Bakerloo Extension: A Report to Lewisham Council

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It is probably fair to say that Sustainable Development Select Committee Meetings to London Boroughs are not normally something that London Reconnections finds itself paying a great deal of attention to. This month’s meeting at Lewisham Council, however, did attract our attention, for the meeting featured a report for the council on possible Bakerloo Line extensions.

Put together by JRC Consulting, the report looks to lay out a number of possible extension options in light of the reference to a possible extension in the area in the last Mayoral Transport Strategy. It’s solely intended to give the the council a relatively high level overview of the possibilities, but makes interesting reading nonetheless. It also provides some basic cost estimates, based on the 2009 figures used to calculate a possible Northern Line Extension to Battersea.

It’s a well written report, so rather than summarising I will look to highlight key areas below. Those wishing to read the full report can find it here. Our previous coverage of the Bakerloo Line extension options investigated by TfL back in 2007 can be found here.

The report sets the scene as follows:

This is because any extension of the Bakerloo Line beyond Elephant & Castle would be in tube tunnel within inner London for at least 2-4 miles, and have similar characteristics and costs per mile for this sector.

Any railway is costly, a railway in tube tunnel is very costly. As a former MD of London Underground (Lord Tunnicliffe) has commented in public evidence, no-one rationally would want to spend this sort of money if there are surface options available.

The sooner a tube can surface and use an overground alignment, the better, but this is rarely the case in inner London. One of the main reasons why the East London Line Extensions were authorised and are now happening, is because they make the fullest use of existing
railway infrastructure, and any new alignment is on the surface or on viaduct. There are also different environmental benefits and costs with tube or surface railway, which will need to be assessed and managed.

A business case for any core tube tunnel extension in inner London can therefore be compared against other options, and the least worthwhile options eliminated, before consideration is given to any further extension to the middle and outer suburbs.

A previous historic option of surfacing the line and using a pair of tracks along the four-track Elephant-Walworth-Camberwell-Loughborough Junction railway viaduct is not feasible, because of the approved Thameslink project which makes more intensive use of this railway.

Similarly, use of the former Bricklayers Arms goods railway near the Old Kent Road is no longer possible – the railway lands have been built on, while the junctions in the Bermondsey area are now being redesigned for use by Thameslink services.

Having observed the cost factor, it is also generally true that tube railways are highly generative for passenger traffic, and have similarly high social benefits assisting regeneration and economic development because of the advantages with accessibility.

Overall, the report looks at a number of options – both Inner and Suburban. The final estimated cost breakdown for these (based on the Northern Line ballpark calculations) can be found in a table at the end of the report. Unfortunately the quality of the pdf isn’t perfect, so I’ve transcribed it below:

Bakerloo Extension Schemes Total (£bn) Trains (£m) Stations (£m) Track/Infra (£m) Additional (£m)
INNER LONDON
B1: Canary Wharf 1.6 80 400 648 460
B2: Charlton via Canada Water 1.95 140 450 790 574
B2: Charlton via New Cross 2.35 140 690 878 636
B3: Lewisham via Old Kent Rd 2.05 90 550 810 585
B4: Peckham via Aylesbury Estate 0.95 50 250 378 273
B5: Peckham via Camberwell 1.2 60 300 186 351
MID SUBURBS
B3: Lewisham – Blackheath 0.3 30 80 102 74
B3: Lewisham – Catford 0.4 40 160 120 87
B4/5: Peckham – Lewisham (Tube) 1.2 40 400 450 325
B4/5: Peckham – Catford (Tube) 1.2 40 350 468 338
OUTER SUBURBS
B3: Lewisham – Blackheath – Slade Grn 1.3 170 340 442 329
B3: Lewisham – Catford – Hayes 1.3 150 400 420 312

Inner London

B1: Elephant – Old Kent Road – Surrey Quays – Canary Wharf

Purposes:
– new public transport capacity in inner SE London and cross-river
– serve Old Kent Road (regeneration)
– Surrey Quays (orbital and Croydon Line interchange)
– additional cross-river capacity to Canary Wharf
– relieve overloaded Jubilee Line and allow Overground-Isle of Dogs passengers to avoid Canada Water
– new orbital link from Elephant to Stratford changing at Canary Wharf.

Specification:
– standard tube railway characteristics
– distance approx 3.6 miles, so might need only limited depot expansion in NW London (approx 8 trains if 2.5 minute service)
– some risk of overloading Central London Bakerloo section, but Bakerloo frequency can be raised ( = need for additional trains)
– assumes 3 stations (Old Kent Road, Surrey Quays, Isle of Dogs), all underground
– no interference with main line railway tracks.

Costs and other factors:
– notional capital cost ca. £1.6bn: £80m trains, £400m for stations including interchanges,£1.1bn for tunnels, tracks and other works
– serves growing demand to a major London Region economic growth destination.

B2: Elephant – Old Kent Road – Canada Water – Deptford – Greenwich – Maze Hill – Westcombe Park – Charlton

Purposes:
– new public transport capacity in inner SE London
– serves Old Kent Road (regeneration)
– Canada Water (Jubilee Line, orbital and Croydon Line interchange, and transfer London Bridge – Greenwich line passengers
between routes)
– takes over Greenwich Line branch of main line network
– relieves inner London overloading on North Kent Line
– frees up capacity on main line network (benefits some train slots into London Bridge)
– relieves Jubilee Line by attracting SE London tube passengers away from North Greenwich railhead
– connects Greenwich branch into Overground and orbital network
– serves housing expansion area in SE London.

Specification:
– standard tube railway characteristics
– distance approx 3.7 miles including ramp to viaduct, then 3.1 miles overground
– approx 14-15 trains, assuming 2½ minute frequency with half of service reversing at Maze Hill
– significant depot expansion needed, scope for sidings in Angerstein area
– medium risk of overloading Central London Bakerloo section, but Bakerloo frequency can be raised ( = need for additional trains)
– assumes 2 new tube stations (Old Kent Road, Canada Water) then takeover and adapt existing 5 main line stations (Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill, Westcombe Park, Charlton incl interchange with North Kent Line)
– takes over part of existing main line network.

Costs and other factors:
– notional capital cost ca. £1.95bn: £140m trains, £450m for stations including upgrading existing premises, £1.35bn for tunnels,
tracks, adaptation of existing main line and other works
– relief of Jubilee Line via North Greenwich could be counterbalanced by increased loadings via Canada Water interchange
– operating benefits for the main line network are limited because of increased train slot need at Lewisham Junction from the North Kent Line
– potentially only operable if there is other investment to increase capacity at Lewisham Junction
– alignment assumes routeing via Canada Water to achieve interchange for London Bridge – Greenwich line passengers
– another option is to follow B3 to New Cross, thence to Deptford Bridge and Greenwich, however this would be in tube until Greenwich Park
(4.5 miles), with only 12/3 miles of adapted surface railway. There would be significantly greater capital cost, notionally ca. £2.35bn overall.

B3: Elephant – Old Kent Road – New Cross – Lewisham

Purposes:
– new public transport capacity in inner SE London
– serves Old Kent Road (regeneration) – might be one or two stations on Old Kent Road
– direct tube between Lewisham, New Cross area and West End
– connects to strategic inner SE London centre and interchange at Lewisham.

Specification:
– standard tube railway characteristics
– tube line approx 4.5 miles to Lewisham
– some risk of overloading Central London Bakerloo section, but Bakerloo frequency can be raised ( = need for additional
trains)
– assumes 4 stations (2 in Old Kent Road, New Cross/Gate, Lewisham), all underground
– approx 9 trains assuming a 2½ minute frequency
– no interference with main line railway tracks.

Costs and other factors:
– notional capital cost ca. £2.05bn: £90m trains, £550m for stations incl New Cross tube station linking to both New Cross and
New Cross Gate, £1.4bn for tunnels, tracks and other works
– cost similar to B2, strengthens role of Lewisham as gateway centre for SE London, benefits communities along the route
– this option has the capability to extend further into SE London.

B4: Elephant – Aylesbury Estate – Peckham Rye

Purposes:
– new public transport capacity in inner SE London
– serves Aylesbury Estate and Peckham (regeneration)
– direct tube between Peckham and West End
– connects to strategic inner SE London centre and interchange at Peckham.

Specification:
– standard tube railway characteristics
– tube line approx 2.1 miles to Peckham Rye
– some risk of overloading Central London Bakerloo section, but Bakerloo frequency can be raised ( = need for additional trains)
– assumes 2 stations (Aylesbury Estate, Peckham Rye), both underground
– approx 5 trains assuming a 2½ minute frequency (no additional spare trains assumed with this option)
– no interference with main line railway tracks.

Costs and other factors:
– notional capital cost ca. £0.95bn: £50m trains, £250m stations, £650m for tunnels, tracks and other works
– this is a lower capital cost option, with capability to extend further into SE London.

B5: Elephant – Camberwell – Peckham Rye

Purposes:
– new public transport capacity in inner SE London
– serves Camberwell (inner London centre lacking rail service)
– serves Peckham (regeneration)
– a ‘double-ended’ station at Camberwell could offer direct access to hospitals at Denmark Hill
– direct tube between Peckham, Camberwell and West End
– connects to strategic inner SE London centre and interchange at Peckham.

Specification:
– standard tube railway characteristics
– tube line approx 2.7 miles to Peckham Rye
– some risk of overloading Central London Bakerloo section, but Bakerloo frequency can be raised ( = need for additional trains)
– assumes 2 stations (Camberwell, Peckham Rye), both underground
– approx 6 trains assuming a 2½ minute frequency (no additional spare trains assumed with this option)
– historic alignment for Bakerloo Line extension into SE London – extensive planning has been undertaken several times for this route
– no interference with main line railway tracks.

Costs and other factors:
– notional capital cost ca. £1.2bn: £60m trains, £300m stations (assuming Denmark Hill link), £840m for tunnels, tracks and other works
– this costs more than B4, and serves Camberwell/Denmark Hill rather than Aylesbury Estate
– it has the capability to extend further into SE London
– an option to run via Camberwell to Herne Hill is noted here but not considered further
– a Herne Hill option has been reviewed before by railway planners – it would conflict with a Victoria Line extension from Brixton whose alignment already points towards Herne Hill and could be under 1 mile long, compared to 3 miles from Elephant & Castle.

As is alluded to above, the report also looks at develop those scheme options further, taking them further into the suburbs. As the report states, this is potentially a more complex issue:

Historically, suburban extensions of tube lines were authorised because of a combination of factors:
– overcrowding on other lines which a new railway would relieve
– opportunity to serve expanding populations or new centres of employment
– new links and connections which were strategically important
– where possible, use was made of existing suburban railways where this made economic sense, either by adopting the existing tracks, or by building additional tracks alongside where the alignment permitted this.

[…]

The same historic justifications remain relevant. So, for these criteria, the area served would need to show a cogent case for investment which could amount to another £0.3-1.3bn capital costs on top of an extension through inner London (this is how Crossrail’s extension via Stratford to Shenfield has been justified). For a Bakerloo Line extension, participating boroughs such as Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark would need to demonstrate clear spatial and economic development reasons for a tube extension.

It assesses further extensions outwards as follows:

B1 Beyond Canary Wharf / Isle of Dogs

It is difficult to see how an extension beyond the Isle of Dogs towards SE London would be justified in the foreseeable future, with the DLR extension to Woolwich and Crossrail’s authorisation. This option is not considered further in this note.

B2 Beyond Charlton

No further extension is assumed beyond Charlton, as the next logical destination would be Woolwich, which is to be served by Crossrail.

B3 Beyond Lewisham

Historically, two lines have been the usual candidates for proposed tube extensions beyond Lewisham:
– to Blackheath, then taking over the Bexleyheath Line
– to Catford, then taking over the Hayes Line.

This is because they are capable of separation from the rest of the main line network and becoming self-contained tube lines.

A further option might be to Central Bromley via Hither Green and Grove Park, taking over the Grove Park-Bromley North line.

However this railway does not offer much SE main line relief, as it is a self-contained shuttle service. Journey times by fast train from Bromley South make a tube journey relatively unattractive. Further consideration of this option would depend on a strong development case linked to proposals for Central Bromley. The rest of this option focuses on the Bexleyheath and Hayes Lines.

Extension of B3 beyond Lewisham is possible in either direction.

Towards Blackheath and Bexleyheath

Purposes:
– primarily a suburban commuter railway
– extra train slot capacity on the main line network at Lewisham Junction and towards London Bridge, Cannon Street and Charing Cross
– scope for extension to Bluewater, to providing a traffic attraction at the further end of the line

Specification:
– tube railway takeover of suburban main line east of Blackheath (main line retained for North Kent services between Lewisham and Blackheath)
– use part of existing depot capacity at Slade Green, to reduce extension costs and provide sidings in SE London (with adaptation costs)
– further 0.8 miles from end of Lewisham tube to Blackheath (mix of ramp / surface), assumed parallel to existing line as far as Blackheath Junction, then 8.5 miles to Slade Green depot via Bexleyheath
– approx 12 trains needed to extend Lewisham service to Slade Green at assumed 5 minute headway
– high risk of overloading the existing service on the Central London Bakerloo section, requiring an increase in service towards 2 minute headways between Lewisham or Elephant and Paddington (possibly a further 6 trains in use if Elephant-Paddington).

Costs and other factors:
– additional capital cost Lewisham-Slade Green ca. £1.3bn: £170m trains (incl Central London), £340m stations, £770m route and other works
– overall cost Elephant & Castle to Slade Green ca. £3.35bn
– the existing Bexleyheath Line has a mix of City and Waterloo/Charing Cross services, and Victoria trains (not an all day service)
– a future tube line would be more frequent but only serve Waterloo/Charing Cross/West End directly.

Towards Catford and Hayes

Purposes:
– primarily a suburban commuter railway
– extra train slot capacity on the main line network at Lewisham Junction and towards London Bridge, Cannon Street and Charing Cross
– assists economic development at Central Catford
– scope for additional short distance services to Beckenham Junction, connecting with SE main line via Bromley South
– Tramlink via Elmers End and Beckenham Junction, to Croydon, to providing balancing traffic in outer London and attract car users to public transport.

Specification:
– tube railway takeover of suburban main line south of Lewisham
– additional sidings required to support increased train service frequency in SE London (increases the specific scheme cost)
– 1.25 miles to Catford Bridge from end of Lewisham tube (mix of ramp/surface), then 7 miles to Hayes and 0.5 mile to Beckenham Junction
– approx 10 trains needed to extend Lewisham service to Beckenham Junction / Hayes, each at 8 minute headway
– high risk of overloading the existing service on the Central London Bakerloo section, requiring an increase in service towards 2 minute headways between Lewisham or Elephant and Paddington (possibly a further 6 trains in use if Elephant-Paddington).

Costs and other factors:
– additional capital cost Lewisham-Hayes ca. £1.3bn: £150m trains (incl Central London), £400m stations, £730m route and other works
– overall cost Elephant & Castle to Hayes ca. £3.35bn
– the existing Bexleyheath Line has a mix of City and Waterloo/Charing Cross services
– a future tube line would be more frequent but only serve Waterloo/Charing Cross/West End directly.

B4+B5 Beyond Peckham

Towards Lewisham

Purposes:

– alternative extension to Lewisham (and beyond) if route via Peckham favoured over route via Old Kent Road
– connects to strategic inner SE London centre and interchange at Lewisham, serving 2 or 3 town centres on the same railway (Camberwell / Peckham / Lewisham)
– potential for further extension to Blackheath and beyond to the Bexleyheath Line (not to Catford as this would be a roundabout route)
– the latter would achieve extra train slot capacity on the main line network at Lewisham Junction and towards London Bridge, Cannon Street and Charing Cross, as discussed above under option B3.

Specification:

– standard tube railway characteristics as far as Lewisham (surface alignment unlikely to be achievable)
– tube line approx 2.5 miles between Peckham Rye and Lewisham
– if extended beyond Lewisham, see characteristics identified above for Slade Green service under option B3.
– distance in tube between Elephant and Lewisham via Aylesbury Estate and Peckham is similar to Old Kent Road option B3 (above), and with similar costs (assumes new intermediate station at Brockley)
– approx 9 trains needed for Elephant- Lewisham service and another 12 beyond, based on previous specifications, via option B4, one further train required with option B5 via Camberwell
– significant risk of overloading the existing service on the Central London Bakerloo section, requiring an increase in service towards 2 minute headways between Lewisham or Elephant and Paddington. However in short term new trains might be resourced from other fleet cascades.

Costs and other factors:

– total capital cost Elephant-Peckham-Lewisham ca. £2.15-2.4bn (B4 or B5 options): £90-100m trains (excl Central London), £650-700m stations, £1.4-1.6bn tunnels, tracks and other works
– overall cost Elephant & Castle to Slade Green ca. £3.45-3.7bn (B4 or B5 options)
– the existing Bexleyheath Line has a mix of City and Waterloo/Charing Cross services, and Victoria trains (not an all day service)
– a future tube line would be more frequent but only serve Waterloo/Charing Cross/West End directly.

Towards Catford

Purposes:
– alternative extension to Catford (and beyond) if route via Peckham favoured over route via Lewisham
– assists economic development at Central Catford, serving 2 or 3 town centres on the same railway (Camberwell / Peckham / Catford)
– potential for further extension onto Hayes Line, but arrangements for the Lewisham-Ladywell-Catford Bridge section would need to be defined
– unless the Hayes Line service were wholly replaced, there would be only limited additional train slot capacity on the main line network at Lewisham Junction and towards London Bridge, Cannon Street and Charing Cross.

Specification:
– standard tube railway characteristics as far as Catford, whether in tube or on the surface
– any joint operation of tube (West End) and main line (City) trains south of Catford Bridge is unlikely unless platform heights (and automatic train protection) were resolved – disability legislation requires level access between platform and train, but tube and main line trains have separate platform heights, so the present compromise arrangements on some lines would not be allowed again
– until a workable scheme were developed south of Catford (see issues above), it is not assumed that a Bakerloo Line via Peckham could be extended towards Hayes or Beckenham Junction
– it might be possible to widen the Catford Loop line to accommodate parallel Bakerloo Line tracks at surface level from east of Nunhead Junction to Catford, though this would incur disruption and environmental impact
– surface route 2.6 miles, via Nunhead and Crofton Park, terminating at the present Catford station area
– the alternative is an extension in tube, possibly non-stop to achieve the fastest West End journey times from southern Lewisham via Catford Interchange, or with an intermediate station near Honor Oak Park for the Croydon line
– tube route approx 2.6 miles between Peckham Rye and Catford via Honor Oak Park
this assumes the optimum location for new Catford tube platforms to support economic development at Central Catford,
would be to locate these on an E-W alignment between the existing Catford stations and Central Catford
– approx 9 trains needed for Elephant-Catford service, via Option B4
– significant risk of overloading the existing service on the Central London Bakerloo section, requiring an increase in service towards 2 minute headways between Catford or Elephant and Paddington. However in short term new trains might be resourced from other fleet cascades.

Costs and other factors:
– total capital cost Elephant-Peckham-Catford tube route ca. £2.15-2.4bn (B4 or B5 options): £90-100m trains (excl Central London), £600-650m stations (beoynd Peckham, at Honor Oak Park, and Catford Interchange/Central Catford), £1.45-1.65bn tunnels, tracks and other works
– a Bakerloo Line to Catford could be similar to the Victoria Line at Seven Sisters/Tottenham, offering a faster direct West End service than existing main line trains (whose typical journey is 20 minutes), and complementing the bulk of main line services at Catford/Catford Bridge which serve the City.

Written by John Bull