Back in September 2013, following on from the announcement that TfL would take over the West Anglia Franchise, we announced that TfL had also agreed to take on the Romford – Upminster Line as part of the negotiations. Yesterday, alongside details of a new rolling stock order for the Overground, this transfer was finally officially confirmed in a TfL press release.

Today Jonathan Fox, Director of TfL London Rail, was kind enough to provide further information about the takeover:

During our negotiations with the Department for Transport concerning the devolution to TfL of rail services out of Liverpool Street to Chingford, Enfield Town and Cheshunt (via Southbury), we were asked to also take over the Romford to Upminster service and make it part of the very successful London Overground network.

We have agreed to do this and are now working on how we might raise the standards of the service, which is currently operated with a single unit train, through the procurement of a new train.

Fox’s statement confirms that the line will indeed form an official part of the Overground network, rather than operating as a separate entity or as a quasi-feeder service for Crossrail as some had hypothesised. It also confirms that it will receive one of the new rolling stock units, the order of which was announced at the same time.

These trains will primarily serve West Anglia and the soon-to-be-electrified Gospel Oak to Barking Line (GOBLIN), and are expected to enter passenger service in 2017. From the description within the OJEU notice it appears that these will almost certainly resemble the existing 378s to be found on the network, internally at least, with walkthrough carriages and likely longitudinal seating. The total order is for 39 units, of which 30 are destined for West Anglia, 8 for the GOBLIN and 1 for Romford – Upminster.

As these units will not enter service until 2017 at the earliest, TfL will continue to operate the existing fleet to be found on West Anglia upon taking over the line on 31st March 2015 until the new trains arrive.

Overall, passengers on West Anglia can likely expect that this takeover will resemble that of the North London Line, as the press release hints at a similar approach to station revamp and refresh:

In addition, TfL will ensure all 24 stations (there are 26 on the new routes including the Romford to Upminster line) for which it will take responsibility are upgraded with a deep clean, new signage, improved CCTV and passenger information systems.

Only 2 of the 25 stations on the line will remain outside of TfL’s control – Liverpool Street (Network Rail) and Cheshunt (Greater Anglia). Elsewhere Emerson Park, on Romford – Upminster, will transfer to TfL.

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There are 463 comments on this article
  1. Long Branch Mike (London Bridge Mike) says:

    In the grand portmanteau tradition of Bakerloo, GOBLIN, and Chelney, can we please refer to this line as Romminster?

  2. John Bull says:

    Upminford. Far nicer.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s a shame that “lighter-rail” wasn’t used, which would allow an extra two “stops” to be added on the current route, and maybe also extend eastwards through the Upminster depot to Front Lane.

  4. John Bull says:

    I think it’s a shame that “lighter-rail” wasn’t used, which would allow an extra two “stops” to be added on the current route, and maybe also extend eastwards through the Upminster depot to Front Lane.

    Ultimately you have to do what you can do with the hand you are dealt and the chips that you have.

    I’d say that TfL oversight, a shiny new train and a proper station deep clean are a pretty good, and largely unexpected, win for those that use the line.

  5. Snowy says:

    Any idea where they plan to depot all these new trains? There can’t be room at Willesden (I’m unsure as to New Cross) so will they build a new one or share with Greater Anglia (or whoever replaces them).

  6. John Bull says:

    No word yet but I’d place money on sharing with GA.

  7. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ JB – transfer date is 31 May 2015 not March. This sort of aligns with a possible Summer timetable start date and the start of Period 3 of the (railway) financial year. Have TfL confirmed to you the date at which the Romminster line transfers? The press release is unclear.

    As to depots – people seem very interested in this as it’s come up on several boards. My guess is shared facilities with GA until we know who’s supplying the new trains and what strategy they and LOROL have about train maintenance and servicing.

  8. Castlebar (Contra Crayonista) says:

    Makes the Greenford Branch look to be a very sick and unloved bunny indeed

  9. Dave B says:

    Don’t like the Roominster tag at all – I still refer to it as the Push & Pull which it was referred to when still steam driven. But I guess that was too long ago for most readers. At one time it did go over the mainline to Grays and Tilbury.This will be a real isolated part of London Overground although connecting to the District at Upminster. It seems a pity that Cranham users still have to use a bus to get to Upminster although the depot goes down to Front Lane.

  10. NLW says:

    The current timetable is quite limited – early finish and no Sunday service – I assume that will be rectified when the line transfers to TfL?

  11. Taz says:

    R-U only revealed now due to new train order. Perhaps Greenford branch will use cascaded GOBLIN trains?

  12. Darian Thomson says:

    Although, one thing is for certain with London Overground, it can’t claim that every service is turn-up-and-go due to the Romford to Upminster line because the most that line (physically) can support is three trains an hour.

  13. The other Paul says:

    it can’t claim that every service is turn-up-and-go due to the Romford to Upminster line because the most that line (physically) can support is three trains an hour.
    IIRC the GOBLIN service was a mere 2tph when LO took over…

  14. RJRM says:

    Can anyone interpolate TPH numbers for The Enfield, Cheshunt and Chingford lines from the 30 train order?

  15. REVUpminster says:

    When the line comes under Tfl, money will have to be spent at Upminster on a lift to access the platform. The line has increased its passengers and Crossrail will probably increase it even more. The 370 bus (every 15 minutes) is a rival route that has also been a success.

  16. BionicBiped says:

    What are the chances of a rebuild at Emerson Park to allow an island platform with a loop? Is there room for this, and if so would the cost be prohibitive?

  17. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ RJRM – this is a “rough and ready” estimate based on the existing run times and frequencies. I’m sure that some clever inter-working would give a more efficient schedule and reduced number of units.

    Liv St – Chingford needs 5 single units for a x15 min service. Peaks are typically double formation so 10 units.
    Liv St – Enfield needs 6 single units for a x15 min service and assuming double length trains in the peaks needs 12 units.
    Liv St – Cheshunt needs 3 single units for a x30 min service. Peaks are slightly better than this so possibly 4 units and doubled up gives 8 units.

    Obviously that means 30 units in service which can’t really be correct as you don’t roster to 100% of fleet size. I expect interworking and clever scheduling of double and single unit train formations on the peak shoulders would pull down the number of trains. What we do not know yet is the extent to which some Greater Anglia trains will still run via Southbury and Seven Sisters in the peaks to optimise the use of all available train paths. I don’t expect there to be complete separation in the peaks as it’d lead to inefficiencies and a loss of capacity. That’d go down like a lead balloon and we already have the precedent of shared services with much of the Overground network. Off peak may well be different and I hope TfL / LOROL will bolster off peak frequencies on the Enfield / Cheshunt routes. Chingford is fine with 4 tph.

    Happy to be corrected by those who are better informed about the current train allocations on WA routes.

  18. Taz says:

    The original electrification of these lines was known as the ChEnFord project.

  19. Ed says:

    *sniff* I’m still sad that TfL didn’t get southeastern metro at least up to Dartford.

    I congratulate those lucky bleeders north of the river. Though it’s probably for the best in terms of TfL’s reputation not to run southeastern whilst London Bridge rebuilding is ongoing, but that doesn’t make it any better.

    I really hope the consultation that was running over the new year on SE services up to 2018 means the DfT force better services on SE metro routes. God knows SE won’t volunteer them. A more immobile, complacent, un-innovative TOC it’s hard to find. Without the DfT pushing change it will continue to stagnate. But who can have faith in the DfT to push for improvements? I’m skeptical. I have far more faith that TfL would have done so.

    Here’s what I expect to continue –

    1) Pathetic evening and weekend frequencies continuing. 2 trains an hour after 8pm serving busy lines with stations above 3 million entries/exits a year. See Sidcup/Bexleyheath/Hayes lines etc.

    2) No staff at stations in the evenings, and minimal staff in the day. Pretty much all barriers are open, and there’s no guards on trains as DOO in operation, and thus massive amounts of people do not pay. TfL levels of staffing and barriers would see an immediate jump in revenue and more accurate levels of station usage thus investment would increase.

    Anyone who doubts the levels of fare evasion should talk to staff, or see what happens when (very rarely) ticket inspectors/REO staff get on. Last time I saw it on a train there was a mass exodus from the carriage. About 20 people got up and moved back from the front carriage at Charlton. I’m not exaggerating. It was amusing – the front coaches emptied and the rear became packed and standing as people moved back without a ticket. Also see what happens when REO’s do a (rare) check at a station exit – loads of people get off, see the REO’s, rush back on the train or cross the bridge/tunnel to the other platform, or wait for the next train to go the 2 minutes to the next station. I travel many lines and TOCs. Fare evasion is something else in SE metro areas. SE don’t seem to care. TfL would.

    3) Oyster to Dartford. It’s stupid it’s not accepted there. All other stations are oyster on Dartford lines except the last stop.

    4) Better service on lines like Dartford – Victoria. Ending at 8pm? Really? This probably will change with the consultation as groups have been vocal about this and SE mentioned it.

    5) Better communications. SE is lamentable at this. Lack of staff responsible.

    6) Almost no decent advance tickets (ok this is more long distance). Nothing like what South West trains/GA/Southern offer. Still, it affect people in SE and South London denied good deals.

    Congrats to those in NE London. TfL hurry up and takeover asap. Organise a board with county council representation to alleviate the fears of Kent so better services can happen.

  20. Briantist says:

    I have, in my capacity as a Wikipedia Editor, updated the SVG map of the Overground from 2015 to include this new three-station line.

    File:London Overground map for 2015.svg – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  21. Briantist says:

    Re the “soon-to-be-electrified Gospel Oak to Barking Line (GOBLIN)”

    There’s a curve in place between South Tottenham and Seven Sisters: this COULD be used for a Seven Sisters to Barking service (or a Enfield Town to Barking Service)

    Is this part of the plan or is the curve to be used for freight only?

  22. Taz says:

    Briantist 11 April 2014 at 04:10 Sorry, but there is a spelling error on the SVG map for Emerson Park.

  23. Tim Burns says:

    @Briantist interesting map. Shows what the diversity of services on the Overground will be very soon. Dare I raise the topic here of identifying individual routes on the system for the punters? Will make communications on disruption so much clearer, never mind helping new users to the system understand how to get from A to C via B

  24. Dan says:

    @Braintist: You might also want to
    include walking connections between Walthamstow Central and Queens Rd and Hackney Central and Downs as they will likely exist by the end of 2015 (Walthamstow one opens this summer).

  25. Dan says:

    Ah – the Hackney connection is already there! Then definitely add the Walthamstow one. Great map. Very nice done!

  26. Dan says:

    One thing I’m interested to see about the WA lines is whether Chingford services remain non-stopping between Hackney and Bethnal Green.

    This seems in contradiction with the tube-like running of London Overground (though I guess “fast” trains on the Met set a precedent for missing some stations out!).

    Personally, I’d favour an all stopping service in the off-peak times to boost service to London Fields – now a very busily used station.

  27. RichardB says:

    @ Ed I am intrigued as to why Govia who manage the South Eastern TOC provide such a lack lustre service when Govia’s other offering south of the river – the Southern TOC is generally seen in such a positive light. I have to say I agree with you that South Eastern seem to provide a basic service and seem uninterested in significant improvements whereas Southern’s offering provides an antithesis. Does anyone have an idea why this is the case?

  28. Briantist says:

    @Taz: Thanks. Sorted.

    @Tim Burns: The names of the lines is certainly an issue if you’re at Highbury and Islington. Two of the three directions are to Clapham Junction.

    @Dan: I put in the Walking Link from Walthamstow Queen’s Road and Walthamstow Central.. and took it out again as when I went looking for on the ground, it wasn’t there. I’ve put it back as you suggested.

    @Dan (also): My assumption about the Chingford services remaining “fast” is due to the the Stansted Express also using that pathway out of Liverpool Street to Clapton. That’s why I’ve drawn it as a double-line. If the Chingford services stopped at Cambridge Heath and London Fields it would reduce the capacity for the Tottenham Hale branch the Stansted Express uses. So it’s a guess.

    New version uploaded to File:London Overground map for 2015.svg – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (I’ve added in two extra “walkways”: one for Seven Sisters->South Tottenham, one for Harringay->Harringay Green Lanes)

  29. Anon5 says:

    The only time the post-privatised Southeastern network got a half decent service was when it was directly operated post-Connex. GoVia have made few improvements. Half hourly evening services, poorly maintained ticket machines (and no empowerment for station staff to phone control and announce that passengers can pay on destination), rotten trains and short formations. The contrast with the Overground couldn’t be more stark.

    During the recent Overground Q&A on Twitter the manager said they were looking at line names for the network.

    I must admit I find the Romford-Upminster line quite bizarre. A LO outpost in LU/C2C and soon to be Crosrail territory. Will it’s dedicated platforms at Upmister and Romford at least be allowed Overground branding of the National Rail type as seen as Stratford? With Overground taking over this route and West Anglia I can’t help but fear Overground will be blamed for all delays in and out of Liverpool Street. Enough people already blame TfL when Southeastern cancels trains (see above!)

  30. Strawbrick says:

    ED’s comments re fare evasion are very pertinent with respect to what is happening on London Midland.

    They have recently announced that they are to cut 150 jobs; according to the press release this will be mainly “back office” and not “front-line” staff. Reality is of course different – they are planning to greatly reduce the number of Traveling Ticket Inspectors, who will all be based in Milton Keynes.

    This on a line where the barriers at Euston are generally open by 20.30, and those at my local station are often unmanned in the afternoon and always open from about 20.00. I have also walked through open barriers at Euston early in the morning.
    It is part of the Job Description for Train Conductors to check tickets, but the vast majority stay in their cabs throughout the journey (even though the doors can be opened / closed from other locations. Even those who would check tickets are often unable to do so because their ticket machines have mal-functioned!
    Why is this being allowed to happen?

  31. Greg Tingey says:

    Snowy / JB
    There is stabling room for 16+ units at Chingford + up to 5 “up the spout” in the platforms.
    Of course, I expect some 317’s to continue to be stabled there, as rearranging the WTT is going to be lots of fun (not)

    The other Paul
    OK, how do you beat half-hourly on Upminford, then?
    Single-track throughout, no passing loops, only connection to outside world is on the down side of Romford station…
    Errr ….

    Correct – as has been hinted before re-writing the WTT is going to be interesting, to ensure proper utilisation.

    Sorry, this subject is getting like the W&C-extandadors & will need banning, soon!
    The 7 Sisters – S Tottenham curve is VERY TIGHT & on a steep grade & has (IIRC) a 10-mph speed-limit.
    I watched a rail-treatment train go round it (downhill) one evening & the grinding & squeaking was impressive!
    Also no room for a turnback siding anywhere near 7 Sisters.

    Walthamstow one opens this summer We were promised that LAST summer ….
    Err – please look at a track diagram? There’s a very good reason, why, during the week, at least, Chingford trains use the East pair of tracks between HC & BET.
    Also, even those trains are slower than in 1922, so we do NOT need the extra stops, thank you very much.

  32. c says:

    Ed – agree 100% on Southeastern. Unless you travel to Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells or on HS1. All that faff over Dunton Green – TfL could make the metro routes a huge success.

    And as for the Victoria to Dartford line, it beggars belief. It’s hugely useful, and usage is increasing across the whole inner section of the line as the areas develop. I checked the new May timetable and it’s still the most recent gift of 20:09 as the last train out.

    On the topic itself, it’s hard to say what could be done for Romford – Upminster. Will it be getting 378s? Might a mini EMU order of 3 car 378s be also useful for Greenford, Windsor, Marlow and Henley branches? A passing loop at Emerson Park would seem logical, but would it wash it’s face, capex-wise?

    [Modified for inppropriate language. PoP]

  33. Twopenny Tube says:

    BB 00:16: “What are the chances of a rebuild at Emerson Park to allow an island platform with a loop? Is there room for this, and if so would the cost be prohibitive?”

    I doubt if it is possible with mainline size trains, as it is in a cutting. In LTS/MR days there was a passing loop a little way away in the Romford direction for the purposes of allowing a runround for trains from Upminster to terminate at Emerson Park (Halt), and to allow for freight trains (not many) to run without interrupting the passenger service. (You can still identify the site if you look carefully while passing.)

    When this line was being discussed in a recent LR thread about potential enhancements to the Crossrail ‘orphans’, conversion to tram or light rail was suggested. As mentioned by others at that time, looking at how they squeeze platforms and loops into confined spaces on other networks, this approach could facilitate one or more loops, and and thus higher frequency, not to mention a sprinkling of new intermediate stops, that could prove to be at least as useful, if not more so, than Emerson Park.

    For now, let’s be grateful that the branch will live to fight another day, and who knows what TfL might bring to the table in the future?

  34. MikeP says:

    @Ed There’s one place you will find REOs (and plastic/real BTP officers) on a very regular basis.


    Now translate that into easy pickings from Oyster over-travellers and how much easy money SouthEastern would lose if Dartford came into Oyster. They have got clever lately and often check on the overbridge between P1/2 and P3/4 🙂

    I’ll shut up now as this is heading off-topic (it has to be said that any article on Overgound being extended somewhere is bound to trigger rants from long-suffering SouthEastern Metro passengers – tho the rants are best directed at Kent MPs and KCC)

    Anyone else up for getting a Dartford Rail Travellers’ Association rolling along the lines of the Sevenoaks one ??

  35. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Ed – Having looked at London Travelwatch’s site yesterday for something I checked a list of recent activity by LTW. They have been giving input to DfT in respect of the Direct Award for South Eastern. I very strongly suspect that they will be lobbying for the things you wish to see. Whether they succeed or not in securing improvements is open to question but at least someone is trying.

    I think South Eastern are poor because they have a franchise that is designed to screw money out of commuters rather than one designed to innovate and provide an all round service. The perception from DfT is that it’s a commuter railway only which is why evenings, off peak and weekends don’t matter. The reality, of course, is that travel demand has changed and TfL know that. South Eastern have no discretionary cash floating round and DfT will be more concerned about managing the fall out from the London Bridge rebuild than running more trains through a building site.

    As for the revenue point well who knows. Decent revenue protection practice costs money and I suspect the TOCs just look at it from the viewpoint of cost vs benefit rather than one of consistency, deterrence, safety and customer service (customer benefit). Also if the DfT don’t specify it then they’re very unlikely to do it.

  36. Chris L says:

    The situation at Dartford is strange as Freedom & Oyster 60+ are valid there.

    Southeastern evening services are even worse as they run 4 or 5 cars with lots of standing.

  37. timbeau says:

    “On the topic itself, it’s hard to say what could be done for Romford – Upminster. Will it be getting 378s?”

    As the article states, it will be getting the same trains as Goblin and the West Anglia lines – which is why it will be part of the Overground. It remains to be seen whether these will be a new subclass of 378, or a completely new class (all numbers from 373 to 380 are taken: 388 perhaps, by analogy with the 387s following on from the 377s?)

  38. THC says:

    @timbeau – Class 388? Only if they’re equipped for 110mph running!


  39. Briantist says:

    @Greg Tingey: Thanks for reply re the curve from Seven Sisters to South Tottenham.

    I’m kind-of new to the area so I have a look at it on foot the other day: and you can’t really see anything.

    Just from a “drawing the map” point of view, the curve would be very useful: the services from Liverpool Street could all go to Chesunt and then have the Enfield Town servives going Seven Sisters, South Tottenham and then onto Barking.

    Still, I can also see the sense in stick a station to the south of Tottenham Hale (“Tottenham East”) that would link Jarrow Road (to the east) and Fountain Road (to the west). It would be a 7 minute walk to Tottenham Hale. (From what I understand, when CrossRail 2 comes to pass, this is where the southern end of the Tottenham Hale platform would be extended to).

    But this is just for the selfish reason that a Overground station there would be acceptably close to my house.

    So end my fantasy Overground.

  40. Briantist says:

    “On the topic itself, it’s hard to say what could be done for Romford – Upminster. Will it be getting 378s?”

    Logically, surely, this should an extension of the District Line. But it’s the wrong sort of track, I guess.

  41. c says:

    So timbeau, you’ve not answered my question really, I read the article and it is answered. Which you then seem to support, as ‘it remains to be seen’!

  42. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ C – all we know is that TfL intend to order at least 39 4 car EMUs. As it’s an open procurement process we’ve no idea who will bid, what designs will be bid and therefore what class of train it will be. TfL can’t just say “we’ll have more class 378s please” as that breaches the procurement rules and they’d be very unlikely to get a good deal from Bombardier by trying to go single source. It may even be the case they want to see some advances in the design and someone else may offer a better deal. We shall see in due course what happens.

    As for GW branches then that’s a matter for the DfT and not TfL. We have no firm idea what the future of the Greenford branch is *other* than the service is cut back to run Greenford – West Ealing in December 2016 (source Great Western Franchise ITT).

  43. Greg Tingey says:

    c & twopenny tube ….
    Emerson Park
    This picture
    Shows whether a double-track loop is possible – it is.
    But what would the BCR be, as c says?

  44. timbeau says:

    Why would class 388 have to be capable of 110mph? 387 will be, certainly, but the 37x series don’t all have the same maximum speed – the fastest is two and a half times faster than the slowest.
    Logic in TOPS classes went out of the window many years ago.

  45. stimarco says:

    Re. Southeastern…

    Remember when the Thameslink upgrade project we’re seeing today was originally launched as “Thameslink 2000”?


    Before you can introduce new services of your own, it’s really, really helpful if you don’t first have to contend with a seemingly never-ending series of highly disruptive “upgrade” projects that are likely to seriously hammer the reliability of your existing services.

    Throw in the LOROL projects and the molasses-slow process of getting even Crossrail off the ground (what, no Gravesend extension?), all of which affect Southeastern’s services directly, and it’s not so difficult to understand why Southeastern have been running in a basic holding pattern for this cycle.

    Even so, Rochester is still getting a brand new station, Gravesend was recently rebuilt with a bay, and there are other ongoing projects as well. So it’s not all bad news.

    But you can’t blame Southeastern for not wanting to spend money they might never see a return on. It’s a business, not a charity.

  46. Ed says:

    Walthamstow Writer – London Travelwatch have been good. The London Assembly have also been very good at pushing for changes with southeastern metro, and a TfL takeover. How much clout those groups have remains to be seen.

    However Councillors and MP’s have not been very forthright in pushing for change.

    True about SE being seen as a commuter service by the DfT ,and a long distance one at that, hence the poor evening and weekend services. TfL are much better at acknowledging modern demand and staffing appropriately, along with suitable levels of service.

    Richard B – yes it is strange the difference between southern and southeastern. Southern have always been more innovative and tried new things here and there. It must be, in part, due to the franchise conditions laid out. The integrated Kent franchise could mean SE focus on certain areas to the neglect of others – i.e the new, expensive, High Speed services get the attention as most profitable? Less interest in off peak local journeys in outer London? Possibly a cap and collar deal so that there’s little incentive to increases revenue and staffing stations to increase it just isn’t worth it with returns heading out of their hands to the DfT?

    Protecting revenue can be costly, but the scale of fare evasion would make Overground levels of staff & barriers cost effective. There’s very little public transport alternative in SE London so people would pay if they had to, given its a quick train or slow bus (if a similar route exist at all). At the moment in the evenings there’s no staff at stations or on board trains so no chance of ever being caught. Little is different in the day.

  47. Ed says:

    Stimarco – even with the uncertainty of Thameslink at London Bridge there’s little reason why that results in Dartford – Victoria ending at 8pm.

    And the real squeeze with London Bridge will come at rush hour. It has been known for a long time that enough lines will be open to increase evening and weekend services above 2 trains per hour. Rebuilding or not, there is adequate capacity to run 4 trains an hour on metro lines.

    And it is hardly run as a business, as business wants to make money. SE leaving barriers open, if they exist, with no on-train staff, means revenue is lower than it should be. True, at the moment it probably isn’t worth SE running later Victoria trains from a business viewpoint as revenue wouldn’t be much higher. But that’s because they would allow most to avoid paying. Staff stations so people have to pay and the services become viable from a business point of view, let alone the social benefits (Dartford-Victoria stops at Denmark Hill with the large King’s College and Maudsley hospitals). It’s a real pain that a station that services such a large public good sees cessation at 8pm and nothing on Sundays.

  48. stimarco says:


    The rules change when your business’ profits are predicated on subsidies, not fare-box revenues. All TOCs have to play by the rules of the game. It’s not their fault if the game is a particularly dumb one.

    Also, services via Denmark Hill and Peckham Rye also benefit from interchange with the London Overground’s orbital route to Clapham Junction – a service you can’t access from any line via Lewisham or Greenwich without requiring two more changes of train. So there’s definitely a benefit to customers of more services linking Lewisham with Victoria.

    However, the rules of this particular game really are fundamentally flawed, so the actions made by those playing by them will be just as flawed. And the blame for drawing up those rules does not lie with the TOCs.

    The Dartford – Victoria services must weave through Lewisham Junction, as well as allowing for freight flows. 2 tph. may very well be all that the route and junctions can support.

    Southeastern aren’t responsible for the tracks – those rules again – so they don’t get to rebuild Lewisham Junction to make it grade separated. No. Their trains must crawl through Lewisham at 20 mph., then cross in front of the Sidcup platforms’ tracks on the flat, before trundling slowly up the ramp to the Nunhead line, before they can get their speed back up to something reasonable. It’s probably the most conflicting move you can do at the junction.

    And Lewisham Junction’s throughput is most definitely affected by the London Bridge works. It certainly affects the timetabling.

  49. Dstock7080 says:

    @Braintist: Upminster pfm.6 doesn’t have lift/step-free access.
    @Braintist: “Logically, surely, this should an extension of the District Line. But it’s the wrong sort of track, I guess”

    An S7 would be a bit generous for this branch!

    I believe the Upminster line is un-signalled, except for the Romford end, so if a passing-loop were added then conventional signals would need to be installed.

  50. timbeau says:

    network maps – there is no reason why the Emerson Park Line should not be shown on Overground in-car maps as isolated from the Goblin and West Anglia lines (which will themselves only have one point of contact, at Walthamstow) . There is a recent precedent: A-stock in-car maps always showed the Met main and ELL separately, even when the ELL was merely the “East London Section” of the Met, with no indication as to how one might get from one to the other.

  51. Chingford User says:

    Is Chingford going to be LO branded now? Previously reported that it would stay with GA because of the sidings.

  52. Pedantic of Purley says:

    @Chingford User,

    It is just bad reporting. She clearly meant, or should have meant, Cheshunt.

  53. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Ed – one could muse that councillors and MPs in the Bexley and Bromley areas consider themselves to be Kentish rather than Londoners. They are also probably terrified at the prospect of the 0813 from Bexley having its timings changed and there being a commuter revolt! And we all know what Bromley Council thought of “communist” ideas like cheap fares. 😉 Areas like Lewisham, Woolwich, Catford and further in seem far more agitated about South Eastern’s service quality than those further out. I wonder if that “split” is perhaps a factor? I’ve certainly not heard James Cleverly or Gareth Bacon (both Tory Assembly members in SE London) really press for TfL control of local train services in their area. That’s in sharp contrast to Val Shawcross, Caroline Pidgeon and Darren Johnson (Lab, Lib Dem and Green respectively) who’ve all been vocal in their support for a TfL takeover.

    From memory Govia won South Eastern on the basis of a “stand still” franchise apart from dealing the introduction of High Speed services and the knock on to long distance services. They were also allowed to bump up fares ahead of the government RPI+x% parameter to remove “historically lower fares on the SE Division”. Looking at the Go Ahead Annual Report 2013 it seems the franchise is in 80% revenue support and the short term 7 month franchise extension will not be profitable for Govia. I doubt new stations have anything to do with Govia in terms of investment – surely they’re DfT / Network Rail / Access for All initiatives? I think all of this points to Govia not being interested in or incentivised about initiatives that increase cost before they could increase revenue. DfT are likely to be of a similar view. TfL, of course, take a different view about revenue risk and investment to generate revenue later on.

  54. JEA says:

    It’s worth noting that the Romford to Upminster line incorporates a geological SSSI in the form of the Hornchurch Cutting. That could be an issue were any significant infrastructure improvements proposed between Emerson Park and Upminster.

    Having travelled on the branch briefly last year my observation was that frequencies could potentially be doubled with quicker turnarounds and a slight increase in line speed. Though that would probably require drivers to either ‘step back’ or for each cab to be manned, which would no doubt entail some negotiation with the unions. Any increased staffing costs would probably be small in comparison to those of the capital expenditure in constructing a passing loop with signalling, utilising an extra EMU and the associated maintenance costs.

    Apologies if the above suggestion has a whiff of operational crayonista about it.

  55. Briantist says:

    @Dstock7080: Re “Upminster pfm.6”. Thanks, I looked at National Rail Enquiries – Station facilities for Upminster and managed to miss “Step free access is not available to/from platform 6 (trains towards Romford)”.

  56. c says:

    Bromley and Bexley people don’t go up to London on weekends or evenings as much as those from LB Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark. Once home on Friday night, that’s it until Monday morning.

    On Lewisham junction – two things. Firstly, isn’t the Tanners doubling going to enable easier movements on the Nunhead route? And secondly, didn’t they operate a Victoria – Plumstead route for the Millennium Dome alongside the Vic – Dartford? Hence it is possible.

    If not, then Victoria to Catford loop would also make a lot of sense. That route is completely neglected and I’m sure could attract better usage. Also, nobody wants Blackfriars (not even core) at weekends…!

  57. Graham H says:

    @c – “Bromley and Bexley people don’t go up to London on weekends or evenings as much as those from LB Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark. Once home on Friday night, that’s it until Monday morning.” Do you have any evidence for this? I mean, seriously?

    Or this? – “Victoria to Catford loop would also make a lot of sense. That route is completely neglected and I’m sure could attract better usage. Also, nobody wants Blackfriars (not even core) at weekends…!”

  58. REVUpminster says:

    What length of train are the 378’s as the platforms at Romford and Upminster can only just hold a four car 321 although there is some scope for platform lengthening.

  59. Anon5 says:

    C – once upon a time it would be fair to say Bromley-ites would consider Central London to be “up town” – a perfectly reasonable weekday commute that became a laborious unappetising trek on weekends. Not anymore. Take a look at the Victoria to Orpington via Beckenham Junction line at the weekends. It’s packed. Southeastern helpfully reduced the services to four cars so it’s standing room only for many. Likewise any evening after 8pm when the services becomes half-hourly the trains are still busy. These leafy suburbs are attracting new, younger residents filling the low-rise apartment blocks where once grand Victorian three storey villas stood. The days of people growing up in Bromley, Beckenham, Petts Wood and staying there are over. People move but more importantly this part of South East London is on the map for those who previously wanted Dulwich, balham and Clapham. Foxtons, KFH among the estate agents moving here with Kirsty Allsopp presenting a whole show about Beckenham the other week and it featuring in the Standard’s homes and property.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Re Ed
    11 April 2014 at 01:15
    *sniff* I’m still sad that TfL didn’t get southeastern metro at least up to Dartford.

    We have already established tfL want to take those routes on – and to be honest I bet the DfT would quite like to be rid of them too*. HOWEVER until you can get it into the thick skulls of Kent commuters (and consequently their MPs and councillors) that TfL won’t be getting rid of their XX:XX fast train to and from the city every day to up the suburban frequency nothing will change. It’s a sad but unfortunate fact that you and many others like you are effectively being overruled by Kent residents and that isn’t going to change any time soon – deal with it.

    *Note any doubling of the service frequency or extending trains late into the night has to be funded 100% by TfL – this is what happens on Southern. The DfT won’t stump up any more money to provide anything other than the basic service. Anything more TfL have to foot the bill for.
    Re RichardB
    11 April 2014 at 07:50
    @ Ed I am intrigued as to why Govia who manage the South Eastern TOC provide such a lack lustre service when Govia’s other offering south of the river – the Southern TOC is generally seen in such a positive light.
    See above – its because at the stage the franchise was let by the DfT, TfL was invited to add to the franchise requirements for the metro routes PROVIDING TfLstumped up 100% of the cash needed to fund the enhancements they wanted.

    Unfortunately when SouthEastern’s franchise was let, TfL were excluded from the decision making process (although they were ‘consulted’ about what they wanted in the drafting stage). Consequently the eventual franchise agreement is very much a treasury / DfT inspired one that basically was structured around maintaining status quo as regards metro service levels – most of which were the same as back in NSE days.

    Re The other Paul
    10 April 2014 at 22:57
    it can’t claim that every service is turn-up-and-go due to the Romford to Upminster line because the most that line (physically) can support is three trains an hour.
    IIRC the GOBLIN service was a mere 2tph when LO took over…

    The Gospal Oak – Barking route had the infrastructure (signalling trackwork, etc) to support something grater than 2tph before TfL took it on.

    The Ronford – Upmister requires new signalling and the installation of a new passing loop probably requiring the building of a new platform at Emerson Park before you can get beyond 3tph. That is not cheap to do and is going to cost TfL a lot of money plus of course it also means an extra train is needed.

    While it may not seem like it TfL’s budget has taken a real hammering by the Treasury recently so unlike its early days so a tight reign has to be kept on spending and in that context there are far more worthy projects the rail division can spend the money on.

  61. timbeau says:

    “What length of train are the 378′s ”
    According to Wikipedia the class 378 cars are 20.4 metres and the Class 321s are 19.95m. If those figures are correct a 4-car 378 will be 180cm (6 feet) longer than a 321.
    There is no reason to suppose the new trains will be 378s.

  62. Graham Feakins says:

    @ C & Ed – Southeastern are proposing that the Victoria – Dartford services will run “later into the evening” from the December timetable change. Only one extra train would meet that non-committal description! What is needed is something at least to replace the loss of the evening SLL service, which used to finish at 23.11 out of Victoria. That time for a minimum would now be desirable for the Dartford service.

    Ed rightly mentions the important King’s College and Maudsley hospitals at Denmark Hill. Apart from the 11,000 members of staff on their books, there are significant numbers of patients and visitors who use the station. Another problem rears its head when Charing Cross/Cannon Street trains won’t stop at London Bridge (during the Thameslink work) for connection to the Southern and then another change to LOROL for Denmark Hill. A service via Lewisham will thus become even more important during that period.

  63. Melvyn says:

    With the exception of peak time commuters many passengers arriving at Upminster heading for Romford leave the station and use the far more frequent buses from the stops outside or near the station . The reason for this is the low frequency service and for C2C users arriving from Essex the need to cross from one side of the station to the other.

    Several commentators have mentioned how Rominster line could have additional stations so are their any locations where a new station could be built to include a passing loop even if station has an island platform ?

    Its a pity S Stock trains can’t be used as they could be housed at Upminster depot even if it was a short 4 car S Stock train – Any chance making S Stock trains AC/DC ?

    As for South Eastern services well a recent announcement to extend GOBLIN to Barking Riverside could benefit if the new station was built at sub surface level deep enough to allow a cross river tunnel to be built then TFL could run a circular service around Southeastern Branches without need to go to Dartford !

    Overground maps on trains already look like a plate of spaghetti and adding more lines will make this even worse unless a colour coding system can be adopted as further expansion is more than likely with GN services from Moorgate likely to be added next given how new Class 700 trains won’t fit tunnels to Moorgate raising the question as to whether current 378s would fit ?

    Perhaps Upminster to Romford would be better converted to a tram like at Croydon allowing extension around Romford town centre and maybe to feed Crossrail stations in the area ?

  64. Briantist says:

    I’ve made some changes to File:London Overground map for 2015.svg – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    incorporating the comments provided here.

    a) I have removed my assumption about Cambridge Heath and London Fields not getting services to Chingford. I have used the “normal” Overground assumption of “all stations to”

    b) I have added in sections of the Victoria Line, Bakerloo Line and District Line when they interconnect with the Overground.

    c) The Greenford to West Ealing line is shown in light grey to the left of Acton Central.

  65. Castlebar (Contra Crayonista) says:

    Crayonista Alert!

    Costs and geographic/topographic constraints are a factor.

    This line only has one “otherwise unserved” station. It once had the “halt” suffix for a good reason. The line doesn’t justify £Zillions being thrown at it.

    Other forms of transport are available. i.e., a Bus route

  66. Gerald of Newbury Park says:

    If TFL wish to increase London Overground services by at least 4tph on the Lea Valley Lines they and Network Rail will have to look at diverting the Stansted Express to Stratford then onto Liverpool Street. The benefit is better connections to areas in East London from Stratford and also frees up space slightly on the Lea Valley lines once London Overground takes over.

  67. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Melvyn – I would have thought the fact that TfL are ordering 1 train for Romminster is a pretty clear statement that the service will be half hourly for the foreseeable future. If there was an improvement plan to increase frequency or stations then TfL would have stated this. They haven’t and I can’t see millions of quid in the London Rail budget to fund it. What money there is is for 5 car on existing Overground, the GOBLIN electrification and West Anglia refresh.

    There is also absolutely NO indication that TfL want or could justify building a more expensive extension to Barking Riverside with some aspiration to reach Thamesmead. Where is the reference in any long term plan to such a link? It did not feature as an option when TfL looked at East London River Crossings.

    There is also no sign at all that TfL will have the Great Northern inner suburban services devolved to them. Government had an ideal opportunity to do so with the scoping of the TSGN franchise and it declined to do so. I do not see any last minute change to this position as it would screw up the franchise award process and heap more criticism upon the DfT. This is the last thing the Department needs after the West Coast debacle and all the fine pronouncements about having rebuilt the department and not repeating the mistake. Also TfL have no money to fund a takeover and are very unlikely to get any extra from the Treasury. In fact I would be so bold as to say that any extra devolution of rail services is unlikely before 2020 with the possible exception of a deal over West Ealing – Greenford where there is still uncertainty and where a strategic change by the DfT is feasible although finance would remain an issue. There is also a certain strategic logic in a TfL takeover given the line is entirely in Greater London and links to Crossrail / tube services.

    I therefore suggest we lock away the crayons and felt tips no matter how loudly they may be shouting at us from within their pencil case.

    @ Gerald – AIUI there are no paths to run the Stansted Express via Stratford nor will there by any post Crossrail. Any released paths are already notionally allocated to longer distance Great Eastern services. Running via Stratford would extend journey times and that’s contrary to the aspiration of the Airport owners who want a 30 minute journey time.

    It is perfectly clear that an intensive service into Liverpool St can run via T Hale and Seven Sisters. I don’t expect TfL to boost peak frequencies into Liverpool Street until there is resignalling or there is the much mooted 4 tracking north of / through T Hale. It will be off peak, evenings and Sundays where TfL concentrate their efforts to increase patronage.

  68. Dan says:

    Given that there is no freight on the line, I don’t see why the “slow lines” between Liverpool St and Hackney couldn’t manage a 12 trains per hour service.

    My guess is that this is what TfL choose to do and make all trains “stoppers”. Interesting times.

  69. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Dan – I suspect Chingford line passengers may not be delighted at that prospect. It would also mean a disjointed 5 then 10 interval from LST to Edmonton Green. I suspect TfL will be content with a x7-8 interval off peak on the line through Seven Sisters (assuming it’s achieveable). We’ll find out in the December 2015 timetable change I expect. I think LOROL will not want too radical a change in the short term as they’ll want to get their feet under the table before making changes.

    There is a wider question here which is what’s the contract term for LOROL on West Anglia? Clearly that’s been a negotiated change rather than openly tendered (AFAIK). I know the Overground concession was extended through to late 2016 with retendering due to start in 2015. I wonder if West Anglia also terminates in late 2016 with existing Overground, West Anglia and Romminster (?) all going out to retender together?

  70. Long Branch Mike 1 says:


    My guess is that with LO branding and placement on the Tube map these ChEnFord lines’ll see much increased ridership, likely driving increased frequencies in the coming years (within available paths and platforms at terminii of course).

    Similarly for the Romminster and West Ealford LO lines.

  71. mr_jrt says:

    Yeah yeah yeah, it’s crayons, but I quite like the idea of building a flyunder at Upminster and restoring the old Romford to Grays service. I’m certain it would get more use than the current lines do given the forced (rubbish) change at Upminster, enough to probably warrant the loop on the Romford section enabling a 15 minute service (building the flyunder as double track would give a second loop through Upminister station, and of course there is already one on the southern section. There’s plenty of room for an additional platform at Romford (handily), Grays would be a bit tricky though… :/

    The fast services via Grays currently use the Upminster to Grays link to access the fast lines to Barking – does anyone know if these are near capacity? Building new ones along the southern loop would enable both better stopping services between Upminsiter and Grays as well as between Barking and Grays, and would free up line capacity on the existing fast lines for more services via Basildon…if they’re needed, naturally.

    Interestingly (and tangentially), it also looks quite feasible to extend the Romford branch onwards to at least Chadwell Heath (by extending the station southwards and a couple of bridges), if not all the way to Goodmayes. Doubt dropping those stations from the mainline services would be enough to warrant it, but interesting nonetheless that it would be possible. Short tunnel to Manor Park and up the Goblin? 😉 …or short tunnel to the Central line tunnels and branch the Central to Upminster/Grays…? 😉

  72. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ MR JRT – I am beginning to think you are a crayon and not actually a real person!

  73. timbeau says:

    Before lots of grand schemes to provide through services on the Emerson Park line, perhaps we should look and see who uses it at the moment. How many people interchange with it at Romford, and how many at Upminster? Are they coming from the London direction or the “country” direction? How much end-to-end traffic is there, or are most passengers going to/from Emerson Park?

    In other words, what is it actually for? (All right, what is was originally for was to keep the GER out of LTSR territory – ironic given that it has effectively become part of the GE network, at least since 1956 when dmus took over)

  74. Greg Tingey says:

    Maybe on the Chesunts, NOT on the Chingfords, which are quite well patronised already – with a reliable 15-minute frequency service/

  75. Graham H says:

    @Melvyn and many others- the argument for converting Romford-Upminster to tram train overlooks the cost of purchasing/leasing, keeping and servicing a very small dedicated fleet (perhaps less than five vehicles) at a base remote from any similar operation, let alone the cost of providing the connecting engineering work from the existing formation onto the street. Think tens of million pounds just for that; the cost of onstreet tram construction is typically between £12m and £20m per km depending on what has to be moved (except in Edinburgh where these numbers increase by an order of magnitude). A mini system for Romford with, say 5km of street running (say, to Hornchurch) and a fleet of, say, 6 vehicles, would cost the thick end of £150m. Running that and servicing the capital would cost c£50m pa – that’s close to requiring the entire population of Romford to use it daily… Good value? Likely?

  76. Mick H says:

    @Timbeau, in my experience most travel between Upminster & Romford. Emerson Park is little used which is somewhat surprising when considering it is closer to Hornchurch Town Centre than Hornchurch LUL station. No effort has been made to market the link. Maybe changing the name to Hornchurch North would help. Also a simple change to the timetable so that trains connect with the half-hourly semi-fasts at Romford i/o just missing them!
    @Graham H, I quite agree. Moreover can’t understand why many think extra stops could only be part of a tram option. It should be simple to add heavy rail stops at Wingleye Lane and Brentwood Road which would increase ridership, especially the latter which would serve the local sixth form college. With selective door opening platforms wouldn’t even need to be full length.
    If the use of the line could be increased then other options might be viable in the future.

  77. Fandroid says:

    It raises the question. What is the line for? It’s too short to have much of its own local reason for existence. It’s not the only link between two otherwise unconnected lines. The Jubilee does a fine connecting job between West Ham and Stratford. It has some local use, but that would possibly be better served by a tram or DLR type service. But it’s so short, and the housing around there is really not very dense, so Graham H’s critique hits the spot. A flyover/diveunder to connect with the Grays line looks tempting to a crayon, but the surroundings suddenly turn into open fields south of Upminster so commuting agricultural workers aren’t going to pay for any heavy engineering.

    To make it more useful, some extra stations might be worth it, say on Wingletye Lane (Upminster end) and Brentwood Road (big school near the latter). Although it’s a heavy rail line with a heavy rail unit ordered, that doesn’t stop it fulfilling a tram-like function. The local authority might be persuaded to seek funding. Single platform stations on a singly occupied line shouldn’t be outrageously expensive (except it’s owned by Network Rail!).

  78. Fandroid says:

    Ahh! MIck H. Great minds think alike.

  79. Briantist says:

    @Gerald of Newbury Park: ” Network Rail will have to look at diverting the Stansted Express to Stratford then onto Liverpool Street. The benefit is better connections to areas in East London from Stratford and also frees up space slightly on the Lea Valley lines once London Overground takes over.”

    Of course it would no longer be the “Stansted Express”.

    Anyway, the plans are for more services from Stratford to Angel Road (STAR)

    https:[email protected]

    stratford to angel road star – Google Search

  80. REVUpminster says:

    The line is used by shoppers to Romford, lots of schoolchildren to Upminster (Coopers, Sacred Heart, Hall Mead, and Gaynes), Of course neither pensioners (after 930) or children do not pay. Once Tfl take over the pensioners will go free all day and will not need to get the 370 bus

  81. Overground Commuter says:

    I wonder if post May 2015, TfL will finally introduce a OSI between Whitechapel and Bethnal Green NR? It’s a short walk away and opens up connections to the north without travelling through the Zone 1 island at Shoreditch High Street.

    I suspect revenue loss is the issue here?

  82. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ RevUpminster – any children travelling on the Romminster line should be paying child fare as it’s a National Rail service and not on the TfL fare tariff. Of course if Greater Anglia / C2C are not enforcing revenue checks then it’s irrelevant. You’re correct though that ticket validity will change under TfL control. It will be interesting to see if the TfL takeover of the Shenfield line will increase the extent of ticket gates on the line (some stations are gated but not all of them) and the hours they kept working. That might indirectly bolster revenue take on the Romminster shuttle as fewer places to enter the rail network without encountering a gate. C2C are pretty decent at keeping gates working.

    @ Overground Commuter – we must wait and see. Interestingly there is no OSI between Liverpool St and Shoreditch High St but there is one between Liverpool St and Fenchurch St. I can’t see that your proposed OSI would fall foul of the agreement about revenue abstraction on the ELL extension. SHS is in Zone 1 and that meets the brief in not undercutting fares into the City compared to other termini served by south of the river TOCs. In terms of interchange distance there are longer OSIs than Bethnal Green – Whitechapel.

  83. Long Branch Mike 1 says:


    My ex-pat friends tell me that if I were to say your map is ‘mahvellous’ this is in fact an insult, so I shall say it is well done.

    The intersecting Tube lines and connexions put the LO into perspective.

    It might be a cartographical decision for legibility, but I’d humbly suggest moving Dalston Junction closer to Dalston Kingsland, as these two stations are walking distance, about 600 m from each other.

    I like the inclusion of the new LO Grealing (Greenford to West Ealing) as well. Alternatively one could call it the West Ealford line.

  84. timbeau says:

    “any children travelling on the Romminster line should be paying child fare as it’s a National Rail service and not on the TfL fare tariff.”
    Only children under 11 go free, even on the TfL tariff. I though Romster was on the TfL tariff anyway, but TfL’s useful map on what NR lines carry that tariff is yet another thing that seems to have vanished from the new TfL website

  85. Castlebar (Contra Crayonista) says:


    I am now beginning to see ridiculous names proposed for the Greenford and
    Romford/Upminster Lines.

    If anyone went to the local area and asked about the “Grealing” branch line, or whatever else, I can assure you that they would be considered to be certifiably mad.

    This is a sensible discussion forum, so can these ludicrous re-naming propositions that locals have never heard of and wouldn’t know what you are talking about, please be dropped.

  86. Mike says:

    Timbeau – “I though Romster was on the TfL tariff anyway, but TfL’s useful map on what NR lines carry that tariff is yet another thing that seems to have vanished from the new TfL website” – Romford-Upminster is on the NR tariff according to the map at

  87. The other Paul says:

    Those who responded to my earlier comment were reading far too much into it.

    I was merely pointing out, in response to Darian Thomson, that there IS a precedent for LO running 2tph.

    The fact that GOBLIN was subsequently improved, and will be improved further, was down to a huge upturn in ridership and associated campaign by BGOLUG. If the same thing happens on the Rom-minster then I suspect a case for infrastructure improvements will be made. I’m not holding my breath.

    The bean counters (and politicians) will always favour capex over increased opex. Yes it’s BS but borrowing money for capex is much easier, a business case can be “cooked” to show how the capex will provide value for money, and once the money’s been spent it can’t be taken away again.

  88. Anonymous says:

    @Briantist a fine map but all stations south of Shoreditch High Street on the ELL should be shown to exist to the west of the Liverpool Street line. While such maps needn’t be geographically accurate of course, I believe they should aspire to at least show where lines cross each other in relation to stations.

  89. Gerald of Newbury Park says:

    When London Overground takes over the Romford to Upminster line will express trains stop more at Romford in the future? Peck bad off peck times?

  90. Pedantic of Purley says:

    When London Overground takes over the Romford to Upminster line will express trains stop more at Romford in the future?

    No. They will only stop once as is what currently happens.

  91. Long Branch Mike 1 says:


    You are quite right. Whilst i had seen Romminster in comments previously, I had not realized I was actually crayoning in a name for Greenford – West Ealing.

  92. timbeau says:

    Thanks for that – it seems the GEML is now an anomaly in being north of the river but still charging non-TfL fares (perhaps because it is not in the old county of Middlesex) – however I imagine this will change with the new Crossrail-dependant franchise – next year I think?

    “Do these planes often crash?”
    “None of them have crashed more than once”

    “If anyone went to the local area and asked about the “Grealing” branch line, or whatever else”
    By all accounts many in the area don’t know it exists anyway.

    Surely an appropriate name would be the “Castlebar branch” – just as I have taken to calling its eastern counterpart the “Emerson Park” line. Unambiguous and descriptive, without any contrived portmanteau words.

  93. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Timbeau – the GEML is hardly an anamoly in terms of fares. NR tariff applies on the Great Eastern east of Stratford, on West Anglia north of Seven Sisters, T Hale and Walthamstow Central, on Thameslink north of West Hampstead and north of Finsbury Park on the Great Northern. A fair proportion of TfL tariff coverage is only there as a result of very long standing inter-availability. Oyster and Overground takeover only added a few more bits. TfL taking on West Anglia and “Crossrail” will add in a substantial chunk and remove the Zone 1 NR – LU through fare premium for an awful lot of people. Another reason for people south of the River to be grumpy.

  94. Melvyn says:

    @ Walthamstow Writer I was only enquiring as to whether there were any sites along Rominster line where an additional station with a passing loop could be provided to allow a more frequent service of say 15 minutes something that would make line more attractive to more users .

    As for Great Northern line to Moorgate well with Thameslink changing to a service operated by a fleet of new class 700 trains that won’t fit tunnels to Moorgate this service will no longer be linked into the great Northern services which will become part of longer distance Thameslink services via St Pancras International sub surface station . I did read recently that an announcement of new trains for Moorgate services could occur when result of TSGN franchise is announced !

    While the stations from Moorgate to Highbury & Islington are TFL stations and the line was part of the Northern Line until GN Inner Surburban electrification seems we will have to wait and see given how Downing Street doesn’t seem to speak to Boris and vice versa when it comes to fare rises let alone rail franchises .

    One does have to ask whether Romford to Upminster and cut back Greenford branch really have a long term future as heavy rail lines unless they can either be extended or converted into light rail/ tram lines and extended . I noticed that Greenford branch has other tracks nearby so could it be better if removed from Greenford and diverted onto other lines in the area? While the suggestion to extend Romford to Upminster to Grays might actually be better if line was extended onto the areas of land awaiting development in this area with new tracks recently installed as part of the new Thames Gateway Port.

    As for TFL publications not including future visions well Boris unlike ken doesn’t do detail or have vision for the future !

  95. Pedantic of Purley says:


    As for TFL publications not including future visions well Boris unlike ken doesn’t do detail or have vision for the future !

    Actually I am starting to get the impression that Boris does have a serious vision for the future though I concede he doesn’t do detail. I still can’t work him out and one has to distinguish hype, humour and hard-headedness (not easy in him) but I get the impression from various interviews (e.g. Andrew Marr in “Mind the Gap”) and comments of other non-political people that he is looking far ahead despite not being eligible to be mayor next time round. One can cynically say that he is getting ready for when he sees himself as prime minister and needs a profitable London to bring the money in and one can ridicule some of his ideas. But what is an airport in the Thames Estuary if it is not having a vision for the future?

    If you have to use this website for commenting on politicians then at least be objective – whatever political views one has.

  96. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Melvyn – I may be wrong but my understanding of Great Northern services post 2018 is that some will be run as part of Thameslink through the core, some longer distance routes run from Kings Cross as now and the remainder of local services run into Moorgate as now but with increased days / hours of operation on the latter. The fleet should comprise 313s, 365s and 700s as things stand today. It would be nice to think that replacement stock for the line into Moorgate will come as part of the new franchise but I am not going to be holding my breath.

    The Moorgate line is quite clearly a National Rail service and stations at Drayton Park and Essex Road have no interface with TfL. Even at the stations with tube connections there are distinct property boundaries as what is LU and what belongs to Network Rail.

    I think what needs to be borne in mind is that many rail passengers look at what they get from TOCs for local services in London and then look at the Tube and Overground and feel they are being short changed. They want good service levels, clean trains and a sense that someone “looks after” their rail service. Many TOCs do not give any sense of priority to inner area services whereas TfL do (based on experience to date). Sir Peter Hendy, not an unbiased observer clearly, is on the record as saying that TOCs have no revenue incentive to invest in short distance suburban services. They make most of their money on longer distance, beyond the zones commuters so that’s where their attention is.

    I don’t think the nonsense over fares this year should be seen as anything other than the usual political game playing by two powerful people who want to be Prime Minister. That the poor public and employees at TfL, TOCs and Rail Settlement Plan are all left with a mess to deal with has no bearing on the matter. If it did then we’d not get into this political mire year after year. I’m just pleased I no longer have anything to do with implementing the LU Fares Revision.

    I really do not think there is any point in speculating about the two shuttle services. If TfL intended to make immediate improvements, other than 1 new train and a wash and brush up at Emerson Park, they’d have said so. There is NO money for anything radical nor any recognised need that has to be met. I expect TfL will give it time and see whether their operation gives any noticeable uplift in patronage and revenue. There’s no reference to improving either route in any of the Rail Utilisation studies nor Network Rail’s plans. I suspect TfL will eventually gain responsibility for the Greenford shuttle but I don’t expect anything radical there either in the short term. The simple things are what will be done in the short term. Others have pointed out the severe cost implications of converting the Romford shuttle to light rail and can you imagine the palpitations that would be caused in Ealing if the words “tram” or “light rail” were to be uttered? They’d be manning the barricades and voting “anti Tram Party” before you could blink. Given it has been confirmed that freight still uses the Greenford line then it’s not about to be given up by Network Rail any time soon. Let’s give it time and see what the DfT and TfL decide to do about the line. As I have already said the timing of any change is not yet optimal so nothing will be announced until the timing is better and the future is clearer.

  97. Jon10 says:

    “can you imagine the palpitations that would be caused in Ealing if the words “tram” or “light rail” were to be uttered?”

    That’s not really true. Ealing council voted through – unanimously – a motion that supports turning North Acton to Ealing Broadway into light rail, once Crossrail opens. It was part of a LibDem motion that included the Dudding Hill line, and no doubt would now involve Old Oak Common.

    It was mentioned that two extra light rail stations could be added, rather similar to suggestions above about Romford-Upminster. It was just an aspiration, of course!

  98. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ PoP – I fear we must disagree about “vision” and our current Mayor. Rampant unrestrained personal ambition – yes but “vision” for London, err no. I cannot fathom the obsession over aviation policy apart from there being some level of “vote” from West London residents blighted by noise and air pollution. The issue is so vexed and so complex that simplistic “one size fits all” answers like an esturary airport just do not work (IMO, of course). When you throw in the voter fall out in Essex and Kent plus the known site difficulties with unexploded bombs, bird strike risk, nature reserves and weather problems I cannot fathom why someone of Boris’s intelligence can’t see the flaws across a range of parameters. Clearly there will be issues no matter where you site an airport or add runways but we seem particularly polarised over London’s airport capacity. Further the transport implications just seem to treated as soluble with the wave of a hand and tens of billions of pounds. I think it’s much more involved than that and, of course, crosses over to our other thread about 2050.

  99. timbeau says:

    “@ Timbeau – the GEML is hardly an anamoly in terms of fares. NR tariff applies on the Great Eastern east of Stratford, on West Anglia north of Seven Sisters, T Hale and Walthamstow Central, on Thameslink north of West Hampstead and north of Finsbury Park on the Great Northern.”
    It looks anomalous on the map because Stratford is a long way in and also because, in all the cases cited above (but not on the GWML) NR tariff applies to the last stations with a LU interchange. But on the Great Eastern network, the last LU station is Upminster – i.e there are different fares between Upminster and, say, Stratford depending on whether you change at West Ham or Romford.

    And yes, we in south of the river are not happy about the continued differentials – we still pay NR fares to Richmond, Wimbledon, Balham, New Cross etc. (Though every cloud has a silver lining and, apart from part of one route, we have so far been spared Boris Behemoths)
    The TOCs have no interest in improving their inner London commuter services – why would they – if you have 100% of a captive market nothing you do will affect your market share one way or the other. (It is noticeable that any improvements that do happen tend to be at the margins of their territory – e.g improved frequencies, lower fares, and modern trains a few years ago on the Hounslow Loop, where poaching traffic from the Picadilly Line was possible)

  100. Briantist says:

    @Long Branch Mike 1: You are most kind. I’ll see what I can do with the two Dalstons: there is limited room for such a long name as “Dalston Kingsland”.

    I’m staying out of the route name portmanteau situation!

  101. Briantist says:

    @Anonymous: I tried as you suggested and it make the who map a mess: it means that the strong vertical and 45 degree lines are lost. You are welcome to do your own, of course.

    If there’s no interconnect there isn’t really a need for geographical placement. It doesn’t always happen on Beck’s map. IMHO, of course.

  102. @Walthamstow Writer,

    I am not saying I agree with an estuary airport. All I am saying is that Boris has vision in that he has a vision. That vision may well be bonkers but nevertheless it is there. So we may disagree with his thoughts but every indication I see is that he is looking far further ahead than other politicians.

  103. Ian Sergeant says:


    To reinforce what you are saying, I’m sure Harry Beck knew how close Bayswater and Queensway are, likewise Lancaster Gate and Paddngton.

  104. John U.K. says:

    @ Ed 11 April 2014 at 01:15

    . . . I really hope the consultation that was running over the new year on SE services up to 2018 means the DfT force better services on SE metro routes. God knows SE won’t volunteer them. A more immobile, complacent, un-innovative TOC it’s hard to find. Without the DfT pushing change it will continue to stagnate. But who can have faith in the DfT to push for improvements? I’m skeptical. I have far more faith that TfL would have done so.
    Here’s what I expect to continue –
    . . . 2) No staff at stations in the evenings, and minimal staff in the day. Pretty much all barriers are open, and there’s no guards on trains as DOO in operation, and thus massive amounts of people do not pay. TfL levels of staffing and barriers would see an immediate jump in revenue and more accurate levels of station usage thus investment would increase.
    Anyone who doubts the levels of fare evasion should talk to staff, or see what happens when (very rarely) ticket inspectors/REO staff get on. Last time I saw it on a train there was a mass exodus from the carriage. About 20 people got up and moved back from the front carriage at Charlton. I’m not exaggerating. It was amusing – the front coaches emptied and the rear became packed and standing as people moved back without a ticket. Also see what happens when REO’s do a (rare) check at a station exit – loads of people get off, see the REO’s, rush back on the train or cross the bridge/tunnel to the other platform, or wait for the next train to go the 2 minutes to the next station. I travel many lines and TOCs. Fare evasion is something else in SE metro areas. SE don’t seem to care. TfL would.

    Just to confirm ed’s comment. Occasionally I travel to Woolwich Arsenal from Charing X and back. Very rarely are the gatelines at Woolwich A. closed.
    I’m not long back from a trip there today. 15:39 from Charing X [to Gillingham] 10 coaches. Unmanned, open gates at Woolwich A.
    Return 20:43 ex Woolwich A. 10 coaches, arr.Charing X. 21:19 (late). Unmanned open gates at Charing X.
    If this is repeated at all stations between and including Woolwich (or Dartford, or even further east) and Charing X./Cannon St., then just how many £tens of thousands or even £millions in fares are being lost each year?
    Do S.E.trains not want the extra revenue?
    [Preview had my comment also in italic, even after adding a second close italic tag, so apologies if this is perpetuated in posting.]

  105. ngh says:

    A timely example for those that don’t believe Ed (e.g., Stimarco and others about the scale on fare evasion on SE:

    “Hedge Fund manager in £42,550 train fare dodge”
    [bbc news article from this evening!]

    5 years to get caught for fare evasion using oyster max fare instead of season ticket like he used to from his local station in East Sussex (Stonegate). Not even double ending that other TOC were worrying about with Oyster on NR!

  106. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ PoP – Hmm – well I see what you’re saying but I’m still not convinced that there is a genuine vision. I think there are some “touch stone” issues, some obsessions and a whole load of distractions which the Mayor is attracted by depending on brightly they shine this week / month / year. I cannot point to a single thing which is genuinely visionary in transport policy from the current Mayor. There is no big idea or theme that runs through from 2008 to 2016. Cycling gets close but there is very little drive or achievement other than a vastly subsidised cycle hire scheme. I guess I should be grateful for small mercies or else we’d be having rail lines being closed and replaced by cable car routes. 🙂

  107. Long Branch Mike (Carto Nerd) says:


    Your LO map looks very professional and should closely resemble the official 2015 map. Hopefully they’ll include some of your innovations like showing the walking OSI connexions, as well as showing the relevant parts of Tube lines as you’ve done.

    The interchange double lines look very bolded connected to the wheelchair station circles, so much so (IMHO) I thought it was some other kind of interchange. Is there a way to lighten these lines?

  108. Al__S says:

    With regards cartography, without getting out crayons, it is clear that even just for this much Overground TfL are going to have to consider some way of distinguishing lines. Perhaps rather than names, which are getting increasingly ugly and convoluted, LO should simply go with numbers, letters or even a combo? eg for the latter:
    ELL/SLL could be Line 1, with 1A: H&I-Clapham (ELL), 1B: H&I-Crystal Palace, 1C: Dalston Junction-West Croydon and 1D: Dalston Junction-New Cross
    NLL/WLL could be Line 2, Watford Line 3, Lea Valley Line 4 and Romford-Upminster Line 5- with lettered sub routes as appropriate.

    Showing it on the map is awkward. Doing different colours with orange edging may pose legibility/accessibility problems- but if correctly done could be the way to go and could be transferred to DLR and Tramlink too.

  109. Greg Tingey says:

    They make most of their money on longer distance, beyond the zones commuters so that’s where their attention is.
    Well, they should go back & read Gerry Feinnes, then on the speeding-up of the Norwich service (2hrs with a “Britannia” thrash – wonderful!) and the revenue-take form the Shenfield electrification – & how they came out close ….

  110. straphan says:

    I am not one to suggest closures, generally, but Romford to Upminster is woefully empty. Wikipedia tells me there has been healthy growth in demand at Emerson Park (almost 39% between 2010/11 and 2012/13), but the number of entries/exits in 2012/13 was only 113.9k. Assuming 300 days of running per year you get 380 trips per day! Even if you double this number (to account for end-to-end journeys) this must surely mean some services – particularly on Saturdays – are actually empty! Would a bus replacement not be somewhat more cost effective than procuring a brand new 4-car unit for this?

  111. Mick H says:

    @straphan, usage figures at Emerson Park don’t reflect the use of the line as the vast majority of passengers travel between Upminster and Romford. Rush hour trains are substantially full. Main problem is marketing – you’re probably saying what the current TOC wants to hear. They can’t be bothered with putting any effort into increasing usage. Maybe LO will be different. Emerson Park to London terminus is quicker than Hornchurch to London terminus and with a simple timetable change so that the connection with the semi-fast at Romford worked would be much quicker – at no additional cost to the TOC cost. It’s all in the marketing 🙂

  112. straphan says:

    Mick H: Thanks – again – I have no knowledge of the route at all, and was just playing devil’s advocate…

    Regarding stopping trains at Romford, I think the tendency in the future will be to cease for trains to stop at Romford in the peaks. The grand plan for the GEML post-Crossrail – to the best of my knowledge – involves:

    – remodelling of Bow Jn to allow easier crossing from Main to Electric lines (to gain access to high-numbered platforms at Liverpool St vacated by Crossrail).
    – increase in frequency on the fast lines between Shenfield and Liverpool Street to 30 tph or so.

    With that proposed frequency I don’t think it would be possible to stop anything at Romford in the peaks…

  113. Mick H says:

    @straphan, thanks. Semi-fasts only stop at Romford off peak at present so maybe things won’t change. OTOH there might be a case to swap some Shenfield stops for Romford stops. Romford is a metropolitan centre and a destination station as well as interchange and commuter source whereas Shenfield mainly only gets stops as an interchange and commuter source. As long as trains only stop at one or the other I don’t suppose it would make a difference to line capacity.

  114. Castlebar (Contra Crayonista) says:

    @ Mick H

    ditto the Greenford Line too. NEVER marketed. It’s the baby nobody wants to hold. SO MANY opportunities missed (although BR(W) didn’t know what an opportunity was other than any opportunity to get one over on Southern Region) Yes, Greg, Gerry Fiennes book is still a brilliant read, and gets better as the prophecies are fulfilled. He said all those years ago that he would have 4-tracked the Central Line. Now we get Crossrail for example.

    I WOULD have extended the Greenford – DarjEaling Broadway service, but not necessarily to Paddington.

  115. straphan says:

    @Mick H: I doubt that would be possible as with 30tph it will not be possible to achieve dwell times short enough with just one platform at Romford. Shenfield has two separate platforms for trains off the main and Wickford lines.

  116. Steven Taylor says:


    My take is that there is nothing wrong with denoting the various LOROL lines by numbers, Line 1, Line 2 etc. After all, they are numbered on the existing timetables 1 to 4.

  117. straphan says:

    @Steven Taylor: I’ve already moaned about it somewhere else on this blog. Every other big city has a systematic convention of naming its suburban and regional mainline services – Germany has its S/RE system, Spain has the Cercanias/Rodalies networks, Paris assigns letters to each route out of its termini… Heck – even the likes of Warsaw and Prague have a system of numbered regular-interval routes. South and East London – by contrast – only have a portion of colourful spaghetti when you look at the map, though…

  118. Castle Bar over S says:


    Agreed. The (old, proper) Southern had a headcode system on their stock, and, for example, “Bar over S” denoted trains to /from Shepperton via the Fulwell chord

  119. Al__S says:

    It is less the naming- it is more the marking. As this all gets added to the Tube Map, the orange will gradually becoming overwhelming and confusing. Just imagine if the complex Southeastern Metro (as mentioned, that TfL have taken a genuine interest in but been not back) and simple Great Northern/Moorgate locals (genuine TfL interest status: murky) were added too! Then (not at all on the TfL radar as far as I know) there’s the Southern Metro (purple on here) and South Western inner suburban (the “mainline” side of which may be swallowed by Crossrail 2)- an Overground Crayonista’s dream but a cartographers nightmare. One really does hope that someone more professional at TfL has this under control, but even as it is, with what will be 6 distinct route “groups”, that Overground-only map is cluttered.

  120. Mick H says:

    @straphan, I’m not sure that the extra up platform at Shenfield is significant for timetabling; AFAIK the same number of down trains still have to use a single platform.

  121. straphan says:

    @Al___S: In my opinion any information is better than the lack of information about mainline services presented on maps at present.

    @Mick H: As far as I know Platform 4 is used (or will be post-Crossrail) at Shenfield by services looking to use the flyover towards Wickford – so there are also two platforms in the other direction.

  122. timbeau says:

    @Al_ S
    quite – why does each line of one of TfL’s three (four if you count the trams) networks get its own colour, but the other networks each show all their lines in a single colour?

    Even the Underground is inconsistent – why has the district not been divided into two colours like the former Met (with the Hammersmith and Circle split off a separate “lines”) Why not show the Wimbledon – Tower Hill/Edgware Road services in a different colour from the Upminster – Richmond/Ealing ones?

    @Straphan – agree entirely: the map should be a guide to all services available, not a marking out of territory. If the Circle Line is not the only (or even the most) direct route from Kings Cross to Blackfriars, TfL as a public service shouldn’t be suggesting it is.

  123. Mick H says:

    @strapan, you’re correct :). Just check live departures and Southend Victoria services depart platform 5 to access the fly-under. I wonder how they’ll manage extra GEML services and Crossrail with the junction on the flat West of the station. Are major track changes planned?
    Linking to the original subject, it’s worth noting that a flat crossing at Upminster to link the Romford branch to the Thameside mainline has often been quoted as unworkable with much less frequent services!!

  124. Graham H says:

    @timbeau – as far as I can see, the colour scheme represents the legal status of the network:

    – multicoloured by route – TfL own the infrastructure and operate it directly
    – orange – TfL don’t own any of the infrastructure but operate a franchise
    – purple – TfL own (most of) the infrastructure, but NR also owns some of it; TfL operate a franchised service
    – “DLR green” – TfL own the infrastructure but franchise out its maintenance and operation, and the train service is franchised
    – tram green – TfL own all the assets but franchise out the operation

    Alternatively, the colours merely represent TfL’s own internal organisation.

    In any case, the travelling public couldn’t care a toss what the ownership/legal arrangements might be, they just want to know where the vehicle is going. Can’t be that difficult to allocate numbers to the operations, can it? (The precedent of the duplicate tram and bus route numbers before the war isn’t encouraging, is it?) [Reminded of the Commie habit of starting a new route number series for each mode in Tallinn, bus, tram and trolley routes 1 used to overlap… not to mention the legendary first generation Athens tramways which had two routes 3 (I believe) serving the same termini by different routeings and distinguished externally only having slightly different rolling stock – presumably, intending passengers carefully examined the motors and control equipment before boarding]

  125. Pedantic of Purley says:

    @Mick H,

    To quote the Crossrail Environmental Statement:

    A new track would be installed on the north side of platform five to accommodate terminating Crossrail trains. A new platform 210 m long would be constructed on the north side of platform five. To improve operations, Crossrail would install a number of new crossovers at the west end of the station. The southern most section of the three stabling sidings would be amended to facilitate through running of trains.

  126. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Timbeau et al – I see the “great map grumble” has sprung back to life in accordance with London Reconnections unwritten rule 2 “thou shalt always complain about London rail system maps”. While I understand why people complain about map colours, service delineation, what mode is shown and how I will simply say, as someone who is colour blind, please think about the full spread of customers who will need to use whatever mega complex, overly coloured and coded map results from your combined efforts to change the London railway mapping world.

    What would be a nice start is for each TOC, especially those south of the Thames, to produce network maps that pick out the service groupings they use for the “traffic light” service advise boards they use. I see Southern and South Eastern have tried but no consistency of presentation while SWT just have a basic network map. They could then try to use letters / numbers / codes as a second stage of development.

  127. Graham H says:

    @WW – I entirely take your point about colours (there aren’t, in any case, enough of them). Route numbers seem the obvious answer. Zuerich is a good example, where the core city tram routes are still colour coded but form part of a numbering system that embraces regional buses and – at least nominally – various other railbound operations. Anything is better than the absence of coordination that we have now; it will, as the orange network expands, make TfL a laughing stock.

  128. Anon5 says:

    I thought the colour coding was simple: each Tube line had a colour but came under the familiar red circle/blue crossbar roundel. When TfL came into being much money was spent on giving other modes of transport their own roundel and colour. (Prior to this buses had a white roundel in red square, river had white on blue, trams green on white while DLR was still represented by an italicised typeface.) The privately run trams continued to depict lines on maps inside the trams with three colours (red, yellow, green?) until TfL took over and swapped these to three shades of green. On London Connections maps, trams are shown as one colour, just as the DLR and Overground are each shown as one colour and in the case of the former one line. Overground launched with the orange as part of its brand statement (allowing some East London Line tangerine to remain at Wapping etc). Unlike the Tube with its rainbow palette of lines under one red and blue roundel, Overground was all about the orange.

    Option are stick with orange, adapt the shading principles to distinguish the separate Overground, DLR and tram lines, choose different colours (including different shades of existing tube colours), use ‘patterned’ lines [think black and white Tube maps on the old A-Zs] or bring in numbering.

    You could say all Overground lines with at least a 15 minute frequency are given one colour and others (such as Romford-Upminster or South Eastern or Southern should their metro parts ever come under TfL) are in a different colour / parrallel lines.

    You’ve also got to think about service update boards. How often do you see that orange lozenge at the station or on the website with the words severe delays next to it only to then realise it only affects one line of the Overground.

    For the near future if Overground and its long tentacles out to Romford and Chingford appear on the regular tube map then surely it’s time Tramlink was given equal representation rather than a small green lozenge next to Wimbledon. Give South London a chance TfL!

  129. Graham H says:

    @Anon5 – yes, the roundel colouring is simple and it is entirely self-referential, and thoroughly unhelpful. The punters couldn’t care a ** whether the thing they need to travel on is a tram, a bus, a franchised train, a wholly owned train. or a franchised train running on TfL-owned infrastructure. They just want to get on the right vehicle to go home; the rest is for geeks like us. If it’s colours you want, then some combos are inevitable: how many shades of turquoise does anyone know?

  130. Castlebar 1 says:

    In Scotland, they can have different tartans, but in England, all they want is ‘Shades of grey’

  131. Graham H says:

    @castlebar – well, there’s fifty of those so, perhaps…

  132. Anon5 says:

    Graham H: you’re right. If a decade ago TfL decided to bring the DLR under the tube umbrella it would now be a tube line albeit one (or several with different names) run on a contract with driverless, angular stock. If back then the stock had been painted in tube colours with an Underground roundel on the side and at station entrances it would by now be part of the tube network by many Londoners. I’m not saying that would have been the correct decision, just trying to demonstrate how part of the fragmented TfL network could have been brought closer together.

  133. straphan says:

    @WW: I’m not suggesting colour overload (in any case – how do colour-blind people cope with the standard tube map?). All I’m suggesting is that since train services run with the same stopping patterns every 15 or 30 minutes throughout the day on most routes, then each pattern should be given a number and displayed separately (or almost separately) on the map. You don’t really need that many more colours – perhaps one per terminus? At present, if I want to go to Clapton the TfL map won’t really help me much aside from telling me I should take a train from Liverpool Street. If I want to go to Perivale, on the other hand, I know exactly which tube line to take, what destination it should be heading towards (or at least I know NOT to take an Ealing Broadway train), and which stations it stops at.

    I have a sneaky suspicion such a map would (a) reduce overcrowding on the Overground (‘Look, bruv, der iz trains from Peckum to London Bridge as wew as de Overground, innit!’) and (b) possibly even correct the house price differential between north and south of the Thames (‘Oh, dahling, if we move to that lovely place called Sutton our friends will still know how to reach our dinner pahties AND you’ll still have a direct train to your office in the City!’).

    Currently, though, if you excuse the vulgarity, rather than looking like E. L. James’s ’50 Shades of Grey’, the map south of the river looks more like Irvine Welsh’s ‘seven different shades of sh**e’.

  134. timbeau says:

    @anon 5
    “it’s time Tramlink was given equal representation rather than a small green lozenge next to Wimbledon”
    Don’t forget there’s another one at West Croydon! How could you miss it?

  135. stimarco says:

    I think the days of individual colours for Tube lines on maps may be numbered. I’d opt for a letter-number system: U1-11 – for Underground lines (incl. W&C); O1-4 – for the Overground network; D(etc.) for the DLR,

    …and so on.

    I just spent 5 minutes mucking about and came up with these two examples off the top of my head. Let’s see if the Image tag works. (It shows up correctly in the preview.)

    (Note that all the SSL lines share the same colour in this example.)

  136. stimarco says:

    Nope, looks like the preview lies. It lies!

    Take 2, this time as a straight Flickr link: Click Me!

  137. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Straphan – there are different forms of colour blindness but I can only comment from personal experience. You can, if you wish, read about each tube line and become familiar with where it runs (north – south, east – west) which reduces the reliance on colours. Tube lines are also named and signposted by direction / terminus which all helps. Some system maps which are complex and not always presented in an uniform manner (e.g. New York, Tokyo, Paris) can be really difficult. This is because, as a visitor, I don’t have the geographic knowledge / line orientation to compensate in place of the colour. Tokyo is particularly difficult despite the widespread use of English because there are several map designs with inconsistent layouts and use of colour. London has (broadly) stuck with the Beck design which gives uniform presentation in a wide variety of places. New York has the problem of ever changing service patterns (it may have calmed down in recent years) so you’d be daft to rely an oldish map as stopping patterns and line origin and destinations have probably morphed! New York also has the added distinction of bits of the network still being identified (by locals) by the original ownership abbreviations (BMT, IRT, IND). It would be like us still using Yerkes to identify some lines. Hong Kong is OK but the system isn’t large although it’s grown considerably. Their MTR map has remained stable in its design.

    The takeover by TfL of the West Anglia service may create issues in terms of map presentation given the different stopping patterns between Liverpool St and Hackney Downs. Clearly we have “express” sections on the tube but they’re usually shown by virtue of another (local) line running parallel. The fact Briantist has twiddled with his Overground network map several times in recent days shows the challenges and scope for compromise / comment / criticism.

    As I said earlier I understand why people “vent” about maps but (IMO) there is no easy answer to any of this. Us transport nuts can cope with immense complexity because we already understand the network that we would like to be visualised. We want our own “mega complex map” because it fits our comfort zone. However, many ordinary punters cannot cope with maps of any form. I’ve lost count of the times when I’ve tried to explain to people where they are on a geographic map or how reality aligns to the directions on a spider bus map. Giving those people an immensely complex map with colours, names and codes / numbers on it would probably make them give up before starting. I don’t think that is a sensible design objective.

    As I suggested earlier it would be interesting for one TOC with a complex network to try to present their service structure (or part thereof) in a more logical fashion. Thinking further you could perhaps run a trial whereby maps, signs, announcements, diagrams and publicity were all upgraded in a consistent presentation to see if it raised awareness (and use) of the service. It wouldn’t necessarily be easy in the short term but it might be an interesting thing to do. It is evident that a “tube style” presentation has helped people understand where the Overground runs. As Mr Bunting related the other day “it’s so nice that they’ve built a railway to Norwood” (and put it on a map I can just about understand, daahhling!).

  138. Anon5 says:

    Don’t forget TfL funded maps on National Rail when it launched ON (the overground network) to highlight those stations with a turn up and go service of 15 minutes of less. The brand was ditched shortly before TfL launched the London Overground brand.

    Ironically if TfL took over all of the metro services in London we’d end up with the same map we used to have of the multi coloured Tube network and the railways – albeit they used to be in black parallel lines not orange. Then the pre-privatised shadow franchises came up with the map each operator in different colours with the tube in a variety of patterned black and white.

    I think any colour coding from now on has to come back to frequencies. Paris uses different shades of the same colour as does Melbourne’s huge tram network.

  139. Ed says:

    John U.K – that experience at Woolwich is pretty typical. Though that is the station with barriers in operation the longest amount of time generally. This is due to Woolwich Arsenal rail station being connected to the DLR station and TfL gating the DLR entrance. One of the only DLR stations with gates – TfL must have realised the scale of evasion in the area to install them. At Woolwich Arsenal Southeastern still often leave the gates open in the day, always in the evenings and often leave the side gate open too. Every other station is pretty much open at all times on that line, and the same on other SE lines. It’s been that way for so long and SE must be losing huge amounts. The reputation of the railway locally among many people, when I lived there, was that it was a ‘free’ line and you’ll never be caught, and that was a common view going back at least 20 years. Usage figures must be strongly under-reported.

    ngh – I’m surprised the person managed it for 5 years on trains with on-board staff. Much easier with routes to Dartford/Gillingham which are driver only.

  140. Anon5 says:

    Two Southeastern inspectors alighted the Orpington-Victoria train at Beckenham Junction this morning, the first time I’ve seen them aboard for years. Visible ‘policing’ after yesterday’s news? Every few months a gang of inspectors will turn up at stations along the route. The worst time is when they meet an already delayed train at Brixton. The usual slow-moving crush to get through the narrow doors and stairwell in the morning peak is exasperated by their insistence on checking everyone’s ticket. You’d think if the train is already late they’d have the grace to stand aside.

  141. straphan says:

    @Ed: Any subterranean station requires a staff presence – as do ticket barriers when in operation. And since there was enough space to build a barrier, they did (unlike Cutty Sark where the site is too constrained).

    @stimarco: Underground line names are a piece of heritage TfL will never abandon.

    @WW: I fully appreciate I am an ‘advanced’ user of maps. Indeed – the bus stop diagrams invented by TfL which effectively combine three scales into one map (geographical layout of junction/area, diagram of all bus stops within 2.5mi, less accurate diagram further out) is the best thing since sliced bread. My girlfriend’s mother – on the other hand – is absolutely clueless when she looks at it.

    Thing is, though – I think the consensus is that the TfL representation of mainline rail services at present does not convey enough information. We can argue how to introduce more of it, but I think more is really required.

  142. Paying Guest says:

    If one can enter the maps/colurs debate without throwing a double six I would like to add a few points to those made by WW. Defective colour vision affects around 1 in 7 of the male population, so it is a significant factor. Like WW I am colour blind – in my case the most common (red/green). However, even here there are less obvious deficiencies. I can never distinguish the brown ball from the reds on a snooker table, but the green never gives me a problem – this is because of the substantial difference in shade. Just a moment ago my wife asked me to pass her the blue tee shirt; “that’s mauve!” – and we’ve only been married 43 years.

    I don’t have problems interpreting the underground map, maybe because of familiarity. What does give me a problem is when people refer to lines by colour “it’s the brown one”.

    The 2 key points I would stress are: try to avoid juxtaposing colours that contain an element of red; and, make maximum use in contrast of shades.

  143. Jim Cobb says:

    With the increasing sophistication and flexibility of route planning apps on smartphones, will the route map actually matter in the future ? How long before route maps and timetables are replaced by a QR code for the planning app ?

    Personally, I have a fascination with maps and the LU map will always be something special, but I wonder how much longer it will matter for the casual user.

  144. stimarco says:


    Disagree. The Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith & City and Circle lines are actually not that old:

    The line colours are also not traditional. In fact, Harry Beck’s early maps painted the entire Sub-Surface rail network green, including the Metropolitan and District. (The SSL’s actual routes are as clear as mud on this map as a result.) So there is a precedent for tweaking the line colours. Also, red was originally the colour used for the Bakerloo on pre-Beck maps. So today’s line distinctions are primarily a 20th Century invention.

    If we’re going to overhaul the UI for London’s transit network properly, it makes sense to start from first principles. Maps exist to serve a very specific function. They’re not supposed to be designed primarily for exhibition in art galleries!

  145. stimarco says:

    @Jim Cobb:

    I agree that any replacement map need not be designed primarily for print today. However, print is still one of the lowest-maintenance formats available. Unlike a 42″ LED TV, spraying paint or throwing a brick at a printed poster tends not to cost £1000s to repair.

    So there is a need for a map that has a consistent design language in both forms.

    I think we’re approaching the point where combining every TfL-managed network in London is probably no longer viable. There simply aren’t enough colours to colour-code every individual route, which is why I made my earlier suggestions.

    If the Sub-Surface lines (today’s Metropolitan, District, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines) went back to a single colour, while the Tube lines did likewise, that frees up plenty of contrasting colours for the Overground, DLR, and any new networks that are added in future.

    Basically, the Sub-Surface and Overground lines could be one map. The deep-level Tube lines (Northern, Piccadilly, Victoria, Central, Bakerloo, etc.) could be another. The Overground a third, and so on. For ‘combo’ maps and route-finding, you’d have to go with interactive displays and mobile / tablet apps. The DLR might be better off on the Tube map given its connection with the Jubilee and Central lines around Stratford. Tramlink should really be shown with bus routes.

    London used to have somer really chunky “route finder” machines in some of its Underground stations, but these were based on ancient 1960s-era computer technology and have long since been removed. Today, they could be restored and placed centre stage to reduce demand on staff. (Not least because such machines can be easily made multilingual.)

  146. straphan says:

    @stimarco: let me rephrase then: I believe TfL will never abandon names of underground lines in favour of a numbering system.

    (Plus we are also far enough into the 21st Century to call things from the 1st half of the 20th Century ‘heritage’).

  147. Jim Cobb says:

    I am questioning whether there will be the need for a map at all, printed, electronic or otherwise. The purpose of the map is so that you can work out how to get from A to B. If route planning apps do it for you, and those apps are ubiquitous, what is the function of the map ?

    My point is that worrying about the increasing complexity of the maps may be irrelevant going forward.

  148. RichardB says:

    @ Jim Cobb I think your idea that maps in any format are not required due to the facility of travel apps on smart phones et al misses the point. The maps help people place things in context and suggest possible alternatives. The apps generally provide a response to a question but unless you already possess the contextual knowledge your question may not be the right one for your purposes. I would say that the solution is to have both facilities available as we do now.

    I recall some years ago a detailed catalogue of archival records at The National Archives went on line depending on a search facility. The designers did not provide a browse facility (which was the traditional approach when using the hard copy catalogue) as it was assumed users would input their search terms and immediately get the answer they required. It did not take into account that many peoples search terms will not find what they need as items are often described in radically different terms. The second fault was the omission of a browse facility which prevented serendipitous discovery. The browse facility was restored due to popular demand although the designers could not fathom why people would wish to use it. Recently TfL committed the same cardinal error on their new web site by deleting all the bus maps as it was assumed that users would find the new search facility superior. Following substantial adverse feedback these maps were returned to the website with a few days of the launch of the new website.

    A lot of IT designers have a very strong not to say absolute faith in search engines and fail to comprehend there is more than one way of conveying the required information. Maps being graphical provide contextual information which can be absorbed with a glance. Not everyone likes maps but sufficient of us do to make their existence worthwhile. The recent advent of satnav in cars is a case in point. It can be invaluable but depending on your search terms (and attendant level of ignorance) you can be directed to a destination which has no relevance to where you actually wished to go. I recently went with friends to Italy on a touring holiday relying in part on sat nav but accompanied by an excellent road atlas. The atlas helped to plan the trips but also ensured we validated the route on the sat nav.

  149. Greg Tingey says:

    Jim Cobb
    NOT buying it
    If only because so many “smart” apps, especially where maps are concerned are unutterably, irredeemably crap. Includes the unreliable Google Maps, too, whose labelling of London districts & places is, err … umm … erratic.
    My nightmare, when driving the Great Green Beast is come up behind someone relying on their satnav

    Declaration of interest: I have complete printed sets of both the 1:50 000 & preceding : 63 360 series OS maps here ….

    [tedious rant replaced with “someone relying on their satnav” PoP]

  150. Long Branch Mike (London Bus Mike) says:


    I heartily agree. I never use GPS/SatNav or Journey Planners, preferring to exercise my brain & educate myself about where I’m going.

    Wholehearted reliance on technology is never a good thing. The Tube Journey Planner is notorious for giving roundabout tube only directions, for which a walk of 10 minutes would be much better.

  151. Graham H says:

    @RichardB – the same goes for timetables versus journey planners. Those of us who love to look at the complete timetable* are, of course, stigmatised as luddites, but putting one’s faith in a search engine means that you have to know what assumptions are being made about connexions, reliability, and so on, and also prevent you looking at “near misses” (ie cases where a bus to “nearby” is better than two buses to the precise point). And they always assume that you know the correct name or postcode for the place you are headed – just like satnavs.

    *Not to mention the entertainment/armchair travel value (whoops!)

  152. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Jim Cobb – I think you are running away with a vision of ubiquitous IT. Not everyone can use it, understand it, afford it or is even interested in it. TfL certainly don’t have it across their network either. A map such as the Tube Map, for all its issues and complications and contradictions, is reasonably well understood by a lot of people and a very cheap piece of “low” technology. I also think there would be a massive “emotional” reaction if it was suggested that it be abolished. You may well argue that’s daft or illogical but that’s human beings for you.

    TfL tried to do this with the Bus Spider Maps on their website because they thought they’d invented some whizzy alternative that everyone loved. The problem is that they completely underestimated the use and popularity of the Spider Maps and their whizzy replacement doesn’t work very well. I don’t need a tube map as I understand the network very well. However that’s not true of other places and the first thing I want to see, even before arriving, is if there is a system map. I suspect I may not be alone but I recognise that many people have their heads stuck in smartphones or use GPS in their cars. I can’t afford to run a mobile phone abroad given the charges so I need low technology options! I am also sceptical about technology that ceases to function when the power goes off. A paper tube map doesn’t suffer that problem.

    @ Stimarco – sorry but I can’t see the merit in merging colours for what are different services and named lines. I understand your point that history has shown varied practice over the decades but I thought the issue we were trying to “fix” was how to represent a complex network in a reasonably workable fashion and which did not prioritise one rail service over another. I cannot see the logic of separating sub surface lines from tube lines when we’re dealing with the Underground. Transport “loons” understand the difference but to the majority it’s of no relevance. They won’t want to use *two* maps to travel on the Underground network. I looked at the your Flickr proposal last night and really struggled to work out where I was and what service went where. I think I’m reasonably adept at using maps so I think you may need to go back to the drawing board.

    The other factor to bear in mind when contemplating changes to names, colours or service designation is the immense cost of replacing or altering signage in stations plus tens of thousands of in car line diagrams and maps on stations. Oh and all the visual and audible displays on the train fleets. This stuff isn’t cheap to do and there’s always a risk of timing things wrong so you have to go back round and put stickers on to reflect a new lift or interchange. As we’ve touched on before 2018/19 is the key time for a review of maps and wayfinding given the advent of Thameslink and Crossrail and possibly other changes. It would be nice to think that TfL and ATOC might initiate a public consultation about improving maps and wayfinding for their services in London.

  153. Castlebar 1 says:

    Of course we still, and always shall still need maps and timetables

    In fact, must agree with Graham H as my June 1952 Uxbridge & District L T timetable (showing times for both WR branches from West Drayton,, the “B” bus to Reading, plus market and Early Closing days) still gives hours of amusement

  154. Graham H says:

    @Castlebar1 – not to mention the many happy hours looking at footnotes (favourite so far is the former Sheffield City Transport 144 – “runs during the troutfishing season only”, closely followed by the GNR(I) services via Cookstown – “sets down laundry basket”*). One school friend incurred severe censure from the school’s English department when he replied to the (foolish) question “What are you reading at the moment?” with “The Central Area bus timetable”.

    At first this seemed a very Irish oddity but then I discovered that one of CIE’s delay attribution codes was for “Awaiting host” – presumably as in “We always have to wait for Fr O’Reilly if he’s got to fetch the viaticum”.

  155. Milton Clevedon says:

    @GH – viaticum.
    I thought Hoover (not the White House Herbert) invented the viaticum, to cleanse as you go, but could never quite spell it. Alternatively there were the ‘Viatores’, who wrote much in the 20th century about the Roman roads of Britain, whose last legions were ca. AD409-410 so very much an overdue host.

  156. Castlebar 1 says:

    @ GH Ah yes, the ‘footnotes’

    British Railways Table 8
    ‘All trains call at Yeoveney 3 inutes after leaving Poyle or Staines to set down passengers who notify the guard at least 2 minutes before departure from West Drayton or Staines, and to pick up passengers who give a clear hand signal to the engine driver’.

    You see, we do need guards

  157. Castlebar 1 says:

    @ Milton

    Hoover invented the viaticum cleaner to cleanse as you go? or the vacuum cleaner?

  158. Milton Clevedon says:

    Unless he was St Hoover I would suggest the latter!

  159. Graham H says:

    @MC – not Hoover, but probably Pope Gregory VI.

  160. Mark Townend says:

    There’s really no reason that phone apps and web applications could not also deliver route timetables in a more traditional form using their databases if their designers so desired. Paper timetable leaflets remain popular with the public and are often available in pdf form from the operators so can be obtained, stored and viewed on smartphones.

  161. Graham H says:

    @Mark Townend – it’s noticeable that a number of private firms have made a go of printing timetable books very recently – eg heretothere’s county series or the resurrection of Cooks. Those county councils that don’t publish paper timetables and maps seem to do so on ideological grounds.

  162. James Bunting says:

    People absorb information in different ways. Many, like me, are visual learners. If I see, for example, a suburban rail timetable where there are a number of routing or stopping options I can take in how the pattern works without necessarily having to look at all of the times. A journey planner is unlikely to be able portray that information nearly so simply. In the same way, an analogue clock or watch may be used for calculating time far more quickly than a digital one.

  163. Anonymous says:

    1933 Map of London’s Underground Railways
    1936 Railway Map
    1939 Underground Lines
    1946 Underground – Diagram of Lines
    1949 Railways – Diagram of Lines
    1958 Underground – Diagram of Lines
    1986 Underground – Pocket Map
    ???? Underground – Journey Planner
    1995 Tube Map

    Different names for the same thing. Can anyone fill in the gaps?

  164. Anonymous says:

    Journey planners and satnavs are at best quirky and at worst useless.

    I’m sticking to flatnav.

  165. Graham H says:

    @Anonymous – the maps, by whichever name, were produced almost annually. I believe there are a number of specialist websites that can help you. For the last few decades, The London Bus (TLB) has included tube publicity in its monthly review of maps and timetable -not sure whether back numbers are yet available on line, tho’. “Mr Beck’s Underground map” is also useful.

  166. Castlebar 1 says:

    @ Anonymous

    Summer 1928 UndergrounD map of the Electric Railways of London
    Number 1 1938 Underground Railway Map London transporT

  167. Paying Guest says:

    GH – A fascinating collection I am sure but how up to date are they? I too have complete sets of inch to the mile and 50 thou but if I want to know about current road layouts or to navigate a long route with which I am unfamiliar then I go straight to my satnav. What the latter does not do is give me any sense of overall relative locations and this is equally important. For this I use traditional maps – either paper or on screen.

    Both technologies have their place and are best regarded as complementary.

    PS: You wouldn’t be the guy by any chance holding up the traffic at a junction while you consult the paper map trying to find the new road which apparently does not exist.

  168. Graham H says:

    @Paying Guest – I think you’re confusing me with Anon and his wish to build a comprehensive list of underground maps, all of which will, by definition, be out of date. I am very interested in old maps and have been a long standing member of the London Topographical Society, but I would never consult their A-Z of Restoration London in preference to Google Earth! I have better methods of holding up the traffic…

  169. Paying Guest says:

    @Graham H – Profuse apologies. Should have been addressed to Greg Tingey @ 14:32. I can only plead fat fingers!

  170. AlisonW says:

    Re TBM’s “roundabout tube only directions” I went out for a wander this afternoon and took a look at Brlackfriars and Whitechapel. Getting on a westbound service at the latter I heard the man opposite say to his son that they wouldn’t take _that_ long to get to Highbury & Islington. As the doors had now closed there seemed little point in educating him of the route of the ELL.

    Personally I like spider maps *but* the bigger problem is that there are never any non-spider maps also present, which used to show the interconnections with outer routes/lines. In essence this is the problem of route planning apps too – you don’t always get shown options but only the (designer’s) preferred route. For instance, when I used to ride a motorbike around town I reckoned on a set of traffic lights equating to a 2minute (min) delay, and adjusted routes accordingly.

  171. Melvyn says:

    Mention has been made of how with expansion the overground will become almost impossible to fathom if it remains like a plate of orage spaghetti . And whether other railways produce maps similar to multi coloured tube map . Well Southern does and can be found via following link –

    Perhaps the overground may need to consider a similar map which would also include Crossrail and maybe other useful connections like Moorgate to Finsbury Park GN and Thameslink west Hampstead to Elephant and Castle/ London Bridge ?

  172. Milton Clevedon says:

    @ Anonymous
    15 April 2014 at 18:17
    There used to be a publication called “London Transport Maps” by Dr. Les Burwood and Ms Carol Brady. 3rd edition was published in 1992. I don’t know if it continues. There were roughly two hundred tube maps or London Connections etc, of one sort or another, and lengthy lists of predecessor railway company maps. Recommend deep pockets if you seriously want to collect even a proportion of them – look at ebay for examples of current prices…

  173. Anon5 says:

    Melvyn: that’s pretty much what Tramlink did – one system represented in light green on London Connections maps but once on the Tramlink network (on platforms and in trams) individual lines were divided into red, yellow and green, since replaced by different shades of green.

    I don’t think there’s any question that Overground can’t do this with maps inside trains and on Overground platforms but we keep coming back to how Overground is represented on the tube map. After all the tube map now includes DLR, cable car and Overground. With the exception of the cable car these modes of transport are no longer simply one line. The DLR is several different lines but admittedly on one system, whereas the Overground is a multitude of separate lines.

  174. Greg Tingey says:

    “UndergrounD/London maps impossible to understand!”
    What utter twaddle.
    Anyone lookd at the maps of PARIS(1) PARIS (2) … & … BERLIN recently?

    I see that TfL’s new whizzy, inferior (etc – assume rant here) web-site still does not have the functionality of the old one.

  175. timbeau says:

    @jim Cobb
    “If route planning apps do it for you, and those apps are ubiquitous, what is the function of the map ?”
    To check whether the app has come up with a sensible solution – for example if you are not as constrained in your start and finish points as the app is (shall I start from Byaswter or Queensway?)
    To replan when the planned route is disrupted

    “The Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith & City and Circle lines are actually not that old. The line colours are also not traditional. In fact, Harry Beck’s early maps painted the entire Sub-Surface rail network green, including the Metropolitan and District.”
    They are over 150 years old. And the line colours have over seventy years of tradition, now enshrined in everything from station colour schemes to, on some lines, grab poles.
    The early Beck maps did distinguish the Met and District, in purple and green – but it showed operators rather than services, so there was no sepaeate representation iof the circle, and the district met the Met end-on at High St Ken and South Harrow.
    The 1940s example you cite was a short-lived attempt to solve the perennial problem of how to show the Circle: by 1949 the present system of showing it in yellow and the Met reverting to prewar purple came in.

  176. Castlebar 1 says:

    On my 1928 map the Met is mauve.

    The Met runs from Rickmansworth to Mansion House and “St Marys”, All 3 sides of the Aldgate triangle are shown as Met territory. The Met has 3 mauve arms extending from Baker Street westwards to Hammersmith, Addison Road and South Ken

    The detached Met’s City Arm (Finsbury Park – Moorgate) is mauve with white dots

    The Bakerloo is bright red and the Central (London Railway) is pale orange

  177. DavidG says:

    Southern’s network map, as linked by Melvyn earlier today, is up to date on their website, but their train carriages are still displaying the pre-December 2012 version, showing the discontinued London Bridge–Victoria via Denmark Hill service.

  178. timbeau says:

    I gather one reason for the current colour scheme for the tube map was to find colours which didn’t fade in sunlight on posters exhibited outdoors to shades indistinguishable from each other – the use of strong colours (red and black_ for the strongest horizontal and vertical lines was also a deliberate choice.

  179. Graham H says:

    @timbeau – and another, apparently, was the limitations imposed by the need to find colours that could be reproduced reliably in enamel on the signage.

  180. Fandroid says:

    @Greg. I’m unsure what you find difficult about the Berlin S &U-Bahn map. I have got around using it several times and found it fairly easy. The main thing about any unfamiliar city is not knowing the actual geography. That applies to London as much as anywhere else.

    Berlin avoids the spaghetti syndrome by not trying to include trams on the same map. That network is published separately ( no colours for routes, but the routes do have numbers – TfL please note!)

    The Southern map does a good job in differentiating the routes with colours, but its rigid 90 degree layout leaves me cold. Also, the only route between Ashford and St Pancras is apparently via Brighton.

  181. Greg Tingey says:

    I’m afraid you’ve got it backwards.
    I was being sarcastic about people moaning about the LUL/London Connections (etc) maps being “too difficult”.

  182. straphan says:

    @Fandroid: Croydon trams do display the route number on their external displays but – oddly – not on the map or tram stops… In any case – the system is simple enough. Try navigating the Berlin tram network without route numbers!

  183. AlisonW says:

    Greg: The problem I’ve always had with the Paris system is that they keep changing the names of the routes!

    In London we have a name for the line, and a cardinal direction. If the line is extended this doesn’t change: “Piccadilly westbound” applied between Holborn and Knightsbridge as much in 1910 (terminus Hammersmith) as in 1940 (Hounslow West) or now (LHR Terminal 5) whereas in Paris, line 13 northbound to where I lived one summer was “direction Porte de Saint-Ouen”, later “direction Carrefour Pleyel” and currently “direction Saint-Denis Université”.

    I believe our system is *much* easier to navigate.

  184. timbeau says:

    Of course the paris metro map is more complex – it shows – all in different colours:
    16 metro lines
    5 RER lines
    6 tram lines
    the non-RER “Grandes Lignes”
    the Montmartre funicular

    all in an area not much larger than our Zones 1 and 2, and much more interconnected than our much more spread-out network – most Metro lines connect with each other several times.

    London, in a much larger area, has only 11 tube lines plus, each in a single colour, the DLR and Overground, plus the cable car. Trams and our proto-RER (aka Thameslink and the Northern City Line) are missing, although Crossrail may appear in due course.

  185. Fandroid says:

    @straphan. My comment asking TfL to take note about route numbers was really aimed at the Overground, which is soon to go into double figures in terms of individual routes. If it is still to be shown on the Tube map, then individual colours for Overground ‘lines’ would just add to overall confusion. Better to stick to Orange and give the routes numbers and show them on the map, on the trains and at the stations. Probably a conceptual step too far for TfL’s rail business, despite it being absolutely normal for buses.

  186. Greg Tingey says:

    Agree …. couldn’t possibly do that, because it’s a very sensible idea that has been deemed “unfashionable” – as in route-codes for trains anywhere, a la Southern Railway.
    After all, the paying passengers can’t possibly be trusted with useful information displayed on the fronts of the trains, can they?

    Actually, given that all units have panels/displays on the front, can anyone from the industry actually give a reasoned, factual account of why this information should NOT be shown? [ As it once was, in the past ]
    Thought not.

  187. straphan says:

    @AlisonW: Tell that to my stepmother who visits Paris much more often than she does London. ‘Why should I know whether I’m going north, south, east or west here? At least in Paris I just need to know what terminus I’m going towards! Why do those bloody Brits have to be different with regard to everything!’.

  188. Chris L says:

    @Greg Tingey

    Quite simple – the old trains had roller displays and destinations could be decreased slightly if necessary.

    Route numbers were displayed mainly in the centre doors of the cabs which would make dot matrix displays difficult to maintain.

    New trains have dot matrix destination displays with fixed letter sizes. Most destinations have to scroll or be unhelpful like Liv St.

  189. Jim Cobb says:

    Lots of interesting responses to my question about the need for maps going forward. I worked on route planning software in 2002 for a logistics company, so the progress in the last dozen years has been just amazing. At that time, the routes were printed out for drivers, but since then they now use smartphones, they are dynamically re-routed around delays and are continuously tracked so the customer can find out where their package is. I had a delivery the other day which had a 10 minute timeslot automatically texted to me 2 hours before ! If the same level of progress is made in the next 12 years, then maps and timetables could easily be superfluous.

    Nevertheless, I think that the various commenters are probably right in that it will never be ubiquitous enough, or simple enough to fully replace maps & timetables, and I sincerely hope that maps never do go away.

  190. Anonymous says:

    When I first learned to read and for some decades thereafter, Piccadilly Line trains from Cockfosters were “Southbound”. They became “Westbound” at Holborn.
    How about Line “B4” for Overground between Richmond and Dalston Jn.

  191. Fandroid says:

    As for the eastbound/westbound thingy, the Overground currently requires that you know the destinations of the trains rather than the direction. I’m used to both systems, but I know all Tube lines off by heart anyway. For a foreigner, whether an Anglo in Germany or France, or a non-Anglo in London, both systems can be troubling. Place names in an unfamiliar language (especially if you cannot pronounce them) are neither memorable nor instantly distinguishable from one another. Directions on the Tube are useless unless you are geographically literate in English. Good display maps can easily solve the first problem, but you still need to be geographically literate to solve the eastbound/ westbound puzzle.

  192. straphan says:

    @Fandroid: perhaps putting up a rose of the winds of some sorts on the tube map would help?

  193. Fandroid says:

    If I was numbering the Overground routes I would group them by lines. Say, 11, 12 etc for the NLL, 21,22 etc for the WLL, and so on for ELL and future Liverpool St services. Individual routes such as the Euston DC line, Goblin, and Romminster would be 01, 02 etc. Then the cognoscenti would only have to glimpse the number to immediately understand what sort of service they were looking at.

  194. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Fandroid – I take your point but the Overground does benefit from (usually) having the TfL standard line diagrams on enamel signs so there is a coherence in presentation. I’d contend that this is quite an improvement on what is typically dished up by the TOCs. While I am not a massive user of the Overground network I can’t recall the last time I saw anyone looking lost.

    The only place that is an annoyance is Highbury and the daft scrolling display screen by the ELL stairs. You can miss your ELL train while waiting to see which platform the first train will depart from. A much simpler (extra) switchable sign with arrows to the relevant stairs for “First train to depart” would be a massive improvement.

  195. RichardB says:

    @ Jim Cobb. In response to your last comment I would say that the issue is that the use of journey planner apps is based on a specific question being asked “how do I get to x from y at this time etc.” essentially it is a text or voice based request and the response on the day is normally based on real time information. It is very focused which is its strength but it is unable to provide the broader contextual information which a map provides in graphic form. In contrast a user studying a map is either trying to establish where they are in relation to the transport system and/or considering the options for travel. The journey planner normally will provide the most direct route between two points where the map provides the opportunity to undertake serendipitous travel for example a route via a location you would not normally have considered using even though it is more circuitous or a route through an area or district you have not travelled to before. There are obviously many other reasons for consulting a map but critically the map has an ability to let you see the context of the options available to you. It is easy to interpret (or should be) because of its graphics. A journey planner will if it supplies cartographic information at all will only provide a narrow subset of the map confined to the route it is advising in response to your query. Maps are aimed to provide a lot of information in one view.

    I think you may be placing too much emphasis on the utility of journey planner apps for example if we were to remove all information from bus stops (bus route numbers, route maps, timetables, count down displays etc) leaving just a pole with a flag stating “bus stop” as all relevant information would be provided by the app for that stop would we as well off as we are now? I think not. A good modern transport should aim to provide a system which informs all travellers using a variety of modes. One caveat I do have about apps is that they are fine but at a bus stop a count down display if available provides a swifter means of conveying information on bus movements than the app can. I am not opposed to apps and indeed use them myself but I think we will always want other means of viewing information. If you will a map is a picture and as the old saying goes it is worth a thousand words so I think maps will always have their place.

  196. timbeau says:

    @anon 1716
    At Holborn the Picadilly platforms are (or were last time I noticed) marked “northbound” and “westbound”. The “southbound” platform closed in 1994 of course.

  197. Greg Tingey says:

    Daimond Geezer has posted, today, about Emerson Park (station) & the line ….

  198. Saintsman says:

    I see no contradiction with this press release and the Upminster branch eventually becoming a “Crossrail Shuttle”.

    Personally I would pencil in the mid to end 2020s for this switch; most likely in connection to the Crossrail 2 – CR2 timeline. The Cheshunt route via Tottenham Hale route is likely to be similarly re-branded at this time.

    Launching a sub brand before the core brand is firmly established makes little marketing sense – “Crossrail Shuttle” can wait. Secondly the Upminster branch (like Greenford and hopefully Windsor for different reasons) is not up to Crossrail’s brand image. They need to provide a coherent offering and identity. There is no money in the current budget and they are not these are not highest priority. Getting them “on the map” is key.

    Let LO bring these lines up to suitable standards in stages. There is no point running these branches with a frequency higher than the Crossrail services served – 4tph seems a sensible goal (yes expensive). The final switch brings another wave of publicity.

    However having isolated LO branches does not make sensible marketing in the longer term. It does not give clear understanding to the casual traveller.

    The 1 LO branded train for Upminster and hopefully some of the GOBLIN DMU cascaded to Greenford, should give a common LO experience initially. These in turn can then be cascaded when the time is right. Replacement trains could then be purchased as part of CR2 to eventually give a common Crossrail feel.

    Finally there should be no excuse that this branch does become fully accessible from street to train (not just platform) – no other trains services use the branch (same for Windsor – although freight complicates the intermediate stations on the Greenford)

  199. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Saintsman – in broad terms I don’t disagree with what you’re saying. One point I would dispute slightly is “brand coherence” but not the meaning of it. As PoP has said in another article there is a problem for Crossrail as service levels won’t be coherent between branches, stations and times of day. It also doesn’t align that well with other TfL run services.

    I also doubt that station facilities and visual presentation will be that coherent either – simply because of financial constraints. There are hints at this already given disagreements about plans at various old NR owned stations. It has not been so much of an issue with Overground because almost anything was better than the neglect that went before nor are there the sort of new vast caverns that the Crossrail core will have.

    I actually hope there is a visual coherence with Crossrail but I wonder how well purple roundel signs will look? LU’s red and Overground’s orange are both bright and stand out. Purple though? Hmm. It will be interesting to see what happens with Romford – Upminster in terms of brand and whether it metamorphoses over time as you suggest.

  200. Stationless says:

    Just a thought… even though they may not have considered it before (and not withstanding existing stations on the lines), does anyone think Crossrail would be interested in Upminster (and maybe Winsor) as destinations in their own right? (Say 10 years from now when the money might be more readily available).

  201. @Stationless,

    If you are talking about direct connections then in the case of Windsor the problem is that the branch is south of the fast lines and Crossrail will use the relief lines north of the branch lines. With the busy service on the fast lines, connecting Crossrail to the Windsor branch would be pretty much impossible. Otherwise I think they would have jumped at the chance. As it is, as I understand it, 2tph on Crossrail off-peak will now go all stations to West Drayton then Slough then Maidenhead. One suspects that they only go to Maidenhead because it is somewhere they can terminate at. If they could have continued to Windsor instead I am sure the option would have been seriously considered.

    By the way (and more directed at Saintsman), because the bay for Windsor is next to the down fast, the timings of the branch, currently at least, connect with the semi-fast trains running on the fast lines. To me this does seem more logical and I don’t really see any basis for the Windsor branch being part of the Crossrail brand. Similarly, it now appears that there will still be semi-fast trains to Paddington from Maidenhead and Twyford and on that basis I would argue that the Henley and Marlow branches should not be Crossrail branded either as they would not simply be Crossrail feeder services.

  202. red_dragon says:

    The Romford to Upminster line was built by the LT&SR as a 2 track alignment to allow it to be double tracked at a later stage.

    The were 2 tracks at Romford Station, although only one had a platform face (for the original run round loop) and it was 2 tracks out to the GE connection. There is then a short single track alignment until to coal yard where a double track railway existed up to Brentwood Road for the coal sidings and Halls depot, so 2 tracks ran under Victoria Road Bridge. All of the 2nd track alignment has now been built on around Victoria Road & the old Halls yard.

    The remaining bridges are all double track, but I am not sure that the o/h wires would allow 2 electrified tracks due to the bridge arches.

    There was then the 2 track loop west of Emerson Park.

    Emerson Park Station itself has the space for a 2nd track and platform, but not an island due to the bridge.

    The approach to Upminster also used to be double track. The 2nd platform was handed over to the District Line and the remainder of the 2nd track remained as a siding for years, only removed during electrification of the branch when some of the oldest track was removed.

    What always stopped the additional stations being built, was land purchase (for access not the station), the bridges and at Wingletye Lane, large gas mains! Maybe today, unit built platforms & access ramps could get around this?

  203. Nomad says:

    I may have missed seeing this, but can anyone tell me why the Lea Valley line (via Brimsdown, Ponders End, Enfield Lock) was “rejected”? Isn’t it odd that the old “Turkey Street Loop”, for so long closed and abandoned, is now to go orange whilst the parallel (and I think busier) line is, it seems, doomed to continue with the poor service. old and neglected trains and general lack of interest that has plagued it for years.

  204. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Nomad – this is a guess but lack of track capacity is one factor plus there seems to be a reluctance for TfL run services to run to Hertford as it has (fare) consequences for the other line (either Greater Anglia or FCC depending). TfL won’t want to run trains to Stansted or Cambridge and there is already pressure for faster airport services. *If* we ever get a full four tracking up the Lea Valley then there might well be a separation of services with the Anglia TOC running the fast services and TfL being able to run a more frequent stopping service into Stratford / Liv St. It is worth noting that there is capacity constraint through Clapton so people shouldn’t get carried away with an idea of local trains every couple of minutes. Even if Crossrail 2 ends up running through T Hale I don’t expect to see a mega frequent service, especially if the North London split branch idea persists.

    There is a funded plan to add tracks from south of T Hale up to Angel Road to allow a x15 minute service from Angel Rd to Stratford. There is no idea yet who would run that service and it will probably be a decision for the retendering of the Greater Anglia franchise with the next full franchise starting in Oct 2017. The Angel Rd extra tracks project may not complete until 2019 as there are land ownership issues which Network Rail are working on now.

  205. Castlebar (Continuity Contra Crayonista) says:

    @ Stationless (00:44)

    I don’t know if anyone “does anyone think Crossrail would be interested in Upminster”, but I think I’m fairly safe in guessing that even if they are, they wouldn’t want to gain access via Emerson Park (formerly “Halt”), which is really the thread issue

  206. Saintsman says:

    @Pedantic – All 4 GW branches out to Reading pose their own challenges.
    Greenford between a LU bay to a Crossrail bay with no through passenger services. It is within TfL area and would benefit from being “on the map”. Whatever deals are currently going on behind the scenes this should logically be transferred to TfL – BUT someone will eventually need to pay for electrification.

    Marlow and Henley branches – I would argue are firmly GW franchise territory. On the basis Oxford stoppers continue to call, with WRAtH also providing a likely service. They are really too far out for TfL to justify, let GW worry about them.

    For Windsor there is no clear case either way. GW will continue to serve Slough on the fast lines, along with their aforementioned Oxfords (and WRAtH services whoever runs these). The 4tph Crossrail service is on the “wrong side” of the “fast lines” to make this a simple interchange to the Windsor bay. BUT Crossrail / TfL are responsible for the Airport Junction to Maidenhead electrification – it is different to the GW Mainline funding. So just a thought TfL agree to take Greenford on condition they get Windsor branch. (Maybe even electrify Greenford from Crossrails funding stream as a bolt on contract). Public get improved services, close enough to TfL to be justified. TfL if marketed correctly get Windsor “on their map” which should hopefully generate some extra journeys to help fund it all.

    As for Upminster Crossrail can’t do everything so let LO work their magic

  207. Long Branch Mike (Long Bus Maps) says:

    Can anyone provide brief details on the Turkey Street Loop, what it comprises, and is demise?

    Mr Wiki and Mr Google are being vague, only describing Turkey Street Station itself.

  208. Anonymous says:


    Better known as the Southbury Loop from Enfield Town line to Cheshunt. Started carrying passengers again in 1960.

    Poor service of 2tph so hoping TFL will increase it when they take over.

  209. Long Branch Mike (Long Bus Maps) says:



  210. Twopenny Tube says:

    @ red_dragon: The land previously occupied by the Victoria Road Goods Depot, and the Hall’s sidings, has indeed been built on. However, I think the space occupied by the run round loop/headshunt from the Junction Road footbridge and under the Victoria Road Bridge is still clear. I don’t recall it ever running as far as Brentwood Road.

    Interesting comment about the second line and platform at Upminster. I wonder when the physical connection with the District/LTS was removed? There were still some through services to Grays I believe up to the end of steam on the branch in the early/mid fifties. I remember a siding off the branch where it leaves the District and LTS, leading in to a mysterious shed. This lasted into the 70s, not sure if it was still there when the branch was electrified. Do you have any idea what this was for and why it was kept?

  211. Long Branch Mike (LO Maps) says:


    I hope you’re still out there keeping abreast of this article.

    I had an idea to help clarify your map, and possibly the 2015 new LO map. Perhaps the orbital LO routes could stay solid orange (Orbitals), but the lines that terminate at a London Station (Watford DC Line, Chingford et al) could be a hollow orange line (Terminals, for the lack of a better term), like the hollowed DLR line.

    This would disentangle the orange spaghetti into 2 distinct strands for quicker visual clarity.

    My only concern is that the hollow orange line may be misconstrued as part-time service, like the hollow green branch to Olympia. However over time users would realize the hollow orange means full Overground service.

    Of course, I still strongly believe that the individual LO lines need naming (NLL, ELL, DC, etc) and numbering for quicker identification.

  212. Nile says:

    Interesting discussion between Dan and Briantist, back there, about marking up a walkable connection between Walthamstow Central and Queens Road.

    Briantist is quite correct in saying there’s no good walking route: if there are plans to change that, I’d love to hear it – but the 200-metre straight line on a map is all private housing, so its unlikely that a pedestrian route will be opened up. And if it did, it would turn into a reeking back alley and a muggers’ manor.

    …So we’re stuck with a half-mile walk ’round the houses in Walthamstow.

    This is a general point with the Goblin: some stations are closer to good interchanges than you think.

    But, like South Tottenham and Seven Sisters, you need to know the shortcut through the estate, the unmarked alleyway, and cross a major road… Where the pedestrian crossing is 150 metres away from the station and unfavourably sequenced so as to give a 7-minute delay – not what you want when your train’s pulling in!

    This could be fixed, and quite cheaply – far cheaper than the gold-plated walkway from Hackney Downs to Hackney Central – for the price of signposting and a pedestrian crossing; although a second entrance to South Tottenham and a footbridge over the High Road would be far, far better.

    Are there other pedestrian interchange improvements you could name?

  213. timbeau says:


    I thought there had been some progress on the Walthamstow interchange

  214. Briantist says:

    Perhaps a bit late in the day, but I have added the following to Wikipedia.

    “The northeast section of the London Underground and Overground Map from late 2015.”

    File:London Underground and Overground map for 2015- (north east section).svg


  215. Greg Tingey says:

    I expect the longer shorter link (If you see what I mean) via “Edison Close” to open very soon – the structures have been in place for MONTHS – they just need to screw the new ticket-machine down & remove the temporary screening.
    The other link to the bottom of the WHC car-park is still awaiting the completion of other works there, caused by the long time over-run of construction work on the hideous development.
    When that’s done, they can remove the stuff they’ve got dumped in the exaact corner of the car-park needed, resurface it (if they haven’t already) remove one fence-panel & insert one lamp-post,
    Shouldn’t take more than another year!

  216. timbeau says:

    ………….very good, even if it does clearly demonstrate that it’s high time different colours were used for different services

    Try working out Whitechapel to South Tottenham, which at first glance looks like almost a straight line

    The close similarity of Central Line red to Overground orange only adds to the confusion.

  217. Castlebar (Continuity Contra Crayonista) says:

    On my 1928 UndergrounD “Railways of London” map, the Central Line is “Overground Orange”, and the Bakerloo is “Central Line” red.

  218. Kit Green says:

    Has anyone considered that for avoidance of an Overground orphan, and to create a simple marketing message, Romford – Upminster should be presented as a separate part of the district line in a sort of Epping – Ongar manner? Green on the map just seems more logical.

  219. Castlebar (Continuity Contra Crayonista) says:

    @ Kit

    The most sensible suggestion I’ve seen in a long time

    Ditto Ealing > Greenford in “Central Line Red”??

  220. timbeau says:

    Surely Greenford should be green, given that we have a choice? (Redbridge is on the red line, after all)

  221. Long Branch Mike (Long Barrier Manipulation) says:

    @ Kit, Castlebar, Timbeau

    I should think Overground will wish to keep their signature orange for brand identity.

    However the orphan LO segments do beg a different graphical treatment on the London’s Rail & Tube services map, to denote their different service standards (at least initially). Most likely the checked pattern it currently has on the Rail & Tube Services map, but in LO orange.

    I must admit looking at this larger Rail & Tube Services map when making my suggestion of 25 April 2014 at 19:11, and not realizing at the time that the Tube Map has LO as the hollow orange line.

    Certainly the Tube Map & London’s Rail & Tube services map should have the identical graphical lines for LO to avoid this discrepency, as well as for the part-time Kensington (Olympia) line (checked line on the Tube Map, hollowed line on the larger area map).

    I must add that on the Tube Map I see the pink Hammersmith & City line as quite orange, especially when it is beside the green District line. Anyone else see this effect?

  222. red_dragon says:

    If you look on
    and use coordinates 555480, 186888 you can see the tracks near Upminster.
    Just change the coords to follow the line along & see what track layout existed.

    You can see the twin tracks into Upminster in the 1920’s, plus various sidings.

    553558,188000 shows the short Emerson Park loop in 1921.

    552483,188636 shows Halls Yard, Romford

  223. Milton Clevedon says:

    An interesting outcome here from passenger research in Merseyside published today in the ‘Passenger Voice’ newsletter from Passenger Focus. It looks at passengers’ preferences for future seating arrangements on future Merseyrail trains. Might possibly be relevant for Crossrail and West Anglia trains. alternatively, gross train capacity might be more of a fundamental requirement in London.

  224. Chris L says:

    @Milton Clevedon
    This ties in with research done when I was in LUL Marketing in the 80s.

    This showed that passengers wanted a mix of longitudinal & transverse seating.

    S8s have it but ignored otherwise since then. Would have thought the S7s for the main District Line service should have been the same.

  225. tog says:

    In picking out seats, 50 per cent chose to sit in the existing pod-style seats, facing each other in twos. The reasons given were that it allowed them to sit as a group and talk to family and friends. Even those travelling on their own felt it gave them an opportunity to make conversation with strangers.

    Talking to strangers on public transport?! Those northerners and their crazy ideas…

  226. Anon5 says:

    I’m writing this while alighting from a Southeastern networker which has a mix of facing seats and airline style seating. The floors under the seats are littered with newspapers, free sheets and takeaway wrappers. I’m not saying the Overground’s 378s are entirely free of litter but the longitudinal seating certainly helps discourage people from discreetly dumping rubbish on the floor. The 378s must be a lot easier to clean too.

  227. Mark Townend says:

    @red_dragon, 30 April 2014 at 08:52

    Addressed to all old map enthusiasts. National Library of Scotland have scanned, in high resolution, their entire collection of old UK OS maps, not just Scotland, including the 6″ series for England and Wales, with various editions up until the 40s and 50s. All now online and free to browse. Note: ‘Screen prints may be made of these maps for non-commercial, educational and private purposes’.

    Go here:

  228. Steven Taylor says:

    @Mark Townend

    I have just come to London Reconnections from NLS!!

    The ones I love are the 1/1056 super detailed 1893 1895 maps of South London

  229. Clarkie63 says:

    Interesting that Briantist shows Bethnal Green (BR) on map as Bethnal Green West. Do LU not allow two stations on their Network to be named the same ??? Originally Bethnal Green used to have platforms on the Stratford Branch but these were closed and removed after Bethnal Green (CL) opened. Orinially station was called Bethnal Green Junction.

    I am really pleased with the news that Romford to Upminster line is being taken over by LO. This line has been overlooked for a number of years. If a passing loop could be put in at Emerson Park ,during peaks the trains could be timed to arrive at Romford and Upminster better as they would be able to run more trains, if a underpass was put in at Upminster the trains could be extended to Grays. Grays has a bay platform and the passenger traffic would increase as one of the stations is Chafford Hundred ( for Lakeside). This would really reduce the journey time from Romford to Lakeside as the 370 bus it takes ages.

  230. Long Branch Mike (Long Barrier Manipulation) says:


    I believe there is a(n informal) LU rule that every station on their Network have a unique name, for clarity.

    Regarding your comments about the Romford to Upminster line, there are many many comments above on the pros and cons of such a line upgrade and/or extension.

  231. Chris L says:

    except at Paddington & Edgware Road

  232. Malcolm says:

    Every Underground station has always had a unique name. Possibly some dispute about places like Paddington which (underground-wise) is on the border between being one station or two. Name clashes between underground and other rail stations are fairly numerous (Brixton, Wood Green [formerly], Kentish Town, Bethnal Green etc: again debateable whether some of these are “the same” station). But the situation is now changing a bit with Oysterisation and Overgrounding, where differences between “tube” and “train” are getting rather more blurred.

  233. Milton Clevedon says:

    “Every Underground station has always had a unique name. ”

    Not so historically, Shepherds Bush (Met (& GW) / Central) stations at different ends of Shepherds Bush Green is one example only rectified very recently (with or without the apostrophe…) Go back to LER days or before, Tottenham Court Road = Goodge Street on CCE&HR (Northern), but TCR on CLR (Central). Ealing Broadway was 2 Underground stations (and an adjoining GW station) which were separate entry/exit points with the street until the 1960s. Etc.

  234. John U.K. says:

    You can add Hammersmith (Met) & Hammersmith(Dist./Pic.) to the mix.
    There were also Hammersmith (Grove Rd) (Met. & L.S.W.R.) Shepherds Bush L.S.W.R.), both long gone, and Hammersmith Grove (Central) never built!

  235. Castlebar (Real Contra Crayonista) says:

    Greenford was once called Greenford Central Line when the GW station was still open, but GW services to Ealing used the bay platform in the LT station

  236. timbeau says:

    The CSLR and CCEHR both had their own Euston stations. Edgware road has been mentioned already. The District and CCEHR both had a Charing Cross – the former is now Embankment, the latter spent much of its history as “Strand”: and of course there was another Strand station on the Picadilly (later Aldwych)

  237. Greg Tingey says:

    err …

    JACK: “Yes. The Brighton line.”
    LADY BRACKNELL: “The line is immaterial.”

  238. Chris L says:


    The new Hammersmith & City entrance/exit at Paddington is a considerable distance form the Bakerloo/Circle/District station. Almost the same distance as Shepherds Bush.

  239. Castlebar (Real Contra Crayonista) says:

    Once. even the GWR listed the 2 x Paddington Stn entrances differently in their printed timetables. One was just “Paddington” whilst the other was either “Paddington Bishops Road” or “Paddington Suburban” > (I forget which, and I am under instructions from Mrs C to be doing something else rather than look it up)

  240. timbeau says:

    If I recall correctly, York Road platform was listed separately from Kings Cross, so GN services over the Widened Lines technically only called at KX in the down direction.

  241. Orienteer says:

    Just to weigh in, Highbury & Islington stations for the Northern City Line and the North London Line (before the Victoria line was built) were on opposite sides of Holloway Road.

  242. AlisonW says:

    Castlebar: Not only the GWR. Pre-1924 versions of the early underground maps (pre-Beck) don’t actually show a “Paddington” stop, instead they are marked as “Bishop’s Rd” and “Praed St.”

  243. Philip Wylie says:

    @Anon5….I live in Beckenham and totally agree about the 30 minute evening and weekend services mostly with 4 car trains. Even a Sunday morning journey to Victoria at 08:41 will stretch the resources of a 4 car unit. On weekday evenings the 15 min service ceases from 20:25 and the following two trains are rammed. Strange that the 21:55 is 8 car. Also, the Beckenham Jct- Crystal Palace line is woefully underused. Just a place to turn trains round. There are so many short workings to Birkbeck and Crystal Palace often connected with late running from LB. And no announcements are ever made indicating that access to Clapham Junction via Crystal Palace is possible (but it’s slow as are all Southern Metro routes). Any point banging on again about a Brixton two-level station? If there were to be a day-long 15 min service on the Orpington line connecting with every 15 on LO at Brixton no consultation of a timetable would be necessary.

  244. Anon5 says:

    Philip Wylie: tonight’s gem at Beckenham Junction were the Southeastern ticket inspectors meeting the late running 18:00 from Victoria. There were so many people on platform 2 (platform 4 exit was closed) that it wasn’t safe for the now five minutes late service to depart until most of the crowd had their tickets checked. Incredible joined up thinking there.

    The Southern service seems fine in the peaks but I often see on Twitter it has turned back early. Despite Southern and Southeastern being owned by GoVia the Southeastern-operated screens and dot matrix displays don’t always update this information. You often have a case where Southern is tweeting that the service will start at Crystal Palace or Birkbeck but the Southeastern-operated displays in the ticket hall and on platform 1 simply say delayed.

    Off the topic completely but why do Southern trains on platform 1 and Southeastern trains on platform 4 require a member of Southeastern station staff to despatch them when there are on-platform monitors/screens? I can’t imagine there’s anyone at Birkbeck to do the same job when the train is stopped short.

  245. Graham Feakins says:

    @Philip Wylie & Anon5 – I have recently seen a Beckenham Junction train cut short at Birkbeck, to return on the single track. The driver is likely to be the only soul there. Mitigation (not on platform announcement where I was at North Dulwich): passengers could transfer onto Croydon Tramlink between Birkbeck and BJ. I wondered whether parallel advice was given at BJ to that effect for folk to catch the ‘connecting’ up service at Birkbeck. I also wondered, therefore, how much co-ordination there is at BJ (basically a Southeastern station) with Southern and its London Bridge services and indeed Tramlink, especially ticket acceptance by Tramlink of Southern tickets.

    From what Anon5 says, the situation seems even worse than I had anticipated. Not very good, is it?

  246. Anon5 says:

    There’s a firewall between Southeastern and Tramlink. A shrug of the shoulders and a “dunno, nothing to do with us,” is the usual reply from the ticket office. Here’s where, had SE metro headed to TfL, perhaps, joined up thinking might have occured. The situation isn’t helped by the physical gap caused by the sub-station between the Crystal Palace line tracks and the Tramlink platform. Had it been possible to have knocked this down then the Tramlink platforms might have been closer to or part of the station.

  247. Graham Feakins says:

    @Anon5 – What you say goes to the heart of the discussion I encouraged and WW started on the bus thread (Part 2):

    Of course, the point I was making was that if even I knew at least by North Dulwich that the Beckenham Junction service was to be run only as far as Birkbeck, that would have given ample time for those at BJ to get their act together to encourage intending passengers to take the tram to Birkbeck to gain the up London Bridge service from there.

    Perhaps oddly in the context, Southern regularly includes auto-announcements at places like West Croydon and North Dulwich to change at e.g. Peckham Rye for Lewisham, Dartford and Bromley!

  248. Graham Feakins says:

    P.S. For the illumination of others not quite so familiar with the service, Southern runs only every 30 mins. between London Bridge and Beckenham Junction via Crystal Palace and Birkbeck, whilst Tramlink has a 10 min. service between BJ and Birkbeck in each direction. Without the tram to use, there would thus be an hour’s gap at BJ if one of the Southern services failed to reach there.

  249. Greg Tingey says:

    Reminds me of a friend, who works in one of the tower-blocks to the NW of E Croydon station …they got a new worker, not a Londoner, residing in (approx) Clock House ….
    Was commuting to Croydon via LBG, until asked: “Why don’t you go to Elmers End & get the TRAM?

  250. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Greg – or walk a short distance to Beckenham Road stop for a tram rather than wait for a train to Elmers End. In extremis there is also the 194 bus which must be better than a slog via London Bridge. People who design maps and service publicity really need to talk to people like the individual you reference to understand their thought process that led to them travelling via London Bridge.

  251. CdBrux says:

    I wonder how many people know the good journey planner from Google Maps. I often use it in Brussels (where I live) to get public transport options as well as driving routes. It always seems to have the latest timetables to hand as far as I can tell and certainly here it is far easier to use than the local public transport authorities website journey planner, especially if you are unsure of the bus / tram routes involved in a journey.

    I just entered in ‘Clock house’ to ‘East Croydon’ and within a few seconds had found the quickest way is via tram, see link below. It strikes me that public transport companies could do well to make sure Google and other similar internet based search engines have access to their latest timetables. This is the field of expertise for the technology companies much more than the train operators, tram, TfL, bus companies etc… so let those who can do it!,+Bromley&daddr=East+Croydon,+Croydon&hl=en&ll=51.389405,-0.067806&spn=0.037814,0.090895&sll=51.392244,-0.066175&sspn=0.037811,0.090895&geocode=FW9cEAMdj1f__ymvQZjbpgF2SDHfLQAFX3bpFA%3BFQzrDwMdGpf-_yH9TDeO1W3ACik5BwTEzAB2SDH9TDeO1W3ACg&oq=east+croydon+stat&t=h&dirflg=r&ttype=now&noexp=0&noal=0&sort=def&mra=ls&z=14&start=0

  252. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ CDBrux – whereas I did it the boring way and opened out a paper South East London Bus Map and quickly spotted the best route. Obviously I have an advantage in understanding where both places broadly were (slightly unsure about Clock House which reflects my poor knowledge of rail services south of the Thames). I’d never think to ask Google Maps to plot a journey for me. I do sometimes use their maps to see where a bus stop is relative to a street but the fact that in London there are two stops for every location (one TfL, one from national data) drives me slightly nuts. Worse in some locations there are just national stops which are not served by any services which presumably results from wrong / out of data source data or the withdrawal of services from some locations.

  253. Clive says:

    They could run the Overground along the same route as the District Line between Barking and Upminster, stopping along the way (Upney, Be’a’contree, Dagenham Heathway, Dagenham East, Elm Park, Hornchurch, Upminster Bridge) & where the District Line ends at Upminster the Overground could continue on to Romford (connecting it with Crossrail), stopping along the way at Emerson Park. It would all be well connected this way, even with the Hammersmith and City Line at Barking. This would all be fairly cheap too as most of the tracks are already in place. It also connects the Overground at Romford with Gospel Oak with the continuation at Barking.

  254. Castlebar (Real Contra Crayonista) says:

    @ Clive

    1: How much will this cost?

    2: What problem are you solving?

  255. timbeau says:

    If you need more capacity between Barking and Upminster it would be easier to extend H&C or District 6-car services than lay in a flat junction with the Goblin (especially westbound) and run 3-or 4-car trains – the max that either the Goblin or Emerson are likely to manage in the forseeable future. Reversal at Upminster would not be easy to arrange either.

    And there will always be quicker ways of getting from Romford to Gospel Oak – e.g via Crossrail to Whitechapel and then Overground via H&I, or via Moorgate and H&I.

    There are far cheaper ways of tidying up an orange line at the east end of the Tube map, isolated from the rest of the Overground lines, even if it were considered necessary – for example, make it green, or Crossrail Purple.

    After all, we already have four separate services in orange, which cross but do not overlap or share any tracks – soon there will be a fifth if the Chingford/Enfield/Cheshunt services are also shown in orange.

  256. timbeau says:

    “for example, make it green”
    I should have added, that there is a long-standing precedent for different parts of the District, Metrolpolitan and and Central Lines to be shown in the same colour but run different types and lengths of rolling stock (and even different traction systems!) so showing the Castlebar line as a Central Line shuttle, and Emerson line as a District Line shuttle, would seem a very sensible thing to do.

  257. Mark Townend says:

    @timbeau, 8 May 2014 at 15:09

    That’s a great idea, colour code an isolated branch using the line colour of one of its principle connectors. In the case of Castlebar or Emerson that colour could also be Crossrail purple. Perhaps as branches they could be shown as open rather than solid lines on the map. I particularly like the District identity for Emerson, as additionally it could make good sense to base units for that service at the Upminster District Line depot.

  258. Clive says:


    I have no idea how much it would cost but I can’t imagine it being that much as 75% of the track is already there. All they would have to do is to link up the Emerson Park line with the continuation from Upminster of the Overground and fit another track to enable two way traffic. Another platform would need to be added but this would need to be fitted anyway as this stretch of track is very outdated and more people live in this area now. An update has been needed for quite some time. More people would use the line and people who live along the current line between Barking and Upminster and between Barking and Gospel Oak will be within easier reach of Romford. It will automatically attract more customers for Transport for London.

    All in all a good investment. Connecting the current stations between Barking and Upminster is also worthwhile. Customers would be able to travel between Romford and Gospel Oak.

    The line between Upminster and Romford has great potential. I think this is a great opportunity to unleash it after so many years of being a limited service. If you buy a house near a station, you expect it to have trains running.

  259. timbeau says:

    ” All they would have to do is to link up the Emerson Park line with the continuation from Upminster of the Overground”
    Have you actually looked at the layout at Upminster? Unless you’re going to install a spiral, this will require a reversal in platform 5 or 6.
    “fit another track to enable two way traffic” “If you buy a house near a station, you expect it to have trains running.” If your house is very near the track, it might be compulsorily purchased if the track is to be doubled as you suggest.

    “Customers would be able to travel between Romford and Gospel Oak.”
    Should anyone wish to (and I can’t imagine there is a lot of pent up demand for that particular station pair, they can do so already much more quickly,by changing at Stratford

  260. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Chris – Timbeau has covered the crucial points about the extremely unhelpful layout at Upminster and also queried the fundamental question about demand. OK so someone could have a long slog from Romford to Gospel Oak but how many people want to do that?

    On the subject of costs you’d have a need for more trains, possibly a signalling upgrade or else trains that can cope with different signalling once the SSR is resignalled. Do we really want the SSR resignalling to have to cope with trains coming from Romford and from Gospel Oak? Is it not complicated enough? It’s already “killed off” one signalling contractor and its system. We don’t need any more complication.

    You would have civil engineering and track costs at Barking and Upminster. You’ve not indicated where the trains would be stabled nor whether a 15 minute service on the GOBLIN could be squashed alongside the peak District Line service nor if one platform at Upminster could cope with two reversals every 15 minutes. We have already seen from a lot of comments that “fixing” the Romminster line to run more trains is not an easy or cheap task due to clearances.

    I would seriously question whether you want to try and run an unwieldy Romford – Upminster – Barking – Gospel Oak service given all the issues of meshing between other services and freight. I can’t see the wisdom of running 4 car EMUs alongside 7 car S stock trains and do we have a train design that can work on LU 4 rail power supply plus AC overhead? I don’t think we do so that’s a new design with added complications and potential electrical interference issues with signalling systems. Is it really such an inconvenience to people to have to change services at Barking? The greater imperative is to get the capacity increase on the GOBLIN and then hopefully secure the Barking Riverside extension which, incidentally, you have not referenced in your idea.

    Sorry to go into “demolition mode” but we do need to keep things manageable and realistic. There may well be merits in improving the Romminster line but let’s at least get TfL in charge of it and then see what happens when Crossrail opens. To my mind that is the key development and I suspect we are at least a decade, possibly longer, away from any sort of substantive development on the Romminster service. There will always be more pressing demands for investment.

  261. timbeau says:

    “If you buy a house near a station, you expect it to have trains running.”

    Caveat emptor. – i.e if a train service is important to you, check the timetable before buying the house. This applies whether the station is a Northolt Park or a Watford Met. (Or Clitheroe, which has two trains a week to Hellifield – both on Sundays!)

    I saw a complaint on an SWT webchat from a disgruntled commuter who , having moved house from Worcester Park to Berrylands, demanded that the service from the latter station should be improved to be at least as good as that to which he been accustomed before he moved. SWT’s response was to suggest he consults a railway timetable next time he decides to move house.
    In the same area of London, estate agents are keen to promote the popularity of the local schools, but somehow forget to mention that admission to those schools is based entirely on the results of a test, with no geographical limitation or preference at all.

  262. Walthamstow Writer says:

    TfL have confirmed that they have agreed with LOROL that they will operate the devolved West Anglia services to Chingford, Enfield and Cheshunt (via 7 Sisters) plus Romford – Upminster. The services transfer on 31 May 2015 and then LOROL run them for 17 months after which the entire Overground network will be retendered.

    Press release

  263. Milton Clevedon says:

    Isn’t the bigger story that the West Anglia services have not been allocated to the future Crossrail operator (yet to be announced, later this year)? That option had been in the Crossrail ITT.

    The LOROL track record and its past experience in delivering much improved inner suburban services post-Silverlink must have counted here. Crossrail also has more on its hands now with Reading, with more still if Crossrail-WCML goes ahead. West Anglia would have been a distraction to Crossrail Ltd.

  264. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ MC – I think TfL took the strategic decision to not proceed with West Anglia inside the Crossrail concession a long while ago. The fact they altered their own press release to remove reference to the possibility shows this. The only evidence that remains is on other websites which quoted the relevant bits from the original press release. The fairly open references to “Overground” in recent months suggested that engagement / negotiation with LOROL was ongoing and likely to be the only rational option in the short term. There’s also the issue about what the supplier market can cope with in terms of bidding for franchises / concessions. Given what DfT are doing with direct award negotiations plus trying to get their “new model” franchises past the award stage with TSGN and Essex Thameside there must have been little scope for TfL to have generated significant supplier interest in running West Anglia for a shortish period.

    When TfL do come to retender the expanded Overground concession then it will be suffficiently large to generate interest from the big groups thus ensuring a level of competition. It also means TfL’s own procurement resources will have got Crossrail out of the way and awarded before having to do the big job with Overground. Of course TfL have the not insubstantial task of working out what on earth they want Overground to do post 2017 although GOBLIN electrification and new rolling stock for various bits are a given. Barking Riverside extension plus the rest of the network’s role / capacity are the things that are undoubtedly taxing the planners’ brains at the moment. The other unknown is Mayoral policy post 2016 but TfL just about have a chance to garner what a new Mayor might want from his “train set” before having to go to market.

    And one final amusing titbit from today’s announcement. The Mayorwatch blog asked TfL if the Overground branding was going to be applied to West Anglia and the apparent TfL response was “no decision has been taken on branding”. Casting no aspersions as to veracity in the direction of the TfL press office or the Mayorwatch blog I do find this rather amazing given all the discussions and maps that have repeatedly referred to the Overground as well as all the positive public recognition there is with that brand. I can see why TfL might not want to “water down” what they see as a successful brand but Overground survived during the phase when it took over from Silverlink but it was, of course, a newcomer itself at that point. Perhaps Greg will be spared an orange onslaught and we’ll get “sky blue pink with yellow dots” branding instead? 🙂

  265. Milton Clevedon says:

    @WW. Agree with your main line of thinking. I’m a tad concerned that TfL leaving the line colour to chance might cause rapid interest by the new Mayor in May 2015 – mind you, Crossrail’s purple appears to have anticipated this month’s favoured political hue, and at least that line will serve a smidgeon of Essex, though not Barking!

  266. Anon5 says:

    The Romford-Upminster frequency would certainly damage the Overground brand. They could keep branding neutral at the stations but you’ve still got the question of the stock used to operate the service. If the rest of West Anglia is branded Overground I can’t imagine they’ll only have one unbranded unit dedicated to the line. Alternatively they could use a jagged line to indicate this is a power frequency service.

    Should TfL decide to brand London commuter routes such as West Anglia as Overground and assuming they take over more routes might it bring a colour change to the Coaches roundel? At Victoria tube station there are signs directing passengers to National Rail (with the BR arrows) and the coach station with orange Coach roundel. You can see where confusion might arise should TfL Overground one day win Southeastern or Southern metro services.

  267. Anon5 says:

    TfL also has some time on its side. The new trains (be them 378s or something else ) aren’t due in service until after this mini contract finishes. TfL used the London Overground name but not the roundels on former Silverlink stock, and while the roundels appeared on stations they were accompanied by the words ‘temporary sign’. It could ask LOROL to operate this new service under a completely different name in the interim, only unveiling full branding once the new stock is online, stations smartened up and some frequencies increased.

  268. Long Branch Mike (Junior Under-Secretary of the Acronyms and Abbreviations Portfolio ie Intern) says:


    As Mark Townend commented on 8 May 2014, as well as others prior to that, the Romford-Upminster line could be represented in green, as part of the District Line, but operated by LOROL.

    Given that this R-U line is separate from the rest of the LO network, making it appear part of the connecting District line makes more sense for users to wrap their heads around. A small sign stating ‘Operated by LO’ could explain this to users if they were wondering…

  269. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Anon 5 – there are times of day / days of the week when existing Overground services only run every 30 minutes so I don’t see that service frequency somehow dilutes the brand. It may not be *ideal* but we shall see how TfL approach things on the future services in due course.

  270. Anon5 says:

    LB Mike, that would certainly make sense.

    WW Sorry I thought all Overground services had higher frequencies in the peak of at least 15 minute intervals.

    Picking up on my Coaches / Overground point from earlier, often during engineering works on LU and Tramlink nearby bus stops are covered in a temporary sleeve which also mentions that said replacement rail buses stop there. The stop near Beckenham Road transport currently shows the buses roundel and the trams roundel as the line is closed for repairs. I don’t know it LO do this. However there is a coach stop with orange Coaches logo by the Bishopsgate entrance to Liverpool Street. If TfL rebrands WA as Overground might this not lead to confusion for passengers looking for the rail replacement bus? Unless of course they share this single stop!

  271. Milton Clevedon says:

    @ Anon5
    28 May 2014 at 18:38

    If branding makes a real difference to passenger volumes, London benefits and revenues, why would TfL hold back for 17 months or so and fail to maximise the utility of its concession? It’s also going to be at the start of a new Government (elections May 2015) and with Mayoral and GLA elections in May 2016.

    During that intervening year it will be to TfL’s advantage to demonstrate early and strong results, to start making the case for involvement with more London main line rail services in due course. So my judgment is that there will be marketing decisions and actions in time for May 2015, as well as the basics of quality improvements from that date.

    It is that first year which will also be all-important in terms of engagement with the emerging Initial Industry Plan for Control Period 6 (when a draft IIP is due by Autumn 2016), to define infrastructure and service investments for CP6 (2019-24). Network Rail is back under direct government control from 1st September 2014, so the importance of early, strong results with West Anglia cannot be over-stated.

  272. Anon5 says:

    Milton Clevedon: I’m not denying TfL will want to get out there and show what it can achieve in the first 17 months. I’m saying that I can’t see it fully rebranding the old rolling stock. It will deep clean and keep clean the 313s and do the same to the stations and set to work improving the stations. I expect the roundel to appear in the form of clearly marked temporary signs as it did when TfL took over operation of the NLL and the former Southern-operated National Rail Stations but I don’t expect a full roll out of the brand (such as large roundels on white metal on platforms with the station name in the blue bar, or large 3D totems outside the stations) until the station has been brought up to standard which might include new dot matrix displays, covering old wiring, new signage, clearing grass verges, adding ramps, gates etc. Likewise I don’t expect to see any 313s in Overground livery. Instead if the takeover of Silverlink metro is anything to go by I expect the 313s in current colours with a sticker on the side displaying the words London Overground in New Johnston typeface and no roundel. There will however be plenty of notices at stations and on trains informing passengers of the changes being undertaken and what they can expect in the future.

  273. Greg Tingey says:

    Meanwhile, I fully expect DfT to make damned sure that anyone at all other than TfL gets the new Overground concession-franchise, having had their noses rubbed well into it …..
    Do you think they could wangle “First” (shudder) to get the contract?

  274. Milton Clevedon says:

    Thanks, that’s a helpful enlargement of immediate options. What I’m saying is that there will be a lot of policy pressure to do the most that is possible, and you’re saying that will need to be tempered with some pragmatism!

  275. @Grey Tingey,

    Presumably you mean LOROL not TfL. I don’t understand your comment at all.

    LOROL is a TOC just the same as any other. It is just that, until the announcement of the Thameslink franchise management contract, they were the only TOC who handed over the fares to the organisation who commissioned them. Actually I believe LOROL do keep a very small proportion of the takings so that they are not disincentivised to increase passenger loadings.

    I suppose you could argue that LOROL is different in that they are very behind-the-scenes and don’t plaster their stations and rolling stock with their own identity.

    I also don’t see where the DfT come into it. TfL specify the contract and put it out to tender and select the winner by the accepted criteria. TfL pay the the TOC – admittedly from a pot of money into which the DfT have contributed. I don’t see how the DfT would influence this at all let alone in malign way. It is no different from buses going out to contract or, indeed, Crossrail.

  276. Anonymous says:

    29 May 2014 at 08:47

    I think you meant 315s not 313s.

    So far as the appearance of the stations is concerned, anything will be better than the transfer from BR(E) to NSE. Stations on the Enfield town line were in the middle of repainting. The work stopped instantly. Canopies had been prepared and metalwork partly undercoated. NSE took a couple of years before the painting started again.

  277. Anon5 says:

    Anonymous @ 15:18 that’s ridiculous. As is my knowledge of 313s/315s obviously! I attended the official unveiling of the Overground brand at a talk by then TfL head of design, Innes Ferguson, at the London Transport museum. He showed lots of photos of North London Line stations where ‘improvements’ such as signage, CCTV, TV screens, ticket machines etc had been made without any thought to how it effects the visual environment. One of the aims of Overground was to tidy this public realm to make for more attractive stations for both passengers and staff. While each station is different you can certainly see where improvements have been made. Penge West looks incredibly neat and tidy, Brockley has benefited from better access and Honor Oak Park had all its verges tidied. Some North London line stations are a little more sparse due to the 1970s boxes built by the GLC but I reckon the West Anglia stations should be brought up to a decent standard.

    Milton Cleveden: I bet there’s someone at TfL London Rail sat there smiling at us two trying to predict what might happen after TfL and LOROL take on the line!

    Pedantic Purley: I much prefer the TfL type of contract. You only have to look at the incentives LOROL has to keep stations and trains clean compared to… Well I won’t start another rant about a certain other operator!

  278. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Greg – I agree with PoP about the Overground concession. DfT ceded control of this part of the network to TfL years ago and there’s no sign of them wanting it back although I understand your cynicism. Merseyrail is just the same and there’s no sign of DfT wanting that back either. Further government policy is towards more devolution and a half step towards this for Northern Rail and Transpennine has been taken with a group of northern local authorities. The “mood music” is not about more centralisation of franchise specification from what I can tell but, of course, the 2015 General Election could change that (yet again!).

    The fact TfL said clearly in the press release that they are already planning for the retendering of the Overground concession shows they don’t foresee a policy change any time soon.

  279. Anon5 says:

    I should just clarify my comment above, Innes showed photos of NLL stations pre-takeover to illustrate how improvements by BR, NSE and Silverlink had also resulted in a poorer environment. He showed artists impressions of the planned changes (and thanked Silverlink for access), which I must say have largely been implemented in the last few years.

  280. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Anon5 – While LOROL seem to have performed well they have not been without their pressures. It’s clear that there are some financial pressures in the concession given the axeing of guards, some reductions to ticket office hours plus more contract staff rather than full time employees. It will be interesting to see what staff are employed at West Anglia stations which are currently unstaffed. I do agree with you that the balance of risk and the form of contract that TfL use seems more effective for an intensive urban railway rather than one with longer distance travel.

    While it is a long way away the interesting point in time will be 2021 (or thereabouts) to see what government decide about the next TSGN franchise term. It will be well past its project phase and will Government keep it as a management contract or will it turn it into a revenue risk bearing franchise? Will TfL’s experience with Crossrail influence DfT thinking? This all assumes, of course, that franchises still exist by then.

  281. Greg Tingey says:

    Correct, I meant Loo-Roll, err LOROL, but they are a subsidiary of TfL, in some shape or fashion are they not?
    {Admit to confusion here …)
    Ah, this is the important bit: TfL specify the contract and put it out to tender and select the winner by the accepted criteria. TfL NOT DafT, which makes a huge difference – or does it?
    Thanks also to WW for clarification.

  282. @Greg Tingey,

    To quote from the LOROL link previously supplied, LOROL “is a joint venture company between MTR Corporation of Hong Kong and Deutsche Bahn AG of Germany (DB)”.

  283. Anon5 says:

    Walthamstow Writer: I’m sure there are pressures and like any public service TfL and LOROL will look for opportunities to cut costs. It also has to factor in the effect on the mayor’s popularity and scrutiny by the Evening Standard. I assume the axing of guards was TfL’s decision and then carried out by Lorol. I’m not going to get into the positives and negatives of guards on trains but it might have seemed odd to run the East London line with DOO 378s and the NLL with guards. I guess axing guards on one line was an easier battle than say, the DfT ordering prospective bidders for South West Trains to factor in axing them from suburban services on account that neighbouring franchises don’t have them. That would probably cause immediate strike action on SWT, damaging both the incumbent and the putting off potential bidders.

  284. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Anon5 – I do not know the full background to the removal of guards from some LOROL services. My assumption was that LOROL were looking to lower costs to bolster their financial situation but I suppose it’s possible TfL may have asked for savings. The general position on franchises is that cost risk sits with the operator not the specifier but I suppose it is possible that TfL may have a mechanism under the concession model where it can request cost savings and have them reflected in the fee paid to LOROL. I would be surprised if TfL had *insisted* on guards on certain lines rather just simply asking that they were operated safely leaving the operator to decide, justify any changes through the normal industry regulatory processes and do the necessary with the trade unions.

    Looking very briefly at the latest TfL Board paper on the new DLR concession procurement process it is noteworthy that TfL are tightening up on a number of provisions and altering the balance of risk and responsibilities for the new concession agreement due for award later this year.

  285. Ian J says:

    @PoP: until the announcement of the Thameslink franchise management contract, they were the only TOC who handed over the fares to the organisation who commissioned them

    Just as a minor pedantic point, I think that Merseyrail is operated as a concession like this too.

  286. Pedantic of Purley says:

    @Ian J,

    You are probably correct. I am not familiar with the situation there but think that it is the PTA/PTE/whatever they are called now that specifies the contract and in the context of Greg’s comment I was thinking in terms of DfT specified contracts.

    A more obvious example is the DLR which is operated by Serco but no-one thinks of Serco as a TOC. The DLR is slightly different I suppose in that the trains are supplied by TfL.

    I think what causes a lot of confusion to people like us, but not the travelling public who don’t care, is when you have a small management company contracting out its services. So it is DLR/Serco, London Overground/LOROL, Crossrail/???? Probably the biggest example of all was Network South East which in the early days did every thing by contract with the various BR regions and, apparently, the whole thing was run by a Network South East staff of fewer than forty people.

  287. Anon5 says:

    I once read that TfL London Rail (with its little used brown roundel) is a tiny department but it oversees a large network, namely DLR, AirLine, Overground, Tramlink and the extra off-peak services on some national rail lines paid for by TfL.

  288. Graham H says:

    @PoP/Anon5 – it’s certainly true that NSE in the pre-O4Q days was quite small but, post O4Q it expanded considerably as we took on infrastructure and operations – about 5 floors’ worth of 1 Eversholt Street. TfL London rail is/was very small pre-LOROL no more than a couple of dozen all told, including clerical staff.

    BTW in the runup to privatisation, BRB looked carefully at a BRB-lite option, in which as much as possible was contracted out (thus shooting the privatisation fox). Our conclusion was that we could run the railways on that basis with about 200 staff. OPRAF (and DfT) eat your heart out!

  289. Before Long Branch Mike asks …

    OfQ – Organise for Quality. One of the many BR re-organisations. This one broke up the regions and was the start of sector management, if I recall correctly.

  290. Anonymous says:

    29 May 2014 at 17:59

    Ridiculous, yes. But it did happen. The stations remained a dreadful mess until the NSE repaint was applied.

    On the other hand, the improvement in management of the train service was almost instant and continued throughout the brief reign of NSE. They actually listened to us commuters and applied common sense. We were told at the time that the line was no longer managed from York.

  291. Latecomer says:

    I guess that under a concession model it’s possible for an operator to almost be too successful in as much as the argument could be levelled that the commissioners have paid over the odds and the fare paying public aren’t getting value for money if they make substantial profits? LOROL have done a pretty good job, the basic model works along the lines that they are paid a certain amount for operating the services to the spec that TfL demands and then those profits are eroded across a range of parameters if there is a failure to meet key targets. It is LOROL’s job to minimise that erosion. That is a very simplistic explanation, but it’s my basic understanding of how it works.

    It is always likely that if an operator such as LOROL has demonstrated that they can run a good service and make a decent profit then in any extension or renewed concession they will be expected to do it for less. It can then be a struggle to provide such a high level service, and certainly there can be a squeeze on staffing or pressure applied in the content of peoples jobs.

    Innovation is key in this kind of model. I understand that LOROL took some revenue from the coffee shop outlets that sprung up on various station platforms on the Overground network. The outlets are liked by the public and increasingly well used. It is my understanding however that in the future concession the operator will no longer take their cut from this initiative and that TfL will make the profit from this venture. This example could well be replicated across many small areas of the business. It demonstrates just how innovative an operator will need to be to keep ahead of the game and ensure that new ideas are progressed. On the one hand this means that hopefully the public get an ever improving service in terms of what they see, although the potential downside is that the squeeze can affect the human/staffing side of service delivery.

    This is a personal opinion of what I could envisage happening as the model progresses and is not reflective of the service I generally observe presently.

  292. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Latecomer – the basic premise for a concession is that the operator doesn’t have to “gamble” (in their bid) as to the level of fare revenue (which is subject to all sorts of influences). Many of said influences are not in the operator’s control so it is argued that it is pointless to give them such a risk. What they can (largely) control is the cost of the operation of the railway, the reliability of rolling stock, the management of staff and other factors that passengers value. Therefore those responsibilities and risks sit with the operator and it’s their job to provide the best service, over any minimum standards, that they can at the lowest cost and earn a profit. IMO the crucial aspect on something like the Overground is making sure you get your base costs correct *and* plan how any step ups in services are reflected in your costs. Now to some extent LOROL have been in the hands of TfL and Network Rail with respect to line upgrades but things like having the trains ready and drivers recruited and trained is LOROL’s job. From the customer side of things this seems to have been done very well – no issues with rosters or lack of drivers for expanded services. I suspect there have been issues in the background but they’ve stayed there by and large with only a couple of rumbles over pay and conditions. The concession contract also includes a number of incentive mechanisms where good levels of performance trigger additional payments. Provided you’ve got the costs of extra performance well understood when you set the incentives then it’s perfectly possible to ensure the operator does earn some extra “upside” and cover their costs meaning they’re likely to deliver the good levels of performance. Get it wrong and nothing happens other than meeting the minimum standard! Get it very wrong and it can actually be worthwhile for the operator to breach the minimum standard if they can make big cost savings that outweight any “penalty charges”. I’ve been through all of that experience!

    One comment you made has prompted a thought. The Overground concession extension by 2 years coincides broadly with the removal of guards so perhaps it was TfL applying pressure on LOROL to give a better cost for the extension term that triggered the removal of guards. I hadn’t considered that previously.

    Your comment about the coffee stalls also suggests that TfL are tightening up on the control of all “commercial opportunities” and stopping any revenue leakage that could otherwise go to TfL coffers. Just emphasises the pressure they are under budgetwise to maximise every extra penny of revenue given the cuts to grant funding.

  293. Walthamstow Writer says:

    TfL have announced the shortlisted bidders for the West Anglia / GOBLIN / Romford – Upminster new build of EMUs.


  294. Southern Heights (Low lands explorer) says:

    CAF would be an interesting choice, they have recently provided the units for the Auckland (newly) electrified lines, and both sides of the border on the emerald isle…

  295. Melvyn says:

    Given WAO will not be just an inner London service but extend to Hertfordshire the question re seating layout could be contentious if TFL opt for longitudinal seating only as on rest of overground . Perhaps a compromise solution as found on S8 trains on the Metropolitan Line might be the best option.

    As to supplier I did read that CAF made a good offer for Crossrail trains but after Thameslink fiasco politicians especially given approaching election had to go for bombardier to ensure future of our train building industry.

    With Crossrail now gaining new Adventura trains it will be interesting to see if TFL opt for these latest trains over current Overground train type if Bombardier is selected as it could fit in with workshop adapted to build new Crossrail trains ?

    I travelled on the route from Chingford to Liverpool Street and it seems once again TFL have a lot of work to do to improve stations let alone lack of accessible stations on this network.

  296. Greg Tingey says:

    You should have seen the Chingford line 2-3 years ago
    A LOT of cleaning-up has been done by NS (“Abellio”)

  297. Pincinator says:

    @Briantist – I notice the discussion and removal of the map from Wikipedia (unfairly, I am sure). Would you consider hosting it somewhere else for others to view? I am intrigued to see a diagram of the future of the Overground.

  298. Long Branch Mike (Overground!) says:


    Would the moderators of this fine blog consider using Briantist his fine expanded LO map as the lead graphic on this article? It is an excellent reference for said article and comments.

  299. timbeau says:

    “Given WAO will not be just an inner London service but extend to Hertfordshire the question re seating layout could be contentious if TFL opt for longitudinal seating only as on rest of overground .”

    I doubt it – if shelves are considered good enough for Watford (Herts), why should they expect proper seats for Hertford?

  300. Anonymous says:

    – and the trains are only going as far as Cheshunt in any case!

  301. Stationless says:

    I see TfL have launched the consultation for the Barking Riverside extension. As you would expect, it has a map of the route, but also it has a London Overground 2026 map, which I’ve not seen before.

    Consultation closes on October 19th.

  302. Fandroid says:

    @Stationless. Interesting how that Overground 2026 map has to show Crossrail in the background in order to link Romford-Upminster to the Orange network. (No Crossrail branch to Tring shown!)

  303. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Stationless – many thanks for the heads up. I’ve already knocked up a response to the consultation for later review and submission. The timing is in line with TfL being able to analyse the results and comments and then create an appropriate “glowing” announcement when the Chancellor announces (the much rumoured) funding in the Autumn Statement on 3 December 2014. TfL’s approval “look ahead” for the project assumes the release of planning monies not long after the expected announcement. “Oh look isn’t the nice Chancellor kind in giving us a nice shiny new railway in Barking and Dagenham”. Must be an election coming. 🙂

  304. Southern Heights says:

    With the sharp curve on the map are they planning either a conversion to tram or relaying the line as a narrow gauge line? 😉

    It certainly won’t help with line speed if an eventual R25 comes to pass…

  305. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Southern Heights – the other interesting aspect of the map is the location of the station. It’s to the slight south east of the power station and therefore not very close to the existing housing at Barking Reach. I see some more housing is now under construction that would be closer but clearly the line is not going to use whatever reserved alignment there was for the DLR link. The new line will clearly be surrounded by future phases of housing. Having checked back to a TfL board paper on the DLR scheme from 2008 the Barking Riverside station location looks very similar to that proposed now although DLR would have had two extra stops at Goresbrook to the east and Creekmouth to the west in the Barking Reach development area.

  306. Southern Heights says:

    @WW: I noticed that too, I would have plonked it right in the middle of what really does like a brownfield site, maybe a bit to the West for the existing housing already there, but the location seems odd.

  307. Melvyn says:

    So called future Overground map shows several stations like Kensal Rise, and West Hampstead without step free access which has been agreed to !

    The 2050 plan shows barking riverside branch crossing river so it seems another new station will need to be funded by a future mayor .
    I also can’t see how this extension replaces Dagenham Dock extension of the DLR given that would open up different areas for development and provide a vital local river crossing !

    I noticed today TFL signs and road works re bridge replacement at Upper Holloway Station so is this linked to electrification of goblin ?

  308. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Melvyn – re Holloway Rd bridge. I believe this is a TfL project to replace the bridge which is simply worn out. There are several such projects planned as part of the findings of the Roads Task Force.

    I have not heard of any works being required specifically for electrification given £18m was spent on the GOBLIN a few years ago to prepare for electrification and improve freight clearances.

  309. Greg Tingey says:

    There’s still the last bridge over the original Lea (& maybe the canal) which have not yet been fully dealt with.
    There’s still a 20 mph limit there & IIRC it is still on the “to do” list ….

  310. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Southern Heights – I emailed TfL yesterday with some remarks about the new map and also the omission of Waltham Forest on the consultation page. To their credit they’ve replied and have updated the website. There is now an artists impression of the new station at Riverside. To my very great surprise the alignment through the site will be elevated as will the terminus. How that aligns with getting into a tunnel under the Thames to eventually reach Thamesmead I know not *unless* the game plan is that the railway would cross on the proposed Galleons Reach – Thamesmead bridge. That still seems a bit of an ask given the height of the road bridge and the likely climb to reach it. I had expected the rail line to be in a cutting or even underground by the time it reached Riverside to allow for the eventual tunnel to Thamesmead to be linked in with ease.

  311. Slugabed says:

    WW and Greg
    There’s also a lot of heavy work being done at South Tottenham bridge (making,I should add,the station pretty inaccessible)..any idea what is going on here? Bridge strengthening or replacement are my best guesses.

  312. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Greg – fair comment if we are talking about rail bridges. I think they are slowly working their way westwards with the bridges by the Lea Reservoirs. There are continuing closures and a 4 day possession at Christmas which may allow the last bridges to be done. It’s just nice to see the work being done. My comment to Melvyn was about not knowing of any more road bridges that require *clearance* work. He said the Upper Holloway scheme was for electrification when it is clearly for asset health reasons. Overhead clearance works at bridges may emerge later when Network Rail confirm the design for the GOBLIN electrification scheme. Clearly we do have some weak bridges in Waltham Forest which are being attended to (e.g. Palmerston Road) but that’s separate from specific adjustment for overhead wires.

  313. Fandroid says:

    The consultation text stated that the new part of the line through the development would be elevated. Remember the DLR at Island Gardens started off up in the air. Perhaps they’re taking that as a guide (or even a dangleway is planned)!

    I would assume that the siting of the station is related to whatever is on the overall indicative development plan.

  314. Southern Heights says:

    @WW: I notice that the artists impression has a building between the station and the riverside (unless they’ve screwed up the perspective).

    So either the R25 plan is already buried, having served its purpose, or two departments weren’t talking… Or the ground in the area is so unstable that it will sink of its own accord!

    @fandroid: Yes that struck me as well.

    Of course they could be planning something else for the R25, e.g. Lea Bridge -> Stratford -> (under the Thames) …. I’ll stop there as I’m almost out of crayons!

  315. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Slugabed – Network Rail seem to have a programme of bridge refurbishment work going on. Several bridges (Cally Rd, Camden Rd, Leyton High Rd, Bakers Arms, Bruce Grove) in N London have had scaffolding around them and been attended to and repainted in dark blue with white names added. The Ferodo markings at the first two have vanished as a result causing some local upset.

    I am not sure that is what is happening at South Tottenham but having been under that bridge a lot of times by bus it is in poor shape (bits hanging off, rusting away). There is supposed to be an accessibility and gating scheme being done at South Tottenham but not sure how the bridge would be affected by that. The wider question, though, is how do you cope with longer trains at S Tottenham. One way would be to replace or modify the bridge so the platforms stretched across it. I do not know if that is what is planned by Network Rail but one has to assume that whatever is being done is taking into account known plans for the line and that location.

  316. Chris H says:

    The bridge at South Tottenham is being replaced over Christmas this year. The pillars will be removed and the new bridge will be a single span, with supports being attached to the retaining walls. The prep works at the moment are working on the retaining walls, to make sure they are ready to bear the extra load come December.

  317. Jeremy says:

    If we’re completing the set of Goblin bridges, then I noticed that the road surface at the eastern end of the bridge over Crouch Hill station has been given what looks like a very temporary emergency patch job.

    I’ve been on a few services where, forgetting the big crater in the road, W7 drivers have taken it at speed with some alarming and uncomfortable results for those of us with spines.

  318. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Chris H – many thanks for that update. Makes perfect sense. Whoever makes bridges for Network Rail must have a good order book in respect of work on the GOBLIN at the moment! It’s good though to see worn out assets being replaced with modern equivalents.

    @ S Heights – yes I did wonder about that building on the artists impression but just assumed there’s some typical “artistic licence”. The extension hasn’t been designed in detail yet but clearly some “decisions in principle” have been taken about the engineering.

  319. Stationless says:

    I had read that the extension would be built in viaduct and natural assumed that the route probably took it through the “social housing” areas as the noise and light/visual blocking would not go down well with home owners. I was surprised the station site was so near the river as that would leave no distance to dive down into a tunnel (the alignment is pointing the right way to aim for Abbey Wood though).

    The river front is a prime property location, so it was always going to be blocked off by some building or other.

    I do wonder how much the line of route and location of the station have been dictated by the developers.

  320. CdBrux says:

    Is there a more detailed map available than the rather general one on the front page of the consultation? If this is meant to be the cross Thames branch of the R25 idea then it does seem rather silly to publish the 2050 document and then design something mentioned in it that wouldn’t work.
    Finally, and apologies for asking more questions, if the developers have a say in the design of the scheme will they also be contributing towards the costs?

  321. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Cdbrux – I have not seen anything with any further detail of the alignment. The extension was mentioned in the Mayor’s Plenary Session this morning which Sir Peter Hendy attended. Given some tweets about it the Mayorwatch blog has asked TfL to confirm how the proposed viaduct design ties in with an eventual crossing of the Thames. TfL have said they will come back and Mayorwatch will share the answer.

    One other gem from the session was Sir Peter saying Crossrail 2 has to be built with *four* tracks to provide enough capacity. Now I did not watch the webcast live and need to go back and check the context but that is a real surprise *if* it referred to the tunnelled section. He also said that you could not have a CR2 station at Chelsea and one at Battersea Power Station which, to be fair, is entirely logical. The safeguarding process is still going on so no final decision. Again I need to watch the webcast to confirm the full context of the question and Sir Peter’s reply.

  322. Graham H says:

    WW – that give away remark about four tracking XR2 is interesting. It implies and express as well as a stopping version. Maybe we are being softened up for a regional and a metro version? [Crayonistas need not apply…]

  323. timbeau says:

    “…………Crossrail 2 has to be built with *four* tracks to provide enough capacity. He also said that you could not have a CR2 station at Chelsea and one at Battersea Power Station which, to be fair, is entirely logical.”

    You could have two tracks go each way

  324. Greg Tingey says:

    Do they mean 2 tracks with 4-track stations, I wonder?

  325. Anon says:

    For those who will watch the session, Crossrail 2 talk begins about 1h12 in, and Hendy’s comment is about the Lea Valley lines and wrt Tottenham Hale and accessability (1h17:30 and following).

    Here’s a fuller quote “Actually, Crossrail 2, of its own accord, will need 4 tracks in the Lea Valley in any event….Crossrail 2 must have 4-tracks”.

  326. Walthamstow Writer says:

    As I suspected the context of the discussion about CR2 4 tracks was all important. The chat was actually about the redevelopment of Tottenham Hale station and concerns about the NR extra tracks scheme apparently being mired in delay with no firm design. The concern was that this was stopping the early deployment of MIP access to the NR platforms at T Hale. Sir Peter made the point that 4 tracks were required *in the Lea Valley* to support CR2 operation there. There seems to be some risk that the STAR (Stratford – Angel Rd) works may only provide three tracks at Tottenham Hale thereby requiring rework later by CR2. Therefore it’s not CR2 needing four tracks throughout just at some locations. The tone of the comments about the works through T Hale and the Lea Valley suggested a sense of frustration with Network Rail’s progress on the scheme and a risk of it being scaled back from the original plan for 4 tracks at T Hale station. Sounds like the property boundary issues and trying to keep on budget may be proving hard to reconcile. Kind request – NO rants please Mr Tingey. I am merely the messenger here.

    On the second CR2 point about Chelsea vs Battersea it was stated that a preliminary approach from BPS developers had been received and was being looked at. However a range of major issues could flow from the provision of a station there such as rezoning of property, different housing densities and levels of economic activity. It was stressed that the owners of BPS do not want to cause any delay to the SoS’s decision about the Northern Line Extension to Battersea. Kensington and Chelsea have apparently sent in a submission supporting provision of a station at Kings Road. It was stressed very heavily that sorting out the safeguarding was the key task and that it might include route options. The Labour Party tried to box Boris in to getting the BPS developers to pay the full cost of a CR2 station but he opted not to make any rash comments.

    More snippets

    Barking Riverside extension apparently to be designed to be extend across the Thames in order to serve Thamesmead. The Mayor has apparently asked TfL to study this – words from Sir Peter.

    Questions about extending Crossrail to Ebbsfleet. Sir Peter very clear that it should only be done if *extra* trains are laid on rather than Crossrail merely replacing existing trains (seemed to be something DfT had suggested). TfL and Mayor view the extension of Crossrail to Ebbsfleet being contingent on the Ebbsfleet Garden City development as extra transport links and capacity were required.

  327. CdBrux says:

    Thanks to WW for that summary. When you say “Barking Riverside extension apparently to be designed to be extend across the Thames in order to serve Thamesmead” that presumably means to allow for a future potential extension rather than something more immediate?

  328. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ CDBrux – yes any further extension on from Barking Riverside is at some undefined point in the future. No dates were stated by the Mayor or Sir Peter.

  329. Greg Tingey says:

    You mis-perceive me.
    IMNSHO, a very small land-take would solve any “property boundary” problem @ Tottie Hale – north of there, 4 tracks should not be difficult for almost any of the route, as far as Broxbourne …
    Someone (in NR) frightened of shadows?
    The comments on Ebbsfleet suggest that behind the scenes arm-wrestling err, negotiations are taking place?

  330. Dan says:

    I just learnt something interesting from LOROL management via their Twitter “ask-the-manager” session.

    Chingford line trains, which currently run non-stop from Hackney Downs to Bethnal Green, will indeed be stopping at all stations in between (i.e. at London Fields and Cambridge Heath too) once TfL take over the service in May.

  331. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Dan – One easy way to bolster the service to those inner area stations. I doubt the extra journey time will be appreciated by Chingfordites but it will give a decent service into Hackney without a clumsy change at Hackney Downs (e.g. if people board at Clapton and want London Fields). It also reduces the possibility of extra off peak trains to Enfield / Cheshunt which is a shame. LOROL opted not to respond to my tweet on that subject! No reminders, please, from Mr T about the capacity of the line into Liverpool St – got that message 97 rants ago. 😉 It also suggests something of a rewrite of the timetable on the West Anglia lines although that was probably inevitable to separate LO workings from AGA ones.

  332. Anonymous says:

    Will they still need all four platforms at Hackney Downs?

    Interesting times…

  333. Anonymous says:

    “It also reduces the possibility of extra off peak trains to Enfield / Cheshunt”

    This has me asking what the point of TFL’s takeover was. Four TPH at Seven Sisters and White Hart Lane when hundreds of millions of pounds is to be spent on new housing in the next few years.

  334. Greg Tingey says:

    I’m more concerned, not (now) about capacity – we should all be aware of that… but price.
    Will LOROL remove point-to-point seasons, thus exacting huge amounts of money from zone 3 season-ticket-holders, for no service improvement?
    We have yet to be told.

  335. Anonymous says:


    Initially point-to-points will stay

    The major service improvement here will be the cleaned up stations and the new air conditioned trains – and now the extra direct transport links into Hackney.

  336. Greg Tingey says:

    Saves me another bout of letter-writing & informing the local councillors – for the time being, at least.

  337. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Greg – glad you said “for the time being” because we all know what “we have no plans” can mean. It means we have the idea but have not yet turned it into a “plan” nor have we provided a cast iron guarantee for this franchise and future ones that we will not withdraw this cheaper ticket. I find it mildly ironic that Iain Duncan Smith thinks the transfer of his local railway service to TfL is a good idea but not good enough for people elsewhere (South East London, Northern England (devolved control but clearly not to TfL!)).

  338. timbeau says:

    “I find it mildly ironic that Iain Duncan Smith thinks the transfer of his local railway service to TfL is a good idea but not good enough for people elsewhere”

    To be fair to him, as he is neither MP for elsewhere nor has ever had the transport brief I doubt that he has expressed an opinion or even given it any thought.

  339. Greg Tingey says:

    The “good news” is that the local politicos are now fully-aware of this nasty little heffalump-trap, where, if TfL do decide to abolish point-to-point (esp Season Ticket) fares, there’s going to be a storm of outrage.
    Zone 3 is the worst, where a fare increase of 60% for no return or improvement at all would have been implemented.
    That sort of step would produce an immediate appeal to the courts or a judicial review, I would have thought … & I suspect TfL would not want to go there. ( I hope )

  340. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Greg – I understand why people might not like a big fares increase and why there could be some political fall out. I am afraid I cannot see how anyone could resort to the courts or a JR. It is perfectly within the discretion of the DfT / TfL / operator to change fares / ticket products as they see fit. See what happened with the evening peak restriction imposed on the Northern Rail franchise by the DfT a few weeks ago. I believe point to point seasons vanished from the North London Railway when TfL took over – I don’t remember a scream of protest then. I doubt point to point season tickets have any legal protection whereas the Travelcard scheme does. At least, for now, the tickets will remain. The next time they are likely to come under renewed threat is when TfL retender the entire concession which is next year with the new concession starting March 2016.

  341. Paul says:

    Anon at midnight.

    This has always puzzled me. There seems to be a naive belief that LO taking over will always see the same relative improvement as seen on the NLL and WLL – but what they’ve done is ramp up to fully use existing spare track capacity, and replace the trains which is obviously a good thing.

    Once LO moves on to running existing routes instead of the major TOCs, they hit all the same capacity constraints that already exist. About all that was expected in the case of Southeastern metro was running the peak capacity for more of the day. And would they be expecting to do an instant rolling stock replacement if the TOC was already running 376s? It’s all very well replacing the west Anglia stock which is probably at its due date anyway – but that wouldn’t be the same everywhere.

  342. Greg Tingey says:

    I cannot see how anyone could resort to the courts or a JR
    “Excess profits” ?
    There are still anti-profiteering laws on the books, I think? (as well)
    P-to-P fares on the NLL were probably not too different from the zonals, being outside zone 1 – here you have the bulk of season-ticket holders going to LST, in zone 1 & then walking forwards. It’s the zone 1 differential that does it.

  343. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Paul – The other thing that LOROL have done is implement timetables which allow for recovery and on time running. Now that can mean journeys are a tad slow but I actually think what people want is a dependable service. There is an entirely logical argument that says this may not be the best use of scarce capacity but the passengers have voted with their feet. As for the South Eastern issue I don’t think people were expecting miracles. Running more frequent off peak services, especially evenings and Sundays, would be hugely popular. Based on many comments on here about overcrowding they are also much *needed*. I can’t recall mass expansion of peak services being promised and certainly nothing of any note for several years. I do think TfL wanted to ensure peak trains were the maximum length (for the route) so you get the most out of every path. This just seems eminently sensible given the decades it has so far taken to lengthen platforms and run longer trains. Boring nonsense like visible staff, consistent signing, decent information and the TfL fare scale plus Oyster “over the boundary” don’t strike me as overpromising either. I don’t doubt for a second that there would be issues about how to run reliably on a complex network. I think LOROL may face a bit of a shock in getting the Liverpool St services to work given the propensity for NR’s assets to collapse in a heap in Hackney and at Clapton.

    I also hope MTR are doing a lot of analysis of the Great Eastern and Great Western lines given the litany of operating problems that regularly occur on those lines. If they were to reoccur when Crossrail is up and running they’d have a major job on their hands managing the consequences.

  344. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Greg – the railway is subsidised so how can anyone claim “excess profits”? Under a concession the operator simply earns a mangement fee and the revenue goes to TfL. TfL don’t make a profit in any sense of the word. If excess profits were an issue why are people not taking Vodafone or similar to the courts – they owe the govt £6bn in tax don’t they? That’s what I’d like to see court action being taken over. I’m sorry but I think you are just grasping at straws to try to show legal action is a possibility when I can’t see any basis for it.

  345. Graham H says:

    @Greg T – Excess profits have nothing to do with judicial review. To carry out a successful review,there are three tests (“Wednesbury reasonableness):

    – the decision by a public body must be procedurally correct
    -the decision must be based on all the relevant evidence and not take into account any irrelevant evidence
    – the decision must reach a reasonable decision that any reasonable person would reach on the evidence

    As you see, to have a successful JR of Tfl’s fares policy you would have to show that TfL was prevented by statute from charging to make a(n excessive) profit.

  346. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Graham H – and TfL clearly are not prevented from earning a “profit”. In fact for Crossrail it has to earn an operating surplus in order to meet its borrowing obligations. The budget clearly shows TfL Rail and LU earning a considerable operating margin. The other subtle point is that the Mayor is responsible for fares policy – it is their decision and TfL lives with the ramifications. Clearly TfL will model various changes to fares and ticket products to evaluate the impacts and share that with the Mayor but it is the Mayor’s final decision that stands.

  347. Graham H says:

    @WW The basic financial duty is set out in the LRT Act 1984 (carried over to the TfL legislation. S15 thus:

    (1)London Regional Transport shall so perform their functions as to ensure so far as practicable that the combined revenues of London Regional Transport and any subsidiaries of theirs are not less than sufficient to meet their combined charges properly chargeable to revenue account, taking one accounting year with another.
    (2)In respect of each accounting year of London Regional Transport, London Regional Transport shall charge to revenue account, and secure that any subsidiary of theirs so charges, all charges which are proper to be made to revenue account, including, in particular, proper provision for the depreciation or renewal of assets.

    The key phrase in S15(1) is “not less” – no statutory (1)London Regional Transport shall so perform their functions as to ensure so far as practicable that the combined revenues of London Regional Transport and any subsidiaries of theirs are not less than sufficient to meet their combined charges properly chargeable to revenue account, taking one accounting year with another.
    (2)In respect of each accounting year of London Regional Transport, London Regional Transport shall charge to revenue account, and secure that any subsidiary of theirs so charges, all charges which are proper to be made to revenue account, including, in particular, proper provision for the depreciation or renewal of assets.

    The key phrase is in S15(1) which refers to “not less” than the break even provision. There is nothing to stop LRT/TfL piling up a surplus aka profit.

  348. timbeau says:

    Were there not similar fare anomalies when zones were first introduced on the Tube? A point to point say West Ken to Gloucester Road would surely have been rather less than the Z12 Travelcard which replaced it, but I don’t recall people getting the option.

  349. Malcolm says:

    timbeau is probably right about anomalies when zonal fares were introduced. But that was understood at the time to be a “win some, lose some” situation. I expect the losers did not like it, and they may or may not have said so.

    But the key difference this time is that the fare change looked like it might have been intimately tied up with Overgrounding. Hitherto Overgrounding has been perceived by passengers as a wholly good thing, getting various improvements, and no detriments whatever. Hence the expected outrage (not just from Greg) if this pattern were to change.

    Seemingly, Boris has realised this, and deferred/cancelled/undecided the fare change, so that if/when it does happen, it will be perceived as unconnected with the saintly Overgrounding. I guess he hopes this will take some of the steam out of the squawks.

    This might sound a bit dismissive, and I do not mean it to be so. To raise a fare by such a percentage, however good the reason, is a pretty mean blow to deliver to anyone. But eggs and omelettes spring to mind.

  350. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Timbeau – as one of the people who created the data that went into the ticket machines I can confirm that LU retained special point to point seasons to deal with those journeys which straddled zones. There were ones from Whitechapel to Liverpool St, Moorgate and Tower Hill. I think West Brompton to HSK or South Ken were other examples. There was also a bizarre one (Hanger Lane – Northolt I think) on the West Ruislip branch for one journey which covers three fare zones but the fare was never charged at that rate. I don’t believe any of these still exist because the outer fare zone prices have become relatively flat and the zone 1 and zone 12 fare are the same off peak on the TfL tariff. Also single zone Travelcard seasons went in 2006. All good fun but complexity within the system and not openly advertised.

    I am not sure that LU practice from years ago is necessarily a pointer to what should happen on the Overground. Greg is right to identify the Zone 1 issue as the thing that drives the huge differential in season rates. Clearly running in to a terminal in the City will mean many people can and do walk to their place of employment. That may not be the case on the Watford DC route so perhaps abandonment of ptp seasons by TfL on that route had little impact as most people had Travelcards for onward travel. The thing to watch will be whether financial pressures on TfL force a change in practice and pricing come 2016 and the new concession. The loss of £250m from revenue grant will pile the pressure on to raise a lot of revenue from LU and TfL Rail even with the expansion of the revenue pot that will come to TfL (West Anglia, Liv St – Shenfield, Heathrow Connect and then Crossrail in its entirety). TfL have been very clever in shuffling their finances to try to absorb the cuts but it is slowly running out of flexibility hence Mr Hendy’s recent dire warnings on grant funding.

  351. Dan says:

    I received a tweet last night from a local journalist who’d followed up my tweet with TfL. TfL told her that contrary to the LO manager’s tweet to me, Chingford trains will remain non-stopping as present between Hackney Downs and Bethnal Green once TfL take over.

    So it is possible that the information I was given before was incorrect or the LO manager misunderstood my question. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

  352. Graham H says:

    I do apologise for my post of 21.33: the combination of Windows for Tablets and Gout for hands seems to have led to some cut and pasting errors (and how)! I hope the general thought was clear, tho’: TfL has to balance its books as a minimum, but is not at all precluded from raising more pelf to make a profit, if desired by its masters.

  353. Greg Tingey says:

    NR’s assets to collapse in a heap in Hackney and at Clapton.
    Indeed – the signals & equipment boxes just outside Hackney Downs & even worse at Clapton Jn have been problematic for several years.
    The engineers have been tinkering with them for years, with gradual improvement, but I wonder if there’s something “in the local water” so to speak

    Various posters
    Oh dear, it seems that my initial ideas are incorrect.
    However, I would imagine that “A 60% increase / extra £550 a year out of taxed income – for NOTHING” would/will get people’s attention, no matter how vigorously TfL/LOROL try to spin such an attempt.
    There’s also the Common Law & “reasonableness” as approaches, are there not?
    & Malcolm: To raise a fare by such a percentage, however good the reason that’s the point – there is not any reason, because there is no change & will be no change, in the service.
    Even “new trains” won’t work, because the 315s’ are getting clapped-out & will need replacing anyway. And even the non-high-speed rip-off from Ashford does not charge that sort of exorbitant premium, does it?

  354. Malcolm says:

    Greg suggest there is no reason for this putative change of fares. (Which has not happened yet, and may not ever). The reason would be to align it with other fares over routes which, it can be claimed, are comparable. Most fare rises are not associated with any change in the service.

  355. timbeau says:

    “Simplifying” the fare structure inevitably means some fares will go up by more than inflation. The switch from fare stages to a flat fare on the buses will have meant a lot of “short hop” fares effectively went up massively. And child fares have been abolished altogether – unless you have a Zip card (and go free) you pay full fare.
    (Unless you live in London, getting a Zip card is difficult, and if you are not a UK resident – e.g an exchange student – it is impossible)’

  356. timbeau says:

    Meant to add – one recent “simplification” has been the reduction in the range of Travelcards available – requiring users of the abolished ones to “trade-up” to the next one.

  357. Anon says:

    There are still special Euston fares on the DC lines:

    However only peak Oyster singles and off peak Oyster singles involving Watford Junction are cheaper than the standard Zone 1-Zone x fare.

  358. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Anon – the DC line has been unusual in having the contra peak off peak PAYG fares and PAYG fares just to Euston rather than just into Zone 1 since the Overground take over. Having looked at there are Watford / Bushey to London Terminals season tickets. However if you get to Hatch End there are only Travelcards. I therefore hold my hands up and say I was wrong to suggest LOROL don’t have a few PTP seasons. London Midland price Watford Junction but LOROL price Bushey. Looking for season tickets on the NLL just brings up Travelcards.

    Having had a little play with the Single Fares Finder I see TfL have retained the unusual cross boundary fares from places like West Brompton and Whitechapel into the edges of Zone 1. Those remain priced at the Z1 fare rather than Z12. No sign though that there are PTP seasons for those journeys.

  359. Rory says:

    I have just got on a train from seven sisters to cheshunt that has clearly been repainted for TFL. White body, Piccadilly blue doors and all grab bars inside. No other noticeable differences

  360. ChrisMitch says:

    That sounds like the generic new Thameslink paint-job as well – white body and blue doors. Is this a standard non-branded interim network rail colour scheme?

  361. Anonymous says:

    Has there been any publicity for the takeover of the lines? I’ve seen nothing in the Standard or City AM.

  362. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Anon – no publicity yet. I would expect it to start emerging from about 1 month out – i.e. during May. A few more details are leaking out via Mayor’s Answers, Twitter sessions and the TfL Business Plan. I’ve spotted that there will be a “reveal” station on West Anglia which I assume the Mayor will “open” and smile for the cameras at. No idea which station it is. There are also going to be some things like better ramps for disabled access at some stations. It has certainly been confirmed that the new trains will be 4 cars long and capable of operation in multiple to 8 cars (no change from current practice). TfL have said they are talking to Network Rail for more off peak paths on West Anglia but no timescale yet for any improvements (beyond those already planned for Sundays). The lines will also be branded as Overground and will be on the tube map. No huge shocks there but then TfL have not been overplaying the improvements at this initial stage of things.

  363. Evergreenadam says:


    Mayor’s answers also reveal that TfL are ‘considering’ whether the new rolling stock on order should have ‘some transverse seating’, so still no guarantees.

  364. Pete williams says:

    More of these awful all sideways seating trains ? They cause us arthritus sufferers a pain in the neck (literally)
    Have london transport no consideration for the cervical spondulosis sufferers or is it , as usual, all about profit?

  365. How on earth can sideways seating trains possibly cause arthritis?

    The debate about longitudinal seats has been played out endless times and any further comment that doesn’t tell us something new will be deleted.

  366. Bill Ohm says:

    Not for putting on site. But to controller. Isn’t Pedantic’s 12.35pm comment a bit spiteful. Normally Pedantic’s postings are well worth reading. There might well be a good medical reason why seats at 90% to direction of travel (only used on trains I believe) are injurious to some medical conditions. If true it is worth debating & it reports something new. How about getting back to your normal good nature Pedantic

  367. Castlebar says:

    @ PoP

    You ask “How on earth can sideways seating trains possibly cause arthritis?” Well I will answer your question.

    You are obviously not a victim of either spondulitis or of arthritis. It you were, you would not have made such a comment. Rocking one’s head from side to side is much more painful than backwards/forwards movements. You can have absolutely no idea of what arthritis in the neck joints feels like.

    I will delete the rest of this comment myself as you wouldn’t like it.

  368. Anonymous says:

    I would respectfully point out that, if one has back or neck conditions or injuries, trying not to sway from side to side when a train brakes or accelerates is not just uncomfortable, it is actually painful and can exacerbate the condition. Nobody said it causes arthritis. The problem is that passengers are no longer given the choice. I am surprised that no-one has yet complained that this may be in contravention of the DDA.

  369. Southern Heights says:

    Quite agree that there should be some forward/backward facing seats. I had an accident over ten years ago and sitting sideways on the Jubilee was painful…. I was fine on the bus, so switched even though it took 50% longer.

  370. Pedantic of Purley says:

    OK, OK, I misread sorry. I apologise.

    I do understand why longitudinal seats make exacerbate cervical spondylosis – and please note that I can at least spell it correctly.

    My good nature, if there is one, was rather irritated by the suggestion that it was all about profit. It is all about trying to make the most of the limited infrastructure we have for the greatest number of people. There are always going to be winners and losers.

    Having apologised, could we please accept that this topic arouses a lot of emotion (as shown) and basically amounts to everyone giving their opinion on them but not changing anyone else’s beliefs so it a topic best left for the pub or a less-fact-based website – or maybe even an more-fact-based medical website.

  371. Castlebar says:

    @ PoP

    Agreed. Thank you for your apology. I know that if you had experienced one tenth of the neck pain that I have, (caused by a car driver using a hand-held mobile phone), you would never have written it

  372. Jonathan Roberts says:

    Just to note, if it hasn’t been mentioned within another topic, that TfL formally launched on 9 April its procurement of a new LOROL operator, with an OJEU notice. The new operator will have responsibility for services from 13 November 2016. Details are in the attached link: . Potential bidders have until mid-May to register their interest.

  373. Greg Tingey says:

    Re “Anon” @ 13.12 14th April
    How does one raise an objection to, say an operator/concessionaire/TOC (etc) regarding an apparent breach of Disabilty Discrimination/Access/Regulations?

  374. Krystal says:

    Thinking back to one of the earlier comments re: making the Romford-Upminster (Upford?) shuttle a light-rail line, though it’s true TfL is limited to the hand it is dealt, there is a lot that could be done with the service. Though it is good news that TfL will finally introduce a sunday service, there are two additional things that TfL could relatively easily do.

    1. Keep services open later in the evening. At present, service finishes around 7:30-8pm, which is virtually within the evening peak, meaning it looses a vast amount of traffic. Ideally the line should open until the end of service on the District Line and Shenfield Metro.

    2. Install a passing loop and second platform at Emerson Park to allow a 15 minute service frequency with two-train operation. This would make the service much more attractive and boost ridership considerably, and get a LOT of local commuter traffic between Hornchurch/Upminster and Romford town centre off the roads.

  375. Malcolm says:

    @Krystal. The passing loop would be quite expensive, and I suspect that there are other projects around with a higher benefit-cost ratio. Probably a chicken-egg situation, the traffic will not increase without the improvement, and the improvement cannot be justified unless the traffic increases.

    If a passing loop were built, it would be cheaper to build it just outside Emerson Park station, then you don’t need another platform, and you could still manage a 15-minute service.

  376. Twopenny Tube says:

    Emerson Park Station was built a few years after the line was opened. While the Great Eastern tried to encourage passengers from the new estate by the station to use their buses to Romford, the LTS installed a run-round loop on the Romford side of Emerson Park Station, so that they could run a few trains on part of the route instead of all the way to Romford and back (loco hauled hence the need for a runround).

    What does this have to do with the recent postings? Well, the site of that loop is still just about visible and within the confines of the fencing (handy for Malcolm’s comment). I doubt if there is any more scope now, than there was a hundred years ago, to install a loop line, let alone another platform (or island?) where Emerson Park Station is, in a cutting. I think this issue was aired among the 300 plus previous postings on this topic, but I can’t find them on a quick scroll through.

    @ Krystal I would be surprised if there would be a “vast amount” of extra passengers if the service ran through the evening, but I suppose it might be worth a try, and might lift Emerson Park a little way up the league table of least used stations in the London area.

  377. Southern Heights (Light Railway) says:

    @Malcolm, Krystal,

    Maybe this could be part of a light rail system (i.e. Tram)? Take out the whole line for 18 months or so, completely rebuild the line… ELL all over?

    I can hear my crayons twitching in antici……pation….

  378. timbeau says:

    As with the Abbey Flyer, installation of a passing loop means more than just bunging in a couple of points. At present the line can run on the “one engine in steam” principle – essentially the train is “locked in” to the branch which then requires no signals except to ensure the train doesn’t over-run the limits. Put in a loop and the whole line has to be signalled. Google “Abermule 1921” to see why.

  379. Greg Tingey says:

    No. It doesn’t.
    Not if it’s operated as a tram, with “drive-on-sight” rules – see the operation of both Reeve’s Corner – Wimbledon & the Beckenham Jn branch of Tramlink to see how …..

    [This just seems to be arguing for the sake of it. timbeau made it quite clear he was talking about trains. Make the point about trams by all means but keep it as a separate comment and don’t needlessly invent a disagreement. PoP]

  380. Twopenny Tube says:

    @ timbeau With the regional control centre round the corner at Romford, they would not have far to run the cables, or send the radio signal, or whatever is needed. However, yes, it would be a step change in the cost of the line, and would need quite a lot of new passengers to pay for it, together with the extra train and driver.

  381. timbeau says:

    Trams have been suggested for both the Abbey flyer and Emerson: both would be completely new self-contained systems, requiring, among other things, their own depots. Cheaper by far to use Bletchley or Ilford’s facilities.
    Tramlink would never have been able to be justified financially if it just took over the Addiscombe and Wimbledon-West Croydon shuttles – it was the need to provide better links to New Addington that made it worth the outlay.
    And it was only the dire shortage of dmus on LM that made the PPM solution attractive for Stourbridge, with two “locked in” class 139 railbuses (100% maintenance overhead!) and a very basic depot.

  382. Greg Tingey says:

    The abbey flyer could have made a decent tram – if extended to the town centr & EMR main station, but that’s a crayonistic exercise for another day!

  383. Southern Heights says:

    @Greg: Not forgetting an extension to Hatfield…. Using most of the old railway alignment.

    I have a friend who lives in Hitchin and works in Watford, he comes in to Kings Cross and walks to Euston to go back out again. The bus (once an hour) is absolutely useless as the traffic is murder…. I think it would be very popular…..

    Sorry, crayons are getting restive….

  384. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Southern Heights – Hatfield to Watford via London must cost a small fortune. There are three bus services between the two but I agree frequencies and journey times look very poor indeed – over an hour’s journey time and hourly frequencies and unfriendly times for 9 to 5 commuting. And all because the car is deemed to be king and must be unfettered.

  385. Malcolm says:

    WW says “And all because the car is deemed to be king and must be unfettered.”

    It is not immediately clear to me that fettering “the car” would magically cause a convenient bit of public transport from Hitchin to Watford to spring into existence. If the person involved cannot conveniently afford the time or money to go via London, then moving house or job might be indicated?

    Even in the “good old days” when you could have managed this journey by orbital trains, changing at Welwyn Garden City and St Albans, I suspect the total journey time would have been on the lengthy side!

  386. timbeau says:


    Hatfield to Watford wouldn’t be too bad – the 724 takes an hour. But SH actually said Hitchin to Watford which, looking at the Herts bus map, either means getting a train to Hatfield and then the 724, or some complicated journey involving the 304 to St Albans City to either connect with the 724, or walk down the hill to Abbey station and get the Flyer to Watford.

  387. Jonathan Roberts says:


    OK here’s a valid rail timetable starting appropriately on June 5th 1950 (today less 65 years).

    Assume arrival in Watford (?Junction) before 9AM. ER Table 8 (GN suburban); dep. Hitchin 06:58, arr Hatfield 07:36. Change for St Albans Abbey line ER Table 5 (only 2 trains per day then, 3 on Fridays and Saturdays, no one planned or marketed the railway as an inter-connector between LMR and ER systems), dep Hatfield (first train!) 08:10, arr StAA 08:32. Shame about that departure time from Hatfield, as 7:38 from Hitchin arr Hatfield 08:11. Dep StAA (LMR Table 55) 08:37, arr Watford Junction 08:54.

    Elasped time in train on move: 38 mins Hitchin-Hatfield, 14¼ miles. 22 mins Hatfield StAA, 6½ miles. 17 mins, StAA-WatfordJcn, also 6½ miles. Total 77 mins, say 1¼ hours, 27¼ miles by rail. Not quick. Long wait at Hatfield. Actual throughout train time 1hr 56 mins. Only one train option. And last and only return train from StAA to Hatfield was at 17:05.

    So looks like it was ever Hitchin-London-Watford, post-war by rail!

    Via London on June 5th 1950, arr Watford Junction before 9AM: LMR Table 50: IF you could blag your way onto the 08:30 Euston-Liverpool, then call (p.u.) Watford Junction 08:58. From Hitchin: 07:05, KX 08:12, then to Euston and as shown above. Elapsed time in train on move: 95 mins, 49½ miles. Overall time: 1hr 53 minutes. You wouldn’t do it, regularly, would you?

    2015: Table 25: Hitchin 07:51, Kings X 08:19. Table 66: Euston 08:34, Watford Junction 08:55. Elapsed time in train: 49 minutes, 49½ miles. Overall time: 64 mins. Moveover, this journey is repeatable several times an hour, for the bulk of the day. Better, but…

    2015 Road times + 35% for peak time: 28 miles (station to station), 42 minutes. So car wins overall, if you are happy to put up with driving.

    Conclusion: rail commuting via London from one outer commuting zone to another can be feasible these days, and sometimes can be a relatively easy journey, but car may still be quicker door to door.

  388. Castlebar says:

    My old LT country bus map clearly indicates re-instatement of the 803 Express is what is needed here

  389. Greg Tingey says:

    1922 Bradshaw:
    Hitchin 07.35
    Hatfield 08.01
    Hatfield 08.22
    St Albans LNW 08.41
    St Albans LNW 0853.
    Watford Jn 09.10

  390. Graham H says:

    @Castlebar – I have a soft spot for the 803, still having a picture of an RT at S Mary’s Square on which I was invited to dress the blinds after completing the end to end run in the course of a Green Rover. (My Watford area TT of 1965 is out of reach at the moment, but I recall the journey time being of the order of two hours.)

  391. James Bunting says:

    @Graham H 1942. Surely it must be a 303 that you are remembering rather than the 803. The 303 (and 303A) ran from New Barnet Station to Hitchin St Mary’s Square. The 803 ran as an express, mainly in overlapping sections, from Uxbridge to Welwyn Garden City. From the maps and timetables I have I cannot see it as having ever run further north of WGC.

  392. Graham H says:

    @James Bunting – yes, of course, my bad! (I wasn’t able to check the photo in question as it’s a 35mm slide, for which I no longer have any viewing machinery…) I probably would have started off that day on the 803*, as our Green Rover expeditions usually started with a 347 from Northwood to Watford

    *I’m now trying to recall whether Rovers were valid on the 803 -others may remember better.

  393. Castlebar says:

    @ GH yes they were

  394. Walthamstow Writer says:

    Apologies folks – must learn to read and take time to comprehend what I’ve read! Looks like you’ve all had a nice historical diversion though about old bus and rail services in the area.

    @ Malcolm – obviously a journey from Hitchen to Watford is more involved. However when an “express” bus takes an hour to cross a few miles across Hertfordshire something is wrong. You must surely accept that many many places now have poor bus services which crawl through day long traffic jams on the approaches to town centres (small and large). The loss of orbital rail links in places like Hertfordshire has helped create a very difficult travel situation. With today’s approach to usually running regular and frequent rail services I’d speculate that if those short orbital rail links existed we would see a rather different level of car and public transport usage. Clearly employment and levels of personal wealth also drive car use but different approaches to transport provision can shift the relative shares of each mode.

  395. Greg Tingey says:

    Indeed a supercrayonistic exercise might be to buld an orbital inter-urban tram loop around London …
    Starting by using as much trackbed as possible of the Watford – St Albans – Hatfield – Hertford routes as possible.
    Then where, in either direction?
    Street running is allowed, but reserved sections & re-utilised trackbed preferred.

    [Moderator’s note: By all means carry out the suggested exercise in the privacy of your own home. Please do not put the results here 🙂. Malcolm]

  396. mr_jrt says:

    Greg, I’ve mused on this many years ago long before this site ever existed 🙂 [Musing results snipped, I did say do not put them here. Malcolm]
    …but I digress. The chap mentioned upthread would probably be better served by the southern options of the fabled central section of the EWR project, should they come to pass (aka. Hichin/Stevenage to Luton, thence to Bletchley, or maybe St Neots to Bedford, thence to Bletchley…)

  397. Snowy says:

    TFL have released the results of the most recent Barking Riverside overground extension consultation.

    Plan is to progress with the TWAO (transport & works act order) application in spring next year (see recent comment on another thread of what ‘spring’ actually means). The local residents (who responded) seem mostly in favour of the project, however I suspect there may be several objectors at the hearing.

    The route option chosen is B, single viaduct with passive provision for a second station in the Renwick Road area. Again despite stakeholder & consultation responders requesting passive provision for a future Thamesmead extension, TfL are not budging on this. The quote from their response “…whilst ensuring the plans would not preclude the connection of the BRE to a southern extension” is suitably vague in this respect. They give (upfront) cost of an underground station as the reason for this, only time will tell if this proves to be short sighted.

  398. Anomnibus says:


    A simple ‘U’-layout terminus at ground level needs neither escalators nor lifts, and, (if not built under a large office block), will also be lit for much of the day by the sun, for free. Underground stations, on the other hand, have higher running costs: lifts, escalators, additional lighting, additional fire prevention and evacuation facilities, ventilation, water pumps, and whatnot.

    A surface station is therefore much cheaper to build and operate. If you don’t even know if – never mind when! – that cross-river extension might be built, it makes no sense to deliberately build an expensive underground terminus station right away.

  399. Hedgehog says:

    @Snowy – thank you. I’ve been waiting for this report.

  400. Southern Heights (Light Railway) says:

    Another Island Gardens then! As long as they make provision for digging a tunnel later then fine…

  401. Hedgehog says:

    I have a silly question. Why could the crossing from Barking Riverside to Thamesmead Reach not be done by a railway bridge, rather than a tunnel? It is surely cheaper and safer to have the stations and rail above ground and a pedestrian bridge could be provided alongside it. This would prevent the trains getting too crowded with people who just want to cross the river (as currently happens between Clapham Junction and Imperial Wharf).

  402. Anomnibus says:


    A bridge here would be a major undertaking and would need to be high enough for ships to pass under, making it visually very intrusive. Such a bridge would also need very long approaches as trains can’t deal with anything much steeper than a 1-in-30 gradient.

    Add on the decades of legal challenges and endless public consultations needed to get a project like that anywhere near close to getting approval and funding and a tunnel starts to look like very good value for money.

  403. Hedgehog says:

    @Anomnibus Thanks. I hadn’t considered ships passing underneath. I am very much in favour of an extension to Thamesmead Reach, Thamesmead and Abbey Wood and a tunnel would work just fine.

  404. Anomnibus says:

    I suspect another reason for not pushing such an extension is that there’s a lot of latent demand in south London for more transport infrastructure, so the trains may be swamped the moment the extension is opened. (This isn’t a given, mind, as Thamesmead is ‘virgin’ railway territory and isn’t currently served by any rail infrastructure. The Overground route also isn’t radial, so it’s difficult to calculate exactly what the effect of the extension would be in reality.)

    It may be preferable to wait until the trains can be extended in length first. That’ll require major surgery to a number of stations on the Overground network, so at least a couple of general elections in the future.

  405. timbeau says:

    “A simple ‘U’-layout terminus at ground level needs neither escalators nor lifts, and will also be lit for much of the day by the sun, for free. Underground stations, on the other hand, have higher running costs…………….: ”

    This does not stop a surface station being designed such that it can be converted to a through station leading to a tunnel at a later date. The main criteria would be planning protection for the land where the ramp would be, and ensuring the station is built far enough from the river bank, and on a suitable alignment, to allow such a future extension. As for the location, having it some distance from the river increases the number of people who live within any given distance to it, since very few people actually live in the river!

  406. Malcolm says:

    Anomnibus says “A simple ‘U’-layout terminus …”.

    I presume you mean squash-racket shape (or better, racquetball-racket). Such ground-level terminus stations seem to be remarkably rare on heavy rail, on planet Earth (let alone UK, or London). Presumably because of the extra land required (even on an “empty” site) and resulting costs. Slightly cheaper operating costs (for ever) by saving staff time changing ends have apparently rarely been considered worthwhile.

  407. Malcolm says:

    timbeau suggest various desirable design precautions for an extendable terminus…

    None of which precautions were taken at Island Gardens, as Southern Heights implies. This can be used either to demonstrate that the precautions were not necessary (as the line was extended anyway), or that they were necessary (because it cost X million pounds extra).

  408. ChrisMitch says:

    I would have thought a T shape would be a better shape for the terminus.
    But are we talking about the track layout or the platform layout?

  409. Malcolm says:

    ChrisMitch asks if we are talking about track layout or platform layout.

    I have always found that the most successful stations designs have platforms adjacent to the tracks. (Sorry).

  410. ChrisMitch says:

    very true Malcolm…

  411. Lazarus says:

    @ Malcolm

    I took Anomnibus’ “simple u-shaped terminus” to mean a u-shaped platform with a pair of tracks in the middle.

  412. timbeau says:

    I wasn;t sure what Anomnibus meant by a U shaped terminus either, but assumed he meant a platform in the shape of a squared-off “U” embracing two tracks (with possibly two more outside the platforms), like Hammersmith (Met) or Ealing Broadway (Central) .

    Terminal “balloon” loops on the surface are unusual, for space reasons, but the original Wembley Stadium station had one, and they can be found on narrow gauge lines at Dungeness, Ruislip Lido, and Barmouth ferry, on the Blackpool tram system, and of course at both Channel Tunnel termini – as well as most power stations operating the “merry-go-round” coal delivery system.

  413. AlisonW says:

    Anomnibus “will also be lit for much of the day by the sun, for free.”

    Hey, hold on a moment! We are talking about east London here!

    (Noting that it is still, allegedly, ‘summer’ here and laughing quietly)

  414. timbeau says:

    Anomnibus “will also be lit for much of the day by the sun, for free.”
    Preferably using the traditional “transmission through amorphous quartz” technique rather than the “solar cells blocking out the natural light, thus requiring artificial lighting using more power than the solar cells generate” technique favoured at Blackfriars.

  415. Pedantic of Purley says:


    I don’t know why you keep repeating this myth about Blackfriars. It does use the “transmission through amorphous quartz” technique. If you go to Blackfriars you will see that the roof has lots of clear glass on the north side of each roof section.

    This picture or this picture shows the slats that enables plenty of light to pass through but ensure that no direct sunlight blinds the drivers (or passengers). Last time I went to Blackfriars (fairly recently) the station was quite bright enough and there were no lights on.

  416. Walthamstow Writer says:

    Before people get hysterical about the lack of instant tunnel to Thamesmead and surface / tunnelled stations it’s worth considering a couple of things. I understand much of the new extension will actually be on a viaduct (based on TfL comments in an earlier consultation) and not at ground level. Not sure why – might be to do with ground conditions. Secondly there is a vast amount of space beyond the proposed terminal to get a line down under the Thames and back up nearer the surface at Thamesmead. It doesn’t necessarily have to head straight south, it could go west and then curve under the Thames to serve Thamesmead Town Centre and then on to Abbey Wood in tunnel.

    I suspect TfL do have an idea as to how they would extend the line but they simply will not say this publicly because :-

    a) there is no funding
    b) there is strategy work still to emerge from TfL and City Hall on transport in East / SE London and you don’t undermine what the Mayor may want to say later
    c) there is no funding !!
    d) it is not really good public policy for unelected people to needlessly “set hares running” and stoke up expectations only for them to be dashed. Politicians can do this but TfL officials running consultations can’t.
    e) there may be some sensitive discussions with government going on about what to do about housing and transport in this area and that may mean something more adventurous than anyone has so far dreamt up on a blog or a forum!

    In terms of the consultation responses it was interesting to note the following themes from the politicians. They ….

    a) want the second station built at Renwick Road
    b) still want the DLR to be extended through Barking Riverside
    c) want the Riverside extension extended under the Thames to Thamesmead / Abbey Wood ASAP
    d) want the Riverside extension built ASAP

    Also noteworthy that John Biggs AM wants evidence that a cross river tunnel is feasible and that there are no planning constraints in the way and that TfL have taken steps to prevent encroachment on a likely route under the Thames. This set of questions is pretty crucial and I doubt there will be a public response to John Biggs on this but he may get a private briefing on it.

    The final thing to consider is the proximity to a tidal stretch of the Thames and one which is east of the Thames Barrier. Careful planning needed to make sure your new tunnel portal doesn’t get overwhelmed by the river.

  417. ngh says:

    Re WW,

    The final thing to consider is the proximity to a tidal stretch of the Thames and one which is east of the Thames Barrier. Careful planning needed to make sure your new tunnel portal doesn’t get overwhelmed by the river.

    I think you may have answered you own question on the viaduct in the first paragraph. Flood Zone 3 extends to approximately the National Rail line between Deptford and Slade Green (build approximately along the line of 5 sections of small rivers Woolwich to Erith). This means to flood proofing the railway it is easiest to have the Railway on a viaduct – a minimum of 2 to 2.5m above the average local ground level nearer the Thames, being a viaduct will allow it to be efficiency fully permeable rather than becoming some kind of flood wall (i.e. more routing flexibility by not being). Ground condition are likely to be (very) bad so going straight to piling viaduct foundations makes lots of sense.

  418. Hedgehog says:

    Getting Renwick Road built would be a start.

  419. Ian J says:

    @WW: there is a vast amount of space beyond the proposed terminal to get a line down under the Thames

    There may be at the moment, but once the station opens the attraction of the surrounding land for developers (and cost for compulsory purchase) will increase. If TfL want to avoid a Lewisham situation where expansion is blocked by development then they will need to protect a corridor and that means they will have to make a public plan some time soon, funded or not – Crossrail 2 has had an unfunded protected route for more than 20 years now.

    @Malcolm: None of which precautions were taken at Island Gardens, as Southern Heights implies

    No, but at Island Gardens there was a pre-existing foot tunnel that was meant to offer a connection to Greenwich (it was even shown on the tube map, so the bit about having a better catchment if you kept back from the river didn’t apply, and the approach line used a pre-existing (listed?) viaduct across a park so an elevated terminus made sense at the time.

  420. timbeau says:

    @Ian J
    I’d forgotten the foot tunnel was shown on that map. Inconsistent too – at Woolwich we see neither the tunnel nor the ferry (which, at the time the DLR opened in 1987, was operated by the LB Greenwich, but had been operated by the GLC until the previous year)

  421. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Ngh – thanks for clarifying the viaduct issued. Makes sense.

    @ Ian J – hence the importance of the answers to John Biggs’ questions about what TfL have or have not done in terms of identifying and protecting a viable corridor for an extension to SE London.

    @ Hedgehog – and yet TfL is extremely reluctant to suggest Renwick Road station would be built. I really do not understand the reluctance of TfL and NR to build new stations. I know there are impacts on the train service and pathing and the NR regime prefers inertia to change but there are so many possible relatively quick wins across London from adding stations or platforms that would deliver a much more convenient transport system for people. Most would cost “loose change” compared to the massive mega projects that we seem preoccupied with.

  422. Jim Cobb says:

    @WW – Adding more stations adds more traffic, so perhaps NR/TfL are trying to find a balance between a line being popular enough to meet its objectives, but not so popular that it requires expensive upgrades elsewhere to keep it going ?

  423. Chris L says:

    The existing DLR tunnel to/from Woolwich Arsenal and the Crossrail link are in the flood risk area (downriver of the barrier).

    The ramps for the Woolwich Ferry have just been modified/updated to cope with higher tides.

  424. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Jim Cobb – I fully understand you have to take a holistic approach and consider the consequences of adding stations. You may lose train paths, you may need more trains for a given service level, you may have knock on consequences elsewhere. However there is little mention of station or platform openings in TfL, NR or political policy documents. As we are considering all things “orange” let’s look at the GOBLIN and the Riverside extension. The line is to be further upgraded, electrified and equipped with new trains. It may gain an extension to Barking Riverside. It strikes me as the absolutely ideal time to add much demanded stations at Junction Road and Renwick Road. You have the line under possession for wiring so have an ideal time to design and build a station that is compatible with wiring. You can procure the right number of trains and you can ensure the expanded service copes with demand. You also have the potential for efficiencies in project design, project management, construction and assurance activities. That, to me, would be genuine good planning and efficient use of scarce resources to deliver a step change in transport links. Unfortunately we see no such planning or co-ordination being evident.

    The proposal for a new station on C2C at Beam Park should ideally be co-ordinated with the Riverside extension and Renwick Rd station so, again, you get a step change in local transport connectivity and the work is done efficiently and services can be adjusted to cater for the new infrastructure in one go. It’s not hard if you apply a bit of effort and brain power.

  425. Jim Cobb says:

    @WW – I fully agree with you. I don’t agree with NR/TfL’s attitude – just suggesting the sort of mindset that might be prevalent in those bodies.

    The current structure of the industry mitigates against the sort of joined-up approach you suggest. If you had dedicated station design and build teams, and had a long-term strategy of adding stations at a steady rate (1 a year maybe ?), the cost of adding stations would be significantly reduced. Instead, everything is done from scratch every time, using consultants and contractors, with no overall strategy and excessive costs. Every is so complex that no-one can face doing any more than they are asked to.

    Oh well, we would a lot less to discuss if it all worked well !

  426. Malcolm says:

    Jim Cobb says “if you had… a long-term strategy of adding stations at a steady rate …”

    I think that’s just what we don’t need. Yes, of course, open a new station if all the calculations and consultations show that that is the right thing to do. And maybe close an old one subject to the same conditions. But to take a sort of quota approach (where shall we open a new station this year?) cannot be right. Every extra stop on a loaded train costs through passengers a bit of their time, and if there are a lot of through passengers, the cost is significant. (And of course, building the station costs lots of money too, whether production line or bespoke). So it should only be done where these costs are properly and definitely offset by substantial benefits.

  427. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Malcolm – just to be completely clear I am not advocating “new stations for the sake of it”. I am suggesting a more planned, better co-ordinated delivery of new stations and platforms that are *justified* and which improve Londoners’ access to public transport services. The GOBLIN example was specifically set out within the context of a wider scheme of works where there are opportunities to do more than currently envisaged. We have the example of Lea Bridge station where just about everything that could go wrong has gone wrong so far with more scope for cock ups possible. The end result of that is cost escalation of about 300% so far. We MUST be able to do better than that or else we should pack up and go home.

    The point is that London needs a solid programme of justified works that allow the efficient use of all requisite resources over a 20 year programme with the retention of skills and experience in the client and supplier organisations that then allows efficient and cost effective procurement and continuous improvement in construction and commissioning. This stuff isn’t hard if you can get a level of stability and consensus with the politicians (yes that’s the hard bit folks).

  428. MikeP says:

    After all, isn’t part of the justification for the timing of CR2 that it’s cost a lot of time and money pulling together a quality team with world-class tunnelling and other skills, and we don’t want that expertise dissipated ?? That way, we don’t have to go through as much programme start-up pain as there would be if we waited some years before starting it.

    I can’t seem the same logic not applying to smaller programmes or projects. If you’ve identified the need, bringing the delivery forward, or developing a rolling programme, will cost less. Potentially a lot less.

  429. ngh says:

    Re Mike P,

    But because of the gap between CR1 and CR2 some of that will certainly be lost though Thames Water’s super sewer & the various Northern line works will fill the gap in tunnelling construction between the two.

    On WW &Jim Cobb’s point – there is plenty of platform lengthening and station rebuilds (access etc) in the greater London area too so putting that in with new station builds would provided a viable continuous easily justifiable workstream.

  430. Malcolm says:

    @WW. OK. I completely take your point about improved procurement, commissioning and so forth. I am sorry if my comment, deprecating a notion of an ever increasing number of unjustified stops, implied that you favoured such a thing. Clearly you do not.

    In a perhaps more robust age, intermediate stations were sometimes closed (e.g Down Street). I doubt if that is ever likely to happen any more.

  431. Hedgehog says:

    There’s definitely enough material here for a new article on Barking Riverside, Thamesmead, GOBLIN and the surrounding consultation.

  432. Greg Tingey says:

    If only because the current central area stations are so crowded.
    Last time I came to the “Blue Posts”, getting out of Leicester Sq was not funny – very crowded exits & slow queues up the exit stairs, & narrowed perceptibly by LU’s gates that don’t withdraw fully.

  433. Graham Feakins says:

    @Greg – Leicester Square tube exits at street level have for many years presented that problem. It is not really the exits themselves that cause the problem, although I admit that the station is very busy, but the mass of tourist dawdlers, hawkers, vendors* and similar who congregate all around on the surrounding pavements without seemingly wanting to shift anywhere are the cause of no end of pedestrian congestion, especially causing problems and resultant build-up on the stairways out of the station. Add to that those who are trying to enter the station at the same time. To put it politely, not everyone manages to follow the ‘Keep Left’ signs up and down the stairs, despite the centrally placed hand rails.

    * Every so often, TfL staff used to (and maybe still do) go on a ‘clearance blitz’ to free the pavements outside their Leicester Square exits of the undesirables (vendors, hawkers &c.) but that is almost a full-time job.

  434. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Greg – having worked above Leic Sq station for many years I’ll just say that it’s been problematic for years. Normal daytime isn’t too bad but the PM peak is horrendous because you have two peaks. You have people wanted to enter to head home plus some tourists going back to hotels but you also have the “going out in the evening” crowd all arriving. As Graham accurately states the issue is that everyone has said “meet you outside Leic Se station” so hundreds of people try to do that. The second peak continues for hours because you keep getting people arriving in the area plus those heading home after a couple of hours. It then turns into a nightmare of everyone heading home from 2300 onwards up to the last train. It must be one of the most difficult stations to work a late shift at given the unrelenting pressure.

  435. Walthamstow Writer says:

    Just doing my customary “oh what Assembly meetings are there?” check and found a nice letter from Mike Brown re rail devolution.

    Seems Greenford – West Ealing / Paddington will remain with FGW and not move to TfL control.

    TfL are clearly still aiming to make improvements to the future SWT and South Eastern franchises with the likelihood of a “takeover” possible but with less emphasis in the past.

    Updated strategy for rail services is due in the Autumn so that remains on schedule.

  436. Graham Feakins says:

    P.S. Especially for Greg but also for other readers – Use Piccadilly Circus station this Thursday when you come to the Blue Posts, rather than Leicester Square.

  437. Pedantic of Purley says:


    How amusing. You are the first to complain about the difficulties of interchange and the current practice of long tunnels and further to walk etc. Yet Leicester Square would appear (rather would have appeared) to be the perfect model in your eyes with short walking distances and very short convenient interchange between the two tube lines.

    I accept that there are ongoing issues with people restricting the entrances but this isn’t really the big problem. After all there are a lot of entrances. If a station is busy you can have a small compact congested station or a large spread-out station. Oh, and don’t say the solution is just to make the entrance and exit wider. The problem with Leicester Square is that it is a bit like Covent Garden and more people want to use it than the station as a whole can handle. Leicester Square is even slightly busier than the much-more-spacious Piccadilly Circus nearby.

  438. Graham Feakins says:

    @PoP & Greg et. al. – And Piccadilly Circus station is closer to the Blue Posts than Leicester Square station anyway.

  439. Altnabreac says:

    Re Jim, WW and Malcolm – Adding stations at a steady rate.

    If you are willing to look north for inspiration then something like the Scottish Government’s CP5 Scottish Stations Fund could be worth implementing in London.

    This is a £30M fund (over CP5) administered by Network Rail with input from Transport Scotland as part of NR’s CP5 funding settlement from the Scottish Government.

    The funds can be bid for by TOCs, Local Authorities, Developers etc and are intended as gap funding, with schemes that have local authority and developer contributions as well gaining priority in scheme assessment.

    It can be spent on new stations but also car and cycle parking improvements, new buildings and accessibility works to avoid Malcolm’s concern that new stations would open “for the sake of it”.

    The existence of this fund does not preclude stations opening in other ways either through 100% developer funding (Winchburgh due to open in 2018) or funding from elsewhere (Conon Bridge in 2013 funded as part of road improvement works to provide an alternative route for commuters during a bridge closure).

    It does however help local authorities and others to develop proposals like Renwick Road that fall between the gap of not generating enough developer funding while also not being of enough Strategic importance to attract direct interest from TfL.

    SF001 on p142 of this document for more information:

  440. Hedgehog says:

    How much does it cost to build a station? I’m surprised TfL aren’t selling timeshares in the advertising at the station. Pay £X million and have your advertising displayed for Y weeks of your choosing during the next 10 years, or something.

  441. Greg Tingey says:

    I had to use Leicester Sq last time, because the Victoria line was shut-remember?
    I Usually go Walthamstow – Oxford Circus – Piccadilly C – surface …

    Your first paragraph is totally irrelevant, I’m afraid.
    The problem, as so well-pointed out by WW is the last exits to the surface from the periphery of the “ticket hall” & really bad congestion on the staircases/pavement mouth.

    With all the ticket offices closing – what are we going to call those sub-surface mini-concourses on the “public” side of the barrier/gate-lines?

  442. Greg,
    I had to use Leicester Sq last time, because the Victoria line was shut-remember?

    Do you not think that might have had something to do with it?

  443. Flare says:

    I wouldn’t hold much hope on the Rail Strategy document – I gather it’s been quite dumbed down. There’s no mention of the D word though I’m sure the South London Metro stuff will be of interest.

  444. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Flare – I saw an updated “London Devolution” (in the widest sense) document yesterday covering a range of issues including finance, health and transport. The section on transport covered National Rail services but said remarkably little and nothing new that I could see. It rather suggests, as you hint, some external pressure being applied to remove anything too controversial that might cut across other, as yet unpublished, reorganisation plans for the National Rail network. It was distinctly “wishy washy” about both incremeting franchises and TfL directly taking them over. There was more emphasis on the latter but it all felt rather flat but then we are nearing the end of the current Mayoralty so perhaps no great surprise.

  445. Southern Heights (Light Railway) says:

    @Greg: I use the rule that when in central London if you change to go one stop on another line it’s usually not worth the bother… I would have either walked or gone one stop further and walked.

    Leicester Square is indeed a nightmare, I use it regularly and tiny corridors from the bottom of the escalators to the Pickled can be very slow… It needs work! I’ve never found the crowds outside to be too much of a problem except at the Nortwest corner, but that could simply be solved by pedestrianising Charing Cross Road (lights fuse, walks away…)….

  446. Greg Tingey says:

    Depends on the inter-stop length & the road layout & potential surface congestion, even of pedestrians.
    Remember, I’m old enough to have the system map practically hard-wired – I have been hauled in service by several of the Met’s old electric locos, of which “Sarah Siddons” is the sole remainder ….

  447. Briantist (post-operative...) says:


    ” use the rule that when in central London if you change to go one stop on another line it’s usually not worth the bother… I would have either walked or gone one stop further and walked.”

    Counterfactual: not the case from Warren Street to Oxford Circus, nor Kings Cross to ether Angel or Farringdon! All nice long walks even on a sunny day. Earl’s Court to Gloucester Road too. All in Zone 1.

    Bond Street to Baker Street quite a walk too, and I love walking around London.

  448. timbeau says:

    Depends on inter-stop distance, but generally true of CLR and Yerkes tubes in the West End. Also depends on your actual destination – on Thursday I was meeting somebody at St Martin in the Fields – nearest Tube is undoubtedly Charing Cross, but coming from the Piccy it is quicker to walk down CX Road from Leicester Square than change to the Northern, and pass right underneath!

  449. quinlet says:

    ” use the rule that when in central London if you change to go one stop on another line it’s usually not worth the bother… I would have either walked or gone one stop further and walked.”
    Some people have taken this advice more widely. I was at a meeting at Palestra last week (Southwark tube) where 2 of the 10 people present had, quite independently, decided it was better and easier to walk from Euston/St Pancras than to take the tube. They reckoned the walk took them 45 – 50 minutes.

  450. timbeau says:

    “(Southwark tube) where 2 of the 10 people present had, quite independently, decided it was better and easier to walk from Euston/St Pancras than to take the tube. ”

    Quite likely it was, although the direct train from St Pancras to Blackfriars on the secret route that isn’t on the Tube map is quicker still.

  451. Anonymous says:

    re. Last Post by timbeau – well said. Perhaps TfL staff are encouraged not to use National Rail services – however the lack of Thameslink services through the core on the tube map is a disgrace especially as both are effectively publicly funded.

  452. Malcolm says:

    Anonymous at 18:58 says “the lack of….on the tube map is a disgrace …”

    Many people would agree with that. So much so that the moderators here have often found it necessary to cut short the extensive discussions which generally follow. So the topic is not banned as such, but watched carefully. Please only comment on the tube map issue if you are certain that you have something novel, specific, important and constructive to say about it. To avoid too much repetition, the general point (that the current situation of the tube map is not ideal) need not be be re-affirmed.

  453. Anonymously says:

    @Malcolm……Agreed that it feels strange that Thameslink and the Northern City lines are not on the Tube Map, when both were on it within living memory (until the late 90s?). But don’t we have to beware making the Tube Map too cluttered? Part of its appeal after all is its simple, elegant design.

    If TfL ever get their hands on the rail lines south of the river, I dread to think what the map will end up looking like! Perhaps a modified London Connections map would be better?

  454. quinlet says:

    I got into trouble with Dave Wentzel in 1984 for suggesting that the tube map be abandoned in favour of a version of the London Connections map. Indeed that might even have predated the London Connections map, but might – at some very remote remove – have encouraged its design.

  455. timbeau says:

    “But don’t we have to beware making the Tube Map too cluttered? Part of its appeal after all is its simple, elegant design.”
    Form should, however, follow function.

  456. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Anonymous 1858 – I worked for LU / TfL for over 25 years and was never, ever discouraged from using any public transport service. Thameslink across Zone 1 is covered by the Staff Pass and has been since Thameslink’s inception. Whether all TfL staff pass holders *know* this is perhaps a moot point.

    Despite appearances TfL is not exclusively populated by transport loonies in all roles. There is no formal “education” about the transport network, where it goes etc. As I have said before I found that many people on my team, when faced with doing front line customer service duties during strikes, had no idea that things like bus maps, spider maps, online timetables etc existed. Most employees know their regular commute and perhaps some local services but beyond that will only know about what they need to do their jobs. In that respect they’re just like the rest of the general public who have no interest in the system beyond using it for travel. It’s only loons like me that are walking talking bus and tube maps with added “niche” insights spinkled on the top. I was treated as the alternative Travel Information department by my colleagues – heck I even managed to get my old boss to use the bus on occasion. 😉

    Two other random remarks – I was once doing strike cover at Walthamstow. Another HQ employee who lived locally was working with me. Someone asked them “how do I get to Debden?” The colleague started telling them to go to Oxford Circus so I had to intervene and say “go upstairs and catch the 20 bus”. One satisfied customer. The employee said “there’s a bus to Debden from here?” “Yes”. Other example – doing strike cover single handed out front of Turnpike Lane station in the AM rush hour. Two bus inspectors sent along to help stood 10 foot behind me for about 10 minutes watching how I fared. After the observation period ended they sauntered across and said “oh you do know where the buses go then”. “Yes” was the only polite response to that remark. They then disappeared and I didn’t see them again. There is / was a widespread perception amongst operational staff that *every* head office person has no brain and certainly no knowledge of where services run (tube, bus, whatever – always the same attitude). Occasionally it was nice to (partly) dispel the myth.

  457. Walthamstow Writer says:

    A little bit of breaking news about GOBLIN electrification. The works contract has been awarded. (First spotted via District Dave forum).

    Looks like a positive development.

  458. IAmHedgehog says:

    @WW Great news!

  459. Ian J says:

    @WW: I wonder if the fact that J. Murphy have a large construction compound right at one end of the route at the former engine shed at Kentish Town helped them put in the best bid? It would certainly seem to make life easier for them.

  460. ngh says:

    Re WW and Ian J,

    I’m not sure if this is the full electrification contract any thoughts?

    I know Murphy have done plenty of electrification civils before (including plenty of stuff that is on schedule in the north west at the moment) but not the actual wiring etc.?

    The GOBLIN electrification budget is £115m but the Murphy contract is just £56.9m

    Presumably the £115m includes Rolling Stock cost (of circa £45-50m ) potentially leaving £10-15m? Or is this contingency?

  461. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Ngh – I had pretty much the same thought as you as to quite what scope the contract covered. Nonetheless this is pleasing news given the rumbling going on about what else will be stopped in order for NR to live within its means. If Murphy have performed well on electrification civils then that’s another potential positive for the GOBLIN as the civils are pretty complex given the differing infrastructure along the line. I don’t know where the funding for the rolling stock is held – is it in this project authority or in a separate TfL one given there is a single order for different routes? There’s also a long held view that the £115m is a very high cost level for the work including a shed load of contingency / risk. Looking at the TfL planned closure list the GOBLIN effectively loses its weekend service from October onwards with the odd exception here and there so the work does start soon.

  462. ngh says:

    I notice that GOBLIN is closed for engineering works 25th-28th December inclusive – presumably this is more civils works including further bridge strengthening or replacement and embankment work similar to last Christmas before the electrification works start in earnest next summer?

  463. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Ngh – err don’t know. Fairly recently I was using BHO – Barking quite regularly and there were no signs of work bases or obvious preparation for bridge works. The former site compound at Ferry Lane was decommissioned months ago even though the major bridges over the canal channels haven’t been replaced. The smaller ones were progressively strengthened but the speed restrictions were still there last time I went that way (albeit quite a while ago). There may be something at the western end but I suspect it’s just a lot of concentrated activity. I’ve certainly seen markers for where electrification masts could be installed plus a lot of other markings – I assume for other equipment like trunking etc.

    In the last Twitter session TfL confirmed that the much delayed Access for All works at Blackhorse Road will happen in the second half of 2016 i.e. during the blockade. At the last Transport Committee Jennette Arnold was standing in for another member so she did her usual “GOBLIN” spot and she asked about the Access for All scheme. A letter from TfL is promised sometime in Jan so we’ll get written proof. She’s clearly been primed by the User Group reps. I suspect there might be some other upgrades to GOBLIN stations during the blockades but smaller scale given no other Access for All works have funding. I expect we will something early in 2016 that gives the headlines about the upcoming blockade but the detail around rail replacements / ticketing arrangements will be closer to the start date (as is usual practice these days).

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