The Anonymous Widower

The Orchestra Pit At Waterloo Station – 14th March 2019

These pictures show the area nicknamed the orchestra pit at Waterloo station.

It looks like it could be open soon!

Although Network Rail and their pandering to the terrible tastes of the average rail traveller, this are will probably filled with gluten-rich junk food.

I’d like to see a Leon added to Waterloo, as they already have two Marks and Spencers and a Carluccio’s.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Design Of Barking Riverside Station

The information is coming together about the new Barking Riverside station.

Wikipedia

The Wikipedia entry at the moment is not very information, but it does say that the station has two platforms.

Location

This map from Transport for London, shows the location of the station.

The location of Barking Riverside station is at the end of the branch line that comes South from the Barking to Tilbury Line.

As it is a long term ambition of Transport for London to extend the railway under the River to Abbey Wood station, the North-South orientation of the station is probably important.

carto.metro.free.fr

This map from carto.metro.free.fr gives the layout of Barking Riverside station and the tracks leading to it.

It shows two tracks leading to a two-platform station, with a crossover to allow both platforms to be used.

The Architect’s Visualisations

These are available on this page on the Moxon Architect’s web site.

This is the first visualisation on the site.

It shows the end view of the station and as no railway lines are visible, I assume that it is looking North, so the River Thames is behind the viewer and Renwick Road is on the left.

This is the second visualisation.

It shows the station looking from the East towards Renwick Road. Note the bus in both images.

As at Hackney Wick station, there is an underpass, so the station is not a barrier to pedestrians.

The seventh visualisation shows the station from above.

It only shows one platform in the image, as do other visualisations.

Is It A Single Platform Station?

Is this the way the station will be built or is it just to make the visualisation simpler?

A single platform station should be able to handle six trains per hour (tph).

  • This year, this frequency will be implemented between single platforms at Highbury & Islington and Crystal Palace stations on the Overground.
  • The Gospel Oak to Barking Line will have a maximum frequency of five tph in the Peak.
  • The infrastructure and the trains will all be brand new and use the best technology.

So it looks like a single platform station should be able to handle the planned number of trains for the simple  extension to Barking Riverside station.

Will There Be Electrification?

This is the fifth visualisation.

It clearly shows gantries for overhead wires.

But it appears that only one platform is there.

I have thought for some time, that the Barking Riverside Extension could be built without electrification and battery/electric trains could be used.

I laid out my views in Don’t Mention Electrification!.

  • All Aventras are wired for on-board electrical storage.
  • The Barking Riverside Extension is only 1.5 km long.
  • The area of the extension has some very large electricity pylons, that the extension has to dodge through.
  • If the line is extended under the Thames, it would be cheaper to build a tunnel for third rail, as it will connect to third-rail lines on the South Bank.
  • There must be substantial savings by not putting up overhead wires.
  • A safer and more reliable railway in extreme weather.

I also repeated my views in an article in Rail Magazine, which I described in I’ve Been Published In Rail Magazine.

No-one has told me that they disagree with my views.

So why are electrification gantries shown?

  • Transport for London or Network Rail don’t believe that battery/electric trains are possible. This is unlikely, as battery/electric trains have been successfully demonstrated in the UK and elsewhere, and ordered for Wales and Liverpool.
  • Obviously, there has to be a backstop if conventional electric trains have to be used. So, provision is being made to electrify the extension.
  • The single platform is electrified, so that a battery/electric train can be fully-charged before it returns towards Barking and Gospel Oak.

If before the station is built, it is decided that electrification is not needed, the overhead wires can be omitted from the construction phase.

I do feel though, we will know more about the performance and reliability of battery/electric trains in a few years, and we will alter the designs of overhead electrification accordingly.

Extending Across The River

The station has been built to enable extension to Abbey Wood station on the other side of the Thames.

There are probably several designs that would fit with the current station.

The simplest is probably to install a second platform and connect both to a tunnel under the river or a bridge over the river.

This would have several disadvantages.

  • A lot of the station would need to be demolished.
  • The train service to Barking Riverside station might have to be stopped for several months, during construction.
  • All services would have to cross the river.

A better option is probably to install the second platform on a track, that goes under the river in a tunnel.

  • The single tunnel portal would require less land take, as it could be very close to Barking Riverside station.
  • The tunnel under the river could be a mix of single or double track, to create the most affordable tunnel.
  • The current single platform would become a bay platform.
  • During construction, the service to Barking Riverside station would be able to continue as normal.
  • The bay platform could be used for service recovery in times of disruption.

I particular like the idea of a loop railway on the South Bank of the Thames with perhaps four or five stations. Alternatively, it could be a tram-train on the surface.

Conclusion

It looks like the design of Barking Riverside station, is one that will cater for all eventualities.

I am looking forward to taking the first train to the station.

 

February 6, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Climate Change: The Massive CO2 Emitter You May Not Know About

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

This is the first three paragraphs..

Concrete is the most widely used man-made material in existence. It is second only to water as the most-consumed resource on the planet.

But, while cement – the key ingredient in concrete – has shaped much of our built environment, it also has a massive carbon footprint.

Cement is the source of about 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to think tank Chatham House.

Read the whole article.

January 2, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Problem With Britain’s And Probably Other Older Railways

This post on IanVisits is entitled West Hampstead Overground Station’s New Footbridge.

Ian had intended to report on the finish of a station rebuilding project at West Hampstead station.

But like many other projects it is running several months late.

Ian says this.

It’s reported that the delay stems from an unexpected massive slab of concrete that was added to the bridge that runs over the railway tracks, and supports the old station entrance.

Plans to pull the old building back and release more space on the pavement may now need to be revised as that would require the pavement to be reinforced to the same level as the road, in case a heavy lorry were to swerve onto the pavement by accident.

The old Edwardian era station building was due to be turned into a “retail opportunity”, although that may now be in doubt if the pavement issue proves intractable.

How many of us have renovated old buildings to find that what is actually there, has little relation to what the surveyors/architects believed was there?

Years ago, I was rebuilding a Listed house and the Listed Building Inspector from English Heritage was very practical. When she asked the Council Planner, if he thought that the house should be like it was built in the 1840s, he said yes!

To which she replied, “So you think there should be outside toilets?”

Everybody except one laughed!

A couple of months later, she came back to see the work and told me of a very rich man, who was rebuilding a Grade II Listed Building, that was several times over budget. Her advice at the time had been knock it down or move, as she felt preservation was impossible. But the neighbours and the wider area, felt that the building should be saved.

I suspect that, if Transport for London had known what they know now, they would have demolished the inadequate station. I don’t think the station is Listed!

Conclusion

We have a preserve all buildings regardless of the cost attitude in this country and it exists in other countries as well.

Look at my post Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof, which outlines the problems there.

Imagine Crossrail with lots of tunnel construction problems and angry protestors!

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Rail Engineer On New Platforms At London Waterloo

Reopening the Waterloo International station platforms for local services may seem to be some people to be a very easy project.

This article on Rail Engineer, which is entitled New Platforms At London Waterloo, is a detailed article about the conversion.

Some points from the article and a couple of my deductions.

  • The platforms were far to long for suburban services and had to be shortened for twelve-car trains.
  • Eurostar only ran five trains per hour (tph) into the station and Network Rail and South Western Railway have planned for four times this frequency.
  • Each Eurostar train has only 750 passengers, whereas a commuter train can handle twice as many.
  • This means a theoretical eight times more passengers need to be handled.
  • The platforms were designed for stationary trains, not for trains continually moving in and out.
  • The roof is a Listed structure.
  • Direct access to the Underground needed to be added.

The article concludes that with all the work, that needs to be done, the conversion is good value.

I suggest if you are sceptical about the costs, that you read the Rail Engineer article. As ever the magazine gives a good honest engineeringly-correct assessment.

Will The Passengers Like The Extension?

According to the article the number of passengers, that can be handled by Waterloo station will rise from 96 million to 120 million or an increase of twenty-five percent.

The link to the Underground will include three new escalators and there will be lifts and escalators everywhere to cope with the higher level of the tracks in the five new platforms.

Nothing is said in the article about the areas, that the increased services will serve, but in An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I showed that it would be possible to run a service with Crossrail 2’s characteristics terminating in Waterloo.

