The Anonymous Widower

Aviva To Eject Company Directors If Climate Goals Are Not Met

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in The Sunday Times.

Increasingly, I am seeing company boards taking decisions, that will cut their company’s carbon footprint.

Only yesterday, I wrote Suppliers Sought For New Bi-Mode Locomotives For TransPennine Express And Great Western Railway, which was about First Group’s moves to decarbonise some of their locomotive-hauled trains.

I have also written about BHP, BP, Fortescue, Go-Ahead and Rio-Tinto taking action to decarbonise.

It does seem that some company boards are following Aviva’s guidance, but then it is in the directors own interest.

Many directors of large companies own shares and in a big public company, these are publicly traded.

I would suspect, that if a company board, do the right thing in terms of decarbonisation, that the share price will rise.

So by following the accepted climate science, they are actually helping themselves.

If they don’t believe that, then aggressive shareholders from Norwich will punish them.

January 23, 2022 Posted by | Business, Finance, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Six Operators Award Joint Contract For Up To 504 Tram-Trains

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

These are the first three paragraphs.

A consortium of six German and Austrian transport bodies has awarded Stadler a framework contract for the supply and maintenance of up 504 tram-trains worth €4bn, the largest contract in the Swiss company’s history.

The VDV TramTrain framework contract was awarded on January 14 by Karlsruhe’s VBK and AVG, Saarbrücken’s Saarbahn Netz, Schiene Oberösterreich, the Land of Salzburg and Zweckverband Regional-Stadtbahn Neckar-Alb.

It includes a €1·7bn firm order for the supply of 246 Citylink tram-trains over 10 years from 2024, and the provision of 16 years of maintenance. There are options to order up to 258 more vehicles and to extend the maintenance to 32 years.

That will keep the factories running for a few years.

Note that all these Stadler Citylink tram-trains are similar to the Class 399 tram-trains, that run between Sheffield and Rotherham.

More Stadler Citylink tram-trains will start running in the next couple of years in Cardiff.

I can also envisage these tram-trains being used on the following projects in the UK, if they were to go ahead.

Note.

  1. Six are extensions to the Sheffield Supertram network.
  2. Three projects are extensions to the Manchester Metrolink.
  3. These are possible orders, that if the projects go ahead would likely have Stadler Citylink as the first choice of tram!
  4. All the tram-trains would be of a similar design.

How many other projects are under discussion in Europe?

Conclusion

Stadler have designed a tram-train that everybody likes and that generates orders.

I think Stadler will soon need to increase production of these Citylink tram-trains.

January 19, 2022 Posted by | Business, Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

How To Tell A Valid Year-End Forecast From A Vague, Unreliable Prediction

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Times.

It is a thought-provoking must-read article.

December 24, 2021 Posted by | Business, World | , | 2 Comments

Northumberland Line: Railway ‘Could Create Economic Powerhouse’

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

This is the first paragraph.

An “east coast economic powerhouse” stretching from Edinburgh to Leeds could be created if the Northumberland Line rail scheme goes ahead, a public inquiry has been told.

The article also explains why a public inquiry is needed.

The article also says that about thirty objections have been raised.

November 9, 2021 Posted by | Business, Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries Inks Deal With Kingdom of Jordan For Green Hydrogen Study

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The West Australian.

I can’t read the contents without subscribing, but I assume the title says it all.

However, I have a few thoughts.

This Google Map shows the Kingdom of Jordan.

Jordan is outlined in red.

The map suggests how hydrogen could be produced.

  • I would assume that there is plenty of sun in Jordan and there appears to be plenty of space for solar panels.
  • What is the potential for wind energy in the desert?
  • It would appear to me, that there are two routes to export the hydrogen. By pipeline across Israel to the Mediterranean Sea or by tanker from a port on the ed Sea, which just creeps onto the map in the South-West corner.
  • Perhaps, a giant electrolyser and export terminal could be built near Aqaba, which is Jordan’s only seaport.

What I like about this plan, is that to the North-East and South-East of Jordan, lie the deserts of Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Could these in future be carpeted with solar panels, where the electricity is fed to Aqaba to create more green hydrogen?

Andrew Forrest is a busy man and seems to be organising a one man project to provide the world with green hydrogen.

He is the second richest Australian according to Wikipedia.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more hydrogen deals at COP26, where Andrew Forrest is involved.

November 4, 2021 Posted by | Business, Hydrogen, World | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce To Re-Engine A Fleet Of Aircraft That Went Into Service In 1955 For $2.6 Billion

This sounds like good business if you can get it for Rolls-Royce.

It’s all described in this press release from Rolls-Royce, which is entitled Rolls-Royce North America Selected To Power The B-52 Commercial Engine Replacement Program.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Rolls-Royce North America has been selected to provide the powerplant for the B-52 Stratofortress under the Commercial Engine Replacement Program (CERP), further extending a long history of powering the United States Air Force.

The decision means the American-made Rolls-Royce F-130 engine will power the B-52 for the next 30 years. The Air Force made the announcement after a vigorous multi-year competition.

Note.

  1. It looks like the B-52s will stay in service until 2050.
  2. That is not bad for an aircraft that first flew in 1952, when I was five.

Wikipedia describes the deal like this.

The USAF intends to purchase 650 engines (608 direct replacements, 42 spare engines) for its fleet of 76 B-52H aircraft in a $2.6 billion deal.

I suspect the accountants are pleased at Rolls-Royce, as $2.6 million is good cash-flow.

  • The F-130 engine is a military variant of the BR725 engine, which was developed by Rolls-Royce Deutschland, which although it started as a joint-venture between Rolls-Royce and BMW, is now part of Rolls-Royce.
  • The engines will be built by Rolls-Royce North America in Indianapolis.

So I suspect development costs will not be too horrendous!

 

October 5, 2021 Posted by | Business, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Twenty Years On!

On the eleventh of September in 2001, I had three jobs to do in London.

  • I had to visit my press cuttings client near Borough tube station to talk about something, which I have long forgotten.
  • I had to deliver a thousand Al Stewart CDs to his manager, as the singer was going on tour. The handover was to be performed in Waterloo station.
  • I was then going on to Soho to see a Chinese bookmaker, for whom I offered computer advice.

I parked my car on a meter and went to visit the first client at about two.

When I returned to the car, I needed to phone my wife; C about something. My phone was installed in my Discovery and it didn’t have any calling list, as I remembered numbers and just typed them in.

But for some reason I couldn’t remember her mobile phone number or the Office number at home, so I didn’t make the call.

This was very unlike me, as I’ve always had an excellent memory. Especially for numbers.

I did remember to deliver the parcel to Al Stewart’s manager and made my way to Soho, where I parked in an underground car park.

It was only when I got to the bookmakers did I realise what was going on in New York, as they had the televisions on and were watching the drama continuously.

I have a feeling, that I made my excuses and returned quickly to Suffolk.

By this time, my memory had returned and I was able to phone C.

But the worst terrorist attacks of recent memory were probably over.

Did my brain pick up the bad news or was it due to being close to the City of London, where there would have been a large amount of electronic communication to New York?

I have no idea.

But there is another incident, where I may have picked up tragic news through the ether.

On Sunday, the 31st August 1997, I woke up about five as I generally do and remarkably said to C. “Something tragic has happend! I think Tony Blair has been assassinated!”

She told me to stop being silly and I went downstairs to make a cup of tea and do some programming. It was then that I turned on the radio and heard that Princess Diana had died in the traffic accident in Paris.

September 11, 2021 Posted by | Business, Computing, News, World | , , , , | 3 Comments

Northern line Extension’s Opening Date Announced

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Ian Visits.

Services will start on Monday, September 20th.

This sentence from Ian describes the service levels.

There will be an initial peak time service of six trains per hour on the extension, increasing to 12 trains per hour by mid-2022. There will be five trains per hour during off-peak times, doubling to 10 trains per hour next year.

I shall certainly try it when it opens, but I doubt I’ll be a regular user, as the Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line can be difficult to access from Dalston. My best way is probably to use a 73 bus to Goodge Street station.

How Do I Use The Northern Line to Go Between The new Battersea Power Station Station and Bank or Moorgate Stations?

This map from cartometro.com shows, the track layout of the extension.

Note.

  1. The extension to Battersea links to the loop that turns trains that have come South through London on the Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line, which runs North-Westerly from Kennington station.
  2. The Bank Branch of the Northern Line is the pair of tracks that runs North-Easterly from Kennington station.
  3. The Victorian builders of the Northern Line didn’t dig the tunnels and add the track, so that the loop could turn trains coming South through London on the Bank Branch of the Northern Line.

So passengers will have to change, with these possible routes.

  • For London Bridge, Bank, Moorgate and Old Street change at Kennington for the Bank Branch of the Northern Line.
  • For Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus and Paddington change at Waterloo for the Bakerloo Line.
  • For Canary Wharf, London Bridge, Westminster, Green Park, Bond Street, Baker Street and Paddington change at Waterloo for the Jubilee Line.
  • For Tower Hill, Monument, Westminster, Victoria and South Kensington change at Embankment for the Circle or District Lines.
  • For Holborn and Kings Cross St. Pancras and Harrods change at Leicester Square for the Piccadilly Line.
  • For Liverpool Street, Bank, St. Paul’s, Holborn, Bond Street and Marble Arch change at Tottenham Court Road for the Central Line.
  • For Canary Wharf, Liverpool Street, Moorgate, , Bond Street, Paddington and Heathrow change at Tottenham Court Road for Crossrail.

Note.

  1. These are a selection of the possible routes available.
  2. I have included some of the possible routes to London’s important transport, tourism and business hubs.
  3. I suspect many will change at Tottenham Court Road station for the City, as the station has been completely rebuilt for Crossrail with full step-free access.

Residents and visitors to the large amounts of new residential properties around Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms stations, will probably find their best routes fairly quickly, but there are a large number of routes to try to most important hubs.

Will Battersea Become An Area, Where Visitors To London Stay?

Consider.

  • The Northern Line Extension has connections to to Central London’s important transport, tourism and business hubs.
  • The Thames Clippers give access to the Thames.
  • There appears to be several good hotels open in the area.
  • For Gatwick Airport, it’s Gatwick Express and a taxi from Victoria station, at around a tenner.
  • For Heathrow Airport, it’s an easy journey from Heathrow on Crossrail with a change at Tottenham Court Road.
  • For City Airport, it’s a direct journey on a Thames Clipper from Royal Wharf to Battersea Power Station pier.
  • For Eurostar, it’s probably a £25 taxi from St. Pancras, but if you know the Underground there are several one-change routes via Euston, Kennington, Leicester Square and Warren Street.

I feel that if they get the hotels and the hospitality right, that the area could become an important one for visitors to London.

September 4, 2021 Posted by | Business, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Location Of Sunset Studios In Broxbourne

This article on HertsLIve discloses the location of the new Sunset Studios in Broxbourne.

This is said.

Land to the west of Waltham Cross has been bought and is allocated in Broxbourne Borough’s Local Plan 2018 – 2033.

It’s just off J25 on the M25 and is thought to be land on either side of the A10 Great Cambridge Road.

James Seppala, Head of Blackstone Real Estate Europe, said: “The site is on the north-west corner of the M25-A10 junction. It’s ideal given its accessibility across Hertfordshire, into Central London, to London’s airports due to its proximity to the M25, and it has the scale for the scheme we’re planning to develop.

“Highways England are expanding the motorway junction currently which is helpful as well.

This Google Map shows the location.

Note.

  1. The M25 runs across the bottom of the map.
  2. The A10 runs North-South between the two roundabouts.
  3. Newsprinters Broxbourne sits on a forty-acre site and is the largest newspaper printing site in the world.

I would expect that the brown agricultural site is where Sunset Studios will be located.

I have one big question.

Is It The Right Place For The Studios?

I know nothing about making films, but from what has been said, this development will produce up to 4,500 jobs.

How are all these people going to get in to work every day?

The site may have a good road network, but it doesn’t have a nearby rail connection.

But in my quote from Herts Live, this is said.

It’s just off J25 on the M25 and is thought to be land on either side of the A10 Great Cambridge Road.

Does that mean it includes the Newsprinter site as well?

This Google Map shows that site.

The site seems to be closed in by roads and on the Eastern side by the Cheshunt branch of the London Overground.

  • It is a double-track railway.
  • It runs between London Liverpool Street and Cheshunt stations.
  • It only runs two trains per hour (tph) at present, but it has been designed to handle upwards of four tph.
  • The trains on the route are new eight-car Class 710 trains, each of which can hold up to 1,300 passengers.

Could Sunset Studios be thinking about a rail-connected studio complex?

  • Liverpool Street will be well-connected through Crossrail to much of London including Heathrow and Canary Wharf.
  • Cheshunt is connected to Cambridge and Stansted.
  • There are fifteen stations between Liverpool Street and Cheshunt, which must surely mean easy access to the complex for a massive number of potential employees.

A station at the complex, would certainly seem a possible move to cut the amount of road traffic travelling to and from the complex.

Riding Past The Sunset Studios Site On The London Overground

I took these pictures of the area around the Sunset Studios site from a train going North to Cheshunt.

Note, that when the line was reopened in 1960, British Rail left wide margins and from my pictures and the Google Map indicates that building a station on this stretch of line wouldn’t be the most challenging of tasks.

 

 

 

August 4, 2021 Posted by | Business, Finance, World | , , , , , | 10 Comments

Heidelberg Plans Net-Zero Cement Plant For Sweden

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

Making cement creates about ten percent of man-made carbon emissions. See Wikipedia for CO2 Emissions From Cement.

Making cement needs a lot of energy and I suspect most comes from natural gas these days.

But I suspect there are ways to simply cut the carbon emissions.

  • Making cement is a continuous process and I suspect adding carbon capture would be easier than with other industrial processes like steelmaking.
  • Hydrogen rather than natural gas could be used to provide energy.

There also may be other ways of making cement. See Ecological Cement on Wikipedia.

June 3, 2021 Posted by | Business, World | , | Leave a comment