The Anonymous Widower

Garforth 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.

Garforth station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current bridge,

This Google Map shows the station.

Leeds is to the West and York is to the East.

The Commuter Parking Problem

Like other stations in my exploration of some of the stations going step-free in the list, Garforth station is not ideal for commuters, who need step-free access.

The car park is ideally-placed for those travelling to work in Leeds.

  • The car park is currently free to rail users and after parking, you are ready to get a ticket and catch a train.
  • Passengers can if they need buy a ticket in the Ticket Office or a machine, if they need one.
  • Then without much ado, you just walk onto the platform and await the train for Leeds.

Coming back from Leeds is the problem.

  • The train arrives in the opposite platform.
  • To get to your car, you need to walk to the back of the train and cross over the iron footbridge to the other platform.

It is not an efficient procedure and it will be difficult, if you’re in a wheel-chair, are pushing a child or children in a buggy or you are trailing a heavy case.

To complicate the problem at Garforth station, the bridge must also be used to get to and from buses from the Leeds-bound platform.

A step-free route across the railway, with a higher capacity than the present bridge, is needed.

Replacing The Existing Bridge

The existing bridge could be replaced with a new brick-and-concrete structure with steps and lifts.

  • But this would effectively close the station for as long as it takes to rebuild the new bridge.
  • It would also need a temporary bridge or some other means of crossing the railway to be erected, during the construction period.

Sometimes, minimising the disruption a project creates, is a major part of the project costs.

Building A Second Bridge

Suppose though a second bridge was built at another position in the station.

It would have steps and lifts.

Once the new bridge is complete, the original bridge could either restored to create extra capacity or demolished.

This simple sequence means the following.

At all time, until the new bridge opens, there is as much capacity as there is now!

After the new bridge opens, there is extra capacity and step-free access.

The building of the second bridge, doesn’t disrupt trainms or passengers to any great extent.

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, towards the York end of at Garforth station?

If it could, it would have the following advantages.

  • Quality should be good for a factory-built bridge.
  • Work on site would be minimised.
  • The bridge could be delivered and assembled from the railway.

Costs might be more affordable.

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

Todmorden 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.

Todmorden station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current subway,

This is a Google Map of the station.

Note how the railway clings to the hillside and is hemmed in by roads and other buildings.

As the pictures show, access to the platforms is by means of a subway under the railway and steep steps to the platforms.

An Increasingly Busy Station

For the last few years, there has been a continuous increase in the number of trains through the station.

I wonder, if on some journeys across the Pennines, there is a change at Todmorden, where the Blackburn and Leeds services to Manchester Victoria connect.

As this could require a platform change at Todmorden, you only want someone in a wheelchair to try to use Todmorden as an interchange and you get delayed trains at best and God knows what, at worst.

Manchester Airport Services

Under Future Services in the Wikipedia entry for Todmorden station, this is said.

New through services to Chester, Manchester Airport and Liverpool Lime Street (marketed under the “Northern Connect” brand)

Passengers to Manchester Airport, will be more likely to have heavy luggage, which could be difficult at the station.

Installing Lifts

More trains and passengers will inevitably lead to more calls for step-free access.

The solution to step-free access is probably to put a lift to each platform from the subway.

There also appears to be plenty of space on the pltforms for the lifts.

It might not be the easiest installations, as it looks like the station is built from solid Pennine stone.

Conclusion

Todmorden station needs step-free access and with good design can probably be added without too much difficulty.

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

Trafford Park Line – June 2nd 2019

In Walking From Pomona To MediaCityUK, I showed the progress of the Trafford Park Line in February 2019.

These pictures show the current progress.

They were taken from a tram arriving at Pomona.

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

A Map, An M & S, But No Clock At Manchester Victoria Station

Manchester Victoria station has improved recently, with a map and an M & S Simply Food.

But it doesn’t have a proper clock.

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

The Most Annoying Thing They Do To Trams

When I first arrive in a city, I tend to take a ride on the local trams to get my bearings.

But it is difficult, to see where you are and what you are doing, if the tram is covered in advertising, like this one in Manchester.

It means that visitors can’t see the city properly. Hopefully, locals know their city!

I remember visiting one city, where every tram was wrapped in advertising.

The city wasn’t very interesting, so perhaps that was the reason.

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

Daisy Hill 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.

Daisy Hill station is on the list.

These pictures show the station.

This Google Map shows the station.

Whilst I was at Daisy Hill, I spoke to a couple who used the station regularly, who told me the following.

  • The station needed step-free access.
  • The station had been recently decorated and that the platforms were being extended.
  • The local kids would get in and muck about in the lift.
  • There is a lot of new housing to be built locally.

My own observations are.

  • The steps are long, but swell-hand-railed.
  • The station is in generally good condition.
  • The Google Map shows that platforms have been longer in the past.

Surprisingly, the couple hadn’t heard that the station is to be made step-free.

Installing Step-Free Access

From the pictures, that I took, it looks like a single lift could be placed between the street and platform levels.

It would probably be tucked into the angle of the building.

This arrangement is not the most difficult of designs and lifts have been incorporated into stations like this, many times.

Conclusion

This station will be greatly improved by a single lift.

As to the fact, that the couple I spoke to, hadn’t heard of the step-free access, I’ve heard this at other stations on the list.

Network Rail need to sort their publicity.

 

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

The Light And The Dark Of It!

I find Manchester Victoria station annoying.

In some parts like the tram station, the light is good, but much of it is dark and dingy.

There are below ground stations with higher light levels than some parts of Victoria station.

I know the weather wasn’t bright on Saturday, but station lighting should be able to cope.

June 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Manchester Victoria To Chester

On Saturday, I went between Manchester Victoria and Chester on the new hourly Northern Connect service between Chester and Leeds.

Note.

  1. The train was a Class 158 train, with a Class 153 train acting as a capacity enhancer.
  2. The train was only doing 60 mph on the West Coast Main Line.
  3. The service was fairly busy.
  4. The route is electrified between Manchester Victoria and Warrington Bank Quay stations.

On this Saturday morning, it appeared to me that a better train is needed.

In Northern Connect Between Chester And Leeds To Start In May, I did report a rumour that Class 769 trains might be running between Chester and Leeds.

In my view Class 769 trains are ideal for the route between Chester and Leeds.

  • They are four-car trains.
  • They can do 100 mph, where electrification is available.
  • They are 90 mph trains on diesel.

There main problem, is not their age, but since they were proposed, train interiors have moved on. Passengers and train operating companies want more tables and comfortable seats. Even some refurbishments of forty-year-old trains have tables. In What Train Is This?, I described a high class refurbishment of a Class 150 train. Here’s a picture.

The Chester and Leeds route and probably many other routes in the UK need a train with the following characteristics.

  • 100 mph using either 25 KVAC overhead or 750 VDC third-rail electrification.
  • 100 mph on secondary power like diesel, battery or hydrogen.
  • two hundred mile range without refuelling.
  • Four or five cars.
  • Comfortable interior with tables, wi-fi, power points and everything else passengers want.

Train operating companies would probably like a 125 mph version.

Hitachi already have a train with this specification in the Class 800 train. In Hitachi Plans To Run ScotRail Class 385 EMUs Beyond The Wires, I detail, Hitachi’s plans for Class 385 trains. Could these be stretched to perhaps do 100 miles on batteries.

Bombardier are offering a High Speed Bi-Mode Aventra with batteries and Stadler are introducing the Class 755 train for Greater Anglia.

Conclusion

It looks to me, that Northern need to get themselves some new 100 mph hybrid trains. The diesels they have on order are so Twentieth Century and late!

June 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 5 Comments