A weekly round-up of London’s rail transport news…

See the London Underground as it was in the 1960s and 70s

London Underground

The Waterloo & City line – which has not carried passengers since March – remains closed whilst its drivers are redeployed to the Central line, SE1

London Underground’s new extension of the Northern line is continuing, and some updates about progress have recently been provided. ianVisits

Elizabeth line / Crossrail

Political pressure to start work meant that design problems on Crossrail were not addressed properly, its chief executive has said Construction News (£)

Crossrail 2 staff have started to be redeployed to other parts of TfL as the organisation starts to wind down work on the project for the next six months. Building

Mainline / Overground

A train company is suspending its daily services to London for the second time due to the coronavirus pandemic. BBC News

Why everyone – and especially Greens – should still support HS2 New Statesman

Building work begins on new Gatwick Airport railway station concourse County Times

A roving mental health nurse has been appointed to support people in crisis across the railway network as part of a pioneering new role focused on reducing suicides. Nursing Times

‘Unbearable’ HS2 construction noise making lockdown ‘impossible’ for residents, says Camden Ham & High


Shaun Bailey on the Metropolitan line extension Diamond Geezer

TfL has secured a six-month lifeline to keep London’s transport network running until the end of next March. ianVisits

Fares: Why MP Apsana Begum wants to go back to Ken Livingstone’s public transport ideas East London Advertiser

There are no traces of Covid-19 on surfaces and in the air on London Underground or the city’s buses, scientists say. BBC News

Down In The Tube Station At Midnight was almost “thrown in the bin” during the recording of The Jam’s All Mod Cons album. Radio X

The Branding Genius Of London Underground Heads Into New Areas Forbes

And finally: The world’s ‘best’ luxury train is in the UK — and it sells out a year in advance CNBC

The image above is from Nov 2019: See the London Underground as it was in the 1960s and 70s


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  1. It’s a great shame that the Waterloo and City line can’t be converted to run with DLR trains and signalling.

    They would easily fit in the mainline sized W&C tunnels, and a simple shuttle operation could then be run by two people giving a departure safe signal at each end.

    DLR signalling would actually allow more trains, and provide more space on each one as there’s no need for a driving cab.

    Of course, if you could join up the old W&C tunnels to the DLR loop you could also run DLR services from Waterloo to Canary Wharf, but that would mean the problem of making the Waterloo end platform longer … but there would be room if the depot was moved to Becton.

    • ianvisits says:

      The W&C line tunnels are a lot smaller than the DLR tunnels (3.7 metre diameter vs 6 metres)

    • Yes, but not smaller than the trains. You would have to live with “grandfathered” escape access.

      You may recall that before the Central Line trains were put in there they used South Western full-size trains which were Class 487.

    • ChrisC says:

      But at what cost and for what benefit?

      I really don’t think the costs would outweigh the benefits and it would need lots and lots of service closures to install the new signalling and then then test the trains on those signals as well as the drivers etc

      Running shorter trains more frequently than longer trains less frequently is inefficient unless you suggest run longer DLR trains to match the capacity of the current trains?

    • David Winter says:

      Brian. The 487s were tube trains, not unlike LT Standard stock.

      Extending DLR to Waterloo with interchange at Blackfriars does make a lot of sense, but one of two conditions must be met:

      1. Enlarge tunnels to take DLR stock and sideways emergency egress; or

      2. Develop a separate subfleet of suitable stock.

      Option 1 is self-explanatory and hugely costly.

      Option 2 needs stock to have ride height adjustment. Tube platforms are in the ballpark of 600mm above rail level. DLR is specified at 1025mm. Through trains would need to “lift their skirts” about 425mm on transition to DLR tracks, and vice versa. I think this is doable, but whether desirable is another matter. Also, DLR uses bottom contact 3rd rail. There may not be space for the rail and pickup arm in the Tube tunnel. In which case, the cars will need top contact third rail AND bottom contact 3rd rail systems fitted, and switch over.

      The dual mode stock would have end-of-train emergency egress capability.

      Risk analysis on the two transitioning factors would, I suggest, be adverse. Maintenance cost and vigilance levels needed will be notable.

  2. It’s interesting the other Shaun Bailey “Tory London mayoral candidate criticised over TfL bailout ‘facts’ site” didn’t make this weeks list.

    Perhaps one take-down a week is your limit?

  3. Melvyn says:

    Biggest problem of linking W&C with the DLR at Bank is the W&C is at shallow depth while the DLR is deepest line so unless your going to install train lifts to move trains between levels ( now that’s an idea !) idea is a non starter .

    It’s a real shame that the W&C line wasn’t continued to Liverpool Street Station!

    While Shaun Bailey is beginning to sound like Donald Trump without a wig !

    • David Winter says:

      It just means a separate station at Bank and tunnel on a gradient to reach the existing line around the Mansion House (give or take a few yards …. 🤔). None of it would be cheap.

      I rather think if the tunnels are to be enlarged, then the appropriate through connection would be C2C, from a new low level interchange with Tower Hill, via Bank and Blackfriars to Waterloo joining the SW lines NE of Vauxhall.

      DLR could go on to Ludgate Circus, New Fetter Lane, Aldwych, Charing Cross, Victoria, Victoria Sth (Coach Station), 1 or 2 in Chelsea to Imperial Wharf. Reusing some Fleet/Jubilee Line instrasture. In which case the DLR network would become the TLR network (Thames Light Rail).

  4. ChrisC says:

    The mothballing of the CR2 team for even 6 months is a massive mistake and will cost more in the long term than it saves in the short term (a la when the coalition government took £1bn from Crossrail 1 in 2010 and we are paying more now as a direct result)

    Once people have joined other project teams it would be really hard to extract them back in the future without harming those schemes they are now working on.

    I enjoyed the Diamond Geezer take down of the Tory Mayoral hopeful.

    Politicians really should stop with their ‘save this thing that really isn’t in any actual danger’ campaigns. It’s just silly.

  5. JP says:

    Yes to train lifts please or if that were considered a bit annoying day-in day-out (and stratisfericaly expensive) then surely roller coaster technology could be bent to fit.
    No to shutting-down the CR2 team: horribly short-sighted. But then there’s a fair bit of that going round at the best of times, even moreso now.

  6. KSBurgundy says:

    I despair. I despise the incumbent mayor, especially his record on crime and his obsession with arrogant grandstanding. What on earth is Bailey doing in Watford though?! Is this the best the Tories have to offer?

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