The Anonymous Widower

Ilford Station – 9th June 2021

The third entrance on the South side of Ilford station is now open.

These pictures were taken during a walk from the North entrance to the new one in the South.

Note that nine-car trains are now running on Crossrail.

June 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Has London Done Its Best To Organise Friday’s England and Scotland Match?

Scotland are coming to play England on Friday, with the match starting at 20:00.

These are my thoughts.

Travelling To Wembley On The Day

This article on The Times is entitled England v Scotland: Ticketless Fans Urged To Stay Away From Wembley.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Thousands of ticketless Scotland fans are set to descend on London for the England game on Friday amid growing concern about the lack of a Covid-secure fan zone.

Nearly 3,000 Scottish fans have tickets for the clash at Wembley but the Scottish Football Supporters Association expects that twice as many will travel south. Some estimate that the number could be as high as 20,000.

The article also says the following about trains on Friday, that would get you to London in time for the match.

  • Fifteen trains  from Glasgow are full.
  • Most of the seventeen trains from Edinburgh are full.

Using the capacity of the trains, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 20,000 Scottish fans coming by train.

But there are other ways to come.

  • Scotland now has a good rail services to places like Doncaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Peterborough and York. All of these places have lots of hotels and a good train service to London.
  • Some will fly.
  • How many will come by coach?
  • Personally, I’ve driven between London and Edinburgh and Glasgow several times and with two nominated drivers, who didn’t drink, it’s an easy drive and can be done in under six hours.
  • London also has a large expatriate Scottish population. How many will go or want to go to the match?
  • Plenty of hotel rooms in London are available for Thursday and Friday night at a reasonable price.

Wembley stadium  is also well-served by public transport and you could park at somewhere like Milton Keynes and get the train to the stadium.

Getting Home

I suspect many will need a hotel room, but it does look that there are plenty available.

Those who’ve driven down, would just pick up their car and drive home through the night.

But will many be intending to sleep rough somewhere?

It’s Been A Long Time!

It’s been a long time since Scotland reached a major finals and it was 1996, when they last played England in the finals of a major tournament.

Surely, this will increase the number of fans, who will turn-up in London without tickets!

Scots Always Travel If They Can!

I am old enough to have watched Celtic with the 1967 European Cup in Lisbon in on a black-and-white television.

They certainly travelled then and amused everybody with their drunken antics after the match.

The last time England played Scotland at Wembley was a friendly in 2013.

This report on the BBC, which is entitled Trafalgar Square Scots Party Leaves 10,000 Beer Cans, describes the antics in Trafalgar Square.

This is a paragraph from the BBC report.

Westminster City Council’s Leith Penny said: “Our crews worked hard round the clock to get London back to normal for our residents and businesses this morning.”

That was mild compared to what a spokesman for Westminster City Council said on the BBC.

I remember he compared the drunken Scots to the well-behaved Dortmund and Bayern Munich fans, who had taken over the square in May. I wrote about that in Trafalgar Square In Yellow.

Everybody is Demob-Happy!

After nearly two years of the pandemic, many are demob-happy and football supporters on both sides will be looking to get to or near the match.

How Many Scots Will Turn Up?

I quoted earlier that 20,000 could turn up!

As my mother would say! “And the rest!”

There Will Be No Fan Zone

This press release from the Mayor of London is entitled EURO 2020 Fan Zone To Host Key Workers For England’s Group Games.

  • All England games, semi-finals and final to be screened
  • Exclusive key worker access for first two, socially-distanced, Fan Zone matches as mark of gratitude from Mayor for their work during pandemic
  • Plan for up to 9,500 fans for Czech Republic group clash if Covid restrictions lifted on June 21
  • Renowned artist JR will transform the city with his epic black and white portraits to celebrate competition.
  • The Fan Zone will operate a zero tolerance, ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy towards racism and other forms of discrimination

I predict there will be tens of thousands of angry Scotsmen.

So What Has Sadiq Khan Got To Say?

The Times has these two paragraphs.

The mayor’s office urged Scottish fans without tickets to stay at home. A spokesman for Khan said: “It is not possible to hold a fan zone for Scottish fans in London due to the Covid restrictions . . . fans should only travel to the capital if they have a ticket or a safe place to watch the match.”

A source close to the mayor added: “We would have liked to put up a zone for Scottish fans and increased capacity at Trafalgar Square but the licence from Westminster [council] required social distancing so we could not do more. Central government would also have needed to make an exemption to allow it to happen but they have not.”

Typically, Khan seems to be blaming everybody except himself.

 

 

 

 

 

June 15, 2021 Posted by | Sport, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

An Airport Train For A Pandemic?

These pictures show one of Greater Anglia‘s new Class 745 trains on a Stansted Express service at Hackney Downs station, on the way to Liverpool Street station.

Stansted Express services do not usually use Platform 3, but it would appear that the service had started from Bishops Stortford.

The Future Of Stansted Express Trains

The previous Stansted Express trains; the more-than-adequate Class 379 trains are still waiting for a future, after being replaced.

Now because of the pandemic, the excellent Class 745 trains are running virtually empty.

Perhaps, it’s not a lucky route for trains.

June 15, 2021 Posted by | Transport, Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Work Begins On Okehampton Parkway Railway

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Following confirmation of government funding from the ‘Restoring Your Railway ideas’ fund, work has started on the Okehampton Parkway railway station that will serve the east of the town when the Dartmoor Line reopens.

Services are expected to restart later this year on the 14-mile stretch of railway for the first time in almost 50 years, providing a regular, daily passenger rail service between Okehampton and Exeter.

Okehampton Parkway station will be a completely new station for the Dartmoor Line.

This Google Map shows the probable location of the station.

The Wikipedia entry for the station, says this about its location.

The station is to be sited at the A30 junction at Stockley Hamlet and would be sited at the Business Park at Okehampton as well as serving a further 900 homes close to the site.

Stockey Hamlet is in the North-East corner of the map with the Dartmoor Line running along its Western side. Wikipedia also says this about the station design.

In April 2018, two preferred options for a new station which included an option for a double-sided platform which included a through platform and a bay platform. Another is for a platform single-sided platform on the south side of the railway with staggered faces. Exeter-bound trains would use the north through platform and the Dartmoor Railway would use the bay platform.

But as the track is only single-track and Devon has several single-platform stations, I will be surprised if the station has more than a single platform initially.

May 6, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Could Current Airliners Be Fuelled With Ammonia?

The title of this post, surely falls into the category of tabloid stories, that you get on a slow news day, when the Science Editor has been drinking in a pub, with a fantasist, who claims he runs his Ford Cortina on carrots.

But read this article on the Ammonia Association web site, which is entitled Zero Emission Aircraft: Ammonia For Aviation.

This is a paragraph from the article.

The propulsion system was devised by Reaction Engines and investigated by a team at STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory … It would have the potential to efficiently crack the ammonia fuel using heat harvested from the jet engine through Reaction Engines’ ground-breaking heat exchangers to provide a zero-carbon fuel blend of ammonia and hydrogen that burns stably just like jet fuel. The density of liquid ammonia allows for conventional aircraft configurations to be used and it may be possible to retrofit into an existing engine, resulting in a zero-carbon jet that could start serving the short haul market well before the 2050 target currently set by the industry.

Note.

  1. The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is based at Harwell.
  2. Reaction Engines Wikipedia entry is interesting.

Read the Ammonia Association article in full.

Conclusion

I believe that the answer to the question in the title of this post is Yes!

 

April 23, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Fall In Covid Infection Rates A Pleasant Surprise, Says Adviser

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

The adviser who is pleasantly surprised is Mike Tildesley of the University of Warwick.

I am not surprised that Mike Tildesley is pleasantly surprised.

I have successfully built mathematical models on computers for over fifty years, and since the pandemic started I have been pursuing my own mining of UK, WHO and Wikipedia data and peer-reviewed scientific papers from sources all over the world.

Several scientists have said, that an individual’s immune system is important, when it comes to fighting the covids.

I am coeliac on a long-term gluten-free diet and we as a group have a strong immune system. This probably explains, why we are 25 % less likely to suffer from cancer, than the general population. This fact is not from the Gwyneth Paltrow School of Quack Science, but from JVT’s alma mata; Nottingham University.

It has also been shown by the University of Padua, who followed a group of coeliacs on a long-term gluten-free diet, that they did very well during the first wave of the virus in Padua, with no serious cases reported.

Look at the figures for Cambodia, which has very low figures. They have had just 22 deaths and they have a fatality rate of 0.78% according to Wikipedia. Our rate on a similar basis is 2.94 %.

Can their gluten-free diet be the reason?

I’ve also heard verified stories of groups of immigrants doing well, as they have not been seduced by Western junk food and are sticking to traditional diets.

I think there are a large number of people out there like coeliacs on a long-term gluten-free diet, who because of their diet or lifestyle are not going to get the virus and act like moderators do in a nuclear power station to slow the reaction. So they are slowing the transmission of the virus. We have already seen how some religious groups and types of behaviour have accelerated the spread of the virus, so why can’t groups exist that slow the rate of spread?

Hence Mike Tildesley’s pleasant surprise!

I have not found any UK-based scientific research on how coeliacs are faring in the pandemic and the charity Coeliac-UK has said nothing except Keep Calm And Carry On!

Let’s hope the good scientists of Padua are continuing to follow their coeliacs through successive waves of the pandemic!

We need more research now!

April 6, 2021 Posted by | Health, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

A Thought On Covid-19

I am a Control Engineer, Mathematical Modeller and Statistician and have been following the data since the pandemic started.

Consider.

  • Systems like the pandemic want to get to an equilibrium. And preferably one where they are in control. The virus tries to infect more people, so they can pass it on.
  • But anybody, who is immune to the virus acts as a moderator does in a nuclear reactor, to slow the reaction down. So the more, who are immune in the population the better.
  • As of today, 2,713,563 have tested positive for the virus and sadly 75,431 have died. That means at least 2.6 million have had the virus and survived. Are these people now immune to the virus? If they are, can they be added to those who are vaccinated?
  • Also, how many people have had the virus and were not tested, but treated it like they might a cold? Are these safe from the virus, a second time around?
  • What about children, who seem to have lower susceptibility to the virus?
  • We can add in by the end of this week over a million, who have received the vaccine.
  • We are at the present time having about 350,000 positive tests in a week. If these people with positive tests isolate as they should, that will be breaking the transmission of a lot of carriers.
  • And then if the vaccine makers deliver two million a week and they are all used, that takes a lot of people out of the mix.
  • How many people are shielding or working from home and never giving the virus a chance to infect them? It must be a couple of million.

These are all big numbers, but most of them are on our side and not that of the virus.

I watched BBC News at six and Emma Vardy said that in Northern Ireland, the vaccine might be having a positive effect. I wouldn’t have expected that this early!

I am more optimistic, than I was before I started to write this post.

Could the combination of lockdown and increasing numbers of vaccinations cut the rate of transmission of the virus?

January 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 6 Comments

Cup Of Tea Brightens The Day And The Mind

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Newcastle University.

This is the introductory paragraph.

If you’re enjoying a cup of tea and mince pie this festive season, you may be refreshing more than your palate, as research shows a good brew improves the attention span in those over 85-years-old.

I find this research interesting, mainly because I drink tea in large quantities, at a rate of at least six mugs a day.

But then my family seems to have an unusual drink problem.

  • I drink decaffinated builders tea and usually in a day, I’ll also drink two bottles of 0.5 % alcohol beer from Adnams and other soft drinks too!
  • My father was the same except that he would have a pint of Adnams a couple of times a week.
  • But his father drunk so much, he became an alcoholic and died at forty, well before I was born.
  • I also tend to have a mug of tea before I go to bed.
  • I’ve always preferred tea to coffee.
  • My fifty-year-old son is teetotal, but seems to drink a lot of tea and soft drinks.

As both my father and myself share a skin problem, which is probably related to coelic disease. I think, I sweat a lot of water through my skin, so I need to keep topping it up.

Conclusion

After reading the report from Newcastle University, I think I’ll keep drinking the tea.

 

December 29, 2020 Posted by | Food, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Equilibrium With The Covids

The rate of lab confirmed cases in six cities per 100,000 of the population are as follows.

  • London – 836.6
  • Leeds – 2128
  • Liverpool – 2113.6
  • Manchester – 2879.6
  • Sheffield – 2291.2
  • Hull – 1013.9

In addition, if you look at many individual London boroughs, they are around the 600-900 range.

Is There A London Equilibrium?

As London is a more-or-less coherent entity has  the virus found an equilibrium with the city?

As a Control Engineer, I think London is showing a classic example of water finding its own level.

I would suspect that the average Londoner, visits a couple of other boroughs very regularly.

Does this mean that the virus gets transferred regularly across borough boundaries and this levels things up?

Is There A Northern Equilibrium?

It also looks like the virus has found a higher equilibrium with the Northern cities.

If you look at other areas in the North, that sit between the major cities, they seem in line with rates in Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds..

The city that is out of line is Hull, which has a rate half that of the others. Could this be because of its location?

Suffolk In The Sixties

I remember Suffolk in the 1960s, when it was three counties; East Suffolk, West Suffolk and Ipswich.

All counties had different pub opening hours  people would drive miles to get an extra half-hour of drinking.

I wonder if the different regulations and lock-downs across the various parts of the North have actually increased travel across regions and spread the virus.

This behaviour has created an equilibrium between the virus and the population.

Is There A East Anglian Equilibrium?

These are the figures for the three East Anglian counties.

  • Cambridgeshire – 596
  • Norfolk – 536
  • Suffolk – 531

There is not a large spread in the figures.

Other Areas

I have looked at other areas and a similar pattern seems to apply, where the figures are more or less the same in somewhere like the West Midlands, the South West (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire) or Wales.

October 21, 2020 Posted by | Health, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Potential Site For New Cambridge South Station Named

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

The article says this about the site of the proposed Cambridge South station.

There had been three options for the station site and the preferred choice, which is the furthest north and nearest the guided busway, will offer improved connections with other railway routes as well as the busway. Although the detailed plans for East West Rail between Bedford and Cambridge have not yet been confirmed, it is possible that EWR trains will call at Cambridge South.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. Addenbrooke’s and Papworth Hospitals and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in the South-East corner of the map.
  2. Long Road going East-West across the map.
  3. The West Anglia Main Line going North-South, at the Western edge of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Cambridge station is to the North and Shelford station is to the South.
  4. Running diagonally away from the railway towards the South-West corner of the map, is the Cambridge Busway. which connects the Trumpington Park and Ride to Cambridge station and the City Centre.

It would appear there would be plenty of space to put a station with enough capacity for this important medical complex.

Train Services

Trains passing through that area include in trains per hour (tph)

  • CrossCountry – 1 tph – Birmingham New Street and Stansted Airport via Cambridge
  • Freater Anglia – 2 tph – London Liverpool Street and Cambridge North via Cambridge
  • Greater Anglia – 1 tph – Norwich and Stansted Airport via Cambridge and Cambridge North
  • Great Northern – 1 tph – London King’s Cross and Ely via Cambridge and Cambridge North
  • Great Northern – 1 tph – London King’s Cross and Kings Lynn via Cambridge and Cambridge North
  • Thameslink – 2 tph – Brighton and Cambridge
  • Thameslink – 2 tph – London King’s Cross and Cambridge

That all adds up to 10 tph to Cambridge and 5 to Cambridge North.

When you add in future services on East West Rail, and do a bit of reorganisation, there could be twelve tph through the three Cambridge stations.

June 23, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment