The Anonymous Widower

Could The Waterloo And City Line Have An Intermediate Station At Blackfriars?

The Waterloo and City Line between Bank and Waterloo stations, is London’s shortest Underground Line.

In the Wikipedia entry for the line, there is a section entitled A Blackfriars Station Proposed. This is said.

In 1934 the LPTB, which now operated most of the London Underground system, proposed that the Waterloo & City should have a new intermediate station at Blackfriars, connecting with the District line station there. They further proposed that the Waterloo & City line should be extended to Liverpool Street station and Shoreditch, the trains there continuing over the East London Railway to New Cross and New Cross Gate. It is not clear whether the scheme had been costed, but nothing came of it.

So have things changed since 1934?

The Problem Of An Intermediate Station

The line is only a mile and a half long and trains take about three minutes to go from end-to-end.

Even allowing for the turn-round time at each end of the route, it must be very difficult with the current rolling stock to accommodate the time needed for an intermediate station.

Thameslink Has Been Built

Thameslink didn’t exist in the 1930s and when it is completed, there will be 24 trains per hour (tph) passing through Blackfriars station.


  • The Thameslink frequency could increase to 30 tph.
  • How many Thameslink passengers want to go to Bank and Waterloo stations?
  • Blackfriars station is fully step-free.

I certainly think, that a Blackfriars station on Thameslink would be used by passengers.

Trains Can Be Fully Automated

As a Control Engineer, I believe that with the right automation, that capacity on the line can be increased.

I know the Unions attitude to driverless trains, but if ever there was a line, that would benefit, it is the Waterloo and City Line.

Perhaps, the driving position should be in the middle of the train, so the driver wouldn’t have to change ends and drove the train using CCTV.

New Trains Are Coming

London Underground has a plan to renew a lot of the trains, starting with the Piccadilly Line.

These trains will have the following characteristics.

  • Walk-through cars.
  • Shorter stopping times at station.
  • Improved performance.
  • Air-conditioning and other improved passenger features.

Would these trains and improved signalling enable an intermediate stop at Blackfriars to be added to be added to the line?


I obviously haven’t seen Transport for London’s figures, but I’m sure, there will come a time, when an intermediate station at Blackfriars will be a project worth doing.





March 12, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The Massive Bank Station Upgrade Is Running Behind Schedule And Over Budget

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

The hefty upgrade work on Bank station is set to be completed later than planned, and over budget, according to new papers from Transport for London (TfL).

TfL said in its recent investment programme report that final costs for the revamp at Bank are set to be £642m, £19m higher than the £623m originally forecast. That covers a capacity boost and systems integration upgrade at the station.

Other facts can be gleaned from the article.

  • Overall works will now finish in 2022 instead of the original date of late 2021.
  • £322m has been spent so far.
  • Opening of the new entrance to the Waterloo and City Line has been put back from January to March next year because of problems of obtaining fire doors with the correct specifications.
  • Problems have been found with digging the 00 metres of new tunnels.;

At least though, the contractors seem to be keeping all the lines open, as they carry out this most complex of projects in the heart of the City of London.

Once the station is completed, it will be interesting to see how many billions of pounds worth of office space are built on top of the new Underground complex.


December 8, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.


  • 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.


  • 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


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 shows the lines North of Bank station.


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.


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 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.



  • 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 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.


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