The Anonymous Widower

Contractor Chosen For The Work On London Overground’s East London Line

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Global Railway Review.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Transport for London (TfL) has announced the appointment of Cleshar Contract Services Limited to take over the maintenance work. The new contract is subject to 10 days standstill period and should commence on 1 April 2018.

The contract was given with the agreement that existing Carillion employees will be transferred over to Cleshar with terms and conditions protected. Until the handover date TfL will supply guarantees to support continued work and pay for the Carillion staff.

It seems good for the former Carillion employees, but who are Cleshar Contract Services Limited?

This page from the Cleshar web site describes the company structure, which was formed in 1992.

The unusual connection, I have with the company, is that they are based in one of Metier’s former offices alongside the North Circular Road.

So you can’t say they waste their money on flash premises.

 

January 31, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The Night Overground Roundel

The London Overground now has a night ropundel.

Note the stars!

London’s most famous symbol is being made to work harder.

January 28, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Crossrail 2 Review Prompts Fresh Delays

This title of this post is the same as this article on Construction News.

This is the opening paragraph.

Crossrail 2 is set for further delays after London’s transport boss admitted a fresh funding review would push back consultations on the scheme until the end of 2018.

It would now look increasingly unlikely that the hybrid bill to enable Crossrasil 2, will get through Parliament before the next General Election in 2022.

These dates should be noted for Crossrail.

  • Approved – 2007
  • Construction started – 2009
  • Services started – 2015
  • Partial opening – 2018
  • Full opening – 2019

So, if Crossrail 2 is approved in 2022, we could be looking at an opening date of 2032 to 2034.

If it is needed earlier for political reasons, then we must do some serious thinking.

Crossrail 2 As A Series Of Related Projects

I’ve always believed that Crossrail 2, should be considered to be a series of related projects. followed by the boring of the Central Tunnel.

  1. Increasing Capacity On The Waterloo Suburban Lines to four trains per hour (tph)
  2. Station Improvements On The Waterloo Suburban Lines
  3. Increasing capacity in Tooting And Wimbledon
  4. Providing better access to Clapham Junction station
  5. Making it easier for passengers transferring between trains and Underground at Waterloo.
  6. Improving public transport access to Chelsea.
  7. Creating better access to  Euston, St. Pancras and Kings Cross stations.
  8. Improving transport in Dalston and Hackney.
  9. Four-tracking the West Anglia Main Line between Coppermill Junction and Broxbourne.
  10. Allowing An Increased Number  Of West Anglia Services to Terminate At Stratford
  11. Creating a high-capacity commuter route up the Lea Valley.
  12. Creating a high-capacity commuter route to Wood Green and New Southgate.
  13. Taking Pressure Off the Victoria Line

These projects would incorporate all the holes, through which to thread the Central Tunnel, that will run between Wimbledon and Tottenham Hale.

So would it be better to build Crossrail 2 as a series of smaller projects?

Increasing Capacity On The Waterloo Suburban Lines To 4 Tph

In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I showed that it would be possible to run a service with Crossrail 2’s characteristics terminating in Waterloo station.

I said the following would be needed.

  • More platform capacity in Waterloo station.
  • Modern high-performance 100 mph trains like Class 707 trains or Aventras.
  • Wimbledon station would only need minor modifications.
  • Some improvements to track and signalling between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.
  • A measure of ATO between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.

Much of the infrastructure works have been completed in Summer 2017, as I reported in It’s All Over Now, Waterloo!.

All it needs to introduce a much improved Waterloo Suburban service,  is for Bombardier to build the new 100 mph Class 701 trains for South Western Railway.

Note that, these improvements will be needed, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Station Improvements On The Waterloo Suburban Lines

Many of the stations on the Waterloo Suburban Lines need substantial improvement.

  • Some station buildings need sympathetic improvement.
  • Some stations need step-free access.
  • Some stations could be redeveloped to create much-needed housing on top of a new station.
  • Some stations might need extra platforms and/or capacity improvements.
  • There are level crossings that need to be closed.

Note.

  1. These improvements will be needed, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!
  2. As Crossrail 2 and South Western Railway will both be using Aventra trains, improvements will be the same if Crossrail 2 is built or not!

There could be quite a few small projects.

Increasing Capacity In Tooting And Wimbledon

Crossrail 2 will increase the capacity at Wimbledon and Tooting Bradway stations, with up to thirty tph passing through.

Wimbledon will benefit from the following, whether or not Crossrail 2 is built.

  • More trains on the Suburban Lines to Waterloo or Central London via Crossrail 2..
  • Increased frequency on the District Line, where the new signalling is being installed under the Four Lines Modernisation program.
  • Increased frequency and capacity on the Northern Line.
  • Increased frequency and capacity on Tramlink.
  • A new Tramlink route to Sutton.
  • After all the work at London Bridge, would it be possible to increase the frequency of trains on the Sutton Loop Line, which currently handles a measly two tph for most of the day?

The area will probably benefit from the splitting of the Northern Line into two separate lines.

Transport for London (TfL) have talked about creating a major interchange, by increasing capacity at Streatham Common station.

Services going through the station and the major junction a short distance to the North include.

  • Thameslink services on the Sutton Loop Line, between Sutton and St. Albans via Wimbledon, Elephant & Castle and St. Pancras.
  • Brighton Main Line services between Victoria and East Croydon.
  • The Milton Keynes to East Croydon service calls.
  • London Bridge to West Croydon services.
  • There is a six tph service to and from Balham station.

It has also been suggested that the station could be a terminus for London Overground’s East London Line services and a Tramlink extension.

I can certainly understand why TfL are thinking of an improved interchange at Streatham Common station.

The original plan for Crossrail 2 showed a preference for the route to go through Balham station rather than Tooting Broadway station.

Surely, if Balham is not to be on Crossrail 2, that station may well be upgraded.

  • The disused platforms could be reinstated.
  • Full step-free access could be added.
  • A better connection between National Rail and the improved Northern Line could be created.

It could become a true Gateway To The South!

Providing Better Access To Clapham Junction Station

Provision has been made in the design of the Northern Line Extension, so that it could be extended from Battersea Power Station station  to Clapham Junction station.

If the connection at Clapham Junction is designed to the high-standard of Crossrail, then the Northern Line Extension could provide an important route for commuters.

The trains on the Northern Line Extension will connect to the Morden branch at Kennington station. The Wikipedia entry for Kennington station says this.

TfL has assessed that the Battersea extension will not have a significant impact on the number of passengers entering and exiting the station, but, to accommodate additional interchanges between the branches, additional cross-platform passageways will be constructed between each pair of plaforms. When the extension opens, all services from the Charing Cross branch will run to Battersea Power Station. Trains to and from Morden will run via the Bank branch.

So it looks like Clapham Junction station will gain a free-flowing connection to both branches of the Northern Line.

Note that, if the Northern Line Extension is extended to Clapham Junction, it will probably be built to allow easy connection to a future Crossrail 2.

Making It Easier For Passengers Transferring Between Trains And Underground At Waterloo

The on-going upgrade to Waterloo station will improve the transfer and also provide better walking routes.

In addition, the recent upgrade across the South Bank netween Waterloo East and London Bridge stations, could be useful to a proportion of passengers.

But more needs to be done!

These other projects might help.

  • To increase capacity on Southeastern services out of Charing Cross station, it has been proposed to rebuild the station, so it reaches across the Thames.
  • Waterloo East station could be a prime site for redevelopment.
  • The Bakerloo Line is going to be upgraded with new trains and more capacity.
  • The Bakerloo Line will have a good connection to Crossrail at Paddington station.
  • The Waterloo and City Line will be getting new trains, which could increase capacity by twenty-five percent.
  • The |Waterloo and City Line could get improved access at Waterloo to match the improved access currently being created  at Bank station.

Surely done in the right order, these projects could increase capacity for passengers at Waterloo, who are connecting to other parts of London.

Improving Public Transport Access To Chelsea

Kings Road, Chelsea station was cancelled in March 2017.

Perhaps, the posh people of Chelsea don’t want the plebs visiting? How will their maids and dogsbodies get to work?

Creating Better Access To  Euston, St. Pancras and Kings Cross Stations

One of the main objectives for Crossrail 2, is to provide better access to the three major stations of Euston, St. Pancras and Kings Cross.

The chosen solution is to build a ‘mega-station’ called Euston St. Pancras station. The connections of the station are described like this in Wikipedia.

The station will be firmly integrated into Euston and St. Pancras mainline stations, as well as Euston Underground station. Access to King’s Cross station, and King’s Cross St Pancras Underground station will be via a short walk through St. Pancras station. There may also be a link to Euston Square station on the Underground, created as part of Euston station’s reconstruction for High Speed 2.

In order to illustrate, the lines in the area and the relationship of Euston St. Pancras station to the current stations, look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr.

Crossrail 2 will pass through Angel station, before roughly following the line of the Northern Line through Kings Cross St. Pancras station to Euston station, where it will turn South towards the next station, which is Tottenham Court Road station, where it will have an interchange with Crossrail.

Like, its earlier sister, Crossrail 2 will have to go deep to avoid the tunnels of the Underground and London’s sewers.

However, London’s famous clay, that was instrumental to the creation of London’s deep-level Tube lines, will probably enable a successful tunnel to be created.

High Speed 2 is scheduled to open in 2026 and it appears to me, that there is no way, that given the slippage of the project, that Crossrail 2 can open before High Speed 2.

So how will the extra passengers using High Speed 2 be handled at Euston station?

The only alternative plan, that I can see is to fall back on the existing lines.

Affecting all the connections between High Speed 2 and the Underground, would hopefully be a complete rebuilding of Euston station incorporating the following.

  • A connection to the sub-surface lines.
  • Full step-free access to all Underground lines.

The Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines, are undergoing an Upgrade Program, which is known as the Four Lines Modernisation by TfL and is described like this in Wikipedia.

Together with the introduction of S Stock trains, the track, electrical supply and signalling systems are being upgraded in a programme planned to increase peak-hour capacity on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines by 65 per cent by the end of 2018. A single control room for the sub-surface railway is to be established in Hammersmith and an automatic train control (ATC) system will replace signalling equipment installed from the 1940s. The cross-London Crossrail line, planned to open in 2018, is expected to reduce crowding between Paddington and Whitechapel.

Note the reference to Crossrail, with its connections to the sub-surface lines at Paddington, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel stations. Passengers will Duck-and-Dive around the busy sections, using Crossrail and its five helper lines, that loop along it to the North and South.

  • Central Line
  • Circle Line
  • District Line
  • Hammersmith & City Line
  • Jubilee Line
  • Metropolitan Line

Predicting how the capacity will split between the various lines across London, will be a statistical nightmare.

But there will be a substantial increase in capacity on the sub-surface lines through Kings Cross St. Pancras and Euston.

The Northern Line could be a totally different line, when High Speed 2 opens in 2026.

  • Bank station will open in 2021 with 40% more capacity.
  • Camden Town station will be rebuilt by 2024/25.
  • The Northern Line Extension to Battersea Power Station station is scheduled to open in 2020.

All this work, may well allow a Northern Line Split, which would bring increased train frequencies and more capacity.

The Victoria Line  is probably at maximum capacity at the present time, but history has shown that she never knows when to stop calling for more!

  • Capacity at Highbury & Islington, Oxford Circus and Walthamstow Central stations is probably a limiting factor.
  • Access at Euston and Kings Cross St. Pancras stations could certainly be improved.

The Piccadilly Line could be a big contributor to extra capacity through the area.

Can the line be upgraded with new trains in time to make a meaningful contribution?

Lastly, we mustn’t forget the new station complex at Old Oak Common, which connects High Speed 2, Crossrail and the North London Line.

Note that, these improvements will be implemented, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Improving Transport In Dalston And Hackney

As a resident of Dalston since 2010, I can honestly say, that public transport has improved a lot in recent years.

  • The North London Line has two frequent five-car train services from Stratford in the East to Clapham Junction and Richmond in the West.
  • The East London Line has four frequent train services from Highbury and Islington and Dalston Junction in the North to Clapham Junction, New Cross, New Cross Gate and West Croydon in the South.
  • The Victoria Line has thirty-six tph from Brixton to Walthamstow Central.
  • Lea Bridge station has reopened.
  • Liverpool Street to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield are now Overground routes.
  • There are numerous bus routes with new buses going hither and thither.

The icing on the cake, is that extra services and new trains will be provided  in the next couple of years.

  • Dalston Junction to Whitechapel for Crossrail will have at least 20 tph.
  • Hackney Wick to Highbury & Islington will have at least 10 tph.
  • New trains will appear on Liverpool Street to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield and Gospel Oak to Barking Line services.

Crossrail 2 would be an improvement for Dalstonistas and Heyneysians, as we could get to Central London faster.

But from December 2019, Crossrail with perhaps a single change will give us numerous ways to get to all the stations on the proposed line, quicker than you could do the trip in a Hackney cab, driven by the likes of Lewis Hamilton.

Hackney has survived on the crumbs of London’s transport system since the trams and trolley buses were scrapped.

Like all those with Cockney in their genes, nurture or environment, we’ll keep smiling through!

Note that, the improvement in Hackneys will be implemented, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Four-Tracking The West Anglia Main Line Between Coppermill Junction And Broxbourne

This needs to be done to create extra capacity on the West Anglia Main Line for the following services.

  • Express services to Stansted Airport, Cambridge and possibly Norwich.
  • Extra express services terminating at Stratford for Crossrail.
  • Local services from Liverpool Street and Stratford to Broxbourne, Hertford East and Bishops Stortford.
  • 100 mph running for Express services on the fast lines.

Four-tracking would certainly be necessary to accommodate the proposed 10-15 tph service for Crossrail 2.

Note that, this four-tracking will be needed, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Allowing An Increased Number  Of West Anglia Services to Terminate At Stratford

Greater Anglia have said, that they will run extra Stansted Airport services into Stratford station from 2019.

  • Previously, these Stratford-Stansted Airport services used the High Meads Loop under the Eastfield Shopping Centre, in much the same way as Merseyrail’s Wirral Line trains run under Liverpool.
  • Services would all call at either Platform 11 or 12 at Stratford, depending on the way the loop is travelled.
  • The loop is double-track, which opens the possibility of local services using one platform and Stansted services using the other.
  • If local services used Platform 12, North London Line services would be perhaps fifty metres away.
  • It would be a walk of about a hundred metres to Crossrail and the Central Line and not much further to the Jubilee Line and the Docklands Light Railway.
  • Using a loop is a technique that saves time, as the train goes straight on, without the driver changing ends and Merseyrail handle something like twelve tph on the Wirral Line.
  • With a measure of Automatic Train Control (ATC), I suspect that a frequency of fifteen  or even twenty tph could be possible through the High Meads Loop.

Could paths be found to incorporate perhaps two tph between Stratford and Chingford via a reinstated Hall Farm Curve?

It seems to me that Network Rail’s track design at Stratford station incorporated a lot of future-proofing!

Creating A High-Capacity Commuter Route up the Lea Valley

Crossrail 2 intends to implement a 10-15 tph service between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.

After the four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line, the only other works needed to create a high-capacity commuter route up the Lea Valley will be.

  • Remodelling of Coppermill Junction, so trains can access Crossrail 2’s Central Tunnel.
  • Rebuilding of Tottenham Hale station to accommodate the extra services, to and from the Crossrail 2 tunnel, Liverpool Street and Stratford.
  • Rebuilding stations to serve the new tracks.

The rebuilding of Tottenham Hale station is already underway.

There is the interesting possibility pf running at least a ten tph service up the Lea Valley from Stratford to Boxbourne and Hertford East.

If the High Meads Loop, were to be fully developed at Stratford, as the terminus of both Stansted Express and local Lea Valley services, using Crossrail from Stratford to cross London would probably be an acceptable alternative route until the Crossrail 2 tunnel is built.

It would have other advantages.

  • Capacity would be released at Liverpool Street station.
  • Capacity would be released through Clapton and Hackney Downs stations on the direct route to Liverpool Street.
  • Services could be connected to Stratford International station with the addition of another platform.
  • Heathrow to Stansted Airport would be a single change at Stratford with just a short walk.

The major undertaking of the Crossrail 2 central tunnel could also be delayed to smooth cash-flow.

Creating A High-Capacity Commuter Route To Wood Green And New Southgate

This section will be nearly all in tunnel and will call at the following stations.

New Southgate – For Great Northern and Thameslink

The area is one I know well and it probably needs improved services.

But some are already planned.

  • Thameslink will add at least two tph to Alexandra Palace and New Southgate.
  • New trains will add capacity and frequency to the Piccadilly Line.
  • New trains will add capacity and frequency to Great Northern services into Moorgate on the Northern City Line.
  • New trains will add capacity and frequency to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

Hopefully, enough capacity can be incorporated to serve North London.

Taking Pressure Off The Victoria Line

Dear Old Vicky can’t give much more and what really would relieve it is Crossrail 2.

The two lines connect at the following stations.

  • Tottenham Hale
  • Seven Sisters
  • Euston St. Pancras
  • Victoria

But the following will help.

  • The rebuilding of Walthamstow Central, Highbury & Islington and Oxford Circus stations.
  • The upgraded Piccadilly Line with connections at Finsbury Park, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Green Park
  • The upgraded Northern Line with connections at Kings Cross St. Pancras, Euston, Warren Street and Stockwell.
  • The cross-platform interchange with the Northern City Line at Highbury & Islington connects to Crossrail.
  • The upgraded Overground routes into Liverpool Street from Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town.
  • A reinstated Hall Farm Curve would give Walthamstow and Chingford easier access to Crossrail at Stratford.

Other new connections and stations might take off extra pressure.

The Central Tunnel

The Central Tunnel, that will run between Wimbledon and Tottenham Hale stations, will be a major undertaking.

  • It is about twice as long as Crossrail’s Central Tunnel from Stratford to Paddington.
  • There will also be the branch tunnel to Wood Green.
  • There will be some large and complicated stations, like Dalston and Euston St. Pancras.
  • Some of the tunnelling South of the Thames could be challenging.

Remember that, boring the tunnels on Crossrail  took around five years, with another two years to lay the track.

On the other hand, the following will apply on Crossrail 2.

  • The contractors will have all the knowledge and experience gained on Crossrail.
  • The tunnel portal sites at Tottenham Hale and Wimbledon look to have plenty of space.
  • Some of the stations, will be ready to accept the tunnel boring machines.

Overall, it will be a very doable project, but I suspect it could take ten years or more.

Other Projects Will Help

In my review of the smaller projects that should be done before the Central Tunnel of Crossrail is bored, Other projects get multiple mentions.

Digital Signalling And ETCS

Crossrail, Thameslink, Crossrail 2 and several Underground Lines will all be lines that have the most modern of signalling, which will also allow a degree of Automatic Train Control.

New passenger trains will be able to take advantage of this technology, but what about lines, where freight trains also run.

Ths article on Global Railway Review is entitled The Digital Railway Begins With Landmark Siemens ETCS Contract.

This is the opening two paragraphs.

Network Rail has awarded Siemens Rail Automation the contract to supply, install and support its European Train Control System (ETCS) on freight locomotives across Great Britain.

Network Rail’s multi-million pound contract grants Siemens to supply, install and support ETCS in-cab signalling equipment on the 745-strong fleet of freight locomotives which operates across Great Britain. ETCS is expected to make Britain’s freight locomotives safer and greener whilst unlocking capacity.

The installation of ETCS will surely be invaluable on lines around London, where freight trains and passenger services mix.

  • Crossrail branch to Shenfield
  • Crossrail branch to Reading
  • Sections of Thameslink
  • North London Line
  • West London Line.
  • The Gospel Oak to Barking Line

Some of these lines and their passenger services are not ready for digital signalling, but the two Crossrail branches and Thameslink will probably be already equipped or will be in the near future.

Digital signalling should unlock more capacity everywhere it is installed.

The Creation Of More Transport Hubs

London has had major transport hubs, where rail lines and other transport modes connect, as long as it has had trains, trams and horse buses.

More transport hubs have been added in recent years and others will be created in the next few years.

  • Brent Cross
  • Dalston
  • Finsbury Park
  • Hackney
  • New Cross/New Cross Gate
  • Shenfield
  • Stratford
  • Streatham Common
  • Tottenham Hale
  • Walthamstow Central
  • West Hampstead

Have all been discussed or planned and some have been started.

But these are small projects compared to the massive transport hub planned at Old Oak Common.

  • It will serve the developments at Park Royal and Old Oak Common.
  • High Speed 2 services will stop between Euston and Birmingham.
  • ,Crossrail, Great Western,West Coast Main Line, North London Line and West London Line services will call.
  • The Central Line may call.
  • Plans exist for a West London Orbital Railway linking North-West and South-West London to Old Oak Common.

It would be a transport mega-hub.

Could others be developed?

Crossrail

Crossrail will inject a massive amount of East-West capacity into London’s transport system.

Some journeys that would be easy on Crossrail 2, will be possible using Crossrail and another line.

Take, where I live in Dalston.

When I moved to the area in 2010, for residents of a large area of Islington and Hackney, the only way to get to the City, Canary Wharf, the West End or major stations was to get a bus to Highbury & Islington, Liverpool Street or Moorgate stations and use the Underground.

Then along came Big Orange in the shape of the London Overground.

After Crossrail opens, for many journeys, I will hop on the Overground to Whitechapel station, from where I’ll take Crossrail to my destination.

The capacity, speed and novelty of Crossrail wil help make up for a delayed Crossrail 2.

Thameslink

Used properly by the rail companies, I believe Thameslink could create a lot more North-South capacity across London.

Some of this could help provide capacity at stations, that will be served by Crossrail 2..

Especially as, Crossrail 2 and Thameslink will share stations at Alexandra Palace, St. Pancras and Wimbledon.

The long-talked about improved stations at Peckham Rye and Loughborough Junction and a possible new one at Camberwell, would help create better connectivity across South London.

What Thameslink needs is a good connection to Clapham Junction, but this would appear to be difficult.

But don’t underestimate London’s troubled North-South Link!

High Speed 2

High Speed 2 will affect Crossrail 2 in two opposite ways, when it opens in 2026.

  • The planned rebuilding of Euston station for the line will incorporate better connections to the Underground and any sane rebuilding would surely bring Euston Square station into the complex.
  • The new line will have a station at Old Oak Common, where there will be an interchange with Crossrail and the London Overground.

The first will increase passenger numbers at Euston, whilst the second should reduce them.

Four Lines Modernisation

Transport for London describe the Four Lines Modernisation with this paragraph.

We are transforming the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. When the work is completed in 2023, increased capacity and boosted reliability will make journeys faster and more comfortable.

TfL say these will be the benefits of the modernisation.

  • A new fleet of air-conditioned trains, with brighter more spacious interiors, low floors and dedicated spaces for wheelchair users, CCTV and other improved features
  • Space for more customers
  • Faster journeys and reduced waiting times
  • Fewer delays as safe but obsolete equipment – dating back to the 1920s in some places – is replaced with modern, computerised signalling and control systems
  • Better live customer information on platforms and to smart devices.

Note.

  1. The trains have arrived and no-one seems to have complained.
  2. TfL’s documents claim the new signalling can handle up to thirty tph.
  3. The new trains and signalling could do for the four sub-surface lines, what they did for the Victoria Line and increase frequencies by a substantial amount.
  4. It is highly likely that the rebuilt Euston station will have easy access to Euston Square station.
  5. Paddington, Euston, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Liverpool Street will see a high-frequency service across the capital, that connects at both ends to Crossrail.
  6. Crossrail will be faster between Whitechapel and Paddington.

The benefits of the Four Lines Modernisation and the rebuilding of Euston station would effectively create two new high capacity lines across Central London, with up to thirty tph carrying around nine hundred people each.

  • A loop North of Crossrail, between Whitechapel and Paddington, serving Euston, St. Pancras, Kings Cross and Liverpool Street
  • A loop South of Crossrail, between Whitechapel and Paddington, serving Victoria, Charing Cross, Blackfriars, Cannon Street and Fenchurch Street.

The Four Lines Modernisation will give Crossrail a very serious competitor, that was originally opened by the Victorians in the 1860s.

  • Crossrail can handle 24 tph , which each contain 1500 passengers. 36,000 passengers per hour
  • The North and South loops of the sub-surface lines could be able to handle 30 tph, which each contain 900 passengers. 27,000 passengers per hour
  • Crossrail 2’s Central Tunnel is being designed to handle 30 tph, which might each contain 1500 passengers. 45,000 passengers per hour

These are truly massive numbers.

But perhaps more importantly, the Four Lines Modernisation should be able to go a long way to solving the problems of handling the large numbers of extra passengers using Euston for High Speed 2, when the first phase opens in 2026.

With all this extra capacity through Euston and Kings Cross coming on stream around 2023, I think that sensible planning would say that the Central Tunnel of Crossrail 2 through the area can be delayed by several years.

Upgrading The Piccadilly Line

I used the Piccadilly Line between Oakwood and Southgate stations between 1958 and 1965 to get to school. The current 1973 Stock trains on the line date from 1974 or only nine years after I left.

Wikipedia says this about new trains for the Piccadilly Line.

London Underground has invited Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens to develop a new concept of lightweight, low-energy, semi-articulated train for the deep-level lines, provisionally called “Evo” (for ‘evolution’). So far only Siemens has publicised an outline design, which would feature air-conditioning and would also have battery power enabling the train to run on to the next station if third and fourth rail power were lost. It would have a lower floor and 11% higher passenger capacity than the present tube stock. There would be a weight saving of 30 tonnes, and the trains would be 17% more energy-efficient with air-conditioning included, or 30% more energy-efficient without it.

Given the new trains seen in recent years, coupled with new signalling, I believe that there could be an increase in frequency from the current twenty-four tph to a Victoria Line frequency of over thirty tph.

  • Current capacity of the line is 24 tph, each of which can carry 684 passengers. This is 16416 passengers per hour.
  • Future capacity of the line could be 33 tph, each of which can carry 760 passengers. This is 25080 passengers per hour.

Like the Victoria Line, I think the capacity of the Piccadilly Line will be more limited by platform and station design, than the trains and the signalling.

But that won’t stop the Piccadilly Line from helping to hold the fort until the Central tunnel for Crossrail 2 is built.

London Underground’s New Deep Level Trains

After the Piccadilly Line trains have been delivered, it s highly likely that more trains will be built for the following lines.

  • Forty for the Bakerloo Line giving a 25% capacity increase.
  • Hundred for the Central Line giving a 25% capacity increase.
  • Ten for the Waterloo and City Line giving a 25% capacity increase.

These figures come from an article entitled Deep Tube Upgrade in the November 2017 Edition of Modern Railways.

Bakerloo Line Upgrade And Extension To Lewisham

It could be argued that South East London needs extra capacity just as much as South West London.

The Deep Tube Upgrade article in Modern Railways says that this about an extended Bakerloo Line.

The 1972 stock trains are now the oldest on the system and are set to reach nearly 60 years in service before they are replaced. The Bskerloo fleet also is undergoing refurbishment, wgich is both addressing structural issues and improving the passenger environment.

Associated with this is the plan to extend the Bakerloo Line beyond Elephant & Castle to Lewisham via the Old Kent Road. Transport for London is undertaking a series of consultations into this plan, which have exhibited consistent support for the proposals, and the aim is for the extension to open around 2030, concurrent with the line’s modernisation.

Current Bakerloo Line stations, where work could happen or already has happened include.

  • Elephant & Castle will be upgraded.
  • Lambeth North has recently had a facelift.
  • Waterloo is being updated to give better connection to National Rail services.
  • Oxford Circus is going to be upgraded to add more capacity to the Victoria Line platforms.
  • Baker Street has been planned to have step-free access, but due to budgetary restraints, this has not happened.
  • Paddington is being updated to provide direct access to |Crossrail.
  • Queen’s Park is planned to become step-free in 2019.

Most of the stations need improvement and a large proportion need step-free access.

Oxford Circus Station

Oxford Circus station was rebuilt in the 1960s for the Victoria Line.

  • That rebuild was sized to handle around twenty tph on the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Lines.
  • The Central and Victoria Lines are now handling well over thirty tph.
  • The Bakerloo and Central Line will be getting new Deep Level trains, which will further increase passengers.
  • I would never bet against engineers squeezing another four tph out of Dear Old Vicky to run a forty tph frequency.

Oxford Circus station won’t be able to take the extra passengers and it will need a rebuild.

Judging by the solutions at Bank, Bond Street, Camden Town, Holborn, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Knightsbridge, I suspect it could take the form of a new entrance, which connected to the ends of platforms.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines through the station.

The lines are as follows.

  • Red – Central
  • Silver – Jubilee
  • Brown – Bakerloo
  • Turquoise – Victoria
  • Purple – Crossrail

Consider.

  • The Central Line runs at a not very deep level under Oxford Street.
  • Oxford Street is going to be pedestrianised.
  • The cross-platform interchange between the Bakerloo and Victoria Lines.

Could a simple new entrance be built at the Eastern end of the Central Line platforms?

These pictures were taken between Marks & Spencer at the Pantheon and Oxford Circus station.

I could imagine an island entrance to the |Central Line in the middle of a fully pedestrianised Oxford Street.

  • Escalators could lead to a spacious mezzanine floor, a few metres under Oxford Street.
  • The mezzanine could contain ticket machines and perhaps kiosks and even toilets.
  • From the mezzanine a gate-line would control access to escalators leading to the Eastern end of the Central Line platforms.
  • Lifts could be added as required.

On the surface the entrance could be covered with a fosterito or some other similar structure.

I believe that the opening of Crossrail and the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street could allow this entrance to be constructed without stopping the Central Line trains running through Oxford Circus station, although passengers would not be able or allowed to use the Central Line at the station.

It wouldn’t be a first for the UK.

The picture shows Buchanan Street station on the Glasgow subway. Wikipedia says this about the canopies.

Other than St Enoch it is the only station with an underground ticket hall, and surface buildings are restricted to new mid-street entrance canopy which was rebuilt in 1999 as part of the repaving of Buchanan Street. This canopy is constructed entirely of structural glass: all beams and columns, the walls and roof are glass.

Note that Buchanan Street could be considered to be Glasgow’s Oxford Street.

Oxford Circus station could be redeveloped into an even more important interchange.

Many have said, that it needs a good connection to Crossrail.

Consider.

  • Crossrail’s platforms at Bond Street station are long and stretch to Hanover Square, where there is an entrance to the station.
  • The Hanover Square entrance  to Bond Street station is approximately half-way between the Oxford Street entrances of Bond Street and Oxford Circus stations.
  • The Crossrail platforms are deeper than the other lines. One picture shows them twenty-six metes below ground level.

I can’t see why, if it was decided to connect the two stations, that a pedestrian tunnel connection couldn’t be squeezed in.

This visualisation from Crossrail shows the Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station.

It looks to me that the design expects transferring passengers will walk on the surface.

Consider.

Let’s hope that Hanover Square gets fully pedestrianised and traffic-free.

A tunnel would have a great advantage over a surface route in that it would only be used by people transferring between the two stations.

Perhaps an entrance to the rebuilt Oxford Circus station, should be in the North-Eastern corner of Hanover Square.

Or could there be a fosterito or a new entrance in a traffic-free Princes Street?

These pictures show Princes Street.

There are possibilities, which all depend on whether it is possible to dig a pedestrian tunnel from Oxford Circus.

There are more difficult stations, where the building of other entrances will be much more difficult.

An Improved Central Line

Crossrail and the Central Line have connections at Stratford, ,Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Ealing Broadway stations.

These connections will make it easier for stations and parts of the Central Line to be closed for major works, as passengers have a ready alternative.

I believe that this could cut time and costs when updating the line for the new Deep Level Trains and improving stations.

As the new trains will bring a twenty-five percent increase in capacity, it will all help take pressure from other lines.

An Improved Waterloo & City Line

New trains and perhaps an improved station at Waterloo will improve this route.

But the big improvement will happen early this year, when the new entrance at Bank station opens.

Underground And Overground Station Upgrades

This page on the TfL website gives details of station improvement. The page starts with this.

We’re modernising some of our busiest stations to increase capacity, make journeys faster and add step-free access. We’re also integrating them with other modes of transport, like buses, National Rail and cycling.

At present plans are underway or are being developed for the following key stations, which will be on or near the route of Crossrail 2.

  • Alexandra Palace
  • Bank and Monument
  • Camden Town
  • Elephant & Castle
  • Finsbury Park
  • Hackney Central
  • Holborn
  • Knightsbridge
  • Oxford Circus
  • Palmers Green
  • Peckham Rye
  • Seven Sisters
  • Tottenham Hale
  • Victoria
  • Walthamstow Central
  • Waterloo
  • White Hart Lane

Others will probably join this list.

Splitting The Northern Line

Once the improvements at Camden Town and Bank stations have been completed and the Northern Line Extension to Battersea has been completed, TfL have ambitions to split the Northern Line.

  • A Charing  Cross Line would run from between Edgware and Battersea Power Station via Charing Cross
  • A Bank Branch would run between High Barnet and Morden via Bank.

The two lines would have interchanges at Camden Town, Euston and Kennington.

Wikipedia has a section on  the splitting of the Northern Line, which says this.

Running trains between all combinations of branches and the two central sections, as at present, means only 30 trains an hour can run through each of the central sections at peak times, because merging trains have to wait for each other at the junctions at Camden Town and Kennington. Completely segregating the routes could allow 36 trains an hour on all parts of the line.

Plans also exist for the following.

  • Further extension of the from Battersea Power station to Clapham Junction station.
  • New high-capacity modern trains, similar to those being specified for the Piccadilly Line.

I estimate, that the high-capacity trains for the Piccadilly Line will be able to carry 720 passengers in air-conditioned comfort. Currently, the 1995 Stock trains on the line can accommodate 662 passengers.

This gives the following current and future capacities of the two lines.

  • Current capacity of the line is 30 tph, each of which can carry 662 passengers. This is 19860 passengers per hour.
  • Future capacity of the line is 36 tph, each of which can carry 720 passengers. This is 25920 passengers per hour.

This gives around  a thirty percent increase in capacity.

As with the Four Lines Modernisation, the application of high quality engineering from the Twenty-First Century to Victorian and Edwardian tracks and tunnels can give a surprisingly-high increase in capacity.

 

 

London Overground’s New Class 710 Trains

London Overground serves North and East London and will have interchanges with Crossrail 2 at Cheshunt, Dalston, Euston and Seven Sisters stations.

Their Lea Valley services to Cheshunt, Chingford andEnfield Town are getting new Class 710 trains.

Information on these new trains is scant, but I suspect that their performance would be superior to the current Class 315 and Class 317 trains, which have maximum speeds of 75 and 100 mph respectively.

Most Aventras seem to be 100 mph trains, with the exception of Crossrail’s Class 345 trains, which are 90 mph trains.

Your guess is as good ass mine, as to what the operating speed of the Class 710 trains will be. Unless of course, you have  a data sheet!

Because of their modern design, I think we can assume that the new trains will also save a minute or two at each stop, when compared to the existing trains.

They will also have a larger passenger capacity, which I estimate at somewhere near 700 for a four-car train.

The East London Line

Never underestimate the contribution, that London’s newest cross-River line can make.

The East London Line (ELL) shows what you can do, when you take an old well-built tunnel and apply the following.

  • New trains.
  • Well-designed stations.
  • Modern signalling.
  • A passenger-friendly timetable.

I always wonder what Marc and Isambard Brunel, would think of the way the Thames Tunnel has morphed into a sixteen tph electric railway from their tunnel for foot passengers and horse-drawn vehicles.

But Transport for London haven’t finished their development of the East London Line.

Projects in the pipeline include.

  • The ELL will connect to Crossrail at Whitechapel in December 2018.
  • The trains have been ordered for two extra tph to both Crystal Palace and Clapham Junction stations.
  • An interchange at Brockley station with the line between Nunhead and Lewisham stations.
  • An interchange at Penge with the Chatham Main Line.
  • An interchange at Loughborough Junction station with Thameslink.
  • A full step-free interchange could be built at Brixton.
  • Peckham Rye station could be an important interchange.
  • Increasing the maximum frequency along the line to 24 tph.
  • A possible new destination at a rebuilt Streatham Common station.
  • New Cross and New Cross Gate stations could be rebuilt to interchange with the Bakerloo Line Extension.

Because of the planned mega-station at Dalston on Crossrail 2, the East London Line will play an important role as a feeder line for Crossrail 2.

Just as the Waterloo Suburban and the West Anglia Main Lines, will serve South-West and North-East London respectively, development of the ELL could bring benefits to some very neglected parts of South East and South London.

I believe that updating the stations could be the key.

  • Brockley will have ten tph on the ELL and two tph between Victoria and Lewisham.
  • Lounghborough Junction will have six tph on the ELL and eight tph on Thameslink.
  • Peckham Rye station will have six typh on the ELL, two tph on Thameslink , 4 tph to London Bridge and several other services.
  • Penge station will have ten tph on the ELL and four tph between Victoria and Orpington.

The density of services across South London would be seriously increased.

The North London Line

The North London Line may not have the same number of destinations as the East London Line, as it only offers two services.

  • Four tph run between Stratford and Richmond
  • Four tph run between Stratford and Clapham Junction

Both services run seven days a week.

As with the East London Line, Transport for London have plans for the North London Line.

In Musical Trains On The Overground, I quote from an article on London Reconnections, which says that Transport for London would like to increase the frequency of these two services to six tph, which would give twelve tph between Willesden Junction and Stratford.

But that is not all!

  • Two new stations at Hythe Road and Old Oak Common Lane will be built to serve the new developments at Park Royal and Old Oak Common.
  • These new stations will also interchange with Crossrail, High Speed 2, West Coast Main Line, Great Western and Chiltern services.
  • West Hampstead station is being rebuilt.
  • Highbury & Islington station will probably be rebuilt to improve interchange between the London Overground, Victoria Line and the Northern City Line.
  • Transport for London have suggested that Camden Road station could have a quality step-free interchange with the Northern Line at Camden Town station.
  • ETCS will probably be applied to the North London Line, to increase the capacity of freight and passenger services.

The North London Line would also benefit, if improved West Anglia Main Line services ran to Stratford, as the simple step-free interchange is ready and waiting.

The West London Line

The West London Line is London’s most underutilised rail route.

Consider.

  • If its cousin in the East can handle twenty tph, surely a redesigned West London Line could operate at least sixteen tph.
  • It connects to the new super-hub station of Old Oak Common in the North for HS2, West Coast Main Line and Crossrail.
  • It connects to the Victorian super-hub station of Clapham Junction in the South.
  • The London Overground already connects North-East London to South-West London using the West London Line, with a frequency of four tph.
  • Southern’s Milton Keynes to East Croydon service needs a higher frequency and could be another valuable North-South route across London.

Transport for London should take control of this line and give it the service that West London needs.

  • An increase to six tph for the Stratford to Clapham Junction service is already planned.
  • TfL should take over the Milton Keynes to East Croydon service as recommended by Chris Gibb.
  • A new station is being built at Hythe Road.

I also feel that a new station should have been built to serve the new housing development at Earl’s Court.

The Gospel Oak To Barking Line

The Gospel Oak To Barking Line is the joker in the pack.

  • It is currently going through a shambolic electrification.
  • New four-car electric  Class 710 trains are rumoured to be arriving in Spring 2018, which will double capacity.
  • It will provide a second electrified freight route across North London.
  • The line is being extended to a new station at Barking Riverside.
  • ETCS will probably be applied to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, to increase the capacity of freight and passenger services.

The current frequency of four tph will probably be retained for some time with the new trains.

Currently, it appears that the Class 172 trains take ninety minutes to do the round trip along the line, with ten intermediate stops. This means that six trains are needed for a four tph service.

If the new trains can do the round trip in an hour, because of their better performance, this would reduce the number of trains required to four for a four tph service.

Whether two trains less are needed will depend on the performance of the trains, which has not been disclosed.

But I do feel that the line will suffer a severe case of London Overground Syndrome and actual passenger traffic will exceed forecasts by a large margin.

Without the freight trains on the line, I suspect that with enough trains, the frequency on this line could be increased to six tph.

But I wouldn’t rule it out happening some time in the future, when the following has been done.

  • The Barking Riverside Extension has been completed.
  • The xtra trains for Barking Riverside have been delivered.
  • All trains using the line work under ETCS.

I think it should be noted that after completion of the Barking Riverside Extension, Platform 1 at Barking station will probably be available for turning trains, at times of service disruption.

From what I’ve seen of station works on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, it might already be possible to add one or two coaches to the trains, if they are needed.

So there could be scope to massively increase the capacity of the line.

An Improved Chingford Branch Line

The London Overground service on the Chingford Branch Line has a frequency of four tph between Liverpool Street and Chingford, with trains taking twenty-seven minutes for the trip with seven stops.

Improvements proposed for the line include.

  • An increased frequency of trains.
  • Better connection between Chingford/Walthamstow and Stratford, via a reinstated Hall Farm Curve.
  • New stations at Forest Road and Chingford Hatch.

The problem is the restriction caused by the level crossing at Highams Park station, which probably limits the line to its current frequency.

However, the higher performance Class 710 trains, digital signalling and some innovative timetabling could see an improved service that satisfies all stakeholders.

An Improved Service To Enfield Town

Enfield Town station has a service to Liverpool Street with the following characteristics.

  • A two tph service in the Off Peak
  • , A four tph service in the Peak
  • Trains take thirty-four minuses with twelve or thirteen intermediate stops.
  • Some intermediate stations are step-free like Edmonton Green, but others need a lot of improvement.

There is also the massive new development of Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium at White Hart Lane station, which will be built fully-step-free.

It looks like London Overground have prepared for the stadium development, in that two extra tph are planned for the route from 2019 along with new Class 710 trains.

The question also has to be asked if, the new |Class 710 trains  can do the trip fast enough to bring the round trip time to under an hour.

If they can, it appears, that the same number of trains will be able to add two tph to the timetable.

An Improved Service To Cheshunt

Cheshunt station has a service to Liverpool Street withe the following characteristics.

  • A two tph London Overground service in the Off Peak taking astound 39 minutes with fifteen stops.
  • A four tph Greater Anglia service in the Off Peak taking astound 23-29 minutes with 1-5 stops.

It looks to me, that the higher performance of the new trains will improve the service to Cheshunt.

White Hart Lane

White Hart Lane station is being rebuilt with full step-free access to cope with sixty-thousand crowds at Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium.

The Off Peak London Overground services will be at least as follows, after 2019.

  • Four tph to Enfield Town
  • Two tph to Cheshunt
  • Six tph to Liverpool Street
  • There will also be extra trains on match-days.

Wikipedia says this about Tottenham Hotspur matches.

On days that see football matches at Tottenham Hotspur’s ground nearby the station sees increased usage. A special timetable operates on match days, with trains arriving and departing every few minutes before and after the game. There is an increase in the number of trains to and from the line’s termini at Cheshunt and Enfield Town, as well as starting and terminating White Hart Lane trains and services to and from Edmonton Green and Liverpool Street. Abellio Greater Anglia occasionally serve the station on match days only, similarly to Northumberland Park Station.

Historically, additional match-day services also connected to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line and to Stratford from Cheshunt.

The historical route from Stratford to Cheshunt via White Hart Lane is still intact and it’s fully electrified.

Dalston Interchange

Crossrail 2 envisages a mega-station at Dalston.

  • It will connect to the current two stations of Dalston Junction and Dalston Kingsland.
  • It will make it easier for passengers to connect between the North and East London Lines.
  • The connection to the East London Line will connect Crossrail 2 to a large number of stations in East and South-East London.
  • The connection to the North London Line will connect Crossrail 2 to a large number of stations in North London.
  • The station could become a major bus interchange.

A mega-station will surely help in the development of much needed housing in the area.

The current lack of direct connectivity between the North and East London Lines at Dalston is a big weakness. Walking between the two stations is an obstacle course on crowded narrow pavements, alongside the busy Kingsland High Street.

The problems are worse, as Dalston Kingsland station, is a busy station without step-free access.

The Crossrail 2 mega-station at Dalston will hopefully solve this connectivity problem, as there could be a step-free tunnel underneath Kingsland High Street.

But Dalston needs a solution now!

A chance was lost, with three new developments along Kingsland High Street between the two stations, which were built without improving the quality of pedestrian routes.

This Google Map shows the two stations.

Note the Kingsland Shopping Centre, which is single storey with a lot of surface-level parking.

The owners have submitted plans for redevelopment, but nothing seems to have happened.

I’m sure, that an imaginative developer could create something worthwhile.

  • Some quality shops for Dalston’s residents.
  • New land could be created over the top of the North London Line.
  • More efficient parking.
  • Some green space.
  • Housing on top of the shopping centre.
  • A pleasant walking route with perhaps cafes and small shops between the two stations.

There could be a new step-free entrance to Dalston Kingsland station on the East side of Kingsland High Street, to serve the Shopping Centre and Ridley Road Market.

It seems to me that a good plan for Dalston could be developed, that would work with or without the building of Crossrail 2.

There is a precedent for building on the surface first, in that Moor House was built on the site of the future Crossrail station and incorporated the ventilation shaft for the railway line.

Perhaps, Foster and Partners should do their best for Dalston!

Hackney Interchange

Hackney Central and Hackney Downs stations are now linked by a walkway and will increasingly become an important interchange between the North London and Lea Valley Lines.

Proposals are being developed to improve both stations.

The combined station might even get another Eastern branch of Crossrail 2.

STAR

STAR is a new service being added to the rail network in East London.

  • STAR stands for Stratford-Tottenham-Angel Road.
  • Meridian Water is a new station that will serve a massive £3.5 billion development and replace Angel Road station.
  • A third track is being added between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water stations.
  • The service will have a frequency of at least four tph.

This page on the Network Rail web site, which is entitled Lee Valley Rail Programme,  gives more details.

  • 5,500 metres of new track will be installed.
  • ,This would appear to be about the distance of a single track from Meridian Water to just short of Lea Bridge station.
  • Tottenham Hale station is being made Crossrail 2-ready and developed into a major step-free transport hub, linking West Anglia Main  Line, Victoria Line and numerous bus routes.
  • Northumberland Park station is being replaced with a new step-free station.
  • The new track and the extra platforms at Tottenham Hale and Northumberland Park could be bidirectional.

The engineering seems to be progressing, but I have questions about the passenger service.

I think the extra track could be used in one in three ways.

  1. The new line would be used by all trains going South from the West Anglia Main Line to Stratford.
  2. Trains between Stratford and North of Meridian Water, that needed to call at all stations, would use the line as a loop.
  3. A dedicated service would run between Stratford and Meridian Water.

Currently trains between Angel Road and Lea Bridge take twelve minutes. If four tph were to run between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water in both directions, that would take eighty-four minutes.

I suspect even with Greater Anglia’s new Class 720 trains, that are modern 100 mph trains designed for fast stops at stations, that running four tph in both directions along the new third track is difficult, if not impossible.

So it would appear that using the third track for Southbound services to Stratford is the only viable option.

  • Greater Anglia also want to run direct services between Stratford and Stansted, which would perhaps add two tph to the route.
  • The track layout would be very simple with no flat junctions.
  • At Meridian Water, Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale, island platforms would mean passenger-friendly separate platform faces for Liverpool Street and Stratford services.
  • Northbound services from Liverpool Street and Stratford would merge between Coppermill Junction and Tottenham Hale.

Note.

  1. Digital signalling could be needed, to ensure safe and efficient operation of the trains.
  2. If the third tack was designed for fast running, there could be time savings on Stansted Express running to and from Stratford for Crossrail and all the other connections.
  3. The third track could probable handle at least ten tph

 

At the Stratford end, four tph could be accommodated in Platform 11 as the two tph West Anglia service are ow!

But the extra trains for Stansted Express would probably need another method.

Could we see all services using the High Meads Loop and calling in Platform 12?

  • Stansted Expresses used to do this, some years ago.
  • Loops like this have a capacity of upwards of ten tph.
  • Platform 12 at Stratford is not used at present.
  • Crossing of other tracks on flat junctions in the Stratford area could be minimised.
  • Time would be saved on turning trains, as the driver would not have to change ends.
  • Platform 11 at Stratford could still be used as a bay platform for trains from the West Anglia Main Line.

There are a lot of possibilities, but the following will happen.

  • There will be at least a four tph stopping service between Stratford and Meridian Water.
  • This stopping service could continue to Hertford East or Bishops Stortford, as the current Stratford services do now!
  • Stansted Expresses will run to Stratford.
  • There will be excellent stations at Meridian Water, Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale.
  • Further capacity will be created.

It could also  be the first instalment of a clever plan to four-track the West Anglia Main Line, as far as Broxbourne.

I could envisage the extra tracks being squeezed in a section at a time, whilst the current services continue on the West Anglia Main Line.

The Northern City Line

The Northern City Line is North London’s forgotten commuter railway, that runs from Moorgate to North London and into Hertfordshire.

  • The Class 313 trains are some of the oldest scrapyard specials on the UK network.
  • Most stations need refurbishment and the addition of step-free access.
  • Many of the stations need a good cleaning and a lick of paint.
  • Some of the operating procedures haven’t changed since the Victorian era.
  • Six tph work in the Off-Peak, with up to fifteen tph in the Peak.
  • Weekend service is patchy.
  • The line has cross-platform interchange with the Victoria Line at Highbury and Islington station.

The good news is coming thick and fast for this line.

  • Crossrail will have a step-free connection to the Northern City Line at Moorgate station in December 2018.
  • Highbury and Islington station is planned to be redeveloped with a second entrance and step-free access.
  • Finsbury Park station is being redeveloped with more capacity and step-free access.
  • Alexandra Palace station will get step-free access.
  • Extra track capacity has been installed between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace.
  • Work will be done to improve Gordon Hill and Stevenage stations.

The big change will be the new Class 717 trains, which could increase train frequency to twelve tph.

When the stations have been updated and the new trains are running, this line will become a much more valuable part of London’s rail infrastructure.

  • It connects to Crossrail at the Southern end.
  • It connects to Thameslink and the East Coast Main Line at the Northern end.
  • It connects to the Victoria and North London Lines at Highbury and Islington station.
  • The new trains will offer increased capacity, comfort and frequency and reduced journey times.
  • In the future it will connect with Crossrail 2 at New Southgate, Alexandra Park and Moorgate

Before Crossrail 2 is opened, the Northern City Line can be developed into a very valuable alternative route in East London.

The Docklands Light Railway Extensions To Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria

If there’s a capacity problem anywhere to the East of Bank station, you can always expect Cinderella to keep people moving. If they gave medals for transport at Olympic Games, then the 2012 Gold would have gone to the Docklands Light Railway.

Despite being built down to a cost, it seems to have been designed to a quality, that

  • Provides a reliable service in Docklands and to and from Canary Wharf
  • Inspires affection in its passengers.
  • Encourages residents and visitors to use the system.
  • Allows easy extension of the system.

Now that the line will be getting new trains, which will probably offer.

  • Increased capacity.
  • More comfort.
  • Better passenger facilities.
  • Increased frequencies.

Perhaps it is time to give travellers between Bank station and the East, a new route to Central London.

This map shows the proposed extension of the Docklands Light Railway to the West.

Note that this is a well-connected extension.

  • Charing Cross, Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria are major rail interchanges.
  • There are several interchanges with the Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.
  • Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria will be on Crossrail 2.
  • City Thameslink and St. Pancras are interchanges with Thameslink.

In addition, Bank, Charing Cross, Euston and Holborn are or will be upgraded.

The only thing missing is an easy interchange with Crossrail to the West of Bank.

Conclusion

I’m certain that someone must have added up the capacity, that all of the smaller projects will bring across London.

I haven’t but some of the current in-progress projects in the pipeline will add a lot of capacity to the South-West to North-East corridor across London.

  • The new trains and signalling for the Piccadilly Line.
  • The new Class 710 trains for the London Overground in North-East London.
  • Extra capacity across North London on the North London and Gospel Oak to Barking Lines.
  • Extra capacity between North and South London on Thameslink, the East London Line and a split Northern Line.
  • Extra capacity between East and West London on Crossrail and the Circle, District and Metropolitan Lines.
  • Develop the West London Line to its full potential.
  • The capacity upgrade at Waterloo station.
  • Four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line has started with the addition of a third track for STAR.

Could everything is London be organised, so that the only thing needed to complete Crossrail 2, is to build the Central Tunnel?

I believe this could be so!

So perhaps in 2035 or even later, the Central Tunnel would be built to link everything together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 22, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Details Of London Overground Night Services Released

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in Global Rail News.

This is said.

Overground trains will run 24 hours a day on Fridays and Saturdays between New Cross Gate and Dalston Junction. There are plans to extend the service to Highbury & Islington next year.

Although, I live near Dalston Junction station, I doubt I’ll use the service much. Unless of course, I get a girl-friend in New Cross.

London Overground have done their sums, but I suspect the Night Orange could generate more passengers than predicted.

The East London Line Is Step-Free

All of the stations in the route of the Night Orange are step-free, which can’t be said of the Underground.

Will this have an effect on ridership?

I remember C and myself living in London with three young children. Reliable baby-sitters were difficult, we didn’t have a car and getting around late at night could be difficult.

A step-free line on Friday and Saturday night would have been most welcome.

Transport for London are spending a lot of money on step-free access, so it must be needed.

New Cross Gate, Canada Water, Whitechapel, Dalston Junction and Highbury & Islington Stations Are Good Interchanges

All these stations have several night buses and some have connections with other Night Tube lines.

A lot of difficult journeys will have become simpler.

Crossrail

There is speculation that some parts of Crossrail will operate a night service.

This would have a very useful interchange at Whitechapel.

Other  Transport for London Services

The Wikipedia entry for the Night Tube, says this about other Transport for London services.

The Bakerloo, Waterloo & City and sub-surface lines have yet to be upgraded and re-signalled, but it is expected that when these works are completed on these lines, they will also have 24-hour services. Other services such as London Overground and Docklands Light Railway will have overnight services in the near future to connect with Night Tube services. On the sub-surface lines, night tube services are planned to be introduced on the Metropolitan between Aldgate and Harrow-on-the-Hill, District line between Barking and Wimbledon, and on the Hammersmith & City line between Hammersmith & Tower Hill.

One of these predictions has already happened, in that I’m writing about the East London Line of the London Overground.

Surely connecting to the Docklands Light Railway at Shadwell and the sub-surface lines at Whitechapel will generte a lot of traffic.

Surely, running a Night DLR would be one of the easiest to implement.

The City Of London And Canary Wharf

Increasingly, and especially post-Brexit, the jobs in the Financial Sector will become more-and-more-24/7.

Predicting, how this will affect passenger traffic on the Night Tube in general and the East London Line in particular will be extremely difficult.

But the increasing availability of the Night Tube in the financil districts must encourage some jobs like software testing to use the night time creatively.

So the only thing I’ll say about TfL’s forecast for traffic on the Night Tube at Shoreditch High Street station, is that it will be very wide of the mark.

What Next For The Night Orange?

I couldn’t finish these thoughts without speculating, which of the other London Overground lines will be running a night service in the next few years.

It must be mathematically correct to say that as increasing numbers of stations across London have services on Friday and Saturday nights, that a higher percentage of late night journeys across the capital will be possible by public transport. So we could see an increase in passengers, every time new lines and stations are added.

Currently, there is one big gap in the Night Tube and that is that the Bank Branch of the Northern Line has no service. This is due to the ongoing work at Bank station to reconstruct the branch. When this line is inevitably added in a few years time, it will be interesting to see how traffic on the Night Tube changes.

So which of the various Overground lines will get a Night service?

East London Line

The Night Orange on the East London Line, that starts in a few weeks only serves a short part of the line.

Will the service be extended?

I suspect that after the proposed service has bedded in, an assessment will be made, as to whether the service should be extended.

Gospel Oak To Barking Line

It is my view that this will be the surprise line to get a Night Orange service.

  • It curves in a convenient arc across North and East London.
  • The line is only shared with freight services.
  • Barking station will probably be getting Night Tube services in the next few years on the District or Hammersmith and City  Lines.
  • It has reasonable connections to other Night Tube services.

But as it has just been electrified and relaid, and was re-signalled a few years ago, I suspect that the work has been done, so that a Night Orange service is not impossible.

Liverpool Street Services

The three Overground services out of Liverpool Street to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town have the following characteristics.

  • All the stations they serve are managed by Transport for London.
  • The lines are pretty much self-contained.
  • Liverpool Street could have several Night Tube services and Crossrail in a few years.
  • Will there be large late night events at White Hart Lane?
  • The platforms at Liverpool Street used by the services are a separate group at one side of the station.

Incidentally, I went through Liverpool Street station at one in the morning recently and it was heaving.

I would put a high chance on this group of lines having a Night Orange service. Although services may not go the full length of the lines.

Romford To Upminster Line

The Romford to Upminster Line will probably only run a Night Orange service, if Crossrail serves Romford station and the District Line serves Upminster station with Night Tube services.

I think though it is unlikely to be run. Although, it is Essex!

South London Line

I suspect this will be under review and based on the success or failure of the Night Orange on the East London Line, decisions will be taken.

Watford DC  Line

This line is closely linked with the Bakerloo Line and I would suspect a Night Orange on this line would be carefully planned with a similar saervice on the Bakerloo Line.

West London Line

If the Night Orange works in the East, why not run it in the West between Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction. Especially, when Old Oak Common station opens for HS2 in 2025.

One factor that could affect this service is the Gibb Report recommendation, that Southern’s East Croydon to Milton Keynes service be transferred to the London Overground.

I wrote about this service in Gibb Report – East Croydon – Milton Keynes Route Should Be Transferred To London Overground.

How far would a Night Orange service go?

North London Line

This would be the big one, so I’ve left it to last.

Stratford is already served by Night Tube services, so would be an obvious Eastern terminal.

It could prove a valuable link across North London, especially after big events at Stratford or the O2.

But how far will it go?

Trains could be turned back at Highbury and Islington, Camden Road, Gospel Oak, Willesden Junction, South Acton and Richmond on the North London Line. Or they could go to Clapham Junction on the West London Line.

There are a lot of possibilities.

Conclusion

The Overground could be starting a Night Orange Revolution.

November 28, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Will The New Class 710 Trains Use Selective Door Opening At Gospel Oak Station?

These two pictures were taken of a Class 172 train in Platform 3 of Gospel Oak station.

The two-car Class 172 trains are just over 47 metres long.

In The Aventra Car Length Puzzle, I said that the Class 710 trains for the Overground would have twenty metre long cars, which is similar to the 20.4 metres of the Class 378 trains.

For information other four-car electric units, that Aventras are likely to replace have the following car-lengths

  • Class 315 trains – 19.80 metres
  • Class 317 trains – 19.83 metres
  • Class 319/769 trains – 19.83 or 19.92 metres
  • Class 321 trains – 19.95 trains
  • Class 455 trains 19.83 trains.

So it looks like the Class 710 train, has been sized as a direct replacement foe much of the Mark 3-based electric multiple units.

This would mean, that no platform lengthening work needs to be done, when the many older units are replaced with new Aventras.

It would also mean that as I talked about in Musical Trains On The Overground, that Aventras could share routes with Class 378 trains without too much trouble on the North and West London Lines.

So will a four-car Class 710 train, which will be about eighty metres long fit Platform 3 at Gospel Oak station?

This Google Map shows the station.

Note that a Class 172 train is in Platform 3 and in Platform 2 there is a five-car Class 378 train.

The length of Platform 3 can be ascertained and it looks like that Platform 3 is already long enough for an eighty metre train.

If it isn’t Bombardier certainly have fitted Selective Door Opening to the new trains.

November 15, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Do A Lot Of Other Cities Need An Overground?

This article on the MayprWatch web site is entitled London Overground Celebrates Ten Years Of Transforming Rail Travel In The Capital.

The principles behind the Overground are simple.

  • Bring run-down suburban railways under local control.
  • Clean everything like crazy.
  • Run four trains per hour on all routes.
  • Introduce contactless ticketing with Oyster and bank cards.
  • Have lots of visible well-trained staff.
  • Upgrade stations and step-free access, when money allows.
  • Increase train length to match passenger numbers.
  • Allow disabled passengers to just turn up and get the assistance they need.
  • Add lots of passenger information.

The principles certainly appear to have worked. This is from the MayorWatch article.

This investment, which started under Mr Livingstone and was continued by his successor Boris Johnson, has helped the London Overground become one of the UK’s most successful rail services, with independently measured passenger satisfaction scores routinely above 80%.

Since launch, more than a billion passenger journeys have been made on the network which now serves 23 of the Capital’s boroughs as well as southern Hertfordshire.

The investment is continuing.

  • In 2018, new Class 710 trains will replace the thirty-year-old Class 315 trains on West Anglia routes to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town.
  • In 2018, the newly-electrified Gospel Oak to Barking Line will change over to four-car Class 710 trains to double capacity.
  • In 2018, Friday and Saturday night services will start on the East London Line.
  • By 2020, service frequencies on the circular North, East, South and West London Lines will have increased to decrease the overcrowding.
  • In 2021, the Gospel Oak to Barking Line Extension to Barking Riverside will open to serve ten thousand new homes.
  • In 2026, the North London Line will join the big party at Old Oak Common station, when HS2 opens.
  • Could the West London Orbital be the next project?
  • Transport for London would love to get their hands on the Northern City Line. This proposal is supported by many Londoners, polticians and rail professionals like Chris Gibb.

So long as passengers turn up, we will see increasing amounts of orange on London’s Rail and Tube Map.

Celebrating Ten Years

To celebrate ten years, London Overground have released a map showing attractions that are accessible from the Overground.

The Overground could become a tourist attraction in its own right.

  • No special ticket required – Just touch in and out!
  • Many of the attractions served by the Overground are affordable or free.
  • Trains have a frequency of at least four trains per hour.
  • Stations generally have good directions to local attractions.

In addition, Overground trains have better views from the windows than Underground trains.

The Overground Has Certainly Been A Success

When I moved to Dalston in 2010, the Overground had just opened to four station within walking distance; Canonbury, Dalston Junction, Dalston Kingsland and Haggerston.

New three-car Class 378 trains ran to Clapham Junction, Crystal Palace, New Cross, Richmond, Stratford and West Croydon, every fifteen or so minutes.

Now the trains have grown to five-cars and there is an extra route across South London to Clapham Junction to complete the circlke around Central London.

Passenger numbers have grown with the capacity and the railways have transformed Hackney and Dalston in particular.

Other Overgrounds In The UK

Several cities in the UK have their own local rail networks that are heavily used for commuting, leisure, shopping and tourism.

I’ve rode on systems in Birm,ingham, Glasgow and Liverpool, but none of these railways is as easy to use and as travel information-rich as the London Overground.

Not one of the UK’s local networks for instance, allow ticketing by using a contactless bank or credit card.

But then, with only a couple of exceptions, European networks are no better than the abysmal norm!

Contactless Ticketing

I believe that every local rail or Metro network, should support ticketing using contactless bank or credit cards.

  • There is no need to buy a ticket or a special electronic travel card.
  • A maximum daily, weekly or monthly cap can be applied.
  • \Entry and exit at stations is quick and easy.

I also feel that cities that don’t go this route will lose out, as tourists will go elsewhere.

Network Maps

New Metros in Europe and the rest of the world, shameslessly copy the features of London’s iconic Tube map for one of their networks. But often for various reasons, they position them high-up and make it that you need to be over six foot tall to read them.

Every network, should have a large map, that is at least the size of London’s with the stations laid out in an easy-to-read format, that can be read by anybody from an eleven-year-old child to an eighty-yrear-old with failing eyesight, sitting in a wheelchair.

London’s maps aren’t perfect, but they are a good start!

Merseyrail

I know the Merseyrail network well and it probably comes closest to the London Overground in terms of operation.

But, in terms of Marketing, I don’t think it does is best to sell itself to visitors.

Birmingham

Is a big change about to happen in Birmingham?

This article in the Railway Gazette is entitled West Midlands Trains Announces London Northwestern Brand.

This is also said about services in Birmingham.

Services operating around Birmingham are to use the West Midlands Combined Authority’s West Midlands Railway branding, with a view to facilitating the possible future devolution of responsibility for these services from the national Department for Transport to the authority.

So will Birmingham improve its local rail offering?

It’s certainly going to have new trains and an expanded service, so will they add the following.

  • Contasctless bank card ticketing.
  • A route pattern and map, that is understandable to non-Brummies.
  • Dedicated local platforms at New Street station.
  • More visible staff on the platforms.
  • More information.

The bare bones are there, but they need a lot more flesh!

Conclusion

The world needs to develop more Overground networks as London has done!

 

 

November 11, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Four Trains Per Hour Between Dalston Junction And Battersea Park Stations

Normally, there is only one train per day in both directions between Dalston Junction and Battersea Park stations.

Wikipedia says this about the service.

Until December 2012, Southern operated a twice-hourly service from London Victoria to London Bridge via Denmark Hill. This ceased when London Overground’s Clapham Junction to Dalston Junction service commenced at that time. However, since December 2012, a skeleton London Overground service has run to/from Battersea Park (instead of Clapham Junction) at the extreme ends of the day to retain a “parliamentary service” between Battersea Park and Clapham High Street.

But today, London Overground were running four trains per hour between Dalston Junction and Battersea Park stations, as there was a track fault, which meant trains couldn’t get between Wandsworth Road and Clapham Junction stations.

I took these pictures on my journey.

It certainly looked, like London Overground weren’t having much trouble, in running four trains per hour between Dalston Junction and Battersea Park stations.

November 6, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Musical Trains On The Overground

The November 2017 Edition of Modern Railways (MR) has a news item entitled Nine More Class 710s Planned.

This is the first paragraph.

Transport for London is proposing the acquisition of nine additional Class 710 EMUs from Bombardier to support the London Overground rxtension to Barking Riverside and an enhanced service on the East London Line.

Transport for London (TfL)  are ordering six five-car and three four-car Class 710 trains.

This article on London Reconnections (LR) is entitled More Trains for London Overground: A Bargain Never to be Repeated.

The title gives a clue as to the first part of the article and it talks about how it may be necessary for TfL to get their order in now to get the best terms and price for the trains.

Putting the two articles together, some interesting train use could be happening on the various lines of the Overground.

The East London Line

Certain improvements have been planned for the East London Line.

The Class 378 Trains

The current fleet of 57 Class 378 trains are now five cars in length, after starting at just three cars.

Many of the stations on the East London Line could accept six-car trains and the other could be worked using selective door opening.

So TfL probably have an option to increase capacity on the East London Line by twenty percent, by adding an extra car to the Class 378 trains on the line.

The Class 378 trains are also certified for working the Thames Tunnel, whereas the Class 710 trains don’t appear they will be.

The Night Overground

A 24-hour service on Friday and Saturday nights, between New Cross and Dalston Junction/Highbury and Islington stations.

Crossrail And The East London Line

This will happen in December 2018, when Stage 3 of Crossrail opens between Abbey Wood and Paddington stations, with a connection to the East London Line at Whitechapel station.

When you consider that Whitechapel will be served by 12 x nine-car Crossrail trains per hour (tph) from December 2018 and 24 x nine-car tph from May 2019, you do wonder if the East London Line’s sixteen x five-car tph will cope with the extra passengwe.

Increased Frequencies

TfL have said they will increase the core frequency of the East London Line from sixteen tph to twenty in 2021.

I wrote about this two years ago in Increased Frequencies On The East London Line, so the plan is an old one, even if it has slipped a bit.

The original plan envisaged the following extra trains on the East London Line.

  • Two tph – Dalston Junction to Crystal Palace in 2018
  • Two tph – Dalston Junction to Clapham Junction in 2019

It would need the following.

  • More Class 378 trains, as the Class 710 trains are not certified for the Thames Tunnel.
  • Improved digital signalling in the core, which would eventually enable twenty-four tph.

The LR article suggests that there may be capacity problems at Clapham Junction station and two tph to Battersea Park station is suggested as an alternative.

Battersea Park Station

Battersea Park station is already served by the Overground, with this service, which is detailed in Wikipedia.

1 train per day to Highbury & Islington / 1 train per day from Dalston Junction.

Wikipedia adds this comment.

Until December 2012, Southern operated a twice-hourly service from London Victoria to London Bridge via Denmark Hill. This ceased when London Overground’s Clapham Junction to Dalston Junction service commenced at that time. However, since December 2012, a skeleton London Overground service has run to/from Battersea Park (instead of Clapham Junction) at the extreme ends of the day to retain a “parliamentary service” between Battersea Park and Clapham High Street.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the track layout at Battersea Park station.

Note.

  1. The single track going in to Platform 2.
  2. Platform 1 at Battersea Park station is disused.
  3. The close proximity of the station to the new Battersea Power Station station, that opens in a few years.

These are some selected pictures of Battersea Park station.

I think it is true to say, that it is a Victorian station, that wasn’t designed for the modern age.

  • The station is Grade II Listed.
  • The booking hall is a tidy Victorian example.
  • There is a lot of excellent Victorian detailing.
  • Platform 2 and 3 is wide with sensible stairs.
  • Platform 2 is a well laid out terminal platform.
  • Platform 4 and 5 is narrow with terrible stairs.
  • Plstforms 3 and 4 seem to be long enough for ten-car trains.

It could be turned into what Roy Brooks would have called something better than a ruin. For those of you born since 1960, check the link to a memory of one of the world’s late great honest estate agents.

I’m sure Londoners used to buy the Sunday Times, just to read his adverts.

I can remember my late wife sitting on the sofa, laughing loudly, as she read aloud an advert about a flat, that wouldn’t suit an owner with a cat,.

Battersea Park station and a two tph service from Dalston Junction across South London have a lot going for them.

  • I’m sure a budding Lord Foster or Zaha Hadid could come up with a scheme to fix the platform access and make the station passenger friendly and their name.
  • The station is a short walk from Battersea Power Station station and must open up routes across London.
  • Battersea Park station could easily handle two tph on a single platform.
  • In A New Station For Battersea, I talked about a proposal to create a station at Battersea that linked the new tube station to the Southeastern lines into Victoria.
  • In Four Trains Per Hour Between Dalston Junction And Battersea Park Stations, I write about how on the 6th November 2017, because of a track fault, London Overground ran a four tph shuttle between the two terminals.

Will all of this be tied together?

Train Requirements On The East London Line

Doing a quick calculation, I think that each of the four branches need the following number of trains for four tph.

  • Dalston Junction to Clapham Junction – 8 trains
  • Highbury and Islington to Crystal Palace- 8 trains
  • Dalston Junction to New Cross – 2 trains
  • Highbury and Islington to West Croydon – 8 trains

Which gives a total requirement of 26 trains.

Up the frequency to six tph on each branch or one train every 2½ minutes, which would be 24 tph through the Thames Tunnel and you get the following.

  • Dalston Junction to Clapham Junction – 12 trains
  • Highbury and Islington to Crystal Palace- 12 trains
  • Dalston Junction to New Cross – 3 trains
  • Highbury and Islington to West Croydon – 12 trains

Which gives a total requirement of 39 trains.

If you just have an increase to six tph on just the Clapham Junction and Crystal Palace routes as London Overground are proposing for 2020, you get the following.

  • Dalston Junction to Clapham Junction – 12 trains
  • Highbury and Islington to Crystal Palace- 12 trains
  • Dalston Junction to New Cross – 2 trains
  • Highbury and Islington to West Croydon – 8 trains

Which gives a total requirement of 34 trains, providing a service of one train every 3 minutes, which would be 20 tph through the Thames Tunnel.

This is eight more trains than at the present time.

It’s all rather impressive for the Thames Tunnel, which was built between 1825 and 1843, by the Brunels.

The Ultimate Capacity Of The East London Line

If we look perhaps ten years into the future, the following will have happened.

  • Signalling will have improved.
  • Crossrail will be running more than 24 tph through Whitechapel.
  • Automatic Train Operation (ATO) will be driving the trains, with the driver keeping a vigilant watch, just as happens on the Victoria Line now!
  • Passenger information and management will have improved and passengers will be able to handle the increased frequency of trains easily.

So if Dear Old Vicky can manage thirty-six tph in a 1960’s tunnel, will the East London Line be able to manage the same frequency in an 1840’s tunnel?

The Brunels would have made sure it happened and if it is needed, so will their engineering successors!

Let’s cut it back a bit and aim for 32 tph through the Thames Tunnel, as that was the sort of target engineers were looking at, for the Victoria Line in the 2000s, when the East London Line was being proposed.

How many trains will be needed to run the eight tph on the four routes, that would comprise thirty-two tph through the Thames Tunnel?

  • Dalston Junction to Clapham Junction – 16 trains
  • Highbury and Islington to Crystal Palace- 16 trains
  • Dalston Junction to New Cross – 4 trains
  • Highbury and Islington to West Croydon – 16 trains

Which gives a total requirement of 52 trains.

The London Overground has fifty-seven Class 378 trains. I can’t believe that the original fleet was sized on eight tph in operation through the tunnel and a few as hot spares and in maintenance!

But surely eight tph is impossible, as turning the trains at the terminal platforms would be too much!

Think again!

  • The Victoria Line at Brixton and Walthamstow Central stations handles 36 tph using two platforms or 18 tph per platform.
  • The Northern Line is targeting 36 tph on both lines, when it has been split into two.

With ATO, I’m sure each terminal platform can handle more than eight tph.

More Trains On The East London Line

According to the LR article, the planned new services on the East London Line will require another eight trains. This fits with my calculation.

  • These trains have to be Class 378 trains, due to evacuation issues in the Thames Tunnel.
  • These trains have to be able to work on lines with third-rail electrification.

London Overground has ordered six five-car Class 710 trains and they will be run on the North London Line and West London Line, where they will displace some five-car Class 378 trains for running on the East London Line.

Some five-car Class 378 trains on the Watford DC Line will also be replaced by four-car Class 710 trains.

So it would look like the East London Line will get some of the eight Class 378 trains that it needs.

Improvements To The North London Line/West London Line

The LR article says this.

London Overground have a long-held desire to increase the frequency on the WLL from 4tph to 6tph. They also aspire to another 2tph (at least) from Clapham Junction continuing to Stratford, to further increase the frequency on the North London Line (NLL). This would enable 10tph on eastern end of the North London line. This is due to be implemented with with main order of the new Class 710 stock.

The article also suspects that London Overground want to run the following services.

  • 6 tph – Stratford to Richmond
  • 6 tph – Stratford to Clapham Junction

This would deliver a twelve tph service between Stratford and Willesden Junction.

Living about halfway between those two stations, I’m not complaining.

But the article concludes, that London Overground’s objective can’t be achieved until some freight is moved to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line after the electrification of that line is completed.

As I said earlier, the pair of lines will get six extra five-car Class 710 trains and displace some Class 378 trains to the East London Line.

So will London Overground stick with a mixed fleet on these lines? Or will they perhaps run one class on each route?

I have no idea, but there are quite a few Class 378 trains, that could be displaced by new Class 710 trains to allow the East London Line frequency to be increased.

The Watford DC Line

Currently the Watford DC Line has a three tph service and I suspect that this needs six five-car Class 378 trains to run it.

The LR article says that London Overground want to run four tph on this line and I calculate this will need eight four-car Class 710 trains.

The new trains will probably be a few minutes faster and they will offer an hourly capacity increase of six percent.

But they will release six five-car Class 378 trains to strengthen services on the North, East and West London Lines.

Step-Free Access

Step-free access from platform to train is not good on the Watford DC Line.

You step up into a Class 378 train and step down into a Bakerloo Line 1972 Stock train.

These pictures show the problem with the Class 1972 trains. When I got off one of these trains at Willesden today it was a jump.

It is some of the worst step-free access on the Underground.

On my short trip on the Bakerloo Line today, I deliberately sat in the last carriage. On most stations the the last carriage was aligned with the end of the platform, which leads me to the conclusion, that most stations are about as long as the trains, which are over 110 metres long.

Can a step-free platform be designed, that will work with the following trains?

  • The current Class 378 trains
  • The future Class 710 trains
  • The current Underground 1972 Stock.
  • Any future deep-level Underground trains

The latter could make design more difficult, if the train is built for Unattended Train Operation (UTO) and if platform edge doors are needed at all stations with UTO.

The only solution I can think of, is one that is used in Karlsruhe in Germany and is now being used at Rotherham Central station to accommodate main line trains and Class 399 tram-trains.

The platform is long enough to have two sections, with different platform heights.

  • A high section is used with the main line trains.
  • A low section is used with the Underground trains.
  • Platform edge doors could be fitted to the low section.
  • A gentle slope would connect the two sections.
  • Entry to the combined platform could be near where the two sections join.

Also, consider the following.

  • Given that the length of a Class 710 train is around 80 metres and that of a 1972 stock is in excess of 110 metres, it will be a long platform.
  • Selective door opening will be installed on all trains.
  • I do wonder, if the new trains for the Watford DC Line are only four cars to ease the problem of step-free access. The reduced length could knock twenty metres off every platform.
  • Could we even see the new Underground trains built to a shorter length?

I’m sure that a workable platform design is possible.

The Bakerloo Line And The Watford DC Line

The Bakerloo Line is being extended to the South, but nothing has been said about how it will be changed in the North.

Possibilities for Northern terminals for the line could include.

  • Queen’s Park
  • Stonebridge Park
  • Harrow and Wealdstone
  • Watford Junction

It’s also complicated because the depot is at Stonebridge Patk.

I wouldn’t rule out extending the of the Bakerloo Line to Watford Junction, as is talked about in Wikipedia under Re-extension to Watford Junction.

What would be the consequences, if the following were to be done?

  • An extended Bakerloo Line has an increased frequency of at least twenty tph between Watford Junction and Lewisham.
  • The new trains for the Bakerloo Line are faster.
  • The new Bakerloo Line trains had a capacity increase from the current 700, so they carried about the same as the five-car Class 378 trains.

The increased frequency of Bakerloo Line service, would probably result in London Overground’s Euston to Watford service to be discontinued.

The benefits would be as follows.

  • Stations from Queen’s Park to Watford Junction would get a more frequent service, of possibly a train every three minutes.
  • The problems of step-free access and platform-edge doors would be solved, as all trains would be on the Bakerloo Line.
  • London Overground would not need any platforms at Euston, which could help in the rebuilding of Euston for HS2.

It would also mean that London Underground got another high-frequency Underground Line without any junctions, that could be run very efficiently.

But it would mean Kilburn High Road and South Hampstead stations would lose their connection to Euston.

A Willesden Junction To Stratford Via Kilburn High Road, South Hampstead and Primrose Hill Service

Reopening Primrose Hill station has been mooted in the past. This is said in the Wikipedia entry for the station.

It has been proposed to re-open Primrose Hill station by bringing the short stretch of line between South Hampstead and Camden Road stations back into the regular passenger service by incorporating it into the London Overground network.

A reopened Primrose Hill station, would only be a short walk to Chalk Farm station.

At Willesden junction station, there is even a convenient South-facing bay platform, that is numbered 2 and could handle four tph.

The picture shows a Class 378 train in Platform 2 at Willesden Junction station, was taken on Sunday, the 2nd of October 2016, during engineering works, when a Rail Replacement Train was run between Willesden Junction and Stratford stations.

But there are problems.

  • Where would you terminate the service at its Eastern end? Highbury and Islington, Stratford or somewhere else, like perhaps a reopened Maiden Lane station?
  • Kilburn High Road and South Hampstead stations sill lose their srtvoce to Euston and they would have to change at Highbury and Islington.
  • Organising the time-table might be difficult.
  • I also think, it would mean that Kensal Green station would be very difficult to make step-free, if it had to be served by both Overground and Bakerloo Line trains.

On the other hand, Queen’s Park station is an excellent example of a step-free cross-platform interchange between the two types of trains and Willesden Junction station could be equally good.

Crossrail, The Bakerloo Line And The Watford DC Line

All these three lines either serve Watford Junction or it has been suggested that they do.

  • Plans to extend Crossrail up the West Coast Main Line would probably include a stop at Watford Junction, if they materialise.
  • Extending the Bakerloo to Watford Junction is suggested from time-to-time.
  • The Watford DC Line already serves Watford Junction station.

Given that a high-frequency efficient extended Bakerloo Line running between Watford Junction and Lewisham would serve the smaller stations on the way to Watford very capably, I suspect that whatever happens to Crossrail and the Watford DC services, the Bakerloo Line will be extended to Watford Junction.

The extended Bakerloo Line would have the following characteristics.

  • Probably all trains running between Watford Junction and Lewisham.
  • A frequency of upwards of 20 tph
  • No junctions and end-to-end running like the Victoria and Jubilee Lines.
  • Full step-free access at all stations.
  • New faster, walk-through trains with wi-fi and 4G.
  • An efficient connection to Crossrail at Paddington will be opened in December 2018.
  • National Rail connections at Charing Cross, Elephant and Castle, Lreisham, Marylebone, Paddington, Waterloo and Watford Junction

It may be London’s forgotten line, but once extended, it could be a new star. Especially, if it gets to be linked directly into Old Oak Common station for all the services including HS2, that will be available there.

The Watford DC Line doesn’t connect to Crossrail, which makes me feel, that when everything gets decided about the extended Bakerloo Line and the new station at Old Oak Common, then the Watford DC Line could miss out.

Through Running Between North And East London Lines

I seem to remember reading in Modern Railways about ten years ago, that there was an ambition in TfL to extend some East London Line trains to Willesden Junction.

Look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr, which shows the lines at Highbury and Islington station.

Note the single line labelled Transfer, that connects Platform 2 at Highbury and Islington station to the Westbound North London Line, that runs through Platform 7.

I think it would be possible to make Platform 2 into a bi-directional through platform.

  • All Westbound trains on the Westbound North London Line would leave from the island platform between platforms 2 and 7.
  • Voltage changeover between 750 VDC and 25 KVAC would take place in Platform 2.
  • A four tph service in both directions would mean a train every 7-8 minutes.
  • The four-track section of the North London Line between Highbury and Islington and Camden Road stations, includes two reversible lines.

Was this all future-proofing to allow services to run between the North London and East London Lines?

It is interesting to note, that Platform 2 is used for services to and from West Croydon station.

These services take around 51-55 minutes and currently need eight trains for a four tph service.

This screen capture shows the train timetable, when I rode between Highbury and Islington and Willesden Junction stations.

Note that the journey takes 22 minutes.

I am led to the conclusion, that it would be possible to run a  service between West Croydon and Willesden Junction stations.

The service would run via Kilburn High Road, South Hampstead and and a reopened Primrose Hill stations.

It would have a frequency of four tph.

Trains would change voltage at Highbury and Islington station.

I would certainly like the service for these reasons.

  • I regularly travel along the North London Line from the West to Dalston Junction station. The change between the North and East London Lines at Highbury and Islington can be very busy.
  • Going West along the North London Line from Dalston Junction can involve a lot of walking up and down at Highbury and Islington station.
  • Using Dalston Kingsland station to go East can be difficult, as there are masses of passengers changing between rge two Dalston stations.
  • I like to go to Primrose Hill and London Zoo.
  • Could the service also ease the pressure on Camden Town station, until the upgrade is complete?

I have no idea if London Overground would do this, but if there was a vote, I’d say yes!

The Gospel Oak To Barking Line

I have never seen a detailed analysis of running trains on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line (GOBLin).

Currently, eight Class 172 trains provide the four tph service. Consider this round trip.

  • Leave Gospel Oak station at 09:05
  • Arrive Barking station at 09:42
  • Leave Barking station at 10.03
  • Arrive Gospel Oak station at 10.45

Note.

  1. It is a very generous timetable.
  2. There is a twenty minute turn-round time at both ends of the route, which is good for recovering the timetable after a delay.
  3. The Class 710 trains could save time at every one of the ten stops, as they accelerate faster, have smooth regenerative braking and should have a better platform-train interface.

This leads me to the conclusion, that the Class 710 trains could run a faster service on the line.

Extending Services To Barking Riverside

Barking Riverside station will only be a short distance from Barking station and I suspect, it would only add ten minutes at most to the end-to-end journey time.

As there is a twenty minute turn-round time, I suspect that a train will be able to go from Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside and back again in under two hours.

This would mean that the current service of four tph could be possible on the extended route, with the same fleet of eight trains.

This is said in the MR article about the Class 710 trains.

The remaining two additional four-car units would support the extension of Gospel Oak to Barking services to Barking Riverside.

This leads me to one of these conclusions.

  • The service is going to be extended somewhere else.
  • The frequency on the route is going to be increased to five tph.

The next few sections deal with the various options.

Extending To The West Along The North London Line From Gospel Oak

I sometimes change between the GOBLin and the North London Line, as I can get a convenient bus from my house to Harringay Green Lanes station.

Allowing GOBLin services to continue along the North London Line would need extensive and expensive remodelling of Gospel Oak station to create an Eastbound plstform for the GOBLin.

The tracks to the West of the station, would probably need to remodelled to allow efficient operation.

The GOBLin trains would also be four-car trains, as opposed to the five-car trains on the North London Line.

Extending To The North Along The Midland Main Line

By using the Carlton Road Junction after Upper Holloway station, GOBLin trains could access the Thameslink tracks and go North to a convenient station.

Unfortunately, the track layout is such, that crossing to the Dudding Hill Line is difficult.

But continuing to the proposed Brent Cross Thameslink station is surely a possibility.

Although, I can’t see anything happening until plans for the West London Orbital Railway are agreed and Brent Cross Thameslink station is opened.

So it can probably be discounted for a few years yet!

Extending Across The Thames From Barking Riverside

Barking Riverside station is being built so that an extension under the Thames is possible.

But as a tunnel would be involved, I can’t see this extension being started or even planned fully for several years.

Five tph On The GOBLin

If two extra trains are added to the GOBLin fleet, this would mean that there are ten trains, which would be enough to run a five tph service between Gospel Oak and Barking Riverside stations.

I think this will be the most likely use of the two extra trains on the GOBlin.

Romford To Upminster

The Romford To Upminster Line is slated to get a brand-new Class 710 train to work the two tph shuttle.

The DR article says that it is possible that this line could be served by a Class 315 train, held back from the scrapyard.

This would mean a new Class 710 train could be deployed elsewhere, where its performance and comfort levels would be more needed.

Surely, this would be enough capacity for the line and a lot cheaper than a new Class 710 train! Provided of course, that it was reliable, comfortable and could maintain the current two tph service.

I discuss this in detail in A Heritage Class 315 Train For The Romford-Upminster Line.

Conclusion

It looks like Transport for London are planning for a large increase in services on the East London Line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 2, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is This The Hippest Train Status Displays?

In Technology Doesn’t Have To Be Complex, I described how Transport for London were using the suspension to assess how crowded trains are on the London Overground.

In my post, I suggested that the information could be used in modern station displays to show the train loading.

Yesterday, this article in the Standard, had a picture of such a display, at Shoreditch High Street station.

So today, I took one of my own.

According to the Standard, passengers like the display.

It should be born in mind, that this is only the first version and I’m certain the information captured from the train suspension will find be used in several innovative ways.

 

October 18, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Could A Lea Valley Metro Be Created?

Crossrail 2 envisages these developments and level of service North along the Lea Valley.

Crossrail 2 also envisages that at Tottenham Hale station, the line will enter a tunnel for Central and South West London.

But there is an unused alternative terminal, that could handle perhaps 16 tph with modern signalling.

Look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr of the lines at Stratford.

Note the double-track  loop that encircles Stratford International station and goes through Platforms 11 and 12 at Stratford station.

Consider.

  • Loops like this can easily handle 12 tph, as they do in Liverpool with the Wirral Line.
  • Stratford is well-connected to the Central, Great Eastern Main, Jubilee and North London Lines, Crossrail and the Docklands Light Railway.
  • The Loop could be connected to Stratford International station for Southeastern Highspeed services.
  • There’s probably enough capacity to allow a couple of Stansted services to terminate in the loop.
  • There is a massive development going on at Meridian Water, where a new station is being built.
  • Liverpool Street station lacks capacity.

I can’t believe that a viable 12 tph service is not possible.

The major works would be as follows.

  • Four-tracking the West Anglia Main Line into two fast and two slow lines.
  • Making all stations step-free.
  • Removing the level crossings.
  • Creating a flyover at Coppermill Junction to connect the fast lines to Liverpool Street and prepare for Crossrail 2.

If Crossrail 2 is built in the future, the Metro service would be diverted into the central tunnel at Tottenham Hale station.

Integration With The London Overground

The Chingford, Cheshunt and Enfield Town services of the London Overground will not only offer alternative routes during the four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line, but they could be better connected to a Lea Valley Metro.

  • Tne Class 710 trains could enable four tph on each branch.
  • The Class 710 trains will enable faster services on each branch.
  • A reinstated Hall Farm Curve would connect Chingford and Walthamstow to Stratford.
  • Creation of a step-free Cheshunt station would ease transfer between the London Overground and the Lea Valley Metro.

The new trains will be key and may open up more possibilities.

Note too, that moving services to Stratford from Liverpool Street will release capacity at Liverpool Street, that will be well-used by Greater Anglia and London Overground.

Dear Old Vicky

She’s always there when you need her and engineers keep coming up with ways to keep the Victoria Line giving more.

Currently, the frequency of trains between Walthamstow Central and Brixton is 36 tph.

I can’t believe that the engineers working on the line, don’t want to squeeze another four tph out of her, to achieve the fabulous forty.

This might be possible with the trains, tracks and signalling, but the problem is the capacity of some of the 1960s-built stations.

  • Many stations have an empty space, where a third escalator could be.
  • Lifts are few and far between.
  • Some stations don’t have ceilings in the platform tunnels.

These stations could be improved.

Walthamstow Central Station

Walthamstow Central station gets desperate in the Peak, but it could be given a third escalator, a second entrance at the other end of the platforms and a much better step-free connection to the Chingford Branch of the Overground.

Blackhorse Road Station

Blackhorse Road station could be finished and given a third escalator to cope with the extra passengers that will transfer to and from an electrified Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

Tottenham Hale Station

Tottenham Hale station is being rebuilt to increase capacity. Will it get the missing third escalator and ceilings?

Seven Sisters Station

Seven Sisters station will be a Crossrail 2 station and will need updating to cope with an expected eight tph on the Overground.  Expect a major project here.

Finsbury Park Station

Finsbury Park station is one of London’s stations designed by Topsy. Improvements are underway to cope with the extra passengers from Thameslink and an upgraded Northern City Line.

Highbury and Islington Station

Highbury and Islington station suffered worst at the hands of the Nazis and 1960s cost cutting, when the Victoria Line was built. This made it one of London’s worst stations.

However help is at hand.

  • Plans are being prepared for a second entrance to the station on the other side of the Holloway Road.
  • The frequency on the Northern City Line is being upgraded to twelve tph with new larger capacity Class 717 trains.
  • There is space for a third escalator to be added to connect the Overgriound with the deep-level Victoria and Northern City Lines.

It should be born in mind, that Highbury and Islington station is busier than either Manchester Piccadilly or Edinburgh Waverley stations.

But with an upgrade, because it has cross-platform interchange between the Victoria and Northern City Lines, it could be an upgrade that increases the passenger capacity of the Victoria Line.

Euston Station

Euston station will be upgrqaded for HS2.

Oxford Circus Station

Oxford Circus station is desperately in need of more capacity, especially as there will be an upgrade to the Bakerloo Line in the future.

The opportunity at Oxford Circus is that some of the buildings around the junction are tired and some probably need to be replaced.

So will we see a development like Bloomberg Place, that will create a new entrance to Bank station, at Oxford Circus?

Could it also have an subterranean connection to Crossrail’s Hanover Square entrance for Bond Street station?

Victoria Station

Victoria station is in the process of being upgraded.

It certainly appears to be a case of so far so good!

South Of The River

Vauxhall and Brixton stations have rather undeveloped interchanges with the National Rail lines and these could surely be improved.

Under Possible Future Projects in the Wikipedia entry for the Victoria Line, this is said.

For many years there have been proposals to extend the line one stop southwards from Brixton to Herne Hill. Herne Hill station would be on a large reversing loop with one platform. This would remove a critical capacity restriction by eliminating the need for trains to reverse at Brixton. The Mayor of London’s 2020 Vision, published in 2013, proposed extending the Victoria line “out beyond Brixton” by 2030.

This would surely be the last upgrade to squeeze even more out of Dear Old Vicky.

Conclusion

A Lea Valley Metro can be created and eventually, it can be the Northern leg of Crossrail 2.

Before Crossrail 2 is completed, it will have great help in the following ways.

  • In North East London from the London Overground.
  • Across London from the Victoria Line.

Don’t underestimate how Crossrail and an updated Northern City Line will contribute.

 

 

 

 

September 29, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments