The Anonymous Widower

Whitechapel Station – 13th July 2015

A week ago, it looked like they were preparing to create the concrete retaining walls.

These pictures show the progress.

Whitechapel station seems to be coming on fast.

Note the following in the pictures.

1. The concourse between the two platforms of the District and Metropolitan Lines, which currently hosts a couple of cranes is starting to show its large size. I think that the escalators to the Crossrail platforms will be in the middle.

2. The emergency stairs from the Crossrail platforms.

3. It would appear there are bearing plates in the concrete retaining walls to perhaps support the walkway over the London Overground lines.

The next line closure through Whitechapel would appear to be on the 25th and 26th of July according to this Underground Planned Works Calendar. So take a look in the week of Monday the 27th of July. According to this list of Underground and Overground track closures, it looks like a busy weekend.

It’s fascinating being able to walk through a station being rebuilt around you.



July 13, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 2 Comments

Should We Link HS2 And HS1?

According to this article on the Global Rail News web site, there has been speculation over the weekend in the Press that there will be a direct link between HS1 and HS2.

There are two main reasons why the HS1 and HS2 should be directly linked.

Obviously, in a decade or so, it would be very nice to get on a train in Birmingham and then be in Paris or Brussels without changing trains in under three hours.

Within a decade, the amount of freight going between the Midlands, North and Scotland, and the Channel Tunnel and the ports in the Thames Estuary is going to have grown substantially! So if HS1 was connected to HS2 and the West Coast Main Line by a full-size tunnel, the freight trains could be diverted deep under London. This would free-up the North London and the Gospel Oak to Barking Lines for much-needed passenger services.

A few years ago, digging a full size tunnel between HS1 under Islington to say Old Oak Common would have been an immensely difficult project, but Crossrail and other tunnelling projects around the world have changed all that.

My insight into the minds of those who create these big projects, makes me think, that if HS1 and HS2 are linked directly, it will be used for other purposes.

But above all we must boldly go!

July 13, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Merkel Can And Thatcher Could Burn Midnight Oil

According to one reporter on the BBC this morning, Angela Merkel did her usual and kept going for many hours in the Greek debt negotiations.

I’ve also read reports, that Margaret Thatcher used to show the same stamina. In fact, she was awake working, when the Brighton Bomb went off.

Interestingly, they are both women with a scientific training!

July 13, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On Handrails

Transport for London and their various predecessors have always been very particular about handrails on stairs in stations and also on buses. Here’s some examples.

But are we that particular in our homes. I put this handrail on my stairs.

The Handrails On My Stairs

The Handrails On My Stairs


And I put extra hand holds in my bathroom.

A Handhold In My Shower

A Handhold In My Shower

I feel very strongly that when you fit rails and hand holds for safety reasons, that you should not have to pay VAT on the hardware and the work. Especially, if as in the case of the handrail on the stairs bloody Jerry should have put them in when he built the house.

My MP agrees and she has written to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury.

I suspect in the case of my professionally-designed and Sheffield-built handrail, the biggest objections to removing VAT will come from those snake oil-salesmen, who get the elderly and disabled to buy unnecessary stair-lifts.

An interesting point, is that probably quite a few premises that have to fit extra handrails and handhold are commercial premises, like offices, restaurants and shops, who of course would be registered for VAT.

July 13, 2015 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment