diamond geezer

 Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Tales from pre-Crossrail

While the extended Overground gets all the attention, what long term will be a far more significant change is receiving far less publicity. The metro line from Liverpool Street to Shenfield also transferred to TfL on Sunday, but not under the Overground umbrella, it's been given an identity of its own. Services now appear separately on the tube map and have been assigned their own blue roundel, indeed precisely the same shade of blue as the Piccadilly line (which could cause confusion). In May 2019 this line is due to be connected to Crossrail, with flash new trains finally zipping into Central London from Stratford and beyond. But for now we have tired old rolling stock going nowhere fast every ten minutes on 'TfL Rail' - a bland brand name that's been specially designed to self-destruct in four years time.

Liverpool Street
While the New Overground departs from platforms 1-7, trains from TfL Rail depart up the opposite end from platforms 15-18. Neither grouping is exclusive, various other services are intermingled, making it impossible for TfL to brand either departure point in full. Neither do the trains have much to give their new owners away. The exterior has been rolled back to an empty white shell, admittedly with blue trim, but nobody's yet got round to adding appropriately hued roundels. Inside the carriages a few proper line maps have started to appear, plus a rash of "we've just taken you over" posters, while the shocking pink of a previous upgrade bleeds through. Listen carefully before the train departs and you'll hear somebody's got the nice lady to record some new words: "The next train to depart from platform 17 will be the TfL Rail service calling at all stations to Shenfield." She says TfL Rail with a singsong, slightly incredulous tone, descending on the TfL and peaking on the R.

For passengers on Day 1, two blue-uniformed staff stood by the gateline dishing out leaflets. These were printed in orange and blue, to be dually applicable to both services transferring on Sunday, with the headline "We're improving your service" on the front. The majority of each leaflet focused on the Overground extension, highlighting the many benefits that TfL ownership will bring, including staffed stations, greater accessibility and (eventually) new trains. Poor old TfL Rail merited a rather smaller portion, and more lacklustre language, focusing on easier journey planning and with mention of 'preparation for Crossrail'. I'd have screamed louder (Crossrail's Going To Be Amazing And You Lucky People Have Been Specially Selected to Get It), maybe even added a map, but the information dissemination process deemed not. It also failed to mention there's a @TfLRail Twitter feed, giving only @LDNOverground, so biased is the publicity process in favour of orange rather than blue. Never mind, the blue's only temporary anyway.

If Enfield Town is the benchmark station for the New Overground, then Stratford is the poster boy for TfL Rail. A crack team of signage experts have been round every corner of the station ensuring that every reference to platforms 5 or 8 is duly updated, not that the East End public yet understand what TfL Rail is, but they'll learn. All of the nameplates on the platforms have been replaced with swish enamelled signage, topped off by a stripe of the appropriate blue, and there are bold line diagrams like you might get on any other TfL line instead of Greater Anglia's more apologetic posters. The contractors have done an impressively consistent job, and have even spelt the station name correctly too. Meanwhile staff are resplendent in their new roundel-cuffed uniforms, in dark blue of course, and wearing badges which proclaim their elevation to the role of TfL Rail Customer Service Manager, or whatever. The trains still run as every-ten-minutely as ever, but now garnished with a hint of Crossrail.

But up the line, bugger all. Or at least there was bugger all on Sunday, but by Monday one further station had been given a mild blue makeover. The lucky location is Ilford, which now has unfamiliarly tinted signs (in both small and large sizes) along its platforms. I also spotted Greater Anglia's previous timetable boards uprooted and dumped unceremoniously beneath the stairs. But elsewhere not a single other station name had been tweaked, the fading signs still displaying decades of previous operators' colours on this most oft-overtaken of railway franchises. So, sorry, the eastern realm of Tfl Rail is not in any way exciting yet. But increasingly exciting soon, and with full-blooded transformational amazement pencilled in for later.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17
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    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

What's on this month?
28 Jan – 23 Apr (10am-4.30pm)
Sussex Modernism
The sixth annual exhibition at Two Temple Place focuses on radical art/writing in Sussex, and is damned excellent.

twenty blogs
ian visits
blue witch
city metric
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
london museums
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
The DG Tour of Britain
Comment Value Hierarchy

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

the diamond geezer index
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
capital ring
river fleet

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards