Suggestion for Metropolitan Line extension

ChiefPlanner

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Why do you believe TfL might be interested in Aylesbury? London Underground have been adamant for decades that they have no intention ever of going back to Aylesbury. TfL's territorial ambitions are exclusively for routes which generate lots of cash, so they greedily take over services to Chingford and Reading. Pre-Covid off-peak traffic to/from Aylesbury was so minimal that Chiltern found two coach toy trains were sufficient.

Quite - 4 TPH peak and 2 TPH class 341 under the guise of Crossrail 1 was way too much "service" north of Amersham (8 cars planned) , as was 8 cars all day to Chesham !

(Oh - hang on ....)

Seriously - the original XR plan was 12 Reading line and 12 "Met" (peak) , - but it became obvious that the latter was a bit overserved in planning terms , so it was reduced to 10 tph. Not that XR wold have sparked off a huge building boom in the Green Belt / AONB etc .....north of Amersham in any case.

Always thought that had XR1 come off , then pushing the Met through to Watford Junction would have given the latter route a role (been stripped bare of traffic otherwise) - and some planning was done on that basis. We even ran class 33 hauled inspection trains to both Chesham and Watford Met to explain the options to stakeholders etc. Still think the Watford extension would make a lot of sense - well pre Covid it would have,
 
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A S Leib

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Quite - 4 TPH peak and 2 TPH class 341 under the guise of Crossrail 1 was way too much "service" north of Amersham (8 cars planned) , as was 8 cars all day to Chesham !

(Oh - hang on ....)

Seriously - the original XR plan was 12 Reading line and 12 "Met" (peak) , - but it became obvious that the latter was a bit overserved in planning terms , so it was reduced to 10 tph. Not that XR wold have sparked off a huge building boom in the Green Belt / AONB etc .....north of Amersham in any case.

Always thought that had XR1 come off , then pushing the Met through to Watford Junction would have given the latter route a role (been stripped bare of traffic otherwise) - and some planning was done on that basis. We even ran class 33 hauled inspection trains to both Chesham and Watford Met to explain the options to stakeholders etc. Still think the Watford extension would make a lot of sense - well pre Covid it would have,
Do you think that the Aylesbury branch of East West Rail - if it's built - would weaken the case for the Croxley Rail Link at all? I'm not saying that there isn't any demand from Aylesbury, Amersham, Chesham etc. to get to Watford itself, but unless HS2 results in the services from both being quite similar I'd imagine most longer-distance passengers young through Milton Keynes instead.
 

stuu

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Do you think that the Aylesbury branch of East West Rail - if it's built - would weaken the case for the Croxley Rail Link at all? I'm not saying that there isn't any demand from Aylesbury, Amersham, Chesham etc. to get to Watford itself, but unless HS2 results in the services from both being quite similar I'd imagine most longer-distance passengers young through Milton Keynes instead.
Not at all. The Croxley link was about giving better access to Watford from North west London. Watford is the major local centre for the area north and west of ~Wembley
 

ChiefPlanner

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Not at all. The Croxley link was about giving better access to Watford from North west London. Watford is the major local centre for the area north and west of ~Wembley

Agreed - note also the traffic for Aylesbury to London was affected by the A41 improvement , towards Tring , and by service enhancements towards Euston and better parking arrangements at the latter making a much better (quicker) journey to London.

Traffic Amersham etc to Watford pretty low I suspect.
 

NorthKent1989

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It just occurred to me that TfL might still be holding a torch for Aylesbury, and they didn't want to create more branches of Crossrail because they are waiting until demand on the Chiltern picks up and they can then justify the tunnel from Old Oak to Neasden Junction. Whether this is true or not (and maybe someone here knows for sure), I am sure that if someone else paid to electrify (fourth rail) Amersham to Aylesbury tomorrow and asked TfL if they want it, TfL would not turn their nose up at it, otherwise it would not have been included in the Crossrail plan for so many years.

As I understand it, any CrossRail train to Aylesbury has been binned since the 1990s, however there has been discussion on CrossRail being extended to Tring but that too has been binned since the early 2010s
 

Fenchurch SP

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An easy way to connect c2c with the Elizabeth line would be to send more c2c trains through Stratford. Would be easier if Crossrail had been built with an underground station at Stratford and came to the surface east of the junction.
 

