Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Death of the Circle Line confirmed

In the latest issue of Modern Railways there's an interview with David Millard, manager of the Circle and Hammersmith & City Lines, discussing the ins and outs of the plans to turn the Circle Line into a Hammersmith-Edgware Road spiral (see diagram). That's right, a senior member of staff has confirmed it on record in a public forum. No more rumours, no more leaked internal documents. It's happening.

One consequence of the plan is an increase in the number of trains using Praed Street Junction and Edgware Road. The article mentions a proposed solution - run half of the District Line's services to Edgware Road only as far as High Street Kensington. However this will only be possible off-peak when demand is lower.

The timescale - like everything else in London - is to have it ready by 2012.

Update: I've just had another read of the article, and they say they could introduce it as early as December 2009.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do they have a name for it yet?

Anonymous said...

I suggest the Spiral Line :-)

D-Notice said...

"Hammersmith & Circle" line?

Antonio said...

I reckon this is designed only to prevent any more rowdy Circle Line parties. Everybody would have to disembark at Edgware Road, and switch platforms, whereupon the BTP could snap closed their man-traps, and haul everyone to Pentonville.

John B said...

I'll buy a copy of MR shortly - but is there any indication whether they're planning to increase frequency on the H&C west of Edgware Road, or to cut it between Liverpool Street and Whitechapel (one or the other would appear necessary, and the latter would be annoying).

Anonymous said...

The MR article contains diagrams that show the proposed frequencies. The idea is for a H&C train every 5 minutes (off-peak) between Hammersmith and Liverpool Street: half the trains would then head eastwards through Aldgate East and half would loop back through Tower Hill, Victoria and High St Kensington to Edgware Road.

One of the advantages of this from LU's point of view (though not mentioned in the article) is that the new line would have the same standard frequency as the District Line services (every 10 minutes) so pathing H&C trains between District trains would be easier than at present.

The MR diagrams also indicate peak-hour frequencies, but this puzzles me. At present all the sub-surface lines have peak-frequencies based on units of 8.5 minutes (ie: 8.5 or 17 or 25.5). The peak frequencies in the MR article don't follow this pattern: so it isn't clear whether there is going to be a generalised change of peak hour frequencies on the sub-surface lines or if whether there is some other cunning plan (or the information is incorrect)

JJ Bone

Anonymous said...

Just leave it as the Circle line. That way people won't notice any difference except a slightly better service.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I prefer it if it kept its name as the Circle Line.

By the way, what's wrong with having a new station between KX and Farringdon?

Mr Thant (Editor) said...

Anonymous #1: Apparently the documents available to staff say it's going to still be called the Circle Line

John B: Part of the purpose of this is to double the frequency on the Hammersmith branch.

Pete said...

The Curly Wurly Line. Looks a mess, will be a mess, just like the mess it is now. The SSL lines make the underground a joke as it is. This'll make no difference.

Anonymous said...

What will happen to the H&C services that currently terminate at Plaistow and Barking?

Many commuters from the east change at West Ham or Mile End, but LU miss a trick at Plaistow by not clearly advertising when a near-empty H&C service is leaving the bay platform. Instead commuters pack on to a District line service like sardines.

Anonymous said...

They said they were having operating and timetabling problems with driving trains continually around in circles.

Since they're doubling the frequency of trains on the Hammersmith branch, it probably won't make much of a difference to the H&C Line.

Alan said...

How on earth are they going to manage the volume of trains between Paddington and Edgware Rd, and turning so many trains round there? This area is already an appalling bottleneck.

Baffobear@hotmail.com said...

See what i'm not quite understanding is soon there will be a substantial part of duplicate railway from Moorgate to Farringdon available. With a timely implentation by 2012 they could make those through platforms in both directions. The problem with terminating anything at moorgate on the underground at the current time is that there's no access to liverpool street which is where most punters want to go. It would be great if the third platform could be reinstated. but that's not going to happen.

With that implementation it's possible to have:

Metropolitan line to Aldgate/Whitechapel (clearance issues at the moment with A stock, but S Stock should be suitable)

Wimbledon to Whitechapel/Aldgate via High Street Kensington and Kings Cross

Richmond/High Street Kensington (peak time terminators) to to Farringdon via Tower Hill and Liverpool Street

Hammersmith to Barking via Liverpool Street and Whitechapel

High Street Kensington to Upminster via Victoria

Keep the present disctrict line services
Wimbledon/Richmond/Ealing Broadway/Olympia to Upminster with Tower Hill and Mansion House terminators

And continue with the planned Hammersmith to Edgware Road via Liverpool Street, Tower Hill , Victoria and High Street Kensington.

That's only one option

Anonymous said...

Is this what they (LU people) call 'The Teacup'?

Anonymous said...

Yes. Teacup is its unofficial name.

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression this was so that the circle line could be run like any other line and that the reason it is subject to such a poor service and constant delays is because it is a circle, but turning it into such a strange and confusing layout may make it less effective than it is now. I think that a far better solution would be:

all Metropolitan line trains terminate at Baker street (freeing up tph on upper for H & C)

Wimbledon- Edgware Road services extended to Aldgate (utilising now free platforms)

Discontinuation of Circle line services and increase in tph on district and H&C lines.

H&C rerouted to terminate at Tower Hill rather than Whitechapel at peak times

Of course, this will never happen: rational thinking only seems to be evident when Governing bodies look at tube lines (although I know very little about the underground so you may think my plan is ludicrous, and if you do, please say so and why.)

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression this was so that the circle line could be run like any other line and that the reason it is subject to such a poor service and constant delays is because it is a circle, but turning it into such a strange and confusing layout may make it less effective than it is now. I think that a far better solution would be:

all Metropolitan line trains terminate at Baker street (freeing up tph on upper for H & C)

Wimbledon- Edgware Road services extended to Aldgate (utilising now free platforms)

Discontinuation of Circle line services and increase in tph on district and H&C lines.

H&C rerouted to terminate at Tower Hill rather than Whitechapel at peak times

Of course, this will never happen: rational thinking only seems to be evident when Governing bodies look at tube lines (although I know very little about the underground so you may think my plan is ludicrous, and if you do, please say so and why.)

Anonymous said...

What about...

Extending the Metropolitan line to Barking

Leaving the District line as it is

Abolishing the Hammersmith & City line

Extend the Circle line to Hammersmith