The Anonymous Widower

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 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Nine Elms Station Opens

I took these pictures at Nine Elms station today, after it opened.

Note.

  1. The space is generous on the wide island platform.
  2. Access between platform and train is level.
  3. There is a set of three escalators and a lift connecting the platform to the surface.

The underground parts of the station feel very much like Canary Wharf station without the platform edge doors and fewer escalators.

Why Aren’t There Platform Edge Doors?

I was chatting to someone and they wondered how the station and Battersea Power Station station had been built without platform edge doors.

  • The thought had occurred to me too and we both thought that EU regulations meant that new underground platforms had to have these doors.
  • As the 1995 Stock on the Northern Line are very similar to the 1996 Stock on the Jubilee Line, it is unlikely to be a technical or design issue.
  • I also think it would be unlikely to be a cost issue given the size of the budget for the two stations.

Look at this picture of a train in Nine Elms station.

Note.

  1. The platform is long and straight.
  2. The platform is generally wider than some of London’s older Underground platforms.
  3. The track is arranged, so that the door openings and carriage floors line up with the platform edge, so that wheelchair users, bugger pushers and case draggers can go safely across.
  4. There is only a small gap between the train side and the platform edge, between the doors on the train, which is probably too small for anybody capable of walking can fall through.
  5. There is no Mind The Gap written on the platform. There is just a yellow line.
  6. There are no obstructions on the platform.

This second picture shows the structure of the track.

Note.

  1. The four rail electrification system is clearly visible.
  2. The far rail is energised at +420 VDC.
  3. The centre rail is energised at -210 VDC.
  4. The two running rails don’t carry any current.
  5. There is a suicide pit between the running rails and under the centre rail to protect anybody or anything falling onto the tracks.

I do wonder if Transport for London have done an analysis and found that the number of serious accidents on stations with these characteristics is small enough, to build these two new stations without the doors.

Other factors could include.

  • Stadler are the masters of step-free access and have built several innovative fleets of trains for safe step-free access without platform edge doors. Although they have nothing to do with this project, their statistics would be relevant.
  • The UK has left the EU, so we’re ignoring the regulation.
  • The Northern Line might get new trains.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this philosophy of straight uncluttered platforms being applied across the Underground.

This picture shows the Southbound platform at Angel station.

Note.

  1. This platform was built in the early 1990s.
  2. It is wide and uncluttered.

Note that the trains were introduced after the station was opened, so that is perhaps, why the train floors are higher.

 

September 21, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport | , , , , , | 7 Comments

Battersea Power Station Station Opens

I took these pictures at Battersea Power Station station today, after it opened.

Note.

  1. Access between platform and train is level.
  2. There are a pair of up and down escalators between the platforms and the ticket hall level at both ends of the station.
  3. Three more escalators take you to and from the surface.
  4. There are lifts at both ends of the platforms.
  5. The tracks appear to have been laid with slab track.

Two things surprised me.

The first was the number of escalators and lifts, make me suspect, that the station  has been designed as a high capacity station.

There is also probably space to put another set of three escalators pointing the other way, at the other end of the intermediate level, away from the current set of three escalators, that lead to the surface.

The position of the station on Battersea Park Road. I had got the impression, it would be nearer the power station and the river. another set of escalators would explain my confusion.

This Google Map shows the wider Battersea site.

Note.

  1. This map is certainly a few months or even years old.
  2. Battersea Power Station is in the top-left corner of the map.
  3. There is a grey arrow, which is labelled Battersea Power Station Underground pointing to a site on the North side of Battersea Park Road.
  4. There are also two more grey arrows, which are labelled Battersea Power Station. Are these future entrances?
  5. Between the three arrows, is the massive station box, which in this image, hasn’t received its roof.

It looks to me, that what I saw, will be just a small fraction of the completed station.

September 20, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 4 Comments

Denmark Hill Station – 4th September 2021

The article on Rail Technology Magazine is entitled Denmark Hill Station First To Use Innovative Solar Technology In Europe.

The first two paragraphs describe the technology.

Denmark Hill station has become the first train station in Europe to have BIPVco’s Flextron thin film technology installed, on top of other upgrades, following a £7.5m extension.

The sophisticated and flexible solar panels are different from traditional ‘glass like’ panels, requiring no additional weight support, and will be used across other stations going forward.

Note.

  1. In the application of the technology at Denmark Hill station, a surplus of electricity is returned to the grid.
  2. BIPVco is a company based in South Wales, that evolved from research by Tata Steel and Swansea University, with the backing of the Welsh Government.
  3. The panels are lightweight, flexible, durable and self-cleaning.

Many years ago, I put up a barn based on timber beams, which had a sheet steel roof. These panels would be ideal for many agricultural buildings, like the one I commissioned.

These are pictures I took at Denmark Hill station, this morning.

Note.

  1. The original station was designed by Charles Henry Driver.
  2. The new entrance displays a high degree of craftsmanship, especially in the brickwork.
  3. The coffee and gluten-free cake I had in FCB Coffee were excellent.
  4. The station has its own pub; The Phoenix.

According to Network Rail, it has already been nominated for two architectural awards.

September 4, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Food, Transport | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Whitechapel Station – 23rd August 2021

Whitechapel station reopened this morning, so I went to have a look.

Note.

  1. There are more lifts than any program on Strictly.
  2. All the main stairs are wide with lots of handrails.
  3. There is a passageway alongside the Ticket Hall to access Durward Street at the back of the station.
  4. There is still some work to do on the Overground platforms.

It certainly could be The Jewel In The East.

August 23, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Main Crossrail Entrance At Paddington Station

These pictures show the entrance to Crossrail at Paddington station, which is by Platform 1.

Note.

  1. The whole entrance is under a massive glass roof.
  2. Eastbourne Terrace is above the station and connected to it by stairs and a pair of lifts.
  3. There is a bus stop and short-term parking on Eastbourne Terrace.
  4. There are a large number of escalators between the main line station and the Crossrail level.
  5. There are plenty of seats everywhere.
  6. It is only a short walk between one set of escalators to Crossrail and the shops in the Lawn.

I think Brunel would have liked it, as it has a touch of the over-the-top.

This is a 3D Google Map of the new entrance.

Note.

  1. The cloud pattern on the roof is clearly visible.
  2. The lifts to the station are in the middle and the stairs are at the ends of the roof.
  3. The blue dot shows the position of the bus stop, where about five routes stop.

Will cars and taxis be able to drop people off in Eastbourne Terrace?

Conclusion

It’s an impressive new entrance to the station.

 

August 9, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 3 Comments

Approaching Kings Cross – 5th July 2021

I took these pictures approaching Kings Cross.

Reports say most of the work of the remodelling is now complete. Although, it did look to me that in places more tracks could be laid.

The Length Of The Long Platforms At Kings Cross

This repeat of the last picture in the gallery shows the length of the nine long platforms.

Note.

  1. The train is in Platform 3.
  2. The train is an eight-car Class 700 train.
  3. Eight-car units are 162 metres long.
  4. Twelve-car units are 242.6 metres long.

Platform 3 is obviously long enough to take the following trains.

This Google Map shows the ends of the platforms at Kings Cross.

Note.

  1. The long platforms at the right are 2 and 3.
  2. Platform 2 and 3 are wide.
  3. Two LNER Azumas are in Platforms 5 and 6.

It looks to me that whilst all platforms can probably handle the standard British Rail length of 240 metres, those on the right may be able to handle longer trains. But what trains? These are my thoughts.

Longer LNER Azumas

This document on the Hitachi Rail web site is entitled Development of Class 800/801 High-speed Rolling Stock for UK Intercity Express Programme.

The document says that Class 80x trains have a sophisticated Train Control and Management System (TCMS).

The document says that this is one of the functions of the TCMS.

To simplify the rearrangement and management of train configurations, functions are provided for
identifying the train (Class 800/801), for automatically determining the cars in the trainset and its total length,
and for coupling and uncoupling up to 12 cars in normal and 24 cars in rescue or emergency mode.

I would assume that with the purchase of extra cars, that it might be possible to lengthen trains to up to twelve cars.

Lengths would be as follows.

  • Ten-car Class 80x train – 260 metres.
  • Eleven-car Class 80x train – 276 metres.
  • Twelve-car Class 80x train – 312 metres.

To add extra capacity on the routes to Leeds and Edinburgh services, there must be a balance between these factors.

  • The cost of extra cars.
  • The cost of platform lengthening.

There must of course be space for any platform lengthening.

It would seem to me, that common sense should allow twelve-car trains to be handled at King’s Cross, as this must be one of the best ways of adding capacity to East Coast Main Line services.

Caledonian Sleeper

The Caledonian Sleeper doesn’t normally run into King’s Cross, but during the rebuilding Euston for High Speed Two, it may be necessary to provide an alternative platform.

Unfortunately, the sixteen-car Caledonian sleeper trains are 352 metres long. So it would appear that Kings Cross would not be a temporary alternative.

But given the amount of money being invested in sleeper trains in Europe by the likes of Midnight Trains and NightJet, I can see that the Caledonian Sleeper might have another problem – success and the need for more capacity.

So I wouldn’t rule out an East Coast Main Line sleeper train between London Kings Cross and Edinburgh.

It might call at Stevenage, Newcastle and Berwick to widen its passenger base, just as the current sleeper calls at Watford, Carlisle and Carstairs.

The train could be extended to Aberdeen, to simplify services in Scotland.

Obviously, traffic and finance would decide, but I wouldn’t rule out the Caledonian Sleeper running to and from King’s Cross for a few years yet.

A Night Light Freight Terminal

In Is This The Shape Of Freight To Come?, I wrote about the new generation of fast electric freight trains, based on redundant electric multiple units.

  • If you look at Real Time Trains, you will find that few trains use King’s Cross station between two and five in the morning.
  • Platforms can take a twelve-car version of these electric freight trains.
  • The new platforms are wide and level.
  • Local delivery could use electric vehicles and bikes.

I think King’s Cross has possibilities for handling goods like food, parcels and shop supplies.

The Short Platforms At Kings Cross

When I was a child, King’s Cross had four short suburban platforms, where N2 steam tank engines hauled suburban services in and out of the station.

The suburban platforms have now been reduced to two platforms, that fit in with the current uses of the station.

  • The two platforms are numbered 9 and 10.
  • They can handle an eight-car Class 700 train, which is 162 metres long.
  • They can handle a five-car Class 800 train, which is 130 metres long.
  • Some five-car services run by the new Hitachi trains use these platforms.

These pictures show the platforms.

Note.

  1. The platforms are wide.
  2. The picture of the Azuma in Platform 9 was taken before the centre track was removed recently.
  3. Today, one LNER Azuma departed from Platform 9 to go to Lincoln, but both platforms were busy with Great Northern services to Cambridge, Ely and Kings Lynn.

I do wonder if the platforms could be used for light freight, during the night.

Conclusion

King’s Cross is not just one of the UK’s finest railway stations, which is recognised by its Grade I Listed status, but it is now moving towards an efficient, high-capacity station that works around the clock!

 

 

July 6, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oakwood Tube Station’s Seat Is In Need Of Repair

I took these pictures at the Grade II* Listed Oakwood tube station.

How did it get into this state?

Could it be that Enfield is not a Borough, where voters need any urging to vote Labour?

So it has been allowed to deteriorate by London’s South London Mayor?

It certainly needs a bit of TLC!

June 18, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail’s First Inclined Lift Is Now Available To View!

The entrance to Crossrail in front of Broadgate has now had most of its hoarding removed.

You can now walk around it and view the escalators and inclined lift, that will take passengers to and from the booking hall.

It’s probably the most up-market fosterito, that I’ve seen so far. Even more so, than the pair at Tottenham Court Road station, that I wrote about in Tottenham Court Road Station Gains A Giant Fosterito.

  • It has three escalators and an inclined lift.
  • It oozes quality with lots of steel, glass and quality lighting.
  • It shows the arms of the City of London in recognition to their contribution to Crossrail.
  • It sits in the middle of a large traffic-free square.

WilkinsonEyre were the architects.

Fosteritos

Norman Foster faced a similar problem in Spain of how to protect staircases and escalators emerging from the Bilbao Metro.

These pictures show his elegant solution.

The Spaniards obviously liked them, as they called them fosteritos.

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