The Anonymous Widower

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 | , | 4 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

Abbey Wood Station – 7th October 2018

I took these pictures at Abbey Wood station.

It is now nearing completion and there are some nice details.

  • There are some elegant wood seats and other details.
  • The signage is clear and an update on current London Underground designs.
  • There are lots of stairs, escalators and lifts.
  • It must also be the only station with a wooden safety fence between the tracks.

All it needs now is some Crossrail trains.

Let’s hope the other stations are as good.

 

October 8, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 3 Comments

Grimshaw Working On New Eden Project In Morecambe

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in the Architect’s Journal.

The Eden Project in Morecambe does seem to have the look of a serious project.

August 29, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment