Department for Transport replies to Old Oak Common questions

1) Did the DfT insist to HS2 Ltd. there had to be three reversing sidings at Old Oak Common? Whose analysis concluded that the original two sidings between the WCML relief lines were inadequate?
"The requirement for three turnbacks emerged from an operational analysis of the train service specification."

2) Where does the DfT anticipate the three sidings might be extended to? The top two to the WCML? The other one to the Wycombe Line (Acton-Northolt)? Was the latter just for a daily Parliamentary train? Why wasn’t a grade-separated junction between the WCML and the Wycombe Line links envisaged, given the existing available operational railway land? If the WCML link took, say, 8 tph and Wycombe took 4 tph Crossrail trains, would the DfT regard grade-separation at their junction as highly desirable?

"The provision of three sidings is to enable two to be extended as part of the WCML-Crossrail Link, if progressed, and one for turning back trains at Old Oak Common. There is no current plan to reconnect the Wycombe Line."

3) Is the DfT content that the Crossrail sidings do not quite reach the 1913 North London Line Acton Wells railway bridge? Which of the four spans (call the northernmost span number one, and increment southwards) does the DfT expect the siding extensions to use?
"This bridge would have needed to be replaced."

4) Would any Crossrail-to-WCML project pay to refurbish/renew the Acton Wells Bridge? Which spans?
"As the Link project is in a very early stage of development, the allocation of budget has not been decided."

5) If the WCML loop tracks passed beneath span Three, next to the Central Line, so that a grade-separated up-Wycombe Line track could pass underneath those rising and curving WCML tracks and then pass beneath span One of the bridge, would the DfT be content that all four spans had to be refurbished/replaced (no doubt with a financial contribution from TfL)?
"This arrangement has not been reviewed and therefore the consequences of such an arrangement cannot be commented upon."

6) Where does the DfT expect the WCML loop tracks have to reach? Joining the Dudding Hill Line immediately south of the Victoria road railway bridge? Or over a new bridge to the west, to run towards the WCML, separate but parallel to the Dudding Hill Line tracks (to avoid timetable contamination from London Overground and slow freight trains)?
"A scheme for the WCML - Crossrail Link is already in the public domain and was tabled at an information event in the Old Oak Common area in 2014. The link uses the Dudding Hill Line."

7) Is the DfT aware of the Mayor of London’s aspiration to run a new London Overground service along the Dudding Hill Line, linking together London Opportunity Areas, and providing a bypass to the North Circular Road?
"TfL were involved in the development of a scheme for the WCML-Crossrail Link (see above) and shared their knowledge of future aspirations."

8) Would the location of any new WCML bridge allow space for the current Dudding Hill Line to be slewed to the west, to allow station platforms to be built alongside Midland Terrace?
"The scheme developed in 2014 did not allow for this eventuality."

9) Might that suggest building a new four-track railway bridge over Victoria Road, and the demolition of the existing, narrower-span bridge?
"The scheme did not need to replace the existing bridge DHL Bridge over Victoria Road."

10) Is the Dft aware that there are existing unused bridge abutments, built in 1913, to allow the Acton Wells Bridge to be widened to four tracks?
"HS2 are not in possession of any information to this effect."

11) Will the DfT scope out the opportunity to four-track the Acton Wells bridge, given the possibility of 8 or 12 tph of London Overground, plus freight, using the bridge in the future?
"It is too early to either scope in or scope out the four tracking of the North London Line and hence the Acton Wells bridge."

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