The Anonymous Widower

‘Lift-off’ – Project To Provide Step-Free Access At Bexley Station In Kent Kicked Off In February

The title of this post is the same as that of this press release from Network Rail.

This is the sub-heading.

Network Rail has kicked off construction of a new footbridge and lifts at Bexley station which will provide passengers with a fully accessible station.

These four paragraphs outline the scheme.

This project, which is funded through the Department of Transport’s (DfT) ‘Access for All’ scheme, is expected to be completed in late spring 2024 and will ensure there is step-free access to all of the station’s platforms.

Network Rail will be working with contractors BAM Nuttall to install two 16-person capacity lifts which will be located behind the existing subway and help passengers with impaired mobility or those travelling with luggage, children, or cycles to access the platforms.

Platform one will be widened to create space for the lifts and allow passengers to navigate through the station a lot easier.

Alongside this, a new footbridge will be built to allow passengers easily get from one side of the platform to the other.

I’m surprised that lifts are being added to the existing subway, rather than being added to the new footbridge.

Looking at the statistics for Bexley and nearby stations, I suspect that Bexley station has more traffic.

This Google Map shows Bexley station.

As there appears to be a lot more housing and the car park to the North of the railway, I suspect there’s a lot of crossing of the railway by passengers.

So it does seem that Network Rail have designed scheme for the number of passengers, which is something Transport for London haven’t done with the buses, where I live.

On a visit to the station on the 14th of March, I took these pictures.

This is a Network Rail visualisation of how it will look.

The visualisation is looking towards the East.

March 19, 2023 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Would It Be Possible For The Bakerloo And Watford DC Lines To Use The Same Trains? – 6th March 2023 Update

These two lines are very different.

Ten stations are shared between the lines, of which only one; Queen’s Park offers level boarding.

The Shared Stations

The nine shared stations often have considerable steps up and down, as at Willesden Junction station, which is shown in Train-Platform Interface On Platform 1 At Willesden Junction.

I am rather pleased and pleasantly surprised, that there are not more accidents at the shared stations, but using the line must be a nightmare for wheelchair users, buggy pushes and large case draggers.

If Transport for London proposed building a line like this, they would have to launch it at the Hammersmith Apollo, where comedians perform.

The One Train Type Solution

To my mind, there is only one solution. The two services must use the same type of trains.

These are a few thoughts on the trains.

Trains Would Be Underground-Sized

As the trains will have to work through the existing tunnels to Elephant & Castle station, the trains would have to be compatible with the tunnels and therefore sized for the Underground.

I suspect they would be a version of the New Tube for London, that are currently being built by Siemens for the Piccadilly Line.

New Tube For London And Class 710 Train Compared

This Siemens infographic summarises the New Tube For London.

These figures are from Wikipedia.

  • Cars – NTFL – 9 – 710 – 4
  • Car Length – NTFL –  12.6 metres – 710 – 20 metres
  • Train Length – NTFL – 113.4 metres – 710 – 80 metres
  • Seated Passengers – NTFL – 268 – 710 – 189
  • Total Passengers – NTFL – 1076 – 710 – 678
  • Passenger Density – NTFL – 9.5 per metre – 710 – 8.2 per metre
  • Speed – NTFL – 62 mph – 710 – 75 mph


  1. The figures for the Class 710 train are for a four-car train.
  2. The passenger density and speed are closer than I thought they’d be.
  3. I’m sure Siemens can design a longer and/or faster train if required for the Euston service.

I feel that the New Tube for London design could be adjusted , so that it could work the Watford DC service.

Platform Modifications

I suspect that the New Tube for London will be lower than the Class 710 train and all platforms would need to be lowered to fit the new trains.

I would also suspect that it would be easier to lower platforms, than modify them, so that they had dual-height sections to satisfy two classes of train.

It should be noted that the New Tube for London has shorter cars than the sixteen metre 1972 Stock trains currently used on the line, so there will be smaller gaps at stations with curved platforms like Waterloo.

I believe that with one class of train, all of the stations on the Bakerloo and Watford DC Lines could be made step-free between train and platform.

Platform Height On Platform 9 At Euston

I took these pictures on Platform 9 at Euston station.

Note that it is rather a high step into the train and there is a large gap.

But if say, a modern London Underground train from say the Victoria Line pulled into the platform would it be a better fit?

Platform Height At Kilburn High Road Station

These pictures show Kilburn High Road station.

