The Anonymous Widower

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Connecting West Anglia Main Line Services To The Central Tunnel

If say it was ever needed to run a train between Cambridge or Stansted stations and the Central Tunnel of the Elizabeth Line, three things must be possible.

Trains Would Have To Be Compatible With The Central Tunnel Of The Elizabeth Line

As any train would have to be compatible with the platform-edge doors in the central tunnel of the Elizabeth Line, the trains would have to be dimensionally identical to the current Class 345 trains.

  • Nine cars
  • Possibility of lengthening to ten cars.
  • 204.73 metres long.
  • 6 sets of doors per carriage
  • Ability to run under full digital signalling.

I covered this in detail in Extending The Elizabeth Line – High Speed Trains On The Elizabeth Line.

Trains Would Need A 100 mph Capability To Travel On The Fast Lines Of The West Anglia Main Line

They would be designed for a higher speed of at least 100 mph, to enable running on the fast lines.

The faster running would ease scheduling of the trains.

Effectively, the train would be a Class 345 train with more features and considerably more grunt.

Trains Must Be Able To Connect Between The West Anglia Main Line And The Central Tunnel Of The Elizabeth Line At Stratford

This map from cartometro.com shows the track layout at Stratford.

Note.

  1. The Elizabeth Line is shown in black and purple.
  2. The Elizabeth Line enters and leaves the Central Tunnel at the Pudding Mill Lane Portal Eye.
  3. The West Anglia Main Line to and from Stansted and Cambridge goes through Platforms 11 and 12 at Stratford station, before crossing over Stratford International station and going through Olympic Park Junction.

I am fairly sure that the track layout at Stratford does not allow trains to go both ways between West Anglia Main Line and the Elizabeth Line Central Tunnel.

But I suspect with the addition of a couple of extra crossovers, that this could be arranged.

February 5, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thoughts On Extending The Northern Line To Clapham Junction

As I wrote in Northern Line Could Be Extended To Clapham Junction In Regeneration Plans, the extension of the newly-built extension to Battersea Power Station station could be further extended to Clapham Junction station.

Railways Between Battersea And Clapham

This map from OpenRailwayMap shows the tracks that run between the two stations.

Note.

  1. Battersea Power Station station is in the North-East corner of the map.
  2. The orange and yellow lines going North from that corner go to Victoria station.
  3. The orange and yellow lines going North-East from that corner go to Waterloo station.
  4. The yellow line going West is the West London Line to Shepherds Bush and Willesden Junction stations.
  5. Clapham Junction station is in the South-West corner of the map.

I estimate that the distance between Battersea Power Station and Clapham Junction stations is about three kilometres.

This map from OpenRailwayMap shows an enlargement of the tracks around Battersea.

Note.

  1. The tracks going North over the River to Victoria station.
  2. The tracks going East to Waterloo station.
  3. The tracks going South West to Clapham Junction station.
  4. The tracks from Victoria pass over and then join the tracks from Waterloo to continue to Clapham Junction station.

Battersea Power Station station can be seen to the North-East of the junction.

This map from OpenRailwayMap shows an enlargement of the tracks around Battersea Power Station station.

Note how the tracks go through Battersea Power Station station and terminate just before the lines into Victoria station.

It should also be noted that the platforms at Battersea Power Station station are reached using two sets of escalators, so they could be over forty metres below the surface. This would surely make the construction of tower blocks with deep foundations easier over the Northern Line.

But the depth would also enable an extended Northern Line to be below any existing or future construction.

This map from OpenRailwayMap shows the approaches to Clapham Junction station.

There are certainly a lot of tracks through Clapham Junction station.

Reasons For The Extension Of The Northern Line To Clapham Junction

These reasons come to mind.

To Enable Development In The Area

This is always a good reason.

In Network Rail To Outline Business Case For Clapham Junction Redevelopment, I said this.

The Rail Technology Magazine article talks of decking over the whole station and putting two million square feet of development on top. But it also cautions, it would be very expensive.

With that amount of development, there would be a need for as many transport links as possible.

To Improve Access To The Elizabeth Line For Passengers On Trains To And From Victoria

Victoria station does not have an Underground Line, that connects to easily the Elizabeth Line.

The best route to use is described in The Lizzie Line And Circle/District Line Interchange At Paddington – 1st July 2022, where you use the Circle to Paddington.

  • To go to the West on the Elizabeth Line, take the Circle/District Line to Paddington.
  • To go to the East on the Elizabeth Line, take the District Line to Whitechapel.
  • To go to Liverpool Street take the Circle Line all the way.

Getting to the stations between Paddington and Liverpool Street means a change at either of those stations.

At Waterloo, you can use the Northern Line, which has a direct connection to Tottenham Court Road on the Elizabeth Line.

Connecting to the Northern Line at Clapham Junction will give Victoria-bound passengers, the advantages of those going to Waterloo.

An Alternative Way Of Connecting Victoria To The Elizabeth Line

The lack of an easy connection between the Victoria and the Elizabeth Line is a pain and I believe that it was a major omission in the design of the Elizabeth Line.

  • Dear Old Vicky has a frequency of upwards of thirty trains per hour (tph)
  • With some improvements at stations like Oxford Circus, Highbury & Islington and Walthamstow Central, the line could handle some more passengers.
  • More step-free access would also help increase capacity.
  • Engineers are a competitive bunch and I could see the day, when Vicky is running at 40 tph.

If Vicky was running at forty full tph, it would be moving 45120 passengers per hour.

This would mean that to match the passenger capacity of the older line, the Elizabeth Line would have to be running at a frequency of thirty tph.

As passengers at the ends of the line have difficulty getting to places like Paddington and Heathrow, a connection between the two Queens would really help.

Vicky was universe-class in the 1960s and now she needs updating to the 21st Century.

This map from cartometro shows the Lines through Bond Street and Oxford Circus stations.

Note.

  1. The Bakerloo Line is shown in brown.
  2. The Central Line is shown in red.
  3. The Elizabeth Line is shown in purple.
  4. The Victoria Line is shown in light blue.
  5. The Elizabeth Line is the deepest line.

In addition, consider.

The Eastern exit of the Elizabeth Line at Bond Street station has three escalators and lifts. It also opens onto Hanover Square, so it won’t suffer from overcrowding problems outside.

  • Hanover Square is just a garden, with no car park underneath, so pedestrian tunnels could pass under it
  • I also suspect there are no existing or planned buildings between the two stations with deep foundations that would block a pedestrian tunnel.
  • With the capability and ingenuity of three-D design software, I can see wide tunnels being created that would link Oxford Circus and the two Bond Street stations.
  • The new wide tunnels at Bank station have opened up the station’s capacity and all the tunnels were dug traditionally.
  • If it was felt to be needed, moving walkways could be added, just as they have been at Bank station.

I am absolutely sure, that by using the ideas and methods, that have worked so well in the upgrade of Bank station, that Oxford Circus and Bond Street stations could be turned into a London Superhub Station, that connects all the Underground lines together and has entrances all over the area.

The benefits of such a station would be.

  • It would provide a high-capacity link between London’s two highest-capacity Underground Lines; Elizabeth and Victoria.
  • It would provide a high-capacity link between the Elizabeth Line and Euston, St. Pancras and King’s Cross.
  • It would provide a high-capacity link between the Elizabeth Line and Victoria.
  • It would provide a high-capacity link between the Elizabeth Line and High Speed Two.
  • Areas like Brixton, Haringey and Walthamstow would gain a much needed link to the Elizabeth Line for Heathrow and Paddington.

Wikipedia says this about the building of the Bank Station Upgrade.

As part of the development of the scheme, TfL worked with potential bidders to improve the design of the station from TfL’s original design. The design proposed in the winning bid by Dragados was 9.7% cheaper than the original design (saving TfL £60m), took 10 months less time to construct than the original design (the proposed closure of the Northern line was also 5 weeks shorter), and the layout of the station was more efficient. This substantially improved the benefit–cost ratio by 45% to 3.5:1.

The Mayor should be knocking on the door of Dragados and asking them for a price for a design and build for a West End Superhub station.

A Possible Route For The Extension Of The Northern Line To Clapham Junction

I suspect that the simplest route for the extension of the Northern Line would be to bore or dig a twin-track railway underneath the numerous other railways in the area.

It could terminate in two underground platforms at Clapham Junction station.

This is the first map of this post and it shows the tracks that run between the two stations.

Note.

  1. Battersea Power Station station is in the North-East corner of the map.
  2. Clapham Junction station is in the South-West corner of the map.

The Western of the pair of orange Lines going off the map in the North-East corner of the map is the Brighton Main Line.

It passes through Battersea Park station.

It passes over the South Western Main Line out of Waterloo.

It then loops to the West and joins the lines to Clapham Junction on the Southern side.

It serves four platforms at Clapham Junction; 12 and 14 are up platforms and 13 and 15 are down platforms.

This Google Map shows an overview of Clapham Junction station.

Note.

  1. Platforms 1 and 2 at the top of the map, handle London Overground services.
  2. Platforms 3 to 11 handle South Western Train services.
  3. Platforms 12 to 17 handle Southern services.
  4. Platforms 9 and 10 have a Delice de France cafe.
  5. Platforms 11 and 12 have a Cuppacino cafe.
  6. Platforms 13 and 14 have the logos.
  7. All platforms have full step-free access with lifts to the wide footbridge that connects all platforms.

The platforms don’t seem to be very wide and putting stairs and escalators down to underground platforms could be a difficult proposition.

This map from OpenRailwayMap shows shows the platforms at Clapham Junction station and the track layout to the West of the footbridge.

Note.

  1. The tracks through the platforms are shown in orange.
  2. The blue dots are platform numbers.
  3. The bridge connecting all the platforms is shown shaded in the middle of the map.
  4. To the West of the bridge are Clapham Junction Sidings and Clapham Traincare Depot.

These pictures were taken from the bridge.

Note.

  1. The top row of pictures were taken looking West.
  2. The bottom row of pictures were taken looking East.
  3. Many of the tracks are electrified.
  4. There is a lot of space to park trains.

Will all the space be needed now, that a new depot has been built at Feltham.

Could Two New Surface Platforms Be Built For The Extension Of The Northern Line To Clapham Junction?

Consider.

  • The step-free bridge across all the platforms at Clapham Junction station works well.
  • It is connected to the streets around the station at both ends.
  • Clapham Junction station will be redeveloped and surplus depot land could be used for housing.
  • As the maps show, there is a large gap in the platforms between the South Western Railway and the Southern sides of the station.
  • As Battersea Power Station station can turn services on the Northern Line with only two platforms, there would only need to be the same number of Northern Line platforms at Clapham Junction.

So could an extra pair of platforms be built under the bridge, with stairs and a lift similar to the existing platforms?

  • The platform would have full step-free access.
  • The platforms could be long enough for any future trains.
  • There could be sidings for a few trains.
  • The tunnels from Battersea Power Station would surface just outside the station.
  • There would need to be a crossover or a turnback siding for operational reasons.

I also think, that once the depot and sidings at Clapham Junction have released the space, the new platforms and tracks could be installed without interrupting main line services through the station.

Would The Extension Of The Northern Line Be Electrified?

Consider.

  • Merseyrail were not allowed to use third-rail electrification to Headbolt Lane station and had to use batteries.
  • The Northern Line was extended to Battersea Power Station station using London’s four-rail electrified system.
  • Clapham Junction station has third-rail electrification everywhere.

I think that the authorities would be very churlish not to allow electrification to Clapham Junction.

Conclusion

I believe it is possible to extend the Northern Line to two new surface platforms at Clapham Junction station.

But I also believe that using similar methods to those used in the Bank Station Upgrade, that a full interchange between the Elizabeth and Victoria Lines can be built at Oxford Circus and Bond Street.

 

 

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February 4, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Elizabeth Line Sees 100 million Journeys Since May 2022

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

These two paragraphs outline the figures.

More than 100 million journeys have been made on the Elizabeth line in its first eight months.

Since opening in May 2022, about 600,000 trips have been made every day across the line, which links Reading and Heathrow to Shenfield and Abbey Wood, Transport for London (TfL) said.

Note.

    1. There have been complaints, which I wrote about in Elizabeth Line: Commuters Say Service ‘Not What Was Promised’.
    2. I also tend to avoid trains to and from Heathrow, as I wrote about in So Many Cases On A Train!

But how do you know a train has come from Heathrow? Only because it’s full of cases.

 

 

February 3, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Connection To Southeastern High Speed One Services

The Two Stratford Stations

In this post, Stratford station is the station handling Greater Anglia and London Overground, Underground and Docklands Light Railway services, with Stratford International station handles High Speed services.

The Elizabeth Line And The Great Western Railway Services

One of the most important stations on the Elizabeth Line is Paddington, where it connects to the London terminus of the Great Western Railway.

I would expect that quite a few passengers going to the West and Wales on the Great Western Railway, will be transported to Paddington by the Elizabeth Line.

The Elizabeth Line And Greater Anglia Services

Another of the important stations on the Elizabeth Line is Liverpool Street, where the station is the London terminus of the Greater Anglia.

I would expect that quite a few passengers going to East Anglia on the Greater Anglia, will be transported to Liverpool Street by the Elizabeth Line.

Southeastern High Speed One Services

Southeastern runs some High Speed services  on High Speed One to provide Kent with an improved service to London.

Current services are

  • London St Pancras International to Ramsgate via Faversham.
  • London St Pancras International to Ramsgate via Dover Priory.
  • London St Pancras International to Margate via Canterbury West.

Note

  1. All trains are one train per hour (tph).
  2. All trains stop at Stratford International and Ebbsfleet International.
  3. All trains are run by 140 mph Class 395 trains.

There has also been talk of running a fourth service to Hastings and Eastbourne via Stratford International, Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International.

St. Pancras Station

All of these trains terminate in three platforms; 11 to 13 at St. Pancras International station.

St. Pancras is not the ideal terminal for the Southeastern High Speed services.

  • St. Pancras is not on the Elizabeth Line.
  • St.Pancras doesn’t have good connections to Heathrow.
  • All connections to the Underground are a long walk.
  • Eurostar services are a longer walk.
  • East Midland services are also a longer route, with stairs and escalators for good measure.

St. Pancras station was designed by a committee, as a museum to Victorian architecture, rather than as a working station.

Ebbsfleet International Station Must Be The Largest Parkway Station In The UK

It holds nearly five thousand cars and it is served by Southeastern High Speed Services.

Thanet Parkway Station Will Open This Year

Thanet Parkway station is under construction.

  • It will have nearly three hundred parking spaces.
  • It will be served by Southeastern High Speed Services.
  • It should open in May 2023.

This station will need a good connection to London.

Could An Interchange Between The Elizabeth Line And Southeastern High Speed Services Be Provided At Stratford?

Such an alternative interchange would be popular with passengers.

  • The Elizabeth Line from Stratford currently serves the West End, the Northern section of the City of London, East London, Liverpool Street, Paddington and the West End directly.
  • The Elizabeth Line from Stratford currently serves Canary Wharf, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Euston, Heathrow, King’s Cross. Reading, St. Pancras and Victoria with a change at Whitechapel.
  • The Central Line, which shares platforms with the Elizabeth Line  serves Bank and the West End directly.
  • The Overground is easily accessed for travel across North London to Richmond.
  • The Jubilee Line is easily accessed for travel to London Bridge, Waterloo and Westminster.

It would be connected to two large parkway stations and lots of parking all over Kent.

I believe that Stratford must be promoted as an alternative terminus for Southeastern High Speed Services.

Today, I walked both ways between two Stratford stations.

These pictures show the route I took between Stratford and Stratford International stations, through the Eastfield Shopping Centre.

Note.

  1. I went through the Shopping Centre.
  2. I passed Marks & Spencer’s large food hall, excellent toilets and a Food Court.
  3. By the Food Court is an exit that leads to an entrance to Stratford International station.
  4. The walk took about 10 minutes.
  5. It was vaguely level.
  6. Lifts by-passed the escalators.
  7. One thing that makes the journey to London easier, is to travel in the Eastern end of the train, as the lifts and escalators at Stratford International station, are at that end.

It does need some better signage, but they were doing a bit of refurbishment, so that may already be underway.

It could be a very high quality interchange and it is already better than St. Pancras.

Coming back I took the longer route outside the Shopping Centre.

Note.

  1. I just turned left out of the entrance, walked along the road and turned right past the bus station.
  2. If the weather had been colder or wetter, I’d have gone back via the Shopping Centre.
  3. The walk took about 12 minutes.

I think normally, I’d go back through the Shopping Centre, as there’s a Marks and Spencer Food Hall on the route and it’s slightly quicker and often warmer.

 

Could Stratford Station Be A London Superhub Station?

When you consider the stations connected to Stratford in London, East Anglia and Kent, it has an excellent collection.

  • Airports – Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Southend and Stansted
  • Cities – Cambridge, Canterbury, Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich and Southend-on-Sea
  • London Main and Terminal Stations – Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Clapham Junction, Euston, Farringdon, King’s Cross, London Bridge, Liverpool Street, Marylebone, Moorgate, Paddington, Victoria and Waterloo
  • Major Areas – Canary Wharf, City of London, Hampstead, Olympic Park and West End
  • Ports – Dover, Felixstowe, Folkestone and Harwich

You can even get a train to Slough, with a change at Whitechapel.

I would think it already is a London Superhub Station.

January 30, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Could The Giant Station At Bank, Liverpool Street, Monument And Moorgate Be Considered A Superhub?

In Is The City Of London Moving Towards One Giant Station?, I showed how the four stations were being drawn together and developed as one large station that served the heart of the City of London.

London is also developing other large interchange stations that could claim because of their connectivity could be classed as London superhub stations.

  • Canary Wharf stations, which connect the Elizabeth and Jubilee Lines, and the Docklands Light Railway.
  • Old Oak Common station, which could bring together the Central, Chiltern and Elizabeth Lines, the London Overground and High Speed Two.
  • Stratford station, which connects the Central, Elizabeth and Jubilee Lines, the Docklands Light Railway, the London Overground, High Speed One and the Great Eastern Main Line.
  • Whitechapel station, which connects the Circle, District, Elizabeth and Hammersmith & City Lines, and the London Overground.

But what are the  characteristics of a superhub station?

A Lot Of Lines And Services

Obviously, it must have a lot of lines and services, so perhaps Clapham Junction station is the original superhub station.

All Lines Should Have Step-Free Access

This surely, goes without saying.

There Should Be Lots of Information

If the station is large it needs a lot of information and there’s probably the space to put it.

Helpful Staff

Should we have a fully-staffed kiosk at superhub stations, as there are at some main line stations?

Good Bus Connections

Bus connections at a superhub station must be comprehensive and probably connect to other superhubs.

There Should Be A Selection Of Shops For Travellers

I do my daily food and other shopping, as I travel around London. I’ll often use a station like Paddington with a good selection of shops.

Toilets

There are not enough public toilets in London.

Cash Machines

I know we’re using less cash, but a large station is a secure place to put a cash-machine.

Works Of Art

I also believe that railway stations are a secure place to put some of those large bronze sculptures and other works of art, that are currently locked away in the storerooms of galleries.

January 29, 2023 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Serving South-East London

The Inadequacies Of Abbey Wood Station

Abbey Wood station is the Elizabeth Line’s main terminus in South-East London.

The architecture is impressive, as the pictures taken before the station was finished show.

But other things are less than impressive.

  • There is no station parking.
  • Central London rail terminals served by Elizbeth Line services are only Liverpool Street/Moorgate and Paddington.
  • Central London rail terminals served by National Rail services are Cannon Street, London Bridge, King’s Cross and St. Pancras.

In my view, Abbey Wood is a lost cause, as a commuter station, unless substantial parking is built at the station.

Parking At Stations In West Kent

This list shows the number of car parking spaces at stations in West Kent and South East London.

  • Barnehurst – 162 *
  • Belvedere – None *
  • Bexleyheath – 83 *
  • Chatham – 276 *
  • Dartford – 186 *
  • Ebbsfleet International – 4945 #
  • Erith – None *
  • Eynsford – 15
  • Farningham Road – None
  • Gillingham – 152 *
  • Gravesend – 94 *
  • Greenhithe – 8 *
  • Longfield – 88
  • Meopham – 167
  • Northfleet – None *
  • Plumstead – None *
  • Rochester – None *
  • St. Mary Cray – 31
  • Slade Green – 25
  • Sole Street – 61
  • Stone Crossing – None *
  • Strood – 112 *
  • Swanley – 106
  • Swanscombe – None *
  • Welling – 117

Note.

  1. An asterisk (*) indicates direct trains to and from Abbey Wood station for the Elizabeth Line.
  2. An hash(#) indicates direct trains to and from Stratford International for the Elizabeth Line.

These figures are according to the National Rail web site.

It looks like unless you can walk to your nearest station and that has an easy connection to Abbey Wood, you’re probably better off going to Ebbsfleet and parking there.

Travelling Between Ebbsfleet International And The Elizabeth Line At Stratford International

Consider.

  • Southeastern’s Highspeed service between Ebbsfleet International and Stratford International has a frequency of three trains per hour (tph)
  • It takes less than twelve minutes between the two stations.
  • It takes ten minutes to walk between Stratford International and Stratford Station for the Elizabeth Line and Greater Anglia services.
  • There are eight Elizabeth Line tph to Paddington, calling at all stations. For Heathrow change at Whitechapel station.

Note.

  1. From these points, it should be possible to estimate the time you should park at Ebbsfleet to get to an event in London or East Anglia, if you live in Kent and are parking at Ebbsfleet International.
  2. I think four tph between Ebbsfleet International and Stratford International would make the route more attractive.
  3. If you’re going to Norwich or Ipswich be careful, as only one of the two tph stop at Stratford.

I catch the 12:30 from Liverpool Street for matches at Ipswich on Saturdays. This is the 12:38 from Stratford, so I suspect if you parked at parked at Ebbsfleet before 12:00, you’d make it.

Who’d have thought, that when they built the massive car parks at Ebbsfleet international, that they would be a Park-and-Ride for football at Ipswich. And Norwich too!

Changing Trains At Stratford

This map from Cartometro shows the two Stratford stations.

Note.

  1. The Elizabeth Line is shown in purple.
  2. The Central Line is shown in red.
  3. The Jubilee Line is shown in silver.
  4. The Overground is shown in orange.
  5. Lifts and escalators take passengers to and from the surface from between platforms 2 and 3 at Stratford International station.

Two pedestrian tunnels connect all the platforms in Stratford station.

  • Elizabeth Line trains use platforms 5 and 8.
  • Central Line trains use platforms 3, 3a and 6.
  • Great Eastern Main Line trains use platforms 9, 9a and 10.
  • Overground trains use platforms 1 and 2.

All platforms have lifts.

I suspect, that when you get to know the Stratford complex well, it’s easier than it looks.

But it does need better signage.

Full Step-Free Route Between Ebbsfleet And Heathrow Central

I have just used Transport for London’s Journey Planner, as if I was in a wheelchair and need full step-free access to go from Ebbsfleet to Heathrow Central.

This was the route.

  • Southeastern to Stratford International station – 10 mins
  • Walk to Stratford station – 21 mins
  • Jubilee Line to Bond Street – 24 mins
  • Bond Street to Heathrow Central – 32 mins

Note.

  1. The times are slower than say myself.
  2. I think it is possible to pick up the Elizabeth Line at Stratford.

But the route is certainly possible in a wheel-chair.

The Penge Interchange

This map from Cartometro shows where the East London Line of the London Overground and the Chatham Main Line between Victoria and Chatham cross in Penge.

Note.

  1. The East London Line runs North-South through Sydenham and Penge West stations.
  2. The Chatham Main Line runs through Penge East station.

There is a plan by Transport for London to create a Penge Interchange station on railway land, where the two lines cross.

  • The station could replace Penge West and Penge East stations.
  • It would be fully step-free.
  • Interchange would be allowed between the East London Line and the Chatham Main Line.

This would increase connectivity for those travelling to and from South-East London and West Kent.

I brlieve that this one interchange could help level-up a large area of South-East London.

 

January 29, 2023 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is The City Of London Moving Towards One Giant Station?

Bank and Monument Stations

When I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, there used to be an anomaly shown on Harry Beck’s iconic London  Tube Map, that stood out as a bit different.

It was between Bank and Monument stations and was marked as an Escalator Connection, which connected the Northern Line at Bank to the District and Circle Lines at Monument.

This link was opened in 1933 and has its own section in Wikipedia labeled Monument Link, 1933.

This link has been joined by more tunnels, lifts and escalators over the last eight decades.

  • In 1960, the Waterloo & City Line was connected to the main entrance of Bank station by two moving walkways.
  • In 1991, the Docklands Light Railway was extended to the complex, with escalators to both the Bank and Monument entrances to the station complex.
  • In November 2018, the new Bloomberg or Wallbrook entrance to the station opened, and I wrote about it in The Bank Station Walbrook Entrance Opened Today.

Bank and Monument stations have been developing as a pair of twin stations for eighty years.

The latest phase of the Bank Station Upgrade has added the following to the complex.

  • A new and much large Southbound platform for the Northern Line.
  • A moving walking between the Northern Line at Monument station and the Central Line at Bank station.
  • Escalators between the Central Line and the Bank station end of the new moving walkway.
  • Escalators between the Northern Line and the Docklands Light Railway.

The upgrade will be completed by a new entrance to the station complex on Cannon Street.

This Google Map shows the area of the station.

Note.

  1. The main Bank station entrance the top of the map, by the Bank of England with multiple entrances to the station.
  2. The main Monument entrance in the South-East corner of the map.
  3. The Cannon Street entrance will be in the triangle formed by Abchurch Lane, Cannon Street and King William Street.
  4. The Wallbrook entrance is under the Wallbrook Building.

The station has spread over a wide area, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more entrances in the future.

Liverpool Street And Moorgate Stations

This Google Map shows Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations.

Note.

  1. The green space is Finsbury Circus Gardens.
  2. Moorgate station is to the West on the A501 or Moorgate.
  3. Liverpool Street station is to the East on the A10 or Bishopsgate.

There is now a tunnel between the two stations, as part of the double-ended Liverpool Street Elizabeth Line station.

The drawing from Crossrail shows a cross-section of the Liverpool Street Elizabeth Line station.

Note.

  1. Moorgate station is on the left.
  2. Liverpool Street station is on the right.
  3. In the middle looking like a giant juicer is the ventilation shaft in Finsbury Circus.
  4. The Crossrail tunnels, which consist of two running tunnels and a pedestrian walkway between them are at the deepest level.
  5. There are escalators and lifts all over the place.

If it’s raining it’s a good way between the two stations.

The Rail Lines At Liverpool Street And Moorgate Stations

These routes serve the two stations.

  • National Rail – Liverpool Street to Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk
  • National Rail – Moorgate to North London and Hertfordshire
  • Central Line – Liverpool Street
  • London Overground – Liverpool Street to North-East London and Hertfordshire
  • City, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines – Liverpool Street and Moorgate
  • Elizabeth Line – Liverpool Street and Moorgate
  • Northern Line – Moorgate

Note.

  1. The Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines have separate stations and platforms in both Liverpool Street and Moorgate.
  2. The Elizabeth Line station at Liverpool Street is a double-ended station with entrances in both the original Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations.
  3. You can walk between Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations using the connecting tunnel of the Elizabeth Line station.
  4. Both Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations are well-served by buses.

These connections mean that if you arrive in either of Liverpool Street or Moorgate and need to leave from the other main station, you can catch a train on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines for one stop or walk through the Elizabeth Line tunnel or on the surface.

The Triangle Of Lines In The City Of London

The City of London effectively has three main Underground stations, that connect to all the important lines through the City.

  • Bank/Monument station connects to the Central, Circle, District and Northern Lines
  • Liverpool Street station connects to the Circle, Elizabeth, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Northern Lines.
  • Moorgate station connects to the Central, Circle, Elizabeth, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines.

All three stations have direct Underground connections.

  • Bank and Liverpool Street via Central Line.
  • Monument and Liverpool Street via Circle Line.
  • Bank and Moorgate via Northern Line.
  • Monument and Moorgate via Circle Line.
  • Liverpool Street and Moorgate via Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines.

Note.

  1. All interconnecting services are frequent.
  2. The Circle at six trains per hour (tph) is the least frequent
  3. The connections at Bank have much improved recently, due to the Bank Station Upgrade.

It is also possible to walk between the three stations.

In Where The City Of London Leads The Rest Will Follow!, I laid out the plans of the City of London to cut vehicles in the City, impose a 15 mph speed limit and improve cycling and walking routes.

If all goes to plan, then this will open up more routes between the three stations.

Conclusion

Bank, Liverpool Street, Monument and Moorgate will evolve into one large interconnected City of London station, that is served by the Central, Circle, Elizabeth, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Northern Lines.

The most important thing that must be done is improve the information.

At least though, the vast walls that have been created in the Bank Station Upgrade and the Elizabeth Line stations, will be up to the task of informing passengers, the routes they need to take.

The other important thing, is to provide step-free and wheelchair-friendly routes between, Bank, Liverpool Street, Monument and Moorgate, so that passengers with reduced mobility can safely get on their way.

After the current round of construction and upgrades, I don’t think any of the rail routes between the stations are step-free.

 

 

 

January 27, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Trip Along The Central Line – 26th January 2023

Today, I took a trip on the Central Line from Leyton station in the East to Ealing Broadway station in the West.

The trip was about eleven this morning and one aim was to assess how busy the line was.

For much of the journey between Leyton and Marble Arch, the train had about half the seats taken, but by the time we got to Ealing Broadway, there were only two of us in my carriage.

After arriving, I had a short chat with the cheery Scots lassie, who had driven us across London.

  • She said, that passenger levels had held up on the Central Line, despite the competition from the Elizabeth Line.
  • But she also said that large numbers of passengers transfer from the Elizabeth Line to the Central Line at Stratford in the Morning Peak.
  • She didn’t say, but there is probably an opposite change in the Evening Peak.

With the exception of a couple of ladies with babies in buggies, most passengers were not travelling with any heavy luggage.

 

January 26, 2023 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Elizabeth Line: Commuters Say Service ‘Not What Was Promised’

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

This is the sub-heading to the article by Tom Edwards.

All of the huge modernist stations are now open and it is architecturally impressive, but what has service on the Elizabeth line been like since it opened in the summer?

These three paragraphs talk about how passengers have reported problems to Tom.

Many say it has been hit and miss, and commuters in West Ealing have been in touch with me to highlight some of the problems.

They recorded some of their journeys for BBC London, and it doesn’t look pleasant.

Many are really fed up with the delays and cancellations and above all the overcrowding.

As with many new railways, like the London Overground, the Borders Railway and the Dartmoor Line, the passenger numbers on the Elizabeth Line have exceeded projections.

The main reasons are probably.

  • Convenience of the new route and its stations.
  • Curiosity about the new infrastructure.
  • The improved access to the trains with heavy cases.

But in the case of the Elizabeth Line two other factors also apply.

Are Passengers Changing From the Piccadilly to the Elizabeth Line?

Consider.

  • The Piccadilly Line trains are smaller than the Elizabeth Line trains.
  • The Piccadilly Line trains are not air-conditioned.
  • Heathrow Central to Holborn is 62 minutes on the Piccadilly Line and several minutes quicker using the Elizabeth and Central Lines with a change at Bond Street or Tottenham Court Road.

Many passengers, who previously used the Piccadilly Line may swap to the Elizabeth Line for a quicker journey on a more comfortable and spacious train.

The new Piccadilly Line trains will have more space, walk-through carriages and air conditioning, so may well tempt passengers back.

Bond Street And All Stations To the East On the Elizabeth Line Are Only Five Minutes Slower By Elizabeth Line Direct

Consider.

  • Heathrow Central and Bond Street is 38 minutes using Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth Line with a change at Paddington.
  • Using the Elizabeth Line all the way takes 43 minutes.
  • The figures for Liverpool Street are 46 and 51 minutes respectively.
  • The figures for Canary Wharf are 53 and 58 minutes respectively.

Note.

  1. The direct route avoids the change at Paddington.
  2. The change at Paddington between Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth Line is not onerous.
  3. Routes using Heathrow Express are fifteen pounds more expensive.
  4. If you’re desperate for a coffee, you can pick one up, when you change at Paddington using Heathrow express.

I believe a regular traveller to Heathrow, who has easy access to an Elizabeth Line station and in the past has used Heathrow Express will give the Elizabeth Line a chance.

The Jewel In The East Is On The Elizabeth Line

In 2014, I wrote Is Whitechapel Station Going To Be A Jewel In The East?.

Consider.

  • The Elizabeth Line will go through the station with a frequency of up to 24 trains per hour (tph).
  • The two Eastern branches of the Elizabeth Line split to the East of Whitechapel station.
  • There will be four tph between Heathrow and Whitechapel.
  • The East London Line of the London Overground goes through the station with a frequency of 16 tph, that will be raised to at least 20 tph in a few years.
  • The District Line goes through the station with a frequency of upwards of 12 tph.
  • The Hammersmith and City Line goes through the station with a frequency of 6 tph.
  • The station has large numbers of lifts and escalators.

Passengers from all over the Eastern half of London will change at Whitechapel on their journey to and from Heathrow.

Farrington station Connects Thameslink And The Elizabeth Line

Consider.

  • The Elizabeth Line will go through Farringdon station with a frequency of up to 24 tph.
  • The Circle, Hammersmith and City and the Metropolitan Lines will go through the station with a combined frequency of up to 24 tph.
  • Thameslink will go through the station with a frequency of up to 14 tph.

Passengers from Thameslink’s catchment area will change at Farringdon on their journey to and from Heathrow.

Overcrowding On The Elizabeth Line

It is not a surprise to me, that the Western end of the Elizabeth Line is overcrowded.

I noticed it in November 3022, when I wrote So Many Cases On A Train!.

What Can Be Done To Ease The Overcrowding?

These are possible ways to ease the overcrowding.

Increase The Number Of Trains To Heathrow

I would feel the obvious way to increase the number of trains to Heathrow, would be to run direct trains between Shenfield and Heathrow.

Currently, there are these trains.

  • 4 tph – Heathrow Express – Paddington and Terminal 5
  • 2 tph – Elizabeth Line – Abbey Wood and Terminal 4
  • 2 tph – Elizabeth Line – Abbey Wood and Terminal 5

But is there the capacity to add extra trains between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow through the tunnel?

Run A Service Between Shenfield And Hayes & Harlington

This would add capacity in West London, where it is needed, but wouldn’t add any extra trains through the tunnel to Heathrow.

By timing this service in combination with the Elizabeth Line services to Heathrow, I suspect a very efficient service between Heathrow and both Eastern terminals could be devised.

  • As four tph run between Abbey Wood and Heathrow, four tph would be run between Shenfield and Hayes & Harlington.
  • Going towards Heathrow, the train from Shenfield to Hayes & Harlington would be a few minutes in front of the train from Abbey Wood to Heathrow. Passengers going from Shenfield to Heathrow would be instructed to change at any station between Whitechapel  and Southall, by waiting a few minutes for the following train.
  • Coming from Heathrow, passengers wanting to go to Shenfield would walk across the platform at Hayes & Harlington to catch the waiting train to Shenfield. The Shenfield train would follow a few minutes behind the Abbey Wood train.

Note.

  1. The two train services would run as a pair, a few minutes apart.
  2. No new infrastructure would be required.

Currently, there are eight tph between Whitechapel and Hayes & Harlington.

Four tph between Shenfield and Hayes & Harlington would increase the following.

  • The capacity between Whitechapel and Hayes & Harlington by fifty percent.
  • The train frequency in the central tunnel to twenty tph or a train every three minutes.
  • The frequency between Paddington and Shenfield to twelve tph.

There would still be four tph available for more services.

 

 

 

 

 

January 25, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Brent Cross West Station – 22nd January 2023

T took these pictures as I passed the site this morning.

I’m not sure about the work of art.

Changing At Farringdon To And From Northbound Thameslink Trains

For my trip this morning, I took the Lizzie Line one stop from Moorgate station to Farringdon, and then straight up the escalator to the Northbound Thameslink platform.

Changing to Northbound Thameslink services at Farringdon is very easy, if you make sure you arrive in the Western end of your Lizzie Line train.

These pictures show the change.

Note.

  1. You can only change at the Western end of the Lizzie Line platforms.
  2. At the top of the escalator, keep to the left and walk through to the Northbound platform.

You will be arrive on the Northbound platform at the back of the train.

The reverse change is also easy, so if I was coming home from Gatwick Airport or Brighton, I’d change at Farringdon to the Lizzie Line for Moorgate, from where I can get a bus to my home.

The change to the Lizzie Line will be easier, if you are in the back of your Thameslink train.

Pit Stops At Farringdon Station

One unique feature of the Northbound Thameslink platform at Farringdon station, is that unusually for a sub-surface station, it has full facilities, which are located by the escalators for the Lizzie Line.

I would very much like to see more of these.

Changing At Farringdon To And From Southbound Thameslink Trains

Changing to Southbound Thameslink services at Farringdon is similar to changing to Northbound Thameslink services, if you make sure you arrive in the Western end of your Lizzie Line train.

These pictures show the change.

Note.

  1. You can only change at the Western end of the Lizzie Line platforms, where you go up the escalator.
  2. At the top of the escalator, keep to the right and take the escalator to the station entrance.
  3. Then descend to the Southbound platform using the stairs or the lifts.

You will be arrive on the Southbound platform at the front of the train.

The reverse change is also easy, so if I was coming home from Bedford or Cambridge, I’d change at Farringdon to the Lizzie Line for Moorgate, from where I can get a bus to my home.

The change to the Lizzie Line will be easier, if you are in the front of your Thameslink train.

January 22, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment