The Anonymous Widower

Lumo’s Seats Are OK

I went down to King’s Cross to see the 1348 Lumo arrival from Edinburgh arrive (At 1343 incidentally!)

The seats seemed to be a big topic with passengers I talked to, who’d just spent four-and-a-half hours sitting on them!

I will replace these pictures with better ones, when I use the trains. But they do show the basic design.

But all felt positive about them and said they were better than LNER.

One guy showed me a video of pushing his hand into the seat cushion. It appeared they would make bad ironing boards.

October 25, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Wagons Roll For Freightliner UK

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

This is the first paragraph.

UK operator Freightliner has taken delivery of the first batch of new FFA-G wagons for UK operations. The forty wagons have arrived in the UK from Poland, adding to the intermodal fleet of the operator. The entire order, for 230 wagons will be delivered by the end of November 2021.

The wagons have been designed for efficiency and being able to take a forty foot container anywhere on the UK’s network with a loading gauge of W10.

 

 

October 20, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

20 Ropemaker Street – 13th October 2021

I pass this building every time, I go to Moorgate.

I took these pictures today.

The architects have put up this video.

I shall be following this twenty-seven story building as it reaches for the sky.

October 13, 2021 Posted by | Design, World | , | Leave a comment

Osterley Becomes 89th Step-Free London Underground Station

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

So I went to Osterley station and took these pictures.

Note.

  1. Osterley station is Grade II Listed and was built in the style of Charles Holden.
  2. It does look that there is also step-free access between train and the platform for most wheelchair-users, buggy-pushers and case-draggers.
  3. The two new lift-towers are typical steel-and-brick constructions.

I don’t think that the most militant member of the Heritage Taliban will object to the quality of the design and the construction.

October 13, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dalston Junction Crossing At Night

This picture shows the diagonal light-controlled crossing at Dalston Junction station at night.

This Google Map shows the junction.

Note.

  1. The North-South Road is Kingsland High Street.
  2. The Road going East is Dalston Lane, where my grandmother was born on the North side of the road, about a hundred metres along.
  3. On the South side of Dalston Lane is Dalston Junction station, with a West-facing bus-stop in front.
  4. The Road going West is the Balls Pond Road of Beyond Our Ken and Round The Horne fame.
  5. The building at the West of the junction is the solicitors shown in the first picture.
  6. On the North side of the Balls Pond Road is an East-facing bus stop, which is paired with the one by the station. A bus at the stop can be seen in the first picture.

The diagonal light-controlled crossing can seen crossing between the two sides of the junction between the yellow meshes of the box junction.

The junction has had this layout for a few years now and it works.

  • I live about a kilometre to the West of Dalston Junction and regularly take a bus to stop on the West side of the junction before crossing diagonally to catch the Overground.
  • Coming home, I catch a bus from just outside the station
  • As buses are generally about once every ten minutes, I generally don’t wait long.
  • The crossing has made a big improvement to the junction, as it connects the two stations and the Kingsland Road.

How many other busy junctions could be improved by a similar diagonal crossing?

It should also be noted that since the crossing has been installed, Dalston has gained an Aldi, a Co-op. a Marks and Spencer Simply Food Spencer Simply Food, a Pret, a Premier Inn and several better fast food places.

The improvement of the walking routes has certainly brought more people up the junction and to the two stations.

October 11, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pop Up Metro Aims To Provide Affordable Passenger Operation

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Trains News Wire.

It describes entrepreneur Henry Posner’s Railroad Development Corporation‘s concept of a Pop-Up Metro and how it is being demonstrated in Rockhill, Pennsylvania, where it is being demonstrated at the Rockhill Trolley Museum.

Routes suggested in the article include.

Not all these routes are fully electrified.

There is some interesting ideas in the concept.

The female project manager is also quoted as saying

I found that if you just say yes to Henry, something interesting happens!

Little did I think, that these days, I’d see that said in a serious article.

Let’s hope that represents the can-do approach behind the design, but staying within the rules of safety.

 

October 2, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

On-Train Hydrogen Storage Development Agreement

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

This is the first paragraph.

Alstom and automotive technology company Plastic Omnium have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on ‘high-end’ hydrogen storage systems for on-train applications, with a dedicated team established to manage the technical and commercial development of ‘innovative and competitive’ equipment.

This sounds like hydrogen tanks will be efficiently designed and produced for trains and locomotives.

The designs for these important areas will probably lead to better hydrogen tanks for any application that needs one.

September 30, 2021 Posted by | Design, Hydrogen | , , , | 2 Comments

Nine Elms Station Opens

I took these pictures at Nine Elms station today, after it opened.

Note.

  1. The space is generous on the wide island platform.
  2. Access between platform and train is level.
  3. There is a set of three escalators and a lift connecting the platform to the surface.

The underground parts of the station feel very much like Canary Wharf station without the platform edge doors and fewer escalators.

Why Aren’t There Platform Edge Doors?

I was chatting to someone and they wondered how the station and Battersea Power Station station had been built without platform edge doors.

  • The thought had occurred to me too and we both thought that EU regulations meant that new underground platforms had to have these doors.
  • As the 1995 Stock on the Northern Line are very similar to the 1996 Stock on the Jubilee Line, it is unlikely to be a technical or design issue.
  • I also think it would be unlikely to be a cost issue given the size of the budget for the two stations.

Look at this picture of a train in Nine Elms station.

Note.

  1. The platform is long and straight.
  2. The platform is generally wider than some of London’s older Underground platforms.
  3. The track is arranged, so that the door openings and carriage floors line up with the platform edge, so that wheelchair users, bugger pushers and case draggers can go safely across.
  4. There is only a small gap between the train side and the platform edge, between the doors on the train, which is probably too small for anybody capable of walking can fall through.
  5. There is no Mind The Gap written on the platform. There is just a yellow line.
  6. There are no obstructions on the platform.

This second picture shows the structure of the track.

Note.

  1. The four rail electrification system is clearly visible.
  2. The far rail is energised at +420 VDC.
  3. The centre rail is energised at -210 VDC.
  4. The two running rails don’t carry any current.
  5. There is a suicide pit between the running rails and under the centre rail to protect anybody or anything falling onto the tracks.

I do wonder if Transport for London have done an analysis and found that the number of serious accidents on stations with these characteristics is small enough, to build these two new stations without the doors.

Other factors could include.

  • Stadler are the masters of step-free access and have built several innovative fleets of trains for safe step-free access without platform edge doors. Although they have nothing to do with this project, their statistics would be relevant.
  • The UK has left the EU, so we’re ignoring the regulation.
  • The Northern Line might get new trains.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this philosophy of straight uncluttered platforms being applied across the Underground.

This picture shows the Southbound platform at Angel station.

Note.

  1. This platform was built in the early 1990s.
  2. It is wide and uncluttered.

Note that the trains were introduced after the station was opened, so that is perhaps, why the train floors are higher.

 

September 21, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Definitive Seating Layout Of Lumo’s Class 803 Trains

This article on Economy Class and Beyond is entitled Enter Lumo – The New East Coast Railway Competitor.

It contains a drawing from Lumo,  which shows the layouts of the seats on the train.

  • Coach A – 44 Standard seats – 8 Priority seats – 2 Wheelchair spaces – 2 Tip up seats – Accessible toilet – 56 Total seats
  • Coach B – 84 Standard seats – 12 Priority seats – Bike store – Toilet – 96 Total seats
  • Coach C – 84 Standard seats – 12 Priority seats – 96 Total seats
  • Coach D – 84 Standard seats – 12 Priority seats – Bike store – Toilet – 96 Total seats
  • Coach E – 52 Standard seats – 8 Priority seats – 2 Tip up seats – Accessible toilet – 62 Total seats

Note.

  1. This is a total of 406 seats.
  2. Judging by the position of the tip-up seats they are for staff and perhaps emergency use, if say a coffee gets spilled on a seat.
  3. Each car has a pair of tables, where four can sit. As Lumo’s business model allows early booking, if you and your partner want to take the kids to see granny on her birthday, you should be able to get a table, by booking early.
  4. There are two bike stores in Coaches B and D.

These are some further thoughts.

Toilet Provision

I was on an LNER Class 800 train earlier this week and needed to go to the toilet.

  • I wasn’t sure which way I needed to go, as I couldn’t see a sign pointing me to the toilet, but in the end I struck lucky.
  • You don’t have that problem with Lumo’s trains, as there appears to be a toilet at both ends of the three middle coaches, either in your car or the next.
  • If you’re in one of the driver cars, there is an accessible toilet at the blunt end.

I don’t think anybody will argue with the toilet provision on Lumo’s trains.

Can The Trains Be Lengthened?

If you look at the diagram of the train, Coaches B and D appear to be identical with a toilet and a bike store at one end.

These ends are connected to the centre car, which doesn’t have its own toilet, but passengers can use the toilets in the next coaches.

One of the advantages of this layout is that although it is a five-car train, it only has four coach types, which must help in both manufacture and maintenance.

But it also helps, if the train service is successful and more capacity needs to be provided.

An extra coach just needs to have a toilet at one end and when it is slotted into the formation. The train software, then automatically acknowledges the additional car.

The rule of having a toilet at both ends of the centre coaches will not be broken.

These trains are certainly designed for a service that could be more successful, than the train operator has initially planned.

The maths of lengthening are very simple.

  • Each new coach will add another 96 seats.
  • The five trains (25 coaches) cost £100 million.
  • That is £4 million per coach.
  • All stations on the route are capable of handling at least nine-car trains.

Different lengths of trains would give the following increases.

  • Six-car trains would hold 502 seats and increase capacity by 24 %.
  • Seven-car trains would hold 598 seats and increase capacity by 47 %.
  • Eight-car trains would hold 694 seats and increase capacity by 71 %.
  • Nine-car trains would hold 790 seats and increase capacity by 94 %.

The ability to lengthen trains so easily, must mean that Lumo can match their train size to demand, without needing any extra expensive train paths.

Bicycle Storage

There are two bike storage racks in Coaches B and D.

As there has been complaints about bicycle storage on these Hitachi trains, I would assume that Lumo have got the provision right for the target market.

Wheelchair Travellers

These are positioned next to one of the accessible toilets, which is standard practice.

How Will These Trains Compare To Budget Airliners?

This is not a great picture of even a boring subject like the A14 going over the East Coast Main Line.

But it was taken from an airline-style seat through the wide window of an LNER Hitachi train, that is in the same family as the trains purchased by Lumo.

Try taking a decent picture through the porthole on a budget airliner.

If Lumo have used decent seats for the trains, they will have the budget airlines screwed, glued and tattooed on the London and Edinburgh route.

Conclusion

These are certainly trains designed for their market.

September 9, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Through Barking To Barking Riverside

The excellent maps from carto metro now show full details of the route of the Barking Riverside Extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

This map shows the tracks going through Barking station.

Note.

  1. The District Line is shown in green.
  2. The Hammersmith & City Line is shown in mauve.
  3. The London Overground is shown in orange.
  4. Where lines are shared, they are shown dotted in both colours.
  5. The two tracks going North West are the Gospel Oak to Barking Line to the West.
  6. There is a flyover linking these two tracks to Platforms 7 and 8 on the South side of the station.

All Overground trains currently terminate in Platform 1, which is the Northernmost of the seven platforms.

After services to Barking Riverside start, some or all of the services will use the flyover and share Platforms 7 and 8 with c2c’s half-hourly service between Fenchurch Street and Grays.

  • Platform 7 will handle c2c services to Grays and Overground services to Barking Riverside.
  • Platform 8 will handle c2c services to Fenchurch Street and Overground services to Gospel Oak.

Passengers who need to reverse direction to perhaps go from Barking Riverside to Purfleet would just walk across the island platform shared by Platforms 7 and 8.

This second map shows the tracks to the East of Barking station.

Note.

  1. The Overground tracks sit between the existing lines.
  2. If Renwick Road station is added to the extension, will it have an island platform between the tracks?

This third map shows the route to Barking Riverside station.

Note.

  1. Barking Riverside station is a two-platform station.
  2. There is a crossover outside the station to allow both platforms to be used to terminate trains.

Strictly speaking to handle the four trains per hour (tph) that are likely to use the station, one platform could be enough, but it looks like the station has been designed for extension across the river to Abbey Wood and Thamesmead.

September 2, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments