The Anonymous Widower

Grand Union Sets Out Stirling Ambitions

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article in the December 2022 Edition of Modern Railways.

This is the first paragraph.

Grand Union Trains has updated its plans to operate services between Stirling and London Euston. It is targeting a 10-year track access agreement with services starting in May 2025.

I have a few thoughts.

The Route

The route between Stirling and Euston is as follows.

  • Trains will call at Larbert, Greenfauds, Whifflet, Motherwell, Lockerbie, Carlisle, Preston, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes.
  • Station upgrades are proposed for Larbert, Greenfauds, Whifflet and Lockerbie.
  • The route is fully-electrified.
  • There will be four trains per day in both directions, with a slightly reduced service on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings.

This sentence from the article sums up the philosophy of Grand Union Trains.

The company says the aim is to link towns which have no or limited long-distance services and to improve connectivity for some station pairs on the West Coast Main Line.

Note.

Currently Larbert, Greenfauds and Whifflet don’t have services running past Stirling or Motherwell.

  1. Currently, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes have no Scottish services.
  2. Nuneaton is well connected to Peterborough and the East.
  3. Milton Keynes will be on the East-West Railway to Oxford and Cambridge.

It looks to be a service that has been well-planned and offers good possibilities for travel.

The Trains

The article says this about the trains.

New bi-mode rolling stock would be used and GUT says discussions with potential suppliers and manufacturers are ongoing.

Why Are Bi-Mode Trains Needed?

I can think of these reasons.

  • Grand Union Trains want to run their South Wales services with the same trains.
  • They might want to extend Scottish services from Stirling to perhaps Perth or Dundee.
  • They want to offer a reliable service, when the electrification is damaged.

Bi-mode trains will certainly offer flexibility and reliability.

How Long Will The Trains Be?

Consider.

I suspect a train has a maximum length of 260 metres and these can be run between London Euston and Stirling.

Could it be that station upgrades are needed for Larbert, Greenfauds, Whifflet and Lockerbie, is that these stations have short platforms?

Could the trains and platforms start short and grow with the business?

 

The Trains Will Have Three Classes

These classes will be offered.

  • First Class in compartments
  • Standard in a 2+1 arrangement
  • Standard Economy in a 2+2 arrangement

You pays your money and you make your choice.

Vanload Freight May Be Carried

Consider.

  • There has been a lot of speculation and some serious train conversions, looking at the possibilities of high speed freight.
  • Imagine a train of perhaps five passenger cars and one freight car for containerised freight.
  • I suggested earlier, that the trains might grow with the business.
  • As business develops, extra cars can be added as appropriate.
  • If business booms, then it might be best to run separate passenger and  freight services.

Modern trains and refurbished older ones, offer a multitude of solutions.

The Finance

The article says this about finance.

Grand Union Trains has linked with European independent investment firm Serena Industrial Partners to support its ambitions for its new Great Western service, and the project is supported by Spanish operator RENFE.

Serena Industrial Partners are Spanish, so does that mean, that the trains could be Spanish too?

November 24, 2022 Posted by | Finance, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

World’s First 16 MW Offshore Wind Turbine Rolls Off Production Line

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

This is the subtitle and the first paragraph, that add some detail.

The first nacelle for a 16 MW offshore wind turbine jointly developed by China Three Gorges Corporation and Goldwind Technology has rolled off the production line at Fujian Three Gorges Offshore Wind Power International Industrial Park in China.

According to China Three Gorges, the unit has the largest single capacity, the largest rotor diameter, and the lightest weight per megawatt in the world.

The West, is going to push hard to make sure, we don’t give away another industry to the Chinese.

November 24, 2022 Posted by | Design, Energy | , | Leave a comment

Blood Testing At The Royal London Hospital

The Royal London Hospital is still trying to get to the bottom of my health incident, that I wrote about in The Hour Change Has Completely Knocked Me Out.

On Monday, I had a serious liver scan by ultrasound at Barts Hospital and today, I was phoned up by the Royal London to invite me to take a blood test to check against those that they took a couple of weeks ago.

They said to turn up any day before five and they would do it there and then.

As I was going past the hospital this afternoon, I turned up about two-thirty, without a prior appointment.

I logged myself into a queuing system, which was more McDonalds or Leon, than NHS and sat for about fifteen minutes, whilst the patients in front of me were tested.

As I sat there, I was approached by a doctor doing research. He asked if I would give a couple of extra vials of blood for his research.

As I knew that this would only delay me for a few more seconds, I said yes and filled in his form, which asked no important ethical questions.

Is the system in use at the Royal London Hospital research-friendly?

Suppose, a researcher is looking into the frequency of a particular gene in a population. They could just ask patients for a sample.

November 24, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Google Buys Scottish Offshore Wind Power

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

This is the sub-heading and the first paragraph.

ENGIE and Google have entered into a 12-year, 100 MW corporate power purchase agreement (CPPA) supporting the Moray West offshore wind development in Scotland.

ENGIE will provide Google with more than 5 TWh of green power from the Moray West project, a nearly 900 MW offshore wind farm set to begin generating power from 2025.

Increasingly, it seems that large energy users are committing themselves to long-term energy deals.

One of Google’s senior people is quoted as saying.

People across the UK and Europe are increasingly worried about climate change and energy security. We share that concern and believe technology is an important part of the solution – both by reducing our own emissions, and by helping others to reduce their own.

I have a few thoughts.

How Much Of Moray West’s Output Is 5 TWh?

Consider.

  • Moray West has an maximum output of 882 MW.
  • This converts to 7.73 TWh.

If Google are buying all the electricity produced by the wind farm, that would mean that the capacity factor is around 64.7 %, which is quite reasonable, if a bit high for a fixed foundation wind farm.

If we are, it does surely reflect a desire for stability and security in a fast-changing world.

Are We Seeing More Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPAs)?

November 24, 2022 Posted by | Computing, Energy | , , , | 1 Comment