The Anonymous Widower

Getlink And CargoBeamer Team Up To Launch The First Unaccompanied Cross-Channel Service By Rail

The title of this post, is the same as that of this Press Release from Getlink.

This is the first paragraph and a half.

Eurotunnel and CargoBeamer have signed a partnership which will see the launch of a new, 100% unaccompanied rail freight transport service across the Short Straits, from Calais to Ashford.

The extension of the rolling motorway from Perpignan to Ashford is a logical step in developing a future international intermodal network between the Channel and the Mediterranean. A second route from Domodossola, in the Alps region, to Calais will also be extended to Ashford after its launch in early October.

These are other points from the press release.

  • Both new railway services will prevent 8,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • They will help to partially resolve the shortage of truck drivers in the UK and Europe.
  • They will relieve traffic congestion on motorways.

It sounds like it could be a worthwhile service with more than the obvious winners.

Who Is CargoBeamer?

This is their web site and it displays an introductory video and this mission statement.

The Road to Rail Sustainable Transport Solutions

CargoBeamer use specially designed rail wagons and this page, which is entitled The Unique CargoBeamer Technology, explains how it works.

This is a claim from the web site.

As soon as the train has arrived, all semi-trailers are transferred automatically and with the simple push of a button. It takes CargoBeamer just 20 minutes to unload 36 semi-trailers from an intermodal train and load the same number at the same time. Both steps simply happen simultaneously. By comparison, a conventional crane terminal needs around three to four hours to handle such a train.

That is certainly not slow.

This video gives a full explanation about how CargoBeamer works.

Note.

  1. They can carry all types of trailers.
  2. The video shows the terminal built on a straight single-track line, where freight trains enter, load and unload and leave.

I must admit I like the design of the terminals, which they describe as Compact2 and Compact3, which gives a clue as to their design.

Their first terminal has opened in Calais and is described in this Press Release, which is entitled CargoBeamer Opens Terminal In Calais.

What Routes Are CargoBeamer Planning?

According to their web site, CargoBeamer have opened or are planning terminals at the following places.

  • Ashford – UK
  • Calais – France
  • Domodossola – Italy
  • Duisburg – Germany
  • KaldenKirchen – Germany
  • Perpignan – France
  • Poznan – Poland

Routes opened or planned include.

  • Domodossola – Calais – Ashford
  • KaldenKirchen – Domodossola
  • Perpignan – Calais – Ashford
  • Poznan – Duisburg

You can certainly understand, why Calais is their first terminal.

Serving The UK 

 

This article on Railway Gazette is entitled CargoBeamer Network Extended To The UK.

This is a paragraph.

Eurotunnnel told Railway Gazette International the aim was to build up to operating whole trains through the tunnel as the market develops, and ultimately to run trains to destinations further inland.

That seems a clear statement of intent.

Ashford could be an easy terminal to develop and I suspect it could be between Ashford and Folkestone, where the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and the M20 run close together. The compact size of the terminal would surely help.

The other sensible place for a terminal would be Barking, which can accept trains to the larger European gauge.

But it would be convenient, if trains could be run through the Channel Tunnel to places like Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Scotland.

Gauge clearance of routes to the European size would be a challenging, expensive and disruptive process.

But in Gauge Improvements Across London, I indicated that an enhanced gauge of W12 could be possible through London on the Gospel Oak to Barking and North London Lines.

But seeing that CargoBeamer appear to be targeting the UK, perhaps they have an innovative wagon design for services to the UK, which could have a height limit for trucks.

September 21, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Getting Our Own Back With Putin And The Russians

Perhaps we ought to get our own back on the Russians.

I’m sure some of our best scientists can create a high-strength laxative, that can be strategically smeared on handrails and door-knobs in Russia.

September 21, 2021 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Battersea Power Station From The South

I took these pictures of Battersea Power Station, as I walked back to Battersea Power Station station.

It seems to be coming on!

But will it all end it tears? It’s already bankrupted a couple of companies to get this far!

September 21, 2021 Posted by | Energy, World | , | 1 Comment

The Swimming Pool In The Sky

This must be the most unusual swimming pool in London.

Not for me though, as I can’t swim!

It is just to the South of the United States Embassy.

September 21, 2021 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

From Nine Elms Station To The United States Embassy

From Nine Elms station, I walked to the United States Embassy through Arch 42 under the railway, taking these pictures on the way.

The route is as follows.

  • Walk down the West side of the station.
  • Continue through the coloured hoardings to wards the railway.
  • Arch 42 is opposite the end of the walkway.
  • Continue through Arch 42.
  • The United States Embassy is a short walk from the other side of Arch 42.

It only took me a few minutes.

September 21, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Nine Elms Station Opens

I took these pictures at Nine Elms station today, after it opened.

Note.

  1. The space is generous on the wide island platform.
  2. Access between platform and train is level.
  3. There is a set of three escalators and a lift connecting the platform to the surface.

The underground parts of the station feel very much like Canary Wharf station without the platform edge doors and fewer escalators.

Why Aren’t There Platform Edge Doors?

I was chatting to someone and they wondered how the station and Battersea Power Station station had been built without platform edge doors.

  • The thought had occurred to me too and we both thought that EU regulations meant that new underground platforms had to have these doors.
  • As the 1995 Stock on the Northern Line are very similar to the 1996 Stock on the Jubilee Line, it is unlikely to be a technical or design issue.
  • I also think it would be unlikely to be a cost issue given the size of the budget for the two stations.

Look at this picture of a train in Nine Elms station.

Note.

  1. The platform is long and straight.
  2. The platform is generally wider than some of London’s older Underground platforms.
  3. The track is arranged, so that the door openings and carriage floors line up with the platform edge, so that wheelchair users, bugger pushers and case draggers can go safely across.
  4. There is only a small gap between the train side and the platform edge, between the doors on the train, which is probably too small for anybody capable of walking can fall through.
  5. There is no Mind The Gap written on the platform. There is just a yellow line.
  6. There are no obstructions on the platform.

This second picture shows the structure of the track.

Note.

  1. The four rail electrification system is clearly visible.
  2. The far rail is energised at +420 VDC.
  3. The centre rail is energised at -210 VDC.
  4. The two running rails don’t carry any current.
  5. There is a suicide pit between the running rails and under the centre rail to protect anybody or anything falling onto the tracks.

I do wonder if Transport for London have done an analysis and found that the number of serious accidents on stations with these characteristics is small enough, to build these two new stations without the doors.

Other factors could include.

  • Stadler are the masters of step-free access and have built several innovative fleets of trains for safe step-free access without platform edge doors. Although they have nothing to do with this project, their statistics would be relevant.
  • The UK has left the EU, so we’re ignoring the regulation.
  • The Northern Line might get new trains.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this philosophy of straight uncluttered platforms being applied across the Underground.

This picture shows the Southbound platform at Angel station.

Note.

  1. This platform was built in the early 1990s.
  2. It is wide and uncluttered.

Note that the trains were introduced after the station was opened, so that is perhaps, why the train floors are higher.

 

September 21, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 7 Comments