The Anonymous Widower

Elizabeth Line To Open On 24 May 2022

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release on Crossrail.

This is the sub-title.

Trains to run every five minutes 06:30 – 23:00 Monday to Saturday between Paddington and Abbey Wood.

And these are the first two paragraphs describe what will open.

Transport for London (TfL) has today confirmed that, subject to final safety approvals, the Elizabeth line will open on Tuesday 24 May 2022. The Elizabeth line will transform travel across London and the South East by dramatically improving transport links, cutting journey times, providing additional capacity, and transforming accessibility with spacious new stations and walk-through trains. The Elizabeth line will initially operate as three separate railways, with services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield connecting with the central tunnels from autumn this year.

In the coming weeks, Elizabeth line signage will continue to be uncovered across the network in preparation for the start of customer service. The updated Tube and Rail map will also be released later showing the new central section stations connected with the rest of the TfL network for the first time.

These are some points from the rest of the press release.

  • Work will continue in engineering hours and on Sundays to allow a series of testing and software updates in preparation for more intensive services from the autumn.
  • All services between Reading and Heathrow to Paddington and Shenfield to Liverpool Street, currently operating as TfL Rail, will be rebranded to the Elizabeth line.
  • Passengers wanting to do longer journeys may need to change at Paddington or Liverpool Street stations.
  • Services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield will connect with the central tunnels in autumn when frequencies will also be increased to 22 trains per hour in the peak between Paddington and Whitechapel.
  • Paddington and Canary Wharf will have a journey time of only 17 minutes. It takes thirty minutes by the Underground.
  • All Elizabeth line stations will be staffed from first to the last train, with a ‘turn up and go’ service offered to anyone needing assistance.
  • Step-free access is in place from street to train across all Elizabeth line stations between Paddington and Woolwich.
  • Work is ongoing at Bond Street Elizabeth line station, which means that it will not open with the other stations on 24 May. It will open later in the year.
  • Changes will be made to 14 bus routes to improve links to Elizabeth line stations in east and south-east London, where many customers will use buses to get to and from stations.
  • Full services across the entire route introduced by May 2023.

I have some thoughts.

My Routes To Crossrail

Like many in London, I will have multiple routes to and from Crossrail.

  • I could take a 21 or a 141 bus from the bus stop round the corner to the Moorgate end of Liverpool Street station on Crossrail.
  • I could take a 38 bus from another bus stop round the corner to Tottenham Court Road station on Crossrail.
  • I could also take a 38 or 56 bus from this stop to Angel station and get a Northern Line train to Liverpool Street station on Crossrail.
  • I could also take a 38 or 56 bus from this stop to Essex Road station and get a Northern City Line train to Liverpool Street station on Crossrail.
  • I could also take a 30 bus from this stop to Highbury & Islington station and get a Northern City Line train to Liverpool Street station on Crossrail.
  • I could take a 30, 38 or 56 from yet another stop  round the corner to Dalston Junction station and get an Overground train to Whitechapel on Crossrail.
  • I could even walk a few hundred metres to take a 76 bus from the stop in the centre of de Beauvoir Town to the Moorgate end of Liverpool Street station on Crossrail.

One of the reasons, I bought my house, was that it would have good connections to Crossrail.

But there is a cloud on the horizon.

My easiest route will probably be to use a 21 or 141 bus direct to Moorgate.

But our South London Mayor in his wisdom is hoping to retire the 21 bus leaving us with just the 141 direct to Moorgate.

I am by training a mathematical modeller and I have lived much of my life at various points on the transport corridor from Cockfosters to Moorgate formed by the Piccadilly Line and the 141 bus. I can even remember using the predecessor of the 141 bus, which was the 641 trolley-bus to come up to London with my grandmother in the 1950s.

I’m certain that when Crossrail opens, that if you live in say Wood Green, Southgate and Oakwood, if you want to use Crossrail to get to Heathrow or Canary Wharf, you will be highly likely to take the Piccadilly Line to Manor House and then take a 141 bus to Moorgate to pick up Crossrail.

The only alternative will be to change at Finsbury Park for the Moorgate Line, which even after the improvements at Finsbury Park, would not be an easy change with a heavy bag or a baby in a buggy.

I talked about this problem before in Does London Need High Capacity Bus Routes To Extend Crossrail?, where I said this.

I suspect that when Crossrail opens, the 141 bus will be heavily used by travellers going between the Northern reaches of the Piccadilly Line and Crossrail at Moorgate.

The 141 bus goes between London Bridge station and Palmers Green and it has a route length of about nine miles.

Currently, buses run every fifteen minutes or so, but I doubt it will be enough in future as Transport for London are rerouting the closely-related 21 bus.

I suspect any route seen as an extension of Crossrail needs to have the following characteristics.

  • High frequency of perhaps a bus every ten minutes.
  • Interior finish on a par with the Class 345 trains.
  • Wi-fi and phone charging.

I would also hope the buses were carbon-free. Given that some of these routes could be quite long, I would suspect hydrogen with its longer range could be better.

It should be noted that the 43 bus, that passes Moorgate, is already carbon-free.

I will be interested to see what action is taken by  Transport for London.

I believe their current plan is lacking and will make it difficult for those where I live to get to Crossrail at Moorgate.

Feeder Bus Routes To Crossrail

I believe that there could be considerable scope for more high-capacity high-quality feeder routes to and from Crossrail.

Currently, there are four bus routes that pass Moorgate station, that come into this category.

  • 21 – Lewisham Shopping Centre and Newington Green
  • 43 – London Bridge Station and Friern Barnet
  • 76 – Waterloo Station and Stoke Newington
  • 141 – London Bridge Station and Palmers Green

How many other routes are there, that stop outside a Crossrail station?

I suspect that for many Londoners and visitors, a bus to Crossrail will be their fastest way to their ultimate destination.

For instance, my fastest way to Bond Street, Canary Wharf, Ealing, Heathrow, Paddington and Reading will start with a bus to the Crossrail entrance at Moorgate station.

And it looks like Transport for London will be reducing my bus frequency to Moorgate, when it probably needs a slight increase.

Crossrail’s North-West Essex Extension

One of the elegant parts of Crossrail’s design is its interchange with the Central Line at Stratford station.

  • The Eastbound Crossrail and Central Line platforms share an island platform.
  • The Westbound Crossrail and Central Line platforms share an island platform.

This arrangement allows step-free cross-platform interchange between the two lines.

This map, which was clipped from Wikipedia, shows the North-Eastern end of the Central Line.

 

I am sure, that those who live to the North-East of Stratford station will be some of the residents of London, who benefit the most from Crossrail.

The following stations are step-free.

  • Buckhurst Hill
  • Debden
  • Epping
  • Hainault
  • Newbury Park
  • Roding Valley
  • South Woodford
  • Stratford
  • Woodford

I suspect more stations will be made step-free.

Cross-Platform Interchanges

It was originally planned, that a similar cross-platform interchange would have been built at Walthamstow Central station, that would have allowed the Victoria Line to continue to Woodford.

As the Stratford interchange works so well, I’m surprised the track layout hasn’t been used at more places on London’s rail network.

The Whitechapel Reverse

In Is Whitechapel Station Going To Be A Jewel In The East?, I discussed the importance of Whitechapel station.

Whitechapel station solves the round-the-corner problem for passengers, who want to go between say Romford and Woolwich stations.

Passengers just walk the few metres between the two platforms at Whitechapel station and take the first train to their destination.

I call stations like Whitechapel reversal stations, as they allow passengers to easily reverse direction. There is more about reversal stations in Reversal Stations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 15, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The New Track Layout At Bank And Moorgate Stations

This map from cartometro.com shows the new track layout through Bank And Moorgate.

Note.

  1. Crossrail is shown in purple.
  2. The Central Line is shown in red.
  3. The Circle, Hammersmith and City and the Metropolitan lines are shown in yellow and mauve.
  4. The Circle, District lines are shown in yellow and green stripes.
  5. The Northern Line is shown in black.
  6. The Northern City Line, that terminates at Moorgate is also shown in black.

The routes of the Northern Line are now clear from the map.

The Northbound Route Of The Northern Line

The Northbound trains pass through the following platforms.

  1. The Easternmost platform, which is numbered 4 at Bank station.
  2. The Western Northern Line platform, which is numbered 7 at Moorgate station.

This route of the Northbound tunnel will be identical before and after the works.

The Original Southbound Route Of The Northern Line

Until January this year, the Southbound trains passed through the following platforms.

  1. The Eastern Northern Line platform, which is numbered 8 at Moorgate station.
  2. The original Western Northern Line platform, which was numbered 3 at Bank station.

Note how the Northbound and Southbound tracks cross between the two stations.

The New Southbound Route Of The Northern Line

The new Southbound route is shown dotted on the map.

  • The new Southbound platform is also shown dotted.
  • The Northbound and Southbound tracks still cross between the two stations.

The tracks don’t return to standard left-hand running until South of Borough station.

After the line fully-reopens, some time in May this year, the Southbound trains will pass through the following platforms.

  1. The Eastern Northern Line platform, which is numbered 8 at Moorgate station.
  2. The new Western Northern Line platform at Bank station.

Effectively, the Southbound tunnel has been moved to the West to create more space in Bank station.

Conclusion

The design of the new tunnel appears simple, but I don’t think it was that easy to construct.

 

 

April 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moorgate Station – 26th April 2022

In July 2021, I wrote Down Into The Depths At Moorgate Station and I included this picture of the lift that connects the Northern and Elizabeth Lines.

For much of the last few months, this lift lobby has been full of builders junk piled along the right hand side.

But today, everything looked finished.

The yellow bars are the barrier to stop passengers taking a closer look.

When Will Crossrail Open?

Between Angel and London Bridge stations, there are four projects underway on the Northern Line.

The Rebuilding Of Old Street Station

This page on the Transport for London web site, describes the rebuilding of the station.

This is an extract.

In summer 2022 we will:

  • Create an interim exit route through the main station entrance stairs while works continue on the above-ground part of the new entrance
  • Complete final changes to the traffic layout and close Subway 3 over the weekend of 10, 11 and 12 June 2022.

Transport for London’s journey planner also indicates that up to the end of June, there will be no closures of Old Street station or the Northern Line through the station.

It would appear that this project is totally independent of the trains and access to the platforms.

The Bank Station Upgrade

As far as Angel, Old Street, Moorgate and London Bridge stations are concerned, these stations are generally not affected by the work at Bank, as one line between Moorgate and London Bridge stations is being replaced by another.

  • The signalling will have to be thoroughly checked.
  • Drivers will have to be trained.
  • Station staff will have to be trained in the procedures in the new platform at Bank.

I have checked the closed sections of the Northern Line on Transport for London’s journey planner and found this.

  • May 1st to May 19th – Northern Line closed between Moorgate and Kennington. As now!
  • May 20th – Northern Line fully open
  • May 21st to May 22nd – Northern Line closed between Archway and High Barnet
  • May 23rd to May 31st – Northern Line fully open

Note.

  1. I haven’t checked June yet!
  2. Archway has a turnback siding to allow the High Barnet branch to be closed.
  3. All dates are 2022.

It does look that the new Southbound tunnel through Bank station could open on May 20th, which is a Friday.

Crossrail Opening

Transport for London’s journey planner provides some interesting information about TfL Rail services.

  • May 1st – Slightly reduced service
  • May 2nd to May 6th – Normal service
  • May 7th to 8th – Slightly reduced service
  • May 9th to May 19th – Normal service
  • May 21st to 22nd – Slightly reduced service
  • May 23rd to May 31st – Normal service

Note.

  1. The slightly reduced service has a few less early morning services and a possible reduced frequency. It only applies at weekends.
  2. Normal service is just that, although trains might not be stopping at all stations.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find, that Crossrail can open on any day, where normal service is running.

With the new Southbound tunnel of the Northern Line possibly opening on the 20th May, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Crossrail opening a few days before, so as to give the very busy part of the London Underground in the City of London, a good test.

The Crossrail Pedestrian Route Between Liverpool Street And Moorgate

I described this pedestrian route in London’s First Underground Roller Coaster and as it is part of the Crossrail pedestrian routes, I suspect it will open with Crossrail.

This picture shows a cross-section of the massive Liverpool Street Crossrail station, which will connect Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations when it opens in December 2018.

Note.

  1. Moorgate station is on the left.
  2. Liverpool Street station is on the right.
  3. In the middle looking like a giant juicer is the ventilation shaft in Finsbury Circus.
  4. The Crossrail tunnels, which consist of two running tunnels and a pedestrian walkway between them are at the deepest level.
  5. There are escalators and lifts all over the place.

The route will become an ideal walking route between Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations in heavy rain, for those who don’t want to get wet.

But it could open earlier, as it would test the pedestrian tunnels.

April 26, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail is Over Budget And Very Late – But The End Is Nearly In Sight

The title of this post is a quote from this article on the BBC, which is entitled Elizabeth line: The Ambient Detailing Behind Crossrail’s New Stations.

There have been little signs appearing in the last few days.

  • In Is The Paddington Bakerloo Line Link Opening Soon?, it looked like the new tunnel, that will form the Bakerloo Line Link to Crossrail could be opening soon.
  • In The Covers Are Off At Tottenham Court Road Station, it looked like the builders were finishing off Tottenham Court Road station.
  • I go through Moorgate station about six times a week.This morning, as I normally do, I took the rat-up-the-drainpipe route to the surface, that I described in Up From The Depths At Moorgate Station. The escalators have been reversed and there were a lot of staff around.
  • I’ve also seen guys and gals walking around with clipboards.

This all indicates to me that D-Day is not far-off, when passengers will be allowed to set foot on Crossrail’s platforms and trains.

April 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Joy Of Freedom

I set out my views on masks in the title of Should We Be Given More Discretion Over Mask Wearing?.

Today was the first Friday under the relaxed rules on masks, when I have done my pre-weekend Friday morning routine.

  • Take a bus and a Northern Line train or a direct bus to Moorgate.
  • Have a Full English breakfast in Leon.
  • Visit Marks & Spencer on Moorgate and get my weekend food.

These are my comments on today’s trip.

  • I rode the bus to Angel without a mask and had a pleasant chat with a lady of my age about Putin.
  • We felt that the Brutus solution for Vlad the Poisoner would be best!
  • On the train between Angel and Moorgate stations, I was the only passenger not wearing a mask.
  • It was easy to walk up the steps at Moorgate station.
  • Leon was busy, with about half of customers and all staff wearing masks.
  • Marks was about half full and it was nice to be able to shop wearing my glasses, which don’t fit my mask.
  • I should say, that I need my glasses to read sell-by dates.
  • There were no naked faces on the bus home.

It was such a joy for me, to be able to travel and do my shopping without a mask.

But then at no time, was I in a crowd, which might have made me reach for my mask.

Conclusion

I doubt at no time, I’ll go back to full-time mask wearing.

Incidentally, I used to have a racehorse called Joy of Freedom.

February 25, 2022 Posted by | Food, Health, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

London’s New 733 Bus Route

London has a new 733 bus route, that runs between Moorgate and Oval stations.

Transport for London do seem to have rounded up some better quality buses, to double for the Northern Line during the close at Bank station.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Structural Engineering At Work!

I took this picture of the new block on top of the Moorgate entrance to Liverpool Street Crossrail station.

I like structures and this could turn out to be a good example of their use.

January 1, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Heavy Fire Doors At Moorgate Stations – 6th December 2021

They’re certainly not stinting on safety in Moorgate station.

These doors will cut off the passages between Crossrail and the Northern Line.

December 11, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Oversite Development At Moorgate Station – 10th December 2021

These pictures were taken in Moorgate of the development over the station.

I was walking up from Bank station.

December 11, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , | 5 Comments

Tube Strikes: Passengers Warned Of Widespread Disruption

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

I can see a scenario, where the Tories put something in their next General Election manifesto to bring a little bit of sense to the RMT and there is a total National rail strike during the election.

It would be Starmer’s worst nightmare!

As it is this morning, I’ll probably have difficulty getting to Moorgate for my gluten-free full English breakfast and do my food shopping for the weekend in Marks and Spencer.

November 26, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments