The Anonymous Widower

A Pedestrian Connection Between City Thameslink Station And St. Paul’s Tube Station

In the Wikipedia entry for City Thameslink station, there is a section called Future Proposals.

This is said.

An underground passageway linking City Thameslink to St Pauls tube station to provide an interchange between the London Underground Central line and National Rail services on the Thameslink (route) has been suggested by London TravelWatch in a report in 2014 which suggested it would benefit passengers travelling from the Central Line catchment to Gatwick and Luton Airports.

St. Paul’s tube station does not have the best access, with two sets of escalators to get to the Easttbound platform, which is underneath the Westbound one.

This picture shows the lobby at the bottom of the second set of escalators.

The Eastbound platform is through the opening on the left.

Could a tunnel to the West be built from this lobby?

This map from shows the layout of lines at City Thameslink and St. Paul’s.

It would appear that a pedestrian tunnel could be bored from the Western end of the platforms at St. Paul’s to connect to the Northern end of City Thameslink.

  • A travelator could be included.
  • It would create an accessible route into St. Paul’s station.
  • Intermediate entrances could be provided to give access to important sites like the Western end of St. Paul’s cathedral.

Property development between the two stations will probably be the catalyst to get this link built.

These pictures show Paternoster Square, which lies to the North of St. Paul’s cathedral.

I wonder if provision was made for an entrance, when the area was redeveloped around twenty years ago.

It would surely be an ideal place for an intermediate step-free entrance to any pedestrian tunnel linking St. Paul’s and City Thameslink stations.


Done properly, it would do the following.

  • Add step-free access at one of London’s most important stations for tourists.
  • Create a link between Thameslink and the Central Line.
  • Create a shared entrance to both stations in the Paternoster Square area.

Obviously, the figures would have to add up.

March 12, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Kensington (Olympia) Station Full Tube Service Restoration Petition Signed By More Than 10,000

The title of this post is the same as the title of this article on getwestLondon.

The article states that advantages of restoring a full Tube service include.

  • Better Tube service for local residents and business.
  • Ease congestion.
  • Improve air quality.
  • Provide a step-free station for everybody.

But this paragraph is surely the most relevant.

Footfall at Olympia London has risen from 700,000 to 1.6m since 2011 (when the full Tube service was removed), and is likely to increase over the coming years. Only by having a full Tube service can local transport options meet this increasing demand.

The more the footfall increases, the greater the need for a full Tube service.

Service on the District Line

The Wikipedia entry for Kensington(Olympia) station, has a section detailing the District Line Service.

This is said.

The District line shuttle to Earl’s Court and High Street Kensington runs at weekends and a very limited service also operates during the early morning and evening each weekday. There is no service New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day when these days fall on or partly on a weekend.

Prior to 2011, it was much more frequent.

Service On The West London Line

The Wikipedia entry for Kensington (Olympia) station, has a section detailing the West London Line Service.

This is said.

The London Overground services in trains per hour are:

  • 4 northbound to Willesden Junction, of which 2 continue to Stratford during the off-peak and all 4 during the peak.
  • 4 southbound to Clapham Junction.

Southern operate between Milton Keynes Central and East Croydon, typically once an hour.

London Overground have plans to increase their service by two trains per hour, starting in 2018.

Kensington ( Olympia ) Station Is Not Fully Step-Free

This Google Map shows the track and platform layout at Kensington (Olympia) station.

Platforms are as follows from West to East.

  • 1 – Terminus for District Line
  • 2 – Northbound West London Line
  • 3 – Southbound West London Line

Note the footbridge linking the island platform 1 and 2, with the other platform 3.

It is not step-free, which means that platforms 1 and 2 have step-free access to Olympia, but platform 3 does not.

Surely, whatever happens to the train service, this bridge must be replaced with one that is step-free.

Getting To And From Kensington (Olympia) Station

It’s easy for me to get to Kensington (Olympia) station, as I just walk to Dalston Kingsland station and get a direct train.

But what fastest routes do you use from these major Underground stations?

  • Bank – Change at Shepherd’s Bush
  • Canary Wharf – Change at Bond Street and Shepherd’s Bush
  • Euston – Change at Willesden Junction
  • Finsbury Park – Change at Oxford Circus and Shepherd’s Bush
  • Kings Cross St. Pancras – Change at Oxford Circus and Shepherd’s Bush
  • Liverpool Street – Change at Shepherd’s Bush
  • Paddington – Change at High Street Kensington to a bus.
  • Waterloo – Change at Clapham Junction

These routes all used Transport for London’s journey planner.

For some less important stations, you can get some complicated routes.

Marylebone is a classic, which involves two walks, two buses and the Circle Line.

For those, who went to Olympia before 2011, when there was a shuttle from Earl’s Court, will find they will need to change at West Brompton to get from Earl’s Court to Kensington (Olympia).

Wikipedia describes the pre-2011 service like this.

For a period before December 2011 the District line had an irregular short shuttle service of two or three trains per hour to High Street Kensington via Earl’s Court. One late evening train ran daily to Upminster.

To be charitable, you would say it is not a passenger-friendly system for most going to Olympia.


The petitioners would appear to have a very valid point.



March 7, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Bromley-by-Bow Station To Be Made Step-Free

Bromley-by-Bow station is to be made step-free.

I took these pictures this morning.

Work appears to be well underway.

This page on Hawkins Brown website gives comprehensive details of the project.

They are the architects for the project.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Stations On The West Ruislip Branch Of The Central Line To Be Made Step-Free

Hanger Lane and Northolt stations are going to be made step-free.

I took these pictures on the 25th January 2018

Hanger Lane



No work has started!

These two stations are similar in design, as are most stations from between Perivale and Ruislip Gardens.

  • Each has a single island platform.
  • Steep stairs come down in the middle of the platform.
  • A single lift would make the stations step-free from ticket hall to platforms.
  • Hanger Lane would need an extra lift from street to ticket hall.

Only Greenford, which has a junction with the Greenford Branch and is elevated, is built to different design.

Greenford Station’s Inclined Lift

At Greenford, an inclined lift has been used, as I wrote in The Inclined Lift In An Improved Greenford Station.

This picture was taken at Greenford station.

Could this be fitted alongside a rebuilt staircase on these Central Line stations?

  • The lift and stairs would be sized to fit across the platform.
  • A bigger hole in the ticket hall would be needed.
  • Access under the stairs would not be needed for passengers.
  • An inclined lift installation might be more popular with the Heritage Lobby.

It could even be possible to keep the station open during the rebuilding work.

This article on Transport For All is entitled London’s First Incline Lift. This is a paragraph.

Research by Ealing Council shows that installing incline lifts are a cost effective solution for making inaccessible stations step-free. TfL initially estimated a cost of £10m to install a traditional vertical lift at Greenford station. The incline lift makes a huge saving as it only costs £2.2m with a proposed £200,000 contribution from Ealing Council.

That is a 78% cost saving.

I can’t find any complaints on the Internet about the installation at Greenford.

What Are Transport for London’s Plans?

Transport for London have stated that their aim is to eventually have all Underground stations with full step-free access.

I have this feeling that Hanger Lane and Northolt were added to the list for these reasons.

  • The success of the inclined lift at Greenford station.
  • Studies have shown that inclined lifts could be used at these stations.
  • The affordability of inclined lifts.
  • Local residents have used Greenford’s lift and want one!
  • Ruislip Gardens, South Ruislip and Perivale stations could be made step-free in the same way.

Transport for London could be going for a traditional solution! But I doubt it!


January 25, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Burnt Oak Station To Be Made Step Free

These pictures show Burnt Oak station.

I’d never been to Burnt Oak station before.

Because of the layout of the station with an island platform, that has a double staircase with space in between, I suspect this could be one of the easier stations to be made step-free.

What Are Transport for London’s Plans?

Transport for London have stated that their aim is to eventually have all Underground stations with full step-free access.

Searching the Internet, I found there is this page on the Brent Council web site, which gives details of the Burnt Oak and Colindale Regeneration Programme.

As 12,500 houses will be built under this programme, it is not surprising that Transport for London are improving Burnt Oak station.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Cockfosters Station To Be Made Step Free

These pictures show Cockfosters station.

As a child, I used to go to the barbers in Cockfosters station to get my hair cut. I suppose, I went by myself from the time I joined Minchenden Grammar School at eleven. But I could have gone earlier, as it wasn’t that far from where we lived.

The barbers is not there anymore!

The station hasn’t changed much underground, although there’s now a cafe and there are barriers to check the tickets.

As to step-free access, there will need to be a lift on both sides of Cockfosters Road, as stairs are impossible, exzcept for the fully able-bodied.

There will certainly be more difficult stations to make step-free.

Once passengers are down in the station, it is a completely level walk, push or drag to the trains.

What Are Transport for London’s Plans?

Transport for London have stated that their aim is to eventually have all Underground stations with full step-free access.

But Cockfosters station may attract a large number of visitors with bikes, buggies and wheelchairs.

  • The station is on the London Outer Orbital Path.
  • Trent Park is nearby.
  • Cockfosters is at the end of the Piccadilly Line. So is it a stations, where passengers are dropped for Central London, Kings Cross and Heathrow?

Christ Church, Cockfosters is nearby, where C and myself got married. Possibly more importantly,the UK Memorial Service for Elivis Presley was held in the church, as this page recalls.

One thing that appears to be better at Cockfosters station from my childhood are the buses.

  • There are more bus routes calling at the station.
  • All the buses now have wheelchair spaces and access ramps.
  • Bus information is better.

So will we see the bus routes from Cockfosters station further developed to serve new housing developments?


January 24, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Wimbledon Park Station To Be Made Step Free

These pictures show Wimbledon Park station.

The stairs are very bad at this station and as it is an island platform, only one lift would be needed.

To illustrate the poor quality of the access, as I sent down the stairs, a passenger was helping a mother get her baby in a pushchair up the stairs.

The station is a disgrace!

No wonder Transport for London are making the station, step-free.

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

West London Stations To Be Made Step-Free

Twelve stations in West London are to be made step-free on the London Underground.

These Crossrail stations in West London, will also become step-free.

This gives a total of twenty stations, that will become fully step-free in West London.

These pictures show the various London Underground stations. at the end of January 2018.

Boston Manor

No work has started yet!


The station is unusual in that there are steep steps up to a bridge over the tracks, at both entrances to the station. Then there would need to be further lifts to the platforms.

Work has started.


No work has started yet! Will the current bridge be replaced?

North Ealing

No work has started yet!


No work has started yet!

Park Royal

No work has started yet!


No work has started yet! Will the current bridge be replaced?

Sudbury Hill

No work has started yet!

Platform Height Problems

Boston Manor, North Ealing, Osterley, Park Royal and Sudbury Hill stations were all District Line stations moved to the Piccadilly Line.

This picture was taken at Osterley station.

Could we see trains running on the Piccadilly Line, where the suspension jacks the train up as required?

This may seem rather fantastical, but most modern trains run on airbags to give a smooth ride.

This picture shows the bogie under a Class 378 train.

Note the air-bag! Pump it up and the train rides higher.

This technique could be used to solve the problem of Piccadilly Line trains calling at platforms shared with Metropolitan Line trains.


They are much more of a mixed bunch than those I wrote about in Eastern Central Line Stations To Be Made Step-Free.

This probably due to the fact, that the Eastern stations were all build by the Great Eastern Railway at around the same time.

These West London stations were built at various times, with some being built in the 1930s.

  • Boston Manor was rebuilt in 1934 and is Grade II Listed
  • Hanger Lane was built in 1947.
  • Osterley was built in 1934 and is Grade II Listed.
  • Park Royal was built in 1932 and is Grade II Listed
  • Sudbury Hill was built in 1931 to a design of Charles Holden and is Grade II Listed.

Didn’t they have disabled people and prams in those days, just a few years before I was born?

Some of the precipitous steps in this group of station are very dangerous.

At least some of the other stations of this era like Bounds Green, Southgate and Word Green have escalators.

What Are Transport for London’s Plans?

Transport for London have stated that their aim is to eventually have all Underground stations with full step-free access.

If you look at maps of West London, stations for Underground and National Rail are not that numerous and it is rare to find step-free access, unless a satation has been built in the last couple of decades.

So perhaps, TfL are improving the balance.







January 23, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Eastern Central Line Stations To Be Made Step-Free

Five stations at the Eastern End of the Central Line are to be made step-free.

These pictures show the various stations. on the 22nd January 2018.

Buckhurst Hill

Work is already underway to reopen an old subway at the Southern end of the station. A completion date of Summer 2018 is displayed.

Will lifts be added to this subway?


No work has started yet! Will the current bridge be replaced?

Newbury Park

Work has started. A completion date of Summer 2018 is displayed.


No work has started yet! Will the current bridge be replaced?

South Woodford

No work has started yet!


These stations were built by the Great Eastern Railway in the nineteenth century, with the exception of Newbury Park, which was built for the Central Line after the Second World War.

The Great Eastern stations show their heritage with good brickwork, period features and a good selection of wrought iron bridges.

Newbury Park station is Grade II Listed because of the hideous concrete bus station.

What Are Transport for London’s Plans?

Transport for London have stated that their aim is to eventually have all Underground stations with full step-free access.

There are twenty station East of Stratford station on the Central Line.

Currently, four have some degree of step-free access, so these five added stations would bring the step-free stations to forty-five percent.

Could all this work, be due to the fact, that when Crossrail opens, the Eastern section of the Central Line will effectively become a branch of London’s new line? The two lines will have a step-free cross-platform interchange at Stratford.

Will this give a marketing advantage, as there will now be a totally step-free route from a lot of Eastern Central Line stations to the West End, Paddington andHeathrow?

Could car parking be a factor?

  • Only Debden and Newbury Park stations, of those being made step-free have car parks with over a hundred spaces.
  • Disabled spaces are generally less than ten.
  • Of the other step-free stations in the area, only Epping has a large car park.

It is probably more affordable to add step-free access to stations, than provide disabled parking spaces, closer into London.

Onward To Ongar

Currently, there are no plans to extend the Central Line to Ongar.

But I do wonder, if this could be reconsidered in the future.

  • The roads will get more congested.
  • More housing is built in this part of Essex.
  • Crossrail will probably attack passengers to use the Central Line.
  • The Central Line’s new trains in a few years will cut journey times and add capacity.

What will probsbly decide the matter is overcrowding at Epping station.





January 23, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Tube Stations To Be Made Step-Free

This article on City AM is entitled London Mayor Sadiq Khan Names The Next 13 Tube Stations Going Step-Free.

They are.

These are in addition to these stations, which are already in the pipeline for step-free access.

As the City AM article reports that the new thirteen station will cost £200 million to upgrade, there is around £300 million of work to9 be done in total.

Perhaps some of the contracts will go the companies hit by Carillion’s failure!



January 21, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment