TfL has launched a second consultation about the planned route for Crossrail 2 which could see the two locations most closely associated with it losing their stations.

What was often called the Chelsea-Hackney line in early planning faces the possibility of not having stations in either Chelsea or Hackney.

When TfL released the first consultation last year, it offered a choice between a DLR-style local service, or a full-scale Crossrail sized service, and unsurprisingly, the majority of comments said they wanted the big one.

That consultation also offered up some suggestions, which are now being put out for a second review, which if nothing else, does remind us that consultations are worth responding to.

Probably the smallest of the changes being proposed is that where one branch of the line currently ends at Alexandra Palace, that would be extended one more stop along the existing mainline railway to New Southgate. That is essentially a freebie, and also makes it easier to use some existing railway land for a train depot and sidings.

Hackney is where it gets a bit more complicated

5--Crossrail-Hackney-Road-map-c--FINALThe line had planned to split at Angel with one spur heading towards Alexandra Palace via Dalston Junction — and the other spur heading towards Tottenham Hale via Hackney Central.

The new plans would save a not inconsiderable billion quid would see the split take place further north, closer to Seven Sisters, and from there carry on exactly as originally planned.

However, it means just one line from Angel, not two — and hence, either Dalston Junction or Hackney Central can have a station. Not both.

The upside is that whichever station is chosen would get double the number of trains per hour as they wouldn’t be split between two stations.

Each has their own advantages — Hackney is probably better for improving a lack of local transport links, whereas Dalston offers a valuable interchange with the East London Line.

(Restoring a lost railway curve could theoretically let the East London Line run to Hackney Central though providing a compromise)

At the other end of the line, there are possible changes at Chelsea


While most of the views being considered to discuss the location of the Chelsea station, the consultation having identified a possible alternative location further west than originally planned.

Rather than being on King’s Road, the new station might be located closer to the new developments at Lots Road instead.

However, there’s also some support for not building a station in Chelsea at all, and bypassing the loop it creates to run direct between Clapham Junction and Victoria.

That saves another billion quid off the cost — so the Chelsea station fans are now faced with explaining how their station adds at least £1 billion of value to the economy.

Realistically, the momentum to have a station at Chelsea is already too strong, but there is certainly the theoretical chance that it might not appear.

Which could leave the Chelsea-Hackney line in the rather curious situation of not having stations at either location. Then again, being locked into a historical expectation of what will be built shouldn’t lock TfL into spending £2 billion just to keep the Chelsea-Hackney line sounding accurate.

It’s Crossrail 2 now — and if £2 billion can be shaved off the cost, it has to be looked at. Seriously.

You can express your own views on the matter via the TfL consultation page.


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  1. Patrick Goff says:

    Chelsea West would be a life line for the Design Centre in Chelsea harbour, which, despite the overground station, suffers badly from being divorced from the main tube network

  2. Sykobee says:

    I can understand the either/or for Dalston and Hackney options – having both does seem to duplicate a lot of tunnelling, whereas the break before Seven Sisters looks more logical.

    Could a station interchange be put in at Haggerston with the Hackney option?

    Missing out Chelsea does seem counter to the point of the line however, even with the identified savings.

  3. SurboTurbo says:

    The dog leg detour to Chelsea has never made any sense for the vast majority of commuters coming from the south west.

    It would needlessly add 5 minutes to the journey and, given likely congestion at Tottenham Court Road, increase the likliehood that City/Canary Wharf bound SW London commuters would opt to use the existing Waterloo route instead. That would obviously undermine the whole rationale of CR2 as a congestion reliever for sw london.

  4. dave says:

    Instead of kinking to the west and serving affluent Chelsea, could it not kink east instead and give us another station south of the river where public transport is massively overcrowded?

    • ianvisits says:

      Such a loop would struggle to economically go anywhere other than where two new Northern Line tube stations are already planned.

  5. Tim says:

    The whole project should be scrapped and instead transport projects outside London should be given priority funding.

    • ianvisits says:

      Funding for CR2 is not a case of build one railway somewhere, and London won the bid to the detriment of other bidders — but an investment that will pay back more in economic growth than it costs to build the railway. In other words, UK PLC makes a profit on the deal.

      If you can make similar arguments elsewhere, then do so, as it becomes much easier to then win the bidding for funding for those projects.

  6. Tim says:

    It’s the obsession with BCRs that has led to the complete disparity in regional funding. In the end they are just made up numbers, complete guesses, figures plucked out of the air. Fairness should be a much greater consideration and it’s time to redress the balance away from London.

  7. Abraham says:

    Why not just cancel the Chelsea stations and have the line go strait from Clapham Junction to Victoria but instead build a new underground line from Victoria to Old Oak Common via Fulham Broadway, Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush with two intermediate stations being in Chelsea. That opens up a transport Corridor which would be very welcome in both Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham and will take capacity of the district line during Chelsea matches. If they do decide to build a station in Chelsea on crossrail 2, this underground line that I have suggested could start at Chelsea, rather than Victoria

  8. Transtraxman says:

    You cannot base the construction of an expensive underground line on its use being at most for 4 hours on one day every two weeks.

  9. Paul says:

    The whole point of this line was to serve both Chelsea and Hackney. Rather than build a station closer to Fulham Broadway the line should serve the heart of Chelsea and put a station in the Kings Road

  10. Barry D says:

    I think if it goes Hackney the DLR should be extended from Bow Church as well so that passengers who work in Canary Wharf can avoid Tottenham Court Road or Liverpool Street and also improve links with Hackney/Bow/Bromley-by-Bow/Poplar/Canary Wharf/The Island with eachother much better. If you support this purpose then please put it into the consultation where you choose where it should go and comments

    • ianvisits says:

      Not really sure I understand that one.

      I can’t really see anyone on CR2 heading to Canary Wharf going up to Hackney, then down to Canary Wharf, when CR1 would do the same trip in a fraction of the time.

      Also, there is already a decent link to CW from Hackney via Stratford. A link on the DLR direct from Hackney to Bow Church would be an absolute pain to build above ground, and hugely expensive below ground.

  11. Ben Johnson says:

    I do have to agree with Barry D as me and two of my colleagues worked in Canary Wharf before I started working in the City and I used to have to go to Liverpool Street from Enfield to get a train to a Central Line to just Bank then the DLR to Canary Wharf but this just got worse and worse so I decided to get over at Hackney Downs and walk to get a 277 but this service got worse itself with the D6 being withdraw from Hackney Central to Cambridge Heath Station so imagine if when Crossrail 2 comes! I and likely others from Hertfordshire|North Essex would very much welcome a DLR extension to here to improve links to Canary Wharf and possibly local links as well.

    I do await what Barry D has to say as I do not know the Hackney|Bow area too well.

    • Ben Johnson says:

      One option would be to remodel the junction after Bow Church then send the line into a tunnel portal in that disused green space between the Veterinary Practice and the new housing development then continue it in tunnel to Old Ford where the there space where the old North London Line use to run on near the A12 between Old Ford and Fish Island to have a station then continue to Hackney Wick where a tunnel portal could easily be built and join the North London Line on the disused trackbed to Homerton then right after head back into tunnel to Hackney Central! That way you don’t have to build a tunnel under Victoria Park and South Hackney!

  12. Barry D says:

    @Ben Johnson seems like you had a look on Google Earth and I would say a more direct route fully underground would be best but your idea would be cheaper I guess with only one underground station needed for Old Ford/Bow and a sub surface station at Hackney Central. It would also avoid HS1 and the proposed inner ringway tunnel. Hmm

  13. Shannon says:

    Love this idea! Should never of got rid of the railway that went pass Old Ford and redevelop it without leaving space in the future for a DLR extension! Be a real benefit to both Hackney Homerton and Bow and Poplar! I will be putting this idea down to tfl and say that it’s another reason that Hackney should get Crossrail 2 not Dalston!

  14. Bowman says:

    Baffled as to why the DLR cant be tag along with the Crossrail 2 at Hackney? Bow is not benefitted from Crossrail 1 where Poplar Whitechapel and Bethnal Green Globe Town Stepney Shadwell are benefiting well a station in or near or reveling exiting stations in the areas where Bow has got nothing cept more buses packed during rush hour idiots labour and torres no wonder people in bow voted ukip in the local elections we get nothing yet we so close to the Olympics Park and had a major developments in the area more then any other part of tower Hamlets apart from the carary wharf so something needs to be done

  15. Andy says:

    The Chelsea-Hackney line in principle is a great idea to provide extra capacity where it is needed. The truth is we are often influenced by what would suit us in our thinking. Hackney borough has no tube stations in the borough, therefore is due a few. Otherwise, change the name to the Chelsea-Hertfordshire-but let’s try to avoid Hackney Line. Not quite as catchy.

  16. Johnny says:

    Just link up disused lines in the bow area and make an interchange with Mile End or Bethnal green and shorditch high St ?

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