The Anonymous Widower

Battersea Power Station – 14th October 2022

I went to Battersea Power Station today and took these pictures.

Note.

  1. The picture of my jacket was taken in the toilet. All male toilets should have a hook for jackets.
  2. The crane is still in place.
  3. There are a number of shops still to open.
  4. There was no food store, although a Marks and Spencer’s food store is coming soon.
  5. The only place to have a coffee and cake and sit down was Starbucks. But I never eat in an American cafe or eat American food, as I don’t trust their gluten labelling.

One guy I met described it as Dubai without the sand.

I have some thoughts.

Getting There

There are two main routes.

  • Northern Line to Battersea Power Station station.
  • Thames Clipper to Battersea Power Station pier.

I went by the Northern line, changing both ways at Tottenham Court Road station to and from the Elizabeth Line.

  • This interchange is a short walk and step-free, if you use the lift.
  • There are no trains to Battersea Power Station on the Bank branch of the Northern Line.
  • There are five trains per hour (tph) to Battersea Power Station, with an extra two tph in the Peak.
  • There are no Night Tube trains to Battersea Power Station.

I can see this service being improved.

Arriving At Battersea Power Station By Underground

Punters were certainly arriving.

Gluten-Free Food

There was absolutely none, that I could find.

At least though a Gordon Ramsay restaurant is opening soon.

Signage

It wasn’t good. But then I have found several modern shopping centres work on this principle.

 

Conclusion

Canary Wharf is better.

  • Partly because the shops are more useful and to my taste.
  • But mainly because it is on the Elizabeth and Jubilee Lines, and the DLR.
  • All rail lines go through Canary Wharf rather than terminate there.

Battersea Power Station might be better, when the Northern Line is extended to Clapham Junction station.

 

 

October 14, 2022 Posted by | Food, World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Carbon-Neutral Concrete Prototype Wins €100k Architecture Prize For UK Scientists

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Architect’s Journal.

Under a picture of two white-coated scientists with their protective boots on concrete samples, the story and their invention is outlined.

A pair of PhD students at Imperial College London have won a global architecture prize for devising a groundbreaking method of creating carbon-neutral concrete

Material scientists Sam Draper and Barney Shanks landed the €100,000 2022 Obel Award with their ‘simple way’ to capture carbon from industrial production processes and create an end product that can eliminate the CO₂ footprint of concrete.

The prototype technology, dubbed Seratech, takes industrial CO₂ emissions directly from flues and produces a carbon-negative cement replacement material (silica). According to the scientists, when this is used in combination with Portland cement, the carbon capture associated with producing the silica means the concrete products can be zero carbon.

One of the products, we will need in the world is concrete and if we can make it in a carbon-neutral manner, then that will surely reduce worldwide carbon emissions.

The Technology Explained

This page on the Seratech website is entitled Our Technology.

It gives this description of the technology.

Seratech has developed a process that consumes olivine and waste CO₂ from flue gases and produces two products which both have significant value in construction.

Silica is produced which can be used as a supplementary cementitious material (SCM) in concrete meaning the amount of Portland cement in the concrete can be reduced by up to 40%. As the silica comes from a process that captures CO₂ it is “carbon negative” and the concrete can become carbon neutral.

Magnesium carbonate is produced that can be used to make a range of zero carbon construction materials and consumer products, including alternatives to building blocks and plasterboard.

The aim is for humanity to be able to continue building robust cities and infrastructure, but without the climate cost of traditional cement mixes and with the Seratech technology this goal is achievable!

Note that olivine in Europe is generally mined in Norway.

Replacement Of Steel By Concrete

Could we also replace steel in some applications with concrete?

In UK Cleantech Consortium Awarded Funding For Energy Storage Technology Integrated With Floating Wind, I talked about some of ground-breaking methods used by a company called RCAM Technologies to create infrastructure using 3D printing of concrete.

If Imperial’s concrete, which is called Seratech can be 3D printed, I can see lots of applications for the technology.

So you could kill two sources of large carbon emissions with one technology.

Conclusion

I have said on this blog before, that we will have to keep or even build more gas-fired power stations, as they can be an efficient source of pure carbon dioxide, that will be needed as a feedstock to create an increasing number of agricultural and building products.

October 10, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A New Garden Bridge Proposed For London

This article on Ian Visits is entitled Plans Open A Disused Railway Bridge To Pedestrians.

This is the introductory paragraph.

A section of the Thames with few bridges could become a lot easier for pedestrians and cyclists to cross if plans to convert a disused railway bridge for pedestrian use go ahead.

The disused railway bridge to be used is the original 1849 Barnes Railway Bridge, which was closed to trains, when a new stronger bridge was built alongside in 1890.

This Google Map shows the two bridges.

Note.

  1. The railway tracks in the centre on the 1890 three-arch bridge.
  2. The Thames flows from South-West to North-East under the bridge.
  3. A walkway on the North-Eastern side of the is still in use.
  4. The original 1849 bridge is on the South-Western side of the bridge.

The pedestrian garden bridge will be built on the 1849 bridge, which will be refurbished.

This second Google Map shows the bridge and Barnes Bridge station.

Note.

  1. Barnes Bridge in the North-West corner of the map.
  2. Barnes Bridge station in the South-East corner of the map.

Part of the plan envisages connecting the South-Western platform to the pedestrian garden bridge.

It looks a plan with a lot of good possibilities.

The Project

It appears that Network Rail, the London Boroughs of Richmond and Hounslow are all supportive and Moxon Architects have been appointed to the project.

The project now appears to be called The View at Barnes Bridge and it has an impressive web site, with lots of information and pictures.

I have a few thoughts.

I Am Not Surprised That Network Rail Are Supportive

Network Rail must be pleased to be getting a Grade II Listed structure off their hands.

Could Barnes Bridge Station Be Made Step-Free?

I suspect that Moxon will produce designs for this and it will probably be a question of money, if they are implemented.

But as the garden bridge will attract more visitors, this will surely increase the need for full step-free access at Barnes Bridge station.

Could A Refurbished Bridge Carry Utilities?

I suspect that this will be looked at, as it could be a nice little earner.

Could This Project Be An Example Of a Levelling-Up Project?

In my travels around the UK and Europe, I’ve seen several disused railway bridges that could be reused as footbridges to provide walking and cycling.

Many are being converted, but this high-profile bridge could inspire architects to create other worthwhile bridges.

 

 

 

July 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

High Speed Two Publish Rural Footbridge Design

High Speed Two have published their rural footbridge design on this page of their web site.

This image from High Speed Two shows an artist’s impression of the bridge.

 

This is High Speed Two’s own thoughts on the design.

Made of weathering steel, the sides of the lightweight bridges will lean outwards to maximise views of the sky and improve the experience of people crossing the railway.

Weathering steel – which ages naturally to a russet brown colour – was chosen to help match the tone of the surrounding countryside, while the plates that form the structure of the bridges will be angled to appear narrower and lighter.

To emphasise the sense of lightness, each span will be slightly higher in the middle so that they appear to leap over the railway. Most of the bridges will consist of just one 42m span, with extra spans added where necessary to create bridges of up to 102m long.

The design of the bridge would appear to be a good compromise between accessibility, cost, ease of construction and installation and practicality.

The article also covers other topics.

Step-Free

This paragraph explains how the bridges will be step-free.

In order to improve efficiency of manufacturing and assembly, all the bridges will have the same basic form, with the approach paths built into the earthworks on either side of the bridge. This also means that all the footbridges will effectively be step-free.

I can see bridges of this type being built at other rural locations.

A Single-Platform Station

These images show James Cook station in Middlesbrough.

High Speed Two’s rural bridge design could be used as part of a design for a step-free station on a rural line.

Bridleways

The footbridge can be used for a bridge on a bridleway.

Designed with guidance from the British Horse Society, the bridges which carry bridleways will follow the same basic pattern, with a recycled, non-slip rubber deck and the structure acting like a baffle to stop horses being distracted by passing trains.

Footbridges will be 2.5m wide, while bridleways will be 3.5m wide to allow two horses to pass comfortably and safely.

It should be remembered, that horses are flight animals and if they are startled they run, so if say a train went under the bridge, when they were on top, they would most likely go forward and cross the bridge quickly.

I would happily have ridden  my stallion; Vague Shot over a bridge like this.

I also think, the design of the bridge in the landscape should allow riders to approach to a safe distance from the bridge and perhaps watch a train or two go through.

Other Animals

I can see other animals like badgers, foxes and hares using a bridge like this.

I also think, that on classic railways, bridges like these could be used to allow farmers to move sheep or possibly cattle over a railway, with some simple design changes.

Conclusion

This bridge has more applications, than the initial one, for which it was designed.

July 22, 2022 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The New Entrance At Hackney Central Station – 2nd July 2022

The new entrance at Hackney Central station opened yesterday.

Note.

  1. The cafe must be fairly good, as it has two flavours of gluten-free brownies.
  2. I may have a touch of arthritis these days, but stairs like these are fine for me, as there are two right-handed paths.
  3. There is a second set of stairs down from the footbridge to speed passengers on their way to Hackney Downs station.
  4. There is a light-controlled crossing over Graham Road.
  5. Bus stops in both directions are only about twenty metres from the crossing.
  6. The station buildings appear to have green roofs.
  7. The is plenty of bike storage, but no car parking.
  8. There is no lift, although the design should allow one to be added later, if it is thought one is needed.

I’ve seen bigger budgets produce worse designed station entrances than this one.

My Use Of The Graham Road Entrance At Hackney Central Station

I suspect, I will use the new entrance mainly in one of two ways.

Going West On The North London Line

If I want to go west on the North London Line, the obvious one is to get a bus to Highbury & Islington station from the closest stop to my house and get the train from there.

But that route has got more difficult in recent years.

  • Our South London Mayor in his wisdom cut the 277 bus back to Dalston Junction station.
  • So there is only the 30 bus left and the route uses badly-designed Egyptian-built buses. I’ve nothing against Egyptians, but these buses don’t have the flat floor, that people expect from a bus these days.
  • Since the roundabout was rebuilt, it seems to be a longer and more difficult walk for pedestrians.

So I’d prefer to take another route.

  • Canonbury station is probably the closest station, but it is an uphill walk from my house.
  • Dalston Kingsland station is a possibility, but the steps to the platform aren’t the safest.
  • Dalston Junction station is another possibility, as it is step-free, but it means more changes of mode and train.

Going via the new Graham Road entrance has advantages.

  • From my house, there are frequent 38 buses to the new entrance.
  • The 38 bus stop at Hackney Central is only a few metres from the station entrance.
  • There is a coffee stall in the station entrance.
  • The steps in the entrance are easy for me.

I will try out this route the next time, that I go to the West on the North London Line.

Coming Home From Stratford With Shopping

If I need a big Marks & Spencer or a John Lewis, it is convenient to go to Eastfield at Stratford and come home on the North London Line.

I will usually use the The Canonbury Cross-Over to double-back and get a bus home from Dalston Junction station.

It is an easy route, but sometimes the trains mean a wait of nearly ten minutes at Canonbury station.

The new entrance at Hackney Central gives an alternative route.

  • You would get in the back of the train at Stratford.
  • Alight at Hackney Central.
  • Exit the station through the new entrance.
  • Cross Graham Road on the light-controlled crossing.
  • Walk about twenty metres to the 38 bus stop.
  • Wait for a frequent 38 bus.

Today, I waited just a minute.

Conclusion

The entrance was first mentioned in an article on Ian Visits in October 2019 and I wrote about it in Will Hackney Central Station Get A Second Entrance?.

In May 2021, I wrote £3m Hackney Overground Station Upgrade To Begin In June.

The entrance seems to have gone from a concept to reality in under three years and once the starting pistol was fired, it was built in under a year.

How many parts of the UK rail network could be improved, by small projects like this?

 

July 2, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Platforms 16 and 17 At Liverpool Street Station – 2nd July 2022

On my way to Ilford station today, I used the Elizabeth Line at a not too busy time from Liverpool Street station.

Note.

  1. Platform 18 has been closed.
  2. Platform 16 is to the left and Platform 17 is to the right.
  3. Platforms 16 and 17 have been lengthened.
  4. The can now handle the full nine-car Class 345 trains.
  5. There is a wide walkway on the far side of Platform 17.

I have a few thoughts.

Why Is The Access Between Train And Platform Not Level?

This picture shows level access on the central section of the Elizabeth Line at Whitechapel station.

 

Why wasn’t the platform height adjusted to fit the trains in the rebuilt platforms 16 and 17 at Liverpool Street station?

Are There Any Plans For The Walkway Behind Platform 17?

Consider.

  • At the other end of the station concourse, there is a walkway alongside Platform 1, that leads in and out of the station.
  • There is also a walking route out between the two sections of the station.

A walkway behind Platform 17 could be possible.

Station Redevelopment

This article on Ian Visits is entitled Liverpool Street Station Plans For A £1.5 billion Redevelopment.

This is the first paragraph.

Initial plans have been revealed for a £1.55 billion redevelopment of Liverpool Street station that would see it become a two-level station with a much larger entrance built next to the tube station.

As the station is surrounded by a large cluster of skyscrapers, I will assume there will be another one.

Despite Brexit, Covid-19 and the War in Ukraine, there still seems to be an appetite for new office space in London.

July 2, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Design Contract Awarded To Extend Railway Arches Low Line Concept

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Ian Visits.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Plans to revamp the railway arches running through Wandsworth and Lambeth to create an extension of Southwark’s “low line” have taken a step forward after a contract was awarded to a design agency.

The extension would create a continuous walking and cycling route from Battersea to London Bridge, to connect communities with the creation of new spaces alongside the viaduct.

It looks to be an interesting concept with lots of possibilities.

March 19, 2022 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Berwick’s Landmark Bridge Set For Major Repairs

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

This Google Map shows the Royal Border Bridge.

This extract from the article describes the works on the bridge.

During the work, which will last until November, engineers will repair all 28 arches of the Grade I-listed structure.

The East Coast Main Line will stay open and an online event for people to find out more is being held on 27 January.

I suspect that finding anybody to restore historic stone buildings will be difficult in the area, during 2022.

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sudbury Town Station – 6th January 2022

As I was visiting the next station Sudbury Hill, I popped in to Sudbury Town station and took these pictures.

Note.

  1. The station is Grade II* Listed.
  2. It has been made partially step-free by the means of a crude ramp.
  3. It is a typical Charles Holden design.

Despite its high status, it is not one of the best stations on the Piccadilly Line.

January 6, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 4 Comments

Sudbury Hill Station – 6th January 2022

Sudbury Hill station is now step-free, as these pictures show.

Adding two brick lift towers seems to work well at this Grade II Listed station, that was designed by Charles Holden.

January 6, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments