The Anonymous Widower

SWR Says Farewell To ‘456’s

The title of this post, is the same as a section heading in the February 2022 Edition of Modern Railways.

South Western Railways are reducing services because of the pandemic and they are retiring their Class 456 trains, which have been returned to their leasing company; Porterbrook.

  • The Class 456 trains are thirty-years old.
  • They are two-car third-rail electric trains.
  • They have an operating speed of 75 mph.
  • They are due to be replaced by new Class 701 trains.

According to the Modern Railways article, they have been put in store by Porterbrook.

But they are not trains in bad condition, as these pictures show.

The trains had a high-class refurbishment in 2014.

In Special Train Offers A Strong Case For Reopening Fawley Line, I discussed the reopening of the Fawley Line.

This is an extract from that post about the rolling stock to use on the line.

South Western Railway’s Innovative Train Plan

This is another quote from the original Rail Magazine article.

However, SWR’s Mark Hopwood favours a much bolder plan. “We’d have to take a decision, once we knew the line was going ahead. But my personal belief is that we should be looking for a modern environmentally-friendly train that can use third-rail electricity between Southampton and Totton and maybe operate on batteries down the branch line.”

Pressed on whether that would mean Vivarail-converted former-London Underground stock, Hopwood adds. “It could be. Or it could be a conversion of our own Class 456, which will be replaced by new rolling stock very shortly. But I don’t think this is the time to use old diesels.

Note.

  1. Mark Hopwood is now Managing Director of Great Western Railway.
  2. Great Western Railway and South Western Railway are both First Group companies.
  3. There are twenty-four Class 456 trains.

I wonder, if the plan that Mark Hopwood hinted at a couple of years ago, is being carried out.

Two dozen, two-car zero-carbon battery-electric trains would do nicely for some of the routes of GWR and SWR.

Converting Class 456 Trains Into Two-Car Battery Electric Trains discusses this possible conversion in detail.

January 25, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Up, Up And Away: Flying AirCar Earns Its Wings

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

This is the first paragraph.

A supercar that comes with wings attached has been given the green light to take to the skies.

It has been given European certification.

I will be very surprised if the Klein Vision AirCar is a success!

January 25, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Spanish Consortium Forms For $4.4 Billion Green Hydrogen Investment

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

This paragraph outlines the project.

A thirty-three company consortium, called the Spanish Hydrogen Network (Shyne) will be investing into a spectrum of green hydrogen technologies, including the installation of 500 megawatts of renewable H2 capacity by 2025. From there, the capacity will increase to 2 gigawatts by 2030. This represents half of the Spanish government’s goal for the entire country by that year, which is 4 gigawatts of capacity.

The article says this about the creation of hydrogen hubs.

The green hydrogen project’s goal is to “generate an ecosystem that connects” three H2 hubs.
The goal of the project is to develop an ecosystem in which three planned industrial H2 hubs in the Murcia, Catalonia and Basque regions will be connected. The project is also meant to support the development of two new innovation hubs in Castile-La Mancha and Madrid and will target the development of solid-oxide electrolyzers and photoelectrocatalysis.

Note that photoelectrocatalysis is the direct production of hydrogen from solar energy.

January 25, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , | Leave a comment

London Bus Crash: Children Injured As Double-Decker Hits Shop

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

These are the first three paragraphs.

Three children and two adults have been taken to hospital after a double-decker bus hit a shop in north-east London.

The crash happened on Selwyn Avenue, Highams Park, at about 08:20 GMT, the Metropolitan Police said.

London Ambulance Service (LAS) said 14 other people were treated at the scene, near Highams Park Overground station, but did not need hospital treatment.

The driver is quoted as saying, that his brakes failed.

This Google Map shows the route of the 212 bus route through Highams Park.

Note.

  1. The red arrow in the middle of the map shows the location of the crash.
  2. The bus route runs North-South on the map to the West of the railway line.

The pictures in the article show that the bus was going to Chingford, which is in the North.

In May las year, I took a ride on a 212 bus,which I described in A Trip On An Electric Double Deck Bus On Route 212 Between Chingford And St. James Street Stations.

This is an extract from that post.

I know someone, who used to manage this route and they called it a basket case.

I can certainly understand that.

  • The route is narrow in places with cars parked on both sides of the road. This must delay services.
  • I was lucky with the level crossing at Highams Park station, but at busy times it could be a nightmare.

Will the new Class 710 trains on the parallel Chingford Branch Line improve matters, by attracting passengers away from their cars in the area and the buses?

There has also been talk of a new station at Chingford Hatch, which could also be served by the 212 bus.

I can’t help feeling that the level crossing was something to do with the crash. Especially as a train went through just before the crash.

Interestingly, a few months ago, I used a black cab driven by a guy, who lives near Highams Park station. He felt the level crossing could be closed and drivers could use other routes. He also said, that since the new trains had started running, more were using the trains.

Perhaps improving the railway, with a couple of new stations, would also take the pressure of the buses.

January 25, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment