The Anonymous Widower

Whitechapel Station – 29th July 2015

They have been busy at Whitechapel station over the long weekend.

There’s even a bridge going across the Overground tracks at a high level.

July 29, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Whitechapel Station – 20th July 2015

I hadn’t intended to go to Whitechapel station, but I did this morning and got a very pleasant surprise.

As the picture gallery shows, what  I thought were bearing plates undoubtedly are!

July 20, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Searching For My Mother’s Birthplace

My mother described herself to me as a Ponders Plonker, as she had been born in Ponders End. I think at some time she may have told me she had been born at home.

So as census records show that in 1911, her parents lived at 32 Clarence Road, I took a train to Ponders End station and went for a walk.

As there were several brothers and sisters and the family had moved out from Stoke Newington, I thought the house would have been bigger.

But according to an elderly lady I met, it appeared the houses had been built around that time, so they were probably the first owners. As my grandfather was working as an engraver with I think his premises somewhere in the Barbican area of the City, transport from Ponders End station to Liverpool Street would have been easy.

Judging by the age of much of the property in the area, my grandparents would probably recognise most of the houses and other buildings.

July 18, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Kensal Rise Station

Kensal Rise Station is being updated with a lift on the Eastbound platform.

If you compare the state of this station with that of Prittlewell, it illustrates how it was right for London Overground to takeover the Lea Valley Lines from Abellio Greater Anglia.

July 14, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Planning A Home Run From Dubrovnik

I have decided that my next Home Run will be from Dubrovnik. I am not booking it yet, as I have one health issue to clear up first. I also want to get some more of my kitchen done first. So dates look like as follows.

Leave London on July 27th by either easyJet or British Airways.

Return to London on Aug 6th or 7th on a late Eurostar out of Paris. Ipswich are at Brentford on the 8th, so I want to be home before this match.

C and myself only went to Croatia once and that was on a long drive back from the Greek Islands in the 1970s, where we passed through Zagreb. One of C’s phrases was to describe people as grebes for some reason, so I can remember her making comments about the Zagreebians.

So one of the reasons is to get myself more knowledge of Croatia.

I also intend to go to Munich to get a pizza and a beer and to Karlsruhe to have a further look at their large tram-train network or Stadtbahn.

A Possible Itinerary

July 27th – Fly to Dubrovnik – Spend three nights in Dubrovnik

July 30th – Bus to Split – Spend one night in Split

July 31st – Train to Zagreb – Spend two nights in Zagreb

August 2nd – Train to Ljubljana – Spend one night in Ljubljana

August 3rd – Train to Villach and Munich – Spend one night in Munich

August 4th – Train to Karlsruhe – Spend two nights in Karlsruhe

August 6th – Train to Paris and London





July 11, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Tribute To A Hero

At the War Memorial on Islington Green today, there was a tribute to the bravery of Frederick Parslowe, who saved his ship in the Great War, but was killed in the action. He was postumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

According to this article in the Islington Tribune, a commemorative  paving stone is being unvieled as part of the hundredth anniversary commemorations for the Great War.

July 4, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized, World | , | 1 Comment

There Is No Product That Can’t Be Improved With LEDs

In this month’s Modern Railways, there is an article by Iam Walmsley, about the re-engineering of a Class 73 locomotive for Network Rail. This is a the extract which contains the title of this post.

The cab desk is best described as ‘functional’, a flat plate of stainless steel with everything on it, enlivened by cool teal-coloured LED backlighting, further evidence that there is no product that can’t be improved with LEDs.

This is so right.

June 27, 2015 Posted by | Travel, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

How’s The Overground To Enfield Town Doing?

In Transport for London Do The Sensible Thing, I said this.

Various news items on the Overground like this story in the Enfield Independent, have been reporting that the Class 315 and Class 317 Trains on the Lea Valley Lines are not very reliable.  I’ve read somewhere that they are spending up to two million pounds to get them running better.

So I thought I had better go and check to see how the lines to Enfield were doing, by taking the train to Enfield Town from Hackney Downs and then walking to Enfield Chase to get a Class 313 train back home.

The pictures show the following.

1. An eight-car Class 315 train was working one of the last of the rush-hour services into Liverpool Street. So hopefully, London Overground have now got all services back up to their correct length.

2. Most trains I saw seemed to have a London Overground roundel on the side, even if they weren’t repainted.

3. I travelled out to Enfield Town in a very clean eight-car Class 317 train, that had been upgraded for the Stansted Express with tables, luggage racks and First Class. When was Enfield Town last served by a train so luxurious? In some ways it’s a waste, as surely there are other places, where as soon as the replacement Class 378 trains arrive, these old Stansted Expresses could be more gainfully employed.

Perhaps, they could serve Glasgow Airport? But then the Scots would complain, that they were getting London’s clapped-out second-hand trains. I noticed as I left that the train had had a full service in September last year. Old they may be, but they are far from scrapyard-ready! I suppose an old Mark 3-based train, is still a Mark 3-based train, with all the strength and ride quality that means.

4. In the meantime, this Class 317 train, is probably doing a good job in pacifying the natives of Enfield.

5. After my walk through Enfield Town centre, I got on a Class 313 train to get back to London. Now that is a clapped-out train and I wonder how many passengers for London from Enfield are thinking about changing their point of departure for London. If you commute and have a Freedom Pass, this is now unrestricted from Enfield Town, so this must have an effect on commuting pstterns.

6. I took the picture of the pantograph on the Class 313 train, as this is a special job, so that the trains can run in the restricted tunnels to Moorgate. It only needs to fold away very snuggly, as that section of line uses third rail for its electricity.

I will ask this question, about what I saw.

London Overground have put an option for 249 extra vehicles in the order for the Class 378 trains, as I reported in Have Transport for London Other Plans For The Overground?

So will some of these optional vehicles in the Class 378 order end up working the Great Northern lines into Moorgate and Kings Cross?

They have a lot going for them.

1. They are certified for working in tunnels, as on the East London Line, they run sixteen times each hour both ways through the Thames Tunnel.

2. There is a dual-voltage variant of the Class 378 train.

3. There would be the problem of designing a new pantograph well and certifying them for the Great Northern tunnel, but that is not as great a task as designing a whole new class of train.

It would probably be a special variant of the Class 378 train, but it hopefully, it would not be a difficult design to create.

We can do a little calculation on where the 249 extra vehicles might go.

Various documents show that by 2030, London Overground wants to be running six-car trains on the North and East London Lines. So if the existing fleet was all made six car, that would probably need 63 vehicles, as there are 57 trains on the system currently and another six are on order.

If we assume that Transport for London’s other target, the Dartford Lines, comes with some fairly new trains, this may or may not use up some of those options.

Taking the 63 off the 249 gives us 186 vehicles, which leaves 186, which can be 62 three-car trains or 46 four-car ones, with a few vehicles left over. Intriguingly, they could also be configured as 31 six-car trains.

So how many trains would be needed? At present the line is worked by 44 3-car trains. So if it was deemed that under London Overground, the service would be as now, there would be plenty of vehicles.

But as I pointed out, 186 vehicles gives us 31 six-car trains. Wikipedia states that the tunnels to Moorgate will accept trains of this length, so would it be a simple decision to make all the Great Northern trains six-car to turn the service into a higher-capacity, seven days a week, Metro service? As this would be a distinct variant, they might even be given a bit more performance to ease them along the East Coast Main Line to Hitchin. After all other members of the family to which a Class 378 belongs are 100 mph as opposed to 75 mph trains.

Running six-car walk-through trains into Morgate, rather than two three-car ones coupled together, gets rid of one of the restrictions of running in tunnels, which insists that passengers can walk through the train to get out in case of trouble.

So the more I look at this, the more I think, that Transport for London has an option on trains to work the Great Northern services.

As Transport for London have said, they might like to take over some of the inner Thameslink services, I suspect that the flies on the wall in meetings between Govia Thameslink Railway and Transport for London will have interesting tales to tell.


June 22, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring Prague Castle

After getting up to Prague Castle, I bought a ticket that gave me universal access and spent an house or so exploring.

This Google Map shows the extend of the site. which the Guinness Book of Records lists as the largest ancient castle in the world.

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

These are some of the pictures I took.

As the pictures show it was extremely hot and very busy, with queues to get into many of the buildings.

June 13, 2015 Posted by | Travel, Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Cydr Lubelski In Krakow

Just sat down to supper with a bottle of Polish cider. Excellent and only 4.5% alcohol. I didn’t know they brewed it.

June 11, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


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