The Anonymous Widower

Filming Trains On Rochester Bridge

This weekend, I’ve been involved in helping a Japanese company take video of Class 395 trains for one of their corporate clients.

These pictures show the filming at Rochester on the magnificent Rochester Bridge over the River Medway.

September 18, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

London Businesses Endorse Calls For ‘Crossrail for the North’

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

This is said.

A statement from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) admitted that travelling in the north was a “tortuous, time-consuming experience” and that improved travel in the region needed to be seen as a top future priority by the government.

But perhaps this is this most telling statement, from the LCCI’s Policy Director.

It is interesting to note that the distance between Leeds and Liverpool is roughly the same as the whole length of London Underground’s Central Line – yet that northern journey can sometimes nearly take double the time,

The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry have a very valid point.

Some typical journeys between Liverpool and Leeds.

  • Liverpool to Newcastle train – One hour twenty-eight minutes
  • Liverpool to Scarborough train – One hour forty-six minutes

And across London from Ealing Broadway to Stratford

  • Central Line – 53 minutes – Actual
  • Crossrail – 27 minutes – Predicted

I would read the following into these figures.

  1. Why does a Scarborough service take twenty minutes longer than a Newcastle one?
  2. Creating a new route can create substantial saving of time.

This suggests to me a two phase approach to creating a better service across the North.

In the first phase new trains, track and signalling improvements and more efficient operation, are used to cut the time as much as possible.

In The Pressure For More Rail Electrification, I speculated that the following times could be possible.

  • Liverpool to Manchester Victoria – 30 minutes
  • Manchester Victoria to Huddersfield – 28 minutes
  • Huddersfield to Leeds – 22 minutes

When the following are done.

  1. Liverpool to Manchester Victoria could be speeded up by a couple of minutes, after the addition of the fourth track at Huyton.
  2. According to the time table, most dwell times are reasonable, but nine minutes is allowed at Manchester Victoria.
  3. Manchester Victoria to Stalybridge electrification is completed.
  4. All trains that can’t cruise at 100 mph are removed from the route.

One,  three and four are already underway and if the track were to be improved across Chat Moss, which currently has a 75 mph speed limit, I reckon that a reliable time of 60-70 minutes would be possible with a Class 800 train.

This would use electrification between Liverpool and Stalybridge and diesel from there to Leeds.

But even with selective electrification between Stalybridge and Leeds, the sort of times the North needs will not be attained.

Some form of new route will be needed in phase two of speeding up trains between Liverpool and Leeds.

September 17, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

A Tale Of Two Stations

This article from City AM is entitled Opinion: How a mixture of new business, Crossrail and, finally, homes will transform Tottenham Court Road forever.

This is said.

In recent years, the area around Tottenham Court Road has gone through a marked transformation. Once considered the scruffy end of Oxford Street, with no real identity, the area has become a thriving crossroads between London’s creative and technology industries.

In the middle of all the development is Tottenham Court Road station, which is being developed for Crossrail.

This morning Is Open House and I went a few miles South on the East London Line to Peckham Rye station, where I took these pictures.

The old Victorian waiting room is being transformed into possibly a community space.

This is only one of a number of developments in the station and it is to be hoped that the transformation of the building designed by Charles Henry Driver, will start the upgrading of Peckham.

Look at the classic 1980s-era extension in brick, by British Rail in the last picture. Incarceration for life with very hard labour, is too soft a punishment for the idiots who designed and sanctioned that monstrosity.

 

 

September 16, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

The East London Line Platforms At Whitechapel Station Now Appear To Be Full Length

Because of Crossrail works, Whitechapel station had to wait to get full-length platforms for the five-car Class 378 trains on the East London Line.

It at last seems the platforms are now extended.

But then it is only just over a year until December 2018, when Whitechapel station opens for Crossrail services between Paddington and Abbey Wood stations.

 

September 16, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

A New Era For Abellio ScotRail

How many train operating companies in the world would open a new rail service using forty-year-old refurbished trains with the slogan of A New Era?

According to the picture in this article on Global Rail News, which is entitled Aberdeen Launch For Scotland’s First HST, Abellio ScotRail have just done that!

I hope ScotRail are not tempting fate!

The service will be phased in from next Summer and I’m sure enthusiasts will book the first trains solid, such is the affection for these iconic trains.

GWR are also using the trains in a similar concept for local services between Cardiff and Penzance.

After these refurbishments, there will still be quite a few units left.

I can’t believe that none of them will find innovative uses with other train operators.

How about?

Norwich to Liverpool

East Midlands Trains run a service between Norwich and Liverpool, which does seem to suffer from fluctuations of use. It can be very busy, if say Norwich are playing Nottingham Forest and quiet at other times.

In some ways it the forgotten East-West route in England.

Derby and Nottingham to Liverpool and Manchester are journeys, where it is easier to drive.

Running the route with a refurbished and shortened HST might be a chance worth taking.

The Heart Of Wales Line

The Heart of Wales Line is an interesting possibility, to open up the centre of Wales.

The line is maintained as a diversion route for both much large passenger and freight trains, than the trains that usually  work the route.

Along The North Wales And Cumbrian Coasts

If the concept works in Scotland, it will surely work on these two lines. Especially, in the summer!

Conclusion

Terry Miller’s iconic High Speed Train will outlive us all!

September 15, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

EcoPar

I’d never heard of EcoPar until I read this article in Rail Engineer, which is entitled Modified MEWPs go underground.

A MEWP is a mobile elevated work platform and they are being used in the sub-surface lines of the London Underground.

One of the problems is that many of them are diesel-powered, which I wouldn’t have thought to be a good idea in tunnels.

This is where EcoPar comes in. An English translation of the EcoPar’s Swedish entry in Wikipedia says this.

EcoPar is a Swedish environmental fuel , a so-called synthetic diesel fuel and used as an alternative to diesel oil . EcoPar is extracted from natural gas using the Fischer-Tropsch process . EcoPar is a trademark of EcoPar AB, formerly Oroboros AB, located in Gothenburg .

This is from the Rail Engineer article.

Compared to the use of conventional fuel, it is estimated that carbon monoxide emissions are reduced by up to 76 per cent, carbon dioxide by 30-50 per cent, nitrous oxide by up to 26 per cent and carcinogenic emissions by up to 90 per cent.

That sounds a lot safer.

I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of EcoPar and other synthetic diesel fuels.

 

September 15, 2017 Posted by | World | | Leave a comment

Through The Bermondsey Dive-Under – 15th September 2017

On my trip to Rochester today, I went twice through the Bermondsey Dive-Under.

These pictures were taken on the way to Rochester.

And these were taken on the way back.

It looks like Network Rail are creating a lot more railway arches and other premises for small and medium-sized businesses.

But there seems to be little on the Internet about the future of the area between the lines.

I did find this article on the Network Rail web site, which is entitled Award-winning Network Rail infrastructure project brings biodiversity to Bermondsey. An industrial slum will at least be a green corridor.

The article finishes with this paragraph.

The first line through the Dive Under entered into service in December 2016 and two new lines, dedicated to Southeastern services, will come into passenger use in August 2017.

So as it’s September 2017, we were on the new lines dedicated to Southeastern services.

September 15, 2017 Posted by | Travel | | Leave a comment

Filiming Trains At Rochester

I took these pictures at Rochester.

The station is new, as the last picture shows.

I filmed from the North side of the station from a probable development site, where people were working dogs and jogging.

The camera was a top of the range Nikon Coolpix

September 15, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Aventras Have Under Floor Heating

I have under floor heating in my house, so why shouldn’t trains.

In this article on Global Rail News, which is entitled First look around Greater Anglia’s Bombardier Aventra mock-up, this is said.

Instead of body-side heaters encroaching on leg room, under-floor heating has been used, seats are cantilevered too to save on space and there will be no doors separating vehicles.

These pictures show the heating in various trains.

 

Note.

No wonder the Class 345 trains give an impression of width.

September 14, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 5 Comments

The Garden Station

Stations increasingly are getting to be very grand and expensive buildings.

I was musing today about the design of the Windsor Royal station on the proposed Windsor Link Railway.

This railway could be a double-track railway between the current Windsor and Eton Riverside station and the Slough To Windsor And Eton Line, created in a cut-and-cover tunnel across Windsor.

Much of the area of the route is either car parks or gardens.

The station could be a single island platform with the following characteristics.

  • The platform would be long enough for the longest trains to use the route.
  • The platform would be wide enough to incorporate booking, passenger and staff facilities in a relaxed layout in the middle.
  • Escalator and lift entrances at several places along the platform.
  • Minimalist surface buildings much like the fostericos of the Bilbao Metro.
  • Light pipes and other ideas could give the station a lot of natural light.

The surface area would be one large garden with walking routes to the sights of the town.

Any car parking would surely be provided at a Park-and-Ride station outside of the town.

 

September 14, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment