AND the well respected Gerard FIENNES, in his book "I tried to run a railway", states that "he would have four-tracked the Central Line"
The one idea of his that would have had an "HS2" type budget and could have caused more problems than it solved
Thanks CB. I once heard a lecture by Mr Gerard Francis Gisborne Twistleton-Wykeham-Fiennes. (to give his full names!) His operating knowledge did include what became the Central Line NE extension, as I think he ran the line during the war; he was responsible for its use as a GEML diversionary route (via Woodford, Fairlop, and Seven Kings). Certainly he said, a mistake to give over the GE metals to tube trains. The Central Line was of course a great democratisation of the Loughton branch, where the GE and LNER had always sought to preserve the development as exclusive. In 1935 there had been no 3rd class season tickets, 1st and 2nd classes, separate waiting rooms, fast trains from Loughton and Buckhurst Hill, and porters to keep the hoi-polloi out of 2nd and 1st class cars. A bit different from post war, when the bowler hatted tea broker from Mincing Lane had to sit or stand next to his charlady or a workman from Debden on the Standard stock...until he moved to Buckinghamshire!
Quite! The Epping/Ongar branch's conversion to a tube line caused some real moans in the late 1940s as journey times and crowding kicked in, even when weighed against the 'convinience of the West End direct'. And pity the stockbroker when he's made it to Buckinghamshire - denied the journey in from the west on the Central line from .... Denham!
Never ever again? They have committed *the* cardinal sin of knowing, from real-world experience, what does not work well and hence they do not want to do again - and then once the lessons of history have been forgotten they are copying the same thing that was previously found wanting.
Bakerloo line extension to Hayes, Kent anyone? Who wants to remind TfL? (Lewisham is a different story - Bromley North with some intermediate stations would also be a different story, as this line is not too busy.)
btw, what about the segments of the Northern line which were completed - did they not have a similar problem here too?
It is an interesting and pertinent debate regarding the Bakerloo's proposed extensions and that about the potential running of Crossrail 2 - the age old question of 'where does it make sense to stop' before you cease to be a true inner urban metro line and become a weird mixture of inner and outer suburban as, we've already discussed, happened to the Central with all the concomitant problems. Thinking back to the various discussions I've been involved in, and those I've heard tell of, one of the great qualifiers has always been at what point and where do you 'design' interchanges between the various lines with their different modal 'natures'? Looking at the Central east end, Stratford's cross platform interchanges were seen as the bees-knees but now have been swamped by sheer numbers and the almost impossible task of re-engineering those platforms (ones I ended up avoiding myself latterly as it feels somewhat unsafe in peak hour) and likewise, Mile End.
Equally, the transfer from mainline to Central as a distributor at Liverpool St (and vice-versa) - the very thing that the design intention at Stratford was intended to avoid - is somewhat challenging in peak hours. The odd thing here is that Crossrail/Elizabeth line effective overlays that whole 1930s debate again - intended to to partially allieviate the issues that the New Works Programme has unwittingly unleashed and yet, one sometimes thinks as you look at the distances the Elizabeth will now cover, simply sorting the issue in some places to create similar but 'new' pinch points elsewhere? Obviously the sheer spatial design of the new works is intended to assist - and that is great where you have it as totally 'new works' but I'm sitting here thinking of some of the interchanges that have been designed and constructed at at Paddington or Bond St and thinking 'hmm...'. We shall see. But yes the pressure to 'keep going' towards the glorious sunlit uplands of outer suburbia is not new - as some one has mentioned, what about the Northern line New Works Programme extensions? Nailed 'officially' due to post-war austerity and Green Belt but every LT transport planner I ever spoke to, well you could see the look of relief that they were 'stopped' given what they may have been unleashed on service patterns and use, with issues that would have taken an awful lot of sorting out.
I shall leave this evening with two thoughts for people to ponder; Crossrail 2 - more sensible to have a simple end-to-end line with middle suburban termini than a complex multi-branch hydra, particularly on the south side (and what is the betting that the pressure will be on in the north to tie Stansted in a la all those 'thoughts of yore' to do the same with the Central beyond Epping) and the condundrum of a tube line to serve Clapham Junction - a through line that is already full on the north bound, a terminus of a tube line and how would you physically move the interchanging passengers). Interesting, and I'm just thinking across the Channel to the Paris and RER debates of 50 years ago. (At this rate this will be a thread on its own).
Very interesting post, plenty to think about.
Can I ask a favour though, could you use paragraphs as it maes it much easier to read and follow.* sorted