The Anonymous Widower

Manchester Metrolink Will Be Going To The Trafford Centre

According to this article on Global Rail News, the Manchester Metrolink has been given permission and funding to build the Trafford Park Line.

This is a map of the line.

Trafford Park Line

Trafford Park Line

It calls at these stops.


This Google Map shows Pomona tram stop.

Pmona Tram Stop

Pmona Tram Stop

The stop is at the far right and the rightmost bridge carries the tram over the water.

This second Google Map shows Note how the stop has been built to allow a junction with the Trafford Park Line.

Pomona Tram Stop In Detail

Pomona Tram Stop In Detail

The Trafford Park Line appears to continue along the edge of the water.


This Google Map shopws the location of the Wharfside tram stop close to Old Trafford.

Wharfside Tram Stop

Wharfside Tram Stop

It is on Trafford Park Road, probably between the water and the Premier Inn.

Note Old Trafford in the bottom-left corner.

Imperial War Museum

ThisGoogle Map shows the route between Wharfside and the Imperial War Museum tram stop.

Imperial War Museum Tram Stop

Imperial War Museum Tram Stop

The stop appears to be on Trafford Park Road, by the footbridge at the top of the map..


This Google Map shows the route between the Imperial War Museum and the Village tram stop.

Village Tram Stop

Village Tram Stop

The Imperial War Museum is at the top of the map and the Village tram stop will be on the road leading .West from the rpundabout at the bottom.


This Google Map shows the route between Village and the Parkway tram stop.

Parkway Tram Stop

Parkway Tram Stop

The Parkway stop is in towards the Southern side of Parkway Circle, which is the circle at the top towards the left.

Village tram stop is to the West of the other circle and the tram line goes along Village Way to Parkway Circle before going South West.

A Park-and-Ride could be built at this stop.


This Google Map shows the route from Parkway to the Trafford Centre.

From Parkway To The Trafford Centre

From Parkway To The Trafford Centre

The EventCity tram stop is I suspect by EventCity, which is the big building in the centre of the map.

Trafford Centre

Finally, according to current plans the tram goes on to the Trafford Centre stop.

On To Trafford Waters

This article in the Manchester Evening News is entitled Huge £1bn Trafford Waters development on banks of Manchester Ship Canal given go-ahead.

This Google Map includes Trafford Waters, which is between the Trafford Centre and Manchester Ship Canal.

Trafford Waters

Trafford Waters

According to Wikipedia there will be a Trafford quays tram stop, to serve the new development.

Finally To Salford Reds And Port Salford

These two final tram stops; Salford Reds and Port Salford are named on Wikipedia..

This Google Map shows the location of these two stops.

Salford Reds And Port Salford Tram Stops

Salford Reds And Port Salford Tram Stops

Salford Reds is on the North Bank of the Manchester Ship Canal, to the West of the M6 Motorway.

Fort Salford is a freight terminal on the banks of the canal.

This is said on the FAQ page of Port Salford web site in answer to the question What are the plans to bring Metrolink to Port Salford?

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) who manage the Metrolink infrastructure, aspire to build a new Metrolink line to the AJ Bell stadium and potentially beyond to Port Salford, via Trafford Park and Trafford Centre. Therefore, the new dual carriageway and lift-bridge have been future proofed to eventually accommodate a Metrolink tram line.

That certainly gives one way for the Trafford Park Line to cross the Manchester Ship Canal.

Western Gateway Infrastructure Scheme

The Western Gateway Infrastructure Scheme is designed to bring better connectivity between Port Salford on the North side of the Manchester Ship Canal and Trafford and Trafford Park on the other side. Wikpedia says this.

As part of the Western Gateway Infrastructure Scheme (WGIS), a new link road was constructed in connection with the Port. The existing A57 road was redirected closer to the Salford City Stadium, and a mile-long new dual carriageway link to Trafford Way and a new lift bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal was constructed to the east of the M60 bridge.

This video shows more.

But all is not going well as this report from the Manchester Evening News shows.



These are my thoughts on what has been published.

  • There is a lot of development going on along the Manchester Ship Canal.
  • There will probably have to be at least one tram crossing of the Manchester Ship Canal between Trafford Centre and Port Salford.
  • The design of the tram route hasn’t be finalised yet and changes can be expected.

I am also surprised that the rail link from the North into Port Salford doesn’t include a rail station.

This would allow travellers from the West to have access to the Trafford Park Line, without going all the way to Manchester Piccadilly.

If you look around the UK and Europe, it is probably important that there is a good interface between the tram network and trains, cars and bicycles.

Manchester Metrolink has some good interchanges to rail, but it needs more.

For completeness this Google Map shows Trafford Park from Port Salford in the West to Pomona in the East.


The waterway curving across the map is the Manchester Ship Canal.

Both Port Salford and Pomona are at the edges of the map.


It’ll be interesting to see how this project develops.

Developments on the Trafford Park Line can now be followed on the line’s own Wikipedia entry.








October 19, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 7 Comments

Music Across Races And Ages

The Times this morning has a small article which is entitled Chuck Berry To Release New Album At 90.

I was on a bus, when I rode it and showed it to black lady next to me, who must have been in her early twenties, saying that I had seen Chuck Berry in the sixties, at the Regal in Edmonton.

We were both surprised though, that Chuck Berry was still recording at 90!

We chatted for a minute or so, before she got of the bus.

I do think though that certain strands of music will always appeal to a very wide variety of individuals.


October 19, 2016 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

A Short Walk Around Ilford Station

Several reports like this one in New Civil Engineer, have talked about a rebuild of Ilford station for Crossrail. This picture shows how it could look.


As the station now has a new entrance on York Road, I went for a walk around the station.

I walked up the stairs at the London end of the station, through the new entrance and then circled to the front entrance, where I reentered the station.

This Google Map shows the station.

Ilford Station And The Town Centre

Ilford Station And The Town Centre

If the standard of the York Road entrance to the station is anything to go by, I think that Ilford will have a last laugh in all those Essex jokes.

I wonder how much the footfall in the Exchange Shopping Centre will increase when Crossrail opens.

October 19, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Will The Chelmsford Avoiding Line Be Rebuilt?

I took this picture at Chelmsford station yesterday.

Chelmsford Station

Note the wide space between the two tracks. This was for an avoiding line as detailed in Wikipedia.

There were originally three lines through the station: two platform lines and an avoiding line between them. An unusual signal box (being some five storeys high at the rear) on the London-bound platform controlled the station including, at the eastern end, a set of sidings that served the goods yard and Hoffman ball bearing factory. The signal box ceased to be used in 1994 but the structure has remained in situ since. The avoiding line has been removed and the sidings were reduced to serve only a mail sorting office and building materials yard.

Given that more and faster trains will be running through the station, could the avoiding line be reinstated?

  • Faster trains could overtake trains, that were stopped in the station.
  • It would probably make it easier for trains to terminate at Chelmsford, as they would block a platform.
  • Modern slab track means that lines can be more precisely positioned.
  • It might be possible for freight trains to use the avoiding line.
  • Does Norwich-in-Ninety need the avoiding line?

I also suspect that it is probably about time, that the track was fully relaid.

Factors against reinstatement include.

  • The modern trains arriving in a few years all have a higher cruising speed, so the need to overtake may be needed less.
  • The modern trains will be able to perform a stop, reload and start at a station much quicker than the current stock.
  • It is probably reasonable to assume that both fleets of trains; Flirts and Aventras, will have a similar performance and stop profile.
  • A new station could be built at Beaulieu, which is a few miles North of Chelmsford and might be a better terminus in the area.
  • Trains could also overtake at Beaulieu.

In addition, does Chelmsford need all the disruption?

I think that for the near future, the modern trains and Beaulieu station may be sufficient to allow Norwich-in-Ninety and Ipswich-in-Sixty to be fully implimented.

But long term, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new Chelmsford station built at the site.


October 19, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments

An Updated Manningtree Station

I stopped off at Manningtree station on the way to the football last night to have a look at the new step-free subway and perhaps buy a drink in the buffet.

Having a drink en route to Ipswich, is probably a good idea at the moment, as Ipswich station is being updated and there is nowhere between the station and Portman Road to buy one.

These were the pictures I took.


  • There is a loop on the Northern side of the station, which has been modified to create a short through Platform 4.
  • The subway is fully operational, although signs say there is still work to do.
  • The subway is ideally placed for a passenger to get off a Norwich-bound train, walk to the subway and cross underneath the lines to either the station exit or a train on the Harwich branch waiting in Platform 1.

As to the buffet, it wasn’t worth a visit, as the cider, which is so important for coeliacs, was rubbish.

The New Manningtree Depot

This article in Rail News says this about the new Stadler Flirts ordered by Greater Anglia.

The trains will be maintained at the existing depots, including Crown Point at Norwich, and also at a new depot at Manningtree which is to be built on a former industrial site alongside the main line.

This Google Map shows the area.

Manningtree Depot Site

Manningtree Depot Site

The Great Eastern Main Line crosses the map, with Manningtree station clearly marked.

Going East, there is a fully-electrified triangular junction, where the Harwich Branch or Mayflower Line joins the main line, followed by two crossings of the River Stour.

Then to the North and South of the main line, there is a large derelict industrial site, which I suspect will be the location of the depot, as it is the only place that fits the Rail News description.

I suppose the biggest question about this depot, as will it be North or South of the main line. But there is masses of space and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the site used for other commercial purposes as well.

Other questions might include.

  • Will housing be developed in the area? Probably not, as it could be liable to flooding.
  • Will the depot be developed with limited overhead wires for safety and ascetic reasons?
  • Will a station be built to serve the area?
  • If one is, will it have extensive car parking in the space available?
  • How will environmentalists react to development of the deelict industrial site?

I do suspect locally, that the new employment opportunities will be welcomed.

The Manningtree Station Level Crossing

This Google Map shows a close-up of Manningtree station.

Manningtree Station

Manningtree Station

Note how the road crosses the railway at the right. Wikipedia says this about the crossing.

A second peculiar feature just east of the station is a combination of a road underpass and a level crossing. The underpass has limited height and the parallel level crossing is needed to permit higher vehicles to cross the railway.

This article on the BBC has a video about the crossing, which surely makes a case for improvements.

The title of the article is Bus trapped on Manningtree railway crossing: Driver fined says it all.

Luckily, the only damage was to the driver’s wallet!

With increased traffic on the railway lines through the crossing, will we be seeing improvements to this crossing, which surely must cause problems for trucks at times?

Platform 4

I think we’ll be seeing more use of Platform 4 as the lines get busier and the traffic gets faster.

  • I have read somewhere, that the updated Platform 4 will be used as a means of allowing fast trains to overtake. I suppose a Colchester to Ipswich local train could wait in Platform 4, whilst a London to Norwich express went through on Platform 3.
  • Perhaps the line could be used by trains going down the Harwich Branch to improve connectivity to the branch with London to Norwich expresses in the Peak.
  • I also think for operational reasons train companies like to have a station before a depot, so that any sleeping passengers can be woken and offloaded.

But seriously, why would you get Platform 4 ready for increased use and not use it?

The Future Of The Mayflower Line

Wikipedia for Harwich Town station says this about services on the line.

As of December 2015 the typical weekday off-peak service is one train per hour to Manningtree, although there some additional services at peak times. Trains generally call at all stations along the Mayflower Line; some are extended to or from Colchester and/or London Liverpool Street.

I suspect that an ideal service would be at least two trains per hour (tph) on the line, which were timed to connect with fast services on the Great Eastern Main Line at Manningtree.

Currently there are direct trains in the Peak to and from Liverpool Street. The train, that I got to Manningtree last night was actually going to Harwich, after dividing into two at Colchester, with the front half of the train going on to Clacton-on-Sea.

In the new franchise, Greater Anglia will be running new Aventra trains on the branch. As they are buying five and ten-car trains, I would assume that the five-car version will work the Mayflower Line.

  • This will mean that there will be an increase in capacity on the line.
  • There will also be a large increase in comfort.
  • I would assume that two five-car trains are easily joined and separated to provide shared services, such as I experienced last night.
  • As the journey between Harwich Town and Manningtree takes twenty-two minutes, two trains would be needed to run a 2 tph service.

Running 2 tph may be a problem, as the electrification is one of the Treasury’s budget specials. Wikipedia says this.

The line diverges from the Great Eastern Main Line at Manningtree and is double-track for passenger services as far as Harwich International where connecting ferry services are available to Hoek van Holland and Esbjerg. Beyond Harwich International, the original second track remains in place as a through-siding, but only the “up” (Manningtree-bound) line was electrified and that section to Harwich Town is bi-directional.

But Bombardier may have a solution, in that the line was used for the BEMU trial, where a Class 379 train with an onboard battery, ran one way on the overhead wires, charging the battery at the same time.

As all Aventras will be wired to accept onboard energy storage, will we be seeing battery power on the Mayflower Line?

I think the answer is yes!

On my way to Manningtree, I was sitting next to a lady going to Harwich and when I talked about the battery train test of twenty months ago, she said she’d ridden the train and liked it. She didn’t qualify her initial statement with any negative statement.



October 19, 2016 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Sensible Point About Heathrow

I usually listen to Wake Up To Money on BBC Radio 5, as I lie in bed before getting up.

Sometimes very sensible nuggets of ideas, news and facts are broadcast.

Today, an aviation analyst called Julian Bray, spoke about the masses amount of cargo going through Heathrow and how a lot was very inefficient.

He said, that if you chose Alitalia to send a parcel from th UK to New York, it would go to their cargo shed at Heathrow, where it would be sent to Fiumenicino Airport in Rome by truck to be put on a plane.

How efficient is that?

He was calling for a tax, that would force inefficient parcel carriers out of Heathrow and use the extra capacity for passengers.

I wonder if that well-known Third World airline; Air Neck End, has a cargo operation at Heathrow to bring in the dictator’s purchases made using money stolen from his people.

Seriously though, go through the list of airlines that serve Heathrow and they’re all there;  Air Cocaine, Air Corrupt, Air Crashing, Air Delay, Air FGM, Air GoneTomorrow,Air HangemHigh, Air Islamic State, Aim MoneyLaunder, Air Useless and Air Wanka

Sounds like a case of Brown Envelope Syndrome to me!


October 19, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment