Over and Under: Thameslink, Crossrail and Woolwich Questions
Images bring to life many London Reconnections pieces. We are lucky to have a band of chums willing to brave frostbite, heat stroke and going rusty to capture stuff on our behalf. Therefore our thanks and copyright acknowledgements go to Steam 60163 and Unravelled for these images enabling us to update earlier articles.
Over with Steam 60163
Earlier this year we published an article about the new graded junction at Hitchin. Steam 60163 has assiduously recorded the construction of this viaduct and recently took advantage of a not to be repeated photo opportunity. At a Network Rail charity event local residents were given a guided tour of the soon to be opened link. The tour started at the Hitchin end and proceeded to the junction at the Letchworth end.
For those interested, the photographic history of the flyover can be found here.
Under with Unravelled
Meanwhile, Unravelled has been following the public demonstration of complex engineering skills that is Crossrail. Inevitably, most of the action is underground but the section from the open-air section from Royal Victoria to Silvertown is taking place before his very lens.
Post-script: Light, what light?
The progress of new Thames crossings proposals increasingly resembles the baby steps taken in the children’s game “Mother May I?” with TfL announcing a further round of consultations, presumably on the consultations.
This ongoing topic provokes profoundly differing opinions and therefore deserves a fuller article. In best Blue Peter tradition, here is one prepared earlier but not by us. Our chum Darryl at 853 encapsulates the choppy river crossing saga rather nicely. The full history can be found here.
The new road crossing(s) is/are not, however, the only game in town and we are again grateful to 853 for keeping us in touch with the ongoing saga of Woolwich’s Crossrail Station.
Crossrail’s station at Woolwich (developers prefix or suffix of choice to be later inserted here) seems to invoke another outbreak of the mulishness that strikes London’s infrastructure plan de temps en temps. The situation is not without precedent. Readers might recall when the station box at Kings Cross Saint Pancras was built but not fitted out. This was despite challenging safety situations arising at the old widened lines station because of growing Thameslink patronage.
Woolwich station was crowbarred into the Crossrail project by pressure from local MPs, the House of Commons Hybrid Bill Committee and local councils. These included Greenwich’s own Nick Rainsford the former minister for London, who had led the Government’s campaign to reform the British construction industry. A deal was supposedly struck at the time that the developers would build the box in order to facilitate the development of their surrounding site, because it did not make sense to start building and selling property to new owners whose new homes would be then blighted by excavation of a large hole next to their front doors. This outbreak of common sense now sadly appears to be no longer common. This is something that needs to be resolved in short order for truly in the case as our images show, the light at the end of the tunnel really is an oncoming train.