The Anonymous Widower

Nine Elms Underground Station – 14th February 2021

Nine Elms Underground station, is now recognisable as a station.


  1. It certainly looks like an Autumn opening is not impossible.
  2. I couldn’t past the station to have a look at Arch 42, which I wrote about in Nine Elms Gateways By Projects Office.

I walked to the station from Vauxhall station this morning, through a forest of new skyscrapers.

February 14, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Is A Crossrail For Leeds On The Way?

This article on Insider Media is entitled Schemes Totalling More Than £140m Backed By Investment Committee.

This is introductory paragraph.

Schemes totalling more than £140m to support the region’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, have have been backed by West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee.

These are the two main schemes.

A £24.2m million (including £17m Combined Authority funding) rail station between Morley and Cotttingley on the Transpennine route at White Rose/

A 31.6m (including £13.9m of Combined Authority funding) parkway rail station at Thorpe Park on the Leeds to York section of the route.

There are also several other schemes for West Yorkshire.

White Rose Station

This Google Map shows the White Rose Centre.

The Huddersfield Line runs North-South alongside the Centre and there must be plenty of space for a new White Rose station.

From Wikipedia and other sources, the following seems to be on the agenda for the station.

  • Two platforms.
  • Ability to take six-car trains, with a possibility to extend to eight-cars.
  • Two trains per hour (tph) in both directions.
  • Up to 340,000 passengers per year.
  • Lots of parking.

The station would be about 3.5 miles to the South-West of Leeds station.

Thorpe Park Station

This Google Map shows the area where the station could be built.


  1. The Selby Line curving across the Northern side of the map.
  2. Cross Gates station is the next station to the West.
  3. Going East on the Selby Line, you pass through Garforth, East Garforth and Micklefield stations before the line divides for York to the North and Selby and Hull to the East.
  4. The M1 Motorway passing to the East of Leeds.

Other features of the proposed station and the area include.

  • Wikipedia says that the station will have two island platforms and the ability to handle inter-city trains.
  • The route through the station would be electrified.
  • High Speed Two could be routed to go close to the station.
  • Lots of parking.

The station would be about 4 miles to the East of Leeds station.

A Crossrail For Leeds

Could these two stations in the future become stations on a high-capacity route across Yorkshire centred on Leeds?

  • The Western end of the route could be Huddersfield.
  • The Eastern end of the route could be both York and Hull.
  • Plans exist and projects have started to fully electrify between Huddersfield and York.
  • Both stations will be Park-and-Ride stations with good connections to the motorway network.
  • Intermediate stations between Leeds and Huddersfield could include Cottingley, White Rose, Morley, Batley, Dewsbury, Ravensthorpe, Mirfield and Deighton
  • Intermediate stations between Leeds and York could include Cross Gates, Thorpe Park, Garforth, East Garforth, Micklefield, Church Fenton and Ulleskelf.
  • Intermediate stations between Leeds and Hull could include Cross Gates, Thorpe Park, Garforth, East Garforth, Micklefield, South Milford, Selby, Wrassle, Howden, Eastrington, Gilberdyke, Broomfleet, Brough, Ferriby and Hessle.

With the exception of the two new stations and the electrification, infrastructure needs would not appear to be large.

These are some thoughts.

Distances And Timings

These are some distances and estimated timings from Leeds.

  • Huddersfield – 27 miles – 32 minutes – 51 mph
  • Hull – 52 miles – 55 minutes – 57 mph
  • York – 15,5 miles – 23 minutes – 40 mph


  1. With full electrification, timings could be improved.
  2. York and Huddersfield would be under an hour.
  3. Kull and Huddersfield could be under ninety minutes.

These timings would certainly be achievable by a 125 mph Class 802 train, but I suspect, that they could be achieved by a 110 mph electric train like a Class 730/1 train.

Current Services Through White Road, Leeds and Thorpe Park Stations

These services currents pass through the three stations or their proposed sites.

  • TransPennine Express – Liverpool Lime Street and Edinburgh
  • TransPennine Express – Liverpool Lime Street and Scarborough
  • TransPennine Express – Manchester Airport and Newcastle
  • TransPennine Express – Manchester Airport and Redcar Central
  • TransPennine Express – Manchester Piccadilly and Hull


  1. All of these trains are one tph.
  2. There could be five quality tph on the route, most of which would be five-car Class 802 trains.

In addition the following services would pass through Leeds and Thorpe Park stations.

  • CrossCountry – Plymouth and Edinburgh/Glasgow
  • Northern Trains – Blackpool North and York via Bradford Interchange
  • Northern Trains – Halifax and Hull via Bradford Interchange


  1. All of these trains are one tph.
  2. Two trains serve Bradford Interchange.

These services could mean eight tph between Thorpe Park and Leeds stations.

In addition the following services would pass through Leeds and White Rose stations.

  • Northern Trains – Wigan Wallgate and Leeds
  • TransPennine Express – Huddersfield and Leeds


  1. All of these trains are one tph.

These services could mean seven tph between White Rose and Leeds stations.

A Possible Future Service

I believe that services across Leeds could be recast to give the City a network of railways that would satisfy the needs of the City.

Possible services could include.

Four tph – York and Huddersfield via Thorpe Park, Leeds and White Rose in under an hour.

Two tph – Hull and Huddersfield via Thorpe Park, Leeds and White Rose in under ninety minutes.

Two tph – Halifax and Thorpe Park via Leeds and Bradford


  1. There are a lot of possibilities.
  2. Services would be timed to make interchange easy with other services at Leeds.

I would also arrange for East to West and West to East services to share the same island platform at Leeds.


Leeds will get the electrified local railway the city deserves.

February 14, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

British Airways Invests In LanzaJet; SAF Offtake Agreement

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

This is the first paragraph.

British Airways will power future flights with sustainable aviation fuel produced from sustainably-sourced ethanol, as part of a new partnership with sustainable jet fuel company LanzaJet. British Airways will invest in LanzaJet’s first commercial-scale Freedom Pines Fuels facility in Georgia and acquire cleaner burning sustainable aviation fuel from the plant.

Other points from the article.

  • Flights using the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) could start in 2022.
  • LanzaJet have their own process that can use inputs like wheat straw and recycled pollution.
  • This agreement would be in addition to BA’s partnership with Velocys in the Altalto plant at Immingham.
  • British Airways also appear to have set themselves a target of being carbon net-zero by 2050.

The article is certainly on any list of must-reads.

February 14, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SSE Goes Global To Reap The Wind

The title of this article on This Is Money is Renewable Energy Giant SSE Launches Plan To Become Britain’s First Global Windfarm Business As it Invests Up To £15bn Over Next Decade.

The title is a good summary of their plans to build wind farms in Continental Europe, Denmark, Japan and the US, in addition to the UK and Ireland.

I can also see the company developing more integrated energy clusters using the following technologies.

  • Wind farms that generate hydrogen rather than electricity using integrated electrolysers and wind turbines, developed by companies like ITM Power and Ørsted.
  • Reusing of worked out gasfields and redundant gas pipelines.
  • Zero-carbon CCGT power stations running on Hydrogen.
  • Lots of Energy storage.

I talked about this type of integration in Batteries Could Save £195m Annually By Providing Reserve Finds National Grid ESO Trial.

In the related post, I talked about the Keadby cluster of gas-fired power stations, which are in large part owned by SSE.


I think that SSE could be going the way of Equinor and Ørsted and becoming a global energy company.

It is also interesting the BP and Shell are investing in renewable energy to match the two Scandinavian companies.

Big Oil seems to be transforming itself into Big Wind.

All these companies seem to lack grid-scale energy storage, although hydrogen can be generated and stored in worked-out gas fields.

So I would expect that some of the up-and-coming energy storage companies like Gravitricity, Highview Power and RheEnergise could soon have connections with some of these Big Wind companies.



February 14, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Think Britain To Belfast Is A Bridge Too Far? Try Tunnelling Across Instead

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Sunday Times.

It is a well-written article, with good graphics and maps, which fills out the descriptive title.

This paragraph sums up the overall objective.

For the rail industry, it is part of a long-term ambition to reduce journeys by rail between London and Glasgow and Edinburgh to below three hours, which it is also advocating in the review. Trains to Belfast would turn west near Carlisle, around the Scottish border, and lorries bound for Ireland could be loaded there.

The article also predicts London and Belfast in four hours, with Dublin in six.

In a A Glimpse Of 2035, I looked into the future and left London at eight in the morning on the first train between London and Dublin and arrived at 13:30.

My predictions were thirty minutes less than The Times.

But I also predicted, that eventually, times will be three hours to Belfast and four to Dublin.

A Deep Water Port At Shannon And Its Consequences

One thing not mentioned in the Times article, is that the Irish Government and the EU have a plan to develop a deep water port at Shannon.

It would have a rail link to any rail link to the UK and would speed goods between Germany and North America, avoiding the increasingly congested ports of Rotterdam and Hamburg. Time savings of as much as a day are predicted.

I should say, that I part-grew up in Felixstowe in the 1950s and 1960s and I can remember a sleepy little dock with a giant crane to lift seaplanes out of the water, before the massive container port we know today. There are now something like forty container trains per day, going along the sleepy branch line to Ipswich and then to the rest of the UK mainland. If anybody had predicted that in 1960, they’d have been laughed at.

If the Shannon Port is built, I can see twenty high-speed freight trains per day between Shannon and the Channel Tunnel. There will probably need to be massive improvements to the freight network in the South East of England, to get all those freight trains through or around London.

Standard Or Irish Gauge

If the EU develops the deep water port at Shannon, this would surely be rail connected to the new tunnel.

But the EU only likes to build standard gauge railways, so everybody can use them. I would expect that all new tracks in the Republic of Ireland would be standard gauge.

If you look at Spain, all their high-speed railways are standard gauge and they have both narrow and Spanish gauge railways as well.

Some of the awkward squad in Ireland will object to the standard gauge railways, but he who pays the piper calls the tune.

As the UK will be paying from London to the place where the tunnel emerges and the EU from South of the Irish border, it would be much cheaper to make all the route standard gauge. But some diehards would be against it!

February 14, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 5 Comments