The Anonymous Widower

A Kestrel Hunts For Lunch Using A Train

I was travelling between South Tottenham and Blackhorse Road stations on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, where the line runs along the side of Walthamstow Wetlands.

I noticed a bird come and join us and it flew about ten metres away, straight and level and at the same speed as the train, which wasn’t going that fast.

I’d seen this behaviour before from a bird, when driving a truck through Suffolk lanes and realised that it was a kestrel waiting for the train to disturb a tasty vole.

The kestrel was unlucky!

August 6, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Walthamstow Central Tube Station To Receive £15m Improvement

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in the Waltham Forest Guardian.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Walthamstow Central tube station has been allocated £15 million for improvements, but only if the controversial Walthamstow Mall redevelopment goes ahead.

New plans for the station include installing step-free access and a creating a new entrance.

That would surely get rid of the servere overcrowding that is experienced in Walthamstow Central station.

Overcrowding At Walthamstow Central Station

I often go to Walthamstow, at the tail end of the Evening Peak.

I have two routes.

  1. Take a bus to Highbury and Islington station and then use the Victoria Line.
  2. Take a bus to Hackney Downs station and then use the Chingford Line of the London Overground.

I always use the second route, as the two escalators at Walthamstow Central station can’t cope with the Victoria Line’s increased frequency of thirty-six trains per hour.

What makes matters worse is that all trains, except those going to and from the depot at Northumberland Park, run the whole length of the line between Brixton and Walthamstow Central stations.

Running this service on Dear Old Vicky, is one of the great engineering achievements on Metros around the world, but it means that passengers are finding some of the Victoria Line stations are inadequate. Walthamstow Central is one of them!

Another factor, that doesn’t help, is the excellent Walthamstow bus station. It is the third busiest in London and I’m sure it attracts more travellers to the rail and tube stations.

It is my belief, that the increase in train frequency and the building of the new bus station are the major cause of increasing overcrowding in the station.

It is worth noting that in 2016, the tube station handled nearly twenty-three million passengers with just two platforms and an up and a down escalator. By comparison, Cannon Street station, handled the same number of passengers with seven platforms and level access.

To be fair to Transport for London, they have sorted the gate lines at the station, but that still leaves the escalators severely overcrowded at times.

I actually can’t understand, why they haven’t replaced the middle staircase with a third escalator, as they have at Brixton, where there are also lifts.

Overcrowding Could Be Getting Worse!

Some transport improvements, that will happen in the next year or two,, will affect passenger numbers at Walthamstow Central station.

New Trains On The Chingford Line

The current Class 315 and Class 317 trains will be replaced by new Class 710 trains.

  • These will have the same number of carriages, but they will have a higher capacity, due to better design and being walk-through trains.
  • They will also have wi-fi and 4G available, if they follow the lead of the closely-related Class 345 trains.
  • Their operating speed has not been disclosed, but that of the Class 345 train is 90 mph, which is fifteen mph faster than a Class 315 train.
  • Their modern design will also allow them to save a minute or two at each of the seven stops.

The performance improvement may allow a more intense service.

The trains will certainly attract more passengers, as quality new trains always do!

  • Will the new trains generate more new passengers, than any forecaster dreamt was possible?
  • Will more passengers be attracted to stations North of Walthamstow Central and change to the Victoria Line?
  • Will some passengers change from using the Victoria Line to the Chingford Line?

Bear in mind, that new trains on the North London Line, started in 2010 with three-car trains running at six trains per hour (tph). They are now up to five-car trains running at eight tph. This is an capacity increase of over 120%.

On balance, I suspect that some of these factors will cancel each other out. But who knows?

New Trains On The Northern City Line

The geriatric Class 313 trains working the Northern City Line are being replaced by new Class 717 trains.

  • These new trains will offer higher frequencies and more capacity.
  • They will use 2+2 seating.
  • They will have wi-fi and power sockets.

Services on the Northern City Line have a cross-platform step-free interchange with the Victoria Line at Highbury & Islington station, so I believe the route will be increasingly used by passengers between the Walthamstow/Chingford area and the City of London.

Undoubtedly, it will increase passengers using the escalators at Walthamstow Central station.

New Trains On The Gospel Oak To Barking Line

The current two-car Class 172 trains on the Gospel Oak To Barking Line, are being replaced by four-car electric Class 710 trains.

  • The new trains will double capacity.
  • They will have better passenger facilities.
  • They will be more environmentally-friendly.

These trains could encourage travellers to use the quieter Walthamstow Queen’s Road station, instead of the very busy Walthamstow Central station.

Stratford To Meridian Water

This project will add a third track to the West Anglia Main Line and allow a four tph service between Stratford station and the new station at Meridian Water with stops at Lea Bridge, Tottenham Hale and Northumberland Park stations.

I have no view on how successful, this new line will be and how it will affect traffic on the Victoria line.

Crossrail

When you discuss transport provision in London, there is always a herd of elephants in the room!

Crossrail will change everybody’s journeys!

Crossrail will create a high-capacity fast route between Heathrow and Canary Wharf via Paddington, the West End and the City of London.

So how will those in Walthamstow and Chingford tie into this new high-capacity line?

In my view a direct link to Stratford is needed, which could be created by reinstating the Hall Farm Curve.

The World Ducking And Diving Championships

East Londoners would undoubtedly win the World Ducking-And-Diving Championships, if one were to be held.

Network Rail and Transport for London, are creating the ultimate training ground in North-East London.

Most people do a number of common journeys over time.

They get to know the best routes for these journeys dependent on various factors, like the time of day, weather and whether they are carrying heavy shopping.

For most people though, choosing the route for a particular day’s journey will not be process that can be written down, that might be more determined by random factors.

I for instance, will often choose my route, based on the first bus that comes along, even if it is not usually the quickest route.

To make journeys easier, through a network like North-East London, you need the following.

  • As many links as possible.
  • As few bottlenecks as possible.

These rules will allow the passengers to flow freely.

Passengers like water automatically find the quickest way from A to B.

Improvements In North-East London

There are various improvements in alphabetical order, that are proposed, planned or under construction for North-East London

Bicycle Routes Across The Lea Valley

The Lea Valley has a lot of green space and I have seen plans mentioned to create quiet cycling routes across the area.

It should also include lots of bikes for hire.

Hall Farm Curve

I mentioned this earlier and by building it to link Walthamstow and Stratford, it would enable direct access from Walthamstow and Chingford to the the following.

  • Olympic Park and Stadium.
  • The shops at Eastfield.
  • Crossrail
  • Docklands Light Railway
  • Jubilee and Central Lines
  • Highspeed serevices to Kent.
  • Continental services, if in the future, they stopped at Stratford.

It is a massive super-connector.

More Bus Routes

It may be that more bus routes or even stops are needed.

As an illustration of the latter, when the Walthamstow Wetlands opened, bus stops were provided.

New Stations

The new station at Meridian Water will add a new link to the transport network.

Two new stations on the Chingford Branch Line have also been proposed, which I wrote about them in New Stations On The Chingford Branch Line.

New stations are a good way to add more links in a transport network.

I shall be interested to see how many passengers the rebuilt Hackney Wick station attracts, when West Ham United are at home.

Northumberland Park Station

Northumberland Park station is being rebuilt with full step-free access, to provide better rail access to the new White Hart Lane Stadium.

Step-Free Access At Stations

Progress is being made, but there are still some truly dreadful access problems at some stations in East London.

Clapton, St. James Street, Seven Sisters, Stamford Hill and Wood Street certainly need improvement.

Tottenham Hale Station

Tottenham Hale Station is being rebuilt to give it full step-free access and a new entrance.

As this station handles well over ten million passengers a year, it is a good place to start.

Walthamstow Central Station

Walthamstow Central station is almost last in this alphabetical list.

It is probably, the second most important transport hub in North-East London and it does handle nearly thirty million passengers a year if the National Rail and Underground figures are combined.

But, is it treated last by the planners?

Walthamstow Wetlands

This massive urban nature reserve opened last year and its importance will only grow in the years to come.

Will transport links need to be added to the Wetlands?

West Anglia Main Line Four-Tracking

Stansted Airport will grow and to get proper rail access to the airport, the long promised four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line will happen.

  • There will be two fast tracks for Cambridge, Stansted and possibly Norwich services.
  • There will be two slow tracks for local services up the Lea Valley to Broxbourne, Hertford East and Bishops Stortford.

Broxbourne station and the rebuilt Tottenham Hale station, will be the interchanges between fast and slow services.

Four-tracking will open up the possibility of lots more services up the Lea Valley.

There has been rumours, that Greater Anglia would like to open up a service between Stratford and Stansted. But that would be just for starters.

Liverpool Street station is full, but there is space at Stratford if the High Meads Loop under the shops and housing at Stratford is used, just like it was a few years ago.

The West Anglia Main Line could be turned into a high-capacity main line into London with two London terminal station; Liverpool Street and Stratford.

  • Both termini would be connected to Crossrail.
  • Liverpool Street connects to Central, Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan Lines.
  • The massive Liverpool Street-Moorgate Crossrail station will connect to the Northern and Northern City Lines.
  • Stratford connects to fast Kent services and Central and Jubilee Lines.

Will passengers for places like the West End get a fast train to Crossrail, rather than change for the Victoria Line at Tottenham Hale.

Conclusion

North-East London’s transport network is going to get better and better!

Note that I haven’t mentioned Crossrail 2! I doubt, this will be built before 2040!

 

 

 

 

 

May 29, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Along The Gospel Oak To Barking Line – 23rd October 2017

This is a random set of pictures from along the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

Note the the electrification is not complete.

Sections still to be wired include.

  • East of Walthamstow Queen’s Road station.
  • The link To The Midland Main Line At Carlton Road Junction.
  • The Harringay Curve that links to the East Coast Main Line.

At least most of the gantries seem to have been erected.

According to TfL’s closure list, there is four partial weekend closures planned.

  • 28-29 October
  • 4-5 November
  • 11-12 November
  • 18-19 November

Let’s hope that finishes the electrification.

I suspect the two links, which are for freight and empty stock movements can be fitted in without any closures.

 

October 24, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Class 172 Trains And The Engine House At Walthamstow Wetlands

The Class 172 trains are running again on the Gospel Oak To Barking Line.

The pictures were taken by or from the Engine House at the Walthamstow Wetlands.

I have a feeling that Network Rail have used techniques to cut down the noise of trains, as when trains passed, they did seem rather quiet.

I have a feeling, when the new Class 710 trains start to run on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, this will be the place, where the enthusiastic photographers gather.

After all, it’s near to a good cafe!

October 24, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

A First Visit To Walthamstow Wetlands

Walthamstow Wetlands opened today, so I went to take a look.

It was well worth a visit.

I shall return!

October 20, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , , | 1 Comment

Just Add Trains

I took these pictures of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, as it passes past the Engine House on the Walthamstow Wetlands site.

This section, which is probably one of the easiest bits to electrify, looks to be ready for the trains.

Note that the pictures looking down on the line were taken from the fire escape on the side of the Engine House, shown in the last picture.

This Google Map shows the Gospel Oak To Barking Line crossing the area.

Note.

  • The Engine House has a green label saying Walthamstow Wetlands.
  • The bus stops by the Ferry Boat Inn have buses to and from Tottenham Hale and Blackhorse Road stations.
  • The Engine House is about a hundred metres from the bus stops and
  • The Engine House has a step-free entrance and a lift inside.

The Engine House is certainly worth the walk.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | 2 Comments

From Walthamstow To Hackney

The space in the East of London up the Lea Valley between Walthamstow and Hackney is all grass, scrub, reservoirs, canals, rivers and railways.

These pictures were taken on a train between Walthamstow James Street and Clapton stations.

It is a very underused area and lies just to the south of the proposed Walthamstow Wetlands. The only development that will happen here is to reinstate the Hall Farm Curve to enable trains from Walthamstow and Chingford to join the Lea Valley Line to Lea Bridge and Stratford. It will probably end up though, ringed by high-rise housing, like you can see along the River Lea.

London is a surprising city. Soon it will be a City with a world-class nature reserve just a few minutes from the business heart of the City, This is a Google Map of the area.

Walthamstow To Hackney

Walthamstow To Hackney

Note the two rail lines crossing in the middle. The route of the Hall Farm Curve can be made out, as it hugs the boundary of the unmanaged area.

At the top of the picture you can see the filter beds of Thames Water’s giant water factory, that provide a lot of London with water using the massive reservoirs of the Lea Valley, some of which will form part of the Walthamstow Wetlands.

If you take a train from Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport or Cambridge, you’ll come over the River Lea and then take the curve to join the main line  before passing through the Walthamstow Wetlands and stopping at Tottenham Hale.

August 18, 2015 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Across The North Of The Walthamstow Reservoirs

Between Blackhorse Road and South Tottenham stations, the Gospel Oak to Barking Line (GOBlin) passes between the large reservoirs of the Lea Valley that provide East London with most of its water.

This area to the south of the GOBlin is being developed into the Walthamstow Wetlands. Incidentally, I was once on one of these trains and there was a grandfather (?) with serious binoculars showing a boy of about ten, the various water birds that were visible. Today, all I could identify was a few swans.

Because of the layout of the line, I wouldn’t bet against there being a station called Walthamstow Wetlands or River Lea at the western end of this journey, just before it crosses the West Anglia Main Line.

Is there a Bird or Nature Reserve in the UK with its own rail station?

August 14, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Could The Gospel Oak to Barking Line Transform East London?

Two reports on the web prompted me to write this post.

The first was an article on CityMetric entitled Forget Road Bridges. TfL Should Extend The Overground To Thamesmead And Abbey Wood, which prompted me to write No To Silvertown Tunnel.

The second report was on various web sites with headlines like Enfield Council Shortlists Developers For Meridian Water.

Enfield Council is planning to build substantial numbers of new  homes at a 85 ha site called Meridian Water near Lee Valley Regional Park over the next couple of dcades.

To help the development at Meridian Water, the station at Angel Road is to be improved and this page on the Meridian Water web site gives details. This extract details the development of the station and the related rail line and transport interchange.

The station will be a thriving new hub that combines rail and bus services to provide better access to Meridian Water for future residents and businesses. Meridian Water is a new £1.5 billion, 85 hectare, eco-development which will provide up to 5,000 new homes and up to 3,000 new jobs. The improvements, which will be completed in the next five years, will bring benefits for those that currently live and work in the area, as well as the new residents of the Meridian Water development. The project is being funded with £2.5 million from the Greater London Authority with a further £1 million from Enfield Council. This new station combined with additional investment in three tracking the railway, will bring forth a four trains per hour service at Angel Road Station.

All good stuff and very much about motherhood and apple pie in the manner of the way that the Metropolitan Railway used to sell Metroland.

But let’s not knock it for that, as London needs lots of new housing and the current station, Angel Road, which will be renamed Meridian Water, is one of the worst transport interchanges in the UK,. They’ve probably got better stations in many of the worst slums in The Third World.

Angel Road is just two platforms and a bridge as Before Crossrail 2 – Angel Road shows, whereas the average station in deepest Africa or South America, probably has at least someone, who’ll help you or sell you a tasty local morsel or a bottle of fizzy drink.

Whilst looking at developments in this area, it is worth looking at the wider area and investigate how transport links might develop. This Google Map shows the Lower Lea Valley from Angel Road and Meridian Water in the North to Lea Bridge Road in the South.

Lower Lea Valley

Lower Lea Valley

In addition to the housing developments at Meridian Water, more housing is being developed around Tottenham Hale station and other places in the area. But the development that will have the biggest impact on the area is not these developments but Thames Water and Waltham Forest’s massive plan to create the Walthamstow Wetlands. The project web site has this strap-line.

Transforming Walthamstow Reservoirs into a new urban wetland reserve for London

I have written about the Walthamstow Wetlands before in Before Crossrail 2 – Walthamstow Wetlands and now the project has its own web-site, I shall be following this exciting project a lot more. I believe the project has a lot going for it, but also it could be very important for Thames Water, who over the last few years haven’t exactly had the best of publicity at all times, what with our water bills and the Thames Tideway Scheme.

Because so much of London’s water is stored in the Lea Valley, it is very much in their interest to be good neighbours to the people and wildlife of the area.

The map also shows the rail links through the area.

1. The Lea Valley Lines

The Lea Valley Lines go northwards from Liverpool Street, Stratford and Hackney going up to Broxbourne, Hertford, Cambridge and Stansted Airport and as indicated earlier, extra tracks are being added and stations like Angel Road are being upgraded. A new station  at Lea Bridge is also being built.

2. The Victoria Line

The Victoria Line goes underneath the area and links Central London to Tottenham Hale and Walthamstow. The line was built on the cheap in the 1960s and I have dreamed of what might have been. This August the line is closed to rectify one of its shortcomings, which will increase the capacity of the line.

3. The Chingford Branch Line

The Chingford Branch line crosses the Lea Valley Lines and the Walthamstow Wetlands as it links Chingford to Hackney and Liverpool Street. It is a line that can’t be extended, but there are plans to link it to the Lea Valley Lines by reinstating the Hall Farm Curve to allow trains to run from Stratford and Lea Bridge to Walthamstow and Chingford.

4. The Gospel Oak to Barking Line

The Gospel Oak to Barking Line (GOBlin) is the forgotten and down-trodden Cinderella, who could gatecrash the party in the Lea Valley and be a star of East London’s transport system.

Over the next few years, the following will or may happen to the line.

  • Electrification
  • Extension to Barking Riverside
  • New four-car electric trains
  • Smaller numbers of day-time freight trains.
  • Increased passenger train frequency

The first three are hopefully cast in stone, as to cancel them now, would probably cost more than doing them. Especially, as the new trains have been ordered.

I am hopeful, that once the line is upgraded and electrified, this will enable freight operators to switch to electric traction, that could mean quieter services that might possibly run through at night.

As an aside, if I was standing for London Mayor, I would say I would put a limit of perhaps two non-electric trains a day on both the GOBlin and the North London Line. The freight operators would protest, but Class 66 locomotives have no business going through residential areas and crowded stations. Especially, when environmentally acceptable locomotives are available.

If the number of day-time freight trains could be reduced, this would allow more passenger services.

5. Crossrail 2

Crossrail 2 will have a big impact, when and if it arrives, as it will serve Tottenham Hale, Northumberland Park and Angel Road.

Before I finish this post, I have to ask, if we are doing enough with our transport network to serve large developments like Meridian Water, the Walthamstow Wetlands and Barking Riverside.

So what would I look at?

1. Crossrail 2

Politicians of all colours and tendencies are putting their faith in Crossrail 2.

But, I believe that the line, although surveys show it is much-needed, is a bit like the US Cavalry in a 1950s film, arriving in force after the poor settlers or ranchers have virtually been wiped out by the Indians.

We should prepare for Crossrail 2, so that all the engineering and architectural connections are there and all surface stations are upgraded over the next few years. This would mean that building Crossrail 2 would be just a matter of accurately threading the needles and then linking the tunnels to the existing stations.

Perhaps we should think of Crossrail 2 as a series of closely-related projects, rather than one huge mega-project.

The great advantage of this, is that political responsibility for a lot of the work like the upgrading of surface stations, can be shared with the relevant Local Authority.

This post started with Enfield Borough Council and the Meridian Waters project and wandered into rail infrastructure, because Angel Road station is an important part of that project.

I doubt I’ll ever live long enough to see the opening of Crossrail 2. But I live in hope!

2. Improving Connectivity On The Gospel Oak to Barking Line

The Gospel Oak to Barking Line hasn’t got the best connectivity to other lines and it is also blessed with some difficult out of station interchanges for even strong walkers.

Walthamstow is an example, where the walk between Queen’s Road and Central isn’t that long but it is tortuous. This Google Map shows the area.

Walthamstow Stations

Walthamstow Stations

The East-West line is the Chingford Branch, with St. James Street station in the West and Central in the East. Croosing this line is the GOBlin with its station at Queen’s Road.

Surely something better could be done in Walthamstow. Interchange for someone pushing themselves in a wheelchair would be very difficult.

There is also an out of station interchange between Wansted Park on the GOBlin and Forest Gate on the lines out of Liverpool Street, which in a few years time will be Crossrail. This map shows the area.

Wanstead Park And Forest Gate

Wanstead Park And Forest Gate

It is an area, where some selected development could be of value, especially as the GOBlin passes over the Liverpool Street Lines. I’ve walked this interchange a couple of times and the following would help.

  • Step-free access at both stations. Forest Gate is getting this with Crossrail.
  • A light-controlled crossing at Wansted Park station
  • A minor rerouting of the buses so that some passing through the area stop at both stations.

This would mean that someone pushing themselves in a wheelchair could use the interchange.

One station that needs to be improved is Blackhorse Road, which connects the GOBlin to directly to the Victoria Line. This Google Map shows the area.

Blackhorse Road Stations

Blackhorse Road Stations

 

Note that the station site is not particularly cramped and it would be a not-to-difficult walk to the Walthamstow Wetlands, especially if you could hop on a bus for a couple of stops.

There is also the possibility of an improved station at Harringay Green Lanes, where a large amount of property development is possible according to this document on the Harringey Council web site. I talked about the possibilities in The Piccadilly And Victoria Lines, Manor House Station And Harringay Green Lanes Station, where I believe a flagship station could be built across Green Lanes.

This section in the Wikipedia entry for the GOBlin, lists other ideas for extra connectivity for the line.

But I believe there are three other important interchanges that will or may happen and I describe them in the next three sections.

3. Seven Sisters Interchange With Gospel Oak to Barking Line

Transport for London’s Plan for 2050, has a section in an Appendix with the heading of News links and/or Stations for Strategic Interchange. In a list of places where this might be done are the words Seven Sisters (GOB). Seven Sisters station is currently a valid out of station interchange with South Tottenham station on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line. In Crossrail 2 At South Tottenham/Sevens Sisters, I speculated as to how the two stations could be linked by a large double-ended Crossrail 2 station. This Google Map shows the two stations.

South Tottenham And Seven Sisters

South Tottenham And Seven Sisters

There are also other possibilities here, like building a new station, housing or commercial development or allowing trains to link from the Northbound Lea Valley Lines through Seven Sisters to the Eastbound GOBlin. But whatever happens here, the GOBlin will eventually be linked to the Victoria Line and Crossrail 2.

Search the Internet and You’ll find little about this project, which is just two words buried in a TfL report.

4. Extending The GOBlin To Angel Road

This is speculation on my part, but the Meridian Water development will need more than just the one station at Angel Road. As the GOBlin goes across the southern part of the development site, is there an opportunity for an innovative connection through the development to Angel Road? This is a Google Map of the area from Angel Road in the North to Blackhorse Road in the East.

Blackhorse Road To Angel Road

Blackhorse Road To Angel Road

The connection might be difficult for a train, but use a Class 399 tram-train and it could twist and turn its way between Blackhorse Road and Angel Road stations amongst the reservoirs and the developments to serve both those developments and the Walthamstow Wetlands.

5. Extending The GOBlin To Thamesmead And Abbey Wood

In No To Silvertown Tunnel, I examined the possibilities of extending the GOBlin from Barking Riverside over or under the Thames to Thamesmead and Abbey Wood  station, where it would join up with Crossrail.

I felt that this would best be done using Class 299 tram-trains as they could go walk-about on both sides of the river giving much needed connectivity to the housing on both sides of the river. If it could be done, I felt that a bridge shared with pedestrians and cyclists would be the best way to join the two banks of the Thames.

6. The Hall Farm Curve, High Meads Loop and Dalston Eastern Curve

These three curves, if reinstated for passenger trains would create routes between the Chingford Branch and Lea Bridge, Stratford and any desirable station to the West. Reopening the Dalston Eastern Curve would give access to the East London Line for Crossrail at Whitechapel and South of the Thames.

As there could be spare capacity on the East London Line, which has been designed for twenty-four trains per hour, there could be a myriad of ways it can be used to increase the services under the Thames, so what Transport for London might do would be pure speculation on my part.

But I think they will eventually use these three curves to improve services in the Lea Valley.

7. Tram-Trains On The GOBlin

This may seem a bizarre idea, but having seen these hybrid vehicles all over Germany, I believe tram-trains are the way to add extra destinations to core electrified lines. On the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, in addition to being used to connect to Angel Road, as I showed previously, they could also be used with a tunnel or a bridge to extend the line from Barking Riverside under or over the river to Thamesmead and Abbey Wood.

People might worry that when running as trains, they may need different stations to the other trains, but the Germans seem to be able to design stations that accept both vehicles and I suspect the planned Rotherham extension of the Sheffield Supertram, will come up with solutions applicable to our standards. As to the required overhead lines, the Class 399 tram-trains can run using any of the voltages used for trams and trains in the UK.

There may be other places on the GOBlin and the other rail lines in East London, where tram-trains could be used effectively.

This will obviously be up to the planners, but I will be very surprised if tram-trains don’t infiltrate there way into many places all over the UK. At the moment transport planners, haven’t the experience of seeing a well-designed tram-train system working in the UK, but after what I believe will be a successful trial in Rotherham, I think we’ll see planners embracing the technology with open arms.

Conclusion

The GOBlin won’t be Cinderella any more!

 

 

 

August 14, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Before Crossrail 2 – Walthamstow Wetlands

The Walthamstow Wetlands have nothing really to do with Crosrail 2, but like Meridian Water they will have connections and interactions with the railway.

So how will the wetlands interact with Crossrail 2?

This image, which I clipped from this page, shows the layout of the wetlands.

MapmOf Walthamstow Wetlands

Map Of Walthamstow Wetlands

 

And this is a Google Map of the same area.

Google Map Of Walthamstow Wetlands

Google Map Of Walthamstow Wetlands

There are plans for entrances at Blackhorse Lane by Blackhorse Road station and at Coppermill Lane, just below the pair of Warwick reservoirs at the bottom left of the Google Map. The West Anglia Main Line runs between the reservoirs and Crossrail 2 will probably emerge from its tunnels between these reservoirs and Tottenham Hale station.

I also  suspect that some means to get into the wetlands will be provided at Tottenham Hale station, That will probably be walking and bicycle routes,perhaps  coupled with a shuttle bus. I do wonder whether the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, which borders the wetlands and passes just to the south of Tottenham Hale station might be brought into the mix. Nothing within the limits of sensible engineering should be ruled out.

After all Waltham Forest Council has obtained £4.4million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and that is a lot of reasons to think, that everybody wants the unique project of the Walthamstow Wetlands to be extremely successful.

Big projects work best from co-operation and not annoying the locals. Crossrail showed with the East-West line that they are masters at pulling it all together and used archaeology to get the locals enthused with the project, I suspect that they will use every opportunity to get the general public and politicians behind Crossrail 2.

I think that we will see Crossrail 2, Meridian Water and the Walthamstow Wetlands working together to develop the Lee Valley into London’s lung.

If

July 24, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment