The Anonymous Widower

Painting Blackfriars Bridge

It looks like Blackfriars Bridge is being repainted.

It certainly looks like it needs a repaint.

October 4, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Seeing London Underground’s Bakerloo Line Trains In A New Light

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

This is the first paragraph.

A 50% energy saving and a substantial reduction in maintenance costs is being achieved by replacing fluorescent tubes on London Underground’s Bakerloo Line trains with custom designed LED lights from MARL International.

From the pictures in the article, they look to be a good design.

October 4, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Are These Two Stories Related?

These are two stories recently published in Railway Gazette.

Deutsche Bahn Sells Arriva Businesses To Private Equity Holding Company, which starts with this paragraph.

Deutsche Bahn has reached agreement to sell its Arriva local transport activities in Denmark, Poland and Serbia to München-based private equity holding company Mutares SE & Co KGaA.

That is fairly clear and is probably related with the German government’s desire for DB to concentrate on its core business.

RENFE Looks At Entering UK Rail Market Through Open Access Partnership, which starts with this paragraph.

Open access passenger service developer Grand Union Trains is working with Spain’s national operator RENFE and private equity firm Serena Industrial Partners on a proposed service between London and Wales.

That also is fairly clear and would bring competition to services to South Wales.

The article also says the following.

  • RENFE seem to be expanding into partnerships to run services outside Spain.
  • A parkway station at Felindre will be build to avoid the reverse at Swansea, that would save 20 mins.
  • It will be a high quality service with new electro-diesel trains.
  • Four trains will be needed.
  • A 2025 start is envisaged.

Will this partnership with Grand Union Trains proceed with the development of Grand Union Trains’ London and Stirling service?

I have some thoughts and questions.

Will Deutsche Bahn Sell Other Arriva Businesses?

I think this is a reasonable question to ask, especially, as Deutsche Bahn owns two Open Access Operators in the UK; Chiltern Railways and Grand Central Trains.

  • Both operators have a good reputation.
  • Both operators need to decarbonise, either by updating their current stock or buying new trains.
  • Both operators have solid niche markets, where they are often responsible for the stations.
  • Both operators have expansion plans.

Would RENFE and Serena Industrial Partners be interested in taking over Arriva UK and developing the business?

The Talgo Factory At Longannet

I believe that there is reason to believe that one of Talgo’s reasons for a factory in Scotland, is that it could have been used to build Russian and dual-gauge trains for Eastern Europe. The trains would have been delivered by ferry from Rosyth.

There is also the not-small matter of the fleet for Rail Baltica, for which Talgo will surely be a bidder.

But Russia’s attack on Ukraine has scuppered that plan, or at least delayed it for a few years. But now, there could be a much larger market for trains in Eastern Europe and especially Ukraine.

If RENFE Acquire Open Access Operators In The UK, They Will Need New Trains

They will certainly need new trains for the South Wales operations, if they go ahead, but if they were to decarbonise Chiltern and Grand Central, the order could be substantial.

With one Spanish train factory in the UK and another a possibility, I would suspect any train order would go to a Spanish train-builder.

If the orders fell right, could we see Talgo’s factory at Longannet built after all?

October 1, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Artemis Technologies Unveils World’s Most Advanced 100% Electric Passenger Ferry

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

These bullet points list the features of the EF-24 passenger ferry.

  • With a top speed of 38 knots and a foiling range of 115 nautical miles at 25 knots, these vessels will transform the global passenger ferry market as it races to decarbonise
  • Produces minimal wake, enabling high-speed operations in busy waterways
  • Riding above the waves results in a comfortable ride, reducing effects of seasickness
  • Efficiency of foils and electric drive system delivers significant OPEX savings including lower maintenance costs and up to 85% fuel savings
  • Electric propulsion generates zero emissions in operation, removing air, water and noise pollution
  • These 24 metre vessels designed and built by Artemis Technologies represent ground-breaking green innovations for commercial ferries, radically different from traditional ferries in operation
  • First EF-24 Passenger ferry will be operated by Condor Ferries in 2024
  • 100% electric, the vessels and systems developed by Artemis Technologies are designed to make the lowest possible impact on the environment

It certainly looks the part, but then it was designed using technology from racing yachts.

I have a few thoughts.

The Bangor And Belfast Trial Route

The press release says this about a trial route.

Artemis Technologies has partnered with Condor Ferries to operate a pilot scheme using the first EF-24 Passenger ferry. This will come into service in 2024, running between Belfast and Bangor in Northern Ireland.

This Google Map shows the location of the two cities.

Note.

  1. Belfast is in the South-East corner of the map.
  2. The Titanic Quarter and George Best Airport are marked.
  3. I walked between the Airport and the Titanic Quarter, when I visited five years ago.
  4. Bangor is in the North-East corner of the map.

I have actually travelled between Belfast and Bangor on a train, which I wrote about in A Train Trip From Belfast To Bangor.

As the Thames Clipper in London competes well for commuters and other passengers in London, I would think that they will attract passengers.

I regularly go one way to Battersea Power Station on the Northern Line and come back on the Clipper to London Bridge, as it puts a bit of fresh air in my lungs.

Will the good burgers of Belfast do the same?

As the service will start at the Titanic Quarter, it could be a tourist attraction.

Other Routes

If you look at the Wikipedia entry for hydrofoil, there are a lot of route possibilities.

I have a few suggestions.

Thames Clippers

The Thames Clipper fleet is all diesel and typical boats have a 28 knot cruising speed and carry between 150-172 passengers.

So it would appear that EF-24 Ferries would have a similar performance.

Thames Clippers have promoted the possibility of a service from London to Gravesend, which is under thirty miles by road.

An EF-24 Ferry might be ideal for the longer route.

High-Speed Routes Between Great Britain And Ireland

In High-Speed Low-Carbon Transport Between Great Britain And Ireland, I laid out ideas to travel between the two islands.

I showed that by using high speed trains to Holyhead and then a high speed ferry, times of under five hours could be achieved to both Belfast and Dublin.

If a High Speed Two Classic-Compatible Train were to be used timings from Euston to Holyhead could be.

  • Euston and Crewe – 56 minutes – High Speed 2 prediction
  • Crewe and Holyhead – 1 hour 58 minutes – Current time.

The second leg would be faster, if the route were to be electrified.

Mersey Ferries

Like Merseyrail’s elderly Class 508 trains, the Mersey Ferries are long in the tooth and need replacing.

In my view, Artemis Technologies could build some very suitable electric ferries.

New routes might also be developed to appeal to tourists.

I am sure there are many more routes in the UK and around Europe and the wider world.

 

 

 

 

 

October 1, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Western Railway Get Innovative

This article on Rail Advent, which is entitled Great Western Railway Trial New Long Weekender Ticket Between London Paddington, Bristol And South Wales, caught my eye.

This is the Long Weekender page on the Great Western Railway web site.

This seems to be the basic rule.

Leave on a Friday or Saturday, return on a Monday and save over 60% compared to an Anytime Return.

You can also apply your Railcard.

This sounds very useful to me.

As an example, I spent an enjoyable couple of days in Swansea, where I explored the area on the rail network. This could be made to fit in with one of these tickets, even if it meant buying a return from Cardiff.

I shall investigate further, as the website booking doesn’t seem to know about the Long Weekender ticket.

I visited Paddington this afternoon and asked one of those guys in a green uniform.

He told me that at the moment you have to buy them in the Booking Office and that they will be available on the web site.

He also thought they were a good idea.

There is also this post on Ian Visits, which is entitled GWR Launches “Long Weekend” Train Tickets.

Ian says this.

GWR added that if the trial of the Long Weekender proves successful, it will be extended to other parts of the network.

Does that mean GWR’s or the National network?

September 30, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Testing Of Digital Signalling To Close Northern City Line

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

This first paragraph indicates what’s happening.

Any passengers travelling on the Northern City Line between Finsbury Park and Moorgate on Sunday 9th October are being asked to check before they travel due to testing.

I hope that when they’ve finished the testing, they will increase the number of trains on this important route.

September 30, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Six Good Points Of The Elizabeth Line

The Ride Quality

I wrote about this in The Quality Of The Ride On The Lizzie Line.

The Virtual Extension Of The Elizabeth Line To Epping And South West Essex

I wrote about this in Elizabeth/Central Line Interchange At Stratford – 23rd June 2022.

The Quality Of The Station Staff

They are excellent and I suspect they’ve been very well-trained.

The Bakerloo Line Link At Paddington Station

I wrote about this in Elizabeth Line – Paddington Bakerloo Line Link – 24th May 2022.

The Connection Between The Northern And Lizzie Lines At Tottenham Court Road Station

Iwrote about this in The Connection Between The Northern And Lizzie Lines At Tottenham Court Road Station.

The Underground Link between Liverpool Street and Moorgate Stations

I wrote about this in London’s First Underground Roller Coaster.

I wrote about my first ride in Elizabeth Line – Riding The Underground Roller Coaster At Liverpool Street Station – 24th May 2022.

September 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Elizabeth Line: Bond Street Station Gets Opening Date

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

The opening date for the Elizabeth line at Bond Street station has been revealed.

The central London station will begin taking passengers from 24 October, subject to final approvals, Transport for London (TfL) said.

The 24th of October is a Monday.

September 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Serious Fire At Silvertown Tunnel Worksite: Severe Repercussions?

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

Apparently, this may mean that the tunnel builders may have to build more affordable homes, if the tunnel is delayed.

Given the serious opposition to this tunnel, I wonder if this wasn’t an accidental fire.

September 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

‘It Was Wonderful’: Eviation’s Alice Electric Airplane Wins Praise After Its First Flight Test

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

The long-expected first flight of Eviation Alice has happened.

The flight was only a short one and was described like this in the article.

Alice flew for eight minutes and reached a maximum altitude of 3,500 feet before landing safely back at the airport.

There is also a video in this article on Electrek, which is entitled Watch Eviation’s All-Electric Alice Aircraft First Flight.

This is an important milestone in the history of aviation.

September 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment