Sunday, 13 April 2008

The new Circle Line: a diagram

I've made a diagram of the new Circle Line, so it's clearer what the proposal is and what issues it causes (click to enlarge).
I've included the other lines and their frequencies. As I understand it, each service on the network runs at roughly 7 trains per hour (tph), so that trains align when they meet at junctions. Hence one line on my map represents one 7 tph service, and the overall line thickness where they run alongside each other represents the total frequency on that section of track. I'm assuming that apart from the changes to the Circle, there'll be no significant changes to other lines.

You can see how there'll be double the number of trains on the branch to Hammersmith, but it also illustrates the big downside, which is the separation of the north and west sides of the [present] Circle Line. All trains from High Street Kensington terminate at Edgware Road, and all trains on the north side go to Hammersmith or up the Metropolitan Line, with none going towards High Street Kensington.

The major operation concern: the number of trains running over the flat junction at Praed Street, which will increase by a third because Circle Line services go over it twice on each journey.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

28 tph at Praed St and into Edgware Rd, is aproaching the often quoted maximum throughput on a simple two line station, never mind a junction - I just can't see it working. But with Wimblewares cut back to High St Ken it might...

MS

Sweek said...

Wimbledon - High Street Kensington would be an awfully inconvenient service. At the same time 10 Mets (after the upgrade) + 7 H&Cs + 7 or so Cirles are already 24 trains doing Baker Street - Aldgate, meaning it can't possibly go further either I think. I just don't see this working at all.

Pedantic of Purley said...

*If* the Hammersmith branch really merits all these trains I think it is a pity that a case couldn't be made for making it part of Crossrail instead of turning trains back at Westbourne Park.

I know this was looked at but the figures supposedly did not stack up which one can believe (double the length of platforms, change to overhead electrification etc). Given that the branch will be expensively resignalled around 2013, what seems like the dream solution seems lost forever.

Editor said...

I don't see how a Zone 2 tube line doesn't warrant 15 tph at the very least. The current service is dismal.

The problem with the H&C Crossrail idea is the Crossrail tunnel portal location. The portal is west of Royal Oak on the north side of the GWML, where the H&C has switched to being on the south side and is about turn away even further south. You'd have to either rejig the whole tunnelling scheme or build a sharp turn and a new flyover, but still connecting west of Westbourne Park station.

sven945 said...

Edgware Road station is a nightmare as it is with the seemingly random (and usually unannounced until the train is approaching) termination/changing of service. Does the station have the passenger capacity to allow for even more trainloads of people moving about?

Innocent Abroad said...

Anonymous is right. Praed Street to Edgware Road can't cope.

They'll have to cut the Wimbledons back to High Street, and run the Olympias (4 tph) through to Edgware Road instead.

This means 3-4 tph fewer through Baswater (my local station) and Notting Hill Gate. With no traffic justification, and AFAIK no grounds in law on which to protest.

Merseytart said...

Interesting use of three different District greens there to reflect the different services :)

Andrew said...

So the Circle Line will become the Spiral Line?

Max Roberts said...

Has anyone ever published a Circle Line/Hammersmith & City Line journey census? Where do people get on, where do they get off? The reason I ask is because we seem to be heading towards a split Northern Line, with through passengers obviously expected to change trains. Is the level of complexity provided by the surface lines really justified for the numbers of passengers taking particular journeys compared with the inconvenience of making them change trains?

For example, H&C trains traditionally go to Barking, but how many of these people go beyond Edgware Road? Cutting the main Paddington Underground station off from everywhere east of Edgware Road seems to be a major step, perhaps Wimbledon-Paddington-Barking would be better.

Mizter T said...

One other potential issue with this plan is how well the the H&C line platforms at Paddington will cope with the extra passengers - after all, passengers using direct trains between Paddington and Baker Street (and points east such as Kings Cross, Moorgate, Liverpool Street etc) will arrive or depart from these platforms, changing them from a bit of a backwater into a critical part of the Underground network at the station.

There is only a single staircase up from the island platform to the footbridge, and at busy times it can be pretty slow going, especially when there are several passengers slowly hauling heavy luggage up and down the stairs - there is basically a queue at the foot of the stairs as a trainload of passengers slowly filters its way off the platform, meanwhile others struggle against the flow on the stairs to make their way down so as to catch an H&C line train.

THC said...

Fame at last! I see that you were namechecked in this morning's Metro. Keep up the good work...

THC

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I have been using your blog for some transport economics for students studying the travel and tourims impacts of 2012 Games. Thanks. TfL publised a new map recently which includes the East London line promopsals for old Broad Street track. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/1106.aspx

Alan said...

Has TfL considered other ideas to deal with the operational problems of the Circle? For example running it as an Aldgate to Aldgate service, or scrapping the Circle altogether and running a better service on the H&C and District. At the moment the service interval on the Circle is so long and the actual timing so unreliable that you'd often be better to go via Earls Court or Aldgate East anyway.

alex4d said...

I have this info included in my December 2007 version of a future map of London's tube map:

http://alex4d.wordpress.com/londons-tube-map/

Brian of Grays said...

I can't see 28 trains per hour through Praed St working with the present layout. The only way to make it work would be to abolish Praed St junction and to build a third bidirectional track between there and the two southern platforms at Edgware Road. Terminating trains would then have exclusive use of two platforms, while through trains from H&C branch could call at the northen two platforms unhindered.

Anonymous said...

I find it bizarre that having moved the eurostar to St Pancras so that it better integrates with the rest of our transport system, they then choose to break the link between St Pancras and Paddington (and of course the north east and heathrow).

someone said...

They have not broken any link, the Circle Line trains would go:

Hammersmith -> Paddington -> Edgware Road -> Kings Cross St Pancras ->Liverpool Street -> Aldgate -> Tower Hill -> Victoria -> High Street Kensington -> Edgware Road

And then back the same way.

Also, the Hammersmith & City Line will also continue to connect Paddington and St Pancras anyway.

Aidenswood said...

Westbourne Park Station should be redeveloped with a cross-platform interchange between the Hammersmih&City and Crossrail/GWR lines.
Westbourne Park Station is located just west of the proposed tunnel and where both lines meet.
A quick and easy interchange could be provided as well as providing an enhanced service for the densely populated local area.
I would hate to see the opportunity of this proposal to be wasted.