The Anonymous Widower

Chatham Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Chatham station is on the list.

These pictures show the station.

This Google Map shows the station.

Note.

  1. The station building is above the tracks.
  2. There are two staircases from the building to each platform.
  3. The platforms are reasonably wide.

It might not be an easy station to provide full step-free access.

Installing Step-Free Access

This Google Map shows the Eastern side of the station building.

You can just see the stairs at the back of the building.

In stations with similar layouts, Network Rail have built new stairs and lift structures, like these at New Cross Gate station.

Could something similar be squeezed in at Chatham station?

It would be difficult but podssible, in a station that handles nearly three million passengers per year.

April 17, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Herne Bay Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Herne Bay station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current subway.

This Google Map shows the station.

Note.

  1. The station has two platforms, with a closed third platform.
  2. The Eastbound platform is Platform 2, with the Westbound platform numbered 1.
  3. The two platforms are connected by a very bad subway, with steep stairs at either end.
  4. There are three trains per hour (tph) in both directions through the station.

Whilst I was at the station, there were three guys with bikes using the trains.

Consider.

  • In my experience, coastal stations attract visitors with buggies and bikes.
  • There are a higher proportion of older passengers.
  • Good weather can increase passenger numbers.

It is without doubt the sort of smaller station on the coast, that needs step-free access.

Installing Step-Free Access

When I first saw the subway, I thought it could be possible to just add a lift at each end.

But looking at the station and the pictures on this page, I wonder if a bridge would be better.

  • The subway is rather cramped and might not be wide enough for a large wheelchair or buggy to pass another.
  • Digging the lift shafts would probably close the subway for at least a few weeks.
  • There appears to be space at the Eastern end of the station for a bridge.
  • Adding a bridge wouldn’t interfere with the siubway operation.
  • If the station had both a bridge and a subway, the extra capacity would be welcome and might help reliability.

In Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition, I wrote how the competition was won by this bridge.

Could a factory-built bridge like this be used at Herne Bay station?

  • The bridge would be designed to fit.
  • Platform 2 would probably need to be widened, so passengers could pass the steps to get to the lift.

I think it could be made to work very well!

 

 

April 17, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Croy Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Croy station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current bridge,

This Google Map shows the station.

Note how the car parking is on the Glasgow-bound side of the tracks.

So after a hard day’s work, shopping, watching football or just at leisure in Glasgow, to get back to your car at Croy station, you will need to climb up and down steep steps.

The station desperately needs a well designed bridge to give passengers and especially the less able to get back to the car parking.

Installing Step-Free Access

This Google Map shows an enlarged view of the platforms in the Glasgow direction.

Note how the disabled parking spaces are close to the station building and the Glasgow-bound platform.

In Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition, I wrote how the competition was won by this bridge.

Could a factory-built bridge like this be used at Croy station?

Looking at the Google Map, it might even be possible to fit the bridge between the two overhead gantries for the electrification, which are visible!

It appears to me, that Network Rail’s competition has come up with an adaptable and very practical design.

April 17, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Uddingston Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Uddingston station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current bridge,

This Google Map shows the station.

Note that Uddingston station has a fair amount of car parking, that is arranged on both sides of the tracks.

So if a traveller commutes or goes shopping in Glasgow, they have to cross the bridge at least once on their two journeys.

Installing Step-Free Access

In Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition, I wrote how the competition was won by this bridge.

Could a factory-built bridge like this be used at Uddingston station?

I think, due to space limitations, it might need to replace the current footbridge.

The advantage of placing it in the same position, is that the lift on the Northern side is close to the disabled parking spaces.

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Beaconsfield Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Beaconsfield station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current bridge,

This is a Google Map of the station.

Note these points about Beaconsfield station.

  • There is a large multi-story car park alongside the London-bound platform
  • There are entrances on both sides of the railway.
  • The station is in a deep cutting and the paths down to the station could be easier. But this seventy-one-year-old managed them!
  • Currently, three trains per hour (tph) call at the station in both direction in the Off Peak, wwith more in the Peak.
  • There is space between the current two tracks for an avoiding line.
  • The platforms are very long, although I would prefer them to be wider.

The station also has the problem of many stations used by shoppers going to a nearby large city. Many travellers come home in the evening carrying a lot more, than they left with.

So do travellers want to cross a bridge without lifts carrying heavy, bulky or just plain awkward parcels, to get back to their car?

I’m fairly certain that a bridge at this station might encourage more travellers to use the train rather than their car for a trip to London.

So I can certainly understand, why it is on Network Rail’s list.

Installing The Step-Free Access

I think that this could be one of those stations, where a solution similar to that at Slough station can be used, where the old bridge was given a good refurbishment and a new step-free bridge was installed on the other side of the station entrances.

This picture, which was taken from the original bridge,  shows the new step-free bridge at Slough station.

It is a good design philosophy, which has advantages.

  • During the installation of the new bridge, the station can be fully operational.
  • Able-bodied travellers can choose their best route.
  • Two bridges have a higher capacity than one.
  • It is unlikely both bridges will be out of action at the same time.
  • The only extra cost will be refurbishing the existing bridge.

In Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition, I wrote how the competition was won by this bridge.

So could a factory-built bridge like this be installed on the Eastern side of the station buildings?

This enlarged Google Map shows the Eastern end of the station.

Consider.

  • If the bridge were to be placed with the lifts on the Eastern side, the lift on the London-bound platform would be conveniently close to the disabled parking bays.
  • It would also mean, that travellers with walking difficulties or encumbered by heavy cases or young children, could get in the rear coach at Marylebone and be ideally placed for the bridge to get to the car-park.
  • Note that the main taxi office is placed for trains from London.
  • More able travellers could use either route, depending on where they were going.

Beaconsfield could be a station, with step-free access of the highest quality.

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Luton Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Luton station is on the list.

These pictures show the station.

Without doubt, this is the worst station, I’ve found so far in an important town, that is to be made step-free.

There is nothing of any architectural merit at all in this station.

Will Abellio East Midlands Railway Improve Their Service To Luton?

Currently, Luton station has the following.

  • Full electrification, which is being upgraded to a high standard for 125 mph running.
  • Platforms long enough to accommodate Thameslink’s 242 metre long twelve-car Class 700 trains.
  • The Class 700 trains are already fitted for working with digital signalling and this will be added to all trains.

It certainly treats trains better than it does passengers.

From December 2020, the following trains will run through Luton station.

  • Two trains per hour (tph) to/from Corby, which will be 240 metre long twelve-car electric trains in the Peak. Why not in the Off Peak?
  • Two tph to/from Leicester and Nottingham
  • Two tph to/from Leicester, Derby, Chesterfield and Sheffield

At the present time, only the single Corby service stops at Luton.

From 2022, East Midlands Railway will be running new bi-mode trains through the station.

  • For compatibility with the electric trains to Corby and to make full use of long platforms, I suspect that these trains could be up to 240 metres long.
  • They will have a larger capacity, than the current Class 222 trains.
  • They will effectively be electric trains between London and Market Harborough, where the electrification ends.
  • They will have fast acceleration and smooth regenerative braking, because of the electric power.
  • They could have step-across access between train and platform.

As Luton station is electrified and has long platforms, these trains will be able to stop at Luton (and Luton Airport Parkway) in minutes.

Network Rail intend to make Luton station step-free by 2024.

The improved access will give easier connections between the expresses and Thameslink, and entry/exit to the station.

I can see several trains per hour stopping at Luton.

Conclusion

If money was no object, this station should be totally rebuilt.

But money is an object, so the architects will be struggling.

But by 2024 at the latest and possibly a couple of years earlier Luton station could be sorted for passengers and handling well upwards of a dozen 240 metre long high capacity trains in every hour.

April 15, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Petts Wood Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Petts Wood station is on the list.

These pictures show the station.

It was built in 1928 and it is of rather an eccentric design. Not only are there steep steps from the two island platforms, but there are steps up to the bridge.

This is a 3D Google Map of the station.

After visiting and looking at the station for the best part of an hour and seeing these images, there appears to be no obvious solution to making this a step-free station.

At many stations needing step-free access, the solution is to build a new modern bridge with step-free access further down the platform. If at Petts Wood station, this were to be done, there is then the problem of  connecting the new bridge to the station square and the ticket office.

Morrisons supermarket and the gardens of the houses are in the way.

The only solution is probably to replace the current steel bridge with a new one with lifts at each end and to each platform. But in a station that handles over two million passengers a year that would cause tremendous disruption.

I will watch out for the solution that is applied at this station. It will need to be very innovative.

April 10, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Northallerton Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Northalleron station is on the list.

This 3D Google Map shows the station.

Currently to cross the tracks, there is a subway with a steep ramp.

Installing Step-Free Access

In Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition, I wrote how the competition was won by this bridge.

So could a factory-built bridge like this be installed on the wide platforms?

April 10, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Crowborough Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Crowborough station is on the list.

This Google Map shows the 3D image of the station.

Note.

  • The current bridge is in the North East corner of the map.
  • The platforms were lengthened and refurbished in 2016 to accept ten-car trains.

Crowborough would appear to be a typical well-build ant managed coutry station.

Installing Step-Free Access

In Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition, I wrote how the competition was won by this bridge.

I think there are three options for using a factory-built bridge like this at Crowborough station.

  1. The new bridge replaces the existing bridge.
  2. A new bridge is placed in a different position and the old one is demolished.
  3. A new bridge is built in addition to the current bridge.

In my view, if the condition of the old bridge is good enough, the third option is preferable.

 

April 10, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Grays Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Grays station is on the list.

These pictures show the station.

Note.

  1. The stopping trains from London arrive in a long bay platform 3.
  2. There are exits on both sides of the tracks.
  3. There is a subway under the tracks.
  4. There is a bridge over the tracks outside the station.
  5. The station only handles four trains per hour in both directions.

This Google Map shows the layout of the station.

Note that the main platforms can take twelve-car trains.

Installing Step-Free Access

According to a station guy, it will not be easy to add lifts to the subway and a step-free bridge will be installed.

  • The subway is narrow and two wheelchairs probably couldn’t pass.
  • There also appears to be enough space for a bridge.
  • The bridge could probably be placed either side of the main station building.

In Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition, I wrote how the competition was won by this bridge.

So could a factory-built bridge like this be installed at Grays station?

Installing such a bridge, would not need the subway to be closed, so overall the station could handle more passengers needing to cross the tracks.

This would not appear to be the most difficult of installations.

April 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment