The Anonymous Widower

Battersea Power Station’s Glass Elevator To Open Next Year

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Ian Visits.

It sounds like it will give a reason for some tourists to visit the area and it will be a balance to the cable-car in the London Docks.

Ian gives more details about what could be a new experience for Londoners and tourists.

April 2, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , | 2 Comments

A Short Cruise At Greenwich

I had taken the Emirate air-line to North Greenwich with friends and we decided we needed to go to the Cutty Sark.

So we took one of the Thames Clippers, from where I took these pictures.

About the pictures.

  • The first pictures show Greenwich Power Station, which generates electricity for Transport for London on a standby basis. It must be one of oldest power stations still producing electricity, although nowadays it doesn’t use coal, but six massive gas turbines.
  • The rest of the pictures show the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.

The trip between the two piers took only a few minutes.

A Tourist Route Between Bank/London Bridge/Tower of London And Maritime Greenwich

I do this route on a sunny day, when I perhaps want to show a guest around London.

  • Take the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) from Bank or Tower Gateway stations to Royal Victoria station.
  • Take the Emirate Air-Line across the Thames to Greenwich. Peninsular
  • North Greenwich isn’t overloaded with attractions, unless you’re seeing a show or event at the O2. But it’s getting better!
  • Take the Thames Clipper one stop to Greenwich. They run every twenty minutes.

If you want to be boring you can always catch the DLR to Cutty Sark station.

A few points.

Docklands Light Railway

The Docklands Light Railway is often thought by Londoners, commuters and visitors as a bit of a Cinderella.

However, like Cinderella she works hard all day and provides reliable and efficient transport, where the only alternatives are buses, bicycles,  taxis and Shank’s pony.

Just after the 2012 Olympics, I met a big cheese in Transport for London on a DLR train. He felt that the DLR had been the star in getting everybody to the games.

It must be one of the most successful light railways in the world!

And yet, no-one has ever thought to build another running on the same principles.

  • Mainly elevated track.
  • Mainly step-free stations
  • Universal step-free train-to-platform access.
  • High-visibility trains for passengers.
  • Trains every three or four minutes.
  • Friendly, interested, visible staff.
  • Driverless operation with a train captain looking after passengers and driving in emergency.
  • Contactless ticketing

Perhaps the lack of a full-time driver on every train, means that many other places would have massive union problems.

Emirates Air-Line

I’ve taken many people on the Emirates Air-Line and few haven’t been impressed.

The best time in my view is just as the sun sets, as these pictures show.

Note that unless you want a souvenir ticket, just use your bank card to touch-in and touch-out! My last one-way trip cost me £3.50 and appeared on my credit card statement labelled TFL TRAVEL CH Conractactless.

Thames Clippers

Since I moved back to London in 2010, the Thames Clippers have been continuously expanding and improving.

  • .Five new boats have been delivered since the Olympics.
  • Several piers have been improved, rebuilt or added in recent years.
  • Cpmtactless ticketing can be used for all services. Payments are labelled THAMES CLIPPERS.

It should be noted that if you are a holder of a London Freedom Pass, you can get a discount on tickets at a machine.

Plans exist for the following.

  • Extending the route to new housing developments at Barking and Thamesmead in the East.
  • A new pier at Silvertown in October 2019, which could have a walking or bus link to the City Airport.

I can also see the following.

  • Extensions to the West past Putney Pier to places like new housing at Brentford and Kew Gardens.
  • Further extensions to the East to support the massive housing developments.
  • Better connections to the London Underground, London Overground and National Rail stations.
  • More use being made of the Thames Barrier as a tourist attraction.
  • Thames Clippers becoming a river tube line.
  • Thames Clippers appearing on the Tube map, just as the Emirate Air-Line does!
  • A quick and easy connection between the City Airport, Canary Wharf and the Cities of London and Westminster being developed.

The last would surely appeal to City businessmen and those wanting to celebrate a special event.

If Venice can run a boat between the Airport, and St. Mark’s Square why can’t London do the equivalet?


Crossrail is the Elephant-in-the-Room, that will surely make its presence felt along the South Bank of the Thames, when it is extended to Ebbsfleet, as it surely will be.

  • There will be a short walking interchange at Woolwich between Crossrail and the Tghames Clippers.
  • If Crossrail build a station at Silvertown for London City Airport, this could be another interchange.
  • If Crossrail eventually terminates at Gravesend, there could even be possibilities that far East.

The possibilities of designing the Crossrail Extension in conjunction with the Thames could open up the river has as both a leisure attraction and a transport artery.


London will reach towards the sea, to further enhance and add space to the undoubted Capital of the World!




September 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Future Of The Emirates Air Line

I’ve always liked the Emirates Air Line, but I hadn’t used it for some time until today.

As I was in the area, I used it to cross the river, this morning.

I can make these observations.

The Weather Could Have Been Better

The cable-car needs sunny weather, although I did once go across in the snow.

The Cable-Car Wasn’t Busy

Compare today’s pictures wit this one taken in February 2014.

The Cable Car Was Busy

One of the attendants said it was becoming more of a tourist attraction rather than a means of transport.

This meant today, I had a car to myself and didn’t have to share it with several excited kids.

I think too, that the weather was against visitors and tourists now know the best times to use the cable car.

In my view, when the sun is setting is by far the best.

There Are A Lot More Skyscrapers

The last time I rode across was in March 2016, after which I wrote Riding The Cable Car.

There has been a lot of high rise building in the intervening years.

I suspect that as more and more skyscrapers are built, a ride between them all across the river will become more popular.

The Line

The Line is a sculpture trail, that runs from Greenwich to the Olympic Park. The cable-car has to be used by non-swimmers  to cross the river.

The Line is connected OR or close to London’s railways as follows.

  • Stratford – Central Line, Jubilee Line, DLR, London Overground, National Rail and in the future; Crossrail.
  • Stratford High Street – DLR
  • Pudding Mill Lane – DLR
  • Bromley-by-Bow – District and Hammersmith & City Lines
  • Star Lane – DLR
  • Canning Town – Jubilee Line and DLR
  • Royal Victoria – DLR
  • North Greenwich – Jubilee Line

All these connections mean that it can be done in sections.

The Tide

The Tide is an partly elevated five km route, that will be linked to the cable-car, that will be fully-open in two years.


Crossrail will affect all travel in East London and it connects at Stratford stayion to The Line.

I don’t know the route of the Tide, but it may make walking from the O2 to Woolwich sttion for Crossrail much more relaxing.

Although it doesn’t serve Greenwich directly, I believe Crossrail will draw more tourists to the cable-car.

Docklands Light Railway

The DLR is getting new trains in the next few years and an extension to Thamesmead.

As with Crossrail it will draw more tourists to the area and the cable-car.

Thames Clippers

These are expanding and they will bring more tourists to the cable-car.


These and other factors, such as tourists venturing out of the centre of London, will mean that more vistors will explore the East and use the cable-car.

May 11, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Riding The Cable Car

I hadn’t ridden the Emirates Air-Line for some time, so I thought it would be a good idea on Sunday.

As you can see, I got a car to myself.

I think the trouble with the line, is that it is pushed at tourists, who don’t realise that the cheapest way to cross it, is by the use of an Oyster card.

But it doesn’t appear to accept cashless payment, which as this is most of London’s preferred payment method, probably doesn’t help ridership.

Let’s face it, who in their right mind would use Oyster? I have a Freedom Pass, so I don’t need Oyster, but I do get peeved that I have to carry one with perhaps twenty pounds on it, just so I can use the cable-car.

March 20, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Emirates Air Line – 25th January 2015

I took these pictures today from the Emirates Air-Line.

It wasn’t very busy, but in some ways that is better, as you get a car to yourself.

January 25, 2015 Posted by | News | | Leave a comment

No Contactless Cards On The Emirates Air-Line

This is the welcoming sign you get at the Emirates Air-Line.

No Contactless Cards On The Emirates Air-Line

No Contactless Cards On The Emirates Air-Line

As there is talk that contactless cards are gradually taking over from Oyster, not accepting them, is a really good way to discourage ridership.

January 25, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Match Nineteen – Charlton 0 – Ipswich 1

Unlike Bournemouth, Charlton was only a short trip across the Thames. I actually crossed on the Emirates Air Line.

On The Emirates Air Line

On The Emirates Air Line

It was then a short ride on a 486 bus to Charlton station.

As I set out, I thought we might have had a chance of a win, but hopes were beginning to fade as a close fought match, which had produced 40 shots according to the BBC, was coming to the end.

But then substitute, Noel Hunt playing his first match for Ipswich, came on and a few minutes after suffering a blood injury, he managed to drill home his first goal for nearly two years.

We certainly all celebrated long after the match.

Getting home everything seemed to be locked solid, so I walked to Woolwich and got the ferry to my side of the River.

On The Woolwich Ferry

On The Woolwich Ferry

I wonder how many people have flown to a football match and then taking a ferry home.

At least, when I got home around five, I had the pleasure of knowing that Ipswich are now up to second in the Championship.

I also looked at the map after I got home.

The O2 To The Valley

The O2 To The Valley

Note the O2 in the top left, with North Greenwich station just below and The Valley in the bottom right, with Charlton station close by.

I would estimate that next time, I get stuck there, it will take about half-an-hour to walk to North Greenwich station for the Jubilee line.


November 29, 2014 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

No Contactless Bank Cards On The Emirates Air-Line

When I rode the Emirates Air-Line, I topped up my Oyster and I asked one of the guys there, if come September, I could use a contactless bank card.

No! As they’re not part of Transport for London.

Come on! That would surely incease ridership, as anybody could just turn up and go!

July 28, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

The Crossrail Site At Limmo Is Winding Down

From the Emirates Air-Line it looks like serious work s winding down at the Crossrail site at Limmo, where the tunnel boring machines; Elizabeth and Victoria, were inserted into a massive hole, to start their journeys to Farringdon via Canary Wharf.

The conveyors are still in place and a ship was there to be loaded with spoil to be taken to Wallasea Island.

Over the years it has been fascinating to see how how the work for Crossrail has started, increased and is now starting to finish, from the DLR and the cable car.

July 27, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The Cable Car Was Busy

The Emirates Air Line has been criticised for low usage lately.

The Cable Car Was Busy

The Cable Car Was Busy

However, this picture shows that the sun brings out the punters.

Later, I was able to have my first outdoor cup of tea.

My First Outdoor Drink Of 2014

My First Outdoor Drink Of 2014

In fact, the only problem was the breeze made it difficult to control the bills.

February 16, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment