The Anonymous Widower

Six Good Points Of The Elizabeth Line

The Ride Quality

I wrote about this in The Quality Of The Ride On The Lizzie Line.

The Virtual Extension Of The Elizabeth Line To Epping And South West Essex

I wrote about this in Elizabeth/Central Line Interchange At Stratford – 23rd June 2022.

The Quality Of The Station Staff

They are excellent and I suspect they’ve been very well-trained.

The Bakerloo Line Link At Paddington Station

I wrote about this in Elizabeth Line – Paddington Bakerloo Line Link – 24th May 2022.

The Connection Between The Northern And Lizzie Lines At Tottenham Court Road Station

Iwrote about this in The Connection Between The Northern And Lizzie Lines At Tottenham Court Road Station.

The Underground Link between Liverpool Street and Moorgate Stations

I wrote about this in London’s First Underground Roller Coaster.

I wrote about my first ride in Elizabeth Line – Riding The Underground Roller Coaster At Liverpool Street Station – 24th May 2022.

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

Extending the Elizabeth Line – Stratford To Walthamstow and Chingford

A lot of people in Walthamstow and Chingford would like a direct rail connection to Stratford with its shopping, sporting, entertainment and employment opportunities.

The Hall Farm Curve used to provide this connection, but it was removed in 1968, despite having been electrified in 1960.

This map from cartometro.com shows the curve.

Note.

  1. The Chingford branch line is shown in orange.
  2. The triple-track Stratford branch of the West Anglia Main Line crosses the Chingford branch line at right angles.
  3. Lea Bridge station reopened in 2016.

It has been stated that the Hall Farm Curve would be reinstated as an electrified single track.

There would probably be a need for a crossover to the North of the former Hall Farm junction to enable trains from Lea Bridge to get the the Chingford-bound track.

The Hall Farm Curve would also give access to Elizabeth Line and Greater Anglia services at Stratford. But it may be that when the Elizabeth Line opens fully in November, travellers get used to going into Liverpool Street and changing there.

Services Between Stratford and Chingford Via Walthamstow

Providing this service might be difficult, but not impossible.

  • Trains could use the High Meads Loop at Stratford.
  • Digital signalling may allow more trains to be squeezed in.
  • Chingford could certainly handle eight trains per hour (tph)

But there is always the problem of the level crossing at Highams Park station.

September 27, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Connecting Great Eastern Main Line Services To The Central Tunnel

If say it was ever needed to run a train between Ipswich or Southend Victoria stations and the Central Tunnel of the Elizabeth Line, three things must be possible.

Trains Would Have To Be Compatible With The Central Tunnel Of The Elizabeth Line

As any train would have to be compatible with the platform-edge doors in the central tunnel of the Elizabeth Line, the trains would have to be dimensionally identical to the current Class 345 trains.

  • Nine cars
  • Possibility of lengthening to ten cars.
  • 204.73 metres long.
  • 6 sets of doors per carriage
  • Ability to run under full digital signalling.

I covered this in detail in Extending The Elizabeth Line – High Speed Trains On The Elizabeth Line.

Trains Would Need A 100 mph Capability To Travel On The Fast Lines Of The Great Eastern Main Line

They would be designed for a higher speed of at least 100 mph, to enable running on the fast lines.

The faster running would ease scheduling of the trains.

Effectively, the train would be a Class 345 train with more features and considerably more grunt.

Trains Must Be Able To Connect Between The Fast Lines And The Central Tunnel Of The Elizabeth Line At Stratford

This map from cartometro.com shows the track layout at Stratford.

Note.

  1. The Elizabeth Line is shown in black and purple.
  2. The Elizabeth Line to Shenfield goes through Platform 8 at Stratford station and Platform 2 at Maryland station.
  3. The Great Eastern Main Line to Shenfield goes through Platform 10 at Stratford station and Platform 4 at Maryland station.
  4. The Stratford country end crossovers allow a train using the Elizabeth Line Central Tunnel to go through Platform 8 at Stratford station and Platform 4 at Maryland station before continuing on the Great Eastern Main Line.
  5. The Elizabeth Line to Central London goes through Platform 1 at Maryland station and Platform 5 at Stratford station.
  6. The Great Eastern Main Line to Central London goes through Platform 3 at Maryland station and Platform 9 at Stratford station.
  7. The Stratford country end crossovers allow a train using the Great Eastern Main Line to go through Platform 3 at Maryland station and Platform 3 at Stratford station before continuing through the Elizabeth Line Central Tunnel.

I am fairly sure that the track layout at Stratford allows trains to go both ways between Great Eastern Main Line and the Elizabeth Line Central Tunnel.

September 3, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

The New Entrance At Hackney Central Station – 2nd July 2022

The new entrance at Hackney Central station opened yesterday.

Note.

  1. The cafe must be fairly good, as it has two flavours of gluten-free brownies.
  2. I may have a touch of arthritis these days, but stairs like these are fine for me, as there are two right-handed paths.
  3. There is a second set of stairs down from the footbridge to speed passengers on their way to Hackney Downs station.
  4. There is a light-controlled crossing over Graham Road.
  5. Bus stops in both directions are only about twenty metres from the crossing.
  6. The station buildings appear to have green roofs.
  7. The is plenty of bike storage, but no car parking.
  8. There is no lift, although the design should allow one to be added later, if it is thought one is needed.

I’ve seen bigger budgets produce worse designed station entrances than this one.

My Use Of The Graham Road Entrance At Hackney Central Station

I suspect, I will use the new entrance mainly in one of two ways.

Going West On The North London Line

If I want to go west on the North London Line, the obvious one is to get a bus to Highbury & Islington station from the closest stop to my house and get the train from there.

But that route has got more difficult in recent years.

  • Our South London Mayor in his wisdom cut the 277 bus back to Dalston Junction station.
  • So there is only the 30 bus left and the route uses badly-designed Egyptian-built buses. I’ve nothing against Egyptians, but these buses don’t have the flat floor, that people expect from a bus these days.
  • Since the roundabout was rebuilt, it seems to be a longer and more difficult walk for pedestrians.

So I’d prefer to take another route.

  • Canonbury station is probably the closest station, but it is an uphill walk from my house.
  • Dalston Kingsland station is a possibility, but the steps to the platform aren’t the safest.
  • Dalston Junction station is another possibility, as it is step-free, but it means more changes of mode and train.

Going via the new Graham Road entrance has advantages.

  • From my house, there are frequent 38 buses to the new entrance.
  • The 38 bus stop at Hackney Central is only a few metres from the station entrance.
  • There is a coffee stall in the station entrance.
  • The steps in the entrance are easy for me.

I will try out this route the next time, that I go to the West on the North London Line.

Coming Home From Stratford With Shopping

If I need a big Marks & Spencer or a John Lewis, it is convenient to go to Eastfield at Stratford and come home on the North London Line.

I will usually use the The Canonbury Cross-Over to double-back and get a bus home from Dalston Junction station.

It is an easy route, but sometimes the trains mean a wait of nearly ten minutes at Canonbury station.

The new entrance at Hackney Central gives an alternative route.

  • You would get in the back of the train at Stratford.
  • Alight at Hackney Central.
  • Exit the station through the new entrance.
  • Cross Graham Road on the light-controlled crossing.
  • Walk about twenty metres to the 38 bus stop.
  • Wait for a frequent 38 bus.

Today, I waited just a minute.

Conclusion

The entrance was first mentioned in an article on Ian Visits in October 2019 and I wrote about it in Will Hackney Central Station Get A Second Entrance?.

In May 2021, I wrote £3m Hackney Overground Station Upgrade To Begin In June.

The entrance seems to have gone from a concept to reality in under three years and once the starting pistol was fired, it was built in under a year.

How many parts of the UK rail network could be improved, by small projects like this?

 

July 2, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Elizabeth/Central Line Interchange At Stratford – 23rd June 2022

During the rail strike yesterday, it was a good time to show how the interchange between the Elizabeth and Central Lines at Stratford station.

Note.

  1. I took these photographs from the London-bound platform.
  2. Platform 3 is the Central Line platform on the Southern side.
  3. Platform 3A is a second platform face to allow boarding of Central Line trains from both sides.
  4. Platform 5 is the Elizabeth Line platform on the Northern side.
  5. To the North of this pair of platforms, there is a second pair for Essex bound trains.
  6. Platform 6 is the Central Line platform on the Southern side.
  7. Platform 8 is the Elizabeth Line platform on the Northern side.

Due to the strike I only saw one Elizabeth Line train in the time I was there and I took that to Liverpool Street station.

Step-Free Access Between Train And Platform

These four pictures show the step between trains and platforms at the stations.

The step is bigger on the Elizabeth Line, but both sides could be improved.

This Is An Important Interchange

These two cross-platform changes at Stratford station form an important interchange on the Elizabeth Line and when the Elizabeth Line is fully operational, they will have the following trains.

  • Elizabeth Line – Peak – 16 tph
  • Elizabeth Line – Off-Peak – 12 tph
  • Central Line – Peak – 35 tph
  • Central Line – Off-Peak – 24 tph

Note.

  1. tph is trains per hour.
  2. These two double-sided platforms will be very busy.
  3. In the Peak, a train will arrive every seventy seconds.

I believe that this interchange will effectively make the Central Line stations, that are North-West of Stratford, a virtual extension of the Elizabeth Line.

A side-effect could be a rise in house prices near any of those Central Line stations.

Conclusion

This very important interchange, between the Underground and National Rail services was actually opened in October 1946.

It is surprising to me, that we don’t have more interchanges like this in the UK, between local and long-distance rail services.

June 24, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Stratford Station Secures Funding For Plans Set To Relieve Overcrowding

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Reduced congestion at London’s Stratford station is on the table as Network Rail secure a £2m boost from the Department for Transport.

Stratford Station has seen a surge in demand – despite the impact of the pandemic – ever since the 2012 Olympics, and the forecast for this is set to grow even more as the area continues to regenerate.

Something needs to be done as it is he busiest non-terminal station in London, that before the pandemic was handling over 42 million passengers per year.

Nothing specific is said, except that more space will be created for passengers with better wayfinding.

Although the article says that this could be a five year project.

The Current Station

This is an extract from It’s Time To Detopsify Stratford Station, which was a previous look at Stratford station in May this year.

This map from cartometro.com shows the Topsy-like nature of the platforms at Stratford.

Note.

  1. The Docklands Light Railway is shown in turquoise.
  2. The DLR platforms in the North-West corner of the map are those of Stratford International station.
  3. High Speed One and the four platforms of Stratford International station are shown in black.
  4. The North London Line of the London Overground is shown in orange.
  5. The North London Line terminates in Platforms 1 and 2, which have a level link to Platform 12.
  6. Platform 12 is on the anti-clockwise platform for the High Meads Loop and has step-free access to the subway system underneath the station.
  7. Platform 11 is on the clockwise platform for the High Meads Loop and has level access to Platform 10a and full step-free access,
  8. Platform 10a is used by some services to East Anglia.
  9. Crossrail is shown in blue.
  10. The Central Line is shown in red.
  11. The Jubilee Line is shown in silver.

It is not the best passenger-friendly station layout.

What Would I Do?

These are what I would like to see.

Better Information on the Overground Platforms

If I am returning from Stratford after doing some shopping at Eastfield, I will often climb up the stairs or rise in the lift to the two Overground platforms 1 and 2. I will often find two trains there, but there is no indication to say which will be the first train to leave.

Use Of The High Meads Loop

The High Meads Loop is a double-track loop at the Southern end of the branch of the West Anglia Main Line that leads to Stratford.

  • It is mainly underneath the Eastfield shopping centre.
  • It serves Platforms 11 and 12 in Stratford station.

As the single-track loop of the Wirral Line under Liverpool can handle up to sixteen trains per hour (tph), I believe that the High Meads Loop could be used as the Southern terminus for an improved service to Cambridge, Stansted Airport and up the Lea Valley to Cheshunt, Chingford, Harlow and Hertford East.

The signage from when Stratford had a Stansted Express service is still there and shown in this picture.

 

 

This is almost symptomatic of the chaotic nature of the station.

I get the impression from this sign, that one of the original design criteria of the High Meads Loop and the Overground platforms at Stratford for the North London Line was to create an easy route for the whole of North London to Stansted Airport and Cambridge.

Or is it just a symptom of Too Many Cooks Syndrome, where everybody had their own ideas and no-one took charge and designed Stratford station properly?

Let’s hope Network Rail are fully in charge, as this is not a project to interest Sadiq Khan, as it’s not in South London and that area of London won’t benefit.

A Better Connection Between Stratford Station And Southeastern HighSpeed Services

I have just looked up how it is recommended you might travel between Richmond and Faversham.

The timetable recommends a double-change at Clapham Junction and Victoria.

I would take the Overground to Stratford and then change to the Southeastern HighSpeed services.

  • This route is a single change.
  • The change is step-free.
  • The change involves passing the best station stop in the UK; Marks and Spencer’s large store in the Eastfield Shopping Centre, where takeaway food is well placed for passing trade.

But the change is badly signposted and could be a long walk with a heavy case.

There is probably a need for some form of people mover that connects all the platforms at Stratford station to the platforms at Stansted International station.

Conclusion

Sort it!

 

 

 

September 18, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Could London Overground Services To Stratford Be Extended To Meridian Water?

My arrival In Platform 11 at Stratford station has got me thinking!

And others too! Judging by the comments I’ve received.

Yesterday, I took a train from Dalston Kingsland station to Stratford station.

  • The train was the 0934 from Clapham Junction, which was timed to arrive in Stratford at 1038.
  • It arrived in Platform 11 at 1036.

In A London Overground Class 378 Train In Platform 11 At Stratford Station, I show pictures of the train in Platform 11 at Stratford station.

I suspected this was just a one-off occurrence, caused by a malfunction in a train or the signalling, which prevented my train from using the normal Platforms 1 or 2, that services to Stratford would use.

Although, looking at Real Time Trains, the 0938 train this morning, terminated in Platform 11. As it did on Monday and Tuesday this week.

  • This train was the only train from Clapham Junction station not to use Platform 2.
  • Checking days last week, it appears that this train always terminated in Platform 2.

So why did the service terminate in Platform 11?

Driver training is one possibility, so they can use the Platform 11, if there is a malfunction that stops them using Platform 2.

But is there a clue in the first picture, I took, when I arrived in Stratford?

The train in Platform 12 is the 1046 to Meridian Water, which arrived from Bishops Stortford at 1040.

Could it mean that there is to be a reorganisation of platforms at Stratford?

  • Platform 12 will be exclusively used by Greater Anglia for their West Anglia Main Line services.
  • Platform 11 will be used by London Overground.

In Using Platform 12 At Stratford Station, I described ending up on Platform 12, so I know it is possible, but when it happened information was bad for passengers, who didn’t know here they needed to go to continue on their way.

But why would London Overground need the extra platform?

These are my thoughts.

Do London Overground Need An Extra Platform At Stratford?

Currently London Overground services to Stratford are as follows.

  • Four tph – Stratford and Richmond
  • Four tph – Stratford and Clapham Junction

Note.

  1. tph is trains per hour.
  2. Both Class 378 and Class 710 trains can work the routes to Stratford.
  3. Eight tph can easily be handled by two platforms.

To handle more trains may need a third platform at Stratford for the London Overground.

Extra Trains Between Stratford And Canonbury

This report from Network Rail is entitled The London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

It says this about creating a third platform at Camden Road station.

This proposal would reinstate a third track and platform on the northern side of Camden Road station, utilising part of the former 4-track formation through the station.

The additional capacity provided would facilitate much greater flexibility in pathing options for trains on this busy central section of the NLL, opening up new options for future service provision and bolstering performance resilience.

Reinstatement of a third platform would enable platform 2 to be used as a central turnback, with platform 3 becoming the eastbound line for through London Overground services and the majority of freight.

Transport for London modelling suggests that the eastern end of the NLL, from Canonbury to Stratford, will see some of the strongest long-term demand growth on the Overground network.

A turnback platform will allow this to be addressed with peak capacity boosting services between Stratford and Camden Road and there would also be the option to operate these through the off-peak, which could offer a means of providing additional passenger capacity where it is most needed.

The availability of an additional platform would also aid performance recovery during perturbation on
the orbital routes.

Note.

  1. The strongest passenger growth on the North London Line (NLL), will be between Canonbury and Stratford.
  2. Extra services are proposed between Stratford and Camden Road stations.
  3. If you travelled between Highbury & Islington and Stratford before the pandemic, the trains only had space for a few extra very small people in the Peak.

I use this section of the North London Line regularly and suspect the route needs at least twelve tph.

Twelve tph into Stratford would probably mean that the London Overground would need a third platform at Stratford.

More Trains Serving Meridian Water

In the Wikipedia entry for Meridian Water station, this is said.

In August 2019, it was announced that funding had been approved for construction of a fourth platform and a new section of track between Tottenham Hale and Meridian Water to enable up to 8 trains per hour to serve the station at peak times.

This must be the earliest upgrade in history, after a new station has opened.

I got the impression, when the station was announced that it would have four tph to Stratford. Currently, there are just two tph.

Two tph between Stratford and Bishops Stortford also pass through without stopping.

If these called at Meridian Water in the Peak, then there would still be four tph to find.

An easy way to create four tph between Stratford and Meridian Water would be to extend four London Overground services from Stratford.

  • Services would call at Lea Bridge, Tottenham Hale and Northumberland Park stations.
  • Trains would pass through Platform 11 at Stratford.
  • Platform 11 at Stratford would be bi-directional.
  • The service could be run all day, at a frequency of four tph.
  • As these trains have their own track, they won’t delay the Cambridge and Stansted trains on the West Anglia Main Line.
  • A cross-London service between Meridian Water and Clapham Junction or Richmond, would be possible.

Note.

  1. London Overground would be responsible for the bulk of the Meridian Water service.
  2. London Overground’s four- or five-car trains would probably have sufficient capacity for the service.
  3. The main new infrastructure needed would be the fourth platform and a new section of track at Meridian Water station.
  4. Some improvements as specified in the London Rail Freight Strategy will be useful, as they will increase capacity on the North and West London Lines.
  5. My only worry would be, that can modern signalling handle four tph in both directions through Platform 11 at Stratford station.

What Will Be The Track Layout And Method of Operation?

The current track layout is simple.

A bi-directional third track has been laid between Lea Bridge junction, just to the North of Lea Bridge station and Meridian Water station.

  • It is to the East of the double-track West Anglia Main Line.
  • There are bi-directional platforms at Tottenham Hale and Northumberland Park stations.
  • There is a single terminating Platform 2 at Meridian Water station.

A train going between Stratford and Meridian Water stations does the following.

  • Leaves from Platform 11 or 12 at Stratford station.
  • Calls in Platform 2 at Lea Bridge station.
  • Switches at Lea Bridge junction to the bi-directional third-track.
  • Calls in Platform 2 at Tottenham Hale station.
  • Calls in Platform 2 at Northumberland Park station.
  • Terminates in Platform 2 at Meridian Water station.

A train going between Meridian Water and Stratford stations does the following.

  • Leaves from Platform 2 at Meridian Water station
  • Calls in Platform 2 at Northumberland Park station.
  • Calls in Platform 2 at Tottenham Hale station.
  • Switches at Lea Bridge junction to the Up line of the West Anglia Main Line.
  • Calls in Platform 1 at Lea Bridge station.
  • Terminates in Platform  11 or 12 at Stratford station.

The track layout can probably handle a maximum of two tph.

I suspect the upgrade will build on this layout to allow a frequency of at least four tph.

The following works will be done.

  • A fourth track to the East of the bi-directional third track will be built.
  • The fourth track will run between Tottenham Hale and Meridian Water stations.
  • I suspect the fourth track will split from the third track at a junction to the North of Tottenham Hale station. Could this be called Tottenham Hale North Junction? I will use that name, to make things simple!
  • A new Platform 1 will be built in Meridian Water station.
  • Trains going North between Tottenham Hale and Meridian Water will use the current bi-directional third track and will be able to terminate in either Platform 1 or 2 at Meridian Water station.
  • Trains going South between Meridian Water and Tottenham Hale will use the new fourth track and will be able to start from either Platform 1 or 2 at Meridian Water station.
  • I suspect, Northumberland Park station will need a new Platform 1 for Southbound trains. But the station was designed with that in mind.

A train going between Stratford and Meridian Water stations will do the following.

  • Leave from Platform 11 or 12 at Stratford station.
  • Call in Platform 2 at Lea Bridge station.
  • Switch at Lea Bridge junction to the bi-directional third-track.
  • Call in Platform 2 at Tottenham Hale station.
  • Call in Platform 2 at Northumberland Park station.
  • Terminate in Platform 1 or 2 at Meridian Water station.

A train going between Meridian Water and Stratford stations will do the following.

  • Leave from Platform 1 or 2 at Meridian Water station.
  • Use the new fourth track to come South.
  • Call in Platform 1 at Northumberland Park station.
  • Continue on the bi-directional third-track at Tottenham Hale North Junction.
  • Call in Platform 2 at Tottenham Hale station.
  • Switch at Lea Bridge junction to the Up line of the West Anglia Main Line.
  • Call in Platform 1 at Lea Bridge station.
  • Terminate in Platform  11 or 12 at Stratford station.

The track layout is effectively two double-track sections linked by a bi-directional single track between Lea Bridge Junction and Tottenham Hale North Junction.

  • On the double-track sections of the route trains can pass each other, as they are on different tracks.
  • Lea Bridge and Tottenham Hale stations are 1.9 miles apart.
  • Trains take three or four minutes between Lea Bridge and Tottenham Hale stations. Including the stop at Tottenham Hale on the single track section.

If trains could alternate through the single-track section, this would give a capacity  of well over four tph in both directions.

  • A train going North would wait in Platform 2 at Lea Bridge station until the previous Southbound train had cleared Lea Bridge junction, before proceeding North.
  • A train going South would wait at Tottenham Hale North Junction until the previous Northbound  had safely passed, before proceeded South.

I suspect that the trains need full digital signalling with a degree of Automatic Train Control.

But I suspect we could see six tph in both directions.

  • This would fit nicely, with London Overground’s ambition of six tph on all routes.
  • It could be increased to eight tph in the Peak, by arranging for an appropriate number of Greater Anglia services to and from Liverpool Street at Meridian Water.

I feel that a service that meets all objectives will be possible.

Proposals From The London Rail Freight Strategy That Might Help

These proposals from the London Rail Freight Strategy might help.

It does look to me, that the London Rail Freight Strategy was designed with one eye on improving the passenger train service between North-East and South-West London.

Taking The Pressure Off The Victoria Line

Consider.

  • If you’re going between Walthamstow and the West End or the major stations of Euston, Kings Cross, St. Pancras and Victoria, you will use the Victoria Line.
  • If you live in the new housing, being built at Meridian Water, currently you will be likely to hop to Tottenham Hale station and take the Victoria Line.

Consequently, Northern end of the line can get busy! And not just in the Peak!

But a four tph service between Meridian Water and Stratford, will encourage passengers to go to Stratford to take advantage of the Central and Jubilee Lines and Crossrail.

Hence there will be less passengers, who need to use the Victoria Line.

A Better Interchange Between Camden Road And Camden Town Stations

The essential upgrade of Camden Town station has been put on indefinite hold due to TfL’s financial position.

This is a big mistake.

  • Camden Town station gets dangerously full!
  • It would allow the splitting of the Northern Line into two independent lines, which would increase capacity of the current system.
  • Camden Town station is not step-free but Camden Road station has lifts.

Hopefully, it would result, in a better route between the two stations, rather than the polluted route on a narrow pavement.

I very much believe that the rebuilding of Camden Town station is the most important project to improve London’s Underground and Overground network.

But it won’t get built with the current Mayor, as he’s a South Londoner.

Could A Meridian Water and Clapham Junction Service Be An  Affordable Crossrail 2?

Consider.

  • Crossrail 2 will link Clapham Junction and Meridian Water via Central London and Dalston.
  • A Meridian Water and Clapham Junction service would link the two stations via Shepherd’s Bush, Old Oak Common, West Hampstead, Camden Road, Dalston and Stratford.

Each route has their connectivity advantages.

  • Both have good connections to Crossrail, Thameslink and the Bakerloo, Central and Jubilee Lines.
  • The London Overground route has good connections to the Victoria Line and High Speed Two at Old Oak Common.
  • Crossrail 2 serves important stations in Central London.

A Meridian Water and Clapham Junction service could be a valuable addition to London’s rail infrastructure without too much new expensive infrastructure.

Conclusion

An extension of some London Overground services from Stratford to Meridian Water would be worthwhile.

Implementation of this is made easier by the recommendations of the London Rail Freight Strategy.

 

 

 

I

June 25, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A London Overground Class 378 Train In Platform 11 At Stratford Station

Trains on the North London Line to Stratford station normally terminate in Platform 1 or 2.

The train I got today terminated in Platform 11.

This platform is usually used for services up the Lea Valley.

June 23, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 4 Comments

Stratford Regulating Point Extension

London has a rail capacity problem, for both freight and passenger trains.

This report from Network Rail is entitled The London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

One of the secondary recommendations of the report is what Network Rail call the Stratford Regulating Point Extension.

The report explains it like this.

Capacity analysis for this study emphasised in its conclusions that the key to making the timetable work is the ability to hold trains in strategic locations in order to match capacity between the orbital lines and the radial routes in and out of London.

It therefore noted that holding capacity at Stratford for the longest freight trains (up to 775m) is essential, recommending that consideration is given to lengthening the Up Channelsea Loop at Lea Junction in particular.

The purpose of this scheme would be to provide a regulating point offering 775m standage for freight trains passing through Stratford towards the NLL, fully segregated from other traffic.

This would be achieved by extending the existing Up Channelsea Loop to the North-West, so that it can accommodate a 775m train clear of Stratford Central Junction.

This option offers combined capacity and train lengthening benefits, as the ability to regulate the longest trains at key interface points on the network increases the chances of finding them a compliant path through successive timetable structures as they pass from route to route.

Note.

  1. 775 metres is the longest train allowed on UK railways.
  2. Longer trains are an efficient way of moving freight and often mean less trains in total.
  3. It is extremely handy to have a place to park a train, to aid in keeping to the timetable.

This map from cartometro.com shows the Eastern end of the North London Line and the Up Channelsea Loop.

Note.

  1. The orange tracks are the North London Line and are used by the London Overground and freight trains.
  2. The Up Channelsea Loop to the South-West of the North London Line.
  3. The Up Channelsea Loop has connections to both directions of the Great Eastern Main Line at its South-Eastern end.
  4. Carpenters Road North junction would appear to connect Liverpool Street station to the High Meads curve, so that empty stock can be moved to and from the sidings at Orient Way.
  5. I would expect that any train waiting in the Up Channelsea Loop can’t overhang Carpenters Road North junction, as this would block the empty stock movements between Liverpool Street and Orient Way sidings.

This Google Map shows the South-Eastern end of the Up Channelsea Loop.

Note.

  1. The bridge over the tracks is the main access to the Olympic Park.
  2. I have arranged that the Up Channelsea Loop runs between the North-West and South-East corners of the map.
  3. The two tracks to access the Up Channelsea Loop join in the South-East corner of the map.
  4. The crossover to the North of the bridge is part of Carpenters Road North junction.

I would estimate that freight trains waiting in the Up Channelsea Loop can’t be closer than about thirty metres from the bridge.

This second Google Map shows what I suspect is the usable section of the Up Channelsea Loop.

Note.

  1. I have arranged the North-Western corner of the map over the buffer stops at the end of the Up Channelsea Loop.
  2. The South-Eastern corner is at the lower limit of the Up Channelsea Loop.
  3. I estimate that the usable length of the current Up Channelsea Loop is six hundred metres at most.

This third Google Map shows the Northern end of the Up Channelsea Loop.

Note.

  1. The crossover so trains can leave the Up Channelsea Loop in the South-East corner of the map.
  2. There is a red buffer stop on the end of the loop.

I feel they will certainly have to bridge the River Lea, if the Up Channelsea Loop is going to be lengthened to the North-West.

Perhaps this fourth Google Map, that shows a 3D view of the area from the West.

Note.

  1. Is there a tunnel under Marshgate Lane that can take three tracks.
  2. There could be space to extend the Up Channelsea Loop over the River Lea and alongside the long building, which is the Energy Centre for the site.
  3. There might even be a bit more space to create a fast exit from the Up Channelsea Loop.

If the Up Channelsea Loop is going to extend this far, then it looks like it has been planned for some time.

I took these pictures as I approached Stratford station.

Note.

  • The Up Channelsea Loop is the track furthest away to the right.
  • The red buffer stop can be picked out.
  • I started taking pictures alongside the Energy Centre.
  • I think that the short tunnel between the Energy Centre and the River Leacan handle three tracks.

It looks to me, that provision was made for lengthening the Up Channelsea Loop, when these tracks were laid.

Conclusion

I think it is going to be a tight fit to extend the Up Channelsea Loop by sufficient length to handle the longest freight trains.

But it should be possible.

Related Posts

These are related posts about the London Rail Freight Strategy (LRFS).

Decarbonisation Of London’s Freight Routes

Doubling Harlesden Junction

East Coast Main Line South Bi-Directional Capability

Gauge Improvements Across London

Gospel Oak Speed Increases

Headway Reductions On The Gospel Oak To Barking, North London and West London Lines

Heavy Axle Weight Restrictions

Kensal Green Junction Improvement

Longhedge Junction Speed Increases

Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Kensington Olympia

Moving The West London Line AC/DC Switchover To Shepherd’s Bush

Nunhead Junction Improvement

Will Camden Road Station Get A Third Platform?

Will Clapham Junction Station Get A Platform 0?

June 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 15 Comments

£3m Hackney Overground Station Upgrade To Begin In June

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Hackney Gazette.

Selfishly, this is the improvement, that I’m waiting for.

I live to the West of Dalston Junction station on the 38 bus route. The second entrance will make getting to and from Stratford and the various attractions there much easier.

May 20, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment