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Old March 25th, 2011, 02:09 AM   #101
stimarco
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Either that or...

(puts on tin hat)

...that nice Boris Johnson chap is planning an entirely unnecessary new bridge to replace the existing one. It'll be huge and ungainly, not quite as bendy, and more expensive to run if the access to the slip-road at the back is left open all day.

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Old March 25th, 2011, 08:42 PM   #102
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I hope that the central arched section and perhaps the southern section of the existing terminus station roof could be integrated into the renovation/upgrading project. The vast Victorian era shed roofs over the big termini stations were always wonderful, and no 20th station roof in the UK has been their match. Although the redesign of the station is vital to keep up with rising numbers of users, London Bridge is a very historic station and where feasible its fabric and components, such as the roof, should be respectfully integrated into a new project as was well done at Liverpool Street Station.
The train shed roof is not staying. The designers have to prove that what they are designing is of significant architectural prowess and that the removal of the roof is essential for the successful redevelopment of the station.
Trust me, it has been looked at extensively on how to retain the roof, but it is specifically designed for this track alignment. Due to the tracks alignment being changed and the through station tracks being increased at the expense of the terminus tracks being reduced, some columns of the roof would sit directly in the tracks.

As the roof is made of 3 parts in section, another idea was to keep just one or two parts and see if this would work with the new track alignment, however for the roof to work structurally and satisfy stability this is not possible. All parts of the roof need to remain to resist the thrust of the central curved part of the roof or it would be structurally unstable.

It's a sad loss, but means that we will get an amazing roof to replace it if the designers want to get past english heritage and approval etc.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 08:48 PM   #103
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Very little of the original stations on the London Bridge site has survived the passing of the years. The terminus was once the LB&SCR's station, while the SER (and, later, combined with the LC&DR's services) owned what are now the through platforms. (The through routes to Cannon Street and Charing X opened in the 1860s.)

The current roof over the ex-LB&SCR terminus section dates to the 1850s, (the site has had a station on, or very near, it since 1836), but even that roof been mucked about with since then. It's also seen far better days; these massive glazed roofs are expensive to maintain, while giving very little benefit to the passengers at the station. London Bridge is a commuter station, not a tourist destination or "gateway" to London. It has a very definite purpose: to get people from A to B as efficiently as possible. London Bridge has high-level through platforms alongside a low-level terminus. Only the latter has ever had an overall roof, and it's going to get quite a bit smaller! Retaining that roof would provide absolutely no benefit whatsoever to the 50%+ of passengers who use the larger through section—they'll barely even see it!
I completely agree, however I would like to add that whilst only a small part of London Bridge station is the original station (1836), what you see today was almost all completed by 1893, with minor changes such as stairwells, liftshaft, escalator boxes, track alignments, station buildings etc moving around slightly. The arches are very much 19th century.
It is also this well documented transformation of the station over time which gives this station life and character and a truelly great story over its 175 year life.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 09:03 PM   #104
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There does also seem to be very slight drop on the terminal platforms as seen here (1976) but I thyink its partly an illusion as the track immediately to the left of the signal box is cruving. The other tracks are dead straight.
I can inform you that there was always a gradient on the through station, and that the terminus tracks are level. The terminus tracks can never be 'raised' to the same level as the through station as has been asked in a few other posts.

The reason...

The through station tracks are at approximately 1:100 gradient to allow them to climb to a height that is substantial enough to allow clearance over Borough high street. The concourse for the terminus is serviced by the station approach road. This road turns off of Borough high street, which runs under the through tracks.
So you see, that to keep the current gradient of the station approach road and meet current road regulations, the terminus and through station levels can not be the same height as this would make the road extremely steep over its same length. Furthermore, the length can not be changed due to the constraints of the surrounding buildings, the station entrance and borough high street...AND borough high street can not be lowered (silly idea anyway) because it needs to climb enough to creat enough clearance to span the Thames

Last edited by hoodedvillain; March 25th, 2011 at 09:09 PM.
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Old March 26th, 2011, 04:02 PM   #105
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Thought so, it did look like an illusion in that picture and my memory of the station was that the terminus platforms were level - it didn't make much sense that there would be a drop anyway, it would have been pointless and made it harder for low powered steam trains to depart.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 11:29 AM   #106
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Thanks for the detailed explanation, hoodedvillian!
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Old March 28th, 2011, 02:40 PM   #107
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I can't wait to see renders of the new station. I've been using London Bridge for over 3 years now to get work, and it's a fairly grotty experience. Will the concrete pedestrian walkway from colechurch house to LBS be removed as part of the rebuild, and will colechurch house itself go?
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Old March 28th, 2011, 03:06 PM   #108
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I can't wait to see renders of the new station. I've been using London Bridge for over 3 years now to get work, and it's a fairly grotty experience. Will the concrete pedestrian walkway from colechurch house to LBS be removed as part of the rebuild, and will colechurch house itself go?

I think Colechurch House is owned by the Corporation of London. Why they haven't redeveloped is anyone's guess but its not exactly an attractive Welcome to the City statement building is it especially when the station and LBQ is complete.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 05:08 PM   #109
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It's hideous, and on bleak & rainy monday mornings it makes me feel depressed , I really hope it goes, along with that embarrassing poor mans version of London Dungeon, The London Bridge Experience!
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Old March 29th, 2011, 09:32 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by LazyOaf View Post
I can't wait to see renders of the new station. I've been using London Bridge for over 3 years now to get work, and it's a fairly grotty experience. Will the concrete pedestrian walkway from colechurch house to LBS be removed as part of the rebuild, and will colechurch house itself go?
Good comments

For now they are both staying in terms of the new design (I believe*). The concrete pedestrian bridge you refer to is the Lonon Bridge Walk I think. Although it is very unsightly, when studying pedestrian flow in and out of the station it is used more by pedestrians than any other route into the station. With the new design of the station, this will be dropped dramatically because of the great new functionality of the station and we might then see a change if it was used less.
But, fortunately, you're not the first person to comment on colechurch house. Many different people have been discussing the future prospects of the colechurch house over the last few years. I wouldn't be surprised if it is announced in the future that it is to be redeveloped. Whether that is the near future or nearer the completion of the station I don't know but it's the most obviously apparent redevelopment opportunity in the area.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 03:15 AM   #111
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Thanks!
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Old March 30th, 2011, 05:06 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by hoodedvillain View Post
The train shed roof is not staying. The designers have to prove that what they are designing is of significant architectural prowess and that the removal of the roof is essential for the successful redevelopment of the station.
Trust me, it has been looked at extensively on how to retain the roof, but it is specifically designed for this track alignment. Due to the tracks alignment being changed and the through station tracks being increased at the expense of the terminus tracks being reduced, some columns of the roof would sit directly in the tracks.

As the roof is made of 3 parts in section, another idea was to keep just one or two parts and see if this would work with the new track alignment, however for the roof to work structurally and satisfy stability this is not possible. All parts of the roof need to remain to resist the thrust of the central curved part of the roof or it would be structurally unstable.

It's a sad loss, but means that we will get an amazing roof to replace it if the designers want to get past english heritage and approval etc.
Thanks Hoodedvillain for your response. You appear to have some knowledge of the station and options developed so perhaps you may be able to respond to a couple of follow up questions as follows:
1) While it is understood that the track layout proposal is seeking to add three additional through track platforms to the north side of the former LBSCR platforms, is it absolutely necessary from a functional perspective to realign the LBSCR tracks and platforms 9-16 to achieve this? Were sub-options explored to create 2 rather than 3 through platforms? I raise this simply because if it is not necessary the 1864-67 roof may not need to be removed.
2) You raise that the 1864-67 roof comprises three sections, obviously a central arched truss type roof with flanking flat type ridge and furrow roofs on either side to assist with restraining the outward thrust of the arched roof on either side. If the northern roof section were required to be removed, could the outward thrust of the central arch be restrained either by (a) adding/modifying the tie rods, or (b) by adding a new replacement roof to the north section specifically designed to buttress the outward thrust of the arched roof? One would have thought that this is possible and would permit conservation of the grade 2 listed 1860s roof. Again, do you know if such options were explored?

As final questions regarding the station's brick arches supporting the tracks, it is my understanding that the support arches comprise the original 1836 viaduct remain embedded in the centre (platform 8 area with its terminating track and adjacent roadway type space to the immediate north side of the LBSCR station section) with brick arches to the south side dating to the LBSCR terminal reconstruction of the mid 1860s (platforms 9-16), and arches supporting the graded (103:1 gradient) through platforms 1-6 which date to the realignment of the tracks undertaken in c.1893. Is this a correct understanding?

I also assume that the terminating tracks would not be permitted to be graded for safety reasons as stationary trains may risk rolling eastwards should the brakes not be fully applied, so it would be very unlikely that all the tracks 1-16 be aligned unless the track beds leading from the east to platforms 1-6 were raised.

If you can respond this would be much appreciated. Otherwise, your input is most welcome and I appreciate the fact that conservation options have been explored. As said previously I would welcome a great new roof but if budget cuts preclude this, conserving the listed 1860s form LBSCR roof and adding a new roof over platforms 1-8 similar to the Waterloo Eurostar station addition (a perfect precedent for London Bridge Station) may be a more financially feasible and aesthetically better option than simple functional roofs over each platform.

Last edited by Black Cat; March 30th, 2011 at 05:32 AM.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 10:08 AM   #113
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The question over the number of platforms required is a good one. I would have thought that it would be possible to get all the trains through with less, but it would be pushing it. There are only 6 platforms at the moment, but, there are 7 through tracks. Even with a peak flow of around 25tph to CS and 20-25tph to CX/BF the 7 through roads are heavily used.

From my perspective as an amateur timetablist I would use 3 platforms for CS as now, 4 for CX as now, and 2 for TL. However, the plan may be to split them in 3's, which depending on the timetable structure may be better. In the non-peak direction each termius/TL gets one platform, in the peak direction they get 2. This would allow a good amount of redundency that even now is stretched to the limit.

What would dictate how they were used will be the approach roads to the south east of the station, and how easily the trains can be segregated to their intended destinations without impeding other services. For example there will probably be an approach road for each platform, which should allow any train from any appropriate route to get on its approach road quickly, without slowing into traffic and holding up a train behind it that needs to go to a different route.

The approaches to London Bridge, especially in the morning are a right pain. I used to alight there to get the tube, and often it was quicker from the Orpington area to New Cross area than from there to LB, purely because of stacking. A 5 minute delay on the approaches and you can get a stack of trains 5 deep on both the two approaches to platform 6/through 7 within 10 minutes of a problem.
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Old April 8th, 2011, 09:02 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by LazyOaf View Post
It's hideous, and on bleak & rainy monday mornings it makes me feel depressed , I really hope it goes, along with that embarrassing poor mans version of London Dungeon, The London Bridge Experience!

When I look at the station building it brightens up my day, I think what great potential.
If the buildings roof was fully clad in glass as it might have been in the past with light streaming in and white washed iron work. I am sure you would not be depressed but the opposite.

A new austerity era building/station would probably depress me.
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Old April 8th, 2011, 11:36 PM   #115
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When I look at the station building it brightens up my day, I think what great potential.
If the buildings roof was fully clad in glass as it might have been in the past with light streaming in and white washed iron work. I am sure you would not be depressed but the opposite.

A new austerity era building/station would probably depress me.
A new building need not be an "austerity" design. But even if it was, LB is no stranger to rebuilds. It's had more rebuilds than most stations have platforms! To me, this is a far more important aspect of the South London rail network's history: its constant changes. There isn't a single station serving these lines that is exactly the same today as when it was originally opened.

Even Victoria has a very different feel now thanks in large part to the holes knocked through the dividing walls. Right up until the 1950s, passengers had to walk all the way outside one half of the station to then re-enter the other half: you were under no illusions that Victoria was anything other than two separate stations built alongside each other. For commuters, the original user experience was dire: interchanges were poor even with the District Line station, which originally required a walk through what is now the bus station, exposed to the weather. Today, it's a vastly improved user experience, and all the better for it. even with the shopping centre built over a big chunk of the LB&SCR station.

The core Thameslink route has seen the appearance and demolition of Holborn Viaduct, Ludgate Hill, Snow Hill (a.k.a. "Holborn Viaduct (Low Level)") and its transformation and realignment to create the present route. The new Blackfriars station will be a genuinely unique piece of architecture, fitting into London's skyline with far more grace and subtlety than the overrated mess at St. Pancras. In the meantime, King's Cross Thameslink sits in the wan sunlight, decaying quietly to itself as the trains pass through its four empty platforms, sleeping away the days between occasional visits by journalists doing nostalgia stories on slow news days.

The true spirit of London was never founded in stasis and nostalgia, but in progress and change. London Bridge, as (according to most sources) the oldest mainline terminus in London, has never stood still. It's come a long, long way from its tiny ancestor. Now, it's time for it to be reborn once more. I do not agree that the 1850s roof should be a part of this renewal. It's an anachronism: it was never a particularly impressive roof to begin with (it wasn't fully glazed even back then), and there are far better examples of the "railway cathedral" school of architecture at Paddington, Liverpool Street and even nearby Waterloo. We don't need to add this minor mediocrity to the list when it hasn't a hope of competing with its peers—never mind that it physically won't fit any more!

If it's any consolation, the roof won't be thrown away. According to Network Rail's own website, the intention is to put the dismantled components into storage. Perhaps we'll see it reassembled elsewhere as part of a heritage railway—perhaps the NRM in York, or possibly London Underground's Acton Depot, might be interested in it as a way to extend their facilities without having to build a boring giant tin shed.

Last edited by stimarco; April 8th, 2011 at 11:42 PM.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 02:23 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
When I look at the station building it brightens up my day, I think what great potential.
If the buildings roof was fully clad in glass as it might have been in the past with light streaming in and white washed iron work. I am sure you would not be depressed but the opposite.

A new austerity era building/station would probably depress me.
You read my comment out of context mate I meant Colechurch house depresses me, not the station, which I should find endearingly tatty, but instead just a bit embarrassingly grotty. Don't find it depressing though. It's more embarrassing that the tourist bus passes through here, as Tooley Street is rather nice. It's just that road junction that blights the area.

Last edited by LazyOaf; April 9th, 2011 at 02:29 AM.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 12:48 PM   #117
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Nostalgia, no if they build a great station I am for it, as long as it's better than the last, in terms of quirkiness, design, beauty, functionality.

All the above costs money

Probably only get functionality


I am not a railway boffin, surely it’s possible to fully glaze the building that’s progress.
Also build something contemporary over the other tracks so there is a full canopy.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 04:36 PM   #118
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I am not a railway boffin, surely it’s possible to fully glaze the building that’s progress.
The problem is that the new London Bridge station will include three more "through" platforms at the upper level, reducing the number of terminating platforms at the lower level. In order to fit those platforms into the station's existing footprint, the wall that supports that roof has to go. It's not optional.

As any architect will tell you, those glazed roofs were designed to work with their supporting infrastructure. Remove that huge, blank, side wall and you lose the visual delineation of the original structure: that old roof will have to somehow merge seamlessly into the new structures that will be built alongside it because each will be clearly visible from the other.

It's also worth noting that London Bridge's awkward layout—its through platforms are rather higher than the terminating ones—make creating an architecturally pleasing unified design is much harder than was the case for St. Pancras, yet even the latter's rebuild is hardly a masterpiece of architecture and station design. (Commuters don't even get to see Barlow's roof except from a distance, or glimpsed through a few skylights knocked through to the glorified shopping mall below.) Please, please let's not have that design repeated for London Bridge. St. Pancras may work well for tourists arriving on the Eurostars, but it's a truly awful experience for commuters.

London Bridge has to be a functional, efficient commuter experience first and foremost. A good architect will be able to harness that requirement to his architectural skills and design a station that still looks great too. Only the truly mediocre architect will demand the commuter takes second place to his ego.

We need a bit more Leslie Green, a bit less Norman Foster.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 11:23 PM   #119
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Over efficient is not always a good thing if you take the usa road grid system all roads are straight boring. There is no variety/ diversity maybe that’s what makes London great.

I believe if the hotel curve kings cross was demolished they would have not built the new curve beautiful addition.

http://www.kingscrosscentral.com/img...d67f2beb_r.jpg


Conservation can give a chance for an architect to be creative.

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Old April 10th, 2011, 05:54 PM   #120
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We had a discussion about why the hotel was curved in the first place, but no-one could really answer.

There would be nothing at Euston to save in any rebuild, would there?
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