The Anonymous Widower

London Railway Upgrades – A Progress Report

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

It is a comprehensive report, but for me the highlight is this paragraph.

At Bank, the new direct entrance to the Waterloo & City line is due to open in December – with 21st December pencilled in as the target date.

Finally the Drain is being transformed into a SuperDrain.

October 10, 2017 Posted by | Travel | | Leave a comment

Is This The End Of The Garden Bridge?

This article on the BBC is entitled London’s Garden Bridge project officially abandoned.

Let’s hope so!

The money wasted on the Garden Bridge would have been better spent on improving that much neglected river crossing’ the Waterloo and City Line!

I’d love a Sunday service, but how about a Night Drain?

 

August 14, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – Mid-Platform Entrance/Exit On Platforms 23/24 At Waterloo Station

These pictures show the mid-platform entrance/exit on Platforms 23/24 at Waterloo station.

Note.

  • This mid-platform entrance/exit must mean that Platforms 20 to 24 effectively have a double-deck gate line.
  • Access is also to the Waterloo and City Line.

This article in Rail Engineer, which is entitled Waterloo and South West Route Upgrade, says this.

Improvements in access to the Bakerloo, Northern and Jubilee tube lines from platforms 1/2 and 3/4 and from the former International terminal.

These pictures were taken at 09:30 at the end of the Peak.

When finished it looks like it will be impressive.

Will the access on Platforms 1/2 and 3/4 be double-escalator like this access on the former International platforms?

As I indicated in Waterloo’s Wide Platforms, the design of the older platforms isn’t cramped, so it could be possible.

Incidentally, I couldn’t see any lifts on Platforms 23/24, but these structures behind the grey hoardings could be for lifts.

Will there be any platforms in the UK with better step-free access?

And it’s not as if the platforms are for an exotic destination like Cardiff, Huddersfield or Norwich, although I suspect services will go to the regal delights of Windsor! Will Liz be amused?

August 8, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 3 Comments

Bank Junction Goes Buses And Cyclists Only

On Monday, the 22nd of June 2017, the City of London brought in an order making the busy Bank Junction buses and cyclists only between seven in the morning and seven in the evening from Monday to Friday.

I took these pictures soon after ten in the morning.

The first few pictures were taken from the top of a Routemaster bus on Route 21, as it travelled from where I live across the city to London Bridge station.

Note.

  • Most drivers seemed to be avoiding the area.
  • The City of London Police were telling drivers, but didn’t appear to be ticketing anybody.
  • Much of the congestion seemed to be caused by half-empty polluting Tour Buses.
  • One pedestrian was moaning that he couldn’t use his car to get around the City.

Overall, it appeared to be a calm start.

The Upgrade Of Bank Station

I have only shown the area on the surface, but under the ground around Bank Junction, a massive construction project is starting in the City of London’s twin goals of more and better office accomodation and transport links.

Bank station is getting a major upgrade, which will include.

  • In The New Tunnel Under Bank Station, I wrote about an upgraded pedestrian tunnel that crosses the area.
  • In Between Bank And Cannon Street Station, I wrote about how Bloomberg are helping develop a new step-free entrance to the Waterloo and City Line and Bank station, which will open by early 2018.
  • A new Northern Line tunnel to create more space on the platforms and increase frequency on the line.
  • The station weill receive a forty percent increase in capacity.
  • Full step-free access with thirteen new escalators and three new lifts.
  • A new entrance to Bank station opposite Cannon Street station.
  • Two North-South moving walkways.
  • Some of the £600million project cost will be funded by oversite office development.
  • Hopefully, much of the work will be finished by 2021.

There’s more in this article in the Guardian, which is entitled Bank station upgrades point to London’s bigger, busier future.

Bank Station And Crossrail

You may wonder, why if Bank station is so important, that Crossrail doesn’t call and Crossrail 2 won’t either.

It may not, but the Central Line will have good connections to Crossrail at Stratford, Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations.

So passengers for Bethnal Green, Bank, St. Paul’s, Chancery Lane and Holborn will change from Crossrail to the Cwntral Line at a convenient station.

In addition, Crossrail will feed passengers into loops in the District, Hammersmith and City and Jubilee Lines.

Travellers will pay their money and take their choice.

Other Developments At Bank

I wouldn’t be surprised to see more pedestrian routes linking the City stations of Bank, Cannon Street, Fenchurch Street, Liverpool Street and Moorgate; both on the surface and possibly underground.

I would also make sure that all buses in the centre of London are low-emission vehicles. That certainly doesn’t apply to those polluting and jam-creating Tour Buses and tourist coaches.

 

May 25, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The New Tunnel Under Bank Station

I never took the connection tunnel between the Waterloo and City Line or Drain platforms at Bank station to the escalators that eventually get you out into the air by Lombard Street, where I used to visit clients at a major clearing bank.

I doubt, it was as good as it is now!

I was travelling home from Waterloo using the Drain and once back on the surface, I just  crossed King William Street and got a 141 bus home.

It might be upwards of a hundred metres underground, but it’s light, airey and traffic-free.

We need more pedestrian tunnels like this under London.

Obviously, it wasn’t Rush Hour!

February 19, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Lothbury

In Taxis And Bank Junction, I mentioned that the Northern City Line was originally authorised to Lothbury station .

These pictures were taken at the junction of Lothbury, Moorgate and Prine’s Street.

It strikes me, that a station here would have been a good Edwardian addition.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines North of Bank station.

lothbury2

The interesting thing is the dates on the lines.

  • Northern Line – 25/02/1900
  • Central Line – 28/07/1912

As the Northern City Line opened in 1904, there would have been a lot of construction going on in the area.

Around 1913, plans were made to connect the Northern City Line with the nearby Waterloo and City Line.

The Bank of England Building is relatively modern dating from the 1920s.

So probably all of this building meant that the extension to Lothbury just got in the way.

But interestingly note, how the two lines of the Northern Line cross over in probably the area where the new station would have gone. This would surely have made more tunnelling difficult.

So was it just too complicated as well?

I don’t know!

But it is probably true to say that if we wanted to extend the line today, we could probably do it.

Especially, as the Northern Line tunnels are being realigned when Bank station is rebuilt in the next few years.

But I doubt we will do it, as the new massive Moorgate-Liverpool Street for Crossrail will finally give the Northern City Line, the connectivity it needs.

 

 

January 19, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Between Bank And Cannon Street Station

The City of London is creating a new walking route between Bank and Cannon Street stations, along Walbrook.

It doesn’t reach to the Thames yet, as there is some 1980s development and the dual-carriageway of Upper Thames Street in the way, but I suspect it will, at some point in the future.

On the Western side of the walk is Walbrook Square being developed by Bloomberg, which underneath which are both the London Mithraeum and the new step-free entrance to the Waterloo and City Line and Bank station.

On the Eastern side is the historic church of |St. Stephen Walbrook, where I once met Chad Varah; the founder of The Samaritans, who for personal and wider reasons, I nominated at Man of the Noughties.

This Google Map shows the area.

walbrook

It looks like this walking and cycling route will come with a prestigious office development, an important Roman site and a transport interchange.

I have a feeling there’s a deep agenda in pedestrianising Walbrook in this way.

Commuters arriving in the City at Cannon Street station or the Waterloo and City Line will be able to come out of the stations onto the spacious thoroughfare of Walbrook , from where they could walk to their place of work. A pedestrianised Bank Junction would give a traffic free route for commuters to the East side of the junction.

Could we see other routes around Bank Junction also given over to pedestrians and cyclists? Roads like.

  • Cannon |Street
  • Cornhill
  • Dowgate Hill
  • King William Street
  • Lombard Street
  • Lothbury
  • Old Jewry
  • Prince’s Street
  • St. Swithin’s Lane

and a few others, must all be being considered for full or partial pedestrianisation.

In addition, there will be beloe-ground routes through Bank station.

January 19, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Taxis And Bank Junction

The City pf London is proposing to make Bank Junction accessible to only buses and cyclists.

On a personal note, I’m in favour, as my normal route to and from the area of Bank station is to take a 21 or 141 bus. I also use the 141 bus to get to and from London Bridge station, as the terminal stop is on the staion forecourt. They are extremely convenient buses for me as the Northbound stop is perhaps fifty metres from my house over a zebra crossing. Going South, the walk is a little further, but it is no more than a hundred and fifty metres.

However, not everyone is in favour of restricting traffic at Bank Junction.

This article in the Standard is entitled Cycling campaign groups slam black cab protest over traffic ban at Bank station.

This is said.

Cycling campaign groups have slammed a taxi protest over plans to close Bank junction off to most traffic, saying drivers are supporting “the right to poison Londoners”.

Black Cab drivers brought traffic to a standstill on Monday evening as they protested plans to close off the notorious junction to all traffic apart from bikes and buses.

Union members have argued that the proposals to only allow cyclists and buses at the junction are an example of TfL dodging the problem of congestion.

So it would be cyclists on one side and black cabs on the other.

The RMT union blames Uber on their web site.

This is said in the article.

The union claims the congestion is caused by Uber cars which, in turn, leave people turning to cycling out of “desperation”.

RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash, said: “The decision to close Bank Junction to traffic is a comically inept one, made exceptionally bitter as the Mayor promised greater access to road space for black cabs.”

As I said earlier, all I want is this vital junction to run smoothly for buses.

I don’t use a taxi very often, except on say a busy, wet day to bring my shopping home, as the rank is outside Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and Sainsburys. How convenient is that?

The taxi drivers are not happy, but then London’s black cab drivers have rarely been happy in the years I’ve used them, since the 1960s.

  • Getting to my house has  caused a new moan, which is caused by the work that I wrote about in Why I’m In Favour Of Cycling Superhighways.
  • Cyclists are always good for a moan.
  • But their biggest ire is usually reserved for Uber and their lack of regulation.

Surprisingly, I’ve had no moans about moving to low-emission or electric vehicles.

So how do I think the situation will improve in the next few years?

Crossrail

Crossrail doesn’t serve Bank Junction directly, but I will be surprised if the massive double-ended Crossrail station at Liverpool Street and Moorgate, doesn’t attract a lot of passengers travelling to and from the City of London.

Bank Station Upgrade

Under Future Developments, Wikipedia says this.

  • A new entrance on Walbrook, near Cannon Street station, will provide new escalators and lifts to the Waterloo and City line platforms.
  • TfL is also consulting on retunnelling and widening the Northern line platforms.
  • Adding lifts and new entrances on King William Street and Cannon Street.
  • A new tunnel could be built to relocate the southbound Northern line platform.

The work could be completed by 2021 and will boost capacity by 40%, with 12 new escalators and 3 new lifts.

A well-designed Bank Underground station must relieve surface traffic of all types in the area.

Waterloo And City Line

When the new entry at Wallbrook to the Waterloo and City Line,  opens hopefully in late 2017, it will dramatically improve the usefulness of the Waterloo and City Line.

But improvements are also needed at the Waterloo end of the line.

  • Better connections to the new platforms 20-24 at Waterloo will be needed. Are they being provided in the current works.
  • Better connection to Waterloo East station, so passengers can get access to Charing Cross services.
  • Direct access to the street.
  • Step-free access.

The line should at least run seven days a week, if not all the time under automatic control.

It could be a much more important line in London’s transport system.

It could even be renamed the City and South Bank Line.

The Northern City Line

The Northern City Line is London’s forgotten suburban line, as it terminates in a two-platform station under Moorgate station.

One of Crossrail’s collateral improvements will be to give the Northern City Line excellent connections to the following.

  • Crossrail
  • Liverpool Street station
  • Central Line

The deep and dingy station will also have much better connection to the various walking routes in the area.

But connectivity would be nothing without trains and the Northern City Line is getting new Class 717 trains, which could run at up to twelve trains per hour all day.

The original plans for the Northern City Line envisaged the line running to Lothbury station, which would be just to the North of the Bank of England.

If this extension had been built, it would have surely proved to have been a valuable part of London’s railways. But it wasn’t and probably to build it now would be too expensive and impossible.

Walking Routes

The actual City of London is compact and this Google Map shows the Northern part of the City between Bank, Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations.

lothbury

Note.

  • How one of the three main stations is within reach of much of the area.
  • I would reckon that the three stations are about eight hundred metres apart.

If you don’t fancy walking, there are bus routes between the stations and the Central and Northern Lines also provide connections.

Uber

Uber is the fox in the hen coup.

It is disruptive technology and I don’t like it for various reasons.

  • I like to pick up my cab from a rank or by hailing it on the street.
  • I feel that apps with credit card details in them will be the next big fraud opportunity.
  • I like a properly trained and regulated driver, who understands the intricacies of London’s streets.

I took an Uber cab once from Walthamstow to home and the driver came from West London and managed to get lost twice. As I wasn’t paying, I didn’t bother.

I can’t help feeling that Uber is very inefficient for the driver and only works if they have a monopoly of taxis on the streets.

Conclusion

I have given alternatives to the use of taxis around Bank Junction.

Taxi drivers will protest, but that area is one, where for most people, public transport will increasingly be the best way to travel.

 

 

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2

I have decided to cut this out of my original post of A Hard Look At Crossrail 2.

The Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2

These suburban termini and their routes into Waterloo station are proposed  to be connected to Crossrail 2.

  1. Chessington South – 34 minutes – 9 stops
  2. Epsom – 37 minutes – 9 stops
  3. Hampton Court – 36 minutes – 9 stops
  4. Shepperton – 51 minutes – 14 stops

The times are for a typical one-way journey from Waterloo, which usually has a frequency of two trains per hour (tph).

I suspect that the timings are designed, so that they can be achieved by a 75 mph Class 455 train.

An Upgraded Waterloo Station

Waterloo station is getting a massive upgrade in August 2017, which I describe in detail in What Is Happening At Waterloo In August?.

After the upgrade, Waterloo station will probably handle the suburban services better than it does today.

  • There will be extra platforms, with the reopening of the five platforms 20 to 24 in Waterloo International.
  • There will be longer platforms, which will all be able to take ten-car trains.
  • There will be an improved track layout, both in Waterloo and on the approach.
  • There will be related improvements to improve access to the Underground and the Waterloo and City Line at Waterloo station.

All this should mean Waterloo station, will be capable of handling a substantial increase in trains and passengers, with an improvement in efficiency and comfort.

Improvements On The Branches

Each branch has its own problems, but the following would help in various places.

  • More step-free access.
  • Some level crossings on the branches can probably be removed..
  • Improved access to onward services like buses, cycling and walking at some stations.
  • Some trackwork to allow Crossrail 2’s proposed frequency of 4 tph.

These improvements will generally be needed, whether the services terminate in Waterloo or are a part of Crossrail 2.

New Trains

Currently, suburban services out of Waterloo are run by a large mixed fleet of generally excellent trains.

This gives 264 four-car trains and 60 five-car trains with a total of 1137 carriages.

South Western Railway will are purchasing 30 five-car and sixty ten-car new Aventras with a total of 750 carriages.

The Class 707 trains and the Aventras could offer serious performance improvements, as they are probably designed to be able to have a short as possible time, for a stop at a station.

In an ideal world, all trains running these branches would be identical and all platforms would be designed to fit them perfectly, just as many Overground platforms, fit the Class 378 trains.

Crossrail 2 would do this, with possibly the same Class 345 trains, that have been developed for Crossrail.

But why shouldn’t the routes be worked by a homogeneous fleet, serving platforms and stations designed for the trains?

I believe that Crossrail 2 could make no extra difference to the passenger going between these branches and Central London, except for the route from Wimbledon, which will be in tunnel.

But the new Aventra trains will have three very big effects.

They will be walk-through ten-car trains.

They will have much better capacity for bags, cases and all the other paraphernalia passengers bring.

But most importantly, if they live up to the claims of train manufacturers, the high performance, well-designed trains with a consistent train-platform interface will save as much as three minutes a station.

  • Trains will stop from line speed faster.
  • Trains will accelerate back to line speed faster.
  • Bigger lobbies, will enable passengers to load and unload faster.
  • Wheelchair passengers and buggy pushers would roll across on the flat.
  • Regenerative braking and light weight will save the train operating company in electricity and train access costs.

Until we get actual figures, even one minute a stop, would reduce times on the branches as follows. Figures in brackets are for two minutes a station.

  1. Chessington South – 25 minutes (16)
  2. Epsom -28 minutes (19)
  3. Hampton Court – 27 minutes (18)
  4. Shepperton -37 minutes (23)

Note that the first three services are now under half-an-hour, without making any allowance that the timings will be for a 100 mph train with better performance, than the 75 mph Class 455 trains.

Is Four Trains Per Hour Possible?

If the round trip from Waterloo can be done in an hour, that means that just two ten-car trains can provide a 2 tph service, as opposed to the four trains now needed.

I suspect that South West Trains will be experimenting to see if they can get a Shepperton round trip in under the hour.

It may seem difficult, but there are certain factors in their favour.

  • The Shepperton Branch Line is self-contained after it leaves the Kingston Loop Line.
  • It is double-track, so there is no passing loop problems.
  • There are no level crossings.
  • The stations on the branch are fairly evenly-spaced at just over a mile apart.

If a total out-and-back time from Waterloo could be under an hour for each branch, this would mean that a 4 tph service on a branch, would need just four trains.

So for each branch to have 4 tph would need just 16 ten-car trains, with similar performance and characteristics to Class 707 trains or the Aventras.

Currently, to provide a 2 tph service, needs sixteen trains, because of it takes ver an hour to do a complete round trip.

Would it be possible for trains to shuttle up and down these branches?

Look at the example of the East London Line, where four tph shuttle between dedicated platforms at Highbury and Islington and Dalston Junction stations in the North of London to various destinations in the South.

In Increased Frequencies On The East London Line, I reported on Transport for London’s plans to up the frequency on this line to 20 tph.

So could we be seeing something similar at Waterloo, where trains to Chessington South, Epsom, Hampton Court and Shepperton stations, each have their own dedicated platforms?

The four platforms could even be adjacent, so if you want Wimbledon or a station common to more than one branch, displays would lead you to the first train.

Put simply to provide 4 tph for all branches would need 16 modern ten-car trains and four dedicated platforms at Waterloo.

Crossrail 2’s Proposals For Services On The Branches

Wikipedia says this about Crossrail 2 services to these suburban branches, after surfacing from the tunnel South of Wimbledon station.

I think that Wimbledon will have to handle perhaps another 8 tph from other places on the fast lines. But they do that now!

Between Wimbledon And Waterloo

South West Trains have not disclosed their hand yet, but I suspect that they are doing the maths.

I think that it will be possible for a 4 tph Crossrail 2 service and all the other slow services between Wimbledon and Waterloo to use a single pair of tracks carrying 20 tph.

Surely, if 20 tph can be handled on the East London Line with ten year old signalling technology and Class 378 trains, then this frequency can be handled with modern signalling and new Aventras.

It should be noted that Crossrail and Thameslink can both handle 24 tph under Automatic Train Operation (ATO) in a tunnel, so surely the slow lines can handle 20 tph on the surface under ATO or just using plain good driving.

There would even be capacity for some extra services.

Wimbledon Station

Wimbledon station would only need two platforms for these services, but I do feel that work would need to be done to accommodate the passengers.

But the station would probably not need the massive modifications until it was decided to build the Crossrail 2 tunnel.

Clapham Junction Station

If all these trains can be accommodated on just two tracks between Waterloo and Wimbledon, then these services could call at two dedicated platforms at Clapham Junction station.

  • All trains would stop.
  • Staff and passengers would see a succession of identical trains stopping every three minutes.
  • Passengers would have a maximum wait for fifteen minutes for a direct train, to their specific destination.
  • All trains to stations on the branches would use the same platform, making it easy for passengers.
  • As on the East London Line, trains for any station on the branches would be to a clock-face pattern.

The two platforms could be opposite faces of an island platform, with a waiting room, cafe and toilets in the middle.

Vauxhall Station

If it can be done at Clapham Junction station, why not have a dedicated pair of platforms at Vauxhall station, giving access to the Victoria Line?

I use the link at Vauxhall, between the Victoria Line and Waterloo suburban services occasionally and every time I do, it seems to have been improved.

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

Lines At Vauxhall

Lines At Vauxhall

I think it is true to say, that if the Victoria Line had been built in the last decade or so, the Victoria Line station could have been placed underneath the main line station.

But even so, I suspect Network Rail and Transport for London have ideas to improve the interchange.

Only Sixteen Ten-Car Aventras Will Be Needed

My calculations show that modern 100 mph trains, like the Aventras that South Western Railway have ordered could provide 4 tph on the Crossrail 2 routes with just sixteen ten-car trains.

All the calculations I’ve done show that replacing trains with faster modern ones, increases the frequency and results in more efficient use of trains.

South Western Railway have bought sixty of these trains.

So they must have some impressive plans!

Conclusion

Crossrail 2’s proposals for the suburban branch lines from Waterloo to the four destinations of Chessington South, Epsom, Hampton Court and Shepperton stations, can be fulfilled using the following.

  • 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.

What effect will this have on the design of Crossrail 2?

 

January 2, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Hard Look At Crossrail 2

We’re nearly into 2017 and in the last year or so various projects have been suggested and events have happened, that could affect the need, design and use for Crossrail 2.

In alphabetical order, here they are.

Bakerloo Line Extension

It now looks like the Mayor is keen to get the Bakerloo Line Extension started, so it can be completed earlier in 2029.

This will be a tube-size extension and if it goes as quietly as the Northern Line Extension, I can’t see its construction causing much disruption.

Note these points about the Bakerloo Line with its Extension.

  • It will be a feeder line into Waterloo station,
  • The line has no connection to Crossrail 2
  • The line will have interchange with Thameslink at Elephant and Castle station, which is scheduled for upgrading.
  • The line will have a useful cross-platform interchange with the Victoria Line at Oxford Circus station.
  • The line will have an interchange with the East London Line at New Cross Gate station.
  • The line connects to four main line termini; Charing Cross, Marylebone, Paddington and Waterloo.

Because it connects to so many other lines and doesn’t connect to Crossrail 2, I feel that this project should be done before Crossrail 2.

Battersea Power Station Station

To be expanded!

Brexit

Who knows what effect this will have on Crossrail 2?

Cannon Street, Charing Cross, London Bridge and Waterloo East Stations

London Bridge station  will become effectively four stations after rebuilding is finished.

  • Platforms 1 to 3 will be a three-platform through station for trains to and from Cannon Street station.
  • Platforms 4 and 5 will be an island platform through station for Thameslink.
  • Platforms 6 to 9 will be a four-platform through station for trains to and from Charing Cross station.
  • Platforms 10 to 15 will become a six-platform terminal station.

Note.

  1. Exchange between any two sets of services is step-free and by escalator or lift.
  2. Platforms 4-5 are the only island platform on Thameslink’s central core.
  3. London Bridge will become London’s most usable large station and expose St. Pancras for the fraud that it is.

London Bridge is already changing my travel patterns.

  • When coming back from South of London, I always use the station and get a 141 bus from the forecourt.
  • When returning from Waterloo, I often walk to Waterloo East station and get a train across to London Bridge..
  • Charing Cross station is difficult to access from North and East London, so I now can easily access Charing Cross services from London Bridge.

The proof of the pudding is true for me with London Bridge.

Once  the Thameslink Programme and the rebuilding of London Bridge station is finished, I believe that the improvements across the South Bank will be impressive and very convenient for passengers.

There is one project left to be defined and started.

The upgrading of the rather poor Waterloo East station should meet the following objectives.

  • Better information as to which platform to get the next train.
  • Better access from street level.
  • Faster access with perhaps a travelator from Waterloo station.
  • Better connections to the Underground.

Given the location of the station, it could be one that was redeveloped to provide commercial or residential properties with a new station underneath.

If it were updated to a modern standard, it would become a true Charing Cross South station.

Central Line Improvements

The Central Line could be considered to be Crossrail Zero and various plans exist to improve it.

The Central Line is in some ways the joker in the pack, so don’t be surprised at some of the projects that take place on this line.

Its biggest effect on Crossrail 2, is that because of it’s connections in North-East London, an improved Central Line, Liverpool Street station and Four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line could absorb more traffic from North East to Central  and West London.

Chiltern Metro Creation

Wikipedia says this about a Chiltern Metro.

New Chiltern Metro Service that would operate 4+tph for Wembley Stadium, Sudbury & Harrow Road, Sudbury Hill Harrow, Northolt Park, South Ruislip and West Ruislip. This would require a reversing facility at West Ruislip, passing loops at Sudbury Hill Harrow, and a passing loop at Wembley Stadium (part of the old down fast line is in use as a central reversing siding, for stock movements and additionally for 8-car football shuttles to convey passengers to the stadium for events).[73] This ‘Chiltern Metro’ service was not programmed into the last round of franchising agreements.

When I wrote Could A Chiltern Metro Be Created? and came to the conclusion, that it might be possible, I got several positive responses.

With Chiltern getting access to Old Oak Common station in the future, this is the sort of project that Chiltern could develop themselves, if capacity was available.

This project wouldn’t connect to Crossrail 2, so I doubt its creation will have much affect on Crossrail 2.

It would certainly be a good fit wit the Bakerloo Line at Marylebone.

Clapham Junction Station

Clapham Junction station is a station that doesn’t make use of its full potential and I suspect that it will see considerable improvement before the late-2020s.

  • The Northern Line will be extended to Clapham Junction from Battersea Power station.
  • Crossrail 2 could be built to call at the station.
  • Reorganisation of the suburban services from Waterloo through Wimbledon could see a high-frequency 20 tph service calling at the station.
  • Could a similar reorgnaisation of services from Waterloo through Richmond create a high-frequency service on that route.
  • The Overground will be providing 6 tph from Dalston Junction from 2018.

I have not talked about the other main line services into Victoria.

  • It looks like suburban services into Waterloo can be grouped into high-frequency Waterloo-Richmond and Waterloo-Wimbledon Metros.
  • Could the services out of Victoria be grouped into a similar set of high-frequency Metros?

It does appear that suburban services between Victoria and Balham call at  Clapham Junction station as follows.

  • Platform 14 – Towards Victoria
  • Platform 15 – Towards Balham

As there would appear to be around 12 tph in both directions, could the capacity between Balham and Victoria be increased using ATO.

All this could result in a much more efficient station at Clapham Junction, with high-frequency suburban services and room for more  long-distance services.

Continental Connections At Ebbsfleet And Stratford positive comments

Millions of pounds were poured into creating the inadequate station at St. Pancras International.

  • There are not enough platforms for future Continental and Midland Main Line services.
  • Connection to the Underground and Thameslink are terrible.
  • St. Pancras is not on Crossrail, which was a truly awful design crime.
  • Passenger connections between the various lines at St. Pancras were designed by someone, who never used a train.

As the Heritage Taliban would forbid the demolishing of the station, we must find ways of making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Developing Ebbsfleet International and Stratford International, as flexible interchanges for the Continent might be a workable project, to squeeze a quart into the pint bottle that is St. Pancras.

  • Some Continental trains would all go to St. Pancras and stop selectively at Stratford and Ebbsfleet.
  • Low-cost Continental services would terminate at Ebbsfleet.
  • Train stabling could be simplified by creating more at Ebbsfleet.
  • Stratford Internation and Stratford stations need a high capacity link, that means you don’t have to walk through Eastfield.
  • Ebbsfleet and Stratford would have easy access to Crossrail.
  • Tottenham Court Road station would be about 25-30 minutes from Ebbsfleet, Gatwick and Heathrow.

Sorting out Continental services by avoiding St. Pancras could lower the need to improve services to St. Pancras by building Crossrail 2.

Crossrail Collateral Improvements

Crossrail will not only go East-West across London, but it will enable other improvements.

  • Undergroud Lines at Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations have already got better access.
  • Whitechapel station will be a major interchange.
  • The Bakerloo Line will get step-free access at Paddington station.
  • Access to the Nortern City Line at Moorgate station will be improved.
  • The Jubilee Line will become a loop of Crossrail between Straford and Bond Street via Canary Wharf, London Bridge and Waterloo.

The last two points will dramatically increase access to Waterloo station for its revamped suburban services, which are planned to become part of Crossrail 2.

Four-Tracking Of The West Anglia Main Line

If you travel to Cambridge or Stansted Airport in the Evening Peak, it is a nightmare.

Consider.

  • The West Anglia Main Line is a double-track main line.
  • It has a 100 mph maximum speed.
  • The signalling and electrification is generally good.
  • It has several busy level-crossings.
  • Most of the stations are not step-free and inadequate.
  • It has a decent Park-and-Ride station at Whittlesford Parkway, but needs more, including one with access to the Northern part of the M25.
  • An increasing amount of freight from London Gateway could need to use the line.
  • It has two London termini at Liverpool Street and Stratford, both of which will connect to Crossrail.
  • There is space to develop comprehensive interchange stations at Broxbourne, Bishops Stortford and Cambridge South (Addenbrooke’s)
  • In the next decade it will get improved connectivity to branches and East-West routes, like the Chingford, Stanstedand Hertford East branches, the East West Rail Link and improved and possible new lines from Cambridge.

All versions of Crossrail 2 and the improvement of Cambridge and Stansted Airport services, need the West Anglia Main Line to be of the following standard.

  • Four tracks.
  • At least 110 mph running between London and Bishops Stortford.
  • Elimination of level crossings.
  • New strategic stations.
  • Creation of the space for a Northern portal to Crossrail 2.

Project management also says, that this should be done before Crossrail 2, as otherwise the disruption to the West Anglia Main Line will be so high as to be a total nightmare.

Liverpool Street Station

The new Greater Anglia franchise has ordered £1.4billion on new trains.

Will Liverpool Street station be able to cope with all the increased services?

In An Idea For A New Station At Shoreditch High Street, I wrote about plans to create extra platforms North of the station in the area of Shoreditch High Street station.

It’s an idea, but also consider the following.

  • Crossrail will remove some local trains from the station.
  • Platforms at Liverpool Street station will be lengthened.
  • Overground services from the station will be getting new Class 710 trains.
  • The new trains should be able to turn round faster in the station.
  • Other Services might terminate at Stratford.

After Crossrail, the Overground and Greater Anglia have settled down, there will probably be some reorganisation at Liverpool Street station.

Perhaps extra platforms at Shoreditch High Street for Overground services from Liverpool Street station might be a good idea.

  • This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines around Shoreditch High Street station.
Lines Around Shoreditch High Street Station

Lines Around Shoreditch High Street Station

Consider.

  • The new platforms would be in the right place for the lines approaching from Bethnal Green and Hackney.
  • The new platforms could have extension development on top.
  • There would be good connection to the East London Line.
  • Up to four platforms could be released in Liverpool Street station.
  • What would connect all the knitting would be high-quality fast pedestrian links between the new platforms at Shoreditch, the main Liverpool Street station and Crossrail and the various Underground Lines.
  • As the Central Line is not deep underground, could it be opened up so all the terminal platforms at Shoreditch had their own escalators and lifts to the line?
  • Lea Valley services would gain their own well-connected dedicated terminal.
  • Cambridge and Stansted Airports could have the prime positions in the main Liverpool Street station.

Improving services up the Lea Valley, would fulfil some of the objectives of the North East leg of Crossrail 2.

Northern City Line Improvements

Use a station like Essex Road on the Northern City Line  and it’s like going back to the first few years of the Twentieth Century.

But the following improvements are scheduled.

  • New six-car Class 717 trains.
  • 12 tph all day with more in the Peak.
  • Some station improvements would also be welcome.
  • A well-designed interchange to Crossrail, the Underground and main line services out of Liverpool Street, enabled by a massive double-ended station  at Moorgate.
  • Will the operating procedures be modernised?

The line will also be renamed the Great Northern Metro.

It probably doesn’t affect Crossrail 2, but it will provide increased capacity from Hertfordshire into the City and Canary Wharf.

Northern Line Improvements

I may complain about some of the crap 1960s design on the Victoria Line, but many stations on the Northern Line have really been bodged together.

Would improving the line to the standard of the best of the other deep-level tube lines be a cost-effective way of creating a pair of modern North-South routes across London?

Once Camden Town station is rebuilt, Transport for London’s long term objective of splitting the Northern Line into two can be achieved.

  • Edgware to Battersea Power Station via Charing Cross and Waterloo
  • High Barnet to Morden via Bank

Probably the most difficult part, would be choosing understandable names.

The only effect on Crossrail 2, would be that once the Northern Line is split, it will become another feeder route for Waterloo.

Old Oak Common Station

If Old Oak Common station ever gets designed and built, it will enable interchange between a lot of lines.

  • Bakerloo Line
  • Central Line
  • Chiltern Line
  • Crossrail
  • HS2
  • North London Line
  • West Coast Main Line
  • West London Line

The station won’t directly affect Crossrail 2, but it could enable a lot of journeys to be done without it.

I also feel that Old Oak Common station should be built before Crossrail 2 because of its usefullness in avoiding Crossrail 2 territory.

Penge Stations

Various reportsincluding one from TfL have proposed an interchange between Penge East station on the Chatham Main Line with Penge West station on the East London Line.

This could create more capacity between Orpington and Highbury and Islington stations, without going through Victoria.

Piccadilly Line Improvements

I lived on the northern reaches of the Piccadilly Line for the first eighteen years of my life. Quite frankly the stations have changed little since the arrival of the unpainted aluminium 1956 Stock in  the late 1950s.

  • There are a lot of dingy stations.
  • There are very few step-free stations.
  • Some of the Central London stations have very narrow platforms.
  • Interchange with other lines often involves a lot of walking.
  • Compared to other lines, the trains seem slow.
  • The trains are still overcrowded.

Perhaps the biggest change to the line from that period, was the building of the  cross-platform interchange at Finsbury Park station with the Victoria Line, which improves access to Centra London.

But changes are happening.

  • The New Tube for London could be in service on the line by the mid-2020s.
  • The trains will run under ATO.
  • Train frequency will be improved from the current level of around 24 tph most of the week.
  • Crossrail could mean that less passengers use the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow.
  • Holborn station is scheduled for a rebuild.

Hopefully, the new trains will give the line a whole new persona.

Look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr of the lines through Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square stations.

Piccadilly Circus And Leicester Square Stations

Piccadilly Circus And Leicester Square Stations

Note.

  1. These two stations desperately need better and step-free access.
  2. Piccadilly Circus was originally to be a Crossrail 2 station, but this has been dropped.
  3. Both stations have a large Art Deco ticket hall underneath major road junctions.
  4. Neither station has any surface buildings of architectural merit.

Could adding extra passageways, escalators and lifts to these two stations do the following?

  • Make both stations step-free.
  • Give step-free and fast easy access between the Bakerloo and Piccadilly Lines at Piccadilly Circus station.
  • Give step-free and fast easy access between the Northern and Piccadilly Lines at Leicester Square station.

This would give Piccadilly Line passengers easier access to the soon-to-be-extended Northern and Bakerloo Lines.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a radical solution in this area linking the important visitor destinations.

  • Covent Garden.
  • Leicester Square
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Soho
  • Trafalgar Square

It might start with pedestrianising the entire area.

A Piccadilly Line with more capacity, a good interchange at Piccadilly Circus and a better ambience could be an alternative  route to Crossrail 2 for many of those it is designed to serve.

Thameslink Collateral Improvements

Very little has been said about the benefits of an improved Thameslink in Central London.

The features and improvements that could have far reaching affects are.

  • Finsbury Park and Elephant and Castle stations will be rebuilt or upgraded.
  • Will Camberwell station be built?
  • The link to the Piccadilly, Victoria and Northern City Lines at Finsbury Park station could get heavy use to avoid the long walks at St. Pancras.
  • Gatwick Airport has lots of ambitions for a new station to serve most of the South.
  • Thameslink will run initially at 24 tph, but will this limit be increased?

A lot of the plans aren’t finalised yet and it will be interesting to see what develops.

Vauxhall Station Improvements

I use the link at Vauxhall station, between the Victoria Line and Waterloo suburban services occasionally and every time I do, it seems to have been improved.

I suspect Network Rail and Transport for London have ideas to improve the interchange further.

Victoria Line Improvements

Dear Old Vicky – The Silver Queen of them all, who keeps on giving.

There is not much left to do with this line, but more capacity can be handled by doing the following.

  • Create a reversing loop at Brixton via a single platform station under Herne Hill station, which would improve frequency.
  • Create a double-ended station at Walthamstow Central to improve safe capacity and add lifts.
  • Further improve the interchange to services to and from Waterloo at Vauxhall station.
  • Improve stations like Tottenham Hale, Highbury and Islington and Oxford Circus.

As with the Central Line improvements, an improved Victoria Line could provide extra North-East to Central London capacity, prior to the building of Crossrail 2.

Victoria Station Improvements

Victoria station will be getting an upgraded Underground station in 2018.

Victoria is effectively two stations.

  • One for Southeastern services going down the Chatham Main Line.
  • One for Southern services going down the Brighton Main Line.

It is a crazy situation, with London’s most Westerly Southern terminal being the main terminal for the most Easterly services.

The Southern services via Clapham Junction, Balham and East Croydon are not too much of a problem, but the Southeastern services are designed more by the accident of history, than the needs of a modern railway and its passengers.

The typical 2015 off-peak service run by Southeastern is:

  • 4tph to Orpington via Herne Hill and Bromley South
  • 2tph to Dartford via Lewisham and Bexleyheath
  • 2tph to Dover Priory via Bromley South and Chatham
  • 1tph to Ashford International via Bromley South and Maidstone East
  • 1tph to Canterbury West via Bromley South and Maidstone East
  • 1tph to Ramsgate via Bromley South

All of these services have to be timetabled across South London and often cause bottlenecks and troubles at places like Herne Hill.

It has led to a suggestion of a tunnel from Battersea to Bromley under Brixton, that I wrote about in A Tunnel Under Brixton.

Waterloo And City Line Improvements

The Waterloo and City Line is not even a Cinderella Line, but one of her poor rats.

A new high-capacity step-free entrance in Walbrook Square at the Bank station end is opening in 2017.

This will mean that capacity is unbalanced. So could we see the following?

  • Larger capacity and step-free  entrance at the Waterloo end of the line.
  • Higher frequency and larger and more trains working the line.
  • Trains running automatically without drivers.
  • 24/7 operation.
  • The Night Drain, so that bankers can drink and gamble all night!

The upgrading of Bank and Waterloo stations for other services must have their own positive effects.

I believe that the Drain will be a very different animal in 2025.

It will act as a link line to all those suburban services going out of Waterloo. Perhaps an escalator connection between the suburban platforms at Waterloo and the Drain should be provided.

Waterloo Station Improvements

There are various improvements happening at Waterloo station.

  • The Eurostar platforms are being brought into use for suburban services.
  • This extra platform capacity will allow other platforms at Waterloo to be lengthened.
  • South West Trains are currently commissioning a fleet of 30 new Class 707 trains.
  • Improved services are being provided by Southeastern between Charing Cross and London Bridge stations via Waterloo East station, which are made possible by the Thameslink Program.

Whilst Waterloo is not a Crossrail 2 station, a fair proportion of its services via Wimbledon are planned to be transferred to the new line.

How will all the Waterloo developments affect this? I’ve no idea, but TfL could know after the end of 2017 and certainly will by the end of 2018.

Waterloo Station Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2

These suburban termini and their routes are due to be connected to Crossrail 2.

I have written An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, which investigates the issues in detail.

I came to the following conclusion.

Crossrail 2’s proposals for the suburban branch lines from Waterloo to the four destinations of Chessington South, Epsom, Hampton Court and Shepperton stations, can be fulfilled using the following.

  • Modern high-performance 100 mph trains like Class 707 trains.
  • 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.

What effect will this have on the design of Crossrail 2?

Waterloo Station Links To The North,South and East

Waterloo station is well connected to the North,South and East, in the opposite directions to the lines to Vauxhall, Clapham Junction stations and all points South-West.

  • Bakerloo Line between Queen’s Park and Elephant and Castle stations
  • Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line between Camden Town and Kennington stations
  • Jubilee Line between Baker Street and Stratford.stations.
  • Passengers using the Victoria Line to get to and from Waterloo, will use the cross-platform change at Oxford Circus.
  • Waterloo and City Line, to Bank station.

But it will be even better connected by 2029.

  • The Bakerloo Line will go between Queen’s Park and Lewisham stations.
  • The Northern Line could be split into two, with the branch through Waterloo, going between Edgeware and Battersea Power Station stations.
  • The Waterloo and City line will have new entrance in Walbrook Square.
  • Waterloo East station will have frequent connections between Charing Cross and London Bridge stations.
  • Possible improvements at stations like Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus could create excellent links to the Victoria and Piccadilly Lines.

Waterloo station will have superb connections.

I can’t see any reason why, two routes to the South-West branches of Crossrail 2 couldn’t be provided; one through the central tunnel and the other from Waterloo station.

Wimbledon Station

The current plan requires Wimbledon station to be seriously rebuilt and this is causing problems with the natives, which I can understand.

In the plan, twenty tph will come together at Raynes Park or Wimbledon stations and take the tunnel to the North.

But why do all trains have to go through the tunnel?

Some could start at Clapham Junction or Wimbedon stations.

I’m sure that a better plan for Wimbledon will arrive.

An Initial Conclusion

The more I write about rail projects in Central London, the more I’m convinced that a lot of the objectives of Crossrail 2 can be met in other ways.

As an example of my thinking, I believe that new faster Class 707 trains or something similar could double the frequency from 2 tph to the Crossrail 2 frequency of 4 tph on the suburban services out of Waterloo via Wimbledon.

This would mean.

  • Wimbledon station would not need substantial rebuilding.
  • 20 tph would use the slow lines between Waterloo and Wimbledon,
  • Trains would stop as required at Clapham Junction, Earlsfield and Vauxhall.
  • Waterloo to Wimbledon would probably need ATO like Crossrail or Thameslink, but handling 20 tph is not exceptional.

But surely, the biggest factor is that Waterloo to Wimbledon local services would have at least double the capacity.

A Conclusion About Automatic Train Operation

You could argue, that as a Control Engineer, I’m biased, but it seems to me, that if ATO were installed on the lines through Clapham Junction to Waterloo and Victoria capacity could be increased on the following suburban routes.

  • Waterloo to Wimbledon
  • Waterloo to Richmond
  • Victoria to Balham

Whether the Unions would agree to its introduction is another matter.

But then the automation would only need to be to Victoria line standard with driver monitoring.

A Virtual Crossrail 2

I am drawn to thinking that we could have a high-capacity link along generally the route of Crossrail 2, that could be upgraded in the future as circumstances dictate that more capacity is needed.

The existing West Anglia Main Line is congested and it needs to be four-tracked from Coppermill Junction to Broxbourne for several reasons.

  • To accomodate Crossrail 2
  • To handle more trains to Stansted Airport and Cambridge.
  • To handle more freight trains.
  • To increase line speed.

This project would be backed by Greater Anglia, Stanstad Airport, Cambridge and Transport for London.

If the lines out of Waterloo were upgraded, as I mentioned in the previously, there would then be the problem of creating the middle section of a Virtual Crossrail 2.

If an extension to Liverpool Street station were to be built as I indicated earlier to the North of the main line station beside Shoreditch High Street station, there could be at least three routes.

  • Crossrail to Bond Street and then the Jubilee Line.
  • East London Line to Canada Water and then the Jubilee Line.
  • Walk to the Waterloo and City Line.

Good design of the extra platforms might m,ake this work well!

Conversion From Virtual To Real Crossrail 2

The big problem is that those living close to the intermediate stations (Like me!), would not get a brand new railway.

This would need a tunnel to be bored from Tottenham Hale to Wimbledon, which could be delayed until it is really needed and the money can be raised.

There would be ways to cut the cost.

  • The line could be tunnel only and would not connect to surface railways.
  • There would be no station in Chelsea
  • An alternative Southern terminus for Crossrail 2 could be Clapham Junction, Balham or Tooting Broadway stations, but that would mean that Balham and/or Tooting didn’t get their station.
  • It could be created as a small-bore tube between Tottenham Hale and Wimbledon.

Consider the services to the possible Southern termini, if lines through Clapham Junction were to be upgraded with ATO.

  • Wimbledon could be getting 20 tph from Waterloo and 2 tph from Thameslink
  • Balham currently gets 12 tph from Victoria and a few other services.
  • Tooting Broadway will just get the Northern Line.

So it is Tooting Broadway that is in the greatest need of extra services.

If extra services are needed at Wimbledon or Balham, the capacity could be on the existing lines signalled under ATO, which could certainly handle 24 tph.

So would it be logical to not pass through Tooting Broadway station, but use it as the Southern terminal?

Or could a loop tunnel from Clapham Junction go through the following stations?

  • Wandsworth Common
  • Balham
  • Streatham Common
  • Tooting
  • Tooting Broadway and/or St. George’s Hospital
  • Earlsfield

The tunnel is probably too long to be single-track with single-platform stations, like the Loop under Liverpool on the Wirral Line.

But fast trains and good design of track and stations, might just make an affordable Crossrail 2 serving both Balham and Tooting Broadway.

Who knows?

I don’t!

But I have seen some crazy ideas work on my travels around the railways of Europe and we must not put limits on what we think is possible.

Conclusion

I shall be surprised if Crossrail 2 is built before 2040, as various projects and ATO will create enough capacity to push the line futher into the future.

December 28, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 4 Comments