The Anonymous Widower

Beeching Reversal – Reopening Harston Station

This is one of the Round 3 bids of Beeching Reversal projects that the Government and Network Rail are proposing to reverse some of the Beeching cuts.

Harston is a Cambridgeshire village, which is shown in this Google Map.

Note.

  1. The A10 winding its way North and South through the village.
  2. Cambridge is five miles to the North.
  3. The triangular road junction in the middle of the village with Station Road leading off to the South East.
  4. The Cambridge Line crosses the South-East corner of the map, at a right angle to Station Road.

This Google Map shows the former station site at an enlarged scale..

Note.

  1. There is plenty of space.
  2. There is a level crossing.
  3. The railway is double-track.

There’s even a Harston History page for the station, so if the architect’s decide to go retro, they can visit it for design inspiration.

My initial thoughts are that compared to some of the proposals for Beeching Reversal this one is practical and not over ambitious.

These are some of my thoughts.

Car Parking

Currently, there are the following stations between Cambridge and Hitchin.

Note.

Only Royston station has more than minimal parking provision.

The addition of Harston and Cambridge South stations will probably mean, that a lot of thought will be given to parking at all the stations between Cambridge and Hitchin.

Cambridge South like Cambridge North will probably have extensive parking to also serve Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Cambridge Bio-Medical Campus.

Whittlesford Parkway station on the line between Cambridge and Liverpool Street has very adequate parking provision.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Harston station having a couple of hundred parking spaces.

East West Railway

In Looking At The East West Railway Between Bedford And Cambridge, I looked at the route of the East West Railway as it approaches Cambridge.

I very much doubt that this new railway will go through Harston station.

But Harston station will beef up the capacity on the Cambridge Line to bring more workers to one of the science and engineering capitals of the world.

Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro

There are also plans for the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro.

This map shows the proposed layout of the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro.

Note that the green section will be in tunnel.

I doubt that the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro will run to Harston, as it most likely will run on rubber-tyred wheels and probably wouldn’t mix well with heavy rail.

Train Service

Currently, the current trains run through the station in the Off Peak.

  • Thameslink – 2 tph – Cambridge and Brighton
  • Thameslink – 2 tph – Cambridge and King’s Cross
  • Great Northern – 1 tph – King’s Cross and Ely
  • Great Northern – 1 tph – King’s Cross and King’s Lynn

Note.

  1. tph is an abbreviation for trains per hour.
  2. All trains are fast services, except for the Cambridge and King’s Cross service, which stops at all stations.
  3. When Cambridge South station opens, I suspect nearly all services will stop at that station.
  4. The Great Northern services also stop at Cambridge North station.
  5. In Call For ETCS On King’s Lynn Route, I talked of the possibility of running 125 mph trains on Great Northern services between King’s Cross, Cambridge, Cambridge North, Ely and King’s Lynn.

I suspect that it will be likely only the Thameslink stopping train will call at Harston station, just as it is the only service that calls at Foxton, Shepreth and Meldreth stations.

  • But is two tph enough for a Park-and-Ride station?
  • Whittlesford Parkway station already has three tph to and from Cambridge.
  • I suspect there will be a second Stansted and Cambridge service which mean Whittlesford Parkway station gets four tph to Cambridge,

I suspect Hartston station needs four tph to give a Turn-Up-And-Go service.

Barrington Quarry And Landfill

This Google map shows the location of the Barrington Quarry and Landfill, with respect to Harston.

Note.

  1. Barrington Quarry and Landfill is in the North-West corner of the map.
  2. Harston is in the North-East corner of the map.
  3. The A10 road runs South-West from Harston to Foxton station, where there is a level crossing, where the Cambridge Line crosses the road.
  4. Foxton station has a freight-only line linking it to the quarry.

This second Google Map shows Foxton station in detail.

Note the rail line to Barrington curving away to the North West.

This document from CEMEX is entitled Barrington Quarry – Restoration Project.

It appears that the quarry will be restored and some of the land will be used for new homes.

As all the track is already in place, would it be possible to run a 2tph service between Barrington and Cambridge North station?

  • It could call at  Harston, Cambridge North and Cambridge stations.
  • Harston station would get a four tph service.
  • Cambridge gets more much-needed housing connected to the city.

It could also be run using battery-electric trains that would be charged using the electrification between Foxton and Cambridge North stations.

Conclusion

Taking everything together, it appears to me, that Harston station could improve the rail network to the South West of Cambridge.

March 21, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Design For Bank Tube Station Entrance For Approval

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Design details for Bank tube station’s new Cannon Street entrance have been submitted to the City of London for planning approval.

Note.

  1. It certainly looks to be an entrance with a very high capacity.
  2. It looks like there will be a fully-accessible toilet inside the barriers, which many will welcome.

I would hope that approval will be quickly nodded through!

March 2, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Digging The Central Entrance To Old Street Station – 27th February 2021

This map from Transport for London shows the future layout of Old Street Roundabout.

Note the new entrance to the station in the middle of the roundabout.

The contractors are now digging a big hole for the central entrance, with a digger in an unusual turquoise colour.

Note.

  1. The central and the two other entrances will be steps.
  2. There will also be a lift, close to the Shoreditch Grind, in the North-West area.
  3. There will also be a service lift for the shops in the station.
  4. Particular attention has been given to the use of natural light.
  5. The central entrance features a green roof.

Some won’t like the design, but I think, its simplicity like some of London’s 1930s Underground stations will endear it to the majority of passengers.

February 27, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Cowper Street Entrance To Old Street Station – 21st February 2021

These pictures show the start of the works to create the new Cowper Street entrance to Old Street station.

Note the large frame, which had been delivered the previous day.

This map from Transport for London shows the future layout.

The Cowper Street entrance will be in the South-East corner of the roundabout. The map says it will have stepped-access only.

This TfL image is a visualisation of the entrance.

I wonder if it should be step-free with a lift, as walking across to the lift in the centre, could be some way in bad weather.

 

February 26, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Walking Between Oxford Circus And Tottenham Court Road Stations – 19th February 2021

Today, I walked down Oxford Street from Oxford Circus station to Tottenham Court Road station.

Note the pictures in the middle of the walk of the new Western entrance to Tottenham Court Road station, which will be on Crossrail.

This article on Construction Enquirer is entitled Galliard To Start £55m London Soho Resi Job.

  • 92 flats, a large store and smaller retail spaces.
  • Look at the pictures in the Construction Enquirer article and it looks to be a building that is not out of scale.
  • Ideal for Crossrail and the Northern and Central Line.
  • A hundred metres from the flagship stores of Marks & Spencer and Primark on Oxford Street.
  • All the colour and food of Soho at the back door.
  • Buses outside the front door to Euston, Kings Cross, Paddington and St. Pancras.

Who was it said, that the three most important points about a property are location, location and location?

 

February 20, 2021 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tottenham Court Road Station – 15th February 2021

These pictures show the latest exterior views of Tottenham Court Road station.

Note.

  1. The development on top of the station will be seven floors.
  2. There is a reflection of Centre Point in the glass.

It has now been handed over to Transport for London.

February 17, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

Nine Elms Gateways By Projects Office

I first heard of this project in September last year, in this article on Ian Visits, which is entitled Nine Elms Railway Arch To Be Opened As Pedestrian Tunnel.

Ian introduces the problem like this.

A blocked off railway arch under the tracks in Nine Elms could be opened up as a new pedestrian tunnel. What is officially plain Arch 42 would create a walking link that starts just outside the back of the future Nine Elms station on the Northern line and the cluster of new blocks of flats and the US Embassy on the north side of the mainline railway.

I would appear to be a shorter walking route.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. The substantial box-like structure with all the buttresses in the South-East corner of the map is the future Nine Elms station.
  2. Arch 42 is one of the arches, that pass under the railway crossing the North West corner of the map.

It would appear that the proposal to turn the arch into a tunnel could be a good idea.

This article on SWLondoner is entitled Nine Elms Viaduct To Get “Tunnel Vision” Makeover and gives a few details of the project.

This page on the Projects Office web site shows a visualisation of the tunnel.

Have a look and see what you think!

Note.

  1. In the visualisation, there is a signal gantry across the track, which is also shown in the map above.
  2. What will be the building material? Brick, steel or even recycled plastic?

I used to know a free-style bricklayer, who would have created an interesting portal.

I like the design and can’t wait to see it in reality!

You certainly won’t miss it, if you’re looking for it to get to the US Embassy or another building on the other side of the tracks.

Conclusion

Could Projects Office have come up with a distinctive way of making tunnels under railways and roads more welcoming?

February 13, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Is Liverpool Street Getting Ready For Crossrail?

I took these pictures in front of Liverpool Street station, this morning.

It does look that in a week or so, the area in front of the station will be ready for people to use the glass entrance to the new station.

  • The whole area in front of the station and the next door building; 100 Liverpool Street has been converted into a new traffic-free square.
  • The only vehicles are the taxis to the East in front of the old station and the buses using the bus station between the station and 100 Liverpool Street.
  • 100 Liverpool Street will have a roof-top restaurant.
  • I do like the City of London’s stylish red and black bollards.
  • The station sign is in front of the station.

Obviously, we don’t know the completion state of the massive below-ground station, that reaches all the way to Moorgate.

 

February 2, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Essex Road Station – 16th November 2020

These pictures show Essex Road station.

Note.

  1. It is a station of little architectural merit.
  2. It is not by any means step-free.
  3. The atmosphere could be better.
  4. In the last few weeks, I have witnessed two falls, that could have been serious with a little less luck on those dreadful stairs.

It is certainly not the best station in Islington, let alone North London.

 

November 17, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 7 Comments

And Now Geothermal Rum From Cornwall!

This article on ThinkGeoenergy is entitled New Project To Bring You “Tropically” Matured Rum From Cornwall’s Geothermal Heartland.

This is the introductory paragraph.

What a product addition to the United Downs Deep Geothermal Project? Distillery startup Cornish Geothermal Distillery Company is pushing forward with plans to produce “tropically” mature rum using heat from the UK’s first geothermal power facility.

The Cornish Geothermal Distillery Company has a web site for more information.

This is a paragraph from the Think Geoenergy article.

In the release shared with us it is reported that Matthew Clifford, founder of the Cornish Geothermal Distillery Company (CGDC), has submitted outline plans for an ultra high-tech biome which would incorporate his patent-pending, carbon-neutral rum “cask maturation pods” designed by Grimshaw Architects alongside Buro Happold – globally recognised for innovative architecture that respects the planet’s resources whilst being functional and awe inspiring.

It seems to be an ambitious carbon-neutral project that could create up to a hundred jobs.

November 16, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Food | , , , , | 3 Comments