Thursday, 28 June 2007

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.