The Anonymous Widower

Dereliction On Teesside – 28th October 2020

The Tees Valley Line between Middlesbrough and Redcar is lined with derelict steel works.

I don’t think there’s an area of such industrial dereliction, in the UK.

October 31, 2020 Posted by | Business, World | , , | Leave a comment

Saltburn Station – 28th October 2020

I paid a quick visit to Saltburn station.

I would have had a bigger look round, but time was tight.

The reason the time was tight, was a classic example of what you get with a rail route, with only one train per hour (tph). The next train would have meant, I’d missed my train to London and would have had to buy another ticket.

This Google Map shows the station.


  1. There are two platforms.
  2. The station appears to be close to the Town Centre.
  3. There is a branch leading South to the Boulby Mine. This branch is used to handle the output of the mine, which is polyhalite and rock salt.

These are my thoughts.

Four tph Between Darlington And Saltburn

Four tph is planned between Darlington and Saltburn.

  • Two platforms at Saltburn will surely help.
  • All intermediate stations have two platforms.
  • The route is double track all the way, except for the approach to Darlington station.

I discussed the approach from the East to Darlington station in Darlington Station – 28th October 2020 and suggested that a dive-under is needed to allow the following.

  • High speed trains can make a fast approach and departure from the new high speed platforms at Darlington.
  • Saltburn to Bishop Auckland services to avoid crossing the East Coast Main Line on the flat to access Platform 4 at Darlington.
  • Darlington and Saltburn services to sneak under the East Coast Main Line and access Platform 2 at Darlington.

There may also need to be some track modifications to the North of Darlington station, but as there are two tph between Bishop Auckland and Darlington to accommodate, the modifications would probably be less extensive.

Charging Battery Electric Trains At Saltburn

I doubt that this would be essential, as Middlesbrough is only thirteen miles away, but there is surely space to fit in one of Vivarail’s Fast Charge systems in the station.

Passenger Services On The Boulby Mine Branch

If housing is developed around Saltburn, this could be a possibility at some time in the future.

This was the route of the Whitby, Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway, which was closed in 1958 and then reopened to Boulby Mine in the 1970s.

There were originally two stations between Saltburn and Boulby; Loftus and Grinkle.

In a section of the Wikipedia entry for the railway called The Railway Today, this is said.

In January 2019, Campaign for Better Transport released a report identifying the line between Saltburn and Loftus which was listed as Priority 2 for reopening. Priority 2 is for those lines which require further development or a change in circumstances (such as housing developments)

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a passenger service on this route.

This Google Map shows the Boulby Mine and the Coast.


  1. The Boulby Mine  is at the Western side of the map.
  2. The village of Staithes has strong connections to Captain Cook.
  3. The original railway. that ran South of the site of the mine through Staithes and on to Whitby is now a walking route.

I wonder if there should be a station close to the mine.


There is a lot of potential to improve the railway between Middlesbrough and Saltburn.


October 31, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Could A Gravitricity Energy Storage System Be Built Into A Wind Turbine?

On Thursday, I watched the first programme in a BBC series called Powering Britain. This programme was about wind power.

The program had close-up views of the inside of a turbine tower in the Hornsea Wind Farm in the North Sea. The spacious tower enclosed a lift for engineers to access the gubbins on the top.

In the Wikipedia entry for wind turbine, there is a section, with is entitled Most Powerful, Tallest, Largest And With Highest 24-Hour Production, where this is said.

GE Wind Energy’s Haliade-X is the most powerful wind turbine in the world, at 12MW. It also is the tallest, with a hub height of 150 m and a tip height of 260m. It also has the largest rotor of 220 m and largest swept area at 38000 m2. It also holds the record for the highest production in 24 hours.

Two certainties about wind turbines are that they will get larger and more powerful, if the progress over the last few years is continued.

So could a Gravitricity energy storage system be built into the tower of the turbine?

A lot would depend on the structural engineering of the combination and the strength of the tower to support a heavy weight suspended from the top, either inside or even outside like a collar.

To obtain a MWh of storage, with a height of 150 metres, would need a weight of 2,500 tonnes, which would be over three hundred cubic metres of wrought iron.

Gravitricity are talking of 2,500 tonnes in their systems, but I suspect the idea of a wind turbine, with a practical level of storage inside the tower, is not yet an engineering possibility.


October 31, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , | 3 Comments