The Dartford to London via Woolwich railway line runs a literal stone’s throw
from my front door. At the moment it is two tracks but Crossrail will increase
that to four.
I know this because Network Rail has been very good about keeping nearby residents informed of their plans. Originally the extra tracks were going to be used for shuffling trains arriving at Abbey Wood across to the up platform for the return trip and for parking trains overnight. I think this idea may have fallen into disfavour when Network Rail noticed the number of graffiti artists who live on the other side of the tracks. Also the decision to rearrange the platforms at Abbey Wood, to suit the trains rather than the passengers - typical Network Rail if I may say so - meant the tracks extending towards Belvedere are no longer required. However a Newsletter from Network Rail revealed that they will be retained as over-run. Presumably train drivers are no longer taught how to approach a set of buffers.
Over the years Network Rail’s succession of Newsletters has put the journey time from Abbey Wood to Tottenham Court Road at 16 minutes, 26 minutes and most recently, 23 minutes. Via London Bridge or Waterloo East you’d be hard pushed to do it in 50.
Now that work on Abbey Wood station is imminent a schedule has been published.
• Felixstowe Road car park (Thamesmead side of the station) will partly close in August 2013 and shut completely in September.
• A few places will be lost from the station (railway owned) car park this month and full closure will occur in September 2013.
• The existing station will be, well, attacked with sledgehammers I suspect. The Network Rail leaflet is rather vague but an “interim station” will open early in 2014.
• The new station will open in autumn 2017.
The current plan is to provide twelve peak hour ten car trains an hour without “permanent reductions to the current North Kent Line trains”.
There will be an exhibition in the Knee Hill Community Centre to explain things further from 1 p.m. to 7.p.m. on Thursday 11th July.
I imagine there will be parking chaos in the area by September. Roads right up to the one next to mine are already inconsiderately blocked by commuters prepared to walk for seven minutes rather than pay extortionate car parking fees. My own drive would accommodate three cars with ease. Maybe Bexley council would let me have a discarded Pay & Display machine.