cross-platform access to the Piccadilly Line at Hammersmith and Turnham Green will probably be provided or improved, but it will be a second change.

Note that until the Piccafilly Line gets upgraded and new trains arrive around 2023, the District Line with new trains and the soon to be installed new signalling may well be a better passenger experience.

More Trains To Richmond

This will certainly be possible, if some Ealing Broadway trains are diverted to Richmond.

But Crossrail has another delight in its cupboard for Richmond.

Old Oak Common station is scheduled to open in 2026 and will offer an interchange between Crossrail and the North London Line.

Richmond will certainly be getting a better train service to Central and East London.

More Trains To Wimbledon

This will certainly be possible, if some Ealing Broadway trains are diverted to Wimbledon.

The Ealing Common Problem

At Ealing Common station, the Piccadilly and District Line share the same tracks and platforms.

Some commentators have suggested that the new trains on the Piccadilly Line will be designed to work with platform-edge doors for improved safety and dwell times.

So if platform-edge doors were to be fitted to all stations on the Piccadilly Line as has been suggested, there would be no way the doors would fit the new S7 Stock of the District Line.

Swapping Ealing Broadway from the District to Piccadilly Lines would solve this problem and give more flexibility, but it might give London Underground other problems with regard to access for District Line trains to Ealing Common depot.

These pictures show Ealing Common station.

Note the difference of levels between the Piccadilly and District Line trains.

There would be no way to provide level access for both types of train using a Harrington Hump.

So is making a station that serves both deep-level and sub-surface lines, step-free, a problem that is still to be cracked?

This Google Map shows Ealing Common station.

It doesn’t look that it is a station, where two extra platforms could be squeezed in, so both lines could have their own platforms.

Could Ealing Common station be one of the main reasons to serve Ealing Broadway station with the Piccadilly Line?

Acton Town Station

On a brief pass-through of Acton Town station, it would appear that the Ealing Common problem exists.

So making Acton Town station, a Piccadilly Line-only station, would ease making the station step-free, as it would only be served by one type of train.

Chiswick Park Station

Chiswick Park station only has platforms on the District Line and would need to be remodelled, if Ealing Broadway became the terminus of the Piccadilly Line.

One suggestion I found was to add two new District Line platforms to the Richmond branch.

This Google Map shows the station.

Note the Richmond branch passing South of the station.

Chiswick Park station is Grade II Listed and I’m sure that a good architect can find a more than acceptable solution.

Conclusion

It appears to me, there are two opposite forces on either side of a possible proposal to serve Ealing Broadway station with the Piccadilly Line, rather than the District Line.

  1. The District Line will form a loop South of Crossrail between Ealing Broadway and Whitechapel stations.
  2. Making a station step-free that handles both deep-level and sub-surface lines, is not an easy undertaking.

Running the Piccadilly Line to Ealing Broadway means that a change is required at Turnham Green, Hammersith or Barons Court stations to use the loop described in point 1.

But this change would enable the step-free access to be created in all stations in the area.

I think that the change of terminus will go ahead, with the following additions.

  • Improved access to Ealing Common depot.
  • Improved cross-platform access at Turnham Green, Hammersith or Barons Court stations.
  • Two extra platform on the District Line at Chiswick Park station.

What started out as a simple change could end up as a substantial project.

But overall, because it sorts out step-free access in the area, I think it is a good proposal.

 

October 30, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bank Junction Goes Buses And Cyclists Only

On Monday, the 22nd of June 2017, the City of London brought in an order making the busy Bank Junction buses and cyclists only between seven in the morning and seven in the evening from Monday to Friday.

I took these pictures soon after ten in the morning.

The first few pictures were taken from the top of a Routemaster bus on Route 21, as it travelled from where I live across the city to London Bridge station.

Note.

  • Most drivers seemed to be avoiding the area.
  • The City of London Police were telling drivers, but didn’t appear to be ticketing anybody.
  • Much of the congestion seemed to be caused by half-empty polluting Tour Buses.
  • One pedestrian was moaning that he couldn’t use his car to get around the City.

Overall, it appeared to be a calm start.

The Upgrade Of Bank Station

I have only shown the area on the surface, but under the ground around Bank Junction, a massive construction project is starting in the City of London’s twin goals of more and better office accomodation and transport links.

Bank station is getting a major upgrade, which will include.

  • In The New Tunnel Under Bank Station, I wrote about an upgraded pedestrian tunnel that crosses the area.
  • In Between Bank And Cannon Street Station, I wrote about how Bloomberg are helping develop a new step-free entrance to the Waterloo and City Line and Bank station, which will open by early 2018.
  • A new Northern Line tunnel to create more space on the platforms and increase frequency on the line.
  • The station weill receive a forty percent increase in capacity.
  • Full step-free access with thirteen new escalators and three new lifts.
  • A new entrance to Bank station opposite Cannon Street station.
  • Two North-South moving walkways.
  • Some of the £600million project cost will be funded by oversite office development.
  • Hopefully, much of the work will be finished by 2021.

There’s more in this article in the Guardian, which is entitled Bank station upgrades point to London’s bigger, busier future.

Bank Station And Crossrail

You may wonder, why if Bank station is so important, that Crossrail doesn’t call and Crossrail 2 won’t either.

It may not, but the Central Line will have good connections to Crossrail at Stratford, Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations.

So passengers for Bethnal Green, Bank, St. Paul’s, Chancery Lane and Holborn will change from Crossrail to the Cwntral Line at a convenient station.

In addition, Crossrail will feed passengers into loops in the District, Hammersmith and City and Jubilee Lines.

Travellers will pay their money and take their choice.

