Thameslink via Elephant

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jamesup Tuesday 10 August 2010 3.06pm
Having a lovely new view of the impressive 4 track line through Elephant and Castle, I've been rather surprised by the absence of trains... In theory it could handle all the traffic through the Thameslink core with capacity to spare.

Why are we building a four track viaduct through Borough when one already exists that is barely used?

I googled about and all I found was a reference to "customers wanting to go to London bridge" from a project director in 2001. But, who actually goes to London Bridge? It's surely, for most, just a place to change onto the tube, buses or walk - all of which could be done from the three Thameslink stations in the city.

Anyone know the real reason for this?
Neil Tuesday 10 August 2010 3.35pm
Wasnt it something to do with a bottle neck further down the line in Herne Hill? Though that was in part related to Eurostar services which no longer go through there. Basically I dont think the issue is Elephant but I am sure someone else will be along with a better answer shortly.
dronid Tuesday 10 August 2010 4.30pm
There was some discussion over this and I don't remember a convincing rationale for not using Elephant and Castle. Given the regeneration of the area it would've always been a good idea to make Elephant & Castle one of the main London stations. There's 2 tubes, the same as London Bridge, plenty of busses, links into the city and West end and, hopefully after the regeneration will have attractive facilities in terms of shopping and entertainment. Whereas London Bridge is on an overground bottleneck into the city and has a tube that doesn't go to the centre of the west end as well as expensive and overstretched shopping facilites. And London Bridge Station is going to be worked on for a good few years yet as well!
jamesup Wednesday 11 August 2010 11.04am
That Herne Hill reference was enough to solve it - they'd need new flyover south of Herne Hill and, at the time it was planned, the paths would have conflicted with Eurostar.
Neil Wednesday 11 August 2010 12.20pm
Though by the time of the second inquiry we knew that Eurostar wouldnt be going through Herne Hill any more but I dont know what impact that had on the analysis.
JGuyS Wednesday 18 August 2010 12.46pm
With huge resources committed to regeneration and redevelopment of Elephant & Castle, I agree that it makes much sense to route far more trains through Elephant & Castle station. It has the infrastruture to take many more trains and connects to lines to South East London, South London and beyond. It is much used by commuters and also travellers between Gatwick & Luton airports. As the first trans-London line it also connects with both City & West End via tube lines. As the new 'London South Central', it is also nearer to the heart of London than Waterloo or Victoria!
williamn Wednesday 18 August 2010 1.04pm
I think probably just because London bridge is a hub in a way that Elephant isn't. Both in terms of a place and in terms of the other lines which come in there - everything from Kent and Sussex. Anyway the Thameslink route through Elephant's not bad at all, there's a train through to farringdon etc every 5 mins or so in the peak.
dronid Friday 20 August 2010 1.51pm
I do think that you're right about London Bridge. It's a hub because people think of it as a mainline station even though Brighton Services and Kent services could and do come in there. We should be looking at other stations around London to take the pressure off those mainline stations. Other than the fact that London Bridge, as a station, is familiar to people as a hub, I see very little advantage to arriving there instead of Blackfriars, Elephant or City unless you work right next to it. If you have to tube or bus it Elephant is better served by busses that are more ‘free flowing' and you're more likely to get a seat on the tube! Vauxhall is becoming more and more of a hub station and I still think they need to make better use of the facility they have at the Elephant!
TAK Friday 20 August 2010 2.19pm
dronid wrote:
I do think that you're right about London Bridge. It's a hub because people think of it as a mainline station even though Brighton Services and Kent services could and do come in there. We should be looking at other stations around London to take the pressure off those mainline stations. Other than the fact that London Bridge, as a station, is familiar to people as a hub, I see very little advantage to arriving there instead of Blackfriars, Elephant or City unless you work right next to it. If you have to tube or bus it Elephant is better served by busses that are more ‘free flowing' and you're more likely to get a seat on the tube! Vauxhall is becoming more and more of a hub station and I still think they need to make better use of the facility they have at the Elephant!

I guess what helps Vauxhall as a bus hub is the fact it's centralised- all busses stop at the same point whereas at the elephant it's quite disjointed with bus stops dotted along both roundabouts and the fact it's a difficult place to navigate with the underpasses we're (still at present) having.
jamesup Friday 20 August 2010 4.27pm
Certainly something the redevelopment should seek to address, no reason that we couldn't have a proper bus station here, no reason that it couldn't be properly intergrated with Tube and Rail.

Oh, except money...
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