The Anonymous Widower

Checking On The Barking Riverside Extension Of The Gospel Oak To Barking Line

I took these pictures, when I went between Barking and Dagenham Dock stations on the top deck of an EL2 bus.

It looks to me, that this will be the easiest and least stressful way to observe the Barking Riverside Exctension, as it is being built.

As the pictures show, the route is run using New Routemaster buses, so on a good day, with a clean bus, the pictures should be good.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

New Lifts At Finsbury Park Station

As I passed through Finsbury Park station, I took these pictures of the new lifts to the Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.

These lifts are particularly needed as there are no escalators between the Underground and the surface and you have to use spiral staircases.

This access is probably one of the worst design crimes on the Victoria Line, which was built on the cheap in the 1960s.

Notice that some of the signage is not complete and finding the lifts isn’t as easy, as it should be.

But then the installation is not fully finished.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Should High Speed Two Use Contactless Ticketing?

Ask Londoners what they think of contactless ticketing and the views, will generally be positive.

Londoners are also increasingly travelling with their credit and debit cards instead of London’s Oyster Card.

Other city’s like New York, are also going London’s way and are basing ticketing around bank cards.

High Speed Two’s Phase One Network

IWhen Phase One hopefully opens in 2025, according to this section in Wikipedia, this could be the service pattern in trains per hour (tph)

  • 3 tph – Birmingham Curzon Street calling at Old Oak Common (OOC) and Birmingham Interchange
  • 3 tph – Birmingham Interchange calling at OOC
  • 2 tph – Liverpool Lime Steet calling at OOC, Stafford (1tph), Crewe (1tph) and Runcorn
  • 3 tph – Manchester Piccadilly calling at OOC, Wilmslow (1tph) amd Stockport
  • 1 tph – Preston calling at OOC, Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay and Wigan North Western
  • 1 tph – Glasgow calling at OOC and Preston

This is a very simple network and consists of the following stations.

  • 3 tph – Birmingham Curzon Street
  • 5 tph – Birmingham Interchange
  • 2 tph – Crewe
  • 2 tph – Liverpool Lime Street
  • 3 – tph – Manchester Piccadilly
  • 13 tph – Old Oak Common
  • 2 tph – Preston
  • 2 tph – Runcorn
  • 1 tph – Stafford
  • 3 tph – Stockport
  • 1 tph – Warrington Bank Quay
  • 1 tph – Wigan North Western
  • 1 tph – Wilmslow

This is just thirteen stations..

Fitting these large and medium-sized stations with ticket barriers able to accept all forms of ticketing, that can handle hundreds of passengers is the sort of operation, that Transport for London has been doing for years.

High Speed Two’s Phase Two Stations

After completion of Phase Two, these stations will be added to the High Speed Two Network.

  • Carlisle
  • Carstairs
  • Chesterfield
  • East Midlands Parkway
  • Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh Haymarket
  • Leeds
  • Manchester Airport
  • Newcastle
  • Sheffield
  • York

This is another eleven stations.

Fares On High Speed Two

Wikipedia has a Section called Fares in their entry for High Speed Two.

This is said.

There has been no announcement about how HS2 tickets will be priced, although the government said that it would “assume a fares structure in line with that of the existing railway” and that HS2 should attract sufficient passengers to not have to charge premium fares. Paul Chapman, in charge of HS2’s public relations strategy, suggested that there could be last minute tickets sold at discount rates. He said, “when you have got a train departing on a regular basis, maybe every five or ten minutes, in that last half hour before the train leaves and you have got empty seats…you can start selling tickets for £5 and £10 at a standby rate.

I also have my views.

Capacity

I will look at current and future capacity to Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester

Note the following capacities of the various trains.

  • Class 390/0 – 9 cars – 469 seats
  • Class 390/1 – 11 cars  589 seats
  • High Speed Two – 1000 seats.

I am not making any class distinction.

Capacity To Birmingham

Currently, Virgin run three tph to Birmingham, which if they were all eleven car trains, which they aren’t would be a capacity of 1,767 seats per hour.

Phase One of High Speed Two will have six tph to the two Birmingham stations, which would be a capacity of 6,000 seats per hour.

This will be an increase in capacity of over three times.

Capacity to Liverpool

Currently, Virgin run one tph to Liverpool, which if it is an eleven car train, this would be a capacity of 589 seats per hour.

Phase One of High Speed Two will have two tph to Liverpool, which would be a capacity of 2,000 seats per hour.

This will be an increase in capacity of over three times.

Capacity to Manchester

Currently, Virgin run three tph to Manchester, which if they were all eleven car trains, it would be a capacity of 1,767 seats per hour.

Phase One of High Speed Two will have three tph to Manchester, which would be a capacity of 3,000 seats per hour.

This will be an increase in capacity of nearly twice.

Is Manchester Missing Out?

Mancunians will probably say they are being short-changed as their capacity increase is less than Birmingham and Liverpool.

But it should also be noted that Preston will have a High Speed Two service of two tph from London and Warrington Bank Quay and Wigan North Western, will each have one tph.

So travellers will be able to use High Speed Two without going to Manchester Piccadilly.

Fares And Ticketing

If I want to buy an Off Peak Return ticket on Virgin between Euston and Birmingham for a few days in the future, it will cost me £56.70 without a railcard.

Off Peak Returns to Liverpool and Manchester are £89.60 without a railcard.

Paper And E-Tickets

The current ticketing systems will probably still be available and just as you do with airlines, you will probably be able to buy tickets over the Internet and douwnload to your phone or print a paper ticket.

Contactless Cards

I would think, that it would be very likely that an Off Peak Single ticket to Birmingham will be under the contactless payment limit.

We don’t know how contactless is going to advance in the next few years, but, I suspect certain companies will be allowed a higher limit, if they take some of the risk.

I also think systems will get more sophisticated, so your bank might allow a railcard to be associated with your bank card.

This would reduce your Liverpool/Manchester fare to £59.15, which means each way is under the current contatless limit.

The longest Off Peak Return journey from Euston to Glasgow is only £98.00 with a raiicard.

Given these current ticket prices, I believe that contactless ticketing could be used to sell tickets on High Speed Two.

What Advantages Would Contactless Tickets Have For Passengers?

Convenience would be at a high level. You would do the following.

  • Turn up at the gate, where a display might say, that the current Single fare to Birmingham is £20 and the train leaves at 10:20.
  • Touch in at the gate.
  • Go through the gate, after your bank card had been checked.
  • Get on the train and find your seat.
  • Travel to Birmingham
  • Get off the train.
  • Touch out at the gate.
  • Go through the gate, after your bank card has been successfully debited with the fare.

What could be simpler?

Earlier, I indicated that Wikipedia says that standby fares will be available.

But imagine, if High Speed Two’s computer, adjusted the fares, so that the trains attracted a high level of passengers. Ryanair and EasyJet have been doing something similar for years.

So I think, that if High Speed Two get this right, they will do that difficult trick of making money and giving passengers low prices.

But the biggest advantages for passengers, is that they won’t have to plan their journeys in advance.

So supposing you work for a software company and one of the company’s clients in Birmingham, needs an urgent visit.

You can just go and know you’ll get the cheapest fare.

What Advantages Would Contactless Tickets Have For High Speed Two?

Contactless ticketing is so much more affordable than using paper or e-tickets.

IIt should also attract more passengers to use the train.

Conclusion

There are winners all round.

 

 

p

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

A Telling Statement From Andrew Marr

On his program this morning, Abdrew Marr has just said that they try every week to get Donald Tusk and Michel Barnier on the program.

Every week, they get a negative answer.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | 2 Comments

Towers At Lewisham Station – 2nd February 2019

Lewisham station is becoming increasingly surrounded by tower blocks.

With the Bakerloo Line Extension planned to reach the new station around 2030, surely it is time to rebuild the station with more blocks over the tracks.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Wind Farms Sale Is Breath Of Fresh Air After Merger Setback

The title of this post, is the same as that as an article in the Business pages of The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

Selling stakes in two wind farms for £635million will provide funds to reduce debt and to launch up to £200million of share buybacks, SSE said yesterday.

Amongst the purchasers of the stake in the wind farms is an unnamed British pension fund.

So yet again, we’re seeing pension funds investing our future in wind farms.

It is a trend that will continue, as pension funds look for safe places to put the massive funds they have under management.

  • We need the electricity the farms produce.
  • The engineering of wind farms will get better, and farms will be more reliable and produce electricity economically for years longer.
  • The farrms will probably get the best of maintenance, as pension funds will protect their investment.

In addition to wind, I suspect pension funds and insurance companies will invest in other large renewable energy schemes like solar and wave power and energy storage.

Schemes, such as those I mentioned in Exciting Renewable Energy Project for Spennymoor, will surely be ones that will appeal to the funds.

Conclusion

Pension funds and insurance companies with their massive funds are becoming a major force in vutting carbon emissions.

I suspect that this is not just a UK trend, but one with a world-wide dimension, that includes a lot of the EU, the Far East, North American and Australia.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment