The Anonymous Widower

The Trains For Crossrail And Thameslink

London’s two new cross-town railways; Crossrail and Thameslink will both be fully opened around the end of this decade.

So it would seem logical that the two lines might share the same trains.

But it is not as simple as that!

All sorts of factors like delaying of projects, the slightly different natures of the two lines and the  decision of Siemens, who won the contract for the Thameslink trains, to withdraw from Crossrail, because of a lack of capacity, mean that we now have two separate train fleets; Class 700 for Thameslink and Class 345 for Crossrail.

Although separate train fleets, it does look that the design philosophy of the two trains is very similar. Take this paragraph from the specification issued by Crossrail for their Class 345 trains.

Wide through gangways between carriages, and ample space in the passenger saloons and around the doors, will reduce passenger congestion while allowing room for those with heavy luggage or pushchairs.

From what I have read here on First Capital Connect’s web site, the Class 700 might be very similar.

So it would seem that four of London’s important new train fleets will be walk-through. In addition to the Class 345 and Class 700, the Overground’s Class 378 and the Underground’s S Stock are build to similar principles, although the latter two trains, probably expect more standing passengers.

One advantage of these trains is that they can be designed to line up with the platform edge, as the Class 378 generally do, which enables a simple step across the gap into or out of the train. At some stations, like Willesden Junction, on the Overground, the alignment is bad and you certainly notice the difference. So I will hope that the two new train classes line up with the platforms! As on Crossrail and Thameslink most stations will only be served by one type of train, I suspect that it could be possible.

In my view, if we are to have a step-free railway, then all station-train interfaces, should be a simple step across.

Another advantage of this type of train, is that you can walk inside the train to less-crowded areas or perhaps to your preferred door for exit at your destination. I do this regularly, when I take the short hop from Highbury and Islington to Dalston Junction stations on the Overground, as I get in at the front and get out at the back, due to the layout of the two stations.

This walk-through capability will be essential for Crossrail, where the trains and platforms will be 200 metres long. One of Crossrail’s engineers told me, that she felt some people might not like the trains because of their length and the long walks in stations. I don’t think regular users will mind so much, as they’ll develop a strategy that works for their journey. But will a tourist dragging a heavy case going from say Heathrow to Bond Street, be so happy after walking a long distance to get out the station.

The various proposals for new deep-level Underground trains seem to have through gangways like this proposal from Siemens.

So is a de facto standard for train design emerging, where trains have through gangways, flat floors and wide doors with no-gap step-across access?

I think it is and it will be to the benefit of all rail users, including the disabled and those pushing buggies or dragging heavy cases.

Looking at the pictures I took of Siemens Underground proposal, it seems the design fits such a standard!

A secondary advantage of this design is that it should tighten up stopping time at stations, thus making it easier for trains to keep to schedules.

July 9, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Free’d Crispbread And Tiptree Marmelade

I used to eat a lot of Ryvita with a decent marmalade spread on it. So today, I tried some Tiptree Marmalade on some Free’d crispbread.

Free'd Crispbread And Tiptree Marmelade

Free’d Crispbread And Tiptree Marmelade

It was very nice, but it was just a little bit messy! So it should probably be eaten with a serviette handy!

July 9, 2014 Posted by | Food | | 4 Comments

Every Home Should Have One!

A few months ago, I bought a Le Creuset shallow casserole.

I use it all the time and last night, I used it to cook a chilli con carne.

It just seems to be the right size and shape for a double portion of everything.

The only problem, is that at times, it can be a devil to clean.

July 9, 2014 Posted by | Food | | Leave a comment

Va Va Froome

By chance I travelled yesterday on a DLR train bedecked with Va Va Froome for the Tour de France.

I’d actually seen it on the bridge as the cyclists passed underneath on Monday.

As the train went towards Canary Wharf, we passed another with Cavendish going the other way. I hope that one doesn’t have an accident.

July 9, 2014 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Two London Products

At the Allergy Show, I found two good gluten-free products; Glamour Puds and Free’d crispbread.

Both are new London companies.

Does this say that it is easier to start a business in London or there is more demand in London for gluten-free products, because of a possible large number of people going gluten-free for lifestyle rather than health reasons?

July 9, 2014 Posted by | Food | | Leave a comment

A Choice Of Biscuits

Well not really biscuits, but something to dip into hummus, cream cheese or act as a base for a snack.

A Choice Of Biscuits

A Choice Of Biscuits

I haven’t had a choice since I was diagnosed as a coeliac. Pre then, I used to like Ryvita with butter and marmalade on it.

Now I can try it again!

Both biscuits are delicious.

Obviously, the one on the left is from Marks and Spencer and the Free’d is available in the deli in the village. At present Free’d only seems to be available in London, although the product is made in the green hills of Derbyshire.

July 9, 2014 Posted by | Food | , | 1 Comment

An Aladdin’s Cave For Coeliacs

Marks and Spencer may have its problems, but the display for its gluten-free bread and cakes in Islington, is bigger than the whole gluten-free area in the Waitrose next door.

An Aladdin's Cave For Coeliacs

An Aladdin’s Cave For Coeliacs

I just bought a loaf and some cheese biscuits.

I have a feeling that despite the Islington M & S not being one of their bigger stores, I might find that in a few months time, I’ll go there first and then buy the things they don’t have in Waitrose.

I can only rarely buy clothes there, but I do use it as the delivery point from the web site. I don’t know about others, but I’ve had no problems with shopping on their web site.

July 9, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

They Run Out Of Letters

The Scree n on the Green, rarely misses a tick in its film information.

They Run Out Of Letters

They Run Out Of Letters

This is one of their best.

July 9, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment