The Anonymous Widower

Towers At Lewisham Station – 2nd February 2019

Lewisham station is becoming increasingly surrounded by tower blocks.

With the Bakerloo Line Extension planned to reach the new station around 2030, surely it is time to rebuild the station with more blocks over the tracks.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

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

The Truly Dreadful Platform-Train Access At Lewisham Station

These pictures show the truly dreadful platform-train access at Lewisham station.

I should say there is even worse access at the front of platform 2.


I should say that Lewisham station has lifts, which are welcome. But it seems to me that if you’re putting in lifts, you should probably fix the station, so that someone in a wheelchair, should be able to wheel themselves on and off the train.

It’s all down to the long, curved platforms.

Surely, if they rebuild this station for the Bakerloo Line Extension, then these platforms will be consigned to the dustbin of history.

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

Calls For London Overground Extension To Lewisham

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

This is the first paragraph.

Lewisham council has issued a call for the Overground to be extended to Lewisham town centre as part of a wider series of improvements to the local rail and DLR networks.

To extend the Overground from New Cross station, Overground trains would need to be able to cross over to the tracks through the station.

This map from shows the tracks at the station.

There are four Overground trains from Dalston Junction station and they terminate in the bay Platform D.

Note how the Overground skirts round New Cross Depot to get to the platform.

This Google Map shows the curve of the Overground Line and what lies between the lines out of London Bridge station and the Overground.

It looks to be the old New Cross depot and a green space surrounded by rail tracks, that is all inaccessible to the public.

I took these pictures as I passed.


  1. The Lines out of London Bridge are much higher.
  2. It’s quite a big space.
  3. It might be possible to connect the Overground to the down slow line, that goes through Placform C at New Cross station.
  4. It would need a tunnel under the lines out of London Bridge to connect to the up slow line, which is goes through Platform A at New Cross station.
  5. I suspect this connection would be difficult and the lines would have to be slewed to the West, so that trains could dive under the down slow line.
  6. Do Network Rail want to cause all the grief at London Bridge, whilst they built the junction.

It could be a challenging and very expensive project.

It might even be impossible!

On the other hand, it might be possible using flat junctions, but this line is busy and building and operating  them could be the stff of  nightmares.

Trains Services At New Cross Station

Wikipedia says these are the service frequencies at New Cross station in trains per hour (tph)

  • 10 northbound to Cannon Street
  • 4 northbound to Dalston Junction or sometimes Highbury & Islington
  • 2 southbound to Hayes
  • 4 southbound to Cannon Street via Sidcup, or via Bexleyheath and then returning via Greenwich
  • 2 southbound to Orpington, calling at all stations
  • 2 southbound to Tunbridge Wells, non-stop to Orpington then all stations

Merging ten trains to and from Cannon Street with four trains to and from Dalston Junction could be extremely difficult.

It should be said that the interchange between Overground services arriving at New Cross and Southbound services on Southeastern is just a walk across between Platform D and C, which is shown in the picture below.

Note the Overground train in Platform D.

It appears that most Overground trains from Dalston Junction, connect to a Lewisham train after between five and ten minutes.

As there is a coffee stall on the station, on a cold day, you can buy a hot drink.

The problem is coming North, as you have to use the step-free foot bridge from Platform A.

Too many times, I’ve negotiated the bridge only to arrive on Platform D, to watch the Overground train disappearing.

Increasing Frequency On The Overground

Currently, the frequency of trains on the East London Line is as follows.

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

In the next couple of years, Crystal Palace and Clapham Junction services will be raised to six tph. I wrote about this in Increased Frequencies On The East London Line.

This will mean that New Cross Gate will have ten tph on the East London Line, as against four at New Cross.

I don’t know whether it’s possible to increase the Dalston Junction to New Cross service to six tph, but this would reduce the wait, when changing at New Cross to go North.

The Bakerloo Line

The Bakerloo Line is being extended to New Cross Gate and Lewisham, so perhaps in the future, East London Line passengers will go via New Cross Gate.

New Cross Interchange

I have read, that Transport for London would like to make it easier to change between New Cross and New Cross Gate stations.


Extension of the Overground to Lewisham will be extremely difficult and other developments will improve rail transport in South-East




April 3, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

How Will Crossrail Affect The Docklands Light Railway?

When Crossrail opens, there will be a simple step-free walking link between  Canary Wharf station and and Poplar DLR station.

As Poplar is the station on the DLR, where the North-South and the East-West routes cross, this is one of the better connectivity features of Crossrail.

Poplar serves a junction in four directions:

At present to get to Greenwich and Lewisham, you need to change at Canary Wharf DLR station, but as there is a reasonable walking route between Canary Wharf station and Canary Wharf DLR station, passengers for Lewisham could use that route.

As Crossrail will also have a reasonable link to the DLR at both Stratford and Woolwich, I wonder if we’ll see some reorganisation of services on the North-South DLR route between Lewishan and Stratford International.

Will some services go all the way between Lewisham and Stratford International?

Obviously, this will be determined by the routes travellers take after Crossrail opens.

There will also be affects due to the Law of Unexpected Consequences.

I am fairly sure, that Crossrail trains on the two Eastern branches will interface well at Whitechapel station, so passengers going between a station on the Abbey Wood branch to one on the Shenfield branch may prefer to go via Whitechapel, as it will be a simple cross-platform interchange.

How will this affect passenger numbers on the Jubilee Line and the DLR?

I suspect that passengers will use the route that is best for them and this can only mean spare capacity on the two historic routes.

As Crossrail will also be a bypass for the Central Line with connections between the two lines at Stratford, Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Ealing Broadway, the Greater East London area will be a big beneficiary from Crossrail.

We’ll have to wait and see how passenger numbers work out, but I think that the North-South route of the DLR could be blessed with spare capacity because of Crossrail, so there may be scope to extend the route past Stratford International and Lewisham.

Two possible extensions from Lewisham are detailed on Wikipedia.

But there is nothing past Stratford International. The DLR Horizon 2020 Study, does propose an extension up the Lea Valley to Tottenham Hale. This is the report’s summary of this route.

A DLR extension to Tottenham Hale via the Lea Valley was tested extending all services (15tph) onwards from Stratford International. The route would run alongside the Lea Valley rail route. The DLR extension is seen as serving intermediate markets (heavy rail would only stop at Tottenham Hale and Stratford) and would serve the Olympic site(s) and the Olympic legacy with additional stops at Lea Bridge and Walthamstow Marshes. Potential drawbacks are largely environmental, covering concerns over Hackney Marshes and the Lea Valley reservoirs.

I talked about it in a sub-section of The High Meads Loop At Stratford. This is a summary of what I said.

Extension of the DLR to Tottenham Hale was mooted a few years ago and a document called DLR Horizon 2020 talked about extending the system from Stratford International up alongside the Lea Valley Lines to Tottenham Hale station

It may be a worthy idea, but does it really make economic sense, when according to what you believe a lot of things may be happening in the area.

When the heavy rail expansion is sorted and the area between Tottenham and Walthamstow is developed as housing and a very large wetland and leisure area, the case for a Lea Valley Light Railway may be stronger and in need of reassessment.

What happens to the North-South route will be driven by the consequences of Crossrail and the massive need for housing in London and the transport links to serve it.

The Mayor’s Plan For A Gallions Reach Extension

The latest plan is to extend the DLR from Gallions Reach station across the Thames to Thamesmead and Abbey Wood.

I wrote about this plan in The Mayor’s Plans For East London River Crossings.

I shall repeat what I said, as I think this is a plan with legs.

BBC article says this about this proposal.

A DLR crossing at Gallions Reach, helping support the development of around 17,000 new homes across Newham and the Royal Borough of Greenwich

It is different to the original proposal of a Docklands Light Railway extension to Dagenham Dock, which stayed on the North bank of the Thames.

This map shows the area of London from Gallions Reach to Abbey Wood.

Gallions Reach To Abbey Wood

Gallions Reach To Abbey Wood


  • Gallions Reach DLR station is marked with the red arrow.
  • Just to the North of Gallions Reach station is the main DLR depot, which would probably be an excellent site to start a tunnel.
  • The tunnel would probably emerge on the South bank of the Thames to the West of Thamesmead.
  • It could then weave its way along the side of the main road.
  • The North Kent Line with Abbey Wood and Belvedere stations runs along the bottom of the map.
  • Crossrail could be extended to Gravesend.
  • Crossrail should also be extended Ebbsfleet International for European rail services.

If the DLR extension went from Gallions Reach DLR station  to Abbey Wood station it will be a loop on Crossrail serving a lot of areas ripe for quality housing and commercial development.

It certainly looks a feasible area to think about taking the DLR.

I also think if more destinations are created in the East, then this will need other developments.

  • More capacity in the new trains, that are being ordered.
  • Extra destinations in the West
  • Expansion of the North-South route t balance the network.

The North and South extensions were covered earlier.

Extension To The West

I have written about this in Extending The Docklands Light Railway West From Bank Station.


The Docklands Light Railway must be one of the best stop-gap transport projects ever created.

Crossrail’s effects on the DLR will be more about providing opportunities, than creating problems.

We also shouldn’t underestimate the role of the DLR in bringing passengers to Crossrail.

February 15, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a 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

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

A Report On The Bakerloo Line Extension

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

Rail Improvements South Of The Thames

I hope that the boxes can be read.

I shall deal with the various boxes in separate sections, going in a vaguely East to West direction. I will leave out the Crosrail 2 related topics for the moment.

Bakerloo Line Extension

The summary on the map says thirty trains per hour (tph) into Central London, releasing peak capacity on South Eastern. They describe the extension like this in the Executive Summary of the report.

Following the 2014 consultation, we have conducted a comprehensive assessment of the consulted route options alongside alternatives suggested by respondents and stakeholders. The work has concluded that an extension to Lewisham via the Old Kent Road is currently the best option as a first phase, as the route would serve the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area and support significant numbers of new homes and jobs for London. This would include a major new interchange at Lewisham. It is estimated that the selected corridor could enable over 25,000 new homes by serving Opportunity Areas and regeneration areas along its length.

From the map, the route of the extended Bakerloo Line, would be a simple one from the current terminus at Elephant and Castle station to Lewisham station, via two new stations in the Old Kent Road and an interchange at New Cross Gate station with the London Overground and main line services from London Bridge.

These are various highlighted points from the report.

  • Assessment of the alternative route options suggested during the 2014 public consultation has demonstrated that the options towards Lewisham remain the most effective for addressing the challenges in south east London.
  • An extension should serve Lewisham station due to the new homes that could be unlocked in growth areas along its route, and the wider transport connectivity and access improvements it would provide. 4.2.1. Our assessment work has found that although shor
  • We currently recommend a route to Lewisham via Old Kent Road for further development as part of an initial phase for an extension. We have found that this option has the greatest potential to unlock new homes to support London’s growth and significantly improve transport provision in south east London.
  • An extension via Old Kent Road would provide a step-change in the capacity, connectivity, accessibility and speed of travel for residents.
  • By improving transport and unlocking new homes and jobs growth, the economic benefits of the Old Kent Road option are higher than the route via Camberwell and Peckham Rye. The latter option is estimated to be more expensive to deliver and has a lower potential of obtaining funding.
  • Delivering a major transport infrastructure project is a challenging and often risky process. By integrating planning with the Opportunity Area development, the proposed route via the Old Kent Road offers the best prospect of successful delivery.
  • An initial extension to Lewisham could form part of a wider package of complementary rail improvements across south and south east London, providing improved journeys via Tube and rail connections.

The report doesn’t rule out extensions beyond Lewisham. This is said.

The assessment shows there could be significant additional benefits from an extension beyond Lewisham and therefore it has not been ruled out at this stage, with further work required to develop the deliverability and case further.

Under Next Steps, this is said.

We will focus developing plans for the first phase of an extension to Lewisham via the Old Kent Road, with further public consultation anticipated in 2016.

TfL’s proposals for the Bakerloo Line Extension would appear to be simple and deliverable at an acceptable cost to give the greatest benefit to South East London.

It should also not be the most difficult line to build, as it is only three stations, with it would appear plenty of green space and cleared sites on the surface for access.

It would almost be a repeat of the Northern Line Extension, except that it is shorter.

For people like me living on the East London Line, the interchange to the Bakerloo Line at New Cross Gate will be very much welcomed, as it improves connectivity to that difficult-to-access area between Piccadilly Circus and Elephant and Castle. Try getting from Dalston to Charing Cross in the rush hour!

I think the biggest problem of this short extension, is going to be that even at an increased frequency of 30 tph, it will quickly get close to capacity.

Lewisham Station

The map also labels Lewisham station with a box saying upgraded major hub for SE London.

This Google Map shows Lewisham station.

Lewisham Station

Lewisham Station

I think that there would appear space for improvements and digging the shafts for the creation of the Bakerloo Line Extension.

South Eastern Improvements

The summary on the map says explore potential for further service upgrades to further improve journeys, including access to Tube at Lewisham.

Some stations have been upgraded to a modern standard, but many still don’t have the fscilities that passengers expect these days.

Nothing is said about TfL’s long term ambition to take over the Metro services of Southeastern.

South Central Improvements

The summary on the map says consider increased services through major station upgrades, new interchanges and new trains.

I could repeat what I said in the previous section for South Eastern Improvements.

New Trains

This is very much a general point about new trains.

London’s latest train fleets are increasingly becoming walk-through from one end to the other.

Passengers are also getting very savvy in their train usage and often board a train in a coach, that will be close to their exit at the destination.

And if they get on at the wrong point, they will often walk to their desired exit position, before the train stops.

So could this be used to advantage in the design of stations, with more perhaps having multiple exit points, as do some Crossrail stations?

Brockley Station

The map also labels Brockley station with a box saying potential new interchange hub.

This Google Map shows Brockley  station.

Brockley Station

Brockley Station

The Bexleyheath Line between Nunhead and Lewisham stations crosses the East London Line and Brockley station at a high level.

I wrote A Four-Poster Station about connecting these two lines.

It would appear that Transport for London have advanced this project from one word in their 2050 Infrastructure Plan to a proposal.

This is the sort of connectivity, that us plebs in Dalston will like a lot. From 2018, as I wrote in Increased Frequencies on the East London Line, there will be ten services per hour between Dalston Junction and Brockley stations and one change at Brockley, will open up many transport opportunities.

East Croydon Station

The map also labels East Croydon station with a box saying extra platforms & grade separation.

This Google Map shows East Croydon station.

East Croydon Station

East Croydon Station

The station is towards the bottom of the map and the semi-circular shape at the top is Selhurst Depot.

There is a large section labelled Future in the station’s Wikipedia entry and given the legendary congestion and the large expansion plans for Croydon, I think it is highly likely that expansion of the station and grade separation will go ahead even if the Bakerloo Line Extension doesn’t!

Camberwell Station

The map also labels the now-disused Camberwell station with a box saying potential new Thameslink station. The TfL report says this.

Similarly, we are working with Southwark Council to look into the re-opening Camberwell station on the Thameslink line to improve access into Central London and support local development.

This Google Map shows the area around the disused station.

Camberwell Station

Camberwell Station

Camberwell station used to be where Camberwell New Road crosses under the railway.

The TfL report makes these points.

  • Camberwell has no direct rail connection.
  • A two-branch extension of the Bakerloo Line; Old Kent Road and Camberwell, will be very costly.
  • A Thameslink station at Camberwell, would serve the same area as an Underground station and is a much more affordable option.

The TfL report gives this concise summary.

A new station at Camberwell would be a significantly lower cost option to a Tube extension, whilst serving the same catchment area. Investigations show significant journey time improvements could accrue to Camberwell passengers and that operationally there may be scope to integrate re-opening of the station into the launch of the completed Thameslink programme.

We will therefore undertake further planning work with Network Rail and the London Borough of Southwark to assess the proposal. 

I would be very surprised if the Bakerloo Line Extension calls at Camberwell.

I would also suspect that being able to open a new Ca,berwell station, at the same time as Thameslink, would be very easy to justify on a costs basis.

Streathham Common Station

The map also labels Streatham Common station with a box saying potential new interchange hub.

This Google Map shows Streatham Common station.

Streatham Common Station

Streatham Common Station

Wikipedia introduces Streatham Common station with these words.

The station is managed by Southern who also operate trains from the station. Direct trains from the station run to Victoria, London Bridge, East Croydon, Shepherds Bush, and Milton Keynes Central. Southern consider the station to be the 6th busiest station on their 158 station network as it receives 12,932 passenger journeys a day, totalling 4,655,520 per year. The Office of Rail and Road figures are lower at 3,827,296.

The station has four platforms, but only platforms 1 and 2 are in daily use; platforms 3 and 4 are normally for passing Express trains, but they are occasionally used during engineering work or major disruption. Step free access to both platforms and both station entrances is available.

Just to the North of the station, is the Sutton Loop Line of Thameslink and I suspect that Streatham Common is mentioned in TfL’s report, is that they have a cunning plan to link the various lines in the area together.

To try to get a better feel of the area, I took a train to Streatham Common station, walked to Streatham station and then took a train to Micham Junction, which travelled across Streatham Common station. I took these pictures.

My walk showed me how complicated the lines are in the area and that is emplasised by this Google Map of the junction.

A Tangle Of Lines

A Tangle Of Lines

I do wonder if there are operational problems in Streatham, that perhaps necessitate a bit of a sort out.

It’s also not an easy walk between Streatham and Streatham Common stations because there is a massive Tesco Extra blocking the walking routes. It certainly follows Tesco’s tradition of trying to create some of the ugliest buildings in the UK.

My other thought, is that the space around the railway lines is quite generous and are Network Rail looking to create some more housing around the junction.

I think that any plans that Network Rail have for Streatham will be revealed in due course.


I think Network Rail, Transport for London and others have decided to bundle a lot of smaller projects under the umbrella of the Bakerloo Line Extension, with the intention of getting value-for-money, that delivers a lot of improvement in an ordered manner in a short timescale, all over South London.

It could be described as the following.

  • One large billion pound project to create the actual Bakerloo Line Extension.
  • One large project, possibly with a property developer, to sort out East Croydon station.
  • Three mid-sized projects to create the Brockley and Streatham Common interchanges and Camberwell station.
  • A lot of small projects to create quality stations all over South London.
  • Some new trains as required.

So there would be something for everybody. Even the man on the Clapham omnibus!

But who knows?







December 18, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 3 Comments