The Anonymous Widower

Meridian Water Station Is To Be Upgraded

In the Wiukipedia entry for Meridian Water station, this is said.

In August 2019, it was announced that funding had been approved for construction of a fourth platform and a new section of track between Tottenham Hale and Meridian Water to enable up to 8 trains per hour to serve the station at peak times.

This must be the earliest upgrade in history, after a new station has opened.

I have searched the Internet and can’t find anything more about the loose statement, I quoted above.

Space has been left for the fourth platform, which will be numbered 1, on the East side of the station, as this picture taken from the island platform 2/3 shows.

Will platform 1 be a terninal platform or will it be a through platform.

A through platform connected to a loop around the island platform would allow Southbound trains to split to the North of the station.

  • Trains for Liverpool Street would call in Platform 3 and continue as now to Liverpool Street.
  • Stopping trains for Stratford would call in Platform 1 and take the proposed extra track to Tottenham Hale.
  • Express trains for Stratford could call in Platform 3 and continue as now to Stratford.
  • Platform 2 would still be a bay platform to handle shuttle trains from Stratford.

Eight trains per hour (tph) in both directions calling at the station could be as follows.

  • Platform 1 – Two tph from Bishops Stortford to Stratford
  • Platform 2 – Two tph Meridian Water to Stratford
  • Platform 3 – Two tph from Hertford East to Liverpool Street
  • Platform 3 – One tph from Cambridge to Liverpool Street
  • Platform 3 – One tph from Cambridge North to Liverpool Street
  • Platform 4 – Two tph from Stratford to Bishops Stortford
  • Platform 4 – Two tph from Liverpool Street to Hertford East
  • Platform 4 – One tph from Liverpool Street to Cambridge
  • Platform 4 – One tph from Liverpool Street to Cambridge North

Four tph go to and from each of Stratford and Liverpool Street.

The Extra Track

As I said earlier, the extra track could be a loop through the station with the following layout.

  • Start to the North of Meridian Water station, around the area of the former Angel Road station.
  • Go through Platform 1 at Meridian Water station.
  • Continue South to the East of the other three tracks.
  • Go through Northumberland Park station, where provision has been made to add a new Platform 1.
  • Continue South.
  • It would probably then join with the new Northbound track and go into Platform 2 at Tottenham Hale station.
  • Continue South on the recently-built third track to Lea Bridge and Stratford stations.

The operation of the route looks complicated with the number of tracks as follows.

  • Between Stratford and Lea Bridge Junction via Lea Bridge station – Two tracks
  • Between Lea Bridge Junction and Tottenham Hale station – One track – Bi-directional
  • Between Tottenham Hale and Meridian Water via Northumberland Park station – Two tracks

This would enable a four tph service between Stratford and Meridian Water stations.

Would It Not Be Better To Extend The Fourth Track To Lea Bridge Junction?


But by only having a single extra bi-directional track South of Tottenham Hale, they can achieve the required service without replacing the Ferry Lane Bridge and possibly with a simpler track layout at Lea Bridge Junction.

How Would And Stratford and Stansted Airport Services Fit In?

What I think the eight tph service could be, means that on the third track between Tottenham Hale and Lea Bridge stations, there are four Southbound and two Northbound trains in every hour. This can probably be handled by bi-directional running on the single track section.

But other arrangements would probably have to be made to squeeze some more services into the section between Tottenham Hale and Lea Bridge stations.

Perhaps digital signalling would allow Stansted trains to use the main route and only stopping trains would use the new third track. This could probably mean that Stratford had the following services along the West Anglia Main Line.

  • 2tph – Shuttle to Meridian Water
  • 2 tph – Semi-fast to Bishops Stortford
  • 2 tph – Stansted Express

Would some or all of the train use the High Meads Loop to turn round, as some Stansted services to Stratford have done in the past?

Will A Stratford And Stansted Service Be An Extension Of The Norwich and Stansted Service?

This would be possible and Greater Anglia have enough Class 755 trains to run it.

  • It would add a fourth service in each hour between London and Norwich.
  • It would add a direct service between Cambridge and Stratford.
  • If run at a frequency of 2 tph it would greatly improve connectivity up the West Anglia Main Line to Cambridge and Stansted Airport

Passenger numbers will decide what happens.

Train timings are interesting.

With the current Class 170 trains, I suspect that they could run between Norwich and Stansted in just under two hours, to make a round trip in four hours possible but tight. So can the bi-mode Class 755 trains using electricity South of Ely easily achieve the very convenient four hour round trip?

  • The bay platform at Cambridge would be released for other services.
  • Just four trains would be needed for an hourly service.

Between Stansted and Stratford a limited stop Express would be comfortably under the hour, especially if the High Meads Loop were to be used.

  • Stansted and Stratford would need four trains to run a two tph service,which would probably be Class 720 trains.
  • Norwich and Stratford via Stansted would need six trains for an hourly service and twelve for two tph.

The numbers of extra trains required for a joined-up two tph service between Norwich and Stratford, probably make it unlikely.

I think the service will be as follow.

  • Hourly Norwich and Stansted using Class 755 trains.
  • 2tph Stansted and Stratford using Class 720 trains.

But if the Norwich and Stansted via Cambridge service is as successful, as I think it will be, the passenger numbers might prompt Greater Anglia to add a second train on every hour.

The only problem would be if the new services generated a lot of journeys between Cambridge and Stratford and Greater Anglia felt there should be at least an hourly service.

Will Stansted Services Stop At Meridian Water?

Why not!

  • It is going to be a community of ten thousand houses.
  • Businesses in the are will increase and could be attracted by an Airport service.
  • Modern trains have a very short dwell time.

It will depend on the passenger numbers.

The Shuttle Starts

The station should be receiving the first shuttle trains on Monday the 9th of September,, as I said in The Shuttle Train Between Stratford And Meridian Water Stations Has Appeared In The Timetable.

Looking at the timetable fo Monday from around 14:00, Strastford services through Tottenham Hale station appear to be.

  • 13:56 in Platform 3 – Bishops Stortford (13:15) to Stratford (14:10) – Doesn’t use the third track.
  • 14:13 in Platform 4 – Stratford (14:00) to Bishops Stortford (14:56) – Doesn’t use the third track.
  • 14:13 in Platform 2 – Meridian Water (14:08) to Stratford (14:23) – On the third track between 14:08 and 14:16
  • 14:25 in Platform 2 – Stratford (14:16) to Meridian Water (14:31) – On the third track between 14:22 and 14:31
  • 14:43 in Platform 3 – Bishops Stortford (13:47) to Stratford (14:40) – Doesn’t use the third track.
  • 14:43 in Platform 4 – Stratford (14:30) to Bishops Stortford (15:23) – Doesn’t use the third track.
  • 14:43 in Platform 2 – Meridian Water (14:38) to Stratford (14:53) -On the third track between 14:38 and 14:46
  • 14:55 in Platform 2 – Stratford (14:46) to Meridian Water (15:01) – On the third track between 14:52 and 15:01
  • 14:56 in Platform 3 – Bishops Stortford (14:15) to Stratford (15:10) – Doesn’t use the third track.
  • 15:13 in Platform 4 – Stratford (15:00) to Bishops Stortford (15:56) – Doesn’t use the third track.


  1. The first time in each entry, is the time at Tottenham Hale.
  2. All Stratford services from Tottenham Hale leave from the island platform 2/3.

It would appear that the two tph to Bishops Stortford and 2tph to Meridian Water are intertwined.

I can follow the first train through the services in the table.

  • The first train leaves Bishops Stortford at 13:15 and arrives at Stratford at 14:10
  • It leaves for Meridian Water at 14:16, where it arrives at 14:31
  • It returns to Stratford at 14:38, where it arrives at 14:53.
  • The train finally leaves for Bishops Stortford at 15:30, where it arrives at 16:23

The 14:10 arrival at Stratford left Bishops Stortford at 13:15 and that the 15:30 arrives back at Bishops Stortford at 16:23, where it forms the 16:47 back to Stratford.

The round trip is three and a half hours and it would need seven trains.

What Trains Will Be Used For The Shuttle?

The current services between Stratford and Bishops Stortford are pairs of Class 317 trains, forming an eight-car train.

These will work well for the time being, but what happens when the new Class 720 trains arrive.

These are five- and ten-car trains and will they be a suitable length to run the Stratford/Bishops Sortford/Meridian Water services?

Five-car may be too short and ten-car may be too long!

The only four-car trains in the area are the Class 710 trains of the London Overground.


There are a lot of questions to answer.

I shall add to this post, when I see what is happening next week.

September 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 6 Comments

Could We Bore A Double-Track Railway With A Tunnel Boring Machine?

There is one inevitability about construction projects.

As buildings get taller, foundations get deeper, structures get heavier, machines like cranes get bigger and more able to lift heavy loads.

I remember how in the 1970s, a project manager was eulogising about how the latest floating cranes that could lift 4,000 tonnes wee revolutionising the construction of oil platforms in the North Sea.

Crossrail may be a railway under London, where people think the tunnels are massive.

This page on the Crossrail web site describes the tunnels.

A network of new rail tunnels have been built by eight giant tunnel boring machines, to carry Crossrail’s trains eastbound and westbound. Each tunnel is 21 kilometres/13 miles long, 6.2 metres in diameter and up to 40 metres below ground.

But they are not the largest tunnels under London.

The Thames Tunnel, built by the Brunels, opened in 1843.

  • It is eleven metres wide.
  • It is six metres high.
  • It carries the double track railway of the East London Line, which runs Class 378 trains, which are very much a typical British loading gauge.

There is also the Thames Tideway Tunnel, which is being dug to be a 7.2 wide circular tunnel.

And then there’s Bertha!

This description is from Wikipedia.

Bertha was a 57.5-foot-diameter (17.5 m) tunnel boring machine built specifically for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel project in Seattle.[1] It was made by Hitachi Zosen Sakai Works in Osaka, Japan, and the machine’s assembly was completed in Seattle in June 2013. Tunnel boring began on July 30, 2013, with the machine originally scheduled to complete the tunnel in December 2015.

It looks like London’s tunnels should be considered small.

Cross section areas of various tunnels are.

  • Thames Tuideway Tunnel – 40.7 square metres.
  • Thames Tunnel – 66 square metres
  • Seattle Tunnel – 240 square metres.
  • 8 metre circular tunnel – 50.3 square metres
  • 10 metre circular tunnel – 78.6 square metres
  • 12 metre circular tunnel – 113 square metres

The Seattle Tunnel shows what is possible today.

I am led to the obvious conclusion.

It would be possible to build a tunnel to take a full-size double-track UK railway using a tunnel boring machine.

Whether you would want to is another matter, as two single tunnels may be more affordable and better operationally.

September 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 4 Comments

Why Zero-Emission Hydrogen Is The Best Way To Power the Cars of Future

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Robb Report.

This is the sub-title.

Hydrogen can provide longer range, faster refueling times and zero emissions

If you believe hydrogen is the fuel of the future and always will be, then read the report.

It even talks about a hydrogen powered rotorcraft from Alaka’i Technologies.

Looks good technology, but I don’t like the name!

But it can carry five passengers or a thousand pound payload for four hundred miles!

September 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Does Anybody Know Of An On-Line Bank Account, Where You Can Annotate The Statement?

I have looked at several on-line bank accounts and none offers me a feature I want.

I check my statement every morning, as this is one of the best ways to guard against fraud.

  • If there is an unexpected transaction, you spot it early.
  • If banks used AI to classify your access, then it might be possible for them to flag-up possible illegal access.

So what feature is missing?

Imagine if against each line in the statement, there was the ability to add extra data.

Two fields come to mind.

  • A comment.
  • A costcode, such as Gas, Electricity, StatePension etc.

You could also add fields of your own, like say CustomerNumber, SupplierNumber or InvoiceNumber.

The bank statement would show the extra data, when you displayed or printed the statement.

I would use it every day!

But it would also allow you to total values against against any cosde field between two dates.

If you used standard costcodes and other fields, the bank could even calculate your accounts.

I first talked about such a system with an accountant in the 1970s, where you would have entered the cost code on a cheque or bank deposit.

Banks! bGrrrr! \They haven’t changed their mindset since the 1870s! Or should that be the 1570s?

September 5, 2019 Posted by | Computing, Finance | | 1 Comment