The Anonymous Widower

Walking Along Moorgate – 30th September 2020

I took these pictures as I walked from North to South along Moorgate today from the bus stop by Finsbury Square.

 

Note.

  1. I did cross the road three times.
  2. The building site behind the blue hoardings in some of the first pictures, looks like it could be another tall building.
  3. The tower looming in the background of several of the pictures is Citypoint, which was originally built in 1967 and refurbished in 2000.
  4. The new looking building, with the Barclays branch at street level, is not new but another refurbished building, that has been finished in the last few months.
  5. The older red and white building is Moorgate station. There is nothing to indicate that this building will be rebuilt.
  6. The odd shaped building to the South of the station is Moor House.
  7. A large new entrance to the station, with an office block on top is being built between the original station entrance and Moor House.
  8. Between the new station entrance and Moorgate, 101 Moorgate is being built.

There is certainly, a lot of all types of property development going on at Moorgate station, which after Crossrail opens will become the Western entrance to the Crossrail station at Liverpool Street station.

This 3D Google Map shows Moorgate.

101 Moorgate is marked with a red arrow.

A Crossrail Video Of Liverpool Street Station

This video shows the design of Crossrail’s Liverpool Street station.

This screen-capture from the video shows a possible future Moorgate.

Note the new buildings at 101 Moorgate and the current Moorgate station.

These are related posts on the design of the Crossrail station at Moorgate and Liverpool Street.

The station could become the major one for the City of London.

Extending the Northern City Line To The South

This was intended by the builders of the Northern City Line and they intended to take the route to just North of Bank station at Lothbury.

In the Wikipedia entry for Moor House, this is said.

Completed in 2004, it was the first building to be designed for the forthcoming Crossrail, with a ventilation shaft to the station underneath the building. When built, it had the deepest foundations in London, which reach down 57 metres (187 ft) and are specifically designed to withstand further tunneling below it in the future.

I suspect that could mean that Moor House won’t get in the way of any further railway development.

In the Wikipedia entry for the Northern City Line, this is said about possible developments planned after World War 2.

After the war there were proposals to extend the Northern City Line north and south. The London Plan Working Party Report of 1949 proposed several new lines and suburban electrification schemes for London, lettered from A to M. The lower-priority routes J and K would have seen the Northern City Line extended to Woolwich (Route J) and Crystal Palace (Route K), retaining the “Northern Heights” extensions to Edgware and Alexandra Palace. The lines would have run in small-diameter tube tunnels south from Moorgate to Bank and London Bridge. The “K” branch would have run under Peckham to Peckham Rye, joining the old Crystal Palace (High Level) branch (which was still open in 1949) near Lordship Lane. Nothing came of these proposals, and the Edgware, Alexandra Palace and Crystal Palace (High Level) branches were all closed to passengers in 1954. As a result, the Northern City Line remained isolated from the rest of the network.

Note.

  • The proposed J branch to Woolwich has been covered by Crossrail calling at both Moorgate and Woolwich.
  • The proposed K branch to Peckham Rye and Crystal Palace has been covered by Crossrail and the London Overground with a change at Whitechapel.

So why bother to open up the possibility by designing Moor House for more tunnels to be bored?

As the London Plan Working Party Report of 1949 indicated several more lines and electrification were proposed.

Also during the war several deep-level shelters were built under Underground stations. Wikipedia says this about the background to the shelters.

Each shelter consists of a pair of parallel tunnels 16 feet 6 inches (5.03 m) in diameter and 1,200 feet (370 m) long. Each tunnel is subdivided into two decks, and each shelter was designed to hold up to 8,000 people. It was planned that after the war the shelters would be used as part of new express tube lines paralleling parts of the existing Northern and Central lines. Existing tube lines typically had 11-foot-8.25-inch (3.56 m) diameter running tunnels and about 21 feet (6.4 m) at stations; thus the shelter tunnels would not have been suitable as platform tunnels and were constructed at stations the new lines would have bypassed. However, they would have been suitable as running tunnels for main-line size trains. (One existing tube, the Northern City Line opened in 1904, used a similar size of tunnel for this reason, although in fact main-line trains did not use it until 1976.)

Shelters were planned on the Northern Line at Belsize ParkCamden TownGoodge StreetStockwellClapham NorthClapham Common, and Clapham South on the Northern Line. Did London Transport do a full survey of the Northern Line before the war and leave documents saying where an express Northern Line could be easily built.

My mother told me about these plans and as her best friend worked in Personnel at London Transport, she probably knew more than the average suburban housewife, who worked part-time for my father as a book-keeper.

After Crossrail opens and Moorgate station and the Bank station Upgrade are completed will it be possible to bore two new full-size tunnels underneath the Northern Line and Moor House and other buildings on the route to create a Northern Line Express service?

Consider.

  • The tunnels would be very deep and suitable for full-size trains.
  • Moorgate, Bank and London Bridge stations will have all been rebuilt in the last twenty years, so hopefully, they have been built to allow tunnels for a Northern Line Express service to pass through.
  • The Northern Line Express would take the pressure off the City Branch of the Northern Line?
  • Initially, the line might terminate under London Bridge station in perhaps a two platform station.
  • Modern digital signalling would allow up to 24 trains per hour (tph) on the section between London Bridge and Alexandra Palace station and 12 tph on the Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage branches

It would be a lot easier to build than Crossrail 2 and would give some of the benefits.

An Extension To North Cheam?

The Wikipedia entry for Morden station has this paragraph.

A post-war review of rail transport in the London area produced a report in 1946 that proposed many new lines and identified the Morden branch as being the most overcrowded section of the London Underground, needing additional capacity. To relieve the congestion and to provide a new service south of Morden, the report recommended construction of a second pair of tunnels beneath the northern line’s tunnels from Tooting Broadway to Kennington and an extension from Morden to North Cheam. Trains using the existing tunnels would start and end at Tooting Broadway with the service in the new tunnels joining the existing tunnels to Morden. The extension to North Cheam would run in tunnel. Designated as routes 10 and 11, these proposals were not developed by the London Passenger Transport Board or its successor organisations.

Perhaps, the solution would be to bore two new deep full-size tunnels from Moorgate to Tooting Broadway.

  • The Northern Line Express trains couldn’t continue to Morden, as they would be too big for the existing tunnels.
  • So they would have to turn back at Tooting Broadway station.
  • The stations between Kennington and Morden, that are in need of improvement could be updated.
  • I would design the interchange between Northern Line Express and Northern Line trains at Tooting Broadway station as a step-free cross-platform interchange.

The Wikipedia entry for North Cheam station, describes the extension to the station.

  • It would have been in tunnel from Morden.
  • There would be an intermediate station at Morden South station.
  • It didn’t think much of the economics.
  • I would suspect that the tunnel would run under the A 24.
  • The tunnel would be just under three miles long.

I wonder, if the extra distance, made operation of the line easier.

I estimate that a train could go from Morden to North Cheam stations and back in under ten minutes.

  • This would allow 6 tph with a single tunnel and track between the two stations.
  • The two new stations; North Cheam and Morden South could be single platform.
  • The signalling could be simplified.

The extension could be more affordable.

 

 

September 30, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Abandoned Tube Entrance At Euston

These pictures show the abandoned tube entrance at Euston station.

The station was built to serve the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway, which is now part of the Northern Line.

  • It opened in 1907.
  • The building will now be demolished to make way for High Speed Two.
  • I can’t ever remember using the entrance.

It looks to be a station, which are typical of many, that were created by Leslie Green.

  • Wikipedia has a list of over forty stations, that were designed by Leslie Green.
  • Many are Grade II Listed
  • His designs inspired the look of the fictional Walford East Underground station in EastEnders.

I would reckon, the one I use most is Oxford Circus.

 

May 10, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Braving The London Underground

I took these pictures today, in a short Underground trip between Angel and Kings Cross St. Pancras tube stations.

It’s not very busy! Is it?

  • There was no-one else in the tunnel as I walked between the escalators at Angel station.
  • There was only two other people in my carriage on the train.
  • There were few people in the tunnels at Kings Cross.

Isuspect that I travelled during lunchtime helped.

May 8, 2020 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , , , | 4 Comments

Ian Publishes Details Of Future Developments At Euston And Euston Square Underground Stations

This post on the Ian Visits blog is entitled A New London Underground Entrance To Euston Station.

 

The Underground Lines In The Euston Station Area

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the Underground Lines in the Euston station area.

Note.

  1. The sub-surface lines run underneath the busy Euston Road.
  2. Platform 2 at Euston Square station has no lift or escalator.
  3. Platform 1 at Euston Square station has a lift, which also serves the subway.
  4. To connect between the sub-surface lines at Euston Square and the deep lines at Euston means a walk on the surface.
  5. Euston station only has two up and two down escalators and no lifts for the six deep-level platforms.
  6. To connect between the Bank and Charing Cross branches of the Northern Line is often along a very crowded passage.

This interchange has not been fit for purpose since the Victoria Line was built in the 1960s.

A Second Entrance To Euston Square Station

One of the key projects to unlock the interchange, is to create a subway from the current Euston station.

It will lead to a new entrance placed in the middle of Gordon Street.

The subway will have stairs, escalators and/or lifts to connect to the Eastern ends of the current Euston Square platforms.

Ian showed this diagram of the subway.

Note.

  1. It serves both platforms at Euston Square station.
  2. It looks to be reasonably wide and level.

These are some pictures I took on a walk round the area.

This is a possible future visualisation from Ian’s site.

The new Gordon Street entrance appears to be opposite the porticoed building, which is part of University College London.

  • The view is looking North, like the first three of my pictures.
  • Gordon Street appears to be at least part-pedestrianised.
  • Escalators are visible.

It looks to be a London version of Bilbao’s fosteritos.

Fosteritos are named after Norman Foster, as he or his practice designed the Bilbao Metro.

  • The escalators in Bilbao are longer than would be needed at Gordon Street.
  • I don’t think that fitting in a slimline lift would be difficult.

I like the fosterito concept and I feel a similar approach could be used to add step-free access to a lot of stations on the London Underground.

The Design Of The Updated Euston Underground Station

Ian showed this visualisation of the updated Euston Underground station.

At a first look, it appears to be a very similar concept to the entrance to the Underground in front of St. Pancras station.

Click on the image to show it large and you can pick out the following.

  • West is to the left and East is right.
  • Much of the construction appears to replace the original car park and taxi rank.
  • The upper level looks like where passengers enter and leave the station.
  • The subway to Euston Square station and the new Gordon Street entrance joins to the upper level towards the Eastern end.
  • There is grade access between the upper level and the High Speed Two concourse.
  • There are lots of escalators to travel between levels. The square orange columns could be lift towers.
  • The lower level is the Interchange/Ticket Hall level.
  • The lower level is not much higher than the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line.
  • The design seems to make clever use of levels to make changing easier.
  • The access between the lower level and the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line at the Western end of the station, appears to be comprehensive and step-free.
  • The access between the lower level and the Victoria Line and the Bank branch of the Northern Line, appears to use the current route, which will probably be upgraded to be fully step-free.

This second image shows the design from above the platforms of the convention section of Euston station.

Click on the image to show it large and you can pick out the following.

  • The complicated passages, escalators and lifts of the existing four platforms serving the Bank branch of the Northern Line and the Victoria Line.
  • The cross passage connecting these lines to the platforms of the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line.
  • The two up and two down escalators leading to the existing ticket hall.
  • The Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line curving in and away from the station. See the earlier map of the Underground lines.
  • The eleven High Speed platforms on the West side of the station.
  • The thirteen Classic platforms on the East side of the station.
  • The new Northern entrance to the Underground between the two sets of platforms. How convenient!
  • There appears to be a wide passage between the Northern and Southern entrances, with connections to the lines branching off.
  • The subway to the new Gordon Street entrance is shown at the top of the image.

The design seems to have separated access to the two branches of the Northern line, by creating a new high-capacity route to the Charing Cross branch.

I also think, that the design allows the station to be built without disrupting passengers using the Underground and the current Euston station.

  • A large hole for the station can be excavated, without touching existing access.
  • It could then be fitted out section by section.
  • Once the new access to the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line is complete, the current access to the Northern and Victoria Lines can be refurbished.

Arriving At Euston

Imagine you are a passenger arriving from the North, who knows the Underground line, you need to take, you would then enter the Underground station using the new Northern entrance.

  • For the Bank branch of the Northern Line or the Victoria Line, you would go through the existing ticket hall and down the escalators, much as you do now! Except that you’d enter the ticket hall on the other side from the East side of the passageway connecting the two entrances. New lifts appear to be shown.
  • For the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line, you would take the passages, lifts and escalators on the West side of the passageway connecting the two entrances.
  • If you wanted the sub-surface lines, you would just keep going and take the new subway, which connects to the Eastern ends of the platforms at Euston Square station.

It will certainly do me fine, if I arrive at Euston, as I’ll walk through the subway and get in the front of any Eastbound train for Moorgate station, where being in the front is convenient for the exit and the nearby bus stop to my home.

This route will surely be one of the ways arriving passengers at Euston will get Crossrail to Abbey Wood, Canary Wharf and Shenfield stations. In Crossrail – Northern – Northern City Interchange At Moorgate Station, I show some visualisations of Moorgate station and the connectivity.

Conclusion

I certainly think, that the new Underground station is a good design.

 

May 6, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Step-Free Access At Kentish Town Station

On a web page recently, I saw a suggestion about how to add step-free access to Kentish Town station.

The suggestion was that it was too difficult to add it to the Underground station, but why not add it to the Thameslink station?

This Google Map shows the station.

Note the pedestrian bridge across the tracks with steps going down to the platforms.

Adding a lift to each platform would give full step-free access to Thameslink and would give an alternative step-free route to these step-free stations in Central and South London.

  • Kings Cross St. Pancras
  • Farringdon
  • Blackfriars for the South Bank
  • London Bridge
  • Elephant & Castle
  • Denmark Hill
  • Herne Hill
  • Mitcham Eastfield
  • Wimbledon
  • Sutton

The step-free access would be much easier to install, than on the Northern Line platforms.

 

 

March 21, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 4 Comments

TfL Moots Bakerloo Line To Hayes

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in the November 2019 Edition of Modern Railways.

There are various points in the article.

A More Direct Tunnel Between Lambeth North and Elephant & Castle Stations.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the current routes between these two stations.

It appears that Transport for London (TfL) are proposing the following.

  • A more direct route, between the two stations.
  • A rebuilt  Elephant & Castle station, handling both Underground lines.
  • Step-free access between Bakerloo and Northern Lines.
  • The station would be integrated with the new shopping centre.

Part of the plan appears to be to keep the current Bakerloo Line station open during construction.

Could the plan mean that the London Road depot will be closed?

This Google Map shows the London Road Depot and Lambeth North and Elephant & Castle stations.

Note.

  1. Lsmbeth North station is in the North West corner.
  2. Elephant & Castle station is in the South East corner.
  3. The London Road Depot is North of a point about half-way between the stations.

This second Google Map shows a close-up of the London Road Depot.

It appears to be quite a large site about a hundred metres along a long side.

Consider.

  • It must be a development valuable site.
  • It could be used as the site from which to dig the tunnels.
  • The current Bakerloo Line skirts the site to the North.

So could the London Road Depot be closed and developed as the first part of the scheme, leaving a nice and handy tunnel in the basement?

  • There already is a connection from the depot to Lambeth Noth station.
  • It might even be possible to excavate much of the new tunnel by digging down, rather than by using a tunnel boring machine.
  • Note that recently, the new Southbound tunnel of the Northern Line at Bank station has been dug using traditional methods.
  • Moor House at Moorgate contains a ventilation and access shaft for Crossrail and was built some years rest of Crossrail.

Could this mean that the London Road Depot gets developed early in the project and London gets a lot of much-needed housing in a prime location?

But where do they stable the trains?

A Changed Tunnel Alignment Between Elephant & Castle and Lewisham Stations

The article also says this.

It (TfL) has also updated plans for the alignment of tunnels between Elephant & Castle and Lewisham, with the new direct tunnel alignment removing the need for one of the proposed tunnel shafts. A shaft would be builtbetween New Cross Gate and Lewisham, while plans for a shaft beyond Lewisham at the Wearside Road council depot site have been developed into proposals for train stabling.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr show the railway lines around Lewisham station.

 

Note.

  1. Current plans are for the Bakerloo Line to terminate under the current Lewisham station.
  2. There will be overrun tunnels under the Hayes Line, which runs through Ladywell station.
  3. These tunnels could at a future date be joined to the Hayes Line.

The Wearside Road depot is tucked into the South side of the junction, as this Google Map shows.

 

It looks to me, that TfL could be selling the site at London Road for development and using the Wearside Road depot, to replace the lost stabling.

It surely has advantages.

  • It is further South.
  • It could be easily connected to the overrun tunnel;s under the Hayes Line.
  • It could be connected to the Hayes Line.

Could it be possible to build the new rail depot and put the council’s trucks on a second floor?

The picture shows Westbourne Park bus garage over stabling for Crossrail trains.

Hayes Line Takeover

TfL are now saying that extension to Hayes and Beckenham Junction stations offers the greatest benefit

Consider the following.

Development Of The Wearside Road Depot

Suppose the Wearside Road Depot were to be developed early.

  • It could be developed as a double-deck depot, with trains underneath and the Council depot on top.
  • Lewsisham is developing lots of tower blocks, so these would be an alternative topping.
  • The rail depot could be built initially as a shell connected to the Hayes Line, with space for connections to the overrun tunnels at Lewisham station.
  • It could be used as a transfer point for tunnelling spoil, if some digging towards Lewisham, were to be done from the site. Trains could access the site from Beckenham Junction.

It appears to me, that closing the London Road Depot is important in terms of financing, minimising disruption to passengers and construction, but the only way it can be done, is by providing an alternative depot. And the best way to do that is to connect the line in the first phase to the Hayes Line and use Wearside Road as a replacement depot.

Service Frequency

The current service frequency on the line is according to Wikipedia as follows.

The standard off-peak service is two trains per hour (tph) each way between London Charing Cross and Hayes, non-stop between London Bridge and Ladywell, and two tph between London Cannon Street and Hayes, calling at all stations via Lewisham.

So that is four trains per hour (tph), but only two tph call at Lewisham.

Currently, the Bakerloo Line frequency at Elephant & Castle station is 20-21 tph. As it appears there is no terminal platforms on the extension except for Hayes and Beckenham Junction stations, I would assume that their three platforms will be able to handle the full service.

The single platform at Beckenham Junction can probably handle six tph, which would leave the rest to be handled in the two platforms at Hayes station.

As the Victoria Line handles thirty-six tph with modern signally, I see no reason, why the Bakerloo Line wouldn’t be able to handle 30 tph with ultra-modern signalling.

Development Of An Interchange At Catford

In An Opportunity At Catford, I talked about the possibilities of developing an improved interchange between Catford and Catford Bridge stations, which are no more than a hundred metres apart. |Although, it is rather up and down.

The map from carto.metre.free.fr shows the layout of lines at the two stations.

Note that Catford Bridge station is on the Hayes Line and Catford station is on the Catford Loop Line.

It strikes me that there is scope for some advanced thinking, if an interchange is to be created between the two stations.

Could it be arranged that as part of the conversion of the Hayes Line to the Bakerloo Line, that the tracks be reorganised with the Bakerloo Lines on the outside of a single four-platform station, that would enable cross-platform interchange between the two lines?

Unfortunately, No! But it could have been safeguarded some years ago, but now there’s new housing in the way!

However, I do think there are other ways of making this interchange step-free and reasonably quick.

The Hayes And City Problem

Wikipedia says this about the takeover of the Hayes Line by the Bakerloo Line.

The driving force for this change is that Network Rail would like the train paths freed up for services mainly from the South Eastern Main Line. Transport for London prefer this route due to its being largely self-contained after Lewisham.

Currently, Off Peak services from Hayes station are as follows.

  • Two trains per hour (tph) to Cannon Street
  • Two tph to Charring Cross

These two services mean that there are also.

  • Two tph to Lewisham
  • Four tph to London Bridge
  • Two tph to Waterloo East.;

There are also extra services in the Peak.

Will there be a problem for commuters to get between the Hayes Line and the City of London and Canary Wharf?

There will also be no First Class on the trains.

In practice Canary Wharf could be the easier, as it will just mean using the Docklands Light Railway from Lewisham.

This could also be quickest way to the City!

I think we we shall be hearing from some restless natives!

 

 

 

 

 

The Use Of

October 27, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments

Thoughts On Kentish Town Station

Kentish Town station is not step-free, as these pictures show.

This Google Map shows the layout of the station.

Note the four platforms and two extra tracks on the Southern side.

But I do believe it is a station with potential.

An All-Electric Railway

In perhaps 2022 or a couple of years later, when the new bi-mode trains are delivered, between Kentish Town and St. Pancras stations will be an all-electric railway.

The Station Is In A Cutting

The station is in a cutting and given the price of land in the area and the demand for housing, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the whole station roofed over at some time in the future.

This couldn’t be done until the railway was all-electric.

Step-Free Access To National Rail Platforms

If the station was covered by development, I’m sure it would be possible to provide step-free access between the surface and the National Rail platforms.

Step-Free Access To Underground Platforms

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at Kentish Town station.

Note how the Northern Line is at almost right angles to the Midland Main Line.

Providing step-free access might be easier from the area to the North of the current Undegrround station, which could be within any new development.

Some of the new techniques used on Crossrail might make a connection possible.

Kentish Town And West Hampstead Thameslink Stations

The next station to the North of Kentish Town is West Hampstead Thameslink.

Both stations have six tracks, but only four platforms.

It would probably be very advantageous if there were six tracks on the Midland Main Line along this very busy railway.

But this is impossible as the tunnels that lie between the two stations only have a total of four tracks.

I suspect that Network Rail’s engineers sometimes muse about what might have been, if the Victorians had built the extra tracks.

  • Thameslink services could have their own separate tracks.
  • Express services could be roaring through at 200 kph.
  • The West London Orbital Railway could terminate at Kentish Town station.

But short of rebuilding the Midland Main Line between the two station and digging a lot of extra tunnels, these are impossible ideas.

April 8, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Completing The Bank Station Upgrade

I’m writing this post for two reasons.

The first is to inform people that in the Summer of 2021, there is going to be a closure of the Bank Branch of the Northern Line for several months.

The second, is to illustrate, how in a large transport system like London, good project management can carry out major works, without too much inconvenience to passengers.

This article on IanVisits is entitled Behind The Scenes At London Underground’s Bank Tube Station upgrade.

I suggest you read the article, to get the scale of the project.

In the Summer of 2021, a section of the Bank branch of the Northern line will close for roughly 3 months.

The main reason is so that the New Southbound tunnel can be joined to the existing Southbound tunnel, North and South of Bank station. Think of it as installing a by-pass round a village. Except it’s a railway and it’s around forty metres below ground.

Ian says this about what else will happen, whilst the Northern Line is closed.

While that’s going on, at Bank station, the old southbound tunnel will have it’s tracks filled in and turned into a new large concourse, while the currently hidden new side passages are cut through into the old northbound platform and finished off.

Come roughly September 2021, after a few months of closure, people will arrive at Bank station and see these huge new tunnels, the new escalators down to the DLR, the travolator to the Central line.

This approach is very common on the railways.

If a line has to be closed completely for a few months, say because a tunnel is being repaired, then during the closure, you do all the other tasks you can.

At Bank, where a new track is being connected, there will be no trains through the station for a few months. So all the other jobs will be done in this window.

There may also be other advantages. At Bank station, the Northbound track itself is not being radically changed, so it might be possible to use battery locomotives to bring in supplies and take out rubbish.

Summer 2021 Is Two And A Half Years Away

Project Planners have calculated and it will probably take until the end of 2020, for everything to be ready before the closure can take place, so that the joining of the tracks can begin.

But there could  other reasons, for the 2021 date.

Bank station is an important station on the Northern Line and closing it will cause a lot of inconvenience for passengers, many of whom will still be commuting to the City of London.

Some Big Projects Will Be Complete Before The Closure

Before Summer 2021, these big projects should have been completed.

  • One completed on Friday, when the new Bank Station entrance on Walbrook opened.
  • Crossrail will have opened.. On current forecasts nearly two years earlier.
  • The Northern City Line will be running new Class 717 trains into Moorgate station.
  • Travellers will have learned to use Thameslink as part of the Underground.

All of these projects will help passengers to cope with the Northern Line Closure at Bank station.

Bank Station Will Still Be Partially Open For Business

Bank station will not be fully-closed.

  • The Central Line will be working at Bank station, to something like full capacity.
  • The Waterloo & City Line will be working normally using the new Wallbrook entrance.
  • The Docklands Light Railway will be working, as is possible around all the work.
  • Some new and refurbished routes will connect the Central Line and Docklands Light Railway to the myriad station entrances around Bank Junction.
  • The Circle and District Lines will be working normally, through Monument station.

In addition, the City of London will have improved walking and cycling in the Square Mile.

Where Will Northern Line Trains Run During The Closure?

For a start, all Northern Line trains through Charing Cross station will be running normally.

The Northern Line Extension to Battersea might even have opened, which would give an extra Southern terminal to the Northern Line, which would help operation of the Charing Cross Branch.

Looking at the detailed tracks on carto.metro.free.fr, it appears that trains from the North can turn back at Euston and Moorgate.

Consider.

  • Euston will be in the throws of rebuilding for High Speed Two.
  • The Northern Line is the preferred route between Euston and the City.
  • Moorgate will be a fully step-free rebuilt station with connections to Crossrail and the Central Line.
  • Many people can walk to most parts of the Square Mile from Moorgate.

It looks to me, that it is most likely that Northern Line services will terminate at Moorgate during the closure of the Northern Line through Bank.

Northern Line trains approaching the City from the South have no such convenient turn back between Kennington and Bank stations.

I think the best direct service passengers from the Morden Branch to the City can expect will be a not-very-frequent shuttle service to London Bridge.

Most who need to go to Bank station from the South will find alternative routes and there are several.

  • Travel to London Bridge and walk across the river.
  • Change to the Waterloo and City Line at Waterloo.
  • Change to the Circle and District Lines at Embankment.
  • Change to the Central Line at Tottenham Court Road
  • Change to Crossrail at Tottenham Court Road and walk from Moorgate.

It should also be remembered, that as the closure is taking place in the Summer holidays, travellers should cope.

Conclusion

As Project Managers always seem to say.

You must get your ducks in a row!

So in this example, I would have felt that to have rebuilt Bank station without completion of the following projects.

  • Crossrail
  • Bank Station Walbrook Entrance

Would have been a lot harder.

This example also means that you must get your large projects in the right order, so they help each other to be delivered on time.

London has several large station interchange projects in the pipeline.

  • Camden Town station
  • East Croydon station
  • Holborn station.
  • Oxford Circus station
  • Victoria station

Which I believe should be done in the optimal order, so that travellers suffer the least disruption.

Smaller projects like a second entrance At Walthamstow Central station should probably be done at a time, when money and resources are available.

 

December 2, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Bank Station Upgrade And The Western Extension Of The DLR

This map from Transport for London (TfL), shows the possible Western extension of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).

With all the problems of the funding of Crossrail 2, that I wrote about in Crossrail 2 Review Prompts Fresh Delays, could this extension of the DLR, be a good idea?

If you look at the Bank Station Upgrade in detail, the DLR gets a much needed boost in the upgrade.

The two DLR platforms underneath the Northern Line get a triple-escalator connection to the Northern Line level, from where they have the following.

  • Level access to the Northern Line.
  • Escalator access to the Cannon Street entrance.
  • Travelator/escalator access to the Central Line.
  • Access to the current escalators and lifts to the various entrances around Bank Junction.

There will also be lifts everywhere.

According to Services in the Wikipedia entry for the DLR, the following services turn at Bank station.

  • 22.5 trains per hour (tph) in the Peak.
  • 18 tph in the Off Peak.

So the turnback is handling a train around every three minutes.

I have no idea, what is the maximum frequency of the DLR, but as it is an automated system, with new trains to be delivered in the next few years, I suspect the frequency will be pushed higher in the future.

The Bank Station Upgrade has been designed to handle more passengers using the DLR, so there should be no problem about handling more passengers in the two platforms deep in Bank station.

The limiting factor would more likely be in the turnback.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr, shows the DLR lines at Bank station.

Note the turnback for the DLR, under the Central Line platforms 5/6, running alongside the Northern Line.

  • Trains stop in the arrivals platform 10 at Bank station and unload all passengers.
  • They then move to the turnback and the automation then switches to the other end.
  • They then move to the departures platform 9 to pick up passengers.

It is an inefficient way to turn trains. A through station at Bank would have a much greater capacity.

If you look at the map of the proposed Western extension, it has two branches which join and split at City Thameslink station.

  • Charing Cross, Green Park and Victoria.
  • Holborn, Euston and St. Pancras

It should be noted that the two-platform terminal station at Lewisham currently handles upwards of 20 tph in the Peak.

This would mean that if both Western branches had a two-platform terminus, then there could be a theoretical total of forty tph through Bank station.

If Dear Old Vicky can manage thirty-six tph with ten year-old-trains and less automation, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the DLR manage the magic forty tph, with twenty tph on each branch.

Obviously, though there would be other considerations and capacity limits, but I can see a big increase in the numbers of passengers using the DLR.

I would expect that the improvement to the DLR access being added in the Bank Station Upgrade must have been designed to handle the highest number of DLR trains and passengers that anybody can practically envisage.

It should also be noted that the DLR station is below the Northern Line and the turnback siding, which is shown in the map of the lines, will be well out of the way of the new Northern Line and travelator tunnels.

The map of the Western DLR Western Extension,  also shows the extension going West away from the Northern Line tunnels. This would mean it would comfortably  pass underneath the new Southbound Northern Line tunnel.

It therefor looks to me, that the Bank Station Upgrade is very much preparing Bank station for the DLR Western Extension to be built.

So will the DLR Western Extension be constructed?

Why Is It Needed?

Various reasons Have been given.

Better Connection To The Docklands Light Railway for Commuters From The South

The DLR Western Extension will connect to commuter routes at the following stations.

  • Charing Cross
  • City Thameslink
  • Victoria

This should help commuters get to the City and the business areas of East London.

Another Direct Connection Between East London And West Central London

It will also help travellers get betweenEast London and West Cerntral London without changing or using the overcrowded Victoria Line.

A few points.

  1. c2c commuters would also be able to change at Limehouse station to trains going further than Bank station.
  2. It would help me get to places South of Crossrail and Victoria becomes much easier.
  3. Access to Thameslink from the East will be improved, if you’re not near a Crossrail station.
  4. New housing in the East will get the transport links it needs.

East London has a great need for the DLR Western Extension.

Increase The Number Of Trains Serving Bank Station

The Mayor wants to extend the DLR to Abbey Wood and Thamesmead in the South East.

This will mean that extra capacity is needed in the West to turn the trains.

The DLR Western Extension and the Bank Station Upgrade seems a pretty good way to obtain this much-needed capacity.

The People Mover Between High Speed One, High Speed Two, West Coast Main Line And The East Coast Main Line

Proposals exist for a high capacity people mover between High Speed One at St. Pancras and High Speed Two at Euston.

The DLR Western Extension will accept this challenge and do it superbly and could even have connections to the East Coast Main Line.

Take The Pressure Off The Northern Line

Consider.

  • The Northern Line connects Euston and Bank stations via Kings Cross St. Pancras.
  • The Northern Line is supposed to take ten minutes.
  • The route is overcrowded and it is impossible to get a seat, for most of the day.
  • When High Speed Two opens in 2026, more travellers will want to travel to and from the City.

The DLR Western Extension could give as many as twenty tph on the following route.

  • St. Pancras
  • Euston
  • Holborn
  • City Thameslink
  • Bank

With the new DLR trains and the full automation of the DLR, the route will certainly outperform the Northern Line and possibly a black cab, driven  by Lewis Hamilton.

Improve Capacity Between Victoria And The City

Just as the DLR Western Extension will improve the route between Euston and the City of London, the other branch will improve the route between Victoria and the City

I’ve taken a District Line train from .Whitechapel to Victoria station and there are better ways to enjoy yourself.

It’s The Poor People’s Crossrail 2

Crossrail 2 with its mega station at Euston/Kings Cross/St. Pancras will give North-East London much better access to National Rail services going North.

To get to any of these stations now, I have to take a bus to either Angel or Moorgate stations and then get a tube.

I used to be able to get a bus to Highbury & Islington station, but the Mayor from South London has halved the service, so I don’t bother to wait fifteen minutes for a bus and go via Angel.

If the DLR Western Extension were to be opened, I’d get an Overground train to Shadwell station and change to the required route.

Agility – The DLR Advantage

I must say something about the big advantage of the DLR.

The trains have the ability to twist, turn and climb gradients, that a conventional train would find impossible.

This means that the tracks can be threaded through places, where heavy rail just can’t go!

Tunnels

The DLR tunnels and platforms at Bank station are the deepest in London. This article in the Telegraph says this about the deepest station in Central London.

It is the DLR concourse at Bank, which is 41.4 metres below.

Crossrail’s depth by comparison is described in this page on the Crossrail web site like this.

A network of new rail tunnels have been built by eight giant tunnel boring machines, to carry Crossrail’s trains eastbound and westbound. Each tunnel is 21 kilometres/13 miles long, 6.2 metres in diameter and up to 40 metres below ground.

The DLR Western Extension tunnels would cross Crossrail close to Holborn station, so they would probably need to go below Crossrail at this point.

Designing the route of the tunnels is probably the easy part, as construction will be much harder and will take a lot of planning.

Consider, the places for construction sites, where a tunnel boring machine (TBM) could be inserted or the spoil could be taken out.

  • Bank, St. Pancras and Victoria stations are very crowded places, with most of the land already built on.
  • There are the Royal Parks and London’s leafy squares, on the route.
  • This article on IanVisits describes the railway sidings under Smithfield Meat Market, which could be somewhere to start digging. Could spoil be taken out at night by train on Thameslink?
  • As Holborn station is getting a second entrance, this could also be a key site in the construction of the tunnels.

The tunnellers might use the techniques employed in the Bank Station Upgrade, where the tunnel was dug without a TBM and spoil was taken out by truck. But the tunnels for the DLR Western Extension will be much larger.

Stations

It is worth looking at the stations on the route.

Charing Cross

Charing Cross station has been rebuilt in recent decades and still has the two former Jubilee Line platforms in working order, that might be able to be reused.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines around Charing Cross station.

Note.

  1. The old Jubilee Line tunnels go through the platforms.
  2. They are long enough to hold two trains.
  3. The tunnels would have to be enlarged to fit the larger DLR trains.

As these platforms and tunnels were built to be extended on a route not unlike that of the DLR extension, I suspect TfL have ideas about how this station could be rebuilt to be part of the Western DLR extension.

City Thameslink

– City Thameslink station is a reasonably-modern, one-line double-ended step-free station.

The DLR Extension would cross the station at right-angles, deep below Thameslink.

Euston

Euston station is being rebuilt for HS2 and the Underground station will be extensively improved.

I would be very surprised, if the new station, has been designed without a feasible place for DLR platforms to be added.

Green Park

Green Park station has been updated several times and I suspect that TfL have ideas about how the station could be served by the extension.

Holborn

Holborn station is being extended with a new entrance. As with Euston, I suspect it has been designed with a feasible place for DLR platforms to be added.

This document on the TfL web site, gives more details of what is proposed at Holborn station.

I extracted this visualisation of the proposed station.

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

.Note, Crossrail, which is shown by dotted lines passes to the North of the station.

This diagram from Crossrail shows a depth profile of the tunnels between Farringdon and Bond Street stations.

Note.

  1. The blue dot indicating the Piccadilly Line.
  2. The red dot indicating the Central Line

These two lines are close to Holborn station.

I would feel that the DLR Western Extension could be accommodated in the lower level of the updated station. If required, it could use the DLR’s agility to use a route, no normal railway could.

St. Pancras

St. Pancras station is virtually a new station, so at least, the surveys and drawings are up-to-date. This might make designing two platforms below the current complex a bit easier.

Although, actually building them might be more difficult.

Victoria

The Underground station has been substantially remodelled and rebuilding of the National Rail station is in the pipeline.

Plans are also being drawn up, as to how this station will connect to Crossrail 2.

Hopefully, they’ve taken the DLR Extension into account.

Should There Be Any Other Stations?

The DLR Western Extension must be built, so that if required, the two new branches can be extended.

Extending From St. Pancras

One article, I’ve read, says that this branch should be extended to Camden Town.

In Maiden Lane And York Road Stations, I suggested that it should be extended to these two former stations. I said this.

But why stop at S. Pancras? The DLR could be extended under Kings Cross station, stopping where required to finish at York Road station.

  • Only the building would be used.
  • There would be no connection to the Piccadilly Line.
  • The Docklands Light Railway tunnels would be several metres down to travel under buildings and the stations.
  • An underground passage could be built to a reopened Maiden Lane station.

A worthwhile use would have been found for an iconic building and Kings Cross Central would have much better public transport connections.

Given that over the next few years, there will be a large increase in capacity on the North London Line through Maiden Lane station, this could be a very important extension.

Extending further in the future from York Road would be enabled. Next stop Finsbury Park?

Or would it be better to create a connection to the Piccadilly Line at the combined York Road/Maiden Lane station complex?

Extending From Victoria

Obviously, if the Victoria Branch could be extended to Waterloo, this would be an ideal solution.

I would look at the possibility of having a very easy interchange between the Victoria Line and the DLR at Victoria.

Cross-platform interchange would probably be difficult, but if the DLR platforms were under those of the Victoria Line, I would feel a fast step-free interchange could be designed.

This would effectively mean that the Victoria Line would be a virtual extension to the Victoria Branch of the DLR Western Extension.

A Connection To Crossrail

Surely, the DLR Western Extension should connect to Crossrail. Especially, as it connects to Thameslink!

Conclusion

Build the DLR Western Extension!

Why?

  • It will add capacity between Euston and the City.
  • It will add capacity between Victoria and the City
  • It will unlock capacity at Bank and allow more services to the East.

It is the poor people’s Crossrail 2

It won’t be built though!

  • East London isn’t a priority and it’s where the scum and great unwashed live.
  • It doesn’t do much for South and West London, where important people live.
  • The North of England will object, as it’s another London project!

But I’m hoping that it will be built, as it will transform the lives of many who live in the East and/or rely on the DLR.

In 2010, I wrote Cinderella Will Take You to the Ball!, where I was looking forward to the Olympics.

After the Olympics, I was told by a Senior Manager of the DLR, whilst riding on a DLR train, that the system had performed magnificently at the Games and carried more passengers than everybody expected it would!

There certainly weren’t any complaints.

But I did find this article on Rail Magazine, which is entitled The Secret Of Serco’s Success.

This is the first two paragraphs.

In January 2013 Serco was awarded an 18-month contract extension to operate the Docklands Light Railway, one of the most reliable train services in the UK.

This extension (to September 2014) to the original seven-year franchise rewarded a remarkable performance in 2012, a performance that was also a principal reason for National Rail Awards judges awarding Serco Docklands the City & Metro Operator of the Year accolade.

So they got a Gold Medal too!

This is said about their performance during the year.

Almost 12 million passengers were carried during the entire Games period, and during the busiest times, passenger numbers reached more than double the normal level. Numbers peaked at around 500,000 passengers in a single day, over 125,000 more than DLR’s previous record. And yet, despite all that extra pressure, 2012 was DLR’s most reliable year ever.

Sexy the DLR is not, but like the character I name her after, this light railway, works incredibly hard and to a high standard!

It is a true heavyweight amongst urban transport systems.

Perhaps we should abandon Crossrail 2 and just extend the Docklands Light Railway?

 

 

December 2, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Has The Possibility Been Created For A Pedestrian Tunnel Between Bank And Moorgate Stations?

This visualisation shows the Bank Station Upgrade at Bank station, which is now underway to sort out the station’s problems of capacity and poor step-free access.

This is the bottom-left corner of the visualisation.

Notice that there are two fat tunnels running top to Bottom across the visualisation, which are the Central Line tunnels, with the Eastbound on the left and the Westbound on the right.

There are also four tunnels running left to right across the visualisation.

The top two, which are sticking out to the left of the Eastbound Central Line tunnel, are the current Northern Line running tunnels

  • The top one is the Northbound tunnel going to Moorgate station.
  • The other one is the current Southbound tunnel, which under the plans for Bank station will be closed to trains and used to improve passenger access to the Northbound platform. If you go to the Northern Line platforms, there are tell-tale blue hoardings, indicating where better access will be created.

These pictures show the current state of the current Southbound tunnel.

It looks like at least three sections of the wall between the two platforms will be removed.

The third tunnel, which is shown pink in the visualisations is the connecting tunnel between the Central Line and the new entrance to the station on Cannon Street.

Note the following.

  1. It has a travelator.
  2. it connects to a lobby, where there are triple escalators to the Central Line.
  3. It appears to come to a stop under the Eastbound Central Line platform.

What lies at the Northern end of this tunnel?

The fourth tunnel, which is the new Southbound running tunnel for the Northern Line, has been helpfully drawn with a rail track inside.

This is the top-right corner of the visualisation.

Note.

  1. There are three cross passages between the two running tunnels, just as there appears to be three blue hoardings in the existing Southbound running tunnel.
  2. The Northbound running tunnel now has a wide platform, which has been built inside the existing Southbound tunnel.
  3. The new Southbound running tunnel will be built with a wide platform.
  4. There are three escalators leading to the new Cannon Street entrance.
  5. There are three escalators leading down to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) platforms

This map from carto.metro.free.fr, shows the layout of lines at Bank station and between Bank and Moorgate stations.

Note.

  1. The Central Line is shown in red.
  2. The Northern Line is shown in black.
  3. The DLR is shown in turquoise.
  4. The two Northern Line tracks cross to the North of Bank station.
  5. The lines at Moorgate station are shown at the top of the map.
  6. Crossrail is shown in violet.

The new Southbound tunnel will be created to the West of the DLR platforms.

This article on IanVisits is entitled Behind The Scenes At London Underground’s Bank Tube Station upgrade.

I suggest you read the article and I feel, you will get the impression the Bank Station Upgrade is a very difficult project, that is being achieved in an innovative manner by the contractors.

In one section, the article describes how they are actually building the new Southbound tunnel, through the piled foundations of existing buildings.

A Travelator Between Bank and Moorgate  Stations

I now feel I can answer the question in the title of this post.

The Route

If the route started at the Northern end of the long connection tunnel with the travelator at Bank station, a route could probably be found on the West side of the Northern Line to break-in to the basement of the Crossrail station at Moorgate station.

This image shows a cross-section through the Moorgate Crossrail station.

Note that under the escalators leading down from the Moorgate Ticket Hall to Crossrail, are a pair of circles.

  • These are the Northern Line running tunnels.
  • A travelator tunnel would be at this level but perhaps twenty or more metres to the West (left in the cross-section).

With modern design and construction techniques, I would expect that a connection could be made.

The Length

I estimate that the travelator would be between three and four hundred metres long.

As there are longer travelators either built or in planning in the world, I suspect, the length wouldn’t be a problem.

By comparison, these are example travelators in London.

  • Jubilee to Northern/Bakerloo Lines at Waterloo – 140 metres.
  • Sloping travelators to Waterloo and City Line at Bank – 76 metres
  • Proposed Central to Northern Lines at Bank – 94 metres

A travelator between Bank and Moorgate stations would probably be, the longest in London.

Building The Tunnel

If you read the IanVisits article, it details how the new Northern Line and travelator tunnels at Bank station were excavated.

I suspect similar techniques could be used to build the new tunnel.

The biggest problem would be removing the tunnel spoil and I suspect that if the tunnel were to be built, when a building on the route needed to be replaced, this would make construction a lot easier.

Why The Tunnel Should Be Built

The main argument for building the tunnel is that it would connect Bank station directly to Crossrail.

Why The Tunnel May Not Be Needed

There are various reasons, why the travelator may not be needed.

Pedestrianisation

The City of London is in favour of pedestrianisation and has already disclosed plans to make Bishopsgate, which is one of the most important North-South arteries through the Square Mile, much more pedestrian friendly.

I would expect more initiatives like this to follow.

So many travellers will use their feet on the surface, between Crossrail and Bank, when the two stations are completed.

Improved Northern Line Connections

The connections to the Northern Line will be improved at both Moorgate and Bank stations, when Crossrail and the Bank Station Upgrade are completed.

So those travellers needing or wishing to do a one-stop transfer, will find it easy.

Connectivity between Crossrail And The Central Line

Crossrail and the Central Line have good connectivity.

  • Stratford – A cross-platform interchange.
  • Liverpool Street – A step-free connection
  • Tottenham Court Road – A step-free connection
  • Bond Street – A step-free connection
  • Ealing Broadway – A step-free connection.

If travellers need Bank and they are coming from either direction on Crossrail, they can change at a convenient station.

Given that Bank station will have a large number of step-free entrances after the Bank Station Upgrade is completed, I suspect many Crossrail passengers will transfer to the Central Line to avoid the walk from Moorgate or Liverpool Street stations.

Conclusion

It may be feasible to build a trevelator between Bank and Moorgate stations, but developments already in hand, may give the project a very bad financial case.

 

December 1, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments