The Anonymous Widower

So Many Cases On A Train!

This afternoon about three, I went to West Ealing station to see what it was like to transfer between the Elizabeth Line Central Tunnel and the Western Branch at Paddington.

Coming back, I took an Elizabeth Line service that had started from Heathrow Airport and it was one of the busiest Lizzies, I’d ever ridden on!

To get on the train at West Ealing station, I got in to probably coach 4 of 9, as that was in the dry and the back end of the train I needed for Moorgate station was certainly in the wet.

I then had to walk half the length of the train to get to the back of the train.

It was not easy, as the train was full of scores of passengers with large wheelie cases.

This got me thinking.

Are Passengers Transferring To The Lizzie Line?

And especially those with large cases. that are the sort you could use for bringing in a pair of folded-up contortionists.

  • These cases don’t fit well on the Piccadilly Line, which has only a few step-free stations.
  • From what I’ve seen cases are easily wheeled to Elizabeth Line platforms at Heathrow.
  • Many of these cases won’t fit in the average family car.
  • All parking is expensive at Heathrow, whether it is short, medium or long.
  • Valet parking at Heathrow has been devalued by all the scam artists.
  • Taxis are the province of those that own oil wells, hedge funds or belong to the highest wunch of bankers.
  • Pick-up and drop-off is now very expensive.
  • There were a good proportion of couples, who were both dragging or pushing a massive case.
  • The Elizabeth Line is cheaper than the Heathrow Express.
  • The Elizabeth Line like the Piccadilly Line allows the use of a bank card as a ticket.
  • Only the Elizabeth and Piccadilly Lines take you direct to dozens of stations with only same-platform interchanges.
  • The Elizabeth Line has step-free interchanges with the Bakerloo, Circle, District, Hammersmith and City, Jubilee, and Metropolitan Lines, the Docklands Light Railway and the London Overground.
  • Whitechapel has been turned into a major transport hub for the Easternmost part of London.

There seems to be quite a few reasons why a traveller going to or from Heathrow might at least try the Elizabeth Line.

And travellers were doing it in droves today!

Were Upmarket Passengers Using The Lizzie Line?

Take the couple next to me on the train from West Ealing.

  • Around sixty.
  • Very well-dressed.
  • Possibly Mediterranean or South American.
  • Matching medium-size wheelie-cases.
  • She was wearing expensive glasses.

A couple of years ago, they would have used Heathrow Express.

They certainly weren’t the only passengers, who looked like Heathrow Express passengers.

Will The Lizzie Line Take Passengers From The Piccadilly Line?

As the cost will be the same, I suspect the answer will be yes.

Although, there will be groups of travellers, who will probably remain loyal to the Piccadilly Line.

If you were going to or from the step-free Cockfosters or Oakwood, with a heavy case, all the way on the Piccadilly Line could be a simple sensible option. I used to live near Oakwood station and remember several long trips on the Piccadilly Line, but not too Heathrow.

The step-free Kings Cross St. Pancras, Green Park, Knightsbridge and Earls Court may well have reasons to keep their regular passengers.

Those only travelling a few stops to or from Heathrow will probably stay with the Piccadilly Line for convenience.

Transport for London have been adding step-free access to the Heathrow Branch and this will surely promote use.

The Piccadilly Line is also getting new trains in a few years.

In Extending The Elizabeth Line – Piccadilly Line To Ealing Broadway, I talked about a proposal to turnback some Piccadilly Line trains at Ealing Broadway station.

I think it is a good idea, as it could make it simpler for Piccadilly Line passengers to access Heathrow and reduce congestion on the Piccadilly Line.

Will The Lizzie Line Take Passengers From The Heathrow Express?

This is an extract from Extending The Elizabeth Line – Piccadilly Line To Ealing Broadway

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 Elizabeth Line 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 Elizabeth Line.

After Old Oak Common station is opened for High Speed Two, the numbers could further decrease.

Will Heathrow Express survive?

Will The Lizzie Line Attract Passengers Who Usually Drive?

Large swathes of the country already have single-change step-free access to the Elizabeth Line.

  • All services out of Liverpool Street and/or Stratford.
  • All services out of Moorgate.
  • All Thameslink services through Farringdon.
  • All services out of Paddington.
  • All services through Abbey Wood.
  • When Crossrail to Ebbsfleet (C2E) opens, this will add all services through Gravesend and Ebbsfleet.
  • When High Speed Two opens, this will add all services through Old Oak Common.
  • When the Western Rail Approach To Heathrow is completed, this will add all services through Reading.

If you can get a train direct to the Elizabeth Line network and then a train direct to your terminal, would you seriously want all the hassle of parking after a two hour drive?

I can see parking at Heathrow suffering a severe lack of demand.

Conclusion

Lizzie will start a revolution in travel to and from Heathrow.

November 7, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Whitechapel Shortcut

Note that this post is unfinished.

When the East London Line of the London Overground opened just over a decade ago, the interchange with the District and Hammersmith and City Lines at Whitechapel station was not one of the best.

  • There were no lifts.
  • The stairs were too narrow and inadequate for the number of passengers using the interchange.
  • Adding extra Overground trains to Clapham Junction station didn’t help.

If the Elizabeth Line had been added without extra work, the station’s passageways and stairs would have jammed solid.

  • But improvements were added, when the station was expanded to handle the Elizabeth Line.
  • A wide interchange plaza was created between the Eastern ends of the District and Hammersmith and City Line platforms.
  • A double-width spiral staircase was installed between the Eastern end of the interchange plaza and the Southbound East London Line of the Overground.
  • A convenient lift was installed alongside the spiral staircase.
  • The original staircases to and from the Northbound East London Line of the Overground were updated and augmented by a lift.
  • Passengers entering or leaving the station, were given alternative routes to avoid the interchange plaza.

These pictures show the interchange plaza and the various lifts and staircases.

Note.

  1. The spiral stairs and the lift at the Eastern end of the plaza.
  2. The Eastern ends of the District and Hammersmith and City Line trains connect directly with the plaza.

It seems to be working well, since the opening of the Elizabeth Line.

Using The Whitechapel Shortcut

There are eight ways to change between the District and Hammersmith and City Lines and the Overground at Whitechapel station.

Southbound Overground To Westbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines

Today, I travelled between Haggerston and Moorgate stations, which I wrote about in From Haggerston To Moorgate.

I could have changed at Whitechapel station for the brand-new Elizabeth Line, but this would have meant a long walk to get to the Moorgate end of Liverpool Street station.

So I did this.

  •  I got in the front carriage of the Overground train at Haggerston station, which was conveniently by the lift at the station.
  • This meant that on exiting the train, I was by the lift to the interchange plaza at Whitechapel station.
  • The lift took me up a level to the District and Hammersmith and City Line platforms.
  • I got in the rear carriage of a Hammersmith and City Line train to Moorgate station.
  • This positioned me by the lift to the exit at Moorgate station.

I would be surprised if I walked much more than sixty metres between the two station entrances, as against the road distance of around two-and-a-half miles.

Southbound Overground To Eastbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines

This is very similar to the previous section except that you take the District And Hammersmith and City Line trains from the opposite platform.

Northbound Overground To Westbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines

There are two staircases and two lifts between the Northbound Overground and the interchange plaza.

Choose your stairs or lift and then take the Westbound District and Hammersmith and City Line.

Northbound Overground To Eastbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines

This is very similar to the previous section except that you take the District And Hammersmith and City Line trains from the opposite platform.

Westbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines To Southbound Overground

Eastbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines To Southbound Overground

Walk to the interchange plaza and choose the spiral stairs or lift.

Westbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines To Northbound Overground

Eastbound District And Hammersmith and City Lines To Northbound Overground

Walk to the interchange plaza and choose your stairs or lift.

Conclusion

It’s all very quick and painless.

 

 

October 20, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Escalators At Bank Station To The Docklands Light Railway – 18th October 2022

In New Escalators At Bank Station Between The Northern Line And The DLR, I indicated that construction could be almost finished of the escalators that will connect the two lines.

The escalators have now opened.

Note.

  1. At the top of the escalators, you are delivered to a plaza, where the cross-tunnel between the two Northern Line platforms and the moving walkway to the Central Line meet.
  2. At the bottom of the escalators, you are in a wide passageway between the two DLR platforms.
  3. At the other end of the passageway, there are a pair of escalators that lead to Circle and District Line platforms and the Monument entrance to Bank station.

The escalators certainly open some faster pedestrian routes through the station.

October 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Piccadilly Line To Ealing Broadway

Transport for London have proposed a reorganisation of the Piccadilly and District Lines in the Ealing area.

I first wrote about this in Is There Going To Be More Change At Ealing Broadway Station?, but now the Elizabeth Line is on the verge of being connected across London, I feel that this post needs to be replaced.

A Possible Proposal

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.

Capacities And Lengths Of London Underground Trains Serving Ealing Broadway Station

I’ll express these as a table.

  • Central Line – 1992 Stock – 930 passengers – 130 metres – 7.15 pass/m.
  • District Line – S7 Stock – 1209 passengers – 117.45 metres – 10.29 pass/m.
  • Piccadilly Line – 1973 Stock – 684 passengers – 106.8 metres – 6.40 pass/m.
  • New Tube for London – 1076 passengers – 113.7 metres – 9.46 pass/m.

Note.

  1. The New Tube for London is the shortest train, with the second highest capacity and the highest passenger density.
  2. The New Tube for London will be replacing the Piccadilly Line trains first.
  3. The New Tube for London will be replacing the Central Line trains second.

It looks like there will be no platform-length problems running the New Tube for London to Ealing Broadway station.

The District Line Platforms At Ealing Broadway Station

These pictures show the District Line at Ealing Broadway station.

Note.

  1. There are three platforms for terminating District Line trains, which are numbered 7 to 9.
  2. The service frequency is six trains per hour (tph).
  3. The bridge to the far platform 9, is not step-free.
  4. It appears to be possible to walk between platforms 8 and 9 behind the buffer stops, but it wasn’t signed.
  5. As a comparison the Central Line runs 9 tph to East London from two platforms, that are numbered 5 and 6.
  6. There was also a 3 tph Night Tube service before the pandemic, which appears to be running again.
  7. Platforms 8 and 9 seem to be covered by a building of very little architectural merit.

This map from OpenRailwayMap shows the detailed platform layout.

Note.

  1. Platforms are numbered from 1 to 9 from the South.
  2. Underground tracks are shown in blue.
  3. Elizabeth Line tracks are shown in orange.
  4. Great Western ~Main Line tracks are shown in red.

I believe that the three District Line platforms could be upgraded into an excellent terminus for another branch of the Piccadilly Line.

Consider.

  • Two platforms would probably be enough, but a third would be useful for service recovery.
  • As the Piccadilly and Central Line trains are the same size, could Platform 7 be a platform be available to both Underground services when needed?
  • The New Tubes for London are a few metres shorter than the current District Line trains, so would this help in creating a step-free level walkway between Platforms 8 and 9, behind the buffer stops?
  • Platforms 8 and 9 may need to be lengthened.
  • Is there any scope for any appropriate oversite development?

I certainly believe that a much better replacement could be created.

Changing Between The Underground Lines And The Elizabeth Line At Ealing Broadway Station

Ealing Broadway station is now step-free and changes between the Eastbound Elizabeth Line and the Underground are a walk on the level.

Only when changing to or from the Westbound Elizabeth Line do you need to use stairs and/or a lift.

Elizabeth Line Effects On Access To Heathrow

The Elizabeth Line will change the way a lot of passengers go to and from Heathrow Airport.

Elizabeth Line To Heathrow

At present, the service will be.

  • 4 trains per hour (tph) between Paddington and Heathrow Central and Heathrow Terminal 4 or Heathrow Terminal 5 via Ealing Broadway.

After November 6th, 2022, 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 Elizabeth Line 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 Elizabeth Line.

After Old Oak Common station is opened for High Speed Two, the numbers could 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 West of Acton Town station.
  • Passengers, workers and others needing to go to Hatton Cross station.

If the Elizabeth Line 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.

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

The New Tube for London will also help to reduce the overcrowding.

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

Conclusion

The Elizabeth Line will affect the way many get to and from Heathrow Airport.

But there are large areas of London, who still will need to change trains twice to get to the airport. But for many, one of those changes will be a step-free one at Ealing Broadway, Paddington or Whitechapel stations.

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 the Elizabeth Line.

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 the Elizabeth Line could save a dozen minutes.

The District Line Connection To The Elizabeth Line At Ealing Broadway Is Lost

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

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

Note that until the Piccadilly 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 the Elizabeth Line has another delight in its cupboard for Richmond.

Old Oak Common station is scheduled to open in 2026 and will offer an interchange between the Elizabeth Line 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 in 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

These pictures show Acton Town station.

 

Note.

  1. The two central tracks appear to be Piccadilly Line trains only.
  2. The two outer tracks appear to be able to be used by both District and Piccadilly Line trains.
  3. There is quite a step-down to Piccadilly Line trains on some platforms.

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 And Ravenscourt Park

This section is shown in this map from cartmetro.com.

Note.

  1. The District Line is shown in green.
  2. The Piccadilly Line is shown in blue.
  3. The two Piccadilly Line tracks are in the middle and generally trains go straight through the four stations.
  4. The two District Line tracks are on the outside and trains stop at most stations.

It appears that the tracks have been laid out so that Piccadilly Line trains can get a real shift on between Acton Town and Hammersmith.

This could save a few minutes on some Piccadilly Line journeys.

But there is a problem!

  • District Line trains serve all stations.
  • Piccadilly Line trains serve none.
  • How is Chiswick Park station going to be served, as there are no District Line trains passing?
  • Passengers for intermediate stations, would need to get on the District Line trains before entering the Acton Town and Hammersmith section.
  • Passengers may want to change between Ealing Broadway and Chiswick Park.

There will  also be no trains running on the current District Line tracks between Acton Town and Turnham Green Junction. The only ones that do now, go to Ealing Broadway and they’re being changed to Piccadilly Line trains.

Serving Chiswick Park Station

Chiswick Park station only has platforms on the District Line, which will not see any passing trains if the District Line  doesn’t go to  Ealing Broadway.

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.

This second Google Map shows the tracks between Chiswick Park station and Turnham Green junction.

Note.

  1. The four tracks between Acton Town and Hammersmith stations.
  2. The current District Line tracks are the outside two of the four tracks.
  3. The Piccadilly Line tracks are the middle two.
  4. The two tracks at the South-West corner go to Richmond station.
  5. The Eastbound track from Richmond goes under the four-track railway, before joining the current Eastbound District Line track.
  6. The Westbound track to Richmond runs along the South side of the four-track railway, before joining the current Westbound District Line track.

These pictures were taken from a train approaching Chiswick Park station from the East.

Note, that there is enough space for a platform along the single track.

These pictures are of Chiswick Park station.

Note.

  1. The distinctive architecture of London Transport stations of the period.
  2. The two fast lines in the middle, with Piccadilly Line trains speeding through.
  3. The two District Line trains on the outside with platforms.
  4. The Richmond Branch passing to the South of the station and between the station and Sainsburys.

I would suspect that a pair of platforms could be built on the two tracks of the Richmond branch.

  • District Line trains to and from Richmond would stop at the new platforms at Chiswick Park stations and Turnham Green, Stamford Brook, Ravenscroft Park, Hammersmith, Baron’s Court and Earl’s Court stations.
  • Passengers between Ealing Broadway and Victoria stations would change at Hammersmith, Baron’s Court or Earl’s Court stations.
  • The car park at the bottom of the map is for a large Sainsbury’s. Perhaps, they would like a station entrance?
  • Chiswick Park station is Grade II Listed.

I’m sure that a good architect can find a more than acceptable solution.

Turnham Green Station

As I passed through Turnham Green station, I got off and took a few pictures, before catching the next train to Ealing Broadway.

Note.

  1. Piccadilly Line trains don’t generally stop, although they do at times to provide a service when the District Line is not running.
  2. The station is not step-free, with stairs to the entrance.
  3. It has some nice features.
  4. Herbs are provided for passengers

If required a step-free interchange between District and Piccadilly Lines could be arranged.

Hammersmith Station

I arrived at Hammersmith station on a Piccadilly Line train and left on a District Line train, after taking these pictures.

Note.

  1. The change is on the same island platform.
  2. There is plenty of space on the platform.
  3. The District Line trains are level with the platform.
  4. The Piccadilly Line trains require a step-down from the platform.
  5. The District Line trains run at a frequency of 12 tph.
  6. The Piccadilly Line trains run at a frequency of 21 tph.
  7. Hammersmith is also a big bus interchange and shopping centre.

There should be no problem changing between Piccadilly and District Lines at Hammersmith, with a wait of no more than five minutes.

Baron’s Court Station

In a brief stop at Baron’s Court station, I took these pictures.

Note.

  1. The change is on the same island platform.
  2. There is less space on the platform, than at Hammersmith station.
  3. The District Line trains are a step-up from the platform.
  4. The Piccadilly Line trains require a step-up from the platform.
  5. The District Line trains run at a frequency of 12 tph.
  6. The Piccadilly Line trains run at a frequency of 21 tph.

There should be no problem changing between Piccadilly and District Lines at Baron’s Court, with a wait of no more than five minutes.

Earl’s Court Station

I arrived at Earl’s Court station on a Piccadilly Line train and left on a District Line train, after taking these pictures.

Note.

  1. The change means that platforms have to be changed
  2. The District Line trains are a step-up from the platform.
  3. The Piccadilly Line trains require a step-up from the platform.
  4. The District Line trains run at a frequency of 12 tph.
  5. The Piccadilly Line trains run at a frequency of 21 tph.

There should be no problem changing between Piccadilly and District Lines at Earl’s Court, but Hammersmith and Baron’Court don’t need a change of platform.

What Is The Best Station To Change Between Piccadilly And District Lines?

It appears that the best place to change would be Hammersmith, or failing that Baron’s Court.

  • Earl’s Court requires a change of platform.
  • Turnham Green requires a change of platform and two sets of steps.
  • Hammersmith has a shopping centre and a lot of buses.
  • I’ve used Hammersmith before to get home from Heathrow, with a change to a 141 bus at Monument station.

I would always for preference use Hammersmith.

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 Hammersmith 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 Hammersmith or Barons Court stations.
  • Possibly two extra platforms 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.

September 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Grade II Listed Next-Train Indicators At Earl’s Court Station Are Back

This page on Rail News has a section, which is entitled Heritage Train Indicators Return To Service, where this is said.

Vintage train describers have returned to the platforms of Earl’s Court District Line station, which is Grade II listed. First installed in 1905 when London’s District Railway was electrified, they have been renovated and given replica destination name plates, which are highlighted as required by an illuminated arrow. The indicators had been switched off while they were connected to a new signalling system. Modern information panels showing the destination and the number of minutes before the next train is due from each of the four platforms have also been installed.

I went Earl’s Court station to have a look this morning and took these pictures.

They all seemed to working as they should.

Earl’s Court station is a Grade II listed London Underground station and Wikipedia says this about these indicators.

On each platform is an old-fashioned “next train” indicator board which had various routes shown, of which one is usually highlighted by an arrow to indicate that this is the route of the next train. As of March 2022, these have been temporarily disabled while signalling is upgraded to CBTC signalling, as part of the 4LM improvement works to the subsurface lines, although are expected to return in June the same year. These have not been replaced by modern electronic equivalents as they are Grade II listed.

There can’t be many next train indicators in the world, that are listed or given the local equivalent.

This does take me all back to the 1960s, when for two summers, I worked in the Electronics Laboratory at a company called Enfield Rolling Mills. The Electronics Laboratory developed control systems for the many machines in the factory. At that time, a lot of the work involved replacing relays and electronic valves with then-modern transistors. I learned a lot about industry in those two summers and it wasn’t all about automation and electronics.

Would a fifteen-year-old be allowed to do a job like that, these days?

I suspect that on that Earl’s Court indicator board, there is some interesting electronics connecting it to the CBTC signalling.

 

 

July 23, 2022 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lizzie Line And Circle/District Line Interchange At Paddington – 1st July 2022

This morning I wanted to go between Moorgate and Victoria stations.

It is a journey that can be done in any number of ways.

  • Circle, Hammersmith & City or Metropolitan Line to King’s Cross St. Pancras and then change to the Victoria Line.
  • Northern Line to King’s Cross St. Pancras and then change to the Victoria Line.
  • Northern Line to Euston and then change to the Victoria Line. This can be a cross-platform interchange.
  • Northern City Line to Highbury & Islington and then change to the Victoria Line. This is not an easy interchange.
  • Northern Line to Bank and the change to the Circle or District Line.
  • Circle or Hammersmith & City to Paddington and then change to the Circle or District Line. This interchange involves a walk all the way across Paddington station.
  • 21, 43 or 141 bus to Monument and the change to the Circle or District Line.

If you’re lucky and time it right, you can get a direct Circle Line train, which run at a frequency of six trains per hour (tph).

The Elizabeth Line has opened up another way.

The Elizabeth Line is taken to Paddington and then you walk up the side of the station to the Circle/District Line entrance on the other side of Praed Street from the National Rail station.

These pictures show my walk at Paddington station.

Note.

  1. It is an immaculate step-free climb out of the Elizabeth Line station.
  2. Once at station level, it is a walk up a gentle incline the the Circle/District Line station.
  3. There are shops; including Boots, M & S and Sainsburys, and toilets just inside Paddington station, as you walk beside the station.
  4. There are stairs to walk down to the Circle/District Line platforms.

I walked the transfer in under ten minutes. From Moorgate to Victoria took 38 minutes.

I feel that this route has advantages for many travellers.

  • The Elizabeth Line currently has 12 tph through Paddington.
  • When the Elizabeth Line is fully connected up in Autumn 2022, there will be 22 tph, through Paddington.
  • The convenient shops and toilets will be welcomed by many.
  • It is an easier route, than accessing the Circle/District Line station from inside the main station.

The Lawn, which has shops and cafes, would also be a good place to meet friends, family or a business colleague or client.

Moorgate And Victoria Via The Circle Line

I did this route on the 5th of July, after waiting ten minutes for a Circle Line train. It took me 23 minutes.

July 1, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

London Underground: Safety Checks Cause Metropolitan Line Disruption

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These are the first three paragraphs.

Urgent safety checks are being carried out on trains running on the Metropolitan line section of the Tube, Transport for London (TfL) has said.

TfL is warning of severe disruption as engineers check over the entire fleet of trains – which also run on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines.

The trains were only introduced in 2010, but TfL said a fault had been identified on some of their wheels.

Obviously, safety is a priority and it will take some time to check all of the trains.

I have used these trains several times in the last few days and there are extended intervals between services.

Could Crossrail Come To The Rescue?

Consider.

  • Crossrail has interchanges with the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and the Metropolitan Lines at Whitechapel, Liverpool Street, Moorgate, Farringdon, Paddington and Ealing Broadway.
  • Crossrail trains have been running between Paddington and Abbey Wood for a few months.
  • Crossrail has good connections to the Central and Jubilee Lines.

Perhaps, opening Crossrail at a lower frequency may take the pressure off the system?

 

April 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

London Underground Trains Are Getting Faster

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Ian Visits.

A long-running signalling upgrade on the London Underground is starting to show results as the latest timetables show faster journeys on some trips. The four lines modernisation project is replacing antiquated signals across the entire sub-surface part of the Underground – that’s the District, Circle, Metropolitan, and the Hammersmith & City lines.

Iam then goes on to detail some of the timing improvements.

In Between Liverpool Street And Wimbledon Park Stations, I note that I think station dwell times are getting shorter.

September 16, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Between Liverpool Street And Wimbledon Park Stations

This morning, after I’d finished walking to Liverpool Street station, I took the new route to Wimbledon Park station.

  • Liverpool Street to Whitechapel on the Hammersmith & City Line.
  • Whitechapel to Wimbledon Park on a District Line train.

The change at Whitechapel was just a walk across the wide platform.

I have rarely gone between Whitechapel and Wimbledon on the District Line and this was one of the first times since the 4LM (Four Lines Modernisation) project  has been well under way.

The difference showed in the station dwell times, with only four stops taking more than thirty seconds from brakes on to brakes off.

  • Victoria, Sloane Square and South Kensington still took under a minute.
  • But Earl’s Court took a lengthy six minutes.

This map from cartometro.com shows the stations.

Note.

  1. The stations are all close together.
  2. There are some complicated junctions.
  3. The District Line splits into two to the West of Earl’s Court station.

This section will be challenging to any signalling system.

It works out that the average dwell time between Whitechapel and Wimbledon is around fifty seconds.

 

August 27, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ealing Broadway Station – 31st May 2021

This article on Rail Technology Magazine, which is entitled Transport for London Completes Step-Free Access At Ealing Broadway, alerted me that the station might be worth a look.

I took these pictures this morning.

This map from cartometro.com shows the station layout.

Note.

  1. The black lines in Platforms 1 and 2 are the Great Western Railway main line platforms.
  2. The black/blue lines in Platforms 3 and 4 are the Great Western Railway slow line platforms, which are also used by Crossrail.
  3. The red tracks in Platforms 5 and 6 are the Central Line platforms.
  4. The green tracks in Platforms 7, 8 and 9 are the District Line platforms.

These are my thoughts.

Step-Free Access

Consider.

  • Access between platforms 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 is on the level, as it has been for years.
  • There are a pair of lifts to access these six platforms from street level.
  • There are also two other lifts to Platform 1 and Platform 2/3.
  • There are three typical Network Rail stairs to the platforms, with double-handrails, which at 73, I can still manage.

I’ve certainly seen much worse stations with supposedly step-free access.

I also wonder if another lift will be added to directly serve the District Line platforms.

It could be one of those additions, that has been catered for, so it can be added if necessary.

Crossrail And Routes Into And Out Of London

Crossrail will change commuting and leisure routes, into and out of London.

  • Crossrail serves the West End, the North of the City and Canary Wharf directly.
  • Crossrail has good connections to the Central, Circle, District and Jubilee Lines.
  • Crossrail has a direct connection to Thameslink.
  • All Crossrail interchanges will be step-free.

After it has been opened for a few months, I can see that direct connections and ducking and diving will have seriously changed London’s well-established commuting and travel patterns.

Using Ealing Broadway Station As An Interchange

It will certainly be easier with all the new step-free access, but I suspect some passengers, who previously changed at Ealing Broadway station, will go straight through on Crossrail.

In Will Crossrail Open To Reading in 2019?, I said that Ealing Broadway station will get the following total number of Crossrail trains.

  • 12 tph in the Peak
  • 10 tph in the Off-Peak

Note.

  1. tph is trains per hour.
  2. Six tph would go between London Paddington and Heathrow.
  3. Two tph would go between London Paddington and Reading.

It will be interesting to see what Crossrail timetable is delivered.

The Overall Design

It is a fairly conservative design, that follows the principles of good step-free access.

Interchange is level and good between Crossrail and the tube lines.

There are still a few details to be finished and I suspect it will be a well-thought of station.

A Few Questions

These are a few questions.

Will The Station Be A Gateway To Heathrow?

I suspect it could be, as the station is well-connected by bus and tube to large numbers of places.

Conclusion

Ealing Broadway will be a busy interchange and I’m sure, it’s been designed to handle a lot of passengers.

 

 

May 31, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment