The Anonymous Widower

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 | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Pedestrian Tunnels In Bank Station

Growing up in London in the 1950s, I was always intrigued by the escalator connection between Bank and Monument stations, shown on the tube map.

The connection opened in the 1930s, but I can’t remember using it until recently.

It is not shown on the latest map.

The combined Bank and Monument stations now have lots of tunnels and some will be affected by the works to extend the station.

Arriving On The DLR

These pictures show arriving on the DLR and taking the route up the escalator to the Central, Northern and Waterloo and City Lines.

Note.

  1. Once at the top of the escalator, the Central, Northern and Waterloo and City Lines are accessed by more tunnels.
  2. The tunnel, that used to run between the two platforms appears to be closed off at the moment.
  3. Could the Northern end be being turned into an information point?

Access To The Central Line

This visualisation shows the current and future access to the Central Line.

Note.

  1. The two fat curved grey tunnels on the left are the Central Line.
  2. The straighter one on the left is the Eastbound tunnel, with East at the top.
  3. The curved one is the Westbound tunnel.
  4. The tunnel facing us, between the Central Line tunnels is the triple escalator barrel from the entrance under Bank junction.
  5. Just visible underneath it is the spiral staircase that connects to the Northern Line.
  6. A new triple escalator will connect the Central Line platforms down to the main North-South travelator.
  7. Above the new escalators is the current connection between the Central Line platforms and the DLR.

These pictures show the connection between the Central and Northern Lines via the spiral staircase.

Note that once down the spiral staircase, the passage is level.

Northern Access To The Northern Line Platforms

Currently, there are two staircases down from the lobby, where both the previous routes end to the Northern Line platforms.

This visualisation shows the Northern ends of the current Northern Line platforms.

Note.

  1. North is to the left.
  2. The two tracks and the narrow island platform of the current Northern Line on the far side of the visualisation.
  3. The two staircases leading up from Northern Line to a lobby, where passengers can walk North to the Central Line.
  4. The double escalator barrel going down to the DLR.
  5. The three cross passages linking the DLR escalators to the lobby between the Central and Northern Lines.
  6. The most Southerly of these cross passages has a lift to the DLR.

These pictures show the two staircases leading up from the Northern Line platforms.

Other pictures show, top of the stairs, the lobby and the current state of the Southbound platform.

After completion of the upgrade, the following works will have been done.

  • The Southbound track will be filled in.
  • The Northbound platform will be extended over the former Southbound track and platform, to make a very wide platform.
  • The doors in the tunnel walls will become cross passages to the new Southbound platform about thirty metres to the West, the triple bank of escalators to the new Cannon Street entrance, escalators to the DLR and the travelator to the Central Line.

What will happen to the two short staircases?

At present they lead up to lobby with passages to the DLR and the Central and Waterloo & City Lines and the lifts.

  • It all depends on how much, they will be used with so many new routes in the station.
  • They could be refurbished, with perhaps one for up and one for down.
  • They could be shut off.

There certainly is space for wide staircases, leading down to the very wide single platform.

I think they should be kept to please the duckers-and-divers.

From The Northern Line Platforms To Monument Station

This is the original 1930s escalator connection between the Northern Line at Bank station and the District and Circle Lines at Monument station.

Note.

  1. Judging by the two sets of blue hoardings, there will be some extra passages connection to this route.
  2. The escalator is surprisingly long.

I do wonder, if this route might tend to be sidelined, as many passengers will find the new Cannon Street entrance quicker.

From Monument Station To The DLR

These pictures show going between Monument station And The DLR.

Note.

  1. Except at the DLR end, there is no blue hoardings hiding the construction work.
  2. The tunnel between the two platforms is blocked off.
  3. At the DLR rnd, both platforms can be accessed.

It strikes me that after the completion of the expansion of Bank station, this tunnel will be substantially the same.

 

February 23, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thoughts On The Closure Of The Northern Line At Bank To Complete The Upgrade To Bank Station

The Bank Station Upgrade is a major project that will increase the capacity of Bank station by forty percent.

This document on the Transport for London web site gives details of the project.

It was originally planned that sometime in late 2021, the Northern Line will be closed through Bank station.

The document says this.

We will need to close part of the Northern line Bank branch in 2021, between Kennington and Moorgate, to connect new and existing sections of tunnel safely. Trains will run less frequently on those sections of the Bank branch that are still open. Check back here for details.

This would mean that Bank, London Bridge, Borough and Elephant & Castle stations will be closed on the Northern Line.

To help passengers, TfL say, they will do the following.

  • Run 33% more trains on the Northern line Charing Cross branch
  • Review bus use and consider enhancing services where necessary
  • Investigate scope for passengers to use alternative National Rail services, such as Waterloo to London Bridge, and London Bridge to Cannon Street
  • Review available walking space on the Moorgate to London Bridge pedestrian corridor.

These are my thoughts.

The New Cannon Street Entrance To Bank Station

This visualisation shows the new Cannon Street entrance to Bank station.

Note.

  1. South is to the right and we’re looking from roughly the North-West.
  2. The existing twin bores of the Northern Line on the far side of the visualisation.
  3. The escalator connection to the District and Circle Lines at Monument station Starts at the Southern end of these two narrow platforms.
  4. The new single bore of the new Southbound tunnel on the near side of the visualisation.
  5. The triple escalators descending from the new Cannon Street entrance to one of the four cross-walks between the Northern Line platforms.
  6. The current Eastern ends of these cross-walks are shown in The Southbound Northern Line Platform At Bank Station.

But where is the Docklands Light Railway (DLR)?

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

Note.

  1. The two existing Northern Line Platforms 3 and 4 are shown in black.
  2. The Central Line is shown in red.
  3. The DLR is shown in turquoise and sneaks under the Northern Line into Platforms 9 and 10.
  4. Platforms 7 and 8 are the platforms of the Waterloo and City Line.
  5. It would appear that the escalator connection between Bank and Monument stations goes between the existing tracks of the Northern Line.

So where is the Docklands Light Railway?

  • As Platforms 3 and 9 appear to be close together with Platform 9, the deeper of the two, I suspect we can’t see  the Docklands Light Railway in the visualisation, as it is hidden behind and underneath everything else.
  • I also suspect that the triple escalators between the new Northern Line cross-walks descend in the space at the Southern ends of Platforms 9 and 10.

This is the Northern end of the visualisation I showed earlier

Note.

  1. North is to the left.
  2. The two tracks and the narrow island platform of the current Northern Line on the far side of the visualisation.
  3. The two staircases leading up from Northern Line to a lobby, where passengers can walk North to the Central Line.
  4. The double escalator barrel going down to the DLR.
  5. The travelator that will connect the Northern and Central Lines
  6. The three cross passages linking the DLR escalators to the lobby between the Central and Northern Lines.
  7. The most Southerly of these cross passages has a lift to the DLR.

The new Southbound platform of the Northern Line, would appear to be to the West of the Docklands Light Railway.

It appears to be a very tight fit.

These pictures show the current status of the new entrance.

There would appear to be still a lot to be done.

This TfL image shows how it will look in 2022.

Ducking And Diving

No-one ducks and dives like Londoners. So rest assured, that if someone needs to get from A to B and the obvious route is blocked, Londoners will always get through. And if all else fails, a black cab will find a way, usually driven by a Londoner or someone infected with the ducking and diving virus.

Crossrail

As ever Crossrail is the herd of elephants in the London railway system.

The Northern Line is possibly the most important North-South route across Central London with two branches through the centre; Bank and Charing Cross.

But Crossrail connects to these  North-South routes.

  • Lea Valley Lines at Stratford
  • East London Line at Whitechapel
  • Lea Valley and West Anglia Lines at Stratford
  • Northern Line Bank Branch at Moorgate/Liverpool Street
  • Northern and City Line at Moorgate/Liverpool Street
  • Thameslink at Farringdon
  • Northern Line Charing Cross Branch at Tottenham Court Road
  • Jubilee Line at Bond Street
  • Bakerloo Line at Paddington

Crossrail will give a lot of opportunities for ducking and diving.

Under original plans Crossrail was supposed to open in 2019, with the Bank station closure for the upgrade in 2021.

This phasing certainly seemed a good idea at the time.

  • Crossrail will be able to offer alternative routes during the closure.
  • If the Crossrail stations are substantially complete, they can release workers to finish Bank station.

I wonder, if it would be sensible to not upgrade the tracks through Bank station until Crossrail opens through Moorgate/Liverpool Street.

As I wrote in Your First Crossrail Service May Arrive In Time For Christmas, Crossrail could open this year.

So are we being prepared for the mother of all cunning plans?

  • Crossrail between Paddington and Abbey Wood opens before Christmas.
  • The closure of the Bank branch to allow the Bank station upgrade happens at a convenient time after the opening of Crossrail through Moorgate/Liverpool Street.
  • Moorgate continues to have a limited Northern Line service to the North.
  • Crossrail continues work on the other branches.

Note.

  1. There is a crossover to the North of Moorgate station, which might allow Moorgate to work as a two-platform terminal station handling up to 4 or 6 trains per hour (tph).
  2. If Crossrail is running at Moorgate, the station should be step-free to and from the deep-level platforms.
  3. Transport for London are looking at walking routes on the Moorgate and London Bridge route.
  4. During the closure of the Northern Line through Bank, passengers for the City will go to Moorgate and walk or perhaps take a bus.

It is my view, that Crossrail must be open, before the Northern Line through Bank station is closed to allow work to be completed.

A Demonstration of the Northern Line Capacity At Moorgate When Working As A Terminal Station

Yesterday, which was a Sunday, the Northern Line was closed between Moorgate and London Bridge stations.

  • After a walk, I returned home from Moorgate station via Angel station, where I got a 38 bus.
  • I was surprised to find that trains on the Northern Line were leaving Moorgate station for the North every four to five minutes.

This would seem to indicate that frequencies of between 12 and 15 tph are possible.

Current frequencies through Bank station are 24 tph in the Peak and 20 tph in the Off Peak, so it will be a substantial reduction. But it is better, than my original estimate earlier in this section.

33% More Trains on the Northern Line Charing Cross Branch

Currently, the Charing Cross branch has a capacity of twenty-four tph and handles the following services in the Peak.

  • 10 tph between Edgware and Kennington
  • 2 tph between Edgware and Morden
  • 10 tph between High Barnet and Kennington
  • 2 tph between High Barnet and Morden

And these services in the Off Peak.

  • 10 tph between Edgware and Kennington
  • 10 tph between High Barnet and Kennington

Note.

  1. Extra trains go between the two Northern branches and Morden via the Bank branch.
  2. Kennington and Morden can handle 28 tph and regularly does.
  3. The loop at Kennington turns twenty trains per hour in both the Peak and the Off Peak

If there is an increase of 33 % in the number of trains, this must mean that 32 tph will run through Charing Cross in the Peak and 28 tph in the Off Peak.

  • The signalling system on the Northern Line is the same as that on the Jubilee Line, where it handles 30 tph.
  • It also can handle up to 30 tph between Kennington and Morden on the Northern Line.
  • Perhaps it can be stretched to 32 tph through Charing Cross in the Peak.

If the Charing Cross branch can only be uprated to 30 tph, that is still an increase of 25 % in the number of trains.

The Kennington Loop

I mentioned the Kennington Loop and this beautiful old drawing shows its layout.

Note.

  1. South is at the top of the drawing.
  2. At present, as I said, the loop turns twenty tph all day.
  3. The extension to Battersea connects to the loop.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows a map of the loop.

Note.

  1. The Charing Cross branch goes to the North-West from Kennington.
  2. The Bank branch goes to the North-East from Kennington.
  3. ,The lines to Battersea are shown dotted.
  4. Trains using the extension to Battersea can only use the Charing Cross branch.

I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised, if the line speed to and from Battersea, is faster than it is round the loop.

It’s just that the lines to Battersea are not such a sharp curve and they have been recently designed and built.

As the Modern branch can handle 30 tph, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the Battersea extension has been designed to handle this frequency.

The Northern Line Extension To Battersea

This document on the Transport for London web site gives details of the Northern Line Extension To Battersea.

This paragraph introduces the project.

The Northern line extension (NLE) between Kennington and Battersea will help regenerate the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea areas by supporting new jobs and homes. The extension is scheduled to be completed in autumn 2021.

The opening of the extension could offer benefits to the existing Northern Line.

As I said in the previous section, twenty tph are turned at Kennington using the loop.

Will all these trains now use the new Battersea extension, when it opens?

  • The Battersea extension is fully double-track.
  • Battersea Power Station station has two platforms and a cross-over, so if Brixton and Walthamstow Central stations can handle in excess of 30 tph, I suspect London’s newest terminal station can too!

If the Battersea extension has a design capacity of 30 tph, it would certainly be able to handle 20 tph.

So I wouldn’t be surprised to see all trains that currently turn at Kennington will take the Battersea extension, when it opens.

There must surely be the interesting possibility of before the Battersea extension opens to passengers, using it to turn the trains that would otherwise use the loop at Kennington. It would certainly be a very thorough test, of track and signalling.

I am fairly certain, there would be advantages in having the Battersea extension open before the Bank branch is upgraded.

  • Running trains to Battersea could be more efficient than using the Kennington Loop.
  • Opening the Battersea extension would need the signalling at Kennington to be upgraded and fully tested, so any changes needed for increased frequencies on the Charing Cross branch could be performed at the same time.
  • All the residents of the new housing in Battersea. would have an Underground connection.

Opening the Battersea extension will change passenger patterns on the Northern Line and as the changes will be difficult to predict, it would surely be better to upgrade Bank station, after the opening of the Battersea extension.

Thameslink

Thameslink is not mentioned in any of the Transport for London documents, but surely it has a big part to play.

  • Thameslink serves a lot of stations in South and South East London and beyond, including Brighton, East Croydon, Orpington, Sevenoaks and Woolwich Arsenal.
  • Thameslink has an interchange with the Circle and District Lines at Blackfriars.
  • Thameslink has an interchange with the Metropolitan and Circle Lines at Farringdon.
  • Thameslink will have an interchange with Crossrail at Farringdon.
  • Blackfriars and City Thameslink stations have good walking routes along the River and to the City.

Thameslink should be appearing on the Tube Map any time soon.

Waterloo And City Line

I am missing the Drain, as it is the easiest way for people in the area, where I live to get to Waterloo station.

I just take a bus to Bank and then walk underground to London’s shortest Underground line.

According to this article on London SE1, it is closed because of the covids, but should reopen in April 2021.

Surely, Transport for London could reopen the line, if they vaccinated all the drivers.

As the Waterloo and City Line has an independent new entrance on Wallbrook, there should be no reason, why it couldn’t reopen before the Northern Line through bank is upgraded.

The Central Line At Bank Station

Nothing has been said, about whether the Central Line will be closed through Bank station, during the upgrade.

I don’t think it will be continuously closed, although access to some parts may be restricted.

There could be partial closures at weekends or in the evenings.

So for commuters and other must-travellers, I suspect the Central Line will get through.

The Circle And District Lines At Monument Station

My thoughts about the Circle and District Line would be similar to the Central Line.

But these lines with their connections at Westminster, Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Tower Hill and Whitechapel could prove important during the works.

The Docklands Light Railway At Bank Station

Again my thoughts about the Docklands Light Railway would be similar to the Central Line.

But there is a lot of work going on to improve access to the Docklands Light Railway, and this could result in a closure to allow completion.

Review Bus Use

When I come into London Bridge station, I usually go to the bus station and get a bus, which stops within fifty metres of my front door. Going to London Bridge isn’t as convenient and I take a variety of routes.

But the corridor between London Bridge and Old Street via Bank and Moorgate has three bus routes; 21, 43 and 141, the last two of which terminate in the bus station at London Bridge. I suspect that the frequency of the last two buses could be increased, if they had a few more buses and drivers, and turned them faster at London Bridge.

I also feel there is scope to run a shuttle between Finsbury Square and London Bridge station.

  • It would loop round Finsbury Square at the Northern end.
  • It would loop through London Bridge station, as the 43 and 141 buses currently do.
  • They would serve Moorgate and Bank.
  • As it will be running through a busy part of the City with lots of pedestrians, these buses should be either battery or hydrogen.
  • But as they should be high-capacity double-deckers, battery probably wouldn’t have enough power.

What better way would there be, to showcase London’s new hydrogen buses?

And I’m sure Jo Bamford, would make sure that London had enough new Wrightbus hydrogen buses  to provide the service.

National Rail Between Charing Cross/Waterloo And London Bridge

I am probably not alone in using this route in preference to the Jubilee Line to travel between Westminster and London Bridge, as where there is an alternative to the deep-level Underground, I will often use it.

In my case coming home from Waterloo, I’ll often hop to London Bridge on National Rail and then get a 141 bus home.

This is classic ducking and diving on my part.

I’m sure others will do the same during the Bank branch closure.

I would also hope, that season tickets would allow passengers to swap terminals without too much trouble and any expense.

National Rail Between Cannon Street And London Bridge

Using Cannon Street instead of London Bridge could be an relatively easy alternative for many passengers.

  • It connects to the Circle and District Lines.
  • There are East-West buses outside the station.

This Google Map shows the location of the station.

There are a number of useful walking routes from the station, which is towards the bottom of the image slightly towards the right.

  • Bank station is about 300 metres and six minutes away.
  • The North-South buses between Moorgate and London Bridge on King William Street are 200 metres and three minutes away.
  • St. Paul’s is a bit further but it does have the Central Line and lots of buses including the 76 to Moorgate and Old Street stations.

At seventy-three, I can still walk between Cannon Street and Moorgate stations in 15 minutes.

Walking Between London Bridge and Moorgate

Transport for London have said they will review this,

It is not a difficult walk and it has improved since traffic was reduced at Bank.

Conclusion

As originally planned, the timings of the various projects were such that these projects would be more of less completed before the upgrade of the tracks at Bank station was to be performed.

  • Crossrail
  • The Northern Line Extension to Battersea.
  • The new Wallbrook entrance to Bank station.

But no-one had foreseen Covid-19.

So I would plan the date of the Northern Line closure with the utmost care.

February 8, 2021 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments