The Anonymous Widower

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.

Note.

  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.

Note.

  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, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Improving The Wood Green And Moorgate Public Transport Corridor

This morning I went for coffee with an old school friend from Minchenden Grammar School at Southgate station.

Southgate is not a bad place to meet someone.

  • There are a couple of good coffee shops.
  • There are plenty of buses.
  • It has a couple of the better chain restaurants including a Pizza Express.
  • The area also has a lot of memories for me.

It also has one of London’s most iconic Underground stations.

It may look familiar, as it regularly crops up in film and television dramas.

  • One station guy told me, that the ticket barriers have been designed to be easy to remove, so filming of an historic drama is possible.
  • It was used in The End Of The Affair to portray a Central London station.
  • As the escalators have the same bronze fittings as Moscow, they could be used in a story set in Russia.

As the Piccadilly Line doesn’t go anywhere near my house, to get to Southgate, I take a 141 bus to and from a convenient Piccadilly Line station.

  • Going North, I changed at Manor House station.
  • Coming South, I changed at Turnpike Lane station.
  • I could have also have changed at Wood Green station.

The journey home had four major problems.

  • The bus stop at Turnpike Lane station, is a few hundred yards from the station.
  • I waited fifteen minutes for a 141 bus.
  • When it did arrive, it was so packed, it didn’t have space for a miniature dachshund to squeeze in between the feet of the standing passengers.
  • The traffic was very heavy, so the journey was slow.

How can this bus route cope in the Peak, if it can’t cope on a Sunday morning?

Various issues and actions and will make these capacity issues worse.

The Victoria Line Has No Direct Connection With The Elizabeth Line

In my view, this was a mistake, although not that serious, as the young or energetic can probably walk between Oxford Circus and the Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station on the Elizabeth Line.

Will this connection develop with coffee and snack shops to ease passenger interchanges?

When and if Oxford Circus station is ever made step-free, I can imagine a tunnel, perhaps with a moving walkway being built between  Oxford Circus station and he Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station.

There is also the cross-platform interchange at Highbury & Islington station with the Northern City Line that links with Moorgate and the City of London.

The Piccadilly Line Has No Direct Connection With The Elizabeth Line

To get between the Northern stations on the Piccadilly Line and the Elizabeth Line is either a double-change at Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington stations or a ride on the 141 bus.

I wrote about these issues in Extending The Elizabeth Line – Improving The Northern City Line.

The Elizabeth Line Will Attract Travellers To Moorgate

I notice that my own travelling patterns have changed from using the Central, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines to using the Elizabeth Line since it opened and I suspect, when the Elizabeth Line is fully joined up, that more passengers will travel to Moorgate to access the Elizabeth Line.

Transport for London and the Mayor Are Rerouting The 21 Bus

The 21 bus duplicates the 141 bus between Newington Green and Moorgate station.

But it is being rerouted next year, which will increase the loading on the 141 bus.

The 141 Bus Used To Be The 641 Trolleybus

When I was a child, London’s trolleybus network was extensive and to get between Wood Green and Moorgate, you would have used the 641 trolleybus.

Trolleybus Ascending Jolly Butchers Hill in Wood Green

Many like me, look back on trolleybuses with affection.

Does this historical connection encourage passengers to use the 141 bus, which is the 641 trolleybus’s successor on the route?

My parents certainly had lots of trolleybus stories.

So What Could Be Done?

There are a variety of actions that could be taken to strengthen public transport between Moorgate and Wood Green stations.

Improve The 141 Bus Route

In Does London Need High Capacity Bus Routes To Extend Crossrail?, I put forward ideas for using buses to link to the Elizabeth Line.

This was my suggestion.

I suspect any route seen as an extension of Crossrail needs to have the following characteristics.

  • High frequency of perhaps a bus every ten minutes.
  • Interior finish on a par with the Class 345 trains.
  • Wi-fi and phone charging.

I would also hope the buses were carbon-free. Given that some of these routes could be quite long, I would suspect hydrogen with its longer range could be better.

I feel that a high-quality 141 bus running every ten minutes between London Bridge station and Palmers Green, would be just what the passengers would order.

  • Palmers Green bus garage is at the Northern end of the route, so could be used for refuelling or recharging.
  • London Bridge station is at the Southern end of the route and was designed with an efficient bus station.
  • The 141 route connects London Bridge, Bank, Moorgate and Old Street stations in the City of London.

With the right buses, this could be a route with real quality and usefulness.

Increase The Frequency On The Northern City Line

The Northern City Line may have new Class 717 trains, but it still has a pathetic frequency of eight trains per hour (tph)

  • I am sure it could be increased to at least 12 tph between Moorgate and Alexandra Palace stations.
  • Something like six tph would go to Welwyn Garden City, four tph to Hertford East station and two to Stevenage.
  • Large areas of the Northern suburbs would get a much better connection to the Elizabeth Line.

Once the digital signalling is installed and commissioned, no new infrastructure will be needed.

I am sure, that this would be the easiest way to improve public transport in North London.

Add Step-Free Access To As Many Stations As Possible

Moorgate, Finsbury Park, Oakwood and Cockfosters are step-free with lifts.

As many stations as budgetary constraints allow, should be made step-free.

October 9, 2022 Posted by | Food, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Piccadilly Line To Ealing Broadway

Transport for London have proposed a reorganisation of the Piccadilly and District Lines in the Ealing area.

I first wrote about this in Is There Going To Be More Change At Ealing Broadway Station?, but now the Elizabeth Line is on the verge of being connected across London, I feel that this post needs to be replaced.

A Possible Proposal

Ealing Broadway station is being upgraded for Crossrail.

In the November 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, there is a Capital Connection supplement, which discusses London’s railways.

On Page 7 in a section about the sub-surface lines, this is said.

One possibility being discussed is that the Piccadilly should take over the District’s Ealing Broadway service. This would free up space on the South side of the inner-London circle for more City trains off the Wimbledon branch, one of the sub-surface network’s most-crowded routes.

On Page 15 in a section about the Mayor’s plans, this is said.

It is suggested Piccadilly Line services run to Ealing Broadway instead of the District Line, enabling increased frequencies on the latter’s Richmond and Wimbledon branches.

As the plan is mentioned twice, certainly the proposal is being thought about.

The Lines At Ealing Broadway Station

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at Ealing Broadway station.

Note how the Piccadilly and District Lines share tracks from Ealing Common station, which then split with District Line trains going to Ealing Broadway station and Piccadilly Line trains going to Rayners Lane and Uxbridge stations.

If the change happened and Ealing Broadway station was only served by the Piccadilly and Central Lines of the Underground, then there might be opportunities to improve the efficiency of the Underground side of the station.

Capacities And Lengths Of London Underground Trains Serving Ealing Broadway Station

I’ll express these as a table.

  • Central Line – 1992 Stock – 930 passengers – 130 metres – 7.15 pass/m.
  • District Line – S7 Stock – 1209 passengers – 117.45 metres – 10.29 pass/m.
  • Piccadilly Line – 1973 Stock – 684 passengers – 106.8 metres – 6.40 pass/m.
  • New Tube for London – 1076 passengers – 113.7 metres – 9.46 pass/m.

Note.

  1. The New Tube for London is the shortest train, with the second highest capacity and the highest passenger density.
  2. The New Tube for London will be replacing the Piccadilly Line trains first.
  3. The New Tube for London will be replacing the Central Line trains second.

It looks like there will be no platform-length problems running the New Tube for London to Ealing Broadway station.

The District Line Platforms At Ealing Broadway Station

These pictures show the District Line at Ealing Broadway station.

Note.

  1. There are three platforms for terminating District Line trains, which are numbered 7 to 9.
  2. The service frequency is six trains per hour (tph).
  3. The bridge to the far platform 9, is not step-free.
  4. It appears to be possible to walk between platforms 8 and 9 behind the buffer stops, but it wasn’t signed.
  5. As a comparison the Central Line runs 9 tph to East London from two platforms, that are numbered 5 and 6.
  6. There was also a 3 tph Night Tube service before the pandemic, which appears to be running again.
  7. Platforms 8 and 9 seem to be covered by a building of very little architectural merit.

This map from OpenRailwayMap shows the detailed platform layout.

Note.

  1. Platforms are numbered from 1 to 9 from the South.
  2. Underground tracks are shown in blue.
  3. Elizabeth Line tracks are shown in orange.
  4. Great Western ~Main Line tracks are shown in red.

I believe that the three District Line platforms could be upgraded into an excellent terminus for another branch of the Piccadilly Line.

Consider.

  • Two platforms would probably be enough, but a third would be useful for service recovery.
  • As the Piccadilly and Central Line trains are the same size, could Platform 7 be a platform be available to both Underground services when needed?
  • The New Tubes for London are a few metres shorter than the current District Line trains, so would this help in creating a step-free level walkway between Platforms 8 and 9, behind the buffer stops?
  • Platforms 8 and 9 may need to be lengthened.
  • Is there any scope for any appropriate oversite development?

I certainly believe that a much better replacement could be created.

Changing Between The Underground Lines And The Elizabeth Line At Ealing Broadway Station

Ealing Broadway station is now step-free and changes between the Eastbound Elizabeth Line and the Underground are a walk on the level.

Only when changing to or from the Westbound Elizabeth Line do you need to use stairs and/or a lift.

Elizabeth Line Effects On Access To Heathrow

The Elizabeth Line will change the way a lot of passengers go to and from Heathrow Airport.

Elizabeth Line To Heathrow

At present, the service will be.

  • 4 trains per hour (tph) between Paddington and Heathrow Central and Heathrow Terminal 4 or Heathrow Terminal 5 via Ealing Broadway.

After November 6th, 2022, the service will be.

  • 4 tph between Abbey Wood and Heathrow Central and Heathrow Terminal 4
  • 2 tph between Abbey Wood and Heathrow Central and Heathrow Terminal 5

In addition these services will serve all station including Canary Wharf, Liverpool Street, Bond Street, Paddington and Ealing Broadway.

Effect On Heathrow Express

It will be difficult to predict what will happen to Heathrow Express, but I suspect several groups of passengers will desert it.

  • Passengers wanting to go anywhere East of Paddington without changing trains.
  • Passengers wanting any Elizabeth Line station.
  • Passengers, who don’t like the prices of Heathrow Express.
  • Passengers using Oyster or contactless cards.
  • Passengers who want to ride on London’s spectacular new Elizabeth Line.

After Old Oak Common station is opened for High Speed Two, the numbers could further decrease.

Will Heathrow Express survive?

Effect On Piccadilly Line

The current Piccadilly Line route to the Airport will not be closed, as for many it will still be a convenient route to the Airport

  • Passengers who live on the Piccadilly Line and don’t want to change trains. Think Southgate, Knightsbridge, Hammersmith and Osterley!
  • Passengers to the West of Acton Town station.
  • Passengers, workers and others needing to go to Hatton Cross station.

If the Elizabeth Line connected with the Piccadilly Line at say Holborn, it would be all so different.

Effect On District Line

When Crossrail opens, the District Line will become a loop from Crossrail, between  Ealing Broadway and Whitechapel running along the North Bank of the Thames via Earls Court, Victoria, Charing Cross and Monument.

The step-free interchange at Ealing Broadway could become busy with passengers travelling  to and from the Airport.

Effect On Piccadilly Line Overcrowding

Heathrow trains on the Piccadilly Line can get very overcrowded with so many passengers with heavy cases.

It must sometimes be very difficult to get on a Piccadilly Line train between Heathrow and South Kensington stations.

The Elizabeth Line should take the pressure from these trains, by allowing passengers to use the District Line with a change at Ealing Broadway.

The New Tube for London will also help to reduce the overcrowding.

Effect On My Personal Route

My personal route to the airport is to take a 141 bus to Manor House station and then get the Piccadilly Line. It takes 94 minutes.

After the Elizabeth Line fully opens, if I take the East London Line from Dalston Junction to Whitechapel and then used Crossrail, I’d take 57 minutes.

Conclusion

The Elizabeth Line will affect the way many get to and from Heathrow Airport.

But there are large areas of London, who still will need to change trains twice to get to the airport. But for many, one of those changes will be a step-free one at Ealing Broadway, Paddington or Whitechapel stations.

Piccadilly Line To Ealing Broadway Effects

Adding Ealing Broadway station as a fourth Western terminus to the Piccadilly Line will have effects, but not as important as the opening of the Elizabeth Line.

Some Improved Journey Times To Heathrow

Some Piccadilly Line stations will see improved journey times to Heathrow.

Hammersmith to Heathrow currently takes 37 minutes by the Piccadilly Line.

Taking a Piccadilly Line train to Ealing Broadway and then using the Elizabeth Line could save a dozen minutes.

The District Line Connection To The Elizabeth Line At Ealing Broadway Is Lost

Passengers along the District Line from Monument to Hammersmith will lose their direct access to the Elizabeth Line at Ealing Broadway.

Cross-platform access to the Piccadilly Line at Hammersmith and other stations will probably be provided or improved, but it will be a second change.

Note that until the Piccadilly Line gets upgraded and new trains arrive around 2023, the District Line with new trains and the soon to be installed new signalling may well be a better passenger experience.

More Trains To Richmond

This will certainly be possible, if some Ealing Broadway trains are diverted to Richmond.

But the Elizabeth Line has another delight in its cupboard for Richmond.

Old Oak Common station is scheduled to open in 2026 and will offer an interchange between the Elizabeth Line and the North London Line.

Richmond will certainly be getting a better train service to Central and East London.

More Trains To Wimbledon

This will certainly be possible, if some Ealing Broadway trains are diverted to Wimbledon.

The Ealing Common Problem

At Ealing Common station, the Piccadilly and District Line share the same tracks and platforms.

Some commentators have suggested that the new trains on the Piccadilly Line will be designed to work with platform-edge doors for improved safety and dwell times.

So if platform-edge doors were to be fitted to all stations on the Piccadilly Line as has been suggested, there would be no way the doors would fit the new S7 Stock of the District Line.

Swapping Ealing Broadway from the District to Piccadilly Lines would solve this problem and give more flexibility, but it might give London Underground other problems with regard to access for District Line trains to Ealing Common depot.

These pictures show Ealing Common station.

Note the difference in levels between the Piccadilly and District Line trains.

There would be no way to provide level access for both types of train using a Harrington Hump.

So is making a station that serves both deep-level and sub-surface lines, step-free, a problem that is still to be cracked?

This Google Map shows Ealing Common station.

It doesn’t look that it is a station, where two extra platforms could be squeezed in, so both lines could have their own platforms.

Could Ealing Common station be one of the main reasons to serve Ealing Broadway station with the Piccadilly Line?

Acton Town Station

These pictures show Acton Town station.

 

Note.

  1. The two central tracks appear to be Piccadilly Line trains only.
  2. The two outer tracks appear to be able to be used by both District and Piccadilly Line trains.
  3. There is quite a step-down to Piccadilly Line trains on some platforms.

Making Acton Town station, a Piccadilly Line-only station, would ease making the station step-free, as it would only be served by one type of train.

Chiswick Park And Ravenscourt Park

This section is shown in this map from cartmetro.com.

Note.

  1. The District Line is shown in green.
  2. The Piccadilly Line is shown in blue.
  3. The two Piccadilly Line tracks are in the middle and generally trains go straight through the four stations.
  4. The two District Line tracks are on the outside and trains stop at most stations.

It appears that the tracks have been laid out so that Piccadilly Line trains can get a real shift on between Acton Town and Hammersmith.

This could save a few minutes on some Piccadilly Line journeys.

But there is a problem!

  • District Line trains serve all stations.
  • Piccadilly Line trains serve none.
  • How is Chiswick Park station going to be served, as there are no District Line trains passing?
  • Passengers for intermediate stations, would need to get on the District Line trains before entering the Acton Town and Hammersmith section.
  • Passengers may want to change between Ealing Broadway and Chiswick Park.

There will  also be no trains running on the current District Line tracks between Acton Town and Turnham Green Junction. The only ones that do now, go to Ealing Broadway and they’re being changed to Piccadilly Line trains.

Serving Chiswick Park Station

Chiswick Park station only has platforms on the District Line, which will not see any passing trains if the District Line  doesn’t go to  Ealing Broadway.

One suggestion I found was to add two new District Line platforms to the Richmond branch.

This Google Map shows the station.

Note the Richmond branch passing South of the station.

This second Google Map shows the tracks between Chiswick Park station and Turnham Green junction.

Note.

  1. The four tracks between Acton Town and Hammersmith stations.
  2. The current District Line tracks are the outside two of the four tracks.
  3. The Piccadilly Line tracks are the middle two.
  4. The two tracks at the South-West corner go to Richmond station.
  5. The Eastbound track from Richmond goes under the four-track railway, before joining the current Eastbound District Line track.
  6. The Westbound track to Richmond runs along the South side of the four-track railway, before joining the current Westbound District Line track.

These pictures were taken from a train approaching Chiswick Park station from the East.

Note, that there is enough space for a platform along the single track.

These pictures are of Chiswick Park station.

Note.

  1. The distinctive architecture of London Transport stations of the period.
  2. The two fast lines in the middle, with Piccadilly Line trains speeding through.
  3. The two District Line trains on the outside with platforms.
  4. The Richmond Branch passing to the South of the station and between the station and Sainsburys.

I would suspect that a pair of platforms could be built on the two tracks of the Richmond branch.

  • District Line trains to and from Richmond would stop at the new platforms at Chiswick Park stations and Turnham Green, Stamford Brook, Ravenscroft Park, Hammersmith, Baron’s Court and Earl’s Court stations.
  • Passengers between Ealing Broadway and Victoria stations would change at Hammersmith, Baron’s Court or Earl’s Court stations.
  • The car park at the bottom of the map is for a large Sainsbury’s. Perhaps, they would like a station entrance?
  • Chiswick Park station is Grade II Listed.

I’m sure that a good architect can find a more than acceptable solution.

Turnham Green Station

As I passed through Turnham Green station, I got off and took a few pictures, before catching the next train to Ealing Broadway.

Note.

  1. Piccadilly Line trains don’t generally stop, although they do at times to provide a service when the District Line is not running.
  2. The station is not step-free, with stairs to the entrance.
  3. It has some nice features.
  4. Herbs are provided for passengers

If required a step-free interchange between District and Piccadilly Lines could be arranged.

Hammersmith Station

I arrived at Hammersmith station on a Piccadilly Line train and left on a District Line train, after taking these pictures.

Note.

  1. The change is on the same island platform.
  2. There is plenty of space on the platform.
  3. The District Line trains are level with the platform.
  4. The Piccadilly Line trains require a step-down from the platform.
  5. The District Line trains run at a frequency of 12 tph.
  6. The Piccadilly Line trains run at a frequency of 21 tph.
  7. Hammersmith is also a big bus interchange and shopping centre.

There should be no problem changing between Piccadilly and District Lines at Hammersmith, with a wait of no more than five minutes.

Baron’s Court Station

In a brief stop at Baron’s Court station, I took these pictures.

Note.

  1. The change is on the same island platform.
  2. There is less space on the platform, than at Hammersmith station.
  3. The District Line trains are a step-up from the platform.
  4. The Piccadilly Line trains require a step-up from the platform.
  5. The District Line trains run at a frequency of 12 tph.
  6. The Piccadilly Line trains run at a frequency of 21 tph.

There should be no problem changing between Piccadilly and District Lines at Baron’s Court, with a wait of no more than five minutes.

Earl’s Court Station

I arrived at Earl’s Court station on a Piccadilly Line train and left on a District Line train, after taking these pictures.

Note.

  1. The change means that platforms have to be changed
  2. The District Line trains are a step-up from the platform.
  3. The Piccadilly Line trains require a step-up from the platform.
  4. The District Line trains run at a frequency of 12 tph.
  5. The Piccadilly Line trains run at a frequency of 21 tph.

There should be no problem changing between Piccadilly and District Lines at Earl’s Court, but Hammersmith and Baron’Court don’t need a change of platform.

What Is The Best Station To Change Between Piccadilly And District Lines?

It appears that the best place to change would be Hammersmith, or failing that Baron’s Court.

  • Earl’s Court requires a change of platform.
  • Turnham Green requires a change of platform and two sets of steps.
  • Hammersmith has a shopping centre and a lot of buses.
  • I’ve used Hammersmith before to get home from Heathrow, with a change to a 141 bus at Monument station.

I would always for preference use Hammersmith.

Conclusion

It appears to me, there are two opposite forces on either side of a possible proposal to serve Ealing Broadway station with the Piccadilly Line, rather than the District Line.

  1. The District Line will form a loop South of Crossrail between Ealing Broadway and Whitechapel stations.
  2. Making a station step-free that handles both deep-level and sub-surface lines, is not an easy undertaking.

Running the Piccadilly Line to Ealing Broadway means that a change is required at Hammersmith or Barons Court stations to use the loop described in point 1.

But this change would enable the step-free access to be created in all stations in the area.

I think that the change of terminus will go ahead, with the following additions.

  • Improved access to Ealing Common depot.
  • Improved cross-platform access at Hammersmith or Barons Court stations.
  • Possibly two extra platforms on the District Line at Chiswick Park station.

What started out as a simple change could end up as a substantial project.

But overall, because it sorts out step-free access in the area, I think it is a good proposal.

September 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Design Crime – Platform-To-Train Access On The Northern Line At Bank Station

These four pictures show the platform-to-train access on the Northern Line at Bank station.

Note.

  1. The first two pictures are the new Southbound platform.
  2. The last two pictures are the Northbound platform.
  3. The other pictures show the wide and level walkways between the two platforms.

The Southbound platform has level platform-to-train access, but the old Northbound platform does not!

That constitutes a design crime in my book.

September 9, 2022 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Improving The Northern City Line

Some parts of North and North-East London, have less-than-good connections with the Elizabeth Line.

  • The Piccadilly Line has no direct connection with the Elizabeth Line.
  • The Victoria Line has no direct connection with the Elizabeth Line.
  • The Bank branch of the Northern Line has only a poor connection with the Elizabeth Line at Moorgate station.
  • The Northern City Line has only a poor connection with the Elizabeth Line at Moorgate station.
  • The Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line has a good connection with the Elizabeth Line at Tottenham Court Road station.
  • The Lea Valley Lines of the London Overground have good connections with the Elizabeth Line at Liverpool Street station.
  • Thameslink has a good connection with the Elizabeth Line at Farringdon station.

It would appear that if you live near one of the Lea Valley Lines or Thameslink stations, you can access the Elizabeth Line fairly easily at Liverpool Street or Farringdon stations, but if you rely on a Northern, Northern City, Piccadilly or Victoria Line local station, you are not so lucky!

Could The Northern City Line Be Improved To Give Better Connections Between North London And The Elizabeth Line?

This map from cartometro.com shows the lines between Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington stations.

Note.

  1. The dark blue tracks are the Piccadilly Line, which calls at M (Manor House), Finsbury Park, Arsenal, Holloway Road and Caledonian Road, before going South-West to King’s Cross St. Pancras.
  2. The lighter blue tracks are the Victoria Line, which calls at Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington, before going South-West to King’s Cross St. Pancras.
  3. The black tracks on the Western side of the map are those of the East Coast Main Line into King’s Cross.
  4. The black tracks going South-East from Finsbury Park are the Northern City Line, which calls at Finsbury Park, Drayton Park, Highbury & Islington, E (Essex Road) and Old Street before terminating at Moorgate.

This second map shows the lines through Finsbury Park station.

 

Note.

  1. The dark blue tracks are the Piccadilly Line.
  2. The lighter blue tracks are the Victoria Line.
  3. The black tracks going through Drayton Park station are the Northern City Line.
  4. The platforms of the Piccadilly and Victoria Lines are paired at Finsbury Park station, so that passengers can change lines with a simple walk-across.

This third map shows the lines through Highbury & Islington station.

Note.

  1. The dark blue tracks are the Piccadilly Line.
  2. The lighter blue tracks are the Victoria Line.
  3. The orange tracks are the London Overground.
  4. The black tracks going through Drayton Park and Highbury & Islington stations are the Northern City Line, which terminates at Moorgate station.
  5. The platforms of the Northern City and Victoria Lines are paired at Highbury & Islington station, so that passengers can change lines with a simple walk-across.

The big problem with Highbury & Islington station is that is not step-free.

A Step-Free Route Between Wood Green And Moorgate  Stations

Currently, it is possible to go between Wood Green and Moorgate stations by using three trains.

  • Piccadilly Line – Wood Green to Finsbury Park – 6 mins
  • Victoria Line – Finsbury Park to Highbury & Islington – 6 mins
  • Northern City Line – Highbury & Islington to Moorgate – 10 mins

Note.

  1. These are actual times measured on my phone.
  2. The total time is twenty-two minutes.
  3. I had to wait a couple of minutes at both changes.
  4. Both changes are walk-across.
  5. The changes are not as perfect as they could be, although they would be easily managed with a buggy or a heavy case.

These pictures show the change at Highbury & Islington station.

These pictures show the change at Finsbury Park station.

This route works for all stations Between Manor House and Cockfosters.

  • Cockfosters – Add 15 minutes
  • Oakwood – Add 12 minutes
  • Southgate – Add 9 minutes
  • Arnos Grove – Add 6 minutes
  • Bounds Green – Add 3 minutes
  • Turnpike Lane – Subtract 2 minutes
  • Manor House – Subtract 5 minutes

But look at the frequencies of the three sections in trains per hour (tph)

The Northern City Line frequency is not high enough, as you could have a fifteen minute wait for a train.

Improvements Needed To The Northern City Line

The Northern City Line now has new Class 717 trains, a terminal platform at Stevenage and full digital signalling is being installed.

  • The major improvement needed would be to improve frequency to at least 12 tph.
  • Six tph on both branches should be possible.

I would also install step-free access at more stations.

Moorgate Station’s Northern City Line Platforms

These pictures show the platforms of the Northern City Line at Moorgate station.

Note.

Improved Connections At Moorgate Station

I talked about the connections between the Northern and Elizabeth Lines at Moorgate station in Elizabeth Line To Northern Line At Moorgate Station.

This was my conclusion.

Routes between the Northern and Elizabeth Lines at Moorgate need to be improved.

I feel that some of the improvements could be fairly minor, but adding step-free access to the Northern City Line could be more difficult.

An Improved Connection Between Bank And Moorgate Stations

Currently, there are three ways between Bank and Moorgate stations.

  • Use the Northern Line
  • Use a 21, 43 or 141 bus routes
  • Walk

I believe that it would also be possible to dig a pedestrian tunnel between the two stations and fit it out with a moving walkway.

This visualisation shows the updated Bank station.


Note.

  1. Moorgate station is to the left.
  2. The only more-or-less completed bits are the two Northern Line tunnels and platforms and parallel pedestrian tunnel.
  3. The four cross tunnels can be picked out towards the far end of the station.
  4. Three of the cross tunnels can now be used by passengers.
  5. The moving walkway can be accessed from the two cross tunnels nearest to the Central Line.
  6. The escalators from the yet-to-open Cannon Street entrance appear to lead directly into a cross tunnel and a parallel tunnel to the moving walkway.

I believe that the moving walkway to Moorgate station could connect with the Bank station complex, at the Moorgate end of the new moving walkway in Bank station.

 

September 5, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Old Street Station – 24th August 2022

The new entrance to Old Street station is now open in the middle of the former roundabout.

There will also be lifts.

September 4, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Thoughts On The Maximum Frequency In The Central Tunnel

The Wikipedia entry for the Elizabeth Line, says this about the indicative timetable after the 6th November 2022.

The indicative timetable consists of the following services on the Elizabeth line during peak hours: there will be 24 trains per hour (tph) in each direction in the central section (Paddington to Whitechapel): of these, 12 will run between Shenfield and Paddington, 6 will run between Abbey Wood and Heathrow, and 6 between Abbey Wood and either Reading or Maidenhead. Some trains on the Reading branch will not stop at all stations. Passengers travelling between stations west of Paddington and those on the north-eastern branch will need to change trains in the central section. Changing trains at Hayes & Harlington will be required for travel between Hanwell, West Ealing or Acton Main Line and other stations on the Reading branch.

The north-eastern section via Stratford is expected to see an additional four trains per hour during peak times between Gidea Park and the existing main line Liverpool Street station’s high level terminating platforms. Since these trains run over existing above-ground lines from Liverpool Street to Stratford, they will not call at Whitechapel.

When you consider, that Dear Old Vicky can handle 36 tph in the Peak, I  feel that at some point in the future, the Elizabeth Line will handle more trains in the Central Tunnel.

This article on London Reconnections, which is entitled The Ninety Second Railway: Making the Victoria The Most Frequent Metro In The World, gives a history of increasing the frequency on the Victoria Line.

This is a paragraph from the article.

Of course, having the trains is only one part of the requirement. As our editor John Bull is prone to point out, there comes a point where frequency is not about how many trains you can squeeze through the tunnels, but about how quickly you can get passengers onto and clear of, the platforms.

As a regular passenger on the Victoria Line, there are times, when you notice that there are queues for the escalators and in the passageways at certain stations.

The Victoria Line probably can’t go to forty tph without substantial work on several stations.

But as these pictures show, the Elizabeth Line has space.

The Central Tunnel stations also have step-free walk-across access to the trains.

On my many journeys on the Lizzie Line, I’ve yet to see any delays in boarding in the Central Tunnel.

Extra Terminals

At present, the Elizabeth Line has been designed to have these terminal stations.

  • Abbey Wood
  • Heathrow Terminal 4
  • Heathrow Terminal 5
  • Maidenhead
  • Paddington
  • Reading
  • Shenfield

The capacity in the East must match the capacity in the West.

Possible terminals in the East could be.

  • Beaulieu
  • Gravesend
  • Hoo
  • Northfleet
  • Southend Victoria

And in the West they could be.

  • Bedwyn
  • Oxford
  • Swindon

The numbers must still match.

Extra services would probably best be added gradually with time, when a need was proven.

Conclusion

I feel that only three things will limit the frequency of Elizabeth Line trains through the Central Tunnel.

  • A frequency that fits the passenger numbers and route preferences.
  • The capacity of the terminals
  • The ability for engineers to meet that frequency safely and at an affordable cost.

Given that at certain times of the day, the Elizabeth Line is busier than you would expect, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that frequency higher than that planned.

September 4, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Romford Station – 31st August 2022

Romford Station is now more-or-less complete for the Elizabeth Line.

I took these pictures today.

Note.

  1. The station now has lifts.
  2. Secure bicycle parking has been added.
  3. The ticket hall is a lot more spacious and it has three entrances to the street.
  4. Surprisingly, there were six positions for staff to sell tickets to customers.
  5. The new decor is a lot more plain with no marble.

This is a picture from 2016.

Will it be added later?

August 31, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment