The Anonymous Widower

A Cruise To Barking – 13th May 2022

I noticed earlier in the week, that the Thames Clippers now go all the way to Barking Riverside. So I went today.

Note.

  1. I boarded the boat at the London Bridge City Pier.
  2. The easiest way to get to this pier is to get a 21, 43 or 141 bus from Moorgate or Bank station. to London Bridge and walk along the South Bank of the river for perhaps a hundred metres. Waking from London Bridge station is a bit tricky.
  3. I alighted at Barking Riverside Pier, which will be a short walk to the new Barking Riverside station.

The route is a mixture of historic and modern London and places passed include.

  • HMS Belfast
  • The Tower of London
  • Tower Bridge
  • Canary Wharf
  • Cutty Sark
  • The Royal Naval College, Greenwich
  • The O2
  • The Thames Barrier
  • Wooolwich Arsenal

Many have piers for the Thames Clipper.

The Royal Iris

These pictures show what is left of the former Mersey Ferry, the MV Royal Iris, which is rusting in the River at Woolwich.

I remember the ferry, when it was resplendent in green and yellow in the 1960s. I also remember going on one evening party cruise up and down the Mersey.

It’s rather a sad end for ship that has many happy memories for many.

According to Wikipedia, there is a campaign to return the iconic ferry to Liverpool.

London’s CrossFerry

The Thames Clippers keep on going and now at many times, you can go all the way between Barking Riverside and Putney.

It’s not that slow either and in the open waters East of Tower Bridge, my phone was saying that the ferry was cruising at 40 mph.

If it has one problem, it is that the Thames Clippers don’t have an all-day timetable, that is simple.

If it is going to be a pseudo-train line across London, then there needs to be a two boat per hour service across the city. This will be needed more as more housing is built at Barking Riverside.

I know Barking Riverside will be getting the Overground in the Autumn, but unlike the Thames Clippers, that serve Canary Wharf, the City and Westminster, the Overground will serve a swathe of housing, rather than employment, across North London.

May 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Success For The Dartmoor Line

This article on Railnews is entitled Railway Braces For Weekend Changes.

The article flags up that rail timetables will change to the summer timetable and uses the Dartmoor Line where services will go hourly, as an example.

The article says this about the changes to the Dartmoor Line and the success of the restored service to Okehampton station.

One of the many changes includes the doubling of service frequencies on the recently-reopened Dartmoor Line between Exeter and Okehampton, where scheduled passenger trains were restored last November. From Sunday trains will be running every hour, and rail minister Wendy Morton visited Okehampton yesterday to celebrate the improvements.

The reopening is part of the government’s promise to ‘Restore your railways’, and the Okehampton line is the first practical example of this in action. The line was upgraded for £10 million less than the £40.5 million budgeted, and Network Rail said the route has proved ‘hugely popular’, because passenger numbers have been more than double than predicted, reaching an average of over 2,500 a week during the first 20 weeks. The number of passengers at nearby Crediton, where the Dartmoor Line joins services on the Tarka Line from Barnstaple, is also 39 per cent higher than it was before the pandemic.

I have some thoughts.

Reopening Of The Line

Network Rail can build projects on time and on budget, if they get the project management right.

Passenger Numbers Between Exeter And Okehampton

If 2,500 passengers per week can use the line in the winter, when there is only one train per two hours (tp2h), how many passengers will use the train, when there is an hourly service?

2,500 passengers per week, throughout the year would be 125,000 passengers per year and as surely the summer will be busier, I don’t think it will be an unreasonable figure.

Okehampton station car park appears to have around 300 spaces, so at 2,500 passengers per week, there might be a not too distant day, when it fills up.

Passenger Numbers At Crediton

I am not surprised that traffic at Crediton is up by 39 percent.

Consider.

  • Pre-pandemic, Crediton station had one train per hour (tph) to and from Exeter.
  • Post-pandemic, Crediton has three trains per two hours to and from Exeter.

It looks like the train frequency has been increased by 50 % and the number of passengers has increased by 39 %.

That surely is not surprising and passenger numbers might increase further when one tph are running between Exeter and both Barnstaple and Okehampton, if there are more possible passengers to attract.

Car parking at Crediton station may also be a problem, as there appears to be less than a hundred spaces.

Okehampton Parkway Station

Okehampton Parkway Station is likely to be built to the East of Okehampton. Wikipedia says this about the station.

Okehampton Parkway is a proposed railway station in Okehampton on the Dartmoor Line. The station would be part of the Devon Metro and has been described as a priority station. The station is to be sited at the A30 junction at Stockley Hamlet and would be sited at the Business Park at Okehampton as well as serving a further 900 homes close to the site.

Wikipedia, also says that Devon County Council has bought the site.

This must be one of the best sites to build a parkway station in the UK.

  • It’s on the dual-carriageway A 30, between London and Cornwall.
  • The good people of Devon seem to like to use trains given the passenger numbers at Okehampton and Crediton stations.
  • Housing is being built nearby.

This Google Map shows Devon and Cornwall to the West of Okehampton and Barnstaple.

Note.

  1. Okehampton with two stations is in the South-East corner of the map.
  2. Barnstaple, which has a station, is in the North-East corner of the map.
  3. There are well-visited holiday resorts all along the cost including Ilfracombe, Westward Ho! and Bude.

It strikes me that if Devon put together a network of zero-carbon buses, it would be well-used and they could sell the area for zero-carbon holidays.

Rolling Stock

Currently, the Okehampton and Barnstaple services are operated by Class 150 trains.

These are definitely not good enough, due to their age and diesel power.

The distances of the two services are as follows.

  • Exeter and Barnstable – 39.5 miles
  • Exeter and Okehampton – 25.5 miles

I feel that these routes could be handled by a battery-electric train like the Hitachi Regional Battery Train, which is shown in this Hitachi infographic.

Note.

  1. For these routes, the trains would probably be based on four-car Class 385 trains, with a top speed of 90 mph.
  2. Charging would be in Exeter.
  3. Charging may not be needed at Barnstaple and Okehampton as the routes are downhill.

If battery-electric trains can’t handle the routes, I’m sure hydrogen-powered trains could.

May 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

New Mobile Hydrogen Unit Unveiled By Logan Energy In Bid To Accelerate Greener Transport

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Fuel Cell Works.

This sums up the development, that has been unveiled by Logan Energy.

It is a compression trailer, that looks like it could be towed by any vehicle capable of towing a horse box.

  • The compressor can transfer hydrogen between any two cylinders at all the usual pressures.
  • It is aimed at both the bus and heavy goods vehicle market.
  • The hydrogen capacity of the trailer is not stated.

I feel that this sort of development will help operators embrace hydrogen.

A bus company for instance could have an appropriate number of trailers, for their fleet of hydrogen buses.

  • The bus company would need a suitable towing vehicle, like a light truck.
  • Trailers would be filled at an electrolyser outside of the city.
  • Each bus depot could have a space, where a trailer could be parked to fill the buses.
  • A schedule would probably need to be developed for filling the trailers.

We will see more developments like this.

But they will have to compete with companies like ITM Power, who can supply on-site electrolysers.

 

 

May 13, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment