The Anonymous Widower

Double Trouble For Southgate

Southgate is famous for its Underground station, which is Grade II* Listed.

Last night, there was an explosion, reported like this by Wikipedia.

On 19 June 2018, at around 19:00 BST there was an explosion at the entrance of the station, injuring five people.

Hopefully, everything will be fine!

And today, there is this report on the BBC, which is entitled World Cup 2018: England Manager Gareth Southgate Dislocates Shoulder.

That sound’s painful! Having met a few footballers, I suspect he’s being heavily teased.

 

 

 

June 20, 2018 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

World Cup Pub Quiz Qiuestion

Q: Why do the Icelandic team have the best teeth in the business?

A: According to Wikipedia, the manger; Heimir Hallgrímsson is a dentist!

June 16, 2018 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

England’s First Victory In The 2018 World Cup

This article on the BBC is entitled The Lawnmower Firm Planning World Cup Pitch Invasion.

This is said.

A business is working on its largest ever order – supplying lawnmowers for the World Cup in Russia.

Allett Mowers is providing 185 machines to stadia.

We may not be the best at football, but we could be the best at mowing.

June 14, 2018 Posted by | Sport, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

OLE Upgrades Complete At Anglia As Part Of £46m Transformation

The title of this article, is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

I hope this is actually the case.

  • I’ve had enough of rail replacement buses, when trying to get to football at Ipswich on a Saturday.
  • For at least the last three years, I’ve probably seen more away matches, than those at Portman Road.
  • Three hours each way to Ipswich, effectively means, the only pleasurable thing you do is see the match.
  • This work has probably hit attendances at both Norwich and Ipswich.
  • I’ve renewed my season ticket fort next season, but if it is as thin on home matches as this one has been, it will be my last season of travel.

What puzzles me, is why can’t Network Rail adjust their work schedule, so that at least important matches like the two Derbies have trains?

But then you wouldn’t rate Network Rail highly for Project Management!

 

May 8, 2018 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Camp Hill Line Behind St. Andrew’s Stadium

I took these two pictures, as I left St. Andrew’s Stadium after the Ipswich game.

Note the railway track of the Camp Hill Line, with a bridge over it.

This Google Map shows the stadium.

Note the railway line behind the stand on the left.

As it is planned to reopen the Camp Hill Line to passenger services, if Birmingham City were higher in the Leagues, this would surely expect a station to be built here.

March 31, 2018 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Is The World Cup In Russia Going To Be A Disaster For England?

A few weeks ago, I was travelling on a train to Southend and I was sitting opposite a guy about fifty.

He noticed my Ipswich Town bobble hat and we got talking about football.

Talk turned to the World Cup in Russia this Summer, after I said that I’d been to Moscow to support Ipswich about twenty years ago.

It turned out he was an analyst for one of the big betting firms and they felt from their research, that there were an awful lot of shenanigans being planned.

We parted by agreeing that the best place to watch the World Cup would be at home or in a friendly pub.

February 25, 2018 Posted by | Sport, World | , | Leave a comment

Everton’s New Stadium

This article on the BBC is entitled Everton agree deal for new stadium site.

This is said.

The Premier League club and landowners Peel Holdings have reached agreement on the Bramley-Moore Dock site near the River Mersey.

This Google Map shows Bramley-Moore Dock and its relationship to Sandhills station.

Bramley Moore Dock is the dock at the end of the A5054.

There is also a second article on the BBC entitled Everton’s new stadium ‘could host Commonwealth Games’.

I suspect that depending if and which Commonwealth Games, Liverpool gets, then there will be a different plan of construction.

If it is 2022, as a stand-in for Durban, it would be sensible to go for solution similar to Manchester 2002, which did seem to work pretty well.

The BBC finishes the second article with this paragraph.

But, Liverpool has seen a few false dawns when it comes to massive regeneration projects – and stadiums – and there is the small issue of decent transport links to sort out before hoards of sports fans can be welcomed.

This second Google Map shows the location of the stadium, the A5054 and the Merseyrail’s Northern Line.

I estimate that from the water in the dock to where the Northern Line crosses the A5054 is about five hundred metres. So if a station were to be built at the  crossing point, walking distances would be of the same order as Arsenal, Aston Villa, Charlton, Rotherham and Tottenham.

Plans for a new station at Vauxhall, which is an area just to the South of the Bramley-Moore Dock, have been proposed. This is said in Wikipedia.

Vauxhall railway station is a proposed railway station in the Vauxhall area of Liverpool. If it is constructed it will be sited between Moorfields and Sandhills on the Merseyrail Northern Line. Construction of the new station was proposed in January 2017 by Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, as part of the city’s North Docks project and also Everton Football Club’s potential plans to build their new stadium in the area.

The current Off Peak frequency at Sandhills station, which would be the next station to the North, is as follows.

  • 4 trains per hour (tph) to Southport
  • 4 tph to Ormskirk
  • 4 tph to Kirkby
  • 4 tph to Hunts Cross via Moorfields & Liverpool Central
  • 12 tph to Liverpool Central (combined – 8 terminate there whilst 4 continue to Hunts Cross)

There will be few sports grounds with as good a train service as that, if a new station is built.

This Google Map shows Liverpool Waterfront between Bramley-Moore and Albert Docks.

Any European city, wouldn’t mess about and would run a tram along a historic waterfront like this.

It’s not as if there isn’t enough space as this picture looking North from behind the Liver Building shows.

A tram line could probably go down the middle of the dual carriageway. Especially, if like Birmingham’s new City Centre extension to the Midland Metro, it could be built without wires.

We shall see what happens!

 

 

March 26, 2017 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Barnsley Interchange Is One Of My Favourite Stations

Barnsley Interchange station is unusual in that it is a combined train and bus station, that seems to be well-positioned in the town.

There is only one real problem and that is like Lincoln station, it is a town centre station with a level crossing.

The other problem with the station, is that it is a steep walk up the hill to the Football Ground.

The only solution would be a tunnel under the hill with a large lift to bring you into the Ground.

I don’t think it woud be very affordable or practical.

There is a lot to like about the station and this Google Map shows the overall layout.

Note the level crossing at the South end of the station.

If you read the section on Services in the Wikipedia entry for the station, you’ll see that the station handles three or four trains per hour in both directions at times. The track layout on the Penistone Line doesn’t help, as this extract from Wikipedia describes.

Barnsley also marks the last continuous dual running track (except for parts) for trains heading towards Huddersfield, or the first continuous dual running track for trains heading towards Sheffield.

I suspect Network Rail and the Penistone Line Partnership have ideas for increasing capacity, but they’d really like the level crossing removed.

I did notice though, that trains in opposite directions, didn’t always seem to pass in the station, which is a technique that has been used in several places to cut the number of times crossings close.

Perhaps because of the single-track sections on the Penistone Line this is not possible.

But other factors will help.

  • Northern’s new Class 195 trains will probably handle the stops a couple of minutes faster, than the current Pacers.
  • As there are upwards of a dozen stops, this could save a lot of time and allow organising the passing of trains better.
  • There are some other level crossings, which might be removed.
  • Most of the line is single-track, but it does seem from my helicopter that the track-bed has been left wide enough to reinstate the original double-track.

So in a few years time with the new Class 195 trains, some track modifications and perhaps better signalling, a more frequent and better service might be possible.

 

 

 

 

March 11, 2017 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Football In The Fog

Surprisingly, the strongest team on the pitch; the fog, didn’t win this game.

The guy next to me was a teacher, whose duties included taking games, Never having been any good at ball games, I wouldn’t know, but he felt it was very difficult out there.

Strangely, Ipswich seemed to improve, when they substituted the blonde-harired Williams and two other lighter-skinned players, with three of a much darker hue in Bru, McGoldrick and Ward.

Perhaps, they were more difficult to pick out. After all, McGoldrick used his head to create one goal and score the other.

December 17, 2016 Posted by | Sport | , , | 2 Comments

An Illustration That Ipswich In Sixty Is Possible

I went to football at Ipswich today.

The match was a bit mediocre, but the result was the right one and Grant Ward scored a delightful goal.

Usually, after a three o’oclock kick-off, I try to get the fast 17:09 train back to Liverpool Street, where it is scheduled to arrive at 18:19 after two stops at Manningtree and Colchester. I can’t ever remember this train ever being later than more than a couple of minutes.

Today, instead of the usual rake of Mark 3 coaches pulled by a Class 90 locomotive, the train was a Class 321 electric multiple unit. I suspect the change of train was due to engineering works on the line North of Ipswich and the fact that London-Norwich services were being run as two separate services; London-Ipswich and Ipswich-Norwich.

From Colchester, which was left on time, after a stop of perhaps three minutes, the train ran non-stop to London, probably at about an average speed of 100 mph or nearly so.

I didn’t notice any slackening of speed at Shenfield, and after just 59 minutes, the train was passing through Stratford.

We eventually stopped outside Liverpool Street to wait for a platform at 64 minutes and finally stopped in platform 10 at Liverpool Street station at 67 minutes, three  minutes ahead of schedule.

This article in the East Anglian Daily Times, is entitled Faster trains to Ipswich as part of new franchise.

This is said.

Rail journeys between Ipswich and London will take, on average, 64 minutes from the introduction of the new timetable in 2019 once new “Stadler Flirt” InterCity trains are introduced on trains to the capital. At present the average journey time is 73 minutes.

That is more than the stated aim of the Great Eastern rail campaign to have services running to Ipswich in 60 minutes – but Abellio Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles said the last four minutes could only be shaved off journey times once Network Rail has carried out improvement work to the line.

So it looks like Abellio aren’t that far from 64 minutes with a nearly thirty-year-old British Rail designed and built Class 321 train.

  • Judging by the smooth ride all the way, I suspect that most of the track and overhead wires is now to a good standard.
  • Perhaps a minute or so can be saved in each of the two stops, by the better acceleration, braking and door systems of the new Stadler Flirts.
  • Better signalling and control of trains at Liverpool Street would surely save a couple of minutes.

Having seen a full station at Ipswich, when I arrived for the match, I suspect that work needs to be done at that station, to create more capacity for Cambridge, Felixstowe, Lowestoft and Peterborough trains, so that London-Norwich services are not slowed by full platforms at Ipswich.

But overall, I’m led to the conclusion, that Jamie Burles statement is substantially correct.

I suspect that once all of the trains on the line are 100 mph trains, with a fast 100-0-100 mph profile for stops, that we’ll be approaching that 64 minute average for trains between Ipswich and London.

I suspect for the magic 60 minutes to be obtained consistently by all trains, that the following will have to be done.

  • Enough extra platform space is created at Ipswich so that London-Norwich and London-Lowestoft services have exclusive use of the current platforms 2 and 3.
  • All electrification on the Great Eastern Main Line needs to be of a high standard and capable of handling regenerative braking.
  • Crossrail needs to be fully integrated with longer distance East Anglian Services.
  • The Southend to Shenfield Line needs to be updated, so it can reliably present and accept trains to fit the schedule at Shenfield
  • All trains are either Stadler Flirts or ombardier Aventras, with perhaps a few 100 mph trains awaiting replacement.
  • Liverpool Street station has enough platforms for the longer trains.

I suspect too, that Network Rail will have to do some smaller work, like lengthening some platforms, adjusting the signalling and adding a crossover.

With some work North of Ipswich, I suspect that Norwich in Ninety will be implemented at the same time as Ipswich in Sixty.

 

 

August 27, 2016 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , | 5 Comments