Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Woolwich Arsenal gets closer

The DLR is now testing trains in the tunnels between King George V and Woolwich Arsenal. I managed to get a picture of the train behind the barrier brief when I was getting on the train. Hopefully this is a good sign!

The extension isn't due to open till feb 2009. This means that if things are going well, we will soon see empty trains heading south from here.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Blackfriars closure

TfL annonced yesterday that Blackfriars station is going to close from march 2009 for two years until 2011. The main reason is they are basically rebuilding the station to go from a capacity of 4,500 to 12,000 an hour. This is a huge shift and requires a major rebuild as part of the Thameslink programme. The cost of all this rebuilding is £350m (small figures for a £5.5bn uprade of Thameslink and connecting parts). As part of this the Tube platforms on the Circle and District Lines will be close as work goes on. When it reopens in 2011 the station will be fully step free, bigger ticket hall and refurished platforms. The main line station is also getting a new entrance on the South Bank.

One thing that got me is the Evening Standard. They complain about the closure then go on to say they have been campaigning about "chronic overcrowding". How the hell can they safely rebuild without closing it especially as they are removing the eight story building above?

Well hopefully we can all enjoy the new station in a few years. One thinkg tho are they really planning on running Thameslink in 2011 with slam door Connex branded trains?

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Tube News

Originally uploaded by MackenzieBlu
I recently got my hands on a pack from London Underground talking about upgrading the Tube.

Couple of things stuck out incuding new Tube stocks. After the Victoria starts getting the 09TS from next year (Jan) and the Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Circle and District with the S stock from 2010-18. The new Piccadilly line stock is due to be fully running by 2014 meaning that the new trains will work with the new signalling. This will be the same technology that they are having issues installing on the Jubilee (then Northern). This will mean that in six years time the Piccadilly will have a 25% increase in capacity and 19% reduction in travelling times. The stock is already being rumoured to be called the 13TS. The Bakerloo on the other hand is just getting new trains around 2020 according to the leaflet tho word is that the new stock will be called the 18TS. This will help shorten jounery times by 2 minutes and capacity increase of 40% in the peak. What will be interesting will be will Bakerloo be going to Watford Junction at this point or not?

There is more on step free with 17 stations to made step free in the next two years.

*Acton Town
*Golders Green
*High Barnet
*Kings Cross St. Pancras (Northern, Piccadilly & Victoria lines)
*Ladbroke Grove
*Newbury Park
*Roding Valley
*West Kensington
*Wood Lane (Even tho its a new build so doesn't count)

Archway is due to have two 16 passenger lift by 2012. Finsbury Park is having more work including step free access by 2013. Green Park is getting step free and ventilation improvements by 2012. LU is going to work with Westminster City Council and the Royal Parks for street level improvements.

As for the Olympics the following works are going to be put in place

*£10.5m for West Ham District line platforms to cope with the crowds. The ODA is paying for this and its estimated that 13% of the total Olympic Park traffic will go to West Ham (17% if rail traffic for the games).

*As for Stratford, major works are now in hand inculding the new taxi is almost finished with the exception of removing the lampost from what is going to be the road surface. Inside parts of the station are now horded off to enable subway extension works. The new central Line platform seems to have been left for awhile now but there is the beginings of the the foundations now for all to see.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Crossrail Update

Here's an update from Crossrail confirming what I had already guessed. West Ham reversing siding is to be used to replace Whitechapel as a reversing station.

Here is the email confirming this

Thank you for your enquiry dated 27th July 2008 to the Crossrail Helpdesk.

In regards to your enquiry concerning West Ham please find a response below.

Purpose of the West Ham Reversing Sidings

The Crossrail ticket hall is to be built above the District Line and Hammersmith & City Line (H/C) platforms. The construction of an interchange to serve Crossrail, the District and H/C lines as well as the East London line will require the District and H/C track layout to be simplified to just two through tracks. This is to create sufficient space to widen platforms to accommodate new entrance and interchange stairs and escalators. Before this can be achieved, alternative train reversing facilities for the District and H/C line need to be constructed, London Underground have identified that this can be achieved within existing railway land on the District and H/C lines between West ham and Plaistow Stations, this will allow trains to reverse in both directions.

This really means that Whitechapel station in a few years isn't going to look anything like what we are used to now. The fact is Whitechapel will end up a closed in station on four levels (booking hall, District/Hammersmith & City Line, East London Railway (Overground) and finally Crossrail). I'm also guessing the tracks will change on the eastern side to enable easier access to the southbound Overground platforms with longer platformed access over the tracks. One thing tho is that using a siding to reverse will create a longer turn around with LU's tipping out procudres. This means the train has to be checked as empty at West Ham before it can go into the siding, driver change ends and come back into the west bound platform. Currently at Whitechapel the train pulls into the platform and the driver changes ends. Simple, especially if there is service problems. Well my view anyway.