Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Beware the slippery slope

Posted in Commuter, Customer service, Infrastructure, London, Media by Chairman Pip on 28 March 2012

There was a news piece that caught my eye in the most recent issue of Today’s Railways concerning the consultation that the DfT is running in regards to the Essex Thameside franchise prior to its renewal. One of the notable suggestions that have been pointed out is that more c2c services terminate at Liverpool Street, rather than the franchise’s main terminus at Fenchurch Street, as a way of improving connectivity, as Fenchurch Street has no direct connection with London Underground. While there are other suggestions highlighted, it was this one in particular that caught my attention, as it suggests parallels with the eventual demise of Broad Street. Admittedly there are already substantial differences – Broad Street was the terminus of what was essentially an outer suburban ring route, while Fenchurch Street is the terminus of a direct route into London. Yes, the LTS route is smaller than pretty much any other National Rail route or network, but it’s still a vital and heavily used commuter service. In any case, does Liverpool Street even have the capacity to accept any additional trains from c2c (or whomever the new franchise holder turns out to be) as well as maintaining the services that are run by Greater Anglia? I know it’s unlikely that there would be any threat to the status of Fenchurch Street, given how intensive the service level is, particularly at peak times. But the idea of moving trains to terminate at another station is not a forward thinking one, as it could end up being “the thin end of the wedge” that has, in the past, led to stations being demolished without replacement.

Fenchurch Street is a vital commuter terminus, and the entry into London for the Thameside region. It would be a slippery slope to contemplate any threat to it.


One Response

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  1. Al (@Al__S) said, on 28 March 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Liverpool Street will lose a lot of surfaces, at least into the surface part of the station, when Crossrail arrives. Not enough to be able to handle everything that Fenchurch street handles though, and isn’t the connection from the LTS to Liverpool Street single track?

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