Crossrail 2

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Crossrail 2 is a proposed rail route in South East England, running between Surrey and Hertfordshire providing a new rail link across London on the Crossrail network. It would connect the South Western Main Line to the West Anglia Main Line, via Victoria and Kings Cross St. Pancras, intended to alleviate severe overcrowding that would otherwise occur on commuter rail routes into Central London by the 2030s.[1][2] The project was earlier known as the Chelsea–Hackney line (or Chelney line) in reference to a potential route. The plan for a line on this alignment has existed in various forms since 1970.

The line is the fourth major rail project in the capital since 2000, after the East London line extensions (opened May 2010, with the final section completed in December 2012), Thameslink Programme (opening 2018) and Crossrail (opening 2018). National Rail's projections of overcrowding including in less well-served suburbs and tourist destinations by tube led it to call for more new lines[3] and cross-London line proposals have gained more importance with Euston being named as the terminus of the planned High Speed 2 rail line.[4] High Speed 2's completion would bring an estimated 20,000 passengers onto the congested Northern and Victoria lines at Euston per day.[5] If HS2 is approved Transport for London (TfL) plan to change the safeguarded route for Chelsea-Hackney between Tottenham Court Road and King's Cross St Pancras so that the new line will serve Euston.[4] On 28 June 2011, the deputy chair of Transport for London stated that such a new tube line running through Euston would be vital to disperse passengers arriving on High Speed 2.[6] For the same reason, the line serving Euston is also supported by Network Rail's Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) for London and the South East, published on 28 July 2011.[7]

By including Euston, Crossrail 2 has a considerably improved business case.[4] Due to the higher numbers entering the tube network at Euston as a result of HS2, an extra line would become a necessity to avoid high demand - exceeding present London waiting times - at Euston.[5] The line may cost less than Crossrail 1 due to having fewer central London stations.[5]

Current plans[edit]

Crossrail 2
 Proposed route 
Hertford East
St Margarets
Rye House
West Anglia Main Line
Broxbourne National Rail
Cheshunt National Rail London Overground
Lea Valley Lines
Tottenham Hale National Rail Victoria Line
West Anglia Main Line
New Southgate National Rail
Alexandra Palace National Rail
Turnpike Lane Piccadilly Line
Seven Sisters National Rail London Overground Victoria Line
Dalston Junction East London Line
Angel Northern Line
Euston Kings Cross St Pancras
SNCF National Rail Circle Line Hammersmith & City Line Metropolitan Line Northern Line Piccadilly Line Victoria Line London Overground
Tottenham Court Road Crossrail Central Line Northern Line
Victoria National Rail Circle Line District Line Victoria Line
Chelsea King's Road(new station)
River Thames
Clapham Junction National Rail London Overground
Tooting Broadway Northern Line
South Western Main Line
Wimbledon National Rail District Line Tramlink
Raynes Park
Motspur Park
Malden Manor
Chessington North
Chessington South
Worcester Park
Ewell West
Epsom National Rail
New Malden
Surbiton National Rail
South Western Main Line
Thames Ditton
Hampton Court
Hampton Wick
Strawberry Hill
Twickenham National Rail
Kempton Park
Upper Halliford

In February 2013, the Crossrail taskforce of business group London First, chaired by former Secretary of State for Transport Andrew Adonis, published its recommendations on Crossrail 2, favouring a route almost identical to the regional option proposed by TfL in 2011.[2] The report was endorsed by Network Rail.[8]

2008 safeguarded route[edit]

Chelsea-Hackney line (pre 2010 proposal)
Epping 2008 safeguarded route;
Theydon Bois take over Epping branch
Debden of the Central Line
Loughton north of Leytonstone
Buckhurst Hill
Woodford Central roundel1.PNG
South Woodford
Central Line to Woodford via Hainault
Leytonstone Central roundel1.PNG
Central Line
Homerton Overground notextroundel.svg
Hackney Central Overground notextroundel.svg
Dalston Junction Overground notextroundel.svg
Essex Road National Rail
Angel Northern roundel1.PNG
King's Cross St. Pancras National Rail Victoria roundel1.PNG Northern roundel1.PNG Piccadilly roundel1.PNG Metropolitan roundel1.PNG Circle roundel1.PNG H&c roundel.PNG
Euston Northern roundel1.PNG Victoria roundel1.PNG Planned as HS2 has been approved
Tottenham Court Road Central roundel1.PNG Northern roundel1.PNG Crossrail
Piccadilly Circus Bakerloo roundel1.PNG Piccadilly roundel1.PNG
Victoria National Rail District roundel1.PNG Circle roundel1.PNG Victoria roundel1.PNG
Branch to Battersea for tunnelling and stabling
Sloane Square District roundel1.PNG Circle roundel1.PNG
Chelsea King's Road(new station)
District Line
Parsons Green District roundel1.PNG
Putney Bridge take over
East Putney District Line
Southfields south of Parsons Green
Wimbledon Park
Wimbledon National Rail Tramlink

A route for the line was safeguarded (legally protected from conflicting development) in 2008. It linked the District line's Wimbledon branch with the Central line's Epping branch via Parsons Green, Chelsea, Sloane Square, Victoria, Piccadilly Circus, Tottenham Court Road, King's Cross St. Pancras, Angel, Essex Road, Dalston Junction, Hackney Central, Homerton and Leytonstone.[10][11] The safeguarding also includes a spur from Victoria under the Thames to Battersea Park for stabling and access to a tunnelling site.[10][12] The safeguarded route is due to be reviewed by the Department for Transport in 2013 but was removed[clarification needed].[2]

Northern and southern destinations[edit]

Network Rail's July 2011 RUS for London and the South East supports the existing safeguarded route but speculates about possible modifications in addition to re-routing via Euston. To the south, it suggests that the tunnels should go from Victoria via Clapham Junction to beyond Wimbledon, instead of surfacing near Parsons Green and taking over the District line from there to Wimbledon. To the north, it suggests that the West Anglia corridor would be a better destination than a branch of the Central line. These suggestions are driven by what the RUS sees as the need for extra capacity on the South West Main Line and the West Anglia corridor.

2013 consultation[edit]

In May 2013, TfL began public consultation on two potential options:

  • Metro route: Wimbledon - Central London - Angel - Alexandra Palace (all underground)
  • Regional route: Twickenham/Surbiton/Epsom - Wimbledon - Central London - Angel - Alexandra Palace (underground) plus Angel - Cheshunt.

The results of the consultation were published on 29 November 2013 by TfL and revealed broad support for the Crossrail 2 plans. 96% of respondents supported or strongly supported the plans, whilst 2% opposed or strongly opposed them. The regional route had greater support than the metro route, with 84% of respondents supporting or strongly supporting the regional route versus 73% for the metro plans.[13]

The greatest level of opposition to the principle of Crossrail 2 came from the residents of Kensington and Chelsea, the only area with greater than 5% of respondents (16%) who strongly opposed the scheme. Nearly 20% of respondents from this area either opposed or strongly opposed the scheme, views that did not exceed 10% in any other areas.[14]

2014 consultation[edit]

In June 2014, a consultation on small modifications to the 2013 proposals started. Broadly the changes proposed fell into three areas, extending the Alexandra Palace branch to New Southgate, relocation or removal of the Chelsea station, and moving the point at which the two northern branches diverged to beyond either Dalston Junction or Hackney Downs station, calling at only one of these two stations.[15]


A west/north-east tube line was originally planned as early as 1901[16] and a Bill was put before Parliament in 1904.[17] However, political manoeuvring by rival tube magnate Charles Yerkes ended the proposal.[16]


A west to north-east line was proposed in 1970 by the London Transport Board's London Rail Study as the next project after the completion of the Victoria line and the Fleet line (now the Jubilee line). Designed to relieve pressure on the District, Central and Victoria lines and to link two areas without tube services, the route would have taken over the Wimbledon branch of the District as far as Parsons Green, then followed a new underground alignment to Leytonstone, where it would then take over one of the branches of the Central line.[18] For financial reasons the line was not built, but the idea has remained.

The proposal in the 1974 London Rail Study was:

Commencing at Wimbledon (take over or share the District line branch)

continuing to Hainault (take over or share the Central line branch)


Following the Central London Rail Study of 1989, a route through central London was safeguarded. This starts at Wimbledon, then:

taking the Central line to Epping. As the route would serve both King's Cross and King's Road it was suggested that it could be named Kings line. It was decided however that the Jubilee line Extension should take priority and the project was postponed.


In 1995, an alternative Express Metro plan was put forward that would utilise more existing track, have fewer stations and be built to National Rail standards. It would take one of three routes from East Putney on the District line to Victoria; either Putney Bridge, Parsons Green and Chelsea or King's Road as in the original safeguarded plan; or to Wandsworth Town and Clapham Junction and then via Chelsea Harbour and King's Road or via Battersea.

From Victoria it would call at

and then split into two branches, to Leytonstone and then on to Epping taking over the Central line; and taking over the North London Line to Woolwich,[16] a route now followed by the Docklands Light Railway.

The 1991 safeguarding also included a spur south of Victoria across the river to Battersea Park, for stabling trains and to access a riverside tunnelling site.


The London East West Study in 2000 considered Crossrail, the Chelsea–Hackney line and a combination of the two, from Wimbledon to Tottenham Court Road and then to Liverpool Street. The Study supposes main-line gauge, and would omit a station at Piccadilly Circus. Its version of the Chelsea-Hackney Regional Metro splits in the north, with one branch via Dalston taking over the Epping branch of the Central line, the other to Finsbury Park, then using the disused alignment of the Northern Heights plan, taking over the High Barnet branch of the Northern line. The Express Metro option would run on the East Coast Main Line.[16][19]

In 2007 Crossrail was given the go-ahead over the Chelsea–Hackney line despite some commentators favouring the latter[20] putting implementation after Crossrail's completion date of 2018. The Chelsea-Hackney plans were taken over by Crossrail as Crossrail 2.

In 2007, the 1991 route was updated – Sloane Square was dropped and the Central line's Epping branch from Leytonstone was re-safeguarded.[17] Due to objections from residents of Sloane Square, it was reinstated the following year.[10][12] Southwest Trains' Wimbledon depot was safeguarded as a depot for the line.[12] The safeguarding was enlarged from tube gauge to Network Rail loading gauge as it became clear that larger and longer trains would be needed.[21] Of the three routes proposed for south-west London the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea initially favoured one going south via Imperial Wharf to Clapham Junction, but now supports the takeover of the District line's Wimbledon branch.[22] Under these present plans, only one entirely new station would be constructed, at Chelsea.


With the planned terminus of HS2 at Euston, Chelsea-Hackney was put back to the top of the agenda for new lines, diverted via Euston.

The London and South East second generation RUS by Network Rail proposed some changes to the safeguarded route: serving Clapham Junction rather than the Wimbledon branch of the District line, not serving Sloane Square, and serving Euston as well as King's Cross St Pancras. The RUS was also open to changes north of Hackney Central and branches south of Clapham Junction, both of which were seen as later phases.[23]

TfL responded by releasing its preferred options - an automatic metro and a regional scheme:[24]

Automatic Metro

Regional Option Commencing at Twickenham, Shepperton, Woking, Chessington South and Epsom (take over or share South West Trains routes)

Both TfL routes signify a change of thinking at both ends of the route, with serving Clapham Junction more of a priority than relieving the District line, and relieving the Victoria line at its northern end more than the Central line. The regional option, as well as relieving the South West Main Line, seeks to relieve congested sections of the Northern line and Piccadilly line by removing passengers from the far ends of the lines.

On 5 February 2013, business group London First's Crossrail taskforce (chaired by former Secretary of State for Transport Andrew Adonis) published its recommendations [1] on Crossrail 2, favouring a route almost identical to the regional option above. Later the same day, Network Rail endorsed the plans. Proposed changes from previous plans were:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Edwards, Tom (5 February 2013). "Crossrail 2 stations proposed by London business leaders". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  2. ^ a b c "Crossrail 2: Supporting London's Growth" (PDF). London First. February 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  3. ^ New lines 'may be needed to beat train overcrowding' Press Association
  4. ^ a b c HS2 fuels Crossrail 2 business case
  5. ^ a b c The most talked about project this year won't be Crossrail – it'll be Crossrail 2, New Civil Engineer 2 February 2011
  6. ^ Transport Select Committee, 28 June 2011, House of Commons
  7. ^ "London and South East Route Utilisation Strategy" (PDF). Network Rail. 28 July 2011. pp. 154–155. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Crossrail 2 is vital to London's economic growth". Network Rail. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  9. ^ "The Transport Committee: Crossrail and the Overground Talk Shop". London Reconnections. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 
  10. ^ a b c Chelsea–Hackney Line Safeguarding Directions, June 2008 Part A (PDF), Crossrail, accessed 22 December 2010
  11. ^ Chelsea–Hackney Line Safeguarding Directions, June 2008 Part B (PDF), Crossrail, accessed 22 December 2010
  12. ^ a b c Consultation on safeguarding revision of the Chelsea Hackney Line – outcome report, Department for Transport
  13. ^ Steer Davies Gleave (October 2013). "Crossrail 2 Consultation Report" (PDF). Transport for London Website. p. 1. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  14. ^ Steer Davies Gleave (October 2013). "Crossrail 2 Consultation Report" (PDF). Transport for London Website. p. 18. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  15. ^ "Crossrail 2 June 2014". TfL Consultations Portal. Transport for London. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c d e Feather, Clive. "Technical information about the Chelsea-Hackney Line". Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  17. ^ a b "Consultation on safeguarding revision for the Chelsea-Hackney line". Department for Transport. Retrieved 18 October 2007. 
  18. ^ "London Transport plans third new Tube Line". The Times (UK). 2 January 1970. 
  19. ^ "London East West Study" (PDF). Shadow Strategic Rail Authority. 2000. 
  20. ^ Crossrail will eat money. Kill it, Boris, and save the bankrupt Tube instead, Evening Standard
  21. ^ Trouble Up The (Dalston) Junction – The Difficulties of Safeguarding, London Reconnections
  22. ^ "Chelsea-Hackney Line: first on the agenda". Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. October 2003. Retrieved 18 October 2007. 
  23. ^ "London and South East Route Utilisation Strategy (section 8.5)" (PDF). Network Rail. July 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  24. ^ "Metro or regional rail? TfL maps Crossrail 2 options". TransportXtra. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2012.