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There are almost as many rail passengers passing through East Croydon as on all the inter-city journeys to the north of London put together, according to Angie Doll, of Network Rail, and this section of railway also has more train movements than anywhere else in Britain, making it a major factor in delays and disruption to services.

But Network Rail is looking to upgrade the existing infrastructure to provide extra capacity, through its ‘Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme’, rather than create a new railway. According to the company’s John Halsall, “Redeveloping [i.e. upgrading] the railway through Croydon is the only practical way to further improve the reliability of services on the Brighton Main Line”.

Network Rail, East Croydon busier than-wcml

Conversely, north of the Thames, as a result of the HS2 project, capacity can be expected to decrease on the West Coast Main Line, with the number of Euston classic platforms falling from 18 to 13, and a less homogeneous service on the fast lines.

How HS2 would reduce the number of classic platforms at Euston

Written by beleben

September 10, 2018 at 1:08 pm

Posted in HS2, Politics, Railways

One Response

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  1. There are 2 clear answers to the East Croydon dilemma both or which address an issue that seems to escape those trying to get more utilisation of the single – and thus incredibly fragile route between London and Brighton, and the bare fact that sections cannot be closed for extended engineering works without a major hiatus of rail replacement road services – noting the chaos of Redhill and Gatwick’s planned work, and the melt down following the South Croydon bank slip.

    Local folk in Dorking tracking the risble history of a project to enhance Deepdene Station* and its connection to Dorking Main observe that a key interchange traffic not currently well served is that from Epsom & areas of Surrey where travel to Gatwick (& off-peak travel to Horsham) is usually perceived as a trip in to London to come out again. I’ll come back to this, but clearly when all goes hooters heavenwards a East Croydon, a moderate walk (or tram ride) to West Croydon puts you on a train to Epsom, and thence Dorking, by way of a contingency measure when the entire railway was closed by the bank-slip and bus queues stretched around the block, and emergency limited stop service shuttling West Croydon-Epsom-Dorking-Horsham (probably requiring 3-4 x 8 coach trains) would have eased the pain. BML2 reclaiming the route currently taken over by the trams, and with a better connection in to London Bridge via Catford is a further resilience option albeit requiring more work to deliver.

    *Dorking Deepdene is one of just 86 main line stations with timber in part or all of the platforms, and/or the supporting structures. It hits the jackpot as both platforms and the supporting beams are timber. The original structures were put in to replaced the demolished station around 50 years ago, and extended when the 165 Turbostars replaced the Thumpers to 75 metres (this is a rather relevant point in the context that the proposed new trains are 80 metres long….) Network Rail has very little by way of a defined regime for inspection and maintenance of timber platforms, and indication are that the scoping survey for a project to enhance the waiting shelters was cursory (ie HS2 standards, which are later found to be seriously adrift on costs and mapping accuracy). Surprisingly the works failed to consider the condition of the industrial steel staircases up to the platforms, which the local town forum (including a retired offshore engineer and a transport sector solicitor) described as seriously corroded. Works lurched ahead and a detailed report on the various shortcomings makes interesting reading. Suffice to say that when the old waiting shelters were removed it was a ‘surprise’ to find the supporting timbers — rotten. The debacle was repeated at the station entrance on the A24 with TVM’s which were not suitable for exposed outdoor use ….

    A proposal has been floated to install lifts at the existing Deepdene platforms to make the station accessible but from the perspective of a long term railway strategy the local forum is robustly opposing this.

    Just analyse the situation – & some local detail
    1) The 50 year old timber platforms and tacked on extension are gubbed and would require major disruption to replace/repair timbers
    2) the access stairs are also at the end of their economic life
    3) the new trains will require longer platforms
    4) The distance between the bridge over the A24 and a 3-arch viaduct over a local river is approximately 200 metres, with Deepdene platforms at the A24 end.
    5) The viaduct noted is around 100 metres from the South end of Platform 1 Dorking Main
    6) 2 new modular platforms can be built – largely as a blue-zone operation using the Easternmost (dry) arch of the viaduct as a link for construction, and later for access to the South side platform.
    7) when the new platforms are commissioned, the old ones can be removed to provide space for future extension, and/or a long ramp down to the A24

    The ultimate long term detail, for which space can be created, would be to deliver a chord connecting from the stabling sidings/Platform 3 to the North Downs line – facing towards Reigate – there was a connection from the Horsham line on to the North Downs line heading for Guildford, but that has now disappeared under new housing. For the relatively short distance between Dorking at Reigate with Betchworth the only intermediate station, it does seem possible that a power feed from both ends would avoid the need for any additional feeder sub stations. A quick infill job that could see better use of trains, and, when the Redhill-Reigate set spends a period just shuttling back & forth, the option to offer an improved link between Dorking and Redhill


    September 11, 2018 at 11:18 pm

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