The Anonymous Widower

Funding Secured For New Entrance At Stratford Tube Station

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

The new entrance will give those coming from the Carpenters Estate direct access to Stratford station.

This Google Map shows the South East section of the station.

The main station building has the two station symbols on the top and the Jubilee Line platforms run Southwards from the building.

It would appear that the new entrance will be close to the Southernmost corner of the station building in a staff car park.

Knowing the station well, I suspect it will be a very useful new entrance for both residents and visitors to the Olympic Park.

It will make it easier to avoid the clutches of Eastfield.

The only details on the cost of the scheme is this sentence from Ian’s article.

Newham council has agreed to contribute £1 million to the scheme, which is being funded from its Community Infrastructure Levy.

As it incorporates some extra lifts in the station, the scheme is probably going to be more than a million pound one, but the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) is involved, I suspect that everything is securely funded.

Should There Be Other Small Schemes Like This?

At Shepherd’s Bush station on the Overground, in 2015, a new entrance was built to give better access to Westfield. It is not very busy during the day, but I suspect that workers at Westfield use it more than shopper. Wikipedia says it cost £1.35 million, so I should think that the Stratford scheme wouldn’t cost a great deal more.

I believe there are other places, where extra entrances could be built.

Simple Ungated Entrances

Entrances don’t have to be grand, as I showed in An Ungated Entrance Used To Create Step-Free Access At Crofton Park Station.

These two entrances are just a hole in the station fence, Oyster readers and a bit of tarmac. There must be other places, where these entrances can be installed.

An Entrance At Hackney Central Station Into Graham Road

In It Looks Like The Hackney Downs/Central Link Is Ready To Open, I also talk in detail about adding a Southern entrance to Hackney Central station, that would lead directly into Graham Road. Eith a pedestrian crossing and changes to the bus stops, it would be a very useful step-free entrance for those living between the centres of Hackney and Dalston.

A Second Entrance At Highbury & Islington Station

In Could We Create A Second Entrance To The Overground At Highbury And Islington Station?, I investigated creating a West-facing entrance at Highbury & Islington station, that would improve access for those going to football.

Conclusion

I believe that a lot of stations can be improved, by adding extra entrances in convenient places.

It is probably easier to do in London’s Oyster/contactless card area, as a couple of readers can sort out ticketing.

 

May 18, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Future Of The Emirates Air Line

I’ve always liked the Emirates Air Line, but I hadn’t used it for some time until today.

As I was in the area, I used it to cross the river, this morning.

I can make these observations.

The Weather Could Have Been Better

The cable-car needs sunny weather, although I did once go across in the snow.

The Cable-Car Wasn’t Busy

Compare today’s pictures wit this one taken in February 2014.

The Cable Car Was Busy

One of the attendants said it was becoming more of a tourist attraction rather than a means of transport.

This meant today, I had a car to myself and didn’t have to share it with several excited kids.

I think too, that the weather was against visitors and tourists now know the best times to use the cable car.

In my view, when the sun is setting is by far the best.

There Are A Lot More Skyscrapers

The last time I rode across was in March 2016, after which I wrote Riding The Cable Car.

There has been a lot of high rise building in the intervening years.

I suspect that as more and more skyscrapers are built, a ride between them all across the river will become more popular.

The Line

The Line is a sculpture trail, that runs from Greenwich to the Olympic Park. The cable-car has to be used by non-swimmers  to cross the river.

The Line is connected OR or close to London’s railways as follows.

  • Stratford – Central Line, Jubilee Line, DLR, London Overground, National Rail and in the future; Crossrail.
  • Stratford High Street – DLR
  • Pudding Mill Lane – DLR
  • Bromley-by-Bow – District and Hammersmith & City Lines
  • Star Lane – DLR
  • Canning Town – Jubilee Line and DLR
  • Royal Victoria – DLR
  • North Greenwich – Jubilee Line

All these connections mean that it can be done in sections.

The Tide

The Tide is an partly elevated five km route, that will be linked to the cable-car, that will be fully-open in two years.

Crossrail

Crossrail will affect all travel in East London and it connects at Stratford stayion to The Line.

I don’t know the route of the Tide, but it may make walking from the O2 to Woolwich sttion for Crossrail much more relaxing.

Although it doesn’t serve Greenwich directly, I believe Crossrail will draw more tourists to the cable-car.

Docklands Light Railway

The DLR is getting new trains in the next few years and an extension to Thamesmead.

As with Crossrail it will draw more tourists to the area and the cable-car.

Thames Clippers

These are expanding and they will bring more tourists to the cable-car.

Conclusion

These and other factors, such as tourists venturing out of the centre of London, will mean that more vistors will explore the East and use the cable-car.

May 11, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

West Hampstead Station – 7th July 2018

The new bridge at the West Hampstead station is now in use and it looks like the new station will be completed by the end of the year.

As the last picture shows this could be one of those station developments, where a deck could have been built over the North London Line to increase the number of flats built in the development on the South side of the railway.

This Google Map shows West Hampstead station on the North London Line and West Hampstead tube station on the Jubilee and Metropolitan Lines, although the latter don’t stop.

Note the development stretches a long way to the West between the North London Line and Underground Lines.

There have been plans to create a West Hampstead Interchange on West End Lane.

As these envisaged moving the Overground station to the East side of West End Lane and the new station is being built on the West side, It would appear there’s been a rethink.

Perhaps the Underground station is to be moved to the West side of West End Lane and will have an entrance on the small square in front of the M & S Simply Food and alongside the new Overground station.

This Google Map shows an enlargement of the area.

The new station could have platforms on the following lines.

  • Jubilee Line
  • Metropolitan Line
  • Cjhiltern Railway

It would be a very worthwhile interchange. Especially, as passengers could do the following.

  • Walk across the square for the Overground for East London.
  • Walk perhaps another hundred metres to West Hampstead Thameslink station, which is also proposed as the terminus of the West London Orbital Railway.

There could also be a development on the top of the new station, which would hopefully contribute to the cost.

I have no idea, if anything will happen here, but Transport for London are looking to create new stations with over-site development. The Mayor also seems keen on the West London Orbital Railway, as it is based on under-used infrastructure and requires no new track or tunnels.

 

 

July 7, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Walk Down The Finchley Road

Aleks2cv made this comment on my long post about the West London Orbital Railway, which was entitled New Railway Line For West London Proposed.

West London’s version of Goblin, an available resource with potential. All urban London so suitable for Overground 4 car metro service.
I would add extensions to your outline.

There is space at the former Midland Finchley Road station for a single terminating platform with existing street facade. Interchange with North London, Metropolitan, and Jubilee and coaches on Finchley Road such as Stansted AirLink.

It got me thinking.

This is only part of the comment and I’ll deal with the rest after Christmas, if I renmember.

This is a Google Map of the area along the Finchley Road, between Finchley Road and Frognal station in the North and Finchley Road station in the South.

It is one of those interchanges, you might do in a North to South direction, as you have gravity assistance.

This second map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the various rail lines.

Note, the following lines can be seen in both maps.

  1. The Midland Main Line through West Hampstead Thameslink station, which crosses Finchley Road between Finchley Road and Frognal and Finchley Road stations.
  2. The Metropolitan and Jubilee Lines going through West Hampstead and Finchley Road stations.
  3. The North London Line going through West Hampstead and Finchley Road and Frognal stations.

I took these pictures as I walked down Finchley Road.

My thoughts on various parts of the area.

Finchley Road And Frognal Station

The station is a very poor example.

  • There is no step-free access.
  • Station buildings are minimal.
  • There is a ruin next door.
  • There is a need for perhaps a light-controlled crossing outside the station, as the road is very busy.

Improvement wouldn’t be helped, by the fact that the station is at the end of Hampstead Heath tunnel.

This Google Map shows a close-up of the station.

The only solution is probably a full rebuilding with perhaps a block of housing or offices on the top of a modern station.

 

The Midland Main Line

This Google Map shows the Midland Main Line as it passes under Finchley Road, to the North of the O2 Centre.

Note.

  1. There is not much space between the railway and the service road for the O2 Centre.
  2. The large surface-level car park of the O2 Centre is visible.
  3. The two slow lines are the Northern pair of lines, with the two fast lines to the South.

At least there is space in the middle of the lines.

A Terminus For The West London Orbital Railway

Aleks2cv in his comment,  felt that the West London Orbital Railway can be extended to Finchley Road.

I think this could be very difficult, as the West London Orbital Railway will probably be a single track railway sneaking up the South side of the Midland Main Line.

  1. There is very little space.
  2. Passengers would still have to walk about a hundred metres to connect to the Underground.
  3. Connecting to the Overground would require a stiff walk up the hill.

This Google Map shows the limit of the freight line, that could possibly be turned into the West London Orbital Railway.

Note.

  1. The railway going East-West is the Midland Main Line.
  2. The diagonal railway is the North London Line through West Hampstead station.

In the shadows on the South side of the Midland Main Line, you can just see tyhe freight line, which connects to the Down Fast of the Midland Main Line to the East of the bridge.

It looks to me, that years ago, the land now occupied by the O2 Centre was some form of railway yard or factory premises.

Finchley Road Underground Station

Finchley Road Underground station is a station in need of a degree of refurbishment.

  • It is not step-free.
  • Pedestrian access to the O2 Centre is not good.

But it is a cross-platform interchange between the Jubilee and Metropolitan Lines.

This Google Map shows the station.

Note.

  1. The two Chiltern tracks to the South of the station.
  2. The closeness of the Western end of the station to the Car Park of the O2 Centre.
  3. There is space to the South of the Chiltern tracks.

I feel very much that this station could be developed sympathetically to be a very good station, that could be paid for by housing on the top.

The O2 Centre

I think the O2 Centre could be the key to Aleks2cv’s idea for the West London Orbital Railway.

  • The O2 Centre appears tired.
  • Public transport can take people easily to the shopping at Oxford Street or Brent Cross.
  • Surface car parking is so Twentieth Century.

As the O2 Centre is owned by British Land, who are one of the UK’s biggest property companies, I think that it is likely the site could be redeveloped.

Suppose the site was developed as follows.

  • It extended over and connected to the Western ends of the platforms at Finchley Road Underground station.
  • A two-platform terminal station for the West London Orbital Railway could probably be fitted in reasonably close to the Underground station.
  • A small bus station.

Over the top would be shops, offices, housing or whatever was desired.

Conclusion

I believe that something will be done to redevelop this site.

Whether it has the terminal for the West London Orbital Railway underneath, will only be made clear, when planning permissio is given.

 

 

 

 

 

December 20, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Upgrades For Northern And Jubilee Lines Have Been Brought To A Halt By Transport for London

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in City AM. This is the first paragraph.

Planned upgrades for the Northern and Jubilee Lines have been paused by Transport for London (TfL), though train drivers’ union Aslef says they will be cancelled entirely.

But is it such a disaster?

The Jubilee and othern Lines need more trains to increase the service frquencies. This is said in the article.

The Northern Line upgrade plan was to buy 17 additional trains so the Northern Line could run a 30 trains per hour service on all branches of the line, while the Jubilee Line would have had 10 new trains to operate a 36 trains per hour service.

So it looks like twenty-seven new trains are needed.

The Central Line Train Upgrade

This article on Railway-news.com is untitled London Underground’s Central Line Trains Set For Upgrade.

Currently, the Central Line‘s 1992 Stock have DC motors, which will be replaced by more efficient motors  and a sophisticated control system.

The cost of the upgrade will be £112.1 million or about £1.3 million per train.

Transport for London are only making a reliability claim for the upgrade. Hopefully, if the trains are more reliable, then more can be in service. so can a higher frequency be run?

I also think in addition, the trains could possibly accelerate faster from stops, thus reducing the dwell times at stations and ultimately the journey times.

  • Epping to West Ruislip currently takes ninety minutes with 38 stops.
  • Ealing Broadway to Newbury Park takes sixty minutes with 24 stops.
  • Northolt to Loughton takes sixty-seven minutes with 28 stops.

Saving just ten seconds on each stop will reduce journey times by several minutes.

I suspect that Transport for London will rearrange the timetable to increase the service frequency from the current twenty-four trains per hour (tph).

It will be interesting to see what frequency of trains and journey times are achieved, when all the Central Line trains have been updated.

The Victoria Line Upgrade Of 2016

In 2016, the Victoria Line track was upgraded at Walthamstow Central station, so that services could be increased to thirty six tph.

The Problem Of Ordering A Small Batch Of Unique Trains

This article on London Reconnections is entitled Third World Class Capacity: Cancelling Tube Upgrades.

The article talks about the problems of building small batches of unique trains and I would conclude they will be expensive, unless you could find some way of not buying them.

Could The Jubilee And Northern Line Trains And Stations Be Upgraded To Increase The Capacity And Avoid The Need For More Trains?

I’ve no idea, but I suspect that Transport for London have looked into the possibility.

The Jubilee Line

Currently,  the Jubilee Line is worked by sixty-three 1996 Stock trains.

Wikipedia gives a good description of the Traction Control of the trains. This is the first sentence.

1995 and 1996 stocks have similar body shells but they use different AC traction control systems. The 1995 stock system is more modern, since the 1996 stock design specification was frozen in 1991.

This gives me the impression, that a more modern traction control system could improve the train performance, as electronics have moved on in the last twenty years.

The Northern Line

Currently, the Northern Line is worked by one hundred and six 1995 Stock trains.

Upgrading The Traction Control

I wonder if the most economic way is to update the traction control on both sets of trains with the same system.

If the upgrade needed new AC motors at the Central Line cost £1.3 million a train, would give total cost of around £220 million.

Upgrading The Stations

I suspect that Transport for London will upgrade the stations with Harrington Humps and other facilities to make train loading and unloading easier and less likely to delay the train.

I suspect that all the lessons learned in raising the Victoria Line to 36 tph will be applied.

Crossrail And The Jubilee Line

Crosrail appears to have been designed, so that it works in co-operation with London’s older Underground lines.

When considering Crossrail’s relationship with the Jubilee Line, the following must be taken into account.

  • The two lines have interchanges at Bond Street, Canary Wharf and Stratford stations.
  • Crossrail has good connections to the Metropolitan and Baskerloo Lines, which in North-West London serve Jubilee Line territory.

Perhaps more importantly, there is a cross-platform interchange at Whitechapel between the two Eastern branches of Crossrail. This will give passengers an easy route between Sssex and Canary Wharf.

These features should divert passengers away from the Jubilee Line.

Will this make upgrading the Jubilee Line, less urgent?

London Bridge Station, Thameslink And The Jubilee Line

One of the problems with the Jubilee Line is that you have to walk miles to get to the platforms at some stations.

London Bridge and Waterloo stations are bad examples.

These two stations are now connected by a fourteen tph link across the South Bank, which goes from London Bridge to Charing Cross via Waterloo East.

I use the route regularly back from Waterloo, as I can get a 141 bus to my home at London Bridge station.

Next year, when Thameslink is fully open even more passengers will be able to avoid the Jubilee Line.

And then there’s West Hampstead Interchange!

If this station were to be created to link all the lines together at West Hampstead, it would also create a second connection between Thameslink and the Jubilee Line.

The Splitting Of The Northern Line

Once Camden Town and Bank stations have been upgraded in 2025, the Northern Line will become two separate lines, with cross-platform interchange at Camden Town and Kennington stations. This will  enable thirty-six tph on both branches and allow trains to be used more efficiently.

I do wonder, if in the detailed design and planning of the station extension at Camden Town, has shown that the split can be performed earlier, thus efficient train usage can  start earlier.

Thameslink And The Northern Line

My late wife used to live in Barnet until we were married.

From that area in the 1960s, you could either take the Northern Line from High Barnet station or the two tph local train into Kings Cross from Oakleigh Park or New Barnet stations.

The local rail service is now three tph to Moorgate. Not a great improvement in fifty years!

However, things are changing at New Barnet and Oakleigh Park stations.

  • New trains and an uprated service into Moorgate.
  • Thameslink will add a two tph service to Sevenoaks.

Will these developments take a small amount of pressure off the Northern Line?

The Provision Of Depot Space

One of the disadvantages of buying more trains, would be that the depots would need to be expanded, so they could be stored.

London is a crowded city, which is short of land.

So is this a problem?

Londoners

Londoners are World Champions at ducking and diving!

So don’t underestimate their abilities to find the quickest routes that take the pressure off the Jubilee and Northern Lines.

Replacing The Whole Jubilee And Northern Fleets

It is intended that new trains will be in service on the Piccadilly Line around 2022. Wikipedia says this about Siemens proposal for the trains.

Siemens has publicised an outline design, which would feature air-conditioning and would also have battery power enabling the train to run on to the next station if third and fourth rail power were lost. It would have a lower floor and 11% higher passenger capacity than the present tube stock. There would be a weight saving of 30 tonnes, and the trains would be 17% more energy-efficient with air-conditioning included, or 30% more energy-efficient without it.

By the end of the 2020s, the Jubilee and Northern Line trains will be over thirty years old, and by then the two lines will be in need of even more capacity.

Replacing the current trains with a London-proven new train would surely be a distinct possibility.

Conclusion

The more I look at whether the top-up order for new trains is needed, the more I’m convinced it isn’t!

 

 

October 12, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bank Junction Goes Buses And Cyclists Only

On Monday, the 22nd of June 2017, the City of London brought in an order making the busy Bank Junction buses and cyclists only between seven in the morning and seven in the evening from Monday to Friday.

I took these pictures soon after ten in the morning.

The first few pictures were taken from the top of a Routemaster bus on Route 21, as it travelled from where I live across the city to London Bridge station.

Note.

  • Most drivers seemed to be avoiding the area.
  • The City of London Police were telling drivers, but didn’t appear to be ticketing anybody.
  • Much of the congestion seemed to be caused by half-empty polluting Tour Buses.
  • One pedestrian was moaning that he couldn’t use his car to get around the City.

Overall, it appeared to be a calm start.

The Upgrade Of Bank Station

I have only shown the area on the surface, but under the ground around Bank Junction, a massive construction project is starting in the City of London’s twin goals of more and better office accomodation and transport links.

Bank station is getting a major upgrade, which will include.

  • In The New Tunnel Under Bank Station, I wrote about an upgraded pedestrian tunnel that crosses the area.
  • In Between Bank And Cannon Street Station, I wrote about how Bloomberg are helping develop a new step-free entrance to the Waterloo and City Line and Bank station, which will open by early 2018.
  • A new Northern Line tunnel to create more space on the platforms and increase frequency on the line.
  • The station weill receive a forty percent increase in capacity.
  • Full step-free access with thirteen new escalators and three new lifts.
  • A new entrance to Bank station opposite Cannon Street station.
  • Two North-South moving walkways.
  • Some of the £600million project cost will be funded by oversite office development.
  • Hopefully, much of the work will be finished by 2021.

There’s more in this article in the Guardian, which is entitled Bank station upgrades point to London’s bigger, busier future.

Bank Station And Crossrail

You may wonder, why if Bank station is so important, that Crossrail doesn’t call and Crossrail 2 won’t either.

It may not, but the Central Line will have good connections to Crossrail at Stratford, Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations.

So passengers for Bethnal Green, Bank, St. Paul’s, Chancery Lane and Holborn will change from Crossrail to the Cwntral Line at a convenient station.

In addition, Crossrail will feed passengers into loops in the District, Hammersmith and City and Jubilee Lines.

Travellers will pay their money and take their choice.

Other Developments At Bank

I wouldn’t be surprised to see more pedestrian routes linking the City stations of Bank, Cannon Street, Fenchurch Street, Liverpool Street and Moorgate; both on the surface and possibly underground.

I would also make sure that all buses in the centre of London are low-emission vehicles. That certainly doesn’t apply to those polluting and jam-creating Tour Buses and tourist coaches.

 

May 25, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Using Southern Crossrail Lite

On my trip to Shepperton today, I went from and to Waterloo station for  the Shepperton Branch Line.

For both journeys, I used the route between London Bridge and Waterloo East stations, that some want to use as part of Southern Crossrail.

Going to Waterloo, I started at Farringdon, and this waan’t a good place to start, as I didn’t have a clue to the best way and neither did the London Underground staff.

So I took the Metropolitan to Moorgate and hopped South on the Northern Line to London Bridge, from where I had three routes.

  • Jubilee Line
  • Train from London to Waterloo East.
  • Bus

At a pinch, I could walk along the Embankment

I suspect that when Crossrail and Thameslink are fully open, there will be a better route, between Farringdon and Waterloo.

  • Crossrail to Paddington, then Bakerloo Line to Waterloo.
  • Crossrail to Tottenham Court Road, then Northern Line to Waterloo.
  • Thameslink to London Bridge, then train to Waterloo East.

As a special Crossrail-Bakerloo pedestrian tunnel is being built at Paddington, that may be the best way. I wrote about this in Paddington Is Operational Again.

My route to Waterloo worked today, as did the route home after a raid on the excellent Marks and Spencer at Waterloo. The only problem was that a 141 bus to my house, had broken down and I had to wait at London Bridge.

I tend to use a 141 bus to and fropm London Bridge, as one stop is in the forecourt of the station and the other is less than a hundred metres from my house.

So how could this abbreviated Southern Crossrail Lite route be improved?

  • The London Bridge end works well, as generally all trains for Waterloo East station turn up on Platforms 8 or 9, which are the two sides of the same island.
  • Only one up escalator at London Bridge was available and I have a feeling, there could be a bit of a reliability issue.
  • I used a lift to go down coming back, to avoid walking to the escalator, and the lift was the sort of size the Victorians used because escalators weren’t in common use until later.
  • The lift was certainly big enough for a cricket team and all their kit.
  • There needs to be better connection between main line and Underground at London Bridge. I suspect this will get better, as more of the station opens.
  • For this route four trains per hour, as you get on a Sunday, aren’t enough.
  • At Waterloo East, the walking route could be improved.
  • Waterloo East needs a Next Train To London Bridge Indicator.
  • Waterloo has twin up and down escalators between the main concourse and the walking route, which is more than enough. Especially, as they were all working!

But I did notice several passengers used the route from London Bridge to Waterloo East stations, including at least two couples with children in pushchairs.

This new Southern Crossrail Lite is going to prove an invaluable alternative to the Jubilee Line.

 

 

 

October 30, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Look At Bond Street Station

Bond Street station is double-ended.

This visualisation shows the knitting that connects it to the current Bond Street station.

Note.

  • The station has two entrances; Davies Street and Hanover Square.
  • The length of the Crossrail platforms.
  • It looks like the Western interchange between Crossrail and Jubilee Line is easy.
  • It could be quite a walk between Crossrail and the Central Line at Davies Street.
  • If you’re a strong walker, some will use the H?anover Square entrance to access the Central and Victoria Lines.

On this quick look, I have a feeling that at Bond Street station, it will pay to know your entrances and make sure you’re at the right place on the train.

 

October 23, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 3 Comments

Will c2c Push For Access To Stratford And Liverpool Street?

On Sunday in An Excursion To Shoeburyness, I indicated how instead of coming back the way I came via West Ham, I got off at Stratford and did some shopping at Eastfield.

But would c2c like to serve Stratford and Liverpool Street more?

The Current Weekend Service From Shoeburyness To Stratford And Liverpool Street

Currently two trains per hour (tph) run from Shoeburyness to Stratford and Liverpool Street at weekends, when there is no conflicting engineering work.

Incidentally, with my excursion, I think that I had to come back by c2c as the Great Eastern Main Line was closed for Crossrail work.

If nothing this engineering disruption shows the value of Southend being served by two independent rail lines.

The Stratford Effect

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Shopping Centre at Stratford will have a porofound effect on the operation of c2c’s trains.

This page on the c2c web site is entitled Christmas shoppers get direct c2c trains to Stratford.

This is said.

c2c will run two trains an hour on both Saturdays and Sundays that divert to Liverpool Street instead of Fenchurch Street. These will provide direct access to the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre plus easy access to London’s West End. This is in addition to the two trains an hour that run to Chafford Hundred, for the Lakeside shopping centre, as part of c2c’s existing service.

I think the news item dates from 2014, but it does show a level of intent.

There is also this article in the Southend Echo, which is entitled Extra trains planned as West Ham’s stadium move puts added pressure on c2c network.

This is said.

TRAIN operator c2c are running extra and longer trains for fans travelling to West Ham matches at the club’s new stadium in Stratford.

This won’t be a problem for weekend matches, but what about matches on weekday evenings?

c2c’s spokesman went into more detail.

When asked about direct trains running from Southend to Stratford to make the journey as quick and simple as possible for fans, c2c said they already run direct trains to Stratford from Southend and Basildon,but not Grays, and there will be two trains per hour direct to Stratford most weekends – and two more trains per hour to West Ham.

From Grays, all four trains an hour go to West Ham.

For weeknight games and during weekend engineering work, all trains run to West Ham.

At present, the weekend trains between Shoeburyness and Stratford, satisfy the weekend sopping and football, but what about other events at the Olympic Park? The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is only going to get busier.

So are the current services really what c2c and its customers want and need?

Car parking is fairly comprehensive at the outer stations according to this page on the c2c web site.

West Horndon Station

It wasn’t very busy on the Sunday I took this picture at West Horndon station, but for encouraging weekend leisure trips, the availability of car parking must be an asset.

I would imagine that c2c are pushing the authorities for permission to run evening services into Liverpool Street via Stratford.

The Crossrail Effect

When you talk about any of London’s railways, this herd of elephants, with its 1,500 passenger capacity Class 345 trains, always bursts into the room.

For c2c trains to get to Stratford, they need to take the Gospel Oak to Barking Line (GOBlin) between Barking and Woodgrange Park, where they join the slow lines into London.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines around Woodgrange Park station.

woodgrangepark

As the GOBlin is currently being electrified and improved, I suspect that there will be no operational problems on  the short stretch of shared line.

Will there be problems though, after Crossrail opens and there are increased frequencies of trains to and from London?

In the Peak, Crossrail will be running 16 tph to and from Shenfield, so as they are only running 8 tph in the Off Peak, I suspect that at weekends, there will be capacity for c2c’s 2 tph to Stratford.

It is interesting to look at Crossrail’s proposed Peak service on the Shenfield branch.

  • 8 tph between Shenfield and Paddington
  • 2 tph between Shenfield and Reading
  • 2 tph between Shenfield and Maidenhead
  • 4 tph between Gidea Park and Liverpool Street

This says to me, that there are probably paths in the timetable to squeeze 4 tph in the Off Peak into Liverpool Street, as the Gidea Park service is Peak-only.

Access To Liverpool Street

Liverppool Street station has two problems.

  • There are not enough platforms – This is a difficult one to solve, although Crossrail might only need a single platform to handle the limited number of services not going through the core tunnel. London Overground regularly turns 4 tph in a single platform.
  • The platforms are too short – This will be remedied once Crossrail trains are using the core tunnel.

I’m certain, that in a few years Liverpool Street in the Off Peak, will be able to handle 2 tph with a length of 12-cars for c2c.

It is interesting to note, that my train on Sunday was only eight-cars. Was this because of limitations at Liverpool Street?

Should c2c Stop At Woodgrange Park?

Currently, they don’t, but after the GOBlin is reopened would it be a good idea to create a step-free change to get to and from a lot of stations across North London.

The change at Barking between the two lines is not easy and the alternative is to improve it.

c2c Needs Access To Crossrail

c2c’s current route structure has no connection to Crossrail.

As an example to go from West Horndon to Heathrow Airport, you’d need to change twice.

  • At West Ham onto the Jubilee Line.
  • At Stratford onto Crossrail.

Neither change is a short walk, but both are step-free in busy stations.

If however, it’s a Saturday or Sunday, you could take a train to Stratford and I suspect when Crossrail opens, just wait on the same platform until a Heathrow train arrives.

It should be remembered, that c2c runs an all-Electrostar fleet and I suspect that these are Crossrail compatible with respect to platform height, so the change at Stratford would be easy with heavy cases, buggy or even a week-chair.

What Will The Future Hold?

From what I have written, it would certainly be possible for there to be two 12-car trains every hour in the Off Peak between Shoeburyness and Liverpool Street calling at Basildon, Upminster and Stratford.

But this would have limitations and possible problems.

  • Passengers from stations like Grays would want the Crossrail connection too!
  • If it is needed in the Off Peak, is it needed in the Peak?
  • Would passengers changing at Stratford cause congestion?

There would also be the mother of all battles between the train companies involved, to make sure they kept market share.

My ideal world scenario would be something like.

  • 4 tph all day go into Liverpool Street.
  • 2 tph on both c2c routes through Basildon and Grays go into Liverpool Street.
  • Chafford Hundred is served from Liverpool Street
  • Ticketing is such, that Stratford to Southend can use either route and either Southend station.
  • c2c trains to and from Liverpool Street, call at Woodgrange Park for the GOBlin.

My wish list may not be possible, but there is certainly tremendous scope for improvement.

We could even see, a station like Grays, Pitsea or Southend becoming a Crossrail terminus.

Who knows? I don’t!

 

 

 

October 18, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Improving Services To Cannon Street And Charing Cross Stations

Platform Changes At London Bridge Station

The Thameslink Programme will change the platform layout at London Bridge station considerably.

In 2012, the platform layout at London Bridge was as follows.

  • Platform 1 – From Cannon Street
  • Platform 2 – To/From Cannon Street
  • Platform 3 – To Cannon Street
  • Platform 4 – From Charing Cross
  • Platform 5 – From Charing Cross and Bedford
  • Platform 6 -To Charing Cross and Bedford
  • There was also a through line to Charing Cross without a platform.

I can’t remember much about those days, except that the platforms were very crowded.

When London Bridge station and the Thameslink Programme is completed, the new platform layout will give opportunities to create new services through London Bridge to both; Cannon Street and Charing Cross stations.

The platform layout at London Bridge station will be as follows.

  • Platform 1 – From Cannon Street
  • Platform 2 – To/From Cannon Street
  • Platform 3 – To Cannon Street
  • Platform 4 – From Thameslink
  • Platform 5 – To Thameslink
  • Platform 6 – From Charing Cross
  • Platform 7 – From Charing Cross
  • Platform 8 – To Charing Cross
  • Platform 9 – To Charing Cross

So, six through platforms and seven lines have been replaced by nine through platforms. This is a 50% increase in platforms and a 28% increase in tracks. The Borough Market Viaduct was the major engineering in creating the extra two tracks across the South Bank.

Other factors help capacity in the area include.

  • The Bermondsey dive-under sorts out all the lines South of London Bridge station and will present trains to the right platforms at London Bridge. |Spaghetti Junction is so 1960s!
  • Effectively, there are now three parallel and probably separate railway systems virtually from Bermondsey through London Bridge station, that split after the station; a pair of lines for Cannon Street, another pair for Thameslink and two pairs for Charing Cross.
  • There has been a lot of work on track and signalling.
  • The Tanners Hill Fly-Down has been built to improve capacity between London Bridge and Lewisham, which must help Cannon Street and Charing Cross services.
  • The design of London Bridge station with its wide through platforms and more escalators than a science-fiction fantasy, could mean that passengers are there in time for their trains.
  • The electrification changeover for Thameslink has been streamlined.
  • The Class 700 trains must be better at changing voltages in the Thameslink tunnel.

All of these factoras must have positive affects on the capacity of the system.

I also think that one of the major benefits  of the new layout, is what happens if something goes wrong.

If say a train breaks down on Thameslink at Blackfriars, because it is a separate railway, this doesn’t affect Cannon Street and Charing Cross services in the way it did before the new layout. There would still be the problems of fixing the train and what to do with those following behind, but the new design of London Bridge station means that passengers can be handled safely in all the space.

I’d love to see Network Rail’s thinking for handling all problems, but the design of London Bridge and its tracks could be one of those designs, that in a hundred years, engineers will look at and copy.

I can’t believe that the new layout won’t allow more trains to go to and from Cannon Street and Charing Cross, just as it allows more trains to go through the core Thameslink tunnels.

Thameslink is going from  something like fifteen trains per hour (tph) to 24 tph or an increase of 60%. So what sort of increase will we see into Charing Cross and Cannon Street?

Services To Charing Cross

In 2012, Charing Cross to London Bridge was handled on three tracks between the two stations and three platforms at London Bridge. Two of the platforms were shared with Thameslink running 15 tph through them.

These three tracks and platforms have been replaced with four tracks, each with its own platform at London Bridge and possibly Waterloo East stations.

The tracks must have been fitted with a higher-capacity signalling system and an efficient track layout.

I am surprised that the four lines to and from Charing Cross share a platform at London Bridge with the other line going the same way.

Surely, it could be better if the Thameslink and Charing Cross services shared an island platform, when they were going in the same direction.

This would give a same-platform interchange between Thameslink and Charing Cross services, which the 2012 layout had.

I suspect that sharing is not possible, as it would mean that services would have to cross other lines to get there and the track doesn’t and can’t allow it.

But if the current service level of fourteen tph to and from Charing Cross station, can be achieved with just two platforms at London Bridge station as they are in the half-completed station, then there must be potential to increase the number of services to and from Waterloo East and Charing Cross, by a worthwhile margin.

Compared to some places in the UK, Charing Cross station already has an intense level of services to stations in South East London and beyond.

These are some example of trains out of Charing Cross between eleven and twelve in the morning.

  • Abbey Wood – 2 trains
  • Ashford International – 2 trains
  • Dartford – 6 trains
  • Gravesend – 4 trains
  • Greenhithe – 4 trains
  • Hayes – 4 trains
  • Lewisham – 7 trains
  • Orpington – 6 trains
  • Rochester – 2 trains
  • Sevenoaks – 8 trains
  • Tonbridge – 6 trains
  • Woolwich Arsenal – 2 trains

If this is increased, I can’t see any complaints from passengers, especially as most trains appear to have ten-cars or more.

I do think though that there will be a need to improve capacity, onward connections and walking routes at Waterloo East and Charing Cross stations.

I say more about these two stations in A Look At Charing Cross Station and Around Waterloo East Station.

It’s just that all these passengers will need somewhere to go.

Services To Cannon Street

Cannon Street station will be getting the same number of lines in 2018, as it did in 2012.

So I doubt, that the service will be any less intense, than it was in 2012.

Currently, in the Off Peak, there is a sixteen tph service, to and from Cannon Street station, which compares well with the current fourteen to and from Charing Cross station.

There is also going to be improvement at Cannon Street station with respect to onward connections and walking routes.

  • Bank tube station is getting two new entrances, which are closer to Cannon Street.
  • The connection between Cannon Street station and the Central Line will be improved with a travelator running North-South between the two Northern Line tracks at Bank station.
  • The connection between Cannon Street station and the Northern Line will be improved with triple escalators directly down from Cannon Street, perhaps a hundred metres from Cannon Street station.
  • The link to the District and Circle Lines is already excellent and those lines will be improved and get higher frequencies in the next few years.
  • The City of London has ambitions to pedestrianise a lot of the area around Bank station.

Cannon Street station will certainly become one of London’s better-connected terminal stations.

There are more observations in Improvements At Bank Station.

Interchange At London Bridge Station

Effectively, London Bridge station has four sets of services.

  • Those that terminate in the station.
  • Through services on Thameslink
  • Through service to and from Charing Cross station.
  • Through service to and from Cannon Street station.

I’ll leave out the Underground, as the entrance to that hasn’t been fully opened yet!

All the current sets of services have their own set of platforms.

Interchange between the various services is a matter of taking an escalator down from the platform on which you arrive and then take another escalator up to your departure platform.

At present, they seem to be using the rebuilt through platforms flexibly as follows.

  • Platform 7 – From Charing Cross
  • Platform 8 – To/From Charing Cross
  • Platform 9 – To Charing Cross

As trains out from Charing Cross seem to pass through London Bridge on either platform 7 and 8, there does seem to be a degree of flexibility in the track. But then there are no Thameslink services needing to be accommodated.

I do wonder if at some time in the future, they will arrange the lines at London Bridge, so that there is some cross platform interchanges. But I suspect that given the complex layout of the tracks, changes will only be limited.

So passengers will continue to go down and up the escalators. But they don’t seem to be complaining!

The Southeastern Metro

This map shows Southeastern Metro services, which are close to the London termini and fall within the Oystercard area.

Southeastern Metro

Southeastern Metro

If nothing else the map shows why Transport for London want to get control of Southeastern Metro  services  and paint them orange, as it is a ready made network that compliments the current Underground and Overground services.

The network has five Central London termini and stations; Cannon Street, Charing Cross, London Bridge, Victoria and Waterloo East.

It also connects to the following other lines.

  • Several Underground Lines including the Bakerloo, both branches of the Northern Line, the District Line and and the Circle Line.
  • The Overground at Denmark Hill, New Cross and Peckham Rye
  • The  Docklands Light Railway at Greenwich, Lewisham and Woolwich Arsenal.
  • Tramlink at Elmers End.
  • Crossrail at Abbey Wood.
  • Thameslink at Dartford, Greenwich, London Bridge and Orpington.

In addition, many of the stations have step-free access..

These are the services from a selection of stations close to London.

  • Dartford has six tph to Charing Cross and two tph to Cannon Street and Victoria.
  • Greenwich has six tph to Cannon Street.
  • Hayes has two tph to Charing Cross and Cannon Street.
  • Lewisham has eight tph to Cannon Street, 4 tph to Charing Cross and 2 tph to \Victoria.
  • Orpington has four tph to each of Cannon Street, Charing Cross and Victoria
  • Woolwich Arsenal has six tph to Cannon Street and 2 tph to Charing Cross.

So in some ways it’s an all-places-to-all-terminals Metro.

Transport for London must look at the Southeastern Metro and have all sorts of ideas about how they could use the network to the benefit of London.

These are some Off Peak service levels.

  • Sixteen tph between London Bridge and Cannon Street.
  • Fourteen tph between London Bridge and Charing Cross.
  • Ten tph between New Cross and Cannon Street.
  • Eight tph between Orpington and London Bridge.
  • Eight tph between Dartford and London Bridge
  • Twelve tph between Lewisham and London Bridge.

Also consider.

  • Would more services be possible after Thameslink is completed between London Bridge and Charing Cross.
  • Could more use be made of an interchange at New Cross to get passengers to Canada Water for Canary Wharf and Witechapel for Crossrail?
  • Could better use be made of Orpington station?
  • Could Lewisham be improved?
  • Will Brockley Lane station be rebuilt and a connection to the East London Line created?
  • How would the area be affected by an extended Crossrail to Gravesend?
  • How would New Cross cope with more than four tph on the East London Line?

I think that TfL could have lots of fun!

For instance, with a bit of reorganisation of services, it might be possible to create a ten tph or upwards set of lines  across South London.

As an example Lewisham to Charing Cross via New Cross, London Bridge, Waterloo East could easily be ten tph.

No new trains, track or signalling would be needed, but the bottleneck of London Bridge must probably be removed before it is possible. And the Thameslink Programme is doing that!

Effects On The Jubilee Line

I don’t have any figures on passengers, but the section of Jubilee Line from London Bridge, will get a high-capacity by-pass on the surface.

But if we assume the current 14 tph on the rail line and 2019 frequency of 36 tph on the Jubilee Line, these are the numbers of carriages going between London Bridge and Charing Cross/Waterloo.

Heavy rail – 14 tph x 12 cars = 168

Jubilee Line – 36 tph x 7 cars = 252

Incidentally, the seats per hour figures are 10206 for Class 377 trains and 8424 for the S Stock on the Jubilee Line.

So will passengers choose to travel on the surface, thus freeing up capacity on the Jubilee Line?

Consider.

  • Changing from say Thameslink after travelling up from Brighton to a Charing Cross service at London Bridge will be down and up two escalators and fully step-free.
  • How many passengers will walk or take a bus to and from London Bridge to complete their journey?
  • Some connections to the Underground at London Bridge require lots of walking.
  • Going between London Bridge and Waterloo by a train rather than the Jubilee Line may well be a more pleasing experience.
  • There are people like me, who prefer not to use a deep-level Underground Line, if there is an alternative.

Remember though that the the Charing Cross platforms at London Bridge are paired with 6/7 handling trains from Charing Cross and 8/9 trains the other way. Both pairs will share an island platform, escalators and a lift. So it may be quicker if you’re going to say Waterloo station, Trafalgar Square  or Covent Garden to take a train.

Every so often, various plans are put forward as to what to do with the closed Jubilee Line platforms at Charing Cross. This is said about the platforms in Wikipedia.

As the Jubilee line platforms and track are still maintained by TfL for operation reasons, they can can also be used by film and television makers requiring a modern Underground station location. While still open they were used in the 1987 film The Fourth Protocol, and after closure in numerous productions, including different episodes of the television series Spooks.

I can envisage someone coming up with a plan, whereby these platforms are used as a second Southern terminus for the Jubilee Line. By 2019, it is intended that 36 tph will be running from North Greenwich to West Hampstead.

But there could be a problem, in that depending on what you read, there may not be enough trains for this increase in service.

But if, the uprated service between London Bridge and Charing Cross takes passengers from the Jubilee Line between London Bridge and Waterloo could the service be split into two?

  • Most Jubilee Line trains would run as now and provide sufficient service between North Greenwich to West Hampstead.
  • A small proportion of trains, perhaps 10 tph, would divert into the closed platforms at Charing Cross station.

It would give some advantages.

  • There would be improved Underground connections at Charing Cross station.
  • Trafalgar Square would gain another Underground Line.
  • Charing Cross would have a two-stop link to Crossrail and the Central Line at Bond Street station.

Unlike most new station and interchange projects, the infrastructure is already there and maintained.

Consequences For Southern Crossrail

If everything works out with the Thameslink Programme and the rebuilding of London Bridge station, I can see no point to Southern Crossrail.

However, there idea of rebuilding Waterloo East station, is probably a good idea, to improve connectivity to the Underground and Waterloo station.

Waterloo East station could be handled a lot more passengers in the near future.

Conclusion

It looks to me, that Thameslink has been well-thought out and if the trains, track and signalling performs from London Bridge along the South Bank, as everybody hopes it should, we will see a world class Metro service across South-East London.

But I do feel that if the service along the South Bank is a quality one, then it will take passengers from the Jubilee Line and this line could be open for development.

 

 

 

September 27, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments