The Anonymous Widower

Could The Waterloo And City Line Have An Intermediate Station At Blackfriars?

The Waterloo and City Line between Bank and Waterloo stations, is London’s shortest Underground Line.

In the Wikipedia entry for the line, there is a section entitled A Blackfriars Station Proposed. This is said.

In 1934 the LPTB, which now operated most of the London Underground system, proposed that the Waterloo & City should have a new intermediate station at Blackfriars, connecting with the District line station there. They further proposed that the Waterloo & City line should be extended to Liverpool Street station and Shoreditch, the trains there continuing over the East London Railway to New Cross and New Cross Gate. It is not clear whether the scheme had been costed, but nothing came of it.

So have things changed since 1934?

The Problem Of An Intermediate Station

The line is only a mile and a half long and trains take about three minutes to go from end-to-end.

Even allowing for the turn-round time at each end of the route, it must be very difficult with the current rolling stock to accommodate the time needed for an intermediate station.

Thameslink Has Been Built

Thameslink didn’t exist in the 1930s and when it is completed, there will be 24 trains per hour (tph) passing through Blackfriars station.


  • The Thameslink frequency could increase to 30 tph.
  • How many Thameslink passengers want to go to Bank and Waterloo stations?
  • Blackfriars station is fully step-free.

I certainly think, that a Blackfriars station on Thameslink would be used by passengers.

Trains Can Be Fully Automated

As a Control Engineer, I believe that with the right automation, that capacity on the line can be increased.

I know the Unions attitude to driverless trains, but if ever there was a line, that would benefit, it is the Waterloo and City Line.

Perhaps, the driving position should be in the middle of the train, so the driver wouldn’t have to change ends and drove the train using CCTV.

New Trains Are Coming

London Underground has a plan to renew a lot of the trains, starting with the Piccadilly Line.

These trains will have the following characteristics.

  • Walk-through cars.
  • Shorter stopping times at station.
  • Improved performance.
  • Air-conditioning and other improved passenger features.

Would these trains and improved signalling enable an intermediate stop at Blackfriars to be added to be added to the line?


I obviously haven’t seen Transport for London’s figures, but I’m sure, there will come a time, when an intermediate station at Blackfriars will be a project worth doing.





March 12, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

London Has A New Underground Line

On Friday, I went between Brighton and Cambridge stations on one of the first Thameslink services on the route.

I wrote about it in Observations On Thameslink Between Brighton And Cambridge.

That journey took me on London’s new Underground Line between London Bridge and Finsbury Park stations.

The following trains are going North from London Bridge to Finsbury Park.

  • 11:29 – Horsham to Peterborough – Arrives at Finsbury Park at 11:52
  • 12:49 – Brighton to Cambridge – Arrives at Finsbury Park at 13:13
  • 15:04 – Horsham to Peterborough – Arrives at Finsbury Park at 15:27
  • 15:34 – Brighton to Cambridge – Arrives at Finsbury Park at 15:57

And the following trains are going South from Finsbury Park to London Bridge.

  • 10:59 – Peterborough to Horsham – Arrives at London Bridge at 11:24
  • 12:09 -Cambridge to Brighton – Arrives at London Bridge at 12:37
  • 14:29 – Peterborough to Horsham – Arrives at London Bridge at 14:55
  • 15:11 – Cambridge to Brighton – Arrives at London Bridge at 15:37

All journeys take around 23-25 minutes, with stops at Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon and St. Pancras International stations.

It may officially be part of Thameslink, but it will function like a convewntional Underground Line, but with bigger trains.

The Underground Alternative

If you look at Transport for London’s Journey Planner, this give a time of twenty minutes for a journey between London Bridge and Finsbury Park, using the Northern and Victoria lines with a change at Euston.

That is also not a step-free or wheel-chair friendly route.

Obviously, at the moment, most passengers have no choice, as there is only four trains per day in each direction on the new Thameslink route.

But when a Full Service is running, with a train every ten minutes, things will be very different.

My Access To Thameslink

Timings to Thameslink stations from my house are as follows.

  • Finsbury Park – 15 mins by 141 Bus and Piccadilly Line
  • London Bridge – 25 mins by 21 or 141 Bus
  • London Bridge – 31 mins  using Transport for London’s Journey Planner’s recommended route via Dalston Junction and Canada Water.

The latter probably explains why Londoners are generally Grade 1 Duckers-And-Divers!

I suspect, when I go to Gatwick Airport, I’ll go via Finsbury Park, using the mini-cab from around the corner or a black cab, as both will be quicker.

I suspected right. Returning from Finsbury Park station to home this evening, took ten minutes and cost a tenner.

A Preview Service

Thameslink are only running a preview service between London Bridge and Finsbury Park at the current time.

On my Friday trip, it was particularly noticeable, that passengers were thin on the ground between the two stations.

  • But then passengers probably didn’t know about the service and may have been confused seeing a train going to Cambridge.
  • It’s also not shown on the Tube Map.
  • I didn’t notice any advertising for the new route.

So how do you use something that you don’t know about?

The Full Service

This route will have the following characteristics, when Thameslink open it fully.

The Route Will Serve The City of London Well

These factors will help this section of Thameslink serve the City of London.

  • Step-free stations at Farringdon, City Thameslink and London Bridge ring the South and West of the City of London.
  • Crossrail with an interchange with Thameslink at Farringdon also gives a quick route to the East of the City of London and Canary Wharf.
  • The City of London is also planning a lot of pedestrianisation.

Other developments like Crossrail and the expansion of Bank station and the Docklands Light Railway, will make London’s financial district, one of the best connected by public transport in the World.

The Route Will Have Tourist Attractions

The route could have been designed for tourists.

  • London Bridge station has London and Tower Bridges, Southwark Cathedral, Borough Market, HMS Belfast and the Shard.
  • But the most spectacular modern architecture at London Bridge, is the station itself, with its lifts, escalators, fifteen platforms and a shopping centre.
  • Blackfriars is a unique station, as it spans the Thames with entrances on both banks, and it is the world’s largest solar-powered bridge.
  • Blackfriars station is a short walk along the river from the Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge.
  • Many good walks along the river start from Blackfriars.
  • City Thameslink station dates from 1990 and it shows, but it is close to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Old Bailey, so it attracts visitors at both ends of the moral spectrum.
  • Farringdon station will be a major interchange, where Crossrail and Thameslink connect, so don’t let unsuitable organisations build all the hotels this area will attract.
  • Farringdon is close to two of London’s iconic markets; Smithfield meat market and the attached wife market.
  • Saint Pancras International station is a fur coat and no knickers station, as although it looks good, it’s practicality is suspect.
  • If they’d given the job to the architect, who updated Kings Cross station next door, they would have got a a more practical station.
  • Finsbury Park station is a place, where you go and explore the local area, which is vibrant and full of history.
  • You may even get as far as Alexandra Palace or Manor House, where I saw John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with a very drunk Eric Clapton in the 1960s.

It is a line to explore London.

Six Trains Per Hour

There will be six trains per hour (tph), which will run All Day.

  • Two tph – Peterborough to Horsham – twelve-car
  • Two tph – Cambridge to Brighton – twelve-car
  • Two tph – Cambridge to Maidstone East – eight-car

This gives a six tph service between Finsbury Park and London Bridge and also a four tph service to East Croydon and Gatwick Airport.

Two Additional Trains Per Hour In The Peak

In the Peak, there will be two tph, that run from Welwyn Garden City to Sevenoaks.

But they will go via Elephant and Castle rather than London Bridge.

Thameslink must have their reasoning behind this service, but I have some questions.

  • Would commuters in the Peak prefer to go to London Bridge?
  • Would passengers from Sevenoaks and Welwyn Garden City like an All Day service?

These questions and others will be answered in the next few years, as hameslink develops.

Full Step-Free Access At London Bridge Station

London Bridge station has full step-free access for all the following services.

  • Thameslink
  • Services to and from Cannon Street station
  • Services to and from Waterloo East and Charing Cross stations.
  • Jubilee and Northern Lines of the Underground
  • Terminating services at London Bridge
  • Several bus routes, including my bus home!


  1. Passengers will use the escalators to get to the right destination.
  2. Thameslink passengers will use the island platform to reverse direction.
  3. It took me just two minutes to change from Platforms 2/3 to Platforms 8/9.
  4. Going from Platform 6/7 to the bus station was under three minutes and a 141 Bus was just getting ready to leave.
  5. Passengers can walk across London Bridge to the City of London.

There are few stations better than London Bridge anywhere in the world!

Full Step-Free Access at Finsbury Park Station

Finsbury Park station is being updated to have full step-free access for the following services.

  • Thameslink
  • Great Northern Services to Cambridge, Kings Lynn and Peterborough
  • Northern City Line services to and from Moorgate station
  • Piccadilly and Victoria Lines. of the Underground.

There will also be same-platform interchange between Thameslink and Northern City Line services.

The Improved Northern City Line At Finsbury Park Station

The Northern City Line will be substantially improved.

  • New Class 717 trains have been ordered.
  • This could mean an increased All Day service of perhaps 10-12 tph.
  • Moorgate station will be on Crossrail.
  • There will be a same-platform interchange with Thameslink at Finsbury Park station.
  • Hopefully, the terrible stations on the route will be improved.

This line will change from being a crowded, outdated backwater of the UK rail system to an important modern link to the City of London and Crossrail from large parts of North and North-East London.

The Link To Crossrail

The link between Thameslink and Crossrail at Farringdon station will probably be heavily used, if it is well-designed and fully-step free. Which I suspect it will be, until proven otherwise!

Don’t forget too, the link to the Metropolitan and Circle Lines at this key station, which is much better than the link at St. Pancras

Step-Free Access At All The Intermediate Stations Between London Bridge and Finsbury Park

Access at Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon and St. Pancras stations are all fully step-free.

The Fastest Way To Gatwick Airport And Brighton From North London

My friend lives in Walthamstow and always goes to Gatwick Airport by using the Victoria Line and Gatwick Express.

  • This takes twenty-three minutes for the Victoria Line and thirty minutes for the train.
  • The Thameslink route via Finsbury Park, takes nine minutes for the Victoria Line and an hour for the train.


  1. Both trains will run every fifteen minutes, when the full Thameslink service is running.
  2. The Thameslink timing is only the time of the Preview Service. Will the Full Service be faster?
  3. Finsbury Park and Victoria will both be fully step-free within a year or so.
  4. The trains on Gatwick Express will be more comfortable.
  5. The walk at Finsbury Park is shorter than at Victoria.
  6. The Thameslink route will be more affordable.

Everybody will have their own preference.

The biggest winners will be.

  • Those living on the Northern reaches of the Piccadilly Line, who will have a full step-free interchange to Thameslink at Finsbury Park
  • Those living on the Northern City Line, who will have a same-platform interchange to Thameslink at Finsbury Park.
  • Those who walk, cycle or take a bus or cab to Finsbury Park.

Gatwick Airport could be a big winner, as a whole area of North London and Hertfordshire now has a new excellent direct connection to the Airport.

What Still Needs To Be Done?

It is a well-thought out route, but some things still need to be done.

Is Six Tph Enough Trains Between London Bridge And Finsbury Park?

I ask this question, with my scheduling hat on!

At the moment of the 24 tph through the Snow Hill Tunnel, two-thirds of the trains go up the Midland Main Line, with just a third on the East Coast Main Line.

I think that, when Thameslink increase the frequency through the central core, that they will increase the frequency through Finsbury Park.

Could Two Tph From The Sutton Loop Go To Welwyn Garden City?

Curremtly, four tph start at St. Albans City station, go through London, then round the Sutton Loop, before returning to St. Albans City.

Would it be desirable to start two of these services from Welwyn Garden City station?

It will all depend on operational issues and the routes passengers take.

City Thameslink And St. Paul’s Stations Need A Connection

I believe this is possible and I wrote about it in A Pedestrian Connection Between City Thameslink Station And St. Paul’s Tube Station.


Should The Docklands Light Railway Be Extended To City Thameslink, Euston And St. Pancras?

I wrote about this extension in detail in A Connection Between City Thameslink Station And The Docklands Light Railway.

Could Thameslink Connect To The Waterloo And City Line?

I wrote about this connection in Could The Waterloo And City Line Have An Intermediate Station At Blackfriars?

Development of new trains for the Underground, will make this link possible.


Should Thameslink Be On The Tube Map

I wrote about this in Thameslink Should Be On The Tube Map.

All Of Thameslink Should Be In The Oystercard Area

Gatwick Airport is already in the Oystercard area, but it is silly that Oyster cards and contsctless cards can’t be used on all Thameslink services.


The possibilities for Thameslink and the effects it will have will be enormous.


March 11, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TfL Drives Forward With ‘Hugely Exciting’ Tube Station Development

The title of this post, is the same as the title of this article in Rail Technology Magazine.

The station involved is South Kensington station,

Work to be done includes.

  • New housing will be added.
  • Upgrading of the Grade II listed shopping arcade.
  • A second entrance developed via the pedestrian subway will be developed.
  • Facilities will be improved for  current and new residents.
  • Step-free access will be provided to the District and Circle Lines.

This article in the Architects Journal gives more details.

The article also hopes everything can be completed by 2022.

Is this development the shape of things to come?

You have the following.

  • A tube station which is not in the best condition.
  • There is space to add much-needed housing.
  • It is an important transport location.
  • Annual passenger entry and exit in 2016 was 33.6 million.
  • It is a building with a partial Grade II Listing.
  • TfL have appointed a world-class firm of architects.

A successful property developer, with access to finance, could turn this into something that benefits all stakeholders; local residents;TfL, London taxpayers, staff and passengers.

Within walking distance or a short bus ride of my house, there are seven stations.

  • Dalston Junction is a new station with step-free access and high-rise housing on top.
  • Haggerston station is a new step-free station, that is probably fully developed.
  • Canonbury station is an older station, that has been made step-free. It is fully-developed.

But, the other four need development.

Dalston Kingsland

Dalston Kingsland station was rebuilt in the last couple of years with a new gate line and booking office.

  • The station has narrow platforms, not much shelter and no step-free access.
  • Passenger entry and exit for 2016-17 were over six million.
  • Next door, Taylor Wimpey are building a residential tower called 57 East.

Full development of this station is probably waiting for a decision about Crossrail 2.

Essex Road

Essex Road station is a station out of another era, but what era is hard to say.

  • It is a solid red brick building, built around the start of the Twentieth Century.
  • The building has little architectural merit.
  • Underground, the history of the station is echoed by faded Underground and Network Southeast liveries.
  • It could do with a good clean.
  • Access to the trains is by lifts and could probably stand-in for access to one of London’s Second World War bunkers.
  • It may have lifts, but it is not step-free.
  • Passenger entry and exit in 2016-17 was under a million.

It is a seriously neglected station.

This Google Map shows the location of the station.

It is on a junction of two major roads, with some gardens, a few local stops and several important bus routes.

If the train-related parts of the building were updated with modern decor and lighting, full step-free access, this station could see a serious increase in passenger traffic.

The following, should also be born in mind.

  • The rather rudimentary forty-year old Class 313 trains will be replaced by brand-new Class 717 trains designed for the unique operation of the Northern City Line.
  • The new trains should bring an increase in frequency in trains through Essex Road station.
  • At the end of 2018, the Northern City Line will have a step-free connection to Crossrail and a dry underground waking route to Liverpool Street station at Moorgate station.

There is also the possibility, that was raised by Chris Gibb, of transferring the Northern City Line to the London Overground. I wrote about this in Gibb Report – Moorgate Services Could Be Transferred To The London Overground.

So it would appear that whatever happens, the train service and station will be improved and Essex Road station will become a lot more important.

Surely, the obvious way to pay for the improvements at Essex Road station, is to develop the building into some housing in keeping with the area.

Highbury and Islington

Highbury and Islington station is the fifteenth busiest station in the UK and is busier than Manchester Piccadilly and Edinburgh Waverley.

It is a major interchange between the following lines.

  • East London Line
  • North London Line
  • Victoria Line
  • Northern City Line

Currently, it handles nearly thirty million passengers a year.

But that number is surely going to increase.

  • The East London Line is adding another four trains per hour (tph)
  • Extra trains will be running on the North London Line.
  • Dear Old Vicky will cram more passengers in.
  • The improved Northern City line will have more and better trains.
  • The Northern City Line will provide a step-free connection for Victoria Line passengers to Crossrail.

Highbury and Islington station is a station where the below-ground platforms are in desperate need of improvement and step-free access.

At least there should be no problems demolishing the station buildings at Highbury and Islington, as a flying bomb did that in 1944.

It was an impressive building.

However, there are factors that will help an architect,  after the Nazi damage and some unsympathetic 1960s development, when the Victoria Line was built.

  • The flying bomb destroyed all parts of the station with architectural merit.
  • The Victorian bridge over the Overground lines is being replaced.
  • The traffic is being sorted.
  • Pedestrian areas are being created to link the station entrance to the green space in the middle of Highbury Corner.
  • There is already an unused and intact second entrance to the station on the other side of Holloway Road.

This could be one of the best stations in London, with perhaps some of the best places to live in London on top.

Old Street

Old Street station is another bad station.

  • It sits in the middle of a roundabout called Silicon Roundabout.
  • The roundabout is surrounded by tower blocks, which are both residential and commercial.
  • It is owned by Transport for London.
  • It is served by the Northern and Northern City Lines.
  • Passenger entrances and exits are amos thirty million a year.
  • The station has escalators, but is not step-free.

This is surely, a site, where a tall residential block should be built above an improved station.

But getting the right building and mix will be difficult.


These four could all be redeveloped by imaginative architects and property developers to create better transport hubs and a sensible amount of useful housing development.

I hope TfL, architects and developers are scouring London for suitable sites.


March 6, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Siemens Unveils Plans For £200m Train Factory In East Yorkshire

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

This is a key paragraph.

While the factory is only in the planning stage at the moment, Siemens hopes to begin construction later this year if the company can confirm some “major future orders.”

As to major future orders in the UK, the following would appear to be possibilities.

  1. New London Underground train orders for the Piccadilly, Bakerloo and Central Lines.
  2. New trains for HS2.
  3. New trains for the new East Midlands Franchise.
  4. New trains for the new Southeastern Franchise.


  1. Siemens have shown designs for the Underground, which I discussed in Siemen’s View Of The Future Of The Underground.
  2. HS2 will be built to the same standard as most European High Speed Lines.
  3. The trains for the East Midlands could probably be based on German ICE trains.
  4. Desiro City trains would handle a lot of Southeastern’s needs.

I suspect, that Siemens have designs that could be adapted for most of the UK’s possible large orders.

I shall a few thoughts to these orders.

New Tube For London

The New Tube For London is a very large project, that will do the following.

  • Replace the current rolling stock on the Bakerloo, Central, Piccadilly and Waterloo and City Lines.
  • Initially, there will be 250 new trains.
  • Increase capacity.
  • Increase frequency.
  • Run under a much higher level of automation.
  • Hopefully, the first train will run on the Piccadilly Line by 2023.
  • It is also intended that the new trains will replace the current trains on other lines.

Wikipedia says this about the project cost.

The project is estimated to cost £16.42 billion (£9.86 bn at 2013 prices)

The following companies were on an approved short list.

  • Alstom
  • Siemens
  • Hitachi,
  • CAF
  • Bombardier

Since this list was published, Bombardier and Hitachi have said they will propose a joint bid and Siemend and Alstom have merged their train-building interests.

So we are left with the following bidders.

  • Alstom-Siemens, who have various small factories in the UK.
  • Bombardier-Hitachi, who have two large factories in the UK.
  • CAF, who are building a factory at Newport in South Wales.

Various factors will come into the choice of manufacturer.

  • The London Underground order, is probably one of the largest train orders, that will be placed in the next few years and fulfilling it will most likely require a large manufacturing capacity in the UK.
  • Bombardier-Hitachi and Alstom-Siemens have the resources to create such a manufacturing capacity. Would CAF have that capacity?
  • Bombardier has been working with Transport for London for about thirty years and their recent trains for London have been generally well received.
  • Hitachi will add Japanese technology and finance to the bid.
  • Do Hitachi have a lot of space at Newton Aycliffe?
  • Siemens are Europe’s biggest industrial company, so they can invest heavily to ensure they get the order.
  • Delivering the first trains for the Piccadilly Line in 2023, could be a tough ask!

In a Brexit World, it will be interesting to see who gets the order.

Trains For HS2

Note these points about Siemens, High Speed Trains and the trains required for HS2.

  • It would appear that most German ICE trains are built by Siemens or the company is involved in a consortium.
  • Siemens latest trains for Eurostar have been well-received.
  • The High Speed Train market around the World is increasing in size.
  • The initial HS2 contract will be sixty trains, each of which will hold a thousand passengers.

As trains will be of two types;HS2-only and classic-compatible, the designing of the trains will be a challenging exercise.

But Siemens experience from Germany, where classic-compatible trains have to be extensively used, may give them an edge.

I have ridden High Speed Trains in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Kent, and single-deck trains are very similar, especially where trains are classic-compatible.

They are certainly more similar, than say commuter trains, which all seem to suffer from lots of local preferences.

Another factor is the size of the site at Goole, which is 23 hectares or the size of 23 football pitches.

  • Could Siemens be planning a new site to build its High Speed Trains?
  • Are Siemens short of space for expansion at Krefeld?
  • There is probably space for a test track at Goole, that could be connected to the factory.
  • The site would be well-connected to the East Coast Main Line and the rest of the UK’s High Speed Network and the Channel Tunnel.
  • Exports to the Rest of the World, could use the ports of the Humber.
  • Siemens have a lot of investment in other industries in East Yorkshire.

It looks to be a logical choice of location to manufacture and commission trains.

If they get the order for the new trains for HS2, it would be the ideal manufacturing site.

But if they do, will Siemens manufacture High Speed Trains for export?

This could explain, why Chris Grayling was present for the announcement in Goole.

New  Trains For The New East Midlands Franchise

With these trains, which will likely be bi-modes, it depends on whether they are trains like Hitachi Class 800 trains or classic-compatible versions of High Speed Trains.

But this order will be smaller than the London Underground or HS2 orders, so9 I wouldn’t be surprised if it went to the company with the best of the previous generation of 125 mph bi-mode trains.

New  Trains For The New Southeastern Franchise

Surely, if Siemens get this order it will be for Desiro City trains and like the Class 700 trains for Thameslink, Siemens would seriously, think about building them in Germany.

On the other hand, Southeastern’s routes could be very much in Crossrail territory and as I showed in Is Crossrail Having An Affect On Train Purchases In The South East?, I think it is very likely that the nod will go to Aventras for the franchise.

But I estimate, there are 1,300 trains needed, so with the right offer, they might get the order and decide to build them at Goole.

Once this franchise is settled, there probably aren’t too many large train orders left in the UK, for this class of train.

And Then There Is Hydrogen!

I believe that just as Alstom converted a Alstom Coradia Lint, into a hydrogen version, that Siemens could apply the same process to create a hydrogen-powered Class 707 train, which would probably be a useful train for a train operating company to have in its fleet.

I describe my thinking in Could The Unwanted Class 707 Trains Be Converted To Hydrogen-Power?

Perhaps, the current unwanted thirty trains could be converted to dual-voltage hydrogen-powered trains?

But this is not a project that would require a large factory!

Unless of course, it was linked to the 1,300 new trains that the new Southeastern franchise could need.


I feel that Siemens is in pole position to build the High Speed Trains, but it could be more than that!

Are Siemens developing Goole as their main manufacturing site for High Speed Trains, due to limitations at Krefeld in Germany?

Does this leave the Bombardier-Hitachi consortium to pick up the London Underground order?

It’s all getting very interesting!






March 3, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The Strange People You See On The Underground

As I got on my Victoria Line train at Highbury and Islington station, scruffy individual got on carrying a claw hammer. One or two others noticed him and as he got off at Green Park, we had a safe journey!

February 11, 2018 Posted by | Travel | | 5 Comments

Bromley-by-Bow Station To Be Made Step-Free

Bromley-by-Bow station is to be made step-free.

I took these pictures this morning.

Work appears to be well underway.

This page on Hawkins Brown website gives comprehensive details of the project.

They are the architects for the project.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

West London Stations To Be Made Step-Free

Twelve stations in West London are to be made step-free on the London Underground.

These Crossrail stations in West London, will also become step-free.

This gives a total of twenty stations, that will become fully step-free in West London.

These pictures show the various London Underground stations. at the end of January 2018.

Boston Manor

No work has started yet!


The station is unusual in that there are steep steps up to a bridge over the tracks, at both entrances to the station. Then there would need to be further lifts to the platforms.

Work has started.


No work has started yet! Will the current bridge be replaced?

North Ealing

No work has started yet!


No work has started yet!

Park Royal

No work has started yet!


No work has started yet! Will the current bridge be replaced?

Sudbury Hill

No work has started yet!

Platform Height Problems

Boston Manor, North Ealing, Osterley, Park Royal and Sudbury Hill stations were all District Line stations moved to the Piccadilly Line.

This picture was taken at Osterley station.

Could we see trains running on the Piccadilly Line, where the suspension jacks the train up as required?

This may seem rather fantastical, but most modern trains run on airbags to give a smooth ride.

This picture shows the bogie under a Class 378 train.

Note the air-bag! Pump it up and the train rides higher.

This technique could be used to solve the problem of Piccadilly Line trains calling at platforms shared with Metropolitan Line trains.


They are much more of a mixed bunch than those I wrote about in Eastern Central Line Stations To Be Made Step-Free.

This probably due to the fact, that the Eastern stations were all build by the Great Eastern Railway at around the same time.

These West London stations were built at various times, with some being built in the 1930s.

  • Boston Manor was rebuilt in 1934 and is Grade II Listed
  • Hanger Lane was built in 1947.
  • Osterley was built in 1934 and is Grade II Listed.
  • Park Royal was built in 1932 and is Grade II Listed
  • Sudbury Hill was built in 1931 to a design of Charles Holden and is Grade II Listed.

Didn’t they have disabled people and prams in those days, just a few years before I was born?

Some of the precipitous steps in this group of station are very dangerous.

At least some of the other stations of this era like Bounds Green, Southgate and Word Green have escalators.

What Are Transport for London’s Plans?

Transport for London have stated that their aim is to eventually have all Underground stations with full step-free access.

If you look at maps of West London, stations for Underground and National Rail are not that numerous and it is rare to find step-free access, unless a satation has been built in the last couple of decades.

So perhaps, TfL are improving the balance.







January 23, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

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.


  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

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 Hackneysians, 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 Hackney 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 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.


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!

For a start it should be on the Tube Map!

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.


  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 shows the lines through the station.

The lines are as follows.

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


  • 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.


  • 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.


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.


  • 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 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.


  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.


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 in 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 | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tube Stations To Be Made Step-Free

This article on City AM is entitled London Mayor Sadiq Khan Names The Next 13 Tube Stations Going Step-Free.

They are.

These are in addition to these stations, which are already in the pipeline for step-free access.

As the City AM article reports that the new thirteen station will cost £200 million to upgrade, there is around £300 million of work to9 be done in total.

Perhaps some of the contracts will go the companies hit by Carillion’s failure!



January 21, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

TfL To Sell And Lease Back Elizabeth Line Fleet To Finance New Deep Tube Trains

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

Transport for London (TfL) is under financial pressure for various reasons and desperately wants to order new trains for the Piccadilly Line.

  • The current 1973 Stock trains entered service in 1975.
  • 87½ six-car trains were originally ordered.
  • Train technology has moved on in over forty years.
  • The new trains will be walk-through, lower-weight, energy efficient trains with air-conditioning and wi-fi.
  • The trains may have batteries to handle regenerative braking and power failures.

When the 1967 Stock trains on the Victoria Line were replaced, the new fleet had a similar number of 2009 Stock trains.

So will TfL order 87½ trains again?

According to the November 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, this is proposed.

  • Ordering a hundred trains.
  • Installing new signalling.
  • Increasing frequency from 24 to 33 trains per hour.

This would give a capacity increase of 60 %.

The five pre-qualiofied bidders were Alstom, Bombardier, CAF, Hitachi and Siemens. However since this was announced, the following has happened.

  • Bombardier and Hitchi are submitting a joint bid.
  • Alstom and Siemens have merged their rail transportation businesses.

As the order could lead to a total of 250 new trains, I suspect competition will be keen.

I can understand why, TfL are leasing the Crossrail trains to raise money for the purchase.

I would assume that TfL will lease the new Piccadilly Line trains, just like they lease the London Overground trains.

Some might think, that the trains should be purchased outright!

That means TfL would need to raise a lot of money up front.

  • What also helps is that trains are an asset that last a long time, with many still being in peak condition at forty years old.
  • So institutions with large amounts of cash assets like Pension Funds find trains a good place to use money to create an income for beneficiaries.
  • Given that rolling stock and especially electric trains are good for the environment, it could be considered an ethical investment.

Various models are used by different transport authorities, with Merseyrail actually buying the trains and then leasing them to the train operating company.

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment