The Anonymous Widower

Royal Mint Gardens

Royal Mint Gardens is a housing development to the East of Fenchurch Street and Tower Gateway stations.

These are a few pictures of the development.

But this doesn’t tell the full story.

This Google Map shows the position of the development.

Note.

  1. Fenchurch Street station is towards the top-left corner of the map.
  2. The c2c tracks running to the East from Fencurch Street station.
  3. Tower Gateway DLR station is just to the right of the centre, just above the green space.
  4. The tracks of the Docklands Light Railway running to the East from Tower Gateway DLR station.

The three concrete towers at the right of the map, lying to the South of the railway tracks, are the three structural towers of Royal Mint Gardens.

This Google Map shows a close up of Royal Mint Gardens.

Note how the Docklands Light Railway splits into two to the East of the development.

  • The Northern pair of tracks skirt the development to the North to go to Tower Gatewat DLR station.
  • The Southern pair of tracks go underneath the development to go to Bank DLR station.

The new development has put the Bank branch in a concrete tunnel.

So in an area of the world, where land is a very expensive commodity, this area is being used twice at the same time.

Royal Mint Gardens On The BBC

BBC London television has been covering various aspects of the building of Royal Mint Gadens in local news for most of the day.

The developer, the architect, Network Rail and the reporter, all seemed very positive about what is being created.

The architect felt up to 250,000 houses could be created on similar sites across London.

How many houses could be built over rail lines in the rest of the UK?

Conclusion

Building over rail lines like this, will increasingly be seen as a way of adding new housing in densely populated cities.

 

 

 

 

 

February 26, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5,120 Tonne Loading Test Above Moorgate Tube Station

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

Ian’s article is a fascinating insight into how the foundations of some new tower blocks will be tested.

It is a must-read.

February 24, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Towers At Lewisham Station – 2nd February 2019

Lewisham station is becoming increasingly surrounded by tower blocks.

With the Bakerloo Line Extension planned to reach the new station around 2030, surely it is time to rebuild the station with more blocks over the tracks.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hochtief Brought In For Crossrail Station Construction Work

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

Hochtief has been handed a £40m contract to carry out improvement works at three stations in west London that will be part of the Crossrail route when it opens.

In a deal published to the Official Journal, the German contractor has been chosen to carry out improvement work at Hayes and Harlington, Southall and West Drayton stations.

The article then goes on to give a detailed report oif the state of the Crossrail stations in the central section.

In the article, the new Crossrail boss; Mark Wild was also very forthcoming about the line’s problem.

My Project Management experience, says to me, that the standard of planning and reporting on the project wasn’t of the best.

January 21, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Innovative Use Of Ground Source Heat Pumps At London Bridge Station

I like the idea of ground source heat pumps, as an efficient way of heating and cooling a building.

This article on Rail Engineer is entitled Looking Back On London Bridge.

This is an extract.

Working with GI Energy, we also drove the use of innovative technology – installing geothermal loops into 145 of the planned piles. These geothermal piles consist of pile foundations combined with two closed-loop ground source heat pump systems which span the length of the pile – they support the building while acting as a heat source in winter and a heat sink in summer. The piles alone will generate 79 tonnes per year in carbon savings.

Is that a case of having your cake and eating it?

January 10, 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

Has The Possibility Been Created For A Pedestrian Tunnel Between Bank And Moorgate Stations?

This visualisation shows the Bank Station Upgrade at Bank station, which is now underway to sort out the station’s problems of capacity and poor step-free access.

This is the bottom-left corner of the visualisation.

Notice that there are two fat tunnels running top to Bottom across the visualisation, which are the Central Line tunnels, with the Eastbound on the left and the Westbound on the right.

There are also four tunnels running left to right across the visualisation.

The top two, which are sticking out to the left of the Eastbound Central Line tunnel, are the current Northern Line running tunnels

  • The top one is the Northbound tunnel going to Moorgate station.
  • The other one is the current Southbound tunnel, which under the plans for Bank station will be closed to trains and used to improve passenger access to the Northbound platform. If you go to the Northern Line platforms, there are tell-tale blue hoardings, indicating where better access will be created.

These pictures show the current state of the current Southbound tunnel.

It looks like at least three sections of the wall between the two platforms will be removed.

The third tunnel, which is shown pink in the visualisations is the connecting tunnel between the Central Line and the new entrance to the station on Cannon Street.

Note the following.

  1. It has a travelator.
  2. it connects to a lobby, where there are triple escalators to the Central Line.
  3. It appears to come to a stop under the Eastbound Central Line platform.

What lies at the Northern end of this tunnel?

The fourth tunnel, which is the new Southbound running tunnel for the Northern Line, has been helpfully drawn with a rail track inside.

This is the top-right corner of the visualisation.

Note.

  1. There are three cross passages between the two running tunnels, just as there appears to be three blue hoardings in the existing Southbound running tunnel.
  2. The Northbound running tunnel now has a wide platform, which has been built inside the existing Southbound tunnel.
  3. The new Southbound running tunnel will be built with a wide platform.
  4. There are three escalators leading to the new Cannon Street entrance.
  5. There are three escalators leading down to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) platforms

This map from carto.metro.free.fr, shows the layout of lines at Bank station and between Bank and Moorgate stations.

Note.

  1. The Central Line is shown in red.
  2. The Northern Line is shown in black.
  3. The DLR is shown in turquoise.
  4. The two Northern Line tracks cross to the North of Bank station.
  5. The lines at Moorgate station are shown at the top of the map.
  6. Crossrail is shown in violet.

The new Southbound tunnel will be created to the West of the DLR platforms.

This article on IanVisits is entitled Behind The Scenes At London Underground’s Bank Tube Station upgrade.

I suggest you read the article and I feel, you will get the impression the Bank Station Upgrade is a very difficult project, that is being achieved in an innovative manner by the contractors.

In one section, the article describes how they are actually building the new Southbound tunnel, through the piled foundations of existing buildings.

A Travelator Between Bank and Moorgate  Stations

I now feel I can answer the question in the title of this post.

The Route

If the route started at the Northern end of the long connection tunnel with the travelator at Bank station, a route could probably be found on the West side of the Northern Line to break-in to the basement of the Crossrail station at Moorgate station.

This image shows a cross-section through the Moorgate Crossrail station.

Note that under the escalators leading down from the Moorgate Ticket Hall to Crossrail, are a pair of circles.

  • These are the Northern Line running tunnels.
  • A travelator tunnel would be at this level but perhaps twenty or more metres to the West (left in the cross-section).

With modern design and construction techniques, I would expect that a connection could be made.

The Length

I estimate that the travelator would be between three and four hundred metres long.

As there are longer travelators either built or in planning in the world, I suspect, the length wouldn’t be a problem.

By comparison, these are example travelators in London.

  • Jubilee to Northern/Bakerloo Lines at Waterloo – 140 metres.
  • Sloping travelators to Waterloo and City Line at Bank – 76 metres
  • Proposed Central to Northern Lines at Bank – 94 metres

A travelator between Bank and Moorgate stations would probably be, the longest in London.

Building The Tunnel

If you read the IanVisits article, it details how the new Northern Line and travelator tunnels at Bank station were excavated.

I suspect similar techniques could be used to build the new tunnel.

The biggest problem would be removing the tunnel spoil and I suspect that if the tunnel were to be built, when a building on the route needed to be replaced, this would make construction a lot easier.

Why The Tunnel Should Be Built

The main argument for building the tunnel is that it would connect Bank station directly to Crossrail.

Why The Tunnel May Not Be Needed

There are various reasons, why the travelator may not be needed.

Pedestrianisation

The City of London is in favour of pedestrianisation and has already disclosed plans to make Bishopsgate, which is one of the most important North-South arteries through the Square Mile, much more pedestrian friendly.

I would expect more initiatives like this to follow.

So many travellers will use their feet on the surface, between Crossrail and Bank, when the two stations are completed.

Improved Northern Line Connections

The connections to the Northern Line will be improved at both Moorgate and Bank stations, when Crossrail and the Bank Station Upgrade are completed.

So those travellers needing or wishing to do a one-stop transfer, will find it easy.

Connectivity between Crossrail And The Central Line

Crossrail and the Central Line have good connectivity.

  • Stratford – A cross-platform interchange.
  • Liverpool Street – A step-free connection
  • Tottenham Court Road – A step-free connection
  • Bond Street – A step-free connection
  • Ealing Broadway – A step-free connection.

If travellers need Bank and they are coming from either direction on Crossrail, they can change at a convenient station.

Given that Bank station will have a large number of step-free entrances after the Bank Station Upgrade is completed, I suspect many Crossrail passengers will transfer to the Central Line to avoid the walk from Moorgate or Liverpool Street stations.

Conclusion

It may be feasible to build a trevelator between Bank and Moorgate stations, but developments already in hand, may give the project a very bad financial case.

 

December 1, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Paddington Bakerloo Line Link Project, London

The title of this post is the same as that of this page on the Institute Of Civil Engineering web site.

The page contains a video presentation of the building of the Paddington Bakerloo Line Link, that will connect the Bakerloo Line to Crossrail sometime next year.

If you think the golden age of British improvised tunnelling finished with the end of World War Two, with the likes of the Wooden Horse and the Great Escape, then think again.

  • A redundant Royal Mail building stars as the cookhouse, where the tunnel starts under the floor.
  • The old Rail Mail tunnel, doubles for the sewers.
  • Sections were dug by hand.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see more pedestrian tunnels dug with all the ingenuity of this one.

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

Excellent Tiling At Moorgate Station

These pictures show the renewed tiling on the Northern Line platforms and tunnels at Moorgate station, as the station gets ready for Crossrail.

My only thought is that compared to some London Underground tiling, is that it is rather unadventurous.

November 24, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment