The Anonymous Widower

Werrington Dive-Under – 8th November 2018

In Issue 865 of Rail Magazine, there is an article, which is entitled NR Primed To Start Work On £200m ECML Dive-Under.

This is said about construction of the dive-under.

Devegetation has already commenced in the area, while work compounds and access roads are due to be constructed before the end of the year (when the main construction sequence is expected to begin).

The dive-under is expected to enter service in 2021.

The article also says that the Cock Lane footbridge will be replaced with a longer truss bridge to span the widened alignment.

These pictures show the current Cock Lane footbridge.

Whilst I took the pictures there was a lot of noise from chain saws and other machinery, as the vegetation was cleared.

The Track Layout

Note how the tracks are divided into a set of two on the Western side and three on the Eastern.

The Western pair are the so-called Stamford lines, which go off to the West through Stamford station.

A diagram in Rail Magazine shows how they will be moved apart and twenty-five metres to the West. This will enable the two new tracks to be laid between them, which will then dive under the East Coast Main Line and connect to the Great Northern Great Eastern Joint Line towards Spalding, Sleaford and Doncaster.

This Google Map shows the Cock Lane Bridge as it crosses the tracks.

The Cock Lane Bridge is at the bottom of the map.

Doing The Work

It looks a simple plan, that NR believes could be executed with a nine-day closure of the East Coast Main Line. This would be needed to tunnel under the three tracks of the main line.

But I suspect that Network Rail could have a series of cunning plans to keep a limited service going.

  • There will probably be a number of bi-mode Class 800 trains available.
  • Some of the sixteen InterCity 125 trains could be retained.

The diesels and bi-modes could be able to use the Great Northern Great Eastern Joint Line and other routes without electrification to sneak through.

They might also use an interim layout of lines at Werrington to keep the service going.

Extra Electrification

It appears to me that not all tracks are electrified.

The Northbound Stamford Line certainly has electrification, but it appears that the Southbound doesn’t.

Given that in the next decade, it is likely that battery/electric or electro-diesel trains or locomotives will use the route throughStamford station to Leicester and Nuneaton, would it be worthwhile to fully electrify the Stamford Lines.

This image captured from a Network Rail video, clearly shows the new Cock Lane footbridge and that the following lines are electrified.

  • The Northbound Stamford Line on the left.
  • The three tracks of the East Coast Main Line on the right.

The actual dive-under and the Southbound Stamford Line appear not to have electrification.

Retention Of Diesel Trains

But surely, if there are a few extra diesel trains around for a couple of years or at least until the end of 2019, would it help to sort out some of the other problems on the East Coast Main Line.

 

November 8, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Google Grabs The Best Site In London For Its Massive Groundscraper

This Google Map the site where the massive groundscraper is being built.

Note.

  1. Kings Cross station, which is on the right of the map, has extensive connections to the North-East of England and Scotland.
  2. St. Pancras station, which is on the left of the map, has extensive connections to the Midlands and Belgium, France and the Netherlands, with more services to come including Germany, Switzerland and Western France.
  3. Thameslink runs North-South beneath St. Pancras station, has extensive connections to Bedfordshire, Herfordshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
  4. There are also six Underground Lines.
  5. Gatwick and Luton Airports have direct connections and City, Heathrow and Southend Airports  only need a step-free change.
  6. Improvements in the next few years could mean that HS2 and all of London’s five airports will have a fast direct connection to the area.

In the middle of all these railway lines, sits Google’s groundscraper, which shows as a white structure towards the top of the map.

These pictures show the area between the two stations, the under-construction groundscraper and the new blocks.

And these pictures show the progress on the site.

There is not much that is visible yet!

More Pictures!

But the building will be more visible soon! For those who can’t wait, this article from the Daily Mail has a lot of visualisations.

 

November 8, 2018 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wright Bus Embraces Ultracapacitors

This press release from Skeleton Technologies is entitled Graphene-Based Ultracapacitors Boost Double and Single Decker-Buses Through Low Emission Zones by Reducing Fuel Consumption.

This is said.

The integration of graphene-based ultracapacitors into test WrightBus double deck buses enables a 36% fuel saving compared to a UK based EuroVI diesel bus baseline. It also adds at least another 3 passengers to the capacity of these buses compared to a lithium battery-based hybrid equivalent.

I have a feeling that graphene-based ultracapacitors will give lithium batteries a very good kicking.

 

 

 

 

November 8, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

You Are A Rude Terrible President!

Yesterday, Trump showed his bullying side as he dealt with a CNN reporter.

This report on CNN gives their side of the story.

I always remember at a meeting in Cambridge with John Major, where he dealt with press criticism in a polished, barbed and very funny way, such that everybody laughed.

But then Trump is the sort of person, who ignores the general courtesies of life, the freedom of the press and scientific correctness!

But then there are too many Trumps in this world!

November 8, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , | 2 Comments

Worried Council Prepares Official Response To ‘Crackpot’ HS2 Plans

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

This is the first paragraph.

HS2 has been slammed as a “crackpot idea” which won’t benefit local residents by councillors in Northwich as they prepare to submit an official response to the project’s consultation.

This map from HS2 shows how the route will go past Northwich.

On the map purple is the route of HS2 and the dotted line is the West Coast Main Line, which will take HS2 trains to Liverpool and further North. If the quality of the map is anything like the quality of their route planning, then heaven help Northwich.

The Stop HS2 campaign has a page about Northwich,

The area with all the salt lying below the surface is probably a difficult one for building railways, roads or even a brick outhouse.

Improving Services At Northwich

Could the disquiet at Northwich be partly due to the fact that for the good burghers of the town to get any benefit from HS2 to perhaps go to London or Birmingham, they will have to go to Crewe or Manchester first, as they do now.

  • Take the one train per hour service (tph) to Manchester and then the three tph service to London is fine, but coming North, you might hang around in Piccadilly for an hour.
  • Drive to Crewe and get one of three tph to London.

After 2027, when HS2 reaches Crewe, the railway junction will be just fifty-eight minutes from London.

What is needed is a quick and reliable way to travel the fourteen miles between the two towns.

Under Proposed Future Developments in the Wikipedia entry for Northwich station, there are several suggestions for an improved service at the station.

  • The Northern Hub proposes an additional hourly service to run between Greenbank and Stockport.
  • Re-instating the passenger service between Northwich and Sandbach has been proposed. This would allow direct trains to Crewe from Knutsford,
  • Proposals for a direct link to Manchester Airport from Northwich were first put forward in the 1990s, not much had seemed to materialise from this.
  • The running of tram-trains directly in to Manchester.

If Northwich were on the outskirts of Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool or London, it would be likely to have at least two tph and possibly four tph to the major city.

One tph is a disgrace!

 

November 8, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , | 2 Comments