The Anonymous Widower

Using The Elizabeth Line Between London City And Heathrow Airports

Today, I went from London City Airport to Heathrow using the Docklands Light Railway, the underground section of the Elizabeth Line and Heathrow Express.

London City Airport And Poplar Stations

I took these pictures on this section of the route using the Docklands Light Railway.

Note.

  1. I started my journey at 13:15.
  2. I arrived at Poplar at 13:27.
  3. The journey took twelve minutes, which agrees with the timetable.

This is a route, that gives a view of London’s rebuilding in the East.

Poplar And Canary Wharf Stations

I walked this section.

Note.

  1. I started my walk from Poplar station at 13:27.
  2. I was on the platform at Canary Wharf station at 13:39.
  3. I used a lift at Poplar station and the escalators at Canary Wharf station.
  4. The walk took twelve minutes, but it was a roundabout route.
  5. It looks like a level walkway is to be built between the two stations.

This Google Map shows the are between the two stations.

Note.

  1. Poplar station in the North-East of the map.
  2. The bridge at Poplar station, that provides the route I took over Aspen Way.
  3. After crossing the bridge and using the lift, I walked along the South side of Aspen Way.
  4. I then walked South down the path at the East side of the site, where it appears from the hoardings, flats will be built.
  5. Finally, I turned left to walk along the dock and then right to cross into Canary Wharf station.

Work appears to have started at Canary Wharf on the Southern end of an extended walkway, that will link to the bridge over Aspen Way.

This direct route could be nearly two hundred metres shorter and would shorten the connection by several minutes.

Canary Wharf And Paddington Stations

This section of the journey took nineteen minutes and I arrived at Paddington at 13:58, as this picture shows.

It had taken forty-three minutes between London City Airport and Paddington stations.

Paddington And Heathrow Airport By Heathrow Express

I took the 14:10 Heathrow Express to the Airport and took these pictures.

Note.

  1. It took about six minutes to walk between the Elizabeth Line and Heathrow Express.
  2. This was my first ride on Heathrow Express, since the service has started using Class 387 trains.
  3. The trains are fine, but where are the tables, that I like so much in the other Class 387 trains?
  4. The train arrived at Heathrow Central at 14:29.

This meant my journey between the two airports had taken an hour and fourteen minutes.

Canary Wharf to Heathrow using Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth Line had taken thirty-four minutes.

Return To Paddington On The Elizabeth Line

I came back from Heathrow on an Elizabeth Line train, which took 29 minutes.

That would mean that today using the Elizabeth Line to Heathrow.

  • Heathrow and Canary Wharf will take 48 minutes.
  • Heathrow and London City Airport will take one hour and twenty-nine minutes.

The difference in time between the two trains is solely down to the times of the Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth Line trains between Paddington and Heathrow.

What Difference Will A Direct Elizabeth Line Connection Make?

Canary Wharf are giving a figure of thirty-nine minutes between Canary Wharf and Heathrow, when the Elizabeth Line fully opens.

This would appear to indicate that fully opening the Elizabeth Line connection at Paddington will save nine minutes and the Elizabeth Line will only be a few minutes slower than Heathrow Express, if you can cut out the change at Paddington.

This table compares times between Canary Wharf and Heathrow.

  • Elizabeth Line with a change at Paddington – 48 minutes
  • Elizabeth Line and Heathrow Express with a change at Paddington – 34 minutes
  • Elizabeth Line direct – 39 minutes

How many passengers will swap from Heathrow Express to a complete Elizabeth Line?

Is There Going To Be A Pedestrian Bridge Between Poplar And Canary Wharf Stations?

This Google Map shows the bridge that leads South from Canary Wharf station.

Note how the bridge could have been designed to go through the station to the housing to the North and perhaps ultimately to Poplar DLR station.

These pictures show the complete bridge on the South side and what could be the start of construction on the North side.

Note.

  1. This pictures were taken on two dates.
  2. A full bridge would connect the new housing to the shopping centre and the Jubilee Line station.
  3. Between Poplar and Canary Wharf stations would be around 120 metres.
  4. There would be a straight and level walking route between Poplar DLR station and the two Canary Wharf Jubilee and Elizabeth Line stations.
  5. A short branch would lead to Canary Wharf DLR station.
  6. Stairs would lead to the buses that run through Canary Wharf.

It does appear that the North and South bridges will form a continuous straight route.

The bridge would create a comprehensive transport interchange for East London.

 

 

 

 

June 16, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Cruise To Barking – 13th May 2022

I noticed earlier in the week, that the Thames Clippers now go all the way to Barking Riverside. So I went today.

Note.

  1. I boarded the boat at the London Bridge City Pier.
  2. The easiest way to get to this pier is to get a 21, 43 or 141 bus from Moorgate or Bank station. to London Bridge and walk along the South Bank of the river for perhaps a hundred metres. Walking from London Bridge station is a bit tricky.
  3. I alighted at Barking Riverside Pier, which will be a short walk to the new Barking Riverside station.

The route is a mixture of historic and modern London and places passed include.

  • HMS Belfast
  • The Tower of London
  • Tower Bridge
  • Canary Wharf
  • Cutty Sark
  • The Royal Naval College, Greenwich
  • The O2
  • The Thames Barrier
  • Wooolwich Arsenal

Many have piers for the Thames Clipper.

The Royal Iris

These pictures show what is left of the former Mersey Ferry, the MV Royal Iris, which is rusting in the River at Woolwich.

I remember the ferry, when it was resplendent in green and yellow in the 1960s. I also remember going on one evening party cruise up and down the Mersey.

It’s rather a sad end for ship that has many happy memories for many.

According to Wikipedia, there is a campaign to return the iconic ferry to Liverpool.

London’s CrossFerry

The Thames Clippers keep on going and now at many times, you can go all the way between Barking Riverside and Putney.

It’s not that slow either and in the open waters East of Tower Bridge, my phone was saying that the ferry was cruising at 40 mph.

If it has one problem, it is that the Thames Clippers don’t have an all-day timetable, that is simple.

If it is going to be a pseudo-train line across London, then there needs to be a two boat per hour service across the city. This will be needed more as more housing is built at Barking Riverside.

I know Barking Riverside will be getting the Overground in the Autumn, but unlike the Thames Clippers, that serve Canary Wharf, the City and Westminster, the Overground will serve a swathe of housing, rather than employment, across North London.

May 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Neighbourhood Leading A Green Energy Revolution

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These are the first two paragraphs.

An ambitious target of using hydrogen to partly power homes in the UK within three years has been set by the National Grid, the BBC has learned. On the east coast of Scotland, a small neighbourhood is playing a key role in this energy revolution.

From next year, about 300 homes in Buckhaven, and Methil, in the area of Levenmouth, will be powered by green hydrogen gas in a project called H100. Customers will be offered free hydrogen-ready boilers and cookers in the scheme, which will initially last five and a half years.

I described the H100 Project in ‘World First’: SGN Launches Bid For 300 Green Hydrogen Homes Project In Fife.

This is the home page of the  H100 Fife project web site.

This Google Map shows part of Buckhaven.

Note the wind turbine, that will produce the hydrogen is in the South-East corner of the map.

March 16, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , | Leave a comment

A Walk Around New Bermondsey – 8th February 2022

I took these pictures as I walked around Millwall’s Football Ground to the site of New Bermondsey and then on to South Bermondsey station to get the train to London Bridge.

These are my thoughts.

New Bermondsey Development

In Housing Development Next To Planned Overground Station Gets Approved, I used this description of the development from this article on Ian Visits.

The development, New Bermondsey, will see a cluster of residential towers built around the Millwall football ground on former light industrial sites, and will provide some 3,500 homes, a new sports facility, auditorium with 800 seats, and it’s said some 1,250 jobs. The towers vary in height across the site from 13 – 44 storeys; most towers are around 29/30 storeys.

Ian’s article also shows a visualisation with nineteen towers and some shorter blocks.

The development has a web site, which has a video on the home page.

Car Parking

I have gone through the New Bermondsey web site and the only mentions of parking are in these two statements, which describe the basement.

  • Allocation for move in and out bays for vans.
  • Secure residents’ cycle parking.

Does this mean that no car parking spaces are provided?

This article on LondonReconnections is entitled Canal Knowledge: The Fall and Rise of Surrey Canal Road Station.

One of the comments says this about parking around the station.

The permission for this development includes zero car parking provision, and a restriction preventing the granting of street parking permits. Such a restriction has been common in the “skyscraper zone” of the Isle of Dogs for many years but I suspect is a fairly novel stipulation in other boroughs.

It does appear that those living in the New Bermondsey development will have to live car-free.

New Bermondsey Station

New Bermondsey station appears to be an empty concrete shell, that just needs fitting out with stairs and/or lifts, entrances/exits, ticketing and platforms alongside the line.

  • The London Overground started running in December 2012 over the bridge.
  • Wikipedia says it will be an accessible station.
  • It probably needs to be an accessible station, if no car parking is provided in the development.
  • The article on LondonReconnections confirms that lifts will be fitted from opening date.
  • There are hints on the Internet, that the station will open before substantial development happens in the area.

I would hope that the station wouldn’t take too long to finish.

South Bermondsey Station

South Bermondsey Station is at the other end of the development and it is a station that needs improvement.

  • I used it today and there are lots of stairs to the platforms.
  • As with New Bermondsey station, it needs to be made step-free.
  • It is also a cold, draughty station and needs a few shelters.

But it could be made into a much better station to serve Millwall Football Club.

Millwall Football Club

Millwall Football Club appear to have plans for the future and the New Bermondsey development will probably make access to the ground more difficult.

But it will have two stations close by, instead of one.

Traffic

There were roadworks in the area and that partly explains the crowded roads.

But will the road network be able to cope with construction traffic generated by the development?

At least the residents won’t have any cars of their own.

Conclusion

I hope this development works as it will create 3,500 much-needed homes, but will the absence of car parking in the development mean that many won’t want to move there?

February 8, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , | 3 Comments

Housing Development Next To Planned Overground Station Gets Approved

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on IanVisits.

This paragraph describes the development.

The development, New Bermondsey, will see a cluster of residential towers built around the Millwall football ground on former light industrial sites, and will provide some 3,500 homes, a new sports facility, auditorium with 800 seats, and it’s said some 1,250 jobs. The towers vary in height across the site from 13 – 44 storeys; most towers are around 29/30 storeys.

The Overground station is New Bermondsey station, which was originally to be called Surrey Canal Road station.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. The railway going down the East side of the map in the South London Line of the London Overground.
  2. The railway going round the West side of the map is the National Rail line going through South Bermondsey station to London Bridge.
  3. The two lines meet at Queens Road Peckham station to the South.
  4. Surrey Canal Road runs East-West across the map to the South of The Den.
  5. New Bermondsey station will be where Surrey Canal Road crosses under the London Overground.
  6. Most of the new housing will be clustered along this road and around the football ground.

The development will be convenient for Millwall supporters.

February 8, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

London To Be A Magnet For Overseas Cash, Says Knight Frank

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

Investors from around the world are expected to spend £60 billion on London offices over the next five years in a post-Brexit, post-pandemic vote of confidence in the capital.

They also feel that the Americans will lead the investors.

I was pleased to read this, as although, they are talking mainly about offices, these will inevitably lead to a greater need for quality housing.

And the more people live in the city, the more public transport will be dug through London’s obliging clay, the more places of entertainment will open and the city will become an even better place to live.

It will also mean that if people like me want to more out, we won’t have trouble selling our properties.

February 4, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

London’s Newest Property Hotspot Has Been Revealed — And It’s On The NLE Tube Line

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Metro.

This doesn’t surprise me one bit.

Any new train or tram line, whether it is under or over the ground always creates a property hot spot.

That’s why London needs to develop the West London Orbital Railway, Crossrail to Ebbsfleet and New Bermondsey station as soon as possible, as the areas they serve need a lift.

On a wider view, it is also why reopening rail lines is such a good policy. Some might object to property hot-spots, but most residents of the UK, like it when property prices rise!

November 10, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Property Buyers Want Train To Take The Strain, Says Rightmove

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in today’s Times.

Aooarently people are buying houses within an hour’s commute to London, with Chelmsford, Crewe and Sittingbourne being especially popular.

Note.

  1. Chelmsford will soon be served by a new train fleet.
  2. Sittingbourne is served by Southeastern’s HighSpeed trains.
  3. Crewe is served by fast services and will be on High Speed Two, earlier than many places.

Liverpool and Birmingham City Centres are also popular according to the article.

September 30, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , | 1 Comment

Starter Homes At Cockfosters

This would seem to be the final failure of a 1960s office development at Cockfosters.

It must have been about 1962, when I remember my mother telling me about the topping-out ceremony of these blocks by Cockfosters station.

They probably will satisfy a need, but it wouldn’t be my place to choose to live.

  • You may have the Piccadilly Line to Central London, but it is a long way. It takes 43 minutes to Leicester Square.
  • Cockfosters shopping centre hasn’t improved much since the 1960s.
  • I doubt that the development will have lots of parking.

But then on top of the hill with all the wind blowing from the East in the winter, it will be a bitterly cold place to live!

There are perhaps two good points.

  • The development is close to Trent Park for walking.
  • The buildings do seem to be structurally fairly sound.

But they’ll need to be, with all that cold wind!

May 30, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s Time To Detopsify Stratford Station

Stratford Station has grown like Topsy for too long and has several problems and possible future expansions.

Not least of these include.

  • The final arrival of Crossrail.
  • A direct connection to Chingford.
  • A Stansted Express service.
  • Massive housing developments in the area.
  • More hotels
  • New cultural developments like the branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
  • A new campus for University College London.

This article on IanVisits is entitled Stratford Station Set For Massive Transformation.

This is his opening paragraph.

Stratford station could be radically redeveloped under plans being worked on by the rail companies and local council.

That is rather understated!

The station will become several times busier and needs a complete rethink, many more services and deTopsification.

These are my thoughts.

The Development Of The High Meads Loop

The High Meads Loop exists and is a double-track loop that can turn trains arriving at Stratford station via Lea Bridge station.

  • It is underneath the Eastfield Shopping Centre – Westfield is in the West of London.
  • Each track of the loop has its own long platform in the station. – Platform 11 is for clockwise trains and Platform 12 is for anti-clockwise.
  • It has been used in the past for a Stansted Express service.

The Wirral Line in Liverpool like the High Meads Loop is now a modern loop for turning trains.

  • The Wirral Loop is only single-track.
  • It gives connections for over thirty stations on the Wirral and in Cheshire and North Wales to Liverpool City Centre.
  • It is run by fifty-year-old Class 507 and Class 508 trains.
  • The loop has now been improved and can handle upwards of the fourteen trains per hour (tph) it currently does.

Merseyrail will soon be introducing new Class 777 trains on the Wirral Line in the near future and will be increasing services and the number of destinations.

British Rail’s vision for Liverpool, that was cruelly cut-short by Liverpool MP; Harold Wilson, is finally coming to fruition.

Newcastle also got its British Rail tunnel which is now being used by the Metro, but what would have happened in Manchester if British Rail had been allowed to build the Picc-Vic Tunnel?

I have a strong belief, that a Lea Valley Metro can be developed on the West Anglia Main Line.

  • It would have two Southern terminals – Liverpool Street station and the High Meads Loop at Stratford.
  • When it opens, Crossrail will mean that Liverpool Street and Stratford stations will be seven or eight minutes apart with a frequency of at least 12 tph.
  • Northern terminals would include Broxbourne, Cheshunt, Chingford, Enfield Town and Hertford East.
  • Crossrail 2 was planned to have a frequency of 10 and 15 tph between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.

I believe that if services in East London are thoroughly reorganised, that all the benefits of Crossrail 2 can be brought to East London by the use of the High Meads Loop and the upgrading of existing lines.

Stansted Express Services

Go to Stratford station and there is an out-of-date sign at the end of Platform 1 and 2, where the Overground trains terminate.

It directs passengers to Platform 12 for Stansted Airport.

The picture was taken in 2017, but there is still a walk-through to Platform 12, that I use regularly, if I’m changing between London Overground and Greater Anglia or TfL Rail services to destinations on both the West Anglia or Great Eastern Main Lines.

I believe that there is still a need for a Stansted Express services from Stratford, as for some people, including myself, it is easier to get to Stratford, than Liverpool Street.

From some places the connections to and from Stansted are not very good. Try going between London Bridge, Canterbury, Euston, Victoria or Waterloo and Stansted with a few mobility issues like a heavy suitcase and/or a baby, without a degree in Ducking-and-Diving!

An additional Stansted Express service from Stratford would make things a lot easier to get to the airport for many travellers, because of Stratford’s connections to the Central, Jubilee and North London Lines and SouthEastern’s Highspeed services.

Better Connection Between High Speed One And The High Meads Loop For Passengers

Some passenger connections are missing at Stratford.

This is indicated in the IanVisits article.

This map from cartometro.com shows the Topsy-like nature of the platforms at Stratford.

Note.

  1. The Docklands Light Railway is shown in turquoise.
  2. The DLR platforms in the North-West corner of the map are those of Stratford International station.
  3. High Speed One and the four platforms of Stratford International station are shown in black.
  4. The North London Line of the London Overground is shown in orange.
  5. The North London Line terminates in Platforms 1 and 2, which have a level link to Platform 12.
  6. Platform 12 is on the anti-clockwise platform for the High Meads Loop and has step-free access to the subway system underneath the station.
  7. Platform 11 is on the clockwise platform for the High Meads Loop and has level access to Platform 10a and full step-free access,
  8. Platform 10a is used by some services to East Anglia.
  9. Crossrail is shown in blue.
  10. The Central Line is shown in red.
  11. The Jubilee Line is shown in silver.

It is not the best passenger-friendly station layout.

  • Inevitability, you often find yourself trudging a long way at Stratford station.
  • Changing to or from any high speed services is supremely difficult.
  • Often you have to walk through the busy Eastfield Shopping Centre.

Particularly annoying for me is coming back from Kent on High Speed One and needing to take the North London Line, as I do several times a year.

As it involves a long walk through the Shopping Centre, I now take the easy way out and carry on to St. Pancras and get a taxi home.

As Stratford International is one of the draughtiest stations in England, the station is a real Design Crime and it needs a serious makeover.

Conclusion

Sort it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 16, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments