The Anonymous Widower

The Bloomberg Building Revealed

The hoardings are now down on the Bloomberg Building.

I have read in today’s Sunday Times, that the free exhibition on the site of the Temple of Mithras and the antiquities found on the site will open on the 14th of November.

November 5, 2017 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Abbey Wood Station Opens

Abbey Wood Station partly opened today.

As can be seen, it is not finished, but it can certainly accept all the Southeastern trains calling at the station.

Is it the UK’s first station with three pedestrian bridges and six lifts?

October 24, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

A First Visit To Walthamstow Wetlands

Walthamstow Wetlands opened today, so I went to take a look.

It was well worth a visit.

I shall return!

October 20, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , , | 1 Comment

Along The Golden Mile

London used to have a Golden Mile in Brentford, which used to be a string of Art Deco buildings.

As the pictures show, a lot of them have gone and been replaced with modern buildings.

The Brentford Branch Line

You can clearly see where the Brentford Branch Line terminated to the right of Currys and the footbridge.

Hounslow Council is proposing to reopen the branch line and Wikipedia says this.

n April 2017, it was proposed that the line could reopen to allow a new link between Southall to Hounslow and possibly down to the planned Old Oak Common station with a new station in Brentford called Brentford Golden Mile. [5][6] The proposals suggest the service could be operated by Great Western Railway and could be open by 2020 with a new service from Southall to Hounslow and possible later to Old Oak Common.

 

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. The old track of the railway by Currys PC World and the footbridge over the Great West Road.
  2. The Hounslow Loop Line going across the South-East corner of the map.
  3. I’m not sure that a connection between the two lines would be a practical proposition.

Surely though, there is a better way to connect the Golden Mile to Old Oak Common!

The Brentford Branch Line connects to Crossrail at Southall station.

If the connection was fully step-free, then the Brentford Branch Line would have an easy connection to all of Crossrail’s stations, including Old Oak Common and Heathrow.

 

 

October 11, 2017 Posted by | Travel, World | , , | Leave a comment

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – 5th August 2017

It’s all change at Waterloo station with Platforms 20 to 24 open for business.

I think what has been revealed today is an excellent stop-gap to allow platforms 1 to 9 to be extended.

  • Network Rail and South West Trains are also to be congratulated on putting a large number of informed staff on the platforms to answer passegers’ questions.
  • With luck too, the vast open spaces around platform 20 to 24 will help to calm passengers.
  • But they weren’t lucky in that everything was disrupted by a signal failure early in the day.

If I have any criticism it is over the length of time it has taken to get these platforms open.

The International platforms were closed about the time my wife died in December 2007.

That closure has just been too long.

Passenger And Train Capacity

From what I saw today, Network Rail have opened five new platforms numbered 20 to 24, with the following features.

  • The ability to handle twelve-car trains.
  • Wide platforms for large numbers of passengers.
  • A new very wide gate line.
  • Lots of natural light and fresh air.

Passengers will wish all stations could be this good.

Just imagine five packed commuter trains arriving at those new platforms at around the same time.

  • Each pair of new five-car Class 707 train can hold just over sixteen hundred passengers.
  • A ten-car Class 720 train, which must be similar to South Western Railway’s new trains can hold around fifteen hundred passengers.

So can the platforms, gates and concourse handle all those passengers?

As the flow of passengers seems straight down wide platforms and into the Underground or out of the station through the Victory Arch, I suspect that the station has been designed to handle the greatest number of passengers, the trains can deliver.

With Crossrail, the stations at Shenfield and Abbey Wood will be handling twelve trains per hour (tph) in a two platform layout or 6 tph at each platform.

I suspect that the signalling and track layout at platforms 20-24 at Waterloo station, is such that each platform can handle at least four tph and possibly the six, that will be achieved at Shenfield and Abbey Wood.

If they can handle six, that is an unbelievable thirty tph.

This figure is probably way in excess of other capacity constraints in the complex rail network out of Waterloo, but at least platform capacity won’t be a constraint on growth in the future.

But four tph on each platform, would give a theoretical capacity of twenty tph or around thirty thousand passengers per hour. That is a massive increase in the capacity of the station.

It has to be taken into account, that part of the Waterloo Upgrade for August 2017 is lengthening Platforms 1 to 4 at the station and improving the track layout for the lower-numbered platforms. Access to the Underground is also being improved at platforms 1 to 4.

Are Network Rail creating another high-capacity set of four platforms at the other end of the station?

What is happening at platforms 1 to 4 will be revealed at the end of the month.

Conclusion

The work has whetted my appetite as to what the station will eventually look like!

In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I came to the following conclusion.

Crossrail 2’s proposals for the suburban branch lines from Waterloo to the four destinations of Chessington South, Epsom, Hampton Court and Shepperton stations, can be fulfilled using the following.

  • More platform capacity at Waterloo.
  • Modern high-performance 100 mph trains like Class 707 trains.
  • Some improvements to track and signals between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.
  • Wimbledon station would only need minor modifications.
  • A measure of ATO between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.

What effect will this have on the design of Crossrail 2?

The Class 707 trains will not be arriving, but high performance Aventras will.

This August’s Upgrade will certainly make substantial increases in service frequencies and passenger capacity possible.

August 5, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – 4th August 2017

These pictures show everything ready for the start of the first partial closure of Waterloo station from tomorrow.

From tomorrow, the five platforms in the old International station will come into use until the 28th of August.

Note.

  • The piles of track ready to be used to reorganise the lines into Platforms 1 to 9.
  • The new destination board in front of Platforms 20 to 24.
  • The lowered concourse in front of Platform to 24, which will become retail units.

I shall be there in the morning.

August 4, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Cambridge Gets Its Own Mini-Crossrail

This morning I went to see the very newly-opened Cambridge North station.

The station is probably best described as a Parkway station close to the Cambridge Science Park and the A14 on the Northern Side of Cambridge.

The station is not short of facilities and service pattern.

  • Two through platforms and one bay platform, all capable of taking a 12-car Class 700 train.
  • Two avoiding lines for freight trains.
  • Full step-free access.
  • 450 car park spaces.
  • Parking under cover for a thousand bikes.
  • Access to the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway.
  • Close to the A14.
  • Customer toilets.
  • A proper ticket office and several ticket machines.
  • A square outside to meet people if it’s sunny.
  • Retail units and some greenery will be added later.
  • Currently, it is planned for about four trains per hour to stop at Cambridge North station in each direction.

According to this article on the BBC, the station cost £44million.

It is all pretty impressive and practical.

Are Cambridge, Cambridge North, Waterbeach and Ely stations the first four stations of a Cambridge Mini-Crossrail or Metro?

Consider.

  • Cambridge South station could be built close to Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
  • Lines fan out from Ely to Bury St. Edmunds and Ipswich, Kings Lynn, Norwich and Peterborough.
  • Lines will fan out to the South of Addenbrooke’s to Bedford, Hitchin and Kings Cross, Stansted and Liverpool Street.
  • Cambridge station has more platforms than many terminal stations.
  • Cambridge North station has space for extra platforms.
  • A lot more trains could stop in the stations.

It will be interesting to see how the system develops in the future.

May 21, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Manor Park Station – 15th May 2017

In Before Crossrail – Manor Park, I likened Manor Park station to A Ruin With Serious Issues and gave it a score of 1/10.

I also said.

Manor Park is very unusual architecturally. I do wonder if the Luftwaffe tried to demolish the station.

Perhaps the builders just ran out of money and couldn’t afford to put in windows.

With hindsight, I think I was being generous with one point.

But these are the pictures I took today.

The builder is certainly not our friend Jerry.

When my train arrived, I stepped out close by the driver’s cab. I was surprised to see that half the old station had disappeared and it must have shown, as the driver asked me if I was OK!

I certainly was and it looks like the builders and the architects are well on the way to turning one of London’s worst stations, into one of the better.

  • Judging by the position of the gate line on the South side of the Ticket Hall, it will lead to a series of passages to the stairs and the lifts to the platforms.
  • I particularly liked the use of strips of LED lights to illuminate the Ticket Hall and the area outside the doors.
  • The staff seem to have a good view of the front glass doors from the Ticket Counter.
  • It looks to me that any bits of the old station that there were good reasons to keep, have been kept.
  • It could be a very welcoming station, that I suspect Transport for London hopes will attract a lot of new passengers.
  • I was told that the lifts are only a couple of months away.

Importantly with my Project Manager’s hard hat on, it would appear that they have managed to create much of the new station without too much disruption.

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

A Walk In Bradford City Centre

I like walking in City Centres and Bradford didn’t disappoint.

Little Germany with its collection of Listed buildings was certainly a surprise.

April 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Is Hackney Downs Station A Suitable Case For Treatment?

Some of the stations on the London Overground, are architectural gems.

The picture shows some the internal detail of the refurbished Grade II Listed Crystal Palace station. The cafe was created in an area of the station, that few realised existed.

There is also work going on at Peckham Rye station, where an enormous Victorian waiting room has been discovered. An architect called Benedict O’Looney seems to be on a mission to restore the station to its former glory.

Peckham Rye station could be step-free as early as 2019, so I suspect that the station could become more important in the grand scheme of things.

What would Del Boy have thought?

There is also Camden Road station, which is in pretty-good nick.

If Camden Road station has a problem, it is that the station possibly needs more passenger capacity and perhaps one of the closed platforms to be reopened.

I’d love to know what is behind those windows on the top floor.

Hackney Central station has a similar building to Camden Road station.

It looks like Hackney Central will get a modern station building to go with the step-free footbridge. But I suspect everything is on hold until the plan for Crossrail 2 is finally decided.

Yesterday, I was in Hackney Downs station and I was told that the bland station building abandoned by British Rail, might be worth restoring.

 

Who knows what lies behind the brick walls and lurks in the dark spaces under the tracks in the old station building?

Knowing the way, many of these railway stations were built, I wonder if London Overground could come up with an imaginative scheme to create a Victorian counterbalance to the more modern Hackney Central, in what will inevitably be Hackney Interchange.

 

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment