The Anonymous Widower

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

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – Waterloo’s Wide Platforms

These pictures compare the platforms at Waterloo station.

The pictures are shown in increasing platform number order.

Platforms 5 to 14 are in the old part of the station, which was opened in 1922, whilst Platforms 20 to 24 are in the former International station.

Surprisingly, the platforms in the old part of the station seem to be fairly generous in width compared to say those in other London terminals.

They are not much narrower than those built for Eurostar in 1994.

Note that it appears that the old platforms have around five to seven gates per platform, as the space allows, whereas the new ones have thirty gates for the five platforms.

As gates are reversible, that surely is enough to cope with the Peak, especially as there is a mid-platform entrance/exit on some platforms to the Underground.

I suspect the platforms can cope with a whole battalion of guardsmen complete with full kit, all arriving at the same time!

August 8, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – Was It Alright On The Day?

This article in the Standard had a headline of Waterloo station upgrade: Furious commuters hit out at ‘shambolic’ queues on first weekday of major works.

This article on the BBC had a headline of Waterloo station: Stations quiet after upgrade warnings.

This article on the Independent had a headline of Waterloo station upgrade: Passengers report trains better than normal despite predictions of ‘month of chaos’.

There certainly isn’t lots of interviews on the BBC this morning with irate passengers.

This was the first paragraph from the Independent.

Commuters reported easier journeys than normal on train lines into London Waterloo on Monday morning as some passengers apparently took alternative routes or worked from home to avoid a predicted “month of chaos”.

But I think that Network Rail and South West Trains must have got it more or less right.

London thought they would have a problem during the 2012 Olympics and Transport for London flooded the streets and stations with extra staff to help passengers.

And it worked!

Network Rail and South West Trains have done the same, at least at Waterloo.

And it seems to be working!

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

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – Feltham Station

I took these pictures at Feltham station.

Feltham station is a particular problem, as the level crossing has to be closed.

At present it is closed for preliminary works to take place, so that it can be permanently closed.

This page on the Hounslow Council web site gives more details.

August 6, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – 5th August 2017

It’s all change at Waterloo station with Platforms 20 to 24 open for business.

I think what has been revealed today is an excellent stop-gap to allow platforms 1 to 9 to be extended.

  • Network Rail and South West Trains are also to be congratulated on putting a large number of informed staff on the platforms to answer passegers’ questions.
  • With luck too, the vast open spaces around platform 20 to 24 will help to calm passengers.
  • But they weren’t lucky in that everything was disrupted by a signal failure early in the day.

If I have any criticism it is over the length of time it has taken to get these platforms open.

The International platforms were closed about the time my wife died in December 2007.

That closure has just been too long.

Passenger And Train Capacity

From what I saw today, Network Rail have opened five new platforms numbered 20 to 24, with the following features.

  • The ability to handle twelve-car trains.
  • Wide platforms for large numbers of passengers.
  • A new very wide gate line.
  • Lots of natural light and fresh air.

Passengers will wish all stations could be this good.

Just imagine five packed commuter trains arriving at those new platforms at around the same time.

  • Each pair of new five-car Class 707 train can hold just over sixteen hundred passengers.
  • A ten-car Class 720 train, which must be similar to South Western Railway’s new trains can hold around fifteen hundred passengers.

So can the platforms, gates and concourse handle all those passengers?

As the flow of passengers seems straight down wide platforms and into the Underground or out of the station through the Victory Arch, I suspect that the station has been designed to handle the greatest number of passengers, the trains can deliver.

With Crossrail, the stations at Shenfield and Abbey Wood will be handling twelve trains per hour (tph) in a two platform layout or 6 tph at each platform.

I suspect that the signalling and track layout at platforms 20-24 at Waterloo station, is such that each platform can handle at least four tph and possibly the six, that will be achieved at Shenfield and Abbey Wood.

If they can handle six, that is an unbelievable thirty tph.

This figure is probably way in excess of other capacity constraints in the complex rail network out of Waterloo, but at least platform capacity won’t be a constraint on growth in the future.

But four tph on each platform, would give a theoretical capacity of twenty tph or around thirty thousand passengers per hour. That is a massive increase in the capacity of the station.

It has to be taken into account, that part of the Waterloo Upgrade for August 2017 is lengthening Platforms 1 to 4 at the station and improving the track layout for the lower-numbered platforms. Access to the Underground is also being improved at platforms 1 to 4.

Are Network Rail creating another high-capacity set of four platforms at the other end of the station?

What is happening at platforms 1 to 4 will be revealed at the end of the month.

Conclusion

The work has whetted my appetite as to what the station will eventually look like!

In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, 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.

  • More platform capacity at Waterloo.
  • 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?

The Class 707 trains will not be arriving, but high performance Aventras will.

This August’s Upgrade will certainly make substantial increases in service frequencies and passenger capacity possible.

August 5, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – Virginia Water Station

I took these pictures at Virginia Water station.

The station was updated a few years ago, but the platforms have been lengthened to twelve-car platforms, as part of the August 2017 upgrade.

If the station has a problem, it is that the Waterloo to Reading Line and the Chertsey Branch, split on the Waterloo side of the station, so it would be impossible to have a ten-car train formed of two five-car units arrive in the station, with one departing on each line.

I suppose they could always split at Egham station, which has recently been updated with twelve-car platforms.

These two half-hourly services.

  • Waterloo to Guildford via Aldershot
  • Waterloo to Chertsey

Could be run by five-car trains, which ran as a ten-car train to Egham.

  • Both services would move from two to four trains per hour.
  • No extra train paths would be needed.

If the Class 707 trains can’t run a service like this, they’re history.

This Google Map shows Virginia Water station

Note that the scar of a chord that used to connect the Reading and Cherstey Lines can be seen South of the station.

Would it have any possibilities?

 

 

August 5, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – 4th August 2017

These pictures show everything ready for the start of the first partial closure of Waterloo station from tomorrow.

From tomorrow, the five platforms in the old International station will come into use until the 28th of August.

Note.

  • The piles of track ready to be used to reorganise the lines into Platforms 1 to 9.
  • The new destination board in front of Platforms 20 to 24.
  • The lowered concourse in front of Platform to 24, which will become retail units.

I shall be there in the morning.

August 4, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment