Elephant and Castle station couldn’t be called a well-preserved architectural gem.
But it certainly could be improved.
It looks like it’s another of those stations, where the arches could be opened up underneath the railway.
Building the Bakerloo Line Extension will hopefully finish around 2028/29.
So I’m publishing these maps of the areas, that could be affected by works, so if perhaps you’re thinking of moving house, you can take an appropriate decision.
Note the two completely new stations with the imaginative names of Old Kent Road 1 and Old Kent Road 2.
The full document is here on the Transport for London web site.
The sites are given in route order from the North.
Elephant And Castle
The map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines through the station.
The North-South lines across the map are from West to East.
- The Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line – Dated 13/09/1926
- The Bakerloo Line – Dated 05/08/1906
- The Bank Branch of the Northern Line.
- Thameslink to Blackfriars and Orpington, Rainham, Sevenoaks, Sutton and Wimbledon.
Just below this map is Kennington station, where the two branches of the Northern Line meet and will divide to Morden and Battersea Power Station stations.
Elephant and Castle is effectively two separate stations at present, with one for the Bakerloo Line and one for the Northern Line. Both stations have lifts and narrow, dingy platforms and passageways. Connections between the two stations underground is not good.
These pictures of Elephant and Castle station were taken on February 12th, 2017
Works envisaged at Elephant and Castle station include.
- A new larger ticket hall for the Bakerloo Line
- Wider platforms for the Bakerloo Line
- Escalators aren’t mentioned, but would probably be included for the Bakerloo Line
- New ticket hall for the Northern Line
- Three escalators and more lifts for the Northern Line to provide step-free access.
- Better connections between the two lines.
I would hope that a comprehensive design would include a step-free link to the Thameslink station.
I suspect, that the two stations could be rebuilt as two separate projects, with the Northern Line station being updated before the Bakerloo Line station.
If the two projects were properly planned, I believe that trains could continue to run on the Northern Line throughout the works, with trains running to the Bakerloo Line platforms until they needed to be closed for updating and connection to the new tunnels.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see an updated pedestrian connection between the Bakerloo and Northern Line platforms created first, so that at least one entrance to the platforms is available throughout the works.
This Google Map shows the area around Elephant and Castle.
Transport for London have said they need a worksite in the area.
Bricklayers Arms is known to many as a roundabout and flyover on the A2 into London.
This Google Map shows the roundabout.
It is one of two possible locations for a shaft that will be needed between Elephant and Castle and Old Kent Road 1 stations.
These pictures of Bricklayers Arms were taken on February 12th, 2017.
The worksite could be in the middle of the roundabout.
This Google Map shows the South-East corner of Faraday Gardens.
It is one of two possible locations for a shaft that will be needed between Elephant and Castle and Old Kent Road 1 stations.
These pictures of Faraday Gardens were taken on February 13th, 2017
The worksite could be in the a hard playground.
My personal view is that the Bricklayers Arms site is the better from a working point of view, but is it in the best position?
Old Kent Road 1 Station
This Google Map shows the area, where Old Kent Road 1 station will be located.
There are two options given for the location of the station.
Note the Tesco Southwark Superstore in the middle of the map, with its car park alongside.
- Option A for the station is on the other side of Dunton Road and slightly to the North West of the car park.
- The other Option B is on the Old Kent Road on the site of the store itself.
These pictures of the area around the Tesco store were taken on February 12th, 2017.
The group of people most affected by the construction of the station will be those who shop at this Tesco.
I suspect that given the company’s current position, Tesco would be happy to co-operate with TfL. After all there must be advasntages in having a superstore on top of an Underground station.
If the Tesco Superstore had to be knocked doiwn, there are lots more anonymous architectural gems like this one.
So I wouldn’t be surprised to see Option B implemented, with a brand new station alongside the Old Kent Road.
Old Kent Road 2 Station
There are two options for this station.
This Google Map shows the location of Option A opposite B & Q.
The station will be on the the Currys PCWorld site along the road.
These pictures of the area around the Currys PCWorld store were taken on February 12th, 2017.
This Google Map shows the location of Option B on the Toys R Us site on the other side of the Old Kent Road.
These pictures of the area around the Toys R Us store were taken on February 12th, 2017.
Both chosen sites would appear to have plenty of space and wouldn’t require the demolishing of any housing.
New Cross Gate Station
New Cross Gate station is an existing Overground and National Rail station.
This Google Map shows the station and the Retail Park, that is alongside the station to the West.
These pictures of the area around the Sainsburys store were taken on February 12th, 2017.
The worksite would take over the car park, with the station being built underneath.
This worksite is very much the most important site of the extension. The consultation says this.
The size of the proposed site provides several opportunities for the project. It could allow soil to be taken away by train rather than using local roads. We could also start the tunnel machinery from this site.
When the station is completed, I can envisage New Cross Gate becoming an important transport hub, with quality shopping experience.
Alexandra Cottages, a short road off Lewisham Way has been proposed as the location of a shaft between New Cross Gate and Lewisham stations.
This Google Map shows the location.
I suppose the site has been chosen, as the site contains a Big Yellow Self Storage facility and a Ladbrokes betting shop.
These pictures of the area around the storage facility were taken on February 13th, 2017.
Will the shaft be buried in the basement of a development suitable for the area?
This Google Map shows the current Lewisham station.
These pictures of the area around the Lewisham station were taken on February 13th, 2017.
The new Bakerloo Line station will be underground between the station and Matalan. The area is currently bus parking.
Because of the different levels and tunnels and some railway arches in good condition, the addition of the Bakerloo Line station could be a challenging one, but also one that could be architecturally worthwhile.
- Is the current station built on arches, that could allow passengers to circulate underneath?
- Could escalators and lifts connect the main line and ?Underground stations?
- Could there be significant oversite development on top of the station?
- Could the Bakerloo Line station be built without a blockade of the current station?
- Will Lewisham station be reorganised to be less of a bootleneck?
It will be interesting to see the final design.
This Google Map shows the worksite in Wearside Road, which will be used to create a shaft to the overrun tunnels.
The worksite will go at the Northern end of the light-coloured area South of where the two lines cross.
This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines in the area.
I think it is quite likely that the overrun tunnels will be under the Hayes Line.
Extension To Hayes
This document on the Lewisham Borough Council web site is a must-read document, as it gives the view of the Council and their consultants; Parsons Brinckerhoff about the Bakerloo Line Extension.
The report is very much in favour of the Extension being built and it hopes that it can be extended using the Hayes Line, where they would termiate at either at Hayes or Beckenham Junction.
Currently, Elephant and Castle station handles 14 tph, so as there would appear to be no terminal platform at that station, at least this number of trains will connect between the Bakerloo Line at Lewisham station and the Hayes Line..
But as other deep-level tube lines handle more trains, with the Victoria Line handling 36 tph by the end of this year, I don’t think it unreasonable to expect a service frequency in excess of 20 tph. So could this give at least 10 tph to both Southern terminals?
To handle 10 tph, I think it reasonable to assume that two terminal plstforms are needed.
Hayes has two plstforms, but Beckenham Junction has only one spare platform, as this Google Map shows.
But I suspect if Waitrose are reasonable, a deal can be done.
If the overrun tunnels at Lewisham station,are more-or-less under the Hayes Line, these tunnels would be easily connected to the Hayes Line, with all other services using the Courthill Loop to go on their way.
Hayes station would swap its two tph services to both Cannon Street and Charing Cross stations for at least a 10 tph service on the Bakerloo Line.
Beckenham Junction would have a similar service and I’m sure this would please Lewisham Borough Council.
Network Rail would gain four paths per hour through Lewisham station to use for other services.
Lewisham Borough Council also suggests the following for the Hayes Line.
- More Lower sydenham station further to the North.
- Create an interchange between Catford and Catford Bridge stations.
- Look seriously at the zones of stations on the Hayes Line.
They are certainly forcible in what they want.
This looks like it is a railway designed to be built without too much fuss and objections.
Most of the worksites seem to have good access and it would appear that few residential properties will be affected.
In December 2015, a scheme started to create a new road and pedestrian layout at Elephant and Castle.
I wrote about it in Fun At The Elephant And Castle.
It is now substantially complete, as these pictures show.
- I think if you regularly change between the Bakerloo and Northern Lines at Elephant and Castle station, you might come to the surface and walk across, rather than using the long tunnels below.
- There seems to be less traffic.
- I wonder if we’ll get some cafes in the middle.
From a pedestrian point of view, it certainly seemed a lot better.
Transport for London, have released a report on the Bakerloo Line Extension that they call the Option Selection Summary Report.
It is one of those worthy documents, you get from analysing the data from consultations.
But it is full of several nuggets, which although not directly associated with the Bakerloo Line could be very important for passengers coming from or venturing to South London.
They have also provided this helpful map, which lays out possible actions and improvements.
I hope that the boxes can be read.
I shall deal with the various boxes in separate sections, going in a vaguely East to West direction. I will leave out the Crosrail 2 related topics for the moment.
Bakerloo Line Extension
The summary on the map says thirty trains per hour (tph) into Central London, releasing peak capacity on South Eastern. They describe the extension like this in the Executive Summary of the report.
Following the 2014 consultation, we have conducted a comprehensive assessment of the consulted route options alongside alternatives suggested by respondents and stakeholders. The work has concluded that an extension to Lewisham via the Old Kent Road is currently the best option as a first phase, as the route would serve the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area and support significant numbers of new homes and jobs for London. This would include a major new interchange at Lewisham. It is estimated that the selected corridor could enable over 25,000 new homes by serving Opportunity Areas and regeneration areas along its length.
From the map, the route of the extended Bakerloo Line, would be a simple one from the current terminus at Elephant and Castle station to Lewisham station, via two new stations in the Old Kent Road and an interchange at New Cross Gate station with the London Overground and main line services from London Bridge.
These are various highlighted points from the report.
- Assessment of the alternative route options suggested during the 2014 public consultation has demonstrated that the options towards Lewisham remain the most effective for addressing the challenges in south east London.
- An extension should serve Lewisham station due to the new homes that could be unlocked in growth areas along its route, and the wider transport connectivity and access improvements it would provide. 4.2.1. Our assessment work has found that although shor
- We currently recommend a route to Lewisham via Old Kent Road for further development as part of an initial phase for an extension. We have found that this option has the greatest potential to unlock new homes to support London’s growth and significantly improve transport provision in south east London.
- An extension via Old Kent Road would provide a step-change in the capacity, connectivity, accessibility and speed of travel for residents.
- By improving transport and unlocking new homes and jobs growth, the economic benefits of the Old Kent Road option are higher than the route via Camberwell and Peckham Rye. The latter option is estimated to be more expensive to deliver and has a lower potential of obtaining funding.
- Delivering a major transport infrastructure project is a challenging and often risky process. By integrating planning with the Opportunity Area development, the proposed route via the Old Kent Road offers the best prospect of successful delivery.
- An initial extension to Lewisham could form part of a wider package of complementary rail improvements across south and south east London, providing improved journeys via Tube and rail connections.
The report doesn’t rule out extensions beyond Lewisham. This is said.
The assessment shows there could be significant additional benefits from an extension beyond Lewisham and therefore it has not been ruled out at this stage, with further work required to develop the deliverability and case further.
Under Next Steps, this is said.
We will focus developing plans for the first phase of an extension to Lewisham via the Old Kent Road, with further public consultation anticipated in 2016.
TfL’s proposals for the Bakerloo Line Extension would appear to be simple and deliverable at an acceptable cost to give the greatest benefit to South East London.
It should also not be the most difficult line to build, as it is only three stations, with it would appear plenty of green space and cleared sites on the surface for access.
It would almost be a repeat of the Northern Line Extension, except that it is shorter.
For people like me living on the East London Line, the interchange to the Bakerloo Line at New Cross Gate will be very much welcomed, as it improves connectivity to that difficult-to-access area between Piccadilly Circus and Elephant and Castle. Try getting from Dalston to Charing Cross in the rush hour!
I think the biggest problem of this short extension, is going to be that even at an increased frequency of 30 tph, it will quickly get close to capacity.
The map also labels Lewisham station with a box saying upgraded major hub for SE London.
This Google Map shows Lewisham station.
I think that there would appear space for improvements and digging the shafts for the creation of the Bakerloo Line Extension.
South Eastern Improvements
The summary on the map says explore potential for further service upgrades to further improve journeys, including access to Tube at Lewisham.
Some stations have been upgraded to a modern standard, but many still don’t have the fscilities that passengers expect these days.
Nothing is said about TfL’s long term ambition to take over the Metro services of Southeastern.
South Central Improvements
The summary on the map says consider increased services through major station upgrades, new interchanges and new trains.
I could repeat what I said in the previous section for South Eastern Improvements.
This is very much a general point about new trains.
London’s latest train fleets are increasingly becoming walk-through from one end to the other.
Passengers are also getting very savvy in their train usage and often board a train in a coach, that will be close to their exit at the destination.
And if they get on at the wrong point, they will often walk to their desired exit position, before the train stops.
So could this be used to advantage in the design of stations, with more perhaps having multiple exit points, as do some Crossrail stations?
The map also labels Brockley station with a box saying potential new interchange hub.
This Google Map shows Brockley station.
The Bexleyheath Line between Nunhead and Lewisham stations crosses the East London Line and Brockley station at a high level.
I wrote A Four-Poster Station about connecting these two lines.
It would appear that Transport for London have advanced this project from one word in their 2050 Infrastructure Plan to a proposal.
This is the sort of connectivity, that us plebs in Dalston will like a lot. From 2018, as I wrote in Increased Frequencies on the East London Line, there will be ten services per hour between Dalston Junction and Brockley stations and one change at Brockley, will open up many transport opportunities.
East Croydon Station
The map also labels East Croydon station with a box saying extra platforms & grade separation.
This Google Map shows East Croydon station.
The station is towards the bottom of the map and the semi-circular shape at the top is Selhurst Depot.
There is a large section labelled Future in the station’s Wikipedia entry and given the legendary congestion and the large expansion plans for Croydon, I think it is highly likely that expansion of the station and grade separation will go ahead even if the Bakerloo Line Extension doesn’t!
The map also labels the now-disused Camberwell station with a box saying potential new Thameslink station. The TfL report says this.
Similarly, we are working with Southwark Council to look into the re-opening Camberwell station on the Thameslink line to improve access into Central London and support local development.
This Google Map shows the area around the disused station.
Camberwell station used to be where Camberwell New Road crosses under the railway.
The TfL report makes these points.
- Camberwell has no direct rail connection.
- A two-branch extension of the Bakerloo Line; Old Kent Road and Camberwell, will be very costly.
- A Thameslink station at Camberwell, would serve the same area as an Underground station and is a much more affordable option.
The TfL report gives this concise summary.
A new station at Camberwell would be a significantly lower cost option to a Tube extension, whilst serving the same catchment area. Investigations show significant journey time improvements could accrue to Camberwell passengers and that operationally there may be scope to integrate re-opening of the station into the launch of the completed Thameslink programme.
We will therefore undertake further planning work with Network Rail and the London Borough of Southwark to assess the proposal.
I would be very surprised if the Bakerloo Line Extension calls at Camberwell.
I would also suspect that being able to open a new Ca,berwell station, at the same time as Thameslink, would be very easy to justify on a costs basis.
Streathham Common Station
The map also labels Streatham Common station with a box saying potential new interchange hub.
This Google Map shows Streatham Common station.
Wikipedia introduces Streatham Common station with these words.
The station is managed by Southern who also operate trains from the station. Direct trains from the station run to Victoria, London Bridge, East Croydon, Shepherds Bush, and Milton Keynes Central. Southern consider the station to be the 6th busiest station on their 158 station network as it receives 12,932 passenger journeys a day, totalling 4,655,520 per year. The Office of Rail and Road figures are lower at 3,827,296.
The station has four platforms, but only platforms 1 and 2 are in daily use; platforms 3 and 4 are normally for passing Express trains, but they are occasionally used during engineering work or major disruption. Step free access to both platforms and both station entrances is available.
Just to the North of the station, is the Sutton Loop Line of Thameslink and I suspect that Streatham Common is mentioned in TfL’s report, is that they have a cunning plan to link the various lines in the area together.
To try to get a better feel of the area, I took a train to Streatham Common station, walked to Streatham station and then took a train to Micham Junction, which travelled across Streatham Common station. I took these pictures.
My walk showed me how complicated the lines are in the area and that is emplasised by this Google Map of the junction.
I do wonder if there are operational problems in Streatham, that perhaps necessitate a bit of a sort out.
It’s also not an easy walk between Streatham and Streatham Common stations because there is a massive Tesco Extra blocking the walking routes. It certainly follows Tesco’s tradition of trying to create some of the ugliest buildings in the UK.
My other thought, is that the space around the railway lines is quite generous and are Network Rail looking to create some more housing around the junction.
I think that any plans that Network Rail have for Streatham will be revealed in due course.
I think Network Rail, Transport for London and others have decided to bundle a lot of smaller projects under the umbrella of the Bakerloo Line Extension, with the intention of getting value-for-money, that delivers a lot of improvement in an ordered manner in a short timescale, all over South London.
It could be described as the following.
- One large billion pound project to create the actual Bakerloo Line Extension.
- One large project, possibly with a property developer, to sort out East Croydon station.
- Three mid-sized projects to create the Brockley and Streatham Common interchanges and Camberwell station.
- A lot of small projects to create quality stations all over South London.
- Some new trains as required.
So there would be something for everybody. Even the man on the Clapham omnibus!
But who knows?
When I was driving, I used to find the Elephant and Castle roundabout confusing, especially as being a North Londoner, you don’t cross the Great Sewer unless you’re accompanied by a posse. (Make sure, they’re not Ipswich supporters, as they get lost at Liverpool Street!)
The Underground Station
In some ways Elephant and Castle tube station can be confusing and is almost two separate stations connected by long, dark tunnels under the roundabout.
- The Northern entrance is directly over the Bakerloo Line platforms
- The Southern entrance seems to give better access to the Northern Line platforms.
There are no escalators, but the Southern entrance is likely to be rebuilt. Wikipedia says this.
A major upgrade is being planned by Transport for London to bring improvements to the station; these include a new Northern line ticket hall, three new escalators and additional lifts to provide step-free access to the Northern line platforms. This will be done in conjunction with the major transformation in the Elephant & Castle area to create thousands of new homes and potential for new retail development to provide growth potential in the area.
That would be a great improvement.
The New Road Layout
Things look like they’re going to get a lot more fun for drivers at the Elephant and Castle judging by this traffic scheme that will start on Sunday.
It’s even got its own web-site.
For comparison, this is a Google Map of the area before any roadworks.
- The drawing of the new scheme has North to the left.
- The Bakerloo Line entrance is on the North Side of the old roundabout, with the Northern Line entrance at the South
- A quick look could say that the road space will be wider, but shorter after reconstruction.
It could well be a lot easier for pedestrians like me!
December 3rd, 2015
These are pictures taken on Thursday the third.
The traffic seemed pretty dense even at ten in the morning.
December 5th, 2015
These pictures were taken about the same time on Sunday the 5th.
Note that I walked a similar route on the third.
The Pedestrian Routes Are Emerging
The main difference between the two sets of pictures, is that on the North, West and East sides of the roundabout, traffic is now two-bay with a traffic island between the two carriageways.
The South side is no longer used for traffic and will be pedestrianised early in 2016.
It is now possible to see how when the scheme is complete, that the centre of the old roundabout will be joined to the South Side. This will mean that to walk from the Northern Line station to the Bakerloo line station, will require only one road crossing at the North Side of the old roundabout.
I have some questions.
- Will the middle be landscaped? Obviously!
- Will there be a cafe in the middle? Hopefully?
- Will the preferred route to the Bakerloo Line trains from the surface, always be to enter the Bakerloo Line entrance and then descend in the lifts there, which take you directly to the platforms? It might be a shorter and more pleasant walk, than a long one in a tunnel!
After my visit today, I think I can see a purpose to the new design.
December 7th, 2015
This was the first working day at the same time as the previous sets of pictures.
I did see a picture, which showed a cafe and I think that if they can do the same at Old Street, which seems to be the next roundabout removal I’ll be pleased.
Although there is this article on the BBC, which is entitled Elephant and Castle: Two-way traffic redesign causes chaos. This is said.
The removal of the Elephant and Castle roundabout has been causing chaos for commuters, with motorists complaining of queues of more than an hour.
But then good news doesn’t draw viewers to the web site.
I’ll come back and watch this one in the future.