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jools1959

Northern Line's Moorgate branch

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Hi guys, I received a PDF of the track diagram of LT's Moorgate branch from the 50's till 1964; and then from 1964 till 1975 when it was handed over to BR.  It had loads of interesting stuff including signalling, plungers and other details which would be of use to a modeller.  I also noticed that up until 1964, the line extended to Finsbury Park, so was that part of the BR station or separate like the Piccadilly and Victoria lines?

 

With Drayton Park being the centre piece, could the whole line be modelled just using just a several EFE 4 car 38 stock per service instead of the 2 x 3 car sets and shortening the stations to fit 4 cars only.  I suppose, you could apply some modellers licence and run to Finsbury Park after 1964 as well?

 

Julian Sprott

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IIRC the platforms at Finsbury Park were the ones currently used by the Victoria line. The service was cut back to Drayton Park when the Victoria line was being built. 

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Pete is right about that.

 

Drayton Park has great potential as a layout with the lines from Canonbury also running past to Finsbury Park which back then had an Eastern Region suburban service (DMU's and loco-hauled) into Broad Street as well as plenty of freight movements to/from the North London Line.

 

See also another thread on the Forum about may-have-been if the Met had continued to operate the Northern City and taken over the Northern Heights branchlines to Alexandra Palace, Barnet and Edgware. Potential to run lots of interesting stock.

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Actually, the former Northern Line platforms at Finsbury Park became the southbound Piccadilly and Victoria Lines, while the northbound Victoria Line took over the former southbound Piccadilly Line platform, so providing cross-platform interchange.

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That's interesting to know; I took a educated guess that the line from Drayton Park followed the present right of way up to Finsbury Park as I thought the original plan for the Northern Line (Northern Heights plan) extension was to run along LNER/BR lines from Finsbury Park as far as Hornsey, up to Alexandra Palace and onto Edgware.

 

As it's been ages since I travelled on the line, are the tunnels on the Moorgate branch, single or double tracked?

 

Julian Sprott

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That's interesting to know; I took a educated guess that the line from Drayton Park followed the present right of way up to Finsbury Park as I thought the original plan for the Northern Line (Northern Heights plan) extension was to run along LNER/BR lines from Finsbury Park as far as Hornsey, up to Alexandra Palace and onto Edgware.

 

As it's been ages since I travelled on the line, are the tunnels on the Moorgate branch, single or double tracked?

 

Julian Sprott

Two single bore tunnels - dug in the same way to the deep level tubes, but a bit bigger (though not big enough for OHLE hence the dual voltage arrangement.

 

When originally constructed the promoter planed to link in with the GNR system and operate through trains. Initially the idea was welcomed by the GNR but at some stage during the planning of the line this changed to outright opposition. As a result both the Moorgate line and the Picadilly tube were forced into accepting a GNR built station underneath their own and a ban on them ever being extended north. Obviously the LTPB managed to get this changed for the Cockfosters extension and the plans for the Moorgate branch's never completed extension to Highgate (which would have involved new tracks between Drayon Park and Highgate - no sharing of the LNER tracks through Finsbury Park).

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Drayton park would make a great layout. The line used various batches of standard stock prior to the 1938 stock. In the early days of 1938 stock 4 and I think even 3 car units were used I think. The standard stock on the line was varied. From 1939-64 mostly 1927-28 motors were used with 1923 trailers and 1925 control trailers. In 1964 1931/4 motors and trailers in 4 cars units were used. Off peak, two car units M-CT were used up to 1964. Good luck.

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Drayton Park depot was also the last place where Metropolitan Camel Back loco No 1, renumbered to No 21, operated, and where it was cut up in LT days when it was over tube gauge and could not be removed by rail for preservation. The fitter charged with removing the cab roof to get it back within Tube gauge is reported to have made such a bad job of it that it was decided to scrap the loco instead of preserving it.

 

I think that a layout based on the Ally Pally branch would be good, with the fiddle yard either being the Drayton Park depot, or the exit from Drayton Park station.

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The whole line I think could be modelled as it was in the 70's and still be interesting.  38 stock, battery loco's, what can be better than that lol.

 

Julian Sprott

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The Met Camelback may well have been over tube size,. but could have been removed using the spur to the Cannonbury line to Finsbury Park, which is how the rest of the stock was delivered. I've actually know a class 08 reach Essex Road and a 31 some way toward Essex Road during conversion work.

 

There's another thread about this line on the District Dave website, Historic section with lots of pics of the workshops.

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It would be well worth you joining Gary Fox's Northern City Line page on Facebook lots of photos and information from the a number of authorities on this line including Brian Hardy

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It would be well worth you joining Gary Fox's Northern City Line page on Facebook lots of photos and information from the a number of authorities on this line including Brian Hardy

Any chance of a link to that Facebook group, please?

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Obviously the LTPB managed to get this changed for the Cockfosters extension and the plans for the Moorgate branch's never completed extension to Highgate (which would have involved new tracks between Drayon Park and Highgate - no sharing of the LNER tracks through Finsbury Park).

 

The new tracks would only have stretched from Drayton Park, alongside the eastern side of the elevated LNER Finsbury Park station and then as far as the flyover over the LNER main-line, the LNER Edgware/High Barnet/Alexandra Palace being taken over by the LPTB from that point. Links with the LNER would have been retained to allow freight (mainly coal) traffic to be operated at night - freight trains to Mill Hill gas works, High Barnet and Muswell Hill/Cranley Gardens in fact continued to the early 1960s.

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