The Anonymous Widower

Extending The Docklands Light Railway West From Bank Station

Two possible routes have been proposed foe extending the Docklands Light Railway to the West

Whether either is worth developing, I don’t know.

But consider.

  • The Thameslink Programme will improve access between London Bridge and Charing Cross stations, which could take pressure off the Jubilee Line.
  • The Thameslink Programme will improve Southeastern services into Cannon Street and Charing Cross stations.
  • Charing Cross station has a couple of spare platforms, that some would like to re-use.
  • Euston and St. Pancras stations have bad access to Canary Wharf and South East London.
  • The Bakerloo Line Extension has been given the green light.
  • Crossrail connects Canary Wharf to Bond Strreet, Heathrow, Liverpool Street and Paddington.

But the big issue, is what happens about Crossrail 2.

I feel that the more likely extension to the West is to go from Bank to Euston via City Thameslink and Holborn and/or Tottenham Court Road stations and finish by going on to St. Pancras.

It could link HS2 at Euston and European services at St. Pancras to the following.

  • Thameslink at City Thameslink station.
  • Crossrail at Tottenham Court Road station.
  • Bank and Canary Wharf stations.

It would also provide a decent link between the long distance services at Euston, Kings Cross and St. Pancras.

These factors would also influence the design of the DLR Extension.

  • The DLR has all the agility of a mountain coat to climb hills and turn sharply, so it might be possible to squeeze it through places impossible for a Crossrail or an Underground line.
  • 3D-design techniques are getting better every year.
  • Tunnel boring machines are getting more accurate.
  • Escalators are getting longer.

So could we see the extension going from Bank to City Thameslink as a traditional extension and then going in a long double-track loop via some or all of the following stations.

  • Holborn
  • Tottenham Court Road
  • Oxford Circus
  • Regents Park
  • Euston
  • St. Pancras
  • Covent Garden

It would all depend on where they could squeeze the tracks through.

  • Stations could be island platforms between the tracks.
  • Platform edge doors could be fitted.
  • Escalators and lifts could link the platforms to existing station.

There’s no reason why the line should be designed traditionally for the DLR.


February 17, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

HS2 Euston Hub May Not Be Viable, LBC Discovers

This is title of this article on the LBC web site. This is the first paragraph.

The time saved by travelling on HS2 could be wasted waiting for a tube at Euston, a the Deputy Mayor of London for Transport has told LBC.

I don’t know whether the statement will prove correct, but I’ve always thought that Crossrail 2, should be built before HS2..

In Call For Crossrail 2, I said this.

HS2 is currently planned to terminate at Euston station, although I think that could be changed by a more innovative solution. But whatever happens to the London end of HS2, it needs to be simply connected into the knitting of the Underground, so terminating somewhere in the area between Kings Crossand Euston, is probably a certainty.

Every recent design for Crossrail 2 shows it serving the three important London stations of Kings Cross, St. Pancras and Euston. It also links these stations to Victoria and Clapham Junction.

Have you ever tried to use the Victoria Line between Euston and Victoria with a heavy case or a baby in a buggy? It’s bad enough at normal times and impossible in the rush hour.

So when HS2 starts squeezing more passengers through the congested Euston Underground station, it will be a disaster.

I believe that the only way to connect HS2 into London is to build Crossrail 2 first.

But what do politicians know about building things, except messes and debts?



December 12, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

An Interloper At Euston

I took these pictures as I came through Euston on Saturday night, as I returned from Blackburn.

The engine is an immaculate Class 86 locomotive, which was built in the 1960s.

According to Wikipedia, Freightliner still have ten upwards of the locomotives in service and I recently saw two working together on a long intermodal freight service through Dalston Kingsland station.

They may have been bog-standard electric locomotives in their day, but surely if they can be restored and kept running, they are probably a lot more affotdable for main line use by charters, than anything else.

I would assume that E3137 had been hauling a charter into Euston. Long may it continue to do this.

October 17, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

I’m All For More Of This!

This article from Global Rail News is entitled Toronto park plan for downtown railway.

The article describes how Toronto wants to purchase the air rights over a 21-acre railway through the City Centre and put a park on the top.

There are certainly places in the UK, where this approach can be used to create parts, housing or commercial buildings over the railway.

Especially in Londom, where land is so expensive.

Look at this Google Map of the rail lines into Liverpool Street as they pass Shoreditch High Street station on the East London Line.

Lines Through Shoreditch

Lines Through Shoreditch

Surely, a better use could be found for the space above this railway. I estimate this space must be about ten hectares and if properly developed could contain lots of buildings and a green walkway connecting Shoreditch High Street station to Liverpool Street station.

And what about the waste of space that is Euston station?

Euston Station And The Approach Lines

Euston Station And The Approach Lines

Hopefully adding HS2 to the station will improve things.

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail 2 Will Be Threaded Through This

The map from, shows all the lines around Kings Cross station.

Lines Around Kings Cross

Lines Around Kings Cross

It certainly isn’t the easiest place to connect Crossrail 2, which will call at Angel, King’s Cross St. Pancras and Euston stations into the system. From a map in this document, it would appear that Crossrail 2 runs across to the north of the Victoria and Northern Lines.

Thank Heaven for 3-D computer design systems!

March 14, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

HS2 Does The Right Thing At Leeds

I don’t like the concept of most of the HS2 stations.

Euston, isn’t too bad, as the HS2 platforms are alongside those for the main station and I suspect that when and if I see it in reality, I will be able to arrive in the station on perhaps a London Midland train from Bletchley or Tring and just walk across to the HS2 platforms.

At some of our better interchange stations like Reading, to change trains, you go up escalators to a wide overbridge and then walk across to the escalator for the platform of your departing train. The design also allows seats and cafes in a totally non-claustrophobic environment. I have a feeling that the new London Bridge will raise the bar of this type of station even higher!

To my mind the designs for HS2 station at Birmingham is absolute rubbish and truly terrible. Birmingham is developing a local train, tram and bus network centred on New Street station, so instead of HS2 arriving into this hub, it arrives at a separate station some distance away and many passengers will have to get a tram to connect to their ongoing service.

As HS2 will run very large trains, imagine say a thousand Chelsea fans arriving on HS2 to go to a match at Villa Park and needing to get a train from New Street. You save masses of time by using HS2 and then waste it queuing for a tram.

But if HS2 arrived directly into New Street, a lot of the problems would be solved with a short walk.

In Birmingham there is no space in New Street itself, but why shouldn’t HS2 arrive in an underground station beneath New Street? Or in my preferred solution, in a giant double-ended station stretching right under the City Centre.

As they’ve got a redundant piece of Grade 1 Listed railway memorabilia, they’ll use that instead. The heritage lobby should crawl back into its hole!

But at Leeds, HS2 have put forward a new proposal, where HS2 meets the existing station in a giant version of the way  trams met the train at Nottingham.

This is the only picture I can find of the proposal. It’s in an article in Global Rail News.

HS2 At Leeds Station

HS2 At Leeds Station

Passengers arriving in Leeds would just walk to the front of the train and then they’d be over the platforms of the existing Leeds station. If that is too difficult, then I’m sure we’ll see a few travalators.

It is a much better layout than that proposed for Birmingham.

Interchange between HS2 and local services must be a short walk, assisted by lifts, escalators or travalators as required.

December 19, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 3 Comments

The LaMiLo Project

Few have heard of the LaMiLo Project, which is an EU funded project to reduce truck traffic and the consequent air pollution in cities.

I hadn’t until half-an-hour ago, although I knew there were experiments going on at Euston.

This page on the London Councils web site, gives more details about the pilot project in London.

In this pilot a freight train was brought into Euston station in the middle of the night and pallets of goods were unloaded on to smaller trucks for onward delivery in Central London.

This is said on the London Councils web site about the pilot.

The pilot has provided outstanding results; it has seen 50,000 items delivered to over 250 councils building, leading to a 46% reduction in the number of vehicle trips and a 45% reduction in kilometres travelled.

It sounds like an idea worth pursuing. Although Nigel Farage would object to the EU involvement.

November 10, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Walking Between St. Pancras And Euston Stations

In 2011, I wrote Getting Between Kings Cross/St. Pancras and Euston about how I walked between the stations.

This route has now been formalised with green signs.

I think when they finish the roadworks, it’ll be a good route. This is cut and modified from my original post.

So how would I make it better, so that in effect we had one super station for the north?

  1. Perhaps, it should be marked on the ground, as a Kings Cross/St. Pancras to Euston walking route.
  2. You might even provide some eco-friendly transport along the route, like an electric shuttle bus or bicycle rickshaws.
  3. A couple of suitably placed Boris bike stations would help too.
  4. Shops and cafes should be developed along the road.  There are some already.

I was right that this would happen.

October 26, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Euston Is Getting A Balcony

At Euston station today, it was obvious that Network Rail are creating a balcony in a similar way to how they did at Manchester Piccadilly and Waterloo stations. They describe the project on this page on their web site and these are some pictures I took today of the construction work.

Hamish Kiernan, Network Rail’s Commercial Retail Director is quoted as saying this.

Our award-winning developments at King’s Cross and Waterloo showcase what can be achieved at our major stations and now as we move our focus to Euston, we are confident we can create a bigger, brighter station for everyone.

Any improvement to Euston is to be welcomed.

I wonder how many other stations could be balconied to create more space.

April 18, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

What Do You Do With A Problem Like Euston?

Or more particularly, how do you connect Euston station to Euston Square Underground station.

I walked between the two stations today and took these pictures.

It’s a congested route and it involves at least one busy road crossing.

I had wondered if some sort of pedestrian over-bridge could be used with a moving pavement to link the two stations. But it would appear that layout of the buildings plonked in the front of Euston station would probably make this impossible.

Wikipedia does state that Network Rail devised plans in 2005 to link the two stations with a subway. This project seems to have sunk without trace.

The only thing that could possibly be done, is to put a lift to the street on the Northern side of the lines in Euston Square station, to improve access to the Eastbound platform.

I never walk between the two stations and to get to and from the station, I usually use a 30 or 73 bus, as the tube station underneath the mainline station is a dark warren of tunnels and escalators.

The trouble though with the buses, is they get stuck in the traffic on the Euston Road.

Why a proper connection between the two stations wasn’t incorporated, when they rebuilt Euston in the 1960s, only a genius of the level of Einstein could tell.  But sadly he’s dead, so we’ll have to use the ouija board.

What puzzles me, is that how come the architects in the 1960s, could create two stations as bad as Manchester Piccadilly and Euston and yet leave Liverpool Lime Street as a properly working station! This section in Wikipedia offers a few clues.


April 7, 2014 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment