Rail schemes being done:
1) Bakerloo line extension from Elephant and Castle and ammendmants to Watford Junction – Euston London Overground services:
To meet rising demand there is the possibility of the London Overground trains on this and the other lines being lengthend again form 4-5 carriages, with platforms being accordingly lengthened. Current frequency off peak on Euston – Watford line 4 trains per hour plus Bakerloo line 4-6 trains per hour Harrow and Wealdstone to Queens Park and onto Elephant and Castle, with additional tube trains running south from Stonebridge Park Depot.
Noting the history of how slow London trains used to run all stations on the current London Midland and Intercity tracks before the ‘new lines were built during World War 1 and opened as far out as Watford Junction in 1919 when Bakerloo Line trains started to run that far out on dual 3 and 4 rail voltage Since 1984 this has been curtailed at Harrow and Wealdstone. Prior to rolling stock reductions and putting the fast lines between the new lines and slow lines for services to Rugby and Northampton and Leighton Buzzard, some trains from Watford Junction ran /semi fast’ with stopping services to Harrow and Wealdstone with onward journeys to at Willesden Junction, Primrose Hill or terminating at Euston. These trains stopped at Harrow and Wealdstone, Kenton, Wembley Central, Stonebridge Park, Willesden Junction and Queens Park before travelling along the North London Line to Stratford & the docks.
These semi fast Euston – Watford / St Albans Abbey services were curtailed when the Metropolitan Line built its Stanmore branch nearby and the City and South London Line extensions from Camden to Edgware, which were considered cheaper and more reliable.
However with interchange overcrowding at Elephant and Castle onto main line and Bus services to South and South East London, a restoration of some form of London Overground service as above is needed so that Bakerloo Line trains terminating at Wembley Central or Stonebridge Park could make the trains more frequent when the line signalling is updated. Said line improvements should for future line service requirements include new signalling as far as Watford Junction for automatic train driving, three and four rail electric running for both S Stock and class 378s to aid service developments post Croxley Rail Link and use of current rolling stock (A,C and D stock) while the Euston line is rebuilt.
2) Chiltern Line Bicester – Oxford approved (Evergreen 3). In the Autumn Financial Statement the Chancellor of the Exchequer (UK Finance Secretary) approved further extension and reopening of the Oxford - Cambridge rail line, he said “We will build a new railway link between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Bedford that will create 12,000 new jobs ” The All party East West Rail link group will now focus its campaigning on opening the Bedford – Cambridge lines. Two routes exist, one completely closed via Sandy on the East Coast Main line with construction on the actual track bed in three places (Including A Cambridge Uni observatory and housing near Potton and Sandy), the other involving a rail service from Bedford to Hitchin being reopened and then trains to Cambridge. Also the line from Aylesbury Vale Parkway north to Bicester / Banbury Line is being refurbished to get the rail line up to 100mph speeds and possible dual track. Combined with a similar dual tracking Princes Risborough to Aylesbury and limited housing developments a regional rail service from Aylesbury Vale Parkway or Quainton Road to Slough or Watford Junction could be possible (see point 3)
3) Croxley Rail link funding agreed and plans being referred to Parliament as Transport and Works Act next year, estimated completion date 2016. www.croxleyraillink.com
4) Crossrail will run on an electrified Great Western Main Line from Royal Oak tunnel to Maidenhead and possibly Reading (an emerging favourite to be done before the 2020s according to the Mayor of Londons Transport strategy). At present the Heathrow junction between Hayes and Harlington and West Drayon is being capacity enhanced. However at present there is no link from the airport to the West, the current options are outlined in December 2011 Modern Railways
5) New lines to / from Heathrow:
a. Piccadilly Line train extension from Terminal 5 west to Slough either directly (cost £1.19bn) or via the Sunnymead and Windsor Lines (£710million) incorporating a new tunnel and station linking the Great Western and Southern lines ( ? damage to foundations of buildings and the river Thames weir by the Southern station, simply put where would the four / five platform station be?)
b. Airtrack / Airtrack lite. Airtrack has been in rail studies as an option since the Piccadilly Line was extended to Terminal 4. The latest version devised by BAA as part of the Third runway development was for Trains from Reading, Woking and Waterloo to run via Staines and a new Staines High Street track line SW to NE onto the Windsor Riverside line and then run across Staines Moor and into tunnel to Heathrow Terminal 5 station.
This has since been limited to an Airtrack Lite proposal of South Coast, Woking Staines Heathrow and a new Staines High Street station where trains from both Waterloo and both sides of the Hounslow Loop separate to Windsor or Heathrow Airport.
c. Windsor Link (idea by George Bathurst, see 6 below)
6) Windsor Link
The proposal ‘is a new tunnel connecting the former Southern and Great Western Lines, with a new five platform station in Central Windsor’. It is the brainchild of George Bathust, an electronic engineer following online debate and previous studies since Windsor Great Western station was redeveloped into a one track shuttle to Slough (with no direct intercity to Paddington).
Issues that have to be addressed are would the tunnelling damage the foundations of Windsor Castle, or the weir on the Thames by the present Southern Station. Also Slough Great Western would need longer platforms on its south side for trains to terminate capable of handling passenger numbers of a Park and ride station off the M4 to be built at Chalvey (Upton). There would also be needed a rail link at Slough for Trains from the Bourne End Branch (extended / restored service to High Wycombe).
The reason why there would be a five platform station at Windsor is to also handle Piccadilly Line Trains coming on the line T5 either in Tunnel direct to Slough or via tunnel to near M25 and tunnel becoming embankment and bridge over it and to Wraysbury on a dedicated line and triangle junction onto Windsor (Southern Line) shared with Onward running Crossrail trains from Hayes and Harlington via the Heathrow Terminals. As such by the time of its opening when the refurbished 1973 Piccadilly Line trains have been replaced, they had better be both 3 and 4 rail traction allowable.
7) Dockland Light Railway Woolwich Arsenal and Beckton to Stratford International has opened. DLR extension to Victoria mainline station suggested next, with additional branch from City Thameslink / Aldwych to Euston to help commuters using HS2 and West Coast Main line get to the City and Docklands. If there are DLR train sidings under Victoria National Rail sidings beyond the station, there will need to be a curve for trains to Run Victoria – Euston to make the service more reliable and if the tower blocks (residential and office) near Euston make such sidings to difficult to construct compared with the ‘cut and cover’ way that the Central Line White City sidings were redeveloped as part of the Westfield White City development. Onward running of the DLR from Victoria to Clapham Junction via Pimlico and Battersea (with interchange to the Northern Line Extension from Kennington, also onward running) could facilitate underground sidings for both DLR and Northern Line trains under Battersea Park.
8) East London Line completion Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction where platform 2 has been turned into a platform that can take two trains at once as the disused platform 1 can no longer take the weight of trains. TfL London rail has developed a rail proposal for extra London Overground trains to continue running from Crystal Palace to Clapham Junction via Balham to relieve passenger overcrowding on the Morden branch of the Northern Line.
9) High Speed 2 is currently having its route reviewed. The previous Government reviewed multiple route between London and Birmingham through the organsiations Greengague 21 and National Rail. Those local authorities who successfully oposed the Third Runway at Heathrow Airport (the 2M Group), suggested that after a station between Euston and St Pancras and a spur line to Heathrow there would a Heathrow spur at Cricklewood running under Cricklewood - Neasden freight line and then the Chiltern Line to South Ruislip before running in tunnel under protected Green Belt Land in Yeading and Hayes End to Stockley Park and a Heathrow Airport HS2 station.
After the 2010 election, the UK (English) department of Transport revised the route so that after a completely rebuilt Euston station HS2 would run in tunnel to Old Oak common for interchange with Crossrail to Reading and electric Intercity 125 trains to Bristol, Oxford and Newbury from 2016 and Cardiff by 2017 and then take run to South Ruislip (ex GWr link to Great Central line Marylebone – Rugby) and then run over a widened Embankment run to Harefield and over a viaduct to its tunnel through the Chilterns. If that is used through Ealing and Northolt the gradients into tunnel and under the A40 may be speed restrictive if possible at all.
Getting the route right is now important in the public consultation as now the opinion of the Council in Hillingdon is against High Speed Rail as the present route through Ruislip would lead to disruption on rail construction to the Waste Transfer station at South Ruislip whether it is an upgrade of the Chiltern Line from Paddington to there (and from single track to double track) for ordinary intercity ‘cross country’ running from platforms at Old Oak Common.
Hence as mitigation they would need a new waste transfer station to the North of the Chiltern Line between West Ruislip and Denham so as to prevent any winter of discontent scenes with the rubbish.
10) Northern Line extension to Battersea (and possible further extension to Clapham Junction) In December 2011 Modern Railways the tube line that is costed at £350 million is an extension from Kennington to Battersea Park for the Northern Line to serve the redeveloped Battersea Park Station. The developers are at present struggling to find financial investors (as they paid £400 million for the Power station site in 2006, before the recession and fall in property prices) and the tube scheme may need further extension from Battersea to Clapham Junction so as to increase its cost benefit ratio.
11) West Ruislip station upgrade for 3 platforms like Stanmore and Central Line to Uxbridge from a spur line after either:
Firstly West Ruislip is the terminus on the Underground with the lower number of two Tube platforms (island format like Watford Met and until Recently Stanmore Jubillee lines respectively) that is also the narrowest. The tracks run under the Ickenham Road at tube stock size there (and National Rail diameter for Chiltern trains).
However there is also on the far west of these tracks a Main line sized track and platform space for Engineering trains bringing gravel and track repair commodities (Rails, sleepers and associate resources). It runs through to the Chiltern Line under a bridge that is main line train height. In short if High Speed Two or other Chiltern Rail upgrades such as Princes Risborough – Aylesbury dual tracking and onward running to Buckingham and Rugby via Quainton Road and Calvert from starting at the new Old Oak Common Hub station and redevelopment, the whole station would have to be rebuilt and the tracks under the road bridge expanded to take Main line trains such as Chiltern and London Overground terminating and reversing in the platform between the Chiltern Line and present Island platform from The West Ealing Greenford Branch. After the electrification of the Gospel Oak Barking line, the new Class 172 Diesel Units could be used on a service from West Ealing or Southall / Hayes and Harlington to West Ruislip via Castle Bar Park, Drayton Green (Gurnell pool) South Greenford and a new through running Platform at Greenford after joining a standard 100-125mph speed capacity dual track line reinstated from Old Oak Common to Northolt (South Ruislip) Junction.
Before that junction they could switch onto the Central Line to provide stopping services at South Ruislip and Ruislip Gardens before West Ruislip where they can terminate (like Slow all station trains from Marylebone and then onto a reopened South Harefield station and possibly Gerrards Cross (another site for Chiltern trains that stop in Wembley and Sudburys and Northolt Park to reverse).
Another option in Modern Railways that might work with this is a city metro orbital line (modern Railways, pg.72 December 2011 edition).
Prior to the High Speed Rail proposals.
b) Ruislip Gardens
a) and b) to form a loop to an underground HS2 station to the North or West of the current Airport perimeter.
c) West Ruislip
Tramlink Wimbledon to Croydon is being developed for Dual track running (including the single track Mitcham Junction bottleneck). Also suggestion of new single track line off Beckenham Junction branch between Harrington Road and Birkbeck to run to Crystal Palace Main line station (approx cost £100 million) to link to a further East London service onward from Crystal Palace to Clapham Junction.
Croxley Rail Link - www.croxleyraillink.com
The Croxley Rail Link is the proposed extension of the London Underground Metropolitan line from Croxley, to Watford Junction via Watford High Street...