The Anonymous Widower

No Progress At Syon Lane Station

I visited Syon Lane station this morning and there has been no progress on the footbridge, that Network Rail say will be installed by late summer.

Over the weekend various works were done along the line, including some conductor rail replacement.

There’s another blockade next weekend, so I’ll see what happens then!

Conclusion

The longer it goes without any visible progress, does it make it more likely, that some form of prefabricated bridge will be assembled like giant Lego?

I can’t see how, if a traditional footbridge is used, it can be built to their timescale.

July 22, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Sheffield Region Transport Plan 2019 – Hope Valley Line Improvements

The improvements to the Hope Valley Line are listed under Plans in the Wikipedia entry for the line.

This is said.

Network Rail, in partnership with South Yorkshire ITA, will redouble the track between Dore Station Junction and Dore West Junction, at an estimated cost of £15 million. This costing is based on four additional vehicles in traffic to deliver the option, however, this will depend on vehicle allocation through the DfT rolling stock plan. This work will be programmed, subject to funding, in conjunction with signalling renewals in the Dore/Totley Tunnel area.

Other proposals include a loop in the Bamford area, in order to fit in an all-day (07:00–19:00) hourly Manchester–Sheffield via New Mills Central stopping service, by extending an existing Manchester–New Mills Central service. Planning permission for this was granted in February 2018.

These changes to allow three fast trains, a stopping train and freight trains each hour were also supported in a Transport for the North investment report in 2019, together with “further interventions” for the Northern Powerhouse Rail programme.

So what does that all mean?

All of the stations mentioned like Dore & Totley, Bamford are at the Sheffield end of the Hope Valley Line, where it joins the Midland Main Line.

This map, which was clipped from Wikipedia, shows the lines and the stations.

Note.

  1. The Midland Main Line runs South to North and West is upwards
  2. Dore West Junction is close to the Eastern end of Totley Tunnel.
  3. The Hope Valley Line is double track from Dore West Junction to the West.
  4. The Midland Main Line is double-track.
  5. Dore & Totley station is on a single-track chord, between Dore West Junction and Dore Station Junction.
  6. Another single-track chord connects Dore West Junction and Dore South Junction on the Midland Main Line.

I’ll now cover each part of the work in seperate sections.

Dore Junction And Dpre & Totley Station

This Google Map shows the area of Dore & Totley station and the triangular junction.

Note.

  1. Dore & Totley station is at the North of the map.
  2. The Midland Main Line goes down the Eastern side of the triangular junction.
  3. The Hope Valley Line goes West from Dore West Junction.
  4. The Midland Main Line goes South from Dore South Junction.

Network Rail’s plan would appear to do the following.

  • Create a double-track between Dore Station Junction and Dore West Junction, through the Dore & Totley station.
  • Add a second platform and a footbridge with lifts to the station.

Instead of a single-track line handling traffic in both directions, there will be a double-track railway with a track in each direction.

Capacity will have been increased.

In some ways Network Rail are only returning the station to how it existed in the past, so it shouldn’t be the most difficult of projects. But many of this type of project have surprises, so I’ll see it when the new station opens.

The Bamford Loop

On this page on the Friends of Dore & Totley Station web site, this is said about the Bamford Loop.

A Bamford Loop which is a place to halt frieight trains to allow passenger trains to overtake. This is east of Bamford station.

It is around a thousand metres long.

Flying my helicopter between Bamford and Heathersage stations, the track appears almost straight and adding a loop shouldn’t be that difficult.

The only problem is that there is a level crossing for a footpath at Heathersage West.

This will be replaced by a footbridge.

Benefits

The page on the Friends of Dore & Totley Station gives the main benefits of the scheme are to :-

  • Increase the number of fast trains from 2 to 3 per hour
  • Increase the stopping trains from 1 every 2 hours to 1 per hour
  • To provide for 3 freight trains every two hours as at present.
  • Allow trains of up to 6 cars to use the route
  • Accommodate longer freight trains
  • Improve reliability on the route

These seem to be fairly worthwhile benefits from a relatively simple scheme

 

July 22, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Air Travellers To Be Hit By Carbon Charge On All Tickets

The title of this post is the same as that of an article on the front page of today’s copy of The Times.

  • The charge would be added to air tickets on an opt-out basis.
  • London to New York would have £30 added or £15 with the most fuel-efficient airline.
  • London to Madrid would have £25 added.

It is envisaged the charge would also be added to trains, buses and ferries.

These are some of my first thoughts.

  • There will be a lot of opposition to any Government trying to enact this policy, as to most people two weeks in the sun in Spain or a long flight to Australia, are more important than the planet.
  • Some nations would never enact a policy like this anyway.
  • How would a Government force airlines like Air NeckEnd based in some far-off land to show the charge?
  • Trumkopf would consider it anti-American

But I believe that the airline industry, airports and the most of the plane and engine builders are brighter than Donald Trump.

  • If you look at the vehicle industry, belatedly it is starting to move towards cars with a lower carbon footprint.
  • Innovation is also helping to provide alternative solutions, that are bringing vehicles towards a zero-carbon future.
  • Companies like Airbus and Rolls-Royce are spending millions of Euros and pounds to design the airlines of the future.
  • New entrants into aviation like Eviation with their Alice electric aircraft are on the verge of flying.
  • Airliners are getting more efficient with time.

As a simple example take Ryanair with Boeing 737s and easyJet with Airbus A320s.

  • Suppose, one airliner had a higher carbon charge on the London to Madrid route.
  • Would this make you choose one airline over the other?
  • Possibly! But it would certainly make the plane-maker with the least efficient airliners get its act together, or it wouldn’t sell planes.

I believe that a carbon charge could hasten airliners becoming more efficient!

What About Airports?

I have read articles about airports, where they are aiming to make all their ground operations zero-carbon.

This is possible now with electric vehicles and even electric tugs, that can tow a Boeing 747.

So surely, the carbon generated at the airports involved in a flight should also be taken into account and offset.

What About Getting To And From The Airports?

In the UK, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle, Southampton, Southend and Stansted are connected by electric transport systems, but Bristol, East Midlands, Glasgow, Leeds and Liverpool are not!

This should generate an appropriate carbon charge.

Surely too, if you are driving your petrol or diesel car to and from the airport, this should be taken into account.

Conclusion

A fairly-applied carbon charge based on the flight, the airport and getting to the airport would help to drive down carbon emissions due to the application of better technology.

 

July 22, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Schroders Unveils Global Energy Transition Fund

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Investment Europe.

This is the first paragraph.

Schroders has launched global energy transition fund in order to harness the global shift towards a low carbon energy system and meeting growing client demand for actively-managed exposure to this fast-evolving and ground-breaking sector.

Read the rest of the article  about their new fund.

I pick out this paragraph, that defines the strategy.

The strategy will not invest in companies with exposure to nuclear or fossil fuels. It will harness three significant global trends; the decarbonisation of power generation, the electrification of energy use and increased energy efficiency for its investment process.

This is the first sentence in the Wikipedia entry for Shroders.

Schroders plc is a British multinational asset management company, founded in 1804. The company employs over 5,000 people worldwide in 32 different countries around Europe, America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Headquartered in the City of London, it is traded on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

I think that launch of this global energy transition fund by one of the City of London’s most respected institutions, will eventually be one of many similsr and related funds launched by companies and institutions and that these funds will play a big part in decarbonisation of the planet.

Investment from the big boys is going green.

 

 

July 22, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Now We Are Six!

I just had a ride on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

I think I saw six different Class 710 trains and I certainly didn’t see a Class 378 rains.

I’m fairly sure there is now enough of the new trains to provide the full four trains per hour service.

At last!!

A Note On Longitudinal Seating

Longitudinal seating, which is fitted to the Class 710 train, is not to everyone’s taste and in the UK, it is only used at present on the following services.

  • London Underground
  • London Overground
  • Docklands Light Railway
  • Glasgow Subway
  • Island Line, Isle of Wight
  • Marston Vale Line, partially on the Class 230 train.

With some services, it is the only one that will fit!

Longitudinal seating is also proposed for the Tyne and Wear Metro’s new rolling stock.

As a regular traveller on the only full-size service, with longitudinal seating; the London Overground, I find the following.

  • In the Peak, those who need a seat get one and there is masses of standing space.
  • In less busy times, they are spacious and good for baggage, buggies and dogs.

Go through Dalston Kingsland station in the Peak and see how East Enders play sardines!

A Footnote On The Class 710 Train

In my view, these are the best urban electric multiple units in the UK.

  • Ride is smooth and Class 378 and Class 331 trains don’t come close.
  • They are very quiet.
  • The trains are light and airy.
  • The longitudinal layout  with comfortable seats works.

And on a sunny day like today, the colours were absolutely right!

July 22, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments