The Anonymous Widower

York Potash Haven’t Wasted Much Time

This article in the Teeside Gazette is entitled York Potash jobs: How to apply at massive project expected to employ more than 1,000. The first paragraph is.

York Potash project boss pledge: ‘If we can employ every single one of our team from the local area – then we will’

In my book a thousand jobs is good news, so why is only the local paper reporting it?

October 22, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Progress On The Great Western Main Line – 22nd October 2015

On my way out from Paddington to Greenford to see the new inclined lift, I took these pictures.

As reported in a lot of news media, progress doesn’t seem to be to fast.

October 22, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The Inclined Lift In An Improved Greenford Station

I visited Greenford station in January 2012, just after Transport for London announced that the last wooden escalator would be replaced with an inclined lift.

The lift has now been installed.

I rode down and then used the escalator up.

It is impressive and you do wonder how many other stations could have this type of lift installed.

This article on the Crossrail web site, entitled Crossrail and TfL to Install First Incline Lifts in UK Public Transport, says this.

Crossrail and Transport for London (TfL) today awarded a major contract to Kone for around 50 lifts for the new Crossrail stations as well as five lifts for Bank, Greenford and Hammersmith Tube stations.

Crossrail will pioneer the use of incline lifts to deliver step-free access at two of the major central London stations. Four innovative incline lifts will run alongside escalators at Farringdon and Liverpool Street Crossrail stations where it is not possible to install vertical lifts. London Underground will also install an incline lift at Greenford station by 2014.

My gateway to the Victoria Line; Highbury and Islington could be a possibility, but one of the station staff told me, that the space at the bottom of the current set of two escalators and a fixed staircase is very small and fitting a third escalator is impossible.

But it might be possible to squeeze in a much needed inclined lift. Note that the lift doesn’t intrude into the circulation space at the top and bottom of the stairs.

I suspect that Transport for London will be watching the Greenford installation with more than a usual interest.

They’ve certainly got several stations with both an up and down escalator and a stairway between that could be possibilities for conversion to fully step-free by the use of an inclined lift.

The station I could have used more times than any other; Southgate has the required space between the escalators, but as it is a Grade 2* Listed building, I can’t see the heritage lobby allowing even a well-designed and tasteful inclined lift into the Jewel of the Piccadilly Line.

But Bounds Green, Manor House, Turnpike Lane, Walthamstow Central and Wood Green could be ones to upgrade.

October 22, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 4 Comments

From Hull To Sheffield

I escaped from Hull on a train to Sheffield, as on my walk across the city from my hotel to the station, I didn’t pass one welcoming looking cafe or a suitable shop to buy my copy of The Times. I did finally find a cafe in the station called the London Way Cafe, but I’d already bought my ticket and didn’t fancy waiting an hour and a half for the train after the one I was catching.

The route to Sheffield via Goole and Doncaster is across very flat country as the pictures show.

Can I come to any conclusions?

  • I think the last time, I did this journey it was in a dreaded Pacer, but this time it was a clean Class 158 train. So some things are getting better!
  • Part of Hull station has been turned into a bus station, which is properly integrated with the trains.
  • The signposting in the station to local attractions like The Deep and the KC Stadium can’t even be judged on quality, as there isn’t any.

Much of the line is the Hull to Doncaster branch, which effectively connect the two TransPennine routes into Hull and Cleethorpes at Gilberdyke and Thorne. It is not electrified, but given the fact that Doncaster is and Sheffield could be in a few years, this line would be ideal for IPEMUs running a possible half-hourly electric service between Hull and Sheffield via Doncaster.

At present Hull trains from London take two hours thirty minutes for a direct run via Selby and if you change at Doncaster it takes a few minutes under three hours using Virgin East Coast.

So perhaps if the Sheffield to Hull service is improved using IPEMUs and a bit of selective electrification is installed from say Doncaster to Thorne or in Hull station, the service from London with a change at Doncaster could be reduced to almost the two and half hours using the direct train.

But if IPEMUs can do Doncaster to Hull, then surely Hull Trains could use them on the Doncaster route to go to Hull as an all-electric alternative. They could still serve Brough, but Selby would need to use that route.

This simple exercise shows how IPEMUs could change the rail landscape of the UK.


October 22, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Any Dutch Station By Eurostar From London

I complained to Eurostar about the lack of this ticket after my last trip to The Hague.

I got this reply.

Good morning,

although we currently don’t offer a ticket to “Any Dutch Station” on our UK website this product is available through our call centre on 0844 848 5848.   Please specify when booking that you don’t require the “Thalys” trains and that you will be using regular “Classic” trains onwards from, and back to, Brussels, and they will be able to booking the ticket for you.

Although this product was withdrawn from our website around the time that the High Speed link was introduced the position regarding the sale of this ticket on our website is under review.  In the meantime, though, please ring our contact centre who are open 0800 to 1900 on Mondays to Fridays and 0900 to 1700 on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Not perfect, but it looks like they’re on the case.

October 22, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment