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Bakerloo Line Extension

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Wednesday 18 September 2013 2.02pm
Floodplain wrote:
there's already a Thameslink Line heading South from Elephant to Camberwell. Far quicker / easier / cheaper to re-open Camberwell Station. Thameslink is also being upgraded.

The devil's in the detail with the Thameslink line and Camberwell, though.

As far as I am aware there are no plans to re-open Camberwell station, and any to do so would likely receive a substantial amount of opposition from the vocal users of the Sutton Thameslink loop (because of the additional journey time from an extra stop). That group has recently shown themselves to be an effective force with their successful campaign to retain services beyond Blackfriars post-2018, at the expense of services through Denmark Hill.

Denmark Hill is, of course, the de-facto Camberwell station and currently has only 2 trains per hour to/from Elephant. As a result of the Sutton decision, it's not clear that that number will increase post-2018. A 2tph service is hardly equivalent to a tube alternative.

So, for the residents of Camberwell, it is far from certain that Thameslink will be the solution to their transport problems.
Wednesday 11 December 2013 2.10pm
Camberwell and heading south from E&C isn't the preferred destination despite borough public consultation. To see the true direction they're really heading to from the E&C you have to first go back to a press release from Jan 2012:

Bakerloo Line Extension South Of E&C

"Not High Up TFL Priority List" - 26 Jan 2012

A senior Transport for London official has told a City Hall committee that plans to extend the Bakerloo line south of Elephant & Castle are "not high up the priority list" despite the idea being mentioned in the Mayor's official transport strategy.

Michele Dix, Transport for London's managing director for planning, made the comments during a meeting of the London Assembly's transport committee on Tuesday morning.

Ms Dix was questioned by Val Shawcross, Labour London Assembly member for Lambeth & Southwark, about what Transport for London is doing to implement the Mayor of London's transport strategy which calls for "consideration of an extension of the Bakerloo line".

She confirmed that TfL studies "had confirmed that there was a need for a Bakerloo line extension" particularly "in terms of improving transport links for parts of south-east London which are poorly served".

However, there seems to be little appetite at Transport for London to engage in further planning work on an extension at present.

"The priority for TfL is to finish the upgrades that we've got at present first, and then any further extensions such as the Bakerloo, unless there are opportunities to develop further extensions, such as the Northern line, because there's a way of paying for them. At the moment there's not a mechanism for paying for the Bakerloo line extension."

Ms Shawcross pressed Ms Dix about the likely timescale for even the most tentative work on a future Bakerloo line extension project.

"To be honest it's not high up the priority list in terms of further development work because of the funding issue, but work was done to confirm that yes, it's a sensible scheme and yes, these are the options worthy of further work. A certain level of further work is being done but if you start going to the public and talking about options it's usually on the basis that you are likely to be able to deliver something."

Further questioning revealed Ms Dix was unaware of any specific discussions between the Mayor and the Government (Ed - The Treasury) about funding a Bakerloo line extension but added, "a Bakerloo Line extension south of the Elephant and Castle certainly is in our list of future schemes". (Ed - If there were discussions with The Treasury no one, least of all anyone from City Hall, was admitting to them.)

In September 2011 Boris Johnson said "I am supportive of the southward extension of the Bakerloo line and excited about the opportunities this prospect offers residents and businesses in south east London"

At the same time Johnson also refused to commit or comment publicly to undertaking detailed development work.

In December 2011 Southwark Lib Dem councillor James Barber called for Lambeth and Southwark councils to work together on a Bakerloo line extension project with the cleared 'Heygate Estate' land. The suggestion was that "this land could be used as a base for proposed construction works".


Barber has always been a sworn Camberwell Man. Even today he still persists in his personal and most unlikely scenario of bringing the tube to Camberwell. Nevertheless there is sound common sense in part of his proposal, ie the use of the soon to be newly liberated land around the Heygate Estate.

Since this statement all the expensive inline upgrades to the Bakerloo Line have been cancelled. This change of direction by The Treasury indicates Boris might well have finally got his way with The Treasury on the Bakerloo Extension. The price paid for such political expediency was the line upgrades.

The extension south of E&C is a no brainer for local authority income generation, whereas the planned policy of line upgrades ultimately only benefits the logistics of running the railway and is something that can easily be postponed.

These days The Treasury is run a bit like a business. As such it is determined to see essential money making policy happen first and well before any expensive overhead signalling infrastructure is put in place. This volte face by the Treasury in the light of economic reality makes the Boris compromise not so much of a comprise as it first seemed.

The geography of the area is unchanged in 100 years and going east and not south from the E&C is stiil the only natural course. 100 years ago they wanted to go that way but couldn't.

Here's a post that explains why they stopped at the E&C:,1040078,1201868#msg-1201868 and why today this local difficulty presents no problem at all for modern tunnelling machines.

The original maps for the Bakerloo Extension also show a clear preference to an eastern extension of the line.

See here:
Wednesday 11 December 2013 11.33pm

That is fascinating, thanks for your post.

I agree it is highly unlikely that we will see any work on the Bakerloo extension, even in the form of outline designs, any time soon.

As you point out, the delay to the Bakerloo upgrade is really ominous - it was expected to happen roughly in parallel with the Piccadilly upgrade but only the latter has made it through. The Elephant station / escalators upgrade will happen though. The trains are already 40 years old - expect them to break new records in service life - 60 years? Not impossible.

The other problem for the Bakerloo is that Crossrail 2 is for certain going to be the next new tubeline project in the next ten-twenty years (if we 'ignore' the Northern Line extension to Battersea) - it has a far larger constituency of support groups. It will also run through some prime real estate areas (SW London, Chelsea, Victoria, West End, Euston etc.) where TfL can levy high infrastructure taxes on developers to help pay for it - quite a different prospect than the Old Kent Road would offer them.

Final point which I keep making is that a huge opportunity to make space for a future Bakerloo extension was squandered in the 80s-90s when the railway lands of the old Bricklayers Arms freight terminal were carpeted with new development (Mandela Way, Tescos etc.).

It would have been so easy to provide a safeguarded development-free corridor from Bricklayers to around the New Den thereby forming a surface rail link all the way to Lewisham and beyond, linking with DLR and surface rail.

The tunnel would then only have been the 1km from Elephant to Bricklayers, with plenty of flat wasteland space for a new depot near the New Den.

Rather easier than tunnelling all the way to Camberwell - and where does the depot go in that scenario?

I'm sorry, but the local politicians have got this one wrong.
Monday 16 December 2013 11.53am
The politicians are being politicians. They want to appear to please all the people and at all times. Like you say there's absolutely nothing new in that.

The timing of the proposed Bakerloo Extension is covered from this post onwards:

The poster 'Crazy Catfrod' covers all the bases of the development timeline. Her post '20/20 vision' ranks as one of the best railway posts I've ever read.
Sunday 26 January 2014 10.05pm
Hi there,
Please can you sign the following petition to extend the bakerloo line down the old kent road - as the only A-road in London without a tube, and in the most densely populated part of London I think it's about time we got a tube down here!
Many thanks and please pass on
Tuesday 22 July 2014 4.19pm
Thank-you James for keeping us up to date with developments re. the Bakerloo Line Extension.

Clearly Southwark Labour now feel confident enough, electorally speaking, to support both extension routes, which is defintely progress.

I would urge them to focus their energy though on the Old Kent Road route option which makes the most sense in terms of triggering new development and linking to existing transport systems such as Overground at New Cross and DLR at Lewisham.

The Mayor and TfL will be looking for ways to raise Developer surcharges to help pay for the extension and the Old Kent Road provides far, far greater scope for this in terms of potential development land area than Camberwell Peckham.

Another point is that splitting the Bakerloo into two branches would require modifications on the Northern section simply to provide depot space and train headway for all the extra rolling stock created by having to run trains along two branches.

There already exists a railway line which runs South from Elephant and Castle - it's called Thameslink - and this route is undergoing massive investment to deliver longer trains, more frequent services and wider route options.

Southwark labour should instead press for the re-opening of Camberwell Station - possibly also a new station in Walworth halfway between Camberwell and the Elephant - which could be delivered relatively quickly and at far lower cost - especially if they applied for a small part of the 6bn Regional Growth Fund the Government has just made available for local transport improvements.
Tuesday 22 July 2014 4.37pm
floodplain, we live in camberwell and have been saying this (abt reopening walworth & camberwell rail stations) for at least 5 years now.
because local politicians and/or mps only tend to do what they're told by whoever their bosses are, the responses we got were all 'no, can't be done, camberwell station is too close to denmark hill and loughborough junction' which is just pants (if proximity of tube stations was the disqualifier, the london tube map would be very different, no?)
Tuesday 22 July 2014 4.38pm
There were once a total of four stations between Loughborough Junction and Blackfriars:

Camberwell Station was closed in 1964.

Camberwell Station
Walworth Rd Station
Elephant & Castle
Borough Rd Station
Tuesday 22 July 2014 4.40pm
Floodplain wrote:
Southwark labour should instead press for the re-opening of Camberwell Station
Peter John said last week: "As part of a wider review of rail services in south London, TfL are also now reviewing the potential to reopen the national rail station at Camberwell in order to bring better connectivity to the area."

Val Shawcross has also tabled a question to the mayor about this

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Tuesday 22 July 2014 4.58pm
Thank-you James I am very glad that Southwark & Peter John are on the case vis a vis re-opening Camberwell Station.

Lobbying TfL & Network Rail is part of what they should be doing. If they have not done so already, they should also be making an application to the Department for Transport Sustainable Transport Fund.

Pros: Interestingly, Network Rail argue that Loughborough Junction and Camberwell are too close together - but Blackfriars and City Thameslink are much, much closer together - and they are all on the same line, using the same trains, timetable and signalling!

Herein lies the perennial conundrum that if you allow a National Agency to plan rail for services in London (i.e. Network Rail) - you will end up with National priorities taking precedence over local ones. This, in essence, is TfL's argument for taking control of London Rail services - one of which is the Hayes Branch which brings us nicely back to the Bakerloo Extension which would 'adopt' this branch from Lewisham onwards.
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