Can the Sidcup Line have 8tph?

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by Selkent Fellow, 14 May 2018.

  1. Selkent Fellow

    Selkent Fellow Member

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    Plus trains to all three terminals.

    The Sidcup line is probably now the main line of the four Dartford routes, from this week we get fast trains for the first time (The Sidcup line needs this more than the Woolwich line which already gets a decent service)

    In the future I'd like to see 8tph on this line

    1: Charing Cross to Gillingham, fast from London Bridge to New Eltham, then Sidcup, Bexley, Dartford, Greenhithe, Gravesend and all stations.

    2: Victoria to Gravesend, all stations

    3: 4tph Cannon Street Loops, 2tph to Bexleyheath line and 2tph to Woolwich/Greenwich line

    What do you think
     
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  3. George166

    George166 Member

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    I wouldn't disagree in principle, whether that would be workable in practice I don't know. Certainly I think a faster service to Dartford would be good.
     
  4. Selkent Fellow

    Selkent Fellow Member

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    There has always been more growth in the Southern half of Bexley, yet for years we've had a basic service while the Woolwich line gets a much better service.

    The fasts should've always gone via Sidcup,
    The Medway region will moan about this but they cant have it all,

    8tph to all three terminals I think will work from Sidcup as the CX and CS can both avoid Lewisham while the Victoria trains can serve there still.
     
  5. John Webb

    John Webb Established Member

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    There are many historic reasons for the services developing over the years as they did. Firstly the North Kent line through Lewisham-Blackheath-Woolwich-Dartford was the first to open in 1849. Woolwich was considered to be an important stop due to the Royal Arsenal and other heavy industry in the area, the Royal Artillery HQ and barracks and being the centre of Woolwich Borough, hence the service of fast trains to and from London. The closure of the Arsenal and much heavy industry and the arrival of the Docklands Light Railway and very shortly the Crossrail line probably means such fast services are less important.
    The line via Sidcup was opened in 1866 to relieve congestion on the North Kent and provide a shorter route to Dartford and beyond. The Bexleyheath line opened in 1895 from an initiative by local landowners who foresaw the potential development (and thus profit) that would arise from the presence of a railway in what was then mostly open countryside.
    The Middleton Press book "Lewisham to Dartford via Bexleyheath and Sidcup" (1991, ISBN 0 906520 92 4) points out that in steam-hauled days many trains continued on to destinations beyond Dartford. But on electrification in 1926, this stopped and although the lines had a regular and more frequent service with the new electric trains, they were unable to travel beyond Dartford.

    John Webb (Resident in Woolwich 1946-77)
     
  6. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    To add to John's informative (as usual) post: Woolwich Arsenal is still busier than Sidcup according to Wikipedia, if only by half a million passengers a year. Back in the 70s it was the Bexleyheath line that had the worst overcrowding, but Thamesmead was still in its infancy and clearly the Loop line has now caught up.

    Memory says (timetables currently inaccessible) that the Dartford Loopfrom the late 70s had 12tph in the high peak, 3 CST, 3 Sidcup-CHX, 3 Gillingham-CHX fast and 3 via Nunhead, so 8tph seems perfectly do-able (I would opt for 4 CHX, 2 CST, but that may just show I'm out of touch).
     
  7. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    I think your slightly over estimating the Sidcup line there.

    The North Kent line (London to Gillingham via both Lewisham and Greenwich branches) passes through many large urban centre's and even touristy areas such as Lewisham, Greenwich & Woolwich being the main centres of leisure and culture you can't really compare Sidcup to these places.

    Even before Crossrail Abbey Wood was important due to the large new town of Thamesmead, as for Medway commuters, the Thameslink service is too slow for Medway as it's all stops, however we can only hope the semi fasts will return in a few years time.

    As for Sidcup going 8tph, it could work but it will impact on the SEML.

    In 2018 onwards demand for more trains to the North Kent will rise due to its numerous TfL connections namely Abbey Wood for Crossrail, Woolwich Arsenal, Greenwich and Lewisham for DLR, and Charlton for the Jubilee line at North Greenwich (plus o2 centre), Sidcup has none of the same connections to offer, I think it is more likely that the NK will go 10tph than Sidcup line going 8tph, especially if the Maidstone West services commence.

    I do agree that the Sidcup line should serve all three SE London terminals, that should happen in 2022.

    Thank you for that information, much appreciated, I grew up in Shooters Hill for a time, I still remember the slam door trains and how the Gillingham semi fasts were not simply treated as "metro route"

    Indeed with the royal Arsenal being reused as housing and a new town centre on the riverside for Woolwich, Woolwich Arsenal will remain an important destination and station for many years to come.
     
  8. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Sidcup line also has to take North Kent freight off-peak; probably the main blocker to 8tph off-peak (from May it has about 9tph in the peak, I think what it gets today).
     
  9. bionic

    bionic Member

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    I hear Woolwich is a lovely spot for a holiday this time of year.
     
  10. Selkent Fellow

    Selkent Fellow Member

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    I don't think North Kent89 meant that Woolwich was touristy, only Greenwich, though Woolwich is still a busy urban centre and who knows with redevelopment Woolwich could become filled with tourists.
     
  11. carlovel1

    carlovel1 Member

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    I don't know how you got to the conclusion that the Sidcup line is the 'main line' to Dartford.

    The stations on the Bexleyheath line are on average busier. Blackheath, Eltham, Welling & Bexleyheath all see above 2m/3m passengers a year versus only Hither Green, New Eltham, Sidcup.

    If anything the Bexleyheath line needs improvement with its lack of semi fast trains during the peaks (only a few skip Lewisham), lack of trains beyond Dartford (which Woolwich & Sidcup have) and loosing the Victoria service in 2022 (which the Sidcup line will gain).
     
  12. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    The Bexleyheath line is a tricky one, since unlike the North Kent line and the Sidcup line, this is the only line that has to go via Lewisham and cannot avoid it if there are delays in the Lewisham station area.

    The North Kent line can avoid Lewisham by going via the Greenwich branch and the Sidcup can just take the by pass line direct to St. John's or London Bridge.

    Is it possible that reason why the Bexleyheath line has higher numbers than the Sidcup line is because it does serve Victoria, Charing X & Cannon St.?

    As for the fasts, I'm not sure if the Bexleyheath line can have the fasts due to the Lewisham issue, I know the fasts do go there currently but they can be diverted to Greenwich if anything was wrong with Lewisham.

    The Bexleyheath line will have Gravesend trains originating from Victoria very soon.
     
  13. frodshamfella

    frodshamfella Member

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    The Bexleyheath line used to have fast Kidbrook to Waterloo East services in the M-F peaks. I remember using them.
     
  14. cle

    cle Established Member

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    It’s silly that the whole thing seems so ‘either/or’ when it’s clear that all three routes should be running at 8tph or more.

    The trade off may well be choice of termini, east of the loops service and access to Lewisham. I don’t think, for instance, that Charing Cross needs to run local services other than possibly the ones via Chislehurst. Equally Cannon Street should only run metro services. London Bridge is primed again as am excellent interchange with high frequency options, including Blackfriars and core - so we should simplify according to pathing and frequency, and have people swap there.
     
  15. Daz28

    Daz28 Member

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    Me too. Although they weren’t very fast and were often held at the platform at Lewisham with the doors locked waiting for the junction to clear.

    It will be interesting to see how passenger numbers change with the reconfiguration of services. There are many catchment areas where there is a choice of which line to head for. e.g. My local bus service, the 314 serves Eltham, New Eltham, Elmstead Woods, Sundridge Park, Bromley North and South and Hayes, 7 stations on six lines.
     
  16. DVD

    DVD Member

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    As a long time Sidcup line user I very much welcome the 6 tph off peak service due to start next week - although those using Lee and Mottingham will not benefit from the new fast services (which run fast to and from New Eltham). It's not quite right to claim we get fast services "for the first time" as there are currently a handful of peak fast services, although most now call at Hither Green - until a year or two ago, they ran fast to New Eltham. But it's important to note we are talking about off peak services, as far as I am aware, there is no significant improvement in peak services in the new timetable as lines to Charing Cross and Cannon Street are at full capacity. The 4 tph service from Charing Cross in the evenings (and on Saturdays) is great and long overdue, perhaps finally fulfilling the "Connex Metro" aspirations . . . Those travelling from stations between Dartford and Gravesend will benefit from faster CX services. But ... I am not convinced that there is much need for 8 tph off peak. Most housing developments are along the Greenwich / Woolwich line and, at the eastern fringes, there is a greater reliance on public transport than for those living on the Sidcup line. (The Sidcup line also had services fast from Waterloo East during the peaks).
     
  17. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    If the Bakerloo were to be extended beyond Lewisham it should take over the Bexleyheath line, the Hayes line should be left alone
     
  18. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

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    Why?.
     
  19. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    Is that why to my last post? If so, then its because the Hayes line isn't the main problem in the conflicting moves at Lewisham, the Hayes can still serve there if going to Victoria or avoid it entirely if going to Charing Cross, the Bexleyheath line has to go through Lewisham it cant avoid it if there are any issues, unlike the Woolwich line.

    Ever since the days of when the Fleet line was being planned they wanted to take over the Bexleyheath line or Hayes line.
    I just think the Bakerloo going to the Bexleyheath line could ease things up a bit around Lewisham, also there's the issue that Bromley Borough isn't exactly in favor of a tube line, where as Bexley Borough seem more receptive and welcoming of any transportation developments.
     
  20. cle

    cle Established Member

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    If the Bakerloo continued in tunnel with an underground station at Blackheath, it could address the inevitable locals’ complaints by still running some NR services via the tunnel to Charlton, with the Bakerloo picking things up from there towards Kidbrooke.

    People would still be unhappy I’m sure. But it would bring higher frequencies across the board.

    And it would definitely help the case for a bigger interchange at NXG, with access to the Thameslink core. Though NXG, Lewisham and Blackheath would all be deep stations with longer transfers.

    On a separate note, and people do say it isn’t possible or viable, but with 4tph planned from Victoria to the Dartfords, is Brockley more appealing? Especially given that ELL frequencies are due to get even better. I have seen it on some of these strategic future diagrams.
     
  21. ScotGG

    ScotGG Member

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  22. carriageline

    carriageline Established Member

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    I am very much of the same opinion as you. Removing crossover moves at parks bridge and Lewisham would help the service quite a bit. Definitely during disruption

    Of course, it is a unrealistic pipe dream. Charing Cross would only use half it’s platforms. And Cannon Street (plus 1-3 at London Bridge) would probably be over capacity.
     
  23. cle

    cle Established Member

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    My thoughts on Charing Cross are that it could take on some more Kent services from Victoria. There would be some spare line and platform capacity, but I am sure it could be filled! The problem is two-track sections (Orpington to Sevenoaks) - so perhaps upping the Orpington/Sevenoaks local services to 6-8tph would be a good place to start. Hayes (avoiding Lewisham) could also increase.

    Another option might be taking on some services which run via Swanley, either adding or re-locating from Victoria. I also also tend to think Victoria should have a more local focus, due to the two-track nature again and capacity. The big issue there is Bromley South demand for fasts. Otherwise, everything deeper Kent running only to Charing Cross wouldn't be a problem. Faster trains for Bromley South could use Rochester, Gillingham and Rainham to turn back. Further out left to HS1 or Charing Cross.

    Hence Sidcup and the other two can have a very intense metro service to London Bridge and Cannon St. Much clearer, and with all the interchange options at LB people could need.
     
  24. George166

    George166 Member

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    Presumably it would terminate at Slade Green? And a tunnel to Blackheath? Surely the self contained Mid Kent Line would be simpler?
     
  25. George166

    George166 Member

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    Indeed and I never saw the sense in Bexleyheath line trains non stopping Lewisham, Sidcup line trains can obviously avoid it completely.
     
  26. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

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    Some of the inbound demand to Lewisham (and Greenwich) is for people changing to the DLR to reach Canary Wharf; some of this will move to Crossrail at Abbey Wood/Woolwich once that opens.
     
  27. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    I would have the extension run underground to serve Lee High Road,
    Sutcliffe Park then onto a new station replacing the existing Kidbrooke station called Kidbrooke Village, then onto the existing track to Eltham then Barnehurst, then tunnel to Dartford.

    Good news for Woolwich, its always had potential to be equally as good as Greenwich given the right amount of investment.
     
  28. Selkent Fellow

    Selkent Fellow Member

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    Sidcup line demands all three terminals though, people don't want to change at Lewisham or London Bridge.
     
  29. frodshamfella

    frodshamfella Member

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    Yes I remember that happening too !
     
  30. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    All the lines demand Victoria, Charing Cross and Cannon Street, ideally this would be the case, but with conflicting moves it's not really possible, from 2022 CS will serve Greenwich and North Kent lines, Bexleyheath will have both CX and CS trains and Sidcup and Hayes lines will be Victoria and CX trains.

    This will probably also mean the end of the Thameslink Medway service I hope due it making a move in the North Kent Junction area.

    Ideally it go like this:
    Cannon Street to Gillingham via Greenwich 2tph, all stations to Charlton, then Woolwich A, Plumstead, Abbey Wood, Dartford, Greenhithe, Gravesend then onto Gillingham

    Cannon Street to Maidstone West via Blackheath, London Bridge, New Cross, Blackheath, Charlton, Then same stops as the Gillingham service obviously heading to MW from Strood

    4tph Loop services, CS to CS via Bexleyheath 2tph, then CS to Victoria via Sidcup 2tph.

    Cannon Street to Gravesend all stations via Greenwich

    This way Maidstone, Medway, Strood and Gravesend all get a decent amount of tph to Abbey Wood and other interchanges and urban centres along the line, also I removed Lewisham as a station stop.

    I'm most bothered about choices of London terminals, it's a dogs dinner but if it makes travelling easier until a solution comes along then I'm all for it.
     
  31. cle

    cle Established Member

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    The thing is that except for Victoria services, there is also London Bridge which has tube and onwards NR to the other termini and the core. So unless you have Victoria only (which none of these will) you still have choices. More than somebody living on the c2c or Chiltern lines has, for instance.
     

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