At the beginning of the month, in our article on the future of the Piccadilly Line, Pedantic of Purley indicated that London commuters would almost certainly see Piccadilly Line trains stopping at Turnham Green on a permanent basis after the Line was upgraded.

The reasons for this were as much (if not more) technical as for the benefit of commuters (bolding mine):

As we have already seen though, the upgrade of the Piccadilly Line raises a couple of issues regarding stopping at Turnham Green. The first is that if the District Line no longer goes to Ealing Broadway then it would make some sense for Piccadilly Line trains to stop at Turnham Green as the first (or last) station served by both lines. This would avoid longer journey times for journeys such Richmond to Acton Town as well as reduce others such as Heathrow to Richmond. The latter could probably more sensibly be done by bus to Feltham and then main line train but for those relying on the Underground Map or with bulky luggage the Underground will always be the more obvious option.

The other issue at Turnham Green is platform edge doors. These are extremely expensive to install, so realistically you either have to abandon stops at Turnham Green or you have to make installing the platform edge doors worthwhile by having trains call there all day. It is likely significant that London Underground recently launched a consultation for views on additional Piccadilly Line trains stopping at Turnham Green. Whilst this was partially done because of local pressure to provide a better service at that station and the timing was probably not what London Underground would have liked (far too early), the idea in principle probably did not go down too badly at LU headquarters. It has the feel of similar consultations on direct services to Chesham or withdrawing the District Line to Olympia on weekdays – all part of the process of getting the pieces to fit into the final scheme.

Today, TfL have released a press announcement confirming that this will indeed be the case:

Piccadilly line services to stop at Turnham Green following line upgrade

  • More than 14,000 responses to public engagement received
  • Night Tube will stop at station during 2015

Following the Mayor’s promise in 2012 and the results of a huge engagement programme to gather views on Piccadilly line services, Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that Piccadilly line trains will stop at Turnham Green once the line has been upgraded.

The engagement programme was carried out between August and October to gauge people’s opinion of the line and to gather feedback on how TfL could improve the line’s services overall. More than 14,000 responses were received from over 70 postcode areas.

Feedback from customers and stakeholders demonstrated strong local support for changing stopping arrangements at Turnham Green throughout the day. Currently, due to a limited number of available trains and outdated signalling which prevents trains being run closer together, it is not possible to stop more services at the station without increasing journey times across the rest of the line. However, TfL now plans to stop Piccadilly line trains at Turnham Green all day once the line is modernised, a new, larger fleet of trains is in place and improved signalling systems are installed.

The press release may brush over the technical pressures for this change, but ultimately this will represent good news for those passengers who have pushed for it.

It is worth remembering, however, that the press release doesn’t carry a proposed timescale for a reason. As we made clear in the Piccadilly Line article, the upgrade programme is still being defined, and ultimately any change to stopping at Turnham Green will – again for technical reasons – come at the end of the upgrade programme, not the beginning. Crossrail will need to be in place to provide additional relief for Heathrow traffic and all the old 1973 stock trains, with their less optimal performance capability, will need to be withdrawn.

Those excited by this news should thus manage their expectations, as 2023 is likely the most realistic estimate for this happening.

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There are 87 comments on this article
  1. Walthamstow Writer says:

    Cue the campaign and Mayor’s Questions to say this is a disgraceful decision, LU are incompetent and any train operator that really understood the needs of West London could make the trains stop at Turnham Green from next week. 😉

  2. Pedantic of Purley says:

    The relevant result of the consultation document is here.

    [Warning: may cause a download of a PDF file]

    The critical bit is:

    TfL therefore plans to stop Piccadilly line trains at Turnham Green station all day once the line is modernised and we have a new and larger fleet of trains and a new signalling system. This upgrade is set to commence in 2019 with introduction of the first new train in 2022.

  3. Milton Clevedon says:

    One wonders if the remarkably early decision on this matter demonstrates not just the operating sensitivity of the topic but the political sensitivity of proposing changes to tube stopping patterns, in the run-in to several elections (London boroughs in May 2014, for example, General Election in May 2015).

    Turnham Green is on the boundary of Ealing and Hounslow boroughs. Not sure that an operator on their own would have wished to announce such a decision at this point in the development of a project, without an political imperative.

    Let’s hope it doesn’t become an example of GH’s prolepsarianism.

  4. John Bull says:

    To be fair, I suspect that at least in part it was because it was becoming increasingly obvious that it was going to happen anyway – we weren’t the only ones to be saying so.

    So with that in mind, you might as well announce it and get some high-fives for doing so while you’ve got the chance. Fair enough really.

  5. Castlebar says:

    I really cannot see what the fuss is all about.

    If they were going to take something away, that would be different, but they’re giving something to Turnham Green pax and changelings, i.e. an all day direct service to Thiefrow. What is there to moan about??

    (Turnham Green estate agents and letting companies are already rubbing their hands)

    If only the Fulwell chord got a direct service to anywhere at all…………..

  6. Boriswatch says:

    There is a bit of spin and bad PR coming out here – in order to be seen to be responding to local Tory pressure (and thus bolstering the local MP who has a tough fight next year) City Hall PR has to pretend something’s actually changed, when it hasn’t really – LU and TfL have had a fairly consistent line on ‘after the line upgrade’ since 2007, so all that’s changed is that that’s been made a wee bit firmer (insofar as you can firm up a deliverable for a project with no defined scope and timescales likely to deliver in the Mayoral term after the Mayoral term after next) but the date’s slipped.

    So we got the PR a few weeks back (Boris announces it at MQT with a simultaneous press release) with any mention of actual timescales carefully excised. On the lack of the latter being queried Mary Macleod said she’d go back and ask City Hall, which was followed by silence, followed by the real story coming out.

    As a result of the original spin, a lot of locals assumed an all day stop would come sooner than it really is, such as 2018 (when the SSR line upgrade completes). Hopefully this will put the saga to bed for a bit, but it tends to burst out again every couple of years as people forget what’s actually going on.

  7. cmm001 says:

    See also discussion on Boris Watch Twitter on 17th January regarding TfL’s possible conflict of interest regarding their financial interest in sale of bits of Earl’s Court.
    Tfl Finance Committee Meeting – 23rd January
    Item 9 New Tube for London Programme – Delivery Stage: Design and Specification (upgrade of Piccadilly Line given priority)
    Item 12 Earls Court – Proposed Joint Venture

    Could it be that the Piccadilly Line upgrade is given priority to help with the valuation of TfL’s sell-off of parts of its estate at Earl’s Court to help with CapCo ‘s plans for the “Earl’s Court Village” ?

  8. Giles Robertson says:


    If the Earls Court project is really what’s driving the Piccadilly Line upgrade, it was remarkably foresighted of the designers of the 1973 stock to make sure that its obsolescence fell at exactly the time necessary to give TfL a cover story…

  9. John Bull says:

    If the Earls Court project is really what’s driving the Piccadilly Line upgrade, it was remarkably foresighted of the designers of the 1973 stock to make sure that its obsolescence fell at exactly the time necessary to give TfL a cover story…

    Now that is playing the long game…

  10. Boriswatch says:

    My TfL/Earls Court conflict of interest question is that a large chunk of the TfL business plan’s external investment (flogging stuff off) cash comes from the proposed JV with Capco – this obviously has an effect on TfL’s provision of transport services in the area and there’s an issue if TfL need to, say, highlight required transport investment or point out issues such as increased road traffic and air pollution or investing in capacity at Earls Court or West Brompton. Can we trust them to report objectively on the planning application that forms a significant chunk of their future income?

    Last time I looked at the Earls Court plans they were horribly ideologically warped – a lot of Boris Bikes and car parking and one bus stop, I think. LBHF have got it into their heads that public transport should make a profit, hire bikes will do this, therefore that’s all the public transport they need. Normally I’d expect TfL to be all over that, but, well, this isn’t normal any more.

  11. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Announcement now also on TfL website “News Centre”

  12. Castlebar says:

    As we’re now discussing Earls Court lumped in to Turnham Green, I am minded (being very cynical) that the WLL at Olympia will become saturated with new flat dwellers, and the District Line link would also be busy, all day, every day because of that WLL connection.

    If it were closed now, they might get away with it whereas in years to come, ‘no chance’, and there would be calls for its re-instatement. Perhaps it would be built on by then, (another Sainsburys perhaps?)

  13. cmm001 says:

    For me, one of the major objections to the development of Earl’s Court is inadequate transport. As if that area of West London is not already gridlocked at times, how can the roads and TfL be expected to cope with the extra traffic generated by “around 7,500 much-needed new homes for people on a range of incomes and new work spaces and offices would generate up to 12,000 new jobs” – quote from

  14. Castlebar says:

    So the depot gets moved to Ruislip, so the “Ruislip Chord” then becomes impossible because of the new expanded depot, rather than just awkward [that really was long-term thinking]

  15. Greg Tingey says:

    And, of course any new W-N curve W Ken – Kenny O becomes even more impossible.
    I think an earlier comment of mine got eaten, by mistake, so FYI … the current “London Railway Record” has an article on Lllie Bridge depot, with track layouts shown.
    What a wasted opportunity.
    [No it wasn’t by mistake. I was trying to discourage multiple commenting with the same comment in different places.PoP]

  16. Messiah says:

    Would there ever be a non-political time to make an announcement?

  17. Walthamstow Writer says:

    As I predicted I see from Twitter that the local MP has already been on to Mike Brown of LU requesting the Picc Line stops off peak at Turnham Green. Also a local is denouncing TfL / LU as “the world’s most evil people” and demanding that Mike Brown is given a lethal injection. The downsides of not making trains stop in Chiswick get more severe by the day. Nothing like a sense of perspective is there!?

  18. Walthamstow Writer says:

    As a small but still LU related diversion there was a tweet earlier today pointing to a new website that has very cleverly collated LU pass usage stats over several years and mapped them a geographic map of London. There is also a version which shows the Top 10 LU destinations and daily trips for each station. Only LU unfortunately very nicely done IMO. Hours of fun ahead for those who love stats and maps (use the drop down menus in the title bar to filter the data).

    If only I was clever enough to map the bus usage stats to a London Bus Map version of this style of data presentation!

  19. Karl, Dover says:

    At the beginning of the article you quote a previous article with “bolding mine, but when viewing “light on dark” this bolding doesn’t really show.
    (Just a minor point)

  20. RichardH says:


    I was under the impression Boris bikes lost around £11m in 2012. Hardly a profitable public transport option. Though doubtless cheaper than providing the same capacity by any other means.

  21. mr_jrt says:

    That visualisation fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

    I’ve found some intriguing things thus far…like the most common destination of journeys from Chesham? Watford, followed by HotH, not central London. Seems a good argument for more north curve services there!

  22. timbeau says:

    Surprising how many journeys originating on the Wimbledon branch go no further than Earls Court – indeed it seems fully half the journeys from Wimbledon don’t even cross the river!
    Not entirely Tube – I noticed Richmond and Kew Gardens feature strongly in journeys from Willesden Junction, and I bet most are not done by changing at Embankment!

  23. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Just in case anyone is remotely interested, my opinion when this was previously raised can be found here. If, rather than read my slightly ranty comment, you would just like to read a more informed comment by Walthamstow Writer that followed it then it is here.

  24. Patrickov says:


    I found the Chesham figures interesting too, though when we look down the list, the 6-10th places are all Central London destinations, the sum of which easily outnumber Watford.

    Not to mention those alighting at Chalfont, HotH are probably seeking further connections (most probably Chiltern)

  25. Graham H says:

    @WW – what a fascinating link – many thanks, now added to my favourites bar along with raildar and other passé-temps. If I’ve understood it correctly, it shows a very large contingent boarding the Victoria at places such as Blackhorse Road during the am peak and heading for Waterloo. Now there’s an unexpected thing! Hours of fun.

  26. Greg Tingey says:

    Patrickov & others
    I find it interesting (comparing to previous comments elsewhere) that the numbers for 7 Sisters [SVS] are higher than for Tottie Hale [TOM] & closely matching to W’stow C [WHC]
    At this rate, we are going to need to start CR2 before CR1 opens, followed immediately by the old route 3 taking up services into Marylebone ( & the “local” services into Euston) emerging somewhere in the vicinity of Lewisham.

    But this discussion is already under way on the “GOBLIN / W Anglia / TfL settlement thread.
    Complicated, isn’t it?

  27. @Greg + others,

    I am “minded” (as lawyers say) to do an article in the next few days on the recent Arup report and other issues concerning Crossrail 1 and other major capacity issue particularly in the east of London. Unless of course someone else beats me to it. If to some extent people can hold off a bit then hopefully we can we can get these comments together rather than have them all over the place.

  28. Tim Burns says:

    No mention of the possible swap of the branches between the Piccadilly and District: guess that is too far in the future and not set in stone yet

  29. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Tim Burns – I agree that there has probably not been a decision taken about reconfiguring service patterns in West London. I’d guess that TfL do not want too many “battles” on its hands at once and it will want to see what impact Crossrail has on travel volumes to / from / via Ealing Broadway. There is no point triggering a torrent of “knee jerk” political opposition now for changes that are at least a decade away. We also have no idea who will be Mayor come 2023 and their influence can never be discounted. There should also be a Mayoral election in 2024 which could complicate matters.

    It will have a couple of years in hand from Crossrail opening and the Picc Line upgrade completing to finally decide what it wants to do. Nonetheless I am sure that there will be well developed plans for reconfiguring services that identify the costs, benefits and work scope required. It may well be possible for LU to have a single package of works that still allows service patterns to be changed when LU wishes to make that change. The biggest issue is probably fleet size but that’ll be tied to train and infrastructure performance and planned service levels. If LU succeeds in getting its “next generation” tube train design and can commit to series orders then adding a few more trains to a line’s fleet should not be insurmountable.

  30. JamesC says:

    If they really wanted to get people’s attention and make it a pre election anounment the something along thw lines of

    Pic line upgrade to start in 2014

    May well have got a few more votes. …..

  31. Greg Tingey says:

    It may well be possible for LU to have a single package of works that still allows service patterns to be changed when LU wishes to make that change.
    And shall we call it “The New Works^2 Plan” ??

  32. Lemmo says:

    How about having the discussion on the Earls Court development over on our Earls Court development article ?

    Should we do an update?

    We made it clear in the post that a large amount of the land there was owned by the railway, and that it seemed sensible that this should be retained given the strategic importance of the West London Line.

    So, where does TfL sit in terms of its role to provide strategic transport infrastructure vs the need to generate income?

  33. Moleman says:

    Never forget (and I’m sure most visitors here realise) that the chairman of TfL is the Mayor, he’s the only person directly accountable to the electorate – via the London Assembly. So yes, the mayor is specifically handed powers to tinker

  34. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ PoP – this is possibly not the best place but you and others may be very interested to know that Crossrail are holding some visits to Bond St and Farringdon over the next few weeks. These will allow people to see how well construction of the ticket halls is proceeding. I expect the tickets will go fast.

  35. TomP says:

    To buttress their stance of delaying a stop at Turnham Green, TfL presented a business case showing that there was a substantially negative cost-benefit ratio in terms of passenger time if it were out in place. They calculated -2.7, that is the passenger-minutes product lost by having the stop was 2.7 times the passenger-minutes saved.

    However, TfL didn’t repeat the analysis at other marginal Piccadilly stops, such as at Barons Court or Gloucester Road: in their response to the consultation they rather brushed aside the question of the Barons Court stop by pointing out that station was more heavily used than Turnham Green, but that sidesteps the issue of whether the stop is justified on the same terms.

    Coincidentally, with the Tube Stats website it’s possible to do a pretty quick cost-benefit analysis using the top ten destinations from each station to see how many would be delayed by a stop at any point on the line, against the numbers that would benefit. My calculation on that basis came pretty close to TfL’s number for Turnham Green: -2.7 rather than -2.6.

    I repeated the analysis for Barons Court and Gloucester Road. The Barons Court stop fails by practically the same amount as Turnham Green, -2.5, and Gloucester Road is even more deeply negative at -3.5.

    If TfL were consistent in applying their metric across the Piccadilly line, it would currently be an express service from Acton Town, with stops only at Hammersmith and Earl’s Court before South Kensington, with the District providing a decent alternative at the other stations.

    But with a PiccaDist reconfiguration as proposed taking South Ealing off the Piccadilly onto a new District-line spur, the case for the stop at Turnham Green is almost exactly reversed, at a +2.6 cost-benefit analysis. Journey shifts with Crossrail would be likely to further increase the benefit, by absorbing a proportion of the current travel through Turnham Green.

    TfL would like to give the impression that they’re doing passengers at Turnham Green a favour by putting in a stop after the upgrade. But it’s likely to turn out to be the best way to run the network as a whole.

  36. MPerry says:

    Tom P- from the conclusions report:

    “TfL’s Business Case Development Manual presents the results of a business case with a Benefit to Cost Ratio (BCR). The BCR must be greater than one and should normally achieve the recommended target of 1.5:1 for the project to be considered for implementation. The Benefit Cost Ratio for stopping Piccadilly line trains at Turnham Green all day every day of the week is -2.6:1 and therefore is not recommended.”

    The whole consultation looked at the possibility of extending a service, as in implementing a change. Of course TfL did not include the business case for other stops, as it was not in the remit of the consultation. As it stands stopping the pic line at Turnham green does not meet the minimum criteria for consideration, let alone implementation.

  37. Malcolm says:

    Barons Court versus Turnham Green is an example of the frequently observed phenomenon of greasing the squeaky wheel. The passengers who are delayed by Picc stops at Barons Court do not, in general, notice, because it they have never experienced a non-stopping journey, and they have (mostly) better things to do with their time than to contemplate “what if”. Whereas those who have to change for Turn ’em Green are reminded of it every journey, so they squeak!

  38. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Tom P – I am not clear how you think you have calculated the business case for not stopping at Gloucester Road or Barons Court. The stats website gives entries and exits at stations but does not give line loadings or interchange volumes. Having looked briefly at the TfL business case for the Turnham Green consultation you must need the line loading at a specific location to calculate the disbenefit to existing passengers. The absence of interchange numbers will affect the numbers for your alternative “low use” stations but it may not be material. Nonetheless it should be included in the analysis. Although it is not explicit I assume TfL have applied some factor that reflects the additional benefit for some passengers from having a District / Picc all day interchange at Turnham Green.

    What is telling is that the business case is dreadful just on the passenger time basis. A note points out all the negative things that have NOT been included which would make the case even worse. Now it may be that new trains with vastly better performance can negate some of the round trip time / extra trains impacts but I doubt it will transform the overall case. It is absolutely clear to me that TfL have been told by the Mayor that trains must stop at Turnham Green but the Mayor has accepted that significant investment is needed to provide an operationally robust solution. He clearly doesn’t want to upset the sitting Tory MP in a marginal constituency but neither does he want to see the Picc Line become a reliability “basket case” during his tenure as that would really bring the pains on – including from said MP and Heathrow Airport and the airlines (but perhaps he doesn’t give a damn about those latter parties?). After so much effort to make the tube more reliable Boris is hardly likely to make a policy decision that could negate that effort.

    I’d also caution against the “close down other quiet stations” argument. It might look straightforward to non stop Barons Court but this is a part of London devoid of bus services close to the station and also serves a large hospital, student accommodation and a residential area. Omitting the stop would shift interchange flows to Hammersmith and Earls Court which is probably the last thing you want to do. I also can’t see the hotel owners near Gloucester Road being your best friend if you remove a direct tube service to the West End and Heathrow. Boris would have Sir Malcolm Rifkind on his case about that!

  39. Milton Clevedon says:

    @ various on BCR of stopping vs non-stopping:

    (1) Since TfL is mostly rational in its valuation and consequent decisions, the Turnham Green negative does suggest some other policy points having overridden the number output as a priority. The numbers are there after all as an input into the decision making, not as a ‘Solomon Machine’ decision-maker by themselves.

    (2) The high volume of through Piccadilly flows implies a very high countervailing priority.

    (3) Interesting if there were similar policy pressures in relation to Met Amersham fasts being downgraded to stoppers in the offpeak. The marginal gains within Greater London as places like Northwood and Pinner which already had 10-15 minute services, could have been overweighed by the disbenefits of losing 5 minutes or more on a fast train, even if the fast trains weren’t that busy. The change in waiting time wouldn’t have been that great. Perhaps someone listened more to the calls within Greater London than beyond, or perhaps the revenue implications were positive, with marginal revenue changes from Herts and Bucks but useful gains within Greater London, if that mattered.

  40. Castlebar (Contra Crayonista Popular Front) says:

    I find the “cost benefit negative” amazing

    I find the passenger benefit to locals, and most importantly, passengers transferring to/from the Richmond branch to/from “stations west” is overwhelming

  41. TomP says:


    You don’t need line loadings for the basic calculation: it’s just a question of adding together the total time lost for each individual journey delayed by the stop and dividing by the corresponding total time saved.

    Tube Stats now gives a way of doing this for the top ten journeys from each station: to get the cost I looked at all the stations on the Piccadilly west of Turnham Green, summed up the passengers whose destination would take them through Turnham Green on the Piccadilly and multiplied by the minutes (1.25 according to TfL) the stop would cost them.

    The benefit of the stop can then be calculated by summing all the journeys from Turnham Green that would become quicker, which for these journeys in the top ten amounts to the time saved in getting a Piccadilly directly rather than taking a District to Hammersmith and changing.

    Of course this leaves out the journeys outside the top ten, but I’m assuming the rest would likely have a similar routing as the most popular overall, and as I get a value of -2.7 for Turnham Green, while TfL calculate -2.6, my more limited sample is not likely to introduce a gross error – I presume TfL’s calculations include all journeys.

    With this approach of using actual journeys rather than average flows, line loadings will only come into play if you’re going to refine the basic cost-benefit calculation. TfL weight travel time by the level of overcrowding on the train. They also weight commuter trips over leisure (including tourists) and waiting time over journey time. Again, given the reasonable agreement, I don’t think these weightings in this case shift things by a lot overall.

    As for taking out more stops, I’m not convinced that reducing congestion at interchanges is the over-riding priority for TfL: after all, if that was the case there’d already be a stop at Turnham Green to soak up those currently changing at Hammersmith between the Piccadilly and the Richmond branch of the District.

    Of course, independent of these numbers, politicians will campaign strongly for their likely electors (not tourists!) in marginal seats. And there has been a ongoing barrage of TfL from voters in Chiswick who remain on the whole unmoved by any overall network considerations.

    But I really don’t think TfL had to have their arms twisted much to make the commitment to the stop. The PiccaDist realignment proposals described earlier by Pedantic would almost inevitably lead to a stop at Turnham Green, absent a major rebuild of Chiswick Park, and a cost-benefit analysis would then be likely to provide support. By promising the stop, possibly slightly earlier than they might otherwise have liked, TfL should mute any further barracking and give enough credit for the politicians to pocket, leaving themselves to get on with an upgrade which was most probably going to deliver the stop in any case.

    Any Piccadilly express service is now moot, whatever the numbers. In fact I would be surprised if there was any substantial change to the service outside of the upgrade now. I think TfL have played this very well to minimise the risk of getting deflected by the politicians, at least on this issue, for the next decade.

  42. TomP says:


    “I find the passenger benefit to locals, and most importantly, passengers transferring to/from the Richmond branch to/from “stations west” is overwhelming.”

    If you look on London Tube Stats at the destinations from stations on the Richmond branch, the vast majority are into town, with almost no journeys back west along the Piccadilly which would benefit from a stop at Turnham Green.

    I don’t understand how you could have reached your conclusion.

  43. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Tom P – I think we’ll have to agree to differ. I accept I am not up to date with the Business Case Development Manual (BCDM) but I was a business client in a past life and used it to develop investment project justification. I am well aware of the weighting principles that are used. I would just be cautious about working from partial data sets and without all of the models to try to draw conclusions.

    As for quelling criticism then that hasn’t worked as the MP has gone straight back to LU demanding off peak trains stop at Turnham Green ASAP and a more “impatient” Chiswick resident is issuing death threats against the LU MD. The issue isn’t dead as far as some locals are concerned. I doubt facts and impacts on others matter very much to the campaigners.

  44. Castlebar (Contra Crayonista Popular Front) says:

    @ W W

    Does Greg live in Chiswick ??

  45. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Castlebar – “chortle”. Err no he doesn’t. Based on past comments and hints I would guess he lives somewhere in E17, possibly bordering on E4.

  46. ngh says:

    Re Milton, WW & Tom P

    Surely the decision is in part based on modelling of what will happen after Crossrail opens (and may be HEx disappears too) when there could be big changes in flows which could completely change the BCR of various options. i.e. fewer central London to Heathrow journeys so fewer disadvantaged passengers.
    If new rolling stock and ATO etc. improved the journey times it may be possible may be enough to negate the addition of a Turnham Green stop. May be they expect more passengers to want to change to go to Ealing Broadway?

  47. Greg Tingey says:

    Castlebar (Hall Farm reconstruction Front)
    & WW
    As I’ve said before (is PoP lisyening?) it’s 6/7 minutes front-door to up p/f @ WHC & 12/13 mins to WHW – which is why I’m so keen on the path re-opening, because that latter time would then go down to 9/10 min

  48. Anonymous says:

    As a Chiswickian (Chiswegian?) the local argument tends to be, well, the Piccadilly line stops at Turnham Green, sometimes, why can’t it stop all the time? The complexities of networks, signalling, upgrades and the like tend to be lost. It isn’t a surprise that the local MP will keep up the pressure for off-peak stopping.

    I don’t know the numbers of Richmond branch District line people heading towards Heathrow but there are alternatives in the area. If you are near a SW trains station, there are buses from Feltham to LHR, or local buses to a Piccadilly line station like Acton Town or S Ealing, and if the M4 isn’t clogged, a minicab to LHR can take as little as 15 minutes costing about £20 so will likely be the preferred option for multiple people with luggage anyway.

  49. TomP says:


    I’m not quite understanding your point: I hoped it was clear that I agree the business case for implementing a stop is currently strongly negative. But the same calculation would likely reverse in favour of the stop with the proposed PiccaDist reorganisation.

    Yes, despite the more general title of the consultation it did concentrate on the question of the stop at Turnham Green, but swapping for Barons Court has been a commonly mentioned option in this case, and it wasn’t properly considered. TfL run a network and I think they are now open to the criticism of not applying the same BCR yardstick consistently at other stations. After all, a major point of calculating the BCR is to demonstrate that transparent and fair criteria have been used to inform their decisions. In fact, in terms of removing the Piccadilly stop (which just reverses the sign of the numbers I calculated), Barons Court (at 2.6) and Gloucester Road (at 3.5) are both well above the threshold of 1.5 for getting the chop.

    I would be surprised if these stops were to be removed in the near term, for some of the reasons already mentioned. But for any future changes of the service at particular stations, TfL should be able to show they are implementing a consistent and fair policy which produces a network for the overall benefit of its passengers.

  50. Castlebar says:

    I am old enough to remember when some Districts skipped Gloucester Road AND S Kensington (late 1950s? ), during morning peaks, partly because the Piccy Line was an alternative.

    I can see a strong case for the Picc stopping at Turnham Green at all time but skipping both Barons Court & Gloucester Road. Total journey time thus speeded up. Seemples. Or perhaps no so. If their journey time is speeded up, then its fine, but even the minority of one is likely to complain if his is the journey which isn’t.

    It’s just a case of people getting used to it, but many are so resistant to any change

  51. TomP says:

    WW, Anon,

    It’s pretty clear within Chiswick that the announcement of a future stop has quietened things down – that “death threat” came from outside of W4 on an unrelated matter. And the issue of the signalling has actually been accepted locally.

    In fact Mary Mcleod, the local MP, has already declared victory on getting a stop but said she would press for longer stopping times until then (not dependent on improved signalling). TfL’s response to the consultation did include a cost-benefits analysis of more stopping, coming out firmly against. I don’t think McLeod will bang on much more about this and risk diluting the triumphalist message with an ongoing failure to move TfL.

  52. Melvyn says:

    Unless this change happened before May 2016 mayoral election I fail to see point of a consultation on something that won’t happen any time soon !

    Anyway , Turnham Green could provide better interchange but there are no plans to install lifts for step free access which what Turnham Green Station really needs !

    It’s always seemed odd that while passengers travelling west can change trains at Hammersmith those using branches of District Line can’t as easily change trains if they are switching branches unless they needlessly travel Eaśt to Hammersmith then return over route they have just used !

    Fact is compared to Eaśt London with its almost fully accessible transport network West London seems to still be stuck in the dark ages with inaccessible station and lack of decent interchanges with lines that still cross without stations .

  53. c says:

    Barons Court losing the Piccadilly seems quite an easy one to do. I’d support that.

    Gloucester Road – whilst quiet and with annoying lifts, would leave a big ‘tube’ area unused. I guess it would be maintained to a minimal standard, but it seems a waste. Most people forget the Piccadilly is even there though.

    Dare we discuss Hyde Park Corner, or is that getting a bit axe-happy?

  54. TomP says:


    The consultation was instigated by the Mayor, not TfL, in response to lobbying from local politicians. What those politicians have ended up with is actually what they asked for, but in ten years’ time, and they’re happy enough to make the case they’ve delivered.

    Though it may be odd, but you’d be hard pressed to find on London Tube Stats many passengers that have to make that double-back through Hammersmith at the moment. Only a wholescale PiccaDist realignment would change the travel patterns enough to justify a stop in the future. I do agree that with it should come lifts, and quite likely a second pedestrian tunnel, at Turnham Green.

  55. timbeau says:

    “If you look on London Tube Stats at the destinations from stations on the Richmond branch, the vast majority are into town, with almost no journeys back west along the Piccadilly which would benefit from a stop at Turnham Green.”
    I think the main reason people want this is not people doubling back, but passengers from stations between Turnham Green and Richmond inclusive who want a faster journey to Picadilly Line destinations in Central London, by skipping three stations. It is of course particularly frustrating to arrive in Hammersmith on the Picc just as a Richmond train is leaving, knowing that not only the train you arrived on but probably one or two more will overtake the Richmond train before the diverge, and that the next Richmond train will be a long time coming.
    When I used the line regularly I always got the impression that LU didn’t like sending their trains down towards the “foreign” NR territory of the Richmond branch – whether they were afraid of not getting them back, or simply couldn’t see them, I’m not sure. The absence of an LU staff presence at the branch stations (managed by BR and later Silverlink/SWT) might have had an effect as well, as without any of their own staff to report problems or complaints directly, ignorance was bliss.
    Meanwhile, perish the thought that the Ealing service might be impaired in any way!

  56. TomP says:


    Of course the entire current ridership there would have to walk to the nearest neighbouring station, around another five minutes, while all those on the line gain 1.25 minutes. It looks like the stop has a BCR of -2.2, so you’re right that Hyde Park Corner should probably get the chop on those terms.

    As a general principle, growing passenger numbers, especially coming into zone 1, will tend to reduce the justification for stops at less used central stations: Brompton Road fell by the wayside with the expansion of the Piccadilly. In contrast, falling ridership actually justifies more stops: this is what led to the dropping of skip-stop in Chicago.

    There’s a fair amount in the academic literature on this, though removing a stop completely might cause more political trouble than its worth.

  57. stimarco says:

    Neither the District nor the Piccadilly lines were ever intended to provide orbital connectivity. They’re radial routes. Trying to change this by rewiring large sections of their western extremities makes no sense.

    Light rail, or similar, would be a better fit for such demand.

  58. TomP says:


    I know that gig! But much more often than not, the only advantage of the post 10.30 Piccadilly to Turnham Green would be to get an even longer wait on a more exposed platform for that rather intermittent Richmond train.

    It’s the more recent improvement to the District service that has already made the biggest difference there.

  59. Castlebar (Caisleán an Bharraigh) says:

    @ timbeau

    “When I used the line regularly I always got the impression that LU didn’t like sending their trains down towards the “foreign” NR territory of the Richmond branch – whether they were afraid of not getting them back, or simply couldn’t see them, I’m not sure.”

    This was mentioned about a week ago. In the mid 1960s -70s, as a regular user, I got that impression too. But I really do think things have changed (for the better) a lot since then. The Richmond branch did seem to be treated like a poor relation to Ealing services, and even the Northfields/Hounslow West services before the District was removed from that route. I could never understand why, for the Broad Street service really was ‘pants’ back in those days and very few people even knew of its route or destination. Getting a fast to Waterloo and then changing to the tube really was the only way to the north of the City in those days. People who sat on the old BR stock for the North London Line in those days even looked as if they were embarrassed being seen to use it!!

  60. JimJordan says:

    In the early 60s I commuted between West End Lane and Gunnersbury for work at LT Chiswick. The trains were busy during the rush hour but there was no doubt that “they” wanted to close it. I went to a parliamentary lobby regarding this and the then Home Secretary (MP for Hampstead I think) whose name escapes me spoke as if closure had been agreed. He lost his seat in the next election. About mid 60s I moved to Kew and used Kew Gardens Station for getting to work and anywhere else. I did not sense any problems with the District Line which I used regularly.

  61. AlisonW says:

    Re Usage (or otherwise) levels between Richmond branch and PiccWest I’m tempted to point at the experience of the Overground and say “serve (build) it and they will come”, but yes, until there is a lift service between the platforms (and ideally street level) it won’t be that useful.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Jim Jordan

    I think the politician you’re referring to is Henry Brooke, who was satirised mercilessly in the early 60s.

  63. Walthamstow Writer says:

    I am getting really quite narked about this debate about closing tube stations / removing services left, right and centre. Take a look at the top 10 destinations from Barons Ct – most are on the Piccadilly Line. A similar, but slightly less compelling, argument applies for Gloucester Road. Why on earth would TfL remove connectivity in the network or close stations like Hyde Park Corner which has annual usage of over 6m people and is a key support to major events in Hyde Park? If anything HPC station needs more capacity to deal with crowds at those events. I certainly wouldn’t want to see 6m more people crushed into Green Park or Knightsbridge.

    I look forward to seeing how far the new “close LU stations for faster journeys” campaign group gets when it proposes shutting North Ealing, Stamford Brook, Boston Manor, Mill Hill East, West Finchley, Upminster Bridge, Woodford – Hainault etc etc. All piddling bits of the network with barely 1-2m pax per annum using these stations so obviously much better not to have trains stop there and think of the cost savings. 😉 I’m having flashbacks to the worst days of the tube in the 1980s under LRT control.

  64. Malcolm says:

    There is some confusion here. One concept is to remove or re-instate calls at a station which is potentially served by two parallel lines. The choice is between having only one of the lines call there, or having both call there. This concept is exemplified by Turnham Green, Barons Court and Gloucester Road, but the same idea would apply at, say, Willesden Green.

    The other notion, which is completely different, is to close completely, or re-open, a station served by only one line, on the grounds (in the case of closing) of limited use and time-saving-for-through-passengers. This would in general be a much more serious change to the network, and is probably no more likely to happen than any of the other far-fetched ideas which surface from time to time. (Perhaps Ongar was the most recent occurrence, although here no through passengers were speeded up).

    Discussion of the first, parallel lines, concept strikes me as perfectly appropriate here. But maybe not the other kind.

  65. Boriswatch says:

    “I was under the impression Boris bikes lost around £11m in 2012. Hardly a profitable public transport option. ”

    Precisely, but the local LBHF politicians think it will, because Boris said it would and besides it’s not nasty old left wing buses and tubes.

  66. Greg Tingey says:

    As opposed to wonderful “free-enterprise” capitalist Dangleways, you mean?

  67. THC says:


    I think you do the H&F politicians a disservice – things are altogether more nuanced and considered in W6 these days since the former Leader decamped to City Hall. And even in his day the authority managed to secure s106 funding from Westfield for substantial local improvements to both bus and Underground.


  68. TomP says:


    Malcolm’s right, there’s no need to get narked in advance for those low-use stations – they’ll almost certainly have healthy BCR’s. Stops out of the centre normally delay relatively few to serve relatively many with no easy alternatives, even if their overall passenger numbers are low.

    The stops that fail the BCR test already have an alternative service, the District for Barons Court, Gloucester Road (bad fail) or Turnham Green, or close alternative stations (perhaps Hyde Park and certainly Brompton Road and York Road as were). In fact when I first tried to quantify the case for stopping the Piccadilly back in 2007, Turnham Green was the first station coming in from Heathrow that failed to justify a stop.

    Some judicious “gentle” pruning of the centre would reflect a growing network needing longer runs to get more people around faster, not the contracting ridership of the 70’s and 80’s under the threat of lopping off the outer branches. Very different propositions under quite different circumstances.

  69. Malcolm says:

    @TomP Thanks for saying “Malcolm’s right”. But you then go on in the rest of your comment to mix up the very two sorts of proposals which I thought I had incisively tried to separate out !!! Occasionally I get an urge to throw the cat at a wall. (Luckily I haven’t got one).

  70. TomP says:


    I think stations can be allowed to be similar on one measure – suffering low cost-benefit ratios – and different on another – one or more lines going through them.

    Nevertheless, very relieved to hear that no cats were harmed after reading my comments…

  71. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Malcolm – I appreciate there is a difference in the scenarios. I am just open jawed at the discussion of services being removed from stations and making journeys more awkward than they need to be for no great reason other than a small time saving. I also just don’t accept the notion that journey times should be speeded up by removing stops in Central London when the result for most passengers would probably be longer, more awkward journeys if travelling to the central area. I thought TfL’s purpose was to improve the transport network and closures and missing stops just feels like the opposite to me. I’ve said my piece on this and sorry that I don’t agree with the logic that others are putting forward.

  72. Graham H says:

    I always understood that the TfL appraisal process included generalised access times; if so, wouldn’t closing stations increase these? In any case, the problem in central London is that there are too few stations and closing even the lightly used ones is likely to trigger some very expensive capacity upgrades at stations nearby. As the tube slogan used to put it “You can’t beat the system” – it’s the system that we’re buying, not its individual parts. The time to address those individual parts arises when they become due for major renewal.

  73. TomP says:


    You’re looking open jawed at a strawman – if the result for most passengers were longer journeys, then of course a station shouldn’t be closed.

    I do agree that removing stops “feels” like it shouldn’t get people home quicker, but so does stopping the train to regulate the service, though on further consideration it’s clear this does help the speed of the network overall.

    Keeping a stop can lead to longer journeys overall – do you want to bring back York Road and Brompton Road to make some journeys less awkward? And should the Piccadilly stop at every station all the time? Your logic has nothing to prevent the network getting more and more stops with a slower and slower service, until at some point it becomes quicker for everyone to walk!

    There’s an obviously a balance and TfL have a quite reasonable metric for setting it as far as the overall passenger benefit is concerned.

  74. Taz says:

    My reading of the report found no surprises since, even ignoring the cost of additional trains and signalling required, overall customer disbenefit of stopping remains substantial. Support comes from local passengers and not from the majority of Piccadilly Line passengers who would suffer delay. In fact, the case for stopping at the ends of the day has disappeared with more frequent District services today. What was amazing was the final proposal to stop all Piccadilly Line trains there after the line upgrade, perhaps ten years away. No justification was included, and the only conclusion must be that the upgrade will include Option B of the West London Study (see LURS Underground News January 2014, page 48) which transfers the Ealing Broadway branch to the Piccadilly Line in order to boost services on other District Line branches.

  75. timbeau says:

    There is another area where stops are being considered for adding or removing. various contributors have discussed stopping the Met at West Hampstead and / or Neasden , or not stopping at Finchley Road and/or Wembley Park. similar considerations surely apply here.
    And of course extra stops have been introduced into the Amersham fast services – stops already served by the Uxbridge and Watford lines. Apart from the historical accident that the services used by the fast lines through Turnham Green are a different colour from the slow line, whereas at Preston Road they are shown in the same colour, the analogy is very close. What was the BCR of making that change?

  76. evergreenadam says:

    @ Taz

    Was the West London Study ever made publicly available? Is there a weblink to it?

  77. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Graham H – thank you. I had forgotten the terminology but your explanation about generalised access time fits with what I can recall of the methodology. I also agree with your view about the impacts of closing stations in the central area.

  78. Boriswatch says:

    “I don’t know the numbers of Richmond branch District line people heading towards Heathrow but there are alternatives in the area”

    I’ve addressed this one on ChiswickW4 – if heading for Heathrow with more than just light hand baggage you’d have to be lunatic to use the District-Turnham Green-Piccadilly option to get to the station rather than SWT from Richmond or Kew Bridge via Feltham, because the latter has lifts and is designed as an airport interchange and TG has very long flights of stairs and no lifts and isn’t designed as an airport interchange.

  79. timbeau says:

    ….or the 490 bus if you want a direct service

  80. evergreenadam says:

    Or the H91 bus to Hounslow West Station and connect to the Piccadilly Line there, easier and cheaper. H91 bus service now much improved with double deckers every 10mins.

  81. TomP says:

    Graham H, WW,

    With regard to the benefits of Hyde Park Corner, I take your points that it would be good for everyone to have a station near to where they want to go (short generalised access times). But a small station might not reduce the load on its busier neighbours, but actually increase it once interchanges are considered.

    In the case against reopening York Road, it was predicted it would serve 10m passengers (nearly twice as much as Hyde Park Corner) but as well as slowing down the network overall, it would also clog up King’s Cross by causing more passengers to interchange there rather than directly get their train. TfL came down firmly against reopening.

    The same thing happens to some extent with Hyde Park Corner passengers clogging up Green Park. From the top ten destinations from Hyde Park Corner, Green Park destination passengers would obviously be removed, but also King’s Cross passengers would go straight to the Victoria Line, and Canary Wharf passengers to the Jubilee rather than interchanging at Green Park or taking longer routes.

    It’s evident that a small station near to a major interchange can slow down the system in more than one way. This would certainly damp any enthusiasm for reopening York Road or Brompton Road. Of current stations, Regent’s Park rather than Hyde Park Corner might be the worst culprit on those grounds, though.

  82. Fandroid says:

    Regents Park. I have experience thereof, as I use it fairly regularly to get to the Harley Street area. I don’t clog any interchanges because I head there directly from Waterloo. However, I do sometimes use Baker Street from Waterloo instead, if I have a through London rail ticket, as that counts as an possible exit for Marylebone (it saves me an Oyster single). Baker Street, even in the shoulders of the peak, is an overcrowded station.

    From the other perspective, even if I was interchanging at Oxford Circus on my journey away from Regents Park, that seems to have plenty of capacity for interchanging between Victoria and Bakerloo lines.

    It backs up Graham H’s observation that the value of a less-used station depends entirely on how the nearby interchanges are coping. Regents Park can be a (mild) relief for Baker Street and its existence doesn’t (yet) cause problems for Oxford Circus.

  83. Taz says:

    @ evergreenadam 24 January 2014 at 10:25 @ Taz Was the West London Study ever made publicly available? Is there a weblink to it?

    Not published, but summarised in LURS Underground News January 2014, page 48 covering seven different route combinations with 33 different service patterns in all as well as Turnham Green stopping, Olympia, Heathrow etc. See also

  84. TomP says:


    Thanks for the report from the front. The vexed question of closing or reopening a station or stop today obviously brings the full weight of TfL’s modelling to bear on the problem, with the aim of capturing the complexities of the interactions that you see first hand.

    Nevertheless, it is tempting to see if there are some “rules of thumb” that can be applied more readily, especially when the full modelling in the case of Turnham Green and York Road came down so clearly against adding in a service.

    And historically it would have been such rules of thumb, though I’m sure carefully calculated, that would have lost us stations in the past. Some past choices might be distinctly sub-optimum now. Graham H is incorrect here: TfL never proclaimed “You can’t beat the system.”

    But network optimisations under conflicting constraints are notoriously difficult problems to solve. For the Tube those constraints include, at a minimum, least travel time, greatest accessibility, lowest overall cost and now lowest energy. Add in that losers feel worse than gainers feel good about any change and it’s easy to see why TfL’s legendary inertia might very often be the most rational position.

    Taking what TfL *did* say just a little out of context: “You can’t beat the Tube.”

  85. Graham H says:

    @TomP – excuse me, I have before me a mug, sold by the LU Museum, with the tube map and a lot of other LU branding, accompanied by that self-same slogan.

  86. TomP says:

    Graham H

    I referred to the wording of the advert TfL plastered around the Tube – I didn’t buy the mug. Apologies and enjoy your tea!

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