Post by Paul Corfield Post by Basil Jet
The latest Modern Railways has a track diagram of the track from Lea
Bridge to Meridian Water (the replacement for Angel Road station) which
is currently under construction. It's a single track with no junctions
from south of Coppermill Junction to the single platform at Median Water
station. They are talking about 2tph off-peak and 3tph peak. The current
journey times between Lea Bridge and Angel Road are in the vicinity of 9
to 11 minutes one way. Admittedly the new station will be slightly south
of the current one, and the start of the branch will presumably be about
600m north of Lea Bridge station, but that still doesn't leave a lot of
leeway (no pun intended) for a 3tph service.
Haven't seen that MR but it matches what is appearing on the ground. I don't see how there can be 3 tph on the single extra track. The driver would have to be an Olympic sprinter to get out of the north end train cab and be in south end one in less than a minute when turning round at Meridian Water.
The plan was always that 2 tph would be provided on the third track and 2 tph would stop on the main line to give 4 tph overall. The DfT specced that as an add-on to the Gtr Anglia franchise spec but with a proviso that a pure clockface headway from Meridian Water / Stratford could be flexed in the peak given capacity constraints on the main line. If there is now a suggestion that the best that can be achieved is 3 tph overall then that's deeply disappointing. I use the service from T Hale to Stratford quite a lot but the half hourly frequency is a bit of a pain. Can't wait for 4 tph which will be vastly more convenient. The numbers using the service are pretty decent - must have been 50 people waiting at T Hale for an mid afternoon service last week. Vastly more at Stratford for a PM peak departure.
Thanks, Paul. I've just reread the paragraph of the article twice. It
explicitly states that the shuttle will have 3tph peak and says nothing
about mainline services at all, although mainline platforms do appear on
the diagram. Have you noticed if mainline platforms are appearing on the
ground at Meridian Water?
Maybe MR has got it a little wrong, and the branch will have 2tph all
day and the mainline will have 1tph peak and nowt off-peak. But if they
want the 3tph to be evenly spaced, that would still mean the branch
would have to have alternate headways of 20 and 40 minutes in the peak.
3tph on the branch and 1tph on the mainline would push the branch up to
15 and 30 minute headways, which would be even tighter (impossible?).
It seems more likely that they will have 2tph on the branch all day, and
2tph in the peak direction only on the mainline, and MR has somehow
misinterpreted the one-way 2tph peak service as a two-way 1tph service.
But that means MR has made two separate errors in the one sentence.