The Anonymous Widower

Arcola Energy Introduces A-Drive Fuel Cell Powertrain Platform

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Arcola Energy, a company that specializes in hydrogen and fuel cell systems, has developed a proprietary hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) powertrain platform – designed for vehicle applications requiring high-duty cycle capabilities and fast refueling.

\we will see more hydrogen powertrains produced by big companies; like Cummins and Daimler and small companies like Arcola.

Many of the smaller ones, will perish. just like many smaller car companies did in the first seventy years of the twentieth century. Who remembers names like Allard, Borgward, Humber, Panhard and Riley?

I suspect, that in the near future, wherever you live and you come up with an idea, that needs zero-carbon motive power, there will be a convenient company to provide you with that power, using hydrogen.

One of my clients with Daisy used to be Cummins Engines. They told me most firmly, that if I ever needed a diesel engine to provide power for an application, they would customise one of their engines to fit my application.

Now that Cummins have gone into hydrogen in a big way with the purchase of Hydrogenics, will we see a similar philosophy?

December 4, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Full Steam Ahead For Second Entrance At Hackney Central Overground Station

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Hackney Gazette.

 

The first paragraph says it all.

A second entrance at Hackney Central Overground station could be up and running by the end of 2021, after receiving planning approval yesterday.

I’m pleased and this was my comment to the article.

I am 73 and live between Dalston Junction and Highbury Corner, so if I’ve been to the Eastfield Shopping Centre and am coming home with a heavy parcel, I sometimes find it heavy going, as I either have to cross the footbridge at Hackney Central and get a 38 bus or do a bit of shuttling about to get one of the buses from Dalston Junction.

This entrance will mean I can get out at Hackney Central and get the bus in Graham Road.

Provided of course, the pedestrian crossings are arranged with the new entrance and the buses.

I don’t think we can ever have too many station entrances.

 

December 4, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On Mass Vaccination

We should steal an idea from the French.

In the first wave of the virus, they had to move seriously ill patients all over the country and to Germany, where there was bed space.

So they converted a TGV to a hospital train.

This page on the SNCF web site, is entitled Covid-10: Behind the Scenes Of Our High-Speed Hospital Train.

Could we not create a Vaccination Train using one of the recently withdrawn InterCity 125s?

They are easily shortened to any convenient length and the carriages have a very smooth ride.

The French converted their hospital train in 48 hours, so surely we can do as well!

The trains have the advantage, that they are certified go to over ninety percent of UK main line railway stations.

Network Rail have a track inspection train, called the New Measurement Train, that works a pattern all over the UK. It is based on an InterCity 125 and is full of delicate instruments, designed to keep the railways of the UK safe.

The picture shows Network Rail’s New Measurement Train at Westbury station.

The Vaccination Train or Trains could be based at a convenient central location, where the vaccine would be safely stored.

  • Trains would be loaded overnight with the vaccine and other stores and locate  early to their site for the day.
  • Sites would typically be stations, where a platform existed that was long enough for the train.
  • Staff to both process the vaccine and treat patients could either go on the train or be drawn from local medical staff, or be a mixture of the two.
  • Specialists handling the vaccine would probably come from the centre, as this would ensure totally correct handling of the vaccine.
  • They would set up at a suitable site and handle the patients booked for the day.
  • Injections could even take place on the train, in specially fitted out carriages.

I would think, that the train would be self contained and generate all its own electricity.

 

December 4, 2020 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Go-ahead For £900m London Bishopsgate Goodsyard

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

It seems a good scheme.

  • Mixed-use urban quarter.
  • 500 homes, half affordable.
  • 1.4m sq ft of workspace
  • Public park sitting on top of restored historic railway arches
  • Six acres of public realm.

There is only one major problem, as far as I can see. – If Crossrail is still running late, this project could further delay it, by stealing the resources needed to finish the job.

Yet again, the Mayor has given planning permission to a project that could delay Crossrail, by stealing its resources.

Planning permission, should be conditional on Crossrail being finished.

A Central Line Connection To The East London Line At Shoreditch High Street Station

Shoreditch High Street station will be very close to the development.

There will be twenty trains per hour (tph) on London Overground’s East London Line.

Under Future Proposals in the Wikipedia entry for the station, this is said.

There have also been discussions of creating an interchange with the Central line between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green which runs almost underneath the station. However, this would not be able to happen until after the Crossrail 1 project is complete, due to extreme crowding on the Central line during peak hours.

I think it will be a good idea, to create the connection.

December 4, 2020 Posted by | News, Transport | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Is This A Simple And Affordable Solution To Providing Step-Free Access At Essex Road Station?

The access to and from the platforms at Essex Road station, is not the best.

There is a set of tunnels beneath the two platforms.

  • The tunnels are connected to the surface, by a pair of large lifts and an emergency spiral staircase.
  • The tunnels are connected to the platforms by two wide sets of stairs.
  • One set of stairs is for passengers leaving the station and the others are for those arriving.

This set of pictures shows some of stations underground features.

It looks to be a difficult station to make step-free.

  • The platforms are narrow.
  • There is very little space in the station building to add more lifts direct to the platform.
  • I’m not sure,but the rail tunnels might be under the Canonbury Road, which runs outside the station.

Unless its possible to use the Greenford solution.

This picture shows the inclined lift/stairs and escalator installation at Greenford station.

Note.

  1. The inclined lift has a capacity of about 4-6 people in normal times.
  2. The staircase is double, with a handrail up the middle.
  3. The escalator is permanently set to up.

It should be noted that Greenford station has two Central Line platforms and one National Rail platforms.

Could this type of installation be used at Essex Road station?

I will look at a few points and issues.

Station Usage

It should be said, that despite the different natures of the station, we are not comparing apples with oranges, as to get between the street and platforms at both stations, passengers have to use the stairs at Essex Road station or the multi-mode installation at Greenford station.

Entries and exits to Essex Road station over the last four years are as follows.

  • 2016-17 – 811,000
  • 2017-18 – 861,000
  • 2018-19 – 857,000
  • 2019-20 – 768,000

The average is 824,000

National Rail entries and exits to Greenford station over the last four years are as follows.

  • 2016-17 – 230,000
  • 2017-18 – 151,000
  • 2018-19 – 153,000
  • 2019-20 – 170,000

The average is 176,000

Central Line entries and exits to Greenford station over the last four years are as follows.

  • 2015 – 4,720,000
  • 2016 – 4,810,000
  • 2017 – 4,680,000
  • 2018 – 4,250,000

The average is 4,615,000

The total for Greenford station is 4,791,000 or nearly six times as much as Essex Road station.

In fact, the difference is bigger than that as Essex Road station could have a pair of installations, so the capacity of each of the Essex Road installations, would only need to be a twelfth of that of the Greenford installation.

The Simplest Installation

The simplest installation would surely be to fit an inclined lift at the side of one of the existing staircases.

The staircase would probably be halved in width, but quite frankly they are not safe for anybody encumbered with a pushchair or a heavy suitcase.

There would also need to improvements to the routes between the main lifts and the inclined lift.

London’s Single Escalators

London has several single escalators.

Three pictures are from Moorgate and the other one is at Greenford.

Could Pairs Of An Inclined Lift And An Escalator Be Fitted In At Essex Road Station?

It would be tight to fit a pair in one staircase, but I’m sure it would be possible. Especially, if the shaft could be widened a bit.

If they could be made to fit, then a simple program of works could be applied.

  • Close one staircase and use the other staircase for both entry and exit. As there is a cross-tunnel, passengers would be able to walk between the lifts and the platforms, by walking about an extra thirty metres or so.
  • The closed tunnel would then be gutted and an inclined lift and escalator would be fitted and tested.
  • Once complete and tested, it would be opened to passengers.
  • The station would now be entrance-only or exit-only, whilst the second lift and escalator were fitted and tested.

Being entrance-only or exit-only would not be the greatest problem, as the 271 bus parallels the rail route between Highbury & Islington and Moorgate stations.

Could An Inclined Lift And A Pair Of Escalators Be Fitted?

In this installation, one shaft would be fitted with a pair of escalators and the other with an inclined lift.

A similar program of works to that I laid out previously would be applied.

Conclusion

Essex Road station could be made step-free.

Because of the bus routes in the area and the 271 in particular, it wouldn’t cause the greatest of inconveniences to close the station for some time.

December 4, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments