Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

This is worth having a look at and having you say. It will affect the two stations that serve Harringay Ward, Harringay and Hornsey. Do let me have your thoughts either here or at karen.alexander.haringeylibdems@gmail.com


Thameslink Franchise


The Department for Transport is consulting on a new franchise covering the existing First Capital Connect Thameslink and Great Northern franchises and the franchise for Southern and some services from the South East franchise. The closing date for the consultation is 23 August. The new franchise [the biggest that has ever been let] would form the basis for the full new Thameslink services expecting to be delivered in 2018.

TfL analysis shows the GN route south of Bowes Park will be standing room only in morning peak services in 2021.

Consultation document attached below. taken from the DoT website.


Proposed Franchise

The franchise is to last for 7 years with a possible 2 year extension. Five bidders have been shortlisted by DfT [Abellio Thameslink, First Thameslink (current franchise holder), Govia Thameslink, MTR Corporation Thameslink and Stagecoach Thameslink]. MTR and First have approached the Council seeking our comments. DfT is expecting to issue the Invitation to Tender [ITT] to shortlisted applicants in October 2012 with the winning bid announced in May 2013 for commencement in September 2013. Southern services would become part of the franchise in July 2015 with South East services by December 2018.

The franchise includes Great Northern services which serve Bowes Park, Alexandra Palace, Hornsey, Harringay and Finsbury Park stations in Haringey. The GN serves such destinations as Peterborough, Cambridge, Kings Lynn, Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City and Hertford into and out of Kings Cross and Moorgate. Some of the longer distance GN services such as to Cambridge and Peterborough which currently terminate at Kings Cross would transfer to the new Thameslink line through Farringdon and Blackfriars. The DfT raise the possibility of some of the longer distance GN services not serving the Thameslink core route between Kings Cross and Blackfriars could transfer to the new Intercity East Coast franchise but these longer distance services such as to Peterborough and Stevenage would not serve Haringey stations with the exception of Finsbury Park.


Current Services

Current service frequencies for Bowes Park, Alexandra Palace, Hornsey and Harringay are as follows:

Monday to Friday

  • Moorgate/Hornsey/Harringay/Alexandra Palace – 6 trains per hour peak and off peak
  • Moorgate/Bowes Park – 3 trains per hour peak and off-peak

Saturday and Sunday

  • Kings Cross/Hornsey/Harringay/Alexandra Palace – 4 trains per hour
  • Kings Cross/Bowes Park – 2 trains per hour

Services to Finsbury Park are very high frequency.


Issues to consider for Consultation Response

  1. Should the Council be seeking enhanced service frequencies for the GN route?
  2. What are the priorities for improving customer experience?
  3. What station improvements should be sought eg ticket offices, gating?
  4. Is there a need for better cycle parking at Haringey stations?
  5. Does the current rolling stock meet the needs of passengers? Is there a need for new rolling stock?
  6. Is there scope for innovative fares or ticketing arrangements?
  7. Any other comments?



Tags for Forum Posts: first capital connect, great northern line, public transport, trains

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Replies to This Discussion

There has been a lot of discussion about this over at StroudGreen.org, and detailed technical discussions over at LondonReconnections.

Before thinking about the consultation, it is important to keep in mind the following: the current platform works at Ally Pally and Finsbury Park will segregate the Great Northern Line local service (i.e. those that go to Welwyn, stopping at New Southgate, etc after Ally Pally) from the Hertford Loop local service (i.e. those that go to Hertford North, stopping at Bowes Park, etc).  They currently share track between Ally Pally and Finsbury Park.  Afterwards they won't, which means that capacity can be increased for both local services.

BUT. And this is a big but.  New platforms are not currently being built at Hornsey or Harringay, and there remains considerable doubt whether this will happen in the near future.  This means that post-segregation only the Hertford North service will be able to call at these two stations.  In other words service to those two station will, on the face of it, be HALVED.  Whatever capacity increase happens on the Hertford loop will not compensate anything like fully for this change.  Few people appear to have cottoned on to this.

So,  the consultation questions, as suggested by Cllr Alexander:

1] Should the Council be seeking enhanced service frequencies for the GN route?

Not only that, but they should be demanding guarantees that the current services to Haringey and Hornsey are not reduced, i.e. platform works should commence there ASAP.

2] What are the priorities for improving customer experience?

Maintaining and increasing service levels.  Evening and weekend services to Moorgate.

3] What station improvements should be sought eg ticket offices, gating?

Improved, permanently manned and ideally gated stations as with London Overground.

4] Is there a need for better cycle parking at Haringey stations?

There's currently none at Harringay, so I would say yes.

5] Does the current rolling stock meet the needs of passengers? Is there a need for new rolling stock?

The current 303s are the oldest rolling stock in London.  They have to be replaced soon anyway.

6] Is there scope for innovative fares or ticketing arrangements?

Not that I can think of.

7] Any other comments?

Yes.  Rolling local, suburban services into a Greater East Anglia inter-city franchise is a terrible, terrible idea.  We have already seen how local stations and services have been neglected by First Capital Connect.  No inter-city franchise is going to care about upgrading Harringay or Hornsey station.

People should demand the creation of a limited franchise taking over local services between KX/Moorgate and Welwyn/Hertford.  Even if not immediately, the stated intention should be the transfer of this franchise to London Overground, with levels of service, station-manning, station upgrades, and new rolling stock.  LO already have experience of rolling stock having to handle both third rail and overhead power.  Central to this should be evening and weekend services to Moorgate.  This will relieve Finsbury Park station (by allowing passengers to make the easier transfer to the Victoria Line at Hi&I), and be a spur to regeneration at Drayton Park, Essex Road and Old Street. 


Arkady, thanks for this information - someone did mention it to me a week or so ago but they weren't sure of all the details.  I have a contact at First Capital Connect and asked for more details on this issue with Harringay and Hornsey stations and so hope to have some more information to post here again soon.

The lost of any service to these two stations will have a massive negative impact.

Thanks Karen - I endorse the above concerns about the potential loss of service at Harringay, and am grateful you are looking into this.  Is this a matter that the mayor's office would have any input into given the TFL dimension alluded to above? 

Thanks Arkady. I had a look at your comment of sg.org and am taking the liberty of reproducing your post below in its entirety. It completely reframed the issue for me:


They’ve been talking about this in detail over at London Reconnections. The gist is this:

a) Once Thameslink trains are serving Finsbury Park through to Cambridge (2018), it is proposed that all the other FirstCapitalConnect services currently running into King’s Cross or Moorgate will be transferred to a new ‘Greater East Cost Franchise’.

b) This would mean that the local trains from Welwyn and Hertford down through Ally Pally, Hornsey, Harringay etc. would be bundled into the current East Coast intercity franchise

It is my view – and I’m far from alone – that this would lead to the continued neglect of the local services and stations. No intercity franchise operator is going to give a shit about improving services and facilities at Hornsey, Harringay, or Essex Road.

I would encourage anyone who cares to respond to the survey making this point. As an alternative solution, I would urge people to ask for a separate local franchise incorporating the Welwyn and Hertford services, and calling for them to bring in evening and weekend services to Moorgate (which will become much more likely once the current segregation works are finished). People might even mention that this ought to be a transitional franchise with the expectation of London Overground taking over at a future date.

Was there more than one discussion on this on sg, Arkady? I could only find one fairly short thread?

Hugh, the most detailed technical discussion of this issue can be found in the comments of this article: http://www.londonreconnections.com/2012/in-pictures-work-at-finsbur...

You will need to wade through some overlapping discussions to get to the relevant stuff, but it's quite exhaustive.  In short, it's not clear whether the required extra platforms at Hornsey and Harringay will be built, as reference to them has vanished from the relevant documentation over time.  But new platforms are being installed at FP and AP as we speak, and quite obviously nothing is happening at H&H.  I'm aware that questions have been asked at a high level, but no-one is talking.  I'm also told that there is virtually no chance of H&H being extended to 12-car length to accomodate Thameslink - there is insufficient demand and it would be very difficult technically.

The key thing for everyone to remember is that the consequences of Thameslink and the consequences of service segregation are two separate issues.  Thameslink itself will make no difference to Harringay & Hornsey as the existing Cambridge services don't call at those stations anyway, so it's not really important that they won't do so post-Thameslink (though rolling non-Thameslink services into East Anglia is a bad idea, as noted above).  The consequence of service segregation, however, could be very bad indeed.

I did a bit more digging.  The proposed local timetable, replacing the existing one, supposedly looks like this:

6 trains per hour to Welwyn (4 from Thameslink, 2 from Moorgate), and 6 on the Hertford branch as far as Gordon Hill (all Moorgate).

The four Thameslink trains cannot serve Harringay & Hornsey as they are too long, unless they use the much-discouraged 'selective door opening' or extend the platforms, which would be technically difficult.  No official word on this.

The two Moorgate trains would be as now.

The six Hertford trains could not call at H&H as there are no platforms on the new segregated line.  Again, no offical word on this.

So unless we are happy with a two-trains-per-hour service at H&H (down from the current six) we ought to demand some answers.

On the other hand, if we did get platform extensions on the Thamselink route and new platforms on the segregated Hertford line we would go from the current 6tph to 10tph, which would be amazing.  Get lobbying!

Thanks for all your work on this Ben. I hope it arms our local political representatives with some good info to be asking questions too.

Cheers. I’m happiest when railway geekery and localism combine. A synthesis second only to chocolate orange.

From 6 to 12, even.


Excuse my ignorance, but what is the Thameslink service? Is a service going to St Pancras and on through London and out the other side or just a fancy name for another franchise to Kings X or Moorgate?

Thameslink is the Bedford to Brighton service, via St Pancras, Blackfriars, London Bridge, etc.  After Blackfriars it actually splits in a southerly direction and serves various places.  See the purple N/S line here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/london-rail-and-tube-service...

North of St Pancras it currently only goes to Bedford, but after 2018 will split between Brighton and Cambridge/Peterborough.  The Cambridge/Peterborough service will serve Finsbury Park.  What other stations it will serve en route is still in the air. 

This picture is useful: http://www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk/cms/pages/view/30

Cambridge/Peterborough trains that currently leave from KX will instead be Thameslink trains via St Pancras.

Contrary to my initial assumption, most of the Welwyn local stopping service will become Thameslink too - though as discussed above they may skip Harringay & Hornsey as the trains are too long, and 'selective door opening' is very much frowned upon by the powers that be.



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