Anyone who has ever taken a train to or from East Croydon must have experienced it.
The London-bound train they have just boarded pulls away from the station, only to slow to a stop for no apparent reason. Or you’ll be close to your destination, and then the train slows to a halt, held at a red light.
Click here, though, for a fascinating piece of time-lapse video, which helps to demonstrate the impact of the Croydon Bottleneck, as 39 trains are halted in a two-hour period.
Network Rail now has plans to fix what it regards as the worst bottleneck in all of Britain’s railways.
Network Rail today begins a six-week consultation.
Increasing the number of platforms at East Croydon from six to eight, adding two extra tracks and replacing five junctions with flyovers and dive-unders are part of a grand plan to reduce delays on Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services between London, Surrey and the south coast.
The Croydon Bottleneck is blamed for exacerbating delays when problems happen elsewhere on the network.
“Removing the Croydon bottleneck is the only practical way to provide the step-change in reliability and capacity that passengers and businesses so desperately want to see,” said John Halsall, Network Rail’s route managing director for the south-east.
“For too long, train performance on the Brighton Main Line has been below the level that commuters and other passengers expect and deserve. While a number of factors have contributed to these issues in recent years, the basic layout of our railway through the Croydon area and the bottleneck it creates means reliability won’t ever improve to acceptable levels without significant changes.”
An online questionnaire is now available for people to have their say on the proposals, and beginning today, Network Rail are staging a series of public events.
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That video is strangely addictive, like the world’s most boring video game
Totally agree with farmersboy.
And sadly I’m old enough to remember when they last re-modelled the junctions. I guess it was in the early 70s, maybe the late 60s. IIRC they used excavation materials from the Kent pits in the construction of the layout.
Yes children, they had coal mines in Kent in the old days….
The last remodelling was in 1983. See the discussion here
Thanks for the link and correcting my ropey memory. At least I recalled the re-modelling… I should have known London Reconnections would have covered this all at some stage!
Has anyone found the survey? I just find two pages that link to each other…
There’s a very detailed account here of what is proposed
Thameslink is the worst, shiny new trains with all sorts of electronic information and they plod along slower than I walk round a supermarket