Monday, 31 December 2007

Shepherd's Bush Overground: End of the year


Last month, we were told that Shepherd's Bush station on the West London Line would be "ready for service by the end of the year". And on the latest tube map going up in stations now, it's shown as open. So if you visited today you'd expect to see - if not an open station - at least some serious progress, right?

Not a sausage. But then it is a spectacular cock up with no obvious solution. There was a suggestion of opening only the southbound platform (on the left in the photo), which is very wide for most of its length. But the opening to it from the footbridge is onto the narrow part, and there are structural tension rods preventing the window facing us being turned into a doorway. On the northbound platform, even if it were decided to move the retaining wall, they'd also need to demolish a corner of the station building, which in turn may well be holding up the footbridge.

I've also dug up an incriminating diagram from the planning application. Most glaringly, it shows the lights were always meant to mounted on the fence rather than blocking the platform, something that's since been proposed as a solution. And it makes it obvious why no one's keen on moving the wall.

Disclaimer: Site last visited on Friday. Optimists may assume it was sorted over the weekend and opened today.

[Latest: The wall will be moved, taking at least four months]

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Eastfields station

All posts about Mitcham Eastfields

I've neglected to mention Eastfields, a new station under construction in south London. Construction started a few months ago (after years of talking) and it's scheduled to open some time next year.

It's located between Streatham, Mitcham and Tooting (Google Maps) and I've marked it on our eponymous map. According to the Transport Statement, only the half-hourly Southern services to/from Victoria are expected to call. The line is also part of the Thameslink Sutton/Wimbledon loop service, but it's uncertain if those trains will stop.

The transport statement also mentions that "just over 13,300 residents live within 800m (as the crow flies) of the new station. Only a very few small proportion live within 800m of any other station." A quick check of the London Gaps map bears this out (I've marked it on the version to the right - click to enlarge).

The station itself is interesting in a couple of ways. It's being built at a level crossing with each platform on a different side of the road (plan), so that in both directions trains will go over the crossing before they reach a platform. This allows the gates to reopen while the train is stopped.

Secondly, it's the prototype of Network Rail's "modular" station concept. They're written a long essay on the topic as part of their planning application (though this news article is a lot more digestible). They want to use standard easy-to-maintain components for the station buildings and canopies. Having only one station using standard components isn't very useful, so the plan is to rebuild many stations this way. The concept doesn't extend to the platforms, which are concrete beams on breezeblock walls.

The photos show how far along constructions is. They've built about half the length of each platform, which will eventually be 170m long (for 8 car trains) and a healthy 3m wide, and by my count of the breezeblocks underneath they appear to be so. Both photos are looking north: The first shows the northbound platform, with the site of the station building on the far left. The second is from further south, and shows the southbound platform, with the level crossing and northbound platform in the distance.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

How Green Park works

"What on earth is this horrendous tunnel for?" you sigh to yourself, as you once again make the mistake of changing between lines at Green Park. In an effort to figure out exactly how bad interchange here is, I've done a few laps of the station and come up with this diagram.

It turns out interchange between the Jubilee and Victoria is perfectly reasonable, but anything involving the Piccadilly Line sends you down one of the long tunnels. Changing between the Victoria and the Piccadilly you can avoid a long walk by going up to the ticket hall and back. But between the Jubilee and the Piccadilly a long walk is inevitable and you should avoid journeys that need it (unless you need to use lifts, because then it's the only interchange you can do here). The Jubilee Line is also long trek from the street.

A few notes: I used the Green Park drawing from here as a starting point, so while the Piccadilly and Victoria lines are likely to be accurate the Jubilee Line location is pure guesswork. The parallel grey lines are escalators, the stripey bits are stairs and the black squares are lifts. If it isn't obvious, all escalators go down in the direction away from the ticket hall.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

East London Line progress in pictures

As you probably know, Liverpool Street station is currently closed to allow the demolition of bridge GE19, so that a new bridge carrying the extended East London Line can be built across roughly the same spot. Here are some photos I've taken today around the area (click to enlarge).

Firstly, Liverpool Street station itself. Despite the completely blank departures board, it's surprisingly busy.

This is the gap where the bridge was, from the south side. The wall abutting Brick Lane on the far left is all that remains. Between the digger and the houses are what appear to be giant moulds for casting supports for the new bridge.

From the same spot, but turning slightly to the right. The demolished bridge would previously have dominated this picture. The building on the right is Shoreditch tube station.

Here's the same scene from the opposite direction...

...and here's a photo taken from roughly the same place on Saturday.

Finally, here's the new viaduct that will support Shoreditch High Street station. The artist's impression on the hoarding shows the same view a couple of years from now.

Next installment (February 2008) >>

Monday, 17 December 2007

Imperial Wharf gets more funding

This is old news, but doesn't seem to have been widely circulated - on October 31st Hammersmith and Fulham Council announced that they've extracted another £1.25m from developers St George for the construction of Imperial Wharf station. This came only a couple of weeks after they said they needed roughly that amount in extra funding over what was already in place.

What they conspicuously don't mention is whether this means the station is going to be built.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Crossrail through Commons

The Crossrail Bill has now cleared the House of Commons and now has to be approved by the House of Lords. As previously discussed, there'll be another round of public petitioning. The petitioning period in the Commons resulted in this document, which details the various complaints and the committee's responses and recommendations.

Update: The Crossrail newsletter points to the Lords' Crossrail page. The petitioning period is 8th-30th January.

Shepherd's Bush Central Line station closed for eight months

TfL have announced that the Central Line station at Shepherd's Bush is closing from 2 February 2008 until October:

This will result in the ticket hall being demolished and rebuilt, as well as the installation of new escalators and modernisation of the station.
I note that the press release mentions the new Wood Lane station, the renaming of Shepherd's Bush H&C. the new Central Line depot, even the new H&C viaduct over the entrance to that depot, but not a peep about a certain other station.

(this announcement may explain why both stations are shown as under construction on one version of the new tube map)

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Look ma, Crossrail 2


I was looking at the plans for the Victoria Transport Interchange* development, when I found this diagram showing where the platforms for the Chelsea-Hackney Line will be (the grey bits on the left), with interchange passageways shown and everything!

The southbound platform will be directly under Buckingham Palace Road, the northbound platform a bit off to the west, and there'll be a new entrance on the north side of Bressenden Place (a long way from Victoria station, but handy for Buckingham Palace), and an interchange passageway across to the District Line ticket hall, and another to the Victoria Line platforms.

Sadly, it's all fictional:

No detailed plans yet exist for this scheme but the Victoria Transport Interchange proposals incorporate a safeguarding zone anticipating the station being located below Buckingham Palace Road.
And the redevelopment scheme itself is looking shaky.

If you still want to take a look, the diagram is on page 18 of this 108 MB PDF, and pops up again on page 50, and there are some cross sections at the back.

(* Ignore the name - it's actually just office blocks in the area north of the station, its major effect on transport being "removal of the bus station from in front of the station and dispersal of the bus stops to the surrounding streets")

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Board Papers time again

The notes from this month's TfL board meeting have been published. A few things of note:

  • TfL have started ordering Oyster equipment for the roll out to the whole National Rail network in 2009
  • London Bridge may not have capacity for South London Line trains when it's rebuilt for Thameslink (there'll be fewer terminus platforms). TfL suggest the East London Line phase 2 should go ahead ASAP to solve this problem.
  • Major DLR works will happen at Stratford during the Christmas closure on Liverpool St (this probably actually means the new North London Line platforms).
  • An "Oyster Control Centre" has been setup, whose main job seems to be reprogramming the gatelines to fix unresolved journeys after station evacuations and other events.
  • The first new Piccadilly Line train is due in 2011, with the upgrade progamme finsihed by 2014
  • TfL are having doubts about how feasible it is to extend Circle Line stations for 7 car trains, and are investigating other options.
  • TfL are still deciding whether to go with the "Harmony" or SLC2k service patterns for the North London Line upgrade. No idea what either of these are.
  • The future of the Cross River Tram and Crystal Palace Tramlink extension looks very murky
  • "The review of a number of projects in the Planning directorate continued this quarter, including tram and bus transit schemes. The outputs of these reviews are expected to be made available at the end of the year."
  • The East London Transit project (Ilford-Barking-Dagenham) appears to be progressing, but isn't due to start in October 2009.
  • Greenwich Waterfront Transit is still in public consultation, and will take even longer.
  • A TWA application for the DLR Dagenham Dock extension will be made early next year, but the project has no funding after that.
The last few bits are from the appendices.

Update: The document has been updated with a load of extra bits tacked on, including enormous tables of Travelcard and London Overground prices.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Stratford DLR bridge finally opens

I took a detour to Stratford on the way home today to check on the DLR bridge, and by the power of Ken it is open. Bemused commuters were being herded that way even if they were going east (it connects only to the westbound platforms).

It's actually less a footbridge and more a walkway - it only has stairs at one end (the short flight shown in the picture), while at the DLR end it comes out level with the platforms. It didn't need to be built any taller because the only thing it goes over is the westbound Central Line descending into its tunnel.

Meanwhile, in second platform news, they still weren't using both platforms at once.

Update: Building has an excellent aerial photo of it.

The Millennium Busway

The latest Smoke has a write-up of London's only subaquatic bus route, the 108 (Stratford-North Greenwich-Lewisham), and by my reckoning one of very few that pass the same point 3 times during their run. Anyway, the article briefly mentions the Millennium Busway, built to speed passengers from Charlton station to the Dome. Having no recollection of what this engineering marvel amounts to and finding little online, I decided to take a look while I was in East London yesterday.

The answer: not much. Here it is on a map. Very nearly three quarters of a mile of, well, bus lane, stretching all the way from North Greenwich station to North Greenwich Odeon.

The northern half runs adjacent to one of the Dome's gridlocked access roads and has no stops - the only building it passes is this isolated pub with a terrace of houses behind it.

The southern half runs around the back of Greenwich Millennium Village (where there are two lonely stops), then terminates at a junction with Bugsby's Way (pictured). Buses cross from here into the retail park with that Millennium eco-Sainsbury's. Then it's out onto normal streets.

Under the "Millennium Transit" plans it was intended that buses on the route would be guided electronically, following a buried cable, but the technology was abandoned before public service commenced, partly because of safety concerns. The busway is now used by ordinary buses to get passengers to North Greenwich station slightly quicker, but one day will be part of Greenwich Waterfront Transit, and far in the future that could be converted to trams, finally fulfilling the busway's destiny.

Railcard discounts on Oyster PAYG

Another new thing in the fares leaflet is the availability of Railcard discounted fares caps on Oyster PAYG. You'll be able to have your Young Persons, Disabled Persons, HM Forces or Senior Railcard loaded onto your Oyster card (no details how) and from then on the off-peak fares cap for you will be around a third lower than normal (e.g. £3.10 vs £4.80 for Zones 1-2). There doesn't appear to be a discount on peak caps or single journeys.

Oyster PAYG extensions this January

The new fares leaflet is on tube station leaflet racks everywhere, though not yet online. It confirms the new National Rail route sections where Oyster PAYG will be valid from January, though they're not quite as expected:

  • Grays to Upminster and Barking on c2c. This covers all their London stations, with the exception of their few trains to Liverpool Street where Forest Gate and Maryland still aren't covered.
  • West Ruislip to Marylebone on Chiltern, covering all their London stations.
  • Greenford to Ealing Broadway on First Great Western, but not at intermediate stations. This is a surprise, but since both already have PAYG for their tube services, no expenditure was necessary.
  • All intermediate stations between Walthamstow Central/Tottenham Hale/Seven Sisters (i.e. the Victoria Line) and Stratford/Liverpool Street on 'one'. 6 of the 9 added stations are in almost-tubeless LB Hackney. The promised expansion to Chingford hasn't happened.
  • Kentish Town to West Hampstead Thameslink on First Capital Connect. This actually happened last month for the launch of London Overground.
The brochure also confirms that both Southern and London Midland will be accepting Oyster PAYG between Watford Junction and Euston/Clapham Junction.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

The new new tube map

There's another new tube map coming out this January to go with the changes to the Travelcard zones, among other things, and copies of it are leaking out in various places. The London Connections version has appeared on TfL's website. The tube map version can be found in the centrefold of the London Overground timetable book now available at stations (that's a photo of my copy to the right - click to enlarge). Reader Marcel has emailed me photos of the poster tube map that's already up at Langdon Park, which is very similar to the version here, but shows the zones.

Quite a few notable changes:

  • Travelcard zones A-D have been replaced by 7, 8 and 9. See the London Connections map for exactly how this works.
  • The East London Line is replaced by buses, and the extenstion are illustrated on the tube map version. The northern extension is simply "Under construction" (terminating at Highbury and Islington) while the southern extension has a long disclaimer about Oyster Pay As You Go not being valid on current services on the route.
  • On the tube map version, the interchanges at West Hampstead, Heron Quays and Canary Wharf are connected by tiny walking distances (100m, 150m and 200m). They haven't done this anywhere else, like Hammersmith or Bow Church.
  • Shepherd's Bush: On the London Connections map, it's shown as open and a direct interchange with the Central line. In the London Overground version the two stations have separate ticks but only one label, under which it says "Under construction", with no indication the Central line station isn't. Finally, on the version at Langdon Park it's shown as open, with a double interchange blob, one end of which indicates the Overground station is accessible. There are blank rows for the station in the actual Overground timetable, with the footnote "station may open during the currency of this timetable".
  • Waterloo says "International rail services now depart from King's Cross St Pancras"
  • Wood Lane "opens late 2008"
  • Tower Gateway is "closed summer 2008 to spring 2009" for three-car extensions
  • Hampstead Heath, Acton Central and Willesden Junction have had their zones rationalised to increase the number of single zone journeys.
  • Heathrow Terminal 5 opens Spring 2008, which means we have another map due then.
I think that's everything. Diamond Geezer has a write up here, and tube buffs discuss the changes here.

Station openings today

This weekend saw the opening of two new London stations, and the closure of another after 134 years.

The last ever train left King's Cross Thameslink last night around 1.15am (several minutes late), and the first ever train to call at St Pancras International arrived on time at 9.13am (earlier trains today called at neither, though did appear on the St Pancras departures board). The interior is a lot like City Thameslink, but with everything twice as big. Meanwhile, King's Cross Thameslink is now plastered with massive red "Do not alight here" signs. I was there for both events, but my photos were eaten by a shonky cheap memory card (don't do it kids), so you'll have to make do with this picture of a random train at St Pancras this afternoon.

Langdon Park DLR also opened this morning. When I passed yesterday afternoon the entrances were sealed off and it was swarming with men in orange jackets fiddling with the paving. But today the fences were gone and trains were stopping there, confusing at least a couple of passengers. As shown in the second picture, they've really gone to town with the footbridge roof. Disappointingly the station still has the standard DLR ticket machines that don't do Oyster.

At Stratford this afternoon, all DLR trains were using the north platform, rather than the south platform as they usually do. I'm not sure if this has been happening for a while or only started today, but at least both are now in use, though apparently not yet at the same time. The new footbridge from the old platform area is still sealed off, but appears complete (that's the rather unpromising Central Line/One end of it in the photo).

Friday, 7 December 2007

The King's Cross St. Pancras nexus - a novelty tube map

Just in time for the closure of King's Cross Thameslink and the opening of the Thameslink platforms at St Pancras this weekend, here is a complete diagram I've made of the whole complex, in the style of the tube map. It attempts to show every public passageway, escalator and entrance, and as far as possible it's geometrically as well as topologically accurate, so in a very approximate way the shape of the interchange blobs matches the shape of each interchange.

There are a few of the more obvious things I left out:

  • None of the changes for the new King's Cross concourse are shown, though the new tube station passageways underneath it are.
  • It shows all of St Pancras as open. The Circle and the coach station are not.
  • Pancras Road continues further north.
  • The public part of the mezzanine level at St Pancras is not shown, but there's very little on it of note.
  • The temporary diversion of the passageway to the Piccadilly Line is not shown.
  • I couldn't be bothered drawing separate lines for GNER/NX East Coast, Hull Trains, Grand Central, etc.
  • It's in Gill Sans, not New Johnston.
Links: PNG | Zipped PDF

Monday, 3 December 2007

TfL Journey Planner: Langdon Park opens 5am Saturday

If the TfL Journey Planner can be trusted, the first DLR train to call at Langdon Park will be at 5:00 am exactly, travelling towards Stratford. Oddly, you can't yet enter Langdon Park as a destination (try the nearby postcode, E14 6PG). If you're feeling hardcore, the only place you can catch this train is All Saints a couple of minutes earlier, as it appears to originate at Poplar depot rather than coming from central London.

Mr diamondgeezer has been in touch again to say there'll be open days held at the station all week. The first is this Saturday 10am-1pm.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Pedestrian projects

A new map has just appeared on the TfL website showing the various improvements they're making to walking around the city. Mostly new pedestrian crossings and so on, but worth a look.

TfL appear to be going ahead with the Walthamstow interchange idea, which will provide an easy walking route between Walthamstow Queens Road (on the Gospel Oak to Barking line) and Walthamstow Central. They're going for the easier option of providing new street entrances at the closest corner of each station, making the route as short as possible, rather than the more expensive idea mentioned on Always Touch Out of providing a subway from Queens Road station to Selbourne Road, which would give the station easy access to the main Walthamstow shopping area, though the walk to Walthamstow Central this way would be longer.

The pedestrianisation of Cowcross Street (outside Farringdon station) is also on the map.

Update: An anonymous commenter points out Waltham Forest's own plans which include the subway scheme: "New walkway under the railway line to link this area with the Town Centre, to be connected to a new high-level platform and station building over the Queens Road station." So both schemes are potentially going to be built, as well as a major upgrade to Queens Road station.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Lots happening on the DLR in mid December

We already know the delivery of first next generation DLR train was pencilled in for 14 December, but the other two imminent developments now look to be happening the same week.

This Rail Panel report gives a date of 10 December for both the opening of Langdon Park station and the long delayed use of both new platforms at Stratford, a date also mentioned in this news article (thanks to Abigail and Bob for sending in those links).

Complicating things, diamondgeezer sends in the above photo, which says the timetable will be changing on 8 December, which would presumably be to accommodate both developments.

Hopefully we'll get an official announcement soon of the exact date.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Shepherd's Bush station: opening date update

I've been in touch with TfL again over the opening date of Shepherd's Bush station. Their reply:

The responsibility for delivery of the new West London Line station at Shepherd's Bush rests with Westfield, the developers of the adjacent White City shopping centre. We understand that Westfield is expecting to have the station delivered to the appropriate standards and ready for service by the end of the year. Transport for London (TfL) will then take responsibility for operating the station as part of the new London Overground network.
"End of the year"? That's very nearly a concrete date.

[Latest: The wall will be moved, taking at least four months]

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Crossrail parliamentary process

Today I received the least glamorous email the world has known, Crossrail Project Bulletin 11 ("This is the eleventh bulletin keeping you up-to-date on the progress of the Crossrail project"). It's not online yet that I can find, but there is one part worth quoting, about the hurdles the Crossrail Bill still has to face:

Remaining stages in the Commons
The Bill will now be considered by a Public Bill Committee, and then there will be a further debate (Report/Third Reading) in the Commons, before the Bill passes to the House of Lords.

House of Lords
When the Bill is introduced in the Lords a fresh petitioning period will be triggered, and those directly affected by the proposals will have the opportunity to petition against them just as they did in the Commons.
Not quite in the bag yet.

Monday, 5 November 2007

King's Cross temporary tunnel is truly temporary

A couple of weeks ago I reported on a new "temporary" tunnel at King's Cross St Pancras tube station. I've just got an email back from London Underground, and it turns out it really is temporary:

It will be filled in once redevelopment work is completed in approximately two years time, when escalators will be in place to link the two services.
Seems an awful lot of effort going to waste.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

London Overground branding details confirmed

Design Week has confirmed some of the previously discussed details about how the London Overground brand will be rolled out. There are a few glaring errors, but a few interesting bits too:

The Overground identity - including an orange and blue version of the familiar roundel - will only be fully introduced as each of a total of 60 stations is refurbished or built, and new rolling stock introduced. At first, you will just notice the absence of Silverlink branding, and a single new roundel, plus - from 9 November - the orange tramlines on the map.
As for the principal brand colour - orange - this finds its way into everything. 'It is a happy colour for us to use, has high visibility and can be applied consistently across all applications,' says Ferguson.
To avoid confusion, the various branches of the Overground system will not have subsidiary colours and line names in the way of the Tube - the idea is to have a destination-based system, like the DLR.
The 2025 map referenced at the end of the article is this one.

(thanks to Jason for sending this in)

TfL Intelligent Transport Systems

Tfl did several presentations at this year's ITS World Congress, and have posted some of the documents. Of interest:

  • Bus priority using GPS: "TfL plan to extend bus priority to most of the traffic signals in London."
  • Locating London's 19,000 bus stops Surprisingly difficult.
  • Bus lane enforcement "Bus mounted cameras are installed at the front of the bus in order to capture images of the rear number plates of vehicles either driving or stopped in the bus lane. There are 1,045 bus mounted cameras in operation in London today."

Monday, 29 October 2007

A beginner's guide to London Overground

London's getting a new trainsetHello random Googlers! You've seen this ad around town and are now wondering what the hell it's on about. Here are some answers.

What is London Overground? From November 11th, Transport for London (TfL) will be given direct control of the local trains services currently operated by Silverlink. These are:

  • North London Line (Richmond to Stratford via North London)
  • West London Line (Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction via Kensington Olympia)
  • Gospel Oak to Barking Line (edge of Hampstead Heath to East London via Walthamstow)
  • Watford DC Line (Euston to Watford Junction, partly shared with the north end of the Bakerloo)
Here's a map

What happens on November 11th? Very little. Same timetable, same trains, but you'll be able to use Oyster Pay As You Go across the network, and the lines will be added to the standard tube map. TfL plan to put staff on all stations at all times they're open, though some may just be security guards. Branding in the early days will be minimal.

When can I expect improvements to the service? From December 9th, the timetables will improve slightly, with longer operating hours and the odd extra train. The next major improvement comes in December 2009, when the Gospel Oak to Barking service doubles to every 15 minutes. The North London Line service frequency is due to double on some sections by 2011, when trains will be extended to four cars. Some improvements are due in the intervening years, but details are hazy.

Are we getting new trains? Yes. All trains will be replaced with brand new ones in the next couple of years. The first will be delivered around a year from now. They'll have seating along the sides, like tube trains, to give more space to stand. The new trains on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line will still be diesel.

Are the stations being upgraded? Yes. This will start with a "deep clean" within the next six months, followed by a fairly ambitious program of rebuilding and upgrading over the next 4 years. Several stations will have ticket barriers installed.

Are any new stations planned? A new station has been built at Shepherd's Bush, but it's opening date has been postponed indefinitely by a construction cockup. Another new station at Imperial Wharf in Chelsea was once a certainty, but due to spiralling costs is looking increasingly doubtful. The disused Primrose Hill station may one day be reopened. That's it.

Will Overground be part of the tube? No. It'll appear on the tube map, but will still be an ordinary timetabled train service. Think of it as a train company run by Transport for London, which it more or less is.

What about the East London Line? The tube's East London Line will close just before Christmas. When it reopens in 2010 it'll be part of Overground, and will have been extended north along a disused viaduct, with new stations at Shoreditch High Street, Haggerston, Hoxton and Dalston Junction. Trains will also continue further south than New Cross, using the existing railway lines to reach Crystal Palace and West Croydon. Here's a brochure with more details.

For more info check the blog archives and the Wikipedia page. Don't bother with the TfL page.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

London gaps

Inspired by this post, I've created a map showing exactly how well covered London is by rail services (click to enlarge). Tube stations are blue, DLR and Tramlink stops are green and National Rail stations are grey. The blobs indicate the area within a quarter mile and a half mile of each station, so anywhere the background is visible is outside the easy walking distance of one. The light grey area is Greater London and the white area is Travelcard Zone 3.

Update: A better version, with labels.

All data sourced from the Google Earth Community: Tube stations, National Rail stations, DLR stations, Tramlink stops and the Greater London boundary. Map created using a combination of grep hacks, PHP and Inkscape.

Friday, 26 October 2007

TfL October board meeting notes

Transport for London held a board meeting on Wednesday, and today they published the stack of documents (5 MB PDF) produced for it. A skim through the 286 pages reveals:

Oyster

  • On October 7, TfL began replacing the now-redundant push-button Few Fare Machines with Advanced Fare Machines, which do Oyster, but don't do change. 100 are planned by January, and the full 350 by April.
  • TfL's rollout of Oyster to Overground faced problems at Clapham Junction, because South West Trains are meant to be selling ITSO rather than Oyster cards. TfL ticket machines will be installed at each entrance.
  • Barclaycard expect to issue 75,000 OnePulse Oyster cards by the end of the year.
  • Cash fares are down to 3.5% of tube journeys and 2.3% of bus journeys.
  • All the train companies have finally signed an agreement for Oyster PAYG use, which includes details of how fares money will be distributed. The Financial Services Authority have confirmed the scheme doesn't fall under e-money regulations.
  • It's stated "C2C, ‘one’ and First Capital Connect" will be expanding PAYG from this January, but I think they mean Chiltern rather than FCC (see this blog's sidebar).

London Overground

  • The upgrade plans for the North London Line are due to be agreed with Network Rail this month, for delivery in 2010-11. This presumably includes resignalling, 3 and 4 tracking in places and platform extensions for 4 car trains. The associated improvement in service is called "SLC2k" and is due in January 2011.
  • The superstructure design for the "bridge at Liverpool Street" has been approved. I'm not sure if refers to the one over the Liverpool Street tracks by Brick Lane, or the one nearer Liverpool Street station over Shoreditch High Street.
  • The 3 extra Overground trains ordered in July are said to be dual voltage and intended for the North London Line, rather than for the East London Line as stated at the time. I'm not sure which is correct.
  • Stations on the Gospel Oak to Barking line will get shelters by March 2008, and initial repairs at all Overground stations will be completed by May. The full upgrade programme will run until November 2011, however.

Tube, DLR, Rail and Trams

  • Approval has been given to apply for the Victoria and Archway station upgrade Transport & Works orders.
  • Automatic Train Operation on the Jubilee Line is due by the end of 2009, and on the Northern by the end of 2011.
  • The first new Victoria Line train is due in service by January 2009.
  • Southfields, Baker Street (SSL only) and Green Park will be made step-free in time for the Olympics.
  • The DLR City Airport extension is carrying 48% of the airport's passengers.
  • The first new design DLR car is scheduled to be delivered on 14 December this year, a bit behind schedule. It's already running on a test track in Germany.
  • Train and platform lengthening are planned for many London National Rail lines (details are in the minutes).
  • TfL has now officially disbanded the West London Tram team, and appear not to be leaving open the possibility of restarting the scheme.
  • Funding for the Crystal Palace Tramlink extension appears hazy.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Camden Town redevelopment plan moving forward

TfL have been quietly continuing to pursue their plan to rebuild Camden Town station. After a public consultation earlier this year, Camden Council have now decided that the development can go ahead, sort of.

The actual news is that the council's Environment subcomittee quietly resolved to adopt this planning brief as a "Supplementary Planning Brief". TfL still need to reapply for planning permission, but as long as they stick to the guidelines they should be OK.

The plan is to build a temporary station (which means a new ticket hall connected to the existing platforms) before the current station closes, and only then will work begin on the permanent new station. This delays possible completion until around 2016.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Imperial Wharf: Price now £8m

A few months ago Hammersmith & Fulham council publicly complained that the cost of Imperial Wharf station had risen to £6.5m. They were looking to get the price lowered and promised they were working on a funding plan. They've now published the next instalment:

Hammersmith & Fulham Council, working with Kensington & Chelsea Council, Tfl and developers St.George, had a funding package agreed in the summer that would have meant the station got a green light but just as progress looked likely Network Rail’s construction and project management fees increased. The total cost of building the station is now £7.93 million.
They're asking for Network Rail themselves to cover the increase.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

A couple more photos

A couple of photos of new things:

  • The first is of one of the covered Oyster readers appearing on Silverlink Metro platforms. This is much prettier than the reader underneath, which were uncovered until recently and look like a GCSE metalwork project. These readers are also the nearest TfL have come so far to advertising to passengers that they're taking over Silverlink. Otherwise there's no sign of London Overground yet - even the new ticket machines are Silverlink branded, though only in software.
  • The second is of one of the new projectors on the southbound Victoria line platform at Euston, and yes, they really are that huge. There's only 3 of them, and as shown in the picture, they seem to spend a lot more time than necessary switched off.
(Sorry, only had a camera phone with me)

Temporary tunnel opens at King's Cross St Pancras

A new tunnel connecting the Piccadilly line with the Victoria line at King's Cross St Pancras. What's odd about this tunnel is despite its size, it's only temporary, while they rebuild the old route as a connection to the Northern Ticket Hall.

I've drawn a quick sketch of the area. The new tunnel replaces part of the Thameslink interchange tunnel, and once King's Cross Thameslink closes in December will serve only as an interchange route between the Piccadilly and Victoria lines (which are also connected by a shorter route at their southern ends), and as a route from both lines to the Thameslink station entrance on Pentonville Road.

Update: Yes, it truly is temporary

[via]

Crossrail fare rises: A stitch-up?

Last night the BBC London News led with a story bluntly stating that fares in London would have to go up to pay for Crossrail. The thing is, this story seems to be built entirely around catching the mayor out saying these words:

Fares are going up to pay for the cost of the borrowing to do the construction
Not much arguing with that. Now watch the video. Not only does it start awkwardly, apparently mid-sentence, but he says immediately afterwards that they aren't going to go up, and put out a press release this morning denying the story.

I've emailed both parties for clarification. The Mayor's office say the quote is taken from a hypothetical discussion of what might happen as a last resort if interest rates go out of control, which would mean the BBC cut off a rather important part of the clip. BBC London News haven't replied.

I realise the naivety of expecting even basic journalistic standards from local news, but unless I've got the wrong end of the stick, this is a just a little bit brazen, isn't it?

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Mayor confirms Crossrail details

Ken has released a statement confirming various details of Crossrail. In summary:

  • As already announced, TfL will take sole control of the Crossrail project from next year
  • The Abbey Wood branch will be built in the first phase - a direct rebuttal of rumours it wouldn't.
  • Crossrail services will be phased in over 12 months
  • Standard rate zonal fares (including Oyster) will apply to most of Crossrail, but premium pricing on the Heathrow branch will continue.
  • The Mayor hopes East Londoners will be able to get jobs on the project.
  • "With the advent of Crossrail, total public transport capacity will increase by 10%", which represents "40% of the extra rail capacity London needs by middle of the next decade".
There's nothing spectacularly new here, but it should stop a few of the rumours flying around.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

DLR capacity enhancement summary

Bank in July, TfL announced that various parts of the 3 car DLR upgrade program were going ahead, but the press release was so confused about exactly which bits I gave up trying to write it up and emailed them for clarification. I stumbled upon their reply today while clearing out my inbox, and I though I'd belatedly share.

Phase 1:

  • Bank to Lewisham
  • Tower Gateway rebuild - conspicuously absent from the last press release, but definitely in phase 1.
  • Delta Junction rebuild - this is still listed on the website under phase 2, but they tell me it's part of phase 1.
Phase 2:
  • Poplar to Beckton
  • Poplar to Stratford
The DLR has successfully obtained Transport And Works Orders (1, 2) for everything listed, despite what their website says. Phase 1 has funding and should be completed in two year's time. Phase 2 does not, but nevertheless they told me they expect construction on at least the Stratford route to start early next year.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

The Shepherd's Bush platform debacle

Rumour has it that the mysterious delay in the new Shepherd's Bush station on the West London Line opening is down to one of the platforms being built too narrow. I went down there to take a look, and it's obvious even from first glance that something's not right.

[Latest 02/08: The wall will be moved, taking at least four months]

As the photos show (click to enlarge), there's barely enough space to walk round the lamp posts without crossing the yellow line, and apart from the area by the stairs the problem seems to exist along the entire length of the platform. The second photo shows the retaining wall that needs to be moved to fix the problem. Although not clear in the picture, there is at least a short area of tarmac between the metal fence and the concrete structure beyond, so it may be straightforward to fix. The right hand (southbound) platform appears to be a decent width.

If you want to see this for yourself, turn left out of Shepherd's Bush tube station, cross in front of the bus station, and follow the pavement round to the left. As you descend the ramp towards the subway under the West Cross Route, you get a very clear view of the station to your left.

Update: I've dug up a plan (4.7MB PDF) showing that the structure in the second photo is probably the Peninsular Building, and there's a wide road between it and the station. Worryingly, more than a year before construction began, it clearly shows a very narrow northbound platform (Here's a more detailed view from the same application). And here's the latest version of the interchange plans, dated June 2007, again showing plenty of space beyond the retaining wall.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Late night trains from Stansted Airport

Stansted Express are extending their service into the small hours:

Last Trains from Stansted:
  • The 0030 Stansted Airport to Liverpool Street which previously ran each Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, now runs EVERY DAY.
  • An additional 0100 and 0130 Stansted Airport to Liverpool Street will run each Monday, Friday and Saturday morning.
First Trains from Liverpool Street:
  • The 0430 Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport which runs Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings is retimed to start at 0410.
  • The 0455 Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport which runs every day is retimed to start at 0440.
  • On Sundays the 0525 and 0555 Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport departs at 0510 and 0540 respectively.
  • On Mondays there is an additional 0340 Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport service.

Crossrail still sort of actually has funding

The DfT have put out a press release making news of the Crossrail funding deal rumoured earlier in the week official, meaning Gordon Brown has given the project the 'go-ahead', whatever that means. As far as I can tell, there's no actual change in the project's status today - we still seem to be waiting for the deal to be finalised.

More interestingly, the press release has the latest construction timetable:

  • 2008 Royal Assent
  • 2009 Enabling works
  • 2010 Construction begins
  • 2017 First services commence
It looks like we can forget the possible 2015 opening date a few sources had been reporting this week.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Projection adverts trial at Euston station

TfL have announced they'll be trialling projected adverts on platform 5 of Euston station (Victoria Line southbound) for the next 4 weeks. The release is written in the future tense but says they hope to install the equipment by "the beginning of October", so it's anyone's guess whether it's in yet or not. Readers?

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Crossrail sort of actually gets funding

The BBC are reporting that the City of London has approved extra funding for Crossrail. So it looks like it might actually get built, assuming the actual last hurdle is crossed, and the bodies that have promised funding actually cough up.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Crossrail sort of gets funding

Gordon Brown has announced progress on Crossrail funding, in his inimitable way:

I want the project to go ahead subject to the satisfactory conclusion of detailed negotiations for additional contributions from all the beneficiaries.
This isn't an official announcement of funding, just that they've worked out how it might get it. And the bill still hasn't been passed in parliament, which means it essentially doesn't have planning permission either. No wonder opening is apparently now scheduled for 2017, with no work starting until 2010.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

London Overground branding info

This message board post reports back on a London Overground talk given last night at the London Transport Museum. Highlights include:

  • Shepherd's Bush station won't open until November 11
  • Existing stations are to be completely rebuilt. Before then, no obvious Overground branding. Afterwards, full tube-style roundels
  • Similarly, the existing trains won't receive the Overground livery.
  • The new Electrostars will have some sort of walk-through connections between carriages, though details are hazy
In related news, the first Electrostar went into production this week.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

TfL soliciting new bus shelter designs

Design Week reports that TfL are looking for a new design for bus shelters, as the current design is apparently 20 years old. CCTV and public address systems are mentioned. I can't dig up the full OJEU notice, but here's a tantalising glimpse of TFL's eTendering system.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Cross River Tram consultation results released

TfL have published the results of the Cross River Tram consultation. Other than generally positive support (though 3% wrote in to say "the CRT is generally a bad idea and there are no reasons for agreeing with this route choice"), there's nothing much to report. The most interesting thing are the linked copies of the consultation brochures, which have nice high-res diagrams of the proposed routes.

I notice TfL have opted not just to avoid discussing a proposed opening date, but any future timescale any next step of the project. Their FAQ asks and immediately sidesteps the question.

Oyster Barclaycard now available

The Barclaycard Onepulse credit card is now available. It has a built-in Oyster card, but there appears to be no connection between it and the credit card function, so you'll still have to top it up manually or use auto top-up.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

GOBLIN stations gaining ticket machines

In preparation for the handover to London Overground, ticket machines have been appearing at stations along the Gospel Oak to Barking Line. Since most stations are unstaffed halts and only a fraction of trains have conductors, it means you'll finally be able to pay for journeys on the line. Stations where the two platforms have separate street entrances are getting two machines, even where they aren't far apart.

The machines aren't switched on yet. The operator details card says Silverlink, so presumably they're not going to be left rotting until November. The circle on the right looks to be an Oyster reader for topping up, but there's no sign of separate Oyster readers for touching in and out.

Friday, 3 August 2007

West London Tram officially dead

Ken has admitted defeat on the West London Tram scheme:

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, today joined Councillor Jason Stacey, Leader of Ealing Council, to announce that, on the assumption of a positive government decision on the construction of Crossrail, the Mayor and the local boroughs will work together to address the problem of improving public transport on the Uxbridge Road, between Uxbridge and Shepherd’s Bush, via a bus-based solution rather than the tram originally envisaged. This is because Crossrail would significantly increase public transport capacity in the area reducing the need for a tram and making a bus solution more practical.

It gives a Crossrail completion date of 2015, so presumably they think it's practical for it to be under construction at the same as the Olympic site and Thameslink.

Monday, 30 July 2007

Thameslink Borough Market timetable announced

Following the Thameslink funding decision last week, Network Rail have announced the first work to get the go ahead. A second viaduct will be built over Borough Market between January 2009 and October 2011. This fits in with the upgraded Thameslink timetable due in December 2011.

The viaduct is both the most controversial part of the plan, responsible for much of the delay in getting planning permission, and the most urgent, since at present all trains to Charing Cross and half of the Thameslink service must share a single two-track viaduct over the market. With the second viaduct in place, the two services can be segregated.

Between now and January 2009, there are preparatory works planned, including acoustic protection for Southwark Cathedral and building a roof over "the relocated section of the market". Presumably relocating said section is also one of the things that needs doing, but it isn't mentioned.

Gospel Oak to Barking TIF funding

Last week the DfT announced that the Gospel Oak to Barking line was getting £18.5m from the Transport Innovation Fund, but didn't detail what it would be spent on. Today, TfL came out with a press release filling in the blanks. As expected, the signalling will be upgraded to allow 4 passenger trains an hour, and there are no plans to electrify the line. Structures will be modified to allow full-height containers to be carried on ordinary wagons. Network Rail will be providing an additional £16.5m in funding.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Thames Gateway Bridge in doubt

Yesterday the mayor released this statement:

Any delay to the Thames Gateway Bridge is a blow to east London and south east London in particular.[...]The re-opening of the public inquiry will delay bringing the benefits of the Thames Gateway Bridge to an area that sorely needs them.
Yes, they put out a press release starting with the word "any", and published it before the thing it relates to was even news.

The context is the decision by Hazel Blears to re-open the public enquiry, following the publication of the inspector's report. The inspector concluded the bridge would do more harm than good in Bexley and that TfL did inadequate traffic modelling in general. Blears also reports receiving a large amount of correspondence since the original enquiry closed, which she thinks needs to be considered publicly.

If you aren't familiar with it, the Thames Gateway Bridge is a proposed road bridge across the Thames just east of City Airport. It would feature six lanes including two for public transport, linking the proposed East London Transit and Greenwich Waterfront Transit schemes.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

London rail improvements

Hidden within yesterday's rail white paper is the image to the right (click to enlarge) that gives some estimates of capacity improvements planned for London Rail stations. The only detail worth picking out is at Moorgate GN, where average peak loadings will reach 102% by the end of the period.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Thameslink Programme approved

As rumoured, the Thameslink Programme got funding today, which is the last hurdle before construction can commence. There was some suggestion it would only include the northern half, but that seems to be a misunderstanding. The current budget period only lasts until 2014, a year before the work is due to be complete, but there's no suggestion it won't be funded in the next period.

Today's white paper has some details hidden at the end. It confirms the 16 train per hour frequency and 12 car train length due by 2011 will only involve trains on the Midland Main Line. Trains on the Great Northern route (those that currently go to Kings Cross) will be added only in the next phase. The infrastructure budget is still said to be £3.55 billion, with the £5.5 billion figure mentioned today apparently covering rolling stock procurement (well over 1,000 carriages will be needed, at around £1 million each) and franchise renegotiation, and possibly other things.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Gospel Oak to Barking improvement details

The Barking - Gospel Oak Line User Group has some interesting information on the London Overground-related improvements planned for the line. Highlights:

  • The new trains to be introduced in 2009 are Class 172 Turbostars. These are the same as are being ordered by London Midland, and presumably TfL saw an oppurtunity to get in on the order. Unlike current Turbostars, they use the lightweight bogies currently seen on Virgin Voyagers, and the lower weight gives improved acceleration away from stations. Each carriage is 23m long, vs 20m for the current Sprinters.
  • Four trains per hour from December 2009, though whether any will run beyond Gospel Oak isn't mentioned.
  • All stations staffed, and ticket machines at every entrance.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

TfL gets right to vary London rail services

The Railways Act 2005 included provision for the Mayor to pay for improved train services on London's inner-suburban network. These powers come into force on August 8th, and some guidelines have been published today. A summary and list of lines involved is here.

Reading through the guidelines, it looks like the main aim is for TfL to help write franchise specifications before they're sent out to tender, of which the next one is Southern in 2009. They will also have the ability to alter existing schedules, either by entering into agreements directly with the train companies, or persuading the DfT to renegotiate the franchise contract.

There's no word yet on how TfL plan to use these powers.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Shepherd's Bush station opening soon-ish, maybe

I emailed TfL to ask when the Shepherd's Bush West London Line station is opening (their site says July). The response:

Shepherd's Bush station is nearing completion and we hope to see it opening towards the end of the summer period or early autumn based on present assessments.
A crazy person might suggest it'll be pushed back a little further to tie in with the launch of London Overground in November, but clearly that person would be crazy.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Barclays Oyster card coming in September

Barclays have announced a name and launch date their combined credit and Oyster card. It will be named OnePulse and be available from September. You can see a few more details and pre-register on their site.

Imperial Wharf station: LB H&F is on the case

Hammersmith and Fulham Council have issued a press release regarding the rising price of the planned Imperial Wharf station on the West London Line. Sadly, the release is almost as enigmatic as the station itself. Here's the nearest it comes to announcing anything:

Council officers have been working with Network Rail - the Government's ‘not for profit’ quango - to investigate where the spiralling costs are coming from. [...] H&F Council is working with neighbouring K&C, TfL and the developers of Imperial Wharf, St George, to work out how the funding shortfall can be bridged.
So there's no actual progress to announce yet, but at least they're still trying to get it built. [via]

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Hitachi A-Train on its way to the UK

The first train for Southeastern's forthcoming high speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link services to Kent has completed testing in Japan and has been loaded onto a ship bound for Southampton. It'll arrive in August and begin testing on the network in October.

Transport Briefing has a pretty picture of the train and some more details, though they incorrectly state it can do 186mph (the line speed is indeed 186 mph, but the A-Train's top speed is only 140 mph). There's a picture of it being loaded onto the ship on the Southeastern site.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

TfL expands London Overground rolling stock order

TfL have announced that all trains on the North London Line will be lengthened to 4 carriages in early 2011. They've also ordered 3 extra trains for the East London Line fleet, to be delivered at the same time, possibly corresponding to the extension from Dalston Junction to Highbury & Islington.

The new total is 188 cars, which still leaves us short of the 256 previously discussed. Also no mention of the new Goblin stock, which may also be built by Bombardier.

Monday, 2 July 2007

GEML East London Line new bridge date

TfL have started their PR offensive over the closure of Liverpool Street station this Christmas. This is to demolish the bridge where the East London Line will cross the Great Eastern Main Line. What I don't think has been said before is the date the replacement bridge goes up, which will be Spring 2008.

We also learn that the new bridge will be "the length of three Wimbledon Centre Courts". They presumably mean 234 feet or 73 metres.

Tfl Board Meeting, 27 June 2007

The minutes from TfL's June 27 board meeting have been published. Of note:

  • The Hackney Downs - Hackney Central interchange looks to be going ahead, though the only timescale given is sometime before the Olympics.
  • Archway station will be made step-free 2009-2012, with a new passageway leading from the ticket hall to a lift shaft between the platforms.
  • There are detailed diagrams of the Victoria station upgrade.
  • TfL want to make Ilford, Bromley South, Ealing Broadway, Edmonton
    Green, Dalston Kingsland, West Croydon, Worcester Park, Gospel Oak, Hampstead Heath and Camden Road step-free, with the DfT paying the bill.
  • The number of Oyster outlets will soon increase from 2,200 to 4,000.
  • Oyster fares for London Overground are still being worked out, and there may be discounts initially.
  • The East London Line extension, DLR upgrades, Stratford station upgrade and so on are all on schedule.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Eliminating request Bus Stops

TfL want to do away with the distinction between Request and Compulsory bus stops, apparently because neither drivers nor passengers pay much attention to it. The aim appears to be to reflect current prevailing practice, where passengers ring the bell regardless of whether they need to or not, and compulsory stops are skipped when no one is waiting and no one has rung the bell. The only anomaly is that drivers will be required to stop anywhere people are waiting, regardless of whether the bus is hailed or not, which Diamond Geezer is quite angry about.

TfL's PDF with a few more details is here.

East Coast Main Line Route Utilisation Strategy

Network Rail have published their strategic plans for the East Coast Main Line, which covers all services from King's Cross and Moorgate via Finsbury Park. Of interest to Londoners:

  • The Finsbury Park to Moorgate branch is currently closed all weekend and after 10pm on weekdays, with trains directed to King's Cross at other times. The document rejects
    extending these hours as too expensive, though they suggest it might be needed on Saturdays to free up capacity at King's Cross.
  • Inner-suburban services (ie the ones that run to Moorgate) may be increased from 3tph (trains per hour) to 4tph off-peak on each branch north of Alexandra Palace, and therefore from 6tph to 8tph south of there. A similar extra train may run at weekends.
  • Four North London Line Class 313s may be transferred to First Capital Connect to run more inner-suburban trains as six car formations. They recommend doing this as soon as possible, which won't be until the new London Overground trains come into service.
  • Lots of vagueness over when and whether the ECML will be connected to Thameslink. Seeing as a decision on this is meant to be due shortly and it has a major impact on any plans, it's an odd time to publish the document.
  • Outer-suburban services will probably be extended to twelve car eventually, though due to the Thameslink Programme indecision, it's hard to say when.
  • The long rumoured new "Platform 0" at King's Cross is apparently now called "Platform Y". It would be created by building a track through the more-or-less derelict arches and buildings along the east wall of the station.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

New trains on Gospel Oak to Barking by 2009

The GLA has put out a press release confirming the award of the London Overground concession to MTR Laing. Amongst the typical fluff, it hides this surprise:

A fleet of new trains between Gospel Oak and Barking from 2009, in addition to the 44 new London Overground electric trains already ordered by Transport for London
Although it doesn't say whether these are diesel or electric, it's unlikely the line could be electrified on that timescale, so I'd bet they'll be diesel. [via]

MTR Laing wins London Overground concession

According to various reports, MTR Laing has won the contract to operate the London Overground rail concession, meaning they'll take over operation of Silverlink Metro this November and will also run the extended East London Line when it opens.

London Overground is not a typical rail franchise, in that TfL are responsible for rolling stock, timetabling, fares, branding and so on. MTR Laing's main responsibility will be day-to-day operation, in a similar way to Serco running the DLR.

MTR operate the metro system in Hong Kong, and Laing Rail own Chiltern Railways.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Tramlink Crystal Palace route survey results

TfL have published the results of their consultation to choose a route for the Tramlink Extension to Crystal Palace. 67% preferred Option 2 (illustrated right), which runs directly past Crystal Palace station, with minimal on-street running. Although the press release says it will "run off-street along the existing railway line", this is slightly misleading. The railway is in a cutting and trams will run alongside it on the embankment, which will require ripping up a lot of trees but hopefully only minor demolition (see the left side of the tracks in this Google Map).

The actual route will be decided by the end of the year, with opening due in 2013 if everything is approved.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

East London Line replacement services

This blog post outlines potential replacement bus services for the two years plus the East London Line will be closed.

Friday, 8 June 2007

More on the East London Line route

Following on from this morning's post, I've hit the jackpot. Here is a planning map showing the precise line of the route all the way from the Broad Street viaduct to the existing line from Whitechapel.

[Update: a proper map]

It shows very clearly how Shoreditch High Street station will be marooned in the middle of the Bishopsgate Goods Yard site, a long way from its namesake or any other significant thoroughfare. It'll be interesting to see where the entrances are built and how development around it proceeds. The station would appear to be directly above the Central Line, though this isn't shown on the map.

The map accompanies a longwinded planning application about noise abatement. The only interesting diagram is on Page 31, which shows the area discussed in the previous post, including the new road configuration (the route of Crossrail shown is obsolete).

The East London Line route through Shoreditch

Detailed plans of how exactly the East London Line will get from Whitechapel to Hoxton are conspicuously absent from the web, but this planning application does at least show what will happen in the Shoreditch area.

[Update: a proper map]

According to the map, the cutting north from Whitechapel will be partly filled in, providing a ramp up to ground level, which it will reach at Bratley Street. It will then continue rising on an embankment, crossing the Great Eastern Main Line and then going over Brick Lane. The embankment is where the line leaves the existing alignment into Shoreditch station, as shown by the dotted rectangle on the map.

Because the cutting is being filled in, the bridges that carry Pedley Street, Fleet Street Hill, Bratley Street and Weaver Street over the line (area map) will need to be removed to provide clearance. New roads will be built to reconnect everything, as briefly mentioned in the East London Line Extension Order. Pedley Street will be rerouted further north (Work No. 7), passing under the new line and connecting with the north ends of the severed streets, then continuing east to meet Valance Road (Work No. 4). The south ends of the severed streets will be connected to Buxton Street by Work No. 5. A footbridge over the line will be provided at Fleet Street Hill (Work No. 6).

The planning application itself is mainly about the demolition of Bridge GE19, for which Liverpool Street will be closed this Christmas. This is the railway viaduct visible from Brick Lane near the site of the recently closed Shoreditch tube station. The East London Line extension will cross the Great Eastern Main Line and Brick Lane in much the same place, but on a brand new structure.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

New Stratford DLR platform: June 18

TfL has finally published opening plans for the new DLR platforms at Stratford. The existing platform will close on June 15 and the new one will open on June 18, with no service on the entire Poplar-Stratford branch all weekend. The second platform will open this autumn.

Until recently the dates given for each platform were "April 2007" and "Summer 2007", which themselves were delayed from the original dates of January and June. [via]