The Anonymous Widower

China To The UK By Freight Train

This article in the Railway Gazette is entitled First China to UK rail freight service arrives in London.

The article describes in detail how 34 containers came all the way to Barking by train.

It is very much a route-proving exercise at the moment and the UK shipment was effectively part of a larger shipment that was split at Duisburg

in Germany.

The trip can be summarised as follows.

  • The trip took seventeen days, which was faster than container ship.
  • The trip is slower, but a lot cheaper than air-freight.
  • The trip is 12,000 kilometres.
  • There were two changes to gauge and transshipment of the containers on the route.

It is intended to run the trains for three or four months to assess demand.

The article finishes like this.

The project supports the Chinese government’s One Belt, One Road trade connectivity initiative to create a modern-day Silk Road. According to DB around 40 000 containers were transported by rail along the routes between China and Europe in 2016, with journey times of between 12 and 16 days. Annual traffic is expected to increase to 100 000 containers by 2020.

If these figures are achieved, it certainly looks like the route could be approaching viability.

In How To Move 100,000 Containers A Year Between Germany And China, I wrote about German plans to create a standard gauge railway from Germany to China via Georgia, that would avoid Russia and all the gauge-changing.

Without the gauge-change, this would surely be a faster route, thus increasingly viability.

There’s going to be an interestimg commercial battle in the next bfew years between the various metods of getting freight between Europe and China.

 

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | 2 Comments

Russian Sex Workers Are World’s Best, Boasts Putin

This is the second headline on the front page of The Times today.

I suppose as President Putin is an important Russian, he should have access to all the statistics and know the truth!

I certainly won’t be arguing with him or going to Moscow to give the city’s highly-rated sex workers a personal rating!

January 18, 2017 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

The Thames Beach By St. Paul’s

Just to the East of the Millennium Bridge, I took this picture of the beach.

dscn9771

There are a surprising number of places on the Thames, where there are beaches like this.

January 18, 2017 Posted by | World | | Leave a comment

Bollards To Illegal Parkers

The City of London has its own distinctive way with street furniture.

But it’s not just bollards.

A walk through the City of London is always rewarding.

 

 

January 18, 2017 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Taxis And Bank Junction

The City pf London is proposing to make Bank Junction accessible to only buses and cyclists.

On a personal note, I’m in favour, as my normal route to and from the area of Bank station is to take a 21 or 141 bus. I also use the 141 bus to get to and from London Bridge station, as the terminal stop is on the staion forecourt. They are extremely convenient buses for me as the Northbound stop is perhaps fifty metres from my house over a zebra crossing. Going South, the walk is a little further, but it is no more than a hundred and fifty metres.

However, not everyone is in favour of restricting traffic at Bank Junction.

This article in the Standard is entitled Cycling campaign groups slam black cab protest over traffic ban at Bank station.

This is said.

Cycling campaign groups have slammed a taxi protest over plans to close Bank junction off to most traffic, saying drivers are supporting “the right to poison Londoners”.

Black Cab drivers brought traffic to a standstill on Monday evening as they protested plans to close off the notorious junction to all traffic apart from bikes and buses.

Union members have argued that the proposals to only allow cyclists and buses at the junction are an example of TfL dodging the problem of congestion.

So it would be cyclists on one side and black cabs on the other.

The RMT union blames Uber on their web site.

This is said in the article.

The union claims the congestion is caused by Uber cars which, in turn, leave people turning to cycling out of “desperation”.

RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash, said: “The decision to close Bank Junction to traffic is a comically inept one, made exceptionally bitter as the Mayor promised greater access to road space for black cabs.”

As I said earlier, all I want is this vital junction to run smoothly for buses.

I don’t use a taxi very often, except on say a busy, wet day to bring my shopping home, as the rank is outside Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and Sainsburys. How convenient is that?

The taxi drivers are not happy, but then London’s black cab drivers have rarely been happy in the years I’ve used them, since the 1960s.

  • Getting to my house has  caused a new moan, which is caused by the work that I wrote about in Why I’m In Favour Of Cycling Superhighways.
  • Cyclists are always good for a moan.
  • But their biggest ire is usually reserved for Uber and their lack of regulation.

Surprisingly, I’ve had no moans about moving to low-emission or electric vehicles.

So how do I think the situation will improve in the next few years?

Crossrail

Crossrail doesn’t serve Bank Junction directly, but I will be surprised if the massive double-ended Crossrail station at Liverpool Street and Moorgate, doesn’t attract a lot of passengers travelling to and from the City of London.

Bank Station Upgrade

Under Future Developments, Wikipedia says this.

  • A new entrance on Walbrook, near Cannon Street station, will provide new escalators and lifts to the Waterloo and City line platforms.
  • TfL is also consulting on retunnelling and widening the Northern line platforms.
  • Adding lifts and new entrances on King William Street and Cannon Street.
  • A new tunnel could be built to relocate the southbound Northern line platform.

The work could be completed by 2021 and will boost capacity by 40%, with 12 new escalators and 3 new lifts.

A well-designed Bank Underground station must relieve surface traffic of all types in the area.

Waterloo And City Line

When the new entry at Wallbrook to the Waterloo and City Line,  opens hopefully in late 2017, it will dramatically improve the usefulness of the Waterloo and City Line.

But improvements are also needed at the Waterloo end of the line.

  • Better connections to the new platforms 20-24 at Waterloo will be needed. Are they being provided in the current works.
  • Better connection to Waterloo East station, so passengers can get access to Charing Cross services.
  • Direct access to the street.
  • Step-free access.

The line should at least run seven days a week, if not all the time under automatic control.

It could be a much more important line in London’s transport system.

It could even be renamed the City and South Bank Line.

The Northern City Line

The Northern City Line is London’s forgotten suburban line, as it terminates in a two-platform station under Moorgate station.

One of Crossrail’s collateral improvements will be to give the Northern City Line excellent connections to the following.

  • Crossrail
  • Liverpool Street station
  • Central Line

The deep and dingy station will also have much better connection to the various walking routes in the area.

But connectivity would be nothing without trains and the Northern City Line is getting new Class 717 trains, which could run at up to twelve trains per hour all day.

The original plans for the Northern City Line envisaged the line running to Lothbury station, which would be just to the North of the Bank of England.

If this extension had been built, it would have surely proved to have been a valuable part of London’s railways. But it wasn’t and probably to build it now would be too expensive and impossible.

Walking Routes

The actual City of London is compact and this Google Map shows the Northern part of the City between Bank, Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations.

lothbury

Note.

  • How one of the three main stations is within reach of much of the area.
  • I would reckon that the three stations are about eight hundred metres apart.

If you don’t fancy walking, there are bus routes between the stations and the Central and Northern Lines also provide connections.

Uber

Uber is the fox in the hen coup.

It is disruptive technology and I don’t like it for various reasons.

  • I like to pick up my cab from a rank or by hailing it on the street.
  • I feel that apps with credit card details in them will be the next big fraud opportunity.
  • I like a properly trained and regulated driver, who understands the intricacies of London’s streets.

I took an Uber cab once from Walthamstow to home and the driver came from West London and managed to get lost twice. As I wasn’t paying, I didn’t bother.

I can’t help feeling that Uber is very inefficient for the driver and only works if they have a monopoly of taxis on the streets.

Conclusion

I have given alternatives to the use of taxis around Bank Junction.

Taxi drivers will protest, but that area is one, where for most people, public transport will increasingly be the best way to travel.

 

 

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Victoria Embankment Work-Site Of The Thames Tideway Tunnel

As I walked along the Thames, signs of works for the Thames Tideway Tunnel are appearing.

These pictures were taken at the Victoria Embankment Work-Site.

There is not much to see at present, but most of it is so the Tattersall Castle can be moved.

When the tunnel is finished, the site will look like this.

ttve

The main purpose of the site, is to connect the Regent Street combined sewer overflow to the main tunnel.

Anybody fancy a coffee, a drink or a meal in the sun by the Thames on top of the sewer outfall in 2021?

January 18, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment