The Anonymous Widower

Articles In Today’s Times

In addition to World’s Top Wealth Fund Puts Billions Into Britain, there were other articles worth blogging about in today’s copy of The Times.

Build New Homes Away From Roads, Heath Watchdog Says

Surely, this very sensible! The distance can of course be vertical!

Plastic Packaging Used To Make Car Parts In Upcycling Revolution

Scientists working for the US Department of Defense have shown it is possible to convert recycled PET bottles and other packaging into useful long-life products.

Corbyn’s Favourite Firebrand Is Suspended In Antisemitism Row

My father believed that there was little different between the extreme left as represented by Stalin and the extreme right as represented by Hitler.

February 28, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Agent Orange Shows Fatty The Third The Art Of No Deal

The title of this post is my translation of the front page headline of today’s Evening Standard.

  • Agent Orange is Spike Lee’s nickname for the current US President.
  • Fatty The Third is how the Chinese refer to Kim Jong-un on social media.

These two imbeciles deserve each other!

February 28, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

World’s Top Wealth Fund Puts Billions Into Britain

The title of this post is the same as that of a news story on the front page of today’s copy of The Times.

There is a subtitle to the article.

UK will be stronger after Brexit, Norwegians say.

Some points from the article.

  • Norway’s wealth fund is worth £740billion.
  • The fund owns £62billion of UK investments.
  • Britain is the third largest market for their investments.
  • The fund works to a thirty-year-plus investment strategy.
  • The fund is co-owner of Regent Street.
  • The fund is a top five investor in companies.

I feel a smidgen of pride, that Artemis, which was the project management software, that  I wrote; in the late 1970s, had played small part in the creation of Norway’s wealth from oil and gas.

February 28, 2019 Posted by | Finance, World | , , | 1 Comment

A Ride On The 16:03 From Barking To Gospel Oak

This afternoon, I went to see if there was any progress on the Barking Riverside Extension. The easiest way to see the works is to take a train to Dagenham Dock station and then cross over to the other platform and take a train back to where you started. It’s a two trains per hour (tph) service and usually you wait about six minutes at Dagenham Dock station, for the return train.

Nothing much seems to have happened by the bridge where Renwick Road goes over the line, except a bit of tidying up of junk left by British Rail.

The Interchange At Barking

Back at Barking, I just had time to join a surprising number of passengers, who were intending to catch the 16:03 between Barking and Gospel Oak stations.

One thing that should be noted, is that when the Barking Riverside Extension opens, the following services will share the  island Platform 7/8 at Barking station.

  • 2 tph – Platform 7 – Fenchurch Street to Grays
  • 4 tph – Platform 7 – Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside
  • 2 tph – Platform 8 – Grays to Fenchurch Street
  • 4 tph – Platform 8 – Barking Riverside to Gospel Oak

This is a well-designed same-platform interchange, that enables journeys like the following..

  • Barking Riverside and Grays
  • Barking Riverside and Fenchurch Street
  • Barking Riverside and Blackhorse Road (for the Victoria Line!)
  • Grays and Gospel Oak (for the North London Line!)

There are a lot of possibilities.

I do think, that the service between Fenchurch Street and Grays, should be doubled in frequency to four tph, if this is possible, to make the interchange more efficient.

Although, this might increase the number of passengers needing to use the Gospel Oak to Barking Line (GOBLIN).

The Full Four-Car Class 378 Train

The train was a four-car Class 378 train and nearly all seats were taken. There were a few standees and a dog lying in the middle, so it was a good demonstration of the advantages of the train’s longitudinal seating.

It does appear to me, that more passengers are using the GOBLIN.

Possible reasons could include.

  • Some services being run by four-car electric instead of two-car diesel trains.
  • A fifty percent increase in seats on the route.
  • The step-free interchange with the Victoria Line at Blackhorse Road station.
  • Passengers trying out the improved route.

I also wonder, if all the negative publicity has persuaded passengers to give it a try.

All Change At Blackhorse Road Station

A surprising number of passengers seemed to get off at Blackhorse Road station, as the train was much less full after the station.

On other trips recently, I’ve seen large number of passengers waiting to go East in the late afternoon.

It obviously has a lot of attraction as an interchange.

First Time Travellers

In my travels along the GOBLIN in the last few weeks, I have asked a lot of passengers, whether they like the current mixed service.

I have heard only a few moans about cancellations and unreliability, but I have been very surprised at how many first time travellers on the GOBLIN, that I have encountered.

Transport for London must be doing something right.


I am led to the conclusion, that the GOBLIN is stirring and that more and more travellers are using the line.

My only worry, is that in a couple of years, when the Barking Riverside Extension opens, that the line will need extra passenger capacity.


February 28, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 4 Comments