The Anonymous Widower

Selby 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.

Selby station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current bridge,

The existing pedestrian bridge has the following.

  • Steep stairs at both ends.
  • No provision for step-free access.

he bridge does appear to be in good condition.

Possible Electrification Through Selby Station

Perhaps most importantly, the current bridge could be too low for 25 KVAC overhead electrification to be erected underneath the bridge.

Although, it might be possible to lower the track or use one of Network Rail’s proven solutions to squeeze the electrification underneath.

At present though, it seems unlikely that the route through Selby will be electrified, due to the problem of the Selby Swing Bridge and Government policy.

Installing Step-Free Access

It could be feasible to add lifts to the existing footbridge, but it doesn’t solve the problem of the steep stairs.

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 be installed at Selby station?

This 3D Google Map shows Selby station.

The platforms to the South of he footbridge are wide and there is lots of space.

Could the new bridge be installed there?

June 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Garforth 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.

Garforth station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current bridge,

This Google Map shows the station.

Leeds is to the West and York is to the East.

The Commuter Parking Problem

Like other stations in my exploration of some of the stations going step-free in the list, Garforth station is not ideal for commuters, who need step-free access.

The car park is ideally-placed for those travelling to work in Leeds.

  • The car park is currently free to rail users and after parking, you are ready to get a ticket and catch a train.
  • Passengers can if they need buy a ticket in the Ticket Office or a machine, if they need one.
  • Then without much ado, you just walk onto the platform and await the train for Leeds.

Coming back from Leeds is the problem.

  • The train arrives in the opposite platform.
  • To get to your car, you need to walk to the back of the train and cross over the iron footbridge to the other platform.

It is not an efficient procedure and it will be difficult, if you’re in a wheel-chair, are pushing a child or children in a buggy or you are trailing a heavy case.

To complicate the problem at Garforth station, the bridge must also be used to get to and from buses from the Leeds-bound platform.

A step-free route across the railway, with a higher capacity than the present bridge, is needed.

Replacing The Existing Bridge

The existing bridge could be replaced with a new brick-and-concrete structure with steps and lifts.

  • But this would effectively close the station for as long as it takes to rebuild the new bridge.
  • It would also need a temporary bridge or some other means of crossing the railway to be erected, during the construction period.

Sometimes, minimising the disruption a project creates, is a major part of the project costs.

Building A Second Bridge

Suppose though a second bridge was built at another position in the station.

It would have steps and lifts.

Once the new bridge is complete, the original bridge could either restored to create extra capacity or demolished.

This simple sequence means the following.

At all time, until the new bridge opens, there is as much capacity as there is now!

After the new bridge opens, there is extra capacity and step-free access.

The building of the second bridge, doesn’t disrupt trainms or passengers to any great extent.

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, towards the York end of at Garforth station?

If it could, it would have the following advantages.

  • Quality should be good for a factory-built bridge.
  • Work on site would be minimised.
  • The bridge could be delivered and assembled from the railway.

Costs might be more affordable.

June 3, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Todmorden 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.

Todmorden station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current subway,

This is a Google Map of the station.

Note how the railway clings to the hillside and is hemmed in by roads and other buildings.

As the pictures show, access to the platforms is by means of a subway under the railway and steep steps to the platforms.

An Increasingly Busy Station

For the last few years, there has been a continuous increase in the number of trains through the station.

I wonder, if on some journeys across the Pennines, there is a change at Todmorden, where the Blackburn and Leeds services to Manchester Victoria connect.

As this could require a platform change at Todmorden, you only want someone in a wheelchair to try to use Todmorden as an interchange and you get delayed trains at best and God knows what, at worst.

Manchester Airport Services

Under Future Services in the Wikipedia entry for Todmorden station, this is said.

New through services to Chester, Manchester Airport and Liverpool Lime Street (marketed under the “Northern Connect” brand)

Passengers to Manchester Airport, will be more likely to have heavy luggage, which could be difficult at the station.

Installing Lifts

More trains and passengers will inevitably lead to more calls for step-free access.

The solution to step-free access is probably to put a lift to each platform from the subway.

There also appears to be plenty of space on the pltforms for the lifts.

It might not be the easiest installations, as it looks like the station is built from solid Pennine stone.

Conclusion

Todmorden station needs step-free access and with good design can probably be added without too much difficulty.

June 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

Daisy Hill 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.

Daisy Hill station is on the list.

These pictures show the station.

This Google Map shows the station.

Whilst I was at Daisy Hill, I spoke to a couple who used the station regularly, who told me the following.

  • The station needed step-free access.
  • The station had been recently decorated and that the platforms were being extended.
  • The local kids would get in and muck about in the lift.
  • There is a lot of new housing to be built locally.

My own observations are.

  • The steps are long, but swell-hand-railed.
  • The station is in generally good condition.
  • The Google Map shows that platforms have been longer in the past.

Surprisingly, the couple hadn’t heard that the station is to be made step-free.

Installing Step-Free Access

From the pictures, that I took, it looks like a single lift could be placed between the street and platform levels.

It would probably be tucked into the angle of the building.

This arrangement is not the most difficult of designs and lifts have been incorporated into stations like this, many times.

Conclusion

This station will be greatly improved by a single lift.

As to the fact, that the couple I spoke to, hadn’t heard of the step-free access, I’ve heard this at other stations on the list.

Network Rail need to sort their publicity.

 

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

Hillside 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.

Hillside station in Liverpool, is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current station building, which is on a bridge.

This 3D Google Map shows the station.

Note.

  1. The station appears to have a large forecourt.
  2. The stairs to the platforms have thirty-two steps.
  3. There could be enough space for lifts outside the platforms.

But will a simple solution, be able to cope with major events like the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale?

Perhaps something more radical, but very possible will be done.

One idea, could be to extend the station building at both ends.

  • A set of wide safe stairs and a lift could provide direct access from the street to the platform in the extensions.
  • Once installed, the original stairs could be removed.

There are certainly possibilities for an architect to develop a solution to cope with the biggest events.

June 2, 2019 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

St Michaels 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.

St. Michaels station is on the list.

These pictures show the current station.

St Michaels station, like Hunts Cross station, has rather unusual long shallow angle ramps, with steps.

This 3D Google Map shows the station.

Note.

  1. It is a well-appointed and well-maintained station with a Ticket Office, a toilet and cycle storage and hire.
  2. Car parking is very limited.
  3. But the station is designed for pedestrians, cyclists and visitors
  4. The station has a rather chequered history, being closed in 1972, only to be reopened six years later.
  5. I think the design of the ramps is a good example of independent Liverpudlian thinking, which often ignores conventional practice.

The ramps were built for International Garden Festival in 1984, the site of which is shown on this second Google Map.

St. Michaels station is in the top-right corner of the map.

The International Garden Festival site has since been updated and 1300 new houses are being built on the site.

Adding step-free access to the station, will surely be a big asset to the area.

Preparation For Class 777 Trains

Note that St. Michaels station has been updated to allow step-free access  between the new Class 777 trains and platform.

According to a fellow traveller, it had been done at night with little inconvenience to passengers.

Installing The Lifts

I would suspect, that the two new lifts could be installed in the space currently occupied by the two disused stairways.

Conclusion

This is the type of station that needs step-free access.

  • It will make nearby developments more desireable.
  • It will facilitate walking with children and for those in wheelchairs.
  • It will increase traffic at the station.

I would also suspect the lifts can be added without too much disruption to the travelling public.

I also think there a lesson in the chequered history of St. Michaels station.

Next time a station or even a whole line has to be closed, make sure that it can be reopened, if necessary in the future. To many useful stations like Horden and Maiden Lane have been reduced to rubble. The former is being rebuilt and many believe the latter is needed.

 

June 2, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hunts Cross 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.

Hunts Cross station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current bridge.

Hunts Cross station, like St. Michaels station, has rather unusual long shallow angle ramps, with steps.

This 3D Google Map shows the station.

It may be unusual, but I suspect a conventional lift tower on each platform would make the station fully step-free.

Note.

  1. The station is Grade II Listed and is described as”A good example of the stations built for the Cheshire Lines Committee.”
  2. The ramps and bridge look to be in excellent condition and could be reasonably recent. Some repainting was actually in progress.
  3. For those that are in need of a drink, after climbing the ramps, there is a handy pub called the Waiting Room. It was busy, when I went to the station.
  4. As well as providing step-free entrance and exit to the station, the lifts would provide step-free interchange for passengers from Manchester needing to transfer to Merseyrail.
  5. Passengers arriving at the station, who need to go to Manchester, would do as they do now and walk across the platform.
  6. Do the last two pictures in the gallery show that the bridge was built or has been modified for lifts to be added? The bridge seems to have a lower wall, which could be removed.
  7. There may be some adjustments needed to the path that Links the station entrance to the bridge.

I’m also pretty certain, that the layout of the station, would allow works to be done, whilst the station is in full operation.

Preparation For Class 777 Trains

Unlike most other stations, that I saw on on the Merseyrail network, work appears to be outstanding to create level access between the new Class 777 trains and platform.

Future Electrification

The bridge would appear to be high enough to clear any future 25 KVAC electrification.

Conclusion

This shouldn’t be the most difficult of projects, unless the Heritage Lobby get upset.

The only problem, I can see would be, it might attract more passengers and create a need for a larger car park.

June 2, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hither Green 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.

Hither Green station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current bridges,

Like Petts Wood station, which I wrote about in Petts Wood Station To Go Step-Free, Hither Green station is a rather unlovely assemblage.

  • It has all the qualities of the worst corrugated iron buildings.
  • There are five flights of steep stairs.
  • There are two separate bridges.
  • Entry to and exit from the station are from a subway, that links to Platforms 4 and 5.
  • To access Platforms 1,2, 3 and 6, a bridge must be used.
  • I suspect that some interchanges may need crossing both bridges.

This Google Map shows the station.

Note the three pairs of tracks, with six platforms and two bridges.

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 be installed at Hither Green station?

This bridge has the great advantage, that it can be installed without closing the existing bridge.

This Google Map shows the South Eastern section of the station.

Could two bridges linked ny an aerial walkway across the woods be added beyond the covered parts of the station?

Some interchanges would be a walk of perhaps a hundred metres, but they would be fully step-free.

The rest of this terrible station would be left untouched and could be gradually improved in the future.

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Seven Sisters 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.

Seven Sisters station is on the list.

These pictures show the current station.

It is a nightmare.

  • There are two London Overground platforms on a viaduct and three deep-level ictoria Line platforms.
  • The Overground platforms are accessed by stairs although there is one up escalator and provision was made for another, although it was never installed.
  • The Victoria Line station is double-ended with escalators and steps which must be negotiated by all passengers.
  • Rabbits would probably feel at home in the warren of tunnels of the Underground station.
  • The three subway entrances on Tottenham High Road all have just steep steps.

If ever there was a station designed by a committee of bean counters, with no children or disabilities and rail experience, it is Seven Sisters station.

Extra Pressures

Other factors will come into play in the next few years.

Tottenham Hotspur

As Seven Sisters station is the nearest Underground station to the ground, a lot of supporters walk to matches and other events along Tottenham High Road.

White Hart Lane station is being rebuilt, with increased capacity and full step-free access, so hopefully, passengers on match days at Seven Sisters station will decrease.

But the obvious route to the ground from Euston is probably to take the Victoria Line and walk from Seven Sisters station.

With the new station at White Hart Lane, there may even be an increase in interchange passengers at Seven Sisters station.

Crossrail

In any London railway scheme, Crossrail is the elephant in the room.

Will passengers between Tottenham and Enfield and the West End and Heathrow take the Overground to and from Liverpool Street and then use Crossrail?

For many passengers with limited movement, it could be a better route to avoid Seven Sisters station.

New Trains On The Overground

Hopefully, new Class 710 trains will start to arrive on the Overground this year.

As all new trains do, these will increase the number of passengers through Seven Sisters station, especially as the trains may have a much larger capacity, than the existing Class 315 trains.

Extra Services On The Overground

Transport for London are planning to add extra services through Seven Sisters, which will surely bring more passengers wanting to interchange with the Victoria Line.

Increased Frequency On The Victoria Line

The Victoria Line currently runs at thirty-six trains per hour (tph) all day, with trains running between Walthamstow Central and Brixton stations.

I am sure that the line’s engineers would love to squeeze the magic forty tph out of the line, but the capacity of some stations couldn’t handle the extra passengers.

But one way or another, more passengers will be squeezed into Dear Old Vicky and as she always does, she will deliver and more passengers will want to interchange at Seven Sisters station.

Services Between Seven Sisters And Stratford Stations

The track exists to run services between Lower Edmonton and Statford stations, via Seven Sisters, South Tottenham and Lea Bridge stations.

With all the new housing being built in the area, I feel this could be valuable addition to London’s railways.

As South Tottenham and Lea Bridge stations have step-free access, this might be an improvement that takes pressure from Seven Sisters station, by giving passengers a new route to Crossrail.

Improving Access At Seven Sisters Station

It is obvious, that passenger numbers wil be increasing at Seven Sisters station will be increasing and there will also be a substantial increase in passengers wanting to change between the Overground and the Victoria Line.

So what can be done to solve the various problems?

The Tottenham High Road Subway Entrances

These really only give access to the Victoria Line via an escalator.

Lifts tom the subway could be provided, but that would just get passengers to and from the gate-line. After the gate-line, it is just escalators to the platforms with some steps thrown in for good measure.

Victoria Line Platforms

If you were pushing a buggy or in a wheelchair, your best route to the Underground is probably to take a bus from outside the station in Tottenham High Road to Tottenham Hale station and use the step-free access there, which in a couple of months will also apply to the trains as well.

I doubt we’ll see much improvement to the Underground station, until Crossrail 2 is built, which will probably be in the 2050s.

Overground Platforms

There is a side entrance on Seven Sisters Road, that was probably the original entrance to the station.

Making this route to the Overground platforms step-free, is probably the best way to at least do something positive, as regards step-free access at the station.

It could also be relatively easy to put an escalator on the Londonj-bound platform, where there are two parallel staircases.

Conclusion

This is a very important station, that needs to be made step-free.

But it will be very difficult.

 

 

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

Chalkwell And Southend East Stations To Go Step-Free

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

Currently, four c2c stations are not step-free.

Note.

  1. tph is trains per hour
  2. The large number is the number of passengers in 2017-18

As Chalkwell And Southend East stations are the two busiest stations without step-free access, they on the list of stations to be improved.

Chalkwell Station

The Current Station

These pictures show Chalkwell station and a selection of views from the path that runs on the seaward side of the station.

This Google Map shows the Eastern End of the station.

I hope it explains some of the pictures.

  • The Booking Office and gate-line are in the building identified by the red rail sign.
  • There are two bridges over the railway.
  • The Western bridge is for pedestrian access between the gate-line and the two platforms.
  • There are steep staircases down to the two platforms.
  • There is also a separate |Eastern bridge, which is to allow pedestrians, cyclists and dogs to cross the railway and access the coastal path, which runs South of the station.

Note too, that the station is very close to the sea.

Adding Step-Free Access At The Booking Office

I think that my pictures also flag up several problems of making the current pedestrian bridge step-free, either by complete replacement or the addition of lifts.

The Pedestrian Bridge At Station Has A Severe Case Of The Moths

Engineers and those that repair vehicle bodies, often refer to rust in steel structures as moth damage. The pedestrian bridge at Chalkwell station was built in 1933 and it appears to have suffered badly in the salty atmosphere close to the sea.

I do wonder, if a structural engineer has said that the bridge will need replacing within a few years.

It should be noted that the second bridge contains a lot more concrete, so this may be in less risk of collapse.

Would An Electric Lift Work Reliably In a Heavy Gale Blowing In From The Sea?

A knowledgeable station guy told me, that he believed the weather would stop a lift being installed on the seaward platform.

The Current Stairs Are Long And Very Steep

I managed them, but then I have a great advantage in that I’m only 61 Kg and can generally climb most stairs, even if I take it slower than some.

Is There Space To Add Lift Towers To The Current Pedestrian Bridge?

It might be possible by the Booking Office, but I suspect that there is not enough space on the seaward side.

The Pedestrian Bridge Would Be Difficult To Replace Whilst Keeping The Station Open

I think it would be nearly impossible to rebuild the bridge or replace it with a new one, whilst keeping the station open.

Why Not Replace Both Bridges?

It might be possible to replace the two bridges with a new single bridge in the position occdupied by the Eastern bridge, that is separate from the station.

But this would be very disruptive to both train passengers and to pedestrians wishing to cross the railway.

A Conclusion About Step-Free Access At The Booking Office

It will be difficult, if not impossible, to add step-free access to the station, whilst keeping it open to passengers, if step-free access is provided at the Booking Office.

Could A Separate Step-Free Bridge Be Built At The Western End Of Chalkwell Station?

This Google Map shows the Western end of the station.

Note that there is a steep slope up from the platform to the road that passes the station on the Northern side.

This picture was taken of the bridge at Maghull North station.

Note how there is a short bridge to the top of the cutting on the left hand side of the bridge.

  • Could a similar arrangement be used at Chalkwell station?
  • It should be possible to build a level path along the top of the slope.
  • The path could connect into the Booking Office behind the gate-line.

I feel this approach would have several advantages.

During Installation Of The New Step-Free Bridge, Platform Access Would Be As Now

Passengers would not be inconvenienced, whilst the new bridge was being installed.

After Installation Of The New Step-Free Bridge, Passengers Would Enter The Station Through The Same Doors And Gate-line

How convenient, especially for occasional travellers, who might be confused by the new layout.

The New Bridge Could Be Placed In The Most Convenient Place

The new bridge could be placed in the best place for the passengers and the optimum place for train loading.

The New Bridge Could Be Built With Minimum Disruption To Services

There would be a big advantage in that the bridge could be built over a working railway, as was the one at Maghull North station.

After Installation Of The Bridge, There Would Be Two Routes To Each Platform

If it were to be decided that  the old pedestrian bridge with its steep stairs were to be demolished, this could be done, at a safe and leisurely pace after the new bridge was deemed to be a good design.

But it may be decided to refurbish the old bridge to keep the two seperate routes.

The Winner Of The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition Could Be Used

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 Chalkwell station?

An extension from the bridge on one side, would give access to the path to the Booking Office.

Could this bridge be slightly lower, than the current bridge? I suspect, this bridge has been designed so that 25 KVAC overhead electrification can be fixed to the underside of the bridge deck using insulated fittings. The reduced height would make climbing up slightly easier.

Southend East Station

The Current Station

These pictures show Southend East station.

This Google Map shows the station.

There would appear to be plenty of space, but where will the bridge be placed?

If they decided to use a bridge based on the competition winner could probably be placed on the Eastern end of the platforms.

 

 

 

May 14, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment