The Anonymous Widower

A Perfect Storm In Ilford

This article from the Ilford Recorder is entitled Redbridge Council leader says Ilford town centre has ‘the perfect storm’ for regeneration.

It talks about a billion pound of investment in the next six years.

So it does look like one of the more dreary parts of East London is going to be improved.

In my view, it shows how Crossrail is going to regenerate large swathes of London.

Although, in the article, I do think that that the design for homes on the Sainsburys site on Roden Street, is very much out of the design manual of Soviet Russia, that I saw in Nova Huta.

August 28, 2015 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail Will Affect The Buses

This article from GetWest London is entitled Improved bus services for Hayes to prepare for Crossrail.

The article talks about how Bus Route 90 is going double-deck and buses through Hayes will be improved as Crossrail, with the new Hayes and Harlington station is constructed

Provision of improved and rerouted bus services will happen at many of the new Crossrail stations.

My nearest Crossrail station will be the double ended giant at Liverpool Street that will serve both the current Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations.

From close to my house I can get a 21 or 141 bus to just outside Liverpool Street station, although coming back I have to walk to Moorgate for a northbound bus.

After Crossrail is opened, I predict that when I use Liverpool Street station, I will get a bus to a stop that will be connected by weather-free subways to any of the existing lines in the area and of course Crossrail. Coming back, these or other subways will connect me to a northbound stop to get a bus home.

I actually suspect to get the bus, it might be best to be at one particular end of a Crossrail train, so that you use an entrance to the station, that is convenient for your bus. Getting the carriage right could save you quite a walk with a two-hundred ,metre long train.

If what is provided, is not better than the current interim arrangement at Liverpool Street/Moorgate, I will be very surprised and will complain like an irate rhinoceros.

Most of the stations on Crossrail are served by London buses, also under the control of Transport for London. So improving the buses, as at Hayes and Harlington will be a matter for Transport for London, with input from the appropriate London Borough.

But what will happen at places like Brentwood, Burnham, Iver, Langley, Maidenhead, Reading, SloughShenfield and others,which are outside of Transport for London’s influence.

So that Crossrail has one holistic design from East to West, buses at these outer stations must conform to the rules that apply in the London area.

  1. Buses must be cashless, with payments either by Oyster, contactless card, concessionary pass or an extension to an orange rail ticket.
  2. London-style bus spider maps must be provided at all stations.
  3. A state-of-the-art bus arrival system must be provided in the same manner as in London, either by display or text message.
  4. All buses must be fully-accessible to match the fully-accessible stations.
  5. In an ideal world, all buses must display the next stop and be front entrance and centre exit, to help blind and disabled passengers and speed the buses on their way.

Looking at text message bus alerts like TfL’s Countdown, allowing a sixth digit to the text system would probably enable every stop in the South East to be covered.

Incidentally, according to this article in The Guardian, there are less than 500,000 transport stops in the whole UK, so six digits and one text number would cover the whole of the country.

But would the Scots, Mancunians and the Cornish, embrace a system that was designed in and for London?

Crossrail is a rail system, but it is going to affect lots of parts of our lives.


August 23, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The Easiest Way To Get To Ipswich For Tuesday Night Football

Tuesday night football at Ipswich, and probably Colchester, is a difficult and overly expensive journey, when you have to trouble out for a kick-off at 19:45 using the crowded trains of the rush hour, which charge you more for your pleasure.

Normally if I want to go to Ipswich on a Saturday, it costs me £26.25 for an Off Peak Return from Liverpool Street with a Senior Railcard. But last night, on a Tuesday it would have cost me £50.65.

But Crossrail has come into play with the takeover of the Shenfield Metro by TfL Rail, which means I can use my Freedom Pass to Shenfield for nothing. Younger people, using Oyster or contactless cards have seen a reduction in cost, which some publicity claims is 40%.

So last night, as I had to stop off at Forest Gate on the way, I took TfL Rail to Shenfield in the rush hour.

I then exited the station, had a coffee in one of several nice independent cafes around the station and then re-entered after buying a return ticket from Shenfield to Ipswich, which got me to the ground at a convenient time for the match.

It was all very civilised and for most of the way, I had a seat and was able to sit comfortably and read the paper, as most of the other passengers had departed by Witham.

And for this I paid the princely sum of £16.75, which is approximately a third of the regular price. Here’s the proof.

London To Ipswich For £16.75

London To Ipswich For £16.75

I shall be going this way again, especially as I have friends in Shenfield, with whom I could share a drink.

This is a substantial benefit to anybody living in London with a Freedom Pass, who needs to go to anywhere in the South Eastern portion of East Anglia.

You’ve always been able to buy tickets from the Zone 6 Boundary, but the trouble with that is Harold Wood, which isn’t as well connected as Shenfield. You also have difficulty buying these tickets on-line and usually have to go to a booking office.

If you don’t have a Freedom Pass, using contactless cards to Shenfield on TfL Rail and then using an onward ticket from Shenfield may well be cheaper for the whole journey.

Of course, if you bought your onward ticket from Shenfield before you travelled, all you would do is get off one train at Shenfield and get on another to your ultimate destination.

The only drawback is that the journey via Shenfield is slower.

Currently, Ipswich is about 70 minutes from Liverpool Street, but when the Norwich in Ninety improvements are completed, I think we could see this time reduced to 60 minutes or even less. New trains with sliding doors would help too!

Shenfield is 43 minutes from Liverpool Street at the moment, but Crossrail will reduce this by a couple of minutes. Ipswich is probably an hour past Shenfield, but Norwich in Ninety must reduce this.

The biggest change could come when Crossrail opens and there is a new East Anglian rail franchise. If I was bidding for the new franchise, I would stop a proportion of the fast London-Colchester-Ipswich-Norwich trains at Stratford, Romford or Shenfield to interface with Crossrail, so that the journeys for passengers were optimised to get as many on board as possible., to maximise my company’s profits and hopefully my bonus.

Norwich in Ninety plus Crossrail can only mean that house prices in East Anglia will continue to rise.

August 19, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Have You Got A Bit Of Concrete To Lay?

In this page on their web site, Crossrail have just unveiled their 465 metre long concreting train.

They’ve also put up a video.

It was bought second-hand from the French and delivered through the Channel Tunnel.

Let’s hope it works!

August 14, 2015 Posted by | Travel | | Leave a comment

Crossrail Works In Front Of Liverpool Street Station

The archaeologists at Liverpool Street station have departed and work is getting on with the Crossrail works.

I’m glad to see that Crossrail have left the observation gallery.

August 10, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

The Southern Entrance To Tottenham Court Road Station Takes Shape

One of the consequences of the building of Crossrail has been the need to virtually completely rebuild Tottenham Court Road station. The rebuild is not small as the station is future-proofed for the building of Crossrail 2, which will also call at the station. Wikipedia says this about future developments at the station.

If the proposed Chelsea-Hackney line, now known as Crossrail 2 when built, it will have a station at Tottenham Court Road, and the development plans include facilities to take account of this. This would be the only planned interchange between Crossrail 1 and Crossrail 2. A massive boost in capacity to the existing station will be needed to host both lines. The station was safeguarded as part of the route in 1991 and 2007. Redevelopment of the station will include space for platforms on the line.

The station is being rebuilt with a large ticket hall under the forecourt of Centre Point, which has a new northern exit on the corner of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road. These pictures show the new southern exit for the station taking shape.

It certainly looks like it will be dramatic. This page on the Stanton Williams web site has a picture of new entrances in front of Centre Point.

It certainly isn’t ordinary! It also looks like London is getting a new plaza.

I think the entrances open later this year, together with the reopening of the Central Line platforms. I took some of the pictures from the top deck of a 38 bus, which gives good views into the site as you go towards Islington from Piccadilly Circus.

It does look that the grubby end of Oxford Street is getting a major improvement.

August 10, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

The Importance Of The Victoria Line

In an ideal world, Crossrail 2 would be a follow-on to Crossrail 1, but there is not enough money to do that.

So in the time before Crossrail 2 is built, we must make the most of other lines.

The Victoria Line is by some measures one of the most heavily used Underground lines in London and this summer a bottleneck is being removed at Walthamstow Central to increase the frequency of trains on the line.

After this wirk, the big constraint on frequency on the Victoria Line will be the reversing of trains at Brixton.  Under Future Projects for the Victoria Line, Wikipedia says this.

For many years there have been proposals to extend the line one stop southwards from Brixton to Herne Hill. Herne Hill station would be on a large reversing loop with one platform. This would remove a critical capacity restriction by eliminating the need for trains to reverse at Brixton. The Mayor of London’s 2020 Vision, published in 2013, proposed extending the Victoria line “out beyond Brixton” by 2030.

I would suspect this will be done in the near future, as it both increases Victoria Line capacity and gives the line a new station at Herne Hill, which has good interchange possibilities.

Although the Victoria Line is important to London, I do find it strange, that it has no interchange with Crossrail.

Hopefully, during the wait for Crossrail 2, improvements to the Victoria Line will soothe some of the problems.

August 4, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

New Tracks And Platforms At Abbey Wood Station

These pictures show construction work going on, mainly on the Southern side of the North Kent Line at Abbey Wood station.

The current southern platform, which is numbered 1, will become an island platform for the North Kent Line between the two tracks., The current Up line will become the Down line , with the new Up line being created to the South side of the platform. As the pictures show work is progressing well on creating a concrete channel for the track.

August 4, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail Works Between Plumstead And Abbey Wood Stations

Work seemed to be in full flow between Plumstead and Abbey Road stations, as I went to Abbey Wood.

There will be depot at Plumstead for Crossrail, but most of the work shown is for the two new tracks that will be on the northern side of the North Kent Line

August 4, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Whitechapel Station – 3rd August 2015

There has been another busy weekend at Whitechapel station.

There has been no news of problems, that will delay the opening of the temporary entrance in the Autumn.

August 3, 2015 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment


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