The Anonymous Widower

Gauge Improvements Across London

London has a rail capacity problem, for both freight and passenger trains.

This report from Network Rail is entitled The London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

One of the secondary recommendations of the report is to improve the gauge across London.

The report explains it like this.

The portfolio of options developed from this strategy needs to include a cross-London programme of gauge clearance, to address existing gaps and open up new market opportunities for rail freight in the long-term future.

Priorities in this area include:

  • Formal publication of W10 clearance on the North London Line from Kensal Green Junction to Acton Wells Junction. This section is currently only published as W9 but has been used for diversions of W10 traffic in the recent past.
  • Further work to understand what would be required to achieve W12 clearance on the North London Line and Gospel Oak-Barking Line.

This stands to enable rail freight to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the short-sea market from the Essex Thameside ports
and is a priority for stakeholders.

Continued development work towards gauge enhancement of the Channel Tunnel classic routes, which run through south and west London to Wembley.

The ultimate aim is to progress a programme of clearance works to achieve full W12, but opportunities to deliver incremental improvements by clearing for wagon and box combinations above what is possible today, but short of W12, are also being actively considered.

It appears to me, that a series of well-designed and well-defined projects is needed to update all those places, where loading gauge is insufficient.

In the Felixstowe And Nuneaton Freight Capacity Scheme, Phase 1 included increasing the loading gauge between Peterborough and Nuneaton to a loading gauge of W10.

This scheme involved the replacement of fourteen bridge and eleven tracking lowering/slewing schemes.


Gauge enhancement on a difficult railway has been performed successfully in several places in the UK and the bullet must be bitten to enhance the loading gauge appropriately, through London.

Related Posts

These are related posts about the London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

Decarbonisation Of London’s Freight Routes

Doubling Harlesden Junction

East Coast Main Line South Bi-Directional Capability

Gospel Oak Speed Increases

Headway Reductions On The Gospel Oak To Barking, North London and West London Lines

Heavy Axle Weight Restrictions

Kensal Green Junction Improvement

Longhedge Junction Speed Increases

Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia

Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Shepherd’s Bush

Nunhead Junction Improvement

Stratford Regulating Point Extension

Will Camden Road Station Get A Third Platform?

Will Clapham Junction Station Get A Platform 0?

June 26, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , | 15 Comments