The Anonymous Widower

Liverpool Stripped Of Unesco World Heritage Status

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

This is the first paragraph under the picture.

Liverpool has been stripped of its World Heritage status after a UN committee found developments threatened the value of the city’s waterfront.

Liverpool politicians seem united against the action.

I wonder, if the UNESCO committee are a load of snobs, as you should judge Liverpool not as one but a vast string of waterfront sites and buildings.

This picture was taken from a Birkenhead ferry.

It is a very ordinary picture, as it doesn’t show the two cathedrals on the hills behind.

Since, I left Liverpool University in the 1960s, there have been several developments at the Pier Head.

The Albert Dock complex with the Tate Liverpool has been created.

  • The Leeds and Liverpool Canal has been extended in front of The Three Graces to reach the Albert Dock.
  • The Liverpool One Shopping Centre has been built on the behind the Three Graces as an extension to Liverpool’s main Shopping Centre.
  • Liverpool City Museum has been built between the Albert Dock complex and The Three Graces.
  • There are statues everywhere including to the Beatles and Billy Fury. I saw both in performance.
  • There is the Memorial to the Battle of the Atlantic.
  • The Pier Head and Ferry Terminal has been completely rebuilt.
  • There is a Cruise Terminal capable of taking the largest cruise ships.
  • The new Everton Stadium will be built a couple of hundred metres to the left of the distinctive Liver Building.

To me, the most unusual is the Leeds and Liverpool Canal extended in front of The Three Graces. But that allowed narrow boats to sail between Leeds and the Albert Dock.

Conclusion

It is a site, where most people can spend a couple of days.

Should Liverpool Be A World Heritage Site?

Go spend two days there and then decide.

 

 

 

July 21, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 15 Comments

Have Any Readers Of This Blog Faced a Situation, Where They Had To Win?

From the age of ten, I was seriously bullied at both Primary School and my Grammar School.

The bullying cumulated at the age of fourteen, when the worst of the school bullies broke my left humerus. It wasn’t one bit funny and even a couple of ,months ago, I ended up in hospital, because my humerus started playing up. I wrote about it in A  Mysterious Attack On My Body.

The Usher At My wedding to C, who was a Metropolitan Police Constable did something positive.

He showed me how to break away from an attacker and hopefully do some quick damage.

Certainly his advice worked, when a thief in Naples tried to take my Rolex.

He was heavier than I am and I forced him to run off, after I heard something snap in his hand.

When I got back to Suffolk, I was seen by the locum at the GP’s surgery.

He was a large rugby-playing Scot called Donald from the Isle of Skye, who had played prop forward for the island.

My only injury was a few stitches in the top of my head and his diagnosis was that I’d live.

So far he has been proved right, but I do wonder, if the severe blow to the head contributed to my history of strokes since.

The long arm and methods of the Metropolitan Police can reach a long way!

As to my attacker, I wonder how his broken hand curbed his criminality.

 

I now am much more careful and haven’t suffered another attack despite visiting Naples and other dangerous places. since.

But everybody must be prepared for an attack. surprise or otherwise.

 

I wonder if  [ast night those three footballers were expecting an attack from racists after the match as they had seen  it so many times before.

So the worry made them miss the penalties.

July 12, 2021 Posted by | Sport, World | , , | 3 Comments

Ten Innovative Approaches To Tackling Climate Change From Our Carbon Revolution Series

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

It is a very definite must read!

June 21, 2021 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Was 1926 A Good Vintage?

It was Trooping The Colour yesterday on Queen Elizabeth II’s 95th birthday.

The Queen also shares a birth year with broadcaster; David Attenborough.

So was 1926 a vintage year for births?

These are my selection from Wikipedia.

David Berglas – Without doubt the best magician I’ve ever seen. He’s also solved the puzzle of staying alive!

Chuck Berry – I saw him live twice on stage at the Regal cinema in Edmonton

Danny Blanchflower – Without doubt the best footballer and captain I’ve ever seen.

Michael Bond – Who hasn’t read Paddington or seen one of the films?

Frank Carson – One of my favourite comedians.

Fidel Castro – Love him or loathe him, he was significant!

Beryl Cook – A quirky British artist!

Pat Coombs – An actress who was everywhere, when I was growing up! She may have been related to a friend at school!

Hazel Court – Another actress prominent in the during my formative years. One of her characters even suggested a solution to a problem I had! Click here!

Quentin Crewe – An extremely entertaining writer!

Miles Davis – One of the most influential musicians of the 20th century!

Paddy Doherty – I actually spoke to him for an hour on the phone, after I gave a donation to one of his projects in Derry.

J. P. Donleavy – His books were above my literary capability!

Frank Finlay – An actor who got a lot of meaty roles!

Garret FitzGerald – Irish statesman.

Dario Fo – Italian comedian, playwright and theatre director, who won a Nobel Prize for Literature!

Bryan Forbes – One of the most important figures in the British film industry!

Harry Fowler – A Cockney actor, who was never out of work!

John Fowles – English novelist.

Allen Ginsberg – We had a physics teacher, who introduced us to the Beat Generation poets!

Valéry Giscard d’Estaing – French president

Buddy Greco – Successful singer and pianist

Alan Greenspan – former head of the Federal Reserve.

Gus Grissom – Astronaut

Gyula Grosics – Hungarian goalkeeper and the first sweeper-keeper.

Terry Hall – Lenny the Lion’s friend

Paul Hamlyn – British publisher.

Hugh Hefner – Playboy!

Geoffrey Howe – Conservative politician

Nelson Bunker Hunt – American billionaire!

Rex Hunt – Governor of the Falklands at the time of the Argentine invasion.

Norman Jewison – Retired film director, producer and screenwriter

Narinder Singh Kapany – The father of fibre optics.

To be continued…

June 13, 2021 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Vivarail At COP26

This press release from Network Rail is entitled Network Rail And Porterbrook To Showcase Britain’s Green Trains Of The Future At COP26.

These two paragraphs are from the end of the first section of the press release.

It is envisaged that the HydroFLEX may also be used to transport visitors to see the Zero Emission Train, Scotland’s first hydrogen powered train.

Network Rail is also in the earlier stages of planning a similar event with Vivarail to bring an operational battery train to COP26.

Vivarail have taken battery trains to Scotland before for demonstration, as I wrote about in Battery Class 230 Train Demonstration At Bo’ness And Kinneil Railway.

Will other train companies be joining the party?

Alstom

It looks like Alstom’s hydrogen-powered Class 600 train will not be ready for COP26.

But I suspect that the French would not like to be upstaged by a rolling stock leasing company and a university on the one hand and a company with scrapyard-ready redundant London Underground trains on the other.

I think, they could still turn up with something different.

They could drag one of their Coradia iLint trains through the Channel Tunnel and even run it to Scotland under hydrogen power, to demonstrate the range of a hydrogen-powered train.

Alstom have recently acquired Bombardier’s train interests in the UK and there have been rumours of a fleet of battery-electric Electrostars, even since the demonstrator ran successfully in 2015. Will the prototype turn up at COP26?

Alstom’s UK train factory is in Widnes and I’ve worked with Liverpudlians and Merseysiders on urgent projects and I wouldn’t rule out the Class 600 train making an appearance.

CAF

Spanish train company; CAF, have impressed me with the speed, they have setup their factory in Newport and have delivered a total of well over a hundred Class 195 and Class 331 trains to Northern.

I wrote Northern’s Battery Plans, in February 2020, which talked about adding a fourth-car to three-car Class 331 trains, to create a battery-electric Class 331 train.

Will the Spanish bring their first battery-electric Class 331 train to Glasgow?

I think, they just might!

After all, is there a better place for a train manufacturer looking to sell zero-carbon trains around the world to announce, their latest product?

Hitachi

A lot of what I have said for Alstom and CAF, could be said for Hitachi.

Hitachi have announced plans for two battery-electric trains; a Regional Battery Train and an Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Train.

I doubt that either of these trains could be ready for COP26.

But last week, I saw the new Hitachi Class 803 train speeding through Oakleigh Park station.

This is not a battery-electric train, where battery power can be used for traction, but according to Wikipedia and other sources, it is certainly an electric train fitted with batteries to provide hotel power for the train, when the overhead electrification fails.

Are these Class 803 trains already fitted with their batteries? And if they are, have they been tested?

And who is building the batteries for the Class 803 trains?

The traction batteries for Hitachi’s two battery-electric trains are to be produced by Hyperdrive Innovation of Sunderland, which is not far from Hitachi’s train factory at Newton Aycliffe.

As an engineer, I would suspect that a well-respected company like Hyperdrive Innovation, can design a battery-pack that plugs in to Hitachi’s trains, as a diesel engine would. I would also suspect that a good design, would allow an appropriate size of battery for the application and route.

I feel it is very likely, that all batteries for Hitachi’s UK trains will be designed and build by Hyperdrive Innovation.

If that is the case and the Class 803 trains are fitted with batteries, then Hitachi can be testing the battery systems.

This document on the Hitachi Rail web site, which is entitled Development of Class 800/801 High-speed Rolling Stock for UK Intercity Express Programme, gives a very comprehensive description of the electrical and computer systems of the Hitachi trains.

As an engineer and a computer programmer, I believe that if Hyperdrive Innovation get their battery design right and after a full test program, that Hitachi could be able to run battery-electric trains based on the various Class 80x trains.

It could be a more difficult task to fit batteries to Scotland’s Class 385 trains, as they are not fitted with diesel engines in any application. Although, the fitting of diesel engines may be possible in the global specification for the train.

It is likely that these trains could form the basis of the Regional Battery Train, which is described in this infographic.

Note.

  1. The Class 385 and Regional Battery trains are both 100 mph trains.
  2. Class 385 and Class 80x trains are all members of Hitachi’s A-Train family.
  3. Regional Battery trains could handle a lot of unelectrified routes in Scotland.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hitachi bring a battery-equipped train to COP26, if the Class 803 trains have a successful introduction into service.

Siemens

Siemens have no orders to build new trains for the national rail network in the UK.

But there are plans by Porterbrook and possibly other rolling stock leasing companies and train operators to convert some redundant Siemens-built trains, like Class 350 trains, into battery-electric trains.

According to Wikipedia, Siemens upgraded East Midlands Railways, Class 360 trains to 110 mph operation, at their Kings Heath Depot in Northampton.

Could Siemens be updating one of the Class 350 trains, that are serviced at that depot, to a prototype battery-electric Class 350 train?

Stadler

Stadler have a proven design for diesel-electric, battery-electric and hydrogen trains, that they sell all over the world.

In the UK, the only ones in service are Greater Anglia’s Class 755 trains, which are diesel-electric bi-mode trains.

The picture shows one of these trains at Ipswich.

  • They are 100 mph trains.
  • Diesel, battery or hydrogen modules can be inserted in the short PowerPack car in the middle of the train.
  • Diesel-battery-electric versions of these trains have been sold for operation in Wales.
  • The interiors of these trains are designed for both short journeys and a two-hour run.

There is a possibility, that these trains will be upgraded with batteries. See Battery Power Lined Up For ‘755s’.

Conclusion

Times will be interesting in Glasgow at COP26!

 

June 6, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport, World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Class 319 Train, But Not As We Know It!

This article on Rail Advent is entitled COP26 To Showcase Britain’s Sustainable Trains Of The Future Thanks To Network Rail And Porterbrook Partnership.

The article talks about and shows pictures of Porterbrook’s HydroFLEX or Class 799 train, which has been developed by the University of Birmingham, fitted out for COP26.

I have downloaded this picture of the interior from Network Rail’s media centre.

Who’d have thought a Class 319 train could look so grand?

But then some Class 319 trains used by commuters don’t look their age of over thirty years.

These pictures were taken on the Abbey Line in 2018.

There’s also this BBC Profile and video of the technology behind the HydroFLEX train.

Conclusion

It looks like Network Rail and Porterbrook are doing their best to showcase the best that Britain and Scotland can offer.

I am reminded of a tale, that I heard from a former GEC manager.

He was involved in selling one of GEC’s Air Traffic Control radars to a Middle Eastern country.

The only working installation of the radar was at Prestwick in Scotland, so he arranged that the dignitaries and the sales team would be flown to Prestwick in GEC’s HS 125 business jet.

As they disembarked at Prestwick and walked to the terminal, the pilot called the GEC Manager over.

The pilot told him “The Scottish Highlands at this time of the year, are one of the most beautiful places in the world! Would you and your guests like a low-level tour on the way back? I can arrange it, if you say so!”

Despite knowing GEC’s draconian attitude to cost control he said yes.

The sale was clinched!

Are Network Rail, Porterbrook, the UK and Scottish Governments, setting up the same Scottish treatment to all the delegates to COP26?

 

June 6, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport, World | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

The Two Problems With Israeli Politics

I liked the comment on the Radio Five Live from an Israeli political commentator.

There are only two problems with Israeli politics; Benjamin and Netanyahu.

Israeli politics is certainly different.

May 31, 2021 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Starter Homes At Cockfosters

This would seem to be the final failure of a 1960s office development at Cockfosters.

It must have been about 1962, when I remember my mother telling me about the topping-out ceremony of these blocks by Cockfosters station.

They probably will satisfy a need, but it wouldn’t be my place to choose to live.

  • You may have the Piccadilly Line to Central London, but it is a long way. It takes 43 minutes to Leicester Square.
  • Cockfosters shopping centre hasn’t improved much since the 1960s.
  • I doubt that the development will have lots of parking.

But then on top of the hill with all the wind blowing from the East in the winter, it will be a bitterly cold place to live!

There are perhaps two good points.

  • The development is close to Trent Park for walking.
  • The buildings do seem to be structurally fairly sound.

But they’ll need to be, with all that cold wind!

May 30, 2021 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bang Goes My Holiday!

There are various things I want to visit in Germany and I felt that the best thing to do would be go for a few days,

But the BBC are reporting these facts about travel to Germany.

  • From Sunday, people travelling from the UK will not be allowed to enter Germany
  • The decision is down to a rise in cases of the Indian variant in the UK
  • German citizens and residents, plus people with an exceptional reason, can still enter – but face a two-week quarantine

So bang goes my holiday!

I particularly wanted to go to Hamburg to take a few pictures of the Siemens Gamesa ETES trial installation in the city.

However I’ve been able to locate the installation on Google Maps.

Note.

  1. The wind-turbine towards the South-West corner of the map.
  2. Siemens Gamesa ETES trial installation is the prominent odd shaped building towards the South-East corner of the map, just below the shadow of the turbine.
  3. The installation seems to have lots of pipes connected to it.

This second map shows the installation from an angle.

 

This page on the Siemens Gamesa web site describes the installation.

  • The nominal power is 30 MW.
  • The capacity is 130 MWh.
  • 80 % of the technology is off the shelf.

The picture on the front says “Welcome To The New Stone Age”.

If anybody should find themselves in Hamburg with some time to waste, I’d be very grateful for a copyright-free image.

The installation appears to be just off the VollHöfner Weiden.

 

 

May 22, 2021 Posted by | Energy Storage, Health, Transport, World | , , | 2 Comments