The Anonymous Widower

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

Is This A Massive Endorsement For The City Of London?

This Google Map is dominated by the new Goldman Sachs building in the City of London.

Make what you want of the building and its significance for the City.

But is it an endorsement of a strong future or a monument to a glorious past?

Location, Location, Location

One property developer once said, these were the three most important things about a property.

This Google Map shows the location with respect to Farringdon station.

The station, which is at the top of map, will be the best connected in Central London as it will be the crossing of Crossrail and Thameslin. That probably won’t be important to some of the employees of Goldman Sachs, but the building apparently has favoured bicycle spaces over car parking.

Note just to the South of Farringdon station, two of the large buildings of Smithfield Market. These two are very much under-used and plans exist to convert part of them into the new Museum of London.

But a lot of the area between Goldman Sachs and Farringdon is under-developed and will the Goldman Sachs decision, lead to more development of offices, hotels and residences in this part of London at the West of the actual City?

Terminal Six At Heathrow And Terminal Three At Gatwick

I often joke, that this area, will become extra terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, with an easy link to the trains to Scotland and the Continent just a short taxi ride, bicycle ride or one stop on the Underground up the road at Kings Cross and St. Pancras.

A Walk From Smithfield To The Goldman Sachs Building

These are some pictures I took on the way.

The New Museum Of London Site

Holborn Viaduct

The Goldman Sachs Building

I’m sure that if I can walk to and from Farringdon station at seventy-two, then a lor of people working in the building will use the railway to get to and from work.

Conclusion

Have Goldman Sachs decided to build their new offices at the Crossroads of the World?

 

September 3, 2019 Posted by | Finance, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail Rushes To Make Bond Street Ready For Testing

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

Mark Wild, who is Crossrail’s Chief Executive, is quoted as telling the London Assembly.

Our current focus is predominantly on key areas of risk such as ensuring that Bond Street station is at the required stage of completion to allow us to commence trial running early in 2020..

The more I read about this project, the more I believe, that the projects lateness is down to two things.

  • Some very optimistic project management by contractors to get some of the enormous contracts on offer.
  • A lack of resources in vital areas like some trades and the testing of trains.

But then what do I know about Project Management and computer software?

Could Bond Street also be the only really late station, as it is on a very cramped site in the centre of some of the most expensive real estate on the planet?

The 3D visualisation shows the area around the station.

Note .

  1. The new Western entrance to Bond Street Crossrail station, which is the cleared site with the russet-coloured building behind.
  2. The new Eastern entrance, which is just to the West of Hanover Square.
  3. Bond Street running down from Next on Oxford Street to Fenwicks.

Surface access is not good to say the least.

The same access problem probably applies at Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations, but at these five stations, there were buildings that could be demolished to give access for construction.

It should also be notes, that some of these stations have only a few local residents.

I’ll take a quick look at these five stations.

Paddington

This Google Map shows Paddington station.

Note the Crossrail station, which has been squeezed into the old cab rank, alongside the station.

Tottenham Court Road

This Google Map shows Tottenham Court Road station.

Note the amount of cleared space around the station,

Farringdon

This Google Map shows Farringdon station.

The Crossrail station is to the West of the current station. It must have helped contractors, that the station had been redeveloped a couple of times for the construction and update of Thameslink.

Moorgate

This Google Map shows Moorgate station.

Moor House, which is the large office block behind Moorgate station, was built in 2004 and was designed to accept Crossrail in the basement.

Finsbury Circus, which is the green space in the East was used as a construction site.

Liverpool Street

This Google Map shows Liverpool Street station.

The main entrance to the Crossrail station will be in front of the Broadgate office complex, which is to the West of the station.

This section of Broadgate is also being redeveloped, which probably helps and hinders in equal measure.

Conclusion

I think lessons will be learned that can be applied to other cross-city rail projects.

  • Future-planning as with Moor House should be increasingly used.
  • Should stations be built in conjunction with other developments?
  • Are stations in areas of high real-estate values a good idea?
  • Could more innovative ways be used to bring in construction materials?

Will future projects be better?

July 16, 2019 Posted by | Computing, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment