The Anonymous Widower

Are Greater Anglia Buying So Many Class 755 Trains, So They Can Run A Better Service During Constant Works On The Great Eastern?

Yet again, they were rebuilding the Great Eastern Main Line, so I didn’t get to football at Ipswich yesterday.

It’s not that I mind the buses, but it means two things.

  • I have to leave so early, that I can’t do my weekly shop before I go.
  • I also get back so late that I will miss Strictly on the television.

There is also the problem, that Ipswich is one of the worst places to find a gluten-free meal, unless you go to Pizza Express.

I often have my lunch before I travel or take it on the train from Leon or M & S.

For some time now, I’ve suspected that Greater Anglia have ordered a lot more Class 755 trains, than they need, based on a train-for-train replacement basis

It now becomes obvious why!

At weekends, they will link four-car trains together and run four trains per hour on the following routes.

  • Norwich to Cambridge
  • Ipswich to Cambridge

One train in four will continue to and from London after Cambridge.

On the other hand, it could be a plot by Norwich fans in Greater Anglia’s headquarters in Norwich to annoy Ipswich fans!

 

 

September 23, 2018 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moving Football From Hampden To Murrayfield Is Vandalism

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Scotsman.

I’m not bothered, as I doubt, I’ll ever go to Scotland to watch an important Scottish football match, that would be played at their National Stadium.

But, I have been to Hampden Park before.

I was there fifty years ago, when Spurs and Celtic drew 3-3 in the Glasgow Cup. I also suspect that the 91,000 plus crowd was the largest, I’ve ever been part of.

And I was at Hampden to see the athletics in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

I have no view on the historic aspects of the possible move, except that there might be an economic case.

And I also note, France, the Republic of Ireland and Wales all have a stadium, that is shared between football and rugby.

But then Germany and Italy don’t have a national stadium for football.

I can see another big argument between Edinburgh and Glasgow on this decision.

Other the last decade though, transport links between and to and from Scotland’s two major cities have changed.

  • There have been extensions to the road network across Scotland.
  • The rail lines are being electrified and new higher-capacity Class 385 trains are being delivered.
  • Passenger numbers at both Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports have grown.

So at least getting to either stadium is becoming easier.

It will be a difficult decision to call.

August 29, 2018 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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