The Anonymous Widower

New Station Proposed For National Arboretum

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

It has been revealed that a new station is being proposed at Alrewas between Lichfield Trent Valley high level and Wichnor Junction, which is on the line linking Tamworth and Burton-on-Trent. The original station serving the village of Alrewas was closed in 1965, although the line remained open.

A new Alrewas station would serve the National Memorial Arboretum, which is visited by more than 300,000 people a year and stages 250 events, including services of remembrance. It includes a Railway Industry Memorial, which was unveiled in May 2012, and also a memorial commemorating the thousands of prisoners of war who were forced to work on the infamous Burma Railway in the Second World War.

I first wrote about this proposed station in Everybody Could Do Better For Rail In South Staffordshire.

Two totally unrelated events had happened.

  • I heard the exchange during Prime Minister’s Questions and Michael Fabricant was passionate about creating the rail service on the freight-only line to give passenger train access to the National Memorial Arboretum and Alrewas.
  • Burton were playing Manchester City in the League Cup, so the Police thought it would be a good idea to shut the M6. Nothing moved for hours and many Burton supporters missed the match.

Note.

  1. Quite frankly, it is a disgrace, that the National Memorial Arboretum, has been designed for most visitors to come by car.
  2. The M6 incident was caused by illegal immigrants stuffed into the back of a truck, but surely the Police reaction to shut the motorway for so long was over the top?
  3. I have been to Burton by train a couple of times and it is one of those places, you wouldn’t go to by train, unless it was absolutely essential.

It would appear that after a quick glance, Michael Fabricant’s proposal could be one of those ideas, that would benefit a lot of travellers.

These are a few thoughts on the new service.

Services To And From Burton-on-Trent Station

I said this about services to and from Burton-on-Trent in Everybody Could Do Better For Rail In South Staffordshire.

If you look at the train services from the town, you can go to faraway places like Glasgow and Plymouth, but services to practical local places like Lichfield, Stoke and Derby are rare. There used to be a service to London, but that was discontinued in 2008.

A regular service between Burton and Lichfield, running at a frequency of two trains per hour (tph) could connect at Lichfield to the following services.

  • Hourly services on the West Coast Main Line
  • Half-hourly services across Birmingham on the Cross-City Line.

If a decent service via Lichfield had existed, how many fans on that League Cup night, would have used the trains to get to Manchester?

Not many probably, as there would not have been a late train home, as is particularly common in The Midlands. Try getting back to London from Derby, Nottingham or Sheffield, after 21:30 for example!

I am certain, that with a station at Alrewas and a well-designed train service between Burton-on-Trent and Birmingham stations via Alrewas for the National Memorial Arboretum and Lichfield would be a positive addition to the transport system of the area.

Electrification Between Litchfield Tent Valley And Burton-on-Trent Stations

This map from Open Railway Map shows the track between Litchfield Tent Valley and Burton-on-Trent stations.

Note.

  1. Burton-on-Trent station is in the North-East corner of the map.
  2. Lichfield Trent Valley station is in the South-West corner of the map.
  3. Burton-on-Trent and Lichfield Trent Valley stations are probably less than fifteen miles apart.
  4. The orange line is the Burton-upon-Trent and Birmingham line via Tamworth.
  5. The yellow line is the Burton-upon-Trent and Birmingham line via Lichfield.

The National Memorial Arboretum is just South of the junction between the orange and yellow lines.

This second map from Open Railway Map shows this junction to a larger scale.

Note.

  1. The National Memorial Arboretum can be seen between the two tracks.
  2. The village of Alrewas and the site of the proposed Alrewas station are to the West of the arboretum.
  3. Central Rivers depot, where CrossCountry trains are serviced, is in the North-East corner of the map.
  4. I have found a twelve car formation of Class 220 trains running between Birmingham New Street station and Central Rivers depot.

There is electrification at Lichfield Trent Valley station as this picture shows.

This electrification could be extended as far as required.

I would extend the electrification all the way to Burton-on-Trent.

  • This would mean that the Class 730 trains used on the Cross-City Line could terminate at Burton-on-Trent station, rather than Lichfield Trent Valley station, after extra stops at Alrewas for the National Memorial Arboretum and possibly another new station at Barton-under-Needwood.
  • Excursion trains for the National Memorial Arboretum could be electric-hauled.
  • It would also mean that electric trains could reach Central Rivers depot under their own power.
  • It would probably require less than fifteen miles of double-track electrification.
  • I suspect that the West Coast Main Line electrification could provide enough power for the branch electrification to Burton-upon-Trent.

I doubt that this would be considered a major electrification scheme.

Electric Services Between Birmingham New Street And Leicester Stations Via Burton-on-Trent

Consider.

  • Leicester and Burton-on-Trent stations are under thirty miles apart on the Ivanhoe Line.
  • The Ivanhoe Line is an existing freight line, that could be opened to passenger trains.
  • Leicester is to be electrified in the Midland Main Line electrification.

A battery-electric service could be run between Birmingham New Street and Leicester stations via Burton-on-Trent, Alrewas and Lichfield Trent Valley stations.

It should also be noted that East Midlands Railway run a service between Lincoln and Leicester.

  • Nottingham and Leicester will probably electrified with the rest of the Midland Main Line.
  • Only thirty-four miles of the route between Leicester and Lincoln is not electrified.

If it were felt to be needed, a battery-electric service could be run between Birmingham New Street and Lincoln stations.

Heritage Rail Excursions To The National Memorial Arboretum

Type “Coach Trips To The National Memorial Arboretum” and you get a good selection of trips from all over the UK.

I believe that the National Memorial Arboretum, would make the ideal destination for steam- or diesel-hauled heritage rail excursions with all the trimmings.

  • They could even be hauled by a Class 90 electric locomotive, dating from the late 1980s, if the route between Alrewas and Lichfield were to be electrified.
  • Rakes of comfortable Mark III coaches could be used.
  • A long platform at Alrewas station would be needed, so that the maximum size of heritage train could be handled.
  • For steam locomotives, there may need to be a runround loop.

Track improvements at Lichfield Trent Valley station, may allow direct services from London.

This page on the West Midlands Rail Executive web site is entitled Steam Engine Rolls Into Moor Street Station To Launch New Vintage Trains Partnership.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Historic steam engines are set to play a greater role in the region’s rail network following the signing of a ground-breaking new partnership.

The West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) has teamed up with Tyseley-based Vintage Trains in a bid to establish the Shakespeare Line as Britain’s premier mainline heritage railway.

Perhaps, it would be possible to run a heritage train like a short-formation InterCity 125 between Stratford-om-Avon and the National Memorial Arboretum.

Conclusion

Opening up of the Lichfield Trent Valley and Burton route to passenger trains opens up a lot of possibilities.

 

 

 

January 21, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Following The Barking Riverside Extension – 20th January 2022

I took this route at Barking Riverside.

  • Took a train from from Barking station to Dagenham Dock station.
  • Took an EL3 bus to Stern Close.
  • Walked to Barking Riverside station.
  • Took an EL1 bus to Ilford station.

These are the pictures I took.

It seems to be substantially finished and an Autumn 2022 opening should be possible.

January 21, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Gigafactory Gets A Financial Boost From abrdn

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

It looks like Britishvolt is limping towards the start line.

January 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy Storage, Transport/Travel | , | 1 Comment

Liverpool Shows The World How To Plan A New Station

Liverpool and Liverpudlians tend to do things differently.

This article on Liverpool Business News is entitled First Look At New Baltic Triangle Station.

This is the first paragraph.

St James station closed in 1917 but images and a video fly-through of a proposed new Merseyrail station to serve the fast-growing Baltic Triangle in Liverpool have been released – and you can help choose a name.

These are my thoughts about the new Liverpool St. James station.

The Video Fly-Through

Merseyrail produced a high-class video fly-through for Headbolt Lane station and it is my belief that these types of presentation are the best way to show everybody what the Transport Authority, Local and National Government are planning to deliver.

Note.

  • The station is very cycling-friendly.
  • The proposal includes a cafe and toilets.
  • There are escalators from the surface to the platforms.

My only fault with the video, is that it uses the old Class 508 trains, rather than the new Class 777 trains. But that is being picky!

The Station Name

Liverpool already has a station called Liverpool James Street station.

The UK also has seven railway stations with James in the name and the whole world has a total of twelve, which are listed in Wikipedia.

So to avoid any possible confusion, the three chosen names seem to be a good idea.

  • Liverpool Baltic
  • Liverpool Parliament Street
  • Liverpool Riverside

Cast your vote before February 18th  by clicking here.

I can’t remember a station name being chosen by an Internet vote.

At least a write-in name is not allowed, which should avoid a silly name like Station McStationFace.

Conclusion

Liverpool are to be congratulated on their planning exercise for the new station.

January 20, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Energy Storage Could Emerge As The Hottest Market Of 2022

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

A few years ago, battery energy storage began drawing attention as what one industry executive at the time called the Holy Grail of renewable energy. In the years since, EVs have stolen the spotlight but now battery storage is back, larger than life and, quite likely, twice as expensive.

I would wholeheartedly agree.

Although, I do think, that some of the major players over the next few years will not be based on lithium-ion batteries.

I have invested in Gravitricity and Rheenergise and would have invested in Highview Power, if I had had the chance.

My stockbroker has also invested some of my pension in energy storage and battery funds.

January 20, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance | , , , | Leave a comment

Does Anybody Know Of A Covid Travel Consultancy?

There are a few places in Europe, that I’d like to go for a couple of days.

I can book all the train tickets and hotels myself, but what I would like is someone to review my route for a fee and send me a pack of all the things I need to do and take.

Countries, I would like to visit include France, Germany, Hungary and The Netherlands.

January 19, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 4 Comments

Six Operators Award Joint Contract For Up To 504 Tram-Trains

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

These are the first three paragraphs.

A consortium of six German and Austrian transport bodies has awarded Stadler a framework contract for the supply and maintenance of up 504 tram-trains worth €4bn, the largest contract in the Swiss company’s history.

The VDV TramTrain framework contract was awarded on January 14 by Karlsruhe’s VBK and AVG, Saarbrücken’s Saarbahn Netz, Schiene Oberösterreich, the Land of Salzburg and Zweckverband Regional-Stadtbahn Neckar-Alb.

It includes a €1·7bn firm order for the supply of 246 Citylink tram-trains over 10 years from 2024, and the provision of 16 years of maintenance. There are options to order up to 258 more vehicles and to extend the maintenance to 32 years.

That will keep the factories running for a few years.

Note that all these Stadler Citylink tram-trains are similar to the Class 399 tram-trains, that run between Sheffield and Rotherham.

More Stadler Citylink tram-trains will start running in the next couple of years in Cardiff.

I can also envisage these tram-trains being used on the following projects in the UK, if they were to go ahead.

Note.

  1. Six are extensions to the Sheffield Supertram network.
  2. Three projects are extensions to the Manchester Metrolink.
  3. These are possible orders, that if the projects go ahead would likely have Stadler Citylink as the first choice of tram!
  4. All the tram-trains would be of a similar design.

How many other projects are under discussion in Europe?

Conclusion

Stadler have designed a tram-train that everybody likes and that generates orders.

I think Stadler will soon need to increase production of these Citylink tram-trains.

January 19, 2022 Posted by | Business, Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

Equipmake & Beulas Join Forces With Go-Ahead London: In-Service Trials Of New Double Deck Electric Bus To Begin Q1 2022

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release on the the Equipmake web site.

I was alerted to the bus by an item on BBC Breakfast this morning. It was before seven, so it should be easy to find on iPlayer.

These two paragraphs describe the bus.

Designed and developed in the UK, Equipmake’s Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) offers operators three modular battery pack options of up to 543kWh ­– the largest capacity battery of any two-axle double decker electric bus in the world. This delivers an unmatched electric driving range of up to 300 miles, which is more than sufficient to ensure the Jewel E can easily complete an entire duty cycle without the need to stop and recharge. Equipmake’s modular design enables operators the flexibility to scale the amount of battery throughout the life of a bus future-proofing it for a range of routes and distances.

The Jewel E is set to be manufactured in 2022 at an all-new facility in Norfolk. The vehicle body is produced by Beulas in Girona, Spain, a company with more than 87 years of experience in the sector. The vehicle chassis has been specifically designed for the Equipmake Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) by Agrale in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a leading truck and Bus chassis manufacturer established in 1962.

Apparently, there’s a lot of Formula One expertise in the design.

January 19, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

Lithium In A California Lake Could Help U.S. Gain Energy Autonomy

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

The ingredient crucial to electric car batteries is found in the brine of the Salton Sea, a once-busy recreation spot that fell into decay because of toxic runoff.

So where is the Salton Sea?

This Google Map shows the Salton Sea in the middle of the Californian desert.

It looks like a rather bleak hot place to me.

But if we can extract lithium out of little Cornwall, surely the Yanks can extract it from a dying lake.

January 19, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , | 4 Comments

Sunrise On Ravenstruther Rail Freight Terminal In Scotland

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

This is the opening paragraph.

The long awaited rebirth of Cloburn Quarry has been celebrated onsite. The former coal handling depot in South Lanarkshire has been inaugurated as a new aggregates terminal, serving the continued growth of the UK infrastructure and construction industry. The onsite quarry will supply materials, with the facility to handle both outbound and inbound loads.

It is a fascinating article, which explains how Cloburn Quarry has opened a rail terminal to supply its customers by rail.

This Google Map shows the Ravenstruther Rail Freight Terminal.

It is very simple being a horseshoe shaped double-track with a connection to the West Coast Main Line.

  • Trains would appear to be loaded and unloaded on the Western limb.
  • The railway line across the top of the map is the West Coast Main Line..
  • Glasgow is to the West with Carstairs station a few miles to the East.
  • Glasgow Central and Carstairs stations are 28.7 miles apart.

If the business grows there would appear to be plenty of space to expand.

This second Google Map shows the relationship of the Ravenstruther Rail Freight Terminal and Cloburn Quarry.

Note.

  1. In the top right corner of the map, the red symbol marks Carstairs station.
  2. It is possible to pick out the rail freight terminal to the South of the pink arrow making Kingdom Park Homes.
  3. Cloburn Quarry is the large brown-red scar in the bottom-right corner of the map.

It would appear that the quarry and the rail freight terminal must use heavy trucks along the A70 and A73 to move the aggregate between the two sites.

Operation Of The Quarry

According to the article, the quarry is a source of red granite, which can be used for dressing roads and rail ballast, which is distributed all over the UK and even to Europe.

Having a rail terminal on the West Coast Main Line, must be a big advantage.

As with the rail terminal at Penmaenmawr, which I wrote about in Penmaenmawr Quarry Rail Terminal Opens, this terminal will benefit with locomotive developments that should happen in future.

Both battery-electric and hydrogen-electric capable of using the electrification of the West Coast Main Line, would bring this freight terminal up a level in terms of zero-carbon operation.

It is also likely, that within a few years, there will be heavy eight-wheeler trucks and loading shovels powered by hydrogen to transport and load the aggregates.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment