The Anonymous Widower

Did The Project Management Go Wrong On The Holloway Road Bridge?

It was originally planned that the bridge decking where Holloway Road crosses the Gospel Oak to Barking Line at Upper Holloway station would be replaced over Christmas this year.

But plans were obviously changed.

This article in the Islington Gazette is entitled Holloway Road closures: Islington Council threatens to sue TfL over ‘last-minute’ plans.

This is said.

TfL says work to transfer underground pipes and cables from the old bridge to another specially-made bridge has proved problematic because of their “complex layout, poor condition and a leaking water main”.

But Cllr Webbe was having none of it. She said: “This section of Holloway Road will be closed in at least one direction for nearly three months, including over half term, Christmas and New Year.

It looks like the water main is the problem and perhaps this didn’t show up until they started to move everything.

But whatever the problem was, it looks to me like there has been a cock-up by someone.

I took these pictures of the area today.

I walked down from Archway station and then caught a free bus to Holloway Road. At least TfL had got the buses right.

But except for the road from Archway to Kentish Town, which was blocked solid, the traffic levels were very low.


October 24, 2016 Posted by | Travel, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ducking And Diving Between Crossrail And The Central Line

There are stations that Crossrail and the Central Line have in common.

Ealing Broadway

Ealing Broadway station is one of the Western termini of the Central Line.

But is isn’t particularly well arranged to allow a fast interchange.

The change between an Eastbound Crossrail train and the Central Line is easy and is just a walk across of a few metres.

However, changing between a Westbound train and the Central Line involves a trip over a bridge.

Bond Street

Bond Street station links both lines to the Jubilee Line.

The change between Crossrail and the Jubilee Line looks to be easy, provided you are at the Western end of a Crossrail train.

The change between Crossrail and the Central Line, also has the Western end advice and also needs a lengththy walk underground.

A Look At Bond Street Station gives more details, of the various connections.

I do think that regular users of the new Bond Street station, with its three lines and multiple entrances spread over a wide area, will quickly learn that they will need to get off at the right end of a train and use the correct entrance.


This map from Westminster Council shows the station entrances.

Bond Street Station Entrances

Bond Street Station Entrances

The station entrances are as follows.

  • A – Northern Underground entrance.
  • B – Davies Street Crossrail entrance
  • C – Hanover Square Crossrail entrance.

A few thoughts.


  • As it looks like Hanover Square will be returned to its original state, it would appear that the Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station, will be an entrance with a garden.
  • Fenwicks, Hamleys, John Lewis and Libertys, which are in a ring around Hanover Square will probably be best reached using the Hanover Square entrance.
  • Walking between Oxford Street station and the Hanover Square entrance isn’t too taxing, but it could be improved by wider pavements and more pedestrianisation.

The biggest change at the Eastern end will occur, when and if TfL decide to make Oxford Street station step-free.

This map from shows the various lines from Bond Street to Tottenham Court Road.

Bond Street, Oxford Street And Tottenham Court Road Stations

Bond Street, Oxford Street And Tottenham Court Road Stations

It would appear that the Bakerloo Line goes under Regent Street with the Central Line under Oxford Street.


  • Could it be possible to dig a new entrance, with lifts and escalators down to the deep level lines from the South West corner of Oxford Circus?
  • It it was feasible, it might even be possible to build the entrance, without disturbing the current station.
  • The entrance would be a short walk to Hanover Square.
  • Crossrail would gain the missing link to the Victoria Line.

The solution will depend heavily on the development in the area.

Tottenham Court Road

A lot of what is said for Bond Street, can also be said for Tottenham Court Road station..

  • It is a double-ended station, with lots of entrances.
  • It connects Crossrail and the Central Line to an important North-South line; the Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line.
  • It will bring hoards of shoppers to a hopefully pedestrianised Oxford Street.

I said more in The Double-Ended Tottenham Court Road Crossrail Station.

I’m not sure how difficult the interchange will be between the Crossrail and the Central Line will be at Tottenham Court Road, but I suspect that the unknowledgeable traveller, at the wrong end of a Crossrail train, might have a long walk.

Certainly, travellers changing to the Northern Line at Tottenham Court Road, will probably find they need to be at the Eastern end of the Crossrail train.

Liverpool Street

Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations share a  massive Crossrail station, that I wrote about in Liverpool Street Station Disentagled.

When travelling on Crossrail and changing at this station, you’ll need the Western end of the train for.

  • Moorgate Main Line Trains, which will become the Great Northern Metro.
  • Northern Line

And the Eastern end for.

  • Central Line
  • Liverpool Street Main Line Trains

It would appear, that Circle, District and Metropolitan Lines will be easily accessible from both ends of the Crossrail train.

Get it wrong and you could have an unexpected two hundred metre walk.

This map from shows the layout of lines at Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations.

Lines At Moorgate And Liverpool Street Stations

Lines At Moorgate And Liverpool Street Stations

So many journeys from the complex will now be a lot easier.

  • Liverpool Street to Canary Wharf
  • Liverpool Street to Heathrow
  • Liverpool Street to North London and South Hertfordshire
  • Liverpool Street to South and South-East ~London.

Liverpool Street is going to be a very busy Crossrail station.


Stratford station is a cross-plstform interchange of the highest quality between the Central Line and Crossrail.

I’m certain that passengers travelling from the East to stations like Holborn, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch and Shepherds Bush, will think about changing at Stratford from Crossrail, rather than at later stations.

The journey might be more convenient and you might get a seat.

Journey Times

But the factor that will decide, where a Crossrail passenger will get the Central Line or vice-versa will probably be decided by journey time.

Looking at a journeys, the following times are predicted by the various  planning tools.

  • Ealing Broadway to Stratford – Central Line – 46 minutes – Crossrail – 26 minutes
  • Bond Street to Stratford – Central Line – 20 minutes – Crossrail – 15 minutes
  • Ealing Broadway to Bond Street – Central Line – 23 minutes – Crossrail – 11 minutes

So it looks like Crossrail will be significantly quicker.


I think that Londoners will do what always do and duck and dive across London, finding the best route for their particular journey.

The ones who will have problems will be the irregular passengers, who don’t know the station layouts.

For this reason, TfL need to get the information on Crossrail to a much higher standard than today.

One thing on their side will be that Crossrail trains will be wi-fi and 4G enabled.


October 24, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

A Look At Bond Street Station

Bond Street station is double-ended.

This visualisation shows the knitting that connects it to the current Bond Street station.


  • The station has two entrances; Davies Street and Hanover Square.
  • The length of the Crossrail platforms.
  • It looks like the Western interchange between Crossrail and Jubilee Line is easy.
  • It could be quite a walk between Crossrail and the Central Line at Davies Street.
  • If you’re a strong walker, some will use the H?anover Square entrance to access the Central and Victoria Lines.

On this quick look, I have a feeling that at Bond Street station, it will pay to know your entrances and make sure you’re at the right place on the train.


October 23, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

The Double-Ended Tottenham Court Road Crossrail Station

Tottenham Court Road station is being expanded for Crossrail.

I took these pictures as I walked along Oxford Street from Centrepoint to the new station entrance at Dean Street.


  • The two new triangular glass entrances in front of Centrepoint.
  • The new entrance on the corner of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, that I wrote about inThe Shape Of Things To Come.
  • The Dean Street entrance to Tottenham Court Road station surrounded by pink hoardings.

This visualisation shows the layout of the station.

Tottenham Court Road Station

Tottenham Court Road Station



It is shown from the South, with Centrepoint on the right.

I’ll only know when the station opens, but I do get the impression, that a lot of the walking routes between lines are step-free, unlike Oxford Circus station.

Where the Central and Northern Lines are shown, they are in appropriate colours and the thicker sections are the stations.


This map from shows the arrangement of the lines between Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road stations.

Bond Street, Oxford Street And Tottenham Court Road Stations

Bond Street, Oxford Street And Tottenham Court Road Stations

I Hope it makes everything clearer.


October 23, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , | 1 Comment

Heathrow Bid To Duck ‘£40m’ Crossrail Bill

This is the title of a small article in the Business section of today’s Sunday Times

Heathrow is annoyed that the Office of Rail and Road rejected their plan to charge every train that uses the line to the Airport, £597, with a maintenance charge of £138,

So they are going for a judicial review.

This is the last sentence of the article.

It (Heathrow) argues that it is unfair to make air passengers – who may never use Crossrail – subsidise the new line.


  • If passengers use Crossrail, this will mean they won’t have to pay the high prices on the expensive Heathrow Express, which only takes you to the inaccessible-for-many Paddington.
  • Crossrail will be the route of choice of many passengers to and from Heathrow. As an example, three out of four of my closest stations will be a single change via Crossrail to Heathrow.
  • When Crossrail opens, I suspect only unknowing and the rich will use Heathrow Express.
  • Did Crossrail pay for the new Stockley Viaduct, which will increase capacity on the route to Heathrow?
  • Many passengers, who have Freedom Passes (As I do!), won’t put Heathrow on their list of London Airports, unless they get free travel to the Airport on Crossrail. Boris promised it!
  • Will passengers be able to use contactless ticketing to Heathrow Airport, as they can to Gatwick?

With the decision on the next South East runway to be made this week, Heathrow seems to be reinforcing the view that many hold of the Airport – It operates in a selfish culture, that is more about profits, than passengers, the Airport’s many neighbours and the environment.


October 23, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Coventry’s Battery Boffin Taking On Tesla

This is the title on an article in the Business section of The Sunday Times.

Read it, but if you can’t here’s a quick summary.

  • Professor David Greenwood at the Warwick Manufacturing Group is developing a battery for Jaguar and Land Rover.
  • Plans are afoot to build a massive battery factory in Coventry.
  • Greenwood and his team are working to give the Nissan Leaf more range and a more affordable battery.

I don’t believe that the team in Coventry are the only group in the world with similar aims.

Note that in How Big Would The Batteries Need To Be On A Train For Regenerative Braking?, I reckoned that one battery from a Nissan Leaf could handle the regenerative braking energy of a four-car Class 710 train, running between Gospel Oak and Barking.

We are approaching the era of battery transportation at a fast pace.

October 23, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Threat Of UK Tax Cut Staves Off Hostile EU

This is the headline on an article in the Sunday Times, which suggests that the UK may cut corporate tax rates from 20% to 10% unless the EU grants the UK access to the single market.

I don’t know whether it is speculation on the paper’s part, but it does illustrate how Brexit means that it removes a whole set of rules from the UK Government.

It is an interesting suggestion!

I think it could have these effects.

  • Companies like Apple, Starbucks, Google and Amazon would look at the UK favourably.
  • If a company was spending fortunes on research, the UK would probably be more attractive, as if say they developed a world-beating drug, they wouldn’t pay as much tax on the large profits.

But I never heard it mentioned in the Referendum.

It probably shows how our politicians all think inside boxes and that those in Europe do even more so!

October 23, 2016 Posted by | Finance, World | , , | 2 Comments

The Gospel Oak To Barking Line Is Planned To Reopen On February 6th 2017

If you look at TfL’s excellent and very detailed Track Closures Six Months Look Ahead, it would appear that the Gospel Oak To Barking Line (GOBlin) will reopen on Monday, the sixth of February 2017.

After the fifth of February, there are no planned closures of the line, which could indicate, that TfL’s plan to return the Class 172 trains to the route is on track.

TfL have stated that there will be weekend closures to finish the electrification before new Class 710 trains are delivered in a couple of years.

So that looks like in fifteen weeks, there should be a restored passenger service on the line.

Why can’t Network Rail be as open and honest with plans as Transport for London?

October 23, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Timetable Updates At West Ealing

I’ve just been looking at the National Rail Journey Planner, and it appears that starting from January 9th 2016, to get between Greenford and Paddington, you’ll need to change at West Ealing station.

So this means that Platform 5 at West Ealing station will be opening after Christmas and the New Year.

But it also appears that the frequency of the shuttle on the Greenford Branch is still two trains per hour (tph).

This map from shows the layout of lines at West Ealing station.


Note the track to the new bay Platform 5, shown as a dotted line.

But note that if a train uses the bay platform, the track layout does not allow it to return to Greenford on the correct left-hand line as there is no cross-over.

This means that if two trains are working the shuttle, there is no way they could pass and it restricts the shuttle to 2 tph.

To get to the promised 4 tph, a cross-over needs to be installed.

As the current bridge at West Ealing station, is one of the worst disabled-unfriendly horrors in London, I suspect that until there is a decent bridge across the line, the shuttle will be restricted to 2 tph.

I think the only way, that they could start a 4 tph shuttle earlier, that wouldn’t cause problems will be, if the bridge is one that has already been assembled off-site and it will be lifted in during a convenient blockade.

October 23, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

The Evil Devices In Our Midst

I recommend that my readers, if there are any out there, read this article on the BBC, which is entitled ‘Smart’ home devices used as weapons in website attack.

It would appear that last Friday, that a company called Dyn suffered a denial of service attack. The attack and its effects is described in on Wikipedia.

The reasons behind the attack are still not clear and it could be in support for Wikileaks or in my mind just to prove it can be done.

But I doubt it will have any repercussions for the average John and Jenny, unless they want to buy something on eBay say!

To me, as someone who believes that in his day, he was a world-class programmer, I think that we haven’t seen anything like the end of evil minds working their wicked spells on the Internet.

Suppose you use an App to access your bank account or pay for your taxi on your phone.

How long before you’re sitting in a coffee shop, library or railway station, happily surfing the Internet and a message comes up on your phone, asking you to download the latest Taxi App say? Except that it won’t be!

You innocently download it and within minutes your bank account has been emptied or your credit card has been maxed out.

For that reason, I and other programmers I’ve spoken to, will never load an App that needs any financial information to my phone.

Any web site with your financial information, should only be accessed from a totally private connection.

We cannot be too careful.

When I started to use my American Express card for contactless payments, I noticed some strange payments without any recognisable name on my statement.

So I challenged them with Amex and they refunded them.

But they kept coming, until I realised that they were for a branch of a well-known store that had setup its tills wrongly.

In all this, Amex had been puzzled too and one of their security experts had talked to me. He told me that the level of fraud on contactless cards was less than they had expected, something which seems to have been confirmed by the lack of hard stories of fraud on contactless cards.

A policeman told me, that the limit of thirty pounds is not enough for the average card criminal, who like to deal in thirty thousand pounds a hit.

He also felt that as many contactless transactions are on CCTV, that intelligent criminals think they could be a Get Into Jail Quickly card.

As other more reliable payment methods like face recognition become more common, I feel that in the future, there will be no need to store any financial details on your phone, that can be hacked.

But until that happens, there will be no obvious financial details on my phone.

Certain details like passport number are hidden in the phone, in case of loss abroard.



October 23, 2016 Posted by | Computing, Finance | , , | Leave a comment