Article date 29 March 2010
Revised 04 March 2016
The subject of this article is the means of constructing a chord to enable services from Hertford East to Stansted Airport and Cambridge.
A plan illustrating how this chord forms part of Orbital routes is : Hertford to Stansted Airport and Barking (with plan) (note 12). The article includes reference to a hypothetical Eastern Promise, i.e. a possible future railway line to connect with a possible Lower Thames Rail Crossing.
The chord we require could be a northbound chord at Broxbourne Junction, possibly in the proximity of Rye House station (station not shown). A longer equivalent chord, possibly easier to construct, might connect Ware to Harlow.
The plan in the above article presents a possible method of providing the chord. The illustration that follows presents an alternative concerning how the chord might be constructed.
Construction of this chord might be undertaken in such a way as to cater for a hypothetical Eastern Promise, i.e. a possible future railway line from here to connect with a possible Lower Thames Rail Crossing. In this case, the chord we require would branch off the line from Hertford East and cross the line from London to Cambridge. This would form a stub i.e. a starting point for a possible future line to a possible Lower Thames Rail Crossing. The design would cater for a south-to-east chord between London and a possible Lower Thames Rail Crossing, also a north-to-east chord between Cambridge and a possible Lower Thames Rail Crossing. The south-to-west connection between London and Hertford East (and beyond) is the existing Broxbourne Junction.
The north-to-west chord between Cambridge and Hertford East (and beyond) is the chord we require. From Hertford East, the line would branch to the left from the existing line, possibly where a warehouse is located. The orientation would cater for a possible future south-to-east chord. After crossing the London to Stansted Airport/Cambridge line, the line would then bear northwards to join this line.
This would involve taking land (or bridging water) to the east of the existing line from London to Cambridge.
This chord has also been the subject of a study by the East West Rail Consortium and included in the Central Section Report February 2009, Figure 4.4 being an aerial view of the locality. The Central Section report is available here (opens in new window or tab).