The Anonymous Widower

New Lifts At Finsbury Park Station

As I passed through Finsbury Park station, I took these pictures of the new lifts to the Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.

These lifts are particularly needed as there are no escalators between the Underground and the surface and you have to use spiral staircases.

This access is probably one of the worst design crimes on the Victoria Line, which was built on the cheap in the 1960s.

Notice that some of the signage is not complete and finding the lifts isn’t as easy, as it should be.

But then the installation is not fully finished.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Should The Drain Get The First New Tubes For London?

Introducing new trains onto a rail route can be a difficult process, where all sorts of problems occur.

Testing And Introducing Class 710 Trains

Currently, London Overground are introducing Class 710 trains on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

As the trains are about eighteen months late, I think that there must have been problems.

I’ve never tested a train, but the modern train must require lots of systems to be tested and Aventras and other recent trains could best be described as computers-on-wheels.

So I must admit, I was a bit surprised, when I heard that first route to receive the new Class 710 trains was the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

  • The line had only been recently electrified.
  • Both diesel and electric freight trains use the route.
  • Eight trains are needed to run a complete service.

As this will be the first time the trains are used, there would appear to be a lot of things that could go wrong.

The simplest route, where the new Class 710 trains are to be used is the Romford-Upminster Line.

  • It is 5.4 km long.
  • It is single-track
  • It has a 30 mph speed limit.
  • There is only three stations, each of which are a single platform.
  • The journey takes nine minutes.
  • The service operates every thirty minutes.
  • There is only one signal.
  • Only one train is needed for the service.

It must be one of the simplest electrified railways in the world.

My instincts would have been to put a single train on this line and constantly shuttle it backwards and forwards.

This was exactly how Bombardier tested the Class 379 BEMU train on the Mayflower Line.

  • Only the train is being tested.
  • Passenger systems can be tested.
  • Drivers can be trained.
  • Passengers can be asked their opinions.

If the train fails, there is a regular bus service between the two stations and service engineers are not far away at Ilford Depot.

There must be good reasons, why this approach hasn’t been used.

Perhaps, it’s just that London Overground are not going to use a Class 710 train on this route. There have been rumours of this, that I talked about in A Heritage Class 315 Train For The Romford-Upminster Line.

The New Tubes For London

London Underground are buying New Tubes For London from Siemens for four lines.

  • Piccadilly – 100 trains
  • Bakerloo – 40 trains
  • Central – 100 trains
  • Waterloo & City – 10 trains

First trains are to run on the Piccadilly Line in 2023.

I think that it will not be a simple case of replacing one fleet of old trains, with another fleet of new trains, as has been done in the past.

It was managed successfully in recent times on the Victoria Line, when 2009 Stock trains replaced 1967 Stock trains.

But Siemens design is more radical and may need track and platform work to be performed before the trains can be run.

My research in The Train-Platform Interface In London, showed that the interface seemed fairly consistent on the Piccadilly Line, so it may be easy to design trains to run the line efficiently with step-free access between train and platform.

But what about the section of the line, where the trains share track with the S8 Stock trains of the Metropolitan Line.

If the Piccadilly Line has to be closed to make it fit for the New Tubes for London, then it will be a major undertaking, even if it is done in sections.

It would be a high-risk undertaking.

A Test Line For New Tubes for London

I believe there would be advantages in creating a test line for the following purposes.

  • Test the engineering for track and platforms.
  • Test the train performance and reliability.
  • Test the Automated Train Control
  • Test the passenger systems.

One of the suburban sections could be used, but there could be problems.

The Waterloo & City Line As A Test Track

On the other hand the Waterloo & City Line could be an ideal test track.

  • It has only two stations.
  • It is step-free
  • It is only 2.4 km. long.
  • Journeys take four minutes.
  • It is integrated with a depot.

The only problem is that trains have to be moved in and out by the use of a crane.

Using the Waterloo & City Line as a test track does have other advantages.

Alternative Routes During Closure

If the line had to be closed for any period of time for track or platform work, then in 2023, there will be some excellent alternative routes.

  • Northern Line to Tottenham Court Road and then the Central Line to Bank.
  • Northern Line to Tottenham Court Road and then Crossrail to Moorgate.
  • Bakerloo Line to Embankment and then the Circle/District Lines to Monument.
  • Jubilee Line to London Bridge and then the Northern Line to Bank.
  • Southeastern From Waterloo East to London Bridge and then bus or walk.

There is also the direct 76 bus and possibly others.

It should be noted that from late 2021, the Northern Line platforms at Bank station will be much improved.

So, if the Waterloo & City Line was used to test the trains, this in itself would not present any problems during closure or unreliable service.

Improved Capacity For The Line

According to an article in the November 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, which is entitled Deep Tube Upgrade, new trains for the Waterloo & City Line will give a capacity increase of twenty-five percent.

This is much-needed.

Automatic Train Control Testing

Testing of any automatic control system must be very rigorous and the short double-track route of the Waterloo & City Line would be ideal for testing automatic control of the new trains.

Trains could test twenty-four hours per day and every day of the year and not annoy anybody.

Driver Training

It could a valuable resource in training new drivers and converting others to the new trains.

Ongoing Train Development

It is London Underground’s and Seimen’s objective to have the same trains on as many lines of the London Underground as possible.

Siemens might get it right first time, but each line has its own quirks and design features and having a short line in London, where the next version of the trains could be tested by the public could be an advantage.

Conclusion

I believe that introducing the New Tubes for London on the Waterloo & City Line before the other lines could give advantages in the testing and designing of the trains and for the passengers of this short route.

 

 

December 3, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

What Will Be The Operating Speed Of The New Tube for London?

Transport for London have said that the New Tube for London will definitely be deployed on the Piccadilly, Central and Bakerloo Lines.

These three lines have sections at one or both ends, where the lines run through the countryside and the stations are farther apart.

Only the 1992 Stock of the Central Line have their operating speed given in Wikipedia.. It is 62 mph, which is the same as the S Stock for the sub-surface lines.

The 2009 Stock of the Victoria Line, despite being similar to the S Stock have an operating speed of only 50 mph.

Because of the nature of the ends of the Piccadilly, Central and Bakerloo Lines, will 62 mph be the optimum operating speed for these trains.

I’ll look at the factors on these lines separately.

Piccadilly Line

The Piccadilly Line will be self-contained, after the sorting of the shared sections West Rayners Lane and between Ealing Broadway and Acton Town, that I discussed in Thoughts On The Power System For The New Tube for London.

I suspect the operating speed of the New Tubes for London on the Piccadilly Line, will be decided on what is best for that line.

Central Line

The Central Line is also self-contained and the best operating speed for the line will be chosen.

Bakerloo Line

The Bakerloo Line could be a problem, as currently Class 378 trains run on the same trcks. These have an operating speed of 75 mph.

These Class 378 trains will be replaced by Class 710 trains, which could have a faster performance.

Surely for optimum running, the trains should need similar performance.

The Benefit Of Automatic Train Control

On all the lines on which New Tubes for London will operate, there will be Automatic Train Control.

The operating speed will be set by the control system, whereas the maximum operating speed will be set by the trains design.

So I think we could see a maximum operating speed of 75 mph or even higher for the New Tube for London, so that it could run on faster lines and not slow the other faster trains.

More Speed Means More Powerful Trains And Improved Acceleration And braking

To go faster, you probably need more powerful trains, but the motors required would give better acceleration and braking, that would speed up services, by executing station stops in a shorter time.

Conclusion

I would expect from y Control Engineering training, that the New Tube for London could have a maximum operating speed in-line with the Class 710 train. So around 75-90 mph.

Could we even see an Underground train, that is capable of 100 mph?

It would only rarely, if ever, run at that speed on current plans, but it might enable Underground and National Rail services to share tracks in surprising places.

October 7, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 4 Comments

Thoughts On The Power System For The New Tube for London

Obviously, very little has been said about the power system of the New Tube for London.

London Underground Electrification

This description of Lundon Underground electrification comes from Electrification in the Wikipedia entry for London Underground Infrastructure.

The lines are electrified with a four-rail DC system: a conductor rail between the rails is energised at −210 V and a rail outside the running rails at +420 V, giving a potential difference of 630 V. On the sections of line shared with main line trains, such as the District line from East Putney to Wimbledon and Gunnersbury to Richmond, and the Bakerloo line north of Queen’s Park, the centre rail is bonded to the running rails, as the electrical return from National Rail trains is via the wheels. This was first used in the early 20th century, the isolated traction current return allowing a train’s position to be detected using DC track circuits, and reduced any earth leakage currents that could affect service pipes and telephone cables.

This picture shows a typical London Underground track on the Central Line at Bank station.

Note the suicide pit under the rails.

This layout is rather unusual and different to the third rail system used by National Rail services in London and the South East and on Merseyrail.

Battery Power

This article on Rail Engineer is entitled London Underground Deep Tube Upgrade.

This is an extract.

More speculatively, there might be a means to independently power a train to the next station, possibly using the auxiliary battery, in the event of traction power loss.

Batteries in the New Tube for London would have other applications.

  • Handling regenerative braking.
  • Moving trains in sidings and depots with no electrification.

It should be born in mind, that battery capacity for a given weight of battery will increase before the first New Tube for London runs on the Piccadilly line around 2023.

Conversion To A Conventional Third-Rail System

Given, that space in the deep tunnels is limited, I wonder if removing the third rail in the middle and going to a third-rail 630 V DC system will give more space under the train, that could be used for equipment and a lower floor.

The following lines could eventually be converted to the New Tube for London.

So could the shared running be eliminated to make conversion easier.

The Bakerloo Line North of Queens Park Station

The New Tube for London must be able to share the track with the Class 710 trains working the Watford DC Line.

There would be no problem with traction, as both types of trains could use conventional third-rail track.

But there would be a problem with platform height.

Between Rayners Lane and Uxbridge Stations

In Can Between Rayners Lane And Uxbridge Stations Be Step-Free?, I investigated the line between these two stations, including these possibilities.

  •  Unattended Train Operation (UTO) on the Piccadilly Line, which may mean platform edge doors.
  • Terminating The Piccadilly Line At Rayners Lane Station
  • Terminating The Metropolitan Line At Rayners Lane Station
  • A Piccadilly Line Service Be Run Between Uxbridge and Ealing Broadway Stations
  • Extending The Central Line To Uxbridge

I came to this conclusion.

There are a lot of possible improvements that can be done to the train service to Uxbridge.

That is probably a bit of a cop-out, but then there are a lot of possibilities, some of which eliminate the Piccadilly and Metropolitan Lines sharing the track to Uxbridge.

Between Acton Town And Ealing Broadway Stations

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines Between Acton Town and Ealing Broadway stations.

Note how the Piccadilly and District Lines share tracks from Ealing Common station, which then split with District Line trains going to Ealing Broadway station and Piccadilly Line trains going to Rayners Lane and Uxbridge stations.

Transport for London are suggesting the following.

  • Ealing Broadway is served by the Piccadilly Line, rather than the District Line.
  • District Line trains would terminate at Richmond and Wimbledon stations instead of Ealing Broadway.
  • East of Acton Town, Piccadilly Line trains would call at Turnham Green, Ravenscroft Park and Hammersmith
  • District Line trains would call at a relocated Chiswick Park, Turnham Green, Stamford Brook, , Ravenscroft Park and Hammersmith.
  • East of Hammersmith, both District and Piccadilly Line routes would be unchanged.

Passengers needing to travel between Ealing Broadway and stations between Victoria and Whitechapel, would change at Turnham Geen, Ravenscroft Park or Hammersmith, by walking across the platform.

If this change is implemented, there will be no shared running between the Piccadilly and District Lines.

National Rail Shares Tracks With The Metropolitan And District Lines

There is some shared running on the Metropolitan and District Lines but that would be unaffected.

Conclusions On Conversion To A Conventional Third-Rail System

It looks to me, that it would be possible to convert the deep-level Underground Lines to conventional third-rail, by eliminating sharing with other lines.

But would such a radical change to the electrification of London’s deep-level Underground lines be feasible and economic?

Conversion From Four Rails To Three

I suspect that when the New Tube for London is introduced on a line, the track will be renewed or at the least given a good refurbishment.

Some years ago, I obtained a database of all the faults on the London Underground for a year. Very few of the faults were down to track faults and the only problems in tunnels seemed to be water ingress.

So I think we can assume, that the track foundations are probably in good condition. If they aren’t I suspect London Underground know all about the problems.

My project management knowledge leads me to believe that a well-planned series of track closures should be possible  to convert the track.

Safety

At all stations, the rail in the centre of the track would not be there anymore and the only electrified rail could be placed on the far side from the platform in deep-level stations.

This is another picture from Bank station.

Note.

  1. The +420 VDC power rail sitting on insulators close to the wall
  2. The -210 VDC power rail sitting on insulators on posts in the suicide pit.
  3. How the two running rails neatly fit on ledges on either side of the suicide pit.

Imagine how it would look with the negative power rail removed.

The single rail could also be shielded, by perhaps an insulating board on both sides of the rail.

This picture shows an insulated third rail at Oxted station. The yellow insulator is wood, that has been painted.

I would extrude the insulator using recycled plastic. After all polythene’s first major use was as an insulator in radar during World War II.

I believe that a three-rail track could be designed, that would surely be much safer than the current track, should anybody fall or be pushed off the platform.

There is also the possibility of using battery power in some or even all stations. Power would only be supplied to the trains between stations, where batteries would be charged.

The third rail would stop perhaps forty metres at either side of a station and the gaps would be bridged by battery power.

It might be possible to make stations, with no electrified rails visible or accessible.

Eliminating The Gap

I would imagine that the design of the New Tube for London will make sure that the doors are aligned with the platform, as these doors on a Class 378 train are with the platform on the London Overground.

I would imagine, that  by making certain that the running rails are correctly adjusted, then step-free access between train and platform can be achieved.

I’ve certainly seen passengers in wheel-chairs push themselves in and out of trains at Dalston Junction station.

Electrolytic Corrosion

Mark said this in a comment.

There is a very important reason why the tube uses two power rails. It was quickly discovered that using a ground return on a DC circuit lead to the return current actually coming back via te cast iron tunnel lining rings and electrolysis and electrolytic corrosion of the lining.

Transport for London’s engineers would be very aware of any problems, and I suspect that they have a viable solution.

This article on Rail Engineer is entitled New London Underground Slab Track Cast In-Situ.

It describes how they are using slab track cast in the tunnel to fit problems in short tunnels. They also expect the solution to last a hundred years.

Such a solution would surely work in the cast-iron deep-level tunnels to allow new track to be installed in whatever format was desired.

There Is One Major Problem

The New Tube for London won’t be able to run on the existing track and the current 1973 Stock won’t be able to run on the future track.

So London Underground sensible policy of phasing in the new trains alongside the old ones, as was done on the Victoria Line would not be possible.

The first line to be equipped with New Tube for London trains will be the Piccadilly Line, which has the following characteristics.

  • There are two depots; Cockfosters and Northfields, which are conveniently at each end of the line.
  • There are sidings at Arnos Grove, South Harrow and Uxbridge.
  • Trains can be turned back to the West at Acton Town, Arnos Grove and Wood Green
  • Trains can be turned back to the North at Acton Town, Barons Court, Green Park and Rayner’s Lane.
  • There are crossovers at Hatton Cross, Hounslow Central and Kings Cross St. Pancras.

There are many more sidings, turnbacks and crossovers than most other lines.

These may enable a phased conversion of the line to the new track design, signalling and trains.

Conclusion

I believe it is feasible to convert London’s deep-level Underground lines to a conventional third-rail system, as used in the rest of London, the South East and Merseyrail.

This would give these advantages.

Running On Coventional Third-Rail Tracks

New Tube for London trains could run on the following lines and share with trains like Aventras, Desiro Cities, Electrostars and Networkers equipped for third-rail operation.

Routes where this might be useful include.

  1. Extending the Bakerloo Line along the Watford DC Line, to the North of Queens Park station.
  2. Extending  the Bakerloo Line Extension to the South of Lewisham station to Beckenham Junction, Bromley North and Hayes stations.

Route 2 would release paths into an overcrowded London Bridge station.

Look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr, which shows the new terminus of the Northern Line at Battersea Power Station station.

The under-construction Northern Line Extension is shown dotted.

Could Northern Line services come to the surface, join the surface lines and run to Clapham Junction station and possibly beyond?

Creating More Space And A Level Floor In The New Trains

Removing the centre rail will give more space in the limited tunnels of the deep-level Underground lines and must make it easier to squeeze in all the equipment that has been specified for the new trains.

Increasing Safety

It is my view, that the suicide pit under the train will be wider and will not be guarded by an electric rail.

The main power supply will be right out of the way in stations and could even be eliminated from stations by the use of batteries.

 

 

 

 

October 6, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 7 Comments

Capacity Of Cross London Rail Routes

I shall start by looking at the current and future capacity of various rail routes across London.

Bakerloo

The Bakerloo Line has a frequency of twenty trains per hour (tph) between Queen’s Park and Elephant & Castle stations.

The current 1972 Stock trains have a capacity of 700 passengers.

This gives a capacity a 14,000 passengers per hour (pph) in each direction.

In the Wikipedia entry for the New Tube for London, this is said.

Bakerloo line capacity could be increased by 25% with 27 trains per hour at peak times by 2033.

This gives a future capacity of 17,500 pph in each direction.

Central

The Central Line has a frequency of thirty-five tph between White City and Leytonstone stations.

The current 1992 Stock trains have a capacity of 930 passengers.

This gives a capacity a 32,550 pph in each direction.

In the Wikipedia entry for the New Tube for London, this is said.

Central line capacity increased by 25% with 33 trains per hour at peak times by 2030.

This gives a future capacity of 40,687 pph in each direction.

Crossrail

Crossrail is planned at present to have twenty-four tph between Paddington and Whitechapel stations.

Each of Crossrail’s Class 345 trains can hold 1,500 passengers.

This gives a capacity a 36,000 pph in each direction.

It has been said in several places that Crossrail has a future frequency of thirty tph.

If this could be achieved this would increase capacity to 45,000 pph in each direction.

District

The District Line has a combined frequency with the Circle Line of  twenty-four tph between Gloucester Road and Tower Hill stations.

The current S7 Stock trains have a capacity of 865 passengers.

This gives a combined capacity a 20,760 pph in each direction.

The Wikipedia entry for the District Line talks about a future frequency of thirty-two tph.

This could increase the future capacity to 27,680 pph in each direction.

East London

The East London Line has a frequency of sixteen tph between Dalston Junction and Surrey Quays stations.

The current Class 378 trains have a capacity of 840 passengers.

This gives a capacity of 13,440 pph in each direction.

London Overground are planning to increase the frequency to twenty tph in the next couple of years.

This would give an increased capacity if 16,800 pph in each direction.

Gospel Oak To Barking

The Gospel Oak To Barking Line has a frequency of four tph across North London,

The current Class 172 trains have a capacity of 120 seats, with perhaps a total capacity of 300.

This would give a capacity of 1,200 pph in each direction.

The new Class 710 trains have a capacity around 700, according to various reports.

This would give a future capacity if 2,800 pph in each direction.

Hammersmith & City

The Hammersmith & City Line has a combined frequency with the Circle Line of twelve tph between Paddington and Liverpool Street stations.

The current S7 Stock trains have a capacity of 865.

This gives a combined capacity of 10,380 pph in each direction.

Jubilee

The Jubilee Line has a frequency of thirty tph between North Greenwich and Willesden Green stations.

The current 1996 Stock trains have a capacity of 875 passengers.

This gives a capacity of 26,250 pph in each direction.

With Siemens new trains, I suspect that this value could be increased by perhaps fifteen percent to 30,187 pph in each direction.

Metropolitan

The Metropolitan Line has an Off Peak frequency of sixteen tph between Baker Street and Liverpool Street stations.

The current S8 Stock trains have a capacity of 1003.

This gives a combined capacity a 16.048 pph in each direction.

With the Metropolitan Line Upgrade, we can probably see some more capacity.

A not unreasonable twenty percent would raise the future capacity to 19,257 pph in each direction.

Northern

In the Peak both branches of the Northern Line have a frequency of twenty-four tph between Camden Town and Kennington stations.

This is reduced to twenty tph in the Off Peak.

With the addition of the Extension to Battersea, these figures are unlikely to get lower.

The current 1195 Stock trains have a capacity of 662 passengers.

This gives a capacity of 31,776 pph in each direction.

With Siemens new trains, I suspect that this value could be increased by perhaps fifteen percent to 36,542 pph in each direction.

North London

The North London Line has a frequency of eight tph between Willesden Junction and Stratford stations.

The current Class 378 trains have a capacity of 840 passengers.

This gives a capacity a 6,720 pph in each direction.

London Overground are possibly planning to increase the frequency to twelve tph in the next couple of years.

This would give an increased capacity if 10,080 pph in each direction.

Piccadilly

As we don’t know the capacity of the new Siemens trains, this is a best estimate, for when they are in service around 2023-2025.

Currently, the Piccadilly Line is running at a frequency of twenty-four tph between Barons Court and Arnos Grove stations.

The current 1973 Stock trains, each have a capacity of 684 passengers.

This gives a current capacity of 15,416 pph in each direction.

In the Wikipedia entry for the New Tube for London, this is said.

Piccadilly line capacity could be increased by 60% with 33 trains per hour at peak times by 2025.

This gives a 2025 capacity of 24,666 pph in each direction.

Dividing  the 24,666 by 33 gives a train capacity of 750 passengers for a New Tube for London.

Thameslink

Thameslink will have a frequency of twenty-four tph between St. Pancras and Blackfriars stations.

Half of these will be twelve-car Class 700 trains with a capacity of 1754 and the other half will be eight-car trains with a capacity of 1146.

This gives a capacity of 34,800 pph in each direction.

It has been stated that Thameslink will be able to handle thirty tph in the future, which would raise the capacity to 43,500 pph in each direction.

Victoria

The Victoria Line is currently running at a frequency of thirty-six tph.

The current 2009 Stock trains, each have a capacity of 876 passengers.

This gives a capacity of 31,536 pph in each direction.

I think it is reasonable to assume that the Victoria Line is at capacity.

But I wouldn’t be surprised, that with station improvements, which would include a double-ended Walthamstow Central station, engineers on Dear Old Vicky managed to squeeze forty tph out of the old girl.

This would give a capacity of 35,040 pph in each direction.

I also wouldn’t rule out replacing the current trains with the New Tube for London, if the new trains have proved an outstanding success on all the other lines. But that probably wouldn’t be to well into the 2030s.

Current And Future Summary And Total Capacity

The current figures in passengers per hour can be summarised as follows.

  • Bakerloo – 14,000
  • Central – 32,550
  • Crossrail – 36,000
  • District – 20,760
  • East London – 13,440
  • Gospel Oak To Barking – 1,200
  • Hammersmith & City – 10,380
  • Jubilee – 26,250
  • Metropolitan – 16,048
  • Northern – 31,776
  • North London – 6,720
  • Piccadilly – 15,416
  • Thameslink – 34,800
  • Victoria – 31,536

This gives a total current capacity of 290,876

Reasonable projections for future figures can be summarised as follows.

  • Bakerloo – 17,500 (25% Increase) – New Tube for London/New Signalling
  • Central – 40,687 (25% Increase) – New Tube for London/New Signalling
  • Crossrail – 45,000 (25% Increase) – 30 tph from 24 tph
  • District – 27,680 (33% Increase) – New Signalling
  • East London – 16,800 (25% Increase) – 20 tph from 16 tph
  • Gospel Oak To Barking – 2,800 (133% Increase) – New larger trains
  • Hammersmith & City – 10,380
  • Jubilee – 30,187 (15% Increase) – New Tube for London
  • Metropolitan – 19257 (20% Increase) – New Signalling
  • Northern – 36,542 (15% Increase) – New Tube for London
  • North London – 10,080 (50% Increase)
  • Piccadilly – 24666 (60% Increase) – New Tube for London/New Signalling
  • Thameslink – 43,500(25% Increase) – 30 tph from 24 tph
  • Victoria – 31,536

This gives a total future capacity of 356615

Or a capacity increase of around twenty-three percent.

What Do These Figures Show?

My figures are very much rough estimates, based on what is proposed to happen.

New Tube for London

Five of the improvements in capacity require the replacement of the current trains with the New Tube for London. Three of these replacements will need new signalling and only the Piccadilly Line trains have actually been given the go-ahead.

If these train replacements and signalling are done sequentially, they would show these overall capacity improvements.

  • Piccadilly – 3.2%
  • Central – 2.6%
  • Bakerloo – 1.1%
  • Jubilee – 1.3%
  • Northern – 1.5%

Overall, these five projects will increase capacity by 10.2%

Some of these figures may appear small, compared to the Piccadilly and Central, but then with the exception of the Bakerloo, the other lines already have Automatic Train Control and high-frequency services.

The great thing about the effects of the New Tube for London on capacity, is that it is a rolling program and as each line is converted, more capacity will continue to be added, benefiting many parts of London.

Digital Signalling

Increasingly, lines in London are digitally-signalled with a degree of Automatic Train Control.

In a few years time, these lines will be controlled this way in Central London.

  • Central
  • Circle
  • Crossrail
  • District
  • Hamersmith & City
  • Jubilee
  • Metropolitan
  • Northern
  • Piccadilly
  • Thameslink
  • Victoria

All these lines are or will be carriers of high numbers of passengers.

In A North London Line With Digital Signalling, I looked at the benefits of installing digital signalling on the North London Line. This was my conclusion.

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

Digital signalling will have to be applied to all the other lines in my list to make the most of the train lines we have in London.

Bakerloo

These lines will be given new signalling

  • Bakerloo – 17,500 (25% Increase)
  • Central – 40,687 (25% Increase)
  • District – 27,680 (33% Increase)
  • Hammersmith & City – 10,380
  • Metropolitan – 19257 (20% Increase)
  • Piccadilly – 24666 (60% Increase)

Of the deep level Underground lines, the Bakerloo Line is well below the capacity in passengers per hour (pph) of the other lines, through Central London.

The easiest way to increase the capacity would be to increase the frequency of the trains, by the application of digital signalling.

Earlier in the section on the Piccadilly Line, I calculated the capacity of each New Tube for London on that line as 750.

So if the Bakerloo Line could handle the thirty-six tph currently running on the Victoria Line, this would give a capacity of 23,333 pph in each direction.

Like the Victoria Line, the Bakerloo is a simple double-track without junctions through Central London.

At the Southern end the line terminates in the two platforms at Elephant & Castle station. If Brixton and Walthamstow Central stations can handle thirty-six tph, then surely with modern trains and digital signalling, this number of trains can be handled at Elephant & Castle station.

But at Queen’s Park station, it’s more difficult.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the track layou at Queens Park station.

Note.

  1. The Watford DC Line of the Overground is shown in orange and runs through Kilburn High Road and Queens Park stations.
  2. The Bakerloo Line is shown in brown and runs through Kilburn Park and Queens Park stations.
  3. There are reversing sidings to the West of Queens Park station for the Bakerloo Line.

The following services go through or terminate at Queens Park station.

  • Three tph between Euston and Watford Junction on the London Overground.
  • Six tph between Harrow & Wealdstone and Elephant & Castle on the Bakerloo Line.
  • Three tph between Stonebridge Park and Elephant & Castle on the Bakerloo Line.
  • Eleven tph between qQueens Park and Elephant & Castle on the Bakerloo Line.

It is also likely that the Overground service will go to four tph.

So this means that services will be as follows.

  • Four tph on the Watford DC Line run through Kilburn High Road station.
  • Twenty tph on the Bakerloo Line run through Kilburn Park station.
  • Nine tph on the Bakerloo Line run through Queens Park station.
  • Four tph on the Watford DC Line run through Queens Park station.
  • Eleven tph on the Bakerloo Line terminate at Queens Park station.

Thirteen tph will continue to various destinations towards Watford.

So how many trains could the double-track line between Queens Park and Wartford Junction stations handle?

Consider.

  • All services on the line are london Overground or London Underground.
  • There are no junctions, where services divide and join.
  • There is a turnback facility at Harrow & Wealdstone station, that can handle six tph.
  • The Overground trains are being replaced with Class 710 trains, which must be able to be made compatible with digital signalling.
  • Watford Junction station has four platforms connected to the Watford DC Line.
  • Good design should be able to make the stations step-free for both Class 710 trains and New Tube for London.
  • The Watford DC Line service, always seems to terminate in platform 9 at Euston.
  • London Underground have run thirty-six tph on the Victoria Line for about a year now.

I suspect that if the trains are digitally signalled, with a degree of Automatic Train Control, that there could be as many as thirty-six tph between Queens Park and Watford Junction stations.

I also think it is significant that the New Tube for London, specifies that the Bakerloo Line will run at twenty-seven tph. Why not more, if the theoretical capacity North of Queens Park is thirty-six tph?

But a single platform at Euston can probably handle six tph, so add 27 and 6 and you get 33 tph, which is the proposed core frequency of the Piccadilly Line.

Suppose too, that all Bakerloo services ran all the way to Watford Junction.

  • This would simplify operation at Queens Park, Stonebridge Park and Harrow & Waldstone.
  • Digital signalling would easily handle the frequency.
  • The platform arrangement at Queens Park would be unchanged, with Euston services on the outside and Bakerloo services in the middle.

Suppose too, that the Watford DC Line service were to be run by New Tube for London trains.

  • All platform heights could be the same.
  • All services would be step-free between train and platform.
  • Digital signalling could easily handle 33 tph along the route.

This last section has very much been speculation on my part, but it shows how it may be possible to create a service on the Bakerloo Line with the following characteristics.

  • Twenty-seven tph between Watford Junction and Elephant & Castle stations.
  • Six tph between Watford Junction and Euston stations.
  • All stations would be step-free between platform and train.
  • All trains would be identical New Tube for London trains.
  • All trains would run under Automatic Train Control, as does the Victoria Line.

Note, that I have said nothing about the Bakerloo Extension to Lewisham.

In my view, that extension does what it says on the tin and creates a new twenty-seven tph service between Elephant & Castle and Lewisham, which brings new services to an area of South-East London, where they are much needed.

Effectively, the Bakerloo Line could become two twenty-seven tph lines, that happen to connect back-to-back at Elephant & Castle station to enable cross-London journeys.

If we look at the Victoria Line, where the frequency has increased over the last few years by the addition of various improvements, I would not be surprised to see the frequency of twenty-seven tph increased.

After all London Underground’s engineers have been squeezing Dear Old Vicky for half a century, so they must know more tricks, than Paul Daniels knew at the peak of his success.

Crossrail

Taking the figures in the current table, Crossrail will add 36,000 pph in both directions across London, to a current capacity of 254,876.

This is a increase of fourteen percent on the current total capacity.

Increasing the frequency from twenty-four to thirty tph, adds another 9,000 pph in each direction, which is an increase of seventeen percent on the current total capacity.

It is very likely, that Crossrail has been designed, so that the train length can be changed as required.

The initial trains have been supplied as seven-car trains and when the line opens nine-car trains will be used.

I have read somewhere that the trains could be extended to ten cars, but eleven might be a bit difficult.

So what would be the effect on capacity of ten-car trains.

I will assume each ten-car train has a capacity of 1500 *10 / 9 = 1667.

This means that Crossrail capacity is increased as follows with ten-car trains.

  • 24 tph gives a capacity of 40,000 pph in each direction. Or sixteen percent on the total current capacity!
  • 30 tph gives a capacity of 50,000 pph in each direction. Or twenty percent on the total current capacity!

It looks like Crossrail might have been built to be expanded.

East London Line

It is my view that the East London Line will eventually be digitally signalled and there could be an increase in frequency from the proposed twenty tph.

It has been stated in the past, that the East London Line will eventually have a service based on six-car trains, running at a frequency of twenty-four tph.

Six-car trains could be a problem, as some of the stations like Canada Water, Shadwell, Wapping and Rotherhithe are a bit short for five-car trains and use selective door opening.

The hopefully high-capacity connection to Crossrail at Whitechapel station will surely drive more passengers to use the East London Line.

So increasing the frequency to twenty-four tph using digital signalling would be an option to increase the capacity.

There are four separate services on the East London Line.

  • Dalston Junction and New Cross
  • Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction
  • Highbury & Islington and Crystal Palace
  • Highbury & Islington and West Croydon

Each currently has a srvice of four tph, but it is planned that six tph will run to Crystal Palace and Clapham Junction before 2020.

Note that all services terminate in a dedicated platform, that is not shared with other services.

With modern signalling and good driving, these platforms should be able to handle six tph.

If all services went to six tph, that would mean twenty-four tph, through the core of the East London Line.

This would mean that the capacity of the line would be 20,160 pph in each direction, which would be a fifty percent increase on current capacity.

There may even be space for more trains through the core, as thirty tph is certainly possible with digital signalling. But where would the trains terminate?

Extra tunnel-capable Class 378 trains to run the extra services shouldn’t be a problem, as new Class 710 trains, will displace the older units from the Watford DC and the North London Lines.

North London Line

It is my view that the North London Line will eventually be digitally signalled to allow a more intensive passenger service than eight tph, amongst all the freight trains.

I have said that twelve tph between Willesden Junction and Stratford will be possible, within a few years.

But this could be the limit for the following reasons.

  • Terminating twelve tph in the two platforms at Stratford is probably possible but difficult.
  • Clapham Junction with one platform can probably handle six tph but no more.

Only Richmond has enough capacity for extra trains.

 

Conclusion

It looks to me that digital signalling and well-designed new trains can improve the capacity across London. Or Liverpool, Newcastle or Berlin to name just three major cities.

 

 

 

October 4, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inside A Piccadilly Line 1973 Stock Train

These pictures show the interior of a 1973 Stock train.

There are worse trains in the UK.

It should be noted that the trains were extensively refurbished in 1996-2001.

In some ways, the current layout of the train, is now very much the standard layout for London Underground rolling stock.

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

Thoughts On The New Tube For London

This article on the BBC is entitled East Yorkshire Factory Wins £1.5bn Tube Train Deal.

This is the second paragraph.

Transport for London (TfL) said the 94 trains will be designed and built by Siemens Mobility at its planned £200m facility in Goole.

But what else do we know of the design?

In 2013, I went to an exhibition of Siemens’ early design study, which I wrote about in Siemens’ View Of The Future Of The Underground.

These are the pictures I took at the time of the mock-up in the exhibition.

From my visit, I ascertained the following.

  • The cross section appears taller and wider than the current deep-level trains.
  • It has been designed so that someone of 2.6 metres can stand without stooping.
  • The trains are designed to be articulated with a walk-through gangway.
  • Access appears to be level between train and platform.

Will the new trains be like the mock-up?

This article on Rail Engineer is entitled London Underground Deep Tube Upgrade.

It gives some useful information and clues about the design of the New Tube for London (NTfL).

  • The press release mentioned longer, walk through trains and air conditioning.
  • An illustration with the press released shows all double doors.
  • It is possible to provide an inter-car gangway by using an articulated configuration with more, shorter carriages.
  • Bogies appear to be shared between cars.
  • Bogie positioning allows all doors to be double.
  • Rail Engineer’s view is that there are ten cars to a train.
  • Most axles motored to deliver Victoria Line traction and braking performance.
  • A 100 kph speed is quoted, as, opposed to 80 kph for current 2009 Stock on the Victoria Line.
  • There might be a battery to power the train in case of power failure.

Taking all of these clues, what can I deduce?

Safe Platform Area

Before continuing, I will define what I mean as the safe platform area.

Usually on most Underground platforms without platform-edge doors, there are barriers at both ends of the platform beyond, which passengers are not allowed.

These limit the end of what I define as the safe platform area, where passengers can freely circulate and enter and leave the trains.

These pictures show the ends of various Underground platforms.

Each picture is identified with Station, Line, Direction and Train End.They all seem fairly similar.

Train Length And Car Length

The press release says the new trains will be longer.

The current length of the 1973 Stock on the Piccadilly Line is 106.8 metres.

This length is determined by the underground platforms, where if the driver stops, so that they can get off into the protected area, at the forward end of the platform, the rear end of the train is still in the tunnel.

The end passenger doors are of course in the safe area of the platform.

From looking at trains at Kings Cross station and judging it against the known length of a 1973 Stock train, I estimate that the length of the safe area is around ninety-five metres.

Looking at the picture of the cab in the mock-up, there is no driver’s door. So I will assume that drivers will access the cab from the passenger compartment. This probably means that the trains could be a little bit longer and still give access to all cars on the train.

The Rail Engineer article speculates that the trains will have ten sections of which two must have cabs on one end.

I think this will mean the following.

  • There will be nine bogies between cars.
  • There will be an end bogies under the cab of both driving cars.
  • Each passenger car and the passenger section of the driving cars, will have two double doors on either side.
  • I believe that the interiors of the passenger cars and the passenger sections of the driving cars will be virtually identical.
  • The driving cab would be perhaps four metres long and could have a plant room behind it.
  • The driving cab and its structure would probably incorporate a crush zone.

If the end pair of doors behind the driver’s cab, were locked out on underground platforms, this would not cause inconvenience to passengers. It certainly doesn’t now, when selective door opening is used at various stations on the Underground, like Baker Street station on the Sub-Surface Lines.

So perhaps, the safe platform area will go to the middle of the passenger compartment in the driving cars?

This will mean that.

  • At some stations only one door can be used in the end cars.
  • Access will always be available through the second door of the car or the two doors in the next car.
  • The driver can easily access the cab, through the bulkhead door between the cab and passenger compartment.

This will also mean that there will be eight passenger cars and two half passenger sections from the driving cars in the safe platform area.

It should be noted that on the Victoria Line trains have always stopped automatically in the correct position, so this wouldn’t be difficult to arrange with automation of this function on the NTfL

Suppose the safe platform area can be stretched to 108 metres, this would mean.

  • The passenger cars would be 12 metres long
  • The passenger sections of the driving car would be 12 metres long.
  • The driving cars would be perhaps 16 metres long.

This would give a total train length of 128 metres, with a passenger compartment that is 120 metres long.

Obviously, these lengths are speculative and others will work.

  • 12.5 metre passenger cars would result in a 133 metre long train and would need a 112.5 metre safe platform area.
  • 13 metre passenger cars would result in a 138 metre long train and would need a 117 metre safe platform area.
  • 14 metre passenger cars would result in a 148 metre long train and would need a 126 metre safe platform area.

I do think the figures show, that if trains can overhang the safe platform area, then trains can be longer and train capacity can be increased.

It also shows, that if the safe platform area can be lengthened, so can the trains, which would further increase capacity.

But lengthening platforms, especially in tunnels can be very expensive!

Train Length On Other Lines

These trains must also fit the Bakerloo, Central, Jubilee, Northern and Waterloo & City Lines.

These lines all have different length trains.

  • Bakerloo – 114 metres
  • Central – 133 metres
  • Jubilee – 126 metres
  • Northern – 108 metres
  • Waterloo & City – 66.5 metres

To further complicate matters, some stations on the Jubilee Line have platform-edge doors.

The Rail Engineer article states that the NTfLwill have ten articulated segments.

If all the passenger cars are identical, then a longer or shorter train should be able to be created by fitting an appropriate number of passenger cars between the two driving cars.

Train Length On The Waterloo & City Line

A five-car train with twelve metre segments and sixteen metre driving cars, would be 68 metres long and could fit the simple platforms of the Waterloo & City Line.

Train Capacity

The capacity of the 1973 Stock is 228 seated and 684 standing passengers.

The most modern deep tube trains on the Underground are the 2009 Stock of the Victoria Line.

These trains accommodate 252 seating and 1196 standing passengers in a train length of 133.3 metres, which is 10.85 passengers per metre.

A better comparison might be the S7 Stock of the Circle Line, as they have similar a seating arrangement to the NTfL.

These trains accommodate 865 sitting and standing passengers in a length of 117.5 metres, which is 7.36 passengers per metre

As the passenger section of the proposed design for the NTfL is 120 metres,

  • This gives a capacity .of 1302 passengers using the 2009 Stock figure.
  • This gives a capacity .of 883 passengers using the S7 Stock figure.

The actual figure is probably somewhere in the middle. I shall use 1100, which is an increase of twenty percent over the current trains.

Train Weight

Obviously, I don’t have the weight of the proposed NTfL.

A 2009 Stock train weighs 197.3 tonnes and is 133.3 metres long.

My guess for the length of a proposed NTfL is 128 metres.

The best I can come up with is to say that the NTfL is the same weight per metre as the 2009 Stock.

This gives the weight of the NTfL as 189.5 tonnes.

I would put an error of 25 tonnes on that figure either way.

Train Kinetic Energy

The value of the kinetic energy of the train is important, as it determines the energy that must be.

  • Transferred to the train to accelerate it up to speed.
  • Absorbed by the braking system, when the train stops.

Consider.

  • The basic train weight is 189.5 tonnes.
  • There are 1100 passengers.
  • With bags, buggies and other things passengers bring on, let’s assume an average passenger weight of 90 kg, this gives an extra 99 tonnes.
  • This gives a total train weight of 288.5 tonnes

If the train is travelling at 100 kph, this gives a kinetic energy of 30.9 kWh.

Regenerative Braking

The S Stock trains of the sub-surface lines have regenerative braking.

This saves energy and it will certainly be applied on the proposed NTfL.

The regenerative energy system on the S Stock returns the electricity through the electrification to power other trains nearby. This means a braking train effectively powers one that is accelerating.

The Rail Engineer article about the NTfL, says that most axles will be powered.

  • This gives good acceleration and smooth regenerative braking.
  • I would not be surprised to see a small battery of about 5 to 10 kWh in each car to handle the regenerative braking.
  • When the train brakes the traction motors will pass their generated energy to the battery.
  • On acceleration, the traction motors would use the energy stored in the battery.

One of the great advantages of using batteries with regenerative braking in tunnels, is that it reduces the amount of heat that a train emits into the trunnel.

Electrical System

I wouldn’t be surprised to see each car designed like a serial hybrid bus.

  • The third-rail electrification and energy from regenerative braking would charge the battery.
  • Each car might have its own pickup shoes.
  • The battery would power the car’s traction motors and other systems.

An intelligent computer system would control each car and the whole train.

Effectively, the train could be a connected string of ten independently powered cars.

Think liberty horses with a ringmaster in charge.

Keeping The Tube Cool

This article on IanVisits is entitled Cooling The Tube – Engineering Heat Out Of The Underground.

Read it and you’ll find all the methods Transport for London are employing to make Underground travel better.

The first thing that must be done is to make sure that the proposed NTfL do not increase the heat input into the tunnels and trains to make the experience hotter

The train must be well-insulated, so that if the temperature in the train is at the required level for passengers, it tends to stay there and only change slowly.

The second thing that must be done is that the train should be designed so that it puts a minimum level of heat into the tunnels.

  • Regenerative braking to batteries will help, as it will mean that braking should be heat-free and the train will be taking less traction current from the rails.
  • An aerodynamic train will produce less heat from friction.
  • Traction motors and other electrical systems will produce heat.

I suspect Siemens will look at every component of the train and heat production will be one of the criteria.

I also believe that the design of an intelligent air-conditioning system is important.

Suppose you are trying to use air-conditioning to cool a 30 °C train in a 30 °C tunnel. All you’ll do is heat the tunnel even more.

Take the Piccadilly, Jubilee and Central Lines, which all have surface sections at both ends.

So why not cool the trains on the surface to say 22 °C, before they enter the central tunnels?

  • There will be no problem venting the heat to air.
  • The outside air temperature on the surface, will probably be less than in the tunnels
  • If the trains are well-insulated, this will help.

By the time the trains get to the other end of the tunnel, the train’s temperature will have risen and then the cycle is ready to start again.

Some trains spend thirty minutes or more running on the surface in a round trip of more than an hour.

Emergency Train Recovery Using Battery Power

If there is sufficient battery capacity, then this must be possible.

Conclusion

These trains could be very different than the trains they replace.

 

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 5 Comments

Are Transport for London Planning For The Future In The West?

Over a dozen Underground stations in West London have been earmarked for upgrading to step-free access.

I listed them in West London Stations To Be Made Step-Free.

There are various common properties.

  • Boston Manor and Osterley stations are on the Heathrow branch of the Piccadilly Line, which when updated would make the branch  seventy percent step-free.
  • Hanger Lane and Northolt stations are on the West Ruislip branch of the Central Line, which when updated would make the branch seventy-one percent step-free.
  • Ickenham, Ruislip, Sudbury Hill and Park Royal are on the Uxbridge branch of the Piccadilly Line, which when updated would make the branch  sixty percent step-free.
  • Hanger Lane and Park Royal stations are a valid out-of-station interchange.
  • Sudbury Hill and Sudbury Hill Harrow are a valid out-of-station interchange.
  • Ickenham and West Ruislip are a valid out-of-station interchange.
  • Ealing Broadway and Old Oak Common are developing into major interchanges.

With Crossrail going through West London and due to be fully-open in a couple of years, transport in West London is certainly going to get better for all.

But other things will or possibly could happen.

New Trains On The Piccadilly Line

The Piccadilly Line is in some ways an odd one out of London Underground lines.

  • Only 28 % of the line’s stations have an interchange with other lines or National Rail compared with 94 % for the Victoria Line.
  • Only two of the major London terminals; Kings Cross and St. Pancras International, are served by the Piccadilly Line and very badly in truth!
  • The line has no interchange with Crossrail.
  • The line has a terminus at Heathrow.
  • The line runs extensively in West London on old District Line tracks, so there are a lot of stations in the area, where platform-to-train access is bad.

The trains are also some of the oldest on the London Underground.

Under Future Upgrades in the Wikipedia entry for the line, this is said.

The intention is for the new trains to eventually operate on the Bakerloo, Central, Piccadilly and Waterloo & City lines. On current plans, resignalling work on the Piccadilly line will begin in 2019 and new trains should be in service by 2022.

Wikipedia also says this about the trains.

  • The trains will be lightweight, low-energy and semi-articulated.
  • The trains will have a battery capability to take them to the next station in case of power failure.
  • The trains will have a low-floor. Will this be lower than current trains? Probably yes, as it would increase headroom.
  • The trains will have an 11 % higher capacity than the existing trains.
  • The trains could have air-conditioning.

I would add the following comments and pedictions.

  1. The trains will be designed for quicker exit and entry to the trains.
  2. The trains will shorten journey times.
  3. The trains will be wheelchair and buggy friendly.
  4. The batteries on the train will be used to handle regenerative braking.
  5. The trains will have air-conditioning, as passengers will demand it.
  6. A solution will be found, so that there is level platform-to-train access at all stations.

Point six will be difficult, but in my view this must be done to enable trains to spend as little time as possible, whilst calling at a station.

Perhaps trains will adjust their ride height as they approach a station, by adding and releasing air from the suspension.

If this level access can be achieved by a clever train design, the expense and disruption of rebuilding station platforms substantially, could be reduced.

Unfortunately, some Piccadilly Line platforms are also used by the larger S Stock trains, so any technological advantages must be made on the new Piccadilly Line trains.

Piccadilly Line To Ealing Broadway

Ealing Broadway station is being upgraded for Crossrail.

In the November 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, there is a Capital Connection supplement, which discusses London’s railways.

On Page 7 in a section about the sub-surface lines, this is said.

One possibility being discussed is that the Piccadilly should take over the District’s Ealing Broadway service. This would free up space on the South side of the inner-London circle for more City trains off the Wimbledon branch, one of the sub-surface network’s most-crowded routes.

On Page 15 in a section about the Mayor’s plans, this is said.

It is suggested Piccadilly Line services run to Ealing Broadway instead of the District Line, enabling increased frequencies on the latter’s Richmond and Wimbledon branches.

As the plan is mentioned twice, certainly the proposal is being thought about.

I discussed this in some detail in Is There Going To Be More Change At Ealing Broadway Station?

Distilling my thoughts from last year and what I’ve seen recently, I have the following thoughts, if the Piccadilly Line had a branch to Ealing Nroadway station.

  • The Piccadilly Line would have a two-platform step-free terminus, capable of handling twelve trains per hour (tph)
  • Increasing Piccadilly Line frequencies through the core, probably needs another high capacity terminal in the West.
  • The Piccadilly Line would have an interchange with Crossrail and Great Western Railway for Heathrow, Oxford and Reading.
  • In the later 2020s, when the Piccadilly and Central Lines are running the same new deep-level trains, Ealing Broadway would only handle one type of Underground train.
  • As Ealing Broadway, Ealing Common and Acton Town stations would only handle the new deep-level Underground trains, platform-to-train access problems could be solved by lowering the platforms.

The current Piccadilly Line service in the West is as follows.

  • Twelve tph to Heathrow
  • Six tph to Rayner Lane station, with three tph continuing to Uxbridge.
  • Three tph to Northfields

The new trains and signalling, must surely increase the core frequency from the current 21 tph to something approaching the 36 tph of the Victoria Line.

I suspect that twelve tph to Ealing Broadway would fit well, with both the needs of the Piccadilly Line and Crossrail’s frequency of twelve tph.

There are other problems to sort out, but Piccadilly Line trains to Ealing Broadway station could be an excellent plan.

Piccadilly Line To Heathrow

The Heathrow branch of the Piccadilly Line will be seventy percent step-free, after Boston Manor and Osterley stations are upgraded.

I think the time will come in the next few years to bite the bullet and do the following on the branch.

  • Make all street-to-platform fully step-free.
  • Lower the platforms to give level platform-to-train access to the new deep-level trains.

As this branch is Piccadilly Line-only, there should be few related problems.

Piccadilly Line To Rayners Lane and Uxbridge

The Uvbridge branch of the Piccadilly Line will be sixty percent step-free, after Ickenham, Ruislip, Sudbury Hill and Park Royal stations are upgraded.

As with the Heathrow branch, I think that the following should be done.

  • Make all street-to-platform fully step-free.
  • Lower the platforms to give level platform-to-train access tothe new deep-level trains.

The problem is between Rayners Lane and Uxbridge stations, where the branch is shared with the Metropolitan Line.

The following could be done.

  1. Put in extra tracks and platforms.
  2. Live with the  current platforms and step down into a Piccadilly Line train.
  3. All Piccadilly Line trains could terminate at Rayners Lane and from Rayners Lane to Uxbridge is served by Metropolitan Line only
  4. As the platforms are long and all trains are walk-through, clever platform design with Harrington Humps could be a solution.

Only option 4 would be an affordable solution, that might be acceptable to all stakeholders.

Central Line To Uxbridge

In the Wikipedia entry for the Central Line, this is said.

The Central crosses over the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines’ shared Uxbridge branch near West Ruislip depot, and a single track linking the two routes was laid in 1973. The London Borough of Hillingdon has lobbied TfL to divert some or all Central trains along this to Uxbridge, as West Ruislip station is located in a quiet suburb and Uxbridge is a much more densely populated regional centre. TfL has stated that the link will be impossible until the Metropolitan line’s signalling is upgraded in 2017.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines around Ruislip Depot.

Note.

  1. The Central Line is shown in red.
  2. The track used by the Piccadilly and Metropolitan Lines is the bluey colour.
  3. The Chiltern Main Line is shown in black.
  4. Ickenham and Ruislip stations will soon have some measure of step-free access.
  5. Ickenham and West Ruislip stations are a  valid out-of-station interchange, with a walk of 1.1 miles.

Would running Central Line trains to Uxbridge be feasible?

Uxbridge station has four platforms and currently has the following Off Peak services.

  • Metropolitan  – 8 tph to Aldgate
  • Piccadilly – 3 tph to Cockfosters

With these frequencies in the morning Peak.

  • Metropolitan  – 6 tph to Aldgate
  • Metropolitan  – 4 tph to Baker Street
  • Piccadilly – 6 tph to Cockfosters

West Ruislip has a 3 tph Off Peak service.

Uxbridge with four platforms can probably handle up to twenty-four tph with modern signalling, so there should be scope once the the new signalling is installed on the Metropolitan Line for changes to be made.

It may need new trains on both the Central and the Piccadilly Line, that can use the new signalling, before full advantage could be taken of running Central Line trains to Uxbridge.

But at some time in the future, it looks like the following would be possible on the West Ruislip branch of the Central Line.

  • 4 tph to West Ruislip
  • 4 tph to Uxbridge

That would be a very worthwhile service.

The Greenford Branch

The Greenford Branch is one of those lines in London and the South East, that have a low priority for the train operating companies.

Others include.

Twenty years ago, you would have included the North London and the Gospel Oak to Barking Lines. But look at those two now!

The Greenford Branch is typical of this sort of line.

  • Single platform at each end.
  • Two tph run by a single train.
  • Elderly trains.
  • No electrification
  • No Sunday service
  • More information.
  • Virtually no marketing.
  • Poor interchange at West Ealing station, although interchange at Greenford is excellent.

All of these lines could benefit from a common philosophy.

  • Four tph where possible, to encourage Turn-Up-And-Go.
  • A viable train use philosophy.
  • Modern electric trains that attract passengers.
  • Good interchange at the principal station or stations.

A plan for the Greenford Branch has yet to emerge.

However Crossrail will change everything.

  • Up to twelve tph could stop at West Ealing station.
  • West Ealing station will have full step-free access between the Greenford Branch, Crossrail and GWR services.
  • Passengers might use the line with heavy bags to get to and from Heathrow.
  • Management of West Ealing station may pass to Transport for London.

On a cold, wet day, passengers changing to the Greenford Branch will not want to wait half an hour for the next train to Greenford and the intermediate stations.

Increased passenger numbers and pressure for good service will require a four tph frequency on the Greenford branch.

  • This will require two trains.
  • Better customer service will be needed.

|As the two end stations could both be under Transport for London control, would it be sensible to pass management of the line to that organisation and run the line under the Overground banner?

But what trains could be used?

  • As the line is not electrified and platforms can only handle two- or possibly three-car trains, London Overground’s standard four-car Class 710 trains would not be suitable.
  • Class 172 trains could be used, but these are going to West Midlands Trains.
  • Passengers might accept a modernised British Rail era diesel like a Class 150 train.
  • There is also the Class 230 train, which West Midlands Trains will be using on the Marston Vale Line.
  • Could Bombardier create a three-car Aventra with on board energy storage, that would be charged at either or both ends?

My money would be on one of the last two options.

  • A standard electric train would require electrification of the branch.
  • There would be servicing problems with a small diesel fleet.
  • Class 230 trains have been designed for remote servicing, so three trains would work.
  • The diesel trains and the Class 230 train would require little if no infrastructure changes.
  • The branch is under three miles long, so a return trip is probably well within range of a battery train.
  • A three-car Aventra with on board energy storage would have many applications in the UK.
  • The Aventra with on board energy storage  would require little if no infrastructure changes, except for some extra overhead wires to create a charging point at West Ealing.

London Overground will probably go for a surprising, but cost-effective solution.

Onward From Greenford

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

There must surely be possibilities to extend the current passenger service to the West.

  • It would create a West Ealing to West Ruislip feeder service for Crossrail.
  • Greenford station would need extra platforms on the Acton-Northolt Line.
  • Train length would be less of a problem and four-car trains could probably be used.

It would fit well with restoring passenger services on the Acton-Northolt Line.

Old Oak Common To West Ruislip On The Acton-Northolt Line

Network Rail have plans to reinstate passenger services on the Acton-Northolt Line, so that Chiltern Railways can have an extra London terminal with a connection to Crossrail, High Speed 2 and the London Overground. Under Chiltern Main Line Connection, in the Wikipedia entry for Old Oak Common station, this is said.

Network Rail has proposed that the Chiltern Main Line should have a second terminal at Old Oak Common to increase capacity on the route as there is no room to expand the station at Marylebone. To do so, services would use the Acton–Northolt line (formerly the “New North Main Line”) and perhaps see Chiltern trains terminating here rather than Marylebone.

A summary report by Network Rail, which was released in 2017, forecast that a new London terminal will be needed by 2043 and proposed Old Oak Common for this role, with upgrading of the Acton-Northolt Line.

I doubt that I’ll see it, as I’ll be 96!

But it does seem a credible idea with questions to ask!

  • Will the route be double- or single-track?
  • Will there be express and/or Metro services?
  • How many interchanges will there be with the Central Line?
  • Will the route be used by Crossrail?
  • Will the route be electrified?

I do think that there will be some very serious thinking going on.

A few thoughts on what could define what might ensue.

High Wycombe Station

High Wycombe station is a three platform station, with a lot of space between the tracks, as this Google Map shows.

It would appear there is space for the station to be developed, as a terminus for more services from London.

The Chiltern Metro

According to Wikipedia, Chiltern Railways have ambition to create a Chiltern Metro. Wikipedia says this.

New Chiltern Metro Service that would operate 4+tph for Wembley Stadium, Sudbury & Harrow Road, Sudbury Hill Harrow, Northolt Park, South Ruislip and West Ruislip. This would require a reversing facility at West Ruislip, passing loops at Sudbury Hill Harrow, and a passing loop at Wembley Stadium (part of the old down fast line is in use as a central reversing siding, for stock movements and additionally for 8-car football shuttles to convey passengers to the stadium for events). This ‘Chiltern Metro’ service was not programmed into the last round of franchising agreements.

This sounds to be a good idea but it would need a dedicated platform at Marylebone and is there sufficient capacity on the Chiltern Main Line to accommodate the number of extra trains required to West Ruislip.

Crossrail

How Crossrail will affect London is totally unpredictable.

  • Currently, the system is planned to run 24 tph between Heathrow, Paddington and Reading in the West and Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the East.
  • Various sources show that Crossrail has been built for 30 tph.
  • I wouldn’t be surprised to see the route move to a Thameslink or East London Line model, where two or four tph run to other destinations outside the core.

Ebbsfleet, Gravesend and Milton Keynes have been mentioned for expansion, but what about Basingstoke, Beaulieu, High Wycombe, Oxford and Southend?

Electrification

Three factors will be the main drivers if the Acton-Northolt Line is electrified for Network Rail’s proposed passenger services to Old Oak Common.

  • Extension of Crossrail to High Wycombe would surely need the Acton-Northolt Line to be electrified and possibly double-tracked.
  • The next generation of multi-mode trains will operate on a mixture of electric, diesel, hydrogen and battery power.
  • The ambition of Chiltern Railways.

I think on balance, if the Acton-Northolt Line is reopened to passenger services, it will be electrified.

Space could be limited as this picture from Hangar Lane station shows.

But most problems should be possible to solve, by lowering track  and rebuilding some bridges.

North Acton Station

North Action station could be updated in the following ways.

  • Extra platforms for the Acton-Northolt Line.
  • A connection to the North London Line.
  • Over-site development.
  • More spacious station buildings.

Note also that North Acton station could be a calling point on the West London Orbital Railway.

On the other hand, Old Oak Common station might handle a lot of these connections, so I suspect that if North Acton station has a connection, it will be led by the needs of property developers.

Park Royal Station

Park Royal station could be rebuilt with Hanger Lane station as an interchange between the Central and Piccadilly Lines, with extra platforms for the Acton-Northolt Line.

Again, property development will decide what happens.

Hanger Lane Station

This Google Map shows the location of Hanger Lane station in the middle of the Hanger Lane Gyratory.

Note the following.

  • The Central Line train in the Westbound platform.
  • The double-track of the Acton-Northolt Line to the North of the Central Line station.
  • Inside the ring of roads, there would appear to be a large site, that could be suitable for redevelopment, as perhaps offices or housing.

These pictures show the site in the middle of the roads.

Note.

  1. To call the site a junk-yard would be a compliment.
  2. Hanger Lane station is going to be made step-free.
  3. A  tunnel for HS2 will pass underneath., following the route of the Acton-Northolt Line.
  4. There are HS2 notices about. Are HS2 going to use the dump for a ventilation shaft for a tunnel underneath?

It would not be the most difficult design project in the world to make provision for platforms on the Acton-Northolt Line, to future-proof the station for Crossrail or any Chiltern service to Old Oak Common.

This is the sort of development that I like!

Imagine the following.

  • A cluster of perhaps four very high residential and office towers, reaching above the pollution and noise of the traffic.
  • A ring of trees could also shield the development from the traffic.
  • The tracks of the Acton-Northolt Line could be slewed to take advantage of an island platform.
  • Trains running at least four tph to Old Oak Common.
  • Crossrail could continue across Central London.
  • Trains could run to West Ruislip or High Wycombe in the West.
  • London Underground running up to ten tph on the Central Line.
  • Developers will integrate the station, the development and the required local services.

The possibilities are dramatic.

In the next decade or so, as vehicles get less polluting, developments like this will become more common.

Perivale Station

Perivale station is Grade II Listed with some of the worst steps I’ve seen on the London Underground.

Extra platforms on the Acton-Northolt Line and a step-free station would be very difficult.

 

I doubt, there are many stations worse for step-free access in London!

Greenford Station

Greenford station is already step-free, but extra platforms on the Acton-Northolt Line, could be very difficult, due to the different track levels.

But Action-Northolt Line platforms with a step-free connection would give easy access to the Greenford Branch.

Northolt Station

Northolt station is being made step-free and could be extended with extra platforms on the Acton-Northolt Line.

The picture was taken from the Central Line platform and shows  the station building, which almost looks as if it was built to be extended to a platform on the Acton-Northolt Line, which is to the left of the electrified Central Line track.

South Ruislip Station

South Ruislip station already has platforms on both lines.

Ruislip Gardens Station

Ruislip Gardens station probably wouldn’t need a connection to the Chiltern Line.

West Ruislip Station

West Ruislip station already has platforms on both lines.

A Possible Heavy Rail Service Between Old Oak Common and West Ruislip

Consider.

  • Central Line trains take seventeen minutes between North Acton and West Ruislip with six intermediate stops.
  • So I think it likely that a modern train could travel from Old Oak Common to West Ruislip in about fifteen minutes, with perhaps stops at three or four stations like North Acton, Hanger Lane, Greenford, Northolt and South Ruislip.
  • The Acton-Northolt Line is a mixture of single and double track. with some space for a second track.
  • All stations except Old Oak Common could have step-free interchanges with the bCentral Line.

It could either be a service linked to Chiltern or Crossrail.

I can’t help feeling that eventually, this service will be part of Crossrail.

Conclusion

The railway changes that are happening will certainly allow a lot more development in West London.

 

 

 

 

January 31, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cockfosters Station To Be Made Step Free

These pictures show Cockfosters station.

As a child, I used to go to the barbers in Cockfosters station to get my hair cut. I suppose, I went by myself from the time I joined Minchenden Grammar School at eleven. But I could have gone earlier, as it wasn’t that far from where we lived.

The barbers is not there anymore!

The station hasn’t changed much underground, although there’s now a cafe and there are barriers to check the tickets.

As to step-free access, there will need to be a lift on both sides of Cockfosters Road, as stairs are impossible, exzcept for the fully able-bodied.

There will certainly be more difficult stations to make step-free.

Once passengers are down in the station, it is a completely level walk, push or drag to the trains.

What Are Transport for London’s Plans?

Transport for London have stated that their aim is to eventually have all Underground stations with full step-free access.

But Cockfosters station may attract a large number of visitors with bikes, buggies and wheelchairs.

  • The station is on the London Outer Orbital Path.
  • Trent Park is nearby.
  • Cockfosters is at the end of the Piccadilly Line. So is it a stations, where passengers are dropped for Central London, Kings Cross and Heathrow?

Christ Church, Cockfosters is nearby, where C and myself got married. Possibly more importantly,the UK Memorial Service for Elivis Presley was held in the church, as this page recalls.

One thing that appears to be better at Cockfosters station from my childhood are the buses.

  • There are more bus routes calling at the station.
  • All the buses now have wheelchair spaces and access ramps.
  • Bus information is better.

So will we see the bus routes from Cockfosters station further developed to serve new housing developments?

 

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 5 Comments

West London Stations To Be Made Step-Free

Twelve stations in West London are to be made step-free on the London Underground.

These Crossrail stations in West London, will also become step-free.

This gives a total of twenty stations, that will become fully step-free in West London.

These pictures show the various London Underground stations. at the end of January 2018.

Boston Manor

No work has started yet!

Harrow-on-the-Hill

The station is unusual in that there are steep steps up to a bridge over the tracks, at both entrances to the station. Then there would need to be further lifts to the platforms.

Work has started.

Ickenham

No work has started yet! Will the current bridge be replaced?

North Ealing

No work has started yet!

Osterley

No work has started yet!

Park Royal

No work has started yet!

Ruislip

No work has started yet! Will the current bridge be replaced?

Sudbury Hill

No work has started yet!

Platform Height Problems

Boston Manor, North Ealing, Osterley, Park Royal and Sudbury Hill stations were all District Line stations moved to the Piccadilly Line.

This picture was taken at Osterley station.

Could we see trains running on the Piccadilly Line, where the suspension jacks the train up as required?

This may seem rather fantastical, but most modern trains run on airbags to give a smooth ride.

This picture shows the bogie under a Class 378 train.

Note the air-bag! Pump it up and the train rides higher.

This technique could be used to solve the problem of Piccadilly Line trains calling at platforms shared with Metropolitan Line trains.

Summary

They are much more of a mixed bunch than those I wrote about in Eastern Central Line Stations To Be Made Step-Free.

This probably due to the fact, that the Eastern stations were all build by the Great Eastern Railway at around the same time.

These West London stations were built at various times, with some being built in the 1930s.

  • Boston Manor was rebuilt in 1934 and is Grade II Listed
  • Hanger Lane was built in 1947.
  • Osterley was built in 1934 and is Grade II Listed.
  • Park Royal was built in 1932 and is Grade II Listed
  • Sudbury Hill was built in 1931 to a design of Charles Holden and is Grade II Listed.

Didn’t they have disabled people and prams in those days, just a few years before I was born?

Some of the precipitous steps in this group of station are very dangerous.

At least some of the other stations of this era like Bounds Green, Southgate and Word Green have escalators.

What Are Transport for London’s Plans?

Transport for London have stated that their aim is to eventually have all Underground stations with full step-free access.

If you look at maps of West London, stations for Underground and National Rail are not that numerous and it is rare to find step-free access, unless a satation has been built in the last couple of decades.

So perhaps, TfL are improving the balance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 23, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments