The Anonymous Widower

New Bridge In Tottenham Marks The Beginning Of Restoring A Line Lost During The Beeching Era

The title of this post says it all and is the same as this article on Rail Professional.

Some might argue that Beeching got it wrong!

My feelings though are the politicians and British Rail managers of the day  generally didn’t have any vision about how the railways should be simplified to on the one hand save money and on the other perhaps create paths, cycleways and leisure facilities, for the good of everyone.

Harold Wilson’s view that everybody would have their own car and the railways were finished didn’t help either.

The Lea Valley was my childhood playground and I’d regularly cycle to the area. But unlike now, much was closed to the public.

This Google Map shows the location of the bridge.

Note.

  1. The railway line is the West Anglia Mail Line, running South from Tottenham Hale stations.
  2. The bridge carrying the Easter pair of tracks is being replaced.
  3. Tottenham South Junction is North of the bridge and the line going West is the Tottenham South Curve, that links the West Anglia Main Line to the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.
  4. The Markfield Beam Engine is to the West.
  5. The Walthamstow Wetlands are to the East.

The area will get even more complicated in the future, when Crossrail 2 is built.

These are various pictures of the bridge site, taken on different dates

The bridge will be an important link in the development of the railways in the area.

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

Could A Lea Valley Metro Be Created?

Crossrail 2 envisages these developments and level of service North along the Lea Valley.

Crossrail 2 also envisages that at Tottenham Hale station, the line will enter a tunnel for Central and South West London.

But there is an unused alternative terminal, that could handle perhaps 16 tph with modern signalling.

Look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr of the lines at Stratford.

Note the double-track  loop that encircles Stratford International station and goes through Platforms 11 and 12 at Stratford station.

Consider.

  • Loops like this can easily handle 12 tph, as they do in Liverpool with the Wirral Line.
  • Stratford is well-connected to the Central, Great Eastern Main, Jubilee and North London Lines, Crossrail and the Docklands Light Railway.
  • The Loop could be connected to Stratford International station for Southeastern Highspeed services.
  • There’s probably enough capacity to allow a couple of Stansted services to terminate in the loop.
  • There is a massive development going on at Meridian Water, where a new station is being built.
  • Liverpool Street station lacks capacity.

I can’t believe that a viable 12 tph service is not possible.

The major works would be as follows.

  • Four-tracking the West Anglia Main Line into two fast and two slow lines.
  • Making all stations step-free.
  • Removing the level crossings.
  • Creating a flyover at Coppermill Junction to connect the fast lines to Liverpool Street and prepare for Crossrail 2.

If Crossrail 2 is built in the future, the Metro service would be diverted into the central tunnel at Tottenham Hale station.

Integration With The London Overground

The Chingford, Cheshunt and Enfield Town services of the London Overground will not only offer alternative routes during the four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line, but they could be better connected to a Lea Valley Metro.

  • Tne Class 710 trains could enable four tph on each branch.
  • The Class 710 trains will enable faster services on each branch.
  • A reinstated Hall Farm Curve would connect Chingford and Walthamstow to Stratford.
  • Creation of a step-free Cheshunt station would ease transfer between the London Overground and the Lea Valley Metro.

The new trains will be key and may open up more possibilities.

Note too, that moving services to Stratford from Liverpool Street will release capacity at Liverpool Street, that will be well-used by Greater Anglia and London Overground.

Dear Old Vicky

She’s always there when you need her and engineers keep coming up with ways to keep the Victoria Line giving more.

Currently, the frequency of trains between Walthamstow Central and Brixton is 36 tph.

I can’t believe that the engineers working on the line, don’t want to squeeze another four tph out of her, to achieve the fabulous forty.

This might be possible with the trains, tracks and signalling, but the problem is the capacity of some of the 1960s-built stations.

  • Many stations have an empty space, where a third escalator could be.
  • Lifts are few and far between.
  • Some stations don’t have ceilings in the platform tunnels.

These stations could be improved.

Walthamstow Central Station

Walthamstow Central station gets desperate in the Peak, but it could be given a third escalator, a second entrance at the other end of the platforms and a much better step-free connection to the Chingford Branch of the Overground.

Blackhorse Road Station

Blackhorse Road station could be finished and given a third escalator to cope with the extra passengers that will transfer to and from an electrified Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

Tottenham Hale Station

Tottenham Hale station is being rebuilt to increase capacity. Will it get the missing third escalator and ceilings?

Seven Sisters Station

Seven Sisters station will be a Crossrail 2 station and will need updating to cope with an expected eight tph on the Overground.  Expect a major project here.

Finsbury Park Station

Finsbury Park station is one of London’s stations designed by Topsy. Improvements are underway to cope with the extra passengers from Thameslink and an upgraded Northern City Line.

Highbury and Islington Station

Highbury and Islington station suffered worst at the hands of the Nazis and 1960s cost cutting, when the Victoria Line was built. This made it one of London’s worst stations.

However help is at hand.

  • Plans are being prepared for a second entrance to the station on the other side of the Holloway Road.
  • The frequency on the Northern City Line is being upgraded to twelve tph with new larger capacity Class 717 trains.
  • There is space for a third escalator to be added to connect the Overgriound with the deep-level Victoria and Northern City Lines.

It should be born in mind, that Highbury and Islington station is busier than either Manchester Piccadilly or Edinburgh Waverley stations.

But with an upgrade, because it has cross-platform interchange between the Victoria and Northern City Lines, it could be an upgrade that increases the passenger capacity of the Victoria Line.

Euston Station

Euston station will be upgrqaded for HS2.

Oxford Circus Station

Oxford Circus station is desperately in need of more capacity, especially as there will be an upgrade to the Bakerloo Line in the future.

The opportunity at Oxford Circus is that some of the buildings around the junction are tired and some probably need to be replaced.

So will we see a development like Bloomberg Place, that will create a new entrance to Bank station, at Oxford Circus?

Could it also have an subterranean connection to Crossrail’s Hanover Square entrance for Bond Street station?

Victoria Station

Victoria station is in the process of being upgraded.

It certainly appears to be a case of so far so good!

South Of The River

Vauxhall and Brixton stations have rather undeveloped interchanges with the National Rail lines and these could surely be improved.

Under Possible Future Projects in the Wikipedia entry for the Victoria Line, this is said.

For many years there have been proposals to extend the line one stop southwards from Brixton to Herne Hill. Herne Hill station would be on a large reversing loop with one platform. This would remove a critical capacity restriction by eliminating the need for trains to reverse at Brixton. The Mayor of London’s 2020 Vision, published in 2013, proposed extending the Victoria line “out beyond Brixton” by 2030.

This would surely be the last upgrade to squeeze even more out of Dear Old Vicky.

Conclusion

A Lea Valley Metro can be created and eventually, it can be the Northern leg of Crossrail 2.

Before Crossrail 2 is completed, it will have great help in the following ways.

  • In North East London from the London Overground.
  • Across London from the Victoria Line.

Don’t underestimate how Crossrail and an updated Northern City Line will contribute.

 

 

 

 

September 29, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Harlow Council Leader Jon Clempner Hopes Crossrail 2 Will Extend To Town

The title of this post is the same as this article in Essex Live.

You might feel that Jon Clempner has a point, if you look at this diagram of the West Anglia Main Line between the M25 and Stansted Airport.

Note that Harlow Town station is only five and a half miles North of Crossrail 2’s proposed terminal of Broxbourne.

Greater Anglia’s New Trains

Greater Anglia are replacing ten twelve-car Class 379 trains on Cambridge and Stansted Airport services with ten twelve-car Class 745 trains.

You might ask why bother with this replacement, if the number of trains and carriages are the same, which initially will result in the same number of services.

I answer that question in  Why Are Greater Anglia Replacing Class 379 Trains With New Stadler Class 745 Trains?

But this doesn’t mean the current frequency is cast in stone, as the other fleet of Class 720 trains have a similar performance to the Class 745 and 755 trains, so they can mix it on the West Anglia Main Line.

I feel that all the trains would have these features.

  • Trains would be fitted with the latest signalling, so they could work with headways between trains as low as two or three minutes.
  • Trains will all be 100 mph trains or faster.
  • Trains would be designed to stop and restart at a station very quickly.
  • Trains could couple and decouple to make a longer train in a couple of minutes.

They will offer lots of opportunities to improve services.

The Current Service North Of Broxbourne

These current services stop at Broxbourne station in both directions..

  • One train per hour (tph) between Cambridge and London Liverpool Street – fast – stopping at Bishops Stortford and Hsrlow Town
  • One tph between Cambridge and London Liverpool Street – semi-fast – stopping at Stansted Mountfichet, Bishops Stortford, Sawbridgeworth, Harlow Mill, Harlow Town and Roydon
  • One tph between Stratford and Bishops Stortford – local stopping at Roydon, Harlow Town, Harlow Mill and Sawbridgeworth
  • One tph between Stratford and Bishops Stortford – local stopping at Harlow Town and Sawbridgeworth
  • Two tph between Hertford East and London Liverpool Street

In addition, there are four tph between Stansted Airport and London Liverpool Street (Stansted Express).

This means that the frequency of trains through various stations are as follows.

  • Broxbourne – 10 tph – Six stop (not Stansted Express)
  • Harlow Town – 8 tph – Four stop and some Stansted Express stop
  • Bishops Stortford – 8 tph – Two stop, two terminate and some Stansted Express stop.

So there is a maximum of ten tph or just one train every six minutes at Brombourne.

Given that Crossrail and Thameslink handle twenty-four tph through their central tunnels, eight tph is not very high!

Crossrail 2 At Broxbourne

Crossrail 2 will have its own dedicated tracks between London and Broxbourne and could be running twelve tph.

So if there were to be cross-platform interchange between the North of Broxbourne services and Crossrail 2, passengers could change between services as they needed.

The trains going North of Broxborne would be as follows.

  • 2 tph to Cambridge or Cambridge North
  • 2 tph to Bishops Stortford
  • 2 tph to Hertford East.
  • 4 tph to Stansted Airport

There would be a lot of scope to create an efficient service between all stations on the West Anglia Main Line and the two london termini of Liverpool Street and Stratford.

The Hertford East Branch

The Hertford East Branch isn’t a problem now, but the two tph between Liverpool Street and Hertford East station take up valuable paths on the lines to London.

The branch also has the following characteristics.

  • The platforms may not be long enough for ten-car Class 720 trains.
  • It is mainly double-track with a short length of single-track through Ware station.
  • It is fully electrified.
  • It is just seven miles long.
  • It might be possible to add a chord so that trains can access the branch from the Harlow direction from the West Anglian Main Line.

I suspect Network Rail and Greater Anglia have a plan with at least the following objectives.

  1. Keep a direct service between London Liverpool Street and Hertford East.
  2. Increase the frequency of trains to and from Hertford East to four tph.
  3. Avoid as much infrastructure work as possible.

Because of the new trains ability to couple and uncouple, I wonder if we could see two five-car Class 720 trains arrive at Broxbourne as a ten-car unit, with one train going to Hertford East and the other going to Bishops Stortford.

This would have the following advantages.

  • Hertford East gets four tph, including two new tph from Stratford.
  • Bishops Stortford get four tph, including two new tph from Liverpool Street,
  • Two tph could serve each of the London termini of Liverpool Street and Stratford.
  • The number of trains along the West Anglia Main Line between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne is unchanged.
  • Hsrlow Town and Sawbridgworth  get another two tph to Liverpool Street.

I’m probably wrong, but there will be a better idea somewhere.

Conclusion

Crossrail 2 doesn’t need to go to Harlow Town, but Greater Anglia’s new trains should give a better service.

 

August 3, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Extra Track Up The Lea Valley

Yesterday, Network Rail released this document on their web site, which is entitled Extra track to be installed in Lee Valley this autumn for a bigger and better railway.

This is the opening sentence.

Work to build a new track between Stratford and Angel Road is being stepped up this autumn as part of the £170m Lee Valley Rail Programme to increase services and boost local regeneration.

Network Rail will carry out the following work as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan:

  • Strengthening the River Lea rail bridge near Tottenham Hale to support the new third track
  • Installing foundations for the new overhead line structures to provide power for trains using the third track
  • Installing foundations for the new island platform and footbridge at Tottenham Hale station to help people move around the station easier
  • Installing foundations for a new island platform at Northumberland Park to allow access to trains that will use the new track
  • To make the most of the closure, track will also be renewed near Lea Bridge station as part of the track renewals programme

It certainly makes my pictures clearer.

I took these pictures yesterday.

Note.

  1. The current platform 1 at Tottenham Hale station will be turned into an island platform.
  2. It will be tight to squeeze everything in at Tottenham Hale.
  3. It looks like the space for the track between Tottenham Hale and Angel Road stations has been cleared.
  4. The current platform 1 at Northumberland Park station will be turned into an island platform.
  5. The level crossing at Northumberland Park station has been closed.

It would appear a good start has been made.

This Google Map shows the footbridge that goes over the tracks and the Victoria Line Depot.

Note that when it comes to squeezing in a fourth track, there is more space than first appears.

 

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

Musings On The West Anglia Main Line

The West Anglia Main Line is the main railway between Liverpool Street station in the City of London and the Scientific Powerhouse of Cambridge via Stansred Airport.

This post started off as The Mother Of All Level Crossing Jams, when I got caught in a jam caused by the level crossing at Enfield Lock station.

It has since grown into a long post of the inadequacies of this important main line.

The Mother Of All Level Crossing Jams

These are pictures I took at Enfield Lock station in mid-morning.

I had arrived at the station at 11:04 and my train had departed on its way at 11:08.

I was in no hurry taking the pictures and I left at 11:22 after eight trains had gone through, without the gates being raised.

In two of the pictures, you can see a discarded broken gate. Was it caused by an irate motorist?

After I got back to the station, the barriers were still going up and down like a whore’s drawers and talking to a fellow passenger, she said it happens all the time.

Improving The West Anglia Main Line

Consider the following, which could effect what happens in the future.

  • Stansted Airport, Greater Anglia, Transport for London, the London Borough of Enfield, Cambridge City Council and the local MPs, all want the line to be four-tracked so that services to Cambridge and Stansted Airport can have their own dedicated fast lines.
  • ,Greater Anglia have ordered lots of new trains and I suspect they want to run much-needed extra services into both Stratford and Liverpool Street stations.
  • Enfield Lock could be a Crossrail 2 station in ten years or so.
  • Crossrail 2 would want to run up to twelve trains per hour (tph).

It is a certainly a case of squeezing a couple of gallons into a pint pot.

Enfield Lock And Brimsdown

To make matters worse there is another equally congested level crossing at the next station to the South; Brimsdown.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. Enfield Lock station is in the North West corner of the map, with Brimsdown in the South West corner.
  2. Mollinson Avenue, which tracks along the railway to its East, is nearly all dual carriageway.
  3. These is a lot of industrial premises in the area.
  4. There are a lot of distribution depots that need road access for heavy trucks.
  5. It is going to use all the ingenuity that Network Rail can muster to squeeze two extra tracks between those two stations.

If ever there was an area that needs an increased rail service it is this stretch of the West Anglia Main Line between Tottenham Hale and Cheshunt stations.

Improving The Lea Valley Lines

I suspect that British Rail foresaw the problem in the 1950s, as by 1960, they had electrified all the Lea Valley Lines including the goods-only Southbury Loop, which is now part of the London Overground, who run two tph on the route.

Both London Overground and Greater Anglia are getting new Aventra trains, which should increase the capacity and speed up services on both routes.

However, this could create a problem, in that they are such good trains, they may persuade more commuters to leave their cars at home and take the trains.

More Frequent Services

London Overground like to run four tph on their various routes.

At present, their Lea Valley services are as follows.

  • 4 tph from Liverpool Street to Chingford.
  • 2 tph from Liverpool Street to Enfield Town, with more services in the Peak and when Spurs are playing at home.
  • 2 tph from Liverpool Street to Cheshunt.

I suspect that they would like to run four tph all day and that after Crossrail opens and releases some platforms at Liverpool Street, this might happen.

However in Increased Frequencies On The East London Line, I publish a table, which says that from 2019, Enfield Town will get four tph.

Greater Anglia must be looking to improve services on the West Anglia Main Line, so that all stations South of Broxbourne get four tph, with perhaps two tph to each of  Liverpool Street and Stratford.

And then there’s STAR, which is a new service between Stratford and Angel Road stations. This article on IanVisits, which is entitled One of London’s quietest train stations set for major upgrade, gives a good explanation of this service, which will provide four tph between Stratford and a rebuilt Angel Road station, which will be renamed Meridian Water.

More Terminal Capacity In London

Adding these services together, I feel that  more capacity is needed at the London terminals of Liverpool Street and Stratford.

There are two short term solutions and one long term one.

Create More Capacity At Liverpool Street

This is the simplest short-term solution.

In the Wikipedia entry for Liverpool Street station, this is said.

Once Crossrail opens, platform 18 at the main Liverpool Street station will be decommissioned to allow platforms 16 and 17 to be extended, enabling them to accommodate longer trains.

I would assume this platform-lengthening is to accommodate the full-length Class 345 trains, that will run the Peak Hour service between Liverpool Street and Gidea Park stations.

I suppose too, having two platforms in Liverpool Street, that are capable of handling Crossrail trains must also be useful in special or exceptional circumstances.

Platform 18 is a curiosity, in that it is used by c2c as a diversion platform, when Fenchurch Street station is closed because of engineering works.

So after the work on platforms 16 and 17 is complete, will it be recommissioned?

That leaves fifteen platforms for Greater Anglia and London Overground to argue over.

If you compare the way Liverpool Street is organised compared to some more modern stations, I suspect that more modern trains can be handled without any expensive modifications to the existing station.

Modern practice means that a single platform can easily handle four tph, so as destinations like Norwich and Southend will only have three tph, could it mean that these destinations can be served by a single platform?

It would certainly make it easy for me, if I knew the fast Ipswich trains always left from platform 9.

I suspect that as London Overground has only three destinations; Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town, whiich have a maximum frequency of four tph, that they could easily manage with four platforms; one for each destination and a spare.

This would give Greater Anglia eleven platforms.

Note this about Greater Anglia’s new trains.

  • The Class 745 trains will be of a fixed formation of twelve cars.
  • Will the three-car and four-car Class 755 trains have the ability to join and split automatically?
  • Will the five-car Class 720 trains have the ability to join and split automatically?

Having seen how Class 395 trains and others can do this in under a couple of minutes and the flexibility of destinations it gives, I will be very surprised if Greater Anglia haven’t specified this capability.

  • As an example, two four-car Class 755 trains could start at Lowestoft and Bury St. Edmunds respectively and then join at Ipswich, before proceeding to London as an eight-car train.
  • Would it be sensible that all trains go into Liverpool Street at maximum length?
  • Trains might split and join at Ipswich, Colchester and perhaps Chelmsford. All that is needed is a long platform.

Perhaps Greater Anglia’s platforms at Liverpool Street could be allocated something like this.

For Flirts (Class 745 and Class 755)

  • Norwich
  • Ipswich/Lowestoft
  • Stansted Airport
  • Cambridge

For Aventras (Class 720)

  • Bishops Stordford/Broxbourne/Hertford East
  • Colchester/Harwich
  • Clacton/Walton
  • Chelmsford/Braintree
  • Southend

On this rough assessment, it would appear that at least for a few years Liverpool Street station could cope.

Developing Stratford As A Second Terminal

Consider these facts about the railway hub at Stratford.

  • Stratford has not been fully developed as a terminal for the West Anglia routes and only handles two tph to and from Bishops Stortford.
  • Stratford has two platforms 11 and 12, that were built to serve the West Anglia routes; the West Anglia Main Line and the Lea Valley Lines.
  • Platforms 11 and 12 are on the High Meads Loop, which would reverse the trains on West Anglia routes.
  • Stratford is well connected to Crossrail, Central and Jubilee Lines of the Underground, the DLR, the Overground , Highspeed services to Kent and Greater Anglia services on the Great Eastern Main Line.
  • Stratford has better connections than Liverpool Street to London Bridge and Waterloo
  • Stratford could have excellent connections to Highspeed services to Kent and Continental services at Ashford International.
  • Stratford will be only a few minutes from Liverpool Street on Crossrail.

Stratford is also a destination in its own right, with the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the massive shopping complex.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the complex at Stratford.

It is very much capable of development.

  • Better connections could be made between Stratford International and the main station.
  • The subways in the complex could be improved.
  • The Hall Farm Curve could be reinstated to give direct connections between Stratford and Walthamstow/Chingford.

I would not be surprised if Greater Anglia increased their services to and from Stratford.

I could also envisage a timetable, where trains alternate between the two terminals., as every passenger will have their favoured terninal.

Crossrail 2

Crossrail 2 is the long-term solution.

Upwards of ten tph will run between Broxbourne and Tottenham Hale, before entering the tunnel to Central and South West London.

It will obviously handle all the local services South of Broxbourne, with just the services from the North continuing to Liverpool Street and Stratford.

Following Abbey Wood, Reading and Shenfield stations on Crossrail, I think that we would see Broxbourne station developed as a simple interchange between longer distance services and Crossrail 2.

Both services would have their own tracks to London.

Conclusion

The West Anglia Main Line urgently needs improvement and this improvement can be broken down into a series of smaller projects, the first three of which have already started and could be completed by 2020.

  1. Creation of STAR – The Stratford-Angel Road Metro – Already started.
  2. Building of new Meridian Water station to replace Angel Road station – Already started.
  3. Rebuilding of Tottenham Hale station – Already started.
  4. Post-Crossrail Improvements at Liverpool Street and Stratford stations.
  5. Removal of level crossings at Brimsdown, Enfield Lock and Waltham Cross
  6. Four-tracking between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.
  7. Step-Free Stations
  8. Reinstatement of the Hall Farm Curve.

These projects will also get the main line Crossrail 2-ready.

This process has already started with the creation of STAR, which will create a third track as far as Angel Road station. In the article on IanVisits, this is said.

Along the tracks nearby there are already hi-vis wearing Network Rail contractors clearing the land to prepare it for the Stratford to Angel Road (STAR) rail upgrade project which will see a third railway track added. Passive provision for a fourth track will be included for Crossrail 2.

This work has already closed the level crossing at Nothumberland Park station.

In Innovation In Railway Projects, I describe how Network Rail are aiming to create a pipeline of smaller projects.

I feel that some parts of the updating of the West Anglia Main Line can be done in this way.

 

 

 

August 1, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Every Picture Tells A Story!

The April 2017 Edition of Modern Railways has a picture of a  Crossrail Class 345 train on the High Meads Loop.

The main purpose of the High Meads Loop would appear to be to allow trains to go from Lea Bridge station through Platform 11 or 12 at Stratford station and then back to Lea Bridge without the driver changing cabs.

So what was the train doing?

  • I doubt it would have been running up the busy West Anglia Main Line, as even in the maddest scenarios, Crossrail will not be running there.
  • Could it have just been route proving on a line that other Aventras will use from 2018 or 2019?
  • Perhaps it was running to Broxbourne to assess performance for Crossrail 2.

But if it is was running on the High Meads Loop, as the picture caption says, was it testing that Aventras can be turned using the loop?

So could this mean that services from the  West Anglia Main Line terminating at Stratford will use the High Meads Loop rather than the Platforms 11 and 12.

Each of Platforms 11 and 12 could probably handle four trains per hour (tph), as is regularly handled by terminal platform on the London Overground.

But terminating in the High Meads loop, which would mean that all services would call at perhaps Platform 11 could give a capacity of upwards of 14 tph, as is the frequency on the Wirral Line on Merseyrail. But the Wirral Line was designed in the 1970s , so surely we can do better than that, as Crossrail and Thameslink will handle 24 tph and even the conventionally signalled East London Line will be handling 20 tph in 2019.

If it was 20 tph, this would mean that Platform 11 at Stratford could see a train every three minutes, possibly going to the following.

  • 4 tph to Walthamstow Central and Chingford via the Hall Farm Curve.
  • 8 tph to Broxborne
  • 2 tph to Hertford East
  • 2 tph to Bishops Stortford
  • 2 tph to Stansted Airport
  • 2 tph to Cambridge

In addition the following services could run from Liverpool Street.

  • 2 tph to Hertford East
  • 2 tph to Bishops Stortford
  • 2 tph to Stansted Airport
  • 2 tph to Cambridge

This sort of schedule would be possible given the following improvements and developments.

Signalling

Modern signalling as fitted to Crossrail and Thameslink is installed.

Stadler Flirts

Stadler probably have a good knowledge of the performance of the Flirts.

Current fastest timings are as follows.

  • Liverpool Street to Broxbourne – 25 minutes
  • Broxbourne to Cambridge – 45 minutes.

The Flirts will be faster than the current trains and will be optimised for a very fast stop at a station. So I do wonder what sort of times could be achieved between Bishops Stortford and Cambridge stopping at all stations.

Fast Lines To Broxbourne

Two separate non-stop fast lines will be built between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.

  • Cambridge and Stansted services take the fast line to Broxbourne.
  • All trains on the fast lines will be Stadler Flirts.
  • With fast line trains the first stop is Broxbourne.

The fast lines would also handle extra services from Liverpool Street, which might be 2 tph to each of Stansted Airport and Cambridge.

A summary of traffic on the fast lines between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne could be.

  • 2 tph – Liverpool Street and Cambridge
  • 2 tph – Stratford and Cambridge
  • 2 tph – Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport
  • 2 tph – Stratford and Stansted Airport

There is probably a few paths for other trains.

North Of Broxbourne

North of Broxbourne the service will be very much better than now.

  • What helps is that both the Flirts and the Aventras will be masters of the quick stop-start at a station.
  • Stansted services will probably go non-stop from Broxbourne..
  • Some Cambridge services will go non-stop and others will stop at all stations.

I think it can be arranged that all stations North of Broxbourne get 4 tph in both directions.

A summary of traffic on the lines between Broxbourne and Bishops Stortford could be.

  • 2 tph – Liverpool Street and Bishops Stortford
  • 2 tph – Stratford and Bishops Stortford
  • 2 tph – Liverpool Street and Cambridge
  • 2 tph – Stratford and Cambridge
  • 2 tph – Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport
  • 2 tph – Stratford and Stansted Airport

A summary of traffic on the lines between Bishops Stortford and Cambridge could be.

  • 2 tph – Liverpool Street and Cambridge
  • 2 tph – Stratford and Cambridge
  • 2 tph – Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport
  • 2 tph – Stratford and Stansted Airport

There would also be additional Stansted Airport to Cambridge services.

Slow Lines

The slow lines will be upgraded to be able to handle 16 tph stopping at all stations between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne, which they probably do now at times.

  • All trains on the slow lines are Aventras.
  • A second platform is built at Ware, as this would enable four tph to Hertford East.
  • Cross-platform interchange between slow and fast lines at Broxbourne.

A summary of traffic on the slow lines between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne could be.

  • 8 tph – Stratford to Broxborne
  • 2 tph – Straford to Hertford East
  • 2 tph – Stratford to Bishops Stortford
  • 2 tph – Liverpool Street to Hertford East
  • 2 tph – Liverpool Street to Bishops Stortford

Crossrail 2 is proposing a frequency of 12 tph North of Tottenham Hale, so my randomly-chosen frequency gives you that.

Liverpool Street

Liverpool Street station will become the terminus for the following.

  •  Great Eastern Main Line.
  • 2 tph to each of Bishops Stortford,, Cambridge, Hertford East and Stansted Airport.
  • London Overground setvices to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town.
  • Perhaps a few c2c services.

Given that Liverpool Street and Stratford are just eight minutes away on Crossrail, is there any reason to keep West Anglia Main Line services at Liverpool Street?

But then, there are others who know more about train scheduling than me and perhaps a good balance can be made between the two termini.

Stratford International Station

If Stratford services used the High Meads Loop, a connection could be built to Stratford International Station.

Crossrail 2

Crossrail 2-like frequencies would have been created between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.

All it would need to complete Crossrail 2 after the suburban services out of Waterloo have been upgraded this summer, is to build the Central Tunnel.

Conclusion

Using the High Meads Loop is a good plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

, Does that mean that Stansted and Cambridge services will be using Stratford as a terminal when Greater Anglia gets Aventras and Flirts?

 

Were they just seeing if it fits?

March 23, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – How Many Slow Services Will Go Through Tottenham Hale Station?

Currently there are the several slow trains on the West Anglia Main Line, running a rather complicated service to give most stations four tph.

The major services are.

  • 1 tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge.
  • 2 tph between Liverpool Street or Stratford and Hertford East.
  • 2 tph between Liverpool Street or |Stratford and Bishops Stortford.

Obviously in the Peak there is more, but four-five slow trains per hour through Tottenham Hale station to Broxbourne wouldn’t be far away from the overall frequency, if the fast trains are ignored.

Greater Anglia probably have plans to increase the frequencies.

February 26, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – How Many Fast Services Will Go Through Tottenham Hale Station?

Currently, there are the following fast trains.

  • 1 tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge.
  • 4 tph between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.

There is also 1 tph stopping train from Cambridge, which I found a pain, as like most people, I just wanted to get to and from London quickly.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this number increased to something like.

  • 4 tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge.
  • 4 tph between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.
  • 2 or 4 tph between Stratford and Stansted Airport.

This is only one train in every five or six minutes.

As Tottenham Hale to Broxbourne is about eleven miles, one of Stadler’s new trains going non-stop on a clear line would probably do the trip in around 8 minutes compared to the current fastest of about 19 minutes.

February 26, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

West Anglia Route Improvement

I have decided to bring all of my posts on the following subjects together under a tag of West Anglia Route Improvement.

  • STAR – The local Stratford-Tottenham-Angel Road service connecting the Meridian Water development to Tttenham Hale and Stratford stations.
  • Crossrail 2 along the Lea Valley.
  • Four tracking of the West Anglia Main Line between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.
  • Station Improvements between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.

I also suspect other subjects connected with the improvement of the West Anglia Main Line and other related rail routes will also be added.

 

February 26, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – Works Around Coppermill Junction And Along The West Anglia Main Line

There is a lot of work going on around Coppermill Junction and on the West Anglia Main Line between the junction and Northumberland Park station.

The map from carto.metro free.fr shows the lines around the junction.

Coppermill Junction

Coppermill Junction

Tottenham Hale station is on the West Anglia Main Line, which effectively starts and runs North West from Coppermill Junction.

In Rumours Of Curves In Walthamstow, I talked about how I’d heard rumours of the following.

  • The Hall Farm Curve would be reinstated as a single bi-directional track to allow rains to go between Stratford in the Soithe and Walthamstow and Chingford in the East.
  • The Coppermill Curve would be reinstated as a double-track curve to allow empty stock movements to Chingford, where there are several sidings.

There’s also the problem of Crossrail 2 going through the area, which will need a connection to the Central Tunnel and four-tracking of the West Anglia Main Line from Coppermill Junction North to Broxbourne station.

In the next few sections, I shall show the pictures I took this morning.

The Hall Farm Curve From The Chingford Branch

I took these pictures going between Clapton and St. James Street stations on the Chingford Branch Line.

Note how the area is quite large.

The work seems to have cleared all the old track, which in typical British Rail fashion seems to have been abandoned to the wildlife.

Tottenham Hale Station

I took these pictures around Tottenham Hale station.

There is quite a bit going on.

A helpful station man told me the following was happening.

  • Space is being created, so that two tracks can go through between the station and Hale Village.
  • The taxi rank in the forecourt of the station is being moved Northwards.
  • The current footbridge over the lines is going.
  • A new step-free footbridge is going to be built.

Effectively, there seems to be a cunning plan to rebuild the station around the working railway, which is confirmed in this document on the Transport for London web site. This is said about works on the bridge.

We plan to keep the station open during the work so that any potential disruption will be kept to a minimum.

That is a good start.

Obviously, the architects and engineers, who have designed the replacement station, but it does seem to me, that squeezing two tracks into the space behind Platform 2 at the station will need a very large and strong shoehorn.

From Tottenham Hale To Lea Bridge

I took these pictures between Tottenham Hale and Lea Bridge stations.

Note.

  • A new cable duct has certainly been installed.
  • The Hall Farm Curve has been cleared of rubbish and vintage track.
  • It also looks like the route of the replacement Coppermill Curve is being cleared through the scrub.
  • There didn’t appear to be any electrification piles or gantries.

I can’t believe Network Rail would clear the two curves unless they were going to reinstate them.

From Tottenham Hale To Enfield Lock

I took these pictures between Tottenham Hale and Enfield Lock stations.

Note.

  • It would appear that there is space to the East of the current two-track West Anglia Main Line to squeeze in two extra tracks.
  • There are level crossings at Northumberland Park, Brimsdown and Enfield Lock stations.
  • The quality of some of the buildings that would probably be demolished is best described as suspect.
  • Meridean Way, which runs alongside the railway from Angel Road Northwards is an inadequate highway.
  • I wonder how many people have booked the Premier Inn because it is close to Angel Road station, only to find that there are few trains.

I say more about the level crossings in Level Crossing Issues.

The Current Stations

These posts describe the current state of the stations between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne around the 22nd February 2017.

Northumberland Park Station

Ponders End Station

Brimsdown Station

Enfield Lock Station

Waltham Cross Station

Broxbourne Station

There are also some relevant related posts.

How Many Fast Services Will Go Through Tottenham Hale Station?

How Many Slow Services Will Go Through Tottenham Hale Station?

Level Crossing Issues

A Level Crossing Replacement Station

What Is STAR?

Hopefully, this will mean I can add content without making this post overly long.

What Frequency Will Crossrail 2 Trains Have On The West Anglia Main Line?

The Crossrail 2 entry on Wikipedia says this about the Northern Regional branches.

Running at between 10 and 15 trains per hour on new rails above ground, connected to a junction north of Dalston:

I can’t see any space being found for two new tracks and I don’t think Greater Anglia will want this number of trains mixing with their fast services, so I must assume that they will share the two slow lines to Broxbourne with Greater Anglia’s slow services.

What Will Be The Platform Layout At Tottenham Hale?

The station looks to be gaining two new lines on the East side of the station.

But will they be slow or fast lines?

My pictures show that it will be very tight to put new platforms on these lines, as there just isn’t enough space.

I have read the planning documents  on the Harringey Council web site for Tottenham Hale station and came to these conclusions.

  • There are no definite plans for a platform 3 and/or 4.
  • There is controversy about if they are built, as to if or when they will get lifts.
  • There is talk of starting STAR, which would provide four trains per hour (tph) between Stratford and Angel Road stations.

This page on the Crossrail 2 web site says this.

In order to accommodate Crossrail 2 services at Tottenham Hale, we would add at least one new platform and carry out other station improvement works too.

Wikipedia says that a third platform is being worked on.

I suspect that it could be necessary that fast services will stop at Tottenham Hale, to allow  passengers to change to and from services on the following lines.

  • Victoria Line
  • Crossrail 2
  • Local services to Liverpool Street.
  • Local services to Stratford.

It should also be born in mind, that Crossrail will call at both Stratford and Liverpool Street, s say you’re going shopping at Oxford Street, to work at anary Wharf or to New York via Heathrow, would you mind which terminus you used in London, provided it was efficient?

At present both fast and slow services on the  main line all share the same platform at ottenham Hale, using 1 to go South and 2 to go North.

If this arrangement was to continue, after the new lines are built, the following would apply.

  • Interchange between services would be as now.
  • Fast services for London would stop in platform 1 before going to either Liverpool Street or Stratford.
  • Both platforms could be made step-free with lifts and a bridge at the London end of the platform.

It is workable, but you would still have the crowded platforms you get today, although the step-free bridge would make passenger circulation easier.

But what happens when Greater Anglia decide to increase fast frequencies or Crossrail 2 arrives.

Exclusive Fast Lines Between Tottenham Hale And Broxbourne Stations

One arrangement that could work, would be to use the two new lines exclusively for fast services from Tottenham Hale to Broxbourne, with trains stopping only at Broxbourne and Tottenham Hale as required.

  • With more Stansted services, some could be non-stop from Liverpool Street to Stansted to reduce the load on Tottenham Hale station.
  • Some Cambridge services might make their first stop at Broxbourne.
  • Fast commuter services not stopping South of Broxborne are possible.

Greater Anglia will be replacing their current trains on the line with new Stadler or Aventra trains, which will in some ways compensate.

At some point hopefully Crossrail 2 will arrive.

Using the two new lines exclusively for fast traffic, with slow services on the exiting lines  would have the following effects.

  • Speed up services by a few minutes.
  • Double capacity between Broxbourne and Tottenham Hale.
  • All trains on the slow lines would be Crossrail’s or Greater Anglia’s Aventras, which can probably run together efficiently.
  • 20 plus tph could probably run on the slow lines
  • The only trains on the fast lines would be Greater Anglia’s Stadler expresses, which could do Broxbourne to Tottenham Hale inperhaps eiht minutes, travelling all the way at 100 mph or possibly more.

Removing fast trains from the slow lines would probably mean that a frequency of upwards of 10 tph could run on Crossrail 2 between Broxbourne and Tottenham Hale. South of Tottenham Hale they would be out of the way in the Central Tunnel.

South Of Tottenham Hale Station

Trains between Tottenham Hale station and Stratford or Liverpool Street stations, take one of the three following routes.

  1. To and from Lea Bridge and Stratford station
  2. To and from Hackney Downs and Liverpool Street stations taking the fast lines South of Hackney Downs.
  3. To and from Hackney Downs and Liverpool Street stations taking the slow lines South of Hackney Downs.

To complicate matters trains to and from the Chingford Branch and some Greater Anglia slow services  use the fast lines South of Hackney Downs and change over around Bethnal Green station.

So could we see a bit of a reorganisation, so that all slow services are moved to the slow lines, through Hackney Downs station, so that the fast services to and from Cambridge and Stansted get a clear run between Clapton and Liverpool Street. That must save a minute or two.

It also looks like that with the opening of Lea Bridge station, some services will go to Stratford rather than Liverpool Street. These could include some services from the Chingford Branch, if the Hall Farm Curve is reopened, which some of my pictures indicate might be happening.

It should be born in mind, that Stratford has two platforms 11 and 12, connected to the lines to Lea Bridge station but only platform 11 is used.

After Crossrail opens will it matter if some of Greater Anglia’s suburban services go to Stratford rather than Liverpool Street?

In fact, it’s starting to happen, as today coming back from Cheshunt, I was on a train between Bishops Stortford and Stratford.

The Problem Of Clapton Station

Clapton station is not a massive problem, but it is on the route taken by fast Cambridge and Stansted trains to and from Liverpool Street.

Last year, Clapton station handled 1.6 million passengers, which is probably just about average or slightly above average for the Chingford Branch Line.

So there is probably not much to be gained by cutting services, as there are a lot of people to complain. But the Overground’s new Class 710 trains will have a better stop-start performance and could reduce the problem, especially if they used the slow lines through Hackney Downs.

A Pseudo-Crossrail 2

We might even see a pseudo-Crossrail 2, between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.

Suppose Greater Anglia on their slow lines ran something like the following services.

  • 4 tph between Liverpool Street or Stratford and Hertford East.
  • 2 tph between Liverpool Street or Stratford and Cambridge
  • 4 tph between Liverpool Street or Stratford and Bishops Stortford

This would give a ten tph service between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stopping at all stations.

As the slow lines would be for exclusive use of these services, except for a few freight trains, the  lines would cope admirably.

Everybody on the line would have a superb Turn-Up-And-Go-Service.

The Design Of Broxbourne Station

It could  be arranged that at Broxbourne, there was cross-platform interchange between fast and slow services going in the same direction. So a passenger between say Brimsdown station and Stansted Airport, would have the one change at Broxbourne.

The Design of The Fast Line Platforms At Tottenham Hale Station

The space limitiations at Tottenham Hale would probably mean that only one extra platform could be squeezed in. Perhaps it could be an island platform between the two lines. Being an island it would only need one lift and this would save all-important width and cost.

If it was thought a narrow island platform with fast trains that might run through, the platform could surely be fitted with platform edge doors.

But the required step-free change to Crossrail 2, Victoria Line and local services would be created.

I’m suspicious that my pictures show that through Tottenham Hale station, there is only room for a single extra line, if a platform is needed. It certainly looks as if, the cable ducts have been moved to only allow only one line.

So could we see platform 2 extended to have a second platform 3 on the opposite face, which gave access to a single bi-directional line through the station?

  • It would use the lift on Platform 2.
  • There would be cross-platform access from a fast train to London to a slow one.
  • Only access from a slow train out of London to a fast one would need the bridge.
  • Bi-directional working is increasing being used.

Once through Tottenham Hale station, the fast lines would result to normal double-track working.,

I suspect that when Tottenham Hale station was rebuilt in the 1990s, no-one thought that the station would be on a line with four-tracks.

 

 

February 20, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment