The proposed works at Hackney Downs will be part financed by a third party development, Network Rail and TfL and will include lifts. There is a 75% chance it will happen within 2 years. The platform extensions are needed because GAs new Aventra 720s will not fit any of the platforms in 10-car formations especially considering that GA perversely seems to have specified 24-meter coaches! The 710s are 20-meter coaches but there is provision to go 5-car in the future so they would be 10-car in peaks etc.
At Seven Sisters the platforms will need extending for the same reason - the 720s but also because the new Stansted Express FLIRT UK trains will be 12-car fixed formation and even if limited to 20-meter coaches will be too long for efficient docking even with SDO. The same proviso regarding the 710s to possible 5-car/10-car also applies.
20 metres +/- 1 is pretty much the UK standard for multiple units with some notable exceptions; the Mark 3 is 23 metres long and so many units based on that (i.e. Sprinters) are of that length. Class 345 coaches will be 22-23 metres each, so 24 isn't that strange. 26 is not uncommon on the continent.
When LU took over, the Corporation of London provided funding for new trains to operate the line.
It happened the other way round. The line didn't become part of LU until 1994. The new trains were ordered (with CoL money) and built and entered service whilst the line was still owned and operated by Network South East - indeed before the railway privatisation Act had been passed - which is why they carried BR TOPS classifications (482) and carried (and still carry) car numbers in the BR emu series. They entered service in mid-1993, .
It seems very logical that the W&C shares the same pool of drivers with the Central line, after all they are operated with almost identical stock, the W&C's version is minus the auto-driver components.
Also no ATP, it's all tripcock and train stops down there
Why wasn't this fitted with ATO when the Central was? Cost?
While I am pleased to see affordable housing being built I am concerned about the loss of the car park. It is busy throughout the week and there is no apparent idea as to where those commuters will go. Not all of them can turn up on a bus as people drive in from outside London and park there - especially at weekends for access to football fixtures and shopping in the West End. Tottenham Hale can't take up the slack and I doubt Walthamstow Central can either and we don't need more cars trying to crawl along Hoe Street.
TfLs press release specifically says the following:-
"A car park user survey carried out by TfL indicated that approximately 90 per cent are travelling to this car park from locations that are closer to another TfL or Network Rail station."
In other words drivers from outside the immediate area should stop driving to Blackhorse Road to take advantage of cheap fares and use stations nearer to where they live (even if that means they have to spend more on tickets).
Doing away with the car park is one way of getting round the 'Epping issue' where half of Essex descends on the place to avoid the more expensive fares charged by National Rail services.
Makes sense in a way - TfL want to reduce congestion.