The Anonymous Widower

Chihuly At Kew Gardens

April 19, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

An Inter7City Class 43 Locomotive At Dundee Station

This Inter7City Class 43 locomotive was waiting at Dundee station, when I protographed it.

I suspect it was a training run.

April 15, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Catford Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Catford station is on the list.

This pictures show the current state of Catford station.

Note.

  1. The railway line is on an embankment, with a bridge over the road.
  2. There are steep stairs to both platforms.
  3. There are small shelters on both platforms.
  4. There is a small station building by the subway under the tracks.

I suspect that a lift on either side of the tracks will need to be installed.

This Google Map shows the station.

It looks like it will be rather a tight squeeze to fit the lifts around the stairs and the current station building.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a rebuild of the current station building and the stairs, to create space for the lifts.

The route between Catford and Catford Bridge stations used to involve a walk along the A205, but now there is a level walk through a new housing development, which also has a small supermarket.

You enter Catford Bridge station, directly onto Platform 1.

This Google Map shows the two stations and the walking route between them.

I estimate that it is less than a hundred metres.

Adding step-free access at Catford station will not complete the project.

Look at these pictures of Catford Bridge station.

To cross the tracks at the station, there are two bridges; the road bridge and a footbridge at the station.

Neither of the bridges are step-free.

It would be difficult to add lifts at the A205 end of the station, as there is little space. It would also mean passengers would be walking along the A205, with all its traffic and associated pollution.

In Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition, I wrote how the competition was won by this bridge.

So could a factory-built bridge like this be installed at Catford Bridge station?

It could replace the existing metal bridge!

 

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Transport, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

By Overground To High Speed Two

The North London Line will be my route to High Speed Two when it opens in 2026.

This map from Wikipedia, shows how the lines connect.

I will actually have two Overground stations, that I will be able to use.

Note.

  1. Wikipedia says that both stations should open in 2026, which is the same date as High Speed Two.
  2. Hythe Road station is 700 metres from the High Speed Two station.
  3. Old Oak Common Lane station is 350 metres from the High Speed Two station.

Currently, both lines have a four trains per hour (tph) service.

  • The Class 378 trains are five cars, which can get very busy in the Peak.
  • It would need an additional five trains to increase the frequency to five tph on both routes.
  • I feel the higher frequency could be in operation by the opening of High Speed Two.
  • Most stations between Stratford and Willesden Junction would appear to be able to accept six-car trains, if selective door opening were to be used.

I think by 2026, there will be a more than adequate service between Stratford and High Speed Two.

  • There will be at least eight tph.
  • Step-free access will not be available at Brondesbury Park, Brondesbury, Finchley Road & Frognal, Kentish Town West and Dalston Kingsland stations.

But what other developments will or might happen?

Highbury & Islington Station

Highbury & Islington station is the thirteenth busiest station in the UK and it is in need of a major upgrade to bring the deep level platforms and their access up to the standard of the four London Overground platforms, which all have lifts.

I also think that the track layout at the station could be modified to allow trains on the East London Line to continue further to the West. This was mentioned, when the Oveground was created, but is seldom talked about these days.

Step-Free Access On The North And West London Lines

These two lines which form a Y-shaped railway that splits at Willesden Junction, will provide these services from High Speed Two to major interchange stations.

  • Four tph to Clapham Junction station.
  • Eight tph to Highbury & Islington station.
  • Four tph to Richmond station.
  • Eight tph to Stratford station
  • Eight tph to West Hampstead station

It looks to me that the Overground will connect High Speed Two to the parts of London, that Crossrail cannot reach.

The only thing that is needed is to complete step free access at all stations on the North and West London Lines.

The Maximum Frequency Across North London

Five tph on both the North and West London Line would give the following turnback frequencies at the four terminals.

  • Clapham Junction – 5 tph
  • Richmond – 5 tph
  • Stratford – 10 tph

This chart from TfL shows planned improvements on the London Overground

Note that it clearly shows that it is possible to run a six tph service between two single platform stations.

I think it likely that it would be possible to run six tph on both routes, provided that the route and the signalling could handle the increased frequency.

Twelve tph between Stratford and Willesden Junction stations would probably be the maximum frequency.

But would the number of freight trains allow this frequency?

A Reduction In Freight Services

Currently, the North London Line carries a lot of freight trains, going between Barking, Felixstowe and London Gateway in the East to virtually everywhere West of London.

  • Noises from the East West Rail Consortium are hinting that services to and to and from Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, South Wales, Southampton and the West Midlands might use their new route between Oxford and Cambridge.
  • Could more freight use ports like Liverpool and Teesport in the North of England, which would reduce the traffic through the ports in the South?

Whatever happens, the current succession of diesel-hauled freight trains across London is not environmentally-friendly and it will raise increasing numbers of protests.

I think it is inevitable that the number of freight services will reduce, thus allowing more paths for passenger trains.

Digital Signalling

To handle the increasing traffic on the North and West London Lines, I can see digital signalling being installed. There could even be a degree of Automic Train Control.

Six-Car Trains

Only a few stations can handle six-car trains without selective door opening and even the rebuilt West Hampstead station still has platforms for five-cars.

Selective door opening would allow six-car trains to use the five-car platforms and passengers have in London have shown they can cope with moving forward to get out at certain stations. Especially, as the walk-through design of the train, makes this a lot easier.

A Round-The-Corner Service

I can remember reading in Modern Railways, that one of the reasons for the East and North London Lines running parallel through Canonbury to Highbury & Islington was to possibly enable extension of the East London Line to perhaps Willesden Junction, where there is a handy bay platform.

This has not happened and I doubt we’ll ever see something like a New Cross to Willesden Junction service, as Crossrail will effectively provide a faster frequent service between Whitechapel and Old Oak Common stations.

West London Orbital Railway

The proposed West London Orbital Railway will have two routes.

  • West Hampstead Thameslink and Hounslow
  • Brent Cross Thameslink and Kew Bridge

Both routes will have four tph and have a connection to Crossrail, High Speed Two and the North London Line at Old Oak Common station.

The only possible problem would be the eight extra tph through Acton Central station and level crossing and South Acton station.

But it would become an important feeder route to Crossrail, Heathrow Airport and High Speed Two.

Conclusion

The North and West London Line route between Stratford and Willesden has the ability to handle a lot more traffic than it current does.

Dgital signalling and six-car trains could add over another fifty per cent capacity to the route.

I very much feel that digital signalling will be absolutely necessary.

 

March 26, 2019 Posted by | Transport, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Government Turns Up Power On Offshore Wind

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article in yesterday’s copy of The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

A third of British electricity will be generated by offshore wind farms by 2030 under government plans.

Although Jeremy Corbyn said he would reopen coal mines a couple of years ago, I can’t see a change of Government stopping this.

A few other points from the article.

  • Last year offshore wind produced about eight percent of our electricity needs.
  • The offshore wind energy industry has said it will raise UK content from 48 to 60 percent.
  • The industry has promised to invest £250million in the supply chain.
  • There are 1,900 turbines in British waters, which can generate 8GW.
  • Another 6GW will come on stream by 2022-23.
  • Another 16GW are in the planning stage.

The author feels that as costs are reducing, this is driving the investment.

Conclusion

We have a very windy future.

 

March 8, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Is Wigan North Western Station Ready For High Speed Two?

Wigan North Western station will be a stop used by High Speed Two and according to the Proposed Service Pattern in the Wikipedia entry, it will have at least one train per hour (tph).

I took these pictures at the station during my overnight stay.

A few thoughts about the station.

Platform Lengths

According to a stationman, they can handle eleven-car Class 390 trains in the following platforms.

  • The Northbound platforms 5 and 6.
  • The South bound platform 4.

As I arrived from Euston in an eleven-car train in Platform 5, I feel that he was correct. These eleven-car trains are over two hundred and fifty metres long.

Wikipedia says this about trains for High Speed Two.

Both types of train would have a maximum speed of at least 350 km/h (220 mph) and length of 200 metres (660 ft). Two units could be joined together for a 400-metre (1,300 ft) train.

Wigan North Western station would accept a single-train now, but the platforms would need lengthening to handle a double-train.

February 24, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Kidbrooke Village

Kidbrooke Village is a new housing estate next to Kidbrooke station. Previously, the site was occupied by the Ferrier Estate.

The estate has over five thousand units and several towers.

I think we’re going to see a lot more developments like this.

  • Good quality housing (Hopefully!)
  • Local employment.
  • Shops
  • Parkland

I think that a railway station with a frequent well-connected service is essential. Kidbroke has a train every ten minutes in both directions, with a choice of three London terminals.

Developers like a rail service, as it makes units easier to sell or rent and the amount of car parking can be reduced.

Hopefully Kidbrooke will be turned into a thriving community.

 

February 2, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

New Tracks. New Platforms At Ipswich Station. And Faster Trains. Will East Anglia’s Rail Bosses Be Able To Deliver?

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the East Anglian Daily Times.

This is the first paragraph.

Rail bosses have outlined a bold new vision for the East Anglian network over the next 25 years at a major transport conference in Ipswich.

A number of possible projects were outlined.

New Tracks For The Main Line

Possibilities include.

  • Two new tracks between Shenfield and Chelmsford,
  • A third track between Witham and Chelmsford.
  • New tracks South of Colchester,
  • New tracks between Ipswich and Haughley Junction.

these are my observations South of Colchester.

  • Two extra tracks should be possible between Shenfield and Chelmsford, but there would be some bridge reconstruction and the problem of Ingatestone station.
  • The third track between Witham and Chelmsford should be possible with only one major bridge South of Witham station.
  • There would appear to be space to fit in two extra tracks between Marks Tey and Colchester.

Although much of the line is only double-track, it does run through mainly farming country and there appears to be fairly wide green spaces on either side for much of the route.

These are my observations between Ipswich and Haughley Junction.

  • The line goes through the towns of Needham Market and Stowmarket and it would appear putting in extra tracks would be difficult in places.
  • There are also several bridges and a couple of level crossings.

But it does look like much of the route between Stowmarket Haughley Junction could have extra tracks added.

Removing Bottle-Necks

Two bottle-necks were specifically mentioned.

  • Haughley Junction
  • The Trowse swing bridge just South of Norwich.

The later would allow more services into Norwich.

Expanding Ipswich Station

The article says this.

New longer trains could force Greater Anglia and Network Rail to lengthen platforms at Ipswich Station – and Greater Anglia is looking at the possibility of building new platforms on what is currently the freight depot next to Platform Four.

Expansion of the station would allow more service to Cambridge, Lowestoft and Peterborough.

Boosting Smaller Stations

The article says this.

The growth in passenger numbers at the largest stations on the GEML in Essex – Chelmsford and Colchester – has slowed while more passengers are using smaller stations with improved parking facilities. Marks Tey, Manningtree, Kelvedon, Ingatestone, and Hatfield Peveral have become more popular with commuters driving to stations because they don’t have to drive into the heart of large towns or cities to find an expensive parking space.

I used to live near to Dullingham station, which is a commuter station for Cambridge. When I last used the station, it could do with more facilities.

Will this policy be complemented by the reopening of sclosed stations?

The article also talks about faster services and the improving of regional services.

Conclusion

East Anglia is going to get much better rail services.

 

 

February 2, 2019 Posted by | Transport, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

When Are We Going To Get Some Rain?

It’s now over a month since I experienced any rain and I feel totally crap, with a very dry month and I suspect dry lungs as well.

I drinking lots of 0.5% alcohol beer, tea and lemonade, but it all seems to make no difference!

I need a right royal downpour, so I can walk around in it.

January 21, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Brexit Was An Easy Sell

How many times, have you heard a smooth salesman give you a line of patter to try to sell you something?

In some cases, they have presented you with say a car, bicycle or washing machine, which is all you need with a feasible story.

So you have bought it, because you couldn’t see any risk and it did what you need.

In most cases you haven’t regretted the purchase as it was a well-made good product.

If you asked a good salesman to sell Brexit, he could come up with all sorts of positive reasons, why you should vote for it.

On the other hand, a good salesman selling Remain, would have only given you negatives and doom and gloom.

When did anybody sell you anything, based on its negative qualities?

In my view,  David Cameron’s referendum was skewed in favour of Brexit, as selling a negative to millions of people is not a feasible proposition.

 

 

January 15, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment