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.
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.
I first crossed the railway on the road bridge and then used a footbridge to cross back again.
The Google Map show the area.
- 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.
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.
And this Google Map shows the Lea Valley from the North Circular Road in the North almost to Tottenhsm Hale in the South.
- 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.
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.
This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at Stratford.
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.
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?
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
STAR is putting down some interesting markers for the future.
They state the following about the current works.
- The Stratford area and its station is growing in importance.
- The line is slated for improvement under the Stratford-Tottenham-Angel Road (STAR) project.
- 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)
A picture in the magazine taken from a footbridge shows very much what my pictures show.
They also state this about Crossrail 2
- Crossrail 2 would be overlaid on the existing network serving both Liverpool Street and Stratford stations.
- Coppermill junction could be converted to a grade-separated rather than a flat junction.
- Crossrail 2 would emerge from the tunnel South of Tottenham Hale.
- The project would quadruple the West Anglia Main Line from the tunnel portal to Broxbourne.
- STAR would be built to facilitate this.
- A turnback platform is being considered at Tottenham Hale
- A turnback platform is being considered at Enfield Lock
- Turnback platforms and stabling sidings are considered at Broxbourne.
So how does all this fit with my observations?
I very much feel that STAR could be only a stop-gap development until Crossrail 2 arrives. In What Is STAR?, I give a few basic details.
After all will it still be needed to run just four tph between Angel Road and Stratford, when there could be upwards of 10-15 tph on Crossrail 2 and other services between Tottenham Hale and Stratford?
Something is needed immediately to serve Angel Road station and the massive Meridian Water development, which will result in the renaming of Angel Road station to Meridian Water,
The timings from Tottenham Hale are currently as follows.
- Stratford – 14 minutes
- Lea Bridge – 4 minutes
- Northumberland Park – 2 ,minutes
- |Angel Road – 4 minutes
Modern Railways states STAR will use a third track between Stratford and Angel Road. So if it was designed to be straight and flat and if it is running new Aventra trains from either London Overground or Greater Anglia with a fast stop capability, I wonder if timings could be achieved, which would enable just two trains to run the required service.
But I also suspect that STAR would provide a valuable service to link Meridian Water to Tottenham Hale and Stratford stations, even after Crossrail 2 opens.
STAR At Tottenham Hale
This picture shows the available space at Tottenham Hale station, which doesn’t appear to be enough for two lines.
Note the newly-installed cable ducts.
Modern Railways states STAR will use a third track between Stratford and Angel Road. A single track would certainly fit through here.
Suppose the current platform 1 on the left, was made an island platform for the existing London-bound line and the track for STAR going along the route that now almost looks like freshly-mowed grass.
- The new platform could be Platform 0
- STAR would be worked in a bi-directional manner, always calling at Platform 0
- When Tottenham Hale station is re-built in the near future, Platform 0 will have full step-free access to the Victoria Line, courtesy of Platform 1.
- It would have cross-platform access to Liverpool Street services on Platform 1.
- Moving some Stansted or Cambridge service from Liverpool Street to Stratford might be operationally worthwhile after Crossrail opens.
Platform usage at Tottenham Hale would be as follows.
- 0 – All STAR services.
- 1 – Services to Liverpool Street
- 2 – Northbound services except STAR.
That would be very logical for passengers and not the most complicated of construction projects.
STAR At Angel Road
If the third track continued to Angel Road station as seems to be proposed, then a single bay platform could handle the four tph.
Space would have to be left for the two future new lines that will be installed, when the full West Anglia four-tracking takes place.
The STAR track could be close to the current West Anglia Up Line, as it will be at Tottenham Hale with the two new lines on the Eastern side of the station.
If the STAR track was on the outside, there would have to be a flat junction, where the STAR track crossed the two extra lines.
Until Crossrail 2 is built, I also suspect that STAR could be only service calling at Angel Road.
So there will be a lot of flexibility on how the station is built.
STAR At Northumberland Park
This picture shows the current works at Northumberland Park station.
This picture was taken from the footbridge in the station.
Could the current platform 1 at the station be converted into an island platform between the current West Anglia Up Line and a STAR track between the West Anglia Main Line and the Northumberland Park Depot for the Victoria Line?
I suspect the answer is in the affirmative.
There might even be space for more lines through the area, when the West Anglia Main Line is four-tracked.
STAR At Lea Bridge Station
Lea Bridge station is a recently-opened station on the Temple Mills Branch between Tottenham Hale and Stratford and I doubt there is sufficient space for a separate track for STAR with its own platform through the station.
This picture is from A Look At Lea Bridge Station, which shows the station in detail.
The STAR track would have to go through here and would probably mean substantial rebuilding of a brand-new station.
So all services to Stratford will call at Platform 1 and all services from Stratford will call at Platform 2.
- Southbound STAR, Chingford Branch Line and other services to Stratford will merge before Lea Bridge station to pass through Platform 1.
- Northbound STAR and Chingford Branch Line services will pass through Platform 2 and then cross over the Temple Mills Branch Up Line to the bi-directional STAR track alongside the main lines to Tottenham Hale.
- Northbound Chingford Branch Line services will take the Hall Farm Curve to get to St. James station and the Chingford Branch Line.
- Other Northbound services from Stratford will stay on the Temple Mills Branch Down Line and go straight to Platform 2 at Tottenham Hale.
Traffic crossing from the Temple Mills Branch Down Line over the Up Line to get to the STAR track would include.
- STAR services of four tph.
- Services from Stratford to Walthamstow and Chingford, which could be between two and four tph.
Due to restrictions on capacity caused by the level crossing at Highams Park station on the Chingford Branch Line, I suspect this could initially be just 2 tph, until a solution for the restriction is found.
STAR at Stratford
Platform 11 is used for the current two 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.
But there may be other possibilities!
In High Meads Loop, I look at how an existing loop around Eastfield and Stratford International station could be used to turn trains.
This map from carto.metro.free.fr , shows the High Meads Loop.
Use of the High Meads Loop would enable the following.
- Probably upwards of 10-12 tph to be turned back at Stratford.
- Trains would call in either Platform 11 or 12 at Stratford station.
- Trains could call at Stratford International station.
Currently Platforms 11 and 12 can only handle eight-car trains, but they could be lengthened for the the new 12-car Stadler Flirts, that will work the London to Cambridge and Stansted services in a couple of years.
Cambridge, Stansted and Lea Valley services would have simple changes to the following services at Stratford.
- Central Line
- Crossrail for City and East London, Essex, Heathrow, Paddington and the West End.
- DLR for Docklands and South East London.
- European services, if they were to call at Stratford International. As they should!
- Greater Anglia for Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich and all the branches.
- Jubilee Line for Canary Wharf, London Bridge, Waterloo and Westminster.
- North London Line for Clapham Junction, Old Oak Common and West and South West London.
- Southeastern Highspeed to Ebbsfleet, Kent and East Sussex.
I suspect that London Overground and/or Greater Anglia have a cunning plan to collect all of these services and platforms together in an optimal manner for the benefit of all stakeholders.
But it’s really just the East End of London asserting its true place in London’s hierarchy.
The Stratford/High Meads Advantage
Using the High Meads Loop at Stratford to turn trains from the West Anglia Main Line could be a big advantage in the next few years.
All of these construction projects need to be carried out.
- Rebuilding of Tottenham Hale station.
- Updating of Coppermill Junction.
- Four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line.
- Lengthening of platforms at Liverpool Street station.
- Connection of Crossrail 2 to the West Anglia Main Line.
If a connection between Tottenham Hale and Stratford via Lea Bridge can be maintained at all times during this massive amount of construction, which given the space available is very possible, then Stratford could be an alternative destination for diverted West Anglia Main Line and local services, that are unable to connect to Liverpool Street.
STAR And Electrification
This picture shows where the single STAR track will pass under the Ferry Lane Bridge at Tottenham Hale station
When I first looked at 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.
The only way to electrify and be certain of the safety would be to replace the bridge with a modern structure. But this would take a couple of years and can it be built without closing an important route to and from London for a couple of months?
So I come to the conclusion that the STAR line will not be electrified and the line will use electric trains with onboard energy storage or IPEMUs.
- I have been told by the manufacturer that all Aventra trains are wired for onboard energy storage.
- Both possible operators of the star service; Greater Anglia and London Overground are obtaining sizeable fleets of suitable Aventra trains,
- Greater Anglia’s Aventras are five-car trains.
- London Overground’s Class 710 trains are four-car trains.
- Delivery of London Overground’s trains is scheduled to start in 2018, so they are a just-in-time delivery.
- The route between Lea Bridge and Stratford is fully electrified, so trains could charge the batteries South of Lea Bridge station.
- Diesel trains would be an alternative, but probably not appropriate in the Lea Valley.
For added safety, the well-proven method of slab track will be used under the bridge to ensure the train stays stable.
The outcome will be the ecologically sustainable development of Meridian Water gets appropriate electric trains to shuttle residents to Crossrail and the Eastfield Shopping Centre at Stratford.
I shall make a few comments about what the article says about Crossrail 2.
Crossrail 2 Would Be Overlaid On The Existing Network
How else is there to do it without building a whole new line on a different route up the Lea Valley?
Incidentally, plans used to exist for extending the Chingford Branch Line to Stansted Airport through Epping Forest. I doubt that will ever happen, especially as Queen Victoria is supposed to have said no!
Coppermill Junction Could Be Converted To A Grade-Separated Rather Than A Flat Junction
These pictures were taken from a train, that was going from Lea Bridge to Tottenham Hale, through the area of Coppermill Junction.
At present the following happens at Coppermill Junction.
- Trains between Liverpool Street and Chingford pass straight over the junction.
- Trains from Liverpool Street to Tottenham Hale curve left from the Chingford Branch Line to join the West Anglia Main Line.
- Trains from Tottenham Hale to Liverpool Street cross in a flat junction over the West Anglia Down Line and the Chingford Branch Down Line to get on track for Liverpool Street.
When the West Anglia Main Line has been four-tracked and the STAR track has been inserted alongside the current tracks, the fast tracks will probably be the two most Easterly tracks through Tottenham Hale.
This will mean that the West Anglia Up Fast will have to cross the following lines to get on the Chingford Up Line.
- The bi-directional STAR line.
- The double-track of the Temple Mills Branch to Stratford.
- The Chingford Down Line.
In the opposite direction, the following tracks will have to be crossed.
- The double-track of the Temple Mills Branch to Stratford.
- The bi-directional STAR line.
These movements will need a very complicated Coppermill Junction.
As four-tracking is all about faster services between Liverpool Street and Cambridge and Stansted, it would be detrimental to not have an efficient Coppermill Junction, with some grade separation.
I think we probably need flyovers or dive-unders on the following routes.
- West Anglia Up Fast to Chingford Branch Up.
- Chingford Branch Down to West Anglia Down Fast.
Routes would probably need to be provided so that the trains could go between the West Anglia Slow Lines and the Chingford Branch towards London.
In addition, I’ve heard rumours that trains will be able to go both ways between Tottenham Hale and Walthamstow/Chingford.
There is certainly lots of space to build a complicated junction, as the pictures show.
Crossrail 2 Would Emerge From The Tunnel South of Tottenham Hale
I think that has been known for some time and the possible site is full of London’s demolition rubble.
However, the junction with the West Anglia Slow Lines would probably need to be grade separated and integrated with the spaghetti that Coppermill Junction will probably have become.
The Project Would Quadruple The West Anglia Main Line From The Tunnel Portal To Broxbourne
If fast services to Cambridge and Stansted are to be retained, surely this must be done.
Just imagine 10-15 Crossrail 2 trains and ten fast trains, every hour sharing a pair of lines up the Lea Valley.
In my view the fast lines would be the two most Easterly lines and they probably wouldn’t stop very often, if at all between Liverpool Street or Stratford and Broxbourne.
STAR Would Be Built To Facilitate Four-Tracking
Everything I’ve seen leads me to think, that the single STAR track will be next to the West Anglia and Temple Mills Branch Up Line, with the two new lines outside to the East.
I also feel that these new lines will be the fast ones and possibly will have few if any platforms between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.
STAR could be an independent line, well out of the way operationally of other lines.
- STAR will be bi-directional North of Lea Bridge station.
- STAR could share island platforms with the West Anglia Up Line at Angel Road, Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale stations.
- There could be no points on the route once it separates North of Lea Bridge station.
- The fast lines between Liverpool Street and Tottenham Hale could cross the Temple Mills Branch and the STAR line at Coppermill Junction using a flyover.
The last point probably explains the grade-separated junction, I mentioned earlier.
I said earlier that it could be difficult to put extra tracks through Tottenham Hale station. These pictures show the area, where the STAR line and the two new lines will go and also what lies on the other side in the new housing development of Hale Village.
There is more space than I thought earlier. As some of the concrete decking will probably be demolished or modified to build the new entrance and pedestrian bridge for the station, I suspect that the space between the current station and Hale Village can be made wide enough for at least the new lines needed to four-track the West Anglia Main Line.
But I suspect that a way will be found to get the STAR line and the two other lines in what space can be created.
This would mean.
- The STAR service can continue, as long as it’s needed.
- There certainly wouldn’t be space for platforms on the two other lines between the current station and Hale Village.
- So as the slow lines will need platforms, the two new lines will be the fast lines.
North from Tottenham Hale, there is slightly more space, as my picture at Northumberland Park station showed.
As the STAR line is currently planned to terminate at Angel Road station, North from there, the requirement is only the easier one of two tracks and not three.
But if the requirement for three tracks should prove too difficult, as the four-tracking will see Crossrail 2 implemented, I’m sure that the STAR line can be sacrificed to make space. But that would create difficulty in maintaining an adequate service between Angel Road and Stratford whilst the four-tracjing is being carried out.
In some ways STAR has the feel of one of those temporary diversions you get in road works to keep the traffic moving.
- Tottenham Hale station is going to be rebuilt.
- Transport is needed urgently for Meridian Water.
- STAR connects Angel Road to Stratford with all its connections and Crossrail from 2018.
- When Crossrail 2 is opened, Angel Road, Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale stations will have a frequent high capacity service.
- Greater Anglia might move some Cambridge and Stansted services from Liverpool Street to Stratford.
I wouldn’t be sure that STAR would still exist after Crossrail 2 opens.
- There will be well upwards of ten tph Crossrail 2 trains in both directions calling at Angel Road station.
- STAR connects Meridian Water with Stratford.
- STAR gives a four tph connection between Crossrail 2 at Tottenham Hale and Crossrail at Stratford.
Passenger numbers and patterns will decide.
A Turnback Platform Is Being Considered At Tottenham Hale
Tottenham Hale station is being rebuilt and I suspect that if a turnback platform is being considered the station will have provision for the extra platform to be built.
This picture shows the Southern end of Platform 2 at the station with the Ferry Lane Bridge behind.
It certainly couldn’t be described as good engineering.
Connecting the two current platforms is a 1960s bridge, which has steps at both end and a single escalator to bring passengers arriving from the North onto the bridge to walk to the Victoria Line.
Plans for the station envisage a lot of work being done before the end of next year. Future in the Wikipedia entry for the station includes these plans.
- creating a new landmark entrance to the Station;
- increasing the capacity of the Station concourse, by doubling the size of the current ticket hall;
- improving interchange by relocating the Greater Anglia and London Underground gatelines;
- providing new access to platforms via the new Access for All (AfA) bridge being delivered separately by Network Rail;
- removing the existing subway which links the south side of Ferry Lane with the Station;
- extending the existing bridge to form a new Station entrance from Hale Village, providing improved access from the east to Tottenham Hale transport interchange;
- re-routing the London Underground escape route and relocating the vent shaft;
- providing a new, upgraded Station control facility; and
- retail units.
Nothing is said about a turnback platform.
But I think if the Ferry Lane Bridge was to be rebuilt and the new station was modified appropriately, the turnback platform could be positioned behind and alongside the current platform 2.
- It would share step-free access with that provided for platform 2.
- There would be cross-platform for passengers arriving in the turnback platform, with services going further down the line.
- The current waiting room would be demolished.
- There would be space for the platform.
Current works at the station are moving the taxi rank, which would help the provision of a turnback platform and other features.
A Turnback Platform Is Being Considered At Enfield Lock
Given that there will be two extra lines through the area, will there be any space for a turnback platform?
In Level Crossing Issues, I said this.
The Southernmost three of these crossings; Enfield Lock, Brimsdown and Northumberland Park, are close to the A1055 which is variously called Meridian Way or Mollison Avenue, which was built to serve the various industrial and residential sites between Tottenham Hale and Waltham Cross.
This road should obviously be improved, but look at this Google Map of the Northern End of the road.
Note the West Anglia Main Line crossing the map, in a North-South direction. Waltham Cross station is on the other side of the M25.
Surely this could be a site for a new Park-and-Ride station for Crossrail 2!
Could this be where the turnback platform at Enfield Lock will be located in a new station?
Turnback Platforms And Stabling Sidings Are Considered At Broxbourne
Broxborne station has everything needed to be turned into a superb Northern terminus for Crossrail 2.
- The station has four platforms; two fast and two slow, with cross-platform change.
- The station is step-free.
- There is space to add extra through and turnback platforms.
- There is space for stabling sidings.
- There is space for masses amounts of parking.
- The station has a large water feature including the River Lea and the New River.
The station is even Grade II Listed.
I said more in this post called Broxbourne Station. The final paragraph is.
It would not need a massive amount of money to be spent at Broxbourne to make the station a superb Northern terminus for Crossrail 2. It makes Shenfield and Abbey Wood look decidedly second-class now.
It is not often that the terminus of a new rail line is so easy to develop.
Other Questions And Issues
As I have written this post, several questions and issues have suggested themselves.
- What will be done about the noise of 100 mph plus trains every few minutes on some parts of the route, like through Enfield Lock and Waltham Cross?
- Could the two new fast lines be placed in a cut-and-cover tunnel through Tottenham Hale?
- Do any plans exist for the replacement of the Ferry Lane Bridge at Tottenham Hale?
- Could the High Meads Loop be used to turn trains at Stratford?
- Will a station be built on the High Meads Loop to serve Stratford International station?
Like Coppermill Junction, it will all get very complicated.
STAR, Crossrail 2 and four-tracking the West Anglia Main Line will probably bring a lot of benefits, but it is not a simple project.