The Anonymous Widower

Rumours Of Curves In Walthamstow

Last night, Lea Bridge station opened without ceremony, as I wrote in The People Of London Welcome Lea Bridge Station.

I got talking to someone, who knows a lot more about what will be happening to the railways in East London, than I do and when I asked about the Hall Farm Curve, they indicated it could be reinstated soon.

This map from carto.metro.Free.fr shows the lines North from Lea Bridge station.

Lines North Of Lea Bridge Station

Lines North Of Lea Bridge Station

The Hall Farm Curve  connects Lea Bridge and St. James Street stations.

My informant said the curve would probably be only single-track and signalled to allow trains to go both ways.

With my scheduling hat on, I do wonder if the curve would effectively connect spare capacity on the Northern end of the Chingford Branch to some spare capacity between Lea Bridge and Stratford stations. I think it is probably true to say, that North of Coppermill Junction, the West Anglia Main Line needs more capacity, so this sneaky way to Chingford doesn’t impact.

The limiting factor on the number of trains per hour between Chingford and Stratford would probably be platform capacity at the two ends of the route.

My informant also indicated that the Coppermill Curve could be rebuilt to allow trains to go between the West Anglia Main Line and the Chingford Branch Line.

This Google Map shows the area around Chingford station.

Chingford Station

Chingford Station

Note the extensive sidings by the station.

My informant said the main purpose of reinstating a double-track Coppermill Curve, would be to move empty trains to and from Chingford, rather than new passenger services.

But with the design stage of Crossrail 2 well underway, I do wonder, if connecting Chingford station and the related sidings to the West Anglia Main Line, might give Crossrail 2 better options to build the line or provide alternative services, whilst the West Anglia Main Line is rebuilt through the area.

It strikes me that the cost of doing both curves together would be less than only building the Hall Farm Curve and then finding that construction of Crossrail 2 needs the Coppermill Curve.

Related Posts

Improving The Chingford Branch Line

Could Electrification Be Removed From The Chingford Branch Line?

Could Reversing Sidings Be Used On The Chingford Branch Line?

Could The Hall Farm Curve Be Built Without Electrification?

Crossrail 2 And The Chingford Branch Line

New Stations On The Chingford Branch Line

Will Walthamstow Central Station On The Victoria Line Be Expanded?

Wikipedia – Chingford Branch Line

May 15, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 13 Comments

The People Of London Welcome Lea Bridge Station

In the absence of any visible presence of the great and good, this evening about a hundred of the people of London welcomed the first train into Lea Bridge station since 1985.

In fact two trains turned up together and the pictures show the greetings and my trip to Stratford and back again.

All the station needs now is the reopening of the Hall Farm Curve, so that services can be run between Chingford and Stratford via the stations between St. James Street and Highams Park.

I can see this becoming a very busy station in a developing part of London.

  • The Stratford to Angel Road station service is down to be improved as the big housing site at Meridian Water is developed.
  • A Chingford/Walthamstow to Stratford service must certainly happen if the Hall Farm Curve is built.
  • A Chingford/Walthamstow to Stratford service must surely take the pressure off the overcrowded Victoria Line and provide alternative routes to the Central Line and the current Chingford Branch.
  • Crossrail will push services to get more passengers to its station at Stratford.

For myself, I’d like to see a Stansted service at the station, as I’d just get a 56 bus to the station. But will the Airport want a service to Stratford, rather than an improved and faster service to Liverpool Street.

I might even use this station to get to Stratford, if a higher frequency of trains ran through the station to Stratford.

But who knows, where the good burghers of Waltham Forest and their politicians will push Transport for London after getting the most important and expensive improvement completed?

I think congratulations are very much in order for the successful completion of this station.

May 15, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , | 4 Comments

Would I Go Back To Croatia?

The answer has to be Yes!

If I went back for a few days, I think, I’d fly to one city before spending a few days there. I would then travel to another city, spend a few days there before flying home.

As airlines fly to Dubrovnik, Pula, Split, Zagreb and a few other places, there are a lot of choices of route.

My preferred route, might be.

  • Fly to Duibrovnik and spend 2-3 days.
  •  Take the ferry to Split and spend 2-3 days.
  • Take the train to Zagreb and spend a day before flying home.

There are certainly lots of possibilities.

My other recommendations would be.

  • Plan your trips in Dubrovnik the day before.
  • Stay in a hotel with a lift in Dubrovnik.
  • Stay in a hotel in Diocletian’s Palace in Split.
  • Take the train between Split and Zagreb in First Class in good weather.
  • If you’re coeliac like me, take plenty of snacks or eat fruit.

Plan the journey well and you’ll enjoy it.

May 15, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Gluten Free Food In Croatia

Croatia is not as easy as Poland, as that country and some others in Eastern Europe, who were under Soviet domination, developed skills to cook without flour, as it was expensive.

Croatian cooking seems to use a lot of flour and breadcrumbs, but then Serbia was and probably still is a massive produce of wheat.

But I found no problems in either Split or Dubrovnik, armed as I was with a gluten free restaurant card in Croatian. These are some pictures of the food I ate.

I even found some gluten-free beer from Aberdeen in a vegetarian restaurant called Nishta.

May 15, 2016 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , | 5 Comments

Brussels Station Has Got A Whole Lot Worse!

I think in future, if I have the choice of Eurostar terminals in Europe, I won’t be choosing Brussels!

I arrived in Brussels with about three hours to waste before my train to London left.

So I thought, I’d perhaps take a Metro train somewhere sensible and have coffee and breakfast. There’s nothing in the station that is gluten-free, so forget that one!

But they’ve changed the ticketing on the Metro and it looks like you need to use an Oyster-style ticket. I don’t do those sorts of things, as usually ou have to load a lot mopre money than the ticket and when you go back, you of course forget the card.

Why can’t these places allowed a contactless bankcard as a ticket like London?

So I thought, I’d go to the Tourist Office upstairs and complain! But that has been closed.

I tried the guy doing the train information for Belgian Railways and he couldn’t help. He also told me, he was fed up with the situation.

The Tourist Office is some distance away and you need to use the Metro.

So only go through Brussels, if you don’t want to use the Metro, get advice from the Tourist Office or eat something that is gluten-free.

I couldn’t even find a McDonalds, where I could buy some gluten-free chips.

If Brussels station is going to go downhill like this, the sooner, that Cologne is a Eurostar destination the better.

May 15, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , | 3 Comments

Disappointing Cologne

Cologne and its station disappointed me.

I was hungry and the hotel wasn’t exactly brimming with gluten-free food options. Or guests for that matter.

In fact, the whole city centre was dead.

Was everybody tucked up in bed watching the vEurovision Song Contest or because of the attacks in the city centre in the New Year, does everybody not go there any more.

In the end, I got supper in an Argentinian steak house, where the food was a lot better than the service.

In the morning, I didn’t have a ticket, so I arrived at the station a bit early, only to find that the machines didn’t seem to see the ticket I wanted and the ticket office wasn’t open.

It was a repeat of the customer service of the night before.

There are a couple of things to note in the pictures.

  • I had to go through all the rigmarole of getting a number to buy a ticket.
  • I had masses of paper for my ticket compared to what I get in the UK.
  • Comfortable seats were thin on the ground.
  • There was a smoking area on the platform.
  • Lots of trains seemed to be locomotive-hauled.

Eventually, I arrived in Brussels with plenty of time to spare.

But surely the biggest disappointment about Cologne is why the Germans haven’t developed it as a gateway for Cross-Channel passengers.

Consider.

  • Cologne has very good connections to major German cities like Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich, which are much better than those from Brussels or Paris.
  • A lot of visitors to Germany from the UK, may be going to Cologne anyway, so why force them to change trains in Brussels?
  • According to the Demographics of Cologne, the city has around a million inhabitants and is in a region of three million.
  • Cologne is about the same size as Birmingham, Glasgow or Liverpool/Manchester, so it could probably sustain a direct service.
  • If you need to waste an hour or so in Cologne, whilst changing trains, you are by the cathedral and the Rhine.
  • Cologne to London by train must be around four hours, which must be very competitive with flying.
  • A Sleeper train between London and Cologne would probably work. I’d use it!

I think the Germans can’t be bothered, as they’d have more passengers to cater for, who knew about customer service.

I know there’s the problem of Customs and Immigration, but if Deutsche Bahn were serious about running a service, I’m sure the problems are solvable.

I’ve been through small airports where excellent, efficient and probably very thorough systems had been setup to encourage traffic.

The problem could of course be the UK Border Force, who in my experience don’t seem to be the best in the world.

But then, the world needs to develop fast, efficient, automatic border checks, that I’m certain if we got right, would actually discourage illegal immigration.

As it is, we set up such weak checks, that they encourage criminals to encourage and fleece, those that might want to come to countries, where work might be available.

 

May 15, 2016 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , | 1 Comment