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1 minute ago, KingEdwardII said:

Forget Crossrail 2 - there is in fact a rail line direct from Clapham Junction to St Pancras (via Loughborough Junction) that could already provide the necessary link. There are loads of services between St Pancras and South and South-East London, but none to South-West London.

 

Even a once-an-hour service between Clapham Junction and St Pancras would maker a huge difference. I agree that more mainline services need to stop at Clapham Junction - the current operators (DfT??) have a myopic focus on services to/from Waterloo. Waterloo must be one of the worst places to arrive/depart in London, since it is only good for getting to places in the very centre. Clapham Junction let's you get to a much wider area easily. I used to travel regularly to Gunnersbury in West London - hopeless via Waterloo (unless you take a train that takes you back via - guess where - Clapham Junction!).

 

Yours,  Mike.

 

Just because tracks may physically exist doesn't mean there are paths available to use them!

 

Getting from Clapham Junction to St Pancras via Loughborough Junc requires many conflicting movements over junctions on very busy railways which limit train paths and also massively increase the chances of disruption should issues occur.

 

Furthermore you need to remember that the number of SWR customers needing to get to Kings Cross is tiny compared to other flows which would have to be removed to create paths for the direct train. This is a significant part of the reason why the HS1 - HS2 link got ditched - every Europe to Northern England service removed a path which could be used by a Euston to the north domestic service that would attract far more passengers than an international service.

 

Thus a Clapham Junction - GN or MML service via Loughborough Junction would have to have a strong business case for addressing a different need. Improved access to the City is a possible justification - but that would need a 2tph at a minimum (more likely 4TPH though) and pathing those is going to mean axing quite a lot of other services to create paths. As we saw from the attempt to divest the Wimbledon loop from Thameslink a decade ago or indeed recent moves to axe the Waterloo - Bristol via Salisbury service, once something is provided travellers tend to get very upset if you remove it....

 

Its also worth noting that the business case for BR developing Thameslink (and indeed much of its expansion in recent years) had nothing to do with cross London connectivity - it was more about mundane stuff like stock utilisation and increasing capacity to stations serving the City of London. The ability for those in the south to have easy access to Kings Cross / St Pancras (or destinations northwards) is what might be termed an 'accidental benefit' arising from a scheme designed (and justified in BCR terms) to fulfil other objectives.

 

Similarly the extension of the East London line service round to Clapham Junction was not justified on the basis of the ability to get from Clapham to Highbury direct - it was largely justified by the uplift in service from a 2 TPH Vic - LB shuttle to a 4TPH service plus an increase in services on the ELL core by giving another outlet to send trains to terminate.

 

The potential SWR - Kings Cross connectivity Crossrail 2 would have provided is similarly accidental - the schemes BCR drivers were to address capacity constraints into Waterloo and Liverpool Street plus relief to some heavily used sections of the tube.

 

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, KingEdwardII said:

That may be true, but I can contrast this with my own experiences of travel from home (rural Hampshire near Winchester) to/from Brussels and Paris. Even with the time taken for the train from Winchester to Waterloo and the need to cross London to St Pancras, I still prefer the Eurostar to the flights. In the case of Brussels, I'd have to get to Heathrow. In the case of Paris, I can go from Southampton airport but you end up at Orly or CDG and have to trog your way in to central Paris.

 

Contrast with home to Manchester: 4 hours on the train. Flight 1 hour plus hassle of getting to/from/through the airports - in this case, the plane usually wins. A high speed train might well tempt me. (OK, current plans have nothing for the south, as usual, but a proper HS train plan should cover the whole country.)

 

Yours, Mike,

 

Naturally its not a hard and fast rule - individuals will have different requirements so its not an absolute. However where rail and air do compete e.g. London to Manchester and London to Scotland, analysis of passenger flows does show that for what might be termed 'business' travellers sub 3 hour timings are where rail can capture a large modal share - over 3hours less so.

 

When it comes to the 'leisure' market things are a bit different and the ability to take a direct train service (as opposed to having to change on route) is what makes rail competitive even though it takes longer than air.

 

Road travel is usually the slowest travel mode BUT because it involves no changes on route, it has a distinct advantage over both rail and air.....

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41 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

Road travel is usually the slowest travel mode

Well, for Hampshire - Northumberland, we found that travel by car is faster than rail unless we stop for a meal halfway, assuming no snarl-ups (but those can happen on the trains, too). Air travel would be faster, but we'd need to hire a car at Newcastle Airport. Just goes to show how poor the "cross country" type services are.

 

I can agree that Hampshire - Glasgow/Edinburgh is slowest by car, having done it by all 3 modes at various times in the past. Frankly, at the moment, flying is by far the best for those distances.

 

Yours,  Mike.

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1 hour ago, phil-b259 said:

the number of SWR customers needing to get to Kings Cross is tiny

I suspect the numbers who would take such a route would be much larger than you imagine - it's not just St Pancras/Kings Cross that is served by that route, but other parts of London. I doubt that the current usage of some of the trains from the South East to St Pancras would be greater than that from Clapham Jct and the South West, if available. Few people arriving at Waterloo end their journey there.

 

The irony with the Thameslink service to/from Wimbledon is that although Wimbledon is on the south west main line, almost none of the fast trains stop there, so that it is little more than a suburban station. If Thameslink went a bit further, to Woking, it would be a very different story.

 

I think that many of the services in and around London are still stuck in the Victorian era and have not adjusted properly to the needs of modern passengers. Even CrossRail 1 did not deal with the lunacy of no westward services in/out of Heathrow, for example. I travelled to Heathrow by car for my entire 37 year career because of the lack of direct rail services from the south west. Most of the people I know living in south Hampshire do much the same. Contrast with Schiphol in Amsterdam, where the trains will get you direct to most places in the Netherlands.

 

Yours, Mike.

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26 minutes ago, KingEdwardII said:

I suspect the numbers who would take such a route would be much larger than you imagine - it's not just St Pancras/Kings Cross that is served by that route, but other parts of London. I doubt that the current usage of some of the trains from the South East to St Pancras would be greater than that from Clapham Jct and the South West, if available. Few people arriving at Waterloo end their journey there.

 

The irony with the Thameslink service to/from Wimbledon is that although Wimbledon is on the south west main line, almost none of the fast trains stop there, so that it is little more than a suburban station. If Thameslink went a bit further, to Woking, it would be a very different story.

 

 

The Thameslink platform at Wimbledon is only accessible with a capacity sapping move all the way across the SW mainline which would have disproportionate on that routes capacity.

 

Similarly stopping fast line services at Wimbledon destroys several train paths per hour - which is why the planned Old Oak Common GWML station has two platforms for each line in a bid to retain capacity. Similarly London Bridge high level for many years had certain Charing Cross trains not stopping there as they used the platformless through line, without which the number of trains which could be run would have been significantly less.

 

To allow mainline trains to stop at Wimbledon requires the building of two new fast loop line platforms, the entry and exit of which have their start and sufficiently far back to ensure an unchecked run into them, and unchecked run out plus simulations arrivals / departures from each. That cannot be done on the surface without extensive demolition of the surrounding area (or expensive tunnelling as CR2 was proposing at the site)

 

To extend Thameslink requires a Dive under to separate to take trains from the up slow on the Wessex across the fasts and Dn slow to the other side, plus taking back the tram platform to provide somewhere for replacement services to / from Sutton to turnback.

 

The other thing to remember is the ability to import / export delays. As things stand Thameslink has the ability to transfer service disruption on the BML or the Kent routes onto the MML and ECML. Adding in the SWML into the point (particularly with the flat crossing moves needed at Herne Hill and Loughborough Junc - Elephant) is asking for trouble.

Edited by phil-b259
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28 minutes ago, KingEdwardII said:

 

I think that many of the services in and around London are still stuck in the Victorian era and have not adjusted properly to the needs of modern passengers. Even CrossRail 1 did not deal with the lunacy of no westward services in/out of Heathrow, for example. I travelled to Heathrow by car for my entire 37 year career because of the lack of direct rail services from the south west. Most of the people I know living in south Hampshire do much the same. Contrast with Schiphol in Amsterdam, where the trains will get you direct to most places in the Netherlands.

 

 

 

As has been explained before, the issue here is LEVEL CROSSINGS!

 

The then Transport Secretary (Philip Hammond) told his Runeymede constituents he would personally veto the Airtrack scheme promoted by Heathrow over a decade ago precisely because of the increased level crossing downtime at the many level crossings between Barnes and Reading / Weybridge.

 

The ONLY way such a scheme would get the go ahead (as opposed to a short link to a bay Platform at Staines) is if lots of cash was spent buying up property to replace said crossings with bridges - something the well connected wealthy residents of Richmond / Twickenham / Staines / Chertsey / etc will oppose.

 

Given such an expensive and controversial move would also benefit SWR services Heathrow Airports owners quite naturally baulked at paying for this on their own and as such require the state (i.e. NR) to push / finance the majority of the works.

 

As the state was unwilling attention has turned to a west facing spur back onto the GWML which lacks any level crossings and is a far easier scheme to deliver.

Edited by phil-b259
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Intetesting stuff there.... I went to London a couple of weeks ago, the first visit in six or seven years (and those visits were for work). There are plenty of cheaper places to go for a day out. 

 

Eurostar is pretty much the textbook example of how NOT to design a transport link - build a terminal at Waterloo, establish a customer base... then move to St Pancras! 

 

I've never been convinced of HS2 per se and I gain no satisfaction in seeing it encounter the forces of political and economic gravity. 

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9 minutes ago, rockershovel said:

Eurostar is pretty much the textbook example of how NOT to design a transport link - build a terminal at Waterloo, establish a customer base... then move to St Pancras! 

 

I've never been convinced of HS2 per se and I gain no satisfaction in seeing it encounter the forces of political and economic gravity. 

More shops and restaurants could be crammed into the revitalised St Pancras, then they pushed the MML services up the far end of the station.

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52 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

As the state was unwilling attention has turned to a west facing spur back onto the GWML

That was what I was referring to, not some link to the suburban lines around Staines. It should have been part of CrossRail 1. Insane that it was not included. Now it is going to be far easier to access Heathrow from Essex than it will be from Reading (let alone places further west & south west).

 

In my ideal world (otherwise well known as la la land), there would be a loop off the GWML to the west of the M25 diving into a tunnel taking the line into T5 at Heathrow, then back through the current link to the east. Make the Heathrow stations into full mainline stations - min 4 platforms, like Schiphol, and then you can start to think about services running via Heathrow from Paddington (& places east) and from Reading (& places west, south west and north west). That is what has been needed these past 40 years and more but the dolts in government can't get their heads around the obvious.

 

Want people to use cars less and public transport more? Then make sure the public transport gets folk where they want to go quickly and easily... It's not rocket science.

 

Yours,  Mike.

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43 minutes ago, rockershovel said:

I've never been convinced of HS2

Have you travelled on the high speed lines in other countries, like France, Germany, Spain, etc? What's your view of those?

 

I've been on quite a few of them over the years and in my opinion they are the future of travel - speedy connections between major cities. I think the UK has been left way behind. But then again, we still have not even electrified many of our main lines. It's simply pathetic.

 

Yours,  Mike.

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19 minutes ago, woodenhead said:

More shops and restaurants could be crammed into the revitalised St Pancras, then they pushed the MML services up the far end of the station.

 

Its not the shops thats the issue as such (the basement level cannot be used for trains due to the roads to the north of the trainshed) - even if you ditched the Champagne bar that would on;y get you one extra MML platform but seeing as that would only be able to be accessed if nothing was in the adjacent Eurostar one or what is now platform 4 it was never going to be particularly helpful.

 

No the REAL issue is the exsistance of the Eurostar platforms themselves - AND the need for them to be a dedicated 'International traffic only' space thanks to blinkered little Englander thinking about border security which demands domestic and international passengers must be kept apart at all times by a rigid and formidable set of border controls.

 

That has scuppered any chance of a through station which potentially needs less platforms and can mitigate against a lack of onward connections.

 

At Gare du Nord it was relatively common for non Eurostar services to use the supposedly dedicated platforms if needed thus improving flexibility - something UK border policy actively prevents happening here.

 

That said if you are going to impose draconian border rules then having the terminal in the Kings Cross area does make sense - with Euston a stones throw away plus Thameslink and lots of Underground lines its well connected  to large areas of the country. In fact its only SWR destination (and to an extent GWR ones) which miss out. Sadly the costs of building 6-8 underground very long platforms was never going to fly and the Government refused to sanction the building of an above ground facility when there was the "underused St Pancras" available - preferring to flog off the 'Kings Cross Railway Lands' to housing / office developers instead, the net effect to significant restrict the ability of the MML to accommodate growth.

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13 minutes ago, KingEdwardII said:

That was what I was referring to, not some link to the suburban lines around Staines. It should have been part of CrossRail 1. Insane that it was not included. Now it is going to be far easier to access Heathrow from Essex than it will be from Reading (let alone places further west & south west).

 

In my ideal world (otherwise well known as la la land), there would be a loop off the GWML to the west of the M25 diving into a tunnel taking the line into T5 at Heathrow, then back through the current link to the east. Make the Heathrow stations into full mainline stations - min 4 platforms, like Schiphol, and then you can start to think about services running via Heathrow from Paddington (& places east) and from Reading (& places west, south west and north west). That is what has been needed these past 40 years and more but the dolts in government can't get their heads around the obvious.

 

Want people to use cars less and public transport more? Then make sure the public transport gets folk where they want to go quickly and easily... It's not rocket science.

 

Yours,  Mike.

 

Rail expenditure costs the Treasury money.

 

Airports and Airlines are private sector entities and can even be used to reduce the expenditure the Treasury has to shell out via S106 agreements.

 

Thus if you are a party / Government committed to a low tax, low spend, small Government ideology expansion of airports looks very attractive......

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4 hours ago, KingEdwardII said:

I'm not sure that I follow this. I don't see people rushing to use the trains if they have electric cars.

 

Yours,  Mike.

Some of the reasons to use trains will still apply: traffic congestion, journey time, ability to do other things while travelling, avoids stress of driving, no need to have a license.  Also it's likely that use of electric cars will be taxed in some way, to plug the hole in government finances due to loss of fuel duty, so they will cost more to run in future.  

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4 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Its not the shops thats the issue as such (the basement level cannot be used for trains due to the roads to the north of the trainshed) - even if you ditched the Champagne bar that would on;y get you one extra MML platform but seeing as that would only be able to be accessed if nothing was in the adjacent Eurostar one or what is now platform 4 it was never going to be particularly helpful.

 

No the REAL issue is the exsistance of the Eurostar platforms themselves - AND the need for them to be a dedicated 'International traffic only' space thanks to blinkered little Englander thinking about border security which demands domestic and international passengers must be kept apart at all times by a rigid and formidable set of border controls.

 

That has scuppered any chance of a through station which potentially needs less platforms and can mitigate against a lack of onward connections.

 

At Gare du Nord it was relatively common for non Eurostar services to use the supposedly dedicated platforms if needed thus improving flexibility - something UK border policy actively prevents happening here.

 

That said if you are going to impose draconian border rules then having the terminal in the Kings Cross area does make sense - with Euston a stones throw away plus Thameslink and lots of Underground lines its well connected  to large areas of the country. In fact its only SWR destination (and to an extent GWR ones) which miss out. Sadly the costs of building 6-8 underground very long platforms was never going to fly and the Government refused to sanction the building of an above ground facility when there was the "underused St Pancras" available - preferring to flog off the 'Kings Cross Railway Lands' to housing / office developers instead, the net effect to significant restrict the ability of the MML to accommodate growth.

And therein lies the reason why some sort of HS2 service from Euston to the Midlands is required.

 

One solution to the St Pancras problem is to divert MML services away from St Pancras but unlike KX or Euston the cities it served have never justified the investment and it is only hard work that kept St Pancras (and Marylebone for that matter) going as stations.  Joing the MML to the Euston works for HS2 would be one solution but it's never going to fly, no benefit especially when HS2 will do exactly the same thing using the Midland Parkway as the new hub for people who want to travel from Nottingham and Derby to London quickly, everyone else will need to get a slow service to St Pancras

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18 minutes ago, woodenhead said:

 

And therein lies the reason why some sort of HS2 service from Euston to the Midlands is required.

 

One solution to the St Pancras problem is to divert MML services away from St Pancras but unlike KX or Euston the cities it served have never justified the investment and it is only hard work that kept St Pancras (and Marylebone for that matter) going as stations.  Joing the MML to the Euston works for HS2 would be one solution but it's never going to fly, no benefit especially when HS2 will do exactly the same thing using the Midland Parkway as the new hub for people who want to travel from Nottingham and Derby to London quickly, everyone else will need to get a slow service to St Pancras

 

As I have continually explained UK border force and Channel Tunnel safety rules make that totally uneconomic!

 

The channel tunnel rules mandate trains MUST be extremely long so that in the event of an emergency stop inside the tunnel one of the carriage doors can be guaranteed to be within 20m of an emergency escape door into the service tunnel. They also demand all passengers be allocated a seat.

 

UK border rules mandate that domestic passengers MUST NOT SHARE TRAINS WITH INTERNATIONAL ONES and any passengers joining such an international train must undergo full passport / customs checks before embarkation.

 

Even Eurostar struggles to fill all its services from London (which it needs to remain profitable) - passenger volumes from Manchester / Birmingham to / from Europe (let alone Derby and Nottingham which are much smaller won't come close to filling more than a quarter of the train even at busiest times.

 

That means your train is running pretty much empty as far as London (where you stand a chance of filling it - albut with a significantly extended journey time so as to give them time to board a train not configured for rapid boarding (i.e. a limited number of doors and where passengers need to find reserved seats).

 

It also means that you cannot run a train for domestic passengers at the same time so you have effectively reduced capacity / provision for the majority of your users of the MML!

 

International services in Europe are a whole different ballgame!

 

For starters being part of the Schengen scheme eliminates the need for border controls - it makes sod all difference whether they are domestic or international and whether they mix!

 

It helps that you can have shorter trains too of course but theoretically if you get the service routing right long trains are easy to fill.

 

If the UK was enlightened enough to have been a member then you would have been able to have Derby - Luton, Derby - London, Derby - Ashford, Luton - Ashford and Derby - Paris passengers all joining the same train giving you a much better chance of making a through service economically viable as it actually consists of a number of overlapping services sharing a resource*.

 

 

* Not that different to the core of HS2 where its viability is based on a large number of service groups using it, not just London to Birmingham as the press like to make out....

 

 

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@phil-b259 I don't understand what you mean, I havent mentioned HS1 or Eurostar services

 

I am going on about shifting MML long distance to Euston which is what BR wanted many moons ago but MML being a Cinderella line never got the investment.  Shifting MML fast services to HS2 from Euston to East Midlands sort of does that, allowing St Pancras MML to have more space for stoppers.

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43 minutes ago, woodenhead said:

@phil-b259 I don't understand what you mean, I havent mentioned HS1 or Eurostar services

 

I am going on about shifting MML long distance to Euston which is what BR wanted many moons ago but MML being a Cinderella line never got the investment.  Shifting MML fast services to HS2 from Euston to East Midlands sort of does that, allowing St Pancras MML to have more space for stoppers.

 

Ahh, I see. As is evident I went down a different rabbit hole....

 

And yes, you are right in that displacement of the fastest services from St Pancras to Euston does allow for more stops - but this does not automatically mean the likes of Leicester would lose fast services to London nor good links northwards. Lets wait and see the details before assuming the worst.

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2 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Its not the shops thats the issue as such (the basement level cannot be used for trains due to the roads to the north of the trainshed.

Just out of interest the reason for the basement at St Pancras is The Regents Canal. Euston and Kings Cross approach tracks go under it, the Midland elected to go over it then used the basement as a beer warehouse for trains from Burton, served by a wagon lift that was visible into the 70's. It is alleged that the spacing of the roof girders is the same as the pillars in tne beer warehouses at Burton.

 

Jamie

 

Edited by jamie92208
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8 hours ago, rockershovel said:

Why, exactly, in these changing times of WFH do we NEED more passenger trains from Sheffield to London? 

With the greatest of respect, that is a "comfortably-off middle-class professional" view of the world and I write as a comfortably-off middle-class professional who has worked from home since March last year.  It also repeats the false assumption - so often used to suggest HS2 isn't needed - that no-one travels by train except to get to/from work.

 

It is always easy to believe that the way you live is the same as the majority of people and those who have mostly worked from home over the last year seem to believe everybody else has too.  However if someone hasn't commuted to work by car or train for 18 months, how would they know what everyone else has been doing?  Shutting themselves away in their homes, a surprising number of people seem unaware of the workforce involved in:

  • Getting food from field to plate (so that's agriculture, road haulage, food processing, more road haulage, and all supermarket staff including road haulage to do home delivery);
  • The armed forces;
  • The emergency services;
  • With the exception of senior management staff, the entire workforce in the NHS.  I don't think those hospital staff who've never worked so hard in their lives for so long, treated Covid via Zoom meetings.

As others have written, the desire to be out and about hasn't gone away and the lockdowns clearly built pent-up demand; I have never seen the Underground so busy in the last two years as on a recent Sunday.  Those people weren't commuters.

 

Yes there will be a reduction in commuting if those that can, were to work from home 2-3 days per week.  This might help the railways if they don't have to cater for quite such a spike in the peak hours, providing capacity that is idle for much of the day.  However, don't assume the trend for people to increasingly work together (not "virtually", that's NOT the same) which has been going on for 250 years since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, is going to be reversed in 18 months.

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5 hours ago, rockershovel said:

Intetesting stuff there.... I went to London a couple of weeks ago, the first visit in six or seven years (and those visits were for work). There are plenty of cheaper places to go for a day out. 

 

Eurostar is pretty much the textbook example of how NOT to design a transport link - build a terminal at Waterloo, establish a customer base... then move to St Pancras! 

 

I've never been convinced of HS2 per se and I gain no satisfaction in seeing it encounter the forces of political and economic gravity. 

Waterloo was convenient for people who could get to Waterloo International easily, so basically those on the SWR network.  You believe getting to St.Pancras was inconvenient, well the same applied to Waterloo......... to everyone else in the country!

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......add in a growing population, that is still expanding at the rate of a new Leicester or Coventry, every year.

Families separated by distance, a large student population that likes to travel to and from home a few times a term and to visit friends and places in other parts of the UK.

All reasons why people are travelling for reasons other than work, or simple leisure.

 

 

.

Edited by Ron Ron Ron
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4 hours ago, jamie92208 said:

Just out of interest the reason for the basement at St Pancras is The Regents Canal. Euston and Kings Cross approach tracks go under it, the Midland elected to go over it then used the basement as a beer warehouse for trains from Burton, served by a wagon lift that was visible into the 70's. It is alleged that the spacing of the roof girders is the same as the pillars in tne beer warehouses at Burton.

 

Jamie

 

The Euston approaches actually go over the canal, hence Camden bank being so steep.

See https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.5400942,-0.1496209,137m/data=!3m1!1e3

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6 hours ago, Grovenor said:

The Euston approaches actually go over the canal, hence Camden bank being so steep.

See https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.5400942,-0.1496209,137m/data=!3m1!1e3

I'd be surprised if some such similarity DIDNT exist, given the general similarity in their function and construction, and the tendency to build to the limits of the structural materials of the time 

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