The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On Splitting The Northern Line

In Battersea Power Station Station Opens, I talked about the scale of the new Battersea Power Station station.

  • It looks like it could have three entrances.
  • It’s got four escalators and two lifts to go to down to platform level.
  • It has two terminal platforms.

I feel it has been designed to handle as many passengers and trains as Morden station.

  • Morden station has five platforms.
  • The station is step-free.
  • The station handles ten million passengers per year.

The signalling can handle up to thirty trains per hour (tph) to Morden.

It looks to me that Battersea Power Station station has been designed to be big enough to take half the trains from North London with ease.

The Proposed Split

There has been talk of splitting the Northern Line into two separate lines for some years.

  • The Western Line (Charing Cross Line) would run between Edgware and Battersea Power Station via Camden Town, Euston, Charing Cross and Kennington.
  • The Eastern Line (Bank Line) would run between High Barnet and Morden via Camden Town, Euston, Bank and Kennington.

Note.

  1. I will call the two lines the Bank and Charing Cross Lines.
  2. Both lines could have Victoria Line frequencies of over thirty tph.
  3. It is generally felt that the split would need a rebuild at Camden Town station to handle the extra passengers.
  4. Camden Town station needs better access between the trains and the street.
  5. There would need to be better connections at Kennington and Euston stations.

Surely, the main advantages of the split would be as follows.

  • Trains on both lines would go end-to-end without crossing a junction, where signals and points were constantly switching trains. This is why the Victoria Line can handle more than thirty-three tph.
  • Trains will run at Victoria Line frequencies on both lines.
  • All trains at Camden Town and Kennington stations would use a route without points to go as fast as possible through the station.
  • Eliminating the points, would make both lines more reliable.
  • Euston station will have upwards of sixty tph connecting it to Crossrail.

Effectively, the new Bank and Charing Cross Lines would be able to perform just like Dear Old Vicky.

I will now look at where work needs to or could be done to successfully split the two lines.

Kennington Station

In Could Access Between Platform And Train Be Improved At Kennington Station?, I outlined how passengers might use Kennington station to change between the Bank and Charing Cross Lines.

I developed this rule.

The rule would appear to be if you’re on one line and are going to a station on the other, you change at Kennington station.

Staff would need to be on the platform to help those, who were changing direction.

But I do think changing can be made to work well with step-free access between train and platform on all four platforms at Kennington station.

It will be interesting to see, what proportion of train changes at Kennington are simple cross-platform changes, where there is no use of the steep stairs. I think it could be quite high.

I believe Kennington station will grow into a very smooth interchange between the Bank and Charing Cross Lines.

Although, there’ll be a problem for some time, if you’re in a wheelchair and want to go between Morden and Battersea Power station.

This could be solved by lifts between each pair of platforms and the intermediate level passage, which connects to the lifts to the surface.

The Camden Town Problem

This map from cartometro.com shows the lines around and through Camden Town station.

Note.

  1. Camden Town station has four platforms.
  2. The Eastern pair are under Kentish Town Road and connect to High Barnet in the North.
  3. The Western pair are under Camden High Street and connect to Edgware in the North.
  4. In each pair of tracks the Northbound track is above the Southbound track.
  5. There is a level passage between the two Northbound tracks, so it is an easy interchange, if you’re on the wrong train going North.
  6. The passage between the two Southbound tracks has stairs at either end, if you want to change Southbound trains at the station.

But the real problem lies South of the station; the horrendously complicated Camden Town Junction.

The junction must be able to handle trains going between the following stations.

  • Bank and Edgware
  • Bank and High Barnet
  • Charing Cross and Edgware
  • Charing Cross and High Barnet

Note in the map, that the High Barnet tracks dive under the Edgware tracks so they can form two separate pairs of tracks to Euston, only one of which goes via Mornington Crescent.

If there was a similar junction on the motorways of the UK or the Interstate Highways of the US, it would have years ago been simplified.

The split will mean the following.

  • The Eastern pair of platforms will still be connected to High Barnet as now, but will also be directly connected to the tracks that go directly to Euston and on to Bank.
  • The Western pair of platforms will still be connected to Edgware as now, but will also be directly connected to the tracks that go to Euston via Mornington Crescent and on to Charing Cross.
  • Camden Town Junction could be seriously simplified, with perhaps the ability to swap between routes only available for depot and engineering movements.

I do suspect, it would also mean all trains from High Barnet will go via Bank and all trains via Edgware will go via Charing Cross.

  • A proportion of passengers would have to change at Camden Town.
  • Both routes would connect to High Speed Two at Euston.
  • Both routes connect to the Central, Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.
  • Improvements promised for Euston will give better access to the Sub-Surface Lines.

I think it will be a case of winning some good routes and losing others. Disgusted from Finchley might complain.

But then there will be Crossrail, which as it connects to both lines at Tottenham Court Road and Moorgate could give serious advantages.

The split isn’t without passengers who will object to losing their preferred route.

Camden Town Station

This document on TfL’s web site gives more details of the proposed capacity upgrade at Camden Town station. This schematic of the tunnels, platforms and walkways shows how the station could look in a few years time.

Note.

  1. New tunnels are shown in light grey.
  2. Existing tunnels are shown in dark grey.
  3. The Northbound platforms are above the Southbound ones.
  4. The tunnels in the foreground are those of the Charing Cross Line.
  5. The far tunnels are those of the Bank Line.
  6. The new Buck Street entrance is labelled 8.
  7. There is a new pedestrian tunnel between the two Northbound Lines.
  8. Below it is a new tunnel between the two Southbound Lines.
  9. There is an existing passage linking the four lines.

The full upgrade is very much on the back burner, but could Camden Town station be upgraded with the proposed extra cross passages.

  • These would enable passengers to change lines easily on the level.
  • Passengers changing between the Bank and Charing Cross Lines would be kept away from the existing escalators and the space at their bottom.
  • The tunnels would increase the circulation area.
  • The tunnels would be part of the new Buck Street entrance if it were to be built.

I feel with improved cross-platform interchange, Camden Town could function as an interchange station between the Bank and Charing Cross Lines.

A similar rule as I used for Kennington station would apply for passengers.

The rule would appear to be if you’re on one line and are going to a station on the other, you change at Camden Town station.

Staff would need to be on the platform to help those, who were changing direction.

But it would be a more comprehensive and easier interchange than Kennington, as all changes would be without steep stairs.

Once Camden Town station is working well with the new cross passages, I would then get a developer to put a large development on the proposed site of the Buck Street entrance, with a new entrance with lifts and escalators underneath, that reached down to the new cross tunnels.

After what the contractors did at Whitechapel, I suspect this could be achieved, whilst keeping the trains running and leaving the existing Camden Town station intact.

This Google Map shows the area between Camden Road and Camden Town stations.

Note.

  1. Camden Road station on the North London Line is in the North-East corner of the map.
  2. Camden Town station is at the bottom of the map towards the West.
  3. The Charing Cross Line to Edgware is under Camden High Street.
  4. The Bank Line to High Barnet is under Kentish Town Road.
  5. Buck Street is to the North of Camden Town station connecting Camden High Street and Kentish Town Road.
  6. The red-roofed building in Buck Street is the former Hawley School, which is now owned by Transport for London and is earmarked for the new station entrance.
  7. The Regent’s Canal, which has a convenient towpath, runs East-West across the map.
  8. A lot of development is happening on the North bank of the canal.

The map doesn’t show how difficult it is to walk between the two stations along the busy Camden Road.

In Between Camden Road And Camden Town Stations Along The Canal, I walked between the two stations along the canal and then up Kentish Town Road. It took me fourteen minutes in total with seven minutes between the canal and Camden Town station.

I believe the following will happen.

  • People living and working in the new developments will need access to Camden Town station.
  • The Regent’s Canal towpath will be updated into a safer walking route between Camden Lock and Camden Road station, that serves a lot of the developments.
  • More tourists will need to get to Camden Lock and the markets.

These will increase the need for extra capacity at Camden Town station.

The only way it will get built is by a private developer, who puts a lot of housing on the Buck Street site and sells it as quality housing in an iconic location.

A lot of politicians won’t like it, but solving the problems at Camden Town station, which is an overcrowding accident waiting to happen, is more important than their egos.

These pictures show some of the features of Camden Town station.

I believe Camden Town station could grow quickly into a very smooth interchange between the Bank and Charing Cross Lines.

In a few years time, when the Buck Street entrance is built, the capacity problems will be on their way to solution.

Finally, once the Buck Street entrance is complete, the original station can be refurbished.

 

Euston Station, Crossrail, Crossrail 2 and the Northern Line

Consider.

  • Euston station is a very busy station and it will be even busier, when High Speed Two opens.
  • Crossrail 2 will not be built before High Speed 2 opens.
  • The Victoria Line doesn’t connect to Crossrail.
  • The only connection between Euston station and Crossrail are the two branches of the Northern Line.

Splitting the Northern Line into the Bank and Charing Cross Lines will increase the number of Northern Line trains through Euston to at least sixty tph, if both lines can handle Victoria Line frequencies.

It looks to me, that making the Northern Line step-free at Euston is the best short-term alternative to building Crossrail 2.

Euston Station

Euston station is the third station, where the Bank and Charing Cross Lines connect.

This map from cartmetro.com shows the Northern Line through Euston station.

Note.

  1. The Northern Line is shown in black.
  2. The Victoria Line is shown in blue
  3. The Sub-Surface Lines are shown in purple and yellow.

In the map, the platforms are as follows going from top to bottom.

  • Platform 1 – Northbound – Northern – Charing Cross to Camden Town
  • Platform 2 – Southbound – Northern – Camden Town to Charing Cross
  • Platform 6 – Southbound – Northern – Camden Town to Bank
  • Platform 5 – Northbound – Victoria – Victoria to Walthamstow
  • Platform 4 – Southbound – Victoria -Walthamstow to Victoria
  • Platform 3 – Northbound – Northern – Bank to Camden Town

It  is a bit unusual as the cross-platform interchange between Bank and Victoria Lines involves a change of direction.

With the development of Euston station for High Speed Two, I am sure interchange between the two branches of the Northern Line and the other lines at Euston will be made step-free.

Plans have already been published that will connect Euston Square station and Euston station. I wrote about it in The New Step-Free Entrance At Euston Square Station.

These pictures are of Euston station.

I feel the wide Platform 6 could give scope for innovation.

Level Access Between Train And Platform

I believe that many platforms on the Northern Line can be modified to give level access between train and platform.

In Could Access Between Platform And Train Be Improved At Kennington Station?. I outlined how it could be achieved at Kennington station.

At Kennington station, all platforms are straight and this is a prerequisite to making the access level.

I also feel that any straight platform with a Harrington Hump could effectively be given a full length hump.

I suspect that a lot of stations could be converted to level access between train and platform

Conclusion

I believe that splitting the Northern Line would be very worthwhile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 27, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Second Entrance At Battersea Power Station Station

In Battersea Power Station Station Opens, I said this.

There is also probably space to put another set of three escalators pointing the other way, at the other end of the intermediate level, away from the current set of three escalators, that lead to the surface.

So I went back today and had another look.

I was told by a member of the station staff, that a second entrance, where the posters are on the wall will lead to the power station, the shops and the river.

 

 

 

 

September 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Could Access Between Platform And Train Be Improved At Kennington Station?

Before I look at the solutions, I will look at passenger flows around Kennington station, now that the extension to Battersea has opened.

  1. Passengers will enter the station and take a train.
  2. Passengers will arrive at the station and leave.
  3. Passengers will change trains going between say Morden and Battersea Power Station stations.
  4. Passengers will change between the two Northbound services through the station, by walking between Platforms 1 and 3.
  5. Passengers will change between the two Southbound services through the station, by walking between Platforms 2 and 4.

Kennington station has two major access problems for those of restricted mobility.

  • Getting between street and platform
  • Getting between platform and train

There used to be a third problem, which was that there wasn’t enough cross-platform access between Platforms 2 and 4 and Platforms 1 and 3, which has now been improved.

The pictures show the passage between Platforms 2 and 4, which seems to have been built to a high quality.

How will these access problems affect passengers and especially those with reduces mobility?

  • Passengers with reduced mobility may avoid Kennington station, if they are using Routes 1 and 2, as the stairs are difficult.
  • Passengers using Route 3 may find it easier to change at Waterloo, London Bridge or another convenient station.
  • There are lots of buses, which may offer a convenient alternative.

Operating experience will give the correct answer, but I feel that passengers using the station will contain a large proportion, who are using Routes 4 or 5 and just changing from one train to another going in the same direction.

Access Between Street And Platform

These pictures show the stairs that give access to the platforms from the passageway leading to the lifts.

Note.

  1. The stairs are steep and not very wheelchair or buggy friendly.
  2. They are not all the same length.

Unless it is possible to sneak a lift down into the new cross-passages, I suspect that providing step-free access to the platforms will be a long time coming at Kennington station.

It will also probably need passengers to use two lifts between street and platform, which could encourage them to find a better route.

Access Between Platform And Train

These pictures show trains in Kennington station.

Note that a Harrington Hump is fitted to the platform to ease boarding for those in wheelchairs.

The map from cartometro.com shows the platform layout at Kennington station.

Note that in the pictures and this map the platforms are almost straight.

I wonder, if as at Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms stations, the platforms could be arranged so that there is step-free access between train and platform.

These pictures show level access at the two stations on the new extension.

This would surely help those changing trains by walking between Platforms 2 and 4 or 1 and 3.

Conclusion

I am very doubtful, that large numbers of passengers with reduced mobility will use Kennington station, except to change from one train to another going in the same direction.

For that reason, I suspect Transport for London have not gone for full step-free access at Kennington station.

But I do think, that level access could be installed between the trains and all four platforms to make it easier for passengers with reduced mobility to change trains.

Passenger Flows If The Northern Line Is Split Into Two Lines

The Northern Line could be split into two.

  • The Western Line (Charing Cross Line) would run between Edgware and Battersea Power Station via Camden Town, Euston, Charing Cross and Kennington.
  • The Eastern Line (Bank Line) would run between High Barnet and Morden via Camden Town, Euston, Bank and Kennington.

Northbound routes through Kennington station would be as follows.

  • Passengers between Battersea Power Station and a Bank Line station would change between Platforms 1 and 3 at Kennington.
  • Passengers between Morden and a Charing Cross Line station would change between Platforms 3 and 1 at Kennington.

Southbound routes through Kennington station would be as follows.

  • Passengers between a Bank Line station and Battersea Power Station would change between Platforms 4 and 2 at Kennington.
  • Passengers between A Charing Cross Line station and Morden would change between Platforms 2 and 4 at Kennington.

All of these Northbound and Southbound changes are a level walk of perhaps ten metres.

Passengers between Morden and Battersea Power Station would change at Kennington, if they can manage the stairs.

Otherwise, they will need to do two cross-platform interchanges at Kennington and Waterloo.

The rule would appear to be if you’re on one line and are going to a station on the other, you change at Kennington station.

Staff would need to be on the platform to help those, who were changing direction.

But I do think changing can be made to work well with step-free access between train and platform on all four platforms at Kennington station.

 

 

 

 

September 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

From Nine Elms Station To The United States Embassy

From Nine Elms station, I walked to the United States Embassy through Arch 42 under the railway, taking these pictures on the way.

The route is as follows.

  • Walk down the West side of the station.
  • Continue through the coloured hoardings to wards the railway.
  • Arch 42 is opposite the end of the walkway.
  • Continue through Arch 42.
  • The United States Embassy is a short walk from the other side of Arch 42.

It only took me a few minutes.

September 21, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Nine Elms Station Opens

I took these pictures at Nine Elms station today, after it opened.

Note.

  1. The space is generous on the wide island platform.
  2. Access between platform and train is level.
  3. There is a set of three escalators and a lift connecting the platform to the surface.

The underground parts of the station feel very much like Canary Wharf station without the platform edge doors and fewer escalators.

Why Aren’t There Platform Edge Doors?

I was chatting to someone and they wondered how the station and Battersea Power Station station had been built without platform edge doors.

  • The thought had occurred to me too and we both thought that EU regulations meant that new underground platforms had to have these doors.
  • As the 1995 Stock on the Northern Line are very similar to the 1996 Stock on the Jubilee Line, it is unlikely to be a technical or design issue.
  • I also think it would be unlikely to be a cost issue given the size of the budget for the two stations.

Look at this picture of a train in Nine Elms station.

Note.

  1. The platform is long and straight.
  2. The platform is generally wider than some of London’s older Underground platforms.
  3. The track is arranged, so that the door openings and carriage floors line up with the platform edge, so that wheelchair users, bugger pushers and case draggers can go safely across.
  4. There is only a small gap between the train side and the platform edge, between the doors on the train, which is probably too small for anybody capable of walking can fall through.
  5. There is no Mind The Gap written on the platform. There is just a yellow line.
  6. There are no obstructions on the platform.

This second picture shows the structure of the track.

Note.

  1. The four rail electrification system is clearly visible.
  2. The far rail is energised at +420 VDC.
  3. The centre rail is energised at -210 VDC.
  4. The two running rails don’t carry any current.
  5. There is a suicide pit between the running rails and under the centre rail to protect anybody or anything falling onto the tracks.

I do wonder if Transport for London have done an analysis and found that the number of serious accidents on stations with these characteristics is small enough, to build these two new stations without the doors.

Other factors could include.

  • Stadler are the masters of step-free access and have built several innovative fleets of trains for safe step-free access without platform edge doors. Although they have nothing to do with this project, their statistics would be relevant.
  • The UK has left the EU, so we’re ignoring the regulation.
  • The Northern Line might get new trains.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this philosophy of straight uncluttered platforms being applied across the Underground.

This picture shows the Southbound platform at Angel station.

Note.

  1. This platform was built in the early 1990s.
  2. It is wide and uncluttered.

Note that the trains were introduced after the station was opened, so that is perhaps, why the train floors are higher.

 

September 21, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 7 Comments

Battersea Power Station Station Opens

I took these pictures at Battersea Power Station station today, after it opened.

Note.

  1. Access between platform and train is level.
  2. There are a pair of up and down escalators between the platforms and the ticket hall level at both ends of the station.
  3. Three more escalators take you to and from the surface.
  4. There are lifts at both ends of the platforms.
  5. The tracks appear to have been laid with slab track.

Two things surprised me.

The first was the number of escalators and lifts, make me suspect, that the station  has been designed as a high capacity station.

There is also probably space to put another set of three escalators pointing the other way, at the other end of the intermediate level, away from the current set of three escalators, that lead to the surface.

The position of the station on Battersea Park Road. I had got the impression, it would be nearer the power station and the river. another set of escalators would explain my confusion.

This Google Map shows the wider Battersea site.

Note.

  1. This map is certainly a few months or even years old.
  2. Battersea Power Station is in the top-left corner of the map.
  3. There is a grey arrow, which is labelled Battersea Power Station Underground pointing to a site on the North side of Battersea Park Road.
  4. There are also two more grey arrows, which are labelled Battersea Power Station. Are these future entrances?
  5. Between the three arrows, is the massive station box, which in this image, hasn’t received its roof.

It looks to me, that what I saw, will be just a small fraction of the completed station.

September 20, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 4 Comments

Moorgate To Battersea Power Station With A Change At Kennington

These pictures tell the story of my journey from Moorgate station  to Battersea Power Station station, with a change at Kennington station.

Note.

September 20, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 5 Comments

No Trains To And From Battersea Power Station Station Yet!

Looking at the trains through Goodge Street station at 06:25 and they’re all turning at Kennington station.

It could just be the information as the BBC has said trains are running!

September 20, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

When Does The First Train Run To Battersea Power Station Tomorrow?

This paragraph from Wikipedia describes the opening of the Victoria Line.

The line opened from Walthamstow Central to Highbury & Islington on 1 September 1968. There was no opening ceremony; instead the normal timetable started. The first train left Walthamstow Central for Highbury & Islington at 7:32 a.m. The line proved to be popular; more than 1,000 tickets were purchased at Highbury & Islington within its first hour of opening.

When I went to the opening of Whitechapel station in August, it was very much a low-key opening that had been flagged-up on the Internet. I wrote about it in Whitechapel Station – 23rd August 2021. The only thing out of the ordinary was extra staff and cups of teas and biscuits, that could be purchased.

Surely, that is the way to do it! No fuss! No long boring political speeches and no keeping the plebs out of the way of the Great and Good!

Everybody just gets on with using the station or the line.

But I can’t find any information on what is happening tomorrow about the opening of the Northern Line Extension to Battery Power Station station.

Does this mean that there’s a big do with all the Great and Good?

As with the Victoria Line in 1968, there must be people who want to use the new extension.

 

September 19, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 9 Comments

Kennington Green Head House – 19th September 2021

I took these pictures this morning.

Note.

  1. The actual head house is the lighter modern building in the corner of Kennington Green.
  2. The external works appear to be almost complete.

This certainly looks to be a more stylish building than some I’ve seen.

September 19, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment