Disabled people and better transport on one side, rich NIMBYs on the other – one guess whose side I’m on! I am categorising this as a ‘stations’ post because i is about a potential future station.
A London disabled people’s organisation has backed plans to build a new accessible train station in the heart of fashionable Chelsea, despite opposition from a string of celebrity residents. Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea (ADKC) today (7 April) announced its support for a station to be built on King’s Road as part of the Crossrail 2 rail project that is set to connect rail networks in Surrey and Hertfordshire, with new track, tunnels and stations to be built through the heart of the capital. ADKC says a new Crossrail 2 station would “significantly improve” access for disabled people to King’s Road and nearby services – including some of the capital’s most important tourist destinations – as the nearest step-free tube station is more than two miles away. They say a new station would support the borough’s 1,900 wheelchair-users, and an estimated 7,100 people with walking difficulties, as well as disabled visitors who visit local attractions such as the Victoria and Albert
This post is about a minor station which is local to very different places of interest for me.
Like the rest of the Northern line beyond Highgate on the High Barnet branch, Totteridge & Whetstone is a comparative late comer, having been first served in 1940. However, its origins, on a branch of the London and North Eastern Railway make it one of the older stations to feature on the network, as it opened for business in that guise as long ago as 1872. Incidentally, the expansion at the northern end of the Northern line at this time was nearly even more dramatic, as the third of the three map pictures with which i conclude this section shows…
Walsingham Support is an organisation that supports people with disabilities. I came across them because someone from there put an excellent contribution to #autismawareness on twitter, which, combined with their address was responsible for the genesis of this post. Here is a map showing their relevance to a post focussing on Totteridge & Whetstone:
For the full map and written instructions about the route click here.
DOLLIS VALLEY GREENWALK
It is no secret that I am an ardent advocate of walking, so when I spotted the proximity of the Dollis Valley Greenwalk to the station I was covering it was natural to do some digging, and I first located the Barnet Council web pageon the subject, which led me to a guide which is downloadable as a PDF – I urge you to do this and read it in full.
This post looks at one of the more distinctive stations on the system. I have some good illustrations for you.
The original station was opened in 19o2 serving the District line, as that line expanded east. In 1936 services on what was then the Hammersmith & City section of the Metropolitan line started calling there as that route was extended along the line of the District to Barking. Finally, in 1946, as part of an extension to enable Central line trains to run over former Great Eastern Railway tracks to Ongar, that line came to Mile End in 1946. This history creates a…
Mile End is the only place you can make a cross-platform underground interchange between a ‘tube’ railway (the Central) and a ‘subsurface’ railway (District or Hammersmith & City). All other situations where this is possible (e.g District & Piccadilly at BaronsCourt are surface level stations).
STEP-FREE ACCESS: A PETITION
Although much progress has been made in recent years, London Underground is still a long way from being fully accessible to disabled people (and that is an understatement – see here), and one station that at present falls short is Mile End, which is the subject of this petition, which I have previously shared here.
The Bethnal Green Tube Disaster of 1943, in which 173 people were crushed to death, was the UK’s largest single loss of civilian life during World War II. Dr Joan Martin MBE had been qualified for just one year when she led the hospital team treating the casualties.
Welcome to this post about two unremarkable stations. This post came about because on Wednesday evening I was looking through a Railway Atlas that I had acquired at the auction that my employers were running (for more on this click here) and saw a picture that gave me an idea.
Kenton, nowadays the one stop south of the northern terminus of the Bakerloo line, was first served by that line in 1917, five years after it opened (although the line on which it sits had been in operation since the 1830s), services that far north being suspended in 1982 before being reintroduced in 1984. Northwick Park, on the Metropolitan, though being on a stretch of track built in 1885 did not open for business until 1923, when it was originally called Northwick Park & Kenton before losing the suffix, which is a good place to share some maps as a lead in to the next section…
TIME TO ACKNOWLEDGE AN INTERCHANGE?
The picture that gave me the clue that led to this post was this one…
Noting that although showing no features these maps seemed to be paying at least lip-service to geography (as Mr Beck’s creation and the zillions of imitations it spawned do not) I decided this warranted investigation to see whether these two stations really were close enough together to be considered an effective interchange. Google Maps today yielded the following…
Given Google Maps’ habitual over-estimation of walking times I would say that this constitutes prima facie evidence that indeed Kenton-Northwick Park and vice versa does deserve to be considered a genuine interchange. I have put Kenton first in this suggestion because I could see a situation where if you lived significantly north of Baker Street on the Bakerloo and needed to travel somewhere on the outer reaches of the Metropolitan a short walk from Kenton to Northwick Park would save time on travelling away from destination and then back towards it (even allowing for the possibility of a second change at Harrow-on-the-Hill, since Amersham services do not stop at Northwick Park).
SIGNIFICANT PLACES IN THE AREA
There are just two places worthy of individual mention in this area, and I append links to their respective websites below:
I was inspired to create this post by reading a wonderful piece about a walk in Roman St Albans by Debbie Smyth on travelwithintent, of which much more later. Walking will bulk quite large throughout this post.
TWO VERY DIFFERENT STATIONS
St Albans station is a reasonably major station just beyond the official boundary of Greater London. Services to this station are fast and fairly frequent – a non-stop service from St Pancras takes approximately 20 minutes to reach St Albans.
St Albans Abbey station is at the end of a small branch line with not very frequent services (I have travelled it more than once). The other end of the line is at Watford Junction, and there is at present no through connection. Here are some maps for your assistance…
I have made mention of St Albans and its potentialities for greater public transport integration in a number of previous posts:
In “The Great Anomaly“, my post on the Metropolitan line, I mentioned it in explaining my idea for the using the Amersham and Watford branches (which would cease to be part of the Metropolitan) as part of an envisaged London Orbital Railway.
In my post on the Bakerloo Line I wrote about re-extending the Bakerloo to Watford Junction and then having it take over the St Albans Abbey shuttle service, with a through connection being established at Watford Junction.
In my post on theCentral Line I explained in detail my envisaged London Orbital Railway and its connections.
In “London Underground’s Worst Bodge Job“, my post on the Northern line, I suggested splitting the line into two halves, with the Edgware/ Charing Cross half being extended north from Edgware as to Luton Airport Parkway, following the mainline from Elstree & Borehamwood on, and south from Kennington to Gatwick Airport.
Tying all these together my future for St Albans’ public transport connections involves:
The Metropolitan’s current Watford scheme (extending to Watford Junction from Croxley, abandoning the current terminus) would be subsumed within the Orbital Railway, which would also make use of an adaptation of the plan outlined in Colne Valley Transit Proposal shown below:
In my version of the scheme, which sees it become part of the London Orbital Railway, the Met keeps its Chesham terminus, and the new scheme runs service through Amersham.
The Bakerloo takes over the St Albans Abbey branch, running services straight through to St Albans. As will be revealed later in this post I have an idea for a further possible extension in St Albans to increase integration.
The Northern line Edgware and Charing Cross branches become the nucleus of a line running from Gatwick Airport to Luton Airport Parkway.
TWO GREAT WALKS
WALK 1: ROMAN ST ALBANS (DEBBIE SMYTH)
I start this section with the walk Debbie Smyth talks about in “A Roamin’ Walk through Roman St Albans“. To encourage you to read and comment on Debbie’s splendid post I offer you two pictures and the opening paragraph…
St Alban’s is first recorded as a Celtic British Iron Age settlement, known as Verlamion. After the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43, it grew into Verlamium, the third largest town in Roman Britain…
The original of the above picture can be viewed here.
To view the full post (and I reiterate my encouragement of you to do so) click here.
WALK 2: ST ALBANS – WATFORD
(FROM COUNTRY WALKS AROUND LONDON)
This walk, which I did many years ago when I still lived in London is also well worth a look. I have the route map, a picture showing the whole walk, and individual shots of each double page it occupies…
THE VERULAMIUM MUSEUM
Mention has already been made of St Albans’ significance in Roman times, and this final section adds to that by pointing to the Verulamium Museum as an establishment comfortably walkable from both stations at which you can find out more about this history. Here are some maps showing the walking routes…
To view the original of this map and written instructions, click here.
To view the original of this map and written instructions, click here.
The plan that occurred to me based on these maps (and it would need to very sensitively devised if it were to go ahead) was for an extension from St Albans Abbey to a dedicated station for the Verulamium Museum and then a new terminus at St Albans for an interchange to the main station.
I hope that you have all enjoyed this look at St Albans, a fascinating and historic town on London’s doorstep.
This is a post that owes its existence to serendipity – a piece of imaging at work yesterday and something I saw on twitter yesterday combining to give me the idea.
Manor House was opened as part of the first northerly extension of the Piccadilly line in 1932 (the extension from Finsbury Park to Cockfosters happened in three phases during 1932-3). It has had the same name for its whole history, although later in this post I will be suggesting a change. Here are two maps to show its history and modern connections:
AN EXCITING DEVELOPMENT AND A SUGGESTED NAME CHANGE
While on twitter I spotted a tweet about a development called Woodberry Wetlands and being impressed by what I saw decided to do some digging. I soon established that the site is practically next door to Manor House station, and it did not take much longer, having located an official website to decide that this was something entirely worthy of my support – cherishing nature while being deep within the capital city. For those who (like me) dotwitter, they have a presence there too.
I have a number of pictures for you, some gleaned with the help of google maps, and some extracted from the official website (individual URLs accompany each of these pics)…
Woodberry Wetlands opens on May 1st 2016, and I wish them all the best. I finish this section with…
A SUGGESTED NAME CHANGE
There is historical precedence for name changes on the Piccadiilly line – the name of Gillespie Road station was changed to Arsenal at the request of the club’s then general manager Herbert Chapman. I respectfully suggest that this project outweighs a mere football club in importance and that TFLwould be well advised to at least consider changing the name of Manor House station to Woodberry Wetlands (effective from May 1st).