We’ll look in more detail at the work being undertaken to bring the old island platform at Finsbury Park back into service at a later date. In the meantime, however, some photos of the current state of affairs can be found below. Interestingly, it appears that the work has uncovered some of the original platform arches.

Looking north from platform 1

Looking north from platform 1

The uncovered arches and brickwork

The uncovered arches and brickwork

The old entrance

The old entrance

Old posters still visible inside the entrance

Old posters still visible inside the entrance

Looking south from platform 1

Looking south from platform 1

jump to the end
There are 141 comments on this article
  1. Kit Green says:

    Don’t think I didn’t notice!

  2. John Bull says:

    You can’t prove a thing!

  3. Mark says:

    For how long has the platform been out of use? The sign on the staircase is for AMT Coffee, which has only been around since ’92, and opened its first station outlet in ’94.

  4. Slugabed says:

    The platforms demolished in 1972 (according to the article) were on the Western (Down) side of the station,as shown in the pictures.
    The platforms being rebuilt are the ones on the Eastern (Up) side.
    I seem to recall these were demolished around the same time as the girder structure built as part of the New Works Programme.
    In the “Disused Stations” article,it states this was demolished in 1972 but I suspect this is,at best,only partly true.I have clear recollections of the girder structure,and hadn’t been to Finsbury Park by 1972,and suspect that it was (finally) demolished around the time of the GN Suburban Electrification (c1976) or later,when the Easternmost tracks into King’s Cross were lifted.Subsequently,the station entrance area was remodelled to provide more space for buses to stand (Early 80s).
    I am prepared to be corrected on any of these points,as memory DOES play tricks….

  5. mr_jrt says:

    My bad. I assumed from the state of it in the photos that had to be the other side. Why on earth are they digging it up then as it was still there?

  6. Andy says:

    They are also extending platforms 3/4 and 5/6. Up at Alexandra Pal they have started building the new platform.

  7. Marko says:

    The steelwork for to support the platform over Stroud Green road went in over the bank holiday weekend. A huge crane turned up at about 1am on Sunday morning and by mid-afternoon it was pretty much all done.

  8. anon says:

    What’s the eventual aim of reinstating this platform and extending platforms at Ally Pally? More suburban trains from KX to somewhere?

  9. mr_jrt says:

    The point is that it enables segregation of the Hertford Loop service to Moorgate, I suspect. Aside from being able to increase TPH on the line once contention is removed, we might see the ECML suburban services give up on Hornsey and Harringey completely then to speed things up (maybe).

  10. BarryD says:

    Bad news for Hornsey and Harringay passengers, then.

  11. Anonymous says:

    @mr_jt @BarryD

    Is it also to accommodate the proposed Thameslink services?

  12. mr_jrt says:

    The extensions are. Thameslink is 12 car, after all.

    It might not work out so bad for H&H though…if the Hertford services are increased in frequency they might break even…odds are they’ll actually get an increase as it’s hard to justify more trains on the Hertford loop to the detriment of the ECML services…but when they’re segregated then you can run as many as you like. Maybe we’ll even see an evenings and weekend service to Moorgate 😉

  13. London Insomniac says:

    What is the scope of this segregation? Just stations or are there some extra tracks in between?

  14. mr_jrt says:

    There are currently a pair of goods lines between Alexandra Palace and Finsbury Park. These are being upgraded for passenger use, hence the platforms being brought back into use. Alexandra Palace already has the required faces due to the loop having it’s own platforms, so it’s just Harringay, Horsey and Finsbury Park that need them.

    More info can be found summarised here.

  15. jamesup says:

    This report says they are bring a freight line into passenger use.

  16. P Dan Tick says:

    @mr-jrt The publicity all talks about just the Up Goods line being brought into passenger use.

    Looking at my Baker Atlas doesn’t help as the trackwork is fiendishly complex north of Finsbury Park. Do down Moorgate trains heading for the Hertford Loop currently use the flyover at Alexandra Palace? Will they do this in future, or are all Moorgate trains (up & down) going to keep to the east side of the whole formation?

  17. timbeau says:

    P dan Tick

    Yes they do, and yes my undestanding is they will continue to do so – this arrangement allows cross platform interchanges at Finsbury Park

  18. mr_jrt says:

    It’s not very clear, but the up and down lines are listed as separate projects, and both seem to be being taken through. The up line is the priority though I assume (given that it comes first in the documents). This is not so much for the benefit of the Hertford loop passengers, but more so for the ECML services, which it says will gain a 3 minute speed up.

    …as an aside, once segregated, the Moorgate-Hertford North/Stevenage service would seem like a prime candidate for LO….not to mention the rolling stock will need replacing in the near future…

  19. Greg Tingey says:

    Went past all of this yesterday ….
    Platform foundation works in progress @ both AP & FP, much track fettling going on all along route.
    Just beginnings of work showing at the Hornsey North sidings, presumably for Thameslink.
    Nothing, yet, at Harringey/Hornsey.
    You could very easily put an extra platform face in at Hornsey, South of the f/b, along the East side of the current p/f – no problem at all.
    Harringey looks difficult but (just) do-able. You’d have to shift the carriage-sidings fence East by about a metre at the North end, and move one or two equipment boxes, by skying them to new p/f level. Then there would be room for a new p/f on that East side. Whether either of these things is in the plans or proposed, I don’t know,
    As for the Down/West side, that is another kettle of bananas entirely.

    When is the proposed/expected completion date(s) for each of the stages?

  20. Anonymous says:


    I am doing some research about transport in London. If you could fill out my questionnaire if would really help me.


  21. Anonymous says:

    If my very rusty memory still works, before the GN electrification, class 31 hauled non-corridor suburban trains to Moorgate (via York Road and widened lines) and Broad Street (via Dalston Jn.) called at the old Finsbury Park platforms 1 and 2 & 3. The 1 and 2 island was abandoned after these services were discontinued in 1976.

    Platforms 9 and 10 were substantially removed, except for the passenger staircase.

    The platforms were renumbered at the same time, Platform 3 became 1, so that the northbound slow line called at platform 6 (previously 8).

    Around the same time, at both Harringay and Hornsey stations, the number of platforms was reduced from four to two, to serve stopping GN inner suburban services only. There was also substantial track remodelling with the removal of at least one down line. It was a textbook example of 1970’s BR disinvestment by capacity reduction.

    A few years ago, platforms 1 & 2 (new) were extended northwards, in anticipation of 12 car Thameslink services but these were never implemented.

    By the way, both Harringay and Hornsey are in the London borough of Haringey. All three names are derived from Haering’s Hege – Hering’s enclosure.

  22. Greg Tingey says:

    So, with care, from Anon’s information, it really should be possible to re-instate platforms @ Harringey/Hornsey.
    The capacity reduction was the trade-off for getting electrification AT ALL, I suspect, and would have been an MoT ( = idiot predecessors of DafT) requirement, probably.
    And, you are correct, I have used those platforms in the days of loco-hauled Moorgate trains, and also the old occasional throughs to Broad Street, which ceased at about the same time ….

  23. mr_jrt says:

    I’m not sure it’s going to be so easy to reinstate a local down platform at Harringay for a local passenger line…the down line was removed to reduce the curvature (apparently), so putting it back will mean re-bending the fast lines if the existing islands are to be used (though AFAICS, there was only ever three tracks between them?). Regardless, I suspect one of the existing platforms will need re-siting to serve both slow passenger lines….unless they want to cut away the embankment even more to give a rubbish non-cross platform interchange.

  24. Arkady says:

    Hornsey and (especially) Harringay are in a poor state of repair and could do with a serious overhaul. Harringay only has a crappy wooden shack to replace the original burned-out station building (which wasn’t impressive to begin with). Improving capacity at those stations has a benefit that is often overlooked – relieving Finsbury Park. Not just reducing the numbers who start their train journey at FP either. The cross-platform interchange at Highbury and Islington between the Northern City and Victoria Lines is brilliant (and underused – many people who use both lines seem unaware of it), and the more people that do that the less people there are fighting their way through the narrow corridors, two flights of stairs (with no elevators as yet) and overloaded platforms at FP.

    It would therefore be foolish indeed to reduce the number of trains serving Harringay, and I hope that does not happen when the local services are segregated. While it would not be the end of the world to have to make a cross-platform change at FP or Alexandra Palace to swap between the segregated lines (though it would reduce the capacity benefits at FP) – but that would only be acceptable if local services were increased on the ECML.

    I agree that London Overground ought to look to take over the local Welwyn & Hertford services once Thameslink take over the medium-distance service, especially as the trains are the next-up for replacement. Presumably the Canonbury Curve could be used for stock movements, even if it was too expensive to put in the necessary second track and flyover for passenger services?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Greg Tingey please note:
    Harringey (two Rs and one E): No such place
    Haringey (one R and one E): London Borough comprising 3 former Middlesex boroughs, Hornsey, Tottenham and Wood Green. Harringay was in Hornsey.
    Harringay (two Rs, one A): GN station
    Harringay Green Lanes (ditto): Overground GOBLIN station, previously Harringay Stadium

  26. Greg Tingey says:

    Anon – just for once, I can’t be arsed!
    We all know which area, and which staions were under discussion.
    I was referring to the ex-GN main line stations between Krapy Rubsnif and what I still think of as Wood Green – since Ally Pally is up the ‘ill and had its own staion, once upon a day.
    Given that I have lived in Walthamstow since 1946 (with 3 years in Manchester 1964-7) I do know the area,
    Pedantry has its limits…..

  27. Anonymous (apologetically) says:

    Fair enough.

  28. C says:

    Doesn’t think basically mean that all Hertford Loop services would run fast from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace? And if these run to 6tph or more, and are segregated, Hornsey and Harringay would need to be served by the 4tph Welwyn terminators planned for Thameslink. Good as it’ll take them through the core, but many people probably moved to those areas for the good access to Old St/Moorgate – so will miss out.

    Same with those north of there on the Welwyn line, but Thameslink offers another no-tube option I guess – if you don’t work at Kings Cross.

    Shame there isn’t anywhere south of Welwyn which can turn trains to up the frequency on that side, which is surely busier…?

  29. C says:

    Apologies – should read “doesn’t THIS basically mean”

  30. mr_jrt says:

    As we’re discussing above, the plan is to reinstate platforms at both on the up slow 2 and down slow 2 lines, so no, they wouldn’t miss out, unless the work is deemed “too hard”.

  31. C says:

    I thought it was not at those two H stations, only at FP and AP.

  32. Arkady says:

    Quite, work has been approved at AP and FP, but I haven’t seen any evidence that work is planned for Harringay or Hornsey.

    I like the idea of service slack being taken up by Thameslink though. I think that would require platform extension work at Harringay and Hornsey though?

  33. ngh says:

    Re Arkady 1311 12/6/12

    Might this simply be a question of staggering the work so it is done by a single team from each sub-contractor so they hopefully encounter fewer surprises (inevitable on historic structures) when it comes to the next station to be done rather than 4 teams simultaneously? Also if there are further issues that need resolving that station can be left till last.

    The current platform lengthening works on SWT and Southern “inner” routes (a much bigger task) are being / have been done batch wise rather than doing all stations at once so NR might be using the same approach here.

  34. mr_jrt says:

    @Arkady. Page 163 of the ECML RUS.
    “Infrastructure required
    • Re-instatement of the disused Up platform at Finsbury Park and associated station accessibility improvements
    • Conversion of the Up Goods line between Alexandra Palace and Finsbury Park for use by passenger trains
    • Additional platforms at Alexandra Palace, Hornsey and Harringay
    • Revised access to Bounds Green depot”

    “Conclusion This infrastructure change can be recommended for inclusion in the strategy even without any train service changes, as long as care is taken over the balance between journey time reductions and performance benefits.”

  35. Greg Tingey says:

    Re your remarks from the RUS:
    Re-instatement of up p/f @ Krap Yrubsnif – in progress
    New up p/f @ “Ally Pally” – in progress
    Conversion of up goods for passenger use – in progress ( judging by observed works)
    Additional p/fs @ as named … nothing yet @ Hornsey or Har(r)inge(a)y, though possible, as noted.
    Bounds Green depot (on site of Hornsey shed) access – nothing obvious at present – BUT
    Would/will something need to be donae about this, anyway, for the Thameslink depot arangements?

    Platforms @ Ally Pally Finsbury P are already being lengthened for 12-car, but fitting them in for the 2 “H’s” could be much mopre difficult than just putting in a new 6-8car p/f for Moorgate-type services.

    Re this whole thing, how long before the 313’s need replacement?

  36. Arkady says:

    I second the question re the 313s. They look knackered.

    Thanks Mr_jrt for digging that out. Good to see that new platforms are slated at Harringay and Hornsey. As noted, Harringay needs a complete rebuild.

  37. Kit Green says:

    Give or take a few years the 313s are the same age and same family as the 507 / 508s that Merseyrail use. They have recently announced replacement of these in the next six years.

    I also remember reading that when SouthEastern were using 508s there was a statement that they would be life expired in 2014.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Yet Southern have just refurbished some for Coastway!

  39. mr_jrt says:

    Ideally if hey are going to be doing anything substantial to H&H you’d hope they would rebuild with a pair of islands serving the two slow lines on either side (enabling cross-platform interchange)…as I can’t even begin to think when the last time a train on the fasts stopped at either of them before they got walled off…or ever will again. Having another flanking platform added would be quite rubbish…but the least disruptive, so probably what will happen.

  40. C says:

    I agree that would be best for flexibility.

    Although ideal for journey times might be if they were Hertford Loop only – high frequency, shorter trains only to Moorgate – plenty of ops to change for KX.

    And all Welwyn trains were fast from FP to AP…

    378s fixed at 6 cars seem obvious for the Moorgate trains. The others would be TL and need 12 car platforms…

  41. Anonymous says:

    @mr_jrt @arkady

    Reading the description of the project in the latest route plan seems to suggest the project only provides for additional southbound platforms at AP and FP.

    “Alexandra Palace – Finsbury Park 3rd Up line project
    Additional southbound platforms at Alexandra Palace and Finsbury Park and conversion of goods line from Alexandra Palace to Finsbury Park to passenger status”

  42. mr_jrt says:

    @anon. Yup, the RUS only seems to mention the up line (Option A), so presumably it’s first…then maybe the down comes later if needed (Mentioned on page 154, but was part of option C in the draft…so perhaps de-scoped). It’s strange, as the needed platforms are already there at Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace…it’s just H&H and the line conversion that would be needed.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Will 378/2’s fit? The GN & C tube tunnels are fairly twisty.

  44. Jordan D says:

    For those who want to put Qs to FCC, they are hosting a “Meet the Directors” forum on their website this Friday. I’ve asked them about their 313 replacement strategy before, but unsurprisingly they’ve given a bland answer each and everytime.

    They can be good for answering some questions though, so something is better than nothing!

  45. PhilD says:

    Anonymous asked: ‘Will 378/2′s fit? The GN & C tube tunnels are fairly twisty”

    I’d assume that if the old 313s fit, then 378/2s should do so without difficulty but I stand to be corrected.
    I’d *love* it if LO took control of the service through AP, would make my commute much more pleasant. However, am I right in that this is a place where DfT are to stop further LO expansion? Be a crying shame if so, and worse for us passengers who have to put up with the service on that line.
    (slightly on a tangent, but has there ever been any plan to extend the GN&C tunnels further south than Moorgate? Looking at the ever brilliant Carte map – – I wonder how feasible it would be to extend GN&C into SE London? A north to south-east Crossrail 3 if you like. No doubt completely unrealistic, but being an armchair railway planner is fun 🙂

  46. ngh says:

    Re: mr_jrt 10:52AM, 13th June 2012

    As part of the works for the “new” Hornsey Thameslink Depot track alterations near both the H&H stations will be required (to access the new TL depot), might any track realignment etc. be done at the same time as those for the depot?

    Given that the depot planning process didn’t go down that well with some of the locals or the council, might NR have wanted to defer any station planning applications till after they had got the depot approved and the dust settles a bit?

  47. Anonymous says:

    The down line doesn’t need an upgrade as ally pally already has the platform and the second down slow is already a passenger line. The up line is currently signalled for non passenger only and they are putting in an extra platform at ap as currently the Hertford loop joins the up slow before the station. I belive the current plan on the Welwyn line is for 8 coach trains with a London destination on the south (Seveoaks/Caterham?).

  48. mr_jrt says:

    @anon…given the docs….best tell Network Rail then!

  49. mr_jrt says:

    Eeep. Just realised I’ve been misreading down and up. Apologies to anon! (Feature request: allow us to rescind the last post until it gets a reply!)

  50. Fandroid says:

    Rail magazine today has a piece on the Thameslink franchise replacement. There seems to be a idea that the new franchise will only take on services that go through the core tunnel. The article almost casually says:

    “Those GN services that do not run via Thameslink might be transferred to into a new Intercity East Coast franchise, DfT revealed.”

    My teeth nearly fell out when I read that! How to ask the ‘Hackney Wick’ question in the most absurd possible way? Bolt a high intensity urban Metro onto a 400 mile 125mph mainline? Where will all that TOC management effort go? Not on Hornsey I betchya.

    They offer a tiny ray of hope. DfT are consulting on the franchise before actually going out to tender to the prequalified gang: First Group, Govia, MTR Corporation, Abellio (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) and Stagecoach.

    I suggest as many LR commenter LOndon Overground fans as possible point out the absurdity of tacking the Moorgate services onto a mainline franchise and mention both that and the Blackfriars-Wimbledon Loop’s suitability for TfL to take on with the prospect of doing the LO treatment on them.

  51. timbeau says:

    Phil D – yes, it has been discussed many times, but the problem is that with the Northern Line directly below, and the Central above it, and hemmed in by deep foundations on either side, it would be very difficult to squeeze extensions of the tunnels very far south af Moorgate (especially full-size ones like those of the GN&C). The Met did one plan to connect the GN&C to its main line towards Liverpool Street but nothing came of it. The new Crossrail ticket hall at moorgate will also be in the way.

    Similar constraints at Bank prevent north or eastward extension of the W&C – it is at the same level as the Central, and wold need to dive under not only that but the Northern and DLR as well to go any further.

  52. john b says:

    “Those GN services that do not run via Thameslink might be transferred to into a new Intercity East Coast franchise, DfT revealed.”

    There is absolutely no way this is intended to refer to Moorgate shifting to ICEC – it’ll be referring to Kings Lynn and to any fast mainline suburbans that remain running out of KX. Things that are planned to be operated by IEP. Which makes sense.

    The interesting question is whether the DfT point is slightly inaccurate and they *only* mean the fast GN ex-KX services, or whether it’s accurate and they do intend to transfer Moorgate and Wimbledon to LO. I strongly suspect the former, although getting clarification won’t do any harm.

  53. Whiff says:

    This does seem to be shaping up to be an intriguing test case for any possible future expansion of London Overground. We have franchises that are being re-negotiated/ replaced in the near future and we have two obvious routes, those that start at Blackfriars and Moorgate, that don’t appear to fit naturally into any new franchise. Will be very interesting to see how this develops in the next few months.

  54. jamesup says:

    Firmly in the armchair planner category, but if the Moorgate services are to be incorporated into the Overground, and moorgate itself is not extendible as discussed, we have two sections of short platformed, third rail lines, that are very close.

    What if you were to divert the line, from a point just south of Old Street, turning east and rising to meet the overground as it ramps down east of Shoreditch High Street. Dalston terminators could instead go up the City Line, and serve the hertford loop.

    It’s only a mile of tunnel and would be a big boost to the city line, improve connections to Canary Wharf, do something useful with the Dalston trains, relieve the northern line, justify a 7 day service and make more productive use of these terminating trains.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Are the Overground fiddling there stats?

    Why is it that when there are major problems they never say that trains are cancelled when they blatantly are.
    They just say that trains are delayed over and over and over again sometimes up until an hour later and then they just stop mentioning it and move on to a later train and say that that’s delayed over and over again.

    This was at New Cross Gate, last week and in the past as well. Standing there checking the ldb on my phone which says trains are still fine and dandy out of New Cross. Get to New Cross and trains have been cancelled but the ldb website is still carrying on as if everythings normal.

    Is this dodgy practice or just incompetence?

  56. Cheshire cat says:


    Apart from being mildly amused by the “only a mile of tunnel” line, I rather wonder what all those commuters who currently arrive nicely adjacent to the city (bin there done that), will make of the choice between Shoreditch High Street and Whitechapel

    Anyway if you want to make the connection from the Hertford loop to LO the link the Cannonbury curve is still there isn’t it? No digging required.

  57. Paul says:

    The Canonbury curve is pretty much out of the question as a through route to the ELL though, as it is single track to provide room for electrification, and flat crossings of the NLL could not be fitted in amongst the existing NLL passenger and freight traffic.

    Grade separation by lowering is also basically out of the question due to the HS1 London tunnels immediately below, and various overbridges immediately above preventing tracks being raised.

  58. Anonymous says:

    @ Fandroid. You may have fallen off your seat but the Thameslink consultation document certainly does raise the possibility of any GN services not running via the core as transferring to the EC franchise. Here are the relevant words from the DfT document

    “The current FCC franchise includes all suburban services on the Great Northern route. This route serves destinations such as Peterborough, Cambridge, King’s Lynn, Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City and Hertford into and out of London Kings Cross and London Moorgate. From 2018, up to eight trains per hour from the Great Northern route will run via the Thameslink core route. Work is currently underway to determine the optimal destinations for these trains. Whilst we do not have proposals as yet, we are considering whether or not it might be appropriate that services that are not serving the Thameslink core route should transfer to the new Intercity East Coast franchise.”

    I think it would be daft to transfer local routes into the EC franchise. To be frank whoever runs the EC franchise needs to put all their effort into making the Inter City services run properly given the intensity of service and not insignificant infrastructure challenges. The history of this route post privatisation shows how GNER, NXEC and nationalised East Coast have all suffered when not paying 110% attention to their rolling stock and keeping Network Rail doing their job properly.

  59. Fandroid says:

    The consultation on the super-Thameslink franchise is open until 23 August.

  60. Curious afar says:

    Are Moorgate platforms that short? Whilst I understand extending southwards is a non starter are there constraints to platform lengthening to the north? (Similarly Old Street/ Essex Road) I can’t imagine the need at present but if Crossrail 2 ever comes about……

  61. Anonymous says:

    Any chance of an article on the major works currently going on at Vauxhall?

  62. timbeau says:


    Given that East Coast refuse to serve the City of Lincoln with the full Eureka service (only one of the promised seven trains a day – no privately-owned franchisee would have been allowed to get away with that), I can’t imagine Essex Road or Gordon Hill getting a very high priority

  63. Anonymous says:

    @ timbeau – probably drifting the thread a little bit but my understanding is that East Coast are operating against an agreed franchise specification with specific financial targets including premium payments. Therefore the change to the Eureka service will have been an agreed change to the franchise approved by DfT and not some public sector cosy alteration with no consequences. I suspect the collapsing economy was used to justify not launching “risky” new services but that’s speculation on my part. I agree on the priority point – it’s evident that Essex Road gets no priority at all from FCC never mind a future East Coast!

  64. timbeau says:

    @anon – NatEx pulled out of the franchise because they couldn’t afford to run it – they were never given the opportunity to bid for the revised slimmed down spec. The change to the franchise was made only after the public sector East Coast operator took it over, and is indeed a cosy arrangement between two public sector outfits. I am no fan of NatEx, but this moving of the goalposts looks unfair to me, and if the ORR considered the Lincoln service to be dispensible, Nat Ex should have been allowed to put in an offer on that basis.

    As it is, the Eureka timetable now gives Lincoln the worst service it has had since the 1970s – mainly because the trains which should have gone to Lincoln terminate at Newark, where they prevent any connecting services to and from Lincoln by occupying the only platform that gives access to the Lincoln line.

    Now East Coast and the RUS are propsing to upgrade the “Joint” line to get more freight diverted away from the ECML – all such traffic has to cross Lincoln’s High Street by the level crossing, which already closes several times an hour, but all objections seem to be brushed aside.

  65. Fandroid says:

    The Lincoln level crossing is separate issue that needs to be resolved in Lincoln. Whatever train service the city has, the crossing remains a huge headache for it and needs to be resolved by spending ze cash. By contrast, the rail service to Lincoln from London is a real example of what happens when you fragment the railway. However, even with the current balkanised structure, it should be within someone’s remit to ensure that good connections are available and performance is measured on maintaining them. However, the franchise (mythical competition) tail is wagging that public transport dog again.

  66. Greg Tingey says:

    The Lincoln level crossing should not have been an issue.
    It could still be resolved – you just need to re-open the East half of the avoiding loop that the idiot morons closed about 20 years back – oh and knock down the new houses the same idiots allowed to be buit on it.

    Ditto the problems with Lincoln,or Shrewsbury, and their strangling of the open access service there. The real villian is DafT – their incompetence & arrogance is stupefying, after all, they are responsible for the West Drayton/Hackney Wick question, & IEP aren’t they?
    As for Loo-Roll telling porkies about their train services, or lack of them, I’m afraid that the answer is obvious. Some of the arrogant lying from LUL has presumably started to leak across, which is a real pity.

  67. 1956 says:

    Paul – is it absolutely certain that the Canonbury curve cannot be lowered and widened (to allow 2 freights to pass on two overhead electrified lines) due to the HS1 London tunnels immediately below? Does anyone know if there been any kind of study to clarify whether or not this would be possible?

    If it was possible to double the Canonbury curve tunnel, could passenger train paths be fitted in between Canonbury and the Graham Street curve? If the Graham Street curve was also doubled this could provide access to Liverpool Street (if – and it is a big if – capacity could be made available there).

  68. timbeau says:

    Greg – Fandroid

    Getting a long way off topic now, but the transport situation in Lincoln over the past sixty years has seen the City running hard just to keep up with unhelpful changes made by the railways with little reference to the wider picture. The unusual topography of the city centre, hemmed in by fenland to east and west, and high ground to north and south, resulted in just three north-south roads, which each had to cross three railways and the river, all within a half mile square. Only the most southerly, and newest, of the railways, crossed the roads by bridges – all other intersections were by level crossings – as indeed was one of the river crossings, using a swing bridge!
    The City has since built two flyovers over the railways (plus a third over the river to replace the swing bridge) but any improvement they have brought has been cancelled out by the antics of the railways which, as well as closing the only one of the three railways to cross the High Street on a bridge, as mentioned by Greg, have also closed the direct line to Grantham (which avoided crossing the High Street at all), and also closed the Midland/GCR railway line whose station was on the west side of the High Street. This means that all trains to and from the west (obviously the majority, given Lincoln’s location) now have to cross the High Street by the remaining level crossing to use the GNR/GCR station on the east side.

    Back on topic:
    if the Moorgate / Hertford route were to be taken over by LOROL
    1. would class 378 units fit down the hole, or would special units need to be designed?
    2. would interchange with the “Goblin” at Harringay be improved?

    That route would at least have an interchange with other LOROL routes (at H&I), unlike that other potential Thameslink orphan, the Wimbledon loop.

  69. PhilD says:

    “2. would interchange with the “Goblin” at Harringay be improved?”

    There’s certainly no interchange there at the moment. The GN&C crosses the GOBLIN about 200m south of Harringay station. I’d be very surprised if a passenger interchange was ever built there, given that Harringay Green Lanes station is about a quarter of a mile to the west of there.
    One thing worth noting is that the GOBLIN crosses the Piccadilly Line at Harringay Green Lanes, a spot that’s roughly halfway between Turnpike Lane and Manor House stations. Given that this is one of the longest stretches between stations on the Piccadilly Line, you’d have thought it was the perfect spot for a tube station of its own. Especially given the potential to have an interchange with the GOBLIN and that it’s a heavily populated residential area. Whether or not that’s a strong enough case to justify the cost is another matter.

  70. timbeau says:

    Harringay/Harringay Green Lanes is listed as a valid “Out of Station Interchange”, but I doubt if it sees much use.

  71. Arkady says:

    A combined HAR/HGL station would have poor access – much worse than HGL and much less conveniently sited.

    Opening a Picadilly Line station at HGL is a great idea though.

  72. Anonymous says:

    I read somewhere about a proposal to convert Manor House to a Victoria Line station and move the Picadilly Line station to H Green Lanes instead.

    Not sure if it has ever been seriously considered.

    On the subject of new Victoria Line stations (apologies for the tangent), is it the Northumberland Road station still being proposed as part of Spurs redevelopment plans?

  73. Pedantic of Purley says:

    One of the earlier Victoria line plans was to take over Manor Park to give a number of Piccadilly line stations to the north of it a faster run into town and provide more clientele for the Victoria line. Eventually it was decided that the Victoria line might not want the extra traffic so the plan was abandoned.

    Never heard of the H Green Lanes proposal though.

    Regarding Northumberland Park. No it isn’t. It wasn’t really ever so. Just a Tottenham Hotspur dream although I think Ken latched onto it at one stage. Basically it would cost £50million (more now) and require railway land that is earmarked for four-tracking by various NR RUS + TfL plans. I am pretty sure I covered this in the draft of an article concerning somewhere nearby … If I didn’t I’ll add a bit about it.

  74. Martin S says:

    @timbeau: “Harringay/Harringay Green Lanes is listed as a valid “Out of Station Interchange”, but I doubt if it sees much use.”

    On the occasions I’ve used it I’ve been one of a number; it’s pretty well signposted and not much more than a ten minute stroll. The alternatives are limited – coming from the East as I do I guess Blackhorse Road and Victoria Line to Finsbury Park is an option, though you waste a lot of time getting to and from the Tube platforms and waiting for a train. From the West – well, from Gospel Oak itself you would do H&I on the NLL but from any intermediate station the walk at Harringay has to be the quickest option?

  75. Whiff says:

    @Timbeau – I love the description of the Wimbledon loop as a ‘potential Thameslink orphan’. If the proposal to restrict the new Thameslink franchise to services through Snow Hill is confirmed what would happen to this route if it’s not taken over by LO. Would it go to Southern? Would they even want it?

    And I also like the ideas for improving connections around Harringay. Personally I would like to see TFL’s next big project being to improve interchanges all round the current Overground routes to provide London with a proper inter-connected orbital railway. I know there have been lots of good ideas discussed on here about how to do this but I guess that capacity constraints as much as funding will be the issue.

  76. DJB says:

    If LO took over the Wimbledon loop would their be a case to extend LO from West Croydon to Sutton and then on to Blackfriers via Wimbledon to replace the current service on this route?

  77. swirlythingy says:

    Harringay Green Lanes isn’t the only place where a potential Tube/GOBLIN interchange exists and has been completely ignored. Junction Road, which closed in 1943, was right next to Tufnell Park on the Northern line (and hence represents the opposite situation to that at Harringay, where the Tube has a station but the GOBLIN doesn’t). Even the line’s one proper interchange, Blackhorse Road, was a short walk away from the Tube for the first forteen years of the Victoria line’s life!

  78. swirlythingy says:

    @DJB: Are you implying one continuous service from Blackfriars to Highbury & Islington, via Tulse Hill, Wimbledon, Sutton, West Croydon, New Cross Gate, and Whitechapel? I wonder who would use it? Just because you don’t have to turn a train round to get it from one point to another doesn’t mean you needn’t!

  79. Anonymous says:

    Whiff: “If the proposal to restrict the new Thameslink franchise to services through Snow Hill is confirmed what would happen to this route if it’s not taken over by LO. Would it go to Southern?”

    Unless anything has changed, the plan is for the South Central franchise to be wholly merged into the Thameslink franchise by 2017. Presumably this is the logic of excluding those services north of London, as they would be orphaned ones with all other services being south London or the south coast ones, whether they go through the Thameslink core, the west London line, or terminate at Victoria, Blackfriars, or London Bridge.

    DJB: “If LO took over the Wimbledon loop would their be a case to extend LO from West Croydon to Sutton and then on to Blackfriers via Wimbledon to replace the current service on this route?”

    And what of the Mitcham Junction side of the loop?

    In the RUS the proposal is for four trains per hour in each direction around the loop by having it go from London Bridge to Sutton via Mitcham Junction, then on to Blackfriars via Wimbledon. i.e. All nothbound trains from Tooting would be to Blackfriars, and from Mitcham Junction would be to London Bridge. It does not say whether that would be all-day or just in the peak, but there really needs to be 4tph service on the Wimbledon side and presumably some form of split with London Bridge is the only option due to capacity issues with the junction at Herne Hill.

  80. Greg Tingey says:

    SO 8 tph through the single-line section @ Wombledon. That is going to require very careful timetabling and operation, isn’t it? Err ……

    I understand there is some sort of proposal (i.e before 2023) for Junction Rd to re-open ??
    The Blackhorse Rd non-interchange was deliberate – “they” wanted to close GOBLIN.
    The result was that when the T&FG station was closed, and the new one opened, it was narrow, mean and cramped, and it still is. Widening the platforms away from the tracks is a no-brainer, and can be done without closing services, but are there any proposals to do this?
    Not that I’ve heard of.
    It’s the Walthamstow stations footpath saga all over again.
    I realise this last should be in the thread three back about nobblin’ the goblin, but, anyway.

  81. Kevin Lynch says:

    It seems from this thread that there are numerous wasted opportunities with regards to the GOBLIN; obvious interchanges that could be integrated relatively easily. A HUGE opportunity, to my mind at least, would be to take the line eastwards from Barking and have it serve the Ripple Road, Barking Riverside and Dagenham Dock area. Who knows, if ever they finally decide to fund the DLR extention to Dagenham Dock the GOBLIN could see its first direct interchange with a DLR station? I can’t imagine that it would be beyond possibility in engineering terms to extend the line from its present bay terminus to provide such a service? But then, one can only dream… ** sigh **

  82. timbeau says:

    swirlythingy – no of course no-one would travel all the way from Blackfriars to High & I by that route (unless they really don’t like changing trains!) any more than people use the entire length of the Circle Line, Southern’s London Bridge to Victoria via Crystal Place service, or SWT’s “roundabout” services. But it would be useful for journeys like Tooting to Carhalton. And indeed in former times the service ran something like Holborn Viaduct, Tulse Hill, Crystal palace, West Croydon, Sutton, Wimbledon, Tulse Hill, London Bridge.

    Greg –

    Once the route is more self-contained it may be both more reliable and more able to flex to accomadate any [probelms that do occur – no need to find a path through City TL and beyond) so 4tph through the single track section might be achievable.

    There are proposals in the London Route Utilisation Strategy to move Tramlink out of the station, to release platform 10 for Thameslink use. However, this is in connection with plans for a fifth track between Clapham Junction and Surbiton, (at Wimbledon, trains using platforms 7,8 and 9 would each move one over, allowing the new bi-di line to run through platform 7: most of the rest of the plan involves a new track on the south side between Surbiton and New Malden, and on the north side between New Malden and Clapham Junction, apart from the Wimbledon remodelling, which would also rebuild the flyover to span three tracks). see Figure 7.5 on p 134

  83. Anonymous says:

    Greg Tingey: “SO 8 tph through the single-line section @ Wombledon. That is going to require very careful timetabling and operation, isn’t it? Err ……”


    The current service already peaks with 7tph through that section. Between 7am and 8am there are three northbound and two southbound Thameslink services, and two services to Sutton from London Bridge.

  84. ChrisMitch says:

    I use Wimbledon station almost every day.
    The current arrangement of platforms 9 and 10 causes horrible crowding on the steep staircase to platforms 9 and 10 when a tram and a thameslink train arrive at the same time.

    The tram is a waste of platform 10, only using 20% of its length.
    As far as I can see, it would be relatively easy to shift the tram platform further back down the tram tracks, and provide another staircase/lift down to it from the bridge/street above, This would move the tram outside the current ticket gates and remove the need for 2 incompatible oyster touchers on platforms 9 and 10.
    This would release platform 10 back to thameslink for normal 2-track operation.

  85. timbeau says:

    All the staircases to the bridge at Wimbledon are overcrowded – a second footbridge is desperately needed there. Perhaps the temporary one at Earlsfield could be moved there?

  86. mr_jrt says:

    …of course, if we’re going to go all theoretical LO on the Sutton loop…

    West Croydon extended to Wimbledon to serve the loop between Sutton & Wimbledon, then perhaps up via East Putney to Platform 1&2 @ Clapham Junction, giving an overall loop service Surrey Quays to Surrey Quays via the inner SLL and the super outer SLL.

    Likewise, Crystal Palace extended to platforms 15 & 16 @ Clapham Junction, then up the WLL.

    Haydon’s Road and Tooting lose out, but perhaps the frequency of a Blackfriairs to Epsom Downs service could be improved to serve that side of the loop, interchanging with LO @ Sutton.

  87. ChrisMitch says:

    That would take some engineering mr_jrt, as the Sutton-Wimbledon-East Putney trains would have to cross 4 tracks of the SW mainline at Wimbledon, which I very much doubt is going to happen.
    Plus I don’t want Tooting to lose out! The Wimbledon/Sutton loop works as a route, it just needs a more frequent service!

  88. mr_jrt says:

    @ChrisMitch – It’s called a flyover, and it’s fairly routine railway engineering. There’s also ample space, which is handy. 🙂 As for Tooting and Haydon’s Road…perhaps that section would be viable candidates for Tramlink. I can’t see that going anywhere…and it’ll be terminating right outside Wimbledon station. Could run from from Wimbledon to Tooting and back down to Mitcham Junction along London Road.

    The main problem with the loop is that it has to share the highly congested lines through Streatham, Tulse Hill and Herne Hill, the lines to Blackfriairs aren’t really a problem, but capacity in the bays might grow to be. It also limits capacity on the line through Mitcham Junction, which could perhaps be better used for more services via Epsom & Horsham.

  89. Anonymous says:

    mr_jrt: “As for Tooting and Haydon’s Road…perhaps that section would be viable candidates for Tramlink.”

    You want Tramlink extended to Blackfriars?

    I assume that is what you mean, as both are otherwise well connected to Wimbledon by bus and the value of the railway from those stations is the services in the opposite direction, to the City and via connections to other parts of south London.

    As for the suggestion that Thameslink shares otherwise “heavily congested lines” lines through Tulse Hill and Streatham, I am completely baffled. The former only regularly sees 4tph and the latter 2tph. Even if for Streatham you mean the junction with the line from Victoria that only sees 4tph through it.

    Herne Hill is certainly heavily congested, although it is hardly the fault of the the loop as it is the only service to pass through the way it does, to remove this “congestion” would mean closing down an entire stretch of railway.

    Admittedly, I do have the crazy idea the railways should work to suit the needs of people rather than the other way around.

  90. ChrisMitch says:

    @mr_jrt – space is not the problem with constructing a flyover. Money is the problem…!

  91. Chris says:

    Flyovers are very expensive to build and potentially very disruptive even when built in open countryside – they can hardly be called ‘routine railway engineering’.

  92. timbeau says:

    Tulse Hill has 8 tph each off-peak hour – two each to the Crystal Palace, Norbury, Mitcham Junction, and Wimbledon routes: 6 tph (all but the Crystal Palace line) also call at Streatham.

  93. mr_jrt says:

    @Anon – Tramlink to Blackfriars? THAT’s a strawman argument if ever there was one. I quite clearly said north of Wimbledon to Tooting on the trackbed, then south down London Road to Mitcham Junction. Passengers could either head to Wimbledon or Mitcham Junction for fast services to central London. South London’s mess of flat junctions and spaghetti routes could do with a spot of optimisation to change the focus from direct trains to interchanges to increase capacity…

    As for the TPH figures, I assume you’re only counting services that stop rather than those that pass through without stopping? Otherwise the RUS says Streatham sees 5 TPH passing through, and Tulse Hill 10 (though it’s admittedly not very clear, so may be less).

    Looking over the RUS, I see that HR and Tooting and the loop from Mitcham Eastfields to Sutton are overcrowded, and that they have disproportionately slow times to central London. Using the line capacity to run more services via Epsom would improve the speeds and service levels for that side of the loop (obviously doesn’t help HR & Tooting), but it would mean a change of terminal to Victoria. A frequent tramlink service in either direction to get their passengers to either of the mainline station with frequent long mainline trains would probably work out much more frequent for them than the 2-3 TPH they currently see.

    Incidentally, removing the junction south of Herne Hill could have another benefit – I think it would make it much more feasible to lengthen the platforms for 12-car trains…which would be a big win as all those new 12-car Thameslink trains will then be able to serve it.

    @Chris(s) – One ever few years is still a routine, abet an infrequent one. The point being, flyovers are a known quantity. There’s little risk involved. How you build them is known, how much they cost is known, and the designs require little innovation. There’s even LO form for this – the ELL extension with it’s flyover over the GEML. Abet, one of the rare cases where a contractor managed to f’up a routine job, but sound in principle.

  94. timbeau says:

    Didn’t the ELL also build a new flyover at New Cross Gate? – without breaking anything!

    But yes, they do need space and are disruptive whilst being built. I seem to recall one of the things which put the kibosh on the Crossrail branch to Kingston was the need for land-take to buld a flying junction east of Richmond – the other was that Kingston to central London (TCR, Liverpool St) via the proposed route would have been somewhat slower than the existing route via Waterloo, which it would have partially replaced!

    I think my only chance of using Chelney to get to work would now be if the government were to raise the retirement age again!

  95. Ian Sergeant says:

    Could I ask again the question which @1956 posed? Regarding the Canonbury curve, how far underground is HS1 at this point? My understanding ( is that the tunnel was bored – which made me think that there might be room for a cut-and-cover tunnel to widen the Canonbury curve without service pollution from the ELL to the NLL. I accept that this infrastructure would be pointless if you were going to terminate trains at Finsbury Park, and that the Northern Heights is not going to happen, but it is an entirely different proposal for some Welwyn trains to go on to the ELL to create a more convenient route to Canary Wharf. If you also create the interchange station with the Central Line at Shoreditch High Street after Crossrail is complete, you bring people to Bank with one change exactly as now for terminators at Moorgate.

    If it is practical, I think this proposal is worthy of consideration.

  96. Anonymous says:

    timbeau: “Tulse Hill has 8 tph each off-peak hour – two each to the Crystal Palace, Norbury, Mitcham Junction, and Wimbledon routes: 6 tph (all but the Crystal Palace line) also call at Streatham.”

    Yes, but the statement made was that the loop services share an already heavily congested lines, i.e. the Crystal Palace and Norbury services alone are already causing congestion.

    mr_jrt: “Tramlink to Blackfriars? THAT’s a strawman argument if ever there was one”

    No, it was heavy sarcasm. I know full well that is not what you were suggestion, instead you were going on a flight of fancy with a complete disregard for anyone who actually uses the services. Expecting people to take a tram south to Mitcham Junction to catch a train north will add at least 15 minutes on to a journey .

    mr_jrt: “As for the TPH figures, I assume you’re only counting services that stop rather than those that pass through without stopping? Otherwise the RUS says Streatham sees 5 TPH passing through, and Tulse Hill 10 (though it’s admittedly not very clear, so may be less).”

    Streatham has no non-stopping service and I am not sure where that figure comes from. Excluding Thameslink it only had a 2pth London Bridge to West Croydon service, and in the peaks an additional 2tph one-way loop service from London Bridge.

    In addition to the above Tulse Hill is also served by a 2tph London Bridge to Crystal Palace/Beckenham Junction service. Currently several peak Brighton Thameslink services pass through the station due to a lack of capacity at London Bridge, but these will cease ones the works complete.

    mr_jrt: “Using the line capacity to run more services via Epsom would improve the speeds and service levels for that side of the loop (obviously doesn’t help HR & Tooting), but it would mean a change of terminal to Victoria.”

    Well, yay for everyone whose trains will now already be full by Sutton and for those whose trains will now go to the opposite side of London to where they need to be.

    Instead of the roughly 30 minutes it takes to get from Mitcham Junction to Blackfriars or London Bridge everyone can enjoy the much faster 25 minutes it takes to get to Victoria. And then the extra 20 minutes getting back to where they wanted to go on the tube.

    Nothing helps speed up those “disproportionately slow times to central London” than making people get a tram in the opposite direction of where they are head, to wait for a train to where they do not want to be, so they can get a tube and end up with their commute taking twice as long as it used to.

    And what a good thing that unlike those heavily congested lines through Tulse Hill and Streatham the Victoria to Balham corridor just has capacity in abundance.

    And for the avoidance of doubt, that is not heavy sarcasm but thinly veiled contempt. As someone who used to commute from Tooting station, and who still lives in the area and so actually uses the services being discussed, I can only say how glad I am that you are posting comments against a blog rather than having any actual say in anything.

  97. mr_jrt says:

    @anon – My, you’re a grouchy one, aren’t you?

    …*sigh* ignoring the ability to go west to Wimbledon on Tramlink again. Services change over time – get over it. heading to Mitcham Junction gives the line a nice loop and serves a gap between higher capacity lines down through Mitcham, but it could just as easily head via Streatham Common to Streatham for interchange.

    You also seem to be ignoring the point that when you concentrate passengers at interchanges you justify longer and faster trains serving said stations, and by reducing the movements over flat junctions can usually eke more capacity out of the main lines. Having a journey that’s only 5 minutes longer to end up at Blackfriairs is all fine and well – but when you only get 2TPH that can quite easily add 25 minutes on to the time it takes you.

    Anyway then – explain why, if Tooting is the centre of the universe as you seem to think it is, the loop doesn’t have more services given the demand and that the lines are apparently empty up to Blackfriars?

  98. Whiff says:

    Confused by all the speculation on here I had a look at the Thameslink consultation document and am now even more confused. Paragraph 1:1 clearly says the new franchise will bring together all FCC and Southern services while paragraph 7:19 on page 29 is the one quoted above by anonymous on the 14th that contradicts by saying non-Thameslink services north of the river may be transferred to a new Intercity East Coast franchise. I guess we will just have to wait and see what develops.
    There’s a lot of other interesting detail which hopefully JB or Pedantic will do their usual excellent job of dissecting. It’s not strictly London-related, though, but one thing that caught my eye, is that DfT are finally considering closing the infamous Newhaven Marine station.

  99. Whiff says:

    And on the basis that is usually easier to add a few million more to a project already costing billions than it is to fund something from scratch it’s a shame that they couldn’t have sorted out Wimbledon platforms 9 and 10 as part of the Thameslink programme ( and yes I know it would have been hard to justify given the ‘loop’ is unlikely to be part of Thameslink long-term).
    I guess we will just have to add this to the ever-growing LR commenters’ wish-list of improvements we’d like to see carried out one day.

  100. Greg Tingey says:

    Newhaven Marine?
    Surely not – I mean I’ve been there on a service train to catch the boat to Dieppe!

    The refusal of the (orignally ex-Railway) shipping companies to take “foot” passengers is a disgrace.

    Re flat junctions…
    There are (at least) three on the ex-SR lines, and one that should never have been removed that would do much better if made into flyovers …
    1] Parks Bridge Jn – Ladywell down direction ( MIGHT just be able to be fitted in?)
    2] Herne Hill – desperately needed, and as prviously discussed is practicable ( Raise “long siding” in down direction, & burrow in up direction
    3] Streatham N Jn – S jn (Very very tight, might not be do-able, but an alternative might be just an extra pair of crosovers (much cheaper from the Dn fast through to the Dn slo just short of Streatham N Jn, thus giving the signalling operatorsa two possible bites at the same cherry for down trains to either Tooting or Mitcham …)
    4] The “Emergency spur” between W Croydon & SelhurstCome on, money was found, several years ago, when railways were still hated by government, to put the Shortlands dive-under in…

    Come on, money was found, some years back, when irrespective of persuasion, guvmint still hated railways, to put the Shortlands dive-under in to place?
    Come to that Copper Mills to Clapton Jns up direction – all on railway land and SOON, please?

  101. Pedantic says:

    Greg re: Flat Junctions

    1] For three tph peak and 2 tph off peak ? And the off-peak ones are there only because it is said that there aren’t the slots available to go via Lewisham which is is said is what is wanted.

    2] A complex issue. I agree it is desparately needed but challenging technically to produce something that is affordable, not a visual blight on the area and really does solve all the issues. In the “too hard” tray for the moment.

    3] I am not familiar with it so cannot comment.

    4] I remain to be convinced that reinstating the emergency spur would not actually reduce capacity due to signal overlaps in the area containing many junctions.

    If I recall correctly, the Shortlands dive-under was only built for absolutely exceptional reasons. Analysis showed that without it it would be impossible to reliably run stage one of the (then Channel Tunnel rail link) which used the short line from Gravesend to Longfield to get back onto the old route and into Waterloo International. Given the alternative solutions (reduce existing commuter services, run Eurostar only off-peak or continue to use the “classic” route and have half of HS1 unused), Politically it would have been totally unacceptable. Don’t imagine for one moment that money was found in an era where goverment hated British Rail (not all railways) to rebuild Shortlands Junction for the benefit of local commuters. OMG, I am getting more cynical than Greg!

  102. Mark Townend says:

    Greg & Pedantic:

    2] Herne Hill. An alternative could be to relocate the Thameslink platforms to the centre, with the fast tracks going around the outside of the islands. A crossing train stopping in the middle platforms would thus intersect the fasts one at a time in 2 separate movements, separated by the station stop, hopefully making regulation simpler.

  103. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Nice idea but I don’t think it is just a case of rearrangement. As far as I can tell the track arrangment is identical to that shown on the last page of this pdf. The tracks for the down platforms currently merge to the east of the station prior to the junction for Tulse Hill so in this direction it wouldn’t make any difference. In the up direction the advantage of the current arrangement is that at least the trains are kepts waiting in the platform. Clearly if they are not due to call at Herne Hill then this is of no real advantage. With a bit of new track (but remember we are on a viaduct) two trains could leave both down platforms simultaneously but with the current service provision there would almost certainly be a conflict between the trains on appoach as they need to cross each others paths. So this probably wouldn’t achieve much which I suspect is why the down line was never planned to remain double track up to the junction.

    The above mentioned layout in the pdf also shows that the tracks are not really suitably aligned for the suggested arrangement although, presumably, that could be changed. Nevertheless, it is an interesting idea that had never occurred to me and may have some merit.

  104. ngh says:

    Re: Pedantic of Purley 01:35PM, 18th June 2012

    The track layout is similar to that in the diagram on the last page of the pdf (ignoring the recent addition of the Thameslink turn back siding of course) but 3 pairs of points have been removed (2 pairs reverse direction working and the down slow to down fast points north of the station) but it is functional the same in normal use.
    So as you suggest a major limitation is the short 3 track section over the A215 bridge south of the station. Even if this was removed there are / would be plenty more limitations remaining.

    My thoughts on sorting the Herne Hill issues:
    4 tracking the bridge south of the station
    Re assigning the platform usage and direction (i.e. on the pdf diagram up slow become Up (from Tulse Hill), up fast becomes Down (to Tulse Hill) with the current down platforms becoming the Kent Service platforms.
    As there are 3 service patterns (Vic – Kent, Blackfriars – Tulse Hill, Blackfriars – Kent) this could eliminate points etc south of the station so the height of the platforms and track in the station could be altered to make grade separation north of the station easier by changing levels south of the station (i.e. 1 set of tracks (kent?) higher than now)
    Then a fly-under for the Blackfriars – Tulse hill pair of lines north of the station to achieve the grade seperation.
    In the V between the Victoria and Blackfriars lines is an NR maintenance depot and a council street cleaners depot (built on (former?) railway land) so may not be that problematic to construct on. There is room on the blackfriars lines for 4 tracking so the split between Tulse Hill and Kent Services from Blackfriars could be done there. i.e. the fly under would emerge between the existing lines.

  105. timbeau says:

    It could be imperfect recall, but when it was my local station in the early eighties I think the turnback siding was then a loop, merging with the down slow to the east of the platforms. I do certainly recall seeing a 2EPB that had been derailed on trap points at that end of the station, but whether it had been exiting that loop, or platform 4, I cannot now remember.

    Recent aerial views on Google suggest that the double slips on the down side west of the station have been replaced by a single connection from the Down Victoria to Down Slow (platform 4), so trains from Victoria can still approach either platform 3 or 4. It is not clear whether the opposite slip (allowing trains from the City to gain platform 3) have been removed altogether, or just moved – I suspect the former. If you want Thameslink trains to use the middle platforms for the reason proposed, you would also need to reinstate the City – to -platform 3 connection.

    But yes, with the current layout all parallel moves are possible except from platforms 3 and 4 eastbound, as there is only one down track across the bridge. It should be possible to achieve that by making the middle track (up main) reversible, with a connection from platform 3 and to the down branch. It would however see little use unless Thameslink were to use platform 3, as nearly all trains for the branch currently use platform 4.

  106. Pedantic of Purley says:


    I suspect possible but difficult, expensive and disruptive. However aesthetically it beats the flyover solutions hands down. It may be the best that can be done. There is no point in looking for a neat solution – there isn’t one.

    The question then is “Is it worth it for the cost ?” Here I suspect the answer is no. And even if Herne Hill gets fixed then the problems of Tulse Hill (including being unable to extend the platforms) come into sharper focus. Do we have £ multi-hundreds of millions scheme to fix that too ?

    I think there must be a long list of problems where the solution is too expensive to implement on any sensible cost-benefit ground but the problem isn’t so bad that we cannot live with it if we have to. Herne Hill is probably near the top of this list.

  107. Mark Townend says:

    Diagram of my Herne Hill proposal . . .

  108. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Well, I’m impressed. And I notice that you have retained the ability of a fast Victoria to overtake a stopper in both directions.

  109. Fandroid says:

    I love your graphics @Mark Townend. What software did you use?

  110. Lemmo says:

    Amazing how a post about Finsbury Park turns into a detailed discussion about Herne Hill 🙂

    What happened to the proposal to build a link from the London Bridge line at Knights Hill, over to the north side of the south-east mainline into Herne Hill? This means you’d lose the junctions at the north end of the station, which would allow platform lengthening.

  111. Greg Tingey says:

    Presumably much heaper than a flyover on the down side and a diveunder on the up …..
    You have left out extra flexibilityfor the price of 4 double sets of points.
    The two sand-drag/dea-end sidings both need (re)-connection to the down & uo mains respectively, with the centre roads made reversible, & 2 extra cossovers … one between the present up & down mains at the Est (dn) end of the platforms, and another “trailing” between the up/dn Blackfriars lines
    This would give complete flexibility.

  112. timbeau says:

    Herne Hill – interesting, but loses some of the flexibility of the existing layout as some parallel moves are lost. in particular, what happens if a train from Bromley to Blackfriars and a train from Tulse Hill to Blackfriars approach the station at the same time?

    Also, if two trains approach from Victoria and Blackfrairs – at present cross platform interchange is possible without delay to either: your arrangment would require one to wait for the other to clear the pinch point east of the station. Interchange between the second and the first would only be possible if the fiorst were then delayed to await the arrival of the second.

  113. Greg Tingey says:

    Oops, I forgot.
    There is extra room outside both sets of present running tracks, especially on the North side – tthough on the South you would have to take the top off the original station building, in part, at least.
    Could this be utilised for loops, again without going to the expense of a flyover ???

  114. Mark Townend says:


    Currently using Libreoffice drawing package – not bad considering it’s free!

  115. Mark Townend says:


    I would always give priority to the Victoria route train in both cases – these are more likely to be non-stop, and there is guaranteed to be a path across the appropriate fast line immediately behind it, unless the previous Blackfriars train is still in the corresponding middle platform of course.

    I take the point about serendipitous quick cross platform connections, but these could never be considered reliable ; its just as likely a Bromley is being dispatched as the arrival from Blackfriars opens its doors.

  116. ngh says:

    Re: Greg Tingey 07:01AM, 19th June 2012
    Taking the top off the station building (and the older signal box) and going 6 track had occurred to me too but gives no major benefits. (the station building is to the west not south)

    They would probably want to raise the bridge over the south side by ~1ft to eliminate a “low” bridge if altering the levels on the viaducts to the south.

    Re: Lemmo 06:49AM, 19th June 2012

    New Curves where the Herne Hill – Kent and Tulse Hill London Bridge lines cross

    Cost, ownership and difficult planning issues. [Hornets nest]

    The land to the south/east of the A215 and east of Croxted Road (A2199) is on the Dulwich Estate.
    I think NR may lease the land from the bridge south of the station to the tunnel mouth just south of Sydenham Hill on a 999 year lease (the rail bridges south of the A215 bridge have the estate governors crests on them as do the bridges on the Tulse Hill to East Dulwich section). The Lease would pre date the curtailment of the estate’s powers by an 1870 act of Parliament so the terms aren’t liable to be friendly for NR. (Similar to the Corporation of London beforehand). I suspect that the 1870 act may have to be revisited in addition to other Parliamentary and government approvals if the estate objected.

    Conservation area, every reasonable sized tree protected…
    The houses to the east of the Herne Hill – Kent line sell for 7digit amounts and have well connected residents (the residents wouldn’t need to pay any legal fees as they would represent themselves…).

    The Estate still retains planning powers well in excess local councils and is far stricter too. Note that the former sidings on the Tulse Hill – London Bridge line (where the curves would split from this line) were kept off the estate to the west of the A2199.

    Hence why I suggested the grade separation to the North where it would be on Railway or ex railway owned land (The council street sweepers depot and industrial estate may well be leased from NR so may have easy reclaim clauses for actual railway use)

    Many project managers would take the low stress option early on…

  117. Pickle says:

    re: Herne Hill

    a) do these ideas give you room to extend the platforms at Herne Hill from 8 to 10 or 12 car?
    b) even if the above is not capable, would SDO be possible?
    c) is not the main limitation on the line into Victoria (Eastern) and Thameslink (via E & C) the lack of trainpaths due to the conflicting moves at Herne Hill?

  118. Fandroid says:

    Loosely (very) connected with the debate over the future Thameslink franchise-

    I was on an FCC train today from KX to Cambridge and the automated announcement said:

    ‘Welcome to this West Anglia Great Northern service to Cambridge’ I checked the train, it had all the First Group bad-taste vinyls on the outside and gloomy upholstery inside. Perhaps something has already happened to the Thameslink TOC or time has gone into reverse.

  119. anon_1963 says:

    @ mr_jrt ‘There are currently a pair of goods lines between Alexandra Palace and Finsbury Park. These are being upgraded for passenger use’
    I’m curious to know what needs to be done to upgrade the lines in question. Not being at all knowledgeable about railway matters, I just assumed the track and signals on the ‘goods’ lines would need to be maintained to the same standard as the ‘passenger’ lines, even if only so they can be put to use as diversionary routes during engineering possessions or if/when a train fails in service between FP and AP. I happened to be on a Northbound slow train today and was looking out the window at the nothbound ‘goods’ line. Aside from maybe a few extra weeds here and there, the actual track looks no different to the running lines, to my untrained eyes.

  120. Whoosh says:

    Goods lines generally aren’t equipped with AWS, and because there is therefore less protection from the signalling system, is the reason that passenger trains have to be given special permission to travel over them. There are special regulations that Signallers have to adhere to if they have reason to send a passenger train over Goods lines, that I believe involves the passenger train concerned to be the only train on that line – i.e. you can have a queue of goods trains/empty stocks signal to signal on Goods lines, but if a passenger train is on it, it must be the only train on the Goods line, and the length of the Goods line becomes one large signalling block for the purposes of running a passenger train on it.

    So the upgrading of the ‘Up Goods’ into ‘Up Slow 2’ or whatever they are going to call it, between Alexandra Palace and Finsbury Park, will involve fitting AWS to all the signals, and may involve re-siting signals if the alignment is changed or new platforms added, as this may make the current signals harder to see.

  121. Arkady says:

    Quick fact check – Hornsey and Harringay currently have 6 car capacity, right? Meaning that they will not benefit from any Thameslink Welwyn service?

  122. Whoosh says:

    I have read on a forum somewhere, that there will still be 2 trains per hour from Moorgate to Welwyn. I don’t know where that person got their information from though.

    They said there would be 6 trains per hour on the Hertford branch, with 2 turning short at Gordon Hill, 2 terminating at Hertford, and 2 continuing to Stevenage.

    Thameslink will be 4 trains per hour, 8 cars to Welwyn, although I’m not sure if they’ll call at Hornsey or Harringay. I think you’re right in that they are 6 car platforms at the moment, so whether the Thameslink trains will skip these stations, platform extensions put in, or Selective Door Operation (SDO) used, I don’t know.

    Anyway, the timetable will be interesting to see, with apparently 6 trains per hour to Welwyn (4 Thameslink, 2 Moorgate), and 6 on the Hertford branch as far as Gordon Hill (all Moorgate).

    I’d like to see something official about these frequencies, but it all sounds plausible as Moorgate trains can’t be lengthened due to the tunnels, so the only solution is to run more of them. This work between Alexandra Palace and Finsbury Park will help that.

  123. Arkady says:

    That’s what I thought. Unless (or even if) they have restricted door opening or extend the platforms (which I understood to be technically unfeasible?) Harringay and Hornsey will end up with a reduced service, as the segregated Hertford service won’t serve H&H. I can’t get my head around it. We need an official explanation soon.

  124. Arkady says:

    Grapevine says:

    2tph Letchworth – Moorgate va Hertford North 3/6 car 313
    2tph Welwyn Garden City – Moorgate 3/6 car 313
    2tph Welwyn Garden City – Caterham 8 car 700
    2tph Welwyn Garden City -Maidstone East 8 car 700
    2tph Hertford North – Moorgate 3/6 car 313
    2tph Gordon Hill – Moorgate 3/6 313

    Additional peak only

    2 -4tph Hertford North – Moorgate 6 car 313

    Where that leaves Harringay & Hornsey post-segregation is an interesting question.

  125. Arkady says:

    Can the platforms at Alexandra Palace currently cater for 8-car trains?

  126. Arkady says:

    A coalition of sorts representing concerned users of Harringay and Hornsey stations is drafting a response to the Thameslink franchise consultation. First draft here. Anyone care to comment, add anything, fact-check, or generally discuss?

  127. Arkady says:

    Threats to current service levels

    Two separate changes to the railway are underway which will affect services to Harringay & Hornsey stations: The Thameslink Programme and the segregation of Hertford Loop services. It is essential that any changes to service patterns maintain, at a minimum, the current level of service to H&H. Ideally, H&H should benefit from the increased services made possible by these changes.

    H&H currently receive six trains per hour at peak times. These trains run between London Moorgate and Alexandra Palace, after which the service is divided between trains towards Welwyn Garden City (‘The Welwyn route’) and trains towards Hertford North or Stevenage (‘The Hertford Loop’). In the evenings and at weekends the trains are diverted to London King’s Cross.

    Because the Welwyn service and the Hertford Loop currently share track between Alexandra Palace (AP) and Finsbury Park (FP), it is not possible to increase the service beyond six trains per hour. To remedy this, work is currently under way to bring a freight-only track into passenger service for the Hertford Loop between those two stations, allowing full segregation of the two services in future. This will allow six trains per hour on the Hertford Loop (up to ten at peak times) and six trains per hour on the Welwyn Service. Stations between Alexandra Palace and Finsbury Park could, therefore, be serviced by over twice the current number of trains.

    According to the 2011 Jacobs Consultancy report for the DfT, service patterns post-2018 are likely to be as follows:

    Welwyn service:
    2tph Welwyn Garden City – Moorgate 3/6 car 313
    2tph Welwyn Garden City – Caterham 8 car 700
    2tph Welwyn Garden City -Maidstone East 8 car 700
    Hertford Loop:
    2tph Letchworth – Moorgate va Hertford North 3/6 car 313
    2tph Hertford North – Moorgate 3/6 car 313
    2tph Gordon Hill – Moorgate 3/6 313

    However, the track currently being converted for the Hertford Loop does not have platforms at any station between Alexandra Palace and Finsbury Park. Platforms are currently being installed at FP and AP, but they are not being installed at the intermediate stations, Hornsey and Harringay. Any reference to new platforms at H&H appears to have disappeared from recent official documentation. Post-segregation, then, H&H may be reliant on the six-trains per hour on the Welwyn service. While this would not be a reduction in trains-per-hour it would be a reduction in available services, as users of H&H would need to change at Alexandra Palace if they wished to use the Hertford Loop Service. Post-Thameslink it would also often be necessary to change at Finsbury Park to get to Moorgate, as four of the six Welwyn trains are expected to be diverted to St Pancras.

    A further issue is that the four Welwyn trains per hour from Thameslink will likely be eight-cars long. The platforms at H&H can currently only cater for six-car trains, and there appear to be no plans to lengthen them (as has happened at Finsbury Park). If these trains are to stop at H&H they will require Selective Door Opening (SDO). While the new Siemens Desiro trains commissioned for Thameslink are capable of this, SDO is regarded as bad practice. Nor has any guarantee been given that these trains will stop at H&H. Without this guarantees, or a guarantee of new platforms on the Hertford Loop, H&H could be reliant on the remaining two trains per hour running between Welwyn and Moorgate; rather than increasing services, services could be a reduced to a third of their current level.

    Future services

    Whichever franchise takes over responsibility for the Welwyn and Hertford Loop services should give a guarantee that service levels at Hornsey and Harringay will not be reduced. Ideally, any future franchise should be required to ensure that H&H receives the full benefit of the increased service levels made available by segregation and Thameslink. Together, the new franchise and the DfT should do one or more of the following:

    A1) guarantee that the four Thameslink trains per hour will stop at H&H
    A2) extend the Welwyn Thameslink platforms at H&H to eight-car so that SDO can be avoided
    B) build new platform faces at H&H on the new Hertford Loop line to enable access to the six+ trains per hour running on this line.

    Currently, many potential passengers are dissuaded from using Harringay and Hornsey stations due to overcrowding. The potential doubling of trains per hour brought about by implementing options A & B would remedy this, inevitably easing road congestion by car & bus users.

    Ensuring that users of H&H maintain access to both Welwyn and Hertford services would also have a knock-on benefit of relieving Finsbury Park station – the busiest station outside of Zone 1 – as passengers would not need to change trains there.

    Any future franchise should also create an evening and weekend service to Moorgate. As well as giving passengers additional options, this would relieve Finsbury Park station by allowing passengers to take advantage of the cross-platform change to the Victoria Line at Highbury and Islington. It would also be an economic spur to areas around Drayton Park and Essex Road stations, which are currently closed in the evenings and at weekends.

    Station facilities

    Hornsey and Harringay stations are currently in a poor state or repair, with gloomy platforms, no cycle-parking facilities, no gate-lines or permanent staffing. Harringay is in a particularly poor state, having had its original building replaced by a ‘temporary’ wooden shack following a fire in the 1960s. Any future franchise should guarantee to substantial upgrade facilities to London Overground-standard.

    The future franchise

    Of the lessons learned during First Capital Connects current tenure over the Great Northern routes, perhaps the clearest is this: An inter-city rail franchise will not prioritise local services or stations only served by local services. Stations like Harringay and Hornsey will inevitably be neglected in favour of larger stations such as Cambridge. It is not, therefore, appropriate for the non-Thameslink Welwyn and Hertford Loop services to remain part of a wider Thameslink franchise. Nor is it appropriate for it to be transferred to another, ‘Greater East Anglia’ inter-city franchise.

    The Hertford Loop and remaining Moorgate-Welwyn service is an excellent contender for adoption by TFL and London Overground. London Overground’s commitment to local high-frequency stopping services, clean, upgraded and well maintained stations, ticket gate-lines, permanent-staffing during opening hours, etc. are precisely what is required. As demonstrated by the Overground elsewhere this would maximise the potential of these services. Merely appearing on the standard tube map would likely lead to increased usage, relieving the overcrowded Victoria Line.

    If the Welwyn & Hertford Loop services cannot immediately be adopted by London Overground they should be given their own, local franchise tasked with adopting LO standards and preparing for a future transition to TFL control.”

  128. Luongo says:

    @Arkady 08.47

    The southbound (Up?) platforms at Alexandra Palace can (and do!) cater for 8-car trains. 8-car trains on the northbound (Down?) lines don’t seem to stop there though so perhaps these platforms are too short. Can anyone confirm?

  129. Arkady says:

    Thanks Luongo. It’s the platforms that will be used by the Thameslink Welwyn service that I am especially interested in.

  130. Jonno says:

    More trains to Moorgate and in the evening and at weekends would improve access to Arsenal football stadium at Drayton Park. I heard somewhere that Arsenal provided S106 money for transport following construction of the new stadium but it wasn’t enough to do anything useful at Holloway Road. Perhaps this could be tapped into to improve this service or Drayton Park station.

    From travelling to Arsenal games in midweek it is clear that some fans don’t know this service exists (as not on the tube map anymore) – while some fans get off at Moorgate to interchange, others with their scarves and shirts on continue on the northern line presumably to Kings Cross to change for a Piccadilly or Victoria Line train.

  131. Arkady says:

    Thanks Jonno, I’ll add that to the mix.

  132. Anonymous says:

    On the subject of Thameslink, would I be right in saying that the services to Cambridge and Peterborough that will run through the core in 2018 will be the ones that currently run fast to Stevenage from Finsbury Park? As opposed to the services that call at Potters Bar, Hatfield, Welywn etc. I don’t believe those stations have 12-car platforms so I may have answered my own question.

  133. Arkady says:

    That’s my understanding. Certainly there will remain a KX-Cambridge service as well.

  134. UPPER EDMONTON Park Road says:

    As regards Drayton Park station. IIRC, it cannot handle the large passenger flows necessary for football games (especially after the match when everyone arrives all at the same time). Therefore it would pretty much need a full rebuild to be opened up during matches. Even if you rebuilt the ticket office to create more space, the island platform is quite narrow (though there is room to build a second platform where the sidings used to be).

  135. Arkady says:

    I’ve heard that argument before, but I don’t understand it. It’s no smaller than Arsenal or Holloway Road. If all three were used, and punters directed appropriately, it would be better than the current situation. There is stacks of space to create a suitable waiting area, both on the aforementioned sidings and between the station and Drayton Park Rd, and it could be fully integrated with the stadium. Get Emirates to pay for it in exchange for renaming it ‘Emirates Drayton Park’, they have a precedent. Though DiamondGeezer would probably dub it ‘Arabfly Arsenalway’ or similar. If the NCL had run at evenings and weekends 10 years ago this almost certainly would have happened when the Emirates was built.

  136. Jonno says:

    Does anyone know whether Drayton park used to be open for arsenal games back in the 60s and 70s when it was part of the northern line?
    I am sure most would accept it being renamed emirates stadium station if it led to a rebuilt station and mon-sun service.

  137. Anonymous says:

    In reality the Finsbury Park platforms were never actually built as platforms. With the planned Northern Line extensions, using the old GNCR connection at Drayton park, the path was cleared to the Seven Sisters road overbridge. The framework of girders was erected, but no platforms.
    When they transferred stock from the Northern City, LT used the Canonbury line trackage through Finsbury Park then over the Main lines to Stroud Green.

  138. Lemmo says:

    Does anyone have info on the proposed western ticket hall within the City North redevelopment which abuts the western side of the station?

    The development Brief stated that the development should “create improved pedestrian access to the station from the west and allow for a new western concourse”. The development included a new western ticket hall opening onto the new road within the development, which would also open up the potential for new east-west access beneath the station.

    But apparently TfL/LUL are now going with their own plans to improve the existing diminutive Wells Terrace ticket hall, as part of a broader scheme to improve access underground.

    The developer’s ‘Design and Access Statement’ says: “the possibility of creating a future new Western Ticket Hall has therefore been safeguarded within the scheme should LUL/TfL secure funding in the future.”

    So was the problem lack of funding?

    Finsbury Park is a TfL “strategic interchange” which is already cramped and congested and requires some serious investment. So is it not odd that it is the developers who have safeguarded the space to increase transport capacity, rather than the authorities making this a specific requirement?

  139. Arkady says:

    Lemmo – sorry for much delayed reply. Passive provision is in place in the City North plans for a Western Ticket Hall, but it will be rented out as a shop until TFL comes up with the money to convert it and connect it to the passenger tunnels (which would only involve demolition of a wall, rather than serious tunnelling). I would have thought it would be a cheap and easy win, compared to the cost of making FP step-free as per the current TFL/LUL plans.

    In other news, here are some more pictures of the work at Finsbury Park above ground. The new ‘bridges’ are complete, and extension well underway – indeed complete on some platforms. It is sad to see what a dogs breakfast has been made of the aesthetics though. In addition to the original Victoria bridge walls, there is now a metal fence on one platform and wooden boards on another, giving 3 different barrier-types in a row. The whole national rail station smacks of shortcuts and lack of an overall plan.

    I do wish that FP would get the sort of co-ordinated redevelopment we have seen at the terminals.

    Old platform returned to use: http:[email protected]/8329096835/
    Old platform extended with new bridge: http:[email protected]/8330154482/
    Further old platform extension: http:[email protected]/8329097233/
    Dog’s breakfast: http:[email protected]/8330154934/

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