The Anonymous Widower

Coal Is A Dangerous Fuel

There are dramatic pictures in Modern Railways of the landslip at Hatfield Colliery, which damaged the railway at Stainforth.

It just goes to show how dangerous coal is, as it seems to be capable of creating disasters.  Luckily this one didn’t cause any injuries or death.

There’s more about it here.

I believe that coal is just too dangerous to mine! It’s also a large producer of carbon dioxide and I would ban its burning worldwide.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , , | Leave a comment

It’s Common Sense To Build New Stations

Network Rail has announced a list of six stations it will probably build.  These are in addition to some already on the stocks like Cambridge Science Park and Coventry Arena.

I’m a great believer in adding stations at strategic points to existing lines, as often it is a sensible way to generate traffic and the corresponding revenue.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

An Alternative London End To HS2

This plan called Euston Cross, was first aired in the railway press and is a serious alternative to what is currently proposed. it’s described detail in this post in a blog.

I think it should be taken seriously, as it would appear to have a few cost advantages and it would require less demolition at Euston.

As an engineer, who helped to develop the methods and software to build large projects, I believe that we can’t ignore the lessons of the biggest and most intelligent beast in the jungle; Crossrail.

Crossrail is setting new records for tunnelling proficiency, depth under London and project management. But as we experienced in the North Sea Oil industry in the 1970s, today’s big machines are dwarves compared to what will be available in a few years.

So the idea of linking HS2 to HS1 by means of tunnels and an underground station might be easier, than anybody would dare think using today’s technology. It could also go a lot deeper and just as Crossrail is diving under the Underground, it could probably dive deeper still.


April 2, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Call For Thomas Heatherwick

I have just been re-reading the article in the April 2013 edition of Modern Railways, entitled Time for a fresh look at light rail.

The article says that if we are to get more tram systems in the UK, then they must be cheaper.  The writer argues that to be cheaper, they must be lighter and designed  without thinking too much of how you build a High Speed Train.

He also argues that they should be innovative in their collection of power, like the trams in Seville. I would go one stage further and use some kind of flywheel power storage, as proposed by Torotrak.

Perhaps now is the time to call for Thomas Heatherwick, to design a lightweight, virtually silent, stylish, high-capacity tram, that didn’t need to have overhead wiring all along its route. Seville has shown some of what can be done.  The team that successfully takes the next step, will create a revolution in trams.  And with luck make a fortune!

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Cruise and Duty Free

I never bother with duty-free, as I don’t smoke and don’t want to  carry heavy bottles of booze that I might break.  I did once drop a bottle of Bell’s on the floor at Dulles Airport in Washington. And it broke!

But when duty-free sales were announced on the Tannoy on Oriana, I was very surprised at the rush.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Why Have I Gone All Tidy?

It’s strange, but over the last week or so, I’ve started to tidy where I work, cook and sleep.

I was particularly tidy on the Oriana. As this post shows.

I’ve never done this at any other time in my life.

Perhaps, it’s because I’d like a girl-friend and I don’t want to invite them home to a load of chaos and mess.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , , | Leave a comment

Paolo Di Canio

I’m getting rather fed up, with all the discussion clogging up the air time on the radio.

Let’s face it Paolo Di Canio has been proven to have fascist sympathies and hiring  him was a big mistake from a marketing point of view.

Sunderland are now probably finding out what a mistake it was, in terms of revenue.

Like many other stories of recent months, it should be left alone, as everybody is bored with it.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Sport | | Leave a comment

A Survey From Marks and Spencer

I got a survey request apparently from Marks and Spencer this morning. If I entered the survey, I would have a chance to win a prize of £10,000 in my local store.

That sounded generous and as it would be difficult to spend that in the local store at either the Islington or Hackney stores, my spam filter kicked in with a strong positive.

I then saw that it was sent to my old e-mail address and not the one I normally use and it also came from an e-mail address that didn’t shout Marks and Spencer.

But it looked very genuine and professional and even had an unsubscribe link. I clicked that and got a feasible unsubscribe page.

But in Italian!

I have since phoned marks and Spencer and they will investigate.

The e-mail address it came from had clash and clnews8 in the address.

If you get any from these jokers, use the delete key.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Computing, World | , , | Leave a comment

Passing It On

I mentioned in this post, that my Aunt Gladys paid for our marriage licence, as I was totally skint, on condition that I passed it on.

Some years later in Ipswich in about 180, a young guy wrote to me asking for sponsorship for Operation Raleigh. I passed the loan from my Aunt on, adding a bit more, and I received a series of letters as he traversed the globe. I did say, that if he ever was a success to pass the loan on to another person, who’d make use of it.

then about seven or eight years ago, he found me on the Internet and said that the loan had been passed on again with the same conditions.

I should say, this is not the only chain I’ve started, but none have kept going so long.


April 2, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

The Stand Says It All

At Millwall yesterday, we sat in the North Stand and could see this on the top of the stand opposite.

The Stand Says It All

The Stand Says It All

Cold Blow Lane was the location and name of the old Den.

However, yesterday it would have been an ideal name for their current ground. Look at these flags on the East Stand.

Stiff Flags In A Cold East Wind

Stiff Flags In A Cold East Wind

They are standing out ram-rob straight right across the pitch due to the biting easterly wind.

If you look at the shape of the roof, it might even act like a wing and create all sorts of vortices and downdraughts.

Whatever though, the cold and wind ruined the match.

For a lot of the time, play was consistently in front of the West stand, as the ball was blown across, with long sequences of throws-in. Passing was awful on both sides and the match is summed up by the score, as no-one seemed to be able to get a decent shot on goal.

Ipswich nearly scored an unusual goal.  This is from the BBC report.

But Ipswich, themselves unbeaten in three games, came back into the match and nearly took a bizarre lead when Forde’s poor clearance fell to Hyam, whose 50-yard lob was headed clear by Millwall defender Mark Beevers.

Until, this point, Town were playing extremely badly and every clearance seemed to go to Millwall.

After the match, I talked to a couple of Millwall supporters. They said that they’d had several matches like this and this was the fourth goal-less draw. They all said that the pitch was rock hard, hence the watering at half-time.

Cricket may have Rain Stopped Play, but Millwall seem to have other weather related problems.

The match may have cost me only £17, but I would have enjoyed myself more if I gone to bed for the afternoon.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment