The Anonymous Widower

What Is Happening At Old Oak Common?

I ask this question as I have just read this article on the New Civil Engineer web site which is entitled Old Oak Common Megadeck Momentum Slows.

This is said.

Momentum for the 7ha deck to be built over the Crossrail depot in the new Old Oak and Park Royal development in west London has slowed according to the chief executive of the regeneration body in charge of the work.

Sadiq Khan is blaming Boris, as any politician would.

It is truly a massive site, as this Google Map shows.

oldoakcommon

The two stations at the top of the map is Willesden Junction station.

Running across the map is the Great Western Main Line, with the various depots and Cargiant to the North.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines in the area.

oldoakcommondepoys

This aerial view of the area is from Crossrail.

oldoakcommondepot

The megadeck is needed to go over much of this area, so that housing and other developments can be built.

 

January 26, 2017 Posted by | Transport, World | , , | Leave a comment

Modern Trains From Old

In the February 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, there  are several articles about the updating of old trains to a modern standard.

There was also an article about the revival of locomotive hauled trains called Long Live The Loco!

The Class 321 Renatus

Note the following about the Class 321 trains.

  • There are a total of 117 of the four-car trains.
  • ,The trains have a 100 mph capability.
  • Many of them are in need of a refurbishment after nearly thirty years in service.

So train leasing company; Eversholt, has come up with a plan to create thirty Class 321 Renatus for Greater Anglia as a stop-gap until their new Aventras arrive in a couple of years time.

The updated trains will feature.

  • New air-conditioning and heating systems
  • New, safer seating throughout
  • Larger vestibules for improved boarding and alighting
  • Wi-Fi enabled for passengers and operator
  • Improved space allocation for buggies, bicycles and luggage
  • Passenger power sockets throughout
  • New, energy efficient lighting
  • One PRM compliant toilet and a second controlled emission toilet on each unit
  • Complete renewal and remodelling of all interior surfaces

The trains will also be given an updated traction package, which is described on this page on the Vossloh Kiepe web site.

This is said.

In 2013, Eversholt Rail and Vossloh Kiepe embarked on the pre-series project to demonstrate modern AC traction on a Class 321 unit. The key objectives were to reduce journey time for passengers, improve reliability and maintainability, and reduce the total cost of operation through a combination of reduced energy consumption and regenerative braking.

The prototype certainly looks good in the pictures.

Eversholt is stated as believing that if the market likes these trains, then other operators could be interested and other trains might be converted.

The Class 319 Flex

I like this concept and I wrote about the Class 319 Flex in Porterbrook Launch A Tri-Mode Train.

I felt one of the first routes would to be to Windermere and Modern Railways says the same.

Northern are quoted as saying, that after the concept is proven, the trains will be made available to a wide range of operators.

Consider.

  • There are 86 of the four-car units.
  • They are 100 mph trains.
  • They are Mark 3-based, so ride well.
  • They can work on 750 VDC or 25 KVAC electrification.
  • With diesel alternators, they can go virtually anywhere.

If the trains are a success, I think we’ll be very surprised as to the routes they work.

I also think that Porterbrook could keep a small fleet ready for immediate lease for the purposes, like the following.

  • Proving the economics of new routes.
  • Blockade busting.
  • Extra capacity for special events.
  • Replacement capacity after train problems or accidents.

I suspect Porterbrook have got lots of ideas. Some of which could be quite wacky!

Bi-Modus Operandi

This is the title of an article by Ian Walmsley in the magazine, who makes the case for adding an extra coach with a pantograph to the Class 220, 221 and 222 and effectively creating a bi-mode train.

The idea is not new and I wrote about it in The Part-Time Electric Train, after a long editorial comment in Modern Railways in 2010.

If anything, the case for convcersion is even better now, as quality high-speed bi-mode trains are desperately needed.

As the article suggests, they could sort out some of the other problems with the trains.

There are quite a few suitable trains.

  • Class 220 trains – 34 trains of four cars.
  • Class 221 trains – 43 trains of a mix of four and five cars.
  • Class 222 trains – 27 trains of a mix of four, five and seven cars.

All are 125 mph trains.

The Vivarail Class 230 Train

The magazine also has an extensive report on the fire in a Class 230 train.

The report says that the definitive report will be published before the end of January, but on reading the detailed report of the damage, I think it will be some months before the rebuilt train is ready to roll.

In a post entitled Class 230 And Class 319 Flex Fight It Out, I came to this conclusion.

Vivarail will have a struggle to sell large numbers of trains, against a larger, faster, more capable train of proven reliability.

I stand by what I said.

Long Live The Loco!

This article describes the various uses of locomotive-hauled passenger trains on the UK rail network.

The title could be read another way, as it talks about the following locomotives.

Some could not be considered modern, but they perform.

The article goes on to detail how TransPennine Express will use their new Mark 5A carriages.

  • Wikipedia says each set will be composed of 1 first class car, 2 Standard class cars, 1 brake standard class car and a standard class driving trailer.
  • Sets will be able to be lengthened if required.
  • The trains will be worked push-pull between a Class 68 locomotive and a driving trailer.
  • The coaches will have a 125 mph design speed for future-proofing reasons.

It is also said, that a Class 88 locomotive is not powerful enough under diesel power to operate on the TransPennine route.

So the article speculates, that there may be a place for  a bi-mode locomotive with full diesel capability, given the success of the Hitachi bi-mode concept.

The article finishes by saying that as Chiltern and TransPennine have shown that push-pull operation is viable, could the concept become more widespread?

 

 

 

 

 

January 26, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Upgrading Waterloo Station

Some reports are giving Network Rail a good kicking over a month-long closure in August of Waterloo station.

I will point readers to this article on Time Out, which is entitled Passengers have been told to avoid Waterloo station for a whole month during major re-building works, as it gives facts rather than emotion.

I have found this video on this page of the South West Trains web site.

It explains the problem well.

South West Trains summarise the work at Waterloo as follows.

  • Create a spacious, modern and accessible station concourse by rebuilding the former Waterloo International Terminal.
  • Increase services by bringing platforms 20–24 back into use and introducing modern facilities along with new track and signalling.
  • Allow longer ten-carriage trains to run to suburban routes by extending platforms 1–4.

Time Out finish their article like this.

All the chaos is down to an £800 million upgrade of Waterloo and South West, which aims to provide 30 percent more space for passengers as well as faster, more frequent services. If anything, it could be a decent excuse to book a holiday somewhere sunny. That’s how we’re taking the news, anyway. 

It is probably good advice.

January 26, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

An Upbeat View Of Hackney Wick

Hackney Wick is the sort of area of London, where traditionally it has dumped things that most people don’t want to know about. Although, the area does have a thriving artistic and indistrial community, much of the latter has moved out.

But this article in Building Design and Construction, which is entitled 25 Million Pounds Devoted to Hackney Wick For Upgrades, paints a very different upbeat view of the area.

So where has the money for the work come from?

  • A million from Tower Hamlets Council.
  • A million from Hackney Council.

There is also a sizeable donation from the London Legacy Development Corporation.

But then an updated Hackney Wick station, will provide much better access to the Olympic Stadium and all the housing being built around the Olympic Park.

The article finished like this.

Through this, the infrastructure of this particular area of North London will be greatly improved, allowing for better property conditions, better employment opportunities and of course better transport conditions for its locals. Mister Jon Fox of Transport for London also put in a word in for the advancement of Hackney Wick Overground, which will improve the conditions of millions of people from all over the capital.

We need a lot more well-designed and much better stations to generate growth.

January 26, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment