The Anonymous Widower

Cutting Emissions – Cleaner, Greener Turbostars

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

It is a detailed technical description about how one of Chiltern Trains’s Class 168 trains has been converted to hybrid power.

This extract from the article gives the results of the conversion.

In July 2021, to celebrate Chiltern Railways’ 25th anniversary, the prototype was used to carry a number of invited guests to Bicester for a celebration lunch. The unit achieved speeds of up to 100mph during this demonstration run and operated with emission free battery power into/out of Marylebone and Bicester. The converted train is expected to reduce CO2 by up to 25%, nitrous oxide by up to 70%, particulates by up to 90% and fuel consumption by up to 25%. There was also an expectation that engine noise level will be reduced by 75%.

The article finishes by discussing how all 450 cars of the combined Class 168/170 fleet could be converted.

The article also hopes that the new Chiltern contract could lead to a full conversion of the fleet to hybrid operation.

It is an article well-worth a read.

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 10 Comments

Bank Station – 16th May 2022

The new Northern Line platforms at Bank station are now open and I went this morning to have a quick look.

These are my thoughts.

The New Southbound Platform Is Wide

The new Southbound platform is wide and compares well with the wide platform at Angel station, that I wrote about in All Platforms Should Be Wide Like This.

This picture shows the Southbound platform at Angel., which dates from 1992.

And this the new Southbound platform at Bank.

Two similar designs, but thirty years apart.

Simple Decor

The two pictures also illustrate the simple decor used in the rebuilt station.

The New Southbound Platform Is A Sprayed Concrete Tunnel

These pictures show the far wall of the new Southbound platform.

It looks from my untrained eye to be lined with sprayed concrete. I learned more about the use of sprayed concrete in tunnels, when I visited TUCA in Ilford, during Open House in 2012, which I wrote about in Open House – TUCA.

The Existing Northbound Platform Is Narrow

The Northbound platform is effectively as before, but with large and small holes in the wall to access a wide parallel pedestrian tunnel behind the wall.

There is a lot of circulation space.

The Parallel Pedestrian Tunnel

The old Southbound platform has been turned into a parallel pedestrian tunnel separated from the Northbound platform, by a wall that has four small and eight larger pedestrian-sized holes through it.

These pictures show a selections of the holes in the wall.

In addition.

  • The tunnel has escalators at the Southern end connecting to Monument station.
  • The tunnel has stairs at the Northern end to the Central Line.
  • Further connections will be added.
  • It also has seats along its length. These will be mainly for Northbound passengers, waiting for trains, who can see the trains through the large holes.

It is an unusual layout and I’ve never seen anything like it before anywhere in London, the UK, Europe or the world.

Wot No More Marble?

The Northbound Northern Line used to have a platform with marble facings.

Some of marble is still there as these pictures show.

Note that the old rat-run to the DLR is still there between the platforms.

The Wide Cross Tunnels

The wide cross tunnels link the two sides of the station together and to the escalators and moving walkways in the middle of the station.

This visualisation shows the station.


Note.

  1. The only more-or-less completed bits are the two Northern Line tunnels and platforms and parallel pedestrian tunnel.
  2. The four cross tunnels can be picked out towards the far end of the station.
  3. Three of the cross tunnels can now be used by passengers.
  4. The moving walkway can be accessed from the two cross tunnels nearest to the Central Line.
  5. The escalators from the yet-to-open Cannon Street entrance appear to lead directly into a cross tunnel and a parallel tunnel to the moving walkway.

This station has definitely been designed for rabbits.

Level Access To The Trains

This picture shows the level access on the new Southbound platform.

And this shows the step-up into the train on the old Northbound platform.

I wonder, if the platform can be raised to make the Northbound as good as the Southbound.

There Is Still A Lot To Do

At present the only sections of the project that are completed and visible to passengers are the following.

  • The new wide Southbound platform.
  • The refurbished Northbound platform, which is a similar width to before.
  • The wide passenger tunnel behind the Northbound platform, that was converted from the old Southbound tunnel.
  • The four new cross tunnels between the two platforms. Some still need finishing and there are spaces, where escalators will slot in.

It would appear that at least the following need to be done.

  • Open up the new Cannon Street entrance
  • Add the escalators and lifts.
  • Put in the moving walkways between the Northern and Central Lines.

But it looks that everything left to do is small compared to the tunnel work that needed the closure from January.

This page on the TfL web site gives these dates.

  • 16 May 2022: New southbound platform and concourse open
  • Autumn 2022: DLR escalator and Central line link open
  • Late 2022: Bank station capacity upgrade works due to be completed. New station with step-free access opens on Cannon Street.

It looks to me, that the project management has been done well and after hitting the first milestone, they appear to be on track.

 

 

 

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments