I occures to me that we might already have a crossrail 2 in London, its known as Thameslink isn't it?
Is there a possability Thameslink may ever meet the standards they are proposing for Crossrail 1? Its already a heavy rail line through london linking two major national rail lines. The major barriers to Thameslink being a Crossrail appear to be speed, old rolling stock, shared paths with trains on the two main lines and to/from Moorgate.
It would be interesting to see if Thameslink could ever get as good as Crossrail.
The problem with Thameslink is it only serves a very small part of central London, and a very boring one. Crossrail will be able to take most of its passenger to within one or two tube stops of where they're going.
Direct trains from Finsbury Park to Blackfriars and beyond will be the most interesting part of the new programme, as well as the boost in frequency to tube like levels.
King's Cross, Farringdon and London Bridge are huge interchanges, though. City Thameslink is in the heart of the city, and Blackfriars should be getting an entrance and exit right on the South Bank. I think that after all the upgrades it should be almost as important as Crossrail, although it is of course true that an East-West line will always serve Central London better than a North-South, simply because Central London is wider than it is 'long'. Does that make any sense? :/
Post by thirstquensher on Sept 19, 2008 13:26:23 GMT
Not quite true. FCC still refer to it as "The Thameslink route". They can't brand themselves 'First Thameslink' since they operate the ex-WAGN franchise aswell.
Mind you, you could argue they could have chosen to have sub-brands like Silverlink did - "First Capital Connect Thameslink" and "First Capital Connect Great Northern". But for obvious reasons they didn't.
Post by thirstquensher on Sept 19, 2008 13:36:34 GMT
I think rather than have Crossrail, it would be better if the DLR was expanded into a SERIOUS railway (it is pretty much there for its original scope, but its scope could be seriously expanded).
My idea; extend from Tower Gateway on elevated section all the way to Holborn Viaduct. Have a turnback from there (like Gloucester, Cambridge or Southampton Central stations) so that after a train that has come from the East terminates at Holborn Viaduct, it reverses but branches off in the opposite direction - towards London Bridge.
Then, convert Abbey Wood - London Bridge into DLR-type infrastructure, and new sets of points to join this up with the existing Woolwich Arsenal DLR. This way SE London can get to the centre, so can NE London.
Then, convert Thameslink to DLR-type infrastructure and have the trains from Abbey Wood direction join up at London Bridge to continue to Blackfriars northbound.
Finally, add a turn-off at KX to take this new DLR-type service westbound towards Paddington, following the path of the Met/H+C lines. Have this emerge at H+C Paddington, but expand this into a 'semi-proper' station building rather than 'Stratford bay platform'-style rubbish that's there now. A bit like what Waterloo East is to Waterloo. Curtail the H+C line here so that it becomes an interchange to the new service, which will then continue towards Hammersmith, follow the District down towards Richmond and onwards towards Slough or Windsor (or perhaps Hayes & Harlington).
I haven't checked the feasibility in terms of tracks or available land/space to suppor this; it's totally blue-sky - but other than that I think it would be a nice (if very expensive), scheme.
I do think there are far too many *different* schemes in the works at the moment - if we standardised on a single, modern system (and let's face it, there isn't a lot wrong with the way the DLR works) - so why invest so many billions of pounds in different systems, different stock, different infrastructure and support mechanisms, and so on.
If it is really being considered to turn Crossrail into tube profile line, then it really shows that it is not public transport priority no.1, unlike Crossrail 2 which is urgently needed to relieve the overcrowded Victoria Line.
The fact that 50% of trains will be reversed at Paddington should maybe ring a few bells for planners as to whether Crossrail is the most cost effective plan! No other options appeared to be seriously considered by the government for Crossrail's needs, such as upgrading the Shenfield Line's signalling capacity. TfL have also refused to publicly release their statutory assessment of Monometro, another Crossrail alternative.
I too am unsure whether Crossrail is really the best scheme for London, but on the other hand the government has backed it and made it law. It may not be the best scheme, or the best use of £15bn+ BUT it is probably the only major scheme that is likely to get built any time soon. As someone that wants to see more rail infrastructure in London I feel it now needs to be supported.
If I understand correctly the Crossrail Act includes the plans down to the tunnel profiles - so reducing it to a tube line would require further legislation. The only feasible de-scoped scheme without further legislation would be to abandon parts of it altogether, for example the docklands branch, or various stations.