The Anonymous Widower

West Hampstead Station – 29th July 2019

West Hampstead station opened almost fully to the public yesterday.

The only things, that need finishing are the lifts and some small works.

The new station building has an almost 1930s feel about it as if it is inspired by some of the classic stations like Oakwood.

I do like the ziggurat-style steps to the overbridge. This has allowed a wide staircase, that is frilly-shielded from heavy weather, at a busy interchange station

July 30, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

West Hampstead Station Is A Wide Station

I took these pictures at the rebuilt West Hampstead station today.

Everything seems to have been built as wide as possible, which must be good for passenger safety.

July 26, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On The West London Orbital Railway At West Hampstead Thameslink Station

I passed through West Hampstead Thameslink station today and took some pictures of the two tracks that run through the station on the South side of the four tracks of the Midland Main Line.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines through the various stations at West Hampstead.

Note.

  1. The six tracks shown in black through West Hampstead Thameslink station.
  2. The Northernmost four tracks are those of the Midland Main Line.
  3. The Southernmost pair are labelled Up Hendon and Down Hendon and lead to the the Dudding Hill Line. via Cricklewood station.
  4. There is also a short track which is labelled Run Round Road, which could be useful to reverse trains on the West London Orbital Railway.
  5. The six tracks are crossed by the North London Line, which is shown in orange.

This picture shows the two Hendon Lines looking away from London from the footbridge of the station.

Note.

  1. The Down Hendon is on the left, with the Up Hendon on the right.
  2. Both tracks have 25 KVAC overhead electrification.
  3. The bridge, from which I took the picture, is step-free.

As there are numerous crossovers on the approach to the station, I feel that it would be possible to build a platform on the Up Hendon line.

  • The platform would share an island and access with the existing Platform 4.
  • It would be fully step-free.
  • Electrification in the platform could recharge an electric train, that was using batteries.
  • A single platform could handle the required four trains per hour (tph)

This picture shows the two Hendon Lines looking towards London from the footbridge of the station.

It would appear that if required the platform could be made long enough for an eight-car train or built on the Down Hendon line.

There are certainly possibilities to make the interchange between Thameslink and the West London Orbital Railway a very easy one, that is totally step-free.

Will The West London Orbital Railway Take Passengers From The North London Line?

I suspect that there are passengers, who will swap from the the North London Line to the West London Orbital Railway.

They will do it because the new route will be more convenient.

This will be no bad thing, as the North London Line can get crowded at times. And it will only get more so in the future!

January 18, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Are Platforms Being Extended On The North London Line?

At West Hampstead station today, I took this picture.

I have not found any reference to platform extensions on the North London Line and West Hampstead station in particular.

However I did find an answer from the Mayor to this question.

Further to your answer to Question No: 507 / 2013 and 1039 / 2013 is the Department for Transport ‘Access for All’ funding allocated for the financial year 2012/13 still guaranteed for the work needed to make this station step free; when will work commence and when will it be completed in making the station step free; on what do you base your assertion that local stakeholders are supportive; which local stakeholders do you claim are of this mind; and what information has been disseminated locally, to whom and in what manner, on the present proposed plan?

This was the answer.

I am determined to provide step-free access (SFA) at West Hampstead, but it is important that any scheme taken forward maximises benefits for passengers and ensures value for money.

Consequently, TfL has decided not to proceed with a standalone SFA scheme, but to take some extra time to ensure that SFA works can be integrated with further enhancements which are necessary at West Hampstead station – including platform extensions for the new 5-car service, work to reduce congestion in the ticket hall, and integration with an adjacent development. This will reduce costs, increase benefits and keep passenger disruption to a minimum.

As a result, TfL will re-apply for Access for All funding in Control Period 5 next year. Work on site could start in 2015.

It looks like the platform extension work was delayed until the work was carried out to make the station step-free.

The picture shows that the work at the station appears to be nearing completion.

When my train arrived, it appeared that the platforms are sized for five-car trains.

Will these platforms be long enough, when new stations open to connect the North London Line to High Speed Two and Crossrail at Old Oak Common station.

January 18, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The Problem With Britain’s And Probably Other Older Railways

This post on IanVisits is entitled West Hampstead Overground Station’s New Footbridge.

Ian had intended to report on the finish of a station rebuilding project at West Hampstead station.

But like many other projects it is running several months late.

Ian says this.

It’s reported that the delay stems from an unexpected massive slab of concrete that was added to the bridge that runs over the railway tracks, and supports the old station entrance.

Plans to pull the old building back and release more space on the pavement may now need to be revised as that would require the pavement to be reinforced to the same level as the road, in case a heavy lorry were to swerve onto the pavement by accident.

The old Edwardian era station building was due to be turned into a “retail opportunity”, although that may now be in doubt if the pavement issue proves intractable.

How many of us have renovated old buildings to find that what is actually there, has little relation to what the surveyors/architects believed was there?

Years ago, I was rebuilding a Listed house and the Listed Building Inspector from English Heritage was very practical. When she asked the Council Planner, if he thought that the house should be like it was built in the 1840s, he said yes!

To which she replied, “So you think there should be outside toilets?”

Everybody except one laughed!

A couple of months later, she came back to see the work and told me of a very rich man, who was rebuilding a Grade II Listed Building, that was several times over budget. Her advice at the time had been knock it down or move, as she felt preservation was impossible. But the neighbours and the wider area, felt that the building should be saved.

I suspect that, if Transport for London had known what they know now, they would have demolished the inadequate station. I don’t think the station is Listed!

Conclusion

We have a preserve all buildings regardless of the cost attitude in this country and it exists in other countries as well.

Look at my post Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof, which outlines the problems there.

Imagine Crossrail with lots of tunnel construction problems and angry protestors!

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

West Hampstead Station – 7th July 2018

The new bridge at the West Hampstead station is now in use and it looks like the new station will be completed by the end of the year.

As the last picture shows this could be one of those station developments, where a deck could have been built over the North London Line to increase the number of flats built in the development on the South side of the railway.

This Google Map shows West Hampstead station on the North London Line and West Hampstead tube station on the Jubilee and Metropolitan Lines, although the latter don’t stop.

Note the development stretches a long way to the West between the North London Line and Underground Lines.

There have been plans to create a West Hampstead Interchange on West End Lane.

As these envisaged moving the Overground station to the East side of West End Lane and the new station is being built on the West side, It would appear there’s been a rethink.

Perhaps the Underground station is to be moved to the West side of West End Lane and will have an entrance on the small square in front of the M & S Simply Food and alongside the new Overground station.

This Google Map shows an enlargement of the area.

The new station could have platforms on the following lines.

  • Jubilee Line
  • Metropolitan Line
  • Cjhiltern Railway

It would be a very worthwhile interchange. Especially, as passengers could do the following.

  • Walk across the square for the Overground for East London.
  • Walk perhaps another hundred metres to West Hampstead Thameslink station, which is also proposed as the terminus of the West London Orbital Railway.

There could also be a development on the top of the new station, which would hopefully contribute to the cost.

I have no idea, if anything will happen here, but Transport for London are looking to create new stations with over-site development. The Mayor also seems keen on the West London Orbital Railway, as it is based on under-used infrastructure and requires no new track or tunnels.

 

 

July 7, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

West Hampstead Station – 12th May 2018

West Hampstead station is being rebuilt with a new entrance and a step-free footbridge.

The new station would appear to be able to handle more passengers.

This image on the BPR Architect’s web site, shows how it will look, when it opens.

The new station would appear to be able to handle more passengers.

It’s strikes me, that the design is almost a modern application of the rules, that created London Underground’s distinctive stations of the 1930s.

One of the routes I took to and from Minchenden School, involved two of the Piccadilly Line‘s iconic stations; Oakwood and Southgate. Both were designed by Charles Holden and are Grade II* listed buildings.

Those stations were and still are all about space, brickwork, glass, imaginative use of metal and clean lines, often with integrated retail units.

West Hampstead station appears similar, but the retail is more surrounding, than integrated.

Modern fabrication techniques with metal and plastics, also give the architects and designers more freedom.

I like the pierced steel cladding on the footbridge at West Hampstead station and it is probably a lot more affordable, than all the bronze used in Southgate station.

If my mother, who died a few years ago, came back and arrived at the new West Hampstead station on the London Overground, she’d only confuse it with a London Underground station.

May 12, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 3 Comments

Heathrow Southern Railway And West London Orbital Railway

West London waits umpteen years for more rail lines and then two come along at the same time.

Heathrow Southern Railway

West London Orbital Railway

Both do substantially, what their names imply.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the tracks between Feltham, Hounslow and Whitton stations.

Note.

  1. Heathrow Southern Railway’s proposed Heathrow – Clapham Junction – Waterloo service will probably go via Whitton, rather than the Hounslow, as Whitton is the faster route.
  2. Hounslow is the proposed terminus of the route of the West London Orbital Railway from West Hampstead Thameslink station.
  3. Hounslow will have a new East-facing bay platform, to handle the trains from West Hampstead.
  4. Heathrow Southern Railway have said their service between Heathrow and Waterloo will be four trains per hour (tph)

I suspect that the West London Orbital Railway will have a typical Overground frequency of four  tph.

Unfortunately, the two railways don’t meet up, as it would probably be worthwhile to give more stations a simple route to Heathrow with perhaps a change at Feltham station.

This Google Map shows Feltham station.

Would there be space to squeeze in an East-facing bay platform on the North side of the station?

  • It could be the terminus of the West Hampstead service of the West London Orbital Railway
  • It could be useful if there were operational problems to turn trains.
  • There is the advantage that Feltham is a step-free station and Hounslow isn’t.

I went to Feltham station and took these pictures.

By the side of the track on the other side of the road bridge to the station, is the Feltham Signalling Centre and a Network Rail yard.

I think it could be possible to fit a platform into the space, behind Platform 1.

  • A five-car platform looks possible.
  • It would be an island platform with the current Platform 1.
  • I doubt overhead electrification could be used.
  • Slab track might be needed to squeeze the train under the bridge.

Ideally, it should be able to take a ten-car train, which might be possible, by extending the platform to the other side of the bridge.

Currently, there are six tph each-way through the station. The following new services will be added if both the Heathrow Southern and West London Orbital Railways are built.

  • 4 tph – Heathrow Southern Railway’s proposed service between Heathrow Terminal 5 and Waterloo via Staines, Feltham, Twickenham, Richmond and Clapham Junction.
  • 4 tph – West London Orbital’s proposed service from Feltham to West Hampstead

Would modern trains and signalling, coupled with good driving, be able to handle this level of trains?

Looking at the tracks and the space on either side, it might be possible to thread a third track between Feltham Station and Feltham Junction.

This Google Map shows Feltham Junction

There would appear to be more space on the South side of the tracks, so perhaps an extra track could go on this side.

But I suspect Network Rail could find a solution from their library of cunning plans.

There could be advantages.

  • West London Orbital Railway could terminate in a step-free station.
  • Travellers between South Acton and Hounslow get a step-free route to Heathrow.
  • The bay platform at Feltham, could help when the service is disrupted.
  • An extra track to the East of Feltham, might help capacity between Clapham Junction and Staines.

I’m certain that be a simple connection between the two systems can be built.

Conclusion

There are possibilities to connect the West London Orbital Railway to the Heathrow Southern Railway, which could be beneficial for all parties.

 

April 5, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Should This Be Done On More Building Projects?

Buckingham Group are building the new West Hampstead station on the North London Line.

This picture was taken of the architect’s layout drawing of the new station, that was fixed to the hoardings.

I wasn’t the only person giving it a good study.

I think it is a good way to inform the public.

January 31, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

A Walk Down The Finchley Road

Aleks2cv made this comment on my long post about the West London Orbital Railway, which was entitled New Railway Line For West London Proposed.

West London’s version of Goblin, an available resource with potential. All urban London so suitable for Overground 4 car metro service.
I would add extensions to your outline.

There is space at the former Midland Finchley Road station for a single terminating platform with existing street facade. Interchange with North London, Metropolitan, and Jubilee and coaches on Finchley Road such as Stansted AirLink.

It got me thinking.

This is only part of the comment and I’ll deal with the rest after Christmas, if I renmember.

This is a Google Map of the area along the Finchley Road, between Finchley Road and Frognal station in the North and Finchley Road station in the South.

It is one of those interchanges, you might do in a North to South direction, as you have gravity assistance.

This second map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the various rail lines.

Note, the following lines can be seen in both maps.

  1. The Midland Main Line through West Hampstead Thameslink station, which crosses Finchley Road between Finchley Road and Frognal and Finchley Road stations.
  2. The Metropolitan and Jubilee Lines going through West Hampstead and Finchley Road stations.
  3. The North London Line going through West Hampstead and Finchley Road and Frognal stations.

I took these pictures as I walked down Finchley Road.

My thoughts on various parts of the area.

Finchley Road And Frognal Station

The station is a very poor example.

  • There is no step-free access.
  • Station buildings are minimal.
  • There is a ruin next door.
  • There is a need for perhaps a light-controlled crossing outside the station, as the road is very busy.

Improvement wouldn’t be helped, by the fact that the station is at the end of Hampstead Heath tunnel.

This Google Map shows a close-up of the station.

The only solution is probably a full rebuilding with perhaps a block of housing or offices on the top of a modern station.

 

The Midland Main Line

This Google Map shows the Midland Main Line as it passes under Finchley Road, to the North of the O2 Centre.

Note.

  1. There is not much space between the railway and the service road for the O2 Centre.
  2. The large surface-level car park of the O2 Centre is visible.
  3. The two slow lines are the Northern pair of lines, with the two fast lines to the South.

At least there is space in the middle of the lines.

A Terminus For The West London Orbital Railway

Aleks2cv in his comment,  felt that the West London Orbital Railway can be extended to Finchley Road.

I think this could be very difficult, as the West London Orbital Railway will probably be a single track railway sneaking up the South side of the Midland Main Line.

  1. There is very little space.
  2. Passengers would still have to walk about a hundred metres to connect to the Underground.
  3. Connecting to the Overground would require a stiff walk up the hill.

This Google Map shows the limit of the freight line, that could possibly be turned into the West London Orbital Railway.

Note.

  1. The railway going East-West is the Midland Main Line.
  2. The diagonal railway is the North London Line through West Hampstead station.

In the shadows on the South side of the Midland Main Line, you can just see tyhe freight line, which connects to the Down Fast of the Midland Main Line to the East of the bridge.

It looks to me, that years ago, the land now occupied by the O2 Centre was some form of railway yard or factory premises.

Finchley Road Underground Station

Finchley Road Underground station is a station in need of a degree of refurbishment.

  • It is not step-free.
  • Pedestrian access to the O2 Centre is not good.

But it is a cross-platform interchange between the Jubilee and Metropolitan Lines.

This Google Map shows the station.

Note.

  1. The two Chiltern tracks to the South of the station.
  2. The closeness of the Western end of the station to the Car Park of the O2 Centre.
  3. There is space to the South of the Chiltern tracks.

I feel very much that this station could be developed sympathetically to be a very good station, that could be paid for by housing on the top.

The O2 Centre

I think the O2 Centre could be the key to Aleks2cv’s idea for the West London Orbital Railway.

  • The O2 Centre appears tired.
  • Public transport can take people easily to the shopping at Oxford Street or Brent Cross.
  • Surface car parking is so Twentieth Century.

As the O2 Centre is owned by British Land, who are one of the UK’s biggest property companies, I think that it is likely the site could be redeveloped.

Suppose the site was developed as follows.

  • It extended over and connected to the Western ends of the platforms at Finchley Road Underground station.
  • A two-platform terminal station for the West London Orbital Railway could probably be fitted in reasonably close to the Underground station.
  • A small bus station.

Over the top would be shops, offices, housing or whatever was desired.

Conclusion

I believe that something will be done to redevelop this site.

Whether it has the terminal for the West London Orbital Railway underneath, will only be made clear, when planning permissio is given.

 

 

 

 

 

December 20, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment