The Anonymous Widower

Ian Publishes Details Of Future Developments At Euston And Euston Square Underground Stations

This post on the Ian Visits blog is entitled A New London Underground Entrance To Euston Station.

 

The Underground Lines In The Euston Station Area

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the Underground Lines in the Euston station area.

Note.

  1. The sub-surface lines run underneath the busy Euston Road.
  2. Platform 2 at Euston Square station has no lift or escalator.
  3. Platform 1 at Euston Square station has a lift, which also serves the subway.
  4. To connect between the sub-surface lines at Euston Square and the deep lines at Euston means a walk on the surface.
  5. Euston station only has two up and two down escalators and no lifts for the six deep-level platforms.
  6. To connect between the Bank and Charing Cross branches of the Northern Line is often along a very crowded passage.

This interchange has not been fit for purpose since the Victoria Line was built in the 1960s.

A Second Entrance To Euston Square Station

One of the key projects to unlock the interchange, is to create a subway from the current Euston station.

It will lead to a new entrance placed in the middle of Gordon Street.

The subway will have stairs, escalators and/or lifts to connect to the Eastern ends of the current Euston Square platforms.

Ian showed this diagram of the subway.

Note.

  1. It serves both platforms at Euston Square station.
  2. It looks to be reasonably wide and level.

These are some pictures I took on a walk round the area.

This is a possible future visualisation from Ian’s site.

The new Gordon Street entrance appears to be opposite the porticoed building, which is part of University College London.

  • The view is looking North, like the first three of my pictures.
  • Gordon Street appears to be at least part-pedestrianised.
  • Escalators are visible.

It looks to be a London version of Bilbao’s fosteritos.

Fosteritos are named after Norman Foster, as he or his practice designed the Bilbao Metro.

  • The escalators in Bilbao are longer than would be needed at Gordon Street.
  • I don’t think that fitting in a slimline lift would be difficult.

I like the fosterito concept and I feel a similar approach could be used to add step-free access to a lot of stations on the London Underground.

The Design Of The Updated Euston Underground Station

Ian showed this visualisation of the updated Euston Underground station.

At a first look, it appears to be a very similar concept to the entrance to the Underground in front of St. Pancras station.

Click on the image to show it large and you can pick out the following.

  • West is to the left and East is right.
  • Much of the construction appears to replace the original car park and taxi rank.
  • The upper level looks like where passengers enter and leave the station.
  • The subway to Euston Square station and the new Gordon Street entrance joins to the upper level towards the Eastern end.
  • There is grade access between the upper level and the High Speed Two concourse.
  • There are lots of escalators to travel between levels. The square orange columns could be lift towers.
  • The lower level is the Interchange/Ticket Hall level.
  • The lower level is not much higher than the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line.
  • The design seems to make clever use of levels to make changing easier.
  • The access between the lower level and the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line at the Western end of the station, appears to be comprehensive and step-free.
  • The access between the lower level and the Victoria Line and the Bank branch of the Northern Line, appears to use the current route, which will probably be upgraded to be fully step-free.

This second image shows the design from above the platforms of the convention section of Euston station.

Click on the image to show it large and you can pick out the following.

  • The complicated passages, escalators and lifts of the existing four platforms serving the Bank branch of the Northern Line and the Victoria Line.
  • The cross passage connecting these lines to the platforms of the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line.
  • The two up and two down escalators leading to the existing ticket hall.
  • The Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line curving in and away from the station. See the earlier map of the Underground lines.
  • The eleven High Speed platforms on the West side of the station.
  • The thirteen Classic platforms on the East side of the station.
  • The new Northern entrance to the Underground between the two sets of platforms. How convenient!
  • There appears to be a wide passage between the Northern and Southern entrances, with connections to the lines branching off.
  • The subway to the new Gordon Street entrance is shown at the top of the image.

The design seems to have separated access to the two branches of the Northern line, by creating a new high-capacity route to the Charing Cross branch.

I also think, that the design allows the station to be built without disrupting passengers using the Underground and the current Euston station.

  • A large hole for the station can be excavated, without touching existing access.
  • It could then be fitted out section by section.
  • Once the new access to the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line is complete, the current access to the Northern and Victoria Lines can be refurbished.

Arriving At Euston

Imagine you are a passenger arriving from the North, who knows the Underground line, you need to take, you would then enter the Underground station using the new Northern entrance.

  • For the Bank branch of the Northern Line or the Victoria Line, you would go through the existing ticket hall and down the escalators, much as you do now! Except that you’d enter the ticket hall on the other side from the East side of the passageway connecting the two entrances. New lifts appear to be shown.
  • For the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line, you would take the passages, lifts and escalators on the West side of the passageway connecting the two entrances.
  • If you wanted the sub-surface lines, you would just keep going and take the new subway, which connects to the Eastern ends of the platforms at Euston Square station.

It will certainly do me fine, if I arrive at Euston, as I’ll walk through the subway and get in the front of any Eastbound train for Moorgate station, where being in the front is convenient for the exit and the nearby bus stop to my home.

This route will surely be one of the ways arriving passengers at Euston will get Crossrail to Abbey Wood, Canary Wharf and Shenfield stations. In Crossrail – Northern – Northern City Interchange At Moorgate Station, I show some visualisations of Moorgate station and the connectivity.

Conclusion

I certainly think, that the new Underground station is a good design.

 

May 6, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fosteritos

The Bilbao Metro was designed by Foster and Partners.

Under Design, Wikipedia says this about access to the Metro.

Access to the metro is provided by ‘fosteritos’, glass structures affectionately named after the architect who designed them, Norman Foster. These modern-looking tunnels stand attractive alongside the modern and innovative interior of the stations.

These pictures show some of the fosteritos.

Crossrail’s Tottenham Court Road station has two square glass structures over the entrances in front of Centre Point.

I wrote about the first in Tottenham Court Road Station Gains A Giant Fosterito. Here’s a picture taken soon after one opened.

It is such a simple idea, I wonder why we don’t see more fosteritos all over the world.

 

 

January 17, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 7 Comments

The Garden Station

Stations increasingly are getting to be very grand and expensive buildings.

I was musing today about the design of the Windsor Royal station on the proposed Windsor Link Railway.

This railway could be a double-track railway between the current Windsor and Eton Riverside station and the Slough To Windsor And Eton Line, created in a cut-and-cover tunnel across Windsor.

Much of the area of the route is either car parks or gardens.

The station could be a single island platform with the following characteristics.

  • The platform would be long enough for the longest trains to use the route.
  • The platform would be wide enough to incorporate booking, passenger and staff facilities in a relaxed layout in the middle.
  • Escalator and lift entrances at several places along the platform.
  • Minimalist surface buildings much like the fosteritos of the Bilbao Metro.
  • Light pipes and other ideas could give the station a lot of natural light.

The surface area would be one large garden with walking routes to the sights of the town.

Any car parking would surely be provided at a Park-and-Ride station outside of the town.

 

September 14, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Is This One Of The Most Valuable Sites For New Development In The UK?

I don’t question the engineering behind the Windsor Link Railway, but I do question whether the project is viable financially.

Property Development

Obviously, the key to financial viability is the property development opportunities that the building of the Windsor Link Railway will enable.

I don’t know much about property development, but from conversations with serious property developers over the last few years, I can say this.

  • Some of the sums of money that can be involved are immense.
  • Location is still as important as it ever was.
  • Car parking can be reduced in developments above stations, which reduces construction costs.

An infrastructure investor from a large insurance company, also told me that developments with a new station and possibly a few new trains are easy to finance as a package.

Property Development At Windsor And Eton Riverside Station

Look at this Google Map of the Windsor and Eton Riverside station and the River Thames.

Windsor And Eton Riverside Station And The Thames

Windsor And Eton Riverside Station And The Thames

The railway and the adjacent car parks, use a surprisingly large amount of land, that would be released by the building of the Windsor Link Railway.

The Windsor Link Railway could be a single track tunnel, as the maximum frequency would only be four trains per hour in both directions, which would enter the tunnel around the end of the current platforms.

Obviously, all of the land where the current station and car parks would be available for development. There would just be a rail tunnel in the basement.

I also feel that done properly, this development with its superb location on the river, should be car-free.

If that is the case, then perhaps Windsor needs a station under this development?

As the development will be pretty grand and very desirable, I would design a station with the following characteristics.

  • Single-platform able to accept twelve-car trains. We don’t want to build a restriction for the future.
  • All trains could be IPEMUs running on batteries in the tunnel. Quiet, very green and no dangerous electrification.
  • Platform-edge doors. They’re probably needed under EU safety legislation.
  • Double-ended with one entrance in the development and another in Thames Street. If tourists can’t drive, they need to be in the centre.

I think with modern station design, that a single-platform station would be sufficient, although, it would probably restrict services to four trains per hour in each direction.

We’ve never built a combined up-market station and luxury development in this country yet, although there are quite a few stations like Dalston Junction with lots of dwellings on the top.

Windsor And Eton Riverside could be the place to start.

Property Development At Windsor And Eton Central Station

If the Riverside site could be properly developed, what about, where the Windsor Link Railway are proposing to put their proposed Windsor Royal station.

This is a Google Map of the area to the West of Windsor And Eton Central station.

WindsorAndEtonCentralStation2

Note how the area is dominated  by coach and car parks. Visitors want to come to see the river and the castle, socialise a bit, have a drink and a meal, and perhaps buy some tatty souvenirs. They don’t want to look at car and coach parks.

In Connecting The Windsor Link Railway To The Slough To Windsor And Eton Line, I looked at the engineering and I don’t think building the rail connection is impossible.

It is my view, that you build the railway and the station in the best way for train operation and passenger convenience. The station would probably have the following characteristics.

It could be a traditional surface station or underground, with minimal buildings above the surface.

I prefer the underground station, as it has other advantages.

  • There would be lots of entrances facing in all directions. Think fosteritos!
  • It could have a single-platform or a double-platform/island layout, capable of handling twelve-car trains.
  • Platform-edge doors.
  • A single track would lead to Slough and also to the tunnel under Windsor.

In the hole for an underground station, it would also probably be a good idea to build an adequately-sized underground car and coach park.

But surely visitors need some form of decent Park-And-Ride using an uprated train service. Such a station is envisaged by the Windsor Link Railway at Chalvey Interchange, which is South of Slough close to the M4.

Once the new station and the railway is fully connected, there is a magnificent opportunity to create a world-class park and related development over the top, between the existing railway viaduct and the iconic Thames.

The redundant Central station and the unused part of the massive viaduct would be developed appropriately.

Let’s face it Windsor is rather a crap and tatty tourist dump at the present time. The Windsor Link Railway could give the town the opportunity to give the historic town and castle the environment and status, it needs and deserves.

The Trains

In The IPEMU And The Windsor Link Railway, I wrote how IPEMU trains could make the design and building of the Windsor Link Railway easier and more affordable.

I believe it is essential that the Windsor Link Railway is run using trains with an IPEMU capability.

I also believe that as I saw in Future-Proofing The Uckfield Branch, that all platforms including the bay platform at Slough station must be capable of accepting twelve-car trains.

I am assured that this is in the design.

The Central Tunnel

I would suspect that many people would feel that digging the central tunnel across Windsor will be an enormously  expensive operation.

Construction companies put in cut-and-cover tunnels like this all over the world and especially in Germany. The last tunnel, I saw being built was the large Stadtbahn Tunnel in Karlsruhe right down the main street, which would take the German version of the Class 399 tram-train.

Digging A Big Hole

Whilst this tunnel is controversial and has its problems, it is much larger than that proposed through Windsor. The final cost estimate for Karlsruhe eas €588million for a double-track tunnel, which is 3.5km. long and has seven stops.

In the UK, the only similar tunnel is the Dalston Western Curve, where a new tunnel was dug along an existing alignment.

This article in the Londonist describes a visit to the tunnel before it opened.

Intriguingly, the Dalston tunnel was reportedly dug by a German sub-contractor, who specialise in getting trams in tight places.

We sometimes seem too conservative when we dig tunnels. I can’t think of a cut-and-cover tunnel built in the last twenty years in the UK? Not even one built to create an entrance to a car park!

In June last year I wrote Walking The Proposed Route Of The Windsor Link Railway. I felt afterwards that a single-track tunnel between the area of the Riverside station and a new Windsor Royal station to the North of the current Central station would be possible.

Since then, the IPEMU train has become a serious possibility and if trains on the Windsor Link Railway had this capability, then the tunnel could have these characteristics.

  • Single-track tunnel.
  • Built using cut-and-cover.
  • No electrification.
  • IPEMU trains only in the tunnel.
  • Evacuation walkway like the DLR.
  • No massive ventilation and evacuation shafts.

My project management knowledge tells me, that this is the sort of tunnel, that could be built without causing too much disruption to train services and road traffic, by getting all of the jobs in the right logical order.

Conclusion

The Windsor Link Railway, is a project that must be judged as a whole.

But do that and there is a lot of money to be made from property development, which would more than pay for the railway.

February 24, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tottenham Court Road Station Gains A Giant Fosterito

The second new entrance to Tottenham Court Road station opened today.

The entrance under the shadow of Centre Point, is a giant British version of the fosteritos on the Bilbao Metro.

Tottenham Court Road station, is probably one of first stations to be designed since London adopted contactless ticketing.

In my view, the design has certainly benefited, with its vast ticket hall, wide gate line and uncluttered area, where people can pass through quickly.

Simple is certainly efficient!

December 2, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Could London Benefit From Fosteritos?

How many times a day, does a passenger on the London Underground, go down or up a short set of uncovered stairs to access a ticket hall with machines, ticket barriers and escalators and lifts to the trains? Stations, I use regularly with this layout include Kings Cross, Oxford Circus, Bank and Euston Square. Many of these staircases can be slippery in the wet, but some are covered.

These pictures show  the covered staircase at the front of Kings Cross station. This is better than uncovered, but it is probably an expensive solution, although it does incorporate a lift.

Norman Foster faced a similar problem in Spain of how to protect staircases and escalators emerging from the Bilbao Metro. These pictures show his elegant solution.

The Spaniards obviously liked them, as they called them fosteritos.

Perhaps, Transport for London needs to have a design contest to create a distinctive shelter for those slippery-when-wet staircases.

March 30, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Crossrail 2 Through East London

TfL have now published their preferred route for Crossrail 2 and in this post I will detail, how I think it will affect East London.

In this post, I will refer to the Crossrail currently being built as Crossrail 1 to avoid confusion.

The Progression Of Large Projects

I have been around the management of large projects for just over forty years, since I wrote my first software system for project management in 1973. From talking to project managers over that time, I have come to various conclusions, some of which will certainly affect the realisation of Crossrail 2.

The second system I wrote; Artemis, was very much involved in providing the necessary management for the development of North Sea Oil. Project managers told me many times, that things were getting easier and more affordable because of the development of bigger and better rigs, platforms and lifting capabilities. In parallel better techniques and methods were also being developed.

I was also told many times, that doing the second, third or fourth version of something like a concrete production platform, got easier each time, especially if substantially the same team could be used.

Crossrail 2 Is The Next In A Long Line

You could argue that Crossrail 2 will be the latest in a succession of large tunnelling projects under London, since the Second World War.

1 The Victoria Line was bored in the 1960s and I can remember seeing film of the digging of both this line’s tunnels and those at Dartford on the television. Pleasant and safe working, it was not! The BBC have posted a 1969 documentary called How They Dug The Victoria Line on iPlayer. It is a must watch!

2. The Jubilee Line was bored in two sections and was completed as we see it now in 2000. In some ways it is the first modern line and stations in London, where some the latter were built to be architectural gems, like some of London’s pre-war stations.

3. Around the turn of the millennium, the Docklands Light Railway was also extended with two branches and four tunnels under the Thames. I have a feeling that the tunnels of the DLR are the first under London to have wholly concrete as opposed to all or partly iron or steel linings. This video, shows the tunnel from Bank to Shadwell.

4. The London tunnels of HS1, were completed in 2007 to St. Pancras and were the first full-size rail tunnels to be dug under London, since the Snow Hill Tunnel opened in 1866.

5. Over the last few years, the forty-two kilometres of tunnels for Crossrail 1 have been bored under London. Like HS1’s tunnels they are full-size with overhead electrification and hopefully non-corroding concrete linings.

These five tunnels show a constant progression of larger and better-designed and constructed tunnels, that have been built by using a succession of bigger and better machines.

You also have a tremendous base of knowledge built-up by companies, engineers and tunnel workers, which as the recent documentary on the BBC about Crossrail showed, includes families and individuals, who’ve worked on all these five tunnels and a good few others besides!

It is my belief that when the politicians press the Go-button on Crossrail 2, the tunnels will make a painless progression under London as Crossrail 2 sneaks along the defined route.

Crossrail 1 And Crossrail 2 Compared

At first sight, both Crossrails would appear to be two large tunnels and train lines across London, from where lines fan out into the wider suburbs and nearby towns and cities at each end.

But there are some major differences.

Crossrail 1 is much more complicated than Crossrail 2. I suspect some will argue that if they were designing Crossrail 1 today, it would be very different to what is being built. For instance, of the major rail terminals in London, it only serves Liverpool Street and Paddington. I think that the design of Crossrail 2 cleverly builds on Crossrail 1 and helps get over some of the earlier line’s deficiencies.

Crossrail 1 was designed in an era, where passengers needed booking offices in stations. In the last couple of years, the growth in contactless ticketing is showing that booking offices can be closed and the space used for more productive purposes.

Crossrail 1 chose to have the major tunnel portals at Royal Oak, Pudding Mill Lane and Plumstead which would appear to be much more cramped and congested sites than those of Crossrail 2 at Tottenham Hale, New Southgate and Wimbledon.

In addition the surface sections of Crossrail 1 would appear to require a lot more work to bring them up to modern standards, than similar parts of Crossrail 2.

This efficient simplicity in the design will keep costs, time-scales and disruption during the construction phase of Crossrail 2, to a much lower level than Crossrail 1.

Crossrail 1 was skilfully threaded through the mass of tunnels under London, as the BBC documentary showed. The engineers could have gone deeper to get under the Northern Line at Tottenham Court Road but for some reason they didn’t. Perhaps going deeper would have meant difficulties and extra costs in the design of stations. Crossrail 2 will have to go deeper in the Dalston area to get under High Speed One and it will also have to pass Crossrail 1 at Tottenham Court Road. The tunnels of High Speed One are at a depth of 34 to 50 metres, so will we see Crossrail 2 bored across London below all the other foundations and infrastructure?

Crossrail 1 by virtue of its route through Central London has necessitated the expensive rebuilding of quite a few stations. It has also needed expensive new stations at Canary Wharf, Woolwich and Custom House. On the other hand, Crossrail 2 would appear not to require so many stations to be completely rebuilt, as the three central stations of Euston/St. Pancras, Tottenham Court Road and Victoria, will have been or are being rebuilt for other reasons and like Angel will have been rebuilt with provision to link to Crossrail 2. This will save time and costs in construction and probably mean that the disruption caused by Crossrail 2 would be much less than Crossrail 1.

The big station reconstruction will be Euston for HS2 and that will cause massive disruption to everything. Making sure the new station will connect easily to Crossrail 2, is a small problem in the grand scheme of things.

When Crossrail 1 opens, Whitechapel station will be the Jewel In The East. And this will not be just about how the station was designed and will look, but about the way it was built. Instead of digging down from the current station to the new Crossrail 1 tunnels, the thirty metres or so long shaft for the escalators and lifts is being dug upwards from the tunnels, using a coal mining technique called uphill excavation.

Currently the escalators in London with the highest vertical rise are those at Angel station, which rise twenty-seven metres, but this is a dwarf compared to some of the longest in the world. Crossrail 2 looks certain to break London’s record.

Crossrail 2 Could Be A Very Deep Line

I think we could see an unprecedented deep tunnel for Crossrail 2 across London, with tunnels in places over fifty metres below the surface. By comparison, Crossrail 1 is thirty metres deep at Whitechapel, which is not as deep as the Saint Petersburg metro , which has one station at a depth of eighty-six metres.

No major station rebuilding, the digging of stations from the tunnel up, longer escalators and other smaller improvements in techniques and machines , lead me to the conclusion, that the central section of Crossrail 2 will be one deep tunnel that excavates its way to the surface mainly direct into existing Crossrail 2-ready stations.

It will be a very cost effective and hopefully much quicker way of building a railway under London, which could cause a lot less disruption than the current Crossrail 1.

What Can Crossrail 2 Learn From Crossrail 1?

In my view from the outside, Crossrail 1 has been a pretty well-managed project. But it has skilfully used various ideas to make construction flow smoothly.

One big problem with large tunnelling projects is getting rid of all the spoil dug out of the tunnels. Crossrail 1 changed, the tunnelling strategy to remove excavated material by barge from Leamouth rather than the originally proposed complex conveyor system in Mile End.

To further use the spoil on the Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project was a master-stroke with a large dose of green.

It would appear that all three of Crossrail 2’s portals have good rail and/or water access to remove spoil. Will it be used to similar effect?

Crossrail 1 has been able to use archaeology for positive publicity to balance negative stories. I don’t think Crossrail 2 will be going through such rich veins of historical interest, but they will have to find a positive story to spin, that is not directly-related to the project.

Crossrail 1 had a major problem with the junction of the two eastern branches under Stepney. Instead of being heavy, they worked with the Stepney City Farm to create a solution acceptable to both parties. Crossrail 2 must work the same way in sensitive areas, like their proposed junction under Stamford Hill and the only new station on the line at Chelsea.

When people talk about Crossrail 1, the subject of disruption always comes up. In any plan for the design and construction of Crossrail 2, minimising disruption should be an important objective.

There is an entry entitled Controversy in the Wikipedia entry for Crossrail.

This is one of the things that is said.

There had been complaints from music fans, as the redevelopment of the area forced the closure of a number of historic music venues. The London Astoria, the Astoria 2, The Metro, Sin nightclub and The Ghetto have been demolished to allow expansion of the ticket hall and congestion relief at Tottenham Court Road tube station in advance of the arrival of Crossrail.

Crossrail 2 might well find that if they avoided unnecessary demolition, they might calm a few Nimbys.

What Can Crossrail 2 Learn From Other Metros?

From the little of Crossrail 1, I’ve seen in reality, and the masses of visualisations I’ve seen in places like the Crossrail 1 web site, the line strikes me as sound and solid, but not that adventurous in its approach to design and architecture. The stations with perhaps a couple of exceptions, do not have mould-breaking designs that characterise the Piccadilly and Jubilee Lines.

London Transport, the predecessor to Transport for London, was rightly famous for its design from typefaces and maps to stations and buses.

The rules still seem to be applied, but Crossrail 1 doesn’t seem to have extended them, in the way that the Victoria Line did and the Docklands Light Railway and the London Overground still are.

I recently went to Bilbao and saw Norman Foster’s award-winning Metro, which is very much a design-led system.

Crossrail 2 needs to find itself a modern extension of London Transport’s philosophy. They might perhaps start by stealing and Londonising the Bilbao’s fosteritos.

The Safeguarded Areas For Crossrail 2

Crossrail 2 has now firmed up the areas they want to be safeguarded from any possible development that might make building the line difficult.

Building.co.uk has also given a handy checklist of all the changes, that have been recently agreed.

The web site says this about safeguarding.

The updated route means that relevant planning applications in safeguarded areas will be referred to TfL for advice. If development interferes with Crossrail 2, either a compromise will be reached or the development will not be allowed.

It also says this about TfL and compulsory purchase.

TfL said it currently has no plans to compulsorily purchase properties along the route.

This page on the Crossrail 2 web site, explains all about safeguarded areas and acts as a key to the detailed maps.

The maps show the route of the line and how it effects individual areas, streets and houses.

The only problem is that the PDF maps are sometimes a bit on the skew, but hopefully they will be improved.

Crossrail 2 Through East London

I’m going to look at the area as it works it way through Hackney from Tottenham Hale to The Angel.

Tottenham Hale

The portal for the North Eastern branch is south of Tottenham Hale station, from where it goes up the West Anglia Main Line to Cheshunt, Broxbourne and Hertford East.

It is basically a good plan, as it would appear that the tunnel portal appears to be in an area with all the beauty and charm of East London after the Blitz. It is also located close to rail and water for the efficient and environmentally sound removal of tunnel spoil. Thames Water are even ceating the Walthamstow Wetlands in the area and may have innovative uses for some f the tunnel spoil.

This post entitled Crossrail 2 At Tottenham Hale, shows some maps and pictures and gives my thoughts in full.

South Tottenham/Seven Sisters

It looks increasingly like South Tottenham and Seven Sisters stations could share a double-ended Crossrail 2 station and become a major  interchange between London Overground ‘s Gospel Oak to Barking and Lea Valley Lines, the Victoria Line, Crossrail 2 and National Rail services.

Such an interchange will support major development in a part of London, that desperately needs more housing, jobs and leisure and business opportunities.

This post entitled Crossrail 2 At South Tottenham/Seven Sisters, shows some maps and pictures and gives my thoughts in full.

The Junction Under Stamford Hill

The two northern branches of Crossrail 2, that go to New Southgate and Tottenham Hale respectively, would appear according to the safeguarding map on the Crossrail 2 web site, to join together under Stamford Hill.

It all seems to point to some clever strategy and alignments, that will allow the junction to be created deep underground, without disturbing anything or anybody on the surface.

This post entitled The Crossrail 2 Junction Under Stamford Hill, shows some maps and pictures and gives my thoughts in full.

Dalston

If there is one area in East London that needs to see its existing transport links tidied up and new ones added, it is Hackney and Dalston.

I have heard from Michele Dix of Crossrail 2, that they are looking at a double-ended station to serve both Dalston Kingsland and Junction stations. This was said.

We have been working closely with the London borough of Hackney on the early development of the proposals for how Crossrail 2 could ultimately serve Dalston. The work to date has been based around delivering a double-ended station, with one end being at Dalston Junction, and the other at Dalston Kingsland, thereby allowing the Crossrail 2 station to link to both existing stations. As Mr. Miller rightly points out, the distance between the existing stations is well suited to the 250m long platforms that will be required for the Crossrail 2 station, and the greater interchange opportunities to London Overground services also deliver significant benefits.

I believe that there is an opportunity to create a world class station that subtly brings together all the good elements of the area. The only necessary demolition would be the unloved Dalston Kingsland station. TfL have told me off the record, that Kingsland station will be replaced fairly soon.

This post entitled Crossrail 2 At Dalston, shows some maps and pictures and gives my thoughts in full about the stations.

De Beauvoir Town

Looking at the safeguarding maps gives the impression that Crossrail 2 will swing under De Beauvoir Town before turning in the direction of the Angel and Kings Cross.

I think the only negative effect will be the possible use of the Bentley Road Car Park as a work site. Why else would it have been singled out for safeguarding?

This post entitled Crossrail 2 Under De Beauvoir Town, shows some maps and pictures and gives my thoughts in full.

Angel

Just as at Stamford Hill, I feel that Crossrail 2 could effectively take a route through the hill at the Angel, well below the foundations of any building on top.

Angel station was rebuilt in the 1990s and this was after a route for Crossrail 2 was first safeguarded, so I suspect that creating a Crossrail 2 station at Angel would have been taken into account in the rebuilding.

I think the biggest decision to be made at the Angel, is whether the new station is double-ended with entrances on both sides of the hill or it just pops up into the current station.

As at Dalston, there is scope for the creation of an affordable world class station, which is subtly blended with the good buildings in the area.

How Will Crossrail 2 Be Built?

Crossrail 1 was built rather traditionally, in that the tunnels have been bored first and then the stations have been created.  One thing that surprised me was that the surface sections, which have nothing to do with the tunnels were not prepared for Crossrail 1 a lot earlier.

This is probably because politicians dithered for years about giving the go-ahead for the line. More time and the better planning before tunnelling started would have enabled, the surface stations and possibly one or two of the Central London ones to be made Crossrail 1-ready.

Crossrail 2 has a big advantage over Crossrail 1, when it comes to the politics of the route and construction.

With the exception of a few stations in Hertfordshire and some in the boroughs of Elmbridge, Spelthorne and Epsom and Ewell, Crossrail 2 is a London project, where nearly everything is under the control of Transport for London and ultimately the Mayor. As the only work that will need to be done to outlying stations like Hertford East and Epsom, is bring the existing structures up to a modern standard, that will be capable of handling larger trains, I can’t imagine many complaints about Crossrail 2 from that quarter. It’s interesting to note, that now tunnelling is complete most of the negative stories from Crossrail 1 are about works on the surface section.

As construction of Crossrail 2 is unlikely to start for some years, the tunnelling can probably be scheduled to start after all of the stations have been upgraded to be Crossrail 2-ready.

When St. Pancras was rebuilt for High Speed One, provision was made for Thameslink, and in the same way when Euston and Victoria are rebuilt, I will be surprised if the designs don’t incorporate full provision for Crossrail 2.

Where I live in Dalston, which according to my letter says will have a double-ended station serving both Dalston stations, a TfL manager told me that Dalston Kingsland station is to be rebuilt in the next few years. So as Dalston Junction station was built with Crossrail 2 in mind, boring the tunnels through Dalston will only require threading two needles with the same thread simultaneously.

Probably the only station that needs to be created or rebuilt after or alongside the tunnelling is Chelsea Kings Road, which I suspect will be more politically difficult than any other.

A lot of other features of Crossrail 2, like trains, signalling and the design of tunnels, platforms, track and overhead line systems will probably be the same as Crossrail 1.

I would suspect that a decision will be made to use the same Class 345 trains for Crossrail 2, that are being built for Crossrail 1. The only difference would be that they will need to be dual-voltage to run on the third-rail lines in the south. But they could be built as a run-on to the trains needed for Crossrail 1 and possibly introduced early on the surface lines from Liverpool Street to Hertford North or Victoria to Epsom. I feel that a common weakness of Crossrail 1 and Thameslink, is that they are introducing new types of train as they are respectively building or updating the lines. By using a proven train type the risks associated with the project will be reduced.

So I think we will get a series of phases for Crossrail 2.

1. Introduce some of the new trains on some of the surface sections. New trains on these lines will be needed anyway, as some of the current ones are getting pretty tired and dated.

2. Rebuild Euston station for High Speed Two and make provision for connection to Crossrail 2. This phase alone is probably the most expensive and contentious rail project that will happen in London in the next few years and inextricably links the work for Crossrail 2 and HS2.

3. The current situation at Victoria station is difficult to say the least. Hopefully in 2018, it will have a much better Underground station, with two platforms at which Crossrail 2’s tunnellers will aim their boring machines.

4. Make all the existing stations on the surface lines, Crossrail-2 ready and to a modern standard. Much of the work on the surface sections will be done anyway under Network Rail’s Access for All program.

5. Bore the tunnels through Central London.

6. Fit out the tunnels and the new station platforms.

7. Build the station at Chelsea. This could be an independent last phase, as was Pimlico station on the Victoria Line

Obviously, there are other ancillary projects like the creation of a depot for the trains and as a lot of Phases 1 to 4  won’t interfere with Phases 5 and 6, it could be scheduled to be done at the same time, if planned properly.

As so many elements of Crossrail 2 should be the same as Crossrail 1, any good project manager would probably say costs would be saved by scheduling Crossrail 2 to follow Crossrail 1 by a couple of years or so.

Conclusion

I am optimistic that Crossrail 2 can set new standards of design, affordability, accessibility and neighbourliness as it is built across London in a much shorter time with less demolition and disruption than Crossrail 1.

Well! At least I’m very hopeful!

March 29, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Bilbao Metro

The Bilboa Metro is only about twenty years old, so it still has a new feel about it.

Note the name of fosterito in tribute to Norman Foster, who designed a lot of the architecture. Read more about the design of the Metro here.

I can’t understand why I’ve never seen fosteritos on other Metro systems, as they work superbly, as covers for the up and down escalators. They also stand out from a distance and act as locators for the stations.

I liked it except for a couple of small points.

I like to surf down handrails with one hand for safety and this was difficult, as the hand rail supports tended to catch my hand. The DLR is the same in places.

I also had some trouble with buying the Barik card, which is their version of London’s Oyster.  I needed cash, as the system didn’t seem to work with any of my cards.

All Metro, tram and bus systems, should be like London’s buses and accept any bank card with a touch ability.

This is one thing that will happen worldwide.

The biggest advantage is that to top up my Barik card, I was constantly using up small change and notes, as I explored the city. With a bank card as a ticket, all you need to do is make sure you’ve credit available.

One piece of trivia for a pub quiz, is that the Bilbao metro map, must be the only non-UK map, with an English town shown as a destination. Look at the map in the pictures and you’ll see a ship labelled Portsmouth.

December 9, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 4 Comments