A suggested extension of the Elizabeth line deep into Kent could hinge on the opening of a large leisure park at Swanscome. The London Resort Theme Park is a proposed £3.5 billion project that’s currently working its way through consultations and planning with an intention to start construction in 2022.

A newly published rail consultation by Kent County Council touches on the issue of an extension of Crossrail into the county and suggests that enhanced rail links from Swanscombe would be essential to the theme park’s success. Although it’s relatively close to Ebbsfleet International station for HS2, and Northfleet/Swanscome stations for local services, there are concerns that better connections through South-East London would still be needed.

The Kent council consultation states that the theme park developer will be asked to “provide a substantial contribution towards the public transport infrastructure needed, supporting an extension of the Elizabeth line from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet.”

At the moment, the Elizabeth line terminates at Abbey Wood station, but there are long-standing desires by local councils to see it extended, and the route would likely take it through Swanscombe to Gravesend.

The difficulty is that the extension is totally unfunded, and that extending the line through Abbey Wood is problematic due to the design of the station – which limits how many Elizabeth line trains per hour could fit through to the tracks on the far side.

Crossrail and TfL are also themselves rather busy trying to get the existing line up and running, and far from thinking about adding extensions.

The Kent consultation itself accepts that any proposal for an extended Elizabeth line, or alternative rail upgrade is unlikely to be delivered before the mid-2030s at the earliest.

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8 comments on “Crossrail extension may be dependent on theme park developer
  1. Bob says:

    Is there anywhere I could read about why the design of Abbey Wood station is so problematic?

    • Matt says:

      I don’t think there’s any specific paper, I think what has been referred too is that there is a new lower concourse at the end of platform 4, which is in part a support for the upper station building. Meaning either a re-model or removal of the lower concourse, or all trains via the through road on platform 3. However all assumptions are made that the class 345 will run via North Kent lines, when previous options had also looked at dedicated lines and calling points. So worth bearing in mind that this is just a snippet.

  2. Mr Gerry Abrahams says:

    It should be quite cheap to do as no only most of the existing line in place, but even the crossover between TfL and Network Rail is in place east of Abby Wood.

  3. D says:

    Is the proposed C2E to take over existing Abbey Wood line, share the existing line with National rail or have it’s own line/tracks?

  4. Martin James Wilson says:

    It is absolutely vital that Crossrail is extended to Ebbsfleet if the Theme Park goes ahead. The two proposals go hand in hand

  5. Michael Morgan says:

    LOL they can’t even get the planned works up and running

  6. MikeP says:

    Reading the consultation – esp para 4.12 -the heavy rail option (i.e. Elizabeth line extension) is now one of a number of options…
    “However, while the earlier proposals for this enhancement were focused on an extension of the heavy-rail Elizabeth line to Ebbsfleet, the scope of the project has now been widened to include a range of transport options, including Metro services, Fastrack bus services, or connecting coach services.”

  7. Andrew Gwilt says:

    Elizabeth Line extended to Dartford and Gravesend sounds like a good idea but apparently GTR Thameslink operates those routes. With Thameslink running services to Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham and Rainham. And could of extended to Faversham.

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