The Anonymous Widower

It’s All Over Now, Waterloo!

As was planned, the former International platforms 21 to 24 are now closed and will remain so until the end of next year.

Note that Platform 20 is still open and can be accessed from a hole in the wall on Platform 19.

The platform closure is to allow the following to be done..

  • Access to the Underground to be finished.
  • Lifts to be added to the platforms.
  • The platforms to be completed.
  • Retail units to be added to the area.

Operationally, Waterloo station now seems to have at least the same amount of capacity as before the modifications started, but with the following changes.

  • Platforms 1 to 6 can now all take ten-car trains.
  • Access to the Underground has been improved on Platforms 1 to 4.
  • A more efficient track layout has been created tp Platforms 1 to 6.
  • The frequency of trains between Waterloo and Wimbledon has been increased.

There is still Platforms 21 to 24 to be added to the station to increase capacity.

South Western Railway’s Plans

In the September 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, there is a short article entitled Uplift In Windsor Line Capacity.

South Western Railway are proposing to make two major timetable changes in December 2018 and December 2020.

The first will see the following changes.

  • Waterloo to Reading services updated from two trains per hour (tph) to four tph.
  • Waterloo to Windsor services doubled to 4 tph.

They will be run by the new Class 707 trains.

This will be the first benefit of the Waterloo Upgrade.

As Waterloo handles about forty tph at present, this represents a ten percent capacity upgrade for trains.

The LaMiLo Project

I don’t know whether the new platforms or any others at Waterloo have been designed so that they can handle freight movements as in the LaMiLo Project, but you’d think it would be a good idea to make sure new platforms in major cities could handle parcel and pallet trains, where the goods will be collected and distributed by electric vehicles in the City Centre.

Conclusion

It appears that platforms 1 to 6 are now fully operational, although, I think that the lifts still need to be fitted.

So it seems that the doom mongers didn’t get this one right!

But the engineers and project managers seem to have done!

 

September 2, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – Waterloo To Sevenoaks

During this week Network Rail are working on the OverJubilee or the lines between London Bridge, Waterloo East and Charing Cross, so capacity from places like Sevenoaks station is reduced.

To compensate Southeastern are running a two trains per hour (tph) service between Sevenoaks and Platform 22 at Waterloo station.

  • One train goes to Dover Priory station and the other goes to Ramsgate station.
  • The trains take the old Eurostar route into Waterloo station over the Waterloo Curve or the Nine Elms Flyover.

So I thought I’d have a look, hoping to perhaps have a lunch in Sevenoaks.

These are a few pictures I took.

There would have been more, but it was chucking it down and the ones I took were terrible.

The Linford Street Junction And The Waterloo Curve

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the Linford Street Junction and the Waterloo Curve.

The Junction and the Curve are used by trains to connect from Waterloo in the North East, to the lines from Victoria that go across South London via Denmark Hill and Peckham Rye stations.

Note how the train going into Waterloo and the train coming out passed on the flyover. I assume this was for safety so that trains could leave and join the lines to Victoria at Linford Street Junction.

These pictures of the flyover were taken on another journey to Clapham Junction station.

The flyover is recent and was built for Eurostar and completed in May 1993. There’s a page called Nine Elms Flyover on the Kent Rail website, which gives a detailed history of the flyover.

The Route Between Waterloo And Sevenoaks

The journey between Waterloo And Sevenoaks passed through the following stations without stopping.

  • Vauxhall
  • Wandsworth Road
  • Clapham High Street
  • Denmark Hill
  • Peckham Rye
  • Nunhead
  • Lewisham
  • Hither Green
  • Grove Park
  • Elmstead Woods
  • Chislehurst
  • Petts Wood
  • Orpington
  • Chelsfield
  • Knockholt
  • Dunton Green

From Lewisham station onwards the route is on the South Eastern Main Line.

Overall Impressions

The route seemed to work well, although between Waterloo and Lewisham, the train was rather slow, with a slight delay joining the lines out of Victoria.

The journey was timed at 47 minutes, with the fastest normal services between London and Sevenoaks being around ten minutes faster.

It certainly seems to be providing an extra two tph between London and Sevenoaks. In Eurostar days, it handled up to six tph.

I also suspect it could handle twelve-car trains, although my journey was in an eight-car train.

Future Developments Along The Route

There are going to be more developments to rail services along the route and also into Kent. Many will be driven, by the bidding for the new Southeastern Franchise.

Ashford International Station

In  Kent On The Cusp Of Change – Ashford Spurs, I talked about the completed upgrading of Ashford International station, so that more Eurostar and other Continental services can call.

As the station is going to get more Highspeed services, I can envisage some innovative ways to make more and better use of this station.

Bakerloo Line Extension To Lewisham

The Bakerloo Line Extension will provide passengers with the option of using the Underground from Lewisham to access Central and North London.

Brockley Lane Station

The Lewisham Line runs between Peckham Rye and Lewisham stations and is used by Southeastern trains from both Victoria and Waterloo.

There used to be a Brockley Lane station, where the route crosses the current London Overground’s East London Line, close to Brockley station.

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

According to the Department for Transport and the Transport for London rail prospectus report released in 2016, it has been listed as one of the Southeastern franchise planned improvements in the document entitled “New interchange at Brockley”, suggesting that there might be a case to reopen the station.

Creating an interchange here would certainly open up lots of travel opportunities.

It should be noted that Brockley station will from 2020, have a ten tph service to Canada Water and Whitechapel stations, with all their Crossrail and Underground connections.

Charing Cross Station

Charing Cross station is bursting at the seams, with typically fourteen and more trains in each hour.

This extract comes from Network’s Kent Route Study.

Charing Cross has just six 12-car platforms and Platforms 4, 5 and 6 are very narrow, leading to operational restrictions.

Class 465 units cannot operate in 12-car into these platforms and selective door operation is used on Class 375 units.

A major rebuild of the station could allow it to be extended south over the river, like Blackfriars, providing compliant platforms and greater passenger circulation.

At concept level, a new link to Waterloo from a southern entrance to Charing Cross may supersede Waterloo East allowing the station area to be used for  additional track capacity, but there are likely to be many issues with a project on this scale.

One of the many issues would be how to keep services running during the rebuild of the station.

I suspect that Waterloo could have a role to play in handling some of the services.

Fawkham Junction Link

In Kent On The Cusp Of Change – Fawkham Junction Link, I talked about the proposal to reopen the Fawkham Junction Link,  which was originally used to allow Eurostar trains to get to Waterloo station.

If this link were to be reopened, coupled with what has been happening between Waterloo and Sevenoaks, this would enable extra Southeastern HighSpeed services to Thanet to be run to either Victoria or Waterloo.

Victoria Station

Victoria station will periodically need work and might even be subject to a major upgrade project.

As with Charing Cross, I’m sure Waterloo could be used as an alternative terminus for a few trains.

Could Southeastern Services Into Waterloo Become Permanent? 

I suspect that as has been successfully shown this week, that it is a feasible proposition.

But whether it actually happens would be up to the train operators.

Consider.

  • Eurostar used to run a 6 tph service on this route.
  • A single well-designed platform can handle 4 tph.
  • The new platforms can handle twelve-car trains.

But most importantly, the train operators will have all the passenger data!

Conclusion

Southeastern and Network Rail have certainly shown it is possible to run a two tph service successfully between Sevenoaks and Waterloo.

If nothing else, it could prove to be a useful alternative route during engineering works or other diversions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 30, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – A First Trip Into Platform 1

I took these pictures as my train went from Clapham Junction into Platform 1 at Waterloo station.

It appears that if your train is going into Platforms 1  to 6, Platform 6 shows on the National Rail web site.

Then just outside the station, it appears that this changes to the actual pltform when it is allocated.

My train was actually held for a minute or two, whilst another train left the platform.

It all seems to happen very smoothly.

Despite the rain!

I certainly think that they’ll achieve their objective of running twenty-two trains per hour into platforms 1 to 6.

 

 

Note how in this display from about 16:00.

  1. There are still quite a few delayed and cancelled trains due to the overrunning engineering work.
  2. Platforms 1 to 4 and 6 have a departure.
  3. Platforms 20-24 don’t appear. in the display.

It appears that a lot of the objectives have been completed.

August 30, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – A First Trip Out Of Platform 4

I took these pictures as my train left Platform 4.

It does seem that most of Platforms 1 to 6 have been seen in the Departures display.

 

Note how in this display from about 16:00.

  1. There are still quite a few delayed and cancelled trains due to the overrunning engineering work.
  2. Platforms 1 to 4 and 6 have a departure.
  3. Platforms 20-24 don’t appear. in the display.

It appears that a lot of the objectives have been completed.

August 29, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – 28th August 2017

I took a quick trip to Waterloo station and took these pictures from a train departing from Platform 19.

There certainly seems to be less piles of track and other construction materials.

August 29, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – A Progress Report From London Reconnections

This article on London Reconnections is entitled Back to the Future: (Re)lengthening and Shortening at Waterloo.

It describes in detail why and how the platforms at Waterloo station are being lengthened and shortened and information on other important topics can be gleaned.

Why Did The Train Hit The Barrier Train?

It doesn’t actually say why, but it does discuss the need for the barrier train to protect the workforce. As the train hit the barrier train, it seemed to have worked.

If you want to know more, I suggest you search for barrier in the comments added to the article by others. If nothing, you’ll realise there’s a lot to go wrong.

Why Weren’t The International Platforms Used Earlier?

The platforms were designed to handle six trains per hour (tph) with a long dwell time in the platform and after modification they will handle 18 tph for the Windsor Lines. So a lot of serious work was needed!

There was also complicated ownership of the five platforms.

Looking at it from a planning point of view, the provision of a terminal for Eurostar in London could have been handled better.

Why Are The International Platforms Only Being Used For A Few Weeks And Then Reopening in 2018?

The platforms are needed for this August’s blockade, but there is still a lot of work to do.

Effectively, the remodelling of the International Platforms have been almost split into two independent projects.

I like the way they’ve done this.

How Will Suburban Capacity Change?

In addition to the five platforms in the old International station, platforms 1-6 will also be remodelled for suburban use.

Currently, the slow lines through Wimbledon can handle 18-19 tph into four platforms.

After completion . these same slow lines will handle 22 tph, but they will have the use of two extra platforms.

In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I showed that if you were running 4 tph on the four branches  to Chessington South, Epsom, Hampton Court and Shepperton, which will transfer to Crossrail 2, then you need.

  • New 100 mph trains.
  • A capacity of 20 tph between Waterloo and Wimbledon.

Both these conditions will be met.

How Will The Passenger Experience At Waterloo Change?

Read the article and there are some snippets in there, that give me hope, that passengers will like it. See what you think!

Conclusion

It is a highly intricate and difficult project, that will be performed in a short time.

 

 

August 27, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – 18th August 2017

I took a train to and  from Waterloo to Woking today, so that I could take pictures of the Platform 1 to 8 works at Waterloo and to have lunch at a branch of Carluccio’s, which is close to the Woking station.

I went out on a train from Platform 11, but unfortunately, the train came back into Platform 14.

August 18, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | 2 Comments

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – Timelapse Video Of Platforms 1-4 At Waterloo Station

This video dates from the 14th August 2017.

The story seems to have gone rather quiet.

There are these possible explanations.

  • Everybody is getting through the station without any trouble.
  • It was so bad on the first day, everybody has given up.
  • The upgrade has finished and everything is running normally.

Or it could just be that it’s all going well and good news doesn’t sell newspapers!

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

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – Walking Between Wandsworth Common And Clapham Junction Stations

These pictures show my walk this morning.

These are my thoughts on the various things I saw! Or in some cases didn’t!

Wandsworth Common Station

Wandsworth Common station is a curious station in some ways, as it certainly wouldn’t be built in the middle of Wandsworth Common in these conservation-minded days.

It also has an eleven trains per hour (tph) frequency to the next stations; Balham and Clapham Junction. Some trains take as little as two or three minutes.

Passenger numbers in 2015-16 at the three stations are as follows.

  • Balham – 10,115,000
  • Wandsworth Common – 1,690,000
  • Clapham Junction – 32,282,000

Wandsworth Common station would appear to be just an overflow station to take pressure from the other two much busier stations.

In the Gibbs Report, one of the things that Chris Gibbs says is that there are too many Off Peak services.

Surely four or six tph stopping at Wandsworth Common station is enough, given that there’s only 24 parking spaces and bus stops are 450 yards away.

Currently, there are six tph between Victoria and West Croydon stations and all stop at Wandsworth Common station, with the fastest journeys  taking thirty two minutes.

There are also six tph between Wandsworth Common and Norbury.

Surely on both these services stops can be eliminated, which would save a couple of minutes per stop.

Timing the trains for something like a Class 377 train and using a more efficient stopping pattern, might reduce timings between Victoria and West Croydon to under thirty minutes, which must help Southern to run a better service.

But would the good burghers of Wandsworth allow the simplification, even if it became a faster service?

The Cat’s Back Bridge

The Cat’s Back Bridge is a pedestrian bridge across the railway to the North of Wandsworth Common station.

The replacement of this bridge is described in this article on Rail Engineer, which is entitled A Trio Of Southern Bridges.

The article has some clear before and after pictures taken from the railway.

Wandsworth Seems An Information-Free Borough

Walking from the bridge to Clapham Junction station might have been quicker, if there had been some maps or information.

Perhaps, Wandsworth doesn’t welcome walkers!

At least I found a couple of helpful policemen!

Breakfast At Revolution

I had a hearty gluten-free breakfast at a bar-restaurant called Revolution in Clapham.

Incidentally, Clapham surprised me with the quality of the shops.

There were also a couple of interesting cafes, including one that was gluten-free and vegan called Without.

Clapham Junction Station And The Waterloo Upgrade

Again there was a lack of information.

Plenty of helpful Customer Service personnel were in attendance at the station, but some better signage was needed, for those unfamiliar with the station.

Conclusion

Wandsworth Council need to get their act together with regard to information.

I live in Hackney and the maps are so much better!

August 8, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

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