diamond geezer

 Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Overground in northeast London is good at not interchanging with other lines. It misses the Central line, misses the Piccadilly line twice, misses the Northern line twice too. But the Victoria line it hits twice, because the Victoria line was built with interchange in mind. And now it hits again, with the long-awaited opening of a pedestrian link in Walthamstow, specifically between Walthamstow Queens Road and Walthamstow Central. The connection's been a very long time coming, and has been almost complete for a year or two but never quite opened up for public use. But this month the barriers have come down, some directional signs have gone up, and you can now exit Walthamstow Queens Road on the quick side.



This is a very rampy station, and the new connection adds yet more ramps to that number. Stairs are available to bypass most, but the newest exit requires a zigzag climb because there isn't any room to install steps. Rampiness is an issue at a number of Overground stations, in particular Hackney Wick where the ascent is so unavoidably convoluted that many passengers miss their train. Here at Walthamstow Queens Road the diversion's only brief, but step-free access is the priority and so stepped access is unavailable.



It has always been possible to walk from WQR to WC, but via an indirect route along a trio of Victorian terraced streets. That particular deviation took seven minutes for the walk between stations, whereas the new link cuts the time to only four minutes. The new eastern exit brings you up into Edison Close, formerly a quiet residential cul-de-sac, now a residential cul-de-sac with interchanging passengers walking through. Unlike the previous route there are as yet no official directional signs, so the Barking - Gospel Oak Rail User Group have stepped in and installed laminated signs on most of the lampposts to guide passengers to their destination. We thank them.



And it's not a lovely walk. The cul-de-sacs are a bit bland, unlike the Victorian terraces where each house had its own name chiselled into a plaque on the front. The new path takes you into a parking area and past a bin store, in an "are you sure this is the right route?" sort of way. In this short stretch it's been called Ray Dudley Way, named after a member of the BGO Rail User Group, which is a nice personal touch. And then it tracks up the edge of a large car park, fenced off with barriers for passenger safety, before passing a number of apartment blocks and commercial units currently under construction. It's not a lovely walk at all, but it is a short-cut that lops 40% off the time it takes to walk from one station to the other, so practicality wins.



You might not realise that a southern entrance to Walthamstow Central exists, but it does, on the side opposite to the busy shopping centre and bus station. Workmen are currently giving this south side a spruce-up, resurfacing the piazza outside and adding what looks like a sundial out front. There's even a poem etched into one of the flagstones near the station entrance, if you look down, a short verse by Graham Clifford. It's called Crushed, and it compares the TfL roundel to a clock "bisected with hope". The eight lines were a bit too nebulous for me, but the idea of etching stanzas into the pavement might just catch on.



So anyway, you're unlikely to want to change between Overground and Victoria lines here in Walthamstow because there's a much better interchange at the next station, Blackhorse Road. But you might well want to change between the Overground and the rail line to Chingford, because that serves Walthamstow Central too creating a much more useful connection. And next year the Chingford line will itself be absorbed into the Overground, which means the new link that's just opened will connect the Overground (old) to the Overground (new). Expect to see this connection highlighted as an interchange on 2015's tube map, and smile because this more direct connection just saved you three minutes off your walk.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream