Thursday, 31 December 2015

Serious Rail Track Damage Between Dover and Folkestone

Network Rail and Southeastern bosses meet to discuss railway line damage between Dover Priory and Folkestone CentralDamage to rail track could take millions of pounds to repair. Images just released reveal the true extent of damage to the sea wall near the railway line between Dover and Folkestone.

The pictures reveal several major cracks in the wall. One major fault runs vertically down the wall, while others appear to have opened up within the structure.

Meanwhile, potholes have appeared trackside after damage from a high tide.
But, as Network Rail and Southeastern bosses were meeting to discuss the major work required on the railway line the damage was worsening.

Managing director of Southeastern, David Statham, said at the site: “At the moment, the first thing to say is that we don’t have an estimation of how long it is going to take to repair the sea wall here at Dover.
“They’re currently working through what they have got to do to stabilise the site, what they need to do to repair it, so we don’t know how long it is going to take to get the railway back to normal.
“What I can tell you at the moment is that we’re unable to run trains between Dover and Folkestone directly.
"At present we’re running a rail replacement bus service, a shuttle service and from Dover we’re able to run a conventional mainline service into London Victoria. 
“We are making every effort to keep people moving while Network Rail complete the repairs.”

Southeastern is rearranging its timetables to accommodate commuters. The new timetable should come into play on Monday.
From then, Southeastern is also offering free parking at Folkestone West to encourage those travelling from Dover and Deal to drive there where they will then pick up the high speed train.

Route managing director of Network Rail Alasdair Coates said the original damage was spotted by track walkers.
He added: “Once every seven days we do a maintenance track walk. The track walkers noticed a crack just before Christmas and that identified the issue.
"Since that time, when we decided to close the railway on Christmas Eve, there has been further deterioration so it was absolutely the right decision to do so. 
“I myself have been down here regularly since then and each time I come down I have seen further and further erosion which is why it is so important that we get the track and temporary repairs in order as quick as we can to prevent further erosion.

Further information:

South Eastern Railway: Line closed between Folkestone Central and Dover Priory

Kent Online: Network Rail and Southeastern bosses meet to discuss railway line damage

Wednesday, 30 December 2015


HS2 Birmingham to Crewe link planned to open six years early

An artist's impression shows how the proposed station in Crewe would look 
The government has announced plans to open a 43-mile section of the HS2 high-speed rail link between Birmingham and Crewe in 2027, six years earlier than originally hoped for.
Crewe has been chosen above Stoke-on-Trent as the next key staging post on the route to Manchester.
Improving transport links with the north of England is a key part of the government's transport policy.
The bill for the first stage of HS2 has not yet been through parliament.
The bill for the London to Birmingham section of the route, the biggest in parliamentary history, may not gain Royal Assent for a year.
Before that can happen, a committee is going through the planned route inch by inch with those affected.
The government hopes the London to Birmingham route will be completed by 2026, and the routes to Manchester and Leeds by 2033. A separate bill will be needed for the Manchester and Leeds routes.
Last year, the boss of HS2, Sir David Higgins, said the £55.7bn project should be completed sooner than that. 
The boss of HS2 recommended taking the line a further 43 miles to Crewe last year.
He argued that it's relatively straightforward in engineering terms yet would save a significant amount of time.
Now the government's agreed, despite a strong bid to go via Stoke instead.
Interestingly, today's announcement doesn't include plans for a new hub station at Crewe. That decision won't be taken until next Autumn.
New stations are the most expensive things of all, so it raises the prospect of something else losing out. In the past they've looked at whether a planned new station at Manchester Airport should be postponed although the government suggests that's no longer on the cards, "subject to agreeing an appropriate local funding contribution to the costs".
HS2 has dropped out of the headlines since the new government pledged support, but there's still a long way to go before MPs even vote on the bill for the first leg, between London and Birmingham. That bill might not get Royal Assent until the end of next year.
Still, the project feels a lot more certain than it did a couple of years ago, when the then Shadow chancellor, Ed Balls questioned its value for money.

The Chancellor, George Osborne also announced that the former head of the CBI business group John Cridland would chair a new body called Transport for the North, which will look to improve transport links across the North.
The new timetable means a part of the second phase of the project is due to open only a year after the first phase from London to Birmingham is due to be operational.
"Bringing forward this part of the HS2 route by six years is a massive step in the right direction for the Northern Powerhouse where high-speed rail will play a big role in connecting up the entire region with the rest of the country," the chancellor said.
The Treasury said journey times between Crewe and London would be cut by 35 minutes once the new route was open.
In his Spending Review last week, Mr Osborne confirmed that the government would spend £13bn on improving transport links in the North.

New preferred site for Leeds' HS2 station announced

Plans to integrate Leeds' proposed HS2 station with the city's existing railway station have been announced.
Dubbed "The Yorkshire Hub", the proposal favours a plans to build on the south bank of the River Aire.
A report by HS2 boss Sir David Higgins said the original location in New Lane was "too isolated" and "too detached".
Leeds councillor Keith Wakefield said it was "great news" and he hoped the new station would become a "St Pancras in the North".

 The proposed rail link will split at Birmingham to create a Y-shape with links to Leeds and Manchester

The report considered three options; incorporating HS2 into the existing station, building a new integrated station, or building a new station in New Lane.
Sir David said the preferred integrated option "connects HS2 and existing rail services through a common concourse, allows for the growth in Northern Powerhouse rail and local services, and provides easy access to the city centre and motorway network, whilst creating the potential for a landmark architectural statement".
In a letter, regional civic and business leaders said: "The proposed Leeds hub station, integrating HS2, Northern Powerhouse rail and improved local and regional rail services, will transform the economy of Leeds and the city region.
"We now need to make this a reality and create a transport hub the nation can be proud of."
Mr Wakefield, the transport committee chairman for West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: "This is great news for Leeds. Our aspiration should be St Pancras in the North."
The recommendation will now be considered by the chancellor. A final decision on the route between Birmingham and Leeds is due to be made in autumn 2016.
The proposed high-speed rail link was originally due to stretch from London to Birmingham by 2026, and then reach Manchester and Leeds by 2033.
But Sir David proposed speeding up the £50 billion project last year.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Flying Scotsman Returns - 2016 Programme

The £4.2m refurbishment of one of the world's iconic locomotives, The Flying Scotsman, has been revealed.

The engine, which was retired from service in 1963, has been restored for York's National Railway Museum (NRM) in a shed in Bury, Greater Manchester.
The museum bought the "cultural icon" in 2004 using a grant and donations.


A NRM spokeswoman said it had been a "challenging project" to bring it "back to life", adding that testing of the restored engine will begin in January.
The work was carried out by Riley and Sons, who were brought onto the project two years ago.

The company's co-director Colin Green said they were "starting to look forward to the moment we will look at the crowds that have turned up to see Scotsman in steam and be able to say 'we did that'".
He said the work had included an overhaul of the engine's boiler, the addition of a new "fire box" and "smoke box" and a new chassis "grafted on" to the original.
Tests will begin on 6 January at the East Lancashire Railway, ahead of a mainline test from Manchester to Carlisle over the scenic Ribbleshead viaduct.

It will be repainted in its traditional green livery on 10 February for its inaugural journey from London's King's Cross to York two weeks later. Public services will begin in late February, alongside an exhibition at the museum.

  • Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, the Scotsman emerged from Doncaster Works on 24 February 1923 to take up the daily 10:00 service from London to Edinburgh
  • It is 70ft (21m) long, weighs about 96 tonnes and had a top speed of 100mph
  • It has travelled approximately 2,500,000 miles
  • During the Second World War, it was repainted wartime black
  • After being bought and restored by Alan Pegler in 1963, the engine toured the US and Australia
The restored engine had been due to return to York four years ago, but it was delayed after cracks were found in the chassis.
NRM's associate curator Bob Gwynne said the work in Bury had taken the Scotsman "down to the bare bones", but it was now "in the best condition" it had been in since it was given an overhaul in 1963 by its first private owner, "flamboyant businessman" Alan Pegler.
The engine was bought for the nation in 2004 using £415,000 in public donations, a £365,000 gift from Sir Richard Branson and a £1.8m grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

Flying Scotsman Programme for 2016 from the Flying Scotsman website

click to enlarge

See the Flying Scotsman website for further dates and details. Click on the link above.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Shuttle Bus Plan to Deal With A591 Closure

EFFORTS to reconnect the northern and southern Lake District following the closure of A591 due to flood damage have taken a step forward.

Over the Christmas period work will be done to create a temporary pedestrian and bicycle connection over Dunmail Raise to the junction with the minor road around the western shore of the reservoir.
This will involve upgrading the existing forest road which runs up the eastern side of Dunmail Raise. This new link will connect with a shuttle bus service on the Thirlmere side to and from Keswick. Initially this will only be for school pupils currently cut off from their normal school. The council is aiming to have this up and running for the start of term in January.
Work will then continue to further upgrade this temporary connection so it can be used by the shuttle buses to cross Dunmail Raise. This will allow a full park-and-ride service for local people travelling for work, education and other essential journeys to start.
Likely pick up points will be at Grasmere, Legburthwaite and Keswick. Work has already started and the aim is for this to be operational by the end of January.

While the western shore road will be open for the shuttle bus, the route will not be open to general traffic because the western shore road is narrow, hemmed in by walls and rocks and simply not capable of handling the 5,000-7,000 vehicles a day that the A591 typically carries.
Plans for the full reinstatement of the A591 are now subject to high level discussions with government and further announcements will be made soon.

There are two main tasks to complete the full reinstatement. The first is the significant, but comparatively straightforward, rebuild of the collapsed section of road on Dunmail Raise. Much more complex is the work required to reinstate the section of road alongside the reservoir.
   On this section of road the mountainside has effectively moved and is now unstable. The mountainside will first have to be stabilised before work can start on the carriageway to repair the fundamental structural damage.

 click to enlarge map

A Cumbria County Council spokesman said this is an engineering challenge on a large scale and the approach will need to be sensitive to the location of the A591 in the centre of the Lake District.
Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council, said: “The A591 is vital to Cumbria; livelihoods depend on it. All of us want to see the full road reopened as quickly as possible but the view from local and national experts is that this is a complicated task that is going to take time. That’s why this temporary connection is so important. It will allow school children, local workers, residents and tourists to move comparatively easily between the north and south Lake District and we know the difference this will make."

"If I could I’d have the A591 open tomorrow, but that’s not the reality. Looking forward we are going to be working very closely with government on this and I can assure everyone that this work will be done as quickly as is possible.”

In the meantime Stagecoach Cumbria have set up service changes for passengers wishing to travel from to Keswick from Kendal, Windermere & Ambleside.
Passengers for Keswick should change at Kendal onto an express service to Penrith Railway Station via the M6. From Penrith the service will meet with the X4/X5 bound for Keswick. This is a major diversion which will impact on the lives of the many residents who normally need to travel along the A591. It is to be hoped that the restoration of the road will be given the highest priority as the damaged road is also a major tourism link which could discourage tourist visiting the area in 2016.

Sunday, 27 December 2015


TfL trials Kindle-style electronic ink bus stop displays

Kindle-style “electronic paper” information displays could be rolled out on bus stops across London after a trial was launched. 

Transport for London is testing the new screens at a bus stop on Waterloo Bridge and will also install the system in Parliament Square, Piccadilly Circus and Sloane Square in the New Year. The E Ink displays use the same technology as Amazon’s Kindle e-reading devices to show three screens of information - maps, timetables and real-time arrivals. The interactive displays look similar to the current paper timetables. Transport chiefs say they are testing the “viability” of the technology and working out the cost of introducing it across the network of 19,000 bus stops. 

The test model in Waterloo Bridge is powered by a solar panel which sits on top of the bus stop. Information is transmitted over the 3G telecoms network. Simon Reed, TfL’s head of bus systems and technology, said: “We’re constantly seeking new and innovative ways to provide the best possible real time information to our passengers to make their journeys easier. “This trial has the potential to make a huge difference, giving us the ability to get a variety of real-time travel information to customers at bus stops whilst also cutting waste and increasing efficiency. “It supplements the wide range of real time and journey planning information we already provide to our customers through our website, direct to customers’ phones or tablets and through our extensive ‘open data’ which now powers over 350 apps.”

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Tyne Bridge Cameras Have Raised Up to £565,080

Newcastle City Council could have raised up to £565,080 in fines through a single camera with cash to be spent on the city's roads.

Thousands of drivers have been caught out by a city centre bus lane camera in the first three months since its switch-on.
Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed a camera stationed at the Tyne Bridge caught 9,585 drivers out from when they went live at the end of July until October 6.
That means on average around 900 motorists a week are receiving fines at the hotspot.
The authority said it could not confirm the amount of revenue raised but, based on costs provided by the council, the total revenue would be between £282,540 if all drivers paid £30 within two weeks, and £565,080 if drivers paid the £60 fine after two weeks.

Newcastle City Council took over the enforcement of bus lanes from end of July this year and since then cameras were introduced on the Tyne Bridge, High Level Bridge, on the Great North Road between Clayton Road and Forsyth Road and at Brunton Lane Bridge, at Great Park, in July, but it is not known how many drivers have been caught out by the other cameras.

Greg Stone, Liberal Democrat spokesman for highways and transport, has sought assurances the council would not be open to a legal challenge on similar grounds to one in York where the council was forced to pay back those that had been fined.

A Newcastle City Council spokesperson said: “We have four live cameras on bus lanes.
“There has been 9,585 penalty charges notices issued on the Tyne Bridge Slip Road bus lane. The cameras are not there to catch out drivers, they are there to help us manage the network and improve public transport reliability.
“All bus lanes are clearly marked and camera enforcement signage are clearly signposted - on all approaches to the bridge.
“However, there are a minority of drivers who are flouting the law, resulting in a fine of £60.

“Any income generated from cameras are reinvested in the delivery of our city’s public transport systems and highways maintenance.”

Focus Comment. Congratulations to Newcastle City Council for commencing enforcement of bus lanes. It is long overdue and should hopefully help to keep public transport moving in such a congested city. Newcastle has become a free for all with unauthorised vehicles clogging up many streets that have limited access. Hopefully motorists will get the message that if they want to enter the city they must abide by the rules and allow priority to those that choose public transport. Hopefully the money from the fines can be ploughed back into acquiring even more cameras.

The next move should be removal of taxis from bus lanes. The number of taxis using central taxi ranks in the daytime should be also be restricted, they slowly edge forward to the front of the queue during daytime, polluting the atmosphere as they do. 
During the evening it's a different picture with taxis moving large numbers of people and this is when they should be allowed to use bus lanes.
If Newcastle and all other towns and cities are serious about improving emissions some tough decisions are to be made.

Friday, 25 December 2015

Seasons Greetings

 The Focus Team send their Greetings to all viewers of this website. 

During the year the number of page views reached the one million mark since we first launched in May 2011.

We will continue to bring you news and views and cover a wide range of items of interest and if you would like to see coverage of particular vehicles or subjects please let us know. We can't promise to cover everything but will give due consideration.

The Focus Team

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See below for our posting of the day

Solaris Urbino 12 Tested in Paris

As part of the project to make the whole of the bus fleet in Paris emission-free by 2025, RATP recently commenced operation of the new Solaris Urbino 12 electric bus, which will be tested in the city for two months.

The agreement between Solaris and RATP stipulates that the new Urbino 12 electric will be tested in regular passenger’s service on lines 21 and 147 in the French metropolis. The Parisian operator’s objective, supported by Greater Paris transport authority STIF, is to give up traditionally diesel powered engines and make the whole city fleet zero-emission by 2025.

The Solaris electric bus being tested in Paris is based on a new Urbino construction which is of a completely new engineering design. Despite being lighter, it is more robust while being made from the same non-corrosive materials as before. 

The vehicle is equipped with a 240 kWh battery and a plug-in charging system. Solaris in co-operation with Ekoenergetyka will provide the operator with an 80kW external charging station.
According to Solaris, a further innovative solution is the use of the newest ZF AVE 130 drive axle, in which two independent electric motors are mounted close to the wheels. It brings down the overall weight even further and at the same time increases the space inside the bus that can be configured freely. Along with the Medcom traction equipment, the axle ensures an exquisitely quiet drive as well as smooth acceleration and braking.

There are 30 seats in the bus, including 16 pedestal-free seats. Energy-efficient LED lighting is used both inside the bus as well as for all exterior lamps. The ergonomic cab, with a higher seating position improves interaction between the driver and boarding passengers. The windscreen, which is much bigger in comparison to previous Urbinos gives an excellent view of the road. The drivers’ cab is more ergonomic thanks to the modern, intuitive touch-screen dashboard, now available across Solaris’s range of buses and trams.

Thursday, 24 December 2015


A round-up of items from the English Capital's Underground system including extensions to the Bakerloo and Metropolitan Lines and an upgrade to Bank Station.


Bakerloo line extension to radically improve transport links in south London by 2030, say Mayor and TfL
  • Extension to Lewisham via Old Kent Road could be open by 2030 and support the building of 25,000 new homes
  • Extension would enable 65,000 new trips in each direction from Old Kent Road, New Cross Gate and Lewisham into central London each weekday morning
  • Potential to extend beyond to Lewisham in future and for a new Thameslink station at Camberwell

Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed it will be taking the next vital steps on the proposed new Bakerloo line extension and will begin the detailed technical work in 2016 to build a case for extending the line from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham via Old Kent Road.
This would allow TfL to seek permission from Government to start the construction of the extension by 2020. If the project is given the green light, construction is expected to start around 2024. By terminating at Lewisham, an extension could be open by 2030, delivering significant benefits across south east London.
Passengers travelling to central London from Lewisham, New Cross and the Old Kent Road would benefit from more frequent services and faster journey times with the Bakerloo Line extension, delivering capacity for 65,000 new trips in each direction.
With the Capital’s population growing to 10m by 2030 from 8.6m today, extending the Bakerloo line is vital in helping support the anticipated growth in south London by providing improved transport infrastructure and enabling regeneration in a number of the Mayor of London’s key Opportunity Areas including Elephant and Castle, the Old Kent Road, New Cross Gate and Lewisham.
TfL carried out an initial public consultation in Autumn 2014 on route options for extending the line south of Elephant & Castle. More than 15,000 people responded, with 96 per cent in favour of an extension. Since then, further work has been carried out to assess a number of possible routes and stations, including options serving over 200 alternative destinations that were suggested during the consultation.
TfL has today published a summary report of how the various options have been assessed against their potential to unlock new homes and improve transport provision in south east London. The report indicates that a route to Lewisham via Old Kent Road has the strongest case, with potential to support the building of 25,000 new homes by improving transport accessibility and capacity along the route.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “The extension of the Bakerloo line will provide a vital new transport link for people living and working in south London. It will help to spur the delivery of jobs, homes and regeneration in this part of the capital and provide much-needed new capacity on a key underground line. The case for a route to Lewisham via Old Kent Road is strong and TfL will now be working closely with the boroughs to fine tune our plans to the next important stage. We’re now firmly on track to get construction on this major project underway by 2024 and have it up and running by 2030.” 
Further work is also underway to look at the wider rail network to ensure that it gets the vital investment it needs to support growth in London and the South East. Beyond Lewisham, TfL is working closely with Network Rail and the DfT to develop improvements to the rail network, such as capacity enhancements to allow for more frequent trains, which will complement and add to the Bakerloo line extension.
The Mayor and TfL will be working closely with Network Rail and Southwark Council on plans for a new Thameslink station at Camberwell. This new station would reduce journey times into central London by up to 20 minutes, and by providing connections to the Underground and Crossrail, will improve access from Camberwell to locations across London.

Richard de Cani, TfL’s Managing Director for Planning, said: “Following a comprehensive assessment of route options for extending the Bakerloo line, a route to Lewisham via Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate provides the greatest opportunity to support growth with the potential to unlock 25,000 new homes whilst improving access to jobs in Central London. Together, these two proposals would unlock growth across a wider area and help improve transport accessibility for people in the Camberwell and Old Kent Road areas” 
“No final decisions have been made and next year more detailed work will be carried out before we undertake another public consultation. We will also continue to work closely with the London Boroughs of Lewisham and Southwark, Network Rail and other key stakeholders as we develop our plans.” 
Funding options for the extension are being considered. There is potential to look at similar funding mechanisms as that being used for the Northern line extension, seeking contributions from new residential and commercial developments along the proposed extension.
Subject to funding and securing powers the extension could be completed by 2030.


Course set for extension of the Metropolitan line as funding package now complete
  • London Underground aims to complete line extension and two new stations in 2020
  • New Tube link will create over 6,500 jobs and benefit local economy by 2bn
  • Work due to commence next year
London Underground (LU) today confirmed that plans are in place to start construction work on the extension of the Metropolitan line next year, with the aim of completing the transformative new link in 2020.
Over 6,500 permanent jobs and a 2bn boost to the local economy will be created as two new stations are built at Cassiobridge and Watford Vicarage Road, served by new walk-through air-conditioned trains every ten minutes to and from central London during peak hours.

The Metropolitan Line Extension will support growth and regeneration in and around Watford by making journeys to and from London easier. The Underground will be connected to the West Coast Mainline via the station at Watford Junction, and the two new stations will also provide new connections to Watford General Hospital and new Health Campus, Croxley Business Park and Cardiff Road Industrial Estate. 
A full funding package for the extension has now been agreed between the Department for Transport (DfT), Hertfordshire County Council and Transport for London (TfL), and the work will be delivered by LU. The existing Watford Metropolitan station will close to the public following the opening of the new stations, but will be retained as sidings for the extended railway.
Nick Brown, Managing Director of LU, said: “For 100 years, the Tube has been enabling growth in ‘Metro-land’ and this new part of the Underground network will support further rapid development in the area. By 2020 we will have built a 400m viaduct, two completely new stations and numerous new and reconstructed bridges along the route, transforming transport links in Watford. With the funding package complete we’re now turning all our attention to appointing contractors, finalising designs and beginning construction in 2016.”
Derrick Ashley, Hertfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “Hertfordshire County Council is a proud partner in the development of the Metropolitan Line Extension, which will make travel in and out of central London much easier for people in Watford and the surrounding areas. The line extension, alongside development in the area, presents a raft of fresh opportunities for Hertfordshire, including the potential for thousands of new jobs and a boost to the local economy. As one of the funding partners for this project, it is positive to see this exciting project come to fruition.”
Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership has committed 87.85m to the new Tube link, which is 40 per cent of its total Growth Deal funding from Government. Chairman John Gourd said: “We have worked hard with our partners including Hertfordshire County Council and Watford Borough Council and are delighted to have now reached this exciting stage. The Metropolitan Line Extension will unlock investment in brownfield sites, revitalise existing employment areas and bring considerable job opportunities and economic benefits to Watford and the wider community. As the second largest funder this demonstrates the huge importance that we attach to this project which will help realise our priority to deliver at least 1,400 jobs in the M1/M25 area by 2021.” 
Manny Lewis, Managing Director for Watford Borough Council, said: "The Metropolitan Line Extension to Watford is a key transformational project for the town - its residents, visitors, businesses and investors.  As well as providing significantly improved transport choices for local people, the project is absolutely critical to unlocking Watford's future economic and regeneration potential.  The extended Metropolitan Line will bring over 1.4bn of investment into the town, helping create thousands of jobs by supporting the delivery of major projects like the Watford Health Campus, Watford Business Park, Ascot Road and the redevelopment of Charter Place Shopping Centre. We have worked really hard behind the scenes with key stakeholders and funding partners to help make this happen and look forward to supporting London Underground Ltd as they work towards physically delivering the project on the ground."
Steven Halls, Chief Executive, Three Rivers District Council, said: “Three Rivers has formally supported the Croxley Rail Link since 1996 because excellent rail and Underground links are a vital part of the economic success of the district. The expansion of the Metropolitan line will give a powerful boost to businesses and for creating jobs in Croxley Green as well providing extra travel options for residents, reducing carbon emissions and congestion on our roads. We are working very closely with the partnership and will do our best to make sure that the inevitable disruption to local residents, businesses and the environment will be kept to a minimum.”


Major upgrade of Bank Tube station gets the green light for work to begin
·         Department for Transport grants permission for the station transformation
·         Government approval means that the £563m upgrade of London Underground’s third busiest station is set to begin next year
·         Bank Tube station will be dramatically transformed to increase capacity, reduce interchange times and improve accessibility
·         The majority of construction work will take place behind the scenes with the station remaining open to customers
·         Images are available at
The Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) have announced that work to dramatically transform and improve Bank Tube station will begin in the new year after the plans were given the go-ahead by Government.
The £563m upgrade will increase the busy station’s capacity by 40 per cent, improving accessibility and reducing interchange times when it is completed in 2021. Now approved, the station becomes the latest in a series of major upgrades taking place across the Capital.
Bank is the third busiest station on the Tube network and is used by over 52 million passengers per year, with demand having risen by 50 per cent over the last 10 years. Improving the station is critical to keep London working and growing and is a key step in TfL’s future plan to increase frequency on the Northern line.
This vital interchange – at the heart of the City of London – will be modernised to include:
·      A new railway tunnel and platform for the Northern line that will reduce interchange times and create more space for passengers
·         Step-free access to the Northern line and DLR platforms
·         More direct routes, with two new moving walkways
·         Three new lifts and 12 new escalators
·         A new station entrance in Cannon Street
The station will remain open to customers throughout the work. TfL will ensure the majority of construction work takes place below ground to minimise construction impact on the historically significant site, which is bordered by 31 listed buildings.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “Bank is a vital interchange for passengers and it is crucial that the station is able to keep up with the increasing demand placed on it. These exciting plans will completely transform the station, making it more accessible and much easier for everyone to use. It’s great news for the tens of thousands who use the station every day that these plans have been approved, and is another major step in our work to transform the network and support our growing Capital.”
Nick Brown, Managing Director of London Underground, said: “Improving Bank station is at the heart of our multi-billion pound investment programme to improve and expand the Tube. This critical and ambitious station upgrade will create a new southbound Northern line railway tunnel and platform to vastly reduce interchange times. A new station entrance on Cannon Street will also be constructed alongside a range of other major improvements to create more direct routes, improving accessibility for the millions of Tube customers who use Bank station each year.”
The redevelopment will complement current work to create a new entrance to the Waterloo & City line. Just metres away from Walbrook Square, the new entrance will offer two new lifts, four new escalators and a new ticket hall when it opens in late 2017.
London's population is set to grow from 8.6m today to around 10m by 2030 - an extra Tube train full of people every three days. Redevelopment work to increase capacity at key stations and make them step-free is underway at a number of stations, including Tottenham Court Road, Victoria and Bond Street. Crossrail will deliver 10 per cent additional capacity to London’s rail network.


Londoner creates festive Tube map to help spread Christmas cheer

The man, who asked only to be named as Paul, created the innovative design as a Christmas card for friends. 

Stations include 'We Three Kings Cross St. Pancras', 'Holyborn' and 'Myrrhgate'.

Others listed include 'Mornington Present', 'Charing Frost' and 'Winterloo'. 

But one stop which did not require a name change was Angel in Islington. 

The map's creator, who tweets as @bitoclass, said he made the map to send out to friends and family, adding: "I also sent the idea to the London Transport Museum shop in the hope they'd like to mass produce them for Christmas but they didn't reply, sadly!"

Unfortunately those looking to make use of the map on Christmas Day will be disappointed as the network is closed.