The Anonymous Widower

Re-Use Rather Than Re-Cycle

I remember in the 1970s or 1980s hearing the Research Director of Pilkington on Radio 4, giving a defence of using glass as packaging.

He argued that one of the problems with glass coffee jars and sauce bottles was that after use and a quick wash, they looked like they could be refilled with new product. In those days, coffee jars were often used for the storage of small items like screws, clips and dry foods like rice and pasta.

Now we’ll buy a designer jars, like these from IKEA.

In those days a lot of milk and beer bottles were returned to the dairy or brewery, but are we going to send empty beer bottles back to some of the exotic places from where they came.

The Research Director argued, that the best thing to do with glass bottles was to smash them up and re-use for other purposes.

One of the uses he discussed was to use broken glass as an aggregate substitute in road construction. This does happen and I’ve read of by-passes being constructed on a bed of broken glass and seen broken glass being used under paving slabs.

Glass came from materials dug out of the ground and it’s going back under.

He also said that to create new bottles was cheaper, than reusing bottles, unless there was a direct link, like milk rounds from a dairy.

This morning on wake Wake Up To Money, they were discussing cutting the use of plastics. So I sent in the following text.

I wonder if black-plastic ready-meal trays could be replaced with a light-weight glass variant. Along with bottles, they would just be washed and crushed after use for aggregate. Several roads have been built on broken bottles.

It was read out.

Consider.

  • We drink a lot of beer that comes in glass bottles.  One of my beer bottles from Marks and Spencer weughs 280 grams.
  • They would be oven-proof, microwave-safe and freezable.
  • You could eat your meal out of the dish!
  • They might save on washing-up time.
  • They could go in the dry-recycling after a quick rinse.

But above all, they may have other uses.

I also suspect that the other pakaging could be similar.

Could a piece of plastic be glued to the tray in the same way?

My idea is probably total rubbish!

But some of Marks and Spencer’s pies already come in just an aluminium tray and a cardboard box.

They need to be cooked in an oven and are not microwavable.

The pie goes down the gullet and the aluminium tray and the cardboard box, go into the dry recycling.

One thing I will be right about, is to say that there are some clever packaging scientists and designers out there, trying to create a freezable ready-meal, that can be cooked in a microwave, that isn’t protected in anything that can’t go direct in the dry recycling.

 

 

 

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Food | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Twyford Station – 26th April 2018

I went to Twyford station to get the train to Henley-on-Thames.

The station seems more of less ready for Crossrail.

What isn’t ready is the rail service to Henley-on-Thames station.

There are two trains per hour (tph) on the branch line and the trains take twelve minutes with two single-platform intermediate stations.

This is one of those branch lines, that need four tph to prise people out of their cars it is this one.

The two terminal platforms at each end can each handle four tph, it’s just that there is no passing loop on the line in between.

These are some pictures I took on the branch line.

Note.

  1. It is a tidy branch line.
  2. There is only one level crossing.
  3. Henley-on-Thames station has a reasonably long platform.
  4. There appears to be more space for a second track, South of the Thames, rather than at the North.

With their purchase of Class 769 trains, GWR could be using some to provide direct services to London from this branch.

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Windsor And Eton Central Station – 26th April 2018

These pictures show Windsor And Eton Central station.

In some ways it is more of a Shopping Centre than a railway station.

The current service to Slough station, is one two-car Class 165 train every twenty minutes.

Consider.

  • When Crossrail opens to Slough in December 2019, there will be at least six Crossrail trains per hour (tph), between Slough and Central London.
  • There will also be at least four GWR tph between Slough and Paddington.
  • The upcoming wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markel, will give Windsor masses of world-wide publicity.
  • Passengers to Windsor increase significantly on a day with good weather.

I also reckon, that getting to Windsor via Crossrail and Slough could be up to twenty minutes faster, than using Waterloo and Windsor and Eton Riverside stations. So which way, would all the tourists use?

Increasingly, the current train service from Slough will become inadequate.

GWR have ordered nineteen Class 769 bi-mode trains, one of which could be used on the line to increase capacity.

  • They would offer a doubling of capacity, from two-cars to four.
  • Their slightly faster speed, might enable them to run at a frequency of four tph.
  • The trains would probably fit Windsor and Eton Central station with selective door opening or a small platform extension.

Windsor and Eton Central station is going to get very busy.

Those tourists, who just want a selfie with the castle, should be able to take one, between successive trains.

Windsor could become a Tourist Hell!

 

 

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Slough To Windsor And Eton Central Station – 26th April 2018

I took these pictures as I travelled from Slough to Windsor and Eton Central station.

Note.

  1. Platform 1 at Slough has not been electrified, although the gantries are there.
  2. Some modern bridges probably stop full double-tracking of the route.
  3. There may be space for a passing loop on the line.
  4. The services is three trains per hour (tph) and the trip between the two stations takes just six minutes.

On balance if it were needed, I suspect that a track layout, signalling regime and operating method can be created that would allow a frequency of four tph.

A train would have fifteen minutes to do each round trip.

 

This would be tight, but I’m sure that there are operational methods, that could be used with a slightly faster Class 769 train to run the service.

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

West Drayton Station – 26th April 2018

I took these pictures at West Drayton station.

The station appeared to be staffed by TfL and they certainly had installed TfL’s new ticket machines.

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

New Overground Trains For Gospel Oak To Barking line Delayed… By Three Months

The title of this post is the same as that, of this article in the Islington Gazette.

Various reasons are given.

  • The Bridge at Crouch Hill station.
  • Delays in testing the overhead wires.
  • Software problems on the trains.
  • TfL are awaiting trains for driver training.

Network Rail and TfL are apparently blaming each other.

There has been some very bad planning and design on the updating of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

  • Crouch Hill bridge should have been rebuilt earlier.
  • Some of the overhead gantry supports were built to wrong dimensions.
  • Some of the project planning seems optimistic with hindsight.

Would I also be right in thinking, that the process of introducing the new trains could have been better handled?

Or is it just, that the idea was to get the Geospel Oak to Barking Line working first and run perhaps a couple of Class 710 trains on the line for the following purposes.

  • Give a thorough testing of all systems.
  • Accumulate certification mileage.
  • Training of drivers.

This would appear to be what happened with Crossrail’s Class 345 trains, which could be seen shuttling up and down between Stratford and Shenfield stations for a couple of months in the middle of the day, before they were allowed to carry fare-paying passengers.

Perhaps, the testing of the trains and initial training of the drivers should have been planned for the Northern section of the Watford DC Line, where the same dual-voltage 710/2 variant of the trains will eventually be deployed.

Conclusion

It would all have been so much different, if the electrified railway had been delivered on the original target date that according to Wikipedia, would have allowed the new trains to run in early 2018.

 

 

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments