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Some readers have spotted that we have not reported on the developing situation at Farringdon for a while. It’s nice to know you noticed and care and we are sorry to have kept you waiting. The general approach we were/are taking with Thameslink is almost on the basis of an “annual review,” and Spring is always a good time to review new works (the “then” and “now” scenario provides a handy hook upon which an article can be based). We’ll be starting that review this year with London Bridge, but in the meantime here are a couple of teasers with regards to Farringdon.

The new overall roof at Farringdon is striking, but arguably a point of major interest can be found in how they plan to fit twelve car coach quart jug trains into what was previously an eight car pint pot station. It is all about angle and wangle, and we are intrigued how every metre of new platform face has been shoe horned into the bends and dips of the Widened lines.

The view of the roof

The view of the roof

This picture is taken from the end of platform 3, the southbound Thameslink line looking towards the Gridiron and Saint Pancras. As can be seen the platforms have, as part of the programme, been extended down the slope. They now cross the junction to the Farringdon Street Goods Depot that was itself the Farringdon Street Station from 1863 to 1865. This was as far as the Great Western’s broad gauge trains ever got. Following the break up between the Metropolitan and the Great Western all tunnels east of here were built to accommodate standard gauge trains only. Note also the very short distance between signals – having sufficient buffer capacity in the constrained central core is essential to let Thameslink meet its train throughput targets.

The view from the platform

The view from the platform

Although trains no longer run through from Farringdon to Moorgate, calling eastbound but not westbound at Barbican, the platform roads through Farringdon are still the “up” and “down” Moorgate. For the avoidance of doubt as to where the “up” and “down” Snow Hill end, this reminder has been placed between the Thameslink lines where the third rail ends next to West Hampstead’s signal 1042.

Up and down lines

Up and down lines

And, finally, with a look back along platform three under the new overall roof, we see 319381 on a short working to Kentish Town drawing into platform 4. Note the serpentine curves of the newly extended platform 3. Farringdon is all about angle and wangle.

319381 on a short working

319381 on a short working

All the pictures have been taken by Son of Mwmbwls as an act of filial duty to his dear old pater. Our thanks and copyright acknowledgements to him.

We will be back to cover the rest of the developments at Farringdon in the near future…

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There are 50 comments on this article
  1. swirlythingy says:

    A bit of confusion evident between “coach” and its dreaded Americanised form in the introduction. Also, I found the explanatory text to the photographs ambiguous – it took me quite some time to realise that each paragraph was intended to expand upon the picture below it, not above it.

    Wasn’t there always an overall roof at Farringdon? What happened to the old one?

    S Stock spotted in the background of the second picture!

  2. MB says:

    Can we have some pics of the new ticket halls please?

  3. Ryan K says:

    Excellent photos! I never knew the “old Farringdon” but new station looks great, especially the NR ticket hall on Cowcross St.

    Like swirlythingy, I was very confused by the paragraphs describing the pictures appearing before the actual picture it describes. These are more like extended captions and would probably be best below the picture it describes.

  4. LU Mole says:

    Old trainshed roof is still there, it’s listed. The new one ensures that the commuter hoards stay dry as their trai s are delayed. The new one is independent of the old one, expect that’s an English Heritage requirement as per st Ps

  5. Mwmbwls says:

    Apologies for the confusing captions – perhaps JB can wield the editorial blue pencil and insert a few belows and aboves into the text as appropriate?.
    This was intended to be only a brief teaser to whet the appetite. We will be covering the rest of the station when we have finished looking at London Bridge and Blackfriars – the central core of Thameslink is one interlocking critical system whereby developments in one place lead on to another etc hence our pedogogical south to north approach. This really means in Mwmbwls speak – I have the notes but not the finished the text for my Farrigndon article. I find if I chop and change from topic to to topic that’s when I make my legendary fwmbwls – so if you could bear with us we would be grateful.

  6. Chris M says:

    That newly extended platform looks rather narrower than the infamous one at Shepherd’s Bush Overground. Why is it acceptable here and not there?

  7. Mwmbwls says:

    Chris M – Well spotted. We had noticed it too – it does seem narrow at the west end but we do not have any explanation. The platform is however completely devoid of any obstruction such as lighting and catenary support posts as wall fixings are used instead.This might just qualify. I don’t know whether because this was already an existing platform that grandfather design regulations might not also apply unlike at the new station at Shepherds Bush where IIRC lighting pillars presented a problem. That said in times of perturbation on Thameslink Farringdon used to get extemely crowded both on platforms 3 and 4. Again I think that Thameslink hope that passengers will tend to use the platfform extensions at the east end of the station. The southbound train stopping points have been moved substantially further east and the last coaches on services from the north typically are lightly loaded as passengers tend to pick ther front coaches for exiting at Saint Pancras, Farringdon and City Thameslink. If one of our illuminati could confirm the position we would be obliged.

  8. Chris says:

    Firstly, the new roof leaks like a sieve.

    All southbound trains now stop at the City end of the platforms however there is a significant number of passengers who change to the LuL services at Farringdon so the narrow platform ends still have heavy use (more so for the 12 car trains)

  9. timbeau says:

    As I recall KX Thamelink was closed because of its narrow platforms.

    Oh, and a hoard is hidden treasure. What farringdon has it hordes of commuters.

  10. Pedantic of Purley says:

    When I visited recently it looked like it was the long term intention was to eventually extend the platforms southbound a little bit further – up to the tunnel mouth. I can’t recall why I thought they could not yet do this. This would obviously reduce the length of narrow platform needed to be in use at the north end.

    I suspect some derogation was required here but as it is just about impossible to build a compliant platform, there is no realistic alternative and it is of strategic importance critical to the whole project I cannot see it being refused. Shepherds Bush is completely different appearing to be down to either incompetence or cavalier disregard for the current standards. The fact that it could be and was corrected show that there was no justification for making it a special case. It was also a new station and it is a bit difficult to justify relaxing standards on a new station.

  11. Mwmbwls says:

    Chris
    I noticed the roof as well – all that can be said is that there is now an alternative to the old days of getting generally wet on platform 4 but alas it is now a case of being specifically doused depending on where you stand.
    The problems with the Farringdon Thameslink platforms are probably driven more by passengers changing from the LUL to Thameslink than the reverse and they generally have a longer dwell time on the Thameslink platform.

    Timbeau
    Thank you – I stand as ever corrected. (note to self – useful man in a Scrabble challenge squabble – recruit that man)

  12. slugabed says:

    Timbeau
    As I understand it,King’s X Thameslink was closed because of its SHORT platforms (and,because of the station’s location,the sheer difficulty of lengthening them for the new,longer trains) rather than narrow ones….but I am ready to be corrected.
    Either way a real shame and a loss to those souls who like to change between Thameslink and the tube lines at the King’s X complex.
    The new arrangement is straggeringly inconvenient and,as a Londoner simply going from place-to-place,I pity those with heavy baggage etc who assume that this is an interchange like any other.
    Mind you,this is following the precedent set by the Jubilee Line Extension interchanges (that’s another story,though….)

  13. Paul says:

    The current standards for the width of a side platform (ie not an island) are 2.5m from the platform edge free of obstructions. Shepherds Bush would have been generally compliant with that if they’d simply moved the lighting columns, the main issue was that there was no added circulating space where the stairs came down.

    Meanwhile at Farringdon, the platforms do have a derogation from standard, but only in the vicinity of the brick arch bridge that suppports the LU ticket hall, and without searching for the document again they are only about 20cm short. Users of the station will have notice that although these brick piers have remained, there is circulation space behind them as well.

    So presumbaly in the absence of a derogation the furthest north ends of the Farringdon platforms meet the 2.5m minimum OK.

  14. Roy says:

    “The Gridiron”

    Wossat?

  15. Anonymous says:

    forgive my ignorance ,but whats the middle rail for ?

  16. Anonymous says:

    swirlythingy: -

    This is an UndergrounD station. “Cars” is therefore the correct usage.

    In the olden days, before the advent of Victoria Line train operators, electric underground trains were officially driven by motormen.

    It could have been the influence of a certain Mr Charles T Yerkes…

  17. Pedantic says:

    It may be an UndergrounD station but the Thameslink trains are not part of the underground. I would suggest carriages would be appropriate for these trains.

  18. Fandroid says:

    That middle rail is most mysterious. It curves beautifully in parallel with the running rails, but the straight bit in the forground does not appear to be fixed down. It’s not unusual for track staff to leave rail lengths in that position, but these appear to have been placed in position with an admirable dedication to precision. Either that or they are the start of a section of a secret mixed gauge tram-train pilot designed for 2′ 4 1/4″ gauge trams.

  19. Fandroid says:

    Thameslink may not be London Underground, but the latter have plastered their roundels prominently all over the Thameslink platforms. I know Faringdon as a whole is run by LUL, but this seems to be a bit of pointless (and confusing for passengers) flag waving.

  20. Mwmbwls says:

    Fandroid
    IIRC the fourth rail relates to interactions between the AC and DC electrical systems. and the possibility of adverse consequences for signal immunisation. Again if the illuminati could help out. Electrics are not my strong hand, more of a live steam/clock work man really.

    Roy
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mwmbwls/6129637132/
    Roughly below where I was standing where the Met and Thameslink lines cross

  21. Anonymous says:

    Pedantic: ” I would suggest carriages would be appropriate for these trains.”

    In every bit of official literature relating to Thameslink I have seen, the length of trains has been repeatedly referred to in “cars” and not “carriages.”

    I would not be surprised if someone else claimed a technical distinction between a “carriage” as being a standalone unpowered passenger vehicle while a “car” is a component vehicle as part of a fixed unit set. I have no idea if that is the case, but it would not surprise me.

    Meanwhile, trains has “coach” numbers, and train lengths on platform indicators are given in “coaches.”

    As a passenger I could not care less. All over the railways, both Underground and Network Rail, I have heard “coach,” “carriage,” and “car” used interchangeably and I have never once been confused into thinking I was on the wrong mode of transport. I dare say I speak for all other travellers in that regard.

    There is absolutely no ambiguity here.

    That said a “twelve car coach quart jug trains into what was previously an eight car pint pot station” is horrible to read and took a couple of goes to understand. It would also greatly help if “twelve car” and “quart jug” etc. were hyphenated, as compound adjectives should be. Aside from being pedantic for the sake of it, this would make it much easier to read than having to decode a long string of nouns as written. I am assuming the errant “coach” was an editing mistake.

    Anonymous 2

  22. Mwmbwls says:

    Anonymous 2
    Apologies – it is horrible to read and yet again another Mwmbwlian proof reading error.

  23. Pedantic of Purley says:

    In a highly unscientific minuscule sample of the home page of http://www.thameslink.co.uk we find two occurrences of “carriage” in the text and one of “coach” in the picture but none of “car” except as the start of “carriage”. I will concede a lot of the site did refer to car a lot of the time in the past but then a lot of “railway speak” crept in to some of the less-well written press releases. The news page also refers to carriages not cars.

    Personally when writing, unless referring to Underground stock, I try to refer to carriage on the first occasion – possibly adding “(car)” after it and then only refer to car when it is clear that it is an abbreviation for carriage.

    But you are right, its not worth getting worked up about.

  24. Greg Tingey says:

    “Extra” rails ..
    Look at the cabling!
    They are indeed there for signalling and/or current-return puposes.
    There are various places on the old SR where there is a bonded 4th-return rail.
    SO it could be either.
    Though I suspect signalling, you have a nominal 750V DC supply and a 50Hz 25kV overhead supply, so the signalling at Farringdon has to be a suitable AC frequency that does not interfere with 50Hz at any significant signal level
    A freind, who is closely involved with this (he’s a signal engineer) keeps muttering darkly about “Thameslink 3000″ into his beers …..

  25. 21146 says:

    I can assure readers that Underground trains were driven by “Motormen” well into more “recent” years. Indeed I quailfied as one at the RTC in November 1980 (maybe that qualifies as the “olden days” but is still well after the Victoria Line opened).

  26. Anonymous says:

    Roy 12:55PM, 5th March 2012:

    I think the gridiron refers to the bridge where the widened lines dived under the earlier Metropolitan Railway just to the West of Farringdon. Am I right?

    Anonymous 02:01PM, 5th March 2012

    Farringdon station and the widened lines were of course built by the Metropolitan, rivals to Yerkes and the UERL. I suspect this rivalry extended to what they called things. However, I would expect carriages to have wooden sides, and EMUs to be made up of coaches.

    Here’s a image of the station in the 1860s:
    http://www.ltmcollection.org/photos/photo/link.html?IXinv=2004/18677

  27. timbeau says:

    The “Gridiron” is the set of transverse girders spanning the Thameslink line (some of which are seen here http://www.flickr.com/photos/forest_pines/3582179520/) which support the original Met tracks where they pass over the top. The girders extend the full width of the cutting, but the Met tracks (which cross on the skew) do not, so parts of the girders are exposed, giving the “gridiron” appearance.

    A more easily-photographed gridiron can be seen at Roade on the WCML http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/02/45/41/2454101_cf533459.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2454101&usg=__8D4pJXY4P1UlVs0fkgLRIRWnEyE=&h=480&w=640&sz=146&hl=en&start=7&zoom=1&tbnid=7EtlSlru8QEj7M:&tbnh=103&tbnw=137&ei=Vk9WT-GRGpLpgAf62cmTCg&prev=/search%3Fq%3Droade%2Bcutting%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Dactive%26gbv%3D2%26tbm%3Disch&itbs=1

  28. Anonymous says:

    Surely , if it’s eastbound/westbound/northbound/southbound its cars , if it’s up(line) / down(line) its coaches , carriages?

  29. Anonymous says:

    Timbeau – Thanks for the picture link of the girder based flying buttresses. I was standing on the bridge in the backgoround facing the other way in my shot.

    Anonymous – East West home’s best. The labelling of pictures so that they can be understood by both a lay and expert audience is often pronblematic. In particular the orientation of the station and the lines. LUL uses general indicators – northbound, southbound etc even when the train could be travelling throughg stations on a east to west axis. The use of the up and down lines description is also taxed when up lines reach London and the continue out of it as down lines from London. Thameslink is such an example the up and down Snow Hill now butts directly on to the down and up Moorgate at Farringdon. I will try to be more accurate in future but it may come at the cost of more complex sentences – another of my besetting vices.

    On a separate matter entirely unrelated to Timbeau and Anonymous,could I make what I hope will be a superfluous point to many. As I said in my article the shoe horning of the extra platform length on to the Thameslink lines has been a fascinating exercise in the art of the possible in construcution engineering. You will note from what was meant to be an appetiser that it was not intended to be a comprehensive review and even when I have finished the next article it will have gaps that some of you might be tempted to fill in your usual constructive and informed manner. At the south east of platforms 3 and 4 the platforms curve towards Snow Hill tunnel blocking forever the former route to Moorgate. Being either underground nearly so, it is quite difficult to photograph that end of the platform without flash photography. I suspect that many of you will be ahead of me by now. Flash photography and undergroundish railways do not mix and are for that reason forbidden. There is a danger of distracting a driver at a sit-crit point of his job – stopping and starting, There is the well understood association of flashes with elecrtrical arcing and hence a warning of some type of track side malaise – so we could inadvertantly be responsible for a false alarm. Finally, as we have noted in the article and your comments managing, a complex platform shape will require close supervision by station staff who are backed up by extensive CCTV equipment upon which flashes can be clearly seen. The staff at busy periods will have their hands full and adding to their burden of more compelling customer safety needs is not a good idea. We will asking those nice folk at Network Rail for images to cover help us mind our gap. As they used to say on “Hill Street Blues” be careful out there.
    Thanks
    Mwmbwls.

  30. LU Mole says:

    Yes, platform widths, run offs to stairs, stair widths, run offs to gatelines, lift orientation etc, etc… All are compromised and all have to be judged as presenting a risk ALARP. Not just for the current situation but including the foreseable future and including the Crossrail interchange impact, there are some very funky and expensive simulations showing the little blobs running around…hope the number crunchers did there sums right.

    The new roof is a tad leaky, although not finished yet and the interface with existing structures are not sorted all over.

    And the old roof….watch this space.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone enlighten me to the purpose of the thin metal footbridge and staircase from Turnmill Street to the southbound Thameslink platform at Farringdon? I guess its for workmen but I’m not clear why they need it.

    Along the same lines, given all the work (still) going on in the area, I had the impression and hope they were going to put in a walkway and exit from the end of the northbound Thameslink platform up to to Farringdon Road. It would have been ncie but I was evidently evidently confused by references to the new (Turnmill Street) entrance.

  32. Pedantic of Purley says:

    @previous Anonymous

    Emergency exit. It is signed as such. Nowadays they are very keen to have an independant secondary exit from stations. This applies to “section 12″ stations which are below ground and I understand merely being below street level is enough to qualify. Note that access to this probably makes the platform longer than otherwise necessary and may be the reason for some of the comments about narrow platforms. There is not much point in the platform being wider here than the emergency staircase.

    This picture illustrates what I was trying to explain earlier. There are two cabins that look like they are needed for temporary power supply at the southern end of the Thameslink platforms. It looks like when they are gone that the platforms could be extended about half a carriage (or car!) and one gets the impression (signal positioning and possible preparatory work) that this is the intention. The CCTV platform monitors southbound are currently positioned further north than they need to be so there is more opportunity for extension that is immediately apparent in the photo.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I’m interested in Thameslink and pleased you are going to cover London Bridge and Blackfriars but hope you will also include Borough Viaduct? I would be intrigued to see the proposed track layout for that.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous @ 12:14. Borough Viaduct will be covered in the London Bridge section of our analysis.

  35. timbeau says:

    I found the Borough viaduct easy to understand – two tracks each for Cannon Street, Thameslink, and – the new tracks – Charing Cross: all faciliated by the Bermondsey diveunder. That’s what I want to know about?

  36. Greg Tingey says:

    Anonymous
    The Met Paddington-Farringdon opened 1865 was in no way a “rival” to the Yerkes tubes, which were MUCH later, with electric traction from the start.
    The Met/District/Circle were not electified until later – 1903-6
    Um.

    WHen I first went through there, of course, there was still steam traction …
    Fowler 2-6-2T & Gresley N2′s from the ex-LMS & LNE lines on Moorgate trains.
    VERY occasionally a x-London freight – but I only remember ever seeing one, hauled by a “jinty” I think – probably a coal train (??)

  37. timbeau says:

    Greg – although it is true that the Met had no real rivals when it was built, it and the District were very much rivals as soon as the latter came on the scene a few years later. This rivalry continued into, and indeed beyond the Yerkes era – although it was probably the Central line, and to a lesser extent the City & South London’s Euston extension and the Northern City line (none of which were part of the Yerkes group), which provided the biggest threats to the Met after the District itself.

    It was Yerkes’ American influence, as the Undergrond group was the major partner in first the Combine and later London Transport, which resulted in LU’s general use of American terminology – “cars” (carriages), “trucks” (bogies), “motormen” (drivers) etc.

  38. Greg Tingey says:

    The C&SL was no “threat” to the Met, if only because their routes were orthogonal!
    The CLR was, of course NOT part of the Yerkes group (GNP&BR / Hampstead Tube / B St & WR )
    The C & SL merged with the HT to become the Northern.

    As you may know, but others may not, the “rivalry” between the MR & the MDR was not primarily directly commercial.
    It was down to their mutually-hostile and aggressive Chairmen:
    James Staats Forbes on the MDR & (Sir) Edward Watkin on the MR.
    The sitiuation was also not helped by Forbes being chair of the LCDR (Victoria / Holborn Viaduct – Dover via Chatham)
    and Watkin of the SER (Charing X / Cannon St – Dover via Ashford)

    Watkin was a man with VISION – he was also chair of the former MS&LR -> Great Central Rly, the (then) Channel Tunnel Coy & on the board of the French Nord …..
    Forbes, one gets the impression wasn’t nice to know, not that Watkin let many things or people get in his way.
    Their personal rivalry is the main reason for the flat-junction sphagetti that is Sarf-Eas’ Lunnon’s railway layout.

    This also resulted in the deliberate delaying of the completion of the Circle line .. to the point where “Questions” were asked in the House, the press got involved, and finally, Forbes and the MDR had to be bullied into it. The opening dates are significant:
    Moorgate-Liverpool St 1875 & on to Aldgate the following year, but …
    Tower Hill(Mark Lane) to Aldgate 1882, and Mansion Ho – Aldgate 1884

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hi,

    Is there any chance you could explain/picture how and the where Bermondsy dive-under will work – I really can’t get it straight in my head how that’s going to happen.

    Compulsive reading by the way – loving it. More power to your virtual elbows.

    Many thanks
    PG

  40. timbeau says:

    I was referring to the CSLR’s extension from Moorgate to Euston, which was parallel to the Met’s own route, and was indeed objected to. The Northern City Line would, if it was connected to the NR at Finsbury Park as intended, have extracted traffic from the Widened Lines route – as indeed finally happened in 1975. It is probably for this reason, to avoid it falling into the hands of the Yerkes Group, that the Met took over operation of the NCL in 1913.

    Bermondsey diveunder: as I understand it the idea is that two of the South Eastern tracks will pass under two of the Brighton Line/Thameslink tracks, so that on arrival at London Bridge the Thameslink services will be in between the Charing Cross and Cannon Street tracks, with trains for Charing Cross using the new through platforms there. The diveunder will use the old ramp that used to lead to Bricklayers Arms.

    It’s more complicated than that, because there is also conflict between the Thameslink services and the down slow Forest Hill line,and the need for Charing Cross services to serve the Greenwich Line

  41. Anonymous says:

    “Is there any chance you could explain/picture how and the where Bermondsy dive-under will work – I really can’t get it straight in my head how that’s going to happen.”

    I assume the original London Connections article is still valid:

    The Thameslink Programme, illustrated

    Anonymous 2

  42. T33 says:

    I was at Farringdon this week which made the article more informative. It is really strange how you get no sense of how far down the platform you are because of all the curves and twists.

    I look forward to the full series and I too would like to know about the flyunder but also how they are going to squeeze all the extra trains through East Croydon – some big recasting of the time table needed I think.

  43. P Dan Tic says:

    I’m not keen on trains flying, especially underground.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Those temporary grey boxes aren’t so temporary, the size of the cable route going in and out should give that away. Without closing the sidings and freeing up some space they’re going to remain.

    Farringdon is essentially underground (as pointed out above) which does make it a section 12 station. Therefore you need this second emergeny exit. It would have been great to exit to Clerkenwell/Farringdon roads but the platforms just aren’t big enough. Also, there are traction return issues (750V DC and 25kV ac systems do not mix well at all!) and the “fourth” rail provides a low impedence path back to the DC substation. It would have been a cable that you wouldn’t have noticed… but the cable to use in a section 12 station doesn’t exist so lengths of it need to be minimised.

    The principles of the diagram on the original Thameslink page still stand, though the number of tracks is incorrect. Sometimes three real tracks are shown as two, and sometimes as four – there are 11 in total on the eastern approach to London Bridge. It shows correctly how Bermondsey dive under will work though.

  45. T33 says:

    P Dan Tic

    How about MAGLEV??

  46. Ross says:

    with the LU lines, national rail, Thameslink and Crossrail, Farringdon will overtake Clapham Junction to beome the busiest rail station in the country. buy real estate round there now

  47. Pedantic of Purley says:

    with the LU lines, national rail, Thameslink and Crossrail, Farringdon will overtake Clapham Junction to beome the busiest rail station in the country

    Pure hype and rubbish originally written by some marketing-type person. On what basis ? Number of trains per hour (including Underground) or number of National Rail and Crossrail trains per hour ? Number of passengers using it ? Something else ? What do you mean by “rail station”? Whatever definition you chose I am sure there will be other busier stations.

    If you mean National Rail Station then Farringdon doesn’t even qualify because it is an Underground station that is also served by National Rail trains. If you change the definition of a station to include all platforms with a common interchange (no going through intermediate barriers) which are served by National Rail trains then surely Stratford is busier than Farringdon now and will continue to be so with Crossrail and more frequent trains on existing services in the future – even if you, for some reason, exclude DLR trains. If you allow any combination of National Rail and Underground then surely Waterloo is busier – especially if you allow Waterloo East to be included. If you don’t require the station to be served by National Rail trains then there are probably quite a few underground stations that would be be busier such as King’s Cross/St Pancas (even when excluding rail services provided by National Rail and Eurostar), Bank/Monument and Oxford Circus.

  48. Graham says:

    As far as I’m aware the figure quoted, and the context for it, about trains at Farringdon in the future has never been claimed as making it the country’s busiest station. If it has then the person quoted is certainly incorrect.

    The correct point should be – After 2018 more trains will stop in the peak hour at Farringdon that currently stop at Clapham Junction.

    The reason for using the Clapham Junction comparison (and I will willingly put my hand us as the person that initially suggested it) is simple – It is a station understood by very large numbers of members of the public to be phenomenally busy! It uses only the trains that stop (not passing trains) to form the comparison and is most certainly a rough and ready comparator, designed to paint a mental picture rather than be scientifically accurate.

    And yes that’s a marketing/ PR decision and there’s nothing wrong surely with providing some form of accessible context for ordinary members of the public rather than transport specialists and informed observers about the extraordinary transformation of Farringdon that’s coming? Of course you could use another example but, as the comment above notes, there are so many factors and variables to take into account that you’d lose the opportunity to capture the attention of many people before you got half way through them!

    In terms of train numbers I believe the numbers stack up thus: Future Farringdon – 23 LU trains in each direction per hour, 24 Thameslink trains in each direction per hour and 24 Crossrail trains in each direction per hour – 142 trains will therefore call at Farringdon, on just 6 platforms, per hour.

    Clapham Junction has more trains passing, but fewer that stop in the peak.

    In shorthand the point being made is this – “You know Farringdon? Can you imagine how many more trains will be calling here in the near future?”

    Honestly, if you can come up with a better way of explaining it then I’d be delighted to use it.

  49. timbeau says:

    But Clapham Junction isn’t National Rail’s busiest station in terms of trains calling there – only trains passing through. I believe Birmingham New Street has the most scheduled services, although some of these are double counted as terminating/originating services are counted twice!)

  50. Malcolm says:

    Graham above seems to have admitted to originating some of the hype about Faringdon, though he didn’t admit to the (possibly ironic) “buy real estate now”.

    Faringdon will clearly be a very busy station, and that point is worth making. And Clapham Junction is an attractive comparator because so many people have heard of it, although you probably need to be a South-Londoner to have a feel for how many trains actually stop there.

    However, it would be quite hard to invent a league table for Faringdon to come to the top of. Trains per hour per platform would tend to be equalled by quite a few other Crossrail and Thameslink stations. And if you don’t include the “per platform” bit, then any LU 4-line interchange (eg Kings Cross St Pancras) would romp ahead without even bothering to add in National rail trains.

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