Wednesday, 9 April 2008

"Hammersmith & Circle Line" looking likely

Plans to rework the subsurface network* have been being discussed for years now, but with no real indication of exactly what is planned and when it might happen.

This posting quotes TfL's current thinking and it looks fairly definite to me. The plan is to have Circle Line trains start at Hammersmith, run along the Hammersmith & City Line to Edgware Road then do a clockwise lap of the Circle, arriving back at Edgware Road. They'd then reverse and go anticlockwise round the circle back to Hammersmith. Despite my headline, the service would continue to be called the "Circle Line".

The big advantage for passengers is the doubling in service to Hammersmith as the Hammersmith & City Line will continue to run - currently the branch only gets 7 trains per hour. The big drawback is no through service between the west and north sides of the Circle - you will always have to change at Edgware Road.

Reader John Hawkins emailed an analysis of the numbers in this press release about the new S Stock trains that seems to confirm the plan:

There will be 133 7-car trains. If this is all about the Hammersmith-Barking service, and D-stock replacements remains 78 S7 instead of 75 D6, then leaves 55 S7 to replace 46 C6, which must be the T-cup service enhancement to Hammersmith.
The other rumoured change, to have the Metropolitan run to Barking and the Hammersmith & City to Aldgate appears to be dead.

* The Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines, which all share track


Anonymous said...

Frankly given the chance of actually seeing a Circle line train when you want one, it would be an advantage to know you'd have to change at Edgware Road rather than having the faint hope that one might turn up.

Innocent Abroad said...

District Dave's site also discusses the possibility of extending the District along the north side of the Circle to around Farringdon/Barbican.

However, there wouldn't appear to be enough trains ordered to permit this, unless perhaps they ran a Farringdon/Parsons Green (or Putney Bridge) service.

Mizter T said...

Teacup line here we come!

District Dave's forum has literally just been updated to a new software version, which unfortunately breaks the link Mr Thant gave in his blog entry - however this link should work.

Some sagely advice I once heard has always stuck with me - 'there's almost always a better way of getting somewhere than by relying on the Circle line.'

Perhaps, just perhaps, that might become less true in the future if the Circle line becomes more reliable. If.

Anonymous said...

Any indication what happens to the Liverpool Street-Barking part of the H&C in this plan?

Mizter T said...

"H&C line trains will continue to run to Barking", or at least so says what seems to be the official blurb which has been copied and posted on to the District Dave forum, which goes on to say that "frequencies are still being developed".

I don't think this is the death-knell for the H&C line, instead it looks like it might offer a significantly improved frequency for those using the line from Hammersmith up to Paddington and beyond.

Max Roberts said...

As a semi-regular traveller into Liverpool Street, who then sometimes travels to Temple, I wish they would just rebuild Aldgate East with an island platform to give an easy cross-platform interchange for going round the corner and get rid of the Circle completely from my neck of the woods. Edgware Road to South Kensington shuttle (should never have got rid of the Met platforms) could then deal with the west side. I do remember long-lost thoughts to extend the Bakerloo from Paddington to Hammersmith too. Shame LUL management is moribund. DLR is the only railway in London that gets money thrown at it for route improvements these days.

Editor said...

My understanding is the Hammersmith & City Line service to Whitechapel*/Barking will continue to run unchanged. The new Circle Line service is on top of it.

I've tried to work this into the post, and I've fixed the DD link. Thanks Mitzer T!

[*West Ham post Crossrail]

Anonymous said...

What is there to stop LUL from extending the Wimbleware service to Moorgate? Other than the fact it would wreck a perfectly good compound name. This would solve the lack of west-north services.

Is it lack of capacity, either on the north side of the circle or at Moorgate?

Anonymous said...

I think it's the fact that to terminate at Moorgate requires crossing the westbound line, which would always hold it up.

Otherwise good idea to ensure Notting Hill Gate - Baker St etc... journeys would still be possible.

Anonymous said...

Ah, that makes sense. I can see how rebuilding Moorgate to create an island platform would be an expensive nightmare, so they might be inclined to leave things as they are.

Anonymous said...

Ah, that makes sense. I can see how rebuilding Moorgate to create an island platform would be an expensive nightmare, so they might be inclined to leave things as they are.

Anonymous said...

Rebuilding Moorgate might not be the only way to get terminating Wimbledons/Putneys into the bay platforms - see the discussion on district dave's site.

Mizter T said...

@Max Roberts - Interesting ideas, I've come across the Aldgate East suggestion before but bringing the South Ken platforms back into use is a new one to me.

However going by the maxim that the Circle line is best avoided dare I suggest a couple of alternative routes from Liverpool St to Temple that require just a little shoe leather.

First off is walking from Liverpool St to Aldgate to catch the District line from there. It's just a short walk along Houndsditch or down the scenic backstreet route via Devonshire Way etc.

Alternatively one could travel to Chancery Lane on the Central line, then a short walk down Chancery Lane itself, cross Fleet St and you're there.

Rob said...

This thows up some interesting situations

- Two different ways to go from Paddington to Edgware Road via
Circle Line - from totally seperate platforms

- Youll be able to go Embankment to Monument via Westbound Circle or Eastbound District Line, from the same platform along the same route

- You could get of the train at Royal Oak and walk to Bayswater in ten
minutes, then sit and wait for the tube train you were originaly on arrive an hour

- Three lines to choose from between Gloucester Road and Hammersmith,
two stops on Piccadilly, three on the district, or 31 on the
Hammersmith and City. The 31 stop train will be the only one marked
Hammersmith on the indicator board.

Max Roberts said...

Thanks for suggestions Mizter t, in fact I'm going to Covent Garden, but try to avoid travelling by tube lines these days. Temple is a nice peaceful station and the best surface line stop for the area. If I walked to Aldgate East, I may as well walk from Liverpool Street to Covent Garden!

When I travel from Oxford Circus to Liverpool Street, I always get a bus to Euston Square or Great Portland Street, again far more restful and plenty of seats. Long live A Stock!

Sweek said...

Wimbledon - Moorgate would be a perfect way of filling the gap, but I don't think the northern part of the circle would be able to take the existing H&C, renewed Circle line and Metropolitan line trains all at once.

Anonymous said...

i like your new trains for hammersmith and city lines i will looking too geting on the hammersmith and city lines from martyn dunn