The Anonymous Widower

Two Crossrail Stories

There are two Crossrail stories this morning.

  • London City Airport In Talks With TfL About Crossrail Station on New Civil Engineer.
  • Crossrail Stations And Tunnels ‘To Be Finished This Year’, TfL Documents Reveal on Building.

Both would appear not to be gloomy news.

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

World’s Largest Fleet Of Fuel Cell Trains’ Ordered

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

This is the first paragraph.

Following a European tender, the Fahma rolling stock subsidiary of Rhein-Main transport authority RMV has awarded Alstom a contract to supply and support a fleet of 27 fuel cell multiple-units.

These are a few points from the rest of the article.

  • The trains are Alstom Coradia iLint.
  • Range on hydrogen is up to 500 miles with a top speed of 87 mph.
  • Each train will have 160 seats.
  • The order is worth around €500million.
  • 25 years of maintenance is included.
  • Hydrogen will be supplied by Höchst KG.
  • The trains will be delivered in time for the December 2022 timetable change.

This is said about the refuelling.

The refuelling point will be located at the Höchst industrial park. ‘With its existing hydrogen infrastructure, Industriepark Höchst is an ideal filling station location for fuel cell vehicles’, said Dr Joachim Kreysing, Managing Director of Infraserv Höchst. ‘The operation of the hydrogen filling station for trains as a supplement to the tanking facilities for buses and trucks fits in perfectly with our concept’.

These routes will be converted from diesel to hydrogen.

  • RB11 Frankfurt-Höchst – Bad Soden, – 25 minutes
  • RB12 Frankfurt – Königstein, – 36 minutes
  • RB15 Frankfurt – Bad Homburg – Brandoberndorf – 83 minutes
  • RB16 Friedrichsdorf – Friedberg – 23 minutes

Services look to be half-hourly.

Only one is a longer route.

A Simple Plan

It is a fairly simple plan with probably a low risk.

This Google Map shows Industriepark Höchst.

Note the Frankfurt Höchst station and Infraserv Höchst.

It seems to be all very convenient.

 

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

And The Wires Came Tumbling Down!

Today, I intended to go to Doncaster on the 11:03 train to Leeds from Kings Cross.

I had intended to travel in First on an Azuma, to see what the quality was like.

So I booked an Advance ticket online for around £50.

But then the train didn’t run, as the wires had come tumbling down!

This must be the third time, I’ve been affected by faulty overhead wires on the East Coast Main Line in the last few years.

In one case, we were delayed for about two hours and in the other, it didn’t affect me for long, as I was in an InterCity 125, which drove through the problem.

I have lost my fifty pounds, as you take the risk with an Advance Ticket.

Conclusion

The electrification on the East Coast Main Line seems to be built and maintained by morons.

Next time, I take the train on the East Coast Main Line, I’ll check trains are running before buying a ticket.

 

 

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 12 Comments

Seven Sisters Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Seven Sisters station is on the list.

These pictures show the current station.

It is a nightmare.

  • There are two London Overground platforms on a viaduct and three deep-level ictoria Line platforms.
  • The Overground platforms are accessed by stairs although there is one up escalator and provision was made for another, although it was never installed.
  • The Victoria Line station is double-ended with escalators and steps which must be negotiated by all passengers.
  • Rabbits would probably feel at home in the warren of tunnels of the Underground station.
  • The three subway entrances on Tottenham High Road all have just steep steps.

If ever there was a station designed by a committee of bean counters, with no children or disabilities and rail experience, it is Seven Sisters station.

Extra Pressures

Other factors will come into play in the next few years.

Tottenham Hotspur

As Seven Sisters station is the nearest Underground station to the ground, a lot of supporters walk to matches and other events along Tottenham High Road.

White Hart Lane station is being rebuilt, with increased capacity and full step-free access, so hopefully, passengers on match days at Seven Sisters station will decrease.

But the obvious route to the ground from Euston is probably to take the Victoria Line and walk from Seven Sisters station.

With the new station at White Hart Lane, there may even be an increase in interchange passengers at Seven Sisters station.

Crossrail

In any London railway scheme, Crossrail is the elephant in the room.

Will passengers between Tottenham and Enfield and the West End and Heathrow take the Overground to and from Liverpool Street and then use Crossrail?

For many passengers with limited movement, it could be a better route to avoid Seven Sisters station.

New Trains On The Overground

Hopefully, new Class 710 trains will start to arrive on the Overground this year.

As all new trains do, these will increase the number of passengers through Seven Sisters station, especially as the trains may have a much larger capacity, than the existing Class 315 trains.

Extra Services On The Overground

Transport for London are planning to add extra services through Seven Sisters, which will surely bring more passengers wanting to interchange with the Victoria Line.

Increased Frequency On The Victoria Line

The Victoria Line currently runs at thirty-six trains per hour (tph) all day, with trains running between Walthamstow Central and Brixton stations.

I am sure that the line’s engineers would love to squeeze the magic forty tph out of the line, but the capacity of some stations couldn’t handle the extra passengers.

But one way or another, more passengers will be squeezed into Dear Old Vicky and as she always does, she will deliver and more passengers will want to interchange at Seven Sisters station.

Services Between Seven Sisters And Stratford Stations

The track exists to run services between Lower Edmonton and Statford stations, via Seven Sisters, South Tottenham and Lea Bridge stations.

With all the new housing being built in the area, I feel this could be valuable addition to London’s railways.

As South Tottenham and Lea Bridge stations have step-free access, this might be an improvement that takes pressure from Seven Sisters station, by giving passengers a new route to Crossrail.

Improving Access At Seven Sisters Station

It is obvious, that passenger numbers wil be increasing at Seven Sisters station will be increasing and there will also be a substantial increase in passengers wanting to change between the Overground and the Victoria Line.

So what can be done to solve the various problems?

The Tottenham High Road Subway Entrances

These really only give access to the Victoria Line via an escalator.

Lifts tom the subway could be provided, but that would just get passengers to and from the gate-line. After the gate-line, it is just escalators to the platforms with some steps thrown in for good measure.

Victoria Line Platforms

If you were pushing a buggy or in a wheelchair, your best route to the Underground is probably to take a bus from outside the station in Tottenham High Road to Tottenham Hale station and use the step-free access there, which in a couple of months will also apply to the trains as well.

I doubt we’ll see much improvement to the Underground station, until Crossrail 2 is built, which will probably be in the 2050s.

Overground Platforms

There is a side entrance on Seven Sisters Road, that was probably the original entrance to the station.

Making this route to the Overground platforms step-free, is probably the best way to at least do something positive, as regards step-free access at the station.

It could also be relatively easy to put an escalator on the Londonj-bound platform, where there are two parallel staircases.

Conclusion

This is a very important station, that needs to be made step-free.

But it will be very difficult.

 

 

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tottenham Hale Station – 20th May 2019

I took these pictures today at Tottenham Hale station.

The new station is still a shortish time away.

The bridge and Meridian Water station should have opened today.

But as you can see, they didn’t!

 

 

May 20, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The First Norwich To London Service In Ninety Minutes

These pictures show the arrival of the first Norwich-in-Ninety service in Liverpool Street

Looking at Real Time Trains, it appears the train left Norwich at 0900 and arrived in Liverpool Street at 1030.

Normal services take three or four minutes under two hours, so ninety minutes with a Class 90 locomotive, eight Mark 3 coaches and a driving van trailer isn’t bad!

May 20, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Is This One Of The Best Platform Access Routes In Europe?

I have been to some large and grand stations in Europe like Amsterdam Centraal, Berlin Hbf, Leizig Hbf and Milan Centrale.

But I have yet to visit a station, where a subsidiary group of platforms have such a spectacular two-level approach.

I took these pictures as I walked from the main concourse to the underground gates, leading to the escalators, that take passengers to and from the middle of the platforms.

It should be noted, that the concourse ends of the platforms can also be accessed using a bridge from the concourse. This bridge can be seen over the orchestra pit.

This wide tunnel has been designed to handle just five platforms 20-24.

This article on Rail Engineer is entitled New Platforms At London Waterloo.

The articles states these facts and objectives.

  • The platforms will be shortened by a hundred metres.
  • Each platform will be able to handle a twelve-car train.

South Western Railway‘s new ten-car Class 701 trains have a capacity of 600 passengers.

As the platforms will handle twenty tph,, this means that a total of 12,000 passengers could arrive in every peak hour, but with two gate-lines on separate levels and various routes to either the Underground or walking out of the station, it appears to be designed to cope.

The access would even cope if because of some important event there was a substantial amount of travellers going the opposite way to the commuters.

In the future, the arrangement would mean that each platform could be divided into two; 20A and 20B etc.

  • Passengers for the far train could use both routes, but would probably use the tunnel.
  • Passengers for the near train, would probably use the bridge.

Busby Berkeley has been hired to get the choreography right.

Conclusion

Very large traveller flows have met their Waterloo.

May 20, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

Promoting The Highland Main Line

On Wednesday, the Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership were in Kings Cross station promoting the Highland Main Line as a tourism destination.

I very much agree with the Partnership’s objective of encouraging more visitorsto the Scottish Highlands.

The Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership Web Site

The Partnership were giving out an excellent brochure brochure which documents the wide range of attractions along the line between Perth and Inverness.

The Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership web site has an on-line copy of the brochure.

The web site is also a valuable resource about the line and the area.

An Improving Domestic Rail Service

There is an approximately two-hourly service between Perth and Inverness and it is planned that this will be improved in the next couple of years.

  • Reducing journey times is an objective.
  • An hourly service is also an objective.
  • Inter7City trains, which are shortened, refurbished and modernised InterCity 125 trains will be introduced.

This service will enable visitors to base themselves close to one of the stations along the line and use the trains to visit other places.

Azumas To Inverness

LNER currently run InterCity 125 trains between London and Inverness

  • There is a single service each day in both directions.
  • The Northbound train leaves London at midday.
  • The Southbound train leaves Inverness just before eight in the morning.
  • The journey currently takes around eight hours.
  • The trains stop at all stations between Perth and Inverness.

The service needs two trains to run one train per day in both directions.

LNER have just launched the new Class 800 trains, which they are marketing as Azumas.

My observations show that Azumas could save between thirty and sixty minutes on the trip.

The following improvements will all help.

  • Improvements to the Highland Main Line.
  • Steo-free access between train and platform at all stations.
  • Faster acceleration and deceleration at all stops.
  • Electrification to Stirling and possibly as far as Perth.
  • As digital signalling is introduced South of Edinburgh, speeds of up to 140 mph could be possible.

Many of these improvements are currently planned and most will be completed by 2024.

This video was one I made travelling in the cab of an InterCity 125.

Will LNER invite to take one from an Azuma?

The Possibility Of Extra Services

The journey time between London and Inverness will surely get shorter in the next few years.

If say it was seven hours, then allowing an hour for cleaning, loading supplies and refuelling in Inverness would mean that a round trip from London would take fifteen hours.

  • A train leaving Kings Cross station at 07:00 would arrive in Inverness at 14:00.
  • The return journey would leave at 15:00 and be in London by 22:00.
  • A second service could start in Inverness and mirror the service starting in London.

The service would need two trains.

So it appears that by saving time on the journey, the possibility of extra services is opened up.

The Improved Sleeper Service

I have taken the current Caledonian Sleeper to Inverness and it is a spectacular ride through the Highlands in the early morning.

But the elderly trains are being replaced and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot more passengers decide to  use the sleeper to the Highlands.

Over the last few years, the Austrians, the Swedes and the Scots have all ordered new rolling stock for their sleeper trains and I believe that we’ll see a revival in this form of transport, throughout Europe.

A Caithness To Edinburgh Sleeper

This has been proposed and I wrote about it in Rail Sleeper Plan Between Caithness And Edinburgh.

This was my conclusion.

I feel that not next year, but once Scotland’s rail system is fully developed, with the shortened Inter-City 125s serving the longer routes and electric trains all over the Central Belt, that a Sleeper Train between Edinburgh and Thurso will be viable.

The proposed increase in capacity between London and Edinburgh, probably adds to the viability.

Sleeper One Way And Azuma The Other

I can see this becoming a popular way to visit Scotland.

  • It will be new trains both ways.
  • Both trains stop at all stations between Perth and Inverness.
  • The price of a sleeper ticket compares well with the cost of a reasonable hotel.

The combinations are many and varied.

Cycling

Cycling holidays seem to be increasing everywhere and Scotland is no exception.

On the West Highland Line between Gl;asgow and Oban, passengers with cycles are increasing in number, so Scotrail are converting redundant Class 153 trains into multi-purpose carriages to add capacity to the trains.

On the Highland Main Line, for those, who want to explore the area on their bicycles, the Inter7City trains should be able to provide enough space for bicycles in the back of the two Class 43 locomotives.

Conclusion

The more I look at the Highland Main Line, the more I think it has a rosy future.

All it needs to seal its future is a visit from Michael Portillo and his camera crew.

 

May 18, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Research Shows UK Capital Is Europe’s Most Connected Business Hub

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Conference And Meetings World.

Crossrail and Brexit aren’t even mentioned. So we must be doing something right!

But then I always believe that London is the Capital of the World!

May 18, 2019 Posted by | Business, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Funding Secured For New Entrance At Stratford Tube Station

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

The new entrance will give those coming from the Carpenters Estate direct access to Stratford station.

This Google Map shows the South East section of the station.

The main station building has the two station symbols on the top and the Jubilee Line platforms run Southwards from the building.

It would appear that the new entrance will be close to the Southernmost corner of the station building in a staff car park.

Knowing the station well, I suspect it will be a very useful new entrance for both residents and visitors to the Olympic Park.

It will make it easier to avoid the clutches of Eastfield.

The only details on the cost of the scheme is this sentence from Ian’s article.

Newham council has agreed to contribute £1 million to the scheme, which is being funded from its Community Infrastructure Levy.

As it incorporates some extra lifts in the station, the scheme is probably going to be more than a million pound one, but the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) is involved, I suspect that everything is securely funded.

Should There Be Other Small Schemes Like This?

At Shepherd’s Bush station on the Overground, in 2015, a new entrance was built to give better access to Westfield. It is not very busy during the day, but I suspect that workers at Westfield use it more than shopper. Wikipedia says it cost £1.35 million, so I should think that the Stratford scheme wouldn’t cost a great deal more.

I believe there are other places, where extra entrances could be built.

Simple Ungated Entrances

Entrances don’t have to be grand, as I showed in An Ungated Entrance Used To Create Step-Free Access At Crofton Park Station.

These two entrances are just a hole in the station fence, Oyster readers and a bit of tarmac. There must be other places, where these entrances can be installed.

An Entrance At Hackney Central Station Into Graham Road

In It Looks Like The Hackney Downs/Central Link Is Ready To Open, I also talk in detail about adding a Southern entrance to Hackney Central station, that would lead directly into Graham Road. Eith a pedestrian crossing and changes to the bus stops, it would be a very useful step-free entrance for those living between the centres of Hackney and Dalston.

A Second Entrance At Highbury & Islington Station

In Could We Create A Second Entrance To The Overground At Highbury And Islington Station?, I investigated creating a West-facing entrance at Highbury & Islington station, that would improve access for those going to football.

Conclusion

I believe that a lot of stations can be improved, by adding extra entrances in convenient places.

It is probably easier to do in London’s Oyster/contactless card area, as a couple of readers can sort out ticketing.

 

May 18, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 3 Comments