East London Line preview

I know I need a small vacation.
But it don't look like rain.
And if it snows that stretch down south, won't ever stand the strain.
- Glenn Campbell, Wichita Lineman

Thanks to reader Monkeyboy's masonic contacts, Brockley Central has been invited to ride the rail on one of the East London Line's test voyages tomorrow. As it falls slap bang in the middle of the working day, Brockley Central Sr will be reporting for us.

The tour will be a chance to ask questions about both the build and the operation of the service - so if you have any questions, please pose them here quick and we will pass them along.

We've already asked him to find out when the last train will be in the evenings.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Make sure he tries the seats out, might be the last time anyone round here gets a chance.

aero-static said...

I was one of the lucky hundreds to walk through the Thames tunnel from Rotherhithe to Wapping on Saturday night. Surreal, excellent fun. Made better by my brother - an ex-Metronet engineer - telling us what all the wires and cables were for, and how to short out the power if a train comes.

Looking forward to seeing this line reopen.

Monkeyboy said...

When do they plan to increase the length? Think that's the intention. I could ask here but security have already got my card marked.....

Tamsin said...

Will there be another chance for a walk through - given how popular and badly managed it was over the weekend?

TimeKeeper said...

Lets hope it turns up on time.

Sevenoakser said...

Bon Voyage, BC Sr! Very keen on finding out the time of the last train from town, so thanks in advance!

Crofton Park Ranger said...

Sorry if this is a bit pessimistic (I'm just curious):

-What happens to the ELL service if the southern trains break down and vice versa.

Can they route around a broken down train or does the whole system come crashing down?

Anonymous said...

that's a good question. Anyone know the answer?

Mb said...

Depending on where I guess your screwed. But that would be the case if there were loads of southern trains on the same line. The rolling stock will be brand new and I think the signalling system is indepandent to a degree so should be more reliable overall? Also different companies so possibly a bit more robust with regards to industrial action.

I'm speculating though.

Anonymous said...

Hello
any update on whether they will build a station at Surrey Canal would be veir useful; I keep being asked by friends as there is a bit of a dearth of public transport in that particular spot.

Do we get pix of the trip?

Matt-Z said...

@ Monkeyboy. Do you mean extending the train lengths?

If so, good question. I'm not sure why the new stations and upgraded old stations on the core section weren't made for at least 5-car trains. OK there are problems with a few of the old underground stations, but those could surely be overcome with SDO. What chance that within 5 years whoever's in City Hall will announce a train/platform lenthening programme?

Anonymous said...

I have the same concern as Crofton Park Ranger - wondering how the ELL will function alongside a shoddy train service that is always late in the morning peak.

And what the first/last train times are - if memory serves me correct the 'old' ELL ran until nearly 1am which was great.

Anonymous said...

If there's only one track then there's your answer.

Brockley Nick said...

There's more than one track. As MB says, it's presumably dependent on where the train breaks down. But we'll ask!

trainhope said...

Hasn't a shedload of the budget been spent on signalling? So that duff trains can be shunted to the side by changing the tracks?

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering about what the legal issues will be if a crap Southern service destroys the reliability of the new fangled ELL

Monkeyboy said...

You can't just shunt trains over, you'll block the fast line! You need sidings or some such. As for lengthning platforms - v expensive. There's a huge amount of kit cramed into stations that you just don't see. There is a platform lenthening programme for the new surface stock, it's no small task.

I'm rapidly running out of knowledge so I'll shut up now

Matt-Z said...

In the case of the section of the line shared with Southern trains, the recoverability and resilience of the line surely depends on the number of crossovers/points installed between the slow and fast lines. So if a Southern train breaks down at Forest Hill, an ELL train could bypass it by using the fast lines, as long as the crossovers are there to allow it. However there would be a knock-on effect on the fast trains, so I'm not sure how keen Network Rail would be to employ this method, especially in the peaks.

I think the old ELL and new northern extension have been signalled to allow a faulty northbound train to be overtaken by the following train using the southbound tracks (can someone confirm this?). As these tracks will be dedicated to the ELL, it will be in their interest to do this to keep the service running, even with delays, rather than see a total blockade in the event of a train failing.

Monkeyboy said...

... Matt's answer tells you all why they don't let me near the complex bits.

patrick1971 said...

The reasons the trains are only four cars long is, actually, Red Ken's fault, believe it or not.

The original plan was to close Wapping station permanently and (I think) extend the Rotherhithe platforms to link up with those at Canada Water, and run eight car trains.

However, Wapping residents kicked up a huge fuss, Ken grandstanded a bit about not losing stations and agreed to keep Wapping open. It's not possible to extend the platforms at Wapping due to (a) the river, (b) the listed tunnel and (c) the buildings to the north. So four car trains it is.

magpie said...

Amazing the things people on here know!

Matt-Z said...

That's interesting Patrick. I recall Wapping and Rotherhithe being under review for safety reasons (there's only one way in/out at each, and no chance of step free access). I presume the other stations could already accomodate 8-car trains (or easily be exteneded). Still though, what chance of 5- or 6-car running with SDO in the future?

Abdul Omar Bins al-Fullup said...
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Abdul Omar Bins al-Fullup said...
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Ladywell Borders said...

I'd love to know what time the first trains start and what the travel times are between stations (sorry if this has been asked or posted about before!).

Many thanks and happy riding!

Brockley Nick said...

@LB - re: times between stations, answers here http://brockleycentral.blogspot.com/2010/01/east-london-line-launch-plans-revealed.html

John Bull said...

Should be a good tour tomorrow - was lucky enough to get the invite as well.

So if Brockley Central Snr sees a shady looking, bald, mustachioed man in a camel coat tell him to say hi (it'll be me).

Monkeyboy said...

could ask if:

a)Brockley will get a proper refurb and decent ticket office rather than the rubbish portacabin affair

b)When (and if) will we get a 'stepfree' station, this does not just affect the disabled. It affects those with luggage, the elderly (a growing demographic) and mum's (yummy or otherwise) with prams.

Will BC Sr also get a nose around the depot? Interesting from an Engineering geek perspective.

Lou Baker said...

Sadly there will only be four car trains because some health and safety twit has decided it's too dangerous to only open half the doors at Wapping and Rotherhithe. (Despite the fact that selective door opening works perfectly well elsewhere). Short trains mean you'll have to stand for most peak hour journeys.

If a Southern train breaks down the ELL is basically stuffed. The ELL will also suffer from Southern delays and also, potentially, disruption to some South Eastern, Thameslink and North London Line services too.

There will be a station at Surrey Canal Rd but it's unlikely to open to 2012. You won't be able to get there direct from Brockley, you'll need to change at Surrey Quays.

On another thread it says there'll be extra trains from Crofton Park to Blackfriars too - which as things stand there won't.

The ELL gives us more trains, albeit mostly to unhelpful destinations, and puts us on the tube map. Beyond that though there are as many disadvantages to it as there are benefits.

M said...

Bloody life, eh Lou - it's a shitter innit? Still, worse things happen at sea!

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Matt-Z said...

There's a comprehensive account of yesterday's trip, with many photos, on the London Reconnections blog:
http://londonreconnections.blogspot.com/

It seems much of the infrastructure has been built to anticipate at least 5-car trains, and in some cases 8-car. Lou needn't worry though, nothing likely to happen on that front for years to come.

Maradoll said...

Londonist have posted their East London Line review

I particularly like this photo that shows Brockley on the tube map

Maradoll said...

Grrr. If you click through on what was suppose to be my clever text links - you'll have to remove the www.blogger.com/ at the start of the URL. Sorry peeps.

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