The Anonymous Widower

Are These Two Good News Articles From Crossrail?

This press release from Crossrail is entitled Tottenham Court Road Elizabeth Line Station Enters Final Commissioning Phase.

These are the first three paragraphs.

The Tottenham Court Road Elizabeth line station has reached an important milestone with construction works sufficiently finished for final commissioning activities to start, Crossrail has confirmed.

The station has reached the T-12 landmark, this means the station is now considered to be 12 weeks away from being ready for handover to Transport for London (TfL), who will operate the Elizabeth line.

Work at the station will now primarily focus on the extensive testing and commissioning of systems ahead of the Elizabeth line opening. The railway is still on track to open in the first half of 2022.

This video from Crossrail explains what needs to be done before Trial Running can start.

This article on New Civil Engineer is entitled Crossrail | All But One Central London Station Is ‘Ready For Use’.

These are the first two paragraphs.

All but one of Crossrail’s central London stations has been signed off as “ready for use”, Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild revealed in his latest update to the London Assembly.

Paddington is the only station yet to have its assets assured and certified as ready to enter trial running.

It looks like Crossrail is finally getting there.

Bond Street Station

In both articles there is no mention of Bond Street station, which in many reports has been described as running behind the other stations.

So when the New Civil Engineer article said that only one station wasn’t ready for use, I assumed it was Bond Street, rather than Paddington, as noted in the article.

So has progress at Bond Street station improved? If it has that that would appear to be more good news.

In Your First Crossrail Service May Arrive In Time For Christmas, I was speculating, when I said.

Bond Street station certainly seems to have caught up with the others and there is no longer any suggestion it could open a year later.

Perhaps, I was right.

Conclusion

The news certainly isn’t bad!

February 20, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Walking Between Oxford Circus And Tottenham Court Road Stations – 19th February 2021

Today, I walked down Oxford Street from Oxford Circus station to Tottenham Court Road station.

Note the pictures in the middle of the walk of the new Western entrance to Tottenham Court Road station, which will be on Crossrail.

This article on Construction Enquirer is entitled Galliard To Start £55m London Soho Resi Job.

  • 92 flats, a large store and smaller retail spaces.
  • Look at the pictures in the Construction Enquirer article and it looks to be a building that is not out of scale.
  • Ideal for Crossrail and the Northern and Central Line.
  • A hundred metres from the flagship stores of Marks & Spencer and Primark on Oxford Street.
  • All the colour and food of Soho at the back door.
  • Buses outside the front door to Euston, Kings Cross, Paddington and St. Pancras.

Who was it said, that the three most important points about a property are location, location and location?

 

February 20, 2021 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tottenham Court Road Station – 15th February 2021

These pictures show the latest exterior views of Tottenham Court Road station.

Note.

  1. The development on top of the station will be seven floors.
  2. There is a reflection of Centre Point in the glass.

It has now been handed over to Transport for London.

February 17, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

Tottenham Court Road Western Entrance – 2nd December 2019

These pictures show the new Western entrance to Tottenham Court Road station.

This Google Map shows the location of the massive double-ended station.

Note.

  1. Soho Square is the green space in the middle of the map.
  2. The Eastern entrance to the station is by Centre Point in the North East corner of the map.
  3. The new Western entrance is to the West of the red arrow.

The size of the station is such, that passengers will have to make sure they get out at the right end of the train.

  • For Marks and Spencer at the Pantheon, get out at the Western entrance to the station.
  • For Primark and the other shops clustered around the current station entrance, get out at the Eastern entrance to the station.
  • For Tottenham Court Road, Charing Cross Road, the Dominion Theatre and Centre Point, get out at the Eastern entrance to the station.

A few years ago, a young Crossrail engineer told me, that the stations are very long underground.

Perhaps they should have a directory of all shops, theatres, hotels, attractions and other sites on the platforms, to ensure that passengers use the best entrabce for their destination.

This image shows a visualisation of the station.

Note.

  1. The Westerm entrance is the one on the left.
  2. Centre Point at the Eastern end of the complex, by the Eastern entrance.

The visualisation also shows lots of detail.

The Connecting Tunnel Between The Two Entrances

There appears to be a connecting tunnel between the two entrances.

This pictures show the inside of the Eastern end of the tunnel which has already been built.

Note.

  1. The relatively cramped Central Line platform.
  2. The tunnel has good connections to the Central Line.
  3. It looks like the Western end of the connecting tunnel will be extended towards the Western Entrance.
  4. Obviously, breaking through between the connecting tunnel and its extension, will be one of the last jobs to do.

The completed tunnel will allow the following.

  • Passengers entering the station at either entrance to be able to access the Central Line.
  • Passengers needing to access the Northern Line to be able to enter at the Western Entrance and use the connecting tunnel.

Will this tunnel be a good walking route, when it’s raining cats, dogs and hippopotami on the surface?

Access To Crossrail

Both entrances will have their own step-free access to the Crossrail platforms.

Because Crossrail is at a different level to the Central and Northern Lines, it appears that passengers needing to change to and from Crossrail will probably come to the surface by lift or escalator and then go back down again using a second set.

This may seem to make walking distances longer, but I suspect the following.

  • It makes the station easier to construct.
  • Access to existing lines can be maintained during construction.
  • It allows for the installation of multiple escalators for high capacity.

There are also older stations in London, where there are up and down changes of lines. So perhaps it’s an affordable way of building the connection.

Changes Between Crossrail and The Central Line

Crossrail and the Central Line have several interchanges.

  • Stratford, where the interchange is cross-platform.
  • Liverpool Street
  • Tottenham Court Road
  • Bond Street
  • Ealing Broadway, where the interchange is on the surface. See Crossrail And Ealing Broadway Station for my thoughts on the interchange.

I suspect that there will be a certain amount of ducking and diving by passengers, as they go on their easiest way. Many will probably change at Stratford, as it is a walk across the platform.

Will Tottenham Court Road station see a lot of passengers changing between Crossrail and the Central Line?

I have no idea. But I suspect that Transport for London will be able to make an accurate prediction, based on information from London’s contactless ticketing.

It does look though from the visualisation, that the following can be ascertained.

  • There will be an escalator and a walk to change between Crossrail and the Central Line at Tottenham Court Road station.
  • The change may be easier at the Western end of the Crossrail station.
  • The design of the Central Line with two tunnels close together and not much space for stairs and lifts between them, makes a high-capacity link to the large connecting tunnel difficult to built.
  • There appears to be no provision to extend the connecting tunnel to the West. The original plan was to pedestrianise Oxford Street, but that has been abandoned, due to pressure from residents and Westminster Council.

It is an illustration of the difficulty of connecting to London’s older Underground lines.

Changes Between Crossrail and The Northern Line

Crossrail and the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line only have the single interchange at Tottenham Court Road station.

  • Does this mean it is expected to be busy, as the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line serves Euston, Waterloo and will serve the new Battersea extension?
  • From the visualisation, there appear to be lots of connections between Crossrail and the Northern Line at the Eastern entrance.

These pictures show some of the tunnels leading to both Crossrail and the Northern Line at the Eastern entrance.

It looks like Transport for London are expecting a party. But you’ll probably need to be in the Eastern end of the Crossrail trains, to do a fast interchange.

If you get out at the Western end of the train, you’ll have to walk back along the connecting tunnel.

Crossrail 2

Crossrail 2 will complicate and improve things further at Tottenham Court Road station, as it sits between the proposed Crossrail 2 stations of Victoria and the mega-station Euston-St. Pancras-Kings Cross.

Will Cinderella Come To The Rescue?

The Docklands Light Railway (aka Cinderella) was the star of the 2012 Olympics transport system and she now has ambitions to expand to the West, as I wrote about in A Connection Between City Thameslink Station And The Docklands Light Railway.

This map from Transport for London, shows the possible Western extension of the DLR.

With all the problems of the funding of Crossrail 2, this extension could create a lot of important connections across the City.

It already connects or will soon connect.

  • Canary Wharf and Bank
  • City Airport and Bank
  • Crossrail’s South Eastern Branch and Bank, with a change at Custom House station.

The upgrade at Bank, which should complete in a couple of years will help, with better connections to the Central, Circle, District and Northern Lines.

If the extension to the DLR is built, it would connect Canary Wharf, City Airport and Crossrail’s South Eastern Branch in the East, with Charing Cross, Euston, Kings Cross, St. Pancras, Thameslink and Victoria in the West.

It would also take the pressure off of some of Central London’s most crowded lines.

So get your coal shovel out Cindy and start digging!

 

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments

Galliard Homes To Develop £140m Luxury Flat Complex Above Crossrail Station

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on City AM.

This is yet another Crossrail related development.

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail Rushes To Make Bond Street Ready For Testing

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

Mark Wild, who is Crossrail’s Chief Executive, is quoted as telling the London Assembly.

Our current focus is predominantly on key areas of risk such as ensuring that Bond Street station is at the required stage of completion to allow us to commence trial running early in 2020..

The more I read about this project, the more I believe, that the projects lateness is down to two things.

  • Some very optimistic project management by contractors to get some of the enormous contracts on offer.
  • A lack of resources in vital areas like some trades and the testing of trains.

But then what do I know about Project Management and computer software?

Could Bond Street also be the only really late station, as it is on a very cramped site in the centre of some of the most expensive real estate on the planet?

The 3D visualisation shows the area around the station.

Note .

  1. The new Western entrance to Bond Street Crossrail station, which is the cleared site with the russet-coloured building behind.
  2. The new Eastern entrance, which is just to the West of Hanover Square.
  3. Bond Street running down from Next on Oxford Street to Fenwicks.

Surface access is not good to say the least.

The same access problem probably applies at Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations, but at these five stations, there were buildings that could be demolished to give access for construction.

It should also be notes, that some of these stations have only a few local residents.

I’ll take a quick look at these five stations.

Paddington

This Google Map shows Paddington station.

Note the Crossrail station, which has been squeezed into the old cab rank, alongside the station.

Tottenham Court Road

This Google Map shows Tottenham Court Road station.

Note the amount of cleared space around the station,

Farringdon

This Google Map shows Farringdon station.

The Crossrail station is to the West of the current station. It must have helped contractors, that the station had been redeveloped a couple of times for the construction and update of Thameslink.

Moorgate

This Google Map shows Moorgate station.

Moor House, which is the large office block behind Moorgate station, was built in 2004 and was designed to accept Crossrail in the basement.

Finsbury Circus, which is the green space in the East was used as a construction site.

Liverpool Street

This Google Map shows Liverpool Street station.

The main entrance to the Crossrail station will be in front of the Broadgate office complex, which is to the West of the station.

This section of Broadgate is also being redeveloped, which probably helps and hinders in equal measure.

Conclusion

I think lessons will be learned that can be applied to other cross-city rail projects.

  • Future-planning as with Moor House should be increasingly used.
  • Should stations be built in conjunction with other developments?
  • Are stations in areas of high real-estate values a good idea?
  • Could more innovative ways be used to bring in construction materials?

Will future projects be better?

July 16, 2019 Posted by | Computing, Transport | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pedestrian Tunnels In London’s Transport System

I take particular interest in pedestrian tunnels, as I believe properly designed tunnels can be a solution to improving access to stations.

This list will be extended as I photograph more.

Bank – Bank And Monument Escalator Connection

I still think of this tunnel, as an escalator connection, as that was how it was marked on the tube map in the 1950s.

It is two escalators down a walk between the Docklands Light Railway platforms and then two escalators up at the other end.

Verdict – The connection is being upgraded.

Bank- Central To Northern Interchange Tunnel

This is the shortest way from the Central Line to the Northern Line.

It does involve a descent of a circular staircase.

When the Bank station upgrade is complete this route will be replaced by an escalator connection between the two lines.

This visualisation shows the connecting escalators.

Note.

  1. The two wide highest level tunnels are the Central Line.
  2. The infamous curved Central Line platforms,create a large gap to mind.
  3. The two mid-level crossed tunnels are the existing Bank and Monument Escalator Connection and the Waterloo & City Tunnel.
  4. The four narrower lowest level tunnels are from bottom to top; the Southbound Northern Line, a new tunnel with a travelator; the old Southbound Northern Line tunnel and the Northbound Northern Line tunnel.
  5. The old Southbound Northern Line tunnel will become a passenger walkway.

Poking through all this spaghetti are the three escalators connecting the Central Line level with the Northern Line level.

Verdict – This connection will become much better.

Bank – Waterloo & City Inclined Travelator

The inclined travelators that link the Waterloo & City Line platforms and the main station entrances around Bank junction, are unique on the London Underground.

There are other travelators, but no others are inclined.

Verdict – I wonder why there are no others, as this pair seem to work very well.

Bank – Waterloo & City Tunnel

This tunnel connects the Waterloo & City Line platforms at Bank station to the central tunnel at Bank station.

Verdict – It is a linear oasis in an otherwise dingy and cramped station.

Bond Street – Northern Entrance Tunnel

This new tunnel connects the new Northern entrance at Bond Street station to the platforms.

Incidentally, I’d arrived at Bond Street station through the main entrance and it was an awfully overcrowded scrum. The Northern entrance was quiet, as the pictures show.

The entrance is steps or a lift between the street and its own gate line and then a well-lit wide passage to the escalators.

In future, it will link to a wide tunnel to the Western end of the Crossrail platforms at the station.

It is much better way to enter Bond Street station.

Verdict – London and other cities with underground railways, need more new station entrances like this.

Green Park – Interchange Tunnel

This tunnel connects the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines at Green Park station.

The opening dates of the three lines, through the station were.

  • Piccadilly Line – 1906 – Modernised in the 1930s with escalators.
  • Victoria Line – 1969
  • Jubilee Line – 1979

Since 1979 the station has been continually improved and is step-free.

This map from carto.metre.free.fr shows the lines at Green Park station.

Note that the Jubilee Line is below the other lines and when the extension was built, it was a radical change to what was originally planned. The lines to the right lead to Charing Cross station and those going South to Westminster station.

The interchange tunnel is long and usually very crowded. I had an incident recently, where I was walking slowly to the Victoria Line and a group of tourists all with four-wheeled cases, were nudging me to go faster. When we all got to the steps at the end, there was an enforced slow down.

Verdict – I avoid interchanging at Green Park like the plague.

Kings Cross – Eastern Tunnel

This tunnel runs which used to be part of the access to the old Kings Cross Thameslink station, runs from East of Kings Cross station and then has access to the main tunnel connecting the Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.

It has partial escalator access at the Eastern end, where the buses from Islington and the East stop outside the old station entrance. Although getting buses to the East mens crossing the busy Pentonville Road.

Verdict – Needs improvement

Kings Cross – Interchange Tunnel

This tunnel connects the Eastern Tunnel at Kings Cross to the escalators and lifts that lead to the Northern ticket hall Kings Cross St. Pancras tube station. On the way is connects to the Victoria, Piccadilly and Northern Lines.

It is a long walk, especially, if you have accessed it, as I often do, from the Eastern Tunnel which is convenient for buses from Islington and Dalston.

Verdict – Too long and boring

Kings Cross – St. Pancras Tunnel

This tunnel connects St. Pancras station to the Northern ticket hall at Kings Cross St. Pancras tube station.

It is a wide, comfortable tunnel with a double handrail down the middle.

Note that the middle picture shows the connection to the next tunnel.

Verdict – Useful and a better walk than the surface alternative in cold or wet weather.

Kings Cross – Pancras Square Tunnel

This tunnel connects St. Pancras Square to the underground tunnel, that links St. Pancras station to the Northern ticket hall of Kings Cross St. Pancras tube station.

It is a good example of how to create a tunnel.

It has up and down escalators at the St. Pancras Square entrance.

Verdict – Good design and a pleasant walk.

Knightsbridge – Northern Exit Tunnel

This tunnel at Knightsbridge station was built in 2010 to connect the new entrance on the North side of Knightsbridge.

It looks to me that Transport for London had to make do with less space than they needed.

Verdict – Rather narrow and utilitarian.

Paddington – Bakerloo Line Link

This project to create a pedestrian link between the Bakerloo Line and Crossrail at Paddington is currently being built.

  • It will be one hundred and thirty metres long.
  • It will be twenty-five metres below the Paddington station concourse.
  • The design uses a route to avoid existing station facilities.
  • The tunnel is being built without major disruption to Bakerloo Line passengers.
  • It will have lifts and escalators at both ends.
  • The tunnel will handle five thousand passengers per hour in the Peak.

In August 2016, I wrote Paddington Is Operational Again, which describes the tunnel in detail.

Verdict – I have a feeling that this could be one of the most impressive parts of Crossrail.

I can’t wait for this tunnel to open.

South Kensington – Exhibition Road Pedestrian Tunnel

The Exhibition Road Pedestrian Tunnel at South Kensington station is unique in London, as it was built in 1885 and it is Grade II Listed.

As the pictures show, it can get very busy.

Verdict – A Victorian idea, that hasn’t been copied much.

Tottenham Court Road – Interchange Tunnel

This tunnel connect the Central and Northern Lines at Tottenham Court Road station.

It is a bit lacking in colour to my liking. But at least there is some of Eduardo palotzi’s tiles at one end.

Verdict – Bland and too long.

Victoria – New Tunnels

Victoria station has had a new entrance at Cardinal Place and a lot of new tunnels to sort out the poor connectivity, added in the last couple of years.

As the pictures show, not all the tunnels are finished.

Verdict – Victoria is no longer a station yo avoid

Waterloo – Interchange Travelator

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the Underground lines at Waterloo station.

Note the large separation of the platforms of the Jubilee Line and those of the Bakerloo and Northern Lines.

The solution was to install a travelator, when the Jubilee Line Extension was built.

Although expense wasn’t spared on the project, I think we would give it a more decorative lining today.

Verdict – It works.

Whitechapel – Refurbished Overground Staircases

There are two staircases between the District/Hammersmith & City Lines and the East London Line, that are being refurbished for Crossrail.

It looks like the work is of a high quality and that the old rails have not been replaced.

Verdict – These were scruffy tunnels a couple of years ago.

Summing Up

Some tunnels are obviously better than others, but what surprised me, was how well the Exhibition Rpad Tunnel to the museums coped with large numbers of passengers.

Perhaps, the Victorians got it right, as some of the best tunnels in my examples are the wider ones.

Comparing the Northern Exit Tunnel at Knightsbridge with the Northern Entrance Tunnel at Bond Street, shows how a wide tunnel and entrance, built with a lift, is a much better solution, than a narrow tunnel and entrance, without a lift.

The only narrow tunnel, that seems to work well is the tunnel connecting the Waterloo & City Line to the main Bank station complex.

But this tunnel is well-lit and I suspect tends to have passengers going the same way most of the time.

It also appears that recent tunnels like those at Bond Street and Victoria, are much better than those built about ten years ago, like the tunnel at Knightsbridge.

The Future

After Crossrail, London has a number of large station projects in the pipeline, some of which will require new connecting tunnels for passengers.

  • The upgrading of Bank station is underway, where tunnels are being dug and escalators, travelators and lifts and being installed.
  • The upgrading of Knightsbridge station is underway, but this will be simpler and I don’t think the upgrade includes more tunnels.
  • The upgrading of Camden Town, Holborn and Walthamstow stations are in the planning stage. All will probably involve creating a new entrance connected to the existing platforms with lifts and escalators, but no long tunnels.
  • Oxford Circus station is likely to be the subject of a major upgrade.
  • Euston and Euston Square stations are being upgraded for the arrival of High Speed Two and there will be new tunnels to dig, between the two stations.

There are also possible new lines to consider, which may or may not be built.

  • Bakerloo Line Extension
  • Crossrail 2
  • Docklands Light Railway to Thamesmead
  • Docklands Light Railway to Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria.

All will be built with lots of entrances and exits, and interchanges with existing lines, so it is likely, there will be quite a few connecting tunnels.

Conclusion

I think that three tunnel projects will define a lot of the thinking about pedestrian access in the future.

  • The Northern Entrance Tunnel at Bond Street, which surfaces in a commercial development.
  • The Paddington Bakerloo Line Link, which appears to be setting new standards of design and construction.
  • The narrow well-lit tunnel at Bank.

Could we see lessons learned with these newly-built tunnels applied to projects like Oxford Circus and Euston stations?

 

 

November 23, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

From Farringdon To Tottenham Court Road Station

After photographing the artwork at the new Barbican entrance to Farringdon station, I went to the current station entrance with the aim of getting to Tottenham Court Road station.

Obviously, when Crossrail opens, this will be a single-station hop on Crossrail, but there is no obvious quick way as present.

So out of curiosity, I asked one of the station staff, what is the recommended route.

She said, that the easiest way is to walk to Chancery Lane station and take the Central Line.

I also asked her why Thameslink, which is so much part of Farringdon station and will be such an important route at the station after Crossrail opens.

She said, but that’s National Rail.

So I walked to Chancery Lane.

It was a very hot day and uphill. But I made it without difficulty.

Crossrail will certainly make my journey easier, but I can’t help feeling that some journeys from Farringdon are better done using Thameslink.

Consider the following journeys.

Farringdon To London Bridge

Currently, I would do this journey using Thameslink, but what will Transport for London want us to do?

  • Use Crossrail to Moorgate and get the Northern Line.
  • Use Crossrail to Bond Street and get the Jubilee Line.
  • Use Crossrail to Whitechapel and get the Jubilee Line.

I shall still use Thameslink.

Farringdon To Victoria

Currently, I would do this journey using Thameslink to Blackfriars and then get the Circle or |District Lines.

I suspect that Transport for London would recommend one of these.

  • Use the Circle Line all the way. Easy but long.
  • Go to Kings Cross on the Circle or Metropolitan Lines and get the Victoria. Not the easiest with a heavy case.

I shall continue to use Thameslink.

The New Museum Of London

The new Museum of London will be built close to Farringdon station.

I think, it will end up as one of London’s top museums.

But is it easy to get to the British Museum, National Gallery,Tate Modern and all those other museums in South Kensington.

The British Museum will be just a stop on Crossrail, when that opens, but for the others Thameslink will play a part.

For these routes and other reasons, Thameslink must be on the Tube Map.

July 8, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fosteritos

The Bilbao Metro was designed by Foster and Partners.

Under Design, Wikipedia says this about access to the Metro.

Access to the metro is provided by ‘fosteritos’, glass structures affectionately named after the architect who designed them, Norman Foster. These modern-looking tunnels stand attractive alongside the modern and innovative interior of the stations.

These pictures show some of the fosteritos.

Crossrail’s Tottenham Court Road station has two square glass structures over the entrances in front of Centre Point.

I wrote about the first in Tottenham Court Road Station Gains A Giant Fosterito. Here’s a picture taken soon after one opened.

It is such a simple idea, I wonder why we don’t see more fosteritos all over the world.

 

 

January 17, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 7 Comments

A Tale Of Two Stations

This article from City AM is entitled Opinion: How a mixture of new business, Crossrail and, finally, homes will transform Tottenham Court Road forever.

This is said.

In recent years, the area around Tottenham Court Road has gone through a marked transformation. Once considered the scruffy end of Oxford Street, with no real identity, the area has become a thriving crossroads between London’s creative and technology industries.

In the middle of all the development is Tottenham Court Road station, which is being developed for Crossrail.

This morning Is Open House and I went a few miles South on the East London Line to Peckham Rye station, where I took these pictures.

The old Victorian waiting room is being transformed into possibly a community space.

This is only one of a number of developments in the station and it is to be hoped that the transformation of the building designed by Charles Henry Driver, will start the upgrading of Peckham.

Look at the classic 1980s-era extension in brick, by British Rail in the last picture. Incarceration for life with very hard labour, is too soft a punishment for the idiots who designed and sanctioned that monstrosity.

 

 

September 16, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments