Intermission: The Angle and Wangle at Farringdon
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…