Crossrail: the naming debate intensifies

Name: Elizabeth Line.

Appearance: Long, modern.

Age: 40 or -3, depending on whether you mean Elizabeth Line or the Elizabeth Line.

Which Elizabeth Line? Exactly.

I’m confused. Look, one of them is the new Crossrail route that will go west-to-east through London when it opens in December 2018. The other is a 40-year-old magazine publisher in New York.

Right. I see the difference. It’s nice of Transport for London to name the new route after her. She’s pretty special, is she? I’m sure she is, but it’s actually Queen Elizabeth they had in mind.

Oh. How dreary. She already has the Jubilee Line. Before that it was the Victoria Line. I mean, I’m happy not to guillotine the royals, but do we have to be such creeps as well? “Given Her Majesty the Queen’s long association with UK transport, it is very fitting that this vital link across our capital will be named the Elizabeth Line in her honour,” says Patrick McLoughlin.

Who’s he? The sycophantic transport secretary.

He sure is. What does he mean the Queen has a “long association with UK transport”? She must use it less than almost any other living Briton! Unless you count her state-funded plane, those gold coaches, the royal yacht etc?

I flipping don’t. Anyway, it’s not all royals. There’s always the Northern, Central, Metropolitan, District …

Oh sure. They’re lots of fun. Even if you like the queen, isn’t the Elizabeth Line just a really boring choice? Not for Elizabeth Line it isn’t. She freaked out when she saw she was trending on Twitter. “There were a few moments of ‘What did I do last night’ panic,” she says, “but now I’m just having fun with it.”

I bet. They should do what they did with the Bakerloo. That’s the only good one. You mean take the beginning of where the line starts and the end of where it finishes and make a new word out of them?

Yes, even if it makes people think of floury toilets. Let’s see, so the new line starts in Berkshire and ends in Essex … Let’s try something else.

Do say: “We need an inspiring name, maybe something that symbolises London, something that brings people together…”

Don’t say: “Sod it. Who’s queen at the moment? We’ll name it after her.”

(The Guardian)


Select Committee on the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill: Second Special Report of Session 2015–16

Link to the Full Monty

Wells House Road, Midland Terrace, Island Triangle and Stephenson Street
"Old Oak Common and adjacent areas provide the construction site for tunnel boring both east to Euston and west to Northolt, as well as for development of the Old Oak Common station itself. Construction will involve essentially 24-hour working, with a continuously operating poil removal belt, and will extend over some seven to ten years, when the community of some 2,200 residents in Wells House Road, Midland Terrace and Island Triangle will be more or less surrounded by HS2 works. The Promoter’s counsel acknowledged that they are specially affected. Residents' concerns included noise, construction traffic volume, traffic congestion, access for residents and businesses, air quality, the location of a substation, viaduct height, reduction in the limited local availability and visibility of green space, and blight. They sought a dedicated community fund. Their case was pressed by Dr Rupa Huq MP, as it had previously been by the former constituency Member, Angie Bray. We note that, unlike areas certain other parts of the line that are heavily affected by construction, Old Oak Common will ultimately accrue some direct benefit from the proximity of the high-speed rail station to the locality, along with other important new infrastructure.

"London Borough of Ealing succeeded in obtaining wide-ranging assurances from the Promoter to seek to address construction and operation problems. The flyover for Great Western Main Line will have a noise barrier on the Wells House Road side. A temporary logistics tunnel will be constructed under Old Oak Common Road to permit spoil removal and delivery of material using rail. Closure of Old Oak Lane will be minimised as far as practical. Pedestrian access along it will be retained—including for pushed cycles. There will be a supplementary bus service along Victoria Road. Special provision should be made for vulnerable people; for example, to receive food deliveries.

"The project will evaluate whether HGV entrances can be kept away from homes. Other measures will include provision of visually acceptable noise barriers and noise-reducing hoardings, reduction of light pollution and pollution monitoring. Certain plant machinery will be locally insulated. Properties will be assessed for acoustic glazing, and ventilation requirements.

"Assurances to Ealing Borough Council also cover landscaping. Tree loss in Victoria Gardens and Cerebos Gardens will be minimised. It is important that the project provide a legacy of public open space and highways improvement in this densely populated area. Stephenson Street and adjacent roads form a conservation area next to the Euroterminal rail transfer depot which will be used for spoil removal and material delivery. The Promoter is considering ways to alleviate the long-term impacts of construction. Residents will be eligible for noise insulation if such broader mitigation cannot be implemented.

"There project will entail some unavoidable difficulties for this area. Worthwhile concessions have been won and more may be forthcoming.

Wormwood Scrubs
"Wormwood Scrubs will be the location for some utilities reconfiguration (a sewer rerouting). There was concern among local interest groups about adequate restoration after the works. We heard that, additionally, a permanent pedestrian access onto the Scrubs might be created in connection with the railway. The local Member of Parliament, Andy Slaughter MP, believed that this would be inconsistent with its use as amenity. We endorse his request that HS2 Ltd seek to reach a position of certainty on protecting the Scrubs, and offer appropriate assurances. We welcome the Promoter’s shift in position on the proposed broader mitigation arrangements at Wormwood Scrubs."

Evening Standard: Crossrail: German Woman bags Naming Rights

"And what do you do?"
"I'm bloody queen, mate."

"Crossrail is to be named the Elizabeth line in honour of the queen, the Standard can reveal today.

"The name was unveiled along with the line's purple colour theme as the queen visited Bond Street station with mayor Boris Johnson and transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin to see construction and meet staff.

"The Mayor said:
"When I am Prime Minister,... Cripes, wrong speech. Er, Queen Elizabeth has given extraordinary service to this country over an unprecedented period and it is entirely right that she should be honouring me, er, honoured with a living tribute that will last for centuries (yes, I will)."


Institution of Civil Engineers (the OTHER ones can't join): "Opening up the infrastructure debate"

"At his ICE Presidential Address in November, Sir John Armitt talked about the potential of the National Infrastructure Commission in achieving the 'holy grail' for infrastructure: political consensus and long-term strategic thinking"

Updated: 25 January, 2016
Author: Sir John Armitt, ICE President
"... I also stressed the need for the Commission's recommendations to government and parliament to be based on robust and independent evidence, and I believe the engineering community and other professions have a collective responsibility to inform this evidence base and play a part in enabling decision-making which benefits everyone in society.

I announced that a coalition of business, industry, environment and academic leaders – all with a common goal - had united to undertake an evidence-based infrastructure needs assessment which the Commission could feed into its work. The project has the support of commission chair, Lord Adonis.

Our 'National Needs Assessment' will provide an independent view on our needs up to 2050 – a vision set against uncertainties such as climate change. It will review the different options for meeting those needs - after all the answer is not always to simply build more, but to question why we are doing something; what we want to achieve. Can we make more efficient use of existing infrastructure for example? Constraints such as affordability and public acceptability will also be considered.
Your views needed
Today marks the start of the written evidence gathering phase for our assessment. It is an opportunity to really open up the infrastructure debate, and I encourage everyone with a stake to contribute evidence.

The consultation gets to the heart of a number of core issues – for example, how do we effectively manage the 'interdependencies' between the infrastructure networks, how will new and emerging technologies really affect demand for infrastructure? How do we maximise the devolution opportunity and overcome the challenges it presents? And how can we better engage the public on infrastructure decisions?
Public perceptions
A recent survey revealed that 87% of the public support infrastructure investment, and 85% want to see world-leading or solid improvements to existing infrastructure. When the benefits of a project are made clear, people sit up, take note and ask for more of the same. The public want to be kept informed about infrastructure and want to be involved. Without sufficient political and public support important projects simply cannot proceed, so it is absolutely right that we consider this in our National Needs Assessment.
Creating a 2050 vision
"The written consultation closes on 29 February, and will be followed by a series of evidence hearings and workshops around the country. Alongside this, research is being undertaken by the Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium, and we will be drawing on a vast pool of data and analysis. Conclusions will be captured in a report to be published in the autumn.

"Earlier, I said that the organisations uniting to produce this assessment share a common goal – that is to develop a long-term infrastructure strategy. One which drives the economic growth necessary to enhance the UK's position in the global economy, support a high quality of life and enable a shift to a low carbon future.

"I am confident that collectively, we can make a significant contribution to this and I look forward to seeing our vision for 2050 unfold over the coming months."
The organisations involved in the National Needs Assessment are ICE, CBI, KPMG, Pinsent Masons, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Graham Dalton (Independent, former Highways Agency CEO), National Grid, London First, Green Alliance, Transport for Greater Manchester, Thames Water and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

About the author

Sir John Armitt, ICE President, is chair of the National Needs Assessment executive group.

Sir John is also a commissioner on the National Infrastructure Commission, chairman of the National Express Group and City & Guilds, and deputy chairman of the Berkeley Group. His previous roles include chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, chief executive of Costain and chief executive of Network Rail. So a real Big Cheese, then.

[Reposted] The OPDC on additional Crossrail branches in west London. And Other Things.

An independent summary of all known rail schemes,
from the committed to the fanciful.

The OPDC's answers on current and evolving rail schemes...
Crossrail to the WCML
"OPDC is supportive of this as it would improve accessibility to and from the Old Oak Common area. OPDC would need to be satisfied that any connection safeguards the amenity of existing residents and businesses in the Old Oak and Park Royal area."
Crossrail to the Wycombe Line
"OPDC is not aware of any proposals for this connection. OPDC would have to consider the merits of such a connection in further detail before expressing a view."
A Crossrail station within Park Royal (two possibilities are shown above)
"TfL and Network Rail are investigating options for connecting Crossrail to the West Coast Main Line. OPDC will be feeding into this work. Options would need to be considered in light of their business case and potential environmental impacts and it is premature for OPDC to express a view on whether or not a station in Park Royal would be feasible and/or viable."
London Overground from Old Oak Common to firstly Hounslow, secondly Hendon, and thirdly future London Overground use of the currently-unused platform at Acton Main Line Crossrail station
"OPDC supports further connections and services on the London Overground as this would improve the accessibility of the Old Oak and Park Royal area to employers and employees. However, OPDC is aware that any decision to deliver new London Overground services would need to be based on a thorough environmental analysis and business case."

Minimising the impact of the GWML up-relief line
viaduct on Wells House Road residents,
issues regarding the North London Line Acton Wells bridge

The OPDC's answers on...
Whether it agrees that the GWML-up-relief line and the up-WCML-link line platforms at Old Oak Common station can be swopped over, to move the viaduct away from Wells House Road bedroom windows
"OPDC is keen to ensure that the impact on the amenity of residents in minimised. OPDC would consider that issue as part of any additional provision to provide a connection to the West Coast Main Line and will also raise this point with Hs2 Ltd."
Whether it accepts that this would mean the three reversing sidings extending partly west of, and under, the North London Line Acton Wells railway bridge

Whether that bridge would therefore need to be renewed, and that this should mean all four spans

Whether it accepts that the reversing siding land must be built to a vertical level that allows a future grade-separated junction between the WCML and the Wycombe Line routes, given possible intensive traffic levels, including 8 Crossrail trains per hour through Wembley Central

Whether it accepts that more than one bridge span might be used by the WCML/Wycombe lines, and that all levels for the individual sidings must accommodate that fact

Whether it accepts that future traffic levels on the bridge, passenger and freight, means that the bridge ought to be widened to four tracks, and as a minimum, all bridge abutments and piers should be widened for four tracks, even if the extra bridge spans themselves had not yet been funded

Whether it accepts that the only way to position London Overground platforms on the Dudding Hill Line, to meet the Mayors' aspiration of a Hendon-Hounslow passenger service, is to slew the track to the west, away from Midland Terrace
"In response to the above queries, OPDC will engage with HS2 Ltd, TfL and the Department for Transport to understand whether this would be the case." [Meaning: God only knows.]

[Reposted] Crossrail to Reading, High Wycombe and Tring?

This layout above would preserve the existing connection of the Great Western Main Line to the 'New North Main Line' through Greenford - but also upgrade the junction to be fully grade separated.

The Wembley lines would use the span under the North London Line bridge that was used by a now-closed freight line from Shepherd's Bush to Ealing via North Acton.

The up relief line from Greenford would be sunk into a trench, to pass under the Wembley tracks and it still be in a partial trench when it passed underneath the North London Line.

Looking east, this photo below shows the North London Line bridge from North Acton Central Line station (it is the grey/green bridge under the right-hand arch of the Victoria Road bridge. Beyond that is a minor pedestrian-only bridge.)

This photo below, taken further east from Victoria Road, shows a sketch of the Greenford Crossrail lines in the left foreground, and the Wembley Crossrail lines running off to the left.

(1990 photo: Citytransport.info)

Below is a video from 'citytransport.info':

"A quick spur-of-the-moment thing, when I decided to go on the once-daily Parliamentary Train service operated by a two-car 165 Chiltern Railways train, from London Paddington over the disused section of the former Great Western and Great Central Railway Joint Main Line which is roughly 11 miles long, stretching from Old Oak Common South Junction to South Ruislip (not in the video as my battery ran out at Northolt, What a Silly Billy) where it meets the Chiltern Main Line from Marylebone.

"This GWR section out to that junction is known as the New North Main Line." [HS2 will be tunnelled underneath it from Old Oak Common to the edge of London,]

Old Oak Common Lane is at 1min-38secs, and the North London Line bridge is at 1min-50secs.


'The Collective' (A bit like Star Trek's The Borg - 'Resistance is Futile', so 'Achieve Perfection' on Old Oak Lane, Park Royal.)

"Our brand new development at Old Oak Common will be opening its doors in May 2016. This property will be the first example of our pioneering Co-Living concept, offering its members a brand new way to live in London.

"Our Old Oak property is situated on the banks of the canal in Willesden Junction. Every room in the building is built with incredible attention to detail, fully furnished with double beds, desks, boutique interior design, en-suite bathrooms and private kitchenettes.

"But it's outside of the individual rooms that Old Oak comes alive, it features 10,000 sq ft of luxury shared spaces and facilities including beautifully designed shared kitchens and lounges on every floor, communal entertainment spaces and luxury facilities including a gym, spa, cinema room, library, restaurant, bar, curated retail outlets, events spaces, roof terraces and more.

"Beyond the physical space, the lifestyle at Old Oak is designed as the perfect solution to life in London. A full range of services takes all the hassle out of city living, so our members can focus on what really matters. All bills, council tax and broadband are prepaid and taken care of. Regular room cleaning and linen changes come as standard. Even a full time concierge service is included in the single monthly fee.

"Best of all, our members aren't just finding a place to live, they are joining a genuine community. Dedicated community managers provide a regular programme of entertainment, talks and community events. Sharing the place we live with a community of like-minded people, means everyone gets more of what they want."

Be Assimilated
(The hive is £250 per week)

  • Superfast Broadband
  • Private Kitchenette
  • Ensuite
  • Desk
  • Double Bed
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Wardrobe
  • Room Cleaning
  • Linen Change
  • Concierge
  • All-inclusive Bills
  • Laundrette
  • Gym
  • Spa
  • Restaurant
  • Private Dining Rooms
  • Communal Lounge
  • Bedding & Linen
  • Shared Kitchen
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Outdoor Space
  • Roof Terrace
  • Events Space
(That's enough amenities. Ed.)

Airmiles Eddie and the rest of the OPDC board are being replaced

"Robots will take over most jobs within 30 years, experts warn, and the rise of robots could lead to unemployment rates greater than 50 per cent"

Link to Sunday Telegraph

"Robots will have taken over most jobs within 30 years leaving humanity facing its 'biggest challenge ever' to find meaning in life when work is no longer necessary, according to experts.

Professor Moshe Vardi, a professor in computational engineering at Rice University in the US, claims that jobs of many middle-class professionals will be outsourced to machines within the next few decades, leaving workers with more leisure time than they have ever experienced.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Washington, Prof Vardi said the rise of robots could lead to unemployment rates greater than 50 per cent:
"We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task."


Until 31 Mar: OPDC Local Plan: More Than Enough Documents

North Acton station. Perhaps.

Start date: 04 February 2016
End date: 31 March 2016

Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation Draft Local Plan

"OPDC is consulting on the Draft Local Plan, which sets out the vision, objectives and policy options to help guide future development in the Old Oak and Park Royal area over the next 20 years. This Draft Plan is supported by a number of evidence base documents which are also form of this consultation.

"The Draft Local Plan and evidence base documents are available to view and respond to via the online engagement platform:

"You can also download documents using the links at the bottom of this page. To access hard copies or for more information on the consultation activities, please see information on the OPDC planning policy page.

Please note that the deadline for responses is midnight on Thursday 31 March 2016."
Comments can be directly made online via opdc.commonplace.is or they can be sent:

by email to:  localplan@opdc.london.gov.uk; or

by letter to: Local Plan consultation, Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London, SE1 2AA

OPDC Draft Local Plan - Full Version

Draft Local Plan which sets out the vision, objectives and options to help guide the future development.

OPDC Draft Local Plan - Introduction

Chapter 1 of the Draft Local Plan

OPDC Draft Local Plan – Spatial Vision & Objectives

Chapter 2 of the Draft Local Plan

OPDC Draft Local Plan - Overarching Spatial Policies

Chapter 3 of the Draft Local Plan

OPDC Draft Local Plan - Places

Chapter 4 of the Draft Local Plan

OPDC Draft Local Plan - Sustainable Development

Chapter 5 of the Draft Local Plan

OPDC Draft Local Plan - Design

Chapter 6 of the Draft Local Plan

OPDC Draft Local Plan - Housing

Chapter 7 of the Draft Local Plan

OPDC Draft Local Plan - Employment

Chapter 8 of the Draft Local Plan

OPDC Draft Local Plan - Town Centre Uses

Chapter 9 of the Draft Local Plan

OPDC Draft Local Plan - Social Infrastructure

Chapter 10 of the Draft Local Plan

OPDC Draft Local Plan - Transport

Chapter 11 of the Draft Local Plan

OPDC Draft Local Plan - Environment and Utilities

Chapter 12 of the Draft Local Plan

OPDC Draft Local Plan - Delivery and Implementation

Chapter 13 of the Draft Local Plan

Call for Sites Form

Supporting studies summary document.

Air Quality Study

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation

Cultural Principles

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation

Decontamination Strategy

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation

Development Capacity Study

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation

Development Infrastructure Study

Supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan

Gypsy and Travellers Accommodation Needs Assessment

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation.

Industrial Land Review

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation.

Integrated Impact Assessment

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation.

Integrated Water Management Strategy

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation.

North Acton Station Feasibility

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation.

Old Oak Decentralised Energy

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation.

Old Oak Outline Historic Area Assessment

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation.

Old Oak Strategic Transport Study

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation.

Park Royal Transport Strategy

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation.

Retail and Leisure Needs Study

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation.

Smart Strategy Interim Report

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation.

Waste Strategy

Draft supporting study to accompany the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan consultation.

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