The Anonymous Widower

Bank Junction Goes Buses And Cyclists Only

On Monday, the 22nd of June 2017, the City of London brought in an order making the busy Bank Junction buses and cyclists only between seven in the morning and seven in the evening from Monday to Friday.

I took these pictures soon after ten in the morning.

The first few pictures were taken from the top of a Routemaster bus on Route 21, as it travelled from where I live across the city to London Bridge station.

Note.

  • Most drivers seemed to be avoiding the area.
  • The City of London Police were telling drivers, but didn’t appear to be ticketing anybody.
  • Much of the congestion seemed to be caused by half-empty polluting Tour Buses.
  • One pedestrian was moaning that he couldn’t use his car to get around the City.

Overall, it appeared to be a calm start.

The Upgrade Of Bank Station

I have only shown the area on the surface, but under the ground around Bank Junction, a massive construction project is starting in the City of London’s twin goals of more and better office accomodation and transport links.

Bank station is getting a major upgrade, which will include.

  • In The New Tunnel Under Bank Station, I wrote about an upgraded pedestrian tunnel that crosses the area.
  • In Between Bank And Cannon Street Station, I wrote about how Bloomberg are helping develop a new step-free entrance to the Waterloo and City Line and Bank station, which will open by early 2018.
  • A new Northern Line tunnel to create more space on the platforms and increase frequency on the line.
  • The station weill receive a forty percent increase in capacity.
  • Full step-free access with thirteen new escalators and three new lifts.
  • A new entrance to Bank station opposite Cannon Street station.
  • Two North-South moving walkways.
  • Some of the £600million project cost will be funded by oversite office development.
  • Hopefully, much of the work will be finished by 2021.

There’s more in this article in the Guardian, which is entitled Bank station upgrades point to London’s bigger, busier future.

Bank Station And Crossrail

You may wonder, why if Bank station is so important, that Crossrail doesn’t call and Crossrail 2 won’t either.

It may not, but the Central Line will have good connections to Crossrail at Stratford, Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations.

So passengers for Bethnal Green, Bank, St. Paul’s, Chancery Lane and Holborn will change from Crossrail to the Cwntral Line at a convenient station.

In addition, Crossrail will feed passengers into loops in the District, Hammersmith and City and Jubilee Lines.

Travellers will pay their money and take their choice.

Other Developments At Bank

I wouldn’t be surprised to see more pedestrian routes linking the City stations of Bank, Cannon Street, Fenchurch Street, Liverpool Street and Moorgate; both on the surface and possibly underground.

I would also make sure that all buses in the centre of London are low-emission vehicles. That certainly doesn’t apply to those polluting and jam-creating Tour Buses and tourist coaches.

 

May 25, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail And Heathrow In Legal Dispute Over Fees

This title of this post is the title of an article in the Financial Times.

This dispute will run and run, as it is a gift to the lawyers.

As it is the greedy owners of Heathrow, won’t allow Crossrail trains to go directly to Terminal 5, which means you will have to use the Piccadilly Line or change trains.

But I think, that there are obstacles to Heathrow’s plans to rip-off passengers.

  • They still need to get Planning Permission for the Third Runway.
  • Transport for London will start to upgrade the Piccadilly Line in 2019 and new trains will arrive in 2022.
  • Heathrow Express will still only get you to Paddington at a rip-off price.

The other winner could be Gatwick, who seem to want to work with Transport for London, rather than fight with them.

May 22, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

A Class 345 Train Passing Stratford Station

I took these pictures of a Class 345 train, as it passed through Stratford station.

The pictures were taken from the pedestrian bridge that connects Eastfield to the station.

Note.

  1. Pantographs on cars two and six.
  2. Both pantographs are up.
  3. The rounded ends of each car.
  4. The generally smooth roof.

Points 3. and 4. are probably there to improve the aerodynamics.

I found this snippet on the Internet which gives the formation of the new Class 345 trains.

When operating as nine-car trains, the Class 345 trains will have two Driving Motor Standard Opens (DMSO), two Pantograph Motor Standard Opens (PMSO), four Motor Standard Opens (MSO) and one Trailer Standard Open (TSO). They will be formed as DMSO+PMSO+MSO+MSO+TSO+MSO+MSO+PMSO+DMSO.

So as both PMSO cars are there, I would assume that the current seven-car trains are two MSO cars short of a full-train.

The power cars/total cars ratio will be as follow.

  • Seven-car train – 0.86
  • Nine-car train – 0.89

Could this mean that the full nine-car trains will accelerate faster?

I suspect Bombardier know a lot about passenger behaviour in walk-through trains running in the UK and London in particular, as London Underground’s S Stock and London Overground’s Class 378 trains have similar layouts, with all and eighty percent of the cars powered respectively.

If passengers even themselves out between the cars and most cars are powered, this must surely help the dynamics of the train.

Passengers too, probably have a better ride if they are spread out along the train.

It will be interesting to ride in a full train between Shenfield and London, to see how the Self Loading Cargo behaves.

 

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

Close Up To A Class 345 Train At Liverpool Street Station

These pictures of a Class 345 train, were taken in Liverpool Street station.

I also had a chat with a group of drivers.

  • The drivers find the trains well-built, quiet and fast.
  • One driver said they were effectively two half trains.
  • Drivers seemed enthusiastic or jealous depending if they’ve driven one.
  • Greater Anglia’s drivers were crawling all over the cab!
  • There is masses of space under the trains.
  • They are virtually silent as they move off!

The services start on Tuesday, the 23rd of May.

May 18, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Class 345 Trains Really Are Quiet!

This morning I was sitting waiting on Platform 8 at Stratford station.

Platform 8 is separated from Platform 9 by just two tracks, so you notice a train, when it goes through Platform 9 at speed.

Usually, the trains that go through Platform 9 at speed towards Liverpool Street station are Class 321 trains or rakes of Mark 3 coaches oulled by a Class 90 locomotives.

Today, a new Class 345 train went through and the level of noise was extremely low compared to other trains.

Bombardier have applied world class aviation aerodynamics to these trains. Particularly in the areas of body shape, door design, car-to-car interfaces, bogies and pantographs.

Remember too, that low noise means less wasted energy and greater energy efficiency.

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

Class 345 Trains At Stratford Station

I was waiting on Platform 8 at Stratford station and I was able to take these pictures of two Class 345 trains going through the station.

They were not in passenger service, but probably running up and down for purposes of driver training and showing off!

As you can see I was fairly close to the train that passed through Platform 8. The pass left me with the impression that these trains are rather quieter than the Class 315 trains currently working through Platform 8.

Quietness And Aerodynamics

I suspect that this quietness could be down to the better aerodynamics of the modern train and the fact that it was not carrying any passengers.

Remember too, that Bombardier build airliners, so have the various parts of the train, seen the inside of a wind tunnel?

Looking at other photos of the Class 345 on the web, it would appear that especial care has been taken around the join between the articulated carriages, but no-one has published a close-up yet.

One Or Two Pantographs?

I didn’t look and on a crowded platform, it would have been difficult to see, but was the train running on one or two paragraphs?

As pantographs are a source of noise, running on one would be quieter.

They Are Long Trains

As I left Stratford, on the North London Line, a Class 345 train was stationary to the West of Stratford. One impression it gave was that of length.

But then this seven-car train is about one hundred and sixty metres long or the same length as an eight-car Class 315 formation.

Some Videos

Video of the Class 345 trains are starting to appear.

Note.

  1. The first video shows some internal details through the windows.
  2. In the second video both pantographs are up.
  3. You can clearly see the articulated sections between cars.

The first video does raise the question that Crossrail might be extended to Southend Victoria station.

May 16, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Forest Gate Station – 15th May 2017

These pictures of Forest Gate station, shows that the three lift towers have been installed.

 

I think the pictures might show that a walkway behind the station building will connect to the three lift towers and staircases beside them.

I also suspect that quite a lot of the walkways, lifts and stairs at Manor Park, Seven Kings and Forest Gate stations will be built from the same factory-made components.

May 16, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Seven Kings Station – 15th May 2017

In Before Crossrail – Seven Kings, I said of Seven Kings station that This Could Be A Good Station  and gave it a rating of 6/10.

These pictures show the station.

The final design of Seven Kings and Manor Park stations would appear to be very similar.

  • I didn’t take any of the inside of Seven Kings, as both stations are a clean design featuring lots of LED lights.
  • The layout of the lifts and stairs could be similar.

In addition the brickwork at Seven Kings station appears to be being used as a feature.

 

May 15, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Gidea Park Station – 15th May 2017

In Before Crossrail – Gidea Park, I said of Gidea Park station that The Bridge Is Falling Down and I gave it a reasonable score of  6/10

Today, I found that a lot of work had been done on the bridge.

The bridge still needs to be finished, although it is more solid now,  and some detailed work like information screens and signs need to be installed.

May 15, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Manor Park Station – 15th May 2017

In Before Crossrail – Manor Park, I likened Manor Park station to A Ruin With Serious Issues and gave it a score of 1/10.

I also said.

Manor Park is very unusual architecturally. I do wonder if the Luftwaffe tried to demolish the station.

Perhaps the builders just ran out of money and couldn’t afford to put in windows.

With hindsight, I think I was being generous with one point.

But these are the pictures I took today.

The builder is certainly not our friend Jerry.

When my train arrived, I stepped out close by the driver’s cab. I was surprised to see that half the old station had disappeared and it must have shown, as the driver asked me if I was OK!

I certainly was and it looks like the builders and the architects are well on the way to turning one of London’s worst stations, into one of the better.

  • Judging by the position of the gate line on the South side of the Ticket Hall, it will lead to a series of passages to the stairs and the lifts to the platforms.
  • I particularly liked the use of strips of LED lights to illuminate the Ticket Hall and the area outside the doors.
  • The staff seem to have a good view of the front glass doors from the Ticket Counter.
  • It looks to me that any bits of the old station that there were good reasons to keep, have been kept.
  • It could be a very welcoming station, that I suspect Transport for London hopes will attract a lot of new passengers.
  • I was told that the lifts are only a couple of months away.

Importantly with my Project Manager’s hard hat on, it would appear that they have managed to create much of the new station without too much disruption.

May 15, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment