Following a consultation in 2015, and the announcement last Autumn of a costs review, Crossrail 2 has been looking at some of the alternative options for the railway line.
Much of the latest review is to deal with complaints about various parts of the planned route, and could still see the railway, formerly known as the Chelsea-Hackney line end up without any stations in either Chelsea or Hackney.
At Wimbledon, following complaints about the scale of the demolition — of up to 60% of the main shopping centre — they’re reviewing the plans to reduce the impact on the town centre, and to cut back some of the sidings being planned.
Although the line planned a station at Tooting Broadway, and looked to have dropped that in favour of nearby Balham, due to cost and geology issues at Tooting Broadway, they are still looking at Tooting as a possible site. The station at Tooting Broadway is however currently estimated to be twice as expensive as one at Balham, and as the autumn review is looking at cost-savings, Balham may win out on cost grounds alone.
The disadvantage of Balham is that it already has mainline sized trains to central London on the national rail, so the cost-benefits of Crossrail 2 station here are weaker than at Tooting Broadway, where Crossrail 2 would have a much bigger impact in reducing overcrowding on the Northern line.
Another station in the firing line is the one planned at King’s Road Chelsea, which seems to have upset the rich locals. Crossrail 2 is still pondering scrapping the station in favour of a direct link between Clapham Junction and Victoria.
That has the advantage of avoiding placard waving luvies, and saving a lot of money, albeit with less convenience for an area quite weak in rail connections. One alternative that has been occasionally suggested is to run the line close to Battersea Power Station for a link with the Northern line extension, although that then doesn’t save any money.
Elsewhere, Crossrail 2 has worked on plans to improve the interchanges at Victoria and Euston stations. However, they’ve been unable — so far — to find alternative locations for the new entrances needed at Tottenham Court Road, so the Curzon Cinema is still threatened with demolition.
They are still pondering options for the route north of central London, which could either go via Wood Green, or Alexandra Palace.
And south of London, a number of level crossings would need to be permanently closed, as the number of trains using the line would render them effectively redundant anyway. That calls for replacement crossings, via underpasses or bridges to be built at various locations.
Going forward, Crossrail 2 aims to conduct a further route-wide public consultation on the latest proposals following the outcome of the Independent Affordability Review.
The review will submit an interim report to the DfT and TfL this summer, outlining options as to how the project could be made more affordable. A more detailed final report will be submitted at a later date in light of the recommendations made in the interim report.