ChiefPlanner

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As I understand it, any CrossRail train to Aylesbury has been binned since the 1990s, however there has been discussion on CrossRail being extended to Tring but that too has been binned since the early 2010s

The concept of binning Aylesbury and switching onto the "LNW" by a tunnel under Kensal Green cemetary , and joining onto the slow lines at what is now the still extant TMD at Willesden was sketched out informally circa 1994 when Crossail 1 was under another threat , - informally - and no further north than MK for a total of 6 tph. It washed it's face then.

As did options for valuable links onto the LT&S.

"The past is a different country" - Canary Wharf for example was not what it is today.
 

mr_jrt

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If we're being fanciful, divert the Met from Aldgate to Upminster. H&C stays as-is to Barking. Divert the District up a new ramp at Tower Hill and convert the DLR to Poplar. New route from there to Canning Town OR Custom House (as a) the DLR needs that bit, and b) heavy rail couldn't negotiate the curvature), thence new route to Connaught Road and up the disused alignment to Beckton, then new route across to Dagenham and along to Grays alongside the NR route. Either build a new depot on the route, or convert Upminster to Grays to 4th rail (or dual electrify it) for depot access. Makes much better use of the higher-capacity S8s.
 

Railwaysceptic

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An easy way to connect c2c with the Elizabeth line would be to send more c2c trains through Stratford.
Track capacity Monday to Friday makes that anything but easy. I'm sure that's why it's done only at weekends when there's track work between Barking and Fenchurch Street. The significant aspect of those occasional weekend diversions is the number of people boarding/alighting at Stratford. If it were feasible to make that a regular seven day a week service, it would probably be very busy.
 

Sad Sprinter

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I was thinking why Abbey Wood was chosen as a terminus on Crossrail when I went on it last. I would have thought leaving South London alone and continuing east from Canary Wharf to Barking would have been a better shout, and onto C2c.
 

NorthKent1989

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I was thinking why Abbey Wood was chosen as a terminus on Crossrail when I went on it last. I would have thought leaving South London alone and continuing east from Canary Wharf to Barking would have been a better shout, and onto C2c.

CrossRail to Abbey Wood, relieves not just the Jubilee line at North Greenwich but also the North Kent line which is a busy route, but I am surprised that there were no plans to include the LTS line in CrossRail.
 

PeterC

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Agreed - note also the traffic for Aylesbury to London was affected by the A41 improvement , towards Tring , and by service enhancements towards Euston and better parking arrangements at the latter making a much better (quicker) journey to London.

Traffic Amersham etc to Watford pretty low I suspect.
Amersham and Chesham tend to look towards Wycombe but parts of their hinterlands look more towards Watford. Road traffic into Watford is horrendous in the morning peak.
 

ChiefPlanner

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Amersham and Chesham tend to look towards Wycombe but parts of their hinterlands look more towards Watford. Road traffic into Watford is horrendous in the morning peak.

Agreed Watford congestion is horrendous - particularly around the Croxley link corridor where the hospital site is being redeveloped as a new hospital , to the absolute hatred of most of West Herts.

A simple Amersham - Watford Junction via the Ricky curve would be easy enough to arrange , say hourly. Were the sensible option be arranged. No chance I suspect.
 

PeterC

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Agreed Watford congestion is horrendous - particularly around the Croxley link corridor where the hospital site is being redeveloped as a new hospital , to the absolute hatred of most of West Herts.

A simple Amersham - Watford Junction via the Ricky curve would be easy enough to arrange , say hourly. Were the sensible option be arranged. No chance I suspect.
Most traffic would probably be from Ricky but even changing at Moor Park would be an improvement on the bus or driving in the rush hour.
 

Alfie1014

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Track capacity Monday to Friday makes that anything but easy. I'm sure that's why it's done only at weekends when there's track work between Barking and Fenchurch Street. The significant aspect of those occasional weekend diversions is the number of people boarding/alighting at Stratford. If it were feasible to make that a regular seven day a week service, it would probably be very busy.
When I was the Service Planning Manager on the LTS in the early 1990s I worked with the Crossrail team on service options to operate through services, (indeed this was the the first time I met Chief Planner!). As has been mentioned the flat junction(s) at Forest Gate and to a lesser extent Woodgrange Park were major constraints, especially so in the peak. Grade separation would have been very expensive and difficult (a tunnelled option would have been pretty close to where HS1 runs now). At this time Crossrail didn’t have an Abbey Wood branch so all services would have emerged at Stratford and in the peaks it was thought that all services would have to run down the E Lines to Gidea Park and Shenfield, so only being able to provide a very limited, if any at all, number of through peak trains to/from the LTS was commercially and operationally very undesirable. Somewhere I thought I’d kept copies of the draft timetable developed but from memory the first post morning peak services off the LTS wouldn’t have got into the central core until well after 10:00 and the last departure back would have been 15:30 or so. That said berthing Crossrail trains overnight at Shoeburyness (with services starting up at around 05:00 until about 06:00) and then back again late evening did help with developing a stabling strategy. So LTS trains would only run through from about 05:00-06:00, the between the peaks from about 09:30-15:30 and again after 19:00 was deemed too big a compromise and the scheme was not further developed.

Additionally in terms of rolling stock almost all of the LTS stock would have to have been retained to provide the peak service with much less off peak and weekend use further worsening the overall business case and making the eventual fleet replacement on the LTS even more difficult to justify.



This is all from my memory over 30 years ago so Chief Planner feel happy to correct any mis remembering on my part.
 

ChiefPlanner

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When I was the Service Planning Manager on the LTS in the early 1990s I worked with the Crossrail team on service options to operate through services, (indeed this was the the first time I met Chief Planner!). As has been mentioned the flat junction(s) at Forest Gate and to a lesser extent Woodgrange Park were major constraints, especially so in the peak. Grade separation would have been very expensive and difficult (a tunnelled option would have been pretty close to where HS1 runs now). At this time Crossrail didn’t have an Abbey Wood branch so all services would have emerged at Stratford and in the peaks it was thought that all services would have to run down the E Lines to Gidea Park and Shenfield, so only being able to provide a very limited, if any at all, number of through peak trains to/from the LTS was commercially and operationally very undesirable. Somewhere I thought I’d kept copies of the draft timetable developed but from memory the first post morning peak services off the LTS wouldn’t have got into the central core until well after 10:00 and the last departure back would have been 15:30 or so. That said berthing Crossrail trains overnight at Shoeburyness (with services starting up at around 05:00 until about 06:00) and then back again late evening did help with developing a stabling strategy. So LTS trains would only run through from about 05:00-06:00, the between the peaks from about 09:30-15:30 and again after 19:00 was deemed too big a compromise and the scheme was not further developed.

Additionally in terms of rolling stock almost all of the LTS stock would have to have been retained to provide the peak service with much less off peak and weekend use further worsening the overall business case and making the eventual fleet replacement on the LTS even more difficult to justify.



This is all from my memory over 30 years ago so Chief Planner feel happy to correct any mis remembering on my part.

Your memory certainly has not failed you ! - pretty much spot on in all aspects - and there would probably have been a need to change drivers at Barking - or to train substantial numbers of LT&S staff on the shiny new class 341's. I suspect it would have developed some substantial off peak traffics having broken the straight jacket of "only" going to Fenchurch St , it would have been very difficult to market this to a non railway minded populace.

The real problem was getting over the flat junction onto the "E" lines at Forest Gate Junction (I spent some antisocial shifts there in observing operations) , there were bitter comments from freight in particular as they needed in those far off days to send electric services (largely of course from Tilbury and to a lesser extent the Ripple Lane area) , via Forest Gate , Stratford and the North London line as the Gospel Oak line was not wired and of course a pretty basic and run down railway. (long signal sections and poor track quality) - there had been space in the area country side of the junction to consider grade seperation , but it had been developed in the 1970's with housing almost up to the boundary , so any future development was completely out of the question. (ironically some of the residents were petitioners against the original Bill , they would have been dismayed to potentially lose their homes , and rightly so)

Tying part of Crossrall 1 down the GE Southend line was another option , - but "not favoured" - as access to Crossrail was available at Stratford and Liverpool St main.

Shenfield remains the end of the line !
 

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