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Having enjoyed the fruits of the Crossrail’s aerial survey we now return to Docklands to watch the new railway appear in front of our eyes. Eschewing the chance to vegetate before his tinsel decked telly, Unravelled recently followed in the footsteps previously trodden by John Bull to capture the progress being made on the former NLL North Woolwich branch south of Canning Town.

The way we were (but not for long)

Custom House Station

Custom House Station. Photo taken by Nigel Cox, obtained via Geograph

Custom House’s North Woolwich branch line’s station is seen here in this picture by Nigel Cox shortly after the closure of the line in 2006. Now hidden by the ExCel centre on the right, the Victoria (as it was then before the acquisition of the Royal appendage) Dock opened in 1855 and the Eastern Counties Railway Company (ECRC) built this station. The ECRC quickly merged with other lines to form the Great Eastern Railway. On the 14th May 1985 the eight mile stretch from Dalston Kingsland to North Woolwich via Stratford Low Level was incorporated into the new orbital North London Line. The 750 volt dc electrification costing £7.7m and came in £2.2m under budget. The Sparks effect resulted in an increase of 80% in passenger usage. On the 9 December 2006, the line south of Stratford closed for the construction of the second DLR link to Stratford north of Canning Town.

The road on the left is Victoria Dock Road and the red brick building is The Flying Angel which was originally built for the Anglican Mission for Seamen. It is now used as residential flats and it provides a key point of reference for unravelling Unravelled’s photographs.

Unravelled travelled

Unravelled began his expedition at Royal Victoria where the DLR line to Beckton has been slewed to the south to allow extra clearance for Crossrail’s Royal Victoria Portal.

Royal Victoria

Looking west towards Canning Town along the DLR engineers’ siding at Royal Victoria built in part over the alignment of the former NLL branch

Old Alignment

Looking east towards Customs House In the summer of 2012 the Royal Victoria portal site just to the east of Royal Victoria station looked like this. Note the streetlights now standing over the building site and preparatory work and the moving of existing utilities underway. The DLR would also have to be slewed to enable the building of the tunnel portal.

Prep Works
Prep Works
Tracks
Track view

This was executed during a blockade over Christmas 2012.The extent of the slew can be clearly seen. Although not Crossrail’s largest civil engineering project this deviation neatly links the existing DLR tracks and avoids both the “to be built” portal and the existing electricity pylons.

Site during blockade

As compared with the summer 2012 picture Unravelled’s shot shows that a substantial noise abatement fence is now to being erected to protect local residents.

Custom House today

In this shot, taken from the same position as Nigel Cox’s 2006 picture but with tighter cropping, Unravelled shows the former North Woolwich line platforms at Custom House as of January 2013 looking towards Prince Albert. Their demolition is imminent.

In August 2012, Crossrail announced the award of the contract to build the new Customs House station to Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd. The new Crossrail station will be built on the site of the former North London Line station which closed to passengers in December 2006. The new station will include a new ticket hall, interchange with Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and step-free access between the street and Crossrail platforms. When Crossrail opens, passengers will be able to reach Canary Wharf in 4 minutes, Bond Street in 17 minutes and Heathrow Airport in less than 45 minutes.” When finished it will appear as pictured below. As opposed to the more radical interventions on Crossrail, this station and the track section between the Dockland tunnel portals will be the civil engineering equivalent of key-hole surgery.

Custom House Crossrail Station

Image courtesy of Crossrail

Our chums at Construction Enquirer reported on the 11th January 2013:

Laing O’Rourke will start work on the new £35m Crossrail station at Custom House in east London next week. The new station will be mainly manufactured off-site at O’Rourke’s factory near Sheffield. Work is due for completion in December 2015 and will include a new ticket hall, an interchange with the Docklands Light Railway and step-free access between the platforms and street level.The station will have a roof made from the transparent plastic material, EFTE, similar to the material that was used at the Eden Project in Cornwall. Hoardings will go up around the site next week ahead of demolition of the old North London Line station.

Custom House in January

The image above was taken in January 2012, looking west from Prince Regent towards Custom House station with the “Flying Angel” mission prominent on the right.

Prince Regent

The above was taken looking west alongside Prince Regent DLR

Crossrail and Connaught

Crossrail’s plan for the western end of the Connaught Tunnel

Crossrail’s plan for the western end of the Connaught Tunnel

Looking east towards the Connaught Tunnel from Prince Regent DLR, Unravelled has neatly caught the flying buttresses commonly deployed by Victorian Rail Engineers to stabilise cuttings in soft ground.

Connaught Tunnel

In April 2012 Crossrail began a major programme to lower the water table in the tunnel area by drilling wells at the Connaught Tunnel to draw down the water table ahead of works to deepen and widen the 135 year old tunnel in east London. Once the de-watering work is completed works will commence to widen and deepen the central section of the Connaught Tunnel so it can accommodate Crossrail’s larger trains. The water table is also being lowered to allow for the pump house shaft to be deepened by another seven metres to 25 metres in order for it to accommodate modern pumping equipment that will work to keep the tunnel dry. Works in Connaught Tunnel are well underway with the ballast – loose stone ground cover – and rail tracks already removed. Major piling works are complete at the Custom House end and on-going at the Silvertown end in order to strengthen the ground, as can be seen from Unravelled’s images of the southern approach and Factory road.

The slope down to the tunnel
Connaught Work

As we reported earlier, survey work to identify potential unexploded ordnance from World War II has been completed in the tunnel’s western approach with the all clear given. Crossrail’s archaeologists have since opened their fourth and final trench for the site, searching for possible evidence of human activity dating back 6,000 years.

The Pumphouse

The Pumphouse, courtesy O.F.F.

The project involved the relocation of a 130 year old pump house which was removed brick by brick to facilitate reconstruction in the local area at a later date. The attractive Victorian building, captured here by O.F.F. was too small to accommodate the larger modern pumping equipment that will be installed as part of the tunnel’s refurbishment. SS Robin is in discussion with a number of parties about the relocation of the Pump House. It’s currently being stored and protected on the south dock inside the Crossrail site boundary.

Our thanks and copyright acknowledgements to Nigel Cox and OFE for the use of their images and Nick Mann of Crossrail

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There are 49 comments on this article
  1. Patrick says:

    Super article. One thing – maybe I’m ignorant, but:
    ‘On the 14th May 1985 the eight mile stretch from Dalston Junction to North Woolwich via Stratford Low Level was incorporated into the new orbital North London Line.’
    Wasn’t it Dalston Kingsland?

    [I am going to presume you are correct and I have changed it. PoP]

  2. Greg T ingey says:

    As one of the people on “the last train to Beckton Gasworks” ( A BLS freight-train trip) I can tell you that the changes are amazing.
    In winter, you could always tell when it was going to snow – the wind usually shifted to SE, & suddenly, you could hear ship’s sirens, as far away as Walthamstow!
    One aside – what is happening to both the building & the contents of the old N Woolwich terminus, which was used as a museum for some time?

  3. John Bull says:

    One aside – what is happening to both the building & the contents of the old N Woolwich terminus, which was used as a museum for some time?

    Very good question. I’m now wondering that myself.

  4. Anonymike says:

    Looking at the Crossrail plan – Silvertown station is being demolished, is something being put back in nearby to give City Airport access to Crossrail?

    It took me a while to work out that the views of the portal from Custom House are looking east at the Connaught Tunnel – and not west towards the central London tunnel… Ooops.

  5. Paul says:

    ‘Your chums’ at Construction Enquirer don’t know their acronyms, becuase the ‘plastic’ product for the roof at Custom House is Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), not EFTE ! That said, it is the same product, not “similar to”, that used on the Eden project in Cornwall.

  6. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Regarding Dalston Junction v Dalston Kingsland. I see what has happened now. Mwmbwls was referring to the junction itself and not the station. If he had written Dalston Western Junction that would have been more technically correct but maybe sounded a bit over-pompous. I’ll leave it as it is as the sense is clear.

  7. Barry Salter says:

    The history of the North London Line is a rather complex one. The section between Stratford (Low Level) and Canning Town was opened by the Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway in 1846, and extended to North Woolwich in 1847, with Connaught Tunnel following in 1878 to bypass the swingbridge over the entrance to Albert Dock.

    Until 1963, there were through trains between North Woolwich and Palace Gates (Wood Green) via Lea Bridge, South Tottenham and Seven Sisters. With the closure of the Palace Gates branch, they were diverted to serve Tottenham Hale instead, before being cut back to Stratford.

    Pre-empting the closure of Broad Street, services were extended from Stratford (Low Level) to Camden Road in 1979, albeit with no intermediate stations between Stratford and Canonbury until the opening of Hackney Wick and Hackney Central in 1980, followed by Dalston Kingsland in 1983 and Homerton in 1985. Using pre-ELLX names, the reopened section would have been something like Channelsea North Junction – Dalston West Junction.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Like all articles on this web site very interesting.
    Keep up the good work.
    Many thanks.

  9. Martin Smith says:

    The North Woolwich terminus station (the old one, not the modern single storey one in use in the NLL days of North Woolwich) is still there but closed up and no longer acting as a museum.

  10. C says:

    Seconded on wondering about a station for City Airport?

    I seem to remember it being mentioned as being safeguarded?

    Would be very close to Custom House, but that branch doesn’t have many stations overall, and I think it’d be very well used.

  11. Anonymous says:

    “de-watering”?

    Couldn’t they just call it “drainage”?

  12. SP says:

    Not related to Crossrail as such but in the first picture I see there are still pylons in the area. There seems to be a lot in East London. Are they going to go underground at any time? Seems strange for so many with so much change from industry to housing.

  13. Graham Feakins says:

    Anonymous – “Dewatering” is a common civil engineering term, one explanation for which is here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewatering

    which is certainly applicable to the construction site under discussion.

  14. Paul III says:

    Why does the new Custom House station appear to have elevated platforms in the rendering? I thought both Crossrail and the DLR were at ground level there?

  15. Timmy! says:

    SP, 02:09AM, 17th January 2013:

    Yes, I thought the same as well. Given the pylons around the Olympic site and surrounding areas had to be put underground to regenerate the area, you’d hope these will be put underground as well. It’d also be good if the regeneration fixed the smell around there as well (the culprit being a paper factory rather than Tate & Lyle apparently)!

    Like Paul III, I’m also intrigued by the Custom House station design – do you go the mezzanine level and down to the DLR and Crossrail platforms?

    In South London news, over/under the river in Woolwich, they appear to be ahead of schedule with the station box: http://www.crossrail.co.uk/assets/library/document/b/original/berkeley_homes_newsletter_nov_dec_2012.pdf

  16. Big Al says:

    @Paul III & @Timmy!
    I was under the impression that the raised area was to allow access to the Excel Centre. I can’t remember where I read that.

  17. Timmy! says:

    @ Big Al

    Yes, if I’d looked a little harder on the Crossrail website I’d have seen the links:

    http://www.crossrail.co.uk/route/stations/custom-house/design#content

    There’s mention of using the old Barge pub in some form (presumably access) but the images don’t show it. Hopefully it will be used as good contrast to the modular structure.

  18. Taz says:

    Custom House National Rail was part of the DLR claim for Stratford International branch before someone dreamed up the Abbey Wood branch for CrossRail. I presume they were planning a four-platform station to serve Excel, perhaps with terminating trains.

  19. Oliver says:

    They were terminating trains at Prince Regent during the Olympics, so they can obviously manage it but I’m not sure what effect it had on the rest of the service. The whole one way system in Excel seemed to work nicely, i.e. everyone arrived at Custom House and left at Prince Regent, so I wonder what they would have done if they had had 4 platforms at Custom House. Maybe they got lucky…

  20. HowardGWR says:

    Not very pretty, this area, is it? Will there be no mitigating development?

  21. Greg Tingey says:

    According to Quail/Carto Metro, there is a scissors x-over between Custom Ho & Pr Regent, & a simple trailing x-over just beyond PR, so such workings shouldn’t have been difficult.

  22. Oliver says:

    The system of terminating at Prince Regent worked fine. I think they were using both platforms at Prince Regent so must have used the scissors x-over (it was a bit variable which station I used to get home from the Olympics/Paralympics, so I can’t be sure they weren’t using the trailing x-over as well).

    What I was wondering more was a what if. Had they had 4 platforms at Custom House, I would assume there would be no scissors between Custom House and Prince Regent so the flows through Excel would have been worse. Is there anywhere else where arguably not having a larger station was actually better in the end?

  23. Kit Green says:

    Oliver,
    Without quoting any research I would think that City Thameslink is far more useful than Holborn Viaduct, but then that does fit in with the whole benefit of non terminating suburban services such as Crossrail.

  24. IslandDweller says:

    The DLR frequently runs special timetables for major events at Excel the Olympics was just a more extreme example of something they are used to) – with some trains turning back at Prince Regent. You can see the scissors crossover in photo 11 above. The angle (I’m sure railways have a proper word but I don’t know what it is) is quite gentle so services don’t slow much to use the cross over – whereas some of the other DLR crossovers are very ‘sharp’ (someone tell me what the proper description is….) and can only be negotiated slowly.

  25. Long Branch Mike says:

    The term is turnout speed, which can be achieved by lengthening the turnout and using a shallower frog angle.

  26. SP says:

    The station design is quite basic. I’m wondering how it bodes for the Abbey Wood station design. There is an interesting story I’m guessing in the ongoing saga regarding the delay of the public revealing of the design. For years there has been issues with its design, and apparent conflict between local councils and Crossrail stopping any plans being made public. I’ve heard a few times designs were due for imminent release but nothing has appeared. Most recently by a developer last summer.

    Apparently one issue is that crossrail were/are trying to value engineer the station and scale down the link from the flyover/bus stops to the station. Anyone who knows the station will know what a blight the concrete walkways and bridges are, and removing them by incorporating them into a new high quality station would have a big effect. The current station was supposed to link up with the flyover but wasn’t due to cost cutting and has paid the price for decades. Get it right and the station, bus interchange, pedestrian routes and the parade of shops could be much better.

  27. Greg Tingey says:

    Agreed.
    Getting the design / construction right is vitally important.
    One thing we seem to get almost permanently wrong (Jubbly-line excepted) is that in order to penny-pinch, even AFTER a construction go-ahead has been given – like Abbey Wood, which will, apparently now make further extension very difficult.
    This was brought home to me again, yesterday.
    On RER ligne D, Luxembourg station is full of concrete dust as the entrance hall(s) are under a fairly large reconstruct & enlargement ….
    And isn’t the RER/Metro BLISS after LUL!
    NO ANNOUNCEMENTS except where necessary ( …. “Mind the gap” at one station that needed it, & a quiet single nameing of stations on Metro ligne 4, because all the tourists use it.. That was it! )
    So, all the excuses trotted out by LUL as to why all the bellowing is necessary are false.

    Which reminds me of a QUESTION – can other people please double-check …
    I noticed @ 05.15 (by my watch) yesterday morning, that the analogue clock @ the S end of Walthamstow Central Viccy-line platform agreed with my watch.
    But the DIGITAL display was 2 minutes behind that.
    AT King’s Cross, the digital dispay was (suprise!) still 2 minutes slow compared to “me”
    But the Big “Dent” clock inside St P AND the digital displays on Eurostar platforms agreed with me.
    I suspect that all of LUL’s digital clocks are 2 minutes slow – which, if true, is an utter disgrace.
    Like I said, can people check?

  28. Pedantic of Purley says:

    One thing we seem to get almost permanently wrong … like Abbey Wood, which will, apparently now make further extension very difficult.

    I must admit to not being able to get my head around the Abbey Wood saga. This has been discussed elsewhere as well. There seem to be two contrary opinions being suggested:

    Either that:

    - this is a nasty cost cutting exercise that is not nearly as good as the original and will be far less convenient for passengers. It will also hamper proposals to extend beyond Abbey Wood in the future.

    or:

    - this is actually in many ways an improvement. For a start it makes Crossrail independent of the current lines and so should not be affected by engineering works on the North Kent line for example. Furthermore, as the safeguarding specifies four-track safeguarding and there is actually space for four tracks beyond Abbey Wood, this can be interpreted as to suggest that any extension beyond Abbey Wood will be as a fully independent railway possibly all the way to Dartford.

    As is often the case it is difficult to provide informed comment as so little is published.

    One thing that bothers me in all this is what is the point of having bills in parliament that are scrutinised in great detail and opportunities given to petition against (or for even) if the company in question can simply change the plans without either any legal restriction or people being given the opportunity to challenge the plans which would at the very least force the company to explain the reasoning as to why they came to the conclusion they did.

    This lack of post-acceptance accountability is nothing new. Nowhere in the 3-car upgrade proposal for the DLR was the suggestion that West India Quay would have a reduced service other than at peak hours and the Thameslink Programme has many examples where the disruption involved was clearly understated, or in some cases just not mentioned, in the public enquiry. Tanners Hill Flydown was recently highlighted but this is just one issue.

  29. Ian Sergeant says:

    @Pedantic

    I’m not sure to what extent Crossrail can change the plans. Certainly, at Paddington, the change in the plans relating to Crossrail to Bakerloo passageways requires a Transport and Works Act Order (as shown by this post).

    Obviously two choices extending beyond Abbey Wood (disregarding bi-mode trains and complete conversion to OLE as fantasy):

    1) a four-track railway, two third rail, two with OLE;
    2) a mixed-mode two-track railway.

    Only point with option 2 is that I can’t think of a working example. I also heard that if you have AC power you need DC signalling – is this true, or an urban myth?

  30. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Ian, you are correct of course in that there are limits to what can be done without new authority. The link you give emphasises the desirability to establish new permanent rights to the subsoil and the need for the right to temporarily acquire the basement of a Royal Mail property which would be needed for the works.

    In general though it appears that providing the work is done within the “limits of deviation” there is a lot more flexibility even when it impacts on future passengers. It is quite possible that if the current Abbey Wood design was the original one then passenger groups would have petitioned parliament to have a clause inserted requiring cross-platform interchange to be provided instead.

    On your point 2) surely the obvious (but very short) example is Farringdon station where the Thameslink changeover from ac to dc and vice versa takes place. It certainly used be true on the North London Line but I don’t know if that still is the case.

    If I recall correctly, the rolling stock order for Crossrail includes the requirement to provide cost for future conversion to dual 750V dc/25kV ac stock so I don’t think you will see a mixed mode railway here.

    The basic rule of thumb for signal engineers is dc signalling with ac power and vice versa. Obviously they can cope with both at extra expense because there are occasions where the two are side by side and stray electricity is no respecter of track separation. If all else fails then there are always axle-counters rather than track circuits available and these have come back into fashion – albeit a far more sophisticated version than they originally were.

  31. The other Paul says:

    I read the Abbey Wood change as more ‘sideways’ than positive or negative. AIUI the original plan would have led to a “Dalston Junction” or perhaps “Edgware road” style arrangement with the terminating Crossrail trains at the centre, and an extension based on a “Barons Court” type arrangement, with Crossrail continuing along central “fast” lines, perhaps with fewer stops, not unlike many other 4-track mainline railways.

    What we’re seeing, I think, is the influence of TfL engineers who want to make Crossrail more of a segregated super-tube line than part of the national rail network. Thus the new arrangement at Abbey Wood is more akin to Highbury and Islington, and any further extension would favour dedicated, segregated tracks rather than perhaps lending itself to more of a ‘mixed traffic’ scenario. Perhaps what we’re seeing is TfL trying to future-proof Crossrail from future political meddling in the form of infrastructure sharing with more longer distance services.

  32. Greg Tingey says:

    Pedantic.
    The other way around the problem is to use different AC track-circuiting & signal-wiring frequencies, so that no harmonics are generated in (IIRC) the first 5 harmonic frequencies.
    So that, OHLE is “transmitting” @ 50Hz.
    So you want a frequency that is not- or as far away from as possible to, ANY of the following:
    25, 12.5.6.25, 3.125 Hz & 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600Hz
    I have been told what the usual frequency used is now – but can’t remember offhand!

    the other Paul
    I understood it was a purely penny-pinching exercise! But, that is just what I understood, so ….

  33. Anonymous says:

    33hz would seem to fit the bill then.

    On the mixed mode – how about Euston p9 and 10 to Camden Junction, also Dalston to Stratford before the recent works.

  34. StephenC says:

    “Obviously two choices extending beyond Abbey Wood 1) a four-track railway, two third rail, two with OLE; 2) a mixed-mode two-track railway. ”

    I think there is a third. Terminating all non-Crossrail services at Abbey Wood (potentially transferring them to some other line in the future). Then Crossrail uses the existing two tracks unaltered, with the extra two tracks only being needed from Slade Green to Dartford. If travelling to central London, from Belvedere, Erith or Slade Green, Crossrail trains will be much faster than non-Crossrail ones. (Abbey Wood to Liverpool St is 17min with Crossrail, but minimum 30mins to Cannon St. Even bigger differences to TCR vs Charing Cross)

    So, the primary journey disbenefits are journeys like Erith to Lewisham or Greenwich, or to London Bridge itself (the Shard), a small enough set of journeys that they can afford to involve a change at Abbey Wood (its only three stations we’re talking about here). Note that this approach might involve some four tracking of either the Bexleyheath or Sidcup lines (probably the Sidcup ones) to take the faster Gravesend trains, but that would have other knock on benefits.

  35. SP says:

    That sounds plausible Stephen. I still don’t know though how the two Crossrail lines will fit into the station area to the north of the North Kent lines, after the plans were changed from them being in the middle. One line and a wider platform probably could’ve be squeezed in to the north and one to the south of existing platforms, but not two to the north as there is a big block of flats near the existing line. The NKL will have to shift south a few metres presumably. I think modern railways had a plan months ago but I missed it.

  36. Ben says:

    Is this talk of Abbey Wood about the relocation of Crossrail from the middle to the north of the North Kent line?

    If so, I got a chance to ask Terry Morgan about that a couple of months back. He said the change was ‘marvelous’, ‘wonderful’, and that the layout was ‘far better now’; and that the introduction of a flat junction to the east would ‘not at all’ create service polution, or effect reliability.

  37. Greg Tingey says:

    Stephen C … not a good idea.
    If you look at the various Dartford loops’ services, you’ll see that, unlike a few years ago, about half of them don’t actually go to Dartford …
    They turn around & go back towards LB & CX/CnSt, via the Erith & Crayford loops.
    It enables SE to run more trains along those lines, helping overcrowding quite a bit….
    Terminating N-Kent line tains at Abbey wood is all very well, but if they were going to Sidcup or Bexleyheath, as about half of them presently are, then not a good move.
    And in the reverse directions as well, of course.
    Try looking at SE trains “Metro 7″ tt or table 200 of the National tt.

  38. StephenC says:

    @Greg, I’m aware of those services, and i don’t think it changes the logic. Trains from Sidcup can still loop to Bexleyheath and vice versa, as well as going to Dartford. What would be helpful would be an interchange station betwen the two loops, such as at the A206 bridge – Dartford Parkway? That would allow journeys such as Erith to Sidcup to remain simple with one change.

    More broadly the solution to increased reliability is fewer different routes served. So long as the service frequencies are high and the interchange stations good, its a much better solution for passengers.

  39. James Hardy says:

    What was wrong about the old Custom House station that required them to demolish it and build a new one in its place?

  40. Mwmbwls says:

    @james Hardy

    Custom House was a little used station before the DLR came and then even that diminished when the DLR opened. With Crossrail the station and the surrounding area moves in to big league in transport terms.
    The platforms were only capable of taking 3 coach trains whilst Crossrail trains will be 12 coaches. In addition to this there was a need for increased entry and exit capacity to allow for passenger surges in the event of two trains arriving together or a train being delayed and mass turn outs following events at ExCel. Disabled passengers also have to catered for with the platform level and carriage floor level being harmonised to facilitate self loading/unloading, With this amount of reconstruction required a complete new build is cheaper than extension.

  41. Anon in NZ says:

    Going back to the original article, I’m confused about statements that the DLR has been slewed east of Royal Victoria station for the Royal Victoria portal of the Crossrail Connaught Tunnel. As the Crossrail map shows, the portal is two DLR stations east, next to Prince Regent, so surely this slew is for the new Crossrail Custom House station rather than anything to do with the tunnel?

    Also, it was the stretch from Canonbury to North Woolwich, including Dalston Kingsland, that was incorporated into the NLL in 1985 – the limit of a line extension is conventionally taken to be the last previously-existing station (ie Canonbury) rather than the first new station (ie Dalston Kingsland). Otherwise, the question of when the Canonbury- DK stretch opened would be begged.

  42. Whiff says:

    @ James Hardy – this Diamond Geezer post from just below the route to North Woolwich closed gives a good sense of what the old line was like.
    http://diamondgeezer.blogspot.com/2006/12/last-train-to-north-woolwich.html

  43. Anonymous says:

    Anon in NZ
    The 420 metre slew between Custom House and Royal Victoria is required for the eastern portal of the central London tunnel of Crossrail’s Abbey Wood branch. A TBM is currently boring the section from the Limmo peninsula just south of Canning Town and is currently about 1 kilometre from the portal. The Connaught Tunnel is a separate project involving the refurbishment of the former North Woolwich route.

  44. Greg Tingey says:

    Hmmm.
    Never mind the previous, rattly diesel shuttle Tottenham Hale – N. Woolwich via Lea Bridge, that went via the direct line, of which no trace now remains, being underneath what is now “Westfield” ….
    Or, before that, the N-7 + 1 quint-art between Palace Gates & NW (seen, but not ridden on)……
    As for what it looked like, well some of you will have seen [IMG]http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq356/Greg_Tingey/4FNOutfallnowDLR-1.jpg[/IMG]
    this picture before ….
    I was facing North & the overbridge behind is the Northern Outfall Sewer ( Now re-branded as the “greenway” )

    Grotty, wasn’t it?

  45. PhilD says:

    BBC London’s Tom Edwards has finally been allowed into the tunneling operation near Paddington, report is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-21196456

  46. Michael T says:

    With regard to the question of the mooted Silvertown Crossrail station and interchange with London City Airport, is anyone aware of any detail regarding an interchange at Poplar between DLR and Canary Wharf Crossrail (this being the obvious alternative)? The two are literally across the road from one another and the present footbridge is ripe for extension South (and for refurbishment), but are there any design plans for this? In particular, do any plans exist for the land directly South of the Limehouse Link lying between the DLR and Crossrail station which any interchange would involve traversing?

  47. Littlejohn says:

    The latest update on the Connaught Tunnel from Ian Visits is worth reading: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2013/02/21/the-connaught-tunnel-then-and-now/.

  48. Jeremy says:

    In defence of London Underground versus the Metro and RER: Considerably less of the Underground smells of wee. There’s less fare-dodging, more staff, friendlier ticket barriers, better ticketing, better signage, more comfortable platforms, better lighting, more modern trains and better announcements and information across the system as a whole.

    I understand that some people are annoyed by Tube announcements. I personally don’t like the ones that say which side the doors will open. I understand the accessibility justification for them. Unfortunately, it also encourages slowcoaches to know which door it will be, which isn’t helpful when I’m running late. Critically, though, I recognise that they are useful to a lot of people and so I’m not on here demanding they be switched off!

  49. Jeremy says:

    Also, sorry, somehow I got here nearly four months late.

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