The Anonymous Widower

Meridian Water Station Has Opened

Meridian Water station opened yesterday, so I went there this morning to have a look.

It was surprisingly deserted, although the lifts and displays were working.

There was no-one around, so I just walked through the station building, down the stairs to Platform 2/3 and along to the country end of the platform.

These are my observations.

Platform 1

There is no platform or track in the position, where a Platform 1 will be on the side of the station nearest to Tesco and IKEA.

It could be turned into a through line, a through line with a platform or another bay platform as required in the future.

Platform 2

Platform 2 is currently arranged as a bay platform with buffer stops.

Platform 3

Platform 3 shares an island platform with Platform 2 and is a through platform on the West Anglia Main Line for trains towards London.

Trains will stop as required by the timetable.

Use Of Platforms 2 And 3

Use of Platforms 2/3 could be as follows.

  • The two trains per hour (tph) shuttle to Stratford station, will use Platform 2.
  • Trains from Platform 2 will use the new third track to Lea Bridge Junction.
  • Two tph  stop at Platform 3 on their way to London.
  • Trains that stop in Platform Platform 3 will use the West Anglia Main Line to Lea Bridge Junction.
  • After the two tracks merge at Lea Bridge Junction, they will continue as a single line until Stratford.

This adds up to the promised four tph.

It should also be noted that trains take 15-18 minutes to go between Meridian Water and Stratford stations and about ten minutes to go between Meridian Water and Lea Bridge stations.

Platform 4

Platform 4 is a through platform for trains leaving London.

Trains will stop as required by the timetable.

Platform Lengths

The platforms are long and could easily accommodate an eight-car train.

How Will The Shuttle Trains Run On The New Third Track?

To go between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water stations takes ten minutes, so with perhaps five minutes to turn the train round, will mean a twenty-five minute round trip from Lea Bridge station.

This would allow the promised two tph for the shuttle trains, North of Lea Bridge station.

How Will The Shuttle Trains Turnback At Stratford?

Currently, the two tph going between Stratford and Bishops Stortford or Hertford East stations use Platform 11 or 12 at Stratford station.

Trains also take eight minutes to go between Lea Bridge and Stratford stations, so adding five minutes to turn round, will mean a twenty-one minute Round trip from Lea Bridge station.

In other words, the promised four tph is impossible in a single platform.

But running two tph into both platforms 11 and 12 would allow the promised four tph.

However, although 11 and 12 are adjacent numbers, they are not adjacent platforms at Stratford and are connected by a subway.

Using two platforms would not be a passenger-friendly idea.

Does this mean that the High Meads Loop will be brought into use to turn the trains. This has been used in the past to turn Stansted Express trains, when they had a service to Stratford.

The signs still exist, as this picture shows.

So could local trains use Platform 11 and in the future Stansted Expresses might use Platform 12? Or might a succession of trains, just use a single platform?

I have always believed that to get the required capacity, the High Meads Loop needs to be used.

It appears though, that Greater Anglia will not be running four tph to Meridian Water station until September.

Will Trains To And From Liverpool Street Station Call At Meridian Water Station?

I don’t see why not!

  • It would make it easy for passengers going between Liverpool Street and Meridian Water stations.
  • Especially, as Greater Anglia’s new Class 720 trains, should be able to execute a stop much quicker.

Two tph to each London terminal would give Meridian Water four tph.

Future Proofing

Provision has been made for an extra Platform 1, but have other things been done.

I feel, one possibility would be for Southbound trains to split into two routes, just North of Meridian Water station.

  • Trains for Liverpool Street, would continue to use Platform 3, as it appears they do now or will do.
  • Trains for Stratford, would use Platform 1

All Southbound trains to Stratford would use the new third track exclusively.

The picture shows the end of Platform 2 and what lies behind.

Once Angel station has been demolished, will the track be modified, so that trains can go to Stratford, through Platform 1?

Field Day Festival Friday 7th June And Saturday 8th June 2019.

The Field Day Festival will be held this weekend and they are recommending using Meridian Water station.

The National Rail timetable is showing late services to Liverpool Street, are  stopping at Meridian Water station to bring festival goers back to Central London.

Where Are The Trains?

I watch Nation Rail departures page and I haven’t found any trains actually running.

Perhaps, something is not going to plan.


It looks like we have a station that is ready and waiting, but that the trains aren’t running according to plan.

Let’s hope it’s all right by Friday for the Field Festival!


June 4, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Toshiba Unveils Tri-Mode Locomotive Demonstrator

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

Toshiba Railway Europe unveiled a electric-diesel-battery hybrid traction technology demonstrator locomotive at the Transport Logistic trade show in München on June 4.

The company has a contract to supply 50 diesel-battery centre cab locomotives to DB Cargo from 2021, TRE Managing Director Hinrich Krey told Railway Gazette. The demonstrator is intended to showcase the company’s design work to date as well as highlighting future development options.

It is based on the frame and bogies of a heavy shunting locomotive.

  • There are two MAN 471 kW gensets.
  • The diesel engines are compatible with EU Stage V emissions regulations.
  • There are two SCiB 62 kWh lithium titanate oxide traction batteries.
  • Battery life is quoted as up to ten years.
  • The design is modular, so that a diesel engine can be replaced with another battery pack.
  • A pantograph working with common European voltages can provide electric power.

The locomotive is aimed at heavy shunting and light freight.


The power of the locomotive is probably about 1MW, which is less than half the power of a Class 66 locomotive. But locomotives like the Class 66 are often used for tasks, where a smaller locomotive could do an excellent job.

The low pollution of the Toshiba locomotive probably means it could work in sensitive areas or close to a workforce.

The locomotive appears to be a well-designed locomotive for an important niche market.

If this design and others like the Stadler Class 93 locomotive succeed it will lead nearer to the ultimate goal of a high performance heavy freight zero-carbon locomotive to replace the polluting diesel locomotives, that are so common on the railways of the world.

June 4, 2019 Posted by | Energy Storage, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Plans Shown Off For A Bridge Across The Thames At The Barrier

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

This Google Map shows the location of the Thames Barrier.

Note the City Airport to the North and Charlton to the South.

I think it could be a valuable link for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Northern End

The Northern end of the bridge would be a pleasant five-minute stroll through Thames Barrier Park to the Pontoon Dock DLR station, as this Google Map shows.

Note that there is a cafe in the park.

The Southern End

What would happen at the Southern end of the bridge is less clear, as this Google Map shows.

The Thames Barrier is visible at the top of this map.

Could a network of cycle and walking routes be created between Maryon Park and the bridge?

These could also extend East to Charlton station and The Valley and West to Woolwich Dockyard station, which is just on the map.


I think it could be a valuable link for pedestrians and cyclists, through a new cross-river park.



June 4, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

If This Is The End For The £1.3bn M4 Relief Road, Radical Thinking Is Needed

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

The article is a good analysis of one of South Wales’ major transport problems; How do you relieve capacity on the ageing M4 around Newport?

I haven’t been on that section of road for perhaps twenty years or even longer, but I can’t ever remember the road, not being full of traffic.

Abolition Of Tolls Not The Smartest Move

This is a subsection of the article about the abolition of tolls on the Severn Crossing, where this is one sentence.

The abolitions of tolls, as predicted, have already driven a 20% rise in traffic levels on the existing M4, which will only put more pressure on its resilience.

Any sensible person could have told you that.

Surely, the extra capacity should have at least been planned before the tolls were abolished.

But then politicians like buying votes with unsustainable decisions that benefit their electorate.

As another example, look at the problems, Sadiq Khan’s fare freeze has caused Transport for London. But then you can’t expect a lawyer and politician to get their sums right. My late wife was a lawyer and many of our friends in Suffolk were in the same profession. Few had any clue about handling numbers properly.

June 4, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment