The Anonymous Widower

The Massive Bank Station Upgrade Is Running Behind Schedule And Over Budget

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in City AM.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The hefty upgrade work on Bank station is set to be completed later than planned, and over budget, according to new papers from Transport for London (TfL).

TfL said in its recent investment programme report that final costs for the revamp at Bank are set to be £642m, £19m higher than the £623m originally forecast. That covers a capacity boost and systems integration upgrade at the station.

Other facts can be gleaned from the article.

  • Overall works will now finish in 2022 instead of the original date of late 2021.
  • £322m has been spent so far.
  • Opening of the new entrance to the Waterloo and City Line has been put back from January to March next year because of problems of obtaining fire doors with the correct specifications.
  • Problems have been found with digging the 00 metres of new tunnels.;

At least though, the contractors seem to be keeping all the lines open, as they carry out this most complex of projects in the heart of the City of London.

Once the station is completed, it will be interesting to see how many billions of pounds worth of office space are built on top of the new Underground complex.

 

December 8, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Upgrades For Northern And Jubilee Lines Have Been Brought To A Halt By Transport for London

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in City AM. This is the first paragraph.

Planned upgrades for the Northern and Jubilee Lines have been paused by Transport for London (TfL), though train drivers’ union Aslef says they will be cancelled entirely.

But is it such a disaster?

The Jubilee and othern Lines need more trains to increase the service frquencies. This is said in the article.

The Northern Line upgrade plan was to buy 17 additional trains so the Northern Line could run a 30 trains per hour service on all branches of the line, while the Jubilee Line would have had 10 new trains to operate a 36 trains per hour service.

So it looks like twenty-seven new trains are needed.

The Central Line Train Upgrade

This article on Railway-news.com is untitled London Underground’s Central Line Trains Set For Upgrade.

Currently, the Central Line‘s 1992 Stock have DC motors, which will be replaced by more efficient motors  and a sophisticated control system.

The cost of the upgrade will be £112.1 million or about £1.3 million per train.

Transport for London are only making a reliability claim for the upgrade. Hopefully, if the trains are more reliable, then more can be in service. so can a higher frequency be run?

I also think in addition, the trains could possibly accelerate faster from stops, thus reducing the dwell times at stations and ultimately the journey times.

  • Epping to West Ruislip currently takes ninety minutes with 38 stops.
  • Ealing Broadway to Newbury Park takes sixty minutes with 24 stops.
  • Northolt to Loughton takes sixty-seven minutes with 28 stops.

Saving just ten seconds on each stop will reduce journey times by several minutes.

I suspect that Transport for London will rearrange the timetable to increase the service frequency from the current twenty-four trains per hour (tph).

It will be interesting to see what frequency of trains and journey times are achieved, when all the Central Line trains have been updated.

The Victoria Line Upgrade Of 2016

In 2016, the Victoria Line track was upgraded at Walthamstow Central station, so that services could be increased to thirty six tph.

The Problem Of Ordering A Small Batch Of Unique Trains

This article on London Reconnections is entitled Third World Class Capacity: Cancelling Tube Upgrades.

The article talks about the problems of building small batches of unique trains and I would conclude they will be expensive, unless you could find some way of not buying them.

Could The Jubilee And Northern Line Trains And Stations Be Upgraded To Increase The Capacity And Avoid The Need For More Trains?

I’ve no idea, but I suspect that Transport for London have looked into the possibility.

The Jubilee Line

Currently,  the Jubilee Line is worked by sixty-three 1996 Stock trains.

Wikipedia gives a good description of the Traction Control of the trains. This is the first sentence.

1995 and 1996 stocks have similar body shells but they use different AC traction control systems. The 1995 stock system is more modern, since the 1996 stock design specification was frozen in 1991.

This gives me the impression, that a more modern traction control system could improve the train performance, as electronics have moved on in the last twenty years.

The Northern Line

Currently, the Northern Line is worked by one hundred and six 1995 Stock trains.

Upgrading The Traction Control

I wonder if the most economic way is to update the traction control on both sets of trains with the same system.

If the upgrade needed new AC motors at the Central Line cost £1.3 million a train, would give total cost of around £220 million.

Upgrading The Stations

I suspect that Transport for London will upgrade the stations with Harrington Humps and other facilities to make train loading and unloading easier and less likely to delay the train.

I suspect that all the lessons learned in raising the Victoria Line to 36 tph will be applied.

Crossrail And The Jubilee Line

Crosrail appears to have been designed, so that it works in co-operation with London’s older Underground lines.

When considering Crossrail’s relationship with the Jubilee Line, the following must be taken into account.

  • The two lines have interchanges at Bond Street, Canary Wharf and Stratford stations.
  • Crossrail has good connections to the Metropolitan and Baskerloo Lines, which in North-West London serve Jubilee Line territory.

Perhaps more importantly, there is a cross-platform interchange at Whitechapel between the two Eastern branches of Crossrail. This will give passengers an easy route between Sssex and Canary Wharf.

These features should divert passengers away from the Jubilee Line.

Will this make upgrading the Jubilee Line, less urgent?

London Bridge Station, Thameslink And The Jubilee Line

One of the problems with the Jubilee Line is that you have to walk miles to get to the platforms at some stations.

London Bridge and Waterloo stations are bad examples.

These two stations are now connected by a fourteen tph link across the South Bank, which goes from London Bridge to Charing Cross via Waterloo East.

I use the route regularly back from Waterloo, as I can get a 141 bus to my home at London Bridge station.

Next year, when Thameslink is fully open even more passengers will be able to avoid the Jubilee Line.

And then there’s West Hampstead Interchange!

If this station were to be created to link all the lines together at West Hampstead, it would also create a second connection between Thameslink and the Jubilee Line.

The Splitting Of The Northern Line

Once Camden Town and Bank stations have been upgraded in 2025, the Northern Line will become two separate lines, with cross-platform interchange at Camden Town and Kennington stations. This will  enable thirty-six tph on both branches and allow trains to be used more efficiently.

I do wonder, if in the detailed design and planning of the station extension at Camden Town, has shown that the split can be performed earlier, thus efficient train usage can  start earlier.

Thameslink And The Northern Line

My late wife used to live in Barnet until we were married.

From that area in the 1960s, you could either take the Northern Line from High Barnet station or the two tph local train into Kings Cross from Oakleigh Park or New Barnet stations.

The local rail service is now three tph to Moorgate. Not a great improvement in fifty years!

However, things are changing at New Barnet and Oakleigh Park stations.

  • New trains and an uprated service into Moorgate.
  • Thameslink will add a two tph service to Sevenoaks.

Will these developments take a small amount of pressure off the Northern Line?

The Provision Of Depot Space

One of the disadvantages of buying more trains, would be that the depots would need to be expanded, so they could be stored.

London is a crowded city, which is short of land.

So is this a problem?

Londoners

Londoners are World Champions at ducking and diving!

So don’t underestimate their abilities to find the quickest routes that take the pressure off the Jubilee and Northern Lines.

Replacing The Whole Jubilee And Northern Fleets

It is intended that new trains will be in service on the Piccadilly Line around 2022. Wikipedia says this about Siemens proposal for the trains.

Siemens has publicised an outline design, which would feature air-conditioning and would also have battery power enabling the train to run on to the next station if third and fourth rail power were lost. It would have a lower floor and 11% higher passenger capacity than the present tube stock. There would be a weight saving of 30 tonnes, and the trains would be 17% more energy-efficient with air-conditioning included, or 30% more energy-efficient without it.

By the end of the 2020s, the Jubilee and Northern Line trains will be over thirty years old, and by then the two lines will be in need of even more capacity.

Replacing the current trains with a London-proven new train would surely be a distinct possibility.

Conclusion

The more I look at whether the top-up order for new trains is needed, the more I’m convinced it isn’t!

 

 

October 12, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Transport for London Warns Crossrail 2 Could Be Delayed By Decade

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in the Financial Times.

It’s all about funding and probably the Government not wanting to finance all of the large rail projects.

  • HS2
  • Crossrail 2
  • Northern Powerhouse Rail
  • East West Rail

HS2 is funded and underway and the last two projects are being sorted, but the cost of Crossrail 2 is too much to digest.

I have believed for some time, that Crossrail 2 is a number of separate projects.

  • Increasing capacity on the Waterloo suburban lines
  • Increasing capacity on the Lea Valley Lines
  • Creation of the mega-station at Euston-St. Pancras
  • New trains
  • The high capacity central tunnel

I will now look at each in detail.

Increasing Capacity On The Waterloo Suburban Lines

In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I showed that it would be possible to run a service with Crossrail 2’s characteristics terminating in Waterloo.

I said the following were needed.

  • More platform capacity in Waterloo.
  • Modern high-performance 100 mph trains like Class 707 trains or Aventras.
  • Some improvements to track and signals between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.
  • Wimbledon station would only need minor modifications.
  • A measure of ATO between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.

Much of the infrastructure works have been completed as I reported in It’s All Over Now, Waterloo!.

All it needs is Bombardier to build the new Class 701 trains for South Western Railway.

Increasing Capacity On The Lea Valley Lines

In Could A Lea Valley Metro Be Created?, I looked at the possibility of creating a Lea Valley Metro with the following characteristics.

  • Four-tracks between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.
  • Step-free stations.
  • Termination in the unused loop at Stratford.
  • 10-15 trains per hour.
  • Links to Crossrail, the Underground and Southeastern Highspeed services at Stratford.

I came to the conclusion it was very much possible.

Creation Of The Mega-Station At Euston-St. Pancras

In Should A Mega-Station Be Created At Kings Cross-St. Pancras-Euston?, I looked at this mega station project for Crossrail 2.

I came to these conclusions.

  • If Crossrail 2 is built, there will obviously be a mega station at Euston St. Pancras.
  • But I believe that all the other improvements that will happen before HS2 opens may well be enough to cope with the extra capacity needed.
  • Obviously though, any improvements must not compromise the building of Crossrail’s mega-station.

In Should A Mega-Station Be Created At Kings Cross-St. Pancras-Euston?, I proposed a four-level mega-station.

  • Surface level – National Rail and HS2
  • Sub-surface level – Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan Lines
  • Deep level – Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.
  • Very deep level – Crossrail 2

Lines would be connected by escalators, travelators and lifts going all over the place.

It would not be that different to the double-ended Crossrail station at Moorgate-Liverpool Street station, which I described in London’s First Underground Roller Coaster, except that it connects three stations instead of two.

This would enable Crossrail 2 to be bored through at a deeper level after Euston station had been rebuilt for HS2.

In terms of Crossrail 2, the creation of the mega station at Euston St. Pancras could be the last project to be completed.

New Trains

This should be the easy bit, as surely using the same Class 345 trains on Crossrail and Crossrail 2, would be an objective, if it were possible.

The High Capacity Central Tunnel

I’ve never built a tunnel, although my software; Artemis helped to build the Channel Tunnel, but I would suspect that building the central tunnel for Crossrail 2 will be easier than building that for Crossrail.

So many things like riding a bike or sex are a lot easier the second time.

There must be so many lessons from Crossrail that can be applied to Crossrail 2.

If all of the central stations on the tunnel, from Dalston to Wimbledon, where there is interchange with Crossrail 2 can be made tunnel-ready, then I don’t see why boring the central tunnel can’t be one of the last jobs to be started.

The tunnel boring machines would then just pass through the stations to link them all together.

It’s probably not as simple as that, but it is going to be a lot easier job than Crossrail.

The Importance Of The Victoria Line

I’ve never seen this said before, but one of the keys to building Crossrail 2 is the Victoria Line or Dear Old Vicky.

I believe the Victoria Line should be updated as follows to be as near the standard of Crossrail as possible, by using the existing trains, track and signalling  and by updating the stations.

  • Addition of the missing escalators and other features left out to save money in the 1960s..
  • Full step-free access at all stations.
  • Addition of new  entrances at Oxford Circus, Highbury and Islington and Walthamstow Central.
  • Better interchange with the Overground at Blackhorse Road and Walthamstow Central.
  • Better interchange with National Rail at Brixton, Vauxhall, Finsbury Park, Seven Sisters and Tottengham Hale.
  • Forty tph between Brixton and Walthamstow Central.

Forty tph may need a reversing loop at Brixton and an extra one-platform station at Herne Hill.

I believe that an update of this type and scale could be applied to the Victoria Line without causing too much grief for passengers. The work on the stations is necessary to cope with the current and increased passenger numbers and could be carried out in much the same way as the upgrade at Victoria station has been done in the last few years.

The Victoria Line would then offer a high capacity link between Tottenham Hale and Vauxhall prior to the building of Crossrail 2’s central tunnel.

Passengers from say Broxbourne to Hampton Court would take the following route.

  • Lea Valley Line from Broxbourne to Tottenham Hale – (10 tph)
  • Victoria Line from Tottenham Hale to Vauxhall – (>30 tph)
  • South Western Railway from Vauxhall to Hampton Court – (4 tph)

Two changes (both hopefully step-free) would be needed, but with improvement to the National Rail routes at both ends, it would be faster than now.

The Importance Of The Bakerloo Line

Ask TfL’s Journey Planner, which is the quickest way from Tottenham Hale to Waterloo and it gives the following route.

  • Victoria Line from Tottenham Hale to Oxford Circus
  • Bakerloo Line from Oxford Circus to Waterloo

There is a simple cross-platform interchange at Oxford Circus, with the two legs taking 16 and 8 minutes respectively.

Currently, the Bakerloo Line has a frequency of twenty-two tph and plans have been mooted, that will see this going to twenty-seven tph by 2033.

It looks like when combining an updated Victoria Line with the current Bakerloo Line, you get a excellent connection that can stand-in for the Crossrail 2 central tunnel between Tottenham Hale and Waterloo.

But the Bakerloo Line might be extended to Lewisham, so will this extension make the combined Victoria/Bakerloo route more important.

The extended Bakerloo Line is not planned to have a connection with Crossrail 2, so using the Victoria Line across Central London will probably be the fastest way from say Lewisham to Enfield Lock.

It looks to me, that the cross-platform interchange at Oxford Circus between the Bakerloo and Victoria Lines is more important than anybody thinks and will continue to be so.

The Splitting Of The Northern Line

TfL would like to split the Northern Line into two branches, but this can’t be done until Camden Town station is rebuilt around 2024.

The only effect this split will have on Crossrail 2, is it will give extra routes to Euston station, which may probably make it less important that Crossrail 2 is completed before HS2.

A Possible Timetable

This is very much speculation on my part.

  • 2020 – Improved Overground services to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town using new Class 710 trains.
  • 2021 – Increased Greater Anglia services on the Lea Valley Lines using new Class 720 trains.
  • 2021 – Waterloo suburban branches running at four tph using new Class 701 trains.
  • 2024 – Extended Camden Town station opens.
  • 2024 – Splitting of the Northern Line
  • 2024 – More capacity on the Victoria Line
  • 2025  – Increased services on the Lea Valley Line after four-tracking.
  • 2025 – Upgraded Euston station opens with better connection to the Underground.
  • 2026 – Old Oak Common statio opens
  • 2026 – HS2 opens to Birmingham

The Crossrail 2 central tunnel could be built, when traffic levels are predicted to be too much for the Victoria Line.

Conclusion

This analysis says to me that Crossrail 2 could be planned as a series of much smaller projects, that would give passengers benefits from the early-2020s and also ease the funding problems for the line.

But the analysis also says that if the central tunnel is not built before the 2040s, then the Victoria Line must be upgraded to create a high capacity link between Tottenham Hale and Vauxhall or Waterloo using the Bakerloo Line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 3, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

17 Tube Stations That Face Chronic Overcrowding If Crossrail 2 Is Stopped

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in today’s Standard.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Hundreds of thousands more Londoners will suffer chronic overcrowding on the Tube if Crossrail 2 does not go ahead, it was claimed today.

Transport for London released a list of 17 Underground stations that could buckle under the strain of too many commuters within a few years.

It then lists the stations.

  • Euston
  • King’s Cross St. Pancras
  • Liverpool Street
  • London Bridge
  • Victoria
  • Waterloo
  • Finsbury Park
  • Stockwell
  • Stratford
  • Oxford Circus
  • Highbury & Islington
  • Clapham Common
  • Clapham North
  • Clapham South
  • Holborn
  • Warren Street
  • Leicester Square

It then quotes Caroline Pidgeon, who obtained the list, as follows.

Overcrowding on the Underground is already a daily battle, with many passengers facing regular delays to simply get through barriers at stations.

Unless Crossrail 2 is built these delays will increasingly build up until drastic measures are necessary at 17 key Tube stations, not to mention Clapham Junction railway station.

“Planning ahead for Crossrail 2 is not an optional extra for London’s transport network but of vital importance to keep London moving.

She has certainly highlighted a serious problem.

Call For Crossrail 2

Two years ago to the day, I wrote a post called Call For Crossrail 2 in response to a letter in The Times, from a wide cross section of business leaders calling for a start to be made on the line.

In the post, I talked about improving various stations, just by building Crossrail 2, so in the following notes on the list of crowded stations, I will refer to this post several times in the following.

Euston

Euston tube station is a particular problem in that in the next decade or so, the following will or could happen.

Hopefully, the rebuilding for whichever comes first of  HS2 or Crossrail 2, will make provision for even the most fanciful of expansions.

One Transport for London engineer told me that one of the main reasons for building HS2 and terminating it at Euston, is to be able to sort out the dreadful Euston tube station.

Kings Cross St. Pancras

Kings Cross St. Pancras tube station had a pretty good makeover around the time of the 2012 London Olympics, but it does suffer congestion and travellers have to walk long distances.

The Wikipedia entry for Kings Cross St. Pancras tube station has a section for Crossrail 2. This is said.

Since 1991, a route for a potential Crossrail 2 has been safeguarded, including a connection at King’s Cross St Pancras and Euston, forming the station Euston King’s Cross St Pancras. The proposed scheme would offer a second rail link between King’s Cross and Victoria in addition to the Victoria line. The locations for any new stations on the route will depend on the loading gauge of the final scheme. In the 2007 safeguarded route, the next stations would be Tottenham Court Road and Angel.

There is also a proposal to reopen the closed York Road tube station. In the Wikipedia entry for York Road station under Proposed Reopening, this is said.

One of London’s largest redevelopment projects, King’s Cross Central, began construction in 2008 across the road from the station. Islington council and Transport for London commissioned a study in 2005 to consider the possible reopening of the station. At the same time, however, it was recognised that other transport priorities reduced the likelihood of such a project moving forward in the near future. The site would need extensive overhauls to bring the station up to modern day standards, at a cost estimated at £21 million in 2005. Local political groups have been keen to see the station reopened in order to reduce passenger congestion at King’s Cross St. Pancras and to encourage development in the surrounding community. The Islington Liberal Democrats advocated the reopening of the station in their 2006 local election manifesto, and at least one candidate for the Islington Conservative Party similarly campaigned for the station to be reopened. However, to date, the reopening proposal has not been taken forward.

I wonder if York Road tube station will ever be reopened.

Liverpool Street

The Liverpool Street station complex will be even bigger and busier after Crossrail opens.

The main difference will be that the current Shenfield Metro will now disappear into the ground at Stratford and go under Central London to Heathrow and Reading.

Crossrail 2 will effectively channel the Lea Valley services, that current go into Liverpool Street station under London to emerge in the Wimbledon area.

Effectively, Crossrail and Crossrail 2 major effect on Liverpool Street station are to free up capacity in both tracks and platforms, thuis allowing more longer distance services to use the station.

London Bridge

London Bridge station is being rebuilt and expanded, but little seems to be planned for London Bridge tube station to cope with more passengers.

In Call For Crossrail 2, I said this about Crossrail 2 and the Northern Line.

Crossrail 2 will have interchanges with the Northern Line at Angel, Kings Cross St. Pancras, Euston, Tottenham Court Road, Tooting Broadway and possibly Clapham Junction. So it looks like that Crossrail 2 will certainly make journeys easier for users of the Northern Line.

This should mean that travellers on the Northern Line will be able to avoid a congested London Bridge tube station.

Victoria

Victoria tube station is being extended and rebuilt, which should result in sufficient capacity for more than a few years.

In Call For Crossrail 2, I said this about Crossrail 2 and the Victoria Line.

Crossrail 2 will effectively by-pass the central part of the Victoria Line as the two lines connect at Tottenham Hale, Seven Sisters, Kings Cross, Euston and Victoria.

This should take some of the pressure from Victoria tube station.

Waterloo

Waterloo tube station is a very busy tube station, as it has to cope with all the passengers using Waterloo station.

Crossrail 2 will allow passengers to bypass Waterloo, when travelling to and from Central London.

However, three major improvements will be delivered this year.

  • The old Eurostar platforms are being brought back into use.
  • Extra capacity is being added to the Underground station.
  • I also think that when they have completed the improvements at the Bank end of the Waterloo and City Line. 
  • Will improvements follow at the Waterloo end?

I think Waterloo shouldn’t be judged until the current round of work is completed.

Finsbury Park

Finsbury Park station is a station that suffered badly when the Victoria Line was tunnelled through in the 1960s.

Lifts are being installed, but extra services will be added.

  • Thameslink will call regularly at the station.
  • The services on the Northern City Line will become the Great Northern Metro with an increased frequency.

Crossrail 2 will provide relief for Finsbury Park, as it provides a by-pass for the Victoria Line.

But the station needs to have quite a bit of rebuilding.

Stockwell

Stockwell tube station is where the Victoria and Northern Lines meet South of Victoria.

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

I’m not sure how Crossrail 2 helps here, but I suspect Transport for London hope that the new line will divert passengers away from Stockwell.

Stratford

Stratford station is another station that will be partially bypassed by Crossrail 2.

I do think that after Crossrail opens, that changes will be made at Stratford station to perhaps move some Liverpool Street services to Stansted and Cambridge.

This would bring more services to some not very busy platforms.

In West Anglia Route Improvement – The High Meads Loop, I described how it might all work.

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

Trains from Cambridge and Stansted would arrive at Temple Mills East Junction and would go round the High Meads Loop dropping and picking up passengers in Platforms 11 and 12 bwfore returning North.

An extra platform could even be added to serve services in Stratford International station.

The tunnels under the platforms at Stratford station would probably need improvement, but who knows how Eastenders will duck and dive after Crossrail opens.

As an example, passengers from Shenfield to Canary Wharf will probably use the cross-platform change at Whitechapel station, rather than pick up the Jubilee Line or the DLR at Stratford.

Oxford Circus

Oxford Circus tube station has needed improvement for years.

Crossrail will give some relief, as there will be new additional entrances to Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations closer to Oxford Circus.

I did look at what might happen in What Will The Elizabeth Line Do For Oxford Street?.

I came to this conclusion about Crossrail 2 and Oxford Street.

Crossrail 2 has just one interchange in the Oxford Street area at Tottenham Court Road station.

I would be very surprised in that in the massive rebuilding of the current station for Crossrail, that provision hasn’t been made to connect to Crossrail 2.

There have been surface issues around the station concerned with Crossrail 2, but given good planning of the project, I feel that the building of Crossrail 2 would only effect the area in a similar way to the replacement of a major block on Oxford Street.

Crossrail 2 will have two major effects.

  • It will bring large numbers of visitors to the Oxford Street area.
  • Just as Crossrail and the Central Line will work as a high-capacity pair, it will work closely with the Victoria Line to relieve that line.

This leads me to the conclusion, that the wider Oxford Street area needs to be and will be pedestrianised.

In some ways preparation for the pedestrianisation has already started by reorganising the buses.

Oxford Circus tube station is also high on Transport for London’s improvement list.

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

I suspect that if developers were interested in rebuilding any of the buildings on the South side of Oxford Street or perhaps even around the BBC to the North, that there could be arm-twisting and deal-making to sneak new entrances into Oxford Circus tube station.

Highbury & Islington

Highbury & Islington station, is one of my local ones and it is getting some much-needed improvement.

  • The Northern City Line will be getting frequent new Class 717 trains to create the Great Northern Metro.
  • Highbury Corner will be remodelled to improve pedestrian access to the station.
  • Bus and taxi access is being improved..

But nothing has been announced about improving the chronic access to the two deep-level lines at the station.

Speaking to staff at the station, they feel that a solution is possible, using the second entrance on the other side of the road.

In some ways the Great Northern Metro with its cross-platform interchange with the Victoria Line could be the saviour of this station, as it gives direct access to the City and to Crossrail at Moorgate station.

One of London’s forgotten lines could be riding to the rescue.

Clapham Common

Clapham Common tube station is one of my least favourite. This picture shows why.

It’s downright dangerous now, so when the Northern Line frequency is increased will the station cope?

Clapham North

Clapham North tube station is another dangerous island platform.

But at least the station has escalators.

In A Journey Round The Clapham Stations, a post I wrote in December 2015, I said this.

Having seen Clapham North and Clapham Common stations today, I do wonder if a diversion could be dug as at Angel, Bank and London Bridge, to create safe new stations. This new tunnel could surely be part of the works to add step-free access to one or both stations and connect the tunnels to Clapham High Street station.

What with the Northern Line Extension to Battersea, the rebuilding of Bank and Camden Town stations and all the resignalling of the past few years, the Northern Line could at last be fulfilling its potential.

This could go a long way to  sorting the problem of the Clapham stations.

Clapham South

Clapham South tube station is not as bad as the other two Clapham stations discussed earlier.

Crossrail 2 may reduce the level of overcrowding on the Northern Line trains through the three Clapham stations, as passengers could change at Balham or Tooting Broadway stations to and from the new high-capacity line.

However, nothing short of some serious building work will solve the island platform problems at Clapham Common and Clapham North stations.

Holborn

Holborn tube station is very busy, but is one that could benefit from Crossrail, due to that line’s relationship with the Cerntral Line.

Crossrail 2 will certainly benefit the station, as it will relieve the pressure on the Piccadilly Line.

But Transport for London have published plans to add a second entrance and full step-free access. This is a 3-Dview of the plans.

Note the second entrance will be in Procter Street.

The only problem is that it could be 2021 before a decision is made.

However as a Piccadilly Line station, Holborn will benefit from the New Tube For London, before the upgrade.

Warren Street

Warren Street tube station is another Central London station on the Victoria Line, that could benefit from Crossrail 2’s duplication of the Victoria Line.

Leicester Square

Leicester Square tube station is just one stop on the Northern Line from the major new interchange of Tottenham Court Road station, which will be served by both Crossrail and Crossrail 2.

The station has needed more capacity since I first used it in the 1950s.

It needs step-free access.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines around Leicester Square station.

There is quite a tight knot of stations, of which only Tottenham Court Road has both escalators and lifts, although Goodge Street and Covent Garden have lifts only.

Leicester Square is an unusual station in that both the Northern and Piccadilly Lines are accessed by short passages and a short staircase from a fair-sized lobby at the bottom of a long set of escalators.

Clapham Junction

Clapham Junction station is the only non-Underground station in the seventeen stations named, where overcrowding could become chronic if Crossrail 2 is not built.

It is the busiest station by number of trains in Europe, so it must be difficult to keep on top of increasing numbers of passengers.

In the Wikipedia entry for the station under Future Proposals, this is said.

In 2007 the alignment of one of the two variants of Crossrail 2, that via the station rather than Putney and Wimbledon, was safeguarded. The Department for Transport and Transport for London continue to discuss proposal for a Clapham Junction Northern Line extension and its London Underground alignment has been legally reserved through Battersea Park, and would connect Clapham Junction to the London Underground for the first time.

Government and Network Rail funding for in the early 2010s of £50 million of improvements was granted. This comprised an upgrade to the main interchange: new entrances and more retail.

Surely something needs to be done, if Crossrail 2 is not built.

My proposals would include.

  • Developing the West London Line services.
  • Extending the Northern Line from Battersea Power Station station.
  • Improving the frequency of trains into Waterloo.
  • Make the station subway step-free.

There may be a need for more platforms, but the London Overground found this difficult.

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

Simple it isn’t!

Conclusions

It surprised me how many of these stations will need substantial building work to cure the overcrowding.

Note.

  1. Every Victoria Line station between Oxford Circus and Finsbury Park is on the list.
  2. Four Northern Line stations between Stockwell to Clapham South is on the list.
  3. I think this shows how the designers of the Northern and Victoria Lines didn’t expect the traffic the lines now handle.

But overall, I think it shows how when you design a station, you don’t cut corners.

I also think to blame all these problems on the uncertainty about Crossrail 2, is probably a bit strong.

Consider.

  • Liverpool Street will probably have enough capacity when Crossrail opens, especially as the station will incorporate Moorgate and be substantially step-free.
  • The new London Bridge effectively adds high-frequency rail lines to Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Charing Cross and St. Pancras and when Thameslink and Southeastern are fully developed, the station will cope.
  • Victoria shouldn’t be judged until the current upgrade is complete.
  • Waterloo shouldn’t be judged until the current upgrade is complete.
  • Finsbury Park shouldn’t be judged until the current upgrade is complete.
  • Stratford will probably have enough capacity when Crossrail  opens, especially as the station is substantially step-free.
  • Oxford Circus should see improvement when Crossrail opens, especially as there’ll be new step-free entrances to Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street, that will be closer to Oxford Circus, than the current stations.
  • Highbury & Islington should see marginal improvement, when the Northern City Line is updated.

However, nothing short of substantial construction will sort Euston, Clapham Common, Clapham North, Holborn, Leicester Square and Clapham Junction.

 

 

 

 

July 18, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Liverpool Street Crossrail Station Disentangled

Liverpool Street station on Crossrail is a massive double-ended beast that stretches as far as Moorgate station, where it has a second entrance.

At the Liverpool Street end, it will connect to the following in addition the the Main Line services out of the station.

  • Central Line
  • Circle Line
  • Hammersmith and City Line
  • Metropolitan Line

At the Moorgate end, it will connect to the following lines.

  • Circle Line
  • Hammersmith and City Line
  • Metropolitan Line
  • Northern Line
  • Northern City Line

This is a  visualisation of how Moorgate station will look after it has been rebuilt for Crossrail, that I found on this web page from May 2009, so it may be out-of-date and wrong.

Liverpool Street-Moorgate Station Schematic

Liverpool Street-Moorgate Station Schematic

Note.

  • The royal blue line is labelled at First Capital Connect, for which I use the term Northern City Line.
  • Turquoise is used for new Crossrail work, with red and yellow for the Central and sub-surface lines.
  • If you enlarge the image by clicking on it, you can clearly see the escalators, that currently connect the Northern City and Northern Lines to the ticket hall.
  • Crossrail appears to have an escalator connection to an enlarged Moorgate ticket hall
  • The deep level Northern Line, which is shown in black,  passes over Crossrail, but underneath the escalators that lead down.

I have since seen a cross-section of the station from Liverpool Street to Moorgate and it would appear that a few improvements have been made.

  • A pedestrian tunnel is now planned to run between the Crossrail platforms, which will effectively link the escalators at both ends, which connect into the station entrances and ticket halls upstairs.
  • It could be possible that the entrance to the station has been moved towards the East.

The interchanges possible at the combined station are best described as comprehensive.

Changing Between Crossrail And The Northern Line

The Northern Line crosses the Moorgate end of the Crossrail platforms at a right angle and it would appear to have a short escalator or step connection to a cross-passage between the two Crossrail platforms.

The only problem, is that you’ll have to make sure, you’re at the Western end of the Crossrail train.

Changing Between Crossrail And The Northern City Line

It would appear that Crossrail and the Northern City Lines are at roughly the same level and are very well connected.

  • Passengers would appear to be able to take an escalator or lift from one set of platforms to the ticket hall and then take another set down to the other line.
  • There also appears to be another independent passage, which starts midway down the Northern City Line  platforms and takes a circuitous route to the Crossrail platforms.
  • There may be another convenient route, where you go via the Northern Line and reappear on the other set of platforms.

It certainly won’t be a difficult interchange for passengers, although you’ll have to remember to position yourself at the Western end of the Crossrail train.

Changing Between Crossrail And The Central Line

The Central Line crosses the Liverpool Street end of the Crossrail platforms at a right angle and it would appear to have a short escalator or step connection to a cross-passage between the two Crossrail platforms.

The connection is not as neat as the Northern Line one at the other end of the Crossrail platforms

The only problem, is that you’ll have to make sure, you’re at the Eastern end of the Crossrail train.

Changing Between Liverpool Street And Moorgate

I’ve read somewhere, that the double-ended station is designed so that passengers can walk easily between the two ends of the station.

My view of the cross-section of the station from Liverpool Street to Moorgate confirms it is a feasble route.

  • Passengers at Liverpool Street will descend to an intermediate level, from where the Central Line can be accessed.
  • A walk of perhaps fifty metres will take you under the Central Line tunnels and  to an escalator, that will descend to a wide passage between the Crossrail platforms.
  • A walk of perhaps a hundred metres will give several entrances to the Crossrail platforms and take you to an escalator, which takes you to the intermediate level at Moorgate station.
  • A level walk of perhaps thirty metres or so, will take you over the Northern Line tunnels and to an escalator, that gives direct access to the booking hall at Moorgate.

So a passenger from perhaps Ipswich to Hatfield on a very wet day, will dive on arrival at Liverpool Street into the Crossrail station and use it as a dry walking route to the Northern City platforms at Moorgate.

I suspect that an Oyster card or a contactless bank card will give free access to the route.

The same route will give Moorgate passengers access to the Central Line and Liverpool Street passengers access to the Northern Line.

Related Posts

A North London Metro

A Numerical Analysis Of Great Northern’s Class 717 Trains

Could A Reversing Siding Be Built At Alexandra Palace?

Could A Reversing Siding Be Built At Alexandra Palace?

Could Passenger Services Be Run On The Canonbury Curve?

 

 

September 14, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Connection Between Northern And Circle/District Lines At Bank Station

I’ve done this interchange at Bank station a few times but not that I remember it. These pictures show my route as I walked from a southbound Northern Line train to the Circle/District Lines, where I went one stop to Cannon Street station.

The Northern Line is unusual in Bank station, in that the southbound track is on the right hand side of the two lines, whereas normally in the UK, they follow the same rules as the roads.

I walked down the platform, took the exit at the far end and then used the escalators to get to the passageway leading to the Circle/District Line platforms.

When the station is upgraded with a new Cannon Street entrance, a new southbound tunnel will be bored several metres to the west and the space between the two tunnels will become a generous circulation space, with four cross tunnels linking the two Northern Line platforms, which hopefully will be wider than the current narrow ones.

Connections to and from the circulation space will be as follows.

  • A set of three escalators will ascend to the new entrance. They are actually two sets vertically, with a landing to turn everthing the right way.
  • Two travalators will connect to the Central Line platforms to the North.
  • Another set of three escalators will descend to the DLR platforms some ten metres below.
  • Two lifts will connect to the new entrance above and the DLR platforms below.
  • The two escalators and their connection to the Circle/District Lines will be opened out and upgraded.

I’m not sure how this space connects to the Waterloo and City Line, but I’m sure that the architects have a solution.

But I do think, it’s rather a neat solution to convecting all the lines together, as the amount of walking that passengers will do compared to the current station will be greatly reduced.

I also think, it’s going to be a straightforward station to build, in that you can leave the current platforms to handle the trains until you’ve dug most of the station tunnel for the new southbound line, completing as much of the entrance as you want above the working Northern Line and DLR. Once the Northern Line is closed, the circulation space with all its lifts, escalators and travalators is put together.

I think a lot of the work will be done from the top in a big hole, lifting everything in, by the use of large cranes.

Will much of the mechanical infrastructure be put together in a nice, warm, dry factory?

January 7, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

The New Cannon Street Entrance To Bank Station

This entrance will help to solve Bank station’s chronic problems. It will go on the corner of Nicholas Lane and Cannon Street.

These pictures were taken on a walk from King William Street to Cannon Street station.

I would assume, it will replace the McDonald’s, with a new office block on top.

This Google Map shows King William Street, Nicholas Lane, Cannon Street and the various stations.

New Cannon Street Entrance At Bank Station

New Cannon Street Entrance At Bank Station

Note the McDonald’s. I had an excellent lunch in the Leon.

If you want to read more about the proposed station, you start by looking at this page on the TfL web site, which is entitled.

I found these two documents answered a lot of the questions, I had about the design of the station.

Design and Access Statement – Part 1 – Opens with a detailed drawing of the whole new entrance project.

Design and Access Statement – Part 2 – Opens with a detailed summary of the proposal.

They also have a lot of good images, visualisations and diagrams.

Summarising what I learned, I will make the following points.

  • The new entrance will be a wide one where the current McDonald’s is situated.
  • Passengers will go through the wide gate line and banks of escalators will take them down to the Northern Line.
  • Passengers requiring step-free access will have a dedicated route to the lifts from two wide gates on the left of the entrance.
  • The Northern Line is deep and because of the constricted nature of the site, the escalators will be vertically split into two banks with a landing, as some at London Bridge station are.
  • At the bottom of the escalator will be a large circulation area, with cross passages accessing the rebuilt and wider Northern Line platforms.
  • Moving walkways from the circulation area, will take you to the Central Line.
  • The rise between the Northern and Central Line levels will be handled by escalators between the Central Line platforms.
  • Access to the DLR platforms, which are several metres below and parallel to the Northern Line platforms, will be via escalators in the middle.
  • The District and Circle Lines will be accessed from the Southern end of the circulation space by means of an improved passage to existing escalators.
  • I suspect that the access to the Central Line and DLR platforms, can be built without any lengthy closures.
  • Don’t forget that there is a new entrance at Walbrook Square being built to give lift and escalator access to the Waterloo and City Line, that will open in 2017.
  • All existing links between lines and the existing entrances will be preserved and upgraded.
  • Two seventeen passenger lifts will descend from the new entrance to both the Northern Line and the DLR.
  • The station is to be completed by 2021.

I think it is true to say, that the new Cannon Street entrance is effectively a second station that is connected to all the existing lines.

In the latter part of the project, the Bank branch of the Northern Line will be closed, so that the new running tunnel can be dug. I don’t think it will be possible to turn trains at say Moorgate and London Bridge, so the branch will cease to be any use.

Could this blockade, be planned to happen after Crossrail opens, so that passengers can walk to Liverpool Street/Moorgate to access other North-South routes?

  • Crossrail to Farringdon station for Thameslink
  • Crossrail to Tottenham Court Road station for the Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line.
  • Crossrail to Whitechapel for the East London Line.
  • The Northern City Line at Moorgate station.

The Central, District and Circle Lines had better behave too!

So how would the new station at Bank change my transport habits?

  • Journeys between my house and Bank station are often done on a 21 or 141 bus, where the stops are within a hundred metres of my house. I would hope for better access between buses and the new complex at Bank.
  • The new Wallbrook entrance and the improved access to the Waterloo and City Line, will greatly improve one of my routes to Waterloo,
  • I often go south on the Northern Line, as it is easy to get a 38 or 56 bus around the corner from my house and dive straight into the Northern Line at Angel station. From Bank I will use the easy access to the DLR and the District and Circle Lines.
  • I suspect that when I need the DLR, I will go to Bank, rather my route now via Shadwell on the East London Line.
  • If I’m coming North on the Northern Line, I get out at either Bank, Moorgate or Old Street and take the 21 or 141 bus.

I shall certainly have a lot of interesting  transport routes.

The expansion of the station, in addition to sorting the connection between the various lines at the station, will after the Wallbrook entrance is complete, create two new terminii for the two smaller lines at the station.

Waterloo And City Line

The new Wallbrook entrance will create a step-free entrance into an upgraded Waterloo and City Line.

This will generate a few questions.

  • How long will it be before demand is such, that the Waterloo and City Line opens on a seven-day-a-week basis?
  • Will the passageways still connect the Waterloo and City Line platforms to the to the DLR and the Northern Line?
  • Will the connections to other lines at Bank station be good enough?
  • As the Bank end of the line will be step-free, what will happen at the Waterloo end?
  • Could access to the line be improved from Waterloo East station?

I think that the Waterloo and City Line will get a few more small upgrades. Especially, as during the blockade of the Northern Line to build the new spouthbound tunnel, it will be used to bring travellers to and from Bank station.

Docklands Light Railway

The two DLR platforms and their connections to the other lines will be transformed by the station expansion.

  • Many of the walking routes to other lines and the exits will be step-free, and all will be an improvement on the present routes.
  • The important connection to the Northern Line will be by escalator or lift.
  • There will be a lot more space around the two DLR platforms.

I think this ease-of-use of the DLR part of the station, will increase passenger numbers dramatically.

It appears to me that the new design will future-proof the DLR terminus, as the new layout of the DLR platforms and their connections seems to have been designed, so that the DLR can be extended to the West.

According to Wikipedia, two possible westward extensions have been proposed.

I think that the former which would take the DLR to Charing Cross and possibly Victoria via City Thameslink and Aldwych would be the most promising.

This would give me a route to Charing Cross station, which is probably the most difficult station to get to from Dalston.

But will it ever happen?

Bank station will certainly ready for a DLR extension in 2021.

 

 

 

January 7, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Connectivity Around Clapham

I’ve talked a lot lately about improving the rail lines and especially their connectivity in South London in quite a few posts lately.

So I extracted this map from carto.metro.free.fr

Clapham Lines

Clapham Lines

 

I think we have to congratulate the French behind these accurate metro maps.

Note the following.

I believe that expecting Crossrail 2 to solve South London’s transport problems, is a bit like waiting for the United States to help the beleaguered good guys out in the First and Second World Wars.

Like the Americans, Crossrail 2 will arrive, but we have to make the best of what we’ve got in the meantime.

Perhaps these projects will help.

More And Better Designed Stations

Transport for London (TfL) have very sophisticated train and passenger modelling systems, which enable them to propose where improvements to stations should be made.

Sometimes this type of analysis, gives surprising results, that are counter-intuitive.

For example, I pointed out in Faster London Trains Could Make Your Commute Even Longer, how French research had shown this premise, to sometimes be true.

But the research also showed that in certain cases, extra stations could make journeys faster.

From my personal observations at Angel station, I sometimes think that trains arrive and depart faster on the wider southbound platform, rather than the narrow northbound one.

Camberwell Station On Thameslink

A couple of miles north of Loughborough Junction station is  the disused Camberwell station, which Transport for London are proposing to reopen.

In their report on the Bakerloo Line Extension, TfL give this concise summary on reopening Camberwell station.

A new station at Camberwell would be a significantly lower cost option to a Tube extension, whilst serving the same catchment area. Investigations show significant journey time improvements could accrue to Camberwell passengers and that operationally there may be scope to integrate re-opening of the station into the launch of the completed Thameslink programme.

We will therefore undertake further planning work with Network Rail and the London Borough of Southwark to assess the proposal. 

From their statement, it would appear that TfL have done an extensive analysis.

I would not be surprised, if this enthusiastic statement wasn’t followed through.

Northern Line Stations

Several of the Northern Line stations are relics of the line’s Victorian past and  stations are slated for major improvements over the next few years.

These developments will probably mean that after the Northern Line Extension to Battersea is completed, most major stations between Camden Town and Kennington will have been upgraded.

Only the two Northern branches and the Morden branch will have not received a substantial number of upgraded stations with complete step-free access, wide safe platforms and escalators.

I think we’ll see other improvements to stations, especially an upgrading of the two island platform stations at Clapham North and Clapham Common.

The Herne Hill Loop On The Victoria Line

One constraint on the efficiency of the Victoria Line, is reversing the trains at Brixton station. There have been proposals in the past to crete a reversing loop with another station on the loop at Herne Hill station. I wrote about it in detail in Will The Victoria Line Go To Herne Hill?

This extension will only be built, if it is value-for-money in improving the Victoria line, despite the positive secondary effects it might have in the Herne Hill area!

An Interchange Hub At Streatham Common Station

Transport for London has recently proposed a interchange hub at Streatham Common, which I wrote about in Puzzled Over Streatham Common Station.

In my article, I showed that a well-designed hub could connect the following lines.

  • The Sutton Loop Line Of Thameslink – Linking To Wimbledon and Sutton
  • The Brighton Main Line
  • Tramlink – With the possible use of tram-trains.
  • East London Line – Linking to East London, Kent and Essex
  • West London Line – Linking to Old Oak Common for HS2 and the West Coast Main Line

I very much think that the idea of an interchange hub at Streatham Common is a masterstroke.

Especially, as it will take the pressure off Wimbledon and East Croydon!

Another Branch Of The East London Line

The East London Line currently has four trains per hour in both directions across South London to and from Clapham Junction station.

This branch is getting very busy and from 2019, an extra two trains per hour will use this route.

But will Clapham Junction be able to cope with the extra services?

If it can’t, a possible alternative would be to run some trains from Peckham Rye via Tulse Hill to a terminus at Streatham Common.

Clapham High Street, Brixton And Brockley Interchanges

These are three possible interchanges with the Easst London Line in South London.

Each will have advantages and disadvantages.

Conclusion

There are a lot of possible projecs to improve the train services in the Clapham area.

What TfL have in their traffic database will decide the pattern of trains the area.

 

December 24, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Journey Round The Clapham Stations

This morning, I took a train to Clapham High Street station, before visiting the three Clapham stations on the Northern Line.

I then took the Northern Line back to Central London.

These are some of the pictures I took on the way.

One of main reasons for going was to look at the deep level shelter at Clapham South station that is mentioned in this article in the Wandsworth Guardian entitled Clapham’s Second World War shelter to become cafe and exhibition, You can’t miss it, as it is right before you as you come out of Clapham South station.

In my view it is an ideal place for a cafe. If it had been built, when C and myself lived in the Barbican, I can envisage us taking the three boys to have lunch in a cafe like that! The elder two had to walk and George got a ride in one of the first McClaren buggies. The massive push chairs used today, wouldn’t have gone on a Routemaster of that era.

I also wanted to see the two dangerous island platforms at Clapham North and Clapham Common, which are the last two left on the Northern Line. I can remember the island platform at Angel station, which was removed, when the station was rebuilt in the early 1990s. Today, in an article on Global Rail News, which is entitled Green light for Bank station upgrade, the details are given of the plans to widen the cramped and dangerous platforms at Bank station.

Having seen Clapham North and Clapham Common stations today, I do wonder if a diversion could be dug as at Angel, Bank and London Bridge, to create safe new stations. This new tunnel could surely be part of the works to add step-free access to one or both stations and connect the tunnels to Clapham High Street station.

What with the Northern Line Extension to Battersea, the rebuilding of Bank and Camden Town stations and all the resignalling of the past few years, the Northern Line could at last be fulfilling its potential.

December 23, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

On A Bus From Kennington To Tooting Broadway

These are pictures I took from a 155 bus, as it trundled along the Northern Line between Kennington station and Tooting Broadway station.

In some ways, it is a curious journey with several ventilation shafts for the Northern Line and the deep shelters under some of the stations.

I was surprised at the number of deep level shelter entrances you can see. But at least according to this article in the Wandsworth Guardian entitled Clapham’s Second World War shelter to become cafe and exhibition, Transport for London are thinking about using these relics of World War II in a positive way.

Only from a bus do you notice the closeness of Clapham High Street station on the East London Line and Clapham North station on the Northern Line. This Google Map show the two stations.

Clapham High Street And North Stations

Clapham High Street And North Stations

Clapham North is one of those Northern Line stations with an island platform. This is a detailed line map from carto.metro.free.fr.

Lines Around Clapham High Street

Lines Around Clapham High Street

It would appear that if Transport for London decided to sort out the dangerous (in my view!) platforms at Clapham Common and Clapham North stations, which both have escalators, then there could be some scope for an innovative step-free station linking the new platforms at Clapham North to Clapham High Street station.

It is a classic place where some extreme fag packet and used-envelop engineering washed down with several pints of real ale in the public bar of a local hostelry, could come up with an inspiring solution.

December 20, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment