This article in theMail OnLine has one of those titles which are all you need to read.
UK could need 20 more nuclear power stations if electric cars take over our roads and cause ‘massive strain’ on power network
There is also a similar article in The Times.
The articles are based on research by Transport for London.
The article has a point and TfL have done the sums.
Consider the future.
At present London doesn’t apply the full Congestion Charge for electric vehicles and they get other discounts. So as electric vehicles get more affordable and with a longer range, it will be sensible to purchase an electric vehicle and take advantage of using it at a discount in London.
So will London be grid-locked by electric vehicles?
We may get cleaner air, but how will all those, who depend on buses and taxis get through all this congestion?
Many of these new electric cars will be driverless, which will increase their attraction and just add to the congestion.
All of these vehicles will also need to be charged, so will we see every parking space fitted with a charging point.
Who is going to pay for these points?
And then as Transport for London say, just providing enough electricity for London’s transport, will require two nuclear power stations.
So how about using hydrogen fuel cells to power these vehicles?
But to create the hydrogen you need electricity to electrolyse water. So more nuclear power stations?
So what will we do?
London is lucky, in that compared to other cities in the UK, it has an extensive public transport network that works, that people like to use.
So Crossrail 2 and possibly 3 and 4, if properly designed can take the pressure off London, to allow space for driverless electric buses and taxis, and a severely restricted number of other vehicles.
Just as people are now complaining that they were told by the Government to buy a diesel car and now they are being abused as polluters, in a decade or so, those buying electric cars will be abused as congesters.
Owning a car in the future will become an increasingly expensive and annoying business.
Building the Bakerloo Line Extension will hopefully finish around 2028/29.
So I’m publishing these maps of the areas, that could be affected by works, so if perhaps you’re thinking of moving house, you can take an appropriate decision.
Note the two completely new stations with the imaginative names of Old Kent Road 1 and Old Kent Road 2.
The full document is here on the Transport for London web site.
The sites are given in route order from the North.
Elephant And Castle
The map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines through the station.
The North-South lines across the map are from West to East.
- The Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line – Dated 13/09/1926
- The Bakerloo Line – Dated 05/08/1906
- The Bank Branch of the Northern Line.
- Thameslink to Blackfriars and Orpington, Rainham, Sevenoaks, Sutton and Wimbledon.
Just below this map is Kennington station, where the two branches of the Northern Line meet and will divide to Morden and Battersea Power Station stations.
Elephant and Castle is effectively two separate stations at present, with one for the Bakerloo Line and one for the Northern Line. Both stations have lifts and narrow, dingy platforms and passageways. Connections between the two stations underground is not good.
These pictures of Elephant and Castle station were taken on February 12th, 2017
Works envisaged at Elephant and Castle station include.
- A new larger ticket hall for the Bakerloo Line
- Wider platforms for the Bakerloo Line
- Escalators aren’t mentioned, but would probably be included for the Bakerloo Line
- New ticket hall for the Northern Line
- Three escalators and more lifts for the Northern Line to provide step-free access.
- Better connections between the two lines.
I would hope that a comprehensive design would include a step-free link to the Thameslink station.
I suspect, that the two stations could be rebuilt as two separate projects, with the Northern Line station being updated before the Bakerloo Line station.
If the two projects were properly planned, I believe that trains could continue to run on the Northern Line throughout the works, with trains running to the Bakerloo Line platforms until they needed to be closed for updating and connection to the new tunnels.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see an updated pedestrian connection between the Bakerloo and Northern Line platforms created first, so that at least one entrance to the platforms is available throughout the works.
This Google Map shows the area around Elephant and Castle.
Transport for London have said they need a worksite in the area.
Bricklayers Arms is known to many as a roundabout and flyover on the A2 into London.
This Google Map shows the roundabout.
It is one of two possible locations for a shaft that will be needed between Elephant and Castle and Old Kent Road 1 stations.
These pictures of Bricklayers Arms were taken on February 12th, 2017.
The worksite could be in the middle of the roundabout.
This Google Map shows the South-East corner of Faraday Gardens.
It is one of two possible locations for a shaft that will be needed between Elephant and Castle and Old Kent Road 1 stations.
These pictures of Faraday Gardens were taken on February 13th, 2017
The worksite could be in the a hard playground.
My personal view is that the Bricklayers Arms site is the better from a working point of view, but is it in the best position?
Old Kent Road 1 Station
This Google Map shows the area, where Old Kent Road 1 station will be located.
There are two options given for the location of the station.
Note the Tesco Southwark Superstore in the middle of the map, with its car park alongside.
- Option A for the station is on the other side of Dunton Road and slightly to the North West of the car park.
- The other Option B is on the Old Kent Road on the site of the store itself.
These pictures of the area around the Tesco store were taken on February 12th, 2017.
The group of people most affected by the construction of the station will be those who shop at this Tesco.
I suspect that given the company’s current position, Tesco would be happy to co-operate with TfL. After all there must be advasntages in having a superstore on top of an Underground station.
If the Tesco Superstore had to be knocked doiwn, there are lots more anonymous architectural gems like this one.
So I wouldn’t be surprised to see Option B implemented, with a brand new station alongside the Old Kent Road.
Old Kent Road 2 Station
There are two options for this station.
This Google Map shows the location of Option A opposite B & Q.
The station will be on the the Currys PCWorld site along the road.
These pictures of the area around the Currys PCWorld store were taken on February 12th, 2017.
This Google Map shows the location of Option B on the Toys R Us site on the other side of the Old Kent Road.
These pictures of the area around the Toys R Us store were taken on February 12th, 2017.
Both chosen sites would appear to have plenty of space and wouldn’t require the demolishing of any housing.
New Cross Gate Station
New Cross Gate station is an existing Overground and National Rail station.
This Google Map shows the station and the Retail Park, that is alongside the station to the West.
These pictures of the area around the Sainsburys store were taken on February 12th, 2017.
The worksite would take over the car park, with the station being built underneath.
This worksite is very much the most important site of the extension. The consultation says this.
The size of the proposed site provides several opportunities for the project. It could allow soil to be taken away by train rather than using local roads. We could also start the tunnel machinery from this site.
When the station is completed, I can envisage New Cross Gate becoming an important transport hub, with quality shopping experience.
Alexandra Cottages, a short road off Lewisham Way has been proposed as the location of a shaft between New Cross Gate and Lewisham stations.
This Google Map shows the location.
I suppose the site has been chosen, as the site contains a Big Yellow Self Storage facility and a Ladbrokes betting shop.
These pictures of the area around the storage facility were taken on February 13th, 2017.
Will the shaft be buried in the basement of a development suitable for the area?
This Google Map shows the current Lewisham station.
These pictures of the area around the Lewisham station were taken on February 13th, 2017.
The new Bakerloo Line station will be underground between the station and Matalan. The area is currently bus parking.
Because of the different levels and tunnels and some railway arches in good condition, the addition of the Bakerloo Line station could be a challenging one, but also one that could be architecturally worthwhile.
- Is the current station built on arches, that could allow passengers to circulate underneath?
- Could escalators and lifts connect the main line and ?Underground stations?
- Could there be significant oversite development on top of the station?
- Could the Bakerloo Line station be built without a blockade of the current station?
- Will Lewisham station be reorganised to be less of a bootleneck?
It will be interesting to see the final design.
This Google Map shows the worksite in Wearside Road, which will be used to create a shaft to the overrun tunnels.
The worksite will go at the Northern end of the light-coloured area South of where the two lines cross.
This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines in the area.
I think it is quite likely that the overrun tunnels will be under the Hayes Line.
Extension To Hayes
This document on the Lewisham Borough Council web site is a must-read document, as it gives the view of the Council and their consultants; Parsons Brinckerhoff about the Bakerloo Line Extension.
The report is very much in favour of the Extension being built and it hopes that it can be extended using the Hayes Line, where they would termiate at either at Hayes or Beckenham Junction.
Currently, Elephant and Castle station handles 14 tph, so as there would appear to be no terminal platform at that station, at least this number of trains will connect between the Bakerloo Line at Lewisham station and the Hayes Line..
But as other deep-level tube lines handle more trains, with the Victoria Line handling 36 tph by the end of this year, I don’t think it unreasonable to expect a service frequency in excess of 20 tph. So could this give at least 10 tph to both Southern terminals?
To handle 10 tph, I think it reasonable to assume that two terminal plstforms are needed.
Hayes has two plstforms, but Beckenham Junction has only one spare platform, as this Google Map shows.
But I suspect if Waitrose are reasonable, a deal can be done.
If the overrun tunnels at Lewisham station,are more-or-less under the Hayes Line, these tunnels would be easily connected to the Hayes Line, with all other services using the Courthill Loop to go on their way.
Hayes station would swap its two tph services to both Cannon Street and Charing Cross stations for at least a 10 tph service on the Bakerloo Line.
Beckenham Junction would have a similar service and I’m sure this would please Lewisham Borough Council.
Network Rail would gain four paths per hour through Lewisham station to use for other services.
Lewisham Borough Council also suggests the following for the Hayes Line.
- More Lower sydenham station further to the North.
- Create an interchange between Catford and Catford Bridge stations.
- Look seriously at the zones of stations on the Hayes Line.
They are certainly forcible in what they want.
This looks like it is a railway designed to be built without too much fuss and objections.
Most of the worksites seem to have good access and it would appear that few residential properties will be affected.
I visited the Design Museum yesterday.
It is an interesting concept and I think as it settles down it will be worth visiting again.
One problem, I had with the Museum is getting to and from the site in Holland Park.
I went by the Underground to High Street Kensington station and took about ten minutes to walk along to the museum.
Coming back, I thought I’d go a different way after a walk.
But after emerging from the Museum, there were none of London’s excellent Legible London maps and signs to be seen.
Eventually, I walked through Holland Park, but it was the same story on the other side of the Park; no maps or signs to the Underground. There were several fingerposts in the Park, but none pointed to the Underground.
I suppose if you’re in a Chelsea Tractor, many of which were rushing around the area, you’re not interested in walking maps and are against your Council spending monry on them, as it might attract more visitors.
South Kensington Tube Station has been through many changes, since it opened in 1868.
This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the layout of the lines at the two stations.
Unusually for the Circle/District Lines, both these stations are island platforms. But note how there used to be platforms on the outside of the lines we see today.
These are some pictures I took today.
There certainly quite a bit of space and abandoned infrastructure in the station.
In the Wikipedia entry for the station, under Future Proposals, failed plans for developing above the station are detailed.
It’s certainly puzzling, why the space isn’t used better, as it is a site of 0.77 hectares.
It might also be a space large enough to put in an extra platform, if that were needed.
This article in Your Thurrock, is entitled London Tube tunnelling project set to benefit arable land in East Tilbury.
It gives a good overview of the tunnelling for the Northern Line Extension and states that the tunnel spoil will be taken by barge to Goshems Farm in East Tilbury.
This Google Map shows the North Bank of the Thames from Tilbury Fort to East Tilbury.
Tilbury Fort is in the South West corner of the map, by the river and East Tilbury is in the North East corner.
This is a more detailed map of the area of Goshems Farm.
Goshems Farm is in the area of Felmac Metals and Micks Tyres, which from their names are typical businesses, you find in areas like these all over the UK.
I suspect that the spoil will go into the light-coloured land between this area and the Thames, which could be something like an old landfill site.
It’ll certainly be a lot more use as arable land.
On the early-evening BBC London News last night, the BBC showed preview pictures of the new entrance to Victoria tube station, which they indicated is on Brettenham Place.
The station certainly needs more capacity, as this extract from Wikipedia indicates.
Victoria is currently the fourth busiest station on the London Underground, after Waterloo, Oxford Circus and King’s Cross St. Pancras, with nearly 85 million using the station (not including interchanging passengers) in 2013, of which around 60 million (including interchanges) use the Victoria line platforms. The station was not built for this number of passengers, which results in severe overcrowding. To prevent any dangerous situations like crowds pushing people off the platforms onto the track, crowd control measures are in place at the busiest times. This effectively means closing all the entrances to the Underground platforms and operating as an exit-only station until the overcrowding is relieved. These measures can last anywhere between a couple of minutes (when minor delays are occurring) up to several hours (during major incidents).
As to the layout of lines through the station, Victoria tube station is fairly simple, as this map from carto.metro.free.fr shows.
- The Circle and District Lines have a typical Victorian layout, with two platforms on the outside of the tracks.
- The 1960s designers of the Victoria Line at least left a lot of space between the two tracks.
- The Victoria Line also incorporates two full sidings, numbered 22 and 23 between the tracks.
As nearly all trains throughout the day run run between Walthamstow Central and Brixton, the use of these sidings must only be for purposes like overnight stabling and parking failied trains.
According to Wikipedia, currently each set of lines have their own ticket offices on different levels and built over a hundred years apart.
Walking between the Circle/District Lines and the main line station is not for the faint-hearted or those with need for step-free access. The 1960s designers at least made walking between the Victoria Line and the main line station a bit easier, but there is still a flight of steps to be overcome.
If I go to Victoria station with a wheeled bag, which is not often, I take the easy route of a 38 or N38 bus from around the corner, direct from around the corner from my house.
So what is happening over this weekend?
This Google Map shows the area to the North of the station.
- North of Victoria Street is a massive building site.
- The rows of white-roofed red buses on the station forecourt..
Wikipedia says this about the current upgrade.
To provide a lasting solution to this problem preparatory building work has begun on major upgrade of the station. This will include a new northern exit/entrance on the north-west corner of Victoria Street which will be accessible via a new additional ticket office under Bressenden Place that will lead to both the Victoria line and the Circle and District line platforms.
I will go and do some more digging.
The Victoria Line Platforms
Currently, the Victoria Line platforms have two sets of escalators.
- The original set of three, that so up into the Victoria Line ticket hall under the bus station.
- A second set of three, that go from the platforms into a series of passages underneath the Circle and District Line platforms, to which they connect with short sets of stairs.
These pictures show the Victoria Line platforms, various passages and works.
It looks like there are two new sets of works.
One set could just be an extension of the current lobby at the bottom of the original escalators. This would increase the capacity between the Victoria Line and the main line station.
Judging by the sign saying Cardinal Place on the other works at the Northern End of the platforms, it would appear that these works are a new entrance from Cardinal Place.
The Cardinal Place Entrance
On the surface, the Cardinal Place Entrance is clearly visible, outside the Cardinal Place development.
According to a personable member of the station staff, The new entrance will open sometime after ten on Monday morning.
At Cardinal Place, the overall design would appear to be simple, where an escalator shaft has been dug between the Northern end of the Victoria Line platforms and a new entrance hall beneath Bressenden Place, which then has the simple pop-up entrance shown in my pictures
The constructure, appears to have been carried out, without massive closures of the Victoria Line platforms.
So I wonder how many new entrances can be created at existing stations, by using a similar design and building method.
Walthamstow Central Station
Walthamstow Central station suffers very bad overcrowding , with only two escalators and no lifts having to cope with the passengers from over 40 trains per hour.
This map from carto.metro.free,fr shows the layout of platforms at the station.
Note how there is a wide lobby at the Eastern end of the platforms underneath the Overground lines, which is used to accommodate the escalators and the waiting queues of passengers.
The crossover to the West of the station was installed in August 2015 and I suspect that this work didn’t compromise any of Transport for London’s thoughts of improving capacity at Walthamstow Central.
It could be tight to dig a shaft for three escalators into this area, but at least the area on top is mainly grass, market stalls and not the best of buildings, with the exception of the Library.
If you look at the length of the current escalators at the station, they indicate that the Victoria Line is not deep. So that would help.
I suspect we could see a very innovative and simple solution to create a new Western entrance at Walthamstow Central station.
I would also be possible to build the entrance without any disruption to either existing train services or passengers in the existing station.
I stopped off at Holland Park tube station this morning, to take a look at the refurbishment.
The clocks would also seem to have had a makeover.
But there still seems some work to do!
I took these pictures of the Central Line platforms at Tottenham Court Road tube station.
It does seem to me that it’s wider than it used to be.
These strikes have all the qualities of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object.
The latest headline on an article on the BBC is Southern rail strike enters second day as Acas talks start.
I doubt the talks will be very productive.
Here are my thoughts about various issues.
I have been running around in driver-only-operated (DOO) trains for quite a few decades now. Especially, as I have always travelled frequently on the London Underground.
Wikipedia has a comprehensive section on One Man Operation in London.
This is said about the Underground.
All trains on the London Underground are single-manned.Conversion to one-man operation began in 1984 and was completed in 2000.
In some ways though the Underground, is not full DOO, in that on nearly all stations, there are staff on the station, who assist the driver to safely dispatch the trains.
Assistance From Staff
The staff on the platform are also there to assist passengers, who need help. This page on the Transport for London web site describes the role of staff.
This is said under Assistance To And From Trains.
On the Tube, TfL Rail and Overground, station staff will also accompany you to the train and help you on board and, if needed, can arrange for you to be met at your destination. Anyone can use this service, but it is particularly used by blind and visually impaired passengers and people using boarding ramps onto trains.
If you would like to use this service, ask a member of staff when you arrive at the station.
That is very much turn-up-and-go for everybody!
So what happens on Southern?
This page on the Southern web site gives full details of what they offer.
This is said.
When should I ask for help?
If you want to book ‘help’ try to call us at least one day before you travel.
That is not acceptable.
So there’s one job for the redundant guards on Southern – They could help on the platform, as they do on the London Underground and Overground.
The Gospel Oak To Barking Line
London hasn’t been without trouble though, as this from Wikipedia shows.
TFL now operates 100% of its overground network as driver-only trains. The latest conversion was announced in July 2013 on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line. The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) challenged the move, claiming passenger safety would be compromised. Transport for London replied that at the time the East London Line, already one-man operated, has one door-related incident for every 7 million passengers, while the section of the network which currently uses conductors has one door-related incident for every 4 million passengers. On 16 August 2013, the RMT called a 48-hour strike over the August Bank holiday weekend. According to the RMT, the proposal set forth by Transport for London would imply Driver Only Operations on the whole of the London Overground network and make 130 guards redundant London Overground Rail Operations stated in response that they had given “the RMT assurances on employing conductors in alternative customer service roles and offering a generous voluntary redundancy package to those who want it.” According to RMT, the proposals to implement driver only operations are in response to the 12.5% reduction in Transport for London’s funding announced in Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s Comprehensive Spending Review
I certainly don’t remember that strike. So it must have been really significant!
Overground And Underground
You should always remember that when the Overground started, every train had a second man, but gradually they have been moved to the platforms.
The Overground works a different system to the Underground on doors in that the driver enables the doors for opening and they are actually opened by the passengers individually. On the Underground, the driver just opens and closes all doors.
It will be interesting to see, what system the new Class 345 trains for Crossrail use.
It’s an Overground train in the outer reaches and an Underground train in the centre.
The Class 345 trains also appear to be very hi-tech with various innovative features.
Automatic Train Operation
On the London Underground, the Central, Northern, Jubilee, and Victoria lines run with ATO.
ATO was introduced on the London Underground’s Northern line in 2013 and will be introduced on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan lines by 2022. Although ATO will be used on Crossrail and Thameslink, it has not yet been implemented on UK mainline railways
Lines like the Victoria Line, Crossrail and Thameslink, will not be completely automatic, but the driver will be an intelligent monitor to what the train is doing. It could be compared to auto-land on an aircraft, where the plane is actually controlled, by the autopilot and the pilots monitor.
As a Control Engineer, I believe we’ll be seeing large increases in the use of ATO in the UK in the next few years. Many intensively used lines could probably handle more trains, with a controlling ATO system.
Will the Unions object to ATO?
They haven’t seemed to yet, as ATO generally seems to see an increase in the number of trains, which means more staff.
More Automation On Trains
This is happening, but then this is only following the lead of more automation in planes and road vehicles.
Crossrail trains will set a new standard in automation.
This is a snippet from the an article in the Derby Telegraph
Unlike today’s commuter trains, Aventra can shut down fully at night and can be “woken up” by remote control before the driver arrives for the first shift.
I described this to a driver for Northern and a big smile came over his face.
Perhaps more contentious is the autoreverse system fitted to Crossrail trains, that I wrote about and explained fully in Crossrail Trains Will Have Auto-Reverse.
The system will work at a Crossrail terminal like Paddington or Abbey Wood.
- The driver selects auto-reverse in the terminal platform.
- The train then drives itself into the reversing siding.
- The driver starts to walk back through the train towards the other cab.
- When the train reaches the end of the reversing siding, it reverses back into the return platform.
- By the time the driver has walked the length of the train and installed himself in the cab, the train will have arrived in the platform and will be ready to depart.
I suspect that there will be a high-level of safety systems, with the driver probably carrying a dead man’s handle, that connects to the train by radio.
It will be interesting to see how the Unions react to such a system.
- One of the reasons for the auto-reverse is that it is needed to get 30 trains per hour, through the tunnel.
- Drivers will avoid a 200 metre walk.
- No passengers will be on the train, when the driver is out of the cab.
But it will mean more staff being employed, to drive and service the extra trains and handle the extra passengers.
I am drawn to the conclusion, that lots of automation and driver aids are coming to the railways.
DOO is the first of many issues, where there will be a fight.
If the Unions don’t like it, they will reap the wrath of the passengers, train companies and most politicians.
This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at Queen’s Park station.
Note how there is a cross-platform interchange between the two pairs of lines.
- It is not level access by any means and very difficult for wheel-chair users or those pushing buggies or heavy wheeled cases.
- I suspect that at some point it could even be illegal under disability regulations.
- With a more intense service, loading and unloading trains may become a seriouscause of delay.
It is not just a would-like, but a must-have.
The current five-car Class 378 trains are 100 metres long, which compares with the 113 metre length of the 1972 Stock train.
One way to solve the platform height issue, would be to have a dual height platform with one end of the platform level access for the 1972 Stock and the other for the Class 378 train.
This would probably need a platform of the order of 215 metres.
But London Overground have ordered a set of four-car Class 710 trains for the Watford DC Line. These trains will be perhaps 80 metres long, as the type will be shared with the shorter platforms of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.
This shorter length train should make the design of a dual-height platform acceptable to all users a lot easier.
Currently Off Peak services through Willesden Junction are as follows.
- 3 trains per hour (tph) from Euston to Watford Junction – London Overground
- 9 tph on the Bakerloo Line.
Some sources mention that there are ambitions to run 27 tph on the Bakerloo Line. So even if all the trains went through to Watford Junction, that would only mean 30 tph stopping at stations on the line.
Currently, 2 tph on the Bakerloo Line turnback at Queen’s Park station, so it looks like with good deual-height platform design, the current schedule of three tph on the Overground, stopping at South Hampstead and Kilburn High Road can be continued and supplemented with perhaps 18-20 tph on the Bakerloo Line North of Queen’s Park station.
Platforms could be about 180-200 metres long, with a height to fit the Bakerloo Line trains. At one end they would have an 80 metre section of platform to suit the Class 710 trains.
The Class 710 trains would obviously be wheelchair friendly, like the current Class 378 trains, but they would be designed to fit a typical station on the Watford DC and Gospel Oak to Barking Lines.
If Class 378 trains were also providing services on the line, they would use their selective door opening to use the four-car raised section of the platform.
So, if the stations were to be given lifts to fit the new dual-height platforms, the service would have the following characteristics.
- Totally step-free and level access at all stations for all trains.
- South Hampstead and Kilburn High Road stations would keep their current service.
- Most stations would have an increased service.
- 27 tph through the central section of the Bakerloo Line would be enabled.
The biggest problem would be walking or pushing to the right end of the platform for your train, at stations served by both size of train.