I should have taken more pictures, but the step between the platform and train is similar to Platform 9 at Euston.

Platform Height At South Hampstead Station

These pictures show South Hampstead station.

I should have taken more pictures, but again the step between the platform and train is similar to Platform 9 at Euston.

Were The Platforms At Euston, South Hampstead And Kilburn High Road Built For Another Class Of Train?

This Wikipedia entry is for the London Underground Watford Joint Stock train, where this is said.

The Watford Joint Tube Stock was built for the service to Watford along both the Bakerloo tube and the London North Western Railway. As a result, the cars were owned by both the Underground and the London North Western Railway. To be able to operate on both lines, the car floors were 4+1⁄2 inches (110 mm) higher than other tube cars. This was a compromise height between the platform heights on the two lines.

The cars were ordered in 1914, but construction was delayed by The First World War. As a result, the first cars were not delivered until early 1920.


  1. The Wikipedia entry has links to some images of which this is one.
  2. They must have been rather cramped trains if they were built for deep tunnels and had a floor that was 110 mm higher, than other tube trains.

It certainly appears to be possible to design a train, that would fit both lines.

But would it fit modern regulations and give full step-free access?

Queen’s Park And Euston

This map from, shows the route between Queen’s Park and Euston stations.


  1. The Watford DC Line is shown in orange.
  2. Queen’s Park station is to the West of Kilburn High Road station.
  3. It appears that Watford DC Line trains always use Platform 9 at Euston station.

The route seems to be a self-contained third-rail electrified line into Euston station.

On the subject of electrification between Queen’s Park and Euston stations, there would appear to be a choice between the third-rail system and London Underground’s four-rail system.

But it is rumoured that the New Tube for London will have a battery capability.

As Euston and Queen’s Park stations are only 3.7 miles apart, perhaps the choice would be to use battery power into Euston station, which would remove electrified rails from Euston?

How Many Trains Could Run Into Euston?

Currently, four trains per hour (tph) run into Euston.

It is generally accepted that six tph can use a single platform. But would this be enough?

I suppose there is the possibility of tunnelling under Euston station to a pair of terminal platforms.

In that case the current platform could be used by other services.

Southern’s Milton Keynes And Clapham Junction Service

This service wouldn’t be affected as it uses the fast lines between Willesden and Watford Junction.

Advantages Of One Train Type On The Bakerloo And Watford DC Lines

I can think of these advantages.

  • Step-free access between train and platform, should be achieved.
  • A unified fleet.
  • A higher frequency between Euston and Willesden Junction stations.
  • Higher frequency where needed.
  • If trains had a battery capability, Euston could be free of third-rail electrification.

As only one type of train will be using the Watford DC line between Euston and Watford Junction, this could result in operational efficiencies.

Linking Of The Bakerloo And Abbey Lines

This could be the biggest advantage of all.

This map from cartometro shows the lines at Watford Junction station.


  1. The orange lines are the current Watford DC Line services of the London Overground, terminating in platforms 1 to 4 of Watford Junction station.
  2. These lines would be taken over by the unified Bakerloo/Watford DC Line services, running nine-car New Tubes For London.
  3. The next station to the South is Watford High Street.
  4. The West Coast Main Line goes through the station and uses platforms 5 to 10.
  5. At the North of the station is Platform 11 on the Abbey Line which leads roughly North East to St. Albans.

Look at how the Abbey Line is more or less in line with the twin-tracks of the Watford DC Line.

Recently, during the Bank Station Upgrade, a 488 metre long single track tunnel was built to divert the Southbound Northern Line.

This tunnel was not dug with a tunnel boring machine, but traditionally by hand, using men, picks, shovels and I suspect a few small machines.

I believe, that a similar technique could be used to dig a tunnel, to connect the Abbey Line and the Watford DC Line.

  • It would only be single-track
  • It would probably be less than 500 metres long.
  • It would connect to the Abbey Line to the South of Platform 11.
  • It would be deep-level tube-sized.
  • It might be dug by hyperTunnel.
  • Geography wouldn’t allow the tunnel to terminate in the Watford DC Line platforms at Watford Junction station.

But where would the terminal be on the Southern side of the West Coast Main Line?

This map from OpenRailwayMap, shows the two routes between Watford Junction and Bushey stations.


  1. Watford Junction station is at the top of the map.
  2. The orange line is the West Coast Main Line.
  3. The yellow line looping to the West of the West Coast Main Line is the double-track Watford DC Line.
  4. Bushey station is at the bottom of the map, where the two rail lines meet.
  5. Watford High Street station is in the middle of the map on the Watford DC Line.

The new service could certainly take the Watford DC Line as far as Watford High Street station.

  • The station is close to the centre of Watford, the hospital and Vicarage Road stadium.
  • But there is no space for a terminal platform.

This second OpenRailwayMap shows the disused railways to the West of Watford High Street station.


  1. The yellow loop at the East of the map is the Watford DC Line.
  2. Watford High Street station is on this loop.
  3. There is a triangular junction, that connects the former Croxley Green branch to the Watford DC Line.
  4. The terminus at Croxley Green station is marked by a blue arrow.
  5. There used to be intermediate stations at Cassiobridge, Watford West and Watford Stadium.
  6. This route was used for the failed attempt to build the Croxley Rail Link.

But could a Western extension of the Abbey Line be built?

  • It would terminate at either Croxley Green or Cassiobridge.
  • There would be intermediate stations at Watford West, Watford Stadium and Watford High Street.
  • There would be two tph.
  • Trains would be nine-car New Tubes For London.
  • The current Abbey Line is 6.4 miles and would be run using battery power, with possible charging at St. Albans Abbey station.
  • The tunnel under the West Coast Main Line would be run on battery power.
  • The Western extension from Watford High Street station would be run using battery power, with possible charging at the Western end.

I believe, an extended Abbey Line could be a viable alternative to the ill-fated Croxley Rail Link.

  • I have used battery power, as I doubt Health and Safety would allow any new third-rail electrification.
  • I have used nine-car New Tubes For London for the extended Abbey Line, as their small cross-section would allow a smaller tunnel and they would be certified for running in tunnels.
  • Some platforms on the Abbey Line would need to be lengthened, but these would be the only modifications, other than the possible installation of the charging system.
  • The extended Abbey Line would serve Watford Hospital and Vicarage Road.

The capacity of the extended Abbey Line would be substantially more than the current line.


A common fleet used by the Bakerloo and Watford DC Line would appear to give advantages and it has been done successfully before.

But what the Bakerloo Line, the Watford DC Line, the Abbey Line and the Bakerloo Line Extension need is a good dose of holistic design.

March 6, 2023 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is The Nightmare On The Buses Going To Get Worse?

This morning after photographing the finish of the Bank Station Upgrade, I walked down the side of the new Cannon Street entrance to catch a 141 bus from King William Street to my home.


  1. There are two bus stops for the 21, 43 and 141 buses on King William Street; one Northbound and one Southbound.
  2. The bus stops are a two minute level walk from the gate-line at the Cannon Street entrance.
  3. To go between the gate-line and the Northbound stop requires no crossing of any road, but the route to the Southbound stop requires the use of a light-controlled crossing.
  4. The Cannon Street entrance is step-free and only a short walk, between the street and the platforms of the Docklands Light Railway and the Northern Line.
  5. The access to the Central Line is also easy, but a longer walk.

This afternoon, I walked the other way from the Southbound bus stop on King William Street to the new Cannon Street entrance of Bank station.


  1. It is a totally level walk.
  2. There are lights to help the crossing of King William Street.
  3. The concrete building on the other side of King William Street is the other end of the new station entrance.
  4. It looked to me, that there was a retail unit in the corner of that building. This was confirmed by station staff and it would surely be an ideal place for an upmarket takeaway.
  5. The building on the corner of Cannon Street and King William Street is a set of shared offices. Again it is in a prime position.
  6. You can also walk from the bus stop to the main Monument station entrance.

I timed myself from the Southbound stop on King William Street to the various platforms.

  • Central Line – Under five minutes
  • Dockland Light Railway – Under four minutes
  • Northern Line – Under three minutes

Will these times encourage passengers to use the new entrance and its buses to North London?

If I was looking for offices for a foreign company, that wanted to be in the City, as I do occasionally for an American attorney, I would start in this area.

Step-Free Access On The Northern Line Is Rather Variable

If you look at the step-free access on this section of the Northern Line, you find the following.

  • Euston – Escalators – No Lifts until High Speed Two
  • King’s Cross – Escalators – One Lift to platform
  • Angel – Escalators – No Lifts – Medium walk to the buses
  • Old Street – Escalators – No Lifts – Medium walk to the buses
  • Moorgate – Escalators – Long Lift route – Medium walk to the buses
  • Bank (North) – Escalators – Lots of Steps – Medium walk to the buses
  • Bank (Cannon Street) – Escalators – Two Lifts to platforms – Short walk to buses
  • London Bridge – Escalators – One Lift to platform – Steps to buses


  1. If I was going between My House and the Northern Line South of Bank station, I’d change between the 141 bus and the Northern Line at the Cannon Street entrance to Bank station.
  2. Alternatively, I can take a 38 bus to the Angel and join the route there. But that route can be very slow coming North, as there is a lot of walking. Going South, it’s also likely to be blocked by a Tesco truck at the Angel.
  3. Between My House and the Docklands Light Railway, I’d change from the 141 bus at the Cannon Street entrance to Bank station.
  4. I might even take that route, if I wanted the Central Line out of Bank.

It does appear that as the new Cannon Street entrance to Bank station has been well-designed with full step-free access and short walks to the bus stops, that it will be the interchange of choice for many travellers to  and from the area, who are using the buses.


I feel that a lot of passengers from North London will use the 21, 43 and 141 buses to access the Central and Northern Lines, and the Docklands Light Railway using the new Cannon Street entrance to the Bank station complex.

I very much feel that all three bus routes will have a lot more passengers, so the Nightmare On The Buses, is likely to get worse.


February 27, 2023 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Surrey Quays Station On The London Overground Getting Step-Free Access

This is part of the package of upgrades that I wrote about in More Frequent Trains And A New Station For The London Overground, that was published in 2019.

It looks like the upgrade will start this year. and be finished in 2026.

February 3, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Could The Giant Station At Bank, Liverpool Street, Monument And Moorgate Be Considered A Superhub?

In Is The City Of London Moving Towards One Giant Station?, I showed how the four stations were being drawn together and developed as one large station that served the heart of the City of London.

London is also developing other large interchange stations that could claim because of their connectivity could be classed as London superhub stations.

  • Canary Wharf stations, which connect the Elizabeth and Jubilee Lines, and the Docklands Light Railway.
  • Old Oak Common station, which could bring together the Central, Chiltern and Elizabeth Lines, the London Overground and High Speed Two.
  • Stratford station, which connects the Central, Elizabeth and Jubilee Lines, the Docklands Light Railway, the London Overground, High Speed One and the Great Eastern Main Line.
  • Whitechapel station, which connects the Circle, District, Elizabeth and Hammersmith & City Lines, and the London Overground.

But what are the  characteristics of a superhub station?

A Lot Of Lines And Services

Obviously, it must have a lot of lines and services, so perhaps Clapham Junction station is the original superhub station.

All Lines Should Have Step-Free Access

This surely, goes without saying.

There Should Be Lots of Information

If the station is large it needs a lot of information and there’s probably the space to put it.

Helpful Staff

Should we have a fully-staffed kiosk at superhub stations, as there are at some main line stations?

Good Bus Connections

Bus connections at a superhub station must be comprehensive and probably connect to other superhubs.

There Should Be A Selection Of Shops For Travellers

I do my daily food and other shopping, as I travel around London. I’ll often use a station like Paddington with a good selection of shops.


There are not enough public toilets in London.

Cash Machines

I know we’re using less cash, but a large station is a secure place to put a cash-machine.

Works Of Art

I also believe that railway stations are a secure place to put some of those large bronze sculptures and other works of art, that are currently locked away in the storerooms of galleries.

January 29, 2023 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leyton Station – 26th January 2023

Leyton station on the Central Line, is going to be upgraded as I wrote about in Leyton Station Set For £14m Upgrade.

I said this in the related post.

Leyton Station will receive step-free access and a new ticket hall and concourse thanks to £14 million from the government’s Levelling Up Fund.

I took these pictures today.


  1. The station has two waiting rooms and at least one toilet.
  2. The London-bound platform has a unique cloisters with a glass roof.
  3. A new ticket office and concourse, would improve the look of the station.
  4. Well-designed step-free access improves any station.
  5. The platforms are long.

I think it is a station with the potential to be one of the best.

These are a couple of thoughts.

The Red Bridge At The Eastern End Of The Station

This Google Map shows the station.


  1. The station buildings are in the South-West corner of the map.
  2. The red bridge is in the North-East corner of the map.
  3. Two trains are in the station, with plenty of space at both ends.

Would it be worthwhile and possible to add access to the station from the bridge?

Step-Free Access Between Train And Platform

This picture shows the current access between train and platform.

As the edge of the platforms will probably be realigned, would it be sensible to make the access better?

January 26, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Bowes Park Station – 12th January 2023

I’d never used Bowes Park station until I moved back to London in 2011, despite the fact I had friends in the 1960s, who lived nearby.

Today, I was wanting to go from the Northern end of the Piccadilly Line to Moorgate station.

There are a number of ways to do this journey.

  • Piccadilly Line to Bounds Green tube station and then a Great Northern train from Bowes Park station to Moorgate
  • Piccadilly Line to Wood Green tube station and then a 141 bus to Moorgate.
  • Piccadilly Line to Manor House tube station and then a 141 bus to Moorgate.
  • Take the double cross-platform change route, I outlined in Extending The Elizabeth Line – Improving The Northern City Line.

I decided to take the first route.

I took these pictures at Bowes Park station.


  1. The station has a warm well-stocked cafe, that is an asset to the station.
  2. The station has a defibrillator.

In an ideal world the station would have step-free access, as this would give a step-free route to Moorgate and the Elizabeth Line.

I returned a day later and took these pictures to see if a lift could be fitted.

I don’t think it would be one of the most difficult or expensive jobs to fit in a lift, that took passengers between the platform and the bridge.

The existing stairs would be retained and fitted with a decent fully-compliant handrail.

If a single lift were to be placed on the opposite side to the stairs, passenger access to the station would be possible  during the installation.


January 12, 2023 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Passengers Of Reduced Mobility And The Elizabeth Line

I took these pictures at Whitechapel station and they show the preferred wheelchair entry point to the Class 345 train and the central car of the train, which has four wheelchair spaces.


  1. The well-signed wheelchair entrance to the train.
  2. Thw four wheelchair spaces are in the middle car of the train.
  3. There is no step into the train.
  4. The roundels also have directions to other lines and the way out.

The car also has longitudinal seating and lots of vertical grab rails.

I do find it strange that London is very much alone in the UK in using this seating design.

November 30, 2022 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , | 3 Comments

Morley’s New Accessible Station Set To Open In Summer 2023

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Network Rail.

These paragraphs outline the work to be done to create the new Morley station.

A new, fully accessible station is set to open in Morley, Leeds in summer 2023 to make way for longer trains, more seats, and better journeys as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade.

As a multi-million-pound investment, the new station will boast longer platforms to provide space for faster, more frequent, greener trains with more seats available for passengers travelling between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York.

The new, remodelled station will sit 75 metres away from the existing station and be fully accessible, with a footbridge and lifts connecting the two platforms.

Moving the station opens up opportunities to transform the platforms and track layout while installing the overhead wires needed to power electric and hybrid trains in the future. It also means that the current station can largely remain open for passengers whilst the new one is built.

It is not often, that a station upgrade, is such a comprehensive demolish and rebuild of a not very large station as this.

But rarely have I seen such a long list of problems as the one in this section in the Wikipedia entry for the station.

It looks like the Government is having a go, at levelling-up Morley.

Network Rail seem to be attempting to do the rebuild in under a year.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Knightsbridge Station – 21st October 2022

I last visited Knightsbridge station in April, this year, when I wrote Knightsbridge Station – 25th April 2022.

Construction has moved on in the six months since I visited, as these pictures show.


  1. After arrival at the station, I left using the exit at Harrods and then walked back along Brompton Road to Harvey Nicholls.
  2. The entrance for the lift is in an alley. According to this article on Ian Visits, two lifts are needed to get to the platforms.
  3. The ticket hall is under the Burberry store and has three entrances with steps.
  4. One unusual feature of the ticket hall, is that it has a micro-Starbucks. Is this idea going to be repeated?

In Ian’s article, he describes the step-free entrance like this.

By reusing some old tunnels, and a side alley around the corner, they will be making the station step-free for the first time. The station used to have lifts from the street down to a corridor that then linked to the platforms via a short set of stairs, but was taken out of use in the 1930s when escalators were added.

What’s being done is that a new entrance, with ticket barriers, has been created in Hooper’s Court, and there will be two lifts that will take people down to just above platform level where the old corridors are still available. There will then be a second small lift to link the corridor down to the platform level.

It looks like it was rather a tight squeeze to get everything in. But then in Knightsbridge, the space for a single toilet will cost at least a couple of millions.


October 21, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment