The Anonymous Widower

Would A Joint Development Of Thameslink And The Elizabeth Line Be A Cost-Effective Way To Improve London’s Rail Network?

The operation of Thameslink and The Elizabeth Line are more similar than many people think.

  • Both have a central tunnel.
  • On the Elizabeth Line, the central tunnel is between Paddington and Whitechapel stations, which always takes thirteen minutes.
  • Trains on the Elizabeth Line run five minutes apart.
  • On Thameslink, the central tunnel is between St. Pancras International and London Blackfriars stations, which always takes nine minutes.
  • Trains on Thameslink run 3-4 minutes apart.
  • There are no branches in the central tunnels.
  • No other regular train services run through the central tunnels.
  • Trains appear to be controlled very accurately to the timetable.
  • Each train on both lines seems to take a similar time through their central tunnel.

I am by training a Control Engineer and this is not surprising, as if you want to get the most number of trains down a tunnel, they should all take the same time and be equally spaced.

  • As there are twelve trains per hour (tph) on the Elizabeth Line, the five minute interval is to be expected.
  • As there are twenty tph on Thameslink, the 3-4 minute interval is to be expected.

It should be noted that the Victoria Line was fully opened in 1971.

  • It has a single central tunnel with no branches.
  • The line is used exclusively by Victoria Line trains.

But when new faster trains and automatic train control (ATO) were introduced, it enabled the train frequency  to be increased from 27 to 33 tph.

By comparison to the Victoria Line, I believe that increased frequencies of trains through Thameslink and The Elizabeth Line should be possible.

The Elizabeth Line Frequency

The Wikipedia entry for the Elizabeth Line gives a central tunnel frequency of 24 tph, consisting of the following services.

  • 12 tph – Shenfield and Paddington
  • , 6 tph – Abbey Wood and Heathrow
  •  6 tph – Abbey Wood and either Reading or Maidenhead

Note, in Extending The Elizabeth Line – High Speed Trains On The Elizabeth Line, I said this.

Because of the current track layout at Abbey Wood, I believe that without track modifications, Abbey Wood station will not be able to handle more than 12 tph.

So will Abbey Wood be restricted to 12 tph for some years?

It does appear to me, that to increase the frequency through the Elizabeth Line’s central tunnel, there will need to be services to new destinations in both the East and the West.

Various destinations have been suggested for the Elizabeth Line.

  • Northfleet, Gravesend and possibly Hoo for Chatham.
  • Billericay, Southend Airport and Southend Victoria.
  • Tring and Milton Keynes
  • Staines

I would also add.

  • Chelmsford and the new station at Beaulieu.
  • Didcot, Oxford and possibly Swindon.

There are a lot of possibilities.

The Thameslink Frequency

The Wikipedia entry for the Thameslink gives a central tunnel frequency of 20 tph, consisting of the following services.

  • 2 tph – Cambridge and Brighton
  • 2 tph – Cambridge and Maidstone East
  • 2 tph – Peterborough and Horsham
  • 2 tph – Bedford and Brighton
  • 2 tph – Bedford and Gatwick Airport via Redhill
  • 2 tph – Luton and Rainham via Greenwich
  • 2 tph – St Albans City and Sutton via Wimbledon (loop)
  • 2 tph – St Albans City and Sutton via Mitcham (loop)
  • 2 tph – Kentish Town and Orpington via Catford

There are few suggestions for extra Thameslink services.

High Speed Trains On The Elizabeth Line

Some suggested destinations for the Elizabeth Line and some existing destinations for Thameslink are on high speed lines, that will be digitally-signalled in the next few years.

These destinations might be better served by an Elizabeth Line or Thameslink train with a better performance.

In Extending The Elizabeth Line – High Speed Trains On The Elizabeth Line, I explained my reasoning in detail.

Conclusion

A comprehensive survey needs to be carried out to identify what destinations should be added to the Elizabeth Line/Thameslink network.

Reasons for a new destination could possibly be employment, housing, leisure, tourism or other factors.

August 14, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Significant Step Forward For Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from SSE.

These three paragraphs outline the project.

A landmark project in the Humber which could become the UK’s first power station equipped with carbon capture technology has taken a major leap forward following an announcement by the UK Government today.

Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station, which is being jointly developed by SSE Thermal and Equinor, has been selected to be taken forward to the due diligence stage by the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) as part of its Cluster Sequencing Process.

This process will give the project the opportunity to receive government support, allowing it to deploy cutting edge carbon capture technology, and to connect to the shared CO2 pipelines being developed through the East Coast Cluster, with its emissions safely stored under the Southern North Sea. The common infrastructure will also supply low-carbon hydrogen to potential users across the region.

The press release also says this about the power station.

  • Keadby 3 power station could have a generating capacity of up to 910MW.
  • It could be operational by 2027.
  • It would capture up to one and a half million tonnes of CO2 a year.

It would provide low-carbon, flexible power to back-up renewable generation.

The H2H Saltend Project

The press release also says this about the H2H Saltend project.

Equinor’s H2H Saltend project, the ‘kick-starter’ for the wider Zero Carbon Humber ambition, has also been taken to the next stage of the process by BEIS. The planned hydrogen production facility could provide a hydrogen supply to Triton Power’s Saltend Power Station as well as other local industrial users. In June, SSE Thermal and Equinor entered into an agreement to acquire the Triton Power portfolio.

I wrote about H2H Saltend and the acquisition of Triton Power in SSE Thermal And Equinor To Acquire Triton Power In Acceleration Of Low-Carbon Ambitions.

In the related post, I added up all the power stations and wind farms, that are owned by SSE Thermal and it came to a massive 9.1 GW, which should all be available by 2027.

Collaboration Between SSE Thermal And Equinor

The press release also says this about collaboration between SSE Thermal and Equinor.

The two companies are also collaborating on major hydrogen projects in the Humber. Keadby Hydrogen Power Station could be one of the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fuelled power stations, while Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage could be one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities. In addition, they are developing Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station in Aberdeenshire, which would be a major contributor to decarbonising the Scottish Cluster.

This collaboration doesn’t lack ambition.

I also think, that there will expansion of their ambitions.

Horticulture

Lincolnshire is about horticulture and it is a generally flat county, which makes it ideal for greenhouses.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a large acreage of greenhouses built close to the Humber carbon dioxide system, so that flowers, salad vegetables, soft fruit, tomatoes and other plants can be grown to absorb the carbon dioxide.

It should also be noted that one of the ingredients of Quorn is carbon dioxide from a fertiliser plant, that also feeds a large tomato greenhouse.

We would have our carbon dioxide and eat it.

Other Uses Of Carbon Dioxide

Storing carbon dioxide in depleted gas fields in the North Sea will probably work, but it’s a bit like putting your rubbish in the shed.

Eventually, you run out of space.

The idea I like comes from an Australian company called Mineral Carbonation International.

We would have our carbon dioxide and live in it.

I also think other major uses will be developed.

A Large Battery

There is the hydrogen storage at Aldbrough, but that is indirect energy storage.

There needs to be a large battery to smooth everything out.

In Highview Power’s Second Commercial System In Yorkshire, I talk about Highview Power’s proposal for a 200MW/2.5GWh CRYOBattery.

This technology would be ideal, as would several other technologies.

Conclusion

Humberside will get a giant zero-carbon power station.

 

 

 

August 14, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment