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Bonkers Blog November 2016

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6 November - Planning? You’d be better off with a crystal ball

Lesnes AbbeyLet’s return to the once traditional Sunday comparison between progress on Crossrail and the Heritage Lottery funded improvements at Lesnes Abbey. Neither is totally covered in glory even if Crossrail has taken great strides over the past two weekends.

There is now three quarters of a mile of Crossrail track down to the east of Abbey Wood station and from Church Manorway to Abbey Wood station. The former may be seen here in what is now a finished set of photos and the other set is still work in progress.

Network Rail spent months clearing, piling and concreting the soft ground and then laid the track towards Belvedere in a well executed operation that didn’t take much more than 24 hours.

A similar operation took place over this weekend to the west of Abbey Wood but too far from home to be monitored almost constantly.

Where things are not going so well is with programmed weekend closures. The Liaison Panel heard last April that there would be no closures after the new platform opened on 22 August. This was hastily revised to there being closures on most weekends through to October.

Then at the September meeting the dates were extended through to December 4th with a welcome break until 5th February 2017. I took photos during the slide presentation so I am certain of that.

CrossrailLast week a new poster went up on the Crossrail Noticeboard at Abbey Wood station and I took another picture (left). Click on it and it is clear enough.

Compared to the announcement in September there are two extra closures in November, 26th and 27th.

December is unchanged, closed only on 3rd and 4th but February 2017 is much worse than expected. Six days of closure instead of the promised one. And for good measure the 5th March is a goner too.

I know from my connections with the Traders’ Association how much each closure costs them with no compensation from anyone.

Things were much better when the station staff put up their own home made list at various places around the station but their bosses in Southeastern HQ who have little concept of what pleases passengers, told them to take them down. They were making the place look untidy apparently.

One also begins to wonder what the Liaison Panel meetings are for if the information provided is unreliable. The Liaison Panel was told long ago that it takes more than a year to plan and schedule a line closure so I am at a loss as to how things keep changing at short notice.

But if it’s the engineering that interests you it is undoubtedly magnificent and progressing at an amazing pace.

Note: I am going to try to display Crossrail photos in reverse order. To find the latest at the bottom of a column of 150 is becoming a bit of a chore for viewers who look daily. Maybe it only makes sense for the latest photo sets. In due course it may become switchable.


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