Initially, we’d planned just a single post looking at Farringdon as part of our (increasingly badly titled) London Terminals series, but John Bull’s recent wander through the old ‘Widened Lines’ tunnels east of Farringdon gave a brief glimpse of an unexpectedly cavernous subterranean world. This prompted us to ask: just how much more is down there?

So we set about exploring, not least to find out what on earth JB was pointing his camera at. And the more we looked the more we uncovered – and the more we realised Farringdon needed to be treated as an area, encompassing Barbican, rather than just a station.

In this first part we plunge again into the labyrinthine depths (starting as JB did at Barbican) and investigate beneath Smithfield Market, emerging at Farringdon. In part 2 we’ll dig around Farringdon before heading down towards Snow Hill and Blackfriars.

All the while we’ll be asking ourselves how the rail infrastructure that remains could be better used, to provide much-needed rail capacity in the city core. Or, how can it be safeguarded, and whose responsibility it is to do that.

The current plan is for LUL to adopt the curtailed ex-Thameslink route to Moorgate to use as long stabling sidings, not least because its new S7 stock is too long for its existing sidings at Farringdon. Below, we revisit the option of a DLR extension from Bank to Farringdon, which may also be able to use some of the extensive rail alignments beneath Smithfield for stabling of stock. Indeed we feel the DLR Horizon 2020 Study for TfL significantly underestimated the benefits of this option. Given what we discover in our look around the tunnels, and the increasing likelihood of a Crossrail 2 route via Euston, it’s tempting to suggest that DLR extensions in the city are probably worthy of another look.

Barbican in 1936

Aldersgate St (now Barbican) in 1936. The splendid roof was removed in 1955 and it’s now sadly one of the gloomiest stations on the network. Photo courtesy of London Transport Museum.

A melting pot

But first, let’s familiarise ourselves with the territory.

The Farringdon area was railway border territory with lines meeting from north and south, alongside the Metropolitan’s own lines, and with several companies vying for trade ― both passenger and freight. The map below, taken from a 1961 Railway Magazine article, shows when each section opened. The Railway Clearing House (RCH) map shows the varied ownership; the lines up through Blackfriars were originally London Chatham & Dover Railway (LCDR) before this merged with the South Eastern to become the South Eastern & Chatham shown on the map.

Mainline Approaches to Moorgate Street, 1914

Mainline Approaches to Moorgate Street, 1914

Smithfield Market goods opened in 1869, serviced by the GWR. The GNR opened its depot in 1874 and the Midland followed with its Whitecross depot in 1878. Not wanting to be left out, the Metropolitan opened its diminutive Vine St depot at Farringdon in 1909.

Extract from original RCH map, courtesy of Basilica Fields

Extract from original RCH map, courtesy of Basilica Fields

Thank you to our commentators for pointing out that the term ‘Widened Lines’ refers to the route now used by Thameslink from Kings Cross and St Pancras to Moorgate. Such was the demand early on that the Metropolitan found it needed to widen its line from Kings Cross to four tracks, opening the new route in 1868. At Kings Cross there were connections west to the Met (and from there to the GWR) and north to the GN and Midland, and from Farringdon and Barbican south to the LCDR, not forgetting that the LSWR also ran services to Ludgate Hill and stabled its trains at the Smithfield Sidings just north of Snow Hill station. The tunnels were also built to Broad Gauge for GWR trains, so to some extent the Widened Lines tunnels are also slightly wider than we would now consider necessary, which helps give the impression of space apparent in JB’s photos.

The Layout at Farringdon

The Layout at Farringdon

The tunnels west of Barbican

So, let’s start at the beginning of JB’s underground perambulation and track his footsteps.

The Crossrail diagram below identifies the buildings demolished for the Eastern Ticket Hall at Farringdon, which lies at the west end of Barbican station. The tunnels outlined west of the station give a hint of the space beneath, and can be matched up to the other plans below. “IMR” refers to an Interlocking Machine Room, housing signalling equipment which Crossrail has moved to a new location inside the tunnels.

Buildings demolished as part of Crossrail works

Buildings demolished as part of Crossrail works

The picture below is a view from Hayne St overlooking the west end of the Barbican ex-Thameslink Up platform to Moorgate, looking SW towards Smithfield Market and Lindsey Street. It is looking directly at the point at which JB took the first pic in his walk on the Widened Lines. This space was uncovered when the deck was removed as part of the Crossrail works (shown in the plan above), and the picture clearly shows the tunnel mouths that JB explored.

Tunnels at west end of Barbican

Tunnels at west end of Barbican, picture courtesy of fridgemonkey.

The marvellous Abandoned Tube Stations website has a series of photos showing Barbican in the late 70s, including the same spot gloomy under its concrete decking. There is also a view of the quirky signal box at the west end of Barbican station, also demolished as part of the Crossrail works.

On the picture above, the tunnel mouths are, from the left:

  1. Down Widened Lines, which is wide at this point because a track branched off to the left to enter the Great Western Smithfield Goods depot, shown in JB’s photo 1W: the concrete wall bedecked with graffiti
  2. Up Widened Lines
  3. Metropolitan sidings, which were accessed from the Up Widened and the Met lines off to the right

The layout is discernable in this extract from an 1896 OS map, which also shows the Metropolitan Line beneath Charterhouse Street, and how close all this is to the Farringdon sidings to the west:

The area in 1896, courtesy of

The area in 1896, courtesy of

The underground Met sidings occupied the large spaces alongside the Widened Lines that JB marvelled at in his subterranean tour (pictures 8SW, 9W, 12NW). There were two sidings according to Harsig’s diagrams below, which extended a little under 500’ into the tunnel.

Met lines 1956 courtesy of Harsig

Met lines 1956 courtesy of Harsig

The siding nearest the Met lines could take a 6-car train but the other could only take a 5-car, so it wasn’t used after they lengthened Circle Line trains to 6-cars and the sidings were removed in the 1970s. Recollections over at District Dave shed light on how they were latterly used:

I think it was No 1 duty at Baker St which used to fetch this train out in the mornings. We used to access the siding from Farringdon. You walked up the CWL [City Widened Lines] tunnel on the grounds that it was unlikely there would be any trains running. There was a repeater on the tunnel wall which you would glance at occasionally. We were told, “If it goes green, run!

The tunnel was very dark and spooky. The tunnel lights were so weak they didn’t make much difference. You could hear the rats scuttling around. The siding tunnel was accessed through an arch in the running tunnel wall. There was always rubbish around where the cleaners used to spill stuff from the train.

More intriguing were reports that the southern Met siding was used in the old Great Northern & City line days to enable loco-hauled stock to transfer between Drayton Park and Neasden Works, going via the Widened Lines to the Circle line and return. The route was Drayton Park to Finsbury Park to Kings Cross Main Line to Aldersgate (reverse) to Earls Court to Rayners Lane (reverse) and to Wembley Park and Neasden Works. The reason was that the GN&C stock was too large to pass through the tunnels between Baker Street and Finchley Road. Much as though we’d love to know more, expect ephemera like this to crop up sometime in an LR Christmas quiz.

Back to Crossrail, and the plans for the Eastern Ticket Hall give much more detail on the layout of the Widened Lines tunnels that JB explored. We’ve annotated the plan of the basement level below, which clearly shows the cramped office and stores up against the walls of the Met line tunnels, shown in JB’s photos 4S, 6E and 7E . What were they for, and when were they last used?

Farringdon Crossrail eastern ticket hall at basement level

Farringdon Crossrail eastern ticket hall at basement level, showing the Widened Lines and Met tunnels

What also becomes apparent is the very large space to the south of the Widened Lines under Smithfield Market. This was the GW Smithfield Goods depot and the access from the east marked on the plan above is clearly visible in JB’s 1W photo: the concrete graffiti-laden wall. JB’s 10S photo was taken from a point marked on the plan above, standing where the northernmost Met siding would have been and looking across the other Met siding, the Widened Lines and to a bricked up arch, behind which would have been five tracks within the GW Smithfield depot. So at this point there are nine tracks beneath Smithfield, plus the two Met running tracks.

Smithfield Market

Smithfield Market is Grade II* listed and is therefore of national importance, and is still a working meat market open 4am to noon every weekday. The Crossrail works required particular attention to heritage detail and their report presents a good historical overview along with some interesting snippets about the extent of Crossrail works authorised.

Smithfield Central Markets, beneath which lies the old GW Goods depot

Smithfield Central Markets, beneath which lies the old GW Goods depot, via Wikipedia

The structures combine elaborate detailing with functional design as a wholesale market, and beneath the market buildings lay an extensive basement area enabling livestock to be brought to the market by rail, unloaded and taken straight to the market above for sale. The Smithfield Goods depot remained in use until the 1960s.

The basement plan below has a wealth of detail and should be compared with the Crossrail plan above. For this we are indebted to GWR Goods Services – Part 2A – Goods Depots and their Operation written by Tony Atkins and published by Wild Swan. This book covers a whole host of GW goods depots in the London area, including Smithfield, Paddington, Brentford, Chelsea, Poplar and South Lambeth, and is highly recommended to LR readers.

Smithfield GW Goods plan

Smithfield GW Goods plan

The plan does not show the Met running lines, which lie just to the north, but it shows that five tracks extended the length of the depot. Trains came in from the Barbican end, and departed west towards Farringdon crossing the Smithfield Curve on the flat, and this junction had its own subterranean signal box. Wagons were moved using turntables and capstans, and needed to be efficiently worked to maintain the throughput: 200,000 tons were handled annually in the first part of the 20th century, and in 1929 the depot employed 667 people, second only to Paddington Goods.

What also becomes clear is that the Met sidings we explored above originally served an island platform, used by the Met, with hoists up to the market above. The Met also had another goods platform opposite the signal box, in the triangle between the Widened Lines and the Snow Hill curve. Located on running lines, this can’t have been easy to work. Presumably the Met facilities closed when it opened its Vine Street depot at Farringdon, and the platforms were removed and the sidings were then used for stabling.

During the 1990s much of the basement area was altered to provide car parking and plant room facilities ― a mezzanine level was inserted, but a substantial proportion of the original jack arches and substructure remain. An intriguing twist is that the works authorised in the 2008 Crossrail Act include conversion of this car park into a worksite. If that also required the removal of the mezzanine level, then the authorisation is already in place to prepare the basement for a return to railway use. More on this later.

The Crossrail plan below shows the shape of the tunnels to the north, the Widened Lines alongside towards Farringdon and the erstwhile Smithfield Curve continuing south-west towards Snow Hill.

Crossrail Smithfield Works

Crossrail Smithfield Works

Also marked on the Crossrail plan above is Fabric, the night club located below ground between the Met and the Widened Lines. It occupies the renovated space of the Metropolitan Cold Stores at 77 Charterhouse St, and includes a large below-ground room renowned in the clubbing world. This author briefly pondered the wisdom of donning the dancing shoes and setting forth on a fact-finding mission, perhaps also to recce the venue for the LR Christmas party. But, confident that many LR readers are also avid clubbers, we hope that their inside knowledge will help fill in some of the gaps.

[Editor’s Note: I’m going to take a punt here and say I’m the only person in LR towers who has ever actually gone to Fabric – JB]

At 67-77 Charterhouse St, adjacent to Fabric, is an old market building, now the bar/restaurant ‘Smiths of Smithfield’. The rear of this building is in the middle of the photo below, behind the Met sidings at Farringdon, and the large wall suggests a substantial basement space.

Farringdon Met sidings looking east

Farringdon Met sidings looking east. Photo courtesy of Nick Bailey at Disused Stations

Adding to the mystery, in 2000 a planning application for 67-77A Charterhouse St was lodged with City of London, for a “Change of use from disused rail tunnel to an extension of night club to provide cloakroom and storage”. Which bit of tunnel were they referring to?

Eagle-eyed readers will of course have spotted that this property is in London Borough of Islington, yet the planning application was with the City of London. Indeed the boundary runs along the middle of Charterhouse St, and this indicates that the basement space extends across the council border and up to the Widened Lines.

Intriguingly, does this mean there is essentially continuous basement space underneath Fabric and the adjacent building and therefore all the way to the retaining walls at Farringdon? If so, is there any potential for the three Met sidings just east of Farringdon to be extended through to the alignment of the underground Met sidings west of Barbican?

The Smithfield Curve

The Crossrail plan above clearly shows that the Smithfield Curve no longer exists underneath the Poultry Market, although the truncated stumps remain at the south and the east end. So, let’s try and nip another Blackfriars-Moorgate discussion in the bud: trains are no longer able to travel east from Snow Hill (City Thameslink). Rebuilding this curve would entail the demolition of the Grade II listed Poultry Market. It’s not going to happen.

The Smithfield Curve was opened in 1871 and London Chatham & Dover Railway (LCDR) trains ran up from Ludgate Circus around to Moorgate. Services were withdrawn in 1916 and the Curve finally closed in 1927. As this 1961 Railway Magazine (PDF) article describes, a severe fire in 1958 destroyed the old Poultry Market, and the photo below shows the Smithfield Curve uncovered during excavations for the new building. The tight curvature is clear which, as one of our commentators kindly pointed out, limited the use of the curve to non-bogie stock. Thus even if the Smithfield Curve still existed, modern coaching stock would not be able to use it.

Remains of the Smithfield Curve

Remains of the Smithfield Curve, from the article, taken by R. J. Marshall

JB’s photos show where the Smithfield Curve branched off from the Widened Lines beneath Grand Avenue in Smithfield Market: 14E looking east back towards Barbican, 16SW and 17NE. The picture above also shows the bricked up tunnel portal seen from the other side in JB’s photo 19SW. The arches to the left and right lay beneath East Poultry Avenue and were connected through to the railway tunnels/sidings behind, as shown in the Smithfield car park plan above.

But it would be interesting to see whether the alignment of the line from the GW Smithfield depot is still clear. As the Smithfield plan above makes clear, this was the departure line from the depot and crossed the Smithfield Curve on the flat. We’ll continue our exploration west to Farringdon and then south to Snow Hill in Part 2.

New uses for old tunnels ― LUL, DLR, and a question of safeguarding

This author recalls a conversation with a railwayman who, when surveying the area around Farringdon in the late 1970s, was astounded to discover the extent of railway lands there. Bit by bit these alignments are being nibbled away. Part of this could be the well-documented lack of strategic rail planning in London, with responsibility diffuse and contested between DfT, TfL, NR and the TOCs. Part could also be lack of knowledge of what is actually there, which is a gap we hope to address in these articles.

The current plan for the ex-Thameslink route from Farringdon to Moorgate is for LUL to adopt them, to provide invaluable stabling in the city, not least because the new S7 and S8 stock is too long for sidings such as those at Farringdon. The August 2011 edition of Underground News has details about the track and signalling changes on the sub-surface lines, of which this will be one component. There will be a long stabling siding leading off the Met lines where Farringdon Sidings are now, and the siding will be double track through Barbican station.

Is this efficient use of the space, however, given that stock will have to be stabled end-to-end? How much stabling is actually required? And could this be provided at Moorgate, where removal of the Thameslink platforms could yield four stabling roads, plus more in the tunnel immediately west?

Whatever, the discussion may be forced into the open as a result of a low-level spat between LUL and the City of London on who actually owns and has responsibility for the tunnels. Details are sketchy at the moment and JB is investigating further, but the issue appears to be over the lease for the land and the precise meaning of the term “an operational railway”. More details as we get them.

We’ve looked again at the options analysed in the DLR Horizon 2020 Study, prepared for TfL by Arup in 2005, which we previously reported on here. A DLR extension west from Bank is desirable because it helps even out traffic flows, and the Study examined several options, including to Barbican via Moorgate and the ex-Thameslink tunnels.

This option achieved a comfortable Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of 2.7:1. It was based, however, on a line to Barbican only and not to Farringdon. Therefore the benefits of linking with Thameslink could not be fully factored in. The authors of the study appear to be working with incomplete information, and have therefore come up with a sub-par scheme that underestimates the BCR :

Whilst this arrangement will give less attractive interchange with the City Thameslink services, the Crossrail works associated with their Western ticket hall at Farringdon would probably prevent extending DLR far enough to provide direct interchange with City Thameslink.” (p25)

As we can see from our explorations under Smithfield, the tunnels do appear to fit DLR purposes very well: they are large, the alignments are clear, and there will be space just east of Farringdon station for DLR platforms once the Crossrail works are complete. Platforms here would also offer very straightforward interchange with the new station, and a new station entrance could also be provided off Charterhouse Street.

Furthermore, the ex-GW depot in the basement under Smithfield Market may be able to provide stabling space, and the authorising works to remove the mezzanine deck in the car park may already be in place in the 2008 Crossrail Act. The alignment of the Met sidings between the Met and the ex-Thameslink tracks could also be re-used, and overall the tight curves and shorter siding lengths will not be a problem for DLR trains.

Granted, plans for a DLR extension to Euston gather pace as HS2 looms. But so does the business case for Crossrail 2 via Euston. Arguably Crossrail 2 is a higher priority, and this is likely to weaken the business case for a DLR extension to Euston. Indeed, the 2005 Study did not look at a Euston DLR extension, and therefore we don’t know how this stacks up against the other proposals. Certainly DLR to Farringdon would be far cheaper, and can be made cheaper still by relinquishing an interchange at Moorgate, instead going directly from Bank to Barbican. There is a strong case for revisiting the study and reassessing the BCR of each option and, in the meantime, safeguarding the alignments.

The disused lines at Barbican

The disused lines at Barbican: LUL sidings, or a DLR extension from Bank? Photo courtesy of Steve White2008

Indeed, safeguarding alignments is something that is rarely exercised by strategic rail planners, and is a theme we will return to. In Part 2 of this subterranean journey through this intriguing part of London, we emerge west from the tunnels into Farringdon before heading south to Snow Hill and Blackfriars, and we will see how the loss of rail alignments through Blackfriars, Snow Hill and Farringdon now presents a significant capacity constraint for Thameslink.

jump to the end
There are 272 comments on this article
  1. Benjamin Sparks says:

    It may not be your cup of tea, but it might be worth checking out the chapter entitled The Farringdon Burglary by in the London graffiti book Crack N Shine..

  2. timbeau says:

    “Fulsome” is spelt with only one “L” and is defined in Collins’ dictionary as meaning “excessive or insincere, esp in an offensive or distasteful way”, which seems a trifle harsh as a description of this fascinating article. Amazing how much infrastructure was squeezed into such a compact area. Imagine if you were to takeoff the “lid” (i.e. Smithfield Market) to see what’s underneath.

    Fridgemonkey’s picture surely shows the WEST end of Barbican station?

  3. John Bull says:

    Spoilsport – find me another apt description beginning with an F and I’ll change it!

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Greg Tingey says:

    Agreeed re DLR
    However, there are other considerations.
    The present LUL turnback sidings at Moorgate are not much use, because trains have to cross the main Circle line flow, It should (just) be possible to re-align that station with a single or double (?) centre-road turnback, with the Met/Circle going round the outside.
    Assuming a “through path” exists, then extending DLR to Aldersgate & Barbican & then Farringdon is a brilliant (& obvious?) move.
    In the meantime, is this an opportunity to correct one of the grates transport non-planning major cock-ups of all time in Lonodn?
    Namely a station for the Barbican Centre – purlease?

    The OTHER problem, of course is bringing this thinking to the attention of the “proper authorities”, so that when we do get to 2020 we don;t find that we’ve screwed-up AGAIN.

  6. Stewart says:


  7. Stewart says:

    More seriously, I have on many an occasion wondered how it was possible to walk into Fabric and immediately go down three flights of stairs into a huge subterranean space. Little did I suspect that my interests in drum and bass and old railway infrastructure would one day coincide.

    And I can understand why they wanted more cloakroom space; the 4am queues at the current one can stretch halfway down to the caverns below.

  8. NickF says:

    Alan A. Jackson in ‘London’s Metropolitan Railway’ tells us (page 122) that the brick arches beneath Smithfield Market replaced original wrought iron girders which had been corroded by the exhaust from steam locomotives. “…extensive renewals from 1898 onward during which brick arching was substituted for girder work wherever feasible over the whole Market basement area of 625 ft by 240 ft, at the then substantial cost of $40,000”

  9. Malcolm says:

    Isn’t there a problem with using /any/ existing tunnel for DLR – the question of sufficient width for the emergency walkway? Or would a SSL tunnel be already wide enough?

  10. Malcolm says:


    Various online sources seem to suggest that fulsome is often used in a positive sense. I suspect this is a new “incorrect” usage, but Humpty Dumpty said we can use words to mean just what we want, it’s just a question of who is in charge.

    Nobody else seems to have a double “l” though.

  11. Long Branch Mike says:


    Wouldn’t the space from Aldersgate & Barbican & to Farringdon be grandfathered & not require an emerg walkway? It’d been running trains for over a century…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Weren’t the tunnels built to Broad Gauge – in which case there should be plenty of walkway room.

  13. Darren says:

    I see Stewart has already beaten me to it but here’s another one of your readership who has been a regular at Fabric. Interesting to find out what the original building was.

  14. Mark Townend says:

    Some months ago I sketched up a few ideas for improving performance and capacity on the northern part of the Circle line. These proposals would see Metropolitan line city services turned back at a four platform Moorgate terminus rather than at Aldgate. A variant could retain Aldgate as well, but with fewer trains terminating there to impove reliability and eliminate the need for peak hours step-back crewing. Aldgate might thus serve certain specific services within the group of Metropolitan routes and stopping patterns, say the longer distance ‘fasts’ to the extremities of Metroland.

    See the following:

    Nevertheless I think the DLR extension could be a great cost effective idea too.

  15. Paul says:


    With respect to the work you’ve put in, I can’t see the big benefit of your Moorgate scheme; surely the 6 platform throat would have a serious amount of conflicting movements? The benefit could surely only be realised by connecting the Westbound tunnel from Liverpool Street to platform 6 as has been frequently suggested. Even then, the 4 track section to Farringdon doesn’t seem long enough to me to provide any real capacity gain, and what of the large numbers of passengers wanting to travel to/from Liverpool Street?

    I like the Edgware Road to Great Portland Street scheme better; somewhere else I once suggested this could be achieved by digging a new tunnel below the existing one, with Platforms 5 and 6 at Baker Street becoming a spectacular gallery/atrium over 4 new platforms below. I reckon the additional tunnel(s) would need to extend to Praed St junction for the full benefit though.

  16. Paul says:

    Two questions about Fabric that I’m now keen to know the answer to –
    – What was the original use of the space we call Fabric today? Was it part of the GW goods yard or something else?
    – Was the 2000 planning application approved or rejected? Was that tunnel ever converted into the cloakroom and storage?

  17. Marc says:

    You’re right that this is a badly titled series… anyone who has worked on Farringdon gateline will tell you that London Terminals tickets are not accepted there!

    Keep up the good work – really enjoy reading the blog.

  18. Lemmo says:

    @ Darren and Stewart, next time you’re down in Fabric please could you check out a comfy corner for our next LR ‘editorial meeting’… and are you able to give us an idea how far that basement space extends on the plans above?

    @ Paul, the answer is above: Fabric is in the old Metropolitan Cold Stores. The planning application is HERE but there are no documents available online for applications pre-2005, so someone will have to go down to Guildhall and leaf through. Its status is marked as “Application withdrawn”.

  19. Mike says:

    The Railway Magazine map says that the 1865 Moorgate St extension went from Farringdon St (new), so where was the original 1863 Farringdon St terminus? Does anyone have a map?

  20. C says:

    I always thought they could do the following:

    – Leave Barbican eastbound platform as is for tubes towards Moorgate
    – Use the island platform as two S8 length turnback sidings.
    – Reinstate the old westbound Thameslink platform as a through westbound for tubes from Moorgate.

    Then they could terminate Met line trains at Barbican – or even better, Wimbleware trains – without fouling any junctions for through trains, as at Moorgate today. It’s so easy and would provide great benefits and flexibility.

    Moorgate’s extra platforms could be used as sidings, rather than Barbican’s. It would only need a little trackwork west of Moorgate to allow westbound through tube to cross onto the old westbound Thameslink line, and then head straight for their platform at Barbican.

    This would reinstate direct links from High St Ken/NHG/Paddington Praed to Baker St, Kings Cross and beyond. Would also be a new route from SW London to the City, albeit probably very slow.

    Regarding the DLR, I don’t see the money for any tunnelling from Bank. Public money for Central London projects will be restricted to massive projects like new Crossrails, rather than incremental extensions.

  21. Pedantic of Purley says:


    Seems like a good idea but I suspect the problem is that the former Thameslink platforms were substandard and as soon as the railway closes the grandfather rights disappear. Didn’t Thameslink trains only call eastbound for many years because of this ?

    It must not be forgotten (as someone commented on in an earlier article) that Barbican will be the preferred interchange between Circle/H&C/Met lines and Thameslink. The may mean that plans for physical changes to Barbican staton are part of already signed contracts and impractical to change at this late stage. However if ever was and is still possible then to me the idea has great merit.

    Personally I think incremental extensions will always be looked on favourably provided the Benefit:Cost ratio is good. What is Northern line to Battersea if not an incremental extension? Where incremental extensions are frowned upon is where it just heaps more passengers on an already crowded line. If the DLR was extended from Bank you could probably run a 2 minute headway with a decently designed terminus. The DLR, unlike underground lines with a driver in a cab, can turn trains around incredibly fast. I have seen at DLR train at Lewisham in and out (train at a halt, doors open, doors close followed by immediate departure) in about 15 seconds. Even with a lot of passengers it could comfortably do it in less than two minutes – especially if you had separate arrival and departure platforms.

  22. Pedantic of Purley says:

    After substandard add ” (in particular too short)”.

    For “preferred interchange between Circle/H&C/Met lines and Thameslink” read “preferred interchange between Circle/H&C/Met lines and Crossrail“.


  23. C says:

    I gathered you meant Crossrail, nae bother.

    And re: Northern line, you’ll notice I caveated ‘public money’ for incrementals. That’s being funded by…… it’s the new Malaysians at the last Power Station sale – and who knows after that. And plenty of the developers in Vauxhall/Nine Elms are chipping in too rather than for Crossrail I thought.

    DLR would need to come from the public purse entirely. Most of the original extensions were cheap and subsidised by the LDDC/CW Estate groups.

    I’d be happy with either something to Barbican which would be fine, or a full line to Ludgate/City Thameslink and then either up to Euston (via Holborn or no stops to keep it cheap) or along to Aldwych and CX.

    Do the Northern line works have any impact, positive or negative, or at least any passive provision for any DLR works?

  24. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Do the Northern line works have any impact, positive or negative, or at least any passive provision for any DLR works?

    I presume you mean the proposed new platform and increased circulation space at Bank ? And that the works required are to do with joining any extension onto the existing DLR tunnels beyond the platforms leading to the turnback siding.

    No and No. The proposed worksite would not be in a suitable location anyway.

  25. Anonymous says:

    As C points everyone has ideas for a DLR extension. The most useful being to CX where the old Jubliee line platforms (when the Fleet line was enviaged) are unused and the tunnels already nearly reach Aldwych. A possible extension is to Victoria but one suspects that the DLR stock wouldn’t have the capacity for Vic and CX. I did read that there were technical issues as to why the DLR cannot go west from Bank though.

  26. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Don’t get too excited about the idea of reusing the “unused” tunnels. They are still in service. One commentator in “A Brief History of Sidings” suggested that they can still be used to store trains if necessary.

    To quote the Horizons Study referred to in the article:

    “Enlarging the Jubilee Line tunnels to make them suitable for DLR would be very expensive, possibly about the same cost as building entirely new tunnels”

  27. Long Branch Mike says:

    @Pedantic “Enlarging the Jubilee Line tunnels to make them suitable for DLR would be very expensive, possibly about the same cost as building entirely new tunnels”

    and would give little if any increase in capacity. Hence the Fleet Line (ex-Jubilee) tunnels from Green Park to almost Aldwych, plus the pre-planning done at Ludgate Circus & Cannon Street areas for the Fleet, should be saved for either a tube line (no tunnel enlarging necessary) or a CrossRail corridor (with enlarged tunnels & much higher throughput).

  28. Pedantic of Purley says:

    I tend to agree.

  29. Stewart says:

    Working from my no doubt addled memories of the inside of the rabbit warren that is Fabric, I believe it extends under the adjacent buildings to both the (roughly) West and East, i.e. Smiths of Smithfield and the Corporation of London building at 79-83 Charterhouse Street, respectively

    Room 2 is to the East, probably about to the end of 83 Charterhouse Street. However, Room 1 definitely does not extend the full distance underneath Smiths of Smithfield. I would hazard a guess that it is roughly the width of 2 of the 6 arches on the front of Smiths of Smithfield, probably the second and third as you move West since the staircase down is likely behind the first one (marked SOS in the window). There is a fire exit at the far (NW) corner of Room 1, which I think leads into into a modern-looking breeze-blocked passage. Fortunately, I’ve never had to worry about escaping from a fire in there. While i am sure it satisfies all the fire regs, it has always felt like a bit of a deathtrap.

    This would suggest that the “disused rail tunnel” desired as “an extension of night club to provide cloakroom and storage” is the area behind the three large arches in the “Farringdon Met sidings looking east” photo above, i.e. under the Western half of SoS. I think, therefore, that the description “disused rail tunnel” is probably inaccurate.

    In the roughly North-South direction I think Fabric must also run someway underneath Charterhouse Street as it is definitely “deeper” (in a lateral sense as well as underground) than SoS. It must, therefore, get pretty close to the old Western tip of the old Met Goods platforms and the Widened Lines. However, I don’t recall any fire exits in this direction so I have no reason to believe that there is any access.

  30. Lemmo says:

    Thanks Stewart, my hunch from looking over the maps was that the planning application referred to the arches at the end of the northernmost Smithfield Met siding, coloured in purple on the Smithfield plan. These run perpendicular to the siding but appear to be connected by side arches, and perhaps there is a door through to what is now Fabric. If so, presumably they would have had to agree a separate lease with City of London, and perhaps this is where the plan fell down.

    All in all its very intriguing and, although not a short term option, may still be a long-term possibility if TfL extended DLR to Farringdon and then found it needed additional space for platform lengthening.

    The use of the office/workshop shown in JB’s photos 4S, 6E and 7E (links above) may well have been associated with the Met sidings when the goods platforms was in use.

    On DLR, why is TfL pursing an alignment via Charing Cross if it costs the same as a new tunnel to convert, and will result in the loss of use by Jubilee trains, and also lose the potential for use in a future tube line?

  31. C says:

    Will there be future access back down to platform 4 at Farringdon from the LUL station? Currently there’s a pointlessly oversized balcony area while it’s being refurbed and the staircase down is boarded up.

    Would be useful especially with 12 car trains – some people want the front and some the back. And the other station will be for Crossrail too, so it’d spread people out more.

  32. jamesup says:

    While the Charring X tunnels might cost the same, thanks to the wonders of modern TBMS, I’d be very surprised if same could be said of the station platforms and connections.

    Please let us hope that we never build any more Tube diameter lines, and Charring X doesn’t sit on a logical extension from any existing line, so the choice would seem to be to enlarge them or to accept that they will never be used.

  33. mr_jrt says:

    Would Barbican’s NR platforms be too short for S8s though? Why would grandfather rights need to be in place?

  34. Pedantic of Purley says:


    On DLR, why is TfL pursing an alignment via Charing Cross if it costs the same as a new tunnel to convert, and will result in the loss of use by Jubilee trains, and also lose the potential for use in a future tube line?

    Because the bigger prize is to get two fully functional station platforms at a prime location that has almost all the required infrastructure already in place for minimal cost. Running tunnels are relatively cheap and not really the issue. Modern tube stations are unbelievably expensive.


    An equally arguable point. One could equally say Please let us hope we never built any more deep level DLR stations that only have capacity for 3 DLR cars, and lose the potential for longer DLR trains or conversion to a Crossrail style tunnel. I understood Long Branch Mike’s point to be that conversion to DLR is really no better in principle than reuse as a tube tunnel. But yes it is all a bit academic because there seems to be absolutely nowhere sensible to extend to if it were to remain a tube tunnel.

    I don’t know. I am only raising the issue but I understood the westbound platform was too short for 8-car class 319’s. I am presuming an S8 train is of similar length to a two unit 319. If the platform was too short then if it had been kept open I am presuming SDO could have been used as it is an existing platform. As soon as it closed the rules change. I do not think you would be allowed to use SDO on a “new” platform.

  35. mr_jrt says:


    S8s are 127.46m long (15-18m carriages), and 2x Class 319 (i.e. 8 car) is 159m (20m carriages), which is why Chiltern can’t run trains longer than 5 or 6 cars via Amersham (22m carriages).

  36. Anonymous says:

    @ C 1109 – The Northern Line extension to Battersea will always rely on public money. The previous consortium was still expending circa £200m in TfL funding and I don’t see any other consortium being more generous. In my view the proposal is a complete and utter botch anyway and fails in transport terms because people are terrified about overloading the line by connecting it to any nearby NR station. It would be another mess if it were to go ahead.

    Coming back on thread it is worth remembering that every development in Greater London that gains approval post 1/4/12 has to pay the Community Infrastructure levy. While primarily designed to raise funding for Crossrail there must be the possibility that it could also fund other investment.

    Further the Government has recently announced a potential change to local government funding which would allow any boost to economic activity that results in greater business rate payments would accrue to the Mayor. The Sec of State has written to Boris effectively guaranteeing TfL’s funding but allowing any upside to be used at the Mayor’s discretion (recent TfL Board papers provide more info).

    On the basis that the huge transport infrastructure at Farringdon will trigger a boom in development there may well be an easy source of extra funding for a DLR link but the planners will have to safeguard the infrastructure routes before developers come along and need to sink enormous piles which would get in the way of future tunnels, sidings or stations. If they could get DLR up to Farringdon it would provide an amazing level of connectivity in one part of London.

  37. Lemmo says:

    HERE is a drawing for the lengthening of Aldersgate Street (i.e. Barbican) platforms in 1931, courtesy of MRFS over at the forums. Using the zoom, it shows the Down Widened Lines platform as approx 328′ lengthened to 366′. The Up platform was lengthened into the arches of the Smithfield tunnel, as shown in the pics here on Abandoned Stations, resulting in very narrow platforms at the extremities.

    Hence Down Thameslink services from Moorgate did not stop at Barbican, although Up trains did. Perfect for DLR trains though, as are the Smithfield sidings for stabling!

  38. James says:

    Mike Townend, Paul and C,

    one variation on all these Moorgate/Barbican terminator schemes would be to provide a dive under for eastbound Metropolitan trains at around Barbican. Met trains would miss Barbican but come up smiling at Moorgate to terminate in one of the existing terminal platforms with no conflicting moves. The Circle would probably need to be slewed through Barbican with the eastbound occupying the current westbound formation and the new westbound being the old Widened Lines Eastbound. This would mean that all Circle / H&C trains would use the island platform at Barbican. The current Circle eastbound would be the approach to the dive under and the old Widened Lines westbound would be the new (non-stopping) Met westbound.

    This might be confusing to passengers unless Met trains stop running to Aldgate, in which case the tube map could be made pretty clear by allowing some clear space between the Met and the Circle / H&C at Barbican. The compensation would be a reduction in conflicting moves and a slight increase in terminal capacity for the Met in the City, which should in turn allow an increase in frequency.

    All of these ‘incremental’ works would involve a lot of temporary closures of the existing lines: my understanding is that these temporary possessions cost serious money as well as contributing to risk. I would be interested to know what the relative BCRs of doing 1/2/3 simultaneous major junction improvements are, and how this compares with leaving the lines open and building a new parallel route instead (for instance, a skip-stop tube to carry the Met to the City). I suspect that the latter costs a bit more but has a much better BCR. It would also be interesting to compare the BCRs of a DLR extension to Euston and a new Met skip-stop tube, again I suspect the latter would come out very strongly.

    An outline skip-stop tube plan would be for new tunnels starting around Baker St, then stations at Euston (the main line terminus, not Euston Sq), Kings Cross St Pancras, Farringdon, Moorgate and Liverpool St. Additional tunnels could easily allow it to take over an existing NR line such as Deptford to Charlton, the Hayes branch, South Bermondsey – Peckham Rye or the Chingford branch, creating a notional Crossrail 3.

  39. mr_jrt says:

    Had Thameslink taken the opportunity to rebuild platforms on the old Farringdon Street site to the west of the current platforms (knocked through to Smithfield sidings to create a through route), then the Moorgate branch could have quite easily remained as-was at Farringdon aside from the reinstatement of the link to the Circle to the west of the platforms. This could have quite easily have created a diverging line instead enabling the Circle to serve the centre island and the met the two outer faces (or vice versa). All that would then be required is knocking through at least one of the bays at Moorgate and building a new junction under the nice open Finsbury Circus and you could either overtake, or terminate, trains from either direction with no conflicting movements without need for flyovers or diveunders.

    Knock though platforms 3 & 4 and you’ll gain the simplest flexibility, but knock through 5&6 and you get to keep 3&4 as two west-facing terminal roads. Knock though all 6 and you have it all 😉

    Such a wasted opportunity.

  40. mr_jrt says:

    …the interesting bit that prohibits extending the widened lines from halfway to Euston to Baker St./Edgware Road then becomes the bottleneck between St. Pancras and Farringdon where Thameslink uses the widened lines…a simple solution for which I can’t really offer short of a new bored direct tunnel for Thameslink (though that might help speed things up if it was straighter and to a higher modern standard than the current Victorian infrastructure).

  41. Fandroid says:

    @mr_jrt Surely the killer for your scheme to retain the Thameslink Moorgate branch is the flat junction at Farringdon. Westbound trains would have to cross the Thameslink core route on the flat. So, to make it work, at least one burrowing junction is required. I suspect the Fleet Sewer is lurking around there, so just about prohibiting any local cut and cover tunnels.

    @ Your skipstop Met sounds attractive (esp the station at the real Euston). If anyone ever took up the idea, then upgrading the outer Met route to take full-size trains would make a lot of sense, rather than keep the toy trains that they are forced to use currently.

  42. Fandroid says:

    ‘@’ was supposed to be @james.

    Thinking about it. I doubt that anyone would want to add a third tunnel between Farringdon, Moorgate and Liverpool Street. If the proposal was serious it would connect to the centre of the London railway universe at Farringdon and then head off somewhere else. (Northern & City or Essex Thames-side via Bank anyone?).

  43. Lemmo says:

    @ mr_jrt, we explore the potential offered by the extensive ex-railway land around Farringdon in Part 2. When you consider how cramped the station is now, and this will only get worse with Crossrail, it makes you wonder why they did not expand the station westwards and perhaps link up with the Smithfield Sidings.

    However, retaining the Moorgate stub for Thameslink is not the best option as it would require a grade-separated junction at the north-west end, and you’d end up with an underutilised core through Blackfriars along with the inefficiencies of terminal operations at Moorgate. Given the new improtance of Farringdon as a hub, it is better to find ways to maximise the existing alignments into the station. Hence our proposal to revisit the DLR extension.

  44. Greg Tingey says:

    Now, let’s get some priorities straight shall we?
    Euston Sq – re-visit the pedestrian (“Travelator”?) tunnel connecting. Only overdue by about 80 years.
    Re-build Moorgate with ONE central terminating road for Met trains.
    Extend DLR Bank – Moorgate – Barbican Centre – Aldersgate&Barbican – Farringdon (perhaps).
    Note no completely new deep level stations, no enlargement of “railway” area, maximum use of existing structures.
    I’m making the assumption that there is enough space to put a DLR halt under the Barbican Centre.
    If there is not, then travelator-tunnel again, but from the West end of the Moorgate DLR (ex-widened lines) platforms.

  45. mr_jrt says:

    Apologies to all for any confusion, I’m not advocating the Moorgate branch for Thameslink – far from it, nor are any flat crossings required. Here’s a quick MS-Paint jobbie to illustrate what I mean:

    The original layouts in the mists of time had the Circle as now, but with a flat crossover to the Widened Lines on the west of the platforms.

    There’s a great diagram that shows the old layout, but to further illustrate what I mean:

  46. mr_jrt says:

    Oh, seems the preview allows img tags, but the comments don’t 🙁

    The missing images were:
    Image 1 – Quickie diagram
    Image 2 – Scribbled over detailed old map

  47. Lemmo says:

    @ mr_jrt, we’ll be using the old plan of the GN depot in Part 2, but what happened to your diagram (above)?

    @ Greg, I saw your proposal for a Moorgate rebuild to provide a central turnback platform, a good idea if there’s room. I’ve dug out the plans from the Crossrail planning permission documents and will look into this in a future post. What I need now are some large-scale plans of the western end at Moorgate, and an isometric of the station showing the GN&City and Northern lines, along with Crossrail

  48. Tim Burns says:

    @Lemmo Have you seen this website? Don’t think it has what you need now but one to watch perhaps?

  49. Anonymous says:

    Looking at this image:

    it looks like the west end of Barbican former Thameslink platforms are wholly within the Crossrail work-site, with structures above and adjacent already at least partially demolished at the date of this ‘birdseye view’ (which must be fairly recent). This might allow extension of the westbound platform at the west end, permitting its reuse for stopping passenger trains.

    Going back to my original proposal for the 4 platform Met terminal at Moorgate. I acknowledge that the flat junction would be a problem, but the 4 track layout on approach allows better regulation on approach, decoupling the Met terminators from the Circle/H&C by allowing an eastbound Met to be held in the ‘right turn lane’ awaiting a path across the westbound flow. Thinking about it a little more, the position of this crossing might be better nearer Barbican, as where originaly shown the tail of a terminating Met would take a long time to clear the junction. Explanatory diagram to follow shortly . . .

  50. mr_jrt says:

    @Lemmo, my second comment with the image links is “awaiting moderation” – the site stripped the img tags out of my original comment.

  51. John Bull says:

    Sorry about that JRT – I’d not spotted that in the moderation queue. Was hidden amoungst the kind offers by various Russians to “make fix your SEO.”

    I’ve released it.

  52. Mark Townend says:

    Oops accidentally posted as anonymous re: Moorgate 4 track terminal.

    Here’s the promised diagram . . .

  53. Groupie says:

    Fantastic article, thank you.

    Definitely agree that the lines between Moorgate and Farringdon (which are already a smart use of underground space) could be better used. My thoughts would be for the Westbound Met/Circle to enter Moorgate as close to the position of the old westbound Widened Lines track as possible and continue this alignment on the approach to Farringdon where it would return to the original alignment. Un-between there wo

  54. Groupie says:

    Sorry, message was cut in half… Try again.

    Fantastic article, thank you.

    Definitely agree that the lines between Moorgate and Farringdon (which are already a smart use of underground space) could be better used. My thoughts would be for the Westbound Met/Circle to enter Moorgate as close to the position of the old westbound Widened Lines track as possible and continue this alignment on the approach to Farringdon where it would return to the original alignment.

    In-between the eb and wb there would be sidings/terminating platforms at Moorgate, the DLR would surface with cross-platform interchange at Barbican, and a DLR terminus and airings would be just east of the present Farringdon.

  55. Long Branch Mike says:

    Could not the DLR extension to Moorgate/Farringdon be further extended northwest, money and political will allowing, to KXSP and/or Euston?

    There is also the disused Post Office Railway line tunnel heading that direction just west of Farringdon whose bore could be enlarged, and it’s unused station at Mount Pleasant Post Office in Clerkenwell, to further reuse unused assets.

  56. Malcolm says:

    Tunnel bores cannot be enlarged. It’s always cheaper to build a new one. (Or so I have heard, anyway).

  57. Lemmo says:

    @ Malcolm, if that is true, this strengthens the case for TfL to revisit the DLR Horizon 2020 study and evaluate the BCR of its proposed extension to Euston via Charing Cross, vs a Farringdon extension (or indeed any on the other options in the study). As the case for Crossrail 2 strengthens, the business case for a DLR extension to Euston diminishes.

    @ Tim Burns, thanks for this, yes JB flagged this up to us yesterday, fabulous site, let’s hope he looks at Moorgate.

    @ Long Branch Mike, yes perhaps DLR could go further west, though the benefit of the Farringdon option is that it is relatively cheap as it largely uses existing infrastructure and provides other benefits, such as balancing loads and providing stabling at the eastern end. As we’ll see in Part 2, there is probably more strategic value in safeguarding a long-term route up from Blackfriars through to Farringdon and northwest from there.

  58. Long Branch Mike says:

    @ Malcolm: Tunnel bores cannot be enlarged. It’s always cheaper to build a new one. (Or so I have heard, anyway).

    Does anyone have a source for this? I would have thought that the existing tunnel liner could be manually removed, using a Greathead shield type mechanism, remove or realign any sewers, pipes, cables just outside the liner, the much reduced spoil removed, and new larger diameter tunnel liner installed.

    A fair amount of work & labour, but in the large, most of the spoil has already been removed, and the subterranean route already mostly surveyed & excavated.

    As previously mentioned, the real payoff is in reusing abandonned stations, as stations are the most costly infrastructure.

    Crossrail 2 would be a NE-SW direction, so why would a NW-SE direction DLR extension have deminished BCR? If HS2 terminating at Euston were to be built, surely anything to add Underground capacity to Euston would be very advantageous?

  59. Greg Tingey says:

    Tunnel bores CAN be enlarged, but it is hideously expensive, and usually, really not worth the effort.
    One exception.
    The re-boring of the C&SLR between August 1922 & December 1924.
    Which HAD to be done, to construct the Northen Line as we more-or-less know it today.
    I have a 1990 re-print of the UndergrounD booklet describing the works.
    Fascinating stuff.

  60. Kit Green says:

    Malcolm 05:30PM, 28th June 2012

    Luckily we do not seem to get too many tunnel bores here.

  61. Mark Townend says:

    @Long Branch Mike: As previously mentioned, the real payoff is in reusing abandonned stations, as stations are the most costly infrastructure

    . . . and in the case of the Jubilee CX tunnels the remainder of the tunnel route and the overrun tunnels are also closed to passengers , so there would be no public service to suspend whilst the protracted reconstruction is carried out. Compare that with the sometimes suggested reconstruction of Waterloo & City for DLR, during which a well used route would have to be closed completely for (possibly?) years.

  62. MiaM says:

    Don’t forget that the area of a circle isn’t linear to the radius/diameter.

    area = radius * radius * pi.

    Therefore, if you widen a tunnel so the radius (or diameter) doubles, the soil you have to remove is 75% of the amount you have to remove if you make a completely new bore.

    If it’s at all possible to make a new bore I’m sure the old post office railway tunnels could be used for something not transit related, for example telecommunications / electrical power wire, water mains, sewer, remote heating / remote cooling or similar.

    If any major works should be done around the Moorgate area it would probably be better to connect the Metropolitan trains to some of the metro service NR lines at Liverpool Street. The current SSL line from Liverpool Street to Aldgate and Aldgate east could perhaps be disconnected from the SSL network, removing the conflicts at Aldgate East Junction and Minories Junction. A possible reuse for that line could be a DLR connection (perhaps taking over Tower Gateway completely with stations at Aldgate and Liverpool Street, and perhaps also at Moorgate, Barbican and Farringdon if some re-tunneling is done (i.e. cut the SSL tunnel Moorgate – Liverpool Street so the western part connects to a curve up to the NR tracks at Liverpool Street, and the eastern part connects to a new tunnel that connects to platform 3/4 or 5/6.

    I like the idea of a new track Edgware Road – Baker Street, but as the line east of Baker Streets anyway have to cope with all Metropolitan line traffic together with the H&C/Wimbledon traffic that goes through east of Baker street, there will probably not be any real use of three tracks all the way Edgware Road – Baker Street. Just an extra track with platform under current SSL Baker Street platform area would do. Add a grade-separation tunnel at Praed Street junction (“Paddington Junction”) and replace the circle with more Wimbledon trains (and perhaps a shuttle High Street Kensington – Gloucester Road / South Kensington) and all flat junctions on the SSL network are removed = 30+ tph = win!

    I know that there will always be people who commute on current lines who of course would be upset if for example Liverpool Street – Tower Hill / Aldgate (east) vanishes, but the gain from giving a “crossrail sort of” to lines that today terminate at Liverpool Street would probably be worth more than the current line.

    In general I think that any suggestions on how to use a short line like the widened line Moorgate-(Farringdon) should be part of a greater plan, otherwise we probably just end up with loads of suboptimations.

  63. MiaM says:

    P.S. if the SSL would be connected to the NR lines at Liverpool Street station it would also be a no-brainer to electrify Amersham-Aylesbury. (There ARE diesel + DC third rail duo trains available, used for example on the AKN lines in the Hamburg area where they run on diesel outside of Hamburg and on thrid rail DC on Hamburgs S-bahn network. Introducing a special stock just for that line would probably be a bad idea).

    Also, if current District Wimbledon trains would be extended all the way to a Liverpool Street Station – SSL link, you could just as well join the District Wimbledon line to the Wimbledon NR lines and run trains beyond of Wimbledon, if capacity exists.

  64. Malcolm says:

    At risk of being a tunnel bore, or going off topic, why do we always refer to “the Blackwall Tunnel” or “the Severn Tunnel”, when they are nearly always /pairs/ of tunnels? I do not wear one shoe consisting of two foot-pieces.

  65. timbeau says:

    You generally wear two shoes at once – youdon’t go through the “Blackwall Tunnels” unless you turn round and go straight back again. “the Blackwall tunnel” is the northbound or southbound one depends on the context.

    And actually I think the Severn Tunnel is one double track bore.

  66. Lemmo says:

    All the questions raised about tunnel bores and the BCR of a DLR route to Euston vs Crossrail 2, indicate that TfL really needs to reassess. The article sought to highlight discrepancies in the original 2020 Vision study, and infrastructure that could prove beneficial to a DLR extension, namely stabling space at the City end of the route. Some hard numbers on the relative BCR of the various options would be very helpful, including the cost of reboring at Charing Cross.

  67. Pedantic of Purley says:

    @MalcolmBecause it is often very difficult for people to change from established speech or writing.
    It is the way our brains are wired. We still “dial” a phone number. We don’t “tap in”. My mum still “tapes” TV programmes. To his dying day my father would write Heathrow in its original form – Heath Row. It took a long time to change from referring to “one engine in steam” and substitute “single train working”. “One engine in steam” was used for many years to refer to a safe method of preventing collisions on a railway line – even when the train itself was diesel or electric. The statement had almost acquired the quotes in speech and somehow conveyed the concept better.
    Because we don’t necessarily know the details.
    You have shown this yourself by the Severn Tunnel example which timbeau has picked up on.So it starts off as the Dartford Tunnel. When the second bore is build it is still the Dartford Tunnel. You don’t, as timbeau almost alludes to, modify your speech and say I used a Dartford Tunnel or I used one of the Dartford Tunnels. And, partly since they took a while to change the road signs, it was still referred to as the Dartford Tunnel when the bridge was built. To refer to the Dartford Bridge or Tunnel as appropriate meant you needed to know which direction used which crossing which not everybody did. Eventually using the term Dartford Crossing solved this problem.

    Really, some people are so pedantic.

    By the way, if you want to see an extreme level of an institutionalised resistance to change, look up the location of Latimer Road Station and see how far away it actually is from the present day Latimer Road.

  68. timbeau says:

    Mansion House underground station is another example – since it was built, three stations (Bank, Cannon Street and probably Monument) have been opened closer to the building it is named after.

    Charing Cross used to be another source of such confusion, when the present Embankment station had that name, and the station actually under the cross was called Strand – a name it shared with another station nearly a mile away!

  69. Paul says:

    > At risk of being a tunnel bore
    I reckon with that comment you’re more at risk of being two tunnel bores…. 😀

  70. Greg Tingey says:

    Tunnel bores ……
    Diameters (or radii) in metres for various tunnels?
    SSL in UndergrounD
    “normal” ex-BR (excepting places like the Hastings line)
    Channel Tunnel
    – in increasing size
    And, for comparison, the OTHER city that has at least three tunnel-daimeters in use, Berlin:
    [ S-Bahn, U-Bahn “normal”, U-Bahn “narrow” ]

    And, of course, some of those will contain two answers, since DLR & new-Jubilee tunnels contain walkways …..

    I have the answers to some of these, if I can dig out the references, but not all of them, by any means.

  71. timbeau says:

    You’ve missed DLR out of the main list

    and I thought SSL (at least on the Met) is slightly larger than the standard NR profile

  72. mr_jrt says:

    Most of the tubes had differing bore sizes. The Victoria Line for example is bigger than the Piccadilly Line – preventing stock transfers. Likewise, the Central London Railway was smaller than the Yerkes tubes, hence the curious enlargement that was undertaken by inserting additional segments resulting in the non-circular tunnels.

  73. Tunnel Bore says:

    Tunnels can be enlarged. However, it would be extremely difficult to do it using a mechanised TBM. The old manual tunnelling methods would have to be used. TBMs are very efficient and come with all the gear for removal of spoil, erection of concrete tunnel segments etc. As has already been pointed out, doubling the diameter requires excavation of 75% of the spoil volume associated with a new bore. It’s that killer statistic , combined with manual excavation that makes enlarging a very expensive option. When the C&SL was enlarged, manual excavation was the norm, so it was probably a bit cheaper to do that rather than create a new alignment. Finally, TBMs can cope fairly easily with wet and variable ground, whereas with manual excavation it can be extremely tricky.

  74. Greg Tingey says:

    Hmmm … ayone else remember the “frost forest” around Tottenham Hale, when the Vic-line was being built?
    Brine @ ~ -20C had to be pumped through pipes to solidify the wet/marsh/mud substrate, so the TBM could get through ……

  75. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Not quite.

    This was for the escalator shaft. To solidify the wet/marsh/mud substrate liquid nitrogen was used. Once frozen Brine @ ~ -20°C had to be pumped through pipes to keep it frozen. Then the shaft was dug – almost certainly by hand. TBMs were not used on the Victoria line because they did not exist then. If they did we would probably have got a full size tunnel because the economics would have changed because, as Tunnel Bore points out, TBMs are very efficient. In any case I doubt if a TBM ever has or ever will be used to dig an escalator shaft.

    Tunnel Bore explains why new tunnels would be cheaper than enlarging an existing one if a TBM can be used. In the context of the Jubilee line tunnels between Charing Cross and Aldwych the length of tunnel is too short to justify a TBM so it is probably correct that enlargement would cost roughly the same as a new tunnel. Other reasons, not least the fact that the existing tunnel is where it is wanted, probably tip the balance in favour of enlargement.

  76. Lemmo says:

    Surely the economics of reusing the Charing Cross Jubilee station depend also on what stock will be using it? A new tube line will not require much extra work, whereas a DLR extension will require enlarging but the platforms are sufficient length. But enlarging for use by mainline stock, say Crossrail, will require lengthening the platforms and perhaps the station does not have the capacity for this.

    And how would it work using TBMs in existing tunnels? Whether they start at Charing Cross and head to the other ends, or the other way around, presumably they have to dismantle and reassemble the machines. At what point does that become uneconomic, or is it simply not possible?

    Whatever, I’ve not heard of any studies which look at the options for this redundant stretch of line, so we keep coming back to (hopefully well-infomed) conjecture.

  77. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Which raises the point, that will almost certainly turn out to be academic, as I cannot really see anything happening as regards this proposal:

    You have dug some new large diameter tunnels with a TBM and have reached the point where the existing small diameter tunnels exist and need enlarging so you already have a tunnel boring machine in place and ready to go.

    Do you:

    a) built new large tunnels on a different alignment with the TBM because it is too difficult to enlarge the existing ones.

    b) retrieve the TBM and enlarge the existing tunnels by hand digging

    c) somehow disassemble the existing tunnel in advance of the TBM so that it is effectively tunnelling into virgin ground with a hole in the middle. The idea is that the lining is removed ring by ring and taken away through the small existing tunnel with the TBM ready to immediately advance and cut an enlarged bore and line it ?

  78. Lemmo says:

    Not that academic, as this appears to be the current proposal, I just wondered how they were going to do it. If indeed this is something of an engineering challenge then it’s not that unlikely that it’ll be so expensive as to outweigh the benefits of using the existing alignment.

  79. timbeau says:

    What are the tunnel linings on that section of the Jubilee line made of? I imagine a TBM could be devised which could chew through concrete, but cast iron might be a bit of a tall order.

  80. Long Branch Mike says:

    I’ll take option c) for 200 please.

  81. Mike Benjamin says:

    Very interesting article.

    So we might be able to get the DLR from west of Moorgate to beside Farringdon at limited cost and to great benefit, provided we tunnel from Bank to west of Moorgate (are we going to spend on an underground DLR Moorgate station? Is it believed that the DLR could just magically appear ‘at’ Moorgate and have a station there easily? and deal with the conflict east of Farringdon. It’s a good limited scheme if it can work but it will still cost and involve tunnelling.

    So imagine my surprise when when I read this:

    “The Crossrail plan above clearly shows that the Smithfield Curve no longer exists underneath the Poultry Market, although the truncated stumps remain at the south and the east end. So, let’s try and nip another Blackfriars-Moorgate discussion in the bud: trains are no longer able to travel east from Snow Hill (City Thameslink). Rebuilding this curve would entail the demolition of the Grade II listed Poultry Market. It’s not going to happen…The tight curvature is clear which, as one of our commentators kindly pointed out, limited the use of the curve to non-bogie stock. Thus even if the Smithfield Curve still existed, modern coaching stock would not be able to use it.”

    Sorry, not good enough. Logically the foundations of the listed 1961 Poultry Market have been built all over the Smithfield curve but that assumes if the route was going to head south-west from Smithfields it would use the former alignment. Why not simply tunnel to CityThameslink or if there is no room there to ‘sub-surface’, on to Blackfriars? If there is space at CityThameslink – and the tunnels could avoid conflict by emerging west side of the station – he sort of distance that would cover is surely no more than tunnels to avoid conflict if the DLR were to use the Widened lines? The new alignment could also curve more gently and deal with the curvature issue.

    Of course such a scheme would need to be beneficial as well as limited in cost, and viable by heading for Liverpool Street etc in tunnel (just as a DLR scheme would from Bank) and certainly not anything incremental (but is such really that viable?) but that’s not my starting off point. My concern in answer to the article is one of feasibility. So is a shortish tunnel approximating/partly using the Smithfield curve (as opposed to one for the DLR to avoid conflict) possible?

    Now please do nip it in the bud. I’m happy to stand corrected.

  82. Tas says:

    Proposals to reorganise the Met platforms at Moorgate to provide centre reversing roads would allow trains to reverse short of the major traffic objective at Liverpool Street. A more economic and practical scheme may be to open up and extend the old Liverpool Street bay road south to allow the current westbound to become a centre reversing road short of the Aldgate junctions. The land above this route is an LU owned shopping arcade. However, benefits may be hard to quantify to justify such costs.

  83. Lemmo says:

    Thanks, Mike Benjamin. I didn’t think a DLR station at Moorgate would be essential, given how close it is to Bank, and the interchange it would provide is also available at Bank (Northern) and Barbican (Met). This would make the scheme cheaper, and so improve the BCR. No conflicts east of Farringdon, other than the unavoidable crossing at the terminal throat, and plenty of space for the line to rise up into the tunnel space between Moorgate and Barbican.

    Creating a new curve east to south might be possible, but certainly not easy or cheap, and where would you put the junctions at either end? From Snow Hill south is now boxed in as City Thameslink beneath new development. If at such time this area was again redeveloped, which is not unlikely as modern office blocks seem to have such a short shelf-life, then the box could be widened and perhaps provision made for junctions. But what would be the point? An intensive cross-London service on the Thameslink core route is the most efficient, and branches in the centre (e.g. to Moorgate from either the south or the west) will reduce capacity overall and be less straightforward to operate.

    @ Tas, interesting idea about Liverpool St platforms, I’ll try and dig out a plan to explore further. But is the old bay road still clear? I remember someone saying electrical or signalling equipment had been installed there…?

  84. Mike Benjamin says:

    Thanks for your reply Lemmo.

    The idea – and I’m not suggesting its preferable to other schemes, just looking at feasibility – would be ultimately to link up with some of the capacity that gets stoppered from the south, i.e. at City Thameslink, Blackfriars, or further south. South of Blackfriars wouldn’t be feasible given the need to descend to a deeper level heading north but perhaps there are – or will be – opportunities at Blackfriars and/or City Thameslink to continue tracks on former alignments or in tunnel to Smithfield. As I see it west of Smithfield to north of Blackfriars is not that long a distance, an overall scheme also heading into tunnel for Liverpool Street (to surface at Bishopsgate Goods/Shoreditch?) but I would agree overall the cost would be high and though any scheme that tunnels under City Thameslink need not have a station there or at Moorgate it would certainly need one at Liverpool Street. Other issues north-east might have to be sort out too – foundations around and under Liverpool Street, increasing capacity to Bethnal Green NR, etc.

    Not sure I get the point about junctions. This would preferably (i.e. operationally) be self-contained. There is space to descend beneath Smithfield Market before the route is under the Poultry Market, presumably thence staying in tunnel. Tracks on the east side would go into tunnel at some point between Blackfriars and Snow Hill depending on where is mot feasible. What space does CityThameslink actually have I wonder.

    There maybe other non-essential opportunities. There has been talk of demolishing buildings on the approaches to Blackfriars south of the river to widen the neck of the route(s) into Blackfriars. Both locations offer the possibilities as regards building demolition. What about the former Jubilee station box and access at City Thameslink? Maybe a station would be possible after all?

    To dismiss an idea before any sort of exploration due to assumptions about feasibility would be a shame, e.g. an intensive service from the south that includes reopened stations at Camberwell and Walworth, stations/interchanges at Elephant and Castle, Blackfriars, Barbican and Liverpool Street, possibly Shoreditch High Street.

  85. Mike Benjamin says:

    2nd paragraph above, ‘Tracks on the east side’ should read ‘Tracks on the west side’. I.e. avoiding conflict by crossing under the main Thameslink north-south route.

  86. Lemmo says:

    @ Mike, we’ll be looking at Blackfriars in a future post, and this will include some observations on the potential to intensify the Elephant & Castle route, which is probably the most underutilised mainline into central London.

    Four-tracking north from Blackfriars would have to await the redevelopment of the complex over City Thameslink. In strategic planning terms this is a long-shot, especially now that planning permission has been granted to rebuild over the 2-track bottleneck at Snow Hill (see part 2 of this article). Also, the alignment drops steeply north of Blackfriars and your route would have to descend further to burrow beneath the Thameslink core route and head north-west towards Smithfield/Barbican. If any of this was feasible, perhaps you could rise up under Smithfield, though this would be very challenging given the construction of the building with multiple arches and columns. I don’t think it’s a goer, whereas the DLR extension is.

    Sadly this once capacious route has been whittled away and about the only option left is to safeguard the Blackfriars approaches so that the station can be expanded westwards… which is what we’ll look at next.

  87. timbeau says:

    The section from Blackfriars to City TL is one of the steepest gradients on the network, so an even steeper descent to burrow under City TL would be getting into roller coaster territory.
    It would not be possible to start the descent any earlier (further south) without obstructing both the Victoria Embankment and Queen Victoria Street, (or the river) and it would certainly be very difficult to squeeze two more tracks in either side, even if you decided to close City TL and use the platform space for two further tracks on thatlength.

    Let’s keep the throughput on the central section up – extra junctions in central London are probably not a good plan. Remember that any rain from the south turning east at Smithfield would leave a gap in the service on to KXStP, and vive versa: the split at Baker Street, and consequent sparse service to paddington, was one of the key drivers for the route of the original Jubilee Line
    And in the event of problems there are several existing turnback opportnities, some of which have been extensively used during the upgrade. Turning back at any of London Bridge/Blackfriars/St Pancras/Kings Cross.

  88. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the response guys. The problem would seem to be the width available at City Thameslink for 4 tracks or the gradient needed to be deeper than that station by the time the tracks are north enough of Blackfriars to be under it (or under adjacent land). Redevelopment of city Thameslink office space would be the only possibility and if the DLR gets extended to include the CWL around Blackfriars then the only possibility would be if 6 tracks could sit side by side through this section and I can’t see that as possible. Shame as I rather liked the idea.

  89. says:

    As someone who lives to the east and changes trains at Liverpool St I would be horrified for Moorgate (subsurface) to be reconfigured so that Met Main Line trains all terminate there instead of Aldgate.

    Reopening the Liverpool St bay platform and extending its track to Aldgate would seem a much better idea. When they leave Aldgate inner rail Circle trains already benefit from a short section of triple rail, so this would become the other end of the extended line.

    At Liverpool St I would continue having all eastbound trains use the existing platform but immediately after leaving this station the Aldgate terminating trains could switch to the present westbound track so that they can enter Aldgate at low speed without delaying Circle or Hamm & City trains behind them. Reducing eastbound delays at Aldgate would benefit the rest of the eastbound SSL – all the way back to Baker St!

    At Liverpool St rather than close the existing westbound platform it could be retained for terminating trains / as a bi-directional line.

    Some people have suggested extending Moorgate’s platform 4 to the westbound running line, but would this not require expensive passenger walking route changes (and more eg: booking halls?) at Moorgate?

    I very much favour the DLR reaching Farringdon; apart from users of the Northern City Line and Moorgate station itself no-one would suffer a disbenefit if the DLR did not call at Moorgate.


  90. Tas says:

    @ Lemmo “But is the old bay road still clear? I remember someone saying electrical or signalling equipment had been installed there…?”
    And can be removed ?

  91. Lemmo says:

    @ Tas, I’m sure it can, but it would add to the cost, however your suggestion is certainly worth looking into.

    However, 3-tracking from Aldgate to Liverpool St is quite a stretch, and I can’t really see the benefit.

    Looking at the Crossrail plans for Moorgate station, the steps to the Westbound/Bay platforms are being moved south to create a larger circulation area at ground level. This suggests that it would be possible to extend Platform 3 eastwards, and possibly also Platform 4. Moreover, the Crossrail works around Moor Place will have left a cleared space which could allow works to widen the Metropolitan alignment at the eastern throat of the station. So I think Greg’s idea is worthy of further exploratin, which we’ll do in a future post. If anyone has some isometrics and/or underground level plans for Moorgate station we’d appreciate them.

  92. MiaM says:

    Why threetrack from Liverpool Street to Aldgate? There would still be conflicts at a flat junction somewhere.

    I’m still thinking that the northern part of the circle should be linked up to mainline rail at Liverpool Street. That would remove every flat junction of the “District main line”, i.e. Upminster-Ealing/Richmond (except Gunnersbury junction which isn’t a problem as the Richmond branch can take more trains than the District and Overground together could feed it with today AFAIK).

    The idea of extending another pair of tracks from Blackfriars to Moorgate is interesting. However, wouldn’t it be a better idea to build a link from for example Cannon Street to Liverpool Street?

    Re the Elephant route to Blackfriars: The problem with that route is where to route fast trains south of Loughborough Junction? The western route links to Victoria and Waterloo (not that useable) and via flat junctions over to the Overground route. In theory that route could take over for example Windsor or “Victoria-Brighton line” trains, but it would probably be a slower route into central London. The souterh route has flat junctions at Herne Hill and there would be conflicts regardless of what (high TPH) service pattern is choosed at Herne Hill. South of Herne Hill there is also only two track lines. The eastern route is via Peckham Rye where one link leads to Lewisham. Are there any reason for routing Lewisham trains through Elephant-Blackfriars instead of to London Bridge? The other link goes to the Brickley/Chistlehurst/St. Mary/Petts Wood junction complex – from there the fastest route to central London would be through Lewisham to London Bridge? From Shortlands there are no less than four possible routs into central London.

    The Elephant-Blackfriars route could have far more TPH but that would not really be a “main line” kind of service, would it? More a “metro” service?

  93. Michael Benjamin says:

    MiaM said:

    the northern part of the circle should be linked up to mainline rail at Liverpool Street.

    Cannon Street to Liverpool Street.

    The problem is the gradient needed to descend from the surface lines to tunnel, and avoiding deep foundations and basements while doing so. The railway enters Cannon Street on viaduct, the station is basically on the first floor. The viaduct goes all the way back to London Bridge and beyond and the connections to Charing Cross and Blackfriars are all in viaduct too. You’d have to demolish every block north to Bank just to get lower than ground level.

    You have the same problem in the opposite direction. If stopping at Liverpool Street you need to demolish half the distance to Bank to get underground or a large area to the south-west of Liverpool Street and east into Finsbury Circus if heading to Moorgate (whose CWL tracks are blocked off by buildings and foundations). There was a link between Liverpool Street and the Circle but it has long since disappeared (it went through the platforms) and was a very tight single track curve. I’d guess it could only be used for simple mid-Victorian 4-wheel carriages.

    To avoid Moorgate and buildings the tracks would have to start to descend just east of Barbican station and almost certainly a Liverpool Street station would have to be underground and quite deep or under Bishopsgate which runs alongside the mainline station. The route could then surface in the Shoreditch area. If not heading south-west you would have to join the existing Circle tracks somewhere or build new ones at least as far as Euston – descending just west of Barbican which means not using much of the CWL at all. I can’t see the northern Circle providing the capacity necessary to justify a big project like a branch to the GE lines.

    Four tracks south of elephant & Castle gives lots of options for inner and outer suburban services, i.e. stoppers and non-stoppers. Anything 2 tracks can do plus a whole lot more, like reopening stations in inner areas poorly served by rail transport. Who said anything about mainline services anyway? The routes branch off at Loughborough Junction so there are plenty of options to the south of E&C. There are capacity constraints on the approaches to Blackfriars and at the station itself but any project that can remove these can be done in conjunction with better use of the tracks to the south and the extra stations. It can also be done in conjunction with redevelopment (e.g. City Thameslink) if the opportunity arises north of Blackfriars that could allow 4 tracks heading north.

  94. timbeau says:

    @michael Benjamin

    “If stopping at Liverpool Street you need to demolish half the distance to Bank to get underground or a large area to the south-west of Liverpool Street and east into Finsbury Circus if heading to Moorgate (whose CWL tracks are blocked off by buildings and foundations). ”

    No you don’t – Liverpool Street’s platforms are already below ground level – indeed at the same level as the Circle lIne: that’s how the original connection was made, through Platform 1.

    Agreed about Cannon Street though – short of damming the river or demolishing the Lord Mayor’s residence I can’t see trains ever going further north from there!

  95. mr_jrt says:

    RE: Cannon St.
    One of the original options for Thameslink 2000 was to dig a new tunnel from KX/Finsbury Park to Bermondsey. I think the basic option would still be far preferable to the current funnelling we’re getting with all the performance risks it entails.

    If nothing else, perhaps it might have justified extending the ATO further out if you could treat the MML-Elepahnt & Castle route as a basic 2-track railway and the ECML-London Bridge line as another, both with 24tph.

    The notion of a metro Thameslink running via a 4-track core to Moorgate and up to Hackney is a good one, another option I considered was the H&C to Enfield, leaving Liverpool St. eastwards to the Met.

  96. Mike Benjamin says:


    Interesting about the level of Liverpool Street. Is it feasible to redevelop Liverpool Street so 2 tracks can go on beside the platforms (i’m thinking station facia etc) and south without hitting foundations etc? I.e. along Broad Street (but you have to get to the road first). Also, is it feasible for the route to be able to clear the sub-surface lines they are on a level with?

    mr_jrt said:

    “One of the original options for Thameslink 2000 was to dig a new tunnel from KX/Finsbury Park to Bermondsey. I think the basic option would still be far preferable to the current funnelling we’re getting with all the performance risks it entails.”

    Preferable presumably if one ignores any benefit to cost ratio and dropped £1b for £8b schemes.

  97. StephenC says:

    @MiaM I suspect that reinstating the link to the Circle may be tricky as the tube ticket hall must be in the way. Whether it is or isn’t, I would say that rebuilding that connection is the wrong way for the Met to go there. Extending the Met south from Aldgate (to S/SE London) would provide many more connections once you get past Aldgate. I hope to be looking into it on my ukrail blog soon.

    On Blackfrairs to Loughborough Jn, it is very underused right now, and still will be pretty underused after Thameslink. Stations at Walworth and Camberwell, as with the Overground would be most welcomed in those areas. But the constraints are further out, such as at Herne Hill and Tulse Hill, and the route would only go to Blackfriars. (Now Thameslink is almost done, its not going to be replaced by a new tunnel from Bermondsey to the north in our lifetimes).

    I do think there may be potential for Blackfriars to Clapham Junction, Lewisham/Charlton or Bellingham/Bromley. But this would probably require some form of flyover in the Loughborough Jn area – fine while land costs are low, but an opportunity fast disappearing…

  98. mr_jrt says:

    I didn’t mean replacing Thameslink, I meant instead of the ECML-MML tunnel on the KX goods lands. Hence the you end up with two 24tph tunnels rather than one. Think about the problems Praed St., Baker St., and the Aldgate Junctions cause to the SSL reliability…then consider how much worse Thameslink’s reliability is going to become due to all those branches given the SSL is segregated from the vagaries of the NR network and just about manages.

    The old SSL link tunnel at Liverpool St. is still there, but a lot of equipment is being moved into it as part of the Crossrail rebuild, and a believe a new passageway will also cut through it. You can see it quite clearly on the 3D Crossrail diagrams of Liverpool St.

  99. Jordan says:

    Does anyone know anything about the door leading out of the bottom of Smith Of Smithfields, out onto the tracks? I think it has a cage around it now… what was it used for?

  100. MiaM says:

    @Michael Benjamin:

    Oh, I see the problem with linking up Cannon Street to Liverpool Street.
    Next question: Would a tunnel under the thames connectiong to Liverpool Street (with a Bank-Monument underground station or similar) be a good idea?

    In my idea of linking the Met to Liverpool Street the current line to Aldgate would be disused and the new link would thus not need any work west of Barbican.

    Another idea for the tracks south of E&C must surely be to connect them to the Bakerloo line? Perhaps that requires expensive demolition and is not ideal for other reasons?

    Would it be a problem if more trains terminate at Blackfriars and people try to change to other services to travel further, or is the area around Blackfriars a big enough target for commuters?

    The tricky part about the TfL ticket hall at Liverpool street must be where passageways to the central line are – the ticket hall facilities themself could be moved.

    But I get your point that the Met (and perhaps H&C and Circle and Wimbledon District line) could better be extended southeast from Aldgate.

    Perhaps a cheap way to make good usage of existing infrastructure could be to connect Aldgate to the line that currently go to Fenchurch Street? Not SE and a semi-duplicate of the current District to Upminster, but atleast through trains reducing some changes?

    How much space is there southeast of Aldgate? If the link to Aldgate East and Tower Hill is scrapped then the whole railway including Aldgate station could perhaps be lowered to make it possible to tunnel under the District Tower Hill – Aldgate East line, but at what depth is the DLR tunnel to Bank at that area? (The DLR to Tower Gateway could perhaps be removed if the Bank branch were extended in a way that can handle max TPH)

    From tfl’s travel planner it seems like the Lewisham-Peckham Rye-Victoria line has 3TP peak. Surely the flat junctions at Loughborough Junction could handle a few trains to/from Blackfriars?

    Reconnect the line to Herne Hill so it’s connected to the middle pair of tracks but use the four tracks as (from west to east) nb-sb-nb-sb and have the Herne Hill line use “right hand driving” (as there are anyway issues to be resolved at Herne Hill and Tulse Hill a restore to “left hand driving” could be done there) and then you would have no crossing paths at the Blackfriars side of Loughborough Junction. Crazy or an usable idea?

    Any problems of linking Blackfriars to Clapham Junction must be at Brixton Junction and Shepherds Lane Junction or Factory Junction? Perhaps it would be a good idea to build a flat junction addition to Canterbury Junction to make it possible for Farringdon services to go to the overground tracks thus avoiding flat junction conflicts with the Victoria – Herne Hill services?

    Or is the Lewisham – Peckham Rye – Wandsworth Road line cramped with freight?

    I’ll look forward to “Aldgate – SE” on your blog!

  101. timbeau says:

    Would it be possible to rebuild Herne Hill as a double decker – Canning Town style? Run the Thameslink tracks on a viaduct above the SE line ones. There would still be room for a flying connection at the London end to allow Penge-Loughborough Junction moves – I know of no services which require the Tulse Hill – Brixton move and it wold be possible to cover such moves via Balham anyway.

  102. Anonymous says:

    Tulse Hill to Brixton is GatX diversionary route, Southern ecs route and the VSOE lunch steam service goes that way afaik

  103. solar penguin says:

    In the past, Beckenham Jn-Crystal Palace-Tulse Hill-Brixton was used as a diversionary route for southeastern trains, although nowadays they seem to prefer Beckenham Jn-New Beckenham-Lewisham-Peckham Rye instead.

  104. Anonymous says:

    “I know of no services which require the Tulse Hill – Brixton move and it wold be possible to cover such moves via Balham anyway.”

    In addition to the above, Tulse Hill to Brixton allows the Brighton mainline access to Victoria while avoiding Clapham Junction. This was used last Christmas to allow the latter to close for several days. It is a very useful diversionary route. I am not sure Balham can be an alternative as it is southbound from Tulse Hill while Brixton is northbound.

  105. timbeau says:

    Agreed Balham can only be reached from Tulse Hill by reversal there, but it is accessible from the West Norwood, Streatham Common, Mitcham Junction and Tooting directions (i.e everywhere except Tulse Hill and Streatham)

  106. Anonymous says:

    There was a proposal in the 1980s to simplify the south London network. This included a tunnel after Streatham Hill to join the line to Streatham. Victoria services would then all go Balham – Streatham Hill – Streatham – Streatham Common and on to Croydon, with none going to Gipsy Hill. London Bridge via East Dulwich services would then all go to Beckenham Junction with none going to Streatham. Although Blackfriars services would still serve Tulse Hill, to Croydon via Crystal Palace and to Streatham and the Wimbledon loop.

    I think Tramlink also came out of those plans.

  107. Stuart says:

    Re: Liverpool Street bay

    Definitely still there, looks like it’s used for staff training:-

  108. Greg Tingey says:

    That track photo is ancient (I think)
    There is currently NO track behind the hoardings any more ….

    Generally, I’m appalled at the totally off-the-wall and impractical ideas, mostly born of ignorance, circulating here.

    You want to run trains through the middle & not terminate tem, if you possibly can.
    If you must terminate in the middle, put those bays in the middle, for operating ease.
    DON’T MIX LUL & other (even “OvergrounD” services) if you can pssibly help it … tripcocks a la Chiltern, service frequencies, signalling problems, etc.
    Like the (previously discussed) idea of a Herne Hill flyover/under – it can be done, with a squeeze. Money is the problem here, as always, and you still have the conficting moves @ Tulse Hill to deal with.
    And please, don’t go around suggesting we “don’t need” this or that connecting curve.
    We’ve already made that mistake, far too often …..

  109. Anonymous says:

    I too get appalled by “the lines on a map” brigade who seem to regard the railways like a personal train set and not an integrated network to serve the need of real people.

    With the DfT currently holding a consultation on the future Thameslink franchise a number of community groups from stations along on the Wimbledon loop section are organizing to use this to protest against the intended Blackfriars curtailment.

    The consultation document is presented in a completely open way regarding which services will terminate and which will continue. Which seems unfortunate, as few will argue for their local line to terminate over running through the core, making the results somewhat meaningless.

    But the track layout makes it a fait accompli, it is a shame they are arguing over a decision made several years ago, which is when they should have been campaigning. Instead they should be taking advantage of the loss to help fighting for improved services.

  110. Lemmo says:

    I’m not appalled by the ‘lines on a map brigade’, although I do get a tad disheartened when impractical ideas persist. Bearing in mind that some of those impractical ideas come from people in a position of influence, my aim with articles like this is to map out the territory and the options as thoroughly as possible. Inevitably there will be errors and omissions, which our illuminati helpfully correct. Hopefully then these will become reliable resources that people can refer to.

    Thanks for your observations on the Thameslink consultation, we’ll look further into this.

    In Farringdon Part 2 we focus on safeguarding alignments, and flag up the southern approaches to Blackfriars, which we’ll be exploring next. Given that few Elephant & Castle services will go through the Thameslink core, what potential is there to expand the bay platforms at Blackfriars and run an intensive metro service? Aside from the Wimbledon loop, could this also provide central London terminating capacity for other services, e.g. from the SWML, with new grade-separation south of Wimbledon? There may be other options… none of which will be possible if the alignment at the south end of Blackfriars is not safeguarded.

    We’ll also look in more detail at Moorgate/Liverpool St, and at the routes through Herne Hill, and inevitably will be returning to the theme of running services across London as the most efficient operational approach. Whether this is achieved through Crossrail, or new narrow tubes, or using the orbitals is an area ripe for discussion.

  111. Chris Richmond says:

    Would a 24tph Thameslink be more reliable and more efficient if City Thameslink station was closed down? With a new Blackfriars and a new Farringdon in the making, surely the need for a third station within a half-a-mile stretch is operationally problematic? It takes 4 minutes to walk from either Blackfriars or Farringdon to the South and North entrances of City Thameslink respectively, so its closure would not be too inconvenient for anyone really. The platform space could potentially then be used for 12-car sidings. Just a thought…

  112. Anonymous says:

    Lemmo, just to be clear I was referring to those posting comments about their ideas which look good on a map, but who take no regard for practicalities, cost-effectiveness, local populations, effects on passenger flows, how their “cool idea” will have affects on the network as a whole, and so on.

    While this also applies to some personal blogs, for all my personal feelings towards this one (which have been mentioned before) there is no question that the posts on here are researched and considered.


    Chris Richmond: “Would a 24tph Thameslink be more reliable and more efficient if City Thameslink station was closed down? ”

    Just guessing, but maybe the benefits of spreading passenger flow over three stations is better than the congestion created by just using two? Otherwise the same arguments could be applied to the Underground or DLR, where at Canary Wharf the gaps between stations on the latter seems shorter than the platforms in them.

    With a high frequency service you need to keep dwell time under control to prevent it effecting other services. So while you have a train in the platform at Farringdon, having the one behind it letting passengers off at City Thameslink is surely preferable to it just sitting in a tunnel and then having to spend a minute longer at Farringdon because of the larger demand.

    The 2010-11 NR entry and exit figures show 5.346m people using City Thameslink, assuming an equal split to both stations that is 2.673m. So for Blackfriars (12.708m) that would be an increase of 21% and at Farringdon (4.632m, but 21.442m including 2010 LUL figures) of 12%. And that all before accounting for the increase coming from those lines which will be transferred to run through the Thameslink core. The latter presumably also fails to include those changing from Thameslink to the Underground as this does not require an exit and entry.

  113. Chris Richmond says:

    Lemmo: Taking into account acceleration and deceleration times it should be possible to lengthen dwell times at Farringdon and Blackfriars and still save time if City T were closed. It obviously depends on the other stations coping with the extra traffic but they are being/have been rebuilt and both offer better connections for transfer. I think that the same arguments could be applied to the underground – less stations should equal faster services as long as the fewer stations can cope. The Victoria line is always the faster option from Stockwell to Euston or KingsX (rather than the Northern), mainly due to less stations and therefore faster trains…

    Back to Thameslink, personally I think that with a train every 2.5 minutes, reliability/punctuality could suffer with three stations so close together. But then again, you may be right – better a delayed train at a station than in a tunnel – but maybe this is a very British way of thinking about it!

  114. Chris Richmond says:

    Sorry – last post meant for Anon, not Lemmo.

  115. Lemmo says:

    No worries Chris, an interesting discussion. As I note in my comment in Part 2, this stretch of route has a habit of attracting new stations (Blackfriars Bridge, Blackfriars, Ludgate Circus, Holborn Viaduct, Snow Hill, Farringdon).

    If you closed City Thameslink then you’d have to increase capacity at Blackfriars and Farringdon. As we explore in Part 2, Farringdon is hemmed in despite the railway lands here being historically extensive. A more visionary and integrated approach to the station redevelopment could have allowed the railway alignment alongside the existing platforms to be safeguarded, for example to allow the platforms to be widened and doubled up, and the Smithfield Sidings extended… but the new Crossrail station is now in the way. Shame.

    Increasing capacity at Blackfriars would almost certainly require expanding westwards to create further through (and bay) lines over the old bridge piers. But the ability to do this is limited by the design of the new station, with the escalators rising to the end of the bays, and by the narrow throat at the south end… a subject we return to in a forthcoming post.

    Even then, yes you could use the City Thameslink box for new 12-car sidings, but the ideal would be to 4-track through to Farringdon. But you can’t do that now as the recently-approved development over the old Snow Hill station site effectively limits this short section to two tracks.

    In the absence of a strategic approach to safeguarding, each individual decision has effectively throttled the route.

  116. Greg Tingey says:

    If you closed CT then Farringdon would become even more crowded.
    Have you seen the Northbound platform in either rush-hopur?
    It’s already overloaded, especially at the North end of said p/f ……

  117. Lemmo says:

    Indeed, hence my comment above. Let’s see what happens in 2018. In the meantime, are lessons being learned about safeguarding?

  118. Littlejohn says:

    There is some great background information on extending the Farringdon platforms and on the various derogations achieved, here:

  119. Anonymous says:

    The Circle line service should be extended to Moogate .Dumping travellers at Edgeware road when most want to travel onwards would be a great benefit.Also make interchange better as travellers could use Barbican to continue east direction instead of using footbridges as at Edgeware road

  120. timbeau says:

    Anon 1546

    I know this is bringing back an old thread, but the problem is that three into one won’t go – there is no room east of Baker Street for all the trains approaching from the Wembley, Hammersmith and High Street Ken directions. Even with half the Met service terminating at Baker Street, something has to be turned at Edgware Road, and the increase in service on the Hammersmith line required more trains have to be turned at Edgware Road. The powers that be decided that it would be the Circles. An alternative might have been to run one service Hammersmith to Edgware Road only, and one Hammersmith – Kings Cross – Aldgate – Victoria – Edgware Road – Kings Cross – Barking.

    More complex arrangments were also suggested, e.g Hammersmith – Circle – Richmond, Wimbledon – Circle – Wimbledon or Barking – Circle – Barking)

    Moorgate is operationally inconvenient as a turnback because, unlike Edgware Road, Aldgate, Putney Bridge, Tower Hill and Mansion House, the bays are on one side rather than in the middle, meaning that arriving terminators have to cross the path of westbound through trains. (Baker Street also has this disadvantage)

  121. Mikey C says:

    The current arrangement is lousy for the passengers on the Western Part of the Circle Line though, it seems wrong to me that commuters from Amersham can get through trains to Kings X and the City, whereas those from High St Ken and Bayswater don’t. Even outside of the rush hour. There’s often a queue for a terminating platform at Edgware Road as well.

    In previous years, weren’t the Aldgate Metropolitan trains only run at peak times anyway?

  122. Greg Tingey says:

    Many, many moons ago, I caught (with my parents) a loco-hauled train from Baker St to Liverpool St, having changed off either an “F” stock, or “MW” stock train from ( IIRC ) Pinner, during the day – at a wekend.

  123. Graham Feakins says:

    Yes – I well remember that at least into the 1970s the entire Metropolitan Main Line service (Uxbridge, Watford and Amersham) terminated at Baker Street off-peak and weekends, using all four main line platforms at Baker Street. In the peaks, they ran through to and turned back at Liverpool Street, Moorgate and Aldgate.

  124. DW down under says:

    For those interested in the discussion about Moorgate Station, and the GN&C extension, Joe Bown (of London Railway Atlas fame) provided this link:

  125. mr_jrt says:

    That’s an ancient and common image (and indeed, the basis for me noticing that Crossrail pointlessly seems to block the GN&C route south)…but what I wouldn’t give to get a hold of the 3D original rather than a fixed render to settle these discussions one and for all! 🙂

  126. stimarco says:


    The GN&C is burdened by short platforms at most of its stations, while any attempt to extend the line further into the City is going to have to bite the bullet and abandon the current terminus in any case. The platforms there are too short, so it’d be easier to just dig a new set of (longer) platforms nearby, close the old platforms (or recycle them to provide access to the new ones), and be done with it. In short: do a King William Street.

    Just because a piece of old infrastructure exists, it doesn’t logically follow that it *must* be reused.

  127. Stuart says:


    Looks like the Post Office Railway may also be in the way of a southern extension of the GN&CR from Moorgate to Bank, though that would be dead by the time of any new extension (if it is not already)

  128. mr_jrt says:

    Oh nononono…you’re not getting me into an off-topic discussion that easily! It’s been done to death here, there and everywhere…I think it’s viable (bar the new construction I was mentioning), most don’t. That’s fine. 🙂

  129. DW down under says:

    Thanks @ Stimarco

    Having put a lot of effort into looking at the issues of a GNCE running as a Crossrail type system connecting the GN suburbans with the LT&S suburbans, I’m aware that the platforms on the existing GN&C are too short. They can be lengthened, if there’s a business case.

    The present platforms as a terminus are rather limiting, but if they become through platforms, no big deal.

    There were additional tunnel works undertaken by the GN&C Rly Co as part of their abandoned 270m (including new platforms) Lothbury extension. It was said that the back end of a train leaving Moorgate would have its front end entering Lothbury platform.

    One of these stub tunnels is contiguous with existing overruns and has a shield abandoned in situ, but the other AIUI starts a few metres south of the existing short buffer stop/sand drag tunnel, with the concrete plug and some London clay between. These extensions do not seem to appear on the 3D drawings that I’ve seen, unless I’m misreading the drawings. If they cross the line of the Crossrail platform or access tunnels, I can understand Crossrail designing to avoid them for (ceteris paribus) engineering simplicity and reduced cost. (Ceteris Paribus means “all other things being equal” which they rarely are!)

    What I’d love to know is the reason the GN&C Rly Co Directors were convinced they couldn’t approach Bank any closer than the Lothbury terminus, but had underpinned the BoE as a precaution. It could well have been to do with the way the Northern Line has its “roll over” under Princes St. Anyone with an historical resource or an engineering opinion?


    DW down under

  130. Lemmo says:

    We’d love to get some 3D renders of Moorgate that definitively show how Crossrail cuts off any opportunity to extend the GN&City southwards, and perhaps then write a piece.

    Moorgate is a fascinating station overall, well worth an article.

    But please can we focus here on the route to Farringdon, now in mothballs, and perhaps critique the use proposed for a DLR extension?

  131. Nathanael says:

    If there were ever a solid reason to reconnect the “Smithfield Curve” from south to east, you could do so with a cut and cover tunnel under Smithfield St. Pretty easily.

  132. Southern Heights says:

    Farringdon a London Terminal? Not according to the ticket gates. My ticket is to “London Terminals” but doesn’t work there… It works fine at City Thameslink, Blackfriars and even Saint Pancras (nice for a South Eastern ticket), but not Farringdon.

    I hope that changes, but as it is an Undeground station, I don’t expect it to be very soon…

  133. Graham H says:

    @Southern Heights – why ever should it be? (The others you mention are there for BR historical reasons).

  134. Kit Green says:

    Tickets are usually valid at intermediate stations so it seems curious that Farringdon is not a valid station as it is between City Thameslink and St. Pancras.

    A possibility is that “London Terminals” is too vague and that the validity is really “London S.R.” as was quoted until the mid nineties(?). Of course St. Pancras is now an SR terminal!

  135. Paul says:

    St Pancras is only a London terminal from ‘the south’ if travelling via HS1.

    It is not, and has never been IIRC, a London Terminal for the Thameslink services from the south, City Thameslink is the limit of a London Terminals ticket.

    From the north, London Terminals is only valid as far as St Pancras, however there is an additional destination available from the north if origin is on the MML south of Bedford, this is ‘London Thameslink’, which is valid at stations as far as Elephant and Castle.

    The next TSGN franchisee has been tasked with sorting out the north/south differences early in the new franchise period.

  136. Walthamstow Writer says:

    My memory may be a bit rusty but I think the great Farringdon ticketing debacle goes back to the reopening of the Snow Hill route. Farringdon was always treated as zone 1 and never as a “London BR” or “London Terminals” in modern speak. Similarly Barbican and Moorgate were also not treated as such for Thameslink / Bedpan journeys. The Great Northern services do treat Old St and Moorgate as London Terminals. Even more confusingly when GN services run in to Kings Cross instead of Moorgate tickets are valid to Old St and Moorgate but not intermediately at Angel, Farringdon or Barbican. The “London BR” validity remained at the traditional terminal stations north and south on Thameslink – namely London Bridge, Blackfriars, Holborn Viaduct / City Thameslink, Kings Cross Thameslink. To travel beyond to Farringdon or across Zone 1 to northern or southern destinations required a ticket with Z1 validity or priced on that basis. I believe there was also a single ticket interavailability with LU between Kentish Town and Elephant & Castle / London Bridge given Thameslink and the Northern Line operated between both places.

    I know there were constant problems at Farringdon with many people believing it was “London BR” or “London Terminals” by virtue of being on Thameslink but it never was. I think there was also a more recent “London Thameslink” concept in national rail ticketing but that was after my time of detailed involvement in fares data.

    As a complete aside we face some interesting issues with Thameslink and Crossrail and how they will be ticketing for within Greater London journeys and if people decide to use both services for longer cross London journeys. Having spent a lot of hours raking through plans of central area Crossrail stations it is very telling that any brand new build will have no ticket offices at all – just ticket machines. Whitechapel plans show a ticket office but the RMT dispute suggests there is a plan to permanently remove it as part of the rebuild. Given the easy journey options via Crossrail / Thameslink I have to wonder if ticket machines can properly cater for the wide variety of ticket types, discounts and destinations covered by both of these lines as they are National Rail services rather than the Underground (which typically only deals with a limited subset of NR destinations).

  137. Graham H says:

    @WW – all of which makes one wonder what will happen at former national network stations* which lose their franchised TOC service. Previously, that TOC will have had to be party to the national ticketing agreement to sell a very wide range of national network tickets. TfL/LU is under no such obligation. { i can foresee even greater fun if CrossRail Ltd joins the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement and LU does not].

    *Heathrow seems to be the principal victim because HEX, even if it continues, is not a franchised operation.

  138. Graham H says:

    Committing the terrible faux pas of making successive postings, I realise that Heathrow is not the best example as it is a HAL station (and may therefore continue to sell tickets for everyone on an agency basis after XR opens) , but , say, Hanwell would do just as well.

  139. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Graham H – is it not the case that London Overground, despite being run under a TfL managed concession, is still a TOC in the usual sense and is required to comply with mandatory industry wide agreements? I assume Crossrail, given it will inherit FGW and Greater Anglia services, will have to be treated as such too? I can’t see that it could run as a hybrid “TOC on old bits and not a TOC in the central area”. What I am not clear on, though, is what the staffing / ownership arrangements are in the central area. I assume LU will keep running places like Whitechapel and TCR while Crossrail will run Paddington (remote from LU) as well as Canary Wharf and Custom House. It gets harder with places like Liverpool St and Bond St which are connected to the nearby LU stations but also slightly physically remote. Will they be LU run or Crossrail run with management arrangements governing the interfaces? The view of the Fire Brigade and safety regulators will have a key bearing on how the central area stations are run given they are huge stations in and of themselves but the fact they also link LU stations creates new issues. Bank / Monument established the precedent of single management for linked complexes where there are not obvious physical boundaries between stations as there are at the big NR terminal stations and their LU neighbours.

    I take your point about Heathrow – I’m a tad sceptical about how running Crossrail into Heathrow is going to work when sat beside Heathrow Express. I’ve some awareness of how BAA view LU’s Picc Line service into Heathrow and especially at T5 which is, of course, their station. While I believe I have read, either here on LR or elsewhere, that there are agreements with BAA covering Crossrail and use of BAA infrastructure I’d not be surprised if we encounter some trouble over fares, branding etc at Heathrow. I cannot see the Mayor or TfL wanting to charge any sort of premium fare into Heathrow and that will massively undercut HEX which will surely create issues. London politicians will certainly scream if Crossrail does not charge TfL fares into Heathrow given the Mayor has already stated TfL fares *will* apply not that Boris will be around to defend his words.

    Fun times ahead for staff and for passengers.

  140. Westfiver says:

    @ Walthamstow Writer 19:06

    Considering HAL are making a £230 million pound funding package to Crossrail, ( I assume it pays for the upgrade to Airport Junction) you’ve got to ask what is in it for them?

    As for Crossrail fares to Heathrow, the current premium fare, between Hayes and Heathrow, and no Travelcards, Pay-as-you-go and freedom pass situation will remain. As confirmed in the following GLA document.

    Proposal to levy a business rate supplement to finance the
    Greater London Authority’s contribution to the Crossrail project Initial prospectus (

    Page 16

    Crossrail fares

    Crossrail fares will be integrated with the rest of the TfL network based on the zonal structure
    in place at that time, and TfL will retain the revenues. It is intended that pay as you go
    Oyster cards, travelcards, freedom passes and season tickets (or their equivalents) will be valid
    on the Crossrail route for the appropriate zones covered by them within the GLA boundary. A
    premium fare will be charged to passengers using Crossrail to travel to Heathrow Airport.

    On the station management front, Ealing Broadway is currently a GWR managed station. After Crossrail starts, there are still planned to be GWR services, so will there be a change. I’ve tried to access the GWR franchise doc with no success.

  141. Graham H says:

    @WW – LU, although a signatory, isn’t quite a normal TOC for the purposes of the T&SA (Ticketing and Settlement Agreement). As I recall, the NR/LU commercial relationship is also the subject of a separate agreement. Nor is it regulated in the same way to the same criteria. The TSA deals with interavailability (which presumably will vanish for the “common” XR stations, unless we are going to have a Chiltern/Met style arrangement), through ticketing from everywhere to everywhere (doesn’t exist for LU/National rail now, so unlikely in the future), ownership of ticket flows (LU not covered as between NR-LU journeys now, so can’t see how it will be in the future), commission on third party sales (ho! Ho!), and the range of products to be sold at NR stations (nothing to do with LU now). In short, I’d say everything was up for grabs still. No doubt, we shan’t be told until the battles are o’er and done .

    The GW ITT is said to be silent on the future of HEX. As with Gatwick, the airport is keen/desperate to keep it, but bidders are eyeing up the 4 fast paths per hour and as the discussion on Paddington interchange shows, the punters are hardly likely to prefer a premium trip only to be dumped at a terminus whence they will change to a service that they could probably have caught anyway.

  142. peezedtee says:

    Since Heathrow Connect is much cheaper to use than HEX and only takes 10 minutes longer, presumably the only people who use HEX now are those who are not aware of the (almost secret, it sometimes seems) existence of Heathrow Connect, or whose expenses are being paid by somebody else? Presumably Heathrow Connect will be subsumed into Crossrail, and I imagine that people are less likely to be unaware of Crossrail once it is bedded in. This seems to raise a big question mark about the post-Crossrail future for HEX, which has been claimed to be the most expensive railway service in the world in terms of cost per mile.

  143. Graham H says:

    @peezedtee – correct, HeathrowConnect vanishes with Crossrail; as I noted above, the GW ITT is silent as to what happens to HEX and the bidders are keen to find better uses for the 4 tph 125 mph paths. No one on the operating/commercial side of the industry can see why HEX should survive XR at all, tho’ no doubt, HAL will lobby hard to keep it. I understand that, as with Gatwick, bidders are likely to stress the better vfm of using the ex-HEX paths for something else, in this case, perhaps better West Country and Cotswold services.

  144. Pedantic of Purley says:

    which has been claimed to be the most expensive railway service in the world in terms of cost per mile.
    But surely not by anyone who has thought of having a train journey on the Jungfraujoch Railway in Switzerland before realising that one would not have any money left for the rest of one’s holiday if one did.

  145. Greg Tingey says:

    Err … Am I seeing things here?
    The link provided by West Fiver indicates that HEX fares will continue, but Graham H & pezedtee are implying that “normal” fares will apply to get to Heathrow.
    Can someone please clarify?
    [ P.S. I thought, even if you got H-connect” you were still charged a premium, if you went past Hayes & Harlington & into the sacredly expensive realms under the runways … or am I mistaken?

  146. Brock says:

    Readers will not be surprised to learn that other cities also have complicated validities for certain types of ticket on cross-city services. The RER network in Paris is divided up between RATP and SNCF ownership. For the benefit of UK rail staff visiting Paris, the ATOC “Guide to Rail Staff Travel in Europe” includes the following simplifier:

    RER Line A – SNCF from Nanterre Préfecture to Poissy or Cergy-le-Haut
    RER Line B – SNCF from Gare du Nord to Aéroport Charles de Gaulle or Mitry-Claye.
    RER Line C – SNCF in its entirety.
    RER Line D – SNCF in its entirety except between Gare du Nord and Chatelet les Halles.
    RER Line E – SNCF in its entirety.

  147. Brock says:

    My take on West Fiver’s quote from the GLA document is that Oyster PAYG might become usable on Crossrail to Heathrow but that the fare deducted will include the Heathrow premium. An interesting question is whether there would then also be the option of adding Heathrow Crossrail as a “psuedo zone” to a Travelcard.

    As for the future of HEx: the current track access rights expire in 2023.

  148. Graham H says:

    @Greg T – sorry not to be clear; I can’t see why some sort of premium fare shouldn’t apply on top of the normal TfL fares structure. My question was really about the loss of NR fares’ structures from the future XR ex NR stations – these structures could include interavailability, the range of ticket destinations sold, the range of ticket types – and so on. Does the LU booking office at HotH sell the full range of NR fares? I doubt it but haven’t used it for years. [As I said above, LU aren’t obliged as other TOCs are, to sell all NR ticket types, or indeed any such.]

    @Brock – then there’s Brussels Airport where a special payment goes on top of the normal SNCB fares to pay for the new airport link. This caused a lot of difficulty because the payment goes to the banks funding the project and at first SNCB refused to collect it on their behalf, leading to the possibility that the banks would have to create their own payment collection mechanism. Not only would this have caused immense technical difficulties (turnstiles at the airport were ruled out on safety grounds) but there was serious doubt, thanks to a Belgian Royal Decree of 1894, as to whether the payment constituted a fare, and if so, whether the banks would have to become train operators… Fortunately, I don’t believe the Heathrow premium has been hocked to the bankers – yet.

  149. Kristof says:

    @ Brock
    Well this is as this was the first PPS structure in Belgium, and the monopolistic Belgian Rail was furious they where forced in this kind of arrangement.

    Nowdays, the banks are paid via the premium to get out at the airport plus 0.5% of complete ticketing revenue for Belgium Rail. Esp that second part made many rail watchers furious.

  150. Ian J says:

    @Graham H: I’m not sure that the London Underground analogy really holds as Crossrail will be run be a separate part of TfL, like London Overground, which remains part of the National Rail network. I would see London Overground as a better example of what is likely to happen with ticketing on the existing stations being transferred to Crossrail. The Central London stations are another matter as no-one seems to know yet if they will be run by London Underground or by Crossrail.

    Heathrow of course has never been part of National Rail. Heathrow and Gatwick seriously considered accepting Oyster – see an FoI request here – it’s not clear why it didn’t go ahead although there were some tricky issues, especially in charging a different fare for Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect when they share the same platforms at Heathrow:

  151. Greg Tingey says:

    Graham H
    Thanks. So, there will still be the “Premium” charged to get into the Airport – probably resulting in lots of empty trains ….
    Your concern about ticketing, of course is a wider issue concerning any & all take-overs of existing ex-National Rail /TOC-operated services by TfL, whether in Overground or CR1 formats.
    [Off-topic: As previously mentioned, there is concern in my part of the world concerning fare-availabilty, for instance, when “OG” take over the Enfield Town/Chingford/Cheshunt services – enquiries are in progress, shall we say?

  152. Greg Tingey says:

    Ian J
    Your post appeared while I was still typing mine!
    Are you saying that Heathrow Connect’ still charge a premium, but it is less than that ripped-off extracted from the passengers by HEX?
    AIUI, the central London CR1 stations will be operated by Crossrail – presumably there will be a line in the tunnels, where responsibility transfers to/from CR to LUL – who are both arms of TfL/RfL, anyway.
    Incidentally, it’s my impression that the two-unit [So between 8 & 10 carriages] trains are mostly empty, carrying few passengers – but we have never formally counted them, since HEX is a.n.other TOC …. ( & not paying us)

  153. Graham H says:

    @Ian J – I agree, there is actually no clear precedent as to how to handle the NR/XR/LU ticketing interface in commercial or legal terms. [Management of the stations, although a crucial issue, and the actual fares to be paid on XR, are two quite different issues]. The long and short of it is that the present NR stations are legally and regulatorily constrained to sell a different range of products to LU and somewhere a new interface will appear, whether it be between XR and LU, or NR and XR. So either some stations – eg Hanwell, Maryland, which were once one side of the fence – will now be on another, or XR stations will be treated as part of the national rail network for commercial and regulatory matters, in which case, matters between LU and XR will become, shall we say, interesting. To give a concrete example of what I mean: at present, one can go to Slough and buy a ticket to any part of the national rail network (at least in theory), I should even be able to buy a ticket from somewhere else to yet another place (eg Reading to Bath). Will this still be possible when XR takes on the stations? If it is, what happens in the central area, where there are existing LU booking offices to be shared in future with XR? And if XR becomes a full party to the TSA and LU remains merely an “observer” as it were, how is the revenue to be shared between the two, and how will tickets be interavailable?

  154. Littlejohn says:

    Greg, Ian J and Graham H

    Certainly on Heathrow Connect you can only use Zone 1-6 Travelcards as far Hayes and Harlington. They are not valid between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow which suggests some form of separate fare regime.

    On the other hand I understand you can travel free on HEX within the airport boundary – I did it once just to see if it was actually possible. Strangely, the HEX website doesn’t seem to mention this, at least not obviously.

  155. Malcolm says:

    Being able to buy, at Slough, a ticket from Reading to Bath sounds like high powered wizardry when your mental model is racks of Edmundsons. But since nowadays you can buy a ticket on your own computer (in, say, Antananarivo) from Reading to Bath, including making a pretty spurious choice of which TOC to buy it from and to get subsequently spammed by. So being able to make the same purchase from, say, Bounds Green, doesn’t seem nearly so improbable, in theory at least.

  156. Mike says:

    Graham H

    Why should the XR/LU relationship be any different from the LO/LU one? Surely stations transferring to XR will still be part of the National Rail network, just as LO ones are? (And GT: there are no “ex-National Rail services” – LO is part of NR).

  157. Graham H says:

    @Mike – indeed! I wasn’t expressing any particular view as to where the boundary should be drawn, but drawing it between LU and XR in the central area produces a new raft of complications which have not existed hitherto between LO and LU.

    @Malcolm – whilst I loved card Edmonsons as a child, it is not yet the case that we are all equipped with embedded chips which remove the right price from our bank accounts as we move, sans barriers, around the public transport system, and at present, NR stations are legally obliged to sell specified ticket types (the type varies according to the station, but the obligation is still there), whereas LU stations are not.

  158. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Graham H and others – there is a precedent about LU taking over NR facilities and the regulatory regime and stakeholder oversight kicking in. That place is Stratford where LU tried to move away from the NR ticketing obligations when the Jubilee Line was built and LU took over management of the station. ISTR that London Travelwatch (or a predecessor) objected most vehemently to the loss of facility even though the proportion of “beyond London” ticketing that would be lost was less than 2% of total sales. We now have separate windows for Greater Anglia in the main ticket office and the new North ticket hall.

    The striking issue with Crossrail’s central area station designs is the apparent lack of ticket offices with the exception of Farringdon which has been built to current standards. It looks to me that TfL have decided that the central area will be ticket machine only which implies (to me anyway) that a full range of NR ticketing obligations will not be delivered. I appreciate ticket machines are far more sophisticated these days but LU spec machines do not deliver a nationwide ticketing facility and it seems the TOCs have machines with widely varying capabilities and data sets (based on what I’ve read).

    I expect that TfL will have no option but to retain NR ticketing compliance at those places which the Crossrail concessionnaire will inherit from Greater Anglia and FGW. As already said it’s the new bits which could get messy especially when the consequences become clear to stakeholders.

    And I should say thanks to Westfiver and others who have explained the post Crossrail arrangements for Heathrow ticketing. I still think it will get called into question nearer the time when people expect “TfL fares to apply” which the Mayor said *without caveats*.

  159. Happy--not--Cross--Rail says:

    Not sure why people are getting upset about the boundary between Network Rail and Underground. I imagine the current Network Rail stations will continue to sell the full range of tickets, and the new stations (only Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road in the central zone; and Canary Wharf and Custom House on the docklands branch) might not. Although they might need to in order to sell tickets beyond Abbey Wood and Maidenhead (or more likely Reading). Afterall, it will be a bit silly if you can’t buy a ticket to/from the Greenford branch, or Windsor from a crossrail station.

    For Heathrow services: since Heathrow both built and own the railway line under the airport, and have solid rights to run the trains (and are contributing £230 million to crossrail), they will continue to run their trains, and charge a premium. Afterall, they aren’t receiving a taxpayer subsidy for their railway line, and quite reasonably will want their money back. (Unless, of course, someone buys out their rights.)

  160. timbeau says:

    “LU spec machines do not deliver a nationwide ticketing facility and it seems the TOCs have machines with widely varying capabilities and data sets (based on what I’ve read).”

    Indeed: it is arguable that comapnies like SWT, whose ticket machines at a given statoin X can only sell tickets from X to Y or X to Z, but not from Y to Z, are not in compliance with the requirements that this should be possible (except when the booking office is open). That it is technicaly possible is demonstrated by the fact that Southern’s machines do have this capability.

  161. Graham H says:

    @timbeau/WW – that’s precisely my concern. Even if there are NR ticket windows at TCR, I suspect there will not be at “minor” stations like Slough.

    @happy not XR – at the risk of sounding like GT – why would you think the sensible thing would be done? After all, it was the ticketing issue that killed off the Watford – St Albans local rail scheme…

  162. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Happy-not-Cross Rail – I don’t think anyone is upset. There is simply a discussion about “might bes” with respect to Crossrail ticketing with the added complication that is Heathrow. You interestingly cite some comparisons about where you might be able to buy a through ticket to. I think it is an entirely rational expectation to be able to buy a train ticket from a Crossrail central area station to beyond Dartford (yes I know Crossrail doesn’t run there but I expect there will be convenient onward interchange at Abbey Wood) but I don’t think the LU through booking area extends beyond there. Surely people will expect to be able to buy to Gravesend or beyond? The Greenford branch is covered already (quite rightly) by LU ticket selling and PAYG but I don’t think it stretches all the way to Reading or to all the branches off the FGW route. It certainly does not extend to Oxford but I think it’s again rational for people to expect to be able to buy tickets where a simple change at Paddington will exist.

    Passenger expectations are increasing all of the time and I don’t think they will understand why very old arrangements about ticket selling and the range of destinations could possibly apply to brand new cross London railway lines (I’m including Thameslink here given it will drag in new destinations to Zone 1 rather than London terminal stations). What we have is a bit lop sided – if you start on the NR network then you can book into Zone 1 or across it with relative ease from a very wide area (not sure if “to Z1” tickets are nationally available, cross London clearly is). If you start on the LU network then you do not have reciprocal arrangements and while I have some sympathy with not lumbering LU with selling advance tickets for Virgin Trains services to Manchester (!) I do perhaps ponder why places like Oxford or Canterbury or Horsham or Ipswich are not available (or weren’t last time I checked) from Z1 stations (not NR run London Terminal stations).

    I understand what you say about Heathrow and on one level it’s fair enough (BAA wanting its money back!). However that does not mean that passengers and stakeholders will not have entirely different expectations about fares levels, PAYG acceptance and fares zones when we get to 2018/19. I am just speculating that there will be an almightly row given Boris has been trapped into a commitment which he failed to suitably qualify. Politicians have long memories when it suits them.

    If TfL opts to go to machine based selling only then that is fine provided there are staff to assist people who struggle with machines. There will also need to be plenty of machines available [1] and the functionality (ticket types, smartcard capability, ticket on demand and “not here” origin and destination capability) will need to be part of the spec. As Graham H has said there are other “matters of principle” which sits behind all of this and which are likely to be difficult unless there has been a Mayoral / DfT edict or a huge cultural change on the part of the key players. Here’s hoping there’s been a big outbreak of common sense.

    [1] just don’t look at the size of the Farringdon east ticket hall. Talk about tiny (4 ticket machines and 8 ticket gates but with a bank of 3 escalators)!

  163. Westfiver says:

    At the beginning of the year Ealing Passenger Transport User Group (EPTUG – website – its not very good) held a petition with regards to fares on Heathrow Connect and overcrowding on the Piccadilly line due to Heathrow passengers. This was then raised with Mayor at Mayor’s Question Time. (see EPTUG website with question and response).

    The Mayor responded with his normal response (waffle), as he did with the John Biggs question, with regards to Crossrail fares. He and his advisors may be totally ignorant about Heathrow Connect fares – they most probably do not use it – and the future position with regards to fares to Heathrow on Crossrail.

    On the EPTUG question, he did not actually answer the question (quite normal for a politician) that was being put. I cannot understand why nobody has challenged him on this exclusion – perhaps an e-mail to the particular GLA Assembly members is called for in order to get clarification on the issue.

  164. Westfiver says:

    Heathrow Connect is not very convenient if you are flying to or from Terminals 4 or 5, as to get to either you have to take the Hex shuttle or HEX from terminal 1 & 3. The Piccadilly Line is the slowest (40 mins from Earls Court) but most convenient option as it is better once central London is reached. It is also the cheapest.

    Heathrow single fares

    Paddington to Hayes £5.70, Hayes to Heathrow: £5.60
    Paddington to Heathrow Hex: £20.00, HCon: £9.50
    London Underground Zone1 to Zone6: £5.50, Oyster peak: £5.50, other times: £3.00.

  165. ngh says:


    I suspect doing anything about the Heathrow fares issue will be left as long as possible as it will be 5 years before we get full crossrail services with both sides hoping the other will cave in first in the mean time.

    I suspect we will need to have crossrail in full service before all the parties are forced to address the issues.

    Answering Greg T’s question about HEx usage, the average loading is 100-110 per train using data from the last couple of years of HEOCL accounts. A waste of fast paths indeed.

    T123 to Paddington via Crossrail will be 23 minutes vs 15minutes on HEx but if you are going further east CR will win time-wise.
    At some point in 2019ish many HEx users will have swapped to Crossrail thus potentially leaving HAH/HEOCL/HAL/HAFL with a loss making HEx service if only 10% of passengers switch so what do they do at that point?

    a) put HEx fares up (might just make things worse)
    b) hope the massive increase in crossrail users (and hence revenue share) counter balances the reduced HEx revenue else where in the books.
    c) cut the service level to 1 unit / service and return some units to the ROSCO. (cuts leasing maintenance charges and NR track access charges) Keep the 5 car ones only? I think the leasing and maintenance contracts only run till 2017. Then kill the service in 2023 and go to 8tph crossrail. It also depends if they want to operate the Reading service by the proposed western access whether they keep the rolling stock.
    d) cull HEx and use the crossrail revenue share instead as some as they can arrange a sensible transfer.

    At some point Heathrow will have to do something about the local pollution level by shifting airport users to rail from the roads (car, taxi, bus, coach) particularly if they want to expand at which point making crossrail as cheap as possible (i.e. Z6 fare) might be critical to getting government sign off.

    And to Pick up on Westfiver Piccadilly line overcrowding point:
    Post CR opening it will still be quicker for many to take the Picc line to Heathrow as getting to a Crossrail station to change will still take a long time.

  166. Brock says:

    When Heathrow Connect was first introduced, it ran on from Heathrow T123 to T4.
    HC is now advertised as terminating at T123, and as you note the service to T4 is now a shuttle from T123.
    In practice, there is very limited capacity at T123 for terminating services so most HC services run empty stock from T123 to T5 to lay over and reverse.
    Crossrail is planned to run to T4, replacing the shuttle and reinstating a through service from T4 to central London.

  167. Greg Tingey says:

    Westfiver – thanks for that info.
    I find the HC anomaly interesting – the fares don’t add up to equal sums….

    I wonder if the change in maintenance contracts (2017??) will alter the running of HeX?
    They could certainly save themseleves money, right now, as suggested in your option (c) & given the figures you quote, by simply running all trains as a single 5-car set, couldn’t they?
    Wonder why they don’t?

    Why should “Heathrow” do anything about pollution levels, by encouraging a modal shift to rail?
    They have been urged to do this, several times, by various bodies, but nothing has happened, at all, so far.

    Possibly irrelevant thought … there used to be a “Freedom Pass map” available on the TfL web-site – it seems to have vanished. It certainly used to show that it wasn’t valid Hayes & Harlington – Heathrow or HS1

  168. timbeau says:

    What fares anomaly? HEx costs more than HCon.
    Even if it were to be Oysterised, the differential fares could continue because HEx has on-board ticket checks, so anyone who has only paid the HCon fare could be charged the extra on the train: I assume this happens already if someone is travelling on HEx with an HC ticket, but in practice the hard sell of HEx at Heathrow means that the converse mistake is more likely to be made.

    An added complication is that HEx is free between H123 and H4 or H5, so many passengers joining there do not need to pay, or swipe an Oyster, at all, and the platforms at all three stations are open access.

  169. timbeau says:

    By the way – Paddington to Hayes is £4.60 peak rate on Oyster (as it’s a TfL-rated Zone 1 to 5 fare), £3 off peak. The offpeak rate makes splitting a cheaper deal than going all the way on HCon, but you’d have to touch out at H&H.

  170. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Greg – there is no Freedom Pass availability on HEx or on HC into Heathrow.

    Freedom Pass map –

    I rather suspect HeX may have other constraints, like the existing maintenance regime, that stops them changing their rolling stock configuration. Why go to the trouble now if you have a natural breakpoint soon enough which allows a full renegotiation? You’re unlikely to get a lot of value from a short term renegotiation.

    Surely Heathrow funds all sorts of public transport investments because planning conditions have required them to? The Picc Line is free for Oyster PAYG users only between T123, T5 and T4 – that came in a couple of fares revisions ago. BAA built the T5 extension and there is mechanism by which LU pays for the Piccadilly Line element. Heathrow Airport funds the “Heathrow Freeflow” arrangement which gives free bus travel in the Heathrow area on all bus routes.

    I think we also need to remember that schemes like Airtrack foundered because issues like level crossings caused a huge political fall out for a certain MP who just happened to be SoS for Transport at the same time! (not the sole reason I’m sure). And as an aside does anyone know what has happened to the proposed western rail access into Heathrow? I’ve not heard anything about it for many months. Has it “gone to sleep” as a result of the Inquiry into Airport Capacity? I can understand people being unwilling to commit to construction given various parties want Heathrow shut.

  171. peezedtee says:

    Here is a more up-to-date version of the Freedom Pass map:

  172. Greg Tingey says:

    Now why couldn’t I find that map?
    PS my anomaly referred to the HC fares, not the HeX one …..

  173. timbeau says:

    Still don’t see anything odd with the HCon fares – although W5er has confused the issue slightly by comparing apples with oranges – quoting Z1-6 tube fare (i.e London to Heathrow by Piccadilly Line) by Oyster, but Padd to Hayes (which is in Zone 5) by cash.

  174. Paul says:

    Walthamstow Writer asks about Western access to Heathrow.

    Isn’t it just one of many projects DfT asked for in the CP5 HLOS, and will be still going through the NR/ORR regulatory process with the decision due by Mar 14?

    That was the sort of timescale when the CP4 decisions were announced back in 2009, about two weeks before the deadline…

  175. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Paul – I’ve just done a check via Google as I should have done before (doh!). Looks like the project is still in the depths of Network Rail’s GRIP process with Stage 2 being refined with a conclusion due by the end of 2013. This would then lead on to GRIP3 where the procurement activity for that work is apparently underway. This means we’re unlikely to see a preferred route, scope and reliable level of cost for quite a long time. You’re undoubtedly right that the funding provision is linked to the final ORR determination for CP5. It will be interesting to see if funding is included or not.

  176. Fandroid says:

    @Greg. I too spotted the anomaly on Heathrow Connect fares. Padd-Hayes anytime single £5.70. Hayes-Heathrow anytime single £5.70. Padd-Heathrow (via Connect) anytime single £9.50. An example of a journey where it pays not to indulge in split ticketing!

    The HEx loadings of 100-110 average fit with my own observations standing on the platform at Heathrow Central. As a skinflint, on behalf of my employers (a charity), I use Connect when I can and when the Piccadilly Line is too slow. My observations of Connect loadings off-peak is that they are verging on empty. Connect trains are so timed out of Heathrow that they are always overtaken by a HEx train. Their total journey time to Paddington is actually 17 mins slower than HEx. The long and winding Piccadilly Line by contrast always has a healthy number of passengers (with bags) heading to/from Heathrow.

    It’s difficult to see Heathrow allowing Oyster readers at their platforms, but I suppose they will be bound to once Crossrail is there.

    Veering even more wildly offtopic, I could see the western access to Heathrow providing a 4tph service London-Reading via Heathrow using the fast lines for a non-stop Heathrow Paddington leg as a replacement for HEx. Vaguely similar to GatEx when it starts back from Brighton. Frankfurt Airport charges a premium on the S-Bahn (even on the buses too!) by putting the airport into its own little exclusive fare zone. However, as all S-Bahn routes in that area deviate through the airport, you don’t get charged that premium if you are travelling out of the city into the next zone west beyond the airport.

    Farringdon is very much an LUL station. Even to the extent that the Thameslink platforms are plastered with Underground roundels – a bit like a tomcat marking its territory.

  177. timbeau says:

    @”Padd-Hayes anytime single £5.70. Hayes-Heathrow anytime single £5.70. Padd-Heathrow (via Connect) anytime single £9.50.”

    What’s unusual about that? Short journeys usually cost more in pence per mile than longer ones do – sensible when you consider much of the cost to the railway of providing a train journey is independent of distance: the cost of maintaining and staffing the two stations, energy costs in acceleration from the station stop, etc.

  178. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Fandroid – I have only rarely flown on business so have had no reason to use HEX or HC where the journey time saving would be advantageous. For leisure travel I will always use the tube to Heathrow despite the slowish journey time simply because it is vastly more convenient than dragging myself to Paddington and then paying a fortune for the bit to the Airport. I am not really surprised visitors and tourists lug themselves on to the Picc Line because it is the portal to the tube network and for many people that equals London. HEX and GC are simply a route to another portal at Paddington itself and, as discussed widely in this thread, one which is confusing to navigate and not particularly well located – unless your hotel is in the immediate area or Bayswater.

    BTW I’ve read some analogies in my time but yours about LU roundels and Farringdon probably beats them all!

  179. timbeau says:


    This territory-marking urge is also manifested by the TOCs’ priorities when taking over a franchise – plaster their own identity over everything before actually making any material improvements. And of course the incompleteness of the Tube map, by not showing important central London links such as Thameslink and the NCL.

  180. Norm says:

    I was a Kings Cross/Hornsey diesel second man in the late 1960s. Wearing an anorak over my uniform jacket I kept a record of every turn I worked; loco, driver, rostered, actual etc. It was only five years’ worth but I’m writing ‘me memoirs’ from these records – and a failing memory ! I’ve got to the brief time I was in Hornsey 4 link which included working the Snow Hill Banker, and looking round for some memory boosting I’ve come across these Fabulous, Fantastic and surely Famous (three ‘F’s’ I’ve thrown in!) web articles. How can I pass on from Hornsey 4 link without spicing my mediocre pushes up the bank with some info about this incredible Farringdon/Barbican/Ludgate Hill area which I knew nothing about when I rode through it – over and over again! Thanks for the extra work ! I hope you don’t mind my using some of your researches. But really there’s at least one more book from this amazing mine of London Railway History. Freaked Out of Hitchin.

  181. peezedtee says:

    Interesting new article in The Rail Engineer about signalling in the Thameslink core:

  182. peezedtee says:

    New pamphlet from the DfT contains a slightly weird new diagrammatic map. This is the first time I’ve seen Farringdon being officially promoted as London’s future “Chatelet Les Halles RER”-style interchange between Thameslink and Crossrail.

  183. Anonymous says:

    Thanks peezedtee

    Cambridge/Stratford some sort of priority, also the gap between Bedford and Cambridge on East West Rail.

    Also looks as if four tracking at Tottenham Hale may come sooner than expected!

    DfT no longer DafT?

  184. Greg Tingey says:

    In which case, they really will have to do something about the platform arrangements at the NE end of Stratford (the old Northern & Eastern route) – & de-kink the ridiculous speed restriction just S of Lea Bridge & probably put a flying jn in between Copper Mills & Clapton Jns …
    All costs, though!
    [ Dare I say Hall Farm curve? ]

  185. Southern Heights says:

    After putting the question about Farringdon not letting me in (or out), I asked a friend…

    He tells me there are two parts to the magnetic strip of my ticket: NR and LUL.

    In the case of Farringdon, the gates are programmed to read both, however on the NR part, “London Terminals” is not in its list of valid codes…

    This is because the station is an LUL station and there is no agreement in place with NR to allow those tickets through.

    It will be interesting to see if that changes with Cross Rail… However at 9 o’clock on wet evening in the middle of winter it is normally possible to bluff your way past… 😉 I have done so multiple times!

  186. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Southern Heights – Farringdon is NOT a terminal station and never has been so why should a London Terminals ticket be valid there? It has always been the case that you require Z1 validity (or a ticket priced to include it) to enter or exit there. The coding on a ticket merely reflects the commercial fare arrangements applicable to Farringdon as a destination. I cannot see that changing for Crossrail. The London Terminal arrangements on Crossrail would surely be at Liverpool St and Paddington with nothing applicable for the Abbey Wood branch? I can’t see any reason, given the need for a stonking revenue surplus from Crossrail to repay some of the project’s borrowing, that the Mayor or TfL will be benevolent about the fare arrangements.

    I see from a brief glimpse at the CR2 report published two days ago that a “Crossrail premium fare” was considered for people using Crossrail 1 and that it could be an option for CR2 although the analysis does not assume it. The report also confirms the retention of a premium fare into Heathrow on CR1.

  187. timbeau says:

    I thought for historical reasons Farringdon (and Barbican and Moorgate) did count as London Terminals for seasons valid on the GN and Midland routes (just as City TL is for seasons from the south, as it replaces Holborn Viaduct)
    Doesn’t explain my why my SWT season works the barriers at Baker Street!

  188. Mike says:

    Except for “Plus High Speed” tickets, Farringdon is not a “London Terminal” – see

    On Thameslink, London Terminals are London Bridge, Blackfriars and City Thameslink to/from the south, St Pancras to/from the north. In addition, London Terminals “Plus High Speed” tickets are valid in either direction between St Pancras and Farringdon, City Thameslink, Blackfriars, Elephant & Castle, London Bridge.

    Moorgate is a London Terminal for GN trains, as is Old St, both including via the Underground when the National Rail stations are closed..

  189. MikeP says:

    @Mike – Until pointed to that page by you, I never realised that HS tickets had that additional validity. Makes the premium fare not quite so horrendous.

    And, as you say, quite obvious by omission over any route, except for HS1 tickets, is Farringdon. There was, I believe, a two-year concession to Farringdon, Barbican and Moorgate from the BedPan line (using the Met for the latter two) after FCC services on that line were brought to an end. The only reference which I can easily find to that is on news:uk,railway.

  190. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Timbeau – as already said Old St and Moorgate are London Terminals for GN services. I suspect you may well be correct that, prior to Thameslink, Farringdon, Barbican and Moorgate were treated as “London Terminals”. However as soon as the ability to cross London via Thameslink happened it was not possible to distinguish where people holding London Terminals tickets had come from. LU ticket gates don’t check the origin point of NR season tickets just whether they are valid “here” (here being the station the gate is in). Given the ability to cross London on Thameslink then the “cross London” coding and fares were applied to Farringdon and Barbican.

    The reason why your SWT season works at Baker St is that there is a single code for “London Terminals” and any LU station that has been programmed as “London Terminals” (and Baker St covers for Marylebone) will accept a ticket with the code in its mag stripe. The system is not sophisticated enough to distinguish between north side London Terminals and south side London Terminals (side referring to the northern or southern edges of the Circle Line).

    Interesting to see how the number of “cross London” interchange points has changed over the years. The Overground has pulled in a fair number of new interchange points. I’ve also learnt something about the High Speed tickets – I had no idea they had extra Thameslink validity but I guess it makes some sort of sense given the adjustments to South Eastern services that happened when HS services launched.

  191. Fandroid says:

    Interesting that cross-London NR tickets are allowed for single journeys to intermediate Tube stations (although the same ticket cannot be used to continue a Tube journey to the appropriate NR station). I had an interesting debate about that with an LUL gateline person at Regents Park. I might try it again!

  192. Milton Clevedon says:

    @Walthamstow Writer
    15 February 2014 at 11:19

    If I follow the logic you’ve described, I might reah the conclusion that Liverpool Street and Tower Hill LU would also accept NR London Terminals tickets, because of the inter-availability along parallel LU routes from Stratford/Barking/West Ham? Is this so?

  193. Milton Clevedon says:

    In the same vein, what is the situation at Kings Cross St Pancras, given inter-availability from Finsbury Park? – and, rather different circumstances, with alighting at Waterloo East Southern Eastern – can one exit/enter via Southwark tube entrance, which would make a lot of sense for local commuters?

  194. Greg Tingey says:

    The test would be at the second internal barrier-line, below the E end of Waterloo E, which is LUL-controlled.
    I’m assuming the SET barrier-line would let you out into the intermediate trap concourse-let

  195. timbeau says:

    “Interesting that cross-London NR tickets are allowed for single journeys to intermediate Tube stations ”
    I wasn’t aware that they were – although for example a St Margarets (Mx) – St Margarets (Herts) ticket is of course valid at the barriers at Liverpool Street, Stratford, Seven Sisters or Tottenham Hale, I don’t think they are accepted at non-LU/NR interchange stations. (Because of the vagaries of off-peak hours, a cross-London ticket can sometimes work out cheaper than a ticket from out of town to “Underground Zone 1”

  196. Long Branch Mike says:


    St Margarets (Mx) is meant to be Middlesex?

  197. Graham H says:

    @LBM – we all still love Middlesex (Mx) although it was abolished in 1963 after only 1100 years.

  198. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ MC – it is decades since I sat at the computer terminal creating the base data for the ticketing system but from memory then yes Liverpool St, Tower Hill and KX should be able to cope with London Terminals tickets for exactly the reasons you state. No idea about Southwark – well after my time.

    @ Timbeau – I can’t remember exactly how cross London tickets are dealt with but I think there is Z1 single journey zonal availability encoded which explains why a cross London ticket will let you out anywhere within Zone 1. I think there is also a cross London bit set which is recognised at gatelines at the nominated interchange points. The gates in those stations “know” to accept tickets encoded in that way.

    I may, of course, be talking complete nonsense given that National Rail do now encode meaningful data in their segment of the magnetic stripe alongside what has to be encoded in the LU part.

  199. Graham Feakins says:

    @WW: Contrary to your thought on London Terminals and Zone 1, I held a day return ticket from North Dulwich to Derby which permitted cross-London travel by Underground (I used London Bridge, Northern Line & St. Pancras outbound).

    Upon return, I wanted to meet friends at Leicester Square (but could have travelled onwards on the ticket to Charing Cross (main line) and thence southwards. I took the Piccadilly Line from St. Pancras but my ticket was refused at Leicester Square and was told to go down again to the Northern Line and come out at Charing Cross and walk back! My weak excuse that more electricity would be needed both on the escalators and the train to take me that much further was thrown out. Of course, it was my own choice to break/terminate the cross-London part of my journey at Leicester Square. After appropriate refreshment in the area, I walked to Charing Cross to conclude my journey.

    It all goes back to non-permitted journeys because of the London Terminals and Cross-London conundrum. Logic questions why I could not alight mid-way, however, in contrast to your own thought.

  200. Fandroid says:

    That National Rail Enquiries web page that Mike gave a link to clearly says, in the Crossing London section, that you can break your journey at any intermediate Underground station. The rule is that you have to pay to continue the Underground part of the journey. My experience at Regents Park suggests that the gates are not programmed to allow this, but the gateline staff will, after a discussion!

  201. RichardH says:

    Presumably once Crossrail is open my Basildon -> Fenchurch St season, which actually says London Terminals, will take me to Paddington, either via Upminster-Romford or the Jubilee from West Ham to Stratford.
    That doesn’t seem right, especially considering a Zone 1-6 season adds about 40% to the price.

  202. Paul says:

    @ Richard H

    The longstanding problem is that the ‘London Terminals’ coding on tickets is too coarse. If they do nothing, London Terminals will continue to give erroneous validity at various particular locations, so as you predict would have to let you out the ‘Crossrail’ barrier line at Paddington, as it would for someone using that destination having arrived from the west.

    In an earlier post, the subject of Moorgate and Barbican were stated as having been London Terminals for the Thameslink route but this is not correct according to the last publicly available fares manual (NFM 99). This includes the following caveat:

    “…(In addition London Terminals fares are NOT valid if travelling
    beyond St. Pancras International from the north or beyond
    City Thameslink from the south.)”

    Moorgate (and Old St) are, and were, only London Terminals for the routes via Finsbury Park. The dual availability with LU services from Kings Cross to Moorgate (or Old St) via Met/Circle or Northern line does not allow exit/entry at intermediate stations, i.e. Farringdon and Barbican. Logically, this facility is there to maintain availability of a route to Moorgate when the direct route via Drayton Park is not in operation, as the GN do not operate 24/7.

    Clearly the barrier line at Moorgate would never have been able to differentiate validity based on the route taken from the origin station, so as this would not be checked people with London Terminals fares arriving from Thameslink would get out through the gates, but a manual check by staff should not have allowed it.

    Hence Barbican and Moorgate having specific fares from the Thameslink (MML) route origins. It was these latter fares that had temporary validity on LU for the period following closure of the Thameslink route into Moorgate.

  203. timbeau says:

    “Presumably once Crossrail is open my Basildon -> Fenchurch St season, which actually says London Terminals, will take me to Paddington”
    In the sense that the barriers would let you out, yes – but I doubt you’d get away with it if an inspector found you somewhere between Liv St and Padd.

    Similarly a Z2 Travelcard will work the barriers at H&I and Vauxhall, but you’ll be in trouble if an inspector finds you on the Victoria Line between those points.

  204. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Richard / Timbeau – Being very strict your London Terminals ticket may well work a gate at Paddington but it would NOT be valid there.

    If the Zone 2 Travelcard was on Oyster then the inspector would not be bothered because a gate would helpfully look at the origin and the destination and then go “oh dear I need to grab some cash out of PAYG balance / deposit, “kerching”.” One of the big advantages from Oyster for TfL is the clever combining of season tickets and PAYG to allow automatic extension fares to be paid or “doughnutting” [1] to be dealt with. Of course this is not possible with a mag stripe ticket and a ticket inspector *would* be interested if he caught you in Z1 with such a ticket.

    [1] not having zone 1 on your ticket but still travelling through it. A ticket with a “hole” in the middle.

  205. Paul says:

    The explanation of Oyster detecting ‘dough nutting’ is interesting. What does the system do if the travelcard has no PAYG balance, does it put the account in the red and let you out – or raise the alarm?

  206. Graham H says:

    @Everyone – what this thread shows is that come CrossRail, the fares system is going to need a radical overhaul, as the number of anomalies will multiply substantially (especially the scope for doughnutting as described by Paul). On the other hand, this a fiendishly difficult thing to negotiate with the TOCs as there are always winners and losers (cf SWT versus Oyster). What is not clear is how the mayor proposes to deal with this, what criteria will be applied and how the fares pool will be adjusted. I am expecting a major outcry once the eventual settlement is announced.

  207. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @Paul – Every Oyster card (not Freedom Pass / 60+ Pass) has a deposit on it so cards can always go negative. If you attempt to enter the system with a negative PAYG balance then you will not be allowed in. This applies even if you have a perfectly valid season ticket on your Oyster card. The PAYG balance must be zero or greater, no negative balance allowed for entry. The system is designed so that you will be allowed to exit even if a fare has to be taken out of your deposit / PAYG balance.

    For those entering the system using just PAYG or PAYG for an extension journey starting outside the zones on any season ticket held then there is always a minimum fare check – the PAYG balance must cover the minimum fare at the entry station.

    @ Graham H – I am not sure how Crossrail makes things much worse. You can quite easily change on to the tube network from NR services and end up in or cross Zone 1 today. If people choose to wilfully ignore that Zone 1 stops are priced above those for a terminal stop I’m not sure what you can do other than charge them the Oyster extension fare due or a penalty fare. We already have long distance ticketing which allows cross London, into Zone 1 or out boundary One Day Travelcards based trips to be made. That’s quite a lot better than many cities or other national networks manage. The Mayor has already said that TfL ticketing applies which is not a huge issue to Shenfield and is a relatively small change for FGW and franchise bidders can price in any implications for the new FGW franchise. I assume (naively?) that DfT have set out some appropriate advice to bidders in respect of Crossrail fares and ticketing. I can see some possible implications for South Eastern for fares inwards from Abbey Wood to London terminal stations and Zone 1. Again the extension of the SE franchise *might* afford an opportunity to agree the adoption of the TfL fares structure from Abbey Wood westwards as was done with National Express East Anglia south of Seven Sisters / T Hale / W’Stow Central. Perhaps you could expand on what you perceive as the issues?

  208. Graham H says:

    @WW – sorry, sloppy thinking on my part. I suppose that I had in mind the probability that (a) “All London termini” is rapidly becoming an anomaly, particularly if you can enter the TfL system before that terminus; (b) Any Reasonable Route is going to be difficult if the choices are different mixes of TfL and NR fares; and (c) the likelihood of a successful ticket inspection on a full XR train whilst it passes through Z1 must be fairly limited. Oh, and (d) the taper effect of TfL zonals on NR distance fares will be extended further out into the country, presumably. Presumably, too, the present division of the Travelcard pot between TfL and TOCs will also have to be renegotiated, and one might reasonably expect that to make a difference to every franchise that passes through/enters London, not just the TOCs directly affected by XR. I agree that London is better than some cities _ Paris, even, where the are piteous tales of punters with perfectly valid tickets caught between two sets of exit barriers.

  209. timbeau says:

    “I can see some possible implications for South Eastern for fares inwards from Abbey Wood to London terminal stations and Zone 1.”
    Shouldn’t be an issue as long as Crossrail goes no further than Abbey Wood – the situation is entirely analagous to that at Wimbledon, Clapham Junction, Richmond, New Cross or Woolwich Arsenal, where the fare to Zone 1 e.g Waterloo by TfL service is different to (indeed cheaper than) that by NR.

  210. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Graham H – I wouldn’t have thought reasonable routes would change too much although someone at ATOC will probably have to design a new routeing guide map. I suppose some journeys could have an option to be routed via NR services without reference to LU cross London links. If the Great Northern does run a daily, all day service into Moorgate then something like New Barnet to Gravesend could be via FCC, Crossrail and South Eastern as well as any other fancies like High Speed via St Pancras!

    The TfL fare finder will need some judicious tweaking. I wonder if there will be “pink validators” on the CR platforms at Whitechapel as this will be a zone 2 interchange point between the two eastern branches?

    Your point about Travelcard apportionment is well made. It flew across my mind 2 minutes after pressing “post comment”. If there are seismic shifts in travel patterns then I can certainly see TOCs wanting to have that resolved. I don’t know enough about any adjustment process works but I know there are revenue adjustments – they get mentioned in TfL’s Quarterly Reports.

    @ Timbeau – fair comment about differential routes. I do just wonder with TfL priced routes at Greenwich, Lewisham, Woolwich Arsenal, Woolwich CR and Abbey Wood that someone doesn’t give South Eastern “a slap” come 2018/19 and say things need tidying up a bit. To look at today’s fares you will have a situation whereby Abbey Wood to Paddington on Crossrail will be TfL tariff at £2.70 off peak PAYG single while via South Eastern and the Tube it will £4.10. A near 50% differential in fares is not much cop especially when Crossrail will be far faster!

  211. timbeau says:

    Such anomalies are rife already. Wimbledon to London Bridge has three different fares depending on whether you go via Westminster, Waterloo and the Jubilee Line, or on the direct service via East Dulwich.

    There was the opportunity to sort out South Eastern but the mayor backed off when Kentish MPs kicked up a fuss: he appears to take more heed of them than Bromley voters – although both groups are true-blue Tory. This may be indicative of his future ambitions.

  212. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Timbeau – for as long as dear old Boris keeps promoting an airport in a pool of water not far from Essex and Kent then I rather imagine the Tory voters of said counties will tell him to get lost. If you don’t want the airport you certainly are not going to give him a chance of being PM! Geoff Hobbs of TfL was asked recently what prospect there was for revisiting South Eastern devolution – he didn’t think anything was likely until at least 2018.

    Here a couple of quotes from the meeting’s draft transcript.

    Darren Johnson AM: Given that we did see this really good collaborative model on the Anglia approach and if we do see the sort of service improvements and station improvements that Jonathan was talking about on Anglia, can that be used to reassure the politicians in Kent that life has not fallen apart. Services have not collapsed in Essex. It has not been the end of civilisation as we know it, and it actually will be a very good thing for residents both in Essex and in that part of London that the same thing could happen in south east London and Kent if we were to see the devolution of rail services there? Can we use the Anglia arguments as a way of actually helping convince the politicians of Kent that this would be a good thing?

    Geoff Hobbs (Head of Planning, London Rail, TfL): The short answer is yes, absolutely. Hertfordshire was easy to convince and has long experience of working with TfL and its services over the border there. I very much hope that we will be able to persuade local politicians of that in the future.

    Jonathan Fox (Director of London Rail, TfL): I do not think we lost the argument. The argument was clear and the benefits and the preservation of the rural Kent operators and Kent passengers. That argument was not lost, so we can come around for round two of it.

    Clearly devolution of South Eastern inner services would have brought fares integration with other TfL services. In a recent Transport Committee session the issue of fares integration on rail was mentioned. Shashi Verma of TfL was not at all hopeful that it will happen any time soon. There’s clearly no great push from Boris for that as a direct policy aim. It is clearly a side effect of his policy of more rail devolution though. While the advent of Crossrail will not fix every problem it is perhaps a significant opportunity for the relevant parties to look at fares to see if some improvements can be delivered.

  213. AlisonW says:

    Reading the last few days’worth of posts here I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that “London Terminals” tickets will have to become a thing of the past in the fairly near future.

  214. Milton Clevedon says:

    What we actually have is a geographically thin wafer of London Terminals fares, sitting awkwardly on the margins of Z1 and Z2, but with that wafer representing the end point of lots of point-to-point fares. The simplest thing would be to have no London Terminals fares – if you go to a terminal you are in Central London therefore your ticket should automatically have Z1 validity, shouldn’t matter where you alight, whether it’s a through train or not. That would also avoid a lot of queuing and rebooking nonsense at each terminus.

    That would also address the fact of national rail selective market pricing to a London terminus, where you can pay through the nose to reach the edge (in most cases) of Central London, and then you pay through the nose again for a costly Z1 fare. There would need to be large scale revenue rebalancing for that to work, however.

    We also need to face what might be described as the “Greg Tingey” question: why should you be forced to pay a higher fare if you want to alight at the Terminus (not that you have much option if there’s a buffer in the way) and then walk to your local destination (eg City types from Liverpool Street, West End types from Charing Cross)? The simple answer would be that you’ve reached Central London, and that’s the fare for anywhere in the centre, but undoubtedly there would be a lot of unhappiness (and political flak) if fares were inflated to Z1 levels everywhere. The solution might be to lower the Z1 differential, but then TfL loses lots of revenue. So no win there, either.

    Doesn’t sound to me that there are a lot of practical solutions lying around at present, even though that doesn’t mean the topic can be avoided. The arrival of Crossrail 2, if not Crossrail 1, will force the case for re-balancing of national rail and TfL fares in the London Zonal area – and hopefully within the wider London commuting area.
    Perhaps a future Mayor will need Government agreement that the TfL Zones must be applied consistently throughout the Zonal network, and that Z1 and London Terminals fares levels should taper towards each other over several years to the point where they are the same. That’s actually what happened with Travelcard and Capitalcard – originally there was a (?15% or so) price differential, and this was reduced and then removed over about 3-4 years, arriving eventually at the policy destination with a single ticket.

  215. timbeau says:

    @Alison W
    Not without a huge outcry from the Southern Counties. Giving their clientele the choice of travel to either the City or the West End was an early objective of all four southern companies (although the LSWR only managed it with a bit of help from the SER) and is part of the reason for the complexity of the network south of the river. Having to specify Waterloo or Victoria or City Thameslink would greatly reduce the usefulness of a season ticket.

    In north London the Tube allows passengers to reach any part of Central London on one ticket, usually without a change (the majority of lines – seven out of eleven – serve both the City and West End). South London acheives a similar result by having a choice of London termini

    There may be a need to make “london terminals” more specific, so that a ticket is only recognised at the termini at which it is actually valid. (My ticket is only valid to SR termini, but works the gates at the northern termini as well!)
    Unlike south of the River, most lines north of London have few interconnections (you can’t make a valid journey from Chelmsford to arrive at Paddington) so you make each northern terminus a separate entity, except the Kings Cross/Moorgate pair. Outside the SR, some seasons are valid by two routes, so this would need to be maintained

    e.g from former Southern Region stations – tickets to London SR (valid at all SR termini and Thameslink as far as City TL)
    from Windsor, and stations beyond Reading and Basingstoke, – valid as above plus Paddington
    from the Wycombe line – Paddington and Marylebone (after “Evergreen 3” this would presumably include Oxford and the Cotswold line)
    from the Aylesbury line – Marylebone and Baker Street
    from St Albans – to Euston and St Pancras
    from the GN line – to St Pancras (TL), Kings Cross/Moorgate
    From Cambridge, Enfield, Hertford – as above plus Liverpool Street
    From C2C stations (plus Southend Victoria) – to Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street.

    This should require no ticket to have more than two station groups encoded onto it for validity on all, but only, those lines for which it is valid.

    At present, “London termini” seasons do not allow travel between City TL and St Pancras, so are not valid at Farringdon. I assume the same thing would happen with Crossrail, with validity only to Paddington from the west and Liverpool Street from the east, and not at the three intermediate stations. Likewise CR2 between KX and Victoria

  216. Southern Heights says:

    @Milton Clevedon, Greg Tingey: You can use Southwark tube station to exit from Waterloo East. You use your NR ticket to get into man-trap and then you can use an Oyster card (in credit) to transit the Tube station for no charge. I think it costs 10 or 20p to get a paper ticket to do the same.

    I also believe (but have not tested this), that you can use an NR ticket to transit Waterloo East to get to Waterloo. A way of keeping a bit drier than using The Cut.

  217. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Alison W – I don’t agree with you about London Terminals. It’s a long standing concept which is popular for the reasons Timbeau has explained. It is not beyond the wit of the TOCs and TfL to fine tune the concept so that inadvertent use of London Terminals tickets is prevented. When / if the DfT achieve a big switch to ITSO ticketing then it will be possible for more sophisticated data and checks to be done by ticket gates. For all that people moan about ticketing we do have some clever things in place that LT and BR people put in place a very long time ago. I used to work for one of those people. It’s clear they had considerable foresight despite not having piles of cash to play with.

  218. Greg Tingey says:

    The simplest thing would be to have no London Terminals fares – if you go to a terminal you are in Central London therefore your ticket should automatically have Z1 validity, shouldn’t matter where you alight, whether it’s a through train or not.
    Err, NO – you actually called it the “Greg Tingey” question & here, for refreshement are the actual numbers: At last year’s fares the costs per annum are: £888 / £1424 between p-to-p/zonal a difference of £536 or approx 60% ] ( I haven’t done the current fare calculations yes – memo to self …. etc.

    So yes there would (will?) be a huge & justified outcry if there would be a lot of ‘ll say!unhappiness (and political flak) if fares were inflated to Z1 levels everywhere. I’ll say! Out of taxed income, too.

    Interesting, thanks.
    I have a geriatric’s pass, so it isn’t usually a problem, but I wondered about others ….

  219. timbeau says:

    I realised some years ago that I was not getting my money’s worth from my travelcard- walking is both better for me but faster than the bus – I switched to a P-P ticket.

    One of the reasons Vauxhall NR is so busy is that people can use a non-Z1 travel card (e.g Z2-5) to there, using the TC to complete their journey to Westminster or Victoria by bus (any travelcard is valid on any London bus, irrespective of geography). Not really an option for we “City gents” though.

    The comparison out here in what SWT insists is Zone 6 (but would be no further than Zone 5 (or even Zone 4) in other directions) is £1760/£2288: a difference of £528 (£1056 for the household) or 30%. (Percentage is smaller than Greg’s – Z1-3 TC price is now £1472 to save you looking it up Greg!) because the NR element is bigger)

    TfL have yet to cast their eyes south westwards, so the issue hasn’t yet arisen here, but had TfL taken over SE’s London services as planned, the good folk of Bromley might have had something to say about it – after all, they do have “form” in this respect!

  220. Fandroid says:

    I wonder if Farringdon not being a valid ‘London Terminal’ (except for plus Hi-Speed tickets via St Pancras) is due to historical reasons. The current Thameslink platforms were out of use for passengers (I think) for over 60 years, and Farringdon became a London Underground owned station. That still applies. The fact that it’s not strictly a ‘terminus’, is a bit irrelevant. After all, Vauxhall is regarded as one! It’s still a central London station and really not currently different from City Thameslink (except it has Tube connections). Why shouldn’t it be a ‘London Terminus’, accessible from both south and north? Its status as an Underground-owned station should not get in the way of common sense.

  221. timbeau says:


    The Snow Hill link saw a gap in passenger services of 72 years (1916-1988) although freight traffic continued until 1971 so it was closed completely for only seventeen years. However, the Thameslink platforms at Farringdon have been in use continuously ever since they opened 148 years ago. Through “Widened Lines” services from the GN route to Moorgate continued until 1976, and from the Midland route until 2009, by which time passenger services over the Snow Hill link had been back in operation for nearly twenty years.
    tAnd although the track passed from LT to BR ownership at some stage after nationalisation – I think when work on electrification started c1980 – the station itself was built by the Metropolitan Railway and remained in its ownership until taken over by London Transport in 1933, and is owned by the London Underground to this day.
    But that is not the reason why Farringdon isn’t a valid “London Terminal” – in fact I seem to recall Midland and GN line tickets used to be valid on through trains all the way to Moorgate over the Widened Lines route* – just as Baker Street LT is a valid London Terminal from the Aylesbury line.

    *I recall in the early 1980s colleagues who used to commute to Farringdon were still complaining about the diversion of GN Moorgate services via Highbury five years previously – if I remember correctly the fare was lower (as the disatnce to Moorgate was shorter) but the season was no longer valid at Farringdon so not only did they now have to change for the Underground, they had to pay more as well.

  222. Fandroid says:

    @timbeau. Yes, sorry, I acknowledge a memory lapse. Those platforms were used for Widened Lines services throughout. I presume all Metropolitan stations were transferred to LT on nationalisation, except possibly for those out in the deep countryside. The question still remains. As it has National Rail services calling from far beyond the borders of London, why don’t they forget history/ownership and make it a valid ‘London Terminal’?

  223. Savoy Circus says:

    Having just read this thread for the first time and being particularly interested as a regular visitor and enthusiast for the whole Clerkenwell area the title should clearly be
    Fabricated Farringdon

  224. Melvyn says:

    It seems Fulsome Farringdon has turned into waterlogged Farringdon following a burst water main a few days ago .

    And after being told the problem had been cleared up it returned today to affect Thameslink services .

    See link –

    This incident and indeed the problems at Finsbury Park do raise questions over whether plans for the Thameslink upgrade have a few issues not covered?

    This problem at Farringdon raises the question as to whether the Snow Hill tunnel should have received a bigger upgrade more in line with the upgrade the Connaught Tunnel has received for Crossrail ?

    As for Finsbury Park well major station upgrades seemed to be done for original MML route but not for the GN route – surely Finsbury Park should have received a London Bridge upgrade rebuilding both mainline and underground as a single project .

  225. Anonylon says:

    I’ll quickly sum up what’s happened here (although not convinced a comment on an article a few years old is most appropriate!).

    Early last week a leak in a 16″ water main that supplies a lot of the Farringdon area began to leak and saturate the surrounding ground. As a water main that supplies St Barts hospital, it couldn’t simply be turned off like normal. The water began affecting the railway, but it wasn’t until Friday afternoon that things deteriorated. 5mph ESRs were implemented and Proceed on Sight Authority (PoSA) was in place (giving drivers authority to pass the main aspect at danger). Pumps were brought in on Saturday so water was receding and the belief was that everything would be okay the next day

    Cue someone allegedly turning the water back on over Saturday night/Sunday morning, causing the water level to rise too high and so the service was suspended on Sunday, with the call made later to run an altered timetable on Monday. At one point on Sunday the water was 1 meter deep! It didn’t help that the track at this location is lower than the water table, so water bubbles up through the drains and comes in through the walls.

    On Monday, the fault was fixed, the pumps removed the majority of the water and a special loco with vacuum were brought down from Doncaster to help the clean up.

    Today (Tuesday), service resumed, but a second pipe has been found leaking now which is again causing issues. Service through the core has been suspended tonight until 6am so that more work can be done.

  226. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Anonylon – don’t we all just love Thames Water and their pipes!? Shades of similar nightmares affecting LU but where everyone thinks it is the railway that’s incompetent rather than the people who “own” the water. Thanks for the info on what’s happened – always nice to get an insight.

  227. James Forbes says:

    Melvyn, upgrading the Snow Hill tunnels would not have made the slightest difference in this respect, as it is Clerkenwell No. 1 that is suffering. Why no ire directed at Thames Water?

  228. Greg Tingey says:

    The dip under the gridirons at Farringdon is notorious for flooding – been that way for a very long time.

    [Try adding the link again please Greg. Lemmo]

  229. Anonylon says:

    Walthamstow Writer – There are many, many people within GTR that are furious with Thames Water, so yes, you could say they were loved! 😉

    Core to be shut from late tonight until Monday probably. Multiple leaks have been found, and there’s still more it seems.

  230. timbeau says:

    (your link doesn’t work by the way)

    And more than fifty years before that, the same section of line was subject to flooding – even before it was completed.

  231. Westfiver says:

    There’s a nice couple of new empty tunnels nearby, perhaps they can drain the water into them!

  232. Melvyn says:

    Tunnel flooding still affecting services at Farringdon.

    Network Rail have issued a claim against Thames Water see –

    @ WW I fully put the blame on Thames Water especially given the amount of work that has been done in Farringdon area for Crossrail but that may not be where burst has occurred.

    As usual blame is being put on Govia and yet they have only taken over the franchise !

    The real question is why is media not going after Thames Water for interviews ?

    Given how importent this section of route will be in a few years time questions as to its resilience need to be asked especially when you remember the Fleet River flows down Farringdon Road/ Street .

  233. Graham Feakins says:

    @Melvyn – “especially when you remember the Fleet River flows down Farringdon Road/ Street” – depending I suppose on which map you are looking at, I suspect you meant to say “under” rather than “down”.

    Thames Water has issued this:

    What I do know is that the immediate area received direct bombing hits during the war and despite the time elapsed since then, it is possible that the main has finally given up, regardless of patching up at the time and since. Indeed, the amount of recent rebuilding in the area at street level (and below) could have triggered the problem. It would be unfortunate indeed if the nearby Crossrail works were to be implicated, for example.

    That 16″ main, whilst not major, might well carry a supply from the reservoir up on the hill at the top of Rosebery Avenue and hence its importance. If so, it parallels the South Croydon incident:

  234. James Forbes says:

    It appears that a drainage issue has been rectified – definite signs of light at the end of the tunnel (pun intended…).

  235. Jeffy likes apples says:

    To add a drop to the story: there was no water in the tunnel on Saturday 18th. On Monday 20th i went through on POSAs southbound only and the water was just below the top of the running rail. By Thursday 23rd the water was still the same height and operation was still by POSAs. Been off since then but in 3 trips through the tunnels yesterday there is virtually no water in there now, though there is a pump running to keep it that way. Still on POSAs though. Then last night they closed the core and hopefully it will all be sorted by the end of the weekend…

  236. ngh says:

    Re Graham F et Al.

    They have apparently found 5 separate leaks so far (source BBC) fixed them and water is still emerging. The temp timetable was Thursday Friday vaildity which give the following weekend I suspect the closures is until further notice. Hunting for further leaks probably means visually inspecting where the water is emerging through the brick work to give those at road level a better chance.

    So possibly:
    TW haven’t been monitoring assets well (leakage rates in general suggest this is very plausible)
    One burst has washed away the gravel supporting other pipes in the vicinity causing further new leaks.
    Some of the smaller leaks only got noticed with the big one as it overloaded the drainage /saturated the ground locally.
    Construction work locally (not just CR or Office buildings but has there been any work to other utilities especially electricity)?

  237. Greg Tingey says:

    timbeau / lemmo
    HERE is the direct link – hope it works:

    And the service yesterday evening was wobbly to say the least … I arrived @ Balckfriars, heading for W Hampstead @ approx 17.32:
    The PID said “1st train, 9 mins, Bedford”
    “2nd train 4 mins St Albans” (!)
    Apart from the time-travelling, the train I actually caught was, of course the real 1st train – the “Bedford” – it was the nominal 17.12 departure from Blackfriars.

  238. @ngh,

    So it is possible then that another utility e.g. electricity, gas caused the initial problem?

    I can see fun times ahead with multi-million pound claims with multiple defendants going to court for the cost of the delay and various parties arguing that the damage is “too remote” – it isn’t of course.

    By the way, I do think this is the one really big hard-to-argue advantage of a fragmented railway. In BR days they would be hard pressed to put in a claim – and in any case it would be one nationalised industry claiming off another. Now Network Rail can point to a very real cost to Thames Water and demand compensation and go to court to recover the money if necessary. Thames Water can argue it isn’t a real loss that can be quantified – but undoubtedly Network Rail can argue that, whatever the overall picture, it is a real loss to them.

    If Thames Water are fully aware that leaks lead to multi-million pound claims they will have a big incentive to keep their pipes in good order and monitor them. Of course this probably means more roads being dug up but one has to accept that.

  239. timbeau says:

    Discovered this site plotting the course of the Fleet, which in the Farringdon area ran somewhat to the west of the Metropolitan Railway.

  240. Anonymous says:

    Messages getting more complex now about what situation caused what scale of problem, in story on NCE online:
    TW might have caused original problem, but the story might imply that NR hadn’t kept its own drainage working adequately, so the flooding remained problematic. The implication could be that the scale of any compensation to NR might be abated to an extent.

    “Thames Water faces massive bill for Thameslink flood chaos”
    “29 January, 2015 | By Will Mann”
    “Thames Water faces a multi-million pound bill for the chaos caused by a burst water main on the Thameslink route in central London since last Friday (23 January).”
    “The utility said the incident was caused by a blocked pipe, and blamed “a lack of maintenance”.
    “Network Rail engineers had to carry out emergency pumping following the incident, but the flooding returned yesterday (28 January) and the rail operator again had to close the line between St Pancras and Farringdon in the evening.”
    “Thames Water said it spent the night working with Network Rail to clear their drains in the tunnel as there were concerns as to why water from the original burst water pipe on Friday had not drained away.”
    “The utility’s director Bob Collington said: “The water in the tunnel cleared as soon as we cleaned out Network Rail’s surface drainage system last night. The pipe was full of silt and debris, and a grill which would have allowed the water to drain away was blocked solid. Basically, the water had nowhere to go.”
    “We believe this problem was first identified as far back as 2007, and the problems with water on the track have been caused by a lack of maintenance on their part.”
    “Thames Water said it had repaired the original damage to the 400mm-diameter pipe, in the bus lane of Farringdon Road at the junction of Vine Street Bridge, on Sunday morning. When the flooding returned, it sent in specialist teams to carry out further investigations, which uncovered the blocked pipe and grill.”
    “Over 1,000 trains have been cancelled since the main burst on Friday with a further 133 hours of combined delays to those trains which have been running.”
    “Phil Verster, route managing director, Network Rail, said: “We continue to work with Thames Water but the overwhelming extent of the continued flooding made it unsafe to run normal through services between London St Pancras and London Blackfriars since Sunday.”
    “We have several high output pumps operating but the service is still hugely delayed. We expect Thames water to reimburse passengers, train operators and Network Rail for the significant consequences of these water leaks.”

  241. Anonymous says:

    “TW might have caused original problem, but the story might imply that NR hadn’t kept its own drainage working adequately, so the flooding remained problematic.”

    As a another refugee from the PPP Attribution process (been trying to figure out who you are WW !) this rings bells. Can’t remember the exact details but the allegation was that a drain hadn’t been maintained in a similar flooding circumstance. Fortunately for former Metronet, fairly recent documentary proof of drainage condition was available, and the reason for the drain being blocked was the sheer amount of crud washed out of the ballast by the burst. It also clogged the emergency pumps put in place to mitigate the flooding.

  242. Pedantic of Purley says:


    A great irony was that one of the four principal companies in the Metronet consortium was … Thames Water.

    There were allegations that Metronet billed Thames Water for fixing water leaks that Thames Water were under a duty to fix anyway (without charge) and that bill got passed to London Underground under PPP. On the positive side it has also been suggested that that Thames Water were keen to fix leaks affecting the Underground as they got paid for it and at the same time improved the asset condition of Metronet’s infrastructure.

  243. Anonymous says:

    Based on the NCE article above, it could even be that it was TfL buses or poor road maintenance which created the original damage to the TW pipe under the bus lane (though could that be proved?). Where does liability then reside for each element of the topic, in terms of original damage or later problems and losses? TfL Surface Transport (road maintenance or buses element?)? The bus operators? Utility? NR? NR drainage? So far, not LUL. Could be a complex legal case. Moral?: be a lawyer, not a transport owner/operator.

  244. Melvyn says:

    Problems continued today but according to latest reports Thames Water say Network Rail is to blame for not cleaning its drains !

    See news report –

  245. Jeffy likes apples says:

    So according to the bosses at GTR it looks like:

    1) a water main burst (Thames Water fault)
    2) the drainage for the tunnel was blocked (Network Rail fault)
    3) the valve which allows the water to drain from its collection drain through to the pumping station had been closed by LUL (LUL fault)

    Time for pass the parcel? GTR have suggested they’re staying out of it. Don’t blame them really.

  246. James Forbes says:

    Jeffy, I am going to speculate (for those watching) that 2) + 3) are linked. There will be a big bun fight between NR, TFL & TWA over ownership of the Vine Street drainage. GTR should sit back, as they are going to get 7 figure suns as recompense.

  247. Graham Feakins says:

    It was simpler just over a year ago when Thames Water readily admitted their fault in my area – a biggie – a 36″ water main went up:

    Worth viewing the photos on offer. Some businesses have still not yet reopened as a result of the damage.

    Mind you, the area has fairly recent form with the underground relief branch of the River Effra below the road concerned itself flooding more than once, despite the ‘relief’ being specifically constructed to avoid it.

  248. Fandroid says:

    Sadly, it’s actually very difficult to ‘maintain’ a buried water main, especially in a densely developed area. TWUL (Thames Water Utilities Ltd) used to have patrols that followed the routes of the really big mains (probably still do) mostly in order to watch out for rogue contractors who might be digging perilously close to said mains. Small mains (100-150 mm) can be replaced fairly easily by ‘no-dig’ methods. Medium sized ones, e.g. 400mm, just have to be watched and repaired when they misbehave, then bypassed with a brand new pipe when they fail just that bit too often.

    The culvertisation of the river Fleet would not have helped in the circumstances. The gravels of the Fleet valley will be carrying a fairly large flow of water anyway, trapped above the London Clay. In its natural state, the Fleet will have acted as an overflow drain for this flow. In its current state, the Fleet will still pick up some of that flow, but only at the points where this was provided for. The burst main will have added a big chunk more of water to that gravel layer. As it is very restricted in where it can go, the railway tunnel provided a handy outlet!

  249. Greg Tingey says:

    Indeed – the water has to come out somewhere …
    I live near the top of a hill, & there is a spring somewhere up the adjoning/across-the-end road. Always come out in winter.
    About 10 years back, the gas people dug a big hole – which immediately filled up. They had to wait until May, in the end, to fix it. I see after recent rain, it’s come out of a slightly different place again.
    And this is just the headsource of a small spring, not a major flow.

  250. timbeau says:

    “TWUL (Thames Water Utilities Ltd) used to have patrols that followed the routes of the really big mains (probably still do) mostly in order to watch out for rogue contractors who might be digging perilously close to said mains. ”
    The report into the Old Street incident said that TfL do as well. Unfortunately NR didn’t, and the builders had no idea there was a tunnel anywhere near them. The line in question doesn’t even appear on the Tube map any more!

  251. Ian Sergeant says:


    What I found so frustrating about the Old Street incident was that no-one realised there was a railway under the building site, especially after a test bore had hit something solid. From one look at Carto Metro, it’s pretty clear that the most likely solid thing would have been the Northern City Line.

  252. Chris C says:

    What ‘Old Street Incident’ ??

    It really isn’t on to start mentioning things expecting everyone else to know what you are referring too !

  253. ngh says:

    Re Chris C

    8th March 2013 Piling rig from a building site in East Road, Hackney, 13 metres above the tunnel penetrated and obstructed the line between Old Street and Essex Road stations.

    Plenty of LR discussion on one of the threads and an interesting RAIB report too…

    Along the lines of there can’t be a tunnel because there isn’t anything on the tube map! And the local council had removed references to the tunnel at some point after it changed ownership from LU to BR

    Not sure what happened to the plans to build medium rise flats above replacing the string of low rise post WW2 development that follows the line on the NCL.

    The first the contractors realised they had hit a rail tunnel was the arrival of NR and BTP on the building site!

  254. timbeau says:

    RAIB report here

    The incident was a couple of years ago. Also mentions (para 95) the Central Line incident in 1986 and another one at Kennington in 2007

    Para 91 mentions that LU (but not NR) patrol the areas above their tunnels at regular intervals (every month or two, depending on the depth of the tunnel)

    The key point seems to be at para 32 – 38, where the planners failed to appreciate the significance of a restrictive covenant in the Land Registry entry – essentially establishing the wayleave for the GN&CR. (a company which, by the time of this incident, had been defunct for 100 years: its assets having been bought by the Metropolitan Railway in 1913)

  255. Henning Makholm says:

    The RAIB did note, somewhat drily, that copious information about what and where the GN&CR was would have been only one Google search away, if anybody had been the slightest curious.

  256. Fandroid says:

    @Greg. The historic water supply of the City was apparently based to a fair extent on those localised sources of water (usually associated with a man-made ‘conduit’- still apparent in some street names). I can only surmise that they were springs (like your local one) supplied from lenses of gravel within the mainly clay overburden (‘perched water-tables’ in the industry jargon). Sorry, end of aqueous sideline discussion!

  257. Slugabed says:

    All true but (of course) not the whole story!
    Yes,overburdens of gravel and other water-bearing strata form the subsoil of the greater part of inner London,sitting atop the London Clay,having been deposited by the Thames as it made its way to the sea.
    However below the Clay lies the (water-bearing) Chalk which has ts own water-table,fed by rains falling on the chalk exposures North and South of Town.
    As this water-table is higher than ground-level at many points,this water is effectively under pressure.A well drilled down to the Chalk will spout water to a considerable height.(Artesian Well)
    The upper water table was used extensively for industry,industry which sat directly upon,and polluted their own water supply.As industry has declined,but left the water unusable,the water-table in the gravel has been rising,and is now at the level of the deeper Tube tunnels,and acts as a limit to piling-depth in some situations.
    Conversely,the water in the lower water tale,by dint of having fallen thousands of years ago,and being filtered through miles of chalk,is ideal drinking water and is used as such.Consequently this water table is falling.

  258. ngh says:

    It seems Thames Water and Network Rail have agreed to be a bit more cooperative and productive in the future:

    Thames Water and Network Rail agree leakage partnership

    Thames Water and Network Rail have agreed to work together to identify and tackle any leaks which could affect the rail network…..”

    And on a related subject the Thames Water Lee Tunnel (sewer) the TBM (crossrail sized) has been removed after finishing it work – there is plenty of utilities tunneling going on at the moment. The deepest bit to the tunnel is 86m below ground level a good 20-25m below the deepest transport tunnels

  259. Taz says:

    Work has now started to install the new double junction east of Farringdon, linking the Circle line into the former Widened Lines tunnel. This will enable trains to stable down as far as Moorgate, avoiding the trip out to Wembley Park sidings.

  260. Southern Heights (Light Railway) says:

    Does that mean that they will be blocking off the old Thameslink platforms at Barbican, so the taggers can’t get at them?

  261. Alan Griffiths says:

    So where is this new junction?
    I’d got the impression that the former track area between Farringdon and Barbican stations was going out of use.

  262. Taz says:

    The Thameslink route to Moorgate has been abandoned. Also the three sidings east of Farringdon, which like many were too short for the new Circle line trains. The new junction east of Farringdon will link across the sidings site to the old tunnel mouth.

  263. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Taz – I am being picky here but I sincerely hope the land and associated obligations has been properly transferred from Network Rail to London Underground and not just “adandoned”. I also trust there has been a proper process of asset removal by NR and then due diligence around asset condition etc so there are not any nasty surprises lurking for LU.

  264. Taz says:

    @WW – I have no idea, but the last part of Crossrail to be tunnelled was beneath this line, with grout shafts and de-watering wells sunk in the former route, which have to be filled. Farringdon east ticket hall is also being built above the route to link with Barbican platforms.

  265. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Taz – I understand the Crossrail works in the area having been fortunate enough to visit site and look down over Barbican station. I also know the section through the City has seemingly been the toughest bit of tunneling for Crossrail. I wasn’t expecting you to know the detail around property transfers. Having had involvement in such things I was more expressing hope that it’s all been handled properly given the likely importance of the new sidings to operation of future SSR services.

  266. ngh says:

    The track layout for the new Met (SSR) sidings east of Farringdon is already shown on carto metro:

  267. Mark Townend says:


    From carto metro I note the single track through Barbican station. Is there some operational benefit I can’t see in this, as it costs a pair of turnouts that otherwise might not be required. Or has the former Pl.4 alignment been obstructed (either temporarily or permanently) by Crossrail work?

  268. timbeau says:

    @mark T

    That does look odd. if the single track had been through Platform 4 I would have guessed the eastbound alignment was being taken for widening of platform 2 and/or measures to stop trespass. But carto metro shows Platform 3 remaining and platform 4 going.

    Looking at Google Earth, the Crossrail works may have put a structure of some kind through the track bed at the west end of the station, but it’s far from clear from the aerial view alone.

  269. ngh says:

    Re Mark T,

    Not sure, it doesn’t make complete sense to me either but looks like a horrible multi-factor compromise. There was some discussion on the recent Bakerloo sidings / long overrun tunnels about the new Met sidings around ensuring not too many trains could get trapped if one train wouldn’t start up, therefore it effectively looks mostly like a single siding with some passing loops for the trapped train issue and the ability to leave a dead train towed/pushed in at the Farringdon end without losing the rest of the functionality. It looks like they aren’t looking for a massive amount of extra siding space overall. If they really wanted all the max siding space then double track in the stations and another 2 sets of scissors (an extra 5 point ends over what is porposed) probably would have the result.

    Re Taz /WW,

    Any Idea how they will enter the sidings?
    Presumably train going eastbound terminates at Farringdon then straight into the sidings rather than terminates at Aldgate then runs ECS westbound to Farringdon then reverses in to the sidings.

    Is there plan to do anything more sophisticated at Moorgate with siding access post resignalling? e.g. is the current solution being signalled with mostly recovered equipment till the resignalling happens when the track layout may change?

  270. Mark Townend says:

    Handpoints within the sidings currently perhaps? Hence the need for a bit of safe space alongside the switches for lever and operator rather than another line. I can see the point about not trapping units, i.e having to go all the way to Moorgate to get past a failure and back out again. I expect a small daytime reserve will cluster at the Farringdon end, while a full complement for overnight stabling could stretch all the way to the terminus. Clearly there were interlocking alterations to existing signalling as the new double junction and scissors at Farringdon bear little resemblance to the previous single lead siding connection.

  271. Greg Tingey says:

    Real dogs-breakfast, isn’t it?
    They had the opportunity, there, for no significant extra cost to make the old Eastbound widened lines track, the “inner rail” ( i.e. W-bound Circle ) & make the current inner rail a reversible line & thus re-arrange the Moorgate sidings.
    Thus giving extra storage space & a sensible reversing arrangement for Moorgate terminators.
    Ah, well.

  272. Taz says:

    Whilst the connections are being installed before resignalling, they are clipped out of use. The sidings will be completed after the new signalling. They will hold 10 trains, a major site for S7 stock, only the two District line depots holding significantly more.

Leave a Comment

In order to make LR a pleasant place for discussion, please try to keep comments polite and, importantly, on topic! Comments that we feel do not meet these criteria, or that contain language that could cause some people trouble at work, may be moderated or deleted.

acceptable tags

* (This won't be shown, but you can link it to an avatar if you like)

Recent Articles

In Pictures: The Northern Line TBMs Arrive


TfL have released a number of images showing the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) for the Northern Line Extension. These were lifted into place at Ferrovial Agroman Laing O’Rourke’s TBM portal at Battersea earlier this month. The images highlight that whilst

Read more ›