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Project : London Orbital Services

Article date : plan 30 December 2009
Latest update 19 November 2013

London Orbital Services

At one stage we were proposing a London Rail Orbital i.e. an orbital railway around London. Our proposal for Aylesbury Interchange (AI) radically changes our thinking and the proposal for a London Rail Orbital no longer forms part of our current thinking.

The final section of this article documents our current thinking in relation to orbital services.

An outline route for a London Rail Orbital, as originally envisaged, is illustrated below.

London Rail Orbital principal route

The route, as envisaged, was as follows :

Guildford to Camberley : Woking bypass, Brookwood to Frimley. This became the basis of our Camberley project.

Camberley to Maidenhead : Bagshot, a new chord - possibly including a new station Ascot South - to Martins Heron, Bracknell, then on a new line northwards to the east of Wokingham - possibly including a new station Maidenhead South - to Maidenhead.

Maidenhead to Chorleywood : Bourne End, possibly a new station Beaconsfield East, possibly a relocated station Seer Green, possibly a new station Misbourne Park, Chorleywood. Alternatively, an alignment bypassing Chorleywood to the east of Chorleywood connecting on to the line to Rickmansworth in the vicinity of the M.25 flyover.

Chorleywood to Watford Junction : via the proposed re-opening of the Croxley rail link.

Watford Junction : bridge over, or tunnel under, the West Coast Main Line, additional platforms.

Watford Junction to Gordon Hill : visit Possible new lines in the vicinity of St Albans for planning of an Orbital route from Watford Junction to the line between Hertford North and Gordon Hill.

Gordon Hill to Enfield Town, Seven Sisters and Barking : this is included in our article Hertford to Stansted Airport and Barking (with plan) .

Barking to Ebbsfleet International : by using existing connection at Tilbury on to the High Speed 1 railway line.

Ebbsfleet International to Gravesend : by using existing connection from the High Speed 1 railway line to Gravesend.

Gravesend to Strood, Maidstone West, Paddock Wood, Redhill, Reigate and Guildford : existing railway lines. Train reversal is necessary at Redhill.

Alternative locations for North West London Parkway (NWLP)

We investigated several possible locations for North West London Parkway (NWLP) arising from the Orbital route as outlined, a principal objective for NWLP being to provide an interchange between High Speed 2 as proposed and the conventional rail network. We considered Misbourne Park, being where the Orbital route would have intersected with High Speed 2. We also considered Beaconsfield East which would have intersected with one of the options for the route of High Speed 2, albeit a route option that is no longer being considered. A third location on the north side of M.25 junction 21A was also considered, located on our proposed HS2 HS1 link line (and as referenced in our article Possible new lines in the vicinity of St Albans ). We finally settled on the two alternative locations we would like to propose, both in the vicinity of Aylesbury. The station is named Aylesbury Interchange.

We anticipate that Aylesbury Interchange would be used primarily as a rail interchange, with car parking facilities not necessarily any more extensive than would be found at many other railway stations, hence the station is not termed a Parkway station.

Status of Orbital services project

Our proposal for Aylesbury Interchange (AI) radically changes our thinking and the proposal for a London Rail Orbital no longer forms part of our thinking.

Of the parts of the project that are probably dead, Ascot or Wokingham to Maidenhead is probably a non-starter, as also Bourne End to Chorleywood or Rickmansworth.

Part of the motivation for the project was the perceived need to improve conventional rail integration of HS1. This could be achieved in a more straightforward manner by International services at AI : AI is designed to offer good conventional rail integration. There are, however, other aims of the original project which remain without plausible resolution : Why a London Rail Orbital? .


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