The Anonymous Widower

Will Sadiq Khan Be A One-Term Mayor?

This article on the BBC is entitled Donald Trump Hits Out Again At Sadiq Khan Over London Violence.

I don’t like Trump or many of his policies one bit and if in the unlikely chance, I was invited to meet him, I would decline.

But I’ve met many people, who think we need someone like Trump to stand-up for the man on the Clapham Omnibus.

I have two personal criticisms of Sadiq.

The Unaffordable Fare Freeze

The fare freeze he proposed, that must have impressed a large number of voters, has not been something that London can afford.

Now important projects like the rebuilding of Camden Town and Holborn station have been delayed.

He’s A South London Mayor

To my mind, Sadiq seems to favour his home territory over the North.

  • In the North, we seem to have suffered more from cuts in bus frequencies.
  • He was very slow to act on the problems with the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.
  • Knife crime and violence seems to be worse in the North, so is it Mayoral neglect?

It is probably understandable, as his mates in the South have more chances to bend his ears and you don’t annoy your friends.

I wonder if Ken favoured the North!

I do think though that various effects are working against his reelection.

The ULEZ Effect

The London ULEZ currently only applies to the Congestion one, but from 2021, it will apply to all areas inside the North and South Circular Roads.

How many voters, who will be affected by the ULEZ extension, will vote for Sadiq?

The Brexit Effect

Sadiq has nailed his colours to Remain and is regularly interviewed about Brexit.

Most right-of-centre Brexiteers wouldn’t probably vote for him, but some traditional Labour boroughs voted to Leave, so could his support for Remain cost votes.

On the other hand, if Brexit has happened and going badly, will Sadiq gain votes?

The Next Prime Minister Effect

If Boris becomes Prime Minister, this would be an imponderable. It might help or hinder Sadiq’s reelection.

The Crossrail Effect

The late delivery of Crossrail, is not Sadiq’s fault, but it will have four effects.

  • The late delivery will ffect London’s transport budget and give the Mayor less money for projects.
  • Some people will view his oversight of the project as incompetent.
  • He won’t be able to bathe in the glow of a successful Crossrail.
  • It is a ready-made millstone to hang around his neck.

There will also be many Londoners, for whom, the late delivery of Crossrail caused a financial loss and they will vote accordingly.

The Trump Effect

I would expect, Trump to keep up his criticism of Sadiq.

Who’s to say, whether it will affect Sadiq’s vote, but there are quite a few people, who would support Trump.

Conclusion

There are a lot of questions to answer, but I feel given the state of British politics, that we could be in for a surprise.

Could we see a Brexit, Green or Lib Dem Mayor?

June 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

If This Is The End For The £1.3bn M4 Relief Road, Radical Thinking Is Needed

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Wales Online.

The article is a good analysis of one of South Wales’ major transport problems; How do you relieve capacity on the ageing M4 around Newport?

I haven’t been on that section of road for perhaps twenty years or even longer, but I can’t ever remember the road, not being full of traffic.

Abolition Of Tolls Not The Smartest Move

This is a subsection of the article about the abolition of tolls on the Severn Crossing, where this is one sentence.

The abolitions of tolls, as predicted, have already driven a 20% rise in traffic levels on the existing M4, which will only put more pressure on its resilience.

Any sensible person could have told you that.

Surely, the extra capacity should have at least been planned before the tolls were abolished.

But then politicians like buying votes with unsustainable decisions that benefit their electorate.

As another example, look at the problems, Sadiq Khan’s fare freeze has caused Transport for London. But then you can’t expect a lawyer and politician to get their sums right. My late wife was a lawyer and many of our friends in Suffolk were in the same profession. Few had any clue about handling numbers properly.

June 4, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

West Drayton Station – 3rd May 2019

I  took these pictures at West Drayton station.

Look at the bridge. It is very little different to this picture, which was taken in 2015.

Stairs have been added, but there is no sign of the lifts.

It is surely obvious to the around two million passengers who use the station every year, that little progress is being made at West Drayton station.

Obviously, it was not obvious to Sadiq Khan and his advisers sitting in their bunker South of the River!

He should remember, that he’s a Mayor for all Londoners and not those, who voted him in as an MP.

If there’s a North London candidate in the next Mayoral Election, they will get my vote, even if they’re from the Moster Raving Looney Party!

May 4, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Minicab Drivers Claim Discrimination Over New London Charge

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on The Guardian.

This is the first paragraph.

Minicab drivers are launching a legal action against the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, accusing him of discrimination against a largely ethnic minority workforce by making them pay the congestion charge while black cab drivers, who are overwhelmingly white, will be exempt.

Black cab drivers may or may not be overwhelmingly white, but I have certainly never seen a South Asian black cab driver.

But Central London is getting increasingly polluted and congested and this slows the buses, that I regularly use through the centre.

I am no legal expert, but I have a feeling, that the Ultra Low Emission Zone, which will extend to the North and South Circular Roads will be a very big factor in the next Mayoral Election.

The lawyers, who will be big winners in this debate, have surely been sharpening their pencils.

March 1, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 6 Comments

TfL Mulls DLR And Overground Extensions To Thamesmead

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on IanVisits.

Overground

TfL’s plan for the Overground would appear to be an extension under or over the River Thames to a single station at Thamesmead and a possible connection to the North Kent Line at Plumstead, Abbey Wood or Belvedere stations.

DLR

The plan for the DLR involves more stations, including a possible one on the North Bank of the Thames. It also serves a proposed massive Peabody housing development, which will provide up to 11,500 new homes.

What Goes East Must Go West

Nothing is said in Ian’s report about train services to Thamesmead.

Overground

On the Overground, there will be four trains per hour (tph) between Gospel Oak and Barking Riverside stations.

There are problems with increasing frequency and capacity, which could be necessary.

  • The terminus at Gospel Oak station is only a single platform.
  • The Gospel Oak to Barking Line is used by an increasing amount of electrically-haled freight trains.
  • There is little space on the line for an additional bay platform to turn trains.
  • Trains can’t continue along the North London Line at Gospel Oak, as that line is busy as well.

The only alternative Western terminals are.

  • Barking – A bay platform could possibly be squeezed in.
  • Enfield Town – Sounds crazy, but there is a chord between Seven Sisters and South Tottenham stations.
  • Fenchurch Street – Busy and possibly could be made larger with redevelopment.
  • Liverpool Street – Busy and only a slight possibility.

There would also need to be platform lengthening to incorporate trains that are longer than four cars.

Although, it might be possible to run five-car trains using selective door opening on the last car.

DLR

Currently, the DLR has a Peak service of 7.5 tph between Tower Gateway and Becton calling at Shadwell, Limehouse, Westferry, Poplar, Blackwall, East India, Canning Town, Royal Victoria, Custom House, Prince Regent, Royal Albert, Beckton Park, Cyprus, Gallions Reach.

The extension to Thamesmead would branch off around Gallions Reach and the current service has the following connections.

  • Shadwell – London Overground
  • Canning Town – Jubilee Line
  • Royal Victoria – Emirates Air-Line
  • Custom House – Crossrail

Will there be enough capacity on this section of the DLR?

  • Tower Gateway is a single-platform station and would need to be upgraded to handle more than 7.5 tph.
  • Thirty tph run through Shadwell, Limeshouse and Westferry station in the Peak.
  • Can stations be lengthened to use longer trains?

It does look to me that the only way to increase capacity would be to extend the DLR to the West, as I outlined in The Bank Station Upgrade And The Western Extension Of The DLR.

This map from TfL shows the possible extension.

What would be the cost of this extension?

Conclusion

The logic and economics of extending either the Overground or the DLR to Thamesmead are sound for that area of South-East London, but does The Mayor have the budget to complete the other end of the transport links?

February 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 1 Comment

London’s Northern Line Extension To Battersea Delayed By A Year

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

This is a paragraph.

People close to the project believe that TfL will announce in the new year that the completion date is being pushed back until September 2021.

This delay will heap more financial woes on Transport for London.

Transport for London have already postponed these important upgrades.

  • The resignalling of the Piccadilly Line.
  • The rebuilding of Camden Town station.
  • The rebuilding of Holborn station.

I believe that on financial grounds, the Mayor must reverse his fare-freeze as soon as possible.

December 21, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Aberdeen Standard Backs Controversial £1bn Bid For Crossrail Fleet

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

This has been mooted for some time and I believe that Transport for London are taking a sensible action to help get round their funding crisis, caused by three factors.

  • The loss of Government subsidy.
  • The lateness of Crossrail.
  • Sadiq Khan’s bribe to the electorate of a fare freeze.

I also think, that this will be advantageous to London in the long term.

This is a paragraph in the article.

TfL would be able to terminate the 35-year lease in 2020, 2025 and 2030, through a break clause, with an ability to acquire the fleet for just £1 in 2044. TfL will announce the winner at the beginning of next year.

Depending on how TfL’s finance progress in the next few years, the break clause may allow them to cancel and acquire new trains, if they felt it best.

But all these trains need a rebuilding at someyime around twenty years old and this will surely be the responsibility of the leasing company.

December 17, 2018 Posted by | Finance, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Could London Overground Extend To Hertford East Station?

London Overground’s Future Plans

This table summarises London Overground’s improvements and future plans

Note that in 2019, it is proposed that two extra trains per hour (tph) are added to services between Liverpool Street and Enfield Town stations.

I was also told at the weekend, a strong rumour, that in 2020, London Overground will be taking over the following services.

The first has been mooted for some time, but is supposedly stalled because of differences between Chris Grayling and Sadiq Khan. The second was rather a surprise.

So what will be the result of the Hertford East services being the responsibility of the London Overground?

Greater Anglia’s Services

Greater Anglia‘s current services along the West Anglia Main Line (WAML) are as follows.

  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Hertford East stations.
  • Two tph between Stratford and Bishops Stortford stations.
  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge/ambridge North stations.
  • Four tph between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.

In the past Greater Anglia have run Stansted services to and from Stratford and have said they may do so again.

This means that Greater Anglia run ten tph along the WAML between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.

Compare this with the measly two tph, that run between Edmonton Green and Cheshunt stations using the alternative Southbury Loop. The only other movements on this line appear to be a few empty stock movements and freight trains. But not many!

Judging by some of the empty stock movements, I suspect that Greater Anglia have problems positioning their extra trains before and after the Peak.

Rolling Stock To Hertford East

Currently, Greater Anglia run eight-car Class 317 trains to Hertford East station. These are 160 metres long and seat nearly 600 passengers in two classes.

Their new Class 720 trains come in two sizes.

  • Five cars – 122 metres long, seating 540
  • Ten cars – 243 metres long, seating 1100

Could it be that the five-car trains are too small and the ten-car trains are too long for the platforms on the Hertford East Branch?

These pictures show that the platforms at Hertford East station are just long enough for two four-car Class 317 trains working as an eight-car formation. I doubt that a ten-car Class 720 train will fit these platforms and it appears that lengthening the platforms could be difficult.

On the other hand, London Overground’s four-car Class 710 trains are the same length as Class 317 trains.

So could it be that Greater Anglia would prefer that they didn’t have a service to Hertford East station?

Liverpool Street Or Stratford?

Crossrail will have one big effect on the planning of services on the WAML and the Lea Valley Lines, in that the new line will call at both Liverpool Street and Stratford stations, when it eventually opens.

Connectivity

It will be a two-stop journey between the two stations, which in addition are both well-connected to the Underground.

There is very little difference in connectivity between the two stations.

Capacity

Liverpool Street is getting to be full and given more services will be run along the Great Eastern Main Line, it could do with some capacity enhancement.

Stratford though has only two platforms connected to the WAML.

But there is the little-used High Meads Loop under the Eastfield Shopping Centre, which has been used in the past to turn Stansted Express trains, when they served Stratford.

Loops like this can easily handle at least 12 tph, as they do in Liverpool with the Wirral Line.

The High Meads Loop was well-designed to accept a lot of trains.

  • It is double-track.
  • Both tracks have a platform at Stratford capable of accepting a twelve-car Class 745 or Class 720 train.
  • Both platforms are wide and step-free with lifts.
  • The driver doesn’t have to change ends, when using the loop, so the loop will be efficient.
  • An extra stop could be added at Stratford International station.

It is London’s forgotten terminal station.

Operators Would Get Extra Capacity

The two train operators; London Overground and Greater Anglia would gain extra capacity in London.

Travellers Would Choose

If travellers were able to have a choice of London terminals, I suspect that most would choose the one they liked best, but because of Crossrail, it wouldn’t matter if they ended up at the wrong terminal.

Sorting Out West Anglia Main Line And Lea Valley Lines Local Services

I know there needs to be a bit of a sort-out on the WAML to run four tph between Stratford and Meridian Water stations, but could something more radical be on the cards.

Reasonable objectives based on London Overground’s principles would see the following stopping services.

  • Four tph between Seven Sisters and Cheshunt stations via Edmonton Green station.
  • Four tph between Seven Sisters and Enfield Town stations
  • Four tph between Tottenham Hale and Cheshunt stations via Waltham Cross station
  • Four tph between Cheshunt and Hertford East stations.

At the Northern end of the route, there would be three terminal platforms controlled by London Overground, one at Cheshunt and two at Hertford East.

The Aventra Effect

The high-performance Aventras, used by London Overground and Greater Anglia, are ready for digital signalling and designed around fast station stops.

The trains should be able to stop at all stations and maintain the current timetable on the route.

So the timetable could become more passenger friendly, with everything station getting four tph in both directions!

Broxbourne Station Could Be Key

The key at the Northern end could be Greater Anglia’s Broxburne station.

  • It has four platforms.
  • There would be space for an extra platform and/or a turnback for trains from the South.
  • Overground services to and from Hertford East station will call.
  • It is planned to be the terminal of Crossrail 2.

Services between Liverpool Street and Stratford stations and Bishops Stortford, Cambridge and Stansted Airport generally stop at Broxbourne.

So could we see cross-platform interchanges between London Overground’s local services calling at all stations to London and Greater Anglia’s fast services?

The Hertford East Difficulty!

At present one difficulty, is that the Hertford East Branch can only handle three tph, which it does in the Peak, so running the required four tph might need dualling the single-track section through Ware station.

These pictures show Ware station and the level crossing.

Note.

  1. The platform can accept a twelve-car train.
  2. There would be space to install a second platform.
  3. To the East the single track becomes double after the bridge at the end of the platform and is double all the way to the WAML.
  4. To the West the single track becomes double after the level crossing at the end of the platform and is double all of the way to Hertford East station.

Laying a second track and adding a second platform at Ware station, is probably the ultimate solution, to provide four tph all day between London and Hertford East.

But I also feel that with precision driving, the nimble Aventras will be able to do four tph, with a procedure something like this.

  • The level crossing closes to road traffic.
  • A Westbound train arrives in the station and an Eastbound train stops at a signal at the end of the Eastbound track from Hertford East station.
  • When the Westbound train has unloaded and loaded the passengers, it leaves the station and takes the Westbound track to Hertford East station.
  • When the Westbound train has safely passed the stationary Eastbound train, the points are changed and the Eastbound train moves into the station.
  • The level crossing opens to road traffic.

There would be four level crossing closures per hour, which is the same as now, but they could be slightly longer.

I suspect there is a better absolutely safe operating procedure than my naive example.

Eight Tph At Cheshunt Station

As eight tph will be going South from Cheshunt station; four each via Edmonton Green and Waltham Cross, Broxbourne station could turn any that couldn’t be handled at Cheshunt and Hertford East stations.

So we might see the following Northern terminals, if the four tph can run to Hertford East station.

  • Four tph at Hertford East; two via Edmonton Green and two via Waltham Cross.
  • Two tph at Cheshunt via Edmonton Green
  • Two tph at Broxbourne; via Waltham Cross.

All stations between London and Hertford East will get four tph.

Cheshunt station needs a certain amount of rebuilding to make it step-free and possibly remove the level crossing.

A step-free station is essential.

  • The station is not a sleepy rural halt.
  • Changes between trains from the North to London Overground services mean crossing the footbridge.
  • It would give pedestrians, wheelchair users, buggy pushes and others an easy way across the railway, when the level crossing in closed.

Southbound trains from Cheshunt could be.

  • Two tph from Cheshunt via Edmonton Green
  • Two tph from Hertford East via Edmonton Green
  • Two tph from Broxbourne via Waltham Cross
  • Two tph from Hertford East via Waltham Cross

Northbound trains from Cheshunt could be.

  • Four tph to Hertford East.
  • Two tph to Broxbourne.

Judicious timing of Northbound trains could mean that passengers arriving via Edmonton Green at Cheshunt could change to a Hertford East train by walking across the platform.

There are a lot of possibilities to get the best connectivity at the Northern end.

The Southern End

At the Southern End, there will be the following services.

  • , Tottenham Hale station will receive four tph from Cheshunt.
  • Seven Sisters station will receive four tph from Cheshunt and four tph from Enfield Town.

Both stations will be able to send trains to either Stratford or Liverpool Street.

Seven Sisters Services

Seven Sisters station is easier to sort.

  • Half of each group of trains go in each direction.
  • Four tph go direct to Liverpool Street stopping at all stations en route.
  • Four tph go to Stratford via South Tottenham and Lea Bridge stations.

,Trains to Stratford should turn in the  High Meads Loop under Eastfield.

South Tottenham Interchange

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

Note.

  1. The orange line going across the from left to right is the Gospel Oak to Barking Line
  2. The blue line is the Victoria Line.
  3. The orange line going down the map is the Lea Valley Line, between Liverpool Street in the South and Cheshunt and Enfield Town stations in the North.
  4. The single-track; Seven Sisters Chord, which connects the two Overground lines.
  5. The black line going down the map on the right is the WAML, between Stratford and Lea Bridge stations in the South and Tottenham Hal station in the North.

What is not shown on the map is the massive double-ended Crossrail 2 station, that will link South Tottenham and Seven Sisters stations, which are about five hundred metres apart.

This Google Map shows the area of the two stations.

Note how much green space there is alongside the tracks.

If four tph went via South Tottenham and Lea Bridge stations, this would mean that South Tottenham station has the following services.

  • Four tph to Barking
  • Four tph to Gospel Oak
  • Four tph to Stratford
  • Two tph to Enfield Town
  • Two tph to Broxbourne, Cheshunt or Hertford East.

Timings could be arranged to give a user-friendly interchange at South Tottenham station, which is a step-free station.

Note that it is probably likely, that the Seven Sisters Chord shown in the first map, would need to be improved.

But there is certainly enough space to do it properly!

Tottenham Hale Services

These are trickier, but I believe they could be sorted if the new third track from Meridian Water station was used exclusively for Southbound services going to Stratford.

This would mean that platform usage at Tottenham Hale station would be as follows.

  • Existing Platform 1 – Services to Liverpool Street station.
  • Existing Platform 2 – Services to Cheshunt, Broxbourne, Stansted Airport and Cambridge.
  • New Platform 3 – Services to Stratford station.

Platforms 1 and 3 would be a cross-platform interchange to allow passengers to change terminal.

Splitting Of Stratford And Liverpool Street Services

Stratford and Liverpool Street services would split somewhere North of the new Meridian Water station.

Services to Liverpool Street would include.

  • London Overground – Two tph from Cheshunt, Broxbourne or Hertford East.
  • Greater Anglia – Two tph from Cambridge/Cambridge North
  • Greater Anglia – Four tph from Stansted Airport.

This is much the same as the current timetable, with a change of operator on the Hertford East service.

Services to Stratford would include.

  • London Overground – Two tph from Cheshunt, Broxbourne or Hertford East.
  • Greater Anglia – Two tph from Bishops Stortford.

If all these services stopped at Meridian Water, Northumberland Park, Tottenham Hale and Lea Bridge stations, the STAR service has been implemented.

These Stratford services would be turned in the High Meads Loop.

As there would be four tph coming to Stratford from Seven Sisters station, this would mean that eight tph were being turned in the loop.

I can see two problems with this arrangement.

  • The merging of Northbound trains South of Tottenham Hale station could be tricky.
  • The Cambridge and Stansted expresses use the same route to Liverpool Street as London Overground’s Chingford services, as they do now!

Both problems could be lessened by perhaps running half of the Cambridge and Stansted services to Stratford.

This would mean the following.

  • Five tph that served the WAML would use Liverpool Street station.
  • Seven tph that served the WAML would use Stratford station.
  • Eleven tph would need to be turned in the High Meads Loop.

Trains on the High Mead Loop would be as follows.

  • London Overground – Two tph to Enfield Town
  • London Overground – Two tph to Broxbourne, Cheshunt or Hertford East via Edmonton Green
  • London Overground – Two tph to Broxbourne, Cheshunt or Hertford East via Waltham Cross
  • Greater Anglia – Two tph to Bishops Stortford
  • Greater Anglia – One tph to Cambridge/Cambridge North
  • Greater Anglia – Two tph to Stansted Airport

It could be that the expresses could use one track of the High Meads Loop, with the local services using the other.

I also think, that there is sufficient capacity in the High Meads Loop to terminate all services on the WAML at Stratford.

But would that be a step too far?

Possibly for some passengers, but I suspect it would be liked by train operators.

Services Between Tottenham Hale And Broxbourne

Currently, the following services run between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations on the WAML.

  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Hertford East stations.
  • Two tph between Stratford and Bishops Stortford stations.
  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge/Cambridge North stations.
  • Four tph between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.

This gives a total of ten tph in both directions.

If you go to my first scenario of providing four tph to Cheshunt/Broxbourne/Hertford East, this gives the following services between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.

  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Hertford East stations.
  • Two tph between Stratford and Bishops Stortford stations.
  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge/Cambridge North stations.
  • Four tph between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.
  • Two tph between Stratford and Broxbourne stations.

The extra service between Stratford and Broxbourne is to ensure that all stations on the route get four stopping services, of which two tph go to either Liverpool Street or Stratford at the Southern end.

This gives a total of twelve tph in both directions.

By adding just two tph, there is a vastly improved stopping service along the WAML, with all stations getting at least a four tph service.

Could The West Anglia Main Line Handle Twelve Tph?

In 2020, Greater Anglia will be running Class 745 and Class 720 trains on this route.

  • They will both be 100 mph trains.
  • They will have fast station dwell times.
  • They may even have level access between platform and train, which will help speed boarding.
  • They will have a quality Driver Assist System.
  • Electronic in-cab digital signalling is a possibility.
  • The WAML may allow some 100 mph running.
  • Removing the remaining level crossings would surely speed up services.

The Greater Anglia trains will be limited stop and most will only stop at Tottenham Hale, Cheshunt and Broxborne.

London Overground will also be running Class 710 trains, which will be faster than current trains, with very good dwell times.

So I expect that with new trains, some improvement to the infrastructure, the following will be possible.

  • Four tph, which stop at all stations between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.
  • Six tph, which are limited stop expresses, only stopping at Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne and a couple of other occasional stations.
  • Time saving for all services.
  • I suspect that the current Stratford to Bishops Stortford service will become limited stop North of Meridian Water station.

It would hopefully be a timetable, that appealed to both passengers and train companies.

Services At Meridian Water

Meridian Water station has been promised four tph to Stratford, that call at Northumberland Park, Tottenham Hale and Lea Bridge stations.

So what services will call at Meridian Water station, in the scenario I have outlined, that follows from four tph between London and Hertford East being transferred from Greater Anglia to London Overground.

It could be something like this.

  • Two tph to Hertford East, calling at all stations.
  • Two tph to Bishops Stortford, calling at selected stations.
  • Two tph to Cheshunt or Broxbourne, calling at all stations.
  • Four tph to Stratford, calling at all stations.
  • Two tph to Liverpool Street, calling at all stations.

It’s certainly better and more comprehensive than promised.

As Meridian Water will be such an important station, could some of the Cambridge and Stansted services call?

Four-Tracking Of The West Anglia Main Line

This project is needed to both increase capacity to Cambridge and Stansted Airport and in the future for Crossrail 2, which will reach as far as Broxbourne station.

But it will be a very disruptive project, not just for rail users, but for road users, when they close several level crossings.

The Underused Southbury Loop

The limited triple-tracking around Tottenham Hale station has been moderately disruptive at weekends and services have run using the Southbury Loop.

The Southbury Loop is underused and I believe that if services were increased permanently on the diversion route, that it would have the beneficial effects on the WAML.

Extra services could be added to the existing double-track route.

Between Cheshunt and Broxbourne

There is one section that could be easier than most to four-track and that is the section between Cheshunt and Broxbourne stations.

This Google Map shows the line North of Cheshunt station.

I have flown my helicopter along this route and just as in the map, the two-tracks sit on a wide site, with space for extra tracks.

I am fairly certain,that four-tracking this section would not be difficult.

South Of Cheshunt 

If the Southbury Loop were to be used to handle some trains, I think the four-tracking could be done in a more relaxed series of small projects over a longer period of time.

There are various problems.

  • Waltham Cross station
  • Enfield Lock station and level crossing.
  • Brimsdown station and level crossing.

But South from Ponders End station should be a lot easier,

  • There are no buildings in the way.
  • There will already be a third-track between Tottenham Hale and Meridian Water stations.
  • Northumberland Park and Meridian Water stations will be fourth-track ready.

I very much feel, that the four-tracking can be done piecemeal without too much disruption to rail pr road traffic.

Other Issues

Over the years, other issues have been raised with the WAML and Crossrail 2.

A Turnback At Enfield Lock Station

I’ve read in a couple of places, that there could be a bay platform at Enfield Lock station, which could turnback trains to the South..

Under the current plans for the STAR service, this will terminate at Meridian Water station and I’ve heard station staff, say it will be a bi-directional shuttle between Tottenham Hale and Meridian Water stations.

The bi-directional shuttle would.

  • Not be using the new infrastructure in a worthwhile manner.
  • Bring more passengers to the overloaded Victoria Line.
  • Not take passengers to the transport hub at Stratford with Crossrail.
  • Not be an efficient use of a train and crew.

I also think, it would struggle for passengers until the building of housing at Meidian Water gets under way.

But supposing, two tracks were built North from Meridian Water to Enfield Lock station, where there would be a bay platform.

  • A fourth track would need to be added alongside the third-track between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water stations.
  • Another platform would be needed at Tottenham Hale station.
  • There is a lot of space on the Eastern side of the WAML, between Meridian Water and Ponders End station.
  • Two extra tracks through Brimsdown station, should be possible with the purhase of some low-grade commercial property.

Note that currently a train from Enfield Lock to Stratford takes twenty-four minutes, if it stops at the little-used Angel Road station.

If a train turned in the High Meads Loop at Stratford, it could be back at Enfield Lock within the hour.

  • Four tph would be possible.
  • This would provide a much needed service for all those who do and will live, work and enjoy themselves allow the Lea Valley.
  • Four trains would be needed for a four tph service.

I can understand, why Enfield Lock station has been talked about as a place for a possible bay platform.

There would also be the possibility of extending to Enfield Lock, without closing the level crossing at the station, if a step-free bridge were to be provided.

The station could become a valuable interchange between Greater Anglia’s Bishop’s Stortford services  and the four tph to Stratford, stopping at all stations.

Eventually, though, the level crossing will be removed and four tracks will be extended Northwards.

Hackney Downs Issues

If as I proposed the following trains run through Seven Sisters station.

  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Cheshunt/Broxbourne or Hertford East.
  • Two tph between Stratford and Cheshunt/Broxbourne or Hertford East.
  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Enfield Town.
  • Two tph between Stratford and Enfield Town.

This means that Hackney Downs would have the following services.

  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Cheshunt/Broxbourne or Hertford East.
  • Two tph between Liverpool Street and Enfield Town.
  • Four tph between Liverpool Street and Chingford.

Would it not be more efficient, if all of these services used the slow tracks into Liverpool Street?

This would give the expresses exclusive use of the fast lines into Liverpool Street.

An Alternative Strategy

Suppose Greater Anglia were to acquire some eight-car trains, then they could carry on as normal.

They wouldn’t actually change the order, but shuffle some of the stock to create eight-car trains.

As the Class 720 trains are cut-and-paste, they can put any number of trailer and motor cars between the two driver cars, a motor car and a pantograph car.

As Greater Anglia could need perhaps ten eight-car trains, this would be

  • Driver cars – 20
  • Pantograph cars – 10
  • Motor cars – 10
  • Intermediate cars – 40

The right number of cars can be found in six ten-car trains and four five-car trains..

Have Greater Anglia purchased a set of ten- and five-car trains, that can also be run as a sub-fleet of eight-car trains?

Conclusion

This post has been speculation on a rumour.

But I now believe that Hertford East services can be run under two different methods.

Transfer To The London Overground

The service could transfer to the London Overground.

  • London Overground have trains suitable for the service and Greater Anglia doen’t!
  • Greater Anglia services may be simpler to operate.
  • Ware station needs to be rebuilt to enable a decent service and Funding the work might be easier for London Overground in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council, than for Greater Anglia.
  • Large numbers of stations in the London Borough of Enfield get a four tph service.
  • By using the Southbury Loop, extra services can be run, without adding to traffic on the West Anglia Main Line.

In a few years time operation of the West Anglia Main Line would be very different.

The Class 710 Trains Can Be Shuffled Into An Eight-Car Sub-Fleet

This is the carry-on as before solution and is possible by just shuffling the required number of trains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 14, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The New London Pollution Charge — May Be Mayor Sadiq Khan’s ‘Poll Tax Moment’

The title of this post is the same as that of a news story in today’s Sunday Times.

This is the first paragraph.

The ‘ultra-low emission zone’ will force 1m motorists to pay the £12.50 daily charge — or get off the road,

The Sunday Times has done a detailed analysis and makes the following points about the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

  • About a million vehicles will be liable to the new levy.
  • The ULEZ charge of £12.50 will be a nice little earner for Transport for London (TfL).
  • The ULEZ charge will raise three times as much as the Congestion Charge.
  • It could collect up to £1.5billion per year.
  • Some people will be paying £4,000 a year to drive their own car.
  • Initially, the charge will only be levied in Central London, but after 2021, it will apply inside the North and South Circular Roads.
  • The Sunday Times has read some TfL impact assessments.

Reading the full article convinces me, that I made the right decision to give up driving.

I am in favour of the ULEZ, as I suffer from pollution and I don’t have a driving licence because my eyesight was damaged by a stroke.

But Sadiq Khan seems to have forgotten a lesson of recent history, where the City of Westminster voted down his laudable aim of pedestrianising part of Oxford Street.

On that issue, he should have pedestrianised all of it. Just as the City of London seems to be doing!

But the motoring lobby gave Westminster a good kicking and do you think, they will be less active at the ballot box in the next Mayoral Election?

Few would vote for someone, who would tax them an extra £4,000 a year.

Sadiq Khan is a well-meaning politically-correct lightweight, who doesn’t think through the effects of his promises.

 

 

December 9, 2018 Posted by | Transport, Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

London Taxi Protest Against Safety Rules Brings Gridlock to City

The title of this post is the same as this article on Bloomberg.

I had heard there was a protest about something last night and this explains what it was.

I should declare an interest, in that I use black cabs about five or six times a month, when I am in a hurry or am coming home late at night from say a station.

I have used Uber once, when my son paid for a cab from Walthamstow. The driver had come all the way from Ealing and got lost twice getting to my house.

Never again!

London Needs Clean Air

I am affected by London’s dirty air and feel strongly that as many vehicles in Central London should be zero emission.

So I very much agree with the Mayor’s strategy of making all London’s new black cabs electric.

But surely, this policy should also apply to Uber, mini-cabs and local delivery vehicles inside the Central area.

It will in the future and it can’t happen soon enough.

Black Cab Drivers Think Sadiq Khan Doesn’t Like Them!

Black cab drivers never have a good word for Sadiq Khan, but then they didn’t Boris either. I didn’t live in London, when Ken was Mayor, so I can’t comment on that!

But then I always say, that because we have a South London Mayor, we are getting a higher proportion of bus cuts.

I don’t think, I’ve ever been driven by a South Asian black can driver, although, I’ve been driven by many Africans and Caribbeans. Go to Birmingham, and you’ll find lots of South Asian black cab drivers.

On the other hand, I’ve been driven by several South Asian mini-cab drivers, from the firm round the corner.

So is the Mayor playing to his constituency and ignoring the views of black cab drivers?

Hence the protests!

 

December 5, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment