Last call for the Charing Cross to Gillingham via Woolwich semi fasts

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by NorthKent1989, 17 May 2018.

  1. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    Absolutely, they can’t go on with this for much longer.
     
  2. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    I doubt Westfield will ever go to Lewisham let alone in the early 2020s when the croydon project will still take years to complete and they wont want another centre so close either.
     
  3. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    True, but there are plans to replace the current shopping centre at some point in the future, Lewisham’s transformation is pretty amazing.
     
  4. Daz28

    Daz28 Member

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    Lewisham Council regularly publish plans and dreams about how they are going to transform the place. They have always under delivered. I don’t think Lewisham will ever be a significant destination. My observation of the morning rush is that about 5% of the London bound passengers disembark at Lewisham, but nearly all of them head straight to the DLR. The flow of pedestrians outside the station is very much towards the station and therefore out of Lewisham. The so-called transformation of Lewisham is the building of yet more high density housing for people who want an easy commute to Docklands and a variety of London terminals.
     
  5. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Daz pretty much summed it up there perfectly. If they do refurb the shopping centre the it will only be to support those who live in the town as i can't see it attracting anyone from our of town unlike the central plans
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 10 Jun 2018
  6. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    Ill just leave this here:
     

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  7. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    Three trains cancelled, things weren’t even this bad under Connex, this leaves Higham with no service for nearly three hours.
     
  8. youngpete

    youngpete Member

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    Back in the 1950s they ran via Maze Hill and carried the headcode 82. They were operated by 2HAL units and invariably picked up an additional unit at Strood from Maidstone West. They were all stations Gillingham to Strood and then Gravesend, Dartford, Woolwich Arsenal and then London Bridge, Waterloo and Charing Cross. As the Kent Coast electrification became nearer both versions of the 2HAP units arrived on the service and when the Kent Coast electrification happened they were extended from Gillingham to run all stations to Ramsgate. Rochester to CX took 60 minutes.
     
  9. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    Welcome to the forum :)

    They started adding stops from the 70s onwards I think, Lewisham was an occasional stop, Abbey Wood was added in the 70s to serve the nearby new town of Thamesmead and Blackheath in the early 80s was added, Charlton was then added in the early/mid 90s with Greenhithe being the last new stop added in 1998.

    All in all only roughly ten minutes was added to journey times, which is fair enough since the stations added were of some functional importance (not in the snobby sense)

    I don’t think I will give up on the idea that the fasts could return one day especially since Thameslink and RailPlan 2020 in particular has all but failed, Thameslink is fixable but it’ll be pretty much redundant once a Crossrail arrives at Abbey Wood.
     
  10. colchesterken

    colchesterken Member

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    I used to get this train for work commitments from time to time in the 60s
    Any idea how long it took for the trip from Charing Cross to Ramsgate , they stopped at all stations from Strood
     
  11. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    I wonder but did trains from the Woolwich line ever make it down as far as Tonbridge via the Medway Valley in the distant past?

    In the upcoming age of Crossrail it might be useful have a service from Tonbridge, calling at Maidstone West, Strood, Higham, Gravesend, Greenhithe, Dartford, Abbey Wood, Woolwich A, Charlton then with via Lewisham to Charing Cross or via Greenwich to Cannon Street.

    I have no idea how long it took but I imagine that it was slower than going via the Bromley line
     
    Last edited: 15 Jun 2018
  12. Barn

    Barn Established Member

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    One annoying thing about the 2022 specification is that the trains that are permitted (but not required) to start back from Maidstone West also have to call at Woolwich Dockyard and are thus limited to 8 cars. So in peak time, if you start too far back, you run the risk of overcrowding the service. Hopefully, as you suggest, Crossrail will be the big draw and thus perhaps these services are effetively two services in one: to take Kent passengers to Abbey Wood and to take SE London passengers to London Bridge.
     
  13. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    It’s ridiculous really, and not taking into account that Woolwich Crossrail will most likely take passengers away from Dockyard, I can understand a stop at Plumstead more than Dockyard, 12 coaches is needed on the line, the Crossrail effect hasn’t begun yet so I can see big changes in the coming years to how the South Eastern franchise will operate the Dartford routes.

    Intestingly regarding the decision to axe CX trains from 2022 has been raised, a friend of mine who lives in Charlton and uses the line regularly believes that this could be challenged and it’s not the first time the issue has been raised either and usually the West End commuters usually have the loudest voice in that regard, I hope for their sake they’re correct and it can be challenged this time
     
  14. Barn

    Barn Established Member

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    It is an annoying loss. The "via Lewisham" route is quite a bit slower than the "via Greenwich" route, and once stops are added at St Johns and New Cross, there won't really be any point in taking those trains. One might as well just wait for the next train.
     
  15. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    Another bizarre decision that I hope can some how be reversed.

    I can understand stopping at New Cross since it provides a TfL interchange (A commuter from Blackheath can change at NX for an Overground line train to Whitechapel for Crossrail for instance) but St. John’s is a station that really should have been closed years ago.

    I think that Woolwich Dockyard and St. John’s should only be peak hour only stations, the numbers may not justify a full closure but since you can’t host 12 car coaches at either station then this should be the case.

    My Charlton friend has said that the MP is going to question the decision since there is a huge demand for the West End.

    As for Crossrail @Barn yes I think that the demand will be pretty high From day one, it’s after all its the Abbey Wood branch that will have trains to Heathrow and Reading direct, Crossrail will revolutionise travel in SE London and Kent, cannot wait for it to open
     
  16. Daz28

    Daz28 Member

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    We’ve found something we agree on!

    Even in the peaks, the patronage at St Johns is tiny, 733k per annum in Zone 2 is nothing. 12 min walk to Lewisham, half that to the DLR at Elverson Road, and very frequent bus services nearby to Lewisham or New Cross. No disabled access, awkward access arrangements, no car parking. It doesn’t have a lot going for it. Many a train stops there with nobody getting on or off.
     
  17. evergreenadam

    evergreenadam Member

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    If some trains missed out St John’s but continued to call at New Cross would that cause a problem with pathing?
     
  18. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    Crikey I think we have found common ground :)

    It’s stupidly close to Lewisham and Elverson Road, the only reason and small a reason it may be, that St. John’s might be justified in being kept open is that it’s near Lewisham & Southwark College Campus, even then I doubt even students know of its existence since the prospectus a few years back didn’t even point out St. John’s as it’s nearest station! That honour went to Lewisham, New Cross and Elverson Road to of which are a bus ride away.

    Woolwich Dockyard with all the homes being built may be justified in staying open but with Woolwich Crossrail down the road and dare I say it North Greenwich for the Jubilee line I wonder if Dockyard itself may soon find itself redundant.

    But I 100% agree with you on St. John’s it’s basically a shack and it’s an awkwardly placed station too.
     
  19. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    I think the future of the line overall is kind of along the lines of what @Barn said, trains going far out Medway, Maidstone and hopefully Tonbridge with fast service patterns up to Abbey Wood, then skip stop to London Bridge, calling only at major stations.
     
  20. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    Just been reviewing the SE ITT for all that talk about reducing conflicting around the Lewisham Junction area the Bexleyheath line will have 4tph to CX, yet the North Kent line will be stuck with all CS trains, surely by 2022 you could simply swap one of the CX trains for a CS train? Since there will still be a conflicting moves at Lewisham 4tph anyway?

    In truth The Sidcup line which has less growth than north of Bexley borough should have 4tph, 2tph to Victoria and 2tph to CS avoiding Lewisham of course.

    I’m sure the Blackheath Society and the Charlton lobby will be writing anger letters nearer the time....
    :)
     
  21. 387star

    387star On Moderation

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    Now this service is reliable is it still.hated ?
     
  22. Dmthomson

    Dmthomson Member

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    I liked the idea from the start but I have noticed some benefits for us between Deptford-Westcombe Park since Thameslink started like when SE applies a leaf fall timetable our trains are not cut back to every 30 minutes but 10/20 minutes to London Bridge. I've found the service useful.
     
  23. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    The best case scenario for this service is if they routed via Lewisham and restore the semi fast pattern, a stopping service to Medway is too long
     
  24. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    And make it a 12 car service then by missing out Woolwich Dockyard etc

    (Yes I am aware that there are stations north of the river that can only take 8 car trains, but send a different service to them!)
     
  25. Barn

    Barn Established Member

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    Why via Lewisham? I'm pretty sure that the route via Lewisham takes longer than via Greenwich even if you call at all four Greenwich line stations.

    It does feel instinctively that the calls at Stone Crossing, Swanscombe and Northfleet are on the wrong service and should be on Gravesend terminators rather than slowing down services heading out to Medway, but I am sure that there are pathing reasons for that. Or it might be that those stations see eastbound commuting towards Medway and the idea is to offer a direct service.

    Similarly Slade Green feels overserved, but that is likely to be for depot access. (Do SE drivers drive some TL services?).
     
  26. Barn

    Barn Established Member

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    The TL service doesn't call at Woolwich Dockyard.
     
  27. hkstudent

    hkstudent Member

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    Via Lewisham would have the issue reliability at Lewisham junction, which has been widely critised. (Of course, via New Cross + Bexleyheath Line is the diversary route for TL service when North Kent Line is not avaialble)

    The stopping at Slade Green is for the timing issue, to reduce the possible conflict with trains from Bexleyheath (BXH) and Sidcup (SID) lines to Dartford or any rounder trains between the three lines (NKL, BXH, SID lines).

    I think the use of 8-car is more likely due to the shortage of 12-car trains on TL.
    And of course, TL trains get overcrowded at AM peak when they reach Abbey Wood.
     
  28. SlimJim1694

    SlimJim1694 Member

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    Not no more. In 319 days vic and orpy blokes worked them. In 700 days just orpy. Been totally Thameslink drivers since december. 700s dont go on Slade green depot anyway.
     
  29. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    Thameslink going via Lewisham would mean that the Greenwich line can still keep 6tph, just restore the 2tph to Cannon Street and there would be no need for calls at St. John’s or New Cross

    The CX to Dartford via Woolwich service should be extended to Gravesend and call at the intermediate stations, there should be more trains from this area to Abbey Wood for CrossRail anyway

    Slade Green and Plumstead don’t need 8tph off peak
     
  30. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Where are the extra 2 paths to CST going to come from?
    The spare via St Johns paths will be going to future Maidstone/Ashford TL services as they will be on the slows at that point so they can diverge at Surrey Canal Junction to join the Thameslink tracks.

    To get a share of the revenue the TL services need to call at those stations. By providing Abbey Wood - Farringdon alternative to Crossrail it creates some interesting opportunities for the TOC and DfT...
     

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