Will St Pancras Thameslink cope?

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williamn

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Just come out of the St Pancras Thameslink / FCC platforms this morning. 2 trains had arrived at once and passengers were 10 deep at the barriers trying to get out. Is this station going to cope once there's a train arriving every 2 minutes?
 
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Mike395

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The signalling issues today further north haven't helped - but I do think they'll need to implement a tidal flow on the FCC gateline to a certain extent once there are trains running every 2-3 minutes :) (at the moment, the gates always seem to be set to 50/50 in/out)
 

PhilipW

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Good question. "Who knows" is probably the only answer there is.

I personally would have thought it better to have been built as a 4 platform station
- two southbound so that trains could arrive from Midland and GN lines at the same time with the extra time being spent dwelling at the platforms awaiting departure rather than waiting in the tunnel before the junction.
- two northbound again with one platform for Midland and one for GN. I concede the benefit would be less but it have the advantage of splitting up the waiting passengers.

But that is not to be and obviously it won't happen. There are going to be an awaful lot of people of people using the stauion. We should have thought big.

.... back to my dreams ....
 

Nym

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Someone on here knows why it is only a two platform station, and it's mainly due to lack of space underground to put it, any wider would push it further North and it would miss the junction for the GN Lines.
 

swt_passenger

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I think the theory is that the main constraint on station position is the tunnel portal at the south end, that defines where the junction has to end. Therefore, the station has to move north at least by the distance of the junction, plus the length needed for the outer tracks to get round the back of what would probably be island platforms.

But other questions arise. In the final Thameslink peak frequency, will the increase in passengers alighting really be pro rata to the train frequency? With Crossrail, will it still be such a good interchange, or might huge numbers go elsewhere, such as Farringdon? Will passengers from the GN get off at St P LL, or will they stick with the remaining trains that terminate at Kings Cross?

Making the gateline mainly in or out on a tidal basis will help, but maybe there is space to enlarge it?

I suspect the platforms themselves are already large enough to cope with major increases in numbers. They are significantly larger than most single faced through platforms already.
 

ChiefPlanner

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From observation , the FCC core is now almost regarded as a cross London connecting route like the tube network

Thats when the service operates , this mornings meltdown would have resulted in very severe crush loading on the few trains that ran , causing a spike in arrivals and traffic through the gateline.
 

asylumxl

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From observation , the FCC core is now almost regarded as a cross London connecting route like the tube network

Thats when the service operates , this mornings meltdown would have resulted in very severe crush loading on the few trains that ran , causing a spike in arrivals and traffic through the gateline.
This was true from experience :lol:
 

Bald Rick

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Someone on here knows why it is only a two platform station, and it's mainly due to lack of space underground to put it, any wider would push it further North and it would miss the junction for the GN Lines.
Yes that's me.

Any junction would have to be off the curve at the south end, shifting the whole station at least 150 metres further north and uphill, meaning it would not be possible to get to the ECML before the Holloway flyover. The low level station would then be well outside the footprint of St Pancras and be much more difficult to construct being right across the throat, all approach tracks and the Grand Union Canal. Plus everyone would have an extra minute or two walk to the tube, which would exercise them even more than it does now (pun intended).

To answer the original question, yes it will. The constraint is the uphill capacity of the escalators and stairs, not the barriers.
 

causton

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Find room between Farringdon and King's Cross to build a deeper tunnel for the Midland trains, following the existing route but at a lower depth like the Northern City Line. Upper platforms for the GN routes, lower platforms for Midland mainline which would re-emerge north of St Pancras somewhere...

...oh, this isn't a fantasy? :(
 

Minstral25

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I genuinely hope not but my view is No - all trains from the GE and Bedford lines emptying to a single platform and in reverse in the evening with huge queues waiting for the right train.

It is very likely that the whole Thameslink Core will suffer from overcrowded platforms and not just St Pancras - too many destinations for single platforms with people queuing waiting for their train to come through. London Bridge in particular is potentially a nightmare as platform 5 is often seriously overcrowded now before all the extra routes come in. Hopefully the new design will allow plenty of waiting area.
 

John55

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I genuinely hope not but my view is No - all trains from the GE and Bedford lines emptying to a single platform and in reverse in the evening with huge queues waiting for the right train.

It is very likely that the whole Thameslink Core will suffer from overcrowded platforms and not just St Pancras - too many destinations for single platforms with people queuing waiting for their train to come through. London Bridge in particular is potentially a nightmare as platform 5 is often seriously overcrowded now before all the extra routes come in. Hopefully the new design will allow plenty of waiting area.
I take it you don't look oer at platform 4 then.
 

caliwag

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I seem to recall that the proximity of the Fleet sewer was a serious constraint...it is a huge sewer being the former Fleet river and often runs pretty near full bore.
 

Minstral25

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I take it you don't look oer at platform 4 then.
Good point - but at least platform 4 services (i.e. ex-Charing Cross) will remain split over two platforms. Just think about the extra services on the Thameslink Island platform

The Thameslink services will still include the 4 trains per hour Brighton trains, plus 4 trains per hour on the Redhill route (current 2 from the main shed) and 4 trains per hour on the Caterham route (also current 2 from the main shed) plus in the peaks 2 per hour each to East Grinstead (From main shed), Tunbridge Wells (new) and Ashford (new). 18 very busy trains per hour all on one platform to a variety of destinations.

And then on the same island platform - 18 trains per hour through the core to Bedford, Peterborough, Cambridge etc!! I hope I'm wrong but in the words of the Kaiser Chiefs "I predict a riot"
 

A-driver

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I think that what will be more interesting to see will be how many delays are caused by missed paths-a train every 2 mins leaves very little margin for error-very often GN trains get delayed by a few mins by mainliners at places like Peterborough, fletton, cambridge branch junction, Woolmer green etc. that could easily cause a missed path into the core and cause much more serious disruption than it would just going into a terminal. Combine that with similar hold ups on the midland side and things could get interesting.
 

Tommy3000

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It is very likely that the whole Thameslink Core will suffer from overcrowded platforms and not just St Pancras - too many destinations for single platforms with people queuing waiting for their train to come through. London Bridge in particular is potentially a nightmare as platform 5 is often seriously overcrowded now before all the extra routes come in. Hopefully the new design will allow plenty of waiting area.
I wonder how Blackfriars will cope with the Sutton loop interchange in the long run.

NR projects the route to Herne Hill will be critically overcrowded by 2025 or something (someone should tell them it already is on some peak services), so you'll have totally rammed 8-car trains emptying out at Blackfriars. The vast majority of passengers will move over to the northbound platform and get on the very next train as they probably won't be going further north than St. Pancras. I can imagine the look of dread on the face of commuters from London Bridge when they see hundreds of people waiting to board their already busy train.
 

John55

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Good point - but at least platform 4 services (i.e. ex-Charing Cross) will remain split over two platforms. Just think about the extra services on the Thameslink Island platform

The Thameslink services will still include the 4 trains per hour Brighton trains, plus 4 trains per hour on the Redhill route (current 2 from the main shed) and 4 trains per hour on the Caterham route (also current 2 from the main shed) plus in the peaks 2 per hour each to East Grinstead (From main shed), Tunbridge Wells (new) and Ashford (new). 18 very busy trains per hour all on one platform to a variety of destinations.

And then on the same island platform - 18 trains per hour through the core to Bedford, Peterborough, Cambridge etc!! I hope I'm wrong but in the words of the Kaiser Chiefs "I predict a riot"
When complete Thameslink will have 5 stations in "Central London" including LB, Blackfriars, City T/L, Farringdon and St Pancras. Is here any reason to suppose the passenger loads will not be distributed between these stations?

Even if LB remains the major destination why would 18 trains/hour be such a problem? The island platform at LB for Thameslink will be approx 54 feet wide with 13 feet minimum either side of the escalators/stairs. The platforms will clear much more quickly than the current platform exits will allow so as long as trains actually run why would there be any significant problem?

At least as many trains run through the existing platform 6 every hour of every day now. The current platform 5 and 4 seem to manage with the peak service from Charing Cross of 28? trains per hour on narrower and much less satisfactory platforms with very poor exits and entrances so I cannot see anything but improvement with the new arrangements.
 

Minstral25

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When complete Thameslink will have 5 stations in "Central London" including LB, Blackfriars, City T/L, Farringdon and St Pancras. Is here any reason to suppose the passenger loads will not be distributed between these stations?

Even if LB remains the major destination why would 18 trains/hour be such a problem? The island platform at LB for Thameslink will be approx 54 feet wide with 13 feet minimum either side of the escalators/stairs. The platforms will clear much more quickly than the current platform exits will allow so as long as trains actually run why would there be any significant problem?

At least as many trains run through the existing platform 6 every hour of every day now. The current platform 5 and 4 seem to manage with the peak service from Charing Cross of 28? trains per hour on narrower and much less satisfactory platforms with very poor exits and entrances so I cannot see anything but improvement with the new arrangements.
As I said I hope you are right but London Bridge in the rush hour is a sight to behold in terms of passenger traffic volume. This volume dwarfs the other stations you mention with the possible exception of St Pancras. Hopefully some of the traffic will use the new Crossrail and other services to go to Farringdon for northbound services but they won't for Southbound.

You are moving current rammed 12 coach services to Horsham/Redhill line from the Shed to the island platform, plus similarly rammed services to Caterham mostly 8 coach and 12 coach East Grinstead services. That is a lot of extra traffic but there will be more regular Redhill/Caterham trains which will help ease the pain.

London Bridge is busy because people move to the tube for Canary Wharf and Bank plus also walk across London Bridge to the Liverpool Street/ Fenchurch Street areas where there is no better rail/tube connections form the South but significant employment.
 

tsr

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I seem to recall that the proximity of the Fleet sewer was a serious constraint...it is a huge sewer being the former Fleet river and often runs pretty near full bore.
That, and a number of other crucial tunnels holding utilities infrastructure. I seem to remember there are some rather important electrical cables in the area...

...so as long as trains actually run why would there be any significant problem?
Ah, yes. The crucial problem that the Thameslink Core has been having recently. Actually running trains.

What London really needs is a second Thameslink Core between London Victoria and London Euston, but we all know that this probably won't happen!
 
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Mike395

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What London really needs is a second Thameslink Core between London Victoria and London Euston, but we all know that this probably won't happen!
It does - it's called the Victoria line! Theres no point in a second core that just follows the path of a Tube service :)
 

tbtc

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When complete Thameslink will have 5 stations in "Central London" including LB, Blackfriars, City T/L, Farringdon and St Pancras. Is here any reason to suppose the passenger loads will not be distributed between these stations?

Even if LB remains the major destination why would 18 trains/hour be such a problem? The island platform at LB for Thameslink will be approx 54 feet wide with 13 feet minimum either side of the escalators/stairs. The platforms will clear much more quickly than the current platform exits will allow so as long as trains actually run why would there be any significant problem?

At least as many trains run through the existing platform 6 every hour of every day now. The current platform 5 and 4 seem to manage with the peak service from Charing Cross of 28? trains per hour on narrower and much less satisfactory platforms with very poor exits and entrances so I cannot see anything but improvement with the new arrangements.
True, but at the moment the simple pattern of Thameslink services mean that most passengers on the "core" stations will board the first train to arrive (or, failing that, the second one, if they are wanting Sutton when a Brighton service turns up/ vice versa).

The problem is that the complicated pattern of destinations north/south of London is going to mean a lot more people waiting at the "core" platforms but not necessarily wanting to board the first service (e.g. a Kent train turns up when you are waiting for a Sussex one).

I could turn up for a Bedford service and have to wait for the Cambridge train to depart, then the St Albans train to depart then the Peterborough train to depart... all in around ten minutes... that means a lot of people stood on the platforms but not boarding the trains.

The Underground can cope with ultra-frequent services okay, but then at most central London stations everyone is going to board the first LUL service that turns up. You don't have the complication of different crowds of people getting in each other's way as they wait for a separate service.

(Crossrail shouldn't have this problem, with its simple pattern of services)
 

swt_passenger

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(Crossrail shouldn't have this problem, with its simple pattern of services)
Except when all the additional western destinations are added, as proposed here every few days...

Staines, Heathrow, Reading, Windsor, Maidenhead, Oxford, Newbury, Tring, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury, Richmond, Watford Jn, Old Oak Common - those are just a few of those I've read about this year... :roll:
 

tbtc

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Except when all the additional western destinations are added, as proposed here every few days...

Staines, Heathrow, Reading, Windsor, Maidenhead, Oxford, Newbury, Tring, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury, Richmond, Watford Jn, Old Oak Common - those are just a few of those I've read about this year... :roll:
Oops, forgot about those :oops:

Yeah, better add Bristol, Northampton and Basingstoke to your list :lol:
 

Deerfold

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Came up on Thameslink yesterday a little earlier than usual - I tend to try and avoid the evening rush hour when I hae a suitcase but didn't have much option yesterday.

I couldn't believe how many people were standing right at the platform edge just where the doors open - but who didn't want the next train - it was quite tricky getting on as I expected all the people in front of me to get on the train rather than just standing there! I noticed half the people waiting by the door at St Pancake's didn't get on the train.


If that's what happens with only a choice between slow and fast trains north I don't look forward to it with the massive expansion in possible destinations.
 

SAPhil

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Came up on Thameslink yesterday a little earlier than usual - I tend to try and avoid the evening rush hour when I hae a suitcase but didn't have much option yesterday.

I couldn't believe how many people were standing right at the platform edge just where the doors open - but who didn't want the next train - it was quite tricky getting on as I expected all the people in front of me to get on the train rather than just standing there! I noticed half the people waiting by the door at St Pancake's didn't get on the train.


If that's what happens with only a choice between slow and fast trains north I don't look forward to it with the massive expansion in possible destinations.
This is normal behaviour both at St Pancras and Farringdon. If you want a seat on a fast train in the evening peak then you need to get in position on the platform early. If that means blocking access to a previous slow train so be it! And at present the 12-car services have made little difference.

This will be something of a nightmare with a choice of destinations. I hope that by then I may no longer be using the line - in fact it may encourage me to move!
 

Class377/5

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True, but at the moment the simple pattern of Thameslink services mean that most passengers on the "core" stations will board the first train to arrive (or, failing that, the second one, if they are wanting Sutton when a Brighton service turns up/ vice versa).

The problem is that the complicated pattern of destinations north/south of London is going to mean a lot more people waiting at the "core" platforms but not necessarily wanting to board the first service (e.g. a Kent train turns up when you are waiting for a Sussex one).

I could turn up for a Bedford service and have to wait for the Cambridge train to depart, then the St Albans train to depart then the Peterborough train to depart... all in around ten minutes... that means a lot of people stood on the platforms but not boarding the trains.

The Underground can cope with ultra-frequent services okay, but then at most central London stations everyone is going to board the first LUL service that turns up. You don't have the complication of different crowds of people getting in each other's way as they wait for a separate service.

(Crossrail shouldn't have this problem, with its simple pattern of services)
Not sure I agree with this. Boundbound this problem of not wanting the next train exists with a mix of Brighton, Sutton, Rochester, Ashford and other SE joint services meaning people are sometimes waiting for a train three or four behind the current one.

The first few years it'll cope but bet within 10 years you start seeing major over crowding like there is now.

This is normal behaviour both at St Pancras and Farringdon. If you want a seat on a fast train in the evening peak then you need to get in position on the platform early. If that means blocking access to a previous slow train so be it! And at present the 12-car services have made little difference.

This will be something of a nightmare with a choice of destinations. I hope that by then I may no longer be using the line - in fact it may encourage me to move!
Maximum of three 12 cars in peak spread out wont make a major difference.

The final destinations of the services aren't where where the heavy loadings will be. Places on routes like Croydon etc will be. Some flows won't be confined to just the Brighton's but have a choice of various destinations.
 
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