The Anonymous Widower

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

Leicester Station – 4th Jan 2022

Leicester station has a Grade II Listed frontage.

Note.

  1. It is an impressive Victorian station.
  2. The station building is on a bridge over the tracks.
  3. The station is also on one of the main roads through Leicester.
  4. The road layout is very complicated.

This 3D Google Map, shows an aerial view of the station.

Note.

  1. There four platforms, which are numbered 1-4 from the left.
  2. The expresses between London and Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield use the two middle tracks.
  3. Other main line and East-West services  use the outside platforms.
  4. There is an avoiding line for freight services.

This second 3D Google Map, shows an enlargement of the frontage of the station.

There are plans to increase the capacity of the station.

A fifth platform will be added.

Three miles of quadruple track will be be built South of the station.

The Midland Main Line is also to be electrified.

This second set of pictures shows the platforms at Leicester station.

Note.

  1. The tunnels under the road and the station entrance.
  2. They are not very large.
  3. There are five tracks.

It is going to be a tight squeeze to electrify under the bridge.

January 4, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Structural Engineering At Work!

I took this picture of the new block on top of the Moorgate entrance to Liverpool Street Crossrail station.

I like structures and this could turn out to be a good example of their use.

January 1, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Wandering Around King’s Cross – 20th December 2021

I took these pictures, whilst I wandered around King’s Cross.

The unfinished building is Google’s large groundscraper.

I took these pictures as I wandered.

King’s Cross is on the up.

December 29, 2021 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

The Old Hackney Town Hall

These pictures show the Old Hackney Town Hall.

It is now a pub and Grade II Listed.

Behind the building is the Grade I Listed St.Augustine’s Tower, which is all that remains of the 16th Century parish church of St. Augustine.

December 29, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , | 4 Comments

Middlesbrough Station – 16th December 2021

Middlesbrough station is a Grade II Listed building and I took these pictures as I passed through.

Note.

  1. The station is being upgraded.
  2. Some of the details are impressive.
  3. The station has a good cafe.

Every time that I visit the station seems to have improved.

 

December 18, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Soham Station – 14th December 2021

I visited the new Soham station today.

I took four trains in total.

  • The 11:12 from King’s Cross, which arrived at  Ely at 12:23
  • The 12:31 from Ely, which arrived at  Soham at 12:39
  • The 12:51 from Soham, which arrived at  Ely at 12:59
  • The 13:18 from Ely, which arrived at King’s Cross at 14:33

The outward journey took  87 minutes, with the return taking 102 minutes.

I took these pictures at Soham station.

Note.

  1. The train is a three-car Class 755 train.
  2. There is only a single platform.
  3. There are dropped kerbs everywhere on the walking routes.
  4. There is plenty of car parking.
  5. There are disabled car parking spaces.
  6. There is a circular turning area in front of the station, which forms a high-capacity Kiss-and-Ride, with space for a couple of buses.
  7. The track towards Ely is single-track
  8. The track towards Bury St. Edmunds and Ipswich is double-track.
  9. The bridge is ready for a second platform, should it be needed and/or installed.
  10. The station is unmanned.

These are some further thoughts.

Is Soham The Ultimate Step-Free Station?

Consider

  • Greater Anglia’s Class 755 trains are level with the platform, as they have gap fillers.
  • Walking from the car parking to the train is step-free.
  • There are lots of dropped kerbs and tactile pavements.

I suspect it is one of the few stations in the UK, where if you arrive on foot or by car or bus, that there is no step to the train.

This document on Network Rail says this about the footbridge.

A stepped footbridge across the railway to connect to an existing public right of way, designed for future installation of lifts if a second platform is constructed.

It looks like Network Rail have all eventualities covered.

The Station Has Adequate Parking

This picture from the gallery shows the parking to the South of the station.

The Network Rail document says that the car park can accommodate 50 vehicles and has four spaces for blue badge holders.

But looking at this picture, there could be space for more parking.

The Station Is Well-Connected To The Road System

This Google Map shows the town of Soham.

Note.

  1. Soham has a by-pass around the Eastern side of the town.
  2. The railway passes to the West side of the town.
  3. The station is marked by the small blue dot to the left of the word Soham in the middle.
  4. The old road goes through the centre of the town.
  5. Soham is a town of nearly eleven thousand people.
  6. I suspect the town is fairly flat and many will walk or cycle to the station.

Hopefully, the station will attract a lot of passengers.

Does The Station Need A Second Platform?

Network Rail have shown with the Borders Railway and the Avocet Line, that two trains per hour (tph) can be run reliably on a line with sections of single-track and some stations with only one platform.

One of the problems with a second platform at Soham, would be that lifts would be needed for many to cross the track.

It is not the cost that is the problem, but lifts do not have a hundred percent reliability.

Would installing lifts mean providing staff at the station?

I think, that unless the station attracts a lot of passengers, the second platform will never be built.

Would A Second Track Be Provided At Soham Station?

This is a different question, with possibly a different answer.

A large number of freight trains pass through Soham station each day and to increase their number Network Rail have proposed double-tracking the route between Soham and Ely.

As Soham and Ely are just over five miles apart, I wonder if Network Rail are thinking of putting a freight loop through Soham station, that continues to Ely.

These pictures show a long freight train waiting in the freight loop at Ely station before proceeding to Peterborough and the West.

I think that this loop is bi-directional.

Could the new freight loop be built, so that the following happens?

  • The freight loop starts to the South of Soham station.
  • The freight loop connects to the freight loop at Ely station.
  • All passenger trains use the current single-track.
  • All freight trains use the freight loop.
  • Both tracks would be bi-directional.
  • Freight trains don’t pass through the current platform at Soham station.

It stood be noted that passenger  and freight trains take less than ten minutes between Ely and Soham stations.

As both freight and passenger trains would have their own tracks, I suspect that a total of at least four passenger tph and four freight tph would be able to pass between Soham and Ely.

The A14 Parkway Station

I wrote this section originally in Soham Station Aims For December 2021 Opening, but it still applies.

The A14 Parkway station is a proposal from the East West Railway.

  • It would be just to the East of Chippenham junction and would be served by both Greater Anglia’s services between Ipswich and Cambridge and Ipswich and Peterborough.
  • It would also be close to the major road junction, where the A11 and the A14 meet.
  • It would be a Park-and-Ride station.

I believe it could be a major factor in cutting road mileage in East Anglia, as drivers going to Cambridge from Ipswich, Norwich, a large area of North-East East Anglia and North Essex could find that using the A14 Parkway station an easier and faster route. But the A14 Parkway would need a frequent service to the soon-to-be-three main Cambridge stations.

A Soham and Cambridge service could reverse at the A14 Parkway station or by careful timetabling, passengers would be able to change trains in a minute or two.

A Cambridge And Soham Service

I do wonder, if Cambridge could benefit from a triangular metro.

The three points of the triangle would be A14 Parkway, Cambridge South and Ely stations.

The three legs would have the following stations.

  • A14 Parkway and Cambridge South – Newmarket, Dullingham, Six Mile Bottom *, Fulbourne *, Cherry Hinton * and Cambridge
  • Cambridge South and Ely – Cambridge, Cambridge North and Waterbeach
  • Ely and A14 Parkway – Soham and Fordham *

Note.

  1. Stations marked with an asterisk (*) are possible new stations.
  2. The basic frequency would be one tph.
  3. Trains would reverse at A14 Parkway, Cambridge South and Ely stations.

The triangular nature of the service may mean that to avoid the driver constantly changing ends, that automation and video technology may allow driving from either end of the train.

These existing services would fit in with the triangular service.

  • Norwich and Stansted Airport via Cambridge South, Cambridge, Cambridge North, Waterbeach and Ely.
  • Ipswich and Peterborough via A14 Parkway, Soham and Ely
  • Ipswich and Cambridge via A14 Parkway, Newmarket and Dullingham
  • Wisbech and Cambridge via Cambridge North, Waterbeach and Ely.
  • King’s Cross and King’s Lynn via Cambridge South, Cambridge, Cambridge North, Waterbeach and Ely.
  • Birmingham and Stansted Airport via Cambridge South, Cambridge, Cambridge North, Waterbeach and Ely.

Note.

  1. All services would probably be one tph.
  2. Some services currently terminating at Cambridge, may be extended to Cambridge South.
  3. There will be other services from East West Railway.

The frequencies on the various legs would be as follows.

  • A14 Parkway and Cambridge South – 2 tph plus one tph from East West Railway
  • Cambridge South and Ely – 5 tph plus one tph from East West Railway
  • Ely and A14 Parkway – 2 tph

The route between A14 Parkway and Cambridge would need to be improved, but this is planned by East West Railway.

Would It Be Possible To Commute From Soham To London?

My timings of around ninety minutes are probably well within the endurance of the average commuter.

Conclusion

Soham station is not your run-of-the-mill rural station.

 

December 14, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

20 Ropemaker Street – 13th October 2021

I pass this building every time, I go to Moorgate.

I took these pictures today.

The architects have put up this video.

I shall be following this twenty-seven story building as it reaches for the sky.

October 13, 2021 Posted by | Design, World | , | Leave a comment

Osterley Becomes 89th Step-Free London Underground Station

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

So I went to Osterley station and took these pictures.

Note.

  1. Osterley station is Grade II Listed and was built in the style of Charles Holden.
  2. It does look that there is also step-free access between train and the platform for most wheelchair-users, buggy-pushers and case-draggers.
  3. The two new lift-towers are typical steel-and-brick constructions.

I don’t think that the most militant member of the Heritage Taliban will object to the quality of the design and the construction.

October 13, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment