The Anonymous Widower

Crossrail Tests Its Trains In Southend

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in the Southend Echo.

This is the first paragraph.

Crossrail trains are being tested from Southend to London – raising hopes that in future they could run to and from the town on a regular basis.

As the title of the article indicates, it could be that Bombardier and Crossrail are seeing how a Class 345 train performs on the route, prior to the delivery of Greater Anglia’s similar Class 720 trains, which are another train in Bombardier’s Aventra family.

Southend Victoria Station

Southend Victoria station could be a destination for Crossrail in the future, but consider these facts.

  • Southend Victoria station is 41.5 miles from London Liverpool Street station and the fastest services take about an hour.
  • Southend Victoria has a frequency of three trains per hour (tph) to London Liverpool Street.
  • Southend Victoria station has four terminal platforms and is a short walk to the Town Centre.
  • Reading station is 36 miles from London Paddington station and the fastest services take just over half-an-hour.
  • Fast-growing Southend Airport with its station is on the Shenfield to Southend Line and the Airport would surely welcome a direct link to Central London and Heathrow.
  • The three tph on the Shenfield to Southend Line doesn’t have a good interchange with the one train every forty minute service on the Crouch Valley Line.

If there is a major problem, it is that Greater Anglia is losing passengers to c2c with its station at Southend Central.

Between 2013/14 and 2015/16 Southend Victoria has lost 2.79 million passengers, whereas in the same period Southend Central has gained  1.14 million.

From what I have seen Greater Anglia intend to speed up the Liverpool Street to Norwich services to ninety minutes and run at a frequency of 3 tph. They are also going to add a fourth train that goes to Ipswich. So again, the three tph service to Southend, isn’t the best fit to services on the Great Eastern Main Line for passengers travelling between say Southend and the County Town of Chelmsford.

There are probably not too many reasons for Crossrail to be extended to Southend for its own sake, but if Greater Anglia and Crossrail decide that an integrated service is to be provided between Shenfield and Southend, then everything is up for discussion.

Fast Trains Between London And Southend Victoria

The current Southend to London trains stop seven times to the East of Shenfield.

They would probably need to stop at Southend Airport and perhaps two of the busiest stations, but cutting out five stations would probably bring the journey time down to fifty minutes, which would attract passengers and make it easier for Greater Anglia to run the service, as trains could do the round trip in comfortably under two hours.

Running three tph, as now, would need just six trains and running a desirable four tph would need eight trains.

I’d be very interested to see what time a one of the new Stadler Class  745 trains, could achieve on the route, with just four stops at Stratford, Shenfield, Billericay and Southend Airport.

Slow Crossrail Trains Between Shenfield And Southend Victoria

Paired with the fast trains could be a number of extended Crossrail services.

Based on Crossrail’s projected timings between Liverpool Street and Shenfield of 41 minutes and the current 35 minutes between Shenfield and Southend, a timing of 76 minutes is estimated.

  • Crossrail’s trains could save as much as two minutes at each of the seven stops, East of Shenfield.
  • The Shenfield to Southend Line has an 80 mph speed limit, which I suspect could be improved.

So could we see Slow Crossrail trains achieving the times that Fast Greater Anglia trains do now?

I think the answer is yes and it shows how trains have improved in the last few decades.

How Many Trains Could Use The Shenfield To Southend Line?

The capacity must be quite high, as the only complication is the totally independent Crouch Valley Line.

Southend Victoria station has four platforms, so the station could probably handle sixteen tph, which is more than enough.

I feel that it would be possible to run four Fast expresses and four Slow Crossrail trains in an hour.

Whether that would be an acceptable timetable is another matter.

Interchange With The Crouch Valley Line

The Crouch Valley Line’s one train every forty minutes must be a nightmare for Greater Anglia and passengers alike, and I suspect that Greater Anglia have a cunning plan to run a two tph service on the line.

It appears that the track layout can achieve this, with the two trains passing at North Fambridge station. But as they don’t run two tph on this branch there must be other limitations.

Foremost of these could be the three tph service on the Shenfield to Southend Line.

So sorting out the Shenfield to Southend Line might improve the service on the Crouch Valley Line.

Conclusion

I have come to these conclusions about services between Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria stations..

  • A Fast Greater Anglia express service could probably achieve a sub-fifty minute time.
  • A Slow Crossrail service, could probably do the trip in an hour.
  • Better interchange with Crouch Valley Line and Great Easstern Main Line services would be achieved.
  • Four Fast and four Slow services in each hour is possible.

My choice for the Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria service would be as follows.

  • Four tph – Crossrail Class 345 trains – Stopping at all stations.
  • Four tph – Greater Anglia Class 745 trains – Stopping at Southend Airport, Billericay, Shenfield and Stratford.

Or the simple option of just running the four Crossrail trains.

Crossrail to Southend, isn’t a ridiculous aspiration.

August 11, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Service Will Eleven Class 345 Trains Provide On The Shenfield Metro?

This article in the International Railway Journal is entitled Crossrail Trains Enter Passenger Service.

This is the third paragraph.

In the initial phase of operation from Liverpool Street TfL Rail will operate 11 trains, which have been formed as 160m-long seven-car sets to cope with shorter platforms. All 11 of these trains will be in service by September, replacing pairs of class 315 EMUs, which date from the early 1980s. Some of these trains will be retained until the full Elizabeth Line service begins in 2019.

So it would appear that when these eleven trains are all in service, the Shenfield Metro service will be run by new Class 345 trains.

July 25, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail Expands Before It Opens

This is certainly something you don’t hear often about a new rail line.

This article in Global Rail News is entitled TfL To Order More Elizabeth Line Trains.

Four new Class 345 trains are being ordered, which will mean that in the Off Peak the following will happen.

  • Trains between Whitechapel and Paddington will increase from 16 trains per hour (tph) to 20.
  • Trains between Paddington and Shenfield will increase by two tph
  • Trains between Paddington and Abbey Wood will increase by two tph
  • Trains between Paddington and Reading will double from two tph to four.
  • Trains between Paddington and Maidenhead will increase from four tph to six
  • From December 2019, six tph will call at Heathrow Terminal 5.

So have Transport for London miscalculated the capacity of the line?

I suspect not!

It’s just that they wanted to be sure that the trains and the signalling can handle the frequency of twenty tph, before ordering the trains.

That has probably been ascertained by now thorough thorough testing.

This article on the BBC, is entitled Crossrail Stations In West London Delayed Until 2019.

I wonder, if this is within the float of these station builds, so that the whole project is not delayed.

Have Crossrail only announced the actual completion date, when it is certain it can be met?

If it is, these two apparently disconnected stories show Project Management at its best, where a project is delivered on the date agreed before as much as a humble spade had entered the ground.

  • If it is late the client and the general public complain.
  • It it is early, the construction team have probably spent too much money.

So hopefully, everybody’s happy!

I would love to see Crossrail’s schedule of announcements until December 2019.

Like the ordering of more trains mentioned in the first article, I suspect some will be pleasant surprises.

The first article also has this paragraph.

The increased service frequency will be achieved, in part, by replacing five Great Western Railway services with Elizabeth line trains.

So could we see Greater Anglia and Southeastern losing paths and becoming better integrated with Crossrail?

In Abbey Wood Station in my series of Kent On The Cusp Of Change posts, I said that it looks like the track layout allows trains to run on to Dartford, Gravesend or even Rochester, as other trains on a modern signalled North Kent Line.

At Shenfield station, provision has been made in the track layout for trains to continue from Platform 4 to Southend Victoria station and Greater Anglia trains already do it.at a frequency of three tph.

I don’t think it will happen, as the journey is too long for a train without toilets.

But if Platforms 4 and 5 at Shenfield were bi-directional, this would allow Crossrail trains to venture down the Southend Branch.

July 13, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

The 10:35 From Liverpool Street To Shenfield

I took these pictures on the untimetabled 10:35 TfL Rail service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield stations and on the return to Liverpool Street.

As you can see it is a new Class 345 train.

There were a lot of Crossrail and Transport for London staff about, talking to passengers.

These are my thoughts on various issues.

Ride Quality

This is up with the best or the legendary British Rail Mark 3 coach, which was designed in the 1960s.

One of the Crossrail staff was wearing stiletto heels close to four inches and she was walking up-and-down with no difficulty.

For someone who suffered a bad stroke, my balance is good and I had no difficulty walking along the seven-car train.

Cabin Height And Width

I don’t know how Bombardier have done it, but the cabin seems higher and wider than any other train I’ve ridden in the UK.

Next time, I ride one, I’ll take a couple of tall guys and a tape measure.

Information

The current on-train information is simple, but then as I suspect the screens are software driven, any degree of required complication can be added.

I don’t know whether it is deliberate but everything is large and easy to read. There is also no maps or exhortations about security.

Long may it stay that way!

Simple is efficient!

Seats

Not everybody was completely satisfied with the seats, but I found them much more comfortable than those in the Class 700 trains on Thameslink.

There were some good points.

  • The sets of four seats were arranged as they were in the original InterCity 125 around a large window.
  • The metro-style seating had a wide aisle in the middle, that would satisfy a basketball team.
  • An amply-proportioned  man, thought the seats comfortable.
  • Most seats had well-designed armrests.
  • There was plenty of space under the seats for airline-size carry-on baggage or a labrador.

On the other hand, there were no cupholders, tables or litter bins. But there aren’t any on the Class 378 trains or London Underground‘s S Stock.

Entry And Exit

I feel that trains should be a level step across from the platform.

This train wasn’t as good as a Class 378 train on many Overground stations, but it was better than some.

As many Crossrail stations will be one train type only there is probably scope to get this better.

I regularly see a lady in a simple wheel-chair on the Overground and I feel she would probably be able to wheel herself in and out, which she does at Dalston Junction station with ease.

It should be noted that each coach has three sets of wide double doors and a large lobby, so perhaps a mother with triplets and a baby in a buggy would find entry easier than any train on the Underground.

Walking Up And Down The Train

I found this very easy on a train that was no more than a third full, as it was an extra service to introduce the train to passengers.

There were numerous hand-holds and vertical rails in the centre of the lobbies. Unlike on some trains in France, Italy or Germany, the rails were very simple. They also borrowed heavily from the Overground’s Class 378 trains.

Wi-Fi And 4G

I didn’t try the wi-fi, as it is not something I use very often.

But I was getting a strong 4G signal all the way to and from Shenfield. Was this direct or was I picking up a booster in the train? I  suspect it was the latter at some points close to Liverpool Street.

Windows

The windows on the train are large and well-positioned.

The simple seat and window layout, seems to appeal to all classes of rail user.

A Train For Families

When Celia and I had three children under three, with two able to toddle-along (they had too!) and the youngest in his McClaren, I could imagine us taking a train from Barbican station to perhaps go shopping on Oxford Street, sitting in one of those set of four seats by that large window.

A Train For Commuters

The Class 378 trains of the Overground cram them in and the metro layout of much of the Class 345 train will accommodate large numbers of commuters.

I would question, if there are enough seats, but the proof should be apparent by the end of the year, as eleven of the current seven-car trains will be in service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.

For the full Crossrail service, they will be lengthened to nine cars and there is a possibility of adding a tenth.

A Train For Shoppers

If say, I’d been to Eastfield at Stratford and was coming back to Moorgate heavily loaded with shopping to get a bus home, I could probably put some bags under the seat. Try that on the Underground!

A Train For The Not-So-Young

From what I saw today, I couldn’t make too many observations, as the train wasn’t crowded, but the few older travellers that I did see were smiling at the experience.

A Train For The Disabled

As I’m not disabled, I can’t comment and would love to hear from those who are.

A Train For The Tall

Compared to other trains in London, the headroom seemed to be generous, but then I didn’t see anybody who was much more than six foot.

A Train For The Airport

Class 345 trains will serve Heathrow Airport. I feel they will cope, as the metro layout of the Class 378 trains, seems to accommodate large cases well!

Comparison With A Class 700 Train

The Thameslink Class 700 trains are designed for running over a longer distance at a higher speed and they have toilets.

But for a thirty minute journey through a busy part of London, there is no doubt in my mind, as to which train I would choose.

The Class 345 train, with its large windows, more comfortable seating, space for bags, uncluttered views and the appearance of more space, is undoubtedly in my view a better designed train.

Incidentally, for every metre of a nine-car Class 345 train, 7.31 passengers can be accommodated, as opposed to 7.07 in an eight-car  Class 700 train.

I think we can put all this comparison down to Derby 1 – Krefeld 0!

Comparison With A Class 387 Train

The trains will be compared with Bombadier’s last Electrostar, the Class 387 train, which will be in service with GWR between Paddington and Reading, alongside the Class 345 train.

Passengers will be able to take whichever train they want on this route.

Will they choose the Class 387 train, with its tables, very comfortable seats and toilets or the Class 345 train?

I’d choose the Class 387 train, as I like to lay out my newspaper for reading.

No matter what happens Derby wins again.

Moving Forward On Approach To Liverpool Street

I was surprised how many people walked to the front as we approached Liverpool Street.

But were they only demonstrating the Londoners’ ducking and diving ability of getting to the right place for exit.

Regular passengers on regular routes will anticipate their stops and I will be interested to see how much passenger behaviour increases the capacity of the train.

Conclusion

This first Aventra feels like it is a very good train.

Consider how Bombardier improved the Electrostar since it was first produced in 1999.

So what will an Aventra be like in 2035?

 

June 27, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The New Platform 6 At Shenfield Station

These pictures show the new double Platform 5 and Platform 6 at Shenfield station, which opened a few days ago.

I think that it is a good design.

  • Platform 5 is a through platform, where trains can go through the station to and from the sidings to the East of the station.
  • Platform 6 is a new bay platform.

If these two platforms are for the exclusive use of Crossrail services, that means that in the Peak, they will be handling sixteen trains per hour (tph) or eight tph  on each platform. The Victoria Line handles over twice as many trains on each of its four terminal platforms at Brixton and Walthamstow Central, so the more modern Crossrail should handle the number of trains with ease.

There has also been a major restructuring of the other lines through the station. But as services terminating at Shenfield are not now handled by Platform 4, I would assume that it is a much more operator-friendly layout.

These could be platform assignments.

  1. Southend Branch to London trains
  2. Great Eastern Main Line to London trains
  3. London to Great Eastern Main Line trains.
  4. London to Southend Branch trains
  5. Crossrail
  6. Crossrail

As there is more platform capacity, it will be interesting to see how Greater Anglia use their share of the extra capacity.

Current and Crossrail times between Liverpool Street and Shenfield are as follows.

  • Shenfield Metro – Current – 43 minutes
  • Single-Stop at Stratford – Current – 24 minutes
  • Crossrail – 41 minutes.

The interesting time will be what will be achieved by Greater Anglia’s Aventras, with just a single-stop at Stratford. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a sub-twenty minute time.

I think passengers between Shenfield and London will choose a route appropriate to their journey.

Crossrail will be a line for the duck-and-divers.

May 10, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Shenfield Station – April 1st 2017

It is perhaps around sixty days before the first part of Crossrail opens between Liverpool Street and Shenfield stations.

A lot of work has been done.

  • It would appear that space could have been made for an extra track most of the way between Brentwood and Shenfield station.
  • Is one going to be built to improve access to Platform 5 and the new Platform 6?
  • Platforms 3 and 4 would appear to have been lengthened substantially. The new Stadler Flirts may be longer than the current trains.
  • It looks like the stabling and reversing sidings are on the outside of the down line to Southend, which dives under the Great Eastern Main Line.

But there is still some work to do.

 

April 2, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Crossrail’s Park-And-Ride Facilities

Crossrail is costing upwards of around fifteen billion pounds, but when it comes to providing Park-and-Ride facilities for passengers, it probably scores a massive zero-out-of-ten.

Consider.

  • Parking at Shenfield station is no more than adequate for current customers.
  • Abbey Wood station‘s restricted site, may well be getting a flagship station, but where will passengers park?
  • Crossrail’s South-Eastern branch doesn’t serve Ebbsfleet International stastion, which has masses of parking.
  • Of the three branches, only Reading station can probably increase its parking to cope.
  • Where are the Park-and-Ride sites , where Crossrail and the M25 intersect?

It is certainly not good enough.

A Park-and-Ride At Brentwood

This Google Map shows where Crossrail crosses the M25, just South of the junction between the M25 and the A12.

Crossrail And The M25 And A12 At Brentwood

Crossrail And The M25 And A12 At Brentwood

I feel that this would be a logical site for a station with large and efficient Park-and-Ride facilities.

  • It would be about thirty minutes from Liverpool Street station and seventy minutes from Heathrow.
  • There would be over a dozen trains per hour (tph) to and from Central London.
  • Long-distance trains to and from Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich and Southend could call and have cross-platform interchange with Crossrail.

I suspect that there would be massive opposition to building the station.

A Park-and-Ride At Iver

This Google Map shows Iver station and the M25 as it goes South from the M40 to the M4.

Crossrail And The M25 At Iver

Crossrail And The M25 At Iver

I feel that this would be another logical site for a station with Park-and-Ride facilities.

In Network Rail Plans Another Tunnel Into Heathrow, I talked about plans to create a Western Rail Link Approach to Heathrow.

  • The route starts between Langley and Iver stations, goes South roughly parallel with the M25 and then goes into Terminal 5 from the West.
  • Much of the route is in tunnel.

Surely, if a Park-and-Ride site was to be built in the West of London, then these two projects should be combined.

Since I wrote about the PRT System in A Visit To Heathrow Terminal 5, I’ve met someone, who’s had a ride. Their view was totally positive on this new technology.

So I think there could be possibilities for a very futuristic transport system to Heathrow linked to Crossrail at Iver, in addition to the full rail option.

A Park-and-Ride At Abbey Wood

Abbey Wood Station

Abbey Wood Station

This Google Map shows the area of South East London around Crossrail’s terminus at Abbey Wood station..

There doesn’t appear to be much space around the station for a Park-and-Ride site.

This Google Map shows the roads in the area.

Roads Around Abbey Wood Station

Roads Around Abbey Wood Station

Abbey Road station is on Harrow Manor Way, which links two East-West routes; the A2016 and the A206.

As Abbey Wood is the only surface station on the South-Eastern branch, I don’t think that there is a great probability, that a large Park-and-Ride site can be built on the South-astern branch of Crossrail.

A Park-and-Ride On An Extended South-Eastern Branch

Crossrail have safeguarded an extension Gravesend, which is described in this section in Wikipedia.

The route to Gravesend has been safeguarded by the Department for Transport, although it was made clear that as at February 2008 there was no plan to extend Crossrail beyond the then-current scheme. The following stations are on the protected route extension to Gravesend: Belvedere, Erith, Slade Green, Dartford, Stone Crossing, Greenhithe for Bluewater, Swanscombe, Northfleet, and Gravesend

So does this route give possibilities for a large Park-and-Ride?

This Google Map shows how the proposed extended route of Crossrail, runs under the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.

Crossrail, And The QE2 Bridge

Crossrail, And The QE2 Bridge

Slade Green station is to the West of the bridge  and the M25, in the top-left corner of the map, whilst Stone Crossing station is to the East, in the bottom right corner of the map.

This Google Map shows the route between Slade Green station and the Southern end of the bridge using the A206.

Slade Green Station To The QE2 Bridge

Slade Green Station To The QE2 Bridge

Slade Green station is in the top-left corner of the map and the Southern approach of the bridge in the bottom-right.

This Google Map shows between the bridge and Stone Crossing station.

The QE2 Bridge To Stone Crossing Station

The QE2 Bridge To Stone Crossing Station

The Southern approach to the bridge is in the bottom-left with Stone Crossing station in the bottom-right.

After a brief look at both stations, using Wikipedia and Google Maps, the following can be said.

  • Both stations are on the A206 road.
  • The links to the M25 and M2 could probably be improved.
  • There would appear to be space at both stations to build substantial parking.
  • Both have at least two tph to and from Abbey Wood at the present time.
  • From 2018, Thameslink will be running two tph will run from Rainham to Luton stopping at Stone Crossing, Slade Green and Abbey Wood stations.
  • Nearly all the trains on the line will be 12-car trains.

Could the Park-and-Ride needs on the Abbey Wood branch be solved by increasing the parking at stations like Stone Crossing and Slade Green, with passengers using local trains and Thameslink to access Crossrail?

  • There should be sufficient capacity in the 12-car trains to fit in a few short-distance travellers.
  • The frequency between Abbey Wood and Rochester should be at least four tph.
  • These trains will call at Slade Green, Dartford, Stone Crossing, Greenhithe, and Gravesend.
  • The Crossrail frequency at Abbey Wood will be at least eight tph.
  • Because of these frequencies, there shouldn’t be too much time wasted, waiting for a train at Abbey Wood.

I think that this shows that if the connecting trains to Abbey Wood have a medium to high frequency and there is plenty of parking along the line, then loyts of parking doesn’t need to be provided at Abbey Wood.

The more that I look at the lines and services in North Kent, it does appear that running Thameslink between Rainham and Luton via Greenwich, Abbey Wood and Dartford was a piece of very high-class thinking.

 

 

November 3, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Are Crossrail’s Eastern Stations Progressing?

I took a train to Shenfield and back again, taking pictures on the way.

Before discussing the stations, it is worth reading this extract, from the Wikipedia entry for the Great Eastern Main Line.

The GER was grouped in 1923 into the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). In 1931/32 the LNER quadrupled the tracks to Shenfield which became the terminus for inner-suburban operation.

In the 1930s a flyover was constructed just west of Ilford to switch the main and electric lines over, to enable main line trains to utilise Liverpool Street’s longer west side platforms without having to cross east side suburban traffic in the station throat. The new arrangement also facilitated cross-platform interchange with the Central line at Stratford, with services commencing in 1946. Either side of the Ilford flyover there are single-track connections between each pair of lines, with the westbound track extending to Manor Park and just beyond. The eastbound track extends as far as Ilford station. It was also envisaged that a flyover would be built at the country-end of the carriage sidings at Gidea Park to allow trains bound for the Southend line to change from the main line to the electric line, instead of at the London-end of Shenfield as they do now.

Plans were drawn up in the 1930s to electrify the suburban lines from Liverpool Street to Shenfield at 1500 V DC and work was started on implementing this. However, the outbreak of the Second World War brought the project to a temporary halt and it was not until 1949 that the scheme was completed with electrification being extended to Chelmsford in 1956.

So it could be said that the quadrupling of the tracks to Shenfield, was the legacy of Sir Nigel Gresley and his team, that has enabled Crossrail to be easily extended to the East.

I suspect that Crossrail’s engineers, regret that the flyover at Gidea Park, as proposed in the LNER plans, was never built. It would have helped one of Crossrail’s problems and that is how you fit two Southend trains per hour, that call at Stratford, Romford, Gidea Park, Harold Wood, Brentwood,  Shenfield and then all stations to Southend Victoria into Crossrail’s eight trains per hour schedule. I wouldn’t be surprised if Southend Victoria becomes an extra terminal for Crossrail, that receives four trains per hour.

On the other hand, the foresight of Gresley’s team would appear to have led to one of the most powerful features of Crossrail in the East, which will be the cross-platform interchange between the new line and the Central Line.

This 1930s rebuild also explains, why the stations have .a solid feel of the first half of the twentieth century, which means that some of the stations although needing a lot of work, are solid underneath and all seem to be capable of upgrading, rather than needing the substantial rebuilding of some of the stations in the West.

Summing up the stations, you would say the following.

Shenfield

Shenfield station is already fully step-free.

  • The station building probably just needs sprucing up.
  • The platforms all seem to be long enough, as Platforms 1, 2 and 3 take twelve-car Class 360 trains and Class 321 trains.
  • Platforms 4 and 5 aren’t much shorter, but may need to be lengthened, especially as trains will go through the station to new Eastern sidings.
  • The space for the new Platform 6 has been created, but work is continuing on the platform and track.
  • Work on the track is also continuing to update the electrification to a modern standard and the two western sidings that Crossrail trains will use.

Given that a proportion of passengers will probably want to interchange between Crossrail, services up and down the Great Eastern Main Line and to and from Southend Victoria, I do wonder, if there will be a reorganisation of stopping patterns for the longer distance services between Shenfield and London.

The works at Shenfield station, would appear to be taking a well-built mainly 1930s station and turning it into a terminus for Crossrail able to handle up to twelve trains per hour and an interchange with services to Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich, Southend and all points to the North and East of East Anglia.

Brentwood

Brentwood station has a lot of work completed or underway.

  • The station office seems to have been refurbished.
  • There are only lifts to the central Platforms 2 and 3.
  • Platform extensions to all four platforms are underway.
  • The bridge seems to be being refurbished rather than replaced.

I can find no references to lifts for Platform 1 and 4.

The works at Brentwood station would appear to be much simpler than Shenfield, but from the look of the new entrance and the visualisation in the Brentwood station web page on the Crossrail web site, they will create a very capable two platform station for Crossrail.

Harold Wood

Harold Wood station  has a lot of work completed or underway.

  • A new bridge has been installed, but not completed.
  • Lifts are to be installed.
  • Platform extensions to all four platforms are underway.
  • The platform buildings seem to have been refurbished.

I would also assume that the station office will be refurbished.

The works at Harold Wood station, show that it will be good station, with a good interchange between Crossrail and services on the fast lines.

But why is there such a good interchange between the two sets of lines? Is it just because Brentford is not a full interchange?

Or is it so that the services to and from Southend Victoria can still call??

Gidea Park

Gidea Park station is very much a work in progress.

  • A new bridge is being built with lifts under the largest plastic umbrella in London.
  • Platform extensions to all four platforms are underway.
  • The platform buildings seem to have been refurbished.

The works at Gidea Park station will create another good station, that has an excellent step-free interchange between Crossrail and the fast lines.

I must ask the same questions as I did for Harold Wood.

Romford

Romford station doesn’t appear to be seeing much work yet.

According to the Romford station page on the Crossrail web site, this is being done.

  • A substantially improved ticket hall with revised entrances
  • Three new lifts for step-free access to platforms
  • Platform extensions to accommodate the new 200 metre long Crossrail trains.

This is obviously in addition to revised and improved signage, help points and seating.

Romford station from the pictures looks to be a solid station with nice period features, with some excellent marble and quality ironwork.

Chadwell Heath

Chadwell Heath station is very much on the way to be ready.

  • A new footbridge has been built and commissioned.
  • Platform extension work is underway.
  • A turnback siding has been built east of the station.

 

I didn’t check out the actual station building, but this web page from Crossrail has a visualisation.

Goodmayes

Goodmayes station is in the process of being updated.

  • The current footbridge is being updated.
  • Three lifts will be added to provide step-free access to all platforms.
  • The station building is being rebuilt.
  • Platform extension work is underway.

The works at Goodmayes station will create a good suburban station, by building on the existing station office and footbridge.

Seven Kings

Seven Kings station is going through refurbishment.

  • Lifts will be added
  • The station building looks like it will be substantially rebuilt.
  • The area outside the station will be improved.

From the pictures, it does appear that the station is one of the few with a picnic table outside.

Ilford

Ilford station is scheduled to be completely rebuilt according to the Ilford station page on the Crossrail web site.

  • A new spacious, modern and bright station building on Cranbrook Road
  • A larger ticket hall with simplified ticket facilities and larger gate-line
  • A full refurbishment, by Transport for London, of the York Mews entrance
  • New lifts for platforms 1, 2/3, and 4
  • Platform extensions to accommodate the new 200 metre long Elizabeth line trains.

Only the platform extension seems to be starting.

At least the visualisation on the Crossrail web site seems promising, with a large pedestrianised area in front of the station.

Arriving At Ilford Station

Arriving At Ilford Station

This picture was taken from the right and shows the current traffic in the area.

In Front Of Ilford Station Now

In Front Of Ilford Station Now

As with Romford, the station is right in the middle of the shopping area.

Manor Park

Manor Park station is undergoing refurbishment. This is said about the station in Wikipedia.

Manor Park will be fully served by Crossrail from 2019 but part of the route is scheduled to open in 2017 and new Class 345 trains will enter service. Platforms 1 and 2 are only 168 metres (184 yd) and 185 metres (202 yd) long respectively and cannot physically be extended to accommodate the new trains, which will be over 200 metres (220 yd) in length, so selective door operation will be utilised. The freight loop around platform 1 is due to be removed and replaced by a new loop line further down-line, west of Chadwell Heath.

Due to the narrow platforms and the layout of the station, fitting lifts for disabled access would be difficult, requiring the walkways to be rebuilt and closing parts of the station for several months. The station will receive new ticket machines and gates, an accessible toilet and new retail space.

As the Manor Park web page on the Crossrail web site, says new lifts will be installed, I suspect this station will face several months of closures.

Given its location by the Southern end of Epping Forest, I do wonder, if it could be a Crossrail station with a walking and picnic area close by. This Google Map shows the station and the green space to the North.

North Of Manor Park Station

North Of Manor Park Station

As the area is mainly controlled by the City of London and there are also two large cemeteries, I suspect that any development will be totally appropriate. I suspect too that there are a lot of walks through the area to stations on the Central and Gospel Oak to Barking Lines.

 

 

 

 

Crossrail

 

 

July 2, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

The Future At Shenfield Station

There is an article on Rail Technology Magazine, which describes how Network Rail completed £14.5 million preparations for Crossrail over the bank holiday.

This is one of the comments by Andrew Gault, which describes the operation of Shenfield station after Crossrail opens.

Plus the new new bay platform (Platform 6) at Shenfield is soon to be built and once the new Platform 6 at Shenfield is built and opened then Crossrail Elizabeth Line trains will use Platforms 5 and 6 as a terminus with Platform 4 being used for Abellio Greater Anglia’s Southend Victoria trains to stop on Platform 4 freeing up Platform 3 for Semi-Fast trains and Stopping Commuter trains to Ipswich, Braintree, Colchester, Clacton-on-Sea and Intercity trains passing through Shenfield towards Norwich and Ipswich and yes Shenfield will see more passengers using Crossrail Elizabeth Line once the full service is in operation in late 2019/early 2020 and same with Abbey Wood, Reading, Maidenhead and Heathrow Airport.

Is Mr. Gault indicating that some or all fast Ipswich and Norwich trains will stop at Shenfield?

If he is correct, then it will certainly make getting to Portman Road for Tuesday Night matches a lot easier for me.

May 8, 2016 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , | 1 Comment

Trouble For Crossrail At Shenfield

In my piece on Crossrail 2 through  East London, when discussing how Crossrail 2 will be built, I said this.

Crossrail 1 was built rather traditionally, in that the tunnels have been bored first and then the stations have been created.  One thing that surprised me was that the surface sections, which have nothing to do with the tunnels were not prepared for Crossrail 1 a lot earlier.

So now because they didn’t sort out Shenfield station years ago, the adding of the required additional platform at the station has caused problems, with the parking. This report on the Brentwood Gazette explains it all.

I do wonder, if those inconvenienced and loudly complaining about the lack of a place to park the 4×4, belong to a faction, that think Crossrail is a total waste of money and will never use the line when it opens.

April 4, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment