Tuesday, 30 September 2008


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The problems with the envisaged Crossrail 2 "Chelsea-Hackney" scheme are discussed in another post This is a radically different proposal which would see Stevenage or even Letchworth joined to the Medway towns. This would use existing rights of way into London as far as Moorgate and London Bridge, requiring a new linking tunnel from London Bridge to Moorgate via a new Cannon Street station in tunnel. This would leave Cannon Street mainline station as obsolete so it would probably have to close (freeing up some pretty valuable real estate!). A new tunnel section under London Bridge would emerge onto new stations envisaged through Bermondsey, one of the most depressed areas of inner London.

Sunday, 28 September 2008


Hands up if you'd like to see some of these stations on the Tube Map. Some may have been closed for reasons of underuse, expense or fire, and not reopened. Some would be entirely new.

The principle: London has several inner city areas with poor transport links and socioeconomic problems, all within a stone's throw of the city centre. New lines aside, to encourage regeneration of these neghbourhoods and revitalisation of residential communities, the following stations could be built relatively inexpensively and be of immense benefit to inner London communities.
Furthermore, we are all aware that we face a housing shortage, and need to increase our urban densities if we are to safeguard our countryside for future generations. The logical target of such densification (to coin Richard Rogers) would logically be the fringes of central London. Naturally we're facing a chicken or egg situation. Development won't come without transportation and investment tends to go to successful places first... This obstacle notwithstanding, more people need more station capacity and I believe the best way to provide it is with more stations, not necessarily enlarging existing ones, thereby increasing the convenience of the passenger at the same time.

N.B. I personally don't believe you need to employ world-class architects and use gilted escalators such as happened on the JLE (OK I exaggerate about the gilted escalators, but only just). New stations need only be functional and need not be prohibitively expensive. Of course, it's always a lot easier and cheaper to build them during construction of the line, but hey, it's too late and London does need to find solutions.

1. Wood Lane (Almost Complete) - included for reference.

2. Lords. Not the old Metropolitan Station but on the Jubilee line on the large gap between Baker Street and St John's Wood.

3. York Road. Reopen this station! The King's Cross Railway Lands development is next door, a rundown backwater of Barnsbury behind it. It's a long old way up to Cally Road!

4. Mount Pleasant. A long old trundle on the Circle Line too between King's X and Farringdon. This is a densely populated area.

5. Barnsbury. Although the concept of the Victoria was to be effectively an Express Line between existing stations, it may be time for the line to mature and reach more of the neighbourhoods it passes under, this being one of them.

6. Pentonville Road. An entirely new station for the Northern Line City branch.

7. City Road. An old station which could be reopened in an area which needs some vitality.

8. Shoreditch High Street is about to have a brand spanking new station on the East London Line, passing right over the central line. It's a huge distance between Liverpool St and Bethnal Green and this is a well-populated central neighbourhood. Dosn't it make sense to have an interchange here?

9. Tower Bridge. The JLE was all about quality, not quantity, but once again it bypasses busy neighbourhoods entirely.

10. South Kentish Town was closed decades ago and is now a Cash Converters. We all know the problems of overcrowding at Camden Town. I propose this as a better solution to a massive overhaul of Camden Town station.

Northern Line extension southward 1 (proposed)

One possible route south from Kennington. N.B. In the near future the Northern line will likely be split in 2. This extension would apply to the Charing X branch, the City branch continuing to Morden as usual. Most likely this line will be coloured lime green on the map, and either retain the Northern Line name or something else (west end line?)

Total cost, to Madrid Metro specs = 315m Euros; to JLE specs = £1.64bn

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Bakerloo Line Southward Extension 1 (proposed)

One possible route southwards for the Bakerloo Line. This plugs a gap in services around Old Kent Road, Walworth and Peckham, some of the most deprived and worst-connected inner-city neighbourhoods in London. The idea has been mooted for some time, but the political will does not yet exist to take on the relatively modest scheme, whilst massive schemes such as Crossrail have been prioritised.

Bakerloo services to New Cross means London Overgound services need no longer stop there and the clumsy spur can be ripped up. The station will allow interchange onto the tube for mainline commuters from Kent.

There exists the potential to takeover National Rail tracks beyond Greenwich, which are at surface or in cutting, on to Catford, Woolwich, or even as far as Dartford.  

Total cost (E&C - Greenwich); To Madrid Metro specs = 294m Euros; to JLE specs = £1.52bn

Waterloo & City Line extension (proposed)

A proposed extension to the Waterloo and City line to Battersea and Putney.
At present the W&C Line is merely a fancy "travelator" for Waterloo commuters to and from the City. The Line could be vastly more useful to Londoners, bringing tube service to Battersea and Wandsworth, including developments at Battersea power station, and interchange on the District, Victoria, Bakerloo, Northern, Jubilee, Central, DLR, Circle and Mainline services. Platforms and stations at Waterloo and Bank would have to be enlarged (they are currently very short).
However there exists the possibility of keeping it as a short-train light rail service with on-street running from Nine Elms through to Putney.

Total cost: to Madrid Metro specs = 504m Euros; to JLE specs = £2.6bn

NOTE: This is approximately half of the proposed new City Line, which would include a southern routing like this and a northern extension.

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