As Crossrail 2, is very unlikely to be built in the next ten years, will Network Rail and South Western Railway give passengers the same service levels a lot earlier?

Conclusion

It looks to me, that  this reopening project, is doing a good job to turn the Waterloo White Elephant, into something that will benefit passengers and train operators.

Can anybody explain to me, why we spent £120 million (£237 million in today’s money!) in the 1990s to create such a grand station to accommodate Eurostar trains, when something less grand could have been built?

 

December 12, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , | 3 Comments

The Bank Station Walbrook Entrance Opened Today

I was there at ten o’clock this morning to see the new Walbrook Entrance to Bank station open.

There are various features of the design that are excellent.

  • It looks like the entrance has been designed to be able to handle the full capacity of the uprated Waterloo & City Line, running higher capacity new trains with a higher capacity and possibly a higher frequency.
  • The stairs are wide and built to a standard, that will tempt  fit people to use them at busy times.
  • They will also be very safe in emergencies.
  • The route from the pedestrianised Walbrook to the gateline is clear and level, so it should handle very large numbers of passengers in safety.

It should be noted that those I spoke to, liked the entrance.

Conclusion

London and other cities need more entrances to subways and underground railways like this.

It must be one of the best in London, ranking alongside these stations on the Jubilee Line.

  • Canary Wharf
  • Canada Water
  • North Greenwich
  • Westminster

And the new entrances at Bond Street, Kings Cross St. Pancras and Victoria.

 

November 30, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 4 Comments

Northumberland Park Station – 26th November 2018

Northumberland Park station is now open for business.

The pictures are in sequence as I walked from the Northbound platform, across the bridge and out the other side of the station.

  • I used the steps on the Northbound platform.
  • One lift is almost ready to use.
  • The ramp on the Southbound platform is ready.
  • Currently, there are three tracks, with space for a fourth.
  • There is still a lot of finishing to do.

The station has been designed to be simple and won’t have a Ticket Office or entry gates.

November 26, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Like Norman Foster’s Gherkin? Meet His Cocktail Cornichon

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in The Guardian.

It has the following sub-title.

The Tulip, Foster’s strange proposal for a Mini-Me Gherkin on a stick, is a parody of architectural hubris he’s hoping will get the billionaire owner out of a pickle.

The article is the best I can find about The Tulip, which if it gets planning permission could be a new addition to the skyline of the City of London.

I’ve been to the top of the Gherkin and I took this picture.

The View From The Gherkin At Night

If someone else is paying, I recommend you go!

Lord Foster is 83 and like David Hockney, who is a couple of years younger, they have built their reputation and are at an age, where they can do things that amuse them and have fun!

And if someone pays them for it, it’s a bonus.

I would certainly like to see The Tulip erected in the City of London.

But I doubt, it will get through the planning process.

 

 

 

November 19, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Google Grabs The Best Site In London For Its Massive Groundscraper

This Google Map the site where the massive groundscraper is being built.

Note.

  1. Kings Cross station, which is on the right of the map, has extensive connections to the North-East of England and Scotland.
  2. St. Pancras station, which is on the left of the map, has extensive connections to the Midlands and Belgium, France and the Netherlands, with more services to come including Germany, Switzerland and Western France.
  3. Thameslink runs North-South beneath St. Pancras station, has extensive connections to Bedfordshire, Herfordshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
  4. There are also six Underground Lines.
  5. Gatwick and Luton Airports have direct connections and City, Heathrow and Southend Airports  only need a step-free change.
  6. Improvements in the next few years could mean that HS2 and all of London’s five airports will have a fast direct connection to the area.

In the middle of all these railway lines, sits Google’s groundscraper, which shows as a white structure towards the top of the map.

These pictures show the area between the two stations, the under-construction groundscraper and the new blocks.

And these pictures show the progress on the site.

There is not much that is visible yet!

More Pictures!

But the building will be more visible soon! For those who can’t wait, this article from the Daily Mail has a lot of visualisations.

 

November 8, 2018 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Northumberland Park Station – 22nd October 2018

Northumberland Park station is coming on.

It’s going to be a complicated steel construction.

Some people will like it! Other’s won’t!

I do suspect though, that there will be some superb photographs of this station, when the light is similar to how it was today.

October 22, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment