Gordon Hill - loop restoration

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by adamedwards, 8 Jan 2017.

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  1. adamedwards

    adamedwards Member

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    I went through Gordon Hill today. The layout is two island platforms, but currently only three tracks Down Hertford Loop, Up Hertford Loop and a bay platform on the east (up) side.

    From time to time I read of plans to restore one or both loops to enable inter city trains to over take the locals on days when the main line is closed for maintenance.

    It seems to me that the cheapest way to do this would be to route the up line via the current bay platform and make the current up platform a reversible loop usable by trains in either direction.

    Does anyone know if this is in any programme or is this one of those on the back burner because of finance issues at Network Rail?
     
  2. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    How often is the bay platform used?
     
  3. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    2-3 trains per hour in the peaks.
     
  4. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    There is a live project to reinstate a Gordon Hill turn back, supposed to start in March this year, complete by end of next year. No idea how it improves what is already there.
     
  5. BelleIsle

    BelleIsle Member

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    If TfL ever got their hands on the GN&C then it might be useful.
     
  6. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    You'd have to find a way to get more than 14tph into Moorgate first...
     
  7. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    IIRC it was once capable of turning around 16tph+.
     
  8. Ediswan

    Ediswan Member

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    Were there ever loops at Gordon Hill ? I use the station occasionally and have looked at what old maps and photos I can find. None show loops. Old OS maps do show sufficient track north of the currently defunct P4 that a loop looks possible, but none show the connection. Equally, it does not look like the track at P1 ever went significantly further north than it does today. It might require significant earthworks to fit a loop in on that side.
     
  9. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Twas 18tph from 1975ish until some point in the 1980s - though I'm not sure whether they were all 6-car.

    Doubt there were actually as many passengers as there are today to handle at Moorgate - the limiting factor being low long it takes a train to disgorge passengers from a 6-car train up the single up escalator.
     
  10. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.s-r-s.org.uk/pullfree.asp%3FFilePath%3DArchiveSignals%255CDownloads%255Cbrer%26FileName%3D1972-38.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjxqPnH_LXRAhVkFMAKHQlDCCQQFggdMAE&usg=AFQjCNEr9xxFVp7yl-k9Yvoh5AyurEwA4A&sig2=CuaX_TtIWrNwzk7s4knNDg

    The linked signalling notice from 1972 shows the down bay still in place but no loops and no reference to their removal. I likewise suspect that it was a case of passive provision only.
     
  11. mr_jrt

    mr_jrt Member

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  12. Ediswan

    Ediswan Member

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  13. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    I think the idea is the turnback platform will move to the centre, thus easing throughout a little.

    Perhaps in the fullness of time this will allow a more intensive service, although I don't see Gordon Hill being a major constraint on the Hertford line, when set against bigger constraints such as Moorgate. I suspect we may see a gentle change in the future which will see more trains on the Welwyn route going to Thameslink (many of the platforms inwards from Welwyn GC can already take 8-car trains, from memory I think SDO would only be needed at Welham Green, Brookmans Park, Hadley Wood, Hornsey and Harringay). This frees up capacity on the Moorgate branch which could be filled by extra trains from the Hertford line. Something needs to give on this route, as the 6-car trains cannot be extended, and are full to bursting point in the peaks - indeed they are generally the most overcrowded services on the GN network.
     
  14. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    The new Class 717s to be introduced from 2018 will certainly provide a bit more on-train space, as well as the extra 2tph that GTR proposed in their 2018timetable consultation.
     
  15. mr_jrt

    mr_jrt Member

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    Random thought on this - as the maps show, platform 4 was built as a loop and platform 1 was built as a long bay. Does anyone know why a loop was not built? Seems a tiny bit more earthworks and the junction were all it was missing.

    Additionally, I'm presuming that having the loop/bay on the outer faces was to enable the faster services to have the higher-speed central roads, otherwise you would presume that using 2 & 3 as the turnback roads would be a better use of capacity due to reduced conflicting movements. That said, I'm presuming the map I linked to earlier has an error or two as with the points located where they're shown I can't see how you could reach platform 1 from the down line - fine when you're departing, but how on earth did they get trains into it!
     
  16. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    The 'loop' on the Down side - it's impossible to tell from the map, but I suspect that there might not have been a facing connection from the Down line, only trailing access from the Up via a single slip connection. That'd certainly be more typical for the era. I could be wrong, of course! Presumably the same general reluctance to provide facing connections explains why the bay/siding (not sure which) on the Up side didn't go right through.
     
  17. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Depends which way you look at it. Yes they will provide some extra standing space, however the flip side of the coin is that some people who would get seats on 2x313 probably won't. Some trains are already standing only inwards from stations as far out as Cuffley, which is a long time to be standing. As you say, 2tph extra (if it comes to fruition) will ease things a but, but still a drop in the ocean - I suspect there's quite a bit of peak suppressed demand on this route with the current dire peak overcrowding.

    It's basically a Tube-type route in terms of demand at the London end, with outer-suburban commuting on top of that sharing the same trains, but without Tube frequencies to match. Plus a reasonable expectation of getting a (comfortable) seat from the stations at the outer end.
     
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2017
  18. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I think I'd rather stand in relative comfort than be squashed in an aisle on a 313. Or even a middle seat.

    I know I speak for myself only, but the extra space should make nicer journeys for more people than now.

    The problem obviously is when the 717s get crush loaded in 20 years time and there's no scope to increase service frequencies further.

    If Moorgate is an obvious bottleneck, I wonder if in the future a solution will be found by turning some trains back at Finsbury Park, which will still provide a good link to London. Passing loops could even enable some faster services, which would also relieve pressure on other stations.

    Considering TfL will possibly take control (looking less likely at the moment) then I guess there's no chance that you might get some services intentionally diverted into King's Cross, but that's another option perhaps? Maybe still run by GTR and using ordinary 700s?

    I don't know about freight, and there seems to be capacity reserved for diversions, but it still seems that the Hertford Loop is relatively empty and underused normally.
     
  19. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    I can't see reversing at Finsbury Park would help. Operationally it's quite easy as it can be done via Canonbury, but where do the people go? The Piccadilly Line can't take any more people in the high peak, and the Victoria Line has little spare room either. So you'd end up with trains disgorging people at Finsbury Park who then find they have trouble continuing their journey. Running a few trains to King's Cross *may* help, but only if passengers aren't bound for the city. I suspect anyone who doesn't require Moorgate probably already uses a different route - for example if you live in Enfield then you can get the Piccadilly Line from Oakwood where at least you're guaranteed a seat.

    Yes the Hertford Line itself has spare capacity, although only for all-stations or nearly-all-stations services. No chance of putting anything faster along there, even if it could be achieved on paper there's no chance it would work reliably in real life.

    It's a shame Thameslink Programme, for all the money spent, is going to initially deliver very little relief to this situation.
     
  20. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    But the Northern City Line is a problem that isn't likely to see any major work for decades, and a lot of people either change at FPK or stay on to Highbury & Islington to change to the tube. So trains that turn (perhaps with more work in the area to facilitate somehow?) could allow for more trains to run.. so people taking them would obviously only want to go to FPK or perhaps on to King's Cross if that's better and feasible. Even if just in the peaks, as more trains go via StP.

    It's just an idea to allow more trains to run somehow, shifting a lot more people per hour, if there's a capacity issue at Moorgate - which has been mentioned as being down to the size of the platform and escalators as much as anything else. As the 717s will move more people, it's going to be very busy down there as it is.
     
  21. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    Aside from T&C infrastructure, what's stopping Moorgate from turning around 18tph+ again? Would it be the fact that the Class 717s will carry a lot more passengers that 2x313?
     
  22. mr_jrt

    mr_jrt Member

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    What was the reason the platforms tunnels at Moorgate couldn't be extended northwards to lengthen them? Even if it was only Moorgate and the surface stations that were enlarged, would it help matters if Essex Road and H&I were skipped by some longer services? It cannot be beyond the wit of man to achieve this - the Northern Line's platform tunnels were enlarged in the 1930s for longer trains, after all. Yes, these are bigger tunnels, but the principles are the same.
     
  23. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    Err, for starters there's the crossover chamber just north of the platforms.
     
  24. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Real radical pie in the sky thinking, extend southwards to join with a Southern or Southeastern Route - Cross rail 3. (OK probably too radical and expensive)

    Welwyn Garden City - Dartford anyone?
     
  25. Class377/5

    Class377/5 Established Member

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    Idea is at Gordon Hill to allow the 4tph in high peak to terminate without causing issues with the 8tph going north of there.

    Ignores the issue that Dartford is 10 cars where as the NCL is limited to 6 cars and would require a complete rebuild of the whole line (platform length plus passenger loading's) plus the fact that south of Moorgate is the Central line on the same level so the line cannot be extended south without moving the Moorgate station on the NCL further underground.

    This has been covered many times. Think it's actually a yearly debate!
     
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2017
  26. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Actaully it wasn't a serious suggestion and wasn't supposed to be taken as such. But if you are into point scoring you have won that one :)

    However if you do want something serious - we don't know how many people will transfer to other services when the some great northern services transfer over to thameslink and crossrail opens.

    I personally will have more options which I don't know which one I will take until it opens and I try them out.

    1. Change at Finsbury Park as now.
    2. Stay on to Farringdon and walk. (which may be more expensive)
    3. Change at Farringdon to there underground or crossrail for Moorgate.

    Many others will have the same options which may dampen demand for some of the Moorgate services. Not much help for the Hertford loop granted, but that combined with the other changes may make the route less crowded in the short term.
     
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2017
  27. Class377/5

    Class377/5 Established Member

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    Apologies if it seems like point scoring. And no I honestly didn't see you weren't being serious.

    As for passenger transferring figures, that's a very good question. One I cannot personally answer.

    Also many on the Moorgate line may now find Farringdon, City Thameslink or Blackfriars a better station to go to. I know of friends who walk from Liverpool Street to Blackfriars for commuting so it does happen. I think there will be a longer period from May 2018 until May 2019 where people try and figure out what is best for them. Disruption and using alternative routes will help this rocess too (yes there will always be disruptions before people ask, that cannot be 100% avoided).
     
  28. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Yep. I will by trying out the various options myself. Personally I hope that I can use direct to Farringdon but if I need to pay a premium I will still head to Moorgate.

    For interest how (m)any platforms on the Hertford loop can take 8 car trains.

    At the moment if we have disruption on the WGC line Hertford gets ditched. Is that for the greater good or can't 8 coach services stop there anyway? Totally understand it is eating paths but I don't recall even when the London - Peterborough was routed that way (non-stop Hertford - Finsbury Park) it ever running as 8 coach.

    Just wondering why in the recast Hertford- Core isn't considered. Always assumed it was platform length.
     
  29. mr_jrt

    mr_jrt Member

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    Ok, but you could in theory build a new crossover cavern north of there, then extend the current platforms into an expanded current cavern...?

    (Don't worry all this is a hypothetical presuming this were financially justified)
     
  30. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    I suspect if a big project was going to look into this it will be cross-rail 2. Currently planned from New Southgate. It is many years away but it could do something to ease the crush. Even if it is just give people from the Southern end of the route a different option. However not sure if demand / practically / risk of disruption will ever provide a spur to Gordon hill as well as new Southgate. I suspect if the need was their someone would have suggested it already as an option.
     
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