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Author Topic: Travelogue observations - 21st September 2019 - Express & local through the city  (Read 1625 times)
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« on: September 21, 2019, 10:15:12 am »

In London, the Metropolitan line from Baker Street and the Piccadilly line from Hammersmith offer express services with local stations served by the Jubilee and District lines. Work started on a deep level express District line but was suspended when the Piccadilly provided the relief - and - this about 120 years ago.

In New York, express and local services are common on many corridors.  Trains run on the right ... four tracks, local services on the outside. Local trains at local-only stations open their doors on the right, allowing all four tracks to run straight through the station area.  At the stations where expresses stop (1 in 3 or 1 in 4 stations), the local tracks balloon out around island platforms allowing a cross platform interchange.  And I am amazed by the accuracy of scheduling of the trains - I think it must be in 15 second increments - as the local train pulls in, 15 seconds later the express pulls in, a further 15 seconds and the express is on its way, followed very soon by the local.  None of yer "5 minutes for a connection" stuff.

The North / South subway arteries on Manhattan Island (A/C/E, 1/2/3, 4/5/6 and Broadway Express / Local (N, R, W, Q)) follow the main avenues of the grid system and the straight wide roads allow for standard construction, and trains of a broad loading gauge – none of London's deep level tube stuff. 

Clearance between train and roof support that rise from the platforms feel time - I feel they would be considered a safety issue in the UK - but it all makes for a very interesting environment.  When you enter the subway system you're met with a wall of hot air, people scurrying around like ants, and at local stations blasts of noise as expresses shoot through on the middle tracks.

From Wikipedia - a diagram of a typical local station

and a picture - Harrison Leong, Creative Commons License.  I went through Spring Street but on an express train.

Some of my pictures of the North to South arteries - at a major station served by all services

Looking ahead, to some extent Crossrail and Crossrail2 may provide London’s “Express” lines; looking back, the logic behind the very different structures in the USA and the UK relates to London being developed on a none-grid system before the railways came and stopping at the edge of the built up area, but New York developing later and on a grid system.

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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