The Anonymous Widower

Alternative Rail Connections For Bradford After IRP Snub

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on New Civil Engineer.

This is the first paragraph.

Of all the losers from the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP), Bradford is arguably the biggest.

I agree! But then Bradford is a very difficult problem.

The article talks about several solutions.

These are probably the best of a rather mixed and downright impractical bunch.

The big problem with Bradford Interchange station is that it is a terminal and not a through station. Through trains between say Leeds and Halifax or Huddersfield have to reverse in the station, which slows the services down by up to five minutes.

Currently the following local services call at Bradford Interchange station.

  • Blackpool North and York
  • Chester and Leeds
  • Halifax and Hull
  • Huddersfield and Leeds
  • Manchester Victoria and Leeds

Note.

  1. All services have a frequency of one tph.
  2. All trains are diesel-powered.
  3. All services reverse in Bradford Interchange station.
  4. Platforms 1 and 2 can accommodate five-car Class 180 trains, which are 120 metres long.

This Google Map shows Bradford Interchange station.

Note.

  1. Platforms 1 and 2 are the longer pair of platforms to the West.
  2. Platform 3 and 4 can probably handle a four-car train.
  3. I suspect that if necessary platforms could be lengthened so they could all take a five-car Class 802 train, which is 130 metres long.

In Would Automated Trains With The Ability To Run Backwards Improve Passenger Train Services?, I proposed providing sufficient automation and signalling improvements, so that drivers could drive the train from either cab.

This would make the reverse at Bradford Interchange station take as long as a normal stop, without any reduction in safety.

If this could be made to work efficiently, it must open up the possibility of a Leeds and Manchester Airport service.

  • It would call at Bradford Interchange, Low Moor, Halifax, Brighouse and Huddersfield.
  • It would satisfy Bradford’s need of a direct service to Manchester Airport.
  • It would improve getting to the airport for Low Moor, Halifax and Brighouse.

There would be no need for large amounts of new or modified infrastructure.

 

December 21, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Are Grand Central Going To Order Some Hitachi Intercity Battery Hybrid Trains?

I ask this question because I’ve just looked at the Hitachi infographic for the Hitachi Intercity Battery Hybrid Train, that I wrote about in Hitachi Rail And Angel Trains To Create Intercity Battery Hybrid Train On TransPennine Express

Note that in the background of the image Hitachi Grand Central can be seen.

Looking at Grand Central‘s routes I can say the following.

  • The Sunderland service uses the fully-electrified East Coast Main Line to the South of Northallerton.
  • The Bradford service uses the East Coast Main Line to the South of Shaftholme Junction.
  • The Sunderland service runs for 47.4 miles on lines without electrification.
  • The Bradford service runs for 47.8 miles on lines without electrification.
  • The trains run at 125 mph on East Coast Main Line.
  • Each service has around half-a-dozen stops, most of which are on lines without electrification.

Grand Central run the services using Class 180 diesel trains.

I think there are two possibilities for new trains.

Hitachi Intercity Battery Hybrid Train

This train would be similar to the Hitachi Intercity Battery Hybrid Train shown in the infographic.

  • It would be designed to run efficiently on diesel.
  • The train could run at 140 mph on electricity and with a signalling update.
  • The claimed extra performance could speed up the services.
  • Batteries would be used in stations.

There would be a worthwhile saving in fuel and less carbon emissions.

Hitachi Intercity Battery Hybrid Train With A Larger Battery

This would be similar to the standard train, but with a larger battery.

  • Battery range would be sufficient to cover the lines without electrification.
  • Charging would need to be installed at Bradford Interchange and Sunderland stations.
  • The other two diesel engines might be replaced with batteries.
  • No diesel would be used.
  • The train could run at 140 mph on electricity and with a signalling update.
  • The claimed extra performance could speed up the services.
  • Batteries would be used in stations.

There would be no fuel costs and zero emissions.

In Grand Central Opts For Split And Join, I wrote about Grand Central’s application to run more services that had been reported in the April 2018 Edition of Modern Railways in an article that is entitled Grand Central Applies For Extra Services.

If Grand Central are still interested in expanding and splitting and joining, then the Hitachi trains, which have a proven ability in this area would fit the requirement.

In

November 10, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 4 Comments

London To Edinburgh On Lumo

Yesterday, I took the 10:45 Lumo service from King’s Cross to Edinburgh.

I took some pictures on the way.

I have split them into sepate topics.

Lumo’s Class 803 Train Arrives

Note.

  1. The train is in Platform 10 in the old suburban station.
  2. This has now been reduced to just two platforms.
  3. In the other platform is a Grand Central service to Bradford Interchange station.

At least it appears, that there could be space to reinstate a third platform, if it should prove necessary.

Seating On Lumo

Note.

  1. I didn’t get a seat with a proper window.
  2. The seat-back table is generously-sized.
  3. There is a light over the table.
  4. The luggage racks were well used.
  5. There is more than normal leg-room. My neighbour, who was taller than my 1.70 metres, also liked the leg-room.

Both of us, thought the seats were more comfortable than LNER.

I have a spine that curves outwards at the bottom and it often objects to train and car seats. But after four-and-a-half hours on Lumo, it wasn’t protesting.

York to Church Fenton Improvement Scheme

When the York To Church Fenton Improvement Scheme and the closely related Huddersfield To Westtown (Dewsbury) Upgrade are completed, the TransPennine route between Huddersfield and York will be fully-electrified.

These pictures show the electrification is underway.

York to Huddersfield will be over forty miles of electrified line, with a remaining gap of just eighteen miles to the electrification being installed between Stalybridge and Manchester Victoria.

Work At Reston Station

Reston station is being built North of Berwick-on-Tweed. I took these pictures as we passed through.

I describe the station in a post called A New Reston Station.

Arrival In Edinburgh

I took these pictures when we arrived in Edinburgh.

Note Edinburgh is not short of platforms that can take five- and ten-car trains.

These are a few other thoughts about the journey.

Non-Stop Between King’s Cross And Newcastle

It seemed to me, that a lot of passengers left the train at Newcastle.

  • Times between King’s Cross And Newcastle are comparable betyween LNER and Lumo.
  • Lumo is non-stop until Newcastle.
  • Lumo is probably more affordable.

I can see Lumo picking up a lot of business on this leg.

Football At Newcastle

I have come across several Newcastle United season ticket holders in London.

Looking at Lumo’s full timetable, there are these two trains on a Saturday.

  • A train leaves King’s Cross at 10:25 and arrives in Newcastle at 13:25.
  • A train leaves Newcastle at 19:35 and arrives in King’s Cross at 22:29.

These could be ideal to see the match and get back to London.

Food

The full food service isn’t in operation yet, but we the trolley did come through twice.

Passenger Loading

Most seats were taken, as we left King’s Cross, but due to high number, who left at Newcastle, there were a few gaps as we ran between Newcastle and Edinburgh.

But then this is a shorter leg and perhaps travellers are more likely to drive.

I suspect that Lumo can’t wait to build up their service to the full five trains per day, as it does look like the demand is there.

Morpeth Station

There wasn’t many boarders and leavers at Morpeth station, but as services build up and travellers realise the system is there, will business increase?

Conclusion

I shall take another trip in the New Year, when the full service is implemented.

October 28, 2021 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bradford Seeks Support On Rail Project Which Could Deliver £30bn Benefits

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

This is the first paragraph.

Delivery of a new city centre railway station in Bradford is estimated to boost the city’s economy by £30bn over ten years, with Bradford Council now seeking government support to deliver the major rail project.

The article also says that the the station, will be built on the site of St James Market, which is owned by the Council.

This Google Map shows the market and the surrounding roads and railways.

Note.

  1. Bradford Interchange station is in the North-West corner of the map.
  2. St. James Market is marked by the red arrow in the middle of the map.
  3. The railway Between Leeds and Bradford Interchange stations via New Pudsey station curves in a loop South of the market.
  4. The railway going South from Bradford Interchange goes to Bradford Low Moor and Halifax stations, before taking the Calder Valley Line via Hebden Bridge to Manchester Victoria station.

I think it would be feasible to build the station on the current route between Leeds and Bradford Interchange stations, with perhaps a mixture of through and bay platforms.

This second Google Map, shows Mill Lane Junction, where the lines from New Pudsey and Bradford Low Moor stations join South of Bradford Interchange station.

Note.

  1. Bradford Interchange station is on the rail line to the North.
  2. The proposed new Bradford station and the existing New Pudsey station are on the rail line to the East.
  3. Bradford Low Moor station is on the rail line to the South.

It would appear that an extra chord should be added to the junction to allow trains between Manchester Victoria and Leeds via the Calder Valley Line can call at the new station in Bradford.

Current trains between Manchester Victoria and Leeds using this route have to reverse at Bradford Interchange. The new station and the extra chord would avoid this.

Conclusion

I think that this proposal has possibilities.

October 13, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Open Access Operators And The Lumo Model

In the UK, there are only three established Open Access operators, who run UK train services.

  • Grand Central
  • Heathrow Express
  • Hull Trains

From the 25th of October, they will be joined by Lumo.

We probably don’t think of Heathrow Express as an Open Access operator and as it is effectively a short distance special service with new trains between Heathrow and Paddington, it has its own business model, that may or may not survive.

But how will Lumo and their bold new business model affect Grand Central, Hull Trains and any future Open Access operators?

Grand Central Trains

Grand Central is a well-established Open Access operator.

  • They run services between London King’s Cross and Bradford Interchange, Sunderland and several other convenient en-route stations.
  • They are owned by Deutsche Bahn.
  • They also regularly seem to apply for new routes and extra services.

But they have a big problem fast catching up on them; they have a diesel-only fleet and need to decarbonise.

I also think that all express passenger services on the East Coast Main Line will at some date need to be run by 140 mph trains capable of running with full digital signalling and a degree of Automatic Train Operation.

In Lumo: Why Won’t The New Train Service Stop At Yorkshire Stations?, I said that to continue to be successful, they probably need to embrace the Lumo model and acquire new trains.

I will repeat what I said in the related post.

This would entail.

  • The ten diesel Class 180 trains would be replaced by new electric trains.
  • The trains would need a 140 mph capability under digital signalling to fit in with the plans of Network Rail, LNER and Lumo to create a top-class high-speed high-capacity East Coast Main Line.
  • The trains would need a battery capability as Grand Central’s routes are not fully electrified.
  • They could copy Lumo’s green marketing philosophy, ticketing and catering offering.

As to the trains, I’m sure that Hitachi could offer a version of their Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Train, the specification of which is shown in this Hitachi infographic.

The trains would need a range of fifty miles on battery-power.

I have some other thoughts.

Financing

If you look at the finances of decarbonising Grand Central, they would need a new fleet of ten trains, which as Lumo’s fleet of five trains are reported to be costing £100 million, so that figure can be at least doubled.

There would also be costs for the two charging systems at Bradford Interchange and Sunderland. But at least there are several possible solutions for charging systems, so the price will probably not be more than a few million, if that.

Will Deutsche Bahn be prepared to stump up the extra finance?

A Service To Cleethorpes

In the Wikipedia entry for Grand Central, there is a section which is entitled London Kings Cross to Cleethorpes, which outlines a proposed service.

  • It would split and join with the London King’s Cross and Bradford service at Doncaster.
  • It would call at Crowle, Scunthorpe, Barnetby, Habrough and Grimsby.
  • Doncaster and Cleethorpes is 52.1 miles and should be in range of a Battery-electric train with a charging system at Cleethorpes.

Using current times from LNER and TransPennine Express, I estimate that Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Trains could travel between London and Cleethorpes in around two hours and twenty minutes.

With digital signalling on the East Coast Main Line to the South of Doncaster, the overall time could be much closer to two hours.

This could be a very viable service with battery-electric trains capable of running at 140 mph on the East Coast Main Line and for sixty miles at 100 mph on battery power.

Maximising The Use Use Of Train Paths By The Use Of Splitting And Joining

The proposed service to Cleethorpes is a classic use of splitting and joining, which enables two separate services to run a large part of their routes together.

  • On the East Coast Main Line, it means that maximum use can be made of the paths available.
  • Splitting and joining is part of the specification for the Hitachi trains and they do it automatically in under two minutes.
  • LNER are already talking about using the technique to serve various destinations from Leeds.

I wouldn’t rule out Grand Central’s two services working as a pair between London King’s Cross and Doncaster, where they would split and join.

Conclusion On Grand Central Trains

Decarbonisation with high-speed battery-electric trains could ensure the future of Grand Central Trains.

Hull Trains

Hull Trains is another well-established Open Access operator.

  • They run services between London King’s Cross and Hull and Beverley.
  • They have a fleet of five bi-mode Class 802 trains.
  • The company is part of First Group.

Hull Trains don’t have the decarbonisation problem of Grand Central Trains, as I suspect Hitachi will come up with a solution to turn Class 802 trains into a battery-electric train with a range of perhaps seventy miles on battery power.

  • Beverley and Temple Hirst junction is a distance of 44.3 miles and is the only section of the route without electrification.
  • Charging of the batteries will be needed at the Eastern end and probably would be best handled by a short length of electrification in Hull station or between Hull and Brough stations.

The Class 802 trains are also ready for updating to run under the new digital signalling of the East Coast Main Line.

First Harrogate Trains

First Harrogate Trains was a subsidiary of Hull Trains, which hoped to run the following services.

  • London King’s Cross and Harrogate via York
  • London King’s Cross and Cleethorpes via Peterborough, Spalding and Lincoln

Both these services could be run in conjunction with the current service with an appropriate split and join.

Conclusion On Hull Trains

As both Hull Trains and Lumo share London King’s Cross and are both owned by First Group, I would expect that both train operators would share some services, methods and ideas.

There may be advantages if Hull Trains’s Class 802 trains and Lumo’s Class 803 trains could run each other’s services.

Grand Union

Grand Union is a prospective open access operator who are proposing to operate train services from England to Wales and Scotland.

They are proposing two services.

London Paddington and Cardiff Central via Reading, Bristol Parkway, Severn Tunnel Junction, Newport and Cardiff Parkway, with a possible extension later to Swansea andLlanelli or Carmarthen.

London Euston and Stirling via Milton Keynes Central, Nuneaton, Crewe, Preston, Carlisle, Lockerbie, Motherwell, Whifflet, Greenfaulds and Larbert.

Note.

  1. London Paddington and Cardiff Central is fully electrified, but there is no electrification West of Cardiff Central.
  2. Cardiff Central and Swansea are 45.7 miles apart.
  3. London Euston and Stirling is fully electrified.

Currently, the rolling stock for both services is proposed to be a tri-mode Class 93 locomotive hauling a rake of Mark 4 coaches and a driving van trailer.

The locomotive should be capable of handling the routes to Stirling and Cardiff using the electrification alone.

When the Cardiff route is extended, Grand Union would intend to use Class 802 trains, which could be fitted with batteries to serve Swansea, where the batteries would be charged.

There is no sign as yet, that the Office of Rail and Road have approved any of their possible services, but both services might be improved with some Lumo-style thinking.

Alliance Rail Holdings

Alliance Rail Holdings, which is a sister company to Grand Central, is ultimately owned by Deutsche Bahn, seems to have several ideas for new services, but only seems to have got approval to one.

They were given approval some years ago to run a service between London Euston and Blackpool North.

  • Calls would be made at Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham and Wesham, Preston, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes Central.
  • There will be six trains per day.
  • Trains would be InterCity 225 trains.
  • The approval is for seven years from 2018.

But because of the pandemic it hasn’t run.

Conclusion

The Lumo model will affect all these services.

 

 

 

September 12, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lumo: Why Won’t The New Train Service Stop At Yorkshire Stations?

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Yorkshire Post.

This is the first article, I’ve found about Lumo, that has a negative headline.

The reason is probably very simple, in that most Lumo services are planned to stop at only at Newcastle and Morpeth, with two services having an extra stop Stevenage.

They are intending to run the service in as short a time as possible between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh.

As each stop has a time penalty, not stopping in Yorkshire will give potential to go cut the journey time.

But the positive message that comes from the writer of the Yorkshire Post article is that Yorkshire likes the concept.

This paragraph is their take on the service.

The goal is to encourage a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation and affordable travel. Lumo will provide low-carbon emissions, affordable long-distance travel for more than one million passengers every year.

Perhaps they would like their own Yorkshire flyer.

The obvious way for this to happen would be for the Open Access operator; Grand Central to convert themselves into a train operator like Lumo.

  • The ten diesel Class 180 trains would be replaced by new electric trains.
  • The trains would need a 140 mph capability under digital signalling to fit in with the plans of Network Rail, LNER and Lumo to create a top-class high-speed high-capacity East Coast Main Line.
  • The trains would need a battery capability as Grand Central’s routes are not fully electrified.
  • They could copy Lumo’s green marketing philosophy, ticketing and catering offering.

As to the trains, I’m sure that Hitachi could offer a version of their Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Train, the specification of which is shown in this Hitachi infographic.

The trains would need a range of fifty miles on battery-power.

Charging facilities wold be needed at Bradford Interchange and Sunderland stations, as neither has suitable 25 KVAC overhead electrification.

Conclusion

The conversion of Grand Central to work on the Lumo model is possible and as the trains will need to be changed to zero-carbon ones soon to meet decarbonisation objectives, I would suspect that at least that will happen.

 

 

 

September 11, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Arrival In Bradford Interchange Station

After Low Moor Station, I went onto Bradford, where I stayed in the City Centre Premier Inn, which has an address close to Little Germany.

Bradford has two City Centre stations; Interchange and Forster Square, with about a fifteen-minute walk between them

These pictures show my arrival in Bradford Interchange station.

Both stations have frequent services to Leeds, but if you are going, coming or visiting anywhere else make sure you pick the right station.

I discussed Bradford’s problem in Why Does Bradford Have Two Stations? and came to the solution that some form of high tech people mover would  be best.

I said this.

But what about some eco-friendly battery buses, as the distance is under a kilometre.

It could be run triangularly if necessary between the two stations and the shopping centre, with a charging station at each angle.

 

 

 

April 21, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment