The Anonymous Widower

London Will Still Need Crossrail 2 To Deal With HS2 Influx, London Mayor Predicts

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Building.

This is the first paragraph.

Sadiq Khan says he expects mothballed scheme will eventually get built.

I don’t disagree that it will eventually get built, but it will be long after both Sadiq Khan and myself have gone.

You might think, that as I live in Dalston, I would be very much in favour of Crossrail 2 being built as soon as possible.

But then, I’m a duck-and-diver and there will always be a quick route to get to Euston.

I currently use four routes regularly and coming home, if it’s late or I want to get home quickly to cook supper say, I can take a taxi for a reasonable price.

The easiest way is actually to walk about two hundred metres and get a 73 bus to directly outside Euston station.

I very much feel we need to improve access in London to High Speed Two and that this can be done by making sure several smaller projects are completed before High Speed Two opens.

Improved Underground Connections At Euston Station

This page on the High Speed Two web site, says this about the station layout and Underground connections at the rebuilt station.

HS2 will deliver eleven new 400m long platforms, a new concourse and improved connections to Euston and Euston Square Underground stations. Our design teams are also looking at the opportunity to create a new northerly entrance facing Camden Town as well as new east-west links across the whole station site.

I would suspect that connection to the Underground will have step-free options.

I wrote about Underground connections at Euston station in Ian Publishes Details Of Future Developments At Euston And Euston Square Underground Stations.

The developments certainly look comprehensive and include a new entrance in Gordon Street on the South side of Euston Road.

Note.

  1. The view is looking North.
  2. A tunnel from this entrance will lead to the Eastern ends of the platforms at Euston Square station, where it appears there will be at least escalator access.
  3. The tunnel will also lead into Euston station.
  4. It is a simple improvement, that shouldn’t be too challenging.

This diagram shows the layout of the tunnel.

It looks to me to be a neat design, that could be installed between Gordon Street and Euston Square stations without disturbing the traffic on the busy Euston Road.

Once the subway and the Gordon Street entrance were built, there would have these benefits.

  • There would be a step-free route between Euston and Euston Square stations.
  • It would be a shorter walk  in an air-conditioned tunnel, rather than currently along the very polluted Euston Road.
  • It would be the fastest way to transfer between Euston and Kings Cross or St. Pancras stations.
  • It would give excellent access to the other London terminal stations of Liverpool Street, Moorgate and Paddington.
  • It would give step-free access to Crossrail at Farrington, Liverpool Street, Moorgate, Paddington and Whitechapel
  • With a change at Farringdon or Liverpool Street to Crossrail, it would offer the fastest route to Canary Wharf.
  • The Gordon Street entrance would improve walking routes between Euston station and University College London and other buildings on the South side of Euston Road.

I also suspect that as this project is part of the rebuilding of Euston station for High Speed Two, that it will be completed before Euston station opens for High Speed Two.

If possible, it should be built much sooner to improve access between Euston station and the sub-surface lines.

Once open, even without other improvements at Euston station, this subway would improve access to Euston station by a very substantial amount.

Camden Town Station Upgrade

In 2015, I went to see an exhibition about the proposed expansion of Camden Town station and wrote The Camden Town Station Upgrade Exhibition.

I believe this upgrade should be delivered before High Speed Two opens around the end of this decade.

But due to the financial problems of Transport for London, this project has now been kicked into the long grass.

The Wikipedia entry for Camden Town station, states that upgrading the station will take four years.

Northern Line Split

The completion of the Camden Town Station Upgrade will enable the splitting of the Northern Line into two separate lines, after the completion of the Northern Line Extension to Battersea and the Bank Station Upgrade.

  • Northern Line West – Edgware to Battersea Power Station via Camden Town, Euston, Charing Cross and Waterloo.
  • Northern Line East – High Barnet to Morden via Camden Town, Euston, Kings Cross, Moorgate, Bank and London Bridge.

Each branch will be running at least 24 trains per hour (tph) and will significantly increase capacity between High Speed Two and other terminal stations and the City of London.

The Northern Line should be split into two lines by the time High Speed Two opens, but with no start date in sight for the Camden Town Station Upgrade, this might not be possible.

Victoria Line Improvements

The Victoria Line or Dear Old Vicky probably won’t be able to help much, but I do think it would be feasible to improve the three most inadequate stations on the line.

I doubt the money can be found to carry out these improvement projects, that are essential, but very much smaller than the Camden Town Station Upgrade.

Sub-Surface Lines Improvements

The big project on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines is the Four Lines Modernisation (4LM) project.

  • It is an upgrade of the trains, track, electrical supply, and signalling systems.
  • This will add 27 % more capacity in the Peak.
  • As anybody will know, who has been to a major event at Wembley Stadium, the new S8 Stock trains, that have been running for a few years now, have an almost infinite capacity.
  • Incidentally, the S8 Stock trains hold 1350 passengers, which is not far short of the 1500 that each Crossrail Class 345 train can hold.
  • Euston Square station will have a step-free connection from the rebuilt Euston station complex.

Most of the Modernisation will be completed by 2023.

I believe that the sub-surface lines will become the main method to get to and from the upgraded Euston station, until Crossrail 2 is built.

  • There will be direct trains to around seventy stations from Euston Square station.
  • With a change at Paddington to Crossrail, there is a route to Heathrow Airport and Reading.
  • With a change at Farringdon or Liverpool Street to Crossrail, there is a route to East London, Canary Wharf and South East London.
  • With a change at Farringdon to Thameslink, there are routes to over a hundred stations.
  • With a change at Whitechapel to the East London Line, there are routes to North, East and South London.

When you consider that the Metropolitan Line opened in 1863 and was the first passenger-carrying underground railway in the world, hasn’t it done well?

When the Euston Square station upgrade is complete, I will probably use that route to get home from Euston, changing on to a bus at Moorgate, which stops close to my house.

Old Oak Common Station

High Speed Two’s Old Oak Common station is introduced like this on this page on the High Speed Two web site.

Old Oak Common is a new super hub set to be the best connected rail station in the UK.

This map from Transport for London shows the various lines at the station.

Note.

  1. The bright blue line is High Speed Two.
  2. The purple line is the Great Western Main Line and Crossrail.
  3. I suspect that the interchange between these three lines will be a good one.
  4. Will all Great Western services stop at Old Oak Common station?
  5. The orange lines are London Overground services, with two new stations; Old Oak Common Lane and Hythe Road close to the main Old Oak Common station.
  6. The green line is the Southern service between Milton Keynes and South Croydon.
  7. The red line is the Central Line and it could be joined to the main station.
  8. There are plans for a West London Orbital Railway, from Brent Cross and West Hampstead in the North to Hounslow and Kew Bridge in the West, that would call at the main Old Oak Common station.

Old Oak Common station could be well connected to most of London, through its Crossrail. London Overground and West London Orbital connections.

It is my view that these three smaller projects must be completed before the opening of High Speed Two.

  • Hythe Road station
  • Old Oak Common Lane station
  • West London Orbital Railway.

None of these three projects would be very challenging.

Chiltern Railways And High Speed Two

Chiltern Railways already have a London Marylebone and Birmingham Moor Street service

Birmingham Moor Street station will be close to High Speed Two’s Birmingham Curzon Street station.

Plans exist for a second London terminus for Chiltern Railways close to the main Old Oak Common station.

  • Could Chiltern Railways become a partner for High Speed Two on routes like between Leeds and Banbury?
  • They could certainly bring passengers to Old Oak Common from Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire.
  • One of my principles on High Speed Two, is that it should be a One-Nation railway.

Old Oak Common would be a very different station to Marylebone with its very useful Crossrail. London Overground and West London Orbital connections.

The terminal for Chiltern Railways at Old Oak Common is another project that should be completed before the opening of High Speed Two.

The Duality Of Euston and Old Oak Common Stations

Euston and Old Oak Common stations could almost be considered to be one station.

  • All High Speed Two trains terminating or starting at Euston also call at Old Oak Common station.
  • They will be just five minutes apart.
  • Both stations have comprehensive networks of connections.
  • Taken together the connections from both stations cover most of London and the South East.

There could be advantages for both operators and passengers.

  • Would a ticket to and from London Terminals be usable at both stations?
  • For some London destinations, passengers might prefer to use one terminal or the other.
  • By changing at Old Oak Common to Crossrail will probably be the fastest way to Heathrow, the West End, the City, Canary Wharf and other places.
  • Passengers could make the decision about the London terminal to use en route.
  • Operators sometimes put the cleaning crew on the train at the last station before the terminal to save time in the turnround. The closeness of the two stations would enable this.

I think the London end of High Speed Two has been designed to make it easy for the operator and passengers.

The Losers If Crossrail 2 Isn’t Built

Crossrail 2 will provide better access to High Speed Two and the London terminals of Euston, Kings Cross, St. Pancras and Victoria for parts of London and the South East.

Victoria Line Passengers

The Victoria Line will have interchanges with Crossrail 2 at the following stations.

  • Tottenham Hale
  • Euston and Kings Cross St. Pancras on the Victoria Line and Euston St. Pancras on Crossrail 2
  • Victoria

Note.

  1. Crossrail 2 will relieve capacity on the Victoria Line between Tottenham Hale and Victoria
  2. There will be a very comprehensive interchange at Euston St. Pancras to serve High Speed Two, Eurostar and classic lines out of Euston, Kings Cross and St. Pancras.

From what has been disclosed about the connrection between Euston and Euston Square stations transfer between Euston and Kings Cross and St. Pancras will be a lot easier than it is now.

This reworking of the poor connection to Euston Square station might take some pressure off the Victoria Line.

It might also might be possible to squeeze more trains down Dear Old Vicky.

Passengers On The Suburban Lines Into Waterloo

The suburban lines into Waterloo will go into tunnel at Wimbledon and connect directly to Victoria, Euston, St. Pancras and Kings Cross.

This will be superb access for South West London to four major London terminals.

Without Crossrail 2, passengers  will have to use one of these routes to get to and from Euston.

  • Change at Waterloo to the Northern Line.
  • Change at Waterloo to the Bakerloo Line and then at Oxford Circus to the Victoria Line.
  • Change at Vauxhall to the Victoria Line.

Could it be, that the Northern Line Extension should be extended to Clapham Junction station, as it is an aspiration over a safeguarded route under Battersea Park?

In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I showed it was possible to run a Crossrail 2 schedule of four tph into Waterloo station, if the following were done.

  • More platform capacity in Waterloo.
  • Modern high-performance 100 mph trains like Class 707 trains or Aventras.
  • Some improvements to track and signals between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.
  • Wimbledon station would only need minor modifications.
  • A measure of ATC between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.

This would not be a large project

Passengers In Balham And/Or Tooting

Crossrail 2 is planned to run between Wimbledon and Victoria via the following stations.

Note.

  1. Crossrail 2 should take pressure off the Northern Line.
  2. Public Opinion is against King’s Road Chelsea station. How will their cleaners, cooks and nannies get to work? Especially, as the roads in the area are already jammed by Chelsea tractors.
  3. The original route favoured Balham to give an interchange with National Rail. Tooting Broadway also has geological problems for the tunneling.
  4. On the other hand, Sadiq Khan supports the route through Tooting Broadway, which better serves his former constituency.

This Map from cartometro.com shows the rail lines in the area.

Note.

  1. Balham station in the North is an interchange station between the Northern Line and National Rail, with a possible four National Rail platforms.
  2. Tooting Broadway is a simple through station on the Northern Line.
  3. The next station after Wandsworth Common towards London is Clapham Junction.
  4. Transport for London have been advocating a new Streatham Common station, that would be an interchange between the lines through Streatham Common and those through Streatham.
  5. Streatham and Tooting stations are on the Wimbledon Loop Line, which only carries two tph in both directions.

Since I have been writing this blog, there have been several ideas to make better use of the National Rail lines in this area.

There was even a plan that I wrote about in 2016 called The Streatham Virtual Tube.

  • Trains would run through Streatham Common, Streatham, Streatham, Hill, Balham, Wandsworth Common, Clapham Junction and into Victoria.
  • Trains could also go North from Clapham Junction to Old Oak Common for High Speed Two.
  • The Streatham Common Interchange would be built. This would give a useful interchange to the Wimbledon Loop Line.
  • There would be four tracks through Streatham.
  • A tunnel would be build to allow trains to go through both Streatham and Streatham Hill stations.
  • It would have an interchange at Balham with the Northern Line.
  • It could have an interchange at Clapham Junction with an extended Battersea Branch of the Northern Line.
  • Suppose it had a frequency of perhaps six or even ten tph.

I think it might work, but it shows what can be done, with a bit of out-of-the-box thinking.

Passengers In Dalston And Hackney

One of the entrances to the proposed massive double-ended Crossrail 2 station at Dalston will be at the end of my road and very close to where my mother used to work and where her mother was actually born.

East London had not had major rail improvements since the 1950s and 1960s, when most of the lines into Liverpool Street were electrified and the Southbury Loop was reopened.

But since the creation of the Overground in 2007 from the remains of the ill-performing Silverlink, with the addition of new trains and ticketing and a good clean, there has been a series of smaller projects that have been completed, in and around East and North London.

Note.

  1. There have also numerous smaller upgrades like the addition of lifts to several stations.
  2. Stations between Stratford and Shenfield have been upgraded for Crossrail.
  3. There has also been considerable upgrades to the electrification, which in some places was not in the best of condition.
  4. Most lines have a frequency of four tph or more.

Some may feel that East London has done well with rail improvements in the last few years.

I would agree in some ways, but would counter by saying that before the Overground was created, East London’s were in a terrible state and their state today is a excellent example of what can be achieved by good design, planning and execution, without spending vast sums.

East London and the boroughs of Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Newham and Waltham Forest in particular, now have a good rail network, that is going to get a lot better with the addition of Crossrail.

  • The North London Line is about half a mile to the North of where I live and can walk to two stations or get a bus to another three.
  • Crossrail will be a couple of miles to the South with station entrances at Moorgate, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and Stratford.
  • There are four electrified railway lines with new trains, which run North-South with connections to the two East-West lines.
  • Although my quickest way to Crossrail will be a bus from close to my house to outside Moorgate station.
  • I suspect that everybody in the Borough of Hackney and the Eastern part of Islington will be able to get to a Crossrail station in well under thirty minutes.
  • In addition, from where I live the Gospel Oak to Barking Line runs a couple of miles North of the North London Line.

I believe that Dalston’s success over the last decade has been a collateral benefit of its comprehensive rail system, supported by lots of shiny new buses.

Does Dalston want Crossrail 2? Probably, Yes!

Does Dalston need Crossrail 2? Possibly, No!

Do other areas of large cities need Dalstonisation of their railway and bus systems? Absolutely!

I certainly don’t regret moving to Dalston!

Note that one of the reasons I’m so keen on the West London Orbital Railway is that it could do the same for North West London, as the Overground and the Lea Valley Lines have done for North East London.

Passengers Along The Lea Valley

Crossrail 2 will connect the Lea Valley Lines to Dalston and on to Central London.

It will involve the following changes to the West Anglia Main Line.

  • Four-tracking of the route at least as far as Broxbourne.
  • A junction South of Tottenham Hale station will connect the route to a tunnel to Dalston.
  • Level crossings at Brimsdown, Enfield Lock and Cheshunt will be removed.
  • Like Crossrail, stations would be substantially step-free.
  • The signalling will be upgraded to full in-cab digital ERTMS signalling, that is used by Crossrail and Thameslink under London.

This would enable 10-15 tph running between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations.

With all the development going on around Cambridge and possible expansion of Stansted Airport, I believe that even if Crossrail 2 is not build, then there will be pressure to four-track the West Anglia Main Line, remove the level crossings and improve the stations and signalling.

If this were to be done, then there is an interim plan that could be implemented that I wrote about, four years ago in Could A Lea Valley Metro Be Created?

I envisaged the following.

  • Updating the West Anglia Main Line to four-tracks and a standard suitable for Crossrail 2.
  • Using the double-track loop at Stratford  as the Southern terminal, for some of the trains.
  • Updating the Victoria Line stations. The major interchange at Tottenham Hale station has already been improved substantially.
  • Providing an appropriate service between Stratford and Broxbourne stations.
  • Terminating some Stansted and Cambridge services in the Stratford Loop, as Stratford has better connections to South London and Kent than Liverpool Street.
  • Integrating Lea Valley Metro, London Overground and Greater Anglia services to Bishops Stortford, Cambridge and Hertford North stations.

Note.

  1. All services connect to Crossrail and the Central Line at the Southern end.
  2. Services to Liverpool Street connect to National Rail services, the Lea Valley Lines of the London Overground and the Circle, District and Metropolitan Lines.
  3. Services to Stratford connect to National Rail services, the North London Line of the London Overground and the Jubilee Line.
  4. Could alternate trains serve Liverpool Street and Stratford?
  5. Could splitting services between Liverpool Street and Stratford mean that the largest proportion of routes have just a single change?

As Transport for London and the train operating companies know where passengers want to go and actually go, I’m sure that a service pattern, that is acceptable to all could be created.

Conclusion

Crossrail 2 is quoted as being a £33 billion project.

I believe that with a good review lots of money could be saved and other smaller projects could be planned and executed to handle the expected increase in the number of passengers.

I would do the following.

  • Camden Town station – Upgrade
  • Chiltern Railways – Build their connection to Old Oak Common station
  • Euston Station – Improve connections to Euston and Euston Square Underground stations.
  • Northern Line – Extend the Battersea branch to Clapham Junction
  • Northern Line – Split Into Two Lines
  • Overground – Build Old Oak Common Lane and Hythe Road stations
  • Southern – Build the new Streatham Common station and implement The Streatham Virtual Tube.
  • South Western Railway – Run four tph on all proposed Crossrail 2 routes into Waterloo station
  • Victoria Line – Upgrade Highbury & Islington, Oxford Circus and Walthamstow Central stations and increase the frequency if possible
  • West Anglia Main Line – Upgrade ready for Crossrail 2 and develop the Lea Valley Metro

All of these projects would have their own benefits, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Only when the needs of all passengers have been assessed in a few years, should we make a decision about Crossrail 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 27, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Only In Wimbledon

I took this picture in Wimbledon station.

Note that the wording at the top of the poster says The Championships.

Is there something I’m missing?

October 28, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2

I wrote this post in January 2017, when I decided to cut this out of my original post of A Hard Look At Crossrail 2.

Nearly two years later, I decided to update the post after the new platforms have reopened at Waterloo station.

I wrote Is This One Of The Best Platform Access Routes In Europe?, after the access to the new platforms was substantially completed in May 2019.

This has meant a further upgrade has been incorporated.

The Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2

These suburban termini and their routes into Waterloo station are proposed  to be connected to Crossrail 2.

  1. Chessington South – 34 minutes – 9 stops
  2. Epsom – 37 minutes – 9 stops
  3. Hampton Court – 36 minutes – 9 stops
  4. Shepperton – 51 minutes – 14 stops

The times are for a typical one-way journey from Waterloo, which usually has a frequency of two trains per hour (tph).

I suspect that the timings are designed, so that they can be achieved by a 75 mph Class 455 train.

An Upgraded Waterloo Station

Waterloo station is getting a massive upgrade in August 2017, which I describe in detail in What Is Happening At Waterloo In August?.

That upgrade has now opened and is now substantially complete in May 2019.

After the upgrade, Waterloo station will handle the suburban services better than it does today.

  • There will be five extra platforms, with the reopening of the platforms 20 to 24 in Waterloo International.
  • Together these platforms should be able to handle another twenty tph.
  • There will be longer platforms, which will all be able to take twelve-car trains.
  • There will be an improved track layout, both in Waterloo and on the approach.
  • There will be related improvements to improve access to the Underground and the Waterloo and City Line at Waterloo station.

All this should mean Waterloo station, will be capable of handling a substantial increase in trains and passengers, with an improvement in efficiency and comfort.

As I said in Rail Engineer On New Platforms At London Waterloo, the number of passengers handled in a year will increase by twenty-five percent.

Improvements On The Branches

Each branch has its own problems, but the following would help in various places.

  • More step-free access.
  • Some level crossings on the branches can probably be removed..
  • Improved access to onward services like buses, cycling and walking at some stations.
  • Some trackwork to allow Crossrail 2’s proposed frequency of 4 tph.

These improvements will generally be needed, whether the services terminate in Waterloo or are a part of Crossrail 2.

New Trains

Currently, suburban services out of Waterloo are run by a large mixed fleet of generally excellent trains.

This gives 264 four-car trains and 60 five-car trains with a total of 1137 carriages.

South Western Railway are purchasing 30 five-car and sixty ten-car new Aventras with a total of 750 carriages.

The Class 707 trains and the Aventras could offer serious performance improvements, as they are probably designed to be able to have a short as possible time, for a stop at a station.

In an ideal world, all trains running these branches would be identical and all platforms would be designed to fit them perfectly, just as many Overground platforms, fit the Class 378 trains.

Crossrail 2 would do this, with possibly the same Class 345 trains, that have been developed for Crossrail.

But why shouldn’t the routes be worked by a homogeneous fleet, serving platforms and stations designed for the trains?

I believe that Crossrail 2 could make no extra difference to the passenger going between these branches and Central London, except for the route from Wimbledon, which will be in tunnel.

But the new Aventra trains will have three very big effects.

  • They will be walk-through ten-car trains.
  • They will have much better capacity for bags, cases and all the other paraphernalia passengers bring.

But most importantly, if they live up to the claims of train manufacturers, the high performance, well-designed trains with a consistent train-platform interface will save as much as three minutes a station.

  • Trains will stop from line speed faster.
  • Trains will accelerate back to line speed faster.
  • Bigger lobbies, will enable passengers to load and unload faster.
  • Wheelchair passengers and buggy pushers would roll across on the flat.
  • Regenerative braking and light weight will save the train operating company in electricity and train access costs.

Until we get actual figures, even one minute a stop, would reduce times on the branches as follows. Figures in brackets are for two minutes a station.

  1. Chessington South – 25 minutes (16)
  2. Epsom -28 minutes (19)
  3. Hampton Court – 27 minutes (18)
  4. Shepperton -37 minutes (23)

Note that the first three services are now under half-an-hour, without making any allowance that the timings will be for a 100 mph train with better performance, than the 75 mph Class 455 trains.

Is Four Trains Per Hour Possible?

If the round trip from Waterloo can be done in an hour, that means that just two ten-car trains can provide a 2 tph service, as opposed to the four trains now needed.

I suspect that South Western Railway will be experimenting to see if they can get a Shepperton round trip in under the hour.

It may seem difficult, but there are certain factors in their favour.

  • The Shepperton Branch Line is self-contained after it leaves the Kingston Loop Line.
  • It is double-track, so there is no passing loop problems.
  • There are no level crossings.
  • The stations on the branch are fairly evenly-spaced at just over a mile apart.

If a total out-and-back time from Waterloo could be under an hour for each branch, this would mean that a 4 tph service on a branch, would need just four trains.

So for each branch to have 4 tph would need just 16 ten-car trains, with similar performance and characteristics to Class 707 trains or the Aventras.

Currently, to provide a 2 tph service, needs sixteen trains, because it takes over an hour to do a complete round trip.

Would it be possible for trains to shuttle up and down these branches?

Look at the example of the East London Line, where four tph shuttle between dedicated platforms at Highbury and Islington and Dalston Junction stations in the North of London to various destinations in the South.

In Increased Frequencies On The East London Line, I reported on Transport for London’s plans to up the frequency on this line to 20 tph.

So could we be seeing something similar at Waterloo, where trains to Chessington South, Epsom, Hampton Court and Shepperton stations, each have their own dedicated platforms?

The four platforms could even be adjacent, so if you want Wimbledon or a station common to more than one branch, displays would lead you to the first train.

Put simply to provide 4 tph for all branches would need 16 modern ten-car trains and four dedicated platforms at Waterloo. How efficient is that for passengers and train operating companies?

Crossrail 2’s Proposals For Services On The Branches

Wikipedia says this about Crossrail 2 services to these suburban branches, after surfacing from the tunnel South of Wimbledon station.

I think that Wimbledon will have to handle perhaps another 8 tph from other places on the fast lines. But they do that now!

Between Wimbledon And Waterloo

South Western Railway have not disclosed their hand yet, but I suspect that they are doing the maths.

I think that it will be possible for a 4 tph Crossrail 2 service and all the other slow services between Wimbledon and Waterloo to use a single pair of tracks carrying 20 tph.

Surely, if 20 tph can be handled on the East London Line with ten year old signalling technology and Class 378 trains, then this frequency can be handled with modern signalling and new Aventras.

It should be noted that Crossrail and Thameslink can both handle 24 tph under Automatic Train Operation (ATO) in a tunnel, so surely the slow lines can handle 20 tph on the surface under ATO or just using plain good driving.

There could even be capacity for some extra services.

Wimbledon Station

Wimbledon station would only need two platforms for these services, but I do feel that work would need to be done to accommodate the passengers.

But the station would probably not need the massive modifications until it was decided to build the Crossrail 2 tunnel.

Clapham Junction Station

If all these trains can be accommodated on just two tracks between Waterloo and Wimbledon, then these services could call at two dedicated platforms at Clapham Junction station.

  • All trains would stop.
  • Staff and passengers would see a succession of identical trains stopping every three minutes.
  • Passengers would have a maximum wait for fifteen minutes for a direct train, to their specific destination.
  • All trains to stations on the branches would use the same platform, making it easy for passengers.
  • As on the East London Line, trains for any station on the branches would be to a clock-face pattern.

The two platforms could be opposite faces of an island platform, with a waiting room, cafe and toilets in the middle.

Vauxhall Station

If it can be done at Clapham Junction station, why not have a dedicated pair of platforms at Vauxhall station, giving access to the Victoria Line?

I use the link at Vauxhall, between the Victoria Line and Waterloo suburban services occasionally and every time I do, it seems to have been improved.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at Vauxhall station.

Lines At Vauxhall

Lines At Vauxhall

I think it is true to say, that if the Victoria Line had been built in the last decade or so, the Victoria Line station could have been placed underneath the main line station.

But even so, I suspect Network Rail and Transport for London have ideas to improve the interchange.

Only Sixteen Ten-Car Aventras Will Be Needed

My calculations show that modern 100 mph trains, like the Aventras that South Western Railway have ordered could provide 4 tph on the Crossrail 2 routes with just sixteen ten-car trains.

All the calculations I’ve done show that replacing trains with faster modern ones, increases the frequency and results in more efficient use of trains.

South Western Railway have bought sixty of these trains.

So they must have some impressive plans!

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 in Waterloo.
  • Modern high-performance 100 mph trains like Class 707 trains or Aventras.
  • 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?

 

December 12, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

First, MTR Take Charge On South Western

The title of this post is the same as this article on RailNews.

Some points from the article.

  • The Class 707 trains are going because they are more expensive to lease.
  • 400 extra trains on Sundays.
  • Comprehensive refresh of all trains
  • All suburban trains will have toilets.
  • Southampton Central and Wimbledon stations to be updated.
  • Flexible tickets for part-time workers.
  • A new tariff for sixteen to eighteen year olds in full-time education.

Perhaps the most interesting point, was that they have decided to look at the future of the Island Line with the local Council.

A few thoughts on their plans.

Class 707 Trains

In An Exciting New Aventra, I commented on this article in Rail Engineer, with the same title.

I said this in my post.

The Most Affordable Train

The article describes how the train was designed to give the best whole life cost.

This sentence sums up the philosophy.

It’s actually about a 50/50 split between the whole life cost and the first capital cost. That makes it a bit more difficult because we’ve got be competitive on the first practical cost, but additionally we have to offer a really high availability, strong reliability, combined with much better energy consumption and less track damage.

As someone, who used to own a finance company, that leased trucks and other expensive equipment, the product described is the sort of product that leasing companies love.

That looks like a good reason to lease an Aventra.

More Trains On Sundays

All train companies seem to offer this.

All Suburban Trains Will Have Toilets

A lot of train companies seem to care about toilets, so is there a correlation between decent toilets and increased revenue?

Flexible Tickets For Part Time Workers

Do travellers get this in London? If so, extending it over the whole area must be logical!

16-18 Year Old Tickets

London does this!

Island Line

This is one of these routes, where someone will come up with an idea, that’s so Monty Python, it will work superbly!

August 21, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring The Sutton Loop Line

The Sutton Loop Line is not well known in North London, except as a routing shown on Thameslink train information displays.

This morning, I took the line from Tooting station and after a short stop at Sutton station, I continued on my way back into Central London.

These are some of the pictures that I took.

I think the trip did give me a better understanding of this line in South London.

These points are general.

Step Free Stations

Very few of the stations I passed through had any form of step-free access.

Some were island platforms, which have their advantages, but access up and down a single wide staircase to a road overbridge is so nineteenth century.

Variable Quality Stations

Some stations have had a refurbishment and others haven’t!

A Curious Timetable

Streatham to Sutton via Wimbledon calls at more stations, than the other way via Mitcham Junction and this is reflected in the times, with the shorter route taking fifteen minutes and the longer one thirty-one minutes

The curious timings on the loop, actually mean that from Streatham station northwards or southwards, the trains have an interval of very close to fifteen minutes.

So it would be prudent to check, that you’re always taking the best way to get to your destination station!

These points are specific to stations of sections of the line.

St. George’s Hospital

According to this article in he Local Guardian entitled St George’s Hospital Trust announces support for Tooting Broadway in Crossrail 2 plans, the hospital trust is not happy.

It would be ridiculous to spend the best part of an extra billion pounds on Crossrail 2 to put the line through Tooting Broadway station, rather than Balham station, when that money could probably be spent on a mixture of patient care , better bus links, and a lift or two at the Underground station. The latter will happen anyway, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not!

Could there be a better solution for step-free transport access to St. George’s Hospital?

Look at this Google Map of the hospital in relation to Tooting Broadway station and the Sutton Loop Line to the west of Tooting station.

St. George's Hospital, Tooting Broadway Station And The Sutton Loop Line

St. George’s Hospital, Tooting Broadway Station And The Sutton Loop Line

Tooting Broadway station is at the top right of the map and the Sutton Loop Line  runs across the South West corner of the map.

If a new station were to be built on that line, with full step-free access, it would be closer to the Hospital, than any station on Tooting Broadway. It would also be close to some of the bus stops that serve the hospital.

Haydons Road Station And AFC Wimbledon’s New Stadium

This Google Map shows Haydons Road station and the site of AFC Wimbledon‘s new home at Wimbledon Stadium.

Haydons Road Station And AFC Wimbledon's New Stadium

Haydons Road Station And AFC Wimbledon’s New Stadium

The stadium will be at the old greyhound stadium, which is the two green circles at the top.

The green scar from the stadium site to the east of the station, is the course of the River Wandle. Surely, a riverside walk should be created for supporters walking between the stadium and station.

The map also shows the amount of land wasted in the area by unnecessary cemeteries. How many houses could be built on the land they occupy?

Wimbledon Station

Trains on the Sutton Loop Line always use Platform 9 at Wimbledon station, which gives cross-platform access to Tramlink on Platform 10.

So one train might be going to Sutton and the next to Central London and beyond.

Wimbledon Chase And South Merton Stations

These two stations are shown on this Google Map.

Wimbledon Chase And South Merton Stations

Wimbledon Chase And South Merton Stations

Wimbledon Chase station is at the top left and South Merton station is at the bottom, just tom the left of the middle.

You will notice, I’ve included the main A24 road on the map.

This is because that road could be used for an extension of Tramlink from South Wimbledon to Sutton via St. Helier Hospita;. This map shows that extension.

St Helier Tramlink

St Helier Tramlink

Transport for London and the London Borough of Merton are opening up a lot of possibilities here and I hope that a world-class solution emerges, to link the whole corridor together.

 Morden South And Morden Stations

This Google Map shows the close relationship between Morden South station and Morden station

Morden South And Morden Stations

Morden South And Morden Stations

Their close location and the depot in betwen, has always puzzled me. It is explained in the History section for the Wikipedia entry for Morden station.

It was all down to railway politics, between Southern Railway and the Underground companies.

You just wonder though, if they were sorting out the lines around Wimbledon, that something could be done to make it easy to connect between the two stations.

Hackbridge

I hadn’t heard about Hackbridge, which is a suburb in the London Borough of Sutton.

But there is a Hackbridge Masterplan on Wikipedia. This is the first paragraph.

The London Borough of Sutton is working to make Hackbridge the ‘UK’s first truly sustainable suburb’. There has been a regeneration scheme in Hackbridge which has a number of developments on many sites. These are mentioned as part of the Hackbridge Regeneration. Detailed plans include proposals for new eco-friendly homes, more shops, leisure and community facilities, jobs, sustainable transport and pedestrian/ cycle initiatives, improved networks and open spaces.

It all sounds good to me. This is a Google Map of the area.

Hackbridge

Hackbridge

Note the rail line going up the map with Hackbridge station about a quarter of the way up.At the top of the map, is an icon indicating the BedZed Pavilion.

If they are truly into green transport, it strikes me, that there needs to be another station between Hackbridge and Mitcham Junction, which is the next one to the North. As the Tramlink through Mitcham Junction runs down the eastern side of the site and has a stop at Beddington Lane on the north east corner, I would also feel that there scope for extensions to the through Hackbridge.

The Future Of The Sutton Loop

With all the investment in Thameslink, there is no doubt that the future of the Sutton Loop is secure, but what will it look like in ten or twenty years?

I think it seems to have suffered a lack of imaginative thinking in the past few years, but with Transport for London thinking hard about a new interchange hub at Streatham Common station, that I wrote about in Puzzled Over Streatham Common Station, I think we’ll see some more improvements.

A lot of the stations need to have a refurbishment and proper step-free access.

If this follows the pattern of previous lines in London and elsewhere, I think that after station improvement, this line will need additional services.

As it won’t be possible to get more trains through the core, then this could need for some form of local train or tram-train on the loop. Perhaps these would terminate at perhaps Streatham Common station, which I wrote about in Puzzled Over Streatham Common Station.

If two extra trains each way round the Sutton Loop were to be added, they could be timed to run every fifteen minutes between the existing services. So each station on the loop would get a four trains per hour service both ways.

One possibility would be to do the extra services with tram-trains, which after Streatham Common, went on to Croydon to connect up with the existing Tramlink routes.

As I said earlier trains go through Streatham to and from the loop every fifteen minutes, which would be every 7-8 minutes with the extra trains.

So if say you wanted to go to Central London, if you caught an intermediate train on the loop, you might have to wait 7-8 minutes for a Central London train.

The possibilities are endless.

Obviously, traffic patterns will determine how the line develops, but I predict that there will be a big future for the Sutton Loop.

December 20, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Tramlink Is Back In Wimbledon Station

The Tramlink is now back in a two platform stop in Wimbledon station.

I always found that the old tram stop was like going into a mine as it was dark and not very welcoming.

This new tram stop is a lot better and there is plenty of space.

Although one passenger said it is now further to walk, as the trams stop further down the platform.

As the two platforms appear to be independent, I wonder if the proposed Extension A to Sutton could now be incorporated into Wimbledon station? This is said in the Wikipedia section.

The Sutton to Wimbledon proposal utilises the existing line between Wimbledon and Morden Road, but the cramped terminus inside Wimbledon station is barely adequate for its present function. If another service is to serve Wimbledon a new terminus will be needed.

The terminus is certainly not cramped any more and now that a second platform for the trams is available, then could Extension A be built?

In Crossrail 2 October 2015 – Wimbledon station, I said that I felt, the trams should cross over the rail lines on a viaduct and come into the other side of the station opposite to the District Line platforms, as this would give some advantages.

  • Any rebuilding of the tram connection at Wimbledon station for Crossrail 2, might be avoided.
  • A large concourse could be provided between tram and Tube, to give a totally flat interchange and provide the services interchanging passengers need.
  • The trams would be well out of the way of Crossrail 2 and during the building of that line could keep running at most times.
  • It might be possible to have three tram platforms for extra services if required.

I know because of the viaduct over the tracks and the building the platforms on the other side of the station, that my solution would be very much more expensive, but it does completely separate the trams from Crossrail 2.

The Crossrail 2 proposal achieves the same separation by putting the trams on Wimbledon Bridge in front of the station, which would probably mean that traffic would need to be restricted to buses, taxis and trams.

Other vehicular traffic would require a new bridge over the station.

I think we’ll get a better solution, when a decent architect has had a good look at the problems caused by trying to put Crossrail 2 through Wimbledon station.

November 3, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Tramlink Works At Wimbledon

I came back from Wimbledon by using the Tramlink to West Croydon station and then the East London Line. It’s a bit chaotic at Wimbledon as they’re updating the tram terminus with a second platform and you have to walk to Dundonald Road.

When the works are hopefully completed in October, this will allow four new trams to be introduced on the route to Wimbledon, which will result in an increase in service. Read about it here on the TfL web site.

 

 

July 23, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Before Crossrail 2 – Surrey County Council Think Crossrail 2 Should Go To Guidford

Chelsea may not want Crossrail 2, but according to this article on a Guildford web site, Surrey wants Crossrail 2 to be extended extended to Guildford and Woking to take pressure off their overcrowded services into Waterloo.

Although it could be a good idea, Crossrail 2 is getting submissions from many places to be included in the network like Stansted.

I think it would be better for Crossrail 2 to have good cross platform interchanges at places like Tottenham Hale, Cheshunt, Broxbourne and New Southgate in the North and Clapham Junction, Epson and Wimbledon in the South West, so that passengers can transfer easily to longer-distance services.

These improvements should raise the stations to a similar standard of say Stratford on Crossrail and they will be needed whether Crossrail 2 is built or not.

1. Wimbledon station must be a prime candidate for rebuilding, especially as eventually it could have an underground station for Crossrail 2. There is a Future section in the Wikipedua entry, which in addition to talking about Crossrail 2, details improvements to Tramlink. In my view the station needs a complete rebuild now, which although would be a challenge for architects, builders and passengers alike could bring capacity, access, operational and other improvements.

As I don’t want to repeat myself, there are more of my thoughts on this dreadful station in Crossrail 2 at Wimbledon.

2. Epsom station would appear to have been redeveloped. But will this be enough to handle Crossrail 2 and improve connectvity into Surrey?

I shall extend this post.

 

 

 

July 22, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail 2 At Wimbledon

After my trip to Wimbledon, I just had to look at how the Crossrail 2 will affect the area.

Depending on what you read, the tunnel portal could be to the London side of Wimbledon station or the country side.

I always thought it was going to be south-west of Wimbledon station, but the latest route map on the Crossrail 2 web site shows it on the London side and I do remember reading somewhere that it had been moved.

I think there may be advantages to this position of the portal.

1. There may be more space in which to work on the London side, as there is a lot of land used by the railway and industrial units.

2. The tunnel is probably a kilometre shorter and this may have the knock-on effect of needing less ventilation and access shafts.

3. Wimbledon station will still be on the surface. It will need extensive remodeling, but there will be no need for platforms in tunnels.

4. Wimbledon station could easily be rebuilt with the two hundred and fify metre long platforms needed for Crossrail 2.

5. Integrating the Crossrail 2 lines into the busy lines of the South Western Main Line, may well be an easier construction job on the London side, that causes a lot less disruption to an already overloaded route into London. South West Trains would do anything to avoid the line being shut for a long time.

6. Constructing the portal on the London side, may well cause less inconvenience to a smaller number of local residents.

For these reasons, I’ll look at the London side portal position and how it might affect those that live and work in the area.

This is a clip of the area of a possible London-side tunnel portal from Crossrail 2’s map from Wimbledon to Chelsea.

Crossrail 2 Wimbledon Poral Area

Crossrail 2 Wimbledon Poral Area

The area is mainly a collection of train sidings and depots and lots of industrial units, as this Google Earth image shows.

Crossrail 2 Wimbledon Area Now

Crossrail 2 Wimbledon Area Now

Unfortunately, the two maps are at a different orientation.

My feelings are that the two tracks will be served by a single island platform at Wimbledon station, which would obviously need a rebuild. This Google Earth image shows the station.

Wimbledon Station

Note the shopping centre to the south-east, with the Tramlink approaching from the south to a terminus squeezed in tight.

Wimbledon station is not a modern station by any means with several problems.

1. Access to the platforms is up and down steep steps.

2. There seems to be no logic to which platform you catch your train, except that the Underground platforms are together on one side of the station.

3. Tramlink needs at least an extra platform. At the moment the Tramlink stop at Wimbledon, must be one of the pokiest and passenger-unfriendly tram stops in the world, as it seems to have been modelled on the Black Hole of Calcutta. The improvements to Tramlink at Wimbledon are shown on this page of the TfL web site, but there is no design for the new Tramlink stop.

4. Changing between Tramlink, South West Trains services and the Underground involves going up one set of stairs and then down another.

5. London is moving away from manned ticket offices and the whole layout of stations is changing dramatically.

I’m no architect, but I know a good modern station layout like say Reading when I see it.

I think at Wimbledon, you could build a deck over all the lines and access the various services using escalators and lifts, as at Reading. All of the customer services and the shops and kiosks would be on the deck and passengers would just walk into the station at the deck level straight off the street. As at Reading and other new stations, passengers would tend to wait above rather than on the platforms.

The platforms would extend both sides of the bridge, so that Tramlink could have its own well-lit two-platform station tucked under the road outside the station or the car park opposite. One small point is that when I traced TfL possible GOBlin extension, it needed to reverse at Wimbledon. One or more bay platforms could be tucked in on the country-side of the station, if they were needed.

The French, Germans and a lot of other nations would handle the problem of Tramlink differently. They would probably run it across the station perpendicular to the train tracks, either on-street on in a tunnel. But we don’t like the first and the second would be expensive.  It would only work well, if the Tramlink was going to be extended to somewhere north-west of Wimbledon station.

I would though investigate a solution for Tramlink, similar to the platform layout used by the Overground at Clapham Junction, where the two services meet head on and passengers just walk up the platform to change trains. The problem is that Tramlink would need to cross the train lines as the tram and Underground lines are on different sides of the station. This would need a flyover or extensive on-street running for the trams, but I believe that it would be good to have both together in their own part of the station. At worst getting Tramlink from its awful location, would give passengers a better experience and release half a platform for train services.

Whilst I was writing this, I had an idea worthy of getting myself certified. And that is the tram-tube! It’s so bonkers, it needs a separate article, which I wrote later.

So that is my thoughts on Crossrail 2 at Wimbledon!

I believe that it can be put through a rebuilt station, with very little disruption.

I also don’t think it will disrupt much on the northern side or Wimbledon village side of the lines,

The dreadful station needs a complete rebuild anyway.

If the station design is done well, I think that everything else will fall into place.

 

April 26, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments