Services that used the City Widened Lines

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Bevan Price

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What sort of services used the City Widened Lines in the past, particularly during its heyday.
Peak hour services from ECML & MML to/from Moorgate. Further back, some services crossed the Thames to parts of what became the Southern Railway via Snow Hill, etc.
 

Taunton

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Also a lot of freight through across London, which lasted through into diesel days, long after the through passenger services ceased. A principal traffic was household coal to south London etc, which fell away very quickly after coal fires were banned in the late 1950s. The Eastern Region supplied a banker kept at Farringdon to assist such trains up the gradient to Blackfriars.
 

ChiefPlanner

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What sort of services used the City Widened Lines in the past, particularly during its heyday.

Major service reductions in 1916 as a key route to supplying the Channel ports , but the odd cross London patterns were very much in decline thanks to new fangled bus and electric tubes. Not forgetting a west to south chord giving access for such services as Moorgate to Woolwich.

A good starting point would be a Bradshaw guide - various libraries will have them for study.
 
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What sort of services used the City Widened Lines in the past, particularly during its heyday.
I used the Widened Lines five days a week in the late 1960s, travelling between Palmers Green and Farringdon because I worked in Farringdon Road. The service I used was a peak-period-only service and did not, I believe, run at all at weekends. The rolling stock, locomotive hauled, was well maintained but ancient compartmentalised carriages.
 

Taunton

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You are correct about peak period only, but I believe the Moorgate trains also still ran at that time on Saturday mornings, reflecting old office hours (alas I'm of the age that we even went to school on Saturday mornings!). It was about 50-50 by that time between loco-hauled non-corridor stock (their last bastion in Britain, being early 1950s Mk 1 stock on short 57' underframes), and Cravens dmus, similarly on short frames. It must have been about 1970 that I last saw an "old style" train on the line there from the Underground, it was a Cravens set at Farringdon.

A good starting point would be a Bradshaw guide - various libraries will have them for study.
All on line now :) :

Timetable World
 
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etr221

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Heyday for the Widened Lines - as they were - was the late Victorian-Edwardian era.
Services using them (not that I'm an expert) were - in summary:
Goods: Cross London Transfer from the Midland and Great Northern to the South - in particular onto the SER (via Metropolitan Junction and London Bridge: the Southern Rly had a 1920s project to put in extra connections in the Lewisham area to permit this to be rerouted via Elephant & Castle and Peckham Rye) and LCDR lines; apart from 'interchange' traffic, both the Midland and Great Northern had goods depots (mainly for coal) in South London. At one time a key link, but eventually ended in the 1970s.

Passenger - three groups of services:
  1. Great Northern and Midland Railway suburban services from their lines to Moorgate (which both regarded as one of 'their' London termini), this included both from main lines and branches - something now commonly forgotten is the the principle Midland London service was from Moorgate round on to the Tottenham and Hampstead Joint line (now served from Gospel Oak as the Goblin). I think diminished from WW1, withdrwawn in WW2 (from 1940), reinstated (peakhours only) 1945-46, until electrification changed thingsof the GN (services diverted elsewhere) and Midland (became once the principle suburban terminal)
  2. Suburban services off the LCDR (various origin points, including - to a significant extent - Victoria) to Moorgate (one of the WL platforms was dedicated to LCDR services). Withdrawn (AIUI) during WW1 (1916?); the Metropolitan and Southern Railways went to court in the 1920s over the latter's reluctance to reinstate them post war: one practical issue was the sharpness of the south to east curve (avoiding Farringdon), which severely restricted what stock could be used.
  3. Through North-South sevices from SER and LCDR lines to GN and Midland: service patterns varied, and I think all four companies operated such services. Declined from late Edwardian era when the electric tube lines stated, finally ceased in WW1 (1916?)
For details of actual services, seek out vintage Bradshaws, etc.

And then in the 1980s, first the Midland subraban electrification to Moorgate, and then Thameslink, saw them transferred to BR and rise into new era, with a new heyday...
 

John Webb

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Heyday for the Widened Lines - as they were - was the late Victorian-Edwardian era.
Services using them (not that I'm an expert) were - in summary:
Goods: Cross London Transfer from the Midland and Great Northern to the South - in particular onto the SER (via Metropolitan Junction and London Bridge: the Southern Rly had a 1920s project to put in extra connections in the Lewisham area to permit this to be rerouted via Elephant & Castle and Peckham Rye)....
The project for the extra connections was the complex junction linking the original New Cross-Lewisham-Woolwich line to the Nunhead line which was installed in 1929.
 

StephenHunter

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The Class 23 'Baby Deltics' used it for a while until they were banned for excessive emissions.
 

Irascible

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(alas I'm of the age that we even went to school on Saturday mornings!).
I went all day Saturday! fortunately for not feeling overly aged I think they still do it.

-

Smithfields was a freight terminus ( including seeing services come in via the Metropolitan from Paddington ), I can't remember how many companies had facilities there at some point. Must have made life fun for night maintenance crews...
 

etr221

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Yes, what I forgot and omitted from my previous post was goods services to the City goods depots linked to the Met:
  • Midland Railway Whitecross Street depot (between Aldersgate and Moorgate)
  • Great Western Railway Smithfield Goods depot - underneath the Market, only for meat traffic? Access from Paddington and connection to Widened Lines in Farringdon area
  • Great Northern Railway Farringdon Street Goods Station - site now used (in part at least) as Thameslink Smithfield sidings
  • Metropolitan Railway's own Farringdon/Vine Street Goods depot - just North of Farringdon Station. Unlike the others, off the Met's normal 'main' lines rather than the Widened Line, Also used by GWR?
Whitecross Street and Farringdon Street would be served by trains from Midland and GNR via King's Cross.
Note all these depots were small and compact/cramped, and so would have required fairly frequent services.

For clarification on where these were, see RCH Junction diagram. old OS maps (on NLS website), and Harsig's Metropolitan 1933 siganalling diagram (see https://www.harsig.org/Metropolitan.php )
 

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