The Anonymous Widower

Capacity Of Cross London Rail Routes

I shall start by looking at the current and future capacity of various rail routes across London.

Bakerloo

The Bakerloo Line has a frequency of twenty trains per hour (tph) between Queen’s Park and Elephant & Castle stations.

The current 1972 Stock trains have a capacity of 700 passengers.

This gives a capacity a 14,000 passengers per hour (pph) in each direction.

In the Wikipedia entry for the New Tube for London, this is said.

Bakerloo line capacity could be increased by 25% with 27 trains per hour at peak times by 2033.

This gives a future capacity of 17,500 pph in each direction.

Central

The Central Line has a frequency of thirty-five tph between White City and Leytonstone stations.

The current 1992 Stock trains have a capacity of 930 passengers.

This gives a capacity a 32,550 pph in each direction.

In the Wikipedia entry for the New Tube for London, this is said.

Central line capacity increased by 25% with 33 trains per hour at peak times by 2030.

This gives a future capacity of 40,687 pph in each direction.

Crossrail

Crossrail is planned at present to have twenty-four tph between Paddington and Whitechapel stations.

Each of Crossrail’s Class 345 trains can hold 1,500 passengers.

This gives a capacity a 36,000 pph in each direction.

It has been said in several places that Crossrail has a future frequency of thirty tph.

If this could be achieved this would increase capacity to 45,000 pph in each direction.

District

The District Line has a combined frequency with the Circle Line of  twenty-four tph between Gloucester Road and Tower Hill stations.

The current S7 Stock trains have a capacity of 865 passengers.

This gives a combined capacity a 20,760 pph in each direction.

The Wikipedia entry for the District Line talks about a future frequency of thirty-two tph.

This could increase the future capacity to 27,680 pph in each direction.

East London

The East London Line has a frequency of sixteen tph between Dalston Junction and Surrey Quays stations.

The current Class 378 trains have a capacity of 840 passengers.

This gives a capacity of 13,440 pph in each direction.

London Overground are planning to increase the frequency to twenty tph in the next couple of years.

This would give an increased capacity if 16,800 pph in each direction.

Gospel Oak To Barking

The Gospel Oak To Barking Line has a frequency of four tph across North London,

The current Class 172 trains have a capacity of 120 seats, with perhaps a total capacity of 300.

This would give a capacity of 1,200 pph in each direction.

The new Class 710 trains have a capacity around 700, according to various reports.

This would give a future capacity if 2,800 pph in each direction.

Hammersmith & City

The Hammersmith & City Line has a combined frequency with the Circle Line of twelve tph between Paddington and Liverpool Street stations.

The current S7 Stock trains have a capacity of 865.

This gives a combined capacity of 10,380 pph in each direction.

Jubilee

The Jubilee Line has a frequency of thirty tph between North Greenwich and Willesden Green stations.

The current 1996 Stock trains have a capacity of 875 passengers.

This gives a capacity of 26,250 pph in each direction.

With Siemens new trains, I suspect that this value could be increased by perhaps fifteen percent to 30,187 pph in each direction.

Metropolitan

The Metropolitan Line has an Off Peak frequency of sixteen tph between Baker Street and Liverpool Street stations.

The current S8 Stock trains have a capacity of 1003.

This gives a combined capacity a 16.048 pph in each direction.

With the Metropolitan Line Upgrade, we can probably see some more capacity.

A not unreasonable twenty percent would raise the future capacity to 19,257 pph in each direction.

Northern

In the Peak both branches of the Northern Line have a frequency of twenty-four tph between Camden Town and Kennington stations.

This is reduced to twenty tph in the Off Peak.

With the addition of the Extension to Battersea, these figures are unlikely to get lower.

The current 1195 Stock trains have a capacity of 662 passengers.

This gives a capacity of 31,776 pph in each direction.

With Siemens new trains, I suspect that this value could be increased by perhaps fifteen percent to 36,542 pph in each direction.

North London

The North London Line has a frequency of eight tph between Willesden Junction and Stratford stations.

The current Class 378 trains have a capacity of 840 passengers.

This gives a capacity a 6,720 pph in each direction.

London Overground are possibly planning to increase the frequency to twelve tph in the next couple of years.

This would give an increased capacity if 10,080 pph in each direction.

Piccadilly

As we don’t know the capacity of the new Siemens trains, this is a best estimate, for when they are in service around 2023-2025.

Currently, the Piccadilly Line is running at a frequency of twenty-four tph between Barons Court and Arnos Grove stations.

The current 1973 Stock trains, each have a capacity of 684 passengers.

This gives a current capacity of 15,416 pph in each direction.

In the Wikipedia entry for the New Tube for London, this is said.

Piccadilly line capacity could be increased by 60% with 33 trains per hour at peak times by 2025.

This gives a 2025 capacity of 24,666 pph in each direction.

Dividing  the 24,666 by 33 gives a train capacity of 750 passengers for a New Tube for London.

Thameslink

Thameslink will have a frequency of twenty-four tph between St. Pancras and Blackfriars stations.

Half of these will be twelve-car Class 700 trains with a capacity of 1754 and the other half will be eight-car trains with a capacity of 1146.

This gives a capacity of 34,800 pph in each direction.

It has been stated that Thameslink will be able to handle thirty tph in the future, which would raise the capacity to 43,500 pph in each direction.

Victoria

The Victoria Line is currently running at a frequency of thirty-six tph.

The current 2009 Stock trains, each have a capacity of 876 passengers.

This gives a capacity of 31,536 pph in each direction.

I think it is reasonable to assume that the Victoria Line is at capacity.

But I wouldn’t be surprised, that with station improvements, which would include a double-ended Walthamstow Central station, engineers on Dear Old Vicky managed to squeeze forty tph out of the old girl.

This would give a capacity of 35,040 pph in each direction.

I also wouldn’t rule out replacing the current trains with the New Tube for London, if the new trains have proved an outstanding success on all the other lines. But that probably wouldn’t be to well into the 2030s.

Current And Future Summary And Total Capacity

The current figures in passengers per hour can be summarised as follows.

  • Bakerloo – 14,000
  • Central – 32,550
  • Crossrail – 36,000
  • District – 20,760
  • East London – 13,440
  • Gospel Oak To Barking – 1,200
  • Hammersmith & City – 10,380
  • Jubilee – 26,250
  • Metropolitan – 16,048
  • Northern – 31,776
  • North London – 6,720
  • Piccadilly – 15,416
  • Thameslink – 34,800
  • Victoria – 31,536

This gives a total current capacity of 290,876

Reasonable projections for future figures can be summarised as follows.

  • Bakerloo – 17,500 (25% Increase) – New Tube for London/New Signalling
  • Central – 40,687 (25% Increase) – New Tube for London/New Signalling
  • Crossrail – 45,000 (25% Increase) – 30 tph from 24 tph
  • District – 27,680 (33% Increase) – New Signalling
  • East London – 16,800 (25% Increase) – 20 tph from 16 tph
  • Gospel Oak To Barking – 2,800 (133% Increase) – New larger trains
  • Hammersmith & City – 10,380
  • Jubilee – 30,187 (15% Increase) – New Tube for London
  • Metropolitan – 19257 (20% Increase) – New Signalling
  • Northern – 36,542 (15% Increase) – New Tube for London
  • North London – 10,080 (50% Increase)
  • Piccadilly – 24666 (60% Increase) – New Tube for London/New Signalling
  • Thameslink – 43,500(25% Increase) – 30 tph from 24 tph
  • Victoria – 31,536

This gives a total future capacity of 356615

Or a capacity increase of around twenty-three percent.

What Do These Figures Show?

My figures are very much rough estimates, based on what is proposed to happen.

New Tube for London

Five of the improvements in capacity require the replacement of the current trains with the New Tube for London. Three of these replacements will need new signalling and only the Piccadilly Line trains have actually been given the go-ahead.

If these train replacements and signalling are done sequentially, they would show these overall capacity improvements.

  • Piccadilly – 3.2%
  • Central – 2.6%
  • Bakerloo – 1.1%
  • Jubilee – 1.3%
  • Northern – 1.5%

Overall, these five projects will increase capacity by 10.2%

Some of these figures may appear small, compared to the Piccadilly and Central, but then with the exception of the Bakerloo, the other lines already have Automatic Train Control and high-frequency services.

The great thing about the effects of the New Tube for London on capacity, is that it is a rolling program and as each line is converted, more capacity will continue to be added, benefiting many parts of London.

Digital Signalling

Increasingly, lines in London are digitally-signalled with a degree of Automatic Train Control.

In a few years time, these lines will be controlled this way in Central London.

  • Central
  • Circle
  • Crossrail
  • District
  • Hamersmith & City
  • Jubilee
  • Metropolitan
  • Northern
  • Piccadilly
  • Thameslink
  • Victoria

All these lines are or will be carriers of high numbers of passengers.

In A North London Line With Digital Signalling, I looked at the benefits of installing digital signalling on the North London Line. This was my conclusion.

It looks to me, that they’ll come a time, when digital signalling to squeeze the required number of trains along the North London Line.

Digital signalling will have to be applied to all the other lines in my list to make the most of the train lines we have in London.

Bakerloo

These lines will be given new signalling

  • Bakerloo – 17,500 (25% Increase)
  • Central – 40,687 (25% Increase)
  • District – 27,680 (33% Increase)
  • Hammersmith & City – 10,380
  • Metropolitan – 19257 (20% Increase)
  • Piccadilly – 24666 (60% Increase)

Of the deep level Underground lines, the Bakerloo Line is well below the capacity in passengers per hour (pph) of the other lines, through Central London.

The easiest way to increase the capacity would be to increase the frequency of the trains, by the application of digital signalling.

Earlier in the section on the Piccadilly Line, I calculated the capacity of each New Tube for London on that line as 750.

So if the Bakerloo Line could handle the thirty-six tph currently running on the Victoria Line, this would give a capacity of 23,333 pph in each direction.

Like the Victoria Line, the Bakerloo is a simple double-track without junctions through Central London.

At the Southern end the line terminates in the two platforms at Elephant & Castle station. If Brixton and Walthamstow Central stations can handle thirty-six tph, then surely with modern trains and digital signalling, this number of trains can be handled at Elephant & Castle station.

But at Queen’s Park station, it’s more difficult.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the track layou at Queens Park station.

Note.

  1. The Watford DC Line of the Overground is shown in orange and runs through Kilburn High Road and Queens Park stations.
  2. The Bakerloo Line is shown in brown and runs through Kilburn Park and Queens Park stations.
  3. There are reversing sidings to the West of Queens Park station for the Bakerloo Line.

The following services go through or terminate at Queens Park station.

  • Three tph between Euston and Watford Junction on the London Overground.
  • Six tph between Harrow & Wealdstone and Elephant & Castle on the Bakerloo Line.
  • Three tph between Stonebridge Park and Elephant & Castle on the Bakerloo Line.
  • Eleven tph between qQueens Park and Elephant & Castle on the Bakerloo Line.

It is also likely that the Overground service will go to four tph.

So this means that services will be as follows.

  • Four tph on the Watford DC Line run through Kilburn High Road station.
  • Twenty tph on the Bakerloo Line run through Kilburn Park station.
  • Nine tph on the Bakerloo Line run through Queens Park station.
  • Four tph on the Watford DC Line run through Queens Park station.
  • Eleven tph on the Bakerloo Line terminate at Queens Park station.

Thirteen tph will continue to various destinations towards Watford.

So how many trains could the double-track line between Queens Park and Wartford Junction stations handle?

Consider.

  • All services on the line are london Overground or London Underground.
  • There are no junctions, where services divide and join.
  • There is a turnback facility at Harrow & Wealdstone station, that can handle six tph.
  • The Overground trains are being replaced with Class 710 trains, which must be able to be made compatible with digital signalling.
  • Watford Junction station has four platforms connected to the Watford DC Line.
  • Good design should be able to make the stations step-free for both Class 710 trains and New Tube for London.
  • The Watford DC Line service, always seems to terminate in platform 9 at Euston.
  • London Underground have run thirty-six tph on the Victoria Line for about a year now.

I suspect that if the trains are digitally signalled, with a degree of Automatic Train Control, that there could be as many as thirty-six tph between Queens Park and Watford Junction stations.

I also think it is significant that the New Tube for London, specifies that the Bakerloo Line will run at twenty-seven tph. Why not more, if the theoretical capacity North of Queens Park is thirty-six tph?

But a single platform at Euston can probably handle six tph, so add 27 and 6 and you get 33 tph, which is the proposed core frequency of the Piccadilly Line.

Suppose too, that all Bakerloo services ran all the way to Watford Junction.

  • This would simplify operation at Queens Park, Stonebridge Park and Harrow & Waldstone.
  • Digital signalling would easily handle the frequency.
  • The platform arrangement at Queens Park would be unchanged, with Euston services on the outside and Bakerloo services in the middle.

Suppose too, that the Watford DC Line service were to be run by New Tube for London trains.

  • All platform heights could be the same.
  • All services would be step-free between train and platform.
  • Digital signalling could easily handle 33 tph along the route.

This last section has very much been speculation on my part, but it shows how it may be possible to create a service on the Bakerloo Line with the following characteristics.

  • Twenty-seven tph between Watford Junction and Elephant & Castle stations.
  • Six tph between Watford Junction and Euston stations.
  • All stations would be step-free between platform and train.
  • All trains would be identical New Tube for London trains.
  • All trains would run under Automatic Train Control, as does the Victoria Line.

Note, that I have said nothing about the Bakerloo Extension to Lewisham.

In my view, that extension does what it says on the tin and creates a new twenty-seven tph service between Elephant & Castle and Lewisham, which brings new services to an area of South-East London, where they are much needed.

Effectively, the Bakerloo Line could become two twenty-seven tph lines, that happen to connect back-to-back at Elephant & Castle station to enable cross-London journeys.

If we look at the Victoria Line, where the frequency has increased over the last few years by the addition of various improvements, I would not be surprised to see the frequency of twenty-seven tph increased.

After all London Underground’s engineers have been squeezing Dear Old Vicky for half a century, so they must know more tricks, than Paul Daniels knew at the peak of his success.

Crossrail

Taking the figures in the current table, Crossrail will add 36,000 pph in both directions across London, to a current capacity of 254,876.

This is a increase of fourteen percent on the current total capacity.

Increasing the frequency from twenty-four to thirty tph, adds another 9,000 pph in each direction, which is an increase of seventeen percent on the current total capacity.

It is very likely, that Crossrail has been designed, so that the train length can be changed as required.

The initial trains have been supplied as seven-car trains and when the line opens nine-car trains will be used.

I have read somewhere that the trains could be extended to ten cars, but eleven might be a bit difficult.

So what would be the effect on capacity of ten-car trains.

I will assume each ten-car train has a capacity of 1500 *10 / 9 = 1667.

This means that Crossrail capacity is increased as follows with ten-car trains.

  • 24 tph gives a capacity of 40,000 pph in each direction. Or sixteen percent on the total current capacity!
  • 30 tph gives a capacity of 50,000 pph in each direction. Or twenty percent on the total current capacity!

It looks like Crossrail might have been built to be expanded.

East London Line

It is my view that the East London Line will eventually be digitally signalled and there could be an increase in frequency from the proposed twenty tph.

It has been stated in the past, that the East London Line will eventually have a service based on six-car trains, running at a frequency of twenty-four tph.

Six-car trains could be a problem, as some of the stations like Canada Water, Shadwell, Wapping and Rotherhithe are a bit short for five-car trains and use selective door opening.

The hopefully high-capacity connection to Crossrail at Whitechapel station will surely drive more passengers to use the East London Line.

So increasing the frequency to twenty-four tph using digital signalling would be an option to increase the capacity.

There are four separate services on the East London Line.

  • Dalston Junction and New Cross
  • Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction
  • Highbury & Islington and Crystal Palace
  • Highbury & Islington and West Croydon

Each currently has a srvice of four tph, but it is planned that six tph will run to Crystal Palace and Clapham Junction before 2020.

Note that all services terminate in a dedicated platform, that is not shared with other services.

With modern signalling and good driving, these platforms should be able to handle six tph.

If all services went to six tph, that would mean twenty-four tph, through the core of the East London Line.

This would mean that the capacity of the line would be 20,160 pph in each direction, which would be a fifty percent increase on current capacity.

There may even be space for more trains through the core, as thirty tph is certainly possible with digital signalling. But where would the trains terminate?

Extra tunnel-capable Class 378 trains to run the extra services shouldn’t be a problem, as new Class 710 trains, will displace the older units from the Watford DC and the North London Lines.

North London Line

It is my view that the North London Line will eventually be digitally signalled to allow a more intensive passenger service than eight tph, amongst all the freight trains.

I have said that twelve tph between Willesden Junction and Stratford will be possible, within a few years.

But this could be the limit for the following reasons.

  • Terminating twelve tph in the two platforms at Stratford is probably possible but difficult.
  • Clapham Junction with one platform can probably handle six tph but no more.

Only Richmond has enough capacity for extra trains.

 

Conclusion

It looks to me that digital signalling and well-designed new trains can improve the capacity across London. Or Liverpool, Newcastle or Berlin to name just three major cities.

 

 

 

October 4, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Long Will A Class 345 Train Take To Go Between Two Stations Ten Kilometres Apart?

A Class 345 train has the following characteristics.

  • Maximum speed of 145 kph.
  • Acceleration of 1 m per second²

Using Omni’s Acceleration Calculator, I can calculate that, the train can accelerate up to full speed in 40 seconds.

Using the formula v²=u²+2as, this means that the train takes around 811 metres to get to 145 kph.

With regenerative braking, I suspect that a deceleration of the same order can be assumed.

So will it take 811 metres to stop from speed? I’ll use this figure until someone corrects me.

If the train is doing a start-stop over ten kilometres, then it will travel 8.4 kilometres at maximum speed, which will take about 3.5 minutes.

This means that the start-stop time will be 4.7 minutes.

Now I’ll look at a real example using a similar Greater Anglia Class 720 train.

These are 160 kph trains and typically work on the Great Eastern and West Anglia Main Lines with a similar operating speed.

The train will take 44.4 seconds to accelerate to operating speed and this will take 985.7 metres.

The distance between Tottenham Hale and Cheshunt stations is 12894.8 metres.

So the full speed distance could be 10923.4 metres. This will take 4.09 minutes at 160 kph.

So the start-stop time will be 5.5 minutes.

Currently, the fastest train on this route I can find takes 10 minutes.

I suspect that somewhere in this, the time at the station will complicate matters, but I do think that the fast acceleration and deceleration of the new trains will contribute to faster schedules.

And it’s not just Aventras that have this fast acceleration!

This is an extract for the Wikipedia entry for a Stadler Flirt.

Acceleration also varies between 0.8 and 1.2 m/s2 (2.6 and 3.9 ft/s2)

If you’re worried about the G forces, this is taken from the Wikipedia entry for London Underground’s 2009 Stock for the Victoria Line.

 They have a higher top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph), a faster maximum acceleration of 1.3 m/s2(4.3 ft/s2), a normal service deceleration of 1.14 m/s2 (3.7 ft/s2), and an emergency brake deceleration of 1.4 m/s2 (4.6 ft/s2).

These accelerate even faster and are used for over 200.000 million journeys a year.

To put in an example from motoring, a Mini Cooper S has a 0-60 mph time of 7.4 seconds, which is an acceleration of 3.62 m/s2

Conclusions

Possibly the most important thing to reduce journey times on a rail journey, is to make sure that the operating speed is as high as possible and trains running on the route must be capable of running at that speed.

Obviously, trains do the short journey in three sections.

  • They accelerate as fast as they can to the operating speed.
  • They cruise at the line speed.
  • They decelerate and brake, so they stop in the right place in the next station.

Dear Old Vicky has been doing this under computer control since, the line opened in the 1960s.

I gave an example from Merseyrail in Slow Trains Outside The South-East.

I said this.

The new Stadler Flirt trains are promised to save nine minutes between Southport and Hunts Cross stations, because they are better designed for passenger entrance and exit with faster speed and better braking and acceleration.

There is a corollary to all this.

So long as you have the energy on a train for fast acceleration, whether it is battery, diesel, electrification or hydrogen, it doesn’t matter for a faster service.

So alternatives to electrification are just as good!

 

August 23, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Crossrail 2 Review Prompts Fresh Delays

This title of this post is the same as this article on Construction News.

This is the opening paragraph.

Crossrail 2 is set for further delays after London’s transport boss admitted a fresh funding review would push back consultations on the scheme until the end of 2018.

It would now look increasingly unlikely that the hybrid bill to enable Crossrasil 2, will get through Parliament before the next General Election in 2022.

These dates should be noted for Crossrail.

  • Approved – 2007
  • Construction started – 2009
  • Services started – 2015
  • Partial opening – 2018
  • Full opening – 2019

So, if Crossrail 2 is approved in 2022, we could be looking at an opening date of 2032 to 2034.

If it is needed earlier for political reasons, then we must do some serious thinking.

Crossrail 2 As A Series Of Related Projects

I’ve always believed that Crossrail 2, should be considered to be a series of related projects. followed by the boring of the Central Tunnel.

  1. Increasing Capacity On The Waterloo Suburban Lines to four trains per hour (tph)
  2. Station Improvements On The Waterloo Suburban Lines
  3. Increasing Capacity in Tooting And Wimbledon
  4. Providing better access to Clapham Junction station
  5. Making it easier for passengers transferring between trains and Underground at Waterloo.
  6. Improving public transport access to Chelsea.
  7. Creating better access to  Euston, St. Pancras and Kings Cross stations.
  8. Improving transport in Dalston and Hackney.
  9. Four-tracking the West Anglia Main Line between Coppermill Junction and Broxbourne.
  10. Allowing An Increased Number  Of West Anglia Services to Terminate At Stratford
  11. Creating a high-capacity commuter route up the Lea Valley.
  12. Creating a high-capacity commuter route to Wood Green and New Southgate.
  13. Taking Pressure Off the Victoria Line

These projects would incorporate all the holes, through which to thread the Central Tunnel, that will run between Wimbledon and Tottenham Hale.

So would it be better to build Crossrail 2 as a series of smaller projects?

Increasing Capacity On The Waterloo Suburban Lines To 4 Tph

In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I showed that it would be possible to run a service with Crossrail 2’s characteristics terminating in Waterloo station.

I said the following would be needed.

  • More platform capacity in Waterloo station.
  • Modern high-performance 100 mph trains like Class 707 trains or Aventras.
  • Wimbledon station would only need minor modifications.
  • Some improvements to track and signalling between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.
  • A measure of ATO between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.

Much of the infrastructure works have been completed in Summer 2017, as I reported in It’s All Over Now, Waterloo!.

All it needs to introduce a much improved Waterloo Suburban service,  is for Bombardier to build the new 100 mph Class 701 trains for South Western Railway.

Note that, these improvements will be needed, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Station Improvements On The Waterloo Suburban Lines

Many of the stations on the Waterloo Suburban Lines need substantial improvement.

  • Some station buildings need sympathetic improvement.
  • Some stations need step-free access.
  • Some stations could be redeveloped to create much-needed housing on top of a new station.
  • Some stations might need extra platforms and/or capacity improvements.
  • There are level crossings that need to be closed.

Note.

  1. These improvements will be needed, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!
  2. As Crossrail 2 and South Western Railway will both be using Aventra trains, improvements will be the same if Crossrail 2 is built or not!

There could be quite a few small projects.

Increasing Capacity In Tooting And Wimbledon

Crossrail 2 will increase the capacity at Wimbledon and Tooting Bradway stations, with up to thirty tph passing through.

Wimbledon will benefit from the following, whether or not Crossrail 2 is built.

  • More trains on the Suburban Lines to Waterloo or Central London via Crossrail 2..
  • Increased frequency on the District Line, where the new signalling is being installed under the Four Lines Modernisation program.
  • Increased frequency and capacity on the Northern Line.
  • Increased frequency and capacity on Tramlink.
  • A new Tramlink route to Sutton.
  • After all the work at London Bridge, would it be possible to increase the frequency of trains on the Sutton Loop Line, which currently handles a measly two tph for most of the day?

The area will probably benefit from the splitting of the Northern Line into two separate lines.

Transport for London (TfL) have talked about creating a major interchange, by increasing capacity at Streatham Common station.

Services going through the station and the major junction a short distance to the North include.

  • Thameslink services on the Sutton Loop Line, between Sutton and St. Albans via Wimbledon, Elephant & Castle and St. Pancras.
  • Brighton Main Line services between Victoria and East Croydon.
  • The Milton Keynes to East Croydon service calls.
  • London Bridge to West Croydon services.
  • There is a six tph service to and from Balham station.

It has also been suggested that the station could be a terminus for London Overground’s East London Line services and a Tramlink extension.

I can certainly understand why TfL are thinking of an improved interchange at Streatham Common station.

The original plan for Crossrail 2 showed a preference for the route to go through Balham station rather than Tooting Broadway station.

Surely, if Balham is not to be on Crossrail 2, that station may well be upgraded.

  • The disused platforms could be reinstated.
  • Full step-free access could be added.
  • A better connection between National Rail and the improved Northern Line could be created.

It could become a true Gateway To The South!

Providing Better Access To Clapham Junction Station

Provision has been made in the design of the Northern Line Extension, so that it could be extended from Battersea Power Station station  to Clapham Junction station.

If the connection at Clapham Junction is designed to the high-standard of Crossrail, then the Northern Line Extension could provide an important route for commuters.

The trains on the Northern Line Extension will connect to the Morden branch at Kennington station. The Wikipedia entry for Kennington station says this.

TfL has assessed that the Battersea extension will not have a significant impact on the number of passengers entering and exiting the station, but, to accommodate additional interchanges between the branches, additional cross-platform passageways will be constructed between each pair of plaforms. When the extension opens, all services from the Charing Cross branch will run to Battersea Power Station. Trains to and from Morden will run via the Bank branch.

So it looks like Clapham Junction station will gain a free-flowing connection to both branches of the Northern Line.

Note that, if the Northern Line Extension is extended to Clapham Junction, it will probably be built to allow easy connection to a future Crossrail 2.

Making It Easier For Passengers Transferring Between Trains And Underground At Waterloo

The on-going upgrade to Waterloo station will improve the transfer and also provide better walking routes.

In addition, the recent upgrade across the South Bank netween Waterloo East and London Bridge stations, could be useful to a proportion of passengers.

But more needs to be done!

These other projects might help.

  • To increase capacity on Southeastern services out of Charing Cross station, it has been proposed to rebuild the station, so it reaches across the Thames.
  • Waterloo East station could be a prime site for redevelopment.
  • The Bakerloo Line is going to be upgraded with new trains and more capacity.
  • The Bakerloo Line will have a good connection to Crossrail at Paddington station.
  • The Waterloo and City Line will be getting new trains, which could increase capacity by twenty-five percent.
  • The |Waterloo and City Line could get improved access at Waterloo to match the improved access currently being created  at Bank station.

Surely done in the right order, these projects could increase capacity for passengers at Waterloo, who are connecting to other parts of London.

Improving Public Transport Access To Chelsea

Kings Road, Chelsea station was cancelled in March 2017.

Perhaps, the posh people of Chelsea don’t want the plebs visiting? How will their maids and dogsbodies get to work?

Creating Better Access To  Euston, St. Pancras and Kings Cross Stations

One of the main objectives for Crossrail 2, is to provide better access to the three major stations of Euston, St. Pancras and Kings Cross.

The chosen solution is to build a ‘mega-station’ called Euston St. Pancras station. The connections of the station are described like this in Wikipedia.

The station will be firmly integrated into Euston and St. Pancras mainline stations, as well as Euston Underground station. Access to King’s Cross station, and King’s Cross St Pancras Underground station will be via a short walk through St. Pancras station. There may also be a link to Euston Square station on the Underground, created as part of Euston station’s reconstruction for High Speed 2.

In order to illustrate, the lines in the area and the relationship of Euston St. Pancras station to the current stations, look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr.

Crossrail 2 will pass through Angel station, before roughly following the line of the Northern Line through Kings Cross St. Pancras station to Euston station, where it will turn South towards the next station, which is Tottenham Court Road station, where it will have an interchange with Crossrail.

Like, its earlier sister, Crossrail 2 will have to go deep to avoid the tunnels of the Underground and London’s sewers.

However, London’s famous clay, that was instrumental to the creation of London’s deep-level Tube lines, will probably enable a successful tunnel to be created.

High Speed 2 is scheduled to open in 2026 and it appears to me, that there is no way, that given the slippage of the project, that Crossrail 2 can open before High Speed 2.

So how will the extra passengers using High Speed 2 be handled at Euston station?

The only alternative plan, that I can see is to fall back on the existing lines.

Affecting all the connections between High Speed 2 and the Underground, would hopefully be a complete rebuilding of Euston station incorporating the following.

  • A connection to the sub-surface lines.
  • Full step-free access to all Underground lines.

The Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines, are undergoing an Upgrade Program, which is known as the Four Lines Modernisation by TfL and is described like this in Wikipedia.

Together with the introduction of S Stock trains, the track, electrical supply and signalling systems are being upgraded in a programme planned to increase peak-hour capacity on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines by 65 per cent by the end of 2018. A single control room for the sub-surface railway is to be established in Hammersmith and an automatic train control (ATC) system will replace signalling equipment installed from the 1940s. The cross-London Crossrail line, planned to open in 2018, is expected to reduce crowding between Paddington and Whitechapel.

Note the reference to Crossrail, with its connections to the sub-surface lines at Paddington, Farringdon, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel stations. Passengers will Duck-and-Dive around the busy sections, using Crossrail and its five helper lines, that loop along it to the North and South.

  • Central Line
  • Circle Line
  • District Line
  • Hammersmith & City Line
  • Jubilee Line
  • Metropolitan Line

Predicting how the capacity will split between the various lines across London, will be a statistical nightmare.

But there will be a substantial increase in capacity on the sub-surface lines through Kings Cross St. Pancras and Euston.

The Northern Line could be a totally different line, when High Speed 2 opens in 2026.

  • Bank station will open in 2021 with 40% more capacity.
  • Camden Town station will be rebuilt by 2024/25.
  • The Northern Line Extension to Battersea Power Station station is scheduled to open in 2020.

All this work, may well allow a Northern Line Split, which would bring increased train frequencies and more capacity.

The Victoria Line  is probably at maximum capacity at the present time, but history has shown that she never knows when to stop calling for more!

  • Capacity at Highbury & Islington, Oxford Circus and Walthamstow Central stations is probably a limiting factor.
  • Access at Euston and Kings Cross St. Pancras stations could certainly be improved.

The Piccadilly Line could be a big contributor to extra capacity through the area.

Can the line be upgraded with new trains in time to make a meaningful contribution?

Lastly, we mustn’t forget the new station complex at Old Oak Common, which connects High Speed 2, Crossrail and the North London Line.

Note that, these improvements will be implemented, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Improving Transport In Dalston And Hackney

As a resident of Dalston since 2010, I can honestly say, that public transport has improved a lot in recent years.

  • The North London Line has two frequent five-car train services from Stratford in the East to Clapham Junction and Richmond in the West.
  • The East London Line has four frequent train services from Highbury and Islington and Dalston Junction in the North to Clapham Junction, New Cross, New Cross Gate and West Croydon in the South.
  • The Victoria Line has thirty-six tph from Brixton to Walthamstow Central.
  • Lea Bridge station has reopened.
  • Liverpool Street to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield are now Overground routes.
  • There are numerous bus routes with new buses going hither and thither.

The icing on the cake, is that extra services and new trains will be provided  in the next couple of years.

  • Dalston Junction to Whitechapel for Crossrail will have at least 20 tph.
  • Hackney Wick to Highbury & Islington will have at least 10 tph.
  • New trains will appear on Liverpool Street to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield and Gospel Oak to Barking Line services.

Crossrail 2 would be an improvement for Dalstonistas and Hackneysians, as we could get to Central London faster.

But from December 2019, Crossrail with perhaps a single change will give us numerous ways to get to all the stations on the proposed line, quicker than you could do the trip in a Hackney cab, driven by the likes of Lewis Hamilton.

Hackney has survived on the crumbs of London’s transport system since the trams and trolley buses were scrapped.

Like all those with Cockney in their genes, nurture or environment, we’ll keep smiling through!

Note that, the improvement in Hackney will be implemented, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Four-Tracking The West Anglia Main Line Between Coppermill Junction And Broxbourne

This needs to be done to create extra capacity on the West Anglia Main Line for the following services.

  • Express services to Stansted Airport, Cambridge and possibly Norwich.
  • Extra express services terminating at Stratford for Crossrail.
  • Local services from Liverpool Street and Stratford to Broxbourne, Hertford East and Bishops Stortford.
  • 100 mph running for Express services on the fast lines.

Four-tracking would certainly be necessary to accommodate the proposed 10-15 tph service for Crossrail 2.

Note that, this four-tracking will be needed, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Allowing An Increased Number  Of West Anglia Services to Terminate At Stratford

Greater Anglia have said, that they will run extra Stansted Airport services into Stratford station from 2019.

  • Previously, these Stratford-Stansted Airport services used the High Meads Loop under the Eastfield Shopping Centre, in much the same way as Merseyrail’s Wirral Line trains run under Liverpool.
  • Services would all call at either Platform 11 or 12 at Stratford, depending on the way the loop is travelled.
  • The loop is double-track, which opens the possibility of local services using one platform and Stansted services using the other.
  • If local services used Platform 12, North London Line services would be perhaps fifty metres away.
  • It would be a walk of about a hundred metres to Crossrail and the Central Line and not much further to the Jubilee Line and the Docklands Light Railway.
  • Using a loop is a technique that saves time, as the train goes straight on, without the driver changing ends and Merseyrail handle something like twelve tph on the Wirral Line.
  • With a measure of Automatic Train Control (ATC), I suspect that a frequency of fifteen  or even twenty tph could be possible through the High Meads Loop.

Could paths be found to incorporate perhaps two tph between Stratford and Chingford via a reinstated Hall Farm Curve?

It seems to me that Network Rail’s track design at Stratford station incorporated a lot of future-proofing!

Creating A High-Capacity Commuter Route up the Lea Valley

Crossrail 2 intends to implement a 10-15 tph service between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.

After the four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line, the only other works needed to create a high-capacity commuter route up the Lea Valley will be.

  • Remodelling of Coppermill Junction, so trains can access Crossrail 2’s Central Tunnel.
  • Rebuilding of Tottenham Hale station to accommodate the extra services, to and from the Crossrail 2 tunnel, Liverpool Street and Stratford.
  • Rebuilding stations to serve the new tracks.

The rebuilding of Tottenham Hale station is already underway.

There is the interesting possibility pf running at least a ten tph service up the Lea Valley from Stratford to Boxbourne and Hertford East.

If the High Meads Loop, were to be fully developed at Stratford, as the terminus of both Stansted Express and local Lea Valley services, using Crossrail from Stratford to cross London would probably be an acceptable alternative route until the Crossrail 2 tunnel is built.

It would have other advantages.

  • Capacity would be released at Liverpool Street station.
  • Capacity would be released through Clapton and Hackney Downs stations on the direct route to Liverpool Street.
  • Services could be connected to Stratford International station with the addition of another platform.
  • Heathrow to Stansted Airport would be a single change at Stratford with just a short walk.

The major undertaking of the Crossrail 2 central tunnel could also be delayed to smooth cash-flow.

Creating A High-Capacity Commuter Route To Wood Green And New Southgate

This section will be nearly all in tunnel and will call at the following stations.

New Southgate – For Great Northern and Thameslink

The area is one I know well and it probably needs improved services.

But some are already planned.

  • Thameslink will add at least two tph to Alexandra Palace and New Southgate.
  • New trains will add capacity and frequency to the Piccadilly Line.
  • New trains will add capacity and frequency to Great Northern services into Moorgate on the Northern City Line.
  • New trains will add capacity and frequency to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

Hopefully, enough capacity can be incorporated to serve North London.

Taking Pressure Off The Victoria Line

Dear Old Vicky can’t give much more and what really would relieve it is Crossrail 2.

The two lines connect at the following stations.

  • Tottenham Hale
  • Seven Sisters
  • Euston St. Pancras
  • Victoria

But the following will help.

  • The rebuilding of Walthamstow Central, Highbury & Islington and Oxford Circus stations.
  • The upgraded Piccadilly Line with connections at Finsbury Park, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Green Park
  • The upgraded Northern Line with connections at Kings Cross St. Pancras, Euston, Warren Street and Stockwell.
  • The cross-platform interchange with the Northern City Line at Highbury & Islington connects to Crossrail.
  • The upgraded Overground routes into Liverpool Street from Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town.
  • A reinstated Hall Farm Curve would give Walthamstow and Chingford easier access to Crossrail at Stratford.

Other new connections and stations might take off extra pressure.

The Central Tunnel

The Central Tunnel, that will run between Wimbledon and Tottenham Hale stations, will be a major undertaking.

  • It is about twice as long as Crossrail’s Central Tunnel from Stratford to Paddington.
  • There will also be the branch tunnel to Wood Green.
  • There will be some large and complicated stations, like Dalston and Euston St. Pancras.
  • Some of the tunnelling South of the Thames could be challenging.

Remember that, boring the tunnels on Crossrail  took around five years, with another two years to lay the track.

On the other hand, the following will apply on Crossrail 2.

  • The contractors will have all the knowledge and experience gained on Crossrail.
  • The tunnel portal sites at Tottenham Hale and Wimbledon look to have plenty of space.
  • Some of the stations, will be ready to accept the tunnel boring machines.

Overall, it will be a very doable project, but I suspect it could take ten years or more.

Other Projects Will Help

In my review of the smaller projects that should be done before the Central Tunnel of Crossrail is bored, Other projects get multiple mentions.

Digital Signalling And ETCS

Crossrail, Thameslink, Crossrail 2 and several Underground Lines will all be lines that have the most modern of signalling, which will also allow a degree of Automatic Train Control.

New passenger trains will be able to take advantage of this technology, but what about lines, where freight trains also run.

Ths article on Global Railway Review is entitled The Digital Railway Begins With Landmark Siemens ETCS Contract.

This is the opening two paragraphs.

Network Rail has awarded Siemens Rail Automation the contract to supply, install and support its European Train Control System (ETCS) on freight locomotives across Great Britain.

Network Rail’s multi-million pound contract grants Siemens to supply, install and support ETCS in-cab signalling equipment on the 745-strong fleet of freight locomotives which operates across Great Britain. ETCS is expected to make Britain’s freight locomotives safer and greener whilst unlocking capacity.

The installation of ETCS will surely be invaluable on lines around London, where freight trains and passenger services mix.

  • Crossrail branch to Shenfield
  • Crossrail branch to Reading
  • Sections of Thameslink
  • North London Line
  • West London Line.
  • The Gospel Oak to Barking Line

Some of these lines and their passenger services are not ready for digital signalling, but the two Crossrail branches and Thameslink will probably be already equipped or will be in the near future.

Digital signalling should unlock more capacity everywhere it is installed.

The Creation Of More Transport Hubs

London has had major transport hubs, where rail lines and other transport modes connect, as long as it has had trains, trams and horse buses.

More transport hubs have been added in recent years and others will be created in the next few years.

  • Brent Cross
  • Dalston
  • Finsbury Park
  • Hackney
  • New Cross/New Cross Gate
  • Shenfield
  • Stratford
  • Streatham Common
  • Tottenham Hale
  • Walthamstow Central
  • West Hampstead

Have all been discussed or planned and some have been started.

But these are small projects compared to the massive transport hub planned at Old Oak Common.

  • It will serve the developments at Park Royal and Old Oak Common.
  • High Speed 2 services will stop between Euston and Birmingham.
  • ,Crossrail, Great Western,West Coast Main Line, North London Line and West London Line services will call.
  • The Central Line may call.
  • Plans exist for a West London Orbital Railway linking North-West and South-West London to Old Oak Common.

It would be a transport mega-hub.

Could others be developed?

Crossrail

Crossrail will inject a massive amount of East-West capacity into London’s transport system.

Some journeys that would be easy on Crossrail 2, will be possible using Crossrail and another line.

Take, where I live in Dalston.

When I moved to the area in 2010, for residents of a large area of Islington and Hackney, the only way to get to the City, Canary Wharf, the West End or major stations was to get a bus to Highbury & Islington, Liverpool Street or Moorgate stations and use the Underground.

Then along came Big Orange in the shape of the London Overground.

After Crossrail opens, for many journeys, I will hop on the Overground to Whitechapel station, from where I’ll take Crossrail to my destination.

The capacity, speed and novelty of Crossrail wil help make up for a delayed Crossrail 2.

Thameslink

Used properly by the rail companies, I believe Thameslink could create a lot more North-South capacity across London.

Some of this could help provide capacity at stations, that will be served by Crossrail 2..

Especially as, Crossrail 2 and Thameslink will share stations at Alexandra Palace, St. Pancras and Wimbledon.

The long-talked about improved stations at Peckham Rye and Loughborough Junction and a possible new one at Camberwell, would help create better connectivity across South London.

What Thameslink needs is a good connection to Clapham Junction, but this would appear to be difficult.

But don’t underestimate London’s troubled North-South Link!

For a start it should be on the Tube Map!

High Speed 2

High Speed 2 will affect Crossrail 2 in two opposite ways, when it opens in 2026.

  • The planned rebuilding of Euston station for the line will incorporate better connections to the Underground and any sane rebuilding would surely bring Euston Square station into the complex.
  • The new line will have a station at Old Oak Common, where there will be an interchange with Crossrail and the London Overground.

The first will increase passenger numbers at Euston, whilst the second should reduce them.

Four Lines Modernisation

Transport for London describe the Four Lines Modernisation with this paragraph.

We are transforming the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. When the work is completed in 2023, increased capacity and boosted reliability will make journeys faster and more comfortable.

TfL say these will be the benefits of the modernisation.

  • A new fleet of air-conditioned trains, with brighter more spacious interiors, low floors and dedicated spaces for wheelchair users, CCTV and other improved features
  • Space for more customers
  • Faster journeys and reduced waiting times
  • Fewer delays as safe but obsolete equipment – dating back to the 1920s in some places – is replaced with modern, computerised signalling and control systems
  • Better live customer information on platforms and to smart devices.

Note.

  1. The trains have arrived and no-one seems to have complained.
  2. TfL’s documents claim the new signalling can handle up to thirty tph.
  3. The new trains and signalling could do for the four sub-surface lines, what they did for the Victoria Line and increase frequencies by a substantial amount.
  4. It is highly likely that the rebuilt Euston station will have easy access to Euston Square station.
  5. Paddington, Euston, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Liverpool Street will see a high-frequency service across the capital, that connects at both ends to Crossrail.
  6. Crossrail will be faster between Whitechapel and Paddington.

The benefits of the Four Lines Modernisation and the rebuilding of Euston station would effectively create two new high capacity lines across Central London, with up to thirty tph carrying around nine hundred people each.

  • A loop North of Crossrail, between Whitechapel and Paddington, serving Euston, St. Pancras, Kings Cross and Liverpool Street
  • A loop South of Crossrail, between Whitechapel and Paddington, serving Victoria, Charing Cross, Blackfriars, Cannon Street and Fenchurch Street.

The Four Lines Modernisation will give Crossrail a very serious competitor, that was originally opened by the Victorians in the 1860s.

  • Crossrail can handle 24 tph , which each contain 1500 passengers. 36,000 passengers per hour
  • The North and South loops of the sub-surface lines could be able to handle 30 tph, which each contain 900 passengers. 27,000 passengers per hour
  • Crossrail 2’s Central Tunnel is being designed to handle 30 tph, which might each contain 1500 passengers. 45,000 passengers per hour

These are truly massive numbers.

But perhaps more importantly, the Four Lines Modernisation should be able to go a long way to solving the problems of handling the large numbers of extra passengers using Euston for High Speed 2, when the first phase opens in 2026.

With all this extra capacity through Euston and Kings Cross coming on stream around 2023, I think that sensible planning would say that the Central Tunnel of Crossrail 2 through the area can be delayed by several years.

Upgrading The Piccadilly Line

I used the Piccadilly Line between Oakwood and Southgate stations between 1958 and 1965 to get to school. The current 1973 Stock trains on the line date from 1974 or only nine years after I left.

Wikipedia says this about new trains for the Piccadilly Line.

London Underground has invited Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens to develop a new concept of lightweight, low-energy, semi-articulated train for the deep-level lines, provisionally called “Evo” (for ‘evolution’). So far only Siemens has publicised an outline design, which would feature air-conditioning and would also have battery power enabling the train to run on to the next station if third and fourth rail power were lost. It would have a lower floor and 11% higher passenger capacity than the present tube stock. There would be a weight saving of 30 tonnes, and the trains would be 17% more energy-efficient with air-conditioning included, or 30% more energy-efficient without it.

Given the new trains seen in recent years, coupled with new signalling, I believe that there could be an increase in frequency from the current twenty-four tph to a Victoria Line frequency of over thirty tph.

  • Current capacity of the line is 24 tph, each of which can carry 684 passengers. This is 16416 passengers per hour.
  • Future capacity of the line could be 33 tph, each of which can carry 760 passengers. This is 25080 passengers per hour.

Like the Victoria Line, I think the capacity of the Piccadilly Line will be more limited by platform and station design, than the trains and the signalling.

But that won’t stop the Piccadilly Line from helping to hold the fort until the Central tunnel for Crossrail 2 is built.

London Underground’s New Deep Level Trains

After the Piccadilly Line trains have been delivered, it s highly likely that more trains will be built for the following lines.

  • Forty for the Bakerloo Line giving a 25% capacity increase.
  • Hundred for the Central Line giving a 25% capacity increase.
  • Ten for the Waterloo and City Line giving a 25% capacity increase.

These figures come from an article entitled Deep Tube Upgrade in the November 2017 Edition of Modern Railways.

Bakerloo Line Upgrade And Extension To Lewisham

It could be argued that South East London needs extra capacity just as much as South West London.

The Deep Tube Upgrade article in Modern Railways says that this about an extended Bakerloo Line.

The 1972 stock trains are now the oldest on the system and are set to reach nearly 60 years in service before they are replaced. The Bskerloo fleet also is undergoing refurbishment, wgich is both addressing structural issues and improving the passenger environment.

Associated with this is the plan to extend the Bakerloo Line beyond Elephant & Castle to Lewisham via the Old Kent Road. Transport for London is undertaking a series of consultations into this plan, which have exhibited consistent support for the proposals, and the aim is for the extension to open around 2030, concurrent with the line’s modernisation.

Current Bakerloo Line stations, where work could happen or already has happened include.

  • Elephant & Castle will be upgraded.
  • Lambeth North has recently had a facelift.
  • Waterloo is being updated to give better connection to National Rail services.
  • Oxford Circus is going to be upgraded to add more capacity to the Victoria Line platforms.
  • Baker Street has been planned to have step-free access, but due to budgetary restraints, this has not happened.
  • Paddington is being updated to provide direct access to |Crossrail.
  • Queen’s Park is planned to become step-free in 2019.

Most of the stations need improvement and a large proportion need step-free access.

Oxford Circus Station

Oxford Circus station was rebuilt in the 1960s for the Victoria Line.

  • That rebuild was sized to handle around twenty tph on the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Lines.
  • The Central and Victoria Lines are now handling well over thirty tph.
  • The Bakerloo and Central Line will be getting new Deep Level trains, which will further increase passengers.
  • I would never bet against engineers squeezing another four tph out of Dear Old Vicky to run a forty tph frequency.

Oxford Circus station won’t be able to take the extra passengers and it will need a rebuild.

Judging by the solutions at Bank, Bond Street, Camden Town, Holborn, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Knightsbridge, I suspect it could take the form of a new entrance, which connected to the ends of platforms.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines through the station.

The lines are as follows.

  • Red – Central
  • Silver – Jubilee
  • Brown – Bakerloo
  • Turquoise – Victoria
  • Purple – Crossrail

Consider.

  • The Central Line runs at a not very deep level under Oxford Street.
  • Oxford Street is going to be pedestrianised.
  • The cross-platform interchange between the Bakerloo and Victoria Lines.

Could a simple new entrance be built at the Eastern end of the Central Line platforms?

These pictures were taken between Marks & Spencer at the Pantheon and Oxford Circus station.

I could imagine an island entrance to the |Central Line in the middle of a fully pedestrianised Oxford Street.

  • Escalators could lead to a spacious mezzanine floor, a few metres under Oxford Street.
  • The mezzanine could contain ticket machines and perhaps kiosks and even toilets.
  • From the mezzanine a gate-line would control access to escalators leading to the Eastern end of the Central Line platforms.
  • Lifts could be added as required.

On the surface the entrance could be covered with a fosterito or some other similar structure.

I believe that the opening of Crossrail and the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street could allow this entrance to be constructed without stopping the Central Line trains running through Oxford Circus station, although passengers would not be able or allowed to use the Central Line at the station.

It wouldn’t be a first for the UK.

The picture shows Buchanan Street station on the Glasgow subway. Wikipedia says this about the canopies.

Other than St Enoch it is the only station with an underground ticket hall, and surface buildings are restricted to new mid-street entrance canopy which was rebuilt in 1999 as part of the repaving of Buchanan Street. This canopy is constructed entirely of structural glass: all beams and columns, the walls and roof are glass.

Note that Buchanan Street could be considered to be Glasgow’s Oxford Street.

Oxford Circus station could be redeveloped into an even more important interchange.

Many have said, that it needs a good connection to Crossrail.

Consider.

  • Crossrail’s platforms at Bond Street station are long and stretch to Hanover Square, where there is an entrance to the station.
  • The Hanover Square entrance  to Bond Street station is approximately half-way between the Oxford Street entrances of Bond Street and Oxford Circus stations.
  • The Crossrail platforms are deeper than the other lines. One picture shows them twenty-six metes below ground level.

I can’t see why, if it was decided to connect the two stations, that a pedestrian tunnel connection couldn’t be squeezed in.

This visualisation from Crossrail shows the Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station.

It looks to me that the design expects transferring passengers will walk on the surface.

Consider.

Let’s hope that Hanover Square gets fully pedestrianised and traffic-free.

A tunnel would have a great advantage over a surface route in that it would only be used by people transferring between the two stations.

Perhaps an entrance to the rebuilt Oxford Circus station, should be in the North-Eastern corner of Hanover Square.

Or could there be a fosterito or a new entrance in a traffic-free Princes Street?

These pictures show Princes Street.

There are possibilities, which all depend on whether it is possible to dig a pedestrian tunnel from Oxford Circus.

There are more difficult stations, where the building of other entrances will be much more difficult.

An Improved Central Line

Crossrail and the Central Line have connections at Stratford, ,Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Ealing Broadway stations.

These connections will make it easier for stations and parts of the Central Line to be closed for major works, as passengers have a ready alternative.

I believe that this could cut time and costs when updating the line for the new Deep Level Trains and improving stations.

As the new trains will bring a twenty-five percent increase in capacity, it will all help take pressure from other lines.

An Improved Waterloo & City Line

New trains and perhaps an improved station at Waterloo will improve this route.

But the big improvement will happen early this year, when the new entrance at Bank station opens.

Underground And Overground Station Upgrades

This page on the TfL website gives details of station improvement. The page starts with this.

We’re modernising some of our busiest stations to increase capacity, make journeys faster and add step-free access. We’re also integrating them with other modes of transport, like buses, National Rail and cycling.

At present plans are underway or are being developed for the following key stations, which will be on or near the route of Crossrail 2.

  • Alexandra Palace
  • Bank and Monument
  • Camden Town
  • Elephant & Castle
  • Finsbury Park
  • Hackney Central
  • Holborn
  • Knightsbridge
  • Oxford Circus
  • Palmers Green
  • Peckham Rye
  • Seven Sisters
  • Tottenham Hale
  • Victoria
  • Walthamstow Central
  • Waterloo
  • White Hart Lane

Others will probably join this list.

Splitting The Northern Line

Once the improvements at Camden Town and Bank stations have been completed and the Northern Line Extension to Battersea has been completed, TfL have ambitions to split the Northern Line.

  • A Charing  Cross Line would run from between Edgware and Battersea Power Station via Charing Cross
  • A Bank Branch would run between High Barnet and Morden via Bank.

The two lines would have interchanges at Camden Town, Euston and Kennington.

Wikipedia has a section on  the splitting of the Northern Line, which says this.

Running trains between all combinations of branches and the two central sections, as at present, means only 30 trains an hour can run through each of the central sections at peak times, because merging trains have to wait for each other at the junctions at Camden Town and Kennington. Completely segregating the routes could allow 36 trains an hour on all parts of the line.

Plans also exist for the following.

  • Further extension of the from Battersea Power station to Clapham Junction station.
  • New high-capacity modern trains, similar to those being specified for the Piccadilly Line.

I estimate, that the high-capacity trains for the Piccadilly Line will be able to carry 720 passengers in air-conditioned comfort. Currently, the 1995 Stock trains on the line can accommodate 662 passengers.

This gives the following current and future capacities of the two lines.

  • Current capacity of the line is 30 tph, each of which can carry 662 passengers. This is 19860 passengers per hour.
  • Future capacity of the line is 36 tph, each of which can carry 720 passengers. This is 25920 passengers per hour.

This gives around  a thirty percent increase in capacity.

As with the Four Lines Modernisation, the application of high quality engineering from the Twenty-First Century to Victorian and Edwardian tracks and tunnels can give a surprisingly-high increase in capacity.

 

 

London Overground’s New Class 710 Trains

London Overground serves North and East London and will have interchanges with Crossrail 2 at Cheshunt, Dalston, Euston and Seven Sisters stations.

Their Lea Valley services to Cheshunt, Chingford andEnfield Town are getting new Class 710 trains.

Information on these new trains is scant, but I suspect that their performance would be superior to the current Class 315 and Class 317 trains, which have maximum speeds of 75 and 100 mph respectively.

Most Aventras seem to be 100 mph trains, with the exception of Crossrail’s Class 345 trains, which are 90 mph trains.

Your guess is as good ass mine, as to what the operating speed of the Class 710 trains will be. Unless of course, you have  a data sheet!

Because of their modern design, I think we can assume that the new trains will also save a minute or two at each stop, when compared to the existing trains.

They will also have a larger passenger capacity, which I estimate at somewhere near 700 for a four-car train.

The East London Line

Never underestimate the contribution, that London’s newest cross-River line can make.

The East London Line (ELL) shows what you can do, when you take an old well-built tunnel and apply the following.

  • New trains.
  • Well-designed stations.
  • Modern signalling.
  • A passenger-friendly timetable.

I always wonder what Marc and Isambard Brunel, would think of the way the Thames Tunnel has morphed into a sixteen tph electric railway from their tunnel for foot passengers and horse-drawn vehicles.

But Transport for London haven’t finished their development of the East London Line.

Projects in the pipeline include.

  • The ELL will connect to Crossrail at Whitechapel in December 2018.
  • The trains have been ordered for two extra tph to both Crystal Palace and Clapham Junction stations.
  • An interchange at Brockley station with the line between Nunhead and Lewisham stations.
  • An interchange at Penge with the Chatham Main Line.
  • An interchange at Loughborough Junction station with Thameslink.
  • A full step-free interchange could be built at Brixton.
  • Peckham Rye station could be an important interchange.
  • Increasing the maximum frequency along the line to 24 tph.
  • A possible new destination at a rebuilt Streatham Common station.
  • New Cross and New Cross Gate stations could be rebuilt to interchange with the Bakerloo Line Extension.

Because of the planned mega-station at Dalston on Crossrail 2, the East London Line will play an important role as a feeder line for Crossrail 2.

Just as the Waterloo Suburban and the West Anglia Main Lines, will serve South-West and North-East London respectively, development of the ELL could bring benefits to some very neglected parts of South East and South London.

I believe that updating the stations could be the key.

  • Brockley will have ten tph on the ELL and two tph between Victoria and Lewisham.
  • Lounghborough Junction will have six tph on the ELL and eight tph on Thameslink.
  • Peckham Rye station will have six typh on the ELL, two tph on Thameslink , 4 tph to London Bridge and several other services.
  • Penge station will have ten tph on the ELL and four tph between Victoria and Orpington.

The density of services across South London would be seriously increased.

The North London Line

The North London Line may not have the same number of destinations as the East London Line, as it only offers two services.

  • Four tph run between Stratford and Richmond
  • Four tph run between Stratford and Clapham Junction

Both services run seven days a week.

As with the East London Line, Transport for London have plans for the North London Line.

In Musical Trains On The Overground, I quote from an article on London Reconnections, which says that Transport for London would like to increase the frequency of these two services to six tph, which would give twelve tph between Willesden Junction and Stratford.

But that is not all!

  • Two new stations at Hythe Road and Old Oak Common Lane will be built to serve the new developments at Park Royal and Old Oak Common.
  • These new stations will also interchange with Crossrail, High Speed 2, West Coast Main Line, Great Western and Chiltern services.
  • West Hampstead station is being rebuilt.
  • Highbury & Islington station will probably be rebuilt to improve interchange between the London Overground, Victoria Line and the Northern City Line.
  • Transport for London have suggested that Camden Road station could have a quality step-free interchange with the Northern Line at Camden Town station.
  • ETCS will probably be applied to the North London Line, to increase the capacity of freight and passenger services.

The North London Line would also benefit, if improved West Anglia Main Line services ran to Stratford, as the simple step-free interchange is ready and waiting.

The West London Line

The West London Line is London’s most underutilised rail route.

Consider.

  • If its cousin in the East can handle twenty tph, surely a redesigned West London Line could operate at least sixteen tph.
  • It connects to the new super-hub station of Old Oak Common in the North for HS2, West Coast Main Line and Crossrail.
  • It connects to the Victorian super-hub station of Clapham Junction in the South.
  • The London Overground already connects North-East London to South-West London using the West London Line, with a frequency of four tph.
  • Southern’s Milton Keynes to East Croydon service needs a higher frequency and could be another valuable North-South route across London.

Transport for London should take control of this line and give it the service that West London needs.

  • An increase to six tph for the Stratford to Clapham Junction service is already planned.
  • TfL should take over the Milton Keynes to East Croydon service as recommended by Chris Gibb.
  • A new station is being built at Hythe Road.

I also feel that a new station should have been built to serve the new housing development at Earl’s Court.

The Gospel Oak To Barking Line

The Gospel Oak To Barking Line is the joker in the pack.

  • It is currently going through a shambolic electrification.
  • New four-car electric  Class 710 trains are rumoured to be arriving in Spring 2018, which will double capacity.
  • It will provide a second electrified freight route across North London.
  • The line is being extended to a new station at Barking Riverside.
  • ETCS will probably be applied to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, to increase the capacity of freight and passenger services.

The current frequency of four tph will probably be retained for some time with the new trains.

Currently, it appears that the Class 172 trains take ninety minutes to do the round trip along the line, with ten intermediate stops. This means that six trains are needed for a four tph service.

If the new trains can do the round trip in an hour, because of their better performance, this would reduce the number of trains required to four for a four tph service.

Whether two trains less are needed will depend on the performance of the trains, which has not been disclosed.

But I do feel that the line will suffer a severe case of London Overground Syndrome and actual passenger traffic will exceed forecasts by a large margin.

Without the freight trains on the line, I suspect that with enough trains, the frequency on this line could be increased to six tph.

But I wouldn’t rule it out happening some time in the future, when the following has been done.

  • The Barking Riverside Extension has been completed.
  • The xtra trains for Barking Riverside have been delivered.
  • All trains using the line work under ETCS.

I think it should be noted that after completion of the Barking Riverside Extension, Platform 1 at Barking station will probably be available for turning trains, at times of service disruption.

From what I’ve seen of station works on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, it might already be possible to add one or two coaches to the trains, if they are needed.

So there could be scope to massively increase the capacity of the line.

An Improved Chingford Branch Line

The London Overground service on the Chingford Branch Line has a frequency of four tph between Liverpool Street and Chingford, with trains taking twenty-seven minutes for the trip with seven stops.

Improvements proposed for the line include.

  • An increased frequency of trains.
  • Better connection between Chingford/Walthamstow and Stratford, via a reinstated Hall Farm Curve.
  • New stations at Forest Road and Chingford Hatch.

The problem is the restriction caused by the level crossing at Highams Park station, which probably limits the line to its current frequency.

However, the higher performance Class 710 trains, digital signalling and some innovative timetabling could see an improved service that satisfies all stakeholders.

An Improved Service To Enfield Town

Enfield Town station has a service to Liverpool Street with the following characteristics.

  • A two tph service in the Off Peak
  • , A four tph service in the Peak
  • Trains take thirty-four minuses with twelve or thirteen intermediate stops.
  • Some intermediate stations are step-free like Edmonton Green, but others need a lot of improvement.

There is also the massive new development of Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium at White Hart Lane station, which will be built fully-step-free.

It looks like London Overground have prepared for the stadium development, in that two extra tph are planned for the route from 2019 along with new Class 710 trains.

The question also has to be asked if, the new |Class 710 trains  can do the trip fast enough to bring the round trip time to under an hour.

If they can, it appears, that the same number of trains will be able to add two tph to the timetable.

An Improved Service To Cheshunt

Cheshunt station has a service to Liverpool Street withe the following characteristics.

  • A two tph London Overground service in the Off Peak taking astound 39 minutes with fifteen stops.
  • A four tph Greater Anglia service in the Off Peak taking astound 23-29 minutes with 1-5 stops.

It looks to me, that the higher performance of the new trains will improve the service to Cheshunt.

White Hart Lane

White Hart Lane station is being rebuilt with full step-free access to cope with sixty-thousand crowds at Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium.

The Off Peak London Overground services will be at least as follows, after 2019.

  • Four tph to Enfield Town
  • Two tph to Cheshunt
  • Six tph to Liverpool Street
  • There will also be extra trains on match-days.

Wikipedia says this about Tottenham Hotspur matches.

On days that see football matches at Tottenham Hotspur’s ground nearby the station sees increased usage. A special timetable operates on match days, with trains arriving and departing every few minutes before and after the game. There is an increase in the number of trains to and from the line’s termini at Cheshunt and Enfield Town, as well as starting and terminating White Hart Lane trains and services to and from Edmonton Green and Liverpool Street. Abellio Greater Anglia occasionally serve the station on match days only, similarly to Northumberland Park Station.

Historically, additional match-day services also connected to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line and to Stratford from Cheshunt.

The historical route from Stratford to Cheshunt via White Hart Lane is still intact and it’s fully electrified.

Dalston Interchange

Crossrail 2 envisages a mega-station at Dalston.

  • It will connect to the current two stations of Dalston Junction and Dalston Kingsland.
  • It will make it easier for passengers to connect between the North and East London Lines.
  • The connection to the East London Line will connect Crossrail 2 to a large number of stations in East and South-East London.
  • The connection to the North London Line will connect Crossrail 2 to a large number of stations in North London.
  • The station could become a major bus interchange.

A mega-station will surely help in the development of much needed housing in the area.

The current lack of direct connectivity between the North and East London Lines at Dalston is a big weakness. Walking between the two stations is an obstacle course on crowded narrow pavements, alongside the busy Kingsland High Street.

The problems are worse, as Dalston Kingsland station, is a busy station without step-free access.

The Crossrail 2 mega-station at Dalston will hopefully solve this connectivity problem, as there could be a step-free tunnel underneath Kingsland High Street.

But Dalston needs a solution now!

A chance was lost, with three new developments along Kingsland High Street between the two stations, which were built without improving the quality of pedestrian routes.

This Google Map shows the two stations.

Note the Kingsland Shopping Centre, which is single storey with a lot of surface-level parking.

The owners have submitted plans for redevelopment, but nothing seems to have happened.

I’m sure, that an imaginative developer could create something worthwhile.

  • Some quality shops for Dalston’s residents.
  • New land could be created over the top of the North London Line.
  • More efficient parking.
  • Some green space.
  • Housing on top of the shopping centre.
  • A pleasant walking route with perhaps cafes and small shops between the two stations.

There could be a new step-free entrance to Dalston Kingsland station on the East side of Kingsland High Street, to serve the Shopping Centre and Ridley Road Market.

It seems to me that a good plan for Dalston could be developed, that would work with or without the building of Crossrail 2.

There is a precedent for building on the surface first, in that Moor House was built on the site of the future Crossrail station and incorporated the ventilation shaft for the railway line.

Perhaps, Foster and Partners should do their best for Dalston!

Hackney Interchange

Hackney Central and Hackney Downs stations are now linked by a walkway and will increasingly become an important interchange between the North London and Lea Valley Lines.

Proposals are being developed to improve both stations.

The combined station might even get another Eastern branch of Crossrail 2.

STAR

STAR is a new service being added to the rail network in East London.

  • STAR stands for Stratford-Tottenham-Angel Road.
  • Meridian Water is a new station that will serve a massive £3.5 billion development and replace Angel Road station.
  • A third track is being added between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water stations.
  • The service will have a frequency of at least four tph.

This page on the Network Rail web site, which is entitled Lee Valley Rail Programme,  gives more details.

  • 5,500 metres of new track will be installed.
  • ,This would appear to be about the distance of a single track from Meridian Water to just short of Lea Bridge station.
  • Tottenham Hale station is being made Crossrail 2-ready and developed into a major step-free transport hub, linking West Anglia Main  Line, Victoria Line and numerous bus routes.
  • Northumberland Park station is being replaced with a new step-free station.
  • The new track and the extra platforms at Tottenham Hale and Northumberland Park could be bidirectional.

The engineering seems to be progressing, but I have questions about the passenger service.

I think the extra track could be used in one in three ways.

  1. The new line would be used by all trains going South from the West Anglia Main Line to Stratford.
  2. Trains between Stratford and North of Meridian Water, that needed to call at all stations, would use the line as a loop.
  3. A dedicated service would run between Stratford and Meridian Water.

Currently trains between Angel Road and Lea Bridge take twelve minutes. If four tph were to run between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water in both directions, that would take eighty-four minutes.

I suspect even with Greater Anglia’s new Class 720 trains, that are modern 100 mph trains designed for fast stops at stations, that running four tph in both directions along the new third track is difficult, if not impossible.

So it would appear that using the third track for Southbound services to Stratford is the only viable option.

  • Greater Anglia also want to run direct services between Stratford and Stansted, which would perhaps add two tph to the route.
  • The track layout would be very simple with no flat junctions.
  • At Meridian Water, Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale, island platforms would mean passenger-friendly separate platform faces for Liverpool Street and Stratford services.
  • Northbound services from Liverpool Street and Stratford would merge between Coppermill Junction and Tottenham Hale.

Note.

  1. Digital signalling could be needed, to ensure safe and efficient operation of the trains.
  2. If the third tack was designed for fast running, there could be time savings on Stansted Express running to and from Stratford for Crossrail and all the other connections.
  3. The third track could probable handle at least ten tph

 

At the Stratford end, four tph could be accommodated in Platform 11 as the two tph West Anglia service are ow!

But the extra trains for Stansted Express would probably need another method.

Could we see all services using the High Meads Loop and calling in Platform 12?

  • Stansted Expresses used to do this, some years ago.
  • Loops like this have a capacity of upwards of ten tph.
  • Platform 12 at Stratford is not used at present.
  • Crossing of other tracks on flat junctions in the Stratford area could be minimised.
  • Time would be saved on turning trains, as the driver would not have to change ends.
  • Platform 11 at Stratford could still be used as a bay platform for trains from the West Anglia Main Line.

There are a lot of possibilities, but the following will happen.

  • There will be at least a four tph stopping service between Stratford and Meridian Water.
  • This stopping service could continue to Hertford East or Bishops Stortford, as the current Stratford services do now!
  • Stansted Expresses will run to Stratford.
  • There will be excellent stations at Meridian Water, Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale.
  • Further capacity will be created.

It could also  be the first instalment of a clever plan to four-track the West Anglia Main Line, as far as Broxbourne.

I could envisage the extra tracks being squeezed in a section at a time, whilst the current services continue on the West Anglia Main Line.

The Northern City Line

The Northern City Line is North London’s forgotten commuter railway, that runs from Moorgate to North London and into Hertfordshire.

  • The Class 313 trains are some of the oldest scrapyard specials on the UK network.
  • Most stations need refurbishment and the addition of step-free access.
  • Many of the stations need a good cleaning and a lick of paint.
  • Some of the operating procedures haven’t changed since the Victorian era.
  • Six tph work in the Off-Peak, with up to fifteen tph in the Peak.
  • Weekend service is patchy.
  • The line has cross-platform interchange with the Victoria Line at Highbury and Islington station.

The good news is coming thick and fast for this line.

  • Crossrail will have a step-free connection to the Northern City Line at Moorgate station in December 2018.
  • Highbury and Islington station is planned to be redeveloped with a second entrance and step-free access.
  • Finsbury Park station is being redeveloped with more capacity and step-free access.
  • Alexandra Palace station will get step-free access.
  • Extra track capacity has been installed between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace.
  • Work will be done to improve Gordon Hill and Stevenage stations.

The big change will be the new Class 717 trains, which could increase train frequency to twelve tph.

When the stations have been updated and the new trains are running, this line will become a much more valuable part of London’s rail infrastructure.

  • It connects to Crossrail at the Southern end.
  • It connects to Thameslink and the East Coast Main Line at the Northern end.
  • It connects to the Victoria and North London Lines at Highbury and Islington station.
  • The new trains will offer increased capacity, comfort and frequency and reduced journey times.
  • In the future it will connect with Crossrail 2 at New Southgate, Alexandra Park and Moorgate

Before Crossrail 2 is opened, the Northern City Line can be developed into a very valuable alternative route in East London.

The Docklands Light Railway Extensions To Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria

If there’s a capacity problem anywhere to the East of Bank station, you can always expect Cinderella to keep people moving. If they gave medals for transport at Olympic Games, then the 2012 Gold would have gone to the Docklands Light Railway.

Despite being built down to a cost, it seems to have been designed to a quality, that

  • Provides a reliable service in Docklands and to and from Canary Wharf
  • Inspires affection in its passengers.
  • Encourages residents and visitors to use the system.
  • Allows easy extension of the system.

Now that the line will be getting new trains, which will probably offer.

  • Increased capacity.
  • More comfort.
  • Better passenger facilities.
  • Increased frequencies.

Perhaps it is time to give travellers between Bank station and the East, a new route to Central London.

This map shows the proposed extension of the Docklands Light Railway to the West.

Note that this is a well-connected extension.

  • Charing Cross, Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria are major rail interchanges.
  • There are several interchanges with the Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.
  • Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria will be on Crossrail 2.
  • City Thameslink and St. Pancras are interchanges with Thameslink.

In addition, Bank, Charing Cross, Euston and Holborn are or will be upgraded.

The only thing missing is an easy interchange with Crossrail to the West of Bank.

Conclusion

I’m certain that someone must have added up the capacity, that all of the smaller projects will bring across London.

I haven’t but some of the current in-progress projects in the pipeline will add a lot of capacity to the South-West to North-East corridor across London.

  • The new trains and signalling for the Piccadilly Line.
  • The new Class 710 trains for the London Overground in North-East London.
  • Extra capacity across North London on the North London and Gospel Oak to Barking Lines.
  • Extra capacity between North and South London on Thameslink, the East London Line and a split Northern Line.
  • Extra capacity between East and West London on Crossrail and the Circle, District and Metropolitan Lines.
  • Develop the West London Line to its full potential.
  • The capacity upgrade at Waterloo station.
  • Four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line has started with the addition of a third track for STAR.

Could everything in London be organised, so that the only thing needed to complete Crossrail 2, is to build the Central Tunnel?

I believe this could be so!

So perhaps in 2035 or even later, the Central Tunnel would be built to link everything together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 22, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Updating The Central Line

The Central Line will breathe two huge sighs of relief in the next eighteen months.

  • The Elizabeth Line will open between Abbey Wood and Paddington stations in December 2018.
  • The Elizabeth Line will open between Shenfield and Paddington stations in May 2019.

Travellers, from London, other parts of the UK and abroad will then have the following.

  • Five  East-West interconnected routes across Central London; Metropolitan, Central, Elizabeth, District and Jubilee Lines.
  • Massive transport interchanges at Canary Wharf, Stratford, Whitechapel, Liverpool Street, Farringdon, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Paddington will tie it all together.
  • Liverpool Street. Whitechapel and Stratford will allocate passengers in the East of Central London.
  • Paddington will allocate passengers in the West of Central London.

And this is before the Elizabeth Line opens between Paddington and all stations to Heathrow and Reading in December 2019.

The Central Line After the Elizabeth Line Opens

So will the Central Line become a little-used backwater?

  • Holborn is a major interchange with the Piccadilly Line, which is that line’s only access to the Central or Elizabeth Lines.
  • Oxford Circus is a major interchange with the Victoria  Line, which is that line’s only access to the Central or Elizabeth Lines.
  • Holborn, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch and other stations are destinations in their own right.
  • The overcrowding of the Central Line probably kept passengers away and after freeing up will they come back?

I suspect that in a few years time it will be as busy as it ever was!

Improving the Central Line

It is my view, and probably that of Transport for London, that improvements need to be made to the Central Line.

Three projects are underway.

The Central Line Train Upgrade

This article on Railway-news.com is untitled London Underground’s Central Line Trains Set For Upgrade.

Currently, the Central Line‘s 1992 Stock have DC motors, which will be replaced by more efficient AC motors  and a sophisticated control system.

The cost of the upgrade will be £112.1 million or about £1.3 million per train.

Transport for London are only making a reliability claim for the upgrade. Hopefully, if the trains are more reliable, then more can be in service. so can a higher frequency be run?

I also think in addition, the trains could possibly accelerate faster from stops, thus reducing the dwell times at stations and ultimately the journey times.

  • Epping to West Ruislip currently takes ninety minutes with 38 stops.
  • Ealing Broadway to Newbury Park takes sixty minutes with 24 stops.
  • Northolt to Loughton takes sixty-seven minutes with 28 stops.

Saving just ten seconds on each stop will reduce journey times by several minutes.

I suspect that Transport for London will rearrange the timetable to increase the service frequency from the current twenty-four trains per hour (tph).

It will be interesting to see what frequency of trains and journey times are achieved, when all the Central Line trains have been updated.

Bank Station Capacity Upgrade

This page on the Transport for London web site gives details of this important upgrade at Bank station, which is already underway. It starts with this paragraph.

Bank and Monument stations form the third busiest interchange on the London Underground network. Work we’re doing to substantially improve the capacity of Bank station should finish in 2022.

It lists these improvements.

  • A new railway tunnel and platform for the Northern line that will reduce interchange times and create more space for passengers
  • Step-free access to the Northern line and DLR platforms
  • More direct routes within the station, with two new moving walkways
  • Two new lifts and 12 new escalators
  • A new station entrance in Cannon Street

There will also be a new entrance in Wallbrook Square under the Bloomberg Building, which is planned to open this year.

Comprehensive is a good word to describe the upgrade.

I avoid the Northern Line platforms at Bank because they are so narrow. After the upgrade, I will have no need.

Holborn Station Capacity Upgrade

This page on the Transport for London web site, gives details of this important upgrade at Holborn station. It starts with this paragraph.

We’re proposing changes at Holborn station that would make it substantially easier for customers to enter, exit and move around the station. Subject to funding and permissions, work on the station would start in the early 2020s.

I don’t think this upgrade can come too soon.

As with some parts of Bank station, I avoid Holborn station.

What Still Needs To Be Planned?

The major projects left must surely be upgrading the capacity and providing step-free access at the following Central London stations.

St. Paul’s And Chancery Lane

St. Paul’s and Chancery Lane stations both need step-free access, but the problems of installing lifts at the two stations would be surprisingly similar, as both stations have a similar layout.

  • Both stations will need lift access to the ticket halls, which are below street level.
  • At both stations, the two Central Line tracks are unusually arranged one on top of the other.
  • Even more unusually, the Westbound tunnel is on top at St. Paul’s and the Eastbound tunnel at Chancery Lane.
  • At both stations, escalators lead down to a spacious lobby, which has direct access to the top platform.
  • St. Paul’s has two escalators and a staircase, whereas Chancery Lane has three escalators.
  • From the low-level lobby, two short escalators and a staircase lead down to the bottom platform.

It may be possible to provide lifts that go from the ticket hall to both platforms as before rebuilding in the 1930s, this arrangement was used.

Both stations might also be suitable for the application of inclined lifts.

For instance, would two escalators and an inclined lift handle the lower transfer at both stations?

Oxford Circus

Oxford Circus is a busy interchange, where the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Lines cross each other.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at Oxford Circus station.

Note.

  1. The Cemtral Line, shown in red, was built under Oxford Street to avoid disturbing the buildings.
  2. The Bakerloo Line, shown in brown, was built under Regent Street.
  3. The Victoria Line, shown in light blue was cleverly threaded through in the 1960s to give cross-platform interchange with the Bakerloo Line.
  4. The dotted purple lines are the Elizabeth Line.
  5. Between the two dotted lines, the Eastern End of the platforms at Bond Street station can be seen.

These pictures show the buildings at the four corners of Oxford Circus.

Wikipedia says this about these buildings.

Oxford Circus was designed as part of the development of Regent Street by the architect John Nash in 1810. The four quadrants of the circus were designed by Sir Henry Tanner and constructed between 1913 and 1928.

Note.

  1. The building on the North-East corner used to be Peter Robinson and is Grade II Listed.
  2. The other three corner buildings are also Listed.
  3. The shops in the two Southern corners are being refurbished.

I believe that the following is needed at Oxford Circus station.

  • Measures to alleviate the overcrowding.
  • Full step-free access to all platforms.
  • Improved access to the Central Line platforms.
  • Better interchange between the Bakerloo/Victoria platforms and the Central Line.

In some ways, the biggest problem in the next few years will be passengers changing between the Victoria and Elizabeth Lines. Passengers between say Walthamstow and Heathrow will probably want to change between Oxford Circus station and the new Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station.

  • The planned pedestrianisation of Oxford Street will obviously help, especially if the roads around Hanover Square, like Harewood Place and Princes Street are similarly treated.
  • Joining the Victoria Line at Oxford Circus is not a problem, as there are four entrances to the ticket hall under Oxford Circus, a large number of entrance gates and four escalators down to the trains.
  • But on arrival at the station, you are forced to exit from the station about fifty metres East of the station, which means you’re going the wrong way for the Elizabeth Line.

It strikes me what is needed is a new entrance to the station on the South Western corner of Oxford Circus.

But would this alone satisfy the needs of this station?

More Station Entrances On Oxford Street

For Crossrail, Bond Street station is being given two new entrances in Davies Street and Hanover Square.

But it is also being given another entrance on the North side of Oxford Street, to give better access to the Central and Jubilee Lines.

The picture shows the new entrance tucked away in what will probably become a new development.

So could this technique be used on Oxford Street to improve station access?

Look at the map of the lines at Oxford Circus station earlier in the post and you will notice that the Central Line platforms extend to the East. I took these pictures around where the platforms could end.

Could there be space to squeeze in another entrance to the Eastern end of the Central Line platforms?

It probably won’t be possible whilst traffic is running up and down Oxford Street. But after the road is pedestrianised, it would surely be much easier to dig down to the Central Line , which is not very deep below the surface of Oxford Street.

Marble Arch

Marble Arch station is at the Western end of Oxford Street. Wikipedia says this about the station.

The station was modernised (2010) resulting in new finishes in all areas of the station, apart from the retention of various of the decorative enamel panels at platform level.

But has it got the capacity needed?

It is also not step-free and needs lifts.

New Trains In The Mid 2020s

Under Future and Cancelled Plans in the Wikipedia entry for the Central Line, this is said.

The Central line was the first Underground line to receive a complete refurbishment in the early 1990s, including the introduction of new rolling stock. A new generation of deep-level tube trains, as well as signaling upgrades, is planned for the mid-2020s, starting with the Piccadilly line, followed by the Bakerloo Line and the Central Line.

The new trains would fit well to replace the current trains and give an increase of capacity to the line.

Possible Developments

These are possible developments.

Shoreditch High Street Station

There is a possibility of connecting Shoreditch High Street station to the Central Line.

This is said under Plans in the Wikipedia entry for the station.

There have also been discussions of creating an interchange with the Central line between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green which runs almost underneath the station. However, this would not be able to happen until after the Crossrail 1 project is complete, due to extreme crowding on the Central line during peak hours.

Given that in a few years time, the following will have happened.

  • There will have been a lot of development in Shoreditch.
  • The East London Line will  have a frequency of twenty-four trains per hour.

The connection may be worth creating.

On the other hand, the Elizabeth Line may make the connection unnecessary, as travellers can use the two connections at Stratford and Whitechapel stations.

Mile End Station

If ever there was a station, where step-free access would surely be worthwhile it must be Mile End station.

Consider.

  • It is a busy station.
  • It has cross-platform access between District/Metropolitan and the Central Lines.
  • It has a cab rank.

Knowing the station fairly well, I suspect fitting the probably three lifts required would not be the most challenging of tasks.

Eastern Improvements

Crossrail has a step-free cross-platform interchange with the Central Line at Stratford, which will have the following effects.

Changing at Stratford will give better access to and from  Oxford Street, Paddington and Heathrow.

Crossrail trains will be larger, more comfortable, better equipped and probably less crowded.

Journey time savings will be six minutes to Bond Street and nineteen minutes to Ealing Broadway stations.

Taken with the improved Central Line trains, it all must result in increased patronage in the East.

But there are twenty stations East of Stratford, of which only four are step-free.

So I suspect that Transport for London will make strenuous efforts to improve the Eastern end of the Central Line.

  • More step-free access.
  • Better bus services.
  • More small retail outlets at stations.

I believe that in ten years time, the Eastern station will be very different.

Western Improvements

West of Marble Arch, there are seventeen stations, of which by 2020 only two will be step-free.; Ealing Broadway and Greenford.

Improvements will probably a similar pattern to the East, although there are rumours of rebuilding some stations.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of scope for improvement in the Central Line.

 

 

November 12, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Transport for London Warns Crossrail 2 Could Be Delayed By Decade

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in the Financial Times.

It’s all about funding and probably the Government not wanting to finance all of the large rail projects.

  • HS2
  • Crossrail 2
  • Northern Powerhouse Rail
  • East West Rail

HS2 is funded and underway and the last two projects are being sorted, but the cost of Crossrail 2 is too much to digest.

I have believed for some time, that Crossrail 2 is a number of separate projects.

  • Increasing capacity on the Waterloo suburban lines
  • Increasing capacity on the Lea Valley Lines
  • Creation of the mega-station at Euston-St. Pancras
  • New trains
  • The high capacity central tunnel

I will now look at each in detail.

Increasing Capacity On The Waterloo Suburban Lines

In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I showed that it would be possible to run a service with Crossrail 2’s characteristics terminating in Waterloo.

I said the following were needed.

  • More platform capacity in Waterloo.
  • Modern high-performance 100 mph trains like Class 707 trains or Aventras.
  • Some improvements to track and signals between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.
  • Wimbledon station would only need minor modifications.
  • A measure of ATO between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.

Much of the infrastructure works have been completed as I reported in It’s All Over Now, Waterloo!.

All it needs is Bombardier to build the new Class 701 trains for South Western Railway.

Increasing Capacity On The Lea Valley Lines

In Could A Lea Valley Metro Be Created?, I looked at the possibility of creating a Lea Valley Metro with the following characteristics.

  • Four-tracks between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.
  • Step-free stations.
  • Termination in the unused loop at Stratford.
  • 10-15 trains per hour.
  • Links to Crossrail, the Underground and Southeastern Highspeed services at Stratford.

I came to the conclusion it was very much possible.

Creation Of The Mega-Station At Euston-St. Pancras

In Should A Mega-Station Be Created At Kings Cross-St. Pancras-Euston?, I looked at this mega station project for Crossrail 2.

I came to these conclusions.

  • If Crossrail 2 is built, there will obviously be a mega station at Euston St. Pancras.
  • But I believe that all the other improvements that will happen before HS2 opens may well be enough to cope with the extra capacity needed.
  • Obviously though, any improvements must not compromise the building of Crossrail’s mega-station.

In Should A Mega-Station Be Created At Kings Cross-St. Pancras-Euston?, I proposed a four-level mega-station.

  • Surface level – National Rail and HS2
  • Sub-surface level – Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan Lines
  • Deep level – Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.
  • Very deep level – Crossrail 2

Lines would be connected by escalators, travelators and lifts going all over the place.

It would not be that different to the double-ended Crossrail station at Moorgate-Liverpool Street station, which I described in London’s First Underground Roller Coaster, except that it connects three stations instead of two.

This would enable Crossrail 2 to be bored through at a deeper level after Euston station had been rebuilt for HS2.

In terms of Crossrail 2, the creation of the mega station at Euston St. Pancras could be the last project to be completed.

New Trains

This should be the easy bit, as surely using the same Class 345 trains on Crossrail and Crossrail 2, would be an objective, if it were possible.

The High Capacity Central Tunnel

I’ve never built a tunnel, although my software; Artemis helped to build the Channel Tunnel, but I would suspect that building the central tunnel for Crossrail 2 will be easier than building that for Crossrail.

So many things like riding a bike or sex are a lot easier the second time.

There must be so many lessons from Crossrail that can be applied to Crossrail 2.

If all of the central stations on the tunnel, from Dalston to Wimbledon, where there is interchange with Crossrail 2 can be made tunnel-ready, then I don’t see why boring the central tunnel can’t be one of the last jobs to be started.

The tunnel boring machines would then just pass through the stations to link them all together.

It’s probably not as simple as that, but it is going to be a lot easier job than Crossrail.

The Importance Of The Victoria Line

I’ve never seen this said before, but one of the keys to building Crossrail 2 is the Victoria Line or Dear Old Vicky.

I believe the Victoria Line should be updated as follows to be as near the standard of Crossrail as possible, by using the existing trains, track and signalling  and by updating the stations.

  • Addition of the missing escalators and other features left out to save money in the 1960s..
  • Full step-free access at all stations.
  • Addition of new  entrances at Oxford Circus, Highbury and Islington and Walthamstow Central.
  • Better interchange with the Overground at Blackhorse Road and Walthamstow Central.
  • Better interchange with National Rail at Brixton, Vauxhall, Finsbury Park, Seven Sisters and Tottengham Hale.
  • Forty tph between Brixton and Walthamstow Central.

Forty tph may need a reversing loop at Brixton and an extra one-platform station at Herne Hill.

I believe that an update of this type and scale could be applied to the Victoria Line without causing too much grief for passengers. The work on the stations is necessary to cope with the current and increased passenger numbers and could be carried out in much the same way as the upgrade at Victoria station has been done in the last few years.

The Victoria Line would then offer a high capacity link between Tottenham Hale and Vauxhall prior to the building of Crossrail 2’s central tunnel.

Passengers from say Broxbourne to Hampton Court would take the following route.

  • Lea Valley Line from Broxbourne to Tottenham Hale – (10 tph)
  • Victoria Line from Tottenham Hale to Vauxhall – (>30 tph)
  • South Western Railway from Vauxhall to Hampton Court – (4 tph)

Two changes (both hopefully step-free) would be needed, but with improvement to the National Rail routes at both ends, it would be faster than now.

The Importance Of The Bakerloo Line

Ask TfL’s Journey Planner, which is the quickest way from Tottenham Hale to Waterloo and it gives the following route.

  • Victoria Line from Tottenham Hale to Oxford Circus
  • Bakerloo Line from Oxford Circus to Waterloo

There is a simple cross-platform interchange at Oxford Circus, with the two legs taking 16 and 8 minutes respectively.

Currently, the Bakerloo Line has a frequency of twenty-two tph and plans have been mooted, that will see this going to twenty-seven tph by 2033.

It looks like when combining an updated Victoria Line with the current Bakerloo Line, you get a excellent connection that can stand-in for the Crossrail 2 central tunnel between Tottenham Hale and Waterloo.

But the Bakerloo Line might be extended to Lewisham, so will this extension make the combined Victoria/Bakerloo route more important.

The extended Bakerloo Line is not planned to have a connection with Crossrail 2, so using the Victoria Line across Central London will probably be the fastest way from say Lewisham to Enfield Lock.

It looks to me, that the cross-platform interchange at Oxford Circus between the Bakerloo and Victoria Lines is more important than anybody thinks and will continue to be so.

The Splitting Of The Northern Line

TfL would like to split the Northern Line into two branches, but this can’t be done until Camden Town station is rebuilt around 2024.

The only effect this split will have on Crossrail 2, is it will give extra routes to Euston station, which may probably make it less important that Crossrail 2 is completed before HS2.

A Possible Timetable

This is very much speculation on my part.

  • 2020 – Improved Overground services to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town using new Class 710 trains.
  • 2021 – Increased Greater Anglia services on the Lea Valley Lines using new Class 720 trains.
  • 2021 – Waterloo suburban branches running at four tph using new Class 701 trains.
  • 2024 – Extended Camden Town station opens.
  • 2024 – Splitting of the Northern Line
  • 2024 – More capacity on the Victoria Line
  • 2025  – Increased services on the Lea Valley Line after four-tracking.
  • 2025 – Upgraded Euston station opens with better connection to the Underground.
  • 2026 – Old Oak Common statio opens
  • 2026 – HS2 opens to Birmingham

The Crossrail 2 central tunnel could be built, when traffic levels are predicted to be too much for the Victoria Line.

Conclusion

This analysis says to me that Crossrail 2 could be planned as a series of much smaller projects, that would give passengers benefits from the early-2020s and also ease the funding problems for the line.

But the analysis also says that if the central tunnel is not built before the 2040s, then the Victoria Line must be upgraded to create a high capacity link between Tottenham Hale and Vauxhall or Waterloo using the Bakerloo Line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 3, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Could A Lea Valley Metro Be Created?

Crossrail 2 envisages these developments and level of service North along the Lea Valley.

Crossrail 2 also envisages that at Tottenham Hale station, the line will enter a tunnel for Central and South West London.

But there is an unused alternative terminal, that could handle perhaps 16 tph with modern signalling.

Look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr of the lines at Stratford.

Note the double-track  loop that encircles Stratford International station and goes through Platforms 11 and 12 at Stratford station.

Consider.

  • Loops like this can easily handle 12 tph, as they do in Liverpool with the Wirral Line.
  • Stratford is well-connected to the Central, Great Eastern Main, Jubilee and North London Lines, Crossrail and the Docklands Light Railway.
  • The Loop could be connected to Stratford International station for Southeastern Highspeed services.
  • There’s probably enough capacity to allow a couple of Stansted services to terminate in the loop.
  • There is a massive development going on at Meridian Water, where a new station is being built.
  • Liverpool Street station lacks capacity.

I can’t believe that a viable 12 tph service is not possible.

The major works would be as follows.

  • Four-tracking the West Anglia Main Line into two fast and two slow lines.
  • Making all stations step-free.
  • Removing the level crossings.
  • Creating a flyover at Coppermill Junction to connect the fast lines to Liverpool Street and prepare for Crossrail 2.

If Crossrail 2 is built in the future, the Metro service would be diverted into the central tunnel at Tottenham Hale station.

Integration With The London Overground

The Chingford, Cheshunt and Enfield Town services of the London Overground will not only offer alternative routes during the four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line, but they could be better connected to a Lea Valley Metro.

  • Tne Class 710 trains could enable four tph on each branch.
  • The Class 710 trains will enable faster services on each branch.
  • A reinstated Hall Farm Curve would connect Chingford and Walthamstow to Stratford.
  • Creation of a step-free Cheshunt station would ease transfer between the London Overground and the Lea Valley Metro.

The new trains will be key and may open up more possibilities.

Note too, that moving services to Stratford from Liverpool Street will release capacity at Liverpool Street, that will be well-used by Greater Anglia and London Overground.

Dear Old Vicky

She’s always there when you need her and engineers keep coming up with ways to keep the Victoria Line giving more.

Currently, the frequency of trains between Walthamstow Central and Brixton is 36 tph.

I can’t believe that the engineers working on the line, don’t want to squeeze another four tph out of her, to achieve the fabulous forty.

This might be possible with the trains, tracks and signalling, but the problem is the capacity of some of the 1960s-built stations.

  • Many stations have an empty space, where a third escalator could be.
  • Lifts are few and far between.
  • Some stations don’t have ceilings in the platform tunnels.

These stations could be improved.

Walthamstow Central Station

Walthamstow Central station gets desperate in the Peak, but it could be given a third escalator, a second entrance at the other end of the platforms and a much better step-free connection to the Chingford Branch of the Overground.

Blackhorse Road Station

Blackhorse Road station could be finished and given a third escalator to cope with the extra passengers that will transfer to and from an electrified Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

Tottenham Hale Station

Tottenham Hale station is being rebuilt to increase capacity. Will it get the missing third escalator and ceilings?

Seven Sisters Station

Seven Sisters station will be a Crossrail 2 station and will need updating to cope with an expected eight tph on the Overground.  Expect a major project here.

Finsbury Park Station

Finsbury Park station is one of London’s stations designed by Topsy. Improvements are underway to cope with the extra passengers from Thameslink and an upgraded Northern City Line.

Highbury and Islington Station

Highbury and Islington station suffered worst at the hands of the Nazis and 1960s cost cutting, when the Victoria Line was built. This made it one of London’s worst stations.

However help is at hand.

  • Plans are being prepared for a second entrance to the station on the other side of the Holloway Road.
  • The frequency on the Northern City Line is being upgraded to twelve tph with new larger capacity Class 717 trains.
  • There is space for a third escalator to be added to connect the Overgriound with the deep-level Victoria and Northern City Lines.

It should be born in mind, that Highbury and Islington station is busier than either Manchester Piccadilly or Edinburgh Waverley stations.

But with an upgrade, because it has cross-platform interchange between the Victoria and Northern City Lines, it could be an upgrade that increases the passenger capacity of the Victoria Line.

Euston Station

Euston station will be upgrqaded for HS2.

Oxford Circus Station

Oxford Circus station is desperately in need of more capacity, especially as there will be an upgrade to the Bakerloo Line in the future.

The opportunity at Oxford Circus is that some of the buildings around the junction are tired and some probably need to be replaced.

So will we see a development like Bloomberg Place, that will create a new entrance to Bank station, at Oxford Circus?

Could it also have an subterranean connection to Crossrail’s Hanover Square entrance for Bond Street station?

Victoria Station

Victoria station is in the process of being upgraded.

It certainly appears to be a case of so far so good!

South Of The River

Vauxhall and Brixton stations have rather undeveloped interchanges with the National Rail lines and these could surely be improved.

Under Possible Future Projects in the Wikipedia entry for the Victoria Line, this is said.

For many years there have been proposals to extend the line one stop southwards from Brixton to Herne Hill. Herne Hill station would be on a large reversing loop with one platform. This would remove a critical capacity restriction by eliminating the need for trains to reverse at Brixton. The Mayor of London’s 2020 Vision, published in 2013, proposed extending the Victoria line “out beyond Brixton” by 2030.

This would surely be the last upgrade to squeeze even more out of Dear Old Vicky.

Conclusion

A Lea Valley Metro can be created and eventually, it can be the Northern leg of Crossrail 2.

Before Crossrail 2 is completed, it will have great help in the following ways.

  • In North East London from the London Overground.
  • Across London from the Victoria Line.

Don’t underestimate how Crossrail and an updated Northern City Line will contribute.

 

 

 

 

September 29, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Is Highbury And Islington Station To Get An Upgrade?

This article on IanVisits is entitled New Entrance Planned For Highbury and Islington Station.

If this happens, it will be good news for me, as Highbury and Islington station is my nearest Underground station.

But it is a cramped, very busy station with extremely poor access. According to Wikipedia, it is the fifteenth busiest station in the UK and in terms of passenger numbers, handles more in a year, than Manchester Piccadilly, Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Queen Street and Liverpool Lime Street.

A lot of these high passenger numbers are due to the unrivalled carrying capacity and success of the Victoria Line and the recently-rebuilt North London Line.

Proximity to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium has also added thousands of passengers.

The future will draw even more passengers to the station.

For the last two years, passengers like me,  have tended to avoid the station, as contractors have been rebuilding the road bridge in front of the station.

But this will finish soon and Islington Council and Transport for London have grand plans to create a very pedestrian-friendly environment outside the station.

And then there’s Crossrail and the Northern City Line!

Crossrail doesn’t connect to the Victoria Line, but thanks to the Northern City Line, Highbury and Islington station has a good connection to Crossrail.

The Northern City Line is also getting new Class 717 trains and increased frequencies between Moorgate and Hertfordshire.

It all adds up to more pressure for something to be done at Highbury and Islington station.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at Hoghbury and Islington station.

Note how the Northern City and Victoria Lines have cross-platform access, courtesy of some clever platform swapping, when the Victoria Line was built.

Two developments will give alternative routes that might take the pressure off the station.

The doubling in capacity of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line from early next year, will help.

Crossrail will benefit the station, in that a lot of passengers wanting to go between Eastern parts of London and the West End, currently use the Overground and the Victoria Line. Some of these passengers will use Crossrail to go direct.

But something needs to be done.

The four Overground platforms have full step-free access, but the deep-level Victoria Line and the Northern City Line both rely on just two crowded escalators.

If you look at the layout of the four deep-level platforms, they lie together and because the two Northern City Line platforms were dug as a pair in the first few years of the last century, I suspect that all platforms are roughly the same level.

As the lift shafts from the old Northern City Line station are still intact, although full of equipment, I feel that the plan of using this abandoned station to create another entrance to the deep-level platforms will be possible.

  • A new ticket office can be provided in a quality building.
  • It will need escalators, as well as lifts.
  • It should be possible to connect directly to the four platforms, with perhaps a wide passenger tunnel under Holloway Road.
  • This tunnel could also have lifts on the other side of the road to the Overground.

It is one of those smaller intricate projects, that can be really good value.

August 7, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

17 Tube Stations That Face Chronic Overcrowding If Crossrail 2 Is Stopped

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in today’s Standard.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Hundreds of thousands more Londoners will suffer chronic overcrowding on the Tube if Crossrail 2 does not go ahead, it was claimed today.

Transport for London released a list of 17 Underground stations that could buckle under the strain of too many commuters within a few years.

It then lists the stations.

  • Euston
  • King’s Cross St. Pancras
  • Liverpool Street
  • London Bridge
  • Victoria
  • Waterloo
  • Finsbury Park
  • Stockwell
  • Stratford
  • Oxford Circus
  • Highbury & Islington
  • Clapham Common
  • Clapham North
  • Clapham South
  • Holborn
  • Warren Street
  • Leicester Square

It then quotes Caroline Pidgeon, who obtained the list, as follows.

Overcrowding on the Underground is already a daily battle, with many passengers facing regular delays to simply get through barriers at stations.

Unless Crossrail 2 is built these delays will increasingly build up until drastic measures are necessary at 17 key Tube stations, not to mention Clapham Junction railway station.

“Planning ahead for Crossrail 2 is not an optional extra for London’s transport network but of vital importance to keep London moving.

She has certainly highlighted a serious problem.

Call For Crossrail 2

Two years ago to the day, I wrote a post called Call For Crossrail 2 in response to a letter in The Times, from a wide cross section of business leaders calling for a start to be made on the line.

In the post, I talked about improving various stations, just by building Crossrail 2, so in the following notes on the list of crowded stations, I will refer to this post several times in the following.

Euston

Euston tube station is a particular problem in that in the next decade or so, the following will or could happen.

Hopefully, the rebuilding for whichever comes first of  HS2 or Crossrail 2, will make provision for even the most fanciful of expansions.

One Transport for London engineer told me that one of the main reasons for building HS2 and terminating it at Euston, is to be able to sort out the dreadful Euston tube station.

Kings Cross St. Pancras

Kings Cross St. Pancras tube station had a pretty good makeover around the time of the 2012 London Olympics, but it does suffer congestion and travellers have to walk long distances.

The Wikipedia entry for Kings Cross St. Pancras tube station has a section for Crossrail 2. This is said.

Since 1991, a route for a potential Crossrail 2 has been safeguarded, including a connection at King’s Cross St Pancras and Euston, forming the station Euston King’s Cross St Pancras. The proposed scheme would offer a second rail link between King’s Cross and Victoria in addition to the Victoria line. The locations for any new stations on the route will depend on the loading gauge of the final scheme. In the 2007 safeguarded route, the next stations would be Tottenham Court Road and Angel.

There is also a proposal to reopen the closed York Road tube station. In the Wikipedia entry for York Road station under Proposed Reopening, this is said.

One of London’s largest redevelopment projects, King’s Cross Central, began construction in 2008 across the road from the station. Islington council and Transport for London commissioned a study in 2005 to consider the possible reopening of the station. At the same time, however, it was recognised that other transport priorities reduced the likelihood of such a project moving forward in the near future. The site would need extensive overhauls to bring the station up to modern day standards, at a cost estimated at £21 million in 2005. Local political groups have been keen to see the station reopened in order to reduce passenger congestion at King’s Cross St. Pancras and to encourage development in the surrounding community. The Islington Liberal Democrats advocated the reopening of the station in their 2006 local election manifesto, and at least one candidate for the Islington Conservative Party similarly campaigned for the station to be reopened. However, to date, the reopening proposal has not been taken forward.

I wonder if York Road tube station will ever be reopened.

Liverpool Street

The Liverpool Street station complex will be even bigger and busier after Crossrail opens.

The main difference will be that the current Shenfield Metro will now disappear into the ground at Stratford and go under Central London to Heathrow and Reading.

Crossrail 2 will effectively channel the Lea Valley services, that current go into Liverpool Street station under London to emerge in the Wimbledon area.

Effectively, Crossrail and Crossrail 2 major effect on Liverpool Street station are to free up capacity in both tracks and platforms, thuis allowing more longer distance services to use the station.

London Bridge

London Bridge station is being rebuilt and expanded, but little seems to be planned for London Bridge tube station to cope with more passengers.

In Call For Crossrail 2, I said this about Crossrail 2 and the Northern Line.

Crossrail 2 will have interchanges with the Northern Line at Angel, Kings Cross St. Pancras, Euston, Tottenham Court Road, Tooting Broadway and possibly Clapham Junction. So it looks like that Crossrail 2 will certainly make journeys easier for users of the Northern Line.

This should mean that travellers on the Northern Line will be able to avoid a congested London Bridge tube station.

Victoria

Victoria tube station is being extended and rebuilt, which should result in sufficient capacity for more than a few years.

In Call For Crossrail 2, I said this about Crossrail 2 and the Victoria Line.

Crossrail 2 will effectively by-pass the central part of the Victoria Line as the two lines connect at Tottenham Hale, Seven Sisters, Kings Cross, Euston and Victoria.

This should take some of the pressure from Victoria tube station.

Waterloo

Waterloo tube station is a very busy tube station, as it has to cope with all the passengers using Waterloo station.

Crossrail 2 will allow passengers to bypass Waterloo, when travelling to and from Central London.

However, three major improvements will be delivered this year.

  • The old Eurostar platforms are being brought back into use.
  • Extra capacity is being added to the Underground station.
  • I also think that when they have completed the improvements at the Bank end of the Waterloo and City Line. 
  • Will improvements follow at the Waterloo end?

I think Waterloo shouldn’t be judged until the current round of work is completed.

Finsbury Park

Finsbury Park station is a station that suffered badly when the Victoria Line was tunnelled through in the 1960s.

Lifts are being installed, but extra services will be added.

  • Thameslink will call regularly at the station.
  • The services on the Northern City Line will become the Great Northern Metro with an increased frequency.

Crossrail 2 will provide relief for Finsbury Park, as it provides a by-pass for the Victoria Line.

But the station needs to have quite a bit of rebuilding.

Stockwell

Stockwell tube station is where the Victoria and Northern Lines meet South of Victoria.

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

I’m not sure how Crossrail 2 helps here, but I suspect Transport for London hope that the new line will divert passengers away from Stockwell.

Stratford

Stratford station is another station that will be partially bypassed by Crossrail 2.

I do think that after Crossrail opens, that changes will be made at Stratford station to perhaps move some Liverpool Street services to Stansted and Cambridge.

This would bring more services to some not very busy platforms.

In West Anglia Route Improvement – The High Meads Loop, I described how it might all work.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines in this area.

Trains from Cambridge and Stansted would arrive at Temple Mills East Junction and would go round the High Meads Loop dropping and picking up passengers in Platforms 11 and 12 bwfore returning North.

An extra platform could even be added to serve services in Stratford International station.

The tunnels under the platforms at Stratford station would probably need improvement, but who knows how Eastenders will duck and dive after Crossrail opens.

As an example, passengers from Shenfield to Canary Wharf will probably use the cross-platform change at Whitechapel station, rather than pick up the Jubilee Line or the DLR at Stratford.

Oxford Circus

Oxford Circus tube station has needed improvement for years.

Crossrail will give some relief, as there will be new additional entrances to Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations closer to Oxford Circus.

I did look at what might happen in What Will The Elizabeth Line Do For Oxford Street?.

I came to this conclusion about Crossrail 2 and Oxford Street.

Crossrail 2 has just one interchange in the Oxford Street area at Tottenham Court Road station.

I would be very surprised in that in the massive rebuilding of the current station for Crossrail, that provision hasn’t been made to connect to Crossrail 2.

There have been surface issues around the station concerned with Crossrail 2, but given good planning of the project, I feel that the building of Crossrail 2 would only effect the area in a similar way to the replacement of a major block on Oxford Street.

Crossrail 2 will have two major effects.

  • It will bring large numbers of visitors to the Oxford Street area.
  • Just as Crossrail and the Central Line will work as a high-capacity pair, it will work closely with the Victoria Line to relieve that line.

This leads me to the conclusion, that the wider Oxford Street area needs to be and will be pedestrianised.

In some ways preparation for the pedestrianisation has already started by reorganising the buses.

Oxford Circus tube station is also high on Transport for London’s improvement list.

This map from carto.metro,free.fr shows the lines through the station.

I suspect that if developers were interested in rebuilding any of the buildings on the South side of Oxford Street or perhaps even around the BBC to the North, that there could be arm-twisting and deal-making to sneak new entrances into Oxford Circus tube station.

Highbury & Islington

Highbury & Islington station, is one of my local ones and it is getting some much-needed improvement.

  • The Northern City Line will be getting frequent new Class 717 trains to create the Great Northern Metro.
  • Highbury Corner will be remodelled to improve pedestrian access to the station.
  • Bus and taxi access is being improved..

But nothing has been announced about improving the chronic access to the two deep-level lines at the station.

Speaking to staff at the station, they feel that a solution is possible, using the second entrance on the other side of the road.

In some ways the Great Northern Metro with its cross-platform interchange with the Victoria Line could be the saviour of this station, as it gives direct access to the City and to Crossrail at Moorgate station.

One of London’s forgotten lines could be riding to the rescue.

Clapham Common

Clapham Common tube station is one of my least favourite. This picture shows why.

It’s downright dangerous now, so when the Northern Line frequency is increased will the station cope?

Clapham North

Clapham North tube station is another dangerous island platform.

But at least the station has escalators.

In A Journey Round The Clapham Stations, a post I wrote in December 2015, I said this.

Having seen Clapham North and Clapham Common stations today, I do wonder if a diversion could be dug as at Angel, Bank and London Bridge, to create safe new stations. This new tunnel could surely be part of the works to add step-free access to one or both stations and connect the tunnels to Clapham High Street station.

What with the Northern Line Extension to Battersea, the rebuilding of Bank and Camden Town stations and all the resignalling of the past few years, the Northern Line could at last be fulfilling its potential.

This could go a long way to  sorting the problem of the Clapham stations.

Clapham South

Clapham South tube station is not as bad as the other two Clapham stations discussed earlier.

Crossrail 2 may reduce the level of overcrowding on the Northern Line trains through the three Clapham stations, as passengers could change at Balham or Tooting Broadway stations to and from the new high-capacity line.

However, nothing short of some serious building work will solve the island platform problems at Clapham Common and Clapham North stations.

Holborn

Holborn tube station is very busy, but is one that could benefit from Crossrail, due to that line’s relationship with the Cerntral Line.

Crossrail 2 will certainly benefit the station, as it will relieve the pressure on the Piccadilly Line.

But Transport for London have published plans to add a second entrance and full step-free access. This is a 3-Dview of the plans.

Note the second entrance will be in Procter Street.

The only problem is that it could be 2021 before a decision is made.

However as a Piccadilly Line station, Holborn will benefit from the New Tube For London, before the upgrade.

Warren Street

Warren Street tube station is another Central London station on the Victoria Line, that could benefit from Crossrail 2’s duplication of the Victoria Line.

Leicester Square

Leicester Square tube station is just one stop on the Northern Line from the major new interchange of Tottenham Court Road station, which will be served by both Crossrail and Crossrail 2.

The station has needed more capacity since I first used it in the 1950s.

It needs step-free access.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines around Leicester Square station.

There is quite a tight knot of stations, of which only Tottenham Court Road has both escalators and lifts, although Goodge Street and Covent Garden have lifts only.

Leicester Square is an unusual station in that both the Northern and Piccadilly Lines are accessed by short passages and a short staircase from a fair-sized lobby at the bottom of a long set of escalators.

Clapham Junction

Clapham Junction station is the only non-Underground station in the seventeen stations named, where overcrowding could become chronic if Crossrail 2 is not built.

It is the busiest station by number of trains in Europe, so it must be difficult to keep on top of increasing numbers of passengers.

In the Wikipedia entry for the station under Future Proposals, this is said.

In 2007 the alignment of one of the two variants of Crossrail 2, that via the station rather than Putney and Wimbledon, was safeguarded. The Department for Transport and Transport for London continue to discuss proposal for a Clapham Junction Northern Line extension and its London Underground alignment has been legally reserved through Battersea Park, and would connect Clapham Junction to the London Underground for the first time.

Government and Network Rail funding for in the early 2010s of £50 million of improvements was granted. This comprised an upgrade to the main interchange: new entrances and more retail.

Surely something needs to be done, if Crossrail 2 is not built.

My proposals would include.

  • Developing the West London Line services.
  • Extending the Northern Line from Battersea Power Station station.
  • Improving the frequency of trains into Waterloo.
  • Make the station subway step-free.

There may be a need for more platforms, but the London Overground found this difficult.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the platforms in the station.

Simple it isn’t!

Conclusions

It surprised me how many of these stations will need substantial building work to cure the overcrowding.

Note.

  1. Every Victoria Line station between Oxford Circus and Finsbury Park is on the list.
  2. Four Northern Line stations between Stockwell to Clapham South is on the list.
  3. I think this shows how the designers of the Northern and Victoria Lines didn’t expect the traffic the lines now handle.

But overall, I think it shows how when you design a station, you don’t cut corners.

I also think to blame all these problems on the uncertainty about Crossrail 2, is probably a bit strong.

Consider.

  • Liverpool Street will probably have enough capacity when Crossrail opens, especially as the station will incorporate Moorgate and be substantially step-free.
  • The new London Bridge effectively adds high-frequency rail lines to Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Charing Cross and St. Pancras and when Thameslink and Southeastern are fully developed, the station will cope.
  • Victoria shouldn’t be judged until the current upgrade is complete.
  • Waterloo shouldn’t be judged until the current upgrade is complete.
  • Finsbury Park shouldn’t be judged until the current upgrade is complete.
  • Stratford will probably have enough capacity when Crossrail  opens, especially as the station is substantially step-free.
  • Oxford Circus should see improvement when Crossrail opens, especially as there’ll be new step-free entrances to Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street, that will be closer to Oxford Circus, than the current stations.
  • Highbury & Islington should see marginal improvement, when the Northern City Line is updated.

However, nothing short of substantial construction will sort Euston, Clapham Common, Clapham North, Holborn, Leicester Square and Clapham Junction.

 

 

 

 

July 18, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Changing Between The Circle/District Lines And Victoria Line At Victoria Tube Station

This is not a change, I do regularly, as I have direct access to the Circle/District Lines at Whitechapel station, but it must be a change that some passengers need to do.

For example.

  • Sloane Square to Kings Cross St. Pancras
  • Temple to Kings Cross St. Pancras
  • Monument to Pimlico

In these journeys a good interchange at Victoria could speed up the journey.

One thing that helps is the upwards of thirty trains per hour on the Victoria Line, where you only have to wait under three minutes for a train on that line.

I did this the District/Victoria change this morning and took these pictures.

The new passages and escalators certainly speed up the change.

The position of the passages may be more obvious from this map from carto.metro.free.fr.

victorialines

Note that the escalators to the Cardinal Place entrance are the more Northerly of the three sets and I think it is reasonable, that they start between platforms 3 and 4 and rise to the surface in line with the platforms.

The divided passage connecting the two lines would appear to be underneath the Circle/District platforms and lines and after aligning Northwards it links up with the middle set of escalators between the two platforms of the Victoria Line.

In some ways it looks like the space underneath the Circle/District Lines has been dug in a similar manner to the traditional mining method of room and pillar. There certainly seems to be tunnels going everywhere, but I suspect the methods used were more sophisticated than the traditional mining ones. I suspect that there may even have been a fair bit of hand digging.

At the top of the escalators connecting the Cardinal Place entrance to the Victoria Line, there would appear to be another blocked off passageway leading off to the west.

Where Does This Passage Go?

Could behind the blue be future-proofing for another exit on the West side of Bressenden Place close to the Victoria Palace theatre?

I have found this visualisation on the Internet in this PDF document on the TfL web site.

The Passenger Link Between North And South Ticket Halls At Victoria Tube Station

The Passenger Link Between North And South Ticket Halls At Victoria Tube Station

So it would appear to be a passenger link, allowing passengers to enter the station at the Cardinal Place entrance walk underground to the South Ticket Hall and from there into the main line station.

Passengers entering the station at the Cardinal Place entrance, in the top right of the visualisation,would take the following route.

  • Go down the escalators after the ticket gates.
  • Take the cross passage, that also leads to the second set of escalators for the Victoria Line.
  • Go straight on into the connecting passage.
  • The passage turns left and goes over the Victoria Line platforms and under the Circle/District Line platforms.
  • After crossing the platforms, the passage turns right to run parallel with the Victoria Line platforms.
  • A set of new escalators, then brings passengers to and from the South Ticket Hall.

It’s a bit round the houses, but I suspect it was the best that can be done in the grand scheme of things.

  • The Terminal Place entrance, has its own routes to all four Underground platforms.
  • The Cardinal Place entrance, has direct access to the Victoria Line platforms and indirect access to the Circle/District Line platforms.
  • There is a short route between the Circle/District and Victoria Lines.
  • There is a walking route in the dry between the Cardinal Place entrance and the main line station.

I wonder when the scheme opens will there be other features to improve routes and accessibility.

 

 

January 17, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The New Cardinal Place Entrance At Victoria Tube Station

In The Start Of Change At Victoria Tube Station, I talked about the new Cardinal Place entrance to Victoria tube station.

It opened this morning and I took these pictures as I used it to get to an Eastbound District Line train.

It’s obviously not fully finished and it had only just been opened.

But passengers were able to flow straight through the gates and down the escalators to the Victoria Line platforms. So there won’t many of them, but it was lunchtime.

The Victoria Line platforms now have three sets of escalators.

  • The original set of three at the Southern end linking to the original ticket hall and Victoria station.
  • The new set of three at the Northern end linking to the new ticket hall and the new Cardinal Place entrance.
  • In the middle another bank of three link to cross passages under the District and Circle Line platforms.

Passengers only wanting to change lines at Victoria would appear to be separated from those needing to enter or exit the Underground station.

It’ll be interesting to see, how passengers distribute themselves between the two station entrances.

  • If you are coming from or going to Victoria station, you’ll probably still use the existing route.
  • If you are coming from or going to Victoria Street, Westminster City Hall, Westminster Cathedral or Cardinal Place, you’ll probably use the new Cardinal Place entrance.
  • Travellers to and from the Victoria Palace and Apollo Victoria rheatres, who want to use the Underground, will probably have better access.

A guy who worked in the station, felt that passengers wanting to get to or from the District and Circle Lines could be the major beneficiaries and he should know his passenger flows better than most.

As this is only an interim solution until the rest of the Underground station opens in 2018, it is certainly a quality improvement.

Wikipedia also says this about improvements at the main line station end of the Underground station.

The work will also enlarge the existing Victoria line ticket hall serving the railway station and add a new relief bank of escalators there. This aspect of the scheme has been criticised as access to platforms from the new escalators will be very long and indirect compared to the direct access using the existing escalators.

On the other hand, with all the new routes and escalators in Victoria tube station coupled with substantial capacity improvements on the Underground Lines through the station, I suspect that it’ll all even out, as passengers find their own best routes.

Incidentally, I arrived at Victoria station on a 38 bus from Piccadilly Circus and although it was the middle of the day, the access couldn’t be faulted.

Once all the building work is complete, I suspect the buses will have a bugger part to play.

January 16, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment