Category Archives: Transport


Gospel Oak – Barking trains suspended AGAIN

South Tottenham station will be closed again for over a month from this Sunday.

There will be no service on the entire length of the Gospel Oak and Barking Line (GOBLIN) from Sunday 17 September to Sunday 22 October 2017. The closure is to continue electrification of the line that was originally slated to be complete last February. The work has been beset by problems and looks like it may take a while to finish. According to the latest newsletter from the ever-informative Barking – Gospel Oak Rail User Group:

“There is still plenty of work that has to be done however. A number of support masts for the overhead wires are still needed east of South Tottenham, and as yet very few masts have the fittings from which the overhead wires are suspended. Then there is around 70 miles of various cables to be hung from the mast fittings.

“Once the cables are energised and tested, electric trains will be able to start using the line.

“Network Rail predict the new passenger trains could enter service around Easter.”

More closures ahead … but new, clean and bigger trains should be running by next Spring

Replacement buses will run, but once again these will only cover sections of the line. One bus will run Gospel Oak –  Seven Sisters (for South Tottenham) while another will cover Walthamstow Central – Barking. Those wishing to travel between South Tottenham and Walthamstow will need to rely on the Victoria Line. TfL promise “regular users” of the line will be automatically refunded the extra cost of zone 1 travel made by Tube or rail

The electrification of our line is long overdue and this blog joined to campaign to make GOBLIN electrification happen. Once complete, it will double the current passenger capacity on the line and improve near-by air quality.

Another weekday full closure of the line (but hopefully the last!)  is expected between Saturday 25 November 2017 and Sunday 14 January 2018, although these dates are still subject to confirmation

Crossrail 2 map: Tottenham & Seven Sisters

Crossrail 2 consultation results

The results of the Autumn 2015 consultation on Crossrail 2 have been published this week.

This new railway connecting London north-east to south-west could bring huge benefits to the local area as well as the wider metropolis. It will improve journey times across London, and ease congestion on the Victoria line.

However some concerns had been raised of the impact of the line – and its construction – locally.

Tottenham Hale tunnel portal

Of particular local interest is the plan to build a tunnel portal just south of Tottenham Hale. Around half of the 321 comments made with specific regard to building this tunnel entrance are classified as positive, including the comment that it would be “hugely beneficial”.

Some 50 comments were made stating environmental/social concerns (section 3.88). Of these, 18 specifically stated that Markfield Park must be protected while 20 raised concern about wildlife and the surrounding environment. There were a further 20 comments stating concern about the impacts of construction on the local community (section 3.89).

Seven Sisters

The report reflects a widespread support for Crossrail 2 at Seven Sisters. Over three quarters of the 770 responses were “supportive”. Many felt this station development at Seven Sisters would support local regeneration (section 3.96) and would ease pressure on the Victoria line (section 3.94).

South Tottenham Crossrail 2

The current plan for Seven Sisters includes a Crossrail 2 entrance being added as part of South Tottenham station. 55 supportive comments expressed particular support for this link (section 3.95).

Stoke Newington shaft

Down the road in Stoke Newington opinion is more split on the proposals to demolish Morrisons and built a ventilation shaft (Table 3.15). Some raised suggestions that Stoke Newington have its own station instead, but this may well be unlikely to be added to plans at this stage.

We shall find out as plans develop. Following George Osborne’s confirmation of development funding for Crossrail 2, things should really get moving. The “Crossrail 2 team” promise, “In the summer we will publish a document that will respond to the issues and concerns raised during the consultation. Over the coming months we will undertake further design and development work and share proposals in further rounds of consultation as the scheme develops.”

Crossrail 2 map: Tottenham & Seven Sisters

Crossrail 2: trains exit tunnel at Markfield Park

The case for the Crossrail 2 north-south rail link gets stronger every day. This proposed project is vital to provide improved public transport in London, and the plans feature welcome improved links for Tottenham Hale and Seven Sisters including South Tottenham station. But there remain crucial questions on its impact on local residents, both during and after construction.

The latest plans were revealed this week and provide more detail in the form of a Crossrail 2 interactive consultation map.

They make the option of a tunnel portal at Copper Mill Junction on Walthamstow Marshes less likely. This had caused much disquiet at the impact on this marvellous open space and its wildlife. However the proposed tunnel still emerges above ground to the SOUTH of Tottenham Hale, in a strip of land running northwards from behind the Markfield Beam Engine to Tottenham Hale station itself.

Crossrail 2 and Markfield Park

It is unclear how great an impact this would have on the museum and Markfield Park itself – both during construction or after it.

Construction would last several years, with the work site hugging the top of Markfield Park. This clearly raises potential questions about both noise and air pollution, and what would be done to ameliorate effects on users of the park and its popular café.

Once built, the proposed train service includes a Crossrail 2 train every 4 minutes (or 15 trains an hour). These trains are big at over 200m long (two full-sized football pitches) and travel at up to 140 km/h (90 mph). If the tunnel does emerge here important questions are raised on reducing the impact of these trains hurtling by on both Markfield Park and residents of Jarrow Road and nearby.

One issue that may continue to be raised by local residents and groups is: what consideration has been given to the tunnel emerging to the north of Tottenham Hale? This is an area which is more industrial in nature and so may be more suited. Also a continuation of the tunnel further north would go some way to solving the problem with level crossings on the line towards Broxbourne.

Meanwhile to the south, there is a proposal to build a two storey ventilation shaft near to Stoke Newington station. Construction would take around six years from start to finish.This would be a major work in itself, and the worksite appears to involve the demolition of the large Morrisons.

More on Markfield Park – Tottenham Hale tunnel portal

Crossrail 2 at Markfield Park
Crossrail 2 factsheet [PDF]: Tunnelling worksite at Tottenham Hale

Crossrail 2 at Tottenham Hale
Crossrail 2 factsheet [PDF]: Services between Enfield Lock and Tottenham Hale

More on Stamford Hill / Stoke Newington ventilation shaft

Crossrail 2 at Stoke Newington
Crossrail 2 ventilation shaft near Stoke Newington station [PDF, page 5]

Have your say on Crossrail 2

Visit to leave a comment or provide a response to the consultation questions. You can also contact the TfL helpline on 0343 222 0055 or write to Freepost Crossrail 2 Consultations.
The consultation will close on Friday 8 January 2016.

Crossrail 2 map: Tottenham & Seven Sisters

Crossrail 2 for South Tottenham station

South Tottenham station will get a major upgrade if the Crossrail 2 plan goes ahead, with a direct entrance to the new subterranean platforms for fast trains into central London and beyond.

Once built, the proposed train service would provide a Crossrail 2 train every 4 minutes (or 15 trains an hour). Each train has the capacity to carry 1,500 passengers, being over 200m long (two full-sized football pitches) and can travel at up to 140 km/h (90 mph).

Crossrail 2 is still on the drawing boards at the moment, but the case for this north-south rail link gets stronger every day. It is vital to provide improved public transport in London. As the Evening Standard commented “the case for extra spending on Crossrail 2 is … now unanswerable

The current proposals reveal plans to:

• Two 250 metre long platforms. Station platform tunnels around 25 metres below ground level
• A re-built Seven Sisters “main line” station ticket hall and entrance onto Seven Sisters Road
• A new southern ticket hall and entrance onto the High Road at Ermine Road
• A dedicated link between South Tottenham station and the new southern ticket hall

The current plans include absorbing the (newly opened) South Tottenham entrance into a work site (“Site C”). Local residents and others will need reassurances on South Tottenham Overground remaining open during the estimated five to eight year building schedule. This is a popular and much used station, an essential part of the local transport system. For instance, could the previous entrance (on the north side of the bridge) be put back into action during this time, or is it now obstructed?

TfL have produced a guide to A typical Crossrail 2 station [PDF].

Meanwhile the Tottenham Hale branch of the Crossrail 2 would emerge from a tunnel near Markfield Park, crossing the existing Overground tracks.

More on Seven Sisters / South Tottenham Crossrail 2 station

Crossrail 2 at South Tottenham
Crossrail 2 factsheet [PDF]: Seven Sisters station/a>

Have your say on Crossrail 2

Visit to leave a comment or provide a response to the consultation questions. You can also contact the TfL helpline on 0343 222 0055 or write to Freepost Crossrail 2 Consultations.
The consultation will close on Friday 8 January 2016.


Crossrail 2 consultation results in all options open

The results of the Crossrail 2 consultation have been published with opinion split on its Hackney route and concern over any possible tunnel entrance on Walthamstow Marshes being raised by several respondents. The option of the tunnels emerging north of Tottenham Hale was also raised by some.

As a reminder, the consultation states:
[The plans involve a] tunnel portal to the south of Tottenham Hale, although the exact location has yet to be determined. Further engineering feasibility work is being carried out to review options for the tunnel portal and the impact this would have on the area required.

A 2013 engineering feasibility study had placed this portal at Copper Mill Junction on Walthamstow Marshes. A detailed analysis of this and other possibilities is in our previous post, Crossrail 2 emerges on our doorsteps?

For now, it seems no option has been ruled out – or in – and local residents and users of Walthamstow Marshes, Markfield Park and the River Lea must wait and see.

In their response, LB Haringey notes “the potential for impact on regeneration around Tottenham Hale station through the use of land for a tunnel portal/worksite. Ensuring appropriate development platforms are provided following completion of the railway to maximise the benefits of the new route, and minimise the areas of working required to facilitate delivery must be the objective of all parties.”

You can download the full Crossrail 2 consultation 2014 report [PDF, 15.3Mb] via the TfL website.


Crossrail 2 emerges on our doorsteps?

Crossrail 2 is a great idea – and a vital project to provide improved public transport in London. But the latest route announced this week still leaves local residents unclear about the threat to local marsh and parkland, and with crucial questions on its impact.

Crossrail-2-Route-Map-sidebarIf the line gets built, fast, frequent trains would reduce overcrowding and encourage people to leave their cars at home. Locally journeys from Seven Sisters to Euston, St Pancras or Tottenham Court Road would take only 15 minutes with trains running through to Victoria, Clapham Junction, Wimbledon and beyond.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has been pushing for the route to go ahead and earlier this week he announced a revised route that could see the line open by 2029.

Impact on South Tottenham?

Much of Crossrail 2 would be built underground. However one branch of the line would emerge from its tunnel somewhere “to the south of Tottenham Hale”. At the moment the exact location is undetermined. This week’s consultation says:

“This change would result in a new location for the tunnel portal to the south of Tottenham Hale, although the exact location has yet to be determined. Further engineering feasibility work is being carried out to review options for the tunnel portal and the impact this would have on the area required. Once the location has been agreed, further consultation with stakeholders and the public will be undertaken.”


The satellite view reveals there is not a lot of space for this “tunnel portal”. Is the small area north east of Markfield Beam Engine Museum a possibility? And what impact would this have on the museum, Pistachios in the Park and the park itself? Or will the tunnel emerge further south, on the edge of Walthamstow Marshes near Coppermill Stream? Remember this is a “high frequency, high capacity rail line”.

Some questions

What is the reasoning behind the line coming above ground south of Tottenham Hale? This area is predominantly residential interspersed with rare and valued open space.

Wouldn’t the tunnel portal be better situated in the predominantly industrial zone just to the north of Tottenham Hale?

More details on the overall plans can be read on the Crossrail 2 website. TfL is running a consultation until 25 July showing full details of the local route options. Question 7 of the accompanying online survey is a good place to raise concerns as it asks for “Comments about the route north of Angel”.


[UPDATE 14/7] Tunnel entrance at Coppermill Junction?

Research by has revealed some interesting detail to these proposals. The document “Crossrail 2: Summary of Option Development” written in May 2013, specifies:

“… [Crossrail tracks] then surface to the south of Tottenham Hale close to Coppermill Junction.”

Coppermill Junction on Walthamstow Marsh

Coppermill Junction on Walthamstow Marsh

This is tantalising glimpse of what the plans may involve, in a document apparently written by infrastructure firm AECOM for TfL. The route south of Tottenham is still very much up for grabs in the consultation, but this suggests the plan is for a tunnel entrance on the edge of Walthamstow Marshes.

View over Walthamstow Marshes – under threat?

View over Walthamstow Marshes – under threat?

The document continues:

“The branch could then join the WAML at a grade separated junction.”

So the emerging tracks would join the existing main line (WAML) in a grade separated or flying junction, with tracks criss-crossing each other via an underpass or bridge. Then…

“The WAML may have been partially 4 tracked before Crossrail 2 is completed and the Crossrail 2 lines on leaving the portals would join the slow (suburban) lines”

This implies the track will be doubled from the existing two tracks running alongside Walthamstow Marsh, between the Warwick Reservoirs, past the corner of Markfield Park, over the River Lea, and up past Yarmouth Crescent and Jarrow Road into Tottenham Hale. Interestingly such tracks used to exist, and the remains of an old bridge can be seen over the Lea adjacent to the existing rail bridge.

Walthamstow Marshes

Bear in mind Walthamstow Marshes are a Site of Special Scientific Interest and “one of the last expanses of semi-natural marshland left in London. Extending to 88 acres, they are unique in the Lower Lea Valley” (read more via the view from the bridge)

This is an inheritance worth protecting.

Would the users of Walthamstow Marshes and Markfield Park – together with local residents – not be served by the tracks emerging above ground somewhere beyond Tottenham Hale? Perhaps some of the wasteland between the Victoria Line sidings and Northumberland Park station could be used? This would have far less impact on our green, open spaces.

Another more community-friendly point to bring the tracks above ground might be just to the south of Angel Road station, by the derelict gas cylinders next to the North Circular. This would also by-pass the Northumberland Park level crossing which saw a person hit only last year – and is already rated with the second highest “Collective Risk Rating” of an incident involving a person or vehicle. No doubt this option would be more expensive – requiring subterranean platforms at Tottenham Hale and an extra 4km of tunnel – but has it even been considered?

Why is the current consultation documentation stopping short of spelling out these consequences? Is the plan really to “plonk” the tunnel exit in an environmentally and residentially sensitive area rather than industrial zoned land a little further north?

[UPDATE 18/7]“A highly sensitive location”

I have just received the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority response to the Crossrail 2 Coppermill Junction plans:

The ‘Regional’ option implies works to the Coppermill junction which lies on the northern edge of Walthamstow Marshes which is part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest. This is a highly sensitive location and construction should avoid this area. The Authority could not support any scheme which would result in an incursion into this area.

So, is this plan off the table? TfL haven’t told us. As the millfields blog points out today:
“TfL say they will consult again after they have decided how the railway will travel through the Marshes towards Tottenham Hale. This is the wrong way round. Local people deserve to be consulted on the range of options and to fully understand and comment on the implications before a decision is made.”

The TfL consultation only runs until 25 July – you can read more on their website and respond online here, where question 7 asks for “Comments about the route north of Angel”. Time to get writing…



Tottenham one way becomes two way this weekend

It’s all change at 06.30 on 30/6 as the High Road alongside Tesco becomes two way. The return of Tottenham High Road to two-way traffic marks the completion of the first phase of the Tottenham Hale Gyratory removal scheme.

To cut down on any confusion, the police will be on hand throughout Sunday and Monday’s rush to direct traffic.

As well as effecting drivers, the change will cause a minor alteration to the route of the 341.

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Gospel Oak – Barking Electrification WILL go ahead

Electrifying news on the Gospel Oak – Barking Overground line! Danny Alexander will concede today that the long-demanded and much-needed electrification will go ahead. The upgrade will reduce pollution and ease overcrowding on this popular route.

The improvement work had attracted widespread support, including a petition to electrify the Gospel Oak Barking line (many thanks to everyone who signed!).

A TfL press release confirms: “A £90m commitment to carry out electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking overground line, as a first step towards the extension of the line to Barking Riverside, unlocking thousands of homes”

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Support our rail upgrade: electrify Gospel Oak – Barking line

Passenger numbers have shot up again at South Tottenham, increasing by more than half year on year. Our petition calls for an upgrade to help cope.

The latest figures for 2012-13 show the station handling 657,598 entries or exits. That’s compared to 441,988 the year before and just 45,834 in 2004-05.

South Tottenham station is now busier than Wrexham, Rotherham Central or Stratford International.

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South Tottenham station changes: what do you think?

Changes are planned at South Tottenham station, which has seen a large increase in passengers over recent years. It is now the busiest intermediate station after Blackhorse Road on the Gospel Oak – Barking Overground line.

Plans under the “Access for all” scheme would see the introduction of lifts to platform level and the installation of automatic ticket barriers. This is a welcome continuation of TfL’s provision of step-free access, such as the new lifts at Gospel Oak station and .

The Barking – Gospel Oak Line User Group (BGOLUG) has raised concerns about the specifics of the current plan, and would like to hear the views of users of South Tottenham station.

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