diamond geezer

 Tuesday, September 17, 2013

WATERLOO & CITY: Twenty line facts

The Waterloo & City Railway opened to the public at 8am on Monday 8 August 1898. It was the first railway line to reach Bank, then called the 'City' station, arriving two years before the Northern and Central lines.
The Waterloo & City Railway was taken over by the London and South Western Railway in 1907, amalgamated into the Southern Railway in 1923, nationalised as part of British Railways in 1948 and transferred to London Underground Ltd on 1st April 1994. This makes it the Underground's youngest line.
From Bank the line passes directly under Queen Victoria Street, runs beneath the District line from Mansion House to Blackfriars, then crosses obliquely beneath the Thames to the west of Blackfriars Bridge before passing directly under Stamford Street to reach Waterloo.
The Waterloo and City line runs 7m (23 feet) beneath the bed of the River Thames.
The Waterloo & City is London's shortest underground line, the distance by train between Waterloo and Bank stations being a mere 2.226km (1.37 miles).
According to the latest Working Timetable, 561 trains run each weekday and 361 trains every Saturday. A maximum of five trains are needed to run the service.
W&C trains are only four carriages long - the shortest on the Underground.
For operational reasons the Waterloo & City line is coupled with the Central line - they have much the same trains (and the same manager, who's called Tricia).
The line is wholly in tunnel and physically isolated from all other railways. To get trains in and out, as is very occasionally required, a large crane has to be used. It's quite a spectacle.
The new trains introduced in the 1940s had no windscreen wipers. Didn't need them, obviously.
The Waterloo & City is colloquially known as The Drain. It's believed that the term originally applied to the sloping stairway at Bank, parallel to the travolator, and has nothing to do with the tunnels smelling bad.
The gradient on the Bank Trav-o-lator is 1 in 7.
You can follow the Waterloo and City line on Twitter at @wlooandcityline. It doesn't usually have a lot to say for itself. In an especially interesting recent blogpost, Ed has analysed these tweets and decided that the line's Myers-Brigg type is ESFP.
The two platforms at Waterloo are numbered 25 and 26 (at Bank 7 and 8).
Journey time between Waterloo and platform 8 at Bank is 4 minutes. It's quicker from platform 7 to Waterloo (3½ minutes), but slower from Waterloo to platform 7 (4¼ minutes).
The W&C is a favourite target for would-be transport planners who love dreaming up fantasy tube lines. How great it would be, they say, to extend the line to Moorgate and beyond, or make it part of the DLR, or absorb it into Crossrail 2, or run a completely new line out to wherever. Alas, not a chance. Other tube tunnels and the Bank of England's vaults preclude extension at the eastern end, while the depot is in the way at Waterloo. In addition the existing platforms are too short for a modern railway, and the Victorian tunnel would need an over-expensive overhaul. The Waterloo and City line is forever destined to shuttle between its two termini and no further (although an intermediate station could be built at Blackfriars if TfL ever had money to burn).
That red hoop visible along the interchange passage with the DLR at Bank has an unusual history. A plaque alongside explains. "This Greathead Type Tunnelling Shield was left at this point 18 metres below ground level in 1898. Exposed by Edmund Nuttall Limited in 1987 during the construction of the Docklands Light Railway City Extension."
At Bank the tracks are either side of an island platform, but at Waterloo it was necessary to use side platforms to leave room for the pillars holding up the main-line station.
During a five month closure in the summer of 2006, refurbishment materials were ferried along the line by four battery-powered locomotives named Walter, Lou, Anne and Kitty.
Your interesting W&C facts here


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