The Anonymous Widower

Using Southern Crossrail Lite

On my trip to Shepperton today, I went from and to Waterloo station for  the Shepperton Branch Line.

For both journeys, I used the route between London Bridge and Waterloo East stations, that some want to use as part of Southern Crossrail.

Going to Waterloo, I started at Farringdon, and this waan’t a good place to start, as I didn’t have a clue to the best way and neither did the London Underground staff.

So I took the Metropolitan to Moorgate and hopped South on the Northern Line to London Bridge, from where I had three routes.

  • Jubilee Line
  • Train from London to Waterloo East.
  • Bus

At a pinch, I could walk along the Embankment

I suspect that when Crossrail and Thameslink are fully open, there will be a better route, between Farringdon and Waterloo.

  • Crossrail to Paddington, then Bakerloo Line to Waterloo.
  • Crossrail to Tottenham Court Road, then Northern Line to Waterloo.
  • Thameslink to London Bridge, then train to Waterloo East.

As a special Crossrail-Bakerloo pedestrian tunnel is being built at Paddington, that may be the best way. I wrote about this in Paddington Is Operational Again.

My route to Waterloo worked today, as did the route home after a raid on the excellent Marks and Spencer at Waterloo. The only problem was that a 141 bus to my house, had broken down and I had to wait at London Bridge.

I tend to use a 141 bus to and fropm London Bridge, as one stop is in the forecourt of the station and the other is less than a hundred metres from my house.

So how could this abbreviated Southern Crossrail Lite route be improved?

  • The London Bridge end works well, as generally all trains for Waterloo East station turn up on Platforms 8 or 9, which are the two sides of the same island.
  • Only one up escalator at London Bridge was available and I have a feeling, there could be a bit of a reliability issue.
  • I used a lift to go down coming back, to avoid walking to the escalator, and the lift was the sort of size the Victorians used because escalators weren’t in common use until later.
  • The lift was certainly big enough for a cricket team and all their kit.
  • There needs to be better connection between main line and Underground at London Bridge. I suspect this will get better, as more of the station opens.
  • For this route four trains per hour, as you get on a Sunday, aren’t enough.
  • At Waterloo East, the walking route could be improved.
  • Waterloo East needs a Next Train To London Bridge Indicator.
  • Waterloo has twin up and down escalators between the main concourse and the walking route, which is more than enough. Especially, as they were all working!

But I did notice several passengers used the route from London Bridge to Waterloo East stations, including at least two couples with children in pushchairs.

This new Southern Crossrail Lite is going to prove an invaluable alternative to the Jubilee Line.

 

 

 

October 30, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Look At Charing Cross Station

Charing Cross station, is one I don’t use very often for the following reasons.

 

It is very difficult to get to from where I live near Dalston.

All of the services to and from Charing Cross station, call at London Bridge station, which is a simple bus ride away.

I took these pictures on a visit today.

I think it is one of that group of stations, that can be made more welcoming by improving the public realm outside the station.

Perhaps, the forecourt of Charing Cross station, needs a similar treatment to that given to Kings Cross station.

Surely the station’s Eleanor Cross needs to be better displayed.

I also think, that the whole area would benefit, if a pedestrianised space outside Charing Cross station, were to be linked to the nearby Trafalgar Square.

September 26, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

Around Waterloo East Station

In Southern Crossrail, Idiscussed the possibility of creating a direct link from Waterloo across London to London Bridge. The proponents of Southern Crossrail also take about rebuilding Waterloo East station.

So I went to look at the station and took these pictures.

Note.

  • The complex arrangement of high bridges.
  • The highest white bridge is the pedestriain link between the two stations.
  • The red bridge is what remains of the former rail link.
  • It’s about a hundred metres between the two stations, with a slope down to the platforms at Waterloo East station.

This Google Map gives a view from above.

The Link Between Waterloo And Waterloo East Stations

The Link Between Waterloo And Waterloo East Stations

The link is the white-coloured link that goes between the two stations. Don’t confuse it with the two trains in the map.

In the previous post, I said that rebuilding this station could be a project that a quality developer would relish.

But I do think that Southern Crossrail’s dream of connecting Waterloo East and Waterloo stations with a rail link is an impossible dream.

  • There is now a retail balcony at Waterloo station, which was built in 2012 at a cost of £25million. It would need to be demolished.
  • The lift and a couple of escalators  to Waterloo East station are in the middle of where the new track would go at Waterloo station.
  • The residents of the area probably wouldn’t like to have trains trundling through at height.

In the previous post, I said that rebuilding this station could be a project that a quality developer would relish.

Consider.

  • Waterloo East station could be replaced with a better station.
  • There is probably space around and above the station to add some sympathetic development.
  • Escalator and lift connections could link Waterloo East station to the Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee Lines.
  • A full step-free connection could be built between the two Waterloo stations.
  • The current connection to the Jubilee Line at Southwark is poor.
  • The Waterloo and City Line will soon be getting a very good connection at Bank, so why not build a good one one to both Waterloo and Waterloo East.

This is one of those pedestrian links, that can benefit the around seven million or so passengers, who go through Waterloo East station every year.

Given the right financial figures, I think that there could be a developer, who would create the sort of development that residents, passengers and visitors to the area would like.

My ideal station would have the following.

  • Four platforms to match the four platforms 6-9 at London Bridge station.
  • Sympathetic over-site and surrounding development, preferably with affordable housing.
  • Escalator and lift connections to the Underground and Waterloo and City Line.
  • Full step-free access to Waterloo station, which would probably use the current entrance on the balcony.
  • Better passenger facilities at Waterloo East station.
  • A proper passenger entrance on Waterloo Road for Waterloo East station.
  • The ability to handle an increased number of trains from the current fourteen trains per hour between London Bridge and Charing Cross stations.

All of this would probably be more affordable, than rebuilding Waterloo station.

 

 

 

September 26, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Southern Crossrail

I noticed that Southern Crossrail has appeared in the list of proposed UK rail projects on Wikipedia.

There is a Southern Crossrail web site.

An Outline From History

Basically through tracks at Waterloo station would go straight on and take over the lines from Charing Cross station, through Waterloo East station.

This is said in the Wikipedia entry for Waterloo East station.

Formerly a rail connection ran across the concourse of the main station. This saw little service, although H.G. Wells’s novel The War of the Worlds describes its use to convey troop trains to the Martian landing site. The bridge which carried the line over Waterloo Road subsequently accommodated the pedestrian walkway between the two stations until replaced by the current high level covered walkway. The old bridge remains and is now used for storage.

So it’s not science fiction courtesy of Mr. Wells.

Shutting Stations And Joining Up Services

Charing Cross station could be shut or reduced in size, Waterloo East could be moved over Southwark tube station and the services into Charing Cross would run back-to-back with some into Waterloo.

This Google Map shows the stations and the lines.

Southern Crossrail

Southern Crossrail

Destinations Served

Destinations in the West could include.

With the following destinations in the East.

At least it does something useful with the Hayes Line.

Building Southern Crossrail

Southern Crossrail say this about the engineering required.

The minimum engineering requirement would be for the centre part of the concourse at Waterloo to rise up over four through tracks. There would need to be lifts and escalators.

A new bridge, alongside the old one, would be required to carry three new tracks over Waterloo Road.

The old bridge referred to is the one that is referred to in Wikipedia, as being used for storage.

The engineering involved is probably no more difficult than that used to update Thameslink at London Bridge, with the new viaducts over Borough Market.

But I can remember , that when that project was mooted, there was a lot of local opposition.

Given the farce of at times, when London Bridge station was being rebuilt, I think passenger groups will be against the changes.

Southern Crossrail give these additional changes on their web site.

  • Signalling changes to increase the throughput
  • Flyovers between Battersea and Waterloo thus allowing the local, suburban and express lines to be segregated on the approach to Waterloo, would increase throughput further
  • Waterloo East Station would close releasing some land and a new station above the new Southwark station on the Jubilee line could be opened for interchange with Thameslink
  • Closing the line up to Charing Cross would allow for greater throughput. Commuters travelling to the west end can change at London Bridge using the Jubilee line. This will have the added advantage of opening up the front of Waterloo through to the South Bank.

 

My views on these changes and other points follow.

Signalling And Flyovers

The signalling and flyovers probably need to be done anyway, whether Southern Crossrail is built or not.

Certainly, both Thameslink and Crossrail provoked a bit of a track sort-out on the approaches to London.

A sort-out of the lines into Waterloo would probably need to be done for Crossrail 2 anyway.

Rebuilding Waterloo East Station

I rarely use Waterloo East station, but it has a terrible connection to Southwark tube station and a tortuous walk to Waterloo station, unless you’re going to the balcony for lunch or to meet someone.

The map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the Undserground lines beneathe Waterloo East station.

Lines Underneath Waterloo East Station

Lines Underneath Waterloo East Station

 

A new Waterloo East station could be built that had better connections to all of the Underground Lines in the area.

  • Bakerloo Line – Very useful for the West End and Crossrail.
  • Jubilee Line – Double-ended with connections to both Waterloo and Southwark stations.
  • Northern Line (Charing Cross Branch)
  • Waterloo and City Line

If rebuilding Waterloo East station would allow building on released land and above the station, together, then surely it is a project a quality developer would relish.

Decent pedestrian links could also be provided into Waterloo, as they should be anyway.

I think that there could be a strong case for the redevelopment of Waterloo East station, whether Southern Crossrail is built or not.

Improving The Waterloo And City Line

One of the side effects of rebuilding Waterloo East station would be improved access to the Waterloo and City Line.

A new entrance is being built at the Northern end and if the Southern end were sorted, London would have got a useful short new Unerground line, with a lot of the money provided by property development.

Serving Charing Cross Station

I believe that a rebuilt Waterloo East station would give better connections to the Underground, than does Charing Cross.

What Waterloo East lacks is connection to the District and Circle Lines and good walking routes to Whitehall. And you mustn’t annoy the Sir Humphries in their commute from Sevenoaks or Petts Wood!

Providing you didn’t close Charing Cross completely, there would be a same platform interchange at London Bridge.

But I suspect that an innovative solution could be found to get passengers from Waterloo East station to the North Bank of the Thames.

Properly done, it would enable passengers using the trains at Waterloo to get easily across the river .

Why are we wasting millions on the Garden Bridge, when a proper cross river connection further West would give benefit to millions of travellers?

At present these are the services that serve Charing Cross in the Off Peak.

  • 2 trains per hour (tph) Dartford via Bexleyheath
  • 2 tph Gravesend via Sidcup
  • 2 tph Gillingham via Lewisham and Woolwich Arsenal
  • 2 tph Hayes avoiding Lewisham
  • 2 tph Sevenoaks via Orpington
  • 2 tph Hastings via Tunbridge Wells
  • 1 tph Dover via Ashford International
  • 1 tph Ramsgate via Ashford International and Canterbury West

Obviously, there is a lot more in the Peak.

As it looks like the limit of trains through London Bridge to Waterloo East and Charing |Cross is somewhere around or above 20 tph, it could be that if Southern Crossrail is built, then there is a logical split.

  • Suburban services go through to Waterloo and into the South West suburban network.
  • Long distance services go to Charing Cross.

Platform arrangements at London Bridge and Waterloo East could be designed, so that if you’re on a train going to the wrong destination, you step off and step on the next one.

The Jubilee Line By-Pass

Now that we can see the new London Bridge station emerging and Charing Cross services are calling at the station again, I think we’ll see some interesting ducking-and-diving alomg the South Bank of the Thames.

Suppose you arrive at London Bridge on perhaps a train from Uckfield and need to go to Waterloo to get to Southampton. Until about a month ago, you would have to struggle across London on the Underground. Now you could take a frequent Charing Cross service to Waterloo East and just walk into Waterloo.

We mustn’t underestimate the effects that a fully rebuilt Thameslink and London Bridge station will have  on passengers getting across South London.

If Southern Crossrail was built, it would be an alternative for the Jubilee Line between London Bridge and Waterloo.

Southern Crossrail might even lead to a rethink about how the Jubilee Line operates.

Positive Points

  • Terminal platforms are released in Waterloo station, as services are joined up.
  • No infrastructure changes would be required at London Bridge station.
  • No tunnelling
  • Southern Crossrail can be built before Crossrail 2.
  • Southern Crossrail can be built to be compatible with Crossrail 2.
  • The Tramlink connects Wimbledon in the West to Elmers End in the East.

But it will exceedingly difficult to convince the powers-that-be that it is a viable project.

Conclusion

I think it could be one of those projects that is so bizarre and wacky it might just be feasible.

But if it is built or not, London could benefit tremendously, by a quality rebuild of Waterloo East station.

In a phased building of Southern Crossrail, the order of construction could be.

  • Rebuild Waterloo East station.
  • Upgrade the lines into Waterloo with flyovers and signalling.
  • Rebuild the concourse at Waterloo, so that the connecting tracks could go through to Waterloo East.
  • Put in the bridges between Waterloo and Waterloo East.
  • Connect up the services one-by-one.

It is the sort of project, that a good project management team, could push through with little disruption to services and passengers.

 

September 22, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments