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January 6, 2015updated 28 Jul 2021 2:12pm

London could get its own High Line

By City Monitor Staff

London and New York regularly lock horns at the top of city league tables, and which of the two is superior is a matter of constant debate. No surprise, then, that London, green with envy at the success of New York City’s High Line Project is considering creating its own version.

The High Line, for those who haven’t had the pleasure, is basically a 2km stretch of park on a disused railway line along the West Side of Manhattan, and London’s version would be pretty similar. The Peckham Coal Line project is the brainchild of architecture student Nick Woodford, who has drawn up plans to convert a 1km stretch of disused track between Queens Road Peckham and Peckham Rye Overground station into a park. 

Click for a larger version.

The Coal Line would run alongside the existing overground line on a line once used to transport coal, and would tie in with a proposed “lowline” green path in Peckham. It would also act as a cycle path, linking two existing cycle routes to create a near-continuous green route from Brixton to Rotherhithe. 

The project, which Woodford began two years ago, started life as coursework, but now he’s keen to turn the plans into reality. To that end, he’s consulted with residents about his proposals, and plans to send them to National Rail this year to request a lease. If successful, he will seek sponsors and public funding for the project.

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Image: Peckham Coal Line.

As the project’s name makes clear, the High Line was the major source of inspiration for the Coal Line. However, according to the project’s website, the concept also draws on Paris’s Promenade Plantée, a tree-lined walkway atop an old railway line:


And London’s forthcoming Garden Bridge: 

Image: Heatherwick Studio.

Though given the mixed reactions to the garden bridge so far, Woodford might be better off emphasising his debts to the High Line, and sweep any Garden Bridge comparisons under the carpet. 

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