The Anonymous Widower

Uncovering The Past On Thameslink

The definition of archaeology according to the Oxford English Dictionary is.

The study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains.

So perhaps calling digging up an old nineteenth century station is stretching the definition a bit far.

But this report on the BBC web site about the uncovering of the disused Southwark Park station is fascinating none-the-less. This is an extract from the report.

The station was discovered as engineers constructed the Bermondsey Dive Under, which will see two Victorian viaducts partially-demolished and rebuilt to allow trains from south east London and Kent to dive down, under a new route carrying Thameslink services from Croydon.

There’s more here on the Ian Visits site and here on the Thameslink web site. This is a Google Earth image of the area.

Bermondsey Dive-Under

Bermondsey Dive-Under

Note The New Den, which is Millwall’s ground and SELCHP incinerator to its right. The image highlights the complicated nature of the lines into London Bridge station. The line that runs between the football ground and the incinerator in a south-easterly direction is the Thameslink line between London Bridge and New Cross Gate. The smaller line that crosses this line at right angles is the Overground line between Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction.

Where this Overground line crosses Surrey Canal Road just off the bottom of this image, construction should start on the new New Bermondsey station later this year.

Southwark Park station was under the tracks , where Rotherhithe New Road crosses underneath.


April 20, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Similar But Different!

London and Paris are rival cities and their two transport networks share some of the same characteristics.

But there are differences. The Paris metro was designed as a whole and was deliberately built with close stations, in a grid that covered the centre of the city. For political reasons, it was also built mainly in the city centre. This gives it various strengths and weaknesses that are different to London’s.

As a regular visitor to Paris, I’ve only ever used a bus once, whereas in the centre of London, I use them all the time. Is this because the Metro covers the centre in a denser manner than the London Underground does or is it because London’s buses have an unequalled bus information and mapping system.

In recent years, London has been building Crossrail and Thameslink, which are its version of the Paris RER and London has also developed a collection of run-down railways into the vaguely-circular London Overground. One of the aims of this railway, was to avoid going into the centre and out again, when you needed to go around the city.

So now Paris is developing the similarly laid-out Grand Paris Express, with similar aims. The layout is shown in this map.

Grand Paris Express

Grand Paris Express

But there are differences. Whereas London has used full-size trains on existing railways with stations about two minutes apart, Paris is using smaller Metro sized trains calling at frequent stations and new tunnels and tracks will be constructed.

It’s a case of you pays your money and you makes your choice!

I think the only certainty, is that Paris’s ring Metro, will cost a lot more to build than it did to build London’s ring Overground. This article on Property Investor Europe says that the Grand Paris Express will cost ten billion more than the original estimate of twenty billion euro. That’s twice as much as London’s Crossrail!

The construction will also be a lot more disruptive, as new tunnels, stations and lines are built.

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

The Two Big Election Issues The Politicians Aren’t Addressing

The tragedy unfolding off the Libya coast, where hundreds are dying every day as they try to get to Europe is impossible to solve.

We can’t say it’s an Italian problem and put our heads in the sand, as most politicians seem to be doing. Especially, as it seems most of the migrants want to get to Northern Europe and often the UK, where the jobs are.

Suppose we just said that none of these migrants would be let into the UK, as probably the Ukippers would say. How long would it be before the rest of Europe applied policies to get us to accept our fair share?

If on the other hand, we took a selective number, then this would signal to those organising the trade, that there was a good chance you may get residence in the UK.

I haven’t a clue what you do! And neither have the politicians!

I do have some sympathy though for the migrants as three hundred years ago, my two closest male lines; one Jewish and one Huguenot, were welcomed in this country, after escaping from persecution. One was probably a tailor and the other was an engraver, so all they brought was their brains and skills. I don’t know about the Huguenot, but the Jew was probably single and converted to Christianity within a few years, so he could find a lady and get married. My two close female lines are both internal migrants from Devon and Northants. London has always been a magnet for migrants, so nothing has changed.

There is also the problem of Greece going bust, which could happen before our General Election.

It could be argued that it is nothing to do with us, as we’re outside the Euro zone!

But then we have a strong economy and a country where there are a lot of Greeks.

Certainly, if I was a Greek engineer living in Athens with a cousin in London, my savings would have been long gone.

I do wonder how much of the Greek bailout money ended up safely invested outside of Greece.

So we may not lose money, but we are probably going to suffer some collateral damage. Especially, if the various financial institutions want their money back!

It will not be as serious a problem as the Libyan migrants, but where are the politicians heads on this one?

Deep in the sand!

April 20, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , , | 1 Comment

The West Midland’s Transport Map

I snipped this off the Network West Midlands web site.

West Midlands Transport Map

West Midlands Transport Map

Will it ever be as recognisable as the London map?

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment