The Anonymous Widower

Crossrail And Ealing Broadway Station

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

These are lines from North to South through the station.

  • The lines shown in green are the District Line, which terminates in platforms 9, 8 and 7.
  • The lines shown in red are the Central Line, which terminates in platforms 6 and 5.
  • The lines shown in dark blue are the slow lines through platforms 4 and 3, which carry Crossrail and other slow services. Platform 4 is the London-bound platform.
  • The lines shown in black are the fast lines through platforms 2 and 1, which carry all fast services. Platform 2 is the London-bound platform.

These are my thoughts on the layout.

Eastbound Crossrail Trains

Passengers travelling East on Crossrail, will be able to walk across from Platform 4 to any of the terminal platforms numbered 5 to 9, for the Central and District Lines.

This picture taken from a London-bound train in Platform 4 shows a Central Line train in Platform 5.

They are only a short walk apart and passengers who are changing trains will probably position themselves in the rear of the Crossrail train.

Passengers entering the station will just walk across to Platform 4 to use Crossrail to Central London and beyond.

I doubt there will be many passengers arriving on the Central and District Lines, who will want to go back on themselves to Central London. If say they lived near a station between West Acton and Marble Arch, and wanted to go East on Crossrail, they’d probably change between the Central Line and Crossrail at Bond Street station.

Westbound Crossrail Trains

Passengers needing to access the Westbound Crossrail trains in Platform 3, will have to use the bridge over the slow lines carrying Crossrail.

Because of the multiple interchanges between the Central Line and Crossrail, depending on where you join the Central Line, you will probably change to Westbound Crossrail trains at different points.

  • Start a journey between West Acton and Marble Arch and you’ll probably change to the Westbound Crossrail at Ealing Broadway.
  • Start a journey at Oxford Circus and you’ll probably change to the Westbound Crossrail at Bond Street.
  • Start a journey between Bank and Holborn and you’ll probably change to the Westbound Crossrail at Tottenham Court Road.
  • East of Bank, there are two interchanges at Liverpool Street and Stratford.

It is very much a ducker and diver’s paradise.

Escalators And Lifts Could Be Needed At Ealing Broadway Station

There could be quite a number of passengers needing to cross to and from Platform 3, who will mainly be in two categories.

  • Westbound passengers leaving the station.
  • Westbound passengers arriving on the Central and District Lines wanting to continue West on Crossrail.

In addition, there will be a large number of passengers entering the station, wanting to catch trains to Central London.

To cater for these passenger flows, there must be a full set of up-and-down escalators and lifts for the following.

  • Platforms 4 to 9 in the main station.
  • Platform 3 on the Westbound slow line for Crossrail and other slow services.

Wikipedia says four lifts will be added.

It should be noted, that Dlston Junction station handles similar numbers of passengers to Ealing Broadway with one lift and one wide double staircase.

Escalators would future proof the station for more services.

Will District Line Services Be Replaced By Piccadilly Line Services?

There are rumours, that the District Line services at Ealing Broadway station will be replaced by Piccadilly Line services.

Reportedly, this will do the following.

  • Allow frequency increases on the District Line to Richmond and Wimbledon.
  • Allow a frequency increase on the core section of the Piccadilly Line.

Consider

  • Whatever service uses Ealing Broadway will have little effect on the operation of the station.
  • Acton Town, Hammersmith, Barons Court, Earl’s Court, Gloucester Road and South Kensington stations are all served by both the District and Piccadilly Lines.
  • The Piccadilly Line could be an alternative to Crossrail 2 between Green Park and Kings Cross.
  • The Piccadilly Line will have new high-capacity trains in a few years.

Will the change, which means the Piccadilly Line has a capacity increase, allow Crossrail 2 to be delayed by a couple of years?

  • This would ease, Transport for London’s cash flow.
  • It might also allow a better plan for building Crossrail 2

It will be interesting to see the full details of the swapping of lines.

December 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Ealing Broadway Station – 19th April 2019

These pictures show Ealing Broadway station.

There’s still a lot of work to be done, to make the station, look like Crossrail’s image on the hoarding.

These are the proposed train frequencies at the station in the Off Peak, when Crossrail opens.

  • Four trains per hour – Great Western Railway.
  • Ten trains per hour – Crossrail.
  • Six trains per hour – District Line
  • Nine trains per hour – Central Line

There will be extra services in the Peak.

Crossrail To Reading In December 2019

As current rumours are that Crossrail will open in December to Reading, it looks like the station will be usable, if the architects have got the design right.

It is planned that Ealing Broadway station will have a Crossrail train every six minutes.

 

April 19, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Could Metropolitan Line Trains Run Between Uxbridge In The West And Barking/Upminster In The East?

I read somewhere in Wikipedia, that Transport for London (TfL) were thinking of extending Uxbridge Branch trains on the Metropolitan Line from Aldgate to Barking and/or Upminster stations.

Current Frequencies Between Wembley Park And Upminster Stations

These are the Off Peak frequencies on the various sections of the route in trains per hour (tph)

Wembley Park To Baker Street

  • 2 tph – Amersham to Aldgate
  • 2 tph – Chesham to Aldgate
  • 8 tph – Uxbridge to Aldgate
  • 4 tph – Watford to Baker Street

This gives a total of 16 tph

Baker Street To Liverpool Street

  • 2 tph – Amersham to Aldgate
  • 2 tph – Chesham to Aldgate
  • 8 tph – Uxbridge to Aldgate
  • 6 tph – Hammersmith to Barking
  • 6 tph – Circle Line

This gives a total of 24 tph

Aldgate East to Barking

  • 6 tph – Hammersmith to Barking
  • 6 tph – Richmond to Upminster
  • 6 tph-  Ealing Broadway to Upminster
  • 3 tph – Wimbledon to Barking

This gives a total of 21 tph

Barking to Upminster

  • 6 tph – Richmond to Upminster
  • 6 tph – Ealing Broadway to Upminster

This gives a total of 12 tph

Current Frequencies Between Hammersmith And Baker Street

I’ll add this, in case I need it later.

  • 6 tph – Hammersmith to Barking
  • 6 tph – Circle Line

This gives a total of 12 tph

Current District Line Frequencies Between Hammersmith And Upminster

These are the Off Peak frequencies on the various sections of the route.

Hammersmith to South Kensington

  • 6 tph – Richmond to Upminster
  • 6 tph – Ealing Broadway to Upminster

This gives a total of 12 tph

South Kensington to Tower Hill

  • 6 tph – Richmond to Upminster
  • 6 tph – Ealing Broadway to Upminster
  • 3 tph – Wimbledon to Barking
  • 6 tph – Circle Line

This gives a total of 21 tph

Aldgate East to Barking

  • 6 tph – Hammersmith to Barking
  • 6 tph – Richmond to Upminster
  • 6 tph-  Ealing Broadway to Upminster
  • 3 tph – Wimbledon to Barking

This gives a total of 21 tph

Barking to Upminster

  • 6 tph – Richmond to Upminster
  • 6 tph – Ealing Broadway to Upminster

This gives a total of 12 tph

Four Lines Modification

The Four Line Modification is a project to upgrade the following lines.

  • Circle Line
  • District Line
  • Hammersmith & City Line
  • Metropolitan Line

New S7 and S8 Stock trains have been delivered and new track and drainage has been installed, but the biggest change will be in the new signalling. TfLsays this abut the new signalling.

Work to install a new signalling and control system began in summer 2016. This will eventually allow the trains to be driven automatically, with a train operator in the cab to open and close the doors. The train operator will be responsible for managing customer information and safety.

Similar technology introduced in recent years on the Jubilee and Northern lines improved performance. The new signalling system allows trains to be run closer together, meaning a more frequent service and shorter waiting times, allowing more people to be carried. This new technology will enable us to reduce delays and improve reliability.

If 32 tph can be run on sections of the four lines, it is an impressive upgrade of capacity.

Currently the frequencies are.

  • Wembley Park to Baker Street – 16 tph
  • Baker Street to Liverpool Street – 24 tph
  • Aldgate East to Barking – 21 tph
  • Barking to Upminster – 12 tph

For completeness these frequencies will be added.

Hammersmith to Baker Street – 12 tph

Note

  1. The frequencies are all at least eight tph below the maximum future operating frequency.
  2. The busiest section is between Baker Street and Liverpool Street stations.
  3. The frequency on the two end sections of the Northern East-West section between Hammersmith and Upminster stations is only 12 tph.

It looks like TfL have scope to increase the capacity on the four lines.

Are The Circle/District Line Platforms At Edgware Road Station At Maximum Capacity?

Currently, the following services terminate at Edgware Road station.

As there are only two platforms to turn the twelve tph, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me, that Edgware Road station was at maximum capacity.

If this is the case, then no more trains can be run on the Circle Line, without reducing the frequency to Wimbledon, unless the station were to be rebuilt.

This Google Map shows the station.

And this map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines through Edgware Road and Baker Street stations.

Edgware Road station lies in a cutting, in the midst of some very expensive real estate.

  • It is not step-free.
  • According to the carto.metro.free.fr map, there used to be or still is a siding or platform to the South of the current four platforms.
  • The junctions to the West of the stations are complicated.
  • As trains often wait for a few minutes in the station, I suspect it is not operationally efficient.

Could at some time in the future, the station be rebuilt?

  • The East-West services might go straight through in two Northern platforms.
  • The junction to the West of the station would be simplified, with no crossing of tracks.
  • Three terminal platforms could be built for trains coming from the South, which would allow an increase in services.
  • Hopefully, the East-West and terminating services could be separated and wouldn’t cross each other.
  • Development of tower blocks over the top would provide some funds for the new station.

Would it be possible to increase Circle Line services to ten tph?

Frequencies along the route would be as follows.

  • Baker Street to Liverpool Street – 28 tph
  • Tower Hill to South Kensington – 25 tph
  • High Street Kensington to Edgware Road – 16 tph

My scheduling nous says yes! I also feel, that using good project planning, the station could be built without disrupting services.

Baker Street Issues

Is Aldgate Station At Maximum Capacity?

Currently, the following services terminate at Aldgate station.

  • 2 tph from Amersham
  • 2 tph from Chesham
  • 8 tph from Uxbridge

As there are only two platforms to turn the twelve tph, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me, that Aldgate station was at maximum capacity.

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

Note

  1. The two platforms at Aldgate station are sandwiched between the two Circle Line tracks.
  2. The platforms are curved, which makes step-free access difficult.

I suspect fitting in three straight platforms and full step-free access in the existing station will be very difficult.

This Google Map shows the general area around Aldgate station.

Certainly South of Aldgate High Street, there seems to be a site that could be ripe for development.

Are the District and Circle Lines underneath?

In a comment to this post, Melvyn says that the station could be redeveloped. He said this.

I did read a proposal to make Aldgate accessible linked to property development so this would mean a redesign of the station which could lead to removal of one of the terminal tracks.

I think I will conclude, that whatever happens at Aldgate station, there is no way, the station can handle more than twelve tph.

Could Extra Trains Be Turned At Barking?

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows Barking station and the sidings to the East.

If the eight tph from Uxbridge turned back at Barking, that would mean that seventeen tph would need to be handled at the station.

I’m fairly certain, that this number of trains could be turned at Barking.

It is also worth noting in the map, the cross-platform interchange with c2c.

Could Extra Trains Be Turned At Upminster?

Upminster station has a depot with an impressive maze of sidings to the East.

As the station also has three platforms for District Line trains, I believe the station can handle more than the twelve tph, that it does now!

Increasing The Core Frequency

Suppose extra trains were to be run between Baker Street and Liverpool Street stations.

Ideally, eight extra tph would need to be run to use the maximum capacity of the route.

Where Would The Extra Trains Go In The West?

Extra trains could possibly be run to Hammersmith station, as the three-platform station can probably handle more trains than the twelve tph it does now.

If Edgware Road station is at maximum capacity, then no more Circle Line trains could be run.

But with a rebuild of Edgware Road station in the future, would allow perhaps up to an extra four tph on the Circle Line.

But there could be a few more Hammersmith & City Line services.

There would also be the possibility of more Metropolitan Line services to Amersham, Chesham Uxbridge and Watford stations.

Where Would The Extra Trains Go In The East?

Consider.

  • There are four bay platforms at Moorgate station,but are they currently the wrong side of the important Liverpool Street station.
  • Moorgate station is being rebuilt for Crossrail and this may open up possibilities for using the bay platforms.
  • Aldgate station is at full capacity.
  • Extra trains can’t take the Circle Line as Edgware Road station is at frill capacity.
  • With a rebuild of Edgware Road station, it might be possible to add four tph to the Circle Line.

So I come to the conclusion, that some extra services must go on to Barking and/or Upminster.

A Possible Timetable

If I assume the extra eight tph go all the way between Wembley Park and Upminster, this gives the following frequencies along the line.

  • Wembley Park to Baker Street – 24 tph
  • Baker Street to Liverpool Street – 32 tph
  • Aldgate East to Barking – 29 tph
  • Barking to Upminster – 20 tph

The terminals of the various services could be shared between Aldgate and Upminster.

I also suspect, that the new signalling will allow twelve tph instead of the current eight tph to be terminated at Baker Street station.

Uxbridge To Barking/Upminster Timings

These are the timings for various section of the route.

  • Uxbridge to Baker Street – 38 minutes
  • Baker Street to Liverpool Street – 13 minutes
  • Liverpool Street to Barking – 25 minutes
  • Barking to Upminster – 18 minutes

This means that Uxbridge to Upminster could take 94 minutes, with Uxbridge to Barking taking 76 minutes.

These may translate into the following round-trips.

  • Uxbridge and Upminster – Four hours, which would need 32 trains.
  • Uxbridge and Barking – Three hours, which would need 24 trains.

The current service between Uxbridge and Aldgate has a round trip of two hours, which needs 16 trains.

It would appear that if Uxbridge services go to an alternative terminal, then Barking would be a better choice.

Conclusion

It looks like, that it is very likely, that Metropolitan Line trains will run as far as Barking and/or Upminster stations.

December 17, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 5 Comments

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 | , , , , , , | 13 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