The Anonymous Widower

Powered By HVO

I took these pictures yesterday at Peterborough.

Note the locomotive is named Benjamin Gimbert GC.

DB Cargo have issued a press release on these trials of HVO.

Wikipedia also give more details of HVO.


August 5, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 9 Comments

March Station – 4th August 2021

March station is to be rebuilt. So I went yesterday and took these pictures.

Note that the last two pictures show the triangular junction, that leads to Whitemoor Yard and Wisbech

From what I saw, when it is finished it will be a delightful station.

Does March Station Need More Services?

It appears to me, that at present the station gets around two trains per hour (tph)

These trains run through the station.

  • Greater Anglia – Ipswich and Peterborough – two-hourly – Will go hourly in the future
  • CrossCountry – Birmingham and Cambridge/Stansted Airport – hourly
  • East Midlands Railway – Norwich and Liverpool Lime Street – hourly, stops occasionally

The service certainly needs improvement.

I would do the following as soon as possible.

  • Introduce the promised hourly Greater Anglia service.
  • Arrange that all East Midland Railway services stopped at March station.
  • Introduce the Cambridge and Wisbech service, when the work at Ely is complete.

This would mean that March had the following local services.

  • Cambridge – 2 tph
  • Ely – 4 tph
  • Ipswich – 1 tph
  • Peterborough – 3 tph
  • Wisbech – 1 tph

Other services would be available with a change at Ely.





August 5, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Manea Station

Manea station, is one of least-used stations in the UK.

But it does have a rather nice new shelter.

Perhaps, Greater Anglia are expecting more passengers.

August 5, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Comings And Goings At Ely Station

On my meander around the Fens yesterday, I spent twenty minutes or so at Ely station, as the variety of trains came through the station, whilst I waited for a train to March.

Ely and the surrounding lines are to be remodelled, so that more trains can pass through the complicated junctions.

I had hoped to see a freight train pass through, which would have used the avoiding lines to pass the station.

In some ways, Ely sums up the problems of some of our major railway junctions.

  • Several important passenger services needing to pass through.
  • Several long freight trains a day.
  • Level crossings everywhere.
  • More passenger services are needed.

And on top of it all, there is a need to decarbonise.

British Rail and Network Rail have been trying to sort Ely for decades and it should be noted that the Fen Line to King’s Lynn station was electrified in 1992, which was probably an early phase of their master-plan.

Ely And Battery-Electric Trains

These are the distances without electrification on the various routes from Ely.

  • Ipswich – 39 miles
  • Norwich – 52 miles
  • Peterborough – 30.5 miles
  • Wisbech – 25 miles

Routes to King’s Cross, King’s Lynn, Liverpool Street, Stansted Airport and Stevenage are all fully electrified.

It does appear to me, that the new generation of battery-electric should be able to handle services from Ely on battery power.

For many of these services, which are or will be run by Greater Anglia, the required battery range can be achieved by swapping some of the diesel engines in the Class 755 trains for batteries.

Freight And Hydrogen Power

In Was This The Most Significant Statement On Freight Locomotives Last Week?, I referred to this press release from Freightliner, which is entitled Freightliner Secures Government Funding For Dual-Fuel Project.

This sixth paragraph from the press release is very significant.

This sustainable solution will support a programme to decarbonise freight operating companies’ diesel fleets in a cost-efficient manner that does not require significant short-term investment and facilitates operational learning in support of a longer-term fleet replacement programme, potentially using 100% hydrogen fuel.

I believe the paragraph indicates, that Freightliner and possibly the other companies involved in the building and operation of heavy freight locomotives have concluded, that the technology is now such, that a zero-carbon rail locomotive powered by 100 % hydrogen is now possible.

Hydrogen offers several advantages.

  • Large amounts of power.
  • Range comparable with diesel locomotives.
  • Depots and freight terminals can be without electrification.
  • As hydrogen-powered locomotive will most likely have an electric transmission, this opens the possibilities of using electrification where it exists and regenerative braking to an onboard battery.

My unreliable crystal ball says that we’ll see hydrogen-powered locomotives by 2026.


August 5, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments