The Anonymous Widower

Call For Rail Sector To Mobilise To Get Ukrainian Agricultural Exports Moving

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Rail has a central role in the European Commission’s plan to establish ‘Solidarity Lanes’ for the transport of Ukrainian agricultural exports which would normally use the Black Sea ports that are being blockaded by Russia.

Announcing its plan, the commission said the Russian blockade is threatening global food security, creating an urgent need for alternative transport routes. Ukraine is the largest exporter of sunflower oil (50% of world exports), the third largest of rapeseed (20%) and barley (18%), the fourth of maize (16%) and the fifth of wheat (12%).

It certainly is a big problem and not just for Ukraine, but for any country that habitually buys these agricultural products from Ukraine.

But it will probably require a lot of investment to solve.

These are points from the article.

  • Trains handling 1,400 tonnes are possible.
  • The average waiting time for wagons at the Ukrainian border is sixteen days.
  • The capacity of existing freight corridors must be expanded and new ones must be created.

After reading the whole article, it does seem that an EU plan is being created.

I have my thoughts.

Gauge Change


  • There will be a gauge change between standard and Russian gauge.
  • Spanish company; Talgo has developed the technology, so that trains can run on both gauges and even change between gauges at a slow speed.
  • The technology is used on the Strizh train, which runs passenger services between Berlin and Moscow via Warsaw.

I feel it is likely, that Talgo could develop freight wagons to move the agricultural products between Ukraine and ports in Poland or Germany.

Talgo’s Plans

In A Spaniard In The Works!, I outlined Talgo’s plans, which included building a factory at Longannet in Scotland.

But their plans must have been disrupted, as the company did not secure the High Speed Two Classic-Compatible rolling stock contract.

On the other hand Longannet could be an ideal place to build trains for Eastern Europe. They could go on a ferry to Gdansk, Helsinki or other ports.

May 19, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hydrogen Water

This article on Hydrogen Fuel News is entitled Some Surprising Uses For Hydrogen.

This is said about hydrogen water.

Hydrogen water is a new health product that is proving exceptionally popular. But wait, doesn’t water already contain hydrogen? It certainly does but it is bonded with oxygen to make the water molecule H2O. Hydrogen water, on the other hand, contains pure hydrogen (the H2 molecule) suspended in “normal” water as gas. This has been said to have many health benefits, all revolving around the much smaller size of this molecule (hydrogen is one of the smallest molecules) and how this makes it easier to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Among the most useful benefits are more effective hydration, improved concentration, and a reduction in bodily inflammation.

Certainly, if you type “hydrogen water” into Google, you get a lot of hits.

May 19, 2022 Posted by | Health, Hydrogen | | Leave a comment

Diss Station – 19th May 2022

I went to Diss station for the first time today on a train, although I have caught a train from the station a couple of times.

These are my thoughts.

Long Platforms


  • The platforms are long enough to take two full-length twelve-car Class 745 trains, which are nearly 240 metres long.
  • I suspect the platforms can also accept a pair of five-car Class 720 trains, which would be 244 metres long.

If this is true at all Inter-City stations, this must mean that Greater Anglia can still run a full service, if they are short of Class 745 trains.

Car Parking

This Google Map shows the extensive car parking at Diss station.


  1. There are two tracks and two platforms, with the London-bound platform on the Eastern side.
  2. There is parking on both sides of the tracks.
  3. According to the National Rail web site, there appears to be 316 parking bays on the London-bound side.
  4. A sign in the tenth picture shows a £2.50 All-Day parking deal on the Norwich-bound platform.
  5. The Internet shows a lot of competitively-priced parking around the station.

Commuters to London, Ipswich or Norwich will have to cross the line in the morning or evening and there are no lifts to make that easy.

A Step-Free Bridge At Diss

Network Rail had a competition a few years ago in conjunction with RIBA to design a stylish, affordable and easy-to-install footbridge and this was the winner.

This design is also under development.

I think one of these bridges could possibly be installed at Diss station at the Northern end of the station.

  • Both bridges would appear to have small footprints.
  • They are designed to clear 25 KVAC overhead electrification.
  • Both bridges appear to be able to be built to a flexible width. I suspect this might allow one end of the bridge could be in a car park and the other on the opposite platform.
  • Both are fully step-free.
  • The composite bridge might be better because of a lower weight.
  • The first bridge appears to be enclosed, so would work better in Manchester.
  • I suspect that both could be installed after creating an appropriately-sized concrete base on either side of the tracks, by lifting in the bridge by means of a rail-mounted crane.

It is now over three years since the first design won the Network Rail/RIBA competition. That is just too long to get a prototype bridge built and installed.


The toilets at the station were of an excellent standard. But this is getting increasingly common these days.



May 19, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Marks And Spencer’s Chicken Kiev Has Been Renamed Chicken Kyiv

I took this picture in Marks and Spencer at Liverpool Street tonight! Note the name!

I didn’t buy one as it isn’t gluten-free.

There have been lots of articles like this one on Birmingham Live, which is entitled Tesco, M&S, Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Asda Under Pressure To Rename Chicken Kievs ‘Kyiv’.

So perhaps, pressure works.



May 19, 2022 Posted by | Food | , , , , | 1 Comment