Sunday, 31 January 2010

Rail upgrades for the London 2012 Olympics

"Millions of pounds were at stake in London's East End. Robert stood in the way, so the boys came around and hauled him off to the Essex countryside. 

"Robert is an Avonside 0-6-0 saddle tank locomotive, and has been moved to the East Anglian Railway Museum at Chappel and Wakes Colne for refurbishment. Built in Bristol in 1933, it had been standing outside Stratford Regional station, which is now similarly undergoing its own facelift - though on a much grander scale.

"For with Robert out of the way, the Olympic Delivery Authority could get on with the massive task of increasing Stratford Regional's capacity to handle the vast crowds expected for the 2012 Olympic Games..."

"...The International Olympic Committee expects the station to provide a transport legacy that will prove the catalyst for east London's regeneration".

"...It will be interesting to see what passengers make of Stratford Regional's 21 platforms, as they're mostly numbered out of sequence. There's an abandoned Platform 4 near to operating Platforms 4a and 4b. And there hasn't been a Platform 7 for a long, long time, but there'll be a new Platform 3a and an extended Platform 10a!..."

"...That's why Storey and his ODA colleagues foresee 400,000 spectators and Games workers arriving on busier days. About 80% are likely to arrive by rail, 65% of them rolling up at Stratford Regional..."

These three extracts are taken from 'Olympic Gains..?' It's one of two features I've written for RAIL magazine about transport upgrades for London's 2012 Olympic Games. Copies of Issue 636 of RAIL are on sale now in WH Smith and other good newsagents (and maybe some not-so-good ones too). 

Top photo: 'Robert', with admirer, outside Stratford station before being removed for refurbishment. Photo from Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society.

Lower: Impression of the Olympic Stadium at Stratford where 400,000 spectators are expected to arrive on busier days during the Games. Image: Olympic Delivery Authority.

Paul Coleman, London, January 2010.

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