To explain the contradictions in the last few speedy posts see this map. First railway to Hammersmith was the H&C in 1864, originally GWR, from 1867 Met & GW joint, eventually to LU - pale blue and yellow on the map. Next was the LSWR Addison Road (now Kensington Olympia)- Hammersmith Grove Road - Gunnersbury - Richmond line (blue) in 1869; with the following year a link to the H&C - there was then a Met service to Richmond, which lasted until 1906 (never electrified). Finally the District arrived (orangeish) - to Hammersmith [Broadway] in 1874, then onto Studland Road Junction in 1877, with running over the LSWR to Richmond: in c1910 the MDR built its own pair of tracks to Turnham Green - the LSWR pair were disused with the closure of the line through Grove Road in WW1, but later used when the Piccadilly was extended west in c1930. All these lines were principally for passenger services, but used to some extent for freight (which did have some influence on how Turnham Green Junction was reorganised in c1930 - there are further details in Steam to Silver)
Railway Junction Diagrams is one of the most useful books around, I've had my copy for many years.
Always a company man, just an old 'hasbeen' now preparing to be a new 'was'. I doubt that anyone under 45 will understand the remark!
The office block was,when last seen,a rather shabby early-60s example which may well be up for re-development soon. Perhaps the route through should be safeguarded in case of future re-use...
What is the process required to safeguard a route? Although I can't see this as a viable project at this stage, I agree it is still important to keep options open for future extensions.
In terms of a link, and assuming these building all came up for redevelopment (unlikely), the old LSWR viaduct rises between the eastbound Piccadilly and District tracks. Therefore you'd have to rebuild the alignment. And then you'd have the operational challenge of dovetailing the H&C into the District line.
As I understand it,a route is safeguarded by the local planning authority (in this case Hammersmith and Fulham Council) though they might be directed to do so by a higher authority in Central Government. The planning authority should produce a develpment plan for its area,and this would make it much harder to get planning permission for a development which contradicts the plan. If H&F decided (or was told) this route might be a good idea,it would find its way onto the development plan. To give a frinstance,a friend who lives in Chenies St (near Goodge St station) got a letter from Camden Council informing of a new development in her street,and giving notice for any objections etc. The letter also said that the foundation depth was limited in order to safeguard the Chelsea-Hackney line route.
Let's assume that, in this case, Hammersmith & Fulham Council will not be interested in safeguarding the route. Which higher authority in central government has responsibility to safeguard routes of strategic value? Or is it TfL?
Conversely, if Hammersmith & Fulham Council became very excited about this proposal and decided to safeguard the route in its development plan, could this be overridden by a higher authority?
As I understand it....The Department of Transport would probably have a hand in it,as would the Minister ultimately responsible for planning (Home Secretary? Environment Minister?) TfL would certainly be involved,probably as promoter of such a scheme. If they all agreed it should be done,the Minister could direct H&F to put it in their development plan. (This I do know) If H&F decided unilaterally to put it in its development plan,and someone wanted to build on the route without the burden of having to keep the route clear they would first exhaust the Council's own planning appeals procedure,then they would appeal to the Minister who would (in this particular scenario) rule in favour of the developer as the safeguarding wasn't his own idea or from DfT or TfL who are the only people with the money to realise such a scheme. Look how difficult it is to build the Croxley Link when all these bodies appear to be not against (but not wildly enthusiastic either) and there is no developer crying "Foul!" I personally think it is a great idea,but,because it by-passes BOTH Hammersmith stations,it will need a new one of its own (Grove Rd) so it will be so expensive it would be very difficult to get built.....
Ultimately,the Minister responsible for planning (used to be the Environment Minister but so much gets changed so frequently) has the final say. A developer who wants to contradict a local authority's development plan can appeal to the Minister,and the appeal may be successful. Or,conversely,the Minister can "call in" a scheme,effectively taking the decision out of the local authority's hands,if he believes the decision is of "strategic" value....though this is usually used to get big schemes built against purely local opposition. Local authorities can push schemes through off their own bat,but like everything in life,the more pepole you have "on side" (and the more powerful those people are) the more likely it is to succeed. The schemes most likely to succeed are ones adopted by the Department for Transport (who also have a remit for strategic planning,though,frankly,rail is pretty low on their priorities),but even these have to be approved by the minister responsible for planning....however,as this is "politics" a quiet word would be had before submitting such a scheme so only schemes certain to be approved would be submitted....
Getting into RIPAS territory here, but it seems like the easier route in the present day might be to connect the shunting neck for Hammersmith Depot to the EB District just west of Hammersmith Station. Aerial photos show a curve in the back of the buildings on the west side of Shepherds Bush Road that would line up nicely with the District/Picc route as it runs through the station. Probably only need a few dozen yards of tunnel under the road junction for that one.