Other Developments At Bank

I wouldn’t be surprised to see more pedestrian routes linking the City stations of Bank, Cannon Street, Fenchurch Street, Liverpool Street and Moorgate; both on the surface and possibly underground.

I would also make sure that all buses in the centre of London are low-emission vehicles. That certainly doesn’t apply to those polluting and jam-creating Tour Buses and tourist coaches.

 

May 25, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Echoes Of The Past At South Kensington Tube Station

South Kensington Tube Station has been through many changes, since it opened in 1868.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the layout of the lines at the two stations.

skgr

Unusually for the Circle/District Lines, both these stations are island platforms. But note how there used to be platforms on the outside of the lines we see today.

These are some pictures I took today.

There certainly quite a bit of space and abandoned infrastructure in the station.

In the Wikipedia entry for the station, under Future Proposals, failed plans for developing above the station are detailed.

It’s certainly puzzling, why the space isn’t used better, as it is a site of 0.77 hectares.

It might also be a space large enough to put in an extra platform, if that were needed.

January 29, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Changing Between The Circle/District Lines And Victoria Line At Victoria Tube Station

This is not a change, I do regularly, as I have direct access to the Circle/District Lines at Whitechapel station, but it must be a change that some passengers need to do.

For example.

  • Sloane Square to Kings Cross St. Pancras
  • Temple to Kings Cross St. Pancras
  • Monument to Pimlico

In these journeys a good interchange at Victoria could speed up the journey.

One thing that helps is the upwards of thirty trains per hour on the Victoria Line, where you only have to wait under three minutes for a train on that line.

I did this the District/Victoria change this morning and took these pictures.

The new passages and escalators certainly speed up the change.

The position of the passages may be more obvious from this map from carto.metro.free.fr.

victorialines

Note that the escalators to the Cardinal Place entrance are the more Northerly of the three sets and I think it is reasonable, that they start between platforms 3 and 4 and rise to the surface in line with the platforms.

The divided passage connecting the two lines would appear to be underneath the Circle/District platforms and lines and after aligning Northwards it links up with the middle set of escalators between the two platforms of the Victoria Line.

In some ways it looks like the space underneath the Circle/District Lines has been dug in a similar manner to the traditional mining method of room and pillar. There certainly seems to be tunnels going everywhere, but I suspect the methods used were more sophisticated than the traditional mining ones. I suspect that there may even have been a fair bit of hand digging.

At the top of the escalators connecting the Cardinal Place entrance to the Victoria Line, there would appear to be another blocked off passageway leading off to the west.

Where Does This Passage Go?

Could behind the blue be future-proofing for another exit on the West side of Bressenden Place close to the Victoria Palace theatre?

I have found this visualisation on the Internet in this PDF document on the TfL web site.

The Passenger Link Between North And South Ticket Halls At Victoria Tube Station

The Passenger Link Between North And South Ticket Halls At Victoria Tube Station

So it would appear to be a passenger link, allowing passengers to enter the station at the Cardinal Place entrance walk underground to the South Ticket Hall and from there into the main line station.

Passengers entering the station at the Cardinal Place entrance, in the top right of the visualisation,would take the following route.

  • Go down the escalators after the ticket gates.
  • Take the cross passage, that also leads to the second set of escalators for the Victoria Line.
  • Go straight on into the connecting passage.
  • The passage turns left and goes over the Victoria Line platforms and under the Circle/District Line platforms.
  • After crossing the platforms, the passage turns right to run parallel with the Victoria Line platforms.
  • A set of new escalators, then brings passengers to and from the South Ticket Hall.

It’s a bit round the houses, but I suspect it was the best that can be done in the grand scheme of things.

  • The Terminal Place entrance, has its own routes to all four Underground platforms.
  • The Cardinal Place entrance, has direct access to the Victoria Line platforms and indirect access to the Circle/District Line platforms.
  • There is a short route between the Circle/District and Victoria Lines.
  • There is a walking route in the dry between the Cardinal Place entrance and the main line station.

I wonder when the scheme opens will there be other features to improve routes and accessibility.

 

 

January 17, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Start Of Change At Victoria Tube Station

On the early-evening BBC London News last night, the BBC showed preview pictures of the new entrance to Victoria tube station, which they indicated is on Brettenham Place.

The station certainly needs more capacity, as this extract from Wikipedia indicates.

Victoria is currently the fourth busiest station on the London Underground, after Waterloo, Oxford Circus and King’s Cross St. Pancras, with nearly 85 million using the station (not including interchanging passengers) in 2013, of which around 60 million (including interchanges) use the Victoria line platforms. The station was not built for this number of passengers, which results in severe overcrowding. To prevent any dangerous situations like crowds pushing people off the platforms onto the track, crowd control measures are in place at the busiest times. This effectively means closing all the entrances to the Underground platforms and operating as an exit-only station until the overcrowding is relieved. These measures can last anywhere between a couple of minutes (when minor delays are occurring) up to several hours (during major incidents).

As to the layout of lines through the station, Victoria tube station is fairly simple, as this map from carto.metro.free.fr shows.

victorialines

Note.

  • The Circle and District Lines have a typical Victorian layout, with two platforms on the outside of the tracks.
  • The 1960s designers of the Victoria Line at least left a lot of space between the two tracks.
  • The Victoria Line also incorporates two full sidings, numbered 22 and 23 between the tracks.

As nearly all trains throughout the day run run between Walthamstow Central and Brixton, the use of these sidings must only be for purposes like overnight stabling and parking failied trains.

According to Wikipedia, currently each set of lines have their own ticket offices on different levels and built over a hundred years apart.

Walking between the Circle/District Lines and the main line station is not for the faint-hearted or those with need for step-free access. The 1960s designers at least made walking between the Victoria Line and the main line station a bit easier, but there is still a flight of steps to be overcome.

If I go to Victoria station with a wheeled bag, which is not often, I take the easy route of a 38 or N38 bus from around the corner, direct from around the corner from my house.

So what is happening over this weekend?

This Google Map shows the area to the North of the station.

victoriastation

Note.

  • North of Victoria Street is a massive building site.
  • The rows of white-roofed red buses on the station forecourt..

Wikipedia says this about the current upgrade.

To provide a lasting solution to this problem preparatory building work has begun on major upgrade of the station. This will include a new northern exit/entrance on the north-west corner of Victoria Street which will be accessible via a new additional ticket office under Bressenden Place that will lead to both the Victoria line and the Circle and District line platforms.

I will go and do some more digging.

The Victoria Line Platforms

Currently, the Victoria Line platforms have two sets of escalators.

  • The original set of three, that so up into the Victoria Line ticket hall under the bus station.
  • A second set of three, that go from the platforms into a series of passages underneath the Circle and District Line platforms, to which they connect with short sets of stairs.

These pictures show the Victoria Line platforms, various passages and works.

It looks like there are two new sets of works.

One set could just be an extension of the current lobby at the bottom of the original escalators. This would increase the capacity between the Victoria Line and the main line station.

Judging by the sign saying Cardinal Place on the other works at the Northern End of the platforms, it would appear that these works are a new entrance from Cardinal Place.

The Cardinal Place Entrance

On the surface, the Cardinal Place Entrance is clearly visible, outside the Cardinal Place development.

According to a personable member of the station staff, The new entrance will open sometime after ten on Monday morning.

At Cardinal Place, the overall design would appear to be simple, where an escalator shaft has been dug between the Northern end of the Victoria Line platforms and a new entrance hall beneath Bressenden Place, which then has the simple pop-up entrance shown in my pictures

The constructure, appears to have been carried out, without massive closures of the Victoria Line platforms.

The surface building also looks very similar in concept to the new standalone glass and steel entrances at Kings Cross St. Pancras and Tottenham Court Road stations.

So I wonder how many new entrances can be created at existing stations, by using a similar design and building method.

Walthamstow Central Station

Walthamstow Central station suffers very bad overcrowding , with only two escalators and no lifts having to cope with the passengers from over 40 trains per hour.

This map from carto.metro.free,fr shows the layout of platforms at the station.

wcp

Note how there is a wide lobby at the Eastern end of the platforms underneath the Overground lines, which is used to accommodate the escalators and the waiting queues of passengers.

The crossover to the West of the station was installed in August 2015 and I suspect that this work didn’t compromise any of Transport for London’s thoughts  of improving capacity at Walthamstow Central.

It could be tight to dig a shaft for three escalators into this area, but at least the area on top is mainly grass, market stalls and not the best of buildings, with the exception of the Library.

If you look at the length of the current escalators at the station, they indicate that the Victoria Line is not deep. So that would help.

I suspect we could see a very innovative and simple solution to create a new Western entrance at Walthamstow Central station.

I would also be possible to build the entrance without any disruption to either existing train services or passengers in the existing station.

 

 

January 14, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Excursion To Shoeburyness

After I saw the Class 387/3 trains for c2c at Crewe, I thought that if the weather was nice, I’d take a trip to Shoeburyness. So as the weather was good on Sunday, I bought an extension ticket for under a tenner and went.

It is very much a trip into deepest Essex.

A few points.

  • As I changed trains at Whitechapel station, it looked like they’re starting to fit out the passageways.
  • I was surprised to see lots of disused space on the District Line platforms between Barking and Upminster. I guess that was so they could run long trains all the way to Shoeburyness.
  • There are quite a few level crossings on the line.
  • The Shoeburyness Depot isn’t small.
  • The track to Tilbury Riverside station is still visible.
  • There appears to be electrification gantries on the single-track leading to Platform 1 at Barking station, which Gospel Oak to Barking trains have used as a terminus for years.
  • I came back via Stratford to do some shopping at Eastfield.

Unlike many other rail companies and possibly because they are a smaller franchise, c2c doesn’t seem to have too many published plans and ambitions, other than to keep satisfying their customers.

But then there is very little of an expansionist nature that they could do!

  • In future years, there may be a need for a station at London Gateway.
  • Would housing and leisure developments around Tilbury Riverside, make it worthwhile reopening the station.
  • Much of the infrastructure work will be minor improvements for safety or to gain a few seconds here and there.
  • There could be a program of level crossing removal.
  • A new station will probably be built at Beam Park, to support housing development.

But there is no major project, like some proposed by companies like Chiltern Railways.

October 17, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Improving Services To Cannon Street And Charing Cross Stations

Platform Changes At London Bridge Station

The Thameslink Programme will change the platform layout at London Bridge station considerably.

In 2012, the platform layout at London Bridge was as follows.

  • Platform 1 – From Cannon Street
  • Platform 2 – To/From Cannon Street
  • Platform 3 – To Cannon Street
  • Platform 4 – From Charing Cross
  • Platform 5 – From Charing Cross and Bedford
  • Platform 6 -To Charing Cross and Bedford
  • There was also a through line to Charing Cross without a platform.

I can’t remember much about those days, except that the platforms were very crowded.

When London Bridge station and the Thameslink Programme is completed, the new platform layout will give opportunities to create new services through London Bridge to both; Cannon Street and Charing Cross stations.

The platform layout at London Bridge station will be as follows.

  • Platform 1 – From Cannon Street
  • Platform 2 – To/From Cannon Street
  • Platform 3 – To Cannon Street
  • Platform 4 – From Thameslink
  • Platform 5 – To Thameslink
  • Platform 6 – From Charing Cross
  • Platform 7 – From Charing Cross
  • Platform 8 – To Charing Cross
  • Platform 9 – To Charing Cross

So, six through platforms and seven lines have been replaced by nine through platforms. This is a 50% increase in platforms and a 28% increase in tracks. The Borough Market Viaduct was the major engineering in creating the extra two tracks across the South Bank.

Other factors help capacity in the area include.

  • The Bermondsey dive-under sorts out all the lines South of London Bridge station and will present trains to the right platforms at London Bridge. |Spaghetti Junction is so 1960s!
  • Effectively, there are now three parallel and probably separate railway systems virtually from Bermondsey through London Bridge station, that split after the station; a pair of lines for Cannon Street, another pair for Thameslink and two pairs for Charing Cross.
  • There has been a lot of work on track and signalling.
  • The Tanners Hill Fly-Down has been built to improve capacity between London Bridge and Lewisham, which must help Cannon Street and Charing Cross services.
  • The design of London Bridge station with its wide through platforms and more escalators than a science-fiction fantasy, could mean that passengers are there in time for their trains.
  • The electrification changeover for Thameslink has been streamlined.
  • The Class 700 trains must be better at changing voltages in the Thameslink tunnel.

All of these factoras must have positive affects on the capacity of the system.

I also think that one of the major benefits  of the new layout, is what happens if something goes wrong.

If say a train breaks down on Thameslink at Blackfriars, because it is a separate railway, this doesn’t affect Cannon Street and Charing Cross services in the way it did before the new layout. There would still be the problems of fixing the train and what to do with those following behind, but the new design of London Bridge station means that passengers can be handled safely in all the space.

I’d love to see Network Rail’s thinking for handling all problems, but the design of London Bridge and its tracks could be one of those designs, that in a hundred years, engineers will look at and copy.

I can’t believe that the new layout won’t allow more trains to go to and from Cannon Street and Charing Cross, just as it allows more trains to go through the core Thameslink tunnels.

Thameslink is going from  something like fifteen trains per hour (tph) to 24 tph or an increase of 60%. So what sort of increase will we see into Charing Cross and Cannon Street?

Services To Charing Cross

In 2012, Charing Cross to London Bridge was handled on three tracks between the two stations and three platforms at London Bridge. Two of the platforms were shared with Thameslink running 15 tph through them.

These three tracks and platforms have been replaced with four tracks, each with its own platform at London Bridge and possibly Waterloo East stations.

The tracks must have been fitted with a higher-capacity signalling system and an efficient track layout.

I am surprised that the four lines to and from Charing Cross share a platform at London Bridge with the other line going the same way.

Surely, it could be better if the Thameslink and Charing Cross services shared an island platform, when they were going in the same direction.

This would give a same-platform interchange between Thameslink and Charing Cross services, which the 2012 layout had.

I suspect that sharing is not possible, as it would mean that services would have to cross other lines to get there and the track doesn’t and can’t allow it.

But if the current service level of fourteen tph to and from Charing Cross station, can be achieved with just two platforms at London Bridge station as they are in the half-completed station, then there must be potential to increase the number of services to and from Waterloo East and Charing Cross, by a worthwhile margin.

Compared to some places in the UK, Charing Cross station already has an intense level of services to stations in South East London and beyond.

These are some example of trains out of Charing Cross between eleven and twelve in the morning.

  • Abbey Wood – 2 trains
  • Ashford International – 2 trains
  • Dartford – 6 trains
  • Gravesend – 4 trains
  • Greenhithe – 4 trains
  • Hayes – 4 trains
  • Lewisham – 7 trains
  • Orpington – 6 trains
  • Rochester – 2 trains
  • Sevenoaks – 8 trains
  • Tonbridge – 6 trains
  • Woolwich Arsenal – 2 trains

If this is increased, I can’t see any complaints from passengers, especially as most trains appear to have ten-cars or more.

I do think though that there will be a need to improve capacity, onward connections and walking routes at Waterloo East and Charing Cross stations.

I say more about these two stations in A Look At Charing Cross Station and Around Waterloo East Station.

It’s just that all these passengers will need somewhere to go.

Services To Cannon Street

Cannon Street station will be getting the same number of lines in 2018, as it did in 2012.

So I doubt, that the service will be any less intense, than it was in 2012.

Currently, in the Off Peak, there is a sixteen tph service, to and from Cannon Street station, which compares well with the current fourteen to and from Charing Cross station.

There is also going to be improvement at Cannon Street station with respect to onward connections and walking routes.

  • Bank tube station is getting two new entrances, which are closer to Cannon Street.
  • The connection between Cannon Street station and the Central Line will be improved with a travelator running North-South between the two Northern Line tracks at Bank station.
  • The connection between Cannon Street station and the Northern Line will be improved with triple escalators directly down from Cannon Street, perhaps a hundred metres from Cannon Street station.
  • The link to the District and Circle Lines is already excellent and those lines will be improved and get higher frequencies in the next few years.
  • The City of London has ambitions to pedestrianise a lot of the area around Bank station.

Cannon Street station will certainly become one of London’s better-connected terminal stations.

There are more observations in Improvements At Bank Station.

Interchange At London Bridge Station

Effectively, London Bridge station has four sets of services.

  • Those that terminate in the station.
  • Through services on Thameslink
  • Through service to and from Charing Cross station.
  • Through service to and from Cannon Street station.

I’ll leave out the Underground, as the entrance to that hasn’t been fully opened yet!

All the current sets of services have their own set of platforms.

Interchange between the various services is a matter of taking an escalator down from the platform on which you arrive and then take another escalator up to your departure platform.

At present, they seem to be using the rebuilt through platforms flexibly as follows.

  • Platform 7 – From Charing Cross
  • Platform 8 – To/From Charing Cross
  • Platform 9 – To Charing Cross

As trains out from Charing Cross seem to pass through London Bridge on either platform 7 and 8, there does seem to be a degree of flexibility in the track. But then there are no Thameslink services needing to be accommodated.

I do wonder if at some time in the future, they will arrange the lines at London Bridge, so that there is some cross platform interchanges. But I suspect that given the complex layout of the tracks, changes will only be limited.

So passengers will continue to go down and up the escalators. But they don’t seem to be complaining!

The Southeastern Metro

This map shows Southeastern Metro services, which are close to the London termini and fall within the Oystercard area.

Southeastern Metro

Southeastern Metro

If nothing else the map shows why Transport for London want to get control of Southeastern Metro  services  and paint them orange, as it is a ready made network that compliments the current Underground and Overground services.

The network has five Central London termini and stations; Cannon Street, Charing Cross, London Bridge, Victoria and Waterloo East.

It also connects to the following other lines.

  • Several Underground Lines including the Bakerloo, both branches of the Northern Line, the District Line and and the Circle Line.
  • The Overground at Denmark Hill, New Cross and Peckham Rye
  • The  Docklands Light Railway at Greenwich, Lewisham and Woolwich Arsenal.
  • Tramlink at Elmers End.
  • Crossrail at Abbey Wood.
  • Thameslink at Dartford, Greenwich, London Bridge and Orpington.

In addition, many of the stations have step-free access..

These are the services from a selection of stations close to London.

  • Dartford has six tph to Charing Cross and two tph to Cannon Street and Victoria.
  • Greenwich has six tph to Cannon Street.
  • Hayes has two tph to Charing Cross and Cannon Street.
  • Lewisham has eight tph to Cannon Street, 4 tph to Charing Cross and 2 tph to \Victoria.
  • Orpington has four tph to each of Cannon Street, Charing Cross and Victoria
  • Woolwich Arsenal has six tph to Cannon Street and 2 tph to Charing Cross.

So in some ways it’s an all-places-to-all-terminals Metro.

Transport for London must look at the Southeastern Metro and have all sorts of ideas about how they could use the network to the benefit of London.

These are some Off Peak service levels.

  • Sixteen tph between London Bridge and Cannon Street.
  • Fourteen tph between London Bridge and Charing Cross.
  • Ten tph between New Cross and Cannon Street.
  • Eight tph between Orpington and London Bridge.
  • Eight tph between Dartford and London Bridge
  • Twelve tph between Lewisham and London Bridge.

Also consider.

  • Would more services be possible after Thameslink is completed between London Bridge and Charing Cross.
  • Could more use be made of an interchange at New Cross to get passengers to Canada Water for Canary Wharf and Witechapel for Crossrail?
  • Could better use be made of Orpington station?
  • Could Lewisham be improved?
  • Will Brockley Lane station be rebuilt and a connection to the East London Line created?
  • How would the area be affected by an extended Crossrail to Gravesend?
  • How would New Cross cope with more than four tph on the East London Line?

I think that TfL could have lots of fun!

For instance, with a bit of reorganisation of services, it might be possible to create a ten tph or upwards set of lines  across South London.

As an example Lewisham to Charing Cross via New Cross, London Bridge, Waterloo East could easily be ten tph.

No new trains, track or signalling would be needed, but the bottleneck of London Bridge must probably be removed before it is possible. And the Thameslink Programme is doing that!

Effects On The Jubilee Line

I don’t have any figures on passengers, but the section of Jubilee Line from London Bridge, will get a high-capacity by-pass on the surface.

But if we assume the current 14 tph on the rail line and 2019 frequency of 36 tph on the Jubilee Line, these are the numbers of carriages going between London Bridge and Charing Cross/Waterloo.

Heavy rail – 14 tph x 12 cars = 168

Jubilee Line – 36 tph x 7 cars = 252

Incidentally, the seats per hour figures are 10206 for Class 377 trains and 8424 for the S Stock on the Jubilee Line.

So will passengers choose to travel on the surface, thus freeing up capacity on the Jubilee Line?

Consider.

  • Changing from say Thameslink after travelling up from Brighton to a Charing Cross service at London Bridge will be down and up two escalators and fully step-free.
  • How many passengers will walk or take a bus to and from London Bridge to complete their journey?
  • Some connections to the Underground at London Bridge require lots of walking.
  • Going between London Bridge and Waterloo by a train rather than the Jubilee Line may well be a more pleasing experience.
  • There are people like me, who prefer not to use a deep-level Underground Line, if there is an alternative.

Remember though that the the Charing Cross platforms at London Bridge are paired with 6/7 handling trains from Charing Cross and 8/9 trains the other way. Both pairs will share an island platform, escalators and a lift. So it may be quicker if you’re going to say Waterloo station, Trafalgar Square  or Covent Garden to take a train.

Every so often, various plans are put forward as to what to do with the closed Jubilee Line platforms at Charing Cross. This is said about the platforms in Wikipedia.

As the Jubilee line platforms and track are still maintained by TfL for operation reasons, they can can also be used by film and television makers requiring a modern Underground station location. While still open they were used in the 1987 film The Fourth Protocol, and after closure in numerous productions, including different episodes of the television series Spooks.

I can envisage someone coming up with a plan, whereby these platforms are used as a second Southern terminus for the Jubilee Line. By 2019, it is intended that 36 tph will be running from North Greenwich to West Hampstead.

But there could be a problem, in that depending on what you read, there may not be enough trains for this increase in service.

But if, the uprated service between London Bridge and Charing Cross takes passengers from the Jubilee Line between London Bridge and Waterloo could the service be split into two?

  • Most Jubilee Line trains would run as now and provide sufficient service between North Greenwich to West Hampstead.
  • A small proportion of trains, perhaps 10 tph, would divert into the closed platforms at Charing Cross station.

It would give some advantages.

  • There would be improved Underground connections at Charing Cross station.
  • Trafalgar Square would gain another Underground Line.
  • Charing Cross would have a two-stop link to Crossrail and the Central Line at Bond Street station.

Unlike most new station and interchange projects, the infrastructure is already there and maintained.

Consequences For Southern Crossrail

If everything works out with the Thameslink Programme and the rebuilding of London Bridge station, I can see no point to Southern Crossrail.

However, there idea of rebuilding Waterloo East station, is probably a good idea, to improve connectivity to the Underground and Waterloo station.

Waterloo East station could be handled a lot more passengers in the near future.

Conclusion

It looks to me, that Thameslink has been well-thought out and if the trains, track and signalling performs from London Bridge along the South Bank, as everybody hopes it should, we will see a world class Metro service across South-East London.

But I do feel that if the service along the South Bank is a quality one, then it will take passengers from the Jubilee Line and this line could be open for development.

 

 

 

September 27, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crossrail’s Loops And Branches Across London

Most people think of Crossrail, as an East-West railway under London serving the following places on its pair of branches in the East and the West.

  • Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the East.
  • Heathrow and Reading in the West.

But it is more than that, as the East-West Crossrail can be considered to be part of a larger system that includes a number of North-South routes.

  • Thameslink from St. Pancras to East Croydon via Farringdon on Crossrail.
  • East Londson Line from Highbury and Islington to Canada Water via Whitechapel on Crossrail.
  • West London Line from Willesden Junction to Clapham Junction via Old Oak Common on Crossrail.
  • Bank Branch of the Northern Line from Camden Town to Kennington via Tottenham Court Road on Crossrail.
  • Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line from Camden Town to Battersea via Moorgate on Crossrail.
  • Bakerloo Line from Willesden Junction to Elephant and Castle via Paddington on Crossrail.

Cross-London journeys will get interesting, as there will often be a dozen ways to go between A and B, when they are in different parts of London.

Kids will race each other across the City.

Crossrail will also grab a strong hold of other cross-London routes.

Central Line

Crossrail has interchanges with the Central Line at the following stations.

  • Stratford
  • Liverpool Street
  • Tottenham Court Road
  • Bond Street
  • Ealing Broadway

The Central Line will add a loop to Crossrail from Stratford to Ealing Broadway.

People who live say near Queensway will use the Central Line to access the outer reaches of Crossrail., at Ealing Broadway and Stratford.

In Step-Free Interchanges In East London, I pointed out the excellent interchange between Crossrail and the Central Line at Stratford, which sadly is Crossrail’s only top quality interchange to other lines.

The interchanges with the Central Line in Central London would sappear to be very unadventurous. Only when the line is opened, will we know how well they work and the quality of the design.

Perhaps the only way to have got better interchanges would have been for one track of Crossrail to be each side of the Central Line, through Central London.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the section of Crossrail from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road.

Crossrail Through Central London

Crossrail Through Central London

From this map it looks like it could be possible, but I know from this section in Wikipedia, that it was difficult squeezing the tunnels past the Northern Line at Tottenham Court Road, so perhaps the route that was chosen, was the best one from a construction and cost point of view. It could even have been the only one possible.

Metropolitan Line

Crossrail has interchanges with the Metropolitan Line at the following stations.

  • Whitechapel
  • Liverpool Street
  • Moorgate
  • Barbican
  • Farringdon
  • Paddington

The Metropolitan Line will add a loop to Crossrail from Whitechapel to Paddington. Although, due to the distance between the two lines at Paddington, this probably means the Metropolitan Line will serve as a North-Western branch of Crossrail, that serves Kings Cross, St. Pancras and Euston.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the section of Crossrail from Whitechapel to Farringdon.

Crossrail Through The City

Crossrail Through The City

Note how two Crossrail stations; Liverpool Street-Moorgate and Barbican-Farringdon effectively each serve two Metropolitan stations.

Effectively, it gives a large choice of routes between North West London and East London and Essex.

Crossrail interchanges with the District Line at the following stations.

  • Whitechapel
  • Paddington
  • Ealing Broadway

The District Line will add a loop to Crossrail from Whitechapel to Ealing Broadway, with a partial interchange at Paddington.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines around Paddington.

Crossrail Through Paddington

Crossrail Through Paddington

Crossrail would appear to have a good right-angled connection with the District Line, between Edgware Road and Wimbledon.

So it could be argued that after Crossrail opens, the Edgware Road to Wimbledon service of the District Line is another North-South branch of Crossrail, just like with Thameslink and the East London Line.

North London Line

Crossrail interchanges with the following stations on the North London Line.

  • Stratford
  • Old Oak Common

The North London Line will add a loop to Crossrail from Stratford to Old Oak Common.

Jubilee Line

Crossrail interchanges with the following stations on the Jubilee Line.

  • Stratford
  • Bond Street

The Jubilee Line will add a loop to Crossrail from Stratford to Bond Street.

The Stations On The Loops

The effect of all these loops, mean that these stations will be on a line that connects to both ends of Crossrail.

 

  • Acton Town
  • Aldgate East
  • Baker Street
  • Bank
  • Baron’s Court
  • Bermondsey
  • Bethnal Green
  • Blackfriars
  • Brondesbury
  • Brondesbury Park
  • Caledonian Road and Barnesbury
  • Camden Road
  • Canada Water
  • Canning Town
  • Cannon Street
  • Canonbury
  • Chancery Lane
  • Chiswick Park
  • Dalston Kinsland
  • Ealing Common
  • Earl’s Court
  • East Acton
  • Edgware Road
  • Embankment
  • Euston Square
  • Finchley Road And Frognal
  • Gospel Oak
  • Gloucester Road
  • Great Portland Street
  • Hackney Central
  • Hackney Wick
  • Hammersmith
  • Hampstead Heath
  • Highbury and Islington
  • Holborn
  • Hommerton
  • Kensal Rise
  • Kentish Town West
  • Kings Cross St. Pancras
  • Lancaster Gate
  • London Bridge
  • Mansion House
  • Marble Arch
  • Mile End
  • Monument
  • North Greenwich
  • Notting Hill Gate
  • Oxford Circus
  • Queensway
  • Ravenscourt Park
  • St. James’s Park
  • St. Paul’s
  • Shepherd’s Bush
  • Sloane Square
  • South Kensington
  • Southwark
  • Stamford Brook
  • Temple
  • Tower Hill
  • Turnham Green
  • Victoria
  • Waterloo
  • Westminster
  • West Acton
  • West Ham
  • West Hampstead
  • West Kensington
  • White City
  • Willesden Junction

The list may be impressive, even without stations on the North-South lines, but it has consequences.

  • Ealing Broadway could see a lot of interchange traffic between Crossrail and the Central and |District Lines. Is it up to the task?
  • Stratford and Whitechapel will see a lot of interchange traffic between Crossrail and other lines. These two stations have been designed for it.
  • The Victoria Line is difficult to access. However, it is only a short walk from the Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street Crossrail station.
  • The Piccadilly Line is difficult to access.

I suspect that as at Oxford Circus, there will be small schemes in several places to create connectivity.

Kings Cross St. Pancras is a big problem as it is a mass of long tunnels, but Crossrail and Thameslink will give passengers the chance to avoid it.

  • If you’re on Crossrail and want to go North on the Victoria or Piccadilly Lines, I suspect that it would be easier to take Thameslink to Finsbury Park, where you can dive into the Underground.
  • If you’re on Crossrail and want to go South on the Victoria Line, the quickest way might be change to the Bakerloo at Paddington and then walk across the platform to the Victoria Line at Oxford Circus.

But whatever route you take in a few years time, won’t be the obvious one today.

Extra Connectivity

There are various projects either under construction, planned or proposed, that would increase Crossrail’s reach.

  • The Hall Farm Curve linking Walthamstow and Chingford to Stratford.
  • The rebuilding of Bank, Camden Town, Highbury and Islington and other stations.
  • The Northern Line Extension to Battersea.
  • The Bakerloo Line Extension.
  • The Greenford Branch is being improved.
  • The re-signalling of London Underground’s sub-surface lines.
  • The four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line in preparation for Crossrail 2.
  • The adding of a Central Line station at Shoreditch High Street.
  • Extensions to the Docklands Light Railway.
  • Old Oak Common will become more and more important with connections to the West Coast Main Line, HS2 and the Chiltern Main Line.
  • Increases in frequency on the Victoria Line, Jubilee Line, Sub-Surface Lines, the Northern City Line and the Overground.

I do think though we could see a few surprises.

  • There have been proposals to extend the Waterloo and City Line for years.  Modern tunnelling and innovative train concepts might allow a shuttle between Waterloo and Crossrail at Liverpool Street.
  • As the City of London wants to cut traffic in the Square Mile, what will they do?
  • Will Oxford Street finally become traffic free?
  • Will Manor House and Harringay Green Lanes be reorganised?
  • Crossrail has seen some interesting concepts developed for building lift and escalator tunnels, which will be used again and again.
  • Crossrail will be extended to somewhere not mentioned before.

I have a feeling that Crossrail 2 won’t be so urgent.

 

 

 

July 6, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Connection Between Northern And Circle/District Lines At Bank Station

I’ve done this interchange at Bank station a few times but not that I remember it. These pictures show my route as I walked from a southbound Northern Line train to the Circle/District Lines, where I went one stop to Cannon Street station.

The Northern Line is unusual in Bank station, in that the southbound track is on the right hand side of the two lines, whereas normally in the UK, they follow the same rules as the roads.

I walked down the platform, took the exit at the far end and then used the escalators to get to the passageway leading to the Circle/District Line platforms.

When the station is upgraded with a new Cannon Street entrance, a new southbound tunnel will be bored several metres to the west and the space between the two tunnels will become a generous circulation space, with four cross tunnels linking the two Northern Line platforms, which hopefully will be wider than the current narrow ones.

Connections to and from the circulation space will be as follows.

  • A set of three escalators will ascend to the new entrance. They are actually two sets vertically, with a landing to turn everthing the right way.
  • Two travalators will connect to the Central Line platforms to the North.
  • Another set of three escalators will descend to the DLR platforms some ten metres below.
  • Two lifts will connect to the new entrance above and the DLR platforms below.
  • The two escalators and their connection to the Circle/District Lines will be opened out and upgraded.

I’m not sure how this space connects to the Waterloo and City Line, but I’m sure that the architects have a solution.

But I do think, it’s rather a neat solution to convecting all the lines together, as the amount of walking that passengers will do compared to the current station will be greatly reduced.

I also think, it’s going to be a straightforward station to build, in that you can leave the current platforms to handle the trains until you’ve dug most of the station tunnel for the new southbound line, completing as much of the entrance as you want above the working Northern Line and DLR. Once the Northern Line is closed, the circulation space with all its lifts, escalators and travalators is put together.

I think a lot of the work will be done from the top in a big hole, lifting everything in, by the use of large cranes.

Will much of the mechanical infrastructure be put together in a nice, warm, dry factory?

January 7, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The New Cannon Street Entrance To Bank Station

This entrance will help to solve Bank station’s chronic problems. It will go on the corner of Nicholas Lane and Cannon Street.

These pictures were taken on a walk from King William Street to Cannon Street station.

I would assume, it will replace the McDonald’s, with a new office block on top.

This Google Map shows King William Street, Nicholas Lane, Cannon Street and the various stations.

New Cannon Street Entrance At Bank Station

New Cannon Street Entrance At Bank Station

Note the McDonald’s. I had an excellent lunch in the Leon.

If you want to read more about the proposed station, you start by looking at this page on the TfL web site, which is entitled.

I found these two documents answered a lot of the questions, I had about the design of the station.

Design and Access Statement – Part 1 – Opens with a detailed drawing of the whole new entrance project.

Design and Access Statement – Part 2 – Opens with a detailed summary of the proposal.

They also have a lot of good images, visualisations and diagrams.

Summarising what I learned, I will make the following points.

  • The new entrance will be a wide one where the current McDonald’s is situated.
  • Passengers will go through the wide gate line and banks of escalators will take them down to the Northern Line.
  • Passengers requiring step-free access will have a dedicated route to the lifts from two wide gates on the left of the entrance.
  • The Northern Line is deep and because of the constricted nature of the site, the escalators will be vertically split into two banks with a landing, as some at London Bridge station are.
  • At the bottom of the escalator will be a large circulation area, with cross passages accessing the rebuilt and wider Northern Line platforms.
  • Moving walkways from the circulation area, will take you to the Central Line.
  • The rise between the Northern and Central Line levels will be handled by escalators between the Central Line platforms.
  • Access to the DLR platforms, which are several metres below and parallel to the Northern Line platforms, will be via escalators in the middle.
  • The District and Circle Lines will be accessed from the Southern end of the circulation space by means of an improved passage to existing escalators.
  • I suspect that the access to the Central Line and DLR platforms, can be built without any lengthy closures.
  • Don’t forget that there is a new entrance at Walbrook Square being built to give lift and escalator access to the Waterloo and City Line, that will open in 2017.
  • All existing links between lines and the existing entrances will be preserved and upgraded.
  • Two seventeen passenger lifts will descend from the new entrance to both the Northern Line and the DLR.
  • The station is to be completed by 2021.

I think it is true to say, that the new Cannon Street entrance is effectively a second station that is connected to all the existing lines.

In the latter part of the project, the Bank branch of the Northern Line will be closed, so that the new running tunnel can be dug. I don’t think it will be possible to turn trains at say Moorgate and London Bridge, so the branch will cease to be any use.

Could this blockade, be planned to happen after Crossrail opens, so that passengers can walk to Liverpool Street/Moorgate to access other North-South routes?

  • Crossrail to Farringdon station for Thameslink
  • Crossrail to Tottenham Court Road station for the Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line.
  • Crossrail to Whitechapel for the East London Line.
  • The Northern City Line at Moorgate station.

The Central, District and Circle Lines had better behave too!

So how would the new station at Bank change my transport habits?

  • Journeys between my house and Bank station are often done on a 21 or 141 bus, where the stops are within a hundred metres of my house. I would hope for better access between buses and the new complex at Bank.
  • The new Wallbrook entrance and the improved access to the Waterloo and City Line, will greatly improve one of my routes to Waterloo,
  • I often go south on the Northern Line, as it is easy to get a 38 or 56 bus around the corner from my house and dive straight into the Northern Line at Angel station. From Bank I will use the easy access to the DLR and the District and Circle Lines.
  • I suspect that when I need the DLR, I will go to Bank, rather my route now via Shadwell on the East London Line.
  • If I’m coming North on the Northern Line, I get out at either Bank, Moorgate or Old Street and take the 21 or 141 bus.

I shall certainly have a lot of interesting  transport routes.

The expansion of the station, in addition to sorting the connection between the various lines at the station, will after the Wallbrook entrance is complete, create two new terminii for the two smaller lines at the station.

Waterloo And City Line

The new Wallbrook entrance will create a step-free entrance into an upgraded Waterloo and City Line.

This will generate a few questions.

  • How long will it be before demand is such, that the Waterloo and City Line opens on a seven-day-a-week basis?
  • Will the passageways still connect the Waterloo and City Line platforms to the to the DLR and the Northern Line?
  • Will the connections to other lines at Bank station be good enough?
  • As the Bank end of the line will be step-free, what will happen at the Waterloo end?
  • Could access to the line be improved from Waterloo East station?

I think that the Waterloo and City Line will get a few more small upgrades. Especially, as during the blockade of the Northern Line to build the new spouthbound tunnel, it will be used to bring travellers to and from Bank station.

Docklands Light Railway

The two DLR platforms and their connections to the other lines will be transformed by the station expansion.

  • Many of the walking routes to other lines and the exits will be step-free, and all will be an improvement on the present routes.
  • The important connection to the Northern Line will be by escalator or lift.
  • There will be a lot more space around the two DLR platforms.

I think this ease-of-use of the DLR part of the station, will increase passenger numbers dramatically.

It appears to me that the new design will future-proof the DLR terminus, as the new layout of the DLR platforms and their connections seems to have been designed, so that the DLR can be extended to the West.

According to Wikipedia, two possible westward extensions have been proposed.

I think that the former which would take the DLR to Charing Cross and possibly Victoria via City Thameslink and Aldwych would be the most promising.

This would give me a route to Charing Cross station, which is probably the most difficult station to get to from Dalston.

But will it ever happen?

Bank station will certainly ready for a DLR extension in 2021.

 

 

 

January 7, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 4 Comments