The Anonymous Widower

One Liverpool Street: City Of London Approves Crossrail Entrance Office Block

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

This paragraph describes the financial structure of the development.

One Liverpool Street will be run by asset managers Aviva Investors, through a joint venture with Transport for London (TfL), and will replace an existing six-storey office block.

It is yet another development along the Crossrail route.

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , | Leave a comment

The New Light Freight Terminal At Liverpool Street Station

These pictures show the old cab road at Liverpool Street station, where the proposed light freight terminal will be developed.

The spacious cab road shut a few years ago and was moved to its current position in front of the station. Nowadays it is used mainly for deliveries to the station and the retail units, by Network Rail maintenance vehicles and sometimes by Rail Replacement Buses.

This second set of pictures show the exit of the cab road in Primrose Street, behind the station.

Note  these points about the old cab road.

  1. There is some nice ironwork and a vaulted ceiling, but nothing that would be damaged if electric vans and cargo bikes used the cab road to serve freight shuttles.
  2. The road surface and the brickwork all appear to be in good condition.
  3. By removing the barrier between the cab road and platform 10, there would be no problem loading and unloading trains.
  4. There is also a good wide passage leading from the old cab road to the main concourse of the station.

I suspect that the only functional building in the area, which is the Left Luggage Office, will have to be moved. But it might be better placed on the main concourse.

Platform 10 Looks Very Convenient For The Freight Shuttle

The closeness of Platform 10 and the old cab road makes the platform look very convenient for the terminus of freight shuttles from London Gateway

How Will The Freight Shuttles Travel Between London Gateway And Liverpool Street Station?

The route from London Gateway to Liverpool Street station will be as follows.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the tracks, where the Gospel Oak to Barking Line crosses over the Great Eastern Main Line.

The train will join the Great Eastern Main Line here for a fast run into Liverpool Street station.

  • I suspect the train will switch to the fast lines using the crossovers shown in the map.
  • Note that the performance of a Class 769 train on electrified track, will be only slightly less than the expresses.

At Liverpool Street station, the train will run into Platform 10.

Will Liverpool Street Station Lose A Platform?

Currently, Platforms 9 and 10 are generally used for the London and Norwich services.

  • These trains run at a frequency of two trains per hour (tph).
  • They are formed of a rake of Mark 3 coaches topped sand tailed by a Class 90 locomotive and a driving van trailer.
  • They call at various stations en route including Chelmsford, Colchester and Ipswich and are very heavily used at peak times.
  • Entry to and exit from the trains is not of a modern standard and I suspect turnround times can sometimes must be very slow.

From next year, these trains will be replaced  by modern twelve-car Class 745 trains.

  • These trains have 757 seats, which I have read somewhere is more than the current trains.
  • The trains will have level access between train and platform at all stations.
  • I suspect turnround times will be shorter, due to the modern design.

Frequency between London and Norwich will also be increased yp three tph, by extending a service between London and Ipswich, which will be run by a Class 720 train.

Will it be possible to fit three tph into Platforms 9 and 10?

I suspect that it might be tight, as over the last few months, Norwich trains have sometimes  been using higher numbered platforms like 14.

So will the proposed three tph to Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich be moved to two higher numbered platforms.

This would enable platform 10 to be used by freight shuttle trains, but will the station be able to run all the services, with one platform less?

Current Services Into Liverpool Street Station

Current services from Liverpool Street station are as follows.

  • Six tph – GEML – TfL Rail – Shenfield
  • Three tph – GEML – Greater Anglia – Southend
  • Two tph – GEML – Greater Anglia – Norwich
  • One tph – GEML – Greater Anglia – Ipswich
  • One tph – GEML – Greater Anglia – Clacton
  • One tph – GEML – Greater Anglia – Colchester Town
  • One tph – GEML – Greater Anglia – Braintree
  • Four tph – WAML- London Overground – Chingford
  • Two tph – WAML- London Overground – Cheshunt
  • Two tph – WAML- London Overground – Enfield Town
  • Four tph – WAML- Greater Anglia – Stansted Airport
  • Two tph – WAML- Greater Anglia – Hertford East
  • Two tph – WAML- Greater Anglia -Cambridge

Totalling these up means the following.

  • 16 tph use the double-track West Anglia Main Line (WAML)
  • 15 tph use the four-track Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) as far as Shenfield.
  • 6 tph use the double-track GEML to the North of Shenfield.

It looks neatly balanced.

Would moving Norwich services to a pair of the higher-numbered platforms improve operation?

All WAML services would be in platforms 1 to 9, as against platforms 1 to 8 now!

All GEML services would be in platforms 10 to 18, as against platforms 9 to 18 now!

If platform 10 is used by the freight shuttles, this would make operational sense, as the shuttle will approach Liverpool Street along the GEML after joining at Manor Park station.

Future Services Into Liverpool Street Station

From 2021 or so, these could be the from Liverpool Street station.

  • Three tph – GEML – Greater Anglia – Southend
  • Three tph – GEML – Greater Anglia – Norwich
  • One tph – GEML – Greater Anglia – Clacton
  • One tph – GEML – Greater Anglia – Colchester Town
  • One tph – GEML – Greater Anglia – Braintree
  • Four tph – WAML- London Overground – Chingford
  • Two tph – WAML- London Overground – Cheshunt
  • Two tph – WAML- London Overground – Enfield Town
  • Four tph – WAML- Greater Anglia – Stansted Airport
  • Two tph – WAML- Greater Anglia – Hertford East
  • Two tph – WAML- Greater Anglia -Cambridge

Totalling these up means the following.

  • 16 tph use the double-track West Anglia Main Line (WAML)
  • 9 tph use the four-track Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) as far as Shenfield.
  • 12 tph from Crossrail will use the slow lines as far as Shenfield.
  • 3 tph use the double-track GEML to the North of Shenfield.

Crossrail has opened up capacity on the Great Eastern Main Line.

  • Currently, there are 15 tph on the GEML using platforms 9 to 15.
  • In 2021, there will be just 9 tph on the GEML using platforms 10 to 17.

There will be extra services to Lowestoft and Crossrail’s Peak Hour service to Gidea Park station.

But even so, I suspect there will be space for more services.

 

 

November 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 10 Comments

A Freight Shuttle For Liverpool Street Station Planned

Edition 889 of Rail Magazine has an article which is entitled London Gateway-Liverpool Street Freight Trial Planned.

Rail Operations Group are planning to run a freight shuttle between London Gateway and Liverpool Street station.

Trains will be Class 769 bi-mode trains.

  • The trains will be fitted with roller doors, roller cages and strengthened floors.
  • Three aervices will leave Thames Gateway at 0029, 1208 and 1856.
  • They will return from Liverpool Street at 0242, 1421 and 2100.
  • Services will use Platforms 9 and 10 in Liverpool Street station.

It seems a very detailed plan.

A few of my thoughts.

Journey Time

I would estimate that a time of about 45 minutes to an hour would be possible.

Use Of Platforms 9 and 10

These two platforms are generally used for the London and Norwich expresses via Colchester and Ipswich, but it appears that only one service is timed to arrive in times when the station is really busy.

Platform 10 is near to the old Cab Road and so there is good vehicle access from the back of the station.

Final Delivery

The article says that trucks would be used for the final deliveries, with battery vehicles planned for the future.

Would There Be Sufficient Capacity For Trucks In The Cab Road?

A Class 769 train has four twenty metre long cars, so capacity will be equivalent of four small-to-medium supermarket delivery articulated trucks.

You wouldn’t get artics into the Cab Road, but would you get enough small trucks in to pick up a complete train-load?

  • At night or in the evening, this would surely be possible!
  • However, in the afternoon, it would surely be too busy, for more than a couple of delivery vans.

I’m sure Karl Watts has a well-laid plan.

What Is The Role Of UPS In This Freight Service?

In the Wikipedia entry for London Gateway, this is said.

Development of the Logistics Park has followed the initial stages of development of the port. UPS is developing a 32,000 square metre package sorting facility on the site – one of the American firm’s largest ever infrastructure investments outside of the USA. Since March 2017,

UPS wouldn’t build a facility the size of thirty two football pitches and then send out a series of trucks to their biggest market in the City of London , only for the packets to get stuck in the  traffic.

I suspect that packets will be sorted into small easily-managed loads for delivery by electric vans, cargo bicycles or Shank’s Pony, from Liverpool Street station.

And Could Lidl Be In On The Act?

The Wikipedia entry for London Gateway also says this.

German grocery retailer Lidl has been operating out of the DP World London Gateway Logistics Centre, the first warehouse to be developed on the site.

This article in the Guardian is entitled Lidl In The Middle: Chain To Open First Store In Central London. This is said.

Lidl is to launch its first store in central London as it opens 40 new shops across the capital in the next five years.

Could Lidl be thinking of using such the proposed service to supply Central London stores?

  • Last mile delivery could be by electric vehicles.
  • Catching the 0029 train from London Gateway could be ideal.
  • Goods could be on the shelves by early in the morning.

I think that this could offer interesting possibilities.

Supermarket deliveries were also one of the cargoes proposed in the LaMiLo project that I talked about in The LaMiLo Project.

Why Use Bi-Mode Trains?

Consider.

  • Virtually all of the route is electrified, except for the last mile or so into the London Gateway.
  • It would be possible to electrify those last few miles and use electric trains.
  • Electric trains like unmodified Class 319 trains could be used for the service.

But cranes, containers and 25 KVAC overhead wires are a possible disaster waiting to happen, as a crane driver once told me!

When Will The Service Start?

The article says that the service could start in April or May.

Could There Be Other Services?

This is the last paragraph of the article.

Watts mentioned that other routes were a possibility for the business, suggesting that routes from the West Midlands to the Scottish Central Belt and the West Midlands to the West Country have been investigated. No dates have yet been given for any such trials.

I would also think, that there could be opportunities for moving high-value or perishable cargoes into major city centre stations in the middle of the night.

Suitable stations could be.

  • Birmingham New Street
  • Bristol
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool Lime Street
  • Manchester Piccadilly

I am not being anti-Geordie, but Newcsastle might be a difficult station to unload cargoes from trains onto trucks!

Conclusion

If seems to me that Rail Operations Group are being innovative with trains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 7, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

An Early Bird Catches A Train!

I needed to go to Norwich today, so I caught the 06:00 out of Liverpool Street.

It cost me just £6.60 and arrives a few minutes early!

I also bought the ticket yesterday afternoon!

July 31, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail Rushes To Make Bond Street Ready For Testing

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

Mark Wild, who is Crossrail’s Chief Executive, is quoted as telling the London Assembly.

Our current focus is predominantly on key areas of risk such as ensuring that Bond Street station is at the required stage of completion to allow us to commence trial running early in 2020..

The more I read about this project, the more I believe, that the projects lateness is down to two things.

  • Some very optimistic project management by contractors to get some of the enormous contracts on offer.
  • A lack of resources in vital areas like some trades and the testing of trains.

But then what do I know about Project Management and computer software?

Could Bond Street also be the only really late station, as it is on a very cramped site in the centre of some of the most expensive real estate on the planet?

The 3D visualisation shows the area around the station.

Note .

  1. The new Western entrance to Bond Street Crossrail station, which is the cleared site with the russet-coloured building behind.
  2. The new Eastern entrance, which is just to the West of Hanover Square.
  3. Bond Street running down from Next on Oxford Street to Fenwicks.

Surface access is not good to say the least.

The same access problem probably applies at Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations, but at these five stations, there were buildings that could be demolished to give access for construction.

It should also be notes, that some of these stations have only a few local residents.

I’ll take a quick look at these five stations.

Paddington

This Google Map shows Paddington station.

Note the Crossrail station, which has been squeezed into the old cab rank, alongside the station.

Tottenham Court Road

This Google Map shows Tottenham Court Road station.

Note the amount of cleared space around the station,

Farringdon

This Google Map shows Farringdon station.

The Crossrail station is to the West of the current station. It must have helped contractors, that the station had been redeveloped a couple of times for the construction and update of Thameslink.

Moorgate

This Google Map shows Moorgate station.

Moor House, which is the large office block behind Moorgate station, was built in 2004 and was designed to accept Crossrail in the basement.

Finsbury Circus, which is the green space in the East was used as a construction site.

Liverpool Street

This Google Map shows Liverpool Street station.

The main entrance to the Crossrail station will be in front of the Broadgate office complex, which is to the West of the station.

This section of Broadgate is also being redeveloped, which probably helps and hinders in equal measure.

Conclusion

I think lessons will be learned that can be applied to other cross-city rail projects.

  • Future-planning as with Moor House should be increasingly used.
  • Should stations be built in conjunction with other developments?
  • Are stations in areas of high real-estate values a good idea?
  • Could more innovative ways be used to bring in construction materials?

Will future projects be better?

July 16, 2019 Posted by | Computing, Transport | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tottenham Hale Station Is Beginning To Make Sense

These are pictures, I took of Tottenham Hale station, this morning.

A few of my observations.

The Cladding Is Going On

The cladding is going on the building above the Victoria Line ticket hall.

It appears to be fireproof glass on a concrete and steel frame.

A Wide Island Platform

Platforms 2 and 3 form a wide island platform.

  • Only Platform 3 appears to be in use for London-bound services to both Liverpool Street and Stratford.
  • Both faces appear long enough for a 240 metre long Stansted Express train.
  • There is a step-free bridge at the half-way point of the platform.
  • The original bridge with its escalator is still in place.

It is a design with good potential for handling more services.

  • Platform 3 could handle all services to Liverpool Street station.
  • Platform 2 could handle all services to Stratford station.

Travellers would just walk across the island platform.

The Step-Free Bridge Appears Almost Complete

The bridge appears to be almost complete.

  • The bridge has lifts and stairs with double handrails on both sides.
  • The lift and stairs on the London-bound side are in the middle of the island platform 2 & 3.
  • There is an escalator for London-bound travellers to access the bridge, to give an easy route to the Victoria Line.

There appears to be just a bit of testing before full commissioning.

The Old Bridge Is Still In Place

It still has its up escalator from Platform 2 & 3 and there have been statements that this bridge will be modified to create a link between the Underground station and the developments on the other side of the tracks.

Most Of The Bus And Taxi Interchange Is Complete

With buses and black taxis, the interchange seems finished.

  • Much of North and East London can get a bus to and from the station.
  • Today, I got a 76 bus to Dalston for a two hundred metre walk.
  • But with a heavy case, I’d get a black cab,

Transport planners usual only plan for travellers to and from the City centre.

The Future

The Stratford And Meridian Water Shuttle

This is rumoured to start in September and will probably be the following.

  • Two trains per hour (tph) between Stratford and Meridian Water stations.
  • Stops will be at Lea Bridge, Tottenham Hale and Northumberland Park stations.
  • Trains could be any length up to probably 240 metres, as all platforms are long.
  • Current trains take sixteen minutes between Stratford and Meridian Water stations.

In addition services between Stratford and Hertford East and Bishops Stortford stations would stop at Meridian Water, to give the station a four tph service to and from Stratford.

The new Meridian Water station has been built with a dedicated bay platform for the shuttle service.

The bay Platform 2 is on the right and the through Platform 3 is on the left in this picture taken looking North at Meridian Water station.

Two tph to Stratford would leave from each side of this platform.

The new track between Meridian Water and Lea Bridge stations has been built without a passing loop, so the two tph shuttle must probably be run by a single train.

The shuttle would.

  • Have exclusive use of the new track between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water stations.
  • Have shared use of the existing track between Lea  Bridge and Stratford stations.
  • Call at Platform 2 at Tottenhale and Northumberlan Park station in both directions.

A two tph shuttle would consist of the following.

  • Four journeys between Stratford and Meridian Water stations.
  • Twenty-four intermediate station stops.
  • Two turnrounds each at Meridian Water and Stratford stations.
  • Current turnrounds at Stratford have in excess of twenty minutes to unload and load passengers and for the driver to change ends.
  • Greater Anglia will be running the shuttle in September with nearly nearly forty-year-old British Rail-built Class 317 trains.

As there is not enough time to fit the trains with wings and jet engines, what the hell will be happening?

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

It directs passengers to Platform 12 for Stansted Airport.

It dates from the time, when Stansted Express trains used to go to Stratford station.

They didn’t turnround in Platform 12, but used the High Meads Loop underneath the Eastfield Shopping Centre to reverse direction.

  • The train stopped in Platform 12 long enough for passenger to leave and join the train.
  • The driver stayed in the same cab and carried on driving.

I suspect that a Class 317 train could go from Platform 1 at Lea Bridge station, round the High Meads Loop and back to Platform 2 at Lea Bridge station, in these split times.

  • Lea Bridge to Stratford – 6 minutes.
  • Stop in Platform 12 at Stratford – 1 minute
  • Straford to Lea Bridge – 6 minutes.

I believe all these times can be achieved by well-driven Class 317 trains, which gives a timing of thirteen minutes.

Currently, Lea Bridge to Meridian Water takes nine minutes in the elderly Class 317 trains, sharing the track with other trains.

But the shuttle trains will have a clear track, once they are on the new track North of Lea Bridge station.

I believe they could do this in perhaps seven minutes.

Applying, the sort of maths a bright nine-year-old should be able to master.

60 – 2*13 – 4*7 = 6

So could you turn a train round at Meridian Water station in three minutes?

  • London Overground regularly do this at Dalston Junction station.
  • Stepping-up might be needed, where a second driver immediately gets into the rear cab and takes over the train.

But it all leads me to the conclusion, that a single Class 317 train can run a two tph shuttle between Meridian Water and Stratford stations.

The following conditions would apply.

  • The trains must use the High Meads Loop.
  • There would be a fast stop in Stratford, taking less than a minute.
  • Stratford to Lea Bridge times should be six minutes or less.
  • Meridian Water to Lea Bridge times should be seven minutes or less.
  • Stepping-up might need to be employed at Meridian Water.
  • Trains could be up to 240 metres long.
  • The trains would have to be well-driven.

There is also the fall-back position, that the new Class 720 trains to be delivered later in the year will have increased performance.

Development Of The High Meads Loop

The High Meads Loop is an almost unique piece of railway infrastructure on the UK rail network.

  • The simpler Wirral Line Loop under Liverpool turns upwards of twelve tph back for the Wirral Line.
  • The Wirral Line also has four stations on the loop.
  • I believe the High Meads Loop could easily handle a similar frequency to the Wirral Line Loop.
  • The High Meads Loop is also double-track.

I believe, that currently, the High Meads Loop is only planned to only handle the following services.

  • Two tph – Meridian Water Shuttle
  • Two tph – West Anglia Main Line services.

There is a lot more capacity to handle services from the West Anglia Main Line or its branches.

Liverpool Street And Meridian Water Services

When the Field Day Festival took place a couple of weeks ago, Greater Anglia stopped several services, including some Stansted Express services at Meridian Water station to bring festival-goers back to Central London.

Currently, the following Liverpool Street services pass through Meridian Water station.

  • Two tph – Liverpool Street and Hertford East
  • Two tph – Liverpool Street and Cambridge
  • Four tph – Stansted Express

As Greater Anglia’s new fleet of trains, will all be optimised for fast stops, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some Greater Anglia services to and from Liverpool Street station doing the following.

  • Northbound services would stop in Platform 4 at Tottenham Hale, Northumberland Park and Meridian Water stations.
  • Southbound services would stop in Platform 3 at Tottenham Hale, Northumberland Park and Meridian Water stations.

If Northumberland Park and Median Water stations deserve four tph to and from Stratford, surely they deserve the same frequency to and from Liverpool Street. Could both Cambridge and Hertford East services stop at Northumberland Park and Meridian Water station?

  • Both Northumberland Park and Meridian Water stations could get direct services to and from Liverpool Street station.
  • The island platforms at all three stations  could give some useful cross-platform interchanges.

Stations North of Tottenham Hale would get these frequencies to and from the station and the Victoria Line.

  • Eight tph – Northumberland Park
  • Eight tph – Meridian Water
  • Two tph – Ponders End
  • Two tph – Brimsdown
  • Four tph – Enfield Lock
  • Three tph – Waltham Cross
  • Six tph – Cheshunt
  • Six tph – Broxbourne

Note.

  1. With a few extra stops by Stratford services, all stations between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne could get at least a very customer-friendly four tph.
  2. If your station didn’t have a Stratford service, there would be a cross- or same-platform interchange going at Tottenham Hale station.
  3. Using Stratford and Crossrail may be preferable on some journeys than Tottenham Hale sand the Victoria Line.
  4. In this hot weather give me an air-conditioned Aventra over a furnace on the Victoria Line any time.

A Lea Valley Metro could be emerging.

Stansted Express And Meridian Water

Consider.

  • Various arguments and statistics could be used to decide whether Stansted Express trains stopped at Meridian Water station.
  • I suspect too, that if Spurs continue to play in Europe, that a strong case can be made for stopping Stansted Expresses at Northumberland Park station.
  • But the performance of the trains on the West Anglia Main Line will enable Greater Anglia to do what’s best for passengers and profits.

As Greater Anglia did a couple of weeks ago with the Field Day Festival, they can even be selective.

Stansted Express And Stratford

The Stansted Express is currently a four tph service between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.

Consider.

  • In the past, Stansted Expresses ran to and from Stratford.
  • As they did in the past, they could terminate in the High Meads Loop at Stratford.
  • Big International events are held at Stratford.
  • The Central Line links Stratford and Liverpool Street.
  • Crossrail will link Stratford and Liverpool Street at a frequency of twelve tph.
  • Stratford and Tottenham Hale will soon be linked at a frequency of four tph.
  • Extra trains could be needed to run Stansted Expresses to and from Stratford.

I think that running a Stansted |Express to and from Stratford that will remain under review and could be implemented at some date in the future.

In Future Stansted Airport Train Services, I outline how trains might serve Stansted Airport from Norwich and Stratford stations.

Any trains between Stratford and Stanstead Airport, would probably terminate in the High Meads Loop, as they did in the past.

Should High Meads Loop Services Use Platform 11 Or Platform 12?

When Stansted Express services used the High Meads Loop a few years ago, they used to use Platform 12, as the sign still shows.

It could obviously handle the planned four tph, but suppose the High Meads Loop was handling twelve or sixteen tph, as a high-frequency route to Crossrail would Platform 11 be a better option?

Certainly, if the High Meads Loop was handling a lot of services including Stansted Express, Cambridge and local services, there would need to be a lot of thought about how to organise passengers.

There would need to be a fast pedestrian route between Platform 11 or 12 and the two Crossrail/Central Line platforms.

Extra Services That Could Use The High Meads Loop

As I said earlier, I think that if a Stratford and Stansted Airport service is revived, it will use the High Meads Loop.

My preference would be to run a Stratford and Norwich service, that would call at Stansted Airport.

  • It would serve greatly increase capacity all along the West Anglia Main Line, through Cambridge.
  • It could give intermediate stations a direct service to Stansted Airport.
  • Two tph would be a sensible frequency.
  • Calls could include Tottenham Hale, Broxbourne, Harlow, Bishops Stortford, Whittlesford Parkway, Cambridge, Cambridge North, Ely and all stations to Norwich.

A two tph service would need twelve Class 755 trains.

The High Meads Loop would also be available to turn extra local services.

One possibility is to reinstate the Hall Farm Curve and run services between Chingford and Stratford.

The level crossing at Highams Park station is a problem, but in Improving The Chingford Branch Line, I outlined how it could be possible to run four tph between Chingford and Stratford stations, using clever timetabling, digital signalling and good driver aids.

Another possibility is to terminate some London Overground services from Cheshunt and Enfield Town at Stratford, instead of Liverpool Street.

Services could be .

  • Two tph between Enfield Town and Liverpool Street
  • Two tph between Cheshunt and Liverpool Street
  • Two tph between Enfield Town and Stratford.
  • Two tph between Cheshunt and Stratford.

This would mean.

  • London Overground’s preferred frequency of four tph to Enfield Town and Cheshunt.
  • All stations between Edmonton Green and Seven Sisters, including White Hart Lane, would get an eight tph service to London and Crossrail.
  • Four tph in both directions would call at South Tottenham station to give a same platform interchange with the Gospel Oak to Barking Line..

Most of the infrastructure is already in place, although improvements might be needed to the Seven Sisters Chord, that links Seven Sisters station to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

Summing up, I believe we could see the following services using the High Meads Loop.

  • Two tph to and from Meridian Water
  • Two tph to and from Bishops Stortford via Meridian Water
  • Two tph to and from Norwich via Stansted
  • Four tph to and from Chingford via the Hall Farm Curve.
  • Two tph to and from Enfield Town via South Tottenham and Seven Sisters
  • Two tph to and from Cheshunt via South Tottenham and Seven Sisters

That is an easy-to-handle fourteen tph.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr, shows the lines connecting the North London Line and the High Meads Loop to platforms 1m 2, 11 and 12 at Stratford station.

Given that freight trains pass through the area to get between the North London Line and the Great Eastern Main Line, there may need to be some track reorganisation to make full use of the High Meads Loop.

Digital signalling would also help, as it would all over the London Overground network.

I think it would not be unreasonable to expect that in some point in the future twenty tph could be running around the High Meads Loop.

A new rail terminus for London would have been created with the ability to handle more trains than either Cannon Street, Fenchurch Street or Marylebone. stations.

Could we see all West Anglia Main Line services terminate in the High Meads Loop?

Probably not, as the platform wouldn’t be able to cope with all the passengers.

Crossrail 2

If Crossrail 2 is ever built, it will terminate at Broxbourne on the West Anglia Main Line.

It will need four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line between  Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations, which will create massive disruption for passengers and residents.

Conclusion

There is a lot of development, that is possible on the West Anglia Main Line to make it into a world-class commuter route and a main line route with good services to Stansted Airport, Cambridge and Norwich.

Cambridge is a big growth point in the UK economy and dveloping the West Anglia Main Line will only improve the economy of the area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 24, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Norwich-In-Ninety Is A Lot More Than Passengers Think!

But, I very much expect that Greater Anglia know what they are doing.

I came up to Norwich on the 1100 train, which was timed to get in at 1230. According to the driver, there were signalling problems at Manningtree, which meant we arrived in Norwich twenty-one minutes late.

I was going on to Cromer or Lowestoft. So by the time I’d had a cider and bought a ticket, I didn’t leave Norwich until 1345 for Cromer. But I did have time by the sea to take a few pictures and have a coffee and a gluten-free scone, before getting the return train to Norwich.

Back at Norwich, I had a choice of two trains.

  • The 1700 stopping at just Ipswich and Norwich
  • The 1703 stopping at Diss, Stowmarket, Ipswich and a few other places.

I was booked on the 1700, from where I’m writing this note on my phone.

These are some of my observations.

Operating Speed

I have just travelled between Norwich and Ipswich in thirty minutes, with Speedview on my phone reading within a couple of mph of 100 mph all the way from where we got to operating speed South of Norwich to where we slowed for Ipswich station.

Diss, Stowmarket and Nedham Market stations were passed at almost 100 mph

Ipswich to Colchester was at a slower 90 mph, but then from Marks Tey to just before Chelmsford, the train was back to around 100 mph.

Speeds between 70 and 90 mph were held from Chelmsford to Liverpool Street, which was reached at 1830 as scheduled.

Acceleration

I got the impression, that the acceleration of the train wasn’t up to the operating speed. Certainly, it didn’t seem to accelerate as fast as an InterCity 125,

But then we’re talking about a rather puny Class 90 locomotive with just 930 kW pulling eight Mark 3 coaches.

In an InterCity 125, there is nearly 1,400 kW to accelerate the same number of similar coaches to 125 mph.

But these are small numbers compared to a four-car Class 755 train running on electrical power, which according to Stadler’s data sheet is 2,600 kW, which is 86% more power than an InterCity 125.

As there are two power-bogies each must be good for 1,300 kW.

Typical four-car electric Flirts seem to have around 2-3,000 kW, according to various Stadler data sheets.

Flirts seem to be seriously powerful trains and I can understand why some Norwegian Flirts are capable of 125 mph running. This is said in Wikipedia about the Norwegian Flirts.

All trains have five cars. However, in contrast to previous five-car FLIRTs they will have a third powered bogie giving them a maximum power output of 4,500 kW (6,000 hp) and a top speed of 200 km/h (120 mph).

If that extract is saying that each bogie can provide up to 1,500 kW, then Class 745 trains with four bogies have 6,000 kW.

If they were Class 755 train-sized bogies, then Class 745 trains, then the trains have 5,200 kW.

For comparison, an eleven-car Class 390/1 train has 5,950 kW.

With these figures, I feel it is reasonable to assume, that Class 745 trains, will accelerate to operating speed faster than the current forty-year-old BR stock.

  • They appear to have a lot more power, than the current trains.
  • Their aluminium bodies probably mean they weigh less, than the steel-bodies of the current trains.
  • Their aerodynamics are probably more advanced.
  • They probably have sophisticated technology that stops wheel slip, controls the train in a smooth manner and assists the driver.
  • The rolling dynamics will be no worse than that of the current trains.

Some conclusions can be drawn about the current trains and their operation.

  • A Class 90 locomotive with only 930 kW has sufficient power to keep an eight-car train running at 100 mph. It looks like the figure  is around 1.2 kWh per car per mile.
  • They must be in top condition.
  • The drivers probably know the route like the back of their hand and can coax the required performance from their ageing charges.

BR’s forty-year-old design must still be seriously good and the trains get the TLC they need.

Passing Stations At 100 mph

Diss, Stowmarket, Needham Market, Marks Tey, Kelvedon, Hatfield Peverel and Ingatestone stations were all passed within a few mph of 100 mph, with Maningtree and Colchester stations passed at around 85-90 mph.

Obviously, this must be allowed and not having to slow means that the speed is not degraded.

The only station where there was a substantial slowing was Chelmsford, where the train slowed to about 60 mph.

The Current Norwich-in-Ninety Services

These are the current ninety minutes services between Liverpool Street and Norwich.

  • 0900 – Norwich to Liverpool Street
  • 1100 – Liverpool Street to Norwich
  • 1700 – Norwich to Liverpool Street
  • 1900 – Liverpool Street to Norwich

Only one train is needed that starts and finishes in Norwich, where it is stabled overnight.

Serving The Intermediate Stations

Both the 1100 train to Norwich and the 1700 to Liverpool Street only stop at Ipswich.

But leaving a couple of minutes behind was another Class 90 locomotive/Mark 3 coach set stopping at more stations.

  • Going North, the train takes nineteen minutes longer, with stops at Colchester, Manningtree, Ipswich and Diss.
  • Going South, this train takes ten minutes longer, with stops at Diss, Stowmarket, Ipswich, Colchester and Stratford.

I suspect that when the Bombardier Class 720 trains have been delivered, these might be used for the stopping trains.

How Many Trains Will Be Needed?

It appears that the slower trains are currently timetabled to take between 111 and 115 minutes.

If a round trip can be done in four hours, then two trains per hour (tph), will require eight Class 745 trains.

As there are ten trains on order, this means the following.

  • Eight trains will be used to run the two tph stopping service.
  • One train will be needed for the Norwich-in-Ninety service.

This leaves one train as a spare or in maintenance.

Cromer And Back In A Day

In the four-and-a-half hours, I was in Norwich, I was able to take a train to Cromer, take a few pictures, have a quick lunch and then return to Norwich.

This is possible using the slower trains, but the fast trains can give you another hour in Norwich.

Obviously, this hour will be available for many journeys and must surely open up many possibilities for frequent travellers on the route.

How Reliable Is The Norwich-in-Ninety Service?

There have been twenty services in the first week of the service..

  • Fourteen have been on-time or a couple of minutes early.
  • Five have been under ten minutes late.
  • One was late by more than ten minutes.

That last train was twenty-two minutes late and I was on it, on the first Wednesday of the service.

I shall update this table, until I get bored with it!

Can The Timetable Be Changed?

The way the timetable is set out is an interesting solution to trying to be all things to all passengers.

  • There is a basic two tph service, which stops between London and Norwich according to a simple pattern.
  • Four services per day, with two in each direction, are delayed by two or three minutes.
  • The original departure times are taken by a fast train, that only stops at Ipswich.
  • These four departure times, are arranged, so that the services can be handled by a single fast train shuttling between Liverpool Street and Norwich
  • The fast train starts in Norwich at 0900 in the morning and returns to Norwich and its depot at 2030. The train can then have a good service after a hard day’s work!

Obviously, Greater Anglia have all the passenger data, so they have probably laid out a fast timetable, that will reflect current passenger numbers.

But as time goes on, this timetable can be augmented.

At present, they are using their express trains for both the two tph and the fast services.

These will be changed to Class 745 trains during the remainder of this year.

The venerable Class 90 locomotives and their Mark 3 coaches have blazed the trail and made everybody’s dream of Norwich-in-Ninety a reality, but now it is up to Greater Anglia’s new trains to fully develop the timetable.

  • If they are successful in attracting passengers more services will do Norwich in ninety and Ipswich in sixty.
  • The back-up stopping service running behind the fast train could be run by a new Class 720 train, which have a similar 100 mph operating speed.
  • Several services per day, using Class 755 trains, will be running between Lowestoft and London and augmenting the fast service between London and Ipswich.

Interestingly, as I left Norwich for Cromer, there was a Class 321 Renatus at Norwich station in Platform 2 Checking with Real Time Trains, this other relic from British Rail, but refurbished to a modern standard for passengers and performance, formed the 1400 express to London and arrived on time after seven stops.

It looks to me that Greater Anglia have a creditable back-stop, if there should be any unforeseen problems with the new trains.

But it also shows that the stopping service that follows the Norwich-in-Ninety service can be run by a 100 mph electric multiple unit.

This would surely release Class 745 trains to run more fast services.

An Improved Ipswich And Norwich Service

Greater Anglia have said that there will be three tph between London and Norwich and that one may or will be run the new Class 720 trains.

The only section of the Great Eastern Main Line, that won’t have four tph will be between Ipswich and Norwich. So could we see a 100 mph local service between two rivals.

Yesterday’s Class 321 Renatus did Norwich to Ipswich in forty-one minutes.

  • The route is fully-electrified.
  • Class 720 or Class 321 Renatus trains could be used.
  • Trains would stop at Diss, Stowmarket and Needham Market stations.
  • The rail line is not busy North of Stowmarket.
  • The bottleneck of Trowse bridge South of Norwich is to be replaced.

Running four tph between Ipswich and Norwich would be a lot more affordable, than improving the capacity on the mainly single-carriageway A140.

Would Faster Running Be Possible North Of Ipswich?

There are two major problems on the Great Eastern Main Line to the North of Ipswich.

  • Trowse Bridge to the South of Norwich.
  • Haughley Junction, where the Cambridge and Norwich routes divide to the North of Stowmarket.

Both projects have been kicked into the long grass more times than most, but it does look, that these two bottlenecks could be fixed in the next few years.

I also observed the following between Ipswich and Norwich.

  • The line wasn’t busy North of Stowmarket.
  • The train had no difficulty maintaining 100 mph.
  • The quality of the overhead electrification gantries might suggest a need for replacement.
  • There are some level crossings, that have no place on a 100 mph main line.

Would it be advantageous to update the line, so that higher speeds were possible?

I suspect that both the Class 745 and Class 720 trains could handle perhaps 110 mph with modifications, that are proven or planned with similar trains.

Conclusion

I had an exhilarating ride yesterday and it is a foretaste for the greatest improvement in transport for East Anglia in my lifetime.

 

 

May 22, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The First Norwich To London Service In Ninety Minutes

These pictures show the arrival of the first Norwich-in-Ninety service in Liverpool Street

Looking at Real Time Trains, it appears the train left Norwich at 0900 and arrived in Liverpool Street at 1030.

Normal services take three or four minutes under two hours, so ninety minutes with a Class 90 locomotive, eight Mark 3 coaches and a driving van trailer isn’t bad!

May 20, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Norwich-In-Ninety Timetable

The Norwich-In-Ninety trains are now visible on the National Rail timetable.

London To Norwich

Norwich-In-Ninety trains leave London at 11:00 and 19:00!

The current times of the 11:00 train are as follows.

  • Liverpool Street – 11:00
  • Colchester – 11:46
  • Manningtree – 11:55
  • Ipswich – 12:07
  • Diss – 12:36
  • Norwich – 12:50

Those of the faster train are.

  • Liverpool Street – 11:00
  • Ipswich – 11:55
  • Norwich – 12:30

I can remember in the 1960s, the diesel service was advertised as two-hour two-stop between London amd Norwich.

Norwich To London

Norwich-In-Ninety trains leave Norwich at 09:00 and 17:00!

The current times of the 09:00 train are as follows.

  • Norwich – 09:00
  • Diss – 09:17
  • Stowmarket – 09:29
  • Ipswich – 09:41
  • Manningtree – 09:52
  • Colchester – 10:02
  • Chelmsford – 10:21
  • Stratford – 10:45
  • Liverpool Street – 10:55

Those of the faster train are.

  • Norwich – 09:00
  • Ipswich – 09:33
  • Liverpool Street- 10:30

Note that the current Southbound services are slower than those going North.

The Current Linespeed

For part of my trip back from Ipswich today, I was following the linespeed using the Speedview App on my phone.

  • Between Kelvedon and Hstfield Peverel the train averaged around 100 mph.
  • It then slowed to 60 mph through Chelmsford.
  • By Ingatestone, it was up to 90 mph, before slowing for 60 mph through Shenfield.
  • There seemed to be some checking from a slower train, but at places into Liverpool Street it was up to 80-90 mph.

The Norwich-In-Ninety improvements certainly seemed to have helped.

It certainly left me with the feeling that the elderly Class 90 locomotive and Mark 3 carriages could achieve Ipswich to Liverpool Street in around an hour.

The Future

These four services are probably just the start. These four services can probably be achieved with one train.

  • Leave Norwich at 09:00 and arrive in Liverpool Street at 10:30
  • Leave Liverpool Street at 11:00 and arrive in Norwich at 12:30
  • Leave Norwich at 17:00 and arrive in Liverpool Street at 18:30
  • Leave Liverpool Street at 19:00 and arrive in Norwich at 20:30

Although, Greater Anglia will be running the initial service with Class 755 trains, the company has ten Class 745 trains on order.

The only thing so far disclosed, is that the Liverpool Street and Norwich service will go to three trains per hour (tph).

It should also be said, that the design of the new trains and their power, should make station stops much faster.

But what pattern of stops will be performed by the three trains?

April 22, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Could London Overground Extend To Hertford East Station?

London Overground’s Future Plans

This table summarises London Overground’s improvements and future plans

Note that in 2019, it is proposed that two extra trains per hour (tph) are added to services between Liverpool Street and Enfield Town stations.

I was also told at the weekend, a strong rumour, that in 2020, London Overground will be taking over the following services.

The first has been mooted for some time, but is supposedly stalled because of differences between Chris Grayling and Sadiq Khan. The second was rather a surprise.

So what will be the result of the Hertford East services being the responsibility of the London Overground?

Greater Anglia’s Services

Greater Anglia‘s current services along the West Anglia Main Line (WAML) are as follows.

  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Hertford East stations.
  • Two tph between Stratford and Bishops Stortford stations.
  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge/ambridge North stations.
  • Four tph between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.

In the past Greater Anglia have run Stansted services to and from Stratford and have said they may do so again.

This means that Greater Anglia run ten tph along the WAML between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.

Compare this with the measly two tph, that run between Edmonton Green and Cheshunt stations using the alternative Southbury Loop. The only other movements on this line appear to be a few empty stock movements and freight trains. But not many!

Judging by some of the empty stock movements, I suspect that Greater Anglia have problems positioning their extra trains before and after the Peak.

Rolling Stock To Hertford East

Currently, Greater Anglia run eight-car Class 317 trains to Hertford East station. These are 160 metres long and seat nearly 600 passengers in two classes.

Their new Class 720 trains come in two sizes.

  • Five cars – 122 metres long, seating 540
  • Ten cars – 243 metres long, seating 1100

Could it be that the five-car trains are too small and the ten-car trains are too long for the platforms on the Hertford East Branch?

These pictures show that the platforms at Hertford East station are just long enough for two four-car Class 317 trains working as an eight-car formation. I doubt that a ten-car Class 720 train will fit these platforms and it appears that lengthening the platforms could be difficult.

On the other hand, London Overground’s four-car Class 710 trains are the same length as Class 317 trains.

So could it be that Greater Anglia would prefer that they didn’t have a service to Hertford East station?

Liverpool Street Or Stratford?

Crossrail will have one big effect on the planning of services on the WAML and the Lea Valley Lines, in that the new line will call at both Liverpool Street and Stratford stations, when it eventually opens.

Connectivity

It will be a two-stop journey between the two stations, which in addition are both well-connected to the Underground.

There is very little difference in connectivity between the two stations.

Capacity

Liverpool Street is getting to be full and given more services will be run along the Great Eastern Main Line, it could do with some capacity enhancement.

Stratford though has only two platforms connected to the WAML.

But there is the little-used High Meads Loop under the Eastfield Shopping Centre, which has been used in the past to turn Stansted Express trains, when they served Stratford.

Loops like this can easily handle at least 12 tph, as they do in Liverpool with the Wirral Line.

The High Meads Loop was well-designed to accept a lot of trains.

  • It is double-track.
  • Both tracks have a platform at Stratford capable of accepting a twelve-car Class 745 or Class 720 train.
  • Both platforms are wide and step-free with lifts.
  • The driver doesn’t have to change ends, when using the loop, so the loop will be efficient.
  • An extra stop could be added at Stratford International station.

It is London’s forgotten terminal station.

Operators Would Get Extra Capacity

The two train operators; London Overground and Greater Anglia would gain extra capacity in London.

Travellers Would Choose

If travellers were able to have a choice of London terminals, I suspect that most would choose the one they liked best, but because of Crossrail, it wouldn’t matter if they ended up at the wrong terminal.

Sorting Out West Anglia Main Line And Lea Valley Lines Local Services

I know there needs to be a bit of a sort-out on the WAML to run four tph between Stratford and Meridian Water stations, but could something more radical be on the cards.

Reasonable objectives based on London Overground’s principles would see the following stopping services.

  • Four tph between Seven Sisters and Cheshunt stations via Edmonton Green station.
  • Four tph between Seven Sisters and Enfield Town stations
  • Four tph between Tottenham Hale and Cheshunt stations via Waltham Cross station
  • Four tph between Cheshunt and Hertford East stations.

At the Northern end of the route, there would be three terminal platforms controlled by London Overground, one at Cheshunt and two at Hertford East.

The Aventra Effect

The high-performance Aventras, used by London Overground and Greater Anglia, are ready for digital signalling and designed around fast station stops.

The trains should be able to stop at all stations and maintain the current timetable on the route.

So the timetable could become more passenger friendly, with everything station getting four tph in both directions!

Broxbourne Station Could Be Key

The key at the Northern end could be Greater Anglia’s Broxburne station.

  • It has four platforms.
  • There would be space for an extra platform and/or a turnback for trains from the South.
  • Overground services to and from Hertford East station will call.
  • It is planned to be the terminal of Crossrail 2.

Services between Liverpool Street and Stratford stations and Bishops Stortford, Cambridge and Stansted Airport generally stop at Broxbourne.

So could we see cross-platform interchanges between London Overground’s local services calling at all stations to London and Greater Anglia’s fast services?

The Hertford East Difficulty!

At present one difficulty, is that the Hertford East Branch can only handle three tph, which it does in the Peak, so running the required four tph might need dualling the single-track section through Ware station.

These pictures show Ware station and the level crossing.

Note.

  1. The platform can accept a twelve-car train.
  2. There would be space to install a second platform.
  3. To the East the single track becomes double after the bridge at the end of the platform and is double all the way to the WAML.
  4. To the West the single track becomes double after the level crossing at the end of the platform and is double all of the way to Hertford East station.

Laying a second track and adding a second platform at Ware station, is probably the ultimate solution, to provide four tph all day between London and Hertford East.

But I also feel that with precision driving, the nimble Aventras will be able to do four tph, with a procedure something like this.

  • The level crossing closes to road traffic.
  • A Westbound train arrives in the station and an Eastbound train stops at a signal at the end of the Eastbound track from Hertford East station.
  • When the Westbound train has unloaded and loaded the passengers, it leaves the station and takes the Westbound track to Hertford East station.
  • When the Westbound train has safely passed the stationary Eastbound train, the points are changed and the Eastbound train moves into the station.
  • The level crossing opens to road traffic.

There would be four level crossing closures per hour, which is the same as now, but they could be slightly longer.

I suspect there is a better absolutely safe operating procedure than my naive example.

Eight Tph At Cheshunt Station

As eight tph will be going South from Cheshunt station; four each via Edmonton Green and Waltham Cross, Broxbourne station could turn any that couldn’t be handled at Cheshunt and Hertford East stations.

So we might see the following Northern terminals, if the four tph can run to Hertford East station.

  • Four tph at Hertford East; two via Edmonton Green and two via Waltham Cross.
  • Two tph at Cheshunt via Edmonton Green
  • Two tph at Broxbourne; via Waltham Cross.

All stations between London and Hertford East will get four tph.

Cheshunt station needs a certain amount of rebuilding to make it step-free and possibly remove the level crossing.

A step-free station is essential.

  • The station is not a sleepy rural halt.
  • Changes between trains from the North to London Overground services mean crossing the footbridge.
  • It would give pedestrians, wheelchair users, buggy pushes and others an easy way across the railway, when the level crossing in closed.

Southbound trains from Cheshunt could be.

  • Two tph from Cheshunt via Edmonton Green
  • Two tph from Hertford East via Edmonton Green
  • Two tph from Broxbourne via Waltham Cross
  • Two tph from Hertford East via Waltham Cross

Northbound trains from Cheshunt could be.

  • Four tph to Hertford East.
  • Two tph to Broxbourne.

Judicious timing of Northbound trains could mean that passengers arriving via Edmonton Green at Cheshunt could change to a Hertford East train by walking across the platform.

There are a lot of possibilities to get the best connectivity at the Northern end.

The Southern End

At the Southern End, there will be the following services.

  • , Tottenham Hale station will receive four tph from Cheshunt.
  • Seven Sisters station will receive four tph from Cheshunt and four tph from Enfield Town.

Both stations will be able to send trains to either Stratford or Liverpool Street.

Seven Sisters Services

Seven Sisters station is easier to sort.

  • Half of each group of trains go in each direction.
  • Four tph go direct to Liverpool Street stopping at all stations en route.
  • Four tph go to Stratford via South Tottenham and Lea Bridge stations.

,Trains to Stratford should turn in the  High Meads Loop under Eastfield.

South Tottenham Interchange

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at South Tottenham station.

Note.

  1. The orange line going across the from left to right is the Gospel Oak to Barking Line
  2. The blue line is the Victoria Line.
  3. The orange line going down the map is the Lea Valley Line, between Liverpool Street in the South and Cheshunt and Enfield Town stations in the North.
  4. The single-track; Seven Sisters Chord, which connects the two Overground lines.
  5. The black line going down the map on the right is the WAML, between Stratford and Lea Bridge stations in the South and Tottenham Hal station in the North.

What is not shown on the map is the massive double-ended Crossrail 2 station, that will link South Tottenham and Seven Sisters stations, which are about five hundred metres apart.

This Google Map shows the area of the two stations.

Note how much green space there is alongside the tracks.

If four tph went via South Tottenham and Lea Bridge stations, this would mean that South Tottenham station has the following services.

  • Four tph to Barking
  • Four tph to Gospel Oak
  • Four tph to Stratford
  • Two tph to Enfield Town
  • Two tph to Broxbourne, Cheshunt or Hertford East.

Timings could be arranged to give a user-friendly interchange at South Tottenham station, which is a step-free station.

Note that it is probably likely, that the Seven Sisters Chord shown in the first map, would need to be improved.

But there is certainly enough space to do it properly!

Tottenham Hale Services

These are trickier, but I believe they could be sorted if the new third track from Meridian Water station was used exclusively for Southbound services going to Stratford.

This would mean that platform usage at Tottenham Hale station would be as follows.

  • Existing Platform 1 – Services to Liverpool Street station.
  • Existing Platform 2 – Services to Cheshunt, Broxbourne, Stansted Airport and Cambridge.
  • New Platform 3 – Services to Stratford station.

Platforms 1 and 3 would be a cross-platform interchange to allow passengers to change terminal.

Splitting Of Stratford And Liverpool Street Services

Stratford and Liverpool Street services would split somewhere North of the new Meridian Water station.

Services to Liverpool Street would include.

  • London Overground – Two tph from Cheshunt, Broxbourne or Hertford East.
  • Greater Anglia – Two tph from Cambridge/Cambridge North
  • Greater Anglia – Four tph from Stansted Airport.

This is much the same as the current timetable, with a change of operator on the Hertford East service.

Services to Stratford would include.

  • London Overground – Two tph from Cheshunt, Broxbourne or Hertford East.
  • Greater Anglia – Two tph from Bishops Stortford.

If all these services stopped at Meridian Water, Northumberland Park, Tottenham Hale and Lea Bridge stations, the STAR service has been implemented.

These Stratford services would be turned in the High Meads Loop.

As there would be four tph coming to Stratford from Seven Sisters station, this would mean that eight tph were being turned in the loop.

I can see two problems with this arrangement.

  • The merging of Northbound trains South of Tottenham Hale station could be tricky.
  • The Cambridge and Stansted expresses use the same route to Liverpool Street as London Overground’s Chingford services, as they do now!

Both problems could be lessened by perhaps running half of the Cambridge and Stansted services to Stratford.

This would mean the following.

  • Five tph that served the WAML would use Liverpool Street station.
  • Seven tph that served the WAML would use Stratford station.
  • Eleven tph would need to be turned in the High Meads Loop.

Trains on the High Mead Loop would be as follows.

  • London Overground – Two tph to Enfield Town
  • London Overground – Two tph to Broxbourne, Cheshunt or Hertford East via Edmonton Green
  • London Overground – Two tph to Broxbourne, Cheshunt or Hertford East via Waltham Cross
  • Greater Anglia – Two tph to Bishops Stortford
  • Greater Anglia – One tph to Cambridge/Cambridge North
  • Greater Anglia – Two tph to Stansted Airport

It could be that the expresses could use one track of the High Meads Loop, with the local services using the other.

I also think, that there is sufficient capacity in the High Meads Loop to terminate all services on the WAML at Stratford.

But would that be a step too far?

Possibly for some passengers, but I suspect it would be liked by train operators.

Services Between Tottenham Hale And Broxbourne

Currently, the following services run between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations on the WAML.

  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Hertford East stations.
  • Two tph between Stratford and Bishops Stortford stations.
  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge/Cambridge North stations.
  • Four tph between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.

This gives a total of ten tph in both directions.

If you go to my first scenario of providing four tph to Cheshunt/Broxbourne/Hertford East, this gives the following services between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.

  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Hertford East stations.
  • Two tph between Stratford and Bishops Stortford stations.
  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge/Cambridge North stations.
  • Four tph between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.
  • Two tph between Stratford and Broxbourne stations.

The extra service between Stratford and Broxbourne is to ensure that all stations on the route get four stopping services, of which two tph go to either Liverpool Street or Stratford at the Southern end.

This gives a total of twelve tph in both directions.

By adding just two tph, there is a vastly improved stopping service along the WAML, with all stations getting at least a four tph service.

Could The West Anglia Main Line Handle Twelve Tph?

In 2020, Greater Anglia will be running Class 745 and Class 720 trains on this route.

  • They will both be 100 mph trains.
  • They will have fast station dwell times.
  • They may even have level access between platform and train, which will help speed boarding.
  • They will have a quality Driver Assist System.
  • Electronic in-cab digital signalling is a possibility.
  • The WAML may allow some 100 mph running.
  • Removing the remaining level crossings would surely speed up services.

The Greater Anglia trains will be limited stop and most will only stop at Tottenham Hale, Cheshunt and Broxborne.

London Overground will also be running Class 710 trains, which will be faster than current trains, with very good dwell times.

So I expect that with new trains, some improvement to the infrastructure, the following will be possible.

  • Four tph, which stop at all stations between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.
  • Six tph, which are limited stop expresses, only stopping at Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne and a couple of other occasional stations.
  • Time saving for all services.
  • I suspect that the current Stratford to Bishops Stortford service will become limited stop North of Meridian Water station.

It would hopefully be a timetable, that appealed to both passengers and train companies.

Services At Meridian Water

Meridian Water station has been promised four tph to Stratford, that call at Northumberland Park, Tottenham Hale and Lea Bridge stations.

So what services will call at Meridian Water station, in the scenario I have outlined, that follows from four tph between London and Hertford East being transferred from Greater Anglia to London Overground.

It could be something like this.

  • Two tph to Hertford East, calling at all stations.
  • Two tph to Bishops Stortford, calling at selected stations.
  • Two tph to Cheshunt or Broxbourne, calling at all stations.
  • Four tph to Stratford, calling at all stations.
  • Two tph to Liverpool Street, calling at all stations.

It’s certainly better and more comprehensive than promised.

As Meridian Water will be such an important station, could some of the Cambridge and Stansted services call?

Four-Tracking Of The West Anglia Main Line

This project is needed to both increase capacity to Cambridge and Stansted Airport and in the future for Crossrail 2, which will reach as far as Broxbourne station.

But it will be a very disruptive project, not just for rail users, but for road users, when they close several level crossings.

The Underused Southbury Loop

The limited triple-tracking around Tottenham Hale station has been moderately disruptive at weekends and services have run using the Southbury Loop.

The Southbury Loop is underused and I believe that if services were increased permanently on the diversion route, that it would have the beneficial effects on the WAML.

Extra services could be added to the existing double-track route.

Between Cheshunt and Broxbourne

There is one section that could be easier than most to four-track and that is the section between Cheshunt and Broxbourne stations.

This Google Map shows the line North of Cheshunt station.

I have flown my helicopter along this route and just as in the map, the two-tracks sit on a wide site, with space for extra tracks.

I am fairly certain,that four-tracking this section would not be difficult.

South Of Cheshunt 

If the Southbury Loop were to be used to handle some trains, I think the four-tracking could be done in a more relaxed series of small projects over a longer period of time.

There are various problems.

  • Waltham Cross station
  • Enfield Lock station and level crossing.
  • Brimsdown station and level crossing.

But South from Ponders End station should be a lot easier,

  • There are no buildings in the way.
  • There will already be a third-track between Tottenham Hale and Meridian Water stations.
  • Northumberland Park and Meridian Water stations will be fourth-track ready.

I very much feel, that the four-tracking can be done piecemeal without too much disruption to rail pr road traffic.

Other Issues

Over the years, other issues have been raised with the WAML and Crossrail 2.

A Turnback At Enfield Lock Station

I’ve read in a couple of places, that there could be a bay platform at Enfield Lock station, which could turnback trains to the South..

Under the current plans for the STAR service, this will terminate at Meridian Water station and I’ve heard station staff, say it will be a bi-directional shuttle between Tottenham Hale and Meridian Water stations.

The bi-directional shuttle would.

  • Not be using the new infrastructure in a worthwhile manner.
  • Bring more passengers to the overloaded Victoria Line.
  • Not take passengers to the transport hub at Stratford with Crossrail.
  • Not be an efficient use of a train and crew.

I also think, it would struggle for passengers until the building of housing at Meidian Water gets under way.

But supposing, two tracks were built North from Meridian Water to Enfield Lock station, where there would be a bay platform.

  • A fourth track would need to be added alongside the third-track between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water stations.
  • Another platform would be needed at Tottenham Hale station.
  • There is a lot of space on the Eastern side of the WAML, between Meridian Water and Ponders End station.
  • Two extra tracks through Brimsdown station, should be possible with the purhase of some low-grade commercial property.

Note that currently a train from Enfield Lock to Stratford takes twenty-four minutes, if it stops at the little-used Angel Road station.

If a train turned in the High Meads Loop at Stratford, it could be back at Enfield Lock within the hour.

  • Four tph would be possible.
  • This would provide a much needed service for all those who do and will live, work and enjoy themselves allow the Lea Valley.
  • Four trains would be needed for a four tph service.

I can understand, why Enfield Lock station has been talked about as a place for a possible bay platform.

There would also be the possibility of extending to Enfield Lock, without closing the level crossing at the station, if a step-free bridge were to be provided.

The station could become a valuable interchange between Greater Anglia’s Bishop’s Stortford services  and the four tph to Stratford, stopping at all stations.

Eventually, though, the level crossing will be removed and four tracks will be extended Northwards.

Hackney Downs Issues

If as I proposed the following trains run through Seven Sisters station.

  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Cheshunt/Broxbourne or Hertford East.
  • Two tph between Stratford and Cheshunt/Broxbourne or Hertford East.
  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Enfield Town.
  • Two tph between Stratford and Enfield Town.

This means that Hackney Downs would have the following services.

  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Cheshunt/Broxbourne or Hertford East.
  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Enfield Town.
  • Four tph between Liverpool Street and Chingford.

Would it not be more efficient, if all of these services used the slow tracks into Liverpool Street?

This would give the expresses exclusive use of the fast lines into Liverpool Street.

An Alternative Strategy

Suppose Greater Anglia were to acquire some eight-car trains, then they could carry on as normal.

They wouldn’t actually change the order, but shuffle some of the stock to create eight-car trains.

As the Class 720 trains are cut-and-paste, they can put any number of trailer and motor cars between the two driver cars, a motor car and a pantograph car.

As Greater Anglia could need perhaps ten eight-car trains, this would be

  • Driver cars – 20
  • Pantograph cars – 10
  • Motor cars – 10
  • Intermediate cars – 40

The right number of cars can be found in six ten-car trains and four five-car trains..

Have Greater Anglia purchased a set of ten- and five-car trains, that can also be run as a sub-fleet of eight-car trains?

Conclusion

This post has been speculation on a rumour.

But I now believe that Hertford East services can be run under two different methods.

Transfer To The London Overground

The service could transfer to the London Overground.

  • London Overground have trains suitable for the service and Greater Anglia doen’t!
  • Greater Anglia services may be simpler to operate.
  • Ware station needs to be rebuilt to enable a decent service and Funding the work might be easier for London Overground in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council, than for Greater Anglia.
  • Large numbers of stations in the London Borough of Enfield get a four tph service.
  • By using the Southbury Loop, extra services can be run, without adding to traffic on the West Anglia Main Line.

In a few years time operation of the West Anglia Main Line would be very different.

The Class 710 Trains Can Be Shuffled Into An Eight-Car Sub-Fleet

This is the carry-on as before solution and is possible by just shuffling the required number of trains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 14, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments