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The Chelsea-Hackney (or "Chelney") line is a safeguarded route for an underground railway running from south-west London to north-east London. During the early 2000s the plan was developed by Cross London Rail Links Ltd., the developers of Crossrail , and the line is therefore sometimes known as Crossrail 2.

Current plans

In 2007, the 1991 route was updated - Sloane Square was dropped from the plan and it was decided to take over the Central line's Epping branch from Leytonstone - and re-safeguarded. It is currently considered the fourth major rail project in the capital after the Thameslink Programme, East London Line extension and Crossrail 1. It is planned that Sloane Square will be re-introduced into the route in the next safeguarding of the line.

Of the three routes in south-west London the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelseamarker initially favoured the first, but now supports the second Under the present plans, only one entirely new station would be constructed at Chelsea, while another proposed station on the route, , is not due to be opened until 2010 when it will be served by the extended East London Line as part of London Overground.

Choice of operator

No decision has yet been made on whether the line will be part of the National Rail network or the London Underground network.


Original plan

A west/north-east tube line was originally planned as early as 1901 and a bill was put before parliament in 1904. However political manoeuvring by rival tube magnate Charles Yerkes killed off the proposal.

Later plans

The plan was revived in 1970 by London Transport's London Rail Study as the next project after the completion of the Victoria line and the Fleet line (renamed as the Jubilee line). Designed to relieve pressure on the District, Central and Victoria lines, and to link two areas without tube services, the route would have taken over the Wimbledonmarker branch of the District as far as Parsons Greenmarker, then followed a new underground alignment to Leytonstonemarker, where it would then take over one of the branches of the Central line. For financial reasons the line was not built, but over the years the idea, or variations of it have emerged.

The proposal as of the 1974 London Rail Study was:

Commencing at Wimbledon (takeover the District line branch) Continuing to Hainault (takeover the Central line branch)

Following the Central London Rail Study of 1989, a route through central London was safeguarded.In the existing safeguarding of the route, the line would start from Wimbledonmarker through to :- from there taking the Central line through to Eppingmarker.As the route would serve both King's Cross and Kings Road it was suggested that the line could be named Kings line. It was decided however that the Jubilee line Extension should take priority and the project was postponed.

In 1995, an alternative plan, the Express Metro was put forward that would utilise more existing track, have fewer stations and be built to National Rail standards. It would take one of three routes from the East Putney on the District line to Victoriamarker station; either Putney Bridgemarker, Parsons Greenmarker and Chelsea or marker as in the original safeguarded plan; or to and and then either via Chelsea Harbour and King's Road or via Battersea.

From Victoria it would then call at and then split into two branches, one to Leytonstonemarker and then on to Eppingmarker taking over the Central line, the other taking over the North London line to Woolwichmarker, since used by the Docklands Light Railway.

The London East West Study in 2000 considered Crossrail, the Chelsea-Hackney line and a combination of the two, going from Wimbleton to Tottenham Court Road and then on to Liverpool. The Study supposes mainline gauge, and therefore would omit a station at Piccadilly Circus. Its version of the Chelsea-Hackney Regional Metro splits in the north, with one branch going via Dalston and taking over the Epping branch of Central line, and the other heading to Finsbury Parkmarker, then using the disused alignment of the Northern Heights plan, taking over the High Barnet branch of the Northern line. The Express Metro option instead would run on the East Coast Main Line.

Other proposals

A link to from London Victoriamarker via is also being examined although it is not part of the protected route. This would end that station's isolation from the London Underground network. Clapham Junction was shown as an interchange with Crossrail 2 on an earlier TfL East London line routemap.


See also

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