Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 8080 - 8099)

  8080. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: I shall be most interested when we come to our consideration to hear what my colleagues think about what we have heard on this. I have to tell you, you have frightened my socks off!

  8081. BARONESS FOOKES: You mean five years with no appreciable result at the end of it?
  (Mr Berryman) No appreciable result for whom, my Lady?

  8082. For anybody, by the sound of it. There will not be any rail link to Terminal 5, is that what I understand to be the case?
  (Mr Berryman) No, my Lady, the Heathrow Express service will go to Terminal 5. All of the Heathrow Express service will be diverted to Terminal 5. The Crossrail services will go to Terminal 4. If you are going from the centre of London to Terminal 5 by Heathrow Express you just get on the train at Paddington as you do now and get off at Terminal 5. If you want to use Crossrail you have got two choices: you can get off at Paddington and change on to Heathrow Express, or you can go to central area terminals, which will be served by Crossrail, and make a same platform interchange onto a Heathrow Express train which will go into Terminal 5.

  8083. Crossrail itself will not go into Terminal 5?
  (Mr Berryman) No, my Lady, it will go into Terminal 4.

  8084. BARONESS FOOKES: This is what was concerning me.

  8085. LORD SNAPE: I think it might be helpful to the Committee if you explain it is an operational decision and not a physical decision.
  (Mr Berryman) I thought I had just said that, my Lord.

  8086. LORD SNAPE: The trouble is that it has obviously not been too well grasped.

  8087. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: You have said it twice but we do not understand what you mean by an "operational decision".
  (Mr Berryman) My Lord, if I give you another example which is completely unrelated to Heathrow. Years ago there used to be Intercity trains to Blackpool; they no longer run. If you wanted to put them back on you could do so simply without doing anything physical to the railway?

  8088. Just by running a train and putting it into the timetable, is that what you are saying?
  (Mr Berryman) Exactly it is purely an operational matter. It is not something which affects the infrastructure.

  8089. MR ELVIN: Mr Berryman, the position is this: the rail and the infrastructure is all there; the trains do not run to T5 because of the agreement with BAA and BA?
  (Mr Berryman) That is correct, Mr Elvin, yes.

  8090. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: Mr Berryman, I think what we have heard from you is going to be the subject of a future Daily Mail front page headline and every word you have said will be presented back in some different way. I think we all need to be aware that we are subscribing to your views in that, if we are subscribing to those views, we are getting tarred with the Daily Mail front page one day.
  (Mr Berryman) Thank you for reminding me of that, my Lord, I am sure you are right.

  8091. LORD SNAPE: You will have the sympathy of some members of the Committee if it does appear on the front page of the Daily Mail!
  (Mr Berryman) May I just make a point about the trains which will operate on the Crossrail service. It would be a mistake to think that the trains will be luxurious or comfortable—

  8092. MR ELVIN: Mr Berryman, I think you would like to reconsider that!
  (Mr Berryman) Sorry, my Lord, I just dug a large hole for myself; may I scramble back out of the side of it! The main point about the trains which will be used on Crossrail is that they will be high capacity trains. They will have lots of space for standing passengers; they will have lots of doors so you can get in and out quickly, and so on. The kind of offer which BA, the airline, is trying to make to its passengers is to extend their experience of flying— I can feel a joke coming on, my Lords, but I am going to resist the temptation because the BAA representatives are in the room. I will resist the obvious joke. Their idea is that the quality of Heathrow Express is akin to the quality of business class air travel. They want to extend the experience of their travellers into central London. However you dress up the Crossrail trains, with their high capacity layout and so on, you are not going to achieve that for them.

  8093. For the members of the Committee who will have been on the Heathrow Express, is there anything which corresponds, for example, to the first-class compartments on the Heathrow Express to be proposed for Crossrail?
  (Mr Berryman) No, there is nothing at all like that. We are anticipating longitudinal seats, very similar to a District Line train. I want to emphasise that Crossrail is a very high capacity railway. The numbers of passengers who will be carried are very, very substantial, and it will not be designed to give that feel of luxury which the Heathrow Express endeavours to achieve.

  8094. I think BAA is scheduled to appear next week if your Lordships have more questions about the arrangements.
  (Mr Berryman) I wonder if we could blow-up this section of the slide, please.[1] Going from the western side to the south-east sector, what we propose to do here is to put in new tracks between the lines which go out to Dartford. You can see the lines which go out to Dartford are actually shown dotted black there; and the new Crossrail track lines are red. The idea is that trains coming from London can allow a cross-platform interchange from platform 3 to platform 4, there on that plan, and that trains would then go forward into these sidings where it would turn around and come back to platform 2, where it would be able to pick up cross-platform interchanges from the existing south-east lines. That is basically the only work we are doing. When the works are finished there will be no operational impact on the south-east trains; they will run just as they do now. This is the site of the station at Abbey Wood and that will become wider with the existing tracks on the outside and the Crossrail tracks on the inside.[2] On the north-eastern section Crossrail trains will run on the Great Eastern. In doing so we will share tracks with other trains between Shenfield and Stratford. Here the slow lines are known as the E for electric lines. All of the lines are electric. This is just to confuse the innocent. Here is a diagram showing the tracks which are there.[3] The top part is the existing layout; the bottom part is the new layout. You can see that the works are around Shenfield, which is here (indicating) and around the sidings here (indicating); but, generally speaking, there is not very much work that we are doing on the east side of London. There may be some times of day when Crossrail tram trains actually use the fast lines. The Crossrail trains normally run on this pair of blue lines but at some times of the day, late in the evening, after ten o'clock, I think, and at weekends, they could use the fast lines. At certain times of the day that railway goes to a two-track railway. That is to allow maintenance on the other pair of tracks. Either the fast lines are used or the E lines are used and all trains are routed over that pair of tracks. That arrangement is exactly that which rules at the present time. There are also likely to be times of disruption during the operating of the rail network, as there are now when equipment fails and something goes wrong. We hope that they will be very much reduced from those which are experienced now, particularly on the Great Western; but, when that happens, Crossrail trains may be needed to be routed on to the fast lines. Sometimes other slow line traffic may be required to run on to the fast lines as well. Obviously when that happens it causes some delay, either to the fast line trains or to the slow line trains. Network Rail, who will be the infrastructure operator, will determine the priority for that traffic and the way in which service is to be recovered or brought back to normal running. I should stress that Crossrail will get exactly the same treatment as any other train operator on the route, so there is no particular priority accorded to Crossrail, other than that which exists already with the suburban services which run on these lines now. Perhaps I did not make it clear earlier on, one of the points here is that Crossrail will subsume the existing suburban services to a large extent. On the eastern side, from Shenfield, all of the inner suburban services will be taken over by Crossrail.

  8095. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: North of the river, anyway?
  (Mr Berryman) From Shenfield, my Lord, on the Great Eastern Main Line; not every line but just that particular line. I will say a few words about depots now. I hesitate to correct learned counsel but—

  8096. MR ELVIN: I am sorry; I was going to ask you to correct me.
  (Mr Berryman) In fact the agreement, which we are in the advance stage of negotiating with ESW, involves us acquiring the whole of their existing site at Old Oak Common. Here is a picture of it.[4] It is a large site bounded there. It is to the north of the Great Western Main Line site, and that in turn is to the north of the Heathrow Express depot and sidings. All of those operators will need access into the depot; and we are providing a dedicated pair of tracks which will allow our trains to get in without conflict with them. Inevitably there will be some interaction between the operators on this very, very large site. I should point out, on the other side of the railway is the North Pole site which was, until recently, used by the Eurostar, but they have now moved to another site. On the other side of London we are proposing stabling at Gidea Park, and here is an aerial photograph of it.[5] There is existing stabling sidings here; we will be expanding those somewhat. We are also proposing to stable some trains at Ilford by modifying the existing depot. That depot will be shared with Bombardier, the train manufacturer and maintainer, and with the East Anglia services, the franchisee. Again, there will be some interaction between operators but all, we think, within manageable proportions. I would like to say a few words now about freight. Both the Great Western Main Line and the Great Eastern Main Line are used by freight trains. They already cross over London from east to west. This diagram is intended to show how they go.[6] The Crossrail line there is shown in blue, and there are existing lines, called the North London line, which is this one here (indicating), and the Gospel Oak to Barking line, which is this one here (indicating), which provide some link between railway lines to the east and west of London. Those links are heavily used by freight trains. Most of the freight trains from the east side of London are in transit from either the Haven Ports of Felixstowe and Harwich to points north, or from Tilbury and new ports on the Thames again to points north; this map just shows where those main flows go.[7] There are some significant flows up to the Midlands and to the north-west and to Scotland as well. There is another route from the Haven Ports, the Haven Ports are around here, which goes cross-country, which is sometimes referred to as the "Felixstowe to Nuneaton route", and that may be mentioned at some point by petitioners. The trains coming from the Haven Ports, Felixstowe and Harwich, tend to come along the fast lines into London, rather than the slow lines. Freight trains tend to use the slow lines rather than the fast lines, but this is an exception where trains coming in this direction tend to use the fast lines because the electric lines, or the slow lines, crossover onto the wrong side of the layout when you get towards Stratford. Those freight trains would tend to run down the Main Line through Forest Gate and then on the right side of the network to get a way up into the north London line which takes you across London; that was the purple line in the previous slide.[8] If they were to use the electric lines they would come down here and then have to crossover the whole layout at Stratford; and crossing over layouts is a big issue in operating railways. It is something we try to minimise as far as possible. Some freight trains going in the other direction do use the lines which will be shared with Crossrail; they go round this line here and then they go onto the E lines here; but some of them also use the fast Main Lines. Trains coming up from Tilbury and Shellhaven currently have to go across here on the orange line and then cross over the whole layout at Stratford; and that is a major problem for the operation of the railway. There is an existing line which is called variously the Gospel Oak to Barking line and the Tottenham and Hampstead line which provides an alternative route. Under an announcement made July last year in the Transport Innovation Fund this line is to be upgraded to provide capacity for physically larger trains and also for more frequent trains. That work, we understand, is progressing. On the western side of London a high proportion of the traffic is actually stone or building materials coming from the Mendips and other parts of the West Country. It is aggregate and it either comes into terminals which are situated along the relief lines, and I am sure you will be hearing some more about that from EWS, or it goes into this depot here at Acton Yard.[9] From Acton Yard the trains are split into smaller units which are then moved into different freight terminals all around London, and on different lines.

  8097. CHAIRMAN: Those are the piles of aggregate that you see from the mainline train?
  (Mr Berryman) They are, my Lord. This is the most substantial pile, which appears to have a tree growing out of it when this photograph was taken. I think that is what Network Rail call the "virtual quarry", where they bring in tonnes and tonnes and tonnes of ballast which is going to be used for the railway and then they can come and collect it whenever they need it. I think, from my understanding, with most of the aggregate from here, the trains are split and sent to different terminals to service them.

  8098. I thought I would say a bit about infrastructure now.[10] There are a couple of points about the works that we need to do. We are planning to intensify services, particularly in the peaks. Some additional infrastructure may be required to deal with that intensification, and here is a chart showing all the bits of work for which we have taken powers in the Bill. Whether these will actually all be needed is a moot point but these are the ones we have taken powers for. Quite a lot of these works would not be directly used by Crossrail; they will be used by other people who we are trying to move out of the way to make room for Crossrail. Going through them in detail, and there are far more in the west than there are in the east, in the east the main works are here at Shenfield, where there will be some remodelling to provide an additional platform, because we will be running 12 trains an hour there during the peak, which will need to turn round, so we are providing additional space for them to turn round.

  8099. The next slide, please.[11] Here is an aerial photograph of Shenfield. The new track will be provided here so that this platform, which is currently just a side platform, will become a bay platform with tracks on both sides. The layout around here will also be resolved to allow for easier passage for trains which are not stopping at Shenfield. We will also be modifying the sidings at Ilford and Gidea Park, which I spoke about earlier in connection with the depots. For most of the stations we will be extending the platforms. We have already discussed Maryland at some length, when we dealt with the PRM accessibility. Maryland is a difficult station to extend because it has got bridges at each end, one there and one there.[12] As a result of that, we have agreed with HMRI that we can use selective door opening; the whole length of the train is not accommodated at the platform so only the doors which are at the platform open. Pudding Mill Lane, which is on the Great Eastern but coming in towards Stratford, the layout here is—this is an express training probably coming from Norwich.[13] You have also got the Docklands Light Railway, where you can see a train here. We will be moving the Docklands Light Railway so that the station on the Docklands Light Railway moves to the south by about 60 metres, and in the space between the Docklands Light Railway and the mainline we will construct our tunnel portal, and that is where the trains will enter the Crossrail tunnels. I have got some descriptions of the other works and some photographs. I will go through them fairly quickly, unless you have any particular questions—and please feel free to interrupt me at any time you like.

1   Crossrail Ref: P55, Single Line Diagram-Custom House to Abbey Wood (LINEWD-XR7-001) Back

2   Crossrail Ref: P55, Aerial view of Abbey Wood (LINEWD-XR7-002) Back

3   Crossrail Ref: P55, Single Line Diagram-Stratford to Shenfield-Sheet 3 of 3 (LINEWD-XR7-003) Back

4   Crossrail Ref: P55, Old Oak Common-Oblique view looking east (LINEWD-XR7-005) Back

5   Crossrail Ref: P55, Aerial view of Gidea Park (LINEWD-XR7-006) Back

6   Crossrail Ref: P55, Cross London Freight Routes (LINEWD-XR7-008) Back

7   Crossrail Ref: P55, Current freight flows from Shell Haven and Tilbury (LINEWD-XR7-009) Back

8   Crossrail Ref: P55, Forest Gate-routes do not conflict (LINEWD-XR7-010) Back

9   Crossrail Ref: P55, Aerial view of Acton Yard (LINEWD-XR7-011) Back

10   Crossrail Ref: P55, Major works on the surface railway (LINEWD-XR7-023) Back

11   Crossrail Ref: P55, Aerial view of Shenfield Station (LINEWD-XR7-025) Back

12   Crossrail Ref: P55, Aerial view of Maryland Station (LINEWD-XR7-026) Back

13   Crossrail Ref: P55, Aerial view of Pudding Mill Lane (LINEWD-XR7-027) Back

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