The Anonymous Widower

Uddingston Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Uddingston station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current bridge,

This Google Map shows the station.

Note that Uddingston station has a fair amount of car parking, that is arranged on both sides of the tracks.

So if a traveller commutes or goes shopping in Glasgow, they have to cross the bridge at least once on their two journeys.

Installing Step-Free Access

In Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition, I wrote how the competition was won by this bridge.

Could a factory-built bridge like this be used at Uddingston station?

I think, due to space limitations, it might need to replace the current footbridge.

The advantage of placing it in the same position, is that the lift on the Northern side is close to the disabled parking spaces.

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Beaconsfield Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Beaconsfield station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current bridge,

This is a Google Map of the station.

Note these points about Beaconsfield station.

  • There is a large multi-story car park alongside the London-bound platform
  • There are entrances on both sides of the railway.
  • The station is in a deep cutting and the paths down to the station could be easier. But this seventy-one-year-old managed them!
  • Currently, three trains per hour (tph) call at the station in both direction in the Off Peak, wwith more in the Peak.
  • There is space between the current two tracks for an avoiding line.
  • The platforms are very long, although I would prefer them to be wider.

The station also has the problem of many stations used by shoppers going to a nearby large city. Many travellers come home in the evening carrying a lot more, than they left with.

So do travellers want to cross a bridge without lifts carrying heavy, bulky or just plain awkward parcels, to get back to their car?

I’m fairly certain that a bridge at this station might encourage more travellers to use the train rather than their car for a trip to London.

So I can certainly understand, why it is on Network Rail’s list.

Installing The Step-Free Access

I think that this could be one of those stations, where a solution similar to that at Slough station can be used, where the old bridge was given a good refurbishment and a new step-free bridge was installed on the other side of the station entrances.

This picture, which was taken from the original bridge,  shows the new step-free bridge at Slough station.

It is a good design philosophy, which has advantages.

  • During the installation of the new bridge, the station can be fully operational.
  • Able-bodied travellers can choose their best route.
  • Two bridges have a higher capacity than one.
  • It is unlikely both bridges will be out of action at the same time.
  • The only extra cost will be refurbishing the existing bridge.

In Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition, I wrote how the competition was won by this bridge.

So could a factory-built bridge like this be installed on the Eastern side of the station buildings?

This enlarged Google Map shows the Eastern end of the station.

Consider.

  • If the bridge were to be placed with the lifts on the Eastern side, the lift on the London-bound platform would be conveniently close to the disabled parking bays.
  • It would also mean, that travellers with walking difficulties or encumbered by heavy cases or young children, could get in the rear coach at Marylebone and be ideally placed for the bridge to get to the car-park.
  • Note that the main taxi office is placed for trains from London.
  • More able travellers could use either route, depending on where they were going.

Beaconsfield could be a station, with step-free access of the highest quality.

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Interchange Between Chiltern Railways And The Central Line At South Ruislip Station

After my trip to Beaconsfield station, which I wrote about in Beaconsfield Station To Go Step-Free, I needed to get to West Ealing station.

So I took a direct train to South Ruislip station, where I changed to the Central Line for Greenford station and the Greenford Branch to West Ealing.

These pictures show the subway at South Ruislip station.

It is a subway with inadequate steep steps.

According to the Wikipedia entry for Chiltern Railways, one of their active plans is for a Chiltern Metro. This is said.

New Chiltern Metro Service that would operate 4+tph for Wembley Stadium, Sudbury & Harrow Road, Sudbury Hill Harrow, Northolt Park, South Ruislip and West Ruislip. This would require a reversing facility at West Ruislip, passing loops at Sudbury Hill Harrow, and a passing loop at Wembley Stadium (part of the old down fast line is in use as a central reversing siding, for stock movements and additionally for 8-car football shuttles to convey passengers to the stadium for events).

So there could be four trains per hour (tph) through South Ruislip station, in addition to the current hourly service to High Wycombe.

Also.

  • When Chiltern Railways have a second London terminal at Old Oak Common station, there could be more stopping trains.
  • There is also pressure to run services along the Greenford Branch to West Ruislip and High Wycombe.
  • The Central Lione will be getting new larger trains in the next few years.

There is certainly, a lot of potential to improve services and South Ruislip station could need to go step-free.

This Google Map shows the station.

Putting lifts into the subway to access platforms has been done many times and wouldn’t be the most major of projects.

Whether it is worth doing, would be solely down to passenger numbers.

  • Currently, the station handles about two million passengers per year, most of whom are using the Central Line.
  • There will probably be a lot of new housing built in the next few years.
  • With the disruption of building High Speed Two, through the area, this might mean new passengers start using the station.

I predict that South Ruislip station will go step-free.

 

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

West Ealing Station – 16th April 2019

These pictures were taken at West Ealing station.

At last there appears to be some progress, with the footbridge now under construction.

The station certainly looks to be advanced enough, to fit in  with Crossrail opening within a year, as I wrote about in Crossrail Service To Reading On Track For December Opening.

According to the Wikipedia entry for Crossrail, West EWaling station will have the following trains, when Crossrail opens.

  • Two trains per hour (tph) between Reading and Abbey Wood
  • Two tph between Maidenhead and Abbey Wood
  • Four tph between Heathrow Terminal 4 and Abbey Wood.
  • Two tph between Heathrow Terminal 5 and Abbey Wood.

What if you want to go to Shenfield?

If the Western section of Crossrail opens in December, would West Ealing station get the following service?

  • Two tph between Reading and Paddington
  • Two tph between Maidenhead and Paddington
  • Four tph between Heathrow Terminal 4 and Paddington
  • Two tph between Heathrow Terminal 5 and Paddington

That would surely be an excellent service!

If the frequency on the Greenford Branch could be doubled to four tph, there would also be an excellent interchange to the branch line.

Crossrail To Reading In December 2019

As current rumours are that Crossrail will open in December to Reading, it looks like the station will be usable.

It is planned that West Ealing station will have a Crossrail train every six minutes.

 

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 4 Comments

Acton Main Line Station – 16th April 2019

These pictures were taken at Acton Main Line station.

The station certainly looks to be advanced enough, to fit in  with Crossrail opening within a year, as I wrote about in Crossrail Service To Reading On Track For December Opening.

According to the Wikipedia entry for Crossrail, Acton Main Line station will have four trains per hour (tph) between Heathrow Terminal 4 and Abbey Wood stations, when Crossrail opens.

If the Western section of Crossrail opens in December 2019, would Acton Main Line station get a service of four tph between Heathrow Terminal 4 and Paddington?

That would certainly meet the standard Transport for London/Merseyrail preferred frequency of at least four tph in a station!

Crossrail To Reading In December 2019

As current rumours are that Crossrail will open in December to Reading, it looks like the station will be usable.

It is planned that Acton Main Line station will have a train every fifteen minutes.

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Are The Bakerloo Line Platforms At Paddington Ready For Step-Free Access And Crossrail?

I took these pictures on the Bakerloo Line platforms at Paddington station.

Note.

  1. The blue hoardings have gone.
  2. The decorations appear finished.
  3. There are a set of locked fire-doors in the centre of the platforms. Where do they lead?
  4. The signs by the doors, have big white spaces, which cry out for graffiti or direction signs.

It all fits with Crossrail opening within a year as I wrote about in Crossrail Service To Reading On Track For December Opening.

Many of the extra passengers will head for the Underground, so complete their journeys. So opening Crossrail to Reading with a step-free connection to the Bakerloo Line makes sense.

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

The Lucky Seven

Why the Lucky Seven?

Because i’m drinking them! Does that make us the Lucky Eight?

The seven were the last on display in Marks and Spencer on Finsbury Pavement.

The City is a good hunting ground for this excellent beer!

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail Service To Reading On Track For December Opening

The title of this post is the same as this article on New Civil Engineer.

In Will Crossrail Open To Reading in 2019?, I analysed this possibility, after it was raised in the January 2019 Edition of Modern Railways.

I decided it would be a good idea, with the major benefit of making Paddington a station without any trains running on diesel.

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 4 Comments

Startup Nikola Bets Hydrogen Will Finally Break Through With Big Rigs

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Forbes.

Read the article, as it is an interesting concept.

  • Nikola Motor will not only build the trucks, but the hydrogen filling station network across North America.
  • They believe big trucks are ideal for hydrogen power.
  • They will also make their hydrogen filling station network available to car makes.
  • The founder of the company; Trevor Milton, claims it’s easier to package hydrogen tanks in big vehicles than small ones.
  • He also claims that hydrogen-powered trucks are much lighter than battery ones.
  • Hydrogen will be produced from renewable sources, where it is needed.
  • They are raising $1.2billion dollars to fund it.

First trucks will be delivered in 2022,, if all goes well with the funding.

I have no idea, whether it will work successfully, but surely a network of hydrogen filling stations, generating their own hydrogen across a Continent could be the kick, that hydrogen power for vehicles needs.

The UK is a small island and comparing it to North America, probably means the concept wouldn’t work in the UK, but if it works in North America, it will work in Europe.

But, if Trevor Milton’s mathematics work for big trucks in North America, they may well work with trains in the UK. A few hydrogen filling stations for trains and locomotives at strategic depots might power a whole new generation of rail vehicles. The rail filling stations could be co-located with filling stations for hydrogen road vehicles.

Trucks In Cities And Large Urban Areas

As I walk around London I see lots of large trucks, that can be put into a few categories.

  • Articulated delivery trucks, often for the big supermarkets.
  • Eight-wheel rigid trucks moving loads of building materials or soil and rubble dug out of construction sites.
  • Refuse trucks.
  • Skip trucks
  • Cement mixer trucks

With the exception of the first, many of these vehicles don’t do a large number of miles in a working day.

Will we see companies like Nikola Motor and others developing hydrogen or battery-powered trucks for these niches?

If they do, I can see some interesting working and fuelling strategies developing.

Would Hydrogen Trucks Be Ideal For Cross-Channel Traffic?

Imagine a journey between Stuttgart and the Toyota plant in Derby.

  • Using the European hydrogen network, the truck arrives at Calais with a low hydrogen level.
  • On arrival in Dover it goes to a convenient hydrogen station and fills up with enough hydrogen to make the five hundred mile return journey to Derby.
  • The return journey to Stuttgart, would use a hydrogen filling station at Calais to speed the truck on it’s way.

Because of the distances involved, I’m sure hydrogen would work for regular high-value truck journeys across the Channel, even if different tractors were used on either side of the Channel, as they often are now!

You could also argue, that this journey would be better done by rail. But if that is the case, why is it so much cross-Channel freight moved by trucks?

Conclusion

Hydrogen will continue to attract innovation and it is not time to write it off yet.

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments