Train Franchises

edited July 2012 in About this site
seemes like massive changes  are being proposed over the next few years.  Directly affects FP Station and is createing a mega franchise in bringing lots of services together see here <A href=""></A>;


  • They’ve been talking about this in detail over at London Reconnections. The gist is this:<br><br>a) Once Thameslink trains are serving Finsbury Park through to Cambridge (2018), it is proposed that all the other FirstCapitalConnect services currently running into King’s Cross or Moorgate will be transferred to a new ‘Greater East Cost Franchise’.<br><br>b) This would mean that the local trains from Welwyn and Hertford down through Ally Pall, Hornsey, Harringay etc. would be bundled into the current East Coast intercity franchise<br><br>It is my view – and I’m far from alone – that this would lead to the continued neglect of the local services and stations. No intercity franchise operator is going to give a shit about improving services and facilities at Hornsey, Harringay, or Essex Road.<br><br>I would encourage anyone who cares to respond to the survey making this point. As an alternative solution, I would urge people to ask for <b>a separate local franchise incorporating the Welwyn and Hertford services</b>, and calling for them to <b>bring in evening and weekend services to Moorgate</b> (which will become much more likely once the current segregation works are finished). People might even mention that this ought to be a transitional franchise with the expectation of London Overground taking over at a future date.<br>
  • I have  never understood why they  don't extend the    Mooregate line and connect it with South London to get another through route?  Money I suupose
  • edited July 2012
    That's a perennial question.  The answer is 'because of all the underground infrastructure that's in the way', including the Bank of England vaults, other deep foundations, the Northern Line, the Central Line, the DLR, and soon the Crossrail ticket hall too.  It would be somewhere between extremely difficult/expensive and impossible to do.<br>
  • Should of thought of that, it was probbaly the old lady that stopped it in it's tracks
  • That sounds like a non-sequitur, but maybe I’m misunderstanding?
  • It's the Bank of England - The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.
  • edited July 2012
    Yer learn something every day.<br>
  • This wonderful map gives some impression of the number of lines that would have to be crossed to connect the Northern City Line to the Waterloo & City, which is the usual proposal that people make:
  • @Arkady What a fantastic map! Thank you. I would love to see an overlay with streets on.
  • edited July 2012
    An emerging coalition of sorts representing concerned users of Harringay and Hornsey stations is drafting a response to the Thameslink franchise consultation. First draft below. Anyone care to comment, add anything, fact-check, or generally discuss?<br><br><b>Threats to current service levels</b><br><br>Two separate changes to the railway are underway which will affect services to Harringay & Hornsey stations: The Thameslink Programme and the segregation of Hertford Loop services. It is essential that any changes to service patterns maintain, at a minimum, the current level of service to H&H. Ideally, H&H should benefit from the increased services made possible by these changes.<br><br>H&H currently receive six trains per hour at peak times. These trains run between London Moorgate and Alexandra Palace, after which the service is divided between trains towards Welwyn Garden City (‘The Welwyn route’) and trains towards Hertford North or Stevenage (‘The Hertford Loop’). In the evenings and at weekends the trains are diverted to London King’s Cross.<br><br>Because the Welwyn service and the Hertford Loop currently share track between Alexandra Palace (AP) and Finsbury Park (FP), it is not possible to increase the service beyond six trains per hour. To remedy this, work is currently under way to bring a freight-only track into passenger service for the Hertford Loop between those two stations, allowing full segregation of the two services in future. This will allow six trains per hour on the Hertford Loop (up to ten at peak times) and six trains per hour on the Welwyn Service. Stations between Alexandra Palace and Finsbury Park could, therefore, be serviced by over twice the current number of trains.<br><br>According to the 2011 Jacobs Consultancy report for the DfT, service patterns post-2018 are likely to be as follows:<br><br>Welwyn service:<br>2tph Welwyn Garden City - Moorgate 3/6 car 313<br>2tph Welwyn Garden City - Caterham 8 car 700<br>2tph Welwyn Garden City -Maidstone East 8 car 700<br>Hertford Loop:<br>2tph Letchworth - Moorgate va Hertford North 3/6 car 313<br>2tph Hertford North - Moorgate 3/6 car 313<br>2tph Gordon Hill - Moorgate 3/6 313<br><br>However, the track currently being converted for the Hertford Loop does not have platforms at any station between Alexandra Palace and Finsbury Park. Platforms are currently being installed at FP and AP, but they are not being installed at the intermediate stations, Hornsey and Harringay. Any reference to new platforms at H&H appears to have disappeared from recent official documentation. Post-segregation, then, H&H may be reliant on the six-trains per hour on the Welwyn service. While this would not be a reduction in trains-per-hour it would be a reduction in available services, as users of H&H would need to change at Alexandra Palace if they wished to use the Hertford Loop Service. Post-Thameslink it would also often be necessary to change at Finsbury Park to get to Moorgate, as four of the six Welwyn trains are expected to be diverted to St Pancras.<br><br>A further issue is that the four Welwyn trains per hour from Thameslink will likely be eight-cars long. The platforms at H&H can currently only cater for six-car trains, and there appear to be no plans to lengthen them (as has happened at Finsbury Park). If these trains are to stop at H&H they will require Selective Door Opening (SDO). While the new Siemens Desiro trains commissioned for Thameslink are capable of this, SDO is regarded as bad practice. Nor has any guarantee been given that these trains will stop at H&H. Without this guarantees, or a guarantee of new platforms on the Hertford Loop, H&H could be reliant on the remaining two trains per hour running between Welwyn and Moorgate; <b>rather than increasing services, services could be a reduced to a third of their current level.</b><br><b><br>Future services</b><br><br>Whichever franchise takes over responsibility for the Welwyn and Hertford Loop services should give a guarantee that service levels at Hornsey and Harringay will not be reduced. Ideally, any future franchise should be required to ensure that H&H receives the full benefit of the increased service levels made available by segregation and Thameslink. Together, the new franchise and the DfT should do one or more of the following:<br><br>A1) guarantee that the four Thameslink trains per hour will stop at H&H<br>A2) extend the Welwyn Thameslink platforms at H&H to eight-car so that SDO can be avoided<br>B) build new platform faces at H&H on the new Hertford Loop line to enable access to the six+ trains per hour running on this line.<br><br>Currently, many potential passengers are dissuaded from using Harringay and Hornsey stations due to overcrowding. The potential doubling of trains per hour brought about by implementing options A & B would remedy this, inevitably easing road congestion by car & bus users.<br><br>Ensuring that users of H&H maintain access to both Welwyn and Hertford services would also have a knock-on benefit of relieving Finsbury Park station - the busiest station outside of Zone 1 - as passengers would not need to change trains there.<br><br>Any future franchise should also create an evening and weekend service to Moorgate. As well as giving passengers additional options, this would relieve Finsbury Park station by allowing passengers to take advantage of the cross-platform change to the Victoria Line at Highbury and Islington. It would also be an economic spur to areas around Drayton Park and Essex Road stations, which are currently closed in the evenings and at weekends.<br><br><b>Station facilities</b><br><br>Hornsey and Harringay stations are currently in a poor state or repair, with gloomy platforms, no cycle-parking facilities, no gate-lines or permanent staffing. Harringay is in a particularly poor state, having had its original building replaced by a 'temporary' wooden shack following a fire in the 1960s. Any future franchise should guarantee to substantial upgrade facilities to London Overground-standard.<br><br><b>The future franchise</b><br><br>Of the lessons learned during First Capital Connects current tenure over the Great Northern routes, perhaps the clearest is this: An inter-city rail franchise will not prioritise local services or stations only served by local services. Stations like Harringay and Hornsey will inevitably be neglected in favour of larger stations such as Cambridge. It is not, therefore, appropriate for the non-Thameslink Welwyn and Hertford Loop services to remain part of a wider Thameslink franchise. Nor is it appropriate for it to be transferred to another, ‘Greater East Anglia' inter-city franchise.<br><br>The Hertford Loop and remaining Moorgate-Welwyn service is an excellent contender for adoption by TFL and London Overground. London Overground's commitment to local high-frequency stopping services, clean, upgraded and well maintained stations, ticket gate-lines, permanent-staffing during opening hours, etc. are precisely what is required. As demonstrated by the Overground elsewhere this would maximise the potential of these services. Merely appearing on the standard tube map would likely lead to increased usage, relieving the overcrowded Victoria Line.<br><br>If the Welwyn & Hertford Loop services cannot immediately be adopted by London Overground they should be given their own, local franchise tasked with adopting LO standards and preparing for a future transition to TFL control."
  • edited July 2013<br><br>I never expected that one day I would be (mis)quoted on the front page of the Hornsey Journal.<br>
  • Anyone interested in responding to the consultation will find a finalised template here, along with instructions:<br><br><br>;
  • edited September 2013
    This has worked out well - the DfT's response has just been published (I know one or two of you are already aware of this, and one person in particular deserves special thanks).  Service levels to H&H will be maintained or bettered.  Even more excitingly, we will have evening & weekend services to Moorgate from December 2015!<br><br>The consultation response template that I posted above was quoted in full in the appendix, and appears to have been among the most common responses to the consultation, so thanks to everyone who submitted it.<br><br><br>;
  • Thanks also to my fellow Haringey Liberal Democrats for publicising and furthering the campaign.<br>
  • Well done Arkady!  I wrote my own response which was similar to yours (though shorter).<div><br></div><div>The evening/weekend services at Moorgate is excellent.  Though it'll be just in time for Old Street to be shut for a few years to be redeveloped!</div>
  • It may have helped that a key member who wrote the DfT specification lives in Stroud Green...
  • Arkady - I have read it. Thank you a very good article
  • edited December 2017
  • It’s actually almost precisely NW/SE on the compass (I think you’re forgetting that impact of us being in the northern hemisphere) but you’re right, I should have been more accurate. It would be improper to change it now though.
  • edited December 2017
  • Very kind Joe.  My inner and outer nerds are rather proud of them.<br>
  • Excellent article Arkady.<br>
  • @NorthNineteen - are they actully closing Old Street station when they redevelop the roundabout?<br>
  • Hasn't been decided, there problem is there are four different schemes being developed (commercial lead scheme with major development possibly on top of the roundabout/station, public realm scheme closing one of the arms, a 'better junctions' review and improvements to interchange/accessibility within the station itself).  One of more of these may neccistate closure.<br>
  • Do you have some good links to that stuff, or shall I ask Mr Google?<br><br>The station that's least spoken of in all this is Essex Road.  It's a bit of a dump around there at the moment, and I would imagine this will be the catalyst for a bit of a spruce-up.<br>
  • edited October 2013
    I'm not sure how much has been published I'm afraid.<br><br>This would definitely do wonders for Essex Road especially once the Crossrail connection at Moorgate is up and running.  Islington are still pushing for a Crossrail 2 station at Essex Road which would magnitude the impact somewhat.<br>
  • edited October 2013
    Yeah.  It was in the metro proposal, but not in the regional scheme.  I can't see the metro scheme happening.  And the trains in the regional scheme would be too long to serve an intermediate station between Angel and Dalston, right?<br>
  • It wasn't actually in either option, it is part of the safeguarded route though.  But both the regional and metro options did state station locations were indicative.  Personally I think get rid of the Angel station and have a new station with one entrance on Islington Green and the other with Essex Road, lack of development sites to fund this is a shame though.  I can't see why you need to interchange with Angel nor where the second station entrance would be....<br><br>I agree the metro option seems the better option.<br>
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