The Anonymous Widower

A Fairytale Of New York

I  am 74 and got my interest in sport from my father. He used to take me to football at Spurs and Enfield Town and regularly would get me out of bed to watch quality sport like athletics, when it was shown live on television. I can remember watching Derek Ibbotson breaking the World mile record in black-and-white in 1957.

Over the years, I’ve watched many great sporting achievements. If Emma Raducanu wins in New York tomorrow, it’s up there with England’s two World Cups in football and rugby, Botham’s exploits at Headingley, Moss’s victory at Monaco in 1961 and Wiggins and friends’ victories in the Tour de France.

And if it happens on the twentieth anniversary of one of the worst atrocities in human history, it will be a true fairytale of New York.

September 10, 2021 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

New East Linton Station Development Given The Go Ahead

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

This is the first paragraph.

Proposals to open a station in the village of East Linton, for the first time in over half a century, have just been approved by East Lothian Council’s planning committee.

In The Scottish Borders Have Caught London Overground Syndrome, I said this.

It would also appear that because of the success of the Borders Railway, that there are suggestions to add new stations on the East Coast Main Line at Reston and East Linton. This is said under Future in the Wikipedia entry for East Linton station.

Proposals to reopen the station, along with the former station at Reston, have received the backing of John Lamont MSP, who has taken the case to the Scottish Parliament. A study published in 2013 proposed that East Linton and Reston stations be reopened. Since Abellio ScotRail took over the franchise in April 2015, they have now committed to reopening East Linton and Reston Stations as part of the local Berwick service by December 2016 but due to the shortage of rolling stock this will now commence in December 2018.

So it would appear there is a high chance it will happen.

Reston station is well on the way to completion and the site is shown in this Google map.

Note.

  1. The East Coast Main Line running between the North-West and South-East corners of the map.
  2. The brown scars around the railway indicate the site of the station.
  3. The main A1 road is just off this map to the North.

In New Rail Service From Newcastle To Edinburgh To Stop At These Northumberland Stations, I indicated that a new service from TransPennine Express will start running in December 2021 and will call at Reston station, when it opens.

Now East Linton station is on its way.

This Google Map shows the village of East Linton.

Note.

  1. The East Coast Main Line going through the middle of the village.
  2. The A1 curves South of the village.

Will the station be built in the middle of the village?

The page on Scotland’s Railway, indicates it will be.

East Linton and Reston stations seem to be progressing at speed, but then so did Horden and it appears Soham will be open this year.

Network Rail seem to have at last got their project management right.

 

September 10, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

The London And Edinburgh Travel Market

This paragraph comes from of this article on Railway Gazette.

Lumo is aiming to carry more than 1 million passengers per year. It is particularly targeting people who currently fly between Edinburgh and London; in June it says there were 74 764 air journeys on the route, compared to 82 002 by rail.

Lumo’s million passengers per year, will equate to around 83,300 passengers per month.

What these figures don’t show is the number of rail journeys made to intermediate stations like Newcastle, York, Doncaster and Peterborough.

These are a few thoughts.

Rail Capacity Between London And Edinburgh

Consider.

  • LNER is currently the only rail carrier offering a daytime service between London and Edinburgh.
  • LNER run approximately 26 trains per day (tpd) in both directions between London and Edinburgh.
  • A nine-car Class 801 train can carry 510 Standard Class passengers and 101 First Class passengers.

That means that LNER had a capacity of just over 950,000 seats in June.

It might seem poor to have only sold 82,002 seats in June between London and Edinburgh, which is just 8.6 % of the available seats.

On the other hand, LNER’s two trains per hour (tph) are a lot more than London and Edinburgh trains, as they connect towns and cities all the way up the East Coast Main Line between London and Aberdeen.

Lumo’s capacity of a million seats per year, works out at 83,300 seats per month, which is another 8.7 % of capacity.

  • Lumo will sell seats on price initially and I suspect they’ll end up running about 85-95 % full.
  • It has been stated that they need to run 80% full to break even.
  • I also think, that they would like to have a few seats for late bookers.

But even so, they will surely affect LNER’s bookings.

What Will LNER Do?

Several of the things, that Lumo are doing can be easily copied by LNER.

  • Early booking.
  • Improve onboard service.
  • Better seating.

They could even reduce prices.

I think it is very likely we could end up with a price and service war between LNER and Lumo.

Would The Airlines Be The Losers?

This could be an outcome of competition between LNER and Lumo.

We are now talking about times of around four hours and twenty-five minutes between London and Edinburgh, but there are improvements underway on the East Coast Main Line.

  • The remodelling of the approach to Kings Cross station has not been reflected in the timetables.
  • The Werrington Dive Under has not been completed yet.
  • Digital signalling is being installed South of Doncaster.
  • The power supply is being upgraded North of Newcastle.

When these and other improvements are complete, I can see journey times reduced below four hours.

But would that only be for starters?great b

If a 1970s-technology Intercity 225 train, admittedly running as a shortened train formation, could achieve a time of just under three-and-a-half hours for the 393.2 miles between Kings Cross and Edinburgh stations in September 1991, what could a modern Hitachi train do, if all of the improvements had been completed and perhaps half of the route could be run at 140 mph under the watchful eyes of full digital signalling and an experienced driver.

Consider.

  • London and York is nearly two hundred miles of fairly straight railway, that is ideal for high speed.
  • Current trains run the 393.2 miles in four hours 25 minutes, which is an average speed of 89 mph.
  • A train running at 89 mph would take two hours and fifteen minutes to cover 200 miles.
  • A train running at 125 mph would take one hour and thirty-six minutes to cover 200 miles.
  • A train running at 140 mph would take one hour and twenty-six minutes to cover 200 miles.

When Network Rail, Great British Railways or the Prime Minister renames the East Coast Main Line as High Speed East Coast, I think we can be sure that trains between London and Edinburgh will be able to achieve three-and-a-half hours between the two capitals.

High Speed Two is only promising three hours and forty-eight minutes.

What About LNER’s New Trains?

LNER Seeks 10 More Bi-Modes, was written to explore the possibilities suggested by a short article in the December 2020 Edition of Modern Railways.

There has been no sign of any order being placed, but Hitachi have moved on.

  • They are building the prototype of the Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mode Battery for testing on the Great Western Railway.
  • They have completed some of the Class 803 trains for East Coast Trains, which has now been renamed Lumo. These trains have a battery for hotel power in case of catenary failure, but no diesel engines.
  • They are building the Class 807 trains for Avanti West Coast, which appear to be designed for high speed and have no batteries or diesel engines.
  • The latest versions of the trains will have a reshaped nose. Is it more aerodynamic at high speeds?

It does seem that there is an emphasis on speed, better acceleration and efficiency.

  • Could the lessons learned be used to improve the performance of the existing trains?
  • Could a small high performance sub-fleet be created to run LNER’s Scottish services?

There are certainly possibilities, that would cut journey times between London and Edinburgh.

Conclusion

I can see the airlines flying between London and Edinburgh suffering a lot of collateral damage, as the two train companies slug it out.

 

September 10, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

LNER’s Terrible Tickets

On my last trip on LNER to Spalding, I had to buy the tickets in the Booking Office, as I can’t get the hang of their machines at King’s Cross.

Like several other companies, they have changed to thermal tickets.

They are awful!

  • You can’t put them in a typical pocket in a wallet.
  • They curl up.
  • I constantly drop them, because my left hand doesn’t work properly.
  • Is thermal paper as environmentally-friendly as the credit-car-sized card tickets?

They should be banned as soon as possible!

 

September 10, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 5 Comments