The Anonymous Widower

Where Should You Travel On An Elizabeth Line Train?

The Lizzie Line has one very annoying problem.

When you catch a train, how do you know which is the best place to board the train, so that you get off at the right place to continue your journey?

I regularly go between the Moorgate entrance at Liverpool Street station to the Barbican entrance at Farringdon station.

  • Liverpool Street station is a double-ended station with an Eastern entrance at Liverpool Street station and a Western entrance at Moorgate station.
  • At Moorgate the Western end of the train is closest to the Moorgate Lizzie Line entrance and it is about a hundred metres walk on the level and two escalators between platform and street level.
  • Farringdon station is a double-ended station with an Eastern entrance near to the Barbican and a Western entrance at Farringdon station.
  • At Farringdon the Eastern end of the train is closest to the Barbican Lizzie Line entrance and it is about a hundred metres walk on the level and two escalators between platform and street level.

Ideally between the Moorgate entrance at Liverpool Street station to the Barbican entrance at Farringdon station, you would want to travel in the Eastern end of the train, as this would mean you had a quick getaway.

So you have to do one of these three things.

  • Walk two hundred metres to the Eastern end of the platforms at Liverpool Street station and board the train at its Eastern end.
  • Board the train at its Western end and walk back two hundred metres or so to the Eastern end of the platforms on arrival at Farringdon station to exit the station at the Barbican entrance.
  • Board the train at its Western end and walk back two hundred metres or so inside the train to the Eastern end before alighting at the Barbican end of Farringdon station to exit the station. Be warned, that Heathrow trains can be blocked by cases, as I said in So Many Cases On A Train!.

I take a different route.

  • I use the lift at the Moorgate Lizzie Line entrance to drop to the Westbound Circle/Hammersmith & City/Metropolitan Line platform.
  • I get the first Underground train that arrives.
  • Whilst it is running to Barbican station, I walk as far forward as I can get.
  • I alight at Barbican station and walk to the Western end of the platform.
  • From there, I take the lift and an escalator to street level.

It is a route which is step-free with less walking and two lifts and an escalator.

I suspect many regular Lizzie Line passengers will have their own regular short cuts.

Station Alighting Positions

These are in my view, the best place to be in a train, when travelling to these stations.

  • Abbey Wood – Eastern end
  • Acton Main Line – Eastern half
  • Bond Street – Hanover Square – Eastern end
  • Bond Street – Davies Street – Western end
  • Bond Street – Central Line – Western end
  • Bond Street – Jubilee Line – Western end
  • Brentwood – Western end
  • Burnham – Middle
  • Canary Wharf – Escalators both ends and lifts in the middle
  • Chadwell Heath – Eastern end
  • Custom House – Middle and lift at Western end
  • Ealing Broadway – Western end
  • Ealing Broadway – Central Line – Western end
  • Ealing Broadway – District Line – Western end
  • Farringdon – Barbican – Eastern end
  • Farringdon – Circle Line – Western end
  • Farringdon – Farringdon – Western end
  • Farringdon – Hammersmith & City Line – Western end
  • Farringdon – Thameslink – Western end
  • Forest Gate – Eastern end
  • Gidea Park – Western half
  • Goodmayes – Western end
  • Hanwell – Eastern half
  • Harold Wood – Western end
  • Hayes and Harlington – Western end
  • Heathrow Central – Eastern end
  • Heathrow Terminal 4 – Western end
  • Heathrow Terminal 5 – Eastern end
  • Ilford – Eastern end
  • Iver – Eastern half
  • Langley – Middle
  • Liverpool Street – Central Line – Eastern end
  • Liverpool Street – Circle Line – Either end
  • Liverpool Street – Hammersmith & City Line – Either end
  • Liverpool Street – Liverpool Street – Eastern end
  • Liverpool Street – Liverpool Street – National Rail – Eastern end
  • Liverpool Street – Metropolitan Line – Either end
  • Liverpool Street – Moorgate – Western end
  • Liverpool Street – Moorgate – National Rail – Western end
  • Liverpool Street – Northern Line – Western end
  • Maidenhead – Middle
  • Manor Park – Eastern end
  • Maryland – Middle
  • Paddington – Escalators both ends and lifts in the middle
  • Reading – Middle
  • Romford – Eastern end
  • Seven Kings – Eastern end
  • Shenfield – Eastern end
  • Slough – Eastern half
  • Southall – Middle
  • Stratford – Middle
  • Taplow – Western half
  • Tottenham Court Road – Central Line – Eastern end
  • Tottenham Court Road – Dean Street – Western end
  • Tottenham Court Road – Northern Line – Eastern end
  • Tottenham Court Road – Tottenham Court Road – Eastern end
  • Twyford – Western half
  • West Drayton – Western end
  • West Ealing – Eastern end
  • Whitechapel – District Line – Western end
  • Whitechapel – Hammersmith & City Line – Western end
  • Whitechapel – Overground – Western end
  • Whitechapel – Western end
  • Woolwich – Western end
  • Woolwich – Docklands Light Railway – Western end
  • Woolwich – National Rail – Western end

Note.

  1. Where another line is indicated, the position is for the interchange.
  2. By end, I mean the two end cars.
  3. By half, I mean the end four cars.

All of the routes have lifts.

November 30, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Improving The Northern City Line

Some parts of North and North-East London, have less-than-good connections with the Elizabeth Line.

  • The Piccadilly Line has no direct connection with the Elizabeth Line.
  • The Victoria Line has no direct connection with the Elizabeth Line.
  • The Bank branch of the Northern Line has only a poor connection with the Elizabeth Line at Moorgate station.
  • The Northern City Line has only a poor connection with the Elizabeth Line at Moorgate station.
  • The Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line has a good connection with the Elizabeth Line at Tottenham Court Road station.
  • The Lea Valley Lines of the London Overground have good connections with the Elizabeth Line at Liverpool Street station.
  • Thameslink has a good connection with the Elizabeth Line at Farringdon station.

It would appear that if you live near one of the Lea Valley Lines or Thameslink stations, you can access the Elizabeth Line fairly easily at Liverpool Street or Farringdon stations, but if you rely on a Northern, Northern City, Piccadilly or Victoria Line local station, you are not so lucky!

Could The Northern City Line Be Improved To Give Better Connections Between North London And The Elizabeth Line?

This map from cartometro.com shows the lines between Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington stations.

Note.

  1. The dark blue tracks are the Piccadilly Line, which calls at M (Manor House), Finsbury Park, Arsenal, Holloway Road and Caledonian Road, before going South-West to King’s Cross St. Pancras.
  2. The lighter blue tracks are the Victoria Line, which calls at Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington, before going South-West to King’s Cross St. Pancras.
  3. The black tracks on the Western side of the map are those of the East Coast Main Line into King’s Cross.
  4. The black tracks going South-East from Finsbury Park are the Northern City Line, which calls at Finsbury Park, Drayton Park, Highbury & Islington, E (Essex Road) and Old Street before terminating at Moorgate.

This second map shows the lines through Finsbury Park station.

 

Note.

  1. The dark blue tracks are the Piccadilly Line.
  2. The lighter blue tracks are the Victoria Line.
  3. The black tracks going through Drayton Park station are the Northern City Line.
  4. The platforms of the Piccadilly and Victoria Lines are paired at Finsbury Park station, so that passengers can change lines with a simple walk-across.

This third map shows the lines through Highbury & Islington station.

Note.

  1. The dark blue tracks are the Piccadilly Line.
  2. The lighter blue tracks are the Victoria Line.
  3. The orange tracks are the London Overground.
  4. The black tracks going through Drayton Park and Highbury & Islington stations are the Northern City Line, which terminates at Moorgate station.
  5. The platforms of the Northern City and Victoria Lines are paired at Highbury & Islington station, so that passengers can change lines with a simple walk-across.

The big problem with Highbury & Islington station is that is not step-free.

A Step-Free Route Between Wood Green And Moorgate  Stations

Currently, it is possible to go between Wood Green and Moorgate stations by using three trains.

  • Piccadilly Line – Wood Green to Finsbury Park – 6 mins
  • Victoria Line – Finsbury Park to Highbury & Islington – 6 mins
  • Northern City Line – Highbury & Islington to Moorgate – 10 mins

Note.

  1. These are actual times measured on my phone.
  2. The total time is twenty-two minutes.
  3. I had to wait a couple of minutes at both changes.
  4. Both changes are walk-across.
  5. The changes are not as perfect as they could be, although they would be easily managed with a buggy or a heavy case.

These pictures show the change at Highbury & Islington station.

These pictures show the change at Finsbury Park station.

This route works for all stations Between Manor House and Cockfosters.

  • Cockfosters – Add 15 minutes
  • Oakwood – Add 12 minutes
  • Southgate – Add 9 minutes
  • Arnos Grove – Add 6 minutes
  • Bounds Green – Add 3 minutes
  • Turnpike Lane – Subtract 2 minutes
  • Manor House – Subtract 5 minutes

But look at the frequencies of the three sections in trains per hour (tph)

The Northern City Line frequency is not high enough, as you could have a fifteen minute wait for a train.

Improvements Needed To The Northern City Line

The Northern City Line now has new Class 717 trains, a terminal platform at Stevenage and full digital signalling is being installed.

  • The major improvement needed would be to improve frequency to at least 12 tph.
  • Six tph on both branches should be possible.

I would also install step-free access at more stations.

Moorgate Station’s Northern City Line Platforms

These pictures show the platforms of the Northern City Line at Moorgate station.

Note.

Improved Connections At Moorgate Station

I talked about the connections between the Northern and Elizabeth Lines at Moorgate station in Elizabeth Line To Northern Line At Moorgate Station.

This was my conclusion.

Routes between the Northern and Elizabeth Lines at Moorgate need to be improved.

I feel that some of the improvements could be fairly minor, but adding step-free access to the Northern City Line could be more difficult.

An Improved Connection Between Bank And Moorgate Stations

Currently, there are three ways between Bank and Moorgate stations.

  • Use the Northern Line
  • Use a 21, 43 or 141 bus routes
  • Walk

I believe that it would also be possible to dig a pedestrian tunnel between the two stations and fit it out with a moving walkway.

This visualisation shows the updated Bank station.


Note.

  1. Moorgate station is to the left.
  2. The only more-or-less completed bits are the two Northern Line tunnels and platforms and parallel pedestrian tunnel.
  3. The four cross tunnels can be picked out towards the far end of the station.
  4. Three of the cross tunnels can now be used by passengers.
  5. The moving walkway can be accessed from the two cross tunnels nearest to the Central Line.
  6. The escalators from the yet-to-open Cannon Street entrance appear to lead directly into a cross tunnel and a parallel tunnel to the moving walkway.

I believe that the moving walkway to Moorgate station could connect with the Bank station complex, at the Moorgate end of the new moving walkway in Bank station.

 

September 5, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Linking To The Oxted Line

I believe that everybody in the South East of England needs the best access possible to the Elizabeth Line, by train from where they live.

  • The Elizabeth Line serves the important places like Brick Lane, Canary Wharf, the City of London, Heathrow Airport, Liverpool Street station, the Olympic Park, Oxford Street and Paddington station directly.
  • Because of its connection to Thameslink, the Elizabeth Line also serves important places like Bedford, Brighton, Cambridge, Gatwick Airport, Luton Airport and Tate Modern with a single change at Farringdon station.
  • Using the Elizabeth Line, Thameslink and perhaps a bus, it is possible to get to most important places in Central London.
  • The more passengers that use the Elizabeth Line and Thameslink, the more London’s businesses will thrive creating employment and tax revenues.
  • It should also be remembered, that using a train to visit central London, probably cuts your carbon footprint.
  • The Elizabeth Line also cost a fortune, so perhaps by using it, you will be getting some of your portion of what it cost you back.

This post is the first of several, where I discuss how to bring more passengers into the Elizabeth Line network.

The Oxted Line

The Oxted Line is a line with two branches; East Grinstead and Uckfield, which runs South from East Croydon station.

  • The branch to East Grinstead is electrified, but the branch to Uckfield is not and is still run by diesel trains.
  • Plans exist to run battery-electric trains on the Uckfield branch, but they always seem to be awaited,
  • Network Rail are now saying that they will electrify the Uckfield branch with third-rail.
  • All platforms on both branches can take ten-car trains, if not twelve.
  • A reasonable amount of money has been spent on the Uckfield branch to improve it.
  • Services on both branches are one train per hour (tph).
  • London terminals of trains are London Bridge and Victoria, both of which have no easy connection to the Elizabeth Line.

The major faults of the current services are as follows.

  • One tph is not enough.
  • Victoria is an overcrowded terminal with no connection to the Elizabeth Line or Thameslink
  • At London Bridge and East Croydon, there are tortuous step-free change to Thameslink.
  • From London Bridge you can use the Northern Line to transfer to the Elizabeth Line, but it wouldn’t be the best route when taking a heavy case to Heathrow.
  • From Victoria, you can use the Circle and District lines to the Elizabeth Line at Paddington.

The Oxted Line service needs to be improved.

I would do the following.

Move Uckfield Branch Services To Thameslink

This would mean that Uckfield services would call at East Croydon, London Bridge, Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon, St. Pancras and then terminate somewhere to the North.

  • There would be a step-free change to the Elizabeth Line at Farringdon.
  • East Croydon and London Bridge are still served.
  • There are connections to the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee, Metropolitan, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines of the Underground.
  • There will be no need for a terminal platform at London Bridge.

I believe that this gives much better connectivity.

Electrify To Uckfield

This is a long-debated question.

But as Thameslink trains are Class 700 trains, which are dual voltage, I’d electrify the Uckfield branch with 25 KVAC overhead electrification between Hurst Green and Uckfield.

Lightweight catenary could be used to reduce visual intrusion.

Note.

  1. The curved beam at the top of this overhead electrification gantry is laminated wood.
  2. Power changeover would take place at Hurst Green station.

Hopefully, the electric trains would offset any anger at overhead wires.

Run Two tph To Uckfield

I am fairly certain that when Network Rail lengthened the platforms on the Uckfield branch, that they arranged the track and signalling, so that two tph could use the branch.

Run An Hourly Shuttle Between Oxted And East Grinstead

This service would be as follows.

  • It would terminate in the bay platform at Oxted station.
  • This would give 2 tph on this route.

The existing hourly service between East Grinstead and Victoria would continue.

Conclusion

I believe that this simple scheme could give very good benefits to all stakeholders.

 

 

July 7, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Westbound Elizabeth Line To Northbound Thameslink At Farringdon Station

This journey is the reverse of the one I did earlier today in Southbound Thameslink To Eastbound Elizabeth Line At Farringdon Station.

These pictures show my walk at Farringdon station.

Note.

  1. This route starts at the Western end of the Elizabeth Line platforms in Farringdon station.
  2. I took the escalator there to the top.
  3. I then walked to the left of the second bank of stairs and escalators.
  4. This took me directly on to the Northbound Thameslink platform.

This route also works if you’re going East on the Elizabeth Line and want to go North on Thameslink.

This second set of pictures show the walk in the reverse direction.

Interchange with the Northbound Thameslink platform is very easy in both directions, as most of the walk between platforms is done on the escalator.

Conclusion

There would appear to be an imbalance of quality between the connections between the Elizabeth Line and the two Thameslink platforms.

  • Those going between the Elizabeth Line and the Northbound Thameslink platform will find it easy, as most of the route is on an escalator.
  • On the other hand, those using the Southbound Thameslink platform at busy times could find it congested and slow.

I suspect that regular users of the station, will develop their own routes through the station.

 

June 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

Southbound Thameslink To Eastbound Elizabeth Line At Farringdon Station

I travelled today from St. Pancras International station to Whitechapel station, using the following route.

These pictures show my walk at Farringdon station.

Note.

  1. I was riding at the back of the train, so I had a long walk to the lifts.
  2. It would be better to travel in the Southern end of the Thameslink train, as the lifts are at the Southern end of the Southbound Thameslink platform.
  3. I used the lifts to descend to the Elizabeth Line platforms.
  4. It is only a short walk between the lifts and the Elizabeth Line trains.

As the last picture indicates, the connecting lifts that I used, can also be used to go from the Southbound Thameslink to the Westbound Elizabeth Line at Farringdon Station.

These connecting lifts can also be used in the reverse direction to go from all Elizabeth Line services to Southbound Thameslink services to London Bridge, East Croydon, Gatwick Airport, Brighton and all the other Southern Thameslink destinations!

If you want to avoid the lifts, as it appears they can busy, you have to climb the stairs to get to the concourse and then descend to get the escalator down to the Elizabeth Line, that I wrote about in Westbound Elizabeth Line To Northbound Thameslink At Farringdon Station.

Conclusion

There would appear to be an imbalance of quality between the connections between the Elizabeth Line and the two Thameslink platforms.

  • Those going between the Elizabeth Line and the Northbound Thameslink platform will find it easy, as most of the route is on an escalator.
  • On the other hand, those using the Southbound Thameslink platform at busy times could find it congested and slow.

I suspect that regular users of the station, will develop their own routes through the station.

 

June 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Barbican Entrance To The Elizabeth Line – 10th June 2022

This series of pictures shows the route between the Westbound platform at Barbican station to the Elizabeth Line at Farringdon station.

Note.

  1. There is only a single lift between the Western end of the Westbound Platform 2/3 at Barbican station and the lobby between the two banks of escalators and inclined lifts, that give access to the Barbican end of Elizabeth Line platforms.
  2. Currently, there is no access between the Elizabeth Line and the Eastbound Platform 1 at Barbican station.
  3. If you lived in one of the towers of the Barbican estate, if might be a marginally shorter walk to walk along Platform 2/3 and up the stairs to the street.

When C and myself, lived in Cromwell Tower in the Barbican, in the 1970s, we must have walked that route with our three children hundreds of times. It really isn’t very different.

I have a few thoughts.

Is The Route Really For Passengers?

Consider.

  • A journey, where you might need to use the route could be one like Barking and Heathrow.
  • But you have a wide choice, as you could alight at Whitechapel, Liverpool Street, Moorgate, Farringdon and Ealing Broadway on the sub-surface lines and have step-free access to the Elizabeth Line.
  • I suspect most customers will choose Whitechapel or Liverpool Street.

This picture shows the comprehensive control panel in the lift.

Could it be, that the main purpose of the lift is for staff access to hard to reach plant rooms?

Or perhaps it is designed to get a stretcher or wheelchair to the island platform at Barbican station?

Is The Connection Incomplete?

It could be that there is more work to do and the connection is incomplete.

There is a section, which is entitled Elizabeth Line, in the Wikipedia entry for Barbican station, where this is said.

Farringdon’s Barbican ticket hall for the Elizabeth line is just to the west of Barbican station along Long Lane. This construction involved significant changes at the western end of the station, including the demolition of the former signal box to construct a lift shaft from the Elizabeth line station to the westbound Underground platform only. The original plan of a new footbridge spanning the tracks to the eastbound platform was not proceeded with on the grounds of engineering difficulties. Work was anticipated to be completed in 2018, but was completed in May 2022.

It does look like, that the best that was possible was built.

 

 

June 10, 2022 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does The Paddington Bakerloo Line Link Make The Bakerloo Line A NW-SE Cross-Branch Of The Elizabeth Line?

The Elizabeth Line has these major North-South cross-branches.

  • Jubilee Line at Bond Street station.
  • Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line at Tottenham Court Road station.
  • Thameslink at Farringdon station.
  • Bank Branch of the Northern Line at Moorgate station.
  • East London Line of the Overground at Whitechapel station.

With the opening of the Paddington Bakerloo Line Link, another North-South cross-branch of the Elizabeth Line has been added.

It could be argued that London has a new NW-SE high frequency link between Harrow & Wealdstone and Abbey Wood stations.

  • Bakerloo Line – Harrow & Wealdstone and Paddington
  • Paddington Bakerloo Line Link – 165 metre level step-free walk
  • Elizabeth Line – Paddington and Abbey Wood via Whitechapel and Canary Wharf

The journey would appear to take 73 minutes from the National Rail journey planner, which allows fifteen minutes for the change at Paddington.

May 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Elizabeth Line – Farringdon Station – 24th May 2022

I took these pictures at the Barbican entrance to the Elizabeth Line at Farringdon station.

Note.

  1. The Barbican entrance is effectively at the Western end of Barbican tube station.
  2. There are two banks of escalators between street level and platform.
  3. Both banks of escalators incorporate an inclined lift.

There is also a lift connection between the landing between the two banks of escalators and the Westbound platform at Barbican station, which is shown in these pictures.

Note.

  1. It was a bit difficult to find.
  2. I am also not sure that there are stairs.

But it could be a quick shortcut for those with local knowledge.

I took these pictures at the Farringdon entrance to the Elizabeth Line at Farringdon station.

Farringdon station is a very extensive station.

 

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Farringdon Station – 13th February 2022

The two main entrances to Farringdon station have now been finished and the road that runs between them has now been pedestrianised.

Is Farringdon station the only London station with separate entrances for National Rail and the Underground that are on opposite sides of a pedestrianised plaza?

Does it need to have some outdoor cafes in the Summer months?

February 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Farringdon Station – 3rd September 2019

These pictures show the Barbican station end of the Crossrail entrance at Farringdon station.

I showed this entrance in Farringdon Station – 7th July 2018.

September 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments