In West Anglia Route Improvement – Modern Railways March 2017, I mentioned that Crossrail 2 might like to have turnback platform at Enfield Lock station.
As this morning, I turned back myself at Enfield Lock station, as it’s the Freedom Pass limit, I took these pictures.
This Google Map shows the middle of the station.
If you look at the West side of the station by the Down line, you’ll notice the house, which from the pictures could be a candidate for demolition.
So I do think, it might be possible to squeeze an extra platform, by the Down Line.
This Google Map shows the Southern end of the platforms.
The space available would certainly be enough for an extra platform, but will there be enough for two fast lines between the current Up Line and the houses?
I suspect that there is, if the current lines could be moved slightly to the West.
But as at Tottenham Hale and Brimsdown, fitting the two fast lines through \Enfield Lock, is going to need a cunning plan.
I took these pictures of the works between Lea Bridge and Enfield Lock stations from the 09:06 train from Lea Bridge.
Work seems to be progressing.
- It looks like the area to the South of the Chingford Line is being levelled.
- The route of the Hall Farm Curve is being cleared.
- The level crossing at Coppermill Lane has been closed.
- The bridges are being rebuilt to take at least a single-track.
- The track-bed appears to be being created.
Incidentally, there still isn’t any sign of any overhead line equipment.
I took these pictures at Enfield Lock station.
This Google Map shows a closeup of the station.
- The level crossing.
- The Google Map shows an underpass so that pedestrians and cyclists can bypass the level crossing.
- The truly dreadful footbridge.
- The tired station facilities.
- Will the houses behind the London-bound platform like having 20 tph, thundering past their back gardens.
There isn’t much space to the West of the line, but with a bit of selective demolition and moving of line-side equipment, I suspect that two extra tracks could be squeezed through.
In a related post I’ve proposed a Level Crossing Replacement Station.
This might be a way of doing the following.
- Removing the level crossing.
- Building a new modern station.
- Providing easy level access across the railway at all times for pedestrians, cyclists and those in wheelchairs.
The good people of Enfield would get a modern station and the railways would get rid of a troublesome level crossing.
West Anglia Route Improvement – Works Around Coppermill Junction And Along The West Anglia Main Line
The map from carto.metro free.fr shows the lines around the junction.
In Rumours Of Curves In Walthamstow, I talked about how I’d heard rumours of the following.
- The Hall Farm Curve would be reinstated as a single bi-directional track to allow rains to go between Stratford in the Soithe and Walthamstow and Chingford in the East.
- The Coppermill Curve would be reinstated as a double-track curve to allow empty stock movements to Chingford, where there are several sidings.
There’s also the problem of Crossrail 2 going through the area, which will need a connection to the Central Tunnel and four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line from Coppermill Junction North to Broxbourne station.
In the next few sections, I shall show the pictures I took this morning.
The Hall Farm Curve From The Chingford Branch
Note how the area is quite large.
The work seems to have cleared all the old track, which in typical British Rail fashion seems to have been abandoned to the wildlife.
Tottenham Hale Station
I took these pictures around Tottenham Hale station.
There is quite a bit going on.
A helpful station man told me the following was happening.
- Space is being created, so that two tracks can go through between the station and Hale Village.
- The taxi rank in the forecourt of the station is being moved Northwards.
- The current footbridge over the lines is going.
- A new step-free footbridge is going to be built.
Effectively, there seems to be a cunning plan to rebuild the station around the working railway, which is confirmed in this document on the Transport for London web site. This is said about works on the bridge.
We plan to keep the station open during the work so that any potential disruption will be kept to a minimum.
That is a good start.
Obviously, the architects and engineers, who have designed the replacement station, but it does seem to me, that squeezing two tracks into the space behind Platform 2 at the station will need a very large and strong shoehorn.
From Tottenham Hale To Lea Bridge
I took these pictures between Tottenham Hale and Lea Bridge stations.
- A new cable duct has certainly been installed.
- The Hall Farm Curve has been cleared of rubbish and vintage track.
- It also looks like the route of the replacement Coppermill Curve is being cleared through the scrub.
- There didn’t appear to be any electrification piles or gantries.
I can’t believe Network Rail would clear the two curves unless they were going to reinstate them.
From Tottenham Hale To Enfield Lock
I took these pictures between Tottenham Hale and Enfield Lock stations.
- It would appear that there is space to the East of the current two-track West Anglia Main Line to squeeze in two extra tracks.
- There are level crossings at Northumberland Park, Brimsdown and Enfield Lock stations.
- The quality of some of the buildings that would probably be demolished is best described as suspect.
- Meridean Way, which runs alongside the railway from Angel Road Northwards is an inadequate highway.
- I wonder how many people have booked the Premier Inn because it is close to Angel Road station, only to find that there are few trains.
I say more about the level crossings in Level Crossing Issues.
The Current Stations
These posts describe the current state of the stations between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne around the 22nd February 2017.
There are also some relevant related posts.
Hopefully, this will mean I can add content without making this post overly long.
What Frequency Will Crossrail 2 Trains Have On The West Anglia Main Line?
The Crossrail 2 entry on Wikipedia says this about the Northern Regional branches.
Running at between 10 and 15 trains per hour on new rails above ground, connected to a junction north of Dalston:
I can’t see any space being found for two new tracks and I don’t think Greater Anglia will want this number of trains mixing with their fast services, so I must assume that they will share the two slow lines to Broxbourne with Greater Anglia’s slow services.
What Will Be The Platform Layout At Tottenham Hale?
The station looks to be gaining two new lines on the East side of the station.
But will they be slow or fast lines?
My pictures show that it will be very tight to put new platforms on these lines, as there just isn’t enough space.
I have read the planning documents on the Harringey Council web site for Tottenham Hale station and came to these conclusions.
- There are no definite plans for a platform 3 and/or 4.
- There is controversy about if they are built, as to if or when they will get lifts.
- There is talk of starting STAR, which would provide four trains per hour (tph) between Stratford and Angel Road stations.
This page on the Crossrail 2 web site says this.
In order to accommodate Crossrail 2 services at Tottenham Hale, we would add at least one new platform and carry out other station improvement works too.
Wikipedia says that a third platform is being worked on.
I suspect that it could be necessary that fast services will stop at Tottenham Hale, to allow passengers to change to and from services on the following lines.
- Victoria Line
- Crossrail 2
- Local services to Liverpool Street.
- Local services to Stratford.
It should also be born in mind, that Crossrail will call at both Stratford and Liverpool Street, s say you’re going shopping at Oxford Street, to work at anary Wharf or to New York via Heathrow, would you mind which terminus you used in London, provided it was efficient?
At present both fast and slow services on the main line all share the same platform at ottenham Hale, using 1 to go South and 2 to go North.
If this arrangement was to continue, after the new lines are built, the following would apply.
- Interchange between services would be as now.
- Fast services for London would stop in platform 1 before going to either Liverpool Street or Stratford.
- Both platforms could be made step-free with lifts and a bridge at the London end of the platform.
It is workable, but you would still have the crowded platforms you get today, although the step-free bridge would make passenger circulation easier.
But what happens when Greater Anglia decide to increase fast frequencies or Crossrail 2 arrives.
Exclusive Fast Lines Between Tottenham Hale And Broxbourne Stations
One arrangement that could work, would be to use the two new lines exclusively for fast services from Tottenham Hale to Broxbourne, with trains stopping only at Broxbourne and Tottenham Hale as required.
- With more Stansted services, some could be non-stop from Liverpool Street to Stansted to reduce the load on Tottenham Hale station.
- Some Cambridge services might make their first stop at Broxbourne.
- Fast commuter services not stopping South of Broxborne are possible.
Greater Anglia will be replacing their current trains on the line with new Stadler or Aventra trains, which will in some ways compensate.
At some point hopefully Crossrail 2 will arrive.
Using the two new lines exclusively for fast traffic, with slow services on the exiting lines would have the following effects.
- Speed up services by a few minutes.
- Double capacity between Broxbourne and Tottenham Hale.
- All trains on the slow lines would be Crossrail’s or Greater Anglia’s Aventras, which can probably run together efficiently.
- 20 plus tph could probably run on the slow lines
- The only trains on the fast lines would be Greater Anglia’s Stadler expresses, which could do Broxbourne to Tottenham Hale inperhaps eiht minutes, travelling all the way at 100 mph or possibly more.
Removing fast trains from the slow lines would probably mean that a frequency of upwards of 10 tph could run on Crossrail 2 between Broxbourne and Tottenham Hale. South of Tottenham Hale they would be out of the way in the Central Tunnel.
South Of Tottenham Hale Station
Trains between Tottenham Hale station and Stratford or Liverpool Street stations, take one of the three following routes.
- To and from Lea Bridge and Stratford station
- To and from Hackney Downs and Liverpool Street stations taking the fast lines South of Hackney Downs.
- To and from Hackney Downs and Liverpool Street stations taking the slow lines South of Hackney Downs.
To complicate matters trains to and from the Chingford Branch and some Greater Anglia slow services use the fast lines South of Hackney Downs and change over around Bethnal Green station.
So could we see a bit of a reorganisation, so that all slow services are moved to the slow lines, through Hackney Downs station, so that the fast services to and from Cambridge and Stansted get a clear run between Clapton and Liverpool Street. That must save a minute or two.
It also looks like that with the opening of Lea Bridge station, some services will go to Stratford rather than Liverpool Street. These could include some services from the Chingford Branch, if the Hall Farm Curve is reopened, which some of my pictures indicate might be happening.
It should be born in mind, that Stratford has two platforms 11 and 12, connected to the lines to Lea Bridge station but only platform 11 is used.
After Crossrail opens will it matter if some of Greater Anglia’s suburban services go to Stratford rather than Liverpool Street?
In fact, it’s starting to happen, as today coming back from Cheshunt, I was on a train between Bishops Stortford and Stratford.
The Problem Of Clapton Station
Clapton station is not a massive problem, but it is on the route taken by fast Cambridge and Stansted trains to and from Liverpool Street.
Last year, Clapton station handled 1.6 million passengers, which is probably just about average or slightly above average for the Chingford Branch Line.
So there is probably not much to be gained by cutting services, as there are a lot of people to complain. But the Overground’s new Class 710 trains will have a better stop-start performance and could reduce the problem, especially if they used the slow lines through Hackney Downs.
A Pseudo-Crossrail 2
We might even see a pseudo-Crossrail 2, between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.
Suppose Greater Anglia on their slow lines ran something like the following services.
- 4 tph between Liverpool Street or Stratford and Hertford East.
- 2 tph between Liverpool Street or Stratford and Cambridge
- 4 tph between Liverpool Street or Stratford and Bishops Stortford
This would give a ten tph service between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stopping at all stations.
As the slow lines would be for exclusive use of these services, except for a few freight trains, the lines would cope admirably.
Everybody on the line would have a superb Turn-Up-And-Go-Service.
The Design Of Broxbourne Station
It could be arranged that at Broxbourne, there was cross-platform interchange between fast and slow services going in the same direction. So a passenger between say Brimsdown station and Stansted Airport, would have the one change at Broxbourne.
The Design of The Fast Line Platforms At Tottenham Hale Station
The space limitiations at Tottenham Hale would probably mean that only one extra platform could be squeezed in. Perhaps it could be an island platform between the two lines. Being an island it would only need one lift and this would save all-important width and cost.
If it was thought a narrow island platform with fast trains that might run through, the platform could surely be fitted with platform edge doors.
But the required step-free change to Crossrail 2, Victoria Line and local services would be created.
I’m suspicious that my pictures show that through Tottenham Hale station, there is only room for a single extra line, if a platform is needed. It certainly looks as if, the cable ducts have been moved to only allow only one line.
So could we see platform 2 extended to have a second platform 3 on the opposite face, which gave access to a single bi-directional line through the station?
- It would use the lift on Platform 2.
- There would be cross-platform access from a fast train to London to a slow one.
- Only access from a slow train out of London to a fast one would need the bridge.
- Bi-directional working is increasing being used.
Once through Tottenham Hale station, the fast lines would result to normal double-track working.,
I suspect that when Tottenham Hale station was rebuilt in the 1990s, no-one thought that the station would be on a line with four-tracks.