TfL have now made public the details of the public consultation for the extension of the Northern Line to Battersea via Nine Elms.

As was indicated in the leaflet distributed last June, the chosen route is that which formed option 2 in the original Treasury Holdings Consultation. This will see a 3km tunnel constructed from Kennington to Battersea Power Station with a mid-station in south Nine Elms. The associated consultation documents confirm that cost and the high passenger levels already found on the Victoria Line are the reasons why an interchange at Vauxhall is not being pursued. Future extension to Clapham Junction is, however, acknowledged as a possibility and the tunnel layout is designed to support this. Although it is not indicated in the consultation itself, according to sources it is likely that the Kennington Loop itself will remain, in order to ensure that trains can still be turned at Kennington as part of the service pattern if required.

A Simplified Map of the NLE Work

A Simplified Map of the NLE Work

The Detailed NLE Route

The Detailed NLE Route

According to the consultation website the current intention is to submit a TWAO next Spring (which will also mark the point at which funding would need to be finalised), with the commencement of construction targeted at 2015. Construction would take approximately four years, with the drives for both tunnels likely starting from the power station site itself and then heading towards Kennington. The TBMs would be removed through the temporary shafts at Radcot and Harmsworth Streets, which would also be used for compensation grouting. TfL are also suggesting that spoil removal might be possible from the jetty at the power station site.

The website also features several factsheets which give a nice idea of possible station layouts and the likely closures required for the temporary shafts. The key images from these are reproduced below.

Potential Nine Elms Layout

Potential Nine Elms Layout

Station Site at Battersea Power Station

Station Site at Battersea Power Station

Battersea Cross Section

Battersea Cross Section

Temporary Shaft at Radcot Street

Temporary Shaft at Radcot Street

Temporary Shaft at Harmsworth Street

Temporary Shaft at Harmsworth Street

In addition to the information on the site itself, those wishing to question TfL about the proposal can do so at the times and locations detailed below:

  • Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane, SW8 5NQ on Thursday 15 November at 15:00 to 20:00 and Friday 16 November at 8:00 to 18:00
  • Sainsbury’s, 62 Wandsworth Road, SW8 2LF on Friday 23 November at 12:00 to 19:00 and Saturday 24 November at 9:30 to 13:00
  • Gallery on the Corner, 155 Battersea Park Road, SW8 4BU on Thursday 29 November at 15:00 to 20:00
  • The Kia Oval, Executive Box 56, Kennington, SE11 5SS on Friday 7 December at 12:00 to 19:00 and Saturday 8 December at 9:30 to 13:00
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There are 381 comments on this article
  1. PhilD says:

    Fascinating. Any idea when a Clapham Junction extension might happen or even how likely one would be?

  2. Tim Burns says:

    Presumably this implies some extra stock to work the extension. Anyone like to guess how much and what form it might take?

    Also, whilst it does solve the Camden Town interchange issue, can we expect some semi split of the Northern Line?

    Interesting article though.

  3. ChrisMitch says:

    Seems a bit of a waste of resources to me. Just 2 new stations in an area already close to Battersea Park and Vauxhall stations, creating another south London tube stub.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I agree with ChrisMitch.

    This is a complete wastre of money. What we need is the northern line extended to Camberwell and Peckham. Or the Bakerloo line extended to New Cross etc. As ChrisMitch points out this area is already well served by public transport.

    This is being done because to suit big property interests – i.e. the development at Battersea Power Station . . . and presumably the construction of the new US embassy site in Nine Elms.

    Was the Circle Line “extended” to Hammersmith to suit the big business interests of Westfield – which opened a huge site there? Is this the way that public transport is being handled now? It certainly looks like this with this plan.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I read in Modern Railways that TFL are considering ordering more 95/96 stock to allow for the Northern line extension and higher frequency running post line split. This order would also add to the Jubilee stock to boost frequency above 30tph, presumably matching the 33tph that will be on Victoria line next March. Apparently during the Olympics they proved that they could boost frequency > 30tph

  6. Jon says:

    Phil: the London Overground extension (opening next month!) will have a clapham junction connection to the northern line via clapham high st/north

  7. DK says:

    I’ve got to disagree with ChrisMitch and Anon.

    Of course it’s about “big property interests”. New transport infrastructure mostly is. But the property interests will be paying a big chunk (most? all?) of the costs i don’t see the problem.

    Yes there’s already Battersea Park but right or wrong a trains station isn’t valued as much as a tube station. If Battersea doesn’t appear on a tube map then £5bn of development won’t happen. Battersea power station and it’s surroundings will remain a slowly decaying ruin for another 30 years.

  8. timbeau says:

    “Construction would start in 2015 and will take four years” FOUR YEARS? The entire Yerkes network was built in five. And they did most of it by hand

  9. mr_jrt says:

    I’m still firmly of the belief that the tail wagging the dog is the wrong way to build an integrated transport system….but maybe that’s just me.

    I don’t care what they say about the problems with interchanging at Vauxhall. Not routing the line through there and at the very least hollowing out the platform tunnels ready for when it CAN handle the interchange is madness. Likewise, the Battersea station location is barmy, what’s the point of creating a 3rd station there that doesn’t interchange properly?

    The CX branch should be extended into the tube desert of south London to relieve the services there and as we discussed in the Herne Hill article, removing the need for NR metro stops simplifies the junction requirements dramatically, improving capacity there. Personally, I’d extend it from Kennington via Camberwell, Loughborough Junction and Herne Hill on to Crystal Palace and onwards to take over the Hayes branch. That’s if you wanted to largely use the existing surface alignment for the tube extension with a new express tunnel for NR services. If you kept the tube in tunnel and just closed the surface stations to speed up the NR services then you can be a bit more creative and perhaps route via Denmark Hill and North Dulwich en route to Sydenham.

    Given the funding is coming from the developers of Battersea Park however, it’s to be expected they don’t care one jot about south east London…but the mayor and TfL should. There is a compromise possible though – the drain is in no position to be extended right now, but once the Bakerloo is extended and can vacate London Road depot then the opportunity presents itself to lengthen the drain’s platforms, severing the access to the (current and hopelessly inadequate for extended trains) depot, and extend to Lambeth North, from where it’s only a short bit further to Vauxhall (potentially with a station serving the south bank by Lambeth Bridge), where it could meet and take over the Northern line stub to Clapham Junction from Kennington. Doesn’t have to happen right away, but planning for it and building accordingly is somewhat important when you’re designing and building things that will last hundreds of years!

  10. swirlythingy says:

    Why can’t some of this cash be splashed on a socially useful project with less duplication like the Bakerloo line to Camberwell, rather than sending the Northern line shooting off at right angles to follow the money flooding into new luxury developments already well-served by existing stations? Public transport is not the plaything of Malaysian property developers indulging their own vanity.

    Even what they’ve come up with, they can’t do properly. Seriously, they’re building a third separate station equidistant from Battersea Park and Queenstown Road stations instead of making any effort to link them together? (You can’t claim either of the existing stations are exactly overburdened.) And they won’t extend to Clapham Junction because the developers aren’t interested in that bit, not for any transport planning reason. This is just a chauffeur service for well-heeled stockbrokers shortly to flood into the area as part of yet more social cleansing, except it’s a tube line instead of (say) a cable car, because those are very ‘in’ this year.

    This is a vanity project through and through. Sadly, there’s absolutely no chance of stopping it now. Public consultations are always a whitewash – no project is considered ‘ready’ for consultation until it’s already a done deal.

  11. Ratty says:

    How long will the stations be? I do hope they make provision for longer trains.

  12. Tim says:

    It beggars belief that they’ll extend the Charing Cross branch by two stops – and just stop short of connecting up with one of the UK’s busiest stations at Clapham Junction. I may be missing something screamingly obvious, but it just seems like a pointless waste of money and time – and a huge missed opportunity

  13. Willi says:

    I think they should merge Battersea Park and Queenstown Road stations and build a big interchange with the tube there to take some pressure off Clapham Junction, they could also build it with room for Crossrail 2.

  14. The other Paul says:

    It seems likely to me that this extension will lead to the closure of Queenstown Road station. The mainline TOCs will jump at the chance to close capacity-chewing stations that give them little more than a pitiful amount of travelcard revenue, and a journey on the new route is probably going to be just as quick as the change at Waterloo. I imagine the further Clapham Junction extension would seal the fate of Battersea Park as well.

  15. Disappointed Kitten says:

    Ridiculous scheme, waste of money. This is clearly being pushed through to keep some moneygrabbing property developer sweet and has nothing to do with the needs of Londoners. Extend the Northern Line to Camberwell & Peckham or Herne Hill – people down there are crying out for decent transport. And I love all the Kafkaesque reasoning that goes into not building decent interchanges because too many people would use them. Presumably the aim is to make it as difficult as possible to get to Battersea Power Station to deter people from using this new line….? Madness I tell you. Probably the reason the NL won’t be extended to Camberwell – all those wretched people down there would start using it and we can’t have that can we?

  16. The other Paul says:

    On a more positive angle, who’s to say it would stop at Clapham Junction? An obvious ongoing route would be to run via Earlsfield to Wimbledon, perhaps partly below ground and partly on a widened alignment, with new intermediate stations, then onwards from Wimbledon taking over the line to Sutton and connecting to the Northern line depot at Morden – perhaps with an easy one station extension on the existing Northern line via the depot to an interchange at Morden South.

  17. Disappointed Kitten says:

    Oh, just in case anyone’s forgotten what it’s like when private developers are given the job of designing and building railway stations – try getting on a train at Shepherd’s Bush Overground during rush hour and you’ll feel the crush of death as a thousand passengers try to squeeze their way through the architectural equivalent of a drinking straw. That’s the station that opened a year late because Mr O’Reilly got the platform widths wrong and Sybil had to get Mr Stubbs in to make them wide enough to comply with health and safety law.

  18. john b says:

    My understanding (based on conversations with TfL and infrastructure industry people a couple of years back when the strategic planning for this was first happening, but I doubt much has changed) is that:

    1) this isn’t an Arabfly Dangleway or Barclaybike project where sponsorship is being used as a cover for a vanity project – it really is being paid in full by the developer, and that’s the only reason TfL are running with it.

    2) the reason there’s no passive provision for an interchange at Vauxhall is that TfL already has detailed plans for how to fill capacity in the event that the Victoria Line ever stops being overcrowded (in other words, after Crossrail 2) that aren’t based on this branch.

    3) the reason it doesn’t interchange with National Rail is because it will provide an opportunity to close Queenstown Road right away, and Battersea Park after the Clapham Junction extension.

    4) if this project were to serve Clapham J in the first phase, that would be on the public purse and so would complicate the costings; far better to nail down the costs of the private bit, and only once that’s been signed and sealed to work out the cost of the further extension. This would ideally be done while construction work on this phase is ongoing. to cut costs. Starting an extension after a project’s been agreed but before it’s opened isn’t unprecedented – the Victoria line to Brixton is one example; the ELL to Clapham J another.

  19. john b says:

    Also, to Kitten: yes, Westfield National Rail is a farce. On the other hand, Canary Wharf tube and Isle of Dogs Crossrail are excellent. Privately funded infrastructure is only crap if the authorities let them get away with making it crap; and it’s clear that Network Rail is far happier to accept crap privately funded infrastructure than TfL.

  20. Mike P says:

    Swirlythingy: The reason none of this cash can be splashed anywhere else is that the legislation is quite clear that developer contributions can only be spent on things directly associated with the development.

    Heck, most of the public already view these monies as “bribes to allow development to happen” rather than what they are – a way to achieve partial mitigation of the effects of development. Imagine what Clapham Omnibus Man would think if the money could be spent on things miles away.

    The times I’ve seen S106 monies sitting around for years because there was no legitimate porject that they could be spent on. One that springs to mind is a contribution from the developer of a cinema in Epsom town centre to “public transport improvements”. In the end it funded an evening extension to a bus service for a few years.

  21. Greg Tingey says:

    This week, “Diamond Geezer”:….

    Has gone “totally tubular” – his annual weekly discussion on the London UndergrounD.
    He is addressing the non-interchanges on the tube today.
    Go & have a look, everyone, if you have not seen this blog before – well worth a read!

    The spite & jealousy & vitriol against “developers” & the well-heeled, even though they ARE providing something – as oppsed to NOTHING AT ALL, is ridiculous. See laso Mike P on S106 grants.
    I agree that we could do better, but if it is this or nothing, I’ll take this, thank you very much. There’s a saying about “Half a loaf” isn’t there?

    On a more rational note, johnB @ 06.33 has many valid points.
    The only one I’d disagree with is no 3.
    Battersea Park will remain open – there will be one train along the “old” route per day [ Factory Jn Battersea Pk ] for several valid reasons. Avoids closure procedure / keeps route knowledge active / provides emergency or engineering works alternative route if needed.

    As for future Westward extensions of this stub, I’d suggest AVOIDING CJ, but running parallel, via (underneath) Battersea Park Rd & York Rd, & with intermediate stations, as far as Wandsworth Town & then Putney/E. Putney.

  22. Slugabed says:

    The danger is,of course,that the extension will be approved,construction work started,and then the developer goes bankrupt.This is more likely than one might imagine.
    What happens then?
    As with our beloved “banking sector” will the state become the lender of last resort? (ie pick up the tab?)
    Almost certainly,so that whoever purchases the line in the ensuing fire-sale has no obligation to contribute but gets the benefit of a publicly funded tube link.The state’s record in draughting contracts will ensure the purchaser will be able to wriggle out of paying.
    An only partly-rhetorical question: How much actual money did the state receive,in the end,from Olympia and York for the tube link to Canary Wharf??
    Pardon my cynicism but this scheme is a financial disaster waiting to happen.

  23. Slugabed says:

    If the developers and the Americans want this line so badly,they should pay “up front” and TfL not lift a spade until all the cheques have cleared.

  24. Giovanni says:

    I find it unlikely that Battersea Park station would close because there are many services that start from there, instead of Victoria, when an incoming train is late. Judging by Southern’s updates on Twitter, this happens quite a lot. And it would be impossible to put late services back onto timetable without the quick turnaround option of Battersea Park. Queenstown Road on the other hand is another matter. It’s a timewarp of a station which is hardly used so I am sure NR would love to close it and cut it out of South West trains’ services.

    As for the Northern Line extension itself, I just hope they can make up their minds and do something with that nasty ugly power station before the line is built!

  25. DeepThought says:

    The problem with the “it’s this or nothing” angle is whether you agree with the current Battersea Power Station development plan, which I don’t. The site is horrendously overvalued, meaning that the only thing that will make any money for the developers is horrendous overdevelopment. Look closely at the plans for Battersea and you’ll see hundreds of new flats and offices, but to my knowledge not a single school or health centre. The whole situation is a complete mess and I have a feeling that continuing on this path is only going to create an even bigger mess further down the line, including adding this unwieldy stub to a Tube line that is already an operational nightmare.

    As much as I love the sight of Battersea Power Station, it’s not worth preserving for this madness. Terry Farrell’s plan for it seemed pretty sensible, but at this point I’d prefer to see the thing knocked down and a sensibly sized development replace the current monstrosity of an idea.

  26. Steer says:

    A lot of people don’t seem to like this idea because they (quite reasonably) point out that there are more useful places an extension to the Northern Line could serve. Whilst I agree with this, I think the following points also hold, and on balance lead me to support the scheme:

    1) The private money gets you the two extra stops and does a lot of the heavy lifting for a further extension, to CJ or elsewhere
    2) Without private money, the scheme has to be built by public money. If so, it has to get in line behind: Thameslink, Crossrail, Crossrail 2, Camden Station rebuild, any other works associated with HS2, Bakerloo extension, and maybe even Crossrail 3 – i.e., it’s either a privately funded thing, or nowt for a good 30 years or so.
    3) Many of the destinations mentioned that the Northern Line could go to would be better served by Bakerloo or Victoria extensions. Bakerloo because the E&C end of the line is comparatively very lightly loaded; Victoria because its already pointing at Herne Hill, and there should be capacity to do it after Crossrail 2 relieves Victoria

    I think the anger at it being driven by a private enterprise is a bit nonsensical. If they were proposing something absurd, it wouldn’t be done. They’re not – they’re proposing something sub-optimal from a system-wide perspective, but nonetheless likely to provide social benefits.

  27. Martin S says:

    Lots of vitriol being splashed about here.

    Surely one of the joys of London’s rail-based public transport (as opposed, say, to the LA metros) is precisely that it *is* used by the well-heeled stockbroker and the like? If you want to make sure that something that matters to us all is looked after and doesn’t become a crime-ridden ghetto for those with no alternative one good start is to make sure that the wealthy and powerful value it too?

    The Waterloo and City Line exists entirely to get the inhabitants of the stockbroker belt to their desks in the City quickly and conveniently – does that make it unwanted?

  28. mr_jrt says:

    In principle I agree, but in my eyes, extensions of all three are required to provide sufficient coverage to south east London to prevent the others being immediately swamped.

    E.g. an old image I made years back, (note: this was before I came to the decision that Hayes was an ideal terminal for the Northern Line, and before the extension of LO from Clapham Junction via East Putney was suggested to me…perhaps time for a 3rd version with slightly less errors on it 🙂 )

    As I mentioned above, it depends how much you want to tunnel and how much you want to reuse the existing web of surface tracks. If you take advantage of the smaller tube tunnels to tunnel more, you can fix the disjointed network by linking up routes that had to divert around things like hills and dense population centres when the railways were originally built, so things like Brixton – Brixton Hill – Streatham – West Croydon – East Croydon become possible and you only have to divert to existing NR stations where you want interchanges.

  29. Steer says:


    Indeed, I would have thought your solution is closer to ‘optimal’ than a solution involving NL to Battersea – but that’s in an ideal world. It comes back to where in the ‘queue’ the extensions would come (bear in mind also that the rest of the country can make a reasonable case for deserving some public funding for rail projects too!).

    A lot of your Northern Line extension parallells (or takes over?) mainline services that could be improved into Blackfriars (as explored thoroughly in the Herne Hill article) – I’d still prioritise Bakerloo and Victoria, in which case Northern Line would be at the back of that queue, and probably not happen for at least 50 years. Given that, I think I’m in favour of the private developer-led Battersea extension

  30. John Bull says:

    I must admit I tend to fall into “begrudging realist” mode on the subject of the NLE.

    Would a Bakerloo Line extension be better? Yes. No doubt. Is such an extension likely to get funding or priority within the next 20 years? No.

    Greg’s “half a loaf” analogy thus kicks in – better the NLE than nothing at all, as long as its primarily paid for by someone other than TfL.

  31. Anonymous says:

    @ John b – Are you sure the private sector are funding the entire extension? While I can understand TfL officials stating that line the last time I saw a press release about “funding” it said the private sector contribution was going to be circa £250m. I don’t think that will cover the cost of all of this scheme which must come in rather nearer to £600m-£700m. Tunnels, stations, extra trains, signalling, comms, track and all the integration works plus all the planning and design activity does not come cheap. Therefore I believe there is an assumed public sector contribution from Government – probably a majority share. Didn’t Boris and Osbourne have a press launch with the last developers just weeks before their deal collapsed? I don’t see the Malaysians stumping up more if Govt appeared “happy” with £250m from the previous developers.

    I agree with the comments from many that this scheme is sub-optimal and is far from what London needs now. It is ridiculous that planning consent has been granted without public transport improvements to the nearby NR stations nor any development of extra platforms on lines in the vicinity. It’s not as if there isn’t the space! The double irony is that the first phase is right beside the NR lines and river front which will most likely prevent any extra platforms being built.

    This is just yet more “bright shiny bauble” transport development rather than something that is rational, objective and beneficial to Londoners who need better transport services.

  32. John Bull says:

    Last time I saw numbers, TfL were a minority player in the financing. That may have changed, of course, but I suspect we won’t know that until the TWAO in the spring (as they’ll have to declare it at the same time).

    If it turned out that to be a Bike Hire/Cable Car affair in terms of the cost split, then that would certainly swing me into the “this is a bad idea” camp though.

  33. swirlythingy says:

    A lot of people seem to be accepting the Northern line extension on the basis that it is at least an extension. Has nobody paused to consider whether the Northern line, in fact, needs extending at all?

    I don’t think it’s so much a case of a ‘suboptimal’ solution to an existing problem – namely, the fact that as we all know the Northern line is terribly underused, doesn’t really go anywhere useful at the moment and is a veritable dustbowl in the peak hours, especially on the Bank branch – to no solution to no problem. The Northern line doesn’t need, and shouldn’t have, an extension. The fact that the proposed extension is badly designed and being built for all the wrong reasons is simply the icing on the cake.

    Tube extensions are not, in and of themselves, a Good Thing, and competent transport planners accept this. Otherwise the Battersea extension’s northern terminus would be Bushey Heath…

  34. mr_jrt says:

    Absolutely, but as I say, it should at least be designed to be reusable by the ideal solution at a later date. The planned curvature of the line by avoiding Vauxhall means that any future link up from Vauxhall would be unable to use the Nine Elms station, so it permanently removes any opportunity to extend the Northern line south east. That’s the bit I’m most annoyed about. If it was built at roughly the same site and roughly on the same axis as the existing lines in the area then it would be very curvy, but at least reusable.

    I think it’s eminently practical to treat it as a section of a new tube line from Waterloo to Clapham Junction to regenerate the entire south bank and relieve the lines into Waterloo, design accordingly, and get the developer to pay for the Vauxhall to Battersea middle section (but not the do any more than hollow out the Vauxhall platform tunnels to save service disruption later) and the bodge required to hook it to the Northern line to provide a service for the immediate future. Publicly fund the southern end section to Clapham Junction, and when the other tube extensions finally materialise you have the option to do things properly at the northern end.

    As for the map, as mentioned before, the northern line extension I proposed duplicates the NR routes so they can be sped up. You’re not going to be able to quad track the surface route, so a tunnel will be needed, be it express for NR services or tube, but with the surface stations closing. The natural route for the extension as a tube tunnel is probably via Denmark Hill, North Dulwich, Sydenham Hill and then Crystal Palace, which doesn’t really duplicate the surface, but a) misses the major interchanges of Loughborough Junction and Herne Hill, and b) wouldn’t really increase track capacity much either as it would mainly create new journey opportunities, so by relieving the existing routes it could only create capacity by making their service worse (as the demand would be lower) to free up paths.

  35. mrjrt says:


    That’s a terrible example, IMHO. Had it been built as originally intended to Watford then the line would be very well used. The bus routes serving that axis gets rammed in the peaks. Even as a tube route only as far as Bushey Heath and with the green belt legislation, only the station at Bushey Heath itself would have been questionable, and with the modern love of park and ride then it could potentially have had a role in that capacity at the then-end of the M1. Regardless, the amount of money wasted on abandoning the work done was criminal given how advanced it was, so calling the abandonment ‘competent’ is quite the wrong term to be using 😉

  36. C says:

    Nice return to form on LR! Good stuff.

    I’m in the camp of it’s better than nothing. I completely agree it would be better heading down to Camberwell or Peckham or New Cross (or a combination of the three) – but it isn’t. So we’d better get used to it. And hope its potential is optimised.

    Extension to Clapham Junction should be at opening, or shortly after. Shame the TBMs can’t start there though.

    Queenstown Road should be closed – and SWT trains sped up and increased in frequency where possible on the Windsor lines. I seem to recall an additional line popping up in an RUS here, or something.

    Battersea Park should be renovated (I think covered in the works) but then linked with the new Northern Line station as an interchange. It may well relieve all of Clapham Junction, Victoria and Waterloo if people from Southern commuter trains change onto the Northern line here, and head to the West End. Maybe it gets renamed to Battersea – but I think another station before Clapham on an extension would be good, in real Battersea.

    Options should be examined for the future beyond CJ, to make use of this and ensure it’s not another stub. Wandsworth is an obvious option – with potential Windsor line things to follow, or it could act as a very cheap Crossrail 2 and run in tunnel to Raynes Park (Earlsfield NR closing) before running to branches. But these tiny trains aren’t really fit for that purpose, and the branches would be problematic.

  37. jamesup says:

    Similarly shifting from ‘how dare you steal south east london’s future tube line’ into the ‘it’s not perfect but i’ll take it’ camp.

    If it only runs to Battersea, and the NR interchange is terrible or non-existant (as suggested), those two stations will never need the potential 33tph of a post split northern line – nor will a two platform station be a good place to terminate it – and I guess you could run another junction off the loop somewhere, so my pipe dreams to the South East or an express nothern line need not be discarded just yet.

  38. Andy M says:

    Whilst a new extension is welcome it is beyond bonkers that it provides a THIRD station in the space of a few hundred yards.

    Have we learnt nothing about integrated transport?

    Surely this is a great opportunity to connect them up and have one big Battersea station – which might take a little pressure off CJ, Waterloo and Victoria.

  39. stimarco says:

    For those wondering why the Bakerloo extension keeps getting pushed onto the back-burner, one of the reasons is likely to be the present Lewisham station site, which is unlikely to cope well with any additional lines added to it, and suffers from having a four-track avoiding line that reduces interchange opportunities too. As a result, it’s hard to build up a good CBR for serving the present station, but it’s also difficult to justify having an interchange that only serves the Hayes and Catford Loop lines either. The rail network in this area is a godawful mess of kludges and cut-rate construction – the motto at the time was clearly “All flat junctions, all the time!”

    There is an increasingly strong case for rebuilding the station, along with its approaches, and its many junctions, preferably below ground, on a new site / alignment that better serves the town centre. The air rights above the new station box would help pay for much of the work, as would the follow-on improvements to other infrastructure enabled by releasing the old infrastructure for other uses.

    Yes, it’d have a big number in the total price tag, but unlike alternative proposals, this project would provide many infrastructure improvements that would benefit not only Lewisham itself, but also many of its neighbours, including New Cross, Rotherhithe, Brockley, Lee, Blackheath and Greenwich. Furthermore, by realigning the station and its junctions, as well as providing much more grade separation, service frequencies and capacity can be improved on all routes via Dartford, Grove Park and Catford too. And, of course, the CBR for sending the Bakerloo line via Lewisham too, as well as proposed DLR extensions to Catford or Forest Hill, increase dramatically too. There would be no more “This service is fast to Ladywell” or “Not calling at St. Johns”.

  40. timbeau says:

    “Andy M”

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find a big surge in use of Battersea Park, and even QTR, as people discover it’s only a few hundred yards between them and the new tube station – probably quicker than mucking about at Waterloo or Victoria (particularly if you are also changing at Clapham Junction!) and you get to join the tube at the terminus!

    The question may turn out to be not “can we close BPk and QTR” but how do we expand them to cope with the crowds! the

  41. Fandroid says:

    I’m with the ‘better half a cake than none’ tendency so would support a NL extension. The argument that ‘the line is mostly empty now, so why extend it?’ is a bit odd. If an extension attracts more passengers, then the current facilities will be better used.

    It struck me too that an interchange at Battersea involving both NR stations as well as the Tube would improve the network as a whole. However, a look at the local geography reveals why it’s just about impractical. The proposed Tube station is jammed about as far west as it can go without crashing into the first set of NR tracks serving Victoria. It could be built below these tracks but that would cost zillions extra due to access difficulties and the developers are hardly likely to volunteer more money to have their Tube station sited further away from their site. So with that constraint, the distance from Battersea Park station to the Tube Station is about 400 metres, near enough if you know about it and are keen but not good enough for your average punter. No-one is going to finance fancy subways either. Queens Road is even further away from the Tube station and there are schools blocking the most direct route between them.

    I’m with mr_jrt on Vauxhall though. It’s sensible that no Northern Line station be opened there while the extension only reaches Battersea, but once it got to Clapham Junction, then both stations between CJ and Waterloo could be closed (with all the benefits that could bring) with all Victoria Line passengers decamping at CJ and transferring twixt Northern and Victoria in a fancy new Tube interchange at Vauxhall. The only loss would be a new Tube station at Nine Elms.

  42. swirlythingy says:

    Strange as it may seem to some of our more avid Google Maps join-the-dots enthusiasts, the point of building railways is not just to build railways. A new railway line needs to have a purpose if it is not to risk being worse than useless – and this line is notably bereft of one.

    @Fandroid: I’m not sure what you mean by, ‘the line is mostly empty now, so why extend it?’, but for the avoidance of doubt, my earlier statement along those lines was sarcastic.

  43. Jonno says:

    I like the idea mentioned by others of not extending to clapham junction but serving parts of battersea and Wandsworth not so well served. It may be possible to provide interchange on the west London line close to the Old battersea high street station perhaps. The line could then terminate at east Putney or Putney bridge for district line interchange.

    Thinking about the bigger picture of the battersea site – if it has all the homes and jobs that its backers claim then battersea park, queens town rd etc would all still be useful much in the same way that Brixton nr station is useful for people from SE London. Given the proximity of the less well used part of the southeastern mainline to the site and the proposed northern line station I wonder what thought has been given to a new southeastern station that could be served by the Orpington and dart ford trains. Interchange wouldn’t be that useful until an extension happened but surely someone should think about passive provision in case a chelsea FC turn up!

  44. ChrisMitch says:

    @swirlythingy – well said.
    We do not want to spend the money on a tube extension just because it is available. this is the wrong project to spend money on.

  45. JamesC says:

    The issues here are that

    A) If the development was not going to fund the extension then it will never be built, and they are not going to fund another development that does not allow access/ give added value to their development. That’s simple a fact of life – like it or loath it.

    B) The issue with interchanges is a valid one, however it’s only a short walk (some of the jlx interchanges are linger walks…..)

    However what IS wrong here is that although the developers are funding it, and the second station, what should have been demanded to be included were extension tunnels from the terminal end (like the Victoria line over running tunnels) heading towards Clapham junction (as far as is technically feasible with the same TBM’s so that the future extension there could be built with the minimum of disruption in the future.

    As for the SE of London, yes we would all like the bakerloo extension to happen, but with the Alston few years seeing huge amounts of money being spent on cross rail, LO projects, the fact is who is going to pay for it? ????? If money was growing know tress then yes sure go for it tomorrow. Whilst I’m sure there are many other projects/departments where money could be diverted from to fund it, those will mainly be political suicide to cancel as well.

    The fact is that unfortunately London is going to have a period of reduced large projects for the next few years like the rest of the world is going to have as well. Unless everybody in London would likey to pay a BLX tax……

  46. Ig says:

    On funding it says here, (July 2012):

    “But questions about funding linger. The winning bidder has not, so far, stated publicly how much it will be contributing, and even if it is the same £200 million as committed by the previous developer, that will leave a shortfall of some £550-£700 million, depending on different reported cost estimates.”

    But everyone should stop moaning. 2 stops in the hand is much better than none whatsoever. And what’s so bad about developer led tube extensions. Remember Metroland 100 years ago? I say well done to this Malaysian consortium if they achieve something nobody else has managed for the last two decades, i.e. sorting out Battersea Power Station, and if they also help pay a big chunk of the cost of a couple of extra tube stops at the same time, even better!

  47. Anonymous says:

    As well as the Bakerloo and Victoria there is also – theoretically at least – the possibility of sending the Met into SE London, which currently is wasted terminating in the City.

    Tunnelled from Aldgate into Bermondsey, Surrey Quays and then Deptford taking over the Greenwich branch to Dartford. You obviously help out London Bridge and can send more trains on the other two branches out of Dartford, but the Jubilee gets relief, as does Canada Water and the EEL. The main issue (beyond money of course) is Aldgate, which not only would need a rebuild but also there are issues of where to tunnel down. If that can be solved than I imagine Tfl could get a development above the new station which would finance a large chunk of the costs.

  48. swirlythingy says:

    For the last time, the reason I’m “moaning” is that, no, two stops in the hand are not necessarily better than none whatsoever. A tube extension is not necessarily a good thing simply by virtue of being a tube extension. If you can all stop being enraptured by the promise of the shiny thing for two seconds, this extension should not happen. It’s awkward, badly planned, socially useless and operationally ridiculous. I’m not even implying that a different extension should happen instead – simply that the Northern line should not be extended, full stop. It’s being rushed through because TfL got pound signs in their eyes, and no longer particularly care after the Dangleway debacle whether they are a serious public service provider or a fashion accessory.

    Nobody’s paying the blindest bit of attention to what I write, so I’ll give up now.

  49. Mark says:

    @swirlythingy – why socially useless? Victoria Line and Vauxhall station in particular is so crowded that some morning passengers are held at the gateline before being allowed in.

    20,000 new residents are going to be moving in to the Nine Elms area over the next 10-20 years. These people all need to get to work. There isn’t the space for them at Vauxhall, and Battersea Park / Queenstown stations seemingly have been insufficient to act as a catalyst for development in what has frankly been an industrial wasteland for the past 20 years. The regeneration of the area would create housing (both social and “bankers’ penthouses”) and jobs.

    A study (admittedly by TfL) has shown that this has a BCR ratio of 1.5; adding in wider economic benefits, it’s 3.0 – 7.0.

    So why socially useless?

  50. StephenC says:

    I attended the exhibition this evening. It was broader than just the Northern Line extension, and covered the whole set of developments from Vauxhall to Battersea. The Northern Line part is now looking pretty well worked up in engineering terms, and I can’t see that much changing now. Some points I picked up:

    – the tunnels are planned to extend west of Battersea Power station far enough for one train to be stored in each without blocking the platform.
    – if the Northern West End branch goes to 33tph, then they currently think 28tph will be for Battersea Power and 5tph looping at Kennington.
    – there is a proposed footbridge from the middle of the site across the Thames. This will make Pimlico walkable to many residents.
    – the adjacent South East main line is interesting, but I got no sense that there were plans for a junction station (despite obvious potential for linking the site to the south).

    On the proposal in general, I’m unenthused like many others. I’m less fussed about developer-led schemes, but more fussed by sensible enhancements to the transport network. And thats the big problem with this scheme, it has zero network integration (no Vauxhall link or Clapham link). Great for the new residents to get to the West End or City, but rubbish for getting to west or south London,

    Since its likely to go ahead, we have to make the most of it. For me, I’d take Crossrail 2 via the new Battersea Power station (Clapham Junction – Battersea Power – Victoria) rather than Chelsea. This new junction between Northern and CR2 neatly links the development into the main rail network. It also obviates the need to extend the Northern to Clapham Junction. That in turn means that the Northern could be extended to Battersea proper and on (Hammersmith via Parsons Green is one option, Roehampton via Putney is another, Earls Court via Chelsea a third). This combination of crossing lines at Battersea power would certainly make the most of the bad start of this stub branch.

    @stimarco, re Lewisham. Did you see the Lewisham Junction idea?

  51. john b says:

    Swirly: I don’t understand your point about ‘operationally ridiculous’. It uses Kennington terminators – ie it fits perfectly with the operational requirements of the Northern Line. In the event of a Camden rebuild (has there been any progress at all on this?) it would also fit well with the much-needed operational split of the Northern into two lines.

  52. Rich says:

    At anonymous 09:26PM, 15th November 2012

    I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with your Met proposal, but starting a tunnel at Aldgate which is is extremely tight and has several other lines around which would cause huge construction closures/delays, and probably be very awkward.

    If you were going to extend the Met that way, could you potentially use the old Moorgate Thameslink spur to do it (eg: split the Met to the now unusued lines just East of Farringdon/at Barbican, and tunnel down from there so you are underground before you reached Moorgate, thus enabling the extra platforms there to still be used for stabling). You could also possibly then rerouteing the tunnel slightly so as not to call at Liv St/Aldgate (maybe a new stop in the City &/or Fenchurch St/Tower instead) to be better aligned for onward boring, although possibly the gradients/locations of the Crossrail tunnels prevent this.

  53. Littlejohn says:

    @Anonymous 09:26PM, 15th November 2012.

    If you really want to get the Met onto the ELL you can always reinstate St Mary’s Curve. I understand there are potential clearance problems if two trains try to pass on the curve but that may not be impossible to overcome, and probably much cheaper than tunneling a new line.

  54. Kingscross says:

    We’re told the NLE is necessary because Battersea Park doesn’t have the capacity to take extra services for the (projected) thousands of extra passengers post-redevelopment of Nine Elms. But how much scope is there for extra trains, or extra stops by existing services at Battersea Park – after the CLJ Overground extention opens?

    Or could more operational capacity at Battersea Park be created by diverting some Victoria services into the International platforms at Waterloo via the Eurostar/Linford Street viaduct?

  55. answer=42 says:

    Can I address the issue of whether privately funded development is additional money or is not necessarily better than nothing? i.e. Swirlythingy vs Mark, lg and others.

    The purpose of any new public transport infrastructure is to create value to its users – new journey opportunities and time saved; and to its non-users – less road congestion. This value is likely to be reflected in higher property prices and rents. The higher prices are an alternative way of looking at the value added, they are not additional.

    Obviously, any developer will benefit from the increased values – this is what pays for the development, after all. If a developer is involved in the design of the project, he/she can ensure that more of the project’s value goes to his/her development. This is normal behaviour. One can imagine a transport project that shuts out all journeys that go to places other than the new development. In this case, the developer captures all the value. If the new development then acts uncompetitively and closes down other shops and journey destinations, then negative value will have been created – Swirlythingy’s point. But this surely must be an extreme case. The normal situation is that value is created and the developer gets a slice. Nothing wrong with that.

    On the financing side, a new public transport development can be funded from a mixture of future fare receipts, taxes, borrowing and developer funding. Taxes and developer funding are not so different as you might imagine. Local business taxes can be raised specifically to pay for transport infrastructure – as was done for Crossrail. Any developer will be able to write off his transport funding against future tax. So developer funding is really only an advance against future tax receipts and isn’t extra money that can’t be obtained by any other means.

    So, faced with a developer proposal for a transport project, what is the strategy to obtain the best value from the project? ‘Optioneering’ – horrible word – compare the developer proposals with the possible alternatives and choose the one with the greatest net benefits (not highest BCR). The result might be the developer funded proposal or it might not. You have to crunch the numbers. Which hasn’t been done in this case, as far as I know.

  56. Andrew Bowden says:

    Whilst I can completely see the sense in running the line to Clapham Junction, isn’t one of the massive problems with this that the Northern Line would start pretty much at capacity and then get worse?

    Personally I suspect the main reason why TfL are so behind this is that it gets them another step closer to splitting up the Northern Line in to two distinct lines. All of a sudden you get a complete divorce of the line at Camden Town. Southbound via Charing Cross to Battersea, southbound via Bank to Morden. No more through trains from Charing Cross to Morden, thus reducing complexity.

    Then “all” they need to do is sort out the mess of Camden Town and they’re done it. 20 years time anyone?

  57. Rational Plan says:

    I think some peoples objections are based on class issues. Rich developers bending transport to suit their needs and it all going to benefit rich Londoners in swanky new apartments. Except some people use terms like ‘real Londoners’

    But the problem as identified by others is where will money come from? Even with a gung ho attitude to new rail proposals. It will be crossrail 2 and 3 and then a Bakerloo line extension before anything else. That means 20 to 40 years time depending on the level of funding.

    Also, while the new area may be full of expensive flats, it does mean that other areas of London will be spared gentrification, so it’s two sides of the same coin.

    In regards to network linkages there are several problems. One that a link at Vauxhall would increase loadings on the Victoria line and that linking to a major interchange station like Clapham will overwhelm the capacity created.

    To serve somewhere like Clapham, with tube lines, you’d need several built at one time to cope.

    What will change the dynamic of the area is the building of Crossrail 2. A lot of people would have a one seat ride to the West End, thereby relieving Waterloo and the Charing cross branch of the Northern. A lot of people will, I suspect, just ride to Tottenham court road and change there for the City and Docklands. At that point the Northern line would be free to either extend to Clapham Junction and beyond without being swamped, or meet Crossrail 2 at a new Battersea station.

    If crossrail 2 also includes a link to Tooting broadway then even more traffic will be diverted from both branches of the Northern line.

    The Victoria line would also lose a lot of its Vauxhall customers and be free to extend further into south London.

    In the meantime the Northern can be extended a couple of stops, making a clear statement of intent.

    Here is my favourite idea for extending the Northern line.,-0.157499&spn=0.02903,0.084543

    It would go west, with a stop at Battersea park and the Junction for the Albert Bridge road, then westwards to near London heliport and then to the North of Wandsworth Station under Sainsburys Homebase. The stations so far are all easy to be built as cut and covers, either being under open land or low rise industrial or retail uses.

    After that the only difficult station to build would be Putney. with links to both the railway station platforms and entrance near the tube station.

    I’d then extend it to Barnes common which would make a good interchange point, as the Windsor lines split here and it is a major bus link to Roehampton university.

    The aim of this would be relieve the overcrowding that affects the inner part of the Windsor lines.

    If money was even easier to get, or building costs magically lower I’d extend it to Twickenham closing all the stations that are just served by slow trains. These slow trains would no longer need to stop at those stations and would be much faster, relieving the overcrowding at the main stations where people prefer to cram into the expresses.

  58. Anon says:

    It’s a crying shame that they aren’t proposing a new Battersea station that also joins up Queenstown Road & Battersea Park; given the maze of lines in the area perhaps this isn’t possible without rebuilding both NR stations?

    If nothing else, it could at least be a bit closer to Battersea Park station – it’s just about how you envisage the entrance to the redeveloped site as to whether or not moving it from the currently drawn location makes it closer or further from the Power station.

    I hope the US Embassy are being squeezed for a contribution as well, though perhaps the line would have to go all the way to Richmond where they all live to truly benefit them! Perhaps an extension to Clapham J would suffice?

  59. Anonymous says:

    Aside from whether this extension is needed I must go back to the financing point. It is completely unacceptable for developers to only stump up £200m or so for something that will cost 3 or 4 times this. £500m – £600m could work wonders on all sorts of other initiatives and we all have our own list of favourites. I am fed up to the back teeth with the Mayor saying “this is unfunded”, “I can’t find any money for this” when he is actively pushing a scheme where TfL will have to find or be given a monstrous sum of money just so some people can live in fancy riverside flats or go to another branch of a high street chain store. If the developers need the extension then they MUST pay for the entire thing, otherwise they can go home.

    @ Anonymous 2126 – I rather suspect that Crossrail will prevent any major tunnelling works in the City such as trying to get the Met Line further east. I’m no engineer but I’d be amazed if you could get new tunnels down at Aldgate. You’d have to start the descent a long way further west thus moving Met trains into separate tunnels. Those tunnels would inevitably collide with the very substantial Crossrail works at Barbican, Moorgate and Liverpool Street or possibly the Northern Line at Moorgate. Given Crossrail will (probably) serve Woolwich and also Abbey Wood it will relieve some South Eastern routes out of London Bridge / Cannon Street.

    For those commenting on the capacity issues at Lewisham perhaps we need to emulate the Japanese where two schemes have entered service in recent weeks which have unblocked junction bottlenecks and removed level crossing related traffic jams by creating new alignments, sometimes “double decker” ones? More details on the excellent Tokyo Rail labyrinth blog –

  60. john b says:

    There’s an extent to which people here are a bit overkeen on playing Fantasy Railway League without thinking about what would be the point.

    Joining QR to BP would achieve what? Both these stations are metro stations that clog suburban lines, there’s no benefit provided by an interchange, and we’d be better off without them if there were an alternative way for people who live there to get into town. Which there will be.

    Extending the Met beyond Aldgate would achieve what? While the whole SSL setup is strange, the termini at Baker St and Aldgate work well, and there’s (as highlighted by the proposal above) nothing sensible to join it to.

    On the other hand, Andrew B is right on. And the extra paths that the Northern Line split would provide would provide enough capacity to make the Battersea-Clapham J extension feasible. Trebles all round!

  61. Steven taylor says:

    Just been reading this thread Re closing Battersea Park / Queens Road stations. I live at Clapham Junction and often go to Battersea Park station. The initial Northern Line extension will not assist me if these stations close. Also, I know of people who join at Queens Road / Battersea Park for onward travel to Richmond/Balham etc.

    These stations are well used in comparative terms, and I cannot see them ever closing.

    Also, Battersea Park will be used by london Overground if Wandsworth Road – Clapham is closed for engineering works.

  62. DeepThought says:

    @Andrew – I’d also worry about Clapham Junction filling the Line from the start, but passengers would always have to balance a faster journey between CJ and Waterloo overground versus getting a seat on the tube. I suspect many would end up staying on their trains to Waterloo anyway.

    @Mark, and in general – What scares me about the Battersea development and extension plans is the short-term opportunistic attitude with that seems to have plagued much of London and the Tube’s history. Much of the tube was built with similar motivations (see Metroland), and we ended up with the disjointed, poorly planned network that we all complain about today. Now we seem to be doing the same thing again, building a section of the tube that doesn’t link to existing infrastructure even when that infrastructure is all of a couple of hundred meters away.

    I know I sound like I’m anti-development but I don’t mean to. I’m just concerned that London is moving towards having these very high density hotspots around already busy transport links, and then huge areas of low density housing with little infrastructure and even less investment. I’d prefer it if this city went in the direction of sorting out a bunch of well know transport problems, allowing redevelopment to happen over a much wider area.

  63. answer=42 says:

    @anon 11:33
    You can’t make embassies pay taxes or anything like them. Against diplomatic protocol. This applies to Congestion Charge too, say the courts.

    @anonymous 11:41
    At the risk of increasing your blood pressure even higher, I should point out that the true cost to the developer of a £200 million contribution to the extension is, if it can be set off against future tax (and it probably can be), is the net present value of its borrowing costs to the periods when the tax claims can be made. A difficult calculation and I could be out by an order of magniture or so but I would take a stab at £20 million. Quite a profitable investment, I would suggest. Thank you, friend Boris, thank you very much.

    @Deep Thought
    ‘Much of the tube was built with similar motivations (see Metroland), and we ended up with the disjointed, poorly planned network that we all complain about today. ‘
    See also Herne Hill.

  64. Josh says:

    It’s outrageous. Developers trying to get good transport connections for their developments. Especially, when it’s nice apartments they’re for. What nerve! In Gotham we know how to treat such people. We send them out to die on a frozen river.

    Signed Bane.

  65. answer=42 says:

    That is precisely the point I am not making. Why don’t you read both my posts?

  66. Rational Plan says:

    Well it obviously grates with some that this small extension will serve lots of upper middle class people rather than other areas. But on the other hand who actually has all those good paying jobs in the City and West End? The new occupants of these extra 20,000 flats will be more likely to commute to central London than residents elsewhere.

    It is not as if no one would not use the new line, Not only would people in the new housing areas benefit but people who live off Battersea Park road and York Road will probably end catching a bus to Battersea Power station, These areas have seen big increases in population leading to overcrowding at Clapham and Wandsworth.

    New Lines could be built in other parts of South London but either at much greater expense or similar short length. Extending the Bakerloo would get you to Burgess Park on either the Old Kent Road or down Walworth. The only problem is who would pay for it? The Northern extension is from direct developer contributions and borrowing against the increase local land taxes (TIF financing). There is nowhere else in London with such underused land, but already surrounded by such wealthy neighbourhoods making it easy to engineer a big increase in land values.

    Any other route require more traditional financing. And as other have said then it’s to the back of the queue begind other crossrail projects, or the muted new express commuter tunnels into the capital ( such as a new underground roue towards Brighton or Tonbridge). If the ever built all those, then a new Bakerloo line would take precedence anyway.

    Also any new line will end up transforming whatever neighbourhood it travels through. Within 20 years all traditional private sector inhabitant will have been forced out through price increases.

    @answer 42
    While you can’t make an embassy pay tax, anybody who is building a new building for them still have to pay s106 fees if they want planning permission.

    @deep thought

    But that is what is happening in planning terms, High density development around transport nodes, that leaves the existing lowish density areas alone. At the end of the day no area of London is far from a railway station, and they all have excellent bus services.

    Also we can also want the perfect plan, but that might make a scheme uneconomic. The ‘perfect’ rail plan ends up huge stations that can cope with 30 years growth and mega interchanges with miles of corridors and escalators coming out the whazoo. But these end up costing mega billions and so we see very few being built. When the tube was built, it was just built good enough at the time. Sure they had to rebuild and expand later as the network was integrated, but it might never have happened at all if you wait for the perfect system.

  67. mr_jrt says:

    Personally, I couldn’t care less if the users of the line are rich or poor, I just care that it’s part of an integrated system. I’m not arguing the extension shouldn’t be built, and I think as a short-term measure that it’s not actually a bad way of getting something built as a first step…but it needs to be designed as part of a wider strategic network design. This is why I’m advocating stations every 3 minutes or so from Clapham Junction to Waterloo, as currently this axis is very poorly served by the NR lines running along it due to the need to serve suburban traffic. Closing Queenstown Road removes the problem of the tube not interchanging with the new tube station I guess, but of course introduces a change at Clapham Junction for existing users of the station (not a great hardship, IMHO). Closing Battersea Park is a little worse, but TBH, an OSI from Wandsworth Road along Stewart’s Road is not too bad, and there’s always the option of an interchange at Clapham junction to the new tube to cover that journey.

    In summary:
    Clapham Junction (LO, CR2) – Battersea High St. – Battersea Park – Nine Elms – Vauxhall (Vic, NR) – Lambeth – Waterloo (Jub, Bak, NCX, NR)

  68. Twopenny Tube says:

    Josh @ 12.42pm (somewhat sarcastically I’d venture to sugfgest): “It’s outrageous. Developers trying to get good transport connections for their developments. Especially, when it’s nice apartments they’re for.”
    Quite – I mean look what happened when the Metropolitan Railway Co. pulled that trick back in the last cwentury.

  69. Kit Green says:

    The comparison with the Metroland development ignores the fact that the Metropolitan Railway was funded entirely by the private sector.

  70. PC says:

    and it was MR who owned the development land alongside their railway. Perhaps TfL and LDA should be a bit more “joined up”.

  71. evergreenlondon says:

    How about extending to Clapham Junction via Battersea Latchmere and then on to a station in Wandsworth Town Centre, perhaps assisting regeneration there. The existing Wandsworth Town station is some way from the town centre but convenient for those living in riverside developments and in South Fulham who can walk over Wandsworth Bridge.

  72. jason says:

    If the Northern line filling up at CJ is going to be a problem, why not have some Battersea terminators as well (as Kennington)?

  73. stimarco says:


    Yes, I have seen the “Lewisham Junction” proposal. It doesn’t solve many of the problems with the many flat junctions themselves, and makes interchanging at Lewisham even more difficult than it is now by saddling the town centre with not one, but two half-arsed stations, one at each end, neither of which is accessible from the other without using the DLR as a glorified people mover – good luck with that during the rush hour! For a “solution” to Lewisham’s myriad transport infrastructure problems, it singularly fails to actually “solve” anything other than removing the worst of the speed restrictions and forcing all trains to stop at either one or the other station. It effectively duplicates the situation at New Cross, where you have two completely separate stations that do not interchange at all. (Note, too, that this also means the Overground has to retain a stupid stub branch at New Cross station to provide at least a token connection to its network. Operationally, this is far from ideal.)

    I’m writing an article for LR on the benefits of a more holistic approach to town and city infrastructure planning that will use my own “fantasy” proposal for the Lewisham area (and beyond) as an example. (I want to write up as a proper proposal, as a PDF, with explanations for each element, how it can all be phased, who the stakeholders would be, etc. With illustrations and maps. So it’s taking a while. None of this will be part of the article itself; it’ll just be a link to the PDF.)

    One more point to consider is UI / UX design. Wherever passengers and infrastructure meet, you have an interface, so it makes sense to ensure that interface is as good as it can be. A rail network is a machine for getting passengers from A to B. The more work that machine does for the passenger, the more likely they are to use its facilities. Where the Victoria Line offers cross-platform interchange, you get a lot of footfall. Where you have passengers having to traipse down long, cramped, corridors, up and down multiple flights of stairs / escalators, etc., the poor User Experience makes it less attractive as an interchange. This is why most people from Victoria station take the District to Hammersmith and change there for the Piccadilly to Heathrow, rather than going just one stop up the Victoria to Green Park. The interchange at the latter has a very poor user interface given that many passengers will have to make the long walk while carrying luggage.

    And that’s why TfL did the right thing by NOT going via Vauxhall. The user experience would be terrible unless the entire station – NR platforms, ticket hall and all – were also upgraded and improved to allow easy interchange. Cross-platform interchanging, as at Stratford for the Central Line, simply isn’t an option here. And that NR station is a Listed structure, so even adding four new lifts for step-free access to the viaduct platforms isn’t as simple as buying the cheapest models from the Otis catalogue and dropping them into place.

  74. stimarco says:

    For those advocating further extension of the Battersea branch via West London – and north of the Thames again at that – all I can say is: Seriously? You want to send a branch of one of the few Tube lines that actually ventures any distance into South London back to the north-west of London, which is already amply served by umpteen Tube lines?

    A far better choice would be to use the extension to reduce urban stations on the NR network to free up capacity and reduce journey times from points further afield. This is primarily a problem on the south London rail network as the Tube has grown up mostly north of the river for technical (and, partly, political) reasons. There are no longer any technical obstacles to tunnelling under south London, so extending the Tube in that direction makes far more sense. The NR network south of the river is doing double duty as both a heavy rail mainline with express services, and as an urban metro. Often, these services are sharing the same tracks.

    I’d argue a better option would be to extend the Battersea branch to Wimbledon, where it takes over the present District terminus platforms. CR2 can then dive under the station – there’s ample room for the tunnel approaches west of Wimbledon and it would avoid any need for land-take as NR already own the necessary land – to new underground platforms, before rising back up to take over the Wimbledon District Line branch and continuing through London as originally planned. (The same project could also build a new underground Tramlink terminus, should that be desirable. This would open up capacity for more services on the branch, while also freeing up a platform for mainline services on the surface.)

    Alternatively, the Battersea extension could run down to West and East Croydon stations, linking the two and also interfacing with the LO service to the former. This route could continue on to Biggin Hill via New Addington if a new, larger, depot is required for the service as there’s ample room there to build one and the area could use the employment opportunities. Much of it could be at-grade too, running near the Tramlink route for part of the run. This then has knock-on effects on the CBR of extending Tramlink beyond New Addington to, say, Hayes and Bromley.

  75. Anonymous says:

    Crossrail 2 isn’t going to take over the District line from Wimbledon. That ship has sailed and it’s clear Network Rail want the line in the south to take the pressure off the SWML. In fact, it seems very little of the original Chelney route will be followed as north of King’s Cross will probably see the line stay more North than East. Neither Tfl nor NR appear to want the Wimbledon to Epping line anymore.

    Re. the Northern, I’d keep it going SW rather than directly south, probably to around Twickenham, although generally I’d prefer if it went SE. East to Peckham with an interchange with the extended Bakerloo at New Cross Gate before going to Lewisham and taking over the Bexleyheath Line. Throw in a branch from Blackheath to Lee or a replacement station (tunnelled) since this is a dream. Never going to happen though.

  76. Ian Sergeant says:

    While if you look at the plan strategically it doesn’t make a lot of sense, tactically it is fine. It gives the developers a way of selling their houses as being ‘two minutes from the Northern Line’ while giving us something we can build upon in the future. Strategically, the line needs to provide an interchange at Vauxhall, but it would be a waste of money to do so now as Crossrail 2 is not committed, and could potentially change its route again so that it didn’t provide Victoria Line relief. Far better to add that part in once Crossrail 2 is complete. In that way it is similar to Shoreditch High Street and the Central Line after Crossrail 1 is built.

  77. this is too short-termist says:

    All those thinking that about extensions southwestwards, including the proposal, need to admit they are profoundly unfair. Building more lines south-west when Peckham and Camberwell etc are so poorly served is simply prioritising one set of Londoners above another. Of course the developers are happy but TFL and the Mayor should know better. It might be different if this were entirely developer-funded and no public money was involved but that is not the case.

    I begin to wonder why SE Londoners have to pay the same GLA council tax levy as others – they get no serious tube investment (which is a big chunk of TFL’s spending) and have to put up with the cheaper-to-operate buses instead. (And no, London Overground doesn’t count as redressing this – LO have taken over lines all around the capital).

    From a look at the tube map, you’d think TFL believe that there’s a giant magnet over Camberwell repelling any tube lines heading that way.

    As mentioned above, a strategy based entirely on building where existing demand is leads to certain areas becoming ever more in demand, with underused space lying around them – even if it’s geographically closer to where people want to be. Not the best use of our busy corner of the world.

  78. StephenC says:

    @stimarco, I’ll be interested in your Lewisham ideas, I suspect you’re looking underground. The current Lewisham station site has no real room to grow above ground. I see three junction station options – St Johns area, current Lewisham or South Lewisham (mine). I don’t think the first two are feasible above ground, but the latter is. Ultimately, if the services were re-arranged correctly with my proposal, you end up with only the Bexleyheath branch and DLR crossing at the current station, everything else would cross at the new junction station. (I have other thoughts for removing the New Cross LO branch). My view is that whatever you choose to do there is a compromise, but a new station has the better chance to build a full solution.

    At Vauxhall, I would have preferred a middle ground solution, with Nine Elms being close enough to Vauxhall that a future tunnelled Crossrail-style station could double-end the gap. While that might have been years off, it would have had obvious potential to re-connect the interchange. The current proposal is that Nine Elms is just too far from Vauxhall for this to work as far as I can see.

    On Northern extensions, this line is likely to be pretty full just dealing with new Battersea and Nine Elms, as they will be high density compared to the Morden branch. If that turns out to be right, and its full from Battersea, then heading south, SW or taking over an NR line will not be possible as the trains would be full. The proposal to head to Earls Court then fits in as it drives little through traffic to the line, but increases connectivity. (ie. I think Northern to New Addington is nowhere near feasible)

    While it might seem heretical to some, I don’t think that Southern London needs tube lines (Peckham/Camberwell aside). The NR lines cover the area well. The NR just need to be linked together into an actual metro network, with fast services removed, and tunnels to zone 1. One no-station fast tunnel will be cheaper than a many-station tunnelled tube extension. Focus new tunnels on zone 1.

  79. Whiff says:

    Interesting post and set of comments. For what it’s worth the more I read about this proposal the more I surprise myself by being in favour of it. As it is I hadn’t realised until I read this link that the Power Station had been sold again so it looks like, for better or worse, and barring further financial collapse, the re-development will finally be going ahead and with it the extension. As others have said the fact that TFL are holding a public consultation and the detail of the plans already made public suggest they must be reasonably confident that this is going ahead. Perhaps surprisingly it appears that the new owners are sticking exactly to the original plans even though I believe the company that came up with them, Treasury Holdings, were recently liquidated.

    @Swirlythingy makes the valid point that this extension will leave those who currently use the Northern line south of Kennington worse of. However, as I understand it once the Northern line is upgraded that stretch of line will be served by upwards of 30 trains an hour which seems more than enough. (As an aside, the thought of post-upgrade there being potentially up to 132 trains an hour passing through Camden Town an hour is slightly scary) The loss of direct trains to the West End is obviously a disadvantage but to my mind is outweighed by the potential benefits of the extension. It’s also hard to argue that Camberwell doesn’t deserve better public transport but unfortunately that isn’t going to happen anytime soon whether or not this extension happens. And it’s still, according to the consultation document, 16 000 homes that are going to be built close to public transport which is presumably a good thing.

    My two biggest concerns are firstly who is paying for the new line; there seem to be varying opinions on this so we’ll have to wait until next year to find out. Secondly the proposal as it currently stands seems designed to make it as easy as possible for people to travel into the centre of London and make it ever more congested. The assumption is that this will be people travelling for work but according to the consultation document 80% of people travelling on the new extension will be using the Charing Cross branch which seems unlikely, unless all the bankers and stockbrokers expected to live in the new developments are going to pile on to the Drain at Waterloo instead of changing at Kennington. Also the consultation document suggests that 25 000 jobs will be created by the developments so it is to be hoped that at least some people will be able to work near where they live and not have to commute to work at all.

    If the proposal to extend to Clapham Junction does happen then the extension starts to make more sense as the new line will make it attractive to commute to Battersea and start to take some of the pressure off the congested centre of London. In fact if I was the developer I would be building to Clapham Junction from the start and making it a selling point to companies that they can have their offices 5 minutes from the ‘busiest train station in Europe’. Commenters on here who appear to be in the know give the impression that the Northern Line will definitely be reaching Clapham Junction but I’m not sure where the money will be found to do so.

  80. Whiff says:

    ps interesting ideas on Lewisham though I think trying to come to terms with the complexities of those particular stretches of railway lines will make Herne Hill seem simple, and, as it was, trying to understand that article was enough to make my head hurt!

  81. Fandroid says:

    There have been several dark mutterings about ‘sorting out Camden Town’. Am I being naive when I assume that grade separation exists there, with the Charing X branch heading towards Edgware and the Bank branch heading towards High Barnet? (Both having previously crossed over/under each other at Euston) Although the track plans look like seriously tangled knitting, surely it’s possible for trains to do those manoeuvres without any conflicts. If so, what’s to ‘sort out’?

  82. peezedtee says:

    As I understand it the problem to be “sorted out” at Camden Town isn’t so much the trains, it’s the space for the passengers. The plan to separate the Northern into two distinct flows would mean a lot more people changing trains at CT, and as it stands there isn’t enough room there for them to do so. This means (or so it is claimed) that the station would have to be radically rebuilt.

  83. timbeau says:

    Operationally, it is indeed possible for a train from either northern branch to reach either cnetral London branch without conflict with another train to and from the other respective branch, and the same is true northbound. The problem is the passenger tunnels connecting the platforms. At present most passengers will avoid changing at CT by waiting at their starting station for the second train, should the first happen to be going to the wrong branch. If all trains from Edgware go to Charing Cross and all from High Barnet go to Bank, about 50% of passengers will have to change at Camden Town (or Euston, where it is even less convenient) and the passageways are simply not big enough to cope.

    One thing it would reduce though is the “Camden shuffle”, where southbound passengers wait in the cross passages to see which branch the next City or CX train (as appropriate) will come from. (All platforms are north of the junctions, so the problem only arises southbound).

    (It would also reduce the number of northbound trains that get held short of the station waiting fro a train from the other branch to clear the platform)

    Just a thought, but does anyone know what the relative proportions of City and CX passengers there are on the Morden end of the line? Given that it is suggested that many of the people expected to live in the new Battersea development will want to go to the City (and those who dowant the South Bank and West End will have the existing services from QTR and B Pk), could the tunnels at Kennington so that the City branch, not the CX branch, serves the new extension? It is not clear from the diagrams of the arrangments at Kennington whether there would be room to take new tunnels from the south end of the City branch platforms into the space before the crossovers from the CX branch come in.

    It also appears that it would be impossible to run a service between Kennington and Moorgate (the nearest reversing crossover) whilst the connections were made, whereas cutting into the loop would only prevent CX branch trains terminating at Kennington for the duration (they would all have to run through to Tooting or Morden) – but you can’t make an ome;lette without cracking eggs. Would it be possible? Would it be worth the extra aggro?

  84. Fandroid says:

    Thanks timbeau & peezedtee. I have only ever done changes at Camden Town outside the peaks, but can imagine that with crowds surging in both directions simultaneously it could get very sticky. The above ground congestion there would also suggest that there isn’t a lot of room for a construction site with decent access. But, if they can surgically insert a new a new Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road, then Camden Town would seem to be a doddle in comparison. (Underground market anyone?).

  85. Malcolm says:

    Could I ask for some clarification about these Camden Town problems? timbeau has clearly stated the secondary problem – that if the Northern line is split then the extra changing passengers will be too many for Camden Town to safely handle without a big rebuild. But what is the primary problem, the one to which splitting the Northern Line is the solution? I have a vague impression that it is something to do with tph; it is perceived that more trains per hour can be achieved on the whole line if the two-way Camden business is avoided. Is this the reason for splitting, and if it is, is it valid? And is there a clever technical signalling way of solving it? You could buy a lot of brilliant signalling engineers’ time for the price of a few yards of pedestrian tunnel, and there’s bound to be more than a few yards needed.

  86. Anonymous says:

    Just want to flag up that the Western half of central London has plenty of highly paid jobs too and there shouldn’t be an assumption that Battersea will be full of bankers and brokers working the City (and CW). There are obviously the smaller financial firms (e.g. Funds) based in Mayfair and businesses offering luxury goods and services, but PR, advertising, marketing, media, new media, design, fashion, post production, music and others are based throughout the West End and they employ some highly paid individuals. Behind Oxford street is full of offices hosting a broad range of businesses, I’ve worked in one and had interviews with others. In between there and the City you have legal firms and publishing houses, so staying on the Northern until TCR and changing will make sense.

    Another point to consider is that this whole development area seems to be most dense close to Vauxhall, certainly that is where all the towers are going. From the middle of the site at Nine Elms (say where the South London Mail centre is) one would be around 500-600m from Vauxhall, which is around 6-8min walk if you go by the average person walking a kilometre in 12mins. I suspect therefore that for many the victoria line will make more sense in terms of offering the quickest and/or easiest journey.

  87. Anonymous says:

    For those wishing to know the layout at Camden Town, here is one of those famos cutaway drawings from “The Eagle”:

    As can be seen, the way to avoid crossing movements at the flat junctions is to keep the easternmost tunnels together and the westernmost tunnels together: Barnet – CX Branch – Battersea and Edgware – City Branch – Morden [if this seems counter-intuitive, it is, as someone laready pointed out, because they cross each other again at Euston – but at diifferent levels]. I stand to be corrected, but I beleive the reason that this had no been done previously was that Barnet Branch and City Branch both needed more trains than Edgware and CX branches. If thiis was no longer the case and all branches had 30tph, then it shouldn’t be a problem operationally. Of course this may still mean you’d need more iinterchange tunnels, but at least you don’t need a TBM for those and they can be dug behind hoardings 24/7.

    There is also another diagram here:

  88. timbeau says:

    two simple end-to-end shuttles will always be easier to operate than a multi-stranded hydra like the Northern Line, where a delay on either branch will intrefere with the smooth running of the other where they fail to mesh properly again where they rejoin.

    The layout at Camden Town is more versatile than Anon 0802pm suggests – if you study the layout carefully you will see that parallel moves Barnet – City and Edgware -CX are also possible without conflict – and likewise north bound.

    Indeed, because of the constraints at Kennington (where it is not possible to terminate a city train whilst a CX-Morden is leaving (and not does it seem that it will be possible to run City – Battersea at all) it is generally expected that if the line were to be split, it would be Edgware – CX- Kennington and High Barnet – City – Morden. This is the simplest way to give each line one of the two depots (Golders Green and Morden).

  89. Ian Sergeant says:

    For those of you who haven’t seen it, here is TfL on Northern Line separation: (scroll to the bottom)

    To do this without any work at Camden would seem impossible. 28-32 tph would run on each line (instead of the current 20 and the planned 24), and you can assume around 50% of a full train would need to change in the peak, a horrendous prospect in the current station. Rather than just creating wider platforms with more connections between them, it is possible to rebuild with facing platforms for Bank/Charing X and Edgware/High Barnet? This would be much easier for passengers.

  90. Whiff says:

    ‘Given that it is suggested that many of the people expected to live in the new Battersea development will want to go to the City’

    @Timbeau – TFL seem to disagree with you. If you go to Factsheet 8 from the above consultation, the response to Key Issue 5 (concerns about chaos at Kennington), gives the following quote.

    ‘Around 80 per cent of additional passengers as a consequence of the NLE are forecast to use the Charing Cross branch rather than the Bank branch.’

  91. Malcolm says:

    Aha! The tfl document that Ian refers to talks about partly separating the Northern line – and it goes on to specify that that would be at Kennington. It does not seem to refer to anything different being done at Camden Town at all.

    But I’m sure that I have heard of somebody’s ambitions to make a fixed allocation at Camden Town as well. This would be not a partial separation, but a full one.

    Yes, this would make operating simpler, and confine the effects of disruptions. But isn’t it better to try to minimize any disruptions? Disruptions that do not happen, do not propagate! If you take the “simplify” mantra to its extreme, you could break even a simple tube line into two, and make the passengers change trains at the join. This might give a “more reliable” service. But it is rarely suggested!

    The way passengers wait on the platform for the right train is not only beneficial to the passengers. The operators also benefit, because they do not have to provide, staff, clean, etc all the interchange passageways.

    Anyway, if having simple point-to-point tube lines, and making passengers walk between them, is so good, then why has the DLR been so recently built with a complex interwangling network of services?

    One could also cross-refer to the Herne Hill discussion. There expensive plans are being made to introduce the sort of flexibility which Camden Town already has, but which (some) people want to drop. Hmmm.

  92. Whiff says:

    Thanks Ian Sergeant for the link. So it seems that whether or not the extension is built users of the line south of Kennington are going to lose direct services to the West End but be compensated with up to an extra 8 trains an hour.

  93. StephenC says:

    @timbeau I used to commute the southern Northern. If you happened to catch a CX branch train in the morning it was usually quieter than the Bank train. I’d guess at a 30% CX 70% Bank split. I do worry if Kennington will be able to cope with the additional changes after the Battersea branch is built.

    Making the Bank branch go to Battersea would require double the work at Kennington. Its not going to happen (remember, the parliamentary bill is due early next year).

    Its Borough I worry about. Before the Olympics, it only survived in the morning peak by 1/3 of the arrivals volunteering to walk up the stairs rather than wait for a lift. With the Battersea branch, Borough is likely to have to close northbound in the morning peak.

    Finally, I’d note that the Northern already tries, as I understand it, to run 30tph in the morning peak on the Morden branch. Thus the tube upgrade “increase to 30tph” seems to give the south end not very much…

  94. Ian Sergeant says:

    @StephenC Having spent many mornings waiting for a Morden train at King’s Cross I agree it feels more like 30tph than 20, so you are right that people for intermediate stations to Kennington gain little. But if you were an Edgware Branch commuter to Canary Wharf, you’d now choose to change at London Bridge rather than Waterloo I would have thought. If all trains go via Charing X you’d probably change at TCR if the separation comes in, relieving the Bank Branch a little. So there may not be many more trains, but we might be able to breathe a little easier on the Bank branch…

  95. Stationless says:

    Not sure how I eneded up as Anon08:02PM!

  96. Taz says:

    Camden Town has been inadequate for many years, having seen little change since the escalators replaced the lifts! It has been closed to incoming passengers from the Sunday afternoon market for a long while. However, two redevelopment plans failed to receive planning approval some ten years back. Could a developer be found to fund such a major project today?

    The Mayor’s Transport Strategy (May 2010) details the Northern Line upgrades on page 138. Currently only 6 trains an hour work in the peaks from Morden to Charing Cross branch, to be increased to 8 when the resignalling is commissioned in 2014. The rest start from the Kennington loop, and in future could start from Battersea. South of Kennington services will increase from 28 to 32 per hour in the peak direction, with no improvement in upgrade 2! On the Charing Cross and Edgware branches frequencies will go from 20 to 24 in upgrade 1 and 28 in upgrade 2. On the Bank and Barnet branches from 22 to 24 and then 32 northbound in the mornings, with only 28 southbound in Upgrade 2. It is clear that the final upgrade leaves no Morden to Charing Cross trains, but interworking at Camden Town is unclear.

    The 2010 LU Investment Programme expected Upgrade 2 to require up to 19 extra trains without Battersea. The new branch needs 4 trains for Upgrade 1 services (see Northern Line Upgrade Blueprint, which confirms that Battersea and Upgrade 2 are linked projects) so more than that for upgrade 2. A partial rebuilding of Camden Town and Kennington for interchange is said to be required to fully split the branches, but the capacity of the new signalling is unclear since it was specified on journey time capability rather than frequency. Perhaps it could achieve 26 or 28tph with the current service pattern, making station reconstruction difficult to justify to get to 32tph in peak direction on one branch only, or leave that for an Upgrade 3?

  97. Greg Tingey says:

    There is NO problem with the trains! Anywhere can go to anywhere, as has been shown.
    It’s the PLATFORMS (horribly crowded) and street access – Camden Town is often closed for periods, simply because it is so wedged, especially at weekends. It is from the platform surfaces upwards there that seriously needs a rebuild, which is going to be very expensive, as well as difficult to fit in, especially if you go & look at the ground & road layouts there.

    Extension beyond Battersea.
    DON’T go to CJ! That would guarantee wedged trains at the start – a better idea would be to continue paralleling the LSWR along the road, until you get to Wandsworth, then rise up, re-instate the Point Pleasant North viaduct, and dual-run down to Wombledon.

  98. Lemmo says:

    “trying to come to terms with the complexities of those particular stretches of railway lines will make Herne Hill seem simple, and, as it was, trying to understand that article was enough to make my head hurt!”

    Sorry Whiff, I was trying to present the options as simply as possible, but clearly Herne Hill has vexed the planners too, otherwise we’d have a solution by now!

    The choice basically comes down to grade-separation or track reconfiguration, alongside changes to the service pattern. If a new track layout, plus a service rehash to route more trains to Blackfriars, can give you metro service 6tph on each route then that’s probably enough. Then, and if TfL are sufficiently committed to HH as a “strategic interchange”, an extension of the Victoria Line becomes tenable.

    @ stimarco, look forward to your article on what I assume is better integration of land-use and transport planning, and how it may apply at Lewisham.

  99. mr_jrt says:


    If it went to Clapham Junction, feel free to explain why it would be rammed from the start. It seems to me that the only people who are going to change at CJ for a eastbound tube train are going to be heading to either Battersea (minimal), Nine Elms (minimal), Kennington (minimal), Elephant, Borough, London Bridge or Bank, otherwise they would just stay on the train to Waterloo and use the drain to get to Bank as they currently do, and those Bank branch stations are likely quicker reached by changing at Waterloo and heading south to Kennington anyway.

    It’s kinda also relevant as to why I keep bleating on about extending the W&C to Clapham instead of the Northern…it both gives a single-journey ride to Bank and can handle serving the alignment between Waterloo and Clapham Junction at a local level without being overloaded by virtue of paralleling it as a slower route, making an interchange at Vauxhall viable whilst also serving Lambeth properly.

  100. Whiff says:

    Sorry Lemmo, that wasn’t intended as a slight on you more on the complexities of an area of the South London rail network I don’t know very well.

  101. timbeau says:

    Whther the NLE connects to the City or CX branch, it would indeed be rammed from Clapham Junction if it started there – have you ever tried joining either the Drain or the Northern Line at Waterloo in the morning peak? Far better, and quicker overall, simply to join the Northern Line at its terminus. In addition, there will be people from Southern’s routes using it to avoid the scrum at Victoria.

    Even with the proposed terminus, there would be soon be a lot of savvy commuters doing the Out of Station interchange to and from Battersea Park just round the corner.

  102. DeepThought says:

    With the whole “rammed from Clapham Junction” problem, consider that along with flats the current plans call for the power station itself to become a pretty hefty site of employment, with offices, conference spaces and shops. Plus there is the new US Embassy going in a bit further up the road. If this takes off the way the developers would surely like it to, the Battersea is going to have to a lot of people commuting to as well as from it.

    Hence, in my opinion, the talk about closing Battersea Park and Queenstown Road further up the comments is premature, as otherwise there will be no way to get to easily travel to the Power Station from the South. It also makes the decision not to link into existing stations even weirder, unless TfL’s logic is to actively discourage people from making the switch.

  103. Littlejohn says:

    If people feel strongly that there should be some sort of interchange on the extension (Victoria Line/nearby NR stations/something else) then they need to make sure that it is submitted as a response to the consultation, as well as aired here (no doubt most if not all will be). That way, when the consultation report is published at least the reasons for not providing an interchange will have to be included.

  104. mr_jrt says:

    They’ve already stated their reasons for not interchanging at Vauxhall from the previous consultations. IIRC, the ground is difficult as it’s so close to the river (shingle I think?, so construction would be more difficult), and then there’s the disruption at Vauxhall, then there’s overloading the Victoria line.

    All of which I personally think are not good enough reasons to not make passive provision, but thems the reasons, like them or not. This is a rubber stamping consultation so I don’t think I can be bothered to repeat myself to them again as the reasons they”ve given before haven’t changed, so any objections would be deemed invalid I suspect.

  105. Taz says:

    Camden Town was last improved in 1929 when the escalators went in. It has closed inbound for Sunday afternoon market traffic since 1999. Dates courtesy of Doug Rose’s amazing compendium ‘Tiles of the Unexpected Underground’.

  106. Littlejohn says:

    If this is a new consultation it has to stand alone. I cannot see how responses can be invalidated on the grounds that similar responses were made to a different consultation. Having said that this does rather look like a box-ticking exercise after the decision has been taken.

    Regarding upgrading Camden Town, hasn’t one of the stumbling blocks in the past been that the local council will not permit any works at ground level, making it very difficult if not impossible to do anything underground?

  107. Anonymous says:

    If I remember, the problem last time was that the project depended upon money from a development above the station in order to go ahead, but there was a huge local backlash. This was due to the development itself (too big) and the fact one of the markets would have gone, or at least a part of it. At the time I knew someone who lived not too far away and his mum belonged to a vocal local campaign which tried to block the station redevelopment, most houses in Camden borough were informed about it. Council rejected the planning app and that basically killed any works on the station as Tfl could fund it alone. At the time i remember it being stated that project was dead until the end of this decade, so I don’t know if that means money will become available or if Tfl still need developments above the station.

  108. PhilD says:

    Speaking of Camden. Anyone got an idiot’s guide to what the problems are, their potential solutions and associated costs and timescales? I know it’s needs rebuilding, I’m just not au fait with the whys and wherefores.

  109. timbeau says:

    I think the main problem is that all passageways for interchange and entry/exit converge at one point at the bottom of the escalators. From a study of the Eagle diagram and my recollection of the station, it is not helped that these passages are quite narrow, and carry two way traffic, and the two leading to/from the southbound platforms (which are the ones which are involved in the “Camden dash” as City and CX trains can both appear at either s/b platform) also involve steps.

    Whether anyone has costed adding more cross-passages, or a second escalator shaft, I wouldn’t know. The Eagle diagram appears to show a lift shaft – is that still in use?

    Of course, if the Norhern Heights programme had been completed, many City passengers from the Barnet direction (and Edqware via Mill Hill) would have gone nowhere near the place!

  110. The other Paul says:

    I can’t see how, as some are suggesting, adding more rail capacity between Clapham Junction and Waterloo to the tune of 24tph on the Northern via Battersea could actually *increase* congestion on all the routes available. Clearly that doesn’t make sense. Ultimately the majority of travellers will still be piling off the same trains at some point and needing to get to the same places at the other end. Sure, some of them may decide to switch to the Northern at CLJ, when that option exists, but if they all do and that route becomes overcrowded the savvy commuters will switch back to Waterloo/the drain or whatever other routes are available.

    Adding more capacity will provide more capacity! And taking some pressure off Waterloo as an interchange would not be a bad thing. Sure, Clapham is busy too, but it has far more scope for expanding passenger interchange capacity than Waterloo, especially if/when/however the Northern would be accommodated.

  111. Taz says:

    Camden Town redevelopment project started in 1996 and was turned down on appeal in 2005 – see This is definitely a difficult site: “The previous sixteen designs were also rejected by Camden Council”. “Doing nothing is not considered an option by any party,” and yet that is what has happened since. It also mentions that “These developments were expected to provide 10% of the cost of construction,” which is only a small contribution.

    Apart from inadequate interchange for a divided service, the current ticket hall is much too small, and extra escalators are needed to move current demand. This will require further space at ground level and a construction site to permit sub-surface works, as current Crossrail sites demonstrate. Demolition is inevitable, with later redevelopment which will involve a property developer. All parties involved will never agree, so some compromise has to be found. The original scheme envisaged nine years to completion, with a temporary station opening within four years.

  112. Anon says:

    Re the ‘Camden shuffle’, can’t they put an indicator at the point where the passages to the southbound platforms diverge, telling people which platform for the next train (or next few trains) to Charing Cross and to Bank? Then at least you wouldn’t have to wait in the cross-passage.
    I don’t really know Camden Town but it sounds similar to the arrangement at Putney NR eastbound, where passengers for Vauxhall or Waterloo used to stand on the footbridge waiting to see if the first train would come into platform 1 or 2.

  113. timbeau says:

    I haven’t been there for a while, but I’m fairly sure there are already “next train” indicators in the cross passage at the bottom of the escalator,but hese only say what the next three trains are at each platform. But people being people, if there are two City trains (or two CX trains) approaching from both branches with similar arrival times, the passengers will wait until the last moment to see which one actually gets there first. The decision as to which train will be held at CT to wait for the other is taken by the signalman (or the programming) and is kept a secret from the passengers until one of the trains is actually given the road.

  114. Roger Sanchez says:

    I know I’m a bit late to the party but if you can’t make it to the public consultation I really urge you to fill in the TFL online questionnaire.

    Remember everyone filled in negates the impact of some local nimby twat. Its a real public service to fill one in and support the scheme.

  115. Lemmo says:

    Of course, you are very welcome to fill in the on-line questionnaire and submit your views to TfL if you are against the scheme, whether or not you are a “local nimby twat”.

    Based on the views of LR readers who have commented above, and bearing in mind that it is still not clear who will be paying for the scheme, it appears there are more people unconvinced than supportive.

    I’d also argue that it is a “real public service” to encourage a debate that is informed, open and civilised… which is what we try and do here. You don’t have to be local, a nimby or a twat to not like this scheme, and we welcome as many views as possible to enrich the discussion.

  116. Littlejohn says:

    The consultation has now been extended to midnight on 30 December, so there is plenty of time to submit your considered opions.

  117. Arkady says:

    Georgie Boy just announced £1billion in loans and guarantees to ensure this goes ahead.

  118. timbeau says:

    I thought the NLE was to be privately sponsored?

    Is there any money for the Goblin?

  119. John Bull says:

    No GOBLIN money that I can see so far. I was deliberately keeping an eye out for that, because having talked to various TfL people at the recent ELL press trip there looks, to me, to be an interesting situation shaping up with regards to Overground capacity improvements.

    More on that at the end of the week though, as I’m still doing some fact checking. there’ll be a piece up on the TfL Business Plan shortly as well.

  120. HowardGWR says:

    Regardless of the merits of the scheme, because of the tie to property developers, one is given an unfortunate impression of the possibility of effective subsidies to those who are speculators?

  121. Slugabed says:

    Worse than I thought,HMG is giving this scheme a loan guarantee.Madness.
    Let’s see what ACTUALLY happens to all that money.

  122. ChrisMitch says:

    As I said earlier, a pointless extension, using public money which could be spent better elsewhere.

  123. Greg Tingey says:

    Slugabed & Chris Mitch
    This is a “Loan Guarantee”, NOT a loan …..
    SLIGHT difference.
    Better this extension than nothing, or are you determined that only the purest of the pure are allowed to prosper?
    Classic example of the best being the enemy of the good (enough)
    If people persist in the attitudes you are holding, the one thing you CAN guarantee, is that NO railway construction will be done.
    May I suggest you grow up?

  124. timbeau says:

    I understand the concept of the best being the enemy of the good, but this is a white elephant which looks suspiciously like it will not only be used as an excuse to delay Crossrail 2 (Chelney) for another 60 years, whilst also permanently closing off one of only two opportunitues to extend the Tube into south and south east London. It demonstrates a complete lack of strategic planning or future proofing

  125. Anonymous says:


    Unless the extra traffic generated so swamps the Northern as to make Chelney even more necessary!
    There again I’m not really convinced that much underground expansion has been based on strategic planning. Perhaps the building of the Inner Circle or the interwar extensions into the suburbs would fall into this area but little else. The vast core of the system was built purely with an eye to profit. The Victoria was built as necessity to stop the system seizing up and ever since the Jubilee vacated Charing Cross any expansion has been based on property development. If strategic planning were the name of the game we’d be travelling on the Fleet Line, the DLR would terminate anywhere other than Bank and BR would have built the Euston-Victoria tunnel.

  126. Lemmo says:

    So what came of that Victoria-Euston tunnel proposal?

    A quick glance at the map shows that the route would probably go beneath… oh… Battersea!

  127. Slugabed says:

    Dear Greg
    I enjoy your posts and often agree with what you say,though sometimes your passion runs away with you.
    If you read my post carefully,I explicitly say “loan guarantee”
    I understand the difference between this and a loan.
    My point is that
    a)The state should not get involved in the finance of this scheme.I am not against it being built if the beneficiaries are prepared to foot the bill.
    b)Nevertheless,the Government has shown itself to be prepared to risk (yes,RISK,not commit,but the history of this development site inspires no confidence whatsoever) public money before it has even become necessary or even wise to do so.
    And finally,having just passed my 48th birthday,I consider myself to be quite grown up (and grown-up),thank you very much.

  128. timbeau says:

    A loan would have been better – that way the Gov’t would have got the money back (especially if underwritten by someone else).

    A loan guarantee means that the Gov’t, not the borrower, is taking the risk. And taking on the risk IS a commitment – that is, something that you are obliged to do should certain things come to pass.

  129. Slugabed says:

    Point taken,Timbeau…given the rate of failure of the companies who have owned the Power Station site over the last 30 years,shouldering this risk is indeed effectively making a commitment…

  130. Greg Tingey says:

    There is also the point that both the guvmint & TfL &, more to the point the GLA are thoroughly fed up with the vacan eyesore that is the power-station site.
    With the garuanteed redevelopment of the other (E) side of that area, between the dive-unders & Nine Elms, including the USSA’s new embassy, it was probably felt that some sort of backing would, finally get something done, including the vital redevelopment.
    And, the money in taxes such redevelopment will bring in!

  131. Nathanael says:

    “So what came of that Victoria-Euston tunnel proposal?

    A quick glance at the map shows that the route would probably go beneath… oh… Battersea!”

    Proposal redirected back towards Chelsea, as “Crossrail 2” or “Chelsea-Hackney line”.

  132. Anon says:


    So that runs Glasgow to Wimbledon?

  133. Anonymous says:

    For those who are anti- or ambivalent on the NLE, please sign the petition here:

    The NLE is pretty clearly nothing to do with VNEB residents, and will benefit a chosen few. If the main selling point of the scheme is a 15 minute connection time to the City or West End — ie how quickly one can get out of VNEB — there will be a great many people spending v. little time in the area, other than to work at the Embassy or go out drinking.

    I’d also mention that there are no plans for any new secondary schools as part of the development, and one planned additional primary school. Tells you who they are looking to attract as part of the re-development.

  134. Whiff says:

    Anonymous – while I admire your commitment everything I have seen and read suggests that, unless the developer goes bankrupt in the next couple of months, the Northern Line Extension is a done deal and will definitely be going ahead; therefore your petition will unfortunately be too late to change anything.

  135. Ian Sergeant says:

    According to this month’s Modern Railways (and I know it is unclear who is being quoted), Kennington to Battersea is “Northern Line Upgrade 1”, and line separation “Upgrade 2 … [which] would require the rebuilding of Camden Town station”. Now the dependency here is clearly on what is happening on the platforms, and there isn’t a direct dependency on the rebuild of the station at ground level, desirable as this is.

    Given what seems to be a dispute between TfL and Camden Council with no easy solution ( as quoted by Taz on 21/11/12), I would like to propose a separation of the two projects. This means that we need to find a way for tunnelling equipment to arrive at railway level without disturbance to the conservation area.

    If you expand the area and pan to the north and the north west, it’s easy to see that there is plenty of land not in conservation areas on the way to both Chalk Farm and Kentish Town. Appropriate demolition and future redevelopment plans could allow entry points for tunnelling equipment.

    Finally, I’d like to see what TfL’s plans are at platform level. As I’ve said before, I’d like to see cross-platform interchanges for both northbound and southbound, not just widened platforms and walkways.

  136. Taz says:

    Having yet to see Modern Railways (@Ian Sergeant) I cannot interpret that explanation, but it seems clear to me that Upgrade 1 is the long-promised PPP line resignalling to allow increased services to be implemented in 2013-14. No doubt the signalling has been designed with Battersea in mind, but that branch is expected in 2020 according to the new TfL business plan, with Upgrade 2 in the early 2020s.
    The August revision to the Northern Line Upgrade Blueprint states that Batteresea and Upgrade 2 are linked, both requiring additional trains and signalling modifications. This document also refers to a partial rebuilding of Camden Town and Kennington stations to improve passenger interchange, which may indicate deep level passages only. It seems that some works are likely, after a long period of waiting whilst the new signalling was assessed to see if it would permit sufficiently increased services on the current service pattern, which would have avoided any works. The earlier station plans showed the platforms and area between being opened to the surface to allow two large circulating areas at north and southbound levels. A new ticket hall and multi-storey development would have sat on top of all this.

  137. Ian Sergeant says:


    My understanding before this weekend was the same as yours. My only caveat to that position would be that the documentation you are referencing is over two years old (granted there is nothing newer). Maybe TfL thinking has moved on since then? Whatever the source of the information in MR, it does change things. It’s the first time I’ve seen a definite commitment to the intention to separate the lines completely – the words used are the long-desired split of the line into a Morden-High Barnet via Bank line and a Battersea-Edgware via Charing Cross route [is] collectively known as Upgrade 2. This would require the rebuilding of Camden Town station.

    As far as I can tell reading the links you put up, finding a compromise which allows for the complete rebuilding of the station is going to be very difficult. That’s why I’m suggesting that TfL should split the project. Do you (or does anyone) have links to the latest plans underground? I’d like to look at these before commenting further.

  138. Anonymous says:

    what baffles me, about the obvious necessity to develop Camden Station, is why Camden Council and TfL can not come up with a plan that suits all parties…

  139. Taz says:

    @ Ian S
    A worksite outside the conservation area is a possibility to gain access to construct new cross-passages, but it is unlikely that LU would fully vacate such a site these days, retaining it for ventilation and emergency exit. Given the limitations of the current station, there is also the possibility of disabled access and an alternative ticket hall. Doug Rose’s amazing compendium ‘Tiles of the Unexpected Underground’ shows that the platforms run from the road junction to near Buck Street on both branches but, being sited under the main roads, they are some distance apart by there. That is why the last plans opened up the area beneath the current ticket hall and escalators. A site on the corner of Inverness Street and High Street might suit, being nearer the markets. The current ticket hall could be retained as a secondary access. It is early days, and any plans are probably outlines only. The new TfL Business Plan states that preparatory works for Upgrade 2 improvements are due to begin in 2016, but whether this is holes in the ground or paperwork is not clear. Such a scheme could provide interchange passages as stage 1, with an alternative ticket hall as stage 2.

  140. Ian Sergeant says:


    I’ve thought your idea on Inverness Street through, and there may be a light at the end of the tunnel here. The result is this blog post.

  141. timbeau says:

    Interesting post, but I wonder at the “50% changing at Camden Town” figure. Many of those who would have to change could do so at Euston. Others may find changes at Tottenham Court Road (for Bank or, via Crossrail, Moorgate), or Waterloo (for London Bridge and Elephant) more convenient. And of course many passengers passing through Camden Town are going to have to change again to get to their destination anyway – if your destination is on the Picc, Vic or Central, it doesn’t really matter whether you take a City or West End train.

    Am I missing something, or would it not be possible simply to widen the existing cross passages at CT, or dig additional ones, without disturbing the surface at all?

  142. Malcolm says:

    It may not be quite 50%, but I think it will be somewhere approaching that. Yes, some northern line passengers are heading for another line, but I would guess that it’s not more than about 10% of them. And even those would mostly have a strong preference on where to change – e.g. good CPI at Warren Street rather than a long trek at Kings Cross. Euston northern line platforms are pretty busy too, so making more people change there is not awfully favourite.

    If you asked the passengers, I reckon most of them would prefer the current arrangements, some would reluctantly accept CPI at Camden town as a sop, but passageway interchange (even through new extra passageways) would come a very poor third.

  143. Ian Sergeant says:


    Fair point re TCR if you are heading for Docklands – but even if the figures are lower than 50%, at what point do the narrow platforms cease to cope in the peak? Creating more cross-passages (which is what TfL intend at Kennington to cope with new passengers from Battersea) can only deal with certain volumes. The issue is at what point this model breaks. How many people is it safe to have on a narrow 107m platform? Even if it’s only 35% changing, that’s 960 people when you have a six minute gap, and that feels to me to be too many. My argument here is that, if you are going to have to widen platforms, it’s better to build a cross-platform interchange. Making it inconvenient for someone travelling to TCR to change at Camden Town, and thus forcing them on to the (already crowded) Victoria Line to Oxford Circus cannot make sense, but many people would use the cross platform interchange at Euston rather than walk at Camden.

  144. Taz says:

    At the time of the last rebuilding proposals it was claimed that already nearly a third of passengers using Camden Town station are changing platforms, presumably from south to north, or less likely from north to south.

  145. Ian Sergeant says:


    Interesting statistic, and not one I’ve seen – presumably that would impact the evening peak more than the morning peak?

  146. P Dan Tick says:


    There’s no CPI at Warren Street. Interchange involves escalators up and down via an intermediate level. Joe Brown’s atlas indicates that each line’s platforms are at a fairly sharp angle to each other too.

  147. timbeau says:

    There is CPI at Euston between the Northern Line (City branch) and Victoria line, but there is no CPI at either Warren Street or Euston with the West End branch

  148. Slugabed says:

    The CPI at Euston is extremely useful and well-used.Whoever designed the Vic knew what they were doing,in contrast to the poor exchanges on the Jubilee Line Extension and St.Pancras Thameslink.
    Due to the lines’ alignments at Euston,if you change from a Northbound Northern Line train to a Northbound Victoria (say),the two trains are going in opposite directions.

  149. Long Branch Mike says:

    @Ian Sergeant

    Ian you bring up an interesting point on your blog, to which I could not post a reply. Here it is:

    I’ve thought about the use of the deep level tube shelter as a possibility for use in resolving this Camden Town branch changing problem. I’m glad you’ve brought it up, but you don’t seem to have developed the idea at all. Would that you could. It seems to be a great way of re-using a long idle asset, for the purpose it was designed for – hosting tube trains, to the benefit of the entire Northern Line(s).

  150. Taz says:

    @Ian S The current layout, at a stretch, is similar to your objective. Due to the angle of the roads above, the platforms are much closer at the southern end, with the northbound platforms above the southbound. The intention was to clear the soil between the platforms, getting passengers off the platforms and into this large interchange area. If that is not allowed, I wonder if the buildings above can be underpinned and stabilised so that the soil can be removed 40 to 60 feet beneath. With modern tunneling methods quite large spaces can be opened up. Your scheme may be ideal, but would take a long while to achieve and be costly. Prompt relief of current overcrowding needs the simplest solution. If a corner position for a new ticket hall is not politically achievable, I think an entry through a current shopfront on the High Street should still be available.

    The intention was to removed all junction points at Camden Town as no longer required. They impose severe speed restrictions which reduce train throughput. By splitting the branches a more frequent service is possible on both, leaving no capacity to accept diverted trains from the other branch during disruptions. The Jubilee and Bakerloo trains no longer divert over each others routes. The northbound crossover at Kennington would allow interchange of engineers trains in both directions by use of the loop or siding there.

  151. Malcolm says:

    Thanks Taz for an authoritative-sounding answer to one of my earlier questions (who wants to remove the fancy points at Camden Town and why?). It slightly bemuses me that speed restrictions over the fancy points should hit capacity so heavily – they are within tens of metres from the platforms, so trains could not be going very fast there anyway. But I do accept that, to get the lines meshing properly, they’d have to be run with near-Swiss precision, and presumably other aspects of the northern line, or of the rather unSwiss London clientele, could well make that unachievable.

    Sorry about my alleged CPI at Warren Street, I was indeed thinking of Euston-Bank-branch (or Finsbury Park – indeed the Vic line designers did a pretty good job, didn’t they?).

  152. Ian Sergeant says:


    I’ve updated the blog to answer your question. The answer is a bit long for here.

  153. Ian Sergeant says:


    I don’t disagree regarding access through a shop front, but my reading of the planning guide means that it could be read either way. It’s always a good idea to have something in your plans which the planners can take out if necessary.

    Looking at the map it’s not far short of 50m between the platforms at the northern end. That can be the difference between catching one train and the next. I can just see the queues at the busy stations to be in the front-most coaches for changing easily at Camden.

    In any case I hope that this debate has opened a few eyes at TfL – it seemed to me that the debate had run into a brick wall…

  154. timbeau says:

    Apart from any underpinning issues, the difficulty with the proposals to open out the area between the platforms is that the spoil has to go somewhere. Taking it out by train would be ideal, but probably too long winded, but otherwise an access shaft would have to be built, in which case you need to remove a building on the surface – in which case you’re back at conservation issues.

    The layout of the junctions at Camden Town suggests the fastest (i.e straightest) runs through the junctions, allowing the highest throughput of trains, would be obtained by running Bank – Edgware and Charing Cross – Barnet northbound, but Edgware – Charing Cross and Barnet- Bank southbound. This would mean everyone would still get a through service in one direction, but not the other! It would also make the tube map very complicated.

  155. Taz says:

    Previously: “nearly a third of passengers using Camden Town station are changing platforms” was prior to the introduction of the current split northbound service through the morning peak, so must be higher now.

    @ Malcolm – Diagrams of CTown show points in six locations, some far south of the station.

    @ Ian S – I think CPI would be confined to the centre or south end of the platforms. How does the distance compare with Baker St B/J? Too close causes despatch problems eg Finchley Rd, Mile End, etc. It seems that LU have decided to revive this project, from my reading between the lines.

    @ timbeau – We were talking of an access from outside the Conservation Area in Inverness St, which could then become a new top station. It would be nice to move spoil by canal, but maybe too far away.

  156. stimarco says:

    Silly question, but are there any plans to rename the Northern Line if the split goes ahead? I can imagine having two, effectively distinct, routes sharing the same name would confuse a lot of tourists.

    I’d like to suggest naming each line after its usual branch name: “Charing Cross Line” and “City Line”

    Alternatively: “Theatre Line” and “Money Line”.


    With regard to Camden Town’s reconstruction: why would TBMs be necessary? As far as I can tell, there would be little need for them: they’re knee-tremblingly expensive factories for making tunnels and only make sense if you have a lot of long, continuous, tunnels to build, which is not the case here.

    Nobody uses TBMs to build connecting tunnels in a station: those are usually built using more traditional techniques, including tunnelling shields. You can see new escalator shafts and tunnels being built this way when you look down one of the construction shafts at Tottenham Court Road, for example.

    The problem is access and spoil removal, but I think this could, in theory, be handled at night using rail-served staging sites further up the line. You’d probably want to close the station (and, probably, the entire line), a little earlier during the work, but that’s a small price to pay. It’s not as if night buses aren’t available.

    We also need to educate people that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Protestors, preservationists and NIMBYs need to understand that there will be a price to pay for their actions: a more expensive, longer, more protracted, redevelopment process that will likely affect services at the station for very long periods. This will likely include early line closures, and probably even outright station closure during parts of the construction process, with all the potential knock-on effects this will have on local businesses. Somebody has to pay for that and it’s not always the people you’d expect.

    Camden Town’s station building is a case in point: a standard Leslie design, it has no particular preservation value. There are well over a dozen more examples of its type in London, many of them pretty much identical. I therefore contend that anyone who sincerely feels Camden Town’s own example should be preserved should be required to pay – or raise the necessary money – to do so, instead of demanding that the developer(s) do so themselves.

    If you can’t gather the necessary cash to preserve the object of your affection (either complete relocation, or paying for the costs of having to build around it), you don’t get to demand that it be treated as a national outrage or cause: it’s old, it’s not fit for purpose, it’s not particularly rare, it can go. Our ancestors thought nothing of demolishing centuries-old structures (London Bridge, anyone?) with nary a thought to preservation. The pendulum has arguably swung too far the other way. We need to find a happy medium and make it clear that every attempt to slam the brakes on major infrastructure projects like these costs *us* money too.

  157. timbeau says:

    “City” Line would be rather confusing given the existence of two other lines with “& City” in their names. I have suggested elsewhere naming each line after a station served exclusively by that line – Angel Line and Goodge Line (I prefetr those to the other possibles: Borough Line and Mornington Line).

    Alternatively, keep the City Branch as the Northern Line and rename the CX branch as the Albert Line (for its close relationship with the Victoria Line).

    Of course, it would be nothing new for quite separate services, sharing no track, to be called part of the same line – both the East London Line and the Moorgate to Finsbury Park were once part of the Met – and the latter was also once part of the Northern Line!

  158. evergreen says:

    I would prefer Northern West End Line and Northern City Line, although the latter is reusing the old name for the Moorgate-Finsbury Park shuttle, still signed as ‘Great Northern’ at Moorgate instead of First Capital Connect!

    On another matter the Wimbledon-Edgware Road service should have its own identity to help to spread the load away from the busy main section of the District line east of Earl’s Court. More people might use it then, especially given the connections available at Notting Hill Gate via the Central Line and soon at Paddington via Crossrail into the West End.

  159. ChrisMitch says:

    I have always thought that ‘Northern’ and ‘Southern’ lines would be the obvious names.
    The new Battersea extension should keep the Northern Line name, and the the Mordern branch be renamed as the Southern Line, as it goes further south than any other tube line. While north of Camden the renaming would be fixed by the operational line split.

    The Wimbleware branch is due to become much more integrated into the rest of the District Line isn’t it, when the new rolling stock is rolled out, and the in-carriage tube maps will finally include the whole of the District Line route (plus Circle and H&C?)

  160. Taz says:

    Services usually alternate between branches with 20 trains per hour in each direction in peaks. Points move for each train, giving 160 movements per hour at Camden Town, i.e. a point movement almost every 20 seconds. In each move the points are unlocked, moved, locked and then proved in correct position. It is a wonder that there are not more points failures affecting the service. A split service will abolish all of these movements!

    I expect that the Morden-High Barnet service, being the majority of the current Northern Line, will retain the name and black line colour to minimise resigning costs. This colour was used for the City & South London Railway from the first official colour map back in 1907, Euston – Clapahm Common, strengthening the case for its retention.

    Back in 1907 the Hampstead Tube used violet, a colour which was retained until the two lines amalgamated under the black colour. This violet remains available for the Kennington-Edgware service. It is similar to the dull mauve adopted for the Victoria Line in the early stages of construction, before it was felt unsuitable for the image of a new line. Perhaps it would be more suitable for this old line, being closer to the current black colour, and with a historical link to its early days.

    I am not in favour of lines being named after one station. I have helped visitors travelling on the Victoria Line who wonder why the train never arrives at that station: they have to be directed to a train travelling in the opposite direction! At least the Piccadilly Line serves Piccadilly Circus, rather than plain Piccadilly. I am also against manufactured names like Bakerloo. How about the Ashfield Line in honour of Lord Ashfield, a driving force behind the development of the Underground between the Wars, including both Edgware and Kennington extensions.

  161. Ian Sergeant says:

    And I was looking forward to the Batterware line. Never mind. Let’s go for the Pick Line. It can become the Picket Line on Boxing Day 🙂

  162. Ian Sergeant says:


    Did anyone suggest TBMs would be necessary at Camden? I couldn’t find any evidence of that. Agreed traditional tunnelling methods will suffice.

    As for closing the line early – if it can’t be kept open then that’s the price we pay. However, I’d want to see the N5 (Edgware) and N20 (Barnet Church) running at five minute intervals from the closure time to compensate rather than the current 15 and 30 minute intervals during the week. Otherwise we are going to have some crowded buses.

  163. Taz says:

    Coulld we revive the name Fleet Line, which I thought was short and snappy, and suggests a fast way to travel? With the Camden Town junctions removed, trips should be faster. There may still be some unused signs laying around somewhere! Does there have to be some association with the line? The Jubilee Line was to travel under Fleet Street for a very short part of its total route. Well the Fleet River does rise on Hampstead Heath, and passes through Camden Town. And there isn’t a line starting with F as yet, which helps avoid confusion for non-English readers and aids abbreviation.

  164. Taz says:

    A Euston/Euston Sq interchange would reduce interchange at CTown from Edgware line for those wanting the Met.

  165. Taz says:

    I have been looking into the earlier question of how cross-platform interchange will compare between CTown and Baker St, studying the station plans in Doug Rose’s amazing compendium ‘Tiles of the Unexpected Underground’. The Baker St platforms are also closer at the south end (geographic east), with the northbound cross-passages from 36 to 42 metres long. At Camden Town the southern passages are currently 31 and 40 metres, and those at the foot of the escalators are 57. The shortest distance at the north end would be 72 metres if built, equivalent to some of the longer interchange passages, like Leicester Sq and Embankment.

    The current CTown passages are not laid out for SB-SB or NB-NB interchange. Those to the south connected with the original lift shafts which were at a compromise height, leaving stairs in each passageway. There was no City branch here at the time, and they appear to suit SB-NB interchange. When escalators were installed, they stop at the higher northbound level, with steps down to the lower platforms, so crossing SB-SB involves two sets of steps. Ideally, to achieve level interchange all but the escalator NB-NB passage need reconstruction, and all will need widening.

  166. JH says:

    Should be built with a view to extending to Clapham Junction. That would relieve the London termini and give other journey options to London-bound travellers, much in the way Tottenham Hale and the Victoria Line functions. I can envisage the extension being underused otherwise.

  167. peezedtee says:

    Can anyone say if the LibDems know what they are talking about on this?

  168. timbeau says:

    Two flaws in their proposal – they don’t like the propect of a couple of new ventilation shafts in Kennington, and then propose an alternative line which is entirely above ground.

    And the LSWR viaduct is already full, so running a DLR or monorail on it is a non-starter

  169. Greg Tingey says:

    If I say what I think about that Lemoncrat so-called idea I might get banned!
    No, of course they haven’t got faintest idea what they’re talking about. timbeau points out the more obvious problems, then there’s the usual objections to nonstandard monorails, anyway, etc, ad nauseam ….
    [modified to remove more extreme vitriolic language  PoP]

  170. Slugabed says:

    A Monorail?
    Everything you need to know about monorails…
    …and probably HS2 as well,for that matter….

  171. Greg Tingey says:

    The Lemmingcrats are supposedly in favour of more education.
    But, one of our local Lemmingcrat councillors is functionally illiterate … I think you might get the idea (?)

    Meanwhile, back on the subject (or not) ..
    For total engineering insanity & glorious impractibility, try THIS:

  172. Fandroid says:


    I love the ‘tube in the air’. It looks amazingly advanced in concept. Was it drawn in the same age as the background? It looks early 20th century in style. The other one looks so truly bonkers, but is a real photo of a real system. It even looks British! By the way, does anyone out there realise that there is an inclined Schwebebahn in the Dresden suburbs? A bit like the Forth Bridge in terms of so much riveted steel that a bird couldn’t fly through!

  173. Timbeau says:

    The “bonkers” one was the Listowel and Ballybunion Railway built on the lartigue principle and, as it was closed before Irish independance, technically it was in the UK. Two rather longer lines were built on the same principle in France and Algeria

    The Dresden one is a new one on me though – a suspended funicular, no less!

  174. Greg Tingey says:

    There is now a museum in Listowel, & being Ireland, they are mad enough to have constructed a small length of full-size but diesel-powered replica truly, utterly bonkers.
    More information Here Arrgggh!

  175. Greg Tingey says:

    Oops, first link went walkies in that post … trying again:

  176. Fandroid says:

    Here is a link to the Dresden Schwebebahn. Note that the same outfit runs a more conventional funicular (Standseilbahn). If your German is a touch rusty, Google it and goggle at the translations!

  177. Taz says:

    “Head of Future Stations Programme Nizar Awad explained the priorities for the next wave of upgrades,from 2016, include Elephant & Castle and Holborn (the first two to start design work), Paddington, Camden and Victoria (District and Circle lines)” according to the March 2013 edition of the LU staff magazine On The Move page 13.

  178. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Holborn has to be done as a consequence of the proposed resignalling of the Piccadilly line which will lead to more frequent (EVO) trains. So, unless the work is done you cannot run more trains. Holborn as it is couldn’t cope as it is with the more frequent service so the work has to be done or much of the benefit of resignalling is negated.

    A classic case of showing how it is all much more complicated than most people think, a lot of it is interrelated and one really has to plan many years in advance. It rarely a simple case of doing just one upgrade in isolation.

    Of course the reference to Camden Town is more relevant to this thread as it is partly and indirectly one of the consequences of extending to Battersea.

  179. Jordan D says:

    PoP – have new Camden plans been put “on display”? And what work needs to be done at Holborn for the resignalling – bigger exit tunnels?

  180. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Not to my knowledge. Don’t know. I only heard the rationale for why the work needs to be done. Could be “bigger” exits or more of them at Holborn. I suspect the latter as engineers seem much more reluctant to mess around with existing tunnels nowadays.

    I suspect the work at Camden will be the minimum necessary to allow full interchange and nothing will be done to unnecessarily cause controversy on the surface. Besides, I suspect it is a case in these cash-strapped times of doing the work that needs to be done and not the work that they would like to do.

  181. stimarco says:

    @Greg Tingey (and others):

    Monorails *are* standardised. Just ask the Japanese, Singaporeans and others, who’ve been building and using monorail-based urban metros for *decades* now, with quite a bit of success. (Japan boasts the only urban metro that actually makes a profit. And, yes, it’s a monorail.)

    The oldest monorail currently in use is the Wuppertal Schwebebahn (which I’ve been on). It’s closer to a ‘flying tram’ in concept in that the vehicles are more tram-like than heavy rail / metro in character, but it illustrates the benefits of a suspended system. It opened in the 1890s (i.e. it’s a contemporary of the Northern Line!) and is also a Listed structure, hence the continued existence of the heavy Victorian guideway. (There are some newer bits, but most of it looks like someone tipped the Eiffel Tower on its side.)

    Unfortunately, idiots (and deliberately misleading “consultants”) who have no clue how construction techniques and technologies have improved since the 19th Century insist that that line is how all suspended monorails would look today. Which is just moronic, not to mention insulting to anyone who has a clue how reinforced concrete works.

    That’s not to say monorails are the answer to everything, but it does strike me as a good technological fit for a city like London, which has never gone in much for consistency in architecture and planning. It’s an ideal alternative to the traditional light rail options like trams. Those can’t bypass congested roads and junctions; a suspended guideway system, on the other hand, can simply ‘fly’ over any such hotspots, returning back to street level whenever possible to keep station construction costs to a minimum. Consider how much more flexible the Croydon Tramlink network would be if it didn’t have that annoying bottleneck of an on-street loop right in the middle of the town centre, crossing the A23.

    I’m not fixated on any single technology. I’m open to *any* technology that shows promise. Writing-off any technology without investigating its pros and cons first is rarely a good idea.

  182. Greg Tingey says:

    The problem with “mono”rails is … POINTS
    On 2-rail systems, points are inherently fail-safe.
    On monorails they are not, at all. And much more difficult & expensive to build.
    IF you have a “simple” out-&-back single line with adepo you can manage, just – you’ll still need points at short turnarounds etc ….
    Otherwise, forget it….

  183. Stuart says:


    And Tramlink as a monorail would also have struggled to utilise the decaying and closed rail infrastructure as efficiently as it did. It could also – shock, horror, do the unthinkable of making Croydon town centre even uglier than it is today ! Would have given the rioters something novel to burn-down !!

  184. Anonymous says:

    Holborn is already overcrowded, even during the off-peak. The lack of a low level connection between the Central and Piccadilly lines means that all passengers interchanging and exiting/entering the station use the same bank of three escalators to/from the Piccadilly line and the same stairs to/from the Central line. The landing at the bottom of the main bank of escalators to the ticket hall is one of the worst locations for conflicting passenger flows on the Underground.

  185. timbeau says:

    Of course there used to be another way out of Holborn station, until they closed it in 1994.

  186. DW down under says:

    Slugabed@ 12:02PM, 29th December 2012 wrote: “The CPI at Euston is extremely useful and well-used.Whoever designed the Vic knew what they were doing.”

    That was in Follenfant’s time as Chief Engineer at LT Railways, wasn’t it?

    DW down under

  187. DW down under says:

    In the light of my Crossrail 3 (Kingsway Line) concept, I’d be very interested in more details of the plans from the LU staff mag, especially for Holborn Kingsway.

    If I may comment on the mooted NLE: I have already outlined the Kingsway Line and Crossrail 3 concept. The core of Stage 1 is extending the Aldwych branch to Waterloo, so that W&C trains can be serviced at a main LU depot, releasing the Waterloo depot space to allow platform extensions, and enough terminal capacity for W&C and Kingsway lines.

    Stage 2 then links up Holborn Kingsway to Euston and the Watford DC lines, relocating the London end of the WJ service in tunnel underneath Eversholt St and continuing south to Waterloo.

    Now, if this were done, would it make more sense to extend this pair of routes (viz W&C and Kingsway) to CJ via Battersea Power with interchanges at Vauxhall and local stations at Nine Elms, etc? Linked into this would be extension of the W&C through joint stations with the Central @ Bank and Liverpool St to a terminus at Bishopsgate (with escalator connection to Shoreditch High St and the LO ELL station). This in turn allows full length tube trains to be used, and a station added at Blackfriars.

    With this approach, the northern line trains have the capacity needed at Waterloo to handle the demand there, while those travelling from the Battersea Power Station/Nine Elms redevelopment would have access to the Square Mile directly and to the central commercial areas.

    Do LR commentators think this would be a better project to cover the Battersea development than the NLE as proposed?

    DW down under

  188. DW down under says:

    @ Timbeau

    The additional exit from Holborn Kingsway was via Platform 5, and known to all as the Aldwych Branch, I do believe?

    DW down under

  189. JM says:

    Interesting article, some thoughts.

    I personally support the NLE. The Battersea development in full more or less goes from the Power Station to Vauxhall and I believe flagship buildings such as the US Embassy will actually be closer to Vauxhall than Battersea so a station at Nine Elms may make a better alternative to some locals than using Vauxhall or Stockwell for the Vic. Access to Pimlico via the bridge may also prevent overloading from Battersea. If Chelsea FC ever move into the area,

    As Steer said above I believe both the Bakerloo and the Victoria can be extended south east. The traditional view has always been the Vic goes to Croydon bu I don’t see why other schemes (an enhanced CR2 with west end and City tunnels to prevent overloading and interchanging in the West End would be my choice – two central tunnels rather than tunnels all the way out to Tooting/Tottenham) cannot provide capacity there. I know branches aren’t popular with many but 2 branches of the Vic gives you three lines in effect with at least 4 minute headways on each branch. The Aldwych branch of the Picc connected to Euston and Waterloo does give a much longer term option.

    RE Camden and the 50% change. I have always believed that if you split the Northern, it should be the High Barnet branch going via TCR, not Edgware. If the Northern Heights was utilised fully in future, East Finchley can do the same job for the northern end of the Northern Line as Camden Town – the NH having direct trains to the City branch.

    Agree with Stephen C on south London connectivity, outside of a handful of areas (Lordship Lane, Walworth Road, Brixton Hill) I can’t think of many heavily populated areas that don’t have access to Rail, it just isn’t frequent, either at all or to one particular terminal.

    Would personally love to see the NLE go out to Southall/Feltham personally over the north section of the 4 tracked Hounslow loop allowing suburban south and west Londoners to travel between the two relatively quickly without having to go via central London or the busiest section of the Overground. This would also provide greater access to the Golden Mile in Brentford (GSK, Sky) creating more agglomeration and even employers further west in Stockley Park (Apple, Canon, BP) particularly if a Crossrail station were ever built. Plenty of space at Southall for a depot too.

    It seems from reading this though, there are a number of people who have their own multi faceted ideas of what should go where and why with each little branch or extension tieing into something greater. I suppose it comes down to you what people believe the main focus of London’s transport should be. One that pays for itself or with minimal subsidy or something more egalitarian forever reliant on subsidy for investment (that would be me although I don’t object to the developers financing this extension).

  190. JM says:

    Oh and on the split. Would personally go CX branch as black called the Northern Line and City branch using FT pink for symbolism and just called the City Line. Although thats because I personally would not keep the H&C as it is anyway.

  191. timbeau says:

    “I have always believed that if you split the Northern, it should be the High Barnet branch going via TCR, not Edgware.”

    Where would you build the depot for the High Barnet – Cx- Battersea line?. And what would you do with the superfluous depot space at Golders or Morden?

  192. mr_jrt says:

    I have no problem with the extension per-se, but only as a stopgap. The CX branch should ultimately head south east, as should the Victoria and Bakerloo lines.

    Were I responsible, then I would build the green option shown here.

    This gives a sensible NLE project for the next 10-15 years, but when the time comes, it is still useful once you link it directly to Waterloo, be it the W&C, DW’s CR3 proposal, etc. The provision at Vauxhall can be passive (i.e. platform tunnels and not much else) until CR2 opens to relieve the Victoria line, but it’ll be there – ready and waiting.

  193. JM says:


    Fair question. If you utilised the Northern Heights for something else, Highgate would have to go over to that too. To the north, I suspect the sidings at High Barnet are not large enough to sustain a depot.

    My personal view would be that any Northern Heights utilisation could be curtailed at East Finchley for CPI running into sidings encroaching onto the McDonalds car park. I’m sure I’ve read otherwise elsewhere but certain you can’t four track to FInchley anyway. With HS2 at Euston, I would use both HB and MHE for terminating trains (bringing back 2nd platform at MHE) and site a depot to the north of Mill Hill East replacing the Barnet Council depot. Would require bridge over Frith Lane but believe it is acheivable.

    At the other end, well as stated, my view would be the line should go much further west to Southall or Feltham. There are sites available at both ends for depots. Would probably extend in one hit removing the level crossings at Chiswick/Isleworth etc as part of one project. Given platform length issues at some stations on the Hounslow loop (if one one of the final carriages are Isleworth you end up stationary peering over the London Rd bridge), running 6 car tubes may be a better operational use of the line.

    AS for Golders Green/Morden and depot capacity, again my personal view would be given frequencies that could be achieved by automation in the future and demand on the route (think Hs2 running to Scotland grabbing anything up to 80% mkt share for the route to Glasgow/Edinburgh), spare depot capacity could be utilised over time.

    Happy to be corrected on any of the above.

  194. JM says:

    Reading back my first post above, part of my sentence on the first paragraph was cut off. Not asking for a correction but wanted to add the rest for clarity….

    If Chelsea FC ever move into the area, over New Covent Garden Mkt for example, then there would be plenty of off peak use and probably a stronger business case for an extension south for connectivity.

  195. Fandroid says:

    It’s a mistaken idea that football clubs provide lots of off-peak traffic for a particular railway station. 19 home league games per year for a premiership club plus various cup games. On those days the overloaded trains put normal punters off!

  196. Ian Sergeant says:


    You can’t four track to Finchley

    Having walked the line by road between Finchley Central and East Finchley, you undoubtedly can. A number of bridges would have to be rebuilt, you might lose a pedestrian underpass, you might have to make compromises over direct access to a road parallel to the railway because a longer bridge would make it dangerous to have a junction and it’s possible that a couple of outbuildings which are close to the railway boundary might have to be resited. But this is small beer compared to what to do about the Parkland Walk, how to cope with the extra capacity at Finsbury Park, how to go somewhere beyond Mill Hill East…

  197. DW dwn under says:

    @ Ian S.

    Re: the Parkland Walk.

    It has always struck me, when considering restoration of the Northern Heights, that one of the challenges would be to provide a shady walk along the alignment while still facilitating a double track railway. ISTM from the aerials that there’s space to achieve that, especially if the railway was kept in cutting as much as possible. But you appear to have walked the area. What’s your take?

    For me, I’d regard EF as the CPI terminus for the Heights line. But to relieve the Northern Line and Camden Town stations, it would be better if the Northern were to terminate. In that case, you’d need to be able to roll the NL tracks into the centre. ISTM that there’s no-where a roll-over could be accommodated between EF and FC. So, that leaves some fancy footwork just east of EF in the Cherry Tree Wood area, to slew the NH and ex-depot tracks to the outside of the tube tracks at the portals, and then slew all four back into correct alignment by the Great North Rd overbridges at EF.

    Having done this, 4-tracking to FC wouldn’t be necessary, unless the aim was for NL to run to MHE and NH to run to HB. In which case, it wouldn’t be CPI at EF, but a two N-S pairs.

    DW down under

  198. JM says:


    Where is DWs CR3 proposal out of interest?


    Would argue the larger clubs have a steady trickle of people using the stadium for superstores or tickets. You always have anything up to 100 or more people around the Arsenal store or the Emirates buying tickets at all points of the day. At somewhere like Barcelona, with the club museum a major tourist attraction you have thousands visiting the site each day.

    @Ian S

    I don’t doubt you. What route did you take out of interest.


    I have walked the PW. Because of he large growth and small footpath you only see how much space there is when you see the platforms at Crouch End. In all honestly I wouldn’t know if you could fit a 2track railway and foot/cycle path on the alignment. It is very utilised route too.

  199. Anonymous says:

    @JM, 09:31PM, 4th April 2013

    Regarding CR3, DW has sent me a rough sketch from which I’m hoping to produce a nice .pdf in the next few days.

  200. DW down under says:

    @ JM

    Yes, I suspected the Parland Walk was well used, and that unless very well planned and those users well catered for, there would be a hue-and-cry against any reuse of the Northern Heights.

    It’s barely 30 years since it was a railway! I suspect most of the users weren’t out of school when it closed.

  201. Greg Tingey says:

    Walks on lines
    This happens …
    When the Selby diversion, at a much higher line-speed opened, the older line between Selby & York closed – and has become a foot/cycle path. It’s also one of the “Solar Syatem” walks, that a scattered round the planet, with planet-models to scale & scale distances, from a model Sun, just inside the York main road.
    Starting from Naburn station, you can walk from Saturn to Sol & back in a day (easily)
    Of course the old Naburn swing-bridge also has “The fisherman of dreams” where the old control cabin used to be.
    Worth taking a look if you are in the area!

  202. Ian Sergeant says:

    All being well I’m planning a walk from Finsbury Park to the M1 at Mill Hill a week Sunday, so I’ll report back with pictures regarding impediments to restoring the railway. As for Naburn – I was one of those who built the railway path in 1985/86. Many of the trees by the side of the walk were planted by me.

  203. Taz says:

    Last month’s meeting of the London Underground Railway Society heard a presentation about this extension. Plans are to open around 2020 with 16 trains per hour out of the 24 on the Charing Cross branch, with the others making up the Morden service with the Bank trains. Once a second Northern Line upgrade is commissioned there will be 33 trains per hour on all branches, except the Battersea Line will have 28 with the other 5 circling the Kennington loop. This will require the removal of all interworking between branches at Camden Town and Kennington.

  204. leytongabriel says:

    Anyone thinking of putting a railway back on the Parkland Walk ( and for most residents it is 60 years since it’s been a railway, the Northern line shunt was just an unofficial playground for us kids in the area) would be well to remember thag this is the same community that fought off the A1 Archway Road widening more than once with no little skill and tenacity.

    @ Rational Plan. How many of those new flats in Battersea are actually going to have commuters living in them and how many are just going to be snapped up off-plan by overseas investors and left empty? Take a train or DLR past some of the recent fancy stuff in E London and see how many lights are on at night in the new blocks.

    @ Ian S – interesting to see another ex -Parkland Walk worker on here. I worked on it in the rough and early days when
    access was often up or down a muddy slide worn by kids and glue sniffers. Stroud Green old station house was our depot.

  205. DW down under says:

    There has been a consultation on the TWO for the NLE. I have posted by reponse at:

    Apparently, responses closed today.

  206. Kwanag says:

    Does anyone have any attributable evidence of an existing plan to extend the NLE to Clapham Junction?

  207. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Kwanag – there is no evidence of such a plan (that I am aware of). The only aspect which has been considered in the design of the extension is that the terminal station is situated so that an onwards extension would not be unduly difficult – i.e. it points in the right direction rather than pointing north or direct south!

    There is, of course, an enormous amount of discussion about the merits / demerits of an extension to Clapham Junction. Some local politicians would clearly like to see such an extension but it is NOT included in any of the Mayor’s formal plans.

  208. Ian Sergeant says:


    I was thinking that, without Crossrail 2, the extension of the Northern Line to Clapham Junction would be counter-productive, in the same way that an extension of the Victoria Line to Herne Hill would be counter-productive, as trains would arrive at Kennington/Victoria full. It’s the same reason that a station on the Northern Line Extension at Vauxhall has been disregarded.

  209. Kwanag says:

    Thanks @WW and Walthamstow Writer. As you probably know, there is a forthcoming public inquiry on the proposed NLE. (KWANAG stands for Kennington and Walworth Neighbourhood Action Group) . We are testing the position that the NLE is a part 1 of a two stage project. If that was the case it would be proper for TfL to produce an environmental impact scheme for the whole project which would also have to include their proposals for future enlargement of Kennington Station. Our anxiety is that at some point in the not too distant future they will announce plans for the western extension of the NLE and consequent work on Kennington Station so that our neighbourhood would incur a second round of construction blight. Comments?

  210. Graham H says:

    @Kwanag -“Never” is of course a long way away, but (a) there is no money earmarked for any sort of tube extension within the foreseeable future, and (b) the Bakerloo extension to (somewhere) would seem to have precedence once funding does become available. The most likely trigger for any extension to CJ is probably Crossrail2 .

  211. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Kwanag – I agree with what Graham H has said. As things currently stand there is very little discretionary funding available to TfL to do anything. The government is imposing significant cuts to grant funding which is partly compensated by allowing TfL a higher prudential borrowing limit. However there will be limits to what TfL can do in terms of utilising that extra borrowing without overstretching itself or damaging its credit rating with the relevant agencies.

    There are certainly no plans or even a “vision” to extend the Northern Line beyond the Battersea scheme. As a conclusion has not been reached about the “shape” of Crossrail 2 (CR2) nor about whether its cost will be covered in whole or in part by HS2 (given the impact on Euston) it is impossible to know what any knock on consequences or demands might be. It would certainly be daft to extend the Northern Line to Clapham Junction without CR2 because trains will simply leave CJ full and be unable to carry anyone to / from the Nine Elms redevelopment area.

    However given we are governed in London by a Mayoral led administration you can never assume anything is ruled in or out on a permanent basis because different Mayors will have different priorities. Even if we had a new Mayor in 2016 whose manifesto committed them to doubling the size of the Underground network it would take decades to achieve that sort of outcome given the very long planning, design, legal approval and construction timescales. The NLE has only run a bit faster than normal due to the need to grab hold of a “once only” private sector funding opportunity.

    If I was asked as a partly informed bystander I cannot see the NLE reaching Clapham Junction for 2-3 decades. However that does not mean that other factors such as patronage growth on LU, projected upgrades to the Northern Line itself or developments in and around Kennington would not force LU’s hand to do something at Kennington station. Stations are slowly emerging as a growing problem for LU and Network Rail given the remorseless growth in patronage over many years with continued growth forecast well into the future. At some point attention will switch from dealing with the worst Central area stations to dealing with the worst suburban stations.

  212. Anonymous says:


    Do you think that there is any possibility of HS2 funding Crossrail 2 in whole or in part??

    I believe that if there was the slightest suggestion of London helping itself to a new rail line, off the back of a national project, this would poison the scheme even further.

  213. Taz says:

    Looks like NLE is going ahead. Today’s TfL press release: Work starts on £36m upgrade of Vauxhall Tube station, includes in notes to editors:
    “TfL and the developers of Battersea Power Station have confirmed that agreement has been reached on the key commercial agreements relating to the delivery and funding of the Northern Line Extension (NLE) to Battersea Power Station. Subject to the outcome of the Transport and Works Act Order inquiry and Secretary of State approval, this is expected to unlock the construction of the NLE.
    It also means that the conditions the Chancellor set last year have been met and the Treasury will lend up to £1bn to the GLA for the construction of the project.”

  214. Walthamstow Writer says:

    Via Twitter I see that the Washington Post has reported that the 2014 spending agreement for the US Government includes a ban on constructing a new US Embassy in London.

    That leaves a rather large gap near the proposed Nine Elms station. I see that work on site has already started so there must be some fevered discussions going on between the US and its appointed contractors.

  215. Greg Tingey says:

    Oh deep joy!
    Gerald Grosvenor will doubtless now be able to continue to tell the US that they can have the freehold of their current embassy, as soon as they hand Florida back …..

  216. Walthamstow Writer says:

    An interesting little gem has surfaced via Twitter this evening. Although 6 months old it seems it hasn’t been spotted before.

    Fare zone changes to ensure the Battersea Extension stations are in Zone 1. This involves the movement of Kennington to be a Z12 station rather than just zone 2.

    I note the continued references in the paper to it not affecting revenue too much. However the long term point here is surely to ensure that the development area *does* act as a higher revenue generator than it might otherwise be if it was in Zone 2. This is more of an issue for some South Londoners who would have been able to reach Battersea on the NLE without touching Zone 1 under the current zonal structure but won’t in the future.

  217. Chris L says:

    Attended an LUL presentation last week.

    The tunnels will continue towards Clapham Junction for the minimum safe distance in case of an overrun. Extension to Clapham Junction NOT part of the project and will not happen until after Crossrail 2.

    Extra trains will be ordered as part of the Piccadilly Line order. This does not mean they will be of the same type.

    All spoil will must go out by river.

  218. Dave of London says:

    I accept that CJ would make a popular Northern Line Destination/Interchange. I also understand that that most BPS “residents” will be high net worth none-doms. I fail to understand the prevailing argument that a railway should be built to a none popular destination opposed to a popular one.
    How many accountancy firms does it take to prove the current proposal revenue model is viable? Three at my counting

  219. CdBrux says:

    I wonder if their thinking is that an earlier extension of the Northern line all the way through to CJ than currently planned would be a nice consolation prize, although if the comments made here that (especially without XR2 I guess) this would fill up the line leaving no room for those getting on at Battersea are just then maybe not.

    However if Chelsea don’t want it and the developers who do put their hands in their pockets far enough then I am sure that will be persuasive. I suppose even if TfL do think it’s a good idea they should play a waiting game to see how much money can be on the table.

  220. Walthamstow Writer says:

    Looks like contract award and signature for building the extension are due on 21 August and 2 September 2014 respectively. Interestingly this is ahead of the TWAO decision by the Secretary of State this Autumn but a successful grant of order is just one of several conditions that must be met to allow construction to start within the next few months. If the conditions are not all in place by March 2015 the agreements and contract terminate.

    The contractually binding date for entry into service on the extension is 31/12/19.

    Details in this paper for an additional meeting of the TfL Finance and Policy Meeting due next week. It’s interesting that the project already seems to be very time constrained because of the entry into service date, dependencies with the redevelopment of the Power Station site and availability of tunnelling resources in a worldwide market place. Applying a bit of guesswork I wonder if there is a bit of a plan to secure some of the resources used to tunnel Crossrail to build the NLE? It would make sense.

  221. Taz says:

    Interesting Battersea branch to be open by Dec 2019 when it wasn’t included in recent Bank upgrade consultation with the implication that it would open later in 2020. I wonder what frequency is required in the contract, and what impression it will leave when the service is cut for the Bank works. Signalling will need to cope with Upgrade 2 frequencies in order to divert Upgrade 1 Morden service all via Charing Cross. That will leave little for Battersea branch during Bank works, although demand will presumably slowly build as developments are completed. That consultation also gave no detail on effects on northern branch services, or expected frequencies on the City branch.

  222. @Taz,

    I discussed this in detail with staff at the latest consultation. I pointed that even by then officials within TfL working on the Battersea extension were talking about a 2019 opening “We know that” was their reply and they said they were working on the basis it would be open in 2019. So I asked why the Battersea extension was not shown on the maps in the consultation documents. “Oh” was the first word of their reply.

    As regards your second comment there will be 4tph from Battersea during the Bank works as the other Charing Cross branch paths (28tph) will be needed for the trains from Morden.

    An article on Northern Line frequencies – particularly in regard to the two stages of the Bank upgrade – is overdue but there is a load of other stuff to write about at the moment.

  223. timbeau says:

    Launching a brand new tube line with only 4tph looks like a PR fail – both Battersea Park and Queenstown Road get eight!
    I can’t imagine waiting 14 minutes at Kennington will go down well. It would be quicker to walk to Battersea.

  224. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Timbeau – just think of the Battersea extension as South London’s Mill Hill East branch! What we don’t know yet is how the development at Battersea will build up over time and also how quickly retail and leisure facilities will be used. I don’t see there being much normal commuting on the route given the cost of the flats. The residents will be travelling by Porsche and Bentley not the Northern Line.

    The one thing I hadn’t really appreciated were the tight timescales that LU has been locked into. I think both sides to the agreements will be watching each other closely to see who is causing what delay and how it affects the other. Plenty of risks involved in getting this job done.

  225. Walthamstow Writer says:

    And here come the extra trains for Northern and Jubilee Lines. Note the rather amazing potential order size for the Northern Line – 50 trains??!

  226. @timbeau,

    Launching a brand new tube line with only 4tph looks like a PR fail – both Battersea Park and Queenstown Road get eight!
    I can’t imagine waiting 14 minutes at Kennington will go down well. It would be quicker to walk to Battersea.

    You have totally misunderstood. It won’t be launched with 4tph. It will be launched with 16tph. During the closure of full and partial closure of Bank (17 weeks max.) there will be 4tph. Perfectly reasonable and sensible and no doubt if people chose to use Battersea Park or Queenstown Road during that period then I am sure TfL will be delighted as it will leave more space for other (literally I suspect) hard-pressed commuters.

  227. timbeau says:

    Certainly sensible from a cosntructions and operation point of view, but from a PR perspective, the Press will make a lot of the new line’s tph being reduced from 16 to 4 only a few months after opening.

    Planned NLE opening date – Dec 2019
    Bank blockade – April to August 2020

  228. Taz says:

    Is TfL committed to 16tph from opening in late 2019? It must be hard to estimate demand there at this time. If they could start out with a four-month trial service of 8tph, every third Kennington train, or even 4tph, then 4tph during Bank works wouldn’t seem so bad. Could then move to 12tph and later 16tph with the balance through to Morden line in the peaks or round the loop off-peak.

    I’m more concerned for the Morden line customers. Current 28tph is grossly inadequate and they anticipate 32tph from full Upgrade 1 next year. Looks like the plan is to cut them back to current service to fit in the Battersea 4tph during Bank closure (PoP 18 August 2014 at 08:05). A Kennington-Battersea replacement bus service would provide a better over-all outcome, since I can’t see Battersea overcrowding exceeding that on the Morden line so early in its life.

  229. Pedantic of Purley says:


    Is TfL committed to 16tph from opening in late 2019? It must be hard to estimate demand there at this time.

    I believe so. I don’t think demand is relevant. It is simplicity and reliability of operating. It quite normal on the tube. Probably the most dramatic case in future will be Stanmore – Wembley Park which will have a ludicrously good service.

    If a train terminates at Kennington you either have to detrain it properly or deal with annoyed and confused passengers who find themselves leaving Kennington only to arrive back there. Far simpler just to run to Battersea.

  230. Walthamstow Writer says:

    BBC London’s Tom Edwards has just tweeted that the Secretary of State has approved the Battersea Extension. By this I assume he means the TWAO has been approved which will now trigger a whole pile of procurement and contract activity. It’s a very tight timescale from now to project completion in 2019/2020.

  231. @Walthamstow Writer,

    Makes sense. Rail and Underground Panel’s MD report stated:

    4.13 The public enquiry ended on 20 December 2013, and the report has been delivered to the Secretary of State for Transport. Approval is expected imminently.

    Pity they can’t tell the difference between an enquiry and an inquiry.

  232. Southern Heights says:

    My guess is that Nine Elms will be the busier station, if you can afford a flat at Battersea, you won’t be catching a tube with the plebs…

  233. Castlebar, - Fulwell Chord 최후의 승리를 향하여 앞으로 says:

    @ S H

    I think that is supposition

    Battersea residents will do whatever is the most convenient for them, albeit that it might also be the cheapest. The tube is likely to be the most convenient and quickest to most of their destinations.

  234. Southern Heights says:

    @Castlebar: With Studios at £495k????? At a ratio of 3.5 times salary, that implies a salary of £141 (plus a rounding error), do you really think so?

    I guess Boris would label that as affordable…

  235. timbeau says:

    The posh flats are being built all the way along the river from Vauxhall (the Standard’s property pages had an article about them this evening) – Nine Elms will be no less posh than Battersea

  236. Castlebar, - Fulwell Chord 최후의 승리를 향하여 앞으로 says:

    @ SH

    Yes & Yes

    They know the tube journey will be short. Something that will have to be endured. If it means sharing a tube carriage with a pleb, so be it!

  237. Malcolm says:

    People with a salary of £141k are not that rare. The two people I know who might have approximately that income are both regular users of public transport, when it suits them, and have, or have had, family members who are ditto.

  238. Rational Plan says:

    My, what a load of supposition on what these future residents will think about those less wealthy than themselves and their apparent disgust at mixing in with the sweating masses.

    If of course purchasers of such expensive apartments would never use the tube, then why would developers be so keen to fund an extension in the first place, it’s not as if they would do it so their cleaners and au pairs had an easy trip to work.

    People who can afford cars use transit because the roads are too congested/parking impossible and it’s quicker take the tube or train etc. Most people would drive if they could, as the seat is comfy, in your own little bubble where you sing a long to the radio and have your own air conditioned bubble, not having to smell someone else’s BO and play twister in a suit. Meanwhile getting pissed off with aggressive space defenders who think that their ticket gives them right to two seats so they beaver away on their lap top.

    Of course the balance can tip the other way when being caught up area wide gridlock due to an accident on the M25 and the M4 and you really wish their was a way to catch a direct train rather than make 5 changes and take an hour longer than by car.

    The bigger the city the more likely it is that transit is needed to overcome traffic. The only people who stick to their car are people with sales aids or tools etc or those who consider themselves as a genuine target of violent attack (in other words a small minority).

    It speaks of peoples own prejudices here rather than reality, when considering London’s fare structure it is more likely that the middle and upper classes will use trains and tubes compared to the poor.

  239. AlisonW says:

    “aggressive space defenders who think that their ticket gives them right to two seats so they beaver away on their lap top”

    Relatedly, when I was young children were expected to stand up and let an adult (any adult) have their seat if a bus was full, and if travelling with their parent would often then sit on the parent’s lap.

    Now it seems that to suggest this is highly objectionable by those with young (up to 3yo) children, despite the child now not even paying the half-fare of old, and parents volubly insist that their child “deserves” the seat.

    bah, humbug.

  240. Graham Feakins says:

    Oh, Alison W, how I sympathise with your comment! Every so often I try to enforce those old ideals on buses when I need a seat (think heavy bags etc.) but it’s not a comfortable experience – the children and those responsible for them (if any) simply haven’t been taught by anyone. However, I have a number of times been offered a seat by teenagers, which really takes me aback. Of course, smiles and thanks exchanged but I must look in the mirror – do I really look THAT old?

  241. Castlebar, - Fulwell Chord 최후의 승리를 향하여 앞으로 says:

    @ Alison + Graham F

    It gets worse than that.

    I have actually seen a woman give up her own seat to another woman, because this second woman was heavily pregnant and had a (approx) 6year old in tow. The heavily pregnant said “Thank you” and gave the seat to her 6y.o. whilst continuing to stand herself!!

  242. LadyBracknell says:

    As an aside, I am appalled to hear of the wheelchair user who was left at the bus stop because a woman with a pushchair refused to move. There was a discussion on Radio 4 this week with the man in question and some woman from one of these parents’ groups. I am afraid that her point of view was indefensible. Your inconvenience does not trump the needs of the disabled.

  243. Graham H says:

    @LadyBracknell- the difficulty is that your views and those of the variously differing participants are not universally shared. That’s not a criticism of any of them; it means simply that there is no commonly agreed way of sorting out this sort of dispute. What is intolerable is for bus crews to have to make such moral judgements and for all the other passengers to be delayed whilst two conflicting ethical systems slug it out in the lower saloon of the 53 or whatever. The best that can be done is to have clear guidelines as to who takes priority and to stick with them. You won’t please everyone but, then, you can’t.

  244. timbeau says:

    @Lady Bracknell
    A wheelchair is not a “golden ticket” allowing you to bounce other people off the bus. If the bus is full, you have to wait for the next one, just like everyone else. That’s Equality.

    When they were at an age where buggies were appropriate, I would always insist my children sat on my lap rather than occupy another seat, unless there were seats to spare. However, I have sometimes let children have my seat on the Underground, as I can reach the grab poles and they can’t -although if they’re that small, I would expect two of them to share a seat.

  245. Anonymous says:

    How can you expect someone with a buggy to agree to get off when they will have to pay again to continue their journey on a later bus. Also the spaces are just big enough for 2 McLaren type buggies or one wheelchair.
    The wheelchair user is likely to have a disabled person’s freedom pass.

  246. Castlebar, - Fulwell Chord 최후의 승리를 향하여 앞으로 says:

    There is distortion of fact here

    The woman with the buggy was asked to MOVE it to make room for the disabled person. She was not asked to leave the bus. But she refused to make room for the disabled man on the grounds that she had got her baby off to sleep and she didn’t want to wake it up,

    When you look at the facts, it does put this into a different perspective.

  247. Chris L says:

    Stagecoach buses in Cambridge display a notice that it is legal requirement to vacate the wheelchair space if it is needed by a wheelchair user.

  248. timbeau says:

    @chris L
    …….even if that means vacating the bus altogether?
    I can understand that it may be required to remove a baby buggy from a wheelchair space in the circumstances outlined, but this is quite a long process. First of all you have to remove any luggage stored on the buggy, and of course the baby (or babies) and then, using any free hands not required for holding said baby, fold the buggy up, and move to somewhere else in the bus (complete with baby who is by now screaming the place apart because it has been woken up). By now, if you’re in London, (but possibly not in Yorkshire) the next bus may have come along anyway.

    Is there a legal distinction between a wheelchair and a buggy anyway?

  249. Chris L says:

    Once the Northern Line is split the Battersea service will become 28 tph

  250. Paying Guest says:

    @ Timbeau
    ” If the bus is full, you have to wait for the next one, just like everyone else. That’s Equality.”

    No that isn’t equality. It would be if all spaces on the bus were wheelchair accessible, but for very good reasons they are not. In a world where the provision of wheelchair spaces is at the digital level means have to be found to ensure that wheelchair users have, as far as possible, the same chance of getting on the bus as other users. For the vast majority they do not have the option of folding up their wheelchair and moving to another spot.

    @Graham H

    I fully agree with you that bus crew should not be put in the invidious position of having to make – and try to enforce – judgements on who should get a space.

  251. timbeau says:

    @paying Guest
    “the option of …………moving to another spot.”
    If the bus is full, there is no other spot to move to.

  252. Timmy! says:

    I think this example is one-off but I broadly agree with timbeau. Travelling with children and buggies these days is not as simple as it seems.

    The TfL policy is here. Importantly, on buses, “Wheelchair users have priority over anyone else” in this space.

    In my experience, the problem with space on downstairs is due to people not sitting upstairs.

  253. Graham H says:

    @Chris L – I, too, studied the notices on our local Stagecoach buses. Whilst it is clear that anyone (including, interestingly, anyone in a mobility scooter) occupying the designated wheelchair space must make way for a wheelchair user,it certainly is silent, no doubt deliberately, on whether that person must leave the bus if there is no alternative space.

    BTW, there was an interesting demonstration of the further issues not addressed by the notices nor by the legislation, on the bus I was travelling on this evening. A user on a mobility scooter of the largest kind wished to travel; the only way they could occupy the wheelchair space was for everyone sitting in the front of the bus to leave their seats just to give the scooterist room to manoeuvre. Since the bus was already quite full, this process took some time and a journey that was already 20 minutes late became 30 minutes late;presumably,there was a repeat when the scooter user had to leave. (Actually, the position got steadily worse, as we were so late that we began to pick up the passengers from the following trip. Quite what would have happened if a wheelchair user had subsequently claimed the designated space is difficult to guess…

  254. Fandroid says:

    As (again, after a break of many years) the regular pilot of a buggy, I need to remind folk that the modern beast is somewhat bulkier and heavier than the dear old 1st generation Maclaren canvas and sticks thing.
    There is a big problem on buses, as I have found to my own cost. At our local hospital I have seen mothers with buggies forced to wait for several buses to go by (and this ain’t London, so frequency isn’t that clever) simply because there all appropriate spaces (usually two on country buses) were already filled by buggies. The provision of wheelchair spaces is absolutely right, but it has encouraged those in charge of young children to assume that they can probably get on most buses without first having to fold their pushchairs. Because, fold first, get on next, was the automatic assumption for families using buses in the good old days of the NBC!

    It’s that law of unintended consequences in operation again.

  255. Anonymous says:

    @Castlebar etc.
    I was not referring to the legal ruling but to my recent observations as a passenger on busy buses during the day. My comments refer to full buses where the buggyistas have nowhere else to go because the standing area between the driver and the centre doors is already occupied, as are the lower saloon seats.
    The latest fashion is for huge three wheeled buggies which don’t fold – more like prams. These don’t help.
    I have seen a wheelchair occupant literally hold the bus by grimly grabbing the handrail by the front door and refusing to let go until a young mum and child got off. It was a standoff (or should I say sitoff?) I don’t know the eventual outcome because I could not hang around to watch.
    I’m not going to get into the legal rulings but what is the driver supposed to do?

    @Graham H
    I thought that mobility scooters weren’t allowed on buses. TfL impose size restrictions.

  256. Slugabed says:

    Just out of vulgar curiosity,when (and why?) did the Push-Chairs of my childhood become the Buggies of today?
    Or am I missing a subtle distinction…?

  257. Graham H says:

    @Anonymous – well, here in darkest Surrey, mobility scooters certainly board buses and indeed the Stagecoach notice about the use of the wheelchair space certainly envisages them using it, even if having to give way to a wheelchair claimant. (There are probably size restrictions, not least because of the weight on the ramp, but they aren’t set out in the notice).

    And as for the sort of stand off you describe,it can only be a matter of time before either the other passengers take the law into their own hands in their impatience, or we have press headlines about “Mother and young baby left to freeze in snowstorm” or similar – I really don’t know how society will deal with that.
    @Slugabed – an example of the insidious Americanisation of English.

  258. Castlebar, - Fulwell Chord 최후의 승리를 향하여 앞으로 says:

    @ Slugabed and GH

    Not quite

    It’s all about advertising and marketing.

    Remember, a squirrel is actually a rat, but one who employed a better PR agent

  259. timbeau says:

    @Anon 2158
    “The latest fashion is for huge three wheeled buggies which don’t fold ”

    I think you’ll find that they do – how else are you going to get them into the Chelsea Tractor?

  260. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Timbeau 1357 – “if in London the next bus will have come along anyway”. Err not necessarily. Sundays are particularly problematic – my local route runs every 15 mins but such is the demand that mums with buggies can wait for 2 or 3 buses before being able to board. Of course there are oodles of TfL routes on Sundays where you may face a 30 minute wait quite routinely. There are also routes on M-F that run every 60, 70 or 90 minutes. Imagine what happens if you can’t board the R8 or the last 246 from Westerham?

    As I’ve had to read about 100 posts on this wheelchair vs buggy issue on another group I read I’m saying no more because I have no answer to this problem. However the judgement pans out it will not provide a viable solution that copes with the vagaries of human nature / behaviour.

  261. Graham Feakins says:

    @WW et. al. – The TfL Conditions of Carriage:

    have this to say on the matter:

    “14.3.3 Priority. Wheelchair and mobility scooter users have priority over everyone else for the use of the wheelchair space, since this is the only space in which they can travel safely. If someone in a wheelchair wishes to board, and the wheelchair space is occupied by standing passengers or buggies, standing passengers will be asked by the driver to make room if possible, and buggy users will be asked to fold them and put them in the luggage space or keep them by their side. The driver will tell you what to do.
    14.3.4 Right to refuse travel. We reserve the right to refuse travel at any time if:
    • the bus driver considers that your mobility aid exceeds the dimensions set out above and the weight limit set out on ramp or beside the doorway
    • the wheelchair space is already occupied by a wheelchair user
    • the driver consider that the bus is so crowded that there is no room for you to travel safely with your mobility aid, or
    • the driver considers that it is unsafe for you to travel on the bus with your mobility aid
    You will only be refused entry when it is absolutely necessary, but no-one already travelling will be asked to get off the bus. The driver will tell you it if is unsafe for you to travel on a particular bus with your mobility aid.


    15. Access and carriage of passengers with buggies
    15.1 Accessibility. All or our bus services are accessible for passengers with buggies up to a width or 70cm and a length of 120cm unfolded, with the exception of Heritage Routemasters which operate some journeys on parts of route 15.
    15.2 Priority. Wheelchair and mobility scooter users have priority over everyone else for the use of the wheelchair space. You may therefore be asked to fold up your buggy to allow wheelchair or mobility scooter users to use the wheelchair space. See clause 14.3.3 for further details. You will not be asked to get off the bus to make space for other passengers.
    15.3 Right to refuse travel. We reserve the right to refuse to let you travel if:
    • the driver considers that your buggy exceeds the dimensions set out above
    • the driver considers that the bus is so crowded that there is no room for you to travel safely with your buggy, or
    You will only be refused entry when it is absolutely necessary, but no-one already travelling will be asked to get off the bus.
    15.5 Boarding the bus. Passengers with a buggy may ask to board through the centre doors of a dual-door bus with the driver’s permission. You must immediately go to the front of the bus after boarding to show your ticket or to touch your Oyster card or contactless payment card on the yellow reader.
    15.6 During transit. If unfolded, please make sure that your buggy is safely positioned within the designated area during transit. For everyone’s comfort and safety, unfolded buggies cannot travel in the gangway.”

    Note that, in both cases, “no-one already travelling will be asked to get off the bus”.

  262. AlisonW says:

    “The wheelchair user is likely to have a disabled person’s freedom pass.”

    Actually, not necessarily so. A person using a wheelchair on a TfL bus will travel free at all times, pass or not. (Indeed my experience when I
    was using mine and an inspector got on was that they *refused* to check my pass despite my proffering it!)

    I’ve also seen it noted elsewhere today that given the marked space was placed in situ for disabled users then it is only reasonable that they should always have priority. And yes, mobility scooters and motorised wheelchairs are both permitted _subject to a maximum weight_ – the latter point being a subject of discussion I saw happening at the recent TfL exhibition day.

  263. Greg Tingey says:

    Remember, a squirrel is actually a rat, but one who employed a better PR agent
    My tom kitten has sussed this one … his latest count is FIVE squirrels ….. (!)

  264. Graham H says:

    @Fandroid – thank you for the extracts from the Conditions of Carriage.I imagine they are fairly standard across the UK. They seem extremely clear about people not being thrown off buses to make room for wheelchair users and indeed any driver who attempted to do so would be liable for prosecution, you might think. Drivers also appear (153) to have an absolute right to refuse entry to a wheelchair if the bus is overcrowded. The legal test is essentially a pragmatic one and it is entirely possible that wheelchair users, pram pushers, and indeed ordinary mortals will be left behind because there is no room.

    That’s as it should be pragmatically; it really is impossible to give anyone, abled or disabled a right to transport simply because it’s undefinable,let alone consideration of cost issues.

  265. Graham Feakins says:

    @Graham H – You can call me Graham F if you like.

  266. timbeau says:

    Now we’ve established no modern-day Rosa Parkes has to thrown off a bus, (I know she was only required to vacate a seat) can we get back to the plans to relieve Queenstown Road station with a new tube line?

  267. Graham Feakins says:

    And so what did you want to say, timbeau?

    I can’t say I can see anything above concerning the need to relieve Queenstown Road station itself but I may have missed a comment. As you said yourself, it already has 8tph.

  268. timbeau says:

    @Graham F
    It seems my sarcasm flag should have been bigger. With eight tracks between Waterloo and Battersea already, are another two, albeit also serving Kennington, really necessary?

    There are cheaper ways of putting Battersea on the Tube map.

  269. Graham H says:

    @Graham F and fandroid – my apologies to you both.

    @timbeau – indeed, which makes the whole affair much less of a legal “landmark” than was reported by the drama queens.

  270. Walthamstow Writer says:

    An interesting snippet in the latest Commissioner’s Report to the TfL Board.

    The NLE received its Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) from the Secretary of State on 12 November, taking effect on 15 December. A local resident has issued proceedings challenging the legality of the TWAO and the associated planning permission; both claims are being defended with DfT and TfL as an interested party. Subject to that, work can now start on building the extension, which will open in 2020.

  271. Anonyminibus says:

    Before Bank is rebuilt, is it feasible to provide a crossover on the NL at London Bridge to allow trains from Morden to terminate ? If so virtually all journeys could continue at existing frequencies with Bank reached by walking from Moorgate or London Bridge.

  272. Pedantic of Purley says:

    As I understand it, no.

    The original one disappeared as a result of building the new platform on the Northern Line at London Bridge. This was done around the time of the Jubilee Line construction. So, to build a crossover you would need a new crossover tunnel and, because the lines are so far apart from each other, a short section of additional tunnel. This in itself would be a major task and would also mean another Transport & Works Act Order (or addition to the one proposed).

  273. Anonyminibus says:

    In that case would London Bridge to Kennington be closed ? The only other solution seems to be a one-train-working bi-directional shuttle on one or both of the tunnels. This would mean Morden trains would have to go to Charing Cross, so the problem with finding trains for Battersea remains.

  274. Pedantic of Purley says:


    This isn’t really the right place but anyway …

    During the construction phase when the Bank branch is closed (40 days) both northbound and southbound the plan is to run 32tph on the Charing Cross branch. If the Battersea extension is open by then it will have 4tph and 28tph will go to and from Morden. If not then there will be 32tph between Morden and Camden Town via Charing Cross. There will be 16tph between Camden Town and Moorgate. Both northern branches would have 24tph – roughly as at present.

    A lot of this information + additional stuff is on the TfL website here. All subject to change of course.

  275. Melvyn says:

    TFL have begun a consultation re over site developments at Battersea Extention station see link –

  276. Melvyn says:

    The consultation re oversite development on Northern Line extension follow on Secretary of State giving go ahead to scheme see –

  277. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Melvyn – just had a very brief scan of the consultation document. Yet more wretched towers no doubt full of utterly unaffordable housing. The final page with the artists impression of the development shows how completely out of scale with the current neighbourhood the whole scheme is. Clearly the rest of the development area is full of towers too but that doesn’t make it right or acceptable. Whatever happened to sympathetic and “in scale” development? I note also that the station design looks extremely simple and “bland”.

  278. answer=42 says:

    @WW 29/01
    Did the legal challenge to the TWAO go anywhere? Is there a support group for this brave individual?
    This project is such a complete misuse of public funds it makes Airtrack look sane.

  279. Answer=42,

    Please enlighten us. What public funds are you talking about and for what purpose?

  280. timbeau says:

    Just to clarify, this is a proposal for the station at New Covent Garden (Nine Elms), not the one at Battersea Dogs Home

  281. timbeau says:

    @poP/ A=42

    So in theory and fingers crossed and provided this can happen again
    the public funds to be spent building it will all be recouped by about 2045. A lot can happen in that time. How much of the JLE ended up being privately funded.

  282. answer=42 says:

    How much of the JLE ended up being privately funded?
    Was it not zero percent? I would like to be wrong.

    I should point out that I am not against private funding of transport infrastructure in principle.

  283. answer=42 says:

    Timbeau / PoP
    Always good to have the facts. Financing costs, project (including funding) contingent risk, a portion (I won’t work it out) of S106 funds all from public purse. Hidden cost: non-monetary cost of poor development quality as described by others above.

    The real issue is the opportunity cost of the lost benefits from a properly planned development. Which would almost certainly include an S106 funded public transport development.

    The distinction between private profit and public benefit is often minimal. Business makes money because its products fulfill a need. The private capturing of public benefit is possibly greatest in construction / development. Which is why planning regulations exist, which are necessarily political.

  284. JLE was promised hundreds of millions of pounds by Olympia & York the Canary Wharf developers. With their financial troubles, the amount they actually contributed was far less. Alas I don’t have the figures to hand.

  285. Briantist (@work) says:

    @Long Branch Mike

    Great link here for the details of the JLE –

    also mention

  286. Answer=42,

    So long as we have the facts. What I didn’t like was the misleading implication in your original statement – and that it was just an opinion that wasn’t backed up by anything whatsoever so was pretty meaningless.

    And, to stay on that topic, Airtrack wasn’t going to involve public funds either (at any stage) whereas your statement rather suggests otherwise.

    In any case a “misuse of public funds” implies something completely different and criminal as opposed to a “waste of public funds” and was a misleading emotional phrase to use.

    When considering the misuse waste of public funds I suspect you are looking at the scheme from a transport perspective. In reality it is a regeneration scheme that happens to be achieved by investing in transport. Personally, I never understand why enthusiasts for better public transport get so upset by such schemes as it shows what good public transport can achieve.

  287. answer=42 says:

    I believe that the figure was £300mn. Did not O&Y go bankrupt?

  288. answer=42 says:

    Well, I didn’t have the facts but I was aware that the funding was part public, although I must admit that I thought that the proportion was larger.

    My dig at Airtrack: sorry I should have been clearer. This was not only intended as publicly funded (though no doubt with a contribution from Heathrow) but also largely a local authority developed project. So I was trying to be even-handed in my condemnation of [poorly thought out] projects.

    [We mods are being even-handed in snipping text that states or implies poor levels of intelligence. LBM]

  289. Answer=42

    Actually the original Airtrack scheme was a BAA (as was) scheme. Apart from the level crossing issue, they got very cold feet indeed when they were due to put in the TWAO application and that coincided with the downturn of the economy and the near collapse of the banking system.

    Personally, as a truly privately funded scheme, I thought it would have been an extremely sensible project had it not been for those level crossings.

  290. answer=42 says:

    Nevertheless, I stand by my use of ‘misuse’ of public funds. In the context that the area will be developed, a properly planned development project would have made better use of public funds for transport. This is the opportunity cost argument.

    The decision is political, which is entirely legitimate. What is less so is the manner in which it was made – no alternatives were able to be discussed. In effect, the developer gets a bigger say in the outcome than the funds committed.

    I don’t think that the argument that ‘this supports public transport, so we should support it’ gets my vote. We on this site have called out poorly planned projects in the past. Of course, in this case, there will be differences of opinion on whether it is a ‘poorly planned project’.

  291. I think you missed my point. “Misuse of public funds” is defrauding the public by using public money for personal benefit or a purpose other than for which it was intended. If there is a misuse of public funds who has misused it?

    Spending it on a project you happen to think is not a prudent use of public funds is a different matter.

  292. Chris Patrick says:


    Sorry but the project is a sensible use of funds.

    It will allow more frequent services on the main part of the Northern Line.

    If the segregation of the Northern Line at Camden Town goes ahead at a later date service frequencies will almost double as a result of the short extension.

  293. @A=40 (accounting for deflation)

    “I believe that the figure was £300mn. Did not O&Y go bankrupt?”

    Yes that’s the figure I recall, and O&Y did go bankrupt, but I cannot recall the timeline of events of this payment, its conditions and the O&Y bankruptcy, so kept my comment very general.

  294. Melvyn says:

    @ Briantist Your link to extending the Fleet Line also includes plans to extend Bakerloo Line beyond the Elephant – an extension the Elephant has forgot !

  295. ngh says:

    JLE – I think the administrators (EY) offered £100m up front and £75m contributions later to make sure construction started.
    British Gas were going to contribute £25m for the North Greenwich Station.

    So £200m “developer” contributions?

    Graham H is probably the right person I’m sure the number is already lurking in an LR post!

  296. timbeau says:

    @PoP A=42.
    I think answer=42 was suggesting public funds were being squandered or frittered away on vanity projects, rather than actual embezzlement.

    @Chris Patrick
    It is the proposed separation of the Northern Line which will allow more frequent services. The extension is not necessary for this to take place – Charing Cross branch trains have always been able to terminate at Kennington, using the terminal loop, without interfering with City trains running to Morden. Indeed, separation between the services has happened at both ends of the core – although never simultaneously at both Camden and Kennington as far as I am aware.
    Moreover, the scissors crossover at Battersea will introduce a new conflict between incoming and outgoing trains, and thus a limit on frequency, which is avoided by the current layout at Kennington.

  297. Melvyn says:

    Please find a link to Hansard and parliamentary debate following O&Y bankruptcy which gives details of amounts to be paid towards JLE some of which was over a number of years –

  298. Jonathan Roberts says:

    @Melvyn / ngh / LBM / others
    Thank you for the useful link to the JLE parliamentary debate, the core of which was that O&Y hadn’t yet paid any of the £400m sought from them. You may be aware that the original Waterloo & Greenwich Railway private sector scheme was costed by O&Y at £400m, hence the value of the proposed contribution to the alternative public sector scheme. (I have a copy of the W&GR deposited parliamentary plans at home. O&Y were less than a week from depositing the main Private Bill.)

    The JLE scheme was conjured up in a great rush that week by the then Conservative Government to avoid the embarrassment [paradoxically ?!] of a private sector scheme overtaking transport priorities in London. This led to the binning of the Central London Rail Study and the urgent creation of the East London Rail Study to see which developer (Poplar vs Greenwich Peninsula) would offer the bigger sum for the JLE to go their way – British Gas won with a £25m offer. Graham H has plenty to say on this episode.

    Apart from liquidity issues affecting O&Y cash flow, the primary reason why the £400m was never paid at the end of the day, was that it was conditional on the JLE being delivered on time and on budget. Which it wasn’t, by a long way. O&Y saved their money, and re-offered some for the first round JLE capacity upgrade. I don’t know if that was delivered on time or budget either.

    That’s also why Songbird (the reconstituted Canary Wharf Group) have insisted on designing and building their own station at Canary for Crossrail 1. They reasonably wanted a project on time and to budget, and they’ve done that, quicker than the rest of Crossrail.

  299. ngh says:

    Re Jonathan et al,

    The administrator offer was made 3 months after the debate linked to. The earlier May debate had yet another set of numbers!

    So is it possible that the the £100m was paid but the £75m wasn’t?

  300. Jonathan Roberts says:

    At the time of the debate, O&Y had financing problems but weren’t in administration, as you say. I was careful to refer just to a liquidity issue. I believe that nothing was paid over at the end of the day, because the funding agreement was conditional, and the JLE costs and timescales got totally the wrong side of the graph paper! However, if one had the relevant LRT Annual Reports for a number of years in the 1990s, it would be possible to check the small print at the back of the accounts to confirm the outcome.

  301. answer=42 says:

    Yes, I did indeed misunderstand your point; timbeau has stated my position.

    The Wikipedia entry for O&Y says that JLE was late because of late payments from O&Y. But that can’t be the primary reason, can it?
    Also, a late payments clause that removed all of O&Y’s requirement to pay would be somewhat unusual, would it not?
    The very different structure of Crossrail Ltd would suggest that TfL have learned lessons from the JLE, I would suggest.

  302. timbeau says:

    a=42 “Also, a late payments clause that removed all of O&Y’s requirement to pay would be somewhat unusual, would it not?”
    Not necessarily. If a contract states time is of the essence, then late delivery means no payment. If the flowers for a 1 pm wedding are delivered at 5pm, the florist is unlikely to get paid!

  303. answer=42 says:

    tim b
    I don’t know much about construction contracts but I would have thought that there would have been a diminishing obligation, the later the JLE was. Also, that any late payment by O&Y would would negate any delay clause. But then I would also have expected O&Y to have out-negotiated LT (as was).

  304. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Answer=42 – you might be surprised what people will sign up to if they are desperate enough! This is one of the problems of trying to “obtain” private sector funding – there are always conditions and both parties will “game” their obligations to some extent as neither side has perfect knowledge. In reality it’s a great big bet much of the time. Far more sensible to have a tax regime that claws back money afterwards or via a levy as we have for Crossrail. Oh and the public sector funding the work in the first place. It may not be popular but the criteria for a levy are usually straightforward.

  305. Melvyn says:

    One big difference today to when the Jubilee Line was planned is the way Canary Wharf Estate has grown into a multi billion pound estate from what was then still a small isolated development .

    While Crossrail has allowed them to build a new station over which a major development has been built which is due to open in May and will thus start generating revenue payback several years before Crossrail opens. This development also brings forward the development of North Dock between the station and Poplar DLR station although Wood Wharf will come first with piling underway .

  306. Ian J says:

    The Wikipedia entry for O&Y says that JLE was late because of late payments from O&Y.

    Haggling over the O&Y contribution delayed the start of work, but the main delays in actually building the line happened because of a) the tunnel collapse at Heathrow meaning a long pause in tunnelling while the safety of the New Austrian Tunnelling Method was investigated, b) the choice of an unproven moving block signalling system that had to be abandoned late in the project and conventional signalling installed, and c) various shenanigans involving mysterious disruptions in the run-up to the new “deadline” of 31 December 1999, including electrical wiring which may have been deliberately sabotaged by contractors.

    Just to muddy the waters, part of the deal with O&Y involved London Transport agreeing to rent a big chunk of office space at Canary Wharf, too. The LDDC history mentions a proposal to relocate DfT civil servants there too, which I can imagine would have been resisted tooth and nail.

  307. Greg Tingey says:

    WW 17/03/15: 20.22hrs
    Back to Adam Smith, in fact – the government puts up monies &/or expertise for large capital projects & recoups the money in extra taxes later ( &/or takes a “cut” of the profits. )

    Ian J
    including electrical wiring which may have been deliberately sabotaged by contractors.
    Err, I heard otherwise .. without reference to solid sources & relying on faulty memory, I think it was because, among other things, electricians came up/out of one site, to find they were in the centre of an “exclusion zone” of an IRA bomb-scare & no-one had bothered or thought to tell them. After which, their attitude was, understandably a little rebellious, shall we say?

  308. Rational Plan says:

    Ah the Jubilee line. One of the clear drivers of cost was the governments decision to open the Millenium Dome with a very strict opening date of 1999.

    It was that definite opening date that helped drive costs up as things began to go wrong.

    Had the Heathrow tunnels not collapsed then much time and money would have been saved. But that opening date created real problems with the new moving block signalling. If there had not been such a deadline, I’m sure they’d have delayed opening the line until they had sorted it out, rather than jury rigging an older system on the fly to get it open on time.

    Of course the ever increasing panic over the deadline was wonderful for the electrical engineering unions. I remember reading on the continual announcement of yet new highs on the rates of pay being offered to qualified engineers.

    Consideration also needs to be given the change in the economy and the construction industry over the project. The contracts were let during the depths of the 90’s recession and there often articles about it creating jobs all over the country etc and it being part of investing in the future of Britain etc. But the ejection from the ERM ended our straight jacket of following German interest rates and economy started to boom within a few years, so you can imagine what happened to construction inflation in the meantime, as thousands of new projects started to compete for worker and raw materials.

  309. Melvyn says:

    Orders have been made for TBMs to build Northern Line Extension see –

    Shame they can’t be left in situ in case extension to Clapham Junction occurs in a few years .

  310. Anomnibus (Lewisham People's Front [Catford Branch]) says:


    TBMs take time to build, ship, reassemble on-site, and start up. By the time they’ve started digging, there’s a good chance TfL will have made a decision on Clapham Junction.

    An important point is that there have been suggestions for a complete rebuild and re-siting of Clapham Junction station itself (including from South West Trains), so there is that to consider: building an interchange at the present site effectively pins the present station to its existing location and makes it far more difficult to justify relocating it.

    The present station is barely fit for purpose in its current form: the canted track through the curved platforms make ‘step-free’ access almost impossible to provide here at sensible prices, while the ‘fanned’ layout of the station makes it a poor interchange today, let alone after a future Tube station is added. Any Tube station here would link up with the subway, which clearly needs widening if it’s going to cope with the all the extra passengers. NR and TfL will also need to add lifts to each platform for that step-free access.

    I suspect that it may be more sensible to rebuild the station on a more convenient site, but you’d need to work out where that is first, before you build an extension.

    (I’d prefer a bi-level affair in the Stewarts Lane area, which is ripe for regeneration. This gives a more compact station that’s easier to navigate, and also allows the maze of junctions in the area to be tidied up.)

  311. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Anomnibus – I’ve just checked the project milestones for the B’sea ext. Tunnelling completes in 2017. I cannot see any decision being reached by then in respect of the Northern Line reaching Clapham Junction. While it is an aspiration for local politicians in Wandsworth it is nowhere on TfL’s list of priority schemes and would surely be rendered largely pointless by Crossrail 2 anyway. Feel free to come back and correct me if you’re proven correct but I’m not holding my breath that any such extension will see the light of day this side of 2045.

  312. Anomnibus (Lewisham People's Front [Catford Branch]) says:

    @Walthamstow Writer:

    I agree that it’s unlikely an extension to Clapham Junction is going to happen in the medium term.

    My point—and I use that term very loosely—is that, before you can build an extension to Clapham Junction, it’d be very useful to know if there’ll still be a station on the surface to interchange with before you build a new Tube station under it.

  313. Ian J says:

    @Greg Tingey:Err, I heard otherwise

    BBC, November 1998:

    “There have been two recent incidents at the London Bridge site where cables were deliberately cut on escalator sprinkler protection systems after the work was completed and certified.

    “‘These are malicious, spiteful acts which can be carried out in a matter of seconds but could cost the project over a month,’ said the spokeswoman.

    London bridge site manager Paul Gover said vandalism had been going on for several months.

    And he said he believed that the latest attack on a number of cables at the site had been carried out by someone who ‘knew what they were doing’.”

    See also references in Chris Mullin’s diary for the period.

  314. Chris Patrick says:

    The extension project is to design and build just that. The TBMs will drive away from Battersea.

    Clapham Junction is not part of the deal and it won’t be.

  315. Rational Plan says:

    Unless there is a radical reduction in construction costs or a big increase in tax raising powers, simple tube extensions are not on TFL priority list, unless finance can be raised through the uplift in land values.

    As the forest of luxury high rises that is now rising in Nine Elms attests there are not that many sites in the capital where such value can be raised from low to high land value. And no one objecting to such a level of development, that councils can ignore.

    From now on opponents of tube extensions will point to the Northern line and will say ‘this is what will happen here’.

    The Bakerloo extension might be cobbled together from redevelopment on the Old Kent Road and network rail relief from removing the Hayes line.

    Any funds that TFL / GLA can scrape together will be mainly focussed on Crossrails through the centre and orbital rail and tram schemes (maybe) in the suburbs.

    Of course the other main reason is that there are very few parts of the Tube network that can be extended without overloading the centre of their lines.

    It would take the simultaneous construction of three Crossrails and maybe a couple of extra tube lines to provide enough spare capacity for a major expansion of the tube network into the suburbs via simple extensions or extra branches. But until that day when an extra £10 billion a year is spent for ten years , we will never get ahead of growth.

  316. Greg Tingey says:

    I suspect that it may be more sensible to rebuild the station on a more convenient site, but you’d need to work out where that is first, before you build an extension.
    Yes, & you need to include platforms & internal interchange links for those services proceeding along the WLERly towards Willesden etc, & LOROL towards the Thames Tunnel, don’t you?
    And widen the total track base to take not only platforms, but extra loops, so that non-stop trains can run through, esp on the ex LSWR lines, thus creating a through station with 18 platforms [note*] – which is going to be WIDE.
    Err, um again.
    Now, where did you want to put it – with decent road/bus links too?

    [note*: 2 for the LOROL + 4 for Windsor + 4 for LSW fast + 2 LSW slow + 4 LBSC fast + 2 LBSC slow. Plus 2 dahn th’ole for WLERly services. Possible that 4 tracks but only 2 platforms for LSW & LBSC fasts, which might save a bit of width?]

  317. ngh says:

    Going further to Clapham Jn.

    1. Wandsworth have a good track record in sorting and working constructively to get things done especially large redevelopments

    2. I looks like Clapham Junction is staying where it is based on CR2 safeguarding (The SWT plan referred to were over a decade old)

    3. The real issue with extension to Clapham Jn would be not getting in the way of CR2.

    4. constructing a Northern Line station at the same time as CR2 makes a lot of sense as the pedestrian underpass issues can get tackled once thus potentially making an Northern Extension comparatively cheap if it can piggy back on the work needed for CR2?

    5. Greg a lot of the platform issues will get sorted any way:
    P0 is vaguely on the agenda – when they did the P1/2 work a set of points was put in beyond P2 to enable the siding beyond to serve P0 in the future as well.
    There are plans for the Southern Side as discussed in the Sussex series
    SWT had previous plans to sort the P7/8 issues will will no doubt surface again combined with NR’s various options along the lines of the 5 tracks to Surbiton plans
    As much needs to stop at Clapham Jn as possible… The only reason to by pass is a capacity reduction from reduced tph.

  318. timbeau says:

    I recall extensive discussion of re-siting the interchange not that long ago – a site between Falcon Road and Latchmere Road was suggested although squeezing seven island platforms within the available width would be a challenge, or a more compact tri-level interchange (BML (and possibly Chatham lines)/SWML/Overground) based on Queenstown Road, with some platforms retained at Clapham Junction to serve the local area. Neither would be cheap. The new Tube station at Battersea Dogs Home would be very close to this.

    The suggestion of simply extending the NLE to the bottom of Lavender Hill by not stopping the TBMs when they get to the currently-planned terminus isn’t practical, because as I understand it the TBMs will be starting at that end and later breaking through into the Kennington loop. Thus an extension to CJ would require a new drive, either from the terminus or from a new launch site at CJ

  319. Greg Tingey says:

    As much needs to stop at Clapham Jn as possible… The only reason to by pass is a capacity reduction from reduced tph. I would dipute that, actually.
    If it is going past Basingstoke, then surely the last stop should be Woking ( & not all of them, either ) Even for the Brighton fasts, last stop E Croydon is better?
    This is the (IMHO) lunacy that has overtaken the ex-GWR main line, with everything to S Wales stopping @ Reading Often Didcot, Swindon, Stoke Gifford before Newport, rhather than an alternating half-hourlyu, where the first stop out is Stoke Gifford (sometimes called “Bristol Parkway”) – & etended jopurney times, reducing competitiveness with long-distance coach & internal airline travel.

    Looking at the bg enlargement possible on “Opnes Street Map” I would agree that “Behind ASDA” i.e. N of Falcon Rd & S of Fownes St is “possible” – adavntage – you could keep the present station open for all traffic until the new one is ready, slew line etc one at a time, with minimal (by the standards of these things) interruption & Dislocation.
    However £COST$ & bcr would be?

    Your proposal appears to be further East, so I assume the LOROL services from the WLERly would come in along the Latchmere no 3 spur – but would you not lose ex-LBSCR connections there? Or are you envisioning a station “up on stilts” for those lines?
    Even more moolah required!

  320. Anomnibus (Lewisham People's Front [Catford Branch]) says:


    The tri-level* option was mine (I think). Basically, it would mean redeveloping the area around Stewarts Lane, but if the Battersea Power Station redevelopment proves successful, I can’t imagine it would take long for developers to start making covetous noises. As you say, an extension to Clapham Junction would then be surplus to requirements.

    An advantage of this option is that it also allows the maze of viaducts and junctions to be simplified and, in some cases, improved.

    @Greg T:

    All existing route options would be retained. In fact, the Overground would even gain a direct link between the SLL and the WLL, so you could run right through the new station and shift the southern section’s terminus to Old Oak Common instead.

    It’s expensive, granted, but there is a lot of scope for simplifying and reducing the amount of land actually used by the railway here. There’s also ample space to allow phasing of the work. Queenstown Road Battersea and Battersea Park stations would close, but in compensation, Chatham services would also gain access to the new interchange station, opening up Overground services to those passengers.

    For developers, it provides a much better interchange experience, and also means their properties are directly accessible from pretty much anywhere, including Ramsgate, Brighton, Portsmouth, Exeter, and even Cardiff.

    * Technically four layers if you include the ground floor below. The routes to Waterloo and Victoria cross each other at about 90° here, so a mezzanine level needs to be sandwiched between the two layers of platforms to allow passengers to transfer easily between platforms.

  321. ngh says:

    Re Greg,

    And I would dispute you dispute… because lot of passengers need to change and have to go well out of their way to do so which then causes loading issues elsewhere. The old model is dead, traffic patterns have changed…
    (and even more will want to change at Clapham post CR2). Would you suggest reducing the number of fast services stopping at Stratford especially post Crossrail?.

    For example having to got to Clapham Junction to change to get a train to Waterloo (or Basingstoke) to get train to Winchester or equally to have to go to Victoria to get a (Southern) train to Gatwick instead of getting on at Clapham. All of which increases the overall journey time.

  322. timbeau says:

    “Your proposal appears to be further East, so I assume the LOROL services from the WLERly would come in along the Latchmere no 3 spur – but would you not lose ex-LBSCR connections there? Or are you envisioning a station “up on stilts” for those lines?”
    No further east, but a twelve car platform would extend a long way between Falcon and Latchmere Roads
    The BML, SWML and WLL access to platforms 1 and 2 run side by side and on the straight there. Why would anything have to be on stilts?

    As for the trilevel station, there wouldn’t be room for a mezzanine between the existing levels – direct access from each SW platform to each Brighton platform would create multiple interchange routes, with separate access to high and low level platforms from street level.
    Chatham line stoppers diverted over the Battersea Park flyover.
    Overground is actually at a similar level to the SWML, but currently the wrong side of QT Road. But that road might have to be diverted anyway to gain the extra width needed for three extra island platforms on the SWML. And yes, WLL and SLL Overground services could either make an end to end connection there, or run through, or the WLL could divert to the new station to interchange with the SLL which continues beyond to serve CJ.

  323. timbeau says:

    forgot to mention – on the benefit side of the bcr for this, (aka “why bother?”), SWT’s original driver was the desire to squirt more trains through the fast lines. These are currently heavily speed restricted, and the sharp curvature and resulting large gap on platform 8 means up trains calling at CJ have to use platform 7 which has even slower approach speeds. (The history of this is that the SWML slow lines (platforms 10 and 11) are more or less on the original London & Southampton alignment, all other lines* were added on one side or ‘tother, with increasingly awkward curvature as you got further from the original alignment, (see in particular platforms 7 and 17). SWT’s plan was to ease the curves on the fast lines – which required demolition of at least platforms 7 to 10, and this in turn meant they would have to be replaced somewhere nearby.

    *The Windsor Line platforms were rebuilt on a new alignment further north in, I think, the 1860s to allow the line to cross Plough Road by a bridge instead of a level crossing.

  324. Tricia says:

    We desperately NEED a station link into Bushey Heath! Why not extend from Edgware on the old proposes ‘Northern Heights’ project which was put to a halt on the onset of World war 11. They could extend the underground. So many new homes are being built here, hence the need for commuting to be more accessible

  325. Graham H says:

    @tricia – better ask Hertfordshire, then. (They may well feel, I guess, that they have spent as much as they can afford already on the Watford extension). Even in London, the GLA have been reliant on developer funding for NLE. The numbers are quite horrendous – for Edgware-Bushey, the Watford extension gives some idea of the cost range involved: £200-400m Given a typical s106 “take” of around 10 % on developers’ and a typical house price of £400k, you’d need 10 000 houses just to fund it (let alone all the other necessary things such as schools, roads etc)

  326. Malcolm says:

    @tricia: postwar revival of the original Northern Heights scheme was scuppered north of Edgware by the green belt. (Or so I always understood). So, apart from the significant money hurdle which Graham mentions, wouldn’t this still apply? I know there have been mutterings about limited housebuilding incursions into the green belt, but I don’t think the green belt is yet a totally dead duck. (Or is it?).

  327. Slugabed says:

    No,the Green Belt is very much alive and kicking….I own a small bit of it (in Bromley,don’t laugh) and I can’t put in a fence post without a planning officer’s site-visit at £1,800 a pop.
    For reasons so off-topic it’d blow yer gaskets,I wouldn’t expect any substantial change in Green Belt rules for the foreseeable.

  328. Graham H says:

    @Malcolm/slugabed -Hertsmere’s green belt is indeed still there. Their latest review (2014) states in para 8.9 “In a context where it is not generally necessary to release land from the Green Belt to accommodate identified development needs, any changes to the Green Belt should be very limited. ” The review recommends the deletion of just 5 minor sites from the green belt.

  329. Ian J says:

    Even in the 1930s the Bushey Heath extension was predicated on having a second route south from Edgware via Mill Hill East, (and beyond there another route to Moorgate as well).

  330. Anonymously says:

    @Tricia…..Completely agree with timbeau there; I’m afraid that train has long since departed the station 😔.

    @Graham H….And people wonder why we have a housing crisis 👿.

    @Ian J…..You’re absolutely right, which explains why the Mill Hill East branch remains a rather awkward one-station stub on the High Barnet branch with no through service for most of the day. Without the Bushey Heath extension (AIUI, all trains from that branch were to run via Mill Hill and Finchley, rather than via Hendon and Golders Green), the impetus and rationale (or BCR to use today’s parlance) to convert and electrify the remaining stretch disappeared. Luckily, hardship was minimised thanks to Mill Hill The Hale station’s close proximity to Mill Hill Broadway, and the relatively short distance between Mill Hill and Edgware enabling buses to absorb most of the local traffic. I do sometimes wonder what would have happened if the barracks at Mill Hill had been located elsewhere, since it is for that reason alone the stub branch was converted and opened during the war!

    The real crime was to not complete the conversion of the Finsbury Park to Ally Pally branch as part of an extended Northern City line post-WW2 (even if it meant safeguarding the closed branch for 10+ years to acquire enough finding for this; remember that Ongar only got its Tube trains in 1957!). I’m still awaiting the LR article about what happened to this part of the Northern Heights so I rant and get it all out of my system 😡…….

  331. Graham H says:

    @Anonymously – I suspect we would be – rightly -snipped if we now debate whether building on the Green belt is the solution to the housing crisis. Opinions (and facts) are at odds here – said with some feeling as the debate within my own local authority (and parish council) has been conducted entirely in terms of uninformed factoids…

    @IanJ/Anonymously – if people complain now about the the operating pattern for “complex” Northern Line, the full Northern heights programme would have been a nightmare/delight/work of art – doubly so as the whole circus would still have converged on the one southern limb.

  332. Pedantic of Purley says:


    I’m still awaiting the LR article about what happened to this part of the Northern Heights

    Why should we write about this? Could we add anything that is not already available in books? Actually Jonathan Roberts probably could if he had the time. All that can really be added, or at least emphasised, is that the works were much further progressed than were generally appreciated. The was also, along with green belt policies, a desperate lack of money and steel available immediately after the war – something all the looking-back-at-it conspiracy theorists don’t seem to appreciate.

    There you are. You have had the short version.

  333. Graham H says:

    @Anonymously -the best account of the Aldenham/Bushey Heath extension is probably Tony Beard’s “Beyond Edgware” published by the ever useful Capital Transport.

  334. Jonathan Roberts says:

    Thank you for getting me out of that one! Just a few extra points then.

    Northern Heights works were about 75% complete at the start of WW2. Electrification was under way to Alexandra Palace, High Barnet and Edgware. I have a nice aerial photo of 31 Aug 1939 of Mill Hill Page Street substation with power rails on one line and the other line under construction (sourced from Aerofilms, now Hunting). I also have engineering route plans for the sections that ended up uncompleted, showing in detail the proportion of civils, mech, electrification, signalling etc that had been done on each section of line.

    The Northern Heights scheme was a rush job. It had only been included after vigorous lobbying by MPs and local authorities for areas such as Finchley. In being included, it displaced the Bakerloo Camberwell extension from the 1935-40 New Works Plan, and also bumped up the overall Plan costs from £30m to £35m (multiply that by about 200, I would guess, for works at present prices!). As a precaution, the scheme costs were given a £5m margin, and £40m of Bonds issued with Government backing (so cheap capital finance, eventually to fall on the operating companies after 15 years, once the works had ‘fructified’, so also not public sector borrowing…).

    • The lobbying also meant that the scheme was not fully thought through. It turned out there wasn’t a depot site large enough south of Edgware for the new train fleet, which led to the Bushey Heath extension.
    • Experience early post-War showed the required train fleet had been underestimated by 15-20%, while, even pre-war, re-armament and construction inflation meant that £40m wasn’t going to be enough (there would need to be another Bond – associated with a 1940-50 New Works Programme – to balance the capital books).
    • The LNER had nearly reneged on the contract because its share of the scheme could scarcely be afforded within the company’s hopeless finances. They and LPTB agreed on a variant scheme in 1937, to remove the tube from High Barnet, 4-track East Finchley-Finchley Church End, and keep the tube towards Edgware, with LNER just electrifying the remaining lines to Alexandra Palace and High Barnet with operation from a London terminus. However the lawyers then concluded that it wasn’t possible to vary the contracts and Acts in that way, so the LNER was stuck with the original scheme.
    • Post-war, the LPTB and LTE priority was re-engaging with the Central Line works, not the Northern Heights.
    • The LTE was a subsidiary of the BTC behemoth, and had significant problems securing resources, materials and funding for its own essential renewals and repairs, while the rest of Britain’s railways were also queuing for the same, so that only the most critical new scheme elements were taken forwards.
    • The BTC and LTE then took a critical look at the merits of each uncompleted project element that made up the Northern Heights, and concluded that each of them wasn’t justified, partly for the reasons that PoP says. (There could be a very complex discussion on this, which I won’t go into.)

    So what lessons do we learn for now and the future. Politically-motivated rush jobs will continue to arise – the Government’s struggles to flesh out the aspired Northern Powerhouse infrastructure are a good current example. However there is no substitute for a well planned scheme with a strong business case, and with a land-use and accessibility strategy to match – which the Northern Heights certainly didn’t have!

    Tubes in London can be very good for the inner suburbs, and there remain a few sectors with some spare capacity, such as a Bakerloo extension to Lewisham. The Northern to Battersea is discussed in this article. Even the Northern City will eventually find its destination with higher intensity services along the GN Inners. But the economic and population growth in the ring beyond Greater London requires a separate solution focused on main line capacity and excellent feeder services to railheads – the latter however requires quality bus services, which is a variable feast because of bus deregulation and changes to subsidy levels.

  335. Anonymously says:

    @PoP…..Sorry, but I wasn’t ‘demanding’ an article on the topic! The last paragraph of this article on the ECML ( said that there was going to be a future article on this very topic. That’s all I was waiting for……I’m a patient man, so happy to wait for as long as it takes 😳.

  336. Anonymously says:

    @JR….Thanks for that insight. I’d love to discuss this more, but am afraid of going too far off topic. Which is another reason why an article on this subject would be helpful (as well as very interesting….I’m fascinated to find out why the Ally Pally branch was abandoned when the project was reassessed in the 50s; as I said earlier, the reasons for abandoning the Bushey Heath and Mill Hill extensions are not hard to work out).

  337. ngh says:

    Re PoP
    “There was also, along with green belt policies, a desperate lack of money and steel available immediately after the war – something all the looking-back-at-it conspiracy theorists don’t seem to appreciate.”

    The lack of money was also behind many of the steel issues, the industry still had lots of pre-war issues that hadn’t been addressed (similar to the railways!), they only started to be address when the Marshall Plan money started rolling in (’48 onwards) and it then took several years to start sorting the problems. (UK steel industry productivity has improved by over an order of magnitude since the war, about half of which occurred pre nationalisation in ’67).

  338. Twopenny Tube says:

    There is an informative and entertaining short video by Jay Foreman:- Episode 1 of the series “Unfinished London” on Youtube to add further insight to the Northern Heights project.

  339. answer=42 says:

    Wonderful video. The arches at Brockley Hill / Edgewarebury were blown up one November 5th, according to local lore.

  340. Jonathan Roberts says:

    At least part of the answer to that question is that there wasn’t a case found to retain any sort of train service on Finsbury Park-Ally Pally in the 1950s, on the criteria then used. Most passengers had found other ways of travelling, using railheads further afield. Most LTE memoranda I have on the matter pointed towards a negative or at best (at one stage) compromise outcome, maybe keeping an East Finchley-City service, but with minimal prospects for the Alexandra Palace line (as referenced in a 18 Dec. 1951 memo, for example.)

    If a case had been found, then even if electrification hadn’t occurred, maybe it might have featured later in the 1970s GN inner electrification scheme (Phase 2 of course, as the Northern Heights was to have been Phase 1!). But that is speculative.

    The line was still preserved in marginal use at least towards East Finchley until Northern City stock transfers ceased in 1969 via that route – but we are then in the bleak period of falling passenger demand, Ringway design prominent, and indeed the Archway Road widening then slated to use part of the railway alignment. So really no chance.

    The GN suburban electrification proposal to the BRB, on 19th February 1969 (ref WM.2767/41), says that in addition to 18 tph to Moorgate with through services, there would be an additional 3 tph from Finsbury Park to Moorgate in peaks. [Note 21 tph desired at Moorgate.] How those would reverse North to South at Finsbury Park is not stated – possibly via a reversal on a stub of the Northern Heights, as this would make most passenger usage sense.

  341. Anonymously says:

    @JB……Thank you for that valuable insight, which does though raise a lot more questions in my mind than it answers. It sounds as though you have access to quite a lot of archival material on the subject, so if you were ever to find time to write an article for LR about this topic with the blessings of the moderators, I’m sure it would much appreciated by everyone on here 😉.

    My own view (based on information gleamed from Subterranea Britannica and other sources) was that the line was an early (albeit entirety accidental!) example of ‘closure by stealth’, due to a combination of the rubbish service provided on the remaining line post-WW2, and the upgraded section of the line from Highgate onwards sucking away passengers due to its more frequent and reliable service. It doesn’t then take much imagination to realise that in only slightly different circumstances, all of the line (or at the very least the section between Finsbury Park and Highgate) would probably still be open today, either as part of the Tube or NR networks.

  342. Malcolm says:

    Another factor in the relatively light use of the Alexandra Palace branch was the long way round. Added to the infrequent service, it meant that competing trains (from then-named Wood Green), tubes (from Bounds Green and Wood Green etc) and buses (to Finsbury Park or Highgate) were a much better choice off-peak, and well worth considering even for peak travel, particularly if your destination was not within easy reach of Kings Cross (or widened lines in the peak). In fact a similar set of arguments might apply right now in respect of any (highly hypothetical) re-opening.

  343. Greg Tingey says:

    Have you SEEN the road traffic around the top of Muswell Hill …. ???

  344. Malcolm says:

    Greg: Yes. Awful. But if we built a railway everywhere in Greater London where the traffic is awful, we’d have to recruit everyone of working age in the country into the railway building trade, and then some.

    (I’m not saying that that line, or any other closed line in Greater London, wouldn’t be jolly useful now if it had survived. But it didn’t.)

  345. Milton Clevedon says:

    There is of course a way of getting a new railway to Muswell Hill, which is the real town centre and passenger railhead opportunity in the area – take CR2 there in tunnel instead of New Southgate…

  346. Snowy says:

    Plenty of hearty discussion of pros/cons of a Muswell Hill extension from this comment onwards on the LR Crossrail 2 article.

    I suspect the main political point against an extension/route via there is the lack of a local pressure group either for or against. If you contrast this against the Chelsea station bun fight & the local Tooting vs Balham debate, the apathy is quite something.

  347. timbeau says:

    A station at Muswell Hill would be a very expensive build. The clue is the word “Hill”.

    Ground level there is as high as at Hampstead (just over 100metres). Less than a mile away, ground level where CR2 would cross the ECML is at about 25m altitude. A station near Muswell Hill Broadway would require very deep lift shafts or even longer escalator shafts. A 1 in 30 gradient from Alexandra Palace station (in the valley) to Muswell Hill could halve the depth of the station below ground level, but that is still quite substantial.

    And, I suspect, the denizens of Muswell Hill may actually be quite happy not having a station. (Look at what is happening in Chelsea)

  348. Malcolm says:

    The “Hill” part of Muswell Hill is also the reason why, when it had a railway, it went a long way round, sneaking up on it from the west. Yet another reason for not terminating CR2 there (if one were needed) is the need for depot space.

    An underground terminus would cost a lot more than an open-air one. I suspect that the difference between a deep (think Hampstead) and a shallow (think Southgate) (not that either of these is a terminus) would not be quite so significant. But as Snowy says, much has been said on this already.

    There is, regardless of all these factors, still the point which PoP mentioned when we were discussing Uckfield. It’s the same thought that my father had when he first saw the bed of a closed railway, in the thirties. “That would be a splendid place to build a railway”. It’s as if, by reconnecting Muswell Hill to the rail network, we can somehow bring back the past.

    If we just want to give CR2 a station in a rail-unserved area, then Stoke Newington would probably be better. But that wouldn’t bring anything back.

  349. Anonymously says:

    The Chelsea saga is perhaps one of the worst examples of NIMBYISM that I’ve ever seen, and it doesn’t take more than a cursory look at their arguments to realise how flawed they are, based upon nothing more than the snobbery and selfishness of a vocal minority. You’d think that TfL are planning to demolish the whole area and/or build an urban motorway through it for all the fuss they are trying to create!

    Hopefully TfL and the next mayor have the political balls to face this down by exposing the flaws in their arguments, or else this will set a worrying precedent for future projects.

  350. Anonymously says:

    @Malcolm…..But Stoke Newington already has a station, which thanks to the LO is now even on the Tube Map!!!

    Is it possible to demonstrate that the Muswell Hill and Crouch End areas need a rapid transit line linking into the TfL network? If local traffic is as bad as Greg Tingey suggests, I think it might be. Would the existing Parkland Walk alignment (at least those parts which haven’t been built on) be the best method of addressing this? Who knows…..I suspect though that we are never going to learn the answers to these questions, unfortunately 😔.

  351. Malcolm says:

    If it’s really the case that no-one in Chelsea wants a station, then it doesn’t matter how specious, snobbish, illogical, selfish or daft their reason is, we should put the station in one of the many places where people do want one.

    The only acceptable reason for outfacing the NIMBYs would be a real desire and need for a station from other so-far silent people in the area. That may well exist, but good evidence would be required.

  352. Anonymously says:

    Except Malcolm you and I know very well that if TfL do cave in, they will just use this as an excuse to save some money and just run the line direct between Clapham Junction and Victoria, meaning that far more people would lose out than would gain from this situation. That wouldn’t be hard to provide evidence for, I hope.

    Pimlico station on the Victoria line extension was a late addition to the project AIUI, and I assume this was a result of campaigning from the locals (in an area that was reasonably affluent even in the 60s)? Boy, how times have changed where locals seek to campaign against improving public transport access to their area, even where the planning aspects are relatively modest (cf HS2 effects on Camden for comparison)!

  353. Hedgehog says:

    In that case TfL should call their bluff and cancel the station.

    Has anyone considered rebuilding the old Chelsea station at Stamford Bridge? It would go some way to relieving traffic in the area.

  354. Si says:


    Saving money for all London/UK and faster journey times for the thousands from SW/Clapham – seems like a lot of people benefiting from CR2 not serving Chelsea!

    Over a £1bn is being proposed to be spend to give Chelsea a station, despite such adding a not insignificant number of minutes (4?) to the vast majority of people who will pass through it (on the trains) on the longer line (unlike Pimlico, which didn’t change the route). That a very vocal sizeable minority are vehemently opposed (whereas support for the station is a mostly-silent majority that needs to speak up) is just making serving Chelsea more trouble than its worth.

  355. Slugabed says:

    I seem to remember quite a few years ago (1990s?) Chelsea Football Club supported a proposal to open a station approximately on the site of the old Chelsea and Fulham station.This was turned down on the grounds that it would adversely affect capacity.
    Since then,of course,Imperial Wharf,Shepherds Bush and West Brompton have opened on the same twin-track railway.

  356. Anonymous says:

    Slugabed, the capacity issue at Stamford Bridge was more about whether a station could be built that would accommodate the length of trains necessary for Premiership crowds, the stations along the West London Line being short. Short trains would have led to dangerous overcrowding on trains and station on match day as well as bringing long dwell times with a knock on effect on the rest of the line.

  357. Slugabed says:

    Ah…thanks for the clarification.

  358. Greg Tingey says:

    The NIMBYS in Chelsea have been shouted at in public by an other grouping demanding that said station be built – includes the local Hospital Trust the local higher Ed colleges & a lot of “ordinary” residents.
    Indeed, the mud-slinging is getting quite amusing, from a bystander’s p.o.v.
    [Judgmental language snipped. LBM–>

  359. timbeau says:

    This is exactly the situation they have at the new station at Coventry Arena. Right next to the [insert name of sponsor] football ground, home to Coventry City AFC and Wasps RFC, but it has to be closed on match days because the rolling stock is not available to cope with the crowds. Its main function is to provide a park and ride facility into the city centre, using the stadium’s car park, on non-match days.

  360. ChrisMitch says:

    and see also Drayton Park, in the shadow of Arsenal’s stadium

  361. Ian Sergeant says:


    Has anyone considered rebuilding the old Chelsea station at Stamford Bridge? It would go some way to relieving traffic in the area.

    Some way, yes, in that it is close to the Chelsea and Westminster hospital. But it’s a couple of kilometres away from the proposed Crossrail 2 station, so useless for anyone wanting to shop in the King’s Road, or for that matter anyone working at the Royal Brompton or Royal Marsden Hospitals.

    As has been said before, a new mayor of a certain persuasion may be able to force the Chelsea Crossrail 2 station through. The station would benefit those who work in Chelsea more than some of those who live there, so the fact that a vocal collection of residents don’t want it isn’t the only factor.

  362. Anonymously says:

    ‘That a very vocal sizeable minority are vehemently opposed (whereas support for the station is a mostly-silent majority that needs to speak up) is just making serving Chelsea more trouble than its worth.’

    That is a very strange argument, which could equally apply to *any* infrastructure project! It’s not as if TfL are proposing to compulsory purchase and demolish hundreds of people’s homes and businesses to build the station!

  363. Anonymous says:

    Greg’s essentially correct; in fact were the opposition not led by “national treasures” I doubt if we’d have heard so much.

  364. timbeau says:

    But National Treasures can never be wrong.

  365. Anonymously says:

    I’d hardly call Felicity Kendal a national treasure when most people under the age of 40 have probably never heard of her 😜….

  366. timbeau says:

    On the contrary, one becomes a national treasure because old fogeys remember them. Look at the way politicians fall over themselves to subscribe to the pet projects of the actress who played Purdey in the Avengers forty years ago.

  367. Reynolds 953 says:

    @timbeau – they actually started a limited train service to Coventry Arena in January – one train per hour in each direction but no trains within an hour of final whistle. They are also trialling charter trains for a couple of games in February and March.

    Assuming the overall economics work for the club, chartering trains seems a sensible solution. Given the scheduling of games is at the behest of sports broadcasters and their primary concern is the viewer at home, not the travelling public, I think it would be difficult for any timetabled service to meet peak demand.

  368. timbeau says:

    ” one could argue her campaigning is for a worthwhile cause (Gurkhas, not the Garden Bridge”)

    I was not referring to the merits or otherwise of her various campaigns, (and I might even be persuaded for the latter in its original guise
    but the way politicians (of all parties) allow themselves to be browbeaten by her.

  369. Note that debating the definition of a celebrity ‘National Treasure’ is outside the remit of this site. Any further examples will be pruned. It’s best to think of ‘Principles, not personalities’. LBM

  370. Graham H says:

    @LBM – and definitely not Principals!

  371. timbeau says:

    Point taken – but, back on topic, if the new NLE results in a split of the Northern Line maybe such a person could lend their name to it (I know naming lines is being discussed on another thread!) – the Crossrail 1 renaming sets a high standard, but I rather like the idea of a Felicity Line!

  372. 100andthirty says:

    Timbeau et al…..the split in the Northern Line services was mooted long before the extension to Battersea Park was ever thought of. Edgware to Kennington/loop was/is perfectly feasible. … the constraint was/is still interchange at Camden Town. (I suspect I am teaching Grandma to suck eggs).

  373. Graham H says:

    @100andthirty – at least as far back as 1988, when I recall the Secretary of State coming out of a meeting with LRT saying “I seem to have abolished the Northern Line”..

  374. Robert Butlin says:

    @100andthirty. I can go back to 1987, where for a summer job I was sent to various Northern Line Stations to work out why train dwell times were too long. Mostly weight of passengers, with even then the Morden Branch blocking back from Stockwell to Clapham Common at the height of the morning peak. Euston City Branch southbound was the outlier, as most trains did not quite stop as far forward as possible meaning the rear set of double doors on coach 7 stayed shut. This meant a carriage had to be unloaded/loaded through a single set of double doors (remember there were guards then). Dwell times were horrible.

    Back to the Northern Line the split was being looked at, and being decided against because of Camden Town.

  375. 100andthirty says:

    Graham H…..another SoS who has been ahead of him/herself!

  376. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ R Butlin – and I can recall receiving a “secret” tube map at work which showed the Northern Line as a split service. IIRC the Edgware – CX – Kennington line was shown in a rather vivid green colour.

  377. Londoner says:


    The Lime line?

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