Brockley gets plugged in to London orbital


Farnsworth: Balderdash! I'll be the judge of who's cool, using the cool-o-meter! Good Lord! I'm getting a reading of over 40 mega-Fonzies.
- Futurama

BBC reporter Tom Watson points out one more cool thing about the news that the ELL Highbury & Islington service starts on Monday - it means that the ELL will become part of the new London orbital rail line proper.

A man could travel to Willesden Junction, was he so minded, although he would have to switch platforms at Highbury & Islington. In 2012, we'll be able to go full circle via Clapham Junction.

This re-imagining of the Overground map (from Going Underground) makes the point very nicely.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like a list of places that Lou says it doesn't go to. Minus all the underground places it would also connect you to. Sounds rubbish.

And on and on said...

It would be a true Orbital if Shoreditch wasn't moved from zone 2 to 1 to cash in.

Brockley Nick said...

Just go round the other way to avoid the fare! ;)

Anonymous said...

@AOAO damn it! i hadn't realised a kink had been added to the eastern edge of the tube map. the buggers.

but a trip from brockley to H&I is still a zone 2 fare right?

Tamsin said...

Probably not because you go through Shoreditch.

Anonymous said...

but we won't make it into a big deal though will we.

Anonymous said...

Brockley to H&I is through zone 1 so it's a 1-2 fare.

Shoreditch wasn't moved into zone 1. Shoreditch High Street is a new station which happens to be in zone 1. Leaves it nicely open for a future Mayor to move it to zone 2 as a sweetener. Or is that cynical?

Fat Controller said...

Where can one see the new map with the zonal change?

And on and on said...

Shoreditch High Street is a new station but prior to that there was a station called Shoreditch located pretty much on Brick Lane. It was a v handy station for the market, and the many Indian resturants not to mention that it was in zone 2. For some reason, this new Shoreditch(High Street) station was created, some 300m away in Zone 1 it's in part of the area which is currently barren, devoid of life and can often feel isolated.

Brockley Nick said...

Well in a few months it will have Boxpark right next to it (search the site for details) and after that it will have a huge office development on top of it. So it won't feel isolated for long. Obviously, the higher fare is a blow, but in some ways it's nice to see Zone 1 creep eastwards - the future is East I tell you!

And on and on said...

Well i guess the zone 1 creep is nice in some ways but because I'm paid by the hour, it's does my budget quite a lot.

Lou Baker said...

The map is impressive - but it perfectly demonstrates the Overground's two main flaws.

1) It doesn't go anywhere - just round in a circle. This in itself wouldn't be a problem expect:
2) It has terrible connections with the tube network. The circular part of the Overground on the map - the main bit - doesn't connect at all with the Northern Line, the Bakerloo, the Piccadilly or the Metropolitan. Despite passing directly over or close to all these. There is also only one connection with the Victoria Line, the Central, Hammersmith and City and the DLR. In fact the only thing it does connect with are a mess of national rail services which tend to run infrequently - like the Overground does to most of the stations it serves. This makes changing unattractive.

Compare all this to the Circle Line - which has at least two
intersections with all the main tube lines - and you see the issue.

The Overground could have been a great thing. But it's been done so cheaply - and with so little thought - that it's just a thing.

And that's a shame.

Tommo said...

@ Lou

The circular bit in the middle isn't neccessarily the most important part or the most heavily served part in real life. It's just a clever diagram which is of limited practical use (much like the Overground network diagrams on board the trains).

You could reasonably say that the new South London line section doesn't connect with the Underground as well as it could (due to lack of a station at Brixton) but it's not really a fair accusation for the rest of the network.

Actually, the Bakerloo does connect directly with three Overground lines at Willesden Junction.

Mb said...

@lou...Think laterally, the line will drag the city east. That's the power of a new train line, check out what happened to london as the tube network developed. Also yes it was inexpensive, why is that an issue? You seem to be comparing it to an imaginary service that was never on the cards. You could compare it to a line that went to great places and cost half the amount but what would be the point? For what it cost and for how quickly it was built and for how little disruption the build caused it seems good value to me. There are an awful lot of people using it of a morning, where are they all going?

Paul said...

Re connection to other lines: Th ELL itself connects to the Jubilee Line (at Canada Water), the DLR (at Shadwell), the Hammersmith & City and District Line (at Whitechapel) and now Victoria line (at Highbury & Islington).
That seems quite a lot. Am I missing something Lou?

Lou Baker Whinge Bot said...

There are an awful lot of people using it of a morning, where are they all going?

Off to get stabbed or buy drugs.

TM sounding like Lou said...

Aren't we a bit premature?

I wasn't aware that the bit from Surrey Quays to Peckham was due to open any time soon - with or without Surrey Canal Road Station.

2013 anyone?

TM now sounding more upbeat said...

It appears there is a public meeting about the "missing link" in March.

Details here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/london-overground-extension.pdf

A box is going to be built to contain the SCR station - hooray!!

Lou Baker said...

@mb

But this is not a new train line. It is predominantly an old train line with new branding. Yes, there's a new bit at Hackney, a new bridge at New Cross and a short bit of track around Surrey Canal. The rest has been here since Victorian times. That's not to say it's wrong to upgrade it - it's not. But you shouldn't describe it as new when most of it's not.

You seem to make the mistake of thinking new infrastructure necessarily means completely new alignments. Not so. The DLR showed this, as has the ELL extension in Hackney - both making significant use of disused infrastructure but creating 'new' railways. The Nunhead-Lewisham line is a great example of where this could be used in future - as it's currently only 2 tracks but is wide enough for 4 (apparently it used to be 4) and would be a great route for an extended Bakerloo line.

@Paul

All those connections you mention were there before. Canada Water, Shadwell and Whitechapel on
the old East London Line. Highbury on the North London Line. There are no new connections at all. The chance to add potentially useful links to the Central Line at Shoreditch and the Victoria at Brixton have been dismissed on cost grounds - significantly reducing the usefulness of the Overground but making it cheaper. As always in this country we put short costs ahead of long term gain. Thank god the Victorians didn't think like this or we wouldn't have a rail network at all.

Mb said...

@Lou I fail to see why your distinction is relevant. The ell didn't go to brockley, now it does. If fact it goes through from Croydon to H&I. New/upgrade, whatever. We have more trains from brockley, I use it every day. It's taken pressure off the southern service to LB, its useful.

THNick said...

Lou - I dont think the nunhead/lewisham line is wide enough for 4 lines, not least at nunhead station.
Also, the old ELL didnt go to H&I, so that is a new connection, even if the old NLL did.

Mb said...

....and as for investing on better connections. Ok, that's fine but the Tfl budget has to deliver new signalling systems across the network in order to run more trains. Many stations have to shut periodically as they get dangerously overcrowded at the moment. The upgrades were put off for decades, we're now reaping the reward in trying to do the lot in one go. We're in danger of being a tad parochial in dear old brockers, there is a whole network out there that's creaking at the seems, the new ell provides a better service than the old at a bargain price. I don't share the disappointment at using an existing route, the Victorians recognised this, they used old canals routes for their spanking new railways.

Coney said...

"Just go round the other way to avoid the fare! ;) "

&

"it's nice to see Zone 1 creep eastwards"

In other words, I'm alright Jack!.

Anonymous said...

No Coney, in other words "I'm dealing with it and getting on with it without pretending that I'm in France in May 1968"

Paul said...

MB said it for me; the ELL didn't go to Brockley before so for Brockley residents this is new. Saying "but we commuters who used NXG had all this before" is irrelevant. The site is called Brockley Central not NXG Central. Surely you can understand that this blog is going to be written from a Brockley resident's angle.

Coney said...

I personally find the description of this service as an 'Orbital', when it blatantly isn't, as lame spin.

And the disregard of the financial effects this has on people on lower income just indicates, that "I'm alright Jack" attitude. 'my needs are met, everything's fine.'
Meanwhile those affected suffer largely in silence, less disposable income=less likely to purchase those so loved organic foods.

Brockley Nick said...

@coney - if you are going to quote me to show how callous i am, pls don't leave out the bit where i say: "Obviously, the higher fare is a blow"

Coney said...

I'd describe your approach as blaise rather than callous.

Welcome to 2011 said...

I'd describe it as blasé rather than blaise.

Except I wouldn't, because it was just a light hearted comment in the fact of an unchangeable fact. What do you want us to do - it's not like it's new news - it's been like this for more than two years!

For goodness sakes

Danja said...

Some history (usual caveat about sources, can't trust these modern bloggers)

http://londonreconnections.blogspot.com/2009/04/price-of-ell-phase-2-victoria.html

coney said...

The comment calvary to the rescue! Except Nick doesn't need to be protected.
I've said what I have said, and it does need to be said, because it's good that spin of this type is remembered so that the next time people can be more focussed and cut through the bluster.

Speaking of lame the blase spelling point...why bother?

Tamsin said...

"Saying "but we commuters who used NXG had all this before" is irrelevant. The site is called Brockley Central not NXG Central."

Yes, but the tag-line at the top also claims it to be all things Telegraph Hill - so although we are on the borders and not the "Central" part of "Brockley Central" it IS still relevant. Particlarly because those in these northern reaches were regularly shouted down for departing from the orhodox opinion repeatedly promulgated on this site that the ELL was the best thing since organic sliced bread.

Tamsin said...

If that was (partially) aimed at me, I was simply curious why the zone 1 thing had happened and found that article. Facts (or not facts), that's all. Make of them what you will. Might even strengthen your argument given the orbital bit is entirely reliant on ELL2.

Danja said...

Err sorry that was me, I was trying to jump into my next post responding to Tamsin before the world caught up with me.

welcome to 2011 said...

"and it does need to be said, because it's good that spin of this type is remembered so that the next time people can be more focussed and cut through the bluster."

i don't understand. what spin? more focused on what?

Danja said...

Tamsin, I find that the change has been positive for me as an NXG user. The London Bridge trains are easier, the ELL is busier but you can always get on and it offers a better range of destinations and a massive improvement in the grumpyness of some glasshalffullers. What's not to like?

The real Tamsin said...

Seriously weird.

Tamsin said...

Sorry - that conversation got all out of order.

Nothing really I suppose and I didn't mean to give the impression that I "disliked" anything about the actual service and new connections. The ELL trains are fun - I rather enjoy being able to look down the whole length of them. And I am not a regular user so I acknowledge your greater experience that there is an overall improvement for NXG commuters.

Some services were lost though - Charing Cross - and the Gatwick connections seem to be poorer. And what I still don't like is the spin that was/is put on the whole business (e.g. the trains aren't "roomier" - there are just fewer seats).

The gripe in my earlier post was with Paul taking issue with Lou in saying that what the NXG services were before was irrelevant to the discussion.

Mb said...

They're roomier because they have fewer seats.....great.

Tamsin said...

@ MB Not if when travelling outside the peak hours you would rather like to sit down.

It's not the fact of the interior layout being changed that I object to - the need was for maximum capacity at peak hour travel - but the underlying dishonesty of saying "roomier" as if it was a benefit to everybody whenever they were travelling and the designers were somehow starting down the Tardis route by generating more interior space within the fixed parameters of the exterior size of the carriages. If they had said "we've increased capacity for peak hour travel so you are less likely to be left stranded on the platform" that would have been fine. I'm just irritated by spin and the patronising assumption tht everyone will buy into it.

Tommo said...

Unless you're old, disabled or pregnant etc having to stand for 10 minutes or so is no great hardship. The trains are the best in London IMO.

Coney said...

Or none of those things but you are just knackered.

Lou Baker said...

@mb

I understand the whole system is creaking and needs investment.

But making connections better in the 'burbs - all of them - is an easy and relatively cheap way to relieve pressure on the system in central London.

Quite often commuters from outer zones have to travel into zone 1, just to travel back out - because there are no connections outside central London. Putting interchange stations where lines cross helps avoid this and makes sense. It's not just here either.

In west London the central and Piccadilly lines cross each other. Rather than putting a station on the interchange there are separate ones half a mile apart.

There are examples all over London - and it's madness.

Paul said...

@ Tamsin: Lou's point was that the ELL has poor connections. When I pointed that it connected very well with the tube network, he replied that those connections already existed as if this somehow negated the fact that it connects well. The fact that those connections already existed is irrelevant to whether the ELL is a good line or not.

mb said...

@lou, yep its a problem with a million variables. Better connection into the suburbs would mean more people entering the central congested area. There are lots of people bevering away with various matematical modles working out the best way of managing the system. The lines are not independant. For example the works at Farringdon for thameslink means that some stairs are being taken out of use and replaced with temporary stairs. At peak time each Met line train is about 5-10 seconds late leaving. That throws the whole timetable and affects stations down the line. Tinkering with one line is not something that can be done casually. The ELL could have had more interconnections, it could also have had what we have now but have more money speant on making more stations step free. Or step free and more interconections but no phase 2? People do think about this.

mb said...

...I think everyone is looking for a conspiracy. Limited money for maximum return. It's all about shifting as many people around as safley as possible. "can you move down the train please!!" Yes, we can now because we have through trains and fewer obstuctions.

Danja said...

No doubt people think about stuff MB, but the problem in Lou's world is that the people doing the thinking are public sector thickos who aren't as good at thinking as Lou.

The Fat Controller said...

Meh, Lou's Horby set at home doesn't suffer these knock on effects so why should it be so in the real world?

mb said...

Don't worry. The traffic modeling is often done by those slick, efficient private sector consultants. Dispensing expertise at costs driven down to pennies by the wisdom of the market.

Tommo said...

Lou points out that the ELL should connect with the Central line at Shoreditch High Street. In a simplistic ideal world this would not be a problem.

Adding another stop to the already congested Central line would, however, cause even more capacity problems on the Central and slow down what is supposed to be a fast route.

It may be an option in 15-20 years once Crossrail takes pressure off the Central line.

As MB points out, tinkering with one line always produces a knock-on affect on other lines.

Tamsin said...

@ Tommo - a very Brockley-centric view! From Norwood Junction to Canada Water it's more than twenty minutes.

Tommo said...

@ Tamsin. That's because I live in Brockley!

From Norwood Junction you're more likely to get a seat anyway because the train has only served one other station by the time it arrives.

Personally, I'd prefer to be able to get on the train and have to stand rather than be left behind because a larger proportion of the train's interior space is filled with seats. I'm not saying it's an ideal situation - in a perfect world everyone would have a seat. Realistically though, it's no great hardship to stand for a bit sometimes.

straws R us said...

Do you need anymore straws, Tamsin?

Tamsin said...

Read my earlier posts - I LIKE the new trains and they are an overall improvement when shifting people from A to B, especially at peak hours. Just dislike the spin with which they were promoted. Also then taking issue not with the trains but with Tommo's view that came over as slightly arrogant - he is young, fit, not pregnant and only travelling for ten minutes - and so everything is fine.

I did choose the reference to West Norwood deliberately. It's more than half an hour from West Croydon to Canada Water but most, if not all people boarding there would get a seat. Those boarding at Anerly (20 minutes exactly) probably all have to stand.

Anonymous said...

20 or 30 minutes is not a long time to stand! Commuters on other tube and train line often have to stand for 1hr plus coming in and going home every day. There is no commuter rail system in the world which guarantees a seat.

If you are in "need" of a seat (due to old age, disability, pregnancy or holding a small child) speak up and voice your request politely to a seated person. In most instances, someone is willing to oblige.

And I think there is no spin with the use of the word 'roomier' to describe the ELL. It does feel more spacious. It certainly did not try to sell itself as being able to seat more people, just to carry more people in a space that felt more roomy.

I like the design and much prefer being squashed standing on the ELL to being squashed standing on the southern trains.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe how grumpy Lou is.

Is he suggesting we build lots of new track taking in all the exisiting tube lines so he can have his precious interchanges?

Yeah, that sounds practical!

We've got a great new service, and it's a real triumph (for once in such large scale projects)

Can't we just celebrate that?!

Kristen said...

Has anyone asked Joan Ruddock to advocate for us regarding the zone 1 punishment fare from Shoreditch? I'm in Crofton Park--my closest Overground stop is Honor Oak Park (zone 3) and I work in Islington. There's no excusing the zone 1 insertion that steals £600 from me a year for the privilege of not getting pummelled by tourists every morning at London Bridge. I think it's in our council's best interest to save us that travel money--we might be more able to pay taxes and get our youth and elderly services back!

Tamsin said...

Good thinking. They want to stop Zone 2 people getting off at Shoreditch and walking (oh horror!) to their work in the City. It is totally unfair on those using the orbital as orbital to charge for going through Shoreditch (which is not naturally in Zone 1 anyway). I am sure it is not beyond the wit of man to devise a system that charges Zone 1 if you disembark at Shoreditch but not if you travel through.

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