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  #21  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2008, 2:03 PM
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London's latest shopping centre; Westfield London is about to open. The three stations serving the centre are already open, but one jewel that hasn't been noticed yet is the bus station.

It doesn't quite look like a bus station as work is still progressing, but this building - the Dimco Building is grade II listed. It dates back over 100 years and was home to the first electricity generating facility in Europe. More recently it saw use in the climax of that old film favourite - Who Framed Roger Rabbit!






Woolwich Arsenal
Woolwich Arsenal is a station that has been open since 1849 to serve Woolwich and the nearby Royal Arsenal which dealt with all of the British armed forces ordnance for several centuries. These days the Royal Arsenal site is being redeveloped into offices and residential apartments and this has created a requirement for new transport links.

At present the North Kent Line serves the station which runs into Central London and out into Kent, but from early 2009, the DLR is expected to serve the station via a new tunnel under the Thames. Work is ahead of schedule at present and only cosmetic work is needed to open the station to the public, which has two entrances - one to the North Kent Line platforms, and a new street entrance. Woolwich will host the shooting events at the 2012 Olympics.

Another station will open by 2017 in Woolwich, but this will be seperate from the Woolwich Arsenal interchange (200m to the north and at the centre of the Royal Arsenal site) due to the different alignment of Crossrail.


In the below plan, the station would be built north-south on the little park seperate the buildings at the centre of the site. Woolwich Arsenal station is just off picture at the centre bottom.




A little known fact is that Arsenal FC - the Premiership club who are now located in North London - were originally from Woolwich, hence why they are called Arsenal and are hence nicknamed the Gunners.

The present Woolwich Arsenal North Kent Line platforms








The soon-to-open Woolwich Arsenal DLR platforms











































All pictures courteous of flickr.com
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  #22  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2008, 12:02 AM
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Thanks for the pictures. The amount of security cameras is crazy ...
you should see tower hill...theres one every 2 metres
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  #23  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2008, 3:06 AM
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Every time I see pictures of London transportation I get so depressed...and jealous. The UK continues to do it right.
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  #24  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2008, 5:28 AM
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Every time I see pictures of London transportation I get so depressed...and jealous. The UK continues to do it right.
i'm going to have to disagree, although i'm thankful for the size of the system, i think its a disaster in its current state: constantly delayed, dirty, hideous stations...
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  #25  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2008, 7:42 AM
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^^^Well, certainly compared to current US systems they do it right. No doubt there could be improvements but overall it is something to be envied from across the pond.
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  #26  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2008, 12:20 PM
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i'm going to have to disagree, although i'm thankful for the size of the system, i think its a disaster in its current state: constantly delayed, dirty, hideous stations...
Have to agree here... having used London's public transport for 4 years on a daily basis it looks more or less a disgrace for a city disposing such wealth. That is simply not excusable.

That would be less important if London had a decent road network (as most American cities do)... but that is nonexistent.

Of course, comparing public transport in London to N.American cities might look like a jewel but comparing it to some European or Asian cities it looks miserable.

Only thing that works is the PR... "we're investing £10 billion into tube"... yeah, so that it doesn't derail and the 100 year old wooden rail ties wouldn't decompose...

If that's all they can do with £10 billion, then a £100 billion is something that they need to really make it work.
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  #27  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2008, 9:10 PM
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I would have agreed 10 or 20 years ago that transport in London was a disaster: there were numerous fatal crashes, trains were unreliable, things were falling apart, customer satisfaction was low and stations were in a decrepid state.

Granted more work is still needed, and this thread illustrates this always on-going renovation and expansion, but I wouldn't refer to the network as being in anyway close to a state of disaster.

For the size of the system it is very safe, accidents are rare to non-existant.

The network average of km operated across the network at all times was 95.8%, with the number of trains on service at 97.8%. Factor in that there has been a splurge on spending to ensure that stations actualy look nice, and that a lot of the older rolling stock is being phased out over the coming 4 years it can only get better.

And yet despite all the work to re-build and modernise stations which haven't seen much improvement for several decades, the network continues to expand.

The Heathrow Terminal 5 Extension opened in March, while two stations opened in the past month. Work continues on the East London Line Extension, and the two DLR Extensions to Woolwich Arsenal and Stratford International. Work will also soon begin on Crossrail, while Thameslink has been on-going.

There is a lot of boosterism, some deserved, some not so, but what city doesn't flaunt what it has done?


Jonas, 4 years and you're already aquired a British 'asset'
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  #28  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2008, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eduardo88
i'm going to have to disagree, although i'm thankful for the size of the system, i think its a disaster in its current state: constantly delayed, dirty, hideous stations...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonas View Post
Have to agree here... having used London's public transport for 4 years on a daily basis it looks more or less a disgrace for a city disposing such wealth. That is simply not excusable.

That would be less important if London had a decent road network (as most American cities do)... but that is nonexistent.

Of course, comparing public transport in London to N.American cities might look like a jewel but comparing it to some European or Asian cities it looks miserable.

Only thing that works is the PR... "we're investing £10 billion into tube"... yeah, so that it doesn't derail and the 100 year old wooden rail ties wouldn't decompose...

If that's all they can do with £10 billion, then a £100 billion is something that they need to really make it work.
I am with Nick here. As mentioned above, comparing to "some" European or Asian cities, it's looks miserable? Well, disregarding Asian cities as their networks are all so new, and when something is new it always looks nice and shiny, London's network on the other hand is the oldest in the world. However, when comparing to other European networks, I find very few that are significantly cleaner and nicer than London's.

Hideous stations as eduardo88 stated. But how are the stations worse than say Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rome, Antwerp, Vienna or a myriad of other cities. Most stations in London are pretty damn pleasant. Check out this thread and you can see there are much worse out there. I posted a picture of a Frankfurt Suburban railway station on page 2 of the thread, this is worse than any working suburban station I have seen in London.
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=691048

I do agree that there are more delays or line closures on the Tube than most other metro's I have been on. But many of them are related to Britain's health and safety laws which are a lot stronger than anywhere else in Europe. Trains in Frankfurt do not go out of service because of Vandalism that's for sure.

We have a term for English people back in Australia, Whinging Poms It seems to me that the English have a capacity for complaining greater than any other culture. And the UK press just love to play with this. It's constant ripping of the London transport infrastructure making false claims that it's always better everywhere else reminds me of their latest favourite story, youth murder. If you read UK papers, you would imagine that there is a massive crime wave with Youths stabbing and killing people all around the country. The newspapers make such a deal about it, it's reported in the global press and now much of the world thinks that UK must have one of the highest youth murder rates on the planet. All this despite statistics that show the UK has less Youth committed murders than New Zealand (half per capita), Australia, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Canada in fact, pretty much most country's.

It's the same with your public transport. The average service compares quite favourably to any other city I have been to, but if I believe the media I would expect to never be able to travel when I am in your country.

Yes, there are parts that need improving. And I do think the price of commuter trains for the London Metro area are terribly high (though the Tube and bus transport within Greater London is pretty average when using an Oyster card). But I think the overall condition of stations, trains and buses is pretty good. No other city in the world that I have been to has such a comprehensive and easy to understand network despite it being one of the largest as well.
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  #29  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2008, 12:16 AM
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Jonas, 4 years and you're already aquired a British 'asset'
I guess my 'problem' is that due to my extensive interest in Asia I have had a chance to try some of the best public transportation systems in the world (that's Hong Kong and Singapore) which made London public transport look decrepit in my eyes.

Another perspective I see things from is the 'balance' of public transport v private road transport (i.e. road network and cars).

In America most cities have insufficient public transport but have indeed massive and convenient road/freeway system which compensates that. You can get anywhere in a car in a short period of time (apart from heavy rush hours). In London car is something you have to forget unless ready to spend hours maneuvering through chaotic network of narrow streets i.e. no highways in central part of the city and even supposed 'loops' (North and South circular) are insufficient.

Given that road network in a city is totally insufficient (as it is in London), public transport should be state-of-the-art and cheap. Again, it is neither in London. People are being forced out of their cars but the alternative they have is far from perfect.

I don't believe London could ever improve its roads which is why public transport should be made top-notch. It would take loads of cash but it's possible.

Those improvements we see are good but that looks more like maintenance rather than significant upgrades (exceptions being Crossrail which we'll hopefuly have built some day, and East London line).

And yet, I still cannot understand what is the reason why buses (not to mention tube trains) have no air-conditioning. I can't understand how elderly and other less physically capable people are able to bear that and not die in hotter summer days!
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  #30  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2008, 5:16 AM
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^^ Lack of air conditioning in buses is an odd thing, I certainly agree. Only a handful of them have it here in Frankfurt and we damn well need it. Though I know the German reason. They are all a bunch of hippies here and think AC is both bad for you and the environment.

Stuff that when it's hot.

But honestly, what is so much better about HK and Singapore's rail infrastructure besides both being so new (which means for a long time they had no subway system and thus really bad public transport). Yes, it's cheaper as well, but both Singapore are tiny island nations with incredibly dense populations - this does make public transport (and infrastructure) unbelievably cheap in comparison. Both are quite limited in their coverage, though I do agree they seem to cover a good area for tourists.
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  #31  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2008, 9:37 AM
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^^ Lack of air conditioning in buses is an odd thing, I certainly agree. Only a handful of them have it here in Frankfurt and we damn well need it. Though I know the German reason. They are all a bunch of hippies here and think AC is both bad for you and the environment.

Stuff that when it's hot.

But honestly, what is so much better about HK and Singapore's rail infrastructure besides both being so new (which means for a long time they had no subway system and thus really bad public transport). Yes, it's cheaper as well, but both Singapore are tiny island nations with incredibly dense populations - this does make public transport (and infrastructure) unbelievably cheap in comparison. Both are quite limited in their coverage, though I do agree they seem to cover a good area for tourists.
HK's daily ridership is not that much lower than London's so it's on the same scale when it comes to coverage because the population of the city is also roughly the same.

Trains there are spacious, air conditioned, quiet and through (i.e. you can get from one end to the other), more reliable (no delays) and stations are more spacious. You can also use your mobile phone (including 3G services such as HSDPA which require a very reliable reception) while deep underground in a fast moving train...

One might agree that this is because it's new, but again, this is the reason (or one of the reasons) why it is so. That doesn't change the fact that it is so.

As about whether it was good (or existed at all) in the past... I don't really give a damn :|

I'm basing my criticism on what I see, what I've tried and how I experience it when I need to travel from a to b.
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  #32  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2008, 4:14 PM
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I guess my 'problem' is that due to my extensive interest in Asia I have had a chance to try some of the best public transportation systems in the world (that's Hong Kong and Singapore) which made London public transport look decrepit in my eyes.

Another perspective I see things from is the 'balance' of public transport v private road transport (i.e. road network and cars).

In America most cities have insufficient public transport but have indeed massive and convenient road/freeway system which compensates that. You can get anywhere in a car in a short period of time (apart from heavy rush hours). In London car is something you have to forget unless ready to spend hours maneuvering through chaotic network of narrow streets i.e. no highways in central part of the city and even supposed 'loops' (North and South circular) are insufficient.

Given that road network in a city is totally insufficient (as it is in London), public transport should be state-of-the-art and cheap. Again, it is neither in London. People are being forced out of their cars but the alternative they have is far from perfect.

I don't believe London could ever improve its roads which is why public transport should be made top-notch. It would take loads of cash but it's possible.

Those improvements we see are good but that looks more like maintenance rather than significant upgrades (exceptions being Crossrail which we'll hopefuly have built some day, and East London line).

And yet, I still cannot understand what is the reason why buses (not to mention tube trains) have no air-conditioning. I can't understand how elderly and other less physically capable people are able to bear that and not die in hotter summer days!
Don't get me wrong, as someone born in Singapore, I acknowledge that Singapore, and other Asian cities are developing impressive transport networks.

I honestly doubt that London could ever afford to maintain the 600+ station and 1,200+ route km (and continually growing) network to the clinical look that say Singapore achieves without a far larger population. It is afterall far easier to look after a system which has fewer interchanges than the pre-expansion East London Line which had a length of 7.4km.


And to address your points:
- Air-conditioing is being rolled out across the network on the sub-surface rolling stock from next year. On the deep-level trains, air conditioning systems don't work (i, the tunnel would retain the heat generated by the air con unit and ii, they haven't been minaturised enough), so a new technology akin to a giant ice-gel pack will probably be created that cools the train, which will also be more environmentally friendly. Stations are being upgraded with new ventilation systems to help rectify this situation. I would stress that while it does get hot sometimes, air con isn't as much of a requirement as it is in tropical climates like Singapore or Hong Kong;
- Walk-through trains will be launching next year (the same rolling stock as seen in Shanghai and Shenzhen), but would not be possible on the deep-level trains due to technological limitations;
- Delays are becoming rarer as more advanced signalling systems are brought in (eg on the Jubilee), lines become completely driverless and the rail infrastructure is upgraded. Service levels aren't that far off new systems such as in Hong Kong which is a real achievement;
- Orange the mobile phone operator is bringing in a system that would allow people to use their mobiles in the deep parts of the network. Personally I'm not a fan of this as the Tube is one of the few places in Central London to get away from the annoyance of ring tones and people talking loud.
- Work on Crossrail won't start until 2010 because of work on the ELLE and Thameslink and main works (ie the interchanges) would collide with the hosting of the 2012 Olympics. Working like this allows for the same workforce to be moved over, eg: i) Jubilee Line Extension > HSR1 > Thameslink > Crossrail 2, ii) East London Line Extension & DLR > Crossrail > Crossrail 3, etc....
- There are indeed stations that get extremely overcrowded (where doesn't?), but that is what redevelopment works at the major choke points are for, eg the complete re-build of the termini of St Pancras and King's Cross and the underground complex they both share, then you have planned re-builds of entire termini such as at Victoria, London Bridge, Blackfriars, Euston and Waterloo.

If the present network is a disaster/mess, then what was it previously?

I am quite thankful that London hasn't got a vast car network! Cars are a cancer upon cities.
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  #33  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2008, 9:56 PM
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Originally Posted by nick_taylor View Post
Don't get me wrong, as someone born in Singapore, I acknowledge that Singapore, and other Asian cities are developing impressive transport networks.

I honestly doubt that London could ever afford to maintain the 600+ station and 1,200+ route km (and continually growing) network to the clinical look that say Singapore achieves without a far larger population. It is afterall far easier to look after a system which has fewer interchanges than the pre-expansion East London Line which had a length of 7.4km.


And to address your points:
- Air-conditioing is being rolled out across the network on the sub-surface rolling stock from next year. On the deep-level trains, air conditioning systems don't work (i, the tunnel would retain the heat generated by the air con unit and ii, they haven't been minaturised enough), so a new technology akin to a giant ice-gel pack will probably be created that cools the train, which will also be more environmentally friendly. Stations are being upgraded with new ventilation systems to help rectify this situation. I would stress that while it does get hot sometimes, air con isn't as much of a requirement as it is in tropical climates like Singapore or Hong Kong;
- Walk-through trains will be launching next year (the same rolling stock as seen in Shanghai and Shenzhen), but would not be possible on the deep-level trains due to technological limitations;
- Delays are becoming rarer as more advanced signalling systems are brought in (eg on the Jubilee), lines become completely driverless and the rail infrastructure is upgraded. Service levels aren't that far off new systems such as in Hong Kong which is a real achievement;
- Orange the mobile phone operator is bringing in a system that would allow people to use their mobiles in the deep parts of the network. Personally I'm not a fan of this as the Tube is one of the few places in Central London to get away from the annoyance of ring tones and people talking loud.
- Work on Crossrail won't start until 2010 because of work on the ELLE and Thameslink and main works (ie the interchanges) would collide with the hosting of the 2012 Olympics. Working like this allows for the same workforce to be moved over, eg: i) Jubilee Line Extension > HSR1 > Thameslink > Crossrail 2, ii) East London Line Extension & DLR > Crossrail > Crossrail 3, etc....
- There are indeed stations that get extremely overcrowded (where doesn't?), but that is what redevelopment works at the major choke points are for, eg the complete re-build of the termini of St Pancras and King's Cross and the underground complex they both share, then you have planned re-builds of entire termini such as at Victoria, London Bridge, Blackfriars, Euston and Waterloo.

If the present network is a disaster/mess, then what was it previously?
I haven't had a chance to see how London's transport looked some 10-15 years ago, but judging from some opinions it was a catastrophe...



But thanks for some interesting info here

Just a couple points:

I guess the lack of mobile coverage in the LU helps the bookshops to stay in business

Being serious, I would by no means find this as any sort of advantage. I use my mobile mostly for internet browsing and e-mail rather than talking and being unable to use it in the underground is a huge disadvantage.

Quote:
I am quite thankful that London hasn't got a vast car network! Cars are a cancer upon cities.
That is something I would absolutely disagree with. Alas, to an extent this is a matter of taste I suppose. I admire massive highways crisscrossing the city. That gives the place more urban feel to it not even talking about advantages of being able to get from a to b with a car.

If American cities are not such great examples ("dead" downtowns after office hours) then something like Bangkok made me fall in love with cars and highways. Even if it's not necessarily compulsory to have 4 massive motorways forming a # over the downtown (as in Bangkok), a well developed road and highway network is NOT a "cancer" to any city. A well planned and maintained road network can boost the transportation capabilities tremendously.

Again, Singapore is a good example of what a well developed road network is. It by no means makes it bad or "cancer" to it. In fact, it's one of the most pleasant cities with some of the best public spaces in the world!
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  #34  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2008, 1:25 PM
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I haven't had a chance to see how London's transport looked some 10-15 years ago, but judging from some opinions it was a catastrophe...

But thanks for some interesting info here

Just a couple points:

I guess the lack of mobile coverage in the LU helps the bookshops to stay in business

Being serious, I would by no means find this as any sort of advantage. I use my mobile mostly for internet browsing and e-mail rather than talking and being unable to use it in the underground is a huge disadvantage.

That is something I would absolutely disagree with. Alas, to an extent this is a matter of taste I suppose. I admire massive highways crisscrossing the city. That gives the place more urban feel to it not even talking about advantages of being able to get from a to b with a car.

If American cities are not such great examples ("dead" downtowns after office hours) then something like Bangkok made me fall in love with cars and highways. Even if it's not necessarily compulsory to have 4 massive motorways forming a # over the downtown (as in Bangkok), a well developed road and highway network is NOT a "cancer" to any city. A well planned and maintained road network can boost the transportation capabilities tremendously.

Again, Singapore is a good example of what a well developed road network is. It by no means makes it bad or "cancer" to it. In fact, it's one of the most pleasant cities with some of the best public spaces in the world!
I'm still not looking forward to the prospect of hearing annoying ring tones on the deep level tube. It will be a benefit for a few, but the tube was a communications black hole that many people enjoyed because it meant they couldn't be hassled.

It would be impressive if they did manage to get 100% coverage considering the network size is so much larger and you have more numerous and complex interchange stations.

Not sure what there is to admire about the car, much like cancer or a parasite it spreads and consumes the societies it infects. Look at the reaction to people when the oil price jumps, people react as if they can't get their next fix of heroin.

Having been to Bangkok on a few occasions, unless you have fetishes for traffic jams and air pollution I can't see what there is to be attracted by cars in Bangkok which prior to 2001 had 4x as many pariculates as London. I'd imagine that figure has since risen drastically as London seeks to contain the problem, while Bangkok continues to expand rapidly.

Its hard enough trying to ensure that people accept the Congestion Charge, but I doubt many developed free societies would accept something like the Certificate of Entitlement which physically limits who can own a car. As a fact, that illustrates that the Singapore authorities know that if they didn't restrict car usage, it would blow out of control. Not sure what is the worst scenario, drving in London or Singapore.









Isle of Dogs (Canary Wharf) Crossrail Station



















































Paddington Crossrail Station








Bond Street Crossrail Station













Tottenham Court Road Crossrail Station









Whitechapel Crossrail Station






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  #35  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2008, 10:55 PM
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I thought the tube station at Canary Wharf would be hard to beat in the stakes for impressive modern design station, but the Crossrail station for Canary Wharf (blue prints shown above) looks like it could take that title.

As you can see, the station 'floats' in the dock, consisting of no less than 7 floors of retail, and a park. The platforms lie beneath the base of the dock itself.


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  #36  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2008, 2:55 PM
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This will be my last update for a few weeks as I set off for a trip around the Far East so take it all in!


Japanese Shinkansen Trains
These are shots of the new Japanese Shinkansen that will operate out of London St Pancras from 12 December next year. At present they are on trial runs in the London area.

29 of the Hitachi trains which operate at 140mph are due to be delivered over the coming weeks. The new routes will ensure numerous Kent settlements will see journey times to London slashed and areas not conceivably connected to London made available.






During the Olympics they will also operate as 'Javelin' services ensuring that people can get from the Olympic Park to Central London in 7 minutes.

The addition of these routes means that frequencies can be increased on present routes to provide more metro-like frequencies.














Crossrail shrinks design pool with framework deals
Filed 09/12/08 http://transportbriefing.co.uk/story.php?id=5378

Twelve engineering consultants have secured a place on Crossrail's Design Framework, enabling them to compete for packages of design work on tunnels, shafts, stations, and railway systems.

The successful 12 are:
- Aedas
- Arup
- Atkins
- BDP
- Capita Symonds
- Halcrow
- Hyder Consulting
- Jacobs Engineering
- Mott MacDonald
- Parsons Brinckerhoff
- Scott Wilson Railways
- WSP

Three teams - Faber Munsell/Gifford, Mouchel and Scott Brownrigg - who were on the previously announced shortlist (Transport Briefing 25/08/08) have not been selected and so will not be eligible for work allocated within the design framework.

While a place on the framework is not a guarantee of work, each of the 12 companies is expected to be awarded contracts during the framework term, which will run until completion of the Crossrail scheme in 2017. Most are expected to team up with architectural practices for each package of work.

Commenting on the Design Framework Agreements, Dr Graham Plant, programme director at Crossrail, said: “The funding for Crossrail is secure, the necessary agreements have been signed and all partners are committed to delivery. This means that Crossrail can now move full-speed ahead towards the start of the main construction in 2010. It is clear that Crossrail has excited the construction industry and we look forward to working with the selected Design Framework Agreement companies as we drive forward the design work for this world-class railway."

Meanwhile, stage two tenders for Crossrail's programme partner contract are due to be returned this month and an announcement about the appointment is expected in early 2009. The shortlisted tenderers for stage two are Bechtel, Legacy 3 - a joint venture between Parsons Brinckerhoff, Balfour Beatty Management and Davis Langdon, and Transcend - a joint venture between AECOM, CH2M Hill and Nichols Group.




Northern Line Extension to Battersea
The latest plan for the Battersea Power Station site is for an extension for the Northern Line to help serve the site and provide better connections to the rest of London.

The Northern Line in reality is two (historically three) lines that merge to the north (at Camden Town) and south (Kennington) of Central London with a single southern branch and numerous northern branches.

There has been talk of physically seperating both into seperate lines for a good few years which would help increase frequencies and lessen delays on a line that used to be referred to as the Misery Line for its frequent problems.

This extension would take the southern terminus of the West End branch (going via Charing Cross) at Kennington where there is a loop to allow for trains to back through C London. a new route would be added on to the loop to two new stations at Wandsworth Road (on the below map the station isn't labelled, but the box is clearly visible) and Battersea.









The first in line
http://www.nce.co.uk/structures/feat...t_in_line.html

Multi-layered: The Crossrail station will comprise six levels, crowned by a park

The Isle of Dogs station will be one of the first to be built on the Crossrail network. As with other work along the line, it will bring huge challenges.

More than 90,000 people work at Canary Wharf, rivalling the Square Mile for the financial heart of London. The tallest building in the UK, One Canada Square (235m), and the cluster of brassy skyscrapers are the closest thing we have to the iconic city skyline of New York. It's fitting, then, that the place which brought the banking world into the 21st century – at least in property terms – will be connected to the development that will bring London's infrastructure into the 21st century.


"When Crossrail was revived in 2001, the Jubilee line had been open for 18 months and the development had expanded," says Canary Wharf Group transport adviser Jim Berry, who is also responsible for working with the Crossrail design team on this element. "It was natural that Crossrail should come to Canary Wharf. "It's positive not only for this area but also the East End [of London]. It improves the level of accessibility and travel times will be reduced dramatically, and it will also support future growth and support growth for housing to the east," adds Berry.

Canary Wharf Contractors (CWC) will be building a large part of the new station for Canary Wharf Group, of which it is a subsidiary. CWC will provide the shell and core (for the station) and interfacing with the rail infrastructure as it comes through. The shell of the basement needs to be in place by the time the Crossrail tunnel boring machines (TBMs) hit Canary Wharf in about four years. This will happen as they progress from the starting point at the Limmo peninsula (in the area of Canning Town) and work westwards towards Farringdon. "The size of the project is something we're quite happy to undertake, but the challenge is building it in time," admits CWC operations executive Michael Bryant.

Although the station is just one part of the overall Crossrail scheme, it is a huge project in its own right. It will take the form of a 260m-long box – as long as the tallest building at Canary Wharf. "The station [design] is like a long thin building on its side, underwater," says Bryant. "Canary Wharf is good at building tall buildings. It's big, but the magnitude doesn't hold any mysteries for us."

The box is between 27m and 30m wide and is six storeys high. Four of these storeys will be underwater or underground as the station is being built in the north dock of West India Quay in Canary Wharf. The bottom floor of the station will be the platform level, around 22m below water level and 13m below the dock bed. Above this will be a concourse level, two levels of retail, followed by two further retail levels above water and a man-made landscaped park level. The top of the box is finished off by a wooden lattice structure with ETFE cladding to allow light into the area.




Because of the dock, a cofferdam will be built to create a dry area to work in and to allow the working dock to continue operations. This involves using 1.2m-diameter steel tube piles that have channels along their side which can interlock to form a watertight wall. However, these steel piles can only go as far as the top of the Crossrail tunnel. If the TBMs had to bore through steel, the expensive equipment could be damaged. An auger is sent down inside piles into the bedrock below and contiguous piles cast to form the lower station walls. "The steel piles go 6m into the dock bottom," says Bryant. "It was a balance between keeping it high enough for the tunnel boring machine and socketing it in enough into impermeable layer [to make it watertight] and to give enough stability."

Not only does CWC have around 9m of water pressure from the docks to worry about, but the basement construction will also cut through a layer of clay below the dock bottom, where groundwater is trapped. Work has already started on lowering the water table and will continue for three years. A concrete wall will be built inside the tubular cofferdam to create the permanent box. The integrated structure will then be able to take the pressure from the dock water and the groundwater when the dewatering is stopped. Final planning permission is expected by the end of the year and work on site is due to begin in January.

Crossrail is finally here. "I think Crossrail is one of the great projects, like the Paris RER, which has taken a long time to get here, but it's important that it gets built," says Berry. "Great things will happen once it's done."

Better access for all
Improving access into Canary Wharf isn't the only benefit the Isle of Dogs Crossrail station will bring. It will also improve access around the area as a whole.

The docks add charm, but they also isolate Canary Wharf and make it harder to move around. The new station nestled in the bustling Canary Wharf development to the south and the residential area to the north will also make it easier to get around. "We will be using the station to create a bridge between us and the community," says Canary Wharf Group transport adviser Jim Berry. "The docks, to some extent, separate us from the surrounding area. The station includes three bridges on each side of the development."




Thameslink Project

Blackfriars
Part terminus, part through-station. Blackfriars is currently a station on the north bank of the Thames, but with the Thameslink project to provide a high-frequency 12-carriage service through Central London, the station will need to be re-built. The plan is to swap the terminating and through platforms over to allow for the station to be built across the span of the Thames creating two entrances on either side of the river. The views from the platform will be very interesting.








London Bridge
Another major choke-point for the Thameslink programme is at London Bridge station and the approaches to the station that will require a complete re-build. At the same time, the London Bridge Tower will rise from the concourse to the station.













Additional Crossrail Images

Ealing Broadway





Ilford





Whitechapel





London Liverpool Street





Tottenham Court Road







Rail timetable change: Virgin adds 30% more services
Filed 09/12/08 http://transportbriefing.co.uk/story.php?id=5373

The new Virgin Trains VHF timetable from 14 December represents "the most frequent long-distance inter-city service in Europe" according to Brendan Fox, editor of Thomas Cook’s European Timetable.

Train services on the Virgin routes will increase overall by 30% following the £9bn upgrade of the West Coast Main Line that links London Euston with Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow - as well as important tourist destinations such as north Wales and the Lake District.

The routes from Manchester and Birmingham to London Euston see train frequencies increased to every 20 minutes, comparable with many local commuter routes, and average journey times in the case of Manchester cut to 2h 05. The number of direct trains from London to Glasgow increases from nine to 13 per day while from 26 January Chester will be linked to the capital by a train each hour. Liverpool receives extra peak period trains to and from Euston.

Tony Collins, Virgin Rail Group chief executive, said: "The new West Coast timetable represents a huge opportunity for the industry following the £9bn upgrade by Network Rail. More seats and dramatically reduced journey times are huge wins for passengers but quite rightly we will all be judged on how well this railway will perform.

"The successful running of Europe’s busiest main line railway is going to be a huge challenge for the train operators and Network Rail and, during the first few months as the timetable beds in, passengers’ expectations may not always be fulfilled. I believe, however, that within six months we shall have a railway of which the nation can truly be proud."

Passengers travelling at weekends and previously used to slow schedules will see some of the biggest changes as the weekday improvements will be carried over into Saturdays and Sunday afternoons. Those travelling after weekend breaks will, for example, enjoy 20 minute interval services between London and Birmingham through to mid-evening on Sundays.

==========================

The result in the increase in capacity is due to the completion of the £9bn ($18bn) West Coast Main Line project that links the major conurbations of Britain. It is the busiest trunk railway in Europe, and the busiest outside Japan with thousands of trains using it on a daily basis.

The scale of the job (text from transportbriefing):
- Changes to all 13 major junctions on the route, including a bottleneck at Rugby, enabling trains to travel at up to 125mph
- Laying more than 36 kilometres of new track through the Trent Valley, meaning that four tracks now run nearly all the way from London to Crewe
- 174 new or altered bridges
- 53 new or extended platforms at places like Milton Keynes and Manchester Airport
- Replacing over 800 points
- Line speed improvements across the whole line, including between Preston, Carlisle and Motherwell and between London Euston and Wembley
- Putting up over 11,000 structures
- Over three million yards of rail, ballast and sleepers have been laid




iBus
Over 6,000 of London's buses (three quarters of the fleet) have now been fitted with the Automatic Vehicle Location system that provides passengers with information on where exactly their bus is even before leaving home, as well as giving bus controllers greater accuracy on increasing performance and reliability.




East London Line Update

Works continue to progress on the East London Line Extension. These pictures (from londonreconnections.blogspot.com)

The first eight pictures show works at Dalston Junction and the approaches to the station. There will be eight platforms here, two which terminate and another two which continue through tunnels on to the North London Line to connect up with Highbury & Islington


























Moving southwards to Shoreditch works continue where the ELLE rises from a tunnel on to a viaduct.











The following two pics are firstly of Rotherhithe Station and the tunnel between Shadwell and Wapping





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Old Posted Jan 27, 2009, 12:18 PM
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Woolwich Arsenal DLR Extension

The latest extension to the DLR network opened a few days ago. The DLR platforms are constructed beneath the North Kent Line platforms. The DLR frequency is a train every 10minutes of 6tph, with journey times of 28minutes to Bank (the Square Mile), Canary Wharf or Stratford (& Olympic Park) in 19 minutes, and 6 minutes to London City Airport.

Despite being only a few days old, trains are said to be full when leaving the station which illustrates the demand to access the Dockland regeneration sites in Canary Wharf and Stratford.

The North Kent Line platforms are used by trains going to London Charing Cross and London Cannon Street (10tph) and was originally opened back in 1849.

Woolwich is the site for the shooting events during the 2012 Olympics.

The Crossrail station for Woolwich will be situated slightly to the north of the station.














Youtube Video (from London City Airport going eastbound to Woolwich Arsenal):
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=XYDhMNaWFfw

Due to the DLR being a fully automated train (ie there isn't a driver and no driver cab), you can ride at the front of the train. This is one of the best ways to see how the Docklands are changing.


London City Airport Station

The opening of the DLR Woolwich Arsenal station marks the completion of the final stretch of the London City Airport Extension. The first segment was built on an elevated structure, while the final stretch to Woolwich Arsenal was via two new tunnels under the Thames.

The station provides connections to Canary Wharf, Stratford and the Square Mile.








Crossrail handed keys to Tottenham Court Road sites
Filed 19/01/09 http://www.transportbriefing.co.uk/story.php?id=5473

Land required to expand Tottenham Court Road Underground station to handle Crossrail services passes to the Transport for London subsidiary’s control today (19 January).


The property acquisition notices issued in October 2008 come into effect and will see landmark properties, including the London Astoria music venue (pictured above, left), transfer to Crossrail control.

Work will begin immediately to prepare the buildings for demolition. This will start in the spring and is scheduled to finish in mid-2010.

Earlier this month a number of local bus services were re-routed for up to seven years to allow the redevelopment of Tottenham Court Road station.

The station is one of the most congested on the Tube network and is used by approximately 150,000 people a day which is expected to exceed 200,000 a day when Crossrail opens in 2017. Expansion plans include creating a ticket hall six times the size of the existing one.

Richard Parry, London Underground director of strategy and service development, said: “While the entire Crossrail project will be the biggest construction project in Europe, no one should underestimate the scale and extent of the work that will take place at Tottenham Court Road.

“This will be one of the biggest station redevelopment projects ever undertaken in central London. By 2017, Tottenham Court Road station will be one of the most important stations in the West End serving both London Underground and Crossrail.”


To deliver a bigger station, the space under the road and the pavement where the current ticket hall is located needs to be enlarged - but is full of sewers and pipes carrying electricity, telecommunications and water. London Underground is continuing with a programme of utility diversions and other preliminary works into 2009.

New station entrances will be built at Dean Street for additional access to Crossrail, at the corner of Oxford Street, and on a new piazza outside the Centre Point building.

Once the redevelopment of the station is complete, the existing cramped station entrances will be replaced with new, more spacious openings to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of passengers who will enter and exit the station each day.

As the project continues there will be two main construction sites. One will be at Charing Cross Road split between Centre Point and across the road from the current station.

The second site is on Dean Street where one of the new Crossrail entrances and ticket halls will be located. This work site will commence from late 2009.

Before demolition starts, archaeologists from the Museum of London will assess and appraise the buildings in accordance with guidance from English Heritage. This will provide a record of the area for future generations.




Heathrow runway ready by 2015 under new laws
The Times, January 16, 2009

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/to...cle5527512.ece

The new runway at Heathrow could be built five years earlier than expected as the Government rushes the planning process to prevent opponents from blocking the expansion.


Ministers yesterday asked BAA to submit a planning application as soon as possible with a view to opening the new runway and terminal as early as 2015. Previously, the Government had suggested the runway would not open until 2020.

The £9 billion expansion, which will increase Heathrow’s capacity by almost 50 per cent, is likely to be one of the first projects considered by the new Infrastructure Planning Commission, due to be appointed this year. The commission will make the final decision, rather than the current practice of a planning inspector making a recommendation to ministers. The inquiry will be much shorter and simply consider whether the application complies with the Government’s aviation policy, giving only limited scope to objectors.

There were angry scenes in the Commons as Geoff Hoon, the Transport Secretary, announced that he was approving the runway.

Far from conceding defeat, the environmental and heritage groups opposing the runway pledged to step up their campaign, both in the courts and by direct action at airports.

The Conservatives repeated their pledge to scrap the runway if they win the next election. However, blocking the plans will become more difficult once the planning process is under way. Lord Adonis, the Transport Minister, told The Times: “It is possible it could open in 2015 if the planning process is completed in time.”

He said that the Government’s decision to reject plans for more intensive use of the existing runways made it imperative to build the third one as soon as possible. He admitted that the absence of extra capacity in the next few years meant that Heathrow would continue to operate more than 99 per cent full and be prone to long delays after even minor incidents.

BAA welcomed the decision and said it was confident of being able to comply with environmental conditions. Mr Hoon said that airlines would only be allowed to use half the capacity of the new runway, or 125,000 flights a year, until 2020.

Flights would rise after that if total emissions from UK aviation were on course to fall below 2005 levels by 2050. He said that a £250 million fund to boost sales of electric cars would more than make up for emissions from the expansion. Mr Hoon also announced a study into a high-speed rail line linked to Heathrow but did not make a commitment to building it.

Greenpeace said: “If Gordon Brown thinks this is a green runway he must be colour-blind.” It said that more than 20,000 people had offered to invest in the piece of land it has bought on the site of the proposed expansion.






DRMM beats five to win Brunel Museum
21 January, 2009, Clive Walker, http://www.bdonline.co.uk/story.asp?...de=3131976&c=2

DRMM has won a competition to redevelop the Brunel Museum in south London, trumping five other practices including Fat and Ash Sakula.

The winning proposal includes creating better public areas around the Rotherhithe museum and safe public access to a 15m diameter vent shaft and former stairwell — closed since 1865 — which leads to Brunel’s Thames Tunnel.


The tunnel, running between Rotherhithe and Wapping, is currently being upgraded as part of the East London Line extension.

Part of dRMM’s solution is a suspended mobile platform allowing public access to all parts of the museum — old and new.

Explaining the scheme’s rationale, practice director Alex de Rijke said: “DRMM’s proposal consists of several ambitious site-specific responses, inspired by the Brunel legacy of inventive lateral design.”

Brunel Museum competition judges included museum trustee and CZWG director Piers Gough, museum director Robert Hulse, Brunel Trust engineer Bryn Bird and treasurer Molly Lowell.

The decision to choose dRMM was “unanimous” according to Gough. “The Brunel Museum chose dRMM ahead of their rivals due to their clever grasp of the situation and its opportunities, coupled with their own technologically imaginative passion,” he said.






East-West Rail Link clearance work gets underway
Filed 19/01/09 http://www.transportbriefing.co.uk/story.php?id=5472

Around 20 kilometres of disused railway line between Bletchley and Claydon Junction stations in Buckinghamshire will be cleared of scrub, brambles and overgrown vegetation so that survey and investigation work can be carried out for the design development phase of the East-West Rail project.


Starting on 26 January, the clearance will take two to three weeks and some will be done with manual equipment, although the more densely overgrown areas will need to be cleared with chainsaws and tractor mounted flails. All of the waste materials will be left chipped and spread on the site.

Patrick O’Sullivan, East-West Rail project manager at Milton Keynes Partnership, said: “Once the site clearance is completed, the engineers and surveyors will begin their technical surveys and ground investigations to enable the design work of the new track and associated railway engineering works for the western section of the East-West Rail project.”

The design development work is being undertaken by Atkins which was recently appointed to carry out the design work (Guidance for Railway Investment Projects - GRIP Stage 4) on the western section of the East-West Rail project.

Milton Keynes Partnership is the lead member of the East-West Rail Consortium, a group of local authorities and government agencies with an objective of securing a new rail route from East Anglia to Oxford via the Milton Keynes South Midlands growth area.




Croxley rail extension nominated by regional assembly
Filed 20/01/09 http://www.transportbriefing.co.uk/story.php?id=5481

The extension of the London Underground Metropolitan line to Watford Junction station inched a step forward this week.


Along with the redevelopment of Watford Junction station, the two schemes, promoted by Hertfordshire County Council, were backed by the East of England Regional Assembly’s Regional Planning Panel. The county council has welcomed the news that the regional assembly will advise the Department for Transport to fund the two schemes, which will reduce congestion and boost the economy in the Watford area.

The £162m Croxley Rail Link scheme would see the Metropolitan Line re-routed and extended to Watford Junction, where it will meet Network Rail services. Tube trains will run from Watford Junction to central London every 10 minutes.

New stations would be provided at Ascot Road and Watford West, with improvements made to the existing stations at Watford High Street and Watford Junction.
This would improve public transport for residents, improve access to the Harlequin Centre and the hospital, and reduce congestion.

The separate £38m Watford Junction Station Interchange scheme, which involves a major redevelopment of the station, has also been backed by the regional assembly. The station will get more drop-off points, easier pedestrian access and better bus and coach facilities. New car parks will be built along with a new link road.

Stuart Pile, Executive Member for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, said: “I’m delighted that the regional assembly will be pushing the government to fund these schemes. We need to invest in our transport infrastructure if we’re going to support our economy and reduce congestion. The Department for Transport bases its funding decisions on the regional advice, so we’re optimistic that we’ll get the go-ahead and that the line can open in 2017.”

Hertfordshire County Council is promoting the Croxley Rail Link scheme, working with London Underground and Network Rail. The scheme will be funded with £136m from the DfT and a further £26m from Hertfordshire County Council and partners including London Underground.

The government asked the East of England Regional Assembly for advice on which major transport schemes to fund in the East of England, which includes Hertfordshire. The assembly’s Regional Planning Panel has considered the schemes and its recommendations will now be considered by the full regional assembly as formal advice to the government. The government will make a decision on which schemes to fund, based on this advice.




Rail electrification plan for Midland and Great Western
Filed 16/01/09 http://www.transportbriefing.co.uk/story.php?id=5464

Railway lines from London to Bristol and the East Midlands are set to be upgraded to support electric trains under the first route electrification programme since Labour came to power and Britain's railways were privatised.


Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon this week told the House of Commons that the Department for Transport and Network Rail have been jointly examining the case for further rail electrification which, he said, can have advantages on busy parts of the rail network, given the lower carbon emissions and better performance of electric trains.

Great Western Main Line


The announcement is the first time the government has made a commitment to route electrification - and follows a decision to set up a working group to examine the issue last year (Transport Briefing 29/10/08). A decision on whether or not to electrify the most heavily used parts of the Great Western Main Line from London Paddington and the Midland Main Line north from Bedford, where the wires currently end, to Kettering, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield, will be announced later this year.

This decision is likely to accompany an announcement on the deployment of the new generation of intercity express trains which will replace the 1970s rolling stock currently in use on the Great Western, Midland and East Coast main lines. Ministers are considering bids for a range of power cars from two consortia - the Express Rail Alliance, which includes Canadian rolling stock manufacturer Bombardier and German engineering giant Siemens, and Hitachi, the Japanese company supplying trains for the new domestic High Speed 1 services which is working with John Laing Projects and Developments and Barclays.

The inter-city express programme calls for an all-new design of environmentally friendly train which will be available with electric and diesel power cars along with a third hybrid variation suitable for use on routes which are partly electrified. With the East Coast line already electrified a decision to add wires to other routes earmarked for the new trains could ease deployment and cut manufacturing costs by minimising the different power car designs required and allowing electric vehicles to be specified for most services.

Midland Main Line


Announcing the plans for electrification Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon also pledged to back other rail improvements which would support the expansion of Heathrow Airport. He said a new company - High Speed 2 - has been set up to examine options for building a new high speed rail line linking London with the West Midlands and supporting a Heathrow hub station. High Speed 2 will be chaired by Sir David Rowlands who earlier in his career advised ministers on the preferred route for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and subsequently oversaw delivery of the Link on time and on budget.

Geoff Hoon said: "A new rail line between London and the West Midlands approaching London via a Heathrow International interchange would enable faster journeys to the north and Scotland and could link the airport with rail destinations throughout the UK. This would unlock Heathrow for the rest of the country, making it a truly national asset. I expect to receive advice from High Speed 2 by the end of the year on a credible plan for a new line with financing proposals.

"We also need to look at ways of making the railway more efficient and greener. The case for electrification on the Great Western and the Midland Mainline routes appears strong as electric trains are quicker, quieter and they emit less CO2.”

Hoon also pledged to support the Airtrack project, currently being promoted by Heathrow Airport owner BAA, which would provide new connections to the airport from Reading, Guildford and the south west.

Airtrack





Eurostar sees record passenger numbers
Financial Times, Tuesday January 13, 10:20 AM

Passenger numbers on Eurostar, the cross-Channel high-speed rail service, grew more than 10 per cent in 2008, thanks to improved journey times and a more accessible London terminus.


Growth would have been still faster, however, without disruption in the last quarter following the September 11 fire in the Channel Tunnel, which continues to restrict service frequency and is prolonging journeys.



The operator, jointly managed by the UK's London & Continental Railways, France's state train operator and the Belgian national railways, [b]carried a record 9.1m passengers during 2008, up 10.3 per cent from the 8.26m it carried during 2007.

Much of the growth was a result of the opening in November 2007 of the second section of High Speed 1, the UK's first dedicated high-speed rail line.

The opening cut journey times on the core London-Paris and London-Brussels routes by around 20 minutes, giving best journey times on London-Paris of two hours 15 minutes and on London-Brussels of one hour 51 minutes.

The new route also brought trains into St Pancras International, which is more accessible for most passengers than the previous terminus at London Waterloo.

The full-year growth, however, was markedly slower than the 18.3 per cent growth recorded in the first half of the year because of the disruption caused by the Channel Tunnel fire.

Eurostar has had to cancel one service a day in each direction between London and both Paris and Brussels because of the fire. Services take 20 minutes longer because of speed restrictions in the tunnel and the availability of only one tunnel for the last 17km of the 50km twin-bore undersea tunnel on the French side. Eurtounnel, the tunnel owner, hopes to complete repair work by mid-February.



Eurostar's revenues grew 10.9 per cent to £664m, from £599m in 2007. The operator said the economic downturn had so far had little effect on it.

Richard Brown, chief executive, said the increase of 1m passengers in the year demonstrated beyond doubt that passengers preferred high-speed rail to short-haul air.



"The short-term outlook for 2009 is challenging, but the long-term prospects for Eurostar and high-speed rail are very good," he said.

===========================================================

For comparison, the entire Amtrak network has handles 28.7mn passengers. The aim of Eurostar is to have 20mn passengers over the coming few years.




Shinkansen (Japanese Bullet) Trains in London

All ready for December 2009 - The access to the Shinkansen platforms at London St Pancras.

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Great Thread Nick
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Old Posted Jan 31, 2009, 7:39 PM
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A Couple of UK Airport/Rail Connection pics .

The Gatwick Express (London Victoria Station to Gatwick Airport)







The Heathrow Express (London Paddington to Heathrow Airport)







Manchester Airport to Manchester Piccadilly Station







The New Glasgow Airport Rail Connection due for completion in 2010

http://flyglasgow.net/airportexpansion.html



New Edinburgh Airport Rail Connection due for Completion in 2011

http://www.edinburgharchitecture.co...._rail_link.htm



A couple of light rail links to UK Airports -

Birmingham International Airport (UK) has a light rail link between the Airport and the nearby rail station.





The City of London Airport near Canary Wharf is now conected to Central London via the Docklands Light Railway.











A couple of other UK Airport Links

Newcastle Airport Metro Service connects with the Cities Central Station





Couple of pics of Stansted Express

Liverpool Street Station (London) to Stansted Airport (Essex) -









Birmingham New Street Station to Stansted Airport Services -







Luton Airport Parkway Station



Train from Luton Parkway through central London terminating at London Bridge Station



Southampton Airport Parkway Station connecting with mainline trains between Southampton and London Waterloo Station.










Last edited by Ardent; Feb 4, 2009 at 1:34 PM.
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Old Posted Feb 14, 2009, 6:59 PM
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East London Line Extension - Phase II Approved

Some good news - the government has stepped up and put money forward for Phase II of the East London Line Extension which runs from Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction. Phase I (the red line) is due to be completed in 2010, while Phase II (blue line) would be completed in 2011.

The majority of infrastructure for Phase II is mostly in place, but a few sections of work need to be (new fly-overs, platforms, etc...) done to connect the dots. Once finished it will not create a second circle line, but an orbital rail service starting/finishing at Clapham Junction - the busiest train station outside Japan.

However, one of the initial stations on the line: a new station called Surrey Canal Road (which would be located on new track between Surrey Quays and Queens Road Peckham) has not been included in the plan. Construction work will however allow for a future station to be built on the site at a later date.

Interestingly Phase II (inbetween Clapham High Street and Denmark Hill) goes past/over two other stations which would create important interchanges. The proble however is that at Brixton (interchange for Victoria Line, Chatham Main Line), the ELLE platforms would be located on a viaduct above another viaduct (which house the CML platforms). At Loughborough Junction (interchange for Thameslink and other suburban train lines) the situation is similar as found at Brixton. Fortunately part of the works includes creating the necessary ammendments to allow for future stations to be slotted in

[img]
[/img]


Queens Road Peckham Station



Peckham Rye Station



Denmark Hill Station





Brixton Station



Clapham High Street Station



Wandsworth Road Station



Clapham Junction


The little used northern entrance. The platform immediately above the entrance is presently disused, but wil be brought back into use for the ELLE





The 2010 DLR Network

With the recently opened extension to Woolwich Arsenal now open, work is progressing well on the Stratford International extension which will open in 2010. After 2010, there are extensions in the pipeline to Dagenham Dock, Charing Cross and other feasability plans in the work.

Diagram by mackenzie_blu at flickr.






London King's Cross Northern Ticket Hall

A few pictures from www.contractjournal.com of the Northern Ticket Hall at King's Cross that will provide another link between the Tube, King's Cross and St Pancras termini.

1 - King's Cross is to the left, St Pancras to the right. New ticket hall in the centre.




2 - Same view, but at night



3 - Ground view of the several levels for the ticket hall (there will also be a large semi-circular glass roof that follows the curve of the Great Northern Hotel and the station to the left



4 - A new connecting passage



5 - A better idea of how big the ticket hall will be



6 - Where new escalators down to the Northern Line platforms will reside




7 - King's Cross St Pancras is the busiest tube station on the network, and will get bigger when Crossrail 2 arrives in a few years






Islington offers TfL £5m to lose Highbury gyratory
Filed 12/02/09 http://www.transportbriefing.co.uk/story.php?id=5598


Islington Council in north London has offered Transport for London £5m to help pay for improvements to the area outside Highbury and Islington station.

The local authority says it is willing to put up half the cost of the Highbury Corner regeneration scheme, which would replace the existing road gyratory system with a conventional road junction, freeing up space to relieve overcrowding at the station. Council chief executive John Foster has written to TfL commissioner Peter Hendy to formally offer the money, which would require TfL to match the funding.

Highbury and Islington station is expected to see an increase in passenger numbers following its connection to phase one of the new East London Line extension in 2011. The local authority hopes works to relocate the post office and improve the public space in front of the station could begin in 2011/12 and says the cost would be between £6m and £11m.

Cllr James Kempton, leader of Islington Council, said: "By managing our money carefully, we've been able to put aside funding for this large-scale project. I believe residents would much rather see this cash invested in the borough - in a scheme that will create jobs and apprenticeships - rather than sitting in the bank earning paltry sums of interest.

"Highbury Corner is routinely described as 'one of the worst places in the borough'. We want to change that and provide a legacy for future generations."



The former station that was on Highbury Corner - the station exists, but not in this state...






Bombardier salvages train order with Stansted Express
Filed 12/02/09 http://www.transportbriefing.co.uk/story.php?id=5600

Train manufacturer Bombardier Transportation is poised to secure a deal to build 120 new train carriages for the Stansted Express service connecting London Liverpool Street station to Stansted Airport.


The announcement came on the day Bombardier heard that the Express Rail Alliance, of which it is a member, had lost out to rival consortium Agility Trains in the race to clinch a £7.5bn contract to build a new generation of inter-city trains for Britain's main railway lines.

However, news of the Stansted Express order will bolster Bombardier's Derby assembly facility, which is already busy with six production lines working on trains for Southern/First Capital Connect, London Overground and the London Underground Victoria and sub-surface lines. Last month Bombardier's director of communications Neil Harvey told Transport Briefing that despite record production levels at Derby the company had capacity available for further orders.

Transport secretary Geoff Hoon this week said the Department for Transport was in advanced negotiations with National Express East Anglia, which operates the Stansted Express service, to order the new carriages. Bombardier has preferred bidder status and Hoon said the contract award would safeguard jobs in Derby.

The new Stansted Express trains form part of the government's plans to introduce 1,300 new carriages on Britain's rail network over the next five years, which followed a commitment in the 2007 Delivering a Sustainable Railway White Paper.

Last year the Department for Transport published a Rolling Stock Plan which said that the East Anglia rail franchise would receive 188 new electrical multiple units. This anticipated leasing Class 321 trains from London Midland and ordering new EMUs for the Stansted Express route to release Class 317 carriages to lengthen other services.

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The present trains (at Stansted Airport station - under the terminal designed by Sir Norman Foster) that are used - showing their age a bit.






Cotswold rail double-tracking sets July start date
Filed 10/02/09 http://www.transportbriefing.co.uk/story.php?id=5588

Work on site to redouble the Cotswold railway line will begin in July after Network Rail announced the project had reached the final design stage.

The Cotswold redoubling scheme will reinstate dual track between Evesham and Charlbury to help raise train punctuality on the line from 76% to 92%. The capacity enhancing scheme will also enable more passenger trains to run on the line.


A key element in the scheme is the restoration of a total of 20 miles of track across the Evesham to Moreton-in-Marsh and Ascott-under-Wychwood to Charlbury sections. At present these lengths of single line are limiting capacity growth and train movements, causing congestion and further delays if services are disrupted for any reason.

Mike Gallop, route enhancement manager for Network Rail, said: "This is an exciting milestone for a scheme that has come far. In this final stage of design, detailed improvement work for the next two-and-a-half years will be nailed down. We have a big task ahead to bring the scheme to commission, and we will continue to work hard to progress these improvements. We are also really grateful for the support from the industry and community and this is vital for the future success of this scheme."

The first intensive work is planned for 18 July-30 August this year when the track, and underground signal cables between Evesham to Moreton-in-Marsh and Ascott-under-Wychwood to Charlbury will be re-aligned. The improvement will help create space for the new tracks and for engineers to access the railway without having to close the line for subsequent track work.

Delivery of the work will be phased so that parts of the railway line can remain open while improvements are being carried out. However the line will be closed for several weeks in July and August. The majority of the subsequent improvement work will not affect train services and will deploy efficient engineering techniques to reduce construction time on site.

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The Cotsworld Line is a branch off the line connected Oxford to London Paddington and serves West England providing connections into Wales.




£7.5bn Intercity Express order will be built in Britain
Filed 12/02/09 http://www.transportbriefing.co.uk/story.php?id=5593

Hitachi has been selected by the government to build a new generation of 'Super Express' trains for Britain's inter-city railway lines as part of a £7.5bn contract, the largest ever rolling stock order placed for the UK rail network.





Confirmation of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) order represents a coup for the Japanese electronics giant, which narrowly beat a consortium including train manufacturers Bombardier and Siemens to clinch the business. It is also good news for British firms Barclays and John Laing which, through the Agility Trains consortium, have teamed up with Hitachi to set up a new train manufacturing plant and depots in the UK.

The government admitted that it had been difficult to separate the winning bid from the alternative submitted by Express Rail Alliance, a consortium comprising Bombardier Transportation, Siemens, Angel Trains and Babcock and Brown. It said both bids were deliverable and "substantially compliant" with the IEP Invitation To Tender, Train Technical Specification and associated procurement document published in March 2007. Hitachi's decision to team up with John Laing and Barclays in June 2008, after having already been shortlisted in its own right, now appears to have been a masterstroke enabling it to secure the contract.

John Laing's infrastructure expertise will enable the consortium to establish a new train manufacturing facility in the UK. Currently, the only volume train production plant in Britain is Bombardier's Derby works. The location of the new facility has yet to be revealed but new depots are planned for Bristol, Reading, Doncaster, Leeds and west London with upgrades to existing depots across Britain. By ensuring the new trains are built in the UK around 12,500 jobs will be created or safeguarded.




However, in a warning to Agility that ministers expect it to be accommodating in final contract negotiations, the Department for Transport has asked Express Rail Alliance to maintain its status as reserve bidder in case the DfT is unable to reach satisfactory terms with its first choice.

The contract structure passes the responsibility for constructing depots and maintaining trains to the successful bidder. Train operating companies will pay the successful bidder 'Set Availability Payments' for each train that reports for duty each day and remains reliable during the operational period.

The DfT has not said precisely how many train carriages will be ordered. The original IEP specification talked of between 500 and 2,000 but this week's announcement said only that there would be "up to 1,400" carriages.

Secretary of State for Transport Geoff Hoon said: "This announcement demonstrates that this government is prepared to invest, even in difficult economic times, by improving our national infrastructure. It is good news for the British economy that over 12,500 jobs will be created and safeguarded; good news for the regions that the government is supporting significant inward investment; and good news for passengers that we are taking the steps necessary to improve their rail journeys."

Assuming the contract goes ahead as planned, Hitachi will have dramatically consolidated its presence in the UK rail industry after winning its first British train order only five years ago. The company is currently supplying new 140mph 'bullet' trains for domestic High Speed 1 services from Kent to London St Pancras International which will enter passenger service in December this year. However, unlike the Super Express trains ordered this week, the High Speed 1 trains are being built in Japan.





The first Hitachi trains are already commencing test runs, for public operation in December. Note that these versions are dual-voltage (for OHLE and 3rd rail), while e ICE trains will be hybrids or full-OHLE.

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