Plans to redevelop Clapham Junction railway station in south London are underway.
Network Rail is currently carrying out a feasibility study to see whether an over site development (OSD) could fund a major redevelopment of the UK’s busiest station.
Speaking to New Civil Engineer, Network Rail head of Crossrail 2 Chris Curtis said the potential over site development could pay for works to “sort out the station once and for all” through third party funding.
“Clapham is a very large area as there is a lot of tracks plus sidings, so there could be a substantial development there and, although difficult to build, could provide value,” said Curtis.
“This is the sort of thing that government said it was interested in pursuing when it published the documents earlier this year on how more private funding could be brought into the railway. This is an example of how that could be done.”
The study is being carried out by Innova, a 50-50 joint venture between Network Rail and property developer Capco.
Meanwhile, WSP is looking at the engineering design feasibility of constructing a building over a live railway.
Curtis stressed the concept was still in its infancy, but said that the redevelopment of the station could include realignment of the tracks and platform alterations to reduce the size of gaps between train and platform as well as increasing capacity on platforms.
“We are carrying out this work to see how viable it is to deck over a significant part of the station and then build something on top,” said Curtis. “What that will be, we don’t know yet.
“Given that we would be decking over the station, it essentially gives us an opportunity to sort out the problems at Clapham once and for all.”
Details such as risk and which body would have the ultimate responsibility for paying for and completing station works should property prices fall, are still unclear at this stage.
The station has seen ‘phenomenal’ growth in the last decade rising from 17M passengers a year coming in through ‘the front door’ and 20.5M using it as an interchange in 2009, to around 32.3M and 30.4M in 2016. Numbers dipped slightly in 2017 due to strike action.
If numbers continue to grow, measures to control passenger flow such as queueing to get into the station or a one-way system through the station could be implemented.
In control period 5 (CP5 - 2014 to 2019) plans were put forward for a congestion relief scheme to build a second, wider pedestrian bridge over the tracks. This has been subsequently moved to CP6 (2019 to 2024) and should the OSD prove unfeasible this will still go ahead.
Last week it was announced that Network Rail has taken over the running of the station to allow it to take any decisions on its redevelopment more easily.
Both the congestion relief scheme and the OSD options would be designed to incorporate Crossrail 2 should it get the green light from the government.
Curtis added that works to build the Crossrail 2 tunnels would not impact on the running of the railway due to their depth underground. However, an area currently used as a depot and sidings would have to be reorganised to give access to the tunnels below.
New entrances and exits would also be created to accommodate the additional passenger numbers.
Should the OSD scheme get the go ahead, it will need to go through the lengthy process of gaining planning consent and it will be some time before it is complete.
In the short term Network Rail has gained £300,000 worth of funding for a feasibility study for measures to immediately relieve congestion over the next one to five years.
Clapham Junction Crossrail 2 tunnels under