The Anonymous Widower

West Anglia Route Improvement – STAR – 19th September 2017

Progress appears to being made on installing the third track for STAR.

Note.

  • The piles for the electrification.
  • The completed piles with their orange caps.
  • The digging out of the bed for the third track.
  • The work around Meridian Water station

There’s certainly a lot of work going on.

September 19, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | 1 Comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – Angel Road Stations – 20th March 2017

I took these pictures.as I walked from the current Angel Road station to the works, which could be the construction of the new Meridian Water station.

There is obviously a lot of serious work going on in the area, as some of the trains seem to be slowing appreciably.

But most of the work so far, seems to have been setting up the site, moving the signalling cables and generally clearing up the rubbish.

March 20, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – Lea Bridge Station To Enfield Lock Station – 20th March 2017

I took these pictures of the works between Lea Bridge and Enfield Lock stations from the 09:06 train from Lea Bridge.

Work seems to be progressing.

  • It looks like the area to the South of the Chingford Line is being levelled.
  • The route of the Hall Farm Curve is being cleared.
  • The level crossing at Coppermill Lane has been closed.
  • The bridges are being rebuilt to take at least a single-track.
  • The track-bed appears to be being created.

Incidentally, there still isn’t any sign of any overhead line equipment.

 

March 20, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

From Tottenham Hale To Northumberland Park

I wanted to see if I could see any more of the works to create STAR, so I walked between Tottenham Hale and Northumberland Park stations.

I first crossed the railway on the road bridge and then used a footbridge to cross back again.

The Google Map show the area.

Note.

  • The footbridge crosses the road and the various railway lines at the top of the map. The blue dot at its Eastern End is a bus stop.
  • STAR will run on the Eastern side of the railway, in the space, which looks green on this map.
  • Northumberland Park is the next station to the North
  • Tottenham Hale is the next station to the South.

The map shows it is a tight space to thread a railway.

 

March 14, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – Enfield Council And Rail Companies

This article in the Barnet and Whetstone Press is entitled Transport Blow To Meridian Water Development.

This is said.

THE council has admitted spending nearly £200,000 on an unsuccessful judicial review into a transport decision that could drastically undermine its vision for the multi-million pound Meridian Water housing development.

In September last year, the Department for Transport told rail companies thinking of bidding for the franchise through Angel Road railway station, in Edmonton, that a successful bid would not have to guarantee a minimum of four trains an hour.

You don’t call for a judicial review lightly and as Enfield lost, I suspect they were none to pleased with the Department of Transport and the various rail companies.

I then found this article on 21st Century Rail, whih is entitled Network Rail needs to get a grip of GRIP.

This is how the article starts.

Network Rail’s infrastructure upgrade process has been severely criticised by one of Enfield Borough’s leading planners.

The Meridian Water project is part of the borough’s wider regeneration plan for the Lea Valley area, which involves re-siting and constructing a new Angel Road station – to be renamed Meridian Water – and installing a third track between there and Stratford.

It then contains a fairly savage attack on Network Rail’s planning process.

The article does include this about plans for the Stratford – Angel Road train service.

It is part of Network Rail’s wider STAR project (Stratford-Tottenham-Angel Road) to increase capacity on WAML (the West Anglia mainline). The third track will run for about five miles; Network Rail is working with the DfT to increase the number of trains to four per hour (tph). Between 2019 and 2024, WAML will be widened to take four tracks and the capacity increased to handle 8tph. If Crossrail 2 is built, capacity will be doubled again to 16tph by 2030.

But it does seem that relations between Enfield Council and Network Rail and the other rail companies could be better.

 

 

 

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

West Anglia Route Improvement – Meridian Water, Road Traffic And Level Crossings – 1st March 2017

This map from the Meridian Water web site shows the area of Meridian Water outlined in red.

meridianwatersite

And this Google Map shows the Lea Valley from the North Circular Road in the North almost to Tottenhsm Hale in the South.

riverlea

Note.

  • Tesco and IKEA are in the middle of the Meridian Water site with the West Anglia Main Line and the main North South road to their West.
  • The River Lea and the River Lea Navigation Canal pass between the Meridian Water site and the Banbury Reservoir.

With the building of Meridian Water, traffic in the area is only going to get worse.

The main North-South route shown in the second map starts North of Enfield Lock, where it has rather dodgy connections to the M25 and is generally a single carriageway road, all the way to the Tottenham Hale Gyratory, where traffic is heavy at all times.

One problem is going or coming West from this North-South route, as vehicles need to cross the West Anglia Main Line.

Starting from the North, the crossings of the railway are as follows.

  • A level crossing at Enfield Lock station.
  • A level crossing at Brimsdown station.
  • A bridge for the A110
  • A bridge at Conduit Lane, just North of the current Angel Road station.
  • The North Circular Road, which is not well-connected to the North-South route.
  • A bridge at Leeside Road, just South of the proposed site of Meridian Water station.
  • A level crossing at Northumberland Park station.

Another bridge over the railway delivers you into the jams at Topttenham Hale.

STAR is currently envisaged to provide a seven-day-a-week services of four trains per hour (tph) between Angel Road and Stratford with calls at Northumberland Park, Tottenham Hale and Lea Bridge stations.

However the current local service up the Lea Valley from Stratford goes to Hertford East and Bishops Stortford stations with a rather erratic stopping pattern at stations North of Tottenham Hale.

So will STAR be based on these services or a separate train turning back at Meridian Water station?

But whatever happens it will increase the number of trains through Northumberland Park station.

The Bridges Are For Four Lines

It has now been announced in the last few weeks, that the level crossing will be closed.

Drivers wanting to go across the level crossing, following the closure will now do one of the following.

  • Go South and over the railway to Tottenham Hale.
  • Go North and cross the railway on the Leeside Road bridge.

They could always use the train.

I think the following would help mitigate the loss of the crossing.

  • Some road improvement at the junction of Leeside Road and the North-South road.
  • A decent pedestrian route between the new Meridian Water station and Glover Drive for Tesco and IKEA.
  • The STAR service going North from Meridian Water station, as well as South to Stratford.

Hopefully, it will all be clear by the end of 2018.

 

 

 

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

West Anglia Route Improvement – The High Meads Loop

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

stratfordlines

Note Temple Mills East Junction at the Northern (top) end of the map.

If you go North from here, you are on the Temple Mills Branch of the West Anglia Main Line and you will pass through Lea Bridge station and Coppermill Junction before you reach Tottenham Hale station.

Go South from that Junction and you pass the crossover of Olympic Park Junction, cross over the Eastern End of Stratford International station and then arrive in Platforms 11 and 12 at Stratford station.

Platform 11 is used for the current two trains per hour (tph) that go up and down the West Anglia Main Line, but Platform 12 is currently just giving out messages saying “I’m Free!”

Platforms like these can generally handle four tph, as they do at stations like Highbury and Islington or Dalston Junction. But is a capacity of eight tph enough if some Stansted and Cambridge services are added to the mix at Stratford?

But there may be other possibilities!

On the map in this post, look  at the lines to the North-West of Platform 11 and 12 at Stratford station and how they curve round the Eastfield Shopping Centre and Stratford International station.

The main route is called the High Meads Loop and this picture taken from a Docklands Light Railway train to Stratford Internation station, shows the twin-track loop.

dscn9935

Southbound trains from Tottenham Hale could do the following.

  • Call at  Platform 1 in Lea Bridge station.
  • Call in Plastform 11 at Stratford station.
  • Go round the High Meads Loop and past the Stratford International DLR station.
  • Rejoin the Temple Mills Branch on the Down Line at Temple Mills East Junction.
  • Call at  Platform 2 in Lea Bridge station.

The train has been turned round using the High Meads Loop, after a stop at Stratford station.

So do trains currently take this route?

On this page in RailForums, this was said in a post made in 2006.

Another option is the use of Channelsea Junction and the High Meads loop to turn trains at Stratford. I’ve managed to go from Stansted Airport to Stratford and back again without changing ends using that particular route before now.

I would assume from the words, the poster of the information is a driver. So they should know!

Channelsea Junction is clearly shown on the map in this post.

I have a few questions, that should be answered.

Is The Route Bi-Directional?

I suspect it is and trains would call in the unused Platform 12 at Stratford station. As I said in Platforms 11 and 12 At Stratford,

Trains stopping in Platform 12, will have a very simple step-free access to the London Overground services in Platforms 1 and 2.

My personal view, would be that services using the loop called in Platform 12, as that would give me easy access from the North London Line from where I live.

But going round this way through Platform 12 at Stratford would mean that trains would have to cross on the flat at Temple Mills East Junction.

How Long Are Platforms 11 and 12 at Stratford?

They certainly accept an eight-car train as they do now, but would they accept a twelve-car one?

The Picture Says 8

The Picture Says 8

If they can’t and it would be needed to accept Greater Anglia’s new Stadler Flirts for the Stansted Express, there would appear to be space to lengthen the platforms, at the Temple Mills End.

What Services Could Use This Loop?

I suspect any service arriving at Stratford from the West Anglia Main Line, that needed to be turned back, could use this route.

  • Angel Road using the new STAR service.
  • Bishops Stortford
  • Broxbourne
  • Cambridge
  • Chingford using the Hall Farm Curve.
  • Hertford East
  • Stansted Airport

That is a very comprehensive list.

But the capacity of the loop could be at least as high as the similar Wirral Loop in Liverpool, which handles 12 tph or just one train every five minutes.

Could A Station Be Built On The Loop To Serve Stratford International?

If it could, it would ease one of London’s truly dreadful transport issues. How do you get to Stratford International station without walking a long way or going through Eastfield?

Can Services Using Platforms 11 and 12 At Stratford Access The North London Line?

As there is a triangular junction connecting the North London Line, the High Meads Loop and Platforms 11 and 12 at Stratford, a lot of services are possible, if they are needed.

But for the time being a good step-free interchange between Angel Road, Chingford and other services from the West Anglia Main Line to the North London Line services at Stratford is all that could be needed.

If High Meads Loop services called in Platform 12 at Stratford, that would be an ideal solution.

Do Any Other Services Use The Temple Mills Branch?

I’m not saying they don’t, but I’ve never a freight train go through Platform 11 or 12 at |Stratford or Tottenham Hale or Lea Bridge station.

But I have seen an engineering train at Coppermill Junction and empty stock needs to get in and out of Temple Mills Depot.

Conclusion

Trains arriving at Stratford station on the Temple Mills Branch of the West Anglia Main Line can call at Stratford station and go straight back from whence they came using the High Meads Loop.

One positive effect would be that however many trains went round the High Meads Loop, all could call at the following stations.

  • Platform 1 at Lea Bridge station
  • Platform 11 or 12 at Stratford station
  • A platform at Stratford International station, if it were to be built.
  • Platform 2 at Lea Bridge station

Look at the service that Lea Bridge station gets to and from Stratford.

 

February 28, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 4 Comments

West Anglia Route Improvement – Angel Road Station – 27th February 2017

 

Angel Road station is not the easiest to get to, with about two trains per day. This one of the reasons, that STAR is being built to increase the number of trains to Angel Road station to four trains per hour (tph).

This morning, I took the 0:36 from Lea Bridge station, which arrived at Angel Road at 08:48.

After taking a few pictures, I crossed the line on the footbriodge and took the 08:52 South to Tottenham Hale station.

These are the pictures I took.

This Google Map shows the station.

angelroadstation

Angel Road is not an attractive station.

  • The recycling plant to the West of the station doesn’t help.
  • But it does have plenty of space.
  • There is space behind Platform 1 to put a bay platform to act as the Northern terminus for the STAR service.
  • The station could be within walking distance of the Edmonton Premier Inn, the Tesco Superstore and IKEA.
  • But as the current entrance to the station is on Conduit Lane, you wouldn’t start from there.

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

The London Borough of Enfield announced in January 2014 that the station being an integral part of the proposed Meridian Water development would be turned into a ‘thriving’ new hub and renamed as Meridian Water. The £3.5 billion project is being supported with funds from the Greater London Authority and Enfield Council, and will create up to 10,000 homes, meaning improvements to the railway station will be carried out to cope with the increase in patronage.

Hopefully, the station will be transformed, very much for the better.

 

Crossrail 2

Crossrail 2 will call at Angel Road station.

In the March 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, it was said that the designers of Crossrail 2 were looking at the possibility of a turnback platform at Tottenham Hale station.

But would this turnback platform be easier to build at Angel Road station?

Certainly, the space and the scrapyard at the current Angel Road station have interesting development possibilities.

Meridian Water Station

After reading Colin’s comment to the original post, I have created a new post about Meridian Water station.

 

February 27, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 5 Comments

West Anglia Route Improvement – A Look At Lea Bridge Station

Lea Bridge station opened in May 2016, so as I was investigating the new STAR service, which will call at the station, I took some pictures.

These are my thoughts on the station and its design.

No-Frills Station

In some ways the station could be considered a no-frills station, with two simple platforms on either side of double-track line with a bridge at one end.

There is none of the following.

  • Car parking.
  • Station buildings.
  • Staff
  • Anything to stop people walking in.

But there is the following.

  • Secure bicycle parking and clearly marked bicycle routes.
  • Several bus routes stopping outside.
  • A step-free bridge.
  • Shelter from the worst of the weather.
  • Enough driver screens for Driver Only Operation to satisfy reasonable union officials.
  • Lots of CCTV cameras.
  • Clear sound system for announcements.

In some ways the station is unusual for one in an inner city area of London.

You can imagine a station like this in a rural county like Suffolk or Wiltshire, perhaps with a bit more shelter.

No Graffiti

I use this station fairly regularly and I’ve never seen any graffiti.

Could the lack of graffiti be bacause.

There are lots of CCTV cameras.

Despite not many trains, there always seems to be passengers around.

Anmy graffiti os quickly cleaned away.

Stephen Bayley has said that good design discourages graffiti.

Whatever the reason is, it seems to work.

The Curious Secure Walkway

When I saw it, I wondered why there was a secure walkway inside security fencing at the station.

I think it must be so that workers can get from the portable offices a couple of hundred metres South of the station to the various worksites for the STAR project, some of which are North of the station.

I wonder when STAR is complete, if the walkway will be converted into a cycle path alongside the railway.

The Cable Duct

A lot of the work at present for the STAR project seems to be moving the cables out of the way and installing a new cable duct.

The pictures show the new cable duct coming from the Tottenham Hale direction along the East side of the railway.

At the North end of the platforms, the duct disappears and looks like it heads under the railway to continue on the other side.

Could this be a deterrent for cable thieves, who now would have to dig up the railway to find them?

The Possible Platform 0

To the Eastern side of the station behind Platform 1, a space would appear to have been left for a possible bay platform.

I have not seen any plans that might need another platform at Lea Bridge station, but if it was absolutely necessary to create one, it wouldn’t be too difficult.

Network Rail score high for future p[roofing here, but it would be good, if it was now standard practice, when a new station is built.

 

 

 

 

 

February 25, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

West Anglia Route Improvement – What Is STAR?

STAR stands for Stratford-Tottenham-Angel Road and is a proposed four trains per hour (tph) service between Stratford and Angel Road stations, calling at the following stations.

The main purpose is to provide a service to the new £3.5billion housing and commercial development project at Meridian Water, the developers of which will be rebuilding Angel Road station and renaming it to Meridian Water.

Brief details of the project are given in the March 2017 Edition of Modern Railways.

  • STAR will involve laying a third track between Stratford and Angel Road, alongside the West Anglia Main Line and the Temple Mills Branch to Stratford.
  • STAR will be completed at the end of 2018.
  • STAR will run at a frequency of four trans per hour (tph)
  • STAR  will help in the four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line.

More will certainly emerge in the next few months.

But I have a few questions about STAR.

Will STAR Services Go Beyond Angel Road Station?

The only STAR service at present is the two tph service to either ?Hertford East or Bishops Stortford stations that call at Lea Bridge, then in a rather haphazard pattern up the Lea Valley.

It is not a passenger-friendly service, as you turn up for the half-hourly train and find the destination you want is served on the alternate service.

I have a feeling the service pattern is designed by history, rather than a train planner with a brain.

What Type Of Train Will Be Used?

I think the route STAR will take, has a possible headroom problem at Tottenham Hale.

Ferry Lane Bridge At Tottenham Hale Station

Ferry Lane Bridge At Tottenham Hale Station

When I first saw this bridge and saw the height of the overhead electrification on the existing West Anglia Main Line under the far span, I immediately questioned if they could fit the electrification under either of the blue steel bridges, where STAR might pass, in a manner that would meet all the Health and Safety regulations.

Read this article on the Rail Engineer web site, which is entitled EGIP – electrification clearance woes, to learn more about how regulations are making electrification not just an engineering problem.

So will this mean that STAR will be built without wires?

Diesel trains would work, but wouldn’t fit the profile of Meridian Water as an ecologically-sound development.

I think we could see IPEMUs or electric multiple units with onboard energy storage working the route.

Will STAR Share Platforms With The West Anglia Up Line?

The space for putting the third track for STAR is narrow as this picture at Tottenham Hale shows.

 

Not Much Space For Two Tracks

STAR Will Go Through Here At Tottenham Hale Station

If STAR goes through in the space conveniently marked by green grass, the easiest way to create a platform would be to add a second face on the existing Platform 1.

  • A step-free bridge is being built linking Hale Village to a new station building with step-free access to the existing Platforms 1 and 2.
  • If STAR used the other face of Platform 1, it would share the step-free access of that platform.
  • STAR would have cross-platform access with services to Liverpool Street.
  • There would be step-free access between STAR and the Victoria Line.

It could be a very simple and affordable way of creating a new platform and interchange with full step-free access.

The technique could also be used at Northumberland Park station.

Could STAR Call At Stratford International Station?

One of the many proposals for the Docklands Light Railway was to extend the Stratford International Branch along the Lea Valley. This seems to have been dropped.

But there is a line called the High Meads Loop, that  would appear to allow trains to call at Lea Bridge station and Platform 11 at Stratford station, before looping round Eastfield and Stratford International station and returning through Lea Bridge station. In a forum, a claim is made by I assume a driver, that he’s done this.

If a platform could be built on the High Meads Loop to serve Stratford International station, then STAR services could go round the High Meads Loop and call at the platform.

But if the loop could be used to turnback trains, then it would allow a lot more trains to use Stratford as a destination.

Could A Similar Service To STAR Connect Stratford To Walthamstow And Chingford?

I have been past the work-site between Lea Bridge station and Coppermill Junction several times in the last few days and it would appear that the Hall Farm Curve that would make this service possible is being cleared of fifty-plus years of rubbish.

But, there are other problems in creating this service, like the level crossing at Highams Park station.

Could The Capacity Of STAR Be Increased?

The capacity on the East London Line, which runs a similar 4 tph service on four separate routes, was increased by the simple process of lengthening the trains.

Provided the platforms are built to accept longer trains, this would be the easy way to increase capacity.

What Will Happen To STAR When The Great Anglia Main Line Is Four-Tracked?

STAR will only affect the West Anglia Main Line between Coppermill Junction and Angel Eoad, as this is the only section, where the STAR and the new lines will co-exist.

In How Many Fast Services Will Go Through Tottenham Hale Station?, I concluded that there will be between ten and twelve fast trains per hour in both directions between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.

I also think, that these trains will go non-stop along the new lines only stopping at Broxbourne, as the timings of the new slow trains could be the same as the current fast ones. See Timings Between Tottenham Hale And Broxbourne Stations for full details.

As the four-tracking will not take place for a few years, I think it is likely that Stadler and Bombardier will be able to fit onboard storage to their trains, so could we see the two new lines squeezed into the small space between STAR and the development at Tottenham Hale without electrification?

Signalling technology would also probably allow such a line to be bi-directional, with trains running alternatively in both directions.

It would certainly save space to have a single bi-directional line without electrification handling the fast trains through Tottenham Hale!

The fast line would revert to a normal double track at Coppermill Junction and Angel Road station.

As closing a rail route is often a difficult process, even after Crossrail 2 is providing a high frquency service between Tottenham Hale and Angel Road, STAR will continue into the future.

Conclusion

STAR is putting down some interesting markers for the future.

 

 

February 25, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments