Lewisham report sets out Bakerloo Line options

Undeterred by the failure of its campaign to secure an ELL station at Surrey Canal, Lewisham Council has commissioned a report in to the options available for extending the Bakerloo line further in to South East London.

London Reconnections has the story in full detail. The options explored could take the line east along the Old Kent Road (and on to places like Canada Water, New Cross, Lewisham, Greenwich, Catford, Hither Green, Blackheath, Honor Oak, Charlton and Canary Wharf) or south towards Peckham and Camberwell. Obviously, the Old Kent Road options would create significant benefits for the borough, potentially turning Canada Water, New Cross and Lewisham in to major transport interchanges.

Interestingly, the report suggests that the ELL is a model for future extensions of London's mass transit systems:

The sooner a tube can surface and use an overground alignment, the better, but this is rarely the case in inner London. One of the main reasons why the East London Line Extensions were authorised and are now happening, is because they make the fullest use of existing
railway infrastructure, and any new alignment is on the surface or on viaduct. There are also different environmental benefits and costs with tube or surface railway, which will need to be assessed and managed.

We're not sure whether to praise Lewisham for its ambition and far-sighted approach to securing public transport infrastructure or damn their eyes for commissioning reports on subjects that are ultimately beyond their control and unlikely to materialise for many, many years, even in the most optimistic scenario. Still, it makes interesting reading.

With thanks to BC's Australia correspondent, Richard, for prodding us about the story.


Lorna J said...

It's not the first time they've looked at extending the Bakerloo line, won't be the last. Usual excuse for rebuttal is the "muddy and unstable ground across South East London are unsuitable for digging tunnels". Funny, they can dig a tunnel under the English Channel but the murky depths of Saarf East London has always proved elusive to engineers. Fingers crossed, eh?

Anonymous said...

Someone will be along soon to ask why, after the building of a Lewisham, Catford and New Cross spot, there won't be one "local" to Brockley residents.

Monkeyboy said...

Hopefully Lou will have a look and reduce the budget by a few billion. After all the delux Lego railway set, which includes rolling stock, track, points, signalling, little plastic drivers and a tree cost £49.99. Based on a scale factor of 1000 this should come in at under fortynine grand.

John Bull said...

@Lorna - TfL carried out a non-public, fairly in-depth investigation into Bakerloo extensions in 2007 (a summary of it can be found linked in the LR piece on this report).

As far as I've been able to tell, that pretty much started by concluding that engineering advances had rendered the old "it's too muddy and expensive" arguments invalid.

So basically if you hear any politicians and/or agencies trotting out that excuse these days, then they're either fibbing or haven't done their research properly.

Anonymous said...

But wasn't there a recent rail report declaring the track between Lewisham & Hither Green was too congested?

The suggested solution was not more trains but longer ones.

Will the tube run on or alongside existing tracks?

Anonymous said...

The Channel Tunnel goes through chalk, which is just perfect for tunelling.

In Sarf London, the chalk is way down. Instead you have sand and gravel which makes it very difficult and expensive to tunnel through.

So the options focus on recycling whatever rail routes are can be reused or upgraded.

Monkeyboy (in bed with a hangover) said...

Tuneling is expensive period. Reusing routes will always make sense.

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