The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On Digital Signalling On The East Coast Main Line

I came up to Doncaster yesterday on a new Hull Trains Class 802 train.

According t9o my pocket dynamometer car, the train seemed to be at or nearly at 125 mph, most of the time I looked from possibly around Stevenage to just South of Doncaster.

I came back today on an LNER Class 801 train and the train’s performance seemed very similar.

I also noted the following.

  • The two stops at Newark and Peterborough, took seven and nine minutes respectively from the start of slowing for the station until back up to speed.
  • Between Peterborough and Stevenage the train kept below a maximum of 110 mph.
  • The train went through the two tunnels before Welwyn North station and the station itself at 75 mph.
  • I timed the train at 100 mph over the Digswell Viaduct, when it reached the South side after accelerating on the viaduct.
  • 90 mph was maintained between Potters Bar and New Southgate stations.
  • Speed gradually reduced from New Southgate into Kings Cross.

Note.

  1. 125 mph is the maximum allowable speed of the train.
  2. The 110 mph running was probably to be compatible with the Class 387 trains.
  3. I will do the trip again and get some accurate figures.

It appears to me, that the driver was obeying a simple but fast plan.

The Wikipedia entry for the East Coast Main Line, says this about the opiating speed of the line, with the new trains.

Increasing maximum speeds on the fast lines between Woolmer Green and Dalton-on-Tees up to 140 mph (225 km/h) in conjunction with the introduction of the Intercity Express Programme, level crossing closures, ETRMS fitments, OLE rewiring and the OLE PSU – est. to cost £1.3 billion (2014). This project is referred to as “L2E4” or London to Edinburgh (in) 4 Hours. L2E4 examined the operation of the IEP at 140 mph on the ECML and the sections of track which can be upgraded to permit this, together with the engineering and operational costs

It also says this about the implementation of digital signalling.

A new Rail operating centre (ROC), with training facilities, opened in early 2014 at the “Engineer’s Triangle” in York. The ROC will enable signalling and day-to-day operations of the route to be undertaken in a single location. Signalling control/traffic management using ERTMS is scheduled to be introduced from 2020 on the ECML between London King’s Cross and Doncaster – managed from the York ROC.

The signalling could probably work in one of two ways.

  • The signalling tells the driver the required speed and he drives the train accordingly.
  • The signalling drives the train and the driver monitors what is happening.

Both methods are used in the UK.

A Possible London Kings Cross and Leeds Service

The combined affect of both track and signalling improvements is illustrated by this simple calculation.

  • As Dalton-on-Tees is North of Doncaster, the route between Woolmer Green and Doncaster should be possible to be run at 140 mph
  • Woolmer Green and Doncaster stations are 132.1 miles apart.
  • Non-stop York and London Kings Cross trains are currently timed at 70 minutes between Doncaster and Woolmer Green stations.
  • This is an average speed of 113.2 mph.

If 140 mph could be maintained between Doncaster and Woolmer Green, the section of the journey would take 56.6 minutes, which is a saving of 13.4 minutes.

Consider.

  • The fastest current trains between London Kings Cross and Leeds take between two hours and twelve minutes and two hours and fifteen minutes.
  • I suspect that the extra tracks into Kings Cross, that are currently being built will save a few minutes.
  • There must be some savings to be made between Doncaster and Leeds
  • There must be some savings to be made between London Kings Cross and Woolmer Green.
  • There could be a rearrangement of stops.

I think it is highly likely that there be at least one train per hour (tph) between London Kings Cross and Leeds, that does the trip in two hours.

  • There is no reason why all London Kings Cross and Leeds trains could take two hours.
  • High Speed Two is predicting one hour and twenty-one minutes for their future service, which is a saving of 38 minutes.
  • London and Leeds in two hours will attract passengers.

There will be serious competition between London and Leeds.

Other Timing Improvements

I also think these times would be possible

  • London Kings Cross and Bradford Forster Square – two hours and thirty minutes
  • London Kings Cross and Harrogate – two hours and thirty minutes
  • London Kings Cross and Huddersfield – two hours and twenty minutes
  • London Kings Cross and Hull – two hours and thirty minutes
  • London Kings Cross and Middlesbrough – two hours and thirty minutes
  • London Kings Cross and Scarborough – two hours and thirty minutes
  • London Kings Cross and Skipton – two hours and thirty minutes
  • London Kings Cross and York – two hours

I would be fairly certain that London Kings Cross and Huddersfield could be slowed by ten minutes, which would give the London Kings Cross and Yorkshire a certain symmetry.

  • London Kings Cross and Leeds and York would take two hours.
  • London Kings Cross and all the others would take two hours and thirty minutes.

It would probably make arrangement of a fast timetable easier.

 

 

September 15, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Power Of Community In A Crisis

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Business Green.

This is the introductory paragraph.

OVO’s Kate Weinberg reflects on a hugely eventful year since the energy giant debuted its ground-breaking Plan Zero strategy

I have been using OVO for some years now and have not had the smallest quibble in that time.

They salso handle the Feed-In Tariff for my solar panels.

September 15, 2020 Posted by | Energy | , | Leave a comment

Transition Your Ships To Zero-Emissions With Ballard’s New FCwave

The title of this post, is the same as that of this post on the Ballard blog.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Today, the maritime sector accounts for approximately 2.5% of global carbon emissions, equivalent to 940 megatonnes each year . But the industry is now moving into a new era of mobility, where sustainability and climate change issues are top of mind.

And this paragraph introduces Ballard’s solution.

At Ballard, we’re here to support ship operators and marine propulsion integrators in this transition. Today, we’ll introduce you to our new FCwave™ fuel cell module—the world’s first commercial fuel cell solution for marine vessels.

There is a link to a brochure.

The blog also has two videos and a picture of a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry, which is labelled Ballard Fuel Cell Powered HySeas Consortium Ferry, so is a hydrogen-powered ferry coming to an island near you or where you like to go?

This article on the Liverpool Echo is entitled Plans For A New Ferry To Cross The Mersey.

As the current two ferries, were in service when I was a student at Liverpool University in the 1960s, replacement of one of the most iconic, if not the most iconic ferries in the world with hydrogen power would be a smart move, by both Liverpool and Ballard.

Especially, as the Liverpool area is not short of hydrogen.

September 15, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Morphing Water Crystals Could Be The Future Of Green Energy

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

It’s a process so embedded in our daily lives that itts easy to ignore. However, new research indicates there’s more to water evaporation than simply letting your towels dry in the sun after a day at the beach. Evaporation, like any form of matter transformation, requires energy.

An international team of researchers recently tried to better understand that energy process by examining the shape-shifting crystals that control it. They published their findings in Nature Materials on Monday.

Could the researchers have found a new way to create green energy?

September 15, 2020 Posted by | Energy | , | Leave a comment

Google Going “Carbon Free” By 2030

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Houston Chronicle.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Tech giant Google is committing to using no form of energy that emits carbon dioxide by the end of this decade, ramping up its commitment to fighting climate change.

This looks like a good thing to me, as all those servers use a lot of electricity.

There have also been similar pledges from Microsoft and Apple.

September 15, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Energy | , , , | Leave a comment

Rival Site For £100m Powys Rail Testing Project

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Powys County Times.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Plans to build a £100 million rail testing centre on the edge of Powys could be derailed by a rival plan in England, it has emerged.

The major testing facility at the former Nant Helen open cast mining site on the border between Powys and Neath Port Talbot could face a rival application from German multinational Siemens, which has earmarked a site in Lincolnshire for a rival bid.

It seems, you wait many years for a rail test track and then two come along at the same time.

September 15, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment