The Anonymous Widower

Exclusive Interview: Eviation’s Co-Founder And CEO Omer Bar-Yohay

The title of this post, is the same as that as this article on Helicopter Investor.

As the title says, it is an interview about the Eviation Alice, with the CEO of the company behind the project.

It contains some interesting answers.

The Market

Omer Bar-Yohay made these points.

  • The US, where 70 percent of General Aviation happens.
  • Some interest from regional operators struggling with low margins. Have Eviation got the performance, range and capacity, in line with what regional operators can afford?
  • They were surprised to see the size of interest from freight operators.

Later he says that the current version can handle 2,400 pounds of freight, which is just over a tonne.

What is the value of a tonne of small packets, specialist seafood, agricultural product or medical supplies?

Autonomous Flight

The regulators or the market are not ready for it.

VTOL

There are a lot of other players , ideas and money looking at this.

Focused

Eviation Air seem to be very much focused on getting their plane in the air and to market.

Conclusion

If nothing else, Eviation Air seem to be a professional company and they have carefully researched what their unusual plane can and will do.

Transport is liberally sprinkled with odd ball ideas, that took advantage of radical thinking to create world beating products.

Consider the De Havilland Mosquito, Douglas Skyhawk, Hawker-Siddeley Harrier and Issigonis’s Mini.

There are also several absolute duds around, because companies got the technology wrong.

July 4, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Are Class 378 Trains Better For Canoodling?

A couple, who were probably married or in a long term relationship, judging by their body language were at it yesterday.

She was sitting on the perch seat by the door.

He was standing in front, facing her, whispering sweet nothings or his supper preferences in her ear, as the train with standing room only trundled towards Whitechapel.

You see this type of behaviour regularly.

Was encouraging it a design objective?

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

A Neat Cup-Holder On Chiltern Railways

The picture shows a  cup-holder on a Chiltern Railways’ train.

It is neat and well-designed.

It probably didn’t cost a fortune too!

 

 

April 24, 2019 Posted by | Food, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Beaconsfield 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.

Beaconsfield station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current bridge,

This is a Google Map of the station.

Note these points about Beaconsfield station.

  • There is a large multi-story car park alongside the London-bound platform
  • There are entrances on both sides of the railway.
  • The station is in a deep cutting and the paths down to the station could be easier. But this seventy-one-year-old managed them!
  • Currently, three trains per hour (tph) call at the station in both direction in the Off Peak, wwith more in the Peak.
  • There is space between the current two tracks for an avoiding line.
  • The platforms are very long, although I would prefer them to be wider.

The station also has the problem of many stations used by shoppers going to a nearby large city. Many travellers come home in the evening carrying a lot more, than they left with.

So do travellers want to cross a bridge without lifts carrying heavy, bulky or just plain awkward parcels, to get back to their car?

I’m fairly certain that a bridge at this station might encourage more travellers to use the train rather than their car for a trip to London.

So I can certainly understand, why it is on Network Rail’s list.

Installing The Step-Free Access

I think that this could be one of those stations, where a solution similar to that at Slough station can be used, where the old bridge was given a good refurbishment and a new step-free bridge was installed on the other side of the station entrances.

This picture, which was taken from the original bridge,  shows the new step-free bridge at Slough station.

It is a good design philosophy, which has advantages.

  • During the installation of the new bridge, the station can be fully operational.
  • Able-bodied travellers can choose their best route.
  • Two bridges have a higher capacity than one.
  • It is unlikely both bridges will be out of action at the same time.
  • The only extra cost will be refurbishing the existing bridge.

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 on the Eastern side of the station buildings?

This enlarged Google Map shows the Eastern end of the station.

Consider.

  • If the bridge were to be placed with the lifts on the Eastern side, the lift on the London-bound platform would be conveniently close to the disabled parking bays.
  • It would also mean, that travellers with walking difficulties or encumbered by heavy cases or young children, could get in the rear coach at Marylebone and be ideally placed for the bridge to get to the car-park.
  • Note that the main taxi office is placed for trains from London.
  • More able travellers could use either route, depending on where they were going.

Beaconsfield could be a station, with step-free access of the highest quality.

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition

The title of this post is the same as that of this page on the Network Rail web site.

This image from the page shows the winning design.

Obviously, it has several passenger friendly features.

  • Safe steps with double-handrails on both sides and a take-a-break step at halfway.
  • Lifts.
  • A covered bridge with good views of the station.

But what I like about it are these design and manufacturing features.

  • The width and height could be easily adjusted for different locations.
  • It could accommodate escalators.
  • Three- and four-platform bridges could follow the same theme.
  • It could be built in a factory and just lifted in a few pieces onto a prepared site.
  • Cost of an installation could be calculated on the back of an engineering envelop or fag-packet.

I also think it is one of those good designs, that will inspire its users and perhaps prompt younger people to take up design or engineering as a career.

A Network Rail Standard Footbridge

If this standard off-the-shelf design or something like it or better was available, how many stations could be given step-free access in the next few years?

As Network Rail sponsored this competition with RIBA, let’s hope they follow through their original initiative.

The footbridge could even have applications outside of the railway industry!

73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding

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

This is the first paragraph.

Selected stations will, subject to a feasible design being possible, receive an accessible route into the station, as well as to and between every platform.

It appears that £300million of additional funding will be used to create full step-free access at seventy-three stations.

Stations That Could Benefit From This Standard Bridge

I have visited several of the stations and I feel that a standard bridge approach could benefit these stations.

I shall add to this list, as I discover more stations, that are suitable.

 

 

April 10, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 22 Comments

Some Trains Only Have Door Controls On One Side Of The Double Door

On Saturday, I was on a very crowded train and needed to get out.

But I couldn’t as there were so many people in the doorway., that I couldn’t reach the door controls, which were only on one side.

Eventually, someone else pushed the button.

I noticed today, that Class 700 trains only have conmtrols on one side.

These buttons should be on both sides.

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

The Steps At Dalston Junction Station

Dalston Junction is a four-platform station and these are the only stairs at the station.

I think the design is excellent.

  • They serve all four platforms, so you can’t go the wrong way!
  • They are very wide, so have a high capacity.
  • There are effectively four handrails for those like me, who want or need to hold on.
  • Fit travellers who can lift their case, can use the stairs.
  • There is a landing half-way up.
  • The stairs are well-lit.
  • in 2017-2018, the stairs handled nearly six million passengers.
  • The small number of interchange passengers don’t need to use the stairs and walk between platforms on the level.
  • The steps are Transport for London’s typical low-slip design.
  • At the bottom of the staircase, there is a wide landing area with two train information displays and a 20-30 metre walks to the four platforms.
  • At the top of the staircase there is a wide lobby, with the wide gate-line in front of passengers coming up the stairs.
  • There is usually, a member of the station staff watching the passenger flows and answering any questions.

But above all there is a single lift about ten-twenty metres from the stairs, so avoiding the stairs is easy and obvious.

I have seen few stairs in stations as well-designed as these.

A few more general observations.

Wide Stairs With A Double Rail In the Middle

This design of stairs is being increasingly seen in London and around Europe.

In Stairs And A Lift At Cannon Street Station, I show a similar installation.

But there are loads like this monstrosity at Bethnal Green station in Before Overground – Stairs Not Fit For Purpose.

How many stations could be improved by widening the staircase?

Probably quite a few, but many staircases are constrained within solid walls.

Handrails

Transport for London generally use round and easy-to-grip handrails.

These are the best I’ve seen, which are on the Amsterdam Metro.

Some on British Rail-era stations are big and square and must be difficult for those with small or frail hands.

An Obvious Lift

At Dalston Junction, the lift is obvious as you approach the stairs.

But in some stations, the lifts are at the other end of the platform.

The Greenford Solution

These pictures show the solution at Greenford station.

Note.

  1. There is an up-escalator.
  2. A staircase,which is as wide as possible.
  3. There are three handrails with a low rail for those who prefer it.
  4. There is an inclined lift, which saves space.

I think we’ll see more step-free installations of this style.

Safety

I won’t comment on safety, as I don’t want to bring bad luck to the installations.

Conclusion

All those designing staircases and lift systems for stations, should be made to visit Dalston Junction and Greenford stations in the Peak.

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Matched Seats And Roof At London Bridge Station

These pictures show the recently-built roof and the newly-installed seats at London Bridge station.

 

Note.

  1. The first picture shows the seats that were installed on a temporary basis.
  2. The second picture shows a section of roof.
  3. The remaining pictures show the seats in various places in the station.
  4.  I like the tables for your coffee, tea or chocolate.
  5. I like the randomness of the placement on the entry to the station.
  6. They also stand out against the stone floor.

They are very different and brought a smile to my face.

April 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Good Design On The Amsterdam Metro

Sometimes, it’s good design that catches my eye as I roam around.

These pictures are from the Amsterdam Metro.

Most of the escalators I saw in The Netherlands had traffic lights and I like that. Stations in the UK don’t seem to have a policy about which side is up or down. Some shops also deliberately make their escalatoprs complicated, so you take a detour round the shop.

I would like to see a law, that all escalators (and ticket gates) had much better lights to show their direction of operation.

The wooden handrail must be the only one I’ve seen in a new station or building. Transport for London repairs old ones, but doesn’t seem to install new ones.

March 26, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Driver’s View Of Waterloo Re-Opened International Platforms.

I assume it’s a driver, as the Tweeter of this message has Driver in the name.

The feeling of space on the re-opened International side at London Waterloo is a small joy. Now it needs shops and a little vibrancy; still feels a touch clinical. But it’s getting there.

Criticism of the new platforms seems a bit thin, although some have said, it took Network Rail, a long time to get a plan together.

I wonder what the RMT think of the new platforms.

After all, the extra capacity will allow more trains to run, which will surely mean more staff.

February 12, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment