Great Eastern Mainline Capacity and The North Essex Garden Communities @Andrew_Adonis

Where we are:

The North Essex Councils have agreed a vision for four Garden Communities along the Great Eastern Main Line

The initial feasibility work by AECOM does not look at the capacity of existing networks

The Great Eastern Mainline will reach capacity, without the Garden Communities by 2031

Atkins have carried out a study showing how it can be increased as part of the SE RUS

Greater Anglias, Anglia Route Study says Liverpool Street will need additional platform capacity in Control Period 6 (CP6, 2019-2024), alongside signalling headway reductions between Chelmsford and Liverpool Street, construction of a new passing loop north of Witham, and track doubling at Trowse swing bridge.

Should ETCS Level 3 be adopted with Automatic Train Operation – assuming the world-first implementation of this technology on the central section of the Thameslink route proves successful – then capacity from Chelmsford to Liverpool Street could increase from the current maximum of 24 trains per hour (tph) to 32tph.

A back of the envelope calculation shows that the line as a whole with a 50% capacity increase (this is simplistic as there is existing commuter growth – though much of it would be displaced from people already living in teh area moving to new communities)  could cope with an extra 84,000 commuters per day, so assuming 50% modal share and 2.1 persons per household thats a maximum community size of 88,000 for each of the four communities – much more than planned.   So its doable.

What is needed is a joined up approach whereby the capacity of the GEML is looked at in detail alongside the masterplanning of the capacity and phasing of the North Essex communities

Step forward IPC?



One thought on “Great Eastern Mainline Capacity and The North Essex Garden Communities @Andrew_Adonis

  1. Andrew – another excellent blog. Any chance you could email me on We’ve done some analysis of this and I’d be interested to discuss. Aecom goes as far as to say, “There is a clear capacity gap on the GEML by 2043 even with Network Rail’s identified interventions”, as you state. There is no funding from the garden communities for rail improvements (or even car park improvements). Thanks, Rosie

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