A New London Rail Terminus at Bishopsgate – Heres How it could be Done

Last week I blogged about Bishopsgate Goodsyard, and how now it has reduced to less than 300 units of housing how it could block the potential for a new rail terminus here to boost the capacity of Liverpool Street and the Great Anglia line and in particular rail based Garden Communities in Essex and East Anglia.

Its difficult but I believe possible in engineering terms.  Difficult because the new link of the East London line, to the former railway from Hackney and Islington that led to the former Broad Street Station (where Broadgate now is) crosses over the former Great Eastern Terminus approach alignment at almost the same grade, so any new terminus would have to bridge over it.

Ive done a quick sketch to determine if it is possible.  The ELL bridge top is about 1.5m above the Braitewaite viaduct.  meaning you would have to jack up the platforms above the viaduct.  You could do this like St Pancreas, with the concourse with restaurants etc. on top of the listed viaduct, creative spaces in the arches below and then the platforms suspended about three metres above. If you did this you would then need to get back to grade on the  station throat viaduct which survives intact for over 500m.  At the point you need to get back on avoiding demolition I make the necessary gradient about 1:185, acceptable.

The next technical issue is whether on not a station box could fit onto the viaduct,  yes there is space for a 12 carriage way length platform with 4 platforms comfortably, especially as the concourse would be below the platforms.  Doing so you lose little of the development potential of the site as the new development would be outside the viaducts as mostly proposed now, the only loss being the open space, which in my sketch below is substituted for an at grade park created by bridging over the line in a cutting to Liverpool street creating a new green link at close to grade between Shoreditch High street and Brick Lane, the businesses using the arches would now have a double frontage, onto the green link and onto the new street between the viaduct and the blocks on Scatler street.  The canopy of the new station would arch over it resting on the narrow parts of the  site where you can rest foundations either side of the viaduct rather than the viaduct itself.

The remainder of the design is just a rough sketch showing a tall building the same height as Tower 42 on the corner of the site not impeded by St Pauls backdrop constraints.  There would be space for over 1,000 dwellings in mid rise towers spaced to avoid a wall like effect to the north unlike the original scheme. The new station could interchange with the new Shoreditch High Street ELL station on site and digging down 16m (not much more than the deep foundations needed) create a new station on the Central Line.

Therefore there does not seem to be any irresolvable problems with the concept.