East Surrey Transport Committee Meeting
20/11/2014 09:41:00......Posted by Yvette Hopley
There follows a report from one of the members of the East Surrey Transport Committee. The report highlights some of the pressures on our busy rail service and some of the improvements that we can look forward to.
As requested by the ESTC Network Rail has cut back the growth from the embankment encroaching onto the pavement in Carlton Road.
A height barrier has been erected on the approach to the Sanderstead Station car-park from Mayfield Road. This is to stop “Travellers” from setting up a camp in the car-park.
There are ongoing problems on the East Grinsted/Uckfield line. They are varied so Southern and Network Rail are paying special attention to the problems.
A new Electrification RUS is due out in 2015 which is expected to increase the number of routes to be electrified. It is hoped that the Uckfield line will be included.
The platforms in the stations on the Uckfield line are being lengthened for longer diesel trains. They will be longer than necessary so that they will be long enough for 12 coach electric trains.
Sussex Area Route Study
The guest speaker was Paul Best, Network Planning, Network Rail. He came to talk about the Sussex Area Route Study.
The Sussex Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) published in 2010 described the improvements to the Southern Area in Control Period 5 (2014 t0 2019) to meet the expected demand on the railway. The improvements in Control Period 5 include an additional platform at Redhill that is due to be finished in 2017 and the rebuilding of London Bridge Station for the Thames Link Programme.
The Sussex Area Route Study is for the improvements required after 2019. The study has forecast that 4 extra trains will be required on the Brighton Main line by 2023 and 6 more by 2043. The Area Route Study identifies the improvements required during Control Period 6 (2019 to 2024) to achieve the additional capacity required.
The study also says that the time keeping on the Brighton Main Line is below the national average, T%his is because there are too many flat junctions on the Southern.
The Study identifies 6 pinch points on the Brighton Main Line that limit capacity and cause delays:
· Victoria Station
· Clapham Junction
· Windmill Bridge Junction (the junction between Selhurst, Norwood Junction, West Croydon and East Croydon.
· East Croydon Station
· Stoats Nest Junction
· Keymer Junction (the junction where the line to Lewes leaves the Brighton Main Line between Wivelsfield and Burgess Hill
There is a shortage of main line platforms at Victoria Station. At the present time a few Southern trains use platform 8 but in order to do so, have to use Southeastern tracks which reduces the capacity of the Southeastern side of the station. It is intended to provide a direct connection from platform 8 to the Southern tracks bypassing the Southeastern tracks. In order to do so 4 of the supports for the shopping centre above the station will have to be moved.
The delays at Clapham Junction are caused by extended dwell times in the peak period. It is intended to connect Victoria end platforms 16 and 17 (the platforms for the West London Line) to the line to Victoria so giving additional platforms for the trains to and from Victoria. It is intended that the fast trains will use platforms 12, 13 and 14 and the local trains platforms 15 and 16. Platform 17 will be used for the West London Line. There will have to be major engineering work at the East Croydon end of the station because the platforms will have to be lengthened under the houses at the southern end of the station.
Windmill Bridge Junction
This is the busiest junction on British Railways with over 1600 trains a day and can cause major delays. It is intended to provide a grade separated junction between the Victoria and London Bridge lines. This will be a flyover or fly-under. Network Rails preference is for a flyover but this would have to pass over the present flyover. The advantage of a flyover is that it would cause less disruption to services while it was being built. Also the connection between the local lines from Victoria to the West Croydon line will be lengthened to allow 12 coach trains to wait for access to West Croydon without blocking the Victoria local lines.
In Control Period 7 it is hoped to rebuild West Croydon Station and it may be necessary to provide to provide 3 tracks between Windmill Bridge Junction and West Croydon Station.
East Croydon Station
East Croydon Station is working to maximum capacity and so it is intended to provide two extra platforms and decking over the station to provide more circulating space. This will be achieved by moving platform 1 and 2 towards platform 3. There used to be a 3rd track between platforms 2 and 3 so there is room to move platforms 1 and 2. The new platforms will have to be to the north of the current platforms in order to make room for the connections to the new platforms without having to rebuild the road bridge. The decking will provide access to the new platforms.
Stoats Nest Junction.
It is intended to provide a grade separated junction between the up fast and up slow lines to avoid conflicting movements which cause delays on the down fast line.
It is intended to provide a grade separated junction here to eliminate conflicting movements and reduce delays. Wivelsfield station will have to be rebuilt as well.
All these changes will be expensive. However Windmill Bridge Junction is the busiest junction on the railway system and East Croydon is busier than either Reading or Birmingham New Street both of which are having multimillion pound makeovers at the present time.