Rail track between New Beckenham and Beckenham Junction stations

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Petrov

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There is a section of rail track between New Beckenham and Beckenham Junction stations in south east London. The track is probably about 100 metres from a flat I'm thinking about buying. The track is at the back of the block of flats and can be seen from one of the bedrooms window, so I am really concerned that I would be disturbed by the sound of passing trains. I expressed my concern to the estate agency and they told me that the track is a maintenance track and that it is rarely used by trains. I wonder if anyone here could confirm that's correct or direct me to where I could get information about the current and future use of that section of track.

Thanks
 
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NSE

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It sounds like the connecting curve between the Mid Kent Line and the Chatham Mainline. It’s not quite a maintenance track, but a lightly used curve between the two lines. During normal times there is only one (maybe two) booked passenger trains a day over it, but you will have some empty workings or freight trains on occasion. During engineering works trains are diverted that way and for those certain weekends it can be used quite intensively.
 

Ianno87

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I used to live backing onto the junction at New Beckenham, and traffic via the curve is very limited.

I wouldn’t worry about it.

Thing noisiest that ever came through was a diesel hauled charter train One day. That was about it.
 

NSE

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Also, I can’t see it changing in the future. Without going into detail, the two lines it connects are intensively used in their own right and bringing that curve to regular use would cost a lot of money for no real gain. So I wouldn’t worry about the future.
 

Islineclear3_1

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We've had similar topics before.

Beckenham Junction is on the Chatham main-line and is busy. Similarly, New Beckenham on the Hayes line which is quite busy. The section of track you are referring to is not heavily used but is used for empty stock working and trains on diversion. You will still hear the trains on the Chatham main-line or Hayes line if the conditions are right - e.g. prevailing wind, at night etc. Then of course, there might be the odd engineering train. I used to live just up the road from the area

If you think this is going to be a problem, don't buy a flat near a railway line.

Also, don't forget, there is quite a lot of road traffic in the area...
 

Watershed

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Also consider that, every so often, there will be engineering works that happen on the line. They will probably be at night and they will probably be very noisy and bright.

But other than that, the traffic on that particular chord is unlikely to be something that significantly disturbes most people.
 

ChiefPlanner

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NSE experimented with an all day , hourly , service back in the day - logic being to link stations Lewisham to the shopping delights of Bromley) - it did not last longer than a couple of timetable periods. Good idea though.
 

alistairlees

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Diversions over this line happen from time to time:
- at weekends / bank holidays (probably three or four weekends a year)
- for (very) late evening services

When the weekend ones happen trains will be fairly frequent - one train will be waiting for another going in the opposite direction to clear the single line, for instance - but they are very slow and won't make that much noise.

Overall I wouldn't worry.

It's good proof though that you can't rely on anything that estate agents tell you.
 

Horizon22

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It's a very rarely used curve of track that is primarily used only in service disruption on the Hayes line (i.e when trains can't terminate at Hayes, and even then they generally terminate at Clock House). However you're probably more likely to hear mainline trains passing through if you're that close to Beckenham Junction anyway, but it shouldn't be too loud.

If the Bakerloo line extension plans come to fruition (unlikely to happen this decade now apparently), there is an intention for it to be used more often for some Bakerloo line terminators if TfL take over the Hayes line as intended.
 

30907

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It is there because it was the original route to Bromley in 1858 or so. Unless the Bakerloo extension mentioned by Horizon22 comes to pass in N years, the basic pattern of service is unlikely to change. Apart from the brief period mentioned by ChiefPlanner there haven't been more than a couple of trains a day since 1938! At the moment the only booked train is at 0519 - there used to be one late at night going the other way.

I also grew up in Beckenham and as islineclear3_1 says (and a quick look on Rightmove confirms) you might get noise from the busier railways slightly further away.

That said, most people find that routine train noise doesn't disturb them - it's irregular workings that they notice.
 

whoosh

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Yes it could end up being used by a fair proportion (1 in 3?) Bakerloo trains if the link from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham ever gets built.
Despite the increase in noise if that happens, Beckenham will then be on the tube map and the flat's value will go up.

As it is at the moment there is nothing like a frequent service on that bit of track - couple of trains a day at the most in normal circumstances.
 

Dan17H

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The Beckenham Spur, there's also a siding there too, like others have said it's fairly quiet. You may get the odd train sat waiting there there to proceed out either end once clear.
 

swt_passenger

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The Beckenham Spur, there's also a siding there too, like others have said it's fairly quiet. You may get the odd train sat waiting there there to proceed out either end once clear.
Might be worth noting that although at a quick glance out the window, or on a satellite view, it might be mistaken for a normal two track railway, as you say one track of the two is quite a long siding - so it wont ever have ”two way traffic”.

Would there have been a particular justification for such a long siding, accessed from the New Beckenham end?
 

yorksrob

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Might be worth noting that although at a quick glance out the window, or on a satellite view, it might be mistaken for a normal two track railway, as you say one track of the two is quite a long siding - so it wont ever have ”two way traffic”.

Would there have been a particular justification for such a long siding, accessed from the New Beckenham end?

Engineer's siding ?
 

Ianno87

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Might be worth noting that although at a quick glance out the window, or on a satellite view, it might be mistaken for a normal two track railway, as you say one track of the two is quite a long siding - so it wont ever have ”two way traffic”.

Would there have been a particular justification for such a long siding, accessed from the New Beckenham end?

Engineer's siding ?

Officially designated the "Networker Siding", I think put in for stabling capacity, but it is rarely if ever used to stable a train overnight due to vandalism risk.

Seems to get very occasional use during disruption (e.g. turning back a late Hayes train or hiding something out of the way), but definitely use is few and far between.
 

Nutfields

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My father lived in an apartment backing onto the spur at the point where it joined the Hayes Line. Whilst all trains passing could be heard, it was noticeably noisier when the spur was used but this was very rare. When I visited on a Saturday it was always obvious when there were detours from the mainline to Charing Cross as it was noisier.
 

30907

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Engineer's siding ?
Berthing. Before that there was a siding accessed from P4 at the Junction and one off the Up Hayes just north of the bridge under the Chatham main line. That's well before the spur was singled.
 

yorksrob

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Officially designated the "Networker Siding", I think put in for stabling capacity, but it is rarely if ever used to stable a train overnight due to vandalism risk.

Seems to get very occasional use during disruption (e.g. turning back a late Hayes train or hiding something out of the way), but definitely use is few and far between.

Berthing. Before that there was a siding accessed from P4 at the Junction and one off the Up Hayes just north of the bridge under the Chatham main line. That's well before the spur was singled.

Ah, cheers.
 

BluePenguin

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Also, I can’t see it changing in the future. Without going into detail, the two lines it connects are intensively used in their own right and bringing that curve to regular use would cost a lot of money for no real gain. So I wouldn’t worry about the future.
Admittedly the gain would be to one day provide a service between Bromley South and Charing Cross
 

leytongabriel

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might be worth just hanging out there on a day with a sw wind ( the most common) to see how the sound carries from the other lines
 

NSE

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Admittedly the gain would be to one day provide a service between Bromley South and Charing Cross
True. I always thought using the bay platform at Beckenham Junction could make a nice terminus for Charing Cross-Lewisham-Beckenham Junction
 

Ianno87

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True. I always thought using the bay platform at Beckenham Junction could make a nice terminus for Charing Cross-Lewisham-Beckenham Junction

Although if you had the capacity at Charing Cross, the extra frequency to all of the stations Clock House to Hayes (inclusive) would be more beneficial than a service only to Beckenham Junction.
 

30907

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Admittedly the gain would be to one day provide a service between Bromley South and Charing Cross
Was tried, see post #8, but Victoria-Orpington went to 4tph instead.
From Bromley S, Charing Cross is probably quickest (though not as cheap) via Victoria and tube :)
 

N/100

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It sounds like the connecting curve between the Mid Kent Line and the Chatham Mainline. It’s not quite a maintenance track, but a lightly used curve between the two lines. During normal times there is only one (maybe two) booked passenger trains a day over it, but you will have some empty workings or freight trains on occasion. During engineering works trains are diverted that way and for those certain weekends it can be used quite intensively.

As luck would have it, the said intensive use takes place on 2 and 3 April so maybe that is a good time to visit.
 

jfisher21

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Most trains are diverted to Victoria on 2 and 3 April, but there is a half hourly service in each direction over the curve
 

Joe Paxton

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NSE experimented with an all day , hourly , service back in the day - logic being to link stations Lewisham to the shopping delights of Bromley) - it did not last longer than a couple of timetable periods. Good idea though.

My vague recollection is that it was a Connex experiment. (I guess there could have been two distinct attempts though this does seem unlikely.)
 

Jim Jehosofat

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Used it regularly in the early 70's on the staff train to and from Lewisham and Beckenham Jn. The HQ of the South Eastern Division was in Albemarle Road.
 

PeterY

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April 2nd and 3rd. That'll be a good chance for track basher to get the curve in. Luckily I've already done it . :D
 
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