The well-being of London and its hinterland as a World City will depend heavily on its effective transport offer, both main lines and other transport modes. So transport investment for the future to support the spatial and human dimensions should be as much about the context and philosophy of what and why expenditure on railways is being prioritised, as about the hardware elements of new projects.

As noted in London 2050 Part 3, transforming the existing railway will be a large-scale challenge, as well as having to gear for some new main lines. The scope of the challenge is not a marginal change in operating practices and priorities. It is a system-wide restructuring to accommodate a fundamentally different scope, where the railway can reliably and consistently offer much higher capacities and provide a trusted, even appreciated, umbilical for the future London and Home Counties economies.

This could have profound implications for the focus and priorities of railway organisations and their management, the degrees of central Government involvement, staffing levels and staff relations, dialogue with passengers and passenger information, specification and delivery of quality standards, and the relationships with residents, business communities and stakeholders including local authorities and others.

The scale of new investments will be a large-scale test in terms of vision, planning, design, engineering, project capacity, efficiency and then on all delivery fronts. Will the rail industry have the capacity to deliver all this (and elsewhere than London, as well)? Will there ever be a weekend without engineering works in the future, other than a few pre-Christmas weekends a year when shopper volumes require Network Rail to stop their engineers!?

More generally, given the foreseeable scale of required investment, how can National Rail (and particularly Network Rail in what ever form that mutates towards) create more of a 24/7 transport offer, for what is already a 24/7 city? Internal industry alliances will need to be of the strongest character. Better skills and training should be an intrinsic requirement.

Devolution as a model for London 2050?

It is also relevant to consider whether Transport for London’s devolution proposition should be promoted and adopted around London as a strategic transformation, at any rate for inner suburban National Rail services. While the politics of devolution might lie outside a narrow definition of infrastructure, acceptance of the merits of that policy may be a fundamental in enabling such transformation to be authorised.

The fundamental difference in the offer between a revenue-risk-taking railway franchise, and TfL’s concession model, is that the former focuses management priority on yield management as well as quality train operations. A concession allows the specifying authority to take the GDP risks and to define the railway purposes as part of the wider spatial economy. The specifier can promote a service delivery alliance with the chosen operators, to enable the wider consumer benefits (passenger miles per £, or perceived quality, or area economic growth) to be given their head.

Looking forwards, with the much greater reliance on National Rail being the economic umbilical, the concession approach could be the better means for delivering the right outputs and outcomes, of intrinsic benefit to the Home Counties economies as well as to London.

A test for the next decade will be how TfL can demonstrably add passenger benefits and value to existing radial main line corridors, starting with the West Anglia network. The policy case for ‘Overgroundising’ most of the inner suburban services may hang on this, along with better political overtures to neighbouring local authorities and a supportive position from central Government. Part of London 2050’s spatial capacity and adequate accessibility may rely on being able to take the inner routes to new levels of capacity and quality whilst also accommodating additional outer commuting flows.

Major corridor capacity gaps

With a conventional railway approach, the forecasts show substantial gaps on most main line corridors before capacity relief schemes are brought forward, as set out in the commentary above. The underlying questions are:

  • How much more capacity, above 2031 levels, can be squeezed from existing main lines?
  • Can a digitised National Rail network (moving block signalling, automatic train operation, use of European Train Control System – ETCS – on a significant scale) avoid the need for some extra main line tracks or routes?
  • If the capacity gap is too great, what will be the optimum choice for new main lines?

Four new main lines?

In the worst case, the potential requirement based on the capacity gap analysis, using Network Rail’s own figures, would be for 4-5 new main lines:

  • Potential for combined new GW/SW main line, possibly via Heathrow.
  • West Anglia 4-tracking.
  • New Great Eastern main line (this might be combined with WAML, via Stansted).
  • A new Crossrail-type railway to relieve the Fenchurch Street lines and the full Crossrail 1.
  • At least one new main line through South East or South London, even after unused commuter capacity on HS1 was taken up.

A Network Rail perspective

The policy situation could be different from Network Rail’s perspective. Network Rail is using 2043 as its dateline rather than 2050, but we are talking about comparable passenger numbers even if inner suburban volumes might be greater.

Network Rail has now announced that it is seeking complete use of electronic train control systems nationally by 2029, to increase line capacities and improve efficiencies. This ambitious new date for transfer of the bulk of main line signalling to new technology was highlighted in a presentation at the Institution of Civil Engineers on 2nd October 2014.

If you think that the London Bridge project isn’t easy, it will be a piece of cake compared to replacing signalling across Britain, and especially on intensively-used railways such as in the London and Home Counties area. Also the impact of weekend resignalling works or whole-line possessions could be considerable for the next decade and a half.

Whether or not the desired rate of change is feasible, it raises the question whether such new technology can robustly avoid the need for more additional main lines within the next few decades. It will be a matter of termini capacity as well as along the route.

The key constraints might be train and passenger handling at termini, and at critical junctions. Automatic train operation may assist service densification, and Thameslink will be an early example to test this approach across Central London. London 2050 also references the East London Line as an early candidate to raise service frequencies to 24tph.

The perpetuation of mixed traffic railway policies for many London main lines, because of existing flows and a legal requirement on Network Rail to be able to accommodate rail freight, also sits uneasily against the desire to maximise the passenger handling capacity of the network, not least at busy periods of the day.

Throwing money at freight bypasses of London gets you so far, but no one has yet addressed the implications for, for example, the main orbital networks which see many protected but unused freight slots preventing a high frequency orbital passenger service. Contrast the permitted Overground frequencies on ELL versus WLL, SLL and NLL. Maybe a slot pricing regime will need to be developed to encourage more rational use of slots. London 2050 includes reference to strategic rail capacity and potential relief of cross-London corridors, but only costs a programme for CP5.

The Great Western main line as a capacity test?

A test of the elbow room achievable on existing corridors would be the benefits of electronic signalling when applied to GWML. This is being resignalled as part of Great Western electrification. Full application is expected in the mid-2020s with lineside signalling removed then.

Would full (ETCS Level 3 ?) operation allow 24-26tph on the fast lines between Reading and London, at speeds of 110-140 mph? If not, GWML planning might have to start looking at a new main line, as 20tph was the maximum previously thought feasible between Reading and London by the 2020s, in the 2011 LSE RUS.

London 2050 also references the desirability by 2029 of transferring Heathrow Express to the Great Western relief tracks to get better long distance and outer suburban capacity on the fast tracks, with a more frequent, semi-fast Crossrail Express to replace HEX. Great Western through peak period services from the Henley and Bourne End branches would have to be replaced by connecting shuttles.

The politics of changing service patterns

The politics of such changes could be challenging. The recent decision in favour of retaining through Thameslink Wimbledon services, with consequential loss of maximum Thameslink Central London capacity, shows that railway planning will remain at risk of decisions by other parties which cause sub-optimal capacity outcomes.

A similar planning desire, to get the most effective capacity from what we’ve got, will apply throughout London. There will also be hard choices. Is it reasonable to place more reliance on HS1 unused capacity, for extra commuter services from Kent to avoid South East London bottlenecks – but only directly to Stratford SAZ and St Pancras. Or would the directness of a new main line tunnel within South East London, to the heart of desired destinations such as the City and West End, be a preferred passenger and political option? Also, would HS1 with its own commercial interests at heart be more keen to sell additional commuting or international capacity?

In respect of the Brighton Main Line and around South London, how far can resignalling, rebuilding junctions and respecifying services be adopted in order to maximise capacity, before there is a backlash in terms of loss of choice of termini and lack of through routes? The alternative offer might have to be very strong, or unassailable in terms of gross capacity not otherwise achieved.

What the new main lines might amount to

With a ‘worst case’ scenario, the following new main line options might merit discussion:

  • HS2, Crossrail 2 as a regional scheme, Crossrail-WCML and difficult service restructuring on the Great Western Main line are all essential if basic route capacities are to remain adequate at Paddington, Euston and Kings Cross.
  • The GWML is pointing to capacity pressures that are difficult to address by 2031, and could be impossible by 2050 with conventional solutions. The SWML exhibits similar problems and similar service characteristics. Might the two benefit from a single new main line calling also at Heathrow?
  • Both the West Anglia and Great Eastern main lines are 2-track, far too close to London. Both would benefit from 4-tracking, and in the case of GEML, could merit a new main line as well – even though there are capacity limits at Liverpool Street terminus. Combining a new GEML high speed route from Colchester to Stansted, with WAML 4-tracking towards London, could be a more economical solution. Whether the existing GEML could become a new cross-London railway is a separate matter, which might be relevant for Liverpool Street total capacity.
  • The Fenchurch Street corridor and Crossrail 1 appear to need a separate new railway to relieve them, even when excluding the likely knock-on impact of additional housing within Greater London, such as in East London. (The Mayor proposed a Crossrail 3 heading via Barking Riverside towards a Thames Estuary Airport.)
  • Similar changes in demand from South East and South London, and their Kent and Surrey/Sussex hinterlands, suggest one additional Thameslink Express or Crossrail railway, perhaps towards the City (and/or Canary/Stratford SAZs?), plus high-capacity use of the Victoria main line approaches including the potential for 12-car trains towards Old Oak Common, to connect BML to HS2.
  • A South East relief main line might be like a Thameslink 2, given the characteristics of its catchment, and if the Bakerloo Line were extended to Lewisham (or beyond?) to relieve the inner South East London capacity gap.
  • The previous RUS thinking of a separate tunnel from South London towards Victoria might not be required, but BML operations would need to be slick, with extra platforms at Clapham Junction as well as East Croydon, and with a likely need for better services to Old Oak Common.
  • A decision in favour of Gatwick for an Airport Hub could accelerate matters beyond Network Rail’s present vision for recasting BML operations, and put greater emphasis on through services to OOC for connection with HS2.

In the worst case, that would be one new main line a decade, in addition to HS2 and Crossrail 2. London would require a main line ‘production line’, with appropriate funding.

It’s not as though rail planners are unaware of the pressures, more that they haven’t spelt out the potential scale of National Rail requirements. The Mayor’s February 2012 Rail Vision on ‘investing in rail services in London’ said that beyond 2020 (page 35):

In the longer term new National Rail lines will be required to address capacity issues into the Capital. High Speed 2 will be the first of any new lines, but it is likely that others will also be required.

Requirements at termini and for terminal approaches are not considered in the discussion above, apart from Liverpool Street. More through running with cross-London tunnels (but by which service groups, in what directions?) could be the solution to avoid additional terminal reconstruction.

Are ‘intercity’ services such as Bristol and Norwich these days really just fast outer-suburban operations so capable of diversion underground in London? Operators don’t like the idea of long dwell times for trains, at stations with limited platform capacity – maybe four-track underground stations could address that?

As usual with London travel demand, there is more capacity pressure foreseen from the east and south than from the west and north, causing an imbalance in possible service volumes and potential recipient catchments on different sides of London. Crossrail 1 has faced this problem.

Capacity pressures and electoral timing

The prospect of influential voters cubed out of GWML and SWML trains, or out of existing and potential UKIP-land commuter services from Clacton, Rochester, Thanet etc, could present an interesting future political challenge. That would sit alongside Sir Peter Hendy’s carefully-phrased warnings that public dissent could boil over if transport capacity is not there when it’s needed. Will the politics of transport capacity and quality rise several notches?

The next General Elections are in 2015, 2020 and 2025. Mayoral elections are in 2016, 2020 and 2024. The political conjunction of the planets in 2020 is particularly interesting, and may well be preceded by a Spending Review in 2019. For London 2050 to be on track, a Mayor needs a significant uplift in London’s funding levels by 2019-20.

By then, too, it may have been possible for TfL to make the case for some further devolution of inner suburban rail services, alongside franchise rebidding dates, and particularly for networks south of the River which have high passenger volumes.

So there is all to press for in the period to 2020.

How to address the HS1-HS2 gap?

These pointers also ignore the eventual requirement – by the 2030s if not sooner – for an East-West connector railway between HS1 and HS2. London 2050 referenced this is its airport mapping as a connector between Old Oak Common and north of St Pancras, although the Government has dropped that part of HS2 for the time being.

Much of the underlying policy justification would be for through international trains for north of London origins and destinations, though the actual per-hour frequency of those is likely to be very low. It could be better value to see which combinations of east/southeast and west/northwest corridors could help by being a cross-London limited stop railway serving a complete London & Home Counties catchment, on which timetable slots could be reserved for some through international trains.

Alternatively a separate, limited stop express railway would be required. In London there would of course be calls for it to do more for commuters as well.

What is London 2050 calling for?

The London 2050 elements involving Network Rail are set out at the foot of this article. In some cases these represent schemes which are already emerging from the planning processes, to anticipate further crowding, and to respond to the desire for new links. Also, some of the stated estimates are only for expenditure foreseen in CP5, and not for subsequent Control Periods, so that larger-scale funding would be required for a complete London 2050 programme.

For the main lines and Crossrails, the list for existing lines represent about £1 billion excluding rolling stock (presumably leased?) and related line adjustments and stabling sidings, for basic schemes to 2031. Roundly £5 billion (a very incomplete figure) is suggested for schemes which overlap beyond 2031 with further capacity needs. We haven’t counted HS2 in that estimate, although it has WCML capacity benefits. For projects with high intrinsic benefits for London 2050, there is another very incomplete £1 billion.

Outside an area-specific envelope are Crossrails 2 and 3, taken as roundly £20 billion each, so £40 billion in total. That sum nevertheless excludes, in the worst case, the bulk of the new main lines which might be required, where a further £10-20 billion per line (say £40-60 billion overall) might be a working basis for budgeting.

Overall, to move National Rail infrastructure towards London 2050 levels of capacity could require in excess of £110 billion, once everything including the cost of continuing programmes is identified. There also some other missing items, in the view of the author, which are discussed below and would add to that sum.

Project timescales

There will be a concern about the funding capacity to deliver simultaneously in the 2020s HS2 Phases 1 and 2, and Crossrail 2. On top of that, Network Rail may now be seeking large-scale funding for national re-signalling (where no costs are included above). So the prioritisation mindset for many schemes could look to the 2030s or 2040s.

Yet to try to compress all the aspired or unavoidable projects into the following two decades might stretch delivery capacities, and also act as economic blocks if London’s jobs and population forecasts moved at a different (possibly faster) pace. So it might be necessary to consider how some other projects could be got under way even while HS2 and Crossrail 2 were themselves still being built. Planning, design and authorisation for additional projects would certainly need to be addressed in that period.

London 2050 is explicitly looking at some schemes sooner, such as WAML 4-tracking and BML plus South London, both of which could be ca. £1 billion each. All the extra works associated with Old Oak Common, such as an Overground station and Crossrail-WCML, point towards £700m, well before any longer term Outer Orbital. As discussed, the main upgrades for the GWML beyond basic resignalling, are also in the 2020s.

What priority for ‘Overgroundisation’?

Arguably the project showing the greatest level of new thinking is the proposed restructuring of the South London inner services, by re-organising routeing and infrastructure. This is above all TfL showing its colours – “We need higher tph, higher capacity, and it can’t be done by perpetuating low frequency ‘round the corner’ services”. So this points to more interchange between corridors, with improved internal frequencies on each corridor.

Those parts of the Overground where they are the ‘orbital tube’ merit more consideration. London 2050 is looking to intensify jobs and population in the Inner London areas as well as Central London, if policy options such as the Satellite Activity Zones or an expanded Central London are taken forward. Early introduction of further route capacity may be a high priority, as 5-car trains will not prove to be enough. (The Jubilee Line experience was that the capacity gain of adding a seventh car was used up within 10 weeks!) TfL is planning for higher NLL, WLL and ELL frequencies over later years, and eventually on GOBLIN.

There is a separate update article on London Overground in preparation for London Reconnections, so comments will be reined in here, and limited to the Outer Orbital, aka ‘R25’.

The role of an Outer Orbital is interesting. Could it be a relief for the inner orbitals, as well as a local relief of outer suburban road networks and a spatial stimulus in its own right? There are environmental standards to be considered as well. The year 2050 is Britain’s deadline under the Climate Change Act to cut carbon emissions by 80%. Meeting this requires more than a little planning (see Nick Nuttgens’s comments, in London Evening Standard letters, 30th July 2014).

To do nothing other than increase radial capacity in the outer suburbs might put those areas at relative disadvantage even if the larger passenger volumes were radial. An Outer Orbital could also be beneficial to help reduce capacity pressures at radial bottlenecks and interchanges.

The suggestion of a Hounslow-OOC-Brent Cross Service, alongside the desire to create a number of new interchanges between GOBLIN and radial railways, might point to the creation of an “Outer Crescent”, even if at this stage the business case for a full Outer Orbital could not be made. It is possible that that would require additional line capacity under the Hampstead Ridge, to link between the Midland Line and GOBLIN. The Deputy Mayor is keen on better rail links across the Thames in East London for cross-river connectivity. Might one of those be Barking Riverside to Thamesmead, and further around SE London?

If the South London elements were harder to justify, would there be merit in a larger scale approach to Tramlink extensions than London 2050 is currently foreseeing? At present only Crystal Palace, Sutton and South Wimbledon appear to feature there.

Surface access to airports

Surface access to London’s airports will move up the priority scale once there is clarity about the preferred airport Hub. The London 2050 approach to airport planning and surface access priorities has of course been skewed by the Mayor’s preference for an inner Thames Estuary Airport. With the Airports Commission having ruled this out, the choices move to Heathrow or Gatwick, so London 2050 in its final form will need to play catch up and define priorities for surface access schemes for those airports.

In the case of Heathrow, three schemes are listed as set out in the Annex to this article. These are the Western and Southern rail accesses to Heathrow, and the substitution of Heathrow Express by a more frequent but somewhat slower Crossrail Express. Schemes maximising the use of the existing railway route capacity under the airport will be critical. It is the Great Western main line which will bear the brunt.

The potential for a Crossrail Express service to replace HEX might be an unavoidable solution even if Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd doesn’t like it. The agreement would probably come at a price, meanwhile the Western Rail Access scheme is gathering pace. In its petitioning about HS2, HAHL shows a preference for a replacement HEX train depot to be at Langley near Slough, which would be well placed for WRAtH.

In the case of Gatwick, London 2050 references the extensive proposals by Network Rail to upgrade the Brighton Mainline. However these were proposed without the certainty of a Gatwick Hub. If a hub were to happen then additional capacity might be required, which could stretch BML to or beyond its limits.

It is plausible to think that better connecting services between HS2 at OOC and a Gatwick Hub would be desirable. It is also important to bear in mind how better rail access could play an part in reducing the additional environmental load with an airport hub. A further factor, also important in influencing airport road traffic volumes, would be the railway’s ability (or not) to offer 24/7 services, to attract aviation staff to rail and away from car.

Gaps in London 2050’s discussion of transport supply

The following gaps may be relevant:

  • Additional stations: there is a very limited offer suggested so far, just two stations. This may not be enough to support the wide range of Opportunity Areas.
  • Station entrances: with the foreseen increase of main line commuting by over 70%, many busy stations may struggle to cope adequately with such increased passenger volumes. There is a station decongestion programme, but additional multiple entrances/exits may be required for resilience, maintaining and reducing passenger access times, and to avoid crowding and station control delays.
  • Staffing: we have commented elsewhere in this article about the increased reliance on well trained and skilled staff that a much busier railway will require. Actual staff numbers may need to increase rather than reduce, although where they are located, for example in stations, might be more visibly on the front line than in back offices. This could become vital in order to assure punctual train departures and handle additional passenger flows. A much busier railway will need everything working in its favour to maintain punctuality and quality information, and staff support will be essential.
  • The role of stations: with the increased reliance on the rail network as the umbilical for inner and central London commuting, there could be consideration within London 2050 to promote suburban stations as the hub of the local community.
  • New main lines: the biggest gap in London 2050 mainline thinking is the absence of acknowledgment that some new main lines are likely, with the forecasts appearing inexorable even with some optimism about what electronic signalling and automatic train operation can offer. Such lines will be needed for London as a World City with its own expectations for capacity. Schemes already being advocated such as Crossrail 2 could be intensely busy even by the 2030s.
  • The devolution dateline: The opportunity for devolution of some of the main lines’ inner suburban services starts again before 2017, particularly with the sequence of high passenger volume franchises with South West Trains, South Eastern, and the reprise of Great Northern Thameslink Southern.

It is London 2050’s potentially incomplete and underpriced transport shopping list (even if projects were just priced notionally at this stage), and the lack of reference to some unavoidable high ticket projects, which characterise its omissions. The Outer Orbital ‘R25’ scheme hasn’t had its costs published, for example, although it appears to involve significant infrastructure requirements across South London.

There will be Spending Reviews most likely under the next Government in 2016 and 2019. The conjunction of various political electoral dates have been discussed already. This leads to the obvious question about what could be authorised and delivered by the end of CP6 in 2024. That will be the third critical milestone, after 2016 and 2019-20. The priorities for that will need to be defined by Summer 2016 to go into the Initial Industry Plan for CP6, to be published in Autumn 2016. This isn’t far away.

Overall, it feels as though London 2050 has pulled some main line punches. Devolution of the inner suburban networks to TfL is required to make these services more responsive and more efficient but the detail in London 2050 doesn’t put this forcefully. The failure to achieve approval for a TfL concession for the Southeastern’s inner suburban network was a warning that achieving high capacity and quality improvements on National Rail might be an uphill task.

The existing franchise operators will, of course, be tasked in any future contracts to achieve greater passenger capacities and better passenger standards, but the passenger perceptions and wider benefit impacts of such operations could fall short of the higher levels of quality that should be set for every aspect of the rail service, and could be set consistently as a unified brand across London.

A much greater reliance on the railway as a basic means of getting around does need to be reinforced by such quality measures. In political terms there has been concern expressed about a “democratic deficit” with a TfL Board having relatively little input from out-of-London local authorities. Could that be resolved by an inner suburban steering group?

The danger is in having to give something to everyone. How mature could such discussions be, how much might each party be willing to contribute to the common weal rather than acting as a road block unless demands are met? TfL had given explicit assurances in respect of Southeastern that it was not about capacity reduction outside London. As we have seen, in practice much more capacity will be needed. TfL needs to be seen as part of solutions which benefit the nearby Home Counties as well as within London.

Conclusion

The London 2050 consultation concludes at the end of October 2014. The immense reliance on the National Rail system in London to accommodate up to 80% more passengers has been made clear in London 2050 Parts 3 and 4. These have critiqued the strengths and weaknesses of how the London 2050 Transport Support Paper has focussed on the main lines. There are weaknesses with some important projects not being either identified, or prioritised for a time scale, which the jobs and population volumes might require. Not all funding requirements are identified.

Some of the infrastructure and institutional issues may not be easy to value, in terms of conventional transport analyses, benefit-cost ratios and WebTAG appraisal. The Deputy Mayor, Isabel Dedring, who is overseeing the London 2050 policies, made it clear on 22nd October to an audience including Campaign for Better Transport and Railfuture, that politically and in wider economics, it is credible economic growth which matters more than a narrower transport appraisal. So the Deputy Mayor was making the case for something like Gross Value Added business case assessment.

The other big gap in London 2050 is potentially the failure to discuss the scale of institutional change that the main lines may require in order to deliver the required capacity, and also the absence of a philosophy as to why such institutional change will be so important for the London and Home Counties’ future economies. The underlying test which the final version of London 2050 will have to address, is about National Rail’s capacity to adapt and improve at every level, not just the physical measure of additional passengers per hour.

Appendix: London 2050 schemes for National Rail

Key: Schemes with a yellow background are those where the goal is largely to deliver required 2031 capacity. Schemes in green look beyond a 2031 capacity date, so can help with the forecast long term capacity gap. A blue background shows that the scheme is heavily focused on London 2050 expectations. CP numbers are Network Rail’s quinquennial Control Periods, with CP5 = April 2014 to March 2019, CP6 = April 2019 to March 2024, etc.

London-wide:
£147m New stations for opportunity areas, initial list of two for CP5: Beam Park, Brent Cross Cricklewood.
£103m Continuing programme of station congestion relief, CP5 element costed, to accommodate growing demand and unlock access to growth areas.
£103m Continuing programme of Access for All investment, CP5 element costed, to support accessibility and inclusion.
£206m Continuing programme of line speed and journey time improvements, CP5 element costed, to unlock system capacity.
£206m Strategic rail freight capacity including potential relief of corridors within London, input costed for CP5, continuing programme. Benefits achieved by reallocating slots for use by passenger trains.
£16bn HS2 project, CP7, 2026. This is of immediate benefit by creating commuting capacity on the existing WCML. HS2 will also underpin London’s economic growth objectives, and is also part of the intended stimulus for the rest of the UK economy.
£100m Crossrail 1 @ 30 tph, CP7, 2029, congestion relief and 25% extra Crossrail capacity through Central London.
£12-20bn Crossrail 2 project, CP8, early 2030s [potentially now accelerated to CP7, late 2020s]. Widespread London capacity relief incl NE and SW London corridors, enabling 100,000 new rail trips in peak period.
£20bn Crossrail 3, CP9-10?, 2040+. Similar proposition to Crossrails 1 and 2, in terms of costing and train frequency. Mayoral priority shown on airport map as Waterloo-London Bridge, Canary Wharf, East London, Inner Thames Estuary airport. TSP notes “would need to determine this is the most appropriate cross-London route”, “business case untested as yet”.
West London:
£750m Western Rail Access to Heathrow, CP6, Government/Network Rail support.
£85m Crossrail 1 and Heathrow Express merger to accommodate fast lines capacity increase London-Reading, CP8, 2030. £20m works, £65m trains.
North West London:
In above See HS2 project above, for relief of WCML capacity gap.
£150m Crossrail 1 –WCML link, CP7, 2026, to congestion relief at Euston and assist HS2 construction.
£???m Chiltern Line electrification & longer trains, CP6, for 50% passenger growth by 2050.
£25m Chiltern Line new service, CP6, to connect with Thames Valley rail services at Ealing or Old Oak Common.
North London:
£???m High capacity trains on Moorgate route services, CP6.
North East London:
£700m+ West Anglia 4-tracking Copper Mill to Broxbourne, CP6, pre-Crossrail 2, allows up to 8 tph.
£60m West Anglia 10-car suburban trains, to reduce peak crowding, CP6, +25% capacity.
East London:
£2m Call International trains at Stratford “ASAP” to support economic growth.
£???m GEML Southend Line, 12-car and +2 tph, CP6, +10% capacity, incl ETCS signalling.
£???m GEML Bow Junction remodelling, 12-car and +2 tph, CP7, +10% capacity.
£???m c2c, more 12-car trains and/or high density interiors, CP6, +10-20% capacity.
South East London:
£???m More 12-car Southeastern inners, CP5, +20% capacity.
£0m Expand HS1 Javelin services, CP6, +10-20% capacity. A priority if there were an Inner Thames Estuary airport. Use existing stock better.
£100m Crossrail 1 extended to Dartford and Ebbsfleet, CP8, 2030. £100m plus rolling stock. Reduces crowding on London Bridge lines. Ebbsfleet Garden City not mentioned.
South London:
£???m More 10-car Southern inners, CP7, +10% capacity.
£1 bn Extensive range of Brighton Main Line junction works throughout route, and platform works at East Croydon, Clapham Junction, West Croydon, Victoria, CP6, +15-20% capacity. This also addresses remaining 2031 concerns not solved in the LSE RUS.
In above South London inner route investment and service changes – creates high capacity inner network, moving from 12 to 20 tph, CP7, +66% capacity.
South West London:
~£400m Waterloo International re-use, incl 12-car, 20 tph trains on Windsor lines, CP6, +25% capacity. SWML Woking Junction grade separation, Crossrail 2 later, +17% capacity.
£700m? South London rail link to Heathrow, CP8, ca. 2030, studies under way. Case to be reviewed when there is a decision on Airport Hub. Former Airtrack scheme was £700m.
Overground works:
£???m Overground offpeak frequency improvements, programmed.
£115m GOBLIN electrification, CP5, already authorised, Summer 2017 completion.
£165m Barking Riverside, CP6, go-ahead expected for 2020 completion.
£130m ATO on ELL (CP6, 2024) for higher frequency services up to 24 tph.
£400m Further Overground service increases and more train lengthening, in next decade and beyond (NLL/WLL/ELL 6-car in CP7, GOB 6 tph in 2040 £???m @ £20m, NLL/WLL 12tph in 2040 @ £???m)
£550m Overground station at Old Oak Common HS2 and Crossrail interchange, CP7, 2026.
£25m ea Strategic Overground interchanges in increased connectivity and facilitate orbital travel by rail, programme proposed, incl: Camden Town-Camden Road, Brockley High Level, Brixton High Level, Seven Sisters-GOBLIN, Junction Road-Tufnell Park (GOBLIN), GOBLIN-Crossrail (is this Forest Gate-Wanstead Park or elsewhere?), Penge stations, also (non-Overground) Catford.
£300m Outer Orbital route: Hounslow-Brentford-Acton-OOC-Neasden-Brent Cross, CP9-10?, 2040+, SW-W-NW orbital passenger corridor.
Written by Jonathan Roberts