Plans for the Hackney Downs – Hackney Central pedestrian link has been approved by Hackney Council, and full details can now be found online. According to TfL, the link will cost about £5m

The two stations were previously linked via a similar walking connection, although this was removed a long time ago.

The interchange in about 1900, courtesy TfL

The interchange in about 1900, courtesy TfL

Back in 2008, 700,000 people a year were estimated to use the stations to interchange between the West Anglia and North London lines, a figure that will only have increased with the success of the Overground. TfL estimated at the time that this figure would almost double were a physical link between the two stations provided. At the time they proposed a scheme that would see a relatively direct link between Hackney Downs’ platform 1 and Hackney Central’s platform 2 (the ticket hall side), but this was ultimately scuppered by the need to remove several large trees and, more crucially, the fact that it would require various signals equipment to be moved by Network Rail.

The current plan, which was approved at the end of last year, thus takes a slightly more circuitous route, linking platform 1 at Hackney Downs with platform 1 at Hackney Central.

The planned Hackney Downs - Central link

The planned Hackney Downs – Hackney Central link, from the planning document

Despite the longer distance, this still knocks a considerable amount of time off of interchanging at the site. Currently this involves exiting Hackney Downs and walking down Dalston Lane and Amhurst Road before entering Hackney Central (or vice versa), a walk of approximately ten minutes (or more if the lure of the Pembury Tavern on the corner of Amhurst Road cannot be resisted). By contrast, the new link will cut that journey time considerably, and will also have the benefit of being “barrier side” at both stations.

A computer generated image of the link

A concept image, although the final version is likely to have green panels

Another visual, courtesy of TfL

Another visual, courtesy of TfL

The link (following from Downs to Central) will connect at the far end of platform 1 and run at high level alongside the current viaduct over the West Anglia lines. It’ll then turn and connect to stairs and a lift tower that mirror, in style, those currently found at Hackney Central. These will then drop down to a ramp which will run parallel to the NLL tracks before connecting to platform 1 at Hackney Central.

The link at the Hackney Downs end

The link at the Hackney Downs end

The link at the Hackney Central end

The link at the Hackney Central end

The link will be covered and inside it will be 2.5m metres wide and high, with cameras, monitors and help points along its length, and LED lighting. Where possible (so largely at the Hackney Central end) it will have mesh sides. All this is intended to prevent it from becoming too oppressive a space, given its length.

Inside the Hackney stations link

Inside the Hackney stations link

In terms of station management (as it is worth remembering that both stations are within different franchises) it will fall within the remit of Hackney Central (i.e. TfL), and be open as long as the station is manned.

The elevations

The elevations

According to the planning documents, construction is likely to begin in 2014 with completion by July that year. Overall it’s a positive scheme, and one that will bring clear benefits. It’s location will make any future platform extension works at Hackney Central potentially trickier to manage, but the station is already long enough to take six car trains and there’d be far larger issues to be addressed elsewhere on the NLL before trains longer than that length became a possibility.

Thanks to MD for the spot

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There are 186 comments on this article
  1. c says:

    Good stuff – seems a shame not to connect to P2 as well but it’s better than nothing.

    Hoping they’ll be shown as an interchange on maps now, which is the key for increasing usage.

  2. Abigail Brady says:

    I can’t believe this is actually happening! It’s been planned for so long. If this keeps up the Walthamstow Queen’s Road-Central link might exist before the decade is out.

    (It’s unlikely I’ll actually /use/ it, mind, as my journeys involving Hackney are specifically to go to the pub you mention.)

  3. Anonymous says:


    What about reopening the Brockley Lane platforms and linking to Brockley now too, given that the Overground seems to’ve been the impetus for this scheme?

  4. Greg Tingey says:

    Not just the “Pembury” these days, either!
    Just under the viaduct/bridge over Mare St is the “Cock”, an classic ex-Trumans pub, now owned by the same people as run the “Southampton Arms” near Gospel Oak station.
    Oh dearie, dearie me.

    Second Abigails’ comment, I meant w.t.f. is going on (or rather NOT going on) with the Central – Midland link?
    Has anyone at all got any useful updates?

  5. Anonymous says:

    good idea – exactly the sort of thing we should be encouraging.

    my only point would be that as far as I know, platform 1 at HD is relatively underused as only a few GAML trains stop there. But, TfL could argue that interchange within the GA station is entirely the remit of GA!

  6. c says:

    Would Brockley attract much usage on the Lewisham line (to Victoria mainly?) and much interchange which Peckham Rye doesn’t offer?

    Higher frequency and quicker to Canada Water from Peckham perhaps – but all trains would come from Lewisham and DLR to Canary Wharf would be a lot quicker.

    Maybe if they increased the frequency along that line, which I think would be great. But 2tph either way wouldn’t attract much.

    Anyway sorry back to Hackney!

  7. Anonymous says:

    And yes, I agree with Anonymous #1 – we should definitely start thinking about opening Brockley Lane, and maybe increasing the frequency of the Lewisham Nunhead trains too

  8. Anonymous says:

    “Would Brockley attract much usage on the Lewisham line (to Victoria mainly?) and much interchange which Peckham Rye doesn’t offer?”

    Not everyone is going into town. What about the transfer between Lewisham and East Croydon. Recommended TfL route at the moment is to go via London Bridge… i mean, really??

  9. Greg Tingey says:

    Errr ….
    pf 1 (the Easternmost one @ HD, I think) is used by all the up Chingford trains & the Hertford stoppers in normal service.

    c & anon both @ 18.27 seem to have posted to the wrong discussion?
    “Oh Mr Porter, what shall I do / I wanted to go to Birmingham / but they’ve shunted me off to Crewe!”

  10. Long Branch Mike says:


    What is this P2 of which you speak, in your 1st post? Hopefully not the secret organization or any of it’s (secret) structures there.

  11. c says:

    P2 being platform 2!

    Lewisham to East Croydon – I agree via London Bridge seems silly but Brockley’s 2tph stopping from Lewisham, and 2tph slow to East Croydon are not competitive with the turn up and go, non-stop/semi-fast trains from both Lewisham and East Croydon to London Bridge!

    The avoiding zone 1 fare might be though!

    Lewisham to East Croydon I would say to go via Elmers End maybe!

  12. Metrication says:

    South London Line and Loughborough Junction!

  13. Fandroid says:

    Talking transfers, has anyone actually properly signed the walking route between Clapham High Street and Clapham North ? I could be the idiot that tests it for them (for ‘idiot-proofness’). I have been known to get lost at Infanta and at West Hampstead, and Bethnal Green (and between Shoreditch High St and Liverpool Street), so have the credentials for such a job.

  14. Long Branch Mike says:

    @c 1st post

    “Hoping they’ll be shown as an interchange on maps now, which is the key for increasing usage.”

    I heartily agree.

    I also strongly believe that more OSI transfers should be indicated on the Tube, Tube and Rail Maps (in TfL’s London Visitors Guide), and the London Rail and Tube Services Map, to reduce unnecessary passenger-rail miles (to make longer transfers) & speed journeys.

  15. d says:


    Lewisham to Elmers End is 2tph…

    If you’ve just missed a Hayes train, and need to avoid Zone 1, the Single Fare Finder suggets going to New Cross, walking to NXG and going south from there. That would save you 70p on the off-peak Oyster fare.

  16. Anonymous says:

    @Fandroid – I’ve done that change a few times, there is at least -a- sign, but I wouldn’t know about idiot proof.

  17. JamesC says:

    As ive said before the CJ ELL and the three lines that run above it! – obviously a new station needex

  18. Nick says:

    Brockley Lane feels like a no brainier if frequency could be increased – it would reduce overground and NR congestion from commuters travelling to work in and around the west end – on both overground / jubilee and those going via London bridge / Waterloo east / Waterloo. Plus, it could create a much better link to lewisham town centre.

  19. Greg Tingey says:

    This thread is about Hackney
    Could the “Brockley Lane” piece be transferred to the proper place?
    What is being spoken of, anyway?

  20. timbeau says:

    I know it’s south of the river, where be dragons, but Brockley is no less, or more, relevant to this thread than the Walthamstow link you have mentioned – a potential interchange in Zone 2.
    The situation at Brockley is in fact very like those at Brixton and Loughborough Junction. Between Nunhead and Lewisham the Victoria/Dartford services using the old LCDR Greenwich Park branch pass directly over Brockley station on the Forest Hill line (the original London & Croydon Railway route from London Bridge) – now also used by the London Overground’s West Croydon and Crystal Palace services. In the olden days, before World War 1, there was a station here called Brockley Lane, but although the line was partially re-opened and connected to the SER tracks at Lewsiham in the 1930s, this station was not re-opened with it.

  21. John Bull says:

    Just a quick note to say that TfL have been kind enough to send us a couple of images they’ve got related to the site (a shot of the old link, and their own mockup which wasn’t included in the planning documents) and also their forecast cost (£5m).

    I’ve added all these to the main article.

  22. tog says:

    Thanks to you and TfL for the additional images, particularly the photo of the old link which I’ve never seen before. Unfortunately it just emphasises how much better a two-platform link would have been. £5m to replace one circuitous route with another circuitous route seems something of a waste.

    OK, I’m exaggerating somewhat – the new link is an improvement, but a journey from Hackney Downs to HC platform 2 is going to involve walking over the platform you actually want to get to, then two additional sets of stairs to get back to it.

    I can also see HC platform 1 (not the widest) becoming congested with through traffic, particularly as the steps of the existing bridge face the “wrong” way.

  23. Stu says:

    Why was the old connection removed ? I guess poor service levels pre Overground meant there was no demand, but talk about needing to reinvent the wheel …

    Sometimes I think we like to make it difficult for ourselves here in London !

  24. Steven Taylor says:


    Hackney Central station was closed in 1944 and only re-opened in 1980, hence the reason the old connection to Hackney Downs was `no longer required`.

  25. Slugabed says:

    Looking at the picture of the old link,it seems odd that they don’t re-use the topology used then,updated with lifts etc,rather than make a design which seems both more complicated and less effective….or am I missing something?

  26. PhilD says:

    “or more if the lure of the Pembury Tavern on the corner of Amhurst Road cannot be resisted”

    Oh yes. It’s a superb pub. If you ever get round to hosting a London Reconnections meetup/pissup (now there’s an idea) that’d be a very good place to do it.

  27. Ben says:

    Is it a possibility that as time and funds allow it might, in future, be further improved/rationalised? Say with platforms at Central extended/moved towards it to replace the ramp and low level walkway, and the overbridge at the other end relocated and incorporated? Theres little point in maintaning 3 lift shafts when two will suffice. The walk between indirectly connected platforms looks to be fairly horrible even after this!

    For decades and decades it was understood that providing quality and convenient interchanges was beneficial and what was desired by the fare/tax paying public; however this seems to have been forgotten since the early 90’s. Its good that something is being done here long after it was first called for, but lets be frank its still half baked and will prove wearying, much like the convoluted interchanges at Kings Cross or Green Park, or the rest of the JLE… etc etc.

  28. Greg Tingey says:

    I have a little list ….
    The Horseshoe
    The Royal Oak, Borough
    The Southampton Arms
    Tapping the Admiral, Kentish Town West
    The Green Dragon Coydon
    The Lamb Surbiton
    The Red Lion Bromley N
    Etc ……

    RE: Brockley Lane … serves me right for not consulting “Cobb” I suppose!

  29. Disappointed Kitten says:

    Excellent! Next, how about Loughborough Junction, Chiswick Park (for Heathrow tube), Brixton, Willesden Jcn London Midland… London Overground passes over so many potential intechanges it’s not funny! Until these are connected up, it can never be a true orbital railway!

  30. 1956 says:

    Would having both a Brixton Interchange station AND a Loughborough Junction interchange station on the Overground be wise? I have an open mind about this, but they would be quite close. I guess the options are (1) Brixton only – fully linked with Underground and existing rail station, (2) Having two stations at Brixton and Loughborough Junction , (3) East Brixton station re-instated at Barrington Road – (in the middle of Brixton and Loughborough Junction), (4) Loughborough Junction Station only. My vote (at the moment) would be a station at Brixton.

  31. Greg Tingey says:

    SOME extra/replacement interchange stations would be a really good idea.
    Others, not so.
    I am inclined to say Brixton yes, Loughboro’ no.
    Brockley Lane
    A re-sited N Acton interchange
    Unsure about Chiswick Park – curvature & gradient problems?
    Leytonstone would have some horrendous logistics problems, given the loacal road layout…..

    Is there any way the insane regulations (or are they DafT backside-protecting?) re “no gradient” can be at least relaxed to a sensible amanount – to say “Nothing steeper than 1:150 overall” ?

  32. Metrication says:

    While we’re at it, Northern Line and Wimbledon Loop at Morden South.

  33. mr_jrt says:


    I advocate stations at both Brixton and Loughborough Junction because, quite simply, they serve different routes. A station at Brixton is not going to be much use the someone wanting Thameslink, is it? Additionally, the LO is a urban metro, the stations distances should be based upon the normal London Underground model…it makes it far more useful!

    Longer term, my old preferences for tube extensions is to create a transport “web” in south London would the Northern CX branch to Hayes via Crystal Palace and Loughborough Junction, the Bakerloo to Dartford via Lewisham, Brockley and Peckham Rye, and the Victoria to East Croydon via Streatham and Brixton. Having interchanges with LO is vital to the network.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Overground plaforms at North Acton connected to the Central Line Station, ideally with a new station building directly on Victoria Road. However I suspect the length of the platforms would foul the junctions north and south to Dudden Hill and Ealing Broadway respectively.

  35. timbeau says:

    “A station at Brixton is not going to be much use to someone wanting Thameslink, is it?”

    LO passengers can change at Denmark Hill (for Thanmeslink north), and at Peckham Rye and Tulse Hull, or Brixton and Herne Hill (for Thameslink south)

  36. Anonymous says:

    +1 for an interchange at Brockley. I imagine it would relieve some of the overcrowding at Canada Water by offering a different way to get to the West via Victoria for those coming up on the overground from the south. It would also have local benefits – by making Brockley to Lewisham/Blackheath journeys faster than the rather roundabout bus routes on offer at the moment.

    Increasing the frequency beyond 2tph would be vital to make it work though. The line is used for freight as well as the Victoria-Peckham Rye-Lewisham-Blackheath-Bexleyheath-Dartford service. But as someone who lives close to the line the freight seems to go through mainly at night so maybe that would make it easier?

  37. mr_jrt says:

    Ahh, the link in my previous post seems to have gone wrong…let’s try again

    (it’s an old WIP experiment, but you get the idea)

  38. Anonymous says:

    always thought they should do something similar at leytonstone / leytonstone high road

  39. Ian J says:

    @Greg – the flat platforms thing is a myth (as is the idea that platforms cannot be located on a curve). See section 4 in this document, the relevant Railway Group Standard:

  40. Greg Tingey says:

    Ian J
    Thanks, and, err …
    In which case, why does everyone scream that “it can’t be done, because of ….”
    The standard that says you CAN do it ??????????????

    [Provided you are careful, of course.]

    Anon @ 22.10
    Err, NO
    Look closely at the map, or better still Binbg or Google aerial views!
    You cannot move Leytonstone GER (Central Line) to the south, because of:
    a} the road layout, set up to provide access to the station
    b} that is where the junction is & the solum/property is wider
    to which I may add, c} if, sensibly Xr2 goes here, that is just the space for it to emerge – tight fit, but do-able.
    Leyton T&FGJtRly station is on a viaduct, close to the main road, where are you going to put access if you move the station, even assuming you can get value-for-money with a new-build to the West?

  41. The Other Paul says:

    Perhaps a feasible scheme for Brockley would be to run 4tph LO from Lewisham to Clapham Junction. If there was then any way to increase capacity from Lewisham to Hither Green this could then go through to our old friend Bromley North.

    Obviously there are issues, not least the need for another terminating platform at Clapham. Perhaps that would favour East Putney.

  42. JP says:

    Interesting comments either about totally different parts of the overground or boozers.

    Personally this doesn’t seem such a brilliant interchange.

    Part of that is just how Hackney Downs is built making any interchange with the central platform impossible (short of massive rebuilding).

    I see the the trees were partially blamed again, but like the old platform 1 at clapham jnc its network rails atrocious siteing of signalling boxes which is to blame.

    I also see the mandatory lift, even though neither platform has lift access as far as I’m aware, which doubtless adds quite a bit to the cost; perhaps money better spent trying to find a way around the boxes.

    Finally I see no attempt to link hackney downs platform 4 even though there is enough space to put a footpath under the bridge and it would get rid of the semi ridiculous platform width at the Dalston lane end of that platform.

    Is this plan final final?

  43. Hex says:

    @Anonymous, 10:10PM, 16th February 2013

    Even though theoretically there is room to build a (very long) raised connection between Leytonstone Underground and Leytonstone High Road Overground – running south over the western car park next to the A12 at the former, then swinging east along with the viaduct and up to platform level at the latter, you can forget about any possibility of that. TfL have no interest in spending any money on Leytonstone.

    I lived there for eight years, during which entire time people at every level – from public to Council leaders – tried to get TfL to fix the disgusting and dangerous (as in a high risk of being mugged or assaulted) pedestrian footbridges across the Tube lines and A12. Nothing was ever received from TfL but empty promises to the community. The situation remains unchanged at the time of writing.

  44. Greg Tingey says:

    I believe TfL took the attitude that it wasn’t & isn’t their bridge, it is within the Local Authoritiy’s remit.
    Which may, or may not be true.
    IIRTC, said bridges were built when the A12 almost-motorway was pushed thrpugh E10 & E11, so it was down to DafT, not TfL (It is a major trunk road, after all)
    However, since this is the delightful London Borough of What the F*ck (in which I also live) I’m not suprised nothing was done, especially if they thought they could palm of resposibility for a Public Footpath on theor patch to someone else……

    All sounds very familar – everyone playong pass-the-parcel for responsibility, just like the WC-WMid link, in fact, with extra street crime added as a bonus.

  45. c says:

    Is there much point in the Walthamstow link given Balckhorse Road. The difference is the Chingford line – are passengers from the Chingford stations beyond WC really enough to justify a link to GOBLIN? Would they use it?

    If they wanted to travel west, surely a hop on the Vic to Highbury and then NLL would be quicker, more frequent and cover more destinations such as Camden and west of Gospel Oak.

  46. Greg T says:

    Which/what “Walthamstow link” are you talking about?
    The much-needed, long-promised pedestrain one between the two stations?
    A re-instatement of the Hall Farm Curve, as per the BR Act of 1989-90?

    Assuming you are referring to the former …..
    Access to Walthamstow T&FGJtRly station is shite, unless you live in the back streets to the SW…
    You can’t get there from the Bus station (very busy) without a 10-minute walk.
    I can get to Hoe Street (Central) in 6-7 mins from my front door – I allow a minimum of 12 to get to the Midland station. If you want to go East (Barking), why should one go the long way around via Blackhorse Road?
    If you want to go to the Southampton Arms or points further West, it MAY be easier to go via H&I, but no quicker.
    Anyway, a link was a condition attached to the development, since a link had already been established at that time….
    W’stow T&FGJtRly Stn is usually the least busy on the line, which given the population density is plainly silly.
    Also changing @ Blackhorse is also shite, because of the appalling narrow platforms & high, narrow foot-bridge.
    If TfL had any sense, they’d re-transfer Blacjorse Rd surface station back from the tube (who don’t want it,don;t care, & couldn’t give a toss about the passengers there) to Overground …..

  47. Anonymous says:

    Looking at these plans their is plenty of space to build a ramp between the two levels, rather than the expensive to maintain lift. This seems to be design by box ticking.

  48. Patrick Moule says:


    As a long time LR reader I value your comments, but sometimes I find your abbreviations too cryptic; as someone with an interest in the railways and despite having lived in the vicinity all my life, I have no idea what you mean when you say ‘W’stow T&FG JtRly Stn’. Real station names are appreciated by us mere mortals!

  49. timbeau says:

    T&FGJtRly is the Tottenham and Forest Gate Joint Railway (now the eastern end of the “Goblin”) opened in 1894 as a joint venture between the London Tibury & Southend and the Midland Railway. The rest of the Goblin was built as the Tottenham and Hampstead Junction railway (opened 1868 as a venture by the Great Eastern Railway but very soon adopted by the Midland)

    If you want obscure abbreviations, what about the E&WID&BJR (East and West India Docks and Birmingham Junction Railway), The name was soon changed to the North London Railway – maybe because the original name wouldn’t fit on the side of their diminutive locomotives!

  50. Greg T says:

    timbeau – thanks – you beat me to it!
    Wherever possible, I use the 1921/2 nomenclature for railway ownership, excepting the two earlier takeovers, which amalgamated previously separate & only-just joined-up operators.
    The first being the LTSR, of course, absorbed by the Midland in 1912, & the other, which is very unlikely to feature in a London discussion, the LD&ECR, absorbed by the GCR in 1907(!).
    Sometimes, especially in the tangled geography/history of sarf Lunnon, one has to distinguish between the two constituents of the “Managing Committee”, the SER & the LCDR. Our discussions re Thamselink & Herne Hill come to mind!
    Or that the GER was the result of an amalgamation, hence the two (original) main lines of Bishopsgate – Norwich via Ipswich & Stratford – Cambridge – Ely – Norwich (Though the latter was taken over by the Eastern Counties before completion, the Northern & Eastern theoretically remained a separate company until 1902) – yes it’s complicated!

  51. timbeau says:

    Iam tempted to rise to the challenge and work the LD&ECR into the discussion of Lincoln which turned up on another thread (in the context of freight bypassing London, so not comletely off topic). One of the more ambitious names as it never got anywhere near either “L” or “EC”. (Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast, for those not in the know – whose main line ran from Chesterfield to not-quite-Lincoln.

    The original L&B (Blackwall, not Birmingham) continued to exist as a company long after it leased all its assets to the Great Eastern Railway – the board met once a year to approve the accounts – income: rent – outgoings: none !

  52. Greg T says:

    The “family trees” at the back of “Cobb” are fascinating.
    Many, many railway companies continued to exist on paper, as did the Blackwall, for a long time after all their workings had been taken over by the parent/ absorbing/amalgamating company.
    Another example: the London & Greenwich remained a theoretically independant company until the Grouping, but had been leased by the SER since 1845!

  53. Anonymous says:

    £5 million for this? Is it any wonder rail travel costs so much in this country. What a rip off.

  54. Greg Tingey says:

    Anon @ 13.23
    OK – you get it done for less? Ask a contractor for an estimate?
    You have to build a passenger footbridge over a working railway, without closing said railway + long passageway, securely + lift-tower & associated power supplies.
    I suggest you examine the actualities &/or compare with similar work elsewhere before you make such ill-informed comments.

  55. PC says:

    It occurred to me that if the link remained as an aerial walkway and linked to the HC footbridge then there would be no need for an additional lift down to the HC platform and no need for a structure across the NLL. This would also help with pedestrian flows HD passengers taking a short cut to Mare Street.

    (I also bet that further savings could be made if the works had only involved TfL property without touching on NR with their bureaucratic on costs)

  56. Greg Tingey says:

    err …..
    No, actually.
    The trackbed of & solum either side of the line by Hackney Central still belongs to NR, actually.
    In the same way as all of the Overground’s trackbed and signalling does.
    The train-operating contracts may be a very different model (A concession, not a franchise) but the track/train split is still there, & “NR with their bureaucratic on-costs” cover the whole thing, not just the bit as far as the end of the overbridge ……

  57. The other Paul says:


    I believe that, although you’re correct that NR owns Hackney Central, it doesn’t own all the Overground’s trackbed or other infrastructure. I believe the line infrastructure from Dalston to New Cross and New Cross Gate still remains very firmly in the hands of TfL subsidiary Rail for London.

  58. Dan says:

    Is there any budget or estimated opening date for this? (Or the Walthamstow link, for that matter?!)

  59. Greg Tingey says:

    Doesn’t it say in the “prospectus” above when the openeing date is supposed to be?
    (Looks) Yes it does – July 2014.

    The Walthamstow 2-station link of course comes out of the developers’ (& their sucessors) budget …
    And IIRC, completion is supposed to be by the end of April, but, as usual, ‘;ll believe it when I see it – & I haven’t wandered down to take a look in the past 2 weeks!

  60. Anonymous says:

    A bit late now but your lovely picture at the top of the Hackney article was taken on the 12th January 1928 not ‘About 1900’. I discovered this by using the power of my eyes although I have promised to use this power only for good… On another note, connecting with only one platform worries me and that Central station is gets quite busy.

  61. Anonymous says:

    A new planning application has recently been submitted. Route has moved across to the north east.

    Application Number: 2013/3334

    “Proposal: Erection of a part low level and part high level passenger interchange walkway between the northern platform at Hackney Central station (platform 2) and the eastern platform at Hackney Downs station (platform 1). The proposals include a staircase and lift tower between the higher and lower levels, a cantilevered bridge element spaning Spurtstowe Road, and associated lighting.”

  62. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Anon 1840 – thanks for that update. I was wondering what was happening with this scheme just the other day. A couple of points of interest – the revised link design to the north side of the NLL, the lovely old drawing of the scheme from the 1800s and an interesting snippet that LOROL may take over Hackney Downs in 2015 (in the Design and Access Statement).

  63. Anonymous says:

    Just for reference, the only reason TfL own the East London line between Dalton Junction and Surrey Canal / New Cross Gate / New Cross is simply due to the fact that it was not owned by British Rail. London Underground took sole ownership from the 1950s (the original owners were a partnership of the LBSCR, SECR, GE, Metropolitan and District companies, lately the SR, LNER & LT in the years running up to nationalisation).

    As for the Broad Street approach from Dalston, that, like most other disused railway land passed to the British Railways Board (Residuary) and not Railtrack upon privatisation. It was transferred to TfL by the DfT so as with the southern bit, it never entered the hands of Network Rail either. Therefore the only bit of the East London line that NR actually own is from Dalston – Highbury as this was laid on NR land with all assets on this section belonging to NR too (though signalling control is still handled by the ELL control centre at New Cross Gate).

    From an operational perspective however I believe all day to day operations and maintenance on the entire ELL are contracted to NR (just as NR have the contract to manage HS1) but in theory that could change in the future if TfL wanted go with someone else.

    All other routes (including the whole formation, stations, signalling and power infrastructure) on which London Overground operates are 100% owned by Network Rail and thus TfL have no say in the costs of making alterations, nor do they have the power to force NR to do what they want (something I get the impression the DfT are not unhappy about)

  64. timbeau says:

    “an interesting snippet that LOROL may take over Hackney Downs in 2015 ”
    Isn’t that part of the TfL setttlement reported at

    presumably the new-build section of the ELL (through Shoreditch HS) is also TfL-owned?

    I know NR trains run on TfL tracks between Harrow and Amersham, and (ocasionally) between Wimbledon and East Putney, and that Farringdon statoin is owned by TfL (although the Thameslink track and OHLE is NR-owned) but is there anywhere else this happens? For example, who owns the infrastructure on the Northern City Line?
    Will NR trains be permitted to use the Croxley link – e.g for diversions or stock transfer purposes?

  65. Graham H says:

    @timbeau – I’d be slightly surprised if the formation north of Shoreditch was in TfL ownership, as there has never been an LU, or indeed, a post-privatisation NR service until now, unless they specifically acquired it as part of the extension to Dalston. The formation would have been owned either by BR Property Board, or eventually BR Residuary, or even sold on to the private sector. The BR tracks at New Cross/Gate which the ELL used were transferred to LU ownership along with the W&C and some other odds and ends, but not any BR assets north of Shoreditch – we didn’t envisage the extension of the ELL at the time!

    Can’t think of any TOC on LU metals other than the ones you mention, unless there are some positioning movements of NR RHTT stock in the Willesden area – not visible in the current WTT.

  66. Long Branch Mike says:

    RHTT are Rail Head Treatment Trains.
    WTT is the working time table

  67. timbeau says:

    @Graham H

    I was talking about the new-build section – why would that be in NR ownership if the bits to the south, and (according to the Scribe of E17) the north (see below), both belong to TfL.

    “unless they specifically acquired it as part of the extension to Dalston. The formation would have been owned either by BR Property Board, or eventually BR Residuary”
    But that’s exactly what WW said did happen!

  68. Graham H says:

    @timbeau – Eh? I hope I didn’t imply that NR had ever had any interest in the new build bit north of Shoreditch HS, which I thought was the subject of your question.

  69. timbeau says:

    By the “new build section” I meant the part from somewhere north of Whitechapel station, across the Great Eastern Main Line, through Shoreditch HS station and over the High Street itself, to the point where it joins the old North London Railway viaduct. From there onwards it was merely relaying new track on an existing (albeit disused) formation.

  70. Graham H says:

    Ah. More clarity all round, perhaps?

  71. Steven Taylor says:

    Re `ownership` of track Shoreditch High Street to Dalston Junction. Whilst I cannot remember the web site, I saw a Network Rail working timetable for the line north of Dalston Junction to Highbury & Islington. It showed northbound trains timed at `Dalston Western Connector` going to Highbury and vice versa in Southbound direction. So my assumption – which could be wrong – was that this line comes under the auspices of TFL.
    A similar scenario at Old Kent Road Junction.

  72. Graham H says:

    @Steve Taylor – indeed, NR have never had interest south of Dalston. The former railway viaduct would not have come into their ownership when they were vested. Hence my comments on BRPB/BRBR as the owners preceding TfL.

  73. Pedantic of Purley says:

    I am virtually certain Shoreditch to Dalston Junction inclusive is TfL owned. John Bull may confirm or deny.

    Something that was rather overlooked, or rather not anticipated, is the sheer value of this route on a viaduct in terms of rental income. If I can remember the figures correctly, there is a restaurant at Hoxton, I think, located under the arches that is rented out at £25 per sq foot per annum whereas £6 per sq foot per annum is a more usual figure for railway arch accommodation. And that money is going to TfL not Network Rail.

  74. Long Branch Mike says:

    BRBR BRB (Residuary) Ltd. was abolished under the Public Bodies Act 2011 effective 30th September 2013. Its functions, properties, rights and liabilities transferred to a combination of the Secretary of State for Transport, London & Continental Railways, Network Rail, and the Rail Safety and Standards Board.

    BRPB British Rail Property Board, who kept records of the management of land and buildings betwixt 1936-1986.

    – DoA (Dept of Acronyms, FLA Section) (FLA being four letter acronym)

  75. Malcolm says:

    Mistake. The DoA renamed the section as FLAB, thus preserving the self-referentiality. Some argued that it should have been FLAC, but they were outvoted by the chair, who, it was claimed, didn’t understand the difference between an abbreviation and an acronym. Armholes and elbows were also mentioned.

  76. PC says:

    Ownership of the line from Great Eastern Street to Dalston Junction (Dalston Viaduct) transferred from BR/Railtrack to London Borough of Hackney for £nil as part of the planning gain for the Broadgate development, the northern part of which use to be in Hackney. The reason was so that Hackney could protect this railway corridor. Very forward thinking of them. Hackney then sold the viaduct to London Underground Ltd for what was then called the East London Line Extension (ELLX). The viaduct earned a good income for Hackney from the arches rents while in their ownership.

    I can confirm this as I worked for Hackney’s property department at the time.

  77. Walthamstow Writer says:

    Err I appear to have set a hare running somehow for which apologies.

    My observation about “LOROL and Hackney Downs” was surprise that LOROL was mentioned *rather* than whoever the new concessionnaire will be for the West Anglia services. I don’t think TfL have written the concession spec yet never mind gone to the market – *unless* they are going down the route of combining West Anglia with Crossrail which the original TfL press release (since amended) said was a possibility.

    I don’t understand the ELL ownership argument as I did mean to trigger that. It is my understanding that the LU bits of the ELL went through a transfer process to move them to TfL rail ownership. There was a TfL Board Paper to this effect. I have no reason to disagree with PC’s comment re the new build section’s ownership. I believe, but am happy to be corrected, that the Dalston Junction to New Cross / New Cross Gate section’s maintenance is separately contracted by TfL and is *not* with Network Rail. I don’t know who looks after the Silwood Junction – Old Kent Rd Junction section.

  78. Greg Tingey says:

    Well, the signalling between Dalston & New X/X Gate is maintained by what used to be Network SE signalling, which has since then been called “Westinghouse”, “Invensys” & is now part of Siemens.
    I know one of the engineers, & he refers to it as a bane ( Apparently, to get the project finished in time, the LUL signalling people had to be very firmly shown the door ! )
    Signalling is to NR standards, not LUL’s.

  79. Steven Taylor says:

    @Walthamstow Writer
    I am reasonably certain that Silwood Junction to just north of Old Kent Road junction (OKRJ) is TFL and not Network Rail. Near OKRJ there is a long neutral section to separate the 2 separate power supplies.

    Going slightly `off topic`, you can `easily` differentiate between TFL Overground and Network Rail sections by the lack of graffiti and ubiquitous vegetation on the TFL track environs. When I travel on the Overground between Denmark Hill – Brixton section, I must say how much I appreciate the Network Rail `hanging gardens` on the high double/triple viaducts. Although – shame – they have cut some vegetation back recently. Seriously, this can and does cause damage to the parapet walls.

  80. Moosealot says:

    As anyone who has worked in the IT sector will know, the correct acronym for a four-letter acronym is an ETLA [Extended Three-Letter Acronym]. Five is a FETLA [Further Extended Three Letter Acronym].

  81. Bluesman says:

    For pedants: these are really abbreviations. An acronym should actually say a word. E.g. LASER is an acronym whereas TFL is an abbreviation.

  82. timbeau says:

    so ETLA and FETLA are acronyms, but TLA is not!

    London Reconnection jargon used recently without explanation include

    crayonista – condescending term for a person who adds new lines to the tube map with little regard for the practicalities of building them

    VTBM – virtual tunnel boring machine: a crayon

    Wilberforce Junction – for the new junction on the ECML between Gasworks and Copenhagen Tunnels, where the “Canal Tunnel” from St Pancras Low Level will connect – unofficially named in honour of the area’s fictional resident in “The Ladykillers”

  83. Graham Feakins says:

    LOROL – It was TfL who sought planning permission to construct the Silwood Sidings: and I believe they now have the line as far as North Kent Road Junction, although Network Rail may be contracted out to maintain as mentioned above.

  84. Anon5 says:

    Sad news today that eight properties in a terrace on Amhurst Road, close to Hackney Central, have been evacuated and will be demolished after a large crack was discovered yesterday. According to reports a Travelodge is being built on the site by the station car park.

    If I recall correctly the terrace is the right of the alleyway access to the platforms (with the old station building to the left of the alley.)

  85. P Dan Tick says:

    Bluesman. As a pedant, I must insist that an abbreviation is just that, a truncated or shortened word- like bus -short for omnibus, rd. – short for road, st. – short for street. My Concise Oxford Dictionary tells me that an acronym is a ‘word formed from initial letters of other words’. So TLA is an acronym.

  86. Malcolm says:

    @P Dan tick

    No, TLA is not an acronym, because it is not a “word formed from…” because it is not a word, because it cannot be pronounced. It may also not be an abbreviation, as you imply, in which case it must be one of those three-letter thingies whose letters do not officially stand for anything. Like SOS. But whatever it stands for, it is clearly autologous (self describing, like “long” is not). TLA is a TLA.

  87. Jeffy likes apples says:

    *Steven Taylor, 09.25, 14/11/13

    “I am reasonably certain that Silwood Junction to just north of Old Kent Road junction (OKRJ) is TFL and not Network Rail. Near OKRJ there is a long neutral section to separate the 2 separate power supplies.”

    As the pedantry runs rife and i understand that this section of the network sees trains powered by a DC conductor rail supply, i feel it my duty to inform you “neutral sections” are not used in conductor rail areas (these appear in the OLE AC system). To separate two feeder stations a “gap” in the conductor rail is used. In fact i don’t believe neutral usually has a place outside an AC system, with DC being positive/negative.

  88. AlisonW says:

    and I believe ‘TLA’ is an ‘initialism’.

  89. Mike says:

    Jeffy – even more pedantically, I think that the DC equivalent of a neutral section is a “section gap”. (Conductor rails also have other types of gap, eg expansion gaps.)

  90. Steven Taylor says:

    @ Jeffy likes apples
    Thanks for correction. I was being succinct. There is a long section (say 5 coaches long) with no conductor rail at all, so this is how the 2 power supplies are kept completely separate. Re DC being positive /negative. Whilst I understand that the tube, with 4 tracks has a negative and positive conductor rail (compared to ground), the DC supply on the third rail is at plus 750 volts – although when a lot of current is being drawn, there will be a voltage drop owing to resistance in the conductor rail because the low voltage equates to more amperage for a given power. I think ideally and legally there is a requirement for the running rail return voltage to be as near to `ground` i.e. neutral as possible.

  91. The East London Line is owned by TfL but is third Rail at 750V not fourth rail so there is no issue with changes in voltage at Silwood Junction. London Underground is currently at present +420V and -210V giving a potential difference (or “electric pressure”) of 630V. This will change to 750V in future on some lines. When LU trains go onto to track electrified to Network Rail third rail standards the bonding of the fourth rail to the running lines allows the 750V supply to be used. The stock in question (Bakerloo 1972 and District D78) can cope with this and in any case the voltage is notional anyway and can vary considerably from location to location – as is the case with the notional 230V supply to your home.

  92. Steven Taylor says:

    Thanks for update. Actually, this is a good example of how it is difficult to stay on topic, i.e. Hackney Central Link. My original post was in answer to a question as to what part of the ELL extension came under TFL or Network Rail auspices! I mentioned about the `section gap`, or whatever it is properly called, at Old Kent Road Junction, to separate the two power supplies because of different line ownership.

  93. Steven Taylor says:

    I have just learnt another lesson re posting on blogs. Read what you post carefully so as to not confuse. I am fully aware the ELL is all third rail only energised at 750 volts-ish. My post was not that clear, and could construed that I felt the ELL has a fourth rail like the Underground. As you can probably guess, I used to work in electronics etc many years ago.

  94. Steven Taylor says:

    I am not sure if I am allowed a third sequential post but here goes.
    I am fairly certain that the ELL from Highbury and Islington, to what is called `Dalston Western Connector` is owned by Network Rail and not TFL.

  95. timbeau says:

    Section gaps do not only occur at changes of ownership – they are there to ensure two electrical feeds are always isolated from each other – (i.e they cannot be bridged by a train with current collectors at each end contacting both sections at once). This is important for two reasons – if the current has to be switched off in one section for some reason, (e.g to evacuate a train) you don’t want the rails energised from the neighbouring section,through a train. Secondly, since dc feeds are usually half-sine forms (i.e a rectified a.c) two adjacent feeds will in general be out of phase with each other.
    In order to prevent a train being stranded (“gapped”), section gaps are usually put where a train is unlikely to stop, (ideally on a downhill gradient) so that trains have enough momentum to pass through the gap.

  96. Steven Taylor says:

    As you state, you do not want trains to get stranded. The section gap towards Old Kent Road junction on the line from Surrey Quays is on a moderate gradient (I have forgotten the actual figure) and the signal is situated beyond the gap. This gap is very obvious – the longest I have seen on any third rail railway – and as an aside, I seem to remember some photos of this gap were published on this blog sometime last year.

  97. Greg Tingey says:

    As stated elsewhere (I can’t find it right now) this link has now been given the go-ahead, as noted by Ian Visits & the Hackney Gazette
    However, it appears that the scheme has been subtly altered, but the good news is that it is expected to open later this year, or very early in 2015.

    I do hope it doesn’t drag out, like the connecting link @ WHC-WMW … though there are hopeful signs at the bottom of the car park, as of yesterday – & they are closing the whole of that side tomorrow (16th Feb) to do some heavy removals & clearing-up around the original station frontage.

  98. Greg Tingey says:

    Plans of the modified arrangements, as approved by the council, (I think) can be found HERE with deatils in the subsidiary documents listed – all apear to be openable/downloadable FYI.

  99. JA says:

    When I went past a few weeks ago there was obvious progress on the ground at Hackney, but nothing as substantial as shown in these photos of work at the weekend included in this tweet from London Overground. Looks like the link should be finished in time to coincide with the London Overground takeover of the West Anglia Inner services.

  100. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @JA – TfL’s own target date says July for the new link and not late May when LOROL take over. There is much still to be done including a lift at the Hackney Downs end of the link. It will also need to be checked over and signed off by the Fire Brigade together with new evacuation and management plans for the two stations. I wouldn’t be overly surprised to see the services / paperwork phase of the work take as long as the physical construction on site does.

  101. Greg Tingey says:

    There is no start yet on works on the Hackney Downs platform-ends, where a hole needs to be made in the parapet wall, for the new link to join in.
    A lot of the tower & walkway will obviously be up in the next month, but WW is almost certainly correct – July is much more likely to be when it all opens.

  102. Greg Tingey says:

    Progress now well advanced.
    “Scissors” sliding gates installed at both ends of the walkway – which appears complete from the outside, & taped-over signs (presumably showing direction to the “other” station) along the platform backs.
    Without successfully looking at the TfL web-site, I would guess this weekend for opening?
    [ I put “Hackney Link” & also “Corporate” into TfL’s own search box & got nothing …. ]

  103. Fandroid says:

    I saw it at Hackney Downs last Friday. The signs were uncovered but the scissors gates were closed. I look forward to using it while shoving the grandson along in his luxury kinderwagon. Shame I will have to find another way back as the stairs at Hackney Downs still block the return route.

  104. Greg Tingey says:

    On a related theme – hat tip to “Ian Visits”:

    Apparent agreement to buid a pedestrian link from the Gunnerbury / Chiswick Business Park to Chiswick Park station.
    Seems like a good idea to me?

  105. Hugh.S says:

    What is the latest please? Went from Wood Street to Shepherds Bush on my annual alternative route in the event of tube strikes.Direction signs now covered with black tape and gates shut though everything looks finished.

    [Moderator’s note. At first we thought you were asking for the latest news on the tube strike, and your message was snipped accordingly (we don’t do hour-to-hour stuff, and it would have been off topic). Then it was realised that you probably meant the latest on the Hackney Downs – Hackney Central link; if that was what you meant, you couldn’t have been more on topic, the passing mention of the tube strike confused us. Malcolm]

  106. Hugh.S says:

    Yes I was asking about the latest on the link between the two stations!
    Does anyone know any more?Contractors still in occupation perhaps.When I looked at it from the Hackney Central end I thought I could see quite a bit of their equipment still there.
    Both lifts at Hackney Central out of use.

    In the event of tube strikes that is how I get to Hammersmith where I work.

  107. Greg Tingey says:

    As a regular, but not daily user of that line … don’t know.
    It appears from outside, that everything is “finished”, but, of course, we don’t know what internal bits & pieces still need fettling. Also an HMRI visit, or equivalent will be required before they can open to the public & we don’t know if this has happened yet, or if recommendations have been made, which must be observed, before public opening.
    [ Historically, reading old texts, it appears that HMRI were “hot” on stairways & access/egress routes being safe & easy to negotiate, as far back as the 1870’s, demanding smoother surfaces, properly “nailed-down” steps & handrails & signage! ]
    So far a Google-dive has produced nothing.

  108. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Greg – I doubt there would be a HMRI (or equivalent) visit these days. The onus has moved to the operator having to clearly demonstrate they have properly assessed and assured that the work has been done to the required standard and all the required checks and handovers from construction to operation / maintenance have taken place. Also that the respective station managers and their teams have workable and understood evacuation / crowd control measures. It’s self assurance not detailed checking by an external body. Nonetheless the Safety Certificate that sets out all those controls, processes and competent people requirements *is* reviewed and signed off by ORR. I have been responsible, in the past, for aspects of LU’s Safety Case and later Safety Certificate. Things have may have changed again so happy to be corrected if what I’ve said is not up to date.

    The one external body who probably will visit is the fire brigade so they understand the revised layouts, boundaries between stations and how a fire or emergency would be handled. There may even be a need for a mock evacuation to be done just so it tests out the processes but that may be optional at this stage.

    I’ve not seen any update on progress or opening dates for the link recently. It often takes a wee bit longer to “snag” new assets, get sign offs and get the whole scheme over the finishing line.

  109. Fandroid says:

    I did the transfer from Hackney Downs to Hackney Central last Wednesday. As mentioned, the signs are taped over. I have done this twice recently, and both times the good people of Hackney have helped me to carry the grandson’s buggy down the stairs. It’s getting embarrassing. Hurry up and open that link!

  110. Greg Tingey says:

    Unfortunately, there is an embarrasing precednt here.
    Walthamstow Central “Queens Road” where, even after all the infrastructure was correctly in place various official faffings meant that it took approx another 3 months before the mere public were allowed to use it.

  111. timbeau says:

    In Another Place it was reported that London Overground had tweeted yesterday that the link would open today, only to tweet this morning to say the opening date is still “tba”. I have learned never to trust anything a railway operator tells me, but on this occasion one of those two statements must be true! Does anyone know which one?

  112. Anonymous says:

    Appeared to be open when I went through Hackney Downs today at lunchtime – signs uncovered and gate open.

  113. Fandroid says:

    Given that Hackney Downs has no other lifts, this link could be a (very) roundabout way of getting either a step-free access for those travelling to Liverpool Street from Hackney, or a step-free exit for those travelling to Hackney from the Chingford direction. Bad luck if you want to travel back from Liverpool Street. I suppose you could go on to Walthamstow Central, walk or wheel round over the road bridge and then come back again!

  114. Jonathan Roberts says:

    On a more positive note, the Hackney interchange volume pre-marketing on tube map and pre-fixed link opening usage of the interchange was about 150k per year (May 2015 survey).

    Use was largely by peak time commuters and the occasional offpeak travellers and Westfield shoppers, who had had to work out for themselves that a 7 minute street interchange with no info about what the trains were doing (or not) on the other line was still a route worth using if not entirely trusting.

    The future users of the link will also include users of the other station who find that this is a more efficient way of reaching their street origin/destination – eg Amhurst Road to Hackney Central station, and Mare Street to Hackney Downs station.

    At 150,000, the pre-marketing interchange volume (and also pre-physical link) was already higher than 1,000 of the 2,537 entry/exit volumes (ORR data, sorry) listed for all NR stations. Among interchange volumes, this was in the top 200 NR internal interchanges (ie, excluding NR/LUL etc). If demand rose to 500k a year, it would be in the top 100, and at 1 million per year, in the top 50. No-one is counting those chickens yet, but a recount a year from now might prove interesting.

  115. Jonathan Roberts says:

    Further to the note above, a growth in link use would help improve the business case for more lift facilities at Hackney Downs, for the entrance and other platforms, and for the possible reopening for railway use of the 1870 station building at Hackney Central, one of only two NLR station buildings which survive.

  116. IslandDweller says:

    The intrepid Diamond Geezer has been and used the link on our behalf. It’s today’s entry on his blog.

  117. The Future’s Bright, The Future’s Orange says:

    I see TfL haven’t bothered to list this as an alternative route while the Victoria is shut (Highbury and Islington to Tottenham Hale, James Street or Walthamstow Central).

  118. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ TFB, TFO – TfL are trying hard to persuade people NOT to use the Chingford line. I’ve had a leaflet for the 558 extra bus to Seven Sisters popped through my letter box. This despite the fact that the 558 is at least 20 minutes walk away in the wrong direction and therefore useless for me. The stress in the leaflet is “don’t go via Walthamstow Central to use the Overground”. Given trains are only every 15 mins and we still see the odd short formation and cancellation it’s safe to say the Chingford line will be seriously oversubscribed when it’s having to cope with demand normally met by tubes running every 3-4 minutes.

    It is also worth just noting, given we’re talking about links, that if I’ve read the info properly that the recently opened short cut between Walthamstow Central and Queens Road stations will be shut during the Vic Line blockade. This is because the car park at WWCS is being commandeered – either for the replacement buses or lorries for the worksite or both. Pedestrian access via the car park is prohibited which means the short distance link is closed. I suspect that will catch people unawares leaving them with a much longer walk via local streets. I think TfL need to be shouting this from the rooftop because the maps for the blockade strongly show a link between the stations but don’t stress the fact it may be up to a 20 minute walk rather than 5-7 minutes.

  119. Philip says:

    According to Diamond Geezer passengers are being “encouraged” to use pink Oyster scanners passing through the link – does this mean that use as suggested to access either of the station’s via the other’s entrance/exit is discouraged and will lead to a fare being charged? Similar to Blackfriars station platforms NOT being available as a pedestrian route across the river.

  120. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Philip – they can’t force you to validate a card. I think if you touch on the pink validator but exit at Hackey Central having travelled to Hackney Downs from elsewhere that there will be zero impact on the fare charged. All it does is set a route indicator.

    Interestingly the Single Fare Finder has yet to be updated to reflect the existence of a pink validator at Hackney Downs / Central. It still refers to the OSI at that location. I dare say this will be updated in the near future.

  121. straphan says:

    I expect people are so forcibly encouraged to touch on the pink reader because the routeing system otherwise sends people via Liverpool Street and Stratford. This means that the revenue apportioning system would then incorrectly apportion a chunk of the revenue for that journey to either the Underground or – Heaven forbid! – Abellio Greater Anglia…

  122. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Straphan – you old cynic! Surely AGA will get a slice of revenue regardless given they serve Hackney Downs at certain times anyway? I rather expect it is about making sure people pay the right fare given that in the past they didn’t have to consider intermediate validation because they did it without thinking by using the gates at each side of the OSI at Hackney Downs / Central.

  123. straphan says:

    @Walthamstow Writer: if it was just about getting people to pay the correct fare I doubt they would feel the need to employ two enforcers telling people to touch in or else…

    AGA will of course get a slice of the revenue, but – given the frequency of service and given that the station is in Zone 2 and not 1 – that slice will be far thinner.

  124. timbeau says:

    It’s probably seen as a good idea to avoid the negative publicity if people don’t do it and then complain about overcharging.

  125. Fandroid says:

    @WW. Thanks for the alert about closure of the Queens Road-Central link. I use that rather a lot, not as an interchange but as a sensible way to get from Queens Road to Hoe Street. And I’m sure that I’m not the only one! If it’s true, then it seems to be well OTT, as the car park itself is big enough for any operational stuff without shoving extra pain onto mere pedestrians too. (but who ever thought of pedestrian convenience when mighty plans are being implemented? – grump over)

  126. Fandroid says:

    @Jonathan Roberts. Interesting data on the current levels of interchange between Hackney this and Hackney that. When one is doing the trip at ground level, it’s just about impossible to see who else might be doing the same thing. I don’t really know Hackney, apart from three Hackney-labelled stations I have used recently, so could not offer any thoughts on where the main population might actually live or where the main economic centre might be.

    Your comment about Westfield shoppers also hits the spot. I have spent a lot of time trying to work out the best step-free way to get from Walthamstow Central (or Queens Road) to Stratford. There are a lot of choices, but none of them very attractive. I suspect I will be giving the new link a try out in the near future, but returning via Tottenham Hale (not during August!).

  127. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Fandroid – well the way you use the link at Queens Rd is one reason why I think TfL need to be shouting from the rooftops about the closure implications. The second issue is the map of alternative services and links produced by TfL places weight on the WWCS – Queens Rd link and I think sending people round the houses is unhelpful at best and downright misleading at worst. I’ve lived in E17 for a long time but I still get confused trying to find Queens Rd station via the back streets. I’ve had to resort to my Assembly Member to try to get clarification of the arrangements.

    I suspect there may be some instances when large lorries need to access the car park area and that may be what has prompted the “no access” requirement. If I have guessed right then I still think that some sensible marshalling and publicity could keep a pedestrian route open but clearly public expectations need to be managed. If it’s just RRS bus movements then that should be more readily manageable.

    In terms of your step free Walthamstow – Stratford journey then I think you’re left with the 69 or 97 buses or rail replacement service B during the blockade. The latter seems as if it will be routed via Markhouse Rd, Lea Bridge Road and Orient Way into the Olympic Park and Stratford City. In other words broadly what a rail service over a reinstated Low Hall Farm curve would do (in terms of general directions followed). Clearly a train won’t be using those roads (just before someone states the obvious)!

  128. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Fandroid and others – I have just looked again at the Vic Line closure travel advice and seen that it’s been updated. To my great surprise they are altering the Overground train services too with services being retimed, missing out stops and some stations being barred to entry. Heaven help you if you travel from Clapton in the AM peak – no trains given AGA don’t call at all!

    From Monday 10 until Friday 28 August, an amended timetable will operate between Chingford/Enfield Town and Liverpool Street:

    – Clapton: trains will not stop before 09:30
    – St. James Street: exit only before 09:30
    – Edmonton Green: Abellio services will not stop at Edmonton Green in the morning peak
    – Chingford, Highams Park, Wood Street: before 09:30, southbound trains will depart two minutes earlier than usual
    – Enfield Town, Bush Hill Park: before 09:30, southbound trains will depart one minute earlier than usual

    Detailed travel advice will follow, check back to this page for updates.

    That all looks rather drastic.

  129. Philip says:

    Possibly they’ll get AGA to stop Hertford and/or slow Cambridge trains at Clapton. Otherwise I can see major, major protests. St Jims being exit-only in the morning peak will cause some anger as well, especially if it isn’t announced widely enough.

  130. JA says:

    Presumably this is a result of the TfL now being in charge, or did BR/previous TOCs make similar service alterations when the Victoria line was closed?

  131. Fandroid says:

    @WW. Rail Replacement service B sounds like a bit of market testing to find out if things have changed since the last study decided that there was ‘no demand’ for a direct Walthamstow-Stratford rail link. Given the rapidly changing demographics of E17 they would possibly be best advised not to be too enthusiastic in publicising that bus service.

    Perhaps it’s the fore-runner of a permanent express bus route (pigs airborne!).

  132. Fandroid says:

    Back to the topic.

    I have been re-reading the original article, and am severely bemused!

    The link (following from Downs to Central) will connect at the far end of platform 1 and run at high level alongside the current viaduct over the West Anglia lines. It’ll then turn and connect to stairs and a lift tower that mirror, in style, those currently found at Hackney Central. These will then drop down to a ramp which will run parallel to the NLL tracks before connecting to platform 1 at Hackney Central.

    Firstly, what’s that about the current viaduct over the West Anglia lines ? The only viaduct I can see is that over the North London Line.
    Secondly, the actual link doesn’t cross the NLL and connects with platform 2 at Hackney Central.

    I may have missed a vital update in the comments (they mostly date from 2013), if so forgive me. However, it is tricky for anyone who reads the article and hasn’t visited those stations to realise what has been delivered in the real world (exactly 1 year late!)

  133. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Fandroid – there is a simple answer in terms of serving Orient Way down to Stratford. Just extend the W19 on from Argall Avenue to Lea Bridge Rd (Station in future) and then straight down. Knowing TfL they may grudgingly extend it to Lea Bridge station when it opens given the nearest bus stops are a bit of a trek and I can see people living on Markhouse Avenue wanting to get to Lea Bridge station either for trains or a bus to Hackney. The main issue is getting all day access through the council yard at South Access Road if the service were to be extended south.

    I think the RRS is just a way of shifting people away from completing overloading the 69 and 97 which are full in the rush hour anyway towards Leyton. Stratford also has more scope to cope with displaced demand into Zone 1. It may work OK given the absence of schools traffic. I couldn’t see it working on a normal weekday given the dreadful congestion on Markhouse Road at its junction with Lea Bridge Rd.

    @ Philip – I get a sense there are last minute changes going on. I’ve just rechecked the recent newsletter from my Assembly Member which talks about the blockade arrangements. She met with TfL but no mention of these changes to the Overground service at all. I can’t imagine she wouldn’t have mentioned them if she’d been told about them!! I’ve raised a query with her about these changed station access / train service issues.

  134. Nigel Whitfield says:

    I’m flabbergasted at that snippet about the alterations at Clapton. It’s a pretty busy station these days – around three times the entrances and exits as just a few years ago.

    Fortunately, I work from home, so seldom need to travel in the peak, but it certainly seems fairly well used when I have had to do it. I wasn’t aware of that change at all until I saw WW’s comment here.

    I’ll have a look when I pass the station later, but I don’t think I saw any prominent notice – which there really ought to be given this amounts to “You can’t commute to work from this station for three weeks in August”

    Buried at the bottom of a page of information about a line that doesn’t even pass through the station is not the way to ensure local people get to hear about it.

  135. timbeau says:

    The information is on display in a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory in the basement with a sign of the door saying “Beware of the Leopard”

    There is no mention on the rainbow board of any disruption on the Overground on those dates, even if you click on the Victoria Line banner. The information is only found if you click on the “major works and events” tab right at the bottom of the rainbow screen, and then click several times through to the Vic Line works, and then scroll right down to the bottom to find that Clapton and St James are closed every morning for three weeks.

    This is not going to be a good advertisement for TfL’s management of the route – as if it hadn’t had enough bad publicity already.

  136. timbeau says:

    And I’ve just checked the NR journey planner, which is still showing a normal service from Clapton in the morning peaks on a random date in mid-August.

    And no replacement bus services are shown on the TfL pages as serving these stations.

  137. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Timbeau – your comments are just reinforcing my view that someone is having a panic about the impact of the closure. It strikes me as bizarre that fundamental things like closed stations and no peak service are only emerging now. Your point about nothing appearing on the look ahead documents is very pertinent. Things like the map showing alternative services should also be showing things like closed stations and it doesn’t – again reinforcing my “last minute” theory.

    No warnings on that!

  138. timbeau says:

    It does at least show that the line through Clapton is affected, albeit in some unspecified way!

  139. Philip says:

    To get back to the original topic: wasn’t there a comment on another post reporting that TFL had pointed to this connection as an alternative to re-opening the Hall Farm Curve? I tried it out a few days ago out of curiosity, and it’s definitely very competitive with bus travel between Walthamstow and Stratford in terms of time. But on the other hand, I don’t think either Walthamstow-Hackney or Hackney-Stratford have the spare capacity if there’s a major shift from buses in the peak hours.

  140. Greg Tingey says:

    (24 July 2015 at 09:23)
    If true, that is an utter disgrace … I do hope it ain’t so.
    25 July 2015 at 17:55 …
    Yes, Clapton is busy & an increasing number of people hop across the valley, too.
    Agree re “panic” – I think the actual numbers using the present services have only just penetrated … & I can’t find any even diagrammatic “maps” of the replacement/extra bus services (yet) – as said replacement “B” parallelling the Hall Farm curve could be “interesting”

  141. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Greg – yes the car park and link path will be closed because of bus and lorry movements in the car park. This was confirmed in a newsletter I had from Jennette Arnold (AM). TfL are apparently signposting an alternative walking route.

    There has been another press release today from LU which confirms no trains *in either direction* at Clapton prior to 0930 weekdays. No replacement service being provided at Clapton. The PR specifically says TfL are expecting Overground trains to be full on departure from Walthamstow. It also says AGA’s peak trains via Edmonton Green aren’t stopping there because they’re expected to be full – seems they are assuming people will change at Broxbourne / Cheshunt in order to reach the tube rather than running via T Hale. I rather suspect people already on the main line will simply go into Liv St and connect on from there. A minority may opt to bus between T Hale and Seven Sisters *if* their destination is somewhere in North London which the Vic Line reaches. I expect people will be held in queues at Seven Sisters whether entering from the street or from the national rail platforms. The big difference for Seven Sisters will be that every s/b train will be empty on arrival allowing a lot of people to clear the platforms although obviously there will be more demand from street level as people tip off the RRS.

  142. Long Branch Mike says:

    RRS replacement rail service

    While I’m at it, from a day or two ago:

    CIL – Community Infrastructure Levy, a planning charge introduced by the Planning Act 2008 for local authorities to help deliver infrastructure to support development of their area. Development may be liable for a charge under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), if the local planning authority has chosen to set a charge in its area.

  143. Greg Tingey says:

    This is utterly disgraceful & as timbeau almost says smells badly of panic.
    ONE: Closing the WHC – WMW link completely seems very “over-the-top” … so, the car park is being used as a building site & store-dump, so what?
    It should have been trivially easy to ensure a safe, enclosed path, with mesh guards to protect the walking passengers, along the South side of the entire site – but “they” apparently couldn’t be bothered – the public can just lump it – or that will be the perception, even if not true.
    TWO: NO trains stopping @ Clapton ( & Exit-only @ St James St in the AM peak …)
    what about people wanting to get from SJS to say Highams Park or Chingford (& quite a few do, for work), never mind anyone with an annual/quarterly/monthly season from Clapton to LST, who are going (quite frankly) be defrauded of the service for which they have already paid, up-front & in advance.
    I wonder, actually, if the latter could be subject to a legal challenge by a “disgusted of Clapton” or a user-group, for said removal of a service for which payment has already been made.
    This has all the hallmarks of a potential gigantic PR disaster, never mind (!) the gross & unnecessary inconvenience inflicted.

    I do hope TfL “get a grip” & re-organise things in a manner better-suited to the actual needs of their paying & paid-up customers between now & V-day?

  144. tog says:

    Getting back to the original topic (again) I’ve used the link a few times whilst traveling from Stoke Newington to Stratford and back.

    It works well on the way out; it’s a good walk but it’s pretty quiet (at the moment) and the higher frequency on the NLL route means there’s not much waiting around.

    The reverse journey feels slightly more laborious. This is partly down to the lower frequency on the West Anglia line but mainly due to the need to cross platforms at Hackney Central – the stairs, bridge and platforms aren’t particularly wide and can be very busy (also being used by passengers exiting the station). It also pushes the distance (and sets of stairs navigated – 5!) over my personal tolerance.

    The link really needs a direct route from the westbound NLL platform as per the circa. 1900 photo at the start of the article. If it proves a popular route the extra congestion at Hackney Central could make this necessary (assuming it’s actually possible).

    Also worth mentioning that on one of my return journeys I had my oyster checked twice – once where the link joins platform 1 at Hackney Downs, then again in the station underpass.

  145. Fandroid says:

    I had a TfL email today headed ‘Walthamstow Central Station’. I thought ‘good, here’s some info on the closure’. But no, the improvements works are apparently taking place in order to close the ticket office! No word whatsoever about the trivial issue of a total absence of a Tube service.

  146. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Greg – the TfL info page has been updated again for the blockade. More station specific info but the impacts on NR services is unchanged. Extra peak buses on the 97 and 158 seems to be the significant extra bit of info apart from confirming stop locations. The info for Tottenham Hale doesn’t even say where the RRS to Seven Sisters runs from! – TfL want people to use the 41, 76 and W4 instead. While I sort of understand that logic it’s not going to be terribly helpful if those services are delayed for some reason and people need to get to Seven Sisters.

  147. timbeau says:

    TFL journey planner now takes account of Clapton’s closure, but not St James Street being exit-only.

  148. Hugh.S. says:

    I passed through Walthamstow Central this morning and saw a poster there confirming the service changes to the Overground.It even mentioned the occasional nonstop trains from Liverpool Street to Chingford.

  149. Greg Tingey says:

    Hugh S
    I assume you mean not-stopping @ Clapton?
    There has never been a time when passenger-carrying trains ran through what is now WHC without stopping.

  150. Hugh.S says:

    What I was trying to say is that there now posters at Walthamstow Central confirming what we already know about London Overground and other changes during the blockade.
    I shall go back to using Snaresbrook which is a 20 minute walk in the wrong direction for me as I want to go west to Hammersmith.The saving grace for me though is that I have two options at Mile End with both the District and the Hammersmith and City.

    Meanwhile during the tube strike this week I shall be using the Hackney Downs to Hackney Central link for the first time.

    Now completely back on topic!

  151. Fandroid says:

    I had a little exchange of emails with National Rail Enquiries. It took two goes for them to realise that more than just the Victoria Line was affected by the August blockade. I see that they are now showing no departures towards Liverpool Street for both Clapton and St James St in the morning peak.

  152. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Fandroid – if it seemingly takes your personal intervention and effort to get NRE info correct I have to wonder what the heck is or, more likely, isn’t happening via normal channels between TfL, LOROL, LU and NRE and other relevant bits of the National Rail set up. We’re 3 days away from the blockade starting – sheesh! On a slightly more positive note signs for the 558 temporary bus have appeared at relevant bus stops at Blackhorse Rd and near T Hale station.

  153. Jeffy likes apples says:

    Ive been sat here smugly thinking i can use St James Street instead of Blackhorse Road to get myself to the city during the Victoria Line works and have seen nothing to contradict this advice. Is it also the case that the Chingford branch is under the (enginer’s) hammer at exactly the same time?!

  154. Malcolm says:

    @Jeffy. No. But service modifications (due to expected extra passengers). See here and subsequent comments.

  155. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ jeffy – you need to “unsmugly” familiarise with the wide ranging changes to services including the Overground at St James St. No M-F AM peak access to trains in either direction at St James St Station. You’ll be lumbered with Rail Replacement Service A or temporary bus route 558 at Blackhorse Road to Seven Sisters Station. Alternatively Rail Replacement Service B from Markhouse Road, just south of the roundabout, will whisk you to Stratford. This is a M-F only service. Extra peak buses are also being scheduled on the 97 and 158 to / from Stratford. The emphasis from TfL seems to be to get people to route via Stratford even though this can take an interminable time via normal buses. I expect RRS B will be quicker as I think it will run via Orient Way into the Olympic Park.

  156. timbeau says:

    There is another line at Blackhorse Road of course – is a short walk (200m) between Wanstead Park and Forest Gate out of the question?

    Or South Tottenham to Seven Sisters

    Or maybe between the two Harringay stations, to get to Moorgate

  157. Melvyn says:

    @ Jeffy depends how late you are travelling as Chingford Branch from Hackney Downs has replacement buses for late evening engineering works see below from TFL site service update –

    LONDON OVERGROUND: Monday 3, Tuesday 4, Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 August, after 2230 each night, no service between Hackney Downs and Chingford due to Network Rail track works. Last through trains operate at 2233 from Liverpool Street to Chingford, and at 2240 from Chingford to Liverpool Street. Replacement buses operate between Hackney Downs and Chingford

    Replacement buses operate Service L3: Hackney Downs – Clapton – St James’s Street – Walthamstow Central – Wood Street – Highams Park – Chingford.

  158. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Timbeau – I would not expect to be able to get on any GOBLIN train in the rush hour at BHR. I also expect it would be extremely overcrowded in the off peak as people will try to use it to South Tottenham and then have an “easy” link to the tube. Given w/b trains in the AM peak are full to bursting at Blackhorse Road but typically empty out somewhat nearly all those people won’t be alighting so pity the poor souls who do routinely commute from BHR towards Gospel Oak as they won’t be able to board their usual trains. They’ll probably have to get a RRS bus to Seven Sisters, walk to S Tottenham and then try to catch a train from there – bonkers but there you are!

    @ Melvyn – not relevant I’m afraid as those evening shut downs on the Chingford line are this week and don’t happen during the Vic Line blockade period which is what Jeffy is commenting on. Network Rail have standard repeat possessions on M-Th late evenings on the Chingford Line – they cycle round every month or so. I imagine the planning for the blockade took that into account so there was no overlap as not providing a late night train service would be unacceptable on what will be the main link into town for three weeks.

  159. Jeffy likes apples says:

    Wanstead Park – Forest Gate is a useful change I’m very familair with though is less ideal in this situation as it takes me a fair way east. As suggested Blackhorse Road – South Tottenham – Seven Sisters will be spoilt by the sheer numbers no longer able to change at BHR, who will stay on presumably.

    Indeed, I’m very unsmug now. Thank you for the links all. I shall digest. As someone who takes the train to work, to then take others by train to work, I’m hoping that at least I may be able to travel early enough on a preferred route via South Tottenham before chaos ensues.

  160. timbeau says:

    “I would not expect to be able to get on any GOBLIN train in the rush hour at BHR. ”
    Point taken – I realise today was not typical but I happened to be passing through Gospel Oak today on my way to Kings Cross from Kingston (via Richmond and Cally Road & B) and was amazed at how many people could actually emerge from a class 172 diesel!

    *(I know Thameslink runs from Wimbledon to St Pancras, but having Wimbledon-bound trains call at Kingston would apparently have been too much trouble for SWT this morning)

  161. Glenn Wallis says:

    You’d have been even more amazed if you’d seen how many people had already got off the same train at Upper Holloway!

  162. Greg Tingey says:

    timbeau / Glenn
    A couple of years back I counted over 300% loading ( i.e. 180+) people in one coach of a 172 …….

  163. Anonymous says:

    They should do the same kind of link between Enfield Town-Enfield Chase, Archway-Upper Holloway, Wansted Park-Forest Gate, Sudbury Hill-Sudbury Hill Harrow

  164. timbeau says:

    “They should do the same kind of link …….”
    None of those would be easy, as the lines do not cross nearby. And unlike the Hackney link they would save little time compared with the street level OSI.

    Enfield in particular would require a half mile link through the town centre (and for what – so passengers from Hertford loop stations can get to Liverpool Street (which they can do already via Moorgate and a shorter walk)?
    Archway/Upper Holloway would involve an awful lot of digging (Swiss Cottage/South Hampstead has been suggested in a similar context).

  165. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Anon – what on earth would be the point when it’s perfectly feasible to walk between those stations? In Enfield you can actually get a bus (231) door to door with the 307 not quite stopping at Chase’s front door.

    Being “locked inside” a metal cage or tunnel for a considerable distance may not be terribly attractive to a lot of people. Most of the time being on the street and being visible to others is far safer. None of the interchanges you list are in “dangerous” areas where street crime is a disproportionate risk.

    I actually pointed out the existence of the new link to some people at Walthamstow Central yesterday. They were rather impressed that it was open as they’d seen it being built and were planning to change trains there anyway given the Vic Line was closed.

  166. Alan Griffiths says:

    Anonymous 10 August 2015 at 09:17

    “Wanstead Park-Forest Gate” is a direct walk and you can see each station as you emerge from the other.

  167. Nigel Whitfield says:

    I had the misfortune to have to use the Chingford line yesterday, returning from a trip to Hampshire (which I had to make a day early, as with no peak hour service, I didn’t see how I could have got from Clapton to Southampton for a noon appointment without major hassle).

    The 1618 LST to Chingford service was pretty busy – standing room only, but not jammed – with an annoying alarm going off in the rear carriage, which resulted in the train being taken out of service just as it was about to depart.

    As a result the 1633 was even busier than it would have been, and felt like the central line in the morning peak. Surprisingly few people got off at Clapton, which is usually very popular, so I suspect it was mostly people bound for Walthamstow who would normally be using the Victoria line. Usually, the line is tolerable as late as the 1718.

    Yeesterday’s was the worst I remember in over 20 years of living in Clapton. Today I see there have been several issues at Hackney Downs resulting in long delays.

    It’s going to be a particularly fraught three weeks, I fear. Glad I mostly work from home.

  168. Lee says:

    One of my friends lives near Hackney Central, but takes a train from Hackney Downs most days to work. Since the bridge opened she’s been entering via Hackney Central to use the link and make the journey shorter, but the staff have been difficult with her, and have now told her that it isn’t permitted and she could be fined.

    Does this strike anyone as ludicrous? Especially as there’s a sign OUTSIDE the station pointing Hackney Central and Hackney Downs via Footbridge?

  169. timbeau says:

    Seems peculiar. What ticket is she on? If it’s an Oyster or Travelcard neither the machines not the Revenue Men would know where she’s going. If it’s a point to point (Hackney Downs to Liverpool Street, Seven Sisters or wherever) it suggests the ticket gates have not been modified to recognise that Hackney is now one big station.

    How could she be fined anyway? Assuming she has a ticket valid for the train she is travelling on, it should be irrelevant which entrance to the complex she uses.

    There is an issue when two stations are separately gated – walking through Blackfriars TL from the south bank to the Tube, or through Southwark Tube station to get to Waterloo East, can be problematic, but as I understand it there are no gates between Downs and Central.

    Is she getting hassle only on entering the station, or does she get the same problem on leaving?

    If TfL have gone to the trouble of putting up a sign saying you can get to Downs station that way, I think that is prima facie evidence that the Revenue Men are making it up as they go along, and need the new arrangements explaining to them.

    (PS is Hackney Central to Liverpool Street (or Tottenham Hale) via Stratford a valid route with a point to point season?

  170. Greg Tingey says:

    AND there are pink readers en route, along the walkway.

    Answer to your P.S. – is that I think it is no, except when services are “Down” & alternative routes apply.

  171. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Lee – I suggest your friend complains to TfL (Mike Stubbs, TfL’s Overground Director) and to LOROL. The “revenue” people, no doubt they are security staff in disguise, clearly have no clue. Their actions are beyond ludicrous IMO.

    Hackney Central / Downs is now effectively one complex so far as the public are concerned and if, as you say, there are clear signs pointing to both stations being accessible from one entrance then that just reinforces the point that your friend is in the right. It’s issues like this that do the rail industry no good at all where clueless staff, who’ve either not been trained or have been but don’t understand what they were told, create needless grief for the paying public. Perhaps I should venture along with my Oyster Card and see what happens? Perhaps I can fill in the apparent gaps in their Oyster knowledge?

  172. Malcolm says:

    WW says “who’ve either not been trained or have been but don’t understand what they were told

    I would add a third possibility “or who have been trained but their trainers had it wrong”. This seems quite plausible to me, as apparently they are all telling the same story (which many of us believe is the wrong story).

  173. Greg Tingey says:

    You forget the distinct possibility of them being “jobsworths” who delight in harassing members of the public.
    I’m sure we can all remember the ridiculous hassle given to anyone on a railway station who was seen holding a camera, not so many years ago …..

  174. Malcolm says:

    I did indeed forget the possibility that the staff might be giving wrong information purely for their own pleasure. I also excluded the possibility that they may have been Martians in disguise, or visitors from the planet Zog. All three are, to my mind, equally unlikely.

    [Please note the word “purely” in the above. I admit that staff telling passengers not to do something might at times get some side-effect pleasure out of so doing, but not that they would deliberately misinform for that purpose].

    I too have been asked not to take photographs in a station, including quite recently. The impression I got was that the person in question was making a sincere and reasonably polite attempt to enforce a rule which he mistakenly believed to exist, probably because he had been so informed by his manager. Of course it should not happen, but when it does, I prefer to emit a sorrowful sigh, preserving my own blood pressure, and waiting for him to go away.

    [Section in square brackets added at 22:51]

  175. timbeau says:

    Is the lady in question use a point to point season ticket? if so, it may be that the gates at HC haven’t been re-programmed to recognise HD tickets. The staff therefore wrongly assume the ticket isn’t valid at that station.

    (I have a similar issue at some of the intermediate stations on the line of route of my P2P ticket)

  176. Jo says:

    Thanks for the comments – I’m Lee’s friend, this is the situation:

    I buy my ticket at the machine outside Hackney Central, it’s for Hackney Downs to Hertford East but the ticket won’t let me through the gate at central, and won’t let me out of Hackney Central when I come from Hackney Downs. I want to enter and exit via Hackney Central because it’s closer to where I live. The only way I can do it is by asking the staff to let me through the gate, which they did at first (grudgingly) but now they won’t.

  177. timbeau says:

    Even more bizarre, the ticket is actually issued at one of HC’s machines, but won’t let you through the gates there!

    If you bought a ticket at HD (or at Hertford East for that matter) would that work the gates at HC?

    Are these season tickets or one-trip?

    Politely point out to the staff that the signs are directing you that way, and ask to speak to the station manager (or managers if they are separately managed). You can also try taking it up with Abellio Anglia (as it is their train that you are using, and presumably to them that your fare is paid), as well as with TfL, and if you get no joy take it up with London Travelwatch. I think it’s a programming issue with the ticket gates, which haven’t been updated properly to take account of the merger of the stations.

    Or you could go to Hertford North! Curiously, a single trip is (usually) cheaper to/from Hertford North but a return is cheaper to Hertford East.

  178. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ timbeau / Jo – I agree this looks like a case of the ticket checking logic in the gates not keeping pace with the reality of what is effectively a merged station because of the link bridge. As LOROL run both stations now they are responsible for the operation of the gates *and* the staff. This is a completely ridiculous inconvenience you are being put to especially as the signage specifically directs you that way. It is also the case that for some pricing purposes ATOC use “Hackney Stations” which groups together Hackney Downs and Hackney Central as one complex.

    I really think the actions of the staff are completely wrong. You should complain.

  179. Graham Feakins says:

    @Jo – Following on from WW’s comment and with the proviso that I know little about the situation on the ground, you may be interested to read this 27 July 2015 link (note esp. the final paragraph I quote and then complain):

    which stresses “Hackney Overground interchange helps commuters save cash” – TfL installs walkway for passengers at Hackney Downs and Hackney Central to access services on the orange line without venturing into Zone 1 …. Funded by Transport for London (TfL), it means passengers at Hackney Central can now easily access trains to north London or Liverpool Street from Hackney Downs, while those at Hackney Downs have fresh options to travel eastbound to Stratford.

    Previously passengers had to travel into Zone 1, incurring a higher cost for their journey, or walk 600m.

    TfL’s director of London Overground Mike Stubbs said: “The new link, fitted with lifts, makes the network more accessible and opens up new, easier journeys for our customers who live in, or travel through, Hackney.”

    That bit about “…easier journeys for our customers who live in, or travel through, Hackney” to me clearly includes you.

  180. Greg Tingey says:

    “The boss” uses a p-2-p WHC – LHS Annual Season ….
    She has never had any problems entering or exiting at any of the intermediate stations, including London Fields or Cambridge Heath.
    I/we will be very interested when, one day, she tries to exit at Hackney Central ( for “The Cock” f’rinstance ) & gets refused!

    Jo & GF
    The other weird thing about this is that there are “Pink Readers” at more than one point along the walkway, to enable people to verify their non-zone-1-routing.
    Also, may I strongly suggest following timbeau’s advice about “taking it up”, with one small alteration?
    Write one (very carefully worded) e-mail & then send it, simultaneously, not separately, to all of those bodies listed by timbeau … to which I may add, your MP, your local councillor(s) & the local press – & make sure that they can all see the other recipients in the email “letterhead/cc” list.
    If they all know that all the others have got a copy, you might be surprised at how much it cuts down on the fake excuses & weaselling responses you would otherwise get.

    If really desperate, one day on your return journey, just walk along the connecting link, make sure you tap the pink readers, then, when the staff ( at Hackney Central ) refuse to let you out, call BTP & suggest “False Imprisonment” or something similar.
    Or, if they try to call BTP, because they claim you don’t have a valid ticket, let them.
    I suspect the resulting, extremely bad publicity for TfL/Overground would be exactly the sort of thing they could do without.

  181. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Agree with everyone else.

    I think this is a classic of a situation someone overlooked when considering the bigger picture. It is amazing how often something that is obvious to the outsider and probably the first thing they think of is the last thing the insider things of.

    Please do complain and if you have no joy then go to London Travelwatch, as previously suggested, who love to get their teeth into this sort of thing. However they will only intervene when it is clear you have taken it up with the relevant organisation (TfL, LOROL it doesn’t matter) and the response is unsatisfactory. It is a lot easier if you do everything by email because London Travelwatch will want you to forward correspondence electronically and scan letters as attachments.

    Also if you have documentary evidence and you don’t get anywhere you could approach the GLA Transport Committee. This is just the sort thing that a TfL representative being grilled by the committee would hate to be at the receiving end of.

    Having said all the above, I am sure this is just an oversight and it the proper people are informed then staff will be made aware of the situation until it is fixed.

  182. Have now read Greg’s response.

    Actually in this case I would caution against getting too many people involved at the start. Give the relevant organisation the opportunity to sort it out. If they don’t then escalate it pointing out that that you were ignored/rebuffed etc and you followed proper procedures. I have seen case where individuals have adopted a scattergun approach and it can then get messy and awkward and people focus attention to deflecting blame rather than solving the problem. MPs would rather take on cases as a last resort where the feeling is that it needs them to sort out than feel they are being your personal assistant sorting out, what seems to them, your minor issues that you should have been able to handle yourself.

  183. Greg Tingey says:

    You have a valid point, but …..
    I have been forced, myself, to do this sort of thing once or twice & have found out the hard way, that copying everyone in helps in cutting-down (at the least) on the fake excuses & “we were only obeying orders” nonsense that often ensues.
    May I suggest a middle way & employ a “horses for courses” approach & see what transpires?
    Oh – & to Jo – PLEASE tell us of any progress or otherwise!

  184. Pedantic of Purley says:

    I am reliably informed that LOROL at a high level have been made aware of the ticket issue at Hackney. So I suggest we give the subject a rest and see what transpires.

  185. timbeau says:

    “She has never had any problems entering or exiting at any of the intermediate stations, ”
    There are two different routes between the end points of my P2P season. There are direct trains by both routes, and the season is valid by both routes. The problem occurs because the gates at intermediate stations on the longer of the two routes don’t recognise it.

  186. CDPL says:

    Used the link for the first time today.

    All the money spent on the design and somebody obviously realised late in the project that they might need to close the link at certain times and gates would be needed.

    Shame about the trip hazards with the bottom rails above ground.

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