diamond geezer

 Friday, November 13, 2009

Tubewatch (30) Extended Circle
I've been discussing the possibility (and geometric ludicrousness) of an extended Circle line on this blog since 2004. But in exactly one month's time, it actually happens. The Circle will be broken at Edgware Road and trains will trundle on to Hammersmith.

extended CircleHere's the official poster already appearing at tube stations. Let's check out its claims....
A more reliable service
The Circle line's often unreliable because delayed trains stay delayed as they keep going round and round. But as of December 13th, once these trains have somewhere to terminate, the timetable ought to get a chance to catch up. That's the theory anyway, we'll see if it works.
Fewer delays
Erm, that's exactly the same as the last claim, isn't it?
More trains to Hammersmith
Absolutely right, and the main benefit of the entire change. The Hammersmith branch currently sees seven trains an hour. Next month it'll be twelve trains an hour - half of them on the Circle and half on the Hammersmith & City. Big win, surely?

But here's the flipside of the argument - three more claims that TfL probably don't want to publicise...
Less frequent Circle line trains
Yes, sorry. At the moment seven Circle line services are scheduled every hour, but in future there'll only be six. Trying to get round from Gloucester Road to High St Ken, or from Liverpool Street to Tower Hill? Expect to wait up to ten minutes in the future, not the present eight and a half. A not-very-frequent service just got worse.
Less frequent Hammersmith & City line trains
Same here. No problems west of Liverpool Street, but trains will only head round the curve to Aldgate East every ten minutes. Expect an even longer wait.
Potential passenger chaos at Edgware Road
A 'broken' Circle means that everybody travelling between Bayswater and Baker Street will need to change trains at Edgware Road. Travel east and there's a 50/50 chance you'll arrive on the 'other' platform. Travel west and there's a 50/50 chance the next train to depart will be from the 'other' platform. In either case you'll need to cross the footbridge, so long as you realise, which is a sure-fire recipe to confuse tourists and even regular travellers. I've seen the system in action, remember, so I'll be giving Edgware Road a wide berth in the future. I suspect you will too.

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