The Anonymous Widower

Ordsall Chord Progress – 22nd September 2017

The Ordsall Chord is coming on.

The wires would appear to be on the way up and it looks like trains will be running over it on schedule around the end of December 2017.

September 22, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Filming Trains On Rochester Bridge

This weekend, I’ve been involved in helping a Japanese company take video of Class 395 trains for one of their corporate clients.

These pictures show the filming at Rochester on the magnificent Rochester Bridge over the River Medway.

September 18, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Over The Queensferry Crossing

The Queensferry Crossing is Scotlan’s newest bridge over the Rover Forth.

I took these picture as we went North.

And these were taken coming South.

The one disappointment was that it was difficult to get pictures of the other bridges.

September 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Temporary Barriers On London’s Bridges

Barriers to protect pedestrians have been installed on some of London’s bridges.

I hope these monstrosities are only temporary and they are replaced with something more in keeping with the historic bridges.

I still feel that we should shut Southwark and Lambeth Bridges to all traffic except buses, cyclists and pedestrians.

June 5, 2017 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Protecting Pedestrians From Vehicles Driven By Imbeciles

Look at these Google Maps of part of various bridges across the Thames.

London Bridge

Southwark Bridge

Blackfriars Bridge

Waterloo Bridge

Westminster Bridge

Note.

  1. How the pedestrians can are easily seen in the images.
  2. All the bridges have wide pavements, which are designed for easy walking.
  3. All images were probably taken at the same time and are to the same scale.
  4. Westminster Bridge is much busier than the others.

There is no protection to stop a bin lorry  with a driver who has a high risk of collapse, wandering off into the crowd. Given that that has happened in recent years, surely we should develop a protective system, that stopped vehicles getting on the pavement.

You wouldn’t need it on every road, as very few are likely to suffer an attack from imbeciles. But there have been a couple of pedestrians killed by drunks or drivers who should have given up because of health or advanced age.

Many roads too already have massive protection for pedestrians, as rows of vehicles are parked nose to tail alongside. I’ve never heard of an out of control vehicle going through a line of parked vehicles to kill someone. It must have happened surely!

Perhaps on London’s bridges and the wide pavements of streets like Regent Street and the Embankment, bollards or something physical will help.

But we should think creatively!

Something that could be done in London would be to follow on from the action at Bank Junction, where between seven and seven, the junction is for buses and cyclists only.

As there seems to have been little protest about this action, perhaps it could be done elsewhere and for twenty-four hours.

Look at the image of Southwark Bridge and the bridge is showing its reputation as London’s least used bridge.

So why not make the bridge pedestrians and cyclists only?

That could be done tomorrow and it would take some pressure from London Bridge, especially in the rush hour.

Also, at Blackfriars Bridge, it should be that pedestrians could use Blackfriars station, by just touching in and out and not being charged.

Pedestrian-only routes must be much safer.

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

Would You Trust Your Weight On A Thirty Metre Long Plastic Bridge?

I might as I’m only just over sixty kilograms, but others might not!

But never underestimate the power of World Class engineering.

This article in The Construction Index is entitled Mabey and Arup Launch Plastic Modular Bridge.

The bridge has the following characteristics.

  • Built of metre long sections bolted together.
  • Up to thirty metre spans.
  • Installed without heavy machinery.
  • The bridge is 70% lighter than steel.
  • Low maintenance

The first bridge has been installed over the railway at a Site of Special Scientific Interest In Oxford.

I feel that Arup have designed this bridge system for purposes other than permanent structures.

This Google Map shows the centre of Tadcaster.

The road bridge that connects the two parts of the town was swept away by floodwater, as this BBC report, which details the destruction and rebuilding shows.

The new system couldn’t replace a road bridge, but there must be many instances around the world, after a an earthquake or floods, where the first thing that the rescuers need is a bridge to access a destroyed town or village.

The size and low weight of this bridge system, means it could be an early arrival.

There is more about the Pedesta bridge on Mabey’s web site.

 

March 18, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , | 3 Comments

Relief For Ely

Ely station is not only a bottleneck for trains, but because the A142 only has a headroom of nine foot under the railway, a serious bottleneck for road traffic and an accident blackspot that stops both road and rail traffic.

But this article from the Cambridge News is entitled Work to start on new Ely bypass as final designs get the go-ahead.

This is the article’s simple description of the by-pass.

The new route will bypass the railway level crossing, as well as the accident prone low-bridge underpass, by providing a new link between Stuntney Causeway and Angel Drove to the south of the city.

Preparatory works are set to start on January 9 to mark out the site area to build the 1.7km of road, which will include two new bridges to cross the River Ouse and its flood plain, as well as additional railway lines.

I have been at Ely station a couple of times in the past week and these pictures show that work has now actually started.

The first four pictures were taken from an Ely to Ipswich train and the last one was taken from Plstform 3 at Ely station.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. Stuntley Causeway is the A142, which leads South-East from the station.
  2. The Great Ouse.
  3. The two railway lines meeting at Ely Dock Junction.
  4. Angel Drove is the road labelled A142, that curves from the city to the roundabout at the West of the map.
  5. The work site is in the angle between the Great Ouse and the railway line to Bury St. Edmunds, just to the West of the Hawk Bridge, where railway crosses the river.

As the new road crosses the river, the junction with Stuntley Causeway must be somewhere to the South-East of where the A142 currently crosses the river, which must make the road take a widish loop.

The project would appear to be a well-designed solution.

  • Is the wide loop of the road, to keep noise of heavy traffic away from the river and the city?
  • It should give relief for road traffic at Ely station.
  • Hopefully it will cut bridge strikes.
  • The viaduct over the railway and the river, incorporates a footbridge.

The question must be asked, if the building of the by-pass and the double-tracking of the railway line to Bury St. Edmunds are two projects that will co-operate.

The Hawk Bridge has already got space for a second track, so could this be laid first, so that it could be used as a siding to bring in the heavy components for the viaduct that will be built over the river? Or will they be floated in, using a barge on the river?

The order of construction on this project could be tricky, but the quality of project management has increased greatly in recent times.

 

March 7, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Holloway Road Bridge Is Now Open

I took these pictures this morning of the reopened bridge by Upper Holloway station.

Note there are no wires on the tracks of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line. But it does look, that the line could be run with the current Class 172 trains

January 16, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

All Of Scotland Is Now Twinned With Marlow

This article on the BBC, is entitled Winds close Forth Road Bridge and cut power to homes.

At two this morning a truck overturned on the Forth Road Bridge and the bridge has been closed since.

This is the full story from the BBC report.

The lorry on the Forth Road Bridge blew over at about 02:00 GMT. A spokesman for the bridge-operating company said the bridge had been closed to HGVs from 00:30 GMT.

The truck was travelling north from the Edinburgh side towards Fife, but was blown on to the southbound carriageway, damaging a 40-metre stretch of the central grilling, he said.

It had been lifted off the central grilling by a crane by mid-morning, but it could not be completely cleared from the scene until the weather improves.

The bridge remains closed both north and south-bound.

The driver of the lorry has been charged with dangerous driving, police said.

What an idiot!

But there was also the incident on the historic Marlow Bridge over the Thames. This is from Wikipedia.

On 24 September 2016 the bridge suffered ‘potential structural damage’ following an incident where 37-tonne Lithuanian haulage lorry exceeding the weight limit attempted to pass over the bridge. The bridge was closed for two months to allow Buckinghamshire County Council to undertake a series of stress tests on the suspension bridge hangers and pins, together with ultrasound and magnetic particle tests. No significant damage to the bridge was found, and had given the all-clear to reopen the bridge on Friday 25 November following restoration of sections exposed for weld testing with three coats of paint, removal of scaffolding surrounding the bridge’s two towers, and reinstatement of timber work removed for inspection. To the applause of around 100 onlookers, Marlow Bridge was reopened to traffic at 10am on Friday, 25 November.

Consider that Marlow Bridge was built in 1832, it has survived the better part bof two centruries well.

However Marlow Bridge was built by Bristolian; William Tierney Clark, who was also responsible for Hammersmith Bridge on the Thames.

Internationally, Clark was also responsible for the iconic Széchenyi Chain Bridge across the Danube in Budapest.

Bada Castle And The Chain Bridge

Bada Castle And The Chain Bridge

I took the picture, when I did my Home Run From Budapest in 2013. What you see is not wholly the original, as that was blown up by the Nazis in the Siege of Budapest in 1945.

Incidentally, the engineer who supervised the construction of the bridge from parts sent out from the UK, was the Scot; Adam Clark.

As Adam Clark was born in Edinburgh, I’ve concluded by bringing the narrative back to the Forth Bridge.

 

January 11, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Levitation Magic

How do you raise a 200 tonne masonry arch bridge by 900 mm, so that you can fit overhead electrification and freight trains with large containers under the bridge?

You used to call in Paul Daniels, but now he’s gone you have to use other forms of magic!

If finesse doesn’t work, you resort to the brute force technique that IK Brunel used to launch the Great Eastern – hydraulic power.

This article on the Freyssinet web site, describes how the bridge was lifted.

For an encore, the engineers then lowered the bridge by 465 mm.

Why raise a bridge like this?

Surely, to use a simple method, like explosives or a large hydraulic breaker and rebuild is a lot easier.

The trouble is it isn’t as this method disturbs the working railway much less and is quicker.

Network Rail also have five hundred bridges like this that need to be raised.

It would certainly make an interesting live stream from the Internet. Perhaps, a fee could be charged to watch for a charity like Cancer Research UK.

Brunel, who played the showman at times, would have approved of that!

 

December 8, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 1 Comment