The Anonymous Widower

Have Your Say On Our Plans For Kennington Park Head House And Landscaping

Transport for London have asked for comments on their plans for the Kennington Park Head House for the Northern Line Extension.

This picture is from their consultation.

 

What surprises me is the scale. If you compare this head house for some of those of Crossrail, the Jubilee and the Voctoria Line , they seem larger and more intrusive.

This is a visualisation of Crossrail’s shaft in Mile End Park.

Mile End Park Ventilation Shaft

This is the actual Jubilee Line head house at Durant’s Wharf.

And this is the Victoria Line head house in Gibson Square.

A Curious Building in Gibson Square

 

It should be noted that the Durant’s Wharf and Gibson Square structures are for ventilation only.

But even so, I think that a better design for the Kennington Park Head House can be created.

Where are the curves for a start?

 

July 16, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Where The Northern Line Extension Spoil Is Going

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.

tilburyfort

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

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.

Note Station Road leading up to the disused Low Street station, which was on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway, which is now served by c2c.

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.

January 22, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

How Will They Build The Bakerloo Line Extension?

I ask this question, as my trip yesterday to Redbridge station, got me thinking.

Wanstead, Redbridge and Gants Hill stations share several characteristics.

  • They are built under a main road.
  • They are architecturally significant, with two being designed by Charles Holden.

During the Second World War, they were part of an underground factory for Plessey.

It strikes me that as the route of the Bakerloo Line Extension, will for some way, lie under the Old Kent Road, with two stations currently called; Old Kent Road 1 and Old Kent Road 2, that the section of line could be similar in nature to the Redbridge stretch of the Central Line.

This map shows a route.

Bakerloo Line Extension Map

Bakerloo Line Extension Map

I’m sure, that they’ll come up with better names, on their initial route to Lewisham, via New Cross Gate.

This Google Map, shows the route of the Old Kent Road from Bricklayers Arms to New Cross Gate station.

Bricklayers Arms To New Cross Gate

Bricklayers Arms To New Cross Gate

Bricklayers Arms is at the North-West corner of the map and New Cross Gate station is the South-East.

To my naive mind, the route would be one that an experienced Tunnelling Engineer would find attractive.

  • Elephant and Castle station is not far to the West of Bricklayers Arms.
  • The current Bakerloo Line station at Elephant and Castle points vaguely East, so could probably be connected to under Bricklayers Arms.
  • The tunnels could go under the Old Kent Road between Bricklayers Arms and New Cross Gate.
  • The tunnels could go under the railway between New Cross Gate and Lewisham stations.
  • The Extension could terminate in two deep-level platforms under the current Lewisham station.
  • The Old Kent Road is lined with supermarkets and large out-of-town stores like Asda, B & Q, Sainsburys and Toys R  Us.

But possibly above all, the extension could probably be built without causing too much disruption to existing infrastructure.

I’ll look at a few issues in a bit more detail.

Cut And Cover Or Bored Construction

Some European nations would build the extension using cut and cover methods, but then we’re the tunnel kings!

As there has also been improvement in the tunnel boring machines over the last twenty years, I would expect that a big hole will be dug somewhere and then the main tunnels will be bored out, as is being done on the Northern Line Extension.

The choice of the main tunneling site will depend on several factors.

  • Sufficient space.
  • Good road or rail access to get heavy equipment to the site.
  • Away from sensitive areas for noise.

Probably the most difficult problem, is getting the tunnel spoil out.

Although there are plenty of large sites along the Old Kent Road, look at this Google Map of New Cross Gate station.

New Cross Gate Station

New Cross Gate Station

Note that next to the station is a large Sainsburys. The supermarket group has form in co-operating with large rail infrastructure projects, in that their Whitechapel superstore was virtually rebuilt to make space and access for Crossrail.

So could we see the same co-operation here?

New Cross Gate Station

New Cross Gate station is the middle interchange on the Bakerloo Line Extension.

If as I speculated above, Sainsburys co-operate, I think we could see a rebuilt superstore growing into a more important shopping centre with good rail and tube access.

Consider.

  • Trains between London Bridge and Surrey call.
  • East London Line trains call.
  • Thameslink trains will soon be passing through at speed.
  • Around a dozen bus routes pass the station.
  • There would probably be space for housing above the development.

So could we see New Cross Gate station growing into a major transport interchange?

Yes! Especially, if Thameslink called at the station!

Lewisham Station

Lewisham station has been proposed as the terminus of the Extension.

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

Lines Through Lewisham

Lines Through Lewisham

Lewisham station has one of those layouts designed by Topsy.

Perhaps for now, the best solution would be to just add a couple of deep-level platforms to create a new terminus for the Bakerloo Line.

Consider.

  • Transport for London are planning at least 36 trains per hour (tph) between two underground two platform terminals on the Victoria Line.
  • Battersea Power Station station is being built like this.
  • I doubt the extension will need a depot South of Elephant and Castle station.

Lewisham station would be rebuilt to provide a high capacity interchange between all services at the station.

The Bakerloo Line Train Frequency

Wikipedia says this in the Current And Future Infrastructure section of the Bakerloo Line.

Transport for London proposes to upgrade the line eventually, but not until other deep-level lines have been dealt with. This will include new signalling and new trains, enabling a maximum frequency of 27 trains per hour. TfL currently expects these to be in place by 2033.

So when the Extension is built, it would seem logical that the line could be rebuilt for 27 tph.

The Northern Section Of The Bakerloo Line

If the Bakerloo Line is extended to the South, then it would seem logical that the Northern end should be improved to take the increased number of trains, which share a lot of the line to Watford Junction with London Overground.

Platform Height Issues

At some station on the Northern section to get in to and out of the Bakerloo  Line 1972 Stock trains, is quite a step and it would be difficult in a wheel-chair.

I have covered this in Platform Height Issues On The Watford DC Line and feel that dual-height platforms could be used.

Onward From Lewisham

Most proposals for the extension of the Bakerloo Line, envisage the line taking over one or both of the terminals on the Hayes Line.

Wikipedia has a section on the current proposal.

This is said.

In December 2015, Transport for London announced that the Old Kent Road option was indeed its preferred route, and proposed taking the line as far as Lewisham, which it said could be running by 2030. Proposals for a further extension beyond Lewisham, such as to Hayes and Beckenham or Bromley, would now be considered in a separate phase in the more distant future.

But I do wonder, if extensions to Hayes and Beckenham Junction could be less necessary than they were a few years ago.

  • The construction of a Camberwell station on Thameslink is being considered.
  • Good design at New Cross Gate and Lewisham could improve connections for passengers on the Hayes Line.
  • The extra capacity across the South Bank and through London Bridge, must benefit passengers from the Hayes Line.
  • Elmers End station is getting an improved Tramlink service.

Bear in mind too, that Transport for London now have much better statistics from which to plan new connections and lines.

How would the following smaller projects on various wish-lists affect services South from Lewisham?

  • Better links connecting to Abbey Wood station in addition to Crossrail.
  • A decent connection between Catford and Catford Bridge stations.
  • Interchanges at Brockley and Penge on the East London Line.

Could they even kick extension of the Bakerloo Line in the Hayes direction into at least the 2040s?

The Issue Of Bakerloo And National Rail Trains Sharing Tracks

If the Bakerloo Line is to be extended past Lewisham on the Hayes Line to Hayes and Beckenham Junction, you have the problem of two types of train with different characteristics.

  • First Class is not available on the Underground.
  • Platform height can be matched to the train, to give level access.

Restricting the Bakerloo Line Extension to deep-level platforms at New Cross Gate and Lewisham, avoids the sharing issues, by keeping the two sizes of train separate.

  • Bakerloo Line trains terminate at Lewisham.
  • Good interchange must be provided between the Bakerloo Line and National Rail trains.

Obviously, by the correct design of the deep-level platforms at Lewisham, extension of the Bakerloo Line to somewhere suitable in the future is not ruled out.

 

The Northern And Bakerloo Line Extensions Are Similar

The similarity between the two extensions is very strong.

  • The Northern Extension adds two stations and the Bakerloo adds only four.
  • Both extensions are reasonably short.
  • Both extensions start at an existing station.
  • Both extensions could end in similar underground two-platform terminals.
  • Both extensions might be extended further.

So could the Bakerloo Line Extension be an ideal follow on project for the Northern Line Extension?

And after that, there are other follow-on projects, where provision for extension has been left.

  • Extending the Northern Line Extension from Battersea Power Station to Clapham Junction.
  • Extending the Bakerloo Line Extension to wherever is needed.
  • Extending the Jubilee Line from North Greenwich and Charing Cross.
  • Extending the DLR from Bank
  • Extending the Victoria Line to Herne Hill.

Could the relative success in getting such a good start on the Northern Line Extension, with hardly any controversy or disruption have influenced Transport for London to bring forward the Bakerloo Line Extension.

Perhaps with even the same team!

Conclusion

I feel that the Bakerloo Line extension will be built in a very similar way to the Northern Line Extension.

The more I dig, the more I like the plan for the extension and think it is right for project management reasons to bring it forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 11, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Battersea Power Station Station – 14th November 2016

I was on a train between London Victoria and Brixton stations, when I took these pictures.

They show the spoil conveyor and the site of the new Battersea Power Station station.

Rail Lines In The Battersea Area

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the various lines in the area.

Rail Lines In The Battersea Area

Rail Lines In The Battersea Area

Note.

  • The lines from Victoria splitting into two groups.
  • The Western group, managed by Southern, goes to Battersea Park and Clapham Junction stations
  • The second group, managed by Southestern, goes via Brixton to the South East.
  • The lines going across are manged by South West Trains and go between Waterloo and Clspham Junction.

Complicated would be a good description

The Connection To Battersea Park Station

According to Wikipedia, there will be an out-of-station interchange between Battersea Power Station and Battersea Park stations.

I hope that when they reburbish the Grade II Listed Battersea Park station, they do it properly to create an interchange between the 10 trains per hour (tph) through the National Rail station and the upwards of 15 tph through the Northern Line station.

It is interesting to note, that plans for the Northern Line Extension could take it to Clapham Junction station, which is the first station for all the 10 tph, that start from Victoria and call at Battersea Park station.

So has the design of the extended Northern Line, achieved the objective of having a simple connection to Clapham Junction?

A New Station For Battersea

In A New Station For Battersea, I wrote about a proposal to create another Battersea station on the Southeastern lines.

I like this idea.

  • It effectively gives Victoria station, a connection to a terminus of the Northern Line.
  • It could be considered to make Victoria station, London’s second cross-river station.
  • It could have more than just the odd parliamentary train to Dalston.

It would be even better, if Battersea Park station was rebuilt with escalators and lifts to make it step-free.

 

November 14, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

A Walk Between Kennington And Oval Tube Stations

I walked this morning between Kennington and Oval tube stations.

Note.

  • The aim was to see if I could find any sign of the construction of the Northern Line Extension.
  • I walked along Kennington Park Road and then cut into Kennington Park.

The work site at Kenngton Park, was not difficult to spot on the Kennington Park Place side of Kennington Park.

  • Many of the sites for Crossrail are very cramped, but at least this one seems to surrounded by grass, that can be very easily restored.
  • All the noise-generating equipment is encased in a large acoustic enclosure, as twenty-four hour working is envisaged.

The park also contains the Prince Consort Lodge, which looks to be an interesting Victorian architectural experiment.

This Google Map shows the two stations and Kennington Park.

Kennington And Oval Tube Stations And Kennington Park

Kennington And Oval Tube Stations And Kennington Park

This Google Map is an enlarged one showing both the work sites at Kennington Park and Kennington Green.

Kennington Green And Kennington Park Work Sites

Kennington Green And Kennington Park Work Sites

This map from carto.metro.free.fr, shows the Northern Line through the area.

Lines Through Kennington And Oval Tube Stations

Lines Through Kennington And Oval Tube Stations

Note.

  • The Northern Line was probably dug under Kennington Park Road, which is labelled as the A3.
  • Kennington Park is on the Eastern side of Kennington Park Road.
  • It looks like the Kennington Loop crosses Kennington Park Road very close to Kennington Park Place.
  • Extrapolating being the two maps and reality, should give you the position of the shaft, with respect yo Kennington station.
  • There’s more on what is happening here on this web page on the TfL web site.

Reading the documents on the TfL web site, it is now clear how the tunnels will be dug.

  • Tunneling will start from Battersea and the tunnel boring machines will be lifted out at the two work sites; Kennington Green and Kennington Park.
  • The running tunnel between the Kennington Green shaft will be 211 m. long and should be complete in December 2016.
  • The running tunnel between the Kennington Park shaft will be 75 m. long and should be complete in October 2016.
  • Both these short tunnels will be dug by traditional methods and lined with sprayed concrete.

At least Google doesn’t seem to be able to find any recent complaints.

Pictures Of The Kennington Green Site

A couple of days later, I went to the Kennington Green site and took these pictures.

It’s just an anonymous and very professional large green acoustic screen.

 

 

 

November 13, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

After One Tunnel Finishes In London, Another One Starts

Crossrail’s massive tunnel under London is now in the fitting out stage and some of the capitals human moles, are probably now working on the Thames Tideway Scheme to create a super sewer under London.

But according to this article in Global Rail News, others have moved on to Kennington and have started to dig their way to Battersea for the Northern Line Extension.

This though is one of London’s traditional smaller-bore tube tunnels and the tunnellers are stating in a traditional way. This is said.

 

The article also has this map of the line.

Although TBMs will be used to construct much of the extension, tracked excavators supplied by Schaeff are being used initially to excavate the tunnels around the Kennington loop, where the new line meets the existing railway.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr, shows the layout of the lines at Kennington station.

Track Layout At Kennington

Track Layout At Kennington

Note.

  • The map can’t show it, but the platforms at Kennington are on two levels.
  • There is also a reversing siding between the two tracks going South.
  • Charing Cross Branch trains use the loop and Bank Branch trains use the siding to reverse.
  • The extension to Battersea is shown in dotted lines.

It was very good of the engineers, who extended the Northern Line in 1926, to future-proof it with a loop, that looks like it makes the extension to Battersea, easier to build!

October 22, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

Is A Big Row Developing Over The Northern Line Extension?

I have just read this article in the Evening Standard, which is entitled Northern line extension: Battersea Power Station’s Tube bill ‘to rise by £240m’. This is said.

The Standard understands that the changes relate to a section of the  39-acre site known as Prospect Place, a dramatic cluster of apartment buildings designed by the Californian “starchitect” Frank Gehry.

The new plans envisage more ambitious “over station development” (OSD) than in the original Battersea Power Station masterplan from Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly.

Obviously, the more you put on top of a station, the stronger the box that encloses the station needs to be.

Hence the redesign of the box and the greater cost.

I do think that some architects are a bit precious and over-ambitious, whereas others create spectacular buildings, that seem to cost a fraction of those by the so-called architectural superstars.

Some schemes only seem to be capable of being built at enormous cost.

Architects never learnt from the fiasco of building the Sydney Opera House.

And it’s usually the poor taxable who picks up the bill for bad design.

May 20, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

An Announcement From TfL

This article in Rail Technology Magazine is entitled Battersea Power Station to be extensively redesigned for Northern Line extension.

I think that they’ve found that putting together the new Battersea station, is not as simple as the developers thought.

In fact, they could have discounted it, as how many of the developers, architects or owners of the new properties will actually use the line?

But Londoners, visitors and others are looking forward to the Northern Line Extension, as it gives access to an area, that is not the easiest place to visit, unless you use several buses or a long walk.

However, the most significant news in the article is the last paragraph.

At the same meeting, the committee were also asked to authorise TfL to submit a proposal for a final fixed licencing price in order to commercially exploit the software used in its contactless payment systems.

Does this mean, that London’s  contactless payment system will be seen all over the world?

I certainly hope so, as I’ve never found a system that comes within a hundred miles of London’s proven go-anywhere ticketing on either an Oyster-like card or a contactless bank-card.

If I ruled the world, I’d make this compulsory for all public transport!

It would create the biggest economic stimulus to tourism and trade, since coins were first used in the Iron Age.

April 23, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

What Will The Northern Line Extension TBMs Be Called?

This article in Global Rail News is entitled Northern Line TBMs Complete.

So all that is needed now is to find two suitable female names for the machines.

As the extension goes to Battersea, surely they should be given the names of famous dogs.

How about?

  • Beauty – The world’s first rescue dog – Awarded the Dickin Medal in 1945.
  • Judy – A pointer, who helped keep morale high in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp – Awarded the Dickin Medal in 1946.
  • Sasha – A labrador, who died with her handler in Afghanistan – Awarded the Dickin Medal in 2014.
  • Susan – The queen’s first corgi.

There must be quite a few others.

March 11, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Signs Of The Northern Line Extension

I have been past Battersea Power Station twice in the last few days and have been able to take pictures of the conveyors linking the excavations of the now-started Northern Line Extension to the river.

I do wish I could find a train from which it is possible to get a decent photograph of the conveyors and the barge, which is used to take the spoil away. Sadly, it wasn’t there when I took the Thames Clipper trip yesterday.

In this article in the Railway Gazette, the following is said.

Boring of twin tunnels is due to begin in early 2017 and is expected to take six months to complete. An expected 680 000 tonnes of material would be excavated. A 300 m long conveyor belt will carry 92% of this to the River Thames, from where barges will carry it to Goshems Farm in East Tilbury to the east of London.

This is only a small project compared to Crossrail or Crossrail 2, but you have to wonder, if we should be doing a few smaller rail projects like this, to squeeze more capacity out of our overcrowded railways, metros and trams.

In London some smaller projects come to mind.

The only certainty, is that the projects that get started will surprise us.

November 26, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment