The Anonymous Widower

The Future Of Class 378 Trains

This post is a musing on the future of the Class 378 trains.

The Thames Tunnel

The Thames Tunnel is the tail that wags the East London Line, when it comes to trains.

  • For evacuation and safety purposed, trains running through the tunnel, must have an emergency exit through the driver’s cab.
  • It hasn’t happened yet, as far as I know, but a version of Sod’s Law states if you ran trains without this emergency exit, you’d need to use it.
  • London Overground’s Class 378 trains have this feature, but their Class 710 trains do not.

So it would appear that until Bombardier build an Aventra with an emergency exit through the driver’s cab, that the existing Class 378 trains must work all services through the Thames Tunnel.

Incidentally, I can’t think of another long tunnel, that might be served by the London Overground, so it could be that Class 378 trains will be the only trains to go through the Thames Tunnel, until they wear out and need to go to the scrapyard.

Six Car Trains On The East London Line

I covered this in Will The East London Line Ever Get Six-Car Trains? and I came to this conclusion.

I will be very surprised if Network Rail’s original plan on six-car trains on the East London Line happens in the next few years.

It might happen in the future, but it would need expensive platform extensions at Shadwell, Wapping, Rotherhithe and Canada Water and Surrey Quays stations.

Increased Frequency On The East London Line

If five-car Class 378 trains are the limit, the only way to increase capacity of the East London Line would be to increase frequency.

The current frequency of the East London Line is sixteen trains per hour (tph)

There are four tph on each of these routes.

  • Dalston Junction And Clapham Junction
  • Dalston Junction And New Cross
  • Highbury & Islington And Crystal Palace
  • Highbury & Islington And West Croydon

Two increases are planned.

  • 2018 – 6 tph – Highbury & Islington And Crystal Palace
  • 2019 – 6 tph – Dalston Junction And Clapham Junction

This would increase the frequency of the East London Line to twenty tph.

It will probably mean an updated digital signalling system on the East London Line.

Eventually, I think it likely, that a full ERTMS system as is fitted to Thameslink and Crossrail will be fitted to at least the East London Line, but possibly the whole Overground network.

Digital signalling would certainly allow the twenty-four tph frequency of Thameslink and CXrossrail, which could mean that the four routes all received a frequency of four tph.

But Thameslink and Crossrail are theoretically capable of handling thirty tph or a train every two minutes, through their central tunnels.

If the two modern multi-billion pound tunnels can handle 30 tph, why can’t their little brother, that started life as a half-million pound pedestrian tunnel in 1843,

The Number Of Trains Needed For The Current Service

If I go through the routes of the original Overground, I find the following.

Dalston Junction And Clapham Junction

Trains take 46 minutes to go South and 44 minutes to come North and a round trip would take two hours.

This means that the current four tph service would need eight trains.

A six tph service in the future would need twelve trains.

Dalston Junction And New Cross

Trains take 22 minutes both ways and a round trip would take an hour.

This means that the current four tph service would need four trains.

A six tph service in the future would need six trains.

Highbury & Islington And Crystal Palace

Trains take 44 minutes to go South and 43 minutes to come North and a round trip would take two hours.

This means that the current four tph service would need eight trains.

A six tph service in the future would need twelve trains.

Highbury & Islington And West Croydon

Trains take 52 minutes both ways and a round trip would take two hours.

This means that the current four tph service would need eight trains.

A six tph service in the future would need twelve trains.

This means that the current four tph on all four routes needs twenty-eight trains.

The Proposed 2020 Service

This will have two extra tph to Crystal Palace and Clapham Junction and will need thirty-six trains.

Six Trains Per Hour On All Four Routes

as each route terminates at both ends in a single platform, which can handle six tph, with the right signalling, I feel that this could be the design objective of the East London Line, when it was built in the early-2010s.

This could be achieved with forty-two trains, leaving perhaps twelve to fifteen trains for other duties, depending on how many are needed on stand-by or are in maintenance.

What Could Be Done With Twelve Trains?

As I calculated earlier, three routes need twelve trains to provide a six tph service.

  • Dalston Junction And Clapham Junction
  • Highbury & Islington And Crystal Palace
  • Highbury & Islington And West Croydon

All three services take between 44 and 52 minutes.

So could another six tph service that takes around this time be added to the current four services?

Willesden Junction As A Northern Terminal

Trains could take the North London Line to Willesden Junction and terminate in the Bay Platform 2.

I estimate the following timings from Willesden Junction.

  • Highbury & Islington – 27 mins
  • Dalston Junction – 31 mins
  • Whitechapel –  – 41 mins
  • New Cross – 49 mins
  • Crystal Palace – 64 mins
  • Clapham Junction – 73 mins.
  • West Croydon – 74 mins

It would appear that the only possible Southern terminal of the current four, would be New Cross, as that is the only terminal within the 44-52 minute range of journey time.

So could a service between Willesden Junction and New Cross replace the current one between Dalston Junction and New Cross?

  • It would need to be run using dual-voltage trains
  • Voltage changeover could be at Highbury & Islington station.
  • Extending the New Cross service would free up a bay platform at Dalston Junction station.
  • It should be possible to have a frequency of six tph.
  • Serious modifications or additions to infrastructure would probably not be required.

As running to Willesden Junction was talked about before the Overground opened, I wonder if the numerous crossovers on the North London Line, already allow trains from the East London Line to terminate at Willesden Junction.

Southern Terminals Via New Cross Station

This map from shows the lines at New Cross station.

Note how the double-track East London Line, shown in orange, arrives from Surrey Quays station arrives in the North-Western corner of the map, becomes a single-track and then goes under the main lines before going into the bay platform D.

This Google Map shows the same area.

The London Overground track is clearly visible.

Could extra track be added, to enable the following?

  • Southbound trains could join the main line and stop in Platform C
  • Northbound could leave the main line after stopping in Platform A and go towards Surrey Quays station.

If this is possible, then trains could run between Dalston Junction and Lewisham stations.

Once at Lewisham they would have choice of Southern terminal,

Hayes As A Southern Terminal

Consider a service between Dalston Junction and Hayes stations.

  • I estimate that a train could go between the two stations in 53 minutes.
  • Hayes station has two terminal platforms

Six tph would probably be too many services, but 2-3 tph might be very welcome.

Orpington As A Southern Terminal

Consider a service between Dalston Junction and Orpington stations.

  • I estimate that a train could go between the two stations in 47  minutes.
  • Orpington station has three terminal platforms.

Six tph would probably be too many services, but 2-3 tph might be very welcome.

A Combined Hayes And Orpington Service

As a case can be made for services to both Hayes and Orpington via Lewisham, I think the ideal service could be two tph to both Hayes and Orpington.

  • There would be four tph between Dalston Junction and Lewisham.
  • Stations on the East London Line would have access to the important interchange station at Lewisham.
  • Several stations on the routes to Hayes and Orpington would have a two tph service to Crossrail and the Jubilee Line.

Other Stations Via New Cross

Looking at rail maps, there would seem to be several possibilities including with their times from Dalston junction station.

  • Beckenham Junction – 41 mins
  • Bromley North – 40 mins
  • Gove Park – 35 mins

There are probably others.

Southern Terminals Via Peckham Rye Station

As an example Streatham Common station is planned to be a major interchange and is 43 minutes from Dalston Junction.

Would a bay platform work here as an East london Line terminal?


If all fifty-seven Class 378 trains worked the East London Line, they could run six tph on the current routes.

  • Dalston Junction And Clapham Junction
  • Dalston Junction And New Cross
  • Highbury & Islington And Crystal Palace
  • Highbury & Islington And West Croydon

It would need forty-two trains.

Suppose the Dalston Junction and New Cross service was replaced with a Willesden Junction and New Cross service.

  • This would provide a useful direct four tph service between East and North London.
  • Changing at Highbury & Islington station would be avoided for a lot of journeys.
  • The journey time wold be around 49 minutes.
  • A two tph service would need four trains.
  • A four tph service would need eight trains.
  • A six tph service would need twelve trains.
  • Many journeys between North and South London would now be possible with just a single same platform interchange.

To run the following frequencies on this route would mean these total frequencies on the East London Line and total numbers of trains.

  • 2 tph – 20 tph – 40 trains
  • 4 tph – 22 tph – 44 trains
  • 6 tph – 24 tph – 48 trains

I think that if the figures are juggled a bit, there is enough trains to run extra services to one or more Southern destinations from Dalston Junction.

My preference would be a split service of 2 tph to both Hayes and Orpington via New Cross, where some new track would be needed.

This would do the following.

  • Create a frequent connection between South-East and North-East London.
  • Both areas would be connected to Crossrail and several Underground Lines, including the future Bakerloo Line Extension.
  • The Hayes Line would be shared between Overground and Southeastern trains.

No more new trains or large amounts of new infrastructure would be needed.

I suspect that London Overground and the new Southeastern franchise can do better than my musings.



May 10, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Connecting The Bakerloo Line Extension At Lewisham To The North Kent And Bexleyheath Line

This map from shows the lines in the area of Lewisham station.



  1. The multi-track line going North-West to South-East is the South Eastern Main Line .
  2. The double-track line going South-West to North-East is the Hayes Line.
  3. The double-track going East are the North Kent & Bexleyheath Lines
  4. I think it is quite likely that the overrun tunnels for the Bakerloo Line Extension will be under the Hayes Line.

The North Kent & Bexleyheath platforms are as follows.

  • Platform 3  is the Up platform
  • Platform 4 is the Down platform

Services running on the lines include.

  • Dartford to London via Platform 3
  • Slade Green to London via Platform 3
  • London to Dartford via Platform 4
  • London to Slade Green via Platform 4

In Connecting The Bakerloo Line Extension At Lewisham To The Hayes Line, I showed that it would be reasonably easy to connect the overrun tunnels for the Bakerloo Line to the Hayes Line.

So could the Bakerloo Line Extension be connected to the North Kent and Bexleyheath Lines?

If the Lewisham Underground station was deep under the current station, it might be possible to create a junction, which would enable the Underground trains to go in the direction of both the Hayes and Bexleyheath Lines.

But having been on a train between Lewisham and Bexleyheath stations, it would appear that there is little space for the Bakerloo Line to emerge from the ground and join the surface railway.

These pictures show the viaduct and other structures that support Platforms 1 and 2 at Lewisham station.

The pictures seem to confirm that linking to a line under Lewisham station would be extremely difficult and very expensive, and would require a long closure of the North Kent and Bexleyheath Lines through Lewsiham.

If this is the case, this must mean that the Hayes Line is the only place, where the Bakerloo Line can go.


October 9, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

Connecting The Bakerloo Line Extension At Lewisham To The Hayes Line

This map from shows the lines in the area of Lewisham station.



  1. The multi-track line going North-West to South-East is the South Eastern Main Line .
  2. The double-track line going South-West to North-East is the Hayes Line.
  3. The double-track going East are the North Kent & Bexleyheath Lines
  4. I think it is quite likely that the overrun tunnels for the Bakerloo Line Extension will be under the Hayes Line.

The platforms are as follows.

  • Platform 1  is the Up platform on the Hayes Line.
  • Platform 2 is the Down platform on the Hayes Line.
  • Platform 3  is the Up platform on the North Kent & Bexleyheath Lines.
  • Platform 4 is the Down platform on the North Kent & Bexleyheath Lines.

They are numbered from bottom to top in the map.

Services running through the area include.

  • Slow London to Hayes via Platform 1
  • London to Orpington via Platform 1 and the Courthill Loop
  • Slow Hayes to London via Platform 2
  • Orpington to London via the Courthill Loop and Platform 2.
  • Dartford to London via Platform 3
  • Slade Green to London via Platform 3
  • London to Dartford via Platform 4
  • London to Slade Green via Platform 4
  • Fast London to Hayes via the Ladywell Loop
  • Fast Hayes to London via the Ladywell Loop

If the Hayes Line were to be directly connected to the Bakerloo Line Extension, some services would be difficult to run.

But suppose the tunnels were connected to the Hayes Line between Courthill Loop North Junction and Ladywell Junction, the following services would still be possible.

  • London to Orpington via Platform 1 and the Courthill Loop
  • Orpington to London via the Courthill Loop and Platform2.
  • Fast London to Hayes via the Ladywell Loop
  • Fast Hayes to London via the Ladywell Loop

The slow services between London and Hayes would use the Bakerloo Line Extension.

Services On The Hayes Line

Currently, there are two trains per hour (tph) to both Charing Cross and Cannon Street. Some fast services avoid Lewisham, but all services stop at London Bridge.

In the Wikipedia entry for Hayes station, this is said.

In 2004, the Strategic Rail Authority proposed withdrawing services to Charing Cross from the Hayes Line. Following a campaign led by local Councillors and the Hayes Village Association, the plans were withdrawn.

So the locals have form in getting what they want.

Intriguingly, Charing Cross station has two Underground stations; Embankment and Charing Cross, on the Bakerloo Line.

But it will surely lose some of the National Rail services, if Hayes station becomes part of the Underground.

Some must stay, as if all were discontinued, getting to the City could mean a roundabout route and I suspect another campaign would be started by the good burghers of Hayes.

In Thoughts On The Power System For The New Tube for London, I felt that changing to a conventional three-rail electrification could be possible on the deep-level Underground lines.

At Hayes station, it would enable both National Rail and Underground services to both serve the station.

The design of the new Tube for London could well sort out that problem!

Beckenham Junction

This map from shows Beckenham Junction station and its connection to the Hayes Line at New Beckenham station.

In some ways Beckenham Junction station would make a good terminus for the Bakerloo Line Extension.

  • Platform 1  could be converted to use by the Underground.
  • There is a four tph service between Victoria and Bromley South stations.
  • There is a two-platform station for Tramlink.

But would the flat New Beckenham Junction, where trains join the Hayes Line, have the capacity to handle all the trains and Tubes, going hither and thither?

At the very least use of Beckenham Junction as a terminal for the Bakerloo Line, would need a lot of innovative thinking.

In Could Beckenham Junction To Birkbeck Be Run Using Third-Rail Tram-Trains?, I proposed using tram-trains with a third-rail capability.

This would allow the Birkbeck to Beckenham Junction section of the route to become a conventional railway again and have a higher capacity.

This was my conclusion in the post.

By replacing the trams to Beckenham Junction station with tram-trains, capable of running on both 750 VDC types of electrification and with a limited battery capabilty, would simplify operation at Beckhenham Junction and enable Tramlink services to be extended to Bromley South station.

The collateral benefit, is that Bromley town centre could get a Tramlink connection.

Going East from Beckenham Junction station, the track is only double, but if the New Tubes for London were fast enough, they could gp on to Bromley South station.





October 7, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Conditions And Thoughts On The New Southeastern Franchise

The January 2018 Edition of Modern Railways gives a review of the conditions, that the Department for Transport are imposing on bidders.

The First Sentence

This is the first sentence of the article.

The Department for Transport says bidders for the next Southeastern franchise will be required to provide space for at least 40,000 additional passengers in the morning rush hour with 12-car services on the busiest routes.

This raises an interesting question.

Does the DfT mean actual twelve-car trains or ones as long as current twelve-car trains?

In Big On The Inside And The Same Size On The Outside, I discussed how by using  good design, Bombardier were getting more passengers in a train of the same length.

This is an extract from c2c’s Press Release.

The Aventra is one of the fastest-selling trains in the UK rail industry, and these new trains will be manufactured at Bombardier’s factory in Derby. Each new train, which will operate in a fixed set of 10-carriages, will include over 900 seats, plus air-conditioning, wifi, plug sockets and three toilets onboard. Each new carriage is larger and contains more seats than on c2c’s current trains, so each 10-carriage new train provides capacity for 15% more passengers onboard compared to a current 12-carriage c2c train.

So three x four-car trains working as a twelve-car train are replaced by one ten-car train, just as with Greater Anglia. Note the claimed fifteen percent capacity increase!

Metro Services

The article says this about Metro services,

Metro-style trains will be introduced on suburban routes, similar to those on other high-capacity routes into London.

Is the DfT thinking of trains like Crossrail’s Class 345 trains?

Changes Of London Terminals

The DfT was thinking of all inner suburban services going to a single London terminal, but this has been dropped following opposition.

Changes are still proposed, to stop conflicts at Lewisham.

  • Bexleyheath Line services will switch from Victoria to Cannon Street or Charing Cross.
  • Hayes Line services will serve Victoria and Charing Cross, but not Cannon Street.
  • North Kent Line services will run to Cannon Street.
  • Sidcup Line services will run to Charing Cross and Cannon Street in the Peak.
  • Extra services will serve Abbey Wood for Crossrail.
  • More twelve-car trains.

The objective is a turn-up-and-go Metro-style service on suburban routes.

To London Overground, Merseyrail and other commuters around the K, that means four trains per hour.

As there was with the proposal Network Rail made to curtail Sutton Loop Line services at Blackfriars, there will be complaints. Especially, from those who were at Eton with certain MPs!

Hopefully the design of London Bridge station will help smooth things over.

Twelve-Car Trains At Charing Cross And Waterloo East

If most trains are twelve-car trains, then surely all platforms at Cannon Street, Charing Cross, London Bridge, Victoria and Waterloo East stations, must surely be able to handle trains of this length.

As it is specifically mentioned, Charing Cross and Waterloo East stations must be the most problem.

There have been suggestions of rebuilding the two stations, with the platforms at Charing Cross extending over the Thames.


  • Modern signalling could handle twenty-four trains per hour between Charing Cross and London Bridge.
  • Connections to the Jubilee Line could be better.
  • The Bakerloo Line is planned to be extended to Lewisham.
  • Waterloo East station could surely have over-site development.
  • Techniques borrowed from London Underground could be used to turn trains faster at Charing Cross.

I have a feeling that we will see something fairly radical happen in the next few years to increase capacity across the South Bank.

Faster Services To Hastings

This is said about services to and from Hastings.

DfT has specified a new two trains per hour service between London, Tonbridge and Ashford, allowing services to Hastings to be speeded up by removing calls at Orpington, Sevenoaks and Hildenborough.

Bidders are incentivised to develop further proposals for reducing journey times, including for deliveringn high speed services between London St. Pancras, Hastings and Bexhill via Ashford.

That all sounds good for Hastings.

More Trains Between Strood And Tonbridge

This route along the Medway Valley Line will have two trains per hour all day.

Trains For The Franchise

The DfT has specified the trains in a fairly detailed way.

Cars No Longer Than Twenty Metres

This is probably because of curved platforms and other restrictions on the various routes.

It is also a similar car length to the current Class 465 trains and Class 377 trains.

No Extra Selective Door Opening, Except At Waterloo East

I suspect this could be that selective door opening, confuses passengers and perhaps slow the stops.

First Class To Be Removed By September 2020

Will this be popular with all passengers?

There doesn’t seem to have been too many protests about the future removal of First Class on Greater Anglia’s services in Essex.

But it will allow the capacity of the train to be increased, to provide space for some of those 40,000 additional passengers.

ETCS Will Have To Be Deployed

European Train Control System (ETCS)  can enable higher frequencies of trains in a safe manner and mandating that it be deployed is a sensible move.

At Least One Accessible Toilet On Main Line And High Speed Trains

I think most train operating companies would do this!

Adequate Wi-Fi

Not providing wi-fi and in addition 4G signals, is probably an easy way to reduce ridership.

Walk Through Trains

The fleets that have been bought recently, are all of this type, so I think it would be unlikely, that any new trains for the Southeastern franchise would be different.

My Thoughts

Train Length


Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, South Western Railway and Virgin Trains East Coast have set a pattern, by ordering trains and half-trains, that can probably be used in a flexible manner.

Half-train/Full-train ratios for the various companies are.

  • Great Western Railway – 1.6
  • Greater Anglia – 4.0
  • South Western Railway 0.5
  • Virgin Trains East Coast – 0.5

Each company has chosen an appropriate number of trains for their routes, but each can adjust numbers by running two half-trains as a full train.

So will we see the same strategy on a future Southeastern franchise?

Perhaps most trains will be twelve-car trains with a small number of six-car trains, that can work together as required.

Train Speed

In Kent On The Cusp Of Change – Elimination Of Slow Trains, I came to this conclusion.

All trains incapable of running a service at 100 mph should be eliminated, just as the two operators;Greater Anglia and South Western Railway, are planning to do.

All of the new Southeastern franchise’s trains should be 100 mph trains.




December 22, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Could Third-Rail Tram-Trains Be Used To Increase Services In South London?

I ask this question, as some of the frequencies on suburban lines in South London aren’t up to their equivalent in the North.

Sutton Loop Line

As an example, Sutton Common station on the Sutton Loop Line of Thameslink, has this Off Peak service according to Wikipedia.

The typical off-peak service from the station is 2 trains per hour to Wimbledon (clockwise around the loop) and 2 trains per hour to Sutton (anticlockwise).

Other stations on the loop with this level of service include Haydons RoadMorden SouthSt. Helier, South Merton, TootingWest Sutton and Wimbledon Chase.

On the other side of the loop via Mitcham Junction station, the service is augmented by London Victoria to Epsom services, running at two trains per hour (tph).

People might say, that the solution to the poor service at stations on the Sutton Loop Line is just to run four tph in both directions round the loop.

But that would probably mean the Snow Hill Tunnel with its capacity of 24 tph, will become overloaded.

Thameslink’s Route To Sevenoaks

Crofton Park station on Thameslink’s route to Sevenoaks station has this Off Peak service according to Wikipedia.

Two trains per hour to West Hampstead Thameslink and Sevenoaks.

The passengers moan about it as I wrote in The Natives Are Getting Restless In Crofton Park.

They want four tph now!

But again they can’t have them, as it’s the capacity of the Snow Hill Tunnel.

Transport For London’s Philosophy

Transport for London, have released a report on the Bakerloo Line Extension that they call the Option Selection Summary Report.

It is one of those worthy documents, you get from analysing the data from consultations.

But it is full of several nuggets, which although not directly associated with the Bakerloo Line could be very important for passengers coming from or venturing to South London.

They have also provided this helpful map, which lays out possible actions and improvements.

Rail Improvements South Of The Thames

It seems to me that TfL are following a plan to add more transport hubs to their network South of the Thames.

Currently, the following are important interchanges between Underground, Overground, trains, Tramlink and buses.

  • Bromley South
  • Clapham Junction
  • East Croydon
  • Greenwich
  • Lewisham
  • Wimbledon
  • Woolwich


  1. East Croydon will benefit in a large way from Thameslink, but so will Greenwich and Woolwich in a smaller way.
  2. Clamham Junction and Wimbledon will be stations on from Crossrail 2, if it’s ever built.
  3. Lewisham will become the terminus of the Bakerloo Line.

The map and other sources also show other stations becoming important transport hubs or connections.

  • Brixton, where all the lines in the area are in a single station.
  • Brockley
  • Catford, where the current Catford and Catford Bridge stations become one station.
  • Crystal Palace, which will soon get extra services from Whitechapel and Highbury and Islington stations.
  • Orpington
  • Penge
  • Streatham Common
  • Sutton

London Bridge station shouldn’t be ignored, as after Thameslink is completed, it will be an efficient interchange between the North-South Thameslink services and the Southeastern services between Charing Cross/Cannon Street and the wider South-East.

Put all of these proposals together and could third-rail tram-trains be a useful addition to transport in South London?

I will detail a few possible routes.

Onward From Beckenham Junction To Bromley South or Orpington

In Could Beckenham Junction To Birkbeck Be Run Using Third-Rail Tram-Trains?, I detailed how third-rail tram-trains could be used between Harrington Lane tram stop and Beckenham Junction station to create more capacity.

If run by tram-trains, this service could be extended to Bromley South or Orpington.

Orpington station has four bay platforms facing towards London and Beckenham Junction.

This map from shows the track layout at the station.

The tracks reduce from four to two at Orpington station, which probably means that tram-trains should probably not go further than Orpington station.

Bromley South station is another possibility for a terminus for tram-trains and this map from, shows the station layout.

The tram-trains would probably use the two Northern tracks.


At present there are the following services between Birkbeck and Beckenham Junction stations.

  • 2 trains per hour between London Bridge and Beckenham Junction
  • 6 trams per hour between East Croydon and Beckenham Junction

Looking at the frequencies, I suspect that if two of the trams per hour, were tram-trains and ran to Bromley South and Orpington, this could be accommodated in the timetable.

I think that this route would have the following advantages.

  • Bromley South and Orpington stations would be valuable interchanges to Southeastern’s and Thameslink’s Kentish destinations.
  • Running tram-trains between Birkbeck and Beckenham Junction stations as tram-trains on a double-track line, must improve capacity and reliability.
  • Bromley town centre has been touted as an extension to Tramlink.

Bromley South station, might not be Bromley town centre, but it is only a short walk.

However, if it were needed, I suspect that a single-track spur to serve the town centre could be created to the West of Bromley South station.

This Google Map shows the Southern end of Bromley High Street and Bromley South station.

It could probably use battery power to pull up the short hill to Bromley town centre.

  • The terminal tram stop could be at the South end of the pedestrianised area.
  • The on-street route would be single-track, bi-directional and electrically dead.
  • A second tram stop could be provided by Bromley South station.
  • The maximum frequency to a single platform would probably be two trams per hour.

In some ways, the town centre tram stop is a bay platform for Bromley South station, that can only be used by tram-trains with a battery capability.

Onward From Harrington Road To Crystal Palace

It was always hoped that Tramlink could be extended to Crystal Palace station and this has been developed as Route 5.

The Wikipedia entry for Harrington Road tram-stop says this.

Transport for London once had plans to extend the Tramlink system to Crystal Palace. These plans were known as Extension D or Tramlink route 4, and would have involved a junction to the north of Harrington Road, with the extension joining the existing railway in the opposite direction to the current line 2.

The planned extension to Crystal Palace was formally dropped by Transport for London in 2008.

But using tram-trains could make this a more flexible low-cost option.

  • Battery power could be used to go to the terminus at Crystal Palace Parade.
  • Battery trams would be very easy to install in a park, if required.
  • A charging station, like a Railbaar, could be provided at the terminus, if the battery running looked like needing assistance.
  • Tram-trains could go past Crystal Palace to a station with a suitable bay platform.

This Google Map shows the route.

Note Crystal Palace in the North West corner, by the running track and Birkbeck station in the South East.

New tram stops have been proposed at Penge Road and Anerley Road and as the lroute will be run by tram-trains, I suspect that an innovative island station design could serve both tram-trains and trains.

Crystal Palace station, which in a couple of years will have six tph from the well-connected Whitechapel, would benefit from a Tramlink connection.

Onward From Elmers End To Catford

Elmers End station has six trams per house from East Croydon.

This Google Map shows the station.

Note how it connects to the Hayes Line and I doubt if it would be difficult to allow through running of tram-trains between East Croydon and stations to the North on the Hayes Line.

The logical Northern terminus would probably be in a new Catford Interchange, which Transport for London have talked about to combine Catford and Catford Bridge stations.

This Google Map shows the two stations and Catford town centre.

A tram-train could probably run on batteries to the town centre, perhaps with a terminus at Catford Broadway by Lewisham Town Hall and the Broadway Theatre.

But with the right design of the new interchange, the tram-train could go further North to a station with a handy bay platform, if that was deemed necessary.

Increasing The Frequency On The Sutton Loop Line

As I said earlier stations on the Western side of the loop, generally get about two tph in both directions, but those on the Eastern side get an extra two tph going between Victoria and Epsom.

The trains on the line are typically eight-car trains of a variety of types. Capacity may be a problem, but a line like this needs at least four tph all day.

There could also be a case for an extra station to serve St. George’s Hospital and perhaps another as part of the development at Hackbridge.

There is a Hackbridge Masterplan on Wikipedia. This is the first paragraph.

The London Borough of Sutton is working to make Hackbridge the ‘UK’s first truly sustainable suburb’. There has been a regeneration scheme in Hackbridge which has a number of developments on many sites. These are mentioned as part of the Hackbridge Regeneration. Detailed plans include proposals for new eco-friendly homes, more shops, leisure and community facilities, jobs, sustainable transport and pedestrian/ cycle initiatives, improved networks and open spaces.

It all sounds good to me. This is a Google Map of the area.



Note the rail line going up the map with Hackbridge station about a quarter of the way up.At the top of the map, is an icon indicating the BedZed Pavilion.

If they are truly into green transport, it strikes me, that there needs to be another station between Hackbridge station and Mitcham Junction station, which is the next one to the North. As the Tramlink through Mitcham Junction runs down the eastern side of the site and has a stop at Beddington Lane on the north east corner, I would also feel that there scope for extensions to the through Hackbridge.

So for frequency and environmental reasons, I think there is a strong case to improve the Sutton Loop Line.

The obvious way to increase the service would be to have two tph start and finish in a bay platform, at the proposed Streatham Common transport interchange. Not only would it provide four tph on the whole loop, but if the trains were scheduled correctly, all stations on the loop would have the following services to Blackfriars.

  • 2 tph direct.
  • 2 tph with a change at Streatham Common.
  • 2 tph direct via Sutton
  • 2 tph via Sutton with a change at Streatham Common.

With good design the change at Streatham Common could be a walk across the platform.

I don’t think that the extra services would need to be eight-car trains, but why use tram-trains?

The tram-trains major advantage is that they could go walkabout to perhaps serve some of the new developments or hospitals like St. Helier or the Royal Marsden.

Using The Sutton Loop Line As A Reversing Loop For Trams From Croydon

This Google Map shows Mitcham Junction station.

I don’t think it would be too difficult to add chords to the junction, so that a tram-train coming from Croydon could transfer from Tramlink to the Sutton Loop Line. The tram-train would then go round the loop including passing through Wimbledon station on the opposite face of the Tramlink platform.

After returning to Mitcham Junction, the tram-train would return to Croydon.

It may seem a long way round, but there’s probably only a couple of minutes in it.

But it would need a chord at Streatham Common for the tram-trains to by-pass the station.

This Google Map shows the location of the proposed Streatham Common interchange.

The current Streatham Common station is in the East, The interchange would be built, where the lines cross.

The chord would be built to the South of where the two lines of the Sutton Loop meet, at the bottom of the map.

The track could be adjusted, so that tram-trains could go round the loop both ways.

Will The Victoria-Epsom Service Call At Streatham Common Interchange?

Stops with  modern trains are much quicker than they used to be only a few years ago.

So If the design of Streatham Common station and the timetable could allow a fast interchange, it might improve journey times for those living on the Wimbledon side of the Sutton Loop Line, which don’t get direct services from Victoria.

The Proposed Tramlink Extension To Sutton

The proposed Tramlink route Between  South Wimbledon And Sutton is possibly a worthwhile extra public transport link to throw into the mix. It is described under Extension A in the Wikipedia entry for Tramlink. This is said.

In July 2013, Mayor Boris Johnson affirmed that there is a reasonable business case for Tramlink to cover the Wimbledon – Sutton corridor. A map has been released showing the planned route. It would leave the existing route just to the east of Morden Road and head along the A24 and A297 to Rosehill Roundabout, then the B2230 through Sutton town centre, ending at the station. A loop via St Helier Hospital and a possible extension to Royal Marsden Hospital also are shown.

This is a map of the route.


So how would third-rail tram-trains using the Sutton Loop Line affect the proposed Tranlink Extension to Sutton?

  • There are at least four tph in both directions on the Sutton Loop Line.
  • The trams will reach Sutton, but only running as trains.
  • St. Helier Hospital is not served.
  • Tram-trains could possibly serve the Epsom Downs Branch, in addition to the direct services to Victoria.

I describe how third-rail tram-trains could serve the Epsom Downs Branch and the Royal Marsden Hospital in Could Third-Rail Tram-Trains Work The Epsom Downs Branch?







April 16, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Worksites Of The Bakerloo Site Extension

Building the Bakerloo Line Extension will hopefully finish around 2028/29.

So I’m publishing these maps of the areas, that could be affected by works, so if perhaps you’re thinking of moving house, you can take an appropriate decision.

The Route

This is TfL’s latest route map between Elephant and Castle  and Lewisham stations.


Note the two completely new stations with the imaginative names of Old Kent Road 1 and Old Kent Road 2.

The full document is here on the Transport for London web site.

The Worksites

The sites are given in route order from the North.

Elephant And Castle

The map from shows the lines through the station.


The North-South lines across the map are from West to East.


  • The Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line – Dated 13/09/1926
  • The Bakerloo Line – Dated 05/08/1906
  • The Bank Branch of the Northern Line.
  • Thameslink to Blackfriars and Orpington, Rainham, Sevenoaks, Sutton and Wimbledon.

Just below this map is Kennington station, where the two branches of the Northern Line meet and will divide to Morden and Battersea Power Station stations.

Elephant and Castle is effectively two separate stations at present, with one for the Bakerloo Line and one for the Northern Line. Both stations have lifts and narrow, dingy platforms and passageways. Connections between the two stations underground is not good.

These pictures of Elephant and Castle station were taken on February 12th, 2017

Works envisaged at Elephant and Castle station include.

  • A new larger ticket hall for the Bakerloo Line
  • Wider platforms for the Bakerloo Line
  • Escalators aren’t mentioned, but would probably be included for the Bakerloo Line
  • New ticket hall for the Northern Line
  • Three escalators and more lifts for the Northern Line to provide step-free access.
  • Better connections between the two lines.

I would hope that a comprehensive design would include a step-free link to the Thameslink station.

I suspect, that the two stations could be rebuilt as two separate projects, with the Northern Line station being updated before the Bakerloo Line station.

If the two projects were properly planned, I believe that trains could continue to run on the Northern Line throughout the works, with trains running to the Bakerloo Line platforms until they needed to be closed for updating and connection to the new tunnels.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see an updated pedestrian connection between the Bakerloo and Northern Line platforms created first, so that at least one entrance to the platforms is available throughout the works.

This Google Map shows the area around Elephant and Castle.

Eephant And Castle

Eephant And Castle

Transport for London have said they need a worksite in the area.

Bricklayers Arms

Bricklayers Arms is known to many as a roundabout and flyover on the A2 into London.

This Google Map shows the roundabout.

Bricklayers Arms

Bricklayers Arms

It is one of two possible locations for a shaft that will be needed between Elephant and Castle and Old Kent Road 1 stations.

These pictures of Bricklayers Arms were taken on February 12th, 2017.

The worksite could be in the middle of the roundabout.

Faraday Gardens

This Google Map shows the South-East corner of Faraday Gardens.

Faraday Gardens

Faraday Gardens

It is one of two possible locations for a shaft that will be needed between Elephant and Castle and Old Kent Road 1 stations.

These pictures of Faraday Gardens were taken on February 13th, 2017

The worksite could be in the a hard playground.

My personal view is that the Bricklayers Arms site is the better from a working point of view, but is it in the best position?

Old Kent Road 1 Station

This Google Map shows the area, where Old Kent Road 1 station will be located.

Old Kent Road 1 Station

Old Kent Road 1 Station

There are two options given for the location of the station.

Note the Tesco Southwark Superstore in the middle of the map, with its car park alongside.

  • Option A for the station is on the other side of Dunton Road and slightly to the North West of the car park.
  • The other Option B is on the Old Kent Road on the site of the store itself.

These pictures of the area around the Tesco store were taken on February 12th, 2017.

The group of people most affected by the construction of the station will be those who shop at this Tesco.

I suspect that given the company’s current position, Tesco would be happy to co-operate with TfL. After all there must be advasntages in having a superstore on top of an Underground station.

If the Tesco Superstore had to be knocked down, there are lots more anonymous architectural gems like this one.

So I wouldn’t be surprised to see Option B implemented, with a brand new station alongside the Old Kent Road.

Old Kent Road 2 Station

There are two options for this station.

This Google Map shows the location of Option A opposite B & Q.

Option A For Old Kent Road 2 Station

Option A For Old Kent Road 2 Station

The station will be on the the Currys PCWorld site along the road.

These pictures of the area around the Currys PCWorld store were taken on February 12th, 2017.

This Google Map shows the location of Option B on the Toys R Us site on the other side of the Old Kent Road.

Option B For Old Kent Road 2 Station

Option B For Old Kent Road 2 Station

These pictures of the area around the Toys R Us store were taken on February 12th, 2017.

Both chosen sites would appear to have plenty of space and wouldn’t require the demolishing of any housing.

Note that the Toys R Us stored was closed in April 2018. Did Transport for London rewrite their plans and are they in negotiation for the now-vacant site?

New Cross Gate Station

New Cross Gate station is an existing Overground and National Rail station.

This Google Map shows the station and the Retail Park, that is alongside the station to the West.

New Cross Gate Station

New Cross Gate Station

These pictures of the area around the Sainsburys store were taken on February 12th, 2017.

The worksite would take over the car park, with the station being built underneath.

This worksite is very much the most important site of the extension. The consultation says this.

The size of the proposed site provides several opportunities for the project. It could allow soil to be taken away by train rather than using local roads. We could also start the tunnel machinery from this site.

When the station is completed, I can envisage New Cross Gate becoming an important transport hub, with a quality shopping experience.

Alexandra Cottages

Alexandra Cottages, a short road off Lewisham Way has been proposed as the location of a shaft between New Cross Gate and Lewisham stations.

This Google Map shows the location.

Alexandra Cottages

Alexandra Cottages

I suppose the site has been chosen, as the site contains a Big Yellow Self Storage facility and a Ladbrokes betting shop.

These pictures of the area around the storage facility were taken on February 13th, 2017.

Will the shaft be buried in the basement of a development suitable for the area?

Lewisham Station

This Google Map shows the current Lewisham station.


These pictures of the area around the Lewisham station were taken on February 13th, 2017.

The new Bakerloo Line station will be underground between the station and Matalan. The area is currently bus parking.

Because of the different levels and tunnels and some railway arches in good condition, the addition of the Bakerloo Line station could be a challenging one, but also one that could be architecturally worthwhile.


  • Is the current station built on arches, that could allow passengers to circulate underneath?
  • Could escalators and lifts connect the main line and ?Underground stations?
  • Could there be significant oversite development on top of the station?
  • Could the Bakerloo Line station be built without a blockade of the current station?
  • Will Lewisham station be reorganised to be less of a bootleneck?

It will be interesting to see the final design.

Wearside Road

This Google Map shows the worksite in Wearside Road, which will be used to create a shaft to the overrun tunnels.


The multi-track line going North-West to South-East is the South Eastern Main Line, whilst the line going South-West to North-East is the Hayes Line.

The worksite will go at the Northern end of the light-coloured area South of where the two lines cross.

This map from shows the lines in the area.


I think it is quite likely that the overrun tunnels will be under the Hayes Line.

Extension To Hayes

This document on the Lewisham Borough Council web site is a must-read document, as it gives the view of the Council and their consultants; Parsons Brinckerhoff about the Bakerloo Line Extension.

The report is very much in favour of the Extension being built and it hopes that it can be extended using the Hayes Line, where the trains would terminate at  either at Hayes or Beckenham Junction stations.

Currently, Elephant and Castle station handles 14 tph, so as there would appear to be no terminal platform at that station, at least this number of trains will connect between the Bakerloo Line at Lewisham station and the Hayes Line..

But as other deep-level tube lines handle more trains, with the Victoria Line handling 36 tph by the end of this year, I don’t think it unreasonable to expect a service frequency in excess of 20 tph.

The Wikipedia entry for the New Tube for London is quoting 27 tph.

So could this give at least 10 tph to both Southern terminals?

To handle 10 tph, I think it reasonable to assume that two terminal platforms are needed.

Hayes has two platforms, but Beckenham Junction has only one spare platform, as this Google Map shows.


But I suspect if Waitrose are reasonable, a deal can be done.

If the overrun tunnels at Lewisham station,are more-or-less under the Hayes Line, these tunnels would be easily connected to the Hayes Line in the following manner.


, with all other services using the Courthill Loop to go on their way.

Hayes station would swap its two tph services to both Cannon Street and Charing Cross stations for at least a 10 tph service on the Bakerloo Line.

I also think, that services could go direct between Hayes and London Bridge, Cannon Street or Charing Cross using the Ladywell Loop.

Beckenham Junction would have a similar service and I’m sure this would please Lewisham Borough Council.

Network Rail would gain four paths per hour through Lewisham station to use for other services.

Lewisham Borough Council also suggests the following for the Hayes Line.

They are certainly forcible in what they want.


This extension, looks like it is a railway designed to be built without too much fuss and objections.

Most of the worksites seem to have good access and it would appear that few residential properties will be affected.



February 10, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Will They Build The Bakerloo Line Extension?

I ask this question, as my trip yesterday to Redbridge station, got me thinking.

Wanstead, Redbridge and Gants Hill stations share several characteristics.

  • They are built under a main road.
  • They are architecturally significant, with two being designed by Charles Holden.

During the Second World War, they were part of an underground factory for Plessey.

It strikes me that as the route of the Bakerloo Line Extension, will for some way, lie under the Old Kent Road, with two stations currently called; Old Kent Road 1 and Old Kent Road 2, that the section of line could be similar in nature to the Redbridge stretch of the Central Line.

This map shows a route.

Bakerloo Line Extension Map

Bakerloo Line Extension Map

I’m sure, that they’ll come up with better names, on their initial route to Lewisham, via New Cross Gate.

This Google Map, shows the route of the Old Kent Road from Bricklayers Arms to New Cross Gate station.

Bricklayers Arms To New Cross Gate

Bricklayers Arms To New Cross Gate

Bricklayers Arms is at the North-West corner of the map and New Cross Gate station is the South-East.

To my naive mind, the route would be one that an experienced Tunnelling Engineer would find attractive.

  • Elephant and Castle station is not far to the West of Bricklayers Arms.
  • The current Bakerloo Line station at Elephant and Castle points vaguely East, so could probably be connected to under Bricklayers Arms.
  • The tunnels could go under the Old Kent Road between Bricklayers Arms and New Cross Gate.
  • The tunnels could go under the railway between New Cross Gate and Lewisham stations.
  • The Extension could terminate in two deep-level platforms under the current Lewisham station.
  • The Old Kent Road is lined with supermarkets and large out-of-town stores like Asda, B & Q, Sainsburys and Toys R  Us.

But possibly above all, the extension could probably be built without causing too much disruption to existing infrastructure.

I’ll look at a few issues in a bit more detail.

Cut And Cover Or Bored Construction

Some European nations would build the extension using cut and cover methods, but then we’re the tunnel kings!

As there has also been improvement in the tunnel boring machines over the last twenty years, I would expect that a big hole will be dug somewhere and then the main tunnels will be bored out, as is being done on the Northern Line Extension.

The choice of the main tunneling site will depend on several factors.

  • Sufficient space.
  • Good road or rail access to get heavy equipment to the site.
  • Away from sensitive areas for noise.

Probably the most difficult problem, is getting the tunnel spoil out.

Although there are plenty of large sites along the Old Kent Road, look at this Google Map of New Cross Gate station.

New Cross Gate Station

New Cross Gate Station

Note that next to the station is a large Sainsburys. The supermarket group has form in co-operating with large rail infrastructure projects, in that their Whitechapel superstore was virtually rebuilt to make space and access for Crossrail.

So could we see the same co-operation here?

New Cross Gate Station

New Cross Gate station is the middle interchange on the Bakerloo Line Extension.

If as I speculated above, Sainsburys co-operate, I think we could see a rebuilt superstore growing into a more important shopping centre with good rail and tube access.


  • Trains between London Bridge and Surrey call.
  • East London Line trains call.
  • Thameslink trains will soon be passing through at speed.
  • Around a dozen bus routes pass the station.
  • There would probably be space for housing above the development.

So could we see New Cross Gate station growing into a major transport interchange?

Yes! Especially, if Thameslink called at the station!

Lewisham Station

Lewisham station has been proposed as the terminus of the Extension.

This map from shows the lines in through the station.

Lines Through Lewisham

Lines Through Lewisham

Lewisham station has one of those layouts designed by Topsy.

Perhaps for now, the best solution would be to just add a couple of deep-level platforms to create a new terminus for the Bakerloo Line.


  • Transport for London are planning at least 36 trains per hour (tph) between two underground two platform terminals on the Victoria Line.
  • Battersea Power Station station is being built like this.
  • I doubt the extension will need a depot South of Elephant and Castle station.

Lewisham station would be rebuilt to provide a high capacity interchange between all services at the station.

The Bakerloo Line Train Frequency

Wikipedia says this in the Current And Future Infrastructure section of the Bakerloo Line.

Transport for London proposes to upgrade the line eventually, but not until other deep-level lines have been dealt with. This will include new signalling and new trains, enabling a maximum frequency of 27 trains per hour. TfL currently expects these to be in place by 2033.

So when the Extension is built, it would seem logical that the line could be rebuilt for 27 tph.

The Northern Section Of The Bakerloo Line

If the Bakerloo Line is extended to the South, then it would seem logical that the Northern end should be improved to take the increased number of trains, which share a lot of the line to Watford Junction with London Overground.

Platform Height Issues

At some station on the Northern section to get in to and out of the Bakerloo  Line 1972 Stock trains, is quite a step and it would be difficult in a wheel-chair.

I have covered this in Platform Height Issues On The Watford DC Line and feel that dual-height platforms could be used.

Onward From Lewisham

Most proposals for the extension of the Bakerloo Line, envisage the line taking over one or both of the terminals on the Hayes Line.

Wikipedia has a section on the current proposal.

This is said.

In December 2015, Transport for London announced that the Old Kent Road option was indeed its preferred route, and proposed taking the line as far as Lewisham, which it said could be running by 2030. Proposals for a further extension beyond Lewisham, such as to Hayes and Beckenham or Bromley, would now be considered in a separate phase in the more distant future.

But I do wonder, if extensions to Hayes and Beckenham Junction could be less necessary than they were a few years ago.

  • The construction of a Camberwell station on Thameslink is being considered.
  • Good design at New Cross Gate and Lewisham could improve connections for passengers on the Hayes Line.
  • The extra capacity across the South Bank and through London Bridge, must benefit passengers from the Hayes Line.
  • Elmers End station is getting an improved Tramlink service.

Bear in mind too, that Transport for London now have much better statistics from which to plan new connections and lines.

How would the following smaller projects on various wish-lists affect services South from Lewisham?

  • Better links connecting to Abbey Wood station in addition to Crossrail.
  • A decent connection between Catford and Catford Bridge stations.
  • Interchanges at Brockley and Penge on the East London Line.

Could they even kick extension of the Bakerloo Line in the Hayes direction into at least the 2040s?

The Issue Of Bakerloo And National Rail Trains Sharing Tracks

If the Bakerloo Line is to be extended past Lewisham on the Hayes Line to Hayes and Beckenham Junction, you have the problem of two types of train with different characteristics.

  • First Class is not available on the Underground.
  • Platform height can be matched to the train, to give level access.

Restricting the Bakerloo Line Extension to deep-level platforms at New Cross Gate and Lewisham, avoids the sharing issues, by keeping the two sizes of train separate.

  • Bakerloo Line trains terminate at Lewisham.
  • Good interchange must be provided between the Bakerloo Line and National Rail trains.

Obviously, by the correct design of the deep-level platforms at Lewisham, extension of the Bakerloo Line to somewhere suitable in the future is not ruled out.


The Northern And Bakerloo Line Extensions Are Similar

The similarity between the two extensions is very strong.

  • The Northern Extension adds two stations and the Bakerloo adds only four.
  • Both extensions are reasonably short.
  • Both extensions start at an existing station.
  • Both extensions could end in similar underground two-platform terminals.
  • Both extensions might be extended further.

So could the Bakerloo Line Extension be an ideal follow on project for the Northern Line Extension?

And after that, there are other follow-on projects, where provision for extension has been left.

  • Extending the Northern Line Extension from Battersea Power Station to Clapham Junction.
  • Extending the Bakerloo Line Extension to wherever is needed.
  • Extending the Jubilee Line from North Greenwich and Charing Cross.
  • Extending the DLR from Bank
  • Extending the Victoria Line to Herne Hill.

Could the relative success in getting such a good start on the Northern Line Extension, with hardly any controversy or disruption have influenced Transport for London to bring forward the Bakerloo Line Extension.

Perhaps with even the same team!


I feel that the Bakerloo Line extension will be built in a very similar way to the Northern Line Extension.

The more I dig, the more I like the plan for the extension and think it is right for project management reasons to bring it forward.








December 11, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Southern Crossrail

I noticed that Southern Crossrail has appeared in the list of proposed UK rail projects on Wikipedia.

There is a Southern Crossrail web site.

An Outline From History

Basically through tracks at Waterloo station would go straight on and take over the lines from Charing Cross station, through Waterloo East station.

This is said in the Wikipedia entry for Waterloo East station.

Formerly a rail connection ran across the concourse of the main station. This saw little service, although H.G. Wells’s novel The War of the Worlds describes its use to convey troop trains to the Martian landing site. The bridge which carried the line over Waterloo Road subsequently accommodated the pedestrian walkway between the two stations until replaced by the current high level covered walkway. The old bridge remains and is now used for storage.

So it’s not science fiction courtesy of Mr. Wells.

Shutting Stations And Joining Up Services

Charing Cross station could be shut or reduced in size, Waterloo East could be moved over Southwark tube station and the services into Charing Cross would run back-to-back with some into Waterloo.

This Google Map shows the stations and the lines.

Southern Crossrail

Southern Crossrail

Destinations Served

Destinations in the West could include.

With the following destinations in the East.

At least it does something useful with the Hayes Line.

Building Southern Crossrail

Southern Crossrail say this about the engineering required.

The minimum engineering requirement would be for the centre part of the concourse at Waterloo to rise up over four through tracks. There would need to be lifts and escalators.

A new bridge, alongside the old one, would be required to carry three new tracks over Waterloo Road.

The old bridge referred to is the one that is referred to in Wikipedia, as being used for storage.

The engineering involved is probably no more difficult than that used to update Thameslink at London Bridge, with the new viaducts over Borough Market.

But I can remember , that when that project was mooted, there was a lot of local opposition.

Given the farce of at times, when London Bridge station was being rebuilt, I think passenger groups will be against the changes.

Southern Crossrail give these additional changes on their web site.

  • Signalling changes to increase the throughput
  • Flyovers between Battersea and Waterloo thus allowing the local, suburban and express lines to be segregated on the approach to Waterloo, would increase throughput further
  • Waterloo East Station would close releasing some land and a new station above the new Southwark station on the Jubilee line could be opened for interchange with Thameslink
  • Closing the line up to Charing Cross would allow for greater throughput. Commuters travelling to the west end can change at London Bridge using the Jubilee line. This will have the added advantage of opening up the front of Waterloo through to the South Bank.


My views on these changes and other points follow.

Signalling And Flyovers

The signalling and flyovers probably need to be done anyway, whether Southern Crossrail is built or not.

Certainly, both Thameslink and Crossrail provoked a bit of a track sort-out on the approaches to London.

A sort-out of the lines into Waterloo would probably need to be done for Crossrail 2 anyway.

Rebuilding Waterloo East Station

I rarely use Waterloo East station, but it has a terrible connection to Southwark tube station and a tortuous walk to Waterloo station, unless you’re going to the balcony for lunch or to meet someone.

The map from shows the Undserground lines beneathe Waterloo East station.

Lines Underneath Waterloo East Station

Lines Underneath Waterloo East Station


A new Waterloo East station could be built that had better connections to all of the Underground Lines in the area.

  • Bakerloo Line – Very useful for the West End and Crossrail.
  • Jubilee Line – Double-ended with connections to both Waterloo and Southwark stations.
  • Northern Line (Charing Cross Branch)
  • Waterloo and City Line

If rebuilding Waterloo East station would allow building on released land and above the station, together, then surely it is a project a quality developer would relish.

Decent pedestrian links could also be provided into Waterloo, as they should be anyway.

I think that there could be a strong case for the redevelopment of Waterloo East station, whether Southern Crossrail is built or not.

Improving The Waterloo And City Line

One of the side effects of rebuilding Waterloo East station would be improved access to the Waterloo and City Line.

A new entrance is being built at the Northern end and if the Southern end were sorted, London would have got a useful short new Unerground line, with a lot of the money provided by property development.

Serving Charing Cross Station

I believe that a rebuilt Waterloo East station would give better connections to the Underground, than does Charing Cross.

What Waterloo East lacks is connection to the District and Circle Lines and good walking routes to Whitehall. And you mustn’t annoy the Sir Humphries in their commute from Sevenoaks or Petts Wood!

Providing you didn’t close Charing Cross completely, there would be a same platform interchange at London Bridge.

But I suspect that an innovative solution could be found to get passengers from Waterloo East station to the North Bank of the Thames.

Properly done, it would enable passengers using the trains at Waterloo to get easily across the river .

Why are we wasting millions on the Garden Bridge, when a proper cross river connection further West would give benefit to millions of travellers?

At present these are the services that serve Charing Cross in the Off Peak.

  • 2 trains per hour (tph) Dartford via Bexleyheath
  • 2 tph Gravesend via Sidcup
  • 2 tph Gillingham via Lewisham and Woolwich Arsenal
  • 2 tph Hayes avoiding Lewisham
  • 2 tph Sevenoaks via Orpington
  • 2 tph Hastings via Tunbridge Wells
  • 1 tph Dover via Ashford International
  • 1 tph Ramsgate via Ashford International and Canterbury West

Obviously, there is a lot more in the Peak.

As it looks like the limit of trains through London Bridge to Waterloo East and Charing |Cross is somewhere around or above 20 tph, it could be that if Southern Crossrail is built, then there is a logical split.

  • Suburban services go through to Waterloo and into the South West suburban network.
  • Long distance services go to Charing Cross.

Platform arrangements at London Bridge and Waterloo East could be designed, so that if you’re on a train going to the wrong destination, you step off and step on the next one.

The Jubilee Line By-Pass

Now that we can see the new London Bridge station emerging and Charing Cross services are calling at the station again, I think we’ll see some interesting ducking-and-diving alomg the South Bank of the Thames.

Suppose you arrive at London Bridge on perhaps a train from Uckfield and need to go to Waterloo to get to Southampton. Until about a month ago, you would have to struggle across London on the Underground. Now you could take a frequent Charing Cross service to Waterloo East and just walk into Waterloo.

We mustn’t underestimate the effects that a fully rebuilt Thameslink and London Bridge station will have  on passengers getting across South London.

If Southern Crossrail was built, it would be an alternative for the Jubilee Line between London Bridge and Waterloo.

Southern Crossrail might even lead to a rethink about how the Jubilee Line operates.

Positive Points

  • Terminal platforms are released in Waterloo station, as services are joined up.
  • No infrastructure changes would be required at London Bridge station.
  • No tunnelling
  • Southern Crossrail can be built before Crossrail 2.
  • Southern Crossrail can be built to be compatible with Crossrail 2.
  • The Tramlink connects Wimbledon in the West to Elmers End in the East.

But it will exceedingly difficult to convince the powers-that-be that it is a viable project.


I think it could be one of those projects that is so bizarre and wacky it might just be feasible.

But if it is built or not, London could benefit tremendously, by a quality rebuild of Waterloo East station.

In a phased building of Southern Crossrail, the order of construction could be.

  • Rebuild Waterloo East station.
  • Upgrade the lines into Waterloo with flyovers and signalling.
  • Rebuild the concourse at Waterloo, so that the connecting tracks could go through to Waterloo East.
  • Put in the bridges between Waterloo and Waterloo East.
  • Connect up the services one-by-one.

It is the sort of project, that a good project management team, could push through with little disruption to services and passengers.


September 22, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments

Improving Lewisham Station

In the June 2016 Edition of Modern Railways, there was an article entitled Turning South London Orange.

One of the proposals is to try to sort out Lewisham station.

My mother used to tell me never to go South of the Thames as you’ll get lost. Perhaps she had Lewisham in mind, as just look at this Google Map of the lines through the station.

Lines Through Lewisham

Lines Through Lewisham

The rail lines in the Lewisham area are.

  • The lines to the West of the map is the South Eastern Main Line from Charing Cross to Dover and Folkestone.
  • The line curving down from the station to the South Eastern Main Line is the Hayes Line, which meets it in a complicated junction.
  • Going off to the East from the station is the North Kent Line.

Was the designer of the lines in this area having a laugh, as it must make running trains through Lewisham in an efficient manner extremely difficult.

I also assume that anybody going to and from Dover, can’t change trains at Lewisham, unless they an force a window and jump out.

In order to try to improve matters, the Centre for London report is proposing Lewisham South interchange platforms on the South Eastern Main Line, which are connected to the main station using a travelator running alongside the Hayes Line.

The thinking behind all this is detailed in this document from JRC consultants.

Some major points and recommendation from the document include.

  • There are too many flat junctions and other track problems.
  • The service levels from the area into London is erratic and nowhere near TfL’s oreferred level of four trains per hour.
  • Getting to and from anywhere other than the City or Central London in the peak can be difficult.
  • Connectivity to Lewisham to get the DLR to Canary Wharf could be improved.
  • Southeastern’s commuter services should be taken over by TfL.
  • Extending the East London Line to Lewisham wll be difficult and expensive, if not impossible.

The document also includes a map of the proposed travelator on Page 14.

It shows the travelator curving along the Eastern side of the Hayes Line to an island platform on the South Eastern Main Lines.

It also says this.

However a southern location closer to Lewisham High Street, placed over the Hayes branch line, in low value or empty land on the slow lines alongside Parks Bridge Junction and north of the Courthill loop, would permit a 12-car island platform connected into the Lewisham Interchange and making that much more of a hub station. A direct entrance to the southern part of Lewisham High Street could also be opened up. A travelator alongside the Hayes line, in several segments, would link to the interchange in 540 metres and also provide fast access to Lewisham shopping centre at an intermediate point.

This Google Map shows the area from the current Lewisham Interchange to the proposed Lewisham South.


Note the blue roofs of the DLR station at the top of the map and the crossing by the South Eastern Main Line of the Hayes Line at the bottom, where it is surrounded by green space.

To get a better feel for the area. I took these pictures ass I walked from where the South Eastern Main Line crosses the High Street back to the station.

After this walk along the dual-carriageway from the Western end of Lewisham High Street to the station, I certainly think that a better walk could be created.

Let’s hope that when the current construction and road works are complete, that the current walking route between the station, the Shopping Centre and Lewisham High Street is improved.

What disappointed me was that surely better use of the Ravensbourne River, which I called a Hidden Waterway in the pictures. This Google Map shows how it twists and turns through the area.

The Ravensbourne River Through Lewisham

The Ravensbourne River Through Lewisham

I certainly think something better can be done.

For those who think a travelator is a bit naff, the JRC report also suggests that the DLR could be extended.


  • If it’s worth extending the DLR  to Lewisham South, perhaps it should go further.
  • One of the themes of the JRC report is prudence and affordability, which I think pushes the author to the travelator solution.
  • The travelator route may make it easier to serve the Shopping Centre.
  • A travelator might make it easier to catch the buses on the other side of the Shopping Centre, which every time I go to Lewsiham, I seem to have to do.

I also think that to extend the DLR would probably involve some impressive engineering to get over the roads by the station, whereas a walking route/travelator might even start from or beside the Hayes Line platform (2) on the bridge over the road. The latter option would mean that at the station end, all of the lifts are there for step free access to the other platforms.

I also think that not many passengers would want to transfer between Platform 1 at Lewisham station and the Lewisham South platforms, so starting the walkway from Platform 2, which has a level connection to Platform 3 and good connections to the DLR, would not be a bad idea.

Overall, I don’t think we make enough use of travelators and outside escalators.

But I do like the idea of the new platforms at Lewisham South and a travelator.

Something will have to be done at Lewisham, before the Bakerloo Line is extended to the area.

May 27, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

More Thoughts On Dalston Junction To Hayes

In February this year, I wrote Should Trains Run From Dalston Junction To Hayes?

I finished the post like this.

So is New Cross the least used direct southern destination on the East London Line? Also, was it only included in the East London Line for historic reasons, as it had been a Metropolitan Line destination?

If so, it might be an idea to see if extension of the four trains per hour services terminating at the station is possible. Perhaps two could go Hayes and two to Orpington, which would double the frequency to both places from New Cross.

I could also have said in the summing up, that this would give four trains per hour from Dalston Junction to Lewisham, with all its connections to South East London and Kent.

This morning, I was reading  an article on London Reconnections about extending the Bakerloo Line, entitled Death, Taxes and Lewisham: Extending the Bakerloo.

So it got me thinking!

I returned to my original article and had the following blasphemous thought.

Is Transport for London, so obsessed with using the supposed spare capacity on the Bakerloo Line, that it doesn’t think straight about what to do with this line?

Consider the following points.

  1. Passengers like the Overground model and many rate it higher than the Underground.
  2. When Crossrail and Thameslink and the East London Lines are up to capacity of twenty-four trains per hour, the increase in capacity will change London’s transport system dramatically, as there will be an H-shaped network with interchanges at Farringdon, Whitechapel and possibly some other places.
  3. Most trains going to Kent and South East London start from Victoria, which is not well placed for some of the important parts of Central London. Would extra connections to a twenty-four trains per hour East London Line at Penge and Brockley be a better route for many passengers?
  4. I feel that there would be a backlash, if the Hayes Line became part of the Bakerloo Line, just like there was when Thameslink wanted to stop all Sutton Loop Line trains at Blackfriars! If you’ve been commuting for years in First Class from Hayes into Cannon Street for the City, I don’t think you’d be happy if your train was a smaller one-class, crowded Underground train. But you might accept an Overground train to Canada Water for the Jubilee Line or Whitechapel for Crossrail and the Metropolitan/Circle/District Lines.
  5. Thameslink together with the Bakerloo Line and an upgraded Jubilee Line will create a resilient North-West to East routing, that could withstand the occasional serious failure. The East London Line provides that resilient link in the East.
  6. Thameslink doesn’t connect with the Central Line, but the East London Line could at Shoreditch High Street.

I’m coming more to the conclusion that there is no way that a long extension to the Bakerloo Line would be needed. Perhaps it should be extended in a loop down the Old Kent Road to Camberwell, to get high-quality rail services into that area.

Should East London Line Services To New Cross Go Further?

Four services per hour on the East London Line have their Southern terminus at New Cross station and could these venture further into South London?

At the moment these services terminate in a bay Platform D, which is just a walk across from the trains going South. But when coming North, you have to go over the step-free bridge to get from Platform A to Platform D.

In the next few years, various developments will  happen, that will affect travel in the area bordered by New Cross, Cannon Street and Whitechapel.

  • London Bridge and Thameslink will be improved, so interchange between Cannon Street services and Thameslink will be much easier.
  • Hopefully, access to the Underground at London Bridge will be eased by the redevelopment of the station.
  • Will the Thameslink improvements increase the capacity into Cannon Street?
  • Crossrail will open.
  • The Metropolitan/District and Circle Lines will have been fully upgraded with bigger trains and new signalling.
  • The Jubilee Line will have been upgraded.
  • Bank station will have been upgraded.
  • There will be large numbers of office developments around the City, increasing the numbers of needed final destinations.

I believe that the increasing flexibility will mean passengers will be less likely to use the same route.

I also believe that  passengers will switch between London Bridge/CannonStreet and  the East London Line destinations of Canada Water, Whitechapel  and Shoreditch High Street.

Many more will want to change at New Cross!

If the East London Line services started South of New Cross and just called at Platform A on their way North, just as London Bridge/Cannon Street services do, this would this give a simple change for Northbound passengers.

If you were on a Tunbridge Wells to Cannon Street train and wanted to go to Whitechapel for Crossrail, you would get off at New Cross and wait for an East London Line train on the same Platform A.

This interchangeability of Northern destinations, is unlocked by sending East London Line trains past New Cross.

Can East London Line Services To New Cross Go Further?

After Crossrail and an upgraded Thameslink opens, it will take some time for passenger numbers to stabilise.

These figures will decide if it is worthwhile to extend the services past New Cross.

The other constraint will be whether paths are available to continue to Lewisham and beyond.

The simplest plan would be to run the four trains per hour to Lewisham and then run two trains to both of Orpington and Hayes.

Extra Interfaces On The East London Line

I would also build the following interchanges on the East London Line.

  • Central Line at Shoreditch High Street. This can’t be done until Crossrail opens.
  • A New Penge station to connect to the Chatham Main Line
  • A high-level Brockley station to link to the Nunhead to Lewisham Line.

There may also be scope for linking the East London Line to Thameslink. It is probably a pity, that the East London Line serves West Croydon rather than East Croydon, as the latter station has so much better connectivity.

Today, I visited South East London and I can make these observations.

New Cross Station

I wrote Changing At New Cross, when I looked at New Cross station.

I can’t see any obvious reason, why East London Line trains have to terminate at New Cross. I suspect, that it’s only for historic reasons, as that’s what the Metropolitan Line did many years ago.

St. Johns Station

I wrote Investigating St. Johns Station, when I looked at St. Johns station.

My only feeling about this station is that if it were to be upgraded to the standard passengers expect, it could be a valuable step-free interchange station between an extended East London Line and the services into and out of Cannon Street.

Lewisham Station

I wrote Changing At Lewisham, when I visited Lewisham station

If it were to be served by four trains per hour on the East London Line, with two trains per hour going to Hayes and the other two to Orpington, Lewisham would be an important interchange to increase the connectivity between South East and North East London.

Catford and Catford Bridge Stations

I wrote An Opportunity At Catford, when I looked at the twin stations of Catford and Catford Bridge and can say this.

  • Currently, all trains through Catford Bridge station are going to and from Hayes.
  • All trains through Catford are Thameslink ones between Blackfriars and Sevenoaks.
  • Track exists to send trains between Catford Bridge to and from Orpington.

If cross-platform interchange could somehow be provided between the two northbound and the two southbound lines at Catford/Catford Bridge, this would give passengers from Hayes and Orpington a big choice of Northern destinations.

Effect On Dalston Junction

If the four trains per hour shuttle service between Dalston Junction and New Cross was replaced by two trains per hour to each of Orpington or Hayes, it probably wouldn’t have much overall effect on the Dalston Junction to New Cross section of the line, but what would the timings look like?

Currently trains leave Dalston Junction in the Off Peak at 04, 19, 34 and 49 past the hour taking twenty-two minutes to get to New Cross. They then return at 07, 22, 37 and 52.

So the 04 train gets to New Cross at 26, returns at 37 and gets back to Dalston Junction at 59, which means it waits eleven minutes at New Cross and six at Dalston Junction.

New Cross to Hayes takes thirty minutes, so that would be fifty two minutes from Dalston Junction to Hayes.

Would that be fast enough for each train to do one trip each hour?

I suspect that one of Transport for London’s timetabling experts could devise a pattern.

More Trains Through The Thames Tunnel

At present there are sixteen trains per hour through the Thames Tunnel.

  • 4 – Dalston Junction to New Cross
  • 4 – Dalston Junction to West Croydon
  • 4 – Highbury and Islington to Crystal Palace
  • 4 – Highbury and Islington to Clapham Junction

Which means that as there is a theoretical limit of twenty-four trains per hour, there are another eight paths available.

In Increased Frequencies On The East London Line, I wrote that London Overground have plans to introduce the following extra services.

  • From 2018, there will be an extra two trains per hour between Dalston Junction and Crystal Palace.
  • From 2019, there will be two additional trains between Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction.

So that would mean that there are still possibly another four paths available.

I would assume that the extra trains would be accommodated at the Northern end by just tightening the turn-round times.

I can’t believe that it won’t be long before Transport for London come up with ways of using the remaining four paths.

If they are planning to turn back two extra trains from Crystal Palace and two from Clapham Junction at Highbury and Islington, I can’t believe that they couldn’t turn back another four services at Dalston Junction. Assuming the extra trains to Crystal Palace and Clapham Junction, this would give the following frequencies.

  • 12 tph between Highbury and Islington and Dalston Junction.
  • 24 tph between Dalston Junction and Surrey Quays.

The core section of the East London Line will interface in 2020 with the following lines.

  • Crossrail at Whitechapel will be 24 tph
  • The Jubilee Line at Canada Water will be 36 tph
  • The Victoria Line at Highbury and Islington will be 36 tph by 2016.

Father and son, Marc and Isambard Brunel, will be spinning in their graves, to see what their Nineteenth Century engineering curiosity-turned-marvel has become.

The Emergence Of Overground Transport Hubs

More trains on the East London Line between Dalston and Clapham Junctions is to be welcomed.

I use the well-connected Clapham Junction, if say I’m going to Southampton, Portsmouth or many other places, as it means I can avoid the difficulty of getting to Waterloo or Victoria.

The one problem with Clapham Junction in my view is that Thameslink or the Gatwick Express doesn’t call at the station.

Even so, Clapham Junction, Dalston Junction and Stratord are evolving as the major hubs on the Overground Network.

In the next few years, the following stations will become major hubs.

  • Whitechapel because of its important location on Crossrail
  • Old Oak Common because of its connections to Crossrail and HS2
  • Hackney Interchange (Central plus Downs) because it joins the North London Line to the West Anglia Lines.

Will Lewisham, Crystal Palace or other stations join this elite group?


Southeastern is the train operating company that operates most of the train services to South-East London. Kent and East Sussex.

The company has three sub brands.

  • Highspeed operates high-speed service on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link using Class 395 trains.
  • Mainline operates traditional long distance services to Kent and East Sussex.
  • Metro runs services to South East and South London.

London Overground makes to secret of the fact that it would like to bring the Metro services under its control.

I would very much welcome this takeover for the following reasons.

  • As a North Londoner, who grew up in the North, South London trains are very much a mystery to me and Southeastern’s information could be substantially improved.
  • The East London Line and Southeastern services could be properly co-ordinated.
  • When the Overground took over the West Anglia Lines, there was a definite improvement in stations and customer service.
  • The whole of Southeastern’s Metro and Mainline network needs to be brought into Transport for London’s Oyster and contactless bank card ticketing.

Hopefully, the takeover will happen, when the franchise is up for renewal in 2018.

Crossrail Extension To Ebbsfleet International And Gravesend

I wrote Crossrail Extension to Gravesend after a visit to the area and I feel that it would be possible to extend Crossrail, so that it served both Ebbsfleet International and Gravesend stations.

This would enable a direct link between Heathrow Airport and Continental trains and you’d only need to change once if you were going to Gatwick, Luton or Stansted Airports.


On a brief look, there is a lot of potential to extend the New Cross branch of the East London Line to Lewisham, Hayes, Orpington and perhaps some more places.

Get it right and it might not be the best thing to have a long extension of the Bakerloo Line.




November 30, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments