The Anonymous Widower

LED Lights Illuminate London’s Elizabeth Line

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on E & T Magazine.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Using LEDs to light up the stations, escalator shafts and concourses of the Elizabeth line was a bold move from Transport for London; especially as when they decided on its use back in the late 2000s, LED technology was yet to break into the lighting world.

These points are also made in the article.

  • The Elizabeth line is one of the first sub-surface infrastructure projects to be lit entirely by LEDs.
  • The decision to use the technology was based on industry evidence that its use will help reduce energy consumption and maintenance requirements.
  • The Crossrail team used the light-grey, matt-textured, glass-reinforced concrete lining of the station and escalator tunnels to reflect light onto the passenger areas.
  • The main lighting and the emergency lighting are incorporated in the wayfinding totems.

The article certainly explains how the excellent lighting was designed.

These pictures show some of the LED lighting on the Elizabeth Line.

Note that uplighters on the Underground are not new, as these pictures from Turnpike Lane station show.

They were installed in the 1930s and were also used on the Moscow Metro, where London Transport installed the escalators.

Lighting Can Calm Passengers

This is a paragraph from the article.

Both Kerrigan and Clements agree that the lighting infrastructure makes the Elizabeth line unique to all its predecessors seen across the London Underground and that they have met their goal to create a soothing environment to enhance the passenger experience. “We wanted to create a relaxed commuting environment that is the opposite to the poorly lit and cramped environment of the Central line, for example,” Clements admits. “And we believe that the lighting has a massive amount to do with this.”

Does this explain why passengers seem generally calm?

August 11, 2022 Posted by | Design, Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Passenger Behaviour On The Lizzie Line

The Elizabeth Line has been open for some weeks now and I am fairly certain it is true to say that I have yet to see any passenger behaviour, that even the most picky passenger would complain about.

I wonder, if this is partly down to the design of the stations, with wide platforms and passages and often two escalators in the direction passengers are travelling.

If you are not being jostled, as you are sometimes on the Underground, you’re surely less likely to react.

These pictures also show the wide entrances on the Central section.

Passengers do seem to get in and out without bumping into other.

August 11, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments

The Quality Of The Ride On The Lizzie Line

This morning I went from Moorgate station to Paddington station on the Lizzie Line.

I was in a virtually empty car and I could gauge a good estimate of ride quality.

In my opinion, the gold standard in the UK for some time has been the British Rail Mark 3 coach.

  • But Mark 3 coaches don’t always run on modern slab track, which must give a smoother ride.
  • Each track under London also has its own tunnel, so there is no buffeting, when you pass a train going in the opposite direction.
  • Acceleration is also very smooth, due to the high proportion of powered axles.

I am getting very close to naming the Class 345 train, as the new gold standard.

August 3, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The New Entrance At Hackney Central Station – 2nd July 2022

The new entrance at Hackney Central station opened yesterday.

Note.

  1. The cafe must be fairly good, as it has two flavours of gluten-free brownies.
  2. I may have a touch of arthritis these days, but stairs like these are fine for me, as there are two right-handed paths.
  3. There is a second set of stairs down from the footbridge to speed passengers on their way to Hackney Downs station.
  4. There is a light-controlled crossing over Graham Road.
  5. Bus stops in both directions are only about twenty metres from the crossing.
  6. The station buildings appear to have green roofs.
  7. The is plenty of bike storage, but no car parking.
  8. There is no lift, although the design should allow one to be added later, if it is thought one is needed.

I’ve seen bigger budgets produce worse designed station entrances than this one.

My Use Of The Graham Road Entrance At Hackney Central Station

I suspect, I will use the new entrance mainly in one of two ways.

Going West On The North London Line

If I want to go west on the North London Line, the obvious one is to get a bus to Highbury & Islington station from the closest stop to my house and get the train from there.

But that route has got more difficult in recent years.

  • Our South London Mayor in his wisdom cut the 277 bus back to Dalston Junction station.
  • So there is only the 30 bus left and the route uses badly-designed Egyptian-built buses. I’ve nothing against Egyptians, but these buses don’t have the flat floor, that people expect from a bus these days.
  • Since the roundabout was rebuilt, it seems to be a longer and more difficult walk for pedestrians.

So I’d prefer to take another route.

  • Canonbury station is probably the closest station, but it is an uphill walk from my house.
  • Dalston Kingsland station is a possibility, but the steps to the platform aren’t the safest.
  • Dalston Junction station is another possibility, as it is step-free, but it means more changes of mode and train.

Going via the new Graham Road entrance has advantages.

  • From my house, there are frequent 38 buses to the new entrance.
  • The 38 bus stop at Hackney Central is only a few metres from the station entrance.
  • There is a coffee stall in the station entrance.
  • The steps in the entrance are easy for me.

I will try out this route the next time, that I go to the West on the North London Line.

Coming Home From Stratford With Shopping

If I need a big Marks & Spencer or a John Lewis, it is convenient to go to Eastfield at Stratford and come home on the North London Line.

I will usually use the The Canonbury Cross-Over to double-back and get a bus home from Dalston Junction station.

It is an easy route, but sometimes the trains mean a wait of nearly ten minutes at Canonbury station.

The new entrance at Hackney Central gives an alternative route.

  • You would get in the back of the train at Stratford.
  • Alight at Hackney Central.
  • Exit the station through the new entrance.
  • Cross Graham Road on the light-controlled crossing.
  • Walk about twenty metres to the 38 bus stop.
  • Wait for a frequent 38 bus.

Today, I waited just a minute.

Conclusion

The entrance was first mentioned in an article on Ian Visits in October 2019 and I wrote about it in Will Hackney Central Station Get A Second Entrance?.

In May 2021, I wrote £3m Hackney Overground Station Upgrade To Begin In June.

The entrance seems to have gone from a concept to reality in under three years and once the starting pistol was fired, it was built in under a year.

How many parts of the UK rail network could be improved, by small projects like this?

 

July 2, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Can’t More Bags Be Like This?

I recently had my shoes fixed in Timpsons.

This was the bag that the company gave me with the shoes

Surely, paper bags score highly in many ways; practicality, affordability, recyclability and as advertising.

Why don’t we see bags like these more often?

June 20, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , | 2 Comments

Wheelchair Provision On Elizabeth Line Trains And Platforms

These pictures show the provision for wheelchairs on trains and platforms of the Elizabeth Line.

Note.

  1. The generous spaces for a wheelchair. There are four spaces in the middle carriage of the nine-car trains.
  2. There is a blue wheelchair symbol, that marks where wheelchair entry to the trains is easiest.
  3. There are blue wheelchair symbols on the floor at doors closest to the wheelchair spaces.
  4. There are a lot of wheelchair signposts on all platforms.
  5. There are no steps to negotiate taking a wheelchair in or out of the train.
  6. At Canary Wharf there was a small screen showing the next five trains in each direction, which appeared to be positioned at the right height for a self-propelled wheelchair user.

Whilst I was coming back from Canary Wharf, the wheelchair space opposite was occupied by a very elderly lady in a wheelchair, who was accompanied, by a couple I took to be her daughter and son-in-law.

Judging by the smiles and compliments all round, they all seemed well satisfied with the provision.

June 17, 2022 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , | 3 Comments

Levelling Up – The Marks & Spencer Way

When I first moved to Dalston, there were three convenient Marks and Spencer stores within a few bus stops.

 

  • Angel, which is a basically a food store with a floor of clothes above, where my grandmother used to shop before the First World and C and I used to shop in the 1970s, when we lived in the Barbican.
  • Moorgate, which is a small department store, with a medium-sized food department in the basement, which I use regularly.
  • Hackney, which was a very small department store with a poor food department, was convenient as on some of my journeys, I would get a bus home  from outside the store.

Over the last ten years, more Marks and Spencer stores have sprung up, Archway, Camden Town, Dalston, Eastfield, Hampstead, Liverpool Street, Old Street and West Hampstead, which I use occasionally, as they are on routes home.

This morning I went to the eye hospital in Colindale and coming home, I got a 32 bus to Brondesbury for the Overground.

As I needed some food, I had various choices of journey home.

  • Get off at West Hampstead and do my shopping there, and then get back on the train.
  • Get off at Hampstead Heath and do my shopping there, with a light lunch in le Pain Quotidien.
  • Get off at Dalston Kingsland and do my shopping there, with a bus home.
  • Get off at Hackney Central and do my shopping there, with a bus home.

Unusually, I chose the last option and got a big surprise.

I had been worried that Marks and Spencer in Hackney would close, but now it has been turned into the most upmarket Marks and Spencer food store, I’ve ever seen.

  • It’s more Knightsbridge. than Hackney
  • It’s large and spacious.
  • There are large ranges of tea and coffee, that you normally don’t see in the store.
  • The decor is localised to the store.
  • It is only about a hundred metres from Hackney Central station and fifty metres on the flat from my bus home.
  • It’s even just called Marks & Spencer Food

Now that’s what I call levelling up!

 

December 13, 2021 Posted by | Design, Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wagons Roll For Freightliner UK

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on railfreight.com.

This is the first paragraph.

UK operator Freightliner has taken delivery of the first batch of new FFA-G wagons for UK operations. The forty wagons have arrived in the UK from Poland, adding to the intermodal fleet of the operator. The entire order, for 230 wagons will be delivered by the end of November 2021.

The wagons have been designed for efficiency and being able to take a forty foot container anywhere on the UK’s network with a loading gauge of W10.

 

 

October 20, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments

The Seat Of Aurora

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article in the August 2021 Edition of Modern Railway.

The article has this sub-title.

East Midlands Railway has finalised the new seats for its new trains, and they’re completely useless – as ironing boards.

Note.

  1. East Midlands Railway‘s new trains are Class 810 trains, which are Hitachi AT300 express trains, as used by several operators.
  2. Some passengers and industry commentators have criticised the seats in these trains as like ironing boards.
  3. Abellio Greater Anglia, who are a sister company to East Midlands Railway, also choose the seats for their new trains with care. I wrote No ‘Ironing Board seats’ For Greater Anglia’s New Trains, about their seat choice.

Ian Walmsley, who wrote the article for Modern Railways says this about the Seat of Aurora.

My verdict is that it is a good seat, and that is in absolute terms – not just saying it is better than an 800, which it would have to be really.

For myself, the proof of the seating will be in the sitting.

September 13, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Whitechapel Station – 23rd August 2021

Whitechapel station reopened this morning, so I went to have a look.

Note.

  1. There are more lifts than any program on Strictly.
  2. All the main stairs are wide with lots of handrails.
  3. There is a passageway alongside the Ticket Hall to access Durward Street at the back of the station.
  4. There is still some work to do on the Overground platforms.

It certainly could be The Jewel In The East.

August 23, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 3 Comments