The Anonymous Widower

Cathays 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.

Cathays station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current bridge,

This Google Map shows the station and its surroundings.


  1. As I went through I noticed a lot of development North of the station.
  2. The map shows developments to the South.
  3. There appears to be a lot of student accommodation in the area.

All this must add up to a large increase in passenger numbers at the station.

But the biggest driver of passenger numbers, will be the trains through the station, as shown on this map.

Twelve trains per hour (tph) will go through the station, when the South Wales Metro is fully developed.

  • South to Barry Island, Bridgend, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff Central, Pearth and Rhoose Airport.
  • North to Aberdate, Merthyr Tydfil, Pontypridd and Treherbert.

Cathays station will be busy, with a very busy bridge, handling twice as many trains, as it does now!

I have been sent a map of the proposed works and facilities for the South Wales Metro. This snippet shows Cathays station.


  1. Cathays station is shown with a PRM-compliant bridge with step-free access from street to train.
  2. There is a long and a short break in the electrification to the West of the station.

Cathays station is more complicated than it first appears.

Installing The Step-Free Access

I think that space for a footbridge could be tricky.

The platforms are narrow.

Is there enough space to add lifts to the existing bridge?

It could be difficult to keep the current bridge open, whilst a new one is installed.

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

It might be possible to squeeze in an asymmetric version of this bridge. Or one, where the steps went out to the side!

Electrification And Property Development To The West Of Cathays Station

To the West of Cathays station, Corbett Road crosses the railway., as this Google Map shows.

This is probably the shorter break in the electrification.

The second one could be more innovative.

This Google Map shows the railway, as it runs through Cardiff University between Cathays and Llandaf stations.

Note, what looks to be a large development site on the North side of the tracks.

Could it be that the University plans to build over the railway?

It would certainly maximise land use and perhaps make it easier for the University to construct the buildings it needs.

A New Station At Gabalfa

A new Gabalfa station is also proposed between Cathays and Llandaf stations.


It looks like there is a lot happening around Cathays station.




and there a

July 23, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Oxford Splashes Out On £4bn Science Hub

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on page 8 of today’s copy of The Times.

Legal & General is investing the four billion in three related projects.

  • Affordable homes for post-gradiates and staff.
  • An innovation hub in Begbroke.
  • An innovation quarter at Osney Mead.

Oxford is breaking out!

If I have one criticism, it is that Begbroke and Osney Mead appear badly placed for rail and bicycle access.

As some of the best innovators and researchers are short of money, this could be a mistake.

All our universities; large or small, ancient or modern, must come to the aid of the country!

July 23, 2019 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Mountains, Moors And Heaths Offer £20bn In Green Benefits

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on page 2 of today’s copy of The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

Britain’s mountains, moorlands and heaths are worth £20.1 billion for their ability to absorb carbon, remove air pollution and provide recreational activities, according to the Office for National Statistics.

It certainly make you think.

If you think twenty billion pounds is a large number, then this is another two paragraphs.

Natural accounts are required by the European Union but Theresa May has also made them a feature of the 25 Year Environment Plan that she unveiled last year.

The plan is focused on “protecting and enhancing [natural landscapes and habitats] for the next generation”. It follows work by the World Bank, which has estimated the value of the world’s untouched ecosystems at $33.7 trillion (£27.2 trillion).

Surely, this means that if you burn the rain forest, you are literally burning money!

July 23, 2019 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Industry Urged To Decide On Alternative Technology

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Magazine.

This is the first paragraph.

The rail industry needs to decide on the right approach to alternative technology as soon as possible, to ensure the industry can continue to reduce emissions.

Speaking to the All-Party Parliamentary Rail Group, Anthony Perratt of the RSSB, outlined how there was a huge opportunity to replace ageing Sprinter trains with new units powered by alternative energy sources like batteries and hydrogen.

The Size Of The Opportunity

Sprinter trains in service of stored in the UK include.

These add up to 516 trains, with a total of 1035 cars.

In the Wikipedia entry for the Class 710 train, this is said.

TfL announced that it had placed a £260m order for 45 four-car Bombardier Aventra EMUs.

This works out at nearly £1,500,000 for each car of a modern train.

This means that replacement of the Sprinters, with new independently-powered trains, would be project of the order of £1.5billion.

That is a market, that would be very much desired by a train builder.

Battery, Diesel Or Hydrogen Power?

Diesel power is probably not a good idea, if it can be avoided.

The following points about hydrogen- and battery-powered trains should be noted.

  • Most hydrogen-powered trains are battery-powered trains, with a hydrogen fuel-cell to recharge the batteries.
  • Battery technology is improving fast.
  • Systems to rapidly charge batteries will be available in a couple of years.
  • Battery-powered trains can use existing electrification to charge the batteries.
  • Hydrogen-powered trains may need a large tank for the hydrogen, which limits passenger capacity.
  • Hydrogen-powered trains need a refuelling structure, which may be more difficult to install, than a charging system for battery trains.

I feel that innovative engineers will be able to find ways to enable battery-powered trains on routes that need independently powered trains.


I don’t think, that we’ll see many long-term applications of hydrogen-powered trains in the UK.




July 23, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Warning As Electricity Cables Are Switched On In Manchester

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

This is the first paragraph.

Network Rail has warned members of the public to stay off the railway as new high voltage equipment goes live on the line between Stalybridge and Manchester Victoria.

It now looks like electric the current service between Stalybridge and Wigan North Western stations can now be run more efficiently by a Class 769 train, when these enter service.

If Network Rail were to get their skates on and electrify between Bolton and Wigan North Western stations via Lostock Junction, the talybridge and Wigan North Western Route could be run by electric traction.

This electrification of the Lostock Junction route, would also allow the Wigan North Western and Alderley Edge service to be run by electric traction.

Looking at Google Maps of the route, it appears that gantries are being or have been erected.

July 23, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 6 Comments