The Anonymous Widower

How Will Class 710 Trains Access Willesden TMD?

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the track layout around Willesden TMD, where the Class 710 trains for the Gospel Oak to Barking Line (GOBLIN) will be stabled.

Note the following lines around Willesden TMD.

North London Line

The North London Line goes through platforms 4 and 5 at Willesden Junction station.

South of the station it splits, with the North London Line continuing to Richmond and the West London Line going to Clapham Junction.

North of the station the line continues to the East and at Gospel Oak station, the GOBLIN branches away.

The Bakerloo Line And Watford DC Line

The shared tracks of the Bakerloo Line and the Watford DC Line, which are shown in black/orange go through platforms 1 and 3 at Willesden Junction station.

To the East the tracks go towards Euston and to the West, they go towards Watford.

There is also a bay platform 2 in Willesden Junction station, which is shown in these pictures.

Note that is long enough to take a five-car Class 378 train and that it is also electrified with London Underground’s four-rail electrification.

Platform 2 To The North London Line to the East

Two tracks give a direct route from Platform 2 at Willesden Junction station to the Eastbound North London Line. greatkingrat says they are labelled “New Lines”

Looking from the train this morning, I don’t think this pair of tracks is electrified, so it doesn’t allow Platform 2 to be used to turn electric trains running on the North London Line.

I have seen Platform 2 used as a terminus, but the trains must use the electrified route via Primrose Hill.

After greatkingrat’s comment, I went back and had a second look.

Note.

25 KVAC overhead electrification can be seen at the North London Line end of the tracks.

There is 750 VDC third-rail electrification at the Willesden

This Google Map shows, where the connecting tracks join the Bakerloo/Watford DC Line.

It does appear that the third-rail and a couple of gantries are visible.

  • Trains leaving Platform 2 should be able to use third-rail electrification until they are under the overhead wires, when they would change over.
  • Trains arriving at Platform 2 would use overhead wires, as far as they could and then swap to third-rail.

If this route is to be used by new Class 710 trains, I’m sure it will get more than adequate testing.

Entering Or Leaving Willesden TMD

I am not sure, how Class 378 trains working the Watford DC Line service transfer to and from Willesden TMD, but it does appear there are some convenient crossovers.

I have looked at Real Time Trains and early in the morning of the 9th of January, these trains called at Platform 2 at Willesden Junction station, that originated at Willesden TMD.

  • 05:02 – Willesden TMD to Barking
  • 05:15 – Willesden TMD to Upper Holloway
  • 05:23 – Willesden TMD to Stratford via Primrose Hill
  • 05:56 – Willesden TMD to Kensal Green
  • 06:17 – Willesden TMD to Euston

There were also other services, which appeared to be going between Euston and Stratford.

It looks to me that trains were being positioned to start service and that the bay platform 2 at Willesden Junction station is used to reverse trains, coming out of the depot.

It also appears that some trains use the electrified route to the East via Primrose Hill.

The 05:02 and 05:15 are Class 172 trains going to the GOBLIN, and as they are diesel trains, they use the pair of direct tracks, that connect to Platform 2.

How Will Class 710 Trains Go Between the GOBLIN And Willesden TMD?

As the Class 710 trains will be dual voltage trains, they should be able to take the direct route, which has both types of electrification and requires a change at some point.

They can also take a roundabout route possibly via Primrose Hill and using Platform 2 at Willesden Junction station to access the depot.

But I suspect Class 710 trains will have battery power.

This would enable them to take the same short cut, but without using the electrification, between Platform 2 and the North London Line, that the Class 172 trains use currently.

Dual-voltage Class 378 trains should be able to use the short route.

Conclusion

Fitting batteries to Class 710 trains, would make their operation on the GOBLIN, a lot easier, as they could use the batteries to get in and out of Willesden TMD.

Could it be that the software that handles power and charges and uses the batteries, is the unreliable software?

This article on Rail Magazine is entitled Gospel Oak-Barking Fleet Plan Remains Unclear.

This is a paragraph.

London Overground was due to put new Bombardier Class 710 electric multiple units into traffic on the route from March 2018, with a full rollout by May. However, problems with the Train Control Management System (TCMS) has so far prevented this.

I also think that for a train to work the GOBLIN and be stabled at Willesden TMD,  it must be a dual-voltage train or have a capability to run on batteries.

 

 

January 16, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gospel Oak-Barking Fleet Plan Remains Unclear

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

In the article, there is a picture of 378232 at Barking station.

According to the Wikipedia entry for Class 378 trains, this unit is listed as being four-cars and TBA (To Be Allocated?)

So is it a spare train, that is used for driver and staff training and route proving?

It was certainly doing the latter at Barking.

The Situation On The Gospel Oak To Barking Line Is Critical

This page on the Barking-Gospel Oak Rail User Group web site is their latest newsletter, which was issued on the 14th of January.

These are the headlines on the newsletter.

  • Train Service On Brink Of Collapse
  • Not Enough Trains For Viable Service
  • TfL Has No Idea When New Trains Will Be Fit For Service
  • Rail Users Demand Mayor Takes Action To Restore Reliable Train Service Now
  • Rail Users Demand Compensation After Years Of Misery

It’s all strong stuff.

Trains that work are urgently needed to replace the diesel Class 172 trains, which will all leave by the end of April or even March.

Possible Replacement Trains

These types of trains have been touted as replacement trains.

Class 315 trains

TfL has started to send some Class 315 trains, made redundant by TfL Rail, for scrapping.

Could some of these be held back for use on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line?

  • They should fit the route.
  • London Overground already runs these trains to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town.
  • The expertise and driving experience must be there to run a service.

But, as there have been no reports of any Class 315 trains on the route, I suspect that there’s a reason, why these trains can’t fill the gap.

Could it be the disability regulations, which kick in at the end of 2019?

The proposed Class 710 rains ordered for both Gospel Oak to Barking Line and the Watford DC Line are dual voltage.

As the Willesden TMD was built to handle trains with the ability to use third-rail electrification, is this ability needed to access the depot?

But Class 315 trains are 25 KVAC only, so this could mean they are unsuitable.

Class 365 Trains

Class 365 trains got ScotRail out of trouble, but like the Class 315 trains, they are 25 KVAC only, so may have the same stabling issues.

They would also be a new train class for London Overground.

Class 319 Trains

Class 319 trains are dual-voltage and could probably be used on both routes, but they would need a refurbishment and would also be a new train class for London Overground.

Class 378 Trains

Class 378 trains already work the Watford DC Line and after the test of a four-car unit to Barking, London Overground probably know how difficult, it would be for four-car trains to work the route.

The trains are dual-voltage and London Overground’s strategy of basing trains for both routes at Willesden TMD would probably be possible.

Drivers and other staff know them very well, as do the passengers.

I am drawn to the conclusion, that of the trains available in the event of non-delivery of Class 710 trains, the Class 378 trains are the best choice.

How Many Trains Are Needed For The Gospel Oak To Barking Line?

The full service was run by a fleet of eight Class 172 service.

As the same number of Class 710 trains have been pencilled in for the route, I must assume that this is the number of trains required. I think six trains are needed for the service, with two in reserve or maintenance.

How Many Class 378 Trains Are Needed For A Full Overground Service?

If I go through the routes of the original Overground, I find the following.

Dalston Junction And Clapham Junction

Trains take 46 minutes to go South and 44 minutes to come North and a round trip would take two hours.

This means thatthe current four trains per hour (tph) service would need eight trains.

Dalston Junction And New Cross

Trains take 22 minutes both ways and a round trip would take an hour.

This means that the current four tph service would need four trains.

Highbury & Islington And Crystal Palace

Trains take 44 minutes to go South and 43 minutes to come North and a round trip would take two hours.

This means that the current four tph service would need eight trains.

Highbury & Islington And West Croydon

Trains take 52 minutes both ways and a round trip would take two hours.

This means that the current four tph service would need eight trains.

Euston And Watford Junction

Trains take 47 minutes to go South and 50 minutes to come North and a round trip would take two hours.

This means that the current three tph service would need six trains.

Stratford And Richmond/Clapham Junction

Between Stratford and Richmond, trains take 59-64 minutes to go West and 62 minutes to come East.

Between Stratford and Clapham Junction, trains take 62 minutes to go West and 64 minutes to come East.

The round trip times are very similar and are around two and a half hours.

This means that the current eight tph service would need twenty trains.

Summarising, these services gives.

  • Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction – 8 trains
  • Dalston Junction and New Cross – 4 trains
  • Highbury & Islington and Crystal Palace – 8 trains
  • Highbury & Islington and West Croydon – 8 trains
  • Euston and Watford Junction – 6 trains
  • Stratford and Richmond/Clapham Junction – 20 trains

This gives a total of 54 trains. As there are fifty-seven Class 378 trains, this means there are three spares to cope for maintenance and breakdowns.

London Overground have plans to increase frequencies and they are detailed in this table.

Note that four extra services are planned for the East London, North London and Watford DC Lines.

  • Two extra tph between Stratford and Clapham Junction, which has already been implemented.
  • Two extra tph between Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction. This would mean that twelve trains would be needed for this service.
  • Two extra tph between Dalston Junction and Crystal Palace. This would mean that twelve trains would be needed for this service.
  • One extra tph between Euston and Watford Junction. This would mean that eight trains would be needed for this service.

Summarising again gives.

  • Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction – 12 trains
  • Dalston Junction and New Cross – 4 trains
  • Highbury & Islington and Crystal Palace – 12 trains
  • Highbury & Islington and West Croydon – 8 trains
  • Euston and Watford Junction – 8 trains
  • Stratford and Richmond/Clapham Junction – 20 trains

This gives a total of 64 trains.

As London Overground only has 57 Class 378 trains, this proposed timetable is impossible without some new Class 710 trains.

London Overground plan to use some of the Class 710 trains to release Class 378 trains from the Watford DC Line, to reinforce East London Line services.

So it looks like the late delivery of the Class 710 trains has also scuppered London Overground’s plans to increase services on the East London Line.

How Many Class 378 Trains Could Be Scraped Together?

This table shows the number of Class 378 trains needed for the current service.

  • Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction – 8 trains
  • Dalston Junction and New Cross – 4 trains
  • Highbury & Islington and Crystal Palace – 8 trains
  • Highbury & Islington and West Croydon – 8 trains
  • Euston and Watford Junction – 6 trains
  • Stratford and Richmond/Clapham Junction – 20 trains

This gives a total of 54 trains. With just three trains spare.

As the Gospel Oak to Barking Line needs eight trains to run a full service, this is not enough.

What strategies can be applied to increase the number of trains available?

Reduce The Stratford And Clapham Junction Service To Two tph

The Stratford and Clapham Junction service was two tph until recently, when it was raised to four tph.

Reducing it back to two tph, would reduce the number of trains required on Stratford and Clapham/Richmond services by five.

This would give eight spare trains, which would be almost enough to run a full service on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

Provided of course, that there was a hundred percent availability, which is rather an impossible dream.

Introduce The Class 710 Trains On The Watford DC Line

The Class 710 trains for the Gospel Oak to Barking Line are dual-voltage trains, which will also run on the Watford DC Line. So would it be a sensible idea to introduce these trains first on the Watford DC Line?

  • The third-rail electrification on the line is at least fifty years old, so must be fully tested.
  • The drivers have extensive route knowledge of running electric trains on the route.
  • Willesden TMD, where the Class 710 trains are stabled, is on the Watford DC Line.
  • The route is only shared with the Bakerloo Line.
  • The route is to be equipped with six Class 710 trains anyway.

Every Class 710 train introduced will release a Class 378 train.

But if the Class 710 trains don’t work, this is no help!

Introduce The Class 710 Trains On The North London Line

Running on the North London Line is more complicated than the Watford DC Line, but five-car Class 710 trains, are planned for this route.

They could be introduced to release Class 378 trains.

The Four-Car Train Problem

Every four-car train created means that a trailer car is removed from a five-car Class 378 train.

I would assume that it is most likely, these spare cars will be put into store until the, the new Class 710 trains finally enter service.

Or would they be added to other Class 378 trains to create six-car trains, which would then be run on the North or West London Lines, where the platforms could be almost long enough? Selective door opening on the trains could also be used at short platforms.

Conclusion

I feel if the London Overground swap trains around and perhaps reduce the Stratford and Clapham Junction service to its old level of 2 tph, then enough Class 378 trains would be available to run a full four-car service on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments

A North London Line With Digital Signalling

In Digital Signalling Implications For North London, I indicated that there may be benefits in equipping the North London Line with digital signalling.

  • It would ease co-ordination of services between Gunnersbury and Richmond stations, where track, stations and signalling are shared with the District Line.
  • All freight trains are being fitted with digital signalling capabilities.

Obviously, the other benefits of digital signalling like closer running of trains would apply.

Current Service Levels

The Service Levels section of the Wikipedia entry for the North London Line, gives the following details..

Services run seven days a week

Peak Hours

  • Four trains per hour (tph) – Richmond and Stratford
  • Four tph – Clapham Junction and Stratford

Which gives eight tph between Willesden Junction and Stratford

Off Peak

  • Four tph – Richmond and Stratford
  • Two tph – Clapham Junction and Stratford

Which gives six tph between Willesden Junction and Stratford

Compared to the service I remember from the 1980s, it is a great improvement.

Possible Future Service Levels

London Reconnections is a web site, that usually gets things right.

In this article, which is entitled More Trains for London Overground: A Bargain Never to be Repeated, this is said.

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

What, it is suspected, London Overground would really like is to have 6tph from Richmond to Stratford and 6tph from Clapham Junction all the way to Stratford. Unfortunately, the additional trains to Stratford would appear to rely on freight, travelling between East London and the West Coast Main Line, using the route via Gospel Oak instead of via the NLL. Until that actually happens, sometime after the electrification of the GOBLIN, such an intensive service on the NLL can only be a dream.

Would this mean this service?

Peak Hours

  • Six tph – Richmond and Stratford
  • Six tph – Clapham Junction and Stratford

Which gives twelve tph between Willesden Junction and Stratford

Off Peak

  • Six tph – Richmond and Stratford
  • Four tph – Clapham Junction and Stratford

Which gives ten tph between Willesden Junction and Stratford

I can’t say I’d complain living equidistant from Dalston Kingsland and Canonbury stations.

Richmond Station

The current service between Richmond and Gunnersbury station is as follows.

  • Four tph – London Overground to Stratford
  • Six tph – District Line to Upminster

Digital signalling on the District Line is likely to add 33% capacity to Peak Hour services, so this would mean another two trains to Upminster.

So a future service could be as follows.

  • Six tph – London Overground to Stratford
  • Eight tph – District Line to Upminster

This level of service could be easily handled by conventional signalling and good driving or by digital signalling.

Piccadilly Line To Ealing Broadway Station

This article on Chiswick W4, is entitled Major Reorganisation Of Local Tube Services Planned.

This is said.

The decision appears to have been made by Transport for London (TfL) to press ahead with a major restructuring of local underground services. This would see the District line service to Ealing Broadway ended and services switched to the Piccadilly line. The rolling stock would transfer to the Richmond and Wimbledon branches of the District line allowing an increase in regularity for these services.

Currently, Ealing Broadway station has a six tph service to Upminster on the District Line.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at Ealing Broadway station.

Note that after the changeover, the following would apply.

  • The Piccadilly Line would have three platforms.
  • In a few years time, the Central and Piccadilly Lines will have similar trains.
  • Passengers for Turnham Green, Stamford Brook and Ravensbrook Park, would use the Piccadilly Line, which would probably have a higher frequency.
  • Passengers for Victoria and other stations in the East on the District Line, would probably have a step-free cross-platform interchange at a number of stations.

But I think, that probably the main reason for the change, is that it will make the proposed frequency of well upwards of twenty tph of the Piccadilly Line easier to operate.

Consider.

  • The platforms would help min service recovery,
  • I suspect that TfL would like to see a Victoria Line frequency of thirty-six tph.
  • Currently, twenty-four tph run between Arnos Grove and Acton Town in the Peak.
  • Twenty-one tph run in the Off Peak.

If thirty-six tph is the intended frequency, then two terminal platforms in a rebuilt step-free Ealing Broadway station,  could turn a lot of trains.

A Side Effect Of Changing The District Line Terminus

If the District Line service of six tph to Ealing Broadway, were to be reallocated between Richmond and Wimbledon, this would add three tph to the section between Gunnersbury and Richmond.

So now we could be looking at seventeen tph between Gunnersbury and Richmond stations.

Will that mean that North London Line trains to Richmond will need digital signalling and automatic train control?

The West London Orbital Railway

The proposed West London Orbital Railway will use the Dudding Hill Line to create the following services.

  • West Hampstead to Hounslow
  • Hendon to Kew Bridge

If both routes run at four tph, then it will add eight tph to the North London Line between Acton Wells and South Acton junctions.

Added to the six tph between Richmond and Stratford, this would be fourteen tph through Acton Central and South Acton stations.

Digital signalling on the North London Line and the West London Orbital Railway would probably ease the merging of trains for the joint section.

Freight

It appears that there are up to four freight trains per hour in both directions on the line.

The Level Crossing At Acton Central Station

I doubt the users of the level crossing at Acton Central would like the levels of traffic, that digital signalling would enable.

Conclusion

It looks to me, that they’ll come a time, when digital signalling to squeeze the required number of trains along the North London Line.

 

September 30, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Digital Signalling Implications For North London

As I write this post, two big digital signalling projects are ongoing.

Four Lines Modernisation

This project is described in this document on the TfL web site.

This video is from that document.

The TfL web site says this about the new signalling system.

Work to install a new signalling and control system began in summer 2016. This will eventually allow the trains to be driven automatically, with a train operator in the cab to open and close the doors. The train operator will be responsible for managing customer information and safety.

Similar technology introduced in recent years on the Jubilee and Northern lines improved performance. The new signalling system allows trains to be run closer together, meaning a more frequent service and shorter waiting times, allowing more people to be carried. This new technology will enable us to reduce delays and improve reliability.

The programme will allow us to operate 32 trains per hour, a 33% increase in peak-hour capacity. Installation work will require some line closures.

So it looks that by around 2023, there will be a lot more trains running on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines.

The Four Lines Modernisation will have implications for other services.

North London Line

Between Gunnersbury and Richmond stations, the District Line and the North London Line share track, stations and signalling.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the complexity of the tracks around Gunnersbury station.

Obviously, whatever signalling is installed, it must be capable of handling both District and North London Line trains at Gunnersbury Junction and to and from Richmond.

Metropolitan Line To Amersham

Between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Amersham stations, the Metropolitan Line and the London-Aylesbury Line, share track, stations and signalling.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at Harrow-on-the-Hill station.

and this one shows the layout at Amersham station.

The solution for this section of track is detailed in the Wikipedia entry for the Metropolitan Line, where this is said.

Trackside signals with automatic train protection (ATP) will remain on the line north of Harrow-on-the-Hill, shared with Chiltern Railways DMUs

It is a solution, but will it last for ever?

And what about the Croxley Rail Link, if that is ever built?

Freight Trains Are Going Digital

This page on the Network Rail web site is entitled Freight Trains In Britain To Be Upgraded With Delay-Busting Digital Technology In Multi-Million Pound Deal.

The article says that all 750 freight locomotives will be upgraded.

This project must have implications for the freight services that run across North London on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line and North London Line, especially if these lines were in the future to be digitally signalled.

A Digitally-Signalled Bakerloo Line

At some tie in the next few years a decision will be made about what to do with the Bakerloo Line.

  1. It will be extended to Lewisham.
  2. It will receive new trains.
  3. It will be left as it is.

Options one and two would probably involve new digital signalling.

Addition of digital signalling to the Bakerloo Line would mean implications for the Watford DC Line, with which the Bakerloo Line shares the track between Queens Park and Harrow & Wealdstone stations.

Conclusion

I am drawn to the conclusion, that digital signalling in North London could bring capacity benefits.

 

September 30, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Latest On The New London Overground Class 710 Trains

The August 2018 Edition of Modern Railways has a two-page article on the latest on the new Class 710 trains for the London Overground.

Seating Arrangement

Wikipedia says this about the seating.under Background And Specifications.

The units will be delivered in two sub-classes; an AC-only version with longitudinal and transverse seating (very similar to the S8 units on the Metropolitan line of the London Underground) for use on the West Anglia and Romford-Upminster services, and a dual-voltage version with longitudinal seating for the Watford DC and GOBLIN services.

But it now appears that all the seats on the trains will be longitudinal ones.

I use the current trains a lot to go to Walthamstow and I also use the Class 378 trains, which have longitudinal seats, frequently on the North and East London Lines of the Overground.

I probably aren’t bothered too much about longitudinal seats, but I suspect there will be others who will complain.

This discussion of RailForums is entitled Annoying Things About The Class 378. Search for “seat” and you don’t find many complaints about the longitudinal seating, which is also used on much of the Underground.

On the other hand, if all the trains have identical interiors, this must save on construction and maintenance costs.

If the interiors are basically similar to the Class 378 trains, it must also save on staff training costs.

I actually think, that the biggest complaint will not be about the new trains, but why don’t the older Class 378 trains have wi-fi and USB charging points!

Eight-Car Trains On West Anglia Routes

The article also states that services on West Anglia routes to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town stations will work as eight-car trains or a pair of four-car trains.

If they are always working in pairs, why not build them as eight-car trains in the first place?

In A Detailed Layout Drawing For A Class 345 Train, I said that the formation of a Class 345 train for Crossrail is as follows.

DMS+PMS+MS1+MS3+TS(W)+MS3+MS2+PMS+DMS

Note.that the train is composed of two identical half-trains, which are separated by the TS(W) car.

As the Modern Railways article says that these trains are to be the last to be delivered, would it not be sensible to fully understand the four-car units and then decide if instead of pairs of four-car units, they were built as eight-cars.

Consider.

  • Trains would be formed of identical four-car half-trains.
  • An eight-car Class 710 train would be nearly fifty metres shorter than a nine-car Class 345 train.
  • Passengers would be able to walk through the whole train.
  • Passengers can position themselves for their best exit at their destination station.
  • Would passenger security be better on a train, where passengers could walk all the way through?
  • I have seen drivers on Class 345 trains change ends inside the train
  • Aventras and other modern trains are fitted with intelligent control systems, that determine the number and type of the intermediate cars in the train.
  •  Two Driving Motor Standard Cars (DMS) would be replaced with simpler Trailer Standard (TS) or Motor Standard (MS) cars.
  • The choice of a TS or MS car would depend partly on performance issues, which could be tested with the earlier four-car trains.
  • Building and maintenance cost savings by reducing the number of driving cars, must be possible.
  • Capacity could be increased by adding cars in the middle, if platforms were long enough!
  • Would providing overnight stabling for fifteen eight-car trains be easier than for thirty four-car trains?

It should also be noted, Cheshunt station has a very long platform without a roof. Passengers could walk to the front of the train inside a warm dry train. This already happens with the Class 378 trains at Highbury & Islington station.

Romford-Upminster Shuttle

The Modern Railways article says this about the service on the Romford-Upminster Line.

TfL is still considering whether to utilise a ‘710’ on the Romford to Upminster shuttle or to retain an older unit for the line.

I wrote about this in A Heritage Class 315 Train For The Romford-Upminster Line, after this article in London Reconnections, which is entitled More Trains for London Overground: A Bargain Never to be Repeated,   said that it is possible that this line could be served by a Class 315 train, held back from the scrapyard.

I came to this conclusion.

If it is decided that a Class 315 train is to be used on the Romford to Upminster Line, I believe that the service could be marketed as a quirky heritage unit, that in conjunction with its main purpose of providing a public service, could also be used for other education, training, marketing, innovation and research purposes.

Eversholt Rail Group might even shift a few redundant Class 315 trains!

Why not?

Chingford Upgrades

The Modern Railways article says this.

A £7million investment has seen the stabling facility at Chingford upgraded, including the addition of an AVIS-scanner here as well.

These pictures show the investment.

With the Automatic Vehicle Inspection System (AVIS), Chingford is becoming more than a stabling facility.

Note the large maintenance structure, so that trains can be worked on in the dry.

A Few Questions Of My Own

I have a few of my own questions.

If The Thirty Four-Car Trains For West Anglia Routes Are Converted To Eight-Cars, What Happens To The Spare Driving Motor Cars?

If the thirty four-car trains are converted to fifteen eight-car trains, it appears to me that Bombardier could  have at best many of the long-lead components for thirty Driving Motor Standard (DMS) cars. At worst, they would have thirty DMS cars for Class 710 trains.

But London Overground will have need for a few more trains in a few years.

In Increased Frequencies On The East London Line, I showed this London Overground table of improvements.

LO Improvements

Note that two extra tph are proposed on the Liverpool Street to Enfield Town service. I calculate, that this would need another two Class 710 Trains.

Similarly, to add two tph to the Liverpool Street to Cheshunt service, would appear to need another three trains.

The Mayor is also looking favourably at creating the West London Orbital Railway.

I estimate that the two proposed routes would need around four trains each to provide a four tph service, if they could be run using dual-voltage Class 710 trains with a range of perhaps ten miles on battery power.

What Is Happening About The Hall Farm Curve?

I heard from someone, who should know, that the Hall Farm Curve and the Coppermill Curve will be reinstated.

These curves would allow the following.

  •  A direct service between Chingford/Walthamstow and Stratford.
  • Better access to the upgraded stabling at Chingford.

But I think these curves would be invaluable in maintaining services, during the construction of Crossrail 2.

Will A Bay Platform Be Developed At Lea Bridge Station?

I also wonder if a bay platform will be developed at Lea Bridge station, which would enable a four tph service to be run between Lea Bridge and Chingford stations, if Chingford Branch trains couldn’t get into Liverpool Street station, because of construction works.

I certainly feel that the curves connecting the lines at Coppermill Junction will have a major part to play in the development of East London’s railways.

 

 

 

July 29, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A New Train On The North London Line

I was waiting at Gospel Oak station on the North London Line, when this train went through.

Checking with Real Time Trains, the Class 800 train was going from Hitachi’s depot at Doncaster to North Pole Depot.

July 14, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

West Hampstead Station – 7th July 2018

The new bridge at the West Hampstead station is now in use and it looks like the new station will be completed by the end of the year.

As the last picture shows this could be one of those station developments, where a deck could have been built over the North London Line to increase the number of flats built in the development on the South side of the railway.

This Google Map shows West Hampstead station on the North London Line and West Hampstead tube station on the Jubilee and Metropolitan Lines, although the latter don’t stop.

Note the development stretches a long way to the West between the North London Line and Underground Lines.

There have been plans to create a West Hampstead Interchange on West End Lane.

As these envisaged moving the Overground station to the East side of West End Lane and the new station is being built on the West side, It would appear there’s been a rethink.

Perhaps the Underground station is to be moved to the West side of West End Lane and will have an entrance on the small square in front of the M & S Simply Food and alongside the new Overground station.

This Google Map shows an enlargement of the area.

The new station could have platforms on the following lines.

  • Jubilee Line
  • Metropolitan Line
  • Cjhiltern Railway

It would be a very worthwhile interchange. Especially, as passengers could do the following.

  • Walk across the square for the Overground for East London.
  • Walk perhaps another hundred metres to West Hampstead Thameslink station, which is also proposed as the terminus of the West London Orbital Railway.

There could also be a development on the top of the new station, which would hopefully contribute to the cost.

I have no idea, if anything will happen here, but Transport for London are looking to create new stations with over-site development. The Mayor also seems keen on the West London Orbital Railway, as it is based on under-used infrastructure and requires no new track or tunnels.

 

 

July 7, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LO ‘710s’ To Be Tested On ECML

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in Issue 851 of Rail Magazine.

After a period testing at the Old Dalby test track, the first Class 710 train will move to the East Coast Main Line.

I think this could be a pragmatic decision.

  • On the slow lines of the Southern part of the East Coast Main Line, there are typically four trains per hour (tph), which might be a low enough frequency for extra paths to be found for train testing.
  • Trains can access the East Coast Main Line from both the Gospel Oak to Barking and the North London Lines.
  • These lines give access to Willesden TMD, where some of the trains will be stabled.
  • The trains could be turned back at the sidings at Welwyn Garden City station.
  • The Class 710 trains are probably 90 mph units, which is faster than some of the older trains using the slow lines.

It will be interesting to see, where the testing is actually performed.

May 8, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Good Timetable Change In May For De Beauvoir Town

I live in the North of an area in London called De Beauvoir Town.

On the map, I live close to the junction of Mildmay Park/Southgate Road and the Balls Pond Road of Round the Horne fame!

The junction is a major bus interchange, with buses going regularly in all directions.

  • North to Manor House, Turnpike Lane and Wood Green.
  • South to Old Street, the City and London Bridge
  • West to Highbury and Islington station, the Angel and the West End.
  • East to Hackney, Waltham Forest and the River Lea.

All these buses was one of the reasons I moved here.

But note the railway stations ringing the area.

But that is not all!

  • Haggerston station is within walking distance on a good day, off the map to the South-East.
  • Highbury and Islington station is a short bus ride off the map to the West.
  • Angel station is a short bus ride off the map to the South-West.
  • Manor House station is a short bus ride off the map to the North.
  • Hackney Downs station is a short bus ride off the map to the East.

I can also get direct buses from local stops to Euston, Kings Cross, London Bridge, St. Pancras, Victoria and Waterloo.

From December 2018, I’ll be able to get a bus from the junction to the new Crossrail station at Moorgate/Liverpool Street.

Is there a better place to live for public transport?

On the twentieth of May, the date of the rail timetable change, things will get better.

An article on the timetable change in the May 2018 Edition of Modern Railways says this.

London Overground’s East London Line services are being recast in conjunction with the new Thameslink timetable. On the North and West London Lines, the off-peak timetable is being enhanced to match broadly the peak service, providing 8 tph between Stratford and Willesden Junction for most of the day seven days a week, with four continuing to Clapham Junction and the other four to Richmond.

London’s ugly duckling of the last century, is turning into a whole bevy of swans.

The service on the North London Line has improved several-fold since I moved here and will now be eight tph or a train every seven and a half minutes.

The East London Line will be recast, with another two tph this year to Crystal Palace station and two more next year to Clapham Junction station.

And then there’s the Northern City Line to Moorgate, that calls at Essex Road and Highbury and Islington stations!

In First ‘717’ In UK In June, I wrote about what will be happening in the May 2018 timetable change.

I said this.

From the May 2018 timetable change, the service levels will become.

  • Four tph to Welwyn Garden City
  • Five tph to Hertford North, with two tph extended to Stevenage or Watton-at-Stone.
  • No direct services will run to Letchworth Garden City. Change seems to be a cross-platform interchange at Finsbury Park.

The service termination at Watton-at-Stone station is only temporary until Network Rail build a new bay platform at Stevenage station.

These changes mean  that there will be nine tph between Alexandra Palace and Moorgate stations.

This represents a fifty percent increase in service frequency.

 

May 2, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments

Access To The Western End Of The Camden High Line

I took between Camden Road and Camden Town stations on Sunday.

I was investigating two questions.

  • How would you provide access to the Western end of the Camden High Line?
  • How would you improve interchange between the North London Line and Northern Line stations?

These are some of the pictures that I took.

I can see a few strengths and problems.

Architectural Quality

Camden Gardens has several Listed buildings, but the viaduct appears not to be Listed.

The brick viaduct is a substantial one and like most of this type of structure in the UK, Network Rail seem to keep it in good condition.

You have to remember that there was a derailment on the bridge, which I wrote about in Fall Out From A Train Crash. So I suspect, it has had a detailed check-up since.

The only eyesore is the steel bridge over Camden Street. But Network Rail have ways of making them look better. A good coat of paint would help.

Camden Gardens

To my mind, Camden Gardens needs development. Not in any negative sense, but it is surrounded by pedestrian traffic generators.

  • Camden Road station to the East
  • The Regents Canal to the South
  • Camden Town station to the South, which will have a new step-free Northern entrance, about a hundred metres from the Gardens.
  • |A large mixed development on the other side of Kentish Town Road.
  • It is on the direct route between Camden Road station and the tourist attractions around Camden Lock.

It could be developed into a convenient oasis for those walking in the area.

Perhaps there needs to be a cafe in one of the arches.

Camden Interchange

In Boris Johnson’s Transport Infrastructure Plan for 2050, the Appendix mentioned that there will be an interchange between Camden Town and Camden Road stations. Unfortunately, a copy of the report is not available on the Internet.

But it can’t be deleted from my memory.

I feel strongly, that as after the expansion of Camden Town station, the two stations will be physically closer, that a Western entrance to Camden Road station, should be built, if the sums added up.

Consider.

  • It would create a convenient interchange between the two rail services.
  • It would improve access from Camden Lock and the new developments on the North side of the Regent’s Canal.

But it could also create access to the Camden High Line.

The Height Of The Viaduct

The viaduct is high, as the last-but-one picture in the gallery shows.

Because of the railway tracks, between the two platforms, which means the only way to cross is to walk to the other end of the platforms and go down and up again, design of affordable and practical access, will be challenging.

A Station Entrance On The Camden High Line

The first picture in the gallery, shows the shrubbery on the two disused tracks, that could become the Camden High Line, behind a fence.

It would surely be possible to create a ticket gate in a small building on the wide platform.

Conclusion

With clever design it would be possible to provide access to the Camden High Line and the station in a single development.

 

 

 

March 20, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments