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Bonkers Blog October 2014

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19 October - Crossrail but you can’t

S14 S14Crossrail never did reply to my enquiry asking what they were doing within sight of my front door but it now looks as though they are preparing a storage compound for equipment and materials.

Site S14 is at the eastern extremity of Crossrail’s overhead electricity supply. Or at least it was when I was last able to look at a plan, they have changed quite a lot since construction commenced.

This weekend has seen another line closure but my photographic jaunt proved relatively unproductive. The best vantage points are the bridges at Abbey Wood station, Bostall Manorway, Eynsford Drive and Church Manorway, but two were inaccessible and there was nothing interesting going on around Bostall Manorway.

There were a lot of people working on Abbey Wood station with the opening of the temporary facility only days away and I could see more orange jackets in the far distance. By the time i got to Bostall Manorway it was apparent that the major track activity was between Church Manorway and Eynsford Drive but when I got there I discovered it was partially closed with little chance of a good view of what might be going on below.

The concrete parapet on which I usually rest my camera had been capped with some sort of metal contrivance which is perhaps designed to stop the local hooligans practicing their electrical skills.

The yellow vehicle visible in the centre of Photo 3 below was occasionally transporting lengths of rail from the vicinity of Bostall Manorway and depositing them under the Eynsford Road bridge.

Crossrail Crossrail Crossrail Crossrail

I crossed to the northern side of the railway and walked towards the Bostall Manorway footbridge intending to cross it and return via the southern route but when I got there found the bridge was closed. It didn’t matter to me except that yet another photographic vantage point was inaccessible but it would have been nice if Crossrail had erected some warning notices. Probably there was one on the other side.

Crossrail Crossrail Crossrail Crossrail

The security guard told me that the new footbridge will be open tomorrow morning. By the time I had retraced my steps to Eynsford Drive the transport of lengths of rail had stopped and there was the strong smell of grinding wheels coming from the men seen in the final photograph above.

CrossrailI continued on the northern side of the track back to the Bostall Manorway footbridge which was adorned with a ‘Diverted pedestrians’ sign. Who in their right mind, unable to cross at Church Manorway, would ignore the Eynsford Drive bridge and carry on to Bostall Manorway? But it may explain why I saw no notices when crossing at the intermediate Eynsford Drive.

If Crossrail are going to ignore telephone enquiries and close bridges with inadequate diversionary notices, future Crossrail reports are likely to become a little more critical of the disruption they are causing.

If there are any North Kent line commuters unaware of the problems that lie ahead for them in January they really ought to take a good look at From The Murky Depths’ most recent blog. Fewer rush hour trains overall, the loss of 50 carriages of rush hour capacity at London Bridge because fewer trains will stop there and no so called fast trains via Lewisham. For those unfamiliar with the North Kent services ‘so called fast’ because the Lewisham route is longer and not stopping at some stations saves only a minute or two.

But Erith and Belvedere commuters may be pleased, if they don’t mind travelling cattle class. Gillingham trains may be making extra stops.

Back in 1966, when I worked in a building now flattened by the Shard we were under notice that it was going to be demolished to allow expansion of the route to Charing Cross. Nice to know I may with luck live to see it!

Index to past Crossrail blogs.


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