The Anonymous Widower

Hydrogen Trains Planned For Apennine Route

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

The trains appear to be part of a project to bring a sustainable economic recovery to an area that has been affected by three earthquakes in recent years and suffered badly from depopulation.

There would appear to be four projects.

Refurbishment Of The Sansepolcro And Sulmona Railway

This 300 km railway will also switch from diesel to hydrogen trains.

This railway looks like it could be an interesting route for a railway tourist. In my past experience, Todi and Perugia were certainly worth a visit.

Two Seas Railway

The Railway Gazette article says this about the Two Seas Railway.

This would cross Italy from west to east, connecting Roma’s Fiumicino airport with San Benedetto del Tronto via Rieti, Amatrice and Ascoli Picen.

It has been proposed for a long time and could use hydrogen traction.

Building Back Sustainably

The Railway Gazette article says this about the third and fourth projects.

A third project will assess the potential for diffused green hydrogen manufacturing activity in the region, and a fourth will look at ways to apply new energy and environmental technologies in post-earthquake reconstruction.

It looks to me, that hydrogen will play a large part in restoring this region of Italy.

Conclusion

It sounds a bit like, the Italians are rebuilding their railways like the UK and several other companies are doing.

September 23, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Isle Of Wight Rail Line Set To Reopen After 10-Month Closure

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

It may have been a long time coming, but let’s hope it’s worth it.

I shall certainly going down, when it opens.

It would appear that the reason for the delay is partly down to software problems.

This seems to me an all-to-frequent occurrence these days.

Could this be that first generation programmers like myself, who honed our skills on small machines in the 1960s and 1970s have mostly retired and are not there to pass on expertise?

September 23, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

From Battersea Power Station Station To The River

I took these pictures as I walked from Battersea Power Station station to Battersea Power Station pier to get a Thames Clipper back to London Bridge.

Note.

  1. There appears to be fake smoke coming out of the chimney in the third picture.
  2. I think the second entrance to the station will be close to where I walked.
  3. To my taste there appeared to be a lot of car parking.

The walk took me under ten minutes.

September 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Second Entrance At Battersea Power Station Station

In Battersea Power Station Station Opens, I said this.

There is also probably space to put another set of three escalators pointing the other way, at the other end of the intermediate level, away from the current set of three escalators, that lead to the surface.

So I went back today and had another look.

I was told by a member of the station staff, that a second entrance, where the posters are on the wall will lead to the power station, the shops and the river.

 

 

 

 

September 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Could Access Between Platform And Train Be Improved At Kennington Station?

Before I look at the solutions, I will look at passenger flows around Kennington station, now that the extension to Battersea has opened.

  1. Passengers will enter the station and take a train.
  2. Passengers will arrive at the station and leave.
  3. Passengers will change trains going between say Morden and Battersea Power Station stations.
  4. Passengers will change between the two Northbound services through the station, by walking between Platforms 1 and 3.
  5. Passengers will change between the two Southbound services through the station, by walking between Platforms 2 and 4.

Kennington station has two major access problems for those of restricted mobility.

  • Getting between Street and Platform
  • Getting between Platform and Train

There used to be a third problem, which was that there wasn’t enough cross-platform access between Platforms 2 and 4 and Platforms 1 and 3, which has now been improved.

The pictures show the passage between Platforms 2 and 4, which seems to have been built to a high quality.

How will these access problems affect passengers and especially those with reduces mobility.

Passengers with reduced mobility may avoid Kennington station, if they are using Routes 1 and 2, as the stairs are difficult.

Passengers using Route 3 may find it easier to change at Waterloo, London Bridge or another convenient station.

There are lots of buses, which may offer a convenient alternative.

Operating experience will give the correct answer, but I feel that passengers using the station will contain a large proportion, who are using Routes 4 or 5 and just changing from one train to another going in the same direction.

Access Between Street And Platform

These pictures show the stairs that give access to the platforms from the passageway leading to the lifts.

Note.

  1. The stairs are steep and not very wheelchair or buggy friendly.
  2. They are not all the same length.

Unless it is possible to sneak a lift down into the new cross-passages, I suspect that providing step-free access to the platforms will be a long time coming at Kennington station.

Access Between Platform And Train

These pictures show trains in Kennington station.

Note that a Harrington Hump is fitted to the platform to ease boarding for those in wheelchairs.

The map from cartometro.com shows the platform layout at Kennington station.

Note that in the pictures and this map the platforms are reasonably straight.

I wonder, if as at Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms stations, the platforms could be arranged so that there is step-free access between train and platform.

These pictures show level access at the two stations on the new extension.

This would surely help those changing trains by walking between Platforms 2 and 4 or 1 and 3.

Conclusion

I am very doubtful, that large numbers of passengers with reduced mobility will use Kennington station, except to change from one train to another going in the same direction.

For that reason, I suspect Transport for London have not gone for full step-free access at Kennington station.

But I do think, that level access could be installed between the trains and all four platforms to make it easier for passengers with reduced mobility to change trains.

 

 

 

September 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is Clapham Common Station Dangerous?

Clapham North and Clapham Common stations are the last two Northern Line platforms with an island platform in the tunnel and must be towards the top of any list. This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows their locations.

Note their closeness to Clapham High Street station, I am sure, that eventually a better solution to these two stations will come about because of property development in the area.

I passed through Clapham Common station this morning and took these pictures.

Well to be fair, the fourth picture is one I took earlier.

Using The Experience At Bank To Advantage

As I write this, there are underground construction workers starting the final push to rebuild Bank station. After dismantling a lot of the Northern Line through Bank station, I would expect that engineers and workers have ideas as to how they could sort Clapham Common station and its near neighbour to the North; Clapham North station.

There would appear to be two possible lines of thought.

One would be to apply the Bank solution of digging a new Northbound tunnel.

  • It would  by-pass the two current stations, by looping to the West.
  • The current Northbound track would be filled in at both stations and used to widen the platform, which would handle Southbound trains on the current track.
  • A new platform on the new Northbound track would be built outside the current tunnel and connected to the widened platform over the old Northbound track, by passageways through the tunnel wall.
  • It should be possible to slip a lift down to the wide island platform to give step-free access.

Hopefully the current access to the surface could still be used.

I also wonder if engineers know enough about Victorian tunnel construction to just strip the tunnel and widen it

  • The tracks would be moved further apart.
  • The island platform would be widened.
  • Step-free access might be difficult.

As with the other method, the current access to the surface could still be used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 6 Comments

Getlink And CargoBeamer Team Up To Launch The First Unaccompanied Cross-Channel Service By Rail

The title of this post, is the same as that of this Press Release from Getlink.

This is the first paragraph and a half.

Eurotunnel and CargoBeamer have signed a partnership which will see the launch of a new, 100% unaccompanied rail freight transport service across the Short Straits, from Calais to Ashford.

The extension of the rolling motorway from Perpignan to Ashford is a logical step in developing a future international intermodal network between the Channel and the Mediterranean. A second route from Domodossola, in the Alps region, to Calais will also be extended to Ashford after its launch in early October.

These are other points from the press release.

  • Both new railway services will prevent 8,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • They will help to partially resolve the shortage of truck drivers in the UK and Europe.
  • They will relieve traffic congestion on motorways.

It sounds like it could be a worthwhile service with more than the obvious winners.

Who Is CargoBeamer?

This is their web site and it displays an introductory video and this mission statement.

The Road to Rail Sustainable Transport Solutions

CargoBeamer use specially designed rail wagons and this page, which is entitled The Unique CargoBeamer Technology, explains how it works.

This is a claim from the web site.

As soon as the train has arrived, all semi-trailers are transferred automatically and with the simple push of a button. It takes CargoBeamer just 20 minutes to unload 36 semi-trailers from an intermodal train and load the same number at the same time. Both steps simply happen simultaneously. By comparison, a conventional crane terminal needs around three to four hours to handle such a train.

That is certainly not slow.

This video gives a full explanation about how CargoBeamer works.

Note.

  1. They can carry all types of trailers.
  2. The video shows the terminal built on a straight single-track line, where freight trains enter, load and unload and leave.

I must admit I like the design of the terminals, which they describe as Compact2 and Compact3, which gives a clue as to their design.

Their first terminal has opened in Calais and is described in this Press Release, which is entitled CargoBeamer Opens Terminal In Calais.

What Routes Are CargoBeamer Planning?

According to their web site, CargoBeamer have opened or are planning terminals at the following places.

  • Ashford – UK
  • Calais – France
  • Domodossola – Italy
  • Duisburg – Germany
  • KaldenKirchen – Germany
  • Perpignan – France
  • Poznan – Poland

Routes opened or planned include.

  • Domodossola – Calais – Ashford
  • KaldenKirchen – Domodossola
  • Perpignan – Calais – Ashford
  • Poznan – Duisburg

You can certainly understand, why Calais is their first terminal.

Serving The UK 

 

This article on Railway Gazette is entitled CargoBeamer Network Extended To The UK.

This is a paragraph.

Eurotunnnel told Railway Gazette International the aim was to build up to operating whole trains through the tunnel as the market develops, and ultimately to run trains to destinations further inland.

That seems a clear statement of intent.

Ashford could be an easy terminal to develop and I suspect it could be between Ashford and Folkestone, where the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and the M20 run close together. The compact size of the terminal would surely help.

The other sensible place for a terminal would be Barking, which can accept trains to the larger European gauge.

But it would be convenient, if trains could be run through the Channel Tunnel to places like Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Scotland.

Gauge clearance of routes to the European size would be a challenging, expensive and disruptive process.

But in Gauge Improvements Across London, I indicated that an enhanced gauge of W12 could be possible through London on the Gospel Oak to Barking and North London Lines.

But seeing that CargoBeamer appear to be targeting the UK, perhaps they have an innovative wagon design for services to the UK, which could have a height limit for trucks.

September 21, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Getting Our Own Back With Putin And The Russians

Perhaps we ought to get our own back on the Russians.

I’m sure some of our best scientists can create a high-strength laxative, that can be strategically smeared on handrails and door-knobs in Russia.

September 21, 2021 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Battersea Power Station From The South

I took these pictures of Battersea Power Station, as I walked back to Battersea Power Station station.

It seems to be coming on!

But will it all end it tears? It’s already bankrupted a couple of companies to get this far!

September 21, 2021 Posted by | Energy, World | , | 1 Comment

The Swimming Pool In The Sky

This must be the most unusual swimming pool in London.

Not for me though, as I can’t swim!

It is just to the South of the United States Embassy.

September 21, 2021 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment