The Anonymous Widower

Should This Be Done On More Building Projects?

Buckingham Group are building the new West Hampstead station on the North London Line.

This picture was taken of the architect’s layout drawing of the new station, that was fixed to the hoardings.

I wasn’t the only person giving it a good study.

I think it is a good way to inform the public.

January 31, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 1 Comment


The Bilbao Metro was designed by Foster and Partners.

Under Design, Wikipedia says this about access to the Metro.

Access to the metro is provided by ‘fosteritos’, glass structures affectionately named after the architect who designed them, Norman Foster. These modern-looking tunnels stand attractive alongside the modern and innovative interior of the stations.

These pictures show some of the fosteritos.

Crossrail’s Tottenham Court Road station has two square glass structures over the entrances in front of Centre Point.

I wrote about the first in Tottenham Court Road Station Gains A Giant Fosterito. Here’s a picture taken soon after one opened.

It is such a simple idea, I wonder why we don’t see more fosteritos all over the world.



January 17, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 7 Comments

The Western Arcade At London Bridge Station

These pictures show the Western Arcade at London Bridge station, which opened after Christmas.

The Arcade connects the spacious double concourse under the tracks of the National Rail station with the Underground station.

All it needs now, is for the shops to be occupied.

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

London Bridge Station Gets The Last Five New Platforms

The last five platforms, numbered 1 to 5, at London Bridge station, opened this morning.

It is now possible to judge the station as a whole.

The Spacious Concourse

In my experience, the layout of the spacious concourse is unique in all the stations I have visited. And I’ve visited quite a few! And not just in the UK, but all over Europe.

Effectively, it is like a city square, with separate stations on viaducts above.

  • The one-platform station (Platform 1) for trains from Cannon Street to SE London and Kent.
  • The two-platform island station (Platforms 2 and 3) for trains from SE London and Kent to Cannon Street.
  • The two platform island station (Platform 4 and 5) for trains for Thameslink services going North and South,
  • The two-platform island station (Platform 6 and 7) for trains from Charing Cross and Waterloo East to SE London, Kent and Sussex
  • The two-platform island station (Platform 8 and 9) for trains from Waterloo East to SE London, Kent and Sussex to Charing-Cross and Waterloo.
  • The six-platform terminal station (Platforms 10-15) for trains to SE London, Surrey And Sussex.

All platforms have two or more escalators, stairs and a lift to and from the spacious concourse.

  • The circulation space is uncluttered with just one fast food outlet discretely to one side. Others will be slotted in.
  • The lighting is excellent, with lots of natural light. Many stations are dingy, despite having been built or rebuilt in the last few years.

Ticketing and security is ensured by several lines of ticket gates, leading to a surrounding unticketed concourse.

The Double-Concourse Design

|Effectively, London Bridge station has two concourses.

The ticketed concourse, that connects to all the platforms and the trains.

There is also a second concourse surrounding the ticketed concourse.

  • This second concourse extends through the station from Tooley Street to St. Thomas Street.
  • The streets outside the station are effectively parts of the second concourse.
  • Level walking routes to the Underground, the River, Guys Hospital and London Bridge are provided.
  • A separate escalator connection links to the bus station, from the second concourse.
  • There are more shops and a ticket office.

Where else could this concept be employed?

The obvious example is surely Manchester Piccadilly station, where there will effectively be three stations.

  • The HS2 station.
  • A terminal station for trains going to and from the South.
  • A two-platform through station capable of handling sixteen trains per hour, replacing the dreaded Platforms 13 and 14.

All would be linked by a huge London Bridge-sized area under the tracks, with both a ticketed and unticketed area.

  • The tram station would be at the same level as the concourse, accessible from the unticketed area.
  • Shops would be mainly in the unticketed area, with a minimum in the ticketed area.
  • A clutter-free design is needed.

The aim would be to ensure that quick and easy interchange between various transport modes was created.

The concept would also work at a rebuilt Euston and should probably have been used instead of the very passenger and staff-unfriendly design at St. Pancras, where interchange between separate services is not for those that are not 100% fit.

I also think that a similar concept of a split concourse, with ticketed and unticketed areas could be applied at a traditional terminal station like Brighton, Liverpool Street, Liverpool Lime Street or Waterloo, where significant numbers of passengers interchange between services at the station.

  • A second ticketed concourse could be created between the gate line and the actual platforms.
  • The concourse outside the ticket gates should be extended into the surrounding streets, as it effectively has been at Kings Cross.
  • A lot of decluttering should go on.

Hopefully, as each new station is designed, the concept will be improved.

Wide Island Platforms

Can platforms be too wide? Probably only accountants can answer that question.

But we certainly need more island platforms!

They make it so easy for passengers to reverse direction, without going up onto a bridge or down into a subway.

If say you were going between Bedford and Cambridge on Thameslink, perhaps with a heavy case or in a wheel-chair, it might  be easier to go as far South as London Bridge station, where you could just cross the platform for the second train.

Unfortunately, no-one thought to build the important Thameslink station at St. Pancras with an island platform.

Lights Above The Ticket Gates

The lights on some of London’s ticket gates are difficult to see, as you approach, but these are so much better.

Surely, as people will line up a few metres away and walk straight towards the gate, this might increase passenger throughput.

Can we have more of this please?

Information Above The Escalators And Stairs

This is good, but it could be better.

Imagine a one-line display on top of the main display, which could be used for title, important or emergency information.

Examples could be.

  • Trains To Waterloo East And Charing Cross
  • Way Out!
  • Do Not Enter!!
  • RMT Call Off Strike Tomorrow!

The standard display for the various platforms at London Bridge could be.

Platform 1 – Cannon Street To SE London And Kent

Platform 2 and 3 – To Cannon Street

Platforms 4 and 5 – Thameslink – 4 To South – 5 To North

Platform 6 and 7 – Charing Cross To SE London, Kent And Sussex

Platforms 8 and 9 – To Waterloo East And Charing Cross

Platforms 10 to 15 – To SE London, Surrey And Sussex

Ticket Machines

There are no ticket machines in the ticketed area.

In Germany, there is often a ticket machine after you have passed the gate.

I find it very useful, as they can be used to buy tickets for a later journey or look up future connections.

I only know of one ticket machine inside the ticketed area in the UK and that is on Platform 8 at Stratford station.

We need more of these!

The need will get more urgent after Crossrail and Thameslink are fully open.

Suppose you are doing a journey from somewhere in the Oyster/contactless card area like Ealing Broadway or Ilford to perhaps Hastings, Ipswich or Oxford, which are not.

  • You might not be starting your journey at a station with a ticket office.
  • Because you never go outside the Oyster/contactless card area, you haven’t bought a ticket in some time.
  • You might like me be a Freedom Pass holder.

So you might arrive at London Bridge or Stratford, without a valid ticket for the rest of your journey.

Currently, at London Bridge station, you have to go outside the ticketed area to get your onward ticket.

A ticket machine or machines inside the ticketed area would be better.

It could also.

  • Provide information.
  • Print intineraries
  • Display advertising.

Perhaps, like cash machines, ticket machines might be provided by third-party operators?


Are there enough seats?

Time will tell! But I think more will be added!






January 2, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

The Bloomberg Building Revealed

The hoardings are now down on the Bloomberg Building.

I have read in today’s Sunday Times, that the free exhibition on the site of the Temple of Mithras and the antiquities found on the site will open on the 14th of November.

November 5, 2017 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Abbey Wood Station Opens

Abbey Wood Station partly opened today.

As can be seen, it is not finished, but it can certainly accept all the Southeastern trains calling at the station.

Is it the UK’s first station with three pedestrian bridges and six lifts?

October 24, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

A First Visit To Walthamstow Wetlands

Walthamstow Wetlands opened today, so I went to take a look.

It was well worth a visit.

I shall return!

October 20, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , , | 1 Comment

Along The Golden Mile

London used to have a Golden Mile in Brentford, which used to be a string of Art Deco buildings.

As the pictures show, a lot of them have gone and been replaced with modern buildings.

The Brentford Branch Line

You can clearly see where the Brentford Branch Line terminated to the right of Currys and the footbridge.

Hounslow Council is proposing to reopen the branch line and Wikipedia says this.

n April 2017, it was proposed that the line could reopen to allow a new link between Southall to Hounslow and possibly down to the planned Old Oak Common station with a new station in Brentford called Brentford Golden Mile. [5][6] The proposals suggest the service could be operated by Great Western Railway and could be open by 2020 with a new service from Southall to Hounslow and possible later to Old Oak Common.


This map from shows the lines.

This Google Map shows the area.


  1. The old track of the railway by Currys PC World and the footbridge over the Great West Road.
  2. The Hounslow Loop Line going across the South-East corner of the map.
  3. I’m not sure that a connection between the two lines would be a practical proposition.

Surely though, there is a better way to connect the Golden Mile to Old Oak Common!

The Brentford Branch Line connects to Crossrail at Southall station.

If the connection was fully step-free, then the Brentford Branch Line would have an easy connection to all of Crossrail’s stations, including Old Oak Common and Heathrow.



October 11, 2017 Posted by | Travel, World | , , | Leave a comment

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – 5th August 2017

It’s all change at Waterloo station with Platforms 20 to 24 open for business.

I think what has been revealed today is an excellent stop-gap to allow platforms 1 to 9 to be extended.

  • Network Rail and South West Trains are also to be congratulated on putting a large number of informed staff on the platforms to answer passegers’ questions.
  • With luck too, the vast open spaces around platform 20 to 24 will help to calm passengers.
  • But they weren’t lucky in that everything was disrupted by a signal failure early in the day.

If I have any criticism it is over the length of time it has taken to get these platforms open.

The International platforms were closed about the time my wife died in December 2007.

That closure has just been too long.

Passenger And Train Capacity

From what I saw today, Network Rail have opened five new platforms numbered 20 to 24, with the following features.

  • The ability to handle twelve-car trains.
  • Wide platforms for large numbers of passengers.
  • A new very wide gate line.
  • Lots of natural light and fresh air.

Passengers will wish all stations could be this good.

Just imagine five packed commuter trains arriving at those new platforms at around the same time.

  • Each pair of new five-car Class 707 train can hold just over sixteen hundred passengers.
  • A ten-car Class 720 train, which must be similar to South Western Railway’s new trains can hold around fifteen hundred passengers.

So can the platforms, gates and concourse handle all those passengers?

As the flow of passengers seems straight down wide platforms and into the Underground or out of the station through the Victory Arch, I suspect that the station has been designed to handle the greatest number of passengers, the trains can deliver.

With Crossrail, the stations at Shenfield and Abbey Wood will be handling twelve trains per hour (tph) in a two platform layout or 6 tph at each platform.

I suspect that the signalling and track layout at platforms 20-24 at Waterloo station, is such that each platform can handle at least four tph and possibly the six, that will be achieved at Shenfield and Abbey Wood.

If they can handle six, that is an unbelievable thirty tph.

This figure is probably way in excess of other capacity constraints in the complex rail network out of Waterloo, but at least platform capacity won’t be a constraint on growth in the future.

But four tph on each platform, would give a theoretical capacity of twenty tph or around thirty thousand passengers per hour. That is a massive increase in the capacity of the station.

It has to be taken into account, that part of the Waterloo Upgrade for August 2017 is lengthening Platforms 1 to 4 at the station and improving the track layout for the lower-numbered platforms. Access to the Underground is also being improved at platforms 1 to 4.

Are Network Rail creating another high-capacity set of four platforms at the other end of the station?

What is happening at platforms 1 to 4 will be revealed at the end of the month.


The work has whetted my appetite as to what the station will eventually look like!

In An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, I came to the following conclusion.

Crossrail 2’s proposals for the suburban branch lines from Waterloo to the four destinations of Chessington South, Epsom, Hampton Court and Shepperton stations, can be fulfilled using the following.

  • More platform capacity at Waterloo.
  • Modern high-performance 100 mph trains like Class 707 trains.
  • Some improvements to track and signals between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.
  • Wimbledon station would only need minor modifications.
  • A measure of ATO between Waterloo and Wimbledon stations.

What effect will this have on the design of Crossrail 2?

The Class 707 trains will not be arriving, but high performance Aventras will.

This August’s Upgrade will certainly make substantial increases in service frequencies and passenger capacity possible.

August 5, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – 4th August 2017

These pictures show everything ready for the start of the first partial closure of Waterloo station from tomorrow.

From tomorrow, the five platforms in the old International station will come into use until the 28th of August.


  • The piles of track ready to be used to reorganise the lines into Platforms 1 to 9.
  • The new destination board in front of Platforms 20 to 24.
  • The lowered concourse in front of Platform to 24, which will become retail units.

I shall be there in the morning.

August 